Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Nodding Yellow Heads

It is amazing how you can be married to someone for such a long time and still learn new things about them. Michael and I will celebrate our 28th anniversary on April 7th. Right before we moved into this house 5 years ago, I learned that he really liked daffodils. We moved to this property in February. We had no idea what was planted. Since, I had just learned that he liked daffodils, I was thrilled to see them coming up. They were everywhere. =) We have separated them and planted those but most of our daffodils were already here when we moved. You will probably get sick of seeing daffodils and spring flowers on this blog. I never tire of looking at them or taking pictures of them. It is a blessing that I have a digital camera. Film and developing sure could get expensive. Spring just gives me new energy and excitement for life and a desire to be outdoors. I love winter and snow, but I usually enjoy it most from the inside looking out. Spring draws me out the door and begs me to walk around the property and check on all the plants. Here is a group of daffodils out front by my whiskey barrel planter. I hope the plants in the planter come up this year after the hard freeze we had in February. The second picture is a daffodil bouquet that I picked and brought in the house. In the top center is one of the double daffodils that I found yesterday afternoon.

This is one of the farm cats. We have no idea if it is a boy or a girl. We can't get close enough to it to find out. The neighbor boy who helps me out, says he can pick it up and hold it. We may have him help us in this area. We have 2 Momma cats. We want to get rid of them, but they refuse to be caught. This cat usually won't sit still long around us, so I have not gotten any pictures of it since it was really tiny.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What Wonderful Weather!!!

Yesterday and today have been absolutely gorgeous. The sun has been out for most of the day and it has been in the high 70's. With all the rain we got and these nice warm days, it is really greening up around here. Here is a picture of our two Jersey milk cows and the beef calves. They are enjoying some spring grass, but you can see that they have really eaten down inside their fence. It is about time to move them all out to the big barn.

Have you ever ridden along out in the country on a warm summer day and seen all those orange lilies that grow in the ditches on the side of the road? These little plants coming up are those lilies. I have them several places in my yard. It looks like I need to thin them out some.

Here is a picture looking down our driveway (or lane as they are called around here). It is hard to see, but there are daffodils on both sides of the lane. They spread every year, which is fine by me!!

Here are some daffodils on "the point". It is a place up at the top of the lane as it turns toward the house. It sort of sticks out like a "V". We have daffodils everywhere. We only planted part of them. There are some double ones, but they have not bloomed yet. We also have some big white ones that have not bloomed yet.

This is our honeysuckle tree. I always thought they were a vine, but they are more of a shrub. The green leaves are really pushing out on it. I love the smell of honeysuckle.

Spring is such a great time. We had beautiful flowers year round when we lived in Florida, but nothing beats watching the ground and flowers and trees come to life again. Praise the Lord for His beautiful creation. He could have made it all black and white and we would have never known. Just think maybe compared to heaven, this IS just black and white!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

What Glasses Do You Look Through

I was playing with my camera. I took the same picture from the same spot 3 times. The first one is without a flash and in sepia tones. The second one is without a flash in regular tones. The third one is with the flash.

In looking at the above pictures... all so much alike, yet so different, I realized that it is a lot like life. I have heard it said that several people can see an accident happen and give their story of what happened, yet their stories all vary a bit. Are all but one of them wrong? No, they told what they perceived happened. Maybe on their side of the intersection they saw the object in the street that made the person swerve, where people on the other side did not, etc.

I look at the first picture and see old fashioned. Usually when someone takes a picture in sepia tones they are wanting the picture to appear old or from eras gone by. There was very little light, so most of the details are hidden. How many of us rest on what we have done in the past. We made a commitment to the Lord and were born again. We were excited for awhile, but we have not really fed ourselves regularly on the Word. We sit on the premises instead of standing on the promises. We look back and see only the highlights and forget where we came from. We are not looking on where we are now, or what we are to be about. I think of the parable of the talents. If the Lord called you home today, what have you or I done with what the Lord gave us?

