Monday, December 26, 2011

Blessings . . .

Here on the preseration we observe "Christmas" very quietly. This year, it was nestled into the week of Hanukkah, so there was a bit more to contend with in town as we shopped for Hanukkah, but I digress.Yesterday I was blessed to bake a spice cake while listening to Handel's Messiah and wrapping the last of the Hanukkah gifts. Tonight is the last official night of Hanukkah, but due to demands outside of our control, we're going to enjoy a belated celebration with my daughter and her family later this week. Since Hanukkah isn't one of the "official High Holy Days" I hope G-d doesn't mind us stretching it from 8 days into 2 weeks, just this once! Back to blessings. I've been sort of keeping a mental list of things I really enjoy or appreciate and today seems a good day to mention a few of the small things in life that I simply take for granted. I believe this thinking is essential to being satisfied and probably a very pivotal perspective in embracing the preservation lifestyle. Today the first of the new year's herd arrived. He seems pretty lively and his mama seems to be a good mama, so for that I'm grateful and feel quite blessed. Since he's the first this year, he belongs to G-d and G-d hasn't yet told me what He wants me to do with him. Since we've lived here, I've enjoyed being able to help others get their herds started or established with the first fruits of our herd, so I'm excited about it. The mama is already a promised gift to a young couple establishing their lives in a simpler and less dependent manner, and knowing them is also a blessing . . . When I think of it, one blessing just leads me to think of another blessing. I love it! I've been blessed to enjoy the early mornings reading my Bible and devotions and already be starting my work day as the sun is rising. Big blessing! In my writings, I've mentioned the usual blessings like yummy goodness from the garden, better health than was forecasted years ago, wonderful grandchildren, a beautiful daughter and a buddy-in-law that's about to become my son-in-law. I have to share, though, I'm really enjoying some of the small unmentioned blessings and one of them recently just makes me so aware of how truly and abundantly I'm blessed. Now as you read this, you may be thinking . . . what???? But let me finish. I'm blessed to have more than one pillow. Considering the situations of homelessness and poverty, I've recently realized just what a luxury extra pillows are. I love the feeling of laying my head down on a cold pillow. I just like the feel of it, always have. When I was a very small child, I'd put my pillow on the tile floor when I went to bed, just to get it cool. Oh, and hardwood floors worked just as well, when we moved. Now, as an adult I rotate pillows. I always have one under my head and one on the floor. It may sound quirky, but so many of us are comforted by some pillowy soft something at night and for me, it's a cold, cold pillow. Having more than one pillow keeps that maintained. When I hear someone refer to their financial status as "comfortable," the first thing that runs through my mind, is 'they can afford' extra pillows.
. . . and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. Torah of Holy Scripture

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Naming the Animals

We people of the preservation take Scripture pretty literally, when it comes to personal obedience. I'm not talking about judging others, I'm talking personal obedience and responsibility. It brings me great delight to remember the passage early in Genesis in which G-d had Adam name all the animals. I believe G-d's people are still responsible for that task and I love it! Now, I do have to admit, some of our chickens, the ones heading for the pot and skillet, don't get names, but everything else on the place does. Our burro is Azalea, our dogs are Mordechai, Hank & Babe, The goats are quite numerous, so I won't mention them all, but they all do have names and they know their names. This morning I went out to do chores and I always make sure everyone is accounted for. They have their regular routine, and I fit into that, so anything out of the ordinary is noticeable. With it being winter now, often they are either tucked into one of their houses or munching hay on the far side of the bale, so when I can't see someone, I don't presume the worst, but I do follow up. This morning I couldn't find Stella. She's one of the milkers, so she's pretty sociable and dependable. I went to the gate and called her name. I called again and it was so funny. From the back side of the bale, she peeked over and looked at me, as if to say, "I heard you the first time, but I had to climb up here for you to see me. Now, what's the problem?" I love that Stella. I also noticed in another pen, one of our pygmies that's due pretty quick was not visible when I first made my rounds, but I didn't hear any sounds out of the ordinary, so I opened chicken houses and finished my rounds and came back. I called her name, and I heard this muffled response. I thought, she might be in one of the houses . . . but no, when I called again she came to the front of a well eaten out bale of hay, and looked at me as if to say, "This better be important!" She had literally "buried" buried herself in the eaten out pocket of that bale and had been tucked completely out of sight. It's interesting to watch G-d's creatures and be privileged to be a part in the care of them. They have their names and they know their names.
And out of the ground YHWH G-d formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. Torah of Holy Scripture

