Walking at CNC

Do you know what the opening photo is? Some even harvest these and sell them!

Bob and I love to hunt wildflowers. If you have ever searched for a particular shell at a beach you can relate. We search for Lady’s Slippers, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Larkspur, etc. We have only found Lady’s Slippers in the Smoky Mountains National Park, but the others we can find locally especially at Cincinnati Nature Center (CNC).

photo by Molly

This fellow was so lovely with the sun shining through it! Sadly the ground around it is covered with Lesser Celandine which has earned the status of invasive. The Nature Center is researching ways to eradicate it. If you look at the top edge of the log above you can see the moss blooming! Beyond those tiny filaments are daffodil leaves starting to grow blossoms for 2024.

Another Jack by Molly

One friend told us when they showed a Jack-in-the-Pulpit to a young person they had to explain what a pulpit was! A pulpit is traditionally where a preacher stands to deliver the sermon. The older pulpits sometimes had a cover over them like a roof, thus the flower resemblance. In case you are still unaware, below is a sampling of pulpits! Our church does not have a pulpit or even a lectern. The Pastor just sits on a stool and talks from there.

pulpit samples on line

When we hiked Whipple Sate Nature Preserve we saw Larkspur in many colors. We also saw them yesterday at Sycamore Park in Batavia.

We agreed that walking Sycamore was so much easier than Whipple! The dog loves the trail and was not allowed at Whipple. We like this park because it is level and even paved! We walked along the East Fork of the Little Miami river, too. The sound of the running water, spring song birds … just made me breathe deeply and thank the Lord for His blessings and refreshment!

The wild dogwoods through the other forest trees were a blessing at CNC!

Are you making time to slow down, listen to the natural world around you or nearby? Do you only lament your feeling of being dried up or make an effort to renew your connection with the Source of Life? I hope you will make an effort to do just that this week!

The Virginia Bluebells at Sycamore park were well past their prime. Bob bought me a Bluebell at the Nature Center plant sale. It looks pitiful in the back garden right now. Praying it will rebound and bless us next year with flowers! Just saw that something is eating holes in the leaves. Uh oh!

Take a walk this week and look for treasures in plain sight!

My dear man walking the trail at CNC

The opening photo was take of worm casings. Evidently very rich for your garden!

Resurrection Sunday

Sometimes when I was growing up I got to go to sunrise service on Easter morning. I think my favorite one was held at French Park in Cincinnati. The weather was often chilly and even at times rainy, but we were determined to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord as the sun came up!

My mother worked for many years at a flower shop in Norwood, Ohio. One year she brought home some purple hyacinths and plucked each flower off, wrapped it in wet cotton, wired and taped it. Then she assembled them as an Easter corsage for me. To this day the fragrance of purple hyacinths remind me of her. Though she lived a troubled life I believe her faith in Christ took her to be with Him when her life on earth ended.

None of these things help my soul celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus as much as my gratitude lists. When Ann Voskamp wrote One Thousand Gifts I wonder if she knew how the practice would revolutionize the American Christian church? Certainly it changed her life, but do we ever truly know the impact our writing will have upon others? I wonder.

Have you practiced writing down the gifts in your life that Christ Jesus has bestowed upon you? Have you given Him thanks this Easter? Here are some of my thanksgivings.

  • Sunshine
  • Rain in due season
  • Salvation for my soul
  • You give strength to hearts that are true to You
  • Your righteous shall live by faith
  • our home
  • the longevity of my marriage
  • Justice that rolls down and righteousness as an ever-flowing stream
  • God with us
  • You know the hairs upon our heads
  • The Convent of the Transfiguration
  • my sisters in Journey Together in Stitches
  • crochet and knit group at senior center
  • Your Spirit that gives me life
  • Your breath in our lives
  • My children
  • My grandchildren
  • Laundry now on first floor
  • small gardens to delight my soul
  • the bluebirds at the office window
  • rabbits in Angela’s yard
  • Grogu to make me smile
  • Noodle the Corgi that makes me smile
  • music
  • music memories from over the years
  • The Holy Spirit speaking in my soul
  • My Bible and Bible Gateway tool
  • Rheude’s small group
  • Lucky learning to play with her toys
  • Cooking
  • Great Smoky Mountains and spring wildflowers there
  • Medical care
  • freedom of religion
  • clouds
  • spring peepers
  • gifts
  • dark chocolate
  • coconut!
  • travels we have done
  • travel planned to Hawaii
  • blogging friends
  • New Mexico friends
  • Neighbors who are friends
  • running water in our home
  • crocheting
  • sewing for our home and others
  • museums of art
  • Cincinnati Nature Center
  • red winged blackbirds
  • butterflies
  • armor of God
  • Abraham’s example of faith and obedience
  • Andrew Peterson’s music
  • Learning to be a living sacrifice
  • loving husband
  • forgiveness
  • the Great I am
  • firemen
  • police officers
  • electronic books from the library
  • my sister
  • pinwheels
  • soap bubbles
  • even to old age He will keep me
  • black licorice
  • Spirit of God who raised Christ from the dead LIVES in us
  • I can entrust my soul to my faithful creator
  • iPad with keyboard
  • ear buds for listening while walking the dog
  • Living Water
  • Seashells
  • heating pad
  • ocean sounds
  • He walks with me and talks with me
  • rainbow in the sky reminds me of rainbow around the throne
  • the Psalms
  • friends serving in Nepal
  • New Covenant in my mind and on my heart
  • Jesus is made unto me wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption
  • “Pajama church” when you can’t make it to service
  • His still small voice
  • Bob’s sense of humor
  • a good fresh salad
  • piano music
  • people I know I can ask to pray – knowing they will do it
  • cellos
  • live drama performances
  • good ham salad
  • music by Brandon Lake
  • writing poetry
  • Mizithra cheese sauce on angel hair spaghetti
  • broccoli slaw, just yum
  • Spirit of God helps me write

