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!!!

Advertisements
Posted in Faith, God, Heart, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Florence Aftermath

Rivers are still flooding in North Carolina.  Some have started to recede; others have not.  It may not be until next week before they are down to flood stage!  The sewage, chemicals and debris that have washed into and up out of the rivers as they flooded have left an environmental disaster and health risk for many of our residents.  Most flooded houses will not be able to be lived in anytime soon, if ever again.  And keep in mind that it was only two years ago that a good percent of these same folks were flooded out just as badly by Hurricane Matthew.

One of my dear friends has a son in the Raleigh police department.  A few days ago, one of his superiors called  her son to see if he would be willing to volunteer for 10 days or so down in Wilmington.  He was and is there now.  His Alma Mater is there where he earned his degree in Criminal Justice.  I can only imagine the horrors and challenges he must be facing.  I look forward to hearing about his mission down there.  Well, I don’t know if “look forward” are the right words.

Disasters will continue around the world and they seem to be worsening and occurring more frequently.  Perhaps some may think that is because events are covered so well by the news these days that we simply hear about it more now than before.  Others may believe that this is the “signs of the end times”.  I believe it is simply the response of Creation to the sins of mistreatment by humans.  It could be climate change, since cycles occur on a regular basis.  But, taking all the facts/evidence of the effects of our actions on Nature,  I still think we had/have a lot to do with it.  This is not for debate because I do not claim to know the “truth” about that, simply my opinion as you have your right to yours.

I believe there are lessons to be learned here.  Not the “be prepared just in case” kind of lesson.  I think this is a good time for all of us to re-establish our communion with Our Lord.  Open up our hearts to His Spirit.  Regardless of what external events or influences may occur, the only effect they can have on us will depend on where we are in our relationship with Him.  Jesus said ” I am the way, the truth, and the life”   That is all we really need to know.  Following Him and the examples He set forth while He walked on this earth will create for us a much higher plane of existence (the Spirit Realm) and bring us to an awareness that what is here in this realm really doesn’t matter as much as we think it does.

I believe in being in and walking by the heart-led way.  When His Spirit is in communion with my spirit in my heart and I let that rule, I am in such a more peaceful state than when I let my mind rule.  I’ve talked about it before in other posts.  You can search for “heart-led” if you like.

May you find the heart-led way.  The path it will take you on will change your life forever.

Posted in Faith, God, Health, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Florence has gone

Sunshine in the pines

The sun is out!  Shortly before noon, the clouds drifted north and there it was!  Although an occasional gust comes through every now and then, most of our area will be out of Florence’s influence soon.  Today, I put all of the bird feeders back out amongst our trees and all the yard ornaments and chimes.   We have been blessed.  A few tree branches here and there in the yard, a little water sitting in small puddles and that is all.

Now, our hearts go out to all the victims of this storm.  We have thousands in shelters, many frightened and evacuated from the soon to crest rivers reaching record-breaking peaks; support folks from Canada and all over the states coming here to help with responders working around the clock to rescue those who got stranded or need assistance; and those who lost their lives or their loved ones.  Many are without power and of those, help cannot even get to them.  Most of the coast is devastated due to the storm surge that deluged many towns and homes.  It will be a long time before anything will be normal again for many folks.

Many people in areas not as affected by the storm are opening their homes to those whose homes were damaged at the coast and in the areas with rivers flooding.  The shelters originally provided included some schools in our area.  But they are now needed so students can get back to their classrooms.   With rivers flooding communities up here in the Raleigh/Durham area, evacuations are occurring now.  As Florence moves north, she is pulling streams of moisture up from the ocean.  With the sunlight, the atmosphere is heating and mix all that together, pop up storms will occur.  More flooding up our way will happen and is.  It ain’t over yet, folks.

It is very uplifting to see so many compassionate people helping so many strangers in this time of need.  Churches are cooking meals and inviting anyone hungry to come and eat.  Collection places are filling up with donations of food, diapers, household needs, blankets and such.  Our local media is live at the coast, so evacuees can actually see the state of their homes.  They are also having a live broadcast fund raiser to raise money for all those in need.

