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!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Secret Garden Chronicles: From the Rising of the Sun

Sunday Morning Meditation
from the Secret Garden

Psalm 113:1-6

1.  "Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
Praise the name of the Lord!

2.  Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore!

3.  From the rising of the sun to its going down
The Lord's name is to be praised."

 4.  The Lord is high above all nations, 
His glory above the heavens.

5.  Who is like the Lord our God,
Who dwells on high,

6.  Who humbles Himself to behold
the things that are in the heavens and in the earth?"

Praise the Lord!!

This was the sunrise this morning from the Secret Garden...it was a glorious moment, with the sky all pink and gold and radiant with God's glory...but it only lasted a few moments and then was overcome by the clouds.  I'm so glad God directed my attention to this time of His showing forth His grandeur for just these few moments.  What a beautiful way to start our "SONday", with praising the name of the Lord..."From this time forth and forevermore!"  

I pray that your "SONday" is filled with His praise and glory!! 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Just What is a Journal Anyway? - Updated and Recycled

This was originally posted 4/10/2012, but since we aren't doing our regular "Friday Foto Friends" today, I thought this would be a good time to revisit this particular "journal entry".

Original Post:

What is a journal anyway?  Several of us online blogging friends have started sharing random excerpts from our journals here on our blogs.  I am really excited about this adventure because not only has it caused me to go digging for those "gems" in my musty old journals, but I am also getting a glimpse of what others have written throughout their lives that have had meaning for them...and now for us as well. It is interesting to see how God has worked in each of our lives in similar ways...as applicable to our unique situations...but the underlying words of hope and encouragement are there for each of us.  God has spoken to us through His Word, the Bible, and through the people He has placed within our paths.  Some messages were spoken to us from personal friends, other thoughts were shared through quotations from books, letters from loved ones or friends, or through dreams and visions of what we hoped to become or do with our lives.
My First Real Journal was a "Bookshelf Scrapbook and Album"...a hardbound blank book with over 200 pages,
in which I hand -wrote every page over a span of five years...I've pictured it here on my
bed in my room, because that is where I usually
sat to write...normally in the evenings when everyone was settling down for the night and
I had a few minutes to myself to steal away quietly and write before I had to get to bed myself.

I was showing off a homemade apple pie to my youngest
son Scott, standing in front of the Hoosier Cupboard that
I had just restored. (Which belonged to my husband's Grandmother).
 This was one of those special moments in
my life that I wanted to record.

The picture above is of my first real journal..a blank book that I found somewhere and decided to start writing in it.  Over five years I wrote about personal dreams, daily journaling of life events, prayer requests and answers to prayers.  I included a description of some of my favorite things in my home...antique furnishings that came from loved ones...even added some pictures...(kind of like this blog...)

I wrote about our holiday visits home with our loved ones.  During these years we were living far away from family and the opportunities to go home for Christmas or Thanksgiving were few...so therefore very precious times together.
Sometimes I even got artistic and included drawings...this one was
entitled "Home for the Holidays"...no I'm not THAT old...we didn't
travel by stagecoach.  But I kind of liked that era and often wished
I could go back in time and live in such a place...

During these years we were serving the Lord in the ministry, and much of my journaling revolved around our church family, responsibilities, and the call to new places.  I also enclosed mementos of special events, such as when my husband finally finished his years of study and received his Doctorate...a dream come true after many years of hard work (for both of us!)   We had a lot of high hopes built around that achievement, and much of my writing recorded the rise and fall of those hopes as we didn't always attain the goals we had set for ourselves, but we saw how God had other plans for us that were, at least in His sight, even greater. It wasn't always easy for us to see that or accept it. Often it was a bitter pill to swallow when we had to acknowledge what God said in Isaiah 55:8-9 as being true for us:
"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord.  'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'" 

