Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Our Heart-Home

Sometimes your heart dwells somewhere on earth that has nothing to do with where you actually live.  For many of our family members, that place is out in far West Texas where some of our extended family are ranchers.  They have generously shared their home with us over the years, and this semi-desert ranch in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains holds a very special place in our hearts.  It's not our home, but it is our Heart-Home.

Some of us made it out there last summer, but our son Jim hasn't been there in years.  This past weekend he had the opportunity of a lifetime--to fly out with a friend who pilots his own helicopter.

I once flew across half the continent of Africa in a 6-seater Cessna, and I'm pretty sure I left claw marks in the dashboard, clutching on for dear life.  After that exhilarating and terrifying experience, you would never in a million years get me into a helicopter!  When Jim texted us this photo, he called it "So happy together!"  While I admire the sleek helicopter, the ancient Jeep is more my speed for seeing the countryside!  However, that doesn't stop me from vicariously reveling in Jim's incredible aerial experience.  I hope the following eagle-eyed views will give you a glimpse of why this beautiful place will always be our Heart-Home.

Have you ever seen an upside-down rainbow?

The small white "dash" in the center of the photo is the Limpia house where Jim and his friend John are staying.  Those spots of light are reflections from the camera, because there's not another house to be seen.

As I look at the last photo, a chorus crescendoes in my head:

"Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above." 

Can't you just see Michael W. Smith and his band gathered right here, singing with all their hearts to the awesome God that created this place?

Thank you, Jim and John, for taking us along with you!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Lucas and the Big Storm

This is a true story told to me recently by my friend Kirby, whom I'll call The Farmer, about her calf Lucas, who was born earlier this year.

It was calm, dry and very dark when The Farmer went down to the barn early one morning.  She was just finishing her chores when a storm hit suddenly with strong winds and buckets of rain pouring down.  The roar of the rain on the tin roof horrified poor Lucas.  His eyes got as big as saucers and he started to dart outside, but the torrential rain plowed into his face.  He turned and ran back inside the barn.  The Farmer reached out and took his face in her hands.  She began stroking his face and telling him everything would be okay.  Lucas instantly calmed down and stopped trembling.  Meanwhile, his mother and another cow stood nearby, too busy eating to notice the rain or care about Lucas.

It immediately struck me that Kirby has painted a vivid picture of what God is to us.  He is our ever-caring Farmer, even when those close to us are so preoccupied with what's important to them that they don't have a clue what's happening to us.  All too often when a storm hits, I, too, turn and try to run from it--and like Lucas, I run straight into the storm.  Yet when the real storm hit Lucas in the face, he knew to run to The Farmer for comfort and safety.

This photo of Lucas' sweet, trusting face as he looks at Kirby is a poignant reminder to me to remember where true comfort and safety lie.  Even if it seems that where I am right now is a very scary place, I am so much safer in my Farmer's arms.  May I always turn to Him and trust Him as Lucas did his Farmer.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Pecking Order

Monday we moved pastures and briefly combined two groups, the "boys" (Royal and two steers) with Ebby and her calf, Seb.  We then led Ebby out of the pasture, with Royal and Seb following.  But during the few minutes they were all together, the pecking order had to be re-established.  The photos aren't the best because I took them with a cell phone on a rainy day, but they give you the idea.

Sir Loin already knew he's below Royal and above Wellie in the pecking order, so he went after Ebby, the self-appointed Boss Cow.

Meanwhile, Seb (on the left) faced off with Wellie.  It was interesting to compare six-month old Seb, a chondro negative bull calf, with Wellie, a 17-month old chondro positive steer.  While Wellie is much more filled out, they're pretty close to the same height.

When Sir Loin went off to eat some pellets, Wellie went racing back to find out his place in the pecking order.

Royal followed the fracas closely without getting involved.  Seb (on the right) hovered nearby while Ebby pushed Wellie backwards, plowing furrows in the wet ground from his planted feet.

Seb and Royal continued to follow Ebby and Wellie.

While I hate to see a pregnant cow in a pecking order match, the result between Wellie and Ebby was never in doubt.

By the next day, everyone had settled down.  Sir Loin had moved on, and Seb had glued himself to daddy Royal's side (in the "sun spot" in the center of the photo) while Ebby and Wellie grazed near each other in peaceful d├ętente.  The pecking order had sorted itself out, and dinner was once again the top priority.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fall Light

Hurricane Patricia is history, leaving afternoons like this in her wake.

After so many dark gray, rainy days we're basking in the light.  Heads down in a new pasture is how the Dexters express their enjoyment, while I do it by running for my camera.  Blue skies, white clouds, green grass, gold light, orange trees, and red and black Dexters.  Who could ask for more?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fall Fun on the Farm

The kids and grandkids were here last weekend, and we had a beautiful day to enjoy the farm.  One of their favorite activities is to go out and see the animals.  Siobhan loves the treats as much as the kids love handing them out.

This little wheelbarrow is just the right size.

We took a "six month anniversary" photo with Seb (at left) and Ebby six months after his birth during Eden's birthday party.

Sir Loin came up to look for treats and made everyone smile with the bit of greenery stuck under his ear tag.

Wellie struck a handsome pose, glowing bright red in the sunlight.

There was fun to be had indoors later in the evening as Jim swung the kids . . .

. . . sending them flying through the air to land on the couch.  Inside or out, there's never a lack of fun on the farm!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Don't Call Me Late for Dinner

"I don't care what you call me, " goes an old saying, "just don't call me late for dinner."

Dinner time for Ebby takes me past our lower lane on these lovely autumn evenings.

Now that the pasture has been bush hogged, Ebby and Seb are probably enjoying the hay bale in the run-in shed, so I call out, "Ooooh, cow!  Oooooh, cow!"

Ebby appears in the distance with Seb trailing along behind.

I pour out her feed and top off the water tank, but the evening light is so beautiful, I stay to watch her amble towards me.

Ebby takes her time--she knows I wouldn't call her late for dinner--and I take my time, too.  These golden autumn moments are treasures to be enjoyed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Foggy, Foggy Dew

We've had over 5" of rain in the first twelve days of October, and now it's started to warm up.  That has led to some heavy dew and foggy mornings, like this one from last week.

To see why this is weird weather, just compare it to the banner photo, taken on October 29, 2012.  Fortunately, both beautiful weather and weird weather make nice photos!