"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mouse Reunion & Bears Plan Party

 Years ago ( 1986) I made many, many little mice to sell and also give as Christmas gifts. I only kept 2 mice that I never fully finished and had forgotten about them until we received the buffet my husband inherited from his parents. There in the buffet were some of the mice I had given them many years ago. I do remember them displaying the little mice around Christmas.
 I gathered the mice up and put them into one of the terrariums my husband gave me for Christmas this year.( I am so excited to arrange some miniature plantings in these terrariums.) Look at all the little mice gathered together, a mouse reunion !

 The mice shared tea while they got reacquainted , and I overheard them planning a tea-party in the near future. Won't that be interesting ? They will have to be careful about making too much noise because my cats love a good mouse treat, real or stuffed !
 As I was putting away Christmas decorations I peeked into the Bear family home. Mrs. Bear and Baby were also sharing tea and Baby was asking mama if they could celebrate New Years' Eve with a big party at the Little's home. Papa Bear was already over at the Little's where he and Mr. Little were sipping tea and having a lively discussion, as they are wont to do. If there is to be a party I suppose it will be up to Mrs. Bear and Mrs. Little to arrange. I think my husband & I should lock up the honey just in case the Bear family raid the pantry again this year.*

 Mrs. Bear finished her tea quickly while Baby ate his apple as he gulped and sloshed his chamomile tea with honey. You can see Mrs. Bear has cake already made for tonight's celebration, she only has to keep Baby from sneaking licks of frosting or taking baby bites out of it.
It just might be a pretty lively New Year's Eve around here after all even though my husband & I are planning a quiet evening together playing a game we received as a gift. We hope your New Year's celebrations are wonderful and the coming new year brings you joy & blessings abundant !

I am joining these ladies for Tea-Time Tuesday this last day of 2013 ~ Enjoy !

Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage *
Artful Affirmations *
Martha's Favorites *
Bernideen's Tea Time Blog *
Antiques & Teacups *

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Christmas Whimsy , Blizzard, & Hawk

 My Whimsy, almost 6 months old and already she loves to pose for pictures. ( well, she SEEMS to )Do you see the spray bottle under the Christmas tree ? It is full of vinegar water for....
 ...our Blizzard who thinks it is fun to catch the bird ornaments and dismantle the tree. So when I catch him at this game I spray him with vinegar water. Actually, all he needs to see is me reaching for the bottle and he scoots out from under the tree and disappears  from sight. ( The little red boot ornament was a gift to me from my first grade teacher in Massachusetts many , many years ago. Mrs. Miller still rates as one of my favorite teachers.)
Our Christmas dogs. Hawk, wearing a bell and a worried expression, and Whimsy , just waiting to play after pictures are taken .
We hope your Christmas festivities and celebrations were times of making new & precious memories with loved ones, and times to reflect on the many blessings God bestowed upon you in the years past. May you  also be able to look forward to whatever 2014 brings to you with boldness and peace because you know the One in charge... Jesus !

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Good News of Great Joy !

" And the angel said to them ( the shepherds in the fields ), "Do not be afraid ; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all the people ; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior , who is Christ the Lord. "And this shall be a sign for you ; you will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.". Luke 2: 10 - 12

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Quiet Evening Before Christmas

 This little church belonged to my husband's parents. I found it in the buffet he inherited from them. I remember them having it out on display during Christmas. There is a hole in the back of the little church so it can be put into the tree with a Christmas light inserted. Since the church is cardboard I am unwilling to risk the fire hazard it could be, but maybe once in awhile I'll put little fairy lights in it for a few hours. The light shining through the tiny faux stained- glass windows is so pretty.
 I am still not finished decorating our home. Maybe by December's end I'll be done, just in time to take it all down and pack it away. The fireplace mantle is always a challenge because we use the wood-stove all day , every day this time of the year and anything hanging below the mantle gets way too hot ( so must be fire-proof ) and also gets in the way of adding firewood and stoking the fire. We don't usually put our Christmas stockings out until Christmas Eve but I am thinking about new stockings for us this year and putting them up early. Yeah yeah, I know a few days before Christmas doesn't qualify as early for many of you who had your homes decorated and stockings hung the day after Thanksgiving, maybe next year I'll have it together . ( I say that to myself every year )
 Try decorating your mantle with all these furry nappers to maneuver around. My husband & I have a tradition of watching our collection of A Christmas Carol DVD's every December as the days draw close to Christmas but tonight the TCM network was showing them.( Our favorite versions are the ones starring George C. Scott & Patrick Stewart. ) My husband and I had a quiet evening tonight, and this is just what we have needed. He baked his Berry Butternut * cookies while I decorated and wrote Christmas cards, which will be mailed out on Monday, too late for Christmas delivery. I am so behind in my Christmas duties ....
...but as Tiny Tim says..." God bless us everyone " .

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Melancholy

Time is precious and fleeting fast. Grandchildren are growing so quickly, quicker than their parents, our children seemed to. How  the years have sped by leaving me dizzy with the emotions of wishing I could have just a little bit of time back with my children and their children in earlier years. I vow to myself yet again to remember in the moment that this is special time spent with the precious ones God has graced our lives . And I do. I want to hang onto these moments , simple moments of no great achievements and doings.

