Friday, March 31, 2006

Updating in the Morning

I apologize for having been away for over a week. I have been a bit under the weather and just as I was rebounding, my computer was attacked by a Trojan/virus combo. It took almost an entire 48 hrs. to get my computer cleared of the problem. I could not have accomplished the fix without the help of Tech Support Guy.

I'll be doing a complete and updated post in the morning. I have missed everyone and have continued to have you in my prayers. I hope that you have been well and blessed each day.

Your Friend,


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Knitting Progress, Spring on the Farm, Charlie, and Sight

I've made some knitting progress this past week even with a very busy schedule and not feeling quite up to par. The Trellis Scarf is growing and the 16 row lace repeats are coming along a little more quickly. I changed from bamboo needles to some wonderful Lantern Moon needles and the knitting seems to be smoother and sliding a bit easier along my needles.

I finished the 3rd pair of fingerless mitts for the caregivers of CIC and hope to complete one additional pair before mailing my package. I also hope to knit an additional child's vest or sweater from the Kiwi colored Cascade Eco Plus yarn in the upper right of the picture above.

I also have completed spinning and plying my *first skein* of chocolate colored Lincoln Lamb wool. It isn't perfect by any stretch, but I am pleased with my slowly improving efforts. I find spinning to be fun and quite relaxing, except when spinning in front of other spinners. I think I get stage fright and find myself dropping my drop spindle with more regularity and wanting to switch over to knitting right away. : )

Spring on the Farm

We've finally had a soaking rain for the first time in, literally, 6 months. This is such a blessing and hopefully will end our season of wild fires. The trees are leafing out, the Redbuds are showing their color, the peach tree is in full bloom, and the birds are singing and preparing to nest.

Generally Spring is the season for livestock babies on a farm. We aren't having any for this year. Well, at least we didn't think we were! It isn't exactly in the *livestock* category, but we have discovered that Doogie (our senior male, smooth coat, chocolate and tan Dachshund) and Strudel (our long haired, black and tan female Dachshund) had evidently maganed a secret rendevous. They have apparently managed a successful escape from their separate housing, a date (unbeknownst to us), and return to their separate housing areas sometime a few weeks ago. Just this past week it has become very obvious that Strudel and Doogie are going to be parents once again!

So, this Spring will not pass on our farm without the arrival of babies once again. Anyone interested in giving an excellent home to a Dachshund puppy in the not-too-distant future? : )


Charlie had a return appointment to our vet this morning. He seems to be healing well and our vet is pleased. Charlie did have just a slight, low grade fever, so we are checking his temperature daily and reporting to our vet clinic. He continues on his antibiotics and is eating well.

Charlie is managing stairs without difficulty now and is very energetic. He even wants to play ball when we take him outside!

The plan is for Charlie's sutures to be removed next week. As long as we avoid any infection, Charlie should be *over the hump* in his recovery soon.

Charlie has been a real trooper. He has not attempted to rub or scratch at his sutures even without his Elizabethan collar. He is sleeping well now and seems to be adjusting to his sight limitations quickly.

I'd like to say a huge *Thank You* to everyone that has expressed concern for Charlie. We certainly appreciate it, and I'm sure Charlie appreciates it, too.


Witnessing Charlie adjust to the loss of his left eye has been both difficult and encouraging. I hated to know that he would never have vision from his left eye again and was concerned deeply for him. However, to see his acceptance, rapid adjustment and compensation for this loss has been uplifiting to my heavy heart.

As soon as Charlie was fully awake after his surgery, he began *feeling* his way on his left side by staying next to one of us. He would *feel* his way through the house slowly, moving right when objects brushed against his left side. The following day, Charlie began turning his head from side to side to check both directions frequently when moving about. By the second evening Charlie could bound the stairs on the deck in two strides and was obviously making accurate distance judgments even with monocular vision. By the third post-op day, Charlie was wanting to play ball.

While Charlie still looks like a rugged pirate that came out on the bad end of a duel, he seems happy, energetic, and looking forward to his next adventure. He seems to be maximizing his remaining sight and abilities rather than focusing solely on what he has lost. Oh, what we can learn from God's wonderful creatures.

We have such a wonderful gift of sight. How many of us have perfect vison but do not see?

My prayer this week is that each of us would have clear vision to see the truth of our Heavenly Father's love for us. I pray that we see His care and love for us in our daily activities and through each difficult time. I also pray that each of us grow closer to Him daily and grow stroger in our trust and faith in our Heavenly Father and are forever thankful for His sacrifice for us.

