Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Update: Dogs and Chickens

I have been very busy the last few days with the dogs, chickens and trying to get around the fires. We actually had to go a couple hundred miles out of the way to get the dogs to the vet for their check-ups after their operations. Our vet actually had to be evacuated today from her home, so she was not there, but another capable vet gave us the good news that Hi Ho's tumor was benign and took out her stitches. Abby was in good shape too. They both received their shoots for this year. They hate to go to the vet. I don't blame them, nothing good ever happens there.

Everything seems to have been topsy turvy this past week. We have had our mattress on the floor, since Hi Ho tore a stitch first thing after jumping off the bed. It was actually in the living room on the floor. This gave me the opportunity to re-arrange the bedroom and clean every square inch, except the closet, that is on the list for tomorrow. This morning we put the mattress back in the bedroom, since Hi Ho was getting her stitches out.

It has been so hot here. I have never seen it above 80* til this week. We love when it is in the 60's in the house. It has been in the 80's in the house. We can't exactly turn on air that we don't have, nobody has air here. I usually do not wear shorts here in the summer unless I want a little sun, but anything more and I can't stand it. It looks like it will be back in the seventies next week. I hope that this helps with the fires. Please keep everyone in your prayers and pray for windless rain.

I love my chickens. I'm still trying to figure out what's best for them. I have named three of the roosters even though I am only keeping two of them. Ben Walton (Ben) from the Walton's, he is the smallest with a bright red comb. Cliff, he has a strange shaped beak and Cass, (Cassanova) he is in love with me. They are all sweet. I had 22, but one rooster died the second night. Shade, wind and heat have been issues all week. I have spent all week moving temporary shade around, so they would be cool enough. We will start a permanant coop as soon as it cools down.

I will get pictures posted soon. I took my camera with me today with the hope of getting some good fire pictures, but could not bring myself to take pictures of people's lives going up in flames. There are a lot of pictures out there to see what it's like. I do not fault anyone for taking pictures, I was just convicted not to take any. It was very emotional for me to see the distruction. I hope that you understand.

Blessings,
Tina



Monday, June 25, 2012

Extremes...

Things can change in a matter of minutes. I received a text from a friend in a nearby town, 38 miles away, who informed me that the town had just issued water restrictions and closed their bulk water station. Why would a town refuse water to it's own town's people who are not on city water and do not have wells. Are these not their most needy consumers? We have been busy with the dogs and chickens, so we put off keeping our cistern full. We decided that we had put it off long enough and headed to town.

This, unannounced to us, was right in the middle of a town full of panicked people fleeing from a fire that was and is still out of control. There were scores of people in line at every gas pump in town. The strangest thing I saw was people sitting at gas pumps that were out of gas. They were in shock or something.


I love this Allstate commercial

It was total mayhem. We were also trying to find a tool for our truck that releases water out of the fuel filter. A must have item when you have a diesel truck. You could not get around town safely. The main highway had been closed heading East and still is closed due to this fire. After checking a few places for fuel and the tool I was starting to feel anxious. Unsure whether or not we could get fuel in another town we headed towards home. We would have filled up in the previous town but, a large RV pulling a trailer was trying to pull into a station that it could not get into had half of the highway blocked, so we continued on to the next town.

We had no idea what was going on until we were in the middle of it. We were out of options. Normally, we would have had plenty of fuel, but we did not want to stop in the middle of the night to get it on our way home from our last business trip. We will not make that mistake again. Number One wanted some chips from the grocery store, so we stopped to pick some up. They had one loaf of bread, no chips and the milk was nearly gone. He ended up with some off brand of cheese curls. Tasteless to say the least.

We finally fueled up after a long line of vehicles at a store that only had one entrance in and out. Some people are not so bright in panic mode. They blocked the only way out, so there was gridlock. They could not move forward nor backwards. We were trapped. We finally were able to escape our gas station prison, get some water and headed home. We got one more tank of water and called it a night. It was 9 pm and we still had not had anything to eat since breakfast, except tasteless cheese curls. We had a large thermos of cold water and I'm sure that was more than most people had.

We saw a vehicle in distress with a horse trailer behind it, so Number One went to see if he could be of assistance. There was a young lady inside who told us that we were the only one's who stopped. Her husband walked the four miles back home to get a second vehicle. They only needed a jump. Unfortunately, he took the keys. They had evacuated all their horses that morning and were on their way back home to wait and see if they needed to flee. We re-learned valuable lessons, keep your tanks full, keep emergency supplies in your vehicle and know what's going on around you...

This is our first experience with wildfires so close to home. God help us. Our tank is full and we are ready to evacuate. We are currently not under any threat, but we are ready to leave at a moments notice. Dogs and documents in hand. Please pray for God to bring the rains. We are in a desperate situation here. Pray for the safety of those in harm's way. Thank you and God bless....

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Morning Tea With Our Chickens

Well, the chickens have landed. We managed to almost complete the chicken yard yesterday. It was a long day of hard work that was still going on when I received the text that it was time to wrangle chickens. We were not anywhere near completing the task of providing a safe home for our new charges.

The farm store shorted us 25 ft of chicken wire which made the task even more difficult, since it was a three hour round trip to go back to get the wire needed just to get the run finished. That was not going to happen, since I actually had to go pick up the chickens in a few hours. Our focus turned to securing the yard with what we had and putting a temporary coop in place. We could have used a few more days to get the job done right.

Number One and I finished the temporary coop and secured the yard as best we could without the wire and I headed off to start wrangling. It only took 15 minutes to catch 14 hens and 7 roosters with the help of many. I have not officially counted to see what I ended up with, but I'm sure it's something like that. When I got back into the car to leave Lil, the border collie, was in the back seat with the chickens keeping a close eye on them and licking her lips I'm sure. I don't know how she got in the car, but it was funny. I thought the chicks were breathing awfully heavy.  I got back home and released the birds into their new yard. This was their first experience in the outside world. In a pen, anyway.

They were clueless. It got dark pretty fast, so I went back out there to make sure that they went into their temporary coop. Nope, they had not. They were all huddled up beside it, so I gave them a hand into their new digs. I checked on them throughout the night to make sure no predators were looming. None were seen.

This morning I got up and went out to make sure that they were out of the coop and in the yard. Nope, they were not, so I gave them another hand back into their yard. I have heard that chickens are not the sharpest tools in the shed, at this point I must agree. Then I took my cup of tea and lawn chair out to the coop and watched the chicks enjoy their new found so called freedom. It was the best TV that I have watched in a long while.

Did I mention that I am sunburned. The worst part is behind my knees. I must have changed hats and clothes three times, but I still burned. That's just the way it is for me. The wind blew non-stop and is still blowing. We started the Sabbath late (last night), but we are enjoying every minute of rest today. We will hopefully finish the yard tomorrow and start on the real coop. I thank God for our "Hill Billy" ingenuity, but I can't take pictures of it. I will keep track of the real deal with pictures.

Blessings,
Tina

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Our Poor Babies"





Our little angel dogs, Hi Ho and Abby, both had to have surgery yesterday. We left at 5:50 am yesterday morning to get them to the vet by 7:30 am. We picked them up at 4:30 pm. Hi Ho had to have a growth and nipple removed. They sent it off to determine if it was benign or malignant. Abby had to have a tooth removed. They both had to have their teeth cleaned while the were sedated. Wow, poor little babies.

It was a long hard day and night for us all. They were very sedated even after we got home. Hi Ho tried to jump on the bed and tore a stitch. We had to put our mattress on the floor in the living room until next week. I put her in sort of a sleeve to keep her from licking her stitches. I will take a picture when she's up and about. They had scrambled eggs, milk, dry dog food and bacon for breakfast. As you can imagine they did not have much of an appetite, so I helped them out a little bit.

We picked up most of our supplies for the chicken coop yesterday while we were in town. You are going to be tickled when you see what we came up with. With Number One's building skills and my fun ideas, we are going to be the talk of the chicken community. Due to the sheer cost of building materials, we had to get very creative.

The fire is still burning. It has reached 1,145 acres and it is 23% contained. We had to drive past the command center yesterday and it is impressive. Continue praying for those affected by the fire, many are out of money and are having to find alternatives. The church has firefighters sleeping in the basement. I just received an email canceling the women's night out scheduled for this evening. We do not want to displace them even for a couple of hours. They really need their rest. please pray for their continued safety.

I just tried getting a picture of the dogs when the came out to get a drink of water. They found me to be annoying and refused to pose for me. I will keep trying. Have a blessed day and remember God loves you!

Monday, June 18, 2012

More Potatoes...

I am down to the last of our large haul of potatoes. I cleaned out the bad ones to save the rest, so we are eating a lot of potatoes right now. We gave away a bunch, but we still lost a few.

I cooked this before we left with the hopes of posting while I was gone. Yea, right...
I'm sharing this with you now. I hope you enjoy it...

I love how the first ray of sun light in the morning captured my
raw ingredients.
This is just simple fried potatoes with Spam and onions. It's easy and makes a hearty breakfast that sticks to our ribs until we meet again for lunch...

Ingredients

It doesn't take a lot of oil in a well seasoned pan. Heat your oil
of choice on medium heat.

Cook on medium-low with the lid on flipping occasionally until desired
crispness.

I had some leftover church rolls in the freezer. I put a damp
napkin on them and put them in the microwave to revive them.

Served the rolls with Fuji Apple Preserves and butter. It was the perfect
compliment to the smoked Spam and potatoes.

I'm hungry now...

Update: Fire

Good morning,

                  I just read the 4:30 am update and it does not look good. The fire has grown to 450 acres and has jumped the river. We cannot see the smoke this morning. It has settled on the front range due to the wind.
                  500 campers, mostly from the Boy scout camp, were evacuated out of the canyon yesterday. Two of our county roads have been evacuated and closed. There are numerous communities in two counties that have been evacuated.
                  We are safe and sound from this fire, however, many are in it's path. Please pray for their safety and the safety of the firefighters. The red cross has set up two shelters for people and the counties have set up large animal shelters at the fairgrounds. I'm sure that the Red Cross could use donations to help with the expenses.
                  Rumor has it that morons shooting at a propane tank sparked this beast. Police are investigating. We have to go to town today to take Hi Ho to the vet, so we should be able to get a better view and find out more details.
                  I hope that you all have a blessed day...


Tina

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Little To Close For Comfort...

Started as 2 acres, now one hour later 100 acres.

This fire is quickly growing out of control. They are evacuating the same town that they had to evacuate on Thursday morning. We need all the prayers we can get. The wind is blowing in favor of our home, but their are many homes in the path of this fire.

They are having a hard time evacuating due to the traffic backing up on our narrow canyon roads. I am currently listening to the police scanner on the computer. People are out hiking and camping in the backwoods. Their cars still parked where they left them. The police are desperately trying to find them. Cell service is practically non-existent out here.

People are bringing horse trailers in to help evacuate the animals that free range. Most animals are not fenced in, unless they are pets. I see a big water dropping plane coming in and out of the fire or at least I think that's what it is.

I heard on the scanner that campers shooting at some type of explosive stuff started this fire. At what point did these people loose their common sense or did they ever have any to begin with. There are big signs all over about fire bans. We have even stopped grilling our food on our charcoal grill due to the fire danger.

Please pray for all of our safety. Please pray for those involved in putting the fire out. This fire season has proven to be deadly this year. Please pray for those in the path of this fire. May God have His mighty hand of protection over us all.

Father's Day Letter From Pastor Joseph Prince




   I loved this email I received from Joseph Prince Ministries and thought that I would share it with you. Please forward it on to be a blessing to all who read it. I pray that everyone has a blessed day.

Tina


 To my own dad:  Happy Father's Day Dad. We love you....

