Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.
Oregon pinetree farm
Getting ready for a new travels
Learning to make India chapata
 
 

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Happy Independence Day!!

 

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In our upstairs hallway hangs this old flag and a historic picture called “The Declaration of Independence.”

 

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It was hard to get a clear picture, so here is a close up of our print of

the painting done by John Trumbull in 1817.

 

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I was interested to find in this little old book about the American flag that I previously had our flag hanging wrong, with the blue field of stars on the right, but it properly belongs on the left when hung on the wall like this.  I’m glad that I now have that corrected.

 

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The page below was interesting, “A Mighty Nation on Whose Flag the Sun Never Sets.”

What a fascinating thought.

 

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Today, I give thanks for the many noble heros who helped to found our country and of the courage and faith that they displayed.

 

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To celebrate our national holiday, our family gathered last night to watch Kirk Cameron’s DVD called “Monumental”.

Sadly, most of our American history is no longer taught in schools, but my siblings and I always loved Early American history and read lots of books based in that era.

 

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In this DVD, I enjoyed the interview with David Barton, who has an astounding collection of papers, letters and books that shed much light on the beginnings of our country and its government.

 

Here is a video clip I found on YouTube that shares a bit of the main focus of Kirk Cameron’s tour of Plymouth, Massachusetts.  The Matrix of Liberty is a huge granite statue in Plymouth that we had never heard of before, but what a testimony it is to the Pilgrim’s purpose for establishing themselves here on our shores so long ago amid so much suffering.  They had a vision for a country where people would be free to worship God.

 

 

I recently read the biography of Francis Scott Key, who wrote our national anthem.  The last verse is one that is seldom recorded, but it is so beautiful.

The Star Spangled Banner

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

******

“Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!”

“In God is our trust.”

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Happy Independence Day!

*****

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Dear Lord, when things get hectic and living seems so hard;

I just go out and sit awhile within my own backyard.

For there it’s quiet and peaceful; beneath the shady trees,

And sunlight through the branches accompanies every breeze.

 

 

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There are a dozen shades of green designed to please the eye.

Chubby squirrels and hummingbirds, a golden butterfly.

The honeysuckle’s perfume permeates the air,

And though I do not see Him, I know God is there.

 

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The sky so high above my head is an electric blue,

And there are lazy cotton clouds with nothing else to do

But sail across the heavens.  And yet I know that I

Was given hope whose sturdy wings were also meant to fly.

 

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This old world that we inhabit is much the worse for wear.

Beauty fades so quickly and hearts forget to care.

But somehow I’ve discovered within my own backyard

A peaceful sanctuary… in which I find the Lord.

~  by Grace E. Easley

 

 

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*****

 

 

 

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Mom and I have been following our church’s ladies’ Bible study group in The Armor of God study.  This series is done by Priscilla Shirer who starred in the movie War Room.  She has a weekly DVD presentation, and a workbook full of daily homework on the subject of the Armor of God based on the book of Ephesians, specifically chapter 6, verses 10-18.

 

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Here is a sample from week one, page 23, complete with my highlights and doodling…

“There is an enemy.  He is real.  And he is intent and active, working against you day by day, moment by moment.  His goal?  To keep you from experiencing the results of the victory that is already yours in Christ.”

This section was meaningful to me and I’d like to share some of its ideas with my doodlings.   Evidence of the enemy’s presence in your life can be seen by these or other similar destructive, defeating weeds.

 

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Here you sit.  All discouraged and defeated:

 

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Are you not aware of the invitation that has been offered to you continuously?

 

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Do not let darkness fill your mind and crowd out these beautiful, life-giving words!

 

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Not only are you richly Loved, your Heavenly Father has all Power to lift your burdens, to strengthen and help you, upholding you through whatever you face, and to wipe away all tears, working all things together for good, if you will trust Him to.

He is near!

 

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After a beautiful description of Heaven at the end of Revelation, the Bible closes with these words,  He begs us to remember that the door is yet open and He wants you with Him.  The Bible is FULL of invitations!

 

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Those who will take God at His word, will receive the promised Holy Spirit within, and can march forth courageously and have Victory over the enemy they used to ignore.

 

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“Be Strong in the Lord and in the Power of His Might!!”  He is a Mighty God, who will enable you, give you wisdom, and change your weaknesses into examples of His Power.

 

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“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,

that we may obtain mercy,

and find grace to help in time of need.” 

