{Update #7} Our First Garden

Good morning, friend! I hope you’re having a great week so far! It’s been a busy but fun one for us because of vacation Bible school (Eden’s first, and she’s loving it!), so today I’m just going to give a quick update on how our garden’s doing, because I have to get everyone ready and on time for VBS in a little bit. So here ya go!

~Courtney Faith

 ^Not our garden, but this growing cotton field next to our place is so pretty in the early mornings, I had to snap a picture! It’s going to be simply gorgeous later this summer when it turns white. I LOVE living in The Land of Cotton. We may not get much snow around here, but every year we get to see dozens of fields nearby that look like beautiful snow, and without the dreadful cold temperatures! ^Grape tomatoes! Can’t wait to start putting these in my salads.  ^Okra! ^Squash blooms! ^Little squash! Just a couple days or so and we’ll be able to start picking. Can’t wait! ^We strung up our cucumber vines so they’ll have something to run on. We have a few blooms but no veggies from it yet.  ^Little ears of corn! About 1/4 of our stalks got laid down when we had a lot of wind and rain from the tropical storm, but it’s straightening back up some on its own so I don’t think there was any damage. ^Pumpkin blooms! We have five of these plants and they have pretty much overtaken the whole left side of our garden area!^The watermelon’s blooming!^The right side view of the garden. ^Beans on the left, tomatoes on the right. 

{Update #4} Our First Garden

Here’s a quick update and a few pictures of our garden. We’re still getting lettuce, spinach, and peppers. The tomato plants are so full of fruit so when they ripen we’re gonna have plenty! 

Today we planted more tomato plants (this time some grape and cherry tomatoes), bell peppers, and we gave another shot at some more bush bean seeds. We’ll see how they do, and hopefully the rabbits won’t take them over like they did the peas. (Hubby has shot two rabbits so far, but we know there’s at least one more either living in our yard somewhere or close by.)

I also planted some peppermint in an old ice cream maker bucket and I’m super excited about that! Growing up, we had a flower bed full of peppermint and I would love to do that someday, but until we own a house I’ll keep it contained in a pot. It’s a small plant at the moment but I know they grow really fast, so once it spreads some I’ll put it on the front porch beside the door for a nice, welcoming decoration. 

That’s about all there is to update you on right now, so here are some snapshots I took yesterday evening. 

Have a great day!

~Courtney Faith

Our Weekend

This past weekend the weather was absolutely perfect. And since we had been planning for a while to spruce up our front flowerbeds with an outside liner and new mulch, on Saturday afternoon we went to Home Depot and got the supplies we needed.

We were having problems with the old mulch that was already there when we moved here, because whenever it rained the mulch would wash out onto the sidewalk. The liner we put around the beds should hold the new mulch in now, and the landscaping fabric underneath it all will be nice for keeping the weeds from taking over.

The work didn’t take nearly as long as I expected, but we did wind up estimating a little low on how much liner and mulch we needed, so Hubby had to make a second trip to pick up more, but other than that (and the rain we unexpectedly got that evening which put our work off till Monday afternoon because we were gone all day Sunday) we finished up pretty quickly.

Here are some before and after pictures. Now that our flowerbeds are complete, we can put our full focus back onto the garden, which is growing quickly and beautifully! Soon we’ll have tomatoes and lettuce to make us some fresh BLTs. Yum!

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First step: Digging the Trench for the Lining

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One Side Dug and Lots of Dirt and Leaves Everywhere

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Lining Done!

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After: Right Side View

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After: Left Side View (with a Cute Little Addition to the Picture!)

Have a great day!
~Courtney Faith

Snow Day in Dixie

A week ago North Alabama got something really special, something that simply doesn’t happen very often: snow! Some areas even had up to 10 or 11 inches! To people up North that may not sound like a lot, but in the Heart of Dixie, that much snow is a BIG DEAL. I mean, whole counties just shut down. The only other time Walmart is ever empty besides on Iron Bowl day is when there’s a little bit of snow on the ground, and I’m not even kidding. But that’s AFTER we’ve gotten our stock pile of bread and milk. I’ve never in my life seen Huntsville so slow-paced and quiet until last week’s wintry weather stopped it short. I had two days off work and Hubby only worked half a day the first day, so you know what we did? Yep, we played in the snow! Before it all started I was like a kid on Christmas, just waiting for it to begin! Here are a few black-and-whites from our magical wintry day. image

I’m not sure exactly how much snow we got, but this is a picture of my boot and how far it sunk down in it. I would say we got close to seven inches, if not more.

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This is me with, sporting my hubby’s Bama sweatshirt and my matching red work boots (which you can’t tell, if course, because this is a black and white picture).

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Our neighbor’s got a sweet pickup and it just looked so picture-perfect covered in all that snow.

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Five little evergreens all in a row. So pretty!

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Hubby and Mr. Snowman.

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Our first snow day together!

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Every time it snows, I take a picture of my favorite boots. And also any other day I just feel the need to snap a shot of them.

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Me, wearing my new hat I had just finished crocheting the day before.

