Thursday, January 29, 2015

If You Feed Them, They Will Come (Our Feathered Friends)

One of the first activities that Faith occupied herself with upon arriving at our new domicile, was to put the bird feeders to right.
Just outside our lovely bay window in the front, a stately Maple stands sentry, and as this was where the previous owners had left their feeders, Faith decided to keep it as one of her stations for satiating our feathered friends' appetites.

It didn't take any time at all for the little bright eyed creatures to discover, and spread the word about the banquet hall. Now if you glance out our front window at almost any given time of the day, you will discover multitudes of flighty delights, bits of color dancing about the Maple tree like bright pieces of fabric making a charming quilt. Only this quilt or picture is living and moving, never the same each moment. Sometimes a group of crimson Cardinals (both the saturated male, and the tipped female) grace us with their presence. Cardinals, though eye catching, tend to retain a air of demure sedateness, with occasionally a dash of haughtiness. But we forgive them for it as long as they let us see their cheery colors.

A male Red Bellied Wood Pecker, full of confidence and bravado, has quite approved of Faith's new suet feeder, which just happens to be shaped (as you can see) like one of our domestic feathered friends.

Speaking of bravado, Mr. Blue Jay and his jumble of relative look-a-likes (to this day I cannot tell Blue Jays apart) are the most boisterous, bluffing, attention getting birds that visit our feeder. They don't arrive without a commotion of announcement, that inevitably makes you smile.

The sassy and flighty little Chickadees also dominate our view. They might be small, but they make up for it with personality and speed. Darting here and there, rarely sitting still, and cheekily scolding and mocking the other birds as it goes.

Some birds seem to come in groups or at least pairs, (the Cardinals for instance) while others are a bit more of loners. I don't think we have more than a total of 5 Titmice at the "castle" and they rarely show up all at once. Like the Chickadee these darling little Peter Birds, like to comment on the goings on, chipping in disgust of "peter-ing" in the top most branches. I think they look simply dashing in their simple grey coats, dark bright eyes, and just the glimpse of a peach waist coat for contrast.

The little Junco sports no Peach colored Waist Coat, nor fancy feather top hat, neither does he announce his comings all that much. In fact, come to think of it, I personally can't remember the Junco's call. But despite his calm and retiring demeanor, they hold a special place in our Maple Tree of course, for being our winter birds!

I love to see them all hopping around (we get quite a few at a time) on the ground, solemnly picking up the seeds that the other birds spilled in their dashing about. They're quite the thrifty little things, as becomes a winter bird. :)

Another fan of our Suet holding Chicken, would be "Mr. Elvis". Which is our personal family nickname for the handsome and suave White Breasted Nuthatch. "Elvis" always seems a bit suspicious of everyone, flicking his way cautiously down the tree, darting glances that way and this, peering out of his beady black eyes at his surroundings.

But don't let his tentative attitude fool you. Nuthatches are some of the bravest and daring birds. In fact at our old, old house we even had some that would eat out of our hands, with the more vocally brave Chickadees and Titmice.

In fact almost all of our birdies at our "castle" are confident fearless creatures. Even the dainty little Tree Sparrow, wouldn't be quick to fly away when you walk by, as long as you don't get too close.
These little neighbors at least, seem to have accepted our presence here, and maybe even enjoy it.
I am sure we do theirs!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015


We hope to be able to have many people come up to our new "castle" and fill it with friendship and laughter in the future (especially once we have finished some remodeling) :)  And we were thrilled to start that last week with our friends the Roehrers.
The Roehrers are also interested in farming and sustainability, and were very excited for us and our newly acquired land. :)

Josiah loved showing the boys around the back acres.

One of our favorite things to show everybody is our big 'ole Oak Tree.

Josiah measured it and figured out that this massive oak has been around since before the Revolutionary War... (yes, I mean as in 1776... War for Independence) We are pretty proud of our Liberty Tree!

After our exertions outside, we all tumbled indoors for lunch.

Some people sat around and chatted, Josiah had a major audience upstairs looking at his rock and coin collections, with random bits of historic information mixed in.

Meanwhile Faith, Miss Megan, and I finished up with lunch prep for the hungry multitude.

After our satisfying repast, we again visited the great outdoors, this time to trudge all the way across the marsh and bog to our very back acre.

It was quite the mild day (mid-high 30s!!) so the snow on the ground was just right for creating snowmen...

And for snowball fights!!!

The war, with frozen objects instead of lead for missiles, was still in full swing when we made it back to the house. And those who wanted to dip into the intellectual and discuss the various aspects of farming (a warming subject in mid January) had to keep half an eye out for stray bits of shrapnel. :)

As did Miss Mary, who much preferred to use the snow to form peaceful little smiling men, than to lob it at her fellow human beings.  
The war, discussion, and sculpting all eventually came to an end, and our house soon was heated with many people (some sweating from their un-bloody battle). Laughter and conversation now competed for the air waves, as some of the younger groups started games in the lower level of the house, and the exchange of wisdom continued on in the upper level. 
The evening ended (as all days must) and our friends packed up to head homewards to their own farm, leaving behind a delightful day at our little "castle". (at least we thought so! :) )


Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Flexible New Year

Sometime (alright.. lots of times) life doesn't go quite as planned, but things are a lot easier to handle if you are as flexible as possible, and just go with the flow. 

