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

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Village

Our Christmas village has grown so large over the years and it is our tradition to set it up every Christmas season. This year much of our village is still in boxes and we debated about setting it up because we still have so much to do and so many unpacked boxes sitting around our home.
Tradition won out and we set up a small portion of the village on a coffee table we placed under living room windows. When I plugged in the lights of the village and the little lighted Christmas tree glowed as the village townspeople twirled around the tree I knew we'd made the right decision.

Yes, when our youngest grandson walked into the living room, spied the village and marveled at the miniature goings on , we knew we'd made the right decision !
May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas and take joy in the message of this season and for all time ~ " And she will bring forth a son , and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

Friday, December 23, 2016

Snow, Beautiful Snow !

It's been snowing off and on for the last few weeks. This is a picture of our first snow back in November. The little shed is my new wool shop . My husband is almost finished with it and I'll give you a tour in another post. This is where my looms are and all my wool is now stored , along with all the equipment I need in my wool working.
Snow along the fences and on the trees really do make this a winter wonderland.

Our new front yard . The fence you see in the picture separates our yard from one of our pastures. The wires in the background run parallel to the gravel road in front of our home where hills, forest, and low mountains are just a walk across the road away.
My view from my back porch, and I love it !
" Have you entered the warehouses of the snow , or have you seen the storehouses of the hail ?"
Job 38:22

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Oh Christmas Tree

 We're still getting settled in our new home and have many boxes stored in the barn we've yet to unpack. Many of the boxes are full of Christmas decorations . We knew we had a lot of Christmas decorations but boy oh boy, is it possible to have too many ? Especially since our new home is less than half the size of our home at Cedar Pond. ( Picture is of our youngest grandson helping my husband place the first few decorations on our tree.)
 We bought a new artificial tree for our first Christmas here. Yes, we have many beautiful trees growing in our forest that'd be perfect for us, but the woodstove in our new home keeps the whole house roasty-toasty and we did not want to worry about keeping the tree stand filled with water when we knew it would dry out every day with the heat and our cats and dogs drinking out of it. We chose this tree because it is narrow and nine feet tall, filling the window but not crowding us out of our new little living room.

Blizzard, our 20 pound cat, stretched out under the tree .
 We have a new puppy . She was born to a Labrador Retriever one of our granddaughters owns. We got her when she was 8 weeks old and now she is 8 months old. Her name is Luna and we love her. She discovered a long time ago she can peek into the house from the windows overlooking the deck. Our two cats seem to enjoy mocking the dogs from indoors. Here is Miss Marple almost taunting Luna. If Luna were indoors Miss Marple would be hiding under the bed or in the closet.

 The view of the tree from outside on a cold snowy winter's evening. You can see our other cat Blizzard looking out the window.
"The shining sparkling ornaments strung on our Christmas tree , Reach out and take me by the hand to years that used to be."  *  'To The Years That Used To Be '  from poem by Annette Victorin

Saturday, December 10, 2016

From Cedar Pond to Laughing Dove Farm

 Cedar Pond was sold last May and we moved out in June. This is a picture of the back of our new home from our hay field. Anyone keeping livestock can appreciate having their own hay field, and with 24 sheep we really do appreciate our hay field !
 A closer look at the back of our new home. We moved to a home half the size of our home at Cedar Pond but with 21 more acres of land. Plus, this cozy home is tucked into a valley below beautiful hills and mountains .
 My Jacob Sheep have pasture. Acres of pasture !
The weather is more extreme here. The winters are colder, the summers are hotter.
We have a few acres of forest too , forest with wild turkeys, deer, pheasant, cougars, coyotes, and bears. Most of them are seen frequently from our living room windows. ( pic of husband and 2 of our dogs walking through our forest.)

The move was a lot of hard work but the most frustrating part of moving has been getting our e-mail changed and receiving e-mails. As soon as we disconnected our phone line at Cedar Pond we lost every single e-mail contact and any e-mails sent to me since June 15th are lost to us. ( Don't ever make your main e-mail through your local land line phone provider if it is important to keep your e-mail contacts ! ) I am still in the process of updating so many important contacts and very often after a day of hard physical work outdoors I am simply too tired to fight with the internet. That's my excuse for not blogging for so long. That and the fact I did not have dependable internet until September.

Thank-you to those who e-mailed me and missed me, you touched my heart. I think I've successfully updated my blogs and am excited to get back to blogging. I know I've missed a lot and can't wait to see what's been going on in blog land with my friends the last few months !

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Our Last Days at Cedar Pond ?

