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!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

I Forgot Friday Foto Friends Day!

Some pretty wildflowers along the road this morning

I am so crazy!  Last night at 10 pm, as I was falling into bed and thinking back over the day, I suddenly realized that I never posted anything for Friday Foto Friends!!!! I can't believe it!!! I do have at least one good excuse...yesterday morning I had to go get a PERM at 9 a.m....so I was gone all morning...(No picture yet...as I type this I am still in morning bedhead mode)...and the night before we had a wild night...

The wild night started before we went to bed, when we realized there were ants coming and going into a little tiny hole up on the ceiling above our bed. We have a high pitched ceiling, and at the top joint somehow these "carpenter ants" (they don't eat wood, however) had found a home up inside there.  So hubby had a great idea that we put some caulking and or spackling compound over the hole.  However since it was so high and we didn't want to move the bed, get a ladder, etc., we just tried to daub it on there from the end of a long pole.  It wasn't a very well done job, but we thought it would at least keep the ants from marching two by two over our heads all night, and then we could fix it better the next day.  Well, in the middle of the night my hubby was awakened by falling bits and pieces of the spackling compound...and as we shone the light up on the ceiling, the ants were running all over the place trying to dismantle our work as fast as they could.  So we ended up sleeping on the couch and recliner in the living room for the rest of the night. You can imagine how wonderful that was!

This picture now shows a repaired ceiling, thanks to our son coming to our rescue with a tall ladder and the proper tools to caulk the hole correctly.  And thankfully we have not seen another ant since! (And we had a good night's sleep last night!)

When I got home from getting my perm yesterday I discovered that my computer screen resolution was messed up, and I have spent the past 24 hours still trying to get it back to where it was before.   It still isn't right, but at least I can see what I'm writing. That's been frustrating, because there didn't seem to be any reason for it, except that I had turned off my computer the night before when we tried to sleep in the living room, and my computer was on but was too bright for us to sleep...and when I turned it back on in the morning it was messed up...so...who knows? Maybe the ants did it!

This morning we took a little ride to get out of the house for a while. (and so I could find something to take a picture of!)  We drove down a forest road that we've never traveled on before, and found it really lovely.  We actually saw a mother bear and two cubs running across the road, but by the time I could get my camera focused they were already in the woods/bushes alongside the road. Here is the picture I got of the mother's hind leg:  (The cubs were in the weeds ahead of her).

These wildflowers were so pretty, I talked hubby into stopping so I could take a few pictures (watching for more bears all the while)  I don't know what they are called, but they resemble snapdragons.

On Thursday morning I had to go for lab work, and then hubby took me to Bob Evans for breakfast afterwards.
It's a good thing the blood work was done before I ate this breakfast!! LOL. I go back to the Dr. next week to get the results...

Next week will be busy. Tuesday morning is our usual Home Bible Study here in our home, and then our "Lovely Ladies of the Lord" will be meeting on Thursday (at a nearby church) for the first time in several months (we didn't meet over the summer).  I've been asked to lead the Bible Study, so I need to get my head and heart in gear for what the Lord wants to say to us. 

Then on Saturday I am hosting a bridal shower here at our house for our sweet daughter in law to be, and I've been "stressing" over the table arrangements, food, house cleaning, etc.  My hubby reminded me of the Martha and Mary story this morning...because he heard me talking about all the things I need to get done next week...and that gave me a moment's pause to stop and realize that I need to keep things in perspective...and devote some time just for me and the Lord before I do anything else.

Luke 10:38-42(NKJV)
38. Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

41. And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Yes, I know I am guilty of being a "Martha" type more than a "Mary".  I was doing much better when I was able to sit in The Secret Garden every day and deliberately listen and focus on the Lord.  It's been too hot all summer to sit out there, so I've gotten out of the daily routine.  Please pray for me this week that the Lord will be able to speak to me and through me as we gather together to hear from His Word and encourage one another. I need this as much as the others.  (Maybe more).  

Thank you, dear friends, for your faithfulness to share such positive things all the time. I am so blessed to have found so many dear friends here in "blogland". I count on you for daily words of hope and encouragement...and always love to see what you've been doing in your part of the world. Thank you for being here!!!

Now, I don't think it's too late to go over to Deb's place and check out what our friends have posted for yesterday's Friday Foto Friends!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

"Roses" and Blessings

Yesterday was my birthday.  It was a lovely, peaceful, beautiful day all day long.  Here are a few highlights... 
More about this rose later...

