Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Milk, cheese and soap, the chickens are doing well, and a day to go.

I actually hate having so much milk this time of year. I do love to make cheese but as I do not have a cellar, yet, and though the refrigerator has tried to be a cave it is really a failure, not enough humidity and I don't want to ruin it as a frig.  I am giving up making hard cheeses until I can actually get one.  Son has volunteered to help with the logistics, once we get a cellar, of making a cave.  I have also found that making cheese in the spring is the best, I am not sure if it is that the milk is really that much different or the temperature that makes the difference. I do know that cheese making and bread making are not a good mix, the yeast over powers the cheese if I am not careful about keeping them apart and usually have to strain the whey in the frig to keep the yeast out of the cheese.  It is not that it is bad in the cheese it just makes holes and unless you are making Swiss cheese holes aren't a desired quality in cheese.  So I have froze a bunch of milk for future soap batches.  I am thinking I will actually offer a soap making class in the fall as I have really had a lot of interest from people.  I may do a hot process class as well if the cold process does well, hot process takes a lot longer.  I think that I will freeze enough milk to make sure I have soap milk and enough for possible classes.  I still have lots of milk,  Bubbles keeps some of it drank for me and we use it every day.  I have decided to just make feta and I may make up a batch of mozzarella, but I still have milk.  So, I have decided to can some milk. I now have a pressure canner now don't you know. hehe.  I read up on it and it is possible, it can't be drank really after it is canned. It can be used for gravies, puddings, and cooked into anything you would use milk in, but it will be there year around.  I am glad I read up on it as it will not look like milk it will be a golden color.  It was good to know that because I would have been distressed had I not been expecting it to be different.  I processed it and when the steam had gone and I opened up the canner I had what appeared to be jars of floating curdy or curdled mess.  I decide I either mess up or it was how it was supposed to be.  I also decide to try it before I made any more, it really does look odd.  I made Poppie sawmill gravy and biscuits for dinner.  The milk worked wonderfully and the gravy was very good.  Pig and Goat sausage is the best, very lean and nice flavor, okay I digress.  I hope I have solved some of my milk problems, too much in the summer not enough in the winter. 

The chickens are doing wonderfully well, sometime it is a treasure hunt to find their eggs, and we have to float them to make sure they are all good ones but the chickens are happy.  They stay with in the fences of the goat pen or the yard, I haven't really noticed them go much more far afield.  Poppie was relieved he so thought they would take up with Shinny's chickens and we would lose them but so far they stay in their area.  Poppie spent the afternoon working on the new goat pens in the barn.  He is making lots of progress.  He actually cut the door way to the goat pen so that is good.  He still has to make the feeders but he has made it pretty escape proof for the little goats not to go in to the grain room.  He is hoping to get the rabbits all moved to the old hay barn, the goats really do upset them so they will be better there and then we can put the hay and grain where the rabbits were in the barn.  Poppie is going to finish the hay area by putting in his garage door that Shinny gave him.  I think I have some fire wood to move out of his goat pen before it is finished. The girls and I will do it with the wheelie-barry-oh, okay it is a wheelbarrow but the girls and grands like when I call it the wheelie-barry-oh, makes them giggle at my silliness.  Got to have silliness to lighten up your day, don't ya?

I am going with Lady to Zootown later this afternoon, she has a dental appointment and then we are going to do a little shopping and maybe dinner.  A little get away.  I will have to make up dinner for the troops before I go so they will not have to worry about it.  The ladies are at their cousins for the night, Cubbie kept asking, she slept here night the night before so it was her turn to host.  Quiet in the house this morning, Poppie went to help his friend move a rabbit cage so just me and the animals, well I guess that would be a pretty crowded space so no I am not alone, actually ever, but I am not sure animals count.  I worked on an order of diaper covers, made lots so the client will have options the rest go on line.  I have to ship a big order of soap, a longie

Monday, July 30, 2012

Church, crawdads, swimming, Sundays are blessing from God.

We had a nice Sunday at Church.  Booboo's special friend was back and that really made her day.  They have made plans for after the fair which will be nice for Booboo to have some time to spend with her special person.  We had more people for the first hour which was nice.  Both messages, first and second hours, were nice messages and will give us food for our souls for the week.  The Lord is so wonderful that he can have an individual relationship with so many people, he gives us his living word, the Bible, that always has a newness and revealing messages to give us each time we go to it to communicate with him.  He sends us a Preacher to speak a message from his word and each person receives a message from God meant just for them.  I think that one of the most lasting thoughts from yesterdays message, not the only one, but the one that will surely last in my mind is the thought that for those who are called to the Lord the messages he sends open our hearts to his words and the message leads to our salvation.  Sadly, the same message also hardens the hearts of the those who don't hear his calling and they don't seek the Lord.  It is so sad to think that so many knowingly and purposely think they can live their life without God, and sadly when in a moment of sorrow or stress and they call out he will not be able to hear them as they weren't able to hear him when he called them.  I often wonder why in general, even lazy people, don't reach out to God.  The thought that if I am wrong, and God doesn't exist so I have wasted my life is in not in me, but how horrible it is to think of those, that if he does exist and they don't belief he exists, will have such a terrible revelation on the day after our deaths.  God will say per 

Matthew 7:21-23

King James Version (KJV)
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

We had a nice day with our Church family and happily I can say it is growing and that is wonderful. The Lord works in his time and life is ours at his will.

We came home had lunch, then chores were done.  We went to the river with Mokie and family.  We had a wonderful day of family time.  The kids swung on the rope and dropped into the depths of the cold water.  They rolled in the sand, they threw sand and had a grand time.  Mokie took Boy into the water and he cried like a girl.  Cubbie went in and tried to be brave and put her chin in the water but couldn't quite get her brave up that high.  Bubbles took a dip under the water and came up with her little smile intact.  She was soon cold with a purple tent and needed to sit on Nannie's lap with a blanket but she did it, she wasn't loud and scared as her brother was and was braver than her sister.  Mokie took Yogie out to the pillions, and Yogie got out in the current ahead of her, scared Nannie but Yogie did it all like the trooper she is.  Okay, so some days Nannie forgets how fast the time goes and how that only for a moment are they our little ones.  Yogie did wonderful and she was so proud.  Booboo waited until we were almost to go before she wanted to try so will have to wait until next time for her turn to go to the pillions.  The swimming soon lost it's great appeal and Son took the kids crawdading.  They didn't bring a bucket so only picked them for fun.  They picked large ones and Mokie held them so the kids could grab a hold where the crawdad couldn't pinch them.  They soon found some tiny ones and all of the kids held at least one before they put them back into the river.  Before long our time on the river came to an end. 

We returned home, Poppie weeded, the girls played with their cousins and later Yogie milked at the end of the day.  Yogie made cupcakes and I decorated them for her while she was milking so she could have a surprise treat to share with the family.  She is such a hard little worker, if it is her idea, she has such initiative and drive.  She has gone to doing all the morning animal chores all on her own.  Her dad is so proud of her, as am I, but when dad praises her for her efforts his seems to go farther and makes her so proud.  I am hoping I can get a drive started under Booboo, she will do her chores but hasn't gotten a drive for initiating pride in accomplishing something one her own.  It will come and if it doesn't she will have to do it as a chore and that will not be as joyous an accomplishment as her sister experiences.

I spent the evening making a couple of clothing orders online.  I am almost done shopping for school.  We still have to do a girlie day, probably on Yogie'

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sheep can be the stupidest of animals, almost like a turkey, Why then is Jesus our shepard?

I have always been told that there is nothing as dumb as a sheep or a turkey.  I do know from experience that turkeys literally will die from not knowing how to to eat or drink.  They really can drown in a rainstorm so I am thinking the rumors of sheep stupidity is probably true as well.  I did live on a sheep ranch as a small child but my only memories of it are the ram bowling my brothers over, the babies being born, their tails being docked, and the bum lamb that lived in our house and didn't know it was a lamb.  Well, in reflection he did think he was a child and had no idea that sheep existed until one day he was playing in the yard, with us, and for the first time he seemed to become aware that the white things on the other side of the fenced existed.  He went over and checked them out and soon he wanted to join them and really never looked back at us... but I digress.

Poppie was recently out as his friends house and down in the field he saw a ewe under the fence rail.  He went down there to check on her and sure enough the old adage that if that if a sheep crawls under a log it will die before it climbs out seems to have merit.  There she was under the rail of the fence, it wasn't actually on her more above her but she had laid there so long she could not stand.  Poppie went to get help to get her out but she never regained her feet and had to be harvested.  Okay so sheep aren't goats.  A goat will help itself and figure out how to get out of it's messes. 

I have been contemplating sheep and goats, okay so I have no life but I was wondering why is it that we are compared to sheep in the Bible.  The Lord is our Shepard.  Goats don't really have Shepard's, they can but they are not what we think of when we think of needing a Shepard.  So are we as humans in need of a Shepard the way a sheep is? 