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tribal Unrest

Once in awhile, the peace of the preservation is disturbed by what I call, tribal unrest. That's when nearly everyone insists that they have the correct insight, peace from G-d, proper direction, yata, yata . . . except one hold out, who often becomes the designated problem. Oh, it can get rather tense, but as I have come to know, when the rest of the world is in agreement, chances are the single hold out knows something that has not yet been revealed to the others. Now, as the one that is usually the odd duck in these situations, I'm finding it's better to ask some questions, refuse to let anyone put any words in my mouth, and simply pray, even if I don't hear anything to begin with. I at least receive peace that I can stand where I am until I do hear something, which is very heart warming when the tribe is at odds. Eventually, eyes are opened, ears are in tune and the truth is revealed. Although the truth is always the best way to go, sometimes it's difficult to accept, and yet we must, if we are to leave the legacy of the preservation to the next generation.
That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of G-d, but keep his commandments: a Psalm of Holy Scripture

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

When It's All Said and Done

The Kingdom of heaven does not base it's economy on American dollars, which is good, since American dollars aren't even worth much here in America, but rather heaven's currency is time and G-d is very service and goods oriented . . . From Genesis through the Revelation, we can read about G-d making things and everything HE makes is good, but HE's also a service provider and being in HIS image, we have the potential to provide goods and service. Unlike the American economy that separates goods and services, G-d apportions talents in HIS people to be able to provide and appreciate both. I will say after our recent endeavor, I also have a true appreciation for the fact that G-d factored in teaching the next generation. I'm no spring chicken, so clearly Daddy's not either.
I've been working through the math as to actually how to compare the time it took to process 2 deer, the end results, product and service vs. the hours worked to make enough money to purchase that much red meat and make Daddy proud. I can tell you, I couldn't begin to compete financially with most folks, but then again, not that many people can do what I do when it comes to wild game and simple living. It's interesting how earning money to provide for family is well and good, but how limiting that can truly be, whereas, in the deer processing, I immediately saw that I was doing something I couldn't do any other way. When Daddy called to tell me he'd gotten two deer the first two hours of hunting season, I could hear the tribal pride in his voice and the fact that "we" needed to make plans to do up the deer. Now, he would never have called me to pitch in on paying to have the deer processed, but in this situation, I can actually provide a service to him, save him some money, put meat in our freezer, jointly provide sustenance for the next two generations, and honor the fifth commandment, all in one event!
I couldn't do that with money, and Daddy would never ask me for money, anyway. So, as it is with what has become our tradition, I took a closer look this last time and beyond all the things I listed in the previous paragraph. Considering the price of beef, we managed to end up with about 130 pounds of boneless red meat for three households to enjoy. I have steaks, lean ground meat, fajita, stir fry, and delicious tenderloin, also known as Filet Mignon. I'm not sure what deer tags cost in Kansas, but I believe they are less than $20.00, wait, I'll just Google and be back. I can't tell you for sure, but something about age and land ownership, blah, blah, blah. So it may be that tax paying land owners can hunt their own place. Anyway, I didn't see anything over $20.00, so we'll figure it at that. Say there is $40.00 combined cost for the tax and conservation folks. Still, that's less than about thirty cents a pound. We do have to figure in the hours, though. We take breaks, but from skinning to final packaging, we average about 2-3 hours per deer, that's cleaning, cutting, grinding, packaging, and labeled. Let's figure high and say $40.00 plus 6 hours for 130 pounds of meat. I'm sure Daddy has made some awesome money per hour, but I don't think I've ever earned in day what would buy that much meat. Keep in mind, I have a freezer full of steaks along with the ground meat, but we'll figure just the price of lean grind. In dollars and time, I would have had to have been making $32.50 an hour, just to buy that much lean hamburger, and let us not forget in this figuring, I'll be grilling steaks and enjoying Filet Mignon for the same price as hamburger. Now figure in the "organic" factor and the price of steaks.
It really is just a different way to figure earnings in regard to time goods and service; and it's a simple efficient way to do it. Not to mention making Daddy happy and obeying G-d . . . priceless.
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of G-d. Ecclesiastes