This is life in North Carolina and we all know it.  When you hear a storm might be heading your way, you prepare and wait.  When the storm nears, you leave or hunker down.  While the winds and rain move over your house, you stay inside and pray.  When it seems to have abated, you wait some more.  When it is over, you bow your head in gratitude.

Then the aftermath has to be dealt with.  Any of you who have dealt with a major natural disaster knows what this means and what it is like.  For some of us, it is just simple clean-up.  For others, it is rebuilding your whole life all over again; it is finding help to do that; and it is getting over the nightmare that you just went through.

I pray for all of those who suffered from this storm.  I pray the Lord grants you Courage to face the days ahead, Strength to do what needs to be done, Faith to encourage you that He is with you, Peace towards one another, Patience while you wait to get what you need, and Compassion to all who are suffering.

We are all on this planet together, regardless of beliefs, opinions or persuasions.  May we all realize that.  May He who holds this world in His Hands grant us His Mercy.

Posted in Faith, Family, God, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Florence Moves Slowly

Florence at 4pm

We slept through last night although, to be honest, I expected not to.  As you can see, even though it has been several hours since landfall, Florence is moving very slowly.  That is not a good thing.  The bands of rain that you see in the image are not going to stop any time soon.  It could be tomorrow night before the heavy rain stops around here.  ( I live SE of Raleigh a little ways)

Our neighborhood has had a few big branches fall; one neighbor’s tree split at its crotch and fell on the roof of his porch.  They are elderly, so the guys will certainly take care of that as soon weather permits.  Right now, it is raining hard.  We haven’t checked our large capacity (11 in) rain gauge, but it looks from here like we have had over 6 inches so far.  The wind is probably steady at 35-40 with gusts upwards of 50mph or more.  We don’t have a wind speed gauge.  Yet.    Around 11:00 AM, our generator was started and thankfully, I can type this online.

Elsewhere, there has been horrific flooding and that will continue on into Tuesday or Wednesday.  Our own river will reach flood stage in a day or two and overflow its banks.  We do not live in that flood area.  With the storm surge that is still going on at the coast because of the continuing impact of hurricane force winds, the ocean water is pushing up into all the rivers in our state that empty there.  Picture a giant plunger pushing that water up-river.  Then, add to that all the rain flowing into the creeks and streams that empty into those rivers.  Several cities on those rivers are or soon will be flooded.  I mean flooded.  Hurricane Matthew dealt a mean blow two years ago, but this will be much worse.  Look up New Bern, NC, which has two rivers flowing through it.  The flooding is terrible there and it is raining hard still.

There have been three storm related deaths thus far.  Two were a mother and her infant child that died when a tree fell on their house.  The father was rushed to the hospital.  My heart sank when I heard that.  So very sad.

Many people don’t realize that the combination of long duration heavy rain and high winds can create a perfect scenario for ground saturated tree roots to simply let go and fall.  A lot of people opted to “wait” out the storm, including some of our family members that live at the coast.  So far they are safe, but this thing is not going to be over for our part of the state for hours, maybe into Sunday!

I took all my feeders in last night.  Thankfully, there are a lot of seeds still on the ground and my sweet little birds are finding them.  I wonder what they do when the wind and rain are so bad.  Surprisingly, I see some flying around amongst the trees often.

Well, I guess that brings you up to date so far.  I am not sure when I will post again, but it helps me to do this…….

Take care, God bless you and Praise our Father, who watches over us as He does!

 

Posted in Faith, Family, God, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Florence Nears

When I wrote early Monday morning about waiting on Florence, I didn’t really expect that I would be this apprehensive.  Here it is, two days later and she is certainly a force to be reckoned with!  A powerful Category 4 hurricane she has become and within only a few hours from the Cat 2 she was when I typed my last post.  And, oh, does she have our state in her sites.  If she does indeed make landfall around Wilmington, she will probably follow the last monster we dealt with: Fran, in 1996.  See: Hurricane Wedding   Only, Florence is a heck of a lot bigger and nastier looking than Fran was.  Trouble is a  Bermuda high that is pushing and holding her back from being able to travel quickly after landfall.

