Abby’s Public Baptism

February 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm (Genealogy/Family)

In the Name

Jan. 29th 2012, my daughter, Abigail Bartlett, was baptized at St. Luke’s by Fr. Penfield and Deacon Vogel. The Deacon’s wife, Mrs. Vogel, was our Godmother. Abby’s Godfather was my brother. Our second Godmother couldn’t attend (as she was in her 48th week of pregnancy) but was added to the certificate nonetheless. Mrs. Vogel presented Abby her Christian name to the Priest, and the Godparents tendered their sureties for Abigail’s sake. It was a lovely baptism, and Amanda and I are so happy Abby is now part of Christ’s body.  We look forward to raising her growing into a kind and gracious woman, good and wise for a gentle husband, and someday a family of her own. Even more expecting are the days ahead where she will discover the world that God made for her, experiencing the excitement of new and wonderful things this life offers. Read the rest of this entry »


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Baby Abigail

October 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm (Genealogy/Family)

Abigail Bartlett

Abigail Joan Bartlett was born 4:22 AM, Oct. 1xth 2011. Amanda’s water broke at 8:30 pm the previous day as we were getting ready to go to bed. We rushed to the hospital. Abigail is our first child. We discovered her sex five months earlier. My mother’s name is “Gail”, but otherwise we have no “Abigail’s” in our family. “Jxxx” was the same middle name as Amanda’s aunt. Our golden rule with names was to avoid colors, seasons, and flowers. We wanted Abby to be named after either a biblical or royal figure, and come to think of it most names historically derive from such? I guess in picking a name for Abby before her birth, one might say we ‘knew’ her before she actually came to us.

tired mommy

Amanda was really scared about the labor, and we ended up taking an epidural to prevent fatigue. Amanda’s parents were also there to help her through the labor pains. But the push-phase of the birth came quickly. The county hospital had several babies being born the same hour, and the doctor was away during Amanda’s delivery. Abigail ”crowned” in a half-dozen pushes, and before we knew it she was born. The push phase was fairly fast, about 15min. This is far too much detail, but I was present at the delivery, comforting Amanda, helping with the birth itself, and cutting the umbilical cord. I am actually so happy not to have missed Abigail’s actual birth. When she came it was such a miracle. We couldn’t believe she was alive, and we were so overjoyed to know she came to us healthy. As Abigail was handed to Amanda, Amanda asked, “is that my baby?” We were all in tears. It was so amazing, and I wouldn’t have missed Abigail’s birth for all the world.

nursery check up

Abigail was weighed and cleaned up. She was 6lbs and 18.5 inches. A small baby but in our estimation the most beautiful child we ever saw. She stole our heart. Amanda and I spent the next two days in the hospital room, and at the county they let the baby nurse with the parents, only occasionally removing her to test blood and weigh. I slept in a chair at Amanda’s bedside. We were exhausted, but every time we held Abigail it was like our energy came streaming back. We saw a number of doctors, and the lactation nurse(s) were especially helpful. On the second day family came to visit. My brother and mother got to hold Abigail, and this has been very important for us given the passing of close relatives of late. All was good, and we finally were able to take Abby home.

a little shut eye

Amanda and I have been preparing our apartment for Abigail for some time. We put Abigail in the crib and watched her sleep. This last week we’ve been up every hour feeding our baby, and I’m so thankful work and finances has been flexible with me this year. Amanda has over three months off and won’t return to her security job until the end of January. Meanwhile, we hope to get Abigail’s weight up. As of Oct. 20th Abigail weighed 5lb 11 ounces.

getting dressed

Every time she moves, opens her eyes, smiles, or puckers we just melt. I guess we are your typical parents. We are looking forward to help Abigail grow into a charitable and faithful woman. Abigail is taken from the Hebrew, “Abi” being Father, and “Gail” being “joy”. Abigail is indeed her father’s joy, and every day with our first born is so incredible. We don’t even miss the sleep.

