Gigi's Blog » Tales of the Mortician's Wife

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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Blessed to be a mother to half a dozen girls & one boy. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. Chicken and goat raiser.
    Lover of Jesus and all things pink and vintage. ♥

{Home Library} A Faith-filled Life & Faithful Wife

“According to my judgement the most important point to be attended to is this:
above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord.
Other things may press upon you,
the Lord’s work may even have urgent claims upon your attention,
but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself!
Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life.
This has been my firm and settled condition for the last five and thirty years.
For the first four years after my conversion I knew not its vast importance,
but now after much experience I specially commend this point to the notice of my younger brethren and sisters in Christ:
the secret of all true effectual service is joy in God,
having experimental acquaintance and fellowship with God Himself.”

George Müller

 

The six girls  sat around the large, worn kitchen table, coloring pictures that I had printed off on our home printer. Outside the December winds blew but the grounds remained barren of snow. The little toddler boy was tucked upstairs in his blue room, ready for his morning nap. My arms were filled with my two month-old baby, nestled in my lap, wrapped up in his crochet blue sweater. His chubby cheeks were soft and sweet and he sighed a content whimper.

Crayons and pencil crayons were scattered across the long table. I knew little and big ears were listening to the morning real aloud time, even if it seemed that to lack general order at the table. The bigger girls had sharpened pencils, perched beside their books, ready for notebooking. I turned the page of the chapter book and continued to read. A brown pencil crayon rolled off the table and fell to the braided carpet that covered the tile floor.

“Maybe this was all a mistake after all,” George Muller said.
Mary walked over to her husband and put her hands on her hips in a determined stance.
“How can you say that, George Muller?
Look at all the prayers God has answered for us! Isn’t the house an answer to prayer?
Look how much money has been provided.
Isn’t that an answer to prayer, too? And the calico, the dishes, the furniture,
everything in that house is an answer to prayer and we both know it.”

 

The girls were taking in the details of this great man’s life, and while yes, his life and incredible faith is a story to be told and retold –  it was the submission, the gentleness and the quiet faithfulness of his wife, Mary, that was being impressed upon my mother’s heart. As the wife of a man of faith and vision, Mary Muller had to walk alongside her husband, supporting and encouraging him, without complaining, with the ability to be flexible and give up her fine beautiful china, her home comforts, her family securities in order to follow her husband’s leading. From the death of her little baby son to the barreness of their kitchen cupboards to the lack of a regular salary to pay bills, Mary’s faith was indeed tested year after year in her marriage to George Muller. Yet, she stood by him, encouraging this man of great faith, trusting in her Heavenly Father.

“Mary was silent for a long time as they continued to walk along the seashore.
The only sounds were from the waves lapping against the seawall
and the gulls squawking overhead.

Finally, Mary spoke.
‘Do what you think is best, George.
I can trust God, just like you do.'”

 

The life story of George Muller is indeed a beautiful, amazing story of incredible faith and in my opinion, humility of a great man and his partnership with his wonderful wife.

“Every year our happiness increased more and more.
I never saw my beloved wife at any time,
when I met her unexpectedly anywhere in Bristol,
without being delighted to do so.

George Muller -Delighted in God

During our school time, after reading through a chapter of the book, the older girls would notebook a page of his life while the little ones would draw or color a picture to illustrate what was read. I myself would ponder the actions of his lovely wife and wonder how I could apply her methods to my every day life.

Throughout this book, the girls were learning about the miracle of prayer, the wonders of faith and the patience that it requires to wait on the Lord. And I, as I read the words outloud and rock the baby in my arms,  discover what a godly, prudent wife looks like.

George stopped and hugged his wife. Tears spilled down his cheeks. Mary had been right – marriage had not become a prison for him. Instead, it had given him a partner in faith.
‘God will not let us down,’ he said, with more confidence than he actually felt at that moment.
George Muller, The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans

Oh, that I would have the faith of this great man and his humble wife! Oh, that I would have such cemented security when earthly situations look dismal and bleak and the cupboards are barren … oh, that my children would learn the power of prayer, the wonders of believing in an Almighty God … oh, that my children would press the Scriptures to their heart and live with eyes towards their Father…

“Seek to cherish in your children early the habit of being interested about the work of God, and about cases of need and distress, and use them too at suitable times, and under suitable circumstances, as your almoners, and you will reap fruit from doing so.”
-George Muller

_____________________________

P.S. One of the most wonderful joys of homeschooling is reading aloud to the children! It is one of my favorite aspects of teaching the children at home. What fun it is to build up our home library! We have bookshelves in every room …and it is my motherly goal to fill them with educational, sound, intriguing books.

