Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Getting Smaller at the Township Meeting Last Night


Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)

It is said that our world is getting smaller and smaller, this seems to be the case, with media like the internet available to nearly every person in any developed country worldwide, we now have the ability to communicate with people from all over the globe! We are virtually in each other’s home at any given time day or night. Sharing our photo albums,  recipes, and stories  from our everyday life with one another.
Recently I have joined the ‘tiny house blog’: link:http://tinyhouseblog.com/about/thd020910/
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Even though it looks small, there are two extra rooms that we seldom use. Theses spaces usually end up as junk collectors.
I have always liked smaller environments myself. Although our home is not very big…just over 1000 sq.’, My husband and I would prefer an even smaller place, although that will not be possible for another few years when he retires, since we don’t want to be tied to needing to stay in this area. I once told my friend in Ohio that I wish my house were smaller, and she asked if I was crazy as my house is already very small. Some people just will never understand. Of course, that was before the economy took such a grand nose-dive! Now more people are realizing the benefits of living small.
  • Less space to maintain and clean, which translates into having more time and money to pursue other interests!
  • Less expense in terms of mortgage, utilities, and buying less stuff ... (less room for excess)
  • Lower property taxes
  • Learning self restraint and organization when it comes to possessions
  • Having the money to buy better quality, longer lasting products
Having back problems has taught me that a smaller and better organized living space allows me to be more productive as well as less stressed about taking care of more than I can easily handle, even on a good day.

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This is my little Nook where I spend much of my time.
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Notice the beautiful view, even on this cold rainy day!
Here is the view from my comfy bed!.
I am not ashamed to admit that I like naps!CIMG0705CIMG0690
Here is a close up of the pretty nightlight I got at a garage sale last weekend. I thought it was well worth $2, even though my husband did have to rewire it, (he used stuff he already had)

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As you can see, I am not the only one who likes to nap…Now to kick these two off my bed so I can take one!
*Note the look on Sasha’s face as she is watching Bud yawn, you can almost hear her thinking “what a big mouth!”

WARNING!…BORING ZONING JIBBER-JABBER AHEAD!
When I was a zoning administrator, I was often in pursuit of finding the gray areas of the law in order to help a property owner get around the minimum square footage requirement in the Ordinance. I was not always successful in my endeavors however, and witnessed on more than one occasion a property owner unable to build on that much needed second bedroom or larger bathroom because they would need to build their tiny cottage up to meet the minimum, which meant building a much larger addition than needed or intended. This was preposterous!
I would fight with the planning commission over lowering the requirements for residential living space and even stop them from even considering raising it even higher, citing the fact that the majority of residences were already well below the current standard, thus making it difficult to utilize one’s property in the manner for which it was intended. Which was the backbone of the Master Plan of the Township, which is…the standard by which we are to base any changes to the Zoning Ordinance upon after all!
 So, I have been resigned from my position for nearly three years now, but my dear husband has remained on the planning commission, and once again the commission brought up the prospect of increasing the minimum square footage! My husband reminded them that the economy has made it necessary for many to downsize their dwelling space, and that an increase in the minimum required, would likely cause an undo hardship for the people of the township who were striving to improve their homes.  Why place a barrier in front of those who are trying to make an improvement?…So, last night the planning commission agreed to lower the minimum required from 720 sq.’ down to 400 sq.’! Which seemed to aggravate the township supervisor to no end. He is concerned about tax revenue of course.
This was a huge victory for something that I've fought for for many years
Yay for the Planning Commission!...Now it still needs to get past the Board of Trustees. Urg!
( End of Zoning Jibber-Jabber )...for now
So now that I have written extensively about living well within a smaller footprint upon this earth, let me share what I have learned about living out my faith and sharing Jesus in many small ways that can have a HUGE impact on someone...Face it, I will never be a missionary to some far off land, nor will I get the opportunity to stand in front of millions like Billy Graham and preach the simple Good News of Jesus Christ; I hardly ever venture away from my home for goodness sakes! But there are the occassions when I need to do some shopping and may see someone struggle with a heavy door, or getting their cart around some boxes in the aisle, what does a Christian do when faced with these scenerios? Simple...lend a helping hand, and when (if) thanked tell them something like God Bless You, or if time allows, tell them you want to be more like Jesus by helping others!
"God Bless You"...3 simple words, but what happens when you tell this to someone? I have noticed when someone says this with sincerity to another person, especially someone who wasn't expecting it. That person will either reverently say "thank you", or "you too".. ..Just remember not to put on your Baptist face (sorry, but my old baptist minister used to say that all the time)..Smile, and smile like you mean it! There are many little ways I have used to show my faith towards others, but listing them here would be going against what God's Word teaches:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven." (Mat. 6:1)
So, anyway...If I can do this, anyone can do this...remember I struggle with social anxiety so when I approach a stranger it takes the strength of Jesus to keep me from getting a full blown anxiety attack!
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:10)


So here is wishing you find true contentment in life, and a heart felt
~God Bless You~
And remember...We are Never Forsaken

Monday, May 28, 2012

What’s Happening In Our Neck Of The Woods?