That is my partial list. How about you? Get a little notebook and begin to list your praises and things you are grateful for! It will work wonders for you ūüôā

Death could not hold Him!

Give This Thought and Practice

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.

Omar Khayyam

This moment. Right now. Just now.

How many of us even think about that idea? We are so far off in “If only” and “What if” that we are usually barely conscious of right now. But we can be conscious of right now? We most likely will have to train ourselves to do this present moment thinking. I cannot overstate the benefits!

Can you stay focused on God for more than a moment?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Mark 12:30 NIV

This moment is your life and your chance to love the Lord your God. This moment. Right now. Just now. Many people before us have tried multiple methods to accomplish this. What is your method? Have you developed a practice towards keeping happily with His presence in each moment? Turn your heart towards Him as you sip iced tea or hot coffee? As you walk through a door frame do you remember you are walking in His presence.

There are countless methods to mind the moments. What is yours? As we turn our hearts and minds continuously towards the Trinity we will find more satisfaction and happiness in each moment. Take the challenge for yourself. Practice His presence and find ways to be happy in this moment with Him.

Recently I was hit with a bout of nausea and other sickly symptoms. I had to stop everything I was doing to cope with my body and symptoms. Talking with a dear cousin she also was ill for a few days. She mentioned that she just cried out to the Father, “I know You have taken care of me and met all of my needs. I know You will do that just now, even while I am not feeling well.” And indeed, God did. Though she was not as energetic as usual, she was able to take care of herself and her attitude by staying conscious of God’s good care.

“Be happy for this moment.” Were either one of us happy to be sickly? Absolutely not! Rather than wasting time awfulizing or bemoaning our state of being we both made a decision to stay aware of our good Father and invite Him into the situation.

Photo by Valentina Ivanova on Unsplash

Humor While Walking Lucky

Like most modern subdivisions we have a drainage pond. There are usually Canada Geese there spoiling the sidewalk with there stool. Sometimes on the water we get Wood Ducks. They are so lovely. Last year they hatched their eggs at our pond but I think the local coyotes got most of the goslings. The wood ducks seem particularly fond of one yard where they keep the feeders filled year ’round.

While walking Lucky the other day, I wondered if the Wood Ducks thought they were camouflaged? You decide!

Mr Baker, why do you have decoys in your yard? Oh, those are real!!

Wide Open Gratitude!

“Living gratefully offers a merciful path for walking through life with our eyes and hearts wide open.”

Kristi Nelson

“A merciful path,” think about that. Hearts and eyes wide open.

Let’s do that!

Walking about the yard I play Pick-up-Sticks with nature. The wind has brought down many twigs and branches that were loose or just waiting for a gust of wind to propel them to earth. Later I see my neighbor participating in the same game.

I see where the dogs have left their “pee-mail” as my friend Pat calls it. Tufts of grass higher than the others. Soon the neighbors will ask the Home Owners Association Board when the hired help is going to begin mowing!

Hearts wide open – I realize just how many folks my sometimes introverted husband has gotten to know by walking our beagle. Lucky will not ‘do her business’ unless we walk her. So 4 times a day we are out the door.

Bob told me recently about the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus. Walking Lucky for her last walk of the evening I have been enjoying the moonlight, clouds, stars and seeking out those two planets in our sky.

online photo

Last night when I walked Lucky the almost full moon was behind huge clouds. The interplay of light and shadow, the warmth of the evening, made me wish for a lounge chair outdoors! I could hear voices and knew others neighbors were outdoors, too. Could not see what deck though.

Gratitude, merciful path, today is gray and cloudy but the grateful memory of last evening still makes my heart light. What have you seen or heard lately that keeps your eyes wide open? Watch for those treasures in plain sight. They surround us for the discovering!

Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord,
    or declare all his praise?

Psalm 106:1-2 NRSV

Vanishing Tablets

The older I get the more lessons I learn about growing old. Case in point, I recently had to fill my evening pillbox in the bathroom at bedtime. I use 4 pillboxes daily, (breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime). Somehow I had run out of evening medication before it was time to fill all the pillboxes at once. I hauled out the medication and prepared to fill the box for a one week supply.

