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

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ella, Fella & Blizzard

Blizzard is a very curious cat and the package I brought home from the post office intrigued him. The package chirped !
In the small box were two goslings. Sebastopol goslings to be precise. I put myself on a waiting list last fall to even be able to order them and here they are, a pair of goslings of a breed I have wanted for a long time. I named them Ella & Fella. The gosling in the foreground is Fella.
 Look, Fella is peeking out of his box for the first time. He is barely two days old in this picture.
 Ella and Fella were shipped in this box with a warming pad, it is the white rectangular object in the box. It was still emitting heat when I opened the box.
 Blizzard is very interested. I would say he is a keen observer of all that goes on in the sunroom gosling brooder. My brooder is a livestock water tank with two heat lamps. Because I have 2 house cats who would probably love to snack on fresh gosling I also have a metal wire lid to place on top of the tank. ( Sorry Blizzard & Miss Marple)
 Inside the brooder there is newspaper to absorb the water and toweling on top of the newspaper to make it more comfortable for the goslings and easier on their delicate feet. The waterer is on a metal rack inside a cookie sheet with even more toweling to absorb the water.This helps keep the water contained after the goslings play with the water. That is the primary problem with raising water fowl. They are too young to be wet all the time but cannot resist playing with water until it is all gone. This takes a lot of upkeep, but I think it is worth it.
  The aluminum foil on top of the tub surrounds a heat lamp to help direct the heat down into the tub . The metal crib springs keep the cats out and the heat lamp which is firmly clipped into place from causing a fire.

Having a large metal tub in my sun room does wonders for my home décor don't you think? But the entertainment value of a curious cat and goslings in a tub beats Nat Geo and Animal Planet paws down.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Centerpiece for Tea-Time Tuesday

 Last Thursday was our monthly Bible study. The Thursday Ladies came together to fellowship over lunch and continue our Bible study in the book of I Samuel. I set the table with a small collection of Japanese blue lusterware. I used this teacup for last week's tea time Tuesday too, but decided to share my precious teacups for Thursday's lunch. Isn't the gold luster inside the teacup beautiful? The tea set was made in Japan before I was born, which makes it more than half a century old.
 The table & buffet centerpieces were very simple and also a reflection of why our family celebrates Easter. I gathered some moss from outside in our woods, placed it into this domed goblet, added a small plastic ram and made a label on which I wrote an appropriate scripture verse. Genesis 22:13

 One of my sisters is checking out the table as the ladies arrive.

 I try to keep the table settings for Bible study fairly simple, as was lunch. This month it was a 'make your own sandwich' affair. There was tuna, chicken salad and deli meat along with the cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and condiments. Bowls of chips, carrots, plates of deviled eggs. My friend Marlene brought a lovely and healthy salad composed of organic lettuces and veggies. ( Thank-you Marlene). Cupcakes for dessert.
 The table centerpiece reflects the foundation of my faith as a Christian. The resurrection of the crucified Son of God, Jesus. It is moss, with three crosses I made from sticks in the yard and some miniature lilies I had stashed away in a craft box. I placed this on a pedestal cake plate. I will also be using it as our Easter dinner centerpiece.

 Children are welcome to come with their mothers or grandmothers and I set a table for them. The lamb planter was a floral filled gift for our family when our daughter was born. I put a small clump of white pansies in it and candy in the chick.

Mint and Irish Black tea , along with coffee and ice water were the beverages. The true refreshment and sustaining nourishment came from the study and contemplation of the word of God. He is so good to me and I praise him for this opportunity to come together with others who desire to learn more about Him, and also the ability to enjoy Tea-Time Tuesday with you. Thank-you for joining me today. Please check out the links below for other delightful tea-time posts.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Savour The Moment ~ Tea-Time Tuesday


It was a surprisingly sunny day on Cedar Pond, and very cold. Although it looked like a work outside in the garden type of day, the immediate cold to the bones set in and I decided it was really a work inside the house and look out the window type of day. As I worked I was reflecting on Sandi's* theme for today and knew I would take time to truly savour the moment.

 The table-covering is an old wool rug my husband's Aunt Marion made many years ago. I remember visiting her apartment in Everett, WA . She invited us for dinner and to watch her alma mater's football game on t.v. The U of W Huskies against her team, WSU's Cougars. This rug she hooked herself was one of many covering the hardwood floors in her apartment. Her home was filled with her handmade rugs, wall-hangings, quilts, and special mementos of her many travels world-wide. Aunt Marion was an independent single woman in a time many years ago when being a single woman was considered a handicap. She was well educated and became a teacher.
 I decided it was a perfect day to spin up another skein of wool yarn and savour the moments of a quiet time at home doing something I dearly love to do. The wool rug my husband's aunt hooked from sample books of wool fabrics that were sent to the school where she taught home-economics was probably a project she worked on in front of her t.v. on the many cold and rainy days Everett, Washington is known for. Do you think she savoured the moments she spent in her cozy apartment with a view of the Everett waterfront ? Nearby you can see my spinning wheel. I was finishing up the plying of another skein of wool yarn. ( This means I was combining and twisting together strands of wool yarn I had already spun up . I combined 2 strands of yarn making this a 2 PLY yarn)

