Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sedated Bees?

We have some big bumblebees around our property and they love to be on and around the passionflowers in our yard. My kids say they love to "pet" the bumblebees and I have gotten used to seeing them do this, although at first, years ago, I wouldn't allow it. Now, some of the neighbor kids also like to "pet" our bees. 

I started believing that all big bumblebees are slower and maybe a bit "friendlier" than other bees.

When the kids and I were at the park this summer, I saw a lot of big bumblebees on some flowers and didn't feel nervous of them at all, but then I realized those bees were hyper and flying all around..... they didn't seem friendly... AT ALL.  I was surprised and started thinking about it.
I thought about the passionflower plant and remembered that it has sedative qualities.... I use the plant in mixtures for salves for itching and more.  

Thinking about the sedative quality of the plant, made me think about our bees. They love to sleep on the passionflowers and they seem slow and mild as they do their work on our passionflowers.... I then concluded that our big bumblebees are sedated... that is why the kids can "pet" them. We certainly could NOT have pet the same kind of bumblebees at the park. 

There are so many things to learn about our world... and it is interesting how things work together in nature.  I had concluded that ALL big bumblebees were mild mannered and gentle, sluggish and almost tame, but that wasn't true. There was a very important factor that I had left out - that of the sedative qualities of the plant the "tame" bees were on. This just shows that when we make an assumption, we need to carefully determine if we have all of the facts.  Yes, some big bumblebees are quiet and mild, but not all are.

 I wonder how many times we do that in our lives also... maybe we feel we have someone's problem all figured out... we have the answer.... but maybe we don't even know all of the factors.  Maybe we do this with God also.... do we ever conclude that God really doesn't love us very much because He has allowed this or that to touch our life?  The fact is that God DOES love us and He never changes, so whether we can make sense of what He is doing or not, He has a plan and it is a good one. We need to trust Him - He is ALWAYS good and we can ALWAYS trust Him.

Thank you for visiting my blog today.  I hope you have a good day. 
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Friday, August 29, 2014

Enjoying The Simple Morning Glory

I enjoy Morning Glory flowers... they look rather unassuming...and blend in with the garden, their vines and tendrils moving, clinging, growing..... they climb other plants or a trellis... a pole or anything they can find.

 There are lots of leaves and when the flowers start to bloom, they do not dominate the plant....  yet up close, they are showy with the star shape in the flower.... the delicate coloring....
 There aren't too many blue flowers, so having a spot of blue in the garden is a real treat.

Nestled in among the leaves, the flowers are beautiful... and full of color....  but they don't last long... in fact, if you don't get up early enough, you may not even see them at their finest. As the sun hits them, they can start to fold in on themselves.... by afternoon, they just don't look like much of anything at all.

 From back a ways, the flowers don't even show very much, so they could go unnoticed, although the living fence look is still nice.

This morning, early, before my family was up,  I walked through the garden - taking pictures, talking with God, singing songs, preparing my heart for the day.... and I sure enjoyed the morning glories...I watched a bee that had to struggle to get inside of a partially opened flower... but he did it....
 I have these morning glories on a trellis.... it was actually an accident... or rather a gift from God.  I didn't plant these... they just came up in different places, so when these came up and I wasn't actively growing anything on this trellis this year, I let them grow... and they pretty much took over. Last year I had my third crop of cucumbers on this trellis... this year it was bare. 

How nice to have these come to cover the trellis and add some extra beauty.... a bit of shade and extra interest to the garden.

I have some in other places in the garden - and we have to weed them out of other places... they can strangle the tomatoes or other plants or just take too much sunlight and nutrients... but they do have a place in my garden. :) 

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I hope you have a great day.


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Butterfly Experiments....

My kids found a swallowtail butterfly that was seemingly injured or stunned. They pleaded with me asking to bring it into the house in a plastic shoebox without the lid. I did allow it, which surprised everybody.... especially since there was no lid.  The poor thing stayed in one place not even eating or drinking what they offered.... and the kids knew it liked my dill and parsley, so they offered that. It just stayed still.


 This was great for them to be able to study the butterfly up close... all the little veins, hairs, reflective spots... it was very interesting.
 The colors were amazing and seemed to glow in certain light...


The butterfly continued to stay in one place but willingly went on to someone's finger when they tried to pick it up. Again it just stayed there.

