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! 🙂 )

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?

The Lord’s Day

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”

Psalm 121:1

Yesterday was such a beautiful Lord’s Day that I must share it with you all.

Usually on the Lord’s Day we make a special effort not to do any kind of labor that is not especially required (such as chores, cooking dishes, and sometimes laundry). We aren’t legalistic about what to do or what not to do – sometimes we even make an exception and sell/buy something on the Lord’s Day – but we try to set aside a special day for Jesus; especially from the usual work and labor of the week (like cleaning house, doing yard work, working on our jobs/paper work for our jobs, even usually sewing or doing things like making soap etc. – you get the idea.)

Yesterday was a special day for all of us, though. We have visitors coming next Saturday and will be working all week, so only able to fit in preparations for their visit late in the evenings when we come home and are so tired. So yesterday, even if it was the Lord’s Day, we did a little special sewing and a few other things.

And enjoyed it. 🙂 I think the important thing about reverencing the Lord’s Day is that we set it aside for Him. If we do have to work, it should be something that is not all-consuming; something we can set aside if need be, and something we can enjoy as we do it.

And I don’t think I have to mention how much we enjoy sewing, cheesemaking, trying new things, cooking, or anything else that pertains to homemaking. 😀

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Of course we had our usual chores.

We have begun weaning our seven bottle babies, so even with the cow drinking two gallons a day we’re getting much more fresh, delicious, rich goats’ milk than we can ever use!

We’re keeping most of the milk in the mornings and making cheese out of it in preparation for Saturday – as well as making soap and hopefully later this week we’ll get to make Mama some cajeta! 🙂 She loves caramel. 🙂

We did have a sad side of chores yesterday morning though.

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Excuse the bad picture, but this is trying to show the eggshells and feathers we found from our destroyed hen and her brood of 20 or so eggs. Some varmint got in the barn last night and busted up all the eggs with chicks in them and made off with the hen as well. Needless to say, this was very discouraging.

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The cheesemaking as well was discouraging.

Simple mozzarella gone wrong. Sigh…. Just wasn’t our day I guess. We accidentally left the curd too long in the rennet while we were dressing and preparing for morning services. It was difficult to cut and stretching was impossible. But still, its cheese. It mightn’t be mozzarella  but its cheese and we’ll enjoy it on onion sandwiches – or maybe even pizza! 😀

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The rest of the day, however, was a quiet joy.

(Excuse the tiny pictures; Iphone has its own mind sometimes….)

We went out and picked roses and lemon balm to try our hand at essential oils and Daddy showed us the plants he’s been working on in his spare time.

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We both enjoyed wearing our new dresses we finished Saturday. 🙂

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The roses and lemon balm were cut up, bruised and cooked for long hours in olive oil in the oven and crock pot.

We poured it up into jars last night but did not remove the leaves.

We’ll do that today, Lordwilling, and see how it turns out. Our roses were not very aromatic, but it did smell ok by the time it was done cooking but the lemon balm oil smelled much better!

While that was cooking we had a nice, sweet visit with some very dear friends, the Clarkes. They visit about once every two weeks and buy eggs from us and we sit and chat and exchange plants. 🙂 Daddy and Mrs. Clarke are both very avid gardeners. 🙂

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Daddy came down to the barn in the evening and helped us block off the remaining broody hen’s nest with all her eggs in it. She had deserted them and was laying on new ones. All we can do is pray that the older ones weren’t chilled; we put them back under her.

It was a blessing having Daddy down at the barn last night. He’s not all that involved in the animals – goats aren’t his favorite four-leggers 🙂 – but I think he really saw the work and love we put into the animals last night; we stood around at least a half hour just petting the goats and talking about their individualities.

It was a lovely evening.

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Before evening service we cut up the batch of soap we made Saturday. (Its the batch in the front). Our supplies are supposed to come Tuesday. I can’t wait – we’ll be soapmaking like crazy then! 🙂

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After service we finished the evening with a family movie time; Abbot and Cosetllo’s Who done it? 

It was a special time we all enjoyed together – and the movie was great. 😀

I love my family, and I love the times we spend together – surrounded by the things we love and the animals we love and the things we love to do.

At home.

At home.

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

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Though it may seem like it right now, my life is not all construction work. 🙂

Yesterday, Daddy had to go to a contractor’s class, so all us girls were able to stay home and do things around the house that have been needing done.

Before even going out to do chores I cut out my new dress and sewed the cape on.

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Yesterday was a beautiful day for me. I love being at home. Home, home, home….

I love sewing, cooking, gardening – even cleaning! So long as I’m home. 🙂

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The day was beautiful. Things are really beginning to blossom and grow in this early summer weather of the south!

It was up to 91F yesterday! That’s HOT!

Thankfully, we got out in our garden before it was too hot and planted 13 tomato plants (four different varieties).

Its not much, compared to what needs done, but its a start!