My Grandma Tedlie, Flora Sheets Tedlie,
circa 1903-04, possibly around the time
that this poem was written. She
would have been just 19 or 20 yrs.
old when Little Florence passed
away.  Another note,
my Grandparent's first child,
Harry B. Tedlie, was brain-injured at
birth by a forceps delivery, causing him to
 suffer brain damage.  He lived with the family
 for about 10 years and then had to be
institutionalized since families just weren't
equipped to care for children with
such needs back then.
 "Little Harry"(as he was always known)
 was just a year older
than "Little Florence". 
No wonder my Grandmother looks
 a bit pensive and sad in this picture. 
She had a lot to deal with at such a young age.
 She did, however, have five more healthy
and beautiful children, including my mother,
Dorothea May Tedlie, who was the next to the last child!
Stuck throughout the pages of this journal are many precious memories, genealogies, thoughts that transcend time and space.  My mother once gave me a copy of a handwritten poem, written by her mother, my Grandma Tedlie, upon the very sorrowful occasion of the death of one of her precious babies.  Little Florence passed away at the tender age of about 1 year 3 mos.,* following a kind of flu bug that probably would not have affected a baby so severely today. (*I just learned that Florence Belle Tedlie was born on March 21, 1903, and died on July 6, 1904).  But that was over one hundred years ago now, and babies often lost their lives after such a quick illness.  This little poem, with a snippet of her hair attached to it, is heartrending.  It gives me an insight to the tenderness of my grandmother, whom I barely got to know..but look forward to meeting again someday in heaven..along with Little Florence, "with a face like a tinted pearl."
This is what is says:
"Little Florence was my little girl,
With a face like a tinted pearl,
But Little Florence has wandered away,
And left me only a curl.
With a broken doll and a little dress
And a pair of shoes half worn.

Little Florence was my little girl,
And to think that I did not know
That Little Florence was the world to me.
Some lessons are learned so slow.
And while I pondered, she crept away,
And left our home so still.
And I cannot work, and I cannot pray;
You may chide me if you will.
And say at the least my faith is weak;
Some lessons are learned so slow,
But if this one portion was mine again
I never would slight it so.
For what is the praise of women and men,
To a face like a tinted pearl,
But Little Florence has gone away,
And left me only a curl.

In a lily boat, she is safe afloat
On the waves of the Jasper Sea,
But, Little Florence, I'm missing you so
That I'm calling you back to me,
To the broken doll, and the little dress-
Some blessings are hard to see,
And what can I do with the box of clothes so dear,
And the curl that you left to me.

This is a picture of my Grandmother, Flora Sheets, (Tedlie)
at age 6 or 7 yrs., around 1890.  If she was this adorable,
you can imagine how beautiful her "Little Florence" must
have been. 
(Written by Flora Sheets Tedlie, sometime after July 6, 1904, which I have just learned is the date of
 little Florence Belle Tedlie's death)

Image may contain: 1 person
My beautiful Grandmother

I don't mean to end on a sad note...but this what journaling is all about.  This little poem was probably a page from my grandmother's journal, if she kept one...and has been preserved for me and my future generations to read and ponder.  Had it not been saved, we may have never known about "Little Florence", and I think she needed to be known.

Yes, journaling is a way of preserving family history, providing insights into the ways God has provided for us and taught us thoughout our life's journey.  I only wish I had been more diligent to keep a journal every year of my life.  I've missed a lot of memories...but perhaps that is all a part of God's way of keeping the important stuff and weeding out the "junk"...I don't know, but it is my hope that this will inspire others to take up the pen (or computer keyboard) and start writing. You don't have to be a great writer...just be real. That is what it is all about.  Good night Friends.  Time for me to get to bed...everyone else has settled down...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thankful Thursday

I'm a little late sitting down here to write tonight...but it's been a little busy today (actually busy not doing much of anything but what we wanted to do...) however, it just didn't feel right to let this day go by without sharing a few words of thankfulness.

I will start out with a word of thanks to my hubby for suggesting that we take a little ride this morning and go see if we could find some of the elusive "Scrub Jays" in the woods.  We rode over to the same place where we cut our Christmas tree this past December (click HERE for THAT story), as we knew this was a good place to see the Scrub Jays in their natural habitat.  And sure enough, we found not just one, but two Scrub Jays flying around the scrubby trees and calling to us in a raspy voice.
 It was well worth the ride, even though it was quite a warm and sunny day (almost up to 100 degrees here today!!!!!...Not thankful for that!)

Earlier this week some dear friends of ours were involved in an automobile accident...thankfully no one was hurt, but their vehicle was disabled and they needed a ride back home.  We were thankful that we happened to be home when they called us, and that our schedule was clear so that we could go pick them up.  Looking at their car, we rejoiced that our friend was able to steer the car out of the path of the oncoming truck enough so that the impact was not on the driver's door, but thankfully on the back passenger door...where no one was sitting.  Also thankful that the side airbags deployed, cushioning our friend from injury.  And also thankful that it wasn't our friend's fault!!!  Now praying that they will be able to settle with the insurance company soon and be able to replace their car without much delay.