Hebrews 4:16

 

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“For whoever is born of God overcomes the world:

and this is the victory that overcomes the world,

even our faith. ”

I John 5:4

 

*****

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Penny is perched here on our front porch with her binoculars, glassing that big tree across the road.

 

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Because it was in this very tree that we saw an eagle perching recently.

Yes, a real live eagle that lives nearby.

Here, in the pictures I took then, you see him high in that same tree, flanked by crows that were there to pester him.

 

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By zooming in as far as I could with my camera I was able to capture him like this…

 

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Wow, MAJESTIC!!

“of lofty dignity; stately; grand.”

 

 

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Here is a video I took as he sat there on that windy day, with those crows pestering him.  It is so amazing to see him alive and responsive.  Just look at that beak!

———-

By reading the Sibley Guide to Birds, we learn that a bald eagle can be 31″ in length, have a wing span of 80″ (nearly 7 feet), and weigh 9.5 lbs.  It can take 4-5 years to acquire adult coloring – that is the white head and yellow beak.

 

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Not far from our house at the Wildlife Refuge there is a nesting eagle.

My parents love to take part in watching and monitoring this nest.

They took these following pictures over there.

 

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Though in that previous picture, the nest looks almost like another weed head, it really is a huge structure far up in that tree.

 

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This nest originally was an osprey nest, a rather loose and bulky affair, but as the eagles arrive in our area first from their winter migration, this pair claimed the nest and added their own touches to fill it out.

 

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Adult male and female eagles look alike and take turns sitting on the eggs.

Usually two eggs are laid.

 

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Did you see that little head poking up?

Keeping the little ones fed is a full time job as they grow.

 

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Here is what the Refuge looks like this time of year as we watch the buds swell on the trees.  Soon the green will come.

 

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If you look over at this row of pine trees, you will see that I boxed in the location of the eagles’ own original nest.

 

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Since the eagles have moved to larger quarters,

someone else took up residence in this vacated nest…

 

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Now, what do you think of that?  A Canada Goose!

I looked that up in The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior and found that though Canada Geese often nest on the ground, they do at times choose unusual nest sites such as old eagle or osprey nests.

My, my!  Dad says that the little goslings better watch out for that first step, its bound to be a BIG one.

 

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Almost Majestic.

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*****

“You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians,

and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.”

Exodus 19:4

*****

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Spring has officially begun, but here in Western New York, the landscape in March still looks a little bleak.  What really lets us know that spring is on its way are the smells and sounds that are awakening after a snowy winter.

I took Penny exploring one morning recently and together we enjoyed gazing across the hills and poking about in the hedgerows.  Penny found this little hooked branch that looked as if it was meant for her to sit in.  Not quite a swing, but rather fun just the same.

 

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We found many fun places to explore, piles of rocks, aging wood, and the morning sunshine streaming through secret paths.

 

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It is thrilling to see that the tree buds are swelling, they hold delightful promise of greenery soon to come.

 

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Then under this evergreen, Penny spotted a fallen robin’s nest from last year.  We love robins; they are returning now as a welcome sign of spring.

 

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We also love to watch for the coming of the pussy willows!

Pardon my gloves in the picture.

 

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The snowdrops are the first flowers to show themselves, then crocuses too.

 

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Hello pretty robin in the maple tree, won’t you sing us your sweet song?

 

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Later, I planted the first box in the garden with the early seeds of beets, carrots, swiss chard and such.  The silkie chickens are my inspectors, keeping a close eye on what I’m up to.  It was warm enough to leave my coat off, and no freezing fingers, yay!  Its time to get the rest of the garden weeded, don’t you think?

 

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As I worked the geese were flying overhead.

 

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The hillside looks grey but color is coming soon.

 

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I like this shot of the geese in air as they “honk, honk, honk” overhead!!

 

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Rustic beauty.

 

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But winter reminds us that it isn’t far gone.  Just a few days after our hike, we had freezing rain.

It really was pretty coating everything, even the old weeds.

 

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And ice covered crabapples are pretty too.

 

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But never you fear, spring is really here…

 

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Bless the Lord, O my soul.  O Lord my God, Thou art very great;

The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Thy works.

The trees of the Lord are full of sap,  … the birds make their nests:

He appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knoweth his going down.

O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! … the earth is full of Thy riches.

Thou renewest the face of the earth.

The Lord shall rejoice in His works.

I will sing unto the Lord…my meditation of Him shall be sweet.

Praise ye the Lord.

(Little snippets of the beautiful Psalm 104)