Saturday, May 30, 2009
Babies surely do love babies, don't they? Here our two youngest grandchildren are cuddling. #6 granddaughter is just goo goo over our youngest grandson and shows it too!
Daniel and Breezy's Jack Russell terrier will NOT be left out of any cuddling going on in the house and also takes this opportunity to clean off any bits of a tasty breakfast left on baby grandsons' hands. ( note grandsons' grip on his toy WITH HIS TEETH!)
Meanwhile.....The view from our sons' home in the morning is beautiful. We are up early, 3 little girls have to catch the school bus. We have breakfast, and there is plenty of time to talk and play before the school bus comes.
The six older grandchildren walk down the long driveway to wait together for the bus. Three of the grandchildren who live here will catch the bus soon. The other 3 , visiting , will be left behind to await their cousins' return , so they can again resume building forts and riding bikes, and having fun together.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Every kid likes Snickers, especially if Snickers is a friendly fat pony! 2 of our grandchildren did not know I was watching and photographing them from afar. They picked large quantities of grass and then, our most plucky #3 granddaughter........
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Our first evening there our youngest son Daniel and oldest grandson CT get out the tractor to harrow the arena for riding. It is a beautiful early evening, and fun to watch. I think # 1 grandson ( CT ) enjoyed it.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Our trip to Deer Park in Eastern Washington goes ever on. Just crossing the bridge over the Columbia River you will encounter the Wild Horse Monument. If the day is void of fog and drenching rain you cannot help but notice the silhouettes of wild horses up on the bleak hillsides. We did not stop to see the monument so this is the best picture I snapped as we drove past at 55 miles per hour. There are 15 horses in this silhouette and they were created by David Govedau of Chewelah, Washington. ( we love Chewelah and have looked at property in the area for purchase. It is fairly close to our youngest sons' home) This lone barn in the midst of plowed fields has always captured my thoughts. I wonder who built it and why it stands vacant , in need of repair, and obviously soon to collapse. "Washington ranks # 3 in the U.S. for revenue generated by hay, #1 for income generated by sweet corn, hops, mint, grain corn, barley, and Kentucky bluegrass." WA St. Economy The rain on the other side of the mountains has not made it to this side, and we encounter only blue skies and beautiful clouds. Washington ranks # 2 among the states in potato production, #5 among the states for wheat production. There are many picturesque barns and farms along the way. Some are still very productive, some stand deserted among productive fields of crops..a reminder of times past. Not sad though because the crops surrounding them are abundant! Amazing , isn't it ? This looks like the prairie , or farmlands in the fertile mid-west, not what you would expect a scant hour or two away from one of the highest mountain ranges, or most densely forested areas in the United States! "Aquaculture, chicken eggs, and broilers are other major livestock products thriving in Washington." Economy of WA Now we are much closer to Spokane, the second largest city in Washington. You would not know this from the news networks though. Spokane is a politically conservative area, but very populous and liberal Seattle reigns in votes, tax revenue and dominates politics because of its' large population. Eastern Washington has often threatened to secede from the state because it is truly NOT represented in most government forums and causes. The little lake just off to the side of the freeway in the picture has 2 islands and we always see many wild fowl flying above or swimming in it. Isn't this rocky formation along side the free way just amazing ? It is just really not much more different or incredible than many along the way.....we are almost to Spokane! "The state of Washington generates more apple revenues than any other state. About 20 % of the states' total agricultural receipts are generated by apples. Washington produces about 64% of the nations' apples.. ....beyond apples, cherries ( #1 among the states) grapes, pears ( #1 among the states) and raspberries are the leading fruits grown in Washington." Economy Of Washington My husband and I have noticed there are many, many wineries in our state on both sides of the mountains that produce great wines, notable wines! The wineries are well worth visiting even if you are a teetotaler , the gardens and views alone are worth a visit! We are almost there ! This barn is in the Deer Park area, where our sons and their families live. Deer Park is a few miles north east of Spokane and very much a rural community. The Spokane area has many lakes and hills bordering mountains. It is rich with productive crops, herds of cattle, horses, sheep. You cannot drive many miles without encountering pheasant,quail, wild turkeys, deer, elk, moose. A hunters' paradise!A naturalists' paradise!