What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Friday, July 31, 2020
Well hello everyone, and welcome to "Friday Foto Friends". Time to show off our Fotos of the week...something that caught our eye and made us grab our cameras. You just never know what you will discover here on Fridays!
So, nature lesson of the week:
Do you know what kind of fruit/tree this is?
I immediately used my Google Lens on my phone to check it out to be sure of what it was.
If you said Persimmon, you are correct. This is known as the Common Persimmon, or Possumwood, Possum Apples, Sugar Plums. We discovered these trees growing wild in our usual walking area today.
Now, I have noticed the trees before today, and thought when they first started getting their leaves back in the spring that they looked like some kind of fruit tree, similar to a peach tree. But I never realized that they actually had fruit on them until today! And they are loaded!
Well, hubby noticed one fruit that was pretty yellowish red and said it looked like a ripe persimmon, so he took it and took a little bite out of it. And then he handed it to me and said it was good to eat. (We sound like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but he must have been the one listening to the serpent, since he talked me into tasting the fruit.)
And this is what we both quickly learned: Be sure the persimmon is completely RIPE before eating!
As soon as we bit into the persimmon, our mouths became extremely dry and "fuzzy" feeling, and puckery, with no saliva to wet our lips or our mouth. We immediately spit them out and couldn't wait to get back to the car to get some water. No, they aren't poisonous, but we found out why you are not supposed to eat (or try to eat) a persimmon that is not almost dead ripe and ready to fall on the ground! Read the highlighted link above for more information. So that is our nature lesson of the week! Never listen to that serpent in the garden either! That's our theological lesson of the week too! LOL.
Okay, next up, it's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!
We have been needing to do some tree trimming and cutting, especially before this tropical storm (hurricane?) that is coming up the coast this weekend. We found a young man literally up in the top of our neighbor's palm tree trimming the palms off the top, and we asked him to come over to our house when he could shinny back down the tree. And so he did. After some discussion we decided to remove a couple of pine trees from in front of our pond that are growing rapidly and actually too close to our deck/house and need to be removed before they get too big. We also are having some other trees trimmed and cleaned up .
These fresh cut pine branches sure smelled a lot like a Christmas tree!
This tree was young and full of sap! Can you count the rings?
And here is our tree man preparing to pull this dead oak tree down...
I did have a video of this operation, but it is easier just to show you the pictures.
Down she goes! He will be back on Saturday to finish up and do some more work on a taller tree, so I hope to get some good pictures then. Especially if he actually climbs up the tree!! Oh, by the way, he calls himself "George of the Jungle".
By removing the two young pines we now have a better view of Still Waters Pond.
And tonight I was rewarded with a wonderful view of the magnificent sunset.
These pictures do NOT do it justice.
It was quite the show, and a beautiful ending to an interesting day!
Psalm 19 is a good place to end:
1. "The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament shows His handiwork.
2. Day unto day utters speech,
and night unto night reveals knowledge.
3. There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
4. Their line has gone out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
5. Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
and rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
6. Its rising is from one end of heaven,
and its circuit to the other end;
and there is nothing hidden from its heat."
Hope that you and your house are safe and sound and have a blessed and wonderful weekend. And remember, Don't eat any unripe persimmons! LOL>
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Last week I decided to try and do a weekly post about some of the "treasures" that I have, or any unusual or special collections of things. Today's pictures begin with a collection of something very unusual that I have had since I was a little girl ...Shark's teeth! Now you may ask why I would have a collection of shark's teeth, and especially why have I saved them now for at least sixty years? Good question!
Well, when I was a young girl I was happy to be able to go spend some time each summer at the home of my Aunt Ruth and her family. My Aunt and Uncle had three children a few years younger than me, and lived very near the beach. Since I was the youngest child in my family I never really knew what it was like to have younger siblings and to be the "oldest" child. It was kind of fun and exciting for me to be the "big sister-cousin" to my young cousins and also to be away from home, away from my parents and older siblings who were all too busy to spend much time with me during the summer. My mother and father had to work, and my older siblings had their own activities and friends in the summer, and so I was shipped up to my Aunt Ruth's to spend a week or two. My only regret is that I didn't have my own camera back then, and so consequently I don't have any pictures of my adventures.
