Saturday, November 23, 2013

Rabbit Update- Winter (and Summer) Housing

Mischievous 'Archie'

The rabbits are happily nested in their winter home, inside an old chicken shed/milk shed we used to milk our goats in when we had them.  It's a tight fit, but it works, and I'm so glad there is less chance of my having to thaw frozen water bottles and put up weather breakers! 

There are four rabbits now, two New Zealands and two mixed-breed, and I am in need of a new female New Zealander.  'Rowena' is past her prime now, and though she makes wonderful nests, nothing happens.  I think she's ready to retire.

One of the mixed-breeds, 'Douglas', is quite the wild one.  His previous owners let him run around their backyard, because he absolutely hated being in a cage.  However he would still grab a hold of the kids' pant-legs and not let go.  Not such a good pet!  When I brought him home, he toned down a little, but still ran around like a crazy thing whenever I came into the shed.  So about a week ago, I decided to see how he'd do on his own on the shed floor-- with a puppy and a chicken!  At first I wasn't so sure he would survive, as the puppy (who's name is 'Wolfie' by the way...) liked to grab a hold of him and hold on for dear life while the rabbit tried to get away.  Not such a good idea.

I didn't want to be responsible for the rabbit's demise, so I put him back into his cage and instead let him out into the shed only when I was in there feeding.  This way I could train the puppy to leave him alone.  It worked!  After a while Wolfie lost interest in trying to eat Douglas, and Douglas is happily rooting around and exploring his new home.  He and the puppy are actually friends.  They run up to the door when I come down in the morning, Douglas looking for his grain, Wolfie anticipating his morning inspection of the rest of the farm.

And Douglas has found another friend.  His eating companion is the chicken (who happens to be from the same previous owner), who discreetly pecks at the oats while Douglas chows down.  It's a perfect match! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

An Autumn Walk

Autumn in Texas is often a fleeting thought, and one does well to enjoy it while it lasts.  This year it is exceptionally beautiful, and I gaze daily with untiring eagerness on all the gorgeous coloring of the trees as I drive to and from work!

The colors were beckoning to me, and the air was so crisp and clean, that at last I couldn't resist a walk out on our land-- which is only about 13 acres but just big enough to get some good exercise.  I knew that if I didn't make time for it, the perfect weather and Autumn colors would soon be past.  Mom, Faith and Abi joined me, as well as Faith's new little puppy, Wolfie, who was only too glad to go for a walk!  He is a sweetie and loved posing for pictures. :-)

Abigail, 14

Moi :)
We were just in time for sunset and enjoyed an awesome show before heading back.  By then it was quite nippy and we were glad to get back by the fireside and have chili for dinner.  God's blessings never end, but we have to take the time to enjoy them!  That is my challenge to you-- get out and enjoy God's creation. :-)

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork." Psalm 19:1

Friday, July 5, 2013

Granola Adventures

We just got back from a mini tour in Colorado, where we shared the gospel through music, were blessed to meet new friends and visit with old ones!

Healthy, quick meals have always been a puzzle for me on long trips (this one was 3 weeks.)  For an easy breakfast, we had always tried to make Granola but made it the wrong way.  At last, a couple of years ago a friend of ours (in Colorado, where else?) showed us how not to burn the granola, which had always been our problem (I won't go there... far too embarrassing.)  So for our trip to North Carolina in March, my friend Lois looked up an easy recipe online and we made a big batch together (three gallons, to be exact!) which was delicious and lasted us almost the entire six weeks of that trip!

For June's trip, I tweaked the recipe a little to suit what we had in the kitchen.  Therefore, use whatever nuts you like!  Here's the recipe (multiply to suit your needs):

Homemade Granola Grubb (Pun intended...)

4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup ground flax seed (or 1 1/2 cups desired nuts)
1/2 cup brown sugar* plus a dusting of powdered Stevia to your taste OR 1/4 cup honey plus a dusting of Stevia
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a bowl mix the oats, nuts, brown sugar, salt (omit if using salted butter) and cinnamon.

In a saucepan melt the butter; wisk in vanilla.  Carefully pour the liquid over the oat mixture.  Stir until thoroughly mixed.  Spread granola in a 15x10" baking pan.

 Bake 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes.  Transfer granola-filled pan to a rack to cool completely.  Stir in raisins.  Seal granola in an airtight container or self-sealing plastic bag.  Store at room temperature for one week or in the freezer for three months.

*A healthy alternative to store-bought brown sugar is to mix raw/turbinado sugar with molasses.
**Thanks to my sister Abi for the great close-up photography!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

South Carolina History

I didn't realize, before coming to visit my sister in North Carolina, how many battles were fought during the Revolution in North and South Carolina.  It has been a great experience learning about the southern campaign of our War of Independence!

Kings Mountain National Military Park

The battle of Kings Mountain was fought on October 7, 1780.  What the British thought would be a final routing of the rebels, turned out to be the turning-point of the Revolution in the 'rebel's' favor.  Ferguson, the determined major in the British army, refused to retreat from off Kings Mountain even though his plea for help from Lord Cornwallis and Sir Tarleton went unanswered.  And even though the Patriots were outnumbered by 200 men, their surprise attack was so complete that within an hour the battle was over, Ferguson had been killed, and his men surrendered. 
   Though we weren't able to walk the trail to the actual battlefield and monument, we had time to look through the museum and view some of the artifacts found on the battlefield, such as shoe buckles, rifle parts, etc.  It was amazing to read an account by one British officer whose last entry in his journal (which was found on the field) said in part, "I bid you farewell as I am going to the Warm Country..."

the Green River Road
The battle at Cowpens was fought a few months later in 1781, near a supplies road called the Green River Road, and an army of settlers and 'overmountain' men defeated the British there using the terrain along the road to their advantage.

Also near the battlefield is a log cabin built by Robert Scruggs who settled there in 1828.  During that time a journalist-historian, Benson Lossing, used the cabin as a reference-point to find the exact scene of the battle fought nearly fifty years before. 

I can't wait to find more battlefields on our stay here.  However, I think one little person will keep me occupied most of the time!  (hint: a niece. :) )

Monday, January 21, 2013

Chucking College

Shining Stars Magazine

I'm looking forward to reading this book soon, written by an old acquaintance.  As a homeschool graduate I've looked into college, and after taking a couple of courses online I've been led to, for now, study on my own while teaching music and playing full-time in my family's band.  In the near future I plan to, Lord-willing, take online classes, but I hope to avoid spending 3-5 years on campus allowing my beliefs and character to be sabotaged by students and professors alike.

From the book's website,

Learn how to skip college and design your own higher educational experience through practical steps, such as:
• Launching entrepreneurial ventures
  1. Tailoring your own advanced education
  2. Developing skills through specialized apprenticeships
  3. Discovering your ideal vocation and finding creative ways to pursue it without a degree
Testimonials throughout the book confirm that it is not only possible to flourish outside of college without regrets, but also with remarkable success!

If your interest is peaked, click on the button at the top of this post and enter the giveaway!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013