What I’ve Been Up To (with photos)

Long time, no see, eh? Well. Here is where I’ve been, in a nutshell. Erm. Eggshell.

Yes. Eggshell.

Because this happened.

I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know if the eggs were fertile, and I wanted to make sure the eggs had chicks inside first. ๐Ÿ˜… And then I wanted to make sure they were happy and healthy before giving an update, and now they are almost three months old and so big. I guess you all can expect a lot of chicken photos over the next while…


And then a lot of time has gone into gardening:


Aaaaand then I also met this kitten, fostered her for four days, and found her a lovely woman who wanted to take her home:

…and I found out recently that the kitten is actually a boy. XD The woman who adopted him works at my vet, so whenever I go to get meds for my pets, I also get updates on how the little guy is doing. ๐Ÿ˜€


Also, I’ve had days where I wasn’t up for doing much so on those days I read a lot. XD

This is my current reading stack, but if you want to see what I’ve been reading this year, here is my 2020 reading challenge page where they are all listed: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/20906860


So I’ve had a lot on my plate. I’m aiming to ease back into blogging this month! ๐Ÿ™‚ But next month is NaNoWriMo and I plan to write the first draft of a 50K novel so we’ll see how blogging goes that month. XD I hope you all had a good summer – or as good of a summer you can have with covid around. ๐Ÿ™‚

El Camino – The Way (storm damage photos)

We had some bad storms come through Easter Sunday. We were out of electricity from Sunday night through Thursday night.

One of the neighbor’s tree – or what’s left of it.

We’re all safe. Our house, the henhouse, my cat’s run, everything is okay.ย  And everyone is okay.

Another of our neighbor’s trees – or what’s left of it.

I was outside bringing my plants inside right before the storm. I was on my way inside when I heard a noise that sounded like a freight train. I thought it was a tornado coming, so we headed inside. And then we lost power.

It went over and we could hear the snapping and a few loud crashes. These trees no longer have tops – and I haven’t found them yet. They are just gone. I guess they were blown away.

We heard one crash in which there was a definite sound of metal. Dad thought a tree fell on his workshop, but the shop was fine. Then I knew what happened.

I’ve been praying for the past year or so that the dead tree near my grandpa’s El Camino wouldn’t fall and crush it before we could try to have the dead tree taken care of. We hoped to restore it.

And then this storm happened. God answered my prayer – I prayed specifically, and He answered! He is good.

How did He answer, you wonder? The car indeed looks crushed. Well… the car IS crushed. Do you see the tree in the center of this photo? The one standing? The one with the bark damaged? THAT is the dead tree. It’s still standing.

The tree that crushed the car was over 100 years old – and very much alive. It’s an oak too. I thought those trees were strong, but it was uprooted.

My heart is still as crushed as the car is, but I’m grateful that it was the only damage. It could have been so much worse! We lost several other trees – snapped or uprooted – but they didn’t smash anything.

โ€œBecause narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14)

The car was named “The Way” (el camino in Spanish means “the way” or “the path”) but there is only one true Way – and that is Jesus. The onlyย Way. He leads to life. And He protected us from the storm. It was just a car, even though I was attached to it. It won’t make it through the fire – I can’t take it with me. And it isn’t The Way.

Jesus said to him, โ€œI am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

I’m determined to keep my eyes on the True Way. The One who protected us during the storms. He is good! โค

Angel – Life Updates

This is the post I promised back in my It’s been a while post.

Back in 2004 – yes, 2004, I had her for over half of my life! – my dog brought me a present.

My dog brought me a kitten. We still don’t know where she came from for sure. This is when we first met! We had her in the back of our truck.

Here is the dog who brought me Angel. Her name was Grunt. (Don’t let five-year-old me name animals, okay? ๐Ÿ˜‚) Not long after she brought me Angel, she got hit by a car. I was crushed. But Angel helped me get through that. I thank God for bringing me Angel. โค

Getting back on track, my parents said no animals in the house – that lasted a whole three days. ๐Ÿ˜† It started raining so we brought her inside, only until the rain was gone. And she never went back outside again. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here, you can see her on dad’s back. One of her favorite places to hang out. ๐Ÿ˜‚

She was officially an indoor kitty! And she made herself right at home. ๐Ÿ™‚

After we found her, we no longer needed to put a star at the top of the Christmas tree – we had an Angel up there. ๐Ÿ™‚

She had her crazy moments. Here we destroyed a paper sack and a newspaper. ๐Ÿ˜†

She had such patience – she put up with younger me. In this photo, she let me bury her with my plush animals. Can you find her?

She had favorite places to sleep. On top of this TV was one of those. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mom cleaned out the cabinets and started reorganizing and afterward, we couldn’t find Angel. Here is where we found her. ๐Ÿ˜‚ After this, Angel wasn’t allowed in the kitchen much unless we were present.

Mom washed the towels and put them back in the drawer and here is where we found Angel. ๐Ÿ˜‚ She started opened drawers and cabinets and emptying everything – or sleeping on stuff we didn’t want her on. ๐Ÿ˜‚ My parents bought baby locks for the drawers and cabinets after this.

