~ Quality Orange & Fawn Netherland Dwarfs ~
Bred by Barbara Downing
This is my blog of some of the activities of the barn and family.

2017 PASRBA Hopping teams. (Left) Team Smoke 'N (3rd place relay) - RoseMarie White, Lynn Thomas, Barb Downing
(Right) Team Shotguns - Lynn Thomas, Barb Downing, Becky Coombe

Monica C. Stewart, age 91 of Midland, formerly Lexington MI, went home to be with her Lord Saturday, December 17, 2016 .
She was born January 3, 1925 to the late Leon and May Allard. Oldest of four children, Monica was preceded in death by her husband Ralph J. Stewart, Sister, Joan Wichers, her brother Arthur Allard and is survived by her brother James Allard. Monica grew up in St. Albans, Vermont until her family moved to Michigan.
She worked at A&P grocery store until her marriage to Ralph J. Stewart June 23, 1956.
Monica was a devoted wife and mother of seven children, Barbara (Brian) Downing, Liverpool, NY; Lynn (Charles) Thomas, Lakewood, NY; Stephen (Susan) Stewart, Carlsbad CA; Carolyn (Kenneth) Krotzer, Midland, MI; Douglas Stewart, Allegan MI; Diane (Daniel) Geer, Los Alamitos, CA and Paul (Denise) Stewart, Rush City MN.
She was blessed with 15 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
She and her husband, Ralph, owned a small grocery store near Lexington, MI from 1971 to 1983. Monica was a dedicated Catholic and active parishioner of Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, MI, Sacred Heart Church in Brown City, MI, and St. Denise church in Lexington, MI. After her move to Midland in 2012 she attended Our Lady of Grace church in Sanford, MI. She was a member of Alter and Rosary Society, and Legion of Mary participant in a wide variety of church activities.
Monica loved to bake and cook, enjoyed quilting, fishing, sewing, flower gardening and reading books.
Visitation will be at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, Sanford Michigan on Wednesday December 21, 2016 from 10 a.m. until the time of Mass at 11 a.m. Her family welcomes friends and relatives after the service at a luncheon in the church hall. The Rite of Committal burial will follow at the grave site, St. Dennis Cemetery, Lexington, MI approximately 3:30 p.m. Her family ask that you please keep Monica in your prayers.

Mom I miss your visits to New York! Stay well and hang in there at 90 years old! Happy Mother's Day!

Dear "Elton John" I love you. . .
Lilac Buck purchased at 2011 ARBA Convention from Mel's Belle's Rabbitry (Sydney McDaniel)

3rd place NY State Sweepstakes and 1st place Netherland Dwarf - - 7243 points.

July 2011 - at my neice's wedding in Michigan. Beautiful outdoor wedding at the Rosewood Inn
Left to Right - Morgan, me (Barb), Brian, Jacob

3/5/11 - Happy 17th Birthday Morgan!

March 27, 2010
I said goodbye to Piss Pot this weekend. He is now with a breeder in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Congratulations Frank Nutar and good luck!

Winter is in full force here but the heat lamps keep the breeding going.

~ October 2009 ~
First day of hunting season in Michigan and Jack got a buck!

~ July 2009 ~
I just completed a huge project. My girlfriend Elaine went out of rabbits and I acquired her Blue-Eyed-White herd.
I set up the cages in a section of the rabbitry and rearranged things so everything was in order. First litters are due this week!

Here we are at our friend's the Gzik's house. Thanksgiving has always been a very cherished time for our families.

My son Jacob with his girlfriend Kali dressed for the Homecoming Dance.

- -
10/4/08 - yours truly Me with my oldest daughter Michelle.


Ken and Michelle married in 2006. Ken was in the Army National Guard and served a year in Iraq. Morgan is dressed for her moving up ceremony to a Freshman in High School.

Almost Fall!

My doves are hatching young and it is almost September!

