What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Friday Foto Friends-Bluebirds and other Delights!

Happy Friday! Does it seem possible that we are almost at the end of January already? This month has certainly flown by...but it's not over yet. This weekend promises to bring us more really cold winter weather, down in the very low 20's each morning...so I bet that's why this Bluebird has had his eye on this birdhouse the past few days...


Caught him in mid-flight here...but he was very busily flitting around this house and back and forth up into the tree...there were other bluebirds about as well, so perhaps the competition is stiff to claim the birdhouse before the frigid temperatures come rolling in...


He looks it over this way and that...


Checking all the corners and floor and roof and every part...


But I never saw him actually go inside. He did look in the "window" a few times, but he's still not sure.
I'll keep watching and let you know what develops.  I wonder if this is the same Bluebird who was here last year? I wish there was some way to tell, but I don't think I'm quite up to putting a band on his little leg.  No matter...we will enjoy watching them whoever they are! I'm not particular! As long as they pay the rent and keep the place tidy...that's all that matters! LOL.


And as long as they can stay away from this fella.  Mr. Red Shouldered Hawk had found something tasty to eat way over on the other side of the pond. Sorry this isn't clearer, but he was a LONG way away, and of course as soon as I spotted him, he flew away.  But these predators are always on the lookout for things like unattended bird nests and rodents and lizards and whatever they can snatch up in their sharp talons and have for dinner. Even though I enjoy watching them, I don't want them to find any baby birds!!

So let's move back inside, shall we? 
If you've been following the development of my Amaryllis plant since Christmas, you will remember that it already had one batch of blossoms early on.  Then it sent up this very tall 20" high stalk, and soon two new buds appeared...this is how it looked the day before yesterday: 



And THIS is how it looks this morning:


Both blossoms are fully open!


It has been so much fun to watch this flower grow and bloom. I highly recommend that you purchase an Amaryllis bulb kit for yourself each year. They usually are available before Christmas at places like Lowes, Home Depot or Walmar, in the garden center.  They aren't very expensive...and they are so much fun to watch develop right inside your home during the winter. Then, if you wish you can plant the bulb outside and it will bloom again possibly this summer or at least again next spring. Of course in some climates it is best to leave the bulbs in a pot so you can bring it back inside in the winter. 

Such a bright and beautiful delight on these cloudy, dreary winter days!

Now, someone here in blogland mentioned Gingerbread recently, Nana Diana Takes a Break, to be exact...and that set my mouth a watering for some warm gingerbread with whipped cream on top.
So I made some last night. Forgot to take a picture with the whipped cream, so you'll have to use your imagination...but it was every bit as delightful as I remembered the way my Mama used to make it. (click that link for the recipe). 


I've been having a hankering for some fresh grapefruit. I remember the days when we could go out and pick our own grapefruit (and navel oranges) off the trees in my father's yard, and oh! how I've missed that wonderful juicy treat! Well, yesterday afternoon I got a phone call from one of our church friends, asking me if I'd been out on my front porch lately. I thought that was a strange question, since she knows we are staying indoors most of the time due to this "bug" we've been fighting and also because it has just been downright cold and windy and not all that pleasant outside lately. Well, anyway, she said I should look on the porch, and so I did, and there to my wondering eyes was a bag full of beautiful fresh grapefruit!! How did she know I'd been wanting some?  God must have whispered in her (husband's) ear...I say her husband because he's actually the one who picked the fruit off their tree and brought it to us. She said she was just the "messenger".  They have also been fighting this "bug" this past week,  as are about half the people in our church...so we've all been staying away from each other and trying to get well before we get together again.  But isn't that amazing how God provided this grapefruit for us to enjoy...and also to help heal us from this bug!?  God is so good.


So what else have we been doing while staying indoors?  Well, another one of our blogging friends recently mentioned (Your Friend from Florida, Terri!) that she liked to watch a show on TV called Escape to the Chateau, which is series of documentaries about this young English couple who buy a very old French Chateau, and are renovating it while supporting themselves by having it serve as a wedding venue...while also raising their two very sweet little children...anyway, I thought I'd check it out, and got hooked on it...and even hubby enjoys watching it with me! So that is a win-win! That should last us for a little while, and when we run out of that show, something else will come up.  I think the Murdoch Mysteries new season is starting up again later in February... 

