Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer

Have you noticed? The gigantic JOY we see at Christmastime on Live Oak Drive is displayed in the yard of Mayor Ralph and Marcia McClendon. Ralph explains for Montage readers:

“My sister-in-law, Melissa Garraway, mentioned that she had heard that others were putting out their Christmas decorations to encourage others during this time. I thought that was a great idea.”

Shortly after that the Lord directed me to the verse, Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” I thought it was very fitting for the trials that we are facing now and a good reminder that our joy comes from the Lord, regardless of our circumstances. I hope that it is helpful to others.”


Our mayor is included in calls with other mayors in the county these days as difficult decisions are made regarding COVID-19. Thanks, Mayor Ralph, for the explanation of your Romans 12:12 sign and your service.

The city quickly made and installed “Stay At Home” signage when the county enacted the current order.

Staying at home in Mountain City, what are you seeing?

RonTom and I installed a “deer corn” feeder we came away with (fundraising silent auction) awhile back after we saw a Black-bellied Whistling Duck standing upon and hovering in front of the Owl Shack that sits above the center of our driveway. What a funny sight that was.

A custom-built tree duck nestbox came to mind to fill that duck’s need. I even contacted James Polk, who is quite handy with lumber. He asked, “Do you know how large that nestbox would be?”

It was quick and easy to install the “deer corn” feeder above the heads of deer for birds and squirrels and, hopefully, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.

The Hummzingers have a snap off red lid and clear plastic bowl. They’re easy to clean, which must be done before the syrup goes bad. Sometimes in our hot summers, that happens in less than 48 hours.Do you have hummer feeders out? My feeders (Hummzinger by Aspects, recommended many years ago by the late Roger Green on Cedar) ran dry last week before time to change the syrup.

Hummers eat loads of tiny insects. My overripe bananas on a stand to attract butterflies also attract tiny insects for the hummingbirds.

And, hummingbirds (great pollinators) drink nectar from deep tubular flowers, particularly reds and oranges and the odd-looking Shrimp Plant with a flower that looks like a shrimp.

An Eastern Bluebird in a nestbox in our yard laid white eggs, rather than blue. Bluebird eggs are
colored in a process not unlike dying Easter eggs. The new hatchings will become “regular” red, white, and blue. Love to you, PTom

Hummingbird syrup is an easy recipe: 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Experts no longer suggest boiling. I use an immersion hand blender to dissolve the sugar. Experts say, “no red food coloring” in the syrup because it could be unhealthy for the little birds. The red on the feeder attracts the hummingbirds. For Mountain City now, it’s Ruby-throated and Black-chinned that get attracted.

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