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

Friday, September 22, 2017

Porch Weather

Summer weather left us this past weekend. Our area has had a record 80 days without rain ! As much as I miss the rain ( it is back now ) I do love being able to sit on the porch with the dogs and spin wool while I watch the deer and wild turkeys in our pastures and along the edge of our woods. ( Here is an old enamel ware pot filled with plantings I had on a table top on the porch.)
Lazy days in the heat were spent enjoying the rockers on the porch while the dogs napped.
Beatrix will be 13 years old next month. She is my constant companion and if I am spinning wool outdoors she will be laying nearby. The summer was very hot, fires from Canada, Montana, Oregon , and some areas nearby in our state gave us many weeks of  hazy air so thick with smoke we had to limit our time outdoors. This past weekend the rain and cold weather moved in. Our pastures need it, but even more so do our forests. The weather here now drops to the low 40's and high 30's at night and we are expecting frost soon. I still sit on the porch and spin wool , but now I am wearing a warm jacket and wool socks. Beatrix has begun to grow her winter coat and her fur serves her well. She is just happy to lay nearby.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Bird Houses

We brought a lot of our bird houses from Cedar Pond to our new home here at Laughing Dove Farm. This bird house is now on our front porch wall. This spring there were some swallows checking it out , even going inside the middle hole but I suspect my cat Miss Marple scared them off by staring at the bird house and twitching her tail at them as she watched them indoors from the window very near the bird house. She didn't fool them at all, she was easy to spot from outside. Poor Miss Marple , smart birds.
We bought this bird house at a Spokane garden and craft fair and hung it up over the front porch. Almost immediately the swallows moved in, built a nest, and raised a family or two. Only a few feet away from the previous bird house shown but immediately bird approved. Maybe because there was no twitching cat staring at it ?
I bought this bird house at a Yelm Christmas craft show. The lady who built it set up her table with about 20 different versions of this birdhouse and was sold out immediately. Birds love it .We had both sparrows and swallows raising families in this bird house all summer.

This bird house was originally hung in an old stump at my husband's youngest sister and her family's home. When they moved we adopted it and brought it with us to our new home. The birds here seemed to think it was a nice place to raise a family, and again, sparrows moved in. This bird house overlooks the sheep pens and paddocks , apparently a popular place with many birds.
One of our granddaughters helped build and paint this birdhouse beloved by Western Bluebirds. Yay, we finally have bluebirds on our place, and in abundance. Bluebirds lived in 3 of our birdhouses and we love watching them.

Unfortunately this bird house was taken over by cow birds, but that is O.K. They ate a lot of bugs and since this bird house is perched on a corner post of our ram pen, that was a good thing. The cow birds also ate the seeds that fell out of the hay I tossed to the rams. The cow birds never became a big problem so I let them be and they raised at least 2 families here and moved on.
I bought this bird house at the local supermarket because I could not resist it. I bought it too late for it to be taken into consideration by the swallows and sparrows that kept checking it out after they'd already settled in other places. Maybe next year. The cool thing about this bird house is it has a nice back door that is easily opened for cleaning and just as easily secured.
I love bird houses, I love birds. I have a collection of bird nests, bird books, and love bird watching. The creativity of birds and how and where they choose to build their nests or make their homes often goes against what is  written about them by the experts in the bird books. All I have to do is watch and observe the birds outside my window and back door to discover there is way more to the average wild bird than what you'll find in your bird books. Birds are truly amazing and I am thankful God has filled His creation with them and sometimes birds will find a few of my birdhouses worthy of raising their families in.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

My Man is a Super-Gardener !

 Just look at this garden with fruit trees on the side. My husband planted all this since this past March. We had snow and deep freeze until early March, our new veggie garden is now situated and planted on ground that was previously used as parking space and hard as pavement. My husband also prepared the ground and soil for our fruit trees shown here ( right of garden). They were also planted on ground previously hard as pavement.
 This view shows the garden from my sheep pen. Look at what my amazing husband has done with this piece of land ! ( Our house is in the upper right of the picture.)
 You can see my sheep grazing in their pasture on the other side of our new veggie garden, and further away you can see our woods & forest.
 Radishes ready to pluck from the soil.
 Squashes and pumpkins are flourishing and threatening to take over the veggie garden !
 It is hard to believe that only last year this piece of our new land was barren except for weeds and hard-packed soil. My husband has already turned the barren wasteland into an abundant vegetable garden ! Fruit trees are already providing fruit, vegetables enough for us , our family, and to sell at the local market....
 ...pumpkins, squash and corn ready to take over the garden plot,
 harvests covering our counter-tops , filling our fridge and begging to be eaten and preserved.
 Guess what, my husband even decided to can his hard -worked -for produce. He started canning !
Took this picture this morning of my husband standing in his garden. Look at the sweet corn , it's taller than him and the corn will soon be ready to pick.You can see our pasture and woods in the distance. Yes indeed, my man is a super-gardener !

