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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Morning Sip ~ (and Blog Comment Problem)

 I started my morning sipping coffee with Blizzard The Cat and Blue The Betta ( Siamese Fighting Fish) as company.
Blizzard my cat started his day sipping Blue's betta water. To each his / her own.
~ COMMENT PROBLEM ~
I read and tried to respond to all your wonderful comments on my last post but each time I commented and hit "publish" Blogger told me it was publishing my comment and then NOTHING, nada, nyet... I tried several times , several ways with the same result. I am not sure what the problem is, but if you somehow get a few comments all at once from me it is because I kept trying. I am sorry to have not been able to leave comments and will try again. If anyone can give me a possible reason for this please let me know. I am reading your blogs and enjoying them, and TRYING to comment !

Thursday, March 30, 2017

It's Spring ~So Much To Do !

The most difficult thing about our new home is deciding how to spend our precious time when there are so many things to do, to see, and to enjoy right here on 'Laughing Dove Farm'. Should I take a walk in the woods with our dogs ? ( Picture above was taken on a path in our woods.) Should I work on my spinning, weaving, gardens, scrapbooking, writing, or maybe my husband and I should go camping. But hey, fishing season is almost here and the boat needs to be readied ... I have a few good books tucked away to read, some quilt squares cut out and ready to sew. I know, I'll sit on the back deck and watch the birds, the deer, my sheep and maybe catch a nap in the sun.
 Why do we call our new home 'Laughing Dove Farm' ? We love doves ! We've kept white doves for over 2 decades now and left doves in our dovecote at Cedar Pond for the new family to enjoy , but also brought 3 pairs of doves with us here to our new home. Our doves are the offspring of the many generations of doves from Cedar Pond. Plus, there are wild doves all around us and anyone who listens to doves can hear the distinctive laughing- like sounds they make. ( Picture above is of wild doves perched in trees here at our new home.)
 The chicks I ordered from a hatchery arrived in the mail last week. I bought some chicks that should grow up to lay blue eggs and am very excited about my future laying flock , but not as excited as our youngest grandson is about them. I spend a lot of time tending my new chicks, and also tending the mature laying flock of 8 we brought with us from Cedar Pond.
 I had my sheep sheared the first weekend in March while there was still snow and ice everywhere. My new sheep shearer is a tiny woman who also is a mom of 2 little ones and has a flock of sheep of her own.
 Here are my naked sheep, most of them ewes who were still expecting lambs when I took this picture. Within days after the 16 ewes ( female sheep) were sheared they began having their lambs. Every night during this time of the year, no matter how cold and miserable it is outside, I do regular check ups in the barn to see how the ladies are faring, if any new lambs have been born, and tend to what they need at this stage of their pregnancy. Mostly they need deep bedding, and a lot of drinking water, plus a safe place to have their lambs undisturbed by the other sheep or predators.

One of the joys of new lambs is sharing them with grandchildren. Here is a picture of two of our granddaughters ~sisters holding sister lambs.
 We still have snow in our woods, in the fields, and in the surrounding hills, but it is spring and all you need to be reminded of the season is look out onto my fields and see little lambs running, jumping, and playing !
 We have 19 new lambs. All lambs were born alive and healthy, and their mamas are healthy too. That is such a blessing to not be taken for granted when I consider how many sheep I have now (way too many !). My flock doubled with lambing season.
 Have I mentioned we have a lot of wild turkeys here too ? We've counted at least 40. They roost in our woods at night. During the day they range from our woods to the neighbors' on either side of us. They're pretty predictable, we can almost set our clocks by their trek back into the woods at night. Until I moved here and began to observe wild turkeys from our living room windows every day, I did not realize how far and how high wild turkeys can fly, and also how smart they are. ( Picture is of wild turkeys in our field.)
Wild turkeys between our sheep pen and our bee yard. They wander into our hay barn and all around the sheep pens and pasture too.
The hills across the gravel road from our house are still wearing winter snow, but the sunshine and warm rains are melting the snow quickly and next week we're supposed to have warmer , drier weather. I kind of like the rain and the snow and am not concerned about it sticking around longer than it is supposed to. The hot weather will be here soon and by September I know I'll be wishing for the rain and snow again.

