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, June 30, 2022

Thankful Thursday and Hymns of Praise

Happy Thursday!! My Goodness! Here it is the last day of June already! Seems like just yesterday we turned the calendar pages over to a new month! 
And just a month ago we were watching a bluebird couple nesting in the bluebird house...waiting for their eggs to hatch.  Now here we are a month later, and that couple and their child have left that nest and we have another bluebird couple nesting in the other bluebird house, waiting for the eggs to hatch!  Seems like we are running a regular bird baby nursery around here!  First it was the Sand Hill Crane family, who are now out exploring the world together with their grown up "Colt"... and then earlier in the spring there was another bluebird family in this house below, who came back a month or so later to raise another brood in the other house (or maybe it was a different family...I can't keep track anymore), and now this couple is back in this house...so this will be the third set of bluebird nests so far this year. 

I was concerned last evening that perhaps the hawks had scared the bluebirds away, because I didn't see them in or out of the house for quite a long time.  But this morning they are back to their usual activities...Mr. Bluebird stays busy chasing away any other birds from any near proximity to the nest.
This was making it difficult for the other birds to get any food from the birdfeeder...

Such as the Cardinal family, of which there are also quite a few right now.  I've counted at least six Cardinals of varying stages of growth flying in and out of the yard to get birdseed throughout the day.

Hello you beautiful Mr. Cardinal!

So we decided to move the birdfeeder (once again...we keep moving it to keep it away from the bluebird house), and we have been rewarded with a grateful Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal and their children coming to dine.

This reminded me of the little table grace I remember saying as a child...

"Thank You for the world so sweet,

Thank You for the food we eat,

Thank You for the birds that sing,

Thank You, God, for everything!"

Oh, and just to throw in a little more variety, this beautiful Great White Egret has been spending some time here on Still Waters Pond lately:

Perhaps she was waiting for the Sand Hill Cranes to leave so she could have the pond to herself! (Actually, there are two of them, but I can only get one picture at a time!)

So, yes, I am thankful for the variety of wildlife and beauty we see here on Still Waters Pond every day. There is always something out there to entertain us!  

I am also thankful that hubby and I are finally feeling much much better, although my sinus issues are acting more like an allergy now and still giving me some sneezing fits now and then...But this morning we felt well enough to go outside and rake up some branches and leaves from under our Live Oak Trees. (That's probably where the sneezing fits came from...)  Of course, we came back inside and collapsed for a while, but very thankful that our house is cool and comfortable when it is so very hot and humid outside.

I am thankful that our son came home on Saturday and gave us a full report of his new job and new life in the big city.  Everything seems to be going very well for him and he seems very happy.  That is a huge answer to prayer, and we do hope and pray the good times continue to happen for him.  God is good.

Our other kids are doing well and keeping very busy at their business in St. Augustine, "Dixie Cottage".  Right now they are having a big"4th of July" sale and it has helped stir up some much needed sales. Things were starting to get a little slow with the way the economy is and people being gone away on vacations, etc.  Plus with the cost of gas and the fact that they commute quite a distance every day, their expenses are mounting.  They are trying to make some big decisions as they look to the future and what it may portend.  Prayers are always welcome.  Anyone who owns a small business in today's economy can certainly relate.

Most of all, I am thankful for the fact that no matter what the economy or world situation may look like, we have an anchor that keeps us secure.  When you are fastened to the Rock, a.k.a. Jesus Christ, you know that you will be safe in any kind of storm...whether economic, weather, health, or any kind of difficult situation.  Perhaps you'd like to sing along with me on this old hymn, "We Have An Anchor".

We Have An Anchor
(Written by Priscilla Owens)

"We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!"

1 Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!