Also, please continue to pray fervently for Susan and Will as they continue their battles against cancer and undergo exhausting treatments.

Your Friend,


P.S. The picture below was taken 2 years ago. The father Eastern Bluebird was teaching 2 of his young the location of our mealworm feeder and teaching them to enjoy its bounty. A caring father provides well for his children. : )

Proverbs 20:12
Ears that hear and eyes that see— the LORD has made them both.

Isaiah 32:3
Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Spring Break, Fiber Adventures, Farm Life and Trials

The last few days have been *something else*. We've had a 24 hr. visit with our wonderful daughter, Amanda. What a treat! I'm so very thankful for college Spring Breaks!

Fiber Adventures

I've been busy knitting more items for CIC and enjoying spinning on my Bosworth Midi Spindle with the Lincoln Lamb roving from Toni at The Fold. More knitting and fiber pictures will be posted soon.

And, we've had a very eventful week of ....

Farm Life

Living on a farm is both wonderful and, at times, very difficult. The animals are such a joy, but when one is injured or ill, it is very difficult. This has been the case at our farm this week.

Our *granddog*, Charlie, is currently living with us until our daughter and her husband move this coming June. Charlie is Amanda's dog...which makes him our Granddog. (We don't have grandchildren yet, so for now, the closest we have is Charlie!)

Amanda had only been with us about an hour when we let Charlie outside briefly. Just a few minutes later when we went to let him back inside we found him severely injured on the left side of his face. He had apparently been running outside when he hit something (maybe a low hanging branch or possibly some wire somewhere?) that left severe lacerations on the left side of his face. We rushed him to our vet where they immediately administered pain medication and started him on antibiotics. Yesterday they had to do surgery to remove his left eye since the lacerations had severely lacerated his cornea and left eye through the complete thickness of both. Last night we brought Charlie home along with his medications and I've been doing some semi-intensive care nursing caring for Charlie. Poor fellow....he looks so sad.

The left side of Charlie's face is shaved, swollen, and he has many large sutures. I hope that Charlie understands that we are doing our best to help him and keep him comfortable while he heals. I also hope he understands why we have to keep the Elizabethan collar (it looks like Charlie is has his head stuck in a megaphone) on him most of the time. It is necessary to keep him from scratching or pawing at his wounds and also provides him some protection from bumping his injury against anything. He hasn't adjusted yet to his limited vision and is frequently bumping into objects unseen on his left side.


I can think of many times in my life when I felt injured and had deep pain. I didn't always understand what had caused the pain, nor did I always understand the Lord's care and teaching during the time of recovery. But in hindsight, I see the care of our Heavenly Father is very evident and I am thankful for what I have learned and for stronger faith through each trial.

My prayer for each of us is that when times of trial or pain come into our lives, that we realize that the Lord is aware of our every need and will see us through any trial if we allow Him. We haven't been promised that everything would always be easy. But, we have been promised that God loves us with a never ending love and that He is *always* with us and will see us through every trial.

I pray that each of you have a wonderful upcoming weekend, contentment and joy in your heart, confidence and safety in knowing that our Heavenly Father is with you every moment and loves you unendingly, and strong faith even during times of trial.

Your Friend,


P.S. I'm leaving you with a picure of our cat Barkley Bartholo*mew* relaxing in a knitted and felted kitty bed that I made for him. He's a big kitty and I almost made the kitty bed too small. Can you guess what I want to do with the combings from his coat? : )

James 1:2-6
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Spinning, Knitting, Nature and the Blessing of Friends

This has been a very busy spinning and knitting week. I've continued to make progress on the Trellis Scarf, added to my collection of fingerless mitts for the caregivers of CIC, made some saavy yarn and fiber purchases, met with knitting pals, have really got the hang of using my drop spindle, and even made a decision about which spinning wheel I hope to purchase one day in the future, and had a wonderful Bible study and prayer time in our ladie's Bible study group. What a week! : )

I've got to spend quality time with hubby and our son, Zach. Kim, DH, has been busy in his shop with his lathe and is creating many items of great beauty... and some are just for knitters! He also has plans on items for spinners, too. I've been gifting some of his items to local knitting keep your eyes may find something for *you* soon!


Look closely at the picture above. If you look carefully at the far left side of the picture, you will notice a second Hummingbird. : ) This certainly isn't one of my best photos, but it speaks volumes to me. (You may need to click on the picture to enlarge the photo to see the second Hummingbird.)

