The Birds and the Bees

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me

hehe. Couldn't resist 'cuz this week's letter for the a 2 z 4 u & me meme is the letter B!!

If you're interested in joining the fun, there's information and instructions about the a2z meme here.

Years ago my husband had a few bee hives. The hives have gone wild now, but we still greatly enjoy feeding the honeybees and watching them.

We have a jug of bee feed left over from those days and every now and then we'll put out a dinner plate with several rocks on it and then drizzle the bee feed over it. Soon the bees find it and when they do, they go back to their hive, tell the others and then they descend on the sweetness. When they're done, there's not a spec on the plate and their colony is stronger and well fed...

The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous.

They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. Psalm 19:9-10 NIV

God's Word is sweeter than honey. We can learn much from honeybees...
but not just the bees...

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? Matthew 6:26

Nests and eggs are wonderful things to find, but even good things in the wrong place cause trouble, hassle and waste.

When Alex went to work with the tractor he found these wonderful little treasures, in the wrong place. He had to stop and clean it out and that means some birds have lost this Spring's nest and hatchlings. It's sad, but it's made me stop to think about the good things I do at the wrong time or in the wrong place.

What can I say? I love hummingbirds! They are such amazing little creatures! This one liked to guard the feeder, maybe she knew it was a photo op. ;-)

Thanks for joining me for this week's edition of from a 2 z 4u & me! I've been amazed at how much this little exercise is helping me!

Don't forget to add you name and link to Linky if you're posting about the letter B today! Join the fun! The more the merrier! (Learn more about the a2z meme here.)

On Deck... Blog Class

One of the things I LOVE doing is helping people learn how to set up their blogs and how to work on Blogger so they can blog. Blogging changed my life and opened up a whole new world to me and now helping others into that world is something that I love. I've taught just about every age group from teens to almost-eighty year olds and tech-savvy girls to those who are very tech-challenged, and had FUN doing it!

If you're interested in the blog class, here's more info:

Clearing the Blog Fog - Email based class - $125
Starts next week: June 1-30
Blogging is more than a web journal, it encompasses everything from marketing to ministry and so much more. If you're thinking about blogging but don't know where to start, are intimidated or frustrated by the details of setting up a blog, Clearing the Blog Fog will get you going. You'll learn the benefits and the basics of blogging, and how to set up a blog from start to the final tweaks. When you're done, you'll have a blog that's ready to roll.

This course will cover:
  • Posting
  • Basics of Blogging
  • Pictures Plus!
  • Ready-made Layouts
  • Customize your Blog
  • Sensible Sidebars
  • Nav Bars and Pages
  • Personalize you Header
  • Personalization Plus!
  • Creating a Siggy
  • Creating a Button
  • Linking with Facebook and Feedburner
How the class works: This 4 week class is set up on a Yahoo group and 2 or 3 times a week I'll send out the printable pdf lesson. You do the lesson on your time table--there's no set class times--and as you come to a question, send it to the group and I will reply and work you through the process. Just like in a regular classroom, you'll learn from the class interaction (and meet new friends!). These classes are fun and have a dynamic all their own.

If you don't need the whole class, tutoring is available too. Email me if you have any questions! Patty {at} PattyWysong {dot}com

First Letter!

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me
Welcome to the inauguration of From A 2 Z 4 u & me. I'm so excited about this because I've been in a blogging rut and needed help! If you're interested in joining the fun, read more about the a2z meme here.

For those of you playing along, be sure to add your link to the linky tool at the bottom of this post and visit a few other players while you're at it!
Since this is our first week, our letter is A... if you haven't guessed that already. ;-)

And as lame as it is, my word for the week is... are you ready for it? Animals. See, I told you. But hey, climbing out of a rut as deep as the one I've been in isn't easy! LoL. At least that's my excuse. That, and I love (some of) the animals that have crossed my path just this calendar year. Meet Tippy, a kitten from our latest batch.

Another new addition this year is Puppers. Yah, yah, another real original name, but she was only supposed to be temporary, but she was too loveable and by time her permanent status was official, her temporary name was stuck tight.

Hey, did I ever tell you about the calf we raised for the freezer (OUR freezer)? We named it Beef Steak. Kinda hard to get all cuddly and clingy to a cow named Beef Steak, don'cha think?!

