Monday, May 31, 2010

To all the men and women, past and present, who have given up so much to serve
our country and keep us safe I salute you today and say Thank You.
We enjoy freedom here that would not be possible without those who defend us.

Happy Memorial Day! May God bless our country.

Hugs, Noreen

Friday, May 28, 2010

When I think about the birds I want to feed in my yard, these two come to mind immediately. On the left is a purple house finch and on the right a Sparrow; I realize that they too can become quite pesky but I think they are so cute compared to the red wing Black bird and Grackle. Yesterday, while running errands, I went to our local Wild Bird Center to get info on how to discourage the black birds from overtaking my yard. The expert working gave me quite a bit of information, including the fact that the Grackle is an opportunistic feeder and will devour eggs as well as baby birds from nests. The easiest way to get rid of these nasty birds is to stop feeding them. Alright so how in the world do I do that? I can either change the type of food I'm putting out or I can change the feeder which will make it impossible for them to get food out of. I looked at the tube feeders with the appropriate squirrel barriers on the outside and didn't buy one yet~had to check with hubby first. We did look at our local Lowe's hardware/home improvement center but they didn't have any of the right type. The thing with the seed it that we prefer the no-mess type for two reasons-one is that you aren't inundated with weeds below and the second is that often dogs can get the runs from eating the leftover seeds on the ground. There are also trays made of screens that can be put under a normal feeder to catch the seeds so that we could put out Safflower seeds or Niger seed for our Gold Finches as well. Still pondering what to do about it all but for now we haven't had any more dead birds in our yard; the nest must be empty.

I also got more plants for the back yard yesterday so spent several hours planting; we still don't have our shredded bark on top so I haven't taken photos but may just have to today, so you all can see how it is coming along.

Last night we watched a video that I had wanted to see but had been hesitant to watch. Hachi, A Dog Story is a wonderful video with Richard Gere and the only reason I hesitated at all to watch this movie was that I get very emotional at any story that revolves around the bond of a dog and its owner and doesn't end happily. This movie was a great one and is suitable for children-in fact some of my grands watched it a week ago. I will say that even though I knew the ending, I still cried. I've been like since I was little~I can remember watching Lassie and sobbing at the other dogs being lost while Lassie helped them. I think it is because I bond so heavily with my dogs.

So what are your plans for the weekend? There is a town festival tomorrow we will attend and we are having friends over for a bbq tomorrow eve. On Monday we will have all the family over for another bbq and maybe some time in the sprinklers. We are supposed to have very warm weather here over the weekend, hopefully without any thunder storms or hail or tornado sitings. No need to worry, I know the Maker of the heavens and earth.
Get out and enjoy the weekend and remember to worship Him who gives us all blessings!
Love, Noreen

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tweet Tweet

Good morning to you. You all know how I love having birds in our yard and recently put out a new feeder with Non-Mess Seed that is cleaner and won't sprout. This has been wonderful because I've had sparrows, juncos, robins and even black birds come to serenade me and eat the seed. I don't mind a few black birds mind you, they are all welcome to eat but when there becomes an over abundance of them and they won't let the smaller birds eat I get a bit unhappy. Two years ago I only put out Niger seed because it drew so many gold finches but I found it messy and we had tons of weeds underneath it plus it is extremely expensive here so I haven't put out any this year. Two days ago when I went to do my morning doggy cleanup I found a dead baby bird in the yard; I thought it a bit strange but figured with the winds we've had it was blown out of a nearby nest in a neighbors yard. Then later in the day I found 4 more dead baby birds and this continued through yesterday evening. I even saw a black bird pecking on one and then it carried it off when I started walking towards it. I'm a big girl and know that this is the cycle of nature but girls, it still makes me upset. The thing I don't understand is why the birds have felt the need to drop the dead baby birds in our yard. We don't have any nests and unless they are leaving them as a trophy I just don't understand it. The main point is that I know it will stop when all the babies are gone but how do I stop this behavior in the event there are more nests? If you've got birds frequenting your yard and have experienced this, any advice would be helpful. I don't like to see any baby birds killed; when we lived in Ca. we had Mockingbirds nest each year in our yard and let me tell you they are very mean baby birds, but I was thankful if they survived. I'm thinking I may need to change the type of feeders I'm using(vertical tubes)so that I don't continue to encourage the blackbirds to overtake my yard.

Have a song filled day my friends.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh what a beautiful day it is! My hubby returned home yesterday after being gone, on a golf trip, for 9 days. Life has returned to normal and I am so happy he's back!!!! I love the fact that he is able to go spend some time with his guy friends and of course play his favorite sport-rather passion-as much as he wants but my, oh my, do I miss him when he is away.
He knows our eating habits will change now, with the changes I have to make to heal my liver, but he is on board and honestly there isn't much that will change for him.
For me, as I've said, I'm eliminating all dairy, egg, soy and gluten from my diet. Eliminating gluten is not a big issue because there is a huge amount of gluten free products out there-apparently one in four people suffer from gluten intolerance. The major issue though is finding a brand of gluten free foods, especially deserts, that don't contain dairy, soy or egg. I've been able to find so much in the way of breads, pastas, cereals, snacks etc that I can have but there are a few items I haven't found yet such as Mayo-have you ever tried to eat an artichoke without May? Add to the fact, that for the next three months, I am also on a Candida's diet so sugar is also eliminated....thus no cookies and no dried fruit. I have gone from rice milk to Almond milk and love this. I will often have Gluten free oatmeal, cream of rice or cream of buckwheat for breakfast; a salad, fresh veges etc on a corn tortilla or gluten free bread for lunch and for dinner a protein, grilled or steamed veges and some sort of raw vege plus maybe a serving of fruit. Much of what I'm following is very similar to Weight Watchers and I do allow myself a piece of dark cacao chocolate at night for my heart. I haven't been walking the last week as much but still dropping a couple of pounds. I know that in order to help my liver regenerate itself I need to be vigilant in avoiding all the food intolerances I have.
It will be interesting to see how I feel in a few months time after changing my eating habits; especially if I am able to keep the extra "fluff" off.
Have a beautiful day!!!
Hugs, Noreen

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Morning Musings

Many a dear friend has recently inquired about my health and asked what I am doing concerning a condition I've had for eight years but just found about in February. Apparently I have a condition, like many other unsuspecting Americans, called "Fatty Liver" and as I said, until this year, I did not even know I had it. If this condition goes unchecked it can cause elevated enzyme levels in your liver and other problems if left untreated. As I've mentioned in prior posts, I've gone to my granddaughters holistic doctor and found out that I have many of the same conditions my little Peanut has~I am intolerant of dairy, egg, soy and gluten products and probably have what is referred to as a "leaky gut". There were a few other imbalances that came to light through the blood work as well. So for now I am on a diet free of all sugars and yeast products as well as starting a life long diet free of the 4 main items that cause my body problems. Due to the fact that our youngest daughter has had to deal with these problems with Peanut and has all the shopping/brands down, this should be an easy transition. The doctor is confident that once I am off all of the foods that irritate my stomach that my liver enzymes should drop to normal. For now besides adjusting to eating a tad differently, I am also taking some supplements to help my body heal. I can already tell you that I have more energy than I've had in a few years and I'm losing weight-yippee!!!! The nutritionist I also saw said that diet drinks-either sodas or other artificial sweeteners can also cause "fatty livers". Although I gave up diet drinks several years ago, I have used diet teas and other artificial sweeteners but not any more. Now I know my Peanut's condition was caused from her food intolerances and not the diet drinks but it is possible mine was made worse from the diet drinks.
One unexpected blessing for me is that two of my very closest blogging buddies have exactly the same problem, so I am able to glean wisdom from them and also share what I'm learning. I imagine there are many folks out there with the same problem that are totally unaware of it and won't know until something develops with their livers.
So I am on a quest to get healthier and live a better life for the Lord and for my loved ones.

