Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cardinals And A Sister Who Knows Me Better Than I Do

Hmmm, there seemed to be a bit of a Cardinal Theme this Christmas. A Santa from my husband to add to my collection (babymomma picked it out) and then a salt and pepper pair from my sister as well as Christmas Jammies! My sister and I had been shopping for Christmas Jammies for babymomma and her baby. I was having great difficulty deciding which pink set to go with for babymomma but instantly picked out this pair as ones I would choose for myself. My amazing sister had already purchased those for me a few days before our shopping excursion! She is indeed a treasured gift.

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Calendars For A New Year

As the new year approaches, it is time for new calendars. For Christmas, my son gave me the 2010 Abacus Calendar. It is the third year in a row and I love it to pieces. It's a poster calendar and the first year he included the box frame and now just gets the new calendar each year. I had visited the gallery in Boothbay Harbor, Maine and saw the prints as very large paintings on a white wall. Fell in love. I found a similar calendar from artists on the west coast and decided I needed theirs for my office, the other graces the center of my kitchen/dining room. That calendar can be found here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Poetry For A Winter's Day

I've been feeling terribly disconnected lately ~ my computer fell prey to a miserable virus. An overnight stay at the computer doc's turned into a week! So, in honor of winter and winter cold and colds and flus and viruses, I thought I'd share this little treasure found in a collection of winter poems:

A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than a pachyderm.
His customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race.
His childish pride he often pleases
By giving people strange diseases.
Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.

~Ogden Nash

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Resting With Camels

Spotted among the animals in one of the nativity displays, snapped a quick photo with a camera phone...."Mr. Pickles" who usually behaves like a dog, but tonight is resting with the camels and sheep.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Snowy day, darkness settling in, chased away by a season of lights!...and a daily cup of cocoa with two peppermints melting in the bottom!! We've been amazingly blessed by the gift of a Christmas Tree from a family owned tree farm to thank hubby for his military service. So, while both warriors were home for Thanksgiving, we put a tree up for the first time the day after Thanksgiving! It is mostly decorated, a few final touches. This year it is a combined tree ~ my daughter and her husband's tree skirt, my tree topper! If we can keep the youngest (and biggest) cat away from the tree, we'll be lucky. This picture is last year's tree. If I can just keep focused and keep breathing through this month of so many things going on in so many layers, that will be wonderful! Seems to me we did this a few years ago...saying good-bye right after the holidays. This trip won't be as long, although I'll have a divided heart as both warriors will be heading out. I am so grateful baby momma has moved in with her hubby and my precious grandbaby!! So, instead of "5 o'clock somewhere" for us it's that 10:30 am cup of cocoa with two peppermints melting and Amber Skye to snuggle with!...breathing, resting, staying focused, and standing on God's promises.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Moment In A Day

The Baby Momma's under the weather, catching a nap with the baby, and the dark shadowy thing is the old gramma kitty, not wanting to be left out of a good morning snuggly this grammy doesn't seem to find time to do much of anything but help where I can, keep the kitchen stocked with chicken soup and tea and honey, and fill the house with the warm, spicy smell of a cardamon braid,....change an occasional diaper, lots of complaints at all.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat

The treat ~ carving pumpkins. The crafty baby momma carved a baby pumpkin into a "baby face" complete with binky. The trick ~ dropping off hubby at 5 am for 20 days military training...bringing us closer to a long good-bye....again.

Friday, October 23, 2009

View from the Swamp

Some fall pictures from the swamp. After dropping my camera in the swamp, I've been without for the summer. Yesterday I only managed to get down at noon time so things were pretty quiet ~ a few turtles sunning themselves on some logs, startled one waterfowl but I have no idea who it was, it flew quite noisily to the other end before I had myself in a spot where I could see clearly. The last picture is my "gateway" to the water's edge. I have to duck underneath this arch. It's so exciting to have a camera again, now I just have to learn how to use it!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Rock

A favorite poem by David McCord:
This is my rock,
And here I run
To steal the secret of the sun;

This is my rock,
And here come I
Before the night has swept the sky,

This is my rock,
This is the place
I meet the evening face to face.

Reminds me of a favorite song/chorus that I can only remember a piece of but it is the PEACE in the song that permeates my spirit and reminds me of My Rock..."Jesus, I am resting, resting" I don't know why I can never seem to remember the rest but that is enough for me.

My favorite birthday present~ a rock my son in his mid teens brought all the way up a steep hill from the edge of the swamp. When my children were very young, I would take them on swamp walks following an old stone wall on the edge of our property, down the hill steeply till it disappeared into the swamp/beaver pond. The last rock before it became submerged was a distinct white rock, I always raved about it because it was so unique from the gray stones that made up the rest. One birthday, my son decided to give me that rock for my present, asked his dad to help and they pried it away from the rest and rolled it up the hill to put in my garden. Funny how a rock can melt your heart...and remind you to rest.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kayaking One Year Ago

Kayaked a small pond yesterday late afternoon ~ no camera. These are some pictures from a year ago, different location, a beautiful afternoon with my best friend and God's glorious creation.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Kayaking With Friends

A Saturday in late September on a beautiful, pristine lake in New Hampshire, four couples, a few loon pairs,

Then a Monday morning with my very best friend and this guy

who rode on my forearm for quite a long stretch of the river...I didn't capture his body, bright red...the river was a different challenge for us, quite shallow in spots, a lot of current, couldn't find a take out and had to paddle HARD against the current to come back to a spot where we could take out, then hubby walked back to the truck. Hoping to get a paddle in this Monday as we only have two more opportunities to kayak together before 2011 :/

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Unexpected Blessings

Who would think that attending baby showers for two young women would result in special blessings for me??? August ended with a baby shower for a young woman who has an indomitable spirit of JOY! At her shower, a dear woman in our church family shared a devotional ~ with a teddy bear theme, the devotional was on momma bears,....I think this devotional was like three in one - so incredibly packed and as each segment ended my cup was full yet she brought another segment and then another. I wanted to stand up and cheer, feeling so renewed as a mom and so encouraged as a mom....wish someone had taped it. The second shower in mid-September was for my daughter. Yes, I am always touched when I see love poured out by just the attendance of some people, never mind the gifts. Well, imagine my amazement when I was the recipient of two gifts ~ a grammy brag book-photo album from my dear sister, and books for my grammy shelf from a dear friend! Thank you!! And yet another incredible blessing, from a midwife ~ who purchased a special car seat and gave it to my daughter and son-in-law, greatly encouraging them on a day that had started with tears...and for two special women who brought in meals even though the new parents are living with me!.....reminds me of this ...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Such A Precious Gift

Amber Skye arrived Friday afternoon, an absolutely gorgeous blue sky bright sunny day!! We weren't expecting to see her until the beginning of October but God's timing is truly amazing. Grampa was home for a four day weekend!!! And Grammy somehow ended up in the labor and delivery room! I don't think I have a big enough vocabulary to truly describe that experience!!! Trying to meet responsibilities but wanting to live at the hospital. Amber is too little yet to come home, so we take it day by day. She was 5 pounds 4 ounces and 19 inches long but has typically lost a little weight. Thanking God for this precious gift and praying for the day she will begin her love journey with her Lord and Saviour!

Adding an update: She came home!! Monday afternoon ~ she hadn't gained any weight but she hadn't lost any either so she was free to leave. Pediatrician visit today. I am so amazed by her young parents and their outward display of grace and peace, not sure how they are doing on the inside but they wow me with their show of strength. Me ~ well, if you know me, I'm just one big sopping wet sponge that's oversaturated...Bumped into baby momma at 5 this morning (getting grampa out the door) and she had survived her 3 am feeding, pumping, was getting a snack and trying to snatch an hour's snooze before 6 am feeding. I'm proud of MommaSkye!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Baby on the Way

Life has been a bit crazy, helping my baby girl and hubby feather their nest. They headed to hospital last night after midnight...awaiting the arrival of my first grand baby!!! My hubby came home for a four day weekend and is still sleeping, I just want to hang out at the hospital waiting for the big moment!! I may just have to head out on my own. What incredible changes are in store! God is so amazing.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I haven't posted much lately because it's been toooo hot in the office ~ no ceiling fan in this room. My days have been proccupied with this! We sanded the trim some more (we??) and put a coat of Kilz and then a coat of Atrium White but the baby momma says it needs another coat...too much black bleeding through in places. I'm taking a few days off and hoping it will cool down a tad before putting another coat on. This trim stuff is tough on aging eyes and very very unforgiving to knees!!! It is terribly exciting, though, and I can't believe how caught up in nesting I've become as my first grandchild will be spending her first year with me!!! It's been 20 years since I've held one of these, the baby momma herself...

