Monday, April 28, 2008


Drew digging Dave digging
Oops where is Jer's head?

Rainy day Monday...a bit chilly too. I have a few pics from earlier last week. The rain has slowed down the progress on the block laying. Nothing exciting this weekend. Jer, Janet and I rode on Saturday. Jer had a friend over on Sunday after church. Later Drew and I took Jer, Randy, and Ned to Tom's Pizza for dinner. Umm, umm good. Greek Salad, wings, and pizza with ham and pineapple. And, for a change, sorta, we had a really nice time. Good food, good conversation, fine family time.
Our sick calf is recovering, but very slowly. We are still tube feeding him twice a day. He is sometimes eating off his mama, but not enough to sustain him. He is weak and wobbly on his feet. We make him get up and walk around after he eats. His mama is getting better at tolerating us, which is nice since she tried to cripple me last week. Ha Ha.
Jer was off school today. He went to the dentist, I had some blood drawn, and went to the Verizon store. Yish..the Verizon store is a wearing experience itself. I was fortunate to only be there for a few minutes. Of course all I got out of the trip was an 800 number to call so I could exchange my phone for a new one. Did all that, had to reprogram my current phone, strip it of all data and reboot it. I thought I had all my contact info downloaded onto my computer. Nope, some but not all. We also could not get my calander info to download. So...Yep, now I have to reload it all by hand. First finding the silly stuff. Calling to confirm times and dates, and phone numbers. Yes Rob, it will be a pain. Pray for me from your experience. I am going to wait for the new phone to come before I reload all that info. No sense and putting it on my current phone just to have to do it again in two days. Time for bed. No wise words for today. I am sure there are several parables in this Verizon experience. But alas, to weary to wonder.
Also, Why does Dave have a shovel and Drew a backhoe? It is Dave's job. Drew says he cannot find a shovel handle to fit his hand.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hole with Cement Blocks

Hard to believe it is finally happening. By late next week the foundation with be laid. I cannot imagine how it will go from there.

Our sick calf seems to be doing better. But he has rallied and regressed before. Tonight though when right after we "tubed" a half gallon of calf formula down his throat he wobbled sixty feet over to his mama and latched on to one of her spigots and began to eat on his own. Wow. I will be glad to see him recover; it has been a challenge caring for him. Checking on him three times a day is time and energy consuming, but the emotional up and down has been hard. He is the nicest calf we have had so far; at least as far as physical appearance and overall form. He comes from the best lineage.

Today was a super day weather wise. It never got unbearably warm, and the breeze was pleasant and almost like a light summer quilt...kind of snuggly. Oh I don't know I just love sunshine and moderate temps. I guess the peace of God was just upon me today. The contentment that embraces me fills me with such a heavy sense of God's Goodness.

Ned was out with some guys from REC. They did not get a good turnout and the small crowd left early. Ned called in some reinforcements to help eat the extra brats and mountain pie stuff. As far as I know eating and fire watching is still going on. I am so proud of him. Again God's grace abounds and is evidenced in Ned's gratefulness and gentle spirit. Much going on in that young man's life.

Again, sleep beckons. See His Goodness in the simple stuff and rejoice.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pictures of a hole

Half a holeDave's helper Justin View from my bedroom
Two roads are visible in the picture above. The road closer to the top of the frame is Dutch Run Road. If you do not turn right at the church onto Kimmel School road but continue on down not even a quarter mile, you would be on this stretch of road. The wooden posts in the picture are about 25" outside my bedroom window; they will connect to the horse barn when it is built. The walk to the barn will be more like a hop. Well, OK...I do not hop. But it will not be very far. I will be able to talk to the horses from the house. Yes, they will answer.
My thigh is more sore today than it was yesterday, but still not as bad as it could have been. I am very grateful. Our little sick calf is doing much better. Drew and I dumped, literally, a bag of electrolytes down its throat this morning and a bag a calf baby formula this evening around five. We went up to check on him around nine and he was up walking around looking for an evening snack from his mama. This is a very good sign. We had been going to give him some more electrolytes but decided just to leave them alone and see how he is in the morning. I have been praying for him, and God has been good.

