waiting for spring…

Ever wonder why I have so few posts on here?  Probably because I feel like I need to have something profound to say… Well, I don’t.  I will try to be more diligent at posting, and in turn, maybe my writing will get more creative.  I noticed today that I have 4 drafts waiting to post…hmmm, is that fear? oh well, here goes…

While taking the boys to the bus stop this morning, I was amazed at the glorious moon in the sky. It was the Bruce Almighty type of moon, and it was beautiful!!  It was such a blessing from God.  God has been amazing me a lot the last few weeks.  I am so excited for this weekend, with the springlike weather to get out in the garden. (ok, so this was written a few weeks ago)  That weekend I did get to garden, at least for a 1/2 a day.  This week (end) is back to the cruddy Indiana weather.  Although, I do find some joy in starting seeds inside….but I’m busting at the seems, I need my greenhouse to put stuff in.  I’m also on my way to my Master Propagators class, so I can start more seeds… LORD, PLEASE SEND SPRING SOON!!!

Guess I’ll post more later


…down on the farm

I’m still waiting for the gentle whisper…it’s been almost 8 weeks (tomorrow) of Brian not having a job….we’re still waiting.  I really don’t want to talk about that now.  I want to talk about the homestead.  I spent all of yesterday going over seed catalogs.  Choosing just the right variety of plant for the Gilgal Homestead Garden Cooperative for planting season 2011.  I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to be starting this!!  I’ve decided on 61 plants we will be planting, this doesn’t include my asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, fruit trees….  I know!! I’m going crazy!!  But I love, love, love it!  Enough already with all the exclamation points!!!

As of right now, I have 7 members of my co-op.  I think this is about all I will take for my first year.  It’s going to be a busy one, with adding pigs too.  Yes, you heard me right, I’m adding 2 pigs for meat to the mix.  I’ve been working on fall clean up and planning for next year.  My garlic came in, so I also need to plant that.  But things are moving forward.  It’s a good distraction to the craziness of life.  I will also try to update more as it goes.  Brian thinks I need to write a book of my adventures, but maybe I’ll just put it in my blog….hmmm, we’ll see.

Happy Farming!

Waiting for the Gentle Whisper…

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper
. 1 Kings 19:11-12

I am waiting for the gentle whisper.  I am trying to be as still as I can, as quiet as a church mouse, to hear the words of comfort for my heart. If only the wind, and earthquakes, and fires would stop for just a second.  Maybe I must learn to hear the words amongst the noise.

The Wind began in January with a disconcerted heart.  God was leading me away from my church home of seven years.  Surely we weren’t hearing this correctly.  Brian and I were “well connected”.  Imagine my disbelief, when Brian mentioned his concerns to me.  I began my own quest for the Truth.  It’s in my nature to research things to death.  And this was how I began.  The more I learned of deception and lies, the angrier I became.  God quickly had to take hold of my spirit; to amp up the self-control fruit, because it definitely wasn’t ‘self’ control, but spirit-control.  I had to find the courage to leave my friends, family, comfort, if that was where the Spirit was leading.  We have done it before, just not with so much hurt.  I have to admit, I am still healing from this hurt.  God has allowed things to be taken from my “church” life so I can learn to depend solely on Him, and not a church building.  The bonds with my brothers and sisters in Christ are eternal!!  In March, Brian and I found a new place to call home.

The Earthquake and Fire were almost simultaneous this past week.  Brian lost his job on a Tuesday, and Janet, my best friend and sister, had brain surgery on Wednesday.  Janet is slowly healing from surgery, but so far, it appears the surgery was successful.  The Fire is a slow burning one, Brian is sending out resumes, but not much movement yet.  I finally feel like I have peace that God will lead us through the flames without being burned, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Today is the last day of August.  I am hoping the final third of this year will be the gentle whisper I have been waiting for.  I’m ready for a little quiet time.

wow, times flies!!

so much for blogging every day.  To be honest, there is a reason I haven’t been back here in a while.  God has been shaking up my world, but I’ll write about that in another post.  Today is all about catching up on the farm.  I noticed my last post was when I lost my first hen…oh, the innocence of those days!!  Some time in March we had a huge massacre, where I lost 15 chickens, including my 3 beautiful black cochin roos!  I was devastated!  In April, while we were in Florida, we lost 2 more hens to something trying to pull them through the fence.  I had Brian go buy a rifle, which he was glad to do!! 🙂 I bought 9 new hens from a farmer, and 10 baby chicks from TSC.  I also put in an order for 28 new babies that arrived in June.  My mom’s dog killed 3 of my chickens in one day, and I just lost another baby to some unknown reason…I guess the point of all this, is to show that I must be a real farmer now! I’ve had to deal with a lot of loss of my chooks!  But, time to rebuild…I now have 64 chickens, including 2 beautiful roosters named Lenny and Squiggy that I hatched in February.

