Monday, April 30, 2012

How to Speak Texan

Ok, I found this on a social network today.  I thought it might help those of you who are not Texans to understand us folks down here a bit.  Actually, I really just thought it was funny and wanted to share.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pooter Bill aka Billy Jack

Well our little Billy aka Pooter Bill went home to his herd today.  It is sad for us but we knew the day would come.  We were helping raise him for our neighbors since his mom was unable to nurse him.  She was a retired dairy goat and her teats were blown.  Another words they were to big for him to get his mouth around to nurse because of the milk machines they had used.

We got rather attached to this handsome little guy.  He is by far the easiest animal we have ever helped raise.  There were times we even forgot he wasn't a boy and was a goat.  His mom is Saanen and his father was probably Boer.  That explains that handsome roman nose.

Anyway this is his first night on his own without a foster momma.  The lamancha we are milking for them was his foster mother.  They would lay together and both sleep in the dog/goat house.  So little Billy will probably be a bit scared.  He never did learn to be afraid as his foster mom doesn't know it either.  It may sound silly but please keep this little fella in your prayers.  He is adaptable and charming.  I am sure he will be fine.  Still I love what I love and I love this little fella.  Milking around here is not the same without him that is for sure.

He now can stand on off the stand to nurse on our Pygmy/Nigerian Dwarf nanny goat.

He learned he can just lay down and nurse.  This little guy takes it all in stride.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Passing It On / Paying It Forward

What I noticed since joining the blogging community is we are very good about passing it on.  I first learned about "passing it on" or as some call it "paying it forward" in the mid 80's when I first sobered up in a 12 step program.  I had a friend that had more time than I and was much more financially stable than I.  Sometimes when I would leave her home she would give me a ten dollar bill because she knew that I didn't have much money and I never asked for help.  I would tell her that I was not able to pay it back.  She would always reply with "pass it on".

Since that time I have been given the opportunity to do just that.  I remember once I was saving for my first leather jacket that I had on layaway.  It didn't cost much but it was more than I could afford in one lump sum.  I saved little by little to get my leather.  Then a friend of mine needed his naturalization paper in order to get work.  It was going to take most of the money I had saved and he knew what I was saving for.  When I gave him the money he asked where it came from.  I replied, "From God".  He looked at me disbelieving but finally responded with a humble thank you.  This man is not one that asked for help and I know that it was hard for him to receive it.

You see, I know that we work to make money.  But isn't everything really God's?  I feel that God give us what we need.  Those extra things like the wants, we can do without to provide someone else what they need.  To me it is just that fluid.  Sometimes we are God's messengers to pass on his gifts.  What a honor it is to pass on these gifts.

Receiving gifts is also a difficult thing for most of us.  I had a sponsor once teach me a lesson when I felt like someone was giving to much to me and I didn't want to take advantage of them.  She asked me how I felt when I was able to help someone?  I told her good.  She then replied, "Why would you want to take that feeling from someone else?"  I have always remembered this lesson.  It has not always been easy but I always try to remember not to push away gifts out of pride but to accept them in the light at which they are given.  The spirit of giving is a much stronger light.

Needless to say I am proud to be a part of this community.  A community of people who may not have met face to face yet carry each other in their heart.  People we may never meet and some we will travel to meet.  All of which we will share a journey.  What a beautiful journey it is my friend.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Welcome To Hilltop Homestead - Kymber

Howdy and welcome to the homestead Kymber with Framboise Manor.  We'll make a Texan out of you yet.

Our homestead is still in the infant stages.  We have been slowly building since 2008 and loving every minute of it.  We love sharing about our experiences here on the homestead and getting helpful input from our follows/friends.  We are glad to have you join us and look forward to hearing from you.

 Check Kymber and her hard working loving husband at Framboise Manor.


(By the way Kymber I went and got Big Tex to welcome you personally.)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Season Is In Full Swing

This is the time of the year when those of us who are blogging homesteaders start to drop off on our posting and get behind on our reading.  The good news is the stuff on our "to do" list are getting done.

We have been busy hear helping raise the neighbor's kid (goat), milking goats, making cheese, and yogurt.  We have been working in the garden.  That is a post all of it's own and we are excited. 

All those branches I cut this past summer to feed the goats and sheep are now becoming mulch for the garden.

I am still working on fencing.  Have I mention that I really don't like fencing?  Well, I don't really care for having to build a fence.  I like them when they are already there and in a good place.  As for building from scratch.  Well, let's just say there are other things on my list I would rather do.

Day before yesterday our neighbor let us clean up his quail pens and keep the poop.  It was a nasty, dusty job but now we have quail poop.  We have some already in the compost and can't wait for it to turn out.

