Of Men, Machines, Muck and Mire

My husband, B, loves tools and heavy equipment.  It all started way before I knew him, but his collection since we married over twenty years ago, has expanded to the point of: “Seriously,  you really need that”?

When someone heard he had an old tractor he might want to sell, they offered to trade B an old backhoe.  He couldn’t resist and there went the tractor faster than i could blink or spit.  He still has his grandpa’s, an old Farmall.

Then, early last year,  after being tired of messing with the old one,  we agreed to replace it with a new one.  And though it was expensive, it has turned into a very resourceful tool.  Just about every neighbor of ours has benefited on more than one occasion.

After about a year of being pestered by a neighbor to clean up that dying row of photinias  ( see my post on them:  Photinias  ) between our two properties, B started in down at the back and started working his way forward.  Vines, dead plants, young tree saplings and the like had to be cut out, removed and run through the brush chipper.  It was slow going, but he was making progress.

And then we got a massive amount of rain.  Due to the grade of our yard, all the runoff settles right at the base of the photinia hedgerow.  And, i was wondering why they were dying off……DUH!  All these years of runoff, no wonder they had finally had enough.

Back to the clearing project,  B was working on it the other day and our neighbor asked B to bring the hoe over to his side of the property and clear out some debris over there.  B obliged, of course.

Did i mention it had rained? A lot?  Anyway, it wasn’t but a few minutes later and the hoe got stuck in some muck.  Not evident to B when he drove over there,  it became very clear that uh-oh, we have a problem.  As B tried to drive clear, the hoe started to sink.  Fast.

Stuck in the Muck

 

Oh yeah!

 

 

 

 

 

Seriously sunk….

Several hours went by as B and another equipment experienced neighbor attempted every trick they knew to get the hoe unstuck. And it wasn’t happening and the more they tried, the more it sunk. Oh boy. It started to get dark, so they had to close up shop for the night and wait until the next day.

I’ll tell you what. I sent a lot of prayers up that night!

Early the following morning, after it was late enough so as not to annoy any sleeping neighbors, he went back to work on getting the hoe unstuck. He was very creative as he used the backhoe part to dig into the ground and push down and lift the front end up. Then he would use the bucket flat on the ground and push it down to lift the other end up. As each end was lifting he would slowly turn the wheels. It took a lot of attempts on each end but he finally got the wheels up and out of the mud enough. I didn’t get to actually watch what he did but as he described everything to me I could picture it quite well in my mind.

The hoe was finally back on solid ground. With all the caked and hardened mud on the entire machine he had to get his pressure washer out to get it all off. It didn’t look exactly brand new because after all it’s a machine that does a lot of hard work but it looked mighty good when he was done.

The next thing to do was to fill all the holes in the ground where the hoe had been stuck. Fortunately we have a giant mound of dirt in our yard that we use for a variety of purposes. He filled in all the holes and then used the bucket to scrape and smooth everything out. Now, all our neighbor has to do is get some grass seed and everything should be back to the way it was.

Filling it in

You know the old saying if something can go wrong it will. Fortunately, B knows his equipment very well. His proven ability to figure things out and “gitter done” attitude showed itself again.

I am so proud.  And I am so thankful to the Lord for making all this happen. A lot of times things don’t go the way you plan. A lot of times things can go very wrong. But if you have faith and perseverance and keep on trying you can get unstuck and out of the muck.

 

 

 

 

 

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Two Minutes

You have a phone, right? A cell phone, that is. Smart or not, it has an alarm feature on it, yes? And I have no doubt it has a stopwatch app as well. Do me a favor. Get out that phone and start the stopwatch. As you watch the seconds tick by, look aside at something you can observe for just a moment.  Not your computer or phone or television set. Focus on what is around and about you.  Then look back at the stopwatch and notice; there’s still more time. Look off again.   Do it for two  minutes.

Look around?  At what?  Like a leaf drifting down off of a tree. A bird lifting up and flying into the air. A flag on a pole flapping in the breeze. Children laughing and swinging at the park. A squirrel flicking its tail shouting at the world.  A spider weaving its web.  A butterfly visiting a flower.  Two old folks, holding hands,  walking together in shared silence.  A mother holding her baby in her arms.

