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: October 2016

Lullaby – Hey You Sleepy Head

I have a musical background and will sometimes set out to write a song, like with Moses’ Song, or sometimes I just come up with little tunes, usually as I’m putting away animals at night or walking the dogs or what have you.

Recently after having a few of them, and since they were ones that I had continued to be able to remember them over time, I thought I might try to put some words to them, or find words for them.

This first one in this blog post is one I came up with for William our cat. At one point I dubbed him “The Williminator,” said with emphasis on the last “tor” — I imagine a cartoon superhero announcer saying “It’s the Willimina-tor!” 🙂 I called him that because he liked to Williminate mice, and he would often Williminate out his backend what were to us quite noxious fumes, and you would never know when one was coming! 🙂

At any rate, I recorded it one time just so I would have it stored somewhere. I’m sort of only including this because of the very end — see if you can hear it. Please excuse the singing 🙂 :


Could you hear it? When I did that recording, William was there, and that was he at the very end of it, unsolicited. I don’t know if that meant he approved or what, but it was kind of neat he exclaimed right after I had sung his theme song.

And so, with wanting to do something more permanent with it, and with it to us sounding like a lullaby, I added a few lyrics to it along that vein, wanting to have it spiritually based, and this is how it ended up:

Hey you sleepy head
Time to go to bed
May God keep you through the night
In His arms of might!

Hey You Sleep Head (Basic)

Here’s a PDF:
Lullaby – Hey You Sleepy Head (Basic) PDF

And this is a musical audio of the arrangement:

Lullaby – Hey You Sleepy Head (Basic) MP3

And a vocal version:

Lullaby – Hey You Sleepy Head (Basic) MP3 (vocal)

I also did a little bit more of a fancy version:

Hey You Sleep Head (Fancy)

And its a PDF:
Lullaby – Hey You Sleepy Head (Fancy) PDF

And its musical audio:

Lullaby – Hey You Sleepy Head (Fancy) MP3

It’s a simple little thing, but I’m glad I could take William’s theme song and do a little something with it. 🙂

I am thankful to the Lord for Him granting I learn music, to my parents for making that happen, for the opportunity to participate in music in this way, for the gift of little William and his inspiration, and for the gift of this little lullaby.

— David

A House – Update XLVI – Kitchen, Great Room, Bathroom, Front Closet Cabinets & Fixtures, and Porch Swing

Just a little update on some continued progress on getting the house more livable…

Great Room/Kitchen

Here’s a towel rack underneath the kitchen sink:

Kitchen Towel Rack

And a paper towel holder I found laying around here:

Kitchen Paper Towel Holder

These are the cabinets we decided to go with for flatware and cookware. We wanted something enclosed to help keep dust off of it all. We hope to add one or two more:

Kitchen Cabinets

And then something similar for the great room as a utility cabinet. We hope to add one or two more here as well:

Great Room Utility Cabinet


We moved into the bathroom some of the things we’ve had sitting around just waiting for this time. The sink cabinet we bought at a yard sale, and the water from the red water container that has a spigot just goes into a bucket, much like the kitchen sink:

Bathroom Cabinets & Sink

And a towel rack here too:

Bathroom Towel Rack

Front Closet

This is the front closet between the great room and library, and now we can hang our longer, cold-weather clothing here:

Front Closet Clothes Hanging Rod

Porch Swing

As I mentioned in our blog post on our wood burning cook stove, Sue and my parents have been very supportive of us in living out here, and one set of parents bought us the very nice porch swing! It has gone from being in the barn for years, to being in the bathroom in the house, and with starting to try to get the bathroom in order, rather than just move it to under the house in pieces, I thought I should just put it together. Sadly, I’m not sure why I didn’t just put it together sooner. I still can’t believe the mice didn’t destroy the cushions and pillows while in the barn.

But, here it is in process of being built, with the frame done. It’s very well made and solid:

Porch Swing Frame

And then complete!

Porch Swing Complete

And the test run in our work grubbies! 🙂 It’s a very nice porch swing, and thank you to the parents again for getting this for us!

David & Susan on Porch Swing

This was a walking stick that decided to hang out with us. Maybe it was waiting for a ride! 🙂

Walking Stick on Porch Swing

Once again, we are thankful to the Lord for providing these resources, and thanks again to those who are helping make all this possible!

— David

Garden – Fall 2016

It’s been some time since our last garden update, and so we thought we’d post an update on some of the results…

Last Year’s Butternut Squash

First, earlier in the year, Sue decided to process our butternut squash from last year that had been stored in the root cellar up until that point.

Here is a basket of it:

Basket of Butternut Squash

She then peeled it:

Peeling Butternut Squash

And cleaned out the innards:

Cleaned Out Butternut Squash

And sliced them up, and then pressure canned them. Nice! Thanks to the Lord for them, and being able to store them all that time in the root cellar to be able to be processed later:

Sliced Up Butternut Squash

Winter Peas & Beets

We did get to enjoy quite a few peas we mentioned in the last blog post, and a few beets, in salads and the like. Given the fact we had laid down a new, thick mulch layer before planting these, we are thankful to God for what we received!

Here are some of the peas:



Fall Garden

Catching up to now, we planted okra during the summer, given how prolific they are and needing warmer soil. I used older seeds, and with the new mulch layer and harder soil underneath, continued to have trouble getting things going.