If we couldn’t find her – she liked hanging out on top of doors. Just had to be careful when closing doors. Didn’t want to accidentally smash a paw or knock her off the door. ๐Ÿ˜‚

One of my favorite photos of her. Makes me laugh every time. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I caught her mid-yawn.

These two are two of my other favorite photos of her. ๐Ÿ™‚ Those eyes!

 

I thought making this a collage of the two of us over the years might cut down on post length. ๐Ÿ™‚

The avatar I’ve used for the past few months, this photo, is the last photo we took together before she died. It was New Years Day.ย  Yes, that is the same shirt I was wearing in the first photo of this post. I found it and thought it would be fun to have our photo taken together with it for nostalgic purposes. I didn’t realize it would be our last.

She will be missed. I treasure the memories we made together. โค

I took potatoes for granted.

(In light of Coronavirus / COVID-19 , I felt this post was needed today – I’ve moved Angel’s post up to another day. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

It was weird to see signs such as these in the supermarket.

I took full shelves for granted.

I took being able to go to town for granted.

I took paper products for granted.

I took potatoes for granted.

When you’re no longer able to get things you buy regularly, you suddenly realize how much you took for granted. This was last Monday; I don’t know what the state of the supermarket is today. I’m thankful we bought potatoes the week before.


โ€œTherefore do notย worryย aboutย tomorrow, forย tomorrowย willย worryย about its own things. Sufficient for the dayย is its own trouble.”ย Matthew 6:34

Through it all, God is faithful.

The God who created these intricate flowers is in control. Through it all, He is in control.

The God who created mushrooms is in control.

The God who created bugs is in control.

The God who created frogs is in control.

The God who created cats and kittens is in control.

The God who created dogs and puppies is in control.

The God who created the heavens and the earth and everything in them is in control.

The God who created works of art like this is in control. The Creator of all is in control, even when it feels like everything is spiraling. May we trust Him during this hard time. โค

How are you all doing? Are you in quarantine where you live?

If you have time during this quarantine, I highly recommend this short movie from Living Waters. Its only 29 minutes long. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Miss Monkey – Life Updates

This is one of the posts I mentioned I’d make in my It’s been a while post. I lost two cats, Miss Monkey in November from the wild cat population and the other in January, our 15 1/2 year old Angel. This post is for Miss Monkey. ๐Ÿ™‚

Miss Monkey is the one on the left. You can see how scared she is. This photo was from before I tamed her. It took a few months before she trusted me. And then soon after, her brother Lion decided to trust me too. (The other cat here is Mama Kitty, you may remember her from the post, Mama Kitty – Life Updates.)

It was really hard to get photos of her because her favorite thing was to be held or be on a lap. ๐Ÿ˜… But these are the best ones I saw.

She was also scared of the camera flash. Those eyes!

But then she quickly decided that she didn’t care as long as I was holding her.ย ๐Ÿ˜† She started purring and she grabbed onto my shirt because she didn’t want me to put her down. โค

Of course, it was during a holiday (Thanksgiving) when she got sick so the vets were closed. She died on Black Friday, which was kind of fitting since it was a dark day because of her death. She was 11 when she passed away.

The last thing she did before she died was use every ounce of strength she had and pull herself into my lap (I was sitting on the floor). My heart couldn’t take it. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

It was hard to look back through the photos at first because it still hurt so much, but time has dulled the pain a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚ I miss her but I can look at these happy memories without bursting into tears now.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you all have a lovely Monday! โค

P.S.: As usual, I’m behind on responding to comments but I plan to do that this morning! ๐Ÿ˜€

P. P. S.: If you want to see the chickens and Jackie, I’ve been posting photos and videos the last two days on instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/peneloperoyalpayne/ You may also see one that heavily hints at another post I intend to write this week. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Putting On New Glasses

This might be considered part two for Warning Signs.

I realized last summer my glasses weren’t working as well as when I first got them.ย  Especially in my left eye. When my parents asked what I wanted for my birthday, I asked for new glasses.

This time, instead of going to Walmart, I went to my Mamaw’s eye doctor. I liked how he worked with her, plus they had frames that I LOVED.

I picked out cheap frames the first time at Walmart, because I wasn’t sure how well the glasses would work, how well I’d like them, and if I could handle wearing them for long periods. (I have weird sensitivities on parts of my body and one of those is the bridge of my nose. It gets so sensitive sometimes that the discomfort is almost painful.) I thought I was getting them for driving only but it turns out I need them all the time.

In a similar way, I realized God was real, and I needed to be saved. I tested out this Gospel to see if it would work out for me. I thought believing what Jesus did was enough and didn’t really pursue Him after that as I should. I pursued knowledge mostly. I would put on my “spiritual glasses” to gain knowledge or pray (when things got hard) but then take them back off when things went smoothly. Just like I would wear the glasses when I would start getting a headache and then take them off when my eyes felt better.

But I needed them all the time.

