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!

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sunday Night Review...After the Storm...

 Wow! We sure had a humdinger of a storm last night/early this morning! We were awakened around 4:00 a.m. with the rain just pouring down on our metal roof, flashes of lightning and thunder, and lots of wind. It was somewhat frightening, but actually to our ears it sounded pretty wonderful as we  needed the rain so much. We prayed there would be no serious issue with wind/storm damage, but thanked the Lord for the abundance of rain! Our Still Waters Pond is especially grateful for the refilling of much needed water for the fish and frogs and all other pond life.  Here's a few pictures of before and after levels of water on the pond, with a few photos of our Sand Hill Crane family thrown in for interest as well...

This was the scene a couple of days ago, after we had had a little bit of rain, but not nearly enough...you can see how dry the shore line is and so many of the water lilies are dying on top of a "sea of mud"...however you can also see how big "Pat and Val" are getting...they are about 6 weeks old now.

How do they twist their necks and bodies around like that?  I wish I could move my neck like that. LOL.
Uh Oh! They saw me coming around the corner of the house and decided it was time to skeedaddle out of there before I got too close...The "colts" are getting stronger and stronger with their wings, and I noticed as they flapped them they almost left the ground...but not quite ready to fly just yet.

Anyway, you can see how muddy and dry the pond looks. They can literally walk across the pond with the exception of a few deep pockets here and there...
There they go...

But today....it's a totally different picture! There is water almost up to the original shoreline...

I caught Mr. Sand Hill Crane out for a stroll by himself this evening...probably needed a break from the family for a while...or maybe this is Mrs. Crane...either way...he or she was enjoying a little time alone before the rest of the gang arrived to settle in for the night over there on the marsh island where their nest area is...
What a difference one night of good solid rain makes!!

Although you can't see her there, Mrs. Bluebird is sitting right inside that birdhouse watching every move Mr. Crane is making back and forth in front of her house.  I think she is getting anxious for him to leave so she can get a breath of fresh air...
Eventually he worked his way back over to the garden and then moseyed on out to the pond again...
And because it was still quite windy I decided to head back inside myself.  OH, btw, because of the wind our power was out for about three hours this afternoon. Apparently a large tree fell on some wires somewhere in the neighborhood. Thankfully it didn't land on anyone's home or car, etc., but still it made us have to figure out how to live without electricity for a spell. Again, thankfully the day was surprisingly cooler and less humid after the storm and there was a nice breeze, so we didn't suffer one bit...except my cell phone died so we took a ride in the car so I could recharge it. LOL. 

This morning's song that our choir had pre-recorded earlier in the week really fit in perfectly with the stormy weather last night...

Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, help me stand.
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Thro’ the storm, thro’ the night, lead me on to the light.
Take my hand, precious Lord; lead me home.

When my way grows drear, previous Lord, linger near.
When my life is almost gone.
Hear my cry, hear my call, hold my hand lest I fall.
Take my hand, precious Lord; lead me home.

So wonderful to know that our "precious Lord" takes us by the hand and leads us through the storms and through the night, He leads us on to the light...and leads us home. What a comforting song!! 

BTW, if you listen to the rest of that video above, the pastor has a great message taken from Galatians 6:1-10 if you'd like to listen.  His sermons are always very scriptural and interesting...with wonderful messages for us to glean more of God's truth for our lives.

Speaking of church, today was the fifth Sunday, and as promised we had a potluck luncheon following the morning service. Of course there was way too much good food there to eat...what a blessing to have so many marvelous cooks! Doesn't every church have the best cooks in the land?
Here's a few pictures I took at the dinner.  

Oops! I caught this dear soul by surprise when she was trying to take a bite of food!  She probably wouldn't approve of this photo, but I think it's cute and she's a dear 90+ year old lady who is very precious!
Oh, I think I know these people below:

Yes, that would be my family...and looks like grandson Noah is deep in conversation with Grandpa...

Oh yes, there was a LOT of good food...and such sweet people...
That cake above with the blueberries on top was baked by my sweet DIL Rose. It was a lemon cake with blueberries and a white frosting over a lemon glaze. It was so moist and delicious...I want the recipe. She's a very good cook, btw.

It really was a great time of good food and fellowship, and the best part was the skies were bright and sunny this morning after the storm in time for everyone to make it to church on time without having to traipse through the rain with their covered dishes for the dinner, etc. God is good! All the time, God is good! And we are blessed.

Speaking of being blessed, this is our grandson mowing our front yard for us before the stormy weather crept in yesterday afternoon.