Here are a few local headlines that you might find interesting...

Searching for bigfoot in the woods of Houghton Lake, Michigan
The stars of a popular cable show are combing the woods around Houghton Lake, Mich., for signs of the the giant bipedal ape-man known as Bigfoot. Animal Planet's show "Finding Bigfoot" is filming in the area and drew 350 people to an April 5 town meeting held to gather clues about the whereabouts of the elusive cryptid, according to the Detroit News.
Psalm 104:24, 30
How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.... When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.


Searching for a fugitive in the woods of Houghton Lake, Michigan

A Houghton Lake manhunt is underway for 29 year-old Everett Alan Robinson. On Monday morning May 21st an Arenac County Sheriff's Deputy was transporting Robinson between Roscommon County and Arenac Courthouses for a hearing. Robinson overpowered the deputy, stole the deputy's gun and then the vehicle along M-55 between West Branch and Houghton Lake. After 30 hours of searching, which will continue, on Tuesday May 22nd at 5 p.m. the stretch of M-55 between M-157 and I-75 was reopened. Anyone seeing Robinson or with information should contact the Michigan State Police Tip Line at (877) 616-4677…..Maybe bigfoot got him?

*UPDATE* He was finally caught late this morning! (the fugitive, not Bigfoot)….Still no word on Bigfoot... although the search continues.

“For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known” (Matthew 10:26).



Wildfires continue to burn in the Upper Peninsula….LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has declared a state of disaster in the Upper Peninsula counties of Luce and Schoolcraft, where wildfires already have consumed more than 20,000 acres.
*Since late last week, the fire has burned more than 22,000 acres and destroyed 80 buildings including homes, cabins and sheds.

Isaiah 9:18 For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.
 
Meanwhile, our own little fire remained safely contained

Smoke from the fire pit Saturday.

I really like the effect the smoke in the foreground has on the woods in the background.

~HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY~


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Bear Scares Sasha (Again)

Bible Scriptures about Nature

Inspirational Scriptures about Nature

The earth is the Lord's and everything in it
Psalm 24:1

Song of Solomon 2:1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

Let every creature praise His holy name
Psalm 145:21

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord
Psalm 150:6

As the deer pants for water, so my soul pants for you, O God
Psalm 42:1

The earth is the Lord's...for He has founded it upon the seas.
Psalm 24:1,2

What great deeds are done by His hands.
Mark 6:2

Shout joyfully to God...How awesome are your works.
Psalm 66:1,3

Great and marvelous are Thy works.
Revelations 15:3

The earth is filled with the Lord's glory.
Habakkuk 2:14

This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

For everything there is a season.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 .


I was inspired to write about God's awesome creation this morning when I awoke to quite the mess made from a mysterious visitor to the bird feeders late last night. I might have seen him if I had listened to the body language of my dog Sasha last night while I stayed up late cleaning house...She stared at the window where the feeders are, and then proceeded to walk backwards while continuing to stare and whine..I followed her gaze only briefly, but because I was getting so tired I only closed the blinds...She looked at me like I was either crazy (or maybe she thought I was brave to approach the window?)...I did not see anything, but then again I hardly glanced out. I thought maybe she was seeing a bear because as mentioned in an earlier post, she is really afraid of them, but I was too tired to be too curious.
So this morning I sat down with my cup of coffee and looked outside at the feeders like I do each morning, only there weren't any feeders there! At closer look I saw that both the suet and seed feeders lay broken on the ground...the suet was ripped right off the chain from which it hung. I checked the hummingbird feeders and aside from a new dent there weren't any fresh teeth marks in it (something used it as a chew toy last summer)...but directly below where that feeder hung on the wooden pole that holds the yard light, the electrical box was broken (as if something tried to use it as a foothold?) I also noted a strong urine like odor all around the area near the feeders..(I have been hard- put to keep the dogs away from that area today.) Of course there have been reports of bears in the area recently, so I am anxious to see one..(preferably through the window from safely within the cottage.)

Speaking of bears, this is the painting I did a couple years ago on our camper...we sold the camper to my brother in law this year, so if you see it, it isn't us pulling it around anymore.
 Poor Sasha, she had a long night...bear hunting in her dreams...She's looks exhausted!
*Big dog in a little chair*

Have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend!
~God Bless~

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sweet Lilacs and fuzzy dandelions

 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;  (Song of Solomon 2:12)


Sometimes you just gotta run with it!



Awe Bud...Don't eat it!


Does somebody need a drink now?


 

Sasha daydreaming...Isn't she beautiful?






Thursday, May 10, 2012

More funny pics...

Sorry guys...I have too much time on my hands today!

