A very sad day

Im not going to go into any details right now, I mightn’t later either, but I have to post this as our Daisy Bona has been so often spoken of on my blog.
After kidding she feel suddenly ill and two days following she passed away (last night around 10pm).
I have cried so much.
Daisy was a goat, she was a member of the barnyard, but she was also a precious, precious friend.
She will be forever missed.
I love you, Daisy.

Kidding Season

The kidding season has officially begun on our farm!

I have mentioned a couple times that a doe was keeping us on our toes. 
That was Princess Tender, our grade Lamanch/Nubian who always throws twins and kids so fast 
we’ve never seen her kid all the way through.
This year we’re guessing she’ll have triplets though, since she’s never been so big, but she’s taking her sweet time about dropping them!
I felt Daisy’s ligaments yesterday morning. My first reaction was, “Girl! Where are your ligaments!” 
She was completely loose, but ate a full breakfast and otherwise felt like herself. 
But, we put her in a separate stall just in case.
Her due date was the 22nd, and as far as I can remember she’s never kidded early. 
She had no discharge or other signs – except maybe her engorged udder. 
Daisy is our herd matriarch.
She was our first doe, began her production late, but was a precocious milker,
has steadily given twins or triplets, and milks upwards of a gallon and a half to two gallons a day at her peak.
She’s a grade Lamancha/Nubian, but our best doe by far.
A perfect example of when papers don’t mean much!

As it turned out, when K went down the hill after breakfast to check on Princess, she heard 
kids crying from Daisy’s stall. 
Daisy had already had two kids on her own, cleaned their noses off and they were crying and wailing.
A doe and a buck. 
Daisy’s a wonderful mother, even considering her rocky start with us pulling her first kids off the moment 
they were born. Over her last three freshnings she’s mastered her mothering position well – though, even 
if Carra will scold me, I insist she is a little clumsy at first. 
Maybe its just me. I always think she’s going to step on her babies. 
Forty minutes after the first two, K helped her out with the third one. 
Another little girl; one almost twice the size of her sister!
But, even in the joys and blessings of this special season, there are times of great sadness too. 
Daisy’s little boy was badly deformed. When Carra went down and found them, he wasn’t moving at all. 
After working with him some he began to pick up his head a little, but he also began thrashing around, throwing his head back, and never trying to stand, only lying there screaming.
Here’s a picture of the deformity in his nose. He could still breathe, but he would not even try to nurse.

His feet were only partly covered with the hard outer covering of the hoof, and his legs were twisted and would bend out all the way. 
We knew when we first saw him that, unless the Lord worked a miracle, there was no hope for him. We had that desire though to try, to try and give him a chance. 
But farming is not all a life of roses and romance. 
Many times it is downright hard and cruel. 
After much prayer and thought, and talking with out vet, we decided to take him down to the clinic and allow him to be put to sleep instead of making him suffer for the next few days trying to get him to eat and his eventually starving to death or dying of a seizure. 
This was our first experience with any like this in our goats. 
We had a similar situation with a young calf a neighbor gave us once, but its different when its one of your animals you’ve bred, raised through pregnancy, and helped the doe in labor and those first moments after.
But the Lord Jesus knows best. We knew things like this were going to happen 
on our farm one day. 
I am thankful for this experience. 
But also I pray the Lord protects the rest of our girls and their babies who are soon coming.

Coming home we were happy to find the two little girls settling in with Mama Daisy so well. 
Its a joy to see little kids once they’re all dry and their legs are stronger as they bounce around in little hops and jumps trying to play or trying to find Mama’s udder so they can have their first meal!