When I got to the Losartan, described as ‘elliptical green tablet’, the open bottle slipped from my hand and spilled all over the bathroom floor. I closed the door to keep Lucky out while I scooped up tablets. I amused myself thinking, “If the Losartan seems hairy in your mouth it is likely due to dog shedding and Molly shedding!” I wanted to be careful to get all of them lest the dog get one and eat it. Her blood pressure has not been an issue so she does not need the medication! I am grateful that the medication regulates my blood pressure so it is not an issue for me either!

As I continued to get ready for bed I realized the lump in the new shag rug was yet another tablet, and another tablet. Pharmaceuticals can camouflage! Who knew? The color of the rug is actually more lovely than this image of the pill. I finally shook the rug in the shower stall in an attempt to retrieve all of them. In case you are too young to know, the insurance company keeps track of how many pills are dispensed by the pharmacy and will not cover the cost of extras if you lose a few to the bathroom floor.

A few days later I had cause to mop the bathroom floor. I took up the rug and began to sweep up any loose hair or dirt. Voila! There were 3 more tablets against the edge of the cabinet that I had missed. Yikes. Glad the dog did not find them or find them tasty. “Hairy blood pressure regulator.” Never saw that from a Doc!

Senior citizen with hands that sometimes do not grasp, spilled pills, likely missed more than a few on the first pass, and second pass! The lessons go on and on for me!

Priceless Quote

I first read this quote by Rainer Marie Rilke in the book by Ben Palpant entitled “Letters from the Mountain.”

“Most experiences are unsayable.” There are mysterious existences whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.

Rilke and Ben Palpant

There is a sound of leaves falling upon leaves that is so indescribable. I cannot imagine being able to mimic that sound. More than just a rustling, shifting, crunching. Nary a squirrel can approach our deck undetected right now! Our once green grass is now a carpet of yellow, orange, brown and red.

I used the blower to clear off the deck. 24 hours later it looked like this!

Can you see the carpet of leaves on the lawn?

How could I possibly capture the sound of dry leaves upon dry leaves with only words? How would you say it?

Below is a mighty sweet gum tree growing in the woods of Eastfork State Park.

And then there was this artsy photo of sun through a sweet gum leaf which the mighty beagle messed up by walking in front of the camera.

Silly Lucky, no artistic sense!

You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.
They drop on the pastures of the wilderness,
And the little hills rejoice on every side.
The pastures are clothed with flocks;
The valleys also are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, they also sing.

Psalm 65:11 NKJV

Be Astonished

To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly.

Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette

During an evening walk with Lucky, when I was way beyond tired, delightfully astonished to find this praying mantis on a neighbor’s car.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4: 4-7 NIV

Present even your fatigue! Keep watching for those treasures in plain sight! Reminders of His care and the glory of His creation.

Praying Mantis outside office window at last home

Report on Lucky’s Vet Visit

Yes, she was terrified. When she went for her check up in July they emptied her anal glands and she cried. One was really bad. So she is not brave at the Vet.

She was given oral medication for the flea infestation. Vet said some fleas develop a resistance to the drops. Today, Tuesday, she is scratching less and more peaceful. When I brushed her this morning I found a few live ones still on her. We are washing all her blankets and pillows. Sweeping the house like crazy. Bob will set off a bug bomb soon and we will vacuum again and again to try to eradicate those evil pests.

Her eyes look better this morning. The vet said this med were best absorbed with food. Lucky was fed before her 5 PM appointment. While I opened her new pill vet went to get a little “snack” for her. Before vet returned the pill was gone. She fed Lucky about 1/3 can of wet dog food. Luck-Luck was delighted with that!

So we will be purchasing flea tablets from now on. Keeping watch over her to make certain she is flea free!

You do NOT want fleas, trust me!

Poor Lucky

Lucky has been overrun with fleas. I noticed after her last application of flea drops on the back of her neck that she was still scratching. A week later I inspected her and no doubt there were fleas around her tail area.

Resting for a moment before shake and bite again

I brushed her and applied coconut oil which the web said would smother the fleas. I guess some of them just ran for other areas. I bought “Natural flea wipes” and brushed, applied oil, wiped her. Still no relief. Gave her another treatment to back of the neck. No relief.

Finally decided she needs the flea medication that is digestible for dogs. Walmart said they had it. We stopped. No tablets. Ordered for pick up at a different Walmart location. They texted next day that it was not available, but could be shipped. By now, this dog needs relief. I cancelled the order. Well, let’s say I tried to cancel it. Eventually I had to call their customer service phone line as the internet site had me going in circles trying to cancel the order. Grrr.

So there is a vet appointment at 5PM Monday, 9/12/22. The vet only sells Rx treatments, so yes, she must be seen by vet.

We have had Lucky for over 2 years. She has NEVER had fleas like this before. The web said one reason might be if our grass is long. We live in a subdivision where the mowing is taken care of. Well, not so much this year! The company we hired for mowing 2022 is awful. The grass is long and actually shaggy today. They consistently miss mowing days.

Contemplating sending them the bill for vet visit and medication. Poor doggy. She can get no rest with these pests.