Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Puppies Growing, Bluebirds Hatching, Computer Working Again, A Bit of Struggling, and Prayer

Yes, the puppies are growing and doing extremely well! : ) I think we have found homes for 3, maybe 4 of them, already...and really good homes, too. They are just over a week old, so I'm hoping that we will have found really good homes for each of them by the time they are ready to adopt.

Strudel, dachshund mommy deluxe, is finally able to sleep all night long without needing to go outside. Yea! She seems happy and is now able to get more rest in between feedings of the 7 puppies.

In the next week we should begin to see some little eyes opening and start to tell which of the puppies will be smooth or long coated. They are adorable, indeed!

Eastern Bluebirds Hatching

The nestbox above has a clutch of 5 baby Eastern Bluebirds that hatched last week. This nestbox has extra predator protection with various guards. It is located near our front pond. It is a location that the Bluebirds love, but the nearness to the pond makes it necessary to protect it more than usual from predators.

The young Eastern Bluebirds are all doing great and growing rapidly. They are pictured below, although not all 5 of them showed their little smiles for the picture.

We have another clutch of Eastern Bluebird babies that began hatching yesterday afternoon (4-10-06). There is still one egg to hatch, so we will be watching for one additional arrival. They are so very tiny when they hatch that it is surely a miracle that they do so well. Their parents are very devoted and give their constant attention to their young. It is a bit risky looking inside the nestbox with Mom and Dad Bluebird divebombing my head! I make the nestbox inspections quick! : )

Below is an additional picture of the newest hatchlings. One of the little ones was asking to be fed so I closed the nestbox and let the parents get back to caring for their babies.

Computer Working Again Thanks to Zach

Yes, my computer went belly up, yet again! My *registry* died. And that wasn't the only problem. I finally caved and swallowed my techno pride (what a joke) and took my ailing and non-functioning computer to Zach. He successfully diagnosed, repaired, and resurrected my Dell Laptop. It was necessary to reinstall the Operating System and all my programs. Zach was able to save nearly every bit of my information. THANK YOU ZACH!

So, computer problems partially explain my most recent absence from regular posting.


The other reason for my absence from regular posting has been health issues. I've been on steroid dosages that are extremely high for a human expected to continue to function in real life. These high dosages were necessitated by an investigational drug protocol in which I am participating.

High dosage steroids can do some very odd things and make life a bit unpleasant. Mood swings, night sweats, inability to sleep, incredible swelling (now we're talking Olympic level swelling of face and upper arms), high blood pressure, uncontrollable appetite and many other side effects. I haven't missed out on any of these.

I'm slowly having the steroid (Prednisone) dosage lowered, and am currently at an almost human dosage. The Prednisone is necessary to help offset the possible side effects of the study drug, Rituxan. I am hoping to be off of the Prednisone entirely by the end of summer. If not, I may have stretch marks on my ever-growing cheeks by then! : )

I'm doing my best to stay positive and not get discouraged when I have to add yet another medication....or when I catch a glance of myself in a mirror. As soon as I'm off the steroids, I'm running, not walking, to Weight Watchers! I had excellent success with Weight Watchers a couple of years ago, and now with the medications of late, I've gained it all back, and then some. I don't need to be a size 2 and look like an 18 year old, but somewhere less than the Michelin Man would be nice. : )

I don't mean to sound negative. I think I'm just really tired...and tired of being tired. I realize that I am blessed beyond measure and I know who holds the reins of my life. All I need to do is look out the windows at the greening trees, blooming flowers, and abundant wildlife....and my heart is filled with joy. I'm working on getting the rest of me to *catch up*. : )


Please continue to pray for Susan and Will in the battles against cancer. I'd also ask this week that you pray for the children of CIC. These children have very little and your prayers may make a huge difference in their lives. Also, please consider donating in some way to the efforts of CIC.

I pray that you have a wonderful week that draws you closer to the Lord each day.

Your Friend,



Romans 12: 11-13
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.


Blogger Jenni said...

We once some wrens that built a nest on our front door. Everytime we opened it, the mom would go flying out. It was pretty neat. I was surprised how fast the babies grew up and flew away.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Puppy Pictures! Yay!

Hang in there Shelly. Hope to see you Thursday, stretch marks or no.


4:56 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

I must say everything at the farm is VERY "fertile".....:-) The puppies are just too cute. There is nothing quite as precious as a new puppy sigh...So glad that your computer is back up and running. I hope that you are getting back to "up and running" mode yourself. Know that our prayers are with you. Love you dearly!