I do know that people are followers for the most part.  Ever see a mob in it's glory, people who would never do anything evil, mean or truly cruel in a mob situation will do unspeakable things.  People can be ensighted to follow a leader, a crazy leader to the horrors of Jonestown or the sorrows of Waco, so people can be and are lead.  People can be manipulated by their governments, by their religions, by the agendas of many things, and are every day.

Have you ever spent anytime trying to persuaded someone to your point of view and then persuade them that the point of view was wrong to begin with.  I have, not sure if I am proud of it in hindsight, but at the time I thought it was fun, or funny maybe. Have you ever said something because you knew you were being eavesdropped on just to watch would the eavesdropper would do?  Okay, so I can have a sick sense of humor but people are predictable and sad sometimes.   People can be lead easily you just have to have a good story, a good idea or a be good persuader.  I am not saying all people can, well maybe we can, you just have to be a better at it than the person you are manipulating.  There is always someone who is meaner, smarter or more cleaver than you are, we by nature are creatures of survival of the fittest and there will always be someone more fit than you.  We are all replaceable in the grand scheme of this world in general.  We are only irreplaceable to those who love us. 

The Lord made us this way, he made us with the faults we have.  Satan took advantage of our faults right from the beginning.  He is the one who plays to our faults, leads us astray and down the garden path so to speak, is it called a garden path because it once lead to a tree that was forbidden?  We are the sheep of creation and the Lord is our Shepard because we are irreplaceable to him.  Matthew 18:12 "How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? " Only the Shepard that knows his flock would know that we are in need of his daily care and know to come for us.  I am one of the beloved sheep of the Lord's flock and am blessed to be so loved.... tomorrow.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Recently I said I knew Poppie was it the moment I saw him, he didn't at first.

I meant Poppie on the the 22 of October in 1979.  I joined the YACC program at Lakeside with a friend of mine.  I had just came back from living with my Grandpa Jim in Lewiston, Id in September.  I had lived with him from shortly after graduation in May to September.  My Grandma Gladys had died the November before and he was lonely and needed someone to live this him.  They had been married 44 years and he was missing my grandmother deeply.  During the time I spent with him he decided to remarry to a family friend.  The family friend was and is a remarkable lady.  She wasn't married as a young person due to a long relationship that ended up with the man she loved finally moving on and getting married to another.  She married her dear friends widower when she was about 40 and together they raise his 7 kids.  She didn't have any children of her own as she felt 40 was to old, back then maybe it would have been to have been a first time momma.  She outlived her husband and was a widow at about the same time as my granddad.  They were married on the same day as I went on my first date with Poppie.  She has since outlived my granddad, she remarried to her sister's husband when her sister passed on and has now has outlived him.  She is a wonderful grand dame and still living independently in her later nineties.  She brought love and companionship to so many children, grandchildren and widowers, it seemed to have been her calling in life.  She is a beautiful loving soul.

Anyway, I meant Poppie in October of 1979.  He was laying on the floor when I first saw him.  He was the longest skinniest boy I ever mean.  He was so sad looking and he just seemed to be alone.  I think that I loved him in the matter of a heart beat.  I do know that something about him called to my heart in a second.  He thought I had a bunch of kids and kids that weren't nice.  My mom had drove me to the campus of the YACC, and we were sitting in the TV room waiting for my dad to come rescue her and the kids.  The kids were my two sisters, Drama and Baby Sister, as well as two kids that she was babysitting.  They were all running and jumping like the little mudwumpys they were, Poppie just looked like a hurdle to them.  Eventually Poppie got tired of the kids and left.  I meant him again the next day.  I sat down by him in the cafeteria.  A couple of my friends sat down with me.  We soon took up a conversation.  He asked if any of us wanted to go with him to the Blue Moon bar on Friday.  Two of us thought we would.  Friday night came and we were going to go when Poppies car wouldn't start so  we were helping him push start it.  The other girl was in front of me and didn't tell Poppie a wall was coming toward the door she was standing in.  We hit the wall and ruined the door. Poppie wired it shut.  The other girl decided she didn't want to go in a car with a wired shut door,  I won by default and that was the last girl, other than me, Poppie asked to go anywhere with him.  I think Poppie started to see me as someone of interest when I didn't leave him alone in a parking lot with a messed up passenger door. 

We dated from October to February, Poppie had asked me to marry him in December.  It was funny that not an hour before he had asked me he told me he was never getting married, he wasn't the marrying kind.  He had a change of heart for some reason as we were going back to the YACC from Kalispell, we were driving through Summers when he said he would like to spend to rest of his life with me and that he loved me.  I accepted and have held him to it everyday since.  We were to get married in March, Poppie took Silver with him to asked his mom if she and her husband would come to the wedding.  Poppie was either so excited or scared that he ran into a car in downtown Kalispell, totalling his car.  Silver hit his head on the window and had a reoccurring bump on his head for several years.  I had to take moms car, the one that the kids had missed up the day I meant Poppie, to go rescue them.  We were married three days later, Poppie had a broken nose, could barely walk as he had an injured leg, come to think of it the same one that the tree fell on and crushed when he had his accident,  hmmmm.   I digress.  We were married in a little ceremony, just my family, two of my friends and one of their boyfriends,  the funeral parlor owner and his wife (friends of my mom),  the preacher and his wife.  We were married in the funeral home, it later became a church so we started something way back then and we were the first to be married there, funny how that happened.  We had a small reception at mom and dads and then Red drove us from Plains to Superior and dropped us off.  We started our lives with a job, a rental and nothing but love.  A love that was new and had room to grow, to strengthen and mature.  We were kids in many many ways not yet grown, we raised each other and became better people in the process. 

An aside, about two weeks after we got married Poppie had gotten an old beater car and was going to work.  He had been gone about a half an hour when he came through the door.  It was March, it was cold and he was wet from head to toe.  I was aghast and wondering what was going on.  He said he had run out of gas on the way to work and was walking home, he didn't want anyone to see him walking on the bridge, have no idea to this day why, and so he walked across the creek, he fell in and cut his shin to the bone on a rock.  I looked at my bedraggled love and couldn't help it I laughed, and laughed until I couldn't breath.  He was not impressed he felt I should have sympathize with him.  He was wet, he was hurt, and he was late for work.  I told him it was funny, he was wet and cold and hurt because he was stupid enough to wade across the creek in the winter because someone might see him on the road.  I think that that was the first inkling that he had that I did love him, but that maybe I was not going to let me be a little boy his whole life, and that maybe it was time to grow up and take life head on and face responsibility.  We started our relationship with me being in control about 90 percent of the time, and now through a process of many years of each of us growing up, and maturing we have an equal and loving marriage.  Though many of you wouldn't belief it, even then, with one word from him, I respected and obeyed not because I was made to but because I loved him and wanted to.... tomorrow.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Harvested, rewarding endeavor, sowing and reaping is it the same? Oh, what a harvest that awaits!

I spent most of the day cutting, grinding and wrapping meat.  I made up roasts, chops, ribs, and lots of sausage.  I mixed the goat and the pig together and ended up with lots of nice flavored sausage.  It is nice to have the mixture the goat is extremely lean and the pig is nothing like it used to be as far as lard goes.  The pigs now have been bred to a point where they have almost no real lard.  I actually had to use oil to cook up the sample piece to see if the mix was good.  It was light on seasoning but Poppie loved it, he has stopped using alot of salt in his diet in the last few years so the mix was good but on the lightly seasoned side.  We had some of the sausage and free roam eggs for dinner, I finally talked Poppie into letting the chickens out of the coop about a week ago.  They are doing well and still returning to the coop to lay their eggs.  It is nice they scratch all over the yard and the goat pen looking for their food.  They seem to be having a dandy time, running here and there, they seem so much happier than when they were in the coop full time.  I wished Poppie had allowed them out sooner, their eggs are even better in my estimation.  It is really nice that we have so much more, almost organic food, the pigs are feed grain and the goats do get grass hay and grain, but the grain is whole grain and not pig chow or goat chow which I have a real problem with.  I guess we do what we can.  Still a totally successful day the harvest was very rewarding.  We will do another pig and the rest of the withers in October or November.

While I was cutting and grinding it made me think of Pauls words to the Galations,
6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

I also contemplated Mark 4;
4:3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4:4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
4:5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
4:6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
4:7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
4:8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
4:9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
4:10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
4:13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
4:14 The sower soweth the word.
4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What was the best day ever? Have you already lived it? If so how sad.

