Sunday, December 22, 2013

Life at The Garry Farm: A Very special Christmas Angel


It was over 13 years ago and the Christmas time was an especially tender and memory making one for me. It was almost Christmas and my house was not decorated in its usual lights and brights. The smell of baking didn't fill the air....Piano playing was soft and noise kept to a minimum because...No parties or dinners planned...

Dad was terminally ill and had requested that the hubbub be kept to a minimum.....He knew I could be a bit "too much" at Christmas, with caroling everywhere, baking, singing at Church, too many functions, a minimum of three large trees etc. etc. etc. All he wanted for Christmas as he said was a quiet one... His eyes had a far away look in them as we both spent so much quality time together......The house was decorated only two ways,,,, with a very old bonsai tree I had bought for his gift and a very old and tattered Nativity scene from my days as a child...He was so fascinated with the bonsai tree that was years old and looked at the Nativity scene with memories in his eyes.

Just days before Christmas, after a hospital stay, he was moved into an inpatient residential hospice because his pain could no longer be controlled at my home. He had so outlived his life expectancy by many months. He had been very open with me all along about his wishes and that I was not to allow him to be a burden. As a former Hospice Director years before, I knew I had to let him "go on" and not cling to him. We'd had months of time together and shared thoughts and emotions that were never expressed before.

The inpatient hospice was wondrous, new and inviting with volunteers and family rooms and even a library....But it all seemed a bit surreal as the true reality had sunk in that this was the beginning of the ending of time on this earth for my Dad. He was a firm believer in Heaven and what awaited him....I had no doubt either, but it was harder than I would have anticipated to "let go".....

I especially remember one late Winter afternoon, just as the sun was setting, there were carolers in the outside Hospice courtyard....I heard Silent Night, sung so sweetly and gently as if just wafted in on pieces of soft clouds, not the loud blare of noise found at malls where the sound was bombarding you..Peaking quickly outside to see them, I remember thinking this must be what heaven sounds like - all love and smiles and kindness and in tune..

And later that evening, there was an almost inaudible knock on the door. A young girl with her mother wanted to give me a homemade angel. I walked in the hallway and shut the door ever so quietly....I bent down to look at the angel and than the young child who looked about 7 or so... I listened as she told me that she and her Mother made angels every Christmas and gave them to families to let them know there would be an angel to help the new angels find their way to heaven. Her mother said that she had sat with her own mother for years making angels to give especially at Christmas time...But that she continued the tradition of angels with her daughter in remembrance of her mother....

I thanked both of them and started to go back in the room, as I felt my eyes begin to overflow, this little girl tugged on my sweater every so gently and said that I could keep my angel and it would remind me of my angel in heaven.

My angel from her is now very dirty and dusty and a bit tear stained but I never put it away, Sometimes I move it around in the house, I've traveled with it and it's visited many places and even been overseas. It's been in my car.... and sometimes when I just was having a rough time, it's been in a sweater pocket. It has visited the bunnies and been in the Goat barn awaiting a new life.  It even went My father's funeral just a few days before Christmas. And as I touched the then clean crisp lace on it in my pocket, I was flooded with gratitude for all the love surrounding my Father's life and that I knew I would be with him again.  This special Angel comforted me over the years and then she was with me for special occasions on the farm.   She is very valuable to me.  A symbol of Love ...... purely given with no expectations in return.

I wish I knew this family's name so I could thank them so for this special Christmas Angel I got so many years ago...... For me, it is a symbol of so much, but also of the selfish love of this family as they extended comfort and love to those they never met in such a personal way as they only could give.... So,

No matter what your celebration for Christmas might be, I pray you will have the kind of time that you either receive and/or give a special Christmas Angel.

I write this with much love for my Dad and those who have a way of stepping up to fill a need........It's Christmas time, may it bring you, Hope, Love, Joy and Peace!And may we all give this to the world.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Farewell, sweet season of apples...

