Friday, May 30, 2008

A Little of This, A Little of That.

The weather around here has been beautiful this past week, with pleasant temperatures. And my dear friend, Eileen is finally free of her cast! She still has to wear a temporary brace around the wrist, but for the most part her hand is free, and she can now even put curlers in her hair at night! :-)

She is still somewhat afraid to drive, since she hasn't had her hands around a stirring wheel in over three months, but we'll be out there practicing this weekend.

The warmer temperatures and frequent showers have turned everything lush and green, and growing at a rapid speed. I mean the grass, of course. The lawnmower gives us quite a workout these days. Meanwhile, I took a few photos this week to share. I hope you enjoy them.

The cattails in the pond first appeared a couple of years ago. At first, I thought they added a nice touch to it, since my pond is mainly a wildlife pond. But these days, the cattails seem to be multiplying at a rapid rate, and I am worried they will take over the entire pond. So we will have to do some cattail weeding soon!

I call this shrub my purple globe. Actually, the flowers are kind of a raspberry color, and the honey bees are very fond of it. I planted this five years ago, because I liked the round shape of it, and the light, yellow -green color of the foliage, which turns a pretty gold in the fall. But I forgot the name of it. Anyone know what this shrub is called?

The white wild rose at the top of the field has made one of the smaller trees its trellis! It looks very pretty cascading down from the branches. We may have to do some pruning though, this fall.
Looking out the window the other evening, I saw this guy out in the back. And when I opened the window to talk to him, he stood up on his hind legs! Since it was already quite dark out there, his eyes are glowing, but he is cute, isn't he? I did give him a hot dog, as a snack!

And this guy was making his way through the field, the other day, at quite a rapid pace, and I went running out with the camera, to take his picture. He seemed very cooperative, and then went on his way, to wherever turtles go. Since he is quite large, I think he is quite old as well. These turtles can live to be a hundred years old. There is a turtle in the pond as well, but he is a ferocious looking snapping turtle, and spends most of his time in the water. His head sometimes pops up, when I'm feeding the fish, and he snaps up some of the cat kibbles I feed the catfish.

May is almost over, and I haven't seen a new fawn yet. But I have been watching for the mothers to come and show me their babies, when they're old enough. I know they will, and I can't wait to see them.

Well, I have made this post long enough. Thank you for reading, have a lovely weekend and a great week!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A New Award! And A Belated Birthday Wish!

This neat award was passed on to me by dear Patty over at Old Lady Lincoln. (She is married to Abe Lincoln, you know!) Thank you my friend. I am honored! Now I am to pass this award on to 5 blogs that make me think and make my day.

Well that is the hard part, as I love all the blogs I visit. However, the rules say 5, so I am passing this award on to- tada, drum roll please :

Deborah at Corridors.

Bev at Mountain Mama

Grandy at Functional Schmunktional

Patti at Nonna's News and

Audrey at Marvellous

Hope you enjoy this award, friends.

I would also like to wish my dear friend Merle, whose birthday, last Friday, May 23rd, I somehow missed, a belated Happy Birthday!

Count your life by smiles, not tears,
Count your age by friends, not years.
Happy Birthday, dear Merle!

Your forgetful friend, Renie.

And thank you for passing this award on to me as well, dear Merle. Getting it twice is very nice! :-)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend!

My pink rosebush is loaded with beautiful flowers and buds, signifying the start of warmer weather. And Memorial Day Weekend signifies the start of the summer season, although summer is officially a few weeks away.

Anyone travelling this Memorial Day weekend? Or are higher gas prices keeping you closer to home? This area just rose to $3.69 a gallon! And that's low compared to some other areas of the country, especially larger cities.

We will travel all of 15 miles to the cabin on the river, for a little cookout. The river still looks too high from the recent floods, so I don't know how many boats will venture out on it. But folks will be out there grilling, picnicking, and enjoying the nice weather the forecast has promised for our are for Saturday and Sunday. Monday itself might be rainy.

As we are all enjoying the Memorial Day weekend with friends and family, we will keep in mind that Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
-Moina Michael

Have an enjoyable and safe Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways--A Story

I'm an avid hunter. Especially in the spring of the year when the air is fresh, the breezes gentle, and new "game" is plentiful. More often than not, I hunt in my woods and fields, armed with my trusty Wildflowers and Plants of North America book, a camera, and a dog and cat companion. And, yes, I'm a wildflower hunter.

The Mark Twain National forest covers 1.5 million acres in my area. Noted for its scenic qualities, the Forest contains much for the outdoor lover. If you hanker for clear, cool spring-fed streams to dip your toes into, you will find them here. If changing landscapes are your thing, you will find peaks, hills and knobs of varying heights throughout the forest. Exposed rock and open glades also add interest to the scenic settings.

Each spring, enchanting wildflowers, ferns, and prairie grasses appear, to the special delight of wildflower enthusiasts. Some of the wildflowers are rare, and even endangered-like the yellow lady's slipper plant, a member of the wild orchid family.

Two years ago, my friend and fellow wildflower enthusiast, Hazel, called to tell me she had heard where there were some yellow lady's slippers growing in the Mark Twain National Forest. "It's in the J Highway area of the forest," she said. "Want to go see if we can find them?"

"Do I ever!" I said. "How about tomorrow morning?"

It was a beautiful, mild, late April morning as Hazel and I drove up to J Highway to set out for the hunt for the yellow lady's slipper. Most of the land in that area is owned by the Forest Service, except for a few smatterings of privately owned farms, which, it turned out, was a lucky thing for two careless hunters!