So I guess that's all for today, folks!  I hope you've enjoyed seeing the things that have brought us some delight this past week in particular!  We are very thankful to be feeling better, but still have some residual sinus/cough issues so we are staying mostly at home except to make quick store runs. We are truly thankful for God's grace and healing power.

Okay, time to get moving. Have a blessed and wonderful Friday and weekend!

 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Wednesday Wanderings or Wonderings?

 Yay! It's Wednesday! Some call it "Hump Day"...middle of the week, getting up and over that mid-week hump and down to the weekend! I feel like we are finally "over the hump" with this bug we've been fighting for the past two weeks and hopefully we are on the downhill slide to feeling good again!  We did take a nice walk yesterday morning, wandering around the woods in between rain showers.   This is the only picture I took, which shows that the wild plum trees are still blooming. That little cold snap the other morning of 26 degrees didn't seem to hurt them one bit!  


I hope they can withstand the upcoming frigid weather we are expecting this weekend, starting Saturday morning we will be back down to 27, and then a walloping 21 on Sunday morning, and back to 27 again on Monday! That's pretty doggone cold for us folks here in Florida! I think someone must have let the barn door open up north!  We'd appreciate it if you would please close that door!! LOL!

This weekend might be a good time for hubby to try out this new coffee that our sweet DIL and son brought us the other day as a "get well gift"

It sure smells good.  They also brought me a package of some very good tea: (because they know I don't drink coffee)

And I've already sampled it and found it to be very good indeed! It does taste like a cup of Florida sunshine...perfect thing for a cloudy chilly winter day!

They also brought us some very delicious quiche that Rose made, but I forgot to take a picture of that. We just ate it right up...it was so good! It was loaded with all kinds of good stuff...spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, bacon, sausage, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, and I don't know what else, but it sure was good! We are SO blessed and thankful for our "kids".  

Here's something that brings some sunshine into our days:
This Amaryllis is getting closer and closer to bursting open with
more beautiful blossoms.  Above was a couple of days ago,
and below is this morning:

Speaking of "Sunshine", for those of you who may or may not follow my little friend in The Adventures of Lily Grace, you may have seen that Lily got a new friend for her big birthday surprise.
Her name is "Bailey", and Lily Grace is having to learn all about the responsibility of taking care of a pet, no matter what the weather may be!  That might become challenging this weekend when it is so cold!


Bailey is a very good puppy and is already doing quite well with her "training". LOL.


Yes, we do have fun here...and you may say or think what you want...

I've already shared this little quote before, but it bears repeating here for those of you who may be "wondering"...



On a more somber note, this past week has also brought us some sad news from several different places. There's an old saying that death comes in threes...and I am not superstitious, but it does seem to happen that way sometimes for whatever reason I don't know.  But anyway, it was with great sorrow that we learned of the passing of three different people within this past week.  First was my dear Aunt Joan Tedlie, who was the wife of my mother's older brother Truman. She was 95 years old, and had lived a long and wonderful life and had raised a beautiful family of six children.  I had not seen Aunt Joan in quite a few years, but we stayed in touch through Facebook.   This is a perfect picture of Aunt Joan and her family in Hawaii,  (2006), where they all went to celebrate her 80th birthday

And this picture was recently discovered in a batch of old photos, which shows my Aunt Joan on the far right, my Uncle Truman in the middle, and my Aunt Margie on the left. The two kids are my nephew David and niece Debbie (my sister Doris' kids) This was taken at my parents' home quite a few years ago. 

Then next we heard of the very sad and untimely death of the daughter of some dear friends of ours. I don't have any pictures as I never met the young woman, but it was very sad as our friends had just buried their older son one year ago after his battle with cancer, and they had two remaining daughters, twins.  While they were spending a winter break in  Florida, this particular daughter remained in Ohio, where she had moved to be near her folks to help care for them as they got older. But sadly, when she did not show up for work, her co-workers discovered that she had died very unexpectedly in her home, and our friends received the tragic news  and had to drive back to Ohio to attend to her affairs. Thankfully their remaining daughter met them there to assist with the arrangements...but such a very sad situation for them all.  This young woman also left behind two daughters and several grandchildren who will greatly miss her.

