Are You a Prepper for LIFE? I Mean, the REAL LIFE?

I’m a prepper, she’s a prepper, they a prepper, we a prepper, you can be a prepper too!! 

But really, I’m a virgin “Prepper!”

A few years ago, there was this television series called “Preppers”.  Cool show, right? People in the USA, and even other places in the world, felt impending doom. As a result, they began to prepare for the worst possible scenarios. Many dropped out of the “grid,” municipalities, as in, electricity, water, social media, or any place where they thought the government could trace them out; find them. You talkin’ ’bout incognito, some were so determined to become self-sufficient, they even made their own gas! HOW DARE THEY!! Really, I was impressed with that feat.

ME? That kind of prepper? No way! I want my electricity. I need it!

In 1989, when Hugo, one of the worst hurricanes to hit our coast, we were without electricity for nine, count it, 9…whole…days…and nights. I never want that to happen again! Now, don’t get me wrong, I like grilled stuff, sandwiches, and can food, but enough is enough already!

person grilling sausage and meat

Enough of the grilled food!

In that same year, we had moved back to the “farm,” my parents’ farm. I became sick soon after. (What I had is another story.) As I prayed, I felt lead to delve into  food. Now this was before the internet became big. And what I learned about our food is also another story. But, I began to slowly garner the truth that in order to heal, get better, become healthier, I needed to doctor myself with nutrient dense food. So, my husband, Homie and I went back to our roots of growing up on a small farm with a huge garden next to the yard; step out of the yard and into the garden.IMG_0466

We didn’t consider ourselves preppers or hippies, as some people now refer to gardeners as, or even farmers. But we began to grow backyard fowls, vegetables, and I began to research what was wrong with our food. 

So you may be wondering why I’m writing an inspirational, spiritual blog about prepping, food, virgins, and sickness, well, here goes…

One day, in the garden, after watching many of the “preppers” programs on television, I wondered if we were considered preppers. I laughed, knowing my need for electricity, air conditioning, heat, and my electric stove. However, that thought took my thoughts into a spiritual direction, a Biblical direction, in point, to the scriptures Read More


Opie’s Last Stand

This is a hard one to write. It’s so fresh, it feels like last night, but was months ago when it happened… My heart hurts.

Anno Domini, 2019, March 12. It was a good day, like most on the homestead. Evening had waned; dark had set in; the stars so bright they cast cool shadows everywhere. Homie and I were resting; tired but good. Homie was watching some guy on YouTube going through the contents of a storage unit he had purchased. I was napping on the sofa. I awoke with a start and thought, “Opie’s not laying on the sofa with me as he always does.” But then I looked over to the love-seat where Homie sat. And there he was. I relaxed. He was okay.

It was a strange ominous warning that I didn’t know was one.

Opie is our little blonde, deer-head Chihuahua we have loved for 12 years, and still do…always will.

You see before all this, Homie and I had never had a house dog; plenty of outside ones over the years. After my momma died, I was so grief stricken for such a long time, I knew I had to do something; I wanted a house dog, for the first time ever. We bought a Blue Sable Chihuahua; Sage. We loved him but he had an accident and passed away. We cried for days.

So about a year later, along comes Opie, whom we sort of rescued. His owner/momma was sick and she couldn’t take care of him; he was still mostly puppy then. He was so much fun, our little ice cream eater. He helped me overcome my grief for my momma and for Sage.

Opie was fun, but fierce. He never backed down from any fight, no matter how big the opposition was: human, dog, cat, or whatever. And he loved the homestead; it was his home and territory.

Last night was one night I wish he had backed down. Opie was showing his age; he had arthritis in his back hips and sometimes had muscle spasms too. We treated him for these things. But he would still follow me everywhere. If you ever got a hug from Opie, it would melt your heart.

Opie Stalking

Last night, about time for bed, Opie slipped out the dogie door for one more “anointed” walk around the house, as he did most nights, since he considered himself the pack leader. He barked, as he always did. Homie took the spotlight and checked. There was a deer in the field next to the edge of the yard, who sprinted away. That was normal too.