But I do have those shark's teeth, kept in a little pill bottle tucked away in my dresser drawer with other various odds and ends for all these years. And lots of happy memories of days spent at the beach, hunting for sea shells and shark's teeth in the sand, swimming in the ocean, riding bikes with my cousins, and going to summer afternoon matinees at the local theater. We had so much fun, and Aunt Ruth made me feel very important because I was the oldest of the kids and could look after my younger cousins. Actually, looking back, I realized that the youngest cousin was just a baby and probably Aunt Ruth was happy to have me there to occupy and entertain the two older boys so she could take care of the baby. But no matter, I was having a great time!
While I was there visiting, Aunt Ruth also made some lovely clothes for my Barbie Doll, who was brand new at that time. This is the same doll, wearing one of the dresses Aunt Ruth made for her. This Barbie will be 60 years old in September when I have my 70th birthday. I received her from my grandparents for my 10th birthday. She isn't in mint condition or else she would be quite valuable for collectors. But she is worth far more than money to me, as I have many memories attached to playing with my other cousin Becky and her Barbie doll and our home-made Barbie doll houses that we created ourselves during our summer breaks while staying with her at my other aunt's house, Aunt Marion. (Who was also Aunt Ruth's older sister, and my father's older sister!) But that's another story for another day.
What made me think about the shark's teeth this week in particular was that the wife of one of my cousins posted a picture on Facebook of the collection of shark's teeth that she and her grandchildren were collecting while on vacation at the same beach. Life has a way of coming full circle...my cousin's grandchildren are collecting shark's teeth on the same beach some sixty years after he and I did the same thing as children. The only sad part is, my cousin isn't there to watch his grandchildren play in the surf and sand like he did as a child. No, he isn't there because sadly he passed away several years ago from the ravages of Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. "Billy" was only 50 years old.
But this story gets even worse than that, very sadly.
Not only did my younger cousin Billy pass away at a very early age from such a horrible disease, but so did his mother, my dear Aunt Ruth. My last memory of Aunt Ruth was at my grandmother's funeral. I wanted to talk to her about some of my happy memories from my summertime visits at her house. It became painfully obvious that not only could she not remember the happy times I was talking about, but I really don't think she had a clue as to who I was. She was in the early stages of Early Onset Alzheimer's at that time, although they did not know what it was then. It was not too much longer before she had to be put into a nursing facility, where she remained until her death a few years later. Aunt Ruth was only 64 when she passed away.
But it didn't stop there. My other two remaining cousins also succumbed to the same dreaded disease, the youngest cousin, Linda, was only 53 when she passed away, and the oldest of the three cousins, Bobby, also passed away when he was 63 from the same disease.
The only picture that I can readily find that has each of my cousins in it is this one, taken in 1969, with all of my paternal family cousins except for my oldest brother, who was away in the Air Force at the time. In this picture, my grandparents are standing in the center, and their grandchildren and three great grandchildren and a couple of "in-law grandchildren" are all together for a family reunion. (I wonder if you can pick me out of the group? This was taken about a month before I got married, and my hubby- to-be is standing next to me.) I won't try to pick out the others for you, but they were all there, probably one of the only times that I remember all our cousins together at once.
A month later some of this part of the family gathered again for our wedding. My Aunt Ruth is the 2nd from the right, her husband (Uncle Stu) is next to her, and her youngest child Linda is in front. My dear Aunt Marion is on the right end, and grandparents in the middle, and my uncle Stu's mother is on the far left.
I just don't have many pictures of my Aunt Ruth, but here is a favorite one of three special ladies:
My Aunt Marion is in front on the left, my mother is on the back, and Aunt Ruth is on the right. This was about the time my parents got married, and this picture was taken at my dad's family cabin in the Cook's Forest of Pennsylvania.
As far as "collections" go, I have these three German beer steins that my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Stu brought back to my grandparents from Germany, when they were over there in the service many years ago. Apparently my Dad got them from my grandparent's estate, and I received them from my Dad's estate. The pictures depict the different sides of each stein, to show the different pictures on them.
Don't ask my what the words are. I have no clue.
To sum this up, genetic research is ongoing regarding the fact that my aunt and all three of her children suffered the same fate with Early Onset Alzheimer's disease. There is now concern for the children of my cousins, whether or not they will also end up with the same disease. In the meantime, we pray for a cure.
I didn't intend for this post to end up on a sad note. But I guess I had to share their story so you would understand why that little pill bottle full of shark's teeth meant so much to me.
Hear the words of the prophet Isaiah 49:13-16
13. "Sing, O heavens!
