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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New Adventures and a Simple Lesson

I have never considered myself a very “quick” person. I learn – and comprehend – things very slowly.
I also have very little confidence, which is, indirectly, a reason why I take so long to learn things. I’m afraid I’ll make some mistake, or mess something up, or hurt something. So I don’t just avoid doing things, unless I know exactly what I’m doing.

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Just now, at work, I finished putting up all the receptacle/switch covers and then remembered Mama had mentioned that the bathroom lights needed put up.
I have never bothered with putting up lights. It’s just one of those things I figure I can’t do.
Granted, even today, I didn’t do any wiring, and these lights are almost too simple, but I did put it up without any thoughts on “what if I mess up?” Or “what if its not right?”
I just did it.

I have been praying a lot today and seeking The Lord. Not particularly about work, but just about my life in general.
Putting up this light He showed me again how focusing on Him – on His Will, His Way – allows us to think less of ourselves, our inabilities, to pity and worry about ourselves less, and allows Him to work through us, even in day to day life on things as simple as putting up a light.

He can become everything to us, day by day, if we keep our hearts and minds on Him, and our eyes focused on His Way – the strait and narrow way before us.

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!

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!

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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. 🙂 she came along and kept everyone company.

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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.

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We weren’t quite alone here either; Missy laid in the grass not too far away, and Tucker the cat lounged IN the garden. 🙂
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. 🙂

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It was a full day’s work. But a good one. 🙂 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!! 🙂

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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! 😉

How did you spend your Monday?

Working in the Gas Chambers

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving Cavour than silver and gold.”

This is going to be another one of those mobile posts. (Mainly because I got up late and haven’t time to upload all the pictures to my computer! Errr….the folly of being tired!)
But yesterday as we were working I promised myself I’d do a blogpost on our latest achievement, so here I am! 🙂

Insulation.
Not the blown in kind by any means…the bales, you cut into strips, push up between the floor joists, and pin in place with tiger teeth.
Not the green, cotton kind
The fiberglass type.

We often put in insulation. Blown in above, and whatever-this-is-called beneath. But yesterday was so full of laughing – even amidst all the work, itching, burning, and squeezing in (sometimes the spaces between the floor and ceiling were only 2 feet or less), that I just had to write about it. 🙂

I only went under for short periods. Asthma keeps me from doing things that are so dusty (or shall we say fibery), but I did go under some to deliver things, and I have a good reputation as a gopher. 🙂

Carra and I joked that we were working in the gas chambers (pictures I took of them thru the foundation vents show why. 🙂 )

Also, I included here the rare picture of one of us girls in pants. (Carra). As I shared on fb, we wear skirts (ie mainly dresses) for modesty even on the farm, mucking out, trimming goat hooves, attending goat births, giving vaccines, disbudding, or at work painting, putting up vinyl siding, muddying, Sheetrock, roofing, etc. or doing any job at home from cookie to mowing grass and anything in between. But sometimes (as at work when crawling under houses or at home hen tending bees) over/coveralls are a must have, even for girls. Of course, it is so rare we use them that we wear Daddy’s.

Hope you enjoy these pictures!

What did you spend your Monday doing?

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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 🙂 )?

What I do

“Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.”

Proverbs 23:4-5

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I know I talk a lot about our work; renovating low-income houses for the government. And I share a lot of pictures, and updates about our jobs (Hemlock is almost done by the way 🙂 ), but it seems it can still be rather confusing what we really do. I guess because from the time we started in it again ’till now I’ve never really sat down and explained it, other than that we do construction work.

So…I’m going to explain it now. 🙂

Our job starts with getting bid packages from the city government. (To do this you must attend a pre-bid conference. If you are not at the pre-bid conference then you do not get a package and do not get to bid; its really a strict system.)

After you’ve got the packages (i.e. write-ups) you visit the houses.

I look forward to visiting houses. 🙂 Its fun to go into town and see communities you never knew were there – get a glimpse as to how city people live. Seeing kids riding their bikes on the streets, playing ball, and making friends with neighbors brings me back to my own one year of city life when I was young. Nostalgic in a way…in another very repulsive…but I’m off the subject….

Anyways, we all four go to look at houses together. Generally there’s more than three – last time there was seven, time before that twelve – so we make a day of it, usually eat-out and all that. 🙂

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Then there’s the part of getting up the bids. Daddy does most of this, but usually we all look them over, pray about it, and give our opinionsWe try to let the Lord Jesus guide us in this – as in all that we do – our natural logic and figuring is never equal to what His Will may be.

I pray we never lose this conviction.

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Then there’s bid meeting. Everyone brings their sealed bids to the city meeting, signs in (you have to be there on time), and then they are read aloud. The lowest bidder – within 10% above or below the Public Body Estimate – gets the job, after it is approved by the state.

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Some of the homes we work in are rough. We try not to get jobs that are in too bad of neighborhoods. With a family of three girls and one man, its not always best to spend weeks in a bad area, even if you’re getting paid.

So far I thank the Lord that we’ve worked in pretty decent areas. The jobs have been hard, but not overcoming, and we’ve been able to handle them.

There’s a lot of painting involved, some carpentry, a lot of replacing HV/AC systems, some windows, pouring concrete, building handicap ramps, and other things like that if you are sort of getting the idea. Complete renovations, but not gutting the houses (thank the Lord!)

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You’re generally given between 45 to 60 days to do the work. This time frame seems to do well for us. Weekends off and we take some week days off too if we’re pushing too hard and need a break. It really provides us a free schedule, the ability to set our own hours, and work other things in if we need to.

I am beginning to actually enjoy this work. I don’t like the work itself, mind you, but the whole atmosphere of having a family business, working hard with your hands to make a living, going to new communities, seeing things you’ve never seen before, “living” per se at another house for a month or two, cooking and packing healthy lunches (or eating out 🙂 ), scribbling in my diary at lunch time, listening to our music as we work, updating facebook on the job, taking tons of pictures (between one and two hundred a day actually 🙂 ), even working on my stories sometimes when there’s slow moments and I’m not hollered at or my job threatened. 🙂

Construction work isn’t a girl’s job. That’s true. But who says a girl can’t be in it, enjoy it, do her best, help her family make a living, and be doing something most girls never even imagine doing? I mean, most girls my age would never dream of helping re-screen a porch, hang ceiling fans, paint a whole house, help bust up a segment of concrete drive-way, or lay carpet and vinyl flooring – no more than they would ever imagine living on a farm, helping haul in 200+ square bales of hay two or three times a year (in the hottest days of summer), helping a doe give birth to tangled twins or triplets, milking nine does by hand every day, or even drinking goats’ milk period!

I’m beginning to see the beauty in, and appreciate very much, my out-of-the-normal lifestyle.

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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?