I read a survey once that said that when a group of senior citizens were asked "if you could be any age again what age would it be?"  The answer was 50.  They gave the answer that they owned their houses, their kids were grown and they could just enjoy their lives.  It was a reasonable and interesting answer.  A friend of mine just posted the statement, "Often the reason people are unhappy with their lives is because they see the past as better than it was, and the present as worse than it is."  How sad is that? but so true.  I do know alot of people who live their lives this way.  The couch potatoes who remember their glories days, they were the head cheerleader or the captain of the football time, the best time of their lives.  Now they lay on the couch bemoaning their lost youth and swelling beer, boring people with the wonderful doings of the jocks they were or the boys that wanted to date them.  I can't imagine that the best day of your life was in high school, not even an adult yet.  How very sad.

Really, what was the best day you ever had?  Have you ever thought about it really?  I am not sure I ever really have.  I think maybe that in general most of us don't . We are too busy looking toward that day as it hasn't yet come.  I do know that in my life the best day I ever had hasn't come yet.  I do know that there have been close seconds though.  I could say the day I meant Poppie was one of them.  It was a day of such future hope and thought of things to come, okay so most of you don't believe me but I knew the moment I saw him that he was the one that God sent and made just for me, I was so overjoyed to see him to the bottom of my soul, I remember like it was yesterday the instant I meant him.  I could say the day I was married, the day I became a mother, each and every time, all the second best days ever.  So, I have lots of second best days ever, they all were,  well maybe some were the third best day, now that I think on it but....  I remember the day I was baptised, I would say right up there, whatever number it was, I will see the day Poppie is a such as well.  I remember the day that Poppie had his accident as one of the best days ever, not because he was hurt but because God spared him and let me keep him in my life, as God knew I wasn't able to go on without him.  I jokingly say, well maybe it is not a joke but a promise from God, but anyway, I say that we are going to go in our sleep at 94 in each others arms.  I think we just may, if not it is a good dream.  Maybe that will be the best day ever.  My grandmother Gladys used to say if we knew how wonderful heaven really was we would kill ourselves to get there, but then we wouldn't get to go if we did so it is better just to let God decide when we get to go. 

I think that maybe in the big picture we aren't supposed to have a best day ever, I think that life is supposed to be a never ending roller coaster of good days and bad days.  If you really had your best day ever in the past how sad the future would be, I think the people who have had their glory days and have not gone forward are the saddest, they are depressed lonely mean spirited people that have lost God in their lives.  Life is about the adventure of tomorrow, the joy of a future child's smile, a flower that hasn't yet bloomed on a crag at the top of a mountain you will someday climb.  The last kiss from the man you spent your life with as he goes on to live with God and awaits your coming to join him.  It is the hand that holds yours as you pass on to glory knowing that God guided your life and that you made everyday a best day ever..... Life is or shouldn't be about what was but should be about the possibilities of what could be and what is to come..... tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sharing the huckleberry hunt, and a day of just being.

Poppie had gone and done it again, way to much,  we took the day off so to speak yesterday.  Poppie called the Preacher and Pianist, and their lovely daughter, to join us in a huckleberring trip.  We couldn't go until after Son got home, and then Preacher called to see if we could wait for their daughter to return from the Zoo. We managed to get going toward the mountain around 6.  Mokie and I had made an impromptu picnic to take along, barbecued chicken, baked beans, potato salad, watermelon and brownies.  We had the girls puzzle table, everyone needs one,  they are the nicest things to have, flat for travel and a table anywhere.  The day was one of the mildest we had had for a long time so it was a little chiller a little sooner than some would have like.  Preacher's daughter having just come from Texas was the most effected by the chill in the air.  She also had on shorts so she was very cold before we started for home.  All had a wonderful time, lots of picking was done, lots of each taking a turn entertaining Bubbles, Mokie, Me, Booboo, Yogie and even Cubbie had a go.  We all picked as many berries as time would allow.  We had a couple of vehicles pass by, one was Short's Love and her granddaughter, it was nice to see them up and about enjoying the woods, every one needs a woods fix don't they.

Poppie, the Ladies, Preacher and Pianist made plans to go back and huckleberry again this morning.  Preacher had suggested 8, Poppie had thought 9 and Pianist thought she would like to go at 8:30 so 8:30 it is.  I will be home cutting, grinding and wrapping meat, well some of that will happen before they return, I actually have 6 carcasses so I will make some head way.  I am not allowed to use the band saw until Poppie returns so I will get what I can done and ready for his return.  I hope they all have a nice morning and pick lots of huckleberries.

We didn't actually get the milking done last night as it was dark when we returned home so it will be needing done as soon as they get home, or maybe I can con Mokie into helping them, and we can do it while they are gone, we will see.  I am hoping to get a batch of soap made this morning as I will be in the kitchen and I can just set it to mixing in my kitchenaide.  It is slower that way but it can mix was I work with the meat.  I froze milk for 10 batches to be made this winter, will freeze more but have to get some more freezer bags.

 I think the girls have decided they want to go to the river later.  I gave them the option of going to the swimming pool for the Library party later or the river and Yogie said she much prefers to go to the river, I can't blame her and it is a decision of strength I would say on her part.  She knows what she is giving up but her freedom to make the choice is a strengthening and empowering choice.  I think that giving a person empowerment of self is always a positive especially when it is a freely made choice.  Sad they will have to give up something but then it must have been important to her as she made the choice with such joy and power.

Off to a day of living and being, sometimes that is the best kind of a day, one given to us by God with no rhyme or reason just doing... tomorrow.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Church, Booboo's special person, huckleberries and a picnic.

We had a nice day at Church.  During the portion of Church when we could share any blessings or praises to the Lord, I was amazed that Poppie raised his hand.  He wanted to praise the Lord for all the blessings he/we had received this year.  He thanked the Lord for the truck and the backhoe.  He wanted to make sure that the Lord knew that he was thankful for the blessings of both of these gifts.  We had a big struggle without our truck, which Poppie still hasn't gotten fixed but the Lord has blessed us with a new to us truck and backhoe, neither of them came to us because of our being able to purchase them.  They were given to us truly as gifts from God and Poppie felt the need to praise the Lord in a way that he never has or could have before.  The Lord is truly working in Poppie's life.  I am reminded of a statement that I read in one of Lottie Beth Hobb's books.  "anything which draws one closer to God is good; anything which leads one further away from God is bad".  We have endured many trails this year and they wore on us but in many ways harder on Poppie, as he is more a half empty sort of person to begin with, but through it all God was speaking to us, guiding us away from bad places, bad people or bad things in our lives, and in the end we have come through it with God. I do know beyond a doubt that when God allows us to have trials and be tested by Satan, through his emissaries, God has rewards for us in this life and more importantly we store treasures in heaven.  The last year of trials have certainly brought treasures to us and especially Poppie, and I don't mean the material items that Poppie can see, I mean the true transformation to God in Poppie that he can't see.... well maybe a little.

We had a special visitor in Church, Booboo has a dear person in her life, that ever since we started going to Chruch she has asked to come to Church.  The Preacher knows this person as well and had asked that they come to Chruch but they had never come before; to Booboo's great delight her special person came to Chruch on Sunday.  Preacher later gave Booboo a high five saying to her "sometimes it take the love of a child".  I don't know why the special person came, probably because God called to them but it did make Booboo's day to have her special person there at her side. 

We went hucklberring after Church, we hadn't been since before Poppie's accident 4 years ago.  We had tried but each time the Loasians had already picked our places out.  This year the harvest is large and a little earlier that normal.  We took a picnic lunch that we got at the store, cold chicken, salads, chips, teas and water.  We were off on a new adventure.  We found a good patch but it was a little picked over so we moved to one of Poppie's favorite patches and yay, we hit a really good patch.  We picked for a couple of hours, we hand picked as we don't have any pickers and we don't like how they tear at the plants, we got good half gallon.  Ok, so that doesn't sound like a lot but for hand picking not so bad.  The girls started out with gusto, Booboo soon gave up and whined about the brush, the bugs and the heat.  Yogie gave it a better try but eventually gave up, they probably picked a good cup, well a good cup that they didn't can on the spot.  They both ate a good portion, the only rule was that you can't eat any that are in the bucket, only the ones in you hand.  Booboo whine enough that we left for home about 5.  We stopped at a creek on the way down the mountain. We played in a culvert where the creek went under the road.  They had fun in the cool mossy creek after having picked the berries in the heat of the day.  We soon were home, Mokie and family had gone to the river with Bug.  They swam and picked crawdads from the river,  They brought back a batch to eat for dinner.  Booboo tried them, I gave them a hard time and told them they had to be carefully letting her eat shellfish, she is most probably allergic to them, she seems to be getting worse every year.  The crawdads didn't seem to bother her like the ocean shellfish do.  I told them to be careful anyway. 

We had a wonderful day all around, the Lord blessed our day on so many levels.  I can not count all the blessings that the Lord sends me every day.  I don't think that the best blessing have anything to do with material goods or things, the best ones are people, times and the unseen.  We received all of these yesterday, special people, a special time together for Poppie, the girls and I,  Mokie and family spent a special day together with Bug, and as they have never had a easy relationship it was a blessing for them.  The Lord so works in our lives we only have to open up to him and allow him in.... tomorrow.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Poppie picked the cherries, tilled, harvested and totally overdid it. Nothing new.

