Friday, October 31, 2014

Kiddies and Them Thorns Do Hurt



Around noon time...
I fill a couple of buckets up with water and take them down to the goats


the kiddies are growing ever so fast


and soon we will come around to milking mama Snowflake
we have her and the kids by the cocoa orchard which is also above the big garden...
so we need to keep mama on a tether so we don't lose our crops


in spite of all the wild bush for them to eat...
goats will lunch voraciously on both cocoa leaves and anything in the gardens


as you can see, these twins enjoy being together


brother is the one on the right with the longer horns


sister enjoys using him for a pillow


*****

We have quite a few citrus trees on our homestead...
and all the ones we deliberately planted have no thorns...
as they were cultivated from grafted trees

but, there are a few that grew from seeds that were thrown down...
from fruit eaten and had grown on their own
these have thorns


there are two citrus trees with thorns that grow at the corners of the chicken coop...
and if I had it my way, they would be hacked down...
but, right now, the citrus trees are full of fruits

the two thorny trees are grapefruit and I'm itching to get my hands on the fruit...
just as soon as they are ripe enough


because they sit so close to the coop...
I must maneuver around them carefully

I didn't learn to do that well enough, until after a few scratches on my arms...
I finally one day bumped my head against the tip of one of those 2 inch thorns
that was several days ago and it still hurts

instead of taking the trees down while they fruit...
I took pruning clippers and snipped off the thorns on the trunks...
and wherever they were a danger...
and pruned off any thorny overhang at my head level

now, the trunks are smooth and bare of thorns...
and that has helped tremendously


the first thought that came to mind when that thorn met my head...
was to take a machete to the tree
the second thought was a crown of thorns of over two thousand years ago

one thorn was plenty hurtful...
a whole crown of thorns could only be torture
that crown of thorns from long ago was worn by the Savior who willingly...
wore it to set me free from sin, darkness and wrath
and as hateful men set that crown of thorns on the Lord Jesus...
I know that my Christ's loving thoughts were on me

But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

May your day or night find grace in the Lord.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Home on the Range - Little Patch of Heaven


Well, we may not be dancing the homestead jig with our animals...
but, we get close

it's been more work than play on Pilgrim's Farm...
which leaves little time for blogging...
or footloosing with the chickens

I'll be back to post next week, Lord willing
in the meantime...
do enjoy this little video I found on YouTube




May your day or night find heavenly grace in the Lord.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Winding Down, Avocados Are


Mango season is now pretty much out...
but, we still have a few left that we don't let get away

and one of my favorite drinks is a home brewed tea of...

7 teaspoons of earl grey tea leaves (or 5 to 6 teabags) in a large pitcher
2 tablespoons of grated ginger
1 mango (ripe or green will work) cut up or grated down to the seed
you can even leave the skin on if you wish
put it all in the pitcher and fill with very hot (not boiling) water
let steep for several hours and strain...
sweeten with raw honey (or whatever your favorite sweetener is), then refrigerate

sometimes, instead of the ginger, I'll use mint leaves
that one is good, too

and I have found, this tea is actually better if left overnight to meld the flavors together
I'm going to be sorry when no mango is left to pick till  next season

if you have no mangoes...
you can make this tea with peaches, apricots or even try an apple




and woe is me!
we are at the end of avocado season with our trees

now honestly, I do not know what variety are avocados are
I do know they are delicious

the one in this photo below is long, smooth skinned and has a sweet, creamy tasty texture
I loved this one!


it's quite large and heavy and the meat of it is a creamy yellow
boy! does it make a good chocolate/avocado mousse



then, we have a much smaller avocado that is, well...
good but, doesn't beat the taste of the pear shaped one above


it does fit quite nicely in the palm of my small hand
and when it turns the color of purplish red...
it's ready to eat

and did you know?
avocados do not ripen on the tree
they must come to full maturation, then picked...
and they will ripen usually in the next couple of days, or so
some will change color; others will "give" a bit when gently squeezed

and if you are not ready for an avocado from your own tree, yet...
the fruit can be left there until you are



well, one of my favorite salads is an avocado and tomato salad with fresh basil leaves
the fruits are diced into bite size pieces
spritz a little lemon or lime juice into the salad
and...
whip up a mixture of olive oil and apple cider vinegar with a little raw honey and sea salt...
mix into the salad
and the basil leaves can be cut with a scissors and mixed last
so good!
some shredded parmesan cheese would probably be good as a topping, too

I would rather have good food labored for by the sweat of my brow...
than all the riches of the wealthy who are burdened of all their "stuff"


The sleep of a labouring man is sweet,
whether he eat little or much:
but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
Ecclesiastes 5:12

May your day or night find good food in the sweet grace of the Lord.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Battle Scars



It rained almost all night off and on...
and we have a goat under the cottage


he is under the weather right now, one could say

we need to keep him out of the rains while he recuperates from the battlefield

he had this notion to go to war with our neighbor's ram...
and it turned out to be a bad idea

because our ram lost...
and not only did he lose the battle...
but, he lost a horn...
all the way down to his skull
yeah...ouch

