Wrong Choice of Word

I apologize, I used a wrong word in my previous post on Thursday Thoughts. I said, “…to provoke reflective thoughts.” This is a wrong word choice. A better word would be cause.

My intent is to enjoy the reflective thoughts photography offers us in a positive way. This is not for negative, rude, damaging photos or thoughts. Any posts in that arena will be removed.

Thursday Thoughts

It seems like a fun thing to start on this blog, that is, to cause reflective thoughts through photography. There is much truth in the old saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.

So every Thursday I hope to post a photo of mine with the thoughts that came to mind upon looking at it. With the goal of stirring a thoughtful moment in our often crowded, busy day, a daily, small time of reflection is a wonderful thing. I hope you agree, and perhaps post your thoughts as well. If you would like to share with others your own photo and thoughts, please post your address in your comment.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

In Focus #15—More Birds in the Hood

Birding is more fun with company. At least it is for me. I appreciate the extra eyes and smarts it takes to correctly identify fast moving birds around branches. A comic could easily be drawn of me with binoculars, camera, bird book and pencil hanging and flopping around my neck and filling my hands. Did I mention I also have our dog with me? It really is a comical sight, and usually an unsuccessful outing. Beautiful birds are passing through on their way to their summer homes elsewhere. It takes great skill (and another set of eyes for me) to identify them. That said, more times than not, my focus is on the easy birds that live in the fields, woods and ponds with us, and those returning home to us.

What fun to watch the male goldfinches change into their courting attire every spring for summer. They stay home year-round, but loose their brilliant yellow in winter. Also, happy, happy songs fill the air in the barn with the joyful return of our beloved Barn Swallows. Springtime is best time to see even more of our neighborhood birds because tree leaves are just bursting forth. Their small size offers big windows to see many of our beautiful local birds. It is my favorite time of year for birding. Our locals are not in as big a rush to get somewhere else, nor are they as ravenously hungry as those passing through. Making them easier to follow and identify.

A flock of beautiful Bohemian Waxwings were just chilling on a branch earlier this week. They have wonderful lessons to teach on sharing. I have seen them all lined up on a branch passing berries down the line to one another. There are so many sweet singing sparrows busy building their family homes for the year. The Red-winged Blackbirds are busy tending to home and family as well this time of year. While the Carolina Wrens could not sing a sweeter song.

I invite you to go outside, look and listen to this blessed, happy time of year the birds are telling us all about.

So many sweet sparrows.
We are delighted when our Barn Swallows return home for the summer.
We all know warm weather is coming when our Goldfinch sports his fancy summer clothes!
A flock of beautiful Bohemian Waxwings.
They share their food with one another.
Birds teach us much.
An extra—the spectacular Dogwood is in full bloom!

FMF Writing Prompt—FAST

Does time go faster as we age?

I have heard that all my life. I have also heard that time goes faster when one is having fun. Does that imply we are having more fun when we are older? Is that why it seems to go faster?

Too many questions for an early, rainy morning. I do not know the answers. I do know our lives are short, only a speck in the realm of life. When we are gone the place where we were remembers us no longer.

So, I want all my fast days to be well spent.

Five Minute Friday Writing Prompt—Deny

I will never leave you nor forsake you. Heb 13:5

All the promises of God are true and wonderful for He always keeps His promises. He will never deny those of us that call Him Lord. Blessed assurance.

So the question then is who has denied Whom?

Many times over it has been asked why would God send someone to Hell? In truth, it is we who deny The Lord. It is we who say we want nothing to do with Him. Because of this free will we can choose Jesus as our Lord or deny Him. So if we are not in Heaven it is because we chose not to be.

Should we deny Him, please know it is by our own mind and decision that will separate us from God on the other side of Heaven. Either way it is our choice.

He is waiting for us to turn to Him. Would you turn to Him today? Tomorrow may never come.

Five Minute Friday Writing Prompt—Explore

A great word for this most special week in the Christian faith—Explore.

An invitation that calls us to explore the facts and truths of this incredible Holy Week. A personal call to each of us to discover (or rediscover) the first-hand witnesses, historical documents, and full-filled prophecies of Jesus, our Savior. The agony He went through to save us from ourselves and our sins.

Explore the facts and decide for yourselves where Truth, Hope, and Joy resides.

He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Glory!