Why is it that end of anything makes us more appreciative of what is passing?.... For weeks now, apples on the Garry Farm have been coming in faster than I could manage them, sold some, made apple sauce, apple pies, apple butter, spiced apples, apple juice, ate them raw, ate them baked, tucked them in muffins, made apple pecan brownies, dehydrated by the bag fulls, pork and apples, and still they kept coming....Sunday I realize I hadn't picked any up recently under the Sherrill family tree and there were just a few more on the ground.  I almost tossed them and then no, I realized I couldn't waste them.  These were the treasured last of the season apples - we call them horse apples,  and something special had to come of them!
Some of end of season Sherrill tree apples
After a great deal of pondering and imagination about what would surprise the hubster the most, I had it, I would make apple fritters from scratch, the small little ones that would be a few nibbles, light and airy, not heavy and doughy and more fresh apples and fresh ground cinnamon.  
Some of The Apples Fritters made at the Garry Farm Cookery

Apple Fritters in fresh bubbling oil!

So I used about 12 apples of varying degrees of imperfection,peeled and cut into nice chunks These produced a little less than 4 cups of apples.  heated them up with about 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 tbs of brown sugar for just a few minutes until a syrup ran.   Then beat together 2 yolks of eggs and added a cup of flour and pinch of salt and 2 pinches of baking soda and powder and 3/4 cup of apple cider.   Add the cooled apples/butter/sugar to this mixture.    Then whisk the 2 egg whites and gently fold in the mixture.   Drop by serving spoons into oil that is 350 degree fahrenheit.  Keep oil between 300 and 350 F as you fry.  Drain and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on them.  Eat warm and share!

Apple Fritter batter - fry only what you will eat, save the rest for another fry!

So with my last refrigerator drawers full of The Garry Farm apples, I shall treasure each apple and enjoy them fully.  And I thank The Lord for such a bountiful Apple season..... LITLA!

One of my favorite verses about Apples:
Psa 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.......

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Learnings from Blueberry



Many say if you have animals, don't get "over involved".  Although we have a farm, with plenty of animals to tend, I cannot conceive of such a concept.   If you provide feed and water and physical care, why not love? Don't we all need love?  I believe each animal is capable of showing loving behavior (okay I don't know what to think about fire ants or wasps yet!)  and I fully believe merits respect and loving care.  As a person of faith, I believe God gave us dominion over the earth, the waters, the lands, the animals, the sky and also entrusted those into our care.   The risk of loving so much is that when an animal is sick or suffers, we suffer alongside it as we minister to her/him.   It is called love, empathy and at The Garry Farm, we go to many extremes to try to provide healing when possible, but always comfort, loving care and personalized attention.

This is a story is now a tribute to Blueberry and what she taught us.  We drove many miles to pick up Blueberry on July 6 and were so excited about being able to get such a beautiful blue silkie with a precious high vault and beautiful crest....She was a pullet, a young hen.  She was a bit more timid than the others we picked up, but I just chalked it up to shy.  Then she and the others gotten on that same trip were put into isolation so that they would have time to shed any diseases or exhibit any problems that come out when birds are "stressed by putting into a new environment"  . When in the house before moving to their isolation area (also known as quarantine area).  I noticed Blueberry's reluctance to eat or drink water  I thought she's broody. Meaning wanting to sit on egg and hatch babies.... This is something silkies do often  Well, I was concerned about her not even stopping to drink water at all ..... I finally brought water to her and she drank.   Still no eating!!! I scrambled egg and she ate that, but still didn't move toward it.   I made her a padded ice pack to sit on to "break the broodiness"....I changed it often and gave her breaks from being on it as I didn't want to chill her. It seemed to help some and so I snuck two fairly large sized adolescents under her wings while she slept and she was up and moving  so I was hopeful!  And I thought, just a bit broody and a long drive she will be fine..... Outside in the quarantine pen, she adored the green grass and seemed to be doing really well.  Here's a picture of her enjoying the grass in the quarantine pen. 




After quarantine was over, moved her and the mini flock to their permanent quarters, came in and noticed her with the classic posture of dragging a right leg, seen in pictures everywhere perfect to Marek's disease.   I contacted the owner who assured me she had had Marek's vaccination.   I pull her out from the pen and bring her into the house.  Bath, clean, examine.   Go on line and was amazed to learn that Marek's vaccine is not a lifetime one, it can sometimes need periodic boosters.   How can a healthy bird get Marek's, from wild birds, who are major carriers!   From their dander in the air.  The simple act of wind bringing it to them can cause this. It is not transmitted through eggs to babies. Humans cannot get it from poultry or vice versa. 