See that cloud drifting along, morphing into something else as it goes? Hear that dove cooing in the distance or the train clickety-clacking along the tracks? Feel the cool breeze as it slides over your skin?  Hear the sounds of laughter as friends greet one another?  The sound of a tugboat as it blows its horn?  The roar of a fighter jet as it streaks across the sky?

Two minutes.

If you are at all like me (well, kinda maybe?) while I watched the seconds tick, those two minutes took a while to go by.  And, I noticed a lot.

Taking a sip

Swallowtail on Verbena

 

 

 

 

Six finches. Click, zoom in and see if you can find them all!

 

 

So, he had this GIANT green pine cone in his mouth and buried it!

 

 

 

 

Can you imagine the mycelium network in my yard????

 

 

Autumn Clematis blooming like crazy. And the perfume every night!!!!

 

 

 

 

Think about your typical day and what all you might be doing.  Sitting at your desk, concentrating on your work maybe? Or, lost in some video game that you just can’t quite put down?  Or, deep into a conversation, texting with a friend or on Facebook? Thinking or worrying about events outside of your control?  Trying to get that crazy to do list marked off?

Admittedly, there are quite a few of you that get the “take a minute and smell the roses” thing and actually do stop and smell them. And some of you wouldn’t even think of wasting time with foolish electronics when there are so many real things to spend time on or with. But, I am thinking that many of us just don’t even think about it for lots of reasons.

And this is not a critique of how you live or spend your life.  It is hopefully more of a wakeup call to tap into that inner part of you that is tired of the “hurry up and get it done” way to live.

Two minutes.

And yet, our minutes turn into hours and they into days and do we ever just stop and look around us at something real or outside of ourselves in the moment we are in?

Real.  Not man-made.  God made.  Creation.  The stuff that does not need us.

Outside of our selves.  Something not having anything to do with us.

C’mon. Go get that stopwatch app. Take two minutes. Then, turn it into five or ten. Do it every chance you get.   Every day.

For this is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalms 118:24

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Frogs and Toads

Yesterday late afternoon, heavy rains came in. It was coming down in large sheets with a heavy wind behind it. The thunder and lightning in the distance was intense and the rumbling of the thunder never stopped. It slowly moved our way. I knew that we were going to have some serious weather because I am constantly watching the radar across the nation.

The rain would intensify at times to where our gutters were useless. The water was just pouring over the edges of our roof. Puddles were forming in the yard and they quickly turned into little rivers rushing down the slight grade of our yard. I was enjoying myself as I always do because I am a serious lover of storms. It was quite invigorating.

As I was watching the sky I received an alert on my tablet about a tornado warning that would affect our area.  Apparently a funnel cloud had touched down in a town nearby and was heading east. I knew that meant it would not come to where we were but I was still on alert. As I gazed up into the sky I saw that the upper-level clouds were moving in a northeasterly direction; the lower clouds were moving southwest almost in a circular fashion. I knew what that meant.  When you have crosswinds rotating and clouds drop down, a funnel cloud can form. Having lived in Iowa for a number of years, I had experienced, first-hand, tornadoes.  After a short while the winds returned to traveling in a single direction and I was relieved.

As I sat on my deck watching the storm, I could not help but think about the horrific devastation in Texas with so many people suffering from the flooding and how long the recovery process will take. I am sure there will be some people that will never recover from something like that. How could you?  All this long week, my thoughts and prayers have been focused on them.

But I had to turn my thoughts away from that. It’s just too overwhelming. I turned my attention back to our storm.  Throughout the rest of the afternoon and late into the night I continued to observe the weather.

That night around 9 or 10 I don’t remember, I was sitting on my deck as usual and started to hear a very strange animal sound. I have been living here since 1993 and I am very familiar with most of the animals that live here. I know what they look like and what they sound like. I cannot recall hearing the sound I was hearing before tonight. Of course my curiosity was piqued and I had to figure out what that was. I grabbed my earbuds, plugged into my tablet and started searching for North Carolina frogs and toads. I was pretty sure it was one of those.

I found a really cool North Carolina herpetology site and on it there were about 28 different frogs and toads. So I clicked on each one, one at a time, and scrolled down to the bottom where there was an audio file of the call of that particular species. After looking through just about all of them, I came to the next to the last one. It was the Eastern Spadefoot. Oh my gosh! It was the toad I had been hearing!

