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!

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day Thoughts and Blessings

"Oh say, can you see
By the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed
At the twilight's last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars
Through the perilous fight
O'er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly, yeah, streaming?
And the rockets' red glare
The bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night
That our flag was still there
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free 
and the home of the brave!"

Thank You, Lord, for so many who have gone before us, fighting valiantly for the safety and protection of our great nation, and the freedoms we hold so dearly.
Help us remember and honor them today in our hearts, 
and never forget what it cost those brave soldiers and pioneers so that we could have the blessings of 
living in still the greatest nation in the world.
May it ever be blessed by You, Lord, and let us not take these freedoms for granted.
Help us remember that freedom is not free. It was paid by the blood of those who loved this country so much that they were willing to fight and lay down their lives for our sake.
May we never forget their sacrifice.
John 15:13 
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends"

Have a blessed Memorial Day, dear friends,
and take a moment to honor the memory of those great men and women
who gave their lives for us.

Meanwhile, I wanted to share a few Bluebird pictures...Yes, father Bluebird is still busily feeding his young family. Mother Bluebird is as well.

These pictures were taken last evening, and the lighting was getting dim, so they are not as clear as I'd like, but they are great close ups of father bluebird with supper in his mouth...ready to feed his hungry brood.

However, I learned that as long as I was sitting there on the porch taking his picture, he would not go to the birdhouse and feed them.

He soon flew away because I had not left yet.

And because of this pitiful face looking out the window, hungrily awaiting his supper, I decided I'd best go inside and allow them to be fed.

Usually around Memorial day we try to plant something in our Memorial Garden in memory of our son Matthew. He passed away from his valiant battle with cancer on May 25, 2014, which was actually Memorial Day weekend that year. And so every Memorial Day brings back those memories to us.

Recently, my sister Doris had given me a lovely new azalea bush, which she intended for us to put in the Memorial Garden. I've had it for a little while, but we just hadn't gotten around to planting it.

So over the weekend our son Scott finally planted it for me. It was starting to get a bit stressed from the heat and needed to get planted.

It doesn't look like much right now, but it will soon perk up and begin growing, and by next spring we should have some lovely azalea blossoms on it. We planted alongside some other smaller azalea bushes that we had planted earlier this spring in the "Secret Memorial Garden".
(Secret Garden and Memorial Garden combined)

When we come and sit in this lovely cool spot beside Still Waters Pond, we know that Matthew would be very pleased to be remembered here of all places. If he were still with us, he'd be out there fishing in that pond every chance he could.

Okay, what are you doing today to commemorate this day of remembrance?

Our church family is going to have a picnic today at the church parsonage.  It is a kind of celebration of coming through the pandemic this past year without losing any member of our church due to Covid. We were extremely blessed and very thankful. Our congregation is made up of primarily senior citizens over 70 years of age. The only person we even know who was diagnosed with Covid was actually a younger person in his 30's, and he came through just fine.  We are counting our blessings for sure. God has been very gracious to us and we give Him much thanks.

Have a blessed and beautiful day today.



Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sunday Morning Meditations: Be Ready and Watching!

24.  “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25.  the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26.  Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27.  And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.
Mark 13:24-27

 "Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen."
Revelation 1:7

16.  "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord."
I Thessalonians 4:16-17

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” 
says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, 
the Almighty.”
Revelation 1:8

Some sobering thoughts to ponder this Sunday morning.  The cloud pictures were taken on my way home Friday afternoon with my sweet daughter in love. We thought about how wonderful it would be to see Jesus coming through those clouds, coming to take us "home".  I know I am ready for that day to come....what about you?

Here is our worship service for this Memorial Day weekend. I hope you will enjoy the message and the song by the choir: I Sing a Song of the Saints of God:

1. I sing a song of the saints of God,
patient and brave and true,
who toiled and fought and lived and died
for the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
and one was a shepherdess on the green;
they were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
God helping, to be one too.

2. They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,
and his love made them strong;
and they followed the right for Jesus' sake
the whole of their good lives long.
And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,
and one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
and there's not any reason, no, not the least,
why I shouldn't be one too.

3. They lived not only in ages past;
there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints
who love to do Jesus' will.
You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,
in church, by the sea, in the house next door;
they are saints of God, whether rich or poor,
and I mean to be one too.

 Have a blessed and beautiful SONday!  And be ready and watching for the Lord's return. 