They continued to notice the unique coloring.... and they had an idea........




What about adding light? 
They used a blue laser light and the wings shone beautifully...



Details showed up and they noticed even more about the butterfly than they had in regular light.


The colors were amazing....

In this picture they used a white LED light to shine on the wings.... the colors really stand out.

We found out that there are reflectors... scales that are transparent and act as mirrors to reflect the light.

There is even some florescent pigment on them which explains why they seem to glow.






 He actually looked almost furry....
and look at that long proboscis all rolled up there... we enjoyed seeing this up close like this.....
What an amazing creature....

SOOOOO, if a blue laser light made it look great......
 What about a RED laser light?  :)

With the red light, you can see some scars on the wing....
The red was interesting, but not nearly as much as the blue had been... or the clear light.













 Still, it was fun to see and use the red light....
 Notice how the wing veins show several colors here.... must have been some effect with the light.

My oldest son visited while the butterfly was recuperating in our house.... and his comment was something to the effect of "You never let us bring those in the house when I was in school."  :)   Yes, I surprised my family.... and it was good....
It is amazing how much detail, how much of God's creativity is evident in this one butterfly... what an amazing creature... what an amazing Creator.

I am reminded that if God cared enough to put so many seemingly insignificant details in one very temporary creature... He obviously is a great designer... and has a plan...  and I am thankful His plan included saving me.... and all who accept Him as Savior.  What a  blessing.

Thank you for visiting my blog today....


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Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer....


Well, even though we have started schooling again and fall is near, it is still summer... and it is hot... really hot... staying close to 100. It is hot....  The Dog Days of Summer.


 Here in North America, the dog days of summer are in July and August - the two hottest months of the year.

 My oldest son has a dog named Sherlock...  It was one of those hot days and after playing, the dog was really hot and panting, so my son started spraying him with a gentle spray.
 He really enjoyed it...


He just settled in to be comfy and relax.  :)












 Then he would get back up for a stronger spray.... shake off... and come back for more.
 And he just enjoyed it... as his owner took care of him in the heat and cooled him off gently.

Reminds me of how God gently cares for us... giving us what we need when we need it.... providing some rest, some encouragement, some time to build up....


Time to go back to playing "Fetch". All rested and cooled off.

After a rest, we too, can get back to what we wold normally be doing.... hopefully, giving honor to the Lord.

I hope you are having a great day even in these very hot days, if you live where the extreme heat is. Regardless, I hope you can see God's ongoing care of you... I know I can, even when sometimes I don't understand.

Thank you for visiting today. :)

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Has The World Gone Crazy?

Has the world gone crazy? It sure seems like it has. We are hearing reports of horrible things being done to our brothers and sisters in Christ - just because they are Christians. I have seen images that are permanently imprinted on my mind - images that should not be. I have this overwhelming sense of sadness and horror, probably not unlike what many of you are feeling.

I love taking pictures of the beauty in our world and sharing them on my blogs. I love being creative and artistic with my photography and my writing, but the heaviness in my heart makes that seem unimportant at the moment. There sure is a dark heavy cloud over our earth as evil runs rampant....

As a people, our sense of direction is all mixed up... we don't seem to know where to go.......or how to stop the evil that is committed to conquering and killing all who disagree with them.

God is the only One who can combat this evil.... yet, it is so easy to feel distant from the threats.... to continue on with our lives... playing games....laughing... distracting ourselves while others live in the midst of such horrendous evil that I won't even talk about the details with my older children - it is just too awful. Do we need to see all the ugly images? No.... but I have seen a few and they are enough to drive me to my knees in prayer.

I also have a precious extended family member who is in the middle of making some very impulsive (and in my mind, wrong) changes in his life... changes that will affect him and his wife greatly... and we feel helpless to do anything.... our cautions are ignored.... we are deeply concerned... the person feels this is what they HAVE to do. There is nothing actually evil in the decision they are making,.... but they are not being wise... and are causing many problems for their future in our opinion. My heart aches and we will probably have to help pick up the pieces at some later point, but for now.... all we can do is pray.  This is different than the deliberate evil being done by militant religions to others.. especially to Christians... yet all of us can be misguided... and it is imperative that we keep our focus... and go the right direction. 

Now, more than ever, we need to know the way we should go.... this evil is a long ways from us.... or is it? We are being desensitized to the things that are allowing the evil to creep quickly into our country and even in our leaders...

