Lessons Learned From A Hummingbird

Tinkerbell is an Allen's Hummingbird, featured on the cam at World of Hummingbirds (Emma's Nest).

Oh, my gosh! It's a hummingbird, Mom

Tinkerbell has not only provided me (and precious kitty, Ziva) with hours of enjoyable entertainment as I've watched her on her nest that has gently cradled 2 tiny, jellybean sized eggs, 

but she's told a beautiful story. 

 You see, Tinkerbell is only around 3 1/2" long, and weighs about as much as a penny in the palm of your hand.

Yet, in spite of her delicate frailty, she has shown me what endurance, commitment and perseverance really is, and how to go about it with such beauty and grace ~ naturally.

From the moment her babies hatched from their eggs, her tireless efforts have been to care for them day and night, and keep them fed whether it be rainy, sunny, gusty winds or calm. It has been an impressive sight to watch. And she does this single-handedly, for the male does nothing to help in raising their young! 

The babies waiting patiently for mom to return with food.
They hear mom on a nearby branch and are prepared to eat!
Tinkerbell feeding her babies.
I'm in awe of her determination and strength. Yes, strength.....for surely it takes that to go back and forth, back and forth, from flower to flower to flower over 1,000 times a day!!

Her amazing qualities are not only admirable, but something worth learning a valuable lesson from. When I become discouraged, when I feel like  life has thrown me a curve ball, when I feel as though maybe I cannot keep moving forward, I'll remember tiny Tinkerbell ~ determined, strong, committed, persevering Tinkerbell ~ and know in my heart that if she can do it, then so can I. 

Somehow, someway, within me Jesus has provided all that I need, to do what has to be done.... beautifully and gracefully.... Yes, I can do it!

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
~ Romans 15:13


Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely,
And long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

"Let not your heart be troubled," 
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth,
But one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted,
Whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing,
When hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him,
From care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

~ Civilla Martin - 1905

Beautiful Paintings

I think I've always appreciated art from the time I was young. Especially when certain artists, like Claude Monet, Maxfield Parrish, and more recently, the late Thomas Kinkade, had the knack of drawing the viewer into the scenes of their paintings, making them wish they could be a part of that world, if only they could step into it.

This weekend, I discovered these beautiful paintings done by artist Janet Kruskamp. A sense of peace washes over me as my eyes take in the details of every picture. I love the cozy, colorful images, and the feelings of warmth and old fashioned goodness that are played out in the scenes of each painting.

Can't you just see yourself stepping into this airy kitchen, ready to help in the baking of these delicious, homemade apple pies?

Or how about into this one, as we prepare to can the bountiful harvest from a flourishing garden that lies just outside and down a ways from the white picket fence walkway....

And who wouldn't be thrilled with an inviting, natural space to relax in such as this bird watchers retreat?

I'd certainly enjoy a restful moment here at the table outside this beautiful and welcoming little restaurant!

Ahhhh, can't you just feel and smell Spring when you look at this bright, cheerful front porch?

I would want to sit and relax a summer afternoon away in such a lovely, peaceful spot! Wouldn't you?

Oh. My. Goodness. There are absolutely no worries here! Let's take a walk to the distant gazebo, shall we?

I can just smell the sweet, flowery air and hear the chorus of birds singing at this welcoming country home!

I could not possibly come home with just one pair of birds after visiting such a lively bird shop!

~ ~
And I will leave you with one final picture. One that encourages all of us to take a moment for ourselves, or with one that we love, and enjoy, as the title of this painting says, "A Lazy Daisy Afternoon" which I gladly will.....as soon as the weather cooperates to bring much warmer, gentler spring and summer breezes our way!

(All pictures shown in this blog post are the exclusive © of Janet Kruskamp)

What Brings Me Joy?

There's nothing more comforting to me than the beautiful sound of a stream meandering through the woods....


