Saturday, May 23, 2015

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: Batch of 2015 Chicks Number Two

Here come the second batch of chicks! Again, God graciously granted another set to hatch! This mama we set up in our first barn stall. At this point, I'm not sure how many she hatched out. In the video I say maybe ten, but I sort of remember only eight when I finally started counting, but now she's down to six. I know I found two out one time and put them back, and I know I found one that had died in the cage area, but I'm not sure what happened to others if there were any. If so, I'm thinking maybe they got out and then maybe something got to them.

But, we are thankful for these six, and here they are:

Second Hatched Chicks of 2015

More of Second Hatched Chicks of 2015

And Even More of Second Hatched Chicks of 2015

And their video:

Again, we are grateful to the Lord for granting this next batch of chicks!

-- David

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Orchard - Spring 2015 - Permanent Fence

For a few years now, we've let our goats out into our inner field, which is between the goat pens and the barn, as this area is always growing something naturally...mostly weeds, but the goats eat just about any of it. Well, in order to be able to do that, I had to put up a fence around our orchard and pecan trees, but I didn't want to take the time to put up a permanent fence, so I was hoping to be able to get away with just hand pulling some fencing around some lightly-pounded t-posts.

This worked well, until last year, and the goats started getting into the orchard, and ate back one of the pecan trees. So, it was time.

We've had a whole bunch of rain this Spring, thanks to the Lord for His graces and mercies. But that has slowed things down, so I'm only partially done after several weeks, but here is progress...

I originally thought I could just bury the landscape timber posts in mud, but the rains showed me that that wasn't going to work -- it just wasn't going to be solid enough for stretched fence. So, after unburying them, I concreted them in. I'm trying to get away with only using a single angled brace on the corners. I also added distance between the current trees, and brought out one side to allow for another row of trees. I figure I can just continue to move that west line over the years if needed to add room for more rows. There is also a gate space planned along one of the lines, big enough for the tractor to drive through:

Fence Posts Concreted In

More Fences Post Concreted In

Still More Fence Posts Concreted In

Again More Fence Posts Concreted In

Here's a diagonal brace installed. I notched out the the bottom of the dead-man post using a reciprocating saw and hammer and chisel, worked the angles on the brace until I got it right, and then notched out the upper side of the main post. Then, I drilled pilot and counter sync holes for the 3/8 by 6 inch lag bolts and washers:

Fence End Cross Post Installed

And so I didn't have to dig a post hole on line that already had fencing, I thought I would try using a t-post bracing system for one of the ends:

T-post Fence End

With the posts in place, using a string line around the perimeter, I pounded in the t-posts. Sometimes you hit rock, but sometimes those rocks are smaller, and it is possible to pound through/around them, although that almost certainly brings on the blisters, at least for me it does. :) :

Fence T-posts in Place

More Fence T-posts in Place

Still More Fence T-posts in Place

And that's it for now. Yesterday was dry enough for me to work on the fencing some, so I just started to tie off a couple of the ends of the net-wire fencing; but Lord willing, this will be ready soon. Actually, because we are sort of out of hay for one of the groups of goats, and it's too muddy to get any right now, I have to go move the temporary fence and hand pull it around the new fence line because we need to let them out today.

We thank God for His provisions to be able to put up the fencing, for the rains, the mercy in the weather, and for the free goat food He's granted to grow!

-- David

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: First Chick Hatching of 2015

Apparently, God's Spring-season "Broody Time!" memo went out, because He has begun to graciously grant the chicks to start a hatching!

This is round number one, which we usually start in the mini-chicken tractor. It's an Australorp mama that hatched out six chicks, all of which are still going strong!

Here they are at just a few days old! It's amazing to me how they can be all squashed up in a little egg like that, and peck their way out -- more of God's miracle ways!

First Chicks Hatched of 2015

More of First Chicks Hatched of 2015

Here's a video of them:

We are always very grateful to the Lord for Him perpetuating His animal provisions!

-- David

Friday, May 8, 2015

Garden - Spring 2015

A little over a month ago, with the weather looking like it was going to hold and not bring another freeze, it was that time of year to begin the garden! Always a joyous time of hope!

The War of the Weeds

As always too, there is a constant war with the weeds. Over the Winter, they certainly had their way with the garden areas:

2015 Winter Weeds in Garden II

2015 Winter Weeds in Garden I West

2015 Winter Weeds in Garden I East

But I had the tool and the power! :) These hoop hoes work great!

Hoop Hoe Used to Weed the Gardens

And here are the results!

Garden II 2015 Weeded

Garden I West 2015 Weeded

Garden I East 2015 Weeded

May the Spirit of Christ weed the garden of our hearts continually by His almighty power!


Once I figured we were clear of a freeze, we got to it, sowing seeds. Here Sue is helping:

Sue Planting the Garden

We also discovered that a zucchini we had planted last year decided to start growing now!

