Monday, November 23, 2009

If you feed them, they will come

Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
tuppence tuppence tuppence a bag.
Come feed the little birds show them you care
and you'll be glad if you do
The young ones are hungry, their nests are so bare
all it takes is tuppence from you...

Pardon me, that song is in my head a lot, especially when one of my daily "chores" becomes feeding the birds. I have no idea what a tuppence is, but if I had one I would surely sacrifice it for bird feeding.

As soon as the leaves start falling I start putting out bird seed. The thrill of watching them congregate as the season presses on is very rewarding. Usually, most of the birds that gather on my porch are finches, cardinals, sparrows, and the occasional woodpecker. Once in a while I'll have a stranger appear, and then it's



Early this fall I had a little stranger appear and didn't bother to ask his name. Fall is a time for birds to migrate and I figured he was on his way somewhere warm and tropical and I didn't want to become jealous and then miss him when he left, so I tried to ignore his presence.
But he kept coming back. Again and again.

Not only did he come to eat, but he was quite inquisitive and would fly within just feet of me, cock his bright little eye my direction and do everything but introduce himself. I've watched him closely and observed his song and his mannerisms and assumed he was a form of woodpecker or sapsucker. He does that fascinating rowing motion when he flies as most woodpeckers do.

I decided that I wasn't THAT expert on bird identification and probably should find out his name since he seemed intent on staying around.
I thumbed through the woodpecker section in my bird book and he wasn't there! So, further I researched and
hot diggity dog I found him!
He is a white-breasted Nuthatch.

You know what my favorite thing about this information is? Nuthatch is way fun to say!!
Ok, so now I have a new friend and his name is Nuthatch. I've discovered that there is more than one attending meals around here too! I so hope that they stay and that they feel welcome. I try so hard to accommodate them well.

While I was reading about them, I learned that they are quite inquisitive little birds and are very tame at feeders...pssshht. I already knew that.

Mary Poppins

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Lovely Woman

My sweet little family traveled to Nacogdoches on Wednesday to lay to rest our YaYa. She became YaYa to me over 18 years ago when I married Rodney.

It is always so hard to say goodbye to someone who you love. I have learned that there are certain people whom God places in your path to make it brighter and more pleasant a journey and she was certainly one of those people. When they are gone from that path, it leaves you wondering how life will ever be so beautiful again...and then I remember all the things she taught me and feel a call to pass these things on.

She taught me so many things, not the least of which was that I want to be like her when I "grow up". She taught me everything from the proper way to put-up peas to secrets in quieting a colicky baby. She made me laugh a lot... and not on purpose which is always the most genuine laughter. This woman was a pillar of strength in a tiny woman's frame. The stories that she shared with me sitting quietly at her table will always be present in my heart.

She was the mother of 3 boys and she raised them well. This alone is a feat of endurance that I can't even imagine. She went on to help raise my husband to be the man he is today. The influence she had on him and the way he loved her in return is one of the sweetest things I've ever had the privilege to witness.

As Rodney and I were reminiscing and reflecting upon her life we both became aware that it would now be our turn to be the ones of influence. Now that she is gone, who will be here to carry on that flame of strength, of character and of wisdom? It is left to us to keep that spirit alive. To make sure that the generations to come will find honor in their elders and will aspire to be like us as we aspire to be like her. To live our lives in a way that will honor her and cause her to be proud of our accomplishments and our strength. Prayerfully and painstakingly we will raise our children. We will do it with great joy and laughter and make memories of our own.

God blessed us with this lovely woman. She will always be a part of us.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Snicker Doodles

We awoke this morning to much cooler temperatures and as the morning has progressed the temperature continues to fall. The warmer weather has been keeping me busy and I've been relishing every moment of it. However, the cold rouses in me that spirit of the holidays and I start to get all sentimental and mushy and my baking neurotransmitters are awakened.
Last night as I was browsing around on Facebook looking at pictures and reading what everybody was up to, I came across pictures of my sweet friend Tori baking snicker doodles. Tori once made me chocolate chip pancakes because I was having a bad morning. I was very pregnant with Kyle and not feeling well and my cat had gotten run over so she just showed up, with all the ingredients and whipped up a batch of the yummiest pancakes ever right in my kitchen. This contributed greatly, I'm sure, to why Kyle was born all cute and fat! I'll never forget that sweet act of kindness.
Anyway, Kyle is home this morning recovering from the flu and he said "Mom, you know what would really be good?" "what's that baby?" I replied..."Snicker Doodles!" It was at this point that I got a tickle in my tummy and wondered how he knew that I'd been thinking about snicker doodles since last night. They are magical little confections on so many levels, I'm sure Tori would agree.
Ah yes, the cold weather has definitely awakened my holiday cheer. I have half a mind to get out my Christmas decor and turn on holiday music. My home is filled with such a hypnotic aroma right now that I'm actually a little bit high. This cookie is not only magical but a little bit narcotic. I'm not sure if it is the crunchy yet chewy consistency, the perfect way they crack open at the top, the bouquet of cinnamon and sugar, or that glorious taste of buttery, sugary sweetness but they are heavenly...(and joyful and triumphant!)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I spy

Autumn is so glorious and awesome that there are hardly words to describe it. The sun has been shining for nearly a week now which explains my neglect of this blog. You can almost bet that when I am not blogging that the weather is keeping me occupied elsewhere.

Autumn brings with her the thrill of the hunt. The meat that we eat here on the farm has either been raised on the farm or harvested from the wilderness that surrounds us. This brings me a joy and fulfillment that I can't describe. So as we get deeper into the season and as hunting season approaches, the scouting begins.
One of the awesome things about where my little double-wide-cottage is located, is that we are sitting in a prime location for hunting and spotting deer. My fearless hunters are usually more likely to bring home a deer from the woods than from my back deck just because, well, it's way more fun to hunt in the woods than it is to just open your back door and kill a deer grazing in the field. That's why it is called "hunting".
We do love to keep track of the deer activity out our back door. We see the same deer so many times that we begin to feel connected to them and actually start to feel a little bit hopeful that they make it through the season. No names have been assigned to them except for things like "the little eight-point" or "the doe and her yearlings" or "the big buck".

I love that we keep a pair of binoculars by the door. I remember my Mamaw doing this always and not really "getting" it when I was younger. Now that I'm older and have my own door that overlooks a pasture, I can't imagine not having binoculars handy at all times.
What could be more fun than surveying a large open field for wildlife I ask you? Maybe watching the two most precious men in my life standing there, scouting, planning, laughing, discussing and plotting this years hunt. I will forevermore be grateful for little things such as this. The quite moments that make me realize how blessed I am, for my family, for my life, and for the Creator who put this whole magical thing together.