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!

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Thursday Thankfulness Too!

This morning's sunrise started out quietly and yet with a promise of another beautiful day...

As many of you who have been following my past few posts are aware, today was the day scheduled for my appointment with a neurosurgeon to determine the next best course of action regarding the pain in my neck/arm.

And so not too long after this beautiful sunrise, we finished our morning devotions, had a light breakfast, and off we went to my appointment.  The doctor's office is about an hour's drive from our home.  The last time we were there, my hubby and I were admiring some interesting abstract art in the waiting area between appointments.  I was kicking myself that I didn't take any pictures of those paintings before, but today I had another opportunity.  Perhaps you will appreciate this interesting abstract art as well, and maybe you can see more in these paintings than I can:

Each canvas is quite large, perhaps 4' x 8'.  I love the color scheme used, and each picture has its own beauty...
I like this one the best, with a school of what appears to be fish or manatees swimming in one of our clear Florida springs.

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy them...and maybe you can share what you see in each picture.

Meanwhile, I know you want to know the results of my appointment.  The neurosurgeon has now agreed, after examining the results of the EMG test, etc., from my last visit, that I do indeed have cervical radiculopathy in my right arm, and the only way to "cure" it is with a cervical disc replacement and fusion.   Surgery is scheduled for October 25th.  My hubby and I were both amazed that the doctor said the surgery is an outpatient procedure, and that I should be better within a couple of weeks after...no need to wear a neck brace or collar or any of those antiquated things from the past...modern medicine has come a long way!! Praise God!!!  Hubby and I both stopped to pray and give thanks to the Lord for this comforting and wonderful answer to prayer before we even left the building.  God is so good.

I started out this morning rejoicing when I saw the sunrise and singing this little chorus that we sing in church on Sunday Morning at the beginning of the service:

"Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory!
Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory!
Rise and shine and (clap) give God the glory, glory!
Children of the Lord!!"

Then we went to eat an early lunch on the way home at the little cafe' we like to stop at called P.J's.  I've shown these signs from on their wall before, but they were especially special to me again today:

Just some good thoughts to close out this post today.  God is always working behind the scenes in our lives...bringing things together for our good. I am so thankful for His loving care and answers to prayer. He calmed my fears today and gave me great peace about this upcoming surgery.  Thank you for praying, and thank You, Jesus!!


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Wednesday Treasures: Thankfulness

Here it is Wednesday already!  "Hump Day" they call it.  When you get over the "hump" of Wednesday, you are on the way toward the weekend.  For working people, that is always a happy feeling. For retired people...well, one day is pretty much like the other, but yet we still look forward to the weekends, when routines change a little bit and there is always the possibility of something "fun" happening.

Last weekend was both fun and happy and I am so thankful.   Thankful for another year of life, thankful for family, friends, our home...and for the love of God in my life...

Thankful for a warm welcome whenever we return home from wherever we may roam...and there is always a warm welcome here for you as well...

Thankful for friends from near and far who took the time and energy to send me a birthday card...I was overwhelmed with the blessings of so many special cards from so many special people...and some of them might be reading this post right now.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness! You are each and every one a blessing to me.  Also thank you to the many who have commented on my posts the past few days...I've read every one but just haven't been able to comment on everyone because of all the activities going on...but I am trying to get around to visit each of you personally at your own posts, which I always look forward to reading as well.  Like daily letters or phone calls with "old friends". Treasures indeed.

I love this card from my sister...it reminds me of our childhood and the happy times we shared in a loving home.  We were blessed, and we are very very thankful for our family heritage.

The last couple of mornings we've had some interesting morning skies.  I always love to see the changes in the sunrise as it comes up over the horizon in the front of our house.  You have to keep watching to get the full glory of the gift of God of the beginning of another new day...

This morning (yesterday) started out kind of gray and cloudy, but within just a few minutes this same sky changed into a lovely blue, with the light of the sun brightening up the clouds and inviting us to rejoice in the beauty of another lovely autumn day...