What a blessing to have him volunteer to take care of this for us! Yes, we are very thankful!

I guess that about sums up our Sunday in review.  And now I can settle in for the night and sleep peacefully...I don't think there are anymore storms on the horizon, but even if there are, I know Who is watching over me.

Psalm 4:7-8 NKJV
"7 You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Friday, April 28, 2023

Friday Foto Friends

 I know, Friday is almost over!  And I really don't have a LOT of photos to share...it's been one of those weeks where we just stayed busy and I never thought much about taking pictures! (Better check my temperature! LOL)  But it has been a great week and God has been blessing and blessing.  Today was the culmination of what makes for a great week in my mind...time spent with family!  We traveled down the road a ways to meet up with my sister and her hubby and my hubby's brother and his wife, so they could see our grandson Noah again and meet his sweet fiancee' Dawn for the first time.  Here we are:

Looks like the "girls against the boys" or something like that.  But we women wanted to talk girl talk and the men wanted to talk men talk, so a great time was had by all!!

Dawn has been busy all week creating more and more jewelry, and now has a display at Dixie Cottage where she is selling her jewelry on consignment:

These are just a few samples of her work...

I am happy for her to have this opportunity and pray that the jewelry will sell like hot cakes!

And these sweet little "Prayer Pillows" have become very popular! She has a very large order to fill for Mother's Day, and some other potential orders from special friends.
She wants them to be very rustic and "homemade" by design,, which I think adds to their sweet comfort. They can also have essential oils added for fragrance if desired.

Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
"For the word of God is living and powerful, 
and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, 
and of joints and marrow,
 and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

I am excited to see how God is working in this whole situation...one day at a time...prayers are being answered. Thank you to those of you who said you would pray...God is listening!

Oh, also today our sweet daughter in love Rose delivered a glass bird feeder from Dixie Cottage to my sister, who had ordered it from the store and we said we would deliver.
I know it sounds like we are still very involved at Dixie Cottage, and in a way I guess we are, with Dawn setting up her jewelry there and Benton and Rose still put furniture in there on consignment. Dawn also has volunteered to work in the store one day a week until she finds a "real job". I think she will be a great asset to the store, and I find myself wishing that she and Noah had shown up a few weeks earlier and maybe we wouldn't have sold the store...but God knows best...His ways are not our ways, and our kids needed to be able to "move on" from ownership of the store so they would be free to pursue some other things.  So I can't second guess God. I just have to trust that everything is working together for good for our whole family. (See Romans 8:28).  

What else is going on?  Let's see...I have been continuing my physical therapy two days a week, but it appears this was my last week.  The current "prescription" from the Dr. has run out and I really feel like I've done about all I can do there and will continue the exercises on my own at home (if I can remember!).  I still have good days and bad days as far as pain and soreness goes...mostly at night. Once I get up and move around I feel better, unless I stand too long working in the kitchen, at which time I announce to the family, "I'm in pain...someone else needs to come take over cleaning up!"  Works like a charm! LOL.  Seriously, the kids have been great to take charge of cleanup anyway without my having to ask, but sometimes it is just really extra nice to know I can go sit down in my recliner with the heating pad and let them take over.  Oh, btw, since Noah and Dawn have come to stay, we are actually having a lot more of what I call "communal family dinners" with our kids Benton and Rose. They bring whatever they have to put together with what we have and it helps with the food costs, etc. and we have a great time together.  Last night was spaghetti night. Rose brought extra ground beef to add to mine for the sauce, and also the garlic bread and some vegies for the salad.  They came early so we could cook it together and we all had fun visiting.  God is so good.

Dawn had made these sweet little "rose"  earrings for Rose.

She also made her a bracelet to match but I didn't get a picture of that! It was so pretty, I wish I had.

Well, tomorrow is another busy day. Son Scott will most likely be coming home to do laundry and to visit with the family. We always look forward to seeing him. There is also a community breakfast at our church in the morning, which hubby and I will attend. Not sure if the "kids" will be up in time, but they plan to go set up at the flea market anyway, weather permitting. Sunday is a "fifth Sunday", which means we will have a pot-luck luncheon after church, so I need to plan and prepare whatever I am taking for that.

I am sorry I am SO FAR behind in reading your posts, dear friends. I will try to get a little caught up over the weekend if I can. It's funny how quickly lives change, you know? This time, thankfully for the good. It's just that I'm a bit busier than I was and don't have quite as much "free time" as before, so bear with me.  