Here's A picture of Blueberry after a bath.  Decided to put the vault of feathers in a loose band so she could see better and it could dry out of her eyes! This is Farmer Jac Holding her for that awesome picture!


Based on observation, hers was neural,  she used her wing to be a balancer.  She became quite good at adaptation... with flapping her wings to maintain balance, she actually after some of the meds tried to put some weight on her leg.  She decided to catch a fly that had come into the house.  she flapped her wing got airborne missed the fly, then never tried to walk again after making quite a squawk when she landed.

So what treatment was given to her for Marek's Disease,  a Marek's booster, in case it would give some sort of immunity to this disease in progress, baby aspirin dissolved and give via a syringe to the back of neck (for pain and to try to alleviate swelling) so it would not cause respiratory problems, vitamins (No Iron), tumeric with pepperin, lots of good nutritious foods and her regular feed, water, lot of TLC! bathing and water therapy, probiotics, kefir, yogurt (both homemade), access to a restful soft and supportive place where she could safely navigate  as much as possible. hand feeding when needed



video
This is a video of her in the farm infirmary during her first few days before the Marek's really began its destructive path on her body.  It was a miracle time when she had actually regained some mobility and was eating and drinking on her own  And I was so hopeful.... 


 Next is a pic of her with Mr. Ducky who faithful friend who never left her side. I 

Blueberry passed away the afternoon of 9/4/2013   I am still unable to write very much without crying and there's an empty place by the hearth of our great room and in my heart.   I think if she could talk she might say:
 
Thanks Mom and Dad for all you did and everyone who thought of me, prayed to me, wrote to my Mom about what to do, send Meds, helped her and him through my Journey.

Forgive yourself.   You did NOT know you should revaccinate for Marek's.  You worked very hard to help and save me.

I keep saying if Only, If Only I had known, I would have gotten her a vaccine and she would be alive today.   I want you to know what I know about this issue.   Please don't be blind to it. 

Trust your instincts when you work with birds.  If there is a persistent reluctant eater, drinker something is wrong.... Just because it's a silkie doesn't mean it's always a bad case of broody.We have had birds for over a decade, having pet birds before we bought the farm.   There have been injuries and other issues we have worked with but nothing as distressing as this.

ALL vaccinations are not created equal   What if the vaccine administered got too warm, or if it stayed mixed too long, or if it the amount given was not the right amount, or if the chick was too old to receive it or the initial vaccine was not mixed corrected.  It happens in human vaccines....Certainly could happen with poultry. 


The best of cleanliness, food and care Cannot protect a bird from Marek's.  It tends to strike age 5 to 25 weeks old but can strike younger and older......

Vaccinate all your birds for Marek's as babies and revaccinate them when they are new to your farm.   A newcomer is very vulnerable because they are undergoing relocation stress. Death by Marek's is horrifying and helpless for an owner to watch..... It is to me the equivalent of human polio...but much much much faster.     You might be able to offer some comfort measures but there is no cure. It is progressive and sometimes there might be recovery, but largely NOT  If you really love your birds and we do, it is horrific to watch them struggle and try and maybe succeed a little, but ultimately loose the battle. 

Picture below the beginning of her complete leg paralysis - right leg issue was first



Tell others what you are learning about Marek's so I did NOT die in vain.  I am doing that right now, Blueberry. 

According to research, there are some breeds more resistant to Marek's in poultry but all birds can get Marek's...   Cleanliness and care in isolating new birds will not prevent it.   Vaccines are not 100% reliable and yes the dosages are in 1000 doses but after having been through the sadness with her, I will gladly purchase the vaccine over and over again, to protect against this horrible disease.  After you order vaccinated birds or introduce newly vaccinated birds you should keep them in isolation for a minimum of 2 weeks that is the highest shedding period for the Mareks.  New birds should be quarantined a minimum of 30 days.   That means visit them last.  Shower up and change clothes and shoes before you see ANY other bird after seeing any quarantine group....