Eastern Spadefoot Toad

Here is a picture of what one looks like. And here is the link if you want to scroll down to the bottom of the page and hear what it sounds like. Be patient; it’s actual call doesn’t start until a couple of seconds into the audio file.     Go here:  Herps of NC

This particular toad digs itself backwards into soft sandy soil and spends most of their lives underground. When extremely heavy rains occur they come out and start mating. Well I guess they were having a heyday in our woods last night! There were many of them calling. I told my husband I was going to grab my raincoat and flashlight and go out into the woods so I can see them. The woods belongs to our neighbor and my husband said that he did not think that would be a good idea. If they looked outside and saw somebody lurking in their woods with a flashlight late at night they might get a little disturbed. I had to agree so I just enjoyed the sounds they were making.

The rain finally ended early this morning. We participate in the CocoRaHS program and my husband reported 3.95 inches of rain at 7 a.m.!  Here’s a link to that program in case you might be curious:   CoCoRaHS    It’s a national program that started and is run by Colorado University. They started many years ago and we joined about 10 or 12 years ago.  Every morning at 7 a.m. we report our precipitation even if there is none. The information is gathered and collected and put into databases where the National Weather Service and other weather agencies can determine precipitation statistics as well as drought areas and I am sure a whole lot more. If there is a sudden inundation of rain we report that immediately so that local weather folks can ascertain flooding possibility probabilities. CoCoRaHS is constantly looking for more volunteers throughout the country as well as in Canada.  (Hint hint).

So right now, it is very foggy out and the clouds have not lifted at all; so it’s kind of dark.  A few scattered storms are expected today but it all should clear out by tomorrow.

Here again, another opportunity presented itself to me to observe and appreciate the natural world. I know that nature can devastate. But without her, life could not exist. Out of the ashes rises new growth. Out of flood waters, life will begin anew.

Weather catastrophes, I know, have occurred throughout history and they are nothing new. I sense in my heart that these kinds of catastrophes are probably going to increase in frequency and intensity.

But no matter whether it is weather or human destruction and violence; of one thing I am certain: I have nothing to fear. My Father in heaven loves me and will protect me until the time comes for me to rest and wait for that great day of His return.

Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.   Joshua 1:9.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee :be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.   Isaiah 41:10

And, lo, I Am With You always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.   Matthew 28:20

Another day, another life-giving, beautiful day!

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What Wonders Await!

Each night as I sit out on the deck, i call to the lightning bugs. I see them dancing in the woods, flashing back and forth to each other. I call them to come and dance for me. Invariably, the lights come closer as i tell them how beautiful they are and how dearly I love them. It’s like they know and are showing me that love right back to me. I stand motionless and in awe as they bless me with their beauty. The frogs and cicadas and katydids and crickets sing along. Louder and louder in a rising crescendo, their symphony plays in perfect harmony.

Then the lights go out, the curtain falls and all is silent. Then, it starts all over again. I am filled with such emotion and gratitude to be able to enjoy and witness this alive expression of Creation speaking and reaching out to me. It is not I alone to whom it speaks. But it is because I am in tune to it, that I hear it.

As the sun comes up and day breaks, the rest of Creation awakens. First are the robins, so chipper and loud. The mockingbirds are next and then the wrens. Pretty soon, everyone is awake and singing. Though the sounds of man echo in the distance, the birds care not. They delight in simply singing to their hearts content, oblivious to the distraction. Flitting from branch to branch, soaring through the air, alighting on their feeders, splashing in the birdbath, they exude the joy of life as only Creation can.

Hummer enjoying nectar

As I sat on my deck the other day, I was watching the hummingbirds sip the nectar of my flowers and their feeder. As one was partaking, he suddenly flew up near me and hovered in front of my face, looking at me. Did you know they cock their heads? They do! I spoke to him as I do with all my creature friends. He stayed for just a short moment and then flew quickly away to perch in the maple where he stands guard. They don’t like to share their sources of food at all. Although, the young ones don’t seem to get chased off as much. Good thing I have flowers they like in different places of the yard out of eye-shot of each other.

I was very happy to see a large yellow swallowtail yesterday.  I just haven’t been seeing the butterflies that I used to.  Their numbers have dwindled terribly.  And nary a Monarch do I see anymore.  It’s been years and makes me really sad.

