This is David and Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.
Back in late June, early July, the Lord graciously granted our final cow, Casi Blanca, to give birth to a calf for this year! It ended up being a little bull calf, and we decided to name him Salomón, which means "peaceable."
Here are a few pictures of him, and with Casi:
And a little video:
As always, we are so very grateful to the Lord for granting these continued provisions, and the resources He's graciously granted to be able to feed the cattle!
For the guys, it was back into the house to try to finish up as much of the ceiling as possible.
And here are a few pictures of the work:
And the final progress! Almost total complete now...just some edge pieces, and I need to figure out an attic access point:
Community Work Day Homestead Painting
The ladies and children came over too, and graciously helped out in painting just about all of the painted structures we have in our inner field area -- goat sheds, chicken tractors and coups, the outhouse, summer kitchen roof fascia, the cistern covering structure, and a generator box. They sanded the wood, and then painted...
And here they are in freeze-frame action!
Victory over the goat sheds!
Painting war paint! (there's irony in there somewhere :) )
And some of the other completed structures:
We're grateful to the Lord for granting the resources and a serving community of people to help us as we desire and try to live our lives out of love for Christ and love for each other, and thanks very much to the group for all of the help!
Over the years, we've traded with the Bunkers for mating pigs to be able to keep the line going, or we've used a boar that they had. However, this year, they haven't had one for that purpose; and so, we had been trying to figure out how best to proceed. We were looking around and asking around the feed store in town and the like, and one contact led to another. The suggestion from some of the local pig breeders was to artificially inseminate (AI) -- they said it was pretty simple. Well, I contacted a somewhat local fellow who does that for show Durocs, and we discussed it, but he also mentioned he had a boar for sale -- not one of his best, but would be willing to sell it. And so, I went away to think and pray about it all.
Some time passed, and I was going to really start this process again, probably going the AI route. But as I got talking to that local fellow again, he started describing what was involved, and it was a bit more complicated than it first appeared, with having to store the semen at certain temperatures, etc. Hm. But, then I asked him about the boar he had for sale before, and he said he had that one, and another one, and he was about to take them to market, but would let me have them at market price, which ended up together being less than the original price of one pig the first time! Wow, very nice, and thanks to the Lord for that gift!
So, I went to pick them up. One of them was *huge*, and ornery, and I figured he would be difficult to handle; so I decided we'd keep the smaller one and take the bigger one to the butcher, which is what we did that day. He was probably 500-550 pounds or so, I believe, and was just as difficult to get out of the trailer as he was to get in. But we did, and then took the smaller one back to our homestead, and to Penelope.
Given Penelope's name, we decided to call him Odysseus, and here is a latest picture of him!
And here are the latest of him and Penelope:
And this is a video of when they first met:
We're grateful to the Lord for His timing in everything, and for the provision of the meat, and we pray He grants the next round of breeding, and a safe one, according to His will!
Once again, we thank Him for His Word, and allowing us to learn it and sing His praises this way, and may His praises be from our hearts out of love for Him! May He glorify Himself and benefit His Church through this.
I mentioned in our 2014 goat kid blog post that I've been busy with seasonal chores, which I hope to write about soon; but they have also kept me from work on the house. Not much has been done since the upper west siding was finished, but on this last "first Wednesday of the month" community work day, which actually ended up being second Wednesday so more folks could participate, the men came over to our place; and we continued putting up ceiling panels!
And so, here are some of the sights of that work....
Here, the guys are finishing screwing in the rough-shod, T-111-like panel. We're using 1 5/8-inch Deskmate screws:
Then us getting ready for a panel:
And placing it. Although they're lighter than other 4-foot by 8-foot panels, holding them over your head for any length of time gets a bit tiring. :) :
Here is the cutting crew...first measuring:
And here is the west end of the house, with the main panels in place!
And here is the east side:
And this shows a bit of the library, which is the part that still needs to be done:
Here are the fellows relaxing at the end of the day:
We are thankful as always to the Lord for Him granting the resources to work on the ceiling, the safety He granted, able bodies to perform the work, and the community He has allowed us and the opportunity to work together. We always pray He glorifies Himself through these things!
At this point, this is our final hatching of the year -- the eighth the Lord has graciously granted!
Here's the mommy with her chicks! I believe it was four hatched out, and four still going strong, thanks to God! In the second picture, you can see a couple of them at the bottom eating an egg the mama had laid but they crushed as they were trying to get away from me when I was taking these pictures: :)
Weird story: one day I walked in to check on them, and one chick seemed sort of stuck to the cage fencing. As I examined closer, indeed it was -- a strand of chicken wire had double-pierced through its little chest and was holding it fast! Wow! So, I pulled the wire through, sprayed with hydrogen peroxide, and prayed for the best. And the Lord granted it recover fine, thankfully. Still, that was a new one for animal experiences! :)
Here's a video of them, including after moving all of the rest of the chicks out into the pen area this past Saturday night after dark. The fifth hatching had been there with their mama for some time, but I pulled that hen, and moved all of the rest of the chicks, including this eighth hatching, from the summer kitchen to join them, putting all of the mommies back into the main chicken tractor.
We are once again very grateful to the Lord for all of the chicken provisions He has graciously granted this year! May He glorify Himself in these processes and granting of these provisions!
We have continued the process of laying down around 8 inches of mulch covering the entire orchard area. When my brother, Kevin, visited in April, another thing he helped with, besides the barn loft and moving goat sheds, was helping lay down some of this mulch.
Here he is unloading it from the mulch carrier. One person would unload while the other person dumped, and then we'd switch jobs:
Here he is dumping some mulch around one of the fruit trees:
And here he is, apparently having way too much fun! :)
Once again, it was really nice to have him here to visit! This is burger lunch at the Owl Drug Store Soda Fountain & Grill downtown Coleman:
Back in the orchard, these are our first peaches of the year!
Since they all ripened around the same time, we decided to pull them all and dry them on our solar food dehydrator. We ended up with probably 30-35 dried peaches, thanks to the Lord granting them! The dehydrated fruit seems to be able to last for years in jars, as I recently ate some from a couple of years ago, and they're not too bad!
And here are our nectarines. We had a couple of trees produce them, and since they've been ripening so slowly, we've just been eating them along the way. In previous years, we've had grasshoppers eat them down; but thanks to the Lord not this year.
If you haven't experienced it before, I can't tell you how neat it is to walk to one of your fruit trees, grab a fruit, and eat it right there. What a wonderful provision from God!
Here are a couple of pictures of the orchard now:
You can see the difference I believe the mulch has made, by God's graces, from that last picture vs. a similar one from last year. It is amazing how much the trees have grown just this year! We've seen good growth from ones we got fully covered in the Spring time.
Goats love to eat fruit and nut trees. :) Here is their handiwork on the left side of one of our peach trees. I do hope one day to put up a more permanent fence around the orchard, including chicken wire around the bottom to keep the chickens out so we might plant something perennial-ish in the mulch, like maybe sweet potatoes:
It's also neat to have trees big enough where God has provided that the birds have a nice little place in which to hang out together. Here's a little video of them in one of the trees, and them flying away when I got close enough:
We're so very thankful for the growth of the trees and the provisions the Lord has graciously granted from them!