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Before we could plant the plants we had to put up more fencing.

Our garden is very near our chicken coop and chickens love gardens….. We ran out of wire (again) before we could finish, but thank the Lord its just a small spot that we can finish pretty easily once we get more wire.

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We only planted tomatoes since chickens don’t seem to like tomato plants. (They’ll devour the fruit though, but hopefully we’ll have our fence up before then!!)

We planted four varieties;

Marion

Rutger

Beafsteak

Betterboy (hybrid)

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I love the little plants and how fragile they are – and look at that root system!!

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A tiny tomato plant, hiding in its spot. 🙂

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Carra, planting a tomato plant.

We did all this before we even ate breakfast! Needless to say we were hot, tired, and hungry by the time we came tramping back up to the house near 11.

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After resting a bit and eating brunch I got back to work on my dress.

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The Lord be my Strength, I was determined to finish it – even down to the cuffs on the sleeves.

After filling a dress order for a dress with long sleeves and cuffs I decided to try one.

I like long sleeves for two reasons; modesty and protection from the sun.

I don’t like long sleeves because we’re out in the heat a lot in the summer on our farm and on our job sites and long sleeves make the heat even worse.

On top of that this material we bought several months ago was purchased for winter-time dress making (that never happened) so its dark blue.

I may just have to put this dress back in my closet and wear it when it gets cooler!

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While I was sewing and Mama was cleaning, Carra made up a batch of English Rose Goats’ Milk Soap.

I don’t know if I ever shared our last batch on my blog. It was Lilac scented and turned out so well!

We sold two bars, are giving some to our friends and only had two bars left for ourselves!!

So, hurry, hurry, make more soap!

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The oils that go into the soap.

We’re really enjoying soapmaking. 🙂 Its something I personally have wanted to do ever since I was very young (nine or ten) when we read about soapmaking in our homeschooling.

We made our first soap in 2010 or so and since then have been trying new recipes and searching for the right base.

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I think we may have found it in this recipe. Its our second time trying it and its turning out marvelous! Can’t wait to see how it cures.

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One big hurdle in soapmaking is finding a place to buy the oils and other ingredients from.

We have the milk, but that’s all. 😀

So yesterday, after pouring up the soap, Carra grabbed Mama’s laptop and started searching the web for a good place to buy reasonably-priced ingredients and equipment.

We think the Lord might have led her to just the perfect place!

We’ll have to make an order and see how it goes!

Lordwilling, our order will go in today. 🙂

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A poor up-close shot of the soap in the mold.

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Meanwhile, I did finish my dress, thank the Lord, all save the shoulder zipper (must buy a zipper).

It turned out just as I had planned; the apron creating the waist line for the dress. I plan to make a half apron of the same color fabric as the dress as well to go with it when I don’t feel like wearing the full apron (though that may be a while; I’m enjoying my new apron 🙂 ).

I’m searching for a way to make a nonelastic waist – have been searching for at least a year and a half! But last night as I was going to bed, I think the Lord has given me a thought on how to do one. Lordwilling, I’m going to try it on my new dress ( even if that will mean a bit of taking apart! 🙂 ).

So, all in all, we had a wonderful day at home – doing things women are supposed to do, instead of hammering, painting, pulling up carpet, and installing insulation.

But we’re back at that today. 😀

And I don’t really mind. 🙂 I hope one day to make a living off our farm, but until then, this is what the Lord has given us to do and I’m embracing it!

Spring, some updates, and some ranting.

I’m always amazed by how spring rolls around.

Down here in the south, it doesn’t come so gradually. Everyday you can see things getting greener, more flowers opening – even sometimes you can see the difference between the morning and the evening if there’s been a good rain during the day!

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Within a few weeks, everything goes from brown and dead, to lively green and shades of pink and red and purple.

I love the spring – but it also opens up the year’s busiest season on the farm; gardens must be planted, the goats’ pens have to be mucked, pastures re-worked for the coming breeding season, buck pens built, bees tended to, honey harvested, hay cut (two or three times before the summer ends) and stored away, old hay sold or spread on the gardens, then once the veggies and fruits start coming in we have canning and preserving to do, besides all the milk to be processed, cheese and soaps made, and then all the dishes….

Dishes…dishes…dishes…..

Those never seem to have an end!

Besides this, we’re still working away from home.

Its been slowly of late, but we’re due to sign another contract on a large project this coming week (henceforth referred to as “High”), so we’ll be back to the old routine soon, Lordwilling – and then trying to fit in all our farm chores as well.

But still, all considered, I love the spring. 🙂 I love seeing everything come to life and I love working on our farm.

I haven’t been around my blogs lately – I suppose all this (and the fact that a cold’s been going round) gives a good enough reason for that.

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During this break from blogging I’ve seriously been giving some thought on why I busted up my interests into two separate blogs.

I write two blogs, one for my life on the farm etc, and one for writing.

