December

I think the beginning of November and the start of December swapped their weather garbs here in Southwest Missouri. 70+Β°F today!?!

My Hubby took this photo while riding around Fellows Lake in Springfield, MO.

My sweet tooth took over my phone last month and before I knew what it was doing it had ordered TWO advent calendars!

McCrea’s Caramels out of Boston, MA. Look at this artwork… adorable! Caramel flavors include: Black Lava Sea Salt, Classic Vanilla, Cape Cod Sea Salt, Deep Chocolate, Tapped Maple, Ginger Fusion, Cafe Noir, Dark Roasted Mocha, Rosemary Truffle Sea Salt, Chocolate Peppermint, Cinnamon Clove, and Anisette.
This beautiful box of goodies is from Parisian candy maker Bossier. The website was full of beautiful handmade candies and I can’t wait to try each one. Chocolate covered almonds and hazelnuts, cocoa coated almonds, fruit flavored candies, honey flavored hard candies, caramels, jelly filled candies, almond puffed rice chocolate, bear gummies, strawberry candies, heart shaped gummies, fruit jellies, dark chocolate pearls, fruit flavored chocolate petals, chocolate balls, heart shaped chocolate truffles, calissons (French specialty candies), and fondants.
Ohhh, and I also got these little fruit flavored hard candies, they taste a lot like lollipops.

My MS has been very “assertive” over my legs and energy levels (among other symptoms) these last couple of months. That means lots of sitting and boredom. I’ve filled the time with some hand sewing and needlework. These little puffs turned out pretty cute.

We kept my Dad’s dog again for a few days. She’s growing on this die-hard Cat Lady.

As you can see, life has been very exciting around here πŸ˜‚. Of course, no post of mine is complete without a few photos of birds.

Male downy woodpecker
Male house finche

Carolina chickadee

I’ve been rereading through the Bible each day, great gulps at a time, two or three books per day. I’m overwhelmed at the scope, harmony, depth, awesomeness, faithfulness, mercy, loving kindness, and holiness of God. Everything He does is Right. Everything He says is True. In this season of Christmas, it is especially important to remember how all history, all time, all hope, all fulfillment of prophecy, all meaning and purpose is found in God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ. He is more than a season, more than an Eve or a Day. He is Creator, King, Redeemer, God with Us, Promise-fulfilled, Hope, High Priest Forever, and so much more. Come let us bow before Him and worship Him in His majesty! ❀️, Amy

Autumn Leaves and A Recipe From 1909

I rode my scooter around our neighborhood this past week.Β  Autumn is my favorite season and, despite a later than usual start, trees in our neck of the woods are glowing with color.Β 

Glorious yellows and oranges πŸ’›πŸ§‘
Maple leaf aflame
Maple leaf in a sea of green
Maple leaf with scars and scratches
The last of our neighbor’s summer roses.
Our River Birch leaves in the throes of death.

A couple of obligatory bird photos because, well… I love birds ❀️.

I’ve been seeing a lot of this female downy woodpecker lately.
Friendly carolina chickadees are frequent diners at the feeders.

My Dad has slowly been giving me a lot of our family pictures and genealogy material this past year.Β  As I looked through the latest batch I found a small book of “receipts” in the Edmunds Cookbook, compiled in 1909. Edmunds is a town in Indiana where my great grandparents lived in 1909 as members of the local Quaker community. I thought it would be fun to try to make a cake from the scant directions provided.

I have no idea who Mrs. Henry Berg was but I chose this cake because (a) I had all the ingredients on hand, (b) it seemed seasonal, (c) my hubby would probably like it, (d) it looked pretty easy.
The batter seemed promising.
It baked up nicely.
And.. it tasted DELICIOUS with a moist, airy crumb. The mix of raisins and spices provided a pleasant spicy sweetness.
This is me sitting down at the kitchen table to go through the cookbook to choose a recipe. 😹🐾😻

I hope you have a wonderful day! God be with you. ❀️, Amy

Mallards and Monarchs

This beauty came right up beside me and let me take his picture. I think he knew he was a looker.
Although she was a bit more cautious than her male companion, she flashed several poses.
This little guy kept telling his Mom, “I’m playing with the ducks!”. I’m not sure the ducks saw it that way πŸ˜‰.
It was a windy day and this cutie pie held her bangs back so she could watch her brother “play” with the ducks.
As I sat by the lake, I noticed this butterfly land on the side of my leg. It had a couple of injuries to it’s wings and seemed unafraid of me. Over the span of the next hour it made it’s way onto my fingers and then into the palm of my hand. It was incredible to watch it taste my skin with it’s long, bendy tongue. It had some visible pollen on it’s wings so I knew it had been out foraging. It seemed as if it needed a rest and I felt honored it chose me as a safe harbor. It’s been a little over a week since my encounter with this tiny creature, nevertheless, its memory has flitted across my mind numerous times.
The sun through the just changing autumnal leaves was glorious.
Sun on a single strand of a spider’s web.
I can’t get over how big a fiery skipper’s eyes are compared to it’s head. I could almost feel it watching me as it crawled over the flowers of our butterfly bush.
Joy of joys, the monarchs have found our butterfly bushes! We’ve had as many as eight at a time πŸ¦‹β€οΈ!! The way the sun shines through their wings reminds me of stained glass.
AND, I think this is a spicebush swallowtail. What a neat little fella!

