Friday, February 27, 2009
~This little ram lamb has a momma who is excessively, compulsively, tidy, and that can lead to some serious problems for little boys of all species...it has not been a good thing for this little guy. Isn't he cute? ~But look at his tail......it is hard to see, but his momma has cleaned the flesh right off his little tail and there are at least 2 inches of bare bloody bone showing. The poor momma keeps cleaning off the dripping blood so compulsively that she creates more blood which needs more cleaning which takes off more flesh which...you get the picture! ( note the yearling ram in background. He has battered down the boards that are kitty-wampus) ~It all started this afternoon. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was skirting wool ( sorting through sheared fleeces and picking out debris and clumps, etc., before washing) and I heard the unmistakable bleating of a new lamb. Yay! I could tell Sassafras was going to lamb so had been keeping watch. I was pleasantly surprised to see twins! Twin ram ( boy ) lambs. Sassafras was doing a good job of cleaning and mothering. She was a good momma last year and is fiercely protective of her lambs. I was not worried and went back to skirting wool. ~I checked up on the lambs every 20 minutes or so and ..hmmmm.....there is a bit more blood than I am used to seeing on new born lambs, but they were up and about and seemed fine. They were trying to nurse and Sassafras was squatting to accommodate them. O. K. I'll get more work done. ~Then I saw the bone showing at the end of both lambs tails. Uh oh! So, I brought them into the house and Hubby and I banded the tails, that is, we put very tight rubber bands made especially for lambs tail and testicles, on the tails just 3 inches down from the spine. This would stop the bleeding and eventually the tail will fall off. I normally don't do this til the lambs are 3 days old, but this little guy would continue bleeding all night and that can't be a good thing. I dipped the tails ends into a strong iodine solution and gave the little lambs a squirt of nutritional supplement and let them rest in a basket in our laundry room for awhile. ~It is dark out, the chickens are sleeping on their roosts. I take the lambs back out to Sassafras who is screaming and battering the gate to her pen, trying to get to her lambs.
~Here she is, checking out the new addition to her lambs' tails. She is also licking the tail. ~Sassafras, STOP THAT !~~The bleeding seems to have stopped, the boys are bedding down. This Momma has even cleaned up all the birth matter. Most of my sheep leave it for me to clean up. ~I have had momma dogs excessively clean their newborns and start in on little legs....I stopped it and it never led to maiming or death, but sheep are not carnivores. So eating the flesh is a bit of extreme cleaning. Lanny had a case of such excessive lamb cleaning that they ended up with 2 little special needs lambs. ~Miss Marple is supervising the activity in the lambing shed. All is well for now. She has vermin and spiders to catch. It is time for me to go inside, and I'll be back out later to check in on Sassafras and her boys. Good thing they're sheep, or they'd end up in therapy groups later on, blaming all their problems on their excessively tidy mom. Blessings: lambs, a peaceful evening in the lambing shed
~The happy little mermaid called out to the sea," all you little fishies come and play with me", sings a happy little mermaid with a sea sweet smile" please little fishies come and play with me awhile."~
~I have birthday cards to make. These granddaughters have March birthdays and I can justify the joy in wallowing in the glitter and glue and glee of fancy and fantasy.~Oh look! A little mermaid from the sea, I love this little mermaid and she loves me! ( click on these pictures to enlarge)~The sea and all creatures mysterious and fantastical, the creatures of myths and legends and fairy tales.Do you know, they are not so far fetched. "Praise the Lord from the earth, Sea monsters and all deeps;" Psalm 148:7 When you read the scriptures and the histories of the world there is much to be discovered...and do not discount these tales and discourses on what some person recorded as fact - the news of the times, as fairy tales. The arrogance of modern man is that we believe we alone are worthy of discerning the truth. We have raised what we call 'science' and placed it on the altar and call it "truth". ~Obviously my little mermaid granddaughters are fabrications, but really, there are so many mysterious creatures of the sea and creation that are beyond anything science can explain away.....why does the idea of a Creator, God, a Supreme Being , seem to be so far fetched, a fable or superstition, when you consider the awesome and unexplainable really do make sense when you again acknowledge that God indeed is The Creator?
Thursday, February 26, 2009
~Today is my father's birthday. He died just before Christmas in 1992. I still miss him terribly.Above is the picture taken the day my parents brought me home from the hospital, 22 days after I was born. I was a prematurely born baby. The picture below was taken just before my father walked me down the church aisle and gave me to my husband. I went from my father's home to my husband's home. Note, I said "father's home to husband's home", and nothing in-between. ~Our family had many trials and tribulations, but I remember a father who was protective of me, and loyal to our mother in spite of all the reasons in the world to leave her....looking back, I do not see how he handled the chaos and sadness she brought him, and still kept himself sane and remained a loving father. I am thankful he was faithful and steadfast and loyal. Those appear to be rare traits now. ~My father was a veteran of two tours of duty in the Korean war, and two tours of duty in Vietnam. He was a person who made me feel safe, and loved. We disagreed on many things in our lives, but in spite of that, he was truly interested in hearing my opinions, and he was truly interested in our children and the every day things they loved. A year before he died he told me he was proud of me and pleased with the way our children had been raised and were growing up. There was no finer gift he could have given me and I am thankful he expressed this before it was too late. ~I remember his birthday with love and sadness, and if he were still alive I would give him his usual and favorite box of Brach's Chocolate Covered Cherries and a chocolate cake which he would take a BIG slice of, put it in a bowl and cover it with milk and eat it with gusto! ~"We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon those we love."
Madame De StaelBlessings: a father's love
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
~The weather was so nice this weekend we painted our new dovecote. The landscaping of the area surrounding the dove pen is being drawn up by our beloved Son-in-law, husband to our daughter A.Joy. We are so happy to be done with the painting of the dove pen. This is where we originally had 4 trees and two of them came down through our first dove pen and also through our roof, destroying parts of our home. ~This is the side of the dove pen facing the pond. We plan on having arbors and grapes here as it gets full sun all year. This is also where my Hubby deposited the wheelbarrows of goat manure. There are a lot of rocks we have dug up and they will be used to build the wall around this future garden. ~This is the new duck pen. Very, very simple too. Our daughter and her husband gave us an old dog kennel. We put it in place of the older and coyote destroyed duck pen. Hubby put a new roof on the kennel and I lined the interior of the kennel with plastic coated chicken wire so raccoons and possums cannot reach through to literally pick the flesh off the birds inside.So, no roof access , which is how the coyotes got in before, no reaching to kill distance which is how the raccoons picked the poultry off . Hubby is finishing this off with waterers on the outside of the pen that allow the ducks to quench their thirst without mucking up the pen or leaving the birds vulnerable to predators. My new ducklings are due to be delivered via the U.S. Postal system in April and I intend to keep these ducks alive.I will talk about training ducks to pen themselves up in the evening in a later post. ~And now...ta dah! I received 2 awards! The first award is from Annie's Goat Hill ! Thank you Mary!This is the Premios Dardo Award and is given for "acknowledging the value that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical , or personal values every day." I am to answer 12 questions and replace a question I choose not to answer with a question of my choosing ( Mary's addition).
- What are you wearing now ? Comfy black pants with comfy black , long-sleeved shirt.
- What is my biggest fear ? Spiders and harm to my family.
- Worst subject in school? Math, algebra, geometry...see a pattern here?
- Last person I hugged ? My husband, as he went to bed while I stayed in the study to blog.
- Last web sites visited on-line? Poultry sites , looking for Marans and Welsummers and Hoya propagation information.
- What is the last item you bought ? Dog food.(wow, so interesting)
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? England and Wales
- If you woke up tomorrow and were the opposite sex what is the first thing you would do and why? Call for an exorcist.....I would have to be out of my mind and in the grip of evil to have that experience......and if that didn't work, well......deal with it, shave and take command of the T.V. remote control.
- Has a celebrity ever influenced my own hairstyle? No, but if I see a celebrity picture of a hairstyle that would work for me I take it to the beautician as a picture of what I want. ( Sally Field's hair style and color work for me and are easy to keep up.)
- Most embarrassing moment? Still too embarrassing to talk about, hey.....embarrassing IS embarrassing!
- Last movie I watched ? Oh my, I think the last movie I watched was 'Wall-e' ( sp?) which I took the grandchildren to the theater to see.The current crop of movies has not appealed to me, and I have not seen any of the Oscar nominated or winning movies.( except Wall-e)
- If I had a whole day to myself with no work, committments, or interruptions, what would I do ? Putter around the place. Read a book for awhile, spin up some yarn, have lunch while I watch my chickens and sheep, play fetch with the dogs,watch the birds while I eat dinner, take a nap, then maybe read some more!( BTW , dinner and lunch would probably be brussels sprouts with cheese)
~I am presenting this award to my daughter A.Joy and friend Lanny.I await your answer to these questions and wonder if you will answer as I think you will!~
~This award is from Toni . Her blog is Raising Eden.Check it out! Thank-you Toni!!!~
Blessings: my Hubby, blogging friends who are encouraging and inspirational,a home I love to be in , productive work for my hands and heart
Sunday, February 22, 2009
~We had a very nice weekend. My Hubby and I are mostly recovered from our bad colds and we took it easy with the heavy lifting as we were out and about on Cedar Pond in the unusually sun shiny and warm weather for February. While Hubby worked on our new and hopefully predator proof duck pen, I cleaned up more storm damage ...the fallen branches all over the property and in the woods and piled them up to be burned. I also cleaned up some of our out- buildings . ~Then there is the goat pen. Thorin and Bombadil are my pygmy / Nigerian dwarf goat brothers. They have their own small pen with a 2 story dwelling my Hubby built for them. They don't like to get their feet wet and have pretty much worn out their sunning bench. So I tossed the pieces of the bench into the burn pile along with the storm wind fall and there was all this wonderful goat poop! Black , and dry because it was under the sunning bench. That is black gold for the garden....so before we put stumps in the goat pen for the goats to stand and jump on I had to collect this very desirable fertilizer. (picture above)
~Thorin immediately trying out the new furnishings for his pen.~
~"For gardening , goat manure can be a real asset. In their naturally dry, pelleted state, goat feces are easily handled, stored, or directly applied on vegetables, trees, and flower gardens, as mulch, organic matter,fertilizer, or just to increase the water holding capacity of the soil; and goat feces do not normally attract flies or breed maggots."The Dirt Doctor, Howard Garrett... This is true in my experience. The goat manure was full of earthworms though. Goat, rabbit, and sheep manure can be applied directly onto your plantings... ~I don't understand why keeping a couple of goat or sheep wethers ( castrated males) is not a more common practice in this country. They are not smelly animals ( CASTRATED MALES) and do far less damage than the average dog. They are not near as noisy as dogs either, plus , they will eat those pesky blackberries and weeds and can be easily kept in a pen with just shelter from the elements and fresh water and grass hay, again...cheaper then dog food!They can be trained to walk on leash and be very friendly. They don't bite and are quite comical. Their manure is ready for the garden right away and the garden benefits as well; as long as you keep them OUT of the garden.But hey, they don't dig in the garden. It is common for many European countries to have herds of sheep and goats keep the grass of the parks and road sides in control by walking the sheep and goats through them. So if you're really serious about the "greening " of your place here on earth you might want to consider a wether or two. Blessings: days spent at home, working with love, goats