FlufferNut is from our last batch of kittens. Her name is because she's... are you ready for it? ...a nut and fluffy. *eye roll* I'm only being serious. It's another temporary name that stuck. hehe.

Last Saturday morning my boys came running inside, carrying a chipmunk. This is NOT a usual occurrence in my house, even though I have 3 boys and we live in the country. Our tom cat had this poor critter and was getting ready for breakfast when he dropped it. The terrified chipmunk ran for the nearest cover, which happened to be youngest son's pant-leg. It climbed fast and high! I only wish I could've seen it! LoL.

Alas, the poor thing spent the day confined to quarters in the hermit crab tank. It enjoyed the tidbits we fed it.

My aquarium has brought me much pleasure through winter's long months. I added some yoyo loaches and they're great fun to watch. And so was Turtle here, until he decided to trim the plant he once lounged on. When he finished eating the plan,t he decided fish weren't friends. They were food. Baaaad Turtle! Now he's in the solitary confinement of an old pickle jar and is no longer a happy turtle. Poor Turtle. (or not)

With all the rain we had this Spring, the crawdads were abundant, and happy. But not this one. Something found him before my boys did and what you see here is all there was of him. The boys had to show me. It was impaled on a stick but I decided to spare you that part. Oh the joys of country living. With boys. *eye roll*

Last fall the boys brought in a cocoon. We set it on the mantle (isn't that where you'd put it?) and all winter we could hear something scritching around in there. Well, one morning my youngest son here noticed we had a new addition: Luna Moth.

What's that? You mean you haven't ever had a Luna Moth hanging from your mantle? Too bad. It was really interesting to watch his wings unfurl.

Last weekend was... eventful at our house. The mama cat drug home a bullfrog for her kittens (yes, for adorable Tippy up there). The only problem was that Abby, my older daughter, got it before the kittens did. And she's going into nursing. That poor bullfrog. I spared you by picking one of the first pictures of her science experiment. Let's just say she spent a couple hours disecting the thing and it looked nothing like this when she was done with it. Have I mentioned that we home school?

Wowzers! I set out to show you a pic or two of the animals in and around my door, and look what happened! sheesh. I never realized how inundated my life is with them!

And now, before any more animals enter, we'll wave good bye to the letter A. From Bonnie the bunny (played by my disecting dauther, Abby) and Turtle, before being banished to the pickle jar, adieu.

Don't forget to add you name and link to Linky if you're posting about the letter A today! Join the fun! The more the merrier! (Learn more about the a2z meme here.)

Well nuts!

I had two posts in mind (and even started!) for the past 4 or 5 days... but in the rush of life and the weekend, I just didn't get them posted. Major bummer.

But here's where I posted last week...

The Weed Watchers Report for May. I had so much fun playing with weed... er, make that these weeds and their pictures. Here's a sneak peak... well, a post peak?

Trinity flowers

I also posted at The Internet Cafe about Prayer Through the Night.

Oh! And while I'm talking about the Internet Cafe, have you guys seen their big Summer Giveaway? Yowza! Ya gotta check it out and enter!

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me

And don't forget, tomorrow is our kick off From A 2 Z 4u & me. My post is ready and will be up by 12:05 AM. Yippee!!  I'm so excited! Hope to see you there! =)

a 2 z 4u & me

Okay, so I'm in a (blogging) dry spell and I need help. (<—Confession)

Surely I can't be the only one. Or if you're in another kind of dry spell, maybe this will help...

Sooooo, my most recent brainstorm, which scarily resembled a sand storm or maybe just a dervish, is to jump start some posts with an overly simple alphabet game. This is for anyone looking for an EASY blog post. How's that for shameful? Sigh. I'm that desperate for help, people. I've got to get out of this sand pit and an easy post with some accountability will surely help.

(Idea —>) I’m starting a short-term meme (rhymes with cream) to help get me back to my blog. I’m calling it “From a 2 z 4 u & me” (“a2z” for short) *massive eye roll* It was the best I could do on short notice, sorry.