I used to think that you could just breed for disease resistance..... That is very unrealistic for Marek's...If you have wild birds on or flying over your property, or even that next door, your property and its occupants have.  If you go walking in the woods or outside, you could even bring it inside a coop, should your birds never see the light of day.  There are a lot of rumors about Marek's - that it will cause Marek's  That's not true!

Remember The Happy Times Mom and Dad!

I am just now! for a little one you were quite a fighter
You showed us so much courage and love
When the road looked dim, you would struggle to walk 
And eat, and when I petted you or fixed your favorite food
You made such a sweet sound.  I am sure you gave me much more that I ever gave you

You loved your baths and grooming time….. Oh face it, you just loved love  During the times I wasn’t in the house, you would snuggle up to Mr Ducky, your gigantic stuffed Duck…..

You made me laugh even while you were in the infirmary
You did NOT like boiled egg and would sling away the tiny bits of white while
Shaking  your head as if What has this Woman come and brought for me today.

Now a scrambled egg you would devour.  But your ultimate favorite was cooked liver with a side of fresh tomato or cantaloupe…. And a side of scrambled eggs as well. 

Now you never ate gigantic amounts but you loved your varieties and after you ate your strengthening foods would eat your “regular food”  with a bah humbug look and look around to make sure that I had hidden her treats….. The kefir grains were favored as well, but only IF ROOM temperature.

You despised the taste of Turmeric, there was no way to hide it! And when finally I had to syringe it and tried so hard to make sure you wouldn’t taste it, I knew you could.   I’ll never forget when I thought I could sprinkle it on your food, you found the only two bites of food that were free of it and ate them and waited… and I the indulgent mom took the offender plate away and cooked anew.

The last few weeks in the house infirmary had more humor….Up until a few nights ago, At night even when you had only one working leg, you would move herself into a corner or another hiding place.  Never the same.  It was our daily “Peek a Boo” time. Certainly your independence but I also think you loved just fooling me…. There I am with her breakfast, unable to find you and saying “Now where is Blueberry”?  And then you would start talking to me and coming to me and I would scoop you up and say “Now There’s my Girl”… 

Tears fall without signs of ceasing my dear But I am glad that you are no longer in any discomfort or having to struggle so.    So young, so sweet, so loved, RIP Blueberry 9/4/2013
Pictured here was her brave efforts to prop and eat on her own!
.... You will be carried in our hearts forever and sweet girl your life was not in vain


Friday, August 2, 2013

Smiles

Smiles matter.

  • They do.
  • They exude Love.
  • They make us smile and
  • They make us feel better when we smile
  • And they make the person feel better getting the smile.
  • So have an brave spirit and give a stranger a smile of love and encouragement.
  • It could change their moment and maybe even their life!
  • So Smile today.  It costs no money and does so much.
If that's NOT scientific for you, try this link on for further study:  10 Reasons to Smile

And then listen to one of my sainted Mother's favorite songs! Be sure to get to the chorus...
Judy Garland and Smiles

I am smiling as I write this and hope this makes you smile too.  Love and smiles to all of you!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Feeding Body,Soul, Heart & Mind Carroll County Empty Bowls




 A tribute to Carroll County Empty Bowls and Invitation to their Major event! Our Farm has watched with admiration for years now a Community that reaches out and feeds the Body, Soul, Heart and Mind.    Today we celebrate Carroll County Empty Bowls for what they do in all four of these areas and  Invite you to their long awaited annual event to be held Sunday - 2/24/2013.  

Carroll County Agricultural Center
900 Newnan Road, Carrollton, Georgia 30117
Sunday, 2/24/2013 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
9th annual fundraiser for the Carroll County Soup Kitchen--unique bowls, soups from local chefs, silent auction, live music, kids' activities & more

The loving work poured into it has been going on for months now.   Artists and volunteers making pottery bowls.  Other artists donating items for sale through silent bid and auction.  Volunteers writing on the internet.  Chefs Cooking,  Friends Calling friends.  Texting, Asking, Giving, Sharing, Musicians writing and singing songs.   Volunteers dashing about collecting food and other donations.  Volunteers tomorrow serving setting up.  Individuals, Companies, Farms, and the public join as a community. Excitement Builds!

Pure Undemanding Love and Sacrifice and Uplifting are given to help others and in the meantime oh how each that give area so helped.   It is one of the events that just shines with Joy when I think of it each year and makes me cry tears of Joy as I think about. 


