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, December 28, 2018

Friday Foto Friends-After Christmas Winding Down and Gearing Up for 2019

Hello My Friday Foto Friends.  Is anyone else feeling the "in between Christmas and New Year's slump"...?  Kind of like in a fog and trying to figure out what day it is and what should I be doing now that Christmas is over? I know I am kind of in "la la land"...from lack of sleep, adrenaline rush let down...whatever you want to call it...it's real. I saw others mentioning similar feelings on Facebook. (so it must be true! )
Internet photo
But we had a great Christmas...and we are expecting another big gathering this weekend, when my sister and her family come, along with some other special friends, and we have a pot-luck-finger food lunch and our annual "White Elephant Gift Exchange" party.  Always a good time full of laughter and fun.  I'd better get my act together before they arrive!  Meanwhile, here are some random photos from the week:

We took a ride and saw a huge  bear alongside the road, and I just had to take its picture:
Got a partial selfie in the process...do you see the bear? He's a quite a giant teddy bear, don't you think?  Actually he's made out of round hay bales...and I thought this was pretty clever!!

Also, I watched someone taking a bath this morning and thought you'd enjoy peeping along with me:

This is a Brown Thrasher, and he was enjoying his morning bath in the old frying pan of water that  we keep outside the kitchen window on the ground for the local critters to get a drink or a bath, whatever is needed.  Some birds prefer to stay low to the ground, like this Thrasher.  They rarely ever visit the other bird baths that are on a pedestal, so this is a good alternative for him after he "thrashes" about in the sand.
 He is definitely "thrashing about" in the water here...
 He looks up to see if anyone noticed...
Then he fans out his tail feathers to get them good and clean.  That was a refreshing little break from the monotony, wasn't it?

Did you have any particular favorite or fun gift that you received for Christmas?  I received several wonderful things, but just wanted to share one or two with you for now:

I love pretty calendars, and this year I treated myself to this gift: (actually, the whole family will enjoy this all year long...so it wasn't just for me)

My dream has always been to have a cabin someday on a little lake...and as we continue to dream and look for our next home (if and whenever our current house ever sells) it would be my fondest desire to have a place like that. I doubt that it will be a "cabin" as there really aren't many such houses here in this area of Florida, but there are plenty of little lakes...if you can find a place that is affordable that isn't already over-crowded by all the other dreamers of living on a little lake some day. So, this calendar with pictures of "Cabin View" living may be as close as I get...but a girl can dream, can't she?

It's interesting that one of the month's pictures above in the calendar was of a group of swans. My hubby surprised me with these two beautiful cut glass swans. I think they are so lovely, don't you? He gave them to me, he said, for two reasons: One, The swans mate for life and this was significant for him to give to me, which was definitely not unappreciated by me...and the other was that the swan is a part of his mother's family crest. Her maiden name is Martin, and apparently there is a swan in the Martin family crest.  This was something that was very significant to her, and this year being the year that she has left earth for heaven, it was a special way to remember her.

Here are a couple of other special gifts.  Our youngest son loves to make things out of foil candy wrappers.  Every year (and every occasion) he creates things for people...and this year was no exception.  This is an "angel" that he made for me, but he apologized for the face.  The red hearts were on the wrappers, but he says he's not happy for the way the face turned out. But the angel is special to me.

 It goes along with the pink and gold angel he made for me a couple of years ago that is up on the shelf above.  I've learned one thing in life...when your child, no matter what age they are, (he's an adult) makes you a gift...you treasure it. This particular son has kept his guardian angel very busy throughout his life (and even this very week, but that's another story)...and to me these little treasures are very significant.

This creation was made for my hubby...and it is a Detroit Redwings Hockey Player from the past, Steve Yzerman, who was one of my hubby's favorite players:
 Again, our son created him using foil candy wrappers...and he captured every detail right down to the skates...

Now, switching gears,  this is another "gift"...again, something that I purchased with the intention of sharing it with someone else, but I am going to read it first...(I know, I should have bought TWO! but I'm cheap...or broke...)