Have a blessed and wonderful weekend dear friends.  

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Sunday Joy!

 It's such glorious day today, a day to give praise to the Lord and be thankful for who He is and not just for what He's done, although His works are marvelous and beyond our greatest imaginations.  There's just so much to be thankful for today and every day...can a I get an "amen?"  Amen!  

I'll start with this morning and work backwards...

Here's the choir singing "Open My Eyes That I May See, Glimpses of Truth Thou Hast for Me"...
Here's the words to the hymn if you'd like to sing along:

"Open my eyes that I may see, glimpses of truth Thou hast for me.
Place in my hands the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee, ready, my God, Thy will to see.
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine.

Open my ears that I may hear voices of truth Thou sendest clear.
And while the wavenotes fall on my ear, everything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for Thee, ready, my God, Thy will to see.
Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine.

Open my mouth and let me bear, gladly the warm truth everywhere.
Open my heart, and let me prepare love with Thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for Thee, ready, my God, Thy will to see.
Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine."

Following the song the Pastor had a powerful message from Psalm 3.  If you wish to take the time to listen, I do believe you will be blessed by it.

What you can't see is our children's church kids sang a song for the congregation... This is only a part of the song because I knew if I tried to record the whole song it would be too long for this format, so this is just a "glimpse" of it, taken from behind them from where I was sitting in the choir loft:
They were so cute, as kids always are...and such a blessing to see them participating in church. We are very thankful for our children's workers as well.  They are a very dedicated group of people who are making a difference in these children's lives for eternity.

The next BIG joy of this morning, if you look on the right side about 1/2 way back you will see a tall person sitting in the pew with dark curly hair. That is our grandson, and his sweet fiancee' was right beside him.  

This was the first time they have visited our church, and I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this was for us!   Not only that, but they seemed to enjoy being there and said they look forward to coming back next week as well!  AND, one of the ladies of the church approached Dawn about making some more of her "prayer pillows" (that's what she's calling them now) for her to give to people.  I had mentioned in Sunday School to our class about how God blessed the kids yesterday at the flea market by having several sales of these little pillows with Scripture verses on them...and so this lady said she wanted at least 15 of them...which means Dawn has her work cut out for her!

Here they are yesterday at the Deep Creek Market/Farm Swap.  This was a new venture for them, and they were blessed to find a nice shady spot to settle in for the very warm day:

They were parked right next to this wagon that had geese for sale...(Which they were moved from the cage to a more open pen)

And these young Emus!!

yes, those are baby Emus!

Apparently several were sold to brave farmers! LOL.  They said that the deal was the people who bought two of the younger emu chicks also had to take a young baby chicken chick along with it as a package deal (for free), because the emus and the chick were friends, and they didn't want to separate them.  Of course, eventually the emus will be much much larger than the chicken, but they say they will always be friends because they've been growing up together from the beginning! Interesting!

Here's another interesting article on raising Emus, in case you are interested.  I think I will stick with our Sand Hill Cranes, who take care of themselves and need no fences.  Besides, I much prefer just watching them and enjoying them as opposed to thinking of them as a farm animal or source of food.

I guess this is enough for one day. I hope your SONday has been filled with joy and peace and rest from your labors.  It has been a wonderful day here on Still Waters Pond, and we continue to rejoice in what God has done...

Here's a comforting way to close for the day:

The  23rd Psalm, KJV

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
 thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Here's a few pictures of a Red Shouldered Hawk that was in our tree beside the Pond a couple of weeks ago. I see him flying about quite often, but rarely get a chance to take a picture of him. Actually there was another beside him, possibly his mate, just before  I took this picture, but it flew off into the trees.  Perhaps a hawk is not considered a peaceful bird to think about, but still it is one of God's amazing creatures, and so therefore I enjoy seeing it.

Good Night Friends!

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Thursday Thankfulness and Friday Foto Friends

 I'll start this post out with some different pictures from Still Waters Pond:

I was happy to see this "Little Blue Heron" out there one morning, and it was staying really close to what I thought was a Snowy Egret, but now after looking up the Heron I discovered that it was actually a Juvenile Little Blue Heron, which is totally white! Who'da thunk it???

I wondered why they were being such good friends...and now I know they may actually be related to one another!

And actually there were two of the white birds...I just didn't get them both in the same photo...
So maybe this was a mother Little Blue Heron and two youngsters? Now I am glad I was paying attention! We don't get to see them here very often!