That is what happened on New Years Eve, the last and hardest day of moving.  Usually, New Years Eve at the Sauve house is a fancy affair.  We pull out the best china, the crystal glasses, have a couple courses of the tastiest food, try to find a nice table cloth, add candles and decorations.. you get the picture.  Alright now, think about moving all day, the house is full of boxes and stuff everywhere. The table in the living room is just set there, not even put together properly... and the fancy china.... uhh in which of the many miscellaneous boxes did we put those!?!  
Thankfully we had thrown a nice big roast in the crockpot that morning.. so at least we would have something to eat... when we could get to it.
Everything took longer than we thought.  We didn't get back to the old house to pick up the rest of the chickens till 7:00 and we were so worn out that getting to it, took forever. Then there was the case of the missing rooster... (gonna have to ask for that story) 

Anyway, it wasn't until nearly 9:00 when we finally sat down (collapsed) at the table minus the tablecloth and decorations, minus the china and candles.. but hey! We did find the crystal glasses and the cider was a fine replacement for the sparkling cranberry apple juice we couldn't find.
The roast was very done. :) and the rolls that we had thought ahead and froze the week before and rewarmed, were decadent!

And despite our level of exhaustion, we managed to accomplish our goal of having a fire in our woodstove insert on New Years eve. Then we crawled into bed and fell fast asleep.

New year's day was bright and chilly. We had decided not to do too much unpacking, but to take the day to relax.

Josiah had to get everything set up in his room though - all the books on the shelf, and his deer rug on the floor.

We were planning on having our very first company in the new house that afternoon. But before everyone arrived Faith and I headed out front with Sadie Rose for a walk down our loooonnnggg driveway.  Sadie is super excited about our new property. She loves jumping around in the grasses and exploring.

We had stashed away lots of food just for this day, along with this gem we found at a garage sale... my "Cheese and Quackers" Ducky board. :)

Lots of yummy snacks.

And desserts!

Josh, Theresa, and Baby-Nephew, along with Mr. Reiche, and a little later Grace, all joined us for our munchy afternoon.

It was nice and cozy down by the fireplace, and it was wonderful to be able to sit down, relax, and just chat and enjoy the food and everyone's company.

Josiah had bought us a puzzle at Lehmans when he was down in Virginia, one that combined 2 of the things we have a lot (some would say too much) of.  Books... and Puzzles!!  We had decided to save this puzzle for New Years day, so it was pulled out and slowly worked on.

Baby entertained everybody... Smiley face.

Mr. Squishy!!!  :) He puts up with a lot..

Moby and Shine had come up with Grace, and Moby was a little jealous of all the attention the baby was getting.

You can't blame us.. look at that face!!

{Kitten.. she has us all wrapped around her little paw, even Mom and Dad}

Josiah, Josh, Faith and Mr. Reiche went on an exploratory trip out back, while some of us napped, and others worked on the puzzle.

"Squishy" took over Kitten's spot on Dad's lap, ready for a nap himself.  

It was a wonderful day of being able to take a deep breath in the middle of all of our hurry, and looking back at God's faithfulness, and forward in trust of His sovereign will and mercy.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Moving Story... Part 3

Wednesday might possibly have been the hardest day of our 3 days of moving. It was cold, blustery, and with a slight depressing overcast air about it. But it would have been much more difficult (or impossible) if it hadn't been for some wonderful new friends that came with their large trailers to help us move some of the last big stuff.

One of the items to be removed to the new property, was our "little" chicken coop. Well this "little" coop was built like a rock. The family joke was that "if a tornado came, we would abandon the house and go stay in the Chicken coop." :)

So moving it was going to be no small task.....

Even with straps, and big trucks and lots of strong guys.. it was still quite the effort. :)

But... Where there's a will.....

... There's a way.

Kitten and Sadie Rose hung out together inside. (on our super dirty carpet....)

Another family arrived with their trailer (which took one of Josiah's hoop houses... everything has to go! :) ) and were super useful grabbing all the extra items off the deck, and from the garage.

Once everything was loaded, all of our helpers along with all of us except for Mom and I, once again headed North.

Mother and I were left behind to clean up the building that we had called home for the past 7 years....

Leaving it looking oh so empty.  This house holds many, many, memories... mostly good ones, but some hard ones. 
Here at this house we first branched out into the world of farming. 
Our first batch of chickies ever, scratched around in the now shockingly bare garage. 
It was from this house that the first of the Sauve's left the nest to their own lives. 
Here, along the back path sheltered under our whispering pines, is buried our Baby dog, along with a few special chickens, ducks, and baby goats. 
In this house Grandpa Learned lived with us, and it was here that he passed from earth to glory.  
Yes... many memories... but they aren't held in the walls now bare of pictures, and the rooms empty of furniture only. They're imprinted on our hearts, and minds too.. so we're not leaving them behind entirely, we'll always have the memories, and now we have a chance to make a new set of them for the next 7 years (at least) in our new Castle!