The sale of Cedar Pond is pending. We had two offers to buy Cedar Pond right after the open house, the first day it was shown.
I see I haven't blogged since April 10th, but we've been busy packing, sorting, cleaning, moving things to our future home and depositing other items at the local dump and Goodwill.
I am still tending my gardens and sometimes have to distract myself so I don't cry. That is really the reason I haven't blogged lately. Every time I begin to post pictures or write on my blog , so many emotions flood my heart and mind that I opt for a snack to munch while watching t.v. or reading a book, or catching up with friends and family on Facebook. Quick distractions.
Of course, having kept chickens for many years now I have learned not to count my chickens until they hatch and I know Cedar Pond is not truly sold until all the paperwork is signed and official. But it does appear another family with young children will be loving life here at Cedar Pond soon.
We had a big work party in April when most of our family came together to help prepare Cedar Pond for sale and also help load a lot of heavy stuff into a rental truck. We drove 6 hours , over the mountains and far away, to our future home. We unloaded the truck , storing our belongings in the barn there. We still have at least 2 more truck loads of stuff to move  ( how did we accumulate so much STUFF ? ) not including my sheep, my geese, and my chickens.
I hope you don't get the wrong idea about my feelings though. I am prone to nostalgia and "what-if's", but not sorry to be moving . We built Cedar Pond from raw land almost 30 years ago. We raised our children here and enjoyed life here . I knew this was the right decision for many reasons, but I also knew I was ready to move for sure when the last few trips to our future home I did not want to return to Cedar Pond because I was home . My home over the mountains and far away !

Sunday, March 27, 2016

New Life ~ Goslings for Easter

 New goslings for Easter ! My Sebastopol Geese keep trying to raise a family but the last two years Ella was unable to successfully hatch her many eggs. It was very sad for me knowing all the diligent  care and tending of her eggs laid in a nest in the goose pen was of no use, none hatched. Even sadder was discovering that each and every egg had a fully developed gosling inside that could not break free of its' shell.

This year Ella began laying eggs under the rhododendrons, a place she'd never be able to protect herself or her eggs from predators or our pet dogs. I took her eggs from that beautiful but unwise nesting site and placed them in an incubator. Then I re-located 2 eggs in a nest box made especially for Ella in the goose pen. I kept Ella and Fella confined during egg laying season so she would not choose another site. This last Thursday night and on into Saturday some of the eggs began hatching.

The goslings had poked small holes in their shells but were unable to get out. I peeled tiny bits of their shells off and found even the membrane inside the eggs was too hard for the babies to break free of. ( I DID keep water in the incubator and misted the eggs with water every night .) I needed to be careful how I peeled the shell and membrane away so as not to rip delicate baby goose skin and cause them to bleed to death, so I wrapped each egg in warm , wet washcloths and held them firmly while I slowly began taking pieces of shell off to give the goslings room to move and help me extricate them. I also needed to roll back their membrane covering slowly. It was a long process for each egg but looky here.....
... 3 of the 4 successfully hatched Sebastopol goslings ! One baby was still working herself out of the shell when my husband snapped this pic of me and my new little geese. There are 3 more eggs in the incubator due to hatch in a few days. These little goslings have imprinted on me and get very excited when I say "babies, babies, babies ", just like their parents, Ella and Fella , who get very excited when they hear my voice and follow me around like puppies because they're imprinted on me .

There is new life everywhere here at Cedar Pond. New lambs, baby doves, chicks, goslings, new flowers just beginning to bud. New life here in this world is but a small reflection of the blessing of new life given to all who ask for it from God, and unlike our temporal earthly life and joys, new life from Jesus is eternal, "Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death , in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we might walk in newness of life." Romans 6:4

Easter blessings to you !

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Silly-Frilly Chicken Is Wearing the Green !

 Of course chickens don't wear clothes, so what's a chick to do to put on the green for St. Patrick's Day ?
 Dye her frilly feathers !
Happy St. Patrick's Day to you !
* This little frizzled hen had large mud clumps stuck to her feet and I needed to give her a bath. After shampooing her I rinsed her in warm water with green food coloring added to it.The food coloring will not harm her or her feathers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bird Book, Bird Nests, and Cozy Reading

 Last weekend was perfect reading weather. Storms raged over our area making this the wettest rainy season on record. After feeding the animals I decided to take a break from packing and brew a pot of tea for my husband and myself. He settled down to watch a show about chefs and I settled down to read this beautiful book The Bluebird Effect* by Julie Zickerfoose while I sipped tea from this cup by Pip *. I found this tea / coffee cup in a shop on the Oregon coast during a short get-away with my husband. I will always remember that precious time when I see this cup. The cup and the book seem meant to be together to me.
 This is one of many illustrations by the author . " And each chapter is illustrated with Zickfoose's stunning watercolor paintings and drawings. Not just individual tales about the trials and triumphs of raising birds, The Bluebird Effect mixes humor, natural history, and memoir to give readers an intimate story of a life lived among wild birds."  Quoted from the flyleaf of the book. The book is quietly stunning and a good read, especially on a rainy day .

