Saturday, September 20, 2014

Is There An Echo In Here?

Hello Dear Ones!

I am popping in to say 'Hello' and I haven't forgotten you. I am frantically attempting to get things ready for my oldest son's wedding on October 4th.

Housework, yard work, canning, freezing, dehydrating...mucking pens and cleaning coops. Weeding and moving manure! You get the picture!

On top of it...sewing. Sewing a wedding gown and an outfit for myself. The gown has to outfit...not such a big deal. But I will try!

Here is a cute photo of our meat birds that moved outside today. 48 to be exact. In my dining room. That dining room has had its share of transforming into a nursery this year!

Anyhow...they're outside and happy! So am I...48 birds equals a whole lot of dust and odor! Now I can really get down to cleaning inside the house for my family from Illinois! YAY!!

I really like my chickens! They are so cute...for now!

Blessings upon you and your Home-Sweet! Things should be back to 'normal' after the October 4th wedding! Until then...I'm still here!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Popping In To Say...

Hello. .".

It's been a while.

All this time I've been busily working...hopefully not too much Martha. Too much Martha is not good! But honestly, it feels like lots of Martha.

I have come to understand the need to sit at the feet of Jesus. Mary had it right, she not only understood the need to come aside...she actually made it a priority. She took time to bask in His presence OVER EVERYTHING ELSE!!!

Jesus told Martha she was troubled about many things. He told her she was distracted. He told her one thing was necessary, one thing needful. Mary chose that part. That good part.

Sitting at His feet and listening to Him.

The Lord said it wouldn't be taken away from Mary...those things learned from time spent with Him.

That's one big thing I learned this summer. The best thing. All the other things that I learned and did pale in comparison. There were probably many times I was troubled and distracted. But always, the Holy Spirit reminded me of that one needful thing. My heart ached at times for it.

Sitting at Jesus' feet and listening to Him.


So much to tell. Summer stories. But I'll leave that for next time!

It might not be a bad thing to sit and take the time to read Luke 10:38-42.

What will Jesus tell you while you sit at His feet and hear His word?

May the Holy Father, the Only Wise God liberate you to sit at the feet of His Dear Son, Jesus Christ the Lord of All. Be blessed!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Helpers Galore and Accomplishments!

Well, the day worked out just as I had planned. To that I say, 'Praise be to God'!!!

The day's projects were completed and I am tired-but happy.

I wanted to:
  •  clean out the winter mess under the roof leading to the back door...done! 
  •  organize the garden stuff I still use...done! 
  •  put pallets down to hold boxes for a Memorial Day Weekend yard sale...done! 
  •  rake the section of the drive to the pole barn...done! 
  • all the invasive plants/weeds mixed in with my unfortunate, neglected raspberries, pulled 'and banished from my garden...forevermore! (I do not know what this weed is...I have a photo...if you have seen this plant and know its all means inform me! It has a mass of underground runners that go forth from what I call the 'mother' plant and it proceeds to take over the entire area and choke out every good thing you may want there. One little plug of it can eventually 'own' the place it decides to dwell in.) Not nice. Not nice indeed!

What is this stuff???

Tomorrow, when there is a lull in the predicted rain that is coming in, I will finish up mulching the raspberries and be very satisfied. There are so many things on my to-do list...and that was a big one, having been neglected these past two years. Unfortunately, there are spots where the berry canes have either been choked or simply died. I will have to transplant some of the volunteer shoots coming up.

Spring is a time for work after a long winter's rest and work is what is going on here! We have our share. The weedy flower beds are getting cleaned out and will soon be ready to transplant. I haven't figured out the flower placement yet, but am contemplating all the time. It will come together. I am doing my best to eradicate my useless lawn and replace it with food.

Lydia asked me how much of the elephant we bit off today! :) I think she may be getting it. Maybe.

I overheard the conversation between her and her friend as they were pulling that horrid weed in the raspberries...saying, of all things, that they were enjoying themselves!!!

I said not a word. Mama's have to know when to let satisfaction occur internally and not ruin it with a comment!!! Have all the fun you want girls! I will not try to stop you!!

I am looking forward to rain coming in though, I started transplanting our pepper and tomato seedlings that finally grew their true leaves and will continue that task when I'm stuck indoors. Depending on the weather, I have a lot of sewing to do. I want to make a pair of summer bloomers to wear under my skirt and I have aprons to make. I also have to perfect the covering/cap I am working on. The instructions are vague and I have made 3 already and still am not satisfied with the results. There are ladies waiting for a completed pattern and I will post it when finished, hopefully we will be blessed with enough rain that will allow me time to work on it this spring/summer.

Mosquitoes and ticks are out now. Every day one of us finds a wood tick on us. Thank the Lord there are no deer ticks so far! Ticks are gross and make me cringe! Ew!

KatyJoy still has NOT had her kid/kids!!! Here she was a week ago...large as anything...showing signs, but nothing! The baby/babies are on the passenger side (bottom of the photo). Poor Mama...heavy for sure!

