Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Evening

The house is filled with the aroma of frying cabbage and steaming carrots and it smells good, but there is something even more pleasant than the aroma, it is the knowledge that last year when it was fall time, Emery worked the soil, and I planted tiny carrot seeds and set out baby cabbage plants that tonight is food for our table. There is spinach too and fresh carrot bread along with some scrambled eggs. Everything except some of the makings for bread, were grown right here.
The house is toasty warm with the heat of the wood stove, the smell of mesquite and oak wood, drifting across our land. Baby goats all snuggled up in a mound of hay, close to Cinnamon. She has been taking great care of Licorices kid. I call the three of them, Faith, Hope and Charity.

Emery and I chat about this or that, its an easy kind of talk. We are best friends. Candles burn on the table and the smell of kerosene lingers in the back hall from just blowing out the lantern used to finish up the chores. Tender plants covered. Harry laying on his blanket in his house. He would rather be outside than in, he has taken on the job of watch dog and sees it as his prime objective to keep anything from getting "his" goats.
Wool socks on my feet, flannel skirt long and cozy, shawl wrapped around my shoulders as I type. Table set, waiting for Emery to get back from an errand. It will be a quiet evening. Just the kind I like, but at times it almost seems as if I can hear memories in all these rooms and down the hall. Children's voices...clumsy boy steps, and girls giggles... those were wonderful times too.
How blessed I feel tonight, thankful for this simple life.

Winter is Back !

It was in the low 30's this morning when I went out to milk, with a blustery north wind that went right through you. Emery was bringing in more wood as I went about my morning work and how nice it was to have the house warm from the wood stove in just a short amount of time. Tonight we will have to cover a couple of the tender plants we put out, knowing it was a gamble of sorts as winter weather can return just as it is doing.
This afternoon, after working on some sewing projects and a bit of dish cloth crocheting, I went out to feed the kid and gather some food for tonight's supper. A big head of red cabbage, a bunch of fresh sweet carrots and some spinach. Beats buying food in the market any day. Fresh lettuce for my lunch salad freshly picked was a delight today too.
By next week, not only will the garden continue to bless us, but I will have the added joy of making cheese with the goats milk and savoring this feeling of satisfaction from all the hard work.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Some Photos From My Day

Mei-Ling was the little farmer girl today, playing in the pasture and in the barn. She played with the baby goats, Harry and the hay ! She was one tired girl by afternoon and was more than happy to sit in her rocker for a while. It is nothing less than a miracle that this tiny one even walks with her spine problem, so you can imagine what a blessing it is to watch her run and play with the animals. One thing that was a bit funny, Mei-Ling was not about to take off her wee wellies, even at nap time !
Melanie enjoys the goats as much as I do and is always a willing helper.
I didn't have my camera with me at the time, but once today the little kids had escaped the pasture through the gate, and Harry was standing guard over them until I came out to fix the problem. He is a quite the dog. Life is good !

Its a Wobbly World

Two of the kids playing this morning.

Another Morning, and more blessings




I awoke to the songs of a mockingbird right outside my bedroom window. There cannot be a more beautiful "alarm" to wake a person. Outside it was not yet light, but not dark either, just that moment of in-between. The air is heavy with moisture. Its a gray sort of morning, no sunshine, but I like this kind of morning. My windows are all open and the bird songs fill the house with the glory of springtime.
For over an hour, I just sat in the goat pasture and watched the kids play. Licorice demanded to be petted by gentle putting her hoof on my leg every time I was not paying her attention. She seems "needy" this morning. We all have days like that so maybe its the same in the animal world.
I had more chores to do, chickens to be fed and watered, eggs to be gathered and peonies to plant. Life is good.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Found A Surprise This Evening


When I went out to feed the goats this evening, I found a new momma. She had twin does just before I got there. So cute ! Three does born is a good thing.

