Thoughts for Today

Hurricane Dorian is now off of our Coast here in NC. Its storm bands are still circling over the upper northeastern corner, but it no longer is having any effects on our area other than some small wind gusts. I am very grateful there was no major damage and only minor flooding around here.

Prior to the storm, everything that we would do to prepare was done.  All of our equipment was checked, filled with gas and put into the barn.  This was done just in case we or any of our neighbors had cleanup to do after the storm passes.  The generator was full of gas, the oil checked and it started up right away.  The deck and front porch were cleared of anything the wind could move or carry away.  That’s what we do.  Or, should I say we did.  This time, it was me.  Alone.  I wanted to make sure that even though he isn’t here, the neighbors could take advantage of everything he had in case they need it.

Today marks 91 days since my husband passed away.  We were together for 8,688 days and, come this October, married for 23 years.  No, I don’t count every day; I do count the weeks.  It has been 13 weeks.  That’s all.  Just 13 weeks.  I have to admit tears are rolling down my cheeks right now.  It is hard.  So very hard.  Every Friday, late afternoon, it happens.  I call them “my moments”.  My moments of sorrow, my moments of deep grief, my moments when sometimes I re-live it.  It happens other days also, but on Fridays, it is very intense and it weighs me down.

Looking out the window as I am typing this, one of our hawks just flew by.  Isn’t that just like Father?  As I look more outside and around, at least 30 birds are at my feeders and all the many places I scatter their seeds.  Almost every kind of bird that lives here is out there.  I peek out the other window and there is Mom hummer and one of her daughters, each at their own feeder.  Squirrels and crows are chasing each other around the deer corn pan out by the woodpile.

Most nights, the owls are here either in the pine grove or one of the maples.  If I am out on the deck and hear them further away, I make my owl call (I can just picture them looking at each other and rolling their eyes) and if they are so inclined, they come into my yard.  The recording at the top was done the other night when they came for a visit.  I was out on the deck and was feeling sad.  Then, there they were!  They are Barred Owls.  And, yes, the monkey sound is actually an owl!

Yes, just like Him!  It is what He does.  For me.  When I get sad or lost or feeling really really down.  He brings me smiles.  He knows how much I love my critters.  He knew when I bought this place back in ’93 that on days like this, until…. I don’t know ….  I guess until whenever, I would need it.   Like today.  I can’t tell you how often He blesses me in ways that I notice every single minute of every single day.

I am so blessed.  As my heart hurts, He fills it with His Love.  Then my heart feels like it is glowing and tingling …  I don’t really have the right words.   But when it happens, I fill up inside with unspeakable joy, smiles come that pull up the corners of my mouth, my eyes widen with inexpressible awe and His Glory moves through me.

Being connected to Our Father through our hearts is such an amazing experience.  His Spirit moves within and our Spirits join together in a song that only Angels sing.

My heart, my little heart and His Love, communing together, my spirit with His.  Oh my!

 

 

I am still sad though ………….

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Father Comforts Me

It is another Friday.  It has been seven weeks today since my husband died.  Perhaps, if B had died under natural circumstances, it would be easier.  I hurt; I am sad; I feel a deep agony inside of me.

Sometimes during the day, I feel very alone.  All I want is someone to comfort and hold me, to listen to my moanings, to just be there for me.  When those moments hit me, this is how I feel:

My heart aches.  It cries aloud.  It shrieks in agony.  I want to wail at the top of my lungs.  It catches in my throat and that hurts.  My eyes cannot make enough tears.  Nothing can stop it.  I wander through each day, at times in a daze, empty of thought, crying inside but pretending all is okay.  People ask me how I am doing and I answer with whatever words come out of my mouth.  Some closest to me cannot seem to understand.  Nothing has changed for me inside; I am still that anxious little wife wanting to please, keeping my real feelings deep inside.  Years of having to control my emotions, my real feelings, made me become defensive and created within me a deep rooted anger that would lash out at times at whoever was near.

Only, there was hardly ever anyone near except he who I loved dearly but whom I had come to resent at the same time.  He who never held me or sympathized or communicated with me.  He who only had time and affection for anyone but me.  The last several years, in all his agony and pain and suffering and emotional distress, B distanced himself from me.

And now, he is gone.  And all the pushed down stuff that could never come out still cannot and I still am who I was then.  Maybe time will push it all out and it will be gone and I can be free and me again.  That me who had no anger, that me who sings aloud as I used to.

