We've had the pleasure of 2 granddaughters staying with us for a few days. They love having tea parties and I told them they could be in charge of the next tea party. Their original plan was to have a chicken tea party. I was all for this because I have so many chicken-themed things we could use for the table-settings, and dishes & cups to go along with it. But no, they meant chickens as their guests at the tea party. Dress up the chickens, serve tea to the chickens.....
...I am all for interacting with my chickens, but my chickens are not so tame as to sit at the table or tolerate wearing clothes. ( maybe I should work on this for next year ? ) All I could envision beyond the first few moments of the chickens looking cute was chickens quickly resorting to being chickens by squawking , pooping, and scattering all the tea things as they flung themselves off the table to escape. Or us holding unhappy chickens throughout our tea. Fortunately the girls decided to invite their American Girl dolls instead.
The girls decided on tuna fish , berries, and peppermint tea. While I thought they were setting the tea table I spied them trying to catch the goldfish in the small pond beside our large outdoor table. They were surprised to see me snap a picture of them ( maybe because they know they're supposed to only look at the fish, not hold them ? ).
The girls insisted on flower adorned cups & teapot.
This is one of my Rose Chintz by Gracie China teacups. It comes in sets of 4 and I have used these tea cups many times. They are lovely and also comfortable to hold and sip tea from. The granddaughters seem to appreciate them too, always a bonus !
I acquiesced to a blog meme recently not realizing family and other obligations would hinder my best intentions of fulfilling the commitment of accepting. For this I apologize to blog friend Vickie *. I know so many of you who blog and read blogs value above all family and the times we have with our families. For this Lovely Blog Tour I was required to list 3 blogs I love and answer 4 questions. The blogs I love are written by bloggers who do not desire to be part of memes so I decided to list them anyway without any requirements. Before I continue I will show you pictures in answer of one of the questions about myself. What am I working on ? Well, the ongoing care and tending of my flock of Jacob Sheep ! This is one of my lambs ( above ), a ram lamb. ( baby boy sheep ) I am also spinning into yarn and dying large quantities of their wool, an ongoing process here given the amount of wool I have.
I am also working on enjoying my Sebastopol geese who love and adore me. They follow me everywhere I go when I am outdoors. If I am working somewhere outdoors for any length of time my geese Ella and Fella will park themselves near me and simply sit until I move on. ( I hope you can forgive me for calling this pleasure work ! ) If it is any conciliation to those of you who think geese are all beauty & pleasure, please be comforted knowing I have to scoop their poop the same as I do my dogs'. If Ella & Fella sit for long near me I know I'll be scooping away their leavings later. It's all worth it to me though , especially when I watch them gliding around our pond looking very much like the swans of fairy tales.
I am also working on training my German shepherd pup, now 1 year old. Whimsy is the best dog ever but don't tell my Labs Bea & Willow I said this.
I am working on remembering to enjoy any & all time I have to spend with my grandchildren without thinking about the real hard work at home I am not getting done because I am having so much fun with granddaughters who actually enjoy spending time with their old granny. These two granddaughters spent a few days with me this past week and oh what fun we had .
How does this work differ from others of its genre ? Not sure this "work' falls into any "genre" but I guess spending time with one's flocks, herds, and grandchildren differs because I have a unique breed of sheep, geese, and of course my grandchildren are the best ! :)
Why do I create what I do ? I craft rugs from the wool of my sheep. I spin the wool of my sheep to weave into fabric, I craft Wee Little Sheep* from the wool of my sheep and gain inspiration from my sheep and my poultry flocks. I create because I cannot exist without creating. How can I not be inspired by what my husband & I have surrounded ourselves with here on Cedar Pond ? Sometimes my head fairly wants to burst with all the ideas I have but practical time & energy limit .
I have probably left out some of what I should have added to this post but I will now list 3 blogs I love ( not exclusive of many blogs I enjoy ! ).
Nib's End * is written by a writer. She is able to write succinctly and sometimes heart-wrenchingly in a way that brings to my heart & mind emotions oft buried but brought to the surface in tender and comforting ways.
Buttons Thoughts *is a blog written by a Canadian blogger. Boy, I find I do love so many blogs written by my Canadian friends. Buttons writes her thoughts on life as the hard working wife and soul mate of a Canadian farmer. She has a particularly sweet relationship with their cows, some she has knitted hats for !
Thistle Cove Farm * is written by Sandra Bennett. I read her blog many years ago when I did not know what blogs were. She has been an encouragement to me, a prayer warrior, an on-line pen-pal, and an inspiration . She was widowed more than a year ago and has written words of wisdom learned the hard way to share with women who find themselves without their life partner , shattered, and not knowing where to turn when their lives fall down around them. She also writes about farm life, community, travel,and so much more.
