Archive for the ‘Country Life’ Category

Tonight’s sunset from the front porch with the family was absolutely beautiful. Mom taught me to share so here y’all go.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

This last weekend while most here in Kentucky were thinking about horses and racing with the 138th running of the race for the roses in the Kentucky Derby, I was working out in the yard. There are several projects that either needed a final push towards completion or that needed to be started and completed. When I started out Saturday morning, I had four staring me in the face. Thankfully, after hard work and family involvement, we were able to completely knock out three of them and make headway on the fourth. Below are some pictures as proof.

The first was “Opa’s Rose Garden”. Many years ago, when we moved into our first home in California, my father-in-law helped me plant a rose garden in the front yard. Those roses flourished in the direct sun and we enjoyed many beautiful blooms from them until the day we left. We moved and unfortunately, my wonderful father-in-law also succumbed to Alzheimer’s. He is no longer the man we all once knew and loved. This rose garden that we worked so hard on this last weekend is our tribute to him and who he was. He loved roses and gardening and we named it in his honor — Opa’s Garden. We added a few chairs and it has become a favorite place to spend the early evening watching the sun go down behind the treeline after a long day. Opa — we love and miss you!

The second project that was completed was more out of necessity than want. You see, about 5 weeks ago we brought home 13 baby chicks from our local favorite country store — Metzger’s Country Store. Those chicks quickly outgrew the Rubbermaid container I had them in and I had to relocate them to a bigger container in the garage. Soon enough, that was also outgrown as well as odorous, not to mention the fact it booted my car outside for the month of April. So putting the finishing touches on the chicken coop was a definite necessity. I am very proud of it because, aside from the $30 roll of chicken wire I bought, I spend $0.00 on the structure. I was lucky enough that a friend of mine informed me of a house build in his neighborhood which allowed my son and I to dumpster dive. We recovered, repurposed, recycled and reused plywood, sheeting, 2 by 4s, 2 by 6s, roof paper and shingles. The whole thing nicely came together with a few modifications to the design in my head. The finishing touches on it will be solar panels for light/heat (notice the perfect south facing sloped roof) and water reclamation off the roof into the whiskey barrel which will provide water for my egg laying hens. The whole project has been very rewarding and self-sustaining and I am looking forward to mid-summer farm egg production for our family.

The final project was getting our garden planted. We put in multiple types of tomatoes, red, green, yellow peppers, banana peppers, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe and zucchini — all stuff that my family eats. Along with the eggs, corn planted on the back property, hunted deer in the freezer, and the occasional cow provided by our farmer friend, we have a great bounty of food that we know where it came from. And that is pretty cool!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Having been raised in Texas as a kid, one thing I love about that great state is the annual explosion of bluebonnets. When they came out in spring we would point out all the bluebonnets to my parents as we drove along. I sure miss the sight of those beautiful pastures of bluebonnets.

A dear friend of mine happens to have two qualities that I do not — #1 she lives in Texas and #2 she has a very good eye behind a camera lens. Below are some of her creative works. All copyrights belong to her. Go check out her blog — CindyDianne. She hasn’t posted in a year but there are some great pix there for the enjoyment.

I think this one is my favorite. I sure with this was my pasture in the back.

Thanks, Cindy!!!!!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Today is our 7 year anniversary in Kentucky. I look back on that time with amazement — that God led us here; that we moved during the Christmas season; that we moved here cold turkey without knowing a soul. And to think that we have lived in our house here in Kentucky longer than we lived in our house in Thousand Oaks, CA. And that K and D have actually lived more of their lives here in Kentucky than in California.

I am so incredibly blessed I don’t know where to begin.

2005 – 1 year

2006 – 2 years

2008 – 4 years

2010 – 6 years

And 7 is a blessed number. I look forward to what our 7th year in Kentucky holds.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Today was a day of chores. My wife and I were able to get a lot done in anticipation of winter. The pool is closed, the property prepped, the house is Fall cleaned (the 6 month off set of Spring cleaning), and finances set. And as we wrapped up Saturday’s work, the sun peeked through the partly cloudy skies to illuminate the tree line behind the house which was in mid-season leaf colors. Add to the scene the darker sky with cloud ripples and it sure was a nice sight to behold.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

I’ve blogged before about the many “family” variations we have had. Family movie night, family star night, family ice cream night… get the idea. Well, tonight we added another variation — family driveway night.

It started with me tinkering out in the garage with Sportscenter on after dinner. My son was still at soccer practice with my wife and the girls meandered outside to just hang out around the outside of the garage. One brought her iPod and rode her bike, the other kicked the soccer ball — and soon enough the Mrs. and D were home.