 We need to set our eyes on the Son...  and follow His leading... just as the sunflower follows the sun across the sky.

We need to keep our sense of direction... and obey. We need to recognize the danger and have compassion on those who walk in it.

We need to choose whom we will serve... and be diligent about it... and pray.... pray with thankfulness, pray with sincerity, pray with fervor, pray with diligence, pray as if our lives depend on it.... because they do... and so do the lives of others.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dragonflies...

I am not too fond of insects... .actually I am not fond of them AT ALL, but there are some that are more interesting to look at and this is one of them.  My kids enjoy dragonflies.

 They come in various colors and are interesting to watch.  They are also amazing hunters and eat a lot of insects... they are great for eating mosquitoes, ants and more. A dragonfly can eat an amount of insects equivalent to its own weight in just 1/2 hour, so in a day, they eat a LOT!. 
Dragonflies will also eat butterflies and bees... and can be a danger to bee populations at times.

We like to watch them because they are "pretty" and pretty amazing. The wings are transparent and a lacy framework for the wing. Anyway, dragonflies and summer just seem to go together, so I thought I would share this. They move so fast and abruptly that it can be hard to take a picture, so I was thankful to take these.

I love it that God has such a variety in nature.... so much for us to see and enjoy.... and benefit from... I am so glad those dragonflies are out there eating mosquitoes.... I do NOT like mosquitoes! :)  Thank you for visiting today.
























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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Quote I Like....

I enjoy quotes.... sometimes a good quote can say just what you mean... or just what you need to hear.... and it can stick with us. This is one of those quotes for me.  I have believed this in the past, but when I first saw the movie "Facing the Giants" and heard this quote, it just cemented it in my mind.... and I really appreciate the quote.

It had to do with a football game and other things in the movie... and also a commitment to trusting God.... no matter what.


When things are going the way we want them to.... it is easy to praise Him.... although it is also easy to forget that part.

When things are not going well, we tend to want to demand our own way... and it is harder to praise Him.

Since He is God.... and knows ALL things... We need to ALWAYS praise Him.... whether we understand... or not.


So....... we need to praise Him.... whether we "win" or "lose" in whatever way that fits in our own life. So, whatever is going on in your life - whether good or bad, I hope you are able to praise Him.... and trust Him. I am determined to do that. Thank you for visiting today. It was so nice to have you here and I hope you have a wonderful day. :)















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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Technologically Challenged & Admitting It

I am technologically challenged and I am admitting it. For years, I felt like I needed to be good at everything and I tried... oh, how I tried.....  What a joy to finally realize that I am artistic, creative, hard working.... and I have skills in many areas, BUT I am not a technical person. Whew. Thankfully, my husband and many of my children are, so I don't even have to be. :)



When we have a time change, there is someone(or several people) to change the clocks.... all of the clocks. :)  My husband sets the thermostat - I did fine with the older style, but the new electronic one that needs to be set for time of day, temperature, am or pm, weekdays or weekends and on and on..... he does that one, although if I am too hot or cold, I DO know how to push the correct buttons to do a temporary change. :) 

Computers are not my area of expertise... I can use a computer and I can do many things on it.... after someone shows me how.... a few times. :)  I won't even tell you how long it took to learn how to turn it on or off back when we had a desktop and had to remember to turn on the computer tower, the screen, the modem....and plug something into.... somewhere... the correct "somewhere".  I learned....but it doesn't come naturally to me.

Learning to blog has been a challenge and I am so thankful for my daughter(Wholesome Joy) who catches on to this stuff SO much easier.... just seems to understand it better. When we first started blogging and were supposed to put a "button" on our post as a link back after a link up.... it was quite confusing to both of us. With time, we have gotten lots better. When we need to change something.... or when we started Google+, when we need to add gadgets or widgets or whatever,  my daughter is the one who figures it out... .and I am admitting that I don't try on such things a lot anymore.... she is so capable and enjoys it, so I love it that she shines there..... and I don't have to. :)  That allows me to do the work I need to do.