And that is a little bit of what is going on here at the Home-Sweet. There is always something to share, always something new and exciting!

Proverbs 13:4 - 'The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.'

I am so thankful for the accomplishments of the day! God be praised that three of my children, my daughter -in-love to be and I, along with Lydia's friend had good fellowship and productivity, a sunny day and happy laughter. A true blessing indeed. I love my children and am thankful that the Lord is healing them and will bring those who don't yet know Him into the fold when He sees fit. I trust Him and His perfect timing. 'For I know in Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is faithful, to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day.' 2 Timothy 1:12

Praise Him!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Raspberry Lessons

*Typed while enjoying Bigelow "I Love Lemon" tea! YUM!

I spent most of today working on pruning and cleaning up my raspberry bushes. The weather  was just right and they really needed some an immense amount of attention. I managed to get 1/4th of the bushes pruned, the dead canes cut out and weeding begun. We are going on two years of neglect, so it will take more than one day to finish the job. After all the weeding, pruning and dead cane removing, they will have to be mulched with the chicken-finished goat mulch. They are excellent at making mulch and it makes the garden grow fantastically!

Here are a couple of photos of what I accomplished so far:

This is the mess I am dealing with!

Still looking messy, but the canes are tied

A closer look at the tied canes

As I prune and clean these up I think on John 15 where the Lord explains to the disciples that He is the true vine and the Father is the husbandman. Every branch that does not bear fruit he takes away. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes that it may bear more fruit.Then He goes on to say that unless we abide in the vine we cannot bear fruit and that it is as we abide that we bring forth much fruit...because without the Lord Jesus Christ, we can do nothing.

I wonder as I carefully tend these berries if that is how the Lord works on our hearts. Cutting out the dead branches and casting them aside, as I've done, pruning those things from us that hinder our walk, the dead works and feeble attempts at living this life without Him, they lose life and dry up and die. They are only good for the fire!

Those branches that remain are budding forth with life and with the promise of bearing abundant fruit for the season, just as our hearts and lives bear fruit as we abide in  His love and presence and are nourished from His life-giving Word. To be connected to Him is our very life!

This is what I think of over and over as I snip and prune and pull weeds and tie the canes into orderly rows. I imagine the fruit that will grow and pray that God will be blessed with much good fruit from my heart and life for His Kingdom as I grow into His likeness.

I absolutely enjoy working in my gardens, this process of cleaning up the mess from two years of neglect is an opportunity to take the many lessons that Jesus taught and apply them to real life lessons.

God started it all in a garden, and I can totally see why!

I pray that as you spend time in His presence you will allow Him to tend you and prune you so that you may bear abundant fruit, fit for the Master's use! Amen

What gardening are you doing at your Home-Sweet this week?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Home Again

We were able to get away to meet with beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ this past weekend. It was a wonderful time in the Lord and it went too quickly! Some day there will be no separation...Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus!

Still, back home means back to work. Lots of work. The gardens have been 'resting' for two years (maybe more in some spots) and there will be back-breaking, hard, tiring work to do until it's cleaned up and planted.

For those of you who asked...KatyJoy still has not had her kids! Hard to believe, but true. This has been going on for some time now, but her udder really is filling out and it has to be any time ...!!!

Mimi the doing wonderful and now that I'm back home I'm weaning her and she'll be outside at night again. Praise the Lord for her restoration! It was a bit touch and go there, but when you pray and ask God for wisdom, He gives it! Between probiotics and electrolytes, and two injections, she's right as rain again. I learn as I go. Research done under the Lord's tutelage.

Lydia and I went out and tackled a portion of our pea fence this morning. It took us a while, but that little section shows progress. My garden is a sight to behold. It's shameful! I'm sure it would send chills up and down the spines of most avid gardeners I know. It makes me shudder too! But, I have vision for it and can see the beautiful finished product! It's going to take a lot of time and energy, but we'll get the job done. I am determined.

I'm going to keep it somewhat short tonight. I'm tired from the rush to finish my garden goal today (clean off fence section and get some peas in before it rains). I think I'll go read for a bit and try to put down the Kindle before it smacks me in the face as I fall asleep! Can anyone relate?

Blessed be the Name of the Lord for keeping us, providing for us and protecting us. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only answer I have for all of life's dilemmas. God is good and His mercy endureth forever! Praise Him!

What is your garden goal for the week at your Home-Sweet? May the Lord grant you the grace and strength to meet your goal!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Productive Day!

Today I felt as if I raced from one thing to another.

Tending to KatyJoy first thing to see if we had kids...nope! She's still breathing harder, but not much going on. Udders filling up quickly...really any time now!

Giving Mimi a bottle (she's still in the dining room!), little!

Right away getting milking done and other chores.

Then the house was empty, so I pretended I had nothing to do except clean my kitchen and do laundry. Wow, did that feel good! I just really like to do the housework, especially when I am the only one home! I love my family a whole lot, but I am not alone much, so I appreciate alone time, I think it makes me productive!