" There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven ~ " Ecclesiastes 3:1

Monday, March 13, 2017

Our New Home ~ Thus Far ! ( Before & After )

 Last summer when we began to move into our new home I was content to keep the furniture we had in our home at Cedar Pond. I love blue and white and if furnishing and decorating our home was completely up to me I would probably tend to keep all furnishings and decor in that color scheme , adding color accents according to the seasons. Here is a picture of our new living room last summer shortly after moving in.
 Our new home is less than half the size of our home at Cedar Pond. We sold and gave away many furnishings.( I don't think our grown kids have room for anymore furniture in their homes now !) This is the view of our living room from the very small kitchen.
 Before we moved in we stripped out all the wall to wall beige carpeting and installed a wood laminate floor. We covered up all the mustard and brown walls with white paint in several shades of white. (Excepting the wall with the big windows, that is painted a very dark blue.) I was surprised that a lot of the white paint looked blue when we were finished. Yes, we bought only white paint. ( Do you know how many shades of white there are !?! )
 Here is the current view of our living room from our very small kitchen. You can see the blue and white sofa and loveseat are no longer in our home. That is because my husband who has retired wants to be comfortable too. He used to have a recliner , but his recliner will not fit into this house. We went shopping and finally found a living room set we could both agree on. This set has 4 recliners, is gray , and the size of these sofas is smaller than your average sofa/loveseat set and takes up less space in the living room than the previous loveseat and sofa. Win/win, except it is not white. As far as my husband is concerned that is even better !
 View from the loveseat looking into the kitchen and the bedroom ( left of china cupboard).
 This is one good sized living room with large windows looking out onto our fields and woods, with mountains in the background. We put a small table in front of the windows because we spend a lot of time reading and writing while enjoying the view. Plus, in a small home it is good to have a table to pull out for dining with guests.
 We have a scope at our windows for daily viewing of wild life. We see wild turkeys every day as a flock of between 20 - 40 come and go across our fields and into the woods. We also see pheasants, eagles, turkey vultures, deer, coyotes , and other wild life we've captured on our game-cams in the woods. ( I took this picture today and you can see we still have a lot of snow.)
 The china cupboard fits perfectly on the wall between the living room and bedroom.
 The little side table with the fruit bowl on it is an old typing table with wheels. The sides flip up doubling the top of the little table and this is what we roll to the front of the larger sofa when we desire a 'coffee table'. It fits perfectly in the middle of the large sofa allowing us to recline without obstruction , also giving us a place for our cups of coffee and snacks.
 We need the storage these glass fronted shelves directly behind the sofa offer so we placed them in the middle of the large living room as a room divider. This also allows us room to enter the house from the front door ( at right , not seen) and space to walk through the living room to the back bedrooms and bathroom. The bench and our antique overstuffed chair allow a place to read and visit in front of the woodstove that heats the whole house quickly and efficiently with firewood cut and stacked from our woods.
 View of the living room from the bedroom.
 As I was unpacking our boxes of books and magazines I came across some magazines from the now defunct 'Early American Life' of the 1980's .I kept these magazines because they contain much history I find valuable and as I was thumbing through one of the magazines I came across some pictures of a living room I remember liking.
 I was startled to see this living room looks like an old fashioned version of our current living room !
What do you think ?

We have a lot more we plan to do . We'll be remodeling the kitchen , laundry room, and back porch but that will have to wait until next year. We're getting our outdoor stuff done first and also plan on actually enjoying retirement by getting in some fishing and camping. As things are right now, even if we never get around to remodeling, our new home is very comfortable , easy to maintain, and works quite well for us. We're so blessed and thankful for God's many mercies in our lives. We're loving life here at Laughing Dove Farm.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mouse and Fairy

 Fairy and Mouse live in my wool room here at Laughing Dove Farm.
 There was a small rectangular hole my husband left behind after installing the electrical workings of my new wool workshop. He was going to neatly cover it but before he could get around to finishing the wall a fairy and a mouse moved in , thus claiming their own little place in my wool shop.