And then yesterday we learned of the tragic death of our former neighbor in our last home. I told you about him recently in this post, about the Turkey Cranberry dish.  Just a few weeks ago our friend was in the hospital up here near us, but we were unable to visit him due to the covid situation and plus we were in the midst of our own issues. But I did call him on the phone and had a nice conversation with him. He was released from the hospital,  and seemed to be doing quite well. According to some mutual friends, he was feeling good enough to travel over to a town along the coast to take care of his late mother's estate issues.  However, he did not make it. Somehow, we do not know exactly why yet, he lost control of his vehicle and drove headlong into a tree, killing him instantly. They do not know yet if there was mechanical failure of the vehicle, as witnesses said it was weaving very erratically before the crash, or if our friend suffered a heart attack and then crashed. I tend to believe the latter, as he had definite heart issues, but they won't know for sure until an autopsy is completed. Either way, our friend was ushered immediately into the presence of God, on a day when he felt well enough to travel.

These three stories are all very sad in each situation, but for my Aunt Joan it was a happy reunion with her husband and one son and other loved ones who had gone on before. She had lived a full life and was quite ready to head home to heaven.  Yes, her family here will miss her, but when one is 95, it is more expected and accepted.  The other two people were much younger, with their lives still stretched out before them, and yet death came knocking very tragically and unexpectedly, cutting their earthly lives short,  leaving friends and family bewildered and heart broken.  

I guess the thing is we have to all realize that death does not always discriminate. It doesn't just claim the old and those who are quite ready to go.  It also comes calling on the younger ones who may still have their lives ahead of them...things to do, people to take care of, goals waiting to be met. When that happens we are left with questions, doubts, great sorrow and often times anger and fear.  These responses are normal and to be expected because it isn't so easy to just say, "Well, I guess it was his/her time to go..."    The point is that we must each be ready to go to meet Jesus face to face at any time, because none of us knows when it will be our "time to go".  We need to be, first of all, assured of our salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and next, make sure we have done and said the things that need to be said...the "I'm sorry" and "please forgive me" to the ones we may have hurt or wronged...the "I love you" words and expressions to those we love and to those who need to know it. Don't let things be left unsaid or undone that we have the ability to say or do now. Relationships with others are more important than things or places or our agenda of things to do. Let others know that they are also forgiven for the ways they may have hurt us. Even if they don't deserve it in the world's eyes...let it go. Forgive...and move forward with life. Don't let anything hinder your relationship with God...because He's the One we will be spending eternity with.

Okay...I guess this post kind of wandered into a different path than when it originally began.  I apologize for going down that trail, and yet, I felt led to go there. Perhaps someone needed to hear this today. I don't know...I'm just the messenger. 

I will close with this Bible verse that speaks to me:

John 11:25-26
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

A very good question to ask ourselves today.

Okay, now I am going to get ready to go for a walk with my hubby, as he is very patiently waiting on me to finish this post.
Have a blessed and beautiful day my friends.















Saturday, January 22, 2022

Hello!

 Yes, this is the same Amaryllis plant that was blooming earlier right after Christmas. This is it's 2nd stalk and it is now up to 20" tall and ready to start blooming again any day!  This is why you don't throw these things away after they bloom the first time! They must just have a surprise waiting for you!! There's probably a life lesson there if you think about it...


Just wanted to check in with you for a quick update.  First of all...today is Lily Grace's birthday, for those of you who love to follow The Adventures of Lily Grace. You can click on that link to hear all about her first birthday party! It's been a busy and happy and exciting day for Lily Grace and friends...

2nd, we are feeling some better, but still not able to go out and about and mingle, if you get my drift. We are thankful, however, that our Medicare Advantage plan HMO provided all kinds of free goodies to help us get better...lots of vitamins, nebulizer, O2 measure thing, antibiotics, etc. , and even phone calls to check on us. That made it worth all the discomfort of having that swabby thing reaching to who knows where to tell us what we already knew...you can figure it out for yourself.   Anyway, thank you for your prayers on our behalf.  We are VERY thankful to have what I would call a very mild case of this bug compared to what others have had to endure. We give glory to God for His mercy and grace.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and we are very sad that we will not be able to attend church for the 2nd week in a row. But I am thankful our Pastor pre-records his sermons for us so we can watch them at our convenience.  I will post a link to it tomorrow when it uploads.  