I hope you are doing well. God be with you. ❀️, Amy

One Singular Sensation!

One great place to enjoy a gorgeous Autumnal day.
One dragonfly sunbathing.
One candy-striped rose of sharon.
One beautiful blue sky.
One showy butterfly moth.
One ripple effect.
One white clover.
One breath from being blown away.
One tenacious water plant
One piece of grass near the lake.
One oblivious grasshopper.
One pollinating bee.
The back of my scooter with a new sticker telling all my one and only wish.
The one corner of our yard I can’t stop watching for fear of missing all the butterflies, skippers, and hummingbirds who visit.
One skipper on a butterfly bush stalk
One eye of a butterfly bush flower getting a right good going over.
One adorable carolina chickadee.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Timothy 2:5

One more post has come to an end. ❀️, Amy

A Week In My Life

Pip is my little sewing helper. He had been walking in, through, up, down, over, and around for quite a while before finally sitting front and center. When you need attention, you need attention 😺.
So…I finally gave up, went and got a robe, and tucked him in. He settled right down, purred like a freight train, and stayed until I finished up.
Laudy knows how to get her snuggle time too 😻. This was first thing in the morning one day…
… and this was last Saturday. My shirt says, On Caturdays We Wear Cat Shirts.
I had my Ocrevus infusion on the first of this month, which I think I mentioned in my last post. My nurse wanted a picture of Laudy climbing on him and checking him out. I barely got the picture in time and it doesn’t look like he was enjoying it, but I assure you he did. (I guess this isn’t really from this week.)
This swallowtail butterfly looked a little worse for wear but seemed to be thriving on our aptly named butterfly bushes.
This yellow garden spider set up shop between one of the butterfly bushes and the fence. The reinforced center zigzag is amazing!
I’ve not had a lot of birds at the feeders lately and it’s been too hot to sit outside much, but I did get a snap of this friendly chipping sparrow.
We had a single day break in the heat so I took advantage of it and did my Bible study on the patio.
Later that same morning I rode my scooter around the lake in our neighborhood.
If you squint really hard you can see the bench on the other side where I often sit to watch dragonflies buzzing around. I only took one lens with me so I wasn’t able to get a picture of a ruby throated hummingbird going from flower to flower on the bushes to the right. It was pretty cool!
Hubby took me for a drive to try and get some pictures of a field of sunflowers a few towns away. The road was a little busy and I only had a few seconds to get a shot. It didn’t really work out the way I had envisioned it in my mind because I didn’t have time to get the exposure right. That, and there was also a real chance I might fall over because I had to step across a ditch along a fence row full of weeds and, of course, my balance is wonky. When I got back in the car I had burrs stuck all over my pants.

Although the pictures were an epic fail, I enjoyed riding around with my hubby that afternoon. Oh, and about an hour after we got home both of my eyelids and the bottom of my eyes turned red and swelled up to be about 1/2 an inch thick. They stayed that way for the next 24 hours! Ragweed, was that you??

Yes, I know, I lead a very exciting life πŸ˜‰. I hope you have had a good week. See you next time! God be with you. ❀️, Amy

Summer’s Lasting Vibrance

Hello, Friend! I hope you are well.

It’s been too hot around here to get out of the house much these last few weeks. However, I did ride my scooter early one morning down to the lake in our neighborhood to enjoy the dragonflies and flowers for a spell.

Crepe Myrtle ablaze in red
A little skipper atop white clover
Blue dasher perfectly aligned on a blade of grass
Tail up!
Halloween pennant – gloriously orange
Amber wing, easily my favorite dragonfly.

I braved the heat for a few minutes one day to get a pic of this lovely female cardinal hanging out in one of the birch trees behind our house.

Since I can’t get outside much I’ve been filling my time sewing. I got a new serger and have been absolutely floored by the steep learning curve. For the first couple of weeks I was convinced that not even NASA’s best could get the crazy thing to work consistently! I have read everything I could get my hands on and watched hours of YouTube vids in a determined effort to conquer and master the beast of a machine. Perseverance, about 15-20 hours of practicing on scraps, rethreading the booger, and adjusting knobs a million times AND…

I FINALLY figured out how to consistently get good seams on my serger! I made a cute nightgown that I love. I ordered this knit jersey on super clearance from Joann’s. The snails are very appropriate πŸ˜‰.

I had my Ocrevus infusion yesterday so I’m fuzzy-headed with a bit of a headache. Around 4:00 this morning I started flushing from the steroids they served up to go along with it. I should start feeling better by tomorrow. For the first time ever I got to have the drug infused at home – so much easier for me! My newest bestie Bill, the infusion nurse, and I spent five quality hours chatting and sharing the ways God has worked in our lives. God is so good!

Thanks for stopping by. God be with you! ❀️, Amy

Breath In, Breath Out

Sometimes I’m really proud of myself for being able to keep the rhythm of breathing going, such is the joy of MS fatigue.

