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!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Public Service Announcement and Morning Reflections.

PSA:  Hello fellow bloggers, I wanted to repeat this message below in case you didn't see it before. 

 If you notice up in the right hand corner of the sidebar, I have added a button for a new way to  follow this blog by email, called:

If you currently follow my blog(s) via email notification only, starting in July the previous method (Feedburner) will no longer be sending notification of my new posts to you by email.  In order to receive this notification, you will have to resubscribe using this new link to "Follow It."  I do hope you will continue to follow my posts via email by using this new method. If you also follow me on The Adventures of Lily Grace  via email, you will have to go over to that blog page and select the "Follow this blog" icon there as well.

 I've noticed that several of you are still wondering what to do about the follow by email (Feedburner) issue. This is what I did...and you can also go to follow.it to set up your own new email subscription service for your blog. It was pretty easy to do, even for me.  I have noticed, however, that it takes about a day for the service to update and notify readers of the new posts.  But, better late than never!

Meanwhile here at home, here's what's going on:

Mr. Great Blue Heron showed up for breakfast:

I love watching him hunt his way along the shoreline of Still Waters Pond, ever alert for that ripple of water from a fish swirling around in search of insects on the surface, 

and for the croaking of the frogs among the lily pads and reeds...

And even stopping to scratch his own face with his foot (below)...I kind of laughed and said, "Is that little itch trying to tell you something?"  But he didn't hear me and paid me no mind...just kept on hunting for breakfast...

He started to go back that way...

And then changed his mind and headed this a-way, where the fish must be biting more vigorously...

I know these are a lot of pictures, but if you take the time to enjoy each one for its own beauty, you will see why I couldn't stop taking pictures. I love the reflections on the water...

And the changes in the shadow and light,
as the morning sun filters through the trees and reflects more of the surrounding grasses and trees upon the water...

I hope you aren't bored. I just didn't want you to miss any of these pictures...

As Mr. Heron moved more into the sun he began to fade out a bit, and soon was on his way around the bend where I could no longer follow him. It was time for our breakfast as well, so time for me to come back to reality...

Thank you to all of you who have been so kind in your comments regarding my "neck" situation. I wanted to update you to let you know that I have requested a referral to a different group of neurosurgeons at the University of Florida/Shands hospital, and am waiting to hear back from them. Hopefully they will have something available sooner than September. I am doing fine with the medication as it has calmed the nerves and muscles so that I am not having those spasms in my neck, but if you've ever had a muscle relaxer before, you know how I feel...very relaxed...and I know I can't stay on this medication forever.  So hoping for some answers as to whatever the next step is, and praying for wisdom and healing.  

Here's some good thoughts to reflect upon today from the devotional "Choose Grace":

Yes, I choose to live in peace today, no matter what comes my way. How about you?  Thank you for visiting.  I am slowly but surely trying to work my way around to everyone else. I'm just a bit slower than usual...

Monday, June 28, 2021

Be Still My Soul...

Hello! I was just sitting here in my "Room with a View", looking out the window as I was trying to decide what to write about, and there were these three Sand Hill Cranes walking about on the other side of Still Waters Pond. So I hopped up and went out on the porch and took a few pictures...

I hadn't seen them lately...they are the little family that would sometimes fly in and fly out, I thought earlier in the year looking for a good place for a nest, but the Canada Geese had already beat them to it so they went elsewhere.

But then a few months later came back and brought their "baby" with them. So they show up now and again and have a snack on the pond and then fly up and over the house and away to who knows where for the night.

So, just after they flew away, and I do mean literally up and over the house right up in front of me...I thought they were aiming right for my window but shot straight up and over the house at the last minute...not long after as I was trying to once again organize by thoughts about what I should write...the sky looked like this, and I had to run back out on the porch to take some more pictures...

I mean, who can resist a lovely sunset right before your very eyes? 

I know I can't. I wait until the very last, or until the bugs start biting ferociously, whichever comes first...

Snapping pictures every minute as the skies change right before our eyes...

And finally the bugs got the better of me and I headed inside, but it was worth the pain of a few bug bites...