However, we bought some new seeds, and those worked better, although we got a late start because that was our third iteration of seed planting:

Okra Plants

Here’s our best one:

Large Okra Plant

And an okra! Right now with as few as we have, we’re just eating them in salads as we receive them:


We had something in our garden slicing off smaller okra plants across the stem, but I took one of the cutoff branches and thought I’d try planting it in the soil, and it’s actually still making it, with a little okra on it too!

Planted Okra Branch

This plant in front of this picture grew in a place where I didn’t specifically plant something. I’m assuming it’s an okra too, but it is a surprise plant!

Surprise Plant

And this is a little okra still struggling away. I continue to water it; I don’t want to give up on it as for me there is always hope.

This little plant reminds me of me, and my struggle for spiritual growth and where I see great lack. I pray and hope the Lord continues to water me that I may one day produce the fruit of His graces, and that He doesn’t give up on me either:

Tiny, Struggling Okra Plant

Also in garden 1 here, there are a couple of volunteer plants that just sprung up by themselves from seeds of seasons past.

The front one is all one big tomato plant, and the back a zucchini I believe, although we have just not had zucchini or squash work in this garden area. I’m not sure why: the plants grow big and green, but just no fruit. Maybe because it’s in the shade? Maybe because there is an odorous wild brush that grows behind it hiding the zucchini flower odors from pollinating insects? I’m just not sure, although there is a little one that has been growing on it, but just isn’t healthy:

Volunteer Tomato Plant & Zucchini

And here are some tomatoes!


Lastly, here is the only cabbage that has made it since it was planted in the winter, and it’s starting to re-grow:


Over in garden 2, as mentioned in the last garden blog post, I scattered turnip seeds there, and here are the results so far! These have grown with zero work or effort on our part, and thanks to the Lord we have greens for our salads from these as well:

Turnip Plants

And some turnips!


As always, we consider all of these things gifts from God, and we try to always be thankful, as we believe these are all granted by Him by His graces and mercies alone. Indeed we thank Him!

— David

Root Cellar/Storm Shelter – Update IV & Community Work Day

Root Cellar/Storm Shelter West Footer

After the guys helped us get the north footer of the root cellar/storm shelter poured, after some heavy rains earlier this year, we were still getting some water in the root cellar. I had previously added flashing on the west side to temporarily help the water slide away from the structure, but after having to remove it at one point and put it back, undoing the caulking, we had rain still leaking in. And so, it was time to get the west footer poured.

This past Wednesday was our community work day for the month, and so the guys gathered at our place to help do the concrete pour.

Before work day, I had dug out the area about 3-4 inches down and a trench on the outside end about 8 inches down. Then, I added anchor bolts to try to tie the new concrete to old, and re-mesh for concrete strength:

Dug Out West Footer with Remesh

Here are the anchor bolts into the north footer:

Anchor Bolts to North Footer

And a closeup of one into the root cellar structure:

Anchor Bolt to Root Cellar/Storm Shelter

And then it was time for the pour! Here are the guys mixing the concrete by hand:

Mixing Concrete by Hand
More Mixing Concrete by Hand

And then they would pour it into the trench, and I shaped it. And here are the results! It took about 2 1/2 hours and 34 bags of 80-pound Quikrete, with a couple of level-off shovels full of dirt into the mix (to help the concrete go farther, since what we were doing was not really load-bearing). After we were done, I spent the afternoon keeping it sprayed down with water to help slow the drying; and the rest of the men were able to go to Mr. Bunker’s for the remainder of the day to help him with other projects:

West Footer Complete
Straight View of West Footer Complete
North View of West Footer Complete

Thanks so much to the guys for the help getting this done! The Lord was merciful in holding off some rain too that had been forecast potentially for Tuesday, and although we never want to have rain withheld, we are thankful it was stayed after the footer was dug out and completed.

Thanks to the Lord for granting the resources and help to be able to do this, the safety during the work, and thanks to the gentlemen for their willingness to serve!

— David

Sewing Clothes for Sue

This lifestyle is really hard on clothes and we have several ladies in the community who are very good seamstresses…..but I’m not one of them 🙂 I can mend and do very basic stuff but have not yet learned to sew. A couple of the ladies, as well as my wonderful mother-in-law, have sewn for me several beautifully made dresses, for which I am very grateful. But Dave and I agreed that since we were having community work day at our place this month, it was a good opportunity to have the ladies help me by making a few new work aprons and head covers.

I also am experimenting with simple curtain ideas. Here is one of the young ladies helping with sewing one of them.

Sewing On Community Work Day

One of the great things about sewing our own plain/simple/modest clothes is that you can make these work aprons very economically with quality sheets bought at the thrift store. Here is one of the women making one of the aprons:

More Sewing On Community Work Day

I have learned over the years that pockets are so helpful and handy but most of my work aprons didn’t have them. So I’m thrilled to have pockets being sewn into these new aprons!

Even More Sewing On Community Work Day

One of the ladies had given me a sewing machine several years ago and I have used it many times but in the process of transitioning into the house it has stayed in storage for a long time. Another one of the ladies painstakingly cleaned and oiled it up yesterday and she did a great job.

At the end of the day these wonderful ladies had made me four aprons, a head covering and helped me sew a set of curtains! Here are three of the four aprons and a head covering.

New Canning Aprons and Capp

I am so blessed to be part of a church community with these ladies and am very thankful for their help yesterday. I am very excited to have these new aprons!! Now I can burn a couple of the ones I have been wearing wayyyyyy too long. :))