Some kind of ‘ectomy or other

June 5, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Posted in baby, country life, dating, faith, family, flowers, gardening, gifts, knitting, Life, love, marriage, photography, pumpkin recipes, summer, travel | 20 Comments
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pumpkinpatch1Life is an interesting pursuit. It can be engrossing, it can be dull at times, sometimes filled with love and laughter, sometimes lonely and empty.

I look at this little pumpkin vine. He is living in a little pot on our warm sun porch waiting to be transplanted into the ground. He might not know it yet, but is a part of a fun game we are playing and a big event that is about to happen. Hello little pumpkin, hold on because the ride ride of your life is just getting started.

These photos show the little pumpkin plant just a few days after we started the seeds indoors. By now the young vines are much larger and growing vigorously even though they are still living indoors on the porch.

Of the six varieties we planted, all have sprouted at least three healthy looking vines (we planted four seeds of each variety). It was a thrill when we saw that first little green sprout. I told Sweet Pea, “Your pumpkin patch is coming along now!” and she gave me a big, happy smile.

Here is a photo of Rhoda (next photo below), the giant tree peony; notice it is the peonies that are giant, not the tree. If you look just beyond Rhoda to that interesting looking tree, that is a very old basket willow (at least that is what we think it is). If you look way back through the yard, beyond the trees and into the sunlit part of the grounds back there, that is where Sweet Pea’s Sincere Pumpkin Patch 2009 will be situation. The sprouts you see above will soon be long, healthy vines creeping along the ground reaching down into the Earth with roots and growing luscious, fat pumpkins up above.

pumpkinpatch3In two weeks, on Father’s Day weekend that piece of Earth you see back there in the sunlight will be center stage of a wonderful family event we have planned. My parents, my son, and an dear friend we have known since I was a teenager are all coming here to spend several days on the farm with us and to meet Sweet Pea for the first time.

While they are all here, we will all work together to create the Sincere Pumpkin Patch (“Sincere” for short). As a part of the project, we will build an entryway to Sincere that will consist of a garden trellis and a hand painted sign.

The reunion will be a perfect opportunity for a group of old friends and family, plus a few newbies (my husband, my son-in-law and dear little Sweet Pea) to work together to create something for the future and to celebrate Sweet Pea’s new life as it spreads out in front of her.

It will also be wonderful for my son and my parents to see the farm and surrounding area during the abundant green growth, farm production, and flowing water of summer–up to now they have only been here at Christmas.

rhodayardblog2This will be a time of creativity, planning, smiles, and love and we are all looking forward to embracing the time and each other very much. I have not seen my parents (in person) since Christmas 2006, and we have not seen our family friend since sometime prior to 2001 when he moved to Florida from California to be closer to is children and grandchildren. Seeing him again will be a treat for us all, and most especially for my father.

About my father … I have a favor to ask of my readers.

Actually, I will ask you for a favor for both my father and my mother; Dad first.

He is a great guy, and I love him dearly. We have been best friends for a very long time, a very long time indeed. He is generous and loving to all he meets, always has a kind word for strangers, and is first in line when anyone in the family needs help of any kind. You can see what is important to him and to my mother by walking into their home. Everywhere you look there are photos of the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Each time any one of us has a birthday, my parent phone the birthday man/woman/boy/girl and sing “Happy Birthday” in harmony. It is so sweet and so innocent.

This week was my father’s birthday. He is not so very old, but he has a situation and I would like to ask for your prayers for him and for my mother.

He has cancer of a certain kind and has just started chemo therapy. He did not know of the state of his cancer or the needed chemotherapy until very recently and by the time he found out we had all of the Sincere planning going on, everyone had airline tickets and the big event was in full swing.

rhodablog3The cancer was moving quickly enough that his doctor wanted him to go ahead and get started on chemotherapy prior to the trip, and my father is very determined to come out to New York regardless of chemo therapy. He is being very positive about his situation and very strong willed about doing what he wants to do regardless of whatever is going on with his body. Mom is giving him great back up and we are all giving him lots of love.

The great thing is that he is keeping his sense of humor as well, and we have had some very fun and silly conversations on the phone making jokes that help keep the spirit light and all of our attitudes very spunky and positive. I am certain, and have a very strong intuition, that he is going to come through chemotherapy just fine … nonetheless, chemotherapy is not fun. Originally the doctor wanted to give him another treatment just three days before their flight, but now it looks like they will be able to postpone that treatment until just after they return from NY.

Meanwhile, there was more news. This time it was my mother. A spot was found during a recent mammogram. That spot was biopsied and found to be cancerous. The other day I was speaking with them on the phone and offered to post a prayer request for my father on my blog. My father said, “How about Mom too?”, to which I responded that maybe she wanted to wait to find out more about what the spot was all about (this was before she knew all that she knows now about it).