Hubby took me for a ride to see the Ocklawaha River nearby.  I was curious to see how much the water had risen since Hurricane Irma passed through here two weeks ago.  Without going into a lot of before and after pictures, just trust me when I tell you that the river is the highest I've ever seen it in the almost six years we've lived here.  Here are a few pictures:

 This sign is from previous conditions, when the water was way out at the end of those trees...obviously that sign could be removed right now...

 I used to be able to sit on the roots of those two cypress trees out there...

This is actually alongside what was the road...

 The river was beautiful even in its swollen state. I totally enjoyed this time of reflecting on the beauty of God's world...even after the storm...

This magnificent giant Easter Tiger Swallowtail butterfly entertained us as she gathered nectar from the wildflowers along the way...

When we returned to our house, there was this eagle soaring high above our home:

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31
And I rejoiced to see him flying there, as if he were putting on a special show just for my birthday!

Then a little later, Rose, my sweet daughter in law to be, came over to spend some time with us and to fix our supper for my birthday!  What a precious gift this sweet girl is to us!  Having raised three boys, it is such a joy to me to have a "daughter" who actually wants to be with us and become a true part of our family!  While we waited for our supper to cook, Rose and I had a little tea party.  This was a new experience for her, and she seemed to truly enjoy it.

I had pre-selected which teacup I wanted to use, but I gave Rose the opportunity to select any teacup she wanted...and she selected one that had...you guessed it...a rose on it!!

This dainty little tea cup came from my husband's grandmother's collection...

The tea cup that I had selected was one that I believe my Grandma Mursch gave me, and it is a September cup...so of course I had to use that one for my September birthday!

The cream and sugar set was a gift to me from my sweet hubby many years ago. He had traveled to a church conference in Anaheim, California, and had the opportunity to tour the big ship "The Queen Mary".  He purchased this beautiful bone china set for me there and carried it all the way back home on the plane in his lap because he was afraid it would get broken in his suitcase!  I'll never forget how he handed the package to me as soon as he stepped off the airplane...he was SO relieved to finally be able to turn it over to me so he didn't have to worry about them getting broken anymore!! The china pattern is Elizabethan "Chantilly" fine bone china made in England.  Obviously, I was delighted with such a thoughtful gift and the love and care that went into bringing it safely home to me all the way across the continent!!
 The tea pot also came from my husband's maternal grandmother's collection (his "Nanny Martin", Pearl Sarah Elizabeth Waters Martin).  It is a Hall Aladdin Lamp teapot, which is one of my favorites.
 So it was fun to share some of our family history with Rose and enjoy this time of getting better acquainted, "Mother in law to daughter in law"....

Later we enjoyed a delightful supper with the rest of the family, followed by an apple pie that Rose baked for my birthday "pie".  It was delicious!  We had to laugh that Rose had to bake the pie in a square baking pan because she doesn't have any round pie plates yet! Something to give her for a bridal shower gift!!  But of course, everyone knows that π r 2 (Pi r squared!) (can't do the symbols exactly right here, but you know what I mean, I hope!)
Here I am listening to my sister and her hubby sing Happy Birthday to me on the phone as we got ready to eat this delicious apple pie!

Here's the rest of the family patiently waiting for me to take the picture so they can eat their pie!

It was a beautiful day from start to finish.  This is not even counting the celebration we had on Saturday with my hubby's brother and family...which was also full of surprises and another apple pie baked by my sweet sister in law Peggy!  The apple pie is a tradition started by my mother years ago.
I preferred her home made apple pie for my birthday
instead of a cake...so that is what she always did for me.
When my mother passed away over eleven years ago my sister Doris took up the baton and carried on the tradition. However, this year she was unable to come celebrate with us due to her hubby having recently had back surgery...so my wonderful sweet "in-laws" came to the rescue!! I am truly blessed.

At the end of the day, even though I was so thrilled and thankful for all of the wonderful gifts of love from such dear ones...there was still one thing missing.  As most of you are aware, our middle son passed away about 3 1/2 years ago from cancer. Although I miss him in my heart every day, it seems as though holidays and special occasions like Mother's Day and birthdays are the hardest.  I try not to think about it too much, but still there is that little empty spot in a mother's heart that only some special memory of that dear one can fill.
I went to bed last night missing him and wishing I could hear his voice or see his smile once again.

