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

Monday, September 29, 2008


When I cradled my newborn son in my arms many years ago, I reflected on the knowledge that one day he might be called to fight in a war.Not only might he be called to fight, but he might be killed in a war. Indeed he was a warrior, and he did two tours of war in Iraq with the USMC. He was not killed, though. He returned home to us. Many warriors over the centuries have been called, and killed. They have fought at the command of their country's leaders. The dead are mourned all the rest of the lives of those they leave behind. The men and women warriors and victims of war were at one time all cradled as babes in the arms of parents and loved ones...." If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, all his ministers become wicked....If a king judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever....Many seek the ruler's favor, but justice for man comes from the Lord." Psalm:29: vs.12,14,26
~~~ please listen to the end and reflect on those loved and lost in war....~~~

Reflecting at Cedar Pond

~The weather yesterday was untypical of our area. We should be getting damp and cool weather. Today we are supposed to have record highs for Washington. I think I will take my morning coffee pond side , watch the ducks, listen to the birds and reflect on my many blessings.
Here is my chair overlooking our pond.~The ducks know that when I sit down in this chair with a cup of coffee, I might also have snacks to toss into the water. "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck,looks like a duck, it must be a duck." "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands." Don Adams 
The ducks preen and clean themselves after a swim in the pond.
~With this warm weather we still have frogs and snakes around the pond. This little frog is sunning himself in a flower pot of lobelia. He stayed put here for hours.
~When I take the time to JUST SIT A SPELL, something I rarely seem to do, why then the world seems to gain a little perspective. My best places to think are pond side or watching my sheep and chickens. I read and write or just think when I take the time to sit. For the last year and a half, peace has been important, not the peace that comes from tranquilizers,or vain pursuits. Peace that comes from meditating on God and His mercies. His blessings, His ways..which are most surely NOT our ways.....
~"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy, And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." James 4:17,18~

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Childhood Enjoyed

~~~"A child reminds us that playtime is an essential part of our daily routine."~~~ANON.
~~~The little girls are playing dress up and dancing to one of my Loreena McKennitt CD's. #3 Granddaughter liked wearing the feathers over an old t-shirt. She does enjoy hanging out with my chickens and doves.~~~
~~~"Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see."John Whitehead~~~
~~~#6 Granddaughter tried on ALL the dress up clothes, sometimes all at once!~~~ ~~~Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them." Richard Evans
~~~Of course there was time for playdough. Playdough is still the all time favorite of the youngsters around here.~~~ ~~~"Our children are not going to be just "our children"- they are going to be other people's husbands and wives and the parents of our grandchildren." Dr. Mary S. Calderone~~~
~~~#4 Granddaughter especially loves playdough.~~~
~~~She also very much likes to play with our dogs and cats.~~~ ~~~"The dog was created especially for children. He is the god of frolic." Henry Ward Beecher~~~
~~~This was so cute. # 6 Granddaughter pulled out the living room afghan and sofa pillows and made herself a bed. Our dog Beatrix joined her and the two slept peacefully.~~~ "No symphony orchestra ever played music like a two year old girl laughing with a puppy."Bern Williams~~~
~~~A child enters your home and makes so much noise for twenty years that you can hardly stand it, then departs leaving the house so silent you think you will go mad." John Holmes~~~ "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6~~~ ~~~Our son and his daughters are getting settled into their new home. The girls bedroom is set up and decorated. They have been helping out with chores and #1 Granddaughter got to go with her uncle on his rounds as he did horse-shoeing jobs. She was thrilled . She LOVES horses !They have helped prepare dinner, and are enrolled in their new school. I hear happiness from them and excitement from our Son as he starts a new and different life, a life with his precious daughters. The precious daughters he would give HIS life to protect. We are thankful for all our family and friends who upheld us in prayer and encouraged us throughout this and called and e-mailed to rejoice with us ! Thank-you, and Thank-you Lord for your mercy and kindness!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Family....Blessings Undeserved and Priceless

~~~Sisters ! Here three of the four sisters, our granddaughters, are posing for me at pond side. They were swinging on the hammock, frog hunting, tossing pebbles in the pond....just being little girls excited to be at Grandma and Grandpa's home and visiting all the relatives that came especially to see THEM and rejoice in long awaited answered prayer. ( Their sister was taking her turn at spending the night at a favorite Auntie's home with cousins to play with )~~~Aunt Joni snuggles with three of the sisters. She has upheld the sisters father ( our oldest son ) in prayer and phone counsel and she and her husband have a soft spot for our son and his plight broke their hearts...they and their church and friends have helped support our son when we despaired of ever being able to get our precious granddaughters the justice that seemed out of reach of reason and sensibility. Thank-you Joni ! ~~~" To us , family means putting your arms around each other and being there." Barbara Bush ~~~Sister Karen sharing what she called a " blonde moment" with three of our very blonde granddaughters. Karen has also been so supportive, and she has had her prayer group praying for our son and his daughters......Karen has had her share of trying times and I have learned so much from my sisters , all three of them, and been so comforted to know they are supporting us and praying for us and just plain there for us ! It kind of makes me ashamed to realize how often I have failed them and they have been there for me anyway ! ~~~" The family. We were a strange little band of characters, trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving. laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together." Erma Bombeck ~~~A favorite Auntie of the granddaughters, our daughter, allowing #4 granddaughter hold her baby ,our #2 grandson. The granddaughters are very kind to their youngest cousin. ( note the jar on the coffee table. The granddaughters found a new pet at our place, FUZZY the caterpillar. ) ~~~From left to right : # 4 granddaughter, # 1 granddaughter and #6 granddaughter hold up the eggs they gathered. They were so excited to gather eggs and pick apples and pears and help me feed the sheep and ducks and bake and.....we are so blessed ! God has protected our granddaughters, He brought our son, their father, home safely from his 2nd tour of Iraq as a tank commander for the USMC. God gave our son the comfort a faithless wife would not, and finally...FINALLY, after 1 and 1/2 years of an indifferent legal system that cost us more dearly than all the money spent...our son and granddaughters are home. Home where healing can begin for 4 precious little girls. Home where four precious little girls can start being little girls again. Where doing chores and homework and learning the very basic and kind rules of life are the hardest things to put up with.
~~~" In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony." Eva Burrows
~~~"What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel they are joined for life- to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories. " George Eliot

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Granddaughters, The Crown of Grandparents

