Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tired of Being Cooped Up

It has been a long winter for our chickens with lots of bitterly cold days where they haven't even come out of the coop into the run, with more snow than you can shake a foot at, and now... more rain than anyone knows what to do with.

I opened the coop door late one afternoon, and the hens just about stampeded by me out the door.

I had left the door open before, and the hens would just stand there and shake their feet at the snow, and hurry back inside the coop.  But not today!

Enough was enough!  They were glad to get out in the snow and peck around.

After these long months of being cooped up in the coop, they decided walking in the cold snow would be better than hanging out in the coop any longer.

 Mr. Pepper announced his great approval at this new turn of events.

The chickens mostly stayed on my path that I had taken all winter to feed them and seemed to have no desire to walk in the deep snow at all.

Back inside... these two were taking a little break after a fun romp.

Riley is growing soo fast!  She is already twice the size she was when our son brought her home!

Beautiful sunrises and sunsets abound!

Shades of purples and pink graced the horizon as the glorious sunset gently closed the door to the day.

A trip out to the little mountain lake nearby revealed it completely frozen over with a lonely ice fisherman set up for the day.

As we walked out on the frozen ice, the ice fisherman heard us and he opened the zipper on his tent and we talked for a little while.  He hadn't had much luck for the day, only a perch so far, and we wished him the best of luck.

I had no desire to walk any farther out on the ice, as clearly there was quite a bit of melting going on!  We asked the ice fisherman how much ice he had, and he said he had 8" deep.  He was braver than I was.  We were standing on the melting ice close to shore, and decided not to linger!

I hope our ice fisherman friend caught more than just a perch for all his efforts and time! It was a beautiful day, with brilliant skies and sunshine and we enjoyed our time of "walking on water" {smiles}.

My husband brought home this lovely pot full of spring flowers that can be replanted in my garden... hyacinths, tulips and primroses... just beautiful to see these lovely flowers and to enjoy their beauty also with the hope that they will continue to be enjoyed in my garden when planting time arrives.

 Even though a lot of our snow has melted, we still have a lot of it left to melt!  These lovely flowers serve up a great reminder that spring will have its way, soon.

Just a few shots below of the pretty blooms... surely you don't mind my indulgence in these bright and lovely colors... :)

Such a warmly colored peach tulip

Brilliant primroses...

... and the happy pink hyacinths. Looking at these flowers brings happy springtime thoughts to my heart... while the reality outside is a bit different...

Have you ever seen skating chickens?

Well, now you have, lol!  The girls have become so eager to get out of the coop that they are attempting their ability to skate on our driveway, which is far more fun than staying in the coop any longer... and I can't blame them a bit! Even though it is a bit funny to see them try to make or skate their way across the ice!

Keeping up with all the excitement around here just makes one plumb tired.  Don't you wish you could sleep as soundly and as cutely... as this sweet little one, lol!

We are supposed to get a mixture of snow and rain for the next couple of days. Winter and spring are playing their tug-o-war, but the longer days let me know that spring is on the upside... and the beautiful blooms, sights and smells of spring are not that far away, and the days of being cooped up will be but a memory in a month or two when the snow melts, and ground warms up.  :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love's Story Written

There is a love story written for us to see... it is the love story of a Creator and His love for mankind manifested in so many ways, but today, the love story I see is of that love splashed throughout His creation, manifested to bring delight to the soul.

It is the creative handiwork of the Lord, written in the skies above...

Beauty that can be found amidst the difficulties of life...

The treacherous, ice covered road beckoned to me.  I left the dogs home, and walked a short distance down the road, stepping carefully.

The sunrise that morning, after all the storms we had received, was calling me, and I wanted to step into its beauty, and soak up its loveliness.

The snow plow had been out earlier than I, and had kindly dropped sand in front of driveways. As the sun grasped the horizon, it was just the turkeys and I out on the icy road.

The quiet and stillness of the morning spoke once again, of the great love story written in the skies.

Even as the sun parted the darkness, and the clouds rejoiced, my soul worshiped the Lord with them.

Do you ever stop and just wonder at the love of our Creator? Oh, how His gentle masterpieces around us speak great love and wonder into our hearts!   Life seems to always bring the little inconveniences, such as ice storm that we had, but then, the Lord in His mercy and love, brought joy to my morning with the glorious sunrise announcing the end of the storm, and the arrival of warm sunshine to the crisp misty air.

The light and love in this glorious sunrise flooded my soul with great depths of joy.  After the storms had passed... the glorious light broke through with gentle brilliance... reminding me again... the love story that never ceases to be written from the Lord's magnificent brilliant sunrise, right into my heart.

And by afternoon, much of the ice layer had softened by the warm rays of the sun.  Such is the way the Lord works... He may not take the storm out of our path, but He allows beauty, and great joy to come out of its midst.  His love story to us, is joy in the midst of sorrow, peace in the midst of the storm, and yes, a glorious sunrise after the passing of an ice storm.

Oh the love of the Lord, so rich and pure.... this beautiful scene reminds me of this eloquent passage of scripture penned by the disciple John about the Love of God:

1 John 4 
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; 
and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, 
and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. 
If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. 

God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love; 
but perfect love casteth out fear: 
because fear hath torment. 
He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

19 We love him, because he first loved us.

I do. I love HIM.  He loved me first, and for that I will ever be grateful.  And when I see his handiwork in the skies and world around me, my heart worships the One who loved me enough, not just to die and resurrect in newness of life for me, but that He lives within me, and He creates these masterpieces in the world around me for my soul to rejoice in.

