Posted in reading

Autumn Reads

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As the seasons change, when the days shorten and the nights get a little colder, I so look forward to reading. My spirit begins to crave the quiet evenings, when I can settle down with a cup of tea and a good story.

Now that the busy days of summer are coming to an end, that means I have a little less on my plate, and that allows me more time for reading. I’ve noticed that in the colder months, my taste in reading materials changes a bit; and now that it’s officially Autumn, I thought I’d share some of the books that have found their way onto my list this season.

The Maine Woods, by Henry David Thoreau

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Over the course of three years, and three trips, into the yet unknown regions of Maine, Thoreau gives an account of the whys, hows, and wonders of the woods, as he sees them.

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Fall, more so than Summer, is the time I find myself most curious, and in want of something involving nature. I’m not sure why exactly, but these types of stories really call to me, and The Maine Woods, in particular sounds like a perfect fit for the season.

Wildwood, by Colin Meloy

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After her brother is abducted by a murder of crows, Prue’s life is turned on its head. Prue, and her friend Curtis, must brave the Impassable Wilderness, or what the locals call, Wildwood. There they will uncover a secret world, full of darkness and mystics, and soon they’ll learn that their mission has become something much more than they first thought.

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I don’t know much about this book, but sometimes it’s fun going into a story without any presumptive ideas or notions. I was drawn to the beautiful, fascinating cover, and I really hope that this book will meet my expectations. I’m especially excited to start this story, because the cool, fall days/nights of October, always call for something a little strange and mysterious.

Emily of New Moon, L.M. Montgomery

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After the death of her father, Emily is placed in the care of her mother’s relatives. A stranger and outsider, the family isn’t thrilled with the new responsibility on their hands. But once settled, Emily becomes enchanted by New Moon Farm, and forms strong bonds with new friends, and soon her Aunt Elizabeth will wonder how they ever got along without her.

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Fall, and classics go hand-in-hand, in my opinion. I love classics any time of year, but when the weather cools, my first choice of reads is usually a classic of some sort. Anne of Green Gables, is one of my favorite stories ever, and since I’ve not read Emily yet, it’s just the right time to fix that. I’m especially curious to read this, because I’ve heard that Emily, was actually the author’s favorite character.

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, by Valerie Martin

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In 1857, a merchant ship was discovered off the shores of Spain, with her cargo still intact, but not a trace of her crew. The mystery sparked great interest for the struggling writer, Arthur Conan Doyle. After his story causes a sensation in America, it catches the attention of two very different journalists. As the two dive into the history of the vessel, and the families involved, a tragic story unfolds.

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When I stumbled across this book, the title and eerie cover, instantly grabbed my attention. After I skimmed the description, it was exactly the type of story I wanted to read this fall. Set in centuries past, and revolving around a spectral ship, appearing in the mist, well… I was all in.

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I kept the list short, because I know that there are going to be plenty of other shiny, new books that will inevitably, cross my path, and call for my attention. But for now, I’m going to make an effort to read these four books this fall. I’m really excited, and can’t wait to get started. Strangely too, it makes me immensely happy that all of these books have such lovely covers that compliment each other so well! Just an added bonus, I suppose.

What about you? What books are you most looking forward to reading this fall season? Leave me a comment down below, I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading,

Lady S

 

 

 

 

Posted in WORDS

What Does God Mean to Me – A Tag

Today I have a tag to bring to you! This is the first time I’ve ever been tagged, and I want to thank Chelsea, over at An Ordinary Pen, for tagging me. You should definitely check out her blog.

Anyway, let’s get on with the tag – What Does God Mean to Me…

 

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Who is God to you?

God to me…is everything. The Creator, the Composer, the Completer, the Author of the universe.

I feel that God is too big, and almighty to limit to just a few words, but I think those listed above, get pretty close.

Which Bible verse do you think has shaped the way you live?

The scripture that has been most impactful on my life is, Romans 5:3-5.

