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, November 28, 2023

Tuesday 4 and More

Good Morning from not so warm north central Florida! Looks like old man winter is catching up with us! It is 44 degrees right now as I write at 6:45 a.m., and the high will only reach 57 today.  Tomorrow morning it is supposed to get down to 37 degrees!  I know for many of you that is nothing...but for us here where we live, this is pretty chilly!  

It's time to pull out my "Christmas Flannel Shirt"...my normal house attire during the chilly days of December...

The birds have been quite active lately, gathering seeds to keep them warm...

Frankly, I love the cooler weather.  It helps get me more into the "Christmas spirit".  I am hoping to finally start putting away Thanksgiving decor and bringing out the Christmas things little by little.  I will have to wait for our son Scott to come this weekend to get everything out of the shed. It's a little too much and too awkward for us "old folks" to manage. 

I am still battling a lot of sore back muscles and other issues of that nature.  Last week I had a Doctor appointment to determine the progress of the healing of my torn bicep since having that stem cell procedure done a few months ago.  If there has been any progress at all, it is very very slow.  While in the office they put a "Tens unit" on my shoulder for a few minutes to see if that would help.  I'm not sure if it did or not as I've had a lot of issues since then.  However, they did send it home with me to try.  I haven't quite figured it out yet for myself, and I was too busy last week with Thanksgiving to take the time to study it. But after Sunday's episode, I'm thinking I may need some kind of intervention...
While at the Doctor's office he also prescribed a muscle relaxer for me to take. I have taken this medicine before, but this time the dosage was 2x a day instead of just once. I started out with just one a day, but on Saturday night I was really hurting so decided I needed to go ahead and take the second one as prescribed.  Let's just say that it was too much for this old gal to take. I was having terrible nightmares and had a hard time waking up. I actually had to miss church because of the effects of this, and the worst part is, I am still having the pain in my back/shoulder area like before. So no more of that stuff for me!   So anyway...I'm wondering if any of you have any experience with a "Tens" unit, and does it help? I would appreciate your input, and if you can come down here and help me figure out how to use it, that would be nice too. LOL.

Okay, so today is Tuesday and time for the Tuesday 4 meme.  I am not a big "fan" of Hollywood, but these questions are meant for fun and sharing our thoughts and experiences with our friends so we can get to know each other better.  So here we go!

Hooray for Hollywood!

Hello and welcome to Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4.

Per our hostess Annie: "Hollywood magic is well named. In Druidism the holly and it's wood were used in magic. Magic wands were often made of holly wood. Lightning will not strike holly so it is often planted next to homes to protect it. The word holly comes from the word holy and the holly tree was sacred in times past. Today Hollywood still churns out 'magic' and 'spellbinding' displays as well as 'stars in the firmament' who entertain, mesmerize and influence us."

I never knew this about "holly-wood", that lightning would not strike it! That's nice to know, since we have a large holly tree near to our house! (or rather a clump of holly trees grown together into one big tree!)

The birds certainly love the holly berries!

But that really isn't what we are here to talk about! LOL.

Let's talk about it....

1. Do you have a few favorite holiday movies you enjoy watching year after year? Do you make some popcorn to eat while you watch movies at home?
My favorite to watch during the Christmas season is "The Bishop's Wife".  We usually always watch one of the old Christmas Carol movies...I can't remember which one as there are so many.  No, we don't make popcorn while watching movies, but I think that sounds like a good idea.  There are other movies we watch too, but those are the ones I definitely want to watch.

2. Have you had a celebrity crush? Can we ask who it was?
Not really. I can't think of anyone in particular, and now I am too old for celebrity 'crushes'. LOL.

3. Do you have favorite actors/actresses whose movies you don't want to miss and what movie would you say is your all time favorite from those stars?
I loved the old Cary Grant movies, Gregory Peck,   Here is LINK to the last time we did this with a few similar questions that will answer this question. 

4. Have you met any famous Hollywood people in person or would you like to? Why or why not?
On my 10th birthday I met Gloria Swanson.

I even got her autograph on the photo above (which was in the newspaper!) and also in my little autograph book.  She was visiting at the grand opening of a new housing development in the area and it was quite a big event back in the day.  Strangely, that housing development today is probably pretty much a place you really wouldn't want to live...and definitely not movie star-worthy. LOL.

Okay, that's all folks.  It's time to get this chilly day started.  
Sunrise this morning

Before we go any further into "the Season"  of Christmas, let us never forget the "Reason" why we celebrate...

Internet Photo


Friday, November 24, 2023

Friday Foto Friends~Thanksgiving Roundup

Some people call today "Black Friday".  I call it the day of rest after Thanksgiving.

This is how the sky looked around 7:00 a.m. today..."Red sky at morning...shopping malls take warning...the shoppers are coming, come rain or shine!" LOL.   