Later, Homie went to put the dogs to bed, but could not find Opie. We both began searching. Opie had a knack for hiding in the house to keep from going to bed, but never in the yard at night. We searched inside and then with spotlights searched every where outside. We drove up and down the road, even though we knew Opie never strayed that far. Hours and hours later, still no Opie.

It was then that Homie heard a coyote barking near…

Our heart sinking in fear and dread, we realized what may have occurred. In a sequence of strange, heartbreaking, simultaneous events in the star-lit night at the edge of our field: 1. Opie went outside for one more walk. 2. The deer came to the edge of our yard, unknowingly stalked by a coyote. 3. Opie, Chihuahua barker and fearless protector that never backed down, stood his ground, but lost to the coyote.

Fearless Opie

In tears, I write of his bravery, staunch protector of his territory, and a little heart that was always full of joy and love. I will never hear his little toenails clicking across the floor to come to me; never see him sneak a lollipop from the candy dish again, with the stick sticking out of his mouth; or find candy wrappers where he had stolen chocolate candy from the bag; or beg for a treat with the cutest of faces. He was the little paws (heels) behind my heels.

This is a tribute to our special, little friend. We are forever thankful he was a part of our family and our homestead. He was a one-of-a-kind.

Opie

Now he is over that rainbow bridge with Pretty Girl Pearl, who also was attacked and crossed over; and I cry. To read Pearl’s story: Heartbreak on the Homestead.

With sorry in my heart, I miss my little, furry friends.

Please leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you. Hit the follow button, go to my contact page and send me an email, and share your thoughts, or tell me about your great pets you love. I still miss Sage, Pearl, and Opie today, and I know I will never forget them, and the special place they had in my life, and now the memories of them imprinted on my heart.

If you like romance, hop over to my Shop-for-Love page and check out my romance series of family saga, faith, and twists and turns in a plot that will keep you going to the very end of each love story. You can read a preview of my latest, In Loving Katie Marie, here: https://dellastrickland.org/shop-for-love/ .

From happenings on the homestead,

Della


The night I tripped over my own throw-down-gauntlet, and fell into an ocean of power I never knew existed!

It was a cool night; mosquitoes gone for the season, the stars were shining brightly from an ebony sky I could only partially see through the darkened pine needles, like sketchy, thin lines, from the plethora of sapling pines caging my home into a mini-forest. As I gazed upward, a swirling cauldron of discontent, pain, confusion, and drama queen me-ism, I yelled out to God. That was where I was told He lived, so I hurled my quivering voice out and up to Him because I meant He would hear me. I was strong. I was powerful. I had controlled my destiny…until I tried to become a church go-er, that is.

You see, I wasn’t raised in a family that attended Church on Sundays. Moreover, the only times I had been in a church building was at the funerals of the deceased on either one, or the other sides, of my parents’ large families; twelve children on my daddy’s side, and ten on my momma’s side. Yeah, they were that big, so somebody was dying all the time.

As a junior in high school, I went with a friend to my first “real” church service. Not impressed, I felt no need to return for more. Needless to say, I was horribly ignorant about “church,” what it was, and was about.

two person standing near white church

country church

Not to bore you with details, let’s fast forward to me as a young wife and mother who began to cautiously attend church with my mother in law—mostly to please her, ignorant that I was entering into a new, bizarre, world where I would encounter beliefs, characters, and a way of life that would upend my way of thinking, more times than one.

On this occasion, when I threw my gauntlet down, I had tried and failed to blend in with the “Godly” crowd, you know, wanting to be one of them, yet, mostly ignorant on how to “act” like one of them. I knew I was a sinner and actually didn’t mind sinning. Go figure. However, this testament,

man sitting facing fire in pot during night

Into the fire!

is not about those church members, whom I still dearly love, or my sin.

It’s about the night I threw my gauntlet down before an Almighty God. Ignorant…all the way through! You can smile here, I do.