This truly made us all stop and give thanks to the Lord for His protection over our friends, as well as over all of us. We never know when we leave our homes in the morning if we will return home again safely.

Thankful also for the special ways the Lord answers long sought prayers in our lives...some that are "unspoken" prayers that can't really be talked about...but yet we wish to acknowledge that we recognize God's hand at work in some marvelous places and ways that will bring joy and happiness to others in the days and years to come.

Thankful for this lovely little "New Zealand Tea Tree" blossoming in the Secret Garden...it brings a smile to my face when I see these delightful little flowers blooming up at me!

Thankful for good friends, family, and good health, and for God's provision for our lives every day.

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
but those who seek the Lord
shall not lack any good thing."
Psalm 34:8-10

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Story of A Little Tea Cup

A couple of weekends ago I found this delightful little teacup and saucer at the local flea market, and since it was only $4.00, I really couldn't resist it.  

It is made of Fine Bone China-made in England, by Crown Staffordshire...

and I looked online and found this information about this little tea cup: 
Her name is "Rose Pansy".  

Certainly a perfect name for this sweet little teacup...as it has little daintily painted "Dew fresh buds with a touch of gold" ~ roses, pansies, and blue forget-me-nots...and I absolutely love roses and pansies,
and I am certain I would love blue forget-me-nots if I could find one to love...

After I brought little Miss "Rose-Pansy" home, upon closer inspection I noticed that
she had a little tiny "flaw" on the top of the cup

Just a little dab of gold paint that got splattered along the rim...and it appears to be under the glaze, so it is not removable.

But do you know what?

My little Miss Rose-Pansy teacup filled with English Breakfast tea made ordinary toast with peanut-butter and apple butter taste like rich pastry...and the tea was sweet and smooth and delicious!

Her little tiny "flaw" didn't spoil her ability to hold a perfect cup of tea and make my
simple morning breakfast seem like fine dining...

As a matter of fact..."Miss Rose-Pansy" made me feel so happy inside, I decided to take her outside to have a little tea-party in the garden.
  Mr. Froggy_Splatt joined us and seemed quite happy  
there amidst the pansies

He didn't even seem to notice Miss Rose-Pansy's tiny little flaw...after all,
"What could be so wrong with a little "splatter" of gold on a perfect little teacup?", said Mr. Froggy_Splatt!  "Furthermore,  I think it's rather classy to have a gold "splatt", if I do say so myself!"

 And so Miss Rose-Pansy and I enjoyed our little tea-party in the garden...and Mr. Froggy_Splatt was as pleased as any concrete froggy in a garden full of pansies could be!

 And so, Miss Rose-Pansy now sits in her special place of honor on 
my kitchen window-sill, right next to a very special little
picture that tells a very special story...

When God closes a door,
He opens a window."

And perhaps that is the story of Miss Rose-Pansy's life.

Doors might have closed for Miss Rose-Pansy, since she may not have been quite perfect enough to grace the fine tables of England's high-society tea parties,
but a very fine window has opened for her as she
graces not only my tea-table,
but a very special tea-table in the garden
Mr. Froggy_Splatt!

And they lived happily ever after!

The End
I just noticed that one of my tiny little
"Froggy_Splatt" salt shakers was sitting next to
Miss Rose-Pansy on the window sill! (totally unplanned)
I guess it really is a love story after all!!!

Dear Friends,
The story of Miss Rose Pansy could be a lot like YOUR story, or like MINE.
Oh, no, I don't think we will live happily ever after with Mr. Froggy_Splatt...but wait...
as my friend Sylvia ( my fellow blogger at "A Grandma's Blessings") pointed out in her thoughtful comment:
"As Christians we aren't perfect, 
but God so loved us that He gave His life for us. 
We are sealed until the day He calls us home, until then we can serve Him, 
even though we aren't perfect, 
we make mistakes but keep serving like your teacup." 

This is the perfect ending (or beginning) to Miss Rose Pansy's story...
and to yours and mine.  When we know Jesus as our Savior,
all our little imperfections are made holy...
and we become a beautiful vessel for His service 
in the Royal Palace of the King of kings!
Praise God!

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Secret Garden Chronicles: Are We On the Road to Emmaus?

