Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Newsletter - 12/1/11

Hello Dear Friends!

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving holiday with lots of extra rest and recreation.  We had a grand day with our neighbors.  The entire weekend was beautiful.  We've been amazed that we've had such great weather here in central Virginia.  On Monday it was 78 degrees.

We've had a morning of rain Tuesday, but we're still looking at flower blooms and green bushes.  I'm loving it!  I keep saying, "Maybe we won't have a winter this year during the daytime."  Only at night, ya know!  We've not had an official freeze yet so the birds are super happy also.

I put out the heated birdbath on our front porch and added the heater gadget to the deck birdbath, but they've not been needed.  I keep wondering if we'll see frogs again with all the daytime warmer weather, but once they go to sleep for the winter, they don't wake up till Spring is what I've read.

There's been a cute little opossum visiting our wildlife area regularly and for some reason it enjoys climbing a cut-off tree right by the fruit and veggie scraps.  She perches on the top and stares at me so I got a few photos one evening.  Night photography is obviously not my expertise.

Backyard Opossum in Tree Watching Me on Deck
I like opossums.  They present a far lower health risk to humans than even dogs and cats! They have a high level of immunity to most diseases. For example, opossums are more resistant to rabies than any mammal. They are distant cousins to the kangaroo. They eat just about anything but seem to especially love when I've put out some of Squeek's leftover pet food.

Amazingly opossums give birth only 13 days after mating and the babies are smaller than a honeybee at less than a half inch length. You could hold the whole litter in the palm of your hand.  When these blind and naked babies are born, they crawl into the pouch on the mama's belly and attach themselves to a "feeding station." After a couple of months, they come out of the pouch for extended periods and generally ride on the mama's back. Talk about backpacking a load! At four months they're ready to go on their own and mama can begin the process all over again.

My friend, Rainbow, in Massachusetts has been caring for an abandoned opossum. She's made a comfortable home for it to bury into and puts food out and last report it's been returning and enjoying the luxurious B&B accommodations. Opossums are nocturnal animals, so Rainbow's way of checking on the wee little thing is to look for some fur or tail sticking out of the leaves in its "den" she provided for it.

Winter Conversion of Breakfast Area
In the last newsletter I had a photograph of our breakfast area and mentioned I'd be converting it for the winter by placing our porch chaise chairs in that area.  It's done as you can see and I certainly don't like the lop-sided look of it, but it will be a joy when the weather turns colder.

In the summer with sweating, my skin seems to show less wrinkles, but when the heat is on in the house, I like to nourish my facial skin with my homemade natural moisturizer. Not a long list of ingredients that I can't read or know nothing about (and don't want to know), just cold-pressed olive oil and essential oils that are known to be beneficial for dry or aging skin. Not familiar with essential oils?

Here's my moisturizer recipe that I put in a small glass bottle with a pump to make it easy to dispense. My friend likes to put it in a flip-top kind of bottle so she can use it in greater quantity on her arms and legs too.

4 oz. cold-pressed olive oil
15 drops frankincense essential oil
15 drops sandalwood essential oil
10 drops patchouli essential oil

You can use 40 drops of any one of these alone, I just like the combination of the three since they are favorites of mine.

If you have oily skin, you can use essential oils that will tone and reduce oiliness. Putting them in a base of aloe vera gel will also tone and moisturize your skin without an oily feel. The best essential oils for oily skin are bergamot, lavender, lemon and peppermint. Although peppermint has a "wake up" factor to it with the natural menthol found in the plant. Great for opening clogged sinuses.

Thank you to all those who have inquired about Squeek and for your prayers.  She's doing great!  Moving about as usual, eating like she's making up for the lost meals, and sleeping with me in bed.  We continue to thank God for healing her, but we know the devil loves to kill, steal and destroy, so we are now more diligent about how we pray.

I learned a lot from the book, God Wants You Well, that I received for my birthday in September and we've been learning more from the video teaching by Andrew Wommack (also available in audio).  Writing down information is nothing compared to seeing things work in real life, so we're excited.

Of course, I've got plenty of things to practice on with my own health problems.  I have a lot of wrong teaching in the area of healing to overwrite in my brain.  It's not that we need more faith, but that we must overcome the unbelief that's been written on our minds.  God is spirit and operates in the spirit, so things are done in the spirit when we ask, but faith is the bridge that goes from the answered prayer to seeing it in the physical realm.  The many teaching series at Andrew Wommack's website have been a real blessing to us.