Decide this day whom you will serve, As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord.

Little olive wood cup used in Israel for a garden Communion.

Five-Minute Friday Writing Prompt—Coffee

I wonder how many folks start their day, everyday, with a cup of hot, fresh-brewed coffee first thing? I’m not even sure my day would begin without one. I question if even the sun would rise!

Without coffee and quiet time before God in His Word, my family would not even want my day to begin.

After that all-important time I head out to the barn with a second cup. Whereupon the sun and chickens happily greet the world and me a cheerful Good Morning.

Such a perfect start to the gift of each new day. This country gal could not ask for more.

In Focus #15—Bear Happiness

It has been over seven years since the most serious injury I ever had from a horse. Like Jacob who wrestled with an Angel and walked with a limp the rest of his life, I too have a hitch in my giddy-up. Though as my mother would say, “I can’t complain”. Life is very much the same, and I am exceedingly grateful. However, to this day, should anyone say I fell off that horse I am very quick to remind them that horse threw me with great intention!

The critical care nurses on the first night at the hospital were attentive and kind. It was early the next morning when I awoke, and to my hearts delight and overwhelming joy, I saw one of my dearest older sisters, Sarah, coming into the room. She looked absolutely beautiful. Our mom had passed away a couple years back and when I saw my sister a grapefruit-size lump filled my throat and I knew all would be well. In her arms was the most adorable stuffed bear with the happiest grin on his face, with a big heart-shaped tummy and flowers, I think.

She helped me get out of bed and take a very painful little walk, encouraging me all the way. She did more for me than she will ever know on that morning visit.

That little bear has been on our bed every since. My husband has a grand sense of humor, and over the years I have come into the room and found Bear Happiness in the funniest of poses all over our bed. I would like to share some of them with you. May they add a smile to your day. There is a Latin saying at the old home where I work: Disce Ferenda Pati. Translated: Bear Patiently what must be borne. It was a right long haul back to good health, but this little Bear Happiness sure helped the journey and still brings joy to this day.

That is a cardboard fan, he is fanning himself—he’s hot!
Hmmmm, wonder what’s on todays to-do list?

Before the Rain Comes

Only a couple hours before the rain was to start and then to linger for the next couple days. By the looks of the sky, this weather forecast seemed accurate.

I had a weather dependent project to be done. Days have just begun warming up so the time was right, that is before the rain came into the picture. Projects that stay on ‘the list’ too long start screaming at me—“Looky, looky! I’m still here waiting to be done. How long is it going to take?” This particular project was mulch. It had been frozen all winter, and was just warmed enough now to get. The barn was in desperate need of a fresh layer of mulch all in front of the stalls where the horses live. It really is a never-ending project because it gets picked up with the daily barn mucking, and the chickens scratch it all over the place!

Over the past year our neighbor has had many trees removed from around his home and property. Much of it was turned to firewood but a heavy load was shredded into lovely, big mulch piles. He kindly told me I can take what I need. A generous offer he did not have to make twice. Corralling my daughter and son-in-law for some fast help before the rains came was easy. I knew our new SIL, Jon, had never driven a tractor and being the fine car/truck mechanic that he is with a passion for all things related to engines and four wheels, I knew this would be an easy sale. Not only that but he is very sharp and clever.

Using the loader to fill the club car and hauling a load with the tractor as well was a sure bet for getting this project done quickly. After a basic lesson on tractor driving skills and working the front-end loader, he was off and heading to the mulch piles. Just as I knew, he caught on very quickly, smiling all the way. Tractors have a way of putting a smile on one’s face. There is something magically fun about them (though I suppose if I were on them 10 hours a day I’d have a different opinion).

Anyway, it was a successful project. Rain was falling with purpose when we dumped our last load. Time to check it off that perpetual farm work list—for the time being.

As for Jon? I heard he quietly whispered to his young wife—“We need to get a tractor!”

Five Minute Friday Writing Prompt—Spring

Spring, Spring in the air!

Here in our part of Virginia frost date is in May. So it can still feel a bit like winter for awhile. However the cold is not as bitter, the ground is warming up, the daffodils are in bloom, and the chickens are out in the yard..

But the best part, the neighbor children are outside running over to visit chickens, horses, the dog and cats! Full of chatter, they happily feed the horses carrots as they visit. All talking at the same time!

Oh! The joys of Spring!