No Room in the Inn

Scripture records there was no room for Mary and Joseph in the inn upon their arrival into Bethlehem thousands of years ago.  We believers cherish this history record of Christ’s birth in that peaceful stable so long ago.  Is it not amazing to think the very first place Christ came to on earth was a stable?  It seems the first lesson He taught us through His lowly birth is plain to see—humility.


Is it not amazing to think the very first place Christ came to on earth was a stable?

After all, who wants to be born in a dirty, smelly stable?  Hey wait!  Who said the stable was dirty and smelly?  We have cattle, horses, cats, and soon chickens (oh! to have a couple pigs in the woods!).  At days’ end when chores are checked off, troughs are full of fresh water, mangers brimming with sweet hay,  the animals bedded down for the night, our stable is anything but smelly.  Fact is, if the stable is smelly, it is the farmers responsibility.  We have visited a few filthy, stinking, cobweb-filled barns.  These have the makings of a scary Halloween setting.  Stables do get dirty to be sure, however, there is a distinctive difference between kept and unkept ones.


Who said the stable was dirty and smelly?



At Christmastime as we are setting out the Nativity scene in our home, the whole idea of Christ’s humble birth in a stable with animals, straw, rough-cut  lumber, and soft lights create a peacefulness that is hard to deny.  It impacts the way we live here at this farm.  It fills us with joy and peace to be farmers.  We have Christ’s approval!  What more does one need?



…the soft lights create a peacefulness…


So as we set out pumpkins, wreaths and Indian corn around our stable this October, we invite you to come visit.  Come sit a spell in the cozy barn with the animals and a cup of warm cider.  You may leave feeling happy there was no room in the inn.

If You Cannot Pronounce It, It is NOT Food

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate

Calcium Peroxide

Ethoxylated Mono-and Diglycerides

Calcium Sulfate

Monocalcium Phosphate


These five ingredients are listed on the ingredient deck of a regular loaf of bread.  This brand is found in every grocery and convenience store around.  For each of these ingredients, the dictionary app said,”There are no definitions available for…”  This means, as a customer, we do not have definitions for the ‘food’ we cannot even pronounce.  Is this for real?  Try it yourself—read the  list of ingredients on a plain loaf of bread.  Check it out on two or three different brands.  Test other usual products in the grocery store;  cookies, cake mixes, cereal, pretzels, granola bars and on and on…

Here is a question:  If ingredients cannot be pronounced nor defined, how in the world is the human body to process them?  If you cannot pronounce it, it is not food!


So, now what?  How do we, as consumers, buy real food?  First, be a label reader.  Determine not to eat ‘foods’ that cannot be understood or pronounced.  Remember, it is easier to stay  healthy than to get  healthy.  Cheap food is just that— CHEAP!


The closer food stays to it’s original, natural form, the better it is for your health and long-term wellbeing. So, an apple is far better than apple juice.  Each step away from the natural form takes away nutritional value.  So, natural apple cider from fresh pressed apples is far better nutritionally (not to mention tastes better) than apple juice (which has gone through far more steps to make than cider).


The goal?  A happier digestive system, a hunger that stays satisfied longer, healthier skin, strong nails, and beautiful hair.  Who does not want any of these wonderful benefits?  Eating is not a past-time!


Read your labels, know what you are eating, feed yourself REAl food!



Ingredients in this tomato soup?  Tomatoes, onion, banana peppers, basil, salt, pepper, paprika.  If you cannot pronounce it, it is NOT food! 


6th Annual Abba Trail Ride–Paw Paw Tunnel, West Virginia

We rode this fall for the first time.  All previous rides have been in June or July.    This year was a bit different because of not having a horse.  That has been resolved, so next year we will ride in the early summer again.


It was fun thinking about the mules pulling the boats through the tunnel.


Our ride took us to Paw Paw Tunnel in West Virginia a couple weeks ago.  The weather was nice, the trail gentle, the scenery interesting.  It was fun imagining the way things must have been back in those days of boats, canals, mules, and tunnels.  We did not attempt to ride our horses through the tunnel, that would take a bit of ‘sacking out’ as we call it in the horse world.  This means we would have to work with them a while to accustom them in that dark tunnel on a small towpath without getting too nervous.  Probably one good reason mules were used predominately over horses on the canals!  Actually though, the tunnel is closed to horses and riders, there is a trail that goes around it.  However, there are stone steps that go up the side of the tunnel entrance, a walk over the top, and stairs descending down the other side.  We did go up them!


There were stone steps up the side, a walk over the top, and stairs descending down other side.  We went up!

For those that may not know, Abba of Winchester is our local pregnancy support center for  young mothers that were not planning a pregnancy.  Abba offers medical, spiritual, family, leadership and community support to those in need during their pregnancy and afterwards.  They offer classes for moms, and dads to help with their new baby and role as parents.  It is a loving, supportive  group of local folks that love babies and families, and work very hard for them.


The weather was nice, the trail gentle and scenery interesting.

It has been our priviledge to ride for Abba these past six years.  All donations from our rides benefit Abba as well as our Silent Auction items.  We are delighted to say we have raised over $3,300 for Abba including this year.  Our sponsors are generous and faithful to our cause.  We thank them for their generous support:

Acker Real Estate Service

The Gordon Family

The Davis Family

The Bricker Families

Mackintosh Fruit Farm


We thank all our riders and sponsors who have been faithful and generous to our cause.