In my last post I said I would try to write something about my MS, so here it is. Whew, this summer has been a challenge! I have had a smattering of a few good days here and there and even a few strung together in sequence, but more often than not I’ve been under the thumb of pervasive, domineering MS lethargy. Nope, it’s not the kind of tired that needs a nap and sitting to rest for a spell doesn’t shift it at all. Like having a bone dry fuel tank, no matter how hard you try to go, you end up getting absolutely nowhere. The engine won’t start, the wheels won’t go anywhere, the brakes won’t compress, the electric windows won’t budge… technically it’s a car, but it’s good for nothing. I still look like Amy on the outside but there’s no juice to animate me. The electrical wires of my nerves are stripped and the signals my brain tries to send to make my body move either can’t or only partially get through. As a result, I don’t walk right, my hands don’t work the way they’re supposed to, my bladder doesn’t know if it’s holding or letting go, my thoughts struggle to be strung into words, and my balance is all over the place making me stagger around like I’m drunk. Normal things like showering, getting dressed, eating, and even sitting up use inordinate amounts of energy because my nervous system is having to work 1,000 times harder than yours just to get the signals through. Some days, for some inexplicable reason, I spontaneously recharge fairly quickly and I get to do things other than basic human functions – these are my good days. Other days, most days if I’m honest, time passes from my favorite chair or lying in bed. I read, listen to audiobooks, put puzzles together on an app, watch TV, and snuggle with our cats.

MS and heat don’t mix, it makes all symptoms worsen, so I haven’t been on the patio taking pictures much the past few weeks. However, the past couple of days have been milder allowing me to snap a few pics of my feathered friends.

I’ve learned to love bluejays and all the sounds they make.
Matchy, matchy red!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, cardinals are one of the most beautiful birds of all!
Male downy woodpecker
Female house finch
Sweet lil’chickadee
Mourning doves are another personal fav.
The butterfly bushes we planted in the spring have more than doubled in size and smell wonderful!
There have been 5-10 hummingbird moths around the butterfly bushes all summer.
Oh, and the skippers love them too.
Hubby has just a couple more days before he heads back to work. This chore has been on his list and he’s glad to have it done. It’s still hard to believe God has blessed me with such a perfect guy ❣️

May God be with you! ❀️, Amy

Quiet Days

Quiet Days

It’s been a month of MS fatigue and quiet living. I’ve ridden my scooter a few times to the lake in our neighborhood and enjoyed the dragonflies and flowers always present. Here are a few of my favorites.

One of these days I’ll write more. God be with you! ❀️, Amy

Under the Birches

Hello!Β  The weather has been beautiful the last couple of days so I’ve been soaking up the unseasonal coolness by bird watching on the patio.

I got a couple of new feeders, they work a treat!
Yarrow
Verbena
American Goldfinch, male
Can you see the πŸ’›?
This female cardinal is a looker!
American Robin
I think this pair of House Wrens is moving in!
He’s been singing all afternoon 🎢
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Carolina Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
I’ve named this little Chipping Sparrow “Chippy”, he is particularly friendly and let’s me get close to him.
I’ve been learning how to get action shots. This one didn’t turn out too badly.
This one isn’t bad either.
Blue Jays are very skittish but I can occasionally get a good portrait shot.
This is just a funny pic of Pip riding around the house with me while I’m on my scooter. I haven’t written much about my MS lately. Maybe I’ll do that some time soon. The abbreviated version is, yep, I still have it.

I hope you have a wonderful week. God be with you! ❀️, Amy

Rescinded and I’m Sorry

Have you ever done something that you look back on a bit further down the road and wonder just how you could have been so oblivious?  Well, I’m there.  I shot straight up at 4:38 this morning and thought, “Copyright!  I’ve broken copyright to Merrill C. Tenney’s The Genius of the Gospels“!  I was going to post the notes I took on John today, but instead I took down my previous posts on the first three Gospels.  Perhaps you were quicker on the uptake than I was. All I can say is I’m really sorry. It was such a good study, I got carried away and shared before thinking things through all the way.

So, back to the regularly scheduled programming…

My nephew came and stayed with us for a while last month. He made his Aunt very happy when he took my camera and, with his artistic eye, took pictures like a pro. Just look at his gallery!

Pretty impressive, eh?!

Here’s the young man himself.

Playing some Thin Lizzy with Uncle Todd.

The weather has been somewhat mild for our area this time of year so I’ve been able to get outside and take a few snaps. Heat and MS don’t mix so summer photo sessions are usually few and far between.

Common grackle
Titmouse
Female cardinal, almost fully adult (I think).
Juvenile female cardinal. Can you spot the differences between the adult in the picture above and this juvenile here?
I went to the lake yesterday for about 20 minutes before tiring out. It was super busy!
The fire department showed up with lights flashing for a water rescue.
Suiting up
In action!
This common whitetail dragonfly watched the rescue crew at work too.
AND, I got to see a purple martin being fed!
Meanwhile, inside, Pip has learned to appreciate birds as much as I do πŸ˜‰.
Laudy, as ever, knows how to snuggle and relax better than anyone.

All my best to you and may God be with you! ❀️, Amy