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!

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Tuesday 4 ~ An Autumn Day

 An Autumn Day

Hi friends. The weeks go by quickly and summer has turned to autumn so fast its amazing. It is time for Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4.

We have an invitation for a weekend at our friends estate...

1 We have a choice of skeet shooting, horseback riding, a sail on their lake or games on the lawn like lawn tennis, croquette, etc. Are you interested in one or will you stay at the house reading or talking with friends?
Oh my! So many fun choices!  Do I have to choose just one?  I will probably choose a brief sail on the lake (if someone else is doing the "driving"), a game of croquet, visiting with friends in the house or on the lawn, and if I were younger I would love to go for a horseback ride, but at this stage in life I know better than to attempt that.  I would be quite sore for a week if I did! LOL.  It all sounds lovely!

2. In the afternoon there is a hayride to enjoy fall colors and pumpkin or apple picking. Which one suits you best? How about a hayride to enjoy the fall colors and stop by the pumpkin patch to get a pumpkin and then stop at the apple orchard to pick some fresh apples. Then go back and sit around a campfire and sip hot spiced cider while we roast marshmallows and make s'mores while we wait for someone to bake a fresh apple pie! LOL.  I want it ALL!!!!!

3. In the evening there will be a choice of movies in their screening room. What movie gets your vote?   
I am not a big movie fan, but if it's something fun and either full of action or a romantic comedy, preferably a classic movie, not something new and tawdry...LOL, then those sound good.  I'd probably still be outside roasting marshmallows and visiting around the fire...

4. Our last night there is a costume ball. What will your costume or character be?
Oh dear, a real costume "ball"?  That sounds rather formal.  I believe I will be  Cinderella, and at midnight the giant pumpkin will arrive to take me away to dreamland.  This all sounds like a lovely dream! Thank you for a delightful Autumn Day!

Now, back to real time...Actually, this weekend we will be enjoying a lovely autumn day at my niece's home in North Carolina.  We will be having a family reunion of my family.  My next to oldest brother (Clifford) and his family will be there, and my sister (Doris) and some of her family will be there and my oldest brother's daughter and son and their families will be there. My oldest brother Russell passed away in 2019, and at our last family reunion of that particular fall we had a "Celebration of Life" for him.  This will be the first time we've all been back together since then.  Our son Benton and sweet DIL Rose will be going with us. Our son Scott won't be able to attend this time due to his work schedule.
I expect we will be doing some of the above activities while on this trip...playing some lawn games, sitting and visiting with each other, sitting around the campfire and making s'mores, eating lots of good food, and maybe even an apple pie...It will be a delightful time of just enjoying being "family".  
These pictures were from that last trip in 2019, but I expect it will look much the same this time as well:

So, until next time, this is where I'll be and what I'll be doing, for at least part of the time!

Thank you to so many who have sent such sweet birthday wishes!  I truly had a wonderful birthday, and I thank the Lord for so many wonderful friends and loved ones who made it extra special...Here's what happened after my last post...

Benton and Rose created this lovely new sign for my "Secret Garden", since the old sign had pretty well rotted and fell apart.  Isn't it beautiful?  Even has butterflies on it!! Now if I could just find my secret garden...LOL.

Sugar and Spice came to wish me a happy birthday too! Aren't they just precious???

And last, but certainly not least, God sent this beautiful rainbow to finish out my birthday with the sign of His promise!!    What a magnificent way to end a perfect day...God's sign that He is with us and will always be here for us...

Genesis 9:13-17
13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

It just doesn't get much better than that, does it?  

Thank you again for being here!  May God bless you all with His great love!!

Monday, September 25, 2023

Today is My Birthday!