I'm unsure if this is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird pair. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are notoriously territorial and will defend feeders in their territory fiercely. Their very high metabolism and energy needs requires them to feed approximately every 15 minutes. So, a good source of food (nectar feeder, flowering shrub, etc.) will be guarded with vigor. A continuous food supply is extremely important for parents raising young during the nesting season. Not only do they have their own very high nutritional requirements, but that of their young to meet, as well. Hummingbirds also require very large numbers of very small insects for adequate protein requirements. Hummingbirds do not live by nectar alone.

So, what is the lesson that these tiny ones are demonstrating? I see several.

1) Conserve your resources wisely
2) Tirelessly provide the necessities for family and young
3) Might is not equal to size
4) Dedication to a task often requires a lot of work and vigilence

Now as to their interpersonal skills, I think Ruby-throated Hummingbirds could improve a bit. : ) Thankfully, the Lord has gifted us with minds and hearts to *choose* to overcome our human nature to act like *bossy and aggressive R-t Hummingbirds*. We do not have to follow our natural or selfish impulses...we have a *choice*.

Please join me this week in praying to make the correct choices that are before each of us, so that we may help others, serve our purpose here and further the good work of the Lord....and to not be as a Hummingbird around others. : )


I have been blessed with many new friends in the past several weeks. Our knitting group is growing as well as friendships. This is a wonderful group of people, and I am so very thankful!

My online group of friends is also growing. And, my relationships with several of my family members are better than ever. What an incredible blessing! My cup truly runneth over.

My hope is that I can be a blessing to each of you, just as you have been so generously to me. I promise to be honest, to not take advantage, to always try to lift your heart, and be helpful whenever possible. I also hope to reflect our Heavenly Father's unconditional love and acceptance and pray that you walk closer with Him each day. I may dissappoint you, since I am human, but I promise to try never to do so with intent. And, I want each of you to know that I am thrilled and blessed to have each of you in my life. : )

I now leave you with a picture of one of our horses, Redford. He always loves playing with his ball and is a carefree fellow. I hope that we all have a *Redford* week! : )

And, please remember to pray for Susan and Will every day. Their battles with cancer continue and their treatments are taking a toll on their stamina. *We Love You* Susan and Will!

Thank you to all my friends, old and new.

Your Friend,


Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.

III John 1:2
Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Knitting Lace, Holes, Lifelines, and Trusting Faith

The Trellis Scarf from the current Spring 2006 issue of Interweave Knits is back on track. It is a delight to knit and great fun to watch the lace materialize from the ends of my needles. While this isn't a great *chit chat and knit* project, it is wonderful for quieter times when my counting isn't interrupted. My fever has almost gone now and my lace knitting is possible once again!


This picture shows (click to enlarge the picture) that I'm using a knitting lifeline of a strand of quilting thread every 8 rows of the 16 row lace repeat. The lifeline is simply placed every 8th row by threading a strand of quilting thread onto a yarn needle and then running it through each of the stitches on the needle of every 8th row. The purpose of the lifeline is to keep from having to rip out (frog) all the way to the beginning if you find you have made an error in your knitting. When knitting lace, the frequency of yarn overs, knit 2 togethers, decreases, increases, etc. makes it nearly impossible to rip back and get the correct stitches on your needle again. When you have a lifeline in place, you only have to frog back to your lifeline and all your stitches are on the thread properly and ready to be placed on your needle. It is also important to remember which row each lifeline is in so that you can start again on the correct row. Honestly, I could *never* finish a lace knitting project without the use of a lifeline....or several lifelines! : )

On my Grandmother's Faroese shawl, I used superwash, fingering weight sock yarn as a lifeline. The quilting thread was too lightweight for the sport weight alpaca project. Also, superwash sock yarn prevented any type of felting or sticking to the long staple alpaca fibers. So, you may need to choose carefully what type of strand to use for your lifeline in your lace knitting project.


While knitting lace, it is actually a process of knitting *holes* in your knitting fabric. Without the holes, your knitting result would be a plain fabric, possibly textured with varied stitches, but none of the qualities, grace, and beauty of lace.

Lace knitting brings a beauty to knitting that is unparalleled with other techniques. It produces an intricate, beautiful, and delicate - yet very strong fabric. It seems almost impossible that such a delicate design filled with holes could produce such beauty and strength....much like our lives.

