Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pet Holiday Gift Baskets

Dog Gift Basket

This festive basket contains an entertaining toy! Plus, an assortment of our most popular treats.

Wholesome Hearts (low fat heart-shaped sensations), Gourmet Dental Treats (honey peanut butter recipe), Antioxidant Health Bars (oatmeal and apple recipe), a bag of Tasty Rewards (savory jerky treats) and a Porky Puff (hickory-smoked chew).

All nestled in a lovely reusable basket. Makes a wonderful gift for a canine friend. (Toy may vary.)


Cat Gift Basket

A delightful variety of playful toys that will keep your furry feline happily occupied during the holidays.

The toys include whimsical and catnip-filled play things just waiting to be swiped and chased.

For the proud cat parent, we included an adorable cat photo frame so you can proudly display your cat's photo.

And last but not least, we included a bag of Life’s Abundance Gourmet Cat Treats For Healthy Skin and Coat.

The toys and treats are nestled in a lovely reusable basket. (Toys may vary.)


Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

Have You Been To The Everglades?

We're considering a trip to The Everglades in December. Wondering if any of you have been there and what your thoughts are about it. It's one place I've always wanted to see and with my focus on 60 new adventures this 60th year of my life, it seems the right time to go.

In reading about some of the habitat and flora there, I noticed they have strangler fig trees amongst the mangroves and hardwoods that populate this unpopulated area of Florida. Strangler Figs have quite a story and were one of the many fascinations of my Costa Rica rain forest trips.

So ... anybody have something to say about The Everglades or something else we should see nearby? What about The Keys? Been thinking about dabbling a bit at the north end to see a couple of preserves there. We're not beach or seafood eating folks, so it's the habitat that we'd like to see. Aren't there birds in the Keys that aren't on the "mainland?"

Share your comments with me and all who visit the blog since I'm certainly not the only one with interest in The Everglades. Thanks. Click here to go to the comment page.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

Friday, November 26, 2010

Grumble and You Crumble

by Donna L. Watkins

Charles Spurgeon said, "I believe free will is the delight of sinners, but that God's will is the glory of saints. There is nothing I desire more to get rid of than my own will, and to be absorbed into the will and purpose of my Lord. To do according to the will of Him who is most good, most true, most wise, most mighty, seem to me to be heaven. Let others choose the dignity of independence, I crave the glory of being wholly dead in Christ and only alive in Him!"

© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Kilgore-Lewis House Gardens - Circa 1838 - Greenville, SC
How awesome a mindset of heart! The whole world throbs with temptations to steal us away from relationship with God and with free will we get to choose whether to be washed along those currents to an end of misery, or to choose obedience for a life of blessing.

Not that obedience means we don't ever have problems. The devil never gives up on tormenting and tempting us, and God will allow it for our growth so that we can become like Christ and enter into relationship that is so consuming that the circumstances of life bear no weight or detraction from our joy.

God had freedom and promises in mind for Israel when He brought them out of Egypt to deliver them into a land flowing with milk and honey, but the Israelites couldn't keep their focus on God's love for them which creates trust in His provision. They had their eyes on Moses and at every trial they balked and complained, grumbled and mumbled until God had enough of it.

Moses interceded so He would not destroy them, but God said they would not enter into the Promised Land. As we know they chose death in the wilderness over trust and faith in their God.

Peter Horrobin says, "When we complain about our circumstances we are forgetting that God may be wanting to develop godliness and maturity in us. Instead of trusting in what God's doing in the circumstances and in Him leading us through them, we miss out all around."

If Satan can make you believe God doesn't love you because you've got bad circumstances right now, then you will fear, because the only option other than faith is fear. When we grumble against God, we are actually offering worship to the devil because he is the only one getting glory if we do not respond as Job did.

As you know from the book of Job, in one day, Job lost everything but his life and wife ... and from what is stated about his wife's grumbling, it may have been a blessing if he lost her also. The devil certainly tried to use that wife to get Job to choose the wrong direction.

In Job 2 she says, "Curse God and die: you have nothing to hope for from God and therefore nothing to live for." God had told Satan when he appeared before God for permission to test Job that he could not take Job's life, so obviously the devil wanted Job to take it himself.

Satan could not stand the righteousness of Job and he certainly was not pleased when at the end of the day of the devil's destruction, with all of his children dead, Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped (Job 1:21).

Can you imagine that? I cannot. But there is hope offered in this story of Job that in the midst of such great loss there is grace to know that God is the only chance we have of making it through.

Back to free will vs. God's will. It's not an easy choice to stand in faith and trust that God is in every detail of our lives. Everywhere we look and listen we are being told to have it our way and that we deserve more. Deserve more of what? More misery? It seems that's all that having more brings us. We are so empty of dreams, hope, love, joy, peace and grace to withstand the most amazing trials ... because the world has misplaced values of what our most important possessions are. We leave relationships behind, not only with God, but with family and friends, to acquire more stuff that does not satisfy and more gadgets that will isolate us.