For physical hunger is real and along with the feeding of the body, there comes the feeding of soul, heart and mind that lasts long after the shared meal and blesses the giver and receiver.   In fact I shall venture to say for me the blessings are overwhelming to just share.   Carroll County Empty Bowls, I LOVE you in every way that I can and I Pray that tomorrow will exceed all other years and that the Funds generated tomorrow will continue to lift the lives of all – the giver and the receiver and that may we all learn that without love,  our acts are but meaningless, like clanging, out of tune cymbals. If you are unable to come, send a check, a donation, from your heart to other hearts.  Together we can make a difference. http://carrollcountyemptybowls.org/joom/

Matthew 25: 40    The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  NIV

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Failure to say the right words





 
Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like you are waiting for the other shoe to drop? Or in the case of farmers, I should say waiting for the other boot to drop, I know that's probably not a current expression and you don't know what it means, just say so in the comments.  I or a reader can help you. Seems like a lot of that going on these past few days at the Garry Farm….

Rain rain, needed for the rain tables but so wet as to be most slippery and soggy.  Muck boots are NOW mucking! Difficult time to be outside working!  The Rains seem to have brought out all kinds of varments, as Granny would have called them.  Now she applied that term to both the mice and others who would try to invade her house, the foxes, wild dogs and others who would dare disturb her hens.But I believe she would have applied the term to the scalywags, as she called the n'er do wells she encountered. The men and women who traipsed her farm looking for no good. Now she was a kindly country woman but she did NOT cotton to varments.

More on varments: 
Lost a beloved precious partridge silkie to a beheading by a predator. awake 2 mornings to more noise, a baby possum was determined to have chicken for breakfast.  another large possum paraded.  Happily I report both failed. Hawks are flying low. You know when they fly because all the animals run to hide and they are quiet, very quiet as if hoping not to be heard.

Two gents came in the rainy, almost dark, meandering, saying wanted some hens to go with their Rhode Island Red Rooster.. Unexpected, out in the rain right before dark.  It didn’t feel right. My few years on our farm, my childhood experience and my female intuition said "SCALYWAG Varments"  My security radar went up & I sent them quickly on their way.  Aggravated and angry.  I was just laying down for a much needed nap when I heard their voices outside!  Our farm has been under siege by scalywags before when certain people tried to fill their trailer with our large goats and I know folks seem to want to take rather than work sometimes. And upon other occasions when a woman stuffed bunnies under a heavy coat and attempted to walk out.  Caught her and retrieved the precious babies and other times as well.


Picture would be of the kind of rooster that the gent varments needed a hen for ASAP !!!!!!!
Now, back to the gent varments,   I would have gladly fed those folks a meal, but honestly I wanted them off the property or offered real work to them for a day or so. But they didn’t look like they had missed a meal and I don't think they wanted to contribute to the well being of the farm.  I supposed if I had been a better and stronger woman, I should have asked, "Do you Need a Job"   or "Are you Hungry, do you Need food".   Or more Importantly this is what I failed to say , "Do you Need me to Pray for You?  Is there something you need in your LIFE right now?" My brain reacted before my soul! For that Lord, I apologize.  Technical details of increased Security for both human and animal varments but my soul is sad I missed an opportunity. .  Life is NOT perfect here but in the midst of all the varments + battling an Upper Respiratory Infection, there was Joy and Hope coming to the Farm, because in the midst of varments, innocent, precious baby goats were born. PTL! So for my praying friends, and I encourage all to pray over everything,  please pray especially in the future that I don't fail the right things in the future.   I missed a great opportunity. sigh.