This morning when I went out to the backyard to feed the birds, I couldn't help but notice something bright red swaying in the morning breeze over by our memorial garden that we built in memory of our son after he passed away. 

Upon closer inspection I realized that this lovely rosebud was opening up...and apparently it had started yesterday on my birthday, but I never got outside to see it.

This particular rosebush was planted in memory of our son, as a gift from some of our family.  It doesn't seem to bloom very often...and I have often thought perhaps I should relocate it to a different spot where it could get more sunshine...but I never got around to it. 

 What I've discovered, however, is that it does seem to bloom at special times...like my birthday...

and earlier this year when our older son Benton and Rose became engaged...there were two blossoms at the same time...

 And it occurred to me that indeed I was receiving a special blessing from my son in heaven...and it was a balm to my grieving  mother-heart, soothing and comforting and bringing joy and a sense of sweet peace.

So now I feel like my birthday is complete...I've heard from all my children and have been blessed by the love and kindness of so many others thought messages on Facebook and beyond...and have also been blessed by the sweet fellowship of a new daughter-in-"love"....My cup is full to overflowing.

Psalm 23

"1.  The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3.  He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord


Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Foto Friends - Beauty for Ashes

Good Morning!
It's is Friday again...and also the first day of Autumn! My favorite season of the year! I know many of you have been saying the same thing...and for us here in Florida, autumn isn't quite as thrilling as it is in the north, but it is the beginning of some cooler weather (hopefully soon)...

Many are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Irma here...clean up is tiring and time consuming...and I am tired of looking at all of the fallen, broken trees along the road and in the woods surrounding our home.  I refused to take any more pictures of the desolation and instead have tried to focus on the beauty that is still present after the storm.  Before I go any further, I also want to stop and say that we continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Texas who are still trying to put their homes and lives back together after Hurricane Harvey, and now for those in Puerto Rico and the other islands who have lost so much in Hurricane Maria...we pray for you and seek God's comfort and strength for you. Also praying for the people in Mexico who have been hit with this terrible earthquake...so much suffering...Lord, I know You see them and You are sending your angels of mercy to help them...

Here are some pictures from around the neighborhood taken this past week. I am so thankful for God's beauty in spite of the devastation.

This was a marvelous sunrise early one morning this past week.  I snuck out of the house and ran down the road to try and catch it from different angles... these first two were from The Secret Garden in our back yard.

This is the reflection of the sunrise on the neighborhood pond down the road from our house...
 Sunrise over the pond...
 And again sunrise reflected on the pond...

I love these wild morning glories blooming all along the roadside:

And this Pileated Woodpecker now has a lot of new broken and damaged trees to explore for his breakfast...

He shouldn't go hungry around here...

Last night we took a little ride to Big Lake Kerr to see how high the water was...and it was pretty high. The breeze was blowing and it was so pleasant...hubby and I wished we could just camp out there and listen to the water lapping on the shore all night...

The sun was dropping in the west as we left the lake...and hubby suggested we head to the local Dollar General and get some ice-cream.  The last time we checked they were still out of it after the hurricane, so we thought for sure they would have some by now...

And they did! On our way back home from the store we saw this bear standing beside the road. This picture is a little blurry as we were driving slowly by her.  She ran into the woods and I could see her standing up by a tree and looking right at me, but we were moving too fast for me to take another picture. I was really disappointed that I missed that picture. It would have been a good one!
 The bears have been pretty active this week. A couple of days ago we could see a mama bear and her tiny cub following her across the road, but we were too far away and she was moving too fast for us to get a picture.  The cub looked really small, but it was running right along behind mama and they made it safely into the woods.

The sun was setting over "Little Lake Kerr" as we drove homeward.  Such a lovely way to end the evening, don't you agree?

Psalm 61:1-4
1.  "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
to preach good tidings to the poor...
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2.  To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord;
and the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3.  To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord,
That He may be glorified.
4.  And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
and they shall repair the ruined cities,
the desolations of many generations."

Praying now for the Lord to give "beauty for ashes" and "the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for heaviness" for all those who are weary and sad and in need of His comfort. Amen.

Now, on a happier note, skip over to visit Deb and friends at Breathing in Grace and see what others are posting on this "Friday Foto Friends" Day!  Have a blessed day my friends.