Yes, yes indeed my God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  

Two thousand years ago His love was written in red on a tree, but today, His love is written in red in the skies around me, and again, I know... my God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him!  1 John 4:16 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cozy Snowy Sewing Days

This has been the week for wild and wet weather!  We got over a foot of snow over the past weekend, followed by rain, then more snow, then more rain, and more snow... and today we got a slosh of freezing rain after an inch or two of snow fell last night, making the whole world around very, very sloppy and drippy!  This is not walking weather at all, but rather the perfect kind of day to cozy up inside with a good hot cup of tea, with the whirr of the sewing machine accompanied by occasional thumps from outside with the ice and snow melting.

You may remember the lovely Barbara who blogs at Small Moments held a fabric giveaway earlier this year, and I was the lucky recipient of her giveaway!

Well, this past week, I was able to find the time - thanks to the lovely cozy weather we are having - to get busy on a little project I had in mind with the fabric she sent me.

It was a gorgeous selection of fabrics, with each piece probably about the size of a fat quarter, except for one larger piece (which I did not use this time).

In a previous post here, I shared how I used a die-cut machine to cut fabric to make a flower.

In this project, instead of using the circle scallop die, I used the square die to cut out four scalloped squares from each piece of the coordinating fabric Barbara sent me. I layered quilt batting between the squares, and sewed an "X" on each square to tack down the batting.

After placing all the pieces together in a pleasing manner to my eye, I sewed them together to make a large square.

My plan was to make a pillow out of these pieces. My next step was to cut out the backing for the pillow and sew it all together.

Now, it was time to wash and dry the pillow to "fluff" up the cut edges, and create a homespun fluffy look to the pillow.

While the pillow was washing, I started on the next project, but there was a bit of interruption.

Mr. Simba did NOT like the spinning spool of thread, and thought the world would be a better place without it!

I coaxed him into my lap and soothed his little heart with cuddles and soon he forgot about the evil sewing machine and its whirring thread monster. Perhaps that's what all the commotion was about any way... he was just jealous of my attention given to the machine, and not to him!

With a few of the remaining squares I had left, I sewed up this quick little potholder, using basically the same technique as I used with the pillow.

And here is the "mystery" picture that I mentioned in this post.  This was all that was left out of the collection of fabrics Barbara sent me (except for one larger piece of pink flowered fabric).  These were the scraps left from the scalloped squares that I cut out.  I hated to just throw these beautiful pieces into my leftover fabric scrap pile, and so I let them sit out a while for me to ponder them.  What to do with them? They were so pretty!

Finally I settled on making a little stuffed pincushion for my needles. (Some of you were very close with your guesses!)

With a shabby fabric rose sewed into the center, this was the perfect little pincushion that I have been needing for a long time.

These shabby roses add the sweetest touch to just about every sewing project I do!

A perfect way to use up the little scraps that were left over!

The finished pillow....

It adds the perfect springy touch in my living room with my neural colored couches, and brown and turquoise pillows.

The finished potholder...

I'd been wanting to try this little pattern for fabric bookmarks after seeing the tutorial on Kelly-Anne's blog, Diary of a Country Girl.  Excellent instructions for making your own bookmarks that won't get torn and are simply a beautiful way to enjoy a good book and never lose your spot.

So there you have it... my little collection of projects from the last day or so when I've been cozied up in my sewing room.  I've a few more projects I've been working on, but I'll save those for another day.

I'm sure your wondering what our little cutie has been up to... or maybe you want to see some snow.  Well, I aim to please... lol!  For those of you who don't have snow to enjoy, I hope you enjoy this little taste of winter, along with a peek into the cozy days we are having.

Mr. Simba has definitely has got a chip on his shoulder lately, with the arrival of little Riley, and the ironing board has been his favorite sleeping place... high enough to keep away from the loving attempts of Riley to make friends.  Mr. Simba will have none of it!

Roger loves wrestling with Riley, and it is a hoot to watch the two of them roll around together.

Two very silly dogs!

We took a quick walk one afternoon before the snow came back in again.

I took this picture of Annie guarding the feed block from the turkeys.  She certainly isn't making any friends in the world of turkeys!

A perfect vantage point for Riley to keep an eye on all the action outside.

Uh.oh.  Yes.  Sad news.  The tractor is stuck!  I called in a professional plowman to come and get it unstuck, and plow our driveway.  He almost got stuck with his chained up bobcat, and gave up... of course I still owed him the $50.00 for trying!  Sigh.  Things like this always happen when my dear husband is out of town.  He will be home tomorrow... and boy I can't wait! I know he has a few tricks up his sleeve and I'm sure we will get it unstuck.  Until then, there she sits.

Not sure what Roger is looking at here, but he was quite intent on whatever it was!

The snow is piling up around us!

Our son's car, parked for the winter... can you even see the car? LOL!

Just an idea of the collection of the snow we've had all winter.

The chickens haven't been impressed at all with the additional snow, and mostly just stay inside the coop, rarely coming out into the run.

Lots of poor man's fertilizer in here!

My poor little greenhouse.... all bundled up in the deep white snow. I have to keep the roof shoveled, because it is made of plastic.

Has winter caused any excitement for you this year?  I have certainly enjoyed the cozy snowy days we've had, but I'll admit, along with my furry and feathered friends, that we are beginning to look forward to spring :)