Tough Read

I just finished reading this.

I would say this is a must read and I hope it is in a YA edition. It is a tough read emotionally and several times I just wanted to put it down and be done with it but my hubby said I had to finish it. Good companion to Three Cups of Tea.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Well, Hello There!!

What a surprise this morning. I was sitting at the desk to check email and heard a thump on the deck. Ordinarily that is the signal to let Boo in, one of our felines who jumps on the deck railing and peers in the office door. Well, she was sitting on the desk in my way and this turkey was on the railing peering in the office door! It has been there for a good fifteen minutes preening. I apologize for the fuzzy cell phone shot...I have yet to replace the camera that fell into the swamp.
(click on photo to enlarge)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

He Knows My Name

A very tough couple of days, but we were able to be part of the 1/9 group of Marines who were able to come up to Cape Cod to say good-bye to their brother. We now have a much bigger family and my husband was able to make a connection with a few of the guys, one calls him Pops, now. A praise chorus on Sunday was just what I needed, although I still seem to be wallowing in grief it is a comfort to know He knows each tear...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Heading to Cape Cod to say goodbye to a very special young man. Our son and his old platoon were bused up at the request of the family to help them honor Nick and say goodbye. It will be so very hard. I am praying for God's comfort for the family and Nick's band of brothers.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I'm not sure how this found it's way into my library, a yard sale at a Bible Conference Grouds? It is an exposition on consecration by Frances Ridley Havergal, using her hymn "Take My Life and Let It Be" but substituting kept for take. My pastor often reminds us in his sermons of keeping as guarding, safe-guarding and it is this definition that she uses. I am not through the book yet, each chapter takes a couplet of the hymn, it is my just before bed reading if I have not fallen asleep reading my before bed reading :}
The Lord Jesus does take the life that is offered to Him, and He does keep the life for Himself that is intrusted to Him; but until the life is offered we cannot know the taking, and until the life is intrusted we cannot know or understand the keeping....not for my safety, but for His glory; not for my comfort, but for His joy...Kept for Him, that in me He may show forth some tiny sparkle of His light and beauty...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Please, Mr. Wizard, I Don't Want To Be A WarriorMom Anymore!

From a great day to the depths, keeps us on our knees. Got a call from a choked up 21 year-old warrior today, that his dear friend and brother-in-arms was killed in Afghanistan yesterday. Most of the guys who were all together in Iraq last year were at an event in New York honoring a brother who was killed saving their lives last year. My warrior is in a different platoon now, different training, and was left behind and heard the news alone. Now my warrior is just my little guy who needs a hug and a kiss and a cookie to make it better, if it were only that easy. How do you help him deal with survivor guilt? How do you comfort a mom and dad who are going through an unthinkable ordeal?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Perfect Summer Day

Well, not THAT kind of summer day, but a mom-daughter shopping afternoon to reward us for a morning doctor appointment, with a side-trip to Labor and Delivery thrown in (45 minutes on the monitor) and a tray of hospital food for good measure. Mom and baby are fine, picked up some items for the nursery and "gramma" indulged, gave in to her lifelong weakness ~another coffee cup (two to be precise)...or ice cream, perfect for a brownie sundae!!...ok, even soup if you must...yogurt and granola with blueberries!...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What a Guy

An amazing 25th anniversary present from my better half ~ as part of our vows 25 years ago, we each read a quote from Adam Bede by George Eliot. I've lost my part along the way, but he kept his in his wallet and bought a silver toned frame (for our silver anniversary), bought paper and vellum overlaid with hearts and printed it in a font he picked and presented it to me on our anniversary! Who knew he could be sooo amazingly thoughtful and romantic???...and we both cried.
What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?