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."
Matthew 24:36-44

Friday, May 28, 2021

Friday Foto Friends: Baby Bluebirds

 First there was one


Then there were two

"Where's our food?"

Then there were three...   "Someone call our parents! We're suffocating in this hot birdhouse! And we're very hungry!!"

But danger lurked in the shadows...   ("Hush...there's something out there! It's big and furry!")

The neighborhood kitty seemed oblivious at first...but then later her ears picked up the sound of the chirping birds and she was quite attentive to where the sound was coming from. Finally my son had to throw a ball at the cat to get her to leave. Don't worry, she wasn't hurt...but she got the message, and hopefully she will stay away...but I rather doubt it.

"Where's Mother and Father when we need them most?"

Hoping and praying these little baby bluebirds can make it out safely!

"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
Matthew 6:26

They have new worlds to explore

And new "friends" to meet

Genesis 1:20-22
20 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

Hopefully there will be a happy update and ending to this little story of the Bluebird Babies.

Today I will be spending the day at Dixie Cottage with my daughter in love Rose so my son can have a day at home to work on the many custom orders and building projects he has stacking up. (Praise God!)  The hardest part of running their business is that they have so much good business they don't have time to do the custom orders and painting that they need to do to keep things stocked and fulfill the orders they have if they have to be at the store every day too.  So I am going to try to give them one day a week, helping Rose in the store so Benton can stay at home and work. It's a good problem to have, and we are all very thankful.

So if you need me today, here is where I'll be:

They are having a "blue tag sale" on specifically marked items today, so hopefully it will be a good day!

Bye bye for now! 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Pillow Talk and Pipe Dreams

 I haven't been writing as much lately...trying to spend less time at the computer these days as I seem to have strained muscles in my neck and shoulders and sitting at the computer makes it worse...or is it the cause? Whichever, I need to limit my time here, so please forgive me if I don't make it around to everyone's posts every day. I am trying...I love to hear from each of you and hate to miss your news and views!!  I keep trying out different pillows thinking that is my problem. I have been tempted to order one of those "My Pillows" from TV...has anyone else tried them? They are a bit too pricey for my budget, but if I keep buying new pillows at Walmart I might as well buy a "My Pillow" and be done with it...but do they actually work better than a cheap pillow? I would like to hear from some real people who have purchased them. What kind of pillow do you like best?

I really haven't had much to share anyway...we haven't had any big adventures or activities worth writing about...haven't taken many pictures either. I guess I am just kind of in a slump, so bear with me while I pull myself back up and out and get back on track.  So here's what I have managed to accomplish:

This past Saturday I bought some awesome delicious juicy ripe peaches. I never buy peaches at the grocery store because they are never good...they usually are hard and then by the time they ripen they are rotten. So when I can find a good fresh peach at a farmstand, I am thrilled. These were actually good enough to eat!!

And before we ate up all of them, I wanted to make a peach cobbler. As many of you know, yesterday was a kind of bittersweet day in our lives. It was the 7th anniversary of the passing of our dear son Matthew from this life to his heavenly home. 

This is a great picture of the way he often looked...
taken on July 4, 2009, before he was diagnosed in 2010 with the cancer that would take his life in 2014.
I always prefer to remember him this way, with this exuberance for life shining out from his face.

Anyway, it helps on these special "anniversary dates" to keep busy and do something positive. So we invited "the kids" over for a spaghetti supper last night and had this peach-blueberry cobbler for dessert.
Sorry I forgot to take a picture of it when it came out of the oven. This is all that is left this morning:

It was yummy. I added the blueberries because I really didn't have enough peaches left to make a good cobbler. But blueberries and peaches go well together, and this turned out really good.

I got the recipe from this church cookbook, which came from the church where I worked as the Church Administrator for quite a few years before retiring:

Here's the recipe, and as I said, I combined peaches and blueberries, about two cups of each:

I'm sure some of you may wonder if we ever see our Geese family anymore. Well, we drove over to the neighborhood where they are now living with their extended family, and this is what we saw:

One of the neighbors saw me out there taking pictures and asked me what I was doing there, so I explained about our little goose family and how they left our pond to go live in their bigger lake with the rest of the flock, and I asked her if she knew for sure if there was a family with three young goslings in this bunch.  She said "Oh yes! There is a family with three young ones, and a family with two young ones, and then some other adults."  I can't tell if our babies are in this group or not. They all seem too big to me to be our youngsters.  I think there were more that I couldn't see from my vantage point, but the lady confirmed to me that they are there and they are well aware of them, so that made me feel good to know.  The other evening as I was sitting outside in my Secret Memorial Garden a group of five geese flew over the pond and honked at me all the way across the pond. I wondered if it could be our little family saying hello...but I just don't know if the goslings would be that big yet...maybe they are?