Saturday, February 21, 2009
~This is one of my Cuckoo Maran roosters. I love the cuckoo pattern on poultry, for that is what the term 'cuckoo' is referring to. The hens of this pattern or color, are darker than the roosters. The Cuckoo Marans resemble the Barred Plymouth Rock chickens, but the Plymouth Rocks are an American breed and the Marans are French. The Marans and the Rocks come in several different colors. The first batch of Cuckoo Marans I raised came from Sandhill Preservation Center in Nebraska, and true to the breed, some had feathered legs, some didn't. The current pen of Cuckoo Marans came from Murray McMurray, and none of them had feathered legs, and none of them are laying the dark chocolate brown eggs I desire. ~This is one of my Maran hens. Because she has seriously deformed feet I keep her only with a Maran rooster. Really, I should have culled her, but she survives qiuite well and lays eggs most days. The eggs shown below are from her. As you can see, they are not chocolate brown. ~Here is a basket of eggs collected from my flock. You can see the variation in color. I am getting only 2 dark brown eggs every day or so and believe they come from the only two survivors of my previous flock( the rest of the flock was killed by dogs) and 3 year breeding program directed at getting a certain color of brown eggs. ~Here are the survivors( below), and they are 3 generations of Welsummers and Marans bred together for dark brown eggs. I would have my bantams brood only the darkest brown eggs and raise the chicks. I think I am going to find another source of the Marans and Welsummers, the Murray McMurray Marans seem to be laying almost white eggs. Hey, even Barred Plymouth Rock eggs are darker than these. Meanwhile, we will use the bounty of eggs the flock we have produce, and I so enjoy watching my flock of chickens. ~"The Maran chicken was developed in France in the mid 1800's , imported into England around 1920 where most of it's improvement ocurred. The vast majority of the Marans are cuckoo coloured ranging from very dark grey to silver, red / bright orange eye color and white legs. The most notable charasteristic of this hardy chicken is it's very dark egg colour.." UK Maran Blessings: chickens, eggs
Friday, February 20, 2009
~Is it not Miss Marple who supervises mole control and bird sightings? Not to mention the spotting and tracking of hornets that fly out of the firewood as they warm up and circle the house and bat themselves up against the windows?~
~How could I possibly forget the vermin kill she leaves at the front door rug every morning as evidence of her hard work and hunting skills?~Blessings: cats and kittens
Thursday, February 19, 2009
~This was made by my Hubby on his first wine pairing and tasting here in our home. Very, very tasty! Isn't this dish pretty? The outer circle is endive leaves with dollops of herbed goat cheese in them. The inner circle of this dish is Phyllo Crab Cups, by Cheryl Spiropoulos and published in April / May 2006 issue of TASTE of HOME.
Phyllo Crab Cups
1 package ( 8 ounces) softened cream cheese 2 to 3 tablespoons horseradish sauce 3/4 cup imitation chopped crab meat 1 tablespoon chopped green onion 2 packages ( 2.1 ounces each ) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells ( NOTE: we used phyllo dough cut in circles and pushed down into a tart baking pan. A pan that looks like it is for baking miniature cupcakes.) Paprika In a small bowl beat the cream cheese and horseradish until smooth. Stir in the crab and onion. Spoon 2 to 3 teaspoons into each tart shell. Sprinkle with paprika. Place tart shells on baking sheet or tart pan into 350 degree oven for 16 - 18 minutes or until tops begin to brown. Yields 2 1/2 dozen
~Here is my Hubby, reading over his wine list and talking about wine and food pairings. The food he prepares is oh so good. But the fellowship and fun of just being with special people makes this even better.
" Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting; to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one's labors in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward."Ecclesiastes 5:18
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
~Above is a picture of one of the first Jacob rams I kept here on Cedar Pond. Cedar Pond's Abel,( only a few months old when this picture was taken ) on the left, was a triplet son of my first and oldest Jacob sheep ewe, Maple Creek Joy.Joy died of old age when she was 17 years old. Did you know sheep could live that long ?I had Joy here at Cedar pond for 15 years of her life and still have some of her great-grandchildren. Anyway, look closely at Abel. For some reason, this ram was always decked out in greenery. I used this picture one year as my Christmas card photo. " Deck the horns with boughs of blackberry, baa ,baa ,baa ,baa ,baa.... ~And again! I don't have any other rams who will walk around for days wearing their boughs of fir, blackberry, etc. For one thing, any sheep wearing greenery immediately finds flock mates walking alongside them , munching on the greenery until it is gone. So Abel needed to keep clear of snacking sheep to keep his finery.Note Abel's horns. My daughter-in-law Breezy called it the "Elvis thing going on with his horns". ~This is another ram I purchased from Swallow Lane Jacobs when he was only 5 months old. He grew very large horns very fast. I named him Swallow Lane Torque, and I named him Torque, meaning "a necklace, amulet, or collar, worn especially by ancient Gauls, Britons, and Germans, twisted collar" Funk & Wagnalls. I think a collar of horn qualifies as a torque. However, the many men who viewed Torque at the Puyallup Fair thought his name represented 'torque' in other ways.
~Cedar Pond's Vandal! This is Vandal at only 7 months of age. He looks very much like his grandpa Torque.~
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
~We had a peaceful weekend.Saturday my Hubby surprised me with a dozen red roses in the morning and in the evening we fellow-shipped with our church family in our daughter and her family's home . We had a wonderful dinner and time with our friends in Steilacoom on Sunday, and Monday we cleared up more of the storm damage around our property, cleaned up the coyote destroyed duck pen and started the re-building of a much better pen. Hubby and I had a campfire down by the pond and enjoyed the sunny day and spring like weather. ~As usual, when I am busy doing labor that requires little thought, why , my thoughts just take to wandering. Above is a picture I took Friday afternoon of our Valentine gift to our daughters' family. A Betta and some of the cranberry liqueur , plus some cranberry bread. As I was photographing this I was fascinated by the beauty of the sun shining through the liqueur and the Betta container. So clear, the reflections of the sun on and through the water were , well, for lack of a better word...beautiful. Whenever I am struck by beauty in simple things my mind flies to God and His creation and His gift of allowing us to appreciate beauty. Here are a few verses from the Bible that came to mind:"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they ( humankind) are without excuse, for even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks...professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures." Romans 2:21-23 ~ And...."But now ask the beasts , and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; and let the fish of the sea declare to you. Who among these does not know That the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of everything, and the breath of all mankind." Job 12 : 7-9 Blessings: friends, fellowship, beauty in every day things, quiet weekends with my Hubby
Saturday, February 14, 2009
~"May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is much better than wine....I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." From the Song of Solomon
Thursday, February 12, 2009
~I took this picture around midnight while the loaves of cranberry nut bread were still hot. I haven't been feeling good and should have been resting but I HAD to bake! Blame it on NOBLE PIG and her recipe for Hungry Housewife's Banana Bread, 2/11/09. I so wanted to make and eat that banana bread, but alas, I have everything but ripe bananas and the supermarket had no ripe bananas, even ones hiding in the back of the produce section. So I bought bananas that should be ripe enough next week to make this fantastic looking and sounding bread. ~However, I did have some fantastic ingredients for cranberry bread. Not just any cranberries either, I had the cranberries left over from my home made cranberry liqueur. Chopped cranberries that have soaked in vodka and a few other ingredients for over 2 months!Cranberries soaked in citrus peel and vodka...now wouldn't it be a waste to throw those out to the chickens ? ( The chickens might disagree ) The picture above shows the freshly drained and bottled cranberry liqueur, along side the cranberries and the loaves of very tasty bread!I wish you could see how beautiful the rich red cranberry liqueur is when the sun shines through it. ~The liqueur was made to give as gifts along with a recipe for cake that requires the liqueur, however Barb, a friend, suggested the liqueur would be very good drizzled over cheesecake ! Sounds delicious Barb!
