Tuesday, June 29, 2010

True Happiness

Farmers receive more than their share of both inexpressible joy and intense sadness. Some days I'm on cloud nine because of the beauty of this world we live in. On other days, it is all I can do to keep pressing on when circumstances are bent on my destruction. A picture of heaven and hell.

Well, the skunk got its due at the end of my dad's rifle, but that won't bring back it's victims. I have never in my life seen such senseless carnage. If an animal kills in order to eat, that is one thing, but an animal that kills for the sheer pleasure of killing...

What does one do with the anger, frustration, tears, pain, and depression that follows a tragedy like this?

You know what is really sad? I'm learning more about how sinful I truly am. "When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (Rom. 7:21-24)

How is it possible to be joyful?

"O how happy are they who the Savior obey,
and have laid up their treasure above!
Tongue can never express the sweet comfort and peace
of a soul in its earliest love.

That sweet comfort was mine, when the favor divine
I first found in the blood of the Lamb;
when my heart first believed, what a joy I received,
what a heaven in Jesus's name!

'Twas a heaven below my Redeemer to know,
and the angels could do nothing more,
than to fall at his feet, and the story repeat,
and the lover of sinners adore.

Jesus all the day long was my joy and my song:
O that all his salvation might see!
"He hath loved me," I cried, "He hath suffered and died,
to redeem a poor rebel like me."

O the rapturous height of that holy delight
which I felt in the life giving blood!
By my Savior possessed, I was perfectly blest,
as if filled with the fullness of God.

Now my remnant of days would I speak of his praise
who hath died my poor soul to redeem.
Whether many or few, all my years are his due;
may they all be devoted to Him."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thy Mercies are New Every Morning...

Watching new life come into the world is a great experience. Thank You, God, for showing mercy to me with this new little calf.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Beekeeping = amazing!

I got a tour of some very nice apartment complexes last night. Very crowded, with sticky walls about half an inch apart, and constant noise all around. One of the apartments contained only one empty room and is due for an upward remodel within a week or so before the inhabitants take off to find a more roomy home ;)

Bees are such an amazing creation of God! The experienced beekeeper who 'lent' me the five hives also gave me an old suit that needed some duct tape work but works great. He and I suited up and he showed me the routine, from lighting the smoker, to cleaning extra wax and propolis off the hives, to opening them and examining the queen, workers, new eggs and capped cells ready to hatch, bee pollen and the near-white clover honey in beautiful wax combs already forming after only a couple weeks. He made it seem so easy, and it truly was. Having bees crawl all over me didn't diminish my happiness in the least ;) There is absolutely nothing like holding a frame that is every inch swarming in honey bees.

My family was great - the whole lot of them stood at the far edge of the orchard at the beginning, craning to watch what they hoped would be their daughter's entertaining first attempt at apiculture. When they didn't hear the expected screams and see a mad dash for the nearest exit, they came closer. My littlest brother especially got up close to see the frames I was inspecting, and Abigail grinned as she proudly showed me a honey bee that landed on her hand and stayed for a visit.

Seriously, those are the sweetest bees. I love them already. This particular beekeeper helped me over the fear of the unknown, and his casual and comfortable way of handling the hives and tools made yesterday a great first experience for me. It really is easier than I imagined.

Guess what - since we have both been thinking of ways to avoid using medications on the bees, he is going to give me a vigorous bee tree and place them in a hive with only the top bars, no foundation, and see whether or not the bees will naturally build the small cells that should solve the tracheal mite problem. My own bees! All this includes free training, a share of the honey, and in addition, I may get to capture swarms that are called in from nearby towns. All this by God's grace!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Practical Pets

Here are the latest additions to Shiloh Knoll Farm! Who says you can't enjoy an animal even if its purpose is to be eaten ;) 'sceptin the honey bees, of course...