Monday, April 10, 2017

Baby Goats and the War Machine




We weren't planning on baby goats this spring as Mike made a separate fenced in area and shelter for our buck and we moved him over the very end of October or the beginning of November.  But, this must have happened right before.  God must have known I needed baby goats this spring - they are just the sweetest.  Yesterday we let them and their mom free range around the yard.

On a separate, not so sweet note, is this ridiculous war in Syria and it seems as though the administration is about to expand our involvement.

Please do not believe the main stream media without checking out facts for yourself.  Don't even believe your politicians and intelligence agencies without seeing physical proof.

Please read through these articles and if you agree, contact your representatives and senators and demand that the United States stop arming the so-called rebels, stop escalating our involvement in Syria, let Assad stay in power for now, and get back to the negotiating table.  There is no proof that Assad was behind the chemical attacks.  Why would he have?  He was about to get everything he wanted - The Trump administration had just said the US wouldn't advocate for his removal, Syria and Russia and perhaps the US to some degree as well, were making huge gains in pushing ISIS out, and they were about to resume peace/negotiation talks.  

Really dig into the origins of the Syria war.  It was probably not an uprising from within.  The likes of the United States, with our so-called allies, Saudi Arabia (does that make any sense???), Turkey and Qatar supported the uprising that eventually over the years attracted members of Al-Qaeda and other radical organizations.  Our country, because it is controlled by the wealthiest few, loves war to fund all the corporations and  loves the prospect of putting a pipeline through Syria.

Do you know that Syria was a secular country where women had equal rights (rare for a middle eastern country), people could practice their chosen religion in peace, education was free, and there was a good free health care system.  Of course, you couldn't challenge Assad politically, but I don't believe that is reason enough for us to challenge him.  Think of how many other countries commit horrific evils to their people, yet we do nothing, for example Saudi Arabia.  I am not advocating that we should do anything, but I am just arguing that there is no justification for regime change in Syria.

Please just remember that our government told us that the Iraq war was justified, that there was proof of weapons of mass destruction.  They lied to the American people.

Here are links to some good articles:






Sorry for the heaviness but I feel that it is so important.

Warm wishes,
Tonya




Sunday, March 19, 2017

This Weekend

I treated myself to a $3.99 bouquet when food shopping on Friday and I am so happy I did.  Flowers make me feel so happy.  

On Saturday, we boiled off some sap from Friday's run.  It was only about 3 gallons of sap, so we just did it on the stove.  I baked two loaves of bread and Abby made a cake.

Part of our payment for working at our neighbor's organic farm on Tuesdays and Thursdays is food.  They had some local frozen lamb shanks which I have never had before.   They are cooking all afternoon today.  I also added vegetable stock, red wine, onions, garlic, potatoes and carrots.

Yesterday and today the sap is flowing a bit more, so Mike is boiling the sap outside.  He made this from metal roofing and we have our roaster pans holding the sap and then we bring it into the house to finish it off.


The view of our back yard today.  Tomorrow, though, is the first day of spring!

Today with it warming up a bit, I was able to clean out the chicken coop.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.
Warmly,
Tonya



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

By Faith



So our family has settled into our new little homestead here in Maine.  We love the house, the land, our neighbors, and our intimate church family.  However, our business has slowed down to the point in the last couple of years that we simply are not able to really "get by".  We have never gone hungry, but it just seems as if it should not be so, and not responsible to continue with such uncertainty.  We have opened ourselves up to the possibility that we are being moved in another direction.  While we keep our business going, either Mike or I will be working two days at an organic vegetable farm just one mile up the road.  That will help just a bit but really we are opening ourselves completely up to what God has to offer us in terms of vocation and employment.  To be honest, I am tired of being stressed about finances and wondering which bill I can pay on which day and if we are going to have enough sales tomorrow to go food shopping, for example.  I am tired of not being able to afford to go to the dentist.   I trust in God but I also know that we are to use wisdom and to listen.  So I open myself up and I pray for guidance and wisdom and for clarity that either our business provides or that new opportunities make themselves apparent.  So keep our family in your prayers and let me know how I can pray for you as well.

Warm wishes,
Tonya

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Summer Fun






This summer my plan for our family was to have fun when possible.  Summer is just so short that we have all the other months to work more.  Of course, our business requires at least 40 plus hours a week but we are afforded flexibility to choose when we work those hours.  We have a very modest unpredictable income but there really are so many possibilities that don't require a lot of money.

Like so many other places around the county, this summer has been extra hot here in midcoast Maine. 

We feel have been swimming at a state park just 7 miles from us nearly every very hot late afternoon.  We like to go after the crowds have left and the sun isn't as likely to burn.  These visits to the lake have resulted in meeting two homechool families that live in a nearby town and already Sarah has connected with one of the girls.  Truly an answer to prayer.

We enjoyed a family gathering at my Mom's in Connecticut.  My mother and aunt surprised Mike and I and our children still at home, by flying Nolan and his wife up for the weekend.  They live in Virginia and it had been nearly a year since we had seen them.  What an amazing surprise.  The last picture was taken at that gathering of us with our seven children and two spouses.  (There was a tropical theme for the get together.)

So this past week, we went to a state park in New Hampshire and stayed two nights in one of their cabins.  Part of the trip's purpose was to meet my mother on our last day so that Abby could spend a week with her in Connecticut.  The state park was a good midway point.  The park was just wonderful!  The lake was beautiful and the walking and hiking excellent.  

Not to mention the weather - oh the weather this summer.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Castine, Maine







Even though we have a  long to-do list on our new homestead, we left it behind and headed out on a spectacular day last Saturday to explore our new beautiful state.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Just Here








Just a simple weekend mostly at home:
planting, splitting, stacking, replacing brake pads, playing, preparing meals, cleaning, making, loving, crying and laughing.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Day in Our Life

Most days we meet at the table at 9:00 and talk, work, read aloud until about 11:00 when I prepare lunch.

As we learn and read, we try to find countries on the globe.

 This day Emily began to cut up some straws which we later strung to make necklaces.

While I am making lunch, Emmy asks me to put her hair in a ballerina bun, she puts on her Elsa dress and dances.
 
After lunch, I get outside to work around the homestead for a couple of hours - right now my work is preparing the garden.  By late afternoon, I generally spend a couple of hours on the business doing computer work, wood burning, and packaging.

During my work time, Mike usually works on some building projects and most everyone else is outside with him.
He just finished a little shelter for our Nigerian Dwarf buck and will start a fenced in area for him today so we can keep him separate from the girls for most of the year. 

Certain days of the week we have some other activities, such as an art/music class on Monday afternoon for Abraham and Sarah and homeschool gym time on Friday afternoons.  We try to not have to leave the house on Tuesday and Thursdays to minimize driving and to be more productive.

Warm wishes,
Tonya