A journal of Saturday

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Well, I was planning a more in-depth post, so to speak, of our Saturday adventures, but I was obliged to move all the pictures from my phone beforehand and now have only a few, besides the fact that it is late, I am tired, and have a headache!

So, I think I’ll follow the example of some of my blogging friends and do a journal-type post with only a few pictures – more precisely, with just one picture.

The biggest thing that happened today was selling our eldest doe, Joy Mary, to a very friendly animal-loving gentleman from down the road. We’ve had her for sale for a spell, but those who showed interest in her we did not feel comfortable selling her to. We’re very particular about our girls’ homes, especially our milkers and the ones we know best.
We were giving up on selling her, feeling we’d rather keep her than sell her to an unknowledgable person who mightn’t respect her, but this evening The Lord Jesus sent a warm-hearted man who has had goats all his life and who was really excited about getting Joy. ❤ praise The Lord! His blessing are so sweet, and so small sometimes; just little things throughout our days to allow us a little joy to press on.

Otherwise, my day consisted of;

Chores
Milk Processing
Fecal testing
Cleaning
Planting watermelon, Hubbard squash, banana pepper, and chamomile in our hill and "garage" garden
Making yogurt
Making cajeta
Making a venison roast for tomorrow
Making a double batch of lavender/rosehip soap
Supper (sausage burgers with tomato gravy, baked beans, and potato and macoroni salads; Mama and K mainly made those dishes)
Dishes and clean up
Evening chores
And then the fellow coming for Joy

A full day, but a restful day and an emotional refreshing after the strain of the week.
Our vehicles are doing a bit better, by the way. I thank The Lord for that! The family van is at the shop, Daddy replaced the tires on the work van, and re-did the breaks on the standard. So, we're driving again, anyhow! Phew!

I pray everyone had a blessed Saturday.
Very much looking forward to the rest of the Lord's Day.

Goodnight! (or morning, depending on hemisphere! 🙂 )

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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.

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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.

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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. 🙂 Goats are picky.

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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.)

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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!

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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!

2013 Garden Beginnings

“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”

Genesis 2:15

Spring is the time to get the gardens going.

Its also the season of sweat and backaches…but that’s another story. 🙂

I love the feeling of working in dirt, building up soil, using our own fertilizers (farm-made in the barn yard 🙂 ), harvesting and then preserving our own fruits and vegetables – the fruit of our summer toil and the blessings of the Lord from His Creation.

There’s nothing that can quite compare to a homemade tomato sandwich, made with homegrown tomatoes on homemade bread (made with home-raised goats’ milk), and smothered in homemade mayonnaise (made with home-raised, rich, dark brown eggs)!

But this delicious meal (and so many others…salads…soups…spagetti sauce…side dishes…casseroles) don’t have their beginnings in the kitchen.

(Surprise! to all of you city-slickers! 😉 )

They have their beginnings in the soil – and in the hard labor of the farmer’s hands, and in the rich blessings of the Lord Jesus in His Creation.

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I’m going to try to keep everyone updated on our garden this year – better than I have in the past, Lordwilling!

We have six different garden plots, and then various pots we plant in as well. Juggling work, the dairy, housework, (and just plain laziness! 🙂 ), sometimes it takes a while for us to get all the preliminaries done.

But once the heavy hard work – like tilling, and dunging, and covering it all with hay bale after hay bale, and then fencing it all in – is finally done, I really enjoy planning out where our plants will be, planting them, and watching them grow up and taking care of them until they produce an abundance of fruit (or until they simply disappoint us, fall over and die…leaving us pulling our hair out in frustration! )

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So far we have tilled two plots. One down at the barn (Carra and I’s), and one down near our hay field where Daddy will probably be planting most.

K and I decided to have our main plot down by the barn where we do the rest of our work this year. We’ll be battling chickens and goats for it, but we’re praying and believe with a lot of work and some decent fencing it may survive.

So far we have tilled it, covered it with tons (or so it felt like!) of muck from the goat pens and gotten it partially covered with hay.

We’ve also started on the fencing but haven’t gotten it finished yet (we ran out….)

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Lordwilling, with a little more work we’ll have our plants in!

Have you been doing any spring gardening (or fall gardening…depending on hemisphere 🙂 )?

