Sunday, April 15, 2012

Newsletter - 4/15/12

Hello Dear Friends!

© Donna L. Watkins - Eagle in Sitka, Alaska
I've really been tracking back through Memory Lane by getting my print photos into digital format.  The little gadget that I feed them into works really great and it's been an easy process to do since it doesn't have to be connected to the computer.  And for those who want to know:  Kodak P460 Personal Photo Scanner.

Since summer is travel time for most folks, I'll include a few of the trips that I have added to my online gallery in case anybody wants to have a few ideas for where to go.

One of our favorite trips was an Alaska Inland Passage Cruise that we received as an award trip from Nature's Sunshine.  We're not usually fond of cruises since we're really into seeing God's Creation and critters and cruise ports are filled with shopping, eating, traffic, and city streets.  There aren't many ship excursions geared to nature.

Visby, Sweden
Although I admit the Northern Europe Baltic Sea Cruise we took, another award trip with Nature's Sunshine, turned out much better than I expected.  The cities in that part of the world had plenty of parks and we were able to see many species we'd never seen before.  We visited some very nice countries and it turned out to be a real blessing of a trip.  Here's the ports with photo albums:

Arhus, Denmark - Copenhagen, Denmark - Tallinn, Estonia - Helsinki, FinlandWandemunde, GermanySt. Petersburg, RussiaStockholm, Sweden - Visby, Sweden

© Donna L. Watkins - Baby Canada Goose
It was rather funny when we would leave the ship at the ports.  There was a line to ask directions to whatever people were interested in, so when we would get there, we would ask if there were any parks nearby.  We would get the oddest looks from the staff since most folks were asking for museums, great places to shop or eat.

If you like Canada Geese, we visited a Center for Wooden Boats while visiting Seattle, Washington years back and there just happened to be plenty of birds to play with and enjoy.  Of course, I have more photos of the birds than I do of the town.

Although the award trips are very nice since they're free, I still favor the ones where Randal and I can get off by ourselves and plan our own itinerary and let God direct our paths.

Donna and Randal After Rafting the
Shubenacadie River in a Zodiac - Nova Scotia
For our 20th wedding anniversary, we planned a trip to the Canadian Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia). It was incredible all that we could get into an 11-day trip of the three provinces.  I did a lot of planning ahead and had everything laid out so there wouldn't be any time dilly-dallying deciding what we wanted to do.

We did a lot of firsts on that trip.  It was my first time in a canoe and I definitely didn't get the knack of it.  Randal didn't do too badly trying to remember what he learned from his Boy Scout days.  We did make it back to the dock.

We also took a rafting trip on a Zodiac, the only craft that meets and rides the Tidal Bore and the 3-10 foot roller-coaster rapids of the Shubenacadie River. What an amazing thing to experience ... a small stream changing its course with the coming of the Tidal Bore to an awesome giant river in a matter of minutes.

Every day, twice daily, 100 billion tons of seawater roll in and out of the Bay. At low tide, you can walk on the ocean floor. At high tide, just 6 hours later, your footprints will be covered by the ocean. Quite EXCITING to say the least.  You can learn more about the Tidal Bore in the photos of Hopewell Rocks, in New Brunswick.

Randal & Donna - Grandpa's Antique Photo Studio
Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada
This was our fun photo during our trip.  Sure glad dressing isn't as complicated now as it was then!

As for my health, I'm still working my way through the healing process.  One great piece of news is that my thyroid is back to normal.  The doctor didn't seem to know why it would blow from one end of the spectrum to the other, but with some online studying, I found that some new congestive heart failure research shows a link to thyroid problems.

If you happen to like that health news blog site, it's one that I also do with weekly posts.  You can subscribe to the weekly emails on the left-hand side of the page, or stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter or feed.

Rainbow, one of my friends in Massachusetts, has sent me two lovely books of encouragement and she makes them artistic creations by adding stickers to special segments and uses colored pencils to write things in and draw flowers, etc.  What a creative person she is.  One of the things in the second book she sent on prayer was this:
Through prayer ...
God quenches our thirsty souls,
revives our parched hearts,
and leads us to a higher place
where peace and joy and Love
will be ours forever.  -- Linda E. Knight
© Donna L. Watkins - Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
That blesses my soul.  Communing with God is the ultimate survival tool in this world of trials, tribulations and challenges.  It's not the circumstances that get us down, but how we deal with them.

When we have the God of the Universe, the Creator of the ends of the earth, who holds the entire world in the PALM of His hand, to commune with ... how can anything be so bad?  We have to live in the spiritual realm as much of our days as we possibly can!

Red Fox in Backyard - Click on photo for larger view
There's plenty of excitement here in our backyard wildlife habitat.  We saw a Red Fox around the pond one day while sitting on the porch.  By the time I got inside to get my camera he had scurried back into the woods, but I got a decent photo of him with the zoom.

We have a House Finch nesting in the arborvitae outside Randal's office window.  That will be a real treat to watch as babies are born.  We're finally getting warmer days now. It began warming up yesterday.  Prior to that we've had really chilly nights in 30's and 40's which is certainly not good for all the mama birds on the nests.  It's a long cold morning to sit there when you'd like to be out gathering some breakfast.  Hopefully all the mates of these misses are kind enough to serve breakfast in bed.

If you're thinking about a backyard wildlife habitat, May is "Garden for Wildlife Month" and is the perfect time to make your yard wildlife friendly. Whether you're a gardening novice with a small balcony or gardening veteran with a few acres, you can provide for local wildlife by creating a Certified Wildlife Habitat.  Welcome birds, butterflies and other local wildlife by providing the four elements animals need most: food, water, shelter and places to raise young.  It's really that simple!

Enjoy life!  Every moment is precious and full of many blessings!

P.S.  If you enjoy this newsletter and The Nature In Us website ... share it with somebody else!  Maybe you know of somebody who needs something in this issue.  Thanks!

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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: © 2012 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

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