For those not homeschooling, these books would still make a great bedtime read aloud to your children. Reading to your children, especially when they are young, is very important for many reasons. Children benefit by having their vocabulary built, aiding in their future literacy skill, it helps a child concentrate better and strengthens their memory. It also teaches them to sit still and listen, a lesson that needs to be taught to young children.

It is also a simple, painless way to learn – whether it is about the Christian life, history, biographies of famous people, or inspiring tales of imagination, children do love to hear these tales and stories.

Last week, we finished a biography on Mary Slessor, a missionary to the inland tribes in Calabar, Africa. It was intriguing and wonderful! The girls were on the edge of their seats throughout many chapters. Some of the details were shocking to them (the killing of twins, for example, was something the tribes practiced), but Mary’s determination and willing spirit were inspiring.

 

December 12, 2017 - 6:30 am

Gigi - Bobbie, ((hugs))!!

December 12, 2017 - 6:29 am

Gigi - Thank you, Sarah. Your word are encouragement to me, as well!

December 11, 2017 - 10:45 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - Me tooooo! I can’t wait to read your dear words.So lovely!

December 11, 2017 - 8:05 pm

Sarah - Gigi, I always eagerly click the link when I see a new post up in my Feedly. I am never disappointed. Thank you so much for beautiful posts, thoughtful words, and stunning pictures that inspire my heart towards my family.

A Warning

As mothers and homemakers, we are responsible for ensuring the safety of our children and homes. In today’s society, it is easy to allow the internet to infiltrate every aspect of our lives. After re-reading this article yesterday, I felt it was prudent to share this article link here. I have read this before and needed a refresher-warning for it is easy to forget and get into the habit of leaving the wifi on at the house.

 

Dangers of Wifi and How it Affects Your Child’s Brain

If you have children – but really, everyone should take note – please read the following article. We need to be aware of what we are allowing in our homes – not just in the physical and spiritual sense, but also in regards to what will affect our health.

 

 

Please read here how to make your home safer.

 

December 7, 2017 - 9:45 am

Sue - Wow! Thank you Gigi for the links to this most important information! I forwarded them to our children who are now grown with their own families. Our son is a P. A. (Physicians Assistant) and even with all his expertise in the area of health and fitness, he was able to grab some jewels from the articles to make some changes for him and his family. Ultimately, we put our whole lives into Jesus care because we live in a corrupt, sin filled world in constant decay. However, God expects us to use wisdom and He will hold us accountable for every choice we make. Let us all pray for wisdom and make the best choices possible!!

December 7, 2017 - 9:38 am

Monica - You are so right! We have to constantly remember we are setting an example, for now and for their future. Funny—I teach piano one day a week for a little extra spending money and about a year ago my husband asked if I might would mind paying my cell phone bill. When I saw how much it was and how little I needed it, I asked if it would be alright if I just got rid of it. Haha! But he wants me to have one so he got me a cheaper plan and kept paying for it. 🙂

December 6, 2017 - 1:15 pm

Gigi - Monica, I completely agree with you. It is so important for parents to be “be all there” when they are parenting. Limiting our online time is very critical- it will help set a good example as to self control. I, honestly, really-really-really dislike cell phones. I refuse to have one.

December 6, 2017 - 10:49 am

Monica - Thanks for sharing. I used to be more careful when cell phones first came out (yes I do remember such a time 😉 ) but have gotten lax over the years, even leaving mine by my bed in case of emergency. I will no longer do that! I will also purpose to keep my phone off and just check it at set times during the day. Honestly, I’m scared for my kids’ generation and phones. For so many more ways than one. Even the generation of young adults. I watched my neighbor load her two small kids in her vehicle, all the while, on her phone, missing their chatter and just the joy of looking into their eyes while restraining them in their car seats. And that may sound like judgement, but overall it just makes me sad. Sad for the generations who will know nothing from birth, but cell phones. And thankful for the grace of God who sends me reminders of what’s really important and how my actions so much affect my children’s lives, present and future! (Sorry that was a light rant—thanks for this information!)

