April Showers of Blessings

A carolina chickadee built a nest in one of our boxes for his lady love’s approval but, sadly for me, she chose another one of his offerings in the woods across the street.
Our skink is back! He’s been sunning himself a lot on the grill cover where he has been hanging out on warm, sunny days.
My sister got a cake for all of the April bdays in the family. Hubby wasn’t able to come down with us to celebrate his special day so we each ate an extra piece of cake in his honor ๐Ÿฅณ.
I’ve always wanted to try bubble tea and now I can say I have. I don’t need to have that experience again ๐Ÿ˜.
The chewy tapioca balls were… interesting. Fun fact: I bit my tongue off when I was in a car accident in 1987. Can you see any of the suture scars?

Thanks for following along to the end of this post. May you go with God!

Worth It!

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving and enjoyed a bit of down time. The weather here in The Ozarks has been mostly mild for the time of year and begged for a stroll around the lake near our house. It was a good MS day so I chanced hiking halfway up a short trail for a few photos.

The natural stone path was easier to climb up than down.
Stone wear.
I’ll have to remember to bring a lunch next time to enjoy the surrounding views.
There were several people fishing along the bank. I think Santa went incognito and took the afternoon off to drop a quick line ๐Ÿ˜‰.
Canadian Goose warming it’s beak.
There were several male Mallards clustered together along the shoreline and let me get awfully close.
There were also a few female Mallards waddling here and there.
It felt very mellow to see the remains of summer’s decay floating in and on the water.
The sky was full of migrating geese.

A few members of our family shared a cozy, delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings on Thanksgiving Day.

Waiting for the last bits of the turkey to arrive before digging in.
Our very own smoked turkey guru. Apple-sage ๐Ÿ˜‹
The kids enjoyed making all manner of things from pipe cleaners.

As the title suggests, the energy expended to hike and walk around the riverbank as well as to cook all the sides for Thanksgiving was worth it. They cost me a few days of serious rest and struggle walking, but I am incredibly grateful to still be able to do these things. So many people who have had MS for 30 years no longer have the choice of doing these seemingly mundane, everyday things. The blessing that I still can do them, no matter how many days I pay for it, is not lost on me.

I took the final three photos below over the last few days as I’ve been recovering. I am so happy the juncos are back for the winter, they are one of my favorites.

Though I hope to write again soon, I don’t want to miss the chance to wish you a very merry, festive Christmas season! โค๏ธAmy

The Blahs

I’ve got a case of The Blahs, not to be confused with The Blues – which I don’t have.

MS has been busy fatiguing me of late without allowing me to pursue much sewing or exploring around to enjoy photo taking. The weather has turned cooler so most of my bird watching has been through the windows instead of on the back patio. I did get a few snaps with my phone of the cats doing cute things. Well, they’re cute to me, anyway.

This doesn’t happen very often so it was worth documenting.
Pip’s position and back legs up in the air crack me up ๐Ÿ˜น!

After a long 35 year battle with breast cancer, my stepmother passed away a couple of weeks ago. She had suffered so much that it was a blessing to know her pain was over and she had gone to her heavenly reward. Of course, my sister and her family came up from Texas for a few days in two consecutive weeks. They got to say “goodbye” the first week and were here for the funeral later the following week.

My nephew and Pip are good friends.
This kid is so talented!
Puppy K.C. came up the first week. She’s a hoot!
Doing 9th grade online while they were here the 2nd time.
My Dad always gets his Model-Ts out when my nephew is here.
My sister brought some hot chocolate bombs for the kids to try out. The verdict was unanimous – ๐Ÿ˜‹!
My angelic niece savored every drop.
My nephew in his Halloween finery.
Covid made Halloween kinda different this year.
A vampire angel. ๐Ÿ˜‚
Lollipop lips. ๐Ÿ˜‚
I did get this sweet finch one sunny afternoon a few weeks ago.

I’ve been putting a lot of puzzles together while listening to Charles Dickens novels. So far, Bleak House and A Tale of Two Cities (both of which made me cry) have been my favorites. I just finished Great Expectations and am only three hours (out of 23) into The Old Curiosity Shop. I have A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby, and The Pickwick Papers waiting in the wings. I’ve read some of these before but am enjoying how they sound as audiobooks with wonderful readers speaking life into the characters as they do all the different voices.

(American) Thanksgiving will be a much smaller affair than usual but we’re looking forward to seeing my Dad and my step-sister’s family. In the true spirit of the holiday, they are each bring a couple of dishes while hubby and I do the rest. Despite all the troubles in the world around us, we have so many blessings for which to give thanks. I hope you find many blessings to be thankful for too.

God be with you. โค๏ธ Amy

Happy Fall!

Welcome to another photo collection of life in the Ozarks! 

