"Make time to celebrate your achievements no matter how big or small." ~Unknown
This special edition post is to celebrate two events I want to share with you.
~Today only at www.keysforkids.org you can read and listen to "Hurting Hearts," a devotional story I wrote. On their Home Page, click "Keys for Kids Daily Devotional." Or you can click right here. (Please note: This will always take you to the Daily Devotional, but today is the only day you can read this story there.) If you look around, you'll find Keys for Kids is also available by mail, email, and app. There are many offerings for kids and parents. "Hurting Hearts" is the first of five devotional pieces Keys for Kids has accepted from me, so far, for publication. Some others are in the editorial process right now. I'll give you a heads up when more are scheduled.
~Today is also my One Year Blogiversary! (Throw confetti.) This is post #26. When I started the website and blog last year, my goal was to write a post every other week. Half of 52 = 26. Sometimes it didn't happen every other week, and sometimes more than every other week. I have learned a lot, thanks to Megan and time. I'm still learning. This year I've written about what I've observed around me, and shared thoughts. I've tried to keep it light, fun, and relatively concise. Sometimes the process was smooth, and sometimes there were glitches. In the year ahead, I'm excited for how things will unfold. So, stay turned.
P.S. Cardinal Update: The babies grew fast. Two fledged on Friday (8/17/18). I named them Lou (St. Louis Cardinals) and Ari (Arizona Cardinals). One egg never hatched, so I named it RIP.
"When a cardinal appears in your yard, it's a visitor from heaven."
~old folklore saying
After owls and other feathered friends this year ("Our Wild Kingdom" post on 5/14/18), we've noticed more cardinals than usual in our neighborhood. Who doesn't like those bright red birds? Seven states designated cardinals as their state bird - Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Recently we've seen cardinals around the two Boston Ferns hanging on our front porch or perched on the chimes between them. We never thought much about it as I'd put pencils and sticks in to keep birds from building nests.
One evening late in July, a storm brewed. Before the wind got too wicked I took the flag down, unhooked the two chimes, and quickly plopped the ferns between the Adirondack chairs before running inside.
After the storm passed, but rain expected through the night, I set the ferns on the cement walk to get watered. "Oh my!" One had a small nest and two eggs. When did this happen? We carefully hung it back on the hook.
Cornell University's website says it takes 3-9 days for cardinals to build nests. We hadn't noticed nest building activity. Apparently when I watered lately, I'd simply stuck the spout of the watering can in the side of the basket hanging on the hook.
The next morning when "Mama Bird" was away, we carefully took the fern down to water it without interfering with the nest. Now there were three eggs!
Hatching has now occurred, and both Mama and Papa are busy feeding. I've seen little baby beaks raised high. I'm excited to see the little ones as they grow.
It's interesting that as I searched for cardinal quotes I found several that mentioned angels or visitors from heaven. It gave me pause. The two sets of chimes on our porch were gifts from friends after our mothers passed away. The first one for my mom has a wooden pendant with "When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure" engraved on it. Someone shared when the chimes sing that it's Mom. When my mother-in-law passed, other friends gave us the second chimes. When the wind blows, we do think of moms. Now the cardinals make us even more aware.