Receiving Trials

 


 

“To presume that life will be better when one is a Christian is a piece of arrogance…

‘Lord, You have assigned my portion and my cup, and have made my lot secure’ (Psalm 16:5).
I know of no greater simplifier for all of life.
Whatever happens is assigned.
Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good.
As I accept the given portion other options are cancelled.
Decisions become much easier, directions clearer, and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter.”
But I am absolutely sure the He is able to keep what I have committed to Him.”
-Elisabeth Elliot

It was suggested, recently by one of my friends, that bloggers are fake and self-centered, that their writings display their homes and home lives (or whatever it may be that they are writing about) to be perfect and without flaw and that their online presence is somewhat narcissistic.

 

While that may be partially representing some online blogs, and for that I am not confident it is true, let me please be upfront and say it does not represent this tiny web address of mine.

May I re-assure you, if you are reading this humble blog post, that perfection or self-promotion and adoration is not the case here.

I do not consider myself a “blogger” (what a horrid title), but simply someone who loves to write.

I write because, well, because I love to write. I love to record details of our life and day to day happenings. From the time I was a little girl, a diary was not far from my bedstand. I always wanted to be a writer- and so, as a young girl, a journalist career was one I pursued – that is, until my first daughter was born. It was then I knew that my time of writing for money and newspapers needed to cease. It was with joy that I became a mother and took on that amazing role, but the love of writing was still alive inside of me. And so, 11 years ago, with daughter number two just born into our family, I began to write online – a blog was begun before blogging was even popular. At first it was just for work and a bit of personal, but it has evolved into strictly personal and no work at all.

 

Writing out details of our life is never done to announce our family as perfect [we are far from it] or having it all together [I never have and I never will]. There are many trials and burdens to bear, but I am not alone in my journey. When I am over burdened and weighted down, I go to God instead of writing it publicly.

“He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength is failed, Ere the day is half done,
When we reached the end of our hoarded resources,
our Father’s own giving is only begun.

His love has no limits,
His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundaries
Known unto men
For out of his infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth and He giveth and He giveth again.”
– Annie J. Flint

 

Yes, our family does indeed have troubling times to maneuver through and we certainly have weighted worries to carry – but we have God …and that makes all the difference in the world.

I do love my children, I love my husband and I love the Lord. All of these things bring my heart great joy. And yes, I enjoy life. Of those things, I will write about. I’m not sure it would be enjoyable to read too much negative details and so … I record the joyful moments. All the details recorded in between are just that –  details of life.  Some are written about, some are not. We can focus and write out the negatives details of the crosses my shoulders bear, but most of such a burden  is private and not to exposed to everyone. Also, does not the Bible teach us to count our blessings? And so I do. And I just happen to write about them here on this blog.

“But I don’t feel like smiling,” you reply.
Don’t live by your feelings.

That’s such a miserable way to live.
Smile when you don’t feel like smiling.

Soon you’ll be smiling because you feel like it
and everyone in your home will be smiling, too.

-Nancy Campbell, Above Rubies

 

 

Please do not even imagine that our life does not have challenges. They are present and they will always be until we leave this earth.

However, I serve a mighty God and my burdens are carried to Him daily.

He is faithful and full of love.

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
 I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.
 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
Psalm 118:1-6

And my troubles, whether exposed to the public eye or carried as a quiet burden within my heart, small or monumental, pale in comparison to the love, peace and grace that the Lord showers upon His children. I have a refuge and angels guarding our home. It is a beautiful thing.

 


 

If you do not know the Lord, may I encourage you to get to know Him? Life will be worth living if you do so. If you are carrying a burden too great for your shoulders, may I suggest it is time to lay it at the foot of the Cross. Jesus cares.

December 4, 2017 - 4:09 am

Melody - I agree wholeheartedly with the other commenters here. I say amen to Megan’s comment. I absolutely love how you live and what you share through words, experiences and photos. You have so many wonderful talents and are teaching the next generation important values and skills that are long forgotten by too many. Thank you for your beautiful blog and example.

