Spring Hay

Today we are back at work, trying to finish up our “Prince” job; painting touch ups, trim, replacing doors, finishing counter tops, and then adding things like curtains etc. that the city asked us to add in preparation of putting the house out to rent.
We were here yesterday too for about half a day, but in the late afternoon/evening we were home.
Hauling 154 40-50lb square bales of hay.

20130529-141619.jpg

Our farmer friends from down the road brought their equipment and did the baling yesterday afternoon. They did their share in round bales and ours in square. All total there were 11 of the rounds and 154 of the square.

20130529-142404.jpg

20130529-142517.jpg

A view f the square and round balers.
We thank Jesus for the clear weather He has given us all through the weekend and Monday and Tuesday.
We try to get our hay cut when it’s at it’s peak for nutrition, but to have it rained on and all the nutrients leached out would defeat the purpose. We’ve had rained-on hay before and our goats didn’t do well on it – or even eat it for the most part.
A little note to all of you who still think goats will eat anything, including tin cans. ๐Ÿ™‚ Goats are picky.

20130529-143541.jpg

A view of the field with the round bales and a few of the square. (We’d picked up over half of them by the time I took this picture.)

20130529-143826.jpg

20130529-143858.jpg

Hauling hay – especially with three girls and just one guy – is not the easiest of farm jobs. In fact, though I love having the hay and am so thankful to The Lord that we don’t have to buy it for our herd, haying is one of my most dreaded summer farm jobs.
But I thank The Lord Jesus for His love and Strength.
I was surprised last night, as I scribbled to my silent friend before bed, that I was not so exhausted and aching as the previous seasons.
The Lord truly is our Strength when we know our inability and ask Him to be in us what we cannot be.
Praise His Name!

20130529-144523.jpg

It was a good time of working with the family, despite the hard work, and I’m my dreading the next cutting quite so much. Our barn is full of fresh, sweet-smelling hay, and our goats are loving their feeder once again being full!

The Lord Jesus is so good!

Monday – a different sort of Monday

Well, contrary to what we all expected, we stayed home again yesterday and were able to do a lot more work at home.
As I may have mentioned, our hay was cut last Friday. Thank The Lord for the warm, sunny weather, because its dried well over the weekend and was tettered yesterday to dry more. This evening, Lordwilling, it will be baled up and brought to the barn.
But first we had to get the barn ready, and we took advantage of the time home and worked on our garden too!

20130528-072214.jpg

Of course, the garage was full of junk and old hay from the winter’s store. It’s terrible the things time can do to a perfectly organized place if you fail to keep up with it.
Issy made the job easier. ๐Ÿ™‚ she came along and kept everyone company.

20130528-072422.jpg

Then we planted in our “hill” garden, as I call it, up near the apiary. We also covered the entire plot with hay – which was a task! Even with how small it is! – to keep the weeds out, and to help nourish the ground.

20130528-072645.jpg

We weren’t quite alone here either; Missy laid in the grass not too far away, and Tucker the cat lounged IN the garden. ๐Ÿ™‚
It was late – after four – by the time we finished planting a nice stand of tomatoes, cucs, eggplant, peppers, and squash.
Mama had the idea to send Daddy for a pizza, and by the time we were washed up, he was back and we all settled down to a very unhealthy meal of pizza, soda, and ice cream with a nice movie of Abbott and Costello. ๐Ÿ™‚

20130528-073033.jpg

It was a full day’s work. But a good one. ๐Ÿ™‚ Mama and Daddy worked longer in the garage and gardens after supper. We helped some, but then left to do our chores before dark.
Before bed, we had to in mold our batch of unscented soap and mix up a new one – this time with orange and tea tree oils. It smelled soooo good!! ๐Ÿ™‚

20130528-073307.jpg

20130528-073319.jpg

Here’s pictures of the finished unscented soap, and of the milk/lye mixture for the next batch.

I scribbled to my silent friend late before I turned out my lights and went to sleep.

It was a lovely, hard day – full of hard work, sweat and achy limbs, but full of family, Jesus, and our farm.

Just the sort of day I love.

Only, with a bit longer rest in the evenings after all that work! ๐Ÿ˜‰

How did you spend your Monday?

Five Minute Friday

Five-Minute-Friday.

A blog idea where you pick a subject and write about it for five minutes.

Simple, huh?

I got the idea from my dear sister,ย Carra, and have decided to try to implement it onto my blog – some, if notย mostย Fridays…we’ll see how it goes! ๐Ÿ™‚

My first topic forย Five-Minute-Fridayย is the one who gave me the idea, my sister, Carra. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, here are my five-minute thoughts about my sister, Carra. ๐Ÿ™‚

These are out-of-order, as you can see, but I decided to leave them they way they are.

The added-in thoughts are in italics.

Enjoy!

