Friday, April 27, 2007

The Life Cycle of a Guinea

"So God created......every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21
Yes, even guineas.

And it was good!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Alas and Alack

WARNING: Pity party straight ahead. Detour to another blog if you're allergic to whine.

Like many areas of the country, we have been experiencing unseasonal and even dangerous weather; in our case, this past week brought several days' worth of downpours which resulted in roads and bridges being washed out all over our town and adjoining communities. The town next door to us is pretty nearly shut down.

Our basement was filled with almost a foot and a half of water, thanks to a faulty sump pump, causing the demise of our well's water pump and the washing machine's motor. The furnace didn't take kindly to it either, and expired without a qualm. All problems have been remedied except for the last inch of water in the basement, an issue with which we will have to live as long as the water table is high. We do not have the financial means to install any type of drainage system at the moment.

The ceilings in our bedroom and Anna's are sporting unattractive new water stains. Guess the roof needs some more work. The porch's roof has been leaking since we moved almost a year and a half ago. One corner is especially soggy. I imagine that we will need to rebuild the entire thing. Of course that is dependent on finances.

We were told by our insurance company that they no longer wish to insure our barn as it is "falling down" and "shingles" on the roof are missing. I wonder whose barn they were investigating since they've never stopped by for a tour of the place. Being about two hundred years old, give or take a decade or two, our barn may have a few issues but it is by no means in danger of collapsing. As for the, it's made of metal. Hello? No comprendo. Perhaps they are architecturally challenged.....let's give them the benefit of the doubt......since it is the siding on the barn that is composed of shingles.
Even the guineas have had their difficulties (in addition to their genetic heritage, that is). Before the rain storms, we had a doozy of a snowstorm that collapsed the outdoor run Dwayne had built for them. He's just been able to repair it today. It got so I was actually feeling sorry for them being penned up inside the coop for the past couple of weeks.

Dwayne hasn't made a profit on any of his jobs in the past several months. He has been mired in a job painting a high school almost two hours away for over a year. It's a nightmare but it's almost over. I think we'll go on a cruise when it's done. Or at least shoot off some fireworks. Maybe dance around the yard in sombreros at midnight shooting our six-guns. Maybe not. Our neighbors already think we're strange. After all we're the weirdos with those bizarre quails or turkeys or guineas or whatever they are. What were we thinking? Speaking of guineas, stay tuned for an upcoming post with some surprising news. Not all is rotten in Denmark.

I pulled my back out of whack again last week by sneezing for goodness sakes. My chiropractor says it's a common way to traumatize the back. Mine anyway. Coughing works well, too. It's taking forever to heal. Not unusual for me. ~sigh~ I should have been born an invertebrate. Spineless jellyfish, anyone?

Not to be left out of the mixed bag of trials and tribulations, Calvin decided to eat something he shouldn't have and was sick again. All over the bathroom, thank you very little. This time I decided to wait it out rather than rush him to the vet, dosed him up with a kitty laxative along with some red raspberry leaf tea mixed with probiotics and herbs, and left him alone to sleep for a day and a night. It appeared to do the trick. Either that or he determined on his own to get better so he wouldn't have that vile mixture dripped down his throat again!

All joking and moaning and gnashing of teeth aside, I must sincerely say that my experiences are not the worst in the world. They mean that the Lord is not far from me, that He has been pleased to allow my sufferings, and anything that sends me to my knees and causes me to seek His face is worthy. Oh wretched person that I am, how much worse to be in distress and to be separated from Him? All the while I am being refined, He is holding me in His hands. As the clay does not direct the potter in his manipulations or techniques, so I do not question our Maker. Rather, I become pliant and yielding beneath the pressure of His fingertips, trusting Him and having faith that He is guiding and molding me to conform to His image. One day I will be finished and He will be pleased and say, "It is good." This is my hope.

This song called The Potter's Hand by Darlene Zschech is one of comfort and assurance:

Beautiful Lord, Wonderful Saviour
I know for sure, all of my days are held in your hands,
Crafted into your perfect plan
You gently call me into your presence
Guiding me by Your Holy Spirit
Teach me dear Lord to live all of my life through Your eyes
I'm captured by Your holy calling
Set me apart, I know you're drawing me to yourself
Lead me Lord I pray
Take me, mould me, use me, fill me
I give my life to the Potter's hand
Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me
I give my life to the Potter's hand

I know many of you who are enduring far greater pain than I. May your spirits be soothed and hope renewed by these inspired words of timeless truth in a prayer written so long ago by a Puritan brother in Christ:

Streams upon streams of love overflow my path.
Thou hast made me out of nothing,
hast recalled me from ignorance to knowledge,
from darkness to light,
from death to life,
from misery to peace,
from folly to wisdom,
from error to truth,
from sin to victory.
Thanks be to thee for my high and holy calling.
I bless thee for ministering angels,
for the comfort of thy Word,
for the ordinances of thy church,
for the teaching of thy Spirit,
for thy holy sacraments,
for the communion of saints,
for Christian fellowship,
for the recorded annals of holy lives,
for examples sweet to allure,
for beacons sad to deter.
Thy will is in all thy provisions
to enable me to grow in grace,
and to be meet for thy eternal presence.
My heaven-born faith gives promises of eternal sight,
my new birth a pledge of never-ending life.
I draw near to thee, knowing thou wilt draw near to me.
I ask of thee, believing thou hast already given.
I entrust myself to thee, for thou hast redeemed me.
I bless and adore thee, the eternal God,
for the comfort of these thoughts,
the joy of these hopes.

(From The Valley of Vison)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


"There is a sumptuous variety about the New England weather that compels the stranger's admiration - and regret. The weather is always doing something there; always attending strictly to business; always getting up new designs and trying them on the people to see how they will go. But it gets through more business in spring than in any other season. In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours………….The people of New England are by nature patient and forbearing; but there are some things which they will not stand. Every year they kill a lot of poets for writing about "Beautiful Spring." These are generally casual visitors, who bring their notions of spring from somewhere else, and cannot, of course, know how the natives feel about spring. And so, the first thing they know, the opportunity to inquire how they feel has permanently gone by……..Yes, one of the brightest gems in the New England weather is the dazzling uncertainty of it. There is only one thing certain about it, you are certain there is going to be plenty of weather."

(Quote courtesy Mark on the link to read the entire speech.)

(Sentiments about New England weather by courtesy of Calvin.)