I got home from the Farmer's Market with Bubbles and Cubbie.  Cubbie was raring to go, she immediately went to help Poppie, Son and Boy skin out and gut the goats.  The ones from the Herbalist were very wild, I do understand on a new level why goats and pigs are the most likely animal to go feral if given a chance.  They don't need us and only put up with us if they like us, and if they are never allowed to like us, they don't.  The three buckling had never been handled and they didn't like us on any level.  Son manage to dispatch them but his gun, from his dad, was a disaster.  I am going to be buy Poppie a gun, a small hand gun probably or maybe a 22 250 we will see but he is definitely getting one soon.  They harvested 5 and got them into the freezer to cool down.  I am going to cut, grind, maybe can and sausage them on Monday, with the pig I have in the freezer.  I should get a nice mix and quantity of meat.  It will all be as organic as we can manage so nice and we will know what is in, that is even nicer. 

Poppie came in and had coffee with me, I spend about 20 minutes unpacking the car, from the Farmer's Market so was ready to share a cup with him.  Now that I think about it he had ice water, as did Boy and Son.  I got Bubbles to sleep just before they came in so Son asked if she could stay as he was going to go take a shower and do some things with the older two kids.  I said she was welcome to stay but he could take Cubbie and Boy home.  I needed a day away.  She slept all afternoon. Poppie went out and picked the pie cherry trees.  Once he got done doing that he tilled his garden, he has spent the better part of the week weeding the garden, giving all the weeds to the goats so the he could till.  He had decided that he didn't want to waste the perfectly lovely weeds.  His garden does look very nice.  It is so much nicer to have it fenced, the whole structure of it this year is different, no trails across it where Cubbie and Boy come and go.  The garden is better too this year as we dumped alot of mulched manure on it so it is really growing well.  Poppie ended up overdoing it, as usual, once he gets his panniers in an uproar you can't get him to stop until way after he has done so much he will be in pain later, he only remembers the pain when it hits him, then wonders why I didn't say anything.  I did he just wasn't listen, he is never going to change.  I guess he will always be a work in progress.  Poppie has promised me lots of veggie to can, can't wait.  I have so many plans.  I am out of pineapple so will need zucchini's, there will be green beans, cucumbers for pickles, cabbage for sauer kraut, hopefully I can make some soups.  Tomatoes for canning, salsas, and maybe some for raspberry and strawberry jelly.  I will have peppers to pickle and salsa,  okay I digressed but it was a good digression...

Off to Church before long and then we are going to take the Ladies huckleberring, burling and on a picnic.  It will be nice to go to a top of a mountain, it is cooler up there and there is nothing pressing and no needs to fill, other than having fun.  We are going to pick some nice burls out of the many we spotted last time we went.  I hope to find a few nice ones for the deck, maybe a few for art pieces, or a cane or two, probably no small ones which will be sad but we can try to find one. Huckleberries, to pick and eat, Poppie doesn't like to eat them just likes to pick them, come to think of it he doesn't like pie cherries either.  He does do the best job at picking so that is probably a blessing.  We are in need of a woods fix so will be out there taking all we can in..... tomorrow.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Home from the Farmers Market, No ladies but Bubbles and Cubbie.

We had a stellar Farmer's Market today, could have sold 4 more pies had we had them.  We are hopefully going to get some fruit from Washington soon, the lady that normally brings it in isn't going to for the market this year but offered to get us some when she goes.  It was a wonderful offer and we can't wait until she goes.  Our freezer could sure use the fruit.  We had to raise the price of pies this year due to the cost of fruit, we take it anyway we can get it.  We actually pick fruit on a couple of apple trees on the railroad right of way, but they were sparse last year so no apples.  We are hoping to go pick huckleberries tomorrow and our pie cherry trees are ripening.  Grandpa offered us some more rhubarb plants so we may just put in a few more plants.  We had strawberry rhubarb, sweet cherry and peach today.  I sold a bunch of soap so that was nice.  I am getting more and more regular customers, it is nice when they come back for more, that way you know they liked the first bars. 

I took Bubble with me to the market this morning.  Poppie and Son harvested 5 goats this morning and she would have made it so Son couldn't help.  She was good, slept for a long time then Yogie pushed her up and down the sidewalk in her walker, wore out the toes of her new jammies.  Mokie dropped
Cubbie off during her lunch time, she was good so that was a blessing.  I had lots of takers that bought my new laundry soap to try it out, a blessing. 

Grandpa took the girls home with him, he will drop them off later this evening.  They have to go to Church in the morning of could have stayed the night.  I have a freezer full of cooling goats, so will have to thaw out the pig tomorrow and then the goats and grind meat on Monday.  I am thinking that I will make up several packages of shanks, Poppie actually likes them slow cooked.   The rest will be ground into breakfast sausage, and some loin chops, though Yogie would like me to make up some summer sausage for Poppie to smoke, I may make a few rolls we will see.

We are hoping to go get a few burls and pick some huckleberries after church tomorrow. I may make up a nice picnic.  We could stop at the top of the mountain and looked down into the cut off from the rustic picnic table that has been there on the saddle of the mountain for probably 50+ years, as we eat our picnic.  Whatever we decide to do tomorrow it will be a get away and then we will come home and maybe hit the river.  I love days when no one has anything planned for you to do.  Have a great day, I hope yours is as rewarding as mine has already been... tomorrow.

Friday, July 20, 2012

This morning's massacre in Aurora Colorado, such senseless tragedy.

I was up around 2 this morning and the news of the massacre in Aurora Co was on the news.  It is so tragic that another one has occurred.  These events always come out of nowhere and each incident reminds us of the true evil that exists in this world.  The evil it would take to kill a three month old baby at point blank range is unimaginable.  I once was in a conversation with our lady sheriff, of the past, we were talking about child abuse.  I said "I can't imagine how anyone would do that."  She said "that is just it, whose who don't commit these kinds of act can't imagine it and have no comprehension of how or why it could happen.  Our minds don't contemplate these acts. It is only those who do them that do."  Her words quite often come to mind when I am faced with the horrors of what one human can do to another. 

We as American in some ways don't face the horrors of these types that often, not like the tragedies that occur in Africa or the one currently going on in Syria.  These shootings occur periodically and much more often than when I was a kid.  I remember the hearing about the shooting at University of Texas shootings in 1967.  It was so out of what we knew that its seemed news from another world.  Now we have had the Columbine shootings, Virginia State, and the ones at the army base in Texas, countless others and today we add Aurora Colorado.  Why we might ask?  I think that the religious community as a whole might have lots of reasons that the liberals would jest at.  The liberal will want to use this as a reason to take all our guns away which will not be received well by the people who value the right to have guns.  Really, why should you take the guns away, no one petitioned that we take away the child or wife abusers fist, both deadly, and both acts of horror used by the abuser most of us can't fathom, so why should the response be any different?  Oh, I forgot we live in a country where the rights of the few are so much more important than the rights of the many.  So by letting our many rights be taken away, regulated away or lawed away we are guilty of letting the people who might want to commit these kinds of act grow.  They no longer see that as a society it is unacceptable in a way that it once was, somewhere these murderers had a parent figures that said "oh, it is alright you are just rambunctious, lets give you a time out".  No one stood up and disciplined them, or saw that they were not right, they got passed on to the next person as their problem.  Parents, teachers, the military, college all of these institutes failed them.  Not one of these stop gaps cared, or they just thought it was too much trouble. They didn't have the balls to stand up and say lets give Johnny some structure in his home life, lets give him some morals and make him do things right, lets maybe take him to church and teach him about Gods plan for us.  No, we are raising children in a society where there are not true consequences for any of their actions starting from the time a child can walk.  We as a nation our losing our way, we are forgetting the things that made us the greatest nation on earth.  Now we are beginning to pay for it.  Sadly everyday more and more of our youth find it perfectly acceptable to hit people, shoot them, steal from everyone what ever they want, they do drugs as an escape from the real world.  Could the escape that they seek, be that someone anyone in their lives care about them enough to teach them morals, discipline and how to be a functioning member of our once great society.  Kids more and more seek the fake worlds of drugs and electronic games, so they can live in a fantasy where the world is more livable and for some reason better than the real world of their life.  Imagine that.

People teach your children first the love of God, then love from yourself and family.  Next love them enough to discipline them, no, letting your child be a free spirit with no rules and no empathy or compassion for others will not make them free spirited loving adults.  It will make them scary uncaring self centered people that abuse others, step on or over anyone to make a dime, that look for any and all amusements good or evil to entertain themselves, as they deserve to be entertained, and all things should be acceptable as entertainment, and I mean anything or anyone.... and even massacre.  Oh, sorry I just explained half of the population of the young generation and it will only get worse as we continue to be "the lets do it all and no one should not be ale to do anything they want to country"....  tomorrow.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A baby shower, a nice ladies evening, with love for a new baby and Mommy to be shared.