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Selling at Our Local Farmer's Market !

 We've been selling our home produce and crafts at the local Farmer's Market every week since the end of May. Usually I put up my vendor's booth next to my daughter-in-law's. She sells items she's welded from the horseshoes her husband , a farrier ( and our youngest son) removes from the horses he shoes before putting new shoes on them. The blue pumpkin shown above is one of the items I bought from her to use in my display at the market.
 Ordinarily I set up my booth and sell hand-spun and hand-dyed yarn, wool fiber, and other wool crafts I make. But my husband has created an amazing vegetable garden at our new home and his veggies are growing gang-busters ! We have too many fresh lettuces, summer and zucchini squashes, beets, and cucumbers to consume ourselves.
 We've  been giving them away to family and friends . The chickens, geese, and sheep are enjoying the bounty too.
 I suggested he set up a booth at the Farmer's Market and he did. He sold out of lettuces  ( at least 30 bunches ) both times he's been a vendor at the market, plus most of his beets and squashes have sold too.

 I decided to sit with him in his booth instead of setting up a second booth. I just put a few 'Wee Little Sheep' on the table and kept him company. ( I sold some of my little sheep too.)

The crop of vegetables is still growing abundantly and the kitchen counters are crowded with fresh vegetables, freshly gathered eggs, and jars of home-made pickles too , but more about the pickles later.

My husband has always loved his gardens, especially the vegetable gardens. Our new home has a different growing season than our last home. The summer days are perfect for most crops and it looks like we'll actually get a big crop of tomatoes, pumpkins, and sweet corn too. I will be posting pictures of his vegetable garden in the next post, showing the progression of the plot of land he's turned into our vegetable garden here at Laughing Dove Farm.

" While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night shall not cease." Genesis 8:22 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Few Residents of Laughing Dove Farm

A few of my Jacob Sheep grazing in the front pasture between the house and the gravel road.
A mama hen with chicks she hatched out and tends.
One of my ewe lambs. I had 19 healthy lambs born here this year , doubling my flock of sheep !

 This little curly mama hen hatched out her brood of chicks under our new chicken house. They are tiny bantams and will be tiny when grown up. She and her rooster are very protective of their chicks. The rooster / father of the chicks is a self-blue d'uccle I got from my oldest grandson a few years ago
Whimsy, one of our 4 dogs. She is my constant companion and protector.
Life is so good here, especially because I am blessed to share it with people and animals I love.

"Some people go through life trying to find out what the world holds for them only to find out too late that it's what they bring to the world that really counts." L.M. Montgomery ~ ' Anne of Green Gables'

Saturday, July 15, 2017


I took this picture late this afternoon. It is my old ram Goth who spent a week of his life almost every year at the Western Washington State Fair in the Animals of the World barn . Our exhibit was directly across the aisle from the zebras, zee-donks, yaks, and reindeer. Many thousands of people saw him and stared at him over the years and I watched hundreds of people photograph him.

Now that we've relocated to the other side of the mountains Goth is retired and enjoying life in a pasture situated in front of our new home. The gravel road that fronts our property is actually a well traveled road between our home and the hills and mountains across the road. Often I discover a vehicle parked in front of our place and see , yes, people gawking at Goth ! Goth still attracts attention even in his old age. ( Goth is 13 years old.) I hope he lives for many more years, I am quite fond of this old ram.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Morning Sip ~ (and Blog Comment Problem)

 I started my morning sipping coffee with Blizzard The Cat and Blue The Betta ( Siamese Fighting Fish) as company.
Blizzard my cat started his day sipping Blue's betta water. To each his / her own.
I read and tried to respond to all your wonderful comments on my last post but each time I commented and hit "publish" Blogger told me it was publishing my comment and then NOTHING, nada, nyet... I tried several times , several ways with the same result. I am not sure what the problem is, but if you somehow get a few comments all at once from me it is because I kept trying. I am sorry to have not been able to leave comments and will try again. If anyone can give me a possible reason for this please let me know. I am reading your blogs and enjoying them, and TRYING to comment !

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.