Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Cow Breeder, The Vet, and the Milk Inspector

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

  • The Cow Breeder, The Vet, and the Milk Inspector

    Months ago, I had done a post on a calf being born.   Now I would like to share the things that happen before the calf is born.  I know, I'm alittle mixed up, but that happens every now and then.   I can only imagine the questions that will come out of a child's mouth if they read this post, so I am throwing out some caution to parents.  We have encountered some blunt (and sometime humorous) questioning from our children about things like this, but we have chosen to always be honest and explain things on their level.  If we don't answer their questions, someone else will and we might not like what they are told.
    We do not breed our cows by a bull.  The idea of having one of those fellas around here does not appeal to us, and Dave likes the different variety of bulls that are offered by doing A.I. (artificial insemination).  We have a long time friend that works for Sire Power and he comes to do the breeding when we let him know that a cow is in heat (I am choosing to not go into the details of the signs of heat).   Semen is carried in tiny tubes that are kept in liquid nitrogen with a temp. of -350.
    herd check, breeder 007
    The breeder removes the tube that carries the semen of the bull Dave selected and warms it up by putting it in warm water in this little pot...
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    and continues to keep it warm by keeping it next to his skin until he is ready to insert into cow...
    herd check, breeder 008
    He inserts one arm in the rectum where he is able to feel, through the rectum wall, the proper placement of the tube..
    herd check, breeder 009
    Pronto!  All done!  Now we wait for at least 35 days before she can be preg checked.  The vet comes with her nifty altrasound machine.....
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    herd check, breeder 001
    She holds the wand in her hand and reaches in to see if she can "see" a calf.  Yep, she is pregnant.  Now we wait for the birth.  Check out the post for more details  http://beingtriedasgold.xanga.com/723136449/calf-birthing-and-jokes/.
    Another person that frequents the farm is the milk inspector.  He does not come because he is invited, or because we think we need his help.  No, the government tells us that he MUST come and he can come anytime he feels like it, enter our milkhouse, check everything out and then find something, anything wrong with what we are doing or how things look.  What other occupation is subject to this invasion?  Anyway, we do have a very nice inspector and we have a good relationship.  He was kind enough to tell us that the Federal inspectors are going to be coming and gave us some advice on some things that could be improved on.  Dave worked at doing some of the construction projects and asked if the boys & I would do the cleaning.  It was a beautiful day when we tackled this and decided to go above and beyond what was asked of us, so we also painted!  I love painting and it was fun teaching the boys the proper way of applying paint.  We all had fun - they did a great job - and it's looks good!  We decided that if the inspectors come and pick everything apart we are going to tackle him to the ground and paint him!    I can just see the boys doing that!
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    Life is anything but boring on a farm!
    Until next time.............

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Food Preservation Class

Thursday, 19 August 2010

  • Food Preservation Class

    Over the years of processing vegetables, fruits, and meats to either be canned (jarred) or frozen, I have had many people express how they wished they knew how to preserve food.   My mother canned for as long as I can remember and taught me the skill as I got older, especially after I got married.  I feel blessed to know this skill and after Dave mentioned to me about possibly putting together a class to teach others, I decided to go for it in hopes of blessing others.  It is a skill well worth knowing, especially in the days we are facing.  I had 8 students for the class - 6 ladies and 2 gentleman.
    First, we talked about pressure canning.  If instructions are followed, it is not something to be afraid of.   Years ago, most food could be canned in the boiling water bath, however, it is now recommended that all your vegetables (with the exception of tomatoes), red meats, sea food, and poultry be processed in the pressure canner.  Spores of Clostridium botulinum bacteria (botulism) are found naturally in soils, and are very, very heat resistant.  Even hours in the boiling water canner will not kill them if they are inside your jars.  Left alive after canning, they will eventually germinate into actively growing bacterial cells which will produce the deadly human toxin when eaten.  For these spores to be killed, a temperature of 240 F must be reached and that is only possible in a pressure canner.  The water bath will only reach a temp. of about 210 F.   Jars of improperly canned vegetables and meats can contain the deadly botulism toxin without showing signs of spoilage.  To avoid this possibility, make sure you follow canning instructions, check to make sure that the flat (lid) is indented and when you open the jar, you should hear a "pop".   What makes that lid seal?  Well, when you fill a jar, only fill to the bottom of the neck.  It is very important to have that "headspace".  When the jar and food inside are heated by boiling or in the pressure canner, they expand and the air is driven out of the jar.  The lid keeps more air from entering the jar.  When the processed food is removed from the canner and begins to cool, the food and air contract again.  The air that was in the headspace has escaped the jar and a vacuum is created as the jar cools.  This vacuum is strong enough to seal the jar and pull in the lid, causing the popping sound as the jars cool.  When you hear the pop, the jar is vacuum sealed.  When you hear the pop sound when you open jar, it is the air being replaced.
    I had 8 jars already prepared to go into pressure canner - 1 tomato, 3 plums, 3 apples. Yes, these can be water bathed, but they can be pressured as well and I wanted food that did not have to be pressured for a long period of time. These jars lost alot of liquid, which I think is due to the pressure, so I think it is better to water bath fruits. The students were able to witness the start to finish process of the pressure canner.
    food canning class 001
    food canning class 001
    We then used the Victoria Strainer to make applesauce.  This piece is also very nice to have around when processing food.  To make applesauce, you just need to cut apple in half, remove stem and the black part of the stem at the bottom of apple.  Throw the rest into a pot, add enough water to keep apples from sticking and cook till tender.  When tender, spoon into the bowl of the strainer and start cranking the handle which feeds the apples into an auger which is located inside a strainer.  The juice and pulp are forced through the holes of strainer, while the core and peelings are forced out the front into a garbage dish.  This is great to use for tomatoes, also.
    food canning class 002 
    Sugar can be added to the applesauce before being ladled into jars.  Jar rims are wiped cleaned, flats are placed on top and rings are then screwed on jar.
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    Jars are then put into the water bath kettle.  The water must boil for 20 mins. (for applesauce) for the jars to seal.  Remove from water and wait to hear those "pops".
    food canning class 002
    We talked about drying fruits and veggies.  For the class, I had dried a rack each of apples, peaches, tomatoes, green beans, red beets, and strawberry/banana leather.  For any "browning" fruit, soak in a solution of 1 tablespoon lemon juice in quart of water for 5 min..  Then spread on drying rack.  Drying food can take place in a food dehydrator, oven, outdoors, etc..  Once dried, store in cool, dark, dry place.
    food canning class 007
    Last, we blanched (steaming for short time) broccoli to freeze.  Freezing and drying are the best methods for keeping all the nutrients in the food.   Freezing is also a simple and easy way of preserving food if you have freezer room.
    food canning class 009
    An excellent website for canning instructions and information ishttp://www.uga.edu/nchfp/index.html .   We had a good time learning from each other.  Thanks to all the students for making it a fun class.
    Until next time..............