I must admit weather fascinates me.  I cudda/shudda been a meteorologist or a climatologist.  It just all grabs my attention and I always have to understand all the underlying currents and ocean temperatures and atmospheric pressures and, sorry, I don’t want to bore you.  Suffice it to say, I repeat, fascinating.

Back to Florence.  Our yard has been “swept” of anything that I hold dear, saved from destruction and tucked neatly away somewhere safe.  My chimes are all packed in a bin and in my laundry room.  Outside furniture left where it is if made of the heavy wood sort or folded up and put away if not.  I will leave all my bird feeders out until the last minute.

The main effect we will have from the storm initially will be tropical storm winds and rain.  We will probably get the east side of the storm, which is the harshest.  We are located between the swath of possible winds of 43-74 and the 75-100 mph one.  So, we really could get off easier or not, depending on her inland track.  Rain will be the biggest problem.  Again, it all depends on which way she goes.  I do, however, expect that we will get a significant amount of rain (8-10 inches).  This past Saturday we had an inch and then on Monday, we had almost three more.  So, with saturated ground and the possibility of a lot more in a short period of time, trees can uproot.  This area also has a lot of rivers and side streams, many of which are already pretty high from the recent rains.  Streets will quickly be under water and power outages will probably occur early on.

Now, we just hunker down.  Stores are stripped of the basic necessities and gas stations have pretty much run out.  Thankfully, we and our family are prepared and supplied.  Some members that live at the coast are heading up here to stay with my daughter.  The coast will be dealing with serious storm surges and feet of rain.

Father, watch over us all.  Bless us with Your Patience, Strength, Wisdom, Compassion and Protection.  And thank You for all You bless us with every single day!

Stay tuned……   I will report back in as soon as I can.  Thankfully, with the generator, I should be able to sooner than later.

Posted in Faith, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Waiting on Florence

Around here, if you are in the “forecast cone” of a hurricane, you don’t wait and see without taking it seriously and make daggone sure you are prepared.

Hurricane Florence is about 1400 miles from where I live, but it could be aimed right at us.  Her path brings her directly into the Carolinas at the moment.  She has been moving really slowly, thanks to a lot of upper level and other atmospheric conditions.  Now she is a Category 2 and her forward motion is speeding up.  The latest hurricane hunter plane found she is strengthening quickly.  As she moves closer to the coast, with the warmer ocean temperatures, she is expected to develop into a Category 4.  By Tuesday afternoon, we should know a lot better where she might hit.

Once she hits land, if she follows the current projections, she will be right over us around Friday early to mid day.  There is a building high pressure system north and west of us  that looks like if it moves our way (and it looks like it will), it could cause Florence to stall right over our area.  That results in only one thing: rain and LOTS of it.  The projections are over a foot of rain in some areas.  That is what happened with Matthew two years ago.  We only had a couple of inches from that; however, towns within 30 miles of us were literally submerged and are only now back to “normal”, whatever that mean.

We are 120 miles from one of the projected areas for landfall (Wilmington, NC).  That is not much considering most hurricanes run in the hundreds of miles across.  Obviously I will be watching all the data over several sites over the next few days.

The last time this happened was Hurricane Fran back in September (5th) of 1996.  She was a Category 3 hurricane.  We were all in the midst of preparing for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary (September 8) and folks from all over the states and some from across the seas had been invited.  Fran moved in and knocked the hell out of us for two days.

As Fran came inland, the wind and rain were frightening.  At our county airport, a fifteen minute drive from here, top gusts were clocked at 97 miles per hour.  Our trees were literally bent over to the ground with debris flying all around.  I remember waking up that night and looking outside.  It was really scary.  The wind howled and rain poured all that next day.  When it was over, it was eerily quiet.  My husband drove out into the neighborhood and was amazed at all of the destruction.  Trees and power lines were down.  Some had fallen onto rooftops and cars.  The ground was already pretty soaked before Fran showed up.

No one had power anywhere in the entire path Fran had travelled.  The anniversary party was the very next day.  And, since the hotel had generators, we all left our homes and drove the forty miles to get there the night before.  Crazy, huh?  But you can’t change plans like that with so many folks already heading here.  Obviously, some folks didn’t come for fear of all that a hurricane’s aftermath can leave.  But, enough of us did and in spite of the calamity, we enjoyed ourselves.

