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

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chicken and Biscuit Weather

~Do you see him? Hiding in the grass, behind a few tiny branches?~
~There he is, the Mallard Duck that hangs out on the other side of our pond. There used to be two ducks, him and his mate. Then..just him! But I do not think he is alone. I think, actually, am pretty sure, his mate is sitting on her clutch of eggs. I think she is on the island in the middle of our pond. I check every day to see what is going on around the pond. ~Today was a chilly and rainy day..a Chicken and Biscuit for dinner kind of day!
~CHICKEN and BISCUITS~ This is just plain comfort food. I got the recipe from my daughter A.Joy When her children know this is what they are having for dinner, they get pretty excited. I agree with them, this is good eating, especially on those days you want a meal that goes down easy because it tastes sooooooooooo good!
  1. Chicken-about 2 breasts or 4-5 thighs cut into bite size pieces
  2. 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  3. 1/4 cup flour
  4. 3 cups chicken broth
  5. about 1 Tablespoon chopped thyme
  6. 7 to 9 large baking powder biscuits
After chicken pieces are cut up, fry in large Dutch oven style pan with thyme. When chicken is cooked through, remove from pan and set aside.Melt butter in same pan and add flour. Stir until thickened into a roux. Slowly pour in chicken broth, stirring constantly. After roux has dissolved into the broth, add chicken and thyme back into the pan. Let simmer on low while you make your biscuit dough. Cut out biscuits and place directly on top of chicken and broth. ( Biscuits may sink under broth, that's O.K.) If your pan can go into the oven to bake-let chicken and biscuits on medium heat for about 30 minutes. Then place in oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until biscuits are lightly brown. Remove from oven and EAT!!! (if your pan is not safe inside oven-pour chicken and broth into baking pan , place biscuits on top, then bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until biscuits are brown)
~Maybe the weather will warm up soon, but my favorite days are still those that call for an evening fire in the woodstove , hot coffee with dinner, and a warm blanket to sleep comfortably.Blessings to me, and I do not take them for granted!~

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spot on Friends

~A peaceful and pretty scene, the reflection of the sheep on the pond. These are Dirt and Lanny's sheep, and this can be seen from their dining room window. Just beautiful! Dirt and Lanny , our family, and a few others were able to share time together this weekend in fellowship with others from a bit farther away. Our common and uniting bond is our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Dirt and Lanny and their daughters served up a very tasty brunch for quite a few people and of course we had a great visit while we enjoyed the scenery and seconds and thirds of the meal.
~Dirt and Lanny listening to discussion, in the home of the Wingmaster and his family.I have been reflecting on how many years we have known each other and how intertwined our lives have become. Our family has known them since before their last two daughters were born. They have contributed to the enrichment, support and encouragement of our family in ways we can never fully express. You all must have at least one friend in your life you can say the same about? ~ We have been blessed by many such friends,and family.But even if your life is more solitary, or you believe you do not have friends you can count on, you always have Jesus, really..you do! "Jesus said, " You are My friends if you do what I command you....I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. " John 15:14, 15
"A man of many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring on Cedar Pond

~Trilliums are blooming abundantly all around our property, especially in the wooded parts. These trilliums have grown up through clumps of ferns and moss, under a cedar tree. The pure white blossoms turn to purple or pink as the flower ages...the trilliums around here are in various stages of white to dark purple. ~Oregon Grape, Holly Grape, Mahonia- this too is abundant around here and thrives everywhere, especially favoring our flower beds where I pull a LOT of it out to allow other flora space to grow. I love this plant because it is abundant, stays green all year and this year the clusters of yellow flowers seem bigger than in previous years. The bees are all over the flowers. This is the plant I cut large quantities of to bring indoors during Christmas holidays. It looks like holly doesn't it. Later on the flowers will turn to large clumps of blue berries...hence the name, Oregon GRAPE. You can eat the berries, they are kind of bitter. They make good jam! ~I just like the look of this algae, moss, and lichen covered stump on our island. I believe there is a pair of nesting ducks on the other side of this stump, but don't want to go on our island to check it out. I see one or the other of the pair of ducks close by, every day now....maybe I will see ducklings soon! ~Indian Plum. Found in damp forested areas ( that's us, for sure!), we have this everywhere. My literature says the Native Americans used the straight , thin stems for making arrows. In the fall the flowers turn to a fruit that does look like miniature plums. The birds love them! ~The seasonal stream that runs from our marshy area into the pond, usually fall to late spring, early summer. The granddaughters like to make fairy boats of bits of bark, moss, twigs and blossoms..float them down the creek and watch the little 'boats' launch into the pond. Sometimes the little boats have pine cones or feathers as passengers. ~Red flowering Currant. This adds touches of bright color to the wooded areas when there is little other color. The bees and hummingbirds love this forest shrub too. Although the books say salmon berry should be blooming now, I have seen only a few, but ours look about to burst into blossom. Because of the unusually cold spring, all our flowers are a few weeks behind their normal blooming times.
~Don't you just love the special things around your home and town, in your state or country that mark the seasons? ~ " And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seeds in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:12

