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!

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Saturday Wanderings...Some of Us need Rain, and Some Don't!

 Happy Saturday Morning everyone! (it was morning when I started writing this post, but it's been a long day! LOL)  No, we are not "wandering" all over the state of Florida, but I wanted to share this map to give some perspective on where we live as opposed to where all the flooding is going on in our state.  Many people have expressed their concern for us and those living in Florida this week, and we do appreciate it greatly.  However, where I live, we have not had any rain except for one nice rain shower early one morning this week, but that was it. Other than that it has been dry as a bone and there are even brush fires in the area because it has been so dry!

You may wonder how that can be when you've seen all the horrible flooding going on in our state this week.  Well, that's because all of the rain has been mostly in the southern third of the state, mostly south of the Tampa area.  We live in the north central portion of the state, east of Gainesville.  (see my circled area below on the map).

The state of Florida is very long, 447 miles from top to bottom. HERE is a link to the Wikipedia page on Florida for all the details.

We do pray for any of our friends who live in the flooded areas or who have loved ones there. And although we certainly do need the rain in our part of the state, we are thankful not to have it in such an overabundance.  However, the risk of fire is real, and so we pray for at least enough rain to stem the tide of drought that is creeping up on us.

I started writing this post this morning, and then got busy with other things and am just now getting back to it at 6:00 p.m.  Our blogging friend Linda at Just Linda, lives about an hour south of us. She wrote on her Facebook page a few minutes ago that they were finally getting some rain. I asked her to please send some up to us.  And within a 1/2 hour it started to rain here!  Not very heavy, but at least it is trying!  Thank you, Linda! LOL.  And thank You, God, for hearing our prayers!

Still Waters Pond, you can see how dry it is getting.

Rain clouds rolling in!  Praise the Lord for even a little bit!

A few minutes later it was coming down in earnest! Yay! Praise the Lord!

We truly are thankful for the rain!

So what did we do today? Well this morning before it got too hot we took a little ride back down to the boat ramp at Kenwood.  Here's a few pictures from this morning:

The Pickerel Weed seems to be in full bloom in the water now.

Isn't it pretty?

That bumblebee was checking out every flower. Sorry it's blurry, but he was in a hurry!

The Yellow Water Lilies were also popping up everywhere.

All shades of green reflecting in the water...so cool and pretty on this warm humid day...

And these are hatched turtle eggs!  These freshwater turtle eggs were buried in the dirt probably about two months ago, and now they are hatching and the baby turtles head for the water...
There were a lot of these all over the shore along the water canal. I wish I could've seen the baby turtles!
Oh, here comes a boat back into the boat ramp. He was coming quite fast...I'm glad he was able to slow down and stop in time!

I love this big old Live Oak tree. I posted this on my Facebook page today with this verse...

Psalm 46:10 NKJV
10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

So after that we headed back home for the rest of the day.  I had bought some fresh peaches at the grocery store yesterday and decided to make a peach cobbler to have for tomorrow after Sunday dinner. The kids are all coming over after church so we can be together for Father's Day.
However, hubby said he wanted sample it tonight, and so we did. It is very good! And there's still plenty left for tomorrow. LOL.

HERE's a link to a previous post about Father's Day.  Maybe I should wait and repost that tomorrow, but in case I get too busy and forget, here it is tonight.

Praying that tomorrow is a blessed day for you and yours and all the wonderful fathers out there.


Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Wednesday Treasures from Still Waters Pond and Beyond

Happy Wednesday! I know, the day is almost over, but it's been a busy day and I am just now sitting down at my computer to read and write and try to get caught up with "stuff".   This may be a montage of various pictures from the past few days because I don't have a lot of "content" to talk about.  
It's been too hot to take very many walks lately, and the promised rain storms we were supposed to get here this week have not yet materialized in our neck of the woods.   Tonight it was a couple of degrees cooler (actually, quite a bit...84 now as opposed to the 99 we had earlier in the week), so we took a walk and went past the "Century/Agave Plant" that I've told you about over the past month. 
 I last told you about the Century Plant HERE.  Well, that picture above is how it looks now! It finally "gave up the ghost" and laid down to die.  It had a good life and brought some smiles to many people as I've posted pictures of it over the past few weeks here and on Facebook.  But like Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 