Again, thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers this past week. We do believe prayers are being answered and we are very very thankful.

Have a wonderful night, and keep warm! It will be 33 here in the morning, and never got above 46 all day today.  Yes...this IS Florida! But it IS winter!

"I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me."

Philippians 4:13

Thursday, January 20, 2022

This Is My Father's World-Oh Let Me ne're forget"

Thank you all for your prayers this week as we've been a bit under the weather, literally. It's been cold, and we've both been sick with a bad cold or virus or whatever you want to call it...it's been enough to keep us in the house and literally "under cover" all week.  I think we are getting better day by day and we are very very thankful for that.

It's been a bit too cold (yes, here in Florida!) this week for us to go outside anyway, even if we felt up to it.  We are thankful  that we can enjoy God's beautiful "world" and creation right here from our back porch anytime.  I took most of these pictures last week before we got sick, but  they are still representative of what we see here most every day right now.  The geese on Still Waters Pond, enjoying life!
Oh, you might enjoy listening to this song by this wonderful group of young musicians from "Fountainview Academy". I don't really know anything about them particularly, only that they make some wonderful music videos and I always enjoy seeing these very talented young people singing songs to the glory of God.  They definitely restore my faith in the young generation.

"This is My Father's World", sung by Fountainview Academy

This is My Father's World, by Maltbie D. Babcock

 This is my Father's world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.

This is my Father's world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas--
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world:
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker's praise.
This is my Father's world:
He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

3 This is my Father's world:
O let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet
This is my Father's world:
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let earth be glad!


I hope you enjoyed that song and the geese! 
These are just some of the things that I find delight in seeing.
On one of our recent walks in the woods I was amazed to discover some very unique and interesting fungi growing on the decaying forest floor. It is a always a wonder to me how there can be so much beauty even in decay!

I've never seen any fungi quite like these before. Kind of like star shapes.



And there were these growing on this tree trunk:


Again, everything has a purpose under Gods' heavens...


"To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:"  
Ecclesiastes 3:1
These fungi look like either beautiful sea shells or some kind of exotic fans





I never tire of seeing the beauty in God's creation. 

So this week we've been resting, recuperating, and thanking the Lord we are not as sick as we could have been.  Hubby did finally go to the Dr. and got some meds because his cough was getting worse and not really very productive.  Thankfully he slept much better last night and therefore so did I.  LOL.
Our kids have been very kind to pick up things for us at the store...and our sweet DIL Rose even dropped off a nice rotisserie chicken yesterday as an extra bonus. That was SO thoughtful! We are truly blessed.

Well, I need to bring this to a close. Hubby just asked if I'd like to go for a ride. That sounds like progress!  It's a beautiful day, and a ride might just be what the doctor ordered!

I hope this finds you all enjoying God's beautiful creation all around you, wherever you are...
Peace and Blessings









 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Monday Monday...


So here's the scoop...pink was never my favorite color. It just didn't always compliment my fiery red hair and freckled face. (when I was younger, before my hair faded to whatever color it is now).  So several years ago when my hubby bought me this pink bathrobe I was kind of ho-hum about it, wishing it was any color but pink. But then I put it on, and it was SO warm, and SO comfy, and so luxurious...well, I had to forgive it for being pink and just luxuriated in its warm embrace.


And yesterday when I was sitting in my recliner, covered with several blankets and still shivering...yes, I had the "chills" and fever, then hubby went to my closet and found this bathrobe and brought it to me, I gladly put it on and snuggled right down into its coziness, and promptly fell asleep in my chair. Hubby just showed me a picture that he surreptitiously took of me asleep in my chair, with my mouth hanging open, pale and wan with hair sticking out every which way, and I rejoiced that I never taught him how to get his pictures off of his phone and into my computer...so no, don't go looking for those pictures, because they won't be here.  The description should be enough to scare you off anyway.
Yes, I am sick with a bug. Started Saturday night while I was sleeping, I woke myself up shivering...actually I was shivering so badly that I had what I would call "rigors"....severe chills that would not relax themselves until hubby brought me 5 blankets and I took extra strength tylenol and prayed I could get back to sleep. The only other symptoms I have had is a slight runny nose (clear), and an occasional cough that is not deep...more like an allergy than anything else, except for the fever.
Today I have felt some better. I think the fever broke during the night last night,  although I've had a few residual "shivery moments".  But I noticed that I really couldn't taste my lunch very well. Uh Oh.