Have a healthy Monday dear friends.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Family Field Trips

Yesterday the girls,the grands and I went up to the Lee Martinez farm and city park in Fort Collins. This is a wonderful working farm with goats,cows, horses, chickens and the children are able to get up close and personal. It was such a beautiful day and the kids loved petting all the animals.

Afterwards we enjoyed a picnic lunch and then the little ones played on the jungle gyms and climbing structures.
Even the babies seemed to enjoy being outside in the fresh air.
Tomorrow promises to get up into the 80's so I'm planning on spending the day outside planting and gardening.
Have a joy-filled weekend.
Hugs, Noreen

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Thursday to you! Oh what a glorious day to be alive; stop and take time this day to thank the Lord for the gift of life. This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I am thankful for so many blessings but this morning I wanted to share our littlest blessing with you-my little buttercup is a month and a half already. I am thankful she is growing strong and she is so alert-taking in all that is going on around her. Isn't she just adorable; but of course all our grands are!

I am also thankful that the tornado watches and warning has ceased for now. I am thankful that I know He who makes the wind and He who orders my days.
I am so thankful for the insight my holistic doctor had in regards to my health issues as of late; I am thankful that although I now have to go dairy, soy, egg and gluten free there are so many products on the market that it will make cooking much easier. I am thankful that the change in diet will more than likely reverse the issues that have affected my health. I am also thankful that I can now join my Peanut(granddaughter) and share my food with her-as she is plagued by the exact same food problems. Praise God for doctors that desire to look for the root causes of health problems and ways to solve them naturally. I am thankful that I will be able to encourage others who have these same food intolerances and freely give resources that I have been given.
I am thankful for the grace of God, His redeeming love in my life and that He has ordered my days.
I am thankful for my hubby and for my family and for the family of Christ-sisters that I have grown to love and cherish as close as family.
I am thankful for birds that sing and ears to hear.
All that I am I owe to You, my Lord. The voices of a million angles could not express my gratitude. To God Be The Glory, for the things He hath done.

For more Thankful Thursday posts please visit Laurie

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wild Whacky Weather

Good morning dear friends, I pray this finds you well and resting in our Lord. Yesterday we had the most unusual weather here~from noon on we had Tornado Warnings through last night.
By mid evening we were elevated to a Tornado Watch with rain, thunder and lightning. Although we did go through a tornado two years ago exactly, I am not fearful of of the warnings and watches. Now if the ground is shaking and rolling that will cause my heart to race. Seeing the light shows again reminded me of Who controls this planet that we live on. I am thankful that there were no tornados that touched down and I pray all those in Texas were safe as well.
Today has dawned clear and bright and I'm hoping the temperatures will go up a bit so everything can dry out here.
Have a wonderful day today and remember to count your blessings.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Morning Musings

Happy Monday All!

What a beautiful weekend we had here~the birds are singing and making melody. I love this season but of course you know I love all seasons. I must say I am happy that the sun is out and except for a few sprinkles on Sat. night it has been pretty clear.
Are you surprised to see our little Peanut with a bright purple cast on her left arm? Last week she had a slight run in with the stairs and complained about her arm hurting but there was no outward indication that anything was wrong. She is so much like her mama; hubby and I went through the exact same situation with her mom when she was about 1.5 yrs old. Needless to say, Peanut has a "buckle fracture"-very slight and common in children. She was quite the trooper when she got the x-rays and had the cast put on. She picked a similar color as her cousin Faith, who broke her arm several months ago.
It was such a beautiful day out yesterday that I was able to get some photos of the girls; big sister on the swing, don't you just love her smile! Peanut has an adorable little grin as well. Our resident stunt person, aka Delaney, is on the slide getting into her climbing form. She is a bit of a wild child and I watch her constantly.

