Monday, November 25, 2013


Good Morning from the Blackberry Patch....

       It has been a month since my last post. I do apologize. I've been very involved in life here. 
       To try and catch up... we are looking at winter weather now...and I've been trying to perform squirrel duty and live like the ant. Just working. 
      You all know I started working outside the home on a limited basis this fall. It has been an adjustment to our schedule. What bothers me the most is that people didn't respect me nearly as much for all the work I did at home. Nope. Not till I started working outside the home. And I have to say...what I do at home is much more profitable.It is just one more area where people don't understand because they've been brainwashed by this agenda to destroy the family. plan...Good Lord not to be leaving my family to get all caught up in this agenda. 
      That brings me to some of what's been going on here. Well... I started gathering the oranges for the marmalade. I have enough to give it a try. It makes me nervous... trying something I haven't done before...but I'll give it a go. Just a small bit...and see how it works. 
      I finally discovered the nut trees I had been looking for. far just the hickory and oak...the pecan still evades my sight. I gathered all I could from the woods...but the squirrels had discovered most of them first. However, a neighbor had many acorns in their yard. They really didn't care about keeping those. I was thrilled. I gathered hundreds of  acorns from Sawtooth Oak. 
    We have started preparing food with those acorns and using them in raw foods. I've been impressed and pleased to see how good they are when used that way. What a blessing. I continue to collect them. When people find out I am willing to gather their acorns they are willing to share. Most people don't want them. 
     We've been stocking the cabinets for the fall. I believe I've decided to begin gathering grains again come January. Before that we need to have our spaces organized. 
     In a few short weeks the oldest will be moving to his new home. He's going to be doing some work for an organization he's a part of. It is difficult to see them go....but trusting the Lord to see him through. My ability to see him will be limited. He will be very busy and will be living about three hours from us. 
    I continue to focus on the things that must be done to prepare for the coming year. In life we can't stop to grieve for sadness when so much is at stake for survival. Not knowing what the coming year will hold...we must prepare for the worst and trust for the best. So, I look at things from that perspective. 
        The rains came later than the berries needed this year so that made for a very difficult year berry wise. We hope and pray for next year. 
        The goats are still producing what we need. Yesterday we did have to butcher one of the roosters. He was getting too aggressive. It wasn't the happiest moment...but that's life on a farm. There are joy filled moments and moments that are simply real. 
         I work for an exchange student program and clean houses both now. That along with the place and homeschooling and church keep me very busy. We have a homeschool co op we've been part of this fall. We are planning to be part of it this coming semester. We planned a Thanksgiving gathering there and feel it was a great success. The next event I'm planning is for January or February and the theme is The Great Depression. 
           I have many days of thankfulness now. It isn't always easy. I battle the desires of the flesh like all people do. Things I want. Ways I feel I've had less or been cheated somehow. But I try to train my mind to remember that we are not looking for a home here. I have always said that it is easy for a rich person to say that. A person with a beautiful home and things and many dreams easy for them to say we aren't looking for those things here. But if you have missed that...if it hasn't been's more difficult to say that. And it must become your practice. The saints realized this and they sought to learn it.... I seek to learn it as well. 
       One of my next projects is cranberry canning. I decided this morning that I really want to can some of these cranberries before they are out of season and gone from the markets. I can buy the cans already made...but I wanted to make it the way I want it ....and know exactly what's in it. 
        I see the morning light. We are due for some sleet today. I'm hoping not much .... I have one fellow out working now and another due to go in and work till late. I really need clear roads. I've got chores outside that will be more difficult if the weather shifts to ice and snow. I'm hoping to miss this part. 
           I will let you know how The Great Depression goes. Should be real interesting to see what people bring. 
      Well, this is Goodbye From The Blackberry Patch....We'll Be Seeing You Soon......

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Recipe...A Bible Study...A Sunday Full Of Things....