Cranberry Nut Bread ( loosely based on Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook recipe)
2 cups sifted all purpose flour 3/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon soda 1 beaten egg ( farm fresh is best ! ) 1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange peel 3 / 4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 2 Tablespoons oil 1 cup chopped and vodka soaked cranberries ( drained ) O.K., chopped fresh cranberries if you must 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped walnuts Sift together dry ingredients. Combine egg,peels, oil and juice, add to the dry ingredients stirring til moistened. Fold in the nuts and cranberries. Bake in a 9X5X3 " loaf pan , 350 degrees for an hour or until done. Remove from the pan, cool wrap and store at least a day before eating. ( You can cheat though, just one buttered slice before putting it away for a day.) I made this cranberry bread in December and it was very, very good. It is so pretty and with the red cranberries throughout and drizzled on top, it makes a good quick bread for Valentine's Day. Interested in making cranberry liqueur ? Click here: Home made Cranberry Liqueur Blessings : abundant food, friends and family to share it with
~Above is a picture of a table runner I wove a few years ago. It is woven out of an acrylic/cotton yarn someone gave me a large supply of. This was an experiment I decided I liked. I hand stitched some discreet beads at the hems on the ends of the table runner. As you can see, our table is quite long and if I want a particular color or design to fit the table I need to make it myself.~~Here is my scariest moment in weaving....cutting the fabric off the loom. After all the work in threading the loom, then weaving, I will cut it off. I need to make sure the ends of my project will stay secure and not unravel as I cut.~ ~Ta dah ! 10 + yards of woven fabric rolled out on our hall floor. The chunks of yellow and white you see are filler . I fill the areas between my fabric with tulle I have left over from different projects. You can use paper towels, nylon stockings, I used to use Pendleton wool ends too. The areas filled with tulle are reserved for tying the ends of the fabric off into tassel type knots, or sewing and hemming, etc. There is no need for me to use my good yarn for 'fill' that will have to be unraveled later.
~Here I am pulling the tulle filler out. See how weaving the tulle in tightly makes it look so small and rope like ? Later I will flatten out the tulle and use it for gift wrap bows! So many uses, so little time to create.~~I wove some small pieces of fabric for the sides of the purses I am making. Since I do not want fringe on the side pieces I am sewing the ends to prevent them from unraveling until I piece together and sew the purses . Like my old sewing machine ? My Grandmother got it from my Mother, and gave it to me when I was first married. It is a Sears Kenmore, circa 1955. It works great, and I have the old button holer and attachments. A sewing machine repair guy told me not to get rid of this...they don't make them like this anymore he said. Well worth keeping up! I know I love it and use it often. ~Here are the woven pieces for another purse.My favorite fabric, because it is blue. If I were to own a shop or eatery, it would have a name like" All Things Blue", not sure how that would fit in with an eatery though...blue dishes? Blue is a color that just draws me in....
~The woven pieces for another purse. I have some really pretty silky fabric for the lining of this purse.~~And last, the pink fabric! I bought some pink Chinese silk type fabric a few years ago, and it has stunning turquoise and blue butterflies on it. That is the lining I have in mind for this purse. I have also set aside beads and embellishments that I am excited to add to these purses. I don't have a fixed plan though, my work kind of helps create itself as I go along. I have no trouble tearing out my work if it makes me unhappy. There is no joy for me to see a project that hurts my eyes to look at. I have been known to throw away, tear up and discard such projects. I don't give away or sell projects I don't like, although some have found their way to being dog beds!
~I will post pictures of the purses I make from this weaving later, as they are finished.~
~"Moreover, I must make my creation good and honest and true, so that it may be a credit to me and live after I am dead, revealing to others something of the pleasure I found in its making. Then will my creation be art, whether I be poet or painter, blacksmith or cobbler, for I shall have labored honestly and lovingly in the realization of an ideal." C.Valentine Kirby I would like to add to these words..."whether I be poet or painter, home maker and keeper, blacksmith and cobbler, or gardener and cook, mother and wife, neighbor and ?, for I shall have labored honestly and lovingly in the realization of an ideal.....for my Lord and Savior all my life." Blessings: honest work, people to love and serve with joy, blue!