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

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Freya Gives Birth to Twin Lambs ~ Part 2

Freya has successfully given birth to her second ram (male) lamb and now she finishes cleaning them of afterbirth and tending them. Freya is a very good mama. I still have her grown twin ewes and they too are good and fierce mamas. Freya is an Icelandic sheep and exhibits the qualities appreciated in 'leader sheep'. I have been told her line possesses leader sheep and if you do any research into the character qualities of leader sheep it is easy to see Freya does indeed qualify. (Sometimes her abilities and determination make her a very hard sheep to contain !)

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

My Icelandic SheepFreya Giving Birth

This is my Icelandic ewe giving birth this past spring to her second ram lamb. Freya is a good and fiercely protective mama. You can see the first born lamb standing next to her as she gives birth to his twin brother.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Sebastopol Geese Enjoying Their Swimming Pool

My Sebastopol geese love love love their time in the small kiddie pools I have set up for them and our ducks. My husband and I have not yet had time to build a pond for them , but they are pretty happy splashing in their little pools and any water trough or dish they can fit themselves into.

My geese are a family consisting of William and Trillium the parents, and 3 goslings they hatched out and raised. My geese bring me great joy and I love to sit in the poultry yard and watch them. They love to sit by the poultry yard gate and watch me !

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Canning Season ~ Beans, Beans and More Beans !

 It is canning season and we are beyond abundance ( is there such a thing as beyond abundance ?) in beans !
 My husband is an amazing gardener and tends his vegetable garden well.
 He planted, grew, and tended beans quite successfully this year. He grew some yellow beans along with green beans. The yellow beans taste the same as the green beans so I was excited to can the yellow beans along with the green beans because I think the jars of canned beans are pretty with the yellow.

 These are quart jars of primarily yellow beans with a few green beans ~ however, most of my quart jars of canned beans are green with a few yellow beans in the mix.
I have canned about 60 quarts of green / yellow beans thus far. It is a good thing my husband & I love green beans, and no doubt we'll eat them all. Now onto carrots ....

Canning season is the time of year I  love and dread. The abundance of produce is a blessing but it all comes at once leaving me no time to do anything but can and preserve the harvest my husband has worked hard to provide during the hottest time of the year. That is where we are at here at Laughing Dove Farm ~ preserving our hard earned produce. I am thankful ( but tired) for all God has provided ~ praise Him !

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Impromptu Tea Party

 Flower arrangements were a gift from our daughter-in-law and perfect for this tea party her son ( son of our youngest son and his wife) asked me to give him and two of his cousins. For many years I have had tea parties for my grandchildren , family, and friends and my youngest grandson, our miracle grandson, was unaware of these many parties. About a year and a half ago he asked for a tea party ~ joy oh joy !
 We were able to have our youngest granddaughter stay with us last weekend and her sister stayed with our youngest grandson and his family. Our little grandson asked if I would have a tea party for them and this required me to have a tea party the NEXT day after his request ! I jumped at the chance and with the help of our youngest granddaughter who was staying with us, we prepared an impromptu tea party.
 I needed to use what was in my fridge and pantry and of course I had a plethora of teacups and teapots on hand. I think with the help of our youngest granddaughter we pulled it off quite well !

 Youngest granddaughter and I made peanut butter and jam sandwiches, tuna fish sandwiches, and youngest grandson's request of tomato, pickle, and cheese sandwiches. We also had a veggie platter, olives, peanut butter stuffed celery and don't forget the tea. We filled one teapot with hot cocoa, the other teapots held peach tea and mint tea.

 Youngest grandson with youngest granddaughter.( Does this little boy, our youngest grandchild , look happy to you ? I know he was over-the-moon happy !)
 Celery stuffed with peanut butter ~ staple snack of kids.( Prepared & plated by our youngest granddaughter.)

My bounty of teacups was quite handy for this impromptu tea party. I had chintz teacups for the ladies here ( my daughter-in-law, her mother , and myself), butterfly teacups for two granddaughters and a grandson, and a bright yellow and white teacup for my husband who was wrangled into this last minute tea party.