   Well, flying mice and I am again. It means I must be feeling like I'm gaining some control over the day to day if I'm able to show up some and blog. 
   Sermon was good this morning. Talked about holiness and mentioned a few of the "uncomfortable" things I always wish were said. Things were created to be stimulated by images so women need to dress modestly...and men have pictures in their minds right now they are fighting...don't give in to holy...choose holiness...desire to serve the Lord with all you are.... things like this... Psalm 119 was the scripture passage he went through. 
   I started using MyFitnessPal today. It counts my calories based on food and exercise. It helps me keep up with weight lost and gained. It tells me I should be able to lose ten pounds by this time next month if I'll follow the plan it set up for me. I'm sure trying. The foods I eat are good for you, but they are not all low calorie. I will be able to look more in to which ones really seem to help and which ones seem to hurt as I go. I just really want to finish this last leg and I think this will help. Maybe I need to finish a really big leg...or two legs...or both arms thrown in too. But finish I need to do either way. I told you I was struggling with having started nibbling at sugar again. oh dear me that's putting it lightly. And that is not good for diabetics at all. Not at all, which is most likely why my sugar is all out of whack. Why do these things have to look so good? Well, in all fairness...I actually got so busy that the way I was cooking and eating became know just how hard it is for the truly the time I'm done here I want to have rid myself of that excuse and be in the habit of right eating even during busy times. It's nothing more or less than a decision. Just a decision. I know how easy it is to get out of rhythm. I try. I really do. And having lost some more weight has encouraged me. But... not finished by a long shot. So... here I am...MyFitnessPal and I. 
   The ladies in church are starting a new Bible study...and I mention it here because I'm starting with them. I wasn't going to. I'm already involved in so much. But I decided I didn't want to be left out of a women's function. I'm always with the kids at church...and while I love that...I miss being with the women sometimes. That's why this up and coming women's conference we're all going to is going to be such a blessing. Anyway...the Bible study is called STUCK and it's by Jennie Allen. Have you heard of it? I never have, but that's to be expected. I don't get out there and find these things much. Not since my favorite Bible bookstore burned down and they moved it somewhere else. That's been two years and I still haven't figured out where. Just as well. Less money spent. 
   Hannah gave a tad more milk today. I was thrilled. I'm certain it is tied to the diet. I have switched it here and there...watching...and I've come to the conclusion that her diet has to remain the same in certain ways if I want the milk. So...remain it shall. The experiments are helpful. 
   I learned a new recipe yesterday...too bad it's not on my diet...but it's for corn pudding. Four cans of creamstyle corn and one box of Jiffy corn muffin mix with just a tad of milk. Mix and bake. Not sure the temp but when it doubt 350 goes...or if in a hurry... 375.... either way...that stuff tastes amazing. Just amazing. 
   Not sure another thing is worth writing. Not sure this was. But it's good to just be writing. Miss doing it when I don't. I think of those things I would write about. But then, I longingly determine there's just no time. That wasn't today though. Today I made it here. Hope your week is good. 
   Blessings...This is Goodbye from the Blackberry Patch...We'll be seeing you soon...... 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bad News and Daily Thoughts....

   It's Thursday night.... I'll soon be heading to bed. Before I do I really want to hammer out some words. I often think of my writing. I often have things I want to say. I often feel too tired to write those things down. 
   Lately, since I started jobs and enrollment for school and an extra co-op...I forget to do things. I'm so busy. I have to write it all down and even then I forget. I don't like this new schedule. Not one bit. Just can't sort out what to drop. 
   Today I found out that a dear lady...someone I've known my whole dying of colon cancer. It was a tough thing to hear. I saw her daughter at the pumpkin patch today and she came over to me. It has been a while since I've seen her. I didn't even recognize her she had changed so much. But when she told me about her mom I started crying and just hugged her tight. Right the middle of the pay line... I didn't care. I hugged her. I cried. She told me the details as she wiped my tears over her mother. 
   Someone else asked me about my own health... I'm doing ok. I'm working hard. I'm tired...but I feel certain it's just the work and the hours. I am struggling to balance diet and exercise. I've got to work harder on that. I am losing weight. That's a plus. I am TRYING to eat better all the time. I WAS doing better. But I got back to sugar and that tipped me over the edge.'s back to getting off sugar. So hard. Addictive stuff it is. But today I made that choice to work on it again. Because I need to lose more weight. Because I want more energy. Because I don't want to be a slave to diabetes. Because I'd like a mind that's not fuzzy and I'd like to live long. 
   Attitude...I've not had a great one this week. I've been stressed. I blessed out a woman very completely this week. Did she need it? I'm pretty sure she did. But it wasn't mine to give her. It has cost me the ability to talk to her very much...even though we made peace over it all. You can't go back and fix those things. Not really. Not unless God does it. So watch your words. They are powerful. 
   Still waiting on those goats to see if they are pregnant. One we feel really could be and another we just have to finish watching her through the possible date, but we have no idea. But...come's breeding time. Maybe even in another two weeks. I've been looking. It seems that Hannah is moving down in her milk production cycle. That's normal. But it's also a cue to me. I don't want to wait too long to have milk I need to get her on that cotton seed mill and salt ....that's supposed to change the chances of a doe being born... supposed to give you a better chance of having one.... I sure hope so. I SOOOO need another milk doe. I really do. 
   I expect to live long. I just want to write that here. I expect to live long. There are battles in the health realm...but they do, in large part, involve being where God wants. That involves hearing Him and eating and moving and living by faith and obedience. I trust that He's guiding me through this process. While I don't try to create a doctrine here to be debated...I just want to say... I expect to live long. If that changes I'll let you know. Or my family will. But I expect to live long. Never fear. Either way I'll be happy ..... here or there. 
   I'll be taking a day off soon. I'm not sure which day...but soon. I just need one. In the meantime...This is Goodbye from the Blackberry Patch....We'll be seeing you soon.....