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Good Time, Good Fellowship, Good Music, Good Teaching

~We have been so blessed , in every sense of the word, to have the Job family here in our home ,and in our home fellowship for a brief stay before they head up to Burlington, Washington and then back to their home in England. For any who have a teeny bit of curiosity about home church, Beresford Job's book BIBLICAL CHURCH is the book to read. Above is a photograph of Beresford,(left) and a brother in Christ, Joe Emmi, from Oregon. ~Joe came up from Oregon with a friend, and after a meal, we had a wonderful time of music and singing in the home of the Wingmaster and his family. Joe Emmi contributed some absolutely beautiful songs he wrote and sang accompanied by his guitar. IF he ever concedes to record his music I want to order the first recording.~ ~Others meeting together this evening.(Jobs , left, Coulters, right) We meet in homes and come together with songs, praises, scripture, prayer...." no one leads from the front. We are in the home of whichever family is on the rota for that week, and there is precisely no front to lead from. We all sit around the sides of the room- some on chairs and others on the floor depending upon available space- and everyone can clearly see everyone else's face. All are free to interject into the silence, whether with sung praise and worship, a prayer, a tongue, an interpretation, a prophecy, a testimony, a request for prayer, a word of encouragement. a word of instruction from the scriptures, or a reading from them; anything , in fact, which would have the effect of encouraging and building up in the Lord those present. This is the foundational underlying principle and rule laid down in scripture for the I Corinthians 14 time; " When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church." Beresford Job Biblical Church ~My Hubby ( above) with our youngest grandson, Little J. Our children ,now grown, grew up being involved in our home church and worship. They were not handed over to teachers or babysitters while we sat without them, and soaked up preaching, teaching, and singing in church. As you can see from the pictures, our grandchildren participate in home church with us and their parents. Our sons home church in another town with our other granddaughters and brothers and sisters in Christ....(below, our daughter, A.Joy, mother of Little J.) " In the New Testament, and therefore in a biblical church, the children are seen to be as much a part of the proceedings as everyone else, and that includes the ' I Corinthians 14'worship and sharing time as well. Or to put it another way, the children are, quite simply, as much a part of the church as everyone else, and not in a million years are they supposed to just be 'got out of the way'. And neither should they be ever be viewed as anyone's responsibility, spiritual or otherwise, except their parents. Indeed, it should be the utter delight of parents to have their children with them as much as humanly possible..." Biblical Church, Beresford Job ~We are so thankful God has allowed us to home school and home church our children and see that our grown children value what they were taught, enough to do so themselves. We are so thankful to home church with our daughter and her family, to snuggle grandchildren while we enjoy the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ, enjoy meals and songs and praises together, and lots and lots of wonderful music, and knowing that we are there for each other in spite of our human flaws and problems...and that God has graciously extended to us His grace...sufficient for all."I leave you with this thought: If scripture says something, then whatever that thing is, it is right. Conversely, if something goes against scripture, then whatever that thing is, it is wrong. Therefore, when it comes to church life and practice, who are you going to go with; the Lord Jesus Christ and His written Word, or the traditions of the early Church Fathers? Beresford Job BIBLICAL CHURCH "If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine..." John 7:17

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rest and Be Thankful.....