Oh! that we as a nation would turn away from all the stuff and hit the ground like Job, repent and return to God's will for our lives. There is a river that flows from God, but instead of dwelling near it we often follow small tributaries that may have God's visitation upon them from time to time ... but we should let go of the minor things to focus on the major things that God is calling us to. We were designed for a purpose and far too often most Christians settle for so much less because it seems good, even thought it's not God's best.

© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - "Being Still Spot" in Kilgore-Lewis House Gardens - Circa 1838 - Greenville, SC
Lean in, seek His face, give your heart over to Him and walk in obedience of His commandments. Obedience brings blessings without end. Exchange your good for His best. Ask Him and keep asking until you hear. If you can't hear, fast and pray. We give more attention to an entertainment event than we do when we want to hear from the Lord.

God tells us to 'be still and know that He is God' so you can't run the fast lane and expect to catch a text message along the way. God calls us apart from the world so we can hear His voice. Schedule a time now, my friend.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com. The link to use is: www.TheNatureInUs.com.

Immunity: Antibiotics and Vaccines

by Donna L. Watkins

Sometimes life gets too complicated. That has certainly occurred within the field of medicine. Whereas our ancestors considered "first do no harm" as the Hippocratic oath states, today's generation of potent and dangerous drugs that can be "pushed" on television with a low-volume mumbling of all of the health and death warnings being spoken while pleasant images of a better life are flashing before our eyes. We still need a dose of common sense when making medical decisions for ourselves and our families ... so it is with the use of vaccines and antibiotics.

A strong immune system will defend you against any disease including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Plus, being healthy has many side benefits including a superior quality of life, so diet is your first defense against disease. The quickest way to get nutrition into the body is through the use of fresh juices.

Vaccinations, immunizations, inoculations and antibiotics are very limited in what they can do to defend you against a microbial attack, besides them having debilitating side effects and also possible contamination. Also, neither vaccines nor antibiotics can protect you from new strains of a disease.

For more information on documented research about vaccines, see the search results.

Learn how to legally avoid unwanted vaccinations of all kinds.

Did you know that some children's vaccines have aborted fetus cells?

Please study the above links before vaccinating your children or yourself.

Regarding antibiotics, consideration of antibiotic alternatives should be seriously considered. Many health authorities now admit that antibiotics are overprescribed and toxic, creating many subtle problems worse than the original condition. An article by Lawrence Wilson, MD, Beyond Antibiotics, examines antibiotics more carefully with a more current view of research findings.

A study between the link of use of antibiotics creating asthma in children later in life is currently being conducted by the University of Alberta.

Consider common sense and that internal gut feeling you have about such things. Life can still be simpler and definitely more frugal with natural alternatives. We personally keep Silver Shield stocked in our medicine cabinet because of the research on this substance. The amount of research only grows, supporting the effectiveness of it. The pathogens tested and killed in this solution also grows.

We also have a Boomerang Air Sanitizer in our home which we consider to have been a good investment. With all the microbial attacks on our immune systems daily, we feel good about providing the microbial-killing qualities of the Boomerang within our home since it's where we spend the most time each week. While we sleep and our bodies recharge for another day, it's good to know our immune system is getting a break also.

Take time to discuss such family issues that are of great importance to future health conditions.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

Useful Tips for Winter Puppy Care

The holidays are fast approaching and, amid the hustle and bustle, many people choose to adopt a new puppy into their homes during the holiday season. If you are the proud pet parent of a brand new puppy, here are some great tips on how to best take care of your new bundle of joy during the cold-weather months.

Most puppies do fine in cold weather - many of the long haired large breeds love to chase snowflakes and romp through winter landscapes. If you are considering adopting a short haired breed or small puppy, never leave them outside unattended. Although it is important to watch them vigilantly to make sure they stay warm, most dogs can still enjoy short stints outside. Remember, puppies need a lot of attention and care, and for potty training purposes, they need to be able to relieve themselves every few hours. You can start potty training your puppy as young as eight weeks of age, and it can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

If you have opened your home to a puppy this winter and are wondering about how best to care for your new family member, then watch this video. In it, Dr. Sarah talks about special considerations for puppies during the cold months and tips and tricks on how to beat old man winter. View Video for Tips.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A New Look - Your Comments Please

I love to redesign anything. A room, a wall grouping, food arrangement on a plate ... I guess it's my creative side getting a chance to delight itself.

As you can see we have a new look for The Nature In Us blog. I hope it works for everybody since every browser seems to "display" a web page differently. No chance of standardization there ... every programmer wants to show off their creativity also.

Use the comment section on the blog post to let me know how you like it and if all things seem to be working well. Thanks!

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Visit to Westover Plantation Along the James River, Virginia

by Donna L. Watkins

This historical plantation was built in 1730 by William Evelyn Byrd II who was also the founder of the city of Richmond, Virginia. The location is beautiful and the brick mansion at Westover is considered to be one of the most outstanding examples of Georgian architecture in the country.

There are poplar trees over 150 years old and a formal garden that is lovely! We visited towards the end of October when there wasn't anything but a few blooms scattered, but there was a wonderful feeling about wandering through the paths and ancient boxwoods. What an amazing place it would be in Spring and Summer!

We had the place entirely to ourselves until we were exiting the garden when another couple was coming in.  It was a wonderful place to dream and stroll with The Creator of it all.  It felt like home to both of us.  A lot of work had obviously gone into it when it was re-established about 1900, and many maintenance hours are obviously required.

Later I thought about when we passed the couple that was beginning their journey in the garden, that we should've said something to them .... maybe something like, "Welcome, have a delightful time" ... as if we were ourselves the creators of it all.  Isn't it grand to dream now and then about what we would do with such a place?  I certainly wouldn't want the maintenance headaches, but holding spiritual gatherings there would be so lovely!

The main house is not opened but by appointment for groups or twice a year events, but the outbuildings are all accessible and interesting. For detailed information in a photo journal, visit Westover Plantation photo album.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com. The link to use is: www.TheNatureInUs.com.

Being 60, Continuing The Adventure #21-25

by Donna L. Watkins

If turning 60 this year has given me more creativity in learning how to focus on today, then being 60 is a great thing this year! The question I have to ask myself though is, "Why did it take so long?" I've always lived life as an adventure, but my mind has been more on the future of things since I'm so administrative and task-oriented. Having to find 60 new things to experience this year has made me focus on the 'now' in many ways since I am always looking for something new to see or do.

Of course, I still make plans for the future, and some of them are to fulfill my goal of 60 new things in my 60th year (it begins with that link), but more than anything, it's really made me pay attention to the details of each day! It's a feel good way to live, I think!

©2010 Donna L. Watkins - Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly on Spirea
#21 of 60 - This beautiful Silvery Checker Butterfly was one that I had never seen, but I wasn't sure on the identification of it either since there are a lot of checkerspots that look very similar. 

I'm grateful for the online environment of places that can help out with such things, such as the Butterflies and Moths of North America website.

When ever you want to get an ID of a butterfly or moth, be sure you make note of the plant it may be laying eggs on a host plant making it easier for somebody to identify the species.  Of course, date and time are important also, but your camera records those.

New butterfly species have been a big part of my 60 new adventures and I thought about how appropriate that is since I feel passing into the 60's realm is a bit like shedding the chrysalis of the past to emerge yet again, a new creature, always being made new by my Lord Jesus Christ.

©2010 Donna L. Watkins - Red-shouldered Hawk
#22 of 60 - If you've read about the Eastern Gray Tree Frog that laid her eggs in our birdbath, you'll know that I released a bunch of those tadpoles into the pond with great concern about our large Green Frogs making meals out of them.

Well, September 21, a Red-shouldered Hawk swooped down while I was on the porch and grabbed something from the ground.  Since birds flew in every direction and squirrels scrambled up trees shouting warning calls, I didn't know what it had caught, but the unique flutter of our Mourning Doves' wings sure had me concerned that he had taken one of our beloved doves - they mate for life you know.

Since he flew to a nearby tree and with my camera beside me, I decided to try to get photos to see if I could tell what he took.  While taking the photos, I didn't know what he had.  I always use the viewfinder rather than the flip-out screen.  After downloading and zooming in, I saw it was the largest of our Green Frogs.  I was heartbroken at losing any member of our backyard wildlife habitat, but I could focus on the good of it for the tadpole babies I had released two days before.  I'm told I took a good video of the hawk, but I've not been able to view it all the way for obvious reasons.

©2010 Donna L. Watkins - Summer Azure Butterfly on Sedum
#23 of 60 - Many years back we moved many of the plants we had in the garden to our deck because the deer were eating them before we had a chance to see them bloom.  Our Stonecrop Sedum was one of them and those plants have attracted so many butterflies, including the Summer Azure Butterfly I saw on September 24.

This butterfly is a nectar drinking one so it's having breakfast in this photo.  I always thought all butterflies drank nectar until I rescued one from the ground at a gas station and took it home only to find out it wouldn't drink from the flowers that I placed it on.  I ran for my butterfly book and identified it and read that the adult food source was dung and rotten fruit.  I quickly mashed a bit of banana with water and even dropped in a bit of squirrel poop, and then put it before him to find him quickly insert his probiscis into the mess for an extended time of feeding.  I learn bit by bit about God's Creation as I simply look at what's going on around me.

#24 of 60 - You know how it is surfing online, you click from one website into another and have no idea how you ended up where you did.  This is what happened one day when I discovered a website about an event that was scheduled for October 1-2.  They called it, "The Gathering" and the speaker was Wade Taylor.

Neither my husband nor I had ever heard of him, but my spirit compelled me to ask if we were to attend this gathering that would be only 2-1/2 hours from us.  I see spiritual events now and then with speakers we know, but most times when we pray about attending we do not feel led to go.  This time we both felt it was where we were supposed to be.  The focus was for those who were eagerly seeking more of God.  Well, that certainly fits where we are for over a year now.  We were blessed deeply with those two days of teaching and the worship times.  Wade is somebody that speaks with power and the words seem to sink deep into your spirit promising hours of pondering time for the revelations voiced.

This man has an obvious close walk with the Lord and before leaving I discovered a friend of mine knew of him and recommended one of his two books, The Secret of the Stairs, which we purchased while at the event.  In it he shares a lot of insight on spiritual maturity and intimate communion with the Lord.  It was a book I could take only small morsels from each morning to chew richly on it until the next day and some days I would simply repeat the few pages that I'd read the day before.

The wisdom he shares has profoundly changed both of our lives and especially our understanding of God's message to us in the Song of Solomon.  What a great adventure this was for us!

#25 of 60 - Wade mentioned daily communion (Lord's Supper) with our Lord, mentioning that in the process of it, we choose to detach ourselves from the tree of knowledge and attach ourselves to the tree of life. Jesus said that He is the “vine” (Tree of Life), and that we, as being a branch, only have life as we partake of His life. Through Adam’s transgression, we were removed from our “connection” to the tree of life, and became attached to the tree of knowledge.

There can be healing in it both spiritually and physically. Often the practice of communion becomes a ritual on a given day each month at church with some churches not even following the commands associated with it . Randal and I wanted more than that so we have chosen to have daily communion with the Lord, individually, during our morning time with God. It's been a tremendous blessing to our souls and certainly a great adventure for my spirit.  Read more about Wade's teaching on communion.

My journey of adventure continues here with the next post making me half way through my 60 new experiences this year.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com. The link to use is: www.TheNatureInUs.com.

Confessions of a Stone Turner

Roots, nematodes, ants, termites, worms, moles, voles and snakes tunnel underground. They search one another out in the dark, chasing mates and food by touch and scent. This subterranean world is nearly invisible to us. We see it in glimpses: A mole falls out of a clay bank and we pick it up in the road, or we dig a hole and watch as unearthed insects scramble to disappear.

Turning rocks and peering beneath them provides a window into the underground world. Turn a rock in your garden, and if you have chosen your rock well, you will see a cross section of what occurs everywhere beneath you. For an instant, as tunnels are unveiled, you can savor a moment in the life of a soil organism. It is indeed just a moment, because ants soon hurry to hide their brood. Earwigs scurry beneath litter. Springtails hop away. It is nonetheless one of the best ways to learn about the daily lives of what lives beneath you.

Planting rocks for soil-dwelling insects is not unlike planting flowers for butterflies. The more rocks you plant, the more you will enrich the community of soil dwellers around you. Any rock or stone is better than none, but underground denizens do have preferences. Chipmunks might like a tall rock wall filled with holes and history, but most ants and their six-legged kin would rather have a field of cobblers laid flat. Under a good, sun-warmed rock, ants, for example, will bring their brood up to take in the heat. Even the queen might rise from her deep hole to warm herself on the underside of a well-planted stone. Read more about creating this type of habitat in your yard.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

Monday, November 15, 2010

Newsletter - 11/15/10

Hello Friends!

I told you in the last newsletter that our excursion to the Williamsburg area included a visit to Westover Plantation.  I now have the photos and historical journaling of our visit on the gallery of albums.  View Westover Plantation.  In case you missed it in the last issue, view Historic Jamestown.

This year I've really increased my front porch bird buffet which has brought me such delight in previous Fall and Winter seasons.  It's already providing wonderful entertainment since I work at home and have moved my work area to the dining room table.  I even turned the table around to face it.  Why worry over "how the room looks" when I'm having such fun.  Besides, I've begun to realize that other people actually live in their homes also, so it doesn't look like Home & Garden magazine.  Gee whiz!

© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Front Porch Bird Buffet

To avoid squirrel domination, I use seeds that they don't like such as thistle (nyger), safflower, millet and mealworms.  For the ground feeding white-throated sparrows, cardinals, juncos, doves, and jays I put down cracked corn with some sunflower seeds mixed in.  This keeps the squirrels entertained, so they only come to the porch for the bird bath to get a drink.