Joy came from a tender moment

There is indeed a special kind of joy from a very simple thing, such as watching a wee one discover the beauty of new farm life and experience a tiny bit of the care needed. When we left the house to do an errand, Mei-Ling cried and would not be consoled, saying, "baby needs her momma" . She didn't want the baby goat to be left in the playpen alone with no momma to be with her. Such tenderness, so young. Mei-Ling cannot imagine a baby being left alone.

The Simple Joys


The Simple Joys
They miss so much who do not know
The simple joys of long ago.
The quiet hour, the easy pace,
A path to walk, a day to face.
A small white flower, a bird that sings,
The Happiness in the little things.
The patience for a task, well done,
The gift of rest at set of sun.
The thankful heart, the lift of care,
A friend nearby, a time of prayer.
How much they miss who do not know
The simple joys found long ago.
~Amy Perrin~

Maybe There is a Lesson for us....

Time and again I hear people talking about how difficult a time we are living in but that there is a silver lining of sorts to the hardships. Adults and children alike are being forced to find out that all the fancy stuff, does not make for happiness. With so many families cutting back on spending, there are fewer extra curricular activities, fewer nights out eating, fewer electronic gadgets being purchased and some are even having to sell what they have, but families are discovering the joy of the simple things like family time, playing a board game together, mom cooking a meal, discovering that the big house they just lost was really an albatross around their necks and there is new found freedom in the smaller affordable housing. Sure, I know that some folks are loosing everything and there is nothing pretty about that, except that maybe for the first time, they see that having one another to lean on, is a gift of untold wealth.
So many times we are simply buying more than we need, buying more than we can honestly afford, wanting something so badly that we have to try several credit cards to find the one that is not yet maxed out to buy a pair of pretty shoes or that dress that catches our eyes, does not give us more than a moments thrill. Soon it becomes "old hat" but the bill is still being paid on.
Even with food shopping, so many keep trying new fads in eating, replacing what is in the pantry over and over. Only to discover, keeping it simple works the best.
We bought new furniture not that long ago and it was a need and a want both. I love the new furniture, we made a good choice, it was on sale, comfortable and not expensive for what furniture costs these days. We paid for four pieces what you can pay for just one. But, still, I wanted to then make everything match. I wanted new end tables, new lamps etc. We certainly have the money for those things but still, we recognized they were wants and not needs. So purchasing a few small items and using what we had, we made it work. But here is the thing, in about a month, it all became "ho hum" it wasn't thrilling any longer and at times I deeply miss my old familiar things. Most of which my husband wisely has in storage for me, just in case. He knows me well.
The point is, maybe with all the recession stuff going on, maybe its time for us to look deeply at the things that are of true value, lasting value....family, time spent together, simple things like family meals and teaching our children that love is not measured by the size of the wallet or the amount of stuff they have. That working together as a family has more power than just about anything. Maybe this is our time to learn what past generations had a better grasp of, that the important things in life are most often, simple.
the new green of spring popping up in the garden
Let Us Go Back
~Thomas Curtis Clark~
Let us go back
To the simpler and better things.
Let us retrace our steps
From our greed-born bickerings
Back to the quietness
Of plain, good friendliness.
Let us go back
To the old roads of beauty's quest.
Let us again find joy
In the fields and the woods, possessed
By the thrill of the spring,
And of summer wandering.
Let us go back
To old-fashioned content, our wealth
Found in the garden nooks,
And beneath home roofs.
Let the health
Of the trees and the grass
Be ours, as the seasons pass.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Sweet Visitor Tonight


Steven, Priscilla and Elizabeth came over tonight for a visit so of course I had to snap a few pictures. What a sweetie this little one is. She was so cute with the baby goat, but still not sure just how close she should get to this critter all on her own. It was impossible to get a picture of the two of them together. One of them was always moving !

A Dress for Spring and an Apron too


I was so happy to find this pretty pink portrait dress for Mei-Ling, it is like new and how could I pass up on this darling vintage Swiss organdy apron for the little girls to wear when they come to help Grammie bake ! I love Goodwill's bargains !

