the garden

While doing some Monday reading in the office earlier today, I noticed the little bird continues to frequent the lime tree. He apparently has a companion that joined him today. They seem to be doing a good job of feasting on a lot of insects that I can’t see from inside the house.

I pulled out my camera and recognized the battery was finally running down. I wanted it to discharge as much as possible, so I fooled around with the settings, turned on the screen view, took a bunch of pics, and did all I could to run down the battery as quickly as possible.

In the process, I realized how difficult it is to take a decent picture of a small animal that moves quickly. Not only is the quick movement a challenge, but the lighting situation with so much shade makes it even more difficult. A slower shutter speed is required for more light, but then such a fast moving subject becomes blurry when the shutter speed is slowed. This is where expensive lenses must come into play…in theory. I’m not rich and famous, so I will content myself with either blurry, lit photos, or dim, clear, and grainy photos, or clear, lit, and very distant photos from a non-zoom lens that will keep the small subject invisible to the eye. At least, that’s how I’ve reckoned the situation to be using my current knowledge and skillset of photography.

Here are a few of the shots that managed to capture something somewhat artistic. You should be able to find a little bird in at least three of these pics.

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Cucurbita ficifolia

Yes, as I’m sure you know, in English, this plant is more commonly known as one of the following:

In this part of Mexico it is called chilacayote.

It normally grows on the ground as I presume all gourds/squashes do. However, this one near our house apparently decided to do things its own way. I’ve never seen a squash grow suspended in the air like this before, but if it happens at times, perhaps scientific history could have come out a little differently.

Before Isaac Newton and his apple episode, an Aztec scientist may have had a life-changing experience with gravity and a chilacayote, but unfortunately, he didn’t survive the squash’s landing on his gourd in order to theorize about it!

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‘Tis the Season…

No need to really tell you because you know what season it is, but I’m making a list (though I’m not going to check it twice)…

  1. Post-Thanksgiving…still eating turkey and other leftovers.
  2. In Mexico, if there ever isn’t a time, it is now officially “drinking season” (box stores devote large sections of floor space to all kinds of alcohol/liquor).
  3. Per #2 above, our semi-gated community neighbors tend to give the stores more sales; we sometimes get an invite to visit with a neighbor while being offered all kinds of drinks that we decline as politely as possible.
  4. Per #2 above again, our semi-gated community watchmen tend to stay warm by consuming a bit more of the tipsy stuff; should they have to engage three potential bad guys, my advice to them would be to aim for the middle one.
  5. Per #4 above, I walked past the watchman on-duty a couple hours ago and was hoping he didn’t decide to light a match…wow…from about 20 feet away, I thought he might be the source of a gasohol leak.
  6. We had a good turnout tonight for our weekly church service, and we continued our study of Acts and the church, but also added Advent week #1, “Hope.”
  7. Cameron comes home in 20 days! (pray for him as he’s in the last 2 weeks of classes at MBI and then his first ever “finals week,” followed by his first time to fly alone)
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Reasons to be Thankful

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Happy Thanksgiving Day!

This Thanksgiving is something of a milestone for us. For the first time in our immediate family, one of us won’t be with us this day. Cameron was picked up at Moody by Beth’s sister yesterday afternoon and he will be enjoying Thanksgiving with their family (actually with her husband’s Mike’s family). We are heading up to Amealco in a few minutes to share in Thanksgiving with our co-workers.

As always, there is much to be thankful, both for the blessings we enjoy and as well as the hardships we do not face (does anyone else think in the negative like this?). It’s good to be alive and in good health. We pray you are enjoying a blessed Thanksgiving wherever you are and know that God love you, us, with a love that never fails, and never ends.

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

13 to him who divided the Red Sea[a] asunder
His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.

17 to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.

23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

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Festival de la Muñeca Artesanal Amealco 2016 (Artisan Doll Festival, Amealco 2016)

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Library Day!

Today was the monthly “library day” Beth started last month with a group of young MKs who all live in the city of Querétaro (none of them with our mission).  There were 10 out of 12 in attendance today, including a few very young MKs, but education starts early…it begins at the beginning, right?

Beth taught a brief lesson. To be honest, I only heard bits of it from the office as I was studying. Sounded like a LOT of noise…and I think the kids learned something new about something! I heard a parent or two chime in that they had learned something new too! I poked my head out there long enough for a quick picture and for everyone’s safety retreated to the office.🙂

The kids love the library. They were so excited to be here again! One little girl asked Beth how many books she could check out and Beth told her, “As many as your Mommy will let you take.” Apparently, she decided upon a mountain of books, but her mommy had her put away about half of them, and said something like, “We’ll be back in a month! You can get more then.” It’s refreshing to see the young children’s books being checked out again and with such enthusiasm!

We are now known by some young MKs as the “Library Lady,” “Library Man,” and “Library Boy.”

Love it!

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EDIT (snagged some cell phone pics off a FB post of one of the moms)…

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