We are so blessed. God has been good in answering prayer. Praise the Lord! Amanda and I thank all our family and friends– especially our parish church and local clergy– who likewise prayed and supported us.  These saintly petitions passed us through the sore spots, and we can now add a beautiful little girl to our household. We hope she grows into a kind, generous soul. Thank you.

my lovely wifey

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Our Beloved Auntie

March 22, 2011 at 4:11 am (Genealogy/Family)

Requiescat in Pace ~ La Fern S. Anderson

“IAM the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die.— John 11:25″

On this day, March 25th 2011, we gather to celebrate the life of La Fern (Fern) S. Anderson, beloved sister and aunt. Fern was born in San Jose in 1921, to Charles and Editha Shields.  She had one younger sister, Gail Bartlett. Fern attended Stanford University, where she earned a Bachelors in English.  Afterwards, she attended UC Berkeley, where she earned a degree in library science.  She was a gifted student, and had a knack for language. She lived abroad, in Guatemala, for a year and became fluent in Spanish.  She also worked as an Army Librarian in post-war Germany and could speak German fluently, as well. Fern married Paul Anderson, an English Professor at Cal Poly Tech.  They lived together in Morro Bay for several years, before finally settling in El Cerrito.  Her husband, Paul, had type 1 diabetes, and Fern cared for him as his health faded. After Paul’s death, Fern stayed active as a volunteer caring for stray pets and animals.  She was very active in the humane society.  She also had an artistic streak, and enjoyed making Christmas presents for children which she would donate to organizations like “Toys for Tots”. She had many beloved pets through the years, but was especially fond of her dog, “Tan-Tan”. In her faith she walked as a Methodist. Read the rest of this entry »

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King Charles Martyr

February 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm (Pilgrimage)

IML officers, right to left: Mr. McAlister, Coulumbe, Fr. Kelly, Deacon Bartus, Cpt. Bird, Mr. Yakimov, and Dr. Llizo

In January, Amanda and I hopped in the Chevy Geo and took-off for Southern California to catch the first gala event of International Monarchist League’s LA chapter.  We were invited by my friend, Dr. R. Tom Llizo (a subdeacon in WRO-St. Michael’s), who recently became the League’s VP. It so happened that a couple friends from St. Luke’s REC, Mark and Andrew, were likewise planning to attend, so we made the event a pleasant rendezvous. Mark and Andrew both blog on Anglican issues,  and they also gave devotions as lectors at our wedding. It was fantastic to get back together with them since we saw them last August, and we all had a great time. Andrew’s blog can be read at:

the League's reception

The  League was kicking-off its LA chapter. We got to meet a number of North American monarchists, some of whom have historical interests (myself), while others are more cultural and political. Mr. Charles A. Coulombe, the western IML delegate and grand council member, was there and spoke regarding the potential of a League in Los Angeles, reminding those attending that LA was the beginning of the King’s Road (El Camino Real), and the downtown plaza was dedicated to the Crown of Spain upon its foundation. In a way, monarchism surrounds us historically, and if we pay attention it’s hard to forget this fact. Capt. Stuart Bird-Wilson spoke as Queen’s delegate from the Royal Society of St. George , and several members belonging to the Russian  Imperial Union Order were present. St. Mary’s of the Angels in North Hollywood hosted the event with a beautiful evening prayer (Vesper) service dedicated King Charles I’s memory.

St. Mary's stained glass, King Charles and Laud.

Charles I was the last head of the English church before the rise of Cromwell, before the supremacy of parliament, its imposition of Solemn League & Covenant in England, and prior to the Puritan”s interim presbyterianism which eventually gave way to congregationalism. The Protectorate finally collapsed due to lack of public support for the Army, but Cromwell was the first to fatally wound the concept of a national church headed by the Crown.  Presbyterians ironically restored the monarchy hoping a puritanized version of the BCP would be adopted, but, once they lost parliament to royalists in 1661, Anglicans re-established the earlier religious Settlement enjoyed by Elizabeth I and Henry VIII. But I digress.

St. Mary's Nave and Chancel

Getting back to Charles I’s death: When Presbyterians ejected Bishops and Royalists from church and state, 1643-45, they captured King Charles after the Siege of Oxford in 1646. By 1648 Charles I was tried by a junta court, and in Jan 30, 1649 the Army violated Solemn League by seizing him and cutting off his head. Charles died saying these last words, ” I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown; where no disturbance can be, no disturbance in the world… Remember!”  Charles and William Laud proved great martyrs for the Anglican church, and they have since been rightly memoralized in Anglican liturgy, calendars, busts, and images. They definitely should not be forgotten, but the last century have feel victim to liberal ecumenicalism. When we do, we forget a great nursing father of the English Church.

