Wednesday, August 31

*what do you do?

I may be a bit biased but our Henry is one of the sweetest young men I know.

Recently my dear husband was reading a article on how many women in their 40's are wearing their teenagers clothing and how it is not going over so well with certain spectators.  Comments were exchanged and we closed that topic.   I think that growing up (older) can be hard to do.  I mean for me, in my mind, sometimes I am my the age of my son's girlfriend, who is 22 - which is NOT the case.

 (photo taken with my Droid Incredible)

Just a few days ago our sweet 16 year old son bought me a Hello Kitty t-shirt. I ask  you, what do you do when your son buys you a Hello Kitty t-shirt and you are 45? You wear it, that's what you do. I may get accused of trying to be 18 again, but trust me that is not a time I wish to revisit. I am content where I am and aging gracefully, thank you very much!

*pin the tail on the donkey

" To carry his load without resting, not to be bothered by heat or cold and always content: these are the things we can learn from a donkey. "  - Irish Proverb

Earlier this year I shared some funny pictures of the donkeys that live on the neighboring property.   You remember, they had their winter coats on. Beautiful they were!

It is nearing the end of a hot summer now and I should give you an update on their latest attire.  The donkeys are all dressed for the season and soon they will surely starting putting on their winter coats so they will be ready when the temps are low.   So this one's for you Kathy (a requested updated)!

(the sun was out in full, so the photos are a little blown out.. sorry about that)

The donkeys can be quite vociferous but we welcome this around our parts since we have animals that need to have predators ran off. We don't actually have donkeys on our property but Mr. Sellers, our neighbor has (many) donkeys that travel the north, south and west sides of our property all the time.  Many folks have asked us if we are worried about foxes and other such predators getting to our chickens and possibly goats.  Since our property has an outer fence around the parameter and then we have an inner fence within our property as well as the constant presence of the donkeys, our answer is always no.   Did you know that a protective donkey has the wherewith all to stomp a dog to death. Yikes. We have to make sure that Frayja  never gets into their jurisdiction! 

One bit of trivia: Do you know where we get the game, "Pin the Tail on the Donkey"? Some donkeys are simply born without a tail, it is not specific to a breed, but simply something that happens.  And there you have it.. the game is born!

Sharing on Farmgirl Friday Bloghop!

Tuesday, August 30

*the winner is...

 Thanks to each of you who read our post on "being brave &  honey giveaway" last week. I apologize for the delay in getting this out today, but we were just now able to get the stats together in order to actually do the drawing. So without further ado, the WINNER IS : From City Streets to Country Roads  Again, thanks to each of you who read our blog and those new followers as well. 

Sunday, August 28

*scenic Sunday

Around the barnyard on Sunday afternoon you might see these awesome creatures. Well, I think they are pretty awesome.  Meet Mr. Baggins, our other rooster. He is a Light Brahma and sports hairy legs.  Being an avid Hobbit fan, Eric dubbed him Mr. Baggins (aka Mr. Frodo), there ya have it!  Mr. Baggins was jealous that Husan got a bit of limelight here on the Kings Table, so I had to keep the peace and give him due attention as well.

If you have been following long enough, you will remember that both Husan and Mr. Frodo were supposed to be hens.   They are really a lovely addition to our flock! If you read Friday's post you know how I feel about our roosters. :)

Being a mother of two boys, with both being nearly grown and not having any younger ones around anymore.. I love this time. I just pretend this is my little girl and I sing praises while she sits with me.  She is so sweet.

Again, Goldie.  Her comb trips me out and I am often thinking of how cute she might look with a hair comb or velcro hair bow to hold her comb out of her eyes. I will keep you posted on that front.

So peaceful isn't she.  She is one of our three, Barred Rocks.  Some of our chickens have been given names and some not.  I find it hard to name three chickens that look almost identical - how do you keep them apart? Any tips from you fowl keepers?  I mean, I would love to give all of them names because I find that I give more attention to the ones we have named.  (OK. I realize they are just chickens)

Stay tuned for a post on the Donkeys coming soon!