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

For me, those three verses completely capture what it is to be a Christian. They remind me how I should live, (especially, in these insane, and scary times). It is a powerful reminder that life is hard. There will be many trials, and heartaches, but through our tribulations, we are beckoned closer to Him, and shown His magnificence and great love towards us.

Which Bible character do you identify with the most?

That’s a tough question, but I would say that someone I really look up to, is Joshua. When all of Israel turned their backs, and disobeyed God, only Joshua stayed by Moses’ side. He never gave in, or buckled and followed the masses. Despite how difficult and challenging things got, he remained faithful to the Lord. That is a wonderful reminder and something I try to focus on, and keep in the forefront of my mind.

 

What is your favourite way to praise God?

One of my favorite ways to be with God, and be grateful and appreciative for His blessings, is to just be outdoors. There, I am away from technology, and away from the distractions of the world. There, I can just “be”, in the midst of His creation, and relish in the beauty, peace and craftsmanship of His handiwork. Outside in the fresh air, is where I always feel the most connected to God; and feel such immense blessing and gratitude. I truly believe we are all meant to spend time outdoors. It can really bring our focus back to Him.

What is your favourite praise song or Psalm?

One of my favorite praise songs is, Joy, by Page CXVI.  It’s a hauntingly, beautiful rendition of a classic hymn.
I also really like, O God Forgive Us, by For King and Country. Seems I never get tired of that song, and it always touches my heart.

 

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So, I guess that’s it! I had a lot of fun answering these questions, and I want to again, thank Chelsea, for tagging me.

At the end of these posts, one usually tags others to participate, but instead, if any of you out there would like to have a go, you can answer the questions in the comments down below. Or if you have a blog, consider yourself tagged, by me.

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you,

Lady S

Posted in Adventure, photography

Spring At Last

For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

Song of Solomon 2:11-12

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Spring has arrived, at long last. It’s become visible in the small green sprouts, poking out through the old leaves, and the small buds forming on the trees. Winter wasn’t much in terms of coldness, and snow, it was very dry and mild. Nonetheless, I’m excited to have leaves on the trees once again, and to see colors breaking up all the dull brown.

With every new season, there comes with it, its own set of tasks and duties.

One of spring’s first tasks is yard work. Lots and lots of yard work. Through the winter, the garden rests, and so do I. There’s very little that needs tending, but in the spring, oh my! The soil needs to be turned, beds need to be cleared, debris needs to be raked up, and plans need to be made. I don’t think I’ve ever really “liked” yard/garden work, but recently, I’ve really come to enjoy it.

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Another of my spring tasks, and one of the biggest undertakings of the season, is brushing out my dog’s fur, which may not sound like a big deal, but let me tell you, he has a lot of fur. Two layers, to be exact. Come spring/summer, he sheds an entire coat, (his winter insulation) and it takes me almost the entire summer to brush it all out before it starts growing back again. In the end I’m left with big bags full of ‘wool’. So much so, that if I knew how to spin, I could make enough yarn to turn it into a sweater. Who needs alpacas, anyway?

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Look at him, not a care in the world!

Spring is also very busy for me, because it means I go back to work, where my job-title is planter-in-chief. I work seasonally in a greenhouse, and in the early part of the year, we work fast, and furiously, to get thousands of flowers, and vegetables planted. All this must be done in time for folks to purchase the plants, and get them in the ground of their own gardens. Fortunately, the “growing season”  in the nursery is only about four months. But let me tell you, it’s a very tough four months! But I love my job, and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

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Each one of these has been planted, and placed by hand. (My own, and a couple others.)

Spring also means it’s my birthday, dun, dun dun. Which is both good, and bad, I guess. Good because, I get cake and presents. Bad because, who actually likes getting older every single year, and making the announcement to the entire world? This year is an especially dreaded one, because it happens to be a landmark birthday. I will be exactly two decades old. Perhaps it’s time to start saving for my funeral, and begin thinking about my will? Who will I leave all my books to?
I suppose I’ll get over my melancholia at some point. I mean, next year it’s just going to come round again, and I’ll have to bemoan the fact that I’ll be older still. I’ll never get used to this whole ‘growing up’ thing. Bleh.