December is a time of frenzy for many people and the extra stress weakens the body making it more susceptible to all the bugs and viruses that are spread about.  Since sugar weakens the immune system, that's a double hit with all the holiday goodies being consumed.

Be wise, support your immune system during this month and into the next month.  One of my favorites is Elderberry D3fense.  It's a wonderful formula of vitamin D3, elderberry fruit extract, Echinacea purpurea, willow bark extract, olive leaf extract and royal jelly.

Randal found a visitor on the baseboard in his office last week and as always, he calls out, "Get your camera, there's a bug in here."  I love thinking about that because at one time I was petrified of bugs.  I would jump up on furniture with my mom and scream till my dad captured or killed a bug either of us had seen.

At age 40, we built a home on a piece of wooded property and I fell head-over-heels in love with God's Creation.  The fact that I was terrified of such tiny creatures got me to pray heavily against that phobia.  God gently introduced me to some unique bugs that intrigued me enough to open a window a crack to allow me to see the beauty of His Creation in the bugs.

Bristletail (Silverfish family)
Well, this visitor looked like a silverfish which I have found in the bathtub a few times.  The only problem is that it wasn't silver.  When I took photos I realized how amazingly detailed the smallest of bugs are.  God didn't consider it a waste to add some color and flair to every one of His creations.  With the help of, I confirmed it was of the silverfish family and it's actually called a Bristletail.

If you've not taken a stroll about our yard for awhile, visit the Bluebird Cove Garden Album for some Autumn photos.  To catch a glimpse of any critters that have been out and about, visit the Bluebird Cove Critters Album.

May you have a blessed holiday while keeping Christmas simple.  It's not about buying and spending and gifts to those who have no need of anything.  It's about love being born into our lives, so share yourself this Christmas.  What could you do to serve another family member or friend?  Make a "gift card" that someone can "redeem" for a massage, house cleaning, snow shoveling, a loaf of bread, etc.  Avoid the Christmas Holiday Hussle.

If you enjoy this newsletter ... share the website with somebody else.  Maybe you know of somebody who needs something in this issue.  There's a "Share This" option on the right side.  Thanks!

Love and Hugs,

View Posts By Topic

Posts Since 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: © 2011 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Effortless Change

By Andrew Wommack

Everyone I know wants to change and grow. I believe that’s part of being made in the image of God. The Lord created within every one of us an intuitive knowledge that we were destined for more than we are experiencing. Both believers and unbelievers desire to achieve more, including those who have experienced great “success” in the eyes of the world.

However, for those who are born again, the desire actually intensifies. The Holy Spirit will give us a holy dissatisfaction that drives us toward change. Once we realize that almighty God lives in us and wants to express Himself through us, it’s hard, if not impossible, to be content with how we allow Him to do so.

Growth always means change. So, if you’re not experiencing any growth in your life, it may be because you aren’t changing. Have you ever seen a plant that’s green and growing and not in a constant state of change? For the plant, it’s effortless; it just grows, and the change is evident to everyone. Your life should be just like that—green, growing, changing, and evident to the world.

The question is, how does it happen? If you’re like a lot of Christians, you have probably tried to change many times but find yourself falling back into the same old patterns and experiencing the same old problems. That’s frustrating, and more importantly, it’s a breeding ground for many of Satan’s most devastating lies and traps.

If we aren’t careful, we as Christians can feel more like failures than the lost. After all, we have been told to be like Jesus, and that’s a big task. Read the entire article.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale Now * Women * Men * Children * Essential Oils * Cleansing * Weight Loss

Why Workaholism is Counterproductive

You know you're a workaholic if ...

I spent the past two years working in Japan, where the word karoshi—death from overwork—was coined. I still remember seeing a businessman fall flat on his face after taking a standing nap on the train. While having a couple of bruises was this man’s punishment for longer than normal hours, at its worst, workaholism can lead to a stress-induced heart attack or stroke.

Workaholism is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder where people become addicted to work. While working hard is important for running a successful business, workaholism leads to people logging unreasonably long hours which can lead to negative health affects, strained relationships, and low-quality work.