A dear friend sent this song to me via text at 6:00 a.m.   I am glad I was already awake before I opened it and it started singing to me! LOL.  It was a great way to start my birthday...and yes, I danced!!  I know I come across as a bit of a stuffed shirt sometimes, but I do love to laugh and sing and dance for my own entertainment and exercise...it's a great way to get the heart pumping and the kinks out of this very OLD body!!  I was just reminiscing with this friend (via text) who sent me this song this morning...we were both young teenagers watching the Ed Sullivan show at that moment when he introduced the Beatles to America...and I remember wanting to scream and cry along with all the other girls in the audience, but I was at home in my living room, and my parents weren't going to let me get carried away with that or they would turn off the TV...so I sat there and screamed silently...LOL.   Were any of the rest of you watching? Some of you may be too young...it was a moment in time that changed the world of "rock n roll" for sure.  I did enjoy the Beatles for the first few years, but when they started dabbling more into the drug and hippie culture of the time I kind of tuned them out...besides by then I was getting married and singing a whole different tune.  But the Beatles will always hold a place in my young teenage heart memories.

"Today is Your Birthday", by the Beatles.

We already started celebrating yesterday after church by going out to lunch with family and some church friends.  When we arrived at the restaurant this beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly was waiting for me to take some pictures!

Looks like he's missing some of his tail, but he's still beautiful and I felt like it was a special gift from God to see him!!

Another Gift from God was this group of happy people sharing our lunch with us!

This cutie pie eating lemons is the granddaughter of one of my dear friends. I'm not sure how she could eat those lemons without puckering, but she did it!  She's a real sweetheart...

Another view of the table...

And this one shows the bear laughing at us from up on the wall...

And here's the photographer doing a selfie...our son Scott...

 After eating lunch the family came back to our house for dessert...apple pie!!  Of course there has to be the traditional picture of the big blowout:

And a toothy, happy birthday grin...

Here's the rest of the gang...sweet DIL Rose, sons Benton and Scott
and of course Lily Grace and her dog Bailey:

And hubby John

I was surprised to find this package on our front porch Sunday morning before we left for church. We didn't even know it had been delivered. Thankfully there had been no rain to soak it overnight!
It was actually from one of our special sweet blogging friends who loves to send surprises in the mail!

And it was chock full of surprises for sure!  Yes Lily Grace got in on the party...especially because this package was from her special friends in South Carolina where she originated from...

And yes, there was something in the package for Lily Grace...a sweet little fairy friend:

The package was full of so many fun and interesting surprises...this bird identifier is really cool:

And a lovely fan to keep me cool, calm and collected:

And a gorgeous fall bag:

Among many other fun and interesting little gifts.  I am always amazed when people do such special things so totally unexpected!

Tonight Benton and Rose are coming back over to finish off the day with Tacos and they are bringing me something that they have been working on that wasn't finished yesterday, and after all, today is my real birthday! LOL.  

To say I am blessed is a real understatement. I am truly blessed by God with good friends and family, and a loving Heavenly Father Who knows me so well.  I am truly grateful to Him for all He has done for me in these many years of life.  There have been happy times and sad times, wonderful days and difficult days...there have been times when I have wished we could stop time and start over again because things just weren't going the way I thought they should...but God, in His infinite wisdom and mercy and grace, has been there for me always...never allowing me to suffer beyond what grace He had to give to carry me through those difficult times.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

These verses do not say that God will not give you more than what you can bear, but what it does say that with that "temptation" or situation will give you the way "of escape, that you may be able to bear it."   Testing and trials will come in our life. God does not protect us from having these difficulties or sorrows...but He gives us the grace and the way to move on...He carries us through the tough times and tenderly sets us back down on solid ground once we are able to walk on our own once again. But He never leaves us nor forsakes us...He's right there ready to catch us again if we begin to falter.  "God is faithful"...even when we aren't.  If I could share any kind of testimony of my 73 years of life it would be summed up in this verse...that God is faithful...and He has always helped me able to bear the deep sorrows of life and has given me what I needed in the times of trial to survive and keep going.  And He will do that for you as well, dear friends...when you put your faith and trust in Him, 

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths."

That is the key to living a joy-filled and peaceful life, even in the midst of life's storms.  Don't trust your own instincts and so-called learned wisdom, but put your complete trust in the Lord...and He will always direct your path in the right direction and give you peace and comfort.

