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
 
 

 

In March of this year, the clothespin doll, Evangeline, had a lovely chance to travel with our friends and do some exploring in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands.  Would you like to come along on her journey of favorite memories from there?

 

 

In one of the guest houses the host, who was a champion wind surfer, provided this beautiful Hawaiian bouquet as a warm welcome to his visitors.  Notice the uniquely formed Bird of Paradise flower and the pretty pincushion protea.

 

 

Don and Chip spent time relaxing with their feet up, admiring the brightly colored Hawaiian pineapple socks my Dad sent with them for their trip.  They were also admiring the effect of those socks against the amazing tropical scenery.

 

 

The Hawaiian State Flower is the yellow hibiscus that is native to these islands.

 

 

On the Island of Oahu, our friends visited the Dole Plantation – in celebration of pineapples!  Hawaii has built up a large pineapple industry even though I learned that pineapples are not native there, but come from South America originally.

 

 

Don and Chip enjoying the inside of a cool pineapple.

 

 

Yum, Yum!!

Below are windsurfers on Oahu Island.

 

Oahu is home to the State Capital, Honolulu.

Also of interest is Pearl Harbor, a powerful place to visit in remembrance of its history to our nation.  It was a very moving experience for our friends who were able to be there.  Awesome.

 

Below, Evangeline, got her picture taken at Hanauma Bay at the south end of Oahu.

 

 

The land of sand and palm trees.  So unlike our home in New York!

 

 

The North Shore is the legendary birthplace of big wave surfing.  I don’t think Evangeline was keen to try it this time.  “Have fun, guys!” says she.

 

 

Ker-splash, and away they go!

 

It is amazing to see God’s handiwork expressing His personality in so many ways.  Some places He designed to be rugged, powerful and mighty.  Some gentle, quiet and peaceful.  Some places are colorful, bright and joyful.

He is present in all places, and delights to have our company.  “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”  Revelation 3:20

“If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23

 

 

Part Two coming soon…

 

 

One of the great joys of Spring is the music of the birds.  It is sweet to take time to listen in awe to the harmony of the many, many songs lifted in praise to their Maker.  I took these bird pictures all from our front porch one rainy day, thrilled to see so many birds in so short a time.  Then I thought of them again yesterday when I was reading in the book  Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.  Below are quotes from the reading dated May 30th describing how we are given a special song and trained to sing in a special way, so each of us can sing a song like no other.

 

 

“And no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.”  Revelation 14:3

 

“There are songs which can only be learned in the valley.  No art can teach them; no rules of voice can make them perfectly sung.  Their music is in the heart.  They are songs of memory, of personal experience….

 

 

“In Heaven there will be a song that can only be fully sung by the sons of earth…  Doubtless it is a song of triumph, a hymn of victory to the Christ who made us free.  But the sense of triumph must come from the memory of the chain.

 

 

“No angel, no archangel can sing it so sweetly as I can.  To sing it as I sing it, they must pass through my exile, and this they cannot do.  None can learn it but the children of the Cross.

 

 

“And so, my soul, thou art receiving a music lesson from thy Father.  Thou art being educated for the choir invisible…  There are chords too minor for the angels…  There are  depths which belong to thee, and can only be touched by thee.  Thy Father is training thee for the part the angels cannot sing; and the school is sorrow.

 

 

“In the night He is preparing Thy song.  In the valley He is tuning thy voice.  In the cloud He is deepening thy chords.  In the rain He is sweetening thy melody…  Despise not thy school of sorrow, O my soul; it will give thee a unique part in the universal song.

 

 

“Is the midnight closing round you?
Are the shadows dark and long?
Ask Him to come close beside you,
And He’ll give you a new, sweet song.
He’ll give it and sing it with you;
And when weakness lets it down,
He’ll take up the broken cadence,
And blend it with His own.

 

 

“And many a rapturous minstrel
Among those sons of light,
Will say of His sweetest music
‘I learned it in the night.’
And many a rolling anthem,
That fills the Father’s home,
Sobbed out its first rehearsal,
In the shade of a darkened room.”

 

 

*******

 

 

 

 

 

Finally the snow and ice have melted and gone, and we find that spring is really here. The sunshine is warm at last. The breezes are gentle and refreshing.

 

 

I always love to get pictures of Penny with the first blooms because I am so eager to see color after the cold harsh winter.  What welcome cheer!

 

 

These mini daffodils are just her size.

 

 

 

Welcoming joyful blooms!

 

 

Now I’ll take you back a few years to some happy hatchings.  I had this incubator set up to hatch some silkie chicks.  Silkies are a favorite bantam chicken of mine.  Their feathers are soft and hairy making them quite a novelty.  They are naturally gentle and friendly.

 

 

After 21 days in a warm, moist environment, the chicks can be heard making little peeping noises inside the shell.  Then cracks begin to appear where they are poking through with their beaks to come out.  Each one has a special “egg tooth” on the end of their beak as a tool to get through the shell.

 

 

These eggs are dirty, but its best not to wash them so that the natural coating will protect them inside.  Below is the chick at last appearing warm and wet, all perfectly formed and very tired! 