Returning home, we had a lot of cleanup to do, both at home and helping throughout the neighborhood.  We had no power for a week.  I guess the worst part was not being able to bathe or cook.  There were emergency agencies providing stops throughout the area for food and water.  Luckily we had stockpiled both, except for ice, which could be found, at a high price.  It wasn’t very much later that we purchased a 10,000 Watt generator, which we have used a few times since.  Other than our heat pump, it will run the whole house.

Today, I will run up to some of the stores in town and pick up a few things.  I have always been one to keep a serious supply of canned and dry goods, a large trunk full of first aid supplies, lots of candles and batteries, a working battery operated weather/AMFM radio and anything else I know we might need in cases like this.  With the generator, our well pump will run, so water will not be a problem.

So now, yes, we will wait and see what the weather folks continue to predict.  In the next two days, I am sure we will have a much better picture of what to expect.  Past experience has taught us a lot.  Our entire yard will have to be “storm proofed” .  Anything loose, lightweight or hanging will have to be put inside.  The birds will have to wait to be fed until after the storm, but they will be taken care of as quickly as possible.

I will keep you posted ……..

Posted in Faith, Family, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hens and Chicks

Sempervivum (aka “hens and chicks”)

We have been blessed this year with some new chicks!  Although the title may have confused some since I do talk about my gardens frequently and have a LOT of sempervivum, I am talking about baby chickens.

Two days old

On March 19. hubby decided we needed some more chickens.  Our flock was down to five hens.

Although I really wasn’t too excited about the idea, he brought home ten buff orpington bitties (what we call baby chicks down here).  This is the breed we settled on about ten years ago as the one we liked the best.  He put them into a large box in the living room.   From past experience, we know what a mess that can become as litter dust flies everywhere.  Ha   Since our rabbit cage was still set up, he converted it into a bittie hutch.  They settled in pretty quickly and with the whole hutch wrapped in plastic and a heat lamp, they stayed nice and toasty.

Safe and warm

They grow quickly.  And, once they were introduced to the flock in the coop, everyone has gotten along very well.  Oh, there’s a pecking order for sure, but no one has been agressive in any way.  Here’s a few pictures of them as they grew….

Four weeks old and wing feathers developed

Mingling in the coop with the adults – 14 weeks old

 

 

 

Towards the end of spring, we noticed one hen was being seriously broody.  She would NOT get off one of the nest boxes.  We no longer have a rooster, so fertile eggs were not going to happen.  But she insisted on staying in that box.  Somehow, she even managed to move some of the other hens’ laid eggs from another box into “her” box.  Of course, we collect eggs daily, so she contented herself to lay on some wooden eggs we keep in there.

I guess hubby felt bad for her, so he called up a neighbor of ours, who breeds all kinds of fancy chickens.  He agreed to give us some eggs he had in his incubator.  So, four little eggs came home and were set under Miss Broody.  They hatched the next day!!!!

Miss Broody’s bitties hatching

Look how teeny!

 

 

 

 

 

Momma hen is seriously protective of her little ones.  She and they are in the same pen that our earlier bitties were kept until they grew large enough to go into the coop.  They run around and eat, but the moment Momma makes a certain clucking sound, they all dart in and under her.  It is way too cute to see those little heads peeking out from under her breast or wings.  Another thing I noticed is they ride piggy-back on her.  I had never seen that before..

Riding piggy-back

So, come this fall, I imagine we will have eggs galore!  As it is, with just the five hens, we get at least a dozen a week.  Good thing we like eggs!  Once all of them are laying, we will have to find an outlet for them for sure.  As you can see, the bitties grow fast.  It does take a good six months before a hen will start laying.

Another blessing, folks!  With all of the gifts of Creation from our Father right here in our own back yard, we now get to enjoy watching our chicken family grow.

I pray you have a wonderful day and find many gifts along the way.  Our Father is so good to each and every one of us.  Let your heart sync with him and that communion will bless you in more ways than you can begin to imagine.  His blessings never end as long as we take the time to connect, commune and notice!

 

Posted in Faith, God, Nature | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments