Tuesday, April 30, 2013

52 Wing Beats Per Second

Have you ever been so close to a hummingbird that it's fluttering blew your hair?  Have you ever been so close to a hummingbird you thought it was going to put your eye out with it's pointed beak?
That's what happened today.

I was sitting in my rocker and stood up to go inside.  I was standing next to the flowering hanging basket when two of them flew up.  Literally I thought "I better close my eyes, she's going to get too close.  She's going to poke me in the eye."  She zipped off before I could wink.  Next thing I know, I hear one fly up behind me.  She was so close and her wings were fluttering so fast I could feel my hair move.  They are so curious and they are so fast they don't have to be afraid of much it seems.

Unbelievable, that's all I can say.  Beautiful.  The only other word I can come up with.

Have I told you how much I love living in the country?  Blessed!

Jeremiah 17:7
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and love to you, xoxo.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Chicken Feeder Recycle

I have two matching doors on the front of my house.  Of course you know from my photos that mine is an older house where they built one door going into the bedroom and one into the living room.
Even though there are flowers on the porch and steps the doors needed some decor.  On my trip to Roundtop this year I wanted to find something, like wreaths, or something to create, to put on each door.

Door decor of any kind was pretty hard to come by and in fact the first day I didn't really find anything that would work. Second day I found this.
It's a chicken feeder...she had two.  They were rustic and cute and country so after a little bit of bartering they were mine to take home.  In the display she had live petunias in one of those little plastic containers.  It looked really cute with live flowers but since the bottom of the feeder has a screen on it only, and it would be hanging on the door, they were not going to be practical.  Plus keeping it watered and pretty might be a real trick.
However, I bought the galvanized feeders and figured I'd come up with my own recycled idea.

After a trip to Hobby Lobby, and a little time in my art room ("atelier"), here is my result.  I like it. While I have two doors, I want to put a storm door with a screen up on the living room side, actually this side, so I can see out from inside the living room.  If that doesn't happen, I'll make the other one to match.  Otherwise, I'll come up with another idea or just hang the other one some place else.

Deuteronomy 2:7
The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and love to you, xoxo.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happily Ever After

This happy girl is a bit on the sad side today, just reflecting back about my life.  Thirty one years ago today I married the love of my life.  Today would be my 31st wedding anniversary.
Six years ago last month, ended my marriage of 25 years.  Six years ago a life long dream ended.  You know the one...living happily ever after with the one you love and the one who loves you and growing old with someone who adores you.  It's the dream I saw my parents live.  It's a dream I pray for for my daughter.  Maybe that was just my dream.  But it was real.  It just didn't go that way for me.

I think, however, there is still a chance for me to live happily ever after.  It will just be different than the original dream.   It'll include the love toward and from my daughter, my grandchild/children, and my son in law.  It'll include the love toward and from my sister and her family.  It will include the love of my dog and riding my horses till my hearts content.  It'll include relationships with friends, travels, adventures, treasure hunting, hopefully good health, and love of life and country.  It'll include a lot of leaning on and faith in God.  He remains the answer and the safe place to be.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.

While my parents are responsible for my dream, they are also responsible for my faith.  So I'll chose instead this day to be thankful.  My faith, after all, is what carried me through this six years ago. And I thank my parents and God for that.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths
Blessings and love to you, xoxo.

Friday, April 12, 2013

My Message for Today...DO IT!

In lieu of my week, or should I say, in lieu of the week I've watched others have, here is my take!

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.

Blessings and love to you, xoxo.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Today I Am Sad

Yesterday I found out two husbands died.

One, Ed, I knew him.  He was a husband.  He was my friend.  My sister and I knew him well in high school.  He actually died in February, but I just learned of it yesterday.  He was 61.  He left behind a wife.  His death was immediate.  There was no time to say any words that had not been said or to apologize for anything that needed forgiveness.  I did not know his wife.

Two, Dick, I did not know this husband, I know his wife, Janie.  She is my friend.  He died yesterday.  His death was immediate.  He was 57.  There was no time to say any words that had not been said or to apologize for anything that needed forgiveness.  I did not know Dick.

I am so sad for the wives.  It must be hard to fill the gap of a good husband.  There will be many lonely days.  I pray for God's comforting arms to surround them and give them peace.  Only the arms of God can give you grace at such a time.

Deaths such as these always prompt me to tell all those I love how much I love them and how much they mean in my life, in this life.  It says to me "I need to be right with God, right with my family and friends and right with the world every day.  I do not know anything past this moment.

Today, make someone's day.  Tell them what you need to say; tell them how you feel.

May "the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace."  Numbers 6:24-26.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and love to you, xoxo.

PS   The norther that blasted through here yesterday with wild horrible winds whipping the limbs in the trees destroyed the doves' nest.  Not a good way to end my yesterday.  

Today however, is a new day and I will be glad.
"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psm 118:24

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

2013 Tax Day

Every year I worry a bit about taxes, or the fact that I might not have paid enough in and owe some bucks to Uncle San. With the changes in the tax laws via the President, I was even more concerned this year.  My brother in law is kind enough to do my taxes for me. This year I was blessed.   The tax form indicated that not only would I not have to pay, but in fact, I would get a return of some $640. A big yahoo and a sigh of relief!!

I didn't think too much about it as I signed the form and sent it in to the IRS. After a few weeks, I began to think “that check ought to me coming in any time. What have I been putting off and wanting to buy?” The thought easily came to my mind of a want and a need, a sewing machine and a vacuum cleaner, in that order. I've been wanting a sewing machine for a long time. I have only had a place to put it and use it since I got my art/bedroom set up. So now I have the place. My current vacuum cleaner just doesn't work. It's not even that old, it just doesn't have any suction. It needs to go in the trash. In a country house with three carpeted rooms I need a working vacuum cleaner.

