Wednesday, July 27, 2016

In The Chicken House

"Our life is frittered away by detail . . . Simplicity! simplicity, simplicity?" Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


How about a chicken house? Yes, that's me in the chicken house! Well, close enough anyways, inside the gate. A young family we're friend's with, who have helped us with yard work and the girls, are in the chicken business!

We visited them early March when the chicks were small. Aren't they cute! Well, they grew up to be beautiful I think. And they have the run of the yard! They're friendly and so enjoyable to watch!
They even peck on the sliding door for treats.
 

These two below are newcomers, just arriving the other week. They have Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rock, Golden Laced Wyandotte and Buff Orpington. For me, they'll just be chicken.


They also have two ducks named Donald and Daisy. Next may be a cow! A sheep!  Aren't I the lucky one! A small farm to visit. This is a simple joy.

                                                Hibiscus are now in bloom! White is lovely!

Simple for me is my fawn spotting mornings, walking in my gardens, reading a good book, watching a nice movie--these are all simple things for me to do. And right now we all need simple things to help us through this time in history.

                                                                     Pink is lovely!

Our hope is secure in Christ. We can count on that to help focus our days. But find time for some simple pleasures that make you smile.
                                                                        
Red is lovely!

"All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope." Sir Winston Churchill (1874)1965)                     

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Decked Out!


My friend, Kathy, is decked out! A master gardener in my eyes, her deck is loaded with color and blooms, pots, decorations and more!

I had the pleasure of visiting her last week, driving through the country on a beautiful summer day. We sat out on her deck and enjoyed the breeze before it got too hot. She even put out meal worms for her blue bird friends so I could enjoy them too! You can barely see him to the right of the tree truck on the little red dish!

Kathy is one of my friend's who helped me plan my garden. She's had some lovely gardens through the years, which I've shared with you, and has recently moved her blooms to the deck for easier care. How do you like that elephant ear!

Thank you, Kathy, for a lovely day!


Last Thursday I was all prepared to work in the gardens, actually looking forward to it. But the hot, humid weather, at 6 in the morning, detoured me. So I wondered, "What can I do today?" And it became Christmas in July!

My friend, Carol, recently sent me ribbon for my Christmas bow making. And I also used my Let it Snow ribbon. I had a good time creating some bows that morning. Thank you, Carol, for thinking of me!

                                                                               
And I finished reading Bryson City Tales by Walt Larimore, MD, last week. My friend, Linda (Penny), had recommended it on Facebook so I thought I'd pick it up and see what it was about. The sub title is "Stories of a doctor's first year of practice in the Smoky Mountains."

It is a very interesting story about a medical students passage to a family physician. I laughed and sometimes couldn't believe what I was reading it was so strange. I'm now on the sequel and enjoying it just as much. Life with a small town, country doctor. Good read!


While driving in town the other week I spotted this beautiful garden of wildflowers! I love wildflowers! A man was in the yard. I stopped and asked if I could take a picture. He said his wife would be so pleased!


I was driving past Wilson's farm in the heat of the day and found his cows refreshing themselves in the creek. That there are some pretty smart cows!


The summer heat is definitely here. I've never been a big fan of summer, July and August. But since retiring and creating my own gardens, I've learned summer is a beautiful time of blooming plants and flowers. And, of course, it's fawn season. Just as lovely as the colors of fall, the snow of winter and the new life in spring!

I hope you're enjoying summer and the beauty all around. "Each moment of the year has its own beauty . . . a picture which was never seen before and which shall never be seen again." Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Country Roads

Country Roads. I love them! I always take a country road to my destination if available. You never know what you're going to find and the landscape is refreshing.

The following little poem I found certainly describes me!

                I love it when I get a tender moment like this. Little one staying close to Mom.

A Little Road by Patricia Nichols, Fayette, Alabama

"Some people like the freeways Where they can travel fast;
I'll take the country byways Edged with flowers and grass.

"I'm not so fond of roads Built by engineering skill;
Give me the little gravel road That winds around a hill.

                          Mom enjoying some of the greenery with the little one beside her.

"I like the roads where I can see Trees towering toward the sky
Some cattle resting in the shade, A rippling stream nearby.
I like to look across the fields That wave with hay or grain;
I like to see the gardens green And fresh from summer rain.

                The sun was beginning to brighten the day when I passed this lane and enjoyed it.

"I'm tired of traveling concrete roads Although they're smooth and wise;
I'll take a narrow country road With trees along each side."  

I was watching two doe and three fawn when I turned and looked at the other side of the road and saw this little one and Mom. The little one crossed the street in front of me and Mom followed slowly behind. Then around the corner they went and into the woods.


I enjoyed watching them for 10 minutes. Mom's eating and the fawn are looking around.I love the quiet, secluded neighborhood which affords me so many good fawn snaps. I never fail to find deer to photograph. 

And on the country roads is where I find so many interesting and enjoyable pictures! The quiet, secluded neighborhood where I get so many of my deer snaps is a treasure for me. You never know what's going to be around the corner when you're driving country roads.

                 This little one has doubled in weight and more! He was curious about something.

I fondly remember the words of John Denver's hit song "Take Me Home, Country Roads": "Country roads, take me home, to the place, where I belong, West Virginia, Mountain Momma, take me home, country roads." Sandy and I use to sing this every time we went to West Virginia to visit family.

                What a wonderful Saturday morning! My heart was full when I drove back home.

Country roads are, indeed, delightful, inspiring and fun to drive! Don't forget your camera. There's sure to be a snap waiting for you.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Tree Song


I bought a Tablet when I was going through my cancer treatments. I must admit, I was very slow in using it. It's taken about a year to really feel comfortable with it. And, now, I'm getting some enjoyment from it.

The other evening I was listening to music videos on youtube. I've been pulling up music from the 60s and 70s that I use to listen to, both secular and Christian.  Last evening I found some songs by Evie, who I enjoyed when I was first saved.

I remembered I especially enjoyed one of her songs but I couldn't remember what it was about. When I saw the title The Tree Song, I knew that was it. Its on an album for children, titled "A Little Song for my little Friends" and I loved the entire album! I was just a new believer in 1978 when it came out and my love of nature drew me to it. Just a simple song about a tree that stayed in my mind.


Here are the words:

"I saw a tree by the riverside, One day as I walked along,
Straight as an arrow and pointing to the sky growing tall and strong
How do you grow so tall and strong I said to the riverside tree,
This is the song that my tree friend sang to me.

"I've got roots growing down to the water,
I've got leaves growing up to the sunshine and the fruit that I bear is a sign of life in me,
I am shade from the hot summer sundown,  I am nest for the birds of the heaven,
I'm becoming what the Lord of trees has meant me to be.

"I saw a tree by the city street where buildings blocked the sun,
Green and lovely I could see it gave joy to everyone.
How do you grow in the city streets I said to the downtown tree,
This is the song that my tree friend sang to me." Chorus


Ah, becoming what the Lord has meant me to be. That was special to me as I started my walk with God. Can He use me? Where do I fit in?

One of my greatest disappointments in those early years was I believed I'd never be able to work in a church office. I was divorced. I knew I wouldn't qualify.

But that disappointment turned to joy when many years later I was asked to work in the church office. Even from our failures, He can turn sorrow into joy, and use us as He wills. As my friend, Mary Jo, recently shared, He gives us the desire of our hearts when our hearts delight in Him!


I later went on to the Baptist Convention, another opportunity I would have thought impossible. But the God of the impossible is able to do what He wants. As the song says, "I'm becoming what the Lord of [me] has meant me to be."

"For with God nothing will be impossible." Luke 1:37

Another song I listened to last evening is: "Friends Are Friends Forever," by Michael W. Smith. It identified with my strong feelings about being a friend. I loved it then and I love it now!

I especially like the chorus and second verse:

(Chorus)
"And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say "Never"
Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

"With the faith and love God's given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you'll live in
Is the strength that now you show
But we'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong"

I think I'm really beginning to like my little tablet. It's helping me to remember special things, and does come in handy when I'm looking something up.


Now, I wonder when I'll get rid of my flip phone for a Smart one! Some things just take time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Overflowing!

"Gratitude to God makes even a temporal blessing a taste of heaven." William Romaine (1714-1795)


This week I had an occasion to use the above picture on a card. Some of you have seen this snap before and heard the story behind it.

I love telling the story! Over the years I've taken many snaps of doe and fawn, but hardly any of buck. So one November I prayed a special prayer: "Lord, You've given me many opportunities to take pictures of doe and fawn, but I've got very few pictures of buck. Please give me some opportunities to take pictures of buck."

I forgot about this prayer until the next summer when eight buck came up to our back fence to eat corn we put out. Actually, they came up every morning and every evening for three months: July, August and September! Every day! All eight buck!

Then that August I remembered the prayer I had prayed the November before and got goose bumps! To think, God answered my prayer by bringing these guys up to my back fence.


I've never seen more than three buck at one time. They just don't travel in big groups. So this was especially awesome to have eight buck together.  When he provides a miracle he does it BIG!


This week I went back to the knee doctor for my two month checkup, and I took two plates of my chocolate chip coffee cake and lemon loaf to say thank you for making it possible for me to walk without pain. I used the picture at the top of the page for the front of his thank you card. And I put these words with it:


A GIANT thank you to Dr. Blue for his skill, dedication and commitment. He's definitely a big guy in my book! No cane! No pain! Full to overflowing with gratitude!

If you discern God's love in every moment of happiness, you will multiply a thousandfold your capacity to fully enjoy your blessings." Frances J. Roberts

Last evening found three visitors, with already nice racks, at the back gate. They started coming up last week. Smile.



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Little Heart

Wouldn't you like to go sit in this garden and enjoy the beauty surrounding you? This was created by  my talented friend, Kathy, in earlier years. She's also the one who helped me plan my first garden. Rather nice, don't you think?

"The happiest moments my heart knows are those in which it is pouring forth its affections to a few esteemed characters." Thomas Jefferson

There's those words again. I can't get away from words that speak to me. To read what others say. To align myself with people of like mind. Kindred spirits.

My friend, Diana, also has a way with gardens. Walking through on the red carpet was delightful!

I've always liked this little story. Don't know where I found it, or if it is true, but it always brings a smile.

"An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of. He calmly came over to me; I gave him a few pats on his head. He then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep. An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.

"The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks.

"Curious I pinned a note to his collar: 'I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.'

"The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: 'He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under 3. He's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?'"

My sister-in-law, Bobbie, creates lovely gardens also. I've had the pleasure of coming to her home early in the morning and taking snaps of the beautiful flowers.

These words by Denzel Washington caught my eye . . . "Why do we close our eyes when we pray, cry, kiss or dream? Because the most beautiful things in life are not seen but felt by the heart."

"When you put something into words, it leads to so many other thoughts." Madeleine L Engle

I don't think I'll ever tire of reading words. They touch my heart and spur my imagination.

And because of the advice and help of the three friends I mentioned above, Kathy, Diana and Bobbie, I have my own lovely gardens to walk through. Aren't I the lucky one!