Season's Greetings Family and Friends!

I hope this note finds you all doing well.  I'm sorry for such a long absence from posting.  We are still here.  Still keeping hope in our original plan.  It certainly has been a continuous learning trail for us this past year.  Some of it hard to readily accept, but we have managed through relying heavily on the Lord.  If there is one thing I have learned, it is that the difficulties we have faced are just stepping stones for what He is preparing us for.  In each situation, we are able to take from it, and strengthen our thoughts and character from it.  In the beginning, I did not understand a lot of what was happening.  I was hurt and confused at why the Lord would allow these situations to arise.  Now, looking back, I see He is prepping us for who He wants us to be, not what we want to become.  That probably sounds confusing, but possibly later, I'll be able to explain further.

2011, Comfrey
Started from Seed
I WAS completely Amazed, to say the least!

NOTE: Don't use 1st year
Comfrey leaves or roots for anything!
 Cut first growth back and compost,
 as these leaves contain
paralyzing alkaloids.

There is so much to tell you about, that which we have been up to.  I know I'll never be able to share it all with you.  I will tell you however, that I have come to a very strong conviction, to live my life, so very alternatively from mainstream society ways.  Years ago, I would have never thought this to be so. I praise the Lord for the strength in breaking the chains, the vision He placed upon our hearts, and setting us free.  Know that He does answer prayers in His timing, but maybe not exactly how we think they should be answered.  His ways are actually beyond our understanding at certain times. 

2011, Summer Cutting Garden.
Zinnia's, Status, Dyer's Chrysanthemum, Bachelor Buttons, Aster's, Marigolds, Holly Hocks, and many others.

Our harvest of fruits and vegetables was good, but lean.  Though, exactly what we will need for the winter season sustenance.    Gosh, we even harvested seven pounds of sweet corn. 

Our Sweet Corn
Who knew corn grew in cool conditions?

This year, I learned that I cannot judge what a harvest will be like, based on the weather and what I wear during the summer growing season here:  a winter hat, winter coat with two long sleeve shirts. 

2011 Sweet Corn
Waiting for blanching, then cut off cob, and freeze.

Corn still can be had! (grin)

Fall harvest 2011
 Just before the first hard killing freeze.
Finally, my third year attempt.  I finally 'get it' how to grow status here.

My schooling is coming along slowly it seems, but I'm definitely 'getting it'!  And I'm seriously LOVING it!  Praises to God!  I have a final test coming up soon.  I can't wait to be done with this level.

Late Fall Hike
October, 2011
Wilderness Blueberries were perfectly ripe!

In the last two years, we have had a lot of new people move down our one lane road.  All have turned out to be very nice people.  That is a blessing!  It was strange to have such friendly people around, after living here 13 years with complete opposite people. 

Late October, 2011 hike.
New area we hiked several times this summer. 
It's my new favorite piece of heaven.
Photo of hubby.. almost on top of the world.

 One couple in their late 60's, purchased horses after they moved in.  To be exact, they purchased 5 different horses and leased one, over a period of 1 1/2 years, trying to find a good match for them selves.  Unfortunately, it is not easy to just go out into the horse market and find a good match. Not all sellers tell the truth about the horse, especially now, people are desperate to sell their horses, as it is so expensive to feed them.  (In our area, we have paid $18 a bale.  Sheesh!  We bought it once, because we had to.)   During this entire time period, they have been gracious to us, by letting us take their manure for our compost.  What a blessing!

Hubby would talk with them whenever they were outside, but he never mentioned that we knew anything about horses, nor that we had owned them previously.  He did not want to commit me to something I had no desire to be involved with.   As we got to know them a bit more, I mentioned my background with horses.  Well that was the beginning of endless questioning of "When do you want to ride?" For one and a half years, I continued to put them off, giving legitimate excuses for not accepting the invitation.  Looking back, I was afraid if I accepted their invite, I would have to face the reality of what I had lost.   For me, it was better to just 'remember' the past with horses. They were my whole life, years ago.  Finally, the beginning of July, I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit, and accepted.  I have not regretted one precious moment!

Driving up mountain for late Fall, 2011 hike.

After 12 years of being out of the saddle, I was so extremely nervous, very fearful of facing the reality of how much of my horsemanship skills I had lost.  My first step into the stirrup after such a long absence, felt like I was being interviewed for a new job.  My palms were sweaty, and I tried my best to fight off the nervous tension, so the horse would not feel it.  My heart raced at a high speed, there was such an adrenaline rush.  I'm certain they felt it anyhow.  

My first thoughts once sitting on their backs:  they were so powerful, this could be seriously dangerous.
 I don't recall these same thoughts while growing up in the saddle. 

First day, July, 2011 
Sonny and Kris.

I wear a helmet when riding horses I don't know.
I have experienced being knocked out, via an unplanned dismount,
many years ago.

All went well.   What went from two hour weekend rides, soon turned into riding after work daily, and has continued right into the dark, cold winter nights with me getting two and a half hours in the saddle after work, six days a week. 

Day two 
 Danny and Kris
July, 2011 

As it turned out, they needed my help, and
 I needed them.

My View
 Atop of 16.2 hands
Sonny & me
 November, 2011

Hubby has been very supportive and encouraging, especially at first when I questions some things on 'how to' or 'why' with the horses.  He had no issues with my leaving him with evening chores or an evening meal to prepare.  I give continued praise to the Lord for this opportunity.  Words can't express my gratitude.

A Saturday morning,
 on the cold, damp trail.

Sonny and Kris
November, 2011

So as of late,  my daily routine is spent between bible study, studying for school, riding, and renewing my horsemanship knowledge via reading, DVDs, and attending natural horsemanship clinics. 
 Oh, and getting to work on time Monday to Friday (grin).

In our memories:
July, 2011

Wishing each of you, a blessed winter season.

Until next time,
Lord's Blessing!

Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His loving kindness is everlasting. Psalm 137:26 nasb


becky3086 said...

Very nice. I am glad you have been led to something you enjoy again and that you have the support you need to really enjoy it.

Mr. H. said...

As is said, the lord works in mysterious never knows what will happen on the path of life no matter how hard we try to plan it out. I'm very happy for you in regards to the horses and your success with gardening...nice corn.:)

A Farmstead Pilgrimage... said...

Hi Becky3086,

Daily, I am in 'AWE' of how things roll out.

I believe this is a small part to be used in our self-sufficient journey.

Thanks for your thoughts!

A Farmstead Pilgrimage... said...

Hey Mr. H!

Thank you for your comment.

Two gifts in one summer. How about that? Your right about how the Lord works.

Hope your staying warm and I know your eating great this winter!

Blessings to you and Mrs. H. (grin)


Mike said...

You are living the dream a lot of people have but do not have the courage. Be of good cheer. Happy New Year.

A Farmstead Pilgrimage... said...

Hi Mike!

I have to admit, it has not been an easy journey. Probably the hardest part is getting rid of the old ways of following society, and stepping out by ourselves, when people thought we were crazy.

The journey is not over. At some point we hope to make the transition to the land, if it's the Lord's will.

Thank you for your comments. I apprecaite your encouraging thoughts.

Happy New Year to you also! (grin)