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

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Blessings Abundant , Giving Thanks !

~The Granddaughters are here ! They brought their father, our oldest son, and they brought their Uncle ( our youngest son and his wife) and Aunt and their dogs....we are ALL together this Thanksgiving. This is an answer to prayer, ceaseless, tear filled prayers........Praise Him from whom ALL blessings flow! O.K., O.K., they did not drive here, the Uncle and Father, and Aunt drove the vehicle that brought them literally 'over the river and through the woods', and over the mountains and through the pass. Here they are with Poppa, my Hubby, walking down the driveway towards home. They really love their Poppa!~For anyone interested in the Thanksgiving we shared,and a funny picture of Hubby, please check out our daughter's blog A.Joy At Home. ~The day after Thanksgiving we had a brunch here in our home and Hubby's parents came to share a meal and time with their grandchildren and Great-grandchildren. We are blessed beyond words to have had all three of our children, precious spouses , eight grandchildren, AND Hubby's parents here with us. Precious time, not taken for granted time. Below is a picture of all eight grandchildren and Taz...the red Heeler that is a vital part of our youngest son and his wife's family. Taz is one of five very important furry canine companions that share their lives with our family. Taz was part of our son and his wife's ( precious daughter-in-law) wedding party. He wore a bow-tie! ~Here is a picture of Hubby's parents with our three kids, precious spouses, and grandchildren. "But the loving kindness of the Lord is from everlasting to to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children To those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts to do them." Psalm 103:17,18 ~And joy oh joy...PUPPIES ! Puppies and children, what a sweet combo. The grandchildren hold our puppies. Here , two sisters snuggle puppies.
~Two more sisters snuggle puppies. What lucky puppies!~
~Our youngest granddaughter is much more interested in snuggling our youngest grandson! Youngest grandson was fascinated by his cousin, and sometimes a little fearful...she cuddles hard !Our daughter was laughing because #6 Granddaughter was so crazy about her cousin and the expressions you don't see here are so cute, funny, and touching.But look at HIS face.. ~On the last day here the granddaughters were pretty excited. They wanted to do everything all over...feed the animals, hold the puppies, play with the cousins, do art projects.....but there was no more time here. However, they are very excited about the snow at home, the holiday festivities at their new school, fun with the new pony and Uncle and Aunt and Daddy, kittens and.....so, here they eat a healthy breakfast of Coco Puffs and orange juice.
~The sister on the other side of the table~
~Time to go little granddaughters. We'll miss you. We love you. You were all so good, and fun and remind us of the joy of life. You remind me God answers prayer. He answers prayers I think are not being heard, and He answers in His time and His way, which is His Way...beyond our comprehension, but righteous and perfect in His time. Thank-you Lord for your mercy. ~"He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving kindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him." Psalm 103 :10-13

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oh Joy ....Thanksgiving and Fun!

O~The guest room is ready ! Most precious and special company for Thanksgiving !~~Our oldest son and his 4 daughters will be staying with us. ~
~Our youngest son, his wife, and dogs will be staying with our daughter and her family. We are having a big Thanksgiving meal together, along with special friends ! A feast of food and friendship, love and fellowship ! Games, fun ! Food....lots of food. We have things to do to get ready....
~The kids beds are ready in the guest room. There are bins of toys, a toy barn....... ~Lots of empty drawers for all the things 4 little girls need to put away for a weekend. Books to read, bottles of water and snacks on the dresser. The guest bathroom is clean and there are nice , fluffy towels and children's bubble bath.( little girls, and big ones too..like bubble baths) ~I hear a commotion downstairs, Hubby and I are preparing the dressing to go with daughter's turkey, I am bringing deviled eggs and dessert.I left the cats and dogs alone in the kitchen. I better check and see what's going on. We are trying to get the decorating done before our family comes and we are so excited ! But what's that noise , I really need to get downstairs and check ! Have a blessed Thanksgiving......!""Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him;bless His name." Psalm. 100:4

More Bunny Love

~I just knew I had more pictures of Cupcake, and I found them !Can you see the black sheep leg behind Cupcake? That would be Daphne, the object of Cupcake's affection.~This picture was taken in the lambing jug, a small pen where Daphne was confined during lambing and for a week after lambing. Cupcake stayed in the lambing jug with Daphne. He came and went as he pleased, because being small, he slipped through the fence panels. But he did not stray far , or for long. Why would he, he had Daphne and all the alfalfa he could eat. Here he is , he and Daphne eating their alfalfa side by side.
~Cupcake and Daphne. I think the lamb is in the pen with her, but not visible in this photo. ~Cupcake taking a stroll with Delilah, Daphne's daughter. Really, Cupcake was totally devoted to Daphne and her lambs. I still miss Cupcake!
~Aren't they cute together ?~

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Daughter!