This disorder is characterized by broken relationships and negative physical and behavioral effects. Workaholics regularly miss social engagements with friends and family which leads to conflicts with their spouses and children. They also may suffer from physical disorders like headaches, fatigue, indigestion, or chest pains. Common behavioral signs are temper outbursts, restlessness, difficulty relaxing, irritability, or impatience. Read the entire article.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale Now * Women * Men * Children * Essential Oils * Cleansing * Weight Loss

Palliative Care for Pets

Pet Talk Video by Dr. Sarah at Life's Abundance

For those unfamiliar with the term, “palliative care” refers to any treatment that improves the quality of life of patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses. These treatments are designed to offer relief from suffering, especially in terminal cases.

While palliative care has been available to humans for decades, more and more veterinarians and pet parents are staunchly defending the rights of companion animals to have access to similar care. As a pet parent, you owe it to yourselves – and your companion animals – to watch this special video episode of Pet Talk.

Sponsored by Life's Abundance Pet Foods.

The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always

December: The Christmas Bird Count

The count period for the 112th Christmas Bird Count (CBC)
will begin on December 14, 2011

From December 14 through January 5 tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations.

Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission - often before dawn. For over one hundred years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house during the Holiday season.

Each of the citizen scientists who annually braves snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations - and to help guide conservation action.

From feeder-watchers and field observers to count compilers and regional editors, everyone who takes part in the Christmas Bird Count does it for love of birds and the excitement of friendly competition -- and with the knowledge that their efforts are making a difference for science and bird conservation.

View results from this year's count or from previous years.

Explore the CBC Photo Gallery of birds seen during counts.

Christmas Bird Count printable program overview (in PDF).

Other topics:
History of the Christmas Bird Count

How the Christmas Bird Count Helps Birds

Get Involved in the Christmas Bird Count

Since the Christmas Bird Count began over a century ago, it has relied on the dedication and commitment of volunteer citizen scientists. In other words, it all starts with you!

Read how to get involved and have fun with family, friends or neighbors.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale Now * Women * Men * Children * Essential Oils * Cleansing * Weight Loss

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kitchen Scraps to Feed Birds

Birdseed, suet and nectar aren’t the only suitable foods you can feed the birds: there are many different types of kitchen scraps that can augment more traditional food sources. If used wisely, kitchen scraps can easily become a part of your backyard birds’ diet without harm.

Feeding backyard birds kitchen scraps is a great way to save money on birdseed by using food that might otherwise be thrown away. By turning scraps into bird food, less food is wasted and at the same time the birds enjoy a greater variety of treats that can keep them coming back to your feeders.

Are Scraps Healthy?

One of the biggest concerns about feeding kitchen scraps to birds is whether or not scraps and stale food can be a nutritional food source. Read the entire article.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale Now * Women * Men * Children * Essential Oils * Cleansing * Weight Loss

Australia Bans Reference to BC: Birth of Jesus

Australia is to remove the birth of Jesus as a reference point for dates in school history books.

Under the new politically correct curriculum, the terms BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) will be replaced with BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era).

The Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, yesterday condemned the move as an ‘intellectually absurd attempt to write Christ out of human history’.

He described the phrase ‘common era’ as ‘meaningless’, and compared it to using ‘festive season’ instead of Christmas. The changes, introduced by the government, were supposed to be pushed through next year, but have been delayed by the row. Read the entire article.

This Website is Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale Now * Cleaning & Laundry* Women * Men * Children * Essential Oils

Inchworm Comouflaged Himself

.... what happens when both predator and prey encounter each other in full camouflage?

The predator in this drama, witnessed by a naturalist at the edge of a desert, is a yellow crab spider. The spider was waiting on a yellow flower that made him nearly invisible.

The potential prey is an inchworm beneath the same flower. The inchworm was tearing off bits of the yellow flower petals and sticking them on its back. Properly camouflaged, the inchworm then worked his way toward the top of the flower where the spider waited. Read or listen to the entire article.

We have Goldenrod Spiders in our garden and they can change colors like chameleons, so it's fun to watch scenarios like these in the micro-world of God's gardens.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale Now * Women * Men * Children * Essential Oils * Cleansing * Weight Loss

Cool Huge Swimming Fish In Your Home

Put on your scuba gear on (to dress for the occasion) and enjoy these swimming creatures in the comfort of your own home.

