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

Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Canine Companions ~ Blessings !

 I don't think I can ever underestimate the many ways my canine companions have enriched my life. This is Whimsy our German Shepherd. If I had known many years ago what an amazing breed German Shepherds are Whimsy would not have been our first GS Dog. I believe we have been mightily blessed she is our first because of her willingness to please us and quickly learn our ways and routines , mutually beneficial to all concerned. And how could you not love a face like this ? She is looking at me in this picture. She watches, studies, and follows me , humbling me with her unwavering devotion.
 This is Hawk, our old Vizsla , settled in front of our fireplace with our other constant companion, Blizzard. Blizzard may look like a cat, but he is 20 pounds of muscle in a cat body with the personality and friendliness of the average snuggly dog. Blizzard actually becomes a nuisance when we have company because he runs to see who's here and then proceeds to jump in their laps, especially if that company includes children. He loves being in the midst of loud playful kids and often frustrates them by snatching their toys for himself. Alas, Blizzard usually has to settle for us and our dogs, but he has no qualms about thrusting himself upon us. Hawk always appreciates a warm body to lean into and he and Blizzard are friends.
 Beatrix is 11 years old and such a faithful dog. She and Whimsy do not get along because they both strive to be by my side. Whimsy works hard at keeping Beatrix away from me by circling us as we walk and nipping Beatrix , trying to bully Beatrix to stay back away from me, far away from me. This works too , because Beatrix will back away from me and flatten herself on the ground when this happens. It is apparent Whimsy has quickly become the "alpha" in my little pack of four. I am working with Whimsy to teach her manners, it is not polite to mistreat your elders . This has really been my biggest challenge with Whimsy. I will not allow her to abuse Beatrix , and Beatrix is the only dog she picks on. I have been thinking on this since Whimsy was 6 months old. Why does Beatrix seem to concern her regarding me ? How can I stop her from bullying Beatrix... still working on this, but Whimsy has not physically harmed Beatrix , and thus far Whimsy has respected my insistence on this. ( She'd better ! )
 This is Willow, Beatrix's older sister. She is 13 years old. Both Beatrix and Willow were born in my kitchen. They are full sisters from different litters. Willow and Whimsy are companions, sharing the back yard and porch. They sleep together too. Willow gets along with everyone, people, other dogs, cats. She loves nothing more than food and her beef bones. She is always carrying a beef bone around with her and sleeps with her favorite beef bone. Willow is one of those dogs often unappreciated until they are gone because she is so easy to have around. Sometimes she is silly and it is fun to watch her roll around in the grass , one of her big pleasures. Rolling, rolling, rolling.. and snorting with pure doggy joy as she does.
All our dogs love to hang out with my grandchildren , and all my grandchildren love dogs. My canine companions enrich my life, entertain me, and I hope I give to them even a fraction of the love and devotion they give to me. My dogs are a blessing to me and I am thankful for them. ( Picture is of Whimsy and one of our grandsons, daughter's youngest son. )

Friday, January 22, 2016

Our Future Home~ 2016 ,Year of Great Change

2016 is shaping up to be a year of big changes for us. My husband is retiring in the fall and we're hoping to move to our place over the mountains and far away. You can see our future home in the pictures. This is a view of the back of our home , I was standing in our field.
My husband loves this place and we work on our future home every chance we get. Our oldest grandson also loves it here and is a big help. Grandson and my husband have some big plans for the pastures, woods, and livestock housing. Unfortunately the trip there requires us to drive over a mountain pass that is treacherous in the winter, and sometimes in the fall and spring too , making our trips not as frequent as we'd like. Plus, it is a 6 hour drive one-way.
We have an old travel trailer there ( shown above ) we use as a guest-house. I have made some simple changes to the interior and have so many more ideas and plans for the trailer, but first we have to sell Cedar Pond and move. I have been very busy since the beginning of the month sorting through my craft room and closets , deciding what things to sell, what to donate, what to box up. I have a BIG job ahead of me !
This is a picture of 6 of our grandchildren taking a walk through our field and heading into our woods. As much as I love Cedar Pond my heart has turned to our home over the mountains and far away. The hard work of packing up and preparing our home for sale has begun. My husband and I are in for a lot of work and a new adventure this year, a year of great change.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Our Worker Man

 Seems so many years ago and yet again only yesterday. It is cliché but true... time flies swiftly by. More than 3 decades ago our youngest son was born and he brought great joy to us ( as did his older sister and brother ! ). The picture above was one I snapped when he cut down a tree on the property we were preparing for our new home here on Cedar Pond. Our youngest son was always busy and constantly reminded us he wanted to be a " worker man". By that he meant exactly what he said, he intended to be a hard working man, and he is. On this particular day he kept asking his dad for work, he wanted to help out. Finally, with so much going on and little time to spare my husband gave our son a dull axe and showed him a tree he could chop down. I do not believe my husband expected Daniel to persevere in the work this would require, but about 2 hours later we heard his little boy voice yell "TIMBER ! " and indeed, he felled the tree.
 When he grew up and began working as a farrier ( horse-shoer) he met and married our beloved daughter-in-law Breezy. They had a  delightful cowboy wedding complete with their faithful dogs accompanying the wedding procession.
 13 years after they were married God gave them their miracle baby, a son.
 Happy son with his wife and son. And yes, our son is a "worker man" !
Happy birthday son, we love you soooooooooo much !
" Commit your works unto the Lord, and your plans will be established." Proverbs 16:3
" In all your ways acknowledge him ( God ) and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:6

Friday, January 8, 2016

Fun With Fiber ~ ( Remembering Why I Love Wool-Working !)

 I love working with the wool of my sheep, and the wool of other breeds of sheep too. Somehow I get bogged down with so many other things to do ( including the chores of keeping the sheep I love ) I forget how much I love working with wool. This is my wool drum carder. A carder brushes wool that has been sheared, skirted , washed, and picked*. I decided after the holidays I would spend some time renewing my enthusiasm for my wool crafting by taking time away from all but the needed aspects of keeping a home and simply enjoy playing with wool.
 Looks like cotton candy , doesn't it ? This is some exotic wool blends I have had stashed away blended with my Jacob Sheep wool. I had fun picking and choosing from my stash of wool to blend colors and fibers I thought might culminate in some interesting yarns.
 The desired end product of my wool blending is wool batts ( wool carded into batts, like batting you might buy for quilts, only wool )  I can spin into yarn I might then weave into fabric.
 I ran the wool through my carder a few times. Isn't it lovely ?

 I had a few other colors of exotic fiber to combine with my Jacob wool too. This reminds me of tropical fruit and Hawaiian sunsets. 
Anyway, these are a few rolags ( wool batting taken off the carder and rolled up ) I have finished and added to the basket by my spinning wheel to be spun up into yarn soon. I will fill my basket with spun yarn to later be woven into fabric. I will enjoy this process ...handling to wool batts, appreciating how the colors come together as they turn into yarn, and marvel at the fabric woven from my wool. This craft of wool-working is as old as creation and a marvel. Did I say I love wool-working ?