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

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Girl & Her Frog

This morning started off bright and sunny ( sunshine didn't last long) and the granddaughters reminded Poppa he promised to take them on a boat ride around our pond. Poppa found a frog which this granddaughter took as her own. She rushed into the house with it carefully contained in her hand, asking for a jar. I found one, put moss in it and placed the frog in it's new and hopefully temporary home....hmmm. Does she look happy or what? The 3 older granddaughters and Poppa launched the small dinghy I still need to clean and paint, note the granddaughter to the side of Poppa still holding her frog. I did not ask her to pose with the frog and did not realize how many pictures of her proudly displaying her frog there were til I downloaded and examined them.
The boat is off and away , look, the frog is held high as they smile and laugh.
The boat floats by again ~ look, the frog in the jar is displayed with smiles from the granddaughter.
As Little 'T' and I watch them row by I snap a picture. I am surprised on viewing the pictures at how aware of me #4 Granddaughter was and how pleased she was to again show us her frog in a jar. I think she likes this frog.
Poppa let the girls explore our island in the middle of the pond and I was amazed to see #4 Granddaughter running around the island with the frog. ( #3 Granddaughter is by her side)
Look at this, she is stepping into the boat with Poppa AND holding her frog in the jar. She is not going to let go her grasp of this little creature.
My little princess and her frog help Poppa row the boat around the island to pick up her sisters on the island with the frog firmly placed at her side on the seat. I think she likes the frog very much. He is going to be at our tea party with the cousins tomorrow. Now I will have to include bugs for the frog in the menu.

Friday, March 26, 2010

We're Jumping For Joy!

I took these pictures the last time all four of our sons' daughters were here in our home, last thanksgiving. They like to eat chips. The picture above is of our oldest son's oldest daughter and the picture below is of her three little sisters.
Guess what ?!? Until this morning we were unsure if they would be able to stay here for the spring break and summer or if we would be on our knees praying for their continued safety ( which we are so thankful to God for abundantly providing all along ) . The Washington courts decided today, only an hour ago that the little girls are to stay here, in this state, with their Dad, (our oldest son) and his brother( our youngest son) and his wife! We get to share this bounty from God , my husband and I will have these four precious granddaughters the whole week of their spring break! Starting tomorrow~ So you know we will be happily occupied and loving every minute of it! "O come , let us sing for joy to the Lord ;Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving ; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God and a King above all gods , in whose hand are the depths of the earth; the peaks of the mountains are His also, the sea is His, for it was he who made it; And His hands formed dry land. Come let us worship and bow down ; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker, for He is our God." Psalm 95:

Put Not Your Confidence in Man

I saw this video on YouTube and was reminded of how much I used to take for granted the freedoms we HAD.Please listen to the very end.I fear for our country as never before and also feel extremely betrayed by elected officials. I deleted a lot of what I was going to write and decided these words are all sufficient. "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man." Psalm 118:8

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Leprechauns & Laughter, There Was Kind Of An Irish Theme Goin' On~

I forgot to post a picture of the outdoor fireplace at the Grayson Gardens. Beautiful. I could see myself spending a lot of time in front of this fireplace with friends and family, hmmm, more ideas!
Did you know there was a very distinct Irish theme goin' on at this wedding? Maybe because the bride's father is a leprechaun...see? "Leprechauns , castles, good luck, laughter. Lullabies , dreams and love ever after. Poems and songs with pipes and drums, a thousand welcomes when everyone comes." Irish saying . The bride's father fit this description of 'leprechaun' almost to perfection. Why, he even did Irish jigs on the dance floor. There were even bigger leprechauns, over 6 feet tall...well, he isn't a leprechaun, he's the groom's cousin. I like the boutineer, it also shows a leaning toward the Irish theme.
Here is a close-up. Very unique and creative play on Irish moss and embellishment.
The wedding cakes were many and varied. Each table had a completely different type of cake and frosting. The cakes were labeled. The purpose of this was to #1: be able to indulge in tasting and eating lots of different cake, and #2: cause the guests to migrate from table to table in search of the cake they would prefer and in so doing introduce themselves and engage in conversation with others at the wedding. Kind of a way to enable friendly mixing. Each cake was placed on a bed of moss. ( The Irish theme again, isn't it clever and beautiful?)
Another cake on a bed of moss. Each cake was paired with wines that best suited it and the delicious dinner that was served.
This gentleman came to our table and asked for a slice of the cake on it. I , being one who totally enjoys meeting new people and not particularly shy introduced myself and my relation to the newly wed couple, then asked him his. Lo and behold, he is a famous man, but you'll never recognize him because he is usually in movies with so much make-up on even his own Mother would not know him. He is however, very nice, very entertaining, and even though he is famous I would love to have him and his wife over for dinner to enjoy further conversation. He is hysterically funny, has good taste in cake and friends and his name is Doug Jones*. He also graciously allowed me to photograph him. He is the Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four and you can click on his name to read more about him if you're interested ( you know you are ). There were many other people there we had a blast meeting and laughed til we cried at funny or moving tales, but I don't think you'll see them in the press.
The Bride & Groom's table, the richest and best chocolate cake . The lady that baked all the cakes finished this one at 4:00 a.m. day of the wedding. All the cakes were just baked and frosted and they tasted like it too. Don't you think any respectable Irishman or Irishwoman, Leprechaun, or even Irish American Lady or Gent would expect no less? And a very good time for sure~

