Monday, February 12, 2018

Super Blue Blood Moon and.... God!

The Super Blue Blood Moon has come and gone and left many awed by the dynamics that occurred in the sky on January 31 of this year.  From the articles that I have read, this event has not graced the heaven-lies for viewing in the U.S.A  since 1866, one hundred fifty-two years ago.  The next viewing will occur on January 31, 2037 and will be visible in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and parts of Africa.

Professional and amateur photographers alike were out to capture this celestial phenomena to share with the world and some, for personal memory.   I did take some shots but first, wanted to make a comparison of the cameras that are available to record history.  The one immediately below is not one I own but one that others may use to get some great shots full of detail and telescopic dimension. 
a 'big gun' camera - not mine!
This is my little 'big gun' camera with a built-in 42x telescopic lens. I do not claim to be a professional or semi-pro photographer with the equipping of a high-powered DSLR with all kinds of accessories for a precision photo.   I lack the patience to change lenses necessary for a particular image.  Since I 'shoot on the fly' (while in motion) and in spontaneity, I find this simple compact camera works for me. 
A little 'big gun' camera - mine!

The night sky was cloudy and the moon drifted in and out from behind the clouds on the evening of January 30th.  I was happy to snap these photos even though it was the night before the actual occurrence of the Super Blue Blood Moon. On the morning of the 31st, before 5:00 a.m over eastern Oregon skies, much to my disappointment, the cloud cover was so thick it obscured visibility of the eclipse and resulting blood moon.

Here are a few facts about the Super Blue Blood Moon to remember when it comes around to this part of the world for viewing once again.  This combination will not take place until January 31, 2037 and that is 19 years into the future from this present year....
                   -  Super-moon - when the orbiting body is closest to the earth 
                   -  Lunar Eclipse - when the moon passes into earth's shadow
                   -  Blood-moon - the whitish moon becomes red or ruddy brown when in full eclipse
                   -  Blue-moon - when two full moons happen in the same month

The Universe is unending in its mystery.  As cosmology in astronomy and astrophysics expand in knowledge, the more unending it becomes.  God, as Creator and in His infinity, is endless as well.  He is beyond our human comprehension - we learn in part but not fully in our human capacity of understanding.  It is only when we see Him face to face that the veil will be removed.  He is all in all.  Psalm 191 says.... "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands".

Until we meet again at The Turn-Up Patch in two weeks on Monday, February 26....

Monday, January 29, 2018

January and Robins

Miracles come in all shapes and sizes and can range from small to big.  They can appear at unexpected times in a quiet or in a dynamic way.  They are usually signs of encouragement meant to give hope and joy to the recipient.  We need to notice our miracles that surround us daily.  There was one such miracle in my life recently.   I first heard the noise of chattering birds causing me to look out the kitchen window to see what was going on.  To my surprise, there were dozens of robins having a great time checking out the winter lawn in search of food.  They seemed to know where the worms were hiding!!  It was a delight to watch so many of them enjoying themselves in the back yard seemingly unafraid and industrious in purpose.  This scene has continued with afternoon visits from the robins on a daily basis.  This is pretty amazing to me since they arrived in early January.  Such a promise of spring, although we have had quite a mild winter in eastern Oregon so far.
I was able to get a few photos, particularly of this one little robin who was not eager to fly away and seemingly posed for me for profile shots....

The symbolic meaning of robins is renewal and new birth.  Not surprising that they are associated with spring.

Here are a few facts about the robin
                      - they fly at 17 to 32 mph 
                      - have about 2.900 feathers
                      - have an average life span of 1 year and 2 months, although in captivity, robins have     survived longer than 17 years.
                      - robins are omnivorous, eating everything from fruit to spiders but given a choice of any food, most robins like meal-worms best of all.

A saying by R. Tagore...  "Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark."   Until we meet again at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, February 12th....

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Cat who Turned Up

I began a blog in November of 2012, a mere 5 years ago.  Perplexed as to what to title my new literary and photo adventure, my husband came up with the name "The Turn-Up Patch".  It was perfect!  We had a rescue cat that came to our door of that same month and we called her "Turnup", since she happened to turn up at our home.  She must have instinctively known to come to a ranch home that would soon provide her with all the love and comforts near and dear to her little feline heart....  

