Hello, Friend! I hope you are well wherever you are when this post finds you.
I’m currently sitting on the back patio watching the birds on a gorgeous May afternoon. I can hear cardinals, house finches, titmice, and blue jays calling, singing, squeaking, and buzzing from the canopy overhead and behind us. Though it’s a warm, sunny day, there’s a lovely light breeze in the shade keeping me cool and bringing the last scent of quickly fading lilac across the yard to me. It is a springtime feast for the senses!
Yesterday and today have been absolutely joyful days as my typically excessive MS fatigue has lessened and allowed me to be up and about more than usual. So, naturally, I rode my scooter over to the lake in our neighborhood yesterday and soaked in some Vitamin D and the beauty of God’s creation around me.
After I rode back home from the lake, I decided to sit under the birches in the backyard.
Thanks for stopping by. May God be with you! ❤️, Amy
When it rains it pours! Our dishwasher gave up the ghost Saturday morning (my birthday) and flooded the kitchen.
Thankfully, Hubby is a pretty smart cookie and got the water shut off.
He wrangled the dishwasher out of it’s nest and discovered the water lines from it were bad and the tub on the bottom had a crack.
We found a replacement the same day and my Dad helped us get it home and supervised Hubby’s installation.
It was a lot of work, but Hubby got the job done and it was sealed with Pip’s approval. 😻
Speaking of Pip, we have been dealing with a bit of a scare with him. Last month during his regular, annual check-up we learned he had a grade 2 heart murmur. Our vet referred us to the University of Missouri Vet Clinic to see a cardiologist to investigate the issue further.
She gave us some good news today that it looks benign and we are scheduled to go back next year to keep an eye on things.
The weather has been nice enough each afternoon this week and, despite pretty lousy MS fatigue, I’ve been able to make it onto the patio to watch the birds. They fill my heart with joy and gratitude to God for the wonder of His creation.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day! May God be with you. ❤️, Amy
Hello! I bet you didn’t expect to hear from me again so soon, did you? It’s been a while since I did a “week in my life” sort of blog, so…I did. Let’s see, when I last wrote I believe I told you I had finally tested negative for Covid 🎉. I was still sick, though. I started some antibiotics for a bacterial sinus infection 5 days ago and am happy to report that I am doing much better. I still have a cough, but I’m hoping it will continue to dissipate with time (and another 5 days of antibiotics 😉).
Surprisingly, my MS hasn’t been too bad this week and I was able to putter around the house with reasonable rest breaks between activities. This has been a HUGE blessing to me ☺️!
Anywho, I’ve been sewing up a storm and enjoying myself thoroughly this week! As a matter of fact, in the pictures you’re about to see I think I’m wearing four different things I either finished up or made this week. (There’s more sewing stuff a bit further down too 🙂.)
Covid wore me out and I hadn’t cooked for over two weeks, we survived on freezer meals I had squirrelled away. I finally found the energy to get in the kitchen again on Tuesday. I made a huge pot of beef barley soup, enough to last us several days. I also decided to get out my Mom’s high school Home Ec. cookbook and made a couple loaves of our favorite bread. Mom’s book has seen better days, but it is very special to me and has some great recipes.
Oh, and I made some chocolate chip bars on Thursday from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Cookbook. 😋. I love lots of chocolate chips but Hubby only wants a few, and the itty-bitty ones. So, I compromised and put half the normal amount of my chips and some of his tiny chips into the batter and they actually managed to please both of us.
I hadn’t cleaned my sewing room for several weeks, it was really bad. I cleared the decks on Monday and gave it a good going over. I don’t know how I didn’t end up at urgent care with 23 pins stuck in my feet! YIKES 😬! I also gave both my sewing machine and my serger a good service and cleaning.
The next few photos are random.
Of course I watched the birds this week!
Lastly, I’ll share some of my favorite moments of the week with Pip and Laudy, my constant companions.
Thanks for joining me this week. May God be with you. ❤️, Amy
Energy all gone, Feels like I’m in a coma – A puddle of goo.
I think I’ve melted into and become one with my recliner these last four days.
Thankfully, once again, my feathered friends have come to the rescue and filled the long hours with the joy of their songs and avian antics.
Another source of happiness filling my idle time has been the company of our cats, Laudy and Pip. They have no idea what a blessing and source of company they are to me, but I count them as one of God’s treasures gifted to my keeping. And they are experts at the art of resting 😻.