Yellow swallowtail

As the does and fawns come out of the woods each day, I call out to them, “Hi beautiful ones”. As I express my love to them, they stop out in the open area and always gaze my way. Looking at and listening to me, their tails flitting back and forth, our communion is real though brief. Off they go across the back into the neighbor’s yard where always is waiting a big pan of corn.

The squirrels and rabbits are always about, chasing each other (squirrels with the squirrels and rabbits with the rabbits just in case you thought otherwise tee hee ) or just all stretched out taking a break in the shade. There’s plenty to eat in our yard for everyone, so they don’t have to wander too far for a meal.

Bunnies in the shade

The trees! Oh, yes, the trees. So many different kinds and colors. Some tall, reaching up so high; others shorter and broader. Each gifting me with their branches for shade and protection. Breaking the power of the wind as they sway back and forth, they occasionally sacrifice a part of themselves as one of their branches tear off and drop to the ground. And all the many creatures that make in them their homes are all part of the family that calls my yard its home.

This expression of Father’s Love is so profound. It’s a taste of what He truly wants for us, what He originally created for us: The Eden that awaits us whenever that time comes when He chooses to return this world to its original state. And, in a way, it’s already here; though not complete. He gives us the heart awareness to see and hear and smell and feel and touch Creation if we so choose to awaken to it. It’s not some hocus pocus, magical or imaginary world that only the strange or weird people see. Although, i have been called weird and strange. Ha ha For i talk to the lightning bugs and the birds after all.

For He is our Creator, our Mighty King, Lord of all. He spoke and all became. His Word was the catalyst by which all things were made. And then that Word through whatever miracle became a man, like you, like me. And He walked this world. The Creator walking in His Creation. How amazing and powerful that interaction must have been as all of unfallen Creation experienced His Presence. The perfect communion. And we beheld Him and most walked away or despised Him. Yet, He stayed so as to show mankind His Love by living Truth as an example of how life could be, should be. And then He literally died, severing all connection with Creator and Creation. He conquered death with His resurrection and through that gave us the gift of Life ever after. Do you even realize what that means? We were given the opportunity to be immortal! Though our flesh must die, we will live on. We will rest until all is made new again! And all these glimmers of Truth we can be aware of in this life will become complete and whole as Creation is made new, even us.

As i wander through the rest of however many days or years I have left, I know in my heart that He awaits me to join Him when that time comes. I have chosen to believe in Him and His Truth. And, in whatever way He sees fit to use me to shine His Glory through, I humbly give myself to Him. Though I am not worthy, He loves me anyway. Oh, what wonders await!

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Gloomy Days and then It Rains!!!

My Sunshine Flowers

I have had some pretty gloomy days lately.  So many things are going on in my life right now that are really emotionally challenging.  And to be honest, quite distressful.  I could elaborate and go into detail about every single thing that is going on, but instead I will give you a short synopsis.

We are still dealing with stuff since the house fire this past February.  We have a house full of unpacked items that I have already or need to give away or get rid of.  There are a few things that I want to sell and hope I am able to.  Then I need to go out and buy more things than anybody should ever have to at one time.  And in the meantime, I am still waiting for enough money to cover all of that from the insurance company before i go completely into debt.

The other thing is my husband, whose health is not good at all.  As some of you may remember, he has been fighting cancer since 2005.  And the after-effects of all the surgeries (14 or 15 so far), the days and days of chemo and radiation, and the subsequent horrible effects of having certain medical conditions as a result have wreaked havoc on his frail body more than I can even begin to tell you about. He is in constant pain despite the fact that he does take some pain relievers a couple of times a day.  He is struggling to be the man he used to be and mentally he certainly could be, but physically he cannot.  He is at maybe 35-40% of what he used to be and it is blowing his mind.  And, of course, standing here and watching him is a very very heavy emotional thing to have to go through.

And, then I have a daughter who has made a lot of poor choices and decisions in her life and is a few years away from turning forty.  She is in a situation and environment that breaks my heart.  I can’t bail her out of it but I am very hopeful and prayerful that in some miraculous event, she will turn her life around and live the life that I know she could be.

And then with some other little incidentals, that when added to the ones I just mentioned, my life has become very distressful indeed.  It is really hard to keep the right attitude where you don’t find yourself sinking into a big pool of self pity or a sense of guilt or I don’t know.  It is affecting me extremely, both emotionally and physically.  I have lost quite a bit of weight and have absolutely no appetite.  Although I do eat at least once a day to make sure I stay alive……   Not meaning that as a joke, but seriously.