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grayson Gardens , the Wedding Spot

Entrance to Grayson Gardens, the wedding spot.This private residence and garden is tucked into an old Los Angeles neighborhood and has an interesting history, and I did not hear much of it but Valentino was part of it.Look at this entry!
We arrived early so got to look around before things really got underway. My husband surveys the Tiki Bar....not shown are pictures of the pub, and various other beautiful garden spots.
And look at this fantastic outdoor cooking area, I am getting ideas here.
The trees have stone seats around them and many of the wedding guests sat around them as they ate and visited .
I like this simple, yet lovely idea of strewing blossoms and petals before the ceremony begins.
The fountain was turned on after the ceremony because the noise of the rushing water would have been loud. At dusk the trees were all alight. It was a lovely night and through the trees you could see starlight, that is when the dancing began~

Monday, March 22, 2010

Congrats James & Laura!

We've been away , and we're so happy we went away to witness the marriage of the son of good friends to his beloved. You might recall a post from December when the engagement was announced* and we knew then the two of them, James & Laura, were madly in love with each other. The wedding and festivities surrounding the wedding only served to show in abundance just how crazy these two are about each other and how much they are loved by both sides of the family. I have a bit more to share about the great time we had , but for now this is the most important. James and Laura love each other deeply, James & Laura love God, James & Laura love their family...and they KNOW how to have fun! "On the day of his wedding, and on the day of his gladness of heart." Song Of Solomon 3:11

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'll Fly Away !

By the time this is posted my husband and I will have landed at the airport and be happily on our way home from a wedding in another state. We will have had a few days away from home and anything very similar to our home. Hope our youngest son Daniel and wife Breezy are able to care for the critters O.K. and the critters don't give them any trouble. ( Ralphie, pay attention! ) It is hard to get ready to leave for a few days and prepare for someone else to care for all these animals. The animals have a routine and seem to choose our times away from home to get sick, break out of their pens, or just kill each other . ( Goth and his brother Thistle). Our youngest son gave me the soundtrack to "O Brother Where Art Thou" because after he saw the movie he recognized all the songs I have sung to them throughout their childhood, and maybe our grandchildren will recognize these songs one day too. I know my sheep and chickens do, I burst out these songs all day, any day as I tend them, do my housework, and they just make me feel better. Not sure my husband agrees, my singing is not especially good, but it is enthusiastic! I learned a lot of these songs from my Dad, and from attending elementary school for a bit in Louisiana. And there is nothing like long road trips in the late 1950's and early 1960's as you travel highways, NOT freeways, through the south, the mid-west, and along the Pacific coast and the only radio we would get was most often gospel radio and the wonderful songs of our American Christian heritage. ~ "For our citizenship is in Heaven, from which also we eagerly await for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things unto Himself." Philippians 3:20,21

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blarney and Blight ~ St. Patrick's Day