That night, the stars shinning, at my wits end, struggling to comprehend why my life was falling apart, I became impertinent with Jehovah God. I wholeheartedly flung His word back at Him. I had previously read this, which started it all: And if you worship God, you must worship Him in spirit and in truth. What?? Whew! That kept me up at night. You see, I was terribly vulnerable, out of my fishbowl and falling into a world I knew nothing of. It was sort of the old adage, “out of the frying pan and into the fire” thing; my life, the frying pan, and God, being the fire.

Desperate, confused, gazing up into the starry night sky, I said, “God, your word—I had learned at church that the Bible was God’s word—says that if I worship you, I have to do it in spirit and in truth. What in the world does that mean? I don’t know what “the spirit” means. And I certainly don’t know what truth you’re talking about. All these denominations, Christian sayings, do this, do that, and, the implied one, you’ll get there by becoming more like me. Yeah… Okay…

And then…that starry, cool night…I heard something. It startled me. Now, I don’t know which side of the “hearing from God” thing you fall on, but all I can tell you is what happened that night as I gazed through the pines needles at the blinking stars, and let you make your own assessment. A voice spoke in my left ear. It very cordially, but succinctly, said this: “You don’t know what you are asking.”

Oh yeah, God? So you want to have a conversation, huh? Then, my bold, ridiculous self said, “Maybe I don’t, but YOUR word, YOU said I have to worship you. And not just worship you, but worship you in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. So how can I worship you if I don’t even begin to understand what that means?”

There! I think I’ve gotcha, God!

No! I did not.

The conversation ended. Or, so I thought. But the ocean was calling naive me. Over the coming weeks, months, and even years, as I continued to read the Bible, I was lead to the life of one man. He was quite the character; a man of many talents; unique in his soulful, dynamic, and urgent belief, faith in God. He was a man of anointing, power from God; a man men followed, women loved; a man terrible, fierce in battle, yet gentle enough to swoon people, make demons flee with his music and prose.

As I learned of him, I began to know him as a man my own heart could love, follow. Apparently, God felt the same, as He said this man was a man after His own heart. Yes, you know whom I’m talking about; King David. I bet you thought it was Jesus? Well, Jesus is for another story. Ummm, maybe God was warming up my heart?

Let me say this: Becoming immersed in King David’s life, I became immersed in a power I never knew existed. I feel this same power as I write this. God was with King David, and so were His Word and His Power. David loved God and worshiped God from his heart. He danced out of his clothes before the Ark of the Covenant. He stood up for God, and God empowered David for the people of Israel, even though David was not always perfect. The psalms he wrote, the battles he fought, his life’s endeavor to serve God by serving His people, were all King David’s way of worshiping his God, whom he loved from his heart. His truth, which kept him in God’s destiny for him…? King David wholeheartedly knew and believed that God was the only God, the eternal God who created heaven and earth; the only God who should be revered, feared, loved, and believed in…God…Jehovah. Jehovah, the multifaceted one, the multiplier, many breasted, supplier, peace creating, one. I could go on and on here.

ancient antique armor armour

Challenging God

I threw down MY gauntlet of truth on Jehovah God that cool, starry night. But, in stepping forward that night, tripping over my gauntlet, I fell into an ocean called the Bible, the Word of Almighty God, Jehovah Jireh our Provider.

God, Jehovah, my heavenly Father, that night did not get angry with me. He waded me into His ocean of truth, His ocean of power, and taught me the meaning of worshiping Him in spirit and in truth by the example of a man that lived thousands of years earlier. When I think of King David, I still feel the power that surrounded him because of his worship, love of God, and living out his life as God’s servant.

Want to feel that power? Then begin to, in your heart, acknowledge Him as Jehovah God. Tell God you love Him. Now worship Him, our heavenly Father, in your spirit and in the truth that He is Jehovah God and besides Him there is no other God. When you do, you will begin to feel the power of His love. You see, He loved King David. He loved me that starry, cool night when I threw down the gauntlet of my truth. He taught me His truth and true nature of love. Now I know. And so do you. So my friends, let us worship Him in spirit and truth.

Hope you enjoyed my “test”amony!