We parked the car on the side of the road, and walked into the leafy sanctuary of tall oaks and hickories. A myriad of plants and wildflowers carpeted the floor, and we became so engrossed in trying to identify each one that we lost all sense of time and direction. But what was even worse, we failed to notice the ominous changes taking place above our heads--until we heard a noise that compelled us to look up.

"Oh, my gosh, it's thundering in the distance. There is a storm coming," I said to Hazel. "We'd better had back to the car."

"You aint a-kidding," Hazel said. "And we'd better hurry, too. From the looks of those dark clouds, it will be a doozie!" We turned quickly and began sprinting through the woods in the direction of our vehicle. Unfortunately, our vehicle was nowhere to be found. We had gotten ourselves lost!

After sprinting some more, while the sky grew even darker and the thunder closer, panic began to set it in. So we stopped for a minute to catch our breath.

"I can't believe we got lost. I've been in these woods many times and thought I knew the way," Hazel said.

"Sh-h! Listen! I hear something," I interrupted.

"Cock-a-doodle-do!" the something went.

"It's a rooster crowing! And it doesn't sound far away. We must be near a farm," Hazel said. "Come on, let's follow the noise." A few minutes later we came out in a clearing and saw the rustic farmhouse, just ahead. We landed on the farms front porch just as the first crack of lightening came down, almost at our heels! A woman opened the door to see who the strangers on her porch were.

"Hi," Hazel said. "We were wildflower hunting in the National Forest and got lost, and when we finally found our way out, well here we are at your place."

"Oh, you poor things," the woman said. "You were lucky to find your way out just before the storm hit. Come in and have a cup of coffee with me. And later, I'll drive you back and help you find your car."

"Well, it was more than luck that brought us to safety," I mused over coffee. "We heard your rooster crowing and followed the noise. We're sure glad you have a rooster."

"The woman looked at us with a strange expression. "Well, if that don't beat all," she said.

"Beg you pardon?" Hazel and I looked at her curiously.

"You see, ladies, that's a young rooster. This morning was the first time he crowed," she said. Then she smiled and added, "Well, they do say that the Lord works in mysterious ways. This just proves it."

He does indeed!


First published in the book, Their Mysterious Ways, by Guideposts Books, copyright 2002.

I posted this story in remembrance of my old friend and hunting partner, Hazel, who passed away recently. She knew every wildflower that grew in our area, and taught me a great deal. I will always remember our many, happy hunting times together.

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

God's Masterpiece Is Mother

God took the fragrance of a flower
The majesty of a tree
The gentleness of morning dew
The calm of the quiet sea
The beauty of the twilight hour
The soul of a starry night
The laughter of a rippling brook
The grace of a bird in flight
Then God fashioned from these things
A creation like no other,
And when the masterpiece was done
He called it simply-Mother.

--Herbert Farnham-American Poet

This is a picture of Anya, (which in Hungarian means Mom) my dear Grandma, the only mother I ever knew. Pictured here with my two boys, her great-grandsons, in 1963.( Since I can only take a picture of the original, it's not the best of pictures.)

She was there for me through thick or thin, and gave me gifts of the heart, when there was no money for store-bought gifts, during the war. Her faith was strong, and her love deeper than the deepest ocean!

She went to her heavenly reward in February of 1989, at the age of 89. I miss her to this day!

"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always discover forgiveness" --Honore De Balzac

Have a Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Greens of Spring

The beautiful palette of spring greens in early May is a feast for the eyes. Artists have painted these subtle, tender greens over the ages, poets have written poems about it, while I can only snap a few pictures of it, and gaze at it with deep appreciation, and much thankfulness. Spring is finally here in all her splendor!

This is a picture of some of the new lettuce in my little garden. Isn't it a pretty green? I have already enjoyed it as a salad with grape tomatoes, chopped red onions, and a vinaigrette dressing. Delicious! And the resident deer haven't found it yet!

The green of the iris leaves is darker, with some gray tones, adding to the green palette of the yard and field, nicely.

Speaking of deer, they have been enjoying the new, tender green grass in the field. That is a hickory tree, to their left, with it's yellowish-green leaves that are almost full size already.

Here, the greens of the trees to the northern edge of the field, display their tender new greens of early May, beautifully.

On top of the field to the east, where the woods begin, the trees are subtle green colors, tender greens, faint rose tints, chartreuse greens, all forming a canopy of colors that lift my mood with their beauty.

I read that the color green symbolizes life, nature, fertility , well being , and that grass green is the most restful color. Green also symbolizes balance, growth and harmony. And, of course, money! But that's another story.

I hope you can get out there and enjoy the tender greens of early May. By mid-May, they will turn to the darker, more robust green, offering us shade from the hot sun.

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

National Day of Prayer--World Day of Prayer.

The National Day of Prayer, World Day of Prayer is celebrated the first Thursday in May.

In the United States, The National Day of Prayer (NDP) is an annual event established by an act of Congress which encourages Americans to pray for our nation, its people and its leaders.The NDP Task Force concentrates on the need to pray for those in leadership on all levels of national, church, and educational areas of influence.

The theme for this year’s National Day of Prayer is “Prayer! America’s Strength and Shield” and is based on the Bible verse Psalm 28:7, which states:
“The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped.”

And Pray for Peace on Earth!

"Let There Be Peace on Earth,
And Let it Begin with Me."

God Bless You All!