December 1, 2017 - 8:35 am

Molly - Speaking personally, I love each one of your post (as well as your photography). To me, your writings are a breath of fresh air in a world where Christianity and the simple pleasures of life, are a rarity. I don’t follow any other blogs but yours, it truly is such encouragement to me each time you have a new post. Please keep spreading His word through your daily life!

December 1, 2017 - 5:50 am

Gigi - Claire, you are so kind. Thank you – I hope you are doing well. Maybe our paths will cross one day … p.s. You inspired me to find braided rugs for our home. I just loved yours in your living room!

December 1, 2017 - 5:50 am

Gigi - Sue, thank you for your encouragement. Your grandchildren, I am sure, are blessed to call you grandma!

December 1, 2017 - 5:49 am

Gigi - Amen, Megan! Count it all joy! Be blessed today!

December 1, 2017 - 12:40 am

Megan newbury - Love this. I have heard of this also & always wondered what the problem was to have joy through hardship. Biblically it is clear we are to consider even trials as pure joy because through them we are made complete & lacking nothing. The trials are there but the joy of the Lord is our strength. That is enough to make me smile daily!! Xo

November 30, 2017 - 9:02 pm

Sue - There are different kinds of people who read blogs for different reasons. Since reading the negative and often rude comments left on other similar blogs as yours, i am convinced that some people are just bored and actually enjoy engaging “bloggers” into their negativity. However, please know that there are those of us out here who have the same ideals as you have and represent. I always greatly look forward to your blog posts because in them, i find great inspiration to be a better wife, mom and gramma.Thank you and God bless you and your family!

November 30, 2017 - 3:34 pm

Claire - I enjoy reading your blog Gillian. It’s always been honest and true to who you are, and what you believe. I very much respect your dedication and conviction to raise your children/family the way you feel is best in your heart. It takes a lot of guts, confidence and hard work to follow your dreams. I love reading about your adventures around the home you have created. You get an idea and see it thru, challenges or skeptics you just carry on. Keep doing your thing! xo

November 30, 2017 - 9:27 am

Monica - I just found your blog recently and it has been a great blessing to me. I feel like sometimes I was born in the “wrong era” and err to the side of old fashioned so I enjoy reading the happenings of someone who has similar interests. I don’t get “everything is rosy” vibes from your blog but that you are a Christian lady who records happenings and inspirational words for encouragement. I love it! It encourages me to keep on kneading the bread dough, so to speak and keep on keeping on at mothering these babies of mine. Hugs and prayers!

November 29, 2017 - 3:55 pm

Gigi - Sarah, thank you for your encouraging words. I know if we lived closer, we’d be friends in “real time”. I enjoy your writing, as well, and admire your sewing abilities greatly!
P.S. Lilacs are my favorite, FAVORITE flower!

November 29, 2017 - 3:29 pm

Sarah - Your blog is truly a blessing to me! I am so often encouraged by your words and lifestyle. Thank you for sharing these special stories and moments. For me blogging has been a way to connect with like minded ladies. There aren’t many people in my area interested in old-fashioned hobbies and ways, so it helps to see that I am not alone in my interests. : )
We all know that no one has a perfect life, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing every disappointment or difficulty with the world at large. That is just for close friends and family.
May the LORD bless you and your family!

November 29, 2017 - 12:38 pm

Gigi - Thank you, Paula.

November 29, 2017 - 12:10 pm

Paula - I find my peace in Christ also. Your writing is a blessing to me. Please feel encouraged that you have readers who get you and get your life. And find pleasure in the pictures and the words. Have a blessed holiday season.

Working In the Kitchen

 

“If parents wish their daughters to grow up with good domestic habits,
they should have, as one means of securing this result, a neat and cheerful kitchen.”
-Harriet Beecher Stowe, The American Woman’s Home

 

 

Chillier days always means more time in the kitchen! This is a blessing.