 In the center of the table on the rug Aunt Marion hooked sits a basket full of my hand spun wool yarn. The basket was woven by a local basket weaver. The basket weaver told me she sat down in a forest , picked up the branch handle and wove the basket there. Do you think she savoured the moments she worked in a forest and quietly, probably reflectively, wove this basket ?
 The longer I look at this rug the more I appreciate Aunt Marion's choices and flair for design.
 The wood bowl once belonged to Aunt Marion. I wonder if the person who made the wooden bowl savoured the moments spent in a shop filled with beloved tools and the scent of wood shavings, thinking about this bowl and the many creations to be carved out of precious chunks of wood surrounding the work space.

The last little bit of two-plyed yarn is done and I am ready to transfer my yarn to a winding reel.
 This winding reel was given to me by a friend who's job requires her to crawl under people's homes. She found the winding reel and an old home-made spinning wheel I hope to restore someday outside an abandoned home. The winding reel has been an amazing help to me. I did not know I needed one until I used it. I simply wind my newly spun and plyed yarn onto this reel. Each wind around to the peg ( inside the reel where a small strand of  the yarn is tied) measures 2 yards. I count the winds thus giving me the yardage of each skein of yarn. Do you think the person who made this winding reel savoured the moments crafting it? Do you think he ( it was most likely a man) was thinking of the person he was crafting it for and savouring the anticipation of excitement and appreciation he expected?

The teacup is a lovely blue lustre-ware with a honey gold color inside and was made in Japan many years ago. The chocolate cake was made by me from scratch and I added everything the recipe called for. Real butter, sour cream, real vanilla, fine- ground good quality chocolate ,fresh eggs from my own flock of chickens, and love. I also made the chocolate buttercream frosting.Do you think I savoured the moments making, baking, and frosting this cake? Do you think I savoured eating this piece of cake? Yes indeed . Savour the moments of your life! If you don't, who will? Learn to savour the moments with a grateful heart.

I am joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for this day to Savour The Moment* and the rest of the Tea-Time Tuesday ladies.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rooster Rage

Roseville the Rooster, a pint size bundle of high strung rage when anyone comes near his little hens. Beware, you approach at your peril.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bittersweet Memories ~Fairy Tea-Party By The Pond (Tea Time Tuesday)

I am posting one of my favorite tea parties for this Tea Time Tuesday. My husband's parents enjoyed this tea party by our pond with us and 4 of our granddaughters. They had a wonderful time with the little girls, and the granddaughters loved their great-grandparents. My husband's parents both passed away in the last few months, his mother in November, his father just this January, making this post a bittersweet reminder of good times with loved ones we won't see this side of eternity.

Youngest Granddaughter, and youngest fairy at this tea-party.
The granddaughters requested a Fairy Tea-Party by the pond with their great-grandparents. They were very excited to wear wings and made sure great-grandmother had wings too.
Oldest and youngest granddaughters ( of 6) ready to flutter...
...come on, the tea-party is about to begin !
" I helped pick the food.Cheese and crackers and sandwiches."
Great-grandma Fairy and Great-grandpa visit with the little fairies. Lots of tea is sipped and the day is perfect for tea by the pond. Not too hot, not too cold, not too windy, no mosquitos or flies. Just a light pleasant breeze and dappled sunshine. Ducks swim by, granddaughters and grandparents laugh, a lot !
Dessert was of course the most popular part of the tea party.
Angel food cake with home grown raspberries and whipping cream, all the whipping cream any little or big fairy wanted to put on it.
Who needs anything else to eat when you can have this?
I caught this fairy mid bite to show you the teacup she chose for the tea party. She declared this was her favorite for the day.
The china teacup and saucer is White Trillium ~by Royal Albert.
This will be a perfect teacup in which to take tea come late spring when we have trilliums blooming all over our property, especially down by the pond.
The little fairies' Grandpa joins us. He is the oldest son of Great-grandparents. We have a wonderful time enjoying each others' company on such a pleasant day.
The day grows late and it is time for the great-grandparents to head for home. Great-grandma ( the oldest fairy at the tea-party) gets a little help from her oldest son, my husband.
I think she liked her wings.
The youngest fairy fell asleep in the swing by the pond.
Please visit these ladies for Teacup Tuesday and Tea time Tuesday. Martha*,Terri*,& .,Sandi *,  Bernideen *, Antiques & Teacups *. I have enjoyed these Tea Time Tuesdays very much and thank-you for joining us for tea today.