You can follow me, leave me a comment, or email me with your thoughts. I would love to hear from you. Follow me on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Amazon. Go to my Shop For Love Page here at Romance & the Homestead and check out my faith based books: children, inspirational non-fiction, and fictional drama, faith, family, love, and romance novels.

With love and inspiration from the Homestead,

Della


Christmas SnowFlakes: It’s Not What You Think

Hey Everyone! It’s almost Christmas and the world is stopping it’s usual rush to celebrate with family, friends, and giving and receiving. It’s a wonderful time of the year; celebrating the birth of Christ Jesus. It’s the most celebrated time of the year, all over the world.

I just wanted to celebrate with you all by giving a little bit of my heart this morning. I may not get another chance before Christmas is here. I love Christmas. However, I have had to redefine how I celebrate it over the years.

After I got married, I had a whole other family to consider and celebrate with. Then the children came along. I had to redefine my celebration because of them. Santa Clause came back into play; for them. Christmas had always been fun and exciting, and now I had even more people to celebrate with. Then we began to lose our parents; that changed our lives and how we celebrated Christmas…forever! Sadness entered in, and I’m here to testify that it never leaves. 

It was then I learned to celebrate, even through tears, sadness and even gladness, a deeper meaning, one that I had never searched for before. Whether happy or sad, I never considered what it all ultimately meant before. It was all around me, and yet I Read More


Up To Down Leadership

I have to begin by saying I have always been baffled by the term “leadership.” Now I know what leadership means, of course, and have been beneath a person’s leadership…maybe even many people.

But what makes a leader and what or who gives them a place to lead? What makes people follow some more than others?

There is a plethora of books on becoming a leader…on leadership, in all sorts of areas of life. But what made me begin to understand real leadership was something one of the greatest leaders the earth ever brought forth had said.

Jesus said: For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve… (Matthew 20:28 NIV)

Now, I believe Jesus was the son of God, the living word of God, and God in the flesh. So, with that said, then it was God who really came into the world to serve humanity. He was literally…a servant. So, if He, God Jesus, was a servant, how could He be the supreme leader of all things leadership, everything natural and supernatural? There are leaders and followers, right? Right!

Read More

A Chicken in the House? No Way! Not me!

Pecking Order? Do Hens Fight?

I love cold, frosty mornings! I know it is Thanksgiving and all about turkeys, but I have a delightful chicken story that is funny! And it all started one cold, frosty morning…

And it was a good one. Everything was glittering white, with new sunshine streaming through the backyard pines. So, bundled up, I’m outside enjoying the crispness, the newness, the glittering breath-ability of it all, my breaths white as I inhale and then exhale. As I walked around, I strolled by my chicken coop and pens, as I do almost every morning, to check on my fluffy, feathery, gals and guys.

And that’s when I saw her! By the water cooler!

Now, my flock is a mixture of heritage and sex-link chickens. Heritage chickens are old breeds that are not in the chicken producing market anymore. They come from all over the world, and most are listed in The Livestock Conservatory. Sex-link chickens are crossbred chickens whose color at hatching is differentiated by sex, thus making chick sexing an easier process. Sex-links are wonderful layers, and can lay up to 300 eggs per year, according to their individual breed.

water cooler

My mixed flock loves to hang around “the water cooler,” as I like to put it. It is their job to lay me eggs, and my job is to provide water, food, dirt to dust in, and a nice straw filled, cozy nest box to do their thang! (Smile here)

One of my hens is a rose combed, brown, Leghorn, and this breed is listed as “recovering” at The Livestock Conservatory. This breed is kept mostly for eggs. So, in the fall when all the other hens were going through their annual molting process, Brownie was busy laying me nice, large, white eggs.

TIP: When hens go through their yearly molting, they don’t lay, all their protein goes into growing new feathers for the winter months.

Then, in the middle of winter, I noticed something so strange, Brownie was molting. She was doing it nicely, growing new feathers and shedding old ones, still covered in feathers, old and new.

But on this cold frosty morning, I saw her hunkered down by the water cooler, bloody, almost half of her feathers gone. Needless to say, I stopped my joyful, frosty morning walk and ran to her. I knew immediately what had happened. The other hens had pecked her down in their pecking order. She was half frozen. I had to save her!