The second picture is taken to set a mood. It blocks out the extra light and uses only the low light that was there. I think that many of us as Christians are represented here. We are reading our Bibles, going to church and even praying. Yet, there is not a lot of growth there. We are in a spiritual rut and do the same thing everyday. There are things that have slipped in our life that need to be gotten rid of and there are other things we need to be adding. We need to be more about the Master's business. We tend to see the faults in those around us, but don't look closely at ourselves. We use a low light to look at our own lives. We may even see some of the stuff, ask forgiveness and then walk on and keep doing it over and over.... fall, ask forgiveness, and walk on... A vicious cycle.

The third picture is in full light. Both the light in the room and a powerful flash. With the light, you can see all the dust, dirt, cobwebs, rust on the stove, gourds on top of the stove that should have been dealt with months ago, etc. When we open our lives to The Light, all the ugliness in our lives and around us is in full and plain view. We can see where we need to let our Lord work in and through us. We see things that need to disappear and go away. We see things we are not doing and should be about.

I know I have mentioned this here before, but I LOVE this illustration. The first picture is a picture of the Christian life. There is a defined outer circle and Christ is at the center.

This second picture is a picture of a Christian life in modern day America. The outer line is no longer clearly defined. It is a big smudge, a gray area of diluted convictions and situational ethics. Many people are trying to see how far in the gray area they can live and still be a Christian, when our goal should be to see what else we can get rid of, change or add that will get us closer to the center.

Psalm 139:23,24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

2Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

2Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Ephesians 1:3,4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Winners Are...

I put all the names in a pile for each book. My wonderful and darling husband picked one out of my hand without looking. Here are the names of the winners.

The Exemplary Husband - J The Milker

Naturally Healthy Pregnancy - Lynn

The Prayer of Jabez - Brad

Congratulations to each of you. Please send me your address via email to amazinggraze at earthlink dot net. Be watching, I have more things to give away!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Give Away!!

For the new posts you will need to scroll down. This post will remain at the top until after the give away.

I have 3 different give aways. The first one is a book by Shonda Parker called, "The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy" The subtitle is The Essential Guide To Nutritional And Botanical Medicine For The Childbearing Years. If you don't personally need it, then maybe you know someone who would benefit from it. It is an excellent resource to have. This book was left over from the inventory of my store that closed.

The second give away is a book for men. It would be a great book to get for your husband to read. It is called "The Exemplary Husband and is by Stuart Scott with a foreward by John MacArthur. This is also left over inventory.

The third book was a free gift with an order we placed. We already own a copy of it. It is called "The Prayer Of Jabez" It is by Bruce Wilkinson.

If you would like to be in the drawing then leave your name in the comments section. Tell me which give away you want your name in. You may enter one or all three. It is up to you. We will announce the winners next Sunday sometime.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Farm.... =)

April showers are here a bit early this year. We have had lots of rain. We would like to till our garden and plant some potatoes and peas. It is just too soggy to do that. The picture below is part of our garden area. You can see the standing water.

Our pond is full and overflowing. It is designed to overflow on the one end and go on down the hill. We were going to put a pipe in the other end of the pond but with the lay of the land, this was the easiest thing to do. You can see the overflow on the right of the picture. There have been some Mallard ducks down there recently. I don't know if they were just passing through or if they plan on taking up residence.

This picture is part of our front yard. Unfortunately, it is the part closest to the house. The grading was not done properly anywhere on this property. All the water drains toward the house and stands against the walls. It would be hard to correct though with all the septic, water and electric lines that run around. We would eventually like to put a porch along the front and that would help some.

With all the daffodils and spring flowers coming out in January and then getting frozen hard, I did not think we would have much of a display. From the looks of things, they have come up fast and furious and it is looking like a banner year for daffodils. This is along the front of the house.

If you look close, you can see the standing water out in the pasture area. Things are really greening up with the rain and the warmer temperatures we have had.

We are not complaining about the rain at all. God has a perfect plan and perfect timing for that plan. So many areas of our country experienced bad droughts last year. So, we look at the rain as a blessing. It may slow our season up a bit, but maybe there are other things the Lord is going to have for us to do. What is the weather like in your area of the world? I would love to hear from more of you and where you are from. Quite a few people click in on this blog each day. Don't forget to sign up for the give away up above.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Walk Around the Farm

I went on a walk around the place this morning. It is a bit overcast, but I only had to wear a sweater. I did remember to put my muckers on this time.

