Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Flowing with Milk and Honey!

Our joint honey venture was a total success! From our one hive we got 10 gallons of honey. So 5 gal for Steve and Ann and 5 gal for us. I've been slowly working on filtering and jarring our beautiful fresh organic raw honey. I learned a lot and definitely hope to do it again next year either with Steve and Ann again or on our own if their not up for it. It was so amazing to see the different colors of honey created by the different types of flowers that they were getting their pollen from. The early honey from when we had them in Manley by the bath house was mostly from the dandelions and was a dark gold color. After we moved them out here to Eureka their main pollen source was the Fire Weed which created a very clear honey that looked like water. When it was all combined we got a lovely light gold honey that is so sweet and has a wonderful full flavor.

Extracting honey at Steve and Ann's. Steve in picture. Ann taking picture.

In addition to the wonderful honey we now get to enjoy we also have milk, goat milk. Our three does all gave birth to beautiful little babies. Petunia was the first to kid and had one HUGE baby boy that we named Birch. Birch was stuck and needed some assistance to get a shoulder out before he could be pushed out. Next to give birth was Petunia's daughter Lilly. Lilly had twin bucklings that we named Spruce and Aspen. Lilly gave birth to both twins with no assistance. Last but not least to kid was Hazel. Hazel had twins another little boy that we named Tamarack and the only little girl that Lisa named Iris.

Petunia gave birth at 9:00 am so the kids were able to attend the birth. My mom was also there for the birth of buckling Birch. Birch is the spitting image of his father Guy.

Lilly gave birth to her twins at 3:45 am. Spruce was born first and Aspen followed almost immediately. This birth I attended alone due to the hour and fortunately it went very smoothly and I was able to just watch. I didn't get very good pictures of her birthing because it was very dark in the half finished barn.

Hazel gave birth to Iris at 8:30 pm. The boys were in bed but Lisa was able to watch. I sent Lisa to bed at about 9:00 pm because I figured Hazel was done. Then she started pushing again but was struggling. Both of Tamarack's legs were bent back and she was having a real hard time. I was able to get both legs out and she pushed him out with no more delay almost an hour later at 9:20 pm. Hazel gave birth to both of her babies standing up.

Oak hugging Tamarack

We will have to find homes for 3 of the little boys. I'm going to keep one boy as a wethered companion for our buck and keep the little girl. I would love to find them homes were they could be pets. The kids give them alot of attention so they are super sweet. It will be really hard for me if we have to butcher them. We're getting a good amount of milk even allowing the babies to nurse. So far I've made yogurt, butter and cheese (chevre) from our goats milk and it has all been wonderful. The kids really enjoy the homemade yogurt with our yummy honey on top. 

The pole barn is pretty well dried in but still needs to be finished and insulated. 

We also have some other new additions to the homestead. 2 ducks and 5 chickens 4 of which are bantams (mini chickens). They were given to us from a friend who didn't want to keep them over the winter and didn't want to butcher them. They are almost old enough to start laying. I need to go out at some point and get pictures. The Turkeys are getting huge and I'm pretty sure that we have a male and female. Next time I would like to get a breed that can reproduce. 

Ken also built a new pole shed for the wood pile and we've been working on stocking it. We have a lot of wood to be split and stacked that we cut last year.

OK, I want to take a minute to talk about something that I am doing. This is probably going to be a touchy subject for some and will get me some raised eyebrows from others. I'm talking about head covering for women. This is a practice that has been done among Christian women in the past but is not as common now days outside of plain faiths such as the Amish and Mennonites. I recently read something that inspired me to read 1 Corinthians 11 again. I felt a conviction in my heart but was still unsure. Many pastors that I highly respect have said that head covering is no longer needed or that a women's hair is her covering. Since this wasn't something that I really thought about I was fine with their answers. Then after reading it again I couldn't help but see a distinct difference between the reference to hair vs a head covering. Then there was the argument of well it says you only have to wear it while praying or prophesying so only in church. Hmmm.... I thought since when do we only pray in church? Then came to mind the verses that command women to pray without ceasing. So to me it made sense that I should wear it at all times. So to sum it up I guess what I'm saying is to spite reasonable arguments against it I have decided to follow my conviction and have started wearing a head covering.  Ken is OK with it but really doesn't care one way or the other. Though when I have Lisa wear ones he says he misses seeing her pretty blond curls. My mom was a little more bothered by my choice because she likes my long curly hair. I'm not going to tell you that I wont learn that this isn't what I should do. I haven't had a chance to talk to my pastor about it yet as he has not yet returned from the lower 48.  But, for now don't be surprised if in future pictures of me I am wearing some sort of head covering. Right now it's just a bandanna. In doing online research of other Christian women who have come to the same conclusion I have found a variety of reasons that these women have come up with for covering. Some say for modesty and add that only revealing their hair to their husbands has added a new level to their intimacy.  Other women started that it was a way of setting them self apart from the world. Others mentioned that it aided in them in their struggle against the fleshy desires of "dressing up" to impress other people. Still others stated it as a way to add simplicity to their lives. While all the arguments that I've heard both ways are good and make sense the bottom line for me is that it is a conviction of the heart after reading my bible and praying about it. I'm not doing it to be more holey or to cause a stir it is simply what I feel led to do to honor God and my Husband. If anyone wants to talk about this I'm more than open to it just please no bashing keep it respectful. Those who know me personally know that I'm not one to push my beliefs on anyone. While I am firm in my beliefs they are mine and this conviction is mine and not something that I would push. I hope that makes sense. I will continue to research my bible on this topic and I will keep you posted on what I learn and how I feel led to proceed as I gain knowledge and of coarse I will continue to ask for guidance in prayer. 