Thankful Thursday

“Quicken me, O Lord, for Thy Name’s sake:

for Thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.”

Psalm 143:11

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This Thankful Thursday, I am thankful to my Lord Jesus for;

A herd of healthy goats numbering 31 head.

Fresh goats’ milk to drink and enjoy.

Homemade yogurt.

Spring coming – however slowly.

Warm coffee on cold mornings.

Work.

A truck to drive – even when the van goes out.

Scrapbooks.

My story.

Thoughts on my story, even if I’m unable to write at the moment.

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What are you thankful for today?

Lately.

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God.”

Psalm 42:1

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Seeing: The fresh, morning sunshine peeling into my bedroom windows. A bright blue sky outside. A slight, soft frost tinting the ground a gentle white. The smooth edges of my new coffee cup; the dark depiction of a snowy cabin landscape painted on the side. My pink-covered Iphone going on standby. The stickers we bought for scrapbooking yesterday.

Hearing: The hum of my space heater. The tap of the computer keyboard. The gentle cries of the five-day-old goatie romping with Missy in Carra’s room.

Smelling: Fresh brewed coffee. Fresh laundry. The smell of a heater burning.

Tasting: The strong, nutty flavor of fresh, black decaf.

Feeling: Tired – I usually feel tired in the morning. A little like I need to clean up the house, take care of goats, write, blog, and go to work all at once; what’s that called? Confused or disorganized? But happy. Enjoying life – even with its hard, low spots. Enjoying life as the Lord Jesus gives it to me.

Learning: To be content. To be happy where I am, whatever I’m doing, because the Lord Jesus has put me there for a reason. To be myself. Whatever that entails.

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Tomorrow

Im getting so excited! 🙂
Tomorrow will bring something so exciting and wonderful, and I thank Jesus for this opportunity! I’m not going to tell until then, but just thought I’d share my excitement {and make you all just a little anxious too. 🙂 }
I’ll give a couple hints.
It has to do with two of my favorite things that don’t happen often around here; one starts with a T the other with a B. 🙂
I don’t think any of you will ever guess this – these are bad hints!!

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Thankful Thursday

I am thankful to The Lord Jesus this Thursday for;

The warm, spring days.
The still cool, winterish evenings.
Work days with my family.
The trip in town Wednesday, looking at the houses coming up for bid next week.
My diary.
Cameras to take pictures.
Memo

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Random Tuesday

“Of that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!”
Psalms 107:31
Saturday, I mentioned a little about annual (or is it semi-annual for Grade-A?) testing done on dairy farms. These tests (TB and Brucellosis) are done for goat and cow dairies, but CAE (Caprine Atheritis Encephalitis Virus) tests are done only on caprines (goats). So….
We did the whole lot on Saturday.
TB testing involves a small injection in the goat’s tail web which is then checked 48 hours later for any sign of reaction (reaction = TB carrier in most cases), while Brucellosis and CAE are both blood tests that must be sent off to a lab.
For us, it was relatively easy, considering our small herd size right now. (Only adults are tested so we had 11 to do; the other 11 didn’t count. 🙂 But there were moments of getting rather confused – especially with all the Saanens – and I stood there thinking to myself, “This will be a regular circus when we have fifty or sixty head.”
I’m not even going to think about having 100 right now. 🙂
Usually, K and I will hold the goats while Doc does the tests, but lately Doc’s had a helper along, so Saturday Randy (the helper) held the goats, K secured the rear and Doc enlisted me for his secretary while he did the tests 🙂
I love holding the girls though. 🙂 There’s something nice about holding a rampaging goatie while someone works with them……
The secretary work wasn’t half bad though. I love filling out forms (so long as its not financial forms – yick with a capital Y!)
These forms go to Clemson, and they include the owners’ name, address, the date, the name/number of each animal, tattoo, sex, age, breed, whether they’re purebred or grade, and the owner’s signature.
Then there was also the vials to number and put names on.
We sort of got in a routine.

I’d say which animal was next, K would point it out, she and Randy would corner it, Randy would catch it, Daddy would give Doc his tools, Doc would do the Sub-Q test for Tb, I’d write on the vial, he’d draw the blood for Brucellosis and CAE, and I’d give him the vial, he’d fill it, give it to Daddy who’d put it away, and over again we’d start.
I think it took about half an hour to work 11 head.
And…just for the books, Clara Belle was the worst patient, and Suzi the best.

