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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

It's Spring ~So Much To Do !

The most difficult thing about our new home is deciding how to spend our precious time when there are so many things to do, to see, and to enjoy right here on 'Laughing Dove Farm'. Should I take a walk in the woods with our dogs ? ( Picture above was taken on a path in our woods.) Should I work on my spinning, weaving, gardens, scrapbooking, writing, or maybe my husband and I should go camping. But hey, fishing season is almost here and the boat needs to be readied ... I have a few good books tucked away to read, some quilt squares cut out and ready to sew. I know, I'll sit on the back deck and watch the birds, the deer, my sheep and maybe catch a nap in the sun.
 Why do we call our new home 'Laughing Dove Farm' ? We love doves ! We've kept white doves for over 2 decades now and left doves in our dovecote at Cedar Pond for the new family to enjoy , but also brought 3 pairs of doves with us here to our new home. Our doves are the offspring of the many generations of doves from Cedar Pond. Plus, there are wild doves all around us and anyone who listens to doves can hear the distinctive laughing- like sounds they make. ( Picture above is of wild doves perched in trees here at our new home.)
 The chicks I ordered from a hatchery arrived in the mail last week. I bought some chicks that should grow up to lay blue eggs and am very excited about my future laying flock , but not as excited as our youngest grandson is about them. I spend a lot of time tending my new chicks, and also tending the mature laying flock of 8 we brought with us from Cedar Pond.
 I had my sheep sheared the first weekend in March while there was still snow and ice everywhere. My new sheep shearer is a tiny woman who also is a mom of 2 little ones and has a flock of sheep of her own.
 Here are my naked sheep, most of them ewes who were still expecting lambs when I took this picture. Within days after the 16 ewes ( female sheep) were sheared they began having their lambs. Every night during this time of the year, no matter how cold and miserable it is outside, I do regular check ups in the barn to see how the ladies are faring, if any new lambs have been born, and tend to what they need at this stage of their pregnancy. Mostly they need deep bedding, and a lot of drinking water, plus a safe place to have their lambs undisturbed by the other sheep or predators.

One of the joys of new lambs is sharing them with grandchildren. Here is a picture of two of our granddaughters ~sisters holding sister lambs.
 We still have snow in our woods, in the fields, and in the surrounding hills, but it is spring and all you need to be reminded of the season is look out onto my fields and see little lambs running, jumping, and playing !
 We have 19 new lambs. All lambs were born alive and healthy, and their mamas are healthy too. That is such a blessing to not be taken for granted when I consider how many sheep I have now (way too many !). My flock doubled with lambing season.
 Have I mentioned we have a lot of wild turkeys here too ? We've counted at least 40. They roost in our woods at night. During the day they range from our woods to the neighbors' on either side of us. They're pretty predictable, we can almost set our clocks by their trek back into the woods at night. Until I moved here and began to observe wild turkeys from our living room windows every day, I did not realize how far and how high wild turkeys can fly, and also how smart they are. ( Picture is of wild turkeys in our field.)
Wild turkeys between our sheep pen and our bee yard. They wander into our hay barn and all around the sheep pens and pasture too.
The hills across the gravel road from our house are still wearing winter snow, but the sunshine and warm rains are melting the snow quickly and next week we're supposed to have warmer , drier weather. I kind of like the rain and the snow and am not concerned about it sticking around longer than it is supposed to. The hot weather will be here soon and by September I know I'll be wishing for the rain and snow again.

" There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven ~ " Ecclesiastes 3:1

Monday, March 13, 2017

Our New Home ~ Thus Far ! ( Before & After )

 Last summer when we began to move into our new home I was content to keep the furniture we had in our home at Cedar Pond. I love blue and white and if furnishing and decorating our home was completely up to me I would probably tend to keep all furnishings and decor in that color scheme , adding color accents according to the seasons. Here is a picture of our new living room last summer shortly after moving in.
 Our new home is less than half the size of our home at Cedar Pond. We sold and gave away many furnishings.( I don't think our grown kids have room for anymore furniture in their homes now !) This is the view of our living room from the very small kitchen.
 Before we moved in we stripped out all the wall to wall beige carpeting and installed a wood laminate floor. We covered up all the mustard and brown walls with white paint in several shades of white. (Excepting the wall with the big windows, that is painted a very dark blue.) I was surprised that a lot of the white paint looked blue when we were finished. Yes, we bought only white paint. ( Do you know how many shades of white there are !?! )
 Here is the current view of our living room from our very small kitchen. You can see the blue and white sofa and loveseat are no longer in our home. That is because my husband who has retired wants to be comfortable too. He used to have a recliner , but his recliner will not fit into this house. We went shopping and finally found a living room set we could both agree on. This set has 4 recliners, is gray , and the size of these sofas is smaller than your average sofa/loveseat set and takes up less space in the living room than the previous loveseat and sofa. Win/win, except it is not white. As far as my husband is concerned that is even better !
 View from the loveseat looking into the kitchen and the bedroom ( left of china cupboard).
 This is one good sized living room with large windows looking out onto our fields and woods, with mountains in the background. We put a small table in front of the windows because we spend a lot of time reading and writing while enjoying the view. Plus, in a small home it is good to have a table to pull out for dining with guests.
 We have a scope at our windows for daily viewing of wild life. We see wild turkeys every day as a flock of between 20 - 40 come and go across our fields and into the woods. We also see pheasants, eagles, turkey vultures, deer, coyotes , and other wild life we've captured on our game-cams in the woods. ( I took this picture today and you can see we still have a lot of snow.)
 The china cupboard fits perfectly on the wall between the living room and bedroom.
 The little side table with the fruit bowl on it is an old typing table with wheels. The sides flip up doubling the top of the little table and this is what we roll to the front of the larger sofa when we desire a 'coffee table'. It fits perfectly in the middle of the large sofa allowing us to recline without obstruction , also giving us a place for our cups of coffee and snacks.
 We need the storage these glass fronted shelves directly behind the sofa offer so we placed them in the middle of the large living room as a room divider. This also allows us room to enter the house from the front door ( at right , not seen) and space to walk through the living room to the back bedrooms and bathroom. The bench and our antique overstuffed chair allow a place to read and visit in front of the woodstove that heats the whole house quickly and efficiently with firewood cut and stacked from our woods.
 View of the living room from the bedroom.
 As I was unpacking our boxes of books and magazines I came across some magazines from the now defunct 'Early American Life' of the 1980's .I kept these magazines because they contain much history I find valuable and as I was thumbing through one of the magazines I came across some pictures of a living room I remember liking.
 I was startled to see this living room looks like an old fashioned version of our current living room !
What do you think ?

We have a lot more we plan to do . We'll be remodeling the kitchen , laundry room, and back porch but that will have to wait until next year. We're getting our outdoor stuff done first and also plan on actually enjoying retirement by getting in some fishing and camping. As things are right now, even if we never get around to remodeling, our new home is very comfortable , easy to maintain, and works quite well for us. We're so blessed and thankful for God's many mercies in our lives. We're loving life here at Laughing Dove Farm.