Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

Archive for August, 2014



One of the special thrills of summer at our home is the activity of the hummingbirds.  We have a total of 6 active feeders, all set in crucial places where we can view them from the comfort of our living room, or other frequently used windows.  This way we see them up close and can get a good look at them without scaring them away.  But even in the kitchen dooryard we joke that you must duck when they swoop by as they think they own the place.




 At the end of July we noticed an added flurry of activity, it seemed that their favorite feeders needed refilling everyday as mobs of hummingbirds were draining them as fast as they could.




Oh dear, that is a sign that they are fueling up to head south.  It seems way too soon, already!




But what a delight it was to see them so active and so thickly congregating on the feeders!   In this next picture can’t you almost hear the zipping and swooshing as they all hurry hurry to get a turn at the feeder?




 In the picture below is the greatest number I caught in one photo at the busiest feeder.

How many do you count?   – And there were more hummingbirds around!




Now here is an video so you can see and hear them in action!  Wow!

Watch for the flick of their tongues…



 There is a star magnolia tree here beside this feeder and its knobby branches are full of places for the hummers to perch.  Its a treat to see them up close and sitting still.




Or going about their business of preening and grooming and looking about at the world.




I caught this male on video at a favorite perch outside our pantry window where no feeder is, just a bare branch he thought was about right for someone his size.  I was amazed at how busy he was – scratching, cleaning, combing and preening himself, this is fascinating to watch!  (I took this video from inside a closed window so the noises you hear are chicks scratching about in a cardboard box.  Penny has photos of those to post soon.)



 “Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.”  Psalm 40:5



Maria is a new clothespin doll who got to travel to the Dominican Republic this winter with my friend Mary.  “Maria” is the Spanish form of the name Mary.  The purpose of the trip was a medical mission with a team from SCORE International.


DR map


The team visited several towns and took part in a variety of work.  I hope you enjoy these slideshows of the beautiful scenes and beautiful people of the Dominican Republic.







“For by Him were all things created,
that are in heaven, and that are in earth…”

Colossians 1:16








Miss Mary is enjoying herself with her new friends.



Cocoa bean pods are 6-10 inches long and hold 20-40 cocoa bean seeds.

They are harvested, roasted, and ground to make chocolate.

Cocoa beans are one of the major crops of the Dominican Republic.






Children at the orphanage.




Juan Dolio beach








Time to say farewell to the Dominican, what a great experience this has been.  Mary has gone on these trips several times and is drawn back again and again to share life with these people.





Here’s a spectacular view out the plane window as they take off for home.




I was up early this morning, watching the sun rise from my porch.  There is such a beauty about the freshness of the morning, and the dewy grass, and the sound of busy birds saying good-morning to the world, robins and hummingbirds were active nearest to me.  Though this picture above (taken by Dad and Mom when camping on Lake Ontario) is not the view I was seeing, it does portray some essence of the peacefulness I felt.  I was reading the passage for the day from Streams in the Desert, and really loved the comfort of this poem, and felt His nearness.

“I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the ’God of all comfort’ was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.
“As the earth needs the clouds and sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.
“When he leads thro’ some valley of trouble
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us,
Are part of His lessons in grace.
“Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Husbandman knows
That the deeper the cutting and paring,
The richer the cluster that grows.
“Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
’Hereafter Thou ’lt know what I do.’
“As we travel thro’ life’s shadow’d valley,
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise.
“So we’ll follow wherever He leadeth,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we’ve proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.”
~ taken from Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman – August 9