Subdeacon Thomas and Amanda. In front of St. Mary's

St. Mary’s is an ACA parish and will likely join Pope Benedict XVI’s Ordinariate. Mary of the Angels is a very historical Anglican parish going back to the turn of the century while Hollywood was nearly a shanty town, dotted w/ barns and tents. The parish is in the middle of a relatively affluent, condo-packed neighborhood with lots of young people. Before Vespers, Amanda and I had lunch at an upscale bistro. I had some soup and she ordered fish. We then met Andrew and Mark across the way in a nearby coffee shop, quickly catching up on some things before the service started. We then made it for Vespers, and greeting us was the IML wecloming men. Our first impression was we were under-dressed!

Little Church Around the Corner

St. Mary’s was very a very striking parish church. My impression was they knew who they were. Though not classical Anglican, and basically Roman Catholic, they reinforced their history, churchmanship, and identity throughout the walls of the building– be it in the sanctuary, pews, narthex, social hall, offices, even the bathroom! They offered tracts, books and brochures in almost every chamber. Too often Anglican churches don’t do this. They shun ‘definition’ and opt instead for a fuzzy broadness were focus is agreeing with everyone, sometimes even unitarians. St. Mary’s is surely a charitable church, but they have stuck to a transparent standard, and this is evident wherever you go while in their parish. For Vespers we sat in the middle row of pews, and sung the Divine office. Deacon Andrew Bartus delivered the sermon on due obedience to authority. Fr. Andrew would later be ordained into the priesthood and has since become the League’s chaplain. The service was beautiful, and afterwards we gathered downstairs for a champaign.

Charles I and royal progeny

It turned out we had contingents from a number of christian faiths. This was probably the first time I’ve enjoyed ‘diversity’. Many of the folks were originally from Anglican churches, but it was a wide christian spectrum. We had WRO, Anglican Use, REC Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Russian Orthodox all in one room prayering together. Amanda, Andrew, Mark, and myself made up the classical Anglican contingent. Foremost in common was our convictions about monarchism. This really got us thinking about a substantial ecumenicalism based on surviving royal households and erastian polities than boiling everything down to minimal ‘essentials’. Afterwards, we all went across the street and had a delicious Italian dinner. Amanda and I didn’t get back on the road until 11 pm. We drove all night back home, crashed for three hours, got up, and still made it to Sunday worship– a memorial service for King Charles I at our parish, St. Luke’s in the Hills (also REC).

Bradshaw's trial against his King

Immortal words of King Charles to the Parliament of 1649 which tried him: “I would know by what power I am called hither … I would know by what authority, I mean lawful; there are many unlawful authorities in the world; thieves and robbers by the high-ways … Remember, I am your King, your lawful King, and what sins you bring upon your heads, and the judgement of God upon this land. Think well upon it, I say, think well upon it, before you go further from one sin to a greater … I have a trust committed to me by God, by old and lawful descent, I will not betray it, to answer a new unlawful authority; therefore resolve me that, and you shall hear more of me”

Anglican Monarchist Contingent: Andrew, Amanda, Charles, and Mark

It was an awesome weekend. We look forward to St. George’s Day, May 1st, again at St. Mary’s, hosted by the League. .This will then be followed on the same weekend by the KJV’s 400th birthday– May 2-3rd–as Anglicans our only approved bible outside the Bishop’s“Remember!”

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Prayers for my Father

January 29, 2011 at 5:41 am (Genealogy/Family)


Together Sunday Morning

The Bartlett family owes enormous thanks to all friends and family who gave prayer on behalf to my dad, James Bartlett, unto our Almighty Heavenly Father for his physical recovery. On August 2nd, 2010– two weeks before my marriage with Amanda Kruse– my dad fell down and broke his neck during midnight while at home. His neck snapped in two places along the topmost vertebrates. The fractures were not hairline, and very serious. The doctors in ICU called it a ‘hangman fracture’, meaning that normally this kind of fracture severs the spinal cord, killing a person instantly. In the emergency room my father then aspirated blood and vomit, and consequently he was intubated for burnt lungs. The intubation machine was an external lung, used to prevent suffocation and stave pneumonia. However, the machine posed a huge infection risk, and the longer a patient stayed on it, the greater chance they might die from secondary factors. At this point the doctors and staff began pushing us toward ‘pulling the plug’. But we demanded full-code. At the end of the first week, the doctors began talking about weaning him off the lung. On the third wean my father resumed normal breathing but was very weak. He also failed his swallow test, and so a g-tube was inserted into his belly for fluid eating. As he left ICU for acute care, the doctors next pushed hospice care which basically amounted to starving our dad to death. We were insistently against such. After five days of dramatic improvement Jim left for post-acute care in Hayward, and, three more months down the road– after two more bouts of pneumonia (one of which was septic)–  he was walking again, communicating with friends, and his neck was totally healed.