Here is a picture of Honeysuckle and Magnolia. They are outside most of the day now. They are enjoying the warmer weather and the sunshine (when it is out) and the fresh air. They spend lots of time just lounging out in the pasture.

My poor sheep. Just last week, we herded them all in the shed and locked them in. The next day, they got sheared. Yesterday afternoon we had to herd them in again. They were very wary of us, but we were able to get the ram and the wether in there along with Sunshine. Ashley Wilkes (the ram) and Cookies-n-Cream (the wether) both went to the butcher yesterday. I have a waiting list for 3 more, but do not have any more to take. I am hoping the ram was able to do his duty. None of the ewes appear to be pregnant from just looking.

The spring flowers are coming up all over. The crocus are just exploding across the back of the house. Here are some pictures of them. They spread on their own. They used to only come up on one side of the back door. Now, they are all the way across. =)

This is a hyacinth that was planted last year. I am glad to see they are coming up. I love the smell of them. It almost looks like a pineapple plant at this point.

Here is the first daffodil of the season. It is on the south side of the house.

This is a chrysallis, cocoon or egg sack of some insect. Does anyone have a clue what it is from? It almost looks like it is covered in salt crystals.

These are pots that had holes in them or something was wrong with them. They are all filled with dirt so I can plant flowers in them for the summer. They look kind of lonely with nothing in them. =)

The dogs went on my morning walk with me. The cat even joined us for part of the walk. They love it when one of us comes out and go rambling about the place. They always try to guess where we are going and head there first.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

God's World's March Meeting

Yesterday was our God's World meeting for March. My niece is a horse trainer. She works for Jesse & Stacy Westfall at their ranch here in Ohio. Stacy won the Road To The Horse Competition last year. It was the first time a woman had been invited. Here is what the website says about the competition. "A unique event showcasing the true test of competitive horsemanship. Four of the world’s top horse whisperers meet four virtually un-touched young horses. A team of judges watch each clinician demonstrates his unique way of gentling a young horse and preparing it to be ridden. In just three hours together each horse and rider team will have to negotiate an obstacle course. A winner is chosen, but in truth, the real winners are you, me and our horses."

Stacy won the competition last year. Here is what they say about her. "Stacy Westfall, from Mt. Gilead, Ohio, was the first woman to compete in and the first woman to win Road to the Horse. She wowed the 2006 crowd with her bridle-less, freestyle demonstration before Road to the Horse competition began. Once she selected her untouched colt, Stacy decided "Popcorn" would be hers. She offered to buy him on day one of Road to the Horse competition. Now, Stacy and Popcorn are working together and plan to return together for the 2007 Road to the Horse Champion of Champions competition. The 2005-2006 show season proved magical for Stacy. She won all six nationally ranked freestyle reining events she entered--including the All American Quarter Horse Congress and the National Reining Horse Association Futurity. Stacy first entered the show pen without reins in 2003 when she won the NRHA Futurity dressed as the Ghost Rider from the famous Johnny Cash song."

I got off track there a bit. Anyway, Carli came and brought her family's pony, Webster with her to tell us about horses and also to relate horse behavior and training to our relationship with the Lord. They have several horses, but Webster loves children and likes the attention. She did an excellent job and makes a great public speaker. It was raining cats and dogs outside, so were under the shed roof of our barn. The rain on the roof was almost deafening. You will see the children watching in the pictures above. If you notice the third picture, the cows were also watching. I turned around to just look at the cows and Buttercup, Molasses and one calf were looking through or over the fence at the pony and the children. =) The children were allowed to ask questions, pet the horse and brush it. Carli's fiancee, Matt came as well as her two youngest siblings, Brett and Kati. It was good to see all of them.

Then one of the girls did a demonstration that needed to be done outside. They took an empty 2 liter bottle and put in about an inch of "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner. Then they wadded up small balls of aluminum foil. They had to do quite a few of these balls. It was not working at first, so they kept adding more foil. Some sort of chemical reaction takes place and the bottle explodes. It looked like nothing was going to happen, so we all went inside. We had barely all made it through the door and "BOOM" there was a loud explosion. I guess we didn't wait long enough. =)

The next demonstration was by another young lady. She showed the children how to make a beautiful greeting card. She brought a kit for each person to be able to take home and make their own card.