First, let me say that I am trying to get back into the "groove" of spending time with the Lord in the Secret Garden.  It seems as though I was on a little hiatus from there for a spell...not really on purpose, but perhaps by God's design. Perhaps there are times that we have to pull back from something we want to do so badly and let God re-direct our thoughts again so that they are in line with His thoughts.  Anyway, with Easter coming and going, and all of the other activities around here (the fence, etc.), I kind of got out of the habit of sitting before the Lord each day.  Now things seem to be calming back down, and I pray that I will be more consistent.

Oh...by the way...I finally came to the end of the first little journal booklet that I was using for the Secret Garden Chronicles...and now have begun a new one.  They certainly are colorful, aren't they? (Family Dollar specials). Better than that...I love what God has asked me to write inside. That's where the real beauty is.

Earlier this past week we were reading in our devotions from Luke 24:13-35, the story of Jesus walking with the two men on the road to Emmaus.  Apparently this was the same day of Christ's resurrection from the tomb, and He had not yet appeared to all of the other disciples...only to Mary Magdalene in the garden.

(This old picture is printed on foil, and is very special to me. It didn't copy very well because of the foil, but it has an iridescent quality to it that makes it just shine. )
These two men were very sorrowful as they walked and talked together, and they did not realize that it was the Lord walking with them.  When He asked them why they were so sad, they were astonished that He didn't know about the crucifixion of Christ and the news that His body was no longer in the tomb...and that the women had seen two angels who told them that Christ was alive...but they were all confused and unsure of what to think or believe.

As they walked further along with Christ, He began to tell them all the scriptures about everything that actually pertained to Himself.  The two men still didn't realize this was Christ.  When they drew near to the village, they asked Him to abide with them for the night.  Jesus came inside and sat down with them at the table...and when He took the bread and blessed it (see verse 30), their eyes were opened and they recognized Him...and as soon as they did, He disappeared from their sight.
However, they were so excited when they realized who He was that they got right back up and hurried all the way back to Jerusalem (seven miles!) to tell the other disciples that they had seen the Lord!

I'm wondering how often we are just like those men on the road to Emmaus...we carry our sorrows and burdens on our shoulders and hearts, and are so weighed down with our cares and concerns that we fail to recognize Jesus when He comes to carry our burdens for us.  Perhaps He comes to us in the form of a friend or neighbor...a nurse or counselor...perhaps even a total stranger...and we are so caught up in our own little world of fear or doubt or distress that we can't see how God has come to meet us...possibly not until later, when the crisis is past, and we have a chance to catch our breath and pause to look up and we say,
"That was You, wasn't it Lord?
That was You...who brought me food when I was hungry...
or provided transportation when my car broke down...
or gave me a break  on a big unexpected expense so that it wasn't as much as I feared...
That was You who smiled at me and waved me ahead in line when I was so weary
and couldn't stand much longer...
That was You, Lord, wasn't it?
You calmed my fears,
met my needs,
carried my burdens,
when I was without strength to go on..."

Lord, help me to keep my eyes open to ALL of the ways and places You are already there to meet me.
I want to recognize You...
and not miss out on the blessing of knowing 
Your Presence here with me.
And then help me to be eager to tell others
about Your great love, mercy and kindness.
Let my feet be swift to go to share the Good News of Your power to save and bring healing and comfort to others.
Help my hands to be ready to show forth Your praise as I pass on Your kindness to others,
as You have done for me so many times.
Thank You, Lord,
for being with us on the Road to Emmaus today.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Interesting Places I've Lived-The Story of the Doughnut Tree

I think this would be fun to do.  Perhaps you have lived in or worked at a very "interesting" or unusual place, house, town...some place that was unique in some way and different from the ordinary.  Wouldn't it be fun to share these experiences and places with each other, and maybe learn a little history about the person or about the location in the process?  Is anyone interested in doing this?  Maybe you lived in Alaska, or another part of the world, or in a commune or convent or who knows where we all have been?!

 I have been chatting with an "old" friend on Facebook about a place where we used to live about 20 years ago. It had a very unique history and many interesting stories.  I will attempt to remember what I can here...and may have to go digging through my old photographs to document this place better, so this may take a while.

Maybe this will help stir up some of your memories of places where you've lived...and perhaps you could share them with us in a future blog.

The house where we lived was in the little town of Fryeburg, Maine, which is an interesting place in itself.  It is the home to The Fryeburg Fair...one of the best country fairs I've ever seen.  (Check on the link for more information about this annual event).