Dad and Mom

There were some amazing lessons the Lord taught us. First, our family had to stick together to save our Father’s life. The health establishment is not particularly friendly to old folks. They often underestimate their elderly patients and prefer euthanasia over difficult treatment. Elderly often cannot communicate for themselves and consequently rely on loved ones for health care advocacy. When families are frightened by worst case scenarios, they often fight amongst themselves and make panicky decisions, leaving medical care to indifferent yet seemingly “objective” third parties.  The episode certainly made us wiser about the medical establishment, but it also gave us a deeper value for “life” itself. Our father knows who is his family, and he knows what is love and comfort. We could not abandon him to a cold logic or statistical odds. Second, though my family is not especially religious, it was a trial that definitely brought us closer to God by prayer. Prayer was especially given during the darkest moments, and it was wonderful to pray as a family. Our prayers also included the hope that my dad might come back to church for worship. This seemed like an impossibility at the time, but I believe the Lord graciously answered it.

St. Luke's Chapel

My father is 94 yrs old. He served his country in WWII as a major in the navy, worked postwar as an accountant, and built a number of pre-schools for the Head Start program before his retirement at 75. He was a good father, an educated man, and planned not only for his own estate and wellbeing but also for his family’s.  Jim was baptized a methodist, and during his earlier years he did much for the methodist church. I’ve been taking my father to chapel every Sunday since his healing. He has moderate alzheimer’s and poor hearing, but he responds well to Christian art and iconography moreso than preaching. Yet you can never be certain what old folks grasp or pick up. James still needs a miracle to recover his normal eating. Right now he receives food by g-tube until his swallow returns. Please keep his lost swallow in prayer. We owe much thanks to those angels and saints in the church who prayed for our dad.  We know there were a league of you! These prayers brought him to a near-total recovery! We figure the Lord gave us our Dad back so he might meet his new daughter-in-law, my wife Amanda, as well as some time to live on this earth to see future grandchildren.

Fr. Mike gave my dad a birthday prayer on the Saturday before his 94th birthday, Jan. 18th. Below is the prayer from the 1928 bcp. God has answered many prayers, and He has been very merciful to our family. We owe Him all praise and glory. Thank you everybody, and thank you gracious God!

“Watch over thy child, O Lord, as his days increase; bless and guide him wherever he may be, keeping him unspotted from the world. Strengthen him when he stands; comfort him when discouraged or sorrowful; raise him up if he fall; and in his heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

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The Bartlett Society

December 18, 2010 at 6:22 am (Genealogy/Family)

A great website for Bartlett’s and seps:

I had to turn it into a page…

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Wedding Vows

September 4, 2010 at 11:34 am (Pilgrimage)

Sacramental Binding

Although more wedding pictures are on the way, I wanted to share the first round. All-in-all it was a wonderful ceremony, August 14th. Amanda took care of the guests. I mostly took care of liturgy. The magnificence of the rite combined with the solemnity of the public vow was truly awe-striking.  Friends and family attended, about 65 total. I had some relatives who really made an extra effort to be there, and their attendance was incredibly special. Also, my pastor from 1st OPC, Scott, and his wife, Joyce Cox, both humbly blessed the event with their most charitable support and presence. I have to thank Mark Talley and Andrew Matthews who came up from Southern California to assist as lectors/clerks, bringing surplice and cassocks. They dressed well. Mark writes at River Thames and Andrew is the author at Unpopular Opinions. It was also a rather ‘ecumenical’ ceremony. Father Tom Sramek (TEC) celebrated w/ Fr. Mike Penfield (REC/APA) assisting. I also need to thank Amanda’s family and maid-of-honor, Cheryl Hoffman, who worked herself to death preparing the social hall and sorting the many details. To the right (below) is a picture of Amanda and her father, coming up at procession, escorting her to the front of the nave where the rite proper took place.