Speaking of baby birds...Our bluebird couple has been quite actively feeding their youngsters every day, all day long. I am sure the babies will be making their appearance soon. I keep watching and hoping we will get a glimpse of them before they fly the nest.

They sure are getting some juicy grasshoppers to eat!

Now, switching gears, literally...

This is a picture of our son Scott's project car, his '91 Camaro Z28. 

He has a long time interest in classic Camaros, and this is probably the 4th or 5th one he has had. He had Mustangs for a little while, but his first love is the Camaro, so this is what he works on and enjoys driving when things are working just right.

In these pictures he had just installed a new radiator and was very proud of the work he had done as a self-taught mechanic.

I have to tell you a little story...the other day on his day off he was going to drive the Camaro back to the golf course where he works (50 miles away) because they have a garage there where he can work on his car. He had mentioned that he would have to put the car on jack stands to work on the exhaust system. (see pictures below of the exhaust pipes he was going to install)

Well, I had expressed some concern about him working under the car with just jack stands because he said no one else would be around and he would be there alone. I've heard too many stories of people being crushed under cars I guess, and so I was a bit concerned about this scenario, which he assured me he would be just fine and that I was not to worry.  But I am a mother. Need I say more?
Well, anyway, we had gone to church and out to lunch, and when we got home, Scott was still at the house, and I was surprised to see him there because he thought he'd be gone all day. 

Well, here's what happened.  On his way to the place, only about 2 miles from  home, his brand new radiator boiled over and went dry...and he had to make an emergency stop at the nearest place he could pull over, which happened to be the Dollar General. He waited for the car to cool down, and then added a gallon or two of water, and drove back home.  He said apparently the cap on the radiator had a crack in it and the pressure had leaked out or something like that, which caused it to dry up.  So he couldn't go work on his car at the shop with the jack-stands after all! And now he has to replace the radiator all over again. But he is safe and God protected him...and I consider that perhaps that was God's way of  protecting him from something that could have been far worse than a dry radiator!  
Praise God!
I am so thankful for this young man with his sense of humor, blowing the trumpet!

So that's that for today. I hope you are having a wonderful day/week. Remember to hug your loved ones tight every opportunity you can. Like is just too short...we never know what the new day may bring.

Saw this on Facebook this morning:

And that's the truth.
Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

A Time for Singing - Updated

This post was originally shared in 2019, but here we are again today, two years later. Not much has changed since then...we still miss our son every single day, but life does go on, and we like to remember to good times, the happy days we had together. So that will be our continued new song of life...as we give thanks to the Lord or the sweet memories we had together while we could.  And we have great hope for the day when we will all be reunited in heaven again. So thankful for that great hope through Christ Jesus our Lord.

"Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
 Sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, bless His name;

Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
 Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.

For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised..."
Psalm 96:1-4

 Today marks the 5th  7th anniversary of the date that our dear son Matthew entered heaven's gates. I always like to remember him this way...goofy and fun loving and full of laughter...

 This was our last family portrait together three months before he passed.  Our family had all gathered to celebrate his 41st birthday:

It's been five   seven years...and a lot has happened in those five  seven years...things that Matthew hasn't been here with us to enjoy or participate in...but I don't want to be sad today. I want to celebrate his life...not his death. I want to remember the happy times we had together...and look forward to the time we will all be together again someday forever.  

You may ask me how I can "Sing to the Lord a new song!" when we have had such sorrow.  Well, I can sing because of Jesus...because of Jesus, Who died for me and for you and all of our loved ones...so that we can one day celebrate together again in heaven.  

I can sing, because Jesus told His disciples in John 14:1-4, 6

1.  "Let not your heart be troubled;
you believe in God, believe also in Me.
2.  In My Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you.  
I go to prepare a place for you.
3.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself,
that where I am, there you may be also.
4.  And where I go you know, and the way you know...

6.  "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me."

And so today, as we remember Matthew, I am singing a new song in my heart.
Because of Jesus, I have hope in my heart. 
Therefore, I sing.

Some previous posts about Matthew: