2015 Has Arrived

It’s funny, if it were a person, the first impression I get would be “I don’t think I care for you much.”  You came in obnoxiously loud, scaring the crap out of my animals and keeping me awake.  Now you are cold, gray and wet.  Fortunately, years are not people and how one starts is not how it might be.  We need the rain anyway.  But with that out of the way…

Happy New Year Everybody!!!

God is in control.  He’s my provider!  He is good.  I don’t understand quite a bit about Him or why He lets us go through the things we go through.  I don’t think we’ll know the reasons to a lot of that in this life.  Possibly not in the next either.  God’s not a big reason giver it seems.  He does like mystery!  When you can barely fathom the Lord of the universe, it stands to reason you might not fathom His ‘reasoning’ on a number of things either.

2014 has been a rather wild ride that finished with even more intensity than it started with.  I got involved in a Multi Level Marketing company that went nowhere.  That lead to getting involved with a company that (still, someday, intends to) sells lighting upgrades to LED bulbs and fixtures.  That quickly turned into a disaster and after several months of that I got out.  I figured life would just go back to status quo then.  It didn’t.  I felt like God was saying things were going to change quickly.  Since then, the wife got laid off.  My depression overcame my medication for a while.  The wife and I went through an intense 40 day prayer season (challenge actually but I hate that expression).  It was the most intense time with God we’ve ever had.  Then the world kinda fell apart on us.  Mary still has no job and over the last couple of months we’ve had about 10 disasters that have cost us significant sums of money.  The last one (hopefully the last one!) was the truck breaking down.  That pretty much put me over the edge and I felt like God hated me right about then.  I was pretty mad and despondent then as well.  It’s been the worst period of time of financial disasters Mary and I have ever experienced in our lives as well.  From mountain top straight to bottom of volcano!  Notice I didn’t say valley.  Valleys are nice.  We live in them mostly.  They are “normal”.  This fall went into nothing that could remotely be categorized as normal.  Of course, we all got sick and are dealing with mountain cedar allergies as well.  Add to that my oldest daughter having several Grand Mal seizures for no discernible reason for the first time ever and you have a rotten couple of months.  At least on the surface of things.

All in all I’d have to say I don’t handle “life falling apart” disaster very well.  At least not when it’s in the middle of falling apart.  We’re a few weeks since the last disaster.  First day of the new year.  I got over myself enough to get back to knowing God loves me and is my provision.  Honestly I felt like He was saying “trust me” in the middle of all that.  At the time it just made me mad.  I felt like ‘trust’?  What choice do I have really?  I either trust and follow you or I don’t.  I know personally one person who chose not to follow any longer.  In order to not do so they had to decide to believe God doesn’t exist.  It’s kind of funny when you think about it.  We’re going to go through hard times in this life no matter how you believe.  At least God’s up front about that.  Jesus said “In this life you will have tribulations.”  If you’re an atheist what do you have?  Chance just sucks?  As an unbeliever you probably just think God really does hate you.  Whatever road you are on, parts of it are going to suck.  Some parts will suck hard.  I guess I don’t know how to not have the hissy fit in the middle of the suckage yet.  I do know that I don’t want to go down the road without my God though.  That’s something positive.

I guess I’ve put kind of a downer heart baring bit in those last two paragraphs.  Sorry about that.  I have to be honest about life though and parts of life are hard.  Now for full disclosure.  Yes the last few months have been hard.  But, in reality, it was nothing!  Nobody has a life threatening illness.  Nobody has died.  Nobody has left anyone.  Nobody has starved.  Nobody has gone without clothing (usually, hehe, I know, I know, I won’t go there!!!).  Our suffering was real, the pain was real, but it was pretty minor in reality.  Things could have been much MUCH worse.  So even as I write this it occurs to me to give thanks to God for that minor suffering.  I don’t think any of it will have any permanent affect, except hopefully on my attitude.

I hate going over cliffs.  God likes to take me over cliffs, a lot.  Right now I’m going to ask for some God wings.  If I have to keep going over then screw it, lets fly!


2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tonight we went to our Christmas Eve service.  Every year we hold it in the town square.  This is our second year of this tradition.  Life got a little bumpy for us toward the end of the year this year but we got to do this!  On top of the service, some friends of ours got married right after.  That added a very nice flair to the evening.  Our youngest daughter is home with us for Christmas as well, so we really have all the important stuff we need.

From my family to your and yours from our little town of Seguin Texas, MERRY CHRISTMAS Y’ALL!