" Return to your rest, oh my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For Thou hast rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling." Psalm 116:7,8 "Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms, For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods....." Psalms 95:2,3 "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Thursday, April 23, 2009


~There is nothing quite as tender and special as a new little baby, is there? I got a chance to see and hold my new little great-niece, youngest granddaughter to my sister. Baby J. She is so pretty, and her little fingers are so slender and feminine, and she is a perfect delight to her Mom and Dad, their first born. And my sister is over the moon happy about her! ~Onto other babies, sheep babies.....known as lambs. My lambs like to push rubber balls around. The balls are pushed around every day . Lambs play, did you know that? I have watched my lambs follow birds and wild bunnies around. Once I saw a lamb get almost nose to beak with a robin. ~She's butting the ball. I originally put balls in the pen for my ram, Goth. He rams the balls which sends the balls flying to the other side of his pen. He will run to catch up with the ball to ram it again. This seems to help him expend some energy and he enjoys the ramming.It also gives the trees and fences some relief from Goth. Isn't spring glorious? Babies of all kind, ducklings, chicks, birds, lambs, nieces, grandchildren....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hannah Dustin, 1697 ~ Kidnapped & Escaped

~Hubby and I toured New England a few years ago, a gift to ourselves in celebration of 35 years of marriage. I have lived in New England but he had never been east of Texas. So we had 10 days of fall driving from Boston to north Vermont...beautiful time of the year and being from Washington state, where written history does not go too much farther than a century and a half, why, we were visiting sites of America's ancient history! ( as far as the history books take you ) Imagine our delight when we came upon a statue of one of Hubby's relatives in Haverhill, Massachusetts ! We had read the family history...pretty exciting stuff...but did not imagine we would see a statue in honor of Hannah Dustin! Here ( above ) is a picture of it . When we viewed it the weather was beautiful and the leaves were just beginning to show the bright fall coloring New England is famous for. (I have pictures of my own somewhere) ~"Hannah Emerson Dustin , her husband Thomas, and their nine children were living in Haverhill, Massachusetts , in 1697, when Abenaki Indians attacked the town. Hannah, her one day old baby, and her nurse, Mary Neff, were captured and forced to march into the wilderness.( The other 7 children were rescued by their father, Thomas Dustin, illustration above) Early in the forced march, the Indians took Hannahs' baby daughter from the mother's arms and killed the infant by smashing her head against a tree. ~Hannah and Mary were forced to travel with an Indian family group northwards, during which time they were joined by Samuel Lennardson, a 14 year old white captive. ~The Indians and their captives stopped at an island on the Merrimack River near what is now Boscawen , New Hampshire. When the Indians fell asleep, Hannah seized a tomahawk. She and her two co-captives killed 10 Indians. A young Indian boy and woman escaped. Hannah then scalped them as proof of the deed. ~The former captives jumped into a canoe, taking the scalps with them. They traveled down the river only at night and after several days arrived in Haverhill." a re-telling from 'Eastman's Online Geneology Newsletter, by Dick Eastman "Hannah became famous in the nineteenth century when her story was retold by Henry David Thoreau and then was written into many genealogical histories. In the 1870's a statue of Hannah was placed in the Haverhill town square, and another of her was erected on the island in New Hampshire where the killings and scalpings took place." Above is a garrison house Thomas Dustin built , one of several built in Haverhill to protect the community from further Indian raids.....and "When Hannah Dustin was taken by the Indians, she had been the mother of 12 children, four had died previously, the father saved seven, the twelfth child , a baby of six days was killed by the Indians. After Mrs. Dustin's return from captivity, a thirteenth , named Lydia, was born. The eight children lived to grow up, all married , and left large families of boys and girls, consequently a numerous posterity is scattered not only throughout New England but from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast." fr. THE GRANITE MONTHLY, a New Hampshire Magazine. Guess my Hubby and his family are proof of that! ~There are many interesting people related to Hannah. Hannah's mother was related to Daniel Webster. Hannah, who gave thanks to God for her and her children's deliverance, was the sister to a notorious woman , Elizabeth Emerson ,who was condemned in front of a huge crowd in Boston by Cotton Mather , and was hung that day in June, 1693 , for the murder of her illegitimate twin newborn babies. So one sister had honors heaped upon her, the other was the scourge of Boston...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ducklings Move Out