Well, anyway, this technology thing carries over to cell phones. Yes, the phone pictured above IS my cell phone... a Razor. Yes, I know it is "old school" as my guys like to say about a lot of things. *sigh* But it is pretty.... did you notice that pretty lavender color? :)  Also.... I can use it to make or receive phone calls... which is really all I wanted a  cell phone for anyway. My husband uses his cell phone (also a Razor) as a calculator and does really well with it.... I go get a REAL calculator when I need one(and it's faster since it would take me a while to figure out how to get to the calculator in my phone and work it).  :) 

One day, we got a notice that our pastor's cell phone number had changed, so I took note of it and put it into my phone. I told my kids that I had done so and they were visibly shocked and impressed. Then I realized they misunderstood me, so....  I opened my phone to show them I had put the phone number INTO my phone.






They laughed to see the yellow post-it note inside my phone with the phone number on it.... and we have had a lot of fun over this instance. One of the kids offered to enter it into my phone for real.... and they did.

You see, it has taken me a long time to learn I don't have to be perfect ... or good at everything. I used to try. The problem is that only God is perfect and for me to try to be perfect is showing that I don't have a right perception of who God is.... only He is perfect.

I may sound like a shallow and silly woman to you, but I'm really not... I am able to do many things and am reasonably intelligent, but I have also become much wiser. You see, God made me just the way He wanted me.... and it is okay if I am better at some things and not so good at others. It is okay if others are really good at something.... and I am not. It is okay for me to do what God has gifted me to do.... and allow others to do what God has gifted them to do. I CAN do those things... but it takes a LOT of work. What a relief to spend that energy on the work God has for ME, instead of allowing pride to push me to excel at everything.

It has helped me to come to this point..... and I think it has helped others around me also.... we don't need to compete..... we just do what we need to do .... and I rejoice over their abilities and they rejoice over mine.... and we all learn to laugh (kindly) at the ways we compensate for not being as good at something... like my post-it note inside my cell phone. It is good to learn to laugh at ourselves. :)   Someday, we may have a "Smart Phone" and I do not really look forward to that.... but I can learn to use one if I need to - and if they show me how .... many many times. .:)  I have even gotten much better at sending and receiving texts... a little slow, but I can do it now.

Are you pushing yourself to do things that you don't really need to even do? When we first got married, I knew a lot more about fixing things than my husband did - I grew up in a family who did that...and he didn't. Well, I could hang pictures faster and put up curtain rods faster.... after all, I am the one who taught him how to hold a hammer correctly. Well, my pride at being "good" at doing such things wounded him and I didn't even realize it. When I quit trying to be perfect at it...and let him do those jobs, no matter how long it took him to do them.... he learned and learned and he grew.... and I realized that I really LIKED being able to leave that stuff to someone else..... just like leaving the technology stuff to someone else. We can unknowingly hurt others or hurt our relationship with the Lord by allowing pride to push us. My motivation needs to be to honor the Lord.... and if that truly IS my motivation, then I can allow others to shine... and encourage them... and just do what God has for me to do.

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I hope you have a great day serving God in the way He wants you to serve Him. :) 

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Blogging........ Outside?

One day last week, I decided to change my blogging work spot for the morning.  It was a beautiful day... not a normal hot and muggy summer day, but a cooler and very pleasant one. Usually I work inside at my desk and that works well, but this day, I just HAD to be outside. I took my laptop out... and found that the mouse does NOT work on the metal mesh table, so I had to have a mouse pad for that. Thankfully, one of my boys knew where one was.

I sat on the deck out near the gardens.... it was so nice and pleasant and I was eager to get a lot done. :) I had a cup of tea out there on that cool morning and I was ready to work!

Because of the brightness of the sun under the canopy, I had to squint to see the computer screen, but that still worked... because I was loving being outside. :)  Oh, it was SO nice.

I found that with the difficulty seeing the screen because of the glare.... and also because of the mouse issues...  AND because 5 of my kids joined me out on the deck to talk to me, I really didn't get as much done as I usually do in the same amount of time at my desk, so eventually I had to go back inside to work.

I haven't done that since... but it is tempting. Instead, I usually just walk through the gardens, work in them, or water them while I'm out there and go inside to work on the computer.  Still, it was a treat to be out there feeling the beautiful warmth of the sun on a cool morning, hearing the birds, seeing the flowers, and drinking tea............... and just visiting with my children.... I love doing that. :)  So, I'm so glad I did that, but I will probably work on computer work inside the house from now on......

Thank you for visiting my blog today. :)

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