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,

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

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