I did not make it to Care Group, again. Bummer. Got in from the barn late, dinner was late. So it was too late to go. My disciplines are so weak. But so am I lately. It seem like I have no energy what so ever. I know my thyroid is still not regulated. I go back to see the new doc next Wednesday and am anxious to see what he has to say. I am waiting for one more picture to upload and I am going to sleep. Enough adventure for one day.
I love this picture. Jer and Lucy contemplating.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cow Kicked

Got me first kick from a cow today. I have been kicked at, even bunted over by an angry mama, but never kicked at and hit like I was today. We have this ailing calf and his mother is very hesitant to let us near him. More than hesitant down right resistant. Impossible to intimidate she stands her ground with fierce determination. Most cows can be herded into the head gate or across the pasture, generally in the direction you want them to go. This girl here does not move, or if she does, she turns stars you down, and with great hostility lumbers away from my big mouth and waving arms. She will charge, fully appreciating her huge size advantage. Knowing this I have always proceeded with caution when trying to convince her that my way was the right way. Ha...Today heading slowing in the direction I was hoping for she unleashed a rear leg with power and intent to maim. Fortunately for me her strike though painful enough to bring a tear or two did no real damage. A small round purple blotch decorates the fattiest chunk of my upper left thigh. A skinny girl would have suffered real damage. For once I was glad to be chubby. A kick forceful enough to have snapped an unprotected bone landed squarely across both my flabby thighs. God sometimes protects us from our foolishness with our liabilities. Who would ever think fat legs would be a blessing. His mysterious ways.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Ben spent a relaxing weekend in NYC with some college buddies and some of the dads. Sounds like they had fun and did not whoop it up too much. His eye is some better, at least he is driving. He was supposed to go to the DR's today, an opthamologist, to check the progress. But the whole process is challenging for him. His neuro guy says it could take a few months until the full effect of the steroids is seen. So, Ben opted to wait a few more weeks instead of going now and they again. I guess he can see improvement but not complete restoration. This is a good thing as the last time he had trouble his eye got worse and stayed worse. I continue to pray he will see it as God's healing mercy and turn to Him for a heart restoration.

Allen is doing well. Waiting for son number two; should only be a few weeks. He worked for Drew today to fill in for Ben who did not get home until this afternoon. I picked him up this morning so I got to spend some time yacking. Good to see him.

Randy is working for a tree farmer part time/under the table. Shhh. Also seems to be doing well. Managing his money and taking better care of himself and his apartment than I have seen for a while. Easier to talk to, no so random or hostile.

I am leftover exhausted from yesterday I think. My legs started to get pretty achy by this evening. I am in bed on a heating pad. Heh.

God's peace has filled me in a new way these last few days. Not sure what's going on, except maybe I am beginning in a very small way to be more releasing with myself and those who trespass against me. A bit tongue in cheek here. Aye? But a lot of truth in the humor.

I took some pictures this evening of our growing hole on the hill but the camera and the necessary cord are downstairs in the kitchen. Not going back down there. Tune in tomorrow I guess.

Loving the weather my God has provided. Nite All.

Oh Vic, I am oh so very sorry about the fall. Good girl not to even look around. Just pick yourself up and hold your head tall.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Walk Complete

First flowers planted in the woods to the left behind the "house"And the day is done

Jer and I successfully completed the 2008 MS Walk. We walked the entire distance and were not the last walkers for the first time. I can tell I am in better shape, I did not feel like I could not take another step until the last quarter mile or so. Though they did change the route for the walk and eliminated several of the worst hills. Also, the weather was very cooperative with cooler temperatures and no rain. We had only a few walkers but still a great day as it was fun to see Jer make it through with much less effort than in the past. He had a friend from school come along; kind of looks like Dennis the Menace. His name is Denton...I had to keep calling him back; Jer and I slowed him down. But, I think he kept us going.