But not me. I wouldn't go shopping today if my life depended on it...I'd rather stay home and relax and savor the sweet memories of the past few days...This was the sunrise yesterday morning...Thanksgiving day dawned bright and clear and quite chilly for us here in Florida, around 50 degrees...but it was a perfect day in every way...

Let's take a walk back in time over the past couple of days so I can remember it all while it is still "fresh" on my mind...

The first guests to arrive for Thanksgiving were the Sand Hill Crane Family and Mr. Great Blue Heron:

I tried to catch the photo of the Crane family flying across Still Waters Pond to come and have their Thanksgiving day breakfast along the shore...but my camera wasn't fast enough for them.  When they decide to pick up and fly, they do it quickly.  Mr. Heron just stayed calm and relaxed over on the post...

Mrs. Cardinal was nonplussed by their arrival. She just kept eating away at her breakfast at the lovely cut glass diner...

Mr. Heron must have been taking an early morning nap. He has his chin tucked into his wings and he's not paying any attention to what's going on around him.  Maybe he was up all night...

Of course, a lot of preparation for Thanksgiving day began the day before...and I needed all the help I could get. So Lily Grace volunteered to help me bake the pumpkin pies:

She really is a great little helper...she made sure we beat the eggs just right and then we put in the right amounts of spices...

And then she helped stir in the can of pumpkin...

Once the pies were baked she declared they were the prettiest pies we ever baked...

Now back to Thanksgiving morning...the table is all set and ready...

And some more of our special guests have arrived: Sugar and Spice are here to keep everything running smoothly...

Mr. and Mrs. Little Pilgrim are poised at their place on the table.  Hey! I just noticed today that Mrs. Pilgrim is a redhead, and Mr. Pilgrim has dark hair! Just like my hubby and me,  back when our hair was still "young"...LOL. Afraid it's not quite that bright anymore...

Finally everything was ready, and we asked the Lord's blessing on our food

And the serving/dining began:
It's so nice to see these smiling faces:

Even if he does have his eyes closed! LOL:
These turkeys were having a little chat and giving thanks that they weren't the ones being roasted today:
I guess I should have figured out how to take this picture with me in it too...but here's our family and our special guest, the "other Pamela", a dear friend from our church who is a "snow-bird" and we are her Florida family...

Oh, there I am, the two Pamela's could mean double trouble...LOL.

Scott was taking some random photos without us looking...everything was SO good we didn't want to waste anymore time with photos...
Rose and Benton were a big help...they cooked the turkey plus other things...and that was a BIG help to me!

After we finished eating but before everyone left the table we spent some time going around the table sharing what we were thankful for. It was a very sweet and moving time.  This is Scott telling his stories of thankfulness...

We were each and every one extremely grateful for all that God has done for us in this past year.
One special story I want to share...there is a dear couple in our church who we invited to join us for Thanksgiving dinner, but because the wife is currently undergoing treatments for cancer and is immunocompromised they could not come and dine with us.  However, she insisted on baking a pie for our dessert even though they couldn't be here.  Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of our desserts, and I wish I had because it was a beautiful pumpkin chiffon/coconut pie.  It was delicious.  I offered to send home dinner for them, but because of her illness she is very careful about what she can eat at this time and so they wanted to prepare their own meal. But what I want to share with you is what she said when I thanked her for the pie:  She said "I'm very thankful I could cook a meal today--I'm happy to see today...attitude is everything...cancer hates joy, so I choose joy!"    

Wow! That really touched my heart...and made me really think about the things I take for granted...and when she said "I choose joy",  I remembered this verse that I have sitting on my countertop in the kitchen, 

"The Joy of the Lord is your strength"  Nehemiah 8:10
You may remember the story of this little "Prayer Pillow" from this story on Mother's Day.  I love what my friend said, "so I choose joy".  Yes, I want to choose JOY each day as well. Something to really think about at this time of Thanksgiving and as we begin the advent of Christmas...

So as we faze out the Thanksgiving decor and have a last cup of Pumpkin Spice tea
while I sit here writing this post...

And before we get all caught up in the hustle and bustle of the "shop 'til you drop" season and all things leading up to Christmas...Let us take these last few moments of the day to remember to 
"Be thankful, grateful and blessed"...

And most of all, to choose JOY!

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Tuesday 4 Thankful


Hello friends and welcome to Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4.

Thanksgiving Day is about here. Let's talk about the holiday and thankfulness.

1. Whether you are from the USA or not, thankfulness is beneficial to a nation and people. Is it a natural thing for you to think of being thankful or is it something you must be reminded about?

Being thankful is something that I think about all of the time. Every day is a gift from God. Every breath I take is a gift from God. When I see the sorrows and perils and poverty around the world and even in our own community, I am thankful to God for His kindness and mercy and grace and blessings bestowed upon us, who are most unworthy. 