I know that my life has had *big* holes....holes that I thought would cripple me with pain, hurt and dissappointment. A very difficult childhood, failed relationships, multiple miscarriages when we were desperately wanting to have children, health problems, and more. These were each *holes* in my heart and life that, at the time, I feared would be leave me broken. However, when the Master is the knitter of our lives, those holes are used to make us stronger, transform us to a more caring individual, produce a beautiful and understanding life, and help us become more trusting in our Heavenly Father. He sees the design in progress and knows how it will be at completion. I have learned to give control to Him and total trust that He is the Master Designer and has each of our best interests in his hands. He promises to finish the work in our lives that he has started and I, for one, could not make it a day without Him...nor would I ever want to!

The difficulties in my life have given me a greater understanding of others, a more compassionate heart, and the blessing of keeping my priorities straight in this life. I can now truthfully be thankful for the lessons that I have learned through the *holes* in my life and honestly say, "it is well with my soul".

I had a very close friend that often commented, "You know Shelly, I don't know what heaven is going to be like....but it sure must be something....because sometimes this initiation is just the pits!" Gayle would always make me laugh when he said this and he would follow it up with a huge grin and a big hug. I miss Gayle and his wonderful outlook and trusting faith. And, I think he was quite right. : )

If you are in a *hole* in your life just now, please know that you are not alone. It isn't punishment, but just life. We can make a choice to not become hardenend or negative, to turn your cares over to the Lord, and let your friends come to your side. Each of us have these times and I will always be willing to help others when another hole is being knitted into the beautiful fabric of their lives. Remember, it is the end project that reflects all the work and beauty, attention to detail, and love put into every stitch. And, remember that our Heavenly Father is the lifeline of our lives....if we allow Him.

If given a choice, I choose to be knitted of lace. I don't want to be just a stockinette swatch, or garter stitch square. Although an intricate and deeply textured cable design is tempting, I'll still choose to have my life be lace when all is said and done. : )

Trusting Faith

It is such a privelege to know trusting faith without doubt or fear. As an example, I'd like to share a short video clip. This video is of 3 Eastern Phoebes that I successfully rehabbed last year as an avian subpermittee for WildCare. They were *soft released* and remained at our site for a few weeks. We continued to supplementally feed them several times daily until they were successfully independently feeding. You will see them coming to my wonderful husband for mealworms held up in the air from a hemostat. Enjoy! Now, this is a perfect example of trusting faith! Oh what we can learn from God's wonderful creations! : )

Click the link below to view the video:

Feeding Eastern Phoebes Post Soft Release

My prayer for each of you this week is for a wonderful upcoming weekend, health, a deep contentment in your heart, freedom from worries, and a deep and trusting faith in our Heavenly Father that will take you through any *holes* with grace, and to have flawless lace knitting.


Please continue to pray for my dear friend Susan and our relative, Will. They are both battling cancer with incredible grace and courage and we need to pray for them always. I have also added links to the sidebar on the right to support The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and The Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. Please support these great organizations to help Susan and Will.

Also, my Granny, Ollie, (recipient of the Faroese shawl) is having difficulty breathing due to congestive heart failure. The physician has adjusted her medication today. Please pray for her to have comfort and ease of breathing and renewed health. Thank you so very much.

Your Friend,


P.S. I'm leaving you with a cute picture and visual example of what we should do when the heat of life begins to get us down.
And, living water from our Heavenly Father is even better than a swimming pool. (Be sure to notice the little Carolina Chickadee hiding under the edge of the birdbath trying to avoid the splashing water.) : )

Philippians 1:6
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

John 4:10
10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."

Monday, March 06, 2006

Migration, Knitting, Spinning, and Strength

As you can see from today's picture above, several Purple Martins have successfully migrated back from Brazil to our site this season. We currently have approximately 40 or 50 adult Martins back in residence with many more expected. Last year we hosted 76 breeding pairs and we hope to top that number this year! We fledged just over 300 young Purple Martins from our colony site last season.

What a joy to host these wonderful birds! For more information about the commitment and responsibility necessary to become a successful Purple Martin landlord, please visit the Purple Martin Conservation Association for information.


Lace knitting on the Trellis Scarf from the Spring 2006 issue of Interweave Knits is back on track. I'll be posting an updated picture soon. This is really a delightful knit and I am enjoying watching the lace materialize from the ends of my bamboo needles.