Matthew 11:28 Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. King James Version, the one that Granny and I both loved and both memorized. Thank you Lord for rest you give us from trials and tribulations and for joy and hope as well. Please move my lips to seek to serve those who need you and may I not miss opportunities you put before me..Amen

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Are you in a Storm? Fear Not, The Lord is With You

Are you in a Storm?  Fear Not, The Lord is With You

January 30, I sit on our sofa, watching the news for tornadoes, high winds, warnings and bad storms in Alabama and Georgia and the Southeast, we’ve been out several times to check on the animals.  Our farm house, structure doesn’t really have good storm shelter, no basement, only one inner room – but that one  has windows.  I am calm, as prepared as I can be. Makeshift helmets assembled as requested by FEMA and ready to go to the inner closets in a minutes notice. Several years ago the Bowdon area was hit severely and as a child, I saw the destruction from tornado in my homeplace.  I still recall coming home from the North GA mountains to a home with trees down and my petite mother pushed to the bottom of a very long stairwell by the storm. Today, Jacque and I are as prepared as we can be and  I’m looking for those verses of shelter and comfort so that this blog can be a piece of comfort to both readers now and in the future. We are praying for all in all the storms of life. This is no apology, this blog is quickly written as I don’t know when there will be power or internet outages.

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. --Deuteronomy 31:8

There are so many Biblical verses of comfort and shelter in the Lord and that no matter what, He is there. I do knowThe Lord is my rock and shelter, my everypresent help in times of trouble.  Thank you Lord for your 24/7 watch on my life.

I love the beautiful music in this UTube


Fear not…..
 
Dear Readers know that God is with you, that whatever storm you are going through in life, be it weather, physical, emotional or other, you are never alone.   May God bless you always and may you know His presence and comfort now and forevermore. Amen

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ever want to "grow" your own Apple Cider Vinegar?

Here are the results of the first month of our growing.  The large disk that literally cover the top of the Apple cider are know as the "Mother".   I started each jar about 30 days ago with only a little mother from the Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar in apple juice.  I have not always aired it every day but it is most certainly NOW Apple Cider Vinegar grown on The Garry Farm and soooo delicious.   Jacque and I and the Chickens will all be enjoying the ACV.

ACV is full of natural properties that are so good for you.   ACV grows best in a dark place and should be aired daily and rocked back and forth so that the disk grows.   If you stir at first do so gently,  I prefer the rocking to stirring.   So what do you have growing????   ACV doesn't need to be refrigerated when ready..... You may move to a larger container and use the mother disk for the next batch! Sunlight does tend to negate many of its help

If you do want to drink it, recommend mixing with water as it's acidic...Do not use to can your pickles, etc as  you have no way to know its precise acidic value.

We like to use it in salad dressings and marinades, add a bit to tea and add to the chicken waterers as well.   Thank you Braggs for the experience!    
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Friday, January 11, 2013

Ode to The Garry Farm Dirty Windows & More



Ode to The Garry Dirty Windows and More

The farm house has dirty windows – inside and out


And The Garry Farm housekeeper is nowhere about

Said clean windows make her scream and shout

 

Mumbled something about rather be outside

“lowpaid housekeep ain’t got nothing to hide”

 

“But clean winders, she said “Make a Peeper be,

So now when they look, There’s nothing to see”

 

Said something about clean a tiny look hole in each one

To be able to look out, peep around , see the morning sun

 

And the little peeper hole could have a curtain of a little sticky

Just a little curtain for me to look out and see NO one yicky

 

Said she got her “great idear from them fancy store doors

Where you kin look to see out but no peepers, no more”

 

She minded me that home chores are called that for a reason

Would only again turn dirty again, every day & every season

 

Said a person do better to go outside and take a look

Or just sit in a corner n study the pages in a purty book

 

So don’t come alooking for the housekeeper today

She said something about leaving and going away

 

Will I miss her and cry – I think Not

Cause I think I paid just for what I Got

 

That housekeep she took the better road

Stepping outside her neglected abode

 

I’m washing a dime out of every winder, just enough for me to see

The Garry Farm so naturally dirty …That's where I’d rather be

 


Nancy Garry,   The Garry Farm  1/11/2013 Written at 4:55 am

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Life Out of Balance - Is your Yoke a Burden?


How of ten in my life I have found myself so burdened by so much that I become motionless or walking in circles, thinking I am unable to carry on - to juggle the baskets and buckets of life without either falling/failing at my tasks or simply pouring them out to the ground and wanting to say.... "Forget it!" and sometimes do or "Dear Lord, I can carry no more.  I am unable.  Lord, please help me?"  And although I do believe and totally acknowledge My Lord and Savior, in my typical human status, I keep looking at either my mental or paper list of to do's and already predoom my day with a "NOT going to get it mind set which becomes a mental set" and the day begins to spiral downward as I rush to fail, fumble, be frustrated and worry.