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

I must say everything at the farm is VERY "fertile".....:-) The puppies are just too cute. There is nothing quite as precious as a new puppy sigh...So glad that your computer is back up and running. I hope that you are getting back to "up and running" mode yourself. Know that our prayers are with you. Love you dearly!

6:11 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Puppies!! Give Doodle a hug for me and Charlie too.
I love you Mom and you are going to handle this challenge with the grace and beauty that you show with everything in your life.
If I can be even close to the wife and mother you are I will count myself as a successful woman.

Your bluebirds made me smile after a tough day! Love you

7:32 PM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

rood to read your update and see the pictures of little ones. hope to see you Thursday night!

5:24 AM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

oops, meant to type "Good" not rood. Must be too early in the morning, still working on the first cup of coffee. And then I'm going to go enjoy that beautiful spring morning outside with nature springing forth!

5:26 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

Prednisone is just such a difficult drug - you can be grateful it does what it does for pain and inflammation, but WOW what a number it does on your self-esteem b/c of it's ability to make you blow up like Michelin Man! Chipmunk Cheeks, humpback whale...Been there, took me months to lose the weight. Mood swings? High BP? All those things - yup, I know.
You're in my prayers, sweetie!

6:56 AM  
Blogger Kay said...

Shelly, have I told you I prefer Michelin's??? lol Thank you for the puppy pictures, they are adorable as I knew they would be. I don't know much about bluebirds except that starlings are their enemy. Glad to see you use predator prevention.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I just discovered your blog a few days ago and lucky me! :) I'm so sorry you're feeling tired and bloated but I will keep you in my prayers.
The pictures of the puppies are so adorable....they are lucky little ones!

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Dee fm Kansas said...

We have nests right in the roof of our deck. Every time we go out the slider door we have to walk right under their nests. But they come back every year to raise their younguns right there. I will keep you and yours in my prayers, Shelly. You give us all such comfort with your writing, it makes you seem like a close friend even if we have never met. Dee

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Wonderland Knitter said...

Shelly - I am so sorry to hear about the steriod problems! I have had to bump my dose back up because no steriods made me sick and a quarter isn't helping too much. I certainly understand what you're going thru! I'm praying for you every day.

And the baby pics are great - thanks for posting.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

The puppies and bird pictures are so sweet. I love when you show those pics.

I just started going to Weight Watchers myself last week. I have my first weigh in tomorrow night, but its also "that time" (if you know what I mean) so I'm not expecting any great loss lol. I went there about 12 years ago and had success with the program too but gained it back when I went through a depression. It's been up and down since and it seems that the last few times I've gone to WW, I get to a nearly 20lbs loss and then stop (it seems to be a problem for me...need a push or some motivation at that point I guess)...and of course gain it back lol. Hopefully this time will be different. I'm going to put the Lord in it and get His help too.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Amy from Ezekiel's Garden said...

Great puppy pics! :)

It's good to hear from you again, too. I'm glad your computer is back up and running.

You are in my prayers for this. Your blog blesses me so much, and your graceful handling of this health situation helps me with my own perspectives on my life.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Tandi said...

The puppy and baby bird pics are too cute! Hope you are feeling better soon.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Wayne said...

I'm missing your blog. Praying for you daily.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Marguerite said...

Bless you Shelly. You're in my prayers with the health issues.

Love the bluebird pictures. Mine has four eggs now, so we're a little behind you. Good for you with the predator protection. It's so important.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

We are hoping that you are feeling better. I miss hearing from you on your blog. I bet the puppies are growing daily! Hopefully the steriod dose will go down quickly. I know that the massive dosage is a result of the trial medication. I continue to admire your courage, your boundless strength and the wisdom that seems to come so effortlessly....know that we love and care for you. Hug and pat all the puppies for us and special thoughts for all the tiny, new birds. Amazing aren't they?

5:12 PM  
Blogger Prayerful Knitter - Shelly said...

Thanks to each of you for your comments. I really appreciate and am thankful for each of you!

And, yes, everything seems to be very fertile at our farm. : )

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:30 PM  
Blogger Alicia Bennett said...

Hi, I was surfing the internet and here I am at your blog. I'm quite impressed , with how you have put it all together.

I'll be coming back again.


binoculars birding

10:11 AM  
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8:17 PM  

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