Spring work







Last night I fell into bed bone weary. I know remember why it is we have winter, to rest up for spring ! Getting the garden ready, pruning all the fruit trees and berry bushes, preparing for new farm babies, and on and on. I am so thankful this new goat baby slept all night last night. She was sure hungry at 6:30 this morning though. Last night was the first time I had to really milk Licorice and she is proving to be a heavy milker. Makes me think of the verse in Proverbs 27 that I love so well. 27 You will have plenty of goats' milk to feed you and your family and to nourish your servant girls. We feel blessed.
Its 80 degrees F today, warm and perfect for planting, which I will be doing in a little bit. And then going down the garden rows with the high wheel cultivator. Also there are lots of iris to plant as I thinned some of my flower beds this past weekend.
I so want to just sit down and rest a bit, but work calls me. I spent part of the morning doing my food shopping and of course made a little trip to Goodwill, where I found an Heirloom dress for Mei-Ling that is gorgeous. Pink batiste, tiny pin tucks, lace and ribbon, beautiful slip included, all hand made for $3.
My dinning room table is covered with sewing projects that have been neglected while we plant. Maybe tomorrow....but I have said that more than once in the past few days. There is laundry to be washed and hung out, and dishes to be washed.
Time for another bottle feeding and then back to work.
Psalm 104
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine,
and bread that sustains his heart.

plum tree blossoms
apricot bud
flowering quince
Harry trying to avoid sun bathing
Little miss no name in her play pen, full tummy, all content

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

017

Just 5 minutes old !

The Newest Arrival


Just around 1 this afternoon, Licorice began the final stages of labor and around 2 this sweet little doe kid was born.
Melanie was over visiting so she and Mei-Ling got to see the baby goat right away. Mei-Ling "worked" in the milk house part of the barn while Melanie and I watched the kid being born. We both stood where we could watch both babies at the same time. All is well and now I get to look forward to night time feedings for a few days.
Last night around 2 a.m. Harry chased a skunk that found a very tiny area open under our house, then the skunk sprayed while under the house in the area of our bedroom. I cannot explain the level of stink that created for us. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep last night. Farm life is oh so much fun !
Wish Harry would like to stay inside at night but he loves to be out in the wilds protecting us from "fierce" critters like skunks and possums : )

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Beauty of the Morning




Birds of many variety are singing outside my window. A red headed woodpecker is working hard on the black walnut tree. He seems a bit like the drummer of this bird band. The sky is the most beautiful blue without a single trace of a cloud anywhere. Shadows and sunshine dot the greening grass. For me, it would be impossible to doubt creation, there is so much order to what I see in the natural world, and so much that could never have been the result of just chance. Its cold this morning, when Emery read the thermometer this morning it showed we had a hard freeze last night, dipping into the upper 20's. Winter is not officially over yet.
The snow peas don't mind a bit and look fine peeking out from the rich brown soil in the garden, as do the radishes, lettuce and beats. In the rows of the garden, I feel the miracle of creation...I see it, and I am so filled with gratitude for it. Food for our table, nourishment for our bodies and our souls. Working the soil is meditation in action. A clearing away of stress and cobwebs.
There are times when we think about all the work we do each day, tending the garden, and the critters. Pruning trees and berry vines. Chopping wood, hanging clothes, cleaning barns and hauling water and wonder if we would be more happy travelling to exotic places, and then we remember what a marvelous sense of satisfaction we get from this work and how not once in the scriptures are there stories of vacations or fancy restaurants, but there are numerous stories of the reward of well tended land and the blessings of tending crops and flocks. So for us, it seems our life is a bit of a spiritual road. Not that its the only way by any means, but it is the way that works for us. Keeps us where we want to be, grounded in the simple things.
Today is our garden work day. As I sit here typing out these words, Emery is turning soil with his shovel, his heart strong and full of peace. Garden work was the first job man ever had, God appointed, so must be something very special about it.
For us, life is good.
"I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green."
~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse