Friday, October 26, 2012

Bubba Roo

Yesterday was graduation day for 20 of our chickens. Nineteen of them were planned...and one of them certainly was not.

Hannah took pictures of the turkeys instead of looking at the violence.

We had been raising a brood of Cornish crosses to harvest for fall and winter chicken, maybe even enough to get us into spring. After eight weeks, these marvels of chicken genetics had reached a very nice harvest weight. This time around, we decided to try something new. For the past few hundred chickens that we have harvested, we did the harvesting. It isn't my favorite job. I value the life that God gives to His creatures, including the chickens. It is not a happy thing for me to bring their lives to an end. But I realize that these are God's gifts, fulfilling His purpose, and we are grateful for God's provision of home-grown, well kept chicken. However this fall has been a particularly busy time, and it takes several hours to process so many birds. So...we loaded up the graduates and took them to a nearby poultry farm. What would have taken me several hours took them 30 minutes. Hannah and I came home with coolers filled with fresh chicken...and a certain "appreciation" for the process. Let's move on.

This spring, we purchased some chicks to raise for eggs and meat. And we decided to keep one of the roosters, sparing him from graduation, in order to trying hatching some of our own Australorp chicks. Bubba-Roo was quite a handsome bird. The glint of green off those jet-black feathers when the sun is shining on them...well, it is just plain beautiful.

Bubba lived alone, which may have delayed his entrance into rooster-meanness for a while, but eventually he went the way of nearly all roosters. Even though we couldn't really socialize with him, we tried to give him a comfortable home in a nice large pen. Feeding and watering was a little bit dicey, but we managed. And we looked forward to letting him move in with one of our smaller flocks to hopefully prepare some eggs for hatching in late winter.

I don't know exactly what happened, but yesterday morning when I went out to start preparing the graduates to march, I saw Bubba-Roo lying down too strangely in his pen. Even at a distance, I knew that Bubba had left us. I say I don't know exactly what happened, but I have a pretty good idea. Something - probably one of our neighborhood raccoons - made a persistent effort to get to Bubba. The chicken wire was stretched and bent, but not broken. Bubba didn't have a mark on him. My conclusion is that he simply died of fright.

And even in this I am reminded of the dark power of fear and how it destroys life. And I hear the Voice speaking to us, "Fear not, for I am with you..." I hear the Psalmist testify, "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears."

I would be lying to you if I did not confess that I have some fears, some very deep fears, very terrible fears. I want to learn, I need to learn to trust the One who gives Life and who gave the Life of His Son to destroy fear. And I look for a Better Day when fear shall be no more.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spinning Snowflakes

A mess of fluff has been tamed.

This was a small chunk of my afternoon today. Spun on a drop spindle that Papa made, this yarn is spun from some fiber that Sarah Dunham gave to me at the Woolfest this year. This is core roving. Meaning there is a different color in the middle of the roving creating a variation in shade as you spin. This yarn looks like snowflakes to me. I think I'll make a little coaster or something. What can one knit with 32 yards? Any thoughts? 

Feedin' Critters One Fall Morning

Sweet sheep love being fed by hand. We love to feed them. 

Aliyah wants the whole can to herself.

It's joyful work.

Grabbin' at leftovers.

The stable for our sweet sheep.

Watching fall change the earth.



Redemption...In its simplest thought, redemption is returning a thing to its former state. A man sold into slavery is redeemed to his original freedom. A piece of ground lost to debt is redeemed to its former owner. A criminal condemned to prison or even death is redeemed to freedom and to life. A nation in subjection - or in imminent danger of conquest - is redeemed to peace. A race fallen into the wretchedness of sin and separation from God is redeemed to righteousness and reconciliation.

Redemption...A secondary, but not insignificant aspect of this wonderful thing is putting to use that which is useless, broken, or unused. A shopper goes to the grocery to buy - redeem - cans of green beans, loaves of bread, bunches of bananas, gallons of take them from the uselessness of the shelves and place them into a blessed state (as far as we are concerned) of usefulness. A treasure-hunter works the yard sales and flea markets looking to redeem the unrecognized, or maybe simply the unwanted. A farmer redeems unproductive land and reaps God's harvest of produce...or even some wool! The upcycler, recycler, and reuser redeems the used up, the worn out, the broken down, the cast off, often making beautiful things out of the unbeautiful. And so God has redeemed us and is redeeming us still. He is taking the used up, the worn out, the broken down, and the cast off...and forming us for His particular purpose. 

We reflect His work when we take what is not so useful and make it useful...sometimes beautiful...reflecting the glory of God who created all things and saw that it was very good. And that is what we hope to be doing at Redeeming Acres in the joyful work of our little "pretend farm."

Joyful work indeed!

Written by Tom NeCamp Photo Courtesy of Hannah NeCamp It was a joint effort. :)