But the place where we lived, albeit, for only about a year, was in a beautiful old New Englander home that was built in 1848.  My hubby was born in 1948, so the house was exactly 100 years older than he was!
This is the front of the house in the snow...Yes, it snowed a LOT in Maine! And that old drafty house used a LOT of fuel to keep us warm!  Another reason we didn't stay there long...
This was the connected "carriage house/barn/attic above where the "treasures" were stored.

I truly loved all the history and interesting nooks and crannies of this old house.  We were only renting it, so we couldn't do much with it except just enjoy it.  The owners were rather particular about our "snooping" too far into the attic of the old house, as they still had many boxes full of family "treasures" stored up there, and they didn't want us to get into them...but we did have one good tour...and there was so much history there I wish I could have stayed up there and gone through every last box.  But anyway, that's another story.

Here's the only souvenirs I wound up with somehow...a couple of old skeleton keys and an iron spike that looks like it was forged in a blacksmith shop...so it must be pretty old...not sure how these made it into my treasure stores...I think it was purely by "accident"....
I wonder what doors those keys would open?

 This picture was taken when my Mother and Dad had come up to visit from Florida. My mother and I were having so much fun together in the kitchen.  I loved this old fashioned kitchen. All of the cabinets were the old white steel cabinets, and the sink was a large farm style sink.  The old electric range was really special, with double ovens and the old warming well on one of the burners...right out of the early 50's, I'd say. As a matter of fact, the whole kitchen was circa 1950...not one thing had been modernized in all that time....but it still worked!

And here I am visiting with my sweet mother in law, "Nanny", when she came up to visit for Christmas.  Notice the lovely built in china cabinet here in the dining room. There were actually two of them.

I won't bore you with tons of family pictures, but suffice it to say, the house was a fun place for us to live, and we had many happy gatherings with friends, church family and loved ones during our short tenure there...but it ended up being a little too expensive for our budget after we barely survived the winter heating costs. Our next home was back home to Florida, as our parents were getting older and we needed to get back "home", to a warmer climate and to be there to help care for our family in the years to come.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this house was that it was the "caretaker" for the famous "Doughnut Tree" of Fryeburg, Maine.  This was not the original house where the giant Dutch Elm tree had grown into the shape of a doughnut, but when the 100 year old tree was struck with the Dutch Elm disease back in 1965,  Mr. Harry Eastman took the "doughnut" portion of the old tree, and had a special covered shelter built on his estate to keep the "doughnut" for all the world to see and remember.

I happen to own a couple of the old original postcards that were famous about this tree:

These postcard pictures were taken in front of the original house where the tree had grown...before it was removed to the Eastman House.

Google Picture of "The Eastman House", where the remains of "The Doughnut Tree" are kept now.

Here is a photograph of the shelter with the "doughnut" remains that is on the Eastman estate property, as it looked when we lived there.

Click on this link for more information about this famous Doughnut Tree:

https://www.mainememory.net/artifact/6169 - Information about the "Doughnut Tree", Fryeburg, Maine

Here's another old news article about the Doughnut Tree, and it tells where Mr. Harry Eastman took it to his "estate".

We were proud to be able to be a part of this historical old home and the "doughnut tree".  While we lived there one of the classes from the local school came over and helped  clean up and plant some flowers around this display as a class project.

I truly loved this old house, with all of its quirks and stories...another thing I remember was that in the attached woodshed/carriage house/barn, which is the way the old New Englander houses were built so that in winter you didn't have to go outside to get to your wood and feed the animals, there was also an indoor "outhouse"!  Yes, that's right!  There was an actual outhouse built into the attached buildings...and it was still fully functional.  I know, because shortly after moving into this house the indoor plumbing malfunctioned, and we had to use this indoor outhouse for a few days until the plumbing was working again! Now, that was great fun! Ha ha!  It came equipped with corn cobs and Sears Roebuck catalogs...but we didn't use those antiques.

The reason I started thinking about this old house again was in my online conversation with a friend we were discussing the demise of the old Dutch Elm trees, due to a disease/blight many years ago. Elm trees were on my mind because I had posted pictures of me on Facebook planting a Drake Elm tree in our yard yesterday, as a memorial to my father, whose 6th anniversary of his passing was this past week.  (The Drake Elm trees are not susceptible to the blight of the Dutch Elm trees).