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The road goes ever on and on.....what can I say? The trip from our home here in western Washington State to our sons' home in eastern Washington State is a breathtakingly beautiful trip! Mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, forests.....farm lands. Our state is one of great variety too! There are prairies, deserts, and the coastline of the northern part of the Pacific Ocean.All within a days' driving. I took these pictures through the windshield and here the raindrops blur the view. We headed off to Eastern Washington early Wednesday morning, my daughter A.Joy , her four children and me! We were off to visit my sons, daughter-in-law Breezy, and our oldest son's four daughters. I get to spend 4 nights and 5 days with all three of my children and all eight of my grandchildren!Whenever we are on our way up the mountains , to journey over Snoqualmie Pass I think of Tolkein's poem 'OVER THE MISTY MOUNTAINS', "Farewell we call to hearth and hall! Though wind may blow and rain may fall, We must away, ere break of day Far over the wood and mountain tall...... Snoqualmie Pass is one of 4 east to west highway crossings in our state with an elevation of 3,022 feet. Often it is impassable because of snow and avalanche danger. The pass is beautiful when one can actually view it. Frequently mist, fog, snow and rain obscure the view. Our trip started with rain shortly before we entered the high way up the pass. Isn't this island in the lake off to the side of the highway I-90 just beautiful? As we go over the mountain pass the fir, yew, and cedar trees, thick ferns and almost impenetrable undergrowth give way to Ponderosa Pines, and much less undergrowth...we are now on the side of the mountains that gets less rain and moisture. It is because of the mountains much of the moisture drops on my side, leaving the east a dryer, hotter climate . This bridge is just past the town of Vantage, and it goes over the mighty Columbia River. Shortly before we get to Vantage and onto the other side of this mighty river we enter a whole different scenario and climate. The rock formations and deep canyons remind me of our trip to the Grand Canyon, very, very similar but not as big. Trees around here are scarce, but this area has its' own amazing beauty. The sign just over the bridge, and the road goes up, up, up.....we do not go East, we veer off to the left, and the road goes ever on......for another 4 hours of travel!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
~Ferns unfurling new fronds near Cedar Pond.~If you are not close to her it is hard to distinguish her from the leaves and feathers around the nest. She is well camouflaged. It takes about 28 days for duck eggs to hatch.I hope she does hatch out a few, I am curious about what the ducklings from this mating would look like. See, here is the father , the duck partner. See how small this Call Duck is ? He is smaller than the standard chicken that shares the pen with him and his mate. His voice makes up for his small size though, you can hear his loud quack from everywhere around here!
Our only ducks to have survived the coyote slaughter in December have become a pair. An odd pair ,yes. But they are a pair. They did their courting and mating on the pond and the tall,closed- umbrella shaped runner duck laid about 25 eggs she carefully concealed in her nest of feathers, twigs and leaves , in the pen we built for them. One day I let them out as usual to run and swim freely until pen- up time in the evening and...she waddled out of the pen about 20 feet, stopped..turned back and ran into the pen onto her nest. I could almost hear her duck brain thinking " Oh, I almost forgot. I am to be a mother and I have responsibility. Back to the nest! " And now she patiently sits on her nest only to get off once or twice a day to eat, drink, and relieve herself.
~The pond after the rain, yesterday.~
The wood duck pair is still here. My husband and I wait at the pond's edge every night , unless it is raining hard. The duck flies into the snag like clockwork, 6:30 every night. On Mother's Day we observed her fly in with the male, he landed on the pond, she flew into the crevice in the snag. According to the books, he will desert her after she lays all the eggs in her clutch and then she will sit on the eggs for up to 35 days. We are hoping to see the young jump out of their nest onto the ferns below. We'll see.
"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." Antonio Smith
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
When our first born grandchild, #1 Grandson, or CT was just a chubby little guy he loved to visit us, and we saw each other frequently ( we still do ) . He learned to speak fairly quickly and before he was 1 year old he could say the usual "mommy", "daddy", other words and names and he could say "poppa" for my hubby, his grandfather. However, he insisted in calling me "Baa". Why ? He could speak well enough, and I coached him often enough, but " Baa" was his name for me for almost 3 years, and he spoke quite clearly by then. Then one day it hit me, whenever my sheep hear my voice they "BAA", loudly and persistently, and whenever my grandson came over I would step out onto the porch and greet him with a loud "Hi, how are you doing little guy?". Where upon hearing my voice the whole flock would come near their gate by our front porch and begin their baas....( to hear their baas listen to video in previous post ) So all his life thus far, whenever my grandson visited me at home, his first sight and sound of me was accompanied by a loud chorus of "BAAAAAAAAAAAAA", so of course that was my name, the black and white spotted crowd nearby said so, and loudly!
Monday, May 18, 2009
This is the sound of morning around here on Cedar Pond. The moment my sheep hear me they begin this cacophony! What you are not hearing is the usual noise of clucking and quacking poultry, and whining dogs...because we fed them before my husband took this video. If I want to sip coffee on the porch for awhile before beginning my round of chores and feeding, I need to slip out the study door, quietly come round to the front porch and not talk, or cough, or sneeze. The moment the sheep hear me, or any noise they associate with me, this baaing begins and does not let up until they are fed. If the wheelbarrow is used later on in the day, the sheep will again begin this ruckus, and lest you think hunger causes this much noise, they often bellow with hay in their mouths and plenty left from morning! Ahh! The quiet country life. NOTE :I feed my sheep on the ground because years of using feeders left many of my Jacob sheep caught in the feeders, or they left pieces of their horns in the feeder. Also, I now have much less hay and hay debris in their neck wool , as they are not pulling alfalfa down onto themselves and each other.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Daphne in bloom, bees abounding. Our front garden is much in need of weeding after all the rain.