 Celebrating St.Patrick's Day for most of my life was pretty much un-eventful and un-remarkable. I just had to make sure to wear green to school so as not to be pinched. Sometimes our Mother would make corned beef and hash to celebrate the day but with my intense dislike and distaste of potatoes this was not a good thing. Years later while homeschooling our three children we decided to do a little research on St.Patrick and write about it in a family newspaper we published and sent out to all our family. I was particularly struck by surprise at the fact that St. Patrick was NOT Irish by birth. Who knew? Regarding St.Patrick there is a very rich and controversial history and you can look it up on Wikipedia and proceed from there if you're interested. What I do find the more interesting though is the history of the Irish people that has caused St.Patrick's Day to be a VERY BIG THING here in America. In researching all things Irish ( I am not Irish ) I am amazed at how the Irish have influenced the world, and much of the spread of the Irish influence came about because of great tragedy. ~Long ago, when a person left his home- land and traveled over sea or great land distances they were most likely never going to see the family left behind ever again. Remember, there were no phones, cell phones, or e-mails, and until the 90's , even if a family had a phone - long distance telephone calls were prohibitively expensive . Letters were the only means of keeping in touch and losing family to distant lands was almost like losing them to death. "During the next years Ireland suffered greatly from the worst disaster in it's entire history. 1.5 million (MILLION!!!!*) people , about 20% of the Irish population dies from starvation in what was called the Great Famine....Sadly, this tragedy could have been avoided as Ireland had enough wheat to feed its' population. However , the wheat was instead imported to England, as the British Government did not realize the seriousness of the problem ( controversial statement*) As a result the Irish were left with no alternatives to the potato..." and there was a potato blight that rotted all the potato crops.* (Causes Of the Irish Emigration by Linda Magnusson ) (* my words) Because of malnutrition many Irish succumbed to disease , due mainly to eating the rotten potatoes. This great tragedy inspired many to emigrate and the Irish left in droves , more than a million landed in North America, and Canada and America are the better for it. So I choose to celebrate St. Patrick's Day thanking the God of St. Patrick, my God, for the Irish and all they have contributed to the world ~ and I might just make some Irish soda bread to go with my dinner tonight! Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Are You Badly Warped? Seek THE Weaver

The three handwoven pieces in this post were woven by me when I first began to weave. They were homework assignments from the teacher of my weekly beginning weaving class. Although they look pretty good to me when I just glance at them, any beginning weaver and anyone who does not weave can quickly spot the flaws in these little weavings. There is so much to weaving fabric and tapestries that all depends on simply threading ( warping ) the loom. One misplaced, or missed thread and the WHOLE weaving is off. Sure , there are ways to mend the broken warp thread , and ways to weave around the flaw or disguise it, cover it up. Sometimes the flaw is just too annoying for me when I know I will have to put up with it for yards of warp and hours of weaving it. I just can't bear to see that dang mistake facing me every time I sit down at the loom to weave. Another factor in having a mistake in the warp and weaving it all anyway is that the finished product will bear this flaw. This is one of the reasons there are often whole bolts of apparently good quality woven fabric in a fabric store selling for a price that seems too low. If you look carefully you might spot a flaw in the warp of the bolt and it runs through the entire yardage woven with that warp. Remember, a warp is what the loom is threaded with. The 'weft' is the side to side, back and forth weaving of yarns and thread through the warp. You can see, the warp of a fabric on the loom is very important and how the warp is threaded onto the loom affects EVERY aspect of the final product. When one factors in tension, remembering to measure when needed, keeping count, even with all the weaver's helps, you realize that like building a house, or making a special recipe, accurate measurements for some things really DO matter in the final outcome. When I am weaving, my mind often wanders to the spiritual, more precisely, God and the Son He gave to shed His blood for me. Because of God's undeserved mercy toward me in the gift of His Son who's blood has cleansed me from my sins, I need not fear that the bad 'warp' and broken threads in the tapestry of my life have ruined me, or made me fit only for the rag bag or scrap heap. He has allowed the flaws in the weaving of my life to strengthen me through Him. I can look back at the misplaced or badly woven fabric and YES, see it , and still know the fabric will hold up because of my Heavenly Father, THE Master Weaver.
"My life is but a weaving,between my Lord and me; I cannot choose the colors, He worketh steadily. Oft times He weaveth sorrow, And I , in foolish pride' Forget He sees the upper, And I the underside/ Not til the loom is silent, and the shuttles cease to fly, Shall God unroll the canvas, and explain the reason why. The dark threads are as needful In the Weaver's skillful hand, As the threads of gold and silver In the pattern He has planned. He knows, He loves, He cares,Nothing this truth can dim. He gives His very best to those who leave the choice with Him. Benjamin M. Franklin~ THE WEAVER
The video below is short and kind of sweet, though I take exception to labeling the weaver "different" because she and I share a lot of similarities......she seems very thankful and blessed to be able to weave her wool doesn't she?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Surprise For You, But Be Careful !

I have a surprise for you dear husband, and it will make you happy! No, it is not more of your favorite chocolates.
No , I am sorry. I did not buy more fancy root beers, nor the vanilla ice cream to make root beer floats . (But I will if you ask me to)
Although I know this will disappoint you no end, I did not get another kitten either. ( ha ha )
I did not bake fresh bread yesterday....
nor did I make meat loaf for your favorite lunch, meat loaf sandwiches using home-baked bread.
You caught a mole!Here is a picture of it along with Miss Marple's catch of the day. You are both my fearless and successful hunters! I saved the news as a surprise for you to start this morning, aren't you happy? But be warned, I found the video below to prove I am right, the moles have a plan, and a dastardly one it is, so be careful~
(And Miss Vickie of Sand Flat Farm, the 2nd video is for you )

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Almost Spring?