When I first pray about the day or even just the next seconds,  I can then begin to experience incredible peace and suddenly my buckets and baskets balance and they no longer cripple me. My tightrope life has a balancing bar - it is a yoke.  Oh it is all still there to accomplish and a bit more, But I have a Workmate - a Helper .... I have an "imaginary yoke"...Yes you read it correctly.    That  wooden Yoke weighs a lot - it heavy but lightens the load - the piece of wood you see on the shoulders of the person in the etching, is placed on the shoulders before the farmers tasks and was once used by farmers world wide is a balance it doesn't make the job disappear but the degree of difficulty is lessened as the weight is shifted from arms to shoulders.  MY Yoke is not made by Man or Woman.  It will not rot or burn or get lost or stolen or any of those things. My Yoke is invisible and weighs nothing.  It does need repair or replacement.  It cannot be bought or sold.   It was already paid for and is freely given to all...

Long before I farmed, I have always loved the following and want to share it with you today 

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  Matthew 11: 28-30

Love In The Lord Always,   LITLA,   Nancy Garry

A special note of gratitude to my friend Mrs. Gunter who responded to my request for a sketch of balancing figure and without knowing about this posting, knew exactly what was needed.  Thank you Lord for Godly friends.  


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Giving Table, You never know what your anonymous gift might do!

We have a lovely table at our public convenience center.  I like to call it The Giving Table. Next to the large green dumpsters is a humble table a place for public recycling center table for the community who brings trash to feed the dumpsters.   A leave and take table with no check out, no fee for returning if the item just cannot be used.   100% satisfaction guaranteed, you may bring the item back if you don't want it, no questions ask, no receipt needed.

  • An expression of anonymous love to one another in our community.....   All kinds of treasures have been left there over time....    I've left books and also picked up books.   I left clothing that I hadn't been using in a while or perhaps never worn.  I smiled inside when I thought I saw a pretty shirt I once had in the closet getting dusty on a lovely lady.   One of the unposted but understood social rules is that THE GIVER never tells. I happily said "Beautiful shirt" and walked on.
  • The Table has generated smiles, chats and friendships and elevated the Status of the workers.  I cannot imagine working at a Convenience Center.  Day in & out picking up trash, broken glass, carelessly left out side the containers, being around the smell. Working for low pay. I have never appreciated these folks enough until we decided no garbage service for us at the farm, we will take our own trash.  What started as a money saving effort has indeed been an eye opener for me.
  • It is a spot of joy in an otherwise sometimes dreaded task! Instead of folks just dumping trash and leaving, Many walk over to look, leave, browse and Wave at the staff.   My favorite line is of course "You sure I don't need a receipt to refund"?   Toting garbage and being around garbage is not easy,.
  • What I like about this table is that it allows and encourages year round Sharing.  That one crockpot with the broken liner might match a liner outthere. It did for me!
  • It shows that our community is a Thrifty one.   The items on the table may not be a perfect, but it might be a treasure to the person who picks it up or receives it.  It might be a surprise gift to another person.   I have a dear friend who drops by recycled items.   And I love that surprise!  She knows me and our Farm well & has an eye for helpful things, plastic crates for toting vegetables, etc. 

Sometimes it is as if there was a giving Angel who knew that someone was coming by with a Special need...

A few months ago, I was wearing socks that were becoming thread bare in the heels and toes. Tried mending and doubling up socks, but painful to the feet.  I had had particularly challenging health days and was just not up to shopping for good socks.  Farmers wear out socks just walking for miles a day.  As hubby hoisted the trash into the green monsters.  I left a few surprises and open a particularly clean bag that had wonderfully clean socks carefully paired together and folded as neatly as if for a drawer.  The smell of Cashmere Bouquet wafted from the Bag, bringing back memories of my Granny.  As I picked up some of the socks and no, I did NOT take all of them, I was filled with so much gratitude as now I could enjoy some foot comfort without having to drive an hour and spend several hours shopping for those that fit well. 

Thank you Sock Angel whoever you were.   You really lifted my spirits, energy and feet that day!

  "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7).