Mr. Kruse presenting his daughter, Amanda, the beautiful bride

The rite combined both sacraments of matrimony and communion, blending the marriage rite into the antecommunion. Amanda looked gorgeous coming up the isle with her father who gave her away. It was a dream come true for her, and I too, being the manifestation of a very long and emotional time of planning. To see it all come to fruition without a hitch was spectacular. The liturgy can be read below. However, I was not the sole compiler. There were a number of expectations and requirements that the final liturgy had to conform– namely special hymnal requests by family, the modern practice of dual rings, as well as the rite itself being held in front of the nave rather than amidst the people in the nave’s center according the the BCP). However, these changes were successfully incorporated and balanced in constructive ways, making all parties happy.

Fr. Penfield and Fr. Sramek (left to right)

The hymns help transition the Epistle reading, 1 Cor 13, from the OT, Gen.2 and Gospel, Matt 19. The sermon then covered Eph 5, but it was a synthesis of Jewel and Cranmer’s two homilies on holy matrimony. Cranmer outlining the God ordained duties of husband and wife: Jewel warning spouses about the wiles of the devil and need for prayer/grace. A lot of people were rather shocked by the headship exhortations scattered throughout the 1662 rite, and one individual, surprisingly, took offense to Eve coming from Adam’s rib. But the most common complaint was the length– I think 1-1/2 hrs if not more. Thankfully, people understood it was a once in a life event. The audience was mixed, but we did have quite a few Episcopal Anglicans and a number of Reformed families. The communion was 1928 American BCP, picking up at the offertory, and utilizing the third exhortation, whereby Amanda and I processed  before the altar, giving earlier vows as sacrifice to the Lord Almighty, joining that band to the eucharist prayer, and then receiving the body and blood of Christ Jesus after the priests.  Many of our friends and family partook after being properly warned (three times) of unworthy reception. Overall it was a great evangelical witness, and I believe a couple friends and family who’ve been in constant prayer were moved by it.

the kiss of peace x 3

There were three parts of the liturgy which might have been better. First, Amanda and I processed toward the altar at the wrong time, i.e. the offertory rather than before the four matrimonial blessings. Second, no one sang psalm 127 even though the words were printed plainly in the schedule. I don’t know why. Third, the TEC priest administered the sacrament with the 79 words plus added some light-hearted humor, especially after I kissed Amanda three times. I would have liked to have made more a contrast between the faithful and unchurched, but we allowed those who wished to blend in cross their arms for a blessing. The TEC vestments weren’t right, but the TEC priest did pray eastward during the antecommunion as well as kept the chalice/paten off the table until the offeratory w/ elements coming from a credence table nearby. I think he had a hard time dealing with the warnings to partake, generalizing the exhortation w/ “all christians are welcome”. I also realized how hard these things are to coordinate  when the chancel furnituring assumes a table. I did like TEC’s emphasis on visual accessibility to priest and table, and St. Edward’s has an interesting rood cross (hanging above the altar not the chancel arch). But this is minutiae which the assembly didn’t catch. Given it was also the same day as the vigil of St. Mary, a proper for the BVM might have been appropriate, and I wish it was included as a witness to certain virtues like motherhood, obedience, and chastity. Nonetheless, the ceremony was unquestionably Christ-centered.

Recessional. Mr and Mrs. Bartlett!

No pictures were allowed during the communion. But we posed after the marriage, and of course during the procession. I wept, but only because the joining of two people as one is just so amazing. In retrospect I wish I remained more composed, but the event was very emotional. After the recession, we greeted the people in the narthax. It really strucked us how loving people were to come, and we thanked people we had known our entire lives. The wedding reception then followed in a nearby social hall at St. Edward’s. My brother gave a moving toast, and we all cried. Then the maid-of-honor added some warm words, reminding everyone what a lovely person and wonderful bride Amanda was. We cut cake, and gently fed eachother. No mess. Amanda and I were the last to go. We gave extra food and wine to many people. Mark, Andrew, Matthew and Michael (Amanda’s cousins), and my buddy Casey help pack our wedding gifts into my tiny geo metro 96! I wish I had a picture of that. It really felt wonderful to drive Amanda back to our home, both of us dressed in tux and gown, starting our modest life together.