Even Mama goats can do strange things when they have babies!!
This is Carra feeding Daisy a small bottle of colostrum we had milked out in an attempt to feed it to the little boy. Daisy never sucks a bottle, even if our big buck would! Carra took the rest of this milk away after I took the picture, otherwise Daisy would have drank it all! 🙂
This morning the girls are still doing wonderfully. 
Daisy herself isn’t feeling 100%, she has a fever of 106.3 and we’ve already been to the vet and back, and given her some Penicillin  Banamine (for her temp), and Lutylase (a hormone to help her pass a placenta if she has retained one; we only saw her pass two and we know she had three). 
We’re trusting the Lord Jesus though.
She seems to be doing ok every other way and she really loves her little girls.
We’re thankful for these days of kidding and excited to see what other blessings – and even trials – the Lord Jesus has in store for us this season!
We’re watching Princess closely today and its also her sister, Joy’s, due date! 

Thankful Thursday

“With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments.”
Psalm 119:10
Its almost the end of another week. I’m looking forward to the weekend – mainly because we’ll be able (Lordwilling) to stay home from work and not worry whether or not the girls are going to throw us a trick kidding! 
But, even with the early signs we’ve been seeing of the does getting ready to give birth and all the hard work at the job, its been a great week. 
Let me qualify that. Yesterday I wrote in my diary that it had been an awful week. Today I’m saying its been a great week. I guess because, I’ve had a chance to sit back and think about the week – and I really have lots to be thankful for. Too many things to be thankful for in this week to say its been awful
Its so easy to look back, in review, and see why we should have been thankful, happy – even over joyed! – when we were really very frustrated, upset, unhappy, or dissatisfied. 
If only I could learn to trust the Lord Jesus – in the moment – and not just for my general life. Its so simple to trust Him for our lives, our futures…. We know He has us all in His loving care. But to really step back, out of a present difficult situation, and pray and give it over to the Lord Jesus as it is happening
What freedom would then be ours!
For this Thankful Thursday I can only list a few of the many things I am thankful for.
(This post would grow tedious if I listed them all! 🙂 
So, I am thankful this week for;
  •  Princess’ kidding not coming too fast. (She’s the girl that’s been keeping us on our toes!)
  • For last night’s work at the barn with my sister. After working all day at the job, we came home and mucked out two stalls (after moving all the lumber out of it that was set up for the repairs). It was hard work – especially in the dark – but it was great to just work with K on our farm. 
  • The cabinets being done at the job. After all the many coats of paint, the hinges are on, the doors are up, the knobs are on and they look great (even if I say of ourselves 🙂 Our job coordinator stopped by yesterday and said he “really likes” the cabinets. Praise the Lord Jesus!
  • I’m thankful for good food. Daddy made up a quick vegetable soup Tuesday night and we had it yesterday at the job with cornbread. (Brought the homemade mix and I made them up at work – that’s another thing to be thankful for; the working stove there. )
  • And I’m thankful for the cold weather. Its not comfortable – especially for the kiddings coming up – but its great to have the ground hard frozen again after two years of warm winters. Thank the Lord!

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

Our latest work

Our newest work site. 
We’ve done a couple smaller jobs since leaving Gatewood, but this is 
the first one we’ve been awarded by the city, followed closely by a bigger one that’s to 
start in a week or so.

This house had been previously worked on, but not finished. 
The city had trouble with the contractors that worked here, and have since disbarred them.
I’m sorry they’ll be out of work, but I pray they take this seriously and work on improving.
Its hard taking over this job and trying to make it look good when so much of it
is done amazingly poorly. 

I think the biggest job here has been painting the kitchen cabinets.
That isn’t a big job in itself.
But it turns into a big job when the cabinets are stained with who-knows-what, and after 
four coats of paint they were still bleeding.
Needless to say we have been very tired and sore lately, crawling into and over these 
cabinets so many times.

On top of that, we discovered that Kilz is no longer making just a stain-blocker. 
The Kilz we had so trustingly been applying to these awful cabinets was actually just 
a brand-name paint!!
So, a lot of time and money have gone into these cabinets that was not 
necessary, but also we’ve learned another lesson!
What’s the saying? 
Live and learn.