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And finally, the next not so pleasant, sign that spring has sprung, is the timely arrival of my allergies. The loathsome side effect of this thing called ‘nature’. I actually begin to feel it in my very cells. Tissue and allergy meds become my constant companions. My face can get itchy, and my eyes can swell shut, but that’s just par for the course, right? Who’s complaining?

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In short, spring is probably my favorite time of year. It’s a nice in-between, where the days are warm, and the nights can be a little chilly. The trees are pink and flowery, and I can make grandiose plans for summer, all before the sweltering heat of summer sets in. For now, its time to enjoy my time time outdoors, and be grateful for my opportunity to see the world wake up.

So, just wanted to take a moment to commemorate the changing of the seasons, and what that entails for me. I hope that this spring will be a good one for you, (or Autumn, for my pals ‘down under’), and that you will take some time to touch, see, smell all the beauty that is, spring.

Thanks for reading, Lady S

 

 

 

Posted in photography

An Ode to Autumn

Oh, Autumn, you are upon us once again.
You’ve moved in so subtly, until your presence was quite unmistakable.
I could sense your arrival on the wind; from the scent of rotting leaves, smoking wood fires, and a cool crispness in the air, so tangible.
I could hear you too, in the chilly winds rustling the papery leaves, brittle, yet still clinging to the creaking trees; in the hoot of owls calling to one another, deep in the night, and in the buzz of busy bees preparing for winter.
But most of all I could see you, in the shortened days, bursting with the brightest shades of purple, red, orange and yellow, transforming every growing thing. And I could see you also, in the inky black crows, lurking amongst the trees.
It is time to bring out our beloved hats, scarves, and sweaters, which I have missed dearly,
and spend our days wandering and exploring in the brisk, exhilarating air.
And though I may be a bit sad to part with our dear old Summer, I am pleased to see you, and I bid you WELCOME!
I look forward to the many nights spent in, curled up with a warm cup of tea, and a good book or two.
And now that I’ve shared my welcome greeting, please make yourself at home; our time together will be short, as Winter is heading this way, so I hear.

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Yours Truly,

Lady S

Posted in photography

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

I find it fascinating, that there are billions and billions of tiny creatures around us that are vital to our very survival, yet largely go unnoticed…(unless of course, their presence has become a nuisance).
What are these creatures, you ask? Bugs, of course!
It is estimated that there are currently, about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 insects around the world. (10 quintillion! I didn’t even know such a number existed.)
I think it’s amazing to learn about their intricacies and how we absolutely, couldn’t live without them. Funny how so many people find bugs terrifying, but most don’t realize, those pesky things are just doing their very own, distinct and special job(s) and those jobs are every bit as important as ours, (if not more so)!
I wanted to write this post to share a little love, and appreciation for possibly, the most under appreciated species on earth…bugs!

If you would like to read a book on the subject, A Buzz in the Meadow, is a good place to start. Know, that it comes from a secular worldview, but still offers valuable information about the intricate details of the lives of these tiny critters. It communicates, just how little we truly, understand about creation and the function of most things on this planet.

I, personally, find it very difficult to believe that the complexities of this world are simply the product of random chance. Rather, I see a world thoughtfully, and artfully designed by an intelligent and divine Maker…and I am grateful.

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Orb-Weavers are my favorite spider, I think.
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Not sure what type of bee this is…but he just had a wonderful pollen bath.
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I love to watch honey bees at work!
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This guy-or-gal just finished a nice breakfast of, “bee”.
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Ever seen a “Cat-faced spider”? Don’t worry, they’re not poisonous.
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Spiders are so talented! And also very symmetrical.

