Howdy Sugar Pies! Well, I finally made it back to my Ol’ Missouri home after spending a few weeks in California. This is the view from the airplane as we were landing in Springfield. All of the quaint farms looked like one giant patchwork quilt.

img_7448Looking at the beauty of this land, I can see why Laura Ingalls Wilder and her husband Manly chose to live out the rest of their days here in the Ozarks! One of these days I’m gonna get out to their homestead which is not too far from where I live! I have a lot of things I want to do and places and people I want to see! One of the gals that I was so happy to go see and spend some time with in California was Maryjane from The Beehive Cottage!

me-and-maryjaneMaryjane and I briefly bumped into each other a couple years ago at an In and Out Burger restaurant.  We’ve become darlin’  friends through our blogs. While in California I had the privilege of going to her beautiful home to chat over scrumptious treats she prepared. The funny thing is Maryjane lives in the neighborhood I used to live in before I moved to Missouri! We lived just around the corner from each other. We didn’t meet until after I moved away! Fancy that!


Here is her wonderful craft room! I kinda wanted to go shopping! She has all the supplies to make all kinds of darlin’ things! In fact you need to check out her Etsy store to see all of the cute stuff she makes!


I think I could get very creative in this room!


This is where we had our yummy refreshments!


Take a look at that adorable chocolate cake! It was so delicious! And don’t you just love the little doilies over the fancy mason jars! Maryjane truly has the gift of hospitality…she made me feel so welcome! And of course we chatted a mile a minute! (Hi Maryjane!!!)


Well, as much as I loved being in sunny California I was ready to get home and tend to my little “farm”. Things really had grown out of control and needed some tender loving care.


Before I left on vacation I planted my little garden in this cute-as-a-button horse trough. I bought it at a local Home and Farm feed store.  You should have seen me lug this thing out of my car and onto my deck just outside my kitchen. If my hubby had been home he for sure would have called out “LUCY? (Loooooooosy!) What are you doing with that horse trough?” (Lucy.. as in Ricardo… as in… I Love Lucy!). Well, I did explain to him later that I saw this idea in a Mary Jane’s Farm Magazine and how it was such a great idea to grow a vegetable garden in. No weeding! He loved it…I knew he would!


I decided to doll it up a bit by painting a ribbon of chalkboard paint

and then with white paint I fashioned the words Farm Fresh.


When I’m doing outside chores I love wearing my Tomato Wellies

(I have Chicken ones too, from Gardener’s Supply Catalog).

A farmgirl’s gotta look cute ya know!


Bessie Mae stands guard!


My grandson Johnny enjoys Grammie’s garden too!

The Bible tells us that whatever we plant, that is what we will harvest (Galations 6:7). If I never planted the seeds or seedlings for these delightful veggies I would not have any growing here to harvest. This same truth goes for planting seeds of  love, joy, comfort, kindness, patience, and goodness in our homes. When we are faithful and intentional about serving our family with tender loving care (with a cheerful attitude), in due time we will reap the rewards. One of the rewards is giving our loved ones a happy home-life that will warm their hearts and comfort them all through their life. So keep planting those love-seeds darlin’s!

“Let us not grow weary in doing good

for at the proper time

we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galations 6:9


Along with tomatoes, I’m growing basil…



Sage, which I hope to dry and use with my Thanksgiving Turkey and stuffing this year…that’s the idea anyway!


Mint…yummy in lemonade and sweet tea!




I also have two kinds of bell peppers… the one on the right is called Big Bertha…ha! Love that!

dsc07473So now my deck with my little “Kitchen Garden” is a lovely spot to sit and enjoy the summer beauty of the Ozark hills.


It’s also the perfect spot to drink my strawberry water and read THE MOST DELIGHTFUL BOOK EV-AH!! Oh.My.Goodness! I’m so lovin’ this book by Fannie Flagg! Standing In The Rainbow! The setting is Southern Missouri (where I live!) in the 1940’s (it’s so vintage-y!) and it’s about a darling radio homemaker, Dorothy, her family and the quirky and quaint townsfolk.  Here’s a little excerpt:

“In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, as more and more electric lines were strung down country roads to the farmhouses, the long, lonely days of isolated farmwives living far away from their nearest neighbors were suddenly filled with warm and friendly voices. They were the voices of other women coming into their homes via the radio. As early as 1924, women all over the Midwest known as “radio homemakers” began broadcasting, supplying the wives with new recipes, tips for raising children, household hints, gardening advice, local news, and entertainment, but most importantly a good friend.”