"The aspects of things that are most important to us are hidden because of their simplicity & familiarity." Ludwig Wittgenstein

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spot Of Gratitude For Simple Things

 Are you seeing spots? I see spots, and lots of them here on Cedar Pond. My Jacob Sheep are spotted, and the lambs are little jumping spots of joy. My sheep are simple pleasures. Just watching them brings me joy. This is Thora and her new twin ewe ( girl) lambs.

It is a real blessing to have twin ewes by Thora. The sire of these ewes is my new ram , Tonkin. I am thinking I will need to give these girls 'T' names...
As I did my daily chores I took an extra amount of time to simply stand & watch my sheep, chickens, ducks & turkeys. I realized I may not always have the pleasure of such abundance in the coming years, for who knows what the future brings? Ill health, a change of fortune, the need to occupy myself with other things...any and all could change my way of life in a heart-beat. I cannot bear to think of a spring time without new lambs and sweet , fluffy chicks. To not be able to sit by our pond and watch our silly ducks court, quack, and dive head first into the pond for things to eat leaving them bottoms up and making us laugh is a sad thought. Yet I know God in His wisdom knows us and what is best for us. Should he deem it best for us to live otherwise as we move on in the seasons of life, He has given us these times right now to savor and remember. I pause often to soak in the sights, sounds, and joys of today and remember the funny little antics of my farm animals. I make a conscious effort to appreciate the bounty I have here in the simple things. God is so good, praise him !

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." Melody Beale

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring Walk Around Cedar Pond & Tea On The Porch

 This Limoges teacup and saucer were given to me by my sister, via her friend Elaine. Thank-you Elaine,this is a beautiful teacup !

 Yesterday was unseasonably warm and sunny. I had considered not posting for Tea-time Tuesday, opting for a bit of gardening and a walk in the sunshine to drink in all the glories of new life beginning to unfurl and burst around Cedar Pond, but since I also wanted a cup of tea, I decided to combine my passions for both. Look at the exotic bird on this teacup, he looks fierce and proud and ready to fly.

 My two Labs, full sisters from two separate litters born here on Cedar Pond accompanied me. They sat for this picture after already swimming in the pond. They love to be with me, and if a walk around the pond is called for, they know they are going to have a great time. Their names are Willow (left) and Bea. They know their names too, which makes it easy for me to walk with them, because I know they know who I am talking to or commanding as we walk. Example: "WILLOW, NO !" and Willow knows she is to stop what she is doing, but Bea continues on. My dogs love, know, and obey me, and know I mean what I say or command them. This is always so important when you have dogs and also what makes having dogs  a blessing ,rather than a problem. When they remember who is the boss in the pack ( and they know it is me) they are secure and know how to behave, not out of fear, but confidence, knowing the way life operates is consistent.This also offers them freedom . But I digress.

Willow, Bea, and my husband's dog Hawk romping and splashing in the pond.
 I was overjoyed to discover the crocuses were blooming and my husband's honeybees were buzzing  and humming in and out of them and the many primroses we have around Cedar Pond.

The ducks have been amorous for the last month, which is a sure sign that no matter the temperature spring is on its' way. Here are my 2 Call ducks, the drake is forefront. He is a seasoned veteran around here, surviving the devastating coyote raids, and fathering quite a few ducklings.

Look, the ducks have begun to lay eggs. So have my turkeys. When the ducks and turkeys begin laying eggs, it is a sure sign spring is here, no matter what the weatherman says.

The lambs were sunning themselves against the sun-warmed tree stumps, yes...lambs and warm places to sleep outside mean spring is here.

The teacup bird. Is this a Phoenix or pheasant ? Does anyone know? I have searched and searched the internet for any information on this teacup, to no avail.

The roses on the other side of the teacup.

" M-Fires, Limoges Made In France "
I sipped a cup of very hot mint tea from this cup after my walk around Cedar Pond. The sunshine cheered me until sunset. The walk around Cedar Pond was a reminder to me the seasons come and go and usually life will continue in the patterns God has established from Creation. My animals and the wild birds and animals who have chosen to reside here have an instinct He created that causes them to live accordingly, and produce young, rear them, and then start again all over the next season. Yes, the spring mating rituals of the wild birds, the beginnings of nesting time, the new lambs, newly laid eggs of my ducks, chickens, and turkeys all point to spring as having arrived here. Bring on Spring!
A very happy Labrador Retriever. Bea is waiting for me here on our private road beside the pond to throw her a stick. If she is very lucky, I'll throw it into the pond so she can swim and run in the mud before returning it to me. A romp in the pond and the mud, a few sticks to fetch, a bit of digging, and time with the person they love. Life is pretty simple for a dog, and life is really pretty simple for us. Someone to love, someone who loves us. Chores, work, and tasks that are needful and remind us we are needed. A simple cup of tea....not so very difficult, not so unobtainable, and a good reminder of the many blessings we often forget to remember because a lovely teacup and sustaining cup of tea are simple blessings beyond measure, and shared in good company are priceless.
I am sharing a bit of tea with the ladies listed below, please check out their tea times! You'll be glad you did. ~