Do you love your kitchen? I do. I love to be in my kitchen, sitting in the rocking chair with the baby, waiting for the homemade bread dough to rise, listening to the sound of the cuckoo clock ticking away faithfully on the wall, seeing jars of home canned goods lined up on the counter, ready for The Provision Room … it is a joy to work in my kitchen! Even though it can be {smile} frustrating and take twice as long as when I complete a task myself, I try to involve the girls and give them a task in the kitchen.

Our kitchen was not always enjoyable or lovely. First off, I did not know how to cook when I was a newly wed, nor bake! I remember a dear friend coming over to show me what a mixer could accomplish and bringing her whisk with her. She could only shake her head and laugh at my lack of skill.  Since then, I have had to learn how to cook and bake from scratch – indeed, having a large family leaves no time for NOT knowing how to cook! Now, we eat healthy homemade meals every night. I’m not saying this be prideful, but to encourage anyone who perhaps is in the same position. Suddenly, your a mother, a manager of a household, and you are responsible for the health and well being of your little people, not to mention your husband. It is a task that cannot be taken lightly!

It certainly helps to make your kitchen a cheerful place in which to do your work. You will be spending a lot of time in your kitchen – surround yourself with a cheerful, happy environment. Perhaps you could play some uplifting hymns, have flowers in the windowsill that bring your favorite color on dreary November days, light a lovely candle and start some bread dough early in the morning to fill your kitchen with that delicious smell no one can resist.

When we moved into this home, the kitchen needed a lot of work. In fact, I was told by someone who saw this home when we first purchased it that the kitchen was beyond help and completely ugly.


Indeed, it was ugly – but I could see past the too-bright yellow bumblebee paint, the black tiled walls, the cheap, dirty cupboards …I could picture a large family table, open shelves, my family Hoosier, perhaps even an old fashioned sink or stove … I was excited to see it all come together.

I am grateful for the room in our kitchen. Our previous kitchen was tiny – quite small for a regular family, not to mention a growing family! It always seemed dark to me, even though it had a good size window and a light paint color.


The kitchen in our new home, however, was well lit and could fit a large family table. It fit my hoosier – which was my great grandmother’s – perfectly. We did have to change everything around, however – the location of the sink and the stove, rip out the cupboards, install new ones, create a pantry and build shelves and paint – but it was worth it! It is always wonderful to enjoy a little home diy-project. 🙂

 

This week in the kitchen, the girls made a bath of apple cider from some second apples that we purchased at a Farmer’s stand. I made and canned applesauce, while the girls helped with apple pie filling and apple butter from three bushels of apples. We left a few bushels outside as the weather was turning cool (I felt like our basement was not cold enough to keep the apples) but it snowed the first snowfall last night, turning our apples soft. Oh dear – this means more canning as I had hoped to keep those apples over winter for eating. What a shame! Now I am on the hunt for more apples to store in our cold cellar.

 

We read a sweet book together “A Cranberry Thanksgiving” –  we then made the cranberry bread from the recipe posted at the back of the book. It was delicious!

 

 

Then, it was time for cinnamon buns … my favorite! It always amazes me how the smell of cinnamon buns baking represents such a cozy feeling …

 

The kitchen should be the heart of a home – filled with the pleasing aromas of good humble food, the sounds of family talk and the swirl of warm memories. It does not need to be fancy or costly. Almost everything in our kitchen is used, found on kijiji or given to us. My childhood pastor blessed us with our family table. It is just the right size – I was so grateful! After renovations, while we were putting our kitchen cupboards together, we realized the cupboard doors for underneath the sink was missing. My smart mother suggested we sew up a lovely curtain to cover the hole – what a wonderful idea! She sewed a sweet little curtain out of floral fabric and promptly hung it over the gaping hole. What a perfect fit! Since then, another dear friend has kindly sewn me a little curtain to alternate while one is being washed. My mother in law gave me the cupboard at the end of the kitchen, which holds all my medicinal and herbal remedies. All our wooden highchairs were found at garage sales or thrift stores.  The braided rug was used and purchased for a small amount compared to a brand new rug.

 

Right now, roast duck is cooking on the tove, alongside some maple carrots and garlic-butter mashed potatoes. Earlier today, we baked two loave of spelt bread, two loaves of banana bread and a dozen cookies.

What plans do you have for your kitchen this week?

 

P.S.