I always thought most of the books of the major prophets were long. Yesterday, I discovered a very short one, but direct and to the point.
The prophet Jeremiah gave a message to Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, after Baruch had written down everything Jeremiah had dictated to him. He said, "This is what the Lord God of Israel says to you Baruch: you have said. 'I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven't I had enough pain already? And now the Lord has added more! I am weary of my own sighing and can find no rest.' "Baruch, this is what the Lord says: I will destroy this nation that I built. I will uproot what I had planted. Are you seeking things for yourself? Don't do it! But don't be discouraged. I will bring great disaster upon these people, but I will protect you wherever you go. I the Lord have spoken!"
Jeremiah 45... New Living Translation.
The following is from the study notes from my Bible.
God told Barach to take his eyes off himself and whatever rewards he thought he deserved. If he did this God would protect him. It is easy to lose the joy in serving God when we take our eyes off of him. The more we look away from God's purposes toward our own sacrifices the more frustrated we become. As you serve God beware of focusing on what you are giving up. When this happens ask for God's forgiveness and look at him rather than yourself.

So very often I am looking at my sacrifices more than I am focusing on the Lord. God has been bringing me back over and over to the core, it is really not at all about me. It is all about Him. When I serve my family and I believe I do not get the appreciation I deserve the old martyr gear kicks in and my spiritual ego inflates. "Oh, what a diligent servant I am. How blessed the Lord must be at my dusty little pile of pebbles I am piling up for myself here on earth." My insignificant sacrifice is of far less significance than one grain of sand on all the shores of all the oceans and seas on all of the earth that He spoke into being.

Of course He is pleased when we are obedient, for to obey is better than sacrifice; and HE promises to reward us for our feeble acts of obedience, but at His discretion and in His time. Not ours. Never when I think I deserve it, 'cause I never deserve it. And, like the scripture says when I focus on my sacrifice, my motives are twisted and I become discouraged and frustrated. I have stepped out of His perfect order and into my own agenda. Very bad news. Thank you oh Lord for continuing to remind me that I am not in charge. And that is a VERY good thing.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Permits Have Been Issued

Six little cows all in a rowVery blurry but you get the idea...
Yes, and we do have a building permit. Drew has begun to dig out the foundation and the driveway to the house is more or less in. Probably anyone but Rob could drive up to the house. Low riders may still experience a bit of a drag. The whole sewage thing is still bit up in the air. Technically we have permission to build and the DEP did approve a spot for a sand mound, but I believe we may be pursuing a different option. The DEP site is directly behind and uphill of our back porch and installation there would involve removing substantial portion of the woods we had hoped to gaze at while drinking morning coffee. Heh...I have been very busy doing busy stuff. No new calves or anything. Just running around stuff. Now it is nap time. Did not even get one yesterday. God is moving on my heart in so many ways and that is a total blast. Maybe later tonight I can get some of it down before I forget. Ha Ha.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Cow's Eye View

No cows can be seen in this picture because they are all behind me; this is their view of the farm. The little house where the previous owners still live is just behind the large barn. Our new home will be on the opposite hill to the far left, out of the picture. We have been very busy even though we have not had any new cows. We still have eight left to calf, one heifer, a new mom. They are the hard ones. Other than her we are hoping for an easier time of it now.

The septic guys are coming back out tomorrow. Several things could happen. We did hire an independent engineer today; hopefully he will be able to be here in the morning and give us the professional back up we need.

We had a grand birthday party for Drew Sunday the Indiana Roller Rink. Everyone especially Drew had a blast. Over 5o friends and family showed up, a great success. Drew was truly blessed.

Ben drove himself to work today. His eyes seem to be improving. The right eye is the same, bad, but the left seems to be regaining some lost vision. Please keep praying. Pray he sees God as his Healer.

My filly, Dory, is going to be bred on Thursday. Yes Rob, shipped semen and the whole bit. We are praying she takes and we have more success than last year. Less $$ too please.

Had a good riding day, me and Jer on Poco up at the cow farm, (not at the same time) and Jer riding Sonny at home in the arena. They looked wonderful. Sonny had a lesson yesterday as Christy rode him and Joey. Both seem to have benefited from their instructions. Ha Ha.