Psalm 136:1-3
1  Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
2 Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
3 Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever:

2. Plimoth Plantation is the site of the original settlement and everything is authentic to the 1600's including how they speak. Have you been to Plymouth Rock? How about the Plimoth Plantation (yes that is the proper spelling). Would you like to go visit these places? What places are you thankful for having seen?

I have never been to Plimoth Plantation or any of that area. I would love to visit it someday.  I do appreciate our country's history, and especially the courage of those Pilgrims who traveled so far to a new land so that they could have religious freedom.  They withstood many hardships and many did not survive that first year...but for those who did, it is quite fitting that they should set aside a special time of giving thanks to God, their Creator and Sustainer.  I love that they also shared that celebration with the local Native Americans.  It is sad how that early good relationship with them deteriorated as so many people flooded our continent and drove them out of their native lands. History cannot be re-written or erased, however, and we must not forget the "good, the bad, and the ugly" parts of our country's development over next many decades.  We should learn from our mistakes and teach our children the truth...and pray they will strive to do better in the future, with God's help.

3. Do you tune into the Macy's Parade ?
It may be on the TV, but I am usually too busy in the kitchen to pay much attention to it.  I do, however, love the old movie, "Miracle on 34th Street", and would rather watch that than the modern day parade.

4. What will you be eating on Thanksgiving Day this year?
The usual traditional dishes: Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green beans (not the casserole!), maybe a Corn pudding casserole, jello, rolls, and maybe some carrot and celery sticks if anyone gets around to fixing them...(me?)  Then there will be pumpkin pie and apple pie for dessert.  And whatever else we think of.  

We will be a smaller crowd than usual, just our immediate family here and one guest friend from our church.  Our extended families all decided to do their own thing this Thanksgiving due to health and family travel concerns, etc., and now I am missing them already.  I miss the anticipation of seeing our loved ones come through the door and hearing their voices and seeing their happy faces and enjoying their chatter around the table.  I wish now we could have managed to pull everyone together...but I guess as we age and  families scatter and grow it becomes more and more difficult to gather everyone under one roof for one day.  I am thankful we had a lovely family reunion in September with most of our family there. That helps me not feel too blue.

I spent a few minutes scrolling through the posts I've written over the past years about Thanksgiving, and it made me really miss everyone even more.  If you want to see what I am talking about, you can go to the link for "Thanksgiving" on the right column of my blog page and go back as far as you want. It definitely made me a bit nostalgic, but happy that we have such good memories.   I suspect many of you have similar feelings on these holidays. We can't always do what we remember doing back in our younger years. So we do the best we can with whoever we have...and if we don't have any family nearby, we can always create some family and invite over neighbors or friends or folks who have nowhere else to go for the day. That always makes for an interesting and delightful celebration. 

Well, friends, I'm sure we all have a lot to get done in the next 24-48 hours to prepare for Thanksgiving Day, so I will bring this to a close and wish you each and everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! May we always be counting our blessings and giving thanks to the Lord for what He has done!

If you want to join in this week's Thanksgiving meme, HERE is the Link.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Monday Monday!

It's a rather foggy Monday morning here beside Still Waters Pond.  

It's now about 9:00 a.m., and the fog just seems to be getting thicker rather than dissipating.

Makes me thankful to not be out on the roads this morning, but I pray for those who may be traveling for this Thanksgiving Holiday week.  Fog can be a traveler's worst enemy. So please, dear friends, wherever you are...if it is foggy, just wait a while before venturing out. I know we all get in a rush to "get to Grandma's house on time" for Thanksgiving...but it's better to be late than not show up at all...

So please be cautious and wait for the fog to lift.

The other afternoon I was sitting in the "Secret-Memorial Garden"...it was a beautiful sunny day after a week of clouds and rain, so I enjoyed soaking up a bit of sunshine and warmth.

I took a book out with me to the swing, thinking I would do some reading while I sat there, but that didn't happen. I hate to put my nose in a book while there is so much beauty around me. I'm always afraid I might miss something.

The title of the book was "The Waiting", one of those Amish fiction stories...this one by Suzanne Woods Fisher. It was a good book, and so I am reading several others by the same author. I tend to  check out everything I can find by a certain author until I've depleted their current works and then I move on to someone else.

However, the title "The Waiting" made me think about a song we were working on in our choir for the Advent season (which begins in a couple of weeks, btw...the four weeks leading up to Christmas), and so as I said there with this book on my lap, instead of reading it, I was humming/singing the song entitled "Waiting".  Here is a preview of the music, if you wish to sing along with it...

