Last week, my spiritual son left the homestead in a most unpleasant way. That is about as much as I will say about his departure except that he broke my heart and my mother's heart. We pray for him and hope he seeks help.
His departure has left me with an assortment of messes to be fixed:
- the chicken tractor he built is too small for the chickens, it is difficult to move, and impossible to clean. I need to build a new home for the chickens. This time, I'm going to opt for a stationary, open-sided coop. I will be building it myself with the help (hopefully) of my pastor's son.
- our muscovy population is over-populated with drakes and this is beginning to cause problems. Possibly connected to that -- the ducks found their way over to the neighbor's house and only six returned home safely. Number 7 was found alive but unfortunately, did not survive. I still have two too many drakes and will need to dispatch two of them to freezer camp very soon before the females decide to look for other accommodations with less testosterone.
- the field...the ever-troublesome field. Son had started to create a berm and swale with the berm to follow the boundary line of the field. He started. He did not finish. No surprise there. What was left has become an overgrown mess. I am looking for someone to come help clean up that mess and level the field so that I can mow it.
- the ditches -- another perpetual problem spot. Son broke the weedeater. I thought perhaps I could kill off the weeds in the ditches with vinegar/water/salt but it did not work as hoped. I just might set fire to it if it is dry enough to burn. Anything but use Roundup...don't want to use that!
- piles of wood, scattered tools, general mess....need I say more? the yard was littered with his tools and scraps left behind from this project or that. I'm slowly clearing those up and getting my yard back to looking like someone cares about the appearance of the place.
Speaking of heatwave -- it has been brutal all across the country. Farmers losing crops. Rabbitries losing their rabbits. So far, we have not lost any animals to the heat. We have been on ice bottle brigade taking frozen 2-liter bottles to the rabbits through the hot part of the day. It is very fortunate that we placed the rabbit hutch under the pecan trees as the temperature there is a good 10-15 degrees cooler than elsewhere. This extended heatwave and drought is going to cause serious problems this winter with food costs. I'm hoping to stock up on staples like rice, beans, flour, sugar and whatever vegetables we can get canned or otherwise preserved to get us and the animals through the winter.
It is a difficult time. An emotional time. An period of lost security and uncertainty. But, God is still on the throne and I know that He will provide for us and care for us. Recent events may have taken us by surprise, but it hasn't taken God by surprise. It is important to remember from whence our help comes from -- it comes from the Lord! He gives us strength and grace and mercy. He provides our needs and blesses us with our wants. He is a good God!