Friday, February 4, 2011

Welcome to 15 of 365 days of life on our small family farm

Pleasant Sabbath to you until all your families. Thank you for taking the time to join
us today on our farm and our blog and for sharing this time in our lives with us.

Although it is the Sabbath and we are Jewish our animals require constant care. They eat before we eat, they eat higher-quality feed them eat, unless we are eating up,LOL. Tonight is a very cold and chilly night and the light from the candles adds to the beauty of the moment snow falling softly upon the earth and the quietness all around us. It's been a long day for all of us in preparation for the storm that has now set down upon us and our state. This has been a long winter forests already. As we have had for such snow events. It can take us several days to prepare for one snowstorm. There is a gathering up of all the feed for the livestock, as most places close once it snows here. There is the buying of the straw. Though we strong of all the patents that all the numerous animals we have go to upon such cold weather. The cow alone requires at least one bale of straw to keep her pen warm and dry. As most of you already know we have four does getting ready to kid at any time, so we have had to make special place in the barn for them as well. It is not easy for everyone to coordinate and manage to get it all done before the storms come. Michael spends endless hours during his stay gathering would getting things ready for the home as well as preparing the waters and feed for all of the many birds that he feeds on a daily basis. It can take hours just to feed and water every one. Rachel takes special care to make sure that the horses all upper parents work before the storm hits as well. Along with all that we must make sure that we have enough water food and gasoline to get through 3 to 4 days without power. They can be a rough time, but when you work together you can do amazing things. Around two years ago we had one of the worst ice storms in recorded history of the state of Arkansas. We were without power for more than one month. The first few days with the worst, as I did not take into consideration the vast huge mountain of water that we as a family consume. With the animals we consume an average of 500 gallons of water per day. This includes the horses, sheep, goats and other animals. Just simple things, such as flushing the toilet can't eat up as much as 5 to 7 gallons of water. It never occurred to me that our pump ran on electricity and that without electric we would have no water. We spent most of those days gathering icicles as they are much cleaner than snow, we converted an old grill filled it with wood started a fire and heated up water from before dawn, until dusk. It was a lot of work, and in between we had to provide for our dearly meal along with eating all of our animals. At one point preparing even a simple meal could take as much as four hours. At that point it became evident to us that we would have to prepare one meal a day and then everyone would have to eat that meal. It was not a choice it was just about survival. It said all we had to take care of the animals and ourselves for those first few days. But it showed us that no matter what if we worked as a team we could achieve amazing things. No animal without food, no animal went without water. No one in the home went without water or a warm meal. It was a wonderful learning experience and taught us a great deal about water consumption. The first hours we take again where week after the event took place and they were amazing. As the hot water poured over our bodies it was as if we had never had a shower before. Sadly it was not in our own house but added church many miles away. As they said we were without water due to the electricity for over a month. In that time we learned how to conserve water and use it very wisely. Living from bottles of water is truly a unique experience that anyone should try it least once. You can never put enough water way for a disaster that was the outcome of the event. After the first day our cisterns were dry that is when we started making our own water from the ice as I stated about. Ice storms in themselves are the scariest events and the one might ever be in the presence of. The sounds of trees breaking and falling around you.  It left such an impression upon me that I will never be the same again. Unlike the hurricane we know that the storm is gone once it's gone. For months after the ice storm, trees continue to fall around us. Crashing into neighbors cars, blocking our roads and all in all causing us grief and moments of stress and anxiety. During the storms we lost over 90% of our trees, and all but two of our fruit trees. So for the last few years we have tried to regain our own land and are still cleaning up the many dead trees and dying trees that continue to cast their shadows upon what was a beautiful forest. The lesson here is that life can change in a minute. As where can all live without television or computers, we cannot live without water. So when you plan ahead, to put away water for catastrophe realize you can never put enough water away. In my basement at the moment, there is over 100 gallons of drinking water. He takes up a vast amount of space, and it will last us but for short brief time. One of the things that we have done since the storm is to leave our pool up year-round. This gives us much needed water for the bathroom, to boil
for water animals, or at worst case scenario ourselves. In the spring to pull be moved to the front yard or pasture depending on  how you look at. We will dig a hole big enough to put it in. Then it will be a permanent fixture in that pasture. When and if winter ever leaves us, we intend to fill it and then to grow tilapia fish.  I found a place in Missouri that sells the fry. I can buy 100 and fingerlings for around $30. By fall, they will be full-grown and ready to harvest and we will have a harvest party and share the fish with our friends. Then we will have the whole pool full of water in case
we ever need.