This was a very special day for me. Our youngest granddaughter was  able to spend 2 nights with us and after our youngest grandchild's request for a tea party she pitched in and helped plan and implement the party. We had a very good time together with family and I know our youngest grandson who was born well after the rest of our grandchildren truly desires that connection with his many older cousins ~ connections we all want and desire. I love watching my older grandchildren interact with him and even more watching them be patient and kind with him. I pray for all my grandchildren that they come to know my Lord & Savior Jesus, and their family interactions inspire and encourage that.

Monday, August 5, 2019

A Riot of Wildflowers

 This bed of wildflowers riots in front of my husband's orderly vegetable garden.
 Last year this was a pumpkin garden but the pumpkin vines boldly invaded his veggie garden and he had to deal with pumpkins taking over his patch of order and productivity.
 This year we've planted our pumpkins in a portion of our front pasture, taking care to fence the pumpkin patch off from the sheep. (Now that the pumpkin vines and baby pumpkins are growing lush, my sheep are tending to lean against the protective fence and longingly gaze at what they want but cannot have, but the fence won't stop them from trying !)
 We planted 2 packets of wildflower seeds in 2 previously pumpkin patches and what a difference in the result. One bed is chock full of these beautiful poppies with forget-me-nots, sweet alyssum, yarrow, and another as yet unidentified flower sprouting, blooming, and filling the bed. Look at this poppy !
You can see our Miss Winnie travel trailer in the background and I think the riot of poppies and other wildflowers compliment her very well. ~ (Miss Winnie is not only our travel trailer, she is our guest house too. I will post about her later~ I love our Miss Winnie !)

"Oh , Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees that half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees." ~ Rudyard Kipling

" Flowers always make people better , happier, and more helpful. They are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul." Luther Burbank

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Gift of Family

We had a family gathering last month. Our three children, their spouses, and their children camped with us for 2 glorious nights and 3 days on our family's back 80 acres. There were 11 grandchildren ( 2 are now adults and one is in the Marines) . We hiked, played games, sat together around the camp fire, and some of the family went fishing. I cannot adequately express my love and thankfulness to God for His abundant blessings, His gift to us of our family, and that we're still able to get together in spite of distance and life's busyness. Praise Him !

( The picture is of our youngest son and his son, our youngest grandchild, heading off to go fishing.)

Grandkids !
"Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of sons is their fathers." Proverbs 17:6

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Our New Herb Garden

 This is a sphere our daughter-in-law, wife of our youngest son, welded. She welded this sphere out of horse shoes our son removed from horses to replace their worn horse shoes. Every amazing item our beloved daughter-in-law welds is composed of used horse shoes she has to clean of rust and dirt before she can even begin to create her works of art. There is a whole lot of hard and very dirty work involved in simply making the horse shoes usable in her horse shoe compositions.

 My husband built the pergola in the background last year. This year he made an herb garden. The main feature of our new herb garden is the two spheres welded by our daughter-in-law, and the herbs.
 We are going to mount the spheres on tree stumps from our woods, soon.

 The herb garden also borders the driveway and our front yard. The sidewalk divides the herb garden from the front yard and walkway from the driveway.
 My old cat Miss Marple likes to sun herself in the new herb garden.

Even more is going on in the back yard and gardens. Our deck was rebuilt last year, we are in the process of making an outdoor kitchen/cooking/eating area now. Life in this part of Washington is coming to terms with the high and dry summer heat and learning to live with it and love it.We will have a covered eating area near the barbecue and smoker.This corner of our new (replaced) deck is where I've placed pots of herbs and flowers that will be moved later when our outdoor kitchen is done. My new chicken house is the building seen here in the background.

Life here has been glorious, we're so happy and blessed to live here. We're enjoying the many blessings of being near our sons and their families and also, now that we're retired , we're enjoying and appreciating the ability to set our schedule and time for ourselves. ( Hey, if we want to take a nap or just kick back and read a good book, we can !)