Be joyful, O earth!
And break out in singing, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people,
and will have mercy on His afflicted.
14. But Zion said, 'The LORD has forgotten me,
and my Lord has forgotten me."
15. "Can a woman forget her nursing child,
and not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
16. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me."
Monday, July 27, 2020
Good Morning! It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...so I just thought I'd invite you in for a cup of tea! Won't you join me?
I'm trying out a new kind of tea that my sweet daughter in love gave me.
It's called "Wild Chaild" Chai tea. Not sure why my daughter in love would give me something called "Wild Chaild"...is it because of the "wild child" she married (my son), or is it because she perceives me to be a "wild child"...LOL No...actually she said she really loved the tea and she thought I might like it too. And so I tried it...and it is very good. Only one thing I might say...no need to add sugar, or if you do, just a very little bit. It seems to be a rather sweet blend and I over sweetened it with a teaspoon of sugar. This "wild chaild" is sweet enough! LOL.
I like the tagline that came with this tea bag:
"The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem."
Captain Jack Sparrow
Hmm, could probably write a whole post about that topic...but I will just leave it where it is and let you figure it out for yourself!
Last week I shared a post about the quilts that I have in my home.
While sipping my cup of "Wild Chaild" tea I was reading from this lovely book,
Timeless Treasures, written by Emile Barnes.
I came across this little message written by "Eliza Calvert...Aunt Jane of Kentucky".
I wish I'd seen it before I wrote the post about quilts, because it would have fit in with that so well. So I will just share it with you now because it certainly speaks the truth.
Whether or not you can create lovely quilts, or paint pictures, or take pictures with your camera, or write stories or journals, or do cross stitch, write letters, knit or crochet...do something that lasts and makes a difference in someone's life today.
Actually, being a good friend, neighbor, mother, daughter, daughter in love, mother in law, sister, grandmother, teacher..just being who you are makes a difference in someone's life.
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.
27. She watches over the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28. Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her..."
Today I hope to have a good attitude about any problem I may be facing...and I pray that I will make a positive difference in someone's life today! How about you? Have a blessed and beautiful day!
Friday, July 24, 2020
Are you ready for a little trip around Still Water Pond with me? I think it is about time, don't you? I haven't been out on the pond in over a week, and this morning I decided I didn't care how warm and muggy it is out there, a little voyage around the pond was just what I needed.
So come along with me and enjoy the ride. I will caution you, however, the rowing was rather difficult today. The water lilies are so thick in the pond that it is almost impossible to work our way through them. But once out there on the water, there was no turning back. It was a kind of spiritual challenge to keep going until I found a sense of peace and calm enveloping my soul.
13. "Brethren (sisters!), I do not count myself to have apprehended;
but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind
and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
I was surprised to discover this blackberry bush growing up through this old post from a long ago forgotten dock in the middle of the pond. Talk about perseverance! How is it growing there? Perhaps some bird left the seed while sitting on that perch eating some blackberries?
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
While I was laboring in my efforts to paddle around the pond today, I was praying for a sense of peace from the stresses of the world. And I also asked the Lord for something extra special to see today...and all of a sudden a duck flew up and away over on the other side by the bank. Of course I was too slow to get a picture of him, but then I looked again, and this lovely female wood duck swam into view:
She lingered a little while, contemplating her next move. I could tell she was anxious to join her mate who had flown away, but she seemed to be reluctant to join him too quickly. I wonder if they are nesting in that area and perhaps she was distraught about leaving her nest? I don't know, and I didn't want to get too close to disturb her. So I sat quietly in my kayak and thanked the Lord for allowing me to see her and that she sat still long enough for me to get a few pictures...
However, she could see me out of the corner of her eye and right after this picture she flew up up and away to join her mate.
So I rounded the bend in the pond and started my homeward stretch. The reflections were lovely here in the shadow of the trees of the little island, so I sat and reflected upon their beauty for another moment.
4. "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice!
5. Let your gentleness be known to all men.
The Lord is at hand.
6. Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God;
7. And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
I hope you enjoyed this little trip around the pond with me today. I must say that even though my arm muscles are tired from rowing against those lilies, the sense of peace and joy that I feel in my heart now is well worth the effort. And that is how it is in our journey through this life. We will face many challenges and struggles throughout our days, but when we reach that "goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14), it will be worth it all. We will forget those things that were behind us, and we will rejoice in the Lord carrying us through to victory.