A person very dear to me gifted Hubby and I a fun surprise, a 6-month subscription to Universal Yums. It’s a monthly box featuring snack food from different countries around the world. This month’s box arrived yesterday with treats from… Austria 🇦🇹 😋!
Hubby and I celebrated 17 years of wedded bliss last week 💞. First thing he did that morning? Cleaned the windows so I had a better view of the birds. Love and happiness – just look at that smile – are found in the doing of little things.
May you find your greatest joy in Christ this year and always. God be with you! ❤️, Amy
Thank you for the encouragement to keep Amy’s Axons going. I received numerous texts, messages, emails, and FB posts saying this little blog is meaningful to my friends and family. The most important voice was my Hubby’s, he said it was “worthwhile” and “meaningful”. So, I will continue to share snippets of my life with you and hope you continue to enjoy the content.
Although most of the leaves have succumbed to the great gusts of wind in the Ozarks the last couple of days, I was able to photograph a few places close to our house in mid-October. Looking through these makes me hungry for pumpkin bread, such are the fall vibes.
The day before the first frost of the season (a couple of weeks ago) I caught these butterflies on our butterfly bushes.
This chickadee was so obliging that he posed in the most photogenic spot in the backyard and allowed me to capture his loveliness.
My Mom is always in my heart but especially today. I cherish my memories of her and the love she always gave me.
Hello friends! It’s been a while. Today is a good MS day so I thought I’d write a wee bit.
As you can see…
… I’ve been enjoying the butterfly bushes we planted just last spring. It’s easy to say they love the corner of the yard we chose for them.
I’ve only ventured to the neighborhood lake once since the last time I posted pictures. Sadly, our neighborhood lost their groundskeeper and they’ve not had much luck finding a consistent replacement. As a result, the lake is looking pretty weedy and rough. I know they will get it sorted sooner or later, so I probably won’t hang out much over there until it’s cleaned up. However, I was able to get a shot of a beautiful blue dragonfly.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time watching the birds at our feeders and on the trees at home. Shocking, I know 🤭.
So, on to the main thing. I’ve really been thinking about my blog these past few months. As you can tell if you’ve been following Amy’s Axons for very long, I haven’t been posting much.
Soon after taking full-time retirement in February of 2019 I started my blog as a way to stay busy and feel a bit of a connection to the world. I wrote quite a bit the first year or so before changing the format to more of a photo album of my life.
Since getting my Canon Rebel t8 it has felt like a whole new world of opportunities has opened up. Photography has become a very fulfilling pursuit and outlet for the artistic side of my personality. It has meshed beautifully with my love of birding.
Something has been missing, though. I feel like I should be and want to be writing more and not just relying on photos to fill the space. I suppose I feel a bit intellectually lazy, but mostly I feel reluctant. It isn’t for a lack of topics – I’ve thought about writing on a host of different subjects and have even fleshed some of them out in rough drafts. But, the climate of the world and its intolerance of free ideas has left me cold and I realize I will never publish any of them.
There is one exception: I’m not reluctant or afraid to defend my faith and belief in God, not here online or anywhere else. I know Jesus Christ is the only true Son of God, that all scripture and prophecy pointed to Him, that He fulfilled all prophecy and came and died as an atonement for our sins, that He rose from the grave on the third day and later ascended into heaven, that He will come back, we all will be judged before God the Father by whether or not we have named Him as Lord of our lives and lived according to His Word, and those who are His will spend eternity with Him and God our Father, while all who have not named Him as Lord will be eternally condemned. (Please let me know if you want to know more about Christ, I’d love to talk to you about Him!) It’s everything else that can’t be said without censure. I don’t want to be trolled and fight the nastiness of the world online.
I have never had a bad experience here on my blog, probably because I haven’t shared my thoughts on serious subjects. Looking back, I think I thought I would when I started Amy’s Axons. I realize now that I never will share them in this type of forum because it’s too impersonal for me to feel comfortable. If I’m ever going to discuss sensitive topics, I want it to be within a personal relationship with my conversational partner(s) so we can still feel the tie of humanity between us. The respect of equality of mind, though different conclusions, is essential to talking through viewpoints that are at odds between people.
Anyway, I don’t know where I’m going with this blog anymore. I haven’t decided if I will continue it or if I’ve outgrown the need I had for it when I started it. I suppose time will tell and you will know as soon as I do 😉.
Whether I continue my blog or not, I want to thank you for being here. Thank you to those who have stayed from the very beginning, I truly appreciate your interest and care about my life, particularly those who have prayed for me over the years. And thank you to those who have joined somewhere along the way, knowing you felt like this was worth joining in on has given me great joy.
Sitting cocooned in a luscious, lemon minky blanket as a brace against the damp chill of an early May breeze, I conceal myself and wait in the southwest corner of the back patio. You must make yourself small and discreet when bird watching. Our fully blossomed, lush purple lilac tree sends its bouquet of deliciousness, so sweet I can almost taste it, around the corner of the brick wall serving as part of my cover. A couple of mature, verdant green, newly leafed-out river birches dwarf the trio of bird feeders directly between them. The birches’ treetops are full of Goldfinches, Carolina Chickadees, Cardinals, House Finches, and Tufted Titmice singing in brilliant chorus as they rise and fall on the quivering branches with the waves of the wind. Bluejays, Mourning Doves, and Chipping Sparrows hop along in the fast growing blades of grass as they hunt for and peck at seeds on the ground below the feeders. Near the trunk of one of the birches a pair of shy, but gorgeously vivid, Blue Buntings huddle close together . A Baltimore Oriole, clothed in his jet-black hood with a juicy orange throat and chest, hesitates to leave his perch in the tree canopy before carefully alighting on the feeder tray to snack on sunflower seeds. Four male Red-breasted Grosbeaks swoop in and spread out on various limbs, followed moments later by a female. Their striking v-shaped patches of rosy red on a clean, linen white chest reminds me of cool summertime treats like strawberry ice cream.
I can’t describe the incredible joy it brings me to be near these tiny creatures, to share moments of their lives with them. I’ve been trying to learn and recognize the songs and calls of a few of the species that regularly visit our feeders. Some of the common songs have been easy, but each kind has several sounds and I’m often stumped. It has also been fascinating to learn that Chickadees, Titmice, House Finches, Goldfinches, and Chipping Sparrows are plucky and not very afraid when I’m close to the feeders. While, on the other hand, the much larger Cardinals, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Mourning Doves,and White-brested Nuthatches are much more reserved and hesitant when they see me.
Every single time I watch the birds, without exception, I find myself praying with thanksgiving to God. I think it is the natural result of spending quality time with other creatures or features of His creation. I find myself praying when I am holding my cats, or watching dragonflies and frogs at our neighborhood lake, or am near the ocean or in a forest, or surrounded by mountains. I often think of how God has revealed Himself and has shown us the awesomeness and majesty of His mind through His creation. Muggy, hot, swamps full of crocodiles and toads; blindingly white, frozen, snow and ice covered tundra with polar bears and walruses; mesmerizing shades of brown, dry, barren, sandy, dune-laden deserts; eye-popping colors of coral reefs swaying in the vastness of the oceans; mossy, earth-smelling, leafy forests with arms lifted up toward heaven. These are just a few of His many carefully balanced ecosystems and all are interconnected through meticulously designed life-cycles of plants and animals. His ability to create such diversity and His attention to detail astounds and humbles me.
Of all He has made, His detail and attention to color is the most overwhelming aspect to me. This may be one of the reasons I am so fascinated by birds. Consider the common Mourning Dove. At first glance it seems like a dull, gray bird with some black dots and stripes on its tail. But if you look closer, it has stunning pastel blue eye rims and lids! And, if you look closer still, you will notice a small, round patch of iridescent pink on both sides of its neck. It’s as if God wrote His name there in a flourishing signature. The color of Cardinals is so distinctive and singular we have called it by it’s moniker, “cardinal red”, and made millions of crayons duplicating it so it can be scribbled across children’s artwork. Goldfinches fly around sporting dazzling, buttery-yellow feathers topped with ebony heads and wings, like rays of sun flashing across the sky. In the style of modern art, the black and white markings of Downy Woodpeckers are set in extraordinarily striking patterns. And then there is the Painted Bunting. Many years ago, long before I knew anything about birds, I used to drive all over Southwest Missouri seeing patients at their homes as a speech language pathologist. I remember driving down the highway at 60 mph and seeing a crazy flash of color in front of the car and then watching it stop and land in a tree at the edge of a park. It was so arresting and marvelous that I actually took the nearest exit and drove to the park hoping it was there, not caring if I was late for my next appointment. Thankfully, the little critter was still perched on the branch of the tree on which I had seen it alight. I had never seen anything like it before. It was so tiny, yet it was an unbelievable array of vibrant colors. I watched it for several minutes before it flew away and was so impressed by the encounter that I still harbor hopes of seeing one again someday.
If this is how God has made His earthly creation, then I sing the old hymn How Beautiful Heaven Must Be with renewed vigor! I can only imagine!! “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9