Sunday, July 27, 2014

Unintentional Disregard

Last week, I made an error.  I didn't mean to disregard what YHWH had said, nor did I intend to annoy one of the goats, but I managed both . . . in that order.  One evening mid week, there was a circus in the milking parlor.  One goat, Jackie, was particularly precocious, to the point we had words . . . I literally told her, to straighten up, there was no rain in the forecast.  I specifically remember checking the extended forecast when I published last week's Goshen Gazette and realized, hot without precipitation was forecasted for the week . . . I've since apologized, but it's taken a few days for her to get over her grudge.  I don't think it's so much over the contentious tone, as it is over the fact I took an unnamed, faceless report over her personal insight.

I've mentioned more than once, when I began homesteading, YHWH told me to watch the animals to know what the weather would be.  For a number of years, I didn't even check the weather forecasts.  It's only been since editing the Goshen Gazette, that I have been keeping up with the long range forecast . . . and now I've had to repent.  For nearly a decade, I went strictly by the Instruction of YHWH and when the animal's behavior changed, it indicated a weather change, and I heeded the warning.  The other evening, I shamefully disregarded the warning.  To make matters worse, I reprimanded her behavior and withheld her "Goatie-O's" as punishment for her behavior.

Although Jackie has indicated she's willing to forgive my stupidity, I had to talk with Abba about it.  He had told me to watch the animals.  Even knowing how accurate it had been for so long, I heeded the "wisdom of man."  Some may think I'm splitting hairs or being legalistic, but I was guilty!  As I write this, there is no doubt in my mind that I had to ask forgiveness for disregarding His instruction.  Here we all want to hear G-d, personally, then when we do, do we act on what we hear?  I confess, I was wrong and I'm back on the straight and narrow.  Now the critters behavior is the foregone conclusion.  When I look at the weather site at the Goshen Gazette, it's only to see if that forecast agrees with the experts!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

In All Things Give Thanks

We are told in Scripture to do precisely, that.  I had a new "in all things give thanks" experience this week.  The corn is ready, so I've been shucking and canning.  As I was shucking the other day, I discovered a worm in the end of a couple of the ears.  Suddenly, I found myself giving thanks for those corn worms, that were very much alive!  They had made it past the natural pesticide . . . I was so thankful to have organic corn.

I'd had a bad experience with some heirloom seeds I'd been given, so to find this corn that was deficient in Bt and had not been doused with Round Up, was a true blessing.  I realize none of us really have any way of controlling cross contamination with GMO crops, but to find live pests does offer hope!  All things considered, I'm a big girl now, I can cut around a few bad spots and definitely do what I can to stay ahead of pests and weeds.  The cauliflower was beautiful this year, as has been the squash.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, we are blessed when we give thanks.  Our society has gotten so far from the original plan for humanity, however; we often don't recognize what is a blessing and what is not.  Perfect produce absolutely is a blessing, if it doesn't come at the cost of nutrition and sin.   It's time to call GMO exactly what it is, it's sin.  To genetically alter creation is to say we can do better than our Creator, and that is exalting oneself.  The purpose of GMO is to reward laziness and, of course, greed.  It's easy to call Monsanto evil, but to choose to use the produce doesn't make us victims, it makes us accessories.

 I've been blessed with some lovely produce, and the way the corn is being manipulated, I was truly relieved to see it imperfect.  Meanwhile, here is some more of the beautiful, organic, garden produce.

And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and G-d saw that it was good.  Torah of Holy Scripture

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Simply Thankful

For the past couple of weeks, I've been dragging.  I'm still babying my foot a bit, and was resisting the urge to close the windows and turn on the air conditioner, but I caved.  Canning tomatoes last week, it just got too hot, so I'm enjoying the cooler air, but missing the sounds of outdoors.

I knew the day of closing up the house was coming, so since July 1, I've been sleeping in the living room with the front door open.  The realization of just how blessed I am to be able to do that has washed over me, many times.  My house faces west and there has been a nice western breeze most nights, so sleeping on the living room futon was almost like camping.  Almost like camping, but much easier than getting up off the ground.

As canning season is gearing up, I find so much for which to be thankful.  I was speaking last night of the old house in town, and it was a lovely home, but I'm so glad to not have all that to maintain, and beyond thankful to not be in the city limits.  Even if I can't hear them so well right now, I still enjoy looking out the windows to see goats and chickens.  Although I'm so hesitant to close the windows and turn on the air conditioning, I'm thankful to have that luxury.  I'm also thankful to be able to wait until mid-July to turn it on.

I feel blessed beyond measure in the length of the growing season, yet the duration of hot weather is relatively short.  To be able to start my garden in February, and still enjoy a harvest through October, sometimes into November, yet only need an air conditioner for 6 to 8 weeks is truly a blessing for which I am very grateful.  As we become more and more dependent with less and less control and choices, I would encourage everyone to realize how many simple things we can still enjoy.  Take the time, make it a priority to enjoy some of the simpler things.  

So many in our society live in what seems a climate controlled environment, going from furnace to a/c, back to furnace without opening the windows.  Not to mention exchanging the sunshine of daylight hours for fluorescent lighting.  Go outdoors in the cool of the morning or evening and take a moment to just breathe deeply and thank our Heavenly Father for the air we breathe.

 And YHWH G-d formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  
Torah of Holy Scripture

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I Am Human!

A sustainable food supply that involves meat, involves death.  I've been blessed the last couple of years to contract my beef processing.  I still do the deer and chickens and will again do the beef, I would imagine, but for now, I'm enjoying the break.  Processing beef is not only labor intensive, but there is that moment in which, the memories of literally lifting them out of the back of the van and months of bottle feeding, all converge in my mind, on their last day of life.  I'm a practical woman, but a woman none the less.

In processing Daddy's deer, they are already dead upon arrival, and even when hunting, I've never been emotionally attached.  Although chickens are somewhat domesticated and easily held, I don't form the bond with them that I do with the mammals on the place.  I can identify the sex of new chicks, by day three, for the express purpose of separating what will end up on the table and what will provide eggs.  I can look at those fluffy little chicks and know they won't look like that when it comes time for chicken and dumplings a few months down the road.  Once in awhile, I do have a twinge about a particularly colorful rooster, but . . .

I used to process goats and sheep as well, but sheep raising was too much work and too hard on the pasture.  The hardest work I ever did was shearing sheep . . . and it would be cruel to put them through an Ozark summer without shearing, so I may raise a couple for a specific idea, but I will not own them, come shearing season.  I quit butchering goats when I started raising my own beef.

I wrote about figuring out how to load the two that just went to town.  My plan worked great, in that; within a week, they were coming when they heard the lid of the feed bin rattle.  I then added the morning coaxing, as they would be loading out in the morning.  That last night, as they were eating, I had forgotten to put the bucket in the feed bin, so when I rattled the lid putting it away, they both came running and as our eyes met, a momentary sadness washed over me.  I was so thankful that even though the next day was butchering day, I wasn't going to be doing the actual processing this time.  That same flood of memories that hits simultaneously at butchering time, hit me then.  Sometimes I get so busy doing what needs to be done, I am blessed with the reminder that . . . I am human.