Previously I had been sitting out on our swing, enjoying the sounds of the frogs on the pond and the stillness of the evening setting in, wishing I had some friends and family to come join me in the afterglow of day...but I had to realize that summertime in Florida really isn't the time to sit outside in the evening for very long.  If it's not too hot and muggy, it's definitely too buggy.  When I relayed my feelings about wishing we could have a gathering outside in the evening, my hubby reminded me of those details, but promised when the weather cools down in the fall and the mosquitoes go away, we can begin to really enjoy our back yard and set up our firepit and do all the things I love to do.  

I sure hope he remembers his promise to do this in the fall, because things might be a little different for me this fall.  In case you've wondered, I did finally get the results of the MRI I had a few weeks ago on my neck...(remember THIS post a while ago?)  Just as I kind of figured, my neck is a mess with bulging disks and impinged nerves, etc., etc., and I have been referred to a neurosurgeon for further examination.  I finally got a call from his office today, telling me the earliest appointment he can see me is September 1st! Wow!  Meanwhile, I am on some strong medication to relieve the pain and spasms in my neck, but I don't know how long I can stay on that without further treatment. So, unless the doctor gets a cancellation and can see me sooner, (or if we decide to look for a different doctor who isn't so booked...but this one came highly recommended)...I'm kind of being put "on hold" for a while as far as making any plans or going anywhere or doing anything beyond the essential regular routine. Thankfully the medication is helping to relieve the nerve pain, but I kind of feel like I am in "la la land" and don't think I should drive or do anything too "exciting". 

So I hope you enjoy the pictures of the lovely blossoms on the Rose of Sharon bush in the Secret Memorial Garden,
and the myriads of new hollyberries ripening on the big holly tree...

I was thrilled to see so many berries again after last year's record "crop" and the flocks of Robins and Cedar Waxwings who showed up to eat them on their way south for the winter...

All this wonderful rain we've been having seems to have helped them develop and multiply!

For now I've ceased helping out at our kids' "Dixie Cottage" store once a week because not being able to rest during the day was putting extra strain on my neck (I missed my nap! LOL) , and we've also had to put off our plans to go to Maine in October to visit our grandson. I am just having to pace myself and not overdo it or things flare up again.

So that's that. Hopefully there will be some non-surgical alternatives that will help relieve this condition. I really hadn't counted on having to wait so long to even talk to a neurosurgeon, but I guess that is just the way it is these days.  I know I am not alone in having to wait for specialized treatment, and many people are in much worse condition that I am in, so I am trying to remain positive and not complain...just a bit frustrated right now. I don't like taking medicine if there is a better way.
So I tell you all of this not for sympathy or even for advice, but would just appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we seek these answers. 

This popped up in my little "Choose Grace" devotional book. Thought it was appropriate for today and for what I'm currently experiencing:

Yes, Lord, thank You for the gift of "stillness" (beside Still Waters Pond?), and again, help me to learn to wait patiently for You.  Amen.

I just realized as I was typing this that one of my friends at church and fellow choir member has asked me to sing a duet with her in the near future, "Be Still My Soul"... Hmmm...God must be trying to tell me something again...

1 Be still, my soul! for God is on your side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain:
leave to your God to order and provide,
who through all changes faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul! your best, your heav’nly Friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2 Be still, my soul! for God will undertake
to guide the future surely as the past.
Your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be clear at last.
Be still, my soul! the waves and winds still know
the voice that calmed their fury long ago.

3 Be still, my soul! the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever in God's peace;
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
love’s joys restored, our strivings all shall cease.
Be still my soul! when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Good Night.


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Love Lifted Me

Good Sunday Morning!
Hope you are having a beautiful SONday wherever you are!

Come join us in singing "Love Lifted Me" and then stay for the sermon from our wonderful Pastor, if you please...

"I was sinking deep in sin
Far from the peaceful shore
Very deeply stained within
Sinking to rise no more
But the Master of the sea
Heard my despairing cry
From the waters lifted me
Now safe am I

Love lifted me
Love lifted me
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me
Love lifted me
Love lifted me
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me

All my heart to Him I give
Ever to Him I'll cling
In His blessed presence live
And ever His praises sing
Love so mighty and so true
It merits my soul's best songs
Faithful, loving service, too
To Him belongs


Souls in danger, look above,
Jesus completely saves;
He will lift you by His love
Out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea,
Billows His will obey;
He your Savior wants to be—
Be saved today."