Eventually, I learned to live with the slight discomfort of wearing glasses. But since when should the Gospel make me feel comfortable? Accepted? I didn’t really think much of it.

Then this year, just like my real glasses, I realized my spiritual glasses were distorted and blurred. I only thought I was seeing clearly. I do realize that my glasses didn’t change, my eyes did. But the glasses were cheaper frames and I could look over them. Sometimes I wouldn’t use the glasses even though they were on my face.

Finally, I had to accept that these glasses weren’t for me.

Upon realizing the spiritual glasses needed to be changed, I let Him give me His glasses. Then I started seeing things more clearly. I started seeing lies more clearly. When God gives the Holy Spirit’s vision instead of man’s cheap glasses, it is as if a veil lifts.

“The people (including many professing Christians and pastors of churches) who are buying into this emergent (paradigm shift) movement are wearing what I will term here โ€œspiritual sunglasses,โ€ which block their eyes (perception, judgment, discernment) from seeing the Light (Christ, truth, righteousness, holiness), i.e. they are spiritually blinded by Satan to the deceptions and manipulations of truth which they are accepting as truth.” – Sue

Just like I needed glasses because I couldn’t see well, so the spirit needs a new lens for seeing things as they truly are. Seeing sin for what it is. Seeing the Gospel. Some have blindfolds over their eyes and refuse to see it at all, being blinded by the Light.

Some have been blinded by a false Gospel (or a real Gospel) and refuse to look at any light to save their eyes from the discomfort and pain of giving up this world. Before glasses, I was light-sensitive. After glasses, I was less light sensitive. Now I can walk outside in the sunlight and I’m not usually that light-sensitive anymore. Same with spiritual glasses. The Holy Spirit revealed the Light and the beauty. It doesn’t hurt anymore. And now the Light is free to expose darkness and sin in my life.

And others put on spiritual glasses and think they see clearly, but they actually distort the gospel. It may look like they put on spiritual glasses, but instead of correcting vision, they got Satan’s deceiving prescription instead of God’s holy prescription. Things that are sinful look pure.

My new prescription makes my vision so much clearer. The new glasses are a bit heavier and not so “fluffy”, so I’m aware they are on my face all the time from the discomfort. But I’ll take the discomfort and nudgings of the Holy Spirit over headaches and distorted seeing any day. โค

It’s been a while…

Hello there! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully I’m actually back this time. ๐Ÿ˜…

It’s been too long since I last posted. Thought I’d start us off with some photos I took on the 27th of the sunset and silhouettes of some type of grass. ๐Ÿ™‚

And pine tree branches. ๐Ÿ˜€ Haha.ย  I had a lot of fun that night.

Anyway…

A lot has been happening. I planned to have a short Thanksgiving break and it turned into three months.

My uncle came in from Texas and he stayed for almost two months. We got a lot of stuff accomplished while he was here, such as a new driveway put in. (I was very tempted to title this post “It’s the end of the road” because we live at the end of a dead-end road and a lot of these photos are about the new driveway. And I like puns. But I didn’t want people to see the title and think I stopped blogging. O.o)

Yeah, it was so needed. Mom and I almost got stuck in her car a week or so before we had this done.

We had the gravel hauled in and well…

I had fun in it. ๐Ÿ˜…

Mom snapped this one of me. XD

And this one too. Mom found a baby turtle!

He was cute but shy!

After I released him in a safe place, the gravel mountain was smoothed out.

And no more giant hole! But this also means I lost my tadpole pond. ๐Ÿ˜… ๐Ÿ˜… ๐Ÿ˜…

I helped get all the water out of the hole. I wanted to help with the driveway, but I also volunteered because I grabbed an old strainer and had every intention of saving the tadpoles in the mudhole. ๐Ÿ˜… Why a frog decided to lay eggs in late November is beyond me. Anyway, I didn’t count them all individually but I estimated how many I had in my strainer each time and I estimated I saved about 300 tadpoles in all… O.o I moved them into a cooler no one was using. I accidentally let it fill with water over the summer; I wanted to drill holes in the bottom and use it as a planter, but it became a tadpole habitat instead.

But now we have a new driveway! ๐Ÿ˜€ Mom got this photo of me dancing on it. ๐Ÿ˜…


Another thing that happened is this lovely new (to us – it’s a 2008 model) Impala. Which means I get to study for my driver’s license and practice driving with the new car! ๐Ÿ˜€

So I didn’t have a lot of time for blogging. Most of the time was great. There were a few days where it wasn’t so great though. I lost two of my cats. One was from the feral cat population (but wasn’t a wild cat anymore!) and the other was our 15 1/2 year old Angel. (You may remember her from her 14th birthday post. I was going to do a 15th birthday post this year but she had some medical problems and she looked like a shaved rat. So I was waiting for her fur to grow back out.) I’m going to do more detailed posts for these two gifts from God later. ๐Ÿ™‚

Be on the lookout in an hour for a new poem – I scheduled it for 9AM CST – and hope to see you around! โค