Spent time taking photos of bees when Mr. Home-Sweet was checking his new package hives. They've been in there two weeks now so he wanted to get in there and take a peek to make sure there was a queen laying eggs. He found all the queens and there were eggs in all the hives. Good! Here are a couple of photos:

Wall-to-Wall Bees!

Here Is The Queen
Lots Of Capped Brood

Look At His Bright Yellow Pollen Baskets!

Then I had to go and plant a blueberry bush...and I did, with the sun beating down on me, but it was good to get another one planted. I gave them all a good watering and have to go do more tomorrow!

Happy Blueberry Bush

Had to run to Tractor Supply for kid feed and chicken stuff. Dawdled around in there and came home.

Took it easy later with Mr. Home-Sweet. Good day!

I am thankful for a productive day here at the Home-Sweet...little by little we are getting things done. Each year making more happen. Praise the Lord for a good day!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Busy Tending Doe...More Tomorrow!

This is just a quick post to say that I will be up all night watching and waiting for our doe KatyJoy to kid. We've been checking her all day and nothing yet. She's definitely in labor, the waiting is the worst!

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to share pics of the little darlin'/s. It's her first time so it's hard to tell just how many she'll have. Just when we were almost done weaning the other come some more!

So, I'll be back tomorrow with some news!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thankful For Simple Blessings!

Happy Day All!

Yesterday, I managed to get to a bit, a very small bit of thrifting...and was going to post some of the cloth-goodness I was able to purchase...but instead, I spent the day outside working and inside doing laundry. It was so windy today! What a good day to get several loads of laundry on the line! The stuff dries in no time! It brought kite flying to mind. Quite enjoyable...but you know me...I REALLY LIKE doing laundry! I'll try to share photos tomorrow.

I did get to take a few outdoor photos today while meandering around with my Home-Sweet #1 Son chatting about all the work there is to do this year around here. He's getting married in September, you know. They're trying to learn a bunch of things that will be useful for them throughout their married journey. She wants to learn handiwork, seed planting, canning...etc... They want to learn about caring for animals, and 9 of the Dixie Rainbow chicks I bought last week are theirs. I figured I couldn't go wrong at 50 cents a chick!

I'm not going to bore you with a bunch of chatting tonight, I'll share some photos I took outside today instead.  It was a lovely day even if it was windy. I enjoyed walking around with my son planning projects. We're going to be busy working AND getting ready for a wedding! This will not be a boring year for sure!

Blueberry Holes All Ready To Go!

Son #1 said he'd do it...and he did it! Notice how sandy our soil is. About a foot of topsoil and then pure river bottom sand. Not very nutritious for many plants, but blueberries don't mind bad soil, they love acid. Our yard used to be mostly pine trees, so we should be good and acid-y for them.

Pretty Bees Working In The Sun

Coming In For A Landing and  Communicating

Amazing...God's Handiwork!!! Awesome!! Notice How Fuzzy They Are!

Part of our livestock and livelihood is bees. Home-Sweet Husband keeps hives here and at a local farm. They provide beautiful dark honey for us and for many people each year. We already have orders for this year's honey...and it's not even harvested yet! It's in high demand!

This Is Lightning - He's A Proud Papa This Year!

Look at this handsome young Nigerian Dwarf buck! Home-Sweet Son #2 was astounded at how Amish looking his beard is! He's sweet too, not too rammy. He was one of the first kids to be born here two years ago. He's grown into a mighty fine buck! As I was walking past him I noticed he had hay on his head. He likes to use his horns to break up his morning hay flake. Silly boy! He smiles pretty for the camera too! What a ham!!!

He's Got A Wonderful Smile!

Flowering Quince Waking Up From A Long, Hard Winter

I have been checking on this quince for weeks now. Watching the buds get larger and larger. I was thrilled today when I went over to check it and saw buds and tiny leaves! Last year it even had one fruit on it . I think you can make quince jelly with the fruit from flowering quince. So pretty!

Well, that's a bit of my photo walk today. I was especially delighted and praised God to see the quince leaves out and the flower blossoms! I have been checking them for weeks! I like this photo and am going to send it off to my niece Alissa to make a new Spring header for me. She does a great job!

Now that Spring has arrived, we're going to be very busy doing many Home-Sweet Things! If we get to finish half of what we have planned, we'll be accomplishing much! There will be lots of hole digging for fenceposts, some butchering lessons, planting lessons and landscape things to figure out. In all our plans though we must say...'if the Lord wills'. It should be a very productive year!

Praise God for each day we have to see and appreciate the small blessings He gives. Take joy in each moment and breathe a prayer of thanksgiving for Our Heavenly Father gives us many things to enjoy, if we take the time to notice them! Thank you Father! Amen

What small blessings were you thankful for today at your Home-Sweet?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Edible Landscaping

What do you think about edible landscaping? About Permaculture/Permanent Agriculture?