The Ladies, Mokie, Bubbles and I went to a baby shower last night.  Cubbie got to stay home with her dad.  Sometimes getting away from Cubbie is a good thing, she got to play with her dad and brother while we got to go to an event she would have been to busy for.  Bubbles got to be passed around and enjoyed, sort of preview of what will be soon coming into the honored mommy to be's life.  She enjoyed all the people and let everyone that wanted to play with or hold her have a go.  Mokie had made the cake for the shower, it was  a rubber ducky in a cupcake pond.  It was well received and she did a wonderful job.  I had bought her the mold several years ago when I made the cake for Cubbies shower, Mokie had so wanted the mold, she makes cakes and collects the 3d pan as well as other cake pans. 

The Mommy to be is the nicest young lady and is so looking forward to have her little girl come and join her and her husband to complete their little family.  All the guests gave her such nice thoughtful gifts. Some were hand made, some were gifts that were gifts from their childhood and shared memories to a special mom to be, while still others were much needed and well thought out gifts especially purchased with the new child in mind.  It was a nice affair and all got to know each other a little better in an intimate loving setting.  It was the first Church style baby shower I was ever at.  It was a lot like the family ones I have been to but it was a family shower with the Lord front and center in its make up.  The mommy to be's mother in law came to share the evening with us which was very nice.  We played a few games that were planned with the fun of all in mind,  one game even had a separate category that was just for the three pretweens in mind, which was nice that the hostess, Piano, to have though of doing.  All the little girls came home with a gift in the end, though one actually won two of the games. 

It was a nice get away and just an all around nice time with nice friends who cared that you came.  The mommy to be was showered with love, gifts, prayers and hopes for her new baby and in the end that was the best part.  The Lords works in ways only he can know and it was just a nice evening with no egos, no strife and no expectation but love of a special young lady with the whole of her mommy hood to come..... tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Goats, Goats and more goats. The rodeo has nothing on us.

I was startled by an early morning call yesterday.  The Professor was on the other line and needed to talk to me, well he was being an emissary for the Herbalist to talk to me.  She was up early so I asked her if she had even been to bed, and no, as I suspected, she had not.  She had asked me to help her sell some of their goats a couple weeks back but to my amazement she had adapted her plans, not sure if it was due to sleeplessness or real intent, probably real intent after I thought about it, as the Professor did make the call.  I digress, anyway,  they had decided that if we would take them they just wanted to get the goats gone, they were not able to find the time and energy to take care of so many extra goats.  They wanted us to come pick them up and do what ever we wanted with them.  I said if it was October or November I would just harvest all the bucklings, they hadn't been withered as they had thought of keep one as a buck but now they were to old to castrate.  Herbalist said do it now, I hadn't thought of that, it would take some work but they wouldn't be stinky yet.  I said I guess I could do that, I have a pig I have to cut up, already butchered and cooled in the freeze.  I could make sausage out of the two and be all set with a goodly supply of sausage, a few ribs and some tenderloin.  I agreed we could do it.  Poppie groaned at me.  Mokie was excited and was sure she wanted some of them, not sure why they don't eat the meat, though Bubble does only drink goats milk now, she just could not longer do the formulas they all made her spit up or throw up.  I end up sharing lots of milk as Mokie can't always find time to milk her one milking goat, and Yogie won't milk her as she is usually too tired by the time she finishes all 5 of ours.  Booboo has decided with the new ones coming she might try milking the one she has chosen as hers, we will see that outcome...... I agreed to pick them up in the afternoon.

Mokie and I, with Boy, Yogie and Booboo in tow went out to pick up the goats after I got home from CAKLS, yay I got to go.  Had a wonderful time with the ladies, I do so miss them when I can't go.  Lady gave Yogie a book while we were there, Yogie needed a break from the other kids so came with me, she was having one of her melancholy days.  She doesn't get them as often as when she was little but occasionally she just needs time.  Yogie was enthralled with the book, it was such a special blessing for Lady to give it to her, a nice bit of kindness she often thinks of, most adults wouldn't think to give the odd old farm husbandry books to a child but I guess maybe that is why she is a librarian, she sees a special interest a child might have. We were off on our adventure.  Poppie had Bubbles, Cubbie, Curious and Cartoons at home with him. 

We got out to Herbalist, spoke to her and she said we could take the trailer, she left to go to the post office and the Professor was doing his Tuesday radio address.   I backed up to the trailer, with a little wrangling Mokie and I put it on the hitch and we were ready to go.  I drove forward 30 to 50 feet and we both knew something was wrong, the trailer was a huge anchor.  Mokie looked into the rear view mirror the tire on her side was not moving.  We got out and the fender was smashed into the tire on the passenger side.  I knew that if I moved the trailer it would ruin the tire.  I volunteered to hike up to the house and advise the Professor.  Shortly he and I returned to the trailer.  He was a concerned as I was, he knew immediately that Herbalists son, Accident, had done it but he was upset that he hadn't told them.  He had left for Utah earlier in the day and they had no idea that he had missed up the trailer.  Funny, I have an adult son that causes me endless days of sleeplessness, sort of comforting to know that I am not the only on.... We called Poppie and Son and they came out to help us, after Shinny picked up Curious and Cartoons.  I hadn't known that Professor had told Poppie that I might have hit something with the trailer or that Accident had done it.  Poppie arrived, he been fully prepared to give me what for but then he said, 'I saw a tree down the road that had been hit and there is a drag mark all the way up the road right to where the trailer was parked.'  Whew, I don't think that a lecture from Poppie for careless driving would have been helpful at that point.  Professor told Poppie after he got off the phone he too had decided that I couldn't have hit anything in the 30 feet I had gone, maybe it was just hope on his part that it wasn't Accident this time.  Funny how as they age they still stay in some ways that little boy that we couldn't figure out what we were going to do with, I told them I had one of those so I totally understand the hope we can have, or not have.

Son and Poppie had to do a lot of jacking, prying and finally let the air out of the tire and some pounding to fix the trailer enough to load and take home for Poppie to weld and really fix.  The trailer temporarily fixed, we went to loading goats, one of the little bucklings was most definitely a female, but soon we had them all loaded and we were on our way.  We got home around 8, we disturbed the goats to the right pens, some went to Mokies, some to my doe pen and the three nasty little ornery and horny bucks to the old weanling pen so they could await harvest without bugging my little goats.  I may actually try to sell one of the them his is a truly nice specimen.  Funny, I ended up with all the Saanans, the sibling of my does and Mokie prefers the Oberhaslis, the children and grandchildren of her goat from Herbalist.  I like the whites and she likes the browns.  Mokie and I are alot like the girls much alike and totally different in our tastes.  The buckling were like holding on to a meteorite on a rope to move to the pen.  They had never been on a lead and the fought like little bulls at the rodeo.  All in all a totally adventurous afternoon and evening I don't think any of us want to repeat.  Made dinner, dumped out the cheese I had started but forgot about when I came home from CAKLS,  I guess it was not my day to multi task.  The pigs will get a treat so no harm no foul.  I would have been much more upset had I not had the pigs as back up.  I do so hate to waste food but with pigs I do tend to be a little more generous with our scraps. 

Today, Mokie is making a cake for a baby show at Church.  I am going to be taking photos of the goats I am going to list on Craigslist.  I will have to eventually list a few more but have to decide which does work in my herd and which don't.  I would love to keep them all but hay and grain are expensive.  I just need to sell more soap I guess...... I hope your day is a rodeo, good or bad it gets your heart pumping and the Lord knows surprises are good for the Soul.... tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Laundry soap bottled, baby bunnies delivered and the biggest saddle horses you ever seen.

I gathered up all of the laundry bottles that I have been gifted with in the last year.  Yogie and I, water in hand, a large kitchen pan and gel, so off we started on our mixing adventure.  Yogie stirred as I poured in water and scoped gel into the pan.  She is an exuberant stirrer, you might say, she can whip it, whip it good, so the soap soon had a creamy froth of what looked like whipped cream on the top of it.  It doesn't pour well with all the lovely air in it.  I had to explain to her that had we been making whipped cream she would be the queen of whipping but with soap whipping was not so good.  She soon got her stirring to a more soft and less excited state.  We ended up filling 4 bottles with a lemony citrus clean smell, 3 with a melony smell, and 3 with a lilac breeze smell, we also have some none scented to bottle this morning and one 48 ounce container of gel that actually worked quite well as dishwasher soap.  I was glad of that, I had been trying to figure our something that worked well for the dishwasher, had tried combos of borax, washing soda and Tsp phosphate.  None of them worked all that well for me.  I am not a prewasher when I use the dishwasher, I don't see the point in washing the dishes to "wash" the dishes.  The gel worked well the three loads I tried it in, I am thinking I may next time add some tsp is I find that it doesn't consistently clean, but so far so good. 