This little Mrs. Bluebird might have felt like she was "sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore" these past few days...

It has rained and rained and rained. And thundered and thundered and thundered, with angry flashes of lightning all around.

And finally when the rain would let up for a while...

She would pop her head back out of her house and look around as if to say, "Is it safe to come out yet?"

And then she'd fly away for a little while to gather more twigs for her nest, where I am assuming she is already sitting on some new eggs. Father Bluebird  comes around regularly to check on her and guard the nest from any intruders.   So she feels safe inside knowing she is being cared for.

How much like our Heavenly Father is that?  He is always right there, watching over us, guarding our "nest" so that we are safe from those who would seek to do us harm.  

Some good references for this can be found in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:36-41, and Luke 8:22-25.

My favorite verses come from Matthew 8:25-26

"Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, 
“Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, 
and there was a great calm."

And even when our little "boat" of life is tossing in the tempestuous seas so that we fear we may sink and never rise up again, all we have to do is cry out to Jesus, and He will be right there to lift us up out of the depths and put us back on solid ground. He will calm the waves and the angry seas around us and give us peace once again.  Our part is to have faith and believe...Jesus' part is to save us. And He will...because He loves us.

Today let us keep our faith in God no matter what the world may be tossing at us.  He is there to rescue us and save us from all that would seek to do us harm. There is no need to fear...Jesus is always near.

On a different note, if you notice up in the right hand corner of the sidebar, I have added a button for a new way to  follow this blog by email, called:

If you currently follow my blog(s) via email notification only, starting in July the previous method (Feedburner) will no longer be sending notification of my new posts to you by email.  In order to receive this notification, you will have to resubscribe using this new link to "Follow It."  I do hope you will continue to follow my posts via email by using this new method. If you also follow me on The Adventures of Lily Grace  via email, you will have to go over to that blog page and select the "Follow this blog" icon there as well.

Once you have subscribed using this new method, please let me know if you have any problems in receiving notification for my posts. Since this is all new to me, I won't know if it works unless you let me know! Thank you for your patience as we try to work through these new technological issues.

"I focus on this one thing: 
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead."
Philippians 3:13 


Friday, June 25, 2021

Friday Foto Friends...Today

It's Friday, and this week we have had so much rain that we really haven't been out much, at least not out enough to see much that is interesting.  However, last evening after the rain, as the sun was going down over Still Waters Pond, everything was golden for a little while. 

The day had been mostly dark and gloomy and very stormy, but by evening the rains had stopped and the sun was sending out its last fleeting shining moments before darkness took over for the night.

And then this morning, when we arose from our beds and looked out over the pond, this is what we saw:

That glorious full moon, in its last reflective moments before slipping down behind the trees and giving way to the morning sun.

And now we have the morning sun rising in the eastern sky...

It  is looking a bit overcast at best, as we have more rain on the way according to the forecast.

This kind of feels like a "Genesis" moment:

"Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good; 
and God divided the light from the darkness.
God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. 
So the evening and the morning were the first day."
Genesis 1:3-5

So, if this were the first day of the rest of your life, which it is, by the way... what would you do differently?  Would you make any changes in how you live...what you do and say, what you eat...the places you go, the things you think about or dream about...

Something to think about.  But then I read this in my little devotional book, "Choose Grace":

Ah! Good thoughts for this day...let us live fully in the present, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), trusting Him to guide us through each step of this day and beyond. If today were the only day I had left in this life, I would want to live it with joy and thanksgiving for this very moment, fully immersed in His grace, knowing that I am His beloved child. There could be nothing better than that...

Have a blessed and beautiful day today, my friends, whatever you do, wherever you are...be blessed.

On another note, Please join me in prayer for those families and people who have been affected by the terrible building collapse in Miami. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones, and for those who are still awaiting news of those who are still missing. Such a horrific tragedy.