Yes, I know I am way behind! It's been a busy week...But a good week.  Every day has had something going on and I've been trying to keep up, but, well...I hope you understand how it is...between church and family activities, physical therapy,  etc.  But I do have many things for which to be thankful...so here we go:

  • We did finally get our septic tank pumped out on Monday morning after a long weekend without the full functioning of the "facilities"... We sure were happy to see those people early Monday morning! Come to find out that there is a "filter" between the tank and the drain field, and apparently it is supposed to be cleaned every year...(who knew that???).  And yes, we could do it ourselves if we want to...just a matter of lifting a very heavy concrete 18" diameter lid and pulling out the metal filter and hosing it down...Okay...any volunteers?  LOL. As long as we have strong young people around to help, we can manage it, but eventually that will be one of those things that we'll have to just remember to call someone to take care of...

  • Speaking of having strong young people around...This week our grandson decided to start helping Grandpa clean out the shed.  It is a job that has needed doing ever since we moved here actually...we have just never really ever gotten around to getting it organized like it should be.
    So he worked diligently in sorting out things that needed to be kept and things that really needed to be pitched.  
  • And today our son came over with his pick up truck and they loaded up the stuff that needed to go to the dump 
(and yes, Dawn helped supervise the cleaning out of things and even had some good ideas for how to use some things that might have gone to the dump instead...)And off they went! 

It may not look it, but this is actually a great improvement!  And yes, this is still a work in progress!

  • Next item of thankfulness:  Hubby and I both had eye appointments today.  I thought for sure that I would need new lenses in my glasses, but apparently my eyes have not changed enough for that. I do have the very tiny beginning of a cataract, but the Dr. said it will be a while before it is ready for surgery.

However, my hubby is a different story...not only does he need glasses (which he hasn't had a prescription for glasses in a long while, but has used little reader glasses), but he also has small cataracts in both eyes that the Dr. said will probably need to be removed in a year or two. So thankfully we still both have time before we have to deal with that!  We are both thankful that other than that everything looks good.

  • I am thankful for our family and all the blessings of having them with us (and/or nearby).   We've been having great times together and just enjoying being "family".
  • I am thankful for the Ladies' Bible Study that I attend each week.  We've been studying the book of Acts this year. It is more than just straight "study time". We share burdens and joys and concerns with one another and pray for each other as well.  Sometimes God answers little prayers (and big ones) as we read and study God's Word together...we see things we maybe had never noticed before, or get a new or clearer perspective on what the Scriptures are saying.  This week as we focused on Acts chapter 8 and the story of Philip being led by the Holy Spirit to go and talk with the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40), we saw how "we can share the message (of Christ as our Messiah) with one person at a time, and leave the results to the Lord."   That was a huge comfort to me...especially the part about leaving the results with the Lord.  We are not responsible for how or when a person responds to God's truth found in His Word.  We are only responsible for being faithful to share God's Word as we are led by the Holy Spirit, and to live our lives in such a way that others will see Jesus living in us...and leave the rest to Him.  That is a big relief! It's God's business, and He will take care of the rest!
  • I am thankful for all of God's beautiful creation surrounding us each day. We just need to be present...open our eyes and see and appreciate what He has done for us.  And with that I will share a few more pictures from around Still Waters Pond  this week.  

Mrs. Bluebird is faithfully sitting on her nest and peeking out the window to see what's going on in the world around her...

And Mr. Bluebird comes and goes, bringing her food and keeping all the other birds away from the house...
Isn't he so very handsome?

How wonderful to see him in the early morning sunshine:

Hello out there!!! I sure wish it wasn't so hot in this house already!  But thankfully we have been getting some cool mornings and evenings that are very pleasant for everyone...

Mrs. Ruby Throated Hummingbird continues to come and go...

And our Sand Hill Crane Family also continue to keep us entertained each day...

The colts are getting very tall and I can tell their wings are growing stronger every day as well.

I love how they follow their parents around and are learning everything they need to know to live in this world by watching and copying what they see their parents do.

Here one of them is flapping her wings. I think she stepped into a deeper place on the pond and started flapping and swimming. However, the pond is so shallow now because of lack of rain that they can literally almost walk across the whole pond.  We really need rain badly!!

Now she is on firmer ground...

Finally the whole family made it across the pond and are headed around the shore to work their way back around the pond and to their resting place on the other side for the night.
And with that I will also say good night! 

Some thoughts from God's Word to ponder:

Isaiah 54:13 NKJV
"All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children."