"To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time o be born,
And a time to die;"

And so I guess this plant finally reached the end of its season.  I hope that when it is my time to lay down and die it can be said that I brought some smiles to many people along the way. That, along with sharing the love of Jesus with others is a worthy goal and purpose in life.   Oh, before I forget, I wanted to share this song with you that our choir sang this past Sunday morning:
You may recognize the song as familiar verses from the Bible, John 3:16-17

John 3:16-17 KJV

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
 that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

If I don't share anything else with you ever again, this is the most important message that could ever be shared.

I guess I could just close this post with that, but I did have some other pictures I wanted to share with you, so here we go:

I watched this interesting scene the other evening out in our yard beside Still Waters Pond.  If you look carefully at the tree, you will see at first one bluebird sitting on a branch, and up in the branches above you will also see a Red Shouldered Hawk, and they are both watching each other very carefully.
Here's a close up of Mr. Hawk:
Pretty soon Mrs. Bluebird joins Mr. Bluebird on that branch, and Mr. Hawk continues to watch them, but they don't seem overly concerned.
This little standoff continued for quite a while until finally Mr. Hawk decided he'd better go look for his supper elsewhere and away he flew.
A little later I captured this picture of Mrs. Bluebird in her house, sitting on her nest. She is looking out the window and her mouth is open as if she is either gasping for air because it is so hot in there, or she's calling for Mr. Bluebird to bring her some supper.  Either way, it's quite a picture!
This is where she is sitting. That is Still Waters Pond in the background, but it might as well be called "No Waters Pond" right now, as it is getting so dry you could just about walk across it, but I wouldn't recommend it. The bottom of that pond is pure muck, and you would sink up to your knees very quickly...yeah...it's yucky! I know, I've tried it before!  That's why we need that rain so much! It will fill back up once the summer rains start, but until then it is pretty dry!

In between all the other excitement of the hawk and the bluebirds, Mr. Ruby Throated Hummingbird has been coming and going to the bird feeder, minding his own business and enjoying a cool drink of sugar water...

Hi there folks!  Nice to see you again!!

Speaking of the Red Shouldered Hawk again, I told you recently HERE about how unhappy the Hawk has been about having so many trees removed from the lot next door to us.  Well, I took a walk over to that lot the other evening and I was surprised suddenly by a rush of activity and some very loud screeches coming out from among some trees.  I was shocked to see not just one, but THREE hawks fly up into the tree above me, and they were all quite upset with me for being in their territory!  I managed to take a few pictures...I believe the two that you see in this tree are actually juvenile hawks, so apparently there WAS a nest in the area and no wonder Mrs. Hawk had been so distressed!
These two stood there squawking at me for some time, while Mama Hawk apparently went back to hunt for some supper for these noisy kids.
I was getting nervous about the way they kept looking at me, like I might become their dinner if I didn't watch out! LOL.
Very soon Mama flew to this branch and they joined her there, so I am thinking she actually brought them some supper:

Mama left them again, and they continued to keep a "hawk eye" on me, so I decided to start heading back to home:
Besides, it was starting to get dark, and this was the last view I had of one of the hawks watching me go:

However, when I got back to our back yard I was able to see Mr. Bluebird one more time, standing guard over their house as the sun was finally setting behind me.
And with that, I think I will let the sun set on this post and put it to bed for the night.

Psalm 113:3 NKJV
"From the rising of the sun to its going down
The Lord’s name is to be praised."

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Tuesday 4: Your Kitchen

 Your Kitchen

Per our hostess Annie: "Howdy friends and welcome back for another of Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4.
I need renovations throughout my home and that includes the kitchen. So, I've been collecting pictures with ideas on painting my cabinets, replacing my 1957 kitchen window, my cracked tile floors and my rusty sink and damaged counter tops. Could be talk about kitchens for a bit?"