But still there are those who do not understand and expect she who sang, to sing.  Expect she who was gentle and caring, to be gentle and caring.  I am, most of the time.  But when I cannot be, when that defensive part of me comes to the surface, they cannot accept it.  Thankfully, there are those who can.  Those who understand, those who love me unconditionally in spite of those moments when I sink down into that place of despair.

I was just coming home from dropping off my grandson at his house.  I had taken him to his piano lessons.  I was coming down the road that drives back to my neighborhood.  I just busted out crying.  It happens.  I will remember something or think about something, and I think about B and I just start crying.  I made it into the house and went out onto the deck.  The sun was shining and suddenly there were little teeny drops of  rain falling from the sky as if the sky was crying with me.  And then on the back of the old tablecloth that I use as a curtain to block out the sun from shining into my eyes as I sit, there was a dragonfly on the back side and I could see his outline.  And as I looked over to my right,  there were some hummingbirds coming to feed.  A cardinal flew down onto the ground right in front of me, caught something in his beak and flew away.  The “tears” were falling from the sky again while the sun still shone brightly.  I sobbed.  It was as though God was crying with me.  And through those tears, He was showing me all the things to smile about.  Oh my, He loves me so much!    I could not even imagine how He loves me this much!   How is it possible?

To those who comfort me, who love me with compassion, who forgive me when I fall into despair and respond with bits of anger, who love me in spite of it all, thank you.  Father blessed me when He brought you into my life.

I realize now I am not really alone when He, who loves me so very much, is such a wonderful comfort to me every moment.  Even in those deep moments of sadness and despair.  He is always there, for all of us, no matter what!

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Father carries me!

Father has been carrying me in His Loving Arms these last four weeks.  You see, my husband, B, has died.  Without Father’s Love holding me up, giving me courage, helping me in even the smallest of things; I could not be typing this.

My favorite of my Love

The morning after, I was in shock, disbelief and wondered how I could even think about anything!  I went out onto my deck to try to feel all the beauty and glory around me, but I could not.  And then……   Father brought me blessings to see as Mama Hawk and her two youngin’s landed in the yard right in front of me.  Several hummingbirds came to my feeder and fought over who got to the nectar first.  The bluebirds and their youngsters flitted in my trees, twittering and singing.  An actual smile came to my face and I was in awe of Father’s wondrous LOVE.  For me.

And then all my neighbors started coming over to offer their sympathy.  Each and every one of them told me story after story of how B had helped them on numerous occasions.  Every single day he was out and about in the neighborhood, checking on everyone to see that they were okay or if they needed something.  Whether it was a downed tree after a storm, a garbage can that blew down the road or a loose dog that needed taking back home, he was there to help.

I cannot say much more yet.  My heart is broken.  I miss him.  I loved him so very much.  And now, he is gone.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for holding me like you have and do.  Thank you for giving me the strength, the courage and the knowledge to face and do all that is necessary.  Thank you for bringing all of your Creation to my side to help me find a smile and peace in my heart during this very difficult time.  And, thank you for bringing so many folks to my door, offering me help when I need it the most, but did not know how to even ask or what to ask for.  To God, I give all Glory.  He IS my Lord and King

 

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Night Sky Wonder

Sunday night, I began a journey with my camera to attempt to capture that super blood wolf moon eclipse I had been reading and hearing about.  As we all know, an eclipse is when the shadow of the earth covers the moon.  A total eclipse is when that shadow completely covers the moon.  A super moon occurs when the full moon’s orbit is at its closest point to the earth and appears much larger than at any other time.  It appears red because although the moon is in Earth’s shadow, some sunlight still gets through and is reflected back as red due to the effect of our atmosphere.  The “wolf” according to some, goes back to Native Americans’ name for the January full moon.

Okay, so much for the science lesson!  Ha ha

I went outside early on and viewed the moon from my back yard.  Wow!  It really was big and bright.  I realized, however, since it was in the eastern portion of the sky, any viewing and picture taking would have be from my front porch.  Eh!  That would mean I would have to lay on my back on the hard front porch brick steps and hold my camera up, pointed high into the sky.

Around 10:45 pm or so, I grabbed my Canon and headed out front.  I grabbed one of my giant throw pillows and a towel and laid both on top of two steps.  Wrapped in my warm robe, beanie cap, gloves and warm socks, I began taking pictures of the first stages of the eclipse.  I was cold and it was really awkward laying on my back with my arms outstretched above me.