After the wonderful sunny and warm weekend I began to get excited about an early start to spring gardening.
Adding to the excitement to begin were some books on bees and bee-keeping and our gift from HomeTown Seeds coming in the mail! The books are next on stack of books to read and please check out the link to HomeTown Seeds in the side-bar for their unique product.
But what is this? Snow on the hyacinths?
SNOW on the tables I put out for outside dining?
The ducks eat the pellets of snow and hail combined.
The turn-around in our driveway framed in snow. The temperature is in the 20's right now, spring is yet to come, maybe tomorrow.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spot-On Weekend~

This was one wonderful weekend. We all need a few of these in our years don't we? A weekend of just doing things that are NORMAL, and accomplishing something good, and just plain nice. Here is my husband mowing the lawn with his John Deer ( Deer John?) after working to get it mowing again. He did it! The mower is running along doing what it is supposed to do, and because it is a special Deer John it has a cup holder to hold a bottle of root beer for my husband to satiate his thirst on a hot day in March in Washington. Yes, we reached a high temperature of 60 degrees! The little building behind my husband is his new honey house. Not yet completed inside, but almost. Finally, my husband's supplies and bee-keeping equipment will have a place of their own, not having to be searched for high and low in the furnace room, the garage, the closets, and another shed. A whole little building that will house our water pump and the bee-keeping stuff! Now I can clean out my pantry and store the shelves of honey jars in a proper place, the honey house ~ where my Honey will hum happily whilst working with his bees and what they produce. He will give you a little photo tour of his honey house on his blog* when he has finished it.( the honey house)
The ducks rejoiced in the warm weather too. Baths , and swimming, and courting, and then sunning themselves on the lawn for long happy naps.
Sassafras decided ( I am sure they can choose when to lamb and usually it is in the early a.m. when the weather is freezing and wet) this was a perfect day to have her lamb. She followed the sun and just soaked it up while the rest of the flock was eating. I just know when a healthy and very pregnant ewe refuses to eat and separates herself from the flock that her time to lamb is near. Sure enough, she had a beautiful little girl lamb shortly after I took this picture.I watched the lamb literally climb out of the birth opening by herself and then my husband and I watched the tiny and very wet lamb immediately stand and begin to search in the right place for her first milk. Is THAT not a miracle? And looky here, Ruth also decided to lamb and she too gave us a very tiny, but very perfect little girl lamb ( ewe) too!This little lamb just seemed to appear with her mother, it was that quick. I looked at my flock and there was a teensy, tiny lamb running with the flock as if she had been here for weeks . Isn't that amazing? Just born and running and nursing... All in all, this was the type of weekend anyone would and should love and appreciate. Time with each other at home, time to observe and marvel at our flocks,time with our daughter and her family (our family), and who doesn't love to cuddle their own grandchildren? Time with special friends ( thank-you David and Kathleen), time to enjoy all God has blessed us with and hopefully the ability to remember and appreciate His loving kindness.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

We're But Strangers in A Foreign Land

"For our citizenship is in Heaven,.." Philippians 3:5 and " So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens , with the saints , and are of God's household." Ephesians 3 :19
"Home, in one form or another, is the great object in life."Josiah Holland

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Spot On Grandsons & Cats

How I decorate the front porch.
How my cat, Miss Marple decorates the front porch.
Our oldest of 8 grandchildren, and oldest of two grandsons, came to help me, his Grandmother, clean out some chicken pens today. It was a lot of hard work. I helped a little and am sore, very sore, from the work. I am so thankful to God for a strong and hard-working grandson to help me. He pitched out and hauled away at least 12 wheelbarrows of chicken manure and build-up to a compost pile so I can prepare a new pen for my red and white frizzle bantam chicks. We had lunch together, a walk around the pond and then dinner and a root beer tasting at his home ( thank-you daughter ). Grandchildren truly are the crown of old men and their wives. Thank-you C.T. We love you so much! And then, there is Ralphie~ lovingly playing with one of my husband's pens , one of many he has stolen from the receptacle that holds pens and pencils. Ralphie is enjoying his stolen treasure on my newly finished saddle-pad, locker-hooked with the woolen fleece of my Jacob sheep. Ralphie looks pretty happy with himself and his "catch", don't you think?