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: June 2015

Garden – Spring 2015 – Update I

In our first garden post of the year, we showed the weeding, planting and beginnings of 2015’s Spring garden. Well, it’s early Summer now, and here is how things are progressing, by God’s graces…

First, here are some green beans and zucchini from about a month ago:

Spring 2015 Garden Green Beans

Preserved Green Beans & Zucchini

And here is where things are as of the end of June…

This is Garden II, with the green beans on the right, and butternut squash and zucchini on the left:

Garden I

This is a closer view of the butternut squash, some of which you can see:

Butternut Squash

And here are three okra plants, two on the left, and one behind on the right:

Okra Plants

And here are some random turnips growing from seeds planted in previous years!

Turnips from Previous Year Seed Sowing

Over in Garden I, that zucchini planted last year, which sprouted this year, has done just fine!

Zucchini Plant Seeded Last Year

And here are the tomatoes:

Tomato Plants

With some growing!

Little Growing Tomatoes

Several more okra plants:

More Okra Plants

A few carrots in the hugelkultur bed:

Carrots in Hugelkultur Bed

And this monster growing is one pumpkin plant, we believe:

Pumpkin Plant

With a little pumpkin!

A Little Pumpkin!

We are grateful to the Lord for His providence in the food and the rains to keep things growing!

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: New Calf “Casilita”

The Lord graciously granted our fifth and final calf to be born in 2015! This time, a little heifer calf, born to our cow Casi Blanca!

And here she is:

New Pure Longhorn Calf Casilita

Another of New Calf Casilita

When I went to video her, all of the cattle were there…except for Casi. Strange, and worrisome. So, Robert and I headed on out to look for her. We drove down one road, and suddenly two of what looked like owls flew away from the trees above, and then we saw turkey vultures flying above, and then one over to the left….and that’s when we saw Casi. We got out of the vehicle and walked up to her, and she was quite dead, on her side, very bloated. Sigh. She didn’t appear to be stuck in the fence, nor did I see any trauma to her:

Casi Blanca's Final Resting Place

But, these are God’s decisions, and His cattle, quite frankly.

From A.W. Pink, “Our Attitude Toward God’s Sovereignty”:

A true recognition of God’s Sovereignty will exclude all murmuring. This is self-evident, yet the thought deserves to be dwelt upon.

It is natural to murmur against afflictions and losses. It is natural to complain when we are deprived of those things upon which we had set our hearts.

We are apt to regard our possessions as ours unconditionally. We feel that when we have prosecuted our plans with prudence and diligence that we are entitled to success; that when by dint of hard work we have accumulated a ‘competence,’ we deserve to keep and enjoy it; that when we are surrounded by a happy family, no power may lawfully enter the charmed circle and strike down a loved one; and if in any of these cases disappointment, bankruptcy, death, actually comes, the perverted instinct of the human heart is to cry out against God.

But in the one who, by grace, has recognized God’s sovereignty, such murmuring is silenced, and instead, there is a bowing to the Divine will, and an acknowledgment that He has not afflicted us as sorely as we deserve.”

We are thankful for the provisions He has granted from Casi; and we decided to call her calf Casilita, in memory of her mother.

The little one appears to continue to be doing well, and it’s been told to us that her granddam Amistosa is letting her suckle off of her. That’s a gracious gift from God if so!

Here is Casilita’s video, and just to warn you, I did include the video of when we found Casi:

We are once again very grateful to the Lord for granting this new little provision of cattle!

— David

Goat Field Grass – Update I

The Lord graciously granted huge amounts of rain in May! Of course, this is great for plant life (as the Spirit’s cleansing and nourishing water is for the soul!), and it really shows in the sorghum almum (Columbus grass) field we planted earlier in the year…

As a reminder, here was Sue planting at the time:

Sue Planting Grass Seed

And here is what God has granted as a result of His providence! Wow! Lord willing, the goat bucks in the video will soon be enjoying it, and the doggies, or at least Brodey, in the video are having fun running around in it — he’s soaked with dew every morning! 🙂

We’re grateful to God for what He has granted with this grass, in helping us hopefully get further sustaining here on the land!

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: 2015 Third & Fourth Chick Hatchings

The Lord has graciously kept a-coming the little chicks to be hatched out! In this post, I’m including both groups 3 and 4.

Here is group 3, in the barn stall. I don’t remember well, but I think she hatched out six, and they’re all still going today!

Third Batch of Chicks Hatched in 2015

Another of the Third Batch of Chicks Hatched in 2015

And here’s their video:

Group 4 ended up, and still is, quite interesting. We had this mama in our summer kitchen pantry, with 12 eggs under her, and I think for the first time, we got 100% hatched out! Neat! Thanks to God!

One day though a few weeks into it, I noticed some of the chicks started getting that sick chicken look, where their head starts to rest back on their neck, and they start standing around not doing “chicken things,” and with their wings partially pointed down. With that, we usually start an ionic 600 ppm silver regimen of about 1/4 CC 3-4 times a day; and if they’re not eating, I mix in 1 1/4 CC egg yoke and 1 1/2 CC goat milk. Well, before I could really get things going, two died within a day, and probably half or more of the ones left were showing signs of sickness. Uh oh. We’ve never had a disease sweep through a hatching of chicks before like this, that I can recall.

I figured something in their environment was causing the issue, so we moved group 2 out of the barn into our pen area with group 1 that we had already moved, and moved this group 4 into the barn, and started the silver (and yoke/milk regimen where needed) on all of the sickies, plus silver even for the healthy ones morning and night.

