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, March 30, 2023

Thursday Thankfulness and Friday Foto Friends

 Hello Friends!! This week sure has flown right by! And I do mean "flown".  LOL. There's been a LOT of flying going on around here!  If you are a Facebook friend you may already have seen these photos last night. I won't post every single one all over again as it might get tiresome for some of you to see them again...but for those of you who aren't on Facebook I know you've been anxiously waiting to see what's been going on here at Still Waters Pond.  So let me get right down to it and then we'll move on to other stuff.

First let's start with our sweet "little" baby crane "colts", "Pat" and "Val".  As you can see from the pictures below, they are growing like weeds...they are such fun to watch as they try to keep up with Mom and Dad...when they have to run to catch up their little "arm-wings" flutter and flap as they go and it is just so cute to see.  

They spend their day following Mom and Dad around and eating, eating, eating.  

Here they are cleaning up spilled over bird seed from the bird feeder. I don't put out birdseed for them as it is actually against the law to feed them, I found out. But I can't stop them from cleaning up whatever is left on the ground after the birds  knock it out of the feeder.  

But they also find plenty of other things in the ground to eat, and Mom and Dad sometimes pick up something good for them and feed it to them.

Welcome to the garden, Little One.  Were you hoping for a tea party?

I actually bought this new tea cup feeder/tiny bird bath this past week at Dixie Cottage. I just couldn't resist it...

I did have it over here with the other one at first, 

But then decided I liked it over on this side better since it was on a lower post:

This is the cute little tag that came with it:
There will be more about that later...

Back to yesterday's events:   While the Crane family was peacefully walking around the yard eating, "Sylvester" the neighborhood cat came walking right through along the shore as pretty as you please. I don't think he realized that the crane family was there, or he may have taken a different route:

You can bet he almost thought he'd lost one of his nine lives when he saw Daddy Crane coming towards him to protect his young colts.

But thankfully Sylvester just kept on walking and didn't veer off course nor look to the left of him to even dare to peek at the babies.  I think he knew better!

Little Pat and Val just watched as he sauntered past (rather hurriedly) and wondered if he was a new playmate...
I am sure Mom and Dad Crane would have kept them from getting any closer.  And once the danger was past, the little family continued on their foraging as if nothing had almost happened.

Now, if you think this was all that was going on during this rather peaceful little scene, you would be mistaken.  There was a LOT of activity along the shore of Still Waters Pond all day long. Thankfully I was able to be at home and watch all the action from my front row seat behind the glass doors looking out over the porch.
So what else was going on you ask?  Well, not to be too confusing, I will handle one species at a time!
While the Crane family was walking all around the yard,

The baby bluebird had a front window seat as well, watching all the commotion from the security of his cozy nest inside the birdhouse:

He was busily watching the birds all around coming and going to the bird feeder
(The Goldfinches have been very active this spring!)

 and in addition to the cranes, the geese were coming and going all day, (and the cranes would chase them away)

And the squirrel was trying his best to figure out a way to get on the bird feeder, which I had to move out of his reach because he had figured out how to jump on top of it from the porch railing...

He even tried to do acrobatics from the weather vane to get higher and see if he could jump onto the feeder below:

Notice the Cranes are watching him. Mama or Daddy Crane would shoo him away if he got too close.

The Baby Bluebird was enjoying the show:

And all day long he kept coming out to see what was going on

While Daddy Bluebird was trying to entice him to come on out:
But he was stubborn and did not come out then, 
 I am one stubborn baby bluebird!!
No one is going to make me budge!

Oh, but wait! Did I tell you about the Hummingbird???  Well, in the middle of all this other activity, the female Ruby Throated Hummingbird came back from her winter sojourn south of here. Thankfully I had put out some fresh "nectar" (sugar water) just the night before. Those birds must have radar to know it was there already!
I was blessed to be able to get some pretty good pictures from my vantage point just inside the glass doors.  
Now you know why I don't get much done around here!
But actually, I had set up a little TV tray and worked on my cards for the month of April to get them ready to send out throughout the month to church members who have birthdays and/or anniversaries. It's a little ministry I do for the church, and yesterday was a perfect day to sit in front of the window and write out the cards in between watching birds!

It kept me in a happy, prayerful, thankful spirit as I watched God's amazing creation coming and going right before my eyes all morning long.  

Psalm 92:1-4
1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night,
3 On an instrument of ten strings,
On the lute,
And on the harp,
With harmonious sound.
4 For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of Your hands.

But as the day wore on, I was a bit frustrated that the bluebird baby never left the nest. I think the parents were getting tired of bringing food to it all day long, every few minutes, but also trying to encourage him to come out of the nest every time.

I mean, who could resist THAT juicy looking bug???

Well, it was almost dark, and I was sitting inside my little "room with a view" working on the computer, and I could hear a very loud "chirp, chirp, chirp" right outside my window.  I got up and went outside on the porch to see what I could see, and this is what I saw:

This was the baby bluebird, and he was hopping and trying to fly up toward the roof of the house, but landed on the top of the AC unit.  I was calmly talking to him as I got closer to take these pictures.

But just as he turned to look at me, out of the tree top above came a loud kind of clicking and whirring and screeching sound and I looked up just in time to see the daddy bluebird flying directly towards me like an F-15 Fighter Jet!