Speaking of compost.  Our compost this year was great.  We didn't have much but what we did have made us do a little happy dance.  I hope it does the same for our plants.

The grass is as high as my waist so I have been cutting it with my scythe and drying it for hay.  It is hard work but it makes pretty hay.  It is also nice to be out in the sunshine and the breeze listening to the birds as you cut grass.  You can't do that from a tractor or a lawnmower.  Last year it was a struggle for us unemployed people to have enough food for our livestock.  This year I am getting a head start.  As the Boy Scouts say, "Be Prepared".

I am sure there is much more going on then again only those of you who closest to us will even care about this update.  I'll post more later on the details of what we are up to.  Until then enjoy this beautiful weather.  Spring is in the air.  Take a walk.  Enjoy a picnic.  What ever you do get outside!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Caddo Lake - Like Participating In A National Geographic Movie

The view from behind Billy & Dottie's home The Wildfern
I talk a lot to various people about the rare treasure here in Texas known as Caddo Lake.  I have vacationed there twice and now visit periodically as I only live an hour away.  Nestled on the border of Texas and Louisiana in the Piney Woods.  It is like a pocket of swamp in the middle of the pines.  The bald cypress trees with their Spanish moss.  Turtle crossing in May so you have to drive with care.  Quiet peaceful setting.

When we vacationed we stayed in a wonderful cabin called "The Waterlily" with Spatterdock.  Billy and Dottie have a way of making you feel right at home.  As a matter of fact when we go out to visit we always stop by and we are always welcome to sit on their pier and enjoy.

Billy and Dottie have also purchased Johnson's Ranch a few years ago and have really cleaned it up.  It went from a dilapidated over grown mess to looking like a nice place to stay and fish.  We like to go out on the deck and see the old honky tonk that is featured in the opening of the HBO's True Blood.  You didn't want to get to drunk there and have to swim back.  There are alligators in that there water.

Billy has a wonderful touring and fishing service.  Billy took us out on a 1/2 day and 1/2 evening tour of the lake.  He knows the place better than the back of his hand.  We saw the sunset and enjoyed the moon light all from Billy's Go-Devil tour.

Here are a few pictures I have taken on my visits there.  The pictures do not do the place justice.  If you have a chance I recommend checking it out in person.

The old Honky Tonk featured on True Blood
Baby Hawks
Behind the Waterlily Cabin
We watched the parents feed there while staying the weekend.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

God's Gift to You

Someone gave me this in paper form many many years ago at a 12 step meeting. I lived in the faith of what this writing taught me. I lived it with my whole heart.
I am happy to say that the promise was fulfilled when I found my wife. My love for her is nothing I could have ever imagined. I am glad I had faith and allowed God to give me my precious gift rather than demanding what I believed I wanted. I would have sold myself way short.
God's Gift to You
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone-

To have a deep soul relationship with another-

Be loved thoroughly, and exclusively.
But God, says:

I want you to be satisfied, fulfilled, and content

With being loved by Me alone-

With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me-

With having an intensely personal and unique relationship

With Me alone.

Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found,

Will you be capable of the best human relationship
That I have planned for you

I want you to be united with another after you are united with Me-

Exclusive of anyone or anything else,

Exclusive of any other desires or longings.

I want you to stop planning, stop wishing,

And allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing-
One that you cannot imagine.

I want you to have the best-

Please allow Me to bring it to you.

You just keep watching Me, trusting Me-

Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am.

Keep listening and learning the things I tell you.

You just wait.
That's all.

Don't be anxious.

Don't worry.

Don't look around at the things

Others have gotten or that I've given them.

Don't look at the things you think you want.
You just keep looking off and up to Me,

Or you'll miss what I want to show you.

And then, when you're ready, I'll surprise you with a love

Far more wonderful than any you would dream of.

You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready,

(I am working even at this moment to have both of you ready at the same time),
Until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I prepared for you,

You won't be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with me.

And this is the perfect love.

And dear one, I want you to have the most wonderful love.

I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me,

And to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, perfection, and love that I offer you with Myself.

Know that I love you utterly.

I am God.

Believe and be satisfied.

-author and original title unknown

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hay Day - Delivery

(The purple really should be white.  We have an old camera.)

My friend let his grass grow all winter after last year's drought.  When they tried to mow it the grass just laid down.  So I took my scythe over there and had a "hay day".  Today they were kind enough to deliver it so my goats could enjoy it..... and they did.

I went ahead and spread it out to allow it to dry out further and the goats went to town.  The chickens and guineas were having a good time too.  The goats just laid down after a while and ate.  It was funny to watch.  I am so very easily entertained.