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Deer Season on the Plains

Deer season has come and gone in Missouri, well, gun season is over, but it opened today in a neighboring state. The neighboring state just happens to be where my parents live. Daddy is also one that embraces the spirit of "life on a preservation." Last night after speaking with my mother I said my little prayer for Daddy's deer hunting. It's nothing elaborate, I just simply ask that he might have success. The last few years he's commented on just how much life has changed regarding his hunting efforts. I'm sure the fact that he's aged through these changes plays a part, but I doubt that fact is even considered in his perspective of how things have changed. The city limits have expanded, the clear and safe shots one can take have been reduced, and let's face it, the older anyone gets, the more intense the weather feels, so for the past few years he's commented that he better enjoy it, it may be his last year to hunt. Since I've been hearing him say that, I've been talking to G-d about giving him success. I'm not sure if I do that so he'll be encouraged to look forward to it another year, or so he "retires from hunting" with a big win! It doesn't matter, success is great either way, and I, personally believe G-d wants us to succeed and also honors prayers prayed for others. A few years back, Daddy got his trophy, but as we all already knew, the trophy bucks are not the tastiest meat in the freezer, but we don't waste. After that trophy, though, he's gone back to large does and young bucks, and the meat is excellent. Between what I raise and what he hunts, I pass the meat case up, right along with the dairy case. Now, back to Daddy's big plans. I'm not even sure where he was when he called me this morning, but I think he was in his tree house. It began as a deer stand several years ago and now has all the comforts an amenities of a den. Anyway, deer season had begun at dawn and my phone rang about two hours after sunrise. I could tell by his voice, he'd already been successful. He asked if I was ready to do some processing. He always wants me to process his game and I consider it a privilege. But enough of my "feelings" about hunting season and our father/daughter bond. He proclaimed he had not one, but two and he was pleased . . . and DONE, already! It really does thrill me to know, every year I get a little closer to living more fully off the land. Whether it's by Native American heritage or Scriptural promise, it is what my people have done for centuries; and it is my blessed privilege to be a part in continuing the legacy!

The prayer for success:
And he said, O Adonai, the G-d of my master Abraham, let me [him] do well in what I [he] have undertaken this day . . . Torah of Holy Scripture

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tis the Season

This time of year marks a very special treat for our family. This is the time of year that pumpkins are sitting around ornamentally with no particular purpose apparent . . . or so it used to be. My grandkids and I have two very special dishes we create using full whole pumpkin. Not only is it a special treat through this season, but if there's enough to can, we enjoy it all year long. A word of CAUTION when canning pumpkin. It needs to be pressure canned according to the instructions! That's not to say you can't be creative, but the basic pumpkin preservation instructions are important. The following recipe was so well received by my grandchildren, they told me, I didn't need to make pumpkin pie again! I was getting ready to make this delectable treat, when I realized I couldn't remember where I'd jotted down my recipe. I was going through some old paperwork last night and lo and behold . . . Here is my recipe for Pumpkin Butter. 9 Cups pumpkin, pureed; 3 3/4 Cups Sugar; 3/4 tsp Salt, 1 1/2 Tablespoons gr Cinnamon, 2 1/4 tsp ground Ginger, 1 1/4 tsp ground Clove, and 3/4 tsp ground Nutmeg. Simmer until thick, about 2 hours. Place in pint canning jars and follow Pressure Canning directions. Best when served on a Ritz or HiHo with a dollop of whipped cream and gathereth her food in the harvest. a Proverb

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Winds of Change

As we enter into the winter season, I am compelled to be "ready." Although I'm truly not quite sure what that entails, it is urgent that I make all the preparations I know to do. Not to be an alarmist, but since we've become so "suburbanized," we don't really prepare for change at all. We seem to collectively presume that life will continue to be as it has been, but yet there is a foreboding presence as we shop in the market, as we drive on the roads; that life is changing and will not return to what we've known before. As the prices skyrocket, and the availability becomes limited, we have the choice of facing the truth or preferring denial. Here on the preservation, we are choosing to embrace the truth and the truth is, we are called, Messiah told us to be ready. Now, it is up to us to seek and to hear exactly what it is, "to be ready." Change is coming, it is at the door; just as clearly as the first winter winds.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Daylight Saving Time Ends

