Thursday, October 25, 2012

Training as a Draft Horse Teamster - The Greater Purpose of Suffering

The first day of the Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive at Marigold Meadows was quite an adventure! Excited about having the opportunity to drive our horses, Gary and I were having great fun discing the field in preparation for other teams to plow. I can’t even begin to describe how it feels to be a draft horse teamster. Ponyo and Nettie were responding well and seemed to enjoy the work as much as Gary and I.

After giving our horses a break from the labor, we decided it was time to return to the field. We hooked Ponyo and Nettie to the disc, double checked that we’d followed all that we’d been taught and I began to climb up on the disc. Having one foot on the implement and the other on the ground, the horses began to backup! My foot got trapped under the disc and the pressure of the moving implement pushed me down. The next thing I know, I’m lying on the ground with both legs caught under the disc!

While I certainly wasn’t comfortable, I was screaming, not so much from the pain, but in an attempt to get the attention of someone to help. Needless to say, Gary and the horses were frightened. Gary couldn’t leave the head of the horses in order to help me or we could have had worse problems. He was frantically attempting to get the horses to move forward in order to get the implement off of my legs. I feared that this would result in slicing my legs to pieces. Instead, the disc was inching further up my legs causing more and more twisting and crushing injury. While it was likely only a few minutes before helped arrived, it seemed to take forever.

It’s amazing what goes through a person’s mind in such a predicament! While my life could have been taken within seconds:

• I was concerned for Gary.

• I feared that I had let my brother down by not following his instructions in some way.

• I wanted to learn from what had gone wrong and was pondering the possibilities.

• I felt badly for the horses who were so confused.

• I didn’t want to frighten the visitors at Marigold Meadows.

• I was concerned about my sister-in-law’s camera which was in my pocket.

For a split second, I imagined the horses backing the disc and themselves right over the top of me!

The thought left me as quickly as it came.

I knew what I needed.

I had to get someone’s attention who could lift the thing off of me!

I went back to screaming for help and within a few minutes I was rescued.

What in the world went wrong? Stay tuned for next weeks article.



P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:">
>. You may also contact me at:

Bonnie Jaeckle

In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life

Diagonal Progress

505 Jefferson St.

Diagonal, IA 50845

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Marigold Meadow’s Pie

The first two weekends in October are busy times at Marigold Meadows.  While I have much to share with you about the last two weeks, I’ve had little time to write!  This note will be short and sweet!

Fox News came yesterday to do a clip on what was happening on the farm and interviewed several people, including one of the pie bakers!  Knowing more about keeping the fires burning and getting those pies in and out of the oven in due time than most of the helping ladies, my nephew, Craig was the chosen spokesperson!  Showing the flames from the firebox of our wood stove, Craig explained, “Many assume that we are baking in a gas stove which looks like a wood stove.  But, there is no comparison!  You can’t set a timer and just walk away from a wood stove!  You have to “baby sit” it to make sure the right temperature is maintained by adding wood, opening or closing the damper and sometimes even propping the oven door open.”

While a wood stove is more work, we think the results are worth the effort and evidently so do those who come to visit Marigold Meadows.  Even in the stormy weather, people were lined-up outside to purchase a slice of warm pie!  There’s just something about the taste of piping hot pie straight from a wood stove!  After sampling the melt in your mouth crust, it isn’t uncommon for our visitors to ask for the recipe.  We have little business cards with the recipe on them ready to give to those who ask.

While it won’t taste quite the same if you’re not baking in a wood stove oven, I thought you might like to try your hand at making

Marigold Meadow’s Pie

Crust:                                    Filling:

2/3 cup Crisco oil                  1 quart fruit

1/3 cup water                        1 ½ cup sugar

dash salt                                3 tbsp. corn starch

2 cups water                         cinnamon if making apple

Measure ingredients for crust accurately and mix in medium sized bowl.  Divide dough and roll between wax paper to desired size (makes two large or three small crusts).  Place dough in pie plate and fit into corners.  Cut remaining dough from edge of pan.  Mix filling ingredients and pour over crust.  Place top crust over filling and pinch top and bottom crusts together at edges.  Bake at 400 for one hour or until golden brown.

I thanked the reporter for coming out in the storm and gave him a slice of hot apple pie!  He ate it on the spot!  We’re hoping that he shared with his audience what he told us, “This is one of the best pies I’ve ever eaten!



P.S.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:  You may also contact me at:

             Bonnie Jaeckle

             In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life

             Diagonal Progress

             505 Jefferson St.

             Diagonal, IA 50845

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Butt of the Pork Roast

I was recently in a setting where I was reminded of how ridiculous it is to listen to newlywed couples’ silly bickering in an effort to adjust to one another’s ways of doing things.

You aren’t supposed to do dishes on the right side of the sink and rinse them on the left!  You do it backwards!
Not only is her potato soup too thick, she puts carrots and celery in it!  When I eat potato soup, I want potato soup!

Differing ways of doing things can cause tension even in the best of relationships, including those in a Christian community.  The tendency is to assume that our way is the best way and to consider any other way as bizarre.  Often our way is simply a developed habit that we’ve never even considered.  The following is a good example:

Husband: Honey, why do you always cut the end of the pork roast off before you place it into the roaster?
Wife: I really don’t know!  That’s just what mom always did.  I’ll call and ask her.