What a cool idea!  Price is reasonable also at under $40 on  The Clownfish and/or The Shark.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale Now * Women * Men * Children * Essential Oils * Cleansing * Weight Loss

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Have a Holiday Revolution

From Wonder of Creation Blog

As we approach the busy holiday season, I’ve been thinking: wouldn’t it be a grand thing if believers came to truly understand that Thanksgiving is the Christian “earth day” when we celebrate the bounty of God’s good creation.

Imagine how the holiday seasons from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day would take on a whole new meaning if we got off the materialistic juggernaut and celebrated the first advent of the Messiah with an active expectation of His second advent when we will join hands with all the redeemed entities of the restored cosmos. I’m not sure how it would look, but here are some things we could do.

1. We could make the day after Thanksgiving a Sabbath day—a sacramental day when we repent of our “consumption” of God’s good earth. Instead of helping to make that day the busiest shopping day of the year, we would deliberately buy and eat nothing, and by that example help turn the eyes of the world away from Mammon and toward God.

A quiet day when we celebrate family and find a park or other outdoor location to become a bit more intimate with the outdoors, or read a good old heart-warming book could become a joyful new Thanksgiving tradition.

2. We could celebrate Christmas by using God’s great gift of creativity to us by making gifts for one another. Revive the old custom of creatively taking of the bounty of the earth and turning it into something that will remind us with each use of the good earth and its coming day of victory: nature craft items, jams and other preserves, bird houses and bird feeders, and a single orange to remind us of the past when celebrations were homespun and simple.

We could consider not burdening ourselves with expensive toys that will only take more of our time and money—and unnecessarily make a negative impact upon the natural world. We could shun big-ticket items that in the long run reduce our ability to truly be stewards of the earth.Read the entire article.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale Now * Women * Men * Children * Essential Oils * Cleansing * Weight Loss

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Newsletter - 11/15/11

Hello Dear Friends!

In the last newsletter, I mentioned this:  "Note that today's date is all ones. Makes me think something very special should happen today."

Nothing terrific happened that day, but on 11/11/11, something very special happened and that is what The Conversion of Squeek and Me is all about.  Let me assure you that I don't have it all figured out when it comes to healing, but I finally feel I'm on a path that can lead me there.  What I know in the differences in my heart and body is enough to keep me tracking down the road.

These days I'm viewing things more from inside than outside. Our breakfast area is a nice view for Autumn since we don't have any curtains or blinds blocking the view of the changing colors of the leaves. I love the look without any window coverings. It almost makes me feel like I'm outside while I am making my meal at the counter that faces this view.

© Donna L. Watkins - Breakfast Area View of Autumn Trees
This year I've decided to have a less pleasant arrangement of this nice breakfast nook during the winter season. I'm going to bring in our chaise chairs and take the table and wicker chairs outside to winter over under cover. Since this is a south-facing window, it will be great for solar heat on the cold days of winter. I thought it would be a great way to soak up some sun and light for both me and our kitty, Squeek.

Having been a feral cat, we are alike in preferring the outdoors to indoors. I will have a view of our deck bird buffet, but the view outward that is shown in this photo will not be so pleasant since when all the leaves are gone, we can view the shopping center behind the strip of woods that's behind us.

No matter ... we make the best out of any situation and find a way to add beauty and joy to it. The chaise arrangement certainly won't make the Decor Beautiful magazine, but it will add smiles to my wintery days and through God's grace will make life a lot easier on the joints and muscles with Creation views to focus on for my days off working on the computer.

The deck bird buffet I set up with the umbrella over the table is attracting a few birds, but it's not a popular spot yet.  Not all of the winter residents have arrived yet either.  At least I've not seen the Pine Siskins this year who ate up a lot of nyjer seed last winter.

© Donna L. Watkins - Front Yard Garden with Heritage Mums
in Bloom and Holly Berries Turning Red - 11/8/11
But it's not winter yet!  It's Autumn and it's been beautiful.  We've not had cold enough nights to freeze off our blooms so I'm still seeing lovely color on the deck and in the garden for which I'm grateful.  For many years the disease had me dreading Winter and as soon as the days got cooler it was hard not to think of what was coming up.