I have a feeling I am forgetting to add some things to this post but have a big day coming up later this morning and need to get some sleep. The temps are extremely high for our neck of the country , lots of watering to do of animals & gardens. Adventures with a granddaughter who is staying with us for another week, and simply keeping up with the work & pleasures of life here on Cedar Pond. Thank-you for indulging me in reading this post and I hope you'll check out the blogs mentioned, I don't think you'll be disappointed, and if you like what you read in these other blogs please leave them a comment ! Good night and good morning to you wherever you are in Blog Land.
Over the years our grandchildren have come to know Jesus as Savior. This is all we as grandparents have ever desired. Riches, fame, "happiness", all the world deems successful, these have never been our prayers or ideals for our children and their children. True happiness and true success are ideals the bible teaches are a result of trusting Him. Because our grandchildren have proclaimed they believe Jesus is the "way, the truth, and the life " and have accepted Him as Savior, my husband and our family set aside a day to gather together at a lake and baptize all who believe . My husband gathered us together the evening before the baptism at the lake to talk about what the bible says about salvation and baptism. The grandchildren listened, asked questions, and affirmed they too believed and desired baptism.
We had a family camp-out at our place over the mountains ( see the camper- trailers gathered in a semi-circle ? ) and the family gathered to witness and rejoice in the baptism of the grandchildren and one of our daughters-in-law.
We went to a local lake early in the morning of the 4th of July. All those to be baptized wore white t-shirts over their clothes, but it was a chilly morning and we waited until it got a tad bit warmer.
Our oldest son baptized his 4 daughters , and what a day of rejoicing this was !
Our daughter asked her father, my husband, to baptize her children. This was very important to all of them. No one in our family is pressured to be baptized , or to ask Jesus into their heart. This is a personal experience, between an individual and God ! But blessedly, each of our daughter's children requested baptism because they believe. ( John 3:16 ) Here my husband is baptizing our oldest grandchild...
...his sister ( who seems the most joyous of all ! )
...their little sister...
... and oh what a joyous day for us all !
Our youngest son baptized his wife who is expecting their first baby after 13 years of marriage,( a miracle !) . We laughingly expressed our delight that he was not only baptizing his wife but his soon to be born son !
"True baptism must always be vitally related to faith. Only through responsive faith to the regenerative work of Christ can the soul participate in spiritual baptism, and subsequently in the symbolic form of the act itself. Through faith , as a commitment to the person of Christ , the believer is brought into an actual relation to God through the radical change of nature which is inherit in spiritual baptism. Faith is a "surrender-in-response " relationship to the Holy Spirit, who, through spiritual baptism brings man into vital union with God." The Zondervan Pictoral Bible Dictionary
Ella & Fella my Sebastapol geese enjoy the long hours of summer by eating grass , swimming in our pond, and following me around as I tend my flocks and weed the gardens. When I sit on the porch and spin my wool into yarn they sit under the bleeding hearts plants nearby and watch me , sometimes poking their bills through the porch rails just to make sure I am still there.
Hawk, our Viszla is afraid of Ella & Fella. I'm not sure when they taught him to run away from them , but they did a very good job of it. He sits on the porch with me, but when he spies the geese he runs to the opposite side of the porch. The geese are not allowed on the porch and at least Hawk can count on it being safe , but he makes sure he is as far away as he can get from them. We seem to have our own little comedy show here on our front porch , but Hawk probably thinks it is not so funny.
My Jacob sheep lambs are growing up quickly and some are already stretching their necks for the trees and bushes growing overhead.
I have four hens raising chicks they've hatched out and two batches of chicks brooding in the garage. They are my future laying flock , plus some bantam chicks I am adding to my Silkie and Cochin breeding program. ( Yes, I have a plan and a program ! ) The chicks shown here with their mama are Porcelain D'Uccles my grandson gave me. The father of these chicks did very well in an open poultry show recently and we have high hopes for the chicks.
Here Ella & Fella are walking their babies around the gardens. Their babies are actually ducklings Ella hatched out. The ducklings have been well tended by their adoptive parents but bit by bit they are becoming ducks . Waddling, quacking, and eating like ducks ...not geese. Poor Ella & Fella try and try to keep the ducklings with them but the ducklings are spending more and more time with my other ducks, leaving the geese to forlornly follow me without them. I hope next year Ella & Fella are able to successfully hatch out their own goslings , they're good and devoted parents.
We had the last Thursday Ladies Bible Study of the season last week. We won't meet again until the fall . This Bible study has had a tremendous impact on me and I am so thankful for the ladies God has brought into my life. It was an eventful year for all of us and all the ladies involved have had life altering events . One of the ladies became a widow, another happily remarried. One of our members has moved to the east coast to live happily ( yes ! ) with her daughter and daughter's family & to spend much time with 4 of her beloved grandchildren. There are other big events not to be shared publicly, but all the more a blessing we have been able to meet, study the Bible, pray with and for each other and always bring it back to the One who knows and loves us perfectly.