I cannot remember where I heard it, but I once read gardener's quote that said, "If you still have grass, your garden is too small." ...or something like that. The point is, why do we have a lawn over a garden? Who created lawn and what's the point? It makes work that does not produce anything lasting or of any value and we get no real benefit from it in the long run. In fact, the work in maintaining lawn is never ending (and sometimes causes pride and envy!).

In my opinion, if you're going to spend time and energy keeping something, why not grow food? There are so many things that can be grown that are edible and ornamental...way prettier than grass! And more useful too!

These days, when people are stressed out and running ragged, it makes sense to spend a bit of time each day relaxing in the garden. If gardening is done right, it is not a chore, it is therapy! It's good for the spirit and soul. It gives one time to ponder and the benefits are not only invisible...they reap fruits and vegetables! It's a win-win deal!

What about growing food and helping reduce dependence on the grocery store?  You know right where your food came from AND the bonus to your pocketbook is a help too!

God started the world with a garden for people. The world has moved far away from what God has intended, yet there has been a surge these past years to return to the agrarian lifestyle. If the agrarian lifestyle is not possible where you live, you can still garden. If you live in a city and have a balcony, you can garden. Hey, they even sell countertop gardens for apartment dwellers who have no balcony or dirt access!

Gardening, and turning your lawn into a productive piece of land is also great for the children/grandchildren of the family. It is an opportunity to spend much time together. Children learn the benefit of each one putting in his labor for the blessing of all. It is a chance to pass on the wisdom and knowledge one generation has acquired to the next generation. 

This is my goal in my little acre this year. To take the spaces that are bare, where nothing is growing, and turn it into a garden that will keep us alive. Perennial and annual. Not just to fill in spaces, but to make things work together as pleasing to the eye, yet having a purpose beyond eye candy!

So, you will find me talking about this quite a bit this year as I work at changing things around here. It's going to take time, there will be a lot of physical labor. In the end though, it will be well worth it.

Are you ready to make the necessary changes in your Home-Sweet landscape to create a sustainable spot of earth for your family? It is possible, and everyone working together teaches many lessons. Life lessons that cannot be learned on TV or video games! Take the cannot be done all at once...but it can be done!

 Praise God for the opportunity to take His earth and be productive and creative and all the while be a blessing to our own family as well as others. This is a bit of what one-anothering is all about!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blueberry Holes, Happy Doe and Baby Chick Update

Well, the inevitable has happened...the blueberries arrived this afternoon. :) It rained yesterday and the wind blew and blew. There was no digging holes yesterday.

Home-Sweet #1 Son has stepped up to the plate. He dug 2 or 3 holes this evening and will do more tomorrow. I did not remove the berries from their protective boxes in order to keep them safe.

With his help the berries should get planted in good order.

A Happy Ending!

The indoor menagerie is doing well. Mimi the little doe has bounced back, literally. She is hopping all around the dining room, kitchen and long hallway. We started taking her outside again to acclimate her to goathood. She thinks she's a lapdog like our two chihuahuas. This is not good. I have to force myself to let her be a goat.

The chicks are growing and kicking up dust, just like chicks do. I need to get them outside ASAP! I do not like chick dust all over everything. They are already growing by leaps and bounds!

The pepper and tomato seedlings are growing. I am just seeing the very beginning of true leaves on the peppers. Good, there will be a large amount of paper pot making and transplanting. I always feel better when they are transplanted, less chance of turning spindly. I think so anyway.

Tomorrow I am going with a friend to a large town near us. I hope to be able to do a bit of thrifting, if we have time. Then it's home to dig, dig, dig!

I do not lead a very exciting life! But I really do not mind at all.

Here's praying that the hum-drum of living and serving God at your Home-Sweet is as much of a blessing to you as the very, very exciting days...because you are glorifying God in all things! Blessings!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Story About Working Together, Elderberries, Roots and Creeping Myrtle

A lot of my day tends to cycle around animals, with a little time left in between to take care of other things that need to be done. Managing my time seems to be my biggest struggle. There is so much to be done, especially in the spring, I go to bed quite exhausted. I am not getting any younger either, that fact alone adds to the time frame. So, when I can get help...I take it!

This time of year, it is of the utmost importance to set priorities. When planting seeds there is a window of opportunity and if you miss it you'll have to go to the garden shop and buy plants for $3 each (or more!). When you purchase those plants, you have a certain amount of time to get them in the ground or they won't fruit.

This is the finished elder planting

So our elderberries came. I only bought two (you have to buy two-they need each other). We knew they were coming, and we did not procrastinate. The plants we got were bare root plants. They need to be put in the ground right away, the roots can not dry out.

Mr. Home-Sweet and I decided on a location that was going to be a challenge to dig. It is at the edge of the woods, which makes for lots and lots of underground roots snarled together in a tangle that would make the best un-knotter in the history of taking out knots hand in their trophy - if there was such a competition! (I googled it and did not find such a competition - on the first page anyway.)

Well, Sunday was a bright, sunny day. A bit breezy. Warm-ish.

