Just a few pics

Just a few pics of pictures that I have painted or of me and my son and his girlfriend.

Will work on another blog as soon as I have more time. Always busy these days.  Very thankful for what the Lord has provided and now that all things are in His hand.

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Pic update

Some pictures of myself and my son and his girlfriend. Also our dog Esther and rusty our cat.  The painting of the dog was a commission I finished in December. The other landscape is of twin peaks in colorado.

We will be Lord willing having a workday at our place in two weeks. I will do a blog on all the projects. Hopefully we will have nice weather. You never can tell here. 70 one day and below freezing the next.

Learning to be thankful no matter the circumstances.  All comes from God and is part of His plan.

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Let Us Draw Near

I did this post in 2009 and it means more to me today then it did then. I had just moved to Texas  when i wrote this and have learned so much in the 8 years that I have lived here. The community is more precious then I can possible say to you. I pray I never take for granted the gift that it is.

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Heb 10:22

While living in the atmosphere of community I have found this verse very important. While living in community your life really is an open book. You become transparent and your deeds become visible to those around you. With all this it has been a time of looking inward and outward to truly get to know myself. We are to constantly look at our motives, desires and life in a reflective manner. I have learned that as a body in Christ we are linked in a Union that is most precious and needs constant care and respect. We are one. Which means a marriage of sorts. We are not to walk alone. It is learning how to walk amongst our fellow brethren and denying the flesh and becoming Christ like. This is not an easy task! We all come from living behind closed doors, doing a single family unit lifestyle. Which most times does not allow for growth or allow for change.

The commentary below is from Matthew Henry and has a very good translation of Heb 10:22.

Heb 10:22 (7) Let us draw near with a (i) true heart in full assurance of faith, having our (k) hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with (l) pure water.

We have the means prescribed for preventing our apostasy, and promoting our fidelity and perseverance, Heb_10:24, Heb_10:25, etc. He mentions several; as,

1. That we should consider one another, to provoke to love and to good works. Christians ought to have a tender consideration and concern for one another; they should affectionately consider what their several wants, weaknesses, and temptations are; and they should do this, not to reproach one another, to provoke one another not to anger, but to love and good works, calling upon themselves and one another to love God and Christ more, to love duty and holiness more, to love their brethren in Christ more, and to do all the good offices of Christian affection both to the bodies and the souls of each other. A good example given to others is the best and most effectual provocation to love and good works.

  1. Not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, Heb_10:25. It is the will of Christ that his disciples should assemble together, sometimes more privately for conference and prayer, and in public for hearing and joining in all the ordinances of gospel worship. There were in the apostles’ times, and should be in every age, Christian assemblies for the worship of God, and for mutual edification. And it seems even in those times there were some who forsook these assemblies, and so began to apostatize from religion itself. The communion of saints is a great help and privilege, and a good means of steadiness and perseverance; hereby their hearts and hands are mutually strengthened.

  2. To exhort one another, to exhort ourselves and each other, to warn ourselves and one another of the sin and danger of backsliding, to put ourselves and our fellow-christians in mind of our duty, of our failures and corruptions, to watch over one another, and be jealous of ourselves and one another with a godly jealousy. This, managed with a true gospel spirit, would be the best and most cordial friendship.

  3. That we should observe the approaching of times of trial, and be thereby quickened to greater diligence: So much the more, as you see the day approaching. Christians ought to observe the signs of the times, such as God has foretold. There was a day approaching, a terrible day to the Jewish nation, when their city should be destroyed, and the body of the people rejected of God for rejecting Christ. This would be a day of dispersion and temptation to the chosen remnant. Now the apostle puts them upon observing what signs there were of the approach of such a terrible day, and upon being the more constant in meeting together and exhorting one another, that they might be the better prepared for such a day. There is a trying day coming on us all, the day of our death, and we should observe all the signs of its approaching, and improve them to greater watchfulness and

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Just A Peak.

20170510_141706Life is busy, very busy these days. It seems that life is getting more busy by the year. I keep telling myself that I need to slow down and stay home more. There is so much to do here on the land. Yet it takes money to get the things done that need getting done. We are close as far a structures go and catch water systems. But the gardens are my main focus these days. I haven’t had a garden in 2 years as one year not enough water and the next I was working so much didn’t have time. But slowly working on  implementing the soil. We have dairy goats and they are a wasteful goat as far as hay is concerned. Its gold for the gardens. And we have lots of Gold. We have been sharing with the neighbors and their gardens are amazing!

