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A Very Busy Month

September came so fast, and left at the same speed. But, much has happened this month that we want to share short glimpses of.

We are almost finished putting up food for the winter. We can’t believe how much we were able to process and preserve! This has been the best harvest we have had on the mountain. Not only vegetables but, by our fruit and nut trees came in abundance – peaches, apples, pears, almonds, zucchini, squash, watermelon, cucumbers, eggplants, tomatoes, beans, peas, and more! The one fruit we have been especially excited about is our muscadine grapes we planted just two and half years ago. I absolutely love muscadines! These grape varieties are very sweet with a musky scent and flavor, and the skin is thick, tart – sometimes slightly bitter in flavor. When we planted the muscadines, we prayed over them asking God to keep them and help them grow and produce delicious fruit for us. God in His faithful and loving grace answered that prayer!

There are times when we get volunteer vegetable plants. We were blessed to have some volunteer pumpkin plants this year. I only planted 10 out of the 20 we found. For the very first time we had our very own pumpkin patch, and our pumpkin harvest was amazing! The Lord gave us so many, we were able to share with our neighbors, and even the Algood Christian Elementary School where our grandchildren attend, one pumpkin for each child! And still we had a bunch left!

I have learned new ways of preserving vegetables and fruit: drying, vacuum packing, and using Mylar bags for storage, all which helped the process of preserving go so much faster. With the great abundance of food the Lord provided, it was a real blessing.

We are just about finished with the high tunnel (greenhouse), getting it ready for spring planting. Our winter garden is planted and they are growing so nicely. We look in anticipation to the fresh kale and spinach greens we’ll be able to harvest throughout this winter, along with our other winter crops. Next year, we will give our garden a rest, and use the high tunnel to grow our food.

Our washing machine stopped working once again, and Vernon tried to fix it, but we ended up having to get a “new” one. We prayed “Lord, we don’t want to pay a lot for a washing machine, please help us find one that works well and is not costly”. And our Lord came through. We found one that was used but in excellent condition, and it’s working just fine for us.

A very special event took place the last weekend of August – Vernon was invited to perform a baptism in South Carolina. It was a beautiful service taking place at a river on a Friday, near sunset. And I had the privilege of singing there on the shore as the baptismal party came up out of the river, “Are You Ready for Jesus to Come”. The presence of the Holy Spirit was felt by all in attendance.

You’ve heard the phrase, “Never a dull moment.” Well, this is certainly true of farm life. In our back yard there is a tree that is leaning towards our house. Its branches were so heavy they were resting on the roof of our sunroom. With the Farmer’s Almanac predicting a cold and wet winter, we were afraid of branches falling on our roof, or worse. So, we tried to get help to cut the tree down, but with no takers. So, Vernon decides he would take care of it. He rented a man-lift so that he could start cutting back the branches hovering over the roof of the sunroom. I had bought Vernon a mini chain saw to help with this task, and it really came in handy. The major challenge with this project was, Vernon is afraid of heights! With baited breath, he eased himself into the basket, and up the lift he went. The higher he got the more nervous he became. After several hours he capitulated, “I am done, I’m coming down. I can’t do this anymore!” Although the tree did not get completely cut down, many of the heavy branches were cut back away from the house. For someone afraid of heights, Vernon did a very great job! Now, we have less worry about snow and ice causing tree limbs to fall onto our house.

More “excitement” was had on the 5th of September, the kind that we can do without. I was outside in the chicken yard giving our chickens scrap from the kitchen. I was on my way back into the house; I somehow slammed my 4th finger of my left hand in the door, closing the door all the way with the usual slam. The rush of pain was over whelming. All I could think of doing was to get her finger out of that door. So instead of opening the door, I snatched my finger out crushing the bone in the top part of my finger. The pain was so great I could not speak to tell Vernon what happen. The entire finger was badly bruised and I was in so much pain. Vernon quickly put my hand on ice to help with the swelling. It has been 4 weeks now, and a lot of the swelling has gone down. I have no feeling on the top of my finger, and that part is still a little swollen. I thank God I did not pull my finger off.

Our family just got b-i-g-g-e-r! Her name is Kia, and she is a 7 year old Great Pyrenees. We can see already, she’s going to be a welcomed addition to our farm family. She is so mild mannered and friendly. In case you are not familiar with this breed of canines, here are some facts about them. The Great Pyrenees is a large, thickly coated, and immensely powerful working dog bred to deter sheep-stealing wolves and other predators. They are calm, well-mannered, serious dogs known for their great devotion to family, including children who show them affection. These dogs are generally trustworthy, friendly and gentle, but if the need arises, they will not hesitate to try to protect their family and their territory. We have been praying for a while about getting such a dog, and God has answered our prayers. Kia will be very much loved on our farm.

In our last blog, we talked a little about the importance of family. We close this blog with some very painful and sad news that has impacted our family. Wayne Rodney Newman, the elder brother of Vernon and his sister Jeanne, has gone to sleep in Jesus. He never awoke from an unexpected bypass surgery. Please pray for the comfort of God to be with the family during this time. It is the hope of a coming Savior, the glorious promise of a resurrection that allows us to still give God praise even in the face of such grief. We are terribly saddened by this loss, but our trust remains firm in the Lord.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

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