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Favorite Picture of the Week...

   About to do chores...... this is what I see each morning....this darling alpine doe, Hannah, eating her feed so obediently while I milk her. She's such a delight. I love her. She has become my favorite. This picture is also the wallpaper on my phone. Just an idea of how much I love this picture and love this goat. She's a doll. 
   Something my goats remind me is that there is "life".... that's all the stuff I put up with "out there"...all the hard stuff. All the busy and painful and the attacks... then there is "life" ....the real stuff here that is such a delight. I put up with "out there" to have "life" .... 
   I have started working "out there" since so many changes have gone on in our country. I work in ways that do not ask me to compromise my time with my kids... hoping to see things change in our nation soon. 
   Headed to finish chores. Just wanted to share my favorite picture of the week! This is Goodbye from the Blackberry Patch...We'll be seeing you soon.... 

Saturday, October 5, 2013


   Encouragement. It's a state of mind most days. I don't hear alot of it. People don't encourage folks who they consider strong or who are on a journey not like their I find that encouragement comes from within. That's ok. It's really a good practice to know how to encourage yourself. It's a good practice to keep a good attitude. Those negative feelings will spill all over your life and all over your kids. It's just a good practice to find the good in things. The magic of that is that when you find the good...more good just keeps popping up. Now....did it happen because you chose the good so more showed up, or were you blind to what was already there till you started looking? I think a little of both happens. 
   Keep looking at the good. It's free. It doesn't mean your pain is less. It just means pain controls you less. 
   This is Goodbye from the Blackberry Patch....We'll be seeing you soon.....

Friday, September 27, 2013

Memories .......Help Me Abide in the Vine

   I just read about the loss of my Jackson again...tears are streaming down my face. What a way to start the morning. I miss that goat. I  know, to you he is just a goat. A goat who has been gone since February. To me he is still my beloved friend and I still miss him. I still treat my goats in his honor. I still learn from him. I still panic when one seems off because of him. I still save his fiber. I won't touch it. I can't. Not yet. 
   Why did he come here? I can only guess. I know he taught me something about goats I'll never forget. He taught me about their love. He taught me that God created such depth in these animals....and we eat them! But God made them special. This is not meant to upset the meat eaters....but truthfully, I become less of one all the time. I see God in these animals. I can't eat them. They are my friends. 
   If I can see Him in you think I can see Him in people? It can be more difficult at times...that's true. Mainly because people tend to fight so hard not to be what He wants, when most animals are who He made them to be. But I see Him. I try. 
   I am sitting in my bed....but the laptop is on something fire hazards. I'm so tired. Some of you know I've been applying for night work. It's the only kind I've been willing to take so I could be with my family unless it was work I could take them to. Cleaning I can take them. I can take them to the exchange student program. But, it seems the Lord has been speaking. I applied for night work. He never told me to. I don't know what's going to happen....but I've given up the plan. Now I just leave it in His hands. If He wants it. But I don't expect to get it. He didn't tell me to do that. I only want to do what He tells me to do. 
   I did clean a house (for pay) and I am scheduled to clean the outside of a house (for pay). From what I understand, these people want me to clean their house occasionally. It is more difficult for them to do the work. I hate it that with the elderly we don't have a service to help them so they don't have to pay for these things. Like something the church does. I tried to talk to them about not paying me. They would have none of that. You see, the elderly generation is not a welfare generation. They worked for what they have. 
   Today we go to try to finish up some enrollment at college. Myself and my son. The same son I took to school with me twenty years ago. That's the son I'm taking to school again...only he's attending this time. I try not to feel sad at the passing of time. All that matters is what we do with it. I'm not sure I did what I should have with all that time. I tried. Oh I tried. 
   I think about a friend I knew then. She introduced me to health food and whole wheat pancakes. I often think of her when I make them. Because of her I learned that people could live better than I was. At the time I didn't know that. I hold on to things I learned from her...and things I learned from my parents. Things I have learned...good and bad...down through the years. 
   I've needed to sit down and pen something for weeks. I've needed to put part of my heart here. It's tough. I am so busy. How can I rush my heart? It just doesn't work that way. So I've waited. 
   My inlaws are selling the family farm. It breaks my heart. Maybe God will hold it for me? Maybe. But His will be done. His will. He has a place. He has a plan. Best to stick with it. 
   There are many things that go through my mind. Many things I want time to write. Time to express to the full depth. I don't have that kind of time. What I do have is advice. Take each day as your last. Make the most of it. Live for Jesus within it. Time goes by too fast. You will want to look back and know you did what you could. You did what matters. 
   It's early. My beloved went on to work. Yes, Kira....I gave him cuddles and kisses..and smiled at our conversation. I'm not too cuddly....but he works so hard...and he is I do my best. Sometimes I'm up when he goes and sometimes I'm not. When I am up I try to make the earliest part of his day the most encouraging. He's a good man. 
   Now that I've at least partially emptied my heart of least given myself expressive and artistic exercise.....I can go on to the meat of my morning. I can spend my time in the Word. For those who know me and keep up with me....yes....I'm still in the Lord. I love Him. I have times when life gets crazy and I realize I'm not abiding in the vine as I should. I can tell what a basket case I am unless I do abide in the vine. But when I stop and say that I've gotten out of balance...then get myself back in line and "abide" the peace starts coming back. The center will hold if only we will abide. 
   So today I abide......through the efforts I make today I have no one to please except my Father. I will abide and I will trust that each step He has ordered and that He can be trusted to tell me when to take them. Thank you, Jesus, for the reminder. 

