Taming the Kittens

Anyone of you, who really KNOWS me, knows that I DON’T like cats. In fact I was raised to basically hate them. I would never hurt one, but I don’t like them rubbing up against my legs, or clawing at my skirts, or walking slowly right in the pathway that I want to take. When we moved to the country, we had mice in the barns and even some in the house. So, we got a BARN cat. I named our first cat after my friend Ginny. She laughed so hard and long when she heard I got a cat. She said even her cats were guffawing. Well, Ginny learned quickly that I was not the person to come to for lovin’. My son (I have never figured this one out) was the one that took care of that department.
We were told that momma cats were the best mousers. So, we got a female. No one told me how many cats your farm could end up with starting with one female cat. Actually, we have had no problems getting rid of kittens or even cats. We always hear of someone wanting a cat.

We have always handled the kittens and let all of our friends and neighbor children handle them so that they are tame. Someone told my cats of this and the last few litters have been hidden from us. When we finally get to see the kittens they are big enough to hiss and spit at you like little tigers. No one wants a wildcat. Some have just disappeared, others we have actually caught and tried to tame. Needless to say there are more cats running around here right now than we like. So, we are going to either keep a couple of male kittens and get rid of everyone else, or keep one or two mommas and get them fixed (or is that broke?). We heard that there is a place in town that does it for pretty cheap.

We had friends that wanted to borrow our stock trailer to take some steers to the butcher. I checked in the trailer to make sure it was clean. I found the three kittens in the above picture in a hollowed out place in the straw on the back of the trailer. So, I decided it was time to tame some kittens. In the one picture they are in the lap of one of my little friends from next door. In the other picture, our dog, Star is cleaning them up and generally watching over their well being while they are in the front yard. The neighbor’s oldest daughter and a couple of friends went on a kitten hunt. They came up with 9 out of 11. We now have them in a crate and they are being handled. We give them milk and cat food and they seem to be doing well. I already have one person interested in a couple of them.

So much to be thankful for…

Here is a picture of our pond. With all the rains we have had recently, the pond is full. We have a leak in it somewhere, that we can’t find. So, we are thankful for a full pond.

We are thankful for the beautiful days we have had. After all the rain and a really HOT spell (August weather in April and May), it is sunny, in the 70’s and even got into the 40’s last night.

We are thankful for the neighbors. We sold 2 acres to good friends. Their 2 oldest come every once in awhile and do chores for me. They were here today to help.

We are thankful for a house to live in. Sometimes, I am tempted to complain about my house. However, I am so grateful, that I do not live in a cardboard box under a bridge as many do.

I am thankful for a wonderful, kind, gentle and faithful husband. We have been married for 27 wonderful years. He has the patience of Job, and is so gentle and kind with the animals and me. =)

I am thankful for my son. I would love to have more and still hope for more. However, there are many who have none. I am thankful for the glorious gift from God of my son. I am thankful that his birth mother chose the most loving choice and did not abort him.

I am thankful for a Savior, who even though I did not deserve it, willingly came, died a horrible death in my place and made a way for me to live with Him in eternity.

If we look, there is something to be thankful about in every situation. It is not always obvious at the time. Last August, I got Bacterial Meningitis and almost died. I am so thankful for that. The night before I went to the hospital, my head hurt so bad I was not sure if I could take it. Then I started throwing up. I knew I was really sick, but still suspected the flu. I woke my husband up to pray for me. That was by the grace of God. Because I woke him up, he stayed home in the morning, to see if I would need help with the chores. The doctors said, if he had not stayed, I would have been dead. My parents live in Florida and I don’t get to see them but once or twice a year. My Mom was actually in Switzerland with all her sisters when I got ill. It was the tail end of her trip. My Dad came up from Florida right away. When my Mom flew home, she flew here instead. When they would come up in the summer, I would usually get to see them alone with me for maybe an afternoon. The other times I saw them, was with all my brothers and their families. The week I came home they came every day to take care of me. I got to spend lots of time talking to them. My Mom died suddenly in October. All of us in Ohio got to see her one more time, because I was sick. I would be sick all over agin for that chance. Also, I am thankful she got to go to Switzerland with her sisters. They had never done anything all together before. They spent 2 wonderful weeks being treated like queens by my cousin and her family. That was a final gift to them. I am thankful that I got to talk to my Mom an hour the day before she died. Another gift from God to me.

I try to have an attitude of gratitude. I deserve eternal damnation, so anything above that is a gift. That means all of life is a gift from the Giver of Gifts… God, my heavenly Father.

Alone does not always mean lonely

I sit here today in the quiet. I love quiet, but I also love the sound of other people around me. Both, Michael and Joshua are at work. I hear the birds singing outside. I hear the wind blowing through the leaves on the tree. I occasionally hear a hen letting me know she has laid her egg for the day. I hear a baby lamb bleat for its mom or just in sheer joy as it runs and jumps with the other lambs. I can’t see the road from the house in the summer, but I hear a car go by every once in awhile.