Footnote to my "Followers", On July 1st, blogger will no longer support the "Follow by Email" (Feedburner) format. It you are following this blog only by email notification, that will stop on July 1st. However, you can still follow me here at  https://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/ (For Closed Doors Open Windows) and also for my friends who enjoy reading The Adventures of Lily Grace, you can follow us at https://adventuresoflilygrace.blogspot.com/

If I can figure out how to set up another follow by email format, I will let you know. But for now this will be it.  Thank you for being one of my dear friends here in blogland. I do hope you will continue to follow this blog as often as you are able, and leave a comment so I know you've been here!  

Have a blessed day!


Monday, June 21, 2021

Rainy Days and Mondays...

I can't believe that the month of June is almost over...here it is the first day of summer already! Although here in Florida it has felt like summer for a couple of months...
I have been admiring this beautiful picture on my John Sloane's Country Seasons June calendar...
"The Rose Arbor".  Oh, wouldn't it be lovely to have a rose arbor covered with so many beautiful roses? 

I don't seem to have the green thumb to manage such beauty, so I rely on God's handiwork for summer flowers:
These lovely pink flowers adorn the shore of Still Waters Pond right now. They are so lovely to look at from my "Room With a View"

I was outside picking these flowers and listening to the rumble of thunder coming from the distance...

So I had to hurry and pick a few and bring them inside so I can enjoy them here as well:

The rain is just about to start, and Lily Grace has been sitting there watching for the bluebirds all day as they come and go, building their nest in the birdhouse getting ready for the next clutch of eggs to be laid.

We haven't been out on many "adventures" lately, so Lily just has to be patient until the rains go away and we can get outside and do something fun again.

However, our family did do something fun yesterday for Father's Day. After church we headed down to the local "Hog Wild Country Cafe" bbq place for lunch.  It's always a fun place to gather with friends and family for a good meal.
Here's hubby with two of our wonderful sons.

And here's our sweet daughter in love Rose with our oldest son Benton.

It's always fun to have some of our church friends go out to dinner with us.

Today being a rainy day and Monday, I won't let it get me down...been thinking about some sweet memories from childhood.  My sister Doris posted this picture on Facebook this morning. It is a vintage greeting card, but it really got her attention and she had to send it to me.  She said, "Here we are!"
And yes, I had to agree!  When we were little girls on the farm in Pennsylvania, we had a beautiful wicker baby doll buggy much like this one below,  except ours was a pretty shade of light green. We loved playing with our dollies out in the yard of our old farmhouse...which looked a lot like this picture.

Sadly, when I was five years old, my daddy sold the farm and we moved to Florida. Farming was very difficult back in the 1950's.  You either had to have lots of money or borrow lots of money from the government to keep going, and he didn't want to do that.  It was a sad day when our house and most all of the furniture and the farm equipment and animals, etc., were all auctioned off...even our beloved dog Laddie was sold.  What furniture we wanted to keep was put in my uncle's barn until we could come back and pick it up to move it to Florida. Then we loaded what we could into a small trailer that Daddy pulled behind our '55 Chevy, and off we went to Florida, to live in a small apartment until a better house could be found. Eventually Daddy built us a wonderful house, and we went back to Pennsylvania to bring down the rest of our things, which included our beloved doll buggy.  However, when we got to my uncle's house, it wasn't there anymore. I'm not sure what happened to it, there never was a good explanation as to what had happened to that and some other things.  I was very young and really don't remember the details, except for the fact that our beautiful doll buggy was gone. I've never forgotten it.

Well, fast forward 50 + years, and we were cleaning out my parents' home after their passing.  Up in the attic of the "carriage house" workshop that Daddy built was this beautiful little wicker doll carriage. My mother collected dolls and had found this buggy somewhere and it was stashed away among their "treasures". 

Of course I wanted it as soon as I saw it, but wanted to make sure that it would be okay for me to take it.  My oldest brother was the executor of the estate and saw no problem in me having it. 

My other brother and my sister both agreed that I should have it as well...
because you see not long before that I had been given this special sweet baby doll,
"Baby Elva", whom, if you've known me for very long, you should already know her story.  If not, HERE it is again.

And so, even though it isn't the exact same baby doll buggy from my childhood, it is close enough and it is as though my mother had saved it for this special baby who arrived a few years after my mother's passing.

So that's my story for this rainy Monday afternoon. I hope you enjoyed coming along with me down memory lane for a little while.

Just some thoughts from the "Choose Grace" devotional:

"Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." 
Psalm 27:14