Friday, July 25, 2014

The Internet is a Fractal: A Hare Tale

My three rabbits are simply not breeding like ... well ... rabbits.

Coconut, on the right, just doesn't get it.
It's a double entendre. 
This weekend, I'm going to be restraining my does so my buck can have an easier time. I've bred them, all together, on at least 7 different occasions, and have no litters to show for it. I think the buck was too young, and I need to help him figure it out.

This has of course led me into a rabbit hole: the internet.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Baby Chicks, Round 3

2014 has basically been the year of the chicken.

From the first January chicks, to switching to fermented chicken feed, to the impulse Araucana buy, to weathering raccoon attacks, to focusing on integrating birds of different ages, to processing my first chicken for dinner, to this latest endeavor: 25 new egg layers and 23 new meat birds.

The dark ones are egg layers, and the light ones are meat birds.
So yeah - we have about 50 chicks now.

I, Beekeeper

This past weekend, I got some bees.

One of five new frames of bees I installed this weekend.
I've been wanting them for a while, but my original bee source had a few hive collapses, so I had to go to another friend. It's funny that some other homeschooling friends of mine are into beekeeping, and one split off a nuc for me.

Reinforcing Combo Panels II

In the first installment of reinforcing combo panels, I took some 2x4's and nailed them onto the metal panels. This worked great - they were stronger and more easier to manipulate.

Unfortunately, time (and animals) worked many of the nails out, causing the boards to flop and the panel to bend. So, last week, I took some scrap metal cuttings and some heavy-duty screws and reinforced them....again.

The metal pieces wrap around the panel wires and screw into the wood.
I also overlaid it across the chicken wire to add extra durability there.
 The panels are now 10 times stronger, at least.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Liquid Theology, Part 2

Another aspect of the theology of liquid that I thought worth exploring was liquid's role in the natural order of world. We looked at the concept of vessels and how the can be filled and poured. We also looked at grace being liquid-like.

And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts,
by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us. For why did Christ, when as yet we were weak,
according to the time, die for the ungodly? For scarce for a just man will one die;
yet perhaps for a good man some one would dare to die. But God commendeth his charity towards us;
because when as yet we were sinners, according to the time, Christ died for us;
much more therefore, being now justified by his blood,
shall we be saved from wrath through him. -Romans 5:5-9

In the natural world, this still holds true. Grace is poured over the earth as is rain, and it affects different areas differently.

That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. -Matthew 5:45

The diverse beauty of nature speaks to this spiritual reality. Just as God blesses some more than others, so other have the ability to use these blessings differently.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Theology of Liquid

This is something I've been pondering for a while, and I admit up front that it is something that is NOT fully developed. But I wanted to at least begin getting my thoughts about it "out there."

So, with that disclaimer out of the way,  here goes.

It's no secret that liquid is absolutely essential to life on Earth. Water, blood, milk, and even sweat and saliva are all forms of liquids required for daily living. Without even one of these, life as we know it would be radically different.

Liquids even take on more extreme and wondrous forms, in different sweeteners (honey, maple syrup), poisons (rattlesnake venom, harvest mite saliva), oils (olive, coconut), acids (hydrochloric, vinegar), body fluids (rennet, cerebralspino fluid), and so on, each one taking on a more incredible and specific form than the last.

We also know that "The heavens shew forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of his hands." -Psalm 19:1

So what do fluids reveal about God?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Getting Ahead of Food Prices

I read recently that for some families, food prices have doubled in the last few years. I believe it. I don't have figures of our own family, but I do know that food has taken a disproportionately larger and larger percentage of our money each year. It is the fastest growing expense.

Even the national news outlets are coming around. See here, here, and here.

These are only gonna keep on climbing.

So with that, I believe there are 4 major things that influence food prices (listed after the jump), and none of those are in my control.

What IS in my control is my land, time, energy, and effort to produce my own food.

Chicken Collection

We integrated eight new chickens, all various colors and varieties of Araucana/Americauna, into the flock this week. We now have 31 chickens.

To the left are seven of the new chickens.
To the right are 2 Red Stars from the original chicken purchase.
Outside the pen (behind the T-post) is the chicken introduction pen.
It's a very diverse and colorful flock. We now have the following breeds (and quantities) "in stock":

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thoughts on "Prepping"

Don't prepare to survive hard times, prepare so that you don't even notice them.
-CajunSunshine, from

I think this statement above perfectly sums up my thoughts on the prepper/survivalist topic. Some of the agriculture and livestock sites I frequent are also hang-outs for some hardcore prepping types, so I see a lot of comments involving doomsday predictions, a sense urgency on stockpiling silver, links to nuclear-safe 55-gallon food-grade teflon-coated stainless-steel storage tubs, ammo discussions involving where to buy the cheapest 10,000 rounds, and so on. Topics like WSHTF, TEOTWAWKI, solar flares, magnetic reversals, global economic crashes, UN takeovers, biological warfare, and so on.

It seems there are 100 different ways in which the fabric of Western society will break down and collapse in the next 5-10 years.

My goal is to carry on so I don't notice any of it.

Basically how I feel.
So how am I preparing to not notice the hard times?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

First Blue Egg!

Yay! One of our Araucanas finally started laying. We got blue egg #1 today!

Our first blue egg ever adds a great splash to the daily collection.
And, as chance would have it, Thing #2 decided to catch that very chicken this weekend.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Flora of Middle Tennessee

The heavens shew forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of his hands. -Psalm 19:1

God also said: Let the waters that are under the heaven, be gathered together into one place: and let the dry land appear. And it was so done. And God called the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And he said: Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth. And it was so done. And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that beareth fruit having seed each one according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. -Genesis 1:9-13

Since I've been traversing the nether-reaches of the entire property to tether the cows to graze this year, I have noticed a TON of really cool plants that I've never really seen before. Some are recurring nightmares features, and some are brand-new to me. It's amazing to see the work of creation all around, and to notice some absolutely stunning works of God's art.

I do often take the time to stop in the stillness of the morning (post-milking, usually) to appreciate the season's splendor. I am richly rewarded with the smalls, the sights, and the experiences of the majesty of God. The perfection amid the imperfection makes St. Therese's "Little Way" come alive right here on the homestead.

I do hope to make this a series, as new species show themselves and I catalog them. I'll lead off Part 1 the series with this gem:

These stunningly beautiful flowers are only open before 5:30 AM.