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, July 12, 2024

Some Friday Thoughts

 I saw this on Facebook today, and it really spoke to me.

This is so true. Sad. But true. People just don't take the time to sit down with others and really get to know them anymore. Especially our elders...grandparents, older parents. So much wisdom is being lost when we ignore the older ones around us. Take time to ask them about their youth, their childhood, the things they did in life or wanted to do. Write it down and remember it so that their memory will never fade.  

I tried to do this with my father in his latter years when I was spending a lot of time with him after my mother died.  I did write down some of his stories and have shared them here in blogland occasionally.  HERE is a link to some of those stories. (that one has 3 parts, and the links are within that link)   Here's another one, Christmas at The Cabin There's more, but I won't list them all here.

Of course, those of us here in Blogland probably know more about each other than some of our closest family members and/or friends.  Why? Because we write about our lives and dreams and hopes and sorrows and silly stuff and things that make us happy and things that make us sad and things that are important to us, and we actually read these things about each other and write comments back to one another and share our lives in a special way. Some of us share pictures of everything we do, what we eat, where we've been, where we'd like to be, the people we love, the things we love...and we take the time to look at those photos and ooh and ahh and appreciate what each other are seeing and doing.  I guess that is why sometimes I feel like my best friends are here in blogland, because you probably know more about me than people I sit next to at church, or people I used to work with, or maybe even my relatives, because to my knowledge, most of those people never read my blog.  (Now we'll find out if that's true or not, because some may suddenly pipe up and say "I read it all the time! I just never tell you!"  LOL. )   Actually, one of my nieces contacted me today and said she had read my last blog about the Peach Dump Cake, and she had some questions about that and also about how we were feeling, and that really blessed my heart and made my day!!

I just asked Google about some scripture verses regarding "old age", and this is the list it gave me:

"The Bible contains many verses about aging, including some that offer comfort and others that encourage respect for the elderly:

  • Isaiah 46:4: "Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will sustain you, and I will rescue you"
  • Psalm 73:26: "Though my flesh and my heart fail, God is the rock of my heart, my portion forever"
  • Leviticus 19:32: "Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly, and revere your God"
  • Job 12:12: "Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?"
  • Psalm 92:14: "They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green"
  • Proverbs 23:22: "Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old"
  • Job 32:7: "Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age"
  • 2 Corinthians 4:16: "That is why we are not discouraged. Though outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are renewed day by day"
  • Psalm 90:12: "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom"
  • Psalm 46:1: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble"
I like that list!  Not sure why I have "old age" on my mind so much today...probably because somedays I am really feeling my "old age" more than others...like this morning the steroids I'm taking gave me a spurt of energy so I went outside and mowed the lawn with the push mower.  I mowed for about 30 minutes, and I've been recovering ever since! LOL.   Me thinks I did more than I should have for still being in recovery mode, but it felt good to get outside (at 9 a.m. before it was terribly hot...still hot, just not as terribly as later) and actually do something!  I came in and took a shower and sat in front of the fan and basically died for about an hour or so, and then it was time to fix lunch and take a nap.  LOL. 

Speaking of old,  when we took a little ride yesterday to go to our walking place, I spied this other Century Plant standing tall and blossoming for all it's worth!  Remember I told you about another one HERE a little while ago.
This one is really amazing and is in full bloom! 

Notice all those "PUPS" around the bottom...new plants that will eventually grow and maybe in another 30-40 years they will bloom too!

"The common name "century plant" stems from its semelparous nature of flowering only once at the end of its long life. After flowering, the plant dies but produces adventitious shoots from the base, allowing its growth to continue.[8] Although it is called the century plant, it typically lives only 10 to 30 years.[9] It has a spread around 1.8–3.0 m (6–10 ft) with gray-green leaves measuring 0.9–1.5 m (3–5 ft) in length, each with a prickly margin and a heavy spike at the tip that can pierce deeply. Towards the end of its life, the plant produces a tall, branched stalk adorned with yellow blossoms, which can reach a height of 8–9 m (25–30 ft).  Wikipedia"

Sometimes it takes us to finally be getting towards the end of our lives before we truly stand up and bloom where we are planted...maybe here in Blogland, or wherever the Lord may lead us. The important thing is to let your light shine for God, and leave a legacy behind you that will carry on to the next generation as a witness for what God can do with a life yielded to Him.  Share the wisdom you've gained from life's experiences with others, even if they don't seem to be listening...write it down, put it out there...someone will pick it up and read it and it may change their lives!  

Okay, that's my words of wisdom for today!  Keep writing friends! Your life has much value and is needed in this sad and dark world today.  