It is always a good time when we get together and we usually learn something new.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Weird Events On The Farm

Today, we had to go and get feed. We borrowed the neighbor's truck. We are still praying for one of our own. We stopped at a couple of really good thrift stores in that area. They had both moved into new facilities that were right across the street from each other. They were so nicely layed out and so clean and fresh. We found a few bargains, nothing big though. At the one store Michael bought 3 sleeves of tennis balls. That is Star's favorite game of choice. =) Michael keeps her well supplied.

We buy our feed in Holmes County (Where the world's largest population of Amish are). The entire center of that county from top to bottom is a huge swamp. With all the melted snow that we had and our rain earlier this week, it was more like a huge lake in areas. I remembered to take my camera along with me. We had already picked up the feed and were headed back toward home. The one road we go on is a steep hill on one side and the swamp on the other. The swamp was on my side of the road. The road is really winding and the speed limit is 55, when you can get up to that. Needless to say, it is not a good place to stop and take a picture. We had been seeing lots of Canadian Geese on the water. Then all of a sudden swimming along gracefully right next to the road was a HUGE white swan!!! There was no way I could get my camera up and take a picture before we went by and there was no way to stop, so I did not get a picture, but it sure made my day.

Also, we had a funny here this morning. Now you city slickers will probably be grossed out. Country people understand that a mouse in the house is not that unusual. The mice don't seem to like regular mouse traps in our house. We have put out poison, but then they end up dying in the wall and smelling up the entire house for 2 weeks. So, we have put out sticky traps. We have not had a problem all winter, as I think we got them all in late fall. Now that we have had some nice weather, they are a bit more active. This morning about 4 o'clock I heard some commotion. I lay in bed listening trying to figure out what I was hearing. I wondered if it was a mouse stuck on a trap trying to get away. I got up and went to look. One of our dogs was back by the hot water heater, so I figured that is where the commotion was coming from. There was a large paper bag on the floor that I keep other paper bags in. It was moved out, so I knew that Star had been searching. I got a flashlight and checked all the sticky traps and did not see anything. I thought there had been one by the hot water heater, but I did not see it, so figured I was wrong. I went back to bed. A little later, I heard Star making a licking sort of noise and wondered what was up, but I did not go check. When I got up this morning the house was cold. We turned the fire up and I got in the chair with a quilt over me to get warm. Michael had come over beside me to give me a kiss and then he turned around to put more wood on the fire. We heard a squeak. He stopped and we both listened. He wondered aloud if that had been a mouse. Then he moved again and we heard another squeak. We knew for sure it was a mouse, but we were not sure where it was. He looked down and got startled. Evidently, Star had found the mouse on the sticky trap (the one that had been by the hot water heater) and brought the whole thing into the living room by the fire where the dogs sleep. The trap was stuck on the bottom of his slipper and the mouse was right beside his foot. =) He pulled it off his slipper and went outside to take it off the trap and give to the cat. He could not get it off and the cat didn't come when he called, so he sat it on the picnic table to deal with after he got dressed. We forgot about it and when we came home we saw the cat. We looked and the mouse was still on the table and still alive. He took the cat over to the mouse and he killed it right off and then set about trying to get his prize off the trap. He carried the whole thing over into the driveway. He pounced on it and came up with the trap on his face. We were laughing so hard. The other cat finally got the mouse and the trap and carried it off. We have no idea who got to eat the treat.

Last night we had another weird incident. I was up late doing a co-op order. I was in the office on the computer about 12:30AM and heard one of our dogs bark and then immediately I heard our goat's bells ringing as if they were running. I went to the back door and could hear them running around, but could not see them. I woke up Michael and he went out to check it out. Something had spooked them and they jumped their fence and then jumped in with the sheep. That is really unusual for Honeysuckle, especially being pregnant. He checked everything out and could not see anything that might have scared them. He put them back in their pen and they were there this morning.

