Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Computer, Ice, Birds, Knitting, Life & Prayers


Computer

Just when I thought I had survived the most recent computer crash, reloaded *everything*, retrieved everything possible and started again.....my computer promptly turned into an expensive book end!

So, not to be defeated, a new computer was ordered (by my wonderful husband, Kim) and I've spent the last 36 hrs. getting it - once again - *reloaded* and up and running with my preferences and programs. I did manage to get most of my important info. from my old hard drive .... quite a process and I considered that standing on my head might be necessary before the retrieval was complete....but the important things were saved!

I've restored all the old info. to my new computer and even salvaged my iTunes library, so once again, I hope my blood pressure returns to a near normal range. I have definitely come to realize that I rely on a computer far more than I ever thought possible, or possibly healthy. : )

We used to joke in our house that whenever Kim drove one of our vehicles very much it guaranteed the imminent demise of the air conditioner. Well, I'm beginning to rightfully earn that reputation with any computer that I use for any length of time. I'm hoping this new computer will break the cycle.

Ice

We are currently gripped in at least 2" of ice in every direction. Some areas are covered with much more than just 2 inches.

Living in a beautiful rural area definitely has advantages, but traveling in this type of weather isn't one of them. It is possible to step off our deck and, if you keep your balance, you can *slide* all the way to the barn (300 ft. away) without ever taking a step, literally. The only problem is that if you don't control the direction of your slide, you may end up ice skating on the front pond. And, then you have the terrible task of trying to figure out how to get back up the slope without the aid of a mountain climber's ax.

During our ONE attempt to get to the outside world last evening, our truck ended up in a BIG ditch about 1/4 mi. from home. It is now at the local body shop, in the queue of vehicles needing and waiting their turn for repairs. We are very thankful for car insurance. And, we're trying to stay home until the roads clear.... if we can hold out that long. Thankfully, we have food and power, and all the animals are warm, well fed and watered. But, all of us are beginning to show signs of cabin fever .... animals and humans alike.

Birds

The birds have been flocking at our bird feeders and heated bird bath. They have been a joy to watch! We are thankful to be able to keep their feeders full and their water fresh and warmed.

We've hosted some rare avian visitors, too!


Yes, it's a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. What a treat for a birder to have right outside the living room window! : )

I am awed at the ability for God's creatures to travel great distances and be able to return to their nesting sites each year, to survive weather extremes, and to raise families each season. I feel humbled to have them visit our farm and am grateful to offer them some food and unfrozen water.

A male Red-bellied Woodpecker is at the beginning of this post. He's a regular year round at our feeders. I feel I know him pretty well after having seen him daily for such a long time.

We've had several Harris's Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Red-winged Blackbirds (females), European Starlings, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, American Goldfinches, House Finches, and many more. I may have binocular marks around my eyes and a smile frozen on my face from enjoying these flighted visitors the last several days!

Knitting

I've been able to complete quite a bit of knitting. Most recently I've completed Kimberly's Fair Isle mitten design. She wrote the pattern and I was lucky enough to get to test knit it for her. I ended up with these:




I used Cascade 220 in Turquoise Heather and a Natural/cream color. I haven't decided where these mittens will end up just yet, but I'm sure they will keep someone's hands very warm.

I've also completed a size 12 sweater for the children of CIC. I'll post pictures of it soon, and I have another planned.

I've also just got to add the border to the Mountain Peaks Shawl and it will be completed. It will also find a new home. : ) I'll be sure to post pictures when it is completed and blocked.

Life

I am familiar with struggles and joys of life. Loss is a part of life, just as births, and growing older. I, however, have never dealt with anything so cold and tragic as the events that led to the loss of my grandmother. I cannot understand how such horrendous decisions were made and carried out. I'll never understand how adults could choose that, and then watch it carried out.

My grandmother was not in a coma. She was *awake and alert*, talking, eating, and visiting. She had NO IDEA that she was being ultimately betrayed by her family members that held the power of attorney.

I thought I knew them. I thought they had a sense of right and wrong, morals that would stand in a difficult situation, and that they understood self-sacrifice for the benefit of another. Oh, how very wrong I was. How wrong my grandmother was in believing that, too. Bless her heart. I hope she never realized what they had chosen and were doing to her.

My sister found the following, and I would like to share it here:
*************************************************************

Just up the road from my home is a field with two horses in it.
From a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if you
stop your car or are walking by, you will notice something
quite amazing.

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is
blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has
made a good home for him. This alone is amazing. If nearby and
listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around
for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the
smaller horse in the field.

Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind
friend know where she is, so he can follow her. As you stand
and watch these two friends, you'll see how she is always
checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then
slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him
astray.

When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she
stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn't
too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away
just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or
challenges. God watches over us and even brings others into our
lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little
ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times
we are the guide horse, helping others see.