  • Psalm 92:14: "They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green"

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Thursday Thankfulness

Thought I'd start this post off with something to get your attention!

While I've been writing this post this afternoon, I was smelling this "peach dump cake" baking in the oven. Hubby has a little bit of a sweet tooth and likes cakes and cookies. When we run out of something good, he reminds me it's time to bake something.  Since we've been sick the past couple of weeks, we haven't been eating much of anything too yummy.  But thankfully we seem to have our appetites back and I also have my sense of taste back, which I had not totally lost, but what sense of taste I had wasn't good...things all tasted extremely salty and/or metallic, which was not very pleasant.  

So I am very thankful that I was able to smell this baking...

And because it smelled so delicious, I decided it needed to be sampled while it was still warm, with a little bit of whipped cream on top:
And a cup of tea...a little tea party with the fairies... And YES! It was just as delightful and delicious as it smelled!  
In case your mouth is watering and you want some of this, here's how easy it was to make:
I used a Duncan Hines White Cake mix, and a large can (29oz.) of sliced peaches in syrup.
Here's what I did:
I melted 1 stick of butter and poured it into a 9"x13" baking pan.
I dumped the dry cake mix on top of the butter, and then added three whole eggs and stirred them all together. 
Oh, I forgot, I drained the peaches and saved the syrup, which came to about one cup of syrup. If not, you could add water to make it 1 cup.  I poured in the syrup and stirred that in with the batter mixture.  
Next I added the sliced peaches and stirred them around so they were evenly distributed in the mixture.
I sprinkled a little cinnamon on top and then baked it at 350 for 30 minutes.  
No frosting necessary. Just use a spritz of whipped cream or ice cream if you prefer.  It really is good, and actually is not overly sweet.  

I am very thankful that we seem to have finally turned the corner and may even be on the other side of this illness. Actually, I had a little setback yesterday. I woke up with my throat starting to feel sore again, and my glands were swelling in my throat.  And I just felt so fatigued, which is how I've felt for the past two weeks, but thought I was getting better.  So I decided not to mess around anymore and called the doctor and asked if I could come in to see him. They said yes, but please wear a mask, even though I am past the quarantine period for covid.  No problem.  After examining my throat, etc., he ordered some steroids (prednisone) for me to take for three days to help get me over the hump of this thing. That plus taking allergy medicine each day (claritin), and continue to drink lots of water, etc.  I do feel better today than I did yesterday, but still the fatigue is real.  We went to Walmart today to get caught up with stuff we needed, and that was challenging, but we made it and are so thankful we could do it.  Hubby is doing about the same as I am, but at least we are improving together, and we are extremely thankful to God for His healing!  Our goal is to be able to go to church Sunday and make it through both Sunday School and Church! I still can't sing, so will just have to listen while others do the singing. That will be "music to my ears"!  

Meanwhile, back on the home front, or rather the back porch, "Blackie" the neighborhood kitty seems to be right at home on our porch chairs.  He has been spending the better part of each day on the porch, sometimes switching from one chair to the others, trying them all out, much like "Goldilocks and the 3 Bears".  ("This one is just right!") LOL.

And then he gets bored with the chairs and moves to the table...
Oops, he saw me!

Seeing me looking at him becomes an invitation to come closer and watch us through the doors:
It's a stare down...He watches our every move...

Trying to send us a message I believe...

Well, it's not going to work, "Black Kitty"...or "Blackie", I'm not giving in...we don't need a house cat.  And the neighbor lady already feeds you every day, and you get to lounge around on our soft cushions all day in the lap of luxury...what more do you want???

"I sure would like to move inside with you..."      Well, it's just not going to happen.  We are not really "cat people", and we don't want to be tied down to having to take care of an animal and then when we want to go places who will take care of it?  Cats aren't like dogs...they don't travel well...so Blackie, please stop trying to make me feel sorry for you!  You are perfectly happy out there watching the birds and catching lizards and moles and frogs, and getting good food every day at the neighbor's house, and lazing around all day on the porch...It's not going to work, so please stop it!  You wouldn't like being cooped up all day in the house, I promise!  To be continued...LOL.
I know if my sister Doris were here she'd be telling me to let the poor kitty in...but she's the cat person in the family, not me!  And besides, what would our Grand-puppies think if they came home from their vacation in Minnesota and discovered that Grandma and Grandpa had a CAT living the house?  They'd be really put out with us! LOL.

Moving right along...I think Blackie is bored now because the Bluebirds seem to have left the nest...

I took this picture today...no one is home! all the babies must have flown the coop, and I never even got to see them! But hopefully they have flown up high to safety with their parents and are enjoying the wild blue yonder!