Christmas brings to me the joys of the season, the importance of our celebrations of the birth of Jesus , and the time for family gatherings. Cliché I know, but no less significant for it. I think also the impending end of another year and a new year soon to begin also adds to the reflection and for me, the melancholy of  this season.
 The decorating, baking, gift giving, family gatherings, too-busy times, and just plain fun times are all what I expect, look forward to and even dread sometimes. However, looking back ( yes, with melancholy ) I realize these are the good times, as were the times in years past. A messy kitchen and the piles of dirty dishes from all the family dinners and gatherings just shows you're blessed with food and family to share it with. This means your kitchen clean-up is also a blessing ! ( even more so if some of the family & friends help )

"Christmas ! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given -- when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes." Joan Winmill Brown
"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred , and we are better throughout the year for having in spirit , become a child again at Christmas time." Laura Ingalls Wilder
"melancholy -adj. seriously thoughtful or meditative " Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shepherds & Sheep ( Wee Little Ones Too )

 I have been very busy making and shipping Wee Little Sheep *. Often , while making the little sheep I place them around my little shepherd boy. This little flock seemed to be gathered around him as if they love him and my little shepherd seems sad to see them go.
 Now I know neither the little sheep or the little shepherd are living beings, but for some reason this gathering seemed very real and the little flock was packaged and sent off to new homes throughout the U.S. shortly after I snapped the pictures. Sometimes I am surprised by the emotions inanimate objects evoke and this makes me glad I am making more sheep for my shepherd. Hmm... I think I need to get outside with my real flock and my real shepherd.
 Yes, I do have a real shepherd, and her name is Whimsy. She is my German Shepherd puppy, now 5 months old. Yes indeed, I am allowing her to help me with my sheep and after the holidays intend to take her to sheep herding training. I think she is a natural, but since I have never before had a herding dog , what would I know ?
Whimsy follows me into the sheep pens as I feed and tend my sheep. Here she is facing down a more aggressive ewe lamb in my lamb pen. Thus far, Whimsy has behaved herself quite well, and when she gets too excited I call her away from the sheep or command her to "SIT!" and she obeys. She is sleeping by my feet as I write this post. She & I are becoming very good friends and I hope she will be a companion to my husband & I for many years, and a good sheep dog too. ( The reddish blob in the picture is our Vizsla who is more interested in the alfalfa pellets that dropped from the feed bucket )
"Shepherd :to tend as a shepherd; to gather, guard, herd, lead, or drive sheep, as a shepherd. " Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
"Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arms He will gather the lambs, and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes. " Isaiah 40:11
"I am the good shepherd ; and I know My own, and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." John 10:14,15

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Whimsy's First Winter & We're In The Deep Freeze

 Cedar Pond is frozen. We had about an inch of snow last week, and for the last few days our nightly temperatures have been below 20 degrees. Right now it is 11 degrees here. The pond just starts to thaw in the late afternoon , then the temps drop and it re-freezes. The weather forecasters predict these temps until the middle of next week.
 Our fountains are frozen. Our animal water troughs are frozen. I was looking forward to spending the cold winter days indoors, spinning and weaving my wool, reading my Christmas magazines, baking cookies,blogging....( you get the picture ) but instead, I am carrying many, many buckets of hot water to my poultry and livestock . My husband & I have also been carrying many loads of firewood indoors to keep our home warm & toasty. Just past midnight my husband was outside checking the pipes and putting heat lamps on some of them, then he added more wood to the woodstove & stoked it up.
 Whimsy, my German Shepherd puppy turned 5 months old a few days ago and this is her first freeze.
 She checked out our first dusting of snow...
 ...and the ice on the pond.

Whimsy also checked out the red bows on our Christmas decorations and thought they were great chew toys. But she is a very smart dog and after 3 attempts to dismantle the decorations for her amusement, we convinced her this was not acceptable behavior for a good dog like her.Now she leaves the bows alone. Good dog Whimsy .
Whimsy & Hawk

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Goose Teapot & Cups

 This Christmas will be very different for our family. My husband's father passed on into eternity this past year and anyone who knew him knew he loved Christmas. My husband's parents' home had Christmas decorations throughout the house all year long, because the decorations made them happy. My father-in-law was also one to share his love of Christmas with his family. He often bought multiples of items he knew his 6 grown kids and their families might appreciate , and we were the beneficiaries of many beautiful Christmas ornaments, dishes, figurines ,books, or any other Christmas items he knew we had to have .The Christmas Goose mugs shown above were a gift from my husband's parents at least 20 years ago. I remember serving my children hot chocolate with whipping cream and marshmallows in these mugs. ( Sweet memories...) I am drinking peppermint tea while I decorate our home for Christmas.
 I have undertaken the now-daunting pleasure of setting up our Christmas village. Daunting because it takes at least a day ( I am on day #3 now )  to drag all the boxes out of our closet , and then we have to be creative enough in our display without compromising practical living space. As much as my husband & I enjoy the Christmas village vignettes we display, we still need space to entertain friends & family. Plus, I hate clutter. Our large Christmas village display is a challenge for sure.
 A little farm resides under our big fig tree. I had to move quite a few large plants from our sun-room to make space for our village and also my husband's train set. This fig tree is too large to move so I incorporated it into the decorating. It is now a large tree on a snow-covered hill with a wee farm nestled at the base. I haven't yet added the little people and accessories to the farms & village.

This teapot was among my mother & father-in-laws' possessions. Years ago he gave us a set of 8 mugs, now I have 8 more mugs and the teapot that goes with them. One of the first signs of Christmas in our home is the 'changing of the dishes' ,and the very first dishes I bring out are the coffee mugs. My grandchildren will hopefully remember the many years they have already used them as their hot cocoa mugs. Hot cocoa with whipped cream & marshmallows. Now I have the pot to fill with cocoa . Thank-you Dad B. We miss you especially during Christmas. The mugs and teapot were made in Japan and originally distributed by the Fred Meyer stores.

Please join these ladies for December Tea-Time festivities ~
Martha's favorites *
Artful Affirmations *
Rose Chintz Cottage *
Bernideen's Tea-Time Blog *
Antiques & Teacups *