Here is a quote from Ann Voskamp's introduction as she is explaining to her children about how stars are created from "explosions and collisions of elements. Stars are made from a breaking at their center..."  Ann goes on to think about this further:

"Breaking--then blazing.
This is the abundant way of the universe.
Brokenness multiplies into abundance...This seems impossible...unlikely.
And this is the unfailing way of God.  Multiplication happens out of brokenness.
And the sum is abundant life..."
"Weak is the real strong.
Brokenness is the real abundance.
Breaking--then blazing.
Dying...then rising.
Trust the abundant ways of the universe, the ways of Almighty God."

(Ann Voskamp, The Way of Abundance..A 60-Day Journey Into a Deeply Meaningful Life)

This may be a new theme for me for 2019.  I am thinking about my "One Word" for the new year...and haven't really settled on anything yet...however this is speaking to me and may develop into something...but we will have to wait and see in the New Year when I make my final decision.  This usually comes after much prayer and soul-searching to see where the Lord leads me.  This past year my word was "renew", and that has taken me on quite a path to spiritual renewal and revival in my heart...and preparation for a new life in a new place hopefully in the new year.  It will be interesting to see how the Lord leads again in this search for His Word for me in 2019.

Okay, friends.  I think this is whetting my whistle for some great new adventures in the New Year...how about you? What are your hopes and dreams and goals for 2019?  Maybe we will all be sharing those adventures with one another throughout the year here in our Friday Foto Friends!  I look forward to going along with you on your adventures!!  Have a blessed weekend and a Happy New Year!!!

Let us journey over to Deb's place at Breathing in Grace and visit with each other!!  I know I am behind in reading what you all have been doing this past week.  Hopefully we can get caught up eventually!!


  1. I am in that space between the holidays! Ha ha...feeling like I am coming out of a hard sleep.

    Those candy wrappers figures are AMAZING. Where did your son learn to do that?

    The bear...ha ha...I had to look for it and when I saw what you meant, I smiled.

  2. I also am in that space between the holidays. I couldn't put my finger on it until you called it a name. I received a new bathrobe and a reversible couch throw.(I am very cold-natured.) Our son got us a new set of stainless steel dinnerware. I found a couple of cosmetic brushes in my stocking, along with some new blush. Hubby also got me a new journal; it's teal, imagine that. Peace and blessings.

  3. Wow, Pamela! Is your youngest talented, or what? I just loved the angel and hockey player - so clever and so thoughtful. And yes, I'm feeling the in-between time, but can't dwell on it due to caring for MIL. She's better today, but has had a rough time since Christmas Day. Prayers appreciated!
    Blessings for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

  4. I enjoyed your photos. I miss seeing the brown thrashers that were plentiful in Georgia. That is cute about the space between Christmas and New Year. So that's why I am 'spacey"!!

  5. Oh the space between the holidays for me is getting the yard tidied up - it has been too wet up until now. Remember it is summer here, I go out in the morning before it gets either too hot or the wind starts (which starts the old hay fever going).
    You have some lovely gifts :)

  6. I find myself in that 'in-between' space too. What day is it anyway? lol The haybale bear was so cute and I enjoyed the bird taking his bath in the frying pan. So cute! I don't know what adventures wait for Mr D and I in 2019, just going to wait and see where He lights our path. Always enjoy my visits with you, Happy New Year and God Bless.

  7. I really enjoyed the photos you shared with us today! That teddy bear is pretty amazing! Since I am back to work this week (and tomorrow) it hasn't been very in-between for me but I am looking forward to NYEve and NYDay! The glass swans are just lovely, as is the sentiment given! I saw you son's candy-wrapper creations in person and was blown away by what he creates from foil paper. SO creative! Thanks for sharing!! On to the new year!

  8. Oh I am in that space most of the time. The Brown Thrasher is the Georgia State bird. Your son is very talented! Those are great.
    Happy New Year!

  9. Great photos of the Hay bear and your cute mirror selfie. Loved the thrasher photos too and what a great use of foil. Your son is talented. Have a happy and blessed New Year holiday dear Pamela.

  10. Amazing foil sculptures! That's quite a big bear I see there too. Have a blessed and wonderful New Year!


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