I still haven’t figured out how to use my Canon at night.  I am sure there are settings but unless there is someone standing next to me, showing me what they are, I am lost.  However, I found if I held down the shutter button lightly, the moon would come into good focus and then I had to snap that picture quickly or the image turned into a blurry bright spot!  And, I forgot to check the date and time initially, so the timestamps on some of the pictures are off.

First stage

Periodically, I had to gather up my stuff and head back in to warm up by the wood stove.  My fingers and face were the coldest.  It was in the teens (F) and the gusty wind made it feel a LOT colder.  Love that wood stove, folks!

Shadow moves in

Here are some snaps of the next stages:

 

 

 

Almost covered

And then, of course, that final little glimmer of light as the moon took on its reddish color.

Seriously blood red!

I cannot begin to even tell you how much I enjoyed doing this.  Being able to watch the eclipse evolve was just amazing and I stared in awe and wonder the whole time.  And how cool was it that this one night, after days of clouds, it was clear as a bell.  Even the stars were brighter than usual as if they wanted to contribute to the night sky’s glory.  With our nearby town and gas stations and other such light hogs, our sky is no longer the dark wonder it used to be.

So, what have you been doing lately?  I still spend a lot of my time looking outside from my deck or walking around my yard soaking everything in.  The birds are in abundance this year.  I even saw a little one that took me days to identify.  But, that will be another post.

Have a blessed day!  Take in the natural wonders that shout for your attention.  They are everywhere, no matter where you are.  Soak it in.  Enjoy as many moments as you can.  Fill your heart with it!  Breathe it all in.  Feel the joy!  It’s free!

Thanks be to the Lord for all His many blessings.  It humbles me.

 

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Meet Ella

This past Friday, both of my younger grandkids had a birthday.  Em turned 9 and Ro turned 7.  Two years apart, same birthday and they play really well together.  I love them dearly.

As some of you know, for the last several years I have been making Christmas gifts for different members of my family.  There are several posts here on my blog if you are curious to see what I have made in the past.  Anyway, a couple of months ago, I asked the two little ones if they wanted me to make them something this year.  Ro said he sure would like some more tie-dye tshirts.  Em quickly announced that she wants a stuffed elephant.  (I am thinking to myself “a stuffed elephant???”)  Hmmm.  I have never made anything like that before and had no idea how or where to even start.

So, I went on YouTube and searched for stuffed elephant instructions.  I found several that I wasn’t impressed with until I came across one that was the cutest ever.  The young lady who was showing how to do it had a pattern and instructions on her Etsy shop.  Here’s her link: Sarah

I printed out the pattern and cut it into the various parts, then taped the body of the elephant together.

Pattern

As you can see from butt to trunk, Ella is about 18″ long (close to 46cm).

Time to start cutting and sewing

 

Getting started!

 

Next, the pieces of the body had to be sewn together, with the tail tucked inside and some yarn added.  It was not as easy as I had hoped since each side of the body was not cut out exactly the same so there were some gaps in the machine sewn edges.  I went back and hand stitched those gaps.  We will call them little “boo-boos”.  Ha ha.  I had found some crystal-ly buttons to use for eyes and drew on some lashes.

Whew! Getting there!

Then, the final step was to attach the ears.  I did those by hand obviously.

Here she is! Lil Miss Ella

Isn’t this just the cutest thing ever?

All in all, this probably took me several hours since this type of craft is not in my wheelhouse at all.  But, I took it on and actually surprised myself.

I cannot wait to see the look on Em’s face when she opens her gift.

Father blesses us with so much.  My grandkids are one of the bigger ones.  And, how I have managed to create so many different things with my hands, I can’t even imagine.  He has blessed me with a lot of gifts.  It humbles me how very much He loves me and how very much He blesses me.  Such little things that most wouldn’t even consider  a blessing.  But these are huge!  The joy of giving, the joy of a child’s smile, the joy of every single blessed day that just overflows with abundance.  We are indeed all blessed in so many ways and that should fill us all with awe!

I hope you enjoyed meeting Ella.

 

 

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Ya Think?

The other day, hubby says, “I’m not sure we will have enough firewood”.  Of course, he says that every year and we always have plenty and a lot left over!  But, since it’s his job to make sure we have enough logs brought throughout the year, to cut those logs into workable “splittin” size and then split all that into firewood, I can understand.  I think.  In my previous post, there are some pictures of the “before” work got started, but I will place this one here to give you an idea:

Work to do

If you zoom in, you can see the split pile to the left and the logs and log sections that need to be split.