I've been reading "The Prayer That Changes Everything" by Stormie Omartian and wanted to leave you with some thoughts this morning.
"Every day in every situation, we always have two attitudes available to us. We can complain and make things worse, or we can praise God and watch Him turn things around. While it's always easy to find something to complain about, we can always find something to be thankful to God for too. God Himself is worthy of praise no matter what is happening to us or around us. "
In the midst of the business of life, those moments when things don't go as we planned or hoped, those moments when frustrations mount, we still have a choice what our attitude will be.
Today, I'm praising Him that our Peanut didn't break her bone completely through and that after three weeks, her arm should be as good as new. I'm thankful for angels He puts around us every minute of every day. I'm thankful for the love of God and the love of family. I'm praising Him, not because I'm wanting to obtain blessings but because of who He is. Praising Him opens up the door to knowing Him more and seeing His work in our lives.
Won't you praise Him today too?
Hugs, Noreen

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Blessings

Happy Friday dear ones. I can hardly believe the week has already passed me by-the days can go so quickly; we need to cherish each and every one! Yesterday and today have been filled with errands in preparation for hubby's trip. We also ran by the Wild Birds Unlimited store and purchased a 20 lb. bag of no-mess seed(the kind that doesn't sprout on the ground)and so I've cleaned my one feeder out, filled it and hung it under the trees. The sparrows have been coming onto the patio each evening, as if to say, we're hungry where's the food. I plan to get several other feeds, maybe suet or dried corn cobs, to hang as well. I love the idea of a non-sprouting seed but it is very costly so once we get a tray to put under the feeders I will probably use a cheaper type of seed. Our neighbor has three bird feeders out and he goes through 1.5 gal of seed a day for his birds-which can get a bit costly. So I'm a happy camper, awaiting all the birds that will come to have meals in my yard. We are supposed to get a thunder storm this afternoon and as I type the clouds are rolling in. Next week holds promises of days of 70 degree weather-Yippee!!!! I also plan to get some more plants, such as bleeding heart, columbine and dahlias to put in while hubby is away. I always love having the yard spruced up when he gets back.
Have a joyous and blessed weekend!
Hugs, Noreen

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Good morning dear friends, Happy Thursday to you. For many years now I have made a conscious decision to "cultivate an attitude of gratitude" about all things-which, to be honest, can sometimes be really hard. As you all know, the weather here in the states has been peculiar this year, to say the least. I usually try to read what the Farmer's Almanac says about the coming months but haven't this season. If I had, I would have read that they were advising people not to plant until the second week of May. Yesterday morning we awoke to 2-3" of the wet,white stuff of the ground. You know I love the snow but now???? For heaven's sake, it is May already and although we've had a few days of nice weather I am not ready to hunker back down for more of the winter stuff. But as I found myself grumbling, I made a decision to find one reason for being thankful. I am so very thankful that my dear hubby had not left yet for his golf tournament, out of state, because our water level rose and our basement had water in it yesterday. Apparently, our ground was so saturated that the water level rose in our window wells. Thankfully, our basement isn't finished and only one, old area rug was soaked. I am thankful that he was here to deal with it because there are days I don't go down into the basement and the water could have sat for a few days before I noticed it. I am thankful that in the two years we've lived here we've never had to deal with this before and today we will be buying sump pumps to put in the window wells. I am thankful that my hubby is still so healthy and able to rectify these types of problems. I am thankful that today I woke up to sunshine-Yippee!!!!! I know there might be more rain but I'm praying that the storm will pass us by. I am thankful for the promise of summer days and warmer weather and long walks or bike rides.
I am thankful that behind every storm there is a promise of beauty. I'm off this morning to help our youngest but know I've been around, visiting you all and even when I don't leave comments-which I didn't do very much this week-I'm always blessed by you.
Hugs, Noreen

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Can Only Imagine

Many of you know this song and probably, like me, sing along whenever you listen to it but once again it takes on a new and deeper meaning for me today as my dear friend is now pain free forever. Sing with me won't you.