Friday, August 26

*a life changing sound

Early this morning as I approached the barn to feed the animals, I heard this loud alerting crow of the rooster.  We have two you know, and this particular crow came from Husan.  Once I was finished feeding the rabbits and the Dairy Queens, I headed back to the house for the camera. I had decided that this would be a great morning to record some images of our varied flock.  It seems I ended up with my eye and heart on the roosters this morning.

Knowing the story of Peter and the rooster, it is  hard for me to not think of that lesson when I am in ear shot of the crowing roosters.  The rooster quickly reminds me of God's loving kindness - for it is what Christ spoke of the night in the Roman soldiers took him away.  He clearly spoke to Peter about his denial and the rooster crowing. It played out just as He has spoke it the night before.  Peter indeed did hear that life changing sound just after he denied his Lord on the the third time.  That sound, it was the rooster's crow that Jesus spoke of, that pricked Peter's heart and drew him to repentance.  So now, when I hear the rooster crow it reminds me of His loving kindness.

Do you remember a time (depending on your age, that is) when you would see weather vanes with roosters adorning as part of the design?  In the 9th century the pope decreed that all churches must display the symbol of a rooster to point to the biblical account in which Christ claims that “the cock shall not crow” until Peter had denounced him three times (Luke 22:34). This proclamation helped to spread the weather vanes throughout Europe during that time.  Many of the ecclesiastical roosters were later made into weather vanes, due to their prominence on high church steeples in towns, and thus the classic rooster weather vane was established.  I have always loved the look of the rooster weather vane, and I now have this in my "Wish List" on Amazon.

I share this today at Farmgirl Friday's Blog Hop.

Thursday, August 25

*you know you live in small town, USA


-you drive into the closest town on a Monday to stop off at the Bee Keeper's store, Pensacola Pool Supply, and perhaps a few thrifts stores. Nope. Not happening on a Monday- the town sleeps on Mondays.  In fact, if you were to drive down main street of this town you would see little to no activity at all - all day. 

- you put your flip flops on, hop in your car to take the short drive to the utilities offices to pay your water and electric bill only to find out that they closed at noon. During this time of year (not sure what that means) they close around noon each day.

- you carefully put all of your lovely packages in the car so you can make haste in getting them out to your loved ones, drive to the post office only to find out they close at 3PM each day.

Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining at all. I love life   s---l---o----w---e---d  down a bit.  I just wasn't prepared for these early business hours, but I have made note and will now be more prepared in planning.

My younger sister works at a bank where they have the forum with the public to promote Breast Cancer Awareness, American Cancer Society and other such things.  This year I agreed to making a few things for their local bank to use in a raffle they are participating in.

 These were fun and easy to make. It was my joy to be able to contribute on this small level.  I hope they are able to stir up a lot of interest and raffle many tickets to win these breast cancer awareness coasters!

 When Bridgette was here visiting a month or so ago, we made some of these.  She wanted to bring back a souvenir for her co-workers. A souvenir from Erilyn Farm - so we set out to make one for each.   This week I got a call from Bridgette asking me if I would like to make a Breast Cancer Awareness Chick.  I was game.  This is what I came up with - aren't they adorable?!  These will be added to a gift basket and raffled off as well.

 Yes.... I took them out to the chicken coop to take a few pics. 

They are ready to leave the nest.  So I packaged them up, along with the coasters. I loaded the package along with some others into my car. I drove to the post office only to find out that they had closed 15 minutes prior to my getting there. (It was 3:15PM) Oh well, they are already late, so what is one more day?

Sharing today at : Tea Rose Home's Link Party

Tuesday, August 23

*lets have a glass of iced tea

 Lets have a tall glass of iced tea! 