 And undoubtedly, among the trees in those woods, would be a chorus of birds singing and calling to one another throughout the treetops....Oh, how heavenly that sound is to me!

How sweet the air smells with the summer sun washing over a field of clover....

And how beautiful it is to drive by rows and rows of wheat swaying and dancing in the wind!

~ ~

These are just some of the little things that bring happiness to my heart. How about you?

A Small Sewing Project

My son's room is, unfortunately, a rather small room. Every bit of wall space is very important for the placement of even just his basic bedroom furniture. With such a compact room, it literally escapes me as to why the builder would have put a closet door that opens out into the room. (A pocket door would have actually been a great solution!)

I decided that his room would actually be much more functional without that closet door. In it's place, I have been hanging a variety of kid-friendly shower curtains simply by placing a suspension rod across the top of the door frame.

However, now that Charlie is going to be 15, I thought it was time to place something a bit more long-term and mature in the opening. Since my son is an outdoor, country kid at heart, I wanted some practical, earth tone colors to give a little update to his room decor.

I searched and searched until finally, at Target, I found just the right look I'd had in mind. And, it was also on clearance! I ended up getting 2 beautiful, 100% cotton curtain panels that were originally $20 each, for just $9 a piece! (I used the other panel for the curtain for his window.) All that needed to be done was a little hemming, and I was good to go. :)

So I pulled out my trusty Dressmaker space saver 100 sewing machine that I've had for over 20 years, and got to work. I forgot how fun and enjoyable a simple sewing project can be! ....I must get back into sewing.... Anyways, here are some pictures of the project.
Ziva needed to help Mommy with trying to plug in the cord. :)

The curtain panel laid out with the new hem to be sewn.

Old faithful, ready to go!

A picture of my cute sewing essentials container. Each section unscrews from the other.
The top of curtain with the suspension rod across the width of the opening.

The nicely finished new hem.
The complete finished look.

 I love the cream, tan, maroon and olive green colors of the curtain! It matches so nicely with his bedspread and a new throw blanket we gave him for Christmas. 

Not only am I very pleased with the new look, but Charlie is quite happy about the change as well. Now to frame some of those deer pictures he wanted me to hang on his walls!

When The Forecast Predicts A Blizzard....

...hunker down,
....keep safe,
...stay cozy,
....enjoy the views,


....and come relax for a while as you sit beside the hot, crackling fire!

I Will Rise


There's a peace I've come to know, though my heart and flesh may fail, there's an anchor for my soul, I can say "It is well" 

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes



And I hear the voice of many angels sing, "Worthy is the Lamb", And I hear the cry of every longing heart, "Worthy is the Lamb"

And I will rise when He calls my 
name, no more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise.......
       I will rise!

~ Chris Tomlin

Out On A Drive

While enjoying a gorgeous, sunny day traveling around town with Dean, I asked him to pull over so I could get a few pictures. The sky was so blue, the snow sparkled, and everything seemed to stand out so crisp and clear!

This is a Sycamore tree. It's bark is really cool - I call it the "camo tree" because it seems to be wearing camouflage!

The sun put a beautiful autumn kind of glow on this picture!

And this one came out like a true winter photograph.

Again, another Sycamore tree, in contrast with the evergreens.

Thank goodness the air is starting to have a hint of the smell of Spring! I hope to take many more drives as I enjoy the change of seasons ~

Dogs Vs. Cats :)

The humorous side of being a pet owner to both a dog, and several cats! 

The Dog’s Diary:

8:00 AM - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 AM - A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 AM - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 AM - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 PM - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 PM - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 PM - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 PM - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 PM - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 PM - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 PM - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Cat’s Diary:

Day 983 of my captivity.
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am. Fools. 

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of ‘allergies'. I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage...

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around her feet as she was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously a nit-wit!

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cage, so he is safe - for now... Will keep you posted. 

 Ha, ha, ha!  So true.....so very true! Wish I could give credit to whoever thought this up, but I cannot find who it belongs to anywhere on the web!