the Bartlett's

There is so much I missed. My bunnies of course stayed behind, but I sorted wanted one bunny to be a ring bearer. lol. Sadly, my father couldn’t make it. He was in nursing facility, recovering from a neck injury. My brother, John (best man), was fantastic, hiring a friend to watch while the family made the wedding. Amanda and I are both serious about having kids. We have been praying for John to be a Godparent, and amazingly enough he’s considering visiting an REC church in Vacaville. Amanda’s cousin, Michael, also lives in Vacaville and is a deacon at a Dutch Reformed church, CRC. So, the Lord provides! Anyway, the good news is my father is making great strides in recovery. He’s had the benefit of three churches praying for him (I call this three angels) and many living saints. We expect to have him back for the holidays w/ his neck fracture healed and walking.

cutting the cake

Amanda and I are living in Santa Clara, in an area called the ‘rose gardens’, not far from the mission and the university down the road, about a quarter mile. Our apartment gets real hot during the summer, but we are happy– full of food (even so much we regularly give extra to neighbors), and the garden is still growing back home in Fremont. We are building planter boxes for herbs in our parking lot, and saving money to relocate to Northern CA if not Oregon  in a couple years (perhaps sooner depending on jobs). But we aren’t leaving without taking a truck load or two of relatives and friends with us! Until then, we are attending public worship at REC (Los Altos Hills) while occasionally visiting Amanda grandma’s TEC (St. Edward’s) and an ACAA (St. Paul’s) church from time-to-time. If you are ever in the area, please contact us. We do evening prayer w/ catechism W, F, and Sun at the rose gardens w/ a complimentary meal. We are making halloween treats for St. Luke’s Sept. 13th, inviting apartment neighbors, as well as getting candy for the surrounding children.  Our troths were:

¶ Then shall they give their troth to each other in this manner. The Priest, receiving the Woman at her father’s hands, shall cause the Man with his right hand to take the Woman by her right hand, binding them by stole, and say after him as followeth.

I, CHARLES JAMES BARTLETT, take thee, Amanda Sue Kruse, to my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness an in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

¶ Then shall they loose their hands; and the Woman with her right hand taking the Man by his right hand, shall likewise say after the Priest,

I, AMANDA SUE KRUSE, take thee, Charles James Bartlett, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to cherish and obey, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

(Reception pictures will be added later to this same post. The cake was banana-strawberry at the top, chocolate marble in the middle, and bottom tier was chocolate moues-raspberry. We munched on that for one week afterwards, Amanda gaining no weight and I ten pounds!  YUM!)

God Bless   &  Prayers Deliver!

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Summer Staples

August 10, 2010 at 2:40 pm (Uncategorized)

tomatoes and kale

This time of year can be difficult to keep up with harvests. Tomatoes are everywhere falling off the vine, and so many have been picked each day that it’s hard to keep up cooking them. Kale is more kind. Both kale and collards age slowly, and the plants continue producing leaves after cuttings. Kale and collards are very hardy, and, unlike fruit and beats, you can take your time harvesting. Given their leaves and texture are very much alike, the plants must be near kin. Even better, they compliment each other nutrition-wise. While generous in iron and C, kale is a rich source of  vitamin A while collards have more B12. Topmatoes and kale have become my summer staple, and in CA I expect these plants to continue producing until November.

While kale will grow all summer and fall, I have pulled up my beat rows and will probably remove and turn over some of the older kale. Last week I planted jack O latern seeds with the expectation of All Hallows Eve arriving in two-and-one-half months. If the pumpkins don’t ripen by then, they will make great Thanksgiving squash. Also planted are more beats, brussel sprouts, collards, a couple rows of corn (which are coming up nicely), and chard. The radio said chard, like collards, has high germination rates. This means you can trust the seeds to sprout.

My father recently fell and broke his neck. Many prayers have been offered, and the Lord has been kind. My dad seems to be recovering well in the hospital. Please keep James Bartlett in your prayers. Our family hopes to have my father, Jim, back for the holidays. Though Amanda and I are not married (Aug. 14th is the ceremony), and, of course, we have no pregnancy, we hope my dad is with us to see his first grandchild. My father is 93-yrs old.  Praise God.