She quickly adapted from being a lost outdoor kitty to one who knew how to use a an indoor litter box with all the fringe benefits of more food than she could eat and a number of warm beds to curl up in comfort.  I don't have any idea of what happened to her in her 'before' life, as it is with most rescue animals.  She didn't appear to be abused - whether the previous owner simply dumped her to fend for herself or she somehow strayed and became lost is all unknown.  One thing was evident - she had been without food for days, leaving her vulnerable and timid in unfamiliar surroundings.   Happy to say that she is now quite the opposite and probably could lose a pound or two.

I took a few photos of her as she lounged close to December's Christmas tree with sparkling lights and glass ornaments.  She seemed to study the ornaments, trying to decide whether it was worth a swipe of her paw or simply to observe.

I am reminded of the comfort that an animal can give to a human heart.  We all have our favorites in the animal kingdom that opens into the discovery of friendship between critter and human.  How unlikely is that?  And how likely is it that God who is Creator of all, can delight the heart between human and animal despite the specie difference in appearance and sound.  

Here are just a few of many notable quotes regarding our four legged friends...

     Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. - Anatole France

     Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. - Colette

     The greatness of a national and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. - Mahatma Gandhi

     Some people talk to animals.  Not many listen though.  That's the problem. - A.A. Milne 

     An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. - Martin Buber

     Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. - George Eliot 

Join me at The Turn-Up Patch in two more weeks, on Monday January 29th...  See you then! 

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 - A Year to Fulfill

Time of 2017 in its moments, days, weeks and months have quickly turned and we find ourselves beginning anew on this 1st day of January in 2018.  Resolutions are made, some to be kept and some to be broken.  Reflections over the past year are thought about as to what is important and what is not with an eye towards future days that will make their own memories.

I would like to share with you a new year blessing written by Janet Rebhan...

"In this new year, 
- may you have a deep understanding of your true value and worth, 
- an absolute faith in your unlimited potential, 
- peace of mind in the midst of uncertainty, 
- the confidence to let go when you need to, 
- acceptance to replace your resistance, 
- gratitude to open your heart, 
- the strength of meet your challenges, 
- great love to replace your fear, 
- forgiveness and compassion for those who offend you, 
- clear sight to see your best and true path, 
- hope to dispel obscurity, 
- the conviction to make your dreams come true, 
- meaningful and rewarding synchonicities, 
- dear friends who truly know and love you, 
- a childlike trust in the benevolence of the universe, 
- the humility to remain teachable, 
- the wisdom to fully embrace your life exactly as it is, 
- the understanding that every soul has its own course to follow, 
- the discernment to recognize your own unique inner voice of truth and 
- the courage to learn to be still."  

And may we all grow deeper into the awareness of God's presence, making a difference in the time we have in 2018.    Join me again at The Turn-Up Patch in two weeks on Monday, January 15th.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Circle of Advent

As I write this, Christmas is a week away and many are in the last days of preparation for this beautiful celebration.  In the physical world, there is much to do in the approach of Christmas.  Approach is another word for Advent that is supreme in divine meaning as we enter into the spiritual circle of the Alpha and Omega....  

Advent Within The Alpha and Omega

Advent is here!  Now what exactly does that mean??  The word itself speaks of 'coming' - to spiritually prepare before the celebration of Christmas.  It is a season observed in many Christian churches four weeks before Christmas with the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love symbolically displayed in an Advent wreath.  Many families create their own wreath in participation of Advent.  Four candles are set on a circular wreath representing these individual themes, each one being lit on that particular Advent Sunday.   Some churches include a fifth candle called the Christ Candle that is lit on Christmas Eve.  The lit candles remind us of Jesus, the Light shining forth into a dark world.

We can be caught in the flurry of activity in preparation of what the Christmas season brings in our homes, community, school and church celebrations.  Decisions of what gifts to buy, decorations to use, food to serve, cards to be sent - these are just a few of the considerations to be made for family, friends and beyond.  Often, travel arrangements need to be made as well as juggling employment situations.   It is a time to be a comfort for those in isolation, loneliness and in need, which amplifies during this time of year.  

Mary (as in the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10) set herself before the Lord, taking time out to enjoy His presence and then dear Martha, whose time was consumed in physical demands. Advent can be a time to slow us down and turn our eyes away from the busyness of the season in all the 'doings' to the benefit of being still before God. Advent is a season of spiritual preparation designed to bring our awareness back to the simplicity of the cradled Christ to the complexity of the Cross and to the completion in His return.  It is in recognition of the Christ, by His Spirit within us, expanding into the Alpha and the Omega.  One of the most fervent prayers of Jesus is in John 17:21..."I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one - as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.  And may they be in us so that the world will believe that you sent me."

