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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Our New Best Friend

Meet Chip, our new best friend. Chip and my husband will be spending a lot of time together, they have a big job ahead of them. We hope Chip our new wood-chipper is up to the job ! I am trying to catch up on reading & commenting on blogs. The work load outside is enormous after the ice storm damage to our place. So much damage it is hard for me to look out the window at the destruction of our woods & gardens. I am sure in a few weeks though, I will be excited to help my husband plan and create new plantings. But, this will take awhile, the destruction is so massive around here and the work to be done just cleaning it up is going to take a lot of time & energy. Day light hours will be spent outside unless the weather is dreadful, then I will be getting ready for lambing time which arrives here any day now. Life is good, God is gracious and we are blessed. ~

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ice Storm

Every tree limb, branch & twig was encased in ice.We lost our electric power the day before , but we were warm and snug inside as we enjoyed the Christmas card scenery from our living room in front of the wood stove. Base camp the past few days was this spot in the living room. Look at how much light candles put out. We did a lot of reading, and we listened to our battery powered radio from here.
I had clusters of candles in places we needed light. These candles lit our rummy games. ( My husband was the big winner.)
Can you see the little chickadee amidst the iced branches ?
Hearth and mantle.Warmth & light.
With so much ice encasing them, the trees began to pop, crack, burst, explode, and shoot everywhere, or just drop and shatter.For a full 24 hours it was not safe to venture beyond our porch. The animals too, stayed under cover.The bird feeding area in the front of our home was destroyed.
The flowering plum tree and the vine maple will not live to see spring.
The goats could not get into their sleeping loft, but they did enjoy snacking on the barriers.
This broke my heart, one of my husband's bee-hives was shattered by cottonwood limbs, the bees were huddled together for warmth , to no avail.
Well, I guess we have to start all over again around here, but there is so much hard work, so many labors of love my husband invested in Cedar Pond.Now the clean-up begins, and I know this will take awhile but we'll get it done. Meanwhile, I am keeping the fire going in the wood-stove. The power blipped out as I was down-loading pictures for this post. Winter has only begun and the wood stove has already worked hard to provide warmth. We cooked our meals on it and heated lots of water for baths and washing up. "It's not the case, though some might wish it so, Who from a window watch the blizzard blow. White riot through their branches vague and stark, That they keep snug beneath their pelted bark. They take affliction in until it jells To crystal ice beneath their frozen cells.." Richard Wilbur ~Orchard Trees, January

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Ice Storm Has Taken It's Toll

We have been without power at our place since last Wednesday night between 6:00 & 7:00. I was in the process of downloading photos to my blog when everything went black in the house.We have a warm home and hot meals because we have a wood stove, and a good supply of firewood. A battery powered radio keeps us in touch with the outside world, a well stocked pantry , bottled water, and candles keep us going when it gets dark.The first night without power was beautiful. Lots of snow outside gave us bright and quiet scenery ,all was as pretty and cozy as a Christmas card.Thursday night the ice storm came. We had a full 24 hours of trees popping, exploding, and bursting all around our property. We did not venture past the porches , nor did the animals venture out of their shelters...the falling branches were weapons, and there was no time the branches were not falling. Some of the limbs that fell were themselves the size of large trees. When the temperatures began warming yesterday it was still dangerous outside because branches are falling with each blast of wind. Tonight and Tuesday we have windstorms forecast, with gusts up to 55 MPH. If I could download pictures of our place you would see it looks like a war zone. The devastation is daunting, but our house escaped any damage, and although some of the animal pens sustained branches through their roofs, not a single animal was killed, a true miracle. The picture above is courtesy of my daughter, A.Joy, whose computer I am using tonight.The ice storm has taken it's toll, and I think it will be collecting from us for a very long time to come. I am praising and thanking God for keeping us safe. I hope you are all well and safe during the storms of winter too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chintz Teacup, Snowy Day Dreaming