My mother’s response was direct and simple, “I know what it is: I have cancer and they’re going to do some kind of ‘ectomy or other to get rid of it.” Well, there just isn’t any beating around the bush with my mother. She calls a spade a spade, and she was not afraid to say the “c” word. The “some kind of ‘ectomy” statement gave me a good laugh … what a great way to put it, and a great way to put cancer in its place.

rhodayardblog1My request to my readers is for prayers for these dear, sweet parents of mine. They are two of the dearest people you could ever hope to know or know about and it gave them comfort to know I would ask my dear readers to send out a prayer or two their way.

While you are at it, you might include a little something for the Sincere Pumpkin Patch and all of those hearty little vines we will be planting soon. May that little patch of Earth and the pumpkins that grow on it be especially blessed.

Just so you know, I have some knitting news related to my popular Biscuit Blanket pattern, well I just released a kit with the pattern (as a download), the yarn, a gift bag, a note card, and two very handsome bookmarks with my Blue Ribbon Biscuit recipe. What I wanted to do with this kit is give a person everything they need to make a scrumptious hand knit Biscuit Blanket and to pass it along as a gift to someone else. The kits include enough yarn to make one Biscuit Blanket and a small amount of hand wound yarn in an accent color so that your Biscuit Blanket will come out especially beautiful.

I put a lot of care into selecting colors and color combinations that I felt would make the most scrumptious Biscuit Blankets. Check out the listing at my Etsy store to see the colors I have for you. I am hoping this kit will help those of you living in cities to experience and share a bit of the feeling and aesthetics of our life on the farm with someone you love. In addition to the standard kit, I have some jars of preserves on hand which I will share with a few of my readers, on a first come, first served basis to add to the Biscuit Blanket ensemble for a little extra money. If interested, leave me a comment or send me an email and I will contact you with more details.

By the way, if you already have the Biscuit Blanket pattern, you may choose a substitute pattern from my complete catalog.

Life is calling me, and I have to be getting along. Early next week I’ll post updated knitting content at the Knitting Blog as well. Meanwhile, I hope you have enjoyed seeing these final photos of this year’s Rhoda festival. Keep this in mind, the completely opened flowers are 9″ to 11″ in diameter.

Is that not something very, very special?

Have a beautiful weekend, and may a dream or two come true.



All Photographs and other content on this blog are Copyright © 2009 J. L. Fleckenstein ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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  1. sending many many prayers for all of you!!

  2. Prayers are winging their way to your family, bless you, I pray that they be healed and given years to watch Sweet Pea grow.

  3. My sincere prayers for your parents, they must be wonderful people because they have a fine, talented, creative and gentle daughter.
    And a prayer for your pumpkin vines as well.


  4. I’m sending prayers your way and will continue. Ann

  5. I am so very sorry that your family is having to go through this journey!! I will definitely add your family to my prayers!

  6. Prayer certainly works and mine are being sent your way!

  7. Dearest Firefly,

    All my best thoughts and prayers coming your way for your mom and dad♥
    Hugs and warm healing wishes♥

  8. Prayers are being sent from me also.To all your family.

  9. How sweet and wonderful. This will be a great time for you, family and friends. All those wonderful prayers bring on the blessings.

    The pumpkin patch is such a grand creation and I know you will keep us posted on it’s developmnet.

    Rhoda is so beautiful! All those pictures are beautiful. Thanks.


  10. Hugs & prayers and warm thoughts 🙂

  11. I have every hope that both of your parents will be healthy. Your family is in my prayers.

  12. You and your loved ones shall be in my prayers.

  13. Dear firefly,

    I am so sorry to hear about your parents, know that you and your dear parents will be in my prayers. The unconditional love that parents give is like none other, simply like none other. I bet little Sweet Pea is growing by leaps and bounds. As to the little pumpkin patch, I will join others in praying that this little patch produce the most beautiful pumpkins ever.:o) You enjoy a lovely coming week.



  14. My thoughts and well wishes go to you and your family. Friends and prayers go a very long way even from people we have never met, but we know a little about through our blogs. Take care.

  15. I will add your parents to my prayers. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, enjoy every day. I love hearing about Sweet Pea and the Sincere Pumpkin Patch too, may both of them thrive and grow. Hugs.

  16. I am praying for your mother and father…and for you. Thank you for your great columns.

  17. Dear Mom and Dad of Firefly –
    your wonderful daughter is sharing many things of her life with her readers. One of the latest news involved the information on your situation, facing cancer treatment.
    Let me send you a song across the ocean on this sunny day in the French country side, a song of prayer that both of you will get better with the treatments, ectomies and otherwise. A song of gratitude that the cancer was detected and can be treated. A song of joy that prospects appear positive and your courage appears to be unabated, and may it remain so. A song of peace for accepting what life has in store for us. An evening song for bringing you the happiness you deserve and live by every day. A thank you song for your daughter. My heart goes out to you, from a background that involves very similar events

  18. I will be praying for your parents. God has worked so much in my life and have healed and restored the health of my own parents.

  19. Dear Firefly,

    Abundant good thoughts, well wishes and prayers are being sent to you and your parents. What a lovely request for your mom and dad!

    Copy and paste the following link into your browser for a very special prayer:


  20. Dear Firefly,
    I am praying for your parents and you all. Hugs from far, far away.Peggy

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