More birds, more blessings


It is a cold, frosty morning here. It is nice to think of spring, which, really, is only a few weeks away. I will be glad to bid goodbye to winter, especially this year. Here are a few reminders of what’s in store for us in the months ahead – perhaps not these exact birds – these were taken in Newfoundland by a friend who has graciously agreed to allowing me to use them here. There will be more birds, and more blessings as the days roll by into spring. For today, I will do my best to count the blessings this day brings and look forward to the arrival of our feathered friends. I hope these photographs cheer you, as they do me.

Pine Grosbeak (Male) – Photo by Kathy Marche
Red-breasted nuthatch – Kathy Marche photo
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2 – Kathy Marche photo
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Kathy Marche photo
Savannah Sparrow – Kathy Marche photo
Swamp Sparrow – Kathy Marche photo
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – Kathy Marche photo
Yellow Throat – Kathy Marche photo

To walk in the woods and see such beauty and hear such song is a blessing. If you like bird watching and happen to travel to Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada I hope you chance to see some of these little beauties. My sincere thanks once again to Kathy Marche for her generosity in sharing these lovely photographs.

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The blessings of birds


The blessings of birds are many from their importance to ecosystems to the joys they bring with their songs. Here is another installment of photographs to help cheer your day. As always I am grateful to Kathy Marche, the photographer and the soul with a big heart. Thanks again, Kathy.

American Goldfinch – Kathy Marche photo




American Redstart – Photo by Kathy Marche








Black-backed Woodpecker – Kathy Marche photo
Black-bellied Plover – Photo by Kathy Marche
Cedar Waxwing – Kathy Marche photo
Common Yellowthroat – photo by Kathy Marche
Downy Woodpecker – Kathy Marche photo
Golden-crowned Kinglet – Kathy Marche photo
Hairy Woodpecker – photo by Kathy Marche
Kildeer – photo by Kathy Marche
Lincoln Sparrow – Kathy Marche photo

Northern Three-toed Woodpecker – Kathy Marche photo
Olive-sided Flycatcher – Kathy Marche photo
Pine Grosbeak – Kathy Marche photo

If you ever visit the province of Newfoundland & Labrador you may want to take a walk on the many trails through the woods – you’ll be glad you did!

Just Okay


“How are you?”

“I’m okay.”

“Just okay?”

“Yup, just okay, but I’m here.”

I participate in this scenario quite often. My husband is not well and I am his main caregiver. I don’t think most people want an honest answer to the question of how I am, not really. Most days I am okay – just okay. There are some when I am very happy, and of course others when I definitely am not happy. But for the most part I am okay. I don’t think people really want to know about my daily struggles or the things that I find frustrating. It’s not easy caring for a sick partner. It just isn’t. I congratulate myself on a daily basis for being ‘just okay’.

I have written about the ups and downs of health issues pertaining to diabetes more than a few times here. My husband jokes he has ‘frequent flyer miles’ at the hospital. This weekend he ended up there once again. I don’t know who dropped the ball. It may have been the doctor’s office when they called in a renewal on his medications. Or, it may be that the pharmacist neglected to include one of his meds in his blister pack. He takes a lot of medications, and it’s easy to miss it if one isn’t there. Plus, his meds are often changed for one reason or another. At any rate he’d been without one of them for about a week – a medication he really needs – hence the most recent hospital stay. It’s scary sometimes. And it’s also daunting, this responsibility to be on top of everything medical.

I am doing my best to take care of myself as well as him through it all. I try to keep it positive and I pray a lot. But much of the time I am exhausted, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet, I am okay. I know powers greater than mine carry me through it all. So, yes, I am “just” okay and I’m alright with that.

Sacred Whispers



Frost Texture – Stockvault image

Sacred whispers

In every leaf and flower

Every tree, every bush

Each singing waterway

Divinity speaks quietly

And bids me to pay heed

To generous scenes of loveliness

That’s sent for all to see

And in the winter months

When all is ice and snow

The frost paints pretty pictures

For all to gaze upon

And consider the artist’s hand

Best of all these wondrous gifts

Are all completely free

My spirit’s filled with delight and awe

Sing on, my soul, sing on

Of nature’s praise, and glory be

For all eternity

Sun on Snow


There is a beauty to winter, however much I dislike the cold – and this past week has been brutally cold! Yet, seeing the sun rise on my way to work is a sight I am blessed to see, and I would battle the cold for such a view. The evening sunsets are also beautiful as the sun turns the snow on the hills a delicious shade of pink. These are a couple of photos I took with my phone trying to capture the magic, the majesty, and the wonder….

The sunset was spectacular and even made the parking lot at work a place of beauty

Even though the winter is cold the sun promises warmer days ahead and I am grateful

Winter’s Songsters


Winter can seem so unbearably long, especially when the temperatures dip to -40 Celsius and sometimes lower in this neck of the woods. In the early morn it can be as cold as -50s with the windchill factored in. It has not been fun driving to work in an ice haze, which is similar to a thick fog. Added to this is the frozen exhaust fumes from vehicles in front of me as I drove white-knuckled to work. These cold snaps do not last long – usually not more than a few days.

I joke that I cannot think straight because I am experiencing brain freeze (is that really a thing? It feels like it might be). At any rate, my friend Kathy enjoys winter. She is an avid skier and an outdoor enthusiast through all the seasons. Her collection of winter nature photos are every bit as wonderful as those she’s captured at any other time of year. She very kindly consented for me to use her photographs on my blog. This is the second installment. If you visit the island of Newfoundland in Canada you, too, may see some of the birds featured here. Without further ado here are some of the images captured by nature photographer, Kathy Marche.

Visitors to bird feeders include Redpolls – Kathy Marche photo
This little Redpoll must have been foraging for seed under the snow – Kathy Marche photo
What a treat to see Goldfinches in winter. – Kathy Marche photo
White-rumped Sandpipers like the seashore. – Kathy Marche photo
Black-capped Chick-a-dees can be seen at all times of the year. – Kathy Marche photo

The Boreal chick-a-dee is also a frequent visitor – Kathy Marche photo
Siskin in the snow — such a pretty little bird! – Kathy Marche photo
Newfoundlanders are always happy to see the return of the American Robin – one of the first signs of Spring! – Kathy Marche photo
Blue Jays stay year round. – Kathy Marche photo
While their cry is not exactly music to the ears, Blue Jays are quite pretty birds. – Kathy Marche photo
Snow bunting – so aptly named! – Kathy Marche photo
Another shot of a Snow Bunting – love the color in its cheeks! – Kathy Marche photo
This Willow Ptarmigan is well disguised to avoid predators, my friend has a good eye! – photo by Kathy Marche

Once again, sincere thanks to Kathy Marche for allowing me to showcase some of her beautiful photographs here. I hope you enjoy them.

How Schools Dishonor Black History Month


Black History Month? Check out this wise and insightful post.

Educate to Liberate

As a lifelong educator having been blessed to work in every professional capacity imaginable, from: teacher, curriculum writer, academic interventionist, instructional coach, assistant principal, principal, chief academic officer and now as a graduate education professor – I have experienced my fair share of how school districts across the country uniquely (albeit clumsily) interpret the best way(s) to pay homage to the proud legacy, traditions and future aspirations of an entire nation of people during #BlackHistoryMonth. Sadly, I have also been witness to my fair share of #Fails in this regard. In light of being an educator always ready and willing to teach and in the spirit of full transparency, I wish to share my ideology re: the many ways that school districts across the country (often unintentionally) dishonor Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s brainchild for an annual month of recognition, and more importantly, how we can best rectify this aberration.

This…

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