This is one of my favorite coffee cups. I know, it could be used for tea, but I prefer to drink coffee from it and as an extra treat I add real heavy whipping cream. This cup and saucer set by Furnival is a gift from one of my husband's sisters. She especially loves books and I wish we had more time to simply discuss books, authors, illustrators... maybe one day.
 It is still raining off and on , I slosh through mud to do my chores every day. My lambs look like they're wearing boots . No respectable lamb wastes a day lounging under cover when they can be jumping, leaping, and running.When my chores are done though, I am eager to escape the mud and rain and settle down with a hot cuppa and a good book.
" I live for the moment when my gaze meets a bird's - that exchange of awareness of the "who" in each of us, the spark of understanding leaping from the bright bead of its eye to mine. ~ It's that spark gleaming in the cupped hand of my own experience that I want to bring to you. I want to tell you their stories." Julie Zickafoose (  book introduction)

I have been missing my Tea Time Tuesday celebrations and hope they're still being hosted by these gracious ladies ~Bernideen's TeaTime Blog * , Rose Chintz Cottage * , Antiques and Teacups *, and Martha *.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lamb Storm

~ Cedar Pond's Tilda with her newborn blue-eyed lambs. ~
 What is that verse about March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb ? My March has come in with a lamb storm. In the first three days of March , 7 of my ewes ( female sheep ) gave birth to 9 lambs. I have never had so many sheep give birth at the same time. I did not have enough lambing pens set up for so much action.

A lambing pen, or jug, is a small pen set up to contain a mama and her lamb(s) for at least a day, sometimes 2 or 3 days depending on the sheep. This enables the mama and lamb to bond while giving the shepherd the time to make sure all is well with them, band the lamb's tail, worm the mama. I usually give the new mama warm water with molasses or other nutritional supplements in her water and extra alfalfa. I also make sure she has expelled her afterbirth.
 ~ Cedar Pond's Tovah cleaning her newly born lamb.~
On March 2 I went outdoors in the morning and discovered Tilda had already had twins and had them cleaned and nursing. Great ! I had a clean pen ready for her and her lambs and after spraying the lambs' umbilical cords with iodine I moved them and their mama to the pen with a small bucket of fresh water and alfalfa hay. Tilda's blue-eyed lambs were up and nursing her so I knew everything was fine. I went indoors to get some housework done.
45 minutes later I went outdoors to check on Tilda and discovered Gudrid was having lambs. She'd already had one lamb and cleaned it off and another was on the way. Oh no, I had two small pens set up and they had mamas with twins in them and now I had another set of twins, where was I going to put them ? Thinking quickly I ran out to the storage shed and carted a large dog kennel panel to Tilda's pen and tied it in the middle as a divider, making 2 pens out of the one. Then I gathered the lambs (with Gudrid trying to gore me for taking her lambs) and settled them into their new pen with their mama. Whew , I was so sore from the hard physical work this had become. But the lambs were healthy and I now had 3 mamas , counting Buttercup and her twins born earlier, all settled. Now I knew I could take a break, maybe finish my cup of cold coffee.
I went to the feed store shortly after getting the mama and lambs settled , came home about an hour later and getting out of the car I heard a sheep bawling and screaming. Oh no, there was Sassafras in the sheep stall with 2 little lamb's feet sticking out of her  and she couldn't push he lamb out. So I had to catch her ( because what sheep wants to be handled when she is in pain ? ) and pin her against the stall wall and hang onto her with one hand, whilst I put my other hand inside her to assess the situation. Sure enough, it was a big lamb who's head was trying to exit Sassafras the same time as the front feet. That was NOT going to happen. I had to slip my hand past the lamb's head , push it back a little and then pull the slippery lamb's feet out far enough to then grip the legs and pull hard. I don't know how I managed this , but I did. The lamb slid out and Sassafras immediately began cleaning her little girl lamb off. Now where was I going to put her ?
~ Cedar Pond's Tasha and ewe lamb.~
 I got creative with kennel panels and baling twine and had everyone housed and then... you guessed it, within the next 36 hours it was bam, bam, bam...lambs! I have been so sore in the evenings from all the physical work required I have been going to bed early ( for me ) after already snoozing on the sofa after dinner. Good grief, I must be getting older.
I am thankful to say thus far all my ewes have recovered nicely from giving birth to healthy and very cute lambs. Today my husband helped me band the tails of the last two lambs born, and the mamas with lambs have been released from their small lambing pens to mingle with each other while the lambs are bouncing, and leaping with the joy of new life. Now only two more ewes to give birth , what bounty for me this year. March came in like a lamb, and a lamb, and a lamb...