This is Goodbye from the Blackberry Patch.....We'll be seeing you soon......

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hard Words for Soft Hearts

   The morning outside chores are done. I'm drinking a cup o joe and resting a sec before I head in to other chores. I've got praise music filtering in to my ears and my heart.... it drowns out the cares of life. 
   Sweet Peace cycled this week. It was totally out of season and...I'm convinced came on due to Moses being such a romantic through the fence. I've no idea if Levi bred her or not. I never saw him do it. I wrote down the date she cycled and will watch her over the months to see if we will have an October baby. If we do it sure will be interesting. Oh my. Olive did not cycle far as I can tell. She should cycle in the fall and we will see how that plays out. I didn't want to breed Sweet Peace. I didn't think this cycle out of season would actually happen. Oh well. For those who are doing a spring experiment because they want fall angora babies this is good news! For me not so good as I wanted to wait till 2014 to breed her.
   In her excitement to get to the bucket I was holding, Hannah broke off one of her horn nubs this morning. She bled everywhere. She had blood all over her feed...blood down her nose...blood all over the bucket...blood dripping on the milking stand. I hate dehorning and disbudding goats. I hate it. First of all...goats need those horns. They use them to regulate the temperature of their bodies. It's like taking air conditioners, fans and misters from us. It's cruel. I don't care about show regulations. I don't care about the opinions of buyers. Perhaps it's time we educated them. I have four goats with horns and Daniel is growing his. I will not remove those horns. I don't care if that means I don't sell them. They need those horns. Educated people understand that. The cruelty of making them go through the pain of the bloody mess to begin with and then to put them through the constant losing of the nubs that grow back. It just makes me angry. There is no sense in it. Train the goat. Put a lead on the goat and tie him before you go in his yard. Use precaution and common sense. Shame on the standard makers in shows for not wanting horns. These are issues that need to change for the sake of the goat. 

   Those little horns stay!!!!! 


   I am not saying you won't ever have to work around the horns. I have to work around having the need for glasses and the need for a size 11 shoe. We all work around who and what we are...I work around the fact that I'm a woman and often ignored by men in my area when I go to use the services they provide. I work around heat, cold, having brown hair and being short and having to train my singing voice. Yes, you will work around those horns. But the goat needs those horns and it is unfair to say that your need not to have to work around them is more important than the goat's need to have them. 