~~~We gathered together for a meal at the table the way " real families do", said our # 1 Granddaughter. A meal around the table means a lot to her, and this last year and a half of tears and grief beyond anything Hubby and I could ever have imagined we could live through, not to mention our oldest son who has lost EVERYTHING except his daughters and the love and support of praying family and friends, well, a meal around the table as a family is priceless !
~~~# 4 Granddaughter is helping bake the bread for dinner with us, her great grandparents , and her Great Aunt. She likes baking bread !~~~
~~~#1 Granddaughter is so excited to help bake the bread for the meal! ~~~
~~~ The table is set, the candle is lit. We have home made bread, chicken and rice, and coleslaw made from carrots from our garden and cabbage from Uncle and Auntie's garden. Dinner is ready !~~~
~~~Just look at that bread ! Didn't the girls do a wonderful job of helping bake the bread ? ~~~
~~~We gather together as a family, this is the answer to many , many tearful prayers. This is the answer to the prayers so many have petitioned our Father in Heaven for mercy for 4 little girls and a man who only wanted to serve God, our country, and be a great Dad to his beloved daughters.~~~
~~~Great-Grandma and her little great-granddaughter , our #6 granddaughter.~~~
~~~#4 granddaughter was so worn out by all the activity and excitement of the last few days that she slept through dinner. And she helped bake the bread. Oh well, she and I were up late and she had a late snack of the bread she helped bake. Today the family heads to Eastern Washington where they will live on a farm with our youngest son and his wife. They will go to a small rural school, they will have horses to ride and care for, kittens in the barn to check up on, dogs to help feed, sports to engage in and family to uphold them in all things every child SHOULD have !
~~~"Grandchildren are the crown of grandparents and the glory of sons is their father." Proverbs 17 : 6