Friday, August 13, 2010

Whose God is Their Belly

Friday, 13 August 2010

  • Whose God is Their Belly

    Yesterday, my little business of doing internet service for the Amish (and others who do not have the internet), took us real close to the HUGE smorgasbord restaurant called Shady Maple.   Eating out is something we rarely do and the 3 youngest boys were never there, so Dave thought it would be a fun treat.  The food selection is tremendous and a person hardly knows where to begin, and unfortunately, end.  Approximately 1000 people are served everyday, coming from far and wide to eat at this elaborate restaurant.   The boys enjoyed the experience and we had a good time together.
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    I contemplated this "smorgasbord" way of eating for the rest of the day, however, and a verse kept coming up in my head......."whose God is their  belly...whose God is their belly....whose God is their belly."   What did the apostle Paul mean in Philippians 3:19 when he says (starting at verse 18), "For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly , and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things?"   Who are the enemies of the cross?  1.) those whose end is eternal punishment, 2.) those whose God is their belly, (those who worship their desires by surrendering themselves to gluttony, which means "habit or act of eating too much" or any other uncontrolled lusts.) 3.) their "glory" or reputation is in their shame.  4.) those whose minds are constantly on earthly things and not Heavenly things.   I am thinking about this and wondering if food has become my God........and where is the point of being gluttonous?   I know this is not a popular subject in our day, especially when you have places like Shady Maple.   I believe, though, that it is more important to God than we think it is.  Maybe we should take a serious look to see if we are pleasing Him in our eating habits or if we have become an enemy of the cross.  I once posted on facebook a quote that I really like and it applies here.."the truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable".   My flesh does NOT want to know the truth of this sin, for then I have to deny myself and teach my children about denying themselves, but my spirit longs to be free from all earthly bondage, including eating.
    One thing that IS pleasing to God is our boldness in proclaiming the cross of Jesus Christ and we were so encouraged today when we looked out the restaurant window and saw this......
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    On the cross were carved sins such as envy, homosexuality, pornography, rebellion, abuse, witchcraft, abortion, pride, greed, lust, unbelief......can't remember them all.  Wow!  May we all be so obvious and bold in our stand for Jesus Christ, as the owner of this truck is. 
    Until next time................

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

If You Think You Aren't Good Enough

Tuesday, 03 August 2010

  • If You Think You Aren't Good Enough

    The next time you feel like God can't use you, just remember........
    Noah was a drunk
    Abraham was too old
    Isaac was a daydreamer
    Jacob was a liar
    Leah was ugly
    Joseph was abused
    Moses had a stuttering problem
    Gideon was afraid
    Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer
    Rahab was a prostitute
    Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
    David had an affair and was a murderer
    Elijah was suicidal
    Isaiah preached naked
    Jonah ran from God
    Naomi was a widow
    Job went bankrupt
    John the Baptist ate bugs
    Peter denied Christ
    The Disciples fell asleep while praying
    Martha worried about everything
    The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
    Zaccheus was too small
    Paul was too religious
    Timothy had an ulcer
    Lazarus was dead!
    What do you have that's worse than that?  So no more excuses!   God can use you to your full potential!
    Until next time...............