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?

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Special Saturday with Friends

“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

John 15:12

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After many days of preparation, the day of the big visit finally came. 🙂

Our friends, the H. Family came to spend the day with us yesterday, make bread, cheese, pizza, cookies, soap, and spend some time with the goats.

It was a full, busy day – but full of laughs and the love of Jesus. It was a beautiful day, in short, and we all enjoyed it…all….ten of us.

Doesn’t sound like a large crowd to most of you, I know. 🙂 But ten is a lot people to have at the Lyons’ house at one time! 😀

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The first thing we did was make mozzarella cheese – from two gallons of milk. One turned out well the other didn’t but we used it all on pizza later that evening! 🙂

We used the whey to make up a batch of 8 loaves of bread, and also used like three loaves worth of dough for the pizza crust.

We had plenty of little hands to help out. 🙂 The H. Family has a set of triplets and a little one not yet a year old. Having the sound of children in the house was very different for us four, but a refreshing change from the solemnity of the Lyons’ home and so much fun.

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We loved holding the littlest H. baby. ❤ Carra and I couldn’t get our fill of him even if our not-used-to-children-arms were sore! 🙂

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Half way through the day the little H. girls knocked off as we say, and took a nap. I think the day was a full one for them! 🙂 They helped with the bread dough, made miniature pizza crusts, tasted the cheese and mushrooms and bell peppers, and walked all the way to the barn (we carried them back 🙂 ), and rolled around in the den with their triplet brother playing…whatever games little three year old minds can imagine to play!

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We went down to the barn and visited the goats. Mama H. worked on milking again – this is the family that bought little Mercy and Tot at the beginning of the month. Mama H. wants to learn to milk so that when the girls have freshened she’ll be able to get fresh milk for her sweet family. She’s getting the hang of it too!

Watching her, I remembered a lot of our own adventure in learning how to milk. It makes me so thankful to the Lord that we had our Daisy back then. She was so patient and let us work with her for what seemed like hours. Rosie (the doe Mama H. is milking here) is just like Daisy; very patient.

Its amazing the things we put animals through for our own use….

but I’m off the subject. 🙂

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Dad H. finished up the milking; he’s had practice before on goats some years ago.

I think both of them working together they’ll have a home dairy in no time when their little ones freshen. 🙂

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I don’t think I got any pictures of our cookie making. Or maybe I did but not on my phone….

Well, after the cookie making and the trip to the barn we put the sauce together and fixed the pizzas then all sat down to a hearty meal – which was lovely. 🙂

Daddy had been mowing for most of this time while we showed the Hs. our kitchen work, but the men enjoyed conversation over supper and afterwards took the triplets out and planted tomato plants.

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After supper, when all the kids were outside, we mixed up a batch of Lilac and Lilies soap with Mama H. for the family to take home.

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By this time it was getting late, and after a good long chat and packing the H. Family car we saw our friends off.

It was a lovely day, and we’re already thinking of some way to get them back here again! 😀

I am thankful for the dear friends the Lord Jesus brings into our lives – in the most unusual of ways, such as our goats. 🙂

And I’m thankful for the special bond that forms between those who are truly seeking to serve and honor Him. The bond of His love and life.

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(A sign done for our family by sweet Mama H. ❤ Thank you, dear friend!)

May Jesus always be our lives and may He shine forth through us in everything we do, say, and share.

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!

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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Mother’s Day

I know yesterday was Mother’s Day.

But I was too busy with my Mother to do a post about it on the very day!

So, here it is a day late. 🙂

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My Mama is very special to me.

She is the encouragement and the hope from the Lord that helps me through each day. The gift from my Jesus to encourage and establish my faith, even in the darkest moments, and the one person who WILL listen to me and pray with me, no matter what!

The life lessons she has shared with us, and continue to share with us will go with us throughout our lives. They will come to remembrance when we are faced with questionable circumstances and we’ll remember what she has taught us.

I am so thankful for my Mama. Jesus truly gave me a wonderful, special, and unique gift when He chose her to be my mother.

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My sister and I and our Dad worked to make the day special for Mama.

Daddy went out with her while she picked flowers (as well as brought in a bunch of roses for her last night. 🙂

I think Mama really enjoyed arranging all the flowers in vases and putting them in different rooms in the evening. 🙂

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After morning service we took her down to visit the goats.

She and Daddy hardly ever get down there during the week – only on Sundays.

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Then we made a special meal for her – her favorite. 🙂

BLTs.

Mama LOVES bacon sandwiches! 🙂

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We set our best silverware out. 🙂

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And then had Brownies for dessert.

She loves brownies – and homemade are always the best, of course!

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Then there was the opening-gifts-time. 🙂

Mama loves to fix up the house and decorate; we got her things she could work with.

Covers for her bed, candles, and K made a hand-embroidered sampler and framed it for her.

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I think she really liked that one. 🙂

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And the new quilt for her bed.

(one day this will be handmade too!)

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We worked hard to make it special.

Because we love our Mama.

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And because….unlike other things in your life where you can buy a replacement or pick up another copy.

With Mamas,

you only have just one.