Growing Livestock

Since, when we began raising livestock, we were not allowed to have pigs on our property, I never thought we would have any. But the zoning laws changed last year, allowing a maximum of two. Still, I was surprised when we received a call from a good friend asking if we would like a free, lame pig and even more surprised when Daddy and Mommy said, “Sure, if someone wants to take care of it.” So, Bacon took up residence in the old sugar shack. And his leg has vastly improved to the point that he now comes running if he thinks you have food for him!

Two other new barn tenants arrived even more recently, but they were neither free, nor unexpected: Honeycomb and Apple – two purebred Finn ewe lambs. Though quite skittish and nervous at first, it didn’t take them long to get friendly and sociable. Appealing to the stomach goes a long way with animals!

Honeycomb

Apple

And Bounty is growing by leaps and bounds – quite literally. She has already succeeded in jumping her stall wall which is higher than her back! And the photography session last week was an active one!

It was hard to get her not moving!

Bounty!

So far, Hershey has always calved early. Since her calf was due today, this year it looked as though she might not. But late yesterday evening she had a surprise for us!

Unlike last year, the calving went very quickly – so quickly that we missed the whole thing! When I checked Hershey at 6:30, she looked normal: eating happily. When, at 8:30, I heard her bell ringing continuously, I went out to check and found Bounty already trying to get to her feet.

Yes, Bounty is a little heifer! With a birth weight of 61 lbs, she’s one our our largest calves. And she has energy to match! A straw bale “fence” is easy to jump even at only 12 hours old!

Aren’t I cute?

We chose the name Bounty (the name of a chocolate bar) to combine her parents’ names: Hershey and Profit Driven. And after losing two calves last year, we feel bountifully blessed to have such a lively, healthy calf this year. Praise the Lord!

The sentimental value of baling twine

I’m not easily taken by surprise. I’m one of those people who is simply aware of everything going on around me. Generally, I’m either the first, or one of the first, to suspect and discover undercover activity. If I have reason to think that someone is planning a surprise for me, I simply close my eyes and ears and act unaware. But the truth remains that I’m simply one on whom it is very difficult to pull anything off. In fact, I thought it was next to impossible… until a week ago.

It was a Sunday and, as usual, David and Erica stayed for supper. While I was doing the early evening chores, the family started a game of Catan – a fairly long board game.

I was a little surprised at this choice since David and Erica usually want to get their little girls home and to bed not too late. Not being a game person myself, I didn’t join in, but spent a little time alone and talked on the phone with Michael until the line cut out.

After I while, I rejoined the others and began a game of bananagrams with Mommy and Evelyn. My mind was still on the cut off phone call and words like “beekeeper” and “drone” showed up on my board. When we finished the round, Mommy and Evelyn pitched in to spell other bee-related words…

All the while, I had no idea that my family had something up their sleeve… Then Nathanael’s truck pulled in the driveway at 9:30 p.m. Concerned that something was significantly wrong, I went out to meet them… and was amazed to see Michael walking up! I guess my family can actually succeed in surprising me!

It was an incredible week and the Lord truly blessed our time with Michael doing unique activities together and getting in a lot of talking.

We had a busy but wonderful time when the rest of the Staddon family joined us this past weekend. Our families enjoyed working together and the QEW conference was a great encouragement to many.

photo used by permission courtesy of James Staddon – Lenspiration.com

The Lord continued to guide our thoughts and the evening of August 26th was a memorable one, though most of the photos were taken the following morning.

Since Michael didn’t come up to Quebec thinking he would propose this soon, he made me a temporary engagement ring – humorously suitable given my barn attire! 🙂

The Lord has been so good to me. “I being in the way, the Lord led me…” (Gen. 24:27) The road ahead may be complicated with all the legalities of marrying across the U.S. border, but we trust His provision and His timing. Truly He does all things well!

We look forward to how the Lord will lead as He joins our lives together.

Two Beekeepers’ Common Interest

It came to light recently that two beekeepers we know have more interests in common than hives…

photo used by permission courtesy of Michael Staddon

honey…

or anything else bee-related!

It turns out that their more significant interest actually has nothing to do with bees…

Or rather it had nothing to do with bees…

Michael Staddon, Elizabeth, Sarah, Jérémie Rhéaume photo used by permission courtesy of Michael Staddon

Yes, in the past month, both of us began courtships with beekeepers! More coming soon!

~Elizabeth & Sarah

Summer Garden

The gardening season here in Quebec tends to be short and intense. Right now it is the beans that are coming in!

Today it was 10kg (22lbs) of them! Picking took most of the morning. Then came the washing…

…which took most of the afternoon! And finally they made it into the freezer.

What a delicious garden-fresh-tasting meal they will make come winter! How grateful we are for the Lord’s faithfulness!

“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22

A new barn tenant

A newcomer arrived in the barn yesterday evening…

She is 8 months old and very friendly. She was worried at first about being separated from her original flock, but she’s adapting quickly and already seems to be making friends with Yoghurt in the next stall. Her wool is very dense and such a beautiful colour! We’re thrilled to have found a black sheep at last!

We’ve come up with a couple ideas for what to call her. Anyone else have a suggestion?

The Chickadee

Oh, cheerful, little chickadee,
You sing your song so merrily
And flit about from tree to tree
A picture of glad joy.
When summer’s sun is shining bright
And winter’s snow is sparkling white,
You go about your merry flight;
Your melody employ.

Then storms arise and fill the skies
With clouds that loudly verbalise
A threat. You hardly realise
The change about your tree.
When autumn’s winds do strongly blow
In pelting rains or driving snow,
You scarcely even then let show
A lessening of glee.

But, oh, my little chickadee,
Though like you surely ought to be
The heart God made and gave to me,
I fear that ne’er will be.
For though my joy should always be
Like avian felicity,
I face far more difficulty
Than you will ever see.

For you have never faced a care
That looms up far too great to bear;
Sought joyful countenance to wear
When heart was full of grief.
The tears flow fast; the loss brings pain;
I know not how to smile again.
How can I now a song sustain?
Find for my soul relief?

Dear, singing, little joyful bird
Alas your song is scarcely heard
By sad heart sick with hope deferred.
How can I be like you?
Awaited joys soon fade away
And disappointment comes to stay.
The night is lonely – more, the day.
My eyes my bed bedew.

Bewilderment is nigh at hand –
I seek the place where I should stand
So conscience will not reprimand.
The good, the better? Best?
Then pressures mount and tempers rise.
The work mounds up; I realise
I cannot better organise
Myself, the toil arrest.

And so, my little chickadee,
It seems impossible, you see,
To go about so merrily
With bird-like, joyful song.
For greater far than rain or snow
Are troubles that to me do blow.
How can I sing when nought I know
To bring to end this wrong?

My heart is torn to leave behind
The things that now are intertwined
About my life, my heart, my mind
How can I let them go?
The times ahead seem so unsure
And what I know is more secure.
How can I joyfully endure
If God calls me to go?

Then I, my cheerful singing bird
Recall to mind what I have heard:
That God’s design is never stirred
From sovereign will and plan.
He will not let me drop or sink
Beneath the load. And at the brink
Of helplessness He makes me think
And aids my feet to stand.

No, life on earth will never be
Without desires unfilled, ennui,
Sad, anxious moments, tears, debris –
Transgressions in my past.
Though seasons change or friends move on,
Things stay behind and soon are gone
From recollection, yet the dawn
Will spring from night at last

Oh, cheerful little chickadee,
What lessons you have brought to me:
In God my heart finds harmony.
I can a song employ.
If sunny skies are all I see
Or clouds and storms about me be,
Whatever else surrounds “my tree,”
I’ll still let show my joy!

~ ELF

Family Vacation part 2

The wildlife in Cape Breton is quite used to seeing tourists.

The moose especially seem nonchalant.

The birds are a little more wary.

Though not the seagulls as much. Most of these photos are barely cropped.

Yikes, we’re going to get wet!

Flying together

Reunion of a pair

We even got to see them fishing.

Dive!

Splash!

And they always come back up in time to miss being hit by the next wave!

And another style of fishing…

They know what fishing boats carry!

On the topic of fishing boats, we were actually in Cape Breton during the lobster season. We had the amazing experience of watching the fishermen at work.

many boats at work

many docked boats

watching the boats

pulling up the lobster trap

Though it rained one day while we were there, we saw several really beautiful sunsets. It was a beautiful vacation and a wonderful time as a family.

“From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the LORD’s name is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3

Family Vacation part 1

To all our readers, my apologies on the lack of blog content lately! Life has been incredibly full in the Frazer home.

Our family was able to take a family vacation together the last week of May. Yes, we all, including Stephen, were able to get away. Yeah! The destination: Cape Breton Island, NS.

Cape Breton is a beautiful place of rocky slopes, wind-scarred trees, rolling oceans, crashing waves, screaming gulls, a not-so-wild moose! I’ll let the pictures tell the story…

The O-Tentik where we stayed

A beautiful waterfall nestled inland

The hills of Cape Breton ore steep and rugged

Insect-eating pitcher plants in a bog

Watch out, Sarah!

Your feet will get wet!

The Cabot trail runs all the way around the island, hugging the coast most of the way

Abandoned lobster traps

My favourite graveyard

An old, one-room schoolhouse

The red dots in the water are buoys marking lobster traps – more on that later

Well, maybe I’ll make a second post with more…

Winter Hiking

Though winter has held on long, the rapidly rising temperatures are causing our snow to melt and the crocuses to bloom.

Disappointed at the loss of our snow, Daddy and Mommy went south to look for some more… Well, maybe that’s not why they went to the White Mountains! 🙂 But they did enjoy a day of hiking.
It was a beautifully warm day with bright skies and shimmering snow. And though not deep at the parking area, the snow was mounded up at the higher elevations.Praise the Lord for such beauty in His Creation!