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Boysenberry Syrup

July 27, 2010 at 8:19 pm (Vegetables)

boysenberry vines

After harvesting, too often cooking is the bottleneck. I typically have three days or so to do something with my vegetables– either sharing with kin or kith, or cooking it myself. The last couple years boysenberry bushes have volunteered themselves, growing from the margins of the fence toward the garden. The consequence the garden proper is being surrounded by a ‘fence’ of berry and tomato bushes. While the apricot and peach trees on the corners deposit their seed. It’s actually quite beautiful.

Boysenberries make great pancake syrup. But you first need to pick them! While picking the boysenberries I noticed two kinds of vine which I distinguished between male and female. The male vines bore no fruit and grow rather aggressively with fairly big thorns. The female vines bore flowers and had smaller diameters. These latter vines carried the berries, and of course I picked these as they turned a dark purple. It’s so easy to get not only pricked but berry juice all over your fingers. I was able to get about five cups of berries this year, and will let them grow, only pruning the male vines which tend to cross into the garden. Five cups of berries produced about 3-1/2 jars of boysenberry syrup. It’s easy to make. Simply put your berries in a pot, add a little water, and cook at a moderate to low temperature w/ a couple cups of sugar. I’d say one cup of berries to 1 or 1 cup of sugar. Stir and sample until it tastes good with a smooth consistency. Once the syrup ‘glazes’, they should be done.  The recipe is the same for apples, peaches, and plums.


Another summer treat was apricots. The garden started with three apricot trees. Over the last year and a half, I’ve been raking up the badly bruised fruit while saving the seeds from eaten ones, and throwing all into the compost bins. As I add compost to the garden, these seeds naturally sprout. As a consequence we have about 15 apricot seedlings with three rapidly growing trees. I plan to retire from bunny gardening (moving on to bigger things) in the next couple years, so as I move on I expect to leave behind a peach-apricot orchard. I am also passing on apricot and peach seedlings (between 7″-36″) to green friends.

Anyway, apricots are perhaps some of the most tasty fruit. Cobbler is my favorite, and you can make a quick cobbler by simply washing and deseeding your apricots, throwing them into a glass cooking pan. You don’t need to grease it. Just throw it in. Mix some biscuit with a little milk, and you can spread the dough on top. Throw some cinnamon if you like, and cook for about a half hour at 350, oven temp. It’s good stuff, fast, takes no sugar, and great for morning food w/ coffee, or desert for any meal.

The trinity season is really a time of bounty. We have tons of tomatoes falling off the vine. About 5 to 10 tomatoes daily. We also are behind on kale, beat, and collard harvest. A couple quick notes: kale is rich in all vitamins especially A, C, and iron. But it lacks B12. Collards are nearly identical plants to kale. They grow in virtually the same fashion, are totally rugged and robust, but unlike kale, have B12 but less A. Together, you have a total, off the chart, nutrient combination. So, make sure you grow both. I am totally convinced kale is a miracle plant, and in CA it grows through the winter!

putting in drip lines

My second gardening tip: while sponge lines clog up with dirt and must be thrown away after one season, 6″ drip lines also clog. Though the 6″ lasts longer, they still get clogged up with dirt. However, unlike sponge you can poke the 6″ holes with a pin and dislodge old mud. Just turn on your drip irrigation (the hose) and note where the dry spots lie. Then treat those areas that appear plugged. Sponge lines work awesome, but only a couple months. The others last longer and in the end will save you money. Drop sponge lines.

the Fargo and Bartlett families praying, cooking, and eating at camp

Lastly, Amanda and I will be getting married August 14th. We’ll be moving closer to her work. I already commute vast distances, so this is not a factor. Meanwhile, the garden will continue, and I’ll be planting another at my aunt’s. So, there will be some expansion of bunny garden this next year, despite us moving closer to the city. Meanwhile, we hope to invite friends for meals and prayer at our new place, of course sharing some of the delectables from the vine. We also survived our fist camping trip!

God Bless you all!

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July 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm (Uncategorized)

Here is pretty much the final version. Our web person will probably modify it for html, most likely improving it. Now we have to start the second page, SABCL, which will carry forward the great catholic quotes of Anglican Divines for four councils, five centuries, etc..  I think we pretty much have the final form for the Rule page as well. Within the next month we can finish the ‘vow’. We’ll really need Fr. Hassert for that one, and it might have an evolution of sorts, comparing Weslyan covenants with Sarum subdeacon vows,etc..


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