I watched a little Youtube clip on 'How to Plant Elderberry'. I took notes. I walked to the planting area. Mr. Home-Sweet decided now was the time to pick the spot for the 12 blueberry plants that are coming. So, he sent me back inside to look for information on planting blueberry bushes. See, the elderberries did not come with any kind of specific instructions for planting, so we figured the blueberries wouldn't either. Generic...oh yes, but nothing specific. I need specific and Mr. Home-Sweet definitely does as he was brandishing utilizing his tape measure as is his custom. I am very detail oriented, Mr. tends to be careful about placing, and does not worry about the surrounding environment. This makes working together very interesting.

The area we decided upon was covered with creeping myrtle. Anyone who has ever tried to rid an area of creeping myrtle knows with what a shudder I shudder upon remembrance. It was everywhere with it's gnarled top 2" of root masses intertwined like a city road map of New York City or Chicago. Oh my!

Mr. Home-Sweet just wanted to dig in and make a hole. I insisted upon clearing at least a space 3 feet around. This Mr. tolerated.  :) Not without a bit of commentary about knowing a few things about planting. I would have torn out all the creeping myrtle if I was allowed...but alas, the elder roots would have dried out and it would have taken me at least 3 days of ripping, tearing, nonstop work. Where does creeping myrtle come from anyway? A little bird must have planted it and it has been allowed to run amok from the time it sprouted! That and I have never cared to plant anything of any value there before.

In the end, we managed to plant the two elderberries, although I was inside watching Youtube videos while he was outside digging the first large hole. When I went out with a mason jar of blueberry herbal iced tea he had the first hole finished and informed me he near had a heart attack digging it. So, I started digging the second one...well, I did not have a heart attack, but such a mass of roots has not been seen in a hole since God first placed a curse on the ground! Poor Adam and Eve! Mr. Home-Sweet got the splitting maul and took to hacking through the roots. After some time, we had success. We filled the holes with rabbit manure and good chicken worked manure/hay mix and planted those elderberries in the ground! Success!

I was informed that I need to hire someone to dig the 12 holes for the coming blueberry bushes!

Anyone want a job?

Oh the blessed and wonderful life of getting a little one acre homestead started. I am thankful we had success at planting our first elderberry bushes, even if we had to rest a bit now and then. It was a lovely hard-working day together with laughs and discussion and a good finished product! Praise the Lord!

What are you doing at your Home-Sweet this spring?

Thank you Father for the gift of spring! For learning to work together as a team, using each of our talents to bless the other. Thank you for your gift of life and especially eternal life in Christ Jesus! Amen

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Meditations for April 6th, 2014

Today I'd like to post a message by one of my favorite evangelists, preachers, teachers and prophets. He was also a prayer warrior. Leonard Ravenhill. He's very challenging. This message is only one of many to be listened to. Be blessed.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Home-Sweeet Homestead News For April 5th, 2014

It was a brisk October April day today. Chilly and gray! Not too good for outside work. I've been trying to clean goat areas little by little. Time consuming, but very necessary. Now that the snow is melted, I can see all the work to be done...and I have to think about how to eat an elephant! (One bite at a time!)

I've got some things coming up to keep me busy in the next few days. Today I received two elderberry bushes I ordered from Stark Bros. I've been wanting to go elderberry picking for a few years now and can't seem to beat the birds. At least with my own bushes I can put bird netting over them and hope to get some for my own use. Mostly medicinal, no, not wine.

I have 12 blueberry plants coming too. We used to go into the woods in Pennsylvania foraging for wild blueberries, but I don't know what I'd ever do if I met up with a bear and it's not something I want to find out. I was buying some from a man who grew them, but he was not local and getting to him was not always convenient. So, a one-time investment will take care of that and after a few harvests the bushes will pay for themselves.

I'm also considering grapes and will have to decide soon. I only have most of one usable acre, so I have to be strategic about where I place things.

Always learning something around here. New things happening and some of the old things changing. But that's how life is.

Mr. Home-Sweet and I went and picked up three bee packages last Friday in Kingston, NY.  He lost two hives this winter, which isn't bad, it's been worse. He's setting up to do some splits when the weather permits.

 We have three Boer/Nubian mixes that I believe will soon be sold for meat. It's hard to do that, believe me, but that's the way of it...and there's nothing to be done for it. Two of them I worked hard on last year with mastitis...oh my. But they healed up nicely. I just cannot handle them. They're strong and hard for me to control. I'm just not as strong as I used to be! I have to be serious about making things financially friendly too. It's not worth feeding all these goats with no benefit. People need to eat and they can provide it for them.

I will be moving plants to the front of the house too, to make a sitting/resting garden. The area they are in now will be used to grow food. It is my aim to grow most, if not all of our food this year. I do not know if I can accomplish it, honestly, it seems monumental, but I am going to try and hopefully I'll get better each year.

I've been studying dehydration and this seems like the best method for many things. I've been watching many videos, reading tons of different gardening ideas and off-grid and self-reliant information. So much out there.