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Now all the big work is over (testing the TB sites is not that hard) we’re praying for negative test results.
Lordwilling, I’ll give some sort of update when we get all the results in.
For now, everyone have a wonderful Random Tuesday!
What’s your random thought today?

Well….Huh!!!

Well…I have tried.
I’ve wanted to write a blogpost; I truly have. I love keeping a blog, I love praying for a topic, writing a post, getting up pictures.
I tried to write one this morning at six-forty-five or so, I started another at about three-forty this evening. I’ve dug through my pictures, I have thoughts on a subject, I have an idea for the format.
But it just won’t come.
I can’t concentrate, I’m exhausted – not tired, exhausted – and I guess I have one of those terrible cases of the lazy-writer-syndrome. I’m aching all over from the week’s work at the job and from working the goats’ today, my allergies are acting up with this beautiful spring-like weather we’re having, my head hurts, my lips are chaffed from all the wind and are burning like fire, and we still have evening chores to do.
I should be writing in my barn records.
I should be writing some long-over-due letters I’ve been neglecting (for literally months; so much for loving writing!).
I should be working on my story.
I should be practicing piano or violin.
If I’m not going to do any of this writerly/musician type stuff…
I should be planning our garden.
I should be planting our herbs, carrots, onions, garlic, cabbage, lettuce, celery (which are already very late for getting in here in SC).
I should be cleaning our bathroom.
I should be unloading the dishwasher.
But I just don’t feel like it.
Anyone else ever feel that way?
I just don’t feel like doing anything.

Its one of those beautiful early spring days. Cool enough, with the breeze, to sometimes feel like you need a sweater, but warm enough, in the sun, to sometimes feel like you need to jump in the pond and go for a dip. The sun is coming and going, but the clouds aren’t bright and puffy – they’re more like rain clouds trying to all group together and create a nice storm. 
And its been a beautiful Saturday. 
  • Morning chores (includes feeding, watering, milking, bottle-feeding, checking on sickies, giving hay (and alfalfa), refilling water, straining and pasteurizing milk)
  • A family came to buy a couple kids; stayed about an hour. 
  • Doc came; TB, Brucellosis, and CAE tests done (filling in papers, catching and holding goats, drawing blood and doing the TB prick test on each one) plus sickies looked at and instructions given on care and meds for each.
  • Doc left; instructed meds given, goats let out, electric fence turned on.
  • Bread made (and since punched down, formed into loaves, baked, and frozen)
  • Cajeta cooked (and nearly burned, I should add 🙂 
  • Feta put on (and since cut, stirred, and strained)
  • Ten bales of hay taken down to the barn and stacked
  • Kid disbudded
  • Back home, laundry folded and dishes done. 

I love full days – at home, of course! 🙂 Its not so fun in town or at the job.

And I especially love them when there’s time left over to sit down and work on my writing/music and do a little blogging. 
But for some reason, I couldn’t seem to come up with a blog post today!
Though, it seems the Lord has given me one despite my writer’s block. This is as well as any, I guess. 
A little complaining, a little content, a little disconcerted, a little happy. 
I should say a lot happy. 🙂 
So much has been done today – things still linger, needing finished, but the biggies are over with.
Especially all that testing on the herd; that’s been a big weight on my mind! We can’t drink our girls’ milk who haven’t been tested until we get the results back. (TB and Brucellosis can both be contracted by humans through drinking contaminated milk). Our older girls were tested last year, they’re due for another test but it’s been safe enough to drink their milk. We’re pretty sure the younger girls are clean (coming from clean herds), but we have to test. Its mandatory in our books! (And will really be once we’re an up-and-running dairy.) It feels so good to have the whole herd – including our buck – finally done. Now…just to pray for the results. 

I think I’ll skiddy off now and maybe we can get chores done in time for K and I to have a quiet evening watching a movie together and sipping tea. 🙂
Orange-blossom tea….

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. 🙂
I hope I’m not running everyone ragged here….
I love to write, and writing about writing is something I love to do too! 🙂
The Lord Jesus bless you all!