Fortunately, we had some help this year.  A young strong fellow who needed some cash to help pay his bills came over for a few days and helped gitter done.  Needless to say, we were grateful for the help and he was grateful for the opportunity!

The Process

Here is one of the rather large log sections ready to be split.  Needless to say, it certainly helps if you just happen to have the right equipment for the job!

BIG chunk o’wood!!

Once the guys were done, the pile had grown significantly and, since we had a LOT of rain in the forecast, hubby had to get a tarp over it.  He had offered to haul off an old pool cover a couple years ago, and it sure has come in handy for such things.  I would say the big pile is about 12-15 feet tall and at least 15 feet wide or more.

Covering it up

Of course, having a pile close to the deck makes it quite a bit easier to get it up onto the deck and into the house.  This will last four or five days.  Never had a wood stove?  Well, let me tell you what.  It takes a lot of wood every single day if you are burning 24/7!

Ready to burn!

Of course, once again, it is wonderful having equipment to haul the wood from one pile to another!

Moving the wood

With most of the logs split, the few remaining chunks can just sit there until time and desire permits to finish up.

Cleaned up and good to go!

I Praise the Lord for providing us with friends who “donate” the logs and those who help with the wood splitting.  He is ever so gracious to us all the year round with the beauty provided by His Creation that we daily enjoy to His Blessings so abundantly given.  Shout joyfully under the Lord, all the earth!  May our hearts rejoice in His Love!

So, I am pretty sure we will have enough firewood for this winter!  Ya think?  Ha ha

 

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Another Blessed Day

Today’s eggs

I just got finished washing off the eggs hubby brought in just now from the coop.  The largest and lightest is from Cinnamon.  She is a cream color with cinnamon dusted all over.

Pretty Cinnamon

The young Buff Orpingtons that we brought home in March are now teenagers and their eggs are the smaller brown eggs.  They have grown almost completely and are almost as big as the hens that we have had for years.

Our hens

If  you look back at a previous post when we first got all our little bitties   New babies  you can get caught up.

Young Blue Cochins

The chickens on the right are Blue Cochins.  Check out the furry feet!

Sorry about the fuzzy picture, but my tremors are kind of kicking in today.

It is such a beautiful day.  It has been very hot and humid (90s)  this summer until today.  It is only in the 60s today and very little humidity with a wonderful breeze.  Just in case you are curious though I have posted many pictures of our yard in a lot of my posts, this is what I see when I sit on my deck.  To my right is our pine grove.   If you zoom in on the maple to the right, you can see our bluebird house where two broods fledged this year!  They are all still here and will probably winter over in their house.

Our pine grove

 

Our wood yard

Shops and Coop

 

Michael swept through Thursday into Friday morning.  We only got a little over an inch and a half of rain, but the wind was a little gusty.  Once again, as we were with Florence, we were blessed to escape the horrific damage that so many other souls suffered from both of these horrible storms.

Since fall has finally come to our neck of the woods, fire wood is now the focus in our house.  I must admit that I am not too thrilled as much as I have been in the past.  The last two January’s, I was the wood carrier and lugging in five or six bags of wood up and down the deck steps every day would wear anyone out.  And, man does it ever get HOT in our house.  Plus, the dust and the wood shavings all over the house.  Sorry.  I enjoy being warm, but sometimes it is just a bit much for little me…….

Logs and Stacks

As you can see, there are logs to be cut up and wood to be split.

Ready to Burn

And the big pile of ready-to-burn wood to the left is from last winter which hubby was convinced would have been burned up back then.

The birds are busy at the feeders as always, but they seem busier than usual.  This morning, I saw every single one of our native species throughout the yard almost in one glance.  The hummingbirds are still here even!

Sweet little Hummer

I think I will experiment and leave those feeders out until I stop seeing them.  I read where migrating hummers will stop by even through November if they see a feeder.  How can they see them from up in the air?  I guess they just know!

Hmmm.  I guess that’s about it for now.  I wanted to share with you what’s going on here.  And, this is every day for me.  I am SO blessed with Father’s wonderful creation that shares itself and its beauty with me.  There is joy and entertainment and even some drama right here in my little haven, my blessed back yard.

Please take the time to enjoy what Creation offers.  Every moment there are hidden treasures just waiting to commune with you.  He who is Giver to all, Creator of all, Father of all would love to bless you.

God bless you!!!

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