There’ve been a few other things; plumbing, hanging sheetrock in a bathroom, 
painting the carport, and today we plan on tacking the edge of the roof that was left 
unfinished. 
I don’t like construction. I guess that’s common knowledge by now. 🙂
But I love having our own hours, being able to work together, and not being bound 
to someone else’s schedule. 
I guess that the free-minded homeschooler in me. 
Someone who’s spent their childhood finishing their school work before breakfast so they
could have the rest of the day for their music and writing, 
doesn’t really like the idea of an 8-5 job of any kind! 😀
Its really helpful having our own business right now too.
When our girls are starting to show early signs of kidding approaching.
K and I are planning on helping Mama and Daddy finish up the ‘big’ things at work all
we can, and then we’ll have to call off (with no risk of losing our jobs 😀 ).
The goats should start kidding by Friday.
But we have one doe who’s keeping us on our toes….
I’ll share that with you later! 

Monday Meditations

Every morning after I’m a little awake, and have poured my first cup of coffee (smile)
I read in my Lord’s Word. 
I pray as I read, seeking to hear some Word from Him, to glean some 
knowledge and be fed in my spirit for the day ahead. 
Yet, even with my prayer and reading in the mornings, lately I have felt farther from Him than before.
This feeling has been going on for several months. 
I know the cause lies a great deal in my own slackness – my preoccupation with life, my writing,
our work and farm. So often I find myself starving my spirit, pushing my reading
and study to the back shelf – thinking of it as something that takes up time, instead of as something
that makes the rest of my time in a day meaningful and profitable
I know many of you can probably associate with me in these feelings and shortcomings.
This morning I was finishing the last chapter of Luke (my favorite Gospel). 
Up until today, there were no pen marks in the last chapter of Luke in my Bible – though the rest of the 
Book is littered with scribbles and underlining. 
But I was praying this morning and in the story of Jesus meeting the two disciples on the 
road after his resurrections, the Lord opened my eyes to a simple thought that could mean a lot if my 
heart is open and I am not too preoccupied with myself to hear Him. 
Oh that I may be open to His Words!
It is always interesting to me how the disciples did not recognize Jesus. 
They went on talking to Him in verses 15-31 and did not know who He was – even through His 
expounding the Scriptures. It wasn’t until He broke bread to eat it that they saw Who He was.
Then He vanished from their sight. 
But isn’t this sort of like we are?
The Lord Jesus hears our prayers. 
I know I have been praying a lot lately – seeking Him, desiring His Blessings, His nourishing. 
Just like those disciples who were wanting to see Jesus after His resurrection. 
They talked to Him about how they had hoped this Jesus who had died had been the One to 
save Israel. They shared their discouragement and saddness with Him – even telling Him that this was the
third day and they still had not seen Him; they were giving up hope.
Jesus rebuked them – even roughly. 
“Oh fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”
Can you believe they still did not recognize Him? Even after all those years of His rebuking them for 
their unbelief during His time of ministry. 
But isn’t that how we are? 
So caught up with ourselves, our work, our sufferings, our problems 
that we don’t recognize Him – even when He IS working in our lives, IS teaching us, IS drawing us 
closer to Himself everyday through the things He brings us through.
But Jesus still loves us. 
Just like those unbelieving disciples. 
He went in to their house to stay with them, to eat with them. 
He still dwell within us, still lives in us, still gives us our breath. He doesn’t just give up on us. 
He keeps working.
Sometimes He has to break the bread for us to finally recognize His place in our lives. 
I pray I may listen to His rebuke and His expounding the Scriptures.
Let us be more sensitive to our Lord.
Remember His still, small voice. 
This noise and clutter of life is not important.
We must hear His still, small voice.

Some Changes

Well, as you can see, I’ve made a few changes to my blog – again
I can’t seem to keep things the same…I change like…well, the weather! 🙂 
But seriously, the weather has been changing a lot lately.
Friday it was up in the 60’s, bright blue skies and sunshine, and then Saturday dark clouds hung
over the farm all day, cold rain turned to snow and by nightfall we had two to three inches all over the ground. 
Its been cold again today, but the sun was out so all our snow has melted away. 🙂
Our hay field and the drive down to the barn was covered in snow this morning. 
It was beautiful walking down and enjoying the bright orange sunrise. 
I love it when it snows – but down here, thank the Lord! 🙂 – it doesn’t stay too long.
Hmmm… I never knew I’d say that.