Christmas eve service in the square


Fall at the Double Portion (Lotsa PIX!)

This afternoon the family and I went on a walk around the ranch.  Spring in South Texas is often spectacular, but fall is often not thought about down here.  Fall in South Texas is many things.  It’s usually late in the year.  Here we are probably at the beginning of “peakish” color and it’s almost Thanksgiving!  It lasts a long time.  You can find deep red oaks well into December.  It can be warm or cold.  As we say down here, “wait five minutes” and the weather will change.  Honestly, I think they say that everywhere.  But most of all, it’s also beautiful.  A lot of folks don’t believe that.  Bah!  Everything just turns brown and dies!  Well Bah! back atcha!  I got pictures to prove that isn’t so.  And without further ado, here they are:

The new herd

The new herd

The "Pets", Mocha and Pistol.

The “Pets”, Mocha and Pistol.

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20141123_153919

20141123_155115 20141123_155042 20141123_154936 20141123_154930 20141123_153438 20141123_154848 20141123_153919 20141123_153950 20141123_153435 20141123_153406 20141123_153204 20141123_153210

20141123_153751

I GOT ya!!!

Most of these are on the ranch.  A few are neighboring properties (pretty much anything with grass).

 

 


The Face of Winter

Down here in Texas it’s FREEZING right now!  It doesn’t have to be below 32 degrees to be freezing in Texas.  Everything is bigger here so I figure freezing is probably up in the 60’s somewhere.  If you want to take the swagger out of a Texan, just get them cold.  It reduces us to images like this:

2014-11-15 11.49.06I

I probably should be wrapped up in a blanket too!   In fact, that’s a good idea…

 


Country Wisdom Post #21

Never hold an ink pen next to your face when you are saying ‘hi’ to a border collie.  No matter how “calm” they seem to be acting…

– Greg


Permission Granted

I mentioned in the previous post about Mary’s vision that she got during our 40 day prayer challenge.  I guess before I go into that I need to set up a little background.  You’ll remember a few posts back we sold almost the whole herd and I said we were going to specialize.  That was in early September.  We had been thinking along these lines for a while.  We now have “experience” raising sheep and we really wanted to get into it deeper.  I did some research and found something interesting that I thought would be a great fit here at the ranch.  Mary agreed.  We found that a breed of sheep called Gulf Coast Native (GCN) had once been THE sheep of the south until drugs were developed that allowed breeds more susceptible to parasites to live successfully in the hot and humid southern areas of the U.S.  The produced both medium wool and good tasting meat.  The key thing for us was parasite resistance.  We had already encountered some drug resistant parasites and any breed that can resist them went right to the top of the list.

They also happened to be very endangered.  We don’t think about livestock being endangered but as breeds get replaced with ones considered superior, they fall out of favor in the agricultural community and people stop breeding them.  That can be bad news for the continuation of the species!  Turns out there’s only about 1400 registered breeding pairs of these sheep left.  This puts them at the top of the list as far as endangered livestock go.  So while these sheep have lots of good qualities and meet our needs well, it turns out we’d be helping in conservation efforts if we started breeding them.  Seemed pretty cool to us so we looked for some.  Lo and behold we found A&S Gulf Coast Lamb about an hour east of us.  We put a deposit down on 5 of them.  These 5 to be specific:

5 Gulf Coast Native Sheep

Our Seed Sheep (plant hoof down)

Back to Mary’s vision.  During our 40 day’s of prayer, I got the inn and she got the sheep.  Her dream is to have the biggest herd of this kind in Texas, specifically 1000 of them.  We’re gonna need a bigger ranch!  That’s OK since God’s a pretty awesome real estate agent.  Part of my dream was seeing the ranch get crazy big, and when I say crazy, I mean it.  I’ll go into that at a later date.

One interesting thing occurred during the 40 days.  We felt that God said not to do anything more with the visions until the sheep arrived here at the ranch.  We brought them home yesterday, November 1st.  They’re already fitting right in around here.  Thus the title of the post.  We now have permission to go forward with our dreams.  I can’t say it’s going to get interesting because it was that way from the start.  It is going to get moving though!  Here’s a couple of pics from yesterday:

Cage

Original cage I built to bring the sheep home in. Sellers deemed it not strong enough.

Yours truly

Yours truly

The boy.

The boy.

The ladies.

The ladies.

Who's in there?

Who’s in there?

Trailer

Trailer the sellers lent us to bring the sheep home in. They were incredibly nice to do that!


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