Here's the deal:
  • Anyone can play. I've sent this out to some friends to jump start this blog post jump start idea (pronounced i-deer since I'm really tired right now and this is when my Maine roots show the most) but any one can join us! The more the merrier! Grab a friend and join us!!
  • Anything goes. If you're about to Sahara level on the dryness scale, a simple list will work! Or a picture or a verse—anything to get a post up. Seriously. Just make sure it ties in with the week’s letter. It can also be as focused or even a complicated post about a word that starts with that letter. Anything goes, related to the letter.
  • One letter a week. We'll start with A and if there's 26 letters in the alphabet (told ya I'm struggling!!), that puts us ending before Thanksgiving.
  • Tuesday's the day. Posting day is Tuesday. Or Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. ROFL. If you're like me, you might not remember on Tuesday, so any day works. I don't care, but that brings me to...
  • Let's link together! Misery loves company and we can encourage each other on. I'll put a linky up on my site each Tuesday, shortly after midnight so you can link up. I'm afraid if I don't do this I'll wimp out—it's that accountability I mentioned.
  • Prize to frequent posters! This is yet another sign of my desperation. *eye roll* I’ll keep track or go back and count and the person who joins a2z the most often will be sent a small gift. And if there’s someone who posts all 26 times—wowza. I’ll stand in amazement and sent an extra special small gift.

My near-and-dear friend Dee Yoder had this to say about a2z:

My blog looks like this:

I feel like this about it:

Yeah...I'm in:

Oh, happy day...I have help!:

See, I'm not alone. And neither are you if you know what Dee is saying. ;-)

To help make this official (see, another sign of desperation!) I made a button.

Button code for 330px wide image:
Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me

Button code for 200px wide image:
Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me

And now, if you're looking for other fun memes here's some:
There are loads more, but these are just three fun ones I'm very familiar with. =)

Memes are simply great ways to have something to post for those times you “don’t have anything” or are in a dry spell or rut or just want to have fun or gather with others.

How memes work:
  • Everyone posts on their own blog about the week's topic (for a2z you post something to do with the week's letter). Adding the button to your post will help people spot you.
  • Once your post is up, grab the url to that particular post and come here to my site.
  • Here you'll find a Linky gadget at the end of my Tuesday's a2z post. Paste your url in, add your name and click Enter.
  • Your name will be added to the list of links so people can visit your site. (Think of it as an online progressive dinner sort of thing.)
  • Visit several people linked up there. It's how you'll meet people, get to know them and encourage them.

a2z will start next Tuesday, May 24th, 
with the letter A—if you’re interested.

Come join us! 

My 3 Fs

Fickle, Failure, & Faithful
These three words have been on my mind a lot this past few weeks. And I do mean a lot.

Yes, I am fickle. I'll admit that right up front. But it's not just girlie fickleness—it's that many times I honestly do not care which way I go. (When I have an opinion I'm just plain mulish. Ask my husband. *eye roll*) So when I see things opening up one direction and feel a leading, I'm good to go with it, and I do. But that tends to lead toward... failure. Or seeming failure.

How so? Well, as I venture through different doors I may get part way through and the door closes on me. That doesn't bother me at all—I see it as God clearly closing the door. Other times I get through the door and I'm ready to take off. I have everything prepped and ready and I'm excited. But the room that open door led to is empty. Not a single thing in there. Failure.

Or is it?
Well, I know from experience that people looking on often see it as failure. And fickleness. Now, I really don't like being seen as a fickle failure. Does anyone? But yanno, the it ain't over 'til it's over... and it ain't over yet! (See my eyes rolling as I snicker?)

This is where faithfulness comes in. Well, actually, faithfulness is woven throughout as I try to faithfully stay close to God and faithfully obey, and faithfully evaluate where things are. And this is exactly where I've been the last couple weeks: evaluating. (And that, my friends, will be another post! It's in the works.)

I've walked through a door recently and everything came together beautifully. Everything. I was ready to run and prepared for a marathon. But the starting gun never fired, leaving me toed in at the starting line. The door that was flung open to me led to a room that's empty. Not a single thing there. All the encouragement and help and cheering on that I've received and now when friends ask, excited for me, I have to tell them it opened to... nothing. Since I prayed much over the event (and still do) I'm not upset by it—but every now and then those first two f words ambush me. Yanno, fickle and failure.

So tell me, 
where do you think faithfulness fits with fickle and failure? 
Does seeming failure imply fickleness, or worse, faithLESSness?