So for supper I decided to cook some good old comfort food...smoked sausage and cabbage and mashed potatoes.  I was concerned about losing my sense of taste and smell, but as I was sitting here writing to you I could sure smell that cabbage cooking, so that's a good sign!


So, I don't know if this is the dreaded "omicron" or just a bad flu virus...I don't intend to be "tested", but I have cancelled all appointments for the week and intend to stay right here, thankful for my pink bathrobe and recliner...and my hubby who is so thoughtful.  I hope he doesn't get this bug too, but he does seem to have a bit of a runny nose and slight cough right now too...so we shall see. I may have to find his beautiful red plaid flannel LLBean bathrobe that is hanging somewhere in his closet...

Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers. I do believe we will be fine, and am very thankful that it doesn't appear to be too serious.

I hope you are all safe and warm and cozy in your homes...I know many are experiencing really cold wintry weather right now. We had high winds,  rain, and dropping temps yesterday and today is still windy and pretty cold for us here in Florida. But nothing like what many of you are having.
So take care, and God bless you all.

 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Friday Foto Friends: Is It Spring Already?

My apologies to those of you who may be trapped in your houses with cabin fever due to frigid temperatures and mounting snowbanks and icy roads...but THIS is what is happening here where I live:

Yes, the wild plum trees in the woods where we love to walk each day are blooming profusely!

These two little trees are a bit overrun with Spanish moss, but that doesn't keep them from blooming every year...and then hopefully producing many tiny little wild plums to feed the wildlife in the summer:



Wouldn't this be a lovely crown for a little princess?


I know this is picture overload, but this season only is only for a little while, and I want to drink it all in while it lasts:


"The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;"
Isaiah 35:1

I think you can tell that seeing these blossoms truly is a "delight" for me!


Song of Solomon 2:11-13
"11 For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
And the vines with the tender grapes
Give a good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away!"


As I wandered around rejoicing and clapping my hands at such delights, I thought of these verses in the Bible:

Psalm 96:11-13

"11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice
13 before the Lord.
For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth"


And I came to this tree below.
Looks like judgment has already been passed on this old tree and its life is ebbing away.
But even in death, it has a strange kind of beauty and purpose


It appears there is some kind of fuzzy material there in the cavity of the tree, like something has been using this as a nest or a hiding place...a place of safety from predators.  It also looks like a little bear sitting there...if you step back and look at that blackened area...do you see the ears and nose? I sure do...but then, I'm always seeing faces in the woods and trees and sky...all a part of delighting in God's creation!

And it made me think about purpose...even as we get older and age begins to take its toll on our bodies, maybe we can still find a purpose in our lives...perhaps we can be a place of refuge and security for those still finding their way along the paths of life...for those still kind of tripping over the vines and roots and getting tangled in the brambles as they ramble around seeking truth and hope and still trying to see the beauty in life when all seems to be kind of dark and scary...

Maybe we can warn them when danger lies ahead, and to keep their heads up and eyes open before they get tangled in the web of this old world and all its dangers... (yes, I almost ran into this spider and his web again...but thankfully I was watching for it this time and stopped just in time...and took a detour around  him)

You know, we may not always have all the answers to life's questions, but we know WHO does, and where we can find hope and help in time of need...by turning our eyes to Jesus...

1 "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:1-2

Yes, I believe we are here to run our own race with patience and endurance, and to also help lead others along the way who may become tangled in the web and vines of life's difficulties as God leads us.  That is why I am so thankful for you all here in Blogland...others who also come alongside when we need an encouraging word and a prayer for our journey.  Thank you for being those kinds of friends!!

Also, thank you to all who had some kind words for me yesterday as I had a medical test to go through. I did survive the test and the drinking of the horrible barium "milkshake".  Now we wait for the results, but I feel confident all will be well.

And one more thing...I had an update from our friend Martha Jane Orlando's husband Danny yesterday. Martha is still in the hospital, but seems to finally be turning the corner and is building strength and feeling so much better. He is hopeful that she will soon be discharged. Thank you all for your prayers and concern for her.  She is looking forward to getting back to her blog so she can share all the things God has been showing her during her confinement.

Have a blessed and "delightful" day!!!