Titmouse
This blue-tailed skink was FAST!
Autumn has come to our river birches.
Beautiful yellow mum.
Bringing the season to the front porch.
Cooler weather means it’s time for soup ๐Ÿ˜‹.
My mid-afternoon snack as I enjoy the leaves falling all around.
The last Pineapple Whip of the year ๐Ÿ˜ข.
I made these little pajama bags last month ๐Ÿ˜น.
It took two weeks to finish because my MS wasn’t very cooperative, but I finally finished my new robe yesterday ๐Ÿ˜ป!
I guess Laudy approves.
A couple of weeks ago, I finished reading Andrew Carroll’s My Fellow Soldiers about General John Pershing and his leadership/relationship with the American troops during World War I. Unlike most of my generation, my grandfather was a soldier in WWI (he and my grandmother didn’t have my dad until late in life). Grandpa Frank fought on the front lines with a Browning Automatic Rifle during the six-and-a-half week, bloody Meuse-Argonne in the last major battle of the war. My Dad has a lot of his memorabilia including this photo showing him missing a button on his woolen uniform coat.
Grandpa Frank shown among his fellow soldiers of the 89th Division, 354th Infantry, Company I.
Ready for Mess somewhere in France.
Grandpa sailed on this requisitioned passenger ship to France in April of 1917.
Grandpa’s pocket watch survived, just like he did.
I don’t know what he used this little box for, but it looks like it was well loved.
Y.M.C.A. receipts after he got home.

No post is complete without my two favorite cats!

Laudy, our blue crx girl.
Pip, our chocolate crx boy.

Autumnal blessings to you! โค๏ธ Amy

Hercules Wants My Toothbrush

Hercules Wants My Toothbrush

I didn’t know MS recruited, but it seems that it recently acquired the mythical legend Hercules to it’s dark side.ย  I guess he took a shine to my electric toothbrush because it certainly feels like I am in an all-out, do or die wrestling match against some kind of superhuman force the entire two minutes it runs.ย  Oral hygiene shouldn’t require a 10 minute power nap to recover from, right?ย  It’s been so long since I’ve experienced “normal” energy that I can’t remember.ย 

Anywho… despite insipid fatigue, life has crept quite happily along.ย  Because I have the best hubby and sister in the world, they each drove ten hours both ways (!) so I could spend a week staying with my sister in Texas. We didn’t do anything or go anywhere because CV-19 is crazy in Austin at the moment, but we had fun anyway and I love spending time with them all.

I helped my nephew study for his permit.
I sewed a toy for their new puppy, K.C. Yep, they are die hard Chiefs fans ๐Ÿˆ
My bro-in-law shared his addiction to these cookies with me ๐Ÿ˜‹.
Peanut butter and jelly
S’mores
Not to be outdone, my sister opened my eyes to this tasty delight ๐Ÿ˜‹.

(L-R) chocolate, raspberry-white chocolate cheesecake, red velvet, lemon.

Other than having to start a diet when I got home, everything else fell back into place like I had never left. I still have the sweetest hubby and cats one could ask for and the birds are as photogenic as ever. Oh, and a squirrel has found the feeders. He’s cute now but he probably won’t be if he decides to invite his friends.

Purple Finch
Nuthatch
Look how long the nuthatch’s beak is! They are easy to identify because they do everything upside down.
Goldfinch
Young female Finch
Cardinal
Eastern Bluebird
He is a cute little booger!
Laudy
Pip

A few days have been nice enough I have been able to spend time outside, but heat and MS don’t mix so I’ve been indoors a lot more than I would like. I’ve had extra entrenched primary MS fatigue which has made it hard to do much. (Primary fatigueย is thought to be due to nerve messages from your brain and spinal cord having to navigate theย areas of damage caused by your MS. It takes more energy to send and deliver messages to other parts of the body, like the muscles in your arms and legs, causing a build-up of fatigue. – mstrust.org.uk). However, it feels good to be back home and I have books that need reading, shows that need watching, puzzles that need putting together, music that needs listening to, and apps that need playing.

Stay safe and God be with you!

Merry Christmas

As daylight fades, I keep catching glimpses of the twinkling lights of our Christmas tree when I swivel our rocker-recliner just so. Somehow, the lights illuminate tidbits of childhood Christmases past, as if they were photographs: Grandma Lois hanging our presents on the tree like her parents did when she grew up in North Dakota in the early 1900s; our stockings hung on the mantle containing an orange stuffed in the toe; cutting out and decorating sugar cookies with Mom and my sisters; stringing popcorn with a needle and thread to hang on the tree; putting together 1000 piece puzzles with everyone; playing hand after hand of Dummy Rummy with our grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins; and playing my favorite carol, โ€œSilver Bellsโ€ over and over from the only Christmas album my Dad had through his furniture-size stereo.  Of course, I was always excited to see what presents I got and can remember some special gifts, but my best memories are always of the special traditions and people who shared their Christmases with me.

Although many of these special people in my life are now gone, they live on in my memories. Todd and I have made our own Christmas traditions and have found joy in sharing our families with each other. The way Christmas looks through these 49 year old eyes is very different from the way they innocently gazed in wonder and excitement when I was a child.

Gratefully, although I didn’t know it at the time, I was learning the most important lesson of the holiday; it’s the people that matter. Grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, friends…whoever you share this season with. And, just as it should be every single day of our lives, not just the 25th of December, it’s about Christ and the gift He gave so that we might have life…Himself.

Merriest of Christmases to you and yours!
โค๏ธ