Here's my dog Buddy:

What-cha doin Mom?


                                            Now what-cha doin Mom?


Awe C'mon Mom!..
...Pink?


Okay Mom, I'll leave ya alone


Some Funny Pics…

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Hubby made a new friend!
(Really hun, Bunny ears? don't you think he'll catch on?)

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I’m NOT coming out til you put that camera away!

CIMG0515CIMG0517CIMG0519There was a line at the local Burger King

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Good boy Bud, bring me my pants….Hey! come back with my pants!
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Emma... Emma!… Has anybody seen Emma?
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Gotta git me dat stick!                      Gotta git me dat squirrel!
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Mmmm… yumyumyum                      Mmmm...yummymm….
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AYE CARUMBA!…How bout a lil help from my friends….Buddy….Sasha?
Awe come on guys I wuz gonna share really I wuz !………...hello?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Man vs. Bird

I saw this story on the news this evening. I usually don't post about news articles and such, but this one I couldn't resist. Here's an excerpt:

WESTLAKE, Ohio (CNN/WJW) -- An Ohio man faces a challenge when he goes out in his yard; attack hawks perched in a nest in his front yard.

The Varvirs had planned to have the tree removed before the birds arrived, but hawks are federally protected so they will have to wait for the eggs to hatch and the birds to leave before they can take any action."

Richard Varvir says, "We'll I'm cutting the grass over there on the riding mover and boom, it hit me."

The "it" Varvir of Westlake is talking about is a hawk. His wife Fran says, "We had a problem with it swooping down on him once before but this particular day it landed square on his head with it's talons, right through his stocking cap." Richard says, "When it hit me I put my hand on my head and I was bleeding,"

All hawks and all raptors are federally protected so it is illegal to disturb their nests or harm the birds in any way.

Whoa, Hold the bus for a moment here! First of all let me say that I love animals, but just where do we draw the line when it comes to risking an elderly couple's lives or well being in favor of protecting eggs, or a bird or any other creature for that matter?..since when has man become the lesser of creatures on this earth? If you watch the full story here : http://www.todaysthv.com/news/article/209545/154/Man-attacked-by-hawks-while-mowing-the-lawn,
 you can see how the bird actually stuck it's talons into the old man's head...Now he has to wear a helmet to go outside.

This story is not funny, I watched a little girl get knocked from her bike by a barn swallow (which is much smaller than a hawk) and break her arm! This poor couple are fearful to leave their house! I have seen nature shows where the conservation officers relocated animals all the time...But what do I know, I'm just a stupid human being.




Last weekend our neighbor came over to alert us that there is an eagle،
 (that's right, a bald eagle) that has been spending a lot of time in the back yard nearby where we let our tiny 16 year old teacup chihuahua Emma out along with our big dogs. So I suppose if Sasha or Buddy were to defend Emma against the bird and harm it we would be in trouble? We would be committing a federal crime. Well, let's hope it doesn't come to that.
My husband once saw an eagle snatch up a rabbit right in front of him, it struck like lightning, so needless to say there wouldn't be much chance to fight back anyway.

EMMA




I understand the importance of protecting the symbol of our country for goodness sakes, but what about the importance of protecting people who are made in the image of God? You know, the One who created all creatures.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
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Black and Blue ( berries, bears and... husband?)

Last week I wrote about how I had lost most of my photo files...well Praise the Lord I found the backup disk! (it was in the wrong case). So I am looking forward to once again sharing some photos with everyone.
This morning I was reminded of a funny story about the time when my girls were little and we used to pick blackberries. We used to pick a bunch of blackberries, raspberries, & blueberries which grew in a nearby meadow and then bring them home and wash them to make preserves. well, this one time we had simply picked way too many, and had to refridgerate some berries. My daughter learned all about the fermenting process when we forgot about one of the containers that had slid to the back of the fridge. She found it a couple weeks later and took one sniff after opening the lid and said it smells funny! Well, my father in law just happened to be over at the time, and when she handed him the container, he took a sniff, looked at me and asked if I was making moonshine! Of course my little girl did not know what that meant thank goodness...Thank the lord we now have a lot of berries in the yard; since the last time I was about to walk through that meadow (alone), my dog stopped at the trailhead, sniffed the air and then proceeded to literally drag me full force away from the meadow. (something she has never done before) She did not slow her pace until we were safely back onto the road half way home! The blueberries were in full at the time so I suspect she smelled a blackbear since the only animal she has ever shown fear around is blackbears ~ She once refused to leave the truck at a campsite for the entire weekend after seeing a blackbear~

 

Well, it's been raining and storming most of the day today. My husband has been off work because he had surgery on his arm five weeks ago, today was his first day back to work.
Here is the note I left him on our message board this morning:

His reply reads: We will match because I'll probably be black & blue!
AAW!

~God Bless~


So do not fear,  for I am with you;      do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen  you and help  you;      I will uphold ...