~Planter on front porch (above)~
~My Hubby has been gone for a week. He spent his birthday and Easter away, fortunately he was able to be with our sons and their families and they had a great time together..but now he is home! Just in time for beautiful weather and lots of work!We both did a lot of gardening and spring cleaning outside. Hubby worked in his vegetable garden, getting the raised beds ready for planting, transplanting his many Hostas, and he cleaned out the shed I need to rear my ducklings and chicks in! He saved my back, but I think he might have hurt his.....
~Hawk is giving me the 'look', the look that says there is something behind these doors he is especially interested in and won't I please open the door and let him inspect?
~"Please? I can smell it from under the crack. I can hear peeping!"~
~"See! I knew there was something in here I would love. They look scrumptious!"~
~After 3 days in the bathroom , no amount of cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, can keep the smell of wet bedding and duck food from permeating the near by surroundings. So after my dear Hubby cleaned out and prepared the brooding shed for me I was able to move the little cuties outside, into a shed that had fresh shavings and heat lamps and room to move about and splish water and eat all they desire without stinking up the entire house. Until they are a little bit bigger they will reside in a kiddie swimming pool...still plenty big for them
~Ducklings are so cute. And they don't quack! They "peep"!~
~Although Hubby and I did a lot of work around our place this weekend, the weather was warm and sunny and we also had many moments to sit on the porch and watch the birds and enjoy just being together!~

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Not Finished Til It's Fulled....

~Above are the ends of the tablerunner I finished.".....many hand-weavers do not "finish" their wool projects. The reason seems to be that they either don't know how or are afraid to try. This is a serious mistake because wool that is unfinished is really not very different from other fibers. In fact, it is probably not worth using wool in hand-weaving if it's unique qualities aren't brought out." (Finishing Handwoven Wool Fabrics, by Harrisville Designs ) Well, nobody told ME anything like this when I began weaving. Of course, I did not have enough money to buy wool yarn when I began weaving and did not know how to spin my sheep's wool yet. So it maybe did not occur to the kind ladies who taught me how to weave to instruct me in finishing my handwoven pieces.
~The tablerunner, right off the loom. It is not finished yet. I thought it was, then I ran across this little booklet as I was planning another weaving project.~
~Well, after reading this informative little booklet, complete with illustrations and samples, I now understand why I like my handwoven tablerunners better AFTER several washings!~
~Here is the tablerunner fresh out of the washing machine. The booklet said to machine wash on regular 12 minute cycle with warm water and detergent. Air dry and steam iron press.~
~Finishing wool consists of cleaning and felting or "fulling", as it is called......the variables to control are moisture, heat, and friction in the presence of a good soap or detergent." ~The table-runner, after "fulling", steam pressed. I braided the fringe ends of the table runner as you can see in the first picture above. This is woven with hand-spun Jacob sheep wool . I carded some angora into gray and home dyed pink wool to spin up this variegated yarn. .......There are so very many spiritual analogies one can apply in weaving, and finishing a piece of cloth. But another time....."Like a weaver I have rolled up my life ; he cuts me off from the loom....." Isaiah 38:12 "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle..." Job 7:6 ~~~Wool fabric isn't finished until it has undergone heat, friction, washing and pressing! Then of course , as fabric it is taken and cut and sewn into whatever the designer or creator makes of it. I don't think I am "fulled" yet. The Master Weaver has a design and pattern especially for me that was begun before I was ever born. He planned and made the warp, threaded the loom, and began weaving....and the cloth is not yet ready to cut off the loom.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day Quackers and Pork!