1 Corinthians 11:1-34 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Blessings to all!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Some Things Fishy

Well some things in life can be a little on the fishy side. For those of us in interior Alaska that's usually a good thing. Our friend Steve who is the same person teaching me about Bee keeping took us out and showed us how to net fish for Salmon. Joey Redington Jr allowed us to use his spot for the day.

Saturday morning we collected the honey from the bees Steve, Ann and I pulled all the frames. Saturday evening we set the fish net.

Tanana River

Steve and Ken taking the net out of the box

Ken tying off the boat and the net

The net and buoy
 I said a prayer over the fish net, that God would bless us. I said that I would praise him if was full and I would praise him if it was empty.
Steve and Ken untangling the net

After we got the net all set we got to go see the fish wheel that Steve built for the fish and game research team. It's built to be fish friendly so that they can catch and release. Then he took us to meet them at their camp and we got to see how they are using sonar to count the fish. It's a really neat set up and they seem like a great bunch of young people. I think if I were younger and single that would be a really run and rewarding job.

Fish Wheel Steve built for Fish and Game

When we went back out  the next morning we had to have the net out of the water by noon which we accomplished easily. There were 27 chum salmon in our net. The Chum are also known as Dog Salmon and are usually harvested for use as dog food and considered lower quality. We picked out  the poorest quality fish to dry for the dogs but the rest will be for us to eat. Were not picky (yet) and are thankful that the timing finally worked out and someone was able to teach us how to net fish. Now we need to gather up the supplies so that next year we can go out on our own and maybe even fish for some kings.

Untangling the fish from the net
 I only got one shot of untangling the fish before I jumped in and got to work myself. God truly blessed us and we praised him for filling the net with fish for us, for the experience and for wonderful friends who gave of their time and experience. We thanked the fish for the nourishment they would provide our family.

27 Chum (Dog) Salmon in the boat
 The Salmon that we kept for ourselves was frozen whole to prevent freezer burn.

Notice my look of concentration as I try to hold the slippery fish while using a very sharp knife lol...

I was gutting as Ken was splitting

Boys inspecting the remaining fish

Lisa inspecting the drying rack
While it's not enough fish to feed the dogs for the winter it will help. Now we can say that we've done it and we can make a better go of it hopefully next year, if we can accumulate the basic equipment that we'll need.

Today I'll be going in and helping and and Steve use the extractor to get out the honey. I'll let you all know how much honey we end up with.

Blessings and Love to you all :) May God bless your harvest.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

Friday, August 9, 2013

From One of My Readers

Hello All,

I would like to share a story with you of one of my readers that I think needs to be brought out in the open more. It has to do with a type of cancer and how this amazing woman survived it against overwhelming odds. If you have the time please read her story.

Here is her message to me. Again if you have the time please click on the above links for more about Heather and Mesothelioma.

Hi there Sarah!

Thanks for getting back to me! I am 44 and a mother to a quirky little 7 year old, Lily. She is my only child, and my whole world. When Lily was just 3 1/2 months old, I was diagnosed with Mesothelioma; a type of cancer that kills 90-95% of those who have it. Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure, and I was unknowingly exposed from my dads work clothes when I was just 9 years old. As I’m sure you can imagine, the first thing that came to mind when I was diagnosed was my baby girl and how I wasn’t going to be able to watch her grow up.

After intense treatment and recovery, I’m still here 7 years later and cancer free! My journey with cancer was a terrifying one and I'd like to turn my pain into purpose and become someone that other people can look to for guidance, inspiration, and hope in situations like my own. I contacted you because I feel that your blog would be an excellent place for me to share my story. I’m trying to raise awareness of this horrible little known cancer that is such a deadly killer (and sadly, 100% preventable).  