While our family was busy this weekend getting some of our fall veggie seeds in the garden, later I did find a bit of time to do some creative sewing projects.  I did work on that one quilt a bit, I must get myself focused on that project so I can get it finished and in the mail to its unsuspecting recipient! I can hardly wait!  The gift giver is more blessed than the receiver, I do believe!

These are some of the projects that I finished this past weekend.  The possibilities for these are endless and can be made to match any decor.

 All finished and ready to package up for a dear friend! I hope she loves the colors of the fabrics as well as the function of the coaster.

I had some really pretty fabrics left over from another set of the coasters, so I used these and made three fabric coasters for our front family room. Eric, Henry and I usually watch a movie in the front room on the weekends, and the coasters will come in handy when we are having drink and popcorn!

This was shared at Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

Sunday, August 21

*arrested by wonder

It was a cold January day of this year that the book arrived in our new  Florida home rural mail box. A book that has a lovely cover, one that almost drew me to the book all on its own. In addition, blogs I have read mentioned this book, this idea, this new (lost) way of living. Practicing life daily in a way that will rearrange the way you live and see things.

I often looked at the book's pretty cover but simply couldn't find the quietness in my soul to start the read.  During this past spring my older sister was visiting with her daughter (Kierstyn) and we were laying out by the pool.  Lori was reading a book on her beloved Nook.  I started to tell her of this beautiful little book and how wonderful it must be, how I had ordered it and that I was going to read a few chapters out loud at that very moment. I ran in to get the book. I proceeded to get comfy in a lawn chair and slowly start the read. I did not get too far before I felt like I best not read out loud anymore because my niece was listening too and the line I was about to read told of a tragic accident which was what I thought too much for Kierstyn.  It probably would have been fine to have read out loud, but I stopped at that point and decided to just encourage Lori to buy the book on her Nook to read for herself.  I find it funny that I was encouraging her so strongly to purchase and read this book without even having read it myself.   Since that warm spring day out by the pool, I had picked the book up only on two short occasions to continue the read but I simply couldn't get "into" the book at all.

It  has now been 6 months since this beautiful book arrived in our rural mail box.  Six months. I mean, yes I have been busy with things here, but I wish I had stopped to really get into what Ann was trying to convey in her book, One Thousand Gifts. You see, she is a very artistic writer and in the beginning I just wasn't following her style of writing. I wasn't getting it. I just wanted the facts Jack. Just the facts. Too much fluff in the writing for me (at that time).  When I picked the book up again this past month, I have been savoring it, each word.  A lovely book indeed, both by cover and contents. The book has done a beautiful job of helping me desire more of Him. To desire that my eyes are open wide to things that are hidden in plain sight!  Lord help me to be arrested by wonder!

I have now developed the habit of recording my grace moments, my gifts, my eucharisteo!  I carry a little notebook in my purse, there is one in the kitchen and one by my bedside as well as in my sewing room.  I started my first journal entry out with a number, 1 of course, but I am not numbering from there on out, because I should live life full of eucharisteo - fully until my days are no more. To number is pointless (to me). 

To live full of eucharisteo, is to live fully.

I know this is going to be a new way of living to me. I am by no means new to Godly living, to living with Godly princeaples but to seek out Him, to give thanks for such things as the squirrels frisking around in the tops of the trees, my son misbehaving in a particular situation (so we could later get to the heart of things), for the potential offer on our home that brought hope.  It helps me to focus on Him and not me. It helps me to remember that God ordains all my steps and He has attended to each detail and when I notice and give thanks that is when a miracle comes.

I am forever grateful to Ann Voskamp for sharing this part of her story thus far with me (anyone who reads her book or blog).   So, on my list a few days ago, you would see this if you looked at it : Ann Voskamp's willingness to be used by You.