I've had flocks of American Goldfinches (video) come through during migration flying all over the one thistle sock feeder I had at the time.  Since then I purchased two more with plenty of space between.  I'm hoping the suet feeders will draw the woodpeckers to the porch - they've always fed from the ones hanging with the birdfeeders on a pole.  Those 6 feeders I keep filled with black-oil sunflower seed since it attracts the most species of birds.  The carolina wrens are dominating the mealworms (video).

It doesn't take a variety of feeders to begin feeding birds and having free entertainment for your family ... just started with one dish and a saucer of water that you freshen up on a regular basis.  The birds will thank you for it with plenty of antics that you will enjoy.

Remember if there are roaming cats in your neighborhood, it's not a good idea to attract birds since they kill an astounding number of birds.  And be assured having a bell on the collar doesn't do anything since a cat stalks its prey and the bell doesn't ring until it's too late.

Here's an educational website for Winter Bird Feeding -- consider helping them out this winter.

Love and Hugs,

View Posts By Topic

Posts Since The Last Newsletter

Previous Posts You May Have Missed

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale Now • Online Catalog • Women • Men • Children • Essential Oils

The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com. The link to use is: www.TheNatureInUs.com.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pain Brings Desire

by Donna L. Watkins

With the long battle I've had with the rheumatoid arthritis eating up joints and organs, I now know that it's important to take these opportunities ... or may I reword ... it's important to take these circumstances and make them opportunities.

©2010 Donna L. Watkins - Great Blue Heron
Savannah River National Wildlife Refuge
Instead of cursing them (like Israel did the bitter water when they came to Marah), we need to seek the Lord as to what He wants for us during this season. Or, like Israel, we'll keep making one more trip around that mountain. It was a 40 day trip turned into 40 years. I wonder how many times they came back to Marah before they appreciated that bitter water.

I've let too many years go by trying to fix things and getting frustrated and wanting something else. Too much of what I wanted and not what God was molding into me for His good and purpose in my life. He created me with plans for my life. My free will can allow those plans to never come to pass because I can choose to keep 'having my own way' and missing my true joy and destiny in life.

Health issues are just resting places in the desert journey to the promised land. If we don't see them as that and REST while we're in them, we don't get through them to our promised land (healing). All of that sounds really good, very spiritual, but it's not easy to apply those words in the middle of the circumstances.

In the last week I've been having wisdom tooth problems (a guess since the pain is in that tooth). I had horrible experiences with dentists as a child but as a young adult the dentists I found were great with all the work in those 30 years done without any real discomfort during the process.

Here in Virginia we found a "country dentist" and I enjoyed him for cleanings but got a filling a few years back with the experience being like when I was a child. One of those where you believe you understand how levitation is accomplished since you are no longer lying on the dental chair, but seem to be suspended in mid-air with pain and a great desire to vanish. I haven't been able to imagine going back and have had no real problems to consider it.

Since I have a scaling tool and don't develop much plaque, I keep my teeth in good condition, but this recent challenge adds another pain challenge to life. God's grace has truly been sufficient with the rheumatoid arthritis as I await total healing. I don't believe in trading one problem for another, so I don't use the prescription drugs, nor the over-the-counter pain pills since all come with side-effects I'm not willing to swap out for comfort.

©2010 Donna L. Watkins
Common Moorhen with Glistening Drops of Water
Savannah River National Wildlife Refuge
With that belief and desire for no drugs, grace has provided a layer of faith that has amazingly sustained me through about 24 years of dealing with the disease. There are great and awful days, but all days are good.  However, I can't say I've always considered them that way ... and each day before me will have the same challenge ... how will I react to these circumstances.  You can't store up grace.

"A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough for the next six months, or take sufficient air into his lungs at one time to sustain life for a week. We must draw upon God's boundless store of grace from day to day as we need it." -- D.L. Moody

It's amazing how a bit of pain will put you quickly at the foot of the Cross and in the arms of Jesus, so looking back, I would have to say that I would not change anything, other than my slowness of surrendering my own will to His, which has been a major part of this journey.

When we say we truly want more of the Lord, we enter into sharing in His sufferings. The Apostle Paul desired to know the fellowship of His suffering so that he would share the triumph of His resurrection (Phillippians 3:10-11). So, we gain much from leaning into our health issues rather than trying to find ways around them. God always wants more of us since He made man for fellowship with Him. Sometimes we don't appreciate the way our prayers are answered.

Does God create the pain and suffering for us? No, the devil is ever ready to torment us as long as we have a jot or tittle of sin within that we have not confessed, giving him an open doorway. God desires our comfort (My yoke is easy) and offers many promises in the Bible for us to have a life abundant, but we must surrender all to Him as a disciple. We must literally take up our cross and die.