Who Needs Marbles?

I think I've done lost my marbles!

I know, I know. Some of you are thinking "You're just now realizing that?!" But no, I've known this for a long, long, long, long time. It's just that sometimes I know it better than others. LoL And this is one of them.

So, what's made me remember those lost marbles now? Well, I *thought* I had a post up and ready for Jewels of Encouragement... but Laury, our wonderful editor there, reminded about the post yesterday. It's a good thing she did! Although I had picked out a post for there, I hadn't actually posted it! Minor detail, don'cha think? *eye roll* I'm telling you, my marbles have long since split this joint! sigh. Thank God for Laury!

As I went about (re)finding the post I had picked out for this month at Jewels of Encouragement, I saw another one I wrote almost exactly two years ago and stopped to read it. =) I changed my mind because that post is sooooo relevant to my life right now. So very relevant. I hope you'll join me there at Jewels of Encouragement! I'm actually reading the very same passages of Scripture this week as I was 2 years ago!

And that brings me to another thing I had forgotten about...

I'm also posting today At the Well. About children. But I forget what the article is about... except that it relates somehow to children. ROFL (But really, I have a good excuse for that one--a couple months ago I preposted a bunch of articles to free up some of my time AND brain space.) So, if you're as curious as I am about what I posted about children, (insert massive eye rolling here) join me At the Well to find out. LoL--I will be there! ;-)

Something that I've been mulling over recently...
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. ~Psalm 27:4 & 5

Sometimes things get topsy-turvy in life and inside me, and this verse has given me something to cling to and something to pray while I feel like I'm standing in the rain and not knowing which way to turn. As I did a little digging into these verses, here are a couple things I learned:

"...that shall I seek..." = to seek through prayer and worship
" behold the beauty of the Lord..." = to see God, the Self-existent One

I don't know about you, but concealed in His tabernacle, in His secret place, sounds like a wonderful place to be. Especially right now when my marbles are... well, they aren't here.  LoL.

God's presence--there's nothing better. 
What a rock and anchor that is to my soul!

When Peace Flees

How is it that things can be trucking along oh-so well and suddenly nosedive? You find yourself standing in a barren place saying “What on earth just happened?!” The peace you had evaporated, leaving emptiness where it once was. You know what I'm talking about, don't you?

For days I grappled discouragement and it just didn't make sense to me. I began hunting for peace—God's peace—after all, how was I to teach a Bible study dealing with peace when all I had was a ring of evaporation where there once was that river of peace? So I searched for where I turned off the path, for harbored sin, for unknown sin, for over-tiredness...anything that might even overshadow God's peace in me. But I carefully avoided an area. It hurt too much to go near there. An area that often seems selfish to me.

You'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now. But I guess I haven't.

In the midst of all that's going on, I closed the documents that were always open. It seemed that once again I had to postpone writing fiction and, to be honest, I didn't put up much of a fight. The historical missionary romance story I'm working on brings up so much emotion in me that it's overwhelming. I totally love the research I was doing, but had to read it through tears. I don't understand why. Maybe it's a way that God was using to show me and remind me that this isn't just a pet project, that it's something He's planted deep in my heart, that it's not something I can walk away from, even for a few months. Working on it is a joy that often bleeds and leaves me wavering between exhilaration and exhaustion.

On my way to Bible study last night, I poured out my heart to God, asking Him where the peace had gone and how was I to teach on His peace when I didn't have it. I asked, and God answered. I think He'd been trying to answer for a couple of days but I was too busy avoiding that area of my heart, thinking the ache over closing that document for awhile was simply my selfish desire to write.

I wasn't even half-way to study when peace returned. This morning that document is once again open, and this afternoon I'll work on it. A little everyday will keep the momentum going and the progress flowing while still letting me do the other things I need to do.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. ~John 14:27

So tell me, how's the peace in your heart?

Blog Design Winner

Happy May Day!
Thank you to everyone who entered the design giveaway and encouraged me on my way!

The winner of the premade blog design is Courtney.
Congratulations, Courtney! Be sure to let me know which premade you'd like.

If you didn't win, and there's a design you'd like, premade or custom made, let me know. I'd love, Love, LOVE to make something just for you! =)

God has blessed me tremendously with my friends. A huge thank you to each of you!
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