July 10, 2017 – The Cardinals
I’ve talked about the many creatures in my back yard several times. Each one is beautiful in a different way. The birds are a multitude of colors, shapes and personalities.
The one Blue Jay will sit in the Formosa tree next to the deck and literally yell at me if I haven’t put any food out for him yet. He will yell at me all the more if he doesn’t like what I put out, like crushed saltine crackers.
The varieties of sparrows is amazing. There are ones that are just a dingy brown, but there are ones with white around their neck, and then a swatch of black, like they are wearing some kind of collar. The doves are the most peaceful ones. Sometimes one of them will just lay in the food dish, sunning itself. It might lay there for hours until the Blue Jay starts yelling or a Starling chases it away.
Cardinals are my favorite. The males are such a brilliant red. Often you will see a pair together, male and female. The female is usually a brownish color with red around the head. Did you know that Cardinals mate for life?
Someone recently mentioned to me on one of my articles about the birds that Cardinals were a sign that Angels were nearby. While I couldn’t find any actual reference to that I did find some interesting beliefs. For example the Cherokee Indians believe that a cardinal is an omen. If they are seen flying downward, it is bad luck, if they are seen flying up, it is a sign of good luck. I don’t do luck.
I found one site that claims that Cardinals have a special meaning for Christians because they symbolize vitality – the faith in the blood of Christ and Christmas – the birth of Christ. The Latin word Cardo means hinge, so something that that has cardinal qualities is important because other things hinge around it.
Other beliefs indicate that the sighting of a Cardinal signifies that a loved one who has passed away has come back to check on you. I also read that there are a group of angels called Cardinal angels, I do believe it said there were four of them.
While there is no solid proof to any of these beliefs, I love seeing these beautiful birds making themselves at home at my feeders. If they are connected with angels, that would be awesome. Today I am thankful that I get to have these beautiful birds around me.
July 11, 2017 – A New Squirrel
We have a new squirrel. At first I thought it might have been Mrs. Beasley returning, but upon closer look, this one is skinnier, a little longer and has an odd curve to its tail. I’ve seen it a few times, out at the end of the deck, on the railing, down by the water dish and up by the window.
While I was sitting at my sewing machine one day, which is directly in front of the open back window, it came up there by the food, sat and ate, and didn’t seem the least bit scared of me. This one is a little picky on what food he/she eats. Mrs. Beasley loved it when we would peanuts out there, but this one will not even touch them.
It likes the bird seed and the bread and cereal, but isn’t the least interested in the nuts. I would think that it would want to take them back and store them, since they are still in the shell, they would probably do well buried or stored in the nest, but it won’t touch them.
Wile I know it is not our Mrs. Beasley, I am excited to have another one hanging around. They are curious little creatures. If you stand quietly, they will not run away. They will watch you as they eat or while they are getting a drink of water. As long as you move slowly, they will continue with their meal, but will run like the wind if you make any sudden moves. We haven’t decided yet what we should name this one. Today I am thankful for the new squirrel in our back yard.
July 12, 2017 – Frustrations
We all have those times when we get frustrated. Sometimes it is just over something small and sometimes it seems like the whole day is just filled with a bunch of frustrations. Maybe its something as simple as finding a knot in your shoe lace when you are trying to get ready to go out the door, or reaching for the creamer for your coffee and finding out you forgot to buy more.
Little frustrations happen every day, but how you handle them will determine how your day will go. There is some kind of lesson in just about everything that goes awry. A little frustration could be a test of patience. A larger frustration may actually cause you to stop and think something through.
It’s when you have a day filled with little and large frustrations that makes it hard to handle. For example, maybe you have a relative, someone you truly love or care about that is on drugs, alcohol, or gambles or makes other unwise decisions and no matter how much you talk to them, they just don’t see the light.
A frustration like this can make a day go sour quickly for it is hard to get these things off your mind. The conversations, the worries hang around with a bunch of “what ifs” all day long, making it hard to concentrate on the things that need your attention the rest of the day.
I’ve had these conversations with people I love and I know the frustration of feeling like your hands are tied and frustration of not knowing what you can do to help the situation. These are the frustrations that we are supposed to step back from and leave in Gods hands. Today I am thankful that he has taught me how to handle all of my frustrations.
July 13, 2017 – Heat Wave
The last couple winters have been a little weird. They have mostly been rainy with only one or two days of snow, never more than an inch or two for the whole season. I read somewhere online during the winter that they were expecting us to have a really tough summer because of this. It is claimed to be caused by environmental changes caused by global warming.
This year was much like last year. It didn’t seem as if we had much of a Spring. I guess because the Winter was so warm and rainy, the two just kind of melted into each other. It felt like we went from Winter right into Summer, and Summer started out just fine.
The trees all of sudden had their leaves. It was like they grew overnight. The sky was blue, the birds were singing, the grass was green and the temperatures were great. Summer didn’t seem like it was going to be all that bad, and then, and then, we are in the middle of a heat wave.
Temperatures flew up to the 90’s overnight with heat indexes in the 100’s. The air was so thick with humidity you could have cut it with a butter knife. At times it actually interfered with my breathing. I wasn’t that much sort on breath as much as it seemed I was breathing in water instead of air.
But we hunkered down, turned the air on only when absolutely needed, closing off the rooms that were not in immediate use to try and cut down on our bill, but it got so bad that we had to leave it on for a few hours after bedtime, something we very rarely have ever done.
We’ve made it through, and even though it will rain in a few days and the temps will go down a little, they are predicting that this isn’t the last heat wave will have this summer. I hate to even think about what the electric bill will look like this month, but I am thankful we made it through this first heat wave without either one of us suffering from heat stroke or dehydration.