I have been saving for lumber to finish off our deck\summer kitchen\ extra space place. I’m so excited! It will be a game changer for us.  With all the goings on and things needing to be done we are resting in the providence of God. We have learned to be patient and wait on God. If the Lord allows we move on. I am thankful for His caring hand as he guides us and directs our path.

There are many changes happening in our community. Very thankful that God is moving and continues to teach us truth and helping us to love one another in all things.

Even through all the busyness life is blessed and learning to rest amidst it all is a gift.

This girl is blessed and very thankful to the Lord !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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With Christ In The Storm

Galatians 5:22King James Version (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Ephesians 4:2King James Version (KJV)
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Colossians 3:12King James Version (KJV)
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering

1 Timothy 1:16King James Version (KJV)
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

 

These are beautiful words written to Gods children. They are words to live by, to remember and to words of action.

As beautiful as these words are it is sometimes difficult to perform.  Our flesh fights against us and at times wins. Sadly.

For myself I have struggled and still do with longsuffering and at times failed miserably. My hearts desire or I should say a desire that the Lord has put in me is to do all things that will bring Him glory and not bring shame to His name.  The verses above have showed me what I am to be and do. The last verse tells me that the Lord has great longsuffering with me and is an example for me that I should have longsuffering with others.

Even though it is painful at times and hard to bear it is what I am called to as His child. I am not saying we put ourselves or keep ourselves in that situation if we can help it. Sometimes it can’t be helped. I am learning really how to handle things rightly and show kindness amidst it all. I am not sure how things will turn out but I know God is in control and will only allow what He wills.  Having mercy for someone  and not  having a revengeful spirit or showing unkindness to someone who has wronged you and continues to do so is what the Lord has shown me by His example. Should I not be that example? I know, I know its hard believe me but doing the will of God pleases Him and that is what is important. My love for the Father is first and foremost in my life or should be. Again, sometimes I fail. Trials come in all shapes and sizes and will continue in this life . It is for our benefit and growth. I try to count it all joy and am learning to lean not on my own understanding but on the word of God and its truth. Not on feelings or emotions for they will lead you down a path of disappointment and heartache. God is merciful, I need to be as well. Also to be humble and say your sorry even if the other person feels like they have been wronged, even if they haven’t. I am trusting the Lord in all things.

When someone in your life causes you heartache and trouble remember the verses above and go to the Lord in prayer.  Speak the truth in love.

He is my strength and my shield and I can hide in the shadow of His wings.

Ephesians  5 James Version (KJV)
1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord

.Ephesians 4:15
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

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Random pics and thoughts

20170627_190317Flake and Rusty. Rusty looking to the heavens. No not really.  Looking for birds. 20170627_190631Rusty when he was little. Might be a painting.

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My handsome son and his beautiful girlfriend!

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Two precious girls in my community that were visiting.

These pictures represent just a piece of my life. A precious piece. I have pieces that if each one were beautiful stones they would fill a bag. A bag full of memories and its grows each day. The Lord gives us these precious stones that remind us that we are blessed and His love for us is real and more precious then all the stones that I could gather in my lifetime. May He reveal this to you and guide you to Himself as He is the great cornerstone.

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On My Own (Butchering Chickens) !

First off I am going to say that I am no expert, as you will find out!  I had 6 extra roosters that needed to go.  My husband picked up a fifty pound bag of grower feed and I decided that when that bag was finished it was time for them to be taken care of.

I can honestly say the bag went way to fast! But the day came  and it was time. My husband had to work that day and offered to help me with the butchering. I declined. It was time I put on my big girl pants as some would say and do it on my own.

First thing early in the morning I went to the coop and took out the roosters and put them in a big dog cage I have. Much easier to get them out of there versus the coop.

The night before I had looked up various ways of butchering. Most are the same except one, which I thought interesting. The young women had a very kind and humane way of butchering and I liked it. So I thought I would give it a try.  She placed the chicken in her lap and wrapped her apron tightly around the chicken and held it in with her knees. She then stroked the chicken’s head and could feel the chicken calm right down. When she felt the chicken calm down she slit the throat by the jugular. The chicken still calm bled out. She then just twisted the neck and it broke. That was all I saw.