On another note, I would like to apologize for not getting back to while yesterday. I am still little down over my horse, and completely stressed out over school. I really meant to get back on and finish, my dear husband, my daughter and son, have both made a post that I will include below
this one. I know that a lot of you follow our blog daily and we are honored that you take time in your lives to be a part of ours. So on to the rest of the blog.

Because tonight is the Sabbath, we will have steak for dinner, with lovely broccoli. It is one of my favorite times of the week, because I know that I can relax and let go of some of the stress that idea with every week. Of course again we still have to take care of the animals, that's a given, but I don't have to do anything. We like to call ourselves bum bears, sleep in late till at least eight. Get up and have a nice breakfast together. Tend to the animals, and I'm kind of bum about the place, watch TV, read, relax and enjoy the day. Tomorrow will be very nice, because with all the snow there is no place to go anyway. So for tonight, I will go off and watch Babylon 5 and enjoy the quietness of the air in the over to greeting you all tomorrow.

My dear Husbands part of the blog:

This was his post from yesterday, followed by today’s…

News From The Doghouse and Antartica, Arkansas...

Went to bed last @9:30
with Bears bouncing around me, the Boss woke me up @1 to put wood on the fire,
and I slept solidly till 6:30 and had to restart the fire, it was down to
embers and a few was 66F in the house. By 7, was sitting down with
coffee and by then the fan kicked on downstairs on the wood burner, it was 70F
by 8 o'clock. The microwavw was acting weird, open it up and the turntable was rotating,
not a way to start the day and not really awake. The Weather Channel said it
was 6F outside with minus F wind chills, the hot water line froze, again, last
night, I guess because I didn't get up @ 4 or so. Today it is supposed to be
around 35F, so it will thaw out today, and was dripping at the faucet already.
Everything else outside is frozen solid, even my usual outside water

Faucet that is on the
southside next to the house. I got the peepers waterers in the basement thawing
out, they were solid blocks of ice, hopefully today I can get everything
resolved, and everybody watered. Trying to take it easy until I can get out
there and get things done, hate having it hanging over my head. So I am trying
to do things with the Bears, like now its DVD The Wiggles' "Big Red
Car", after that it will probably be Blue's Clues "Story Time",
and not my preference of Yo Gabba Gabba "Naptime"!

Finally got the chores
done, just after 5 PM. Got the faucet going on the south side of the house, and
the waterhouse faucet as well. Moo the milk cow, the horses, sheep and goats
were standing in line for the fresh liquid, free of icebergs. Never got the hot
water to run, it would run for a second or two then drips, figure it has ice in
it somewhere, probably where the joiner bottlenecks it, or under the house from
the insane construction company, dunno.

Heard and felt some
explosions around 4 PM, 1st was in the ground the 2nd was more level earth, or
so it seemed and was louder. Think we had some more earthquakes south of us
somewhere. Seen a herd of deer on the east pasture, a few down by the lake. One
of the oddball flocks of ducks was up at the house when I was trying to do
waterers for the porch birds, got a picture of them to post sometime, another
flock was up here late this afternoon. There is 8 birds in that group, 2 Muscovy
hens; couple of khakis and rest are roans and cayuga.

I hope all is well with


News From The
Doghouse and a good day to go Blah!

Kept the house in the low 70s
overnight, and the frozen hot water was dripping faster and finally @10AM it
was working normally. Outside it was like 26F, SO it must be under the house at
the junction of the pipes or something. Another project fpr another day. :(

Did the peep chores uneventfully,
had to go warm up a few times from the barn though. Spending the afternoon with
the Bears, they got school work done, so now are playing Mario on Wii. It gets
hard and complicated to keep up with them, I can see the day coming that they
will be so far beyond my ability, I'll be doing good if I even understand it at
all. I'll be the antiquadated Neanderthal and they will be running Cyber
Spaceville...paradoxical considering I am on the computer, but events happen.
I'll never forget, walking in while they were watching a dinosaur program on a
science channel, and I say, "Wow, what a cool looking pterodactyl!"
admiring the coloring scheme, and they say in unison, "Dad, that's a
pteranadon!" <--sp? I said, "O...k." somewhat shocked and
laughing about it at the same time (8-P)<--that's an eight-ball

In this strange weather of ours, I
have seen a dandelion blooming right now, by the house, and the Bears' wild
cherry tree had leaf sprouts shooting out, and I seen the tops of some flowers
coming up as well, they are tulips or irises or jonquils or something...mind
you this is in freezing weather....