Thankfully, by God’s graces, after over a week now, it appears the “bleeding” has stopped. We’ve lost no more, and most appear to have turned the corner. The “worst” chicken baton has been passed around a few times to different chicks, and there is one holding it now, but thankfully it’s only one, and Lord willing, this one will pull out of it too. As of today, I’m trying to back off the regimen to giving silver for all of them in the evening, and morning and afternoon for only the sick looking ones. Thankfully too, the mommy chicken doesn’t seem to be affected with sickness.

I plan to clean out the pantry of the summer kitchen really well and probably spray down the concrete with white vinegar or something before putting any more chickens in their for brooding.

Never a dull moment around here! But the Lord was merciful in allowing us to keep the ten currently alive! And here they are about a month ago when all were still going:

Fourth Batch of Chicks Hatched in 2015

Another of the Fourth Batch of Chicks Hatched in 2015

And their video too:

As always, we are grateful to God for His continued provisions, and Him granting the healing He has on most of the ailing chicks!

— David

Wheat 2015 – Update I

Quick wheat update: the Lord has graciously allowed the wheat to continue to grow!

Here it is early May:

2015 Wheat, Early May

More 2015 Wheat, Early May

Still More 2015 Wheat, Early May

Closeup of 2015 Wheat, Early May

Even Closer of 2015 Wheat, Early May

It literally rained almost all of May, so we’re just now getting to a point where things have dried out. Which means it’s that time….harvest! Hopefully we’ll start to get out there very soon to see what we can collect.

Here is where it is as of today:

2015 Wheat, Early June

More 2015 Wheat, Early June

Closeup of 2015 Wheat, Early June

We are thankful as always to God for His provisions, and for the abundance of rain! We pray He help us in this process to be able to do a good job in saving the gift of this wheat!

— David

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: 2015 Goat Kids, Round 1

This time of year has come to mean many things to us: Dave finally taking off his coveralls from wearing and sleeping in them allll winter long (we call it his “onesey”); new life in terms of crops, gardens and…….. BABY GOATS!! We have been raising goats for almost ten years now, and the Lord has been most gracious to us through our learning curve so far. We are always in awe of His mercies towards us. With that, I will take you on a mini pictorial tour of this years young-ens:

May I introduce to you Abe. He looks the most like his daddy, Rocky, out of this year’s kid crop. His sister, Abby, is sitting next to him:


And here is their mama, Adeline, with Abby at her feet:

Adeline & Abby

Next is our orphan Annie from a few years ago, the mama of new l’il Abner here. He takes the prize for looking the most like *his* daddy, Shatner:

Annie & Abner

This is Nellie, the sister of Adeline in the pic above:


Nellie was blessed to have triplets this year: Artie, Gueney, and Lance: (Gueney with the long ears is the runt but, BOY, does she make up for it in moxie!):

Lance, Artie & Gueney

Here is Marie, the daughter of Betsy that died a couple of years ago. She is pure Nubian, and she, also, was blessed with triplets this year. Soon after they were born, I started to notice a swelling under her jaw and into the neck area. After doing some research, it appeared she maybe had some form of bottlejaw, which apparently can be caused by worms or protein deficiency. And perhaps the strain of giving birth to triplets made her weaker and zapped her resources. One site said to slow down before running out and getting a chemical de-wormer, and one site recommended apple cider vinegar as a potential remedy. Well, I started giving her about 20 CCs of raw apple cider vinegar diluted with water for the first couple of days, gave her protein cubes with food-grade diatomaceous earth on it for any worms, and made sure she had extra grazing time, and thankfully to God, it went away! I really believe it helped too, because I started to back off the regimen, and the swelling came back, and when I started it up again daily in a smaller amount (5 CCs apple cider vinegar/5CCs lacto-fermented juice/water combination daily), it went away again! The lacto-fermented vegetable liquid is for good bacteria to help her rumen function well. We will probably continue with it while trying to slowly ween her off of it, and we are thankful to God for allowing us to find something to help:


And here they are! Farrah, Kate and Jack. Their daddy is pure Nubian, as well:

Farrah, Jack & Kate

Next stop: Pammy! She has been about the sweetest goat one could hope for. Little Sammy (long ears) and Tammy are hanging on her apron strings here:

Pammy, Sammy & Tammy

And here is Gracie, one of Pammy’s oldest kids. She was also blessed with triplets this year, but God saw fit to take them away within a couple days of birth. (This is explained on the video). She and I have bonded pretty closely since then because I started milking her right away. She takes after her mama with her very sweet temperament:


Here is our little video so you can see them live doing goat kid “stuff”:

Marie’s triplets were born in April when it was still kind of chilly on some mornings. I had seen my neighbor do this when her kids were born in the winter time. I took the sleeve of an old sweatshirt, cut two armholes in it and stuck her head through the end of the sleeve. Voila! It was that easy to make a quick kid coat. Here is our model, Kate:

Young Goat Wearing Cut Out Sweater Arm

I improvised a coat for Kate’s brother, Jack. His “plumbing” requires different covering techniques. I used a hood from a sweatshirt and secured it with a make-shift belt. It worked well!

Another Young Goat Wearing Cut Out Sweater Arm

Even though we have learned that this time of year can bring the heartache of loss as well as the elation of lots of new life, we are so very thankful for God’s provision and mercy and pray for Him to continue to make us good and wise stewards of His gifts.