Have a blessed and peaceful day my friends.
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Things have been a little tense right now. One of our friends was "censored" on Facebook for expressing her opinion on the current situation in America. Many of us feel the frustration of anytime we speak up for the truth or say anything in support of our President, we are bombarded with vitriol and hatred from the far left. I actually saw on the news this morning about a young man who is a teacher/coach at a school somewhere in America, who was fired from his position for tweeting that President Trump is his president. He did clarify that the reason he was "fired" was because there was so much backlash from parents and students, complaining to the school board that they did not want their child in this teacher's class...and so they gave him the option to resign or be fired. He said he would not resign, so he was fired. That is unbelievable, but it is true, and that is what is happening in our country today, among other horrible things. I don't want this to be a political post, but I do want us to be aware of the line that is being drawn down the middle of our country, and I pray that it does not affect our friendships here in blogland. I try to keep my blog posts as non-political as possible only because I believe we all need a break from the stress and anxiety of what is going on out there in the world today. But when we see the injustices and censorship that is happening all around us, I have to speak up for the truth.
I listened to an excellent short message from Priscilla Shirer online last night, entitled "Stay, Jesus is Coming". I am sharing it here for you. When I first clicked on it I wasn't sure who was speaking, but I looked it up to be sure, and was happy to find that it was Priscilla, as she has a powerful ministry that is based on God's Word and truth. I hope you will take a few minutes to listen to this. It really spoke to me about "staying, abiding, and remaining" in Jesus Christ during these turbulent times. I think you will be blessed.
The other thing that I found encouraging last night was this post:
The Whole Armor of God
"10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—"
I did make the comment to a friend that Facebook (social media) is not the ONLY method that God has to get His message out. What did we do before social media took over our lives? Well, we probably got a LOT MORE done than we do now in our homes and families and work without the constant distraction of these messengers. At one time email was the culprit for stealing our time and energy, and then it kind of became passe' when Facebook took over. Before that it was the telephone and the television. But God has been getting His message out to humanity since time began. He spoke to us through Moses and the Prophets, and then in the New Testament through Jesus and the Gospels and the Apostles in the Epistles...God's Word is alive and living and real...and His Word is
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
We can trust God to get His Word out through many different means, and if Facebook were to disappear from the world today, we would still have a voice, God would still raise up His warriors to fight in this battle between good and evil. But remember...no matter what happens, we already know that Jesus Christ is victorious over sin and death. I've read the end of the Book. I know how it ends. But I will still do my part to stand strong in Christ and go where He leads me and speak when He guides me. The most important thing we can do in this battle is first of all to get on our knees and PRAY. And then STAND....Stand in the knowledge that we are children of the Most High God, King of kings, and Lord of lords, and together we will win this battle. So don't give up, my friends...Stand strong in your faith and put your trust in the Lord. Amen?
Remember this song by Twila Paris? "The Warrior is a Child"
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
|This Anhinga was cooling off in the pond this morning. |
I've been a bit sloth to post here lately...it's been too hot to spend much time outside...haven't been out on the kayak because of the heat, and it seems as though the birds and the other wild things have gone into "hibernation" as well, probably also because of the heat. After all, it is the middle of summer in Florida! We do still take our early morning walk and an evening walk, but even then the humidity is enough to take your breath away! And so I am taking my cue from the critters and staying inside and out of the hot, sultry, muggy summer weather. Even my poor geranium plants that were on the front porch had to come inside to escape the heat. I am trying to save them, but I hope I am not too late!
This red one looks pretty sad.
And so I decided to do something a little different today. I think it would be fun if others of our friends wanted to do this as well...pick a day of the week to share your special collections, hobbies, things that are extra special to you. Some of you do this already in your regular posts and we always enjoy seeing the things that you love to do or things that are particularly special to you. I know many of us are at the stage in life where we are trying to "downsize" and eliminate extra "baggage" of so many things. When we moved last summer I honestly tried to do that. But I am afraid I did not make a very big dent in the accumulation of 50+ years of marriage. So much of what we have has been given to us through the years by family members, good friends, and just "stuff" that we enjoy having. Trust me, I know all too well that it is all just "things", and that we can't take it with us. I also know the Bible verses so very well:
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
I am trying to live by that truth, and pray that God knows my heart that these things are only temporary. Quite frankly, I am greatly looking forward to the day that I can leave this world and leave all the stuff and cares behind. But in the meantime, since I already have all these things, (and I am definitely not trying to add to these collections), why not enjoy them and share them with others so you can enjoy them along with me?