I've made some observations about this Daylight Saving Time thing. First, I don't believe G-d ever intended us to play with the time. The time is what it is, but the book of Daniel chapter 7, warned that power would be taken to change the time and the laws would be altered. Thankfully, life on the preservation doesn't really change so much with the clock. The time is determined by the sun and the moon. The months are determined by the phase of the moon, according to Scripture, and the days are determined by the sunset and sunrise. The animals, I've noticed, go very strictly by the sun. At a certain time of day, especially as the days shorten, if I'm not out to milk, I'll hear the girls start "calling" me. I've also noticed through the autumn that dusk is a shorter period than in the late spring and summer. So many of these facts, I'm sure many know, but it just helps me adjust to the sudden early darkness when I reflect on these various facts. Oh, and I simply must share the time honored traditional definition of what Daylight Saving Time truly amounts to. Daylight Saving Time is like cutting 12 inches off the top of the blanket and sewing it on at the foot of the blanket . . . Spring and fall, rinse, repeat . . .

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A More Natural Approach

I'm going to attempt to post some pics later this week, as to just how beautiful this time of year is. Autumn in the Ozarks is truly a sight to behold, and this year is exceptionally grand. Also with this time of year comes the communicable bugs that tend to damper our enthusiasm and well just flat make us feel bad. In all the attempts to protect ourselves and our loved ones from illness, we are often introducing a myriad of chemicals and products that may actually weaken our natural immunities as well as just presenting foreign compounds that our bodies really do not know how to process. Remember, what goes on our skin is absorbed throughout our body. I want to share a very natural hand sanitizing recipe that requires no rinsing and depending upon the container of choice, can be just as portable as any prepackaged product. I have used the prepared products, but I find the list of chemicals offensive, and the product itself to be very drying to my already winter chapped hands. This product recipe I'm sharing is not designed or recommended to replace hand washing! It's just for those times when you can't get to soap and water . . .

Natural Hand Sanitizer
12 drops Tea Tree Oil
7 drops Lemon essential oil
1 drop Thyme oil
1 Tablespoon Witch hazel
Mix by swirling or shaking in clean jar or container that is at least 8 oz. Add 8 oz. organic Aloe Vera Gel. Shake well and use just a few drops as you would any hand sanitizer.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith YHWH, and touch not the unclean thing . . . New Testament

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Readying for Winter

As the seasons are changing, I am developing a true appreciation for the differences. Some may say it comes with age or maturity, but I believe it comes with an embracing of Scripture and reading the book of Ecclesiastes through Sukkot. Here it is the last few days of October and although my garden got nipped last week by frost, we have enjoyed a couple of very warm sunny days this week, which has been very good for solar panelists. I can tell, though, the wind has picked up, which means free electricity for wind "turbinors," but it more than likely also means a change of weather is on it's way. It is nearly November, so it's time to prepare for another season. The leaves are beautiful, the fatted calf is in the freezer, and I timed the chicken hatch this year to be able to leave them "on the hoof" til needed. I'm catching on to preservation efficiency! I am very grateful to report that I had a bumper crop of eggplant this year and we are still feasting on said veggie. I'm about to launch into my own personal research and experimentation as to just how many ways one can enjoy eggplant. I will keep you posted, but I am realizing we've overlooked so much of G-d's goodness for so long. Living off the land is not only a blessing, but I'm truly realizing what a privilege we've been afforded.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Welcome to Our New Blogsite

As you have already read, we do things a bit differently around here. I'm pretty sure we are not the only ones that prefer to remain outside of mainstream, so if you have made this same decision or commitment, I encourage you to contact us or at least please leave a comment. I'll be posting our goings on and new things here, so check in frequently. We raise our own veggies, meat, eggs, and milk. I also make our soap, which is available at our store. I write about this lifestyle, but more importantly I share the good news of G-d's love and encourage others in seeking Him, not only for life in the hereafter, but He wants a relationship with us in the here and now, and has given us very clear instructions for success and prosperity in this life. Now, if you are still equating prosperity with money, you need to change your perspective. Prosperity in G-d's kingdom is about having enough of what we need and enough to share with others. We are Torah observant, Messianic followers, that live off the land and realize G-d has created and provided everything we would ever need for life, here and eternally. I am also a talents coach and that means I discern and encourage others to recognize the talents and gifts G-d has given them to make a living and provide for themselves and their families.
I invite you to check out the links and visit often.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith YHWH, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11
. . . Shalom