1. Is this kitchen in the photo one that you would enjoy working in? Did you have one of those step stools in your home growing up?
I love the homey-ness of that kitchen, although I would not like that stove in the corner like that without any countertops around it. (I love the old fashioned vintage stove, just not in the corner!)  And yes, we had a step stool just like that, except it was red, in my family home growing up. Or was it yellow? Now I'm not sure. Maybe I had a yellow one at some point, oh I don't know now and I can't find any pictures, but it was the same style! LOL. It's tough getting old and not being able to remember things. That's why I rely on pictures so much!

2. What appliances are absolute necessities in your kitchen and what can you do without.
Well, of course we can't do without a refrigerator and stove. And I am quite attached to my microwave too. I don't have a dishwasher anymore and since it's just the two of us, we get along fine without it. When we have company there are always volunteers to help wash the dishes, and it is a good time to stand at the sink and visit while we wash and dry and put away the dishes together.  Of course, we have a coffee pot and a toaster and a toaster oven, a mixer and an electric can opener. I am a lefty, and I cannot use the hand-type can opener at all. Oh, and I have an electric tea kettle for heating water. I used to always use a teakettle on top of the stove, but I burned up too many of them, so hubby bought me the electric one, and it shuts itself off when it boils. 
It's fun to watch it light up as it comes to a boil!

3. What items are always in your pantry?
Well, besides the usual spices,  flour, sugar, brown sugar, confectioner's sugar, I also keep things like cooking oil, vinegar, molasses, and other baking necessities...oatmeal, shortening, baking soda, and baking powder. 

 There's always tea bags of many varieties, and coffee.

And of course we keep things like canned vegetables, soups, chicken broth, beef broth, dried beans and canned beans, spaghetti sauce, canned fruit, cereal, pasta, and rice, peanut butter...all the basics.
My Pantry closet that my son Benton built for me when we moved to this house.

4. How about your counter tops... filled with things or empty?
Well, my countertops are pretty full. So are my cupboards. I like to keep things that I use often handy.

I shared these photos of my kitchen in a recent post, but here they are again. I didn't bother to take any new pictures, because it still looks pretty much the same! LOL.

My Little Kitchen Prayer
"Bless my little kitchen, Lord
I love its every nook
And bless me as I do my work,
Wash pots and pans and cook.
May the meals that I prepare
Be seasoned from above
With Thy Blessings and Thy Grace,
But most of all, Thy Love.
As we partake of earthly food,
The table Thou hast spread,
We'll not forget to thank Thee, Lord
For all our daily bread.
So bless my little kitchen, Lord
And those who enter in,
May they find naught but Joy and Peace
And Happiness therein. "

Author Unknown

Proverbs 24:3-4 NKJV
"3 Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
4 By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches."

I hope you enjoyed this Tuesday 4 post about my kitchen. Now let's go see what others are sharing about their kitchens, shall we? Have a blessed and beautiful day, my friend.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Saturday Wanderings...

 Happy Saturday everyone!  I entitled this Saturday Wanderings, but actually I will be writing a little about "Friday Wanderings" instead, since the pictures will be from Friday's "little" road trip.   Actually, what started out as a "little road trip" ended up much longer than expected, due to detours and road construction and pit stops, but still, we had a lovely day.  

But first, I thought you'd like to see some nature photos from Still Waters Pond...that's always a pleasant way to start the day...

Philippians 4:6-7  
"6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Mama Bluebird has been busily building her nest.  Papa helps too, but she's the main architect in this venture I believe, since she's the one who will be spending so many days inside there while waiting for her next little brood of babies to appear.

And also both Mama and Papa have to be constantly on guard for this fella...Mr. Red Shouldered Hawk, who seems to be hanging around much too closely these days...