To tired for humor or pithy...God blessed us with a fantastic day. Dory, the septic, Ben, good horse behavior; He is a wonderful God. So much more than I could ask for or even imagine.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Up Close and Real Personal

A new bull calf. A very large bull calf. Jer and Drew had to pull again. I thought for a while that we were not going to get it out. Details will follow.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Day in My Life

Its like she was posing just for me, only right after I took this with my phone...she pooped in the hay. So cute and yet so disgusting. So like life. Don't ya think?
My Internet is down. I am tethered to my phone, but its battery is almost dead, can't charge and tether at the same time.
The cow in the hay and now the poop in the hay remind me how seamlessly all of life's adventure pass from glorious to terrifying. We have signs of new life all around us; our calves, budding flowers, greening grass, waking up every morning. Yet, tragedy can be just a breath away. I am not looking at any of the stuff happening in our family as tragedies, but one could I suppose.
Ben's eyes seem worse not better after his three day treatment. I drove him to work today and will again tomorrow. By the end of work today he said he could hardly see at all. My heart seems fractured in a thousand directions. I cried for the first time at care group tonight, more like a sniffly whimper, but still the pain of my son's situation came crashing in on me. I have a faith for healing, for his salvation; but as a mom I can barely stand to think of what this must be like for him. Surely, I would take it if I could.
Our application for a sewerage permit was rejected, says we cannot even have a sand mound. We are in the process of appealing it, sort of and there are options we are exploring. But initially, the shock was like a sucker punch. The whole thing is ludicrous when all the facts are laid out. But I am tired and my phone is dying. I believe the permit will come, but at what cost to Drew's character. He is livid, with some good reason, but if you know him you understand how he is responding. It has been very difficult for all of us.
Please pray Ben will turn to the Lord for his comfort, healing, and peace. Pray his eyes will be healed and he will praise God for the miracle of it.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sunday Morning Calf

Here I am Yes, that's my bum...
670A gets a tag
Cutest calf ever; won't suck, nurse, or otherwise grab the milk spigot. At least not whereas we can tell. She seems to be healthy. We think she may be a midnight snacker as she very strong and does not appear to be lacking nourishment. Her mother is a wild thing though which makes working with either of them a challenge. I had promised an entertaining story, but its late and a picture is worth a thousand words

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Drew and I just got back from checking on the cows. I took this picture from out behind the cow barn. It did not come out as clearly as I had hoped. The cows are lined up along the fence higher up on the hill to the left of the view. Let it be said that the sunset was incredible. Our house will sit on higher ground yet. We let two calves out into the pasture today. This morning Drew let out #8, the little one born on Wednesday. Tonight we released #2 and 2A. Its so cute to watch the calves run and kick and jump.
Ben had his first IV treatment this afternoon. He said it went OK.
You are so right about the sand mound thing Rob. I guess they were designed for warm/hot climates with sandy soil base. A far cry from western Pennsylvania.
I continue to walk in His Grace, knowing He holds my family, my home, my future, and my eternity in His scarred Hand.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Here I Am

Well, now this has been a week and a half, figuratively speaking. I tried a couple of times to post from my phone, but for some reason the browser or something won't recognise me on any blogger site. I have found it challenging to get on my computer. I guess that power post on Tuesday blew me apart. Kidding.
Dory has received her third dose of Regumate, a horse hormone to induce monthly cycles, so we can inseminate her. She seems even more antsy than before, but tomorrow she gets to go outside for a bit. Hopefully that will give her some peace. I wear double rubber gloves when handling the stuff. Directions say to avoid contact with skin. Erin says it could mess with my femaleness. Yikes.

Wednesday evening we had another calf, a sweet little heifer. We did need the vet but Drew and I are learning more and more how to do things on our own. This little lady needed just a bit of help. Her little feet popped out a couple of times but kept slipping back insider her mama. We have pulled a calf when the feet were already protruding; using baling twine wrapped around the hooves. We now have real obstetric chains which work the same way only they have handles to pull from instead of wrapping the twine around your hand. The twine can really be painful and makes it harder to pull effectively. But anyways, this latest heifer did not have her feet outside of her mother. She was twisted just a bit and needed a small tug. Israel, our vet, showed us how to reach inside and find the feet, attach the chain and get the calf heading in the correct direction. She was a perfect size, small but not too tiny; and not so huge as to put her mother out too much. Another lesson learned on the Kimmel farm.

