Monday, February 27, 2012

Givin it Up

Dinner by candle light. A nightly occurance these days.
BBQ Chicken Pizza on the grill. Steve said it was to die for.
Healthier salad, no lettuce, and Persian dressing made with Veganaise.
Home made whole wheat bread.
Dorian and Skyler (the neighbor kid) pitching a tent in the back yard. That doesn't look the least bit comfy!
Lent. I look forward to it every year. For me it has become a monumental reminder to stop my everyday life and give thanks that Jesus died on the cross for me. By giving up something that is dear to me, I am able to stop and say, "Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins."
We usually give up one thing as a family. We have given up various items in the past. TV, meat, sugar, white carbs, the usual. This year has been quite different. This is the first year we gave our two boys ages 10 and 11 the choice on what they would give up. I had my list, and it was pretty long. I needed the structure that I feel Lent brings. I needed to feel that closeness to Christ that comes from keeping Him on your mind. I was feeling a bit out of control as things piled up on my already full plate. My list included: White carbs, sodas, red meat, and chocolate. Steve is usually quick to jump on whatever I suggest, knowing it's easier to do it together. However, we were not ready for what the boys had up their sleeves. We sat down for a family conference, starting with vacation plans and testing schedules. We talked about Lent and what choices we had made and when we asked what they were interested in giving up they said, "Electricity!" I kid you not!!! I thought, if they can take this big step, then I have to go along. How would it be for me to be guiding them to make these choices and shoot them down? I did explain that we couldn't give up everything electric since we weren't equiped for it. We decided to give up the lights, the dryer, and tv and DVDs. The boys also gave up computer totally. Steve and I use it for work and have to have it to some extent.
So here we are on day 6 and how is it working out for us? At first it was hard. Very hard. We put post its on the light switches that said, "NO!!!" and found ourselves still reaching for them. Since we decided on Ash Wednesday what we would give up, we found ourselves playing a board game to some votive candles that night. I can tell you old age has set in and it was very hard to read the cards. Thursday found me in line at WalMart with a couple of hurricane lamps and oil. Wow, I am finally blown away by the invention of light bulbs! So much we take for granted. Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for me.
We have to have good weather to do laundry now. When we get a sunny day, it's wash time. And you have to do it early enough to get it hung so it dries. Our goat lot is below our deck so sometimes I wonder when I'll find Hera sporting one of my bras. Today we spent three hours working out in the yard: mucking the goat lot, cleaning up the fallen branches, and getting the raised beds ready for plantings. Our Agriculture Extention Agent came for a visit to help us plan out our changing yard, and then it was time for me to take Isaac to Art class. When I got home we threw chicken on the grill and made those delish BBQ Chicken Pizzas. After dinner it was just dusk. Was I forgetting something? Surely not, I mean after all it had been a packed day. I went outside just one more time to tell the goat girls goodnight and check on the new pullets. The ducks were taking a quick bath as the last lights of the day faded. OH NO!!! The laundry! I had washed it, but not hung it. I considered not doing it, but remembered it would sour and have to be washed again tomorrow. So I gathered it up and hung it as the sun went down. And do you know what? It was the most peaceful and beautiful thing I had done all day. There was a sweet smell of grass in the air. The low bellows of the goats made me feel all cozy inside. I thanked God that I had this hang my clothes. Sure it will be tomorrow before they are dry, but they will smell unbelievable. And think of the money we will save on the electric bill. Thank you Jesus for dying for me.
Yesterday was Sunday. Officially, you can take the day off from your Lent obligations. Steve wanted peanut butter, the boys wanted to watch a movie. And I couldn't tell what I wanted. I didn't eat red meat, or chocolate, or even white carbs. I even turned down a chocolate covered kreme filled Krispy Kreme doughnut at church. I had a salad for supper and watched part of the movie with the boys before turning in early. Thank you Jesus for dying for me.
Today was the first day I've felt good in a long time. I know from cutting out white carbs in the past how bad you feel going through the DTs of it all. Headache, muscle pain, unfocused, it's all bad, but when you get it out of your system - Wow! I told a friend we don't even eat that much of the stuff. I am tired from a long day of hard work. The satisfied fatigue of productivity;) Bed will feel nice tonight. Thank you Jesus for dying for me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Of Sealing Wax, Cabbages, and Kings

O'Malley and 'is Mum!
Lewis Carroll may have been on to something. He could throw things together that made no sense at all and come out with a story. Life feels like that right now. There are all these things we are doing or waiting to do and the list looks like a Chinese food recipe for disaster. Nothing seems to go together. Every ingredient looks unfathomable and overwhelming. It's nothing we've not dealt with before, but man does it make ya crazy.

Next week our agricultural extention agent will be paying us a visit. He's coming for moral support and to help tweek our farm. He's big agriculture, and we are... well you know, trying to do everything on less than a half acre;) He's talking planting the whole yard in soybeans (yes, Monsanto) and I'm talking getting rid of the bermuda grass organically so we can actually grow something worth eating all year. The goats need a new barn and larger pen. Permaculture, duck house, cob oven, new deck, bees, and on and on and on. For those of you who are into farming, you know there is always something to work on, even in the winter.

In five short weeks we will be blessed with the presence of new baby goat kids. I just love birthing goat babies and holding their sweet newborn selves in my arms. I want there to be a groovy new goat enclosure by then, but time has a way of marching on. We have 12 new pullet girls arriving on Feb. 25th, the Jersey girls will have something to say about that. Our old chickens are the gossips of the farm and I'm sure they won't be looking forward to competition;)

I also have a new hobby. Everyone in my family had a rabbit, except me, so I did something about that. I bought an English Lop baby doe for raising and breeding. She was with us for two months and we realized she was a biter. The breeder I bought her from offered me to trade her out for a buck that she was selling who was a grand champion. His name is O'Malley and he is charming. A big boy with a big personality to go with it. I will get a doe this next go round and hope she will be just as charming.

Spring is just around the corner and right now the yard looks like a dead swamp. Too much rain, too much winter. I long for the morning when the temperature of the soil is just right and we can till and plant our first seedlings: Collards, broccoili, onions, swiss chard, garlic, cabbages, lettuce. It's going to be a great year. Bring on the beautiful days of summer, I'm ready.