  • Loves to crochet. {She has crocheted some of the most beautiful work I’ve ever seen. I think, if she were back in France in the 18th century, someone would track her down and pay her some very fine fortune to make lace for the Versailles – sounds silly, but I really mean it!}
  • Loves to help others – even to a fault at times. {Sweet Carra, before you protest, you must confess, helpingย hasย gotten you into some…well….. ๐Ÿ˜€ย }
  • Is out going – she drags me to things that are really very good for us, but that I’d otherwise shun if not for her willingness to try something new. {Like…ahem…that small ruminant convention up in western NC. I would haveย neverย gone if not for K. Thanks, sissy!}
  • Loves to cook – Oh! does she love to cook! {Cakes, sweets, main dishes, side dishes, dessert dishes – anything that’s difficult and complicated is game for her!}
  • Decorates cakes. {Lovely. And someone’s birthday is coming up…time to start thinking and having fun with sugar and color again!}
  • Can figure math in her head like a whiz. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t even try to compete (unless I have a calculator! ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Will drive us places, even if she doesn’t particularlyย wantย to drive, because she knows I don’t like to drive. {Isn’t she so sweet – but you should tell me when you don’t want to drive more, sissy! I’ll drive for you.}
  • Is very giving; she’ll give her time, her effort, her things, her work to others with so much love. {Crocheted afgahns, blankets, tablecoths (and these aren’tย cheapย gifts if you were to buy them!}
  • Loves farming. I think that’s her truest love in life (apart from her service to her Savior!) is her farming. She loves working with the goats, dreams of farming a cattle dairy with hundreds of cows, loves the hard, hot work, the quiet days.
  • Loves to read. {When she has a good book you can hardly tear her from it!}
  • Loves to write poems.
  • Loves to play music. {Piano, Violin, and singing; she has a beautiful singing voice.}
  • Loves to meet new people.
  • Loves. {She loves to just love people; her family and friends, people in need. One day this gift will be used, sissy! Just trust Jesus for it!}ย 

And that’s one of my two very dear sisters in a five-minute nutshell. ๐Ÿ™‚

ย Love you bunches, K!

30 Days of Thankfulness ~ Day 15

I have been woefully behind in my 30 Days of Thankfulness posts.
Daily life here at home has distracted me – not unpleasantly – from working 
on my blog etc. 
But…its also given me a lovely thing to post about Thankfulness on!
In my daily life…apart from my relationship to my Lord Jesus…there is nothing I am more 
thankful for than my family, and my life here at home.
It might seem strange to some folks…
at 21 I’m still living at home with my parents, working on building a farm, and 
spending my free time scribbling away at stories – the same thing I did when I was 11.
But there’s nothing I love more.
Its the type of person Jesus has made me to be – and I’m so, so happy being this person!
He has made me to be rather introverted…
I’m very shy…in person…slow to express myself unless you know me very well…
I’m most “at-home” at home. ๐Ÿ™‚ 
But…at the same time I will stand up for what I believe…
strangers or not.

I love everything about home….
My family most of all – do we ever have our differences! But we still love each other!
And love – when Jesus is allowed to be in us that love – is able to bind people closer together 
than anything this mortal life can offer. 
I love being here.
I’m so thankful for my quiet home, so far out in the ‘boonies’, with my little family.
Cleaning, dusting, polishing, scrubbing, organizing, cooking, planning meals, doing dishes….
it gets a little complicated when you have three women in one home! ๐Ÿ™‚ 
Its hard to get things together sometimes – do things in an order that’s acceptable to everyone;
and especially to the dear, precious woman who’s taught us all our home-making
skills -and still teaches us everyday! ๐Ÿ™‚

I look forward to the day when I can look at Mama and say, 
“Thank you for letting the Lord Jesus use you, Mama. Thank you for being 
patient and teaching me – even when I didn’t want to learn.
My home and family would not be, if you had not endured the journey the Lord Jesus 
put you on and taught me….everyday, every moment.”
And I’ll always say…
I love you, Mama!
Home-making has many, many avenues….
Cleaning, cooking, meal-planning, laundry (may I repeat that six times?)
sewing, decorating, preserving food, etc.
are just about half of the work – and joys – of being a woman at home.
Most of these things occur inside the house….
Women’s work carries on outside to!
And, though Mama has taught us many things about working outside….
Daddy would have to be said to be our greatest teacher about women’s – yes, women’s – work outside.
Living on a farm adds a great deal of work – and so much more joy and accomplishment! – to 
the world of homemaking.
And, many times, women on a farm work as hard – or try to work as hard –
as the men.
I know we do! ๐Ÿ™‚  

Putting up fencing is a very good example of the sort of ‘men’s work’ we do. ๐Ÿ™‚
As well as are chopping firewood, helping with house-repairs (roofing could be the most extreme),
mowing and cleaning brush, bushhogging (we’d do a lot more of this if we 
always had a tractor on the farm…its hard to keep one here!),
gardening, helping bale hay (including picking up over 200 square bales from the field
and helping to store it), pack feed (50lb bags ten per our usual load…from the van (through an 
excited herd of goats) and to the barn), building stanchions, milk-stands, hen houses…..
The list goes on. ๐Ÿ™‚
Lettuce mix from our garden.