We have made many changes to our new home and farm for the better. We've improved our pastures, made vegetable and herb and flower gardens. My husband has invested much time and money in making our bee yard better for the bees and for increasing our honey production. Our poultry yard provides more eggs than we can use, but we're able to share the bounty with family and neighbors. My sheep have increased beyond my wildest dreams simply because sheep really do thrive on pasture ... amazing ! My husband and I love our new home more than we could have ever anticipated and I am thankful beyond what I can express. God is so good !

Monday, July 22, 2019

I Have An Incubator & I Know How to Use It !

Ducklings, chicks, quail, and hopefully soon pheasant, all incubated and hatched in my new incubator. Here is one of many ducklings I hatched out this spring.
My new incubator ! It monitors the temperature and humidity and alarms go off if either deviates from the settings that provide the most success for incubating and successfully hatching poultry , quail, and pheasant.
Ducklings emerging from their eggs after 28 days of incubation.
These are the parents of my ducklings ~ they are purebred Pekin ducks.
Here are 3 of the many ducklings I hatched out of my incubator. All have now been sold to families desiring ducklings as pets or egg layers.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to incubate and hatch out their own poultry.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Spring Has Arrived, Mostly

 The tulip bulbs I planted in pots last year are ready to bloom, but all the plants I have to put in flower beds and decorative pots are still not planted. We've had below freezing temps overnight the last few days. The water in our fountain was ice, and some tender plants left outside froze. ( It was 22 degrees Monday night.) As you can see, these plants are still waiting to be put into pots.
 I bought these herbs 3 weeks ago on the first warm sunny day. I was so excited to begin planting my herbs. They've been growing quite well in an over-the-sink colander for now.My excitement over warmer spring days was short-lived. Oh well, it has been convenient to snip them off for cooking right here in the kitchen.
 This is my husband's honeybee shelter. The winters here are extremely cold and were not kind to the bees we brought here with us from our previous home. With the deep freeze and the hordes of yellow jackets and bald-faced hornets that reside here, our first hives were devastated. My husband works hard to get our honeybees to thrive here, and that includes not only shelter from scorching sun and freezing weather, but some insulation in the hives and feeding them over the winter. ( You can see this honeybee shelter from our front porch.)

 This planter is made of old hive boxes my husband would have burned if I had not begged him for them to use as planters. He is working to eradicate any disease that compromises our bees and these are old and well-used hive boxes.
 The hive box planter is in front of our aviary which can also be seen from our front porch.
 Here is a picture of the honeybee shelter and the aviary, both in the front yard, in full view of our front porch. Beyond the aviary and honeybee shelter is our front pastures, then the gravel road that runs in front of our home, and beyond the road are hills, mountains, and woods.
 Our front porch. My husband is currently working on the flowerbeds in front of our home. When we bought our home the beds were planted with very hardy roses . The roses grew large and wieldly, and the thorns proved dangerous while pruning the roses and weeding the flower beds. We transplanted the roses to a place they could grow and big and wild as they're able and I am so happy with how my husband has chosen to plant our front flowerbeds. I will post updates soon.
A box of annuals I am waiting to plant. According the the weather forecast I should be able to plant them all next week. ~ " Then God said , "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed , and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind , with seed in them, on the earth"; and it was so." Genesis 1:7

Monday, April 22, 2019


 Last summer I bought about 20 Coturnix Quail. They live in our aviary with the doves and pigeons. The quail occupy and lay their eggs under pine & fir boughs on the floor of the aviary .
Quail eggs are extremely nutritious. "Quail eggs are incredibly nutritious , and even more nutritious than a full-size chicken egg !  Quail eggs are higher in iron,folate, and B12." ( Quoted from article written about quail in the Spring 2019 'Backyard Poultry' by Amy Fewell .)

My husband has been making tasty treats with my quail eggs. In a week or so I will try to incubate the eggs to produce a new generation of quail for our home because quail have a very short lifespan of about 2 years and my quail are almost a year old.

 This is a picture of our aviary taken in February. We had snow until this month. We still have snow in our woods and some of the lower hills. Our aviary is in our front yard and we can view it from our windows and the front porch.

The quail share their side of the aviary with my white ring-neck doves and 1 Frillback pigeon. The other side of the aviary houses 2 pairs of Frillback pigeons and 1 pair of King pigeons.