I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By Your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son
I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine,

Barbara wore purple today as she entered the presence of the Lord. I will be forever grateful for her friendship and that with Christ there are no mistakes-He moved us right next door to her for a reason.


Monday Morning Musings

Good morning all, So girls, how was your Mother's Day? I pray that you had a wonderful day filled with lots of love. My girls and their families had planned to come over for breakfast yesterday but alas one family came down with the most horrid cold so they had to cancel. It was still a blessing to have our youngest and her family over. Both daughters and their families chipped in and bought me a Weeping Cherry tree for the back yard. I've always loved these trees, had them in Ca. and so glad to have one here. After breakfast, we planted the tree and then headed out for a nice walk as the weather was fabulous. About lunch time, after our loved ones had left, hubby and I headed to the hospital-specifically the Hospice unit-and visited with our dear Barbara. She was somewhat alert and I was able to tease her about going to Italy to film Moma Mia with a well known actor. She had yes to that; you see this has been one of her favorite movies and just two weeks ago we watched it together. Although we didn't stay long, I was able to quietly pray for her and tell her how much the Father cherishes her as well as the rest of us. My plan is to go visit her every day that she has left, as long as I'm not intruding on the family being with her. Her daughter flies in tomorrow for a visit-one last hug so I'm not sure whether I'll get a chance to get up there or not. Her daughter and I have gotten to know each other through blog land and it has been a special bond that we've shared. I feel very connected with April-guess it is the momma in me, knowing I'd want someone to love up on my girl if the situation was reversed.
Today thoughts are floating around in this head of mine about God's grace. When you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death and a believer, you know the Word and words said by well meaning friends often come out very hollow sounding. I know as I walked through this with my sister almost five years ago. But again this morning, I'm reminded that we aren't promised a cake-walk when we are believers but we are promised that He will never leave us or forsake us. We aren't promised a life free of trials and tribulations be we are promised that His grace is sufficient for us. We are promised that He will meet all of our needs through Christ Jesus and that the Spirit intercedes for us. We are promised that our Jesus has gone before us to prepare our home. We are promised that there is no sting in death, for He conquered death once and for all for us. We are promised that we will be united again and that we will see Him face to face. Oh what a glorious day that shall be! Does it take the pain away now, no, but it comforts us to know we have one who has made our way.
Cherishing His promises today.

Friday, May 7, 2010

For Barbara

This photo was taken last November, with my closest friend here in Colorado~Barbara. Barbara and I met because she was my next door neighbor and over the last two years I've gotten to know this dear lady and I count it a blessing that she is one of the best friends I've had.

This post is for her, although she won't be reading it, I'm hoping maybe her husband and daughters may. Barbara was diagnosed,15 mos ago, with liver cancer; it was a shock because she was one of the healthiest ladies I've ever known-a marathon runner, semi-vegetarian and so very active. When I first met her I noticed how shy she was but I also noticed how incredibly intelligent she is. I was a bit intimidated at first but found within a short time she had a warmth about her and we grew to be good friends. Barbara did not let the cancer slow her down very much and as a scientist by profession she researched all she could about her disease.
Barbara has a wonderful devoted husband and two wonderful daughters who she cherishes so very much. Her grandchildren are her delight and have given her so much joy. What can you say when someone you love is hanging on by a thread and only a very short time to live? I have said, again and again, that I love her. I wish she wasn't leaving this earth and I think we would have had many fun adventures together. I don't want her to suffer though and so it has been my prayer that the Lord would be merciful and take her quickly. The last two weeks have been tough on Barbara and today she was hospitalized, not to return home. She will be sorely missed, not only by her family, but by me. She gave me the gift of friendship in this new community and state and for that I will be always be grateful.
Each day of life is a gift, one to be cherished and lived to the fullest so dear readers go out and live as though there is no tomorrow because we really never know....
I may be taking a few days off, if I am needed, but know I'll be back and visiting soon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Day of Prayer