This must seem a long post, but the days are long and the hours I need to be working outdoors in the summer seem to stretch from very early to very late and when I come indoors there is little time for me to spend on my computer, so I am summing up my thus-far summer days in one post . Weeding, tending my herd & flocks, spinning wool when I have time , training my dog, playing with the old dogs, keeping my home neat & clean, and as I get older, I am working on taking the time to sit and appreciate the bounty of my blessings. The best part of all is sitting on the porch with my husband, sipping coffee as we watch the birds at the feeders and enjoying each others' company. Summer time and the living is busy, but not too busy to enjoy !
I saw this teapot and the teacups in an Etsy shop and knew I had to have them because what they represent is special to me. I intend to gift them to someone I love in the near future. For now though, I'll enjoy them , maybe have a sea themed tea party this summer .
Look at the exquisite seahorse handles of the teacups. The bowls of the teacups look like the shells of sea urchins , probably because the people who make these cups and the teapot cast the porcelain "directly into a collection of shells harvested in the mid-twentieth century off the Oregon Coast " . ~Beyond Jordan Coastal Collection
The lid of the teapot is also cast from a sea urchin and the handle of the teapot looks to me like a starfish appendage. ( Sea urchins are abundant in Puget Sound and along the Pacific Ocean coastline. They are easy to find during low tides .)
My husband & I met each other in high school and got to know each other better during our semester in the marine biology class there . My husband originally intended to become a biology teacher, and teaching marine biology was his goal. Together we spent much time walking and exploring the beaches around Puget Sound which was practically in our backyard. My husband knows the scientific names of most of the sea life in our area and can rattle them off easily.
We were both still going to college and working to support ourselves and pay school bills when we had our 3 children . We managed to do this with one car and juggled class and work schedules so we could care for our own children. ( look at the detail of the seahorse teacup handle ! ) Our children spent a lot of time on the beaches with us and my husband would talk to them about the sea life. I don't think my sons remember much of this but our daughter soaked up the scientific names my husband taught her as if they were her native language.
During the time our children were very young my husband was also student teaching in a local high school that had its' own marine biology lab. Sometimes he would bring our daughter to class with him ( when it was appropriate ) and have our daughter who was barely 4 years old recite the scientific names of some of the sea life the students were learning about. The sea urchin was one of them. Can you say strongylocentrotus drobachiensis ? She could. It means , 'green sea urchin'. She knows the name for the purple sea urchin too. I could go on & on about how memories of the sea mingle with memories of my courtship, falling in love with the man I married 41 years ago next month ,times there with our children now grown , but I think you get the picture. The sea , Puget Sound, and so many other beaches where the Pacific Ocean roars on into our coastline will always hold a deep abiding place in my heart and memory.
Our youngest son Daniel loves horses. Thanks to neighbors Bill & Lea Heib who took him under their wing ( or saddle ) when he was young and taught him how to train horses and shoe them, he has been able to pursue his passion for horses and earn a living for his family. He is an inspiration to me in so many ways, and of course as a mom I cannot claim to be unbiased in this, but really, he is an amazing son. In this picture ( above) he has saddled up 2 horses and he and our daughter's oldest daughter are on their way to riding into the low hills and mountains in the distance. This is special to our granddaughter, she has no other outlet for her love of horses and riding except her Uncle Daniel.
For awhile our son was into rodeo and did some bull and bronc riding. I had a hard time watching and the last few times he rode bulls I told my husband to go and video it and if my son survived I'd watch the video. It was that hard for me to watch .
Uncle Daniel took his niece turkey hunting too. The country around his home is teeming with wild turkeys , and he and our granddaughter were up early mornings to hunt. As you can see, she was successful , and boy howdy was she ever ! Thanks Uncle Daniel. ( The turkey and deer our family get after successful hunts really do go into our freezers and feed us throughout the winter .)
Daniel dearly loves his wife and her parents. I don't recall the reason , maybe there was no particular reason except Daniel knew his father-in-law would be happy, but one winter day Daniel saddled up his horse, his father-in-law's horse ( kept at Daniel's place ) and rode several miles into the small town near-by where his in-laws live. He knocked on their door, got his happily surprised father-in-law out to saddle up and the two of them rode into town, tied the horses up at a small café, and had breakfast together. Yes, I really do love my cowboy.
I simply cannot end this post without a small tribute to the man who inspired and taught our son so many skills regarding horses and life. Bill Heib made a difference in our son's life, and because of the world of horses ( Morgans ) ,Daniel met and married his wife Breezy. The two of them are still madly in love with each other after over 13 years of marriage and the positive impact they have on me and others in our family makes a real difference for the better. They are both very hard-working, kind, and generous. Bill died last year, his wife Lea is still our neighbor, and I thank God for them every time I think of how much of an impact horses and the people who love them have had on our family for the better.