We invite other riders interested in supporting babies, families and our effort towards that end.  What a great way to help others by spending time in the saddle!  Contact us at: for more information.

for more information contact:






May your saddle be squeakless, your horseshoes clankless, and your saddle-sores small!

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

This adage stands true still today.  Even with all the inventory in every nook and cranny of every store in town.  Or perhaps, it is true because I like a challenge.  I like to see what I can make from very few supplies.  Be it in the my refrigerator, or the stable.  When there is seemingly nothing around needed for the current idea on my little brain, it puts a diabolical smile on my face!  I know the items can be purchased in town, but where is the adventure in that?  Besides, in regards to the farm, the tool would probably be too heavy for this PFO to heave in the truck bed much less get off by myself.


The tool I have been wanting is a field drag.  It had to be small enough to be pulled behind the club car, which leaves a softer footprint in the fields, fun to drive and is easy on gas.  To be sure, anything done with the club car is fun.  So I figured I would slay this dragon one step at a time.  First things first, I attached the hitch.  That was sure easy!


First things first, I had to attach the hitch.  That was easy!

I had a basic drag in mind and began searching the barn for needed items.  A metal fence post was hiding in the back corner.  Perfect, made a great bar for attaching the drag pieces.  An old lead line from the horse trailer became the tie for the bar.  So far, so good.


A metal fence post became the bar used to attach drag pieces.  An old lead line hooked bar to club car.

Now for the drag pieces.  I knew I needed something heavy enough to disturb and move the manure in the field.  There was no old fence lying around or up in the rafters.  However, hanging neatly on nails were several good old chains.  Alright!  This job was coming right along.  I ‘tied’ the chains at various lengths onto the bar of the drag.  The fields were patiently waiting.  Only other needed items was a good pair of gloves, and a bottle of cool water.  Check!


Chains are attached. Drag was ready to go to work!


A pair of gloves and water were only other necessary items.

It was fun dragging the field even though it did not quite take care of all the piles of poo.  I can look out at the field and see a difference and that is sure satisfying.  The microbes and worms were very delighted to have their yummy meal spread over the soil.


The earth worms will be happy to have their yummy food spread over the soil.


One small swipe in paddock and this job is nearly done.

Eventually I would like to attach a 4 over 4 piece of wire fence or one cattle panel  (depending on which one is lighter) in lieu of the chains.  But for this day and this job, this PFO is happy with her day’s work and tool!


Equipment cleaned up, ready to put away, job done.  Next?





You are Not what you Drive, but You are what you Eat

My husband and I raised and home schooled four rowdy boys and our 5th child was a girl.  Dare we say there is nary a thing that scares her?  Seriously.  Is there anything more frightful than four older brothers?  She can hold her own to be sure.  All their lives they heard the title of this blog;  You are Not what you Drive, but you are what you eat.  Our sons are car dudes.  We introduced them to two pastimes, cars and fishing, for very specific reasons.  Fishing is an important skill every boy should have (though one never tells them that).  They loved attaching the squirming worms to the hooks and flinging them through the air to a delightful kerplunk  into the water, only to be eaten alive!  Ahhh!  Boys are so easy to entertain!


We introduced them to fishing.


Cars were the next purposeful passion introduced to them near driving age because cars cannot get pregnant!  Many Friday nights were spent working on cars.  These passions have served them very well.  They are now what we call “black-belt” fisherman.  Their families will never go hungry.  In addition, they have saved thousands of dollars on vehicles, as they are all accomplished mechanics.  Their sister has benefited as well.  Guys love that she can fish and knows cars!


Our lifestyle was simple and still is.

Anyway, back to the point.  Our lifestyle was simple, and still is.  We started our family over 34 years ago on one income, and still live on one income.  We ate all summer from our garden or grandparent’s garden.  We enjoyed food we had canned and preserved through the long winter months.  Many evenings at the supper table our kids heard the origin of the meal spread before us.  Bread and jam were homemade in our kitchen, green beans and beets from Grandad’s garden.  The beef, pork or lamb had been purchased from our friends who raised them on their farms.  It was good eating.  “Your Mom is not happy unless she is feeding something”, our kids have heard forever.  Be it kid, cat, dog, chickens, horse, cow, or birds, it is a true statement.


We ate our of our garden or Granddad’s.


Cars brought a different view to the landscape of life as the kids grew older.  Somehow they got the misguided notion that they were what they drove!  Hmmm, how did that get into their 16-year-old minds?  Yes, sports cars are fast and Dodge Rams are tough, and excellent advertising touts they make us who we are.  Wrong.  They are a necessary useful tool and a huge money pit. Try telling that to four boys!



Actually bikes pre-dated cars.  ‘Hmmm, how do I fix this issue’, says Gordon.

Because space and money were limited, old beaters were the wheels of choice.  There were times our yard and driveway looked like a junkyard.  Those days have all too quickly faded into memory now.

We still eat out of our garden, we now raise our own beef (see our previous blogs), and now we are enjoying our grandkids.  Life has traveled full circle and it is good.  Food is one of the wonders and joys of life.  Knowing how to manage, prepare, preserve, and serve food to one’s family is a privilege.  Not to mention a sense of security.  We are okay if the lights go out.


They are now “black-belt” fisherman.  Providing food for their family will be no problem for them.