2 Will your anchor hold in the straits of fear,
when the breakers roar and the reef is near?
While the surges rage, and the wild winds blow,
shall the angry waves then your bark o'erflow? [Refrain]

3 Will your anchor hold in the floods of death,
when the waters cold chill your latest breath?
On the rising tide you can never fail,
while your anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]

4 Will your eyes behold through the morning light
the city of gold and the harbour bright?
Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore,
when life's storms are past for evermore? [Refrain]

 I hope your anchor is grounded firm and deep in the Saviour's Love today.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Wednesday Treasures~Hawk Eyes and Wisdom

 I thought I would take the day off because I really didn't have any new "treasures" to share with you. We've not been doing much this past week since we've been sick, but we were finally feeling good enough to make a trip to Walmart this morning. Had to stock up on some essentials like toilet paper and Kleenex and stuff like that. Spent the rest of the day recuperating from the exertion. LOL.  Thankfully we have been able to take short walks each afternoon. It's been pretty warm, but we try to walk in a shady area and at least there was a nice breeze this evening. We just need rain. Every time our forecast says we are going to get rain it seems to take a detour around our area and keeps on moving further away.    

So anyway, we just got home from our walk a few minutes ago, and I could hear a hawk calling from somewhere around Still Waters Pond.  I grabbed my camera and headed out the back door to see if I could spot him somewhere in the trees.  He sounded like he was out there where I probably wouldn't be able to find him and I almost gave up and came back inside, but then I noticed this, sitting in a tree right in our yard:

I believe this is a Red-Shouldered Hawk, perhaps still a juvenile by the markings on the belly.

I will warn you, there are a lot of photos! He sat there an posed for me for quite a while, even while the other hawk was calling for him over and over again in the distance.

Apparently he was watching for something for supper...

He's giving his "hawk-eyes" a good work out.

Uh-oh, He spotted me!

He doesn't seem too impressed, however.

Maybe a little curious...

I hope you don't mind all of these photos...I couldn't stop snapping because I was hoping he'd do something interesting and I didn't want to miss it.

He's mostly listening to the calls of the other...a mate perhaps?

"I hear you!  Can't you keep quiet? I'm trying to hunt for some supper down here!"

"He's going to drive away all of my potential prey if he keeps hollering like that."

"Hmmph! How's a fella gonna eat?"

"I'm just a little bit perturbed..."

"Maybe I'll ruffle my feathers a bit and he'll get the message that I'm trying to sit here quietly and hunt..."

"Okay,  okay, already...I'll be there in a minute..."

"I guess I'd better get going...he's getting so impatient.  Been nice visiting with you..."

And with that he flew away into the trees where the other hawk was calling from.  

I have noticed that they've been much more active here lately...so perhaps it is mating season.
Here's a test for your hawk eyes...see if you can find the hawk in the picture below:
There was one definitely in these bushes along the shore of the pond yesterday afternoon, and it had actually caught something to eat, but we couldn't really see it very well. However, he is in this picture but I bet you will have a hard time finding him. Look right in the middle of the weeds, toward the bottom of the photo. He's there, trust me.

Well, I hope you enjoyed watching our hawk friend with me. 
Oh, I have a couple more pictures that I took a few days ago...
Remember I told you that when I cleaned out the bluebird nest from the bird house I found the nest still had one egg in it?  Well, upon further exploration I discovered there were two eggs still in the nest! So then I really felt kind of bad, like maybe I shouldn't have removed the nest from the birdhouse so soon.  But the parents had definitely abandoned the nest for several days after we saw the one young bird fledge from the nest.  I did some research and found that often they will leave eggs that did not hatch because either it had been too hot for them and they didn't develop, or for some reason they were never fertilized.  I don't know, I can imagine it being too hot because it definitely was very hot...but somehow the one birdie developed and survived.

So here is where I have left the nest with the two eggs, in the butterfly garden. So far it is still there, eggs intact.  And as far as I know, the other bluebird couple is still nesting in the other birdhouse. I haven't seen them today, but we've been in and out and it's been too hot to leave the blinds open so we haven't been looking.  But you can be sure I'll be watching and waiting.