Yesterday morning, before my husband went to work, I made a batch of elderberry syrup for him. He is not feeling well and is coughing non-stop. I made a second batch from the same berries this afternoon and made some for our neighbours. If you have never made elderberry syrup or used elderberries for health, it is something that is worth researching and reading  about. Elderberries are very healthy and incredibly good for your body, especially during the winter months. We have since made three more batches as the little ones needed that immune boost, as well.

 

 

November 18, 2017 - 7:29 am

Gigi - Thank you, Rebecca! The tin tile was locally made. We were pleased to find it. 🙂 Have fun with your renos! Wahoo! Oh, and I LOVE my cookstove!

November 18, 2017 - 6:28 am

Rebecca - Oh my goodness I LOVE your kitchen! And that tin behind the wood cookstove! It’s so perfect!!!! I’m excited to update my kitchen in the near-ish future (maybe another year or so?) and I dream of installing a wood cook stove!

November 16, 2017 - 8:23 pm

Monica - Thanks so much! I’m anxious to try it!

November 16, 2017 - 4:13 pm

Gigi - Hello Monica, thank you for your kind words. Yes, I use it with spelt flour. It’s basically 5-6 cups of flour, 2 cups of warm water with 4 tsp. of yeast. Salt added as needed/desired. You can change it to be however you want – add sugar, honey, oil, or just leave it with the flour/salt/water. It is a handy basic bread recipe. I often add cheese, too. I use it for cinnamon buns, French bread and rolls. When shaping, it makes two loaves. Of course, you can double, triple, etc. the recipe but I prefer fresh baked bread over frozen. 🙂

November 16, 2017 - 1:21 pm

Monica - Also, the bread recipe that is linked in your blog post, do you use spelt for that and if so are the measurements the same? I recently ordered some spelt berries and have enjoyed cooking with spelt flour. I haven’t tried bread with it, tho. Thanks!

November 16, 2017 - 1:16 pm

Monica - I found your blog a few weeks ago and it has been so inspiring! Thank you for it! We have six children, live on a farm, and I love to bake. 🙂 Your kitchen is lovely! Thanks so much for sharing.:)

November 16, 2017 - 6:13 am

Gigi - I have only ever bought mine online. Herbie’s Herbs in Toronto carries them!

November 16, 2017 - 4:06 am

Megan newbury - Hi Gillian…I wanted to make some elderberry syrup but cannot find the berries in town…any hints where to get them?

November 15, 2017 - 9:13 am

Sue - Oh what a nice suprise…ive been so looking forward to seeing how you “make it all happen” in your kitchen! I LOVE our humble kitchen also which we renovated ourselves years ago when we bought our home.
Thank you for such an inspiring post to see all the wonderful creations that come from the heart of your home!!

November 14, 2017 - 6:51 pm

Sarah - Your kitchen is beautiful! I really liked the quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe, it is so true. My mom is a terrific cook, as was my grandma and great-grandma! Cooking has always been an expression of love in our family. My great-grandma didn’t have much, but she was always baking pies and cookies to give her children and grandchildren. The kitchen has always been the heart of the home for me. Tonight’s dinner was broccoli quiche and canned tomatoes. 🙂

November 14, 2017 - 6:51 pm

Katy - Such a lovely post! Indeed, the kitchen is the central hub of a home! Ours is in the center of our home actually! When we built an addition onto our house we did so off the back door off the kitchen….so now our kitchen is right in the middle! :o)

I too have a curtain under my kitchen sink! Yours looks lovely! 🙂 We still need to redo our kitchen one day (Lord willing) but we have made it work for the 16 + years we have lived here…making it our own over time! I would love to make some *big* changes….but alas, money and time do not allow it and honestly, I will be content if we never change it. Our kitchen is full of delightful memories and love. 🙂

I always enjoy your posts! So glad I found your blog a while back! THanks for sharing!

Warmly,
Katy

Predator Patrol

A few weeks ago, both Abby and Lovelyn saw something “creepy” (in Lovelyn’s words) around dusk, slinking around the back patio.  They did not see it closely but knew the animal was not a raccoon, squirrel or weasel. It was odd looking … shaggy fur, had a tail of a rat and was big and fat. My father in law suggested it was an opossum — and was he right!