Daddy, digging post holes.
Daddy has taught us so much – even when he doesn’t think so. ๐Ÿ™‚ 
And…just as I look forward to thanking Mama, I look forward to thanking 
my precious Daddy for all he has done. 
I look forward to thanking him for working with us – even when he felt like we weren’t learning.
Thank him for always being willing to help and to talk to us….
And to teach us men’s work – even if we’re ladies! 
My home and family will someday be the precious treasures found at the end of 
this journey, Daddy. 
The many things you teach me – just by being who you are – will one day show you
so much, rich fruit. 
“Thank you for enduring, for going this journey with the Lord Jesus, and letting 
Him use you in my life.”
And, I’ll always say,
“I love you, Daddy!”
Of course, homemaking on a farm includes all areas of crop and stock care.
Its been a long, long road – and still continues so – but Carra and I are learning 
slowly, surely how to care properly for our small – and quickly growing – herd of dairy goats.
I love the mornings of chores…the quieter evenings sitting in the barn 
waiting on the goats to finish their suppers. ๐Ÿ™‚
I love farming – the pretty and the ugly of it. 
Just to squat down and look a goat in the eyes…a beautiful, perfectly-formed animal
who is trusting you, depending on you for everything.
That makes everything worth it!

I love being home caring for these little girls our Lord Jesus has gifted us with.
Farming, providing a good home for your animals and crops, and being rewarded for 
your efforts by wholesome, natural food stuffs, fiber, and fertilizers…and even some monetary gains….
This is something I think every homemaker should toil to incorporate into
her home and family life. 

I am very thankful for every part of homemaking.
And I am very thankful for the opportunities the Lord Jesus gives me to sharpen these
skills – and to learn new ones. 
I believe the Lord has called me to one day be a wife and a mother.
That’s all I want to be.
These years at home are in preparation of those many years I will spend raising 
my own children for the Glory of our Jesus, and teaching them what I have learned over these
years I have not wasted on myself…but have spent at home, supporting my family,
as they have supported me all these years.

Perhaps it sounds silly….
Perhaps I sound like a nut! ๐Ÿ™‚ 
I know many modern girls of 21 would never live this way.
But….at the risk of being a nut!….
I love it.

The blessings of home far outweigh the blessings of wondering to me….
I dread the days spent away from home….
working…at things I do not like…at things I wasn’t made for…all in the name of 
the almighty dollar that seems to rule the world with an iron fist…..
I just want to come home….
to my cleaning, cooking, laundry, dishes, fence mounting, hay-hauling, goat feeding,
garden-weeding, dress-sewing, music-playing, story-writing…..
life.
My life.

My life….
The life I want.
The life I strive…worry…work…weep…
to maintain.
To keep it from changing….
My life in Him.

Too Many New Things to count!

Thursday we went up on a hurried day-trip to north of Asheville, NC.
Its more than three hours from here – way, way up in the mountains. 
Its been a while since we went so far on those winding, twisting mountain roads….
But it was worth it! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Lord Jesus blessed us with three new goats.
Purebred, registered Saanens. 
Two doelings and a buckling which we were so blessed to get for free
because of a simple problem (cryptorchidism – check it out on wikipedia.)
We are praying it won’t be genetic because he 
promises to be a wonderful sire for our herd.
The picture above is of one of the little girls we got.

This is the ten week old buckling.
Saanens are a lot larger goats than we are used to!
This boy is huge! At ten weeks he must weigh 60lbs or better.
And, Lordwilling, he’s going to get a lot bigger.
His mother weighed in at 200.

These are the three of them….one of them is hiding!

Earlier this week we moved our chicks down the hill. 
It was a long, hard, hot day!
But we’re thankful to have them moved out of the brooder/well house,
and into the open air. 
We lost three that night to a coon/possum, though….so there’s pros and cons to everything!
We set the trap and over the course of two weeks have caught 
two coons and a possum. 
We also went ahead and got 55 more chicks from a lady in a town 
near by us.
They’re not as healthy as we’d like, but we’re praying 
for them and treating them for respiratory problems. 

We said goodbye to the only two remaining yellow lab pups we had. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
That’s sad.
But I feel like they’ve gone to good homes – so we’re thankful
to the Lord Jesus for that!

The hay was baled up and stored on Thursday, 
and now the field needs fertilized so it’ll produce more next 
cutting.
And then….
it finally happened….
and I think it deserves a post of its own! ๐Ÿ™‚

Haying

Its that time again….
The hay is almost waist high and turning a delicate purple across the top.
Yesterday, a friend of ours came out with his equipment and 
cut it for us.

It has to cure and then it’ll be baled up, hauled to the barn,
and stored.

There’s nothing like the fresh smell of hay a few hours after being cut…
I walked out and took pictures of it;
breathing in deeply of the rich scent of spring hay.

It looks a lot like cut grass when it’s first cut.

But after just one day….

It really changes; smell, appearance, texture….
I thought these pictures might be interesting.
Sorry for the short post everyone, its really late and I didn’t 
schedule anything this week….
I’m praying I’ll get more time to do another writing post soon. ๐Ÿ™‚
I hope I’m not running everyone ragged here….
I love to write, and writing about writing is something I love to do too! ๐Ÿ™‚
The Lord Jesus bless you all!