We chose to plant an elm tree because my Dad had a huge elm tree in their home (where I grew up), and it had died of old age several years before my mother and father passed away.  We all grieved over that old tree when it had to be cut down, because it gave such lovely shade to their house and yard, and it left such a bright, bare spot when it was gone.  Our current back yard is much too sunny and in need of some shade, so hopefully this elm tree will grow and flourish and provide shade for many years to come.

For more information  about the history of the  little town of Fryeburg, Maine, please check out this website:http://www.fryeburghistorical.org/index.html   

Also, for some wonderful reading into the history of Fryeburg, a friend of mine has written four historical fiction novels about the area. (The Fryeburg Chronicles).  I highly recommend these excellent books.  You can find out more about June O'Donal's books here: http://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781626979468&HC_ISBN=

So, now back to my original idea: I wonder how many of you will accept the challenge and share some of YOUR stories of interesting places you've lived or worked in over the years. I'll bet there are a lot of wonderful stories out there just waiting to be told.  I actually have a few more up my sleeve and will be sharing them in the future.  If you do post something of this nature, please make sure to call my attention to it here somehow so I will know to check it out.  I don't have one of those group blog connectors, but if this becomes a popular idea, maybe someone can tell me how to set that up!

I don't usually post something like this on Sunday, so please forgive me!  I actually wrote the bulk of this last night, and wanted to get it published before I forget!  I trust you and yours are having a wonderful, God-filled and blessed SONday!  

Joshua 24:15(NKJV)

15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. 
But as for me and my house, 
we will serve the Lord.”

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Foto Friends-Reflections of a "Happy Camper"

Well folks, today is "Friday Foto Friends" again...and this week has flown by without any significant photos that I can recall, so I will go back through my camera and see what pictures I've taken recently that you haven't already seen here.  Some of you who are my Facebook friends may have already seen some of these, but maybe not.  It's been a rather busy week in some ways...and a rather lazy week in other ways.  So here goes...they may not be cohesive or have any running "theme" that I know of yet...Let's see what happens, okay?

This lovely Great Egret was enjoying her own reflection in the pond early one morning...actually she was fishing for her breakfast...I doubt she even noticed her reflection...but I did!

This beautiful male cardinal was sitting in a tree in the Secret Garden, singing merrily away one evening! I believe he was giving thanks to the Lord for his lovely home here in the woods...

And this frisky squirrel has been enjoying the fountain in the Memorial Garden...seems to think this is his own private water fountain...

He also loves to run along the top of our new fence...It is amazing how agile and adept he is at running on that skinny "balance beam"...

The knockout roses are beginning to "knock themselves out" with blossoms again...

What's left of our confederate jasmine is blooming, alongside the Louis Philippe roses along the fence...

This young baby bear stopped by for an early drink one morning

And this bigger bear stopped by later for a bath in the pool! That is one tough plastic pool...and this bear is saying "I dare anyone to try and make me get out of this pool!"

Just gotta finish washing my paws before I leave....

AND THIS is what happens when new neighbors from out of state leave their garbage cans/bags outside overnight...we end up with their garbage in our yard and road and woods...thanks to our friendly neighborhood bears who were just looking for a midnight snack....
And now I am happy to say that our neighbors did clean up the mess in the woods promptly this morning, and so now I am a "happy camper!"

This is my new TERVIS replacement "tumbler"...Did you know that if you purchase a TERVIS tumbler (any size), that they have a lifetime warranty?  If it cracks or starts to show condensation on the outside, or any other issue, they will replace it free of charge?  You just have to mail them the damaged cup, and complete the form online to go along with it, and they will give you a coupon to replace it with a new one free, including shipping!  So, I just got this "Happy Camper" tumbler to replace a pink flamingo one that had cracked...and this just suits my style so much better these days!

Even though I don't really go camping, I feel like I live in a perpetual state of camping here in the woods, with the bears and the trees and the campfires and marshmallows...and see the camera in the first picture?  That would be me!! Taking pictures everywhere I go...
And as long as I can do that....I'm a "Happy Camper"!!

So, to end this story on a positive note...today I am thankful to live in the wild forest, even though the bears do sometimes make a mess (still not their fault), and they even like to take a bath in my front yard pool, and the neighbors are friendly and willing to take care of issues that happen... and the birds are free to fly and sing (and fish for their breakfast) and the squirrels are free to frolic about...and the flowers grow and blossom in spite of the drought (as long as I water them...)  and God is in His heaven, and all is right with the world, at least in my little part of the world...

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever!"
Psalm 107:1

Now please go back and check out what other Friday Foto Friends are posting over here...