Would you be willing to share my journey as a new mother with cancer on your blog? Here is the link to my story if you want to read more: www(dot)mesothelioma(dot)com/heather

Either one would be such a great help to me.
Let me know what you think, thanks! :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Soaring Summer Flying By

WOW! It seems like it's been forever since I've posted. For those of you that don't know my hard drive on my computer crashed. I took it into Geek City in Fairbanks and had them do a data recovery and put in a new hard drive. It took a little while to get it back but they were understanding of our situation and were able to fix it in about a week and a half. We were able to drop it off when we picked up Ken's mom from the airport and pick it back up when we took her back. Soooo, now that I'm back up and running lets see if I can get you caught up a bit. So much has happened that I'm sure I'll forget to include some things. This post may also be a little light on pictures since I lost the program that I used to make my collages and loading them individually takes forever.

The month of June meant a lot of planting. Ken was working for ASRC again but this time he was running a loader across at the gravel pit. He also worked at Dart AM Farm during breaks in the ASRC job. I aged this month creeping up to 33. We also butchered all our meat birds and put them in the freezer.

Boys enjoy playing in or should I say wallowing in the dirt!

Lisa lost her first tooth
Ian along with three other teens and 2 men were baptized by pastor Earl.

One of the men not pictured Jr. from left to right  front row (Ian, Aubry, Jessica, Ryan) Back (Mike, Earl)

July has been a very busy month indeed. We moved the bees from Manly to out here on the runway so that they could take advantage of all the fireweed. After moving them and getting it all set up I didn't have on proper equipment and ended up being stung multiple times, including 6 in my right armpit, once on my belly and twice between my legs on my upper thigh. Then the following day I was attacked by a swarm of yellow jackets that had nested in our old cow skull that is mounted just above the goats grain storage bin. We never stopped doing school over the summer but July marked the start of a new school year for us. So we ordered our new curriculum.

The 4th of July was a lot of fun as usual thanks to all the amazing people who work so hard to put it together. Lisa was the grand prize winner in the bike parade and we enjoyed the activities, games and social time. The BBQ was late this year so we didn't stay in town for it. We also didn't do the Pike derby as we don't have a boat and they were doing the boat races on the slough so we couldn't take the kids down there to fish for pike. We ended up fishing in Baker creek and though we didn't catch anything the kids had fun.

Grandpa Scott riding in the fire truck with Chuck leading the parade.

My mom and dad
"Uncle" Don and September

Egg race

Pushing eggs with their noses

Watermelon eating contest.

Ken's mom Kris came for a visit which was really nice. We had decided to do the tourist bit this year so we bought the pre-season tickets for the River Boat Discovery and Gold Dredge 8. Kris enjoyed both but we preferred the Gold Dredge 8 as we found the Boat trip a little boring. We all panned some Gold but Wyatt beat us all by panning $26.00 worth. We also went out to the Hoot Hot Springs which was a fun and interesting trip. We couldn't find the correct trail going in so we wasted a lot of gas. We had not planned on being gone past lunch so had not packed a lunch. It was well after lunch before we made it in. The kids snacked on granola bars and we all enjoyed a feast of blueberries. When we got there we were run off by a young curious black bear. The trip back we were running out of fuel but were at least on the correct trail. We started praying that God would keep just enough fuel in the tank to get us home. It was like the story of the widow and the jar of oil and we made it home praising God for his blessing.

Oak trying to make the I love you sign

Penned Carabou

River Boat Discovery
Hoot Hot Springs

Lisa, Kris and Ken

Kris ferried the boys to the warmer water
Gold Dredge 8 starting point at the pipeline

Gold panning area

Oak drinking Hot cocoa and eating cookies while waiting weigh our gold
We started harvesting and canning here at the end of July. Lisa started pulling carrots and we've been eating a lot of salad greens, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, strawberries, beets and green onions. Also we picked one cabbage so far. I've canned 14 cans of pickles and relish and several cans of fireweed jelly. The berry picking this year is AMAZING so we have been picking a lot of blueberries and raspberries. So far I have been freezing them but I'm planing on doing some canning of them.

Turkeys Bob(above) and Larry are getting huge.

Lisa's Carrots even bigger and better than last year.
Little Greenhouse

Bee Hive



Pumpkins and Squash in Large Greenhouse

Cucumbers and Melons in Large Greenhouse

Psalms 148:1-14 KJV
1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.
2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.
3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.
4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.
6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:
8 Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:
9 Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:
10 Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:
11 Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:
12 Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
14 He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.