It snowed yesterday, today, and is supposed to snow tomorrow and the next day. The weather man said our particular area can look forward to 8 to 10 inches of snow. Since I have a warm home and a full pantry, I have the luxury of looking forward to snow days with a happy heart.I filled my teacup not with tea, but my choice of hot beverage, good coffee with real cream ( no just plain milk or half-in-half for me thank-you ) . I then hummed as I looked through my stash of fabric and dreamed about what kind of quilt I might make with these prints.
This tea / coffee cup shows colors very much like the fabric I have pulled out .
This teacup is one of a set of 4, each one is a different chintz pattern and color.The teal chintz is my favorite though, and I have already used it often. It just makes me happy.
I have grown to like these colors more and more. I am thinking of making a quilt for our bedroom of these colors, but first I have to collect quite a bit more fabric (oh fun!) I will take my time doing this all the while thinking about just what quilt pattern would be most pleasing. It really is a rare time to be home bound with such beauty outside and pleasant ways to spend my time indoors. I wish my husband could stay home today too, I will pray for his safety while he drives to work along with all the people who don't know how to drive in the snow and ice .
Did I mention the snow? Oh yes, snowy day dreaming. Please check out the blogs listed below for other Tea Time Tuesday happenings ! "Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation." Jane Austen

Saturday, January 14, 2012

His Sheep, His Lambs

Lambing time for my sheep should start the end of next month. These are pictures of 2009 lambs that are now grown. One of the twins from the picture above is a ram lamb that is still here with us and his very large horns are formidable. His half brother, shown below, is Barbarian, and he too still resides with us.Like his half-brother, his horns are very large.Look at how cute and tiny they started out. I have framed this picture and hung it on the wall, I love it. The tender love of this ewe for her little lamb. This little lamb grew so quickly that he was as big as her before he was 5 months old, his 4 horns were at least 6 inches long. He would head- butt her udder to let down milk and then when he nursed he would literally lift her off the ground. She was still protecting him when he was big enough to take on the whole flock by himself. That's a Mom's love, but for her own protection I had to remove her beloved ram lamb from her presence. Most parents would readily give their lives to protect their children, yet our protection and love is so imperfect and flawed. There is One only we can receive true love and protection from, the Maker of us all, the Shepherd of us, His sheep.Are you one of the flock of the Shepherd? The Bible says "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand." John 10:27,28 ~ "Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture." Psalm 100 : 3 ~"God is the shepherd who guides, the Lord who provides, the voice who brings peace in the storm, the physician who heals the sick, and the banner who guides the soldier." Max Lucado ~

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tea Time Tuesday & A Secret Santa Mystery

Isn't this teacup lovely ? I received 2 teacups of this pattern as a gift from my Secret Santa last month. My Secret Santa did a wonderful job of choosing gifts for me, I just wish I knew who she was...please come forward , I love the gifts you chose for me. I made myself a cup of tea and drank it out of this teacup. Although the very old teacups came without saucers, I do have a supply of old Japanese made saucers on hand that go very well with these teacups.I think the blue saucer goes very well with the blue flowers ringing the rim of the teacup, don't you? I took this short tea break to catch up on reading my magazines, especially my poultry magazines, as my Grandson & I are raising bantam D'uccles (a small breed of chickens) together .Of course I had to have some of the berry butternut cookies my husband made for Christmas. I ate the last 3 cookies , with no regrets! I was also able to read my 'Tea Time' , 'Country Living', & 'Victoria' magazines with all the inspiring tea settings and recipes. My lovely teacup is titled 'Cherry China', Made In Occupied Japan. I searched on-line for any info on this beautiful china but could not find any apropos to this pattern and style. What I appreciate about these cups is that I can use so many different saucers and table-setting colors with them. For now though, I will eat my cookies, drink my tea, dream about future tea parties, and then get on with my January house-cleaning & organizing.I hope my Secret Santa reads this so the mystery can be solved.~ To see other Tea Time Tuesday inspirational ideas, please visit the ladies listed below. There are many reasons I love January. The weather outside is so cold there is no gardening to be done. I can focus on what needs doing indoors. After feeding my sheep, poultry, dogs, cats, & goats ~ making sure they are well, warm & dry, I come indoors and hum as I bake, clean, craft and write without feeling I am neglecting other duties.The wood stove needs to be fed often to keep the house warm. I am so grateful to God who has provided my family, home, hearth, health, and blessings more abundant than I can write. Tea time and blogging friends are icing on the cake of such abundance. I hope you're able to see all your blessings and be thankful, for even if you're suffering hardships and loss, you are still abundantly blessed, really! ~"Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. " James 1:17 ~

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Sister!