Hopefully the weather will get
comfortable, so we can all get outside...and I can write some new adventures or
construction events or work on vehicles. Guess I got the doldrums. Elijah
discovered some new levels and secret chambers on the Mario world levels or
something like that.

for the shabbat is Terumah, reading Exodus 25:1-27:19 & 1st Kings 5:26-6:13

This next
post is from our daughter Rachael:

there was a chilly start to this morning the chores still had to be done and so
I headed out to the barn to milk the cow and hopefully find some new arrivals.
Before milking Moo cow I checked on one of our pregnant goats because she
appeared to be in labor last night but she was not. She is very close to going
in to labor though. She is pawing at the ground and nesting. Her tail bone has indented.
How you can tell this is by feeling along the goat’s backbone with your pointer
finger and thumb, and as you reach tail bone you will be able to feel an indentation
between them. This only happens when they are near birth to help widen the
birth canal. You can check the back bone on an none pregnant doe and the back
bone will not be indented. The first time I tried this was on my little doe
that was having her first baby and after I checked her backbone I knew she was
close. The next morning she gave birth. Another sign that a doe is preparing to
kid is that her vulva will appear to be large and puffy. Before most goats
start labor they will lose what is a called a mucus plug which is a small
amount of creamy mucus that excretes from the vulva this can happen for up to
three weeks before they go into labor when the doe does go into labor the mucus
will look stringy and there will be a larger amount than before labor begins.
Most does also fill their milk bags with colostrum a few weeks or days before
going in to labor, but some goats will fill their bags with colostrum after the
birth of their kid. We are watching two of our does as they are both in
different stages of their pregnancy, but they are both near labor and I cannot
wait until they both give birth to their precious kids. After my morning barn
and milking chores were done I work with my little pinto paint Percheron colt
whose name is El –Shadi. I worked on his bowing and shaking hands. I also
worked with how he walks while being led because he tends to invade personal
space very often. He is only a baby and I will just have to have patience and
take everything slow and easy with him until he understands what I am trying to
teach him. Right know everything he does either involves playing or food as he
showed me this morning. I will try to take him on a walk this afternoon to get
the mail with me. I thought him that the mail box was nothing to be afraid of
and know he love to be around and even opens it. I thought about teaching him
how to carry the mail back up to the house but I was afraid that he might eat
it back to my studies…

you for reading our blog



On to Dah’veed’s part of the blog:

The life and times of a rapper/farmer

Today started chilly, and ended in

Yesterday mom and I spent an hour
trying to get a better price on my microphone. I was ok with the one I was
going to get, but you know mother, always tryna help <<Made the computer
think ‘tryna’ was a word by adding it to the dictionary >>.

Hopefully I can just get it, get my
reflexion filter set up, and record my demo.

It’s snowing epically hard out here,
luckily snow doesn’t require water-proofing.

And at least the hot water returned
this morning.

For dinner last night we had chili and
homemade cornbread. Yum!

I helped Elijah with his school- work,
as well as doing my own. Then I played the wii with him. My game got here in
the mail today (Call of duty 2-Big red one), and then I was no longer
interested (temporarily, of course) in Super Mario Brothers Wii. Tomorrow maybe
I’ll get my new headphones

I haven’t got much to say, as nothing
eventful happened today on the farm.



Be Blessed and from our family to yours…have a peaceful
joyful day.

Shekhinah, Michael and all the kids and critters, Mahanaim


  1. I am glad you logged in and read them...well done, did you put the milk up?

  2. very interesting
    i can see that it is a lot of hard work
    yes, water is precious
    thank you dear family for sharing your lives with us
    hugs and kisses