~Today is your birthday, and it is also a birthday for me..the birthday of my first day of motherhood. So Happy Birthday to us ! "A daughter is a day brightener and a heart warmer." AU~My daughter is our firstborn. She was a very easy baby, slept through the night right away, quickly learned right from wrong and obeyed without questioning, because it was what made her father and I happy. I did not understand why so many of our friends had trouble and were frustrated with raising their children because our daughter was so easy to train and raise. (I would learn with the birth of my sons what most people were talking about, but that is another post.)
~Our daughter was and is fiercely loyal to her brothers, her family, and her friends. When they were little and her brothers were in trouble with me or anyone else, she would run interference for them and protect them. She still does. ~As a youth and as a teen ager, she was still a good daughter. What myself and my husband desired and required was respected by her. She did not cause us trouble as a teenager either. Nor as a young single woman. We could trust her, and more than a decade has passed since she was that young girl, and we have heard all the stories of her youth from her, her brothers, her friends, and still we realize we were not wrong to trust her.That means so very much in this day and age when we are led to believe all youth MUST rebel and all youth MUST go through a period of disrespect and separation from their family. ~Our daughter fell in love with a pretty special young man we are proud to call "Son", and the longer she and her husband are married, the more we love the man she chose . We also think he got a treasure, a loyal wife and hardworking wife who not only treasures him, but treasures his family, us, and the children they have had together. "If you would have a good wife, marry one who has been a good daughter." Thomas Fulton ~Happy birthday most precious daughter! We are thankful beyond words for the gift God gave us that day so very long ago, our first born..a tiny little treasure. YOU! Anyone desiring to say "Happy Birthday" to her can check out her blog, A.Joy At Home.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Spot of Art....(spotted art ? )

~I love my art collection and decided to share some of it with you.~~These two pieces of art(above and below) were drawn by # ! Grandson. Yes, I said "art" ! Back in the old days I was a pre-school teacher. I actually went to school for the honor of being a pre-school teacher, and after taking a few classes on child development and children's art, I can tell you I am a great appreciator of children's art. And THIS is art. Can you not tell what he has portrayed here? Just watch him, with his tongue working around his mouth as he concentrates and carefully draws and colors his pieces. Just look at the details here. He loves animals, and draws things I usually don't notice. He knows his subjects and puts all of himself into his drawings. And I fully appreciate the care that goes into them. He does not just give away his art, you must be someone special enough for him to give you a piece of it, and only then, after he feels he can part with it. I think you can see his depiction of my ram and the ram pen, below.
~#5 Granddaughter has just really begun to express herself with drawing. This is her FIRST depiction of a person, and she chose to give it to me for my birthday. I am honored. "A work of art is itself reflecting senses and emotions of the artist's world." AU ~Another piece of art by yet another granddaughter. She was so happy to be here with us, her grandparents ,that she spent the day drawing many, many pictures of happy people and putting my name on them. She rather liked writing my name even though she calls me 'grandma'."Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso ~A treasured birthday card from another granddaughter. This granddaughter draws and designs dresses for her dolls . She used to draw out recipes for me, before she could write words. Her drawn recipes were very clever and many of her drawings reflect a mind that works outside the box, and that totally fascinates me."Only those who look with the eyes of children can lose themselves in the object of their wonder." Eberhard Arnold ~Now don't laugh, this was drawn especially for me, and the animals are either sheep or dogs, or horses. They are NOT mice! Or bugs....but aren't they cute ? "The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting." Vincent Van Gogh
~"art; whose object is to create form for its own sake..." Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary ~A lady I knew years ago would trace her children's drawings onto linen or muslin and then embroider them and frame the embroidered drawings and hang them on the walls of the living room. Really, the art was very nice and in fact, much nicer than a lot of the 'hotel art' you see in so many places. I do not have space to hang these precious creations, I don't even have wall space to hang family portraits...so I usually place the year's drawings in our family photo-journal. My mother saved some of my drawings and I am surprised at how much of me they revealed, and maybe one day the grandchildren will look into these photo journals and remember something special from their childhood. I know I will enjoy looking back at them.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Blessed Sunday to You!