I do hope that Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird will be able to keep him away from their nest and new family when it makes its appearance.  The wild kingdom can certainly be a dangerous place for the most vulnerable new members of their "society".  
That Hawk definitely keeps a "hawk-eye" on everything that goes on in his territory, but so do the bluebirds, and they know how to drive him away. So we will keep hoping and praying that they will be able to persevere and keep their babies safe.

So back to our little road trip yesterday...

One of the places we ended up was a "ride" (not walk) down memory lane, and we didn't even realize we were going to be driving right past this place until all of a sudden there it was!

When I saw the above sign I was so surprised, because we used to live in this town about 40 years ago! 

So, of course we had to go find the church where we served so many years ago...it's still there, but sadly they actually closed this church about a year ago because it just was not thriving anymore. It never was a very large church...I think we had a about 35 faithful members back when we were there, but apparently it just never could compete with the many larger churches in the community. It's too bad, because it was a wonderful congregation of people back then and we have some very fond memories of our time there.

Here's how it looked 40 years ago, with hubby and our three sons standing on the front steps:

And this was the sign they had out on the highway to welcome us when we first moved there!  I noticed that sign board is still standing in the same place, but sadly there's no welcome message for anyone anymore.

This was the parsonage that we lived in.  It still looks pretty much the same as it did 40 years ago. It was a lovely brick home, with four bedrooms and two baths.  Apparently someone is still living in it, but I don't know if they have sold the house or if it is being rented.  I noticed the church building had a for sale sign out front.
Another view of the front of the house as it looks today...

And here is how it looked 40 years ago, with our family on the front porch...I believe that is my mother sitting on the porch, and then my hubby, me, and our three boys acting silly.

Here's a special picture taken at that same time. My parents had come to spend Easter with us. This is our son Benton, my mother, me, my Dad, and our son Matthew. Not sure where Scotty was...probably running around doing cartwheels or something like he usually was at the age of 7.  

I was glad we were able to find the church and house because the community has grown quite a bit and everything else looked really different.  

After finding this we kept on going up the road a ways and soon saw this sign:

Yes, that little town where we used to live was right on the Florida/Georgia border!  

After we had driven as far as we wanted to drive we stopped and had some lunch and then turned around and headed back home.  We stopped at a gas station/store in a little town called Saint George, GA., which is right on the GA/FL border.  We only needed to make a "pit-stop", but I felt bad about not buying anything so bought a DeConna Ice Cream Sundae Cone. It was yummy!

Turns out this little store was not just a handy store at a gas station, but apparently the grocery store for the little community, and the lady at the check out counter was a life time resident of the town. I wish now we had more time to drive around the area and see more of it. It sits just next to the Okefenokee Swamp and also the St. Mary's River. I was trying to find out more about the town online, and this was an interesting historical story about the town: https://www.charltoncountyhistoricalsociety.org/saint-george, in case you like to read about the history of old towns.

When we got home from our rather long "ride", we called "the kids" and they came over and we all had Domino's Pizza for supper.  After they left I was noticing that the house felt a little warmer than usual. Of course, it was about 96 degrees yesterday, so that could have something to do with it. But if you recall, we got a brand new air conditioning system just about one year ago exactly, and it shouldn't be warm in our house!! I looked at the thermostat and saw that the temperature was rising above what it was set for.  So I sent a text message to our AC repairman at 8:30 last night advising him of our problem. He told us to turn it off and that he would be here in the morning.  True to his word, he was here at 8:30 a.m. to assess the situation.  Turns out there was some insulation inside the new unit that was coming loose and was being sucked into the ducts, causing it to block the airflow.  He said he has come across this on another new unit recently. Thankfully, all he had to do was remove the loose insulation, and soon the air was nice and cool again!  Thank the Lord that it wasn't anything major that we would have to wait for parts, etc., because the temperatures are expected to be up to at least 99 tomorrow!  Also, thank the Lord this unit is still under warranty, and there was no charge to us!

I don't usually post a lot of memes, but thought this would be a fun way to end this post...

LOL.  If you live in the south, you understand.  

Well, friends, it's time to move on...hope you are cool as a cucumber wherever you are!