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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Busy Bees Take A Break !

 This tea-time Tuesday is one I would normally save for spring when our honeybees are out & about  gathering nectar and pollen to feed their brood thus producing honey for us too. However, with record-breaking warm temperatures for us this January our bees are seeking nectar and pollen where there is none. The flowers are not budding or blooming because it is January. The bees are being supplemented by sugar boards my husband has placed in their hives so they do not starve.
 We have been blessed over the years to receive gifts from family and friends who know we love our bees. I am sharing a few thoughtful gifts, some I have shared before. Above ( top 2 pics) is a tin of specialty teas we received from my husband's oldest sister & her husband for Christmas. This treasury of teas has already produced some refreshingly delicious pots of tea when it was really winter around here, and now that we are experiencing temps in the 60's ( very unseasonable ) it is refreshing after working outdoors in the gardens and animal pens. (Thank-you Jim & Jean ! )
 The white mug in the background of this pic was a birthday gift to me from my husband's sister Alice & her husband. I use it all the time and now think every tea mug should come with a matching lid to keep the tea perfectly hot. I can put a teabag and boiling water in this mug, put the lid on, and sip hot tea for quite awhile. This bee themed mug with it's own lid is my teacup for Teatime Tuesday. The honeybee mug / lid came with a few other treats , one was the teabag rest where I have placed my snack of home-made peanut butter fudge , a gift from our daughter & her family. The tea time cloth napkin was a very pleasant surprise I received in the mail from a dear friend and beekeeper, Robin . (Thank-you Robin ! ) These special gifts are loved all the more because the people who gave them to us care enough to know what pleases us and makes us happy. Not only that, all these gifts came from very busy people who really do take the time to enjoy the simple things in life.

A poor old Widow in her weeds
Sowed her garden with wild-flower seeds;
Not too shallow, and not too deep,
And down came April -- drip -- drip -- drip.
Up shone May, like gold, and soon
Green as an arbour grew leafy June.
And now all summer she sits and sews
Where willow herb, comfrey, bugloss blows,
Teasle and pansy, meadowsweet,
Campion, toadflax, and rough hawksbit;
Brown bee orchis, and Peals of Bells;
Clover, burnet, and thyme she smells;
Like Oberon's meadows her garden is
Drowsy from dawn to dusk with bees.
Weeps she never, but sometimes sighs,
And peeps at her garden with bright brown eyes;
And all she has is all she needs --
A poor Old Widow in her weeds.” by Walter de la Mare
This poem reminds me of me and my days spinning wool on our front porch , wildflowers growing everywhere on Cedar Pond. As I sit & spin yarn I watch the bees gathering nectar and pollen , and often, more often than you would think, I watch the busy bees take a rest , perched on a leaf, a blossom, or a flat rock warmed by the sun. Busy bees taking a break ! All you busy-bee ladies make sure you take time to rest, sip a cup of tea, and remember the every day joys of life truly are simple.
Please join these ladies today for Teatime Tuesday as you enjoy your tea ~

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Finished ~ Into the Peace Of The Done

I finally finished weaving the 8th rug on my loom. I am happy with the colorful rugs , all with a bit of turquoise in them, and all for our home use. Usually I have in mind the option of selling some of my rugs after weaving, but this batch of rugs is for personal happiness ~ because the colors make me happy !

I have also finished spinning , plying, & dyeing several skeins of yarn from the wool fleeces of my Jacob sheep. There is such a feeling of satisfaction when I have raised the sheep that produce the wool fleeces I have sheared and turn into yarn .

My sheep are due to have their lambs within the next 2 months and that has me excited with anticipation. Every year brings it's own joys and excitement, and new lambs rate pretty high on my scale in achieving that.