I think of all the people who are alone. Many of them so lonely. Waiting for someone to call or drop by. I think of the people who have lost their spouse. They are surrounded by reminders and each day brings back floods of memories. There are young people out there who did not make wise choices. They are away from family, many of them too ashamed to go home. They feel all alone.

I am alone, but I know that my men will be home today, Lord willing. I have lots to do to keep me busy. However, I need to make time to reach out to others who are alone. Remember to call them, or drop them a note. Our vehicle situation right now, does not allow for too many visits, but I can still reach out. If we each would reach out to a handful, then there would be a lot less lonely people.

We tried to adopt a sibling group of 6. We have the room, we live on a farm with lots of fund things to do. The people in charge did not like it that we homeschooled. Those children are in a foster home and have been for almost 3 years. The foster mother is 60 now and has been ready for them to go for awhile. Even when childrens’ services visited our house, they admitted the foster Mom was in over her head. We have never officially heard that we are NOT getting them, but we have not been contacted for quite awhile. It is sad that we would have given them a permanent home with love, family and a farm full of things to do, but our choices kept them from coming here. I often wish they were here. I love to hear the chatter of children, to color, to play games. I pray that these children find a home full of love. Even though there are 6 of them, they are still lonely for a real family.

God has really shown me that I am to be about relationships. With all that happened to us last year, that is one of the major lessons we learned. First our relationship to the Lord must by a deep and abiding one. Then our relationships to those around us are next in importance. I pray that He finds me faithful. I guess I really rambled today. That is how my thoughts have been going.

Pictures: If you look close at the first one, there is a gold finch that blends in with sunflowers he is standing on. They would stand there and eat the seeds out of the sunflowers.
The second one is our red hot poker plant.

The Splendor of Clouds

For some reason, the blog is not allowing me to post pictures today. I have some good ones to share. I will add them if it will let me at a later time.

The way our property sits leaves a wide open space to watch storm fronts come in. Sometimes they are very dramatic. At other times there are great contrasts in colors and light. Each one is unique. We have been having storms come rolling through. The pictures I want to share are of some fronts coming. One of them was taken awhile ago, but is still an awesome display of God’s handiwork.

The rain that these fronts has brought is a good soaking rain. Not so hard that it beats your plants down, but a good steady lasting rain. I had to run to town today to do some errands. Just getting out of my car, gathering my bags and going from my car into my house, I was soaked. It will give our plants in the garden a good down deep drink. I just hope the weeds that are hiding, don’t get any.

The Best Dog Ever!

We have the best dog ever. Her name is Star. My son, Joshua prayed for many years for a dog. We had always rented and were never allowed to have one. He finally got his long awaited dog when he was 13. Joshua is now 22. Star is the most patient loving dog I have ever seen. She is an Australian Shepherd. She LOVES all the babies on the farm. When we get a new batch of chicks, she just trembles with excitement. She follows us around as we carry the box of chicks. If we sit it on the floor, she lays by it with her nose up to it. When you take the lid off the box, she sticks her nose in the box and just looks and occasionally gives one of them a lick. Last year we had a batch of kittens that always were on our front porch or in the front yard. They would come up to Star and try to nurse. She would just lay their patiently and let them try. After we give a baby goat or calf a bottle, she cleans off their face for them. I thought you might enjoy these pictures of Star with some chicks.

Knots on Wood

I took several pictures of knots in the wood and realized that the dimmer light in my home adds to what I see. The brightness of the flash took away a lot. Also, seeing them from a distance, instead of close upso lends to seeing things differently. Most of them did not turn out, but this one is actually my favorite. It is right over my rocking chair that is in my own little corner. The 2 pictures are actually the same knot just flipped 180 degrees. In the first picture (remember to look beyond the obvious) it appears like a man. He has a black collar on and his mustache and beard kind of give his mouth area a smeared look. =) Flipped the other way, it is a young red headed boy peeking out from a dark hole. Can you see him? I LOVE red hair. He is what I first saw in this knot. It almost looks like he has an upside down frying pan on his head.

Did any of you see them? David posted a comment that he could not see the boy with red hair. If you look at the picture below, the top arrow is the upside down skillet, the next arrow down (left side) is the red hair and the circle is his face.

Look beyond the obvious

My eyes seem to have a way of looking beyond an object and seeing something else in it. The above picture is of a moth that was outside my front door. It looked just like a pair of lips to me. My husband usually smiles and looks at me so sweetly, when I “see something”, but many times then he can see it too!! He also smiles at my descriptions of things. We have a certain type of bright white moths here. They appear to have a white fur collar around them. On the same day, I told him about the moth that looked like lips, I also told him I had found 2 white moths with a fur collars in the house. He thought I was teasing, and wouldn’t “take my bait”. So, I caught one and saved it in a jar for him. =)

Our ceiling on the first floor is 2″ X 8″ pine planks. The ceiling down here is the floor upstairs. There is no insulation or any other layer. They built it that way, so that the heat from the wood stove could rise through the cracks in the ceiling to the bedrooms above. Wood heat is our only source of heat. Anyway, there all sorts of interesting knot holes. I will take some pictures of them and see if you can see beyond them as well.