Good friends are like this. You don't always see them, but you
know they are always there.

Please listen for my bell and I'll listen for yours.

~Author Unknown~
*******************************************************

Prayers

I pray for all those people who are sacrificially caring for someone that is dependent upon them. I pray for their love to be stronger than their desire for self enjoyment or monetary gain. I pray for the caregivers to get adequate rest, excellent support from friends and health care services that believe in LIFE, and the rewards of their decision to help another to be eternal.

I also pray for those that are ill or disabled to have their health restored, or to have continued love and comfort if their health continues to fail. And, I pray that they have the constant knowledge and reassurance of the never ending love of their Heavenly Father.

Please continue to pray for Susan. Her gamma knife procedure was postponed last week and will be done early the morning of Jan. 18th. Please pray for complete healing and total eradication of the cancer.

I'd also like to request continued prayers for Mackenzie. Her facial cancer has improved dramatically with her most recent treatments and the scheduled surgery has been moved up. She is doing amazingly well and for such a little girl, she is very strong and amazing everyone around her. Please continue to pray for her family, too.

I also pray for each of you. I pray that you have a very blessed year, and that the truly wonderful things of life be yours ... and that you realize the things that are truly important. And, I pray for you to walk closer with the Lord every single day and know how very special *you* are to him.

Your Friend,

Shelly

NIV

Luke 12:7

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Matthew 10: 28-31

28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Psalms 107:1

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

14 Comments:

Blogger Rebecca said...

oh, my goodness, I'm sorry to hear about the car in the ditch. Maybe we'll stay home yet another day...

Living in the woods does present special challenges, but I think it's worth it (as long as you can handle the hardships).

We've had the yellow bellied sapsucker at the bird bath a couple days in a row, too. It's feathers were all fluffed out so it was difficult to recognize until it flew up to a tree and was, clearly, a woodpecker!

take care and stay warm!

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Kay said...

I had a call from a Tulsa friend last night who is very much into birds particularly bluebirds. I mentioned your yellow-bellied sapsucker and he said he has those and red bellies all the time. He also had to share his special recipe for his birds, peanut butter with chopped raisins and nuts and sometimes LARD! lol He said the birds love it.

8:02 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

Terrific bird photos - and if I'm lucky enough to land the place I want, it occurs to me I can have feeders again...I'll be on the ground floor and the one responsible for cleanup! I've missed the birds...
Stay safe and warm in the ice, Shelly! And here's hoping the "computer gods" will look kindly on THIS new one of yours!
(((hugs)))

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos as always. I want to see that florescent green sweater too!

Amanda

1:12 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

I really love those mittens!

Your bird pics are great. I don't think we've ever had yellow bellied sapsuckers up this way...man, and I thought that was just a term people used for someone who is "chicken", lol. We haven't had as many birds this winter as we have in the past. Several gold finches and some chickadees and bluejays are frequent visitors to our feeders though.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Your posts are always so uplifting and worth reading...I wish more people posted like you! Everyone needs prayer!
Love the bird pics...I've had a Cardinal couple visiting everyday, along with the multitudes of sparrows!

4:44 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

So good to see you "back"! I have missed your posts! Hope the new computer behaves for you! Loved the pics and am always uplifted by your prayers!

8:03 AM  
Blogger Knitting Rose said...

good to see you! I love the bird pictures they are beautiful. I love birds too. the horse story was sooo sweet. Please know you are in my prayers. I just got a new job so some of my prayers have been answered. Stay in God's arms.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

Hey there! The bird pictures are fantastic. The little minutes will be a treasure for someone. I was sorry to hear about Kim's truck de-bockle! It feels like we are in the deep freeze doesn't it? We are fighting with the squirrels in our attic. Even they are looking for a warm place to wait out the winter. Have a wonderful weekend and hopefully a week with less slipping and sliding! :-)

8:48 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

It was crazy weather for a time here too. You have some lovely bird pics! I love watching them here too, but the squirrels seem to be in charge here as of late. Love the mittens you posted as well. They turned out great!

11:08 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Beautiful bird photographs. It's been so mild here that the birds have not bothered with the seed feeder at all.
We've still got plants flowering in the very sheltered bits of the garden. Though there is going to be a cold snap coming this week.

6:15 AM  
Blogger trek said...

Love the woodpeckers!

7:29 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Shelly, it's good to see you blogging once again and I know firsthand how frustrating it can be when your computer "kicks"...I had the same thing happen early last year.

You did a great job on the mittens, I just love them! You're in my prayers and may the Lord continue to hold you in the palm of His hand.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Sorry to hear about all that's happening! About the same time I had my computer crash too. We are waiting for the tax return to get a new one! :o) So, I had lost your link and am glad to have have found it again through your comments at Cary's! And I know Kimberly too...your mittens turned out great! The story about the horses was neat and I loved your bird pics!

6:53 AM  

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