Still Waters Pond is on the west side of our house, so we don't really have a sunrise over the pond, and yet the sun's rays reflect on the clouds and trees as it rises higher into the sky, and even the western skies begin to wake up and rejoice to see another new day:

Every moment is a little different...sometimes a bit better than the last...so don't quit watching. You might miss something!

Now today, the skies in the east were more subdued, and yet there is a lovely pastel glow growing in the sky as the sun rises more and more...

Each and every day has its own beauty...not like the day before, but new and fresh and full of promise...

Within five minutes the whole sky can change...and so can our lives...so we should always be watching, waiting, praying, and rejoicing in the blessings that God is bestowing upon us in every new moment.

Amazing! Just within the past few minutes while I've been writing this, the skies have changed again:

Each new picture has its own beauty and glory...

Psalm 19: 1-6....some verses I know I've shared many times before, but it always comes to mind when enjoying God's glories in the heavens:  (this is written in the Old King James version)

1 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. 
In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, 
and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof."

Yes, Wednesday is a good day to rejoice in the glories and beauties of God's magnificent creation,
and to be thankful.
Those are my treasures for today.
I hope you enjoyed them with me.


Monday, September 27, 2021

The Monday Morning After...

 Here it is, the Monday morning after a weekend of celebrations and blessings and such joy!  Even though we don't like to "get older"...we rejoice in the fact that God has given us another year to live and love and be thankful for all His many blessings.  And that brings me to a little picture tour of the rest of the weekend that you haven't seen as yet:

Be aware...these photos are VERY candid!  I gave our son Scott my cell phone and said "take some pictures".  That's a very dangerous thing to do.  He just starts snapping away and you never know exactly what you will get.  We had to delete quite a few that were just too silly or unflattering...but this is how we live...silly and sometimes unflattering, but happy and fun.  We had a rather late (for us) pizza supper after our "kids" got home from their store on Saturday evening. Hence the pizza boxes in the background and a very very casual setting.  And somewhat fuzzy pictures because of the lighting, but it is what it is.  Happy memories.  And yes, Lily Grace was there to help me blow out the candles.  She was quite excited to be a part of all the festivities, as you will see in further photos.  

Doesn't everyone have at least one unflattering photo of yourself blowing out your birthday candles? If not, you should. It's a very important part of life, and we should all be remembered for the way we blow out our candles and celebrate life! There are probably 71 unflattering photos of me blowing out birthday candles somewhere if I search hard enough.  Oh...and notice the apple pie? Remember I told you about that already HERE , and how it bubbled over in my oven while baking, making a not so pleasant burnt apple pie juice fragrance.  That is why the pie dish is still on that metal cookie sheet. The bottom is very very sticky...LOL.

Yay! I did it! I managed to blow out all 71 candles...LOL!!! (with a little help from my little friend).

Speaking of unflattering photos...I only am including this one because it is the only one Scott managed to get that also included my hubby in the photo. LOL.  We were savoring our apple pie ala mode.

Obviously the photos were not staged or planned...but there's our "kids", Rose and Benton, enjoying their pie with gusto...

and last but not least in this series of photos is the photographer himself, doing a selfie!
Let's give a round of applause to Scott the infamous photographer! LOL.  And no, Benton doesn't usually look like that.  It's just that this is the only picture of Scott, so there you have it. 

Again, this is life in our house. Nothing staged or perfectly choreographed. This is the stuff that memories are made of.

Now, that is not "The End" of the story. This was just Saturday night.  I believe I told you before that we would be gathering with extended family and friends on Sunday afternoon for a bigger celebration. This was to include the belated celebration for our son Benton's 50th birthday, as well as my birthday, and also celebrating some other members of our extended family who had birthdays in August and September.    And so, after church we gathered at our local Hog Wild Country Cafe' BBQ place to celebrate some more:

Yes, Lily Grace was there, much to the chagrin of some "grumpy old men" (just kidding), and to the delight of two new friends for Lily Grace. These ladies are two of my dearest friends from our previous home in Salt Springs. They had not had the joy of meeting Lily Grace yet, and as you can see, they were very pleased to meet her and she them.  I would let Lily tell you about this herself, but we decided together that this should be my story today. She may have another adventure to share later.

