This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Month: July 2009

Goat Milk?

The background music came from fiddle champion Tony Ludiker’s free mp3s page. The recordings have Terry Ludiker and Darin Meeks on guitar.

This was fun to do. Here’s a bit of raw footage, some of which hit the cutting room floor.

In this first one, I held out as long as I could, until the end:

I almost didn’t get the part after this take. Also, based on the last few seconds, it appears that for some reason eating cookies makes me think I’m playing Hannibal Lecter:

Here, finishing up after getting the last goat back into the pen didn’t work out quite as expected:

And just for the record, the milk I drank was from a previous day’s milking that had been kept very cold. Apparently, it’s better tasting and lasts longer when the goat milk is chilled well right away.

There is a lesson in the main video, in case it wasn’t evident: most people go to the store for their provisions; agrarians go straight to the source, which is provided by God directly in accordance with His will, without the need for the world and its government approval, degrading pasteurization, shipping companies, grocery stores, and all of the other in-between means the industrial system requires for sustenance to go from where it’s produced to where it is used or consumed.

Which way is the proper way for a Christian to live?

We are thankful to the Lord for the provisions of our goats and the milk He is allowing us to have.

— David

P.S. In case you weren’t aware of the TV commercials, etc., our video is a take off of the California Milk Processing Board (and then licensed by others) ad campaign, “got milk?”


Snake, Rattle and Hoe

Last night, it was time to go to sleep. Sabbath had begun a few hours earlier, I had already laid down, and Sue was preparing to retire. It seemed there were an unusual amount of insects in our camper; and while She was at the sink, a medium sized beetle-looking bug was trying to crawl out of the sink, but kept slipping back. As Providence would have it, Sue decided to help the little guy, grab him, and toss him outside. She got a hold of him with a tissue, opened the screen door to our camper, started shaking him out, and looked down only to behold something unexpected. She called to me; I was already starting to doze and wasn’t pleased: I thought she must have seen an extra large spider or something. I complained, but she said that she had seen a snake just below our camper door slithering around my rain boots, which sat next to the palette at the bottom of the steps. I looked down but didn’t see anything. She said it had crawled back underneath the camper. I walked down the steps with the flashlight; and sure enough, there it was. It was a rattle snake, and a fairly thick one too!

Wow. Ok, what to do. It was now coiled up between the two tires of the dual axle on this side of our camper. Shooting it with a pistol or shotgun, or even a .22 from the angle I was standing would probably just cause the bullet to ricochet into the camper. I figured I’d try to poke it enough with something so it would move out into the open, where I could shoot it. I got prepared with the shotgun and .22 rifle, Sue and I donned our rubber rain boots, and I grabbed our hoe and started poking it with the head-end. Well, all that did was cause it to move farther under the camper, coil up behind the rear tire, and start rattling. Hmmm. I went around to the back of the camper with all of the (literal) hardware, and examined the situation from there. It appeared I might have a shot with the .22 from back there without causing a severe ricochet. I prayed I was correct, because the 100 pound propane was off to the side but sort of down line. We prepped the shotgun in case it decided to escape, I lined up the .22 using the backside of the camper wall to brace the barrel against (the shot needed to be pretty accurate as the snake was right next to the tire), aimed for the body because I couldn’t see the head, prayed for a true shot, and fired. The Lord answered the prayer with a hit. This stirred up the rattler; it shook its tail and snapped at the bottom of the camper, but then recoiled, only this time exposing his head. I aimed again, fired, and connected. The rattling stopped, and its movements slowed. It exposed its head once again, and I shot it there again, and this time its movements mostly ceased. We waited a little bit to make as sure as possible it was dead, and using the hoe I slid it out. Sue went and got the machete for me. I pinned its head against the ground with the hoe and chopped it off to finish the ordeal.

And here it is:

This is it the next day, minus the rattle:

And here’s Sue taking it to the chickens for breakfast:

This was no youngin’! (ie. it had been to the “molt” shop for “shakes” many times. 😀 )

We thank God for His mercies in all of this (these are just the ones we’ve recognized): Sue rarely picks up bugs from inside the camper to throw them out; I often step outside with only sandals on during the night for restroom breaks; the propane tank hadn’t blown up; and the rattle snake was disposed of. Thanks to Providence for granting and causing our safety, and for His guidance and protection. We are very grateful to Him.

We also thank the Lord for granting this as a faith builder for us in His always seeing and caring eye, and we thank Him for His mercies in bringing us safely through this.

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: New Calf “Secoya”

The Lord once again saw fit in His graces, mercies and wisdom to grant us a new calf, a heifer, to our heifer Catalina (who with this calf has now become a cow). The calf sort of has the color of a redwood tree, so we decided to call her Secoya, which is Spanish for “redwood.”

Here is the new little one:

And here she is again, in action:

We are again very grateful to God for His provisions of this new calf.

— David


Animal Update

We thought it might be nice to post an animal update from around here at our homestead.

And so, here we go…..!

Brodey and Nessa

If you haven’t seen the introductory post on Brodey and Nessa, it might be nice to take a look at it before watching the following video so you can get some perspective on their growth:


This was taken before the birth of the latest calves:


Gary and Gigi



We are grateful to the Lord for the provisions of these animals, and may we use them for His glory.

— David


Shack Caddy

The initial plan for our goat sheds was to make them portable. On one I put some wheels; but on the subsequent ones, I decided it wasn’t worth the time nor expense. I am able to lift one side and shuffle them along, which is fine for moving them around inside an individual pen; but moving them from pen to pen would take some effort. I thought it might be nice to inexpensively throw together something on which to haul them around.

Here’s what I came up with: essentially it’s a shed tote made of landscape timbers, bolted together in a square, with the back cross timber on top of the skid timbers, and the front cross timber below, which would angle the skids up allowing for it to be more easily dragged along.

And here it is:

The next pictures show the process of a move:

And the goats check out the “new” place!

Thanks to the Lord for this idea and for the resources to be able to put it together.

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: New Calf “Dulce”

Once again God has seen it in His graces to grant another calf, this time to Casi Blanca, daughter of Amistosa. Casi is the calf shown with Ami in the second picture under “Our Herd” in the cattle introduction post. This is Casi’s first calf, a little heifer; and her name is Dulce (which means “sweet” or “candy”) because she looks like a chocolate dipped ice cream cone.

Here she is:

And here’s a video:

We are again grateful to the Lord for His provisions of this new calf and the growth of the herd.

— David


Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: New Calf “Adelina”

The Lord graciously saw fit to grant us another calf, a little heifer, from Rosalinda, daughter of Rosa. Rosalinda is the calf next to Rosa in the first picture in the “Our Herd” section of our cattle introduction post. This is Rosalinda’s first calf; and we have decided to call her Adelina, which means “little noble.”

Here is a picture:

And a moving picture:

We are once again grateful to God for His providence and graces and mercies in granting this addition to our herd.

— David