I can also highly recommend JaggerSpun Zephyr Silk Wool laceweight yarn. As you can see, this past week I found a wonderful bargain on a 1 lb. cone of Zephyr in the Chanel color. I have great plans for this yarn. One of those projects will be a Faorese shawl from the book, *Stahman's Shawls and Scarves*. I just need to narrow down which beautiful pattern from the book to knit.

Spinning and Strength

You can see that progress is being made on spinning my Cormo roving (on the left) on my Bosworth Drop Spindle. I have Polly Garvey to thank for this....THANKS POLLY! I wish I could claim the beautiful, thin twisted fiber you see draped across the cone of Jaggerspun Zephyr Silk Wool (color Chanel) as my own, but Polly was helping me at a Knit In on Saturday and made this beautiful strand. Do you see the thicker and lumpier strands wrapped around the shaft of the spindle. Well, those are mine. I'm definitely not a natural spinner like my friend Polly, but I am stubborn and determined...which will hopefully work in my favor eventually. : )

It is amazing to realize the amount of skill and technique required to make fine yarn. Spinning the fibers is necessary for strength and stability. Too much spinning and the fibers will be hard and overspun, too little and the yarn strand will be weak and easily broken. It takes just the right amount of spin to make a fine quality, soft, and strong yarn that reveals its full beauty.

As I sat at a spinning meeting tonight, trying to learn the skill of spinning with a drop spindle and using Cormo fiber, I realized that we are each very similar to a fine fiber. If we are spun too tightly we can become brittle, inflexible, rigid, recoiling and overspun. Without enough structure or twist in our lives and we are prone to weakness, not able to reach our potential, and may easily find ourselves broken. So, how are we to know the right amount of *spin*, or twist, in our lives to provide our maximum strength and beauty?

I am convinced that it is only through the loving care and grace of our Heavenly Father, for each of us, that strengthens us and sustains us as our lives are *spun*. It is His hand that is the skilled spinner of our lives. He knows just what to provide for each of us with His love, direction, strength, and grace to reach our potential ... if we just stop trying to spin our lives ourselves, and choose to welcome and follow His loving direction.

I'm leaving you with a picture of one of the strongest examples of God's wonderful creation. The tiny Hummingbird also migrates thousands of miles each season, returning to its North American nesting territory across oceans and miles of rough terrain on tiny wings, to mate and raise their young. Who could imagine that something so very tiny could make such a journey twice each year?

True strength is not always as we imagine it should appear.

I pray for each of you to have a wonderful week of blessings, health, strength, a deep contentment and joy in your heart and a closer relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Your Friend,


Jeremiah 9:11-13
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

II Corinthians 12:9
And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Friday, March 03, 2006

Appearances, Perspective, Priorities, and Knitting

The picture above is of a juvenile male Northern Cardinal that lived on our farm a few years ago during his change into adulthood. He was a joy to watch mature. Much like the story, *The Ugly Duckling* he became the most beautiful adult male imaginable. However, during his molting phase, he was a sight to behold.

His lack of mature, adult male beauty (as seen here) never seemed to bother him in the least. He was confident when with other birds and seemed to be very comfortable in his own skin. Oh, what we could learn from this little fellow!

He was undaunted by his missing and mis-matched feathers. An incomplete tail never slowed him. His trust that *all was well* was obvious. Our Heavenly Father provides completely for each of these small creatures, so how much more does he desire to provide for and comfort us....if we will only believe and accept that provision and comfort.

The worldly obsession with how we look, what size we are, where we live, how we dress, what our status or job may be, are all methods by which our confidence and trust are sapped to depletion, if we allow it. I, for one, when faced with these traps, will choose to refuse to allow this to rob joy from my day or peace from my heart. I hope that you will join me in doing the same.

Several years ago when diagnosis of a chronic health problem changed our lives, we made many new choices. We sold our nice home in town, purchased the farm land of our dreams, and moved out to our *little mobile house on the priairie*. : ) We have never regretted it for a single moment.

Our children had acres to enjoy, fishing in our *back yard*, plenty of safe room to run and play, wildlife to enjoy, and the luxury of having pets and farm animals to care for and watch grow.

My husband and I have had long walks in our back pasture, seen deer drinking at our ponds, and enjoyed wildlife families that we have come to recognize and know over the years. What have we missed by not striving to have the biggest house, the fanciest car, or living in an exclusive neighborhood? Nothing. We have gained more than we can count!

Another example is of our white goose that was released at our site after rehabilitation from an injury. After successful rehabilitation at WildCare she was released at our site with only one eye intact. She was fully accepted by the other geese and helped by each of them. It was of no consequence to any of her friends or suitors that she had only one eye. She seems to be unaware of any limitations and thrives in her group of friends.