The baby Bluebird flew up into the tree, and I flew back into the house as fast as I could go before that angry, very protective daddy reached my eyeballs with his extended claws and beak!  I knew I was in trouble, but thankfully I made it back inside just in time! Shew! That was a close one!!

And so that is how the day ended.  When I got up this morning there was no sign of the bluebirds. We don't know how many babies were in the nest. If there were others they may have already gotten out while we weren't watching, or they came out during the night.  I could hear a lot of bird chatter up in the tree tops, but they didn't fly in for a visit.  I think I was relieved. LOL.

We decided to take a ride this morning and a nice walk in the woods. Here's a few pictures of some things that caught my eye:
Pine cones almost in my eyes...

Elder flowers...which will become elderberries!
Aren't they beautiful?

Thistle flowers...just don't try to pick them with your bare hands...notice the barbed thistles below:

But  the little skipper butterflies love the nectar from the flowers:

You may wonder why I have had so much time to watch the birds and take walks and rides in the morning, when normally I would be working at Dixie Cottage.  Well, friends, here's the scoop...
Our son and DIL have decided to sell Dixie Cottage to one of the vendors who currently has items in the store.  Our kids will continue to be vendors and paint furniture and do custom pieces to sell in the store, but they will no longer be the owners. This is actually an answer to prayer and definitely a God-blessing, first that a buyer could be found so quickly, and that it is someone who will keep the store just the way it is and will continue the same kind of services that Dixie Cottage is known for. Our son will still work in the store maybe one day a week. I may help out occasionally as needed, but not regularly. 
One of the main reasons they wanted to sell the store is so that they can take more time off to do some things they want and need to do.  One thing in particular, my sweet DIL's step-mother passed away a little while ago, leaving Rose's father alone in his home in Minnesota. He does have other children nearby, but he is not in real good health and he's in his 80's, and Rose would like to go spend some more time with him while she can. So they both plan to take about a month and travel up there this summer, and that would have been very difficult with trying to keep the store running, etc.  There are other reasons, but suffice it to say, it's an answer to prayer and we are very very thankful to God for taking care of this so quickly and perfectly.
But for our Florida friends and those who may be traveling in the area, I am still right here close by and would love to meet you there anytime and then we could go have lunch or visit here at our house. Just let me know when you are coming. We are not severing our ties with Dixie Cottage at all, but just won't be the one's "in charge" anymore.
And so that's our news...and it is good news indeed.

With that I will close out for the night.

Psalm 103:1-5, 22
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

22 Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Good Night friends!

On another note, I am, along with so many others, so very saddened and broken hearted over the senseless tragedy at the Christian School in Nashville this past week. There really are no words except that we pray for the families of those dear ones who lost their lives, and we pray for comfort for all those in the school and surrounding area who are seriously affected by this terrible event.  We live in a lost and broken world, and there are so many people who are in need of mental health care, but also in need of a Savior.  Only God can heal the brokenness in our world and change the hearts of those who are lost.  We must continue to pray and do our part to lead others to Christ, the Only Way to peace. Amen.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Tuesday 4: "Home Sweet Home"

Home Sweet Home

Welcome! It's time again for Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4.

How would it be if we talk about some things related to home?

1. What styles of d├ęcor do you like? Mid Century? Colonial? Contemporary?
Our home is a combination of family "heirlooms", most of which were handed down from our parents and/or grandparents.  Nothing is particularly valuable, except for its sentimental value. I've written about our furnishings before in places too numerous to list here, so I will just share one picture I took this week and explain. Well, you know me better than that. When have I ever been able to share "just one picture"? LOL.

This is our sofa. It is over 30 years old, and actually is still in great condition, except the original fabric underneath is a blue, taupe, and mauve flowered upholstery.  After so many years I got tired of it and decided to get a slipcover for it.

During the winter months I had put this buffalo plain flannel comforter over it to make it more wintry and cozy.

And now, I decided it was time for something more spring-like for a change:

This tapestry throw was something I had given my Mother years ago, because it had a pleasant farm scene on it, and she always loved the farm  and longed to be back living on one.  There's a cow on the top of it you can't see in this picture.
There, now you can see it:

And a sleepy cat taking a catnap beside the rocking chair on the porch:

I was happy I could reclaim this for my own when we were cleaning out my parents' home after they both had passed away.  When I look at this now I think of them both and how wonderful they were...and how comfortable their home was....and that's how I want my home to be...very comfortable for anyone who comes to visit.

2. What makes your bedroom comfortable?
Our bed and just the general coziness of it...and being with the one I love...

3 What do you think makes a home comfortable and welcoming?
The people who live there.  Warm hospitality...love and people who truly care...

It really has nothing to do with furniture or things. It's all about the love that is shared in that home that makes one feel comfortable and welcome.

4. Do you share your home with pets? Would you tell us about them please?
We don't have any pets of our own, but we do love our grandpuppies, Sugar and Spice:
We are always happy when they come to visit. They are such sweet little girls.

Right now we are on Baby Bluebird alert. 

This one is getting up his courage to stick his head out further and further from the nest...

Daddy was enticing him with a juicy bug, trying to encourage him to fly up and get it.

But as of this moment he has not "flown the coop".  I will keep you posted.