   We do so many things for our own sakes.... I have been thinking alot about that lately. About prejudice and about how we set the scales according to our own views rather than facts. We judge based on our prejudice against an organization. We try to evangelize people who don't need saved and we do a blanket judgement saying that they all need saved when they don't. I'm thinking of the protestant/catholic situations I'm continually in. I wish protestants would try to save protestants. I promise you there are tons in your own congregation who don't know the Lord. It just seems easier to go "out there" or "over there" and to believe that they need saving because they don't understand their walk the same way you do.  
   I wish catholics would stop trying to save protestants as well. Now...all the protestants just heaved a great big sigh and said "AMEN"... but watch out.... the same Christ who you say you serve catholics serve. The one who died for us. And you may not understand their humble faith and devotion. You may have grown up catholic and still not understand it. You may have grown up protestant and be filled with hard feelings toward catholics. Only at the foot of the cross will we understand. I'm telling you...only at the foot of the cross. It is not a great evangelical work to go into the catholic church to save catholics...nor a great evangelical work to go into protestant churches to save protestants... not unless that is what you are...catholics to catholics and protestants to protestants...and you look in to your own house first. Your own back yard. I am not saying God never sets up situations where He will reach one of another denomination through you...but never believe it is you and your faith above their own. Be very very careful.
   Billy Graham said 75% of evangelicals are not saved. 75% of those sitting in your church. Why do you need to go somewhere else? 75% of those you sit with every week don't even know the Lord. Shouldn't you storm Hell's gates at home first? 
   Speaking of home... what's wrong with focusing on home first? What's wrong with being the best mom and dad you can be? Is that somehow less holy? Is it less important? Is there more value placed on ministries outside the home? I don't mean by man, because CLEARLY there is more placed on those ministries by man...I'm talking about God's view. God does not see this matter the way we do. Our families are falling apart because not only does the world tell us that family is last in importance but the protestant world has created program after program after program and needs leaders for all of this. Kids are growing up sitting in church waiting on mom to finish "laboring for God"... they sit there discussing who knows what with one another...they go without good meals...eating fast food because mom doesn't have time to fix those meals. They don't get in bed on time because these programs are so important that they take priority. Mom and Dad haven't seen one another in weeks. There is no time for the entire family to get together and just be a family. There are tons of meetings set up at church for "family time". Those consist of kids playing together and little circles of people gathering to visit. Dad, Mom and kids have not spent family time. Family time is spent at home. It's time when you eat together. When you talk with one another. Perhaps you do go to a park together. Perhaps you take a trip together. But on week nights you are home and helping with homework and baking cookies and visiting...having fun as a family. That's a worthy ministry. Where did that go? I say again....shouldn't we storm the gates of Hell at home first? What happened to the value of praying over your kids each day? Why is it not important anymore? 
   Catholics and LDS are at risk of falling into this same pattern of letting the family values that have held them strong for so long just go the way of the world the same way the Protestants have. This is serious. This is the foundation of what God has formed. Before your church building was built...before a name was given to your denomination....God formed the family. It is His first institution and it is the one most at risk right now.  
   The church is only as strong as the leadership in it and that leadership becomes more weak each and every day as the family becomes more weak. You are doing God's greatest work when you labor in what is considered a small place. You are changing culture one diaper at a time. One clean dish at a time. One school lesson at a time. One cooked meal at a time. One Bible verse memorized at a time. One hug at a time. One kind word at a time. One prayer at a time. One toilet cleaned at a time. 
   We focus on the differences so much. We try to save everyone else. We forget our own churches full of lost people. We forget our own communities full of lost people. Our own neighborhoods who don't know Jesus. Our own homes where the example of Jesus needs to be seen. Where the family needs strengthened so the communities and churches can be strong. We forget that our words should be focused on saying what will uplift.... not in arrogance... it must be from a sincere heart.... our kids and our spouses know when we aren't sincere. Our friends often do too. Our priorities have to change. Just like not choosing to remove horns from goats just for our own benefit, we need to avoid choosing to fall into the lies of society for our own benefit and thus cripple our families and our friends...our churches and our communities...and truthfully...our own hearts too.... 
   Father, I know at times the path I travel seems rough and thorny. It seems to be to an unknown destination. I know you've asked me to simply trust You and walk the path. There are times when my flesh doesn't want to keep going. Forgive me for stopping in the middle of the path at times. Forgive my hard heart. Forgive me for not crucifying my own flesh in how I treat others. Forgive me for not seeking to be kind to my family in speech and act and in how I speak about them. Forgive me for not speaking with kindness both to and about those around me in church and community and nation. Forgive my hard heart. Break my heart to be remolded by You. Surrendering my will to Yours...I seek...with fear and trembling...Your way..... 
This is Goodbye from the Blackberry Patch...We'll be seeing you soon......