I had a very good reason to when I did it – and it sounded logical to me at the time, but the more I’ve struggled to keep both of these up the more I find that my blogging – like my life – is all mixed up together and stashed into one compartment.

When I write I am – confessedly – in another world, and do sometimes feel like another person, but my writing takes up a great part of my life – whether physically or not – and its all mixed up and confused in my farm life, work life, and family life.

I don’t really see where I found the reasoning behind moving it to another site.

Or…yes I do.

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I have a tendency to worry too much about what others think.

I try to tell myself I don’t – and in some situations I couldn’t care less what people think of me – but in others I’m just as vulnerable as the next person to a fear of rejection…or misunderstanding.

That’s why I moved my writing to a new site.

Because, by sharing my work and my love with my readers, I felt I was imposing on them.

I began this blog to document my life as a servant to the Lord Jesus – and everything that entailed; farming, working, music, everyday struggles, sewing, house-wifery…..the list goes on.

I had no intention of sharing my writing, per se, and for a long time I did not.

Here and there, I tried various ways of sharing, short stories, chapters from the stories I was working on, etc. but I always felt this sense of…heaviness? Is that the word?

I felt like people would not understand me, and that my posts on writing were more of an imposition than an asset.

So I moved them.

And now I feel like a person trying to live two lives – when really I am the girl who writes My Life in Him not the girl who struggles to write a literary blog like what Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver has become.

That’s not me. Not me at all. The posts are me, most of them, but I’m not a ‘literary’ type person.

I don’t read a lot, I can’t stand most fiction, I’ve never delved into many classics, and contemporary works simply leave me empty. I don’t write book reviews and I don’t like to teach. I have steadily disliked the way young writers try to teach other writers how to write; writing is something that you are born with, the Lord Jesus puts it there, and He’s the One Who must fashion it and bring it up – with much labor and work on the part of His instrument. I believe in sharing this journey – not teaching.

And of all things, I have ended up writing a couple of these ‘teachy’ sort of posts on Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver simply because I’m at a loss for something to write.

And that is just not me.

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Writing to me is living.

What I write in what I live – in another world, as another person. I believe in the things I write, I believe in the people the Lord gives me to write about, and I struggle through their lives and trials just as much as I struggle through my own in reality – it just all comes out on paper instead of being lived out day to day.

I fear others will not understand me, because I do love writing so much, so I bury it amongst the other things that enliven my world – our dairy, our wonderful goats, our farm, my family. I hide behind the part of me that wants to go and just lay down in the grass and let twenty baby goats jump all over me.

I don’t show people the part of me that wants to hide away in a closet with pen and paper and scribble in another world.

I probably will never show this part of me to people as much as I would like to.

I have never wanted to be an author, since I was just a tiny girl (five or six) the very word author summoned up the picture of an all-knowing, sophisticated, somewhat crazy type person with thin glasses, the perfect physic, and a very stuffy character.

I know this is quite a stero-typing, but this is what I thought, sitting in public school (before my parents took me out and homeschooled me) and listening to my teacher, Mrs. Bradly, tell us all about what author meant.

I guess she made it sound like authors were a special class of people – something worth noticing above everyone else – and that’s what turned me off.

I have never wanted to be an author – I still don’t.

I just write what the Lord gives me to write, and I hope one day that others will read it and be blessed by it in someway.

In the same light I don’t want to have a literary blog.

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I know over the years of keeping a blog I’ve proven quite….what’s the word….wish-washy?

I can’t make my mind up over a format, I keep changing the settings, swapping the name, making new blogs, now I’ve changed platforms, and now I’m merging my blogs together again.

That’s something else you’ll learn about me. 🙂 I am wishy-washy! My sister, Carra, will vouch for me – I change purses like I change my clothes, and I’m always looking for a better diary or notebook than the one I have. 🙂

But this time I think this change will be final. Writing is separate from my farm life – but its not – its separate from my work – but its not – its separate from my family life – but its not.

Would you believe I read my story on my Iphone while I milk in the mornings, or write scenes while we’re at work? And my family will be the first to tell you how ragged I run them talking about my story (I’m glad they can’t hear how much I think of it!)

I feel rejected in my work, I guess because I can’t talk about it like I would like to – because I’m afraid no one will understand, or because I think they’ll think I’m crazy!

But I’m tired of hiding.

do take my writing seriously. I trust the Lord Jesus for my stories and for my characters, but I do worry – all the time – about how scenes will turn out, if characters are consistent – if things are real.

And I’m tired of being something I’m not.

I’m tired of writing about the farm, or cooking, or work, when really all I want to do is scribble about my latest work in Enslaved to Freedom or share a new idea for a story to something that will listen – beyond the pages of my diary.

My writing is just as big a part of my life in Jesus as farming and work is – maybe even bigger! – and that’s why I’m bringing it back to My Life in Him.