Thank the Good Lord I have become aware of and am taking advantage of plant “concoctions” of which I mean picked leaves, roots, berries, seeds (and etc…), which are tinctures, or teas or salves form.  I use a variety of them throughout the day depending on what my body says I need.  How amazed I am of how my body knows and more importantly how amazing Father is to have created so many wonderful creatures that reach out to us and heal us.

I actually now have my pain under more control than I ever have.  No more pills or supplements!!!  Yay  My energy levels are such that I can go for an hour and I mean a hard hour.  Then I have to take a break for about 30 minutes or so.  However, if you put that into a 10 or 12 hour day, you can get a lot done!  And, I feel really good about that.

Anyway, today was one of those days that I genuinely fell completely overwhelmed by my situation and I had managed to get down into a very depressed place.  So I started writing to a friend, some of you know her.  But for those who don’t, suffice it to say that she is probably the best friend that a human being could ever ask for.

So, we were communicating back and forth and she, in her special way, was able to at least give me reason  to get out of this dark place and find something better to do with myself!  Ha ha

And then it started to rain.  I was so excited and so happy.  My heart was beating with joy because I was actually hoping it would rain.  I  LOVE the rain.  I don’t care if it is an horrific thunderstorm with lightning so bright that it knocks you off your feet and thunder so loud that it makes your heart beat faster than you could ever imagine.  I LOVE the rain.

As I write this, I am sitting out on my deck and I am watching the rain.  But, back to when I first noticed it.  I was sitting at my desk, sending another little quip to my friend.  And, when I heard the rain start, I ran outside and down the steps.  I stood there with my arms outstretched and I was just lifted up, in spirit and in my heart.  Oh yeah.  There are plenty of you out there that know what I’m saying.  Especially my friend.  (Yes, I just mentioned you again!!!! )

Anyway, back on the deck…..  It is still raining. Good.  We have had a total of 2.1 inches in the last 3 – 4 days.  As you know, hot days and high humidity makes for storms.  Just about every afternoon, there is always a pop up shower or thunderstorm somewhere close by.  The chickens have now gone back into their condo; I can hear crows cawing in the distance, the rest of the birds are probably wherever they go when it rains.  Wait, what do I see?  I see a little finch has hopped onto one of the bare branches on one of the maples.  Cool.  Oh!  Daddy bluebird just flew down onto the grass, grabbed something good in his beak and flew off.

Back at my desk now, finishing this up.

How wonderful can this be?  I went from seriously gloomy to being at peace.  Right now, there is a smile on my face, my heart is at rest and all is well right here, right now.  My dog is sleeping on his throw, the sun just came out, the birds are back at the feeders and I am heading back out to the deck.

Amazing what can happen when you turn your attention away from gloom and towards the rain?  Ha ha

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My Love Affair

Those of you who visit my blog with any frequency are well aware of my love affair with my yard.  Most especially, I love my feathered friends.  They delight me throughout every single day.  Their lovely songs, especially in the early hours of the day, drown out any human sounds that tend to invade the air.  Their antics bring smiles and laughter to me.  The gorgeous array of their colors is exhilarating and sometimes downright intoxicating.  On very rare occasions I even get to touch them.   That is usually when one is injured and requires a little TLC from someone who cares.

This year is no different than any other with one exception.  I have a real camera.  And that has opened up a whole new world to me.   I can zoom in or out and then crop on the fly.  It is a rare time that I am outside without it.  I am not much of a photographer but when it comes to snapping shots of nature, I am very avid about it; enough so that I will just keep on taking shots until I get it right.  And, it is so much fun.  (:^)

I have folders and folders of pictures I have taken in the last few weeks, so as usual, I want to share them here.  With you.   Hmmmm.  Where to start.

Grabbing a sip

Well, how about my little hummingbirds?

Here’s one at the feeder.  And one perching on a branch in one of the maples.

Closeup

You will have to zoom in and see if you can find it.  If not, here is a crop of it.   

Out hopping about around the chicken coop, was a rather large rabbit.

 

Bunny Rest Stop

And, we can’t leave out the squirrels, can we?  We have a herd, almost.  Uh, yeah.  A LOT.  Ha Ha

Yeah. I’m watching you.

Playing in the pines

And then there are all the woodpecker varieties, included here are the red-bellied, a downy and maybe a hairy.