~"And as they were eating , Jesus took the bread , and blessed it, and broke it, and said,"take , eat; this is my body. " And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying,"Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Matthew 26:26-28

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Night Time Snackers Around Cedar Pond

~Isn't the raccoon a cute animal ? I don't think my poultry would agree.~Raccoons have killed and eaten more of our ducks, chickens, and turkeys than I can count. Every year we lose a LOT of our poultry to these smart and savage bandits. We no longer allow our animals to free-range. The ducks are released from their pen in the morning and then we place their food in the pen in the evening and , being greedy , hungry ducks, they walk in for dinner and to spend the night until released again the next day. I almost quit keeping ducks altogether because for many years the ducks were wiped out every winter. We need the ducks to keep our pond aerated and slime and slug free...which they do .
~One year I was completely creeped out when I went to collect the chicken eggs. I thought I was living an X-Files episode. I am not exaggerating , horror was the word here. Two headless chickens were partially ripped through the chicken wire and their bodies were completely picked free of flesh ! The next day I found pieces of a dead chicken and this chicken was completely ripped through the wire. Some research helped me determine there was no other-worldly monster at work here, but your every day, cute little raccoon with his / her siblings and maybe parents too. ~The solution was for me to make sure there was no place for the chickens to perch for the night close enough for a coon to get his very evil and agile little paws on them. This has worked, thankfully. It did not save my almost ready for Thanksgiving turkeys who were killed by raccoons and the very slinky and vicious animal shown below. ~The weasel ! Weasels are aggressive , fearless, and deadly. They can get into places you wouldn't believe. They are guilty of great destruction in the poultry world. They are known as 'killing machines'. "It has been said that if the weasel were the size of a collie , it would be the most vicious animal on earth." and "A golden eagle was found dead upon the shore. Close examination revealed a weasel embedded in its neck. Apparently the eagle , which was considerably larger, underestimated the ferocity and persistence of its foe." fr CHARACTER SKETCHES Inst. Of Basic Youth Conflict ~Now here is another animal we contend with on an almost daily ( nightly) basis around here. I have to say I admire the coyote. They are smart, and adaptable. I just don't like them practicing those characteristics around our place. In the past few months we hear them EVERY night, around our place. In our yard, after our poultry and probably the cats too. One night all our big dogs were making a muffled "woof" sound on the back porch. We went to investigate and upon opening the back door all the dogs fell in on each other onto the kitchen floor. They were all huddled in fear up against the back door. I have BIG dogs, what was going on ? Hubby went out with a flashlight and shone it , oh my goodness! Everywhere he shone the light around our place there were coyote eyes looking at us ! That is one of the creepiest nights ever . No wonder the dogs were frightened. None of our critters were killed that night, all Hubby had to do was click the trigger of his shotgun and they were gone. ~Last night ( O.K., early this morning) after I was done posting my blog entry I got into bed and snuggled down for a good sleep. Then I heard the high, singing yelp of coyotes very, very close. I found the coyote song surprisingly beautiful. I nudged Hubby awake.."listen', coyotes. Hubby sprang out of bed saying "that one is in the front yard!' He was going for his flash light and shot gun and I told him not to worry. All our animals were penned up and safe. We were warm and safe. "Come back to bed and just listen, isn't the song pretty ?" I think coyote heard Hubby from outside, because there was no more singing. I was a little disappointed, because I WAS warm and snug and safe. My animals were warm and snug and safe ! Come lambing time though, it will be a different story. But lambing time is a month away, so for now I hope to appreciate the strange wild songs. "When you lie down , you will not be afraid; when you lie down your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden fear, nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence." Proverbs 3:24,25

Friday, November 21, 2008

Murder Most Fowl...A Spotted Duck Mystery

~Have you seen my ducks ? I am missing two ducks.~~Misty, the old white Lab says, " I am blind. I did not see any ducks."
~Beatrix says " I was napping, I'll help you look for them."
~Hawk, the Vizsla says, " Ducks ? I LOVE ducks, yum !"
~Willow says" BURP ! .....What feather on my face ? "
~Rest in peace my pretty spotted ducks.~
~This is a repeat of a post I did in July of this past summer, but through some mistake I must have made with blogger, most of the pictures just disappeared. So I have re-posted this story. I hope you find it entertaining. It is a true and tragic story of fowl mis-doings by my beloved dogs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Everybunny Needs Somebunny....Bunny Love