I am currently on high dose corticosteroids as part of a medical treatment protocol. One of the side effects of steroids is weight gain and especially facial roundness. I am getting chubby cheeks that are record setting. I choose to see this change as having power cheeks and *all the better to help me smile bigger*. : ) It is not easy to see yourself looking differently in the mirror every day. However, any day that I can enjoy friends, family, knitting, and wildlife outside our windows is a wonderful day. I choose to fill my days with activities to encourage others. And, nothing lifts my own heart like knitting or making something for someone else!

My prayer today is that each of you know that you are just fine *as you are*. You don't need to measure up to anyone's standard or the world's view of *pretty*. Your heart and mind is what creates true beauty and is beauty that is ever-lasting. And, please remember that our Heavenly Father loves you unendingly.


I'm hoping to post an update soon on the Trellis Scarf and more completed fingerless mitts for the caregivers of CIC. Progress has been slow because of a continued fever.

I've also been spinning some on my Bosworth Drop Spindle. This is a fun treat! Although I'm doing some great thick Cormo, the consistency sure isn't where I hope it will be someday. I'll keep practicing!


Thank you so much to everyone that joins me in praying for Susan and Will. Both Susan and Will are currently battling cancer. Please lift them in prayer often and pray that they always feel the comfort and unconditional love of our Lord and each of their family and friends. We Love YOU Susan and Will!

Your Friend,


Mark 8:36
"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

I leave you with the following cute picture. You will see that even a juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbird can have a *bad feather* day! : )

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Incredible Bravery, Provisions, Soaring, and Knitting

Every year on our farm I learn great lessons from our wildlife friends. I consider it a great privelege to be in an area to view these incredible creatures and watch their interactions. I find it comforting to see how they survive on what is supplied from above, choose mates, raise families, and show such incredible bravery and dedication to their mates and young. If I am ever in need of encouragement, inspiration, or a reminder of our Heavenly Father's creativity and love, all I need do is look out any window.

The picture above is of a parent Purple Martin from last season attempting to drive away a Great White Egret that the Martin considered as being *too close* to its young. Now is that bravery, or what? The Egret is approximately 4 feet tall. The Purple Martin has a body weight of only a few ounces. How great is the desire to protect family for the Purple Martin? How much is the Martin willing to sacrifice for the life of those for which it cares?

My prayer today is that you know in your heart that there are those that care at least this much and more for you. And, that you will know that our Heavenly Father cares so very much more for you. His protection, provision, and love are unending.

Even the smallest birds survive winter and await the return of Spring to nest again. Seeing these little ones thrive is always a boost to my heart, and a reminder that the Lord provides well for his creation. : )

We are thrilled to provide feeders filled with seed, mealworms, fruit, suet, nuts and peanut butter. We enjoy serving meals to our wildlife visitors and enjoy their company at a closer range.

Today we have at least 25 Purple Martins back in residence at our colony site. They soar overhead effortlessly, feeding, visiting, and singing, then *dropping* in for a landing by folding their wings in and doing a vertical drop...opening their wings just in time to glide into their chosen cavity. I'm sure watching these acrobats come in for the evening is excellent for relaxing and calming...and reducing blood pressure, too.


I haven't been as productive in knitting this week as I had hoped. I've had a fever since last Wednesday's treatment. This is a normal reaction and it should subside soon. I'm definitely ready to cool down. : )

I knitted quite a bit on the Trellis Scarf...only to be followed by frogging the exact amount that I knitted. I have come to the realization that I am unable to knit lace with a fever. I don't know why. I only know that it doesn't work.

I've started a second pair of fingerless mitts for the CIC caregivers and have 2 more planned. The two childrens vests, pair of felted clogs, and fingerless mitts will be mailed in the near future.

My husband has been busy with his lathe turning more nostepinnes. I have plans for them! : )

Our mail person has also been great this week. I received my *Stahman's Shawls and Scarves* from Patternworks and have joined a Faroese Shawl Knit-Along. The knit-along goes with this book. I'm sure this shawl will be an excellent knit. The book is great and I am looking forward to casting on.

My hope is that each of you have a very good week, lots of joy, lots of laughter, and knowing deeply in your heart that you are cared for beyond measure by family, friends, and most importantly, by our Heavenly Father.

Your Friend,


Mark 10:45
For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

John 4:14
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.