Mom and young fledgling red-bellied

Young red-bellied

The last two are REALLY hard to tell apart other than body and beak size, but at a distance, it isn’t easy.

And here, a Downy

 

Maybe a Hairy?

 

 

 

 

Dad red-bellied

 

In that same branch where the humming bird was perching, there are a lot of birds that hang out there as you can see.

This cardinal has a male buddy. Guess all the females are taken this year! Ha ha

 

Gorgeous bluebird. His house is right behind this tree and brood number two is on its way.

 

 

 

 

This robin was just a-singin!

Great crested Flycatcher. Top of his head fluffs up but not always

 

 

 

 

 

Check out these goldfinches that were chowing down on my sunflower.  Pretty cool, huh? 

Male Goldfinch

Male and female

 

 

 

And, I just have to throw in this picture of the echinacea at the bottom of the steps to my deck.  Can you believe all the blooms?????   BLOWS MY MIND.

Echinacea “Purple Coneflower”

Well, that is it for now.  I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did taking them.  And don’t forget, if you click on the pictures, they will open up for better viewing!

Another day has just dawned.  I was just out on the deck as the sun came up and all of my birds are filling my yard with their songs.  So pleasant.  Father blesses us abundantly with his creatures.  That joy it brings wells up inside of me every single day.  Wow!

 

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Of Granddaughters, hawks and snakes

This past Tuesday was my granddaughter’s 12th birthday.  We had discussed a few weeks ago what she wanted to do.  Since we have been spending time together every week since she was 6 months old and she was out of school, we decided to spend the day doing something fun that SHE would like to do.  We went to the Museum of Natural Sciences in the city.

The day started out having lunch at a really nice Thai restaurant.  Part of the discussion we had was where should we have lunch.  I suggested to her that we start trying foods from different countries.  To her surprise, she really liked the food!  Afterwards we spent several hours visiting each floor and exhibit and found lots of cool things to learn about.  The museum has hands-on labs and we took advantage of them.  I was quite impressed by all there was in those labs for young people to “play” with and learn from.

T-Rex

After I dropped her back home, I headed to my house and, as is my usual, I sat right down on my deck to relax.  It wasn’t but a few minutes as I was looking out over my yard, that I saw a hawk standing on the ground and he appeared to be hopping around.  I grabbed my Canon, which I had with me from our little excursion and zoomed in.

Hmmmm. What is he doing?

I just kept on snapping pictures.  And

He definitely has something

it was obvious what was going on  as I did.   He had a snake!  And from the color of it, it had to be a black snake and a rather large one at that.

Hawk vs Black Snake

Of course, keep in mind, when a hawk and a snake are going a round, they don’t hold still for a picture.  Ha ha   But I am hopeful that you can zoom in and still see clearly what was going on in this battle.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of this.

The battle continues

The hawk was making quick work of the snake.  He kept reaching down and tearing parts and swallowing.  It was kind of gruesome in a way but I have no doubt there are eyas (baby hawks) close by.  I see both male and female pretty regularly in the pine grove on the edge of our yard.  I don’t even have to see or hear them to know they are near.  As I mentioned in another Hawk post, all the birds in the yard start squawking and calling everyone to come and chase the hawks away.  So, when I hear many kinds of birds all freaking out at the same time, I know one of the hawks is nearby.

And then, I turned away for a couple of minutes as I was having a conversation with hubby and the hawk was gone.  What a picture that would have been had I been able to capture that.

So, that was my day.  Spending time with my sweet and beautiful granddaughter was so enjoyable and I am so grateful and so blessed to have been able to do that.  It continues to amaze me that she actually looks forward to and enjoys being with me as often as she is.  When she started middle school (6th – 8th around here), I asked her did she still want to hang out on Fridays with me.  She said “Uh, YEAH!!!”.  I really am blessed.

And then to end the day with that amazing scene in the backyard, well, what can I say?  I have never seen anything like it and probably never will again.  Talk about being at the right place at the right time!

Father blesses in so many ways.  And, yet, I still seem to find reasons to whine and complain.  Talk about needing a Gibb’s slap!

I hope and pray that all of you have similar moments and people in your life that you are able to enjoy.  It is those kinds of moments that we must cherish and look to for inspiration and hope.  There is way too much “mess” out there guaranteed to distract and discourage if you don’t.

Til next time.

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