~I had planned to attend a little tea party at the state capital today. Put it on my calendar and read up on tea party etiquette on capital steps....thought about bringing my own party favors too. I had all kinds of ideas for a really artistic and bold sign to decorate the capital steps. But the local post office called and said my ducklings were in. I am hoping there will be another tea party soon. Off I went to pick up my little quackers.
~Look at this! 18 fuzzy quackers in this little box. 18 healthy and cute little quackers!~
~I put them in the most practical place. My chicken bathroom. No, no live chickens live in the bathroom.This just happens to be my most kitschy room, full of chicken decor...and my poultry magazines and catalogs are in a magazine rack right next to the ...ahem....where they can be read during lengthy visits to this room
~For awhile the quackers will live in this room because it is warm, easy to clean, and I can keep the door shut to prevent Miss Marple from dining on my new ducklings. Above, you can see the little cuties excited about their first taste of water. They are so excited about the water that I will be cleaning their box frequently to keep them warm and dry.I also put little blades of grass , cut short into the bin for the ducklings to eat and play with.
~Here is the outside view of the bin the ducklings are living in, and I have a light above the bin to keep the quackers warm.~
~PORK ? Where's the pork the title hinted at? See?! I stepped outside to get something from the garage and THIS is what i saw! In my yard, next to the garage! I do not know where this pig came from! I have never seen this pig before! Doesn't he look cranky?I ran and got my camera and he looked annoyed....but I got his picture. ~He doesn't like me being near him, and I am glad..because you never know if a pig in your yard is friendly. Especially a porker who might have a hunch you ( me ) were going to a tea party to protest PORK ! I mean, really. A pig, in my yard, for the first time ever...on TAX day, Tea Party day! What are the chances? Well, 1oo% today apparently. "Pork is the inevitable feature of the democratic process." Kevin Hassett ~I slowly walked towards him and he turned his curly little tail and ran pretty durn fast up our driveway and out of sight! Now if only the pork in government would....."Pork: slang-U.S. Money, position, or favors obtained from the government, as a result of political patronage." Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary ( 1941) "..pork has been used by both parties as re-election currency. They use these projects to get re-elected every two or every six years. There is no moral high ground here when it comes to pork barrel spending because most of Congress partake in this process " CAGW Vice President David Wilham ( citizens against government waste)
~So, Tax day quackers and Pork, not what you expected when you read the title, hey?~

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What Price is Right?

~I love to make things. I love to design and create many things. Rugs, weavings, embroidery, little sheep and miniatures.( I made the rug above ) I have made and sold many, many items and always have difficulty putting a price on my items. You see, I want to sell many things I make, but I have been told I charge too little. I have been told that by people who actually charge a LOT for their craft and sell enough items to justify their prices. But all it takes is one person to gulp at the price tag on a rug or weaving and self-doubt just charges in on me and I am tempted to lower prices ASAP! ~A few years ago as I was perusing the shop of a local weaver, I was enthralled by her many looms, her colorful rugs hanging on the fence outside her home on the main street of a cute little mountain town near by. We bagan talking about the price of weavings and rugs and how it is hard to explain to people why they should pay more for her / my rugs when they can go to the local discount store and get a very usable and attractive rug for a very low price. Cheap, in fact!The lady in the shop scolded me for my willingness to cheapen my work by being too cheap in pricing. She actually gave me a LONG lecture, and my daughter-in-law witnessed it. But I want to make some money, I want to sell my things. ~All I can say is that I start with my own lambs and sheep. I buy hay for them, tend them with love and lots of attention. I make sure they get their vaccinations, wormings. I keep records on them and think about them a lot. I pay someone to shear them, and then I skirt the wool fleeces, wash most of them myself. I dye the fleeces myself. I spin the wool into yarn for my weaving and rug making. I design and craft the rugs and saddlepads I make, and each rug or saddlepad has many hours of work involved before completion. So really, I cannot put a price on the rug for the hours or work involved. I put a lot of love into what I do too..I LOVE what I am doing. You cannot put a price on that either. ~However, I have discovered that many items I have given away, or sold very cheaply, sometimes are then treated as of little value.....and how can I expect someone who is not familiar with my craft to appreciate the hours and hours of spinning the wool, hours and hours warping the loom, so I can weave them a gift? And if I have woven dyed yarn into the weaving, well, there are many more hours involved? Somehow, it seems like this should make the item matter at least as much as the factory woven table cloth....but I digress. ~Somehow, some way, I need to price my items so they are affordable, but not cheap. Well made, with love, because I don't want to sell something badly made. But I do myself and other fiber artists a disservice when I consider the things made by hand are not worthy of some sort of reflective price....and I have decided I will keep some items rather than sell cheaply. I do make items that are affordable to anyone, but rugs..and weaving..not any more, they will reflect a tiny bit of the time and effort involved. But still, What price is right?
~The pictures are of a wool locker hooked rug I made. It is 3 feet by 4 feet and very, very thick. This is one of the items I do not know how to price, but I finally decided it will not sell below a certain price, and maybe I will never sell it. We'll see.~
Blessings: To be able to work and craft with the wool of the sheep I love, time to craft with my wool, imagination

On The Day That You Were Born....

"On the day that you were born , the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true.
~So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair~
With gold and starlight in your eyes of blue.."
Happy birthday Jim! Lyrics from Karen Carpenters' CLOSE TO YOU