So there. Sunday I in fact wrote on my little “project/need to do/activity” list these two things...
With income tax return,
1. buy sewing machine from Walmart and
2. investigate and buy one of the Dyson Ball vacuums that has the best reviews.
Yesterday, Monday, the income tax refund arrived. Woo hoo! Yesterday, Monday, I called the local auto shop to see about getting my brakes checked. They've been making a weird noise. Truthfully, I don't know what bad brakes sound like. The car continued to stop just fine. I just didn't know what else it might be so have them checked I thought. The lady at the shop said to bring it in tomorrow, Tuesday (which is today).

So today, on my “to do in town” list, I had drop off car and deposit tax return check, in that order. So I did. I wasn't going to have time to shop for either the sewing machine or the vacuum today, but they remained on my list to do. I still needed to do a little “discovery” work on which ones to buy, which ones had the best reviews and were the easiest to operate.

As it turns out, fixing the brakes (which were worse than bad) turned out to be $460. Bummer! That only leaves about $180. I have to say I am disappointed. I was looking forward to getting these two things off the list. I was looking forward to sewing and getting something I would enjoy creating things with. I was looking forward purchasing something to create a cleaner house. I know I cannot buy the vacuum with what is left over. It's not enough.  So do I go ahead and get what I want or save a little more and get what I need, putting off the sewing machine a little longer.

I have a friend who says “I'll have to wait for my next oil check before I buy that". There will be no oil check here.

On the much more positive side, I need however, to be grateful that God provided this IRS check just in time to pay for my brakes which I obviously needed much more than a sewing machine or a vacuum. God provided just in time. That's what he does.

Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Gratitude is something I work on all the time. Being content in my circumstances is what I work on all the time. Knowing God is good, that I do know all the time.

I thank him for meeting my need, my most important need. I am truly blessed.

1 Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and love to you, xoxo.

(I apologize if this sounds a little too "poor me".  It's not really, it's just how I was feeling when I wrote it.)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Another Miracle at the Little Cottage in the Oaks

RAIN!!  Truly a miracle in this drought we are having.  Praise God!
Last night the winds started blowing from the north.  Blowing, shake the walls, break the limbs blowing.  Thunder began to sound and lightening cracked across the sky.

Ikey is deathly afraid of thunder so he was sticking to me like glue.  Before we went to bed only a few drops had hit the ground but more rain was predicted.
During the night another storm came.  We sat up in bed and watched.  (Ikey doesn't sleep during a thunder storm).
This afternoon, same thing happened...wind, dark skies, and crackling thunder.  I grabbed my camera to go out to actually get some photos of "rain" and found a little hummer looking for a place to stay warm and dry.  The temperature was about 30 degrees colder than yesterday.  The little black headed hummer flew around on the front porch for several minutes.  He buzzed so close to me I thought he was going to land on my shoulder.  I just stood still.  Then he finally landed on the little metal gate on the porch.

I took a few photos and stepped back inside.  He hung out there until the rain subsided.  How cool is that!  Hope he comes back for a visit soon.
Genesis 8:11
When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and love to you, xoxo.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

If You Build It, They Will Come

Talk about being in the right place at the right time AKA God never ceases to amaze me!
Today I was standing at the kitchen sink (don't remember doing what) when I looked out the window and saw a dove picking around at some grass.  It flew off.  Seconds later it flew to the same area on the ground and started picking at some more grass.  It flew off with some.  Seconds later it did the same thing.  OK, I say to myself, something's going on here.
 He will pick them up, shake them and drop them.
 I have no idea what he's looking for or how he knows "this is the right one!"  He landed at this spot beside this little gate at least 6-8 times searching for just the perfect materials to build with.

I watched where he flew to as he flew off.  It was up into a tree, then right back down.  Ah Ha, I say to myself, it's building a nest.  When I look closer into the tree, I see another dove in there.  By now I have grabbed my camera.  If nothing else, so I can use my zoom to see better.  I see the bird in the tree shuffling around behind some leaves.  I can tell, the one in the tree is the one building the nest, making it just right.  She's spinning and turning and fluffing.  I can barely see her, but I can see her.  You have to look hard right in the middle of these photos.

The other dove is the one bringing in the twigs and grass (I suspect that's the male and the one in the tree is the female).  I imagine the one in the tree saying "no honey, that's not enough, keep bringing them please!"  So off he goes.
 Here is he flying in to land and do the hand off.
Here he is preparing to leave again.
So obviously this will be something I'll be watching out my kitchen window.  I even have my binoculars and a little stool close by the make my viewing easier.  The nest is across the fence. However, there is a gate close by that I can easily go through to get a better look (and hopefully some better and closer photos).  If you remember, there was a nest last year I followed and watched the eggs.  However, the nest fell before the eggs hatched...sad.  Maybe this will have a different outcome.  The nest a dove builds is very sparse and airy!  It's a nest of economy style, a few grass sprigs and twigs and they are ready to set up shop.  I hope to see some little dove come along before too long.
The truth is, just to be able to see these kinds of Mother Nature's miracles, makes me so so glad I live in this little cottage in the oaks.  God is truly awesome.  I thank him for my eyes to see.  What a blessing!

Luke 7:21
At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind.

Encourage One Another, continuing the journey on fresh paths.
Blessings and love to you, xoxo.