But anyways, on with the main purpose of this post. 
I have not been comfortable with the changes I made to my blog a few months back.
When I made those changes I was feeling a need to start more promotion for my 
story and writing; get the word out there more by blogging about it and linking to it from other sites.
The more I’ve gone on working with it however, trying to make it all fit, the more I 
continue to come up against this brick wall in my mind….
Its just not working. 
I can’t mix the two – my writing and my regular daily life – and expect to get the most out of both of them.
So….
This morning I sat down and opened a second blog.
One that takes the old name of this blog (allowing my previous title to take back its rightful place!)
and will be solely about my journey in writing, about what the Lord Jesus teaches me in,
about my stories themselves, and the characters in them. 
I’ll still be posting about my story here from time to time – writing is still a part of my daily life! –
but my new blog, Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver, will be the online home for 
all my writing ramblings. 
I have deleted a couple of pages from this blog, moving them (with a few changes) to their new home,
and written and introductory post. 
The site is still needing some work – a few more pages, widgets, etc. – but I think its 
safe to introduce to you all! 🙂
So, take a minute to pop over and visit my new writing blog Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver
follow it if you like it enough and want to stay up-to-date with Unlikely Lives and the story of Sullivan, 
and I’d really love it if you’d share the link with your book-loving or writerly friends! 
Thanks so much and the Lord Jesus bless you all 
this Sunday evening!

Introducing…..

Our newest herd member!
ADGA Sunrising RS Malted Milkshake
The Lord Jesus truly blessed us in purchasing this new, little buckling from 
Sunrise Farms in Columbus, NC last Saturday.
He is a top-rate Nubian buckling and we know he will throw some beautiful kids
with excellent bloodlines for our Nubian segment of Goshen’s Plenty next kidding season. 🙂
We have struggled to find a name for him (seems names come hard lately :/ ),
but finally decided on the playful name of Malted Milkshake,
instead of giving him a human-type name that most of our other goats have. 
We’ll probably do more names like Malted Milkshake this season – as compared to the 
Victoria, Grace, and Emmas of last season. 🙂
We only hope Malted Milkshake will get along with our other buck, Marshall Dillon. 🙂
So far their names don’t sound like it! 😀

Issy surprised us when she took to the new baby so well.
Here she is lying a distance from him – but only because they had been up romping and playing
for so long before this! 🙂
I think having a set of pups last year has really helped her to see baby goats 
as babies – not toys. 

I’ll have to post soon on our new job for the city, here’s all you can see of it 
right now though – with little MaltyMilk at the bottom of the short stair way. 
He’s very shy of steps. 🙂 
We’ve had fun taking him to work with us – he’s on a four-times-a-day feed schedule, so
we sort of had to! (Sly smile….)
You can find a short video of MaltyMilk (before he had a name 🙂 on Youtube here.

Thankful Thursdays

At the inspiration of a fellow blogger and friend, Kathi of Oak Hill Homestead ( http://oak-hill-homestead.blogspot.com/?m=0 ), I have decided to do Thankful Thursday posts.
I’m praying I can do them, even on days – like today – when Im at work with my family, away from home and my computer. I am not quite so fond of posts from my IPhone – even if Im thankful I have a way to do mobile blogging – they just don’t seem to show up so well on-screen.
But here I am, and here is my first Thankful Thursday post!

I am thankful this week for;

The Lord Jesus guiding me to read in Nehemiah. I have been very blessed in that special Book this week – in ways I might share with you if The Lord gives me time soon! 🙂

For the work He’s allowed me to get done on my story. I’ve been able to write almost every morning this week and SOME at night. Yay!!
For our HUD job, and for our being awarded another which will probably start in early March.

For our little Nubian doe, Ida Claire NOT showing any more imminent signs of kidding.

And for our new little addition. 🙂 I’ll share about later. 😀

Over all, I thank Jesus, it’s been a good week!!