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By now it was getting dark, and the street lights really made the snow glow. *Starts singing, “The snow glows white on the mount tonight; not a footprint to be seen…” Oh, dear. Now it’s in my head. Let it gooo, let it gooooooo…*

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Here’s my car, buried in all that.

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The view from our porch.

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When we finally came back inside that evening, we made a big batch of snow cream! Get the recipe for it here.

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Hubby fixed us a fire and played the guitar.

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We eventually thawed out.

I hope you’re having a great week! Stay warm!

~Courtney

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

A Little Bit of Local History

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Summertime for my family and friends, as with most, has always been a favorite time of year. It means no more cold days, no school (if you’re lucky) or co-op classes, and going barefoot outside. It means eating salty watermelon, churning homemade ice cream on the front porch, and watching lightning bugs light up the night. It also means picnics, nature walks, and swimming.

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Every year, as soon as it warms up enough (or sometimes before!), we’ve loaded up in the car or the back of the pickup and driven down the road a few miles to our favorite swimming hole, a spot in Crooked Creek which is a stream that runs through the Bethel and West Point areas (of Cullman County), part of it which is in the pasture in front of where I used to live.

This particular swimming spot is near Bethel and is located under the second-longest covered bridge in the state of Alabama, one of the longest in the whole U.S.

This historical landmark is formally called Clarkson-Legg Covered Bridge, but the frequent visitors usually just call it “The Bridge.”

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Clarkson-Legg Covered Bridge was first built in 1904 because it was realized that the transportation needed improved in the area. James W. Legg, a mail carrier for Clarkson Post Office, owned the property the bridge now stands on, and donated all supplies–timber, nails, sand, and rock. The bridge was built at a cost of $1,500. For real.

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Just an interesting little tidbit of history about the location: In 1863 on April 30th, there were some Civil War skirmishes that occurred at Crooked Creek and Hog Mountain, where the bridge now stands.

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Sadly, half of the 270-foot bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1921. Most of the pieces were found downstream and it was reconstructed the following year for another $1,500.

All motor traffic stopped in 1962 when a new concrete bypass bridge was built beside it.

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In 1975, the Cullman Commission had the Clarkson-Legg bridge restored once more, as an American Bicentennial Project, along with the gristmill and log cabin on site.

Now, 40 years later, the bridge is currently being re-done and restored, and is hoped to be completed and good as new within the next few weeks (mid-February 2015)!

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Clarkson-Legg Covered Bridge under construction, January 2015.

After growing up loving this place, I recently grew to love it even more. Back in 2013 I began dating a wonderful young man from Tennessee. Oftentimes when he would come to Alabama for a visit we would go to the bridge to sit by the creek and have a picnic or walk the trails. One day last May as we walked inside the covered bridge, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! We are now happily married and living in Huntsville, but we look forward to stopping by the bridge after its completion whenever we are back in the area to visit with family.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and maybe even learned a little something new about this beautiful place. And if you haven’t been there before, it’s definitely worth a look-see! It may become one of your favorite places too!

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Do you have any special memories that took place at Clarkson-Legg Covered Bridge?

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

‘Sew’ Cool Tutorial: Handmade State Throw Pillows

When we had all that snow a couple weeks ago, I got to feeling creative. Someone had given me a bag of scrap fabrics and I looked through it and found some just big enough to make a little something, so I decided to hand stitch some throw pillows together. I’d seen a lot of really cute state pillows on Pinterest recently that looked simple enough and so I decided to try them out.

This project doesn’t require a lot of material unless you want to make a bigger pillow. I just had a small amount of fabric, so for my pattern I used a regular-sized square piece (12″ x 12″) of white scrap booking paper to draw my heart shape out on. Next, I drew the shape of the state on another sheet of paper. (I’m sure there are state templates or maps you can print out to any size, as well, if you prefer.)

After I cut out the heart and the state shapes, I pinned the state piece onto the front of my pillow piece. I secured it all in an embroidery hoop to make stitching easier. For the outline of the state I used embroidery thread, but any type of thread would work as long as it’s sturdy.

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Once the state piece was fastened, I hand-stitched (with regular sewing thread) the heart shapes together, right sides facing each other, leaving a small hole (about three to four inches wide) on one side of the heart’s point. Then I turned it right-side-out again and stuffed the pillow with Poly-Fil. After stitching up the little opening with a blanket stitch, the project was complete!

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I made one for Alabama and one for Tennessee (where my boyfriend lives), with tiny hearts stitched into the locations of our cities with embroidery thread. These are so easy to make, and lots of fun! They can easily be finished in just a few hours.

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Have a blessed day!

~Courtney

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

First “big” snow day for Cullman in about a year! Last night I went to bed feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve, so excited and hoping for snow in the morning, and this is what we woke up to–about three inches of beautiful snow!

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The neighbor’s pond

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Neighbor’s barn

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My little brother

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My sister

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Our road

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Siblings having a ball!

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The little house

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The traditional snow-on-the-mailbox picture

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Home Sweet Home

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Welcome!

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Civil War Museum

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My sister and me

 

I think now I’ll go gather some snow for a good bowl of homemade snow cream!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh snow
  • 1 cup fresh cow’s milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Have a great day!
~Courtney