Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Sewing Party/Sleepover

Is a girl ever too old to have a sleepover? I think not!  This past weekend, a snowstorm was forecasted for the weekend, my husband was out of town, and I had a large sewing project that I wanted to work on.  I talked to my dear friend T, and together she and I came up with a great plan.. let's get together for a weekend of sewing, and have her spend the night.  Her husband obliged to have her come stay with me, and the fun began!

Since we were so excited about our time together, we started out with just wanting to make a top for each of us, however, I told her I think we should also make a top for her daughter, and then she said she wanted my daughter to have one too.  So then we ended up going by the fabric store and buying more fabric, and cutting out and starting to sew on four tops! Whew!

We got started on the first top, which was mine.  I already had the fabric washed and ironed and ready to start.  The rest of the fabrics we went together to purchase at our local Ben Franklin's, and while they were washing and drying, I made some crunchy kale chips for us to snack on.

My friend T is a very talented and skilled seamstress, and I learned a lot from her this weekend.  I have been sewing a long time, but this was the first time I learned how to make a different sized pattern from the  pattern.  Because we wanted all four tops to come from the same pattern, and not have to buy the pattern in the different sizes, T showed me how to create a different pattern for each size.

Once the fabrics were dried and ironed, we started cutting out the rest of the tops.

The pattern directions called for over 2 yards of fabric.  T said she could do it with 1-1/2 yards - and she did!  I was amazed!

While our sewing party was going on, some of my children's friends came over too.  The more the merrier is the way I like it {smiles}... and one of them brought their blue heeler puppy... and she and Riley had a great time playing together, they were the perfect size to romp and roll around!

T had a great idea to try out with the sleeves.  She created her own pattern to add a ruffle to the sleeves. How she did all this with 1-1/2 yards of fabric was pretty amazing!

The last top to get cut out and marked, now ready to start sewing.  We did not finish the tops this weekend.  Time simply ran away from us, lol!  We hope to finish them up this week, and have a fun reveal this weekend with all four of us wearing our tops together :)

You will have to stay tuned for the final result of our sewing efforts this weekend... I did finish my top, but T told me today that she is not feeling well (she has been struggling with some tummy issues lately, and doctors cannot seem to pinpoint what is wrong), so hopefully she will feel well enough to continue making the tops, but I told her not to worry if she can't!

It was such a fun weekend, that we hope to do this again if we can, before spring gets here, before we both get so busy with our gardens and outdoor chores and activities (she has chickens, a huge fruit orchard and a large garden to care for too)... so we are hoping that we will have another weekend soon of fun sewing together before spring.  I wonder if we hope spring won't come so fast, more than likely, that it will... lol!

At any rate, the next time we get together, T has promised to show me how to measure myself AND make my own pattern from my measurements!  I can't wait to learn how to do that... it will be exciting to learn how to create my own patterns.  T went to school for several years to learn how to do this, and I am benefiting from all her training, and we are having fun together too!  So I hope to have a post with all four of our tops finished, possibly sometime next week. (Prayers for T appreciated!)

After I dropped T off at home, and I was driving home, the views before me were incredible.  The snow storm had abated, and the world was quiet and still.  The sun was a hazy ball in the sky with very diffuse light.  I love how the dapper light just hovered over this old barn.

Pine trees standing silent as the hazy light of the sun brushed their tops, wishing them a good night.

We are blessed in this beautiful country we live in to have an abundance of lakes, streams and rivers.  The sun was setting over the river here, and I was not the only one who stopped before the bridge to get out and take some pictures.  It was a stunning scene!

It might appear this picture to be upside down, but it really is not... just the reflection of the sun in the water.

Well, I took far too many pictures of this scene.  It was  just too beautiful for words to see.

As I continued my drive home, the sun's brilliance lit up the mountains in the distance as if they were on fire.

No, indeed... I never, ever tire of the glorious views that abound around us here.  :)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Day by Day

The winter days are slipping by, slowly, one by one!  The snow is halfheartedly melting, but we can't get too excited, because more is on the way tomorrow.  So there is just a little bit of this, and not much of that going on.

Our driveway has been and still is solid ice, so this gentle snowfall was quite welcome, to add a bit of layer and texture to the ice.

This glorious view was stunning on a quick trip into town this week.

One never tires of this view... it changes and recreates itself in a fresh way, every day!

Little Miss Riley wanted up in my lap while I was working at the computer, but then my lap wasn't good enough, she wanted on my desk!

Perfect spot for a nap!  Seeing her sleeping there so peacefully made me think about stopping for a nap too!

Mr. Simba doesn't care for the snow  too much.  He tolerates it.  He was happy to have found a spot to sit and gaze comfortably out at the world without having to sit on a snowbank.

Soon, the rest of the crew showed up to just... sit!

You can see the budding friendship between Mr. Simba and Riley - or not!  Miss Riley tries so hard to befriend Mr. Simba, but he continues to be very grumpy and cranky.  But!  At least I got a family picture here of all of them together, how amazing is that!

Then these two decided that was enough sitting around, and they romped and wrestled for a while.

Mr. Simba had enough of all their nonsense, and decided to get away... fast! A cozy spot in front of the window was much preferred to all of this.

Having too much snow fun!

Since Mr. Simba vacated the coveted spot... Miss Riley took over the spot gladly, and watched the chickens with great interest.

So there you have it... a little bit of a whole lot of not too much of our February winter days :)

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