We do still see the Sand Hill Crane family passing through, and I've noticed them out on the marsh island of the pond at night again, so that's good news.  Still sad that they lost one of the colts, but this one is growing bigger every day and flying high with the parents, so that is good.

And I am so thankful for the rain we've been having pretty consistently lately.  It is helping Still Waters Pond to be refreshed and revived little by little.

Isaiah 43:18-20  NKJV
18 “Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
This is a very dry area in the little canal between our land and the Goose Island.  That used to be filled with water and I could kayak through there.  Won't be able to get around there for a while yet, but it will come back...

See? here is where the waters are starting fill it back up:

It's looking better every day:
19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

And now even the water birds are starting to come back... This Great Blue Heron spent a long time in the pond today, which is the first I've seen of him in quite a while, and there's a little white Egret tagging along beside him, hoping to get the fish the heron doesn't find...

20 The beast of the field will honor Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,

Because I give waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My people, My chosen.

Not sure if you can see this or not, but there is a dragon fly doing a hand stand for us on that stick in the pond:

See him better now?  There were dragonflies everywhere, eating mosquitoes and bugs as they hovered over the water. They are happy for the pond being restored as well!
There, that's a better view! Isn't he amazing?  One of God's special creatures, showing his thankfulness for a place to live and eat and enjoy the life God has created him for! He even likes to show off for the bystanders!  

John 7:37-38
37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.
 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

Yes, I am very thankful to God for all He has done for us...our healing and restoration of strength day by day...and the rains that are coming to restore the pond and the earth and springing up with new life everywhere, and even a little friend, "Blackie", who helps us to see that he feels safe here on our porch and being close to us.  Maybe we can work out a mutual arrangement that will make everyone happy...time will tell.

Well, it's time to go try to take a little walk this evening. We try to get out every day and increase our distance of walking...we haven't quite made it as far as we normally would go yet, but we do get a little farther each time, so that is progress, and we are very thankful indeed.

I hope you are doing well where you are...and oh, one more thing. Those of you who are blogging friends with Debbi over at Debbi's Front Porch, I am sure she would appreciate your thoughts and prayers right now for her and her hubby. He is experiencing some serious health issues right now, and needs our prayers.  Thank you on their behalf.

Okay, good night everyone! "

1 I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:1-2


Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Tuesday 4 ~ Roses


Here is another of Tuesday 4 invented by Toni Taddeo and kept alive in her memory. While June is the month of roses, they do bloom all summer long and well past September in many places.

1. What is your favorite color of roses? Do you have a favorite kind of rose?

My favorite rose is this "Don Juan Rose" that we planted in memory of our son Matthew.  We originally planted it in our Memorial Garden at our former house, and then when we moved here to this house we brought it with us. It did great the first few years here, but sadly now has stopped blooming and growing. It is still alive, but I think I need to try and transplant it to a spot that gets more sunshine and see if that helps.  But here is one of its blossoms back when it was still blooming:

2. Do you ever buy flowers for your home?
I rarely ever buy cut flowers. I prefer either flowers grown in a garden (if I could grow them!), or wildflowers from the fields and woods.  I do not like "hot-house" roses that you buy at the grocery story or florist. They do not smell like a real fresh rose should smell.

3. Are there any roses in your yard or neighborhood? If not what kind of things grow around you?

Right now things have been too dry recently for many flowers to grow and bloom.  We are now starting back into our rainy season, and so things should start looking better again. However, I do not have a green thumb, and gardening is not my forte'.  Plus I can't get out in this heat and do any weeding right now, so things are looking pretty sad.
And here's another link to my butterfly garden, when things looked better.

4. What do you see when you look out your front door? How about out your kitchen window or back door?
Here's how it looks out my back door right now:
Still Waters Pond, "Butterfly Garden" (above) and Secret/Memorial Garden below:

And here is how it looks out my front door:

That is "Magnolia Cottage" hiding behind that magnolia tree across the street.  This is what I would see from my kitchen window if I were to open the blinds, but I don't open them because the sun gets too bright on this side of the house for most of the morning hours, and also I don't like looking at the street and people looking back inside at me! LOL.

These are my 3 large kitchen windows from inside my kitchen.  Since I don't like the view outside, I enjoy the view inside.  

Okay, that's it for this morning's Tuesday 4.  I hope you enjoyed looking out my "open windows" today.  And may we always take time to smell the roses...especially the ones we can grow in our own gardens.  Praying mine will come back and start blooming again.

Psalm 16:5-8
O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.