"As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes, when the wind has passed over it , it is no more; and its place acknowledges it no longer, but the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children who keep His covenant.." Psalm 103: 15-18
~Daphne, blooming in our front yard.~ " 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 lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:10 - 12
~Little birdbath surrounded by Lady's Mantle, rhododendrons, and ferns.~
I hope your Sunday is glorious, and you have time to reflect on your many blessings no matter what your circumstance and life situation today...you have each day as a gift, and each day CAN be a new day and beginning ! Seek wisdom where it can be found, in Him. "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. " Isaiah 40:8
Thursday, May 14, 2009
~Lady's Mantle, Ajuga, and Sedums along side the entry walkway to our home.~My little frizzle bantam hen protecting her eggs and chicks. She does not even weigh a pound but you're in for a ferocious battle if you try to lift her off her eggs and chicks, as I found out while trying to photograph them. "How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not have it." Luke 13:34 These tiny chicks are fast and their mama was too, as soon as I put them down to photograph , mama and chicks would rush together and the little ones would disappear under her. There are more eggs to hatch!
Every day now I hear news of friends and family who have lost their jobs, or are waiting to hear they are losing their jobs. The news is full of the bad times, bad economy, bad, bad news. It seems there is no end to it, doesn't it? Then, after a day of bad tidings it is so easy to become fearful and anxious. "....human life is characterized by two great fears that animals are protected from: the fear of life and the fear of death..." Ernest Becker
Isn't this chick cute? I wonder when the other eggs will hatch. "The hens they all cackle, the roosters all beg, But I will not hatch, I will not hatch. For I hear all the talk of pollution and war, As the people all shout and the airplanes roar, Si I'm staying in here where it's safe and it's warm, And I WILL NOT HATCH!" Shel Silverstein
~Our front porch garden. Ajuga , Bleeding Hearts, and Hostas.~
"Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it." Ralph Waldo Emerson
~My kids will tell you I am often a worrier. I have noticed though , the things I have worried about the most either did not happen, or did not end up being the horrible tragedy I had envisioned. Now, things I never did imagine to worry about did happen..some very bad things took me by surprise even, and somehow....things have worked out. I believe God helped me persevere, gave me perspective, and He also encircled my husband and I with people who prayed for us, encouraged us, helped us. That is what we are supposed to do for and with each other. Isn't that wonderful? We can all do this! No matter what , anyone can be an encouragement! Anyone can pray! Anyone can find ways to help, and anyone can do these things without money, just the desire to do so, and the willingness to think beyond ourselves. "Expect the best, plan for the worst , and prepare to be surprised!: Denis Waitley "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope, In those days when you pray." Joshua 29:11
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
~My Bee-keeper, my honey, my husband! He and our oldest son have kept bees for many years...and after our son left home for the Marines and his own family, my bee-keeper kept the bees. My bee-keeper tends our gardens, orchards, and me! He loves to share the secrets of his bees with any who are interested. He shares the harvest of his bees with family and friends. ~Last weekend the bees showed signs of swarming. When my Bee-keeper checked his hives he discovered the bees had grown in such number that they needed new boxes added to the hive to accommodate them. He added the boxes and so far things have settled down in the hive and they have not swarmed. Any who note the time I publish my blog post will notice I am a night-owl, and my precious Bee-keeper is not...this might very well sum up his view of the hours in a day, "Morning is the best of all times in a garden. The sun is not yet hot. Sweet vapors rise from the earth. Night dew clings to the soil and makes plants glisten. Birds call to one another.Bees are already at work." William Longwood
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
~The bees did their dance and passed the word, " Front porch! LOTS of sugar water!" The hummingbirds don't seem to like to mingle with the bees , and the bees had the sweet stuff all to themselves."The glucose and fructose which make up the better part of it ( honey ) are more easily assimilated by the human body than white sugar , because they have already been partially digested by the bees. This can be important for both the very young and the very old with either immature or failing digestive systems... Honey contains around 300 calories, against 400 for the same amount of sugar;"......"it ( honey ) is also fattening-with around 80% sugar it could hardly be otherwise-a fact often overlooked by those dazzled by its health giving image." HONEY, FROM HIVE TO HONEYPOT by Sue Style Note:Current medical wisdom says honey should NOT be fed to babies a year of age and under!