(we did clean him up after this photo above was taken the next morning)

he should have stayed at his own post and behaved
our ram is less than a year old and...
the neighbor's ram is a bit older, bigger and probably wiser on the battlefield

ah well...such is the life of rams

he came very close to death and we thought we lost him...
but, the vet who did surgery to fix him up rushed back when we called him...
after we realized the ram was down with bloat after the suturing

the vet relieved the ram of the bloat with his needle...
and the ram was immediately up and although a bit dazed...
he looked so much better and alive

although he has lost a little bit of his handsomeness...
as he looked in this photo below pre-battle times...


he is now doing well at day 4 and will continue on his journey of growing into a future breeder

hopefully, we can keep him out of any more wars with other rams

I realize that some people believe goats with horns should have them removed as babes...
however, if God did not intend for them to have the horns...
He would not have created them with horns
they are there for a reason
so, no, we do not remove horns from our kid goats (or any goat)

just in case someone wants to say horns ought to be removed :)

this event makes me think of what God's people battle against...
truly we wear the battle scars from spiritual wars so long as we are on this earth

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12

May your day or night find peace in the grace of the Lord.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

And Then, There Were Five


For the last couple of weeks, just about everyday...
we would think "today the does will have their kids"
and every day...
the kids weren't quite ready for their earthly debut


well, here they are
two on one day

mama Snowflake done us proud


and she is turning out to be a good mama to her babies
these will be her first kids


once she had done a good thorough job of cleaning the kids...
and they were nice and dry and had taken their first drink of mama's colostrum...
I gave her some ripe banana treats


and I couldn't help myself...


I must touch


must they be so cute?
and soft, and sweet, and so wee little?


then, the night fell...
and the rains came...


and frogs came out


and honestly...
I couldn't tell if there is a handsome prince inside somewhere...
or if this is just a big, fat toad with a pot belly
perhaps, just handsome in his own way


well, in any case...
we ran down the hill to mama Snowflake and kids with a basket to put the babies in...


and brought them up to stay under the cottage for the night...


where they would stay dry and warm


when I put the towels down to give them a more comfortable spot...
these little kids naturally chose the soft towels over the rocky ground


and the next day, it rained still more all day, in fact...


and my husband took the good opportunity while babies slept to give mama a nail clipping...
and she kept her eyes on her babies just to make sure they were still there 


a ram and a doe is what Snowflake gave us



and then, there were five
the next day, mama Queenie had her triplets
we knew there were going to be more than one by the size of her...
while she has been a mother a few times now...
this will be her first triplet set


all does
it looks like we will have some future milkers


we've got good mamas and these babies are being well cared for by them
while Snowflake is anxiously careful over her babies...
Queenie acts as an old pro with hers
she knows the scoop


over the last couple of years...
the Lord took and He has also given


so far, all is well and we thank the Lord for His gracious gifts


while we are thankful for God's gifts of the goats...
we are still more thankful for His gracious gift of faith
just as He says...

For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:8,9

without this gift of faith, how could I have believed in Christ?
He alone has done all the work needed to save me from sin and wrath

May your day or night find the grace of God's gift of faith.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Rosemary and Onion Sweet Potato



My intention was to prune my rose bushes back quite a bit
but, when I saw the roses and how they brightened up the patch under the stairs...
I couldn't bring myself to prune


and sure, while I could have picked the roses and bring them into the cottage to enjoy...
I do so like seeing them pretty on the bushes in the yard
after all, with as much as I go outside, it's rather nice to see flowers to greet me...
with their cheerfulness


 so, instead...
I got down and dirty digging up a few sweet potatoes for dinner
yeah, the dirt was wet but, the mud was beside the point
we were going to have sweet potatoes with the meal after some months of none at all

while these are often known as sweet potatoes by many...
here on this island they are usually referred to as sweet yams...
and they carry sporamins (storage proteins) which are key in giving these roots...
an antioxidant property...
which is good for the body in preventing oxidative damage in the cells
the more orange or purple they are, the more antioxidants they have

God thought of that when He put medical properties into foods


once they were cleaned, the sweet potatoes took on a new look
and with a breadfruit from the tree, we eat well


when it comes to potatoes, white or of the yam kind...
I truly like using herbs to rev up the taste...
and, it's a good excuse to add a little herbal medicine to one's food


these sweet yams were peeled and cut into smaller pieces...
then quickly steamed for about 5 minutes just to give them a slight tenderness...
but not soft


while the sweet yams steamed...
a red onion (or any onion) was sliced and sauteed in some butter and olive oil until tender


the sweet yams were cooled and diced into bite size pieces and added to the onions...
and sauteed until they were completely (not mushy) soft; about 10 minutes
once they were done, the rosemary was cut up (I cut mine with kitchen scissors)...
and added to the dish


today, we have a rainy day
that means...


dogs will sleep
and thus, the day has been peaceful


I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:
for Thou, Lord,
only makest me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8

May your day or night find peacefulness in the grace of God.