Monday, July 13, 2009

View from the Swamp

What a change after a month of rain, to have a few days of sunshine. The swamp is GREEN...and red, the ferns along the edge are about waist high, the grassy clumps throughout the swamp are a gorgeous shade of green, lily pads cover the water's surface except for a few lanes criss-crossing.

Seen and heard: a disgruntled Great Blue Heron, disturbed him twice, quite a racket as he flew away from me. The heron rookery is now empty, wish I had made it down last week.
Belted Kingfisher ~ two of them
Cedar Waxwing~ almost too close to me to use binoculars!
Ducks~ that shall remain nameless as they were too far down the other end for me to identify
Something I haven't been able to identify yet, a flycatcher or phoebe or vireo??~someday I'll get a camera (waterproof) and post a picture. No matter how many field guides I look through, this one baffles me.
Beaver~ just one today.
Cat Bird~ wing fluttering on the other side of an uprooted tree from me, he didn't make a peep, just the noise of his wings
Heard but not seen: Wood Thrush
Various warblers
Whoever says "wichity wichity wichity wich"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Intimidator

What a crazy evening at the bird feeder! The "baby" Red Bellied Woodpecker has finally figured out the bird feeder. He clings unsupervised by mom or dad and stays, occasionally taking some seed, but STAYS on the feeder, much to the dismay of the Grackles!! What is most surprising to me, is that the Grackles - who chase everyone away from the feeder, fly to the feeder then veer off and just wait in nearby branches!!!

The Grackles finally leave the feeders around seven, and from 7 on what a show - bright red Cardinal, giddy yellow American Goldfinch, and the striking Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and underneath, two young Cardinals and two young Grosbeak ground feeding. Definitely need to save for a feeder cam.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Babies And New Eyes!!

I still don't have a camera, but I have a new pair of binoculars which have thrown my window wide open! It is amazing what is there that I have been unable to see with my old binoculars. Red-bellied Woodpecker babies and Cardinal babies! Fledgling stage, out of the nest and following parents around to be fed. Their muted colors made them disappear into tree bark with my old eyes. Now I can see them doing their wing-quiver "feed me" dance as they wait on a nearby perch. While the parent cardinals have bright orange beaks, the babies are a dull brown/black. The red-bellied woodpecker babe makes us laugh, he's been making it to the bird feeder and clinging but can't seem to figure out how to get the seed, so he'll wing quiver on the feeder waiting to be fed. Heron babies are another story. The ice storm made the path around the swamp impassable and from my "perch", I think I need a telescope to see what's happening. I can see herons when they are standing in their nest, but for the life of me I can't really see how many birds are in the nest. If it's just two adults, or one adult and two young. Oh well, for now the birds that come to the feeder are keeping us entertained.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Time Flies!

Celebrating twenty-five years of marriage today! Well, our daughter surprised us with flowers, cake and an eat out on Sunday with a small group of family. She was disappointed that her original plans fell through and this was a plan B but she would have 25 years to do something better for our 50th! We reminded her that in 25 years, she and her husband will have just celebrated their 25th and their daughter will be 24 and who knows what weddings, new babies, and/or college graduations will be first and foremost in their lives! Time flies but we are enjoying the moment, the memories, and trying not to think of the near future too much. Someone asked us if the last five years were as much fun as the first five. Each brought challenges - the first five adjusting to our differences, finding steady employment, moving from city apartment to country home, two babies, and going back to college for hubby. The last five years - living through an 18 month deployment, children graduating from high school, encouraging them through their choices and life changes, going back to college (thankfully online now!) for a master's for hubby, and adjusting to the idea of being grandparents! Through all of it our love grows deeper and stronger and I am so grateful for this man God brought into my life.

Our verse for our marriage: Habakkuk 3:17-19 Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my high places.

Through lay offs and broken down cars, boxes of macaroni and cheese, crushing disappointments, God is our God and He is in control and it needs to be our CHOICE to REJOICE and not wallow in self pity. We haven't always lived up to our verse, but it is there as our standard and a reminder that in all circumstances God is still our strength and salvation!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

All is Not Lost!