Zucchini Planted Last Year Germinated

And here we are as of today, freshly weeded again yesterday. :) I've been a little disappointed because a lot of things didn't germinate, not to murmur as we know all of these things are in God's sovereign and wise hands, but to maybe understand if I'm doing something wrong. We're still learning about planting in the mulch beds, and perhaps I really need to get them started in small containers first. Also, someone here asked if the seed was old, and it was, so I'm hoping that's the real problem.

Anyway, we are thankful for what the Lord is granting! The beans always do great around here. There is also some squash to the left. Between them were peppers, but none of them sprouted:

Garden I Growth Early May

These are the tomatoes. We're trying putting them in the shaded area to see how they do there:

Garden I Tomatoes

And this is that zucchini from last year! That's kinda funny to me. :)

Zucchini Planted Last Year

And if you look closely, you can see just a few others, I think maybe a pumpkin, and maybe some more okra:

Garden I Other Small Plants

I thought I'd try starting some more in some good soil, but only the okra (I believe) is coming up. This might help confirm that "old seed" theory:

Seed Starting

We are always thankful for the provisions the Lord grants, even daily for our daily bread! We pray He continues to direct us in these agrarian activities.

May He grant us good soil in our hearts, not hardened (where Christ and His truth make no impact and are stolen away by sin, temptation and the devil), not stony (where faith withers under trials and persecutions), nor thorny (where they are taken away by the cares of the world). Mark 4:4-20

-- David

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Providence's Perpetuation Provisions: New Calf "Natilla"

Around the time of our last calf, Mateo, was born, we found another calf in tow, this time with our cow Holga. The calf is our first heifer of the year, and because of her creamy color, we're calling her Natilla, which is "custard" in Spanish. Where she got that color I have no idea. :)

And here she is:

New Pure Longhorn Calf Natilla

And her video:

We are very thankful to the Lord for the continued safe and healthy delivery and calves, and for His continued provisions for them!

-- David

Monday, April 27, 2015

Goat Field Grass

When I had bought the seed to plant the north field with sorghum almum (with some millet as a filler), I also had bought enough to plant one of the goat fields that has just turned into more of a place in which the dogs can run around than anything else.

So, just a couple of weeks ago, after the field had been plowed, I wanted to get it planted before some potential rains, and so Sue and I got out there and just walked around, hand-throwing the seed:

Sue Planting Grass Seed

Also, I thought I'd use the shack caddy similarly to how we did the north field, dragging it; but I really didn't want to use the truck or tractor; and although I forgot about it initially, I didn't want to hook up the chain to make drag "fingers" like for the north field, as we wouldn't have been able to pull the caddy by hand with them.

So, Sue graciously accepted my invitation to help me drag it around the field, and we got out there and did it. The result wasn't as good as having the chain "fingers" behind, but I was hoping it would be sufficient to cover enough of the seed, and that the rains would do the rest.

And here we are on our little "romantic" walk in the field together, including shots from the DavidCam and the SusanCam! :)

Thanks to Sue for the help and nice time together! :) And thanks to the Lord for the provisions to plant, and we pray the Lord might grant the grass in the field, so we can be further sustaining, relying on Him directly!

-- David

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

David's Digest: Of Reviling

I came across these verses as I was going through 1 Corinthians in Puritan Dr. John Gill's commentary:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - "9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

Reviling is listed here by Paul as a great sin. But what does reviling mean? Here is what Gill says:
Nor revilers;
who are free with other men's characters, load them with reproaches, and take away their good names; either openly or secretly, either by tale bearing, whispering, and backbiting, or by raising and spreading scandalous reports in a public manner.

That's pretty clear, and convicting.

Reviling is highly divisive and strife-causing, allowing the devil to drive in wedges, which he knows works to destroy (Matt 12:25). Even secret reviling is a grievous sin. Sadly, I find this in myself at times, for which I ask God for forgiveness and that He grant me repentance and help against this.

More from Gill:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
[Paul said this] partly to reprove them for their injurious and unrighteous actions among themselves, their tricking and defrauding of one another, with other sins they were guilty of; which, if not repented of, would show, that notwithstanding their profession, they were destitute of the grace of God, were unfit to be in the kingdom of God, in a Gospel church state here below, and would be shut out of the kingdom of heaven hereafter.

That should be frightening.

Obviously, the Lord Christ never reviled, but He was constantly reviled here. And who reviled Him the most? Knowledgeable, self-righteous religiousites who claimed to be following the true God, Jehovah.

It is no different than today, where those who claim to be followers of Jehovah the Son, Christ Jesus, revile, and revile much. I've had heathen friends more forgiving and less reviling than what I've seen in churches and fellowships or experienced personally. And if Christ is our example, we should expect to be receive the same treatment from the same type of people.

But, we should pray the Lord grant we imitate His perfect response:
1 Peter 2:23 - "Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:"

May God grant us forgiveness and repentance from any reviling, even that which is in our hearts; may He mold us in the image of Christ and grant us His graces so He may glorify Himself in reflecting Himself in us; and may we leave ourselves and our circumstances to Him that judges righteously.

Matthew 5:10-11 - "11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

-- David