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." -- John 12:24

If you look up your favorite Bible promise, you will always find that there is an "if clause" for it. In Deuteronomy there is a lot about what God wants and what obedience looks like. The Ten Commandments are still God's covenant with us. Jesus came to fulfill the sacrificial law that required lambs/temple/priest to be involved with our sin. In Jesus, He provided One sacrifice for all of mankind for sin forever. When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

Grace doesn't allow us to keep sinning without consequence. The Commandments and all of God's laws were placed into existence to protect us, as we protect our own children by making laws that set boundaries on their life for their own good. The problem is that the devil still comes to tempt us with deceit as he did Adam and Eve, who gave away their dominion of the earth to Satan by their disobedience. We have free will to choose as they did. Will we choose to obey God .. or our own fleshly desires.

The world shouts all around us to "have it our own way" and "get all the gusto" and "do and be your own thing." Sin becomes so common we consider it normal. When you can't tell the difference between Christians and "the world" we have a problem and it's obviously one that we're not seeing without digging deep into our spirit and soul. That's a whole other topic ... back to the subject at hand.

©2010 Donna L. Watkins - Wetland Trail
Chattahoochee Nature Center - Roswell, GA
In the midst of all our bad circumstances, the devil screams at us to give up on God, and tells us that He doesn't care and that we should "curse God and die" like Job's wife told him to do.

But through it all we must remain strong knowing that God would not allow it unless it was something to produce much greater good for us. Something we desperately need more than comfort, and would actually choose to have regardless of the pain if we had a chance to know the future.  The path to our God and Creator of our very body that we treasure so highly.  The creator of something always knows best how to make it all work.

Our mindset and heart on the matter is what God's looking at to see if it matches with our prayers of what our heart and spirit truly desires. For Him comfort is not the true priority (as it is with us when we have to discipline our children). As good parents it's character that we desire to produce which will be long sustaining for any circumstances ... and it's what He knows will make us most joyful and at peace so we can shine forth a difference that the world will see and desire in Christ.

We've been having communion every morning with Jesus individually and it's been a special time (see Wade Taylor's article ). Today I couldn't imagine drinking grape juice or chewing on anything so the devil said, "why bother!" and "He's not doing anything for you."  Well, I don't bother. It's an act of love and worship and desire to be with Him.  If I'm expecting something from it other than time with Him, then my heart is not right.  God doesn't make deals.  He's already sacrificed His One and Only Son to show us His love for us.

My choice to overcome the enemy's suggestions resulted in a real sweet time with the Lord .. mostly of me surrendering more of myself (goodness ... how many layers are there of that?) and finding more peace than I've had before.

And the end result? All the pain went away. There is a place, there is a joy, there is grace ... uncomprehendable to our finite minds ... that truly sustains and matures us into what He desires us to be ... and what the inner core of ourselves want to be. Something that lasts longer than comfort food, a movie, a shopping spree or a day at the spa. His presence truly fulfills and invades every cell and pore of our being so that as we look back at all the "bad" circumstances, we see "great" times of our desires being truly fulfilled in Him.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com. The link to use is: www.TheNatureInUs.com.

Cat Hairballs and Its Remedy

Squeek, Our Precious Converted Feral FIV Kitty - Age 14
We have a short-haired kitty but having been feral, her internal excess energy is exposed in her frequent grooming ... or maybe it's the extra time she has now that she doesn't have to hunt for food.  Regardless, she does like to pretty up often enough that she is sometimes challenged with hairballs.

She's been getting a quality high-protein moist food as Dr. Becker's article (link below) recommends.  We use Dr. Jane Bicks formulation, Life's Abundance Instinctive Choice, because it's like meat in the wild and that's what she was used to having as a feral kitty in the woods.  Dr. Bicks is also personally involved in the sourcing of the ingredients so there's never been a recall.  All these recalls unnerve me!

I've been brushing daily for years just because she loves to be brushed, but I learned from Dr. Becker's article that she needs more Omega 3's and what she recommends is Krill Oil.  I will begin that tomorrow.  She does like some kibble for an evening meal so I will continue with the Life's Abundance Premium Health Food for Cats.  I measure her water so I know she gets what she needs.  As long as she's drinking well, I'll continue to give her the kibble since she enjoys it a lot and it's another rich source of Omega 3's.

Dr. Becker says .... "There are a number of ways to temporarily remedy a hairball problem -- some more advisable than others -- but if a cat is suffering with frequent hairballs it's important to rule out serious underlying conditions as a possible cause for the digestive disturbance.  This is especially true if the hairballs are a new problem in a mature cat. Sudden GI issues in a middle-aged or senior kitty should always be thoroughly investigated."  Read the entire article.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

Winter Yard Work - Upper South

We live in central Virginia ... but anybody in the "upper south" part of the country can choose from these tasks for late Fall and Early Winter yard work:

Get a Head Start on Weeds
Check Stored Bulbs
Avoid Walking on Lawns
Test Soil
Trim Trees

Get details on each item at the National Gardening Association website. Be sure to check out their free newsletters. It's a great way to stay in touch with the "garden" through the Winter as you dream about Spring.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Doctors Prescribing Nature

A noted physician explains why she and many of her colleagues are medicating people with a dose of the outdoors to prevent a wide range of health problems:

“I have a StairMaster right in my own basement, but honestly it’s been there for years gathering dust and making me feel guilty,” says Miriam, one of my patients. “It wasn’t until I started walking the three-mile trail in the park near my house that I got serious about exercising. I do it now rain or shine. I love the fresh air. The best part is that I get a great workout and don’t even mind sweating.”