Actually, our daughter's oldest daughter ( far left) painted my new little wool shop residents, and I am happy to have them nearby as I weave and work with the wool of my flock of sheep. ( Picture is of our daughter and her husband's 4 children.)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Waiting Game



Inga stands on a pile of snow that slid off the barn roof blocking the entrance to the stalls, looking out on a snowy day. Inga is due to lamb any time now, as are 14 other ewes.
 Jonas is the sire of my 2017 lambs. He stands out in the weather wearing a thick white blanket of snow over his warm wool coat.
My husband holding a newborn ram lamb. We're just waiting for a dozen or more, enjoying the lamb season's waiting game.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Lamb Season Begins

 Lamb season began February 4 this year with the birth of twin lambs to my ewe ,Cedar Pond's Tovah. I was not expecting lambs so early and am very glad Tovah is a pro at lambing. She found a warm and snug place to have her little ones under cover , chasing all the other ewes away first. When I discovered the lambs she'd already cleaned them up , they were on their feet and trying to nurse.
 Lambs are just too cute !
That is a wall of white snow on the other side of the chain link fencing around the lamb pen.
 Tovah had a ram ( boy ) lamb and a ewe ( girl) lamb, a perfect set of twins !

Only 15 more ladies- in- waiting left to have lambs.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

 Best Christmas present , my first pair of overalls. Never mind the clutter of Christmas packaging and new gifts of much appreciated wool socks behind me , my new overalls are amazing. I just slip into them all the while still wearing my pajamas and voila , warm and ready for chores outdoors in the below freezing temps we had for awhile here at Laughing Dove Farm . I do believe me and my new overalls will be inseparable for awhile , even into February. Yes, they are the gift that keeps on giving, thank-you Jim !

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My New Wool Workshop



 Here is my new wool workshop in the snow . Our new home has had snow since the Sunday after Thanksgiving and it is simply beautiful , but very cold. This shed was delivered in late September as a shell and my husband just finished insulating, wiring, sheet-rocking, and painting it. All for me, and well ... kind of for him too. I'd begun to set up my wool working items ~ looms, and lots of other stuff I need to work with the fleeces my sheep produce in his new garage / shop. It does not fit into our new home so where else was I going to put it ? My husband decided to give me a place to set up my wool works in a new little shed just off our driveway before you reach the house. This works for both of us and I am loving all the thoughtful and hard work he put into this. ( Most of this stuff was in a an upstairs hall landing and spare bedroom in our home at Cedar Pond.)
 As you walk in the front door of this little shop you can see an old hutch , shelves of wool fleeces, weaving shuttles, and other bits and bobs I use to weave , plus some items of comfort every workshop needs.
 My floor loom is in the front of my wool shop and why we chose this particular shed model with extra windows. The loom fits here with room for me to walk around it as I am warping ( threading) it and also affords me a lot of natural lighting.
 My husband installed shelving above the windows. I've placed some house plants from our previous home on it , along with baskets for storage. The windows to the right of the loom look out onto pasture where my sheep graze when there is grass instead of over a foot of snow.

 The shed has 2 lofts. This loft holds all my bins of handspun yarn, Wee Little Sheep ,fiber, and other products I've made from the wool of my sheep to sell. There are also bins containing supplies I need for the set-ups where I sell my items at bazaars and farmer's markets. I put a few pumpkins and squashes from last fall's harvest there to store for later use too , along with my dollhouses and misc. spools of yarn for weaving. My husband is going to make me a special ladder to keep here so I can access the lofts easily.

 We put an electric heater that looks like a woodstove in the corner . We did install fireboard around and underneath this electric heater so we can install a real woodstove later on. The teakettle is electric so I can brew tea, coffee , or hot chocolate whenever I desire. There is a table loom to the right of the heater I am in the process of warping.
 Anyone for tea ?
The door to the shop . I hung warps for weaving on pegs on the wall by the table loom.
I am so thankful for my new wool workshop . I never in a million years would have thought to have such a sweet little place to call my very own and plan to spend many hours happily busy weaving and crafting the wool of my spotted sheep , all the while striving to follow this admonishment ( and often failing) "But we urge you , brethren, to  excel still more , and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you may behave properly towards any outsiders and not be in any need." I Thessalonians 4: 10-12