I'll share this video, this couple knows how to utilize their 1/12th acre!


What plans do you have to improve or work your Home-Sweet this year? 

Praise the Lord for the gift of life and the ability to tend what He's blessed us with. We are truly grateful!

We must remember to always be grateful for all of God's gifts in our lives...we are so truly blessed. Living as good stewards in every area of our lives is also important. Ask Father God for wisdom and He will give it! 


Friday, April 4, 2014

Sick Goat Kids Take Time

I'm typing this while sipping Bigelow Lemon and Ginger Tea with Probiotics. I give it a 10 on the YUM scale! 

I'm still nursing a sick kid. She is showing signs of improvement though. Praise the Lord. Not the human kid, the goat kid!

Here is a photo of her a bit ago sleeping on Lydia's lap. After this stint in the house, she's not going to go easily back to barn life!

She's the runt of  the triplets. She's grown good and strong, but now is having a bout with worms. Yuck for her. Lydia gave her an injection and we've been feeding her electrolytes. She started taking the bottle again...full milk...we stopped weaning until she's better. She's munching green pine needles. That's all she'll eat.

She's wagging her happy tail again...that's a good sign. Hopefully she's on the mend. Time will tell.

This is what has been taking my time the past couple of days. Mimi, this little doe kid running around the dining room again! Peeps in Jordan's old bedroom. Things to be done inside and out! Today it rained not too much outside!

What is keeping you busy around your Home-Sweet? Take time to pray and talk to the Lord even though you're busy...He's NEVER too busy for you! Hallelujah! Amen!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

And All My Plans Went POOF...

Well, I had planned to come on here today and share my "Creative Corner", my "Command Central", my "Base of Operations"...I was going to hang my shelf and crochet and show my plastic canvas Cath Kidston inspired hangy-thing...I was going to decorate and photograph and share colors and handiwork and inspirations...stuff I'm doing in the Home-Sweet...

and then...

...sick goats, meetings with people, trying to study veterinarian medicine, company, a trip to Tractor Supply for medicine, random purchases of 18 chicks, a goat living in my dining room again and finally at 10:55 pm I am finally sitting down with my cup of tea to relax a bit before bed.

My days don't always work out the way I hope, and some of my days are full of busy-ness I did not plan . Still, throughout the day I ask the Lord what exactly I should  learn from each task. I try to be ever mindful that it's not about here. That God is trying to work in me the nature of His Son, Jesus Christ. And so I surrender. I'm not saying it's always easy to lay down what I want, but I surrender.

I did learn today that God gives wisdom. I have seen it many times over the years. James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God who gives it to us liberally, and without reproach. It's about acknowledging our lack. There are many times I don't know what I'm doing (more times than not)! I humbly ask my Heavenly Father for wisdom and He always leads me to the answer. I am never disappointed when my hope is in the Lord! This gives me much confidence for life's issues as they come and it teaches me not to be afraid when things get hard, God's answers are always the right ones.

And so, I have spent the day learning to put my trust in the Lord once again. To lay down my life and my will and let His take precedence. Others Lord others, let this my motto be...

So, I will sit here and type and hold a little doe while she tries to feel better and pray for wisdom...and hopefully become more like Jesus!

I pray your plans become His and you gain wisdom from above, from God Almighty, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Announcing - Spring!!!

Yes, that's's finally decent enough out to bring on a good ole' fashioned Spring Cleaning Binge! Finally, windows can be thrown open and that fresh, sweet spring air can come in and purify this stuffy place! It definitely smells like spring outside now. Signs of spring are all about!

Peepers Peeping! Daffodils peeking their little heads out of the ground. And for me, the first and long awaited 'Spring Is Here' announcement...CROCUSES!

Just by chance, Lydia found this confirmation of the season yesterday:

Today there were even more yellow crocuses glowing here and there! Now we wait for the white and purple ones.

I took a stroll around to see what other signs of green I could find and saw daffodils stretching green arms out of brown leafy beds toward the sun. Now it's time to rake away winter deadness to make way for life!

(Truth be told there will be no shortage of raking going on around here! Wow!)

I was reminded of the Wordsworth poem entitled "Daffodils" but I will wait to share it when these are truly golden.

I've been working on projects and handiwork to spruce up my 'Creative Corner of the World' or my 'Inspiration Spot' or whatever I end up calling it, here in the living room.

I really like all colors and it is so hard for me to choose, but I would have to say the predominant colors in every room are aqua, red and white. Other colors go too, but these are the ones that stick out the most and are the deciding factor on what Home-Sweet Decor/Things help decorate the rooms. So, I have been having fun with these colors and others that compliment them in deciding which favorite things will take up space in this corner of my living room. It is my own corner and it's where I pray and read my Bible and plan my day and write and work and dream.

Tomorrow I will hang a little shelf I've painted for the corner. It's been in my basement for eons. I do not even know where I got it anymore, but I cannot wait to start putting some things up that I enjoy and that will inspire me. But that's for tomorrow.