Here's some of the rest of the party...

And more of the family and friends who traveled from near and far to celebrate together...

Yes, I was there too. Acting my usual silly self... And Lily was waving at everyone...

We had cupcakes for dessert, thanks to my sweet sister in law Peggy, and don't you love that cute teacup napkin she brought?  She's always so thoughtful.

Speaking of tea...my sister Doris on the left below, and her hubby Art, gave me this lovely big tin of English Breakfast tea bags.  People know I love tea, and they make things extra special...even though I specifically said this party was to just be together...no gifts!! Some people just don't listen! Gotta love them.

Here's another special "tea" gift...

It's actually a salt and pepper shaker set...isn't it adorable?

Most of all I am thankful....thankful for my family and friends and all the wonderful joys and blessings we share together...

Thankful for God, and for the life He has given me all these years.  

For it is in God alone that "we live and move and have our being..." (see Acts 17:22-31)

So, as I bring this birthday celebration to a close, I look forward to a new year of blessings and joy and God's provision for all our needs.  We do not know what the future may hold, but when we observe all that God has done for us in the past, we know that He does not change, and we may expect Him to take care of all our needs for the future as well.

On another note, please keep me in prayer this Thursday as I will finally meet with the neurosurgeon again to discuss the findings of the neurological tests I had a couple of weeks ago.  I can already tell you that from what he has discovered, we will be discussing the possibility of a cervical spine fusion...so your prayers are much appreciated as we determine all possible alternatives and prognosis, etc, etc., etc.  I know I am in God's hands no matter what, so I am not afraid...but I just want to make the best and most beneficial decision for my well-being.  Thank you dear friends.

Have a blessed and wonderful week!!! 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Living in the Dash

 Today is my birthday! It marks the beginning date of my life here on earth, or at least the day I took my first breath of fresh air!  I began nine months prior to that, which would have been Christmas day!  

The story goes that my mother got a new Sunbeam Mixmaster for Christmas that year,

and she was SO happy, well...here I am, nine months later! LOL.  I always wondered why my parents called me their little "sunbeam". LOL.  Just thought I'd start this off with a laugh!  I never knew that story until I was an adult, of course...

Anyway, moving right along...today, __ # of years ago, I took my first breath...and you know the story about how on a tombstone you see two dates?  The birthdate, and then a DASH, and then the date of death.  The DASH represents all these years in between birth and death...in other words, our LIFE...and what we do with it.   We are all living in our "DASH" right now.  There is not enough room on a tombstone to list all the things we did during our "DASH"... but hopefully we are making an impact for good on someone, somewhere, someway, during our DASH years.  The things we do and say and think about and write about are all a part of our DASH.   That is our legacy that we leave behind us.  We can't take any of it with us...no fancy cars, houses, clothes or things...it all stays behind.  The only thing we can take with us are the things we do here that impact the lives of others for good, for Christ's sake.  

Have you ever heard the quote, "Only one life, twill soon be past; Only what's done for Christ will last." ? I had heard it many times in my early adult years, but never knew who said it.  I just looked it up. His name was Charles Studd, and he was a British Missionary, who lived from December 1860 - July 1931.  Being a missionary, I expect there's a lot of life and blessings in his DASH. Yikes, he only lived to be the very same age as me! Oops, I didn't mean to give that away.  

I just found this picture on Pinterest, but we actually used to have this exact same little plaque on our wall for many years. I don't know what happened to it. It may be in the bottom of a box somewhere. It was very old, but it always meant so much to us, I don't know why it disappeared.  It may show up someday.  But anyway...having a birthday tends to make one think about such things as how one is living her "DASH"...