Today is September 11th.
In honor of this day, the doves will be named Faith and Hope. Faith fell
out of the nest and nearly died. But Hope kept her warm when she
was put back and she made it through!
We remember the terrible times of September 11th and pray for the survivors of that horrible tragedy. We also remember the 80 S.U. students who perished in the Lockerbie Scotland crash on December 21, 1988. Lockerbie Academy, the town's public high school, became the headquarters for the response and recovery effort after the Pan Am Flight 103 disaster. Subsequently, the academy, in cooperation with Syracuse University of Syracuse, New York, USA, established a scholarship at the university for two of its most outstanding graduating students. Each year, two graduating students spend one academic year at Syracuse University as Lockerbie Scholars before they begin their university study. The scholarships have led to a lasting relationship between the university and the town. The rector of Lockerbie Academy, Graham Herbert, was recognized in November 2003 at Syracuse University with the Chancellor's Medal for outstanding service.

Meanwhile, neighbor Curly-Q is still trying to hatch his eggs!
I have ring neck doves and some cats also. The main part of the barn is used for storage, but the front milk house and back grain room are committed to the rabbits. I store feed (Buckeye) in the huge stainless steel milk cooler. It holds over a 1,000 lbs. of feed (50 lb. bags) and keeps everything very fresh. I am currently going through a 50 lb. bag of feed a week, so this storage area is excellent for my needs.

Morgan in the leaves. We love Fall!
Today kitty Cali was spayed. She is resting at the barn with the other two cats.

Soy bean harvest is almost done. Good year. Lots of activity at barn this week.

11/19/06 Sunday. . . a day of rest, but not in the Downing barn....
Ted drove all the way to the Vermont border this weekend to get the remainder of Walter Cookingham's rabbits.
His wife could not care for them after Walter passed away recently. Most were in sad shape when they arrived,
but a few made it through. I now have 6 REW's I'm nursing along.
Looks like those extra holes are going to be put to use immediately!

Below - Jake and Morgan in front of our fire place.



Nov. 24th, 25th and 26th 2006 - Morgan and I travelled to the Michigan State Rabbit Breeders show in Lansing Michigan. Were able catch up with some old friends and visited three of my siblings and their families in Allegan (near Holland). MSRBA put's on a great convention and love the day-of-show entries. Good time. Well it was 23 hours on the road but certainly worth it. I was able to transport back some Jersey Woolies for youth breeder Steven Buell. He can't wait to get them!

January 9th
Weather forecast: 9 to 19 inches of snow expected. Barn is heated to 50 degrees and the litters are doing fine.
Both pairs of doves are sitting on eggs again!

Happy Winter!

January 26, 2007
Eggs hatched and each pair of doves now has a chick to feed.
I ran out on my lunch hour to fill propone tanks and walked in to find my orange doe giving birth! It is -3 degrees this morning but the rabbitry is cozy at 55 degrees.

February 19, 2007
OK enough snow! Got a good work out shoveling out this barn door!

February 25, 2007
Spring is right around the corner. I can feel it!
Doves are on a 2nd batch of eggs and my January litters are coming along nicely.

March 3, 2007
Weather was mild today. All the ice and snow build up fell alongside the milk house and smashed the windows!
Annie cat was missing tonight. I'm worried. (update. . . she finally turned up after missing 3 days!)

March 13, 2007
The luck of the Irish is upon us!
Two more orange born and the birds have a new fledgling hatched. Saturday was Morgan's Public Presentation for 4H. A Blue Ribbon! Congratulations!

Update - 2008
Morgan has decided after 5 years in 4H that she can no longer juggle both school activities and the club activities. She has not rejoined this year and I have chosen also not to be leader. We leave behind some fantastic friendships and will remain in contact with our former club members for many years to come. Thank you Jackie, Jason, Heather, Caitlyn, Jennifer, and the many other youth that made our lives so special during those five years! Thank you also Jan and Jaime Smith for your years of support! A a very very special call out to my adult friends Paul, Dawn, Andrea and so many others. . . . . you guys are the best!