Here's some thoughts about wisdom...something our world needs a lot more of these days:

Job 28:20-28
20“From where then does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
And concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Destruction and Death say,
‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’
23 God understands its way,
And He knows its place.
24 For He looks to the ends of the earth,
And sees under the whole heavens,
25 To establish a weight for the wind,
And apportion the waters by measure.
26 When He made a law for the rain,
And a path for the thunderbolt,
27 Then He saw wisdom and declared it;
He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.
28 And to man He said,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’ ”

Ah! Yes, that is where we will find wisdom...in the fear of the Lord...and when we depart from evil.
May God help us find that wisdom once again.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Tuesday 4 and More..."Looking Back"

 Good Morning Friends...I was a bit "awol" yesterday...been dealing with some health issues and finally went to the doctor. Praise God! I do NOT have the big ugly C-virus, but have had a bad sore throat and sinusitis this past weekend. Now I am on antibiotics and hopefully this too shall pass. My hubby has also been sick all last week with bronchitis, and he is finally on the mend as well.  So we just want to give thanks to God for His comfort and healing.   

So now it is Tuesday and time for Tuesday 4..., so buckle up and here we go:

Looking back...

Hello friends and once again welcome to Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4. I am so happy to have people joining in and making this so much fun.

"I am listening to a nostalgic music channel right now with songs of the 40's and it made me think that perhaps we could discuss some
nostalgia here. I hope you will enjoy thinking about these questions this week." (per Annie, our hostess)

1. What music were your parents listening to when you were a kid? Does that music bring back memories for you?
My parents loved the music of the 40's, since they met and were married in the early 40's.  They loved the Big Band Era, and always loved to listen to Guy Lombardo on New Year's Eve. Of course, every Saturday night we all had to watch the "Lawrence Welk" show on TV. They loved all of that music, and I enjoyed it too, actually. My father had quite a big record collection, and as he got older you could often find him in his special room, which was also his "Train Room" for his toy train collection, playing records while he worked on his trains. 

My Dad in his train room, showing off his train collection to my grandson Noah and my son Matthew.

My parents both loved music of all kinds. My mother had played a violin in her school orchestra, and then she took violin lessons again after she retired.  She was never what you would consider really really good at it, but she enjoyed playing and that is what mattered most. She also became their church choir director when she retired. And my Dad always sang in the choir as well as in Barber Shop Quartets/chorus. So yes, I heard all kinds of music in our home growing up. And yes, if I hear something that I know they loved, it definitely brings back happy memories.

2. What was your favorite meal and beverage as a teenager? Is it still or have things changed for you?
My mother in her kitchen, cooking up something good I am certain!

Gosh, I don't remember any particular favorite meal. Anything with mashed potatoes and gravy. I had two big older brothers who played football, and I used to try and eat as much as they did! I was always trying to impress them somehow I guess. Typical little baby sister.  LOL. My mother was a good cook and anything she cooked was good to me.  Beverage: My least favorite beverage was milk, unless it had chocolate in it.  We didn't drink iced-tea very often back then, so if it wasn't milk, it was probably water. However, I know I loved Root Beer and Root Beer Floats, or even a Coke Float. I didn't drink a lot of sodas, but when I did it was usually one of the above, or orange soda. As for today, I still love mashed potatoes and gravy with most any kind of roast or chicken. And I still don't like milk. I usually drink water with my meals, or unsweet iced tea. I rarely drink any kind of soda anymore, but occasionally a ginger ale or root beer. 

Looking forward to a wonderful turkey dinner...my sister Doris, my mother and my brother Clifford, and me:

3. As a teen did you live in a city, country, small town? What was it like for you there. Tell us about your hometown please?

This is a picture of my old hometown, the way I remember it most as a young girl.  It has changed quite a bit since this picture was taken in the 1950's, but to me this is the way it will forever be etched in my mind.

It seems like I've written quite a bit about my hometown before. Click HERE for the most recent post about my hometown.  There are other links within that post to previous posts about my home.  To sum it up, I grew up in a small town, which I loved dearly.  Our home was in the country, about three miles out from town. I loved living in the country, surrounded by woods and lakes. I guess that's why I am still a country girl, and still love the woods and lakes.  I don't think I could survive in the city for very long.

4. Would you like to live in your hometown today? Why or why not?
My hometown is still a very nice place to live, but most everyone I knew from there has moved on. I don't have any family living near there, and I think it would be very hard for me to go back "home" without them there. It just could never be the same again for me. However, I would certainly recommend it to anyone who was interested in living in that area. It's still a relatively small town in a prime central Florida region.  Where I currently live is about 70 miles from my "hometown", so I could still go back and visit pretty easily...but it would need to be for something special, like a class reunion or to meet up with old friends for lunch. Or sadly, for a funeral.  I've had to do that already for a classmate, and those are the kind of trips back home you hate to have to make...but the older we get, the more often I know that will happen.  We really need to get together more often while we are still able to enjoy our visit! So, if any of my "old friends" are reading this, we need to plan a get-together soon. We aren't getting any younger!