I can only pray that my DASH will have many blessings attached to "what's done for Christ".

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."
Matthew 6:19-21

Speaking of moths...that cocoon is still just a cocoon...still waiting on the moth to appear...Meanwhile, deep inside the cocoon, there is life...that caterpillar that became a pupa is developing day by day into a beautiful moth, and one day he will emerge from his cocoon and breathe the fresh air and fly away to live his "DASH"...his life here on earth until he is called to his "heavenly home".   I do hope I will get to witness his debut into this world and see his beauty while it lasts...

Today we took a nice ride down to where we used to live in Salt Springs...just to relax and enjoy a country ride. We always stop at the boat ramp on Big Lake Kerr, (because they have a nice public potty), so that I can take some pictures of the lake and whatever other nature we may see.  Here's what I took today:

Yes...butterflies and moths! September seems to be a good month for these beauties to appear, and they are enjoying the nectar/pollen from these wild daisies while they last...

Oh, yes, I did look at the lake too...

looks like the maple leaves have already mostly left the trees...

It was a gorgeous day for being out on the water...

Oh, back to the butterflies...This Gulf Fritillary was hard to capture, but he finally stayed still long enough for a decent picture:

And the little skipper butterflies were busy too...

And then there was this magnificent Swallowtail flitting around...

Such beautiful blessings for my birthday celebration!

Oh about that...we will be having a "big" celebration tomorrow afternoon with family and friends, but today is just kind of a relaxing do what I want kind of day.  I took some pictures on Still Waters Pond this morning...oh wait...first there was this marvelous sunrise in the east:

And yes...the birthday rose from Matthew's memorial garden is still blooming beautifully today! It has lasted all week long, and every day has been such a fragrant blessing from heaven...

Meanwhile...these lovely Great White Egrets were enjoying an early breakfast on the pond...

Such a peaceful setting...

A little blurry, but you get the idea:

Oh, look who else was out there on the pond!  The Sand Hill Crane family!

And then there were these two Egrets again...they look like Siamese Twins! LOL.

All these blessings for my birthday just thrill my soul and make me so thankful for the ways God has blessed me over and over and over again.  

Yesterday morning hubby and I went to town to do a little shopping and we decided to go out to breakfast first.  The place we usually go to was too crowded, so we tried a new place:
Someone had told me they had the best huge cinnamon buns, and so I thought, "why not? It's my birthday afterall..."

Yes, it was HUGE, and VERY SWEET...

(the underside), and we took most of it home for our son Scott to enjoy later... and yes, we did have other real food too...delicious eggs, home fries, bacon, and home made bread toast. It was very good, and we'll probably go back again...

The decor was cute, and I liked the old style diner tables and chairs and booth seats

After breakfast we went to Home Depot and I picked up some mums:

(looking down at them from the deck)

Well, what else is there to say today?  I know I will have a lot more to say tomorrow afternoon after we have our family/friends gathering.  Right now I have put an apple pie in the oven and it has bubbled over and I can smell burned apple pie juice on the bottom of the oven...great...something to clean up later, AFTER we eat the pie of course.  Apple pie is my favorite kind of "birthday cake", which is what my mother always baked for me.  Usually my sister bakes an apple pie for my birthday, but since we are eating at a restaurant tomorrow I don't expect she will be able to do that and besides, I wanted one today!  My gift to myself! LOL (and the rest of the family who are here nearby).

So here it is! Fresh and hot out of the oven just now. Except for the burnt apple pie juice smell in the oven, the pie smells pretty good!!

Thank you for allowing me to reflect on life in the DASH today, my birthday.
You are all a very special part of my life, even though most of us have never met in person...we share our innermost thoughts and dreams and challenges here...and what we say and do here is all a part of
our individual "dashes".

"Only one life, 'twill soon be past;
Only what's done for Christ will last..."
Charles Studd

May your "dash" be filled with joy and blessings overflowing...until we meet again...good night!