I am going to make up some cold process soap today, isn't that fun now I have to actually specify cold or hot as they are so different and both usable options of success.  Still yay.  I have a bunch of milk to use up, thinking a marathon of soap making today, well if my arm holds out and the drill is here, I do have to get Poppie to make the holder for the drill, still not as efficient as the stick blender but the cost of not burning one up regularly priceless, and my arms do need the work out. 

I was in the middle of pouring soap into bottles yesterday when Booboo came in excitedly saying that Ruby the rabbit was having babies.  We knew she was due but she never pulled any hair so thought maybe she hadn't actually taken.  I got out there and sure enough she was having babies on the wire.  I sent Booboo to get some timothy hay and I got a step ladder to be able to reach into the cage.  She had two babies, both cold, one large and crying, one small oddly shaped and breathing.  Booboo handed me the hay and I fashioned a nest and put the two babies in it, and a fast a you could say 8 more babies they were there, I picked them out from under her in a steady flow and she delivered them.  One was born dead, and the little one that was oddly shaped didn't make it but a successful kindle to be sure.  She never had a problem with me handling the babies and helping her, later she was not happy with Poppie when he picked the oddly shaped one out of her nest, I had taken the dead one right away but left the little one as it was breathing.  She never did pull any hair but did make a nice nest with the hay.  It must have been to hot for hair, rabbit raising is still a new experience for us.  We will learn as we go I suppose.  The babies are all "blue" satins, the momma is red and the dad is blue, we thought we would get a mix but they all appear to be blue.  Fun to have some color all our other bunnies are white with pink eyes.

The girls, grands and their friends have spent the last three days riding the biggest giant horse I would imagine have ever existed.  I couldn't find the girls yesterday and their they were on the top of the hay bales.  Each bale is 1200 pounds and they are laying on their sides under the tree by the drive.  The kids ride them like they are out on the prairie on a great adventure.  They actually have to jump from the garden wall to get onto the bales.  It is nice to see them using their imaginations the way we did as kids, and I would imagine much like kids have for 100's or 1000's of years.  It is refreshing to see that three bales of hay could bring such joy, exercise and non electronic fun.  I haven't been told where they have traveled but it must be to a place of true joy and fun as I haven't heard much squabbling or fighting. I would say when they are all riding across the great plains bareback, sometime double, and not fighting that life is good.  I wonder where their steeds will take them today?  It looks like it could rain a little but as the bales are under the tree and saddled with black plastic there stallions of adventure will stay dry.  I hope you have adventures of a child today, nothing is more innocent and exciting.... tomorrow.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Creamy Vaseline grows into 7 gallons of creamy gel, Sort of like when you put too much yeast in sponge.

I got up on Sunday morning to what I thought may be a failure on my way to conquering liquid laundry soap, that I didn't have to make from hard soap bars.  I found my pan, setting in a pan of water as a double boiler, had a foaming crust floating on amber liquid.  I sighed and turned on my drill and the water pan below the pan with my experiment in it.  The drill brought the mix back to the state it had been the night before, back to runny mashed potatoes, much to my amazement, as runny mashed potatoes is a stage of making liquid soap.  I call it making liquid soap but it is actually hot process soap making.  I was pleasantly back to having hope that my concoction might work.  I let it cook for about two hours before we had to go to church.  It did seem to be cooking and changing for the better.  Once we returned from church I fired up the double boiler again and it cooked for about 4 more hours.  I was getting a little frustrated, again, as it wouldn't turn clear like Vaseline.  It was a nice creamy Vaseline but didn't seem to want to turn clear, well clear amber like real Vaseline.  I got to thinking okay, so I used things in it I would never put in shampoo, so maybe they made it so it wouldn't turn clear, or maybe I am lazy and didn't have enough patience for the giant batch I made to actually cook long enough to turn clear, either way I was done cooking.  I took about two tablespoon of my creamy Vaseline and put it in a glass. I added about double the water and stirred.  It stirred up nice but I needed to add more water, then more water. It grew much more than I had expected, sort of like when you put to much yeast in the sponge, it overflows the bowl and grows down the cupboard on its way to the big splash on to the floor, believe me not something you want to try anytime soon, I digress...  I finally added about 3/4 of a cup before I got a nice consistency for laundry soap, I never call it detergent as it isn't.  Detergent means it is made from petroleum and I don't use any petroleum based product to clean with in my house and haven't for about two years.  Not in shampoo, laundry soap or for dish washing. I just don't want crude in my hair, clothes or touching my food, again I digress.   I did tried my creamy Vaseline at gel stage in the dishwasher to see if it would be suitable as dish washing gel, not sure how it worked yet, sorry.  The mixture in the glass made nice bubbles in my hands, so enough cleaning in the emulsion of water and creamy Vaseline.  It actually went through a few stages gel, and then stringy goo that needed more water and then nice thick laundry soap, yay.  Okay, so I don't get out much.  I decided the trial amount worked so I needed to add water to the whole pot.  Well, not the pot it was cooked in, as I discovered from the trial it was way to small, so I got out my cheese making pot that will hold around 7 gallons to the very brim.  I added the creamy Vaseline and water half way up, needed more, I added all the way to the top and now have about 7 gallons of gel.  So today I am going to put it into two pots and add enough water to make it in to liquid laundry soap.  Once I have it to the right consistency I am going to scent it, several different scents. If I could find bluing I might have added it into some of the mix to see it would have changed the mixture but that will have to be for another batch, I couldn't get any in town.  I wonder what bluing has in it, will have to check before I try it, wouldn't want to inadvertently put petroleum in my mix unknowingly.  Okay, so I may have a little OCD. 

While my soap cooked I got out of the house a little with Poppie, we have decided that the goats scare the rabbits and then the does, that have tiny baby rabbits, accidentally step on them and kill them, so we are moving the rabbit room.  Poppie worked on the goat stalls in the barn.  He will end up with two nice big stall, which may get some individual stalls but for now are two large divisions.  The old hay barn is currently empty, the big rounds don't fit so are tarped, three outside of the fence off of the driveway, under the tree and one in the yard tarped. The little goats, that roam free in the yard, not in the pen with the does, free graze off of it below where Poppie has it tarped

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The market, the hay and the runny mashed potatoes..... The Hutterite Life.

We got Poppie to help us set up the tent/gazebo at the farmer's market.  He was grumpy and mean he didn't want to be there and he was sure that he would miss the hay mans coming.  Turns out we were home before the hay man came so he should have been nicer.  I digress.  We finally got him to settle down and he finished helping put up the tent, got the girls some tea and was off to home.  The morning was very dreary so much so that my friend Flower Child, who runs the farmer's market, let us all have a fee free day.  It was very nice of her to do so, I gave her a bar of bubble gum soap for her kindness, the girls gave her a foccacia. The day became much sunnier before noon and people came out.  The girls had a normal day or sales, they usually sell pretty consistently about the same amount of bakes goods. I sold actually more than normal, but the more was probably due to the sales to Herbalist.  My new friend, Granola, dropped off a couple of cookbooks for us to read and enjoy.  She also picked up some feta I had brought for her to try, I usually give a sample the first time so they can decide if they like it.  A couple of real nice girls dropped by, not actually girls but young ladies about my older girls ages, one is running for House of Rep in our area.  The candidate has goats and we had so much to talk about and share, I didn't even know she was running until she left and her friend that is into sourdough told me.  They were there as part of a fundraiser washing cars.  The two ladies were working hard at car washing when we packed up, looked like they had some other volunteers but didn't seem like they weren't that much help. The two ladies seemed to be the heart of the event with some people who were there to tag along and take up space as we never saw them even attempt to wash a car.  All is all a great day.  Poppie came to pick us up, Grandpa blessed us with Swiss chard and lettuce, we had the lettuce wilted with bacon dressing for dinner, with one of Booboo's 5 bean salads, which was fabulous and Poppie grilled a chicken.  The hay came in the afternoon and is super wonderful hay and was delivered so a win win. 

Red and his to younger boys stopped by in the afternoon, it was nice to see him, he was in the area and stopped by to see all of us sisters.  The boys had fun in the goat pen and with the girls.  They got to take home some peacock feathers, it is shedding season.  Poppie and Yogie had spent the afternoon weeding and Red had seen their diligence as he had passed to go to Drama and Sister's houses.  He said his garden seemed to be lacking fertilizer to grow in, we offered him some of our girls manure so will take him some in the fall so he can till it in for next year. It was truly nice to see him and boys.  They are soon to be going on vacation to the Oregon coast.  That will be so nice for them.

I spent the afternoon making what I hope to be my first successful batch of liquid laundry soap that is not made by grating bar soap.  I mixed it up, and it did trace, Poppie helped with some of the time holding the drill, he is working on a wrack to hold it in as it is heavy for me to lift, not as fast as the stick blender but I don't burn them up.  I put it in the double boiler to cook, my crock pot is still full of my shampoo as I have to bottle it with the lovely bottle I got from Belle, I have to order more.  I started reading a wonderful book that Mokie bought me. The Hutterite life, a wonderful book written by one of the girls from the colony starting when she was 15.  It was originally a series of articles in the Havre Chronicle and then in the Great Falls Tribune, I think.  There was a great recipe for laundry soap bars, they take a year to dry before you can grate them, may try them some time.  There were also two recipes for buns, but they are written for 60 people so will have to cut the recipes down to try.  The book reminds me of reading my blog, connected but each story is about a different time or aspect of the colony and isn't really connected to the story before.  My soap was finally to runny mashed potato stage at bedtime so I turned it off and will have to work on it today, I may end up splitting the batch and put it into my rebatcher crock pots.  We will see, I do so hope it is a successful endeavor but only time will tell at this point. 

Off to worship the Lord and commune with our Church family this morning.  The Preachers youngest daughter will be there as she is visiting her folks so it will be so nice to meet her.  If she likes it here, we are told, she may decide to stay permanently, but that will be up to the Lord to speak to her heart.   Off on our day of praising the Lord... tomorrow.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Back to the Farmer's Market today. Hope it doesn't pour rain on us. Hay day.

The ladies sand I will be back to the farmer's market today.  We are definitely taking the pop up tent/gazebo, nice that we have it.  I hope the rain holds off a little I know we need it but no one, or only a very few brave souls, come to the market in a monsoon.  We didn't make bagels or pretzels this week.  We only really baked alot of Friday.  We made breads only on Thursday.  We have a nice regular assortment of breads, pies, rolls and foccocias.  Today we have some hay coming we found a farmer in Huson the grows timothy hay, which is wonderful hay for goats that delivers.  We thought his deliver fee was more than fair especial since we still don't have a truck to drive.  The new to us one has to be licensed and Poppie has to get it a power stirring line and change the tires on it.  It will be a fine work horse for getting fire wood in the  near future but for now it will be nice to have the hay brought to us.  We are thinking if we like the hay we will stick with him.  We couldn't even think of the big bales before we got the backhoe, it is such a blessing already in our lives.  We truly do appreciate the people who's generosity combine to make it a reality in our lives.  I think one of the things so many people miss about having faith in the Lord, and trying to do the right thing, is that the trials and how we endure them, can truly bring the rewards of the Lords blessing.  So many people dwell on the bad that they forget that once the Lord allowed Job to be tested he rewarded him. I know I am not the person Job was; but I am one of the Lords and he will and has rewarded us for our faith and endurance and will continue to do so.

Bubbles was with me yesterday, our new regular day is now Friday.  Her little smile is always such a reward.  She is now crawling up consistently to the couches, the swing and anything else she can get a hold of.  She is also learning that "no, you will fall" has merit.  She will  look at you decide not to try and then look for you to smile that she was good and deserves a smile as her reward.  She will then give you her glorious tooth grin.  She has learned how to step forward if her foot starts to slip back wards while standing,  she has navigated that she has to step in ward if her legs start to spread unduly apart.  She does still take a nose dive once in awhile and it is heartbreaking to hear her agony when her face hits the floor.  No bruises, a hug and a cuddle and she is back at it with gusto.  She like her sister and Yogie will be walking by nine months, such go getters they are.  Yogie to this day is my explorer she just wants to see what she can do next, I am so glad her current challenge is milking, animal chores, and gardening.  I do wish she would revisit her exploration of books with the love she once had, maybe it will come again.

The coffee is coming, the car has to be packed with goodies and soap.  Off to the market, hope to visit with friends who come by even if the rain does come.  I am sure we won't melt and I hope they remember they won't either.... tomorrow.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Poppie scared us and didn't even feel contrite.... Poppie made a big mistake with his toy.

Today we are going to tell the tales of Poppie.  It just must have not been Poppies day yesterday.  He had a Doctor appointment and decided he would go all alone, he never gets to go alone we worry about him like old mother hens so don't let him go alone.  Ok, so we are needy alright enough said.  The girls and I, well Booboo and I, as Yogie has decided that she is a most excellent milker and animal husband, is that what you call it when you practice animal husbandry?  I digress.  Anyway she has taken it upon herself to do all of the animal chores all alone and all by herself.  Very proud of her initiative. Poppie does check later to see that she is doing well for animal safety, she is little and only 9 almost 10 after all. Anyway, they have basically decided that Yogies niche is working with the animals so therefore Booboo should pick up slack and do the inside chores.  Yogie also is a saleswoman to the core of who she is, could sell sunshine to the Navajo and ice to the....., well you get the point.  Booboo is not sure she should do all the baking but knows she doesn't want to do the animal chores or the selling to any great extent so is coming around to being a baker.  Yogie does like to cook and is probably a better all around cook but baking is not where her forte lies.  Booboo is trying to embrace her baking and does like to make certain things like, pies, bagels and donuts, newly discovered as she made them for the first time yesterday.  She really does love the baking just not so much the kneading as yet, her little arms get tired and needs back up.  It is funny how so alike they are and so different, I think that is how sisters are supposed to be.  "Sisters from the start, friends from the heart".......

Anyway Poppie was off about 9 to be to the Doctor by 11:20.  He had made plans to stop at the hardware stores is Zootown to check out a drill or possible a fitting for the paint stirrer for the dremel or foredom or possibly a smaller shanked stirrer. Didn't find a really answer except maybe a plug in drill and a arm he will make so I can make soap and not have to hold the heavy drill.   He then went to his appointment and for some reason, which he did not give details for, he didn't get out of his appointment until 12:30.  He didn't get home until after 2.  I started trying to call his cell around 12 but no answer.  I called 9 times and left a message the 10th time as he didn't answer from 12 to 2.  I was so worried by the time he got home.  He came in and was totally oblivious to why we would be worried he was just doing his thing.  We were worried as he was way off a normal time frame and he never goes that far alone, not that he can't he just doesn't, he so hates to even go to the Zoo.  I will never understand the man thing of how time can gets away, they have not explanation of why and they just don't understand your worrying. Totally clueless....

Poppie came home to we worriers had lunch and one of Booboo's fresh made donuts.  He and Yogie spent the better part of the afternoon weeding the garden, one of their favorite shared past times.  They could till it under and be done with it but they enjoy the time in the sun, the peace of a shared work and the goats get buckets of weed to munch on.  I do so love to see the two of them so in tune with one another.  Booboo and me get to share time together baking in the kitchen and they share time baking in the garden, both special shared time together that the others would not trade straight across, funny that. 

We went to the river, the girls swam and I picked little river stones for an accompaniment to one of the sculptures I am making.  We had a nice time in the sun and the water.  We returned home and Poppie went to his friend's, that was going to fix one of his hydraulic lines, but didn't catch up with him.  He came home and decide to use his backhoe with out it.  He had blown up the line earlier in the week and looked just like a roughneck with black oil streaming down his face, arm and body.  It was a blessing that the line blew before it was hot.  I guess the first of many fixes to come on an antique backhoe no matter how stellar condition it may be in.  He found that he could use the backhoe with out it, just not the bucket.  He was going to dig a hole and forgot to ask the line company, in this case Nannie, where the underground lines were.  He dug into ground for his first hole and ripped the water line in half.  So he spent the next 45 minutes fixing it before he could dig his hole.... funny how Poppie get ahead of the cart when he is on one of his toys and can't wait to play with it, so like Boy and Eldest that way, or maybe it is all male humans on this earth, more like....

Today Booboo

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Are you just living you life? I try. Do you play it by ear or have a schedule or do you have resolve?