Daughter: Mom, why do you always cut the end off of the pork roast before you put it in the roaster.
Mom: I really don’t know!  That’s just what grandma always did.  I’ll call and ask her.

Mom: Mom, why did you always cut the end off of the pork roast before you put it into the roaster?
Grandma: Because I didn’t have a big enough roasting pan.

Before criticizing someone else’s approach and assuming that yours is better, it would be wise to consider:

• Fools have no interest in understanding;
 they only want to air their own opinions.
Proverbs 18:2

• “Why do I do it the way I do?”  You may find that you really don’t know!
• the other person’s way of doing it.  You may find that it is better.
• that it never hurts to learn more than one way.  You may need an alternative someday!
• “Is sharing my opinion in this situation really necessary?”
• that it is encouraging for other people to feel as though they occasionally have something worthwhile to offer.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with considerately sharing an opinion or a piece of knowledge, a “know it all” is only exposing his foolishness (Proverbs 12:23)!

In Paul’s letter to the Christian community in Philippi, he writes, 

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others (Philippians 2:1-4 (NASB)).

If you truly desire to be a part of a community united in love, be careful about assuming that your way is the only way and condescendingly voicing your opinion.  Not only is this very detrimental to community relationships, you could end up being the butt of the pork roast!

P.S.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:  You may also contact me at:
             Bonnie Jaeckle
             In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
             Diagonal Progress
             505 Jefferson St.
             Diagonal, IA 50845

Thursday, October 4, 2012

God's View of Pigeon Poo

While most people wish that pigeons would home elsewhere, we’d like to have a few on our farms. So… my brother Art, husband, Gary & I showed up in the night at another farm seeking pigeons. The owners opened their grain bin, allowing us to go in, and then closed the door behind us!

There the three of us stood with a cage, flashlights and a fishing net in hand!

Needless to say, the pigeons were frightened of these three intruders and were not only frantically flying all around us, but landing on us! Before we even arrived, I assumed that I’d get to laughing so hard that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish what I was there for. Pigeons landing in my hair, totally missing the target that I was swinging at and watching the others attempting to capture their prey was about all I could handle! I worked really hard not to become so hysterical with laughter that I would be of no help! At one point I felt that I was near to rolling on the floor in laughter. The urge didn’t last long when I considered what I’d be rolling in, if I gave into it!

We were quite the team. One of us guarded the door to the cage, while another netted a pigeon and the third carried it to its temporary confinement. When we caught the 30 some that we were after, the owners “released” us from the bin and we stood around reminiscing about our experience. The three of us were sniffling and coughing due to the dust that was stirred-up by the anxious birds. Rubbing my nose to relieve the itching, I ended up with a nostril full of pigeon poo! Can I be hysterical now!

I wasn’t thinking about it while confined in that dirty, ammonia smelling bin, but it’s since come to me that pigeons were considered sacred in the Bible. For those who were poor, pigeons were used as a sin offering which was a mandatory atonement for cleansing from defilement and as a burnt offering which was a voluntary act of worship, expressing complete surrender to God. The person making the offering laid his/her hand on the head of the animal symbolizing that his/her sin was now transferred upon it and then he/she slew it. The blood of the animal was accepted as atonement for that person’s sin making it possible for him/her to commune with God.

Prior to the Passover Feast, Jewish dealers set-up booths in the temple area specifically set apart for Gentile worship. They were selling, at extravagant prices, ritually pure items required for temple sacrifice.

Just as thieves hide in caves and think they are safe,
so the religious leaders were using the temple as a cover for their fraudulent activity;
that is until Jesus shows up and ruins their business!
Outraged by their blatant disregard for God’s provision for non-Jewish people,

Entering the Temple, Jesus drove out all who were buying and selling there,
and overturned the money-changers' tables
and the seats of the pigeon-dealers.
“It is written,
“My house will be called a house of prayer,
but you are making it a den of robbers

(Matthew 21:12-13).

While emphasis is typically placed upon the deceptive activity of the dealers, by clearing the temple of the sellers and the buyers, Jesus was announcing to the thousands of people who were there from all parts of the ancient world that He was preparing a new way for all people to have communion with God through Him. By specifically reacting toward the pigeon-dealers, who were getting wealthy off of those who could not afford grander sacrifices, Jesus was deliberately announcing that even the poor were included in His plan.

A few days after Jesus cleanses the temple of such deception, He offered Himself upon a cross to bear your sins and mine as the all-sufficient sacrifice. His Father is completely satisfied with the atonement that Jesus made on our behalf.

You also, like living stones
are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood,
offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ
(1 Peter 2:5).

The spiritual act of worship that is holy and pleasing to God is to offer ourselves to Him as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). Don’t let anyone deceive you into believing that you have to come to a certain place on a specific day, wearing certain clothes, offering money in order to satisfy Him. Our Father has no requirements that we have to pray in a specific way, read our Bible any particular amount or praise Him from a mandatory position. If anyone speaks to you of such deceptive requirements in order to commune with God, you might want to look and see if they have pigeon poo on the back of their hands!


P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: You may also contact me at:
Bonnie Jaeckle
In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
Diagonal Progress
505 Jefferson St.
Diagonal, IA 50845