Anyway, I have finally finished some things that have been in the works for awhile around here and have the tangible proof for all to see that yes, I really do finish my projects and goals. "Motivation is when you see your dreams put on work clothes." AU  and "Out of the strain of the doing , into the peace of the done." Julia Woodruff

Sunday, January 18, 2015

All This & Heaven Too

 Ella & Fella, my Sebastopol geese, were enjoying sunshine this past week. Warm sunshine untypical of our usual January weather. But no worries for us, the rain and high winds are back tonight. "It was a dark and stormy night".
 I cleaned out the goat pen on that rare sunny day and rewarded Thorin with his favorite treat after I was done hauling out 3 wheelbarrows full of manure. Something seems amiss here though, I did the work and he got the treat ? Oh well, he is a very old goat, going on 12 years of age.
 My husband finished the 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle we received as a Christmas present. Do you see that all the pieces are in varying shades of black & white ? The puzzle became an obsession with him. He would drink his morning coffee while working on it, eat dinner while working on it , and go to bed way too late because he could not let it go. The puzzle dominated our home for a little over 2 weeks. But look, it is done ! I am now declaring we will only have jigsaw puzzles to work on over the Thanksgiving through Christmas season. ( He finished a 1,000 piece Christmas puzzle on Christmas day,then quickly began this one.)
 I cleaned two sheep pens last week during sunny and rainy weather , after I cleaned the goat's pen.
I finished weaving 2 rugs ( not shown ) and spun up several skeins of yarn. This is some of my hand-dyed Jacob Sheep wool. I also spun up a few skeins of natural color Jacob Sheep wool, then set the ply . Maybe I'll sell this wool yarn, maybe not. I can think of a few weaving projects this wool might be perfect for.

January has thus far been both restful and hard work. I love the feeling I get after a very hard day of physical work, even if I do smell like sheep and I hurt all over. I love seeing my baskets and bins fill up with the yarn I spin up from the wool of the sheep I love. I love seeing the rugs I weave especially after I cut them off the loom and finish the ends. I love having work to do that is not really work because I still count it all a blessing and a privilege to be able to do these things. And I really love a hot bath after a day of working here on Cedar Pond, and then spinning up yarn on my spinning wheel as I spend a quiet evening with my husband, watching our favorite shows and simply being together. I love my husband. Thank-you God for all these blessings. " All this and Heaven too." au

"The sleep of the working man is pleasant whether he eats little or much." Proverbs 5:12

Sunday, January 11, 2015

They're Watching You !

They're watching you ! Yes, your children & grandchildren are watching you. The grown-ups in their life are amazing to them , and most important of all is the example of their parents. Everything little children see you do is filed away in their little brains. Little brains that hold an infinite amount of information they "download" throughout their lives to aid them in making decisions about pretty much everything. If the adults they love and want to emulate are good and of godly character, children have an example filed away for all their lives of how to behave and react for good. If little children are taught God's ways by parents who love God and live for Him, they have a blessing & a treasure money cannot buy. This is a treasure they will use all their lives. Even if they might lose it for awhile, it is stored away to be found when needed and sought.

The picture above is of our youngest son shoveling snow while his infant son is watching from indoors. My heart is happy when I see my grandchildren learning from their parents how to work , and that work is not unpleasant, but a blessing & a privilege. I remember many years ago when our youngest son ( shown above shoveling snow ) was a very little boy. I happened to glance out our kitchen window and see him following my husband around and saw my son stop and deliberately rearrange himself to imitate my husband's walk and stance. That memory is forever imprinted in my mind and causes me to be thankful for a godly husband who is also a godly father & grandfather.

Fill your children's lives with men & women of good character & godly influence. Ask God to show you wisdom & discernment regarding the people you allow into your children's lives, and that includes t.v. shows , internet access, teachers and babysitters, video games. Your children count on you, the adults in their lives to love and protect them in a way no one else can or will. Our children are our heritage and our blessing. "train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Song For All Seasons & Times Of Man

 "And in despair I bowed my head : "There is no peace on earth," I said, " For hate is strong , and mocks the song Of peace on earth good will to men."
 " Yet pealed the bells more loud and deep : God is not dead nor doth He sleep ; The wrong shall fail , the right prevail, with peace on earth good will to men"
"Then ringing , singing on its way ,The world revolved from night to day - a voice, a chime, a chant sublime of peace on earth, good will to men." * I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day ~ hymn by Henry Longfellow, music by Jean Baptiste Calkin

* Pictures taken in the hidden places around Cedar Pond.