I decided I would go this route.  So got everything ready.

  1. cleaned my table
  2. made sure knife sharp
  3. paper towels, 2 buckets one for cleaning and one with ice and apple cider vinegar (with the mother) for killing any bacteria.

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  1. bucket for waste

I then put on my apron and reached in the cage and pulled out my first rooster.  I kept saying I can do this! I knew I would but my heart racing just the same. I don’t mind cleaning or doing anything when somethings dead. But killing , that’s a different story.

I was raised with chickens and other animals so none of this was new to me. Except that It was me doing the hard part.  Any way, rooster in hand I sat down and put the chicken between my legs and wrapped him in my apron, just like the lady did, and held him tightly until he calmed down. I took a deep breath and cut his throat. I sat there for a few minutes while he bled out and snapped his neck. Okay I thought  this is going okay.  I then cut his head off.  This is where the fun begins…………

This is the part I didn’t watch! If you’ve ever butchered or saw one done with an axe you know what happens next. I should have known but thought maybe this would be different or the struggle wouldn’t be so great. WRONG! Well he with out his head jumped from my apron and right into the bucket with all the blood!  I held him in there so he wouldn’t take off.

Heart pounding I thought okay this isn’t going to work.  Roosters are stronger even when dead! and their feet more dangerous. Sigh… So  I decided to go the axe route.

I won’t go into detail with that as it is not different from others, except I put a bungee  cord around the log to hold the chicken tight.  With 3 done only three more to go.  I reached in for my fourth and I think they knew what was coming as one flew out right out from under my arm. That left two. I can honestly say that was okay.

The hardest one to dispatch was a big ole rooster that I was fond of . He had to go though as he was to big for my female chickens. The deeds were done. They all laid on the table and now on to the next process.

5 chickens

 

Sorry for all the graphic details but this is real life folks on a farm.

Now on to the next steps

  1. remove feet and wings
  2. remove feathers with the skin

I remove the outer skin as I can the meat so don’t want the skin on. When the skin is almost off but the bottom part I cut into the cavity gently to open it up. I want everything to remain intact. I cut around the vent and pull out all the innards in one fell swoop and it all goes together in the bucket.  When this is done I move on to cleaning the chicken good, in the just water bucket, before it goes into the ice water with acv.

Now that all five are done and in the avc ice water I clean up the area. We have fire ants here and its not long before they are swarming around. I clean the axe, dog crate , bucket and rake the ground around where feathers and other things have fallen. I also go and bury the chicken wings feathers and innards.

With a sigh I move on inside to prepare for canning.  My jars are ready , canner ready, I start cutting up the chickens. Meat from legs go in one jar and breasts go in another. Not a lot of meat on these birds so only end up with 7 pints. This is okay with me as it is a provision from God. I put one tsp of Himalayan sea salt in each pint.

I should mention the feet. I sent down the feet to my neighbor as she make a great healthy broth out of them.

 

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Once the chicken is in the jars they go into the canner and I start the process of pressure canning. I wait until the steam is coming out of the vent pipe and time ten minutes. When that is done I put on the pressure regulator to 15 pounds. I usually do about 13 pounds per pressure.  It takes seventy-five minutes to can pints. I only have one canner load so I now move on to my largest stock pot and it is full of bones that still have a fair amount of chicken on them. My favorite part of canning chicken is the broth. Winter is coming and soup is always a welcome dish.

This is really the longest and yet easiest step. I let the broth cook for at least 12 to 16 hrs.   I want to get all the goodness out of the bones and make sure the meat falls off easy. After this is done its just removing the bones from the pot and putting the broth and chicken in quart jars. I end up with eight jars. Yum! It is the same process as the pints except the duration is different after the timed ten minutes of the vent pipe. The book says at 10 pounds per pressure you cook for 25 minutes for quarts and 20 for pints. But I did 75 because I had meat in it as well, not much but I won’t take chances.

 

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A bit of drama at the beginning but it ended well and I think I am a stronger person for just digging in and getting it done. You might say don’t be a wimp.  I was.  I hope you at least get a chuckle out of my shenanigans and learn something as well. Many times I asked the Lord to help me and He did. Very thankful. Lord willing next time wont be so heart pounding. 🙂

Blessings to You and Yours.

 

 

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