Not this year!  I've got a short leash on my thoughts these days and have been enjoying the amazing colors of this time of year and the crunch of leaves under my feet.  Enjoying the present has been a definite benefit of my 60 adventures for my 60th year idea.  I spent way too much time missing the present moment while I was planning the future.

The holly berries have been turning orange and some are now getting red which is almost like having flowers blooming when you consider how many holly bushes we have.  They attract so many birds so they are a big part of our winter entertainment.

I've always disliked when Daylight Savings Time moved back to normal time.  It gets dark so early.  But this year, I decided to focus on how much earlier it's light, which is nice since I am an early riser.  I realized that I could continue my disappointment with earlier darkness or I could enjoy the earlier morning sunrise.  I choose to enjoy the sunrise focus.  It's going to get dark anyway.  At least I work at home and do not need to commute to a job, so that's a huge blessing to boot.

Last month I took a trail walk with a neighbor friend. I was wonderfully surprised to find that she's as slow as I am when walking in the woods. Besides that, Chris has quite a sharp eye for spotting things. What a blessing since I don't wear my glasses on the trail - it's easier to take photos without them. Actually I rarely wear my glasses unless I drive. I tried bifocals and that didn't go well at all. Probably a bad prescription, but it was enough for me. I use reading glasses if I need to, but I can still read most print without them.

© Donna L. Watkins - Tree on Heritage Trail
One of our views of interest was a tree that had been used as a corner boundary for a barbed wire fence line. The wire went in one side of the tree and came out the other side. It's obvious that the tree grew over it during its time of growth. I titled it, Accommodating The Challenges of Life Tree. You can see a closer view and explanation by clicking on the photo or the title link.

The trail we walked is part of the Heritage Trail system here in Fluvanna County, Virginia. I've been on various areas of the trails and all of my photos, including last month's amble, are in this gallery album

They are shown as most current first, so the album begins with the recent photos.

We have thrown our fruit and veggie scraps out for the wildlife for over 20 years. We always say it's our compost pile, but there has never been a pile. Our kitchen counter holds a plate that we put all peels and pieces of fresh food that we eat. Since we have both always been ones to clean our plate, there aren't any leftovers there. Since we shop for our pantry food every six months with a bulk order, and I monitor "first in, first out" very carefully, there's rarely anything that expires. But, recently we had part of the last bag of Fantastic Foods Chili Mix expire before Randal could make it. Actually after 35 years of loving chili, he just plain got tired of it.

© Donna L. Watkins - Striped Skunk in Backyard
Click on picture to see video
It didn't have the beans or tomatoes in it and it was vegetarian chili mix, so it had soy instead of meat. I wondered if anything would eat it, but didn't have to wonder for long. I put some in a bowl and added water so it would saturate the vegetable protein and other ingredients which included a lot of chili powder, garlic, onions, etc.

It disappeared by morning and we don't have any stray dogs around here. We do have skunks, raccoons, opossums, and foxes that may have been interested. I doubt the deer would touch it. So, who do you think has been gobbling it up? Have you seen what might eat chili in your backyard wildlife habitat? My guess is the skunk(s). They seem to be willing to eat just about anything, even banana peels if they're hungry enough.

Since it's squash and pumpkin season ... be sure to keep your seeds from these vegetables as you prepare them. Dry them on a dish and toss them out. The larger ground birds love them and will often forego sunflower seeds to get them.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday in November I always think about all the things I'm thankful for.  Ephesians 5:20 tells us to always be giving thanks to God.  The more I get to know who He is, the more thanksgiving simply flows from my heart.  The meaning of The Cross of Christ is always revealing itself on a deeper level from glory to glory.  We will never fully comprehend it all in this earthly life, but the wonder of it all blesses my heart.

Just knowing that somebody loved you so much they were willing to give their life for yours adds a lot of perspective on circumstances of life.  It changes the way we look at life and priorities.

May you have a blessed holiday and choose to keep Christmas simple.  It's not about buying and spending and material gifts.  It's about love being born into our lives, so share yourself this Christmas.  Avoid the Christmas Holiday Hussle.  There's no words for our peaceful month of December compared to what it was so many years ago.  I love it!

If you enjoy this newsletter ... share the website with somebody else.  Maybe you know of somebody who needs something in this issue.  There's a "Share This" option on the right side.  Thanks!

Love and Hugs,

View Posts By Topic

Posts Since 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: © 2011 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

Share This Post