The fruits and veggies are doing great.  I had a nice harvest of strawberries and made lots of jam, tomatoes look beautiful and just need to ripen up.  Picked gorgeous eggplant, zucchini, onions, etc…just need some good recipes…

The farm is running well, I thank the Lord for allowing me to have it.  I’m really excited for August to get here because I signed up for a Master Gardener class from Purdue….we’ll see how it goes.

I realize this is a really generic post…but I’m working up to the next one…may come later today.

Have a glorious day!!

the circle of life

It wasn’t but a few weeks ago that I was rejoicing the new life of my baby chicks.  Well, today I got to experience the other side of life.  I lost my first hen today.  I have been nursing  a hen that has a prolapsed vent in my garage.  I went to the coop the other day, found her with an egg hanging from her back end.  After much research, bathing her in epsom salts, removing the egg, constant monitoring,  you can imagine my surprise that it wasn’t her that died.  I walked down to the coop today to collect the eggs, opened the door, to find a dead hen laying right inside of the door.  I have no idea what happened.  Her neck was bent down toward her chest, but there was nothing visibly wrong with her.  She didn’t appear to have been pecked.  Is this one of the mysteries of chicken farming?  Sometimes you just lose a hen?  I am so saddened!!

I immediately shut the door and called Brian.  I knew he couldn’t do anything (he was at work) but I needed him to talk me through what I should do with her.  He first said to dig a hole and bury her.  My first thought was to toss her over the hill, but I knew there was a coyote den and didn’t want to attract them to my girls.  I took a big shovel, put her in a garbage bag, and put her in the dumpster….collection day is tomorrow.  I know this sounds horrible, but I didn’t know what else to do, or what else I could tolerate.  I really didn’t want to dig a hole in this frozen ground.

My beautiful bubble of chicken ownership has burst.  Sometimes you have to deal with the not so fun stuff!  I really didn’t think it could get much worse than putting on a rubber glove, squirting Preparation H all over my hand, and trying to push a vent back inside a hen…I was wrong.  This has been a true test about how much of a farmer I am.  I’ve been playing this role for a year now, today I felt like I can do the hard stuff when needed to.

Haitian relief

I don’t know if anyone actually reads my blog, but I couldn’t risk not putting this on here.  I’ve attached a blog roll to my blog, and if you click on the Castillo family, please read their blog!!

They are friends of my good friends/pastor, Dave and Robin Mullins.  I can’t actually be writing about being the Called, without taking action!! 

Please read their blog!!  It made it so real for me!

Praying for Haiti and God’s hand on that country!!

Isaiah 54:10

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, 
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken 
nor my covenant of peace be removed,” 
says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

new life…

three weeks ago yesterday, I put 6 eggs into my new Christmas present…a Genesis Hovabator 1588 forced-air incubator with an auto-egg turner.  I felt like Ralphie Parker in A Christmas Story anxiously awaiting his  beloved Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock.  My ‘bator came in!!

I walked down to the coop, collected the 20 or so eggs, laid them all on the table and inspected each one to see which would be the best specimen to incubate.  I chose 6 eggs; 2 large dark brown, 2 light tan, 2 green (EE) eggs.  I’m not sure the breed of the others.  After meticulously watching the temperature and humidity for 21 agonizing days, I now have 2 baby chicks.  The first is a little black guy (not sure of the sex) with a little white spot on his chest and the top of his head.  The second baby arrived with all the kids (Bailey, Blake, Anna, Sam and Ella) and myself cheering it on.  He looked a little different from his friend.  He was all yellow.  It was a great learning experience for the kids to see God’s amazing handiwork in action.  Blake said, “isn’t it amazing that those big chickens out there were once small enough to fit in that tiny shell?”  God never ceases to amaze me!! We are just waiting to see if the others will hatch. I’ll give them 48 hours before throwing them out.  But then, on to the next batch!!  I think I’m hooked!!  What to do with all these chickens…especially if they’re roosters!! LOL!!