The Alpha and Omega is complete - the Beginning and the End and holds within the dynamics of Advent....
          -  The Eternal in His Presence among us in the current moment of time through the Holy Spirit (who is)
          -  The Eternal before creation and manifested in the Christ of yesterday when first coming to earth as a baby (who was).
          -  The Eternal in the future to anticipate, prepare and expect the coming Messiah at the end of the age with everlasting life       (who is to come).

It's good to separate into the stillness of God and then take that stillness back into our noisy world. Withdrawing into that silence of God that Advent can provide, brings a sensitivity and awareness of the Almighty.  Rejuvenation of hope, peace, love and joy quickens and enriches the spirit and is a reminder of our destiny within the Alpha and Omega. 

Join me at the Turn-Up Patch in two weeks - on Monday, January 1st in the new year of 2018. Have a blessed Christmas!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Beauty in Blessings

We had some unexpected visitors on Thanksgiving Day.  A beautiful family of swans stopped by to rest in our field.  I walked up to them as close as I could and was able to get a few shots using the zoom on my camera.  Since I didn't want to scare them off, I quietly retreated once they became alert to my presence.  I was hoping they would stay for several weeks as they did several years ago. However, frightened by the noise of shotguns by nearby duck hunters, they flew away.  Needless to say, I was upset with the duck hunters!

I did write a message on the swan that will give you some background information on this beautiful bird.  I encourage you to check it out for further knowledge on the swan.  Your will find this particular post entitled "Of Swans and Sunsets"....
I wrote this in February 2015.  The swans did return the following year in 2016 but it wasn't until Thanksgiving Day of this year that this little family showed up to grace our property for a brief time.

We still have resident geese that stay throughout the winter in our area and you see them frequently in the fields scavenging for food and shelter.  They must like living in Grant County since they prefer being here than flying south for the winter.  The swans in the past would be mingling with the geese and it was quite a sight to see.  These birds made it a migratory stop before it was time to continue on with their journey.  Thankfully, there were no duck hunters close by to disturb the geese and swans, so we were able to enjoy them all for a short period of time.

I discovered this beautiful poster with a wonderful message to it.  It contains a quote worth reflecting on.  See you at the Turn-Up Patch next time on Monday, December 18th...  Until then, look for the unexpected blessings that our dear Lord sends your way to encourage and to say, "I AM here with you".  It is up to us to perceive and see.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Living in Thankfulness

Thanksgiving!  A time to count your blessings; a time to reflect and to be grateful for the little and the big things that are in our lives.  Here in eastern Oregon, there are so many ways to be thankful - from fresh, clean air to surrounding scenic beauty.  Caring communities that offer a more simplistic way of life than the hustle and bustle of city living.  The years have passed quickly since we first arrived in Grant County.  The pace was slower then and still slow today.  We still have a two lane highway without hectic freeway traffic.  The populations of the towns that line the John Day Valley remain close to the same as it was some 40 years ago.  I wasn't sure I could adjust to small town living since I was a city girl and used to the excitement and variety of interests that city life offered.  As time went on, I discovered the richness of country life that offered challenges and growth in unexpected ways.

I came to appreciate the spectacular skies that offer a kaleidoscope of color that range in storm clouds to sunrise and sunsets.  As a photographer,  you need your camera on hand at any given moment to capture the sheer immense of glory that exists in the panorama of heavenly movement changing from moment to moment.  

Every day contains elements in one form or another to be thankful, no matter how big or small in blessings.  It can be viewing an incredible sunset or hearing children's laughter.  It is appreciation in knowing that we can still experience freedom to live, to worship, to pursue dreams... that we can gather to enjoy family and friends.  Most of all, that we can take time out to pause and express thankfulness to the One who is beyond our humanity, our blessed Creator.  It is in these precious still moments, that thankfulness lifts us into the presence of God.  

We celebrate Thanksgiving Day on Thursday of this week in the United States.  Since 1863, it has been declared a federal holiday when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens".  The entire proclamation shows one man's acknowledgement and unwavering belief in God Almighty. You can read this moving Proclamation of Thanksgiving  that Lincoln wrote on October 3, 1863 at this link...

Please return to the Turn-Up Patch in two weeks for another post.  See you again on Monday, December 4th....