 

 

And here is the empty shell left over.  Isn’t it amazing that God makes them so carefully and delicately alive and functioning sealed inside that shell where we cannot see them?

 

 

As hatching day progresses it is a thrill to see shell after shell develop first a little peephole, then a larger crack, and finally open with another live chick emerging.

 

 

In the incubator they flop around a bit to try out their limbs and stretch free, then they take frequent naps to gain the energy to move around some more.  Once their feathers dry and fluff up, we move them to a large cardboard box with a towel and heat lamp to keep them warm.

 

 

Oh, warm and happy, they love to snooze in here.  Cozy.  Cozy.

 

 

The family is growing!

 

 

Penny sings a lullaby as they relax and rest together.

 

 

Each will grow up to become a big white pom-pom.  Here is a picture of the silkie rooster father.

 

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.

II Corinthians 5:17

 

 

 

I have another Doodle post for you today.  Penny and I are illustrating Psalm 23, a favorite Psalm to many of “His sheep”.  To recite this Psalm when you are burdened is a great comfort.  To doodle it was a good exercise for me to try to picture each verse.  I was impressed by the immense love God has for us and the many ways He takes to express it.  If we could but immerse ourselves in all that is said here, we would have much lighter and more thankful hearts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know that the House of the Lord is Heaven itself, where God dwells, but I chose to illustrate it here like a welcoming cozy living room.  There will be no night there, and no need for the heat of a fireplace, of clocks or lights,  (for “the Lamb is the Light”  see Revelation 21).  In our limited human view this is a picture of a warm welcome home at the end of a day, and in Heaven that will be at its best, far beyond our imagination!

 

 

 

 

Welcome Snowdrops, the sure sign that Spring is on its way!

I have a collection of pictures for you of the various February happenings here at our farm.  We moved from big white snowbanks, to oodles of mud, to bits of green hinting of spring.  My Valentines project called for collecting grapevines in the cold sharp wind and shaping some wreaths to decorate with hearts and ribbons.  So pretty, with a curly touch of natural beauty.

 

 

 

Maybe you’d like to see this prickly Valentine I received as a token of smiling friendship.  It tickles me!

 

 

Typically these are called Christmas cactus, so why would this be blooming for Valentines Day?  One more thing on my list of things to be grateful for.

 

 

 

A big project over this winter was beading laces for the Fellowship of Christian Farmer’s ministry.  As you recall, we like to take part in providing these laces for the folks in the ministry to pass out at fairs and farm shows where they are each tied onto a walking stick that gets handed out for free to those interested in hearing the Gospel story that the beads represent.  You can read more about that on my site here:   FCFI  

 

 

We were happy to have completed 3,500 laces.  You can see some of them here tied in bundles of 100.  It is a privilege to be involved in supporting those who work with sharing God’s good news.  Is there anything you can do to help spread the Word?

 

 

Here is a card that is attached to the walking sticks to explain the story of the beads.

 

 

This is the little tray that I use to hold the bead supply as I work.  First a knot, then the 5 beads, then another knot.  Then into piles of 100 to bundle.  Meanwhile praying that God will bless the people who hear as well as the people who share the love of God from their hearts.

 

 

Another exciting part of February is the return of the eagles to the Wildlife Refuge near us.  My Dad took these pictures through the spotting scope he uses.  This shot shows the eagle at the top of the tree where they have built a new nest this year.  Just look at the size of that nest!  Imagine them flying in with sticks that big.

 

 

Below you will see the head of the female as she has now begun setting on eggs.

 

 

This next shot is a real classic.  The eagles are such noble birds.

 

 

And now for some adorableness.  Gracie is growing so quickly!  At 14 weeks old she is loving lots of attention and a good romp with some silly fun thrown in.

 

 

Some longer hair is growing on her tail and belly but she is still so soft and fluffy, a joy to stroke.

 

 

The book I have been reading lately is The Autobiography of George Muller.  He was the one to run the orphanages in Bristol, England in the 1800s totally on faith without expressing his needs to anyone but God alone.  His desire was to show that God can be trusted, that He does care about our daily needs and can be relied upon to supply as the needs arise.  God enjoyed the chance to demonstrate His abilities and did so amazingly.  This book has been hugely inspiring to me.

 

 

Here is a quote from his May 7, 1841, diary entry:

“The primary business I must attend to every day is to fellowship with the Lord.  The first concern is not how much I might serve the Lord, but how my inner man might be nourished.  I may share the truth with the unconverted; I may try to encourage believers; I may relieve the distressed; or I may, in other ways, seek to behave as a child of God; yet, not being happy in the Lord and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, may result in this work being done in a wrong spirit.

The most important thing I had to do was to read the Word of God and to meditate on it.  Thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, and instructed…

As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time unless he eats, so it is with the inner man.  What is the food for the inner man?  Not prayer, but the Word of God – not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe.  No, we must consider what we read, ponder over it, and apply it to our hearts…

Through His Word… our Father speaks to us, encourages us, comforts us, instructs us, humbles us, and reproves us…

Meditation on God’s Word has given me the help and strength to pass peacefully through deep trials.  What a difference there is when the soul is refreshed in fellowship with God early in the morning!  Without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day can be overwhelming.”

~ George Muller