Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Not exactly shear delight...

I am thankful that I can laugh about this now, though I am not sure Mr. Darcy thinks it is all that funny. On Monday, we began the process of shearing our sheep. We have Leicester Longwools and their wool really is long! We prepared for this moment by watching others who are much more experienced than we...even a fellow from New Zealand who has been at it his whole life! We have the Premier 1 poster hanging in the barn, just to remind us, lest we forget what comes next. I have used shears on my husband's head (I should have remembered how difficult THAT was, with a willing participant and smaller shears!). I ought to have been content as the photographer, recording for time and eternity this historical moment at Providence Farm...our first sheep shearing event. But, nooooooo, I had to get in the middle of the fray! As I watched my husband wrestling the ram, I offered to help. I am, after all, his helpmeet. I got in a few strokes with the shears and then it happened. The unthinkable. I cut Mr. Darcy right on the tummy. I don't do well with the sight of blood...I even turn my head when having my own blood drawn. I shudder when the little guys suffer the inevitable boo-boos that come with adventurous boyhood on a farm. But, here I was in a situation where I could not turn my head. My precious children were watching. My husband could not let go of Mr. Darcy. I had to act. I ran to get the sutures. Now, mind you, I like to sew lovely fabrics and will stitch whenever the opportunity arises. I have mended beloved creatures of the stuffed variety. But, never in my life would I have imagined I'd be stitching a live animal. My husband has regaled me as a trooper...told all his buddies at the office that I earned my Combat Medical Badge. From his vantage point, he couldn't see my knees knocking under my skirt! He couldn't feel all the blood drain from my head to my toes. Though, I think he would confess he was a tad concerned that I might faint or be kicked! I prayed for grace, and liberally received it. I did it. I sewed up Mr. Darcy. Then I made a gracious exit (read: hasty retreat) from the barn to my domain....the kitchen. I said to call me if they needed me. They didn't. I was glad. I can whip up supper on a whim and whipstitch with ease. But please, Lord, don't make me whipstitch a sheep again....unless it is the baby's toy. My loving mother called yesterday to see if Mr. Darcy said "baaa" or "Brrrr." My dear friend asked if I was singing "oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow" (or white as a sheet!). As she so aptly said, "washed in the blood of the lamb," has new meaning for me now. I will never be the same. The thing is, now everyone knows I have done it. That means, if necessary, I may be called upon to do it again. I hope not. But if so, Lord help me...give me grace...let me faint not... Thankfully, I have no photo to share of this memorable moment. You'll just have to settle for the "before," and be patient for the "after."

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Promise of Spring

Some days make it easier to get bogged down in the slough of despond....kind of like today. It is cloudy, rainy and chilly. We are missing someone we love, not feeling so well. But the hand of Providence gives us hope. In the tiniest of buds and a hint of color, we have the promise of Spring. "Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." Acts 14:17 At Providence Farm today, we see the blossoms of cherries, pears, plums, and dwarf peaches and think of pies with buttery, flaky crusts. There are buds on the blackberries, promising jam and cobbler with homemade ice cream from fresh milk. Spears of green peek out across the yard and along the fences...bulbs preparing to burst forth in color for little hands to pick for the dinner table. The garden seeds are sprouting from tiny specks, reaching for sunshine and good, clean dirt. So, in the midst of the mist, we have hope. We look forward to a beautiful Spring and a bountiful harvest....Providentially.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Organic, naturally. Good, Providentially!

There are many things one can do to manipulate food. At Providence Farm, we do not like manipulation. All that we do cannot make our food good. Only God can make it good, Providentially! We prefer to do what comes naturally and trust God fully. Our animals enjoy sunshine (as the Lord allows), fresh air and clean water. They eat grass and bugs if they want 'em. Our chickens also get the finest, certified-organic, soy-free feeds we can find. We use no unnatural means to keep our pastures, flocks and herds healthy. All our animals are lovingly cared for by our family. The roosters crow at dawn and the hens lay beautiful, delicious, healthy eggs. Our laying hens are Cuckoo Marans, Buff Orpingtons and Blue Orpingtons. We purchase our chicks from another family-run farm dedicated to the preservation of pure breeds, not genetically modified or manipulated in any way. Our eggs are gathered, cleaned and packaged with the gentlest little hands. (Ok, so we are partial to those little hands...we love them! ) We use our own cartons of recycled materials. Our customers are our friends. They enjoy having their farm-fresh eggs delivered to their homes or other convenient meeting place. Providence Farm Egg Subscriptions are currently available. Sound inviting? Drop us a line and we would be glad to tell you how it works. We'd be delighted to meet you, Providentially!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Remember the Sabbath keep it holy. Sunday is a sweet day for our family. At Providence Farm, we work hard and play hard all week, Monday through Saturday. We do our best to be good stewards of all God has Providentially given us...our home, animals, land, children, time, talents and resources. We do it all for the glory of God, not just for the next generation, but to a thousand generations! Our Sunday is reserved for worship, fellowship and rest. It is a day in which we delight...for His delight.