Happy Birthday Baby Sister!A whole year has come and gone since we shared your 50th birthday together in Hawaii.I am on the far left ( wearing green ), our youngest sister is on the far right. What an amazing time we had and a whole year has passed by so quickly with so many changes in each of our lives. It is a comfort to me in the knowledge that no matter our differences and circumstances in life, we are there for each other, thank-you. Happy birthday Tricia, I love you !

Friday, January 6, 2012

Now I Love This Room, It Works For Me! ( craft room update)

This is what beckons me in as I pass it from the bedroom to go downstairs and get my first cup of coffee. " Hurry back Kathy, you have so much fun and inspiration awaiting you here...". This is one of many pictures before I started making this room a place I wanted to be.(Click here * to see previous post on this room ) This room was quickly becoming the room I avoided , it was full of bins of fabric and projects I wanted to finish but moving bins and boxes to do simple tasks made it a dreadful room to be in. I knew that if I did not get this room in order and make it a place I wanted to be in , well, it would fill up with things that would turn out to be clutter and also useless, fit only for landfill. Before(above )... ...after.My precious husband was quick to be upstairs measuring and figuring out how we could use the space efficiently. Our first plans fell aside because the store we chose to supply the storage needs was out of our choices. We shopped around and although this is not as pretty as our first choice, it was perfect for my needs and saved us at least $100.00 or more. Before...this space was truly ugly and hard to use for many reasons. It is also one of the spaces I tend to use most frequently, making this room a place I dreaded using, but NEEDED.What to do, what to do? Well, again, our original plans fell through, but my husband came up with this.... ...look , my fabric fits here, no more stacked bins!There is also a place between the units where I can store long narrow items, canvas I need for locker-hooking, the type of canvas that will not fit into little cubicles.This space also allows me to store loom accessories that are long and narrow . I can see what I have and store it in a way that makes it all accessible and to me. I love seeing fabric folded, rolled, stacked, and waiting for me to choose just which one or two will be perfect for my next project. The basket was purchased from Goodwill for $3.00 and holds all my laces, trims, and brick-a-bracks for fabric embellishing. The boxes are free from the grocery store and hold my Wee Little Sheep, all wrapped in tissue paper and ready for adornment and carting off to bazaars. Maybe not as tidy and picturesque as a magazine spread on craft-rooms and studios would show, but this room is organized, comfortable, warm,affordable, and works very well for me. It beckons me , I want to be in this room. I put my music on, or watch recorded programs that inspire me here. I teach my granddaughters how to sew here, and give them a place to use the assembled art products such as beautiful paper, glitter, glue, paint, beads,fabric & trims ...embellishments and many other things they choose to use. The last place left to get in order is the sewing area. The place to the left of the sewing machine holds projects I and my granddaughters are actually working on. This means these projects will be finished and the wire baskets will quickly be re-filled with new projects. So much more organized and efficient for me. The sewing machine pictured here was retired just this month, replaced by a new /old Singer sewing machine from a friend, and an industrial Singer sewing machine I bought brand new. I wore this Kenmore sewing machine out. Although the motor is fine, most of the stainless steel attachments have worn out and broken off. I was having to put bits and bobs here and there to make things work and breaking at least 3 needles for every purse made of handwoven fabric. Time to make the sentimental give way to the practical. I am keeping my old Kenmore, gift from my Grandmother via my mother, but moving on to new things here. I have been getting things in order around our home and am currently going through paper-work and re-organizing our study & filing system.Within the next week I should be done, the shredder will have made much more nesting material for our chickens and helped us free more space to use for LIVING. After the craft room & study are done I will breathe a sigh of relief and feel more free to again be involved outside our home and in the blog-o-sphere. The new year around here is one of purging and expectation, how is your new year coming along?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Yikes , What a Year ! ( There's always hope for the coming year.)

Yikes, and how was your year? I hope your year was one enabling you to take not only the good, but the bad and all the in-between with a perspective allowing for optimism and hope. Optimism because this world can be a rough place, a sad place, a place of fear , worry, and evil, but in spite of all this, it is a world of beauty , kindness,small mercies...fun,laughter, and hope."we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ...and we exult in hope of the glory of God, and not only this, but we exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance , proven character, hope ; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:1,3-5 ~picture above taken in our home and in front is our great-nephew.