At this point, I have heard enough variations on Miriam’s story that I have started to make formal “park prescriptions.” The prescribing instructions are considerably more detailed than ones you might get with a medication; they include the location of a local green space, the name of a specific trail and, when possible, exact mileage.

It turns out I am not alone. I’ve begun hearing about doctors around the country who are medicating their patients with nature in order to prevent (or treat) health problems ranging from heart disease to attention deficit disorder. Read the entire article.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

Wild Animal Baby TV on PBS

Wild Animal Baby Explorers debuts its first season in fall 2010 with 23 all new episodes.

Based on National Wildlife Federation’s award-winning magazine, Wild Animal Baby, the television show introduces preschoolers to the world of animals and helps them develop important observation, problem-solving and listening skills.

The series combines lovable 3-D animated characters and stunning high-definition wildlife footage to introduce fascinating animal facts and nurture young viewers’ inherent love for nature.

The show’s five characters each enjoy nature in their own unique way, but they all love to look around and look around some more. Observing is something all kids can do every day.

Beyond the lesson of observing, Wild Animal Baby Explorers also help kids to:
  • develop science vocabulary such as "polar" or "cub"
  • learn about animals big and small
  • make connections between the things then already know and the things they learn
  • play with language, as well as music, rhyme, sounds, and song
  • develop gross motor skills as they imitate animals
In short, viewers will LEARN by WATCHING and DOING!
Learn more about
Wild Animal Baby Explorers television show
Wild Animal Baby Magazine

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

Winter: Help Wildlife In Your Own Backyard

Looking for some fun family activities while it's cold? Build a love for nature into your children and yourself by setting a stage for continual entertainment right in your own backyard with this article from the National Wildlife Federation.

On frosty winter mornings, my little ones and I love cuddling up beside a window to watch busy birds bustling around the backyard. If you've never tuned in to this real, live nature show, you're in for a treat! And let me tell you, no television show can compare with the comic performances of these zany characters.

The secret to hosting your own backyard nature show is learning how to set the stage. It's simple: Provide basic creature comforts (food, water, and shelter), and you'll attract an entire cast of critters—even squirrels, rabbits, or deer. Ready for some wild winter entertainment? Here's how to get started.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Time To Give Thanks - Choosing Your Turkey

We've been vegetarians for more than 30 years, but realize that's not a choice some people want to make. But choosing to lessen the suffering of farm animals is one that can be made whether you eat meat or not. There are now options for buying meat that is so much healthier than that obtained from a stressed and diseased animal that hasn't felt the earth beneath its feet. Check out the link to Local Harvest below and find better choices in an area nearby.

From Food Animals Concern Trust Newsletter - November 2010

The coming holidays are filled with many food-related traditions. As we prepare for these festivities, we should be mindful of the need to supports humane farming.

During these coming weeks remember that all animals deserve care and respect. Farm animals in particular should be free from hunger, thirst, discomfort, pain, disease, fear and distress. They should also be able to express their own natural behaviors, such as dust-bathing for hens or nest-building for sows.

Unfortunately, life for most farm animals is not humane. In order to maximize profits, turkeys and chickens have been bred to grow huge and fast. There are better options in which farm animals are not forced to live in crowded barns and pumped full of antibiotics to speed their growth. Humane farming is part of the answer. Humane farming means raising animals in a way that respects their existence and promotes animal welfare.

Taking this a step further, living humanely means caring about the people and animals that inhabit this world, and making choices that reflect compassion and respect for others. These qualities - along with many more such as integrity, empathy, and honesty - are essential components of a humanely-oriented community and world.

What can each of us do to support humane farming and live more humanely?

Give thanks for what you have, including the food you eat. Acknowledge your food at every meal. Encourage family members, children included, to cultivate gratitude for the animals and the people who have made their sustenance possible. Thank grocers and farmers who support humane ways of raising animals.

Make humane choices at the grocery store. Seek out brands and products that make animal welfare a priority. Visit FACT's Humane Choices webpage for more information.

Express your appreciation for these animals this season by supporting farmers who use humane methods and by making humane choices at the grocery store. Read Sustainable Table's Talking Turkey before you make your final choice. You can also visit the Eat Wild website dedicated to grass-based farming, and websites such as Local Harvest or Eat Well Guide to locate sustainable options.