I pray you are enjoying Home-Sweet Spring in your neck of the woods and that you remember to give thanks to the Father for teaching us patience and endurance through the long winter. The season of rest is over once more and the season of work begins! Praise Him for the gift of renewal in spring and the promise He gave Noah in Genesis 8:22 - "As long as earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." He is faithful!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Glory to God In Spring's Arrival!

It is so good to be able to go outside without three layers on! Without ear covers and hoods and three pairs of socks! It seems to make chores go faster.

What you see are happy pepper plants planted on Mr. Home-Sweet's birthday, March 16th. They happily peeked their heads out and a whole giant tray of every kind of peppers reminded me of last year's plentiful harvest. It's hard to believe we've come around again to planting time already.

The giant tray was coming along fine. I was like a new Mama, tending my little seedling babies. I'm sure those of you who start your own seedlings know what I'm talking about. Sadly, as I was taking the tray to the table to be slipped from my hands and crashed to the floor. This was a very unfortunate event I dare say! I saved what I could, and that is what you see here. I will still have quite a few early peppers...but alas...the little name markers came out and I have no clue what is what. So, I will have a surprise coming when I finally get fruit. I don't know how far apart to plant them, nor do I know what height they will be. This will make arranging them in good order a bit difficult...I may look into putting them in containers so I can place them where they need to be when the time comes. At this point I am not sure if peppers even like to be in containers. Studying needs to be done!

I did plant more last night, which is behind schedule, but my sister-in-law, the horticulture expert tells me this will just make them produce late in the season. So, they will be late. She proceeded to tell me she was also behind and had nothing in...this put me a bit at ease. I also planted tomato plants last night. I thought it would sound better to say they were planted in March as opposed to April...even if it's just one day!

Now I just wait for true leaves to peek out so I can put them in a paper pot, then it's just happy growing until it's warm enough to go into their raised bed home.

I have them inside a greenhouse...which is guessed dining room! I tell you, my dining room gets a variety of uses...that's for sure! One never can tell what it will be used for next!

Here are the goat living outside for quite a while...we've since removed their little jackets and they love to romp and play and lay in the sunshine. This photo was taken on a cloudy day, in the evening, so it's a bit gray, but I wanted to share the cuteness and how big they are now!

God bless the Home-Sweet fruit of your hands, no matter what kind of butterfingers you have! Our Heavenly Father is Good and Solid anyway! He is the only Solid Rock in this topsy-turvy world! And I am SO THANKFUL! Amen

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Goats In My Dining Room and Other Goings-On

I figured I'd better check in before the busy-ness/business of the day sets in. Not that I've been lumping around this morning, but I'm having my morning yogurt with Vitamin D and drinking my second cup of coffee. After this little interlude, the day will be filled with one thing after another. As of late...this is my life!

Four weeks ago, we were surprised with 7 kids...when I say 'surprised'...I mean it. There was one afternoon...ONE...that Lightening (our Nigerian Dwarf buck...aptly named!) broke through the fence and 'visited' our does. That was all it took...and 5 months later I have 7 kids living in a corner of my dining room, blocked off by lattice. Nice weather has to come soon, they need to get outside! I felt better about having goats living in my dining room after my nephew Jonah informed me that in European countries they still do that. But, I forget the feeling of assurance as soon as the youngest buck (named Sioux-as in 'A Boy Named Sue'-by our daughter Lydia) jumps over the lattice, now blocked by our dining room chairs-which he sails over effortlessly. At any rate, he eats first.

Is spring coming? I await this blessed time of year for several reasons! I'm sure those of you who are looking outside each day at the deep blanket of lingering snow agree that THAT is the NUMBER ONE reason I look forward to the warmer winds of spring blowing in...but I anticipate the balm for another reason too...KIDS MOVE OUTSIDE!!! Yes, I know they are covered with fur, I know they grow and thrive in the wilds all over this world. I know, I know. But, until I can move other goats around and secure bottom fencing...until the snow is melted out of the way, these critters cannot move out.

My husband, while cooking a nice dinner this Sunday past, (yes, Mr. Home-Sweet likes to cook...thanks to his wonderful Mom, the Home-Ec/4H/Boy Scout driven woman who loves to teach)...anyway...while he was cooking a nice Sunday dinner...he says to me, he says, "I cannot believe what I've been reduced to"...which of course made me laugh (him-not so much). Not too many husbands would even tolerate what my husband has, with this livestock adventure we're on. And it's not even incubation season yet for chicks and ducks!

Mr. Home-Sweet tells me he truly believes I've lost my mind.

Maybe. Maybe not. This may just spur him on to realize the necessity of building me a new laundry/mud room...the one that was removed before we put on our roof. That one. I sure miss that room. (*Dream Bubble* I could fit lots of kids in a mud room!) No, just kidding. Well, sort of!