Today is a very important day in our country-it is the National Day of Prayer. Today is also Thankful Thursday so my list is a tad bit different than normal.
I am thankful that I live in a country that can gather, freely without fear of arrest, to pray for this nation.
I am thankful to live in a country and have freedom of religion and speech and not fear a government that would throw Christians to the lions or into prison simply for our beliefs.
I am thankful that our country was founded on the Lord and on His word; that the founding fathers believed in Him.
I am thankful that the Lord is on His throne and He is still in control. That when it would seem on many fronts our great nation has turned our back on Him, He has not forsaken His children.
I am thankful that we are not regulated concerning family size or educational choices.
I am thankful that if His people would humble themselves and repent, He would bless us once again as a nation.
I am thankful that no matter what befalls us, with the Lord we need not fear.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD." - Psalm 33:12 On our National Day of Prayer, then, we join together…to petition God to show us His mercy and His love, to heal our weariness and uphold our hope, that we might live ever mindful of His justice and thankful for His blessing.
-President Ronald Reagan (who signed a bill in 1988 making the first Thursday of May a National Day of Prayer)

How about you, what are you thankful for today?
Blessings, Noreen

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Tuesday dear friends, As is the case with most of us, I generally have several books I am reading at the same time and most often they are devotionals. I mentioned last week that I am reading a book by Dutch Sheets but also on my night stand you can find THE PRAYER THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING by Stormie Omartian and PRAYING THE NAMES OF GOD by Ann Spangler. So this morning I want to share a quote with you from Stormie's book, from the Chapter entitled When I don't see answers to my prayers. This chapter goes along so nicely with Dutch's book-I think the Lord is trying to show me something profound.
"Whenever we have a dream in our life that seems to go unfulfilled year after year, and there is no way possible to make it happen, we need to worship God in the face of it. When hope that this thing can ever be brought to life completely dies, we need to praise God for His resurrection power. The Bible tells us that not only can God bring to life things that are dead, but we are to prepare for that possibility because of who He is and what He does. Even when all hope for our situation seems to be dead, praising God releases His resurrection life to flow in us. This is the hidden power if praise." page 215
All of us deal with disappointment,heartache,hope deferred which makes the heart sick ~this is a part of living in a fallen world but if we would but turn those tears and heartache into praise our focus will change. Won't you join me in praising Him during those times of anguish. I believe the Lord desires to change His children, to give us joy instead of ashes and in the midst of the darkness a new revelation of His love for us.

Be blessed today, Noreen

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Monday to you! Although this day signals a new work week for many, it also signals a new and glorious day filled with grace~so many possibilities.
This weekend, hubby and I, worked throughout our backyard pulling up all the old tanbark and then taking it to the refuse center. Let me tell you, what a lot of work it was, we took over 40 large black garbage bags and filled the Explorer completely with them. Yesterday, we evened out an area that was covered in rocks & dirt so we can put some new river rock over it and clean it up. It felt wonderful to get so much done, even though we were quite sore by Saturday night.
Reflecting on how difficult it was in places to get the old pulled up and removed made me think about those things in our lives that the Lord regularly wants to purge us of-you know the bad attitudes, old habits and patterns that are not His way for His children. The taking away can be just like the pruning but once it is done it yields beauty and newness to our lives. All I know is that I want a fresh anointing of His Spirit on me, not walking in the past-distant or otherwise.
I want a new planting as well, just like I'm going to be doing in our yard, I want the Lord to do in me. Digging up the soil of my heart, taking what is not needed for something better~something more like Him.

So get rid of the old stuff that is no longer useful and come and join me for some new plantings and growth.
Hugs today, Noreen