The main character, Dorothy, is just as warmhearted as she can be and has the gift of gab…I guess she would have to with her own radio show! In fact each page is filled with chatty old fashioned goodness. It makes me wanna be a radio homemaker!! I’m only half way through the book and already feeling like I don’t want the story to end! It’s a perfect summer read!

Now honey, have you tried ice cold water with splashes of fresh fruit? It’s quite refreshing and good for you too!

dsc07459You can cut up any kind of fruit put it in glass and fill with ice and water. So simple!


You get just a subtle hint of flavor. If you want a little more flavor you can crush the fruit at the bottom of the glass then fill with ice water.

You can garnish with fresh mint like I do.  Look how pretty it is!

After you drink the water you can eat the fruit!


So refreshing on a hot summer day!

dsc07476Well, I need to put the book down for a bit to finish the tour of my little “farm” for you!

dsc07526I have a couple of peach trees that are overloaded with peaches this year! And that is a blessing! Because last year, the morning that I was heading down to pick  peaches, I was shocked that over night they had all disappeared! What?! I couldn’t believe my eyes! One day there were peaches…the next day they were gone! Except for the pits. They were all over on the ground. What animal could have done this? And did they really need to eat all of them? I bet they got a tummy ache! So much for the peach jam I was gonna make! Well I was perplexed. In fact all of my boysenberries were gone too. A few months later I had the opportunity to talk with a professor from an agricultural college and I told him my story. He thought it was probably a family of raccoon, birds or some squirrels. They had quite  a party! I told him when I lived in California we never had that kind of trouble growing fruit. I asked him what I should do about it for next year. He said  I should “harvest” the critters. Huh? I asked him what that meant. He chuckled and said “you need to get yourself a gun little lady!” What?!! He explained that where I live…on the edge of the wilderness…the animals think the food that I grow belongs to them…if I don’t want them to eat it I need to shoot ’em. He said his wife has her own gun and protects her garden that way. I asked him how the folks here in the Ozarks in the days before grocery stores survived if the critters ate all the food they grew. He said they “harvested”  the critters and ate them. Oh.  Anybody got a recipe for squirrel stew? Lol! ruthieannieoakley

Well, I thought if I did get a gun I could go by the name Ruthie Annie Oakley! Lol! The legendary Annie Oakley became known as “Little Sure Shot”. She honed her shooting skills after her papa died when she was a little girl. Her amazing natural talent as a shooter allowed her to hunt for food for the family when she was just ten years old. Later in life she went on to perform her shooting stunts in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.  Her story and the way she overcame hardships is truly inspiring. I think the only way I would choose to pick up a gun like Annie to “harvest” critters is if my family was starving. Since we are blessed with food on our table, I won’t have to shoot  the cute little squirrels.

But I still had to find a solution to the critters and birds eating my fruit…


I found it! It’s made out of metal and makes a lot of noise…it’s not a gun…it’s tin pie pans! I tied them to my trees and when the wind blows they bang together…bam bam bam! (kinda like a gun) They’re also shiny which scares the birds away! So far so good…and no ones gettin’ hurt!


I also clipped whirly-gigs to the fence posts and tree branches. With the gusts of wind we get up on our ridge these things spin like crazy! Any movement will scare birds. Well, I have learned a lot about growing things, especially here in the Ozarks, but I have a long way to go! I have to say it is very fun to see food growing that I’ve planted and better still, eating it!

dsc07512My apples are doing good…I think I hear a pie singing my name!

dsc07571And would ya lookie here!! I have pumpkins!!


I shared this story on facebook, so for those of you who didn’t get to read it…Last year just after Thanksgiving my hubby threw some of my pumpkins over the deck railing onto a 20 x 20 patch of dirt to feed the deer. This spring I looked out and saw big leafy plants growing. Low and behold they were pumpkin plants! About 15 of them! Well, I decided to grow a full-on pumpkin patch and planted three more rows. I’m so excited about my first (accidental) pumpkin patch! The only thing is it’s only July and some of these pumpkins look ripe…should I pick them or leave them to grow bigger?? Anyone know?




I’ve got lots more on the way too!


Well Sugar Pies I hope y’all are having a wonderful summer! I sure do love to hear from you…so do stop to say howdy! Have a blessed and safe 4th of July!

God bless America…my home sweet home!

Aunt Ruthie

P.s. My summer e-book will only be available a little longer. You can click up at the top if you’re interested.

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