~This is Cupcake. We don't know where Cupcake came from, but Cupcake adopted us , or more accurately, Cupcake adopted our sheep.~~Cupcake was a bunny in need of a family, and he chose Daphne, our big, fat, Romney ewe ( girl sheep) as the target for his adoration and companionship. Cupcake was there during feeding time, eating alfalfa right out from under Daphne's chewing and chomping lips. Cupcake was there , in and around and underneath Daphne while she was lambing. ( having her baby) Cupcake was there while the lamb was tended, when the sheep were shorn, and for anything and everything Daphne and her little ewe lamb Delilah were involved in. ~Cupcake was not a tame rabbit, but definitely not a wild rabbit. He must have been released or have escaped his life as a pet or caged rabbit. Either way, he chose our flock as his family. He also discovered my Hubby's gardens , and I am afraid like Peter Rabbit , our Cupcake ran afoul of the farmer. Cupcake decided he especially loved to indulge in Farmer Hubby's Hostas and bulbs and the flowers Hubby so tenderly cared for . Cupcake apparently thought all this was for him. ~Cupcake lived here very happily for over a year. He actually ran with, fed with, slept with and played with the sheep ! Yes, he leapt around with the lambs, jumped over the sheep while they slept and would especially follow Daphne and Delilah around. He was truly devoted to Daphne and Delilah. But alas, his appetite was his undoing. ~My Hubby is very patient with my critters and has spent numerous back breaking hours building and re-building pens to keep MY animals out of HIS gardens and orchard. You see, he is the gardener and I am the keeper of the livestock and poultry. Often the two do NOT mix well. I am sorry to say that when Cupcake decided Hostas were his favorite food, even though he was able to freely gorge himself on alfalfa, well, his days here were numbered. ~We baited a trap with graham crackers, yes..graham crackers. Cupcake hopped in and CLANG! The doors to freedom were closed forever on Cupcake. I am sad about this. I miss Cupcake. But Cupcake became a pet. We gave him to a bunny lover. Our Hostas are safe. Phew ! Long live the Hostas!
~~~Delilah in the snow~~~

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Awwwwwww..., Puppies !

~What can I say, puppies ! The word 'puppies' makes my heart go mushy, and just plain leaves happy feelings in me. Although I did not want another litter of puppies..well, we have puppies. Since I fully intend this to be our last litter of puppies ( an appointment at the vet will take care of any future litters) I am taking the time to enjoy these little fuzz balls. Isn't she cute ?~Over the years of raising puppies I have noticed the mommy dog really does know her business. Sienna is a very good mama. She seems to have a very determined attitude to having and raising puppies. Sienna keeps her puppies very clean. They are well cared for by her. She nurses them faithfully, cleans their little bottoms and protects them. ~I noticed the other day that Sienna was leaving food in the kiddie pool the puppies were in. She buried a whole bread roll for them. Whenever I have had litters of puppies, there comes a time around 2 - 3 weeks that the mama dog will either leave and bury food in the puppy nest, or begin vomiting her own food for the pups. THAT is my cue to begin feeding the puppies, and supervising Mama. I have had Mama dogs regurgitate whole rabbits for their puppies. I am sure the puppies would be fine consuming what Mama would leave them, but I am not O.K. with facing jumbled animal parts in my puppies' beds. ~Anyway, the buried bread and the restless searching of previously sedate puppies was a very loud indicator that the puppies need to begin eating puppy food.My choice of puppy food. So here is their first feeding of puppy chow mixed with warm water.(below) They loved it ! ~Miss Marple looks on with interest. I have not allowed Miss Marple access to the puppies . Miss Marple takes down and consumes full grown wild rabbits, and as the puppies were smaller than the bunnies I was concerned she viewed them as an easy meal. Now that the puppies are a bit more active, and barking...I am a little more relaxed about her presence around them.
~I am not sure that if I were a puppy I would be comfortable with THIS peering at me through the NOT cat-proof barrier.~
~Here Miss Marple gets close, and she is very interested in the puppies and their first meal of Puppy Chow.She did not seem to find their food appealing to her. Let's just hope the puppies aren't too appetizing to her either. ~The puppies ate a lot of their first solid food, and true to puppy nature, full bellies led to naps. The kind of naps that leave puppies sprawled out or curled comfortably satiated. The kind of naps anyone who has puppies sighs with relief when she sees such satisfied puppies. Ohhhh...awww... puppies ! How can anyone resist puppies ?