7 I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Monday, July 8, 2024

Monday Monday

 Happy Monday after a long weekend!  Hope you had a pleasant holiday.  Now some are facing a hurricane on the Texas coast, which may include some of our blogging friends. Our thoughts and prayers go out for you to be safe and praying no harm will come to your home or family.  We hope you will update us when you are able.

Hubby and I are mostly better from our long siege with that virus, but still not 100%.  We did go to Sunday School yesterday morning so hubby could teach his class (the Adults).  But we went back home after the class was over and didn't stay for church.  We were both still feeling exhausted and having residual sinus/coughing issues that make for an unpleasant experience for us and anyone around us in a crowded space, so we felt it was better for us to come home and take a nap as soon as we got home...yep! Then we had lunch, and took another nap later! So, as you can see, we are still not back to 100% by any means.  We spent the rest of the just taking it easy.  

We've been watching some good old movies over the past couple of weeks...We watched Fiddler on the Roof, but took two nights to watch the whole thing. It had been many many years since we had seen it and frankly had forgotten how long it was and also how sad it was, but still, such an amazing movie and story. If you've never seen the movie, I highly recommend it, but be prepared with some tissues handy.

Another movie that is very touching is the old original movie of Oliver Twist.  Again, another hard one to watch, but still had some very sweet and touching and highly charged emotional scenes.  There are so many very unique and interesting characters in this Charles Dickens classic tory.  Some parts we have watched over and over again, while others we have skipped over to get to the best parts...another amazing story.

We also watched Great Expectations, another Dickens' classic!  How many remember having to read the book Great Expectations in high school? It was one of those required readings we had to do I think in our senior year of English literature.

One more notable movie we watched was Little Lord Fauntleroy.  Although this wasn't a Dickens' classic, it has similar kinds of story lines and another one that tugs on the heart strings!

There's been a few other interesting old movies we've watched, but these stuck out in my mind the most.  I am wanting to watch the Dickens' classic "David Copperfield" again, but we have to pay for that one and so haven't gotten around to watching it yet.  Maybe later today...

So that's how we've entertained ourselves over the past couple of weeks.   Then this morning there was a lot of entertainment right outside our "open windows"  (not really open windows, as it is too hot, but right outside our closed doors...or something like that... LOL)  We were just getting ready to eat breakfast and I heard truck beeping sounds outside, so hurried out the door to see what was happening on the lot next door.

There was this big flatbed truck with a huge concrete septic tank on it...

And there were these bulldozers and excavators digging and moving all those piles of dirt around that I told you about the other day

And they dug a big hole and moved this septic tank right into the ground:

Down, down, down in the ground:

And then they added this other smaller tank right next to it...all a part of the drainage system:

Quite an operation...

But that's not all!  They also installed all these long drainfield pipes in the ground, except they will actually be above the ground and covered with dirt and grass eventually...
Oh, and that truck loaded with more tanks was not for here (I asked them!!!) They were headed to another job site after this. Shew! I was afraid they were going to end up with two houses on this lot or something...but thankfully no, it's just one system for one big 4 bedroom house. The drain field has to be above ground because it is so close to the water (the pond), and that is the law here in Florida if you are in a wetlands zone.  We aren't in a flood zone, just a wetlands. There is a difference.  Anyway, this drainage system takes up half of the lot!  I hope they left room for the house and driveway, because you can't drive over these or build over them!

All this was done before 9:00 a.m. this morning.  They had to leave it open like this for now for inspections.  Once it all passes inspection, then the next step will be to build the "pad" for the home (a manufactured home), lay in the plumbing, electrical, etc., and then bring the house.  Thankfully there is already a community water system so they won't need to dig a well.

It sure is a lot of mess and work just so people can go to the bathroom! LOL.

Oh, and to add to the excitement of the morning, while all this other stuff was going on, this big truck arrived at the Magnolia Cottage across the street!  That little cottage house has been sold, and I've been waiting to see when someone would move in. I thought perhaps this would be the day, but no, this was just a delivery of a new refrigerator!  Still exciting stuff, but not the moving van yet. 
I have learned via a neighbor that it will be an older single man moving in. We hope he will enjoy his new home.

Well, this was a 4 pair of socks kind of morning! Every time I ran outside to take pictures and see what was going on, the grass was wet and my shoes soaked it all in right to the socks, so I had to keep changing my socks and shoes! LOL.  Good thing I have plenty of socks to wear and it is also laundry day! LOL.

Proverbs 31:25-27 sounds like some good words of wisdom today...

"25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness."

So now I need to get on to something else and not be too idle...Hope you enjoyed this post today. We are very thankful to be feeling better and give God the Glory, great things He has done!

Have a blessed and wonderful week!