Category Archives: Musings on Life and Beauty

Homegrown Cherries

Just a few months ago, I was celebrating the tiny bits of green that had appeared on my cherry trees.
In such a short period of time, we went from green to blossoms to cherries.

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We came home from vacation and our yummy cherries had turned into deep red,
dripping with sweetness, dribble juice all over you cherries.

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Beautiful cherries.

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We started picking.  Filling buckets and trays.

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But it didn’t even look like we’d picked.

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I’ve always enjoyed preserving fruit, making jams and sauces,
dehydrating and bottling.  But it’s never come from my own backyard.
I’m fortunate to live in an area where there are multiple orchards around me
and I can buy from the growers.  This time, to be harvesting from our own trees
is really a pleasure.

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I’ve been bottling cherries and making jam.
I’ve never had cherry jam before, but we’ve learned that it’s really tasty.
Freezer jam and cooked jam both.

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It’s a lot of work, but for me it’s work that brings a real feeling of satisfaction.
So much of what I do has to be redone several times a day.  But I love the feeling of lining up
the food I’ve preserved and knowing that because of my efforts my family will enjoy it in
months to come when the fresh food is no longer available.  And we’ve only harvested from one tree!
I still have another to take care of this week.

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I also find that working with fruit helps me slow down, relax, and notice more of the
simple joys of life.  I start looking at the lovely shades of color in the fruit, pondering life
in a day and time when work such as this meant survival.   Today I noticed the lovely color of the foam as I cooked some cherry jam.

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And how beautiful it was when it reached a full boil.

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I feel more grateful for the bounty that God has given us, marveling at the genius of a God who created trees that can bring us such delicious pleasure, and such blessings.  I am reminded that God’s economy is one of abundance.

Taking advantage of such abundance, expressing my appreciation for it by putting it to good use and sharing it with others, just feels right.  And that’s an awfully good feeling to carry around in your heart.

Jennifer

Vacation

On Saturday we arrived at our annual vacation spot:  Newport Beach CA.

It was raining, but that didn’t stop my kids from charging headlong into the ocean.

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Whether they preferred the water or the sand, they were so excited!

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I love the way the beach offers something for all of them:
waves to conquer, shells to collect, or just a massive sandbox in need of a king.

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I think you could say we’ve missed the beach.

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Except for our youngest, who doesn’t remember last summer.
She had some concerns about the enormity of the situation.

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But with a little effort, we loosened her up a bit.

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We even coaxed a smile out of her.

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By the end of the week, she’ll be charging right in without concern for her safety.
It’s going to be a great week!

Happy Flag Day!

Is it a holiday at your house?
It’s a holiday at mine!  June 14th.
Today is Flag Day!

I just want to wish you a happy one.

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What is it about the red, white and blue?
I could go on and on about how much I love the flag of the United States of America.

For me, summer is about a lot of things, and the flag is undoubtedly one of them.
For me, red, white and blue are the colors of summer.
At the beginning of June I start craving the sight of flags, and Flag Day is a great excuse for me to start celebrating!

I can’t help it, flags start popping up all over my house.

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I start sticking them anywhere it pleases me.
I just love the sight of the flag.

It represents so much.
Sacrifice.  History.
My heart swells with gratitude every time I see the flag unfurled to the breeze.
It really is sacred to me.

Today, I invite you to ponder for a moment what the flag means to you.
Learn a little more about proper use and care of the flag, if you need a brush up.
And if you have a flag, PLEASE get it out!

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Have a wonderful holiday!

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