Sunday, November 9, 2014

The thanksGiving series, part 9: The not-so-restful Sunday

My hair was still in a sock bun, but I had begun to get dressed for church when the phone rang. It's usually a telemarketer when my home phone rings, but it was Sunday and I was feeling particularly charitable, so I answered. It was a good thing I did. Sam was calling to tell me my cows were out. I left the sock in my hair, switched from skirt and boots to jeans and coveralls and headed to the barn. 

My first trick was to fill a bucket with feed and rattle it. The cows usually come running if they hear that beautiful sound. Sure enough, I walked to the gate, rattled the feed, and looked for cows. They were just outside the fence. When they heard that lovely rattle, their heads shot up, they saw me, and started running. Mama cows running is a sight to see, and I laughed out loud. They came right up, ate their feed, and relocated to a secure spot. 

They had clearly been out, so I started walking the fence. As usual, I found some crummy areas that needed repair. I was nearly to the end of the fence before I found the problem. An ENORMOUS tree had fallen on the fence. Much to my surprise, the tree didn't look dead. It appeared to have been struck by lightning. I have had quite enough of this lightning strike business recently, but there is nothing to do except keep repairing the damage it has caused. This tree had fallen right in between two brace posts. Oddly enough, it had smashed the wire down, but did not appear to have broken it. There was no way to get to the wire or to fix the fence until the tree was out of the way. 

There was plenty of other fence work to do, so I text'd Bill the Magnificent to let him know there was serious tree cutting in his future and to come on so I could get the fence fixed. Unfortunately, he had worked last night and was asleep. Sam, my neighbor who is 84 years old, is 6'4", recently gained up to 120 from eating peanut butter, and has bad double vision as a complication of cataract surgery, was going to help me. We started at the corner, where the fence was loose and soon to be down. I took the fence down so I could put it up correctly. Since Sam is about the size of a breath of air, I was going to pull the wire and he would hammer the staple. It seemed like a good plan until I realized he was hammering all over the post but never hitting the staple. I said to Sam exactly what he'd have said to me. "Sam, that's some bad hammering you're doing. You haven't hit the staple yet, but you've come close to my nose and my hand!" He shook his head and said, "Well, you know I see two of everything, and I can't tell which steeple to hit (that's what he calls a staple), so I'm trying to hit all the steeples I see. I thought one of them might be the real thing." None of them were. We switched jobs. I would pull the wire, Sam would hold it, then I would hammer the staple. It took us a long time to get the fence fixed. 

I walked along the fence that joined the one I was repairing and saw a sight I hoped never to see. Someone had tried to repair my fence and had used baling string to connect two pieces of barbed wire. I wanted to howl with indignation. Really, I like fencing. All that is needed is tell me a piece of my fence is down and I'm on it! There is never a reason to connect barbed wire with baling string. Just so you know. "Sam," I said, "We are going to have to take this down and get some barbed wire in here. Did you do this?" He wouldn't say. Finally, he found a good answer and used it. "Well, it looks like I should've known better than that." Indeed. I just shook my head and went to work. Once the fence was repaired, we had a good laugh about the baling string. Sam has a baling string collection and he uses it to repair everything. Apparently including barbed wire fences. 

Sam and I took a break for lunch and went back to fencing. We found more horrible repair jobs, took more fence down, and redid it all. When we got to the tree, there was no repairing it until Bill the Magnificent got the tree cut up. He worked on it, but it is so huge that he will not be through until Wednesday or maybe Thursday. I am just reporting what he said. 

At that point, Sam and I had literally done all the fencing we could do, and about all we could stand, so we headed back toward the barn. I fed the livestock, finally convinced the cows that I had water for them, and headed to the house. You might be surprised about this, but I was tired and dirty, and in serious need of a shower. 

Finally, we get to the point. I love great soap. Sometimes I make soap. Often, I buy great soap at my favorite "fashionista store". When I have wonderful soap that has been used down to the little scraps, I stick the scraps in my pink travel soap dish. I was recently at the end of some terrific soap and thought, "I need to go buy some more great soap," however, I'm doing this frugal, savings month so I hated to go buy overpriced soap. It turns out, however, that I was safe because my scraps of great soap have made a "greatest hits" bar of soap that is just wonderful. 

The soap is not at all pretty, but it has a lovely fragrance and the soap is all my favorites at once. Using this scrap-soap instead of buying more saved my $4.98. Incredibly, that brings the total to $201.83! In nine days! Without doing anything hard or strange, I have saved hundreds of dollars from simple, easy changes that will allow me to make an investment in the Kingdom of God. I can't wait!  

How's your savings jar going? Have you thought about what kind of Kingdom work you are going to do with your savings? I can't wait to hear what you all do, so keep me posted!