Friday, March 16, 2007

More Doormats

A friend (I use that term very loosely after what she said ) sent me pictures of 2 more doormats. She said that the first one was really me. Can you imagine? What kind of "friend" would say that. Then she tried to make up for it by saying the other one is more in keeping with my roots. Actually it looked like the first one was saying we WUZ cornflakes. Maybe she was not being so mean after all. Anyway, I thought I would share them with you. I am going to post a give away this weekend sometime, so be sure and check back!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Another Country Doormat

I found another country door mat. This one would not offend anyone. Normally, my chickens are not anywhere near my front door. Today, I had to send the dogs out twice to chase them back around to the back of the house. =) Then I found this doormat. Hmmm.... maybe I am supposed to get it!! =) Just wanted to share it with you.

Look What I Found!!!

The crocus you see above are from this year!!! I went out the day before and did not see anything, except some leaves that may have been crocus leaves. These little darlings ALWAYS sneak up on me. I went out last night to get something and I spied something purple. Two days ago it was in the low 70's. Yesterday it was in the high 60's. Today it is in the low 30's. Now, is that spring weather or what? =) I actually have several places in the yard that looks like it is dusted with snow. It is sleet. It doesn't matter though, because I have crocus blooming!!!! =)

Here is another picture of my naked sheep. They will be fine even with this cold snap. That is what I am told anyway. I have not actually heard a sheep say that to me. =) They are acting totally normal though and not staying all bunched up.

Can you guess what the above picture is? The first hint I will tell you.... It is NOT a shower cap. =)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What A Beautiful Day!!!

After a cold snap like we have had, yesterday was truly a gift. It got up to about 72 degrees. The sun was shining. We were outside with no coats on and it felt so good. I happened to glance out my window early and saw the big red sun starting to come up. I took several pictures of its progress. Pictures do not compare to the glory and splendor that God gives the real thing. I had my windows open a bit where I was working. I could hear the chattering of all the birds. It made me think of those days when you went back to school after spring break. Everyone is talking to everyone comparing notes on where you went and what you did. The birds were all comparing notes on where they had spent the winter and how far they had traveled. =)

I walked down to the mailbox yesterday and was reminded that mud season has begun. I should have had my muckers on, but I survived and made it back to the house. I noticed in several secluded and protected little spots that the daffodils did not seem to have been affected by the freeze we had after our warm January. The ones in front of the house have brown tips on the leaves and they don't look to healthy. The second picture you see above, has buds that look like they will be opening before long. It made me think about how God keeps us protected and sheltered even at times when it seems we should have been consumed. He shelters us in His love to grow and flourish and then bloom for His glory.

We can also shelter things in our heart that we need to get rid of. They linger on because we won't give them to the Lord to take care of for us. I noticed in a couple of places along the driveway all sheltered by a pile of mud and leaves from when the driveway was plowed, little pockets of snow. The bigger piles of snow all got plowed out of the way in the driveway. On the outside it looks like all is fine and the snow is all gone. There are those pockets of baggage though that we need to get rid of.

This little stream meanders through our woods. Once the real heat of summer comes, it dries up, but I enjoy it all spring and most of the summer. It meets up with another stream not to far off of the other side of our driveway. I love to stop and close my eyes and listen. I don't know why, but that sound of trickling water is so pleasant. Once it gets a bit warmer, the dogs like to splash through it as we walk to the mailbox. It is also a favorite place to play for the children who visit.

I took this picture of my sheep with their full wool coat. They are getting sheared this morning. They look so funny once their coat is gone. They act weird for a short time. I always wonder if they are embarrassed. =) Then they really whoop it up for a while. I think they are glad to have that heavy coat gone. They have been laying around a lot these last couple of days. It gets really hot for them. I will take pictures of them after they are sheared and post them.

Here are my goats. Honeysuckle (on the left) is for sure pregnant. She is due in mid April. You can see her side bulging out. Magnolia has always been a bit plump. We had problems getting her bred, so I don't know if she is pregnant or not. We will have to watch her closely. If she is pregnant, she will not be due until towards the end of May.

May the Lord bless your day today. Meditate and chew on His Word. Spend time asking Him for your daily needs. He wants to hear about all the big things and the small things in your life.

Here they are.... 5 NAKED sheep. =)