This is a picture from our 50 year-Class Reunion, which was about 4 years ago. There were only 50 members in our senior class, and sadly we've already said good-bye to way too many, and of those of us who remain, this was all who were able to attend.  We were a very close-knit group of kids. Most of us attended the same schools for all 12 years, so we literally grew up together.  Lots of precious memories of days of yore in this group of people...

This was our whole class in 2nd grade:

This is a close up of the section where I was...on the front row, to the right of the white kitty cat, and I had a flat hat on my head and a dark sweater;

So yes, I have a lot of precious memories from growing up in my hometown. But I've learned in life that you can never really go back and recapture the way it was.  It's better to cherish the precious memories in your heart and keep moving forward.  This is where our lives are today. 

Thank you, Annie, for coming up with these questions this week.  I hope you have a blessed and wonderful week!  

Friday, June 24, 2022

Friday Foto Friends~A Surprise, and an Answer to Prayer!

 Here it is Friday, and I have come up short in the "foto" department!  I guess I already used them all up in previous posts and things haven't been too exciting around here this week with hubby sick and it being too hot anyway to go anywhere or do anything.  Good news...hubby finally went to the Dr. this morning to be tested, and praise God! The test was negative.  However, they didn't have any open appointments for further evaluation today, but basically he's doing all they can do anyway...taking mucinex and tylenol and vitamin C.  Hopefully he will start feeling better before Sunday, or we'll have to miss church. But at least it's not the bad "C" word. Praise God!

So, I started out this post a few minutes ago with no new pictures to share, but I was hopeful that something would develop before I had to call it quits for today...and you will never guess what is going on outside my "Room With A View" window...

Yes, more bluebirds!!  I say "more", because I believe this is a totally different couple than the last one...

And they seem to be interested in the other house that is still for rent...

If you look at the top of the pole, that is Mr. Bluebird checking things out and looking down the chimney.

And he's checking out the roof to make sure it is sturdy and leak free.

And Mrs. Bluebird is inside inspecting the facilities to make sure they are clean and adequate. This is the house that we had to do some repairs to after the last tenants lived there. The door kept falling open (or was being pulled open by something), so we had to duct tape it shut.  

Mrs. Bluebird seems to think everything is just fine and she's letting Mr. Bluebird know that she's ready to take up housekeeping in this house.

Meanwhile, I thought since the housing market seems to be getting "hot" again, I'd better go clean out the other birdhouse that was just vacated on Sunday...

And look what I found inside the nest!  Another egg!!! Oh my! What to do?  Well, since the Bluebird family had moved out I assumed this was not a viable egg...it never hatched, and so the family just left it behind. That made me kind of sad, but I guess it isn't that uncommon.

So I just removed the nest and the egg from the birdhouse and laid it down on the ground in the garden as a kind of temporary memorial for the baby bird that did not get to be born and live. I don't know how long it will last there, but it just seemed like a fitting place to put it. 

And then, while I was writing this, we turned on the TV and here's the news we just saw:

I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am for this decision to overturn Roe v. Wade after so many years of our country allowing women to destroy their own babies in the womb, and even outside of the womb.  I realize that overturning this ruling will possibly create even more turmoil as it is reverted back to the states, but for now we can rejoice in knowing that finally our Supreme Court has done the right thing to save the lives of millions of unborn babies.  It can never bring back all the children who have so sadly been lost to such a horrific death, but hopefully now women will face the reality of what abortion truly means...the killing of an innocent life...and perhaps now they will consider other more appropriate alternatives such as adoption rather than destruction.
Praise God for this answer to so many prayers over the past fifty years.
I am so thankful that I lived to see this day.
Thank You, Jesus.

And now it is pouring down rain...much needed rain! Thank You again, dear Lord! Amen.