Monday, May 2, 2011

Gains and losses on the homestead this last week

What busy days we have had this past week!  So much has taken place I'm not even sure where to begin.  We've added new additions to the life out here on our hill, and sadly we've lost a few little ones too!  We've had good times and some sad times.  Lots of peace, and moments of anxiousness.  But at the end of each day we've been able to thank the Lord for His provisions and protection.

It wasn't until several days after the tornado devastation of last week that I realized that God clearly spared my husband from being right in the middle of these storms.  An unbeliever would say Tommy got lucky, but we clearly see that God isn't done with my husband and this family!  Any other hitch, my husband drives the exact route of these storms home from work.  And this devastation took place on the exact day and time that he was supposed to be there, in the middle of the storms.  Fortunately, it was one of those deals where he had been scheduled to leave work early to attend a class in Houston.  Thank you God for looking out for my husband.  I'm not talking about a 'maybe' here, I'm telling you that any other hitch, the day and time were exact....there would have been no way for him to be ahead of or behind these tornados, he would most likely have been pulled over on the side of the road seeking shelter.  What little faith we have when facing life's daily trials.  No matter what has happened, my husband and family are alive and well and our home is still our home!

Now onto life here at the house......

How far I have come with our cows!  Me and this here handsome white bull have no problems at all, and I've recently been informed that I should be afraid of him.  After a little contemplation I've decided that's just silly, I'll continue to be aware of and respect him, but white bull and I are doin' fine!  This is a huge step from how I use to let the larger cows intimidate me.  And trust me, they KNOW!  I'm living, walking, talking proof that a cow CAN and WILL bully an unknowing Northern girl if given the chance and the right personality of cow!

FREE AT LAST!  FREE AT LAST!  So the piggies were set free this week!  A few weeks of good feedin' and some pretty tame pigs and it's time for them to head back into the woods!  Maybe they'll just fatten up enough to end up on the dinner table!  I regret to tell you that I didn't capture a picture of the greatest moment of all.....all the pigs running across the pasture, Freckles a few yards behind them.....and then my husband, just trying his hardest to get ahold of that dog!  It was very entertaining!

Louie Louie!  We're loving this new little guy!  He is so smart, just like a grown up dog trapped in a little doggie body!  The kids love him, Gracie will stay outside all day walking him around, or just watching him for the longest time!  Beautiful dog with a great personality!  We're excited to see just how this little guy will turn out when he's grown up!  Until then, I will admit that I'm having to restrain myself from spoiling little Louie rotten!  He was named by Aiden!

Okay, now how's this for cheap entertainment?  Our kids are so grateful and appreciative of everything!  We took a short little trip this last weekend and their favorite part was easily the motel room!  Can you tell?  They're so fun!  So here's the 'before' shot.....and then 'after' all of the excitement of the short hotel stay!

And sadly, I feel I must share one of the sad moments of the week along with the good ones.  We returned from our overnight trip to a very horrible occurrence.  We had just decided to set the ducks out free by the pond when we got back home and sadly, we can't do that now.  It was sad, scary, aggravating, and all around horrible to come home to a snake in with our chicks and ducks.  By the time of the discovery, we already had one less duck and the snake was in the middle of one of our little sexlink biddies.  I'm thankful this wasn't worse than what it was, but it still shook us up a good bit.  We've worked with and nurtured these little fellas way too long to lose one to a hungry predator.  Anyhow, if you look closely you can see the snake on the right of the first picture and towards the front of the second.

So as not to end on such a sad note, I'll leave you with the latest glimpses of my very loved garden!  I'm learning that when everything gets hectic or my mind gets to full of the world or events going on....I can always find hope and stillness out here!  So this is a good final place for me to share tonight!

Look at the runners on these guys!  They're very much in need of poles to climb!  The rain got in the way of that today, but hopefully by tomorrow evening I'll be able to have them on poles!  It's neat to me how they're reaching out and wrapping around each other!

And we have 'maters!!!!!  I'm SO excited!  I can't believe how they just appear overnight!  I find myself out there several times a day just to inspect!

More of my little accomplishments!

On another note, I've enjoyed some great new things from a good friend!  I've now been using a homemade dishwasher detergent for a few weeks and am really happy with the results.  I do need to adjust my ingredients to better fit our water quality (or lack thereof), but for a cost of .014 cents a load, I'm definitely NOT complaining.  And the recipe she found explains how to go about that until I get it customized to our water supply!

Another great thing I was given was my very first homemade deodorant!  And yes, I know how unsure this may sound to many of us!  But let me be the first to tell you I am SO impressed with just how great this seems to be working!  After a few days of use (and yes, I was too chicken to try it out in public the first time) I'm finding that it really works great!  I feel so much better knowing also that I'm not covering my body with an antiperspirant.  Our bodies were meant to sweat so it really does make sense that stopping them from doing so on a daily basis would set us up for problems!

Next on the agenda is homemade laundry detergent!  I'm excited for that, and excited to make my own dishwasher detergent and deodorant after I've enjoyed and used up what I have!  If you're interested in any of this,  I believe my friend found the recipes for all on two great blogs we enjoy following.  They are Homestead Revival and Country Blossom.  And no, I'm not going to go find the exact link because I hope to see you enjoy reading and browsing these blogs as much as we have! 

Lord, how I thank you for this family, this land, the opportunities you have given us, and the beauty I see around me every day!  Please forgive me for my worries, you have been so patient and faithful to remind me that you have our lives completely and fully under control!  You are such an awesome God, a faithful God, a loving God, and MY GOD!  We love You and will follow You and ONLY You the rest of our days!

Click here to join in on the fun or just to discover some great new things!


  1. So glad to hear your husband was not in the tornados! Another blessing!

    Thanks for the mention and the link! I'm so glad you were able to join up on the Barn Hop this week.

  2. So relieved for you and your family that you all avoided the tornadoes! Looks like you have a very busy homestead- keep up the great work!

  3. I've got maters 2!!! I was about to give up all hope! By the way...I was doing Zumba yesterday and got a leg cramp. So glad nobody was looking....


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