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Spot of Passion

~~~ "Passion :An eager outreaching of mind toward some special object ; intense affection ; fervid devotion ; " Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary~~~
~~~John and Deanne surely do exhibit passion for the animals they bring to this barn 'ANIMALS OF THE WORLD'. Every year they haul in a zebra, a zedonk, yak,watusi cattle, and a reindeer. They care for their animals and are excited to share them with people but also very protective of them. ~~~John and Deanne and her father, Stormy are also very supportive of the other people in the barn and their excitement and passion over their animals is infectious. How can you not love a baby Watusi steer, or the pretty yak getting walked by John or Deanne, or the cute little reindeer, Sugar...who needs John and Deanne to place a fan in front of her stall because even our cool fall weather is a bit too warm for a reindeer.
~~~This is one of John, Deanne and Stormy's zebras.~~~
~~~Here is Deanne with the grandchildren of another exhibitor, look, they are baby zebras ! Anyway, the other exhibitors here in this particular barn are passionate about the animals they bring to the fair. You can see it in their eyes and hear the excitement in their voices when they talk about the particular animal they love. ~~~Here is Jean Bates of Hemlock Highlands ,with two of her grandchildren. Look at her beaming over her grandchildren, and yes, she beams like that over her cattle. She has been here year after year for a few years now. Always happy to talk about her cattle, AND her grandchildren !
~~~A Highland calf. What a pretty calf, the shaggy hair and big eyes are heart warming.~~~
~~~Another of the Hemlock Highland calves.~~~ "One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested." E.M. Forster
~~~This is Kayla Nicholson with her miniature Brahma bull. Yes, a MINIATURE Brahma bull. His name is Gus and his breed is called a Zebu which is the African - Indian name for the Brahma. Gus was quite the attraction. He was friendly and cute. Kayla would cuddle him and you just know she and Gus are crazy about each other. Kayla is talking about getting Gus a female companion of the Brahma type. Kayla's eyes sparkle when she talks about her Gus and why she likes the breed. ~~~This is Stefani Millman. She and her husband Chris have the Dexter cattle. Dexters are called miniature cattle, but they are really small cattle. If I could have a cow I would like a Dexter. Just the right size and temperament and dairy output for a small holding. Just ask Stefani about her cattle. You can see her passion for the cattle. Her husband has started making cheese from the milk of their Dexter cow. Stefani brought in some fresh milk to the barn one morning and my oh my ! Tasting the milk from a Dexter makes me realize the milk from the supermarket is a poor substitute. The cream was richer and better than the super rich whipping cream I buy to add to my coffee. ~~~Tom and his wife Penny bring their fainting goats and Katahdin hair sheep every year. Penny also superintends the barn with 2 others. Their animals are well cared for and both Penny and Tom have very strong and passionate opinions about their breed, and the politics and culture trends in livestock. I appreciate a discussion from people who can express their passion about something and the pros and cons, and at the same time they will be beaming about their animals.
~~~Two of Tom's' Katahdin sheep.~~~
~~~Yeah, yeah, Goth. We know what you're passionate about ! ~~~
~~~"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." Ferdinand Foch ~~~" Is not life a hundred times too short to bore ourselves ? " F. Nietzsche
~~~When I talk to people I usually try to figure out just what motivates them to get out of bed in the morning ( or afternoon) and live ! Not just pass time or get by, but what makes them want to be part of life. Each of us needs a passion for something, or many things. Each of us needs to have passion for someone. Each of us needs to have passion for something we hope will endure and make some little difference in the world. Something that should MATTER. What is your passion ? Is your passion worthy of your time, thoughts, sacrifice ?
~~~May you find your passion leading you on the road to what really matters, and that is where you have the wonder, excitement, and joy of deciding just what that may be !~~~

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Look, I Have Horns! Part II

~~~Jester, born this last spring is sprouting 5 horns ! ~~~~~~A different approach to adding horns to your head.~~~
~~~Above the ear and around the face, just think of all the things you could hang on your horns with this arrangement. Snacks, water / beverage bottles, stereo speakers, Christmas ornaments......
~~~The horns kind of match her teeth. I wonder, is there a horn fairy that leaves sheep snacks under the hay for the rams that lose their horns ?~~~
~~~This little boy can get two horns from one ! I think he just might grow up to be a thrifty person who can spot a bargain. ~~~
~~~This toddler was the first in his family to pick up the horns and place them on his head. Then he became camera shy about doing it again. However,after HE tried them on his siblings got excited about trying on the horns....he just might be the free thinker in the family, or the challenging child ? ~~~
~~~LOOK , I HAVE HORNS ! ~~~
~~~"What, shall he have killed the deer ? His leather skin and horns to wear. Then sing him home. Take thou no scorn to wear the horn, it was a crest ere thou wast born, Thy father's father wore it, and thy father owe it, the horn , the horn, the lusty horn , is not a thing to scorn." William Shakespeare ~~~

Monday, September 22, 2008

Look, I Have Horns ! PART I

~~~Over the years of exhibiting my sheep I have accumulated a few sheep horns. I display them and there are always a few people who's first impulse is to grab the horns off the table and place them somewhere on their head and show their companions the horns on their head. This year I decided to keep my camera near and snap pictures of these individuals.My rules to myself were : I would only photograph people who grabbed the horns and placed them on their heads, and only post them with permission. So, here are the people who grabbed the horns . ~~~
~~~ This man was VERY enthusiastic about displaying horns on his head. ~~~~~~Doesn't she look sweet ? ~~~
~~~This woman is missing her husband who is serving in Iraq.~~~
~~~Oh, she is sooooooooooo cute ! ~~~
~~~Look Mom, I have horns.~~~
~~~" My horns go with my pink T-shirt, dontcha think ? " ~~~
~~~O.K. This woman was a bit too excited about sprouting horns. I showed her the picture and asked if it was o.k. to post and she said "sure".~~~
~~~Well, we have hauled in our sheep and all the stuff that we had hauled TO the fair. Somehow my husband found himself bringing home with us a few more ducks and a new lamb...he REALLY loves me. I mean, I keep bringing home animals and he keeps building me nice places for the animals to reside. I surely do love him ! ~~~
~~~Today our son should be arriving with our 4 precious granddaughters ..gotta get some sleep.