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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Time & The Living Is Busy !

Ella & Fella my Sebastapol geese enjoy the long hours of summer by eating grass , swimming in our pond, and following me around as I tend my flocks and weed the gardens. When I sit on the porch and spin my wool into yarn they sit under the bleeding hearts plants nearby and watch me , sometimes poking their bills through the porch rails just to make sure I am still there.
Hawk, our Viszla is afraid of Ella & Fella. I'm not sure when they taught him to run away from them , but they did a very good job of it. He sits on the porch with me, but when he spies the geese he runs to the opposite side of the porch. The geese are not allowed on the porch and at least Hawk can count on it being safe , but he makes sure he is as far away as he can get from them. We seem to have our own little comedy show here on our front porch , but Hawk probably thinks it is not so funny.
My Jacob sheep lambs are growing up quickly and some are already stretching their necks for the trees and bushes growing overhead.
I have four hens raising chicks they've hatched out and two batches of chicks brooding in the garage. They are my future laying flock , plus some bantam chicks I am adding to my Silkie and Cochin breeding program. ( Yes, I have a plan and a program ! ) The chicks shown here with their mama are Porcelain D'Uccles my grandson gave me. The father of these  chicks did very well in an open poultry show recently and we have high hopes for the chicks.
Here Ella & Fella are walking their babies around the gardens. Their babies are actually ducklings Ella hatched out. The ducklings have been well tended by their adoptive parents but bit by bit they are becoming ducks . Waddling, quacking, and eating like ducks ...not geese. Poor Ella & Fella try and try to keep the ducklings with them but the ducklings are spending more and more time with my other ducks, leaving the geese to forlornly follow me without them. I hope next year Ella & Fella are able to successfully hatch out their own goslings , they're good and devoted parents.
We had the last Thursday Ladies Bible Study of the season last week. We won't meet again until the fall . This Bible study has had a tremendous impact on me and I am so thankful for the ladies God has brought into my life. It was an eventful year for all of us and all the ladies involved have had life altering events . One of the ladies became a widow, another happily remarried. One of our members has moved to the east coast to live happily ( yes ! ) with her daughter and daughter's family & to spend much time with 4 of her beloved grandchildren. There are other big events not to be shared publicly, but all the more a blessing we have been able to meet, study the Bible, pray with and for each other and always bring it back to the One who knows and loves us perfectly.

This must seem a long post, but the days are long and the hours I need to be working outdoors in the summer seem to stretch from very early to very late and when I come indoors there is little time for me to spend on my computer, so I am summing up my thus-far summer days in one post . Weeding, tending my herd & flocks, spinning wool when I have time , training my dog, playing with the old dogs, keeping my home neat & clean, and as I get older, I am working on taking the time to sit and appreciate the bounty of my blessings. The best part of all is sitting on the porch with my husband, sipping coffee as we watch the birds at the feeders and enjoying each others' company. Summer time and the living is busy, but not too busy to enjoy !

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sea Urchin Teacups & Teapot

 I saw this teapot and the teacups in an Etsy shop and knew I had to have them because what they represent is special to me. I intend to gift them to someone I love in the near future. For now though, I'll enjoy them , maybe have a sea themed tea party this summer .
 Look at the exquisite seahorse handles of the teacups. The bowls of the teacups look like the shells of sea urchins , probably because the people who make these cups and the teapot cast the porcelain "directly into a collection of shells harvested in the mid-twentieth century off the Oregon Coast " . ~Beyond Jordan Coastal Collection
 The lid of the teapot is also cast from a sea urchin and the handle of the teapot looks to me like a starfish appendage. ( Sea urchins are abundant in Puget Sound and along the Pacific Ocean coastline. They are easy to find during low tides .)
 My husband & I met each other in high school and got to know each other better during our semester in the marine biology class there . My husband originally intended to become a biology teacher, and teaching marine biology was his goal. Together we spent much time walking and exploring the beaches around  Puget Sound which was practically in our backyard. My husband knows the scientific names of most of the sea life in our area and can rattle them off easily.
 We were both still going to college and working to support ourselves and pay school bills when we had our 3 children . We managed to do this with one car and juggled class and work schedules so we could care for our own children. ( look at the detail of the seahorse teacup handle ! ) Our children spent a lot of time on the beaches with us and my husband would talk to them about the sea life. I don't think my sons remember much of this but our daughter soaked up the scientific names my husband taught her as if they were her native language.

During the time our children were very young my husband was also student teaching in a local high school that had its' own marine biology lab. Sometimes he would bring our daughter to class with him ( when it was appropriate ) and have our daughter who was barely 4 years old recite the scientific names of some of the sea life the students were learning about. The sea urchin was one of them. Can you say strongylocentrotus drobachiensis ? She could. It means , 'green sea urchin'. She knows the name for the purple sea urchin too. I could go on & on about how memories of the sea mingle with memories of my courtship, falling in love with the man I married 41 years ago next month ,times there with our children now grown , but I think you get the picture. The sea , Puget Sound, and so many other beaches where the Pacific Ocean roars on into our coastline will always hold a deep abiding place in my heart and memory.
I am linking with these ladies for Tea Time Tuesday ~ Sandi*  , Martha * , Bernideen * , & Ruth *.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I Love My Cowboy !

 Our youngest son Daniel loves horses. Thanks to neighbors Bill & Lea Heib who took him under their wing ( or saddle ) when he was young and taught him how to train horses and shoe them, he has been able to pursue his passion for horses and earn a living for his family. He is an inspiration to me in so many ways, and of course as a mom I cannot claim to be unbiased in this, but really, he is an amazing son. In this picture ( above) he has saddled up 2 horses and he and our daughter's oldest daughter are on their way to riding into the low hills and mountains in the distance. This is special to our granddaughter, she has no other outlet for her love of horses and riding except her Uncle Daniel.

For awhile our son was into rodeo and did some bull and bronc riding. I had a hard time watching and the last few times he rode bulls I told my husband to go and video it and if my son survived I'd watch the video. It was that hard for me to watch .
 Uncle Daniel took his niece turkey hunting too. The country around his home is teeming with wild turkeys , and he and our granddaughter were up early mornings to hunt. As you can see, she was successful , and boy howdy was she ever ! Thanks Uncle Daniel. ( The turkey and deer our family get after successful hunts really do go into our freezers and feed us throughout the winter .)
Daniel dearly loves his wife and her parents. I don't recall the reason , maybe there was no particular reason except Daniel knew his father-in-law would be happy, but one winter day Daniel saddled up his horse, his father-in-law's horse ( kept at Daniel's place ) and rode several miles into the small town near-by where his in-laws live. He knocked on their door, got his happily surprised father-in-law out to saddle up and the two of them rode into town, tied the horses up at a small café, and had breakfast together. Yes, I really do love my cowboy.

I simply cannot end this post without a small tribute to the man who inspired and taught our son so many skills regarding horses and life. Bill Heib made a difference in our son's life, and because of the world of horses ( Morgans ) ,Daniel met and married his wife Breezy. The two of them are still madly in love with each other after over 13 years of marriage and the positive impact they have on me and others in our family makes a real difference for the better. They are both very hard-working, kind, and generous. Bill died last year, his wife Lea is still our neighbor, and I thank God for them every time I think of how much of an impact horses and the people who love them have had on our family for the better.

Yes, I love my cowboy !