FEAR NOT! BUY DUCKS!

 

By Lisa Huddleston

 

Six days-old chicks and two young ducks were added to HudFarm yesterday afternoon. We had planned to buy some chicks on March 15th when the Co-op would have some Buff Orpingtons in stock, but due to some conflicts, that date was going to be a struggle to meet. Therefore, when we just happened to be at the Tractor Supply while they were unpacking loudly peeping chicks, we thought, “Hey. Why not? And while we’re at it, why not add a couple of yellow, fuzzy ducks to the box?” What? Ducks? Yes. Ducks.

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Now a couple of ducks may not seem like a big deal when we already have 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 12 chickens, but it was a big step for me. You see, every new animal we add is a potential disaster in my dark, little mind. And after the recent chicken massacre perpetrated by one of my sweet puppies, all I can think of is another bloody mess.

 

But baby ducks are precious, fluffy, and too cute to be missed. And my husband loves them. I just had to set my fears aside.

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Now we have a cozy brooder set up in my loom room. We bought a shallow water trough that we will be able to repurpose when the sheep and donkey we are planning for arrive this summer. (Yes—more precious lives for me to worry over—especially in light of the eerie yipping from the woods last night as a pack of coyotes found their prey.) The trough is filled with wood chips, chicks, ducks, feeder and waterer and covered with chicken wire to keep the cat and dogs out. (Oh, I hope so!) And all should be well.

 

But all our precautions are no guarantees. Dottie Pigbody made a dive for a duckling this morning, and both dogs roll their eyes and quiver with evil anticipation as they look through the chicken wire at our sweet peeps. Disaster is always a possibility, but I have decided to go for it a little more than I used to. I could let my worries control my actions but then I would never know the unconditional love of our crazy dogs, or the arrogant affection of our cats, or the wonderful flavor of fresh, warm eggs. Fear could keep me safely tucked away under the chicken wire of worry—but that’s no way to really live unless you are a chicken.

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Chuck and I both have decided, quite wisely, that we will never be any younger, and now is the time to do some of the odd things we’ve dreamed about. So chickens and ducks and sheep and dogs and cats and a sweet, old donkey it is. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you all about duck eggs in a couple of months, the good Lord willing and the dogs don’t bite!

THANKFUL FOR THE QUIET LIFE

Learning to spin.

Learning to spin.

By Lisa Huddleston

For many years I’ve had a special attachment to some words in a letter sent by the Apostle Paul to the Christ-followers living and worshiping in Thessalonica:   “… make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (I Thess. 4:11-12).

These words have meant different things to me over the years as I worked to raise my children, take care of my family, home school, serve at church, and live a purposeful life. Sometimes I didn’t want my quiet life. Where was the glory? Where was the glamour? Surely not in the laundry room or the kitchen or the schoolroom. And most surely not in the empty nest that was left behind when my chicks flew off. Sometimes I mourned the careers I could have had if I had not stayed at home.

My first handspun skein. Lumpy and luscious!

My first handspun skein. Lumpy and luscious!

But at other times, I just felt blessed. And that is the feeling that lingers today and keeps me pushing on in the path of my Quiet Life–blessing. My work has changed but my calling has not, and it makes me smile to find myself more and more drawn into literal hand work in the world of fiber arts. From knitting to weaving to spinning, I have discovered a deep satisfaction and sense of quiet purpose that is pulling me deeper into this woollen world of peace.

Surely, we (Chuck) can do this!

Surely, we (Chuck) can do this!

 

 

I’ve already written about the vision that is growing in me, about a studio full of creative work, about raising animals, and shearing, spinning, weaving, and knitting their wool, and about the ways my husband and I will be able to work together in these creative new endeavors. I am excited to think about our future, but I am also thankful for the work I have today and blessed by this Quiet Life I’m leading right this very minute. Even if none of my vision actually comes to pass, I know I will have business to mind, work to do, and a Quiet Life to live.

And today I am thankful for the words Paul wrote, thankful for the many different ways of living them out that are weaving themselves into my life, and thankful for the new works my hands are discovering.

Baruch haShem.