They joined us as the Monday Night Football game started. The grabbed some chairs and we were all just spending time in and out of the garage as a family. With R going away to college in 12 days, we have been trying to just spend time together as a family — sometimes doing stuff and other times doing nothing. So tonight’s “nothing” ended up being in the garage and out on the driveway. Soon enough it was dark and D ran inside to bring out a dozen or so quilts so everyone could lay on their backs and look at the stars — not very comfortable on the asphalt driveway. But you get the picture. And because of the privacy of our property, we were just able to hang out without seeing anyone or have people drive by.

It made for a nice wind-down evening as we all headed to bed to get ready for a new day tomorrow. So there it is — family driveway night.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A friend shared this with my wife on Facebook and I figured I’d share it with you.

  1. Just one God.
  2. Put nuttin’ before God.
  3. Watch yer mouth….
  4. Git yourself to Sunday meetin’.
  5. Honor yer Ma & Pa.
  6. No killin’.
  7. No foolin’ around with another feller’s gal (or ‘nother gal’s feller).
  8. Don’t take what ain’t yers.
  9. No tellin’ tales or gossipin’.
  10. Don’t be hankerin’ for yer buddy’s stuff.

Now that’s plain an’ simple. And bless your little cotton pickin’ heart!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Already today I have been blessed. It is not yet 8am and I have only been up a few hours but God has already made my day. Below is a quick bullet list of wonderful blessings.

  • a warm shower
  • my morning devotions accompanied by made-with-love pancakes from my wife
  • worship and praise music on my iPhone during breakfast
  • a fawn eating meadow grass with its mother in the morning mist
  • a gorgeous sunrise with yellows and oranges and reds rising across a deep green field of soybeans against a baby blue sky
  • an inspiring “Focus On The Family” podcast on Sacred Marriage — go download their mobile apps so you can hear and enjoy too!
  • a beautiful broad winged hawk perched atop a freeway light pole searching for breakfast
  • 11 geese flying in formation above my car
  • my favorite Tenth Avenue North song on KLOVE as I came into my office at work

And I still have the whole day in front of me to enjoy God’s blessings and serve His kingdom.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Thank God the scorching hot weather finally broke. A storm came through on Tuesday evening that was pretty spectacular to watch. The wind gusted up to 50-60mph and the wispy clouds would no sooner appear and then disappear on the opposite horizon. At 4:30pm the parking lot lights at work came on because it was so dark. And torrents of rain came down and took the day from 98F degrees to 74F degrees in a couple of hours. So now we just have “normal” summer weather instead of unbearable equatorial humid heat.

Today was actually very nice. This evening I sat out on the back patio with all my ladies — the wife and daughters until I finally figured out we were wasting some of the evening away. So my wife and I took our normal 2 mile walk down our back country road. It was nice because it wasn’t too hot or too cold — a perfect evening for a walk with my wife. And my son tagged along.

When we returned home, we could see the girls sitting on the hammock in the front yard talking, which, as a parent, is so nice to see. With R going away to college in September, it is good that they are enjoying each other now before things change.

My wife yelled up to them “Who wants to go to Graeter’s?!?!?!?”

They almost dumped each other over on the hammock trying to get out while yelling “We DOOOO!!!!”.

So soon enough we were all in my wife’s truck with the windows down cruising along our back country road to get some ice cream. The air was comfortable, the kids behaved, the sun was setting, the full moon was peeking over the trees, and all was right in the world.

I had a double scoop of chocolate coconut almond fudge on a waffle cone. Yum!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Every Saturday I meet several other Christian men for an Emmaus Accountability group. We review our week, share our highs and lows, encourage each other, and hold each other accountable on our walk with Jesus.

So this on this beautiful Saturday morning on my drive to Accountability, I was exposed to several “ordinary to me” scenes that I thought I would share.

Scenes from a morning drive

  • A doe and a buck running along side my car in a dew-filled meadow
  • Mist rising from a farm pond
  • Fog rising through a four board country fence
  • A hand painted yard sale sign
  • Deep green corn reaching for the baby blue morning sky

Interestingly, I tried the speech conversion tool app on my iPhone so I could hands-free talk this list and send it via email. Below is the interesting result.

Games from 3 Morning Dr.
Haizhou and about running alongside my car in a few still meadow.
Miss rising from a farm pond.
Bob I’m running up of four for 10.
Can you give yard sale time.
Deep green corn reaching for the baby blue morning sky.

Note to self — don’t ever use voice recognition app without proofing output.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net