It included the following lyrics, but these are not all of the words...:

"Waiting, we are waiting for the coming King"

1 O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

I thought to myself how appropriate this song is especially for this year, as we see the conflicts going on in the Middle East and in particular in Israel. Sadly, many of those of the Jewish nation still do not know that Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, is their Messiah...their "Coming King"...and that He already came for them once as a tiny baby in a Manger...and they did not recognize Him then...so they are still waiting for "the coming King".  However, when Christ returns the second time it will be different...I pray that their eyes will be opened and their hearts will receive Him as their Messiah before it is too late...

Philippians 2:5-11
"5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Shifting gears a bit, the other evening I was cooking some zucchini with onions and tiny tomatoes, and it looked so pretty (before it got all cooked) that I just had to take a picture!  It did taste pretty good too.

Yesterday afternoon after church the kids came over for lunch and the guys watched football, so Rose and I decided to have a little tea party on the back porch overlooking Still Waters Pond.  It was a lovely afternoon and we enjoyed visiting and talking about Thanksgiving dinner plans and then a little about upcoming Christmas events, etc.  It was really relaxing and sweet. 

However, we had a couple of little faces poking through the window blinds, wanting to come outside with us. Sadly, our porch is not real puppy friendly because we really don't have much of a protective guard/rail out there for little pups. Their sweet little faces were so pitiful. We did take them for a nice walk.  We also talked about a plan to get some kind of "fencing" on the porch so they can come out with us. That may be a new project for after the holidays.  Too much else going on right now.

We also had some other visitors while we sat on the porch:

Yes, the whole Sand Hill Crane family came by to say hello. They headed straight for the bird feeder to see if there were any seeds on the ground for them. I think they found a few, and then they headed down into the pond to pull up tasty vegetation and whatever else they enjoy out there. They didn't seem to mind us being in their territory at all.  

After a while they flew back over across the pond to their roosting place for the night:

We are wondering how much longer the two young cranes will stay with the folks and if the parents will be nesting again this winter. Time will tell. I will keep you posted.

Later in the evening, after our kids had gone home to their "roosting place" for the night, I snuggled up in my recliner to finish that book.  You will notice that I am wrapped up in a blanket.  No, it really wasn't that cold, but I have discovered something new that is helping me a lot...
I tend to suffer a lot from pain in my neck, shoulder, arm, and back. I've tried all kinds of stinky analgesic ointments that are supposed to provide deep heat, etc., which they do, but they are stinky and the aroma is often too much for me to bear and I get a headache.  The doctor doesn't want me to use Ibuprofen so much because it is affecting my kidneys, and frankly, Tylenol doesn't do a thing to help. I don't want to take any stronger drugs, so I tend to just hurt a lot, especially if I've been doing too much like sweeping, cooking, standing on my feet too long doing things, or even sitting too long (or even staying in bed too long) . Basically, just about everything.  The Stem Cell procedure that I had on my left shoulder/arm really has not helped so I can't say that I could recommend that, but some people have benefitted from it, so I cannot totally disregard it's ability to heal. It just hasn't worked for me.   
I often resorted to using a heating pad on the areas that were hurting the most, but the heating pad is really too small to cover all of the areas at once and it is frustrating and painful to keep trying to get it positioned in just the right spot.  

So last week we were in Walmart, and I told hubby that I wanted to try something different. I've seen these heated "throw blankets"  and have wondered if they would really be warm enough to hit all the right places at once.  I told him this could be an early "Christmas present" for me, and so we decided to give it a try.  

I have to tell you that I LOVE this blanket!  It has 4 heat settings, and it wraps around all the places I need it to reach all at once.  I can use it in my recliner or even in the bed. It will shut off after 4 hours if you don't turn it off before then.  And yes, even here in Florida I have to tell you it feels wonderful to me!  It gives me great relief and I'm not struggling to keep moving it to touch all the right spots. So, in case you have similar issues but have not thought about trying this heated throw, I would like to recommend it!  It's the best $30.00 bucks I've spent in a long time!

And so I will close this Monday Monday post with those "comforting" thoughts.  I am very thankful for this discovery and really wanted to share it with you.
Also I am thankful that my sister's husband Art is feeling better...I didn't know it until yesterday afternoon that he had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance Saturday evening, with symptoms that appeared to be a possible stroke or maybe a TIA.  They admitted him and ran all kinds of tests overnight, but whatever it was that was so scary and apparent that afternoon  apparently was not a stroke or TIA, and they really don't know what it was, but they sent him back home late last night. 
This is a picture of my sister Doris and hubby Art back in April, when we celebrated their joint birthdays on April 5th.

 We are not planning to be together with them this week for Thanksgiving...they will be with their kids and we will be with ours. Now I wish we could be together, but we do plan to try to get together some time during the holiday season.  I would say let's just keep Art in our prayers and pray whatever it was doesn't happen again.   Thank you!

Okay, the fog has lifted and I need to lift myself up from this chair and get something done. We have our Ladies' and Men's Bible Studies this afternoon  (two different groups), so we need to get a few things done before we have to leave for that.