 

Monday morning, the girls were letting the chickens out of the barn at the break of day when Lacey saw something large, fat and grey chasing one our of big roosters. It did not take long to figure out the  creature was an opossum. Lacey yelled for us to come outside … the opossum was chased into a hole without an exit … the girls then blocked the entrance with a board and waited for grandpa to show up with his gun {Daddy was already at work}. We were pretty sure that this was our predator from the summer – the one that ate and killed nearly all our chickens and geese.

Before you read on, please know I do love animals and would not want to hurt an animal without a reason. In this instance, the animal was a predator to our chickens so the death of the predator ensured safety for our hens and geese. Opossums are known to be chicken killers and egg snatchers. 

Thankfully, grandpa came by and was able to kill the opossum for us. I guess it does not matter how long I live in the country – I am still a wimp when it comes to shooting a gun.

 

We were all a little intrigued and grossed out by the animal. It was much larger than we thought …

 

With the opossum out of the way, we figured were were going to be okay with chicken and duck predators for a while yet.
However, just this morning, we opened the back door and lo and behold, there was another opossum on our patio, sitting beside our firewood box. They truly are ugly creatures in person!

We have no exterior lighting around here so you will not find me trying to light the stove early mornings  as it will require fetching wood from a dark patio — I may encounter another opossum, waiting for his breakfast!

P.S. We used this experience as a learning springboard for some school – we have discovered some very interesting facts about opossums since then!

1.  They have the most teeth of all land animals in North America.
2. The females are pregnant for just less than two weeks – a quicker gestation time than rabbits.
3. Baby opossums are tinier than a honey bee when born.
4. Up to 20 babies are born at a time – and they can all fit on a teaspoon!
5. Possums are located in Australia – opossums are our friends in North America.
6. They are the only marsupial in North America.

 

 

November 9, 2017 - 6:45 am

Gigi - Wow, I have never heard of such a recipe. Thank you for sharing! We only use real butter. I am saving up for a family cow! 🙂

November 7, 2017 - 7:13 pm

Sue - By the way Gigi, here is a recipe i have not yet seen on your blog for spreadable butter. We use only real butter so this recipe really helps stretch our dollar and it is easier for little hands to use as well!
1/2 c. Real butter, softened. (Salted or unsalted)
1/4 c. Milk
1/8 – 1/4 c. Oil (any liquid oil will work. I use canola for the taste).
Beat all ingred. together until light and fluffy, about 3 -5 min. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy ! 😉

November 7, 2017 - 4:33 pm

Gigi - Sue, you are so right! I did not even notice, but yes, it is a fact of life. A predator shredded one of our roosters this week so it is on the prowl again. 🙁

November 7, 2017 - 11:06 am

Sue - Ha! I noticed that your facebook “likes” are at an all time low for this post lol. You guys did nothing wrong! Animal rights has become extreme craziness. We have to protect ourselves against snakes (rattlers) over in these parts. And yes we do kill them when they are a threat to us.
As always, i so enjoy your beautiful blog! I have been very inspired by your life choices and have gleaned many great tips and recipes from you. Thank you for sharing with us!!

November 3, 2017 - 2:32 pm

Claire - I saw one that didn’t make it across the road just yesterday on our way to The Maples. I had no idea there were so many around. But I guess with that short a gestation and that many babies, it makes sense. I’ll keep it in mind when the dog wants to play outside before sunrise!! They look pretty nasty.

November 3, 2017 - 1:34 pm

Rebecca - Yuck! Thankfully we don’t have these this far North.

November 3, 2017 - 6:51 am

Katy - We had an opossum in our chicken coop once and it scared the daylights out of me! I noticed a lot of our chickens outside in the run huddled together so I wondered what was up. I opened the door to the coop and there was this opossum backed up in a corner hissing at me! It was icky!!! My husband had to kill it ~ I felt really bad to have to do so but, like you said, it would have killed all our chickens!

Glad you were able to find the culprit and save your hens! I hope you and your lovely family have a nice weekend!

November 2, 2017 - 9:11 pm

Regina - Oh my they are ugly! And thank you for explaining the difference between an opossum and a possum. I Googled images of both and they are hideous!