I will try to follow up later with the rest of today's story, but this week is going to get pretty hectic. We will be preparing for our family reunion trip this weekend and then on to the north Georgia mountains for a couple more days with our kids.  When we get back home hubby will be finally having a long awaited medical procedure and that will keep us both somewhat out of commission for doing much reading/writing for a while longer.  So if you don't hear much from me in the next few weeks, don't be alarmed.   We are doing what all of us have to do...living life and thanking God for His grace and love and great mercy.   I hope to touch base with you as I can...you are each and every one very special friends.  May God bless you all with His love and grace and peace. Amen.

Happy 8 year old me! LOL.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Happy First Day of Autumn!

Happy Saturday!!  I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend wherever you are! Especially since this is the first official day of Autumn!  I was thrilled that the temperature when we woke up this morning was 62 degrees!!! Now that was lovely!!!  For us here in Florida, we get really happy when the temperatures start dipping down in the 60's!!

I've been looking for signs of fall, and I took this picture the other day as I looked across Still Waters Pond to see the darker clouds forming above the white clouds, and I thought it looked like a snowcapped mountain. The leaves on the tree in front of it are kinds of turning orange...it is a maple tree, and for us here in Florida this is what fall looks like! 

Here's another picture of that same spot as the clouds got bigger and looked more formidable. We did actually have a thunderstorm a few minutes later, and thankfully we got lots and lots of rain! We needed it!  So very thankful to have it, because it's gone back to being dry and sunny again today and will be for a while...

After the rain I noticed this lone Sand Hill Crane standing over there on the other side of the pond. When I zoomed in to take this picture I discovered there was also a male Wood Duck swimming nearby!

In the next photo the duck was gone, but the crane was curling his neck around and making an interesting pose. I am wondering why he's alone...not sure if this is one of our little family we've been watching all year or another one...time will tell.  Interesting he's standing on one leg. 

We've been seeing the bluebird couple fly in every so often. They don't go in the birdhouse because it isn't nesting time yet, but they seem to like to hang around the neighborhood for old time's sake I guess. Of course we always enjoy seeing them no matter what the season!

Yesterday was a lovely morning as well, and so we took a little ride down the road to another boat ramp park on a different part of the Ocklawaha River/lake, similar to where we were last week , but this place is called Orange Springs.  The first thing I noticed were these amazing oak  trees blowing in the breeze with the sun shining through the moss covered branches...Aren't they gorgeous?

This is a great example to me of the verses from Isaiah 55:12

12 “For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."

And here's some photos of the actual Orange Springs Boat Ramp...

Oh, there's a Great Blue Heron hiding over there in the bushes along the shore...

Hopefully we didn't disturb her hunting for dinner...

Even though these photos are not very "fallish" for the first day of Autumn, it is typical of fall in Florida, at least this early. We will see some changes as the months go by, but the main thing is the weather is getting cooler and we are thankful!

"The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”
Isaiah 40:8


Friday, September 22, 2023

Friday Foto Friends Going Back in Time

 It's Friday again!! The weeks just keep rolling on and on and on!! Sometimes I wish we could get off of this "merry-go-round" and just stand still for a little while!

Maybe if someone could stop the music from playing...LOL

And stop beating on that bongo drum...

And let me play with my Humpty Dumpty in peace

And be the little Angel that I've always longed to be, 

instead of this "screaming"  (this was a happy scream because I got the Dr. Kit I wanted for Christmas)

or this "Wild" child in the woods who's gonna shoot you if you come any closer!

And then ride off into the sunset on this wild pony...

Maybe I really just need a nap...

Yes, let's "cheer" each other up...

and go join a whole bunch of "happy campers" for a while 
(actually the camp staff/counselors at the Warren W. Willis Youth Camp, summer of 1968...see if you can find me!  Hint, I'm on the back row toward the the left, standing in the middle of some boys!)

And when you want to find some inner peace, go sit on these silver benches along the shore and have your morning devotions...(along with those Sand Hill Cranes...)

And watch the sunrise...

How's that for a lovely way to start your day?

Internet Photo at Warren W. Willis Youth Camp, Leesburg, FL

Okay, that's it for today's post...stepping back in time a bit. Next week is my birthday, and I guess I am waxing a bit nostalgic this morning, plus I didn't have any decent new photos to share, so there you go!

Psalm 71:17-18
17 "O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come."

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Have a great weekend!!!