      

 
...the glory of children is their father.
PROVERBS 17:6

Dear beloved Fathers,
If there is anyone who knows how important the role of a father is, it's God. As our heavenly Father, He understands fatherhood firsthand! He knows the pains and the joys that you go through. And because God has appointed you the leaders of your families, the priests of your homes, the lovers, protectors and representation of God to your children, He has also surely equipped, anointed and empowered you for good success.
As we set aside this day to celebrate you, I want to encourage you to embrace your heavenly Father's love for you. Allow His unconditional, unending and unfailing love to wash over you and fill you completely. No matter what is happening around you, know that you can rest safe and secure in His perfect love.
If God did not withhold His one and only precious Son Jesus from you, why would He withhold anything good from you? (Romans 8:32)
Whatever you need today—call out to your heavenly Father, and freely receive from Him. Thank Him for His love, His wisdom, His provision, His healing and anything else that you need. He will not only supply to you, but He promises to supply exceedingly, abundantly and above all you can ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20)
May you know how truly loved and blessed you are today. Enjoy your special day with your family and allow the joy of the Lord to fill your hearts.
Have a blessed Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ramblings @ 3:35 am

Good morning,

              I cannot sleep. I'm exhausted, but sleep escapes me. I have been awake since midnight. I have finally given in and have made my first cup of tea for the day.(Jasmine)
My mind is in a constant state of thought, nothing of value mind you, just random misfiring of brain juice gone wild.
              We pulled into town to discover that a fire had broken out not to far from where we live. They had evacuated the town closest to us that morning in case the fire changed direction. God sent rain to help extinguish the fire. Praise God! It is so dry that the sage is crunchy when stepped on.
              The last two years we have had blue birds nesting in the spare tire of our car. Those eggs were well traveled eggs. The parents were always here to welcome their little eggs home when we would return. Once hatched, we had to stop driving the car. Yesterday, the little hatchling's left the nest, so driving has resumed. We have to watch the dogs, so they don't kill the baby birds. They are still learning to fly or crash depending on how you look at it.
              We made it home after what seems an eternity of constant hard physical labor. The first week for money and the second for piece of mind. Our Southern home has been completely transformed by the sweat of our brow. There was a lot more to repair than we imagined. Not only had our air conditioner stopped cooling, we also had a leak in the roof. It wasn't a structural thing, just a leak around the vent thingy.
              Can you imagine what it was like with no air in the south in a home that was sealed up like Fort Knox? This was all suppose to be taken care of by a child posing as a man who was a contractor. Yea right. What a mess. Once the repairs were made, we cleaned, re-painted, re-stained and reorganized every nook and cranny until it became a new home. We are proud of our hard work. There is still more to do, but it will have to wait for next time.
              We decided to take our sleep number bed to the other house and use a new mattress (free on Craigslist, never used) here. I inadvertently left the remote that inflates the bed to the desired firmness. Well, when you drop about 8,000 ft everything deflates. We had to sleep on a very saggy bed. We did not have the time to put the other mattress in place before we left, so when we got home in the middle of the night we decided to sleep on our air mattress. We woke up once to put the air back in it and it was flat again by morning. Go figure?
              I was suppose to go to a birthday party retreat for a friend of mine, but thought the 15th was on Saturday when it was actually yesterday. I was in tears when I figured it out. My spirit was grieved deeply. You see, I really needed that time with my friends to rejuvenate myself in the fellowship of Christian women. To be able to share my deepest thoughts with trusted friends. To seek council with those whom God has seen fit to bless me with. I made arrangements with the birthday girl to meet for coffee and a soak in a nearby hot spring this morning for a few hours. The others could not make it.
              I'm also going to visit the chicks and drop off another fifty pounds of feed this morning before I meet up with birthday girl. Just a few more weeks before they are able to come to their new home. We are going to town on Monday to get all the supplies for building the coop. I think that I have a usable plan that utilizes a very small space to keep cost down and to keep the chickens warm in the winter. I'm so excited. How many women do you know that asks for a chicken coop and chickens for their 25th anniversary? I'm just that kind of gal, I guess.
              I didn't have much posting time while I was away this time. We were only getting about four hours of sleep at night the first week and the second week I was just too tired. I'm sorry. I really enjoy blogging. Spring, Summer and Fall are our busy working seasons. Winter (my favorite time) everything slows way down. That's when we get our social on. Hunting and preserving happens then too. The weather dictates a lot around here.
             We have so many plans this year for improvements, like drilling a well, putting in a wood cook stove, building a chicken coop, updating our solar and putting up a green house. Slowly, but surely as our finances allow we will get our goals met. God is faithful and we look to Him for all our needs. Praise God! We try to be content no matter what our circumstances. I attended a retreat based on this biblical principal. It was a joy and I learned many other biblical principals that helps to make my life a joy to live.