Thursday was a normal kind of day; I had lunch with a friend, napped, took Jer to tutoring, Randy to the store, spaghetti for dinner, and sleep. If something more exciting happened its a shame 'cause I have forgotten it.

Today proved a bit more eventful. Ben has been having some recurring eye pain similar to what he experienced several years ago when he was first diagnosed with MS. His right eye was affected then, and now his left eye was giving him problems. The residual effects from the first episode has left him with very limited site in the right eye. Typically optic neuritis, the medical term for the eye problem he has usually corrects itself over time. Ben's never did. Now with the other eye offering like symptoms we have all been a bit unnerved. The pain can be quite intense and beginning yesterday his eyesight became affected. After several phone calls and discussion I took him to see an opthamologist just after noon today. He verified what Ben knew and I could not accept that his right eye is very bad. The optic nerve in the left eye is under pressure and causing some interference with his sight. Tomorrow he will begin a three day steroid IV drip to hopefully reduce the inflammation and restore the sight in his left eye. The right eye is pretty much a done deal. I am praying for complete healing in both eyes.
Also, we were not approved for a septic tank and leach bed system. The soil scientist will be out Monday to make sure we will meet the requirements for a sand mound system, three to four times the cost and ten times the aggravation.
Please pray for healing for my son, and grace for Drew as he comes to terms with even more government in his life. And maybe my complete and utter abandonment to the Grace and Glory of our Gracious God.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Good Day

Drummin the Boogie of Lake Shata Paints Unnamed Filly by Drummin of Lake Shasta Paints
The stallion above is the one I have contracted to be bred to our filly Dory. If you remember she is the filly I have on stall rest because she injured her knee. It was/is a potentially serious injury. Our vet was here today and OK'd her for some light turnout. Of course when she even gets a glimpse of real sky instead of the barn roof she goes a little nuts. So Erin left two syringes of a mild sedative to give her about a half an hour before she goes outside. We do not want her to overdo it and re injure herself releasing her pent up exhubernce. I have never given a shot to a horse. The last weeks have provided the opportunity for me to practice on the cows and Erin gave me pretty detailed instructions. Funny, I cannot believe how God has increased my self confidence. Even a year ago, I would never have considered administering an injection. Now here I am feeling like it will be just another day at the barn. Although seeing Dory out getting to run around will be a special day. Had God not blessed her with a level of recovery she could at worse case been lame for life. She has a very bright future ahead as a very sweet pleasure horse and as a broodmare. We are all anxious for Hanna to be able to get back to riding and training her.
Dory's healing and return to work offers up a good lesson for me. God often pulls me aside to get me focus back on Him. Like Dory I resent the confinement and rear up to show my displeasure. During the last months she has injured a different leg from kicking at the door. She actually got her hoof stuck in a crack in the door. She suffered no long term troubles from that, Praise God. But she is a horse who is used to being out in the pasture every day, pretty much doing as she pleases. As good as she is when she is being worked, she likes her free time. So this time of confinement has been stressful for her, and for me to watch. Everyday I would tell her to be patient that it was for her good and a temporary situation. Of course she is a horse, she was clueless. Whereas she appreciated my comfort, she was unable to see past the unpleasant restrictions placed upon her.
As her caretaker I could see the big picture; I knew what was best when she did not. Even now she will not see or understand what has happened. Hummm, sounds like me in a trial . "I'm not happy." "I'm not happy." I AM NOT HAPPY!! Yet, God in His mercy allows me to be pent up, on restriction, or under fire for as long as He knows is necessary, for my good, for my betterment or for my healing. If Dory could have understood my words or reassurance maybe she would have endured more patiently. But, she is only a horse. I have God's Word, His Spirit living withing me, past witness of His Goodness, and Kindness; yet still I do not listen quietly to His Voice and wait for my deliverance to come. How much better the good He has to give would be if I would "Be still and know He is God".