 

Then God said; “Let the earth bring forth the living creatures according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. Genesis 1:24

Posted in Adventure, photography

Mountain Calling

It was my sister’s day off from work, and she was complaining about staying home. She said, that we seem to do all the fun stuff while she’s busy slaving away at work. (I mean grocery shopping is so very entertaining and all.) So to appease her, we decided to sacrifice a day of being home, and actually go somewhere.

Slightly last minute as it was, we decided to head up to the mountains!
The drive takes close to an hour, so we had to rise bright and early to get there before the heat settled in…(our usual upper 90’s).

After lots of twists, and turns, car-sickness, and ear popping from the elevation, we made it all the way up! We stopped at a trail near the top of the mountain that we had never explored before…and now it has got to be one of our favorite places.

It had rained the night before so everything was cool, damp and fresh. There were delicate wildflowers everywhere, wild strawberries, raspberries, mushrooms and thick spongy moss. There were majestic pines, birch groves, and so many grasses and plants that I couldn’t even begin to list them. From our vantage point, the misty view of the mountains in the distance, and the flowering meadow below was breathtaking. (I would really like to try painting it.) I felt like I was in Narnia, or Middle-earth.

But alas, the day was not without a few bumps in the road. (As with any adventure.)

Since this outing was quite spur of the moment, we were a bit unprepared, (camera-wise anyway). The wrong lens was on the camera, so I was very limited in what I could actually photograph. And secondly, the memory card was almost full so I had to quickly delete whatever I could, to be able to take a handful of photos.

The third very unfortunate event was a big-fat parking ticket. While we were off enjoying our adventure, we didn’t know how much our little walk was going to cost us. We hadn’t actually planned to explore this spot, and take off down the trail like we did. And after returning from our longer than expected hike, coming very close to cardiac arrest, while trekking back to the parking lot, (in the thin air, I might add), wanting only water and an air conditioned car, we were in for a surprise. Lo and behold, patiently waiting on our windshield was a parking ticket with an $80 fine!!

Here’s a lesson, kids: always pay the $3 day fee. Always.

While that put a significant damper on our mood, I can still look back fondly on everything else.

I’ll stop jabbering now, and share a couple of the photos:

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This reminds me of something Anne Shirley would enjoy. Can I pretend to be her?
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10,679′ above sea level.
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There were so many butterflies…and other scarier, clicky, buzzing, flying bugs.
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Check out that awesome mountain-color-gradient in the distance.
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Say, ‘hi’ sisters.
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The only decent shot of this cool, dripping, mossy, rock-cave thing. Doesn’t do it justice.

While the day was a bit of a fail in the camera department (and parking -_-), I guess at the very least I was able to enjoy it with my actual eyeballs. And in the end, I’m so glad we took the journey.

And it was a fun day spent with my mom, and sisters……I guess.

Just kidding.

 

Posted in photography

RAIN

Sooooooo, it rained the other day…and…well… it was a pretty big deal.

Why such a big deal, you ask?  Because you see, I live in the desert.

I love the rain so much, but sadly I don’t get to enjoy it very often.
I can’t even remember the last time it did rain.
I’ve always longed to live in a place where it rains all of the time…or at least on a somewhat, regular basis. But, maybe the reason I love rain so much is because it’s so rare around here. I sometimes, wonder if the people that get rain all the time, lose their appreciation for it. But, I don’t think I would.

We get teased plenty of times, with big, dark, threatening clouds, wind, and even rumbling thunder, but rarely any actual rain. So surprisingly, this time, the clouds pulled through; and it was glorious! (And by rain, I mean a solid four, or five minutes of water falling violently from the sky, before packing up and heading off to the next stop.)

So then, of course, I went outside to capture some images of the aftermath.

Oh, and by the way, this is about the extent of ‘monsoon season’ around here.

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Wet leaf.
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Wet wood.
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Majestic apple.
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CUMULONIMBUS! I like that word. I learned it from, Up.
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Hollyhock! Pretty, right?
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One drop, two drop, three drop, blue drop.

Well thanks for, “dropping” by! (see what I did there, eh?)

I hope you enjoyed your visit, and come back soon!