Thursday, September 26, 2013

Short Reflection on Nature

Our Creator is just mind-blowing.

I saw a lot of spiderwebs glimmering in the fog this morning. I love spiderwebs (well, looking at them a lot more than walking into them). They are one of the most common, yet amazing, things in nature. The strength, the beauty, the simplicity of a good spiderweb combines for a breathtaking sight.
Trouble with spiderwebs is getting good pictures of them.
And, ya know, getting one caught on your face.
They're tough to get a good picture of. The iPhone camera just misses something about them. I don't know what. But I do think they're cool.

Also, seeing a camouflaged frog in the garden was pretty neat. Or was it a toad?
Can you spot the amphibian? I named him Waldo. :P
Being in the beauty and stillness of nature always is a good time to pause and reflect. God speaks in whispers, and far too often our TVs, phones, cars, and general modern noise drown Him out. I always try to stop and listen whenever possible. These two moments were good times for that.

For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity. -Romans 1:20

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone doth wonderful things. And blessed be the name of his majesty for ever: and the whole earth shall be filled with his majesty. -Psalm 72:18-19

Hay Field Cutting

I did this a few weeks ago, and I'm late putting up pictures. I was also late getting the scythe out to cut hay. Hope it doesn't mean problems come January.....
Before I started, the foliage was about chest-high.
I needed to do this when it was knee-high. Lesson learned....
After some tough afternoons, one in which I injured my elbow nerves somehow, I ended up with a nearly-full hay rack. I did NOT finish out the field due to elbow pain. But the resulting windrows looked great.
Center: a good quality windrow.
Left: The uncut section.
Right: an uncut section that over-ran some felled branches from the orchard project.
Things #1 and #2 were HUGE helps getting it picked up and stored in the shed. They're good little farm kids, for sure.

I will need to do another cutting before winter, but my elbow has to heal up first. I'm getting pain in it at random times throughout the days, although it is lessening.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Post #100!

It's all about the Benjamins.....
Wow. 100 Posts. That's pretty cool.

I'll try to make the next 100 more interesting. :P

The Rosary in the Bible: Wrapping it Up

New to this series? Start at Part 1 here. Or, jump straight to the JoyfulSorrowful, Luminous, or Glorious Mysteries.

The Rosary and the Bible: like peas and carrots. Or bread and butter. Or love and marriage....
So far in our series, we've looked at the 20 mysteries of the rosary, each taken as a part of a set of mysteries, and studied where these events appear, or are alluded to, in the Scriptures. We also discussed what a mystery is, and even went so far as to pick out the Scriptural roots of the words of each individual prayer said during the recitation of the Rosary.

In short, I have attempted to prove that the Rosary is indeed a valid devotion via Sola Scriptura. I believe I have thus far succeeded.

Now, my brain hurts.

J/K. I did want to leave a few final thoughts on the topic, though.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Rosary in the Bible: Part 5

New to this series? Start at Part 1 here. Or, jump straight to the Joyful, Sorrowful, or Glorious Mysteries.

The final set of "mysteries" for us to explore is the Luminous Mysteries. The luminous mysteries focus on the light of Christ in the world, as a combat to the darkness of sin.

All light is from Jesus.
And God said: Be light made. And light was made. -Genesis 1:3
All things were made by him: and without him was
made nothing that was made. -John 1:3
The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen. -Isaiah 9:2

Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while, the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth. Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. -John 12:35-36

And this is the declaration which we have heard from him, and declare unto you: That God is light, and in him there is no darkness. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he also is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. -1 John 1:5-7

For we preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ our Lord; and ourselves your servants through Jesus. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus. -2 Corinthians 4:5-6

These five Luminous Mysteries concern ourselves with the light, both literally and figuratively, of Jesus through the Gospels.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Last night, I went to lock up the chickens in their coop so I could move the electric netting this morning. I turned the charger off, naturally, before climbing over, filling up their feeder, and latching them in.

Upon re-engaging the switch, I heard a loud and distinct electric POP! coming from one end of the paddock. It being dark, I figured that a big blade of grass or something had blown across the hot and ground, and went inside.

Still, I thought it odd that I heard it leaving, but did not hear it coming.

Odd indeed, for this morning I came across this:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How Great is the Darkness

Why are creepy eyes so ... creepy?
But if thy eye be evil thy whole body shall be darksome. If then the light that is in thee, be darkness: the darkness itself how great shall it be! -Matthew 6:23

Again therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying: I am the light of the world: he that followeth me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life. -John 8:12

What is evil?

A bold question for a silly blog, to be sure. But one that nonetheless needs to be asked. And I think Jesus' words on light and darkness give us deep clues into the mysteries of evil.

Darkness, after all, is not a thing in itself. There's no such thing as darkness, per se. There IS such a thing as light. We can detect photons, we can measure luminosity, we describe the intensity of light in terms of wavelength, spectra, and lumens. But darkness has none of these quantifiers.

What then is darkness? And how does this question relate to evil?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lessons Learned in Homesteading: I

Got plenty of the first two.....
I wanted to make sure to document our lessons learned as they're happening rather than trying to remember everything next spring. So, in no particular order:

Tomatoes, okra, and peppers are best left to closely-spaced rows 
Pick veggies while they're young and tender (great big okra just doesn't taste as good)
Get cages for tomatoes set out before they grow too big 
When building a chicken coop, make sure the sheep can't get in BEFORE you fill the chicken feeder
Stay on top of weeding early!
Cut hay early, before it grows shoulder-high

That's it for now. There are more, and I'll get them down as they come to mind.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Rosary in the Bible: Part 4

Last time, we took a tour from Genesis through Revelation in our examination of the Sorrowful Mysteries. Today, we look at the next set - the Glorious Mysteries.

And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And the city hath no need of the sun, nor of the moon, to shine in it. For the glory of God hath enlightened it, and the Lamb is the lamp thereof. And the nations shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates thereof shall not be shut by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. There shall not enter into it any thing defiled, or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb. -Revelation 21:2,23-27

The Glory of God - what it's all about.

Prize-Winning Okra?

I pulled this monster out of the garden yesterday:
That's a big ol' dang okra, y'all.
It was at least 8 inches long. It looked amazing.

Trouble was, it was very tough. We sauteed a bunch, including this guy, up for dinner, and the smaller okras definitely tastes better. The big ones have a hard texture to them. They are difficult to chew. Things #1 and #3 ate them up and loved the taste, though, so okra is definitely something we'll do again. We just need to be more diligent and not let 4 days go by between pickings.  :/

Monday, September 9, 2013

Adventures in Soapmaking

Wife and I have been really wanting to make some soap the last little while. So we finally broke down and did it. A little trip up to IN to see first-hand how our friends make it sure helped.
Our experience was a little less breaking into dumpsters,
a little more blood remaining in our faces.
Here's a sneak peak of the beautiful end product:
Ooh la la!!
Step 1: Throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot and hope it works. Make a plan.