Hooray for scan discs! Pictures were saved, camera - doubtful. Click on the Heron picture above if you can't see the heron.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Haven't been to the swamp in almost 3 weeks! Amazing hour, the Canada Goose pair have established their nest on the rock (maybe this is the year for chicks), watched a beaver swim away to the far end of the swamp while a Great Blue Heron flew to my end. I was watching the heron and trying to manage some digibin shots when I heard a splash behind me. I ignored it at first and then thought, a giant snapping turtle could be climbing up on my log behind me!!! So, I turned hoping the heron wouldn't startle and leave and nearly fell off my log - the beaver was 12 feet away from me noisily chewing on a stick. Snapped a few pictures, sent a pic message with my phone, turned to see if the heron was still there and the beaver left. Watched him swim out of site. Decided to advance down my log to check the heron nests at the far end of the swamp. Big mistake, ....I forgot to put my camera in my pocket...right out of my hand into the swamp! Bubbles as it sank....could barely see it but managed to fish it out with a long stick. Very sad end to a fantastic morning!!! I guess it is VERY GOOD that I don't have an amazing camera after all!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

"Can You See What I See?"

I became a puzzle fanatic this winter and LOVE the "Can You See What I See?" series by Walter Wick. I love the challenge of finding what might be hidden in the big picture. I've changed my heading picture (so tired of snow) to show a glimpse of the far end of the swamp. There are two Great Blue Heron nests in the picture, one has one adult sitting in the nest, and the other has two adults standing. I know, I need a better camera.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Spring has arrived. I thought the ice would never leave the swamp (pond?) but it finally did just barely two weeks ago. On Tuesday I ventured down the hill to my spotting log, a few ducks- mallard pair, wood ducks, hooded merganzer pair, tree swallows, Eastern Blue Birds, woodpeckers, a territorial Canada Goose pair, three Great Blue Herons. Apart from the bird noise it was fairly quiet. This morning I headed down, and the PEEPERS are singing their song! By afternoon I could hear them all the way up to the house!! The turtles were sunbathing on anything sticking above the water. Three herons standing guard in their nests. Saw the Canada Goose pair swimming but the past two years they have made a nest on a large rock and no one's taken up residence there yet. The beaver lodge has grown massive after seemingly no change for the past three or four years! I was about to leave - standing still is tiresome after two hours - I did one last scan for otter and just caught a glimpse of a beaver as he dove under the lodge. Wish I had a better camera.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


God has an amazing sense of humor and I am learning to REST on His PROMISES! As I face a time of uncertainty and loneliness suddenly my daughter boomerangs into the nest again, this time with a husband and baby on the way!!! So much for peace and quiet, but good-bye loneliness. Lots of adjustments on the road ahead...and so many speed bumps.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I HATE change, even simple changes to the course of my life. During a drastic change, however, God gave me these verses in Psalms 62 and a devotional written by Ruth Ann Polston.
'The soul is at rest with God. Not with a particular city, a church, a house, friends or even family. The psalmist had found the secret. He once said, "My soul finds rest in God alone..."(Ps. 62:1). To commit myself to other allegiances is to make myself vulnerable to the pain of change.'

How often I need to be reminded that God is my rock, He will sustain me through all the changes I may face. Am I relying solely on Him and Him alone? I am grateful for the people he brings into my life, but confident that He is all I need when He takes them away.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Red-bellied Woodpecker

We seem to have a lot of woodpeckers around these days. I think my favorite is this guy, first year I've seen them at the feeder, usually I see them during the summer in the woods behind the house. Here are two shots taken from my window.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Elevensies" - click on picture for larger image

Privileged to watch a Sharp-shinned Hawk enjoying "elevenies" out my window. I missed the catch, but saw the feast - 10 to 15 minutes top to dine on American Goldfinch, an hour and a half to enjoy the sun and digest.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Opening Night

Seems a fitting title, opening a window . . . .not sure what I'm thinking but just wanted to begin something. Life is changing at a rapid pace and I feel as though I've been sitting by my window for the past twenty years waiting. Waiting for what??? Another twenty to go by? So, we will open the window and venture out and see if we can face fear as a warrior does ~ not fearlessly, but with confidence, knowing that the only failure would be to do nothing.