Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Muharram/Safar 1438 November 2016

October ended with us having propane gas lines laid from the tank in three directions: to the trailer, to the mobile home, and to the shipping container (emergency shelter) so we can cook/heat water in all three places.

We also slaughtered the remaining 5 rabbits we had, freezing their pelts for later tanning. This freed up the structure we were using as the rabbitry to become our wood shed, masha'Allah. We started the transfer of our existing supply of wood to the shed while the weather stayed dry.

November began with us selling Tess, our first dairy cow, Rammy Ram (our Dorper ram), Babes (one of our ewes), and another 25 laying hens. Downsizing was now rolling along, masha'Allah. Our two girls took over milking completely this month, and now handle the feeding and milking of all the farm animals.

We lit our first fire on the 8th, and had our first sub-20s temperatures that same night. Allahu Akbar! How can anyone not be overwhelmed by Allah's infinite Mercy and the ease He gives us?

We have set up a separate, secondary solar power source in the living area, with one 100 watt panel wired to a 30 amp hour pwm charge controller hooked to a 125 ah V Max solar battery, that runs a 600/1200 watt pure sine wave inverter. This we use to plug in the blower for the wood stove, lights, and electronics. In having separate systems in the kitchen, living area, and in the trailer, we avoid having all our eggs in one basket, figuratively speaking, and if there is a problem with one system, others are in place to handle our power needs bi idhnillah ta'ala.

Sweetie was still not well, but it was no longer a parasite issue and our medical researchers (the girls) hadn't found a suitable diagnosis. The morning she died, Ahlaam finally found the accurate diagnosis – grass tetany – a magnesium deficiency that could have been treated with the same calcium gluconate we had on hand. Qadr Allahu wa maa shaa fa'al, it was a learning experience and a simple reality of life, which is death. Inna l'Illahi wa inna ilayhi raaji'oon. This leaves us with three ewes – one of our original ewes (Honey) now three years old, and our two 6 month olds (Honeycup and Sweetie Pie), along with our resident ram, Rambo. Genetically, this is the best combination we could have hoped for to breed, al hamdulillah.

Although we continued to sell milk to a few customers, we prepared to wind down sales and stop selling milk completely. On the last day of milk sales, a customer gave us this note along with a card, masha'Allah.

All this is part of us returning to our original plan to homestead and take care of our own needs, rather than make farming a business. The time it requires and takes away from our pursuit of religious studies, homeschooling, and family time, is not worth it. Shariyf will teach online, continue with his Judo instruction, and seek out whatever additional work is necessary to keep us afloat, bi idhn Illah ta'ala.

As the pressure of farm work reduced and our renovations slowed down, the appreciation of family time increased. We have hosted guests – neighbors and supportive families – and are building upon the foundations already laid. A local teacher and friend lent us a boxed set and children's treasury of James Herriot's memoirs. He was a British veterinarian writing about his experiences during the 1930's onwards. The children love these true stories and are learning a great deal while reading them, masha'Allah.

Homeschooling is now back on track, al hamdulillah. We are working through book 1 of Tafsir Ibn Kathir, doing our yearly refresher of The Prophet's Prayer Described, and continuing with our Qur'aan memorization and Arabic studies, masha'Allah. Afternoons they do secular studies for a couple of hours.

Creativity is flowing more freely as well, with the girls making crocheted jewelry, knitting winter scarves, and whipping up all manner of dishes from our various cookbooks. In response to a pressing need, we came up with effective topical treatments for atopic dermatitis and arthritic joint mobility. We also made our first jars of lacto fermented salsa!

November 29th marked our first snow flurry, with temperatures down to 15F in the night. We are well, safe, comfortable, and thriving...with all thanks and praise due to Allah, the Only Provider and Protector.

1 comment:

  1. As'salaamu alaikum! Subhannahallah!I was just saying to my husband yesterday Alhamdulillah we have heat. It is such a blessing. I was wondering how you all managed that... Allah is All Sufficient. I'm happy to hear you guys are able to enjoying more family time anf increasing time for religious studies!

    Jazakallahu khirin for the book reference. I used some from older post as well. You know... with all this experience, you could make your own children series books, like a non fictional Little House on the Prairie (smiles).

    Insha'Allah stay warm and safe.


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