I ran back into the house and grabbed an old towel, and then ran back. She was so frozen she couldn’t move. I wrapped her up, and ran back into the house. I gave her to Homie, got a small dog kennel, and layered it with more old towels (We keep them for things like this.) We put her in it, and I warmed a towel by the stove and placed it on top of her.

We had a short trip planned that day, to fetch our granddaughter to stay with us. I didn’t know what condition Brownie would be in when we got back. But when we arrived back home that evening, she was up in her cage with the towels thrown off. So we watered her and fed her. She gobbled it up.

My four year old granddaughter felt so sorry for poor Brownie that she went outside, bless her heart, and brought in a dry twig and put it in Brownie’s cage and said, “That’s something for Brownie to play with while in her cage.” Wasn’t that sweet?

And so…we had a chicken in the house for the next unforeseen weeks. Every day it was clean, feed, and water Brownie. And for exercise, I had to let her walk around while I shadowed her with paper towels and Clorox wipes for poo droppings. Nothing I ever wanted to do, but I had to save Brownie!

Two weeks in!

On Brownie’s third week, our granddaughter came back to stay with us. She came running to me exclaiming, “Come and see!” When I went to see, she said, “Look at Brownie! She’s grown her feathers!” Then she bent down to the cage and said, all smoochy-like, “Good job, Brownie. I’m so proud of you.” She is a hoot!

She had grown new feathers, but they were short. Brownie wasn’t ready for cold weather yet. A week later, still winter, we begun to have a warm streak where the temperature went up to seventy degrees. It was the perfect time to re-incorporate Brownie back into the flock, as her feathers, still not quiet mature, covered her well. I put her in an empty pen beside the hens for a week, for them to get a feel for each other again. A chicken peeking order can be brutal! After a week of warmth, I put Brownie back into the pen with the other hens. As I suspected, as I waited, two hens tried to fight her. But Brownie is hardy and feisty! She fought them off, and reestablished her place in the order. Good job, Brownie!

I look forward to many more of Brownie’s nice, large, white eggs.

This is my saga, my chicken story of “a chicken in the house,” something I never thought I’d do, and I’m sticking to it. This was an unusual happening at the homestead.

So, please leave a comment, like, and go to my contact page and fill it out for more happenings, inspiration, love, recipes, and go to my Shop-For-Love page to view, and preview my books: Christian Inspiration, children, and romance. It’s all there!

And thank you for stopping by!

Love, from Romance & The Homestead,

Della

striped lilly

 

 


Do You Think Your Little Ray of Sunshine Could Change the World?

And a Small Child Shall Lead Them

Having childlike faith is not always easy, but it is possible with the right inspiration!

I got my inspiration from our granddaughter as she grew in the first year of her little life with us. Of course, I shared it with Homie (Boyce) first because I was so excited by this new revelation!

Now, I want to put it in writing form and share it with you all!

Before our granddaughter, Boyce and I always prayed for our children. When they became teenagers and began dating, we started praying for our grandchildren too. This may seem strange, since we didn’t have any at this point. But looking around us in today’s culture where children were born outside the boundaries of God’s perimeters, the ones He set in the beginning with the first marriage of a man and a woman, Adam and Eve, to single moms and even single dads, worried us.

From our own teenage days, we understood how children wanted to be accepted by the culture they were growing in.  In this culture, I’ve known single girls as young as 13 begin having babies with different fathers. This wasn’t accepted as the norm in mine and Boyce’s day.  Most of the people we knew were married, for better or for worse, before children.

This is no judgment from me on anyone because I know I’m just a sinner saved by grace, like everyone else.

My testimony and revelation today that I am sharing with you are not about that, but about our granddaughter!had 2

Boyce and I prayed for our children that they would not have children until they married and were ready.  The years went by and finally they were married, but we had been praying for our grandchildren all that time too; so many prayers.

I was with my daughter and son-in-law when our granddaughter was born. I saw her lifted up the minute she came into our world and the doctor laid her on her mommy’s tummy. When she was face to face with her mommy, she smiled. Read More