All that being said, today I wanted to share some special quilts with you. No, I did NOT create these lovely quilts. These were all gifts in one way or another...some are handmade, some are not. I'll share the history as we go. So sit back, get a cup of tea or coffee, or iced tea or lemonade since it is so warm, and let's enjoy the show!
This quilt block is probably the oldest "quilt" that I have.
Here is the description on the back, in my mother's handwriting:
What is interesting to me is that it was made by my paternal grandmother Elva Hill Mursch's "grandmother", Grandma Benner
However, my Grandma Elva Mursch was adopted as an infant, and this "grandmother" was really her adoptive grandmother. I am still in the process of researching my grandmother's birth parents, and will write another story about that someday. But I have to keep in mind, this "Grandma Benner" was the only grandmother my grandma ever knew. She never knew her birth parents or grandparents. This framed quilt square is a family treasure.
Now, this quilt is a store-bought quilt, but it is still very lovely. It was given to me by a friend years ago, and I love to use it on our bed.
These next few pictures are from a lovely quilt that was actually created especially for us by some of our church ladies at one of the churches where my husband served as Pastor. So that makes it another very special gift quilt.I forget what they called the pattern...maybe you will know. Every square is a different quilt pattern.
Now this is another special "treasure" quilt. My father actually created this
"Tumbling Block" wooden quilt, and gave it to me for Christmas one year. He made one for each of his children that particular year, and each one was a little bit different color. I think you could call this an original "Barn Quilt", since it is made of wood and each side of the "block" is a different piece of wood.
Now, this is another special quilt, especially made for me by my good friend Paula. It is what I call my "nap quilt", as I use it to cover me when I lie down for an afternoon nap.
I love the bold colors and design. It is just the right weight to keep the chill off when napping.
Now moving into the guest room...Here is my hubby's grandmother's antique sewing machine, where she used to sew many dresses for her four daughters, as well as make many many quilts. (Although I believe all of her quilts were hand sewn)
This is one of "Nanny Martin's" hand made quilts. She made a quilt for each of her grandchildren and gave it to them when they got married. This is ours. You can read more about this quilt HERE and HERE.
And this is "Nanny Martin", my husband's maternal grandmother. I am so thankful that I was privileged to know her before she passed away. She was indeed a very special woman.
As I said above, this is her Singer Sewing machine,
And these jars are filled with some of her buttons and wooden spools of thread.
Below is a Wedding Ring Quilt that I was blessed to purchase from the estate of a former member of one of our churches. It is a very old hand stitched quilt as well:
I have it on the foot of this bed in the guest room, where it can also be used as a "nap quilt".
The quilt on the wall is actually a vintage tablecloth that was quilted by the sister of a dear friend of mine who has since gone to be with the Lord. You can read more about this quilt HERE.
These cute little guys are sitting in an antique chair that belonged to "Nanny Martin". The tapestry blanket is not necessarily old, but it was a gift from my mother...
There is a portrait of my paternal grandfather's mother, so she would be my paternal Great-Grandmother Mary Vogt Mursch. She passed away when my grandfather was only about 12 years old, after bearing at least six children, two of which did not live past age two. My great-grandfather remarried and had one more child with his second wife.
This lovely cross-stitch was lovingly created for me by a dear friend many years ago.
"A friend loves at all times..."
These two little bears were gifts from my sister Doris. And yes, it is true:
"Sisters are the beary best!"
This pillow is very special. The embroidered design was done by "Nanny Martin", and I created it into a pillow for my husband's cousin Janice for her birthday, as Nanny Martin was also her grandmother, and Janice used to always have poodles. You can read more about her story here:
This little picture on the wall in the guest room is kind of special:
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow...
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead...
Just walk beside me and be my friend."
I will close with that thought. I hope that you have enjoyed this little walk through my quilts and memories. I do hope that you will share some of your special "treasures" with us in the near future. It is such fun to share these things with others. Since most of you will never come here to stay in my guest room, and I probably won't ever get to visit you and your home, this is one good way to share our special "treasures" with one another. I do hope you will, and be sure to let me know when you do!!
Okay, it's time to go crawl under my "nap quilt" and take a little nap! See you later!