Springtime, Tea Parties, and Rainbows

Spring has got to be one of the most loved seasons of the year! After months of frosty temperatures and barren landscape, the blossoming countryside is welcome indeed! Since living in Nebraska, Spring has become even more special to me because here the winters are longer than I was used to.

Only a little over a week ago we had a light snow! Which was rare this late in April, but still, snow! But recently we’ve been loving the beautiful days! The first rays of sunrise, with the wind still and birds chirping morning songs, often inspires me to get out for my daily walk. I love when it works out, but I don’t always get it accomplished first thing. What is priority to me while my children are yet sleeping is subject to change morning by morning!

With pleasant temperatures last week, I got to plant my petunias in the flower bed and fill my flower pots! The warm sunshine felt absolutely delicious! The children were outside with me for several hours. They both love being outside! Reece crawled all over and ate plenty of dirt that should help combat the corona virus! The porch looks much more homey now with my potted plants and fern. I really like the Kimberly Queen ferns. They can be found at Lowe’s or Orscheln’s. They grow more upright instead of just bushing out. They are great for a potted plant or hanging baskets. My sister lines her porch with these in hanging baskets every Summer, making a splendid picture! Another plant I’m a huge fan of is the Supertunias in the bubblegum pink color! These always do so well for me! I do not have a green thumb, but this kind of petunias makes me feel like I do! They are very minimal care.

Now Jerald. He is the true green thumb around here! He gets overly anxious and dreams of a great garden plot, with patches of pumpkins and watermelons! I get a lil worried because I know I’m the one who’ll need to put up the abundance of produce in a few months! He quickly assures me that we can always give things away. He just loves to grow things! This Spring he ordered a goodly assortment of raspberry bushes, asparagus and is planting an orchard of trees! I will happily take the fruit, yes, but the faith and patience until then? Well, I’ll just say I hope the trees don’t perish before we enjoy fruit. It’s not that I don’t trust him. It’s that I don’t trust trees. They take a long time to grow, not to speak of all the hardships they must endure meanwhile, and then if they actually produce delicious fruit! He also found some peony bushes for sale and wants to pick them up this week. Now I’m tickled about that! I love the scent and looks of peonies! I’m thrilled to finally be getting some that will hopefully, produce many gorgeous bouquets!

We also just got 70 baby chicks recently. Adorable little fluffy things. Although they don’t stay so adorable and soon start eating like crazy! Which is a good thing because we want them to join the freezer department come June. We may think life in quarantine is hard but imagine the quarantine of chicks and their expected end!! We have so much to be thankful for! 😅 We raise these for ourselves and several church families. We also have a few laying hens and enjoy having our own farm fresh eggs. It’s Josie’s job to gather the eggs as well as tend her little puppy Jackie.

Josie recently mentioned that we should have a tea party. “Someday, when you’re not so busy” she said. Ouch! How does she know mom is so busy? For some reason that old proverb ‘more is caught than taught’ came to mind. And so it was I decided we shall have one very soon. The event took place on Saturday. About the first thing she said when I told her what I was planning was, “but Reece can’t be out there.” Big sisters love their little brothers most of the time. On occasion they’re not wanted! 🤭 We had a lovely spread of meat, cheese and crackers. Blueberries, grapes, bars and lil peanut butter coconut balls. She picked lemonade to drink. We used dainty china and dined outside on the back deck. She was delighted and sweet memories were made. Simple pleasures!

Yesterday afternoon we had a light thunderstorm, then it kind of cleared off. It was mixed clouds and sun. Suddenly about 7:30 I realized it was raining again with the sun shining. “Where’s the rainbow?” I shouted. “There’s got to be one somewhere!” Jerald was doubtful but I was pretty sure there would be one. Sure enough there it was out over the fields in the east. I took off outside, barefoot, splashing through puddles and raindrops and started shooting pictures. I ran hither and yon, then dashed back inside. Only to discover it was more bright than ever! So I bounced back outside again, shooting more pictures. It was absolutely gorgeous with brilliant colors and even a complete double!! It was such a sweet reminder God’s promises are true and He is worthy of our trust!

I’d like to leave you with a delightful salad recipe to enjoy when you have fresh garden greens. Southwest Chicken Salad is a favorite and we actually eat it all year round. (Recipe used with permission from Stutzman’s Culinary Secrets.) This is how I fix the chicken.

Cajun Chicken Fingers

2 Tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in cubes

4 Tablespoons butter

Mix the seasonings and flour in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the chicken and fry in the butter till cooked. Serve warm.

Chop up lettuce/greens, tomatoes, (or use cherry tomatoes) bell peppers, and avocados, as much as your family eats. The other toppings are black beans and shredded cheese. You can also use kernel corn if you wish but we usually don’t. And then for a lovely crunch, spread butter on both sides of about 4 tortillas and cut in small cubes. Toast in oven at 350* for approx 15 minutes.

Dressing: Mix 1 cup Ranch and 5 teaspoons barbecue sauce

I always keep everything separate and we fix our own plates. I especially like each item served separately if I’m having company. It looks beautiful, and then too, it looks like your having a great spread of food, when in reality, your only serving salad!😉 But if you wish, everything can be mixed up right before eating. But then you have the guess work of exactly how much to mix up, so you don’t end up with soggy leftovers. You may notice the avocados are missing in the picture and reason is, I did not have avocados when I did the photo shoot. I did not even think of it till later. That’s how managed I am!😜

A peaceful Sunday afternoon here finishing up this blog. Jerald just returned from his mushroom hunt with a few successful finds! Yay! Fresh mushrooms fried in butter…. Another sign of Spring!

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