I do not believe that we have a particular pattern or set list of things we need to do in order to live a successful Christian life. However, for me, this book has come at His timing in my life, to reposition me. To turn me around and point me in the direction that I need to proceed in.  I don't know about you, but I sometimes get off track a bit and am grateful for the turn about. It is my hope that I will learn to be full of joy in all things. That I, like Paul, will learn - learn- to be content in all things, whether it is much or little; pain or happiness overflowing, in the good and bad things that come our way, I want to embrace each of them with eucharisteo - that is my desire.  I want to see the things that so often pass my eyes by.

Lord, arrest my eyes by the wonder of Your hands in this life story that You are writing in and through my life!

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and her willingness to be used by God in the way of writing her story, her struggle and experience has been the inspiration of this post. I recommend this book to you. You can find more information out about Ann and her book, her blog by going here.

(the different fungus that you see in the pic's above are a few of the ones I began to take note of all around our property during a wet spot in our weather a few weeks ago. I was arrested with wonder.)

Friday, August 19

*being brave for maintenance & HONEY giveaway!

We finally got the bee hive all taken care of for the approaching fall and coming winter months.  I knew it was not going to be fun due to the fact that I had some time ago, removed one of the frames from that center supra that I had to work in.

 Unsuspecting. Quiet on the home front. Happy. Content.  - This was the status before I got started changing the furniture around as it was inside their cozy hive.

 Once I took the supra off (which you see over to the right) the free standing comb they meticulously made stayed in place on top of queen excluder (the silver frame thing you see there).  Down below lie the queen, safe and sound.  I did not disturb the "hive" part of their home at all on this visit. I figured I was doing enough damage as it was.

One of the purposes of working the hive today was to remove the queen excluder so the bees can work their way through the hive for food in the winter. You see, the bees all sort of gather together and move in a mass to stay warm during the winter months. If the excluder stays in place this will inhibit the mass from moving easily to feed as needed during those lean times.  

I have carefully placed the supra back on top of the deep which is the area I allowed the queen to lay eggs this past season.   I did rob one more of the frames in the supra, so we got about 5 more pounds of honey. I replaced the full frame with an empty one, of which I feel sure they will have filled in no time.   Inside the supra you can see where the free formed honey comb fell when I lifted it up. What you see in the supra now is the last part, which I was NOT removing on this particular day. I figured I had changed the status of the hive enough already. 

 You can imagine that I did have some crazy buzz bys from several of the honey bees during the course of all that I had to accomplish on this visit to the Beehive. I escaped this particular visit with NO stings (again)! Woot!

Busy. Not missing a beat. Of course, if I had not disturbed them, they may have been working to a different beat.. not the clean up mode. 

 I did end up using my hive tool to remove this from the excluder so I could bring it in doors.  Upon doing this the comb broke more and honey, delicious amber colored hone, oozed from here and there.   These creations are amazing, they waste nothing.  They are busy cleaning up every little speck of the disturbed honey. I put an empty frame into the supra, perhaps they will store this in that frame.

Angry. Disgruntled. Confused. Sideswiped. Disturbed. - Status of the hive when I was done. 
I left the excluder out for them. The housekeeping staff would be out soon to take care of the mess.  We are again, thanking God for the harvest that He provided us with this year through the mouth of a honey bee.  Did you know they regurgitate on two different occasions during the honey making process? Anyway.

In keeping with THANKS, with gratitude, I will be giving away a jar full of raw honey with comb to one of you next Monday (August 29th).  Thanks to each of you who read our blog!

In order to qualify for the random drawing please leave a comment on this post anytime between now and next Monday, August 29th  and I'll announce the winner ( random drawing ) that following Tuesday morning.   If you would like two opportunities in the drawing FOLLOW my blog and post this on your blog to spread the word!  If you follow through Google Reader or receive this through a feed burner, please sign onto the blog and leave your comment in order to get an opportunity to win the pint of unprocessed raw honey!

This was shared at:
Farm Girl Friday Blog Hop
Farm Photo Friday
Show and Tell Friday