Friday, February 27, 2015

He's Okay Now

This is what Big Red, my main rooster looks like in good shape

he's a handsome rooster...
very gentle and while protective of his hens...
he is never aggressive towards humans
my kind of rooster

then, one day, he started to look like this
his feathers and tail became droopy

not interested in much and straying from the flock

his comb, wattle and face started to pale considerably...

till they were a pale grayish pink
even his eyes lost their luster and alertness
not good

his comb fell over to one side

I could not figure out what was wrong
whatever it was didn't seem to affect the other chickens

when the other roosters started to pick on him...
and he was taken to sitting down and hiding...
I knew I had to do something for him

I really didn't want to lose such a good tempered rooster...
so antibiotics in a broad spectrum was in order
something I do only in an urgent time

whatever he was down with...
the medication worked
I suspect it may have been an infection

in any case, after two weeks, he now looks like this again 

and he is doing this again

keeping watch over his hens for me

and yes, he now makes sure all know he is once again king of the flock
I was even quite elated to hear him crow once again in the wee hours of dawn

yeah, Big Red
I'm happy, too

For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared,
a great King over all the earth.
God reigns over the nations;
God sits on His holy throne.
Psalm 42:2,8

May your day or night find grace in the Most High King.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Roasted Tomatoes and Soup

Big Red and I wish you a good morning
after nearly losing him...
I'm quite happy he is still with us
maybe next post, I'll tell you how we nearly lost him

he is looking brightly cheerful and red here after his bout

another cheerfully red view are the tomatoes in the veggie garden

they have been doing quite well this year
last year, we had some pest problems

this time, my husband used Neem oil to spray the plants as they grew...
up until they started to bud and we never had any pest problem...
insects or leaf diseases
and Neem is a natural repellent...
so we didn't have to concern ourselves with chemicals on our plants

if you google Neem, you can find info on this plant oil

our tomatoes are juicy and sweet and...
because I don't want them going to waste...

would love to have canned tomatoes at this time but...
because we will be moving soon and...
don't want to carry too many heavy jars of canned foods over the river and...
through the woods for almost a half mile, literally... 

it behooves me to think of any way I can to use them up

recently, I discovered just how much roasted tomatoes taste good
so a good many of them have been getting cut into quarters...

laid on parchment paper...
drizzled with olive oil, salted and peppered...

and roasted in a 400 degree fahrenheit (200 celsius) oven for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours

can't beat the taste of this yummy stuff
it would make a nice roasted tomato soup

I don't mind the skins at all...
they get eaten, too

after these were done, I couldn't help it...
just had to have a plate of roasted tomatoes topped with capers

if I hadn't run out of my homemade farm cheese...
would've put some of that on top, too

the tomatoes are also going into soup pots

2 onions, chopped and sauteed in 2 TBsp butter till soft

add cauliflower florets and young cauliflower leaves
I snip the leaves with scissors

add salt and pepper...

add a cup of tomato sauce and...
enough meat or vegetable broth to cover...
and cook at a low simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes

at the end of the simmer, I like to add minced garlic and chopped fresh basil leaves

sorry to have forgotten to take a photo for a better end view result after cooking

homemade cornbread is really good with tomato soup...
and I like lots of butter on mine

here is a quick update on our new cottage
the walls were made a tad higher than they were supposed to be...
making the windows look smaller than I wanted
we may add ventilation windows above them to add some height

the paint on the cottage is a primer...
it will have a different color than white in the end
we are a way off from finished but, close enough to think about moving

May your day or night find grace in the Lord

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pharoah's Dream

These are just some of the sweet things on our homestead....

seeing my chickens happily foraging for their food...

coming out and being greeted by kid goats...

who cautiously tip toe up to me...

because although they will come to me...

what this little doe is really prudently watching is my dog who stands behind me

and although the goat doesn't know it...
my Foxie really is good around the animals

she may be a rascal at times...
but it makes me happy she is nice with the livestock

we have a bit of sugarcane growing

that grassy part in the photo below is sugarcane
it's what we eat for candy

behind the sugarcane are a few coffee trees and they are bearing well this year

a couple of weeks ago, we harvested the cocoa and sold them...

keeping enough for us

they are now drying in the sun before I will store them and use them whenever needed

of course, being the lover of God's nature...
I cannot help but notice the pretties that flourish under the cocoa trees

and there on the other side of the gate and through the coconut palm leaves...
sits our little vegetable garden

when the chicken coop door is open...
I throw a little feed to the ground to get the chickens started on breakfast...

then, they make a dash to the compost area for the grubs and worms underneath

while they are scratching around for their meat supply...
I water my potted herbs of rosemary...

and newly potted anise hyssop, a favorite of mine for making tea

in the vegetable garden...
we have cabbage which are now starting to form into their spherical shapes...

and this one is more than ready to pick

today, I will be making creamed cauliflower soup per my husband's request

we also have broccoli growing
this one looks like it will be flowering soon if not picked shortly

we have strawberry growing and hopefully will do well in the near future

once we are ready to move over to the new homestead...
I will take a few cuttings from the strawberry plants and transplant in my new garden

of course, what garden does not have tomatoes in it?

lo and behold, a pair of tiny finches decided to build a nest in one of the plants
there are now two wee bitty babies in this nest

but, this nest almost fell the other day and I had to prop it up with my shovel and pick handles
I think it will stay alright now
I check on it every now and then to make sure it stays strong

it will only take a few couple of weeks for those babies to fledge

and I still get my tomatoes harvested just fine

I made a tomato soup the other day which my husband really liked
I did, too

my rose bushes are now blooming and I get a whiff of their fragrance now and then
so nice

and because ornamental plants do add a prettiness to a homestead...
or any home...
we do grow a few of those near the front gate

the Lord has graciously sent us, on Pilgrim's Farm, a goodly garden of eats...
we are not in famine time here

which brings me to my post title, Pharoah's Dream...

do you know the story in Genesis 41 in the Bible of Pharoah's dream of feast and famine?
Joseph told Pharoah that sovereign God sent him the dream as it says in verse 28:
"This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharoah:
What God is about to do He sheweth unto Pharoah."

God sent Pharoah the dream to warn him of the 7 year plenty followed by a 7 year famine

both the feast and famine years were not of any doing except by God's decree
and this is known by verses 29 - 32:
"Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
and there shall arise after them seven years of famine;
and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt;
and the famine shall consume the land;
and the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following;
for it shall be very grievous.
And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharoah twice;
it is because the thing is established by God, 
and God will shortly bring it to pass."

God sent Pharoah the two dreams that were actually one in order to make it known...
that the feast and famine times were of His decree

you can read more about it in the book of Genesis, chapter 41

so what is my point in telling this?
while we often see events and happenings in the world as men's choices in actions...
God says...

"I have seen all the works that are done under the sun:
and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
That which is crooked cannot be made straight:
and that which is wanting cannot be numbered."
Ecclesiastes 1:14,15


"Consider the work of God:
for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked?
In the day of prosperity be joyful,
but in the day of adversity consider:
God also hath set the one over against the other,
to the end that man should find nothing after him."
Ecclesiastes 7:13,14

whether in feast or famine, I can find comfort in the sovereignty of the Lord...
knowing that all His ways are perfect in all His doings

"And all inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing:
and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven,
and among the inhabitants of the earth:
and none can stay His hand,
or say unto Him,
what doest Thou?"
Daniel 4:35

May your day or night find solace in the comfort of the Lord's sovereign grace.