FACT strives to provide shoppers and eaters with information about how to make humane choices. We also take a policy-based approach to stop some of the most egregious dangers to animal health and welfare. Together we can make a difference! Please visit our website for more information.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Grow Veggies in Winter

We knew the wire wickets that supported our floating row covers wouldn’t hold up under winter snow, but we thought that sturdier low tunnels might work. When we looked for materials to construct the low tunnels, we realized that 10-foot lengths of half-inch electrical conduit would be ideal. A 10-foot length of conduit bent into a half-circle with the ends inserted in the soil covers two of our 30-inch-wide growing beds with a 1-foot path in between.

What we came to call “quick hoops” were born. Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

Prairie Biofuels Not Good For Birds

Prairie choruses are growing quieter as an array of threats has coalesced into a perfect storm aimed at grasslands and the birds they support. The problems range from outright sprawl to warming climate to, ironically, the nation’s quest for alternative fuels to fight global warming. “We’ve lost more grasslands than any other habitat type on the continent,” laments Dan Casey, Northern Rockies coordinator for the American Bird Conservancy. “And that extraordinary habitat loss has taken its toll on birds.”

As the buffalograss and blue grama, prairie clover and dotted gayfeather go, so too does a vast community of birds that are tied to these habitats. Three out of four grassland bird species have declined in abundance over the last 30 years, and the birds have exhibited the steepest population declines of any group of North American birds. Fully 40 percent of the entire continent’s declining bird species are those that depend on grasslands.

Converting grasslands to croplands may cause birds the most grief of all. From 2006 to 2007 alone, corn production in the United States increased 19 percent, with nearly one out of every three bushels earmarked for ethanol production. Corn, scientists point out, is one of the worst crops for grassland birds. For starters, most species won’t nest in corn, and corn production requires high inputs of chemical herbicides and fertilizers—bad news for natural ecosystems in general. Read the entire article.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale NowOnline CatalogWomenMenChildrenEssential Oils

Monday, November 1, 2010

Newsletter 11/1/10

Hello Friends!

© 2010 Randal J. Watkins - Donna Resting
by the James River at Historic Jamestown, Virginia
My sweet husband, Randal, had a birthday on October 23 and generally he likes being home, but this year I must've mentioned something that peaked his interest since he chose to do an overnight getaway in Williamsburg to see Historic Jamestowne.

Neither of us had ever been and I was excited to add it to my list of 60 new adventures for this year of my 60th birthday.

 We'd heard great comments about it, so we booked an overnight hotel. We're not big history buffs, but this was very interesting, especially since the archaeologist was present at the digs to explain things to us. It's quite amazing at what can be told by brushing away so many layers of dirt. View photo album and my written historical account of Historic Jamestowne.

We love overnight stays since we both work at home. Since we save the rent fee for our corporate office, we get to spend those savings on some fun things, like frequent getaways. Obviously the convenience of working at home (and the delights of getting to enjoy our wildlife habitat all day long) goes a long way, but it does take away the total feeling of being "at home." So these getaways soothe my soul and spirit and they give us both a time to be away from the influence of work.

The second day there we enjoyed a visit to Westover Plantation on the James River, which doesn't offer tours of the home. Since we were only interested in walking the grounds and gardens of a plantation, this was the perfect choice of the many plantation estates along Virginia's Route 5. I'll have those photos on the blog in the near future.  

Back here at our habitat we call Bluebird Cove, I wasn't too surprised on a nice October day when I saw a fluffy little American Goldfinch on our deck rail, fresh from the nest, looking around and then tucking his head under his wing as if to say, "I don't want to face this big wide world yet." View photos of this wee little one.

Goldfinches nest late in the summer since they wait for the thistle plants to produce the "down" they use for their nests. They also use that time for the males to turn into brilliant yellow gentlemen from which the females choose a mate with bright colors being a factor.

I've been working on setting up a front porch buffet for our birds with the cold weather coming in.  I use an outdoor table covered with a plastic tablecloth and then place a variety of dishes on it with different seeds and a birdbath nearby (I swap it out for a heated one when it gets really cold).  It's inches away from the dining room window, so I move my "office" to that table and enjoy the show.  It keeps me from grumbling about the cold since I don't like winter at all.

Have you given any thought to helping the birds out in your backyard?  They don't need much.  Clean water and a clean feeder with food.  BUT!  If you have a roaming cat or neighbors who allow their cats to roam, please don't feed the birds since the numbers that are killed by cats is astounding.  A full cat still kills for play.  Learn more at this educational website for Winter Bird Feeding -- what a fun family project.

Love and Hugs,

Previous Posts You May Have Missed

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale Now • Online Catalog • Women • Men • Children • Essential Oils

The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com. The link to use is: www.TheNatureInUs.com.

Share This Post