1 Timothy 6:6-8

New International Version (NIV)
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.


               I am content right now with the reorganizing of our home. Making it more functional and user friendly. We have been using our spare bedroom as a storage room and that doesn't work out to well for our guests. We have been cleaning and organizing our barn, so we could move our storage room into it. Our goals for the next two weeks are building the chicken coop, cleaning out the spare bedroom, building our water hauling trailer and whatever else we can squeeze into this small amount of time.
              We have swapped out furniture from our two homes to use where we can to get the most benefit out of it. We have a beautiful old metal bed and a dressing table (Our first antique) that we brought back with us to use in the guest room. The room is small and so is the bed. Our guests will have to snuggle, but I'm sure that it will be fine. We have air beds if we have overflow.
               I must be finished posting because my thoughts have just stopped flowing. I guess I had a lot to say. Thank you for listening. Any suggestions on organizing or anything for that matter is always appreciated. God bless! I'm going to go take a nap...
                 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Repairs And Relationships...

We have been away repairing our home in the South. It was a lot of hard work, but it
really looks good. We made the mistake of trusting a childhood friend to live in our southern home for minimal rent and repairs, but after months of begging him just to pay his own utilities, he finally moved out. More damage was done than was ever repaired. Mystery repairs was all he managed to get done. You know, the ones you can't prove ever happened.

I have not blogged about this before due to the sensitivity of this issue, however, I have prayed for a resolution to this conflict inside me and I believe that I have been given the OK to move on without any hard feelings about the matter. I am moving on with my life. I will continue to pray for my friends, but have re-defined our relationship to "I love them, but" status...

He is the brother of my best friend growing up who had hit a rough patch in his life. (Economically speaking, too.) You would think when given the opportunity to get off your sister's couch, you would do your part to keep from living in the street. Nope! That's not what he had in mind. Poor guy had burned so many bridges that he had to move five states away just to find work.

Five large 55 gallon trash bags full of empty beer bottles, (left inside my home to rot along with other garbage) spent concert tickets, a new printer and casino receipts was how he spent his utility and repair money. How does a man live with himself when his word is not worth the air it took to force the words from his mouth.

The strain on my friendship with his sister has been very destructive too. She couldn't wait to get him off her couch and onto mine, but was unable to hold up her end of the bargain of making sure he was doing what he was suppose to do.  She was also dealing with the death of her children's father, so she was and still is frozen in some sort of limbo unable to help secure our home from the situation. We were 12 hours away and unable to travel to do it ourselves.

We are, however, blessed with fine neighbors who have helped us by securing our home, providing a way for immediate repairs to be done and giving us peace of mind. Thank God for good neighbors.

It was nearly a year ago when he moved out and slowly but surely we have managed to get the repairs done. I visited with my friend on this last trip, but the same unhelpful attitude still plagues her. Not one time has she offered to help in any way. Knowing that we were working on our home, I still had to make the two hour round trip to visit and the second time she wasn't even there. She went to the lake instead. Did not even have the courtesy to call to tell me she would not be there before I made the trip.

I have forgiven them for there selfishness and lack of morale character, however, this last trip I have decided to re-evaluate my relationship with my friend. I definitely think we have evolved into two very different people and live in two very different worlds. I may or may not send her a copy of this post, because after all this time she still has not looked at my blog at all.

 When you care about someone, you share their life with them. friendship is not one sided and the one's that are never last. I usually weed those out pretty fast, but this friendship had depth. "Had" being the keyword.

I may still have some pain from this whole situation, but it is quickly fading into pity for them. I'm really sorry about the whole situation and am glad it is over with. It is definitely time to move on...