I'd like to get on here soon and relay other things that I've been working on and studying, such as, permaculture (neat...but I've yet to see it from a Creator/creation point of view, and of course there's the whole book of Revelation that we're not going to stop, no matter how 'sustainable' we make things), lots more on wheat free living (collaborating with my Aunty on that one), decluttering (which is never going to end until I just get it done already!), and plans to get handiwork going again.

Time to start seedlings too...oh many things to get to, but for now, I am hearing restless 'Natives' in 7 hungry kids stirring in my dining room...ready to jump the lattice fence in practice for when they go outside...and then it's out to milk their moms...and then...well, if your day is know...there's always the 'next thing'!! Perpetual motion! Didn't I post once on the 'rhythm' of the chores? Right now it's an orchestration full of crashing cymbals...and kettledrums! The building of a mighty crescendo, the intensity and duration of which is a mystery! How's that for 'rhythm'? I don't have time to collapse yet, I hope I am learning a wonderful God-given lesson here, I pray I am. Maybe endurance, maybe 'acceptance with joy'. I'll let you know when I figure it out.

God bless you as you work with your hands and go about your day blessing your Home-Sweet family!

P.S. I'll try to add photos of the little darlings later today, just want to get this post up for now.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Cold Snap and Window Quilts

First, let me long winter's nap is over! Not that I've been napping since my last post...but my thoughts have been toward how to utilize this blog and be a blessing to those who read it.

Brrr! I don't think I have to tell many of you it's been a cold month here in New York! It sounds like another month of cold may be coming our way in February too! We'll see if the prognosticators (another name for those who predict the weather) are right or wrong as the days come and go.

The past years have had us spoiled... in our neck of the woods anyway. The mild weather made me forget how bitter cold and snowy winter can be. I've been forced to think about ways to get this place to hold heat and how to keep myself warm when the bitter chill wants to invade our living space. Then of course, I think about keeping my animals warm.

Have you been thinking of ways to cut heating and electric costs? I know I have. Our local utility company sent an email warning us of an elevation in rates...both gas and electric.

We don't use gas for heating. We have an oil tank, but it is empty (by choice) and we've used only wood heat for the past few years. In the mild winter weather, that has sufficed. This cold winter, it has brought some challenges and chilly indoor weather on the bitterest of days. When the sun shines, it does help keep it warm in here immensely, but there is always the necessity of feeding the stove. This is of utmost impotance if one wants to keep warm! There can be no forgetting or you will suffer later when the sun goes down! But Mr. Home-Sweet (Mr. HS for short) has informed me that we have used quite a bit of our wood stores this season already. I did noticed myself on a trip to the barn...that our wood pile did seem quite bare! Compared to this time last year...we really have made a dent in our shed! Going to the basement has been a treat because up here in the main part of the house, well, it's chilly. We have a blower on our stove...electric of there's more meter spinning...but some days it just cannot keep up.

Now there is a propane shortage. I'm not fully aware of just where this is happening...possibly the midwest, but it makes me think about conserving our own supply in the chance that it rolls over to our side of the map. We use propane for cooking and hot water. Our dryer is hooked up only for the very, very few emergency needs...or when I want to shrink fabric for a project. Definitely not used as a habit. You know I like to do laundry...the whole nine yards...hanging and even ironing. I's strange...but I do. Anyhow...I have a dryer, yet live as if I do not own one, really. We have a couple of electric ovens which, I do not believe, are the best way to cook. It is costing me money to cook our food, and that bugs me...A LOT!!! (I have dreams of a solar oven and cooking over the fire with my cast iron cookware this summer...oh and while I'm at it...a rocket stove to cook on...yes...I sure can dream!).

So with the utility company's email and the articles on shortages and storms and cold and what others are doing to keep their costs low in house and outside too...I thought I'd share my own ideas on what I've been doing to keep warm inside and out.

 I have been seriously thinking about window quilts. Links to ideas here and here. Definitely the second!

Here is a video tutorial that can be used as is or for a guide:

   Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Yeah...I know this is a long post, but I have them archived here when we want to look at them without too much searching around. As long as they're kept on Youtube anyway.

I'm also thinking about draft dodgers and window draft dodgers. My back door needs one for sure! Martha Stewart has a tutorial for a window and door dodger here that seems just about as good as any, so I'm going to be printing out the instructions for those too. I'm determined to get the chill out...and probably just as I get it done, spring will hit. But I'll be ready for next year!!!

Praise the Lord for the vast information on the internet! I'll keep you posted on my progress. Making a trip to Joann Fabrics to see what they've got, if anything, that I can use with a coupon! 

I do thank God immensely for warmth and food and shelter and all the blessings He gives us each day! Every good thing is from Him! Anyone who watches what's going on in the world can see our great need of a Savior and His Guiding Hand. We must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves in this age. Pray for wisdom every day and God will give it to you liberally!

Praise Him for everything that comes through His hands to us...good and bad. Acceptance with joy! God works all things for good to them that love Him and are the called according to His purpose. Amen!!

How will you be more frugal in your Home-Sweet throughout the rest of this winter?