I find the older I get the more I try to just live and let live.  I don't mean in the way the hippies did, so I am not living a life of anything goes.  I am also not of the persuasion of the new trends of all things should be acceptable except those things which we have decided shouldn't be allowed because they might hurt someones or somethings feelings.  I actually have heard lately that you can't call your pet a pet anymore because it is offensive and hurts his feeling.  There is also a new group trying to politically correct the word, "illegal alien"  it is offensive for you to call them that now.  Ok so what do we call people who come into our country illegally, destroying the chances for people who come legally's rights  and chance to come. What do we call the people we have to put through college when we can't afford to send our own, what do we call people who get to vote because they don't want to get an Id, because they can't, to vote.  Why is it that we should have to give them anymore? or respect when they have stolen so much from our country?  Why is it that my ancestors had to come legally, and worked hard to do so, but now I am asked to give respect to the group that didn't  and stomps on all the rights of the ones that worked hard and did. Maybe  we will have to call them "differently nationed  children" or "non natives who are screwing over our system"? is that politically correct enough... I digress.  I just get a little upset that you can't have pray, or even a silent moment, in a public place or class room because you might offend someone but you have to allow illegals, and pay for them, you have to allow the gods, of any other nation, respect but not the "IN God We Trust" of our forefather a moment of respect.  An atheist is allowed to not have to see the 10 commandments, really some judge is going to allow 6 commandments to be displayed but not the other four as they are the bad ones that talk about God.  Sadly this is what our country is coming to.  I am not looking forward to the time when God turns his back on us as a country like we as a country have turned our back on him.  We as a country need to grow a pair and stand up to the insidious erosion of Gods presence in our country.  I am not talking about the separation of church and state.  I, believe in that, but since when is school "the state"?  Since when is a mountain with a statue on it "the state"?  I think the liberals have spent a lot of time making the whole country 'the state".  Yesterday I watched a news dispatch about a man in Arizona the was arrested for having a bible class in his own home.  They put him in jail for 60 days because he was running church.  Really? his neighbor could have a Tupperware party with more people that parked on the street than he had but when he had a bible study and all the cars were parked in his own drive way the city said he was breaking the law.  I would be very afraid if I lived in his state and town.  Is that really what we have become as a country, oh, I forgot it is ok in the same state and town to have a gathering of Islam and no one got arrested.  I really have a probably with the way that our country has gone from exalting the Lord, to saying if you want to show any respect for or appreciation for the Lord you are the enemy of state and your rights are less important than the "illegal alien", the atheist, GLAAD, or the children of Islam.  Sadly the dark side of this life is winning and the good people who want to be milquetoast, and not hurt anyone are allowing it, promoting it and haven't a clue what the consequences of their folly will be....

I find that the older I get the less inclined I am to get on a proverbial schedule.  I don't know that I will ever figure out how June Cleaver ever managed it all. I guess it was the magic of tv and it was probably not attainable any way.  I do think that living is about how you live your life not how you live your daily life.  I don't really think that on Judgement day that God will asked me why I put the vinegar under the sink when everyone knows that it shouldn't have been right next to the pinesole.  I think God will be more interested in how I treated the ones less fortunate than myself, whether I taught my children to love and worship him.  I may be asked why I didn't fight for all 10 of the commandments to stand in the town square and why I didn't try and help those people who wanted a bible study in their living room though...... tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A visit to the river, swimming and sand castles.....

We had been promising the girls to go to the river to swim since Saturday but due to afternoon thunder showers in the evenings we didn't get to go until yesterday.  The girls were more excited about the going than the getting in when we first got there.  Yogie jumped in right away but Booboo played on the rope, she didn't actually jump in from the rope she mostly swung out over the water for the longest time.  She let her sister have a go or two, and Yogie actually jumped into the river.  Yogie bumped her bum on the bottom of the river a time or two.  The rope is in a different place this year, I think the water is a little higher this year and should go down a bunch more before long.  The sand is a huge sand dune and the girls took full advantage of it.  They dug holes and played in the sand with the joy only a child can find in sand.  Booboo finally tipped her hat to why she was tentative to going in the water.  She saw the remnants of the old beaver house that used to be adjoining the sand bar and asked if there were beavers in the water.  I told her no, and showed her that their house was all washed away.  She must have been having flash backs to the floating trip last year.  A couple of beavers had jumped from the shore into the river near us and scared her.  Mokies foot had bumped her bum under her enter tube and she had come off of her enter tube like she had been shot out of a gun.  She with no care that she was in 10 feet of water jumped into the river and had swum to me in terror.  We had all had a laugh over her scare, well everyone but her, and she had laid like a board on her enter tube the rest of the trip.  No amount of assuring her that beavers didn't eat little girls would make her put her bum back in the water.  I, having surmised her fear, assured her anew that there were no beavers at the people's beach, the name of the swimming hole under the bridges.  She finally decided the beavers were no threat to her and began swimming like a fish.  I told them to go up the beach and swimming with the current so they could learn to take advantage of the current so that if they ever found themselves in the river, and is distress, they could use the current to push them to shore. I explained the being comfortable using the current and not afraid of it would help them in an emergency.  All in all it was a wonderful trip to the river, old mom never got in further than my waist.  I usually swim but it gets colder every year on this old body so will have to do better next time.  Poppie who doesn't swim well and never thinks of it a a form of fun didn't even make an attempt, didn't ever wear shorts. 

Today we are off to a 6 month check for three of the kids and Yogie has an ortho appointment.  We are hoping to get in and get home before the oppressive heat does us in. Nothing worse than a drive in a car with no air conditioning and the temperature is to be at almost 100, ok a few degrees less but oppressive none the less.  We have to pick up some flour, some peaches and sugar to make pies for the farmers market tomorrow.  Maybe some other fruit as well.  We have a request for mulit grain bread so will make sure to pick up some whole wheat, we have rye and cornmeal on hand, as well as some 9 grain cereals.  I think we have an order for whole wheat bagels as well.  I think the ladies will have renewed joy after taking a much needed week off from baking and the farmer's market.  Well up and at 'em we have to be in Zootown by 8:20, Yogie is milking now so we can go, they didn't get to milk last night and the 5 girls are not happy about it, they sure as shooting won't wait until we get home and no one wants to milk in the heat of the day anyway.  Have a great day.... tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Books treasures of life, I spent the better part of the day reading or being read too.

Yogie lost the love of reading when her dear Mrs. Riebech was let go and she moved to St. Regis. She was so saddened by her going. There was something about her that just called to my girl. I have tried to restart her love but it has been a hard thing to accomplish. She went from winning the summer library reading program, for her age group, to finding reading a chore. She still reads but the love it definitely lacking. I gave them the option of reading one of three books this week, young histories of Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin or Merriweather Lewis. Booboo is off and running well into her book. Yogie is enjoying her book but still is dragging her feet. I know I will find her niche it is just something I have to keep at. I do so want to keep their reading up and the most important thing is that they put in the time.

I read most of the Daughters of Eve, no, it is not a naughty novel. Those of you that know me know I am an addict and though many of my friend have tried to convince me that it is in my head, those who know me no it is not. I will never of my own accord pick up a historical novel, romance novel or contemporary novel and read it. You would not encourage a crack addict to smoke one little pipe so please don't encourage me to read one, it would truly destroy my life in a way you can not imagine. I had so go through a lot to climb out of my addiction, no you are not supposed to laugh it was very real for me and my older kids suffered because of me. I digress.

I chose the Daughters of Eve because number one my great aunt is on the cover and I think for some reason God had decided it was my time to read it. I have been enthralled with it. My copy is from 1963, it is a the sixteen edition, it must have small publications or they were busy printing it is 63 as it speaks of stats from 1962. I have gobbled it up. It is about 25 most important woman from the Bible. It was written by Lottie Beth Hobbs. I am amazed at the cutting edge aspect of this book. It is all about the problems we are currently enduring in this modern times. It either means the book is times less or the times have not changed and the problems that were ramped in 1963 are still destroying our society. I do know that it is giving me such current insight to my life. I have only about 80 pages left to read this morning. I went on EBay last night and got a killer deal on the rest of her books, all 6 for 11 dollars. That is alot cheaper than buying one new book, so I am cheap and I can't afford to help her sell more but God will forgive me, as he knows I need the knowledge they have in them.

I got another copy of Daughters of Eve as well, the new ones have different covers and I want my girls to have one each with their Great Great Great Aunt, one less as they are adopted but all three of the greats at their births. She came to visit us about 15 years ago. She was a remarkable woman, she died about 2 years ago at the grand old age of 96, her sister is alive and well and 107. Funny the boys in their branch of the family don't make it past 67 with out surgery on their hearts but the girls live to the century mark regularly, you know I am living to 94 so will be right in line with the other ladies of my clan. She lived in Red China from 1928 to 1948, she was the wife of a Preacher, he was a wonderful man in his own right. He died four years ago, a finer Preacher I have never heard speak. While they lived in China, they had some of their children and did missionary work. They were thrown out in 1948 when the Chinese cracked down and closed up their country. My uncle was an avid learner and spent time learning to speak Mandarin Chinese while he was there. He decide after a time that his Chinese was up to par and decided to give his sermon in Mandarin. He got up to say the Lord's Prayer but his genuflect was wrong and he said "I left my pants in the field" I wonder how the people took his message, it has always been a funny antidote in the family but can you imagine his parishioners? What would they have thought of the odd American leaving his pants in a field? Did they think he was truly a Godly man to have done that or did they take it all in stride and laugh with him? or at him?

I am so blessed to have had the generations before me and the generation to come in my family. I am the richer for the people who made me who I am. Will I be an enrichment to the children in my future or the children I have touched in my life? I do know that the book has such insight into the ways I should go forward and has given me thoughts about the life I have and will lead from here forward. I have done somethings well, and something not so well, but I have always tried so that would make me human. Looking forward I must just remember that each day I get a clean new page from God with all the possibilities still attainable on it..... tomorrow.