Saturday, March 17, 2018

Forsythia -- Signs of Spring

I know that Spring is almost here. The daffodils are up, the rhubarb is beginning to push up from the earth, and now, the forsythia bush has begun to bloom! I am doing my happy dance!!

The brilliant yellow blooms are a dramatic contrast to the dark, almost black stems of this deciduous shrub. Hard to believe that this cousin of the olive tree can survive in our damp, frigid Northwest climate.

Forsythia bushes are easy to grow, as long as you can provide:

  • Light--sun (at least 6 hours per day)
  • Room to Grow--Forsythia can spread to 10 feet wide and equally tall. Cut out one-third of the old growth branches each Spring to keep your shrub compact.
  • Climate Zones-- 4 to 9

And guess what, they're deer-resistant too!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Wisdom of Shel Silverstein

Do you think kids have it easy? No money worries, they have snacks every day (without being judged) and are even encouraged to take a nap. But the world can be a confusing, scary place. And they hear and analyze much more than we given them credit for.

Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends) understood those confused, scared feelings that our little people experience. Consider these poems he wrote for them; they're worth looking at because the lessons apply to all of us, young and old alike.

Talked my head off
Worked my tail off
Cried my eyes out
Walked my feet off
Sang my heart out
So you see, 
There’s really not much left of me.

If we had hinges on our heads
There wouldn’t be no sin 
‘Cause we could take the bad stuff out
And leave the good stuff in.

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long.
“I feel that this is right for me.
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you –just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

Underneath my outside face
There’s a face that none can see.
A little less smiley,
A little less sure, 
But a whole lot more like me.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Searching for Signs of Spring

Do you have a favorite season? 

Some revel in Summer. Beach, picnics, barbecues, shorts and flip-flops weather. Others are absolutely giddy with delight when snow begins to fall. Sparkling trees, embers crackling in the fireplace, or a day filled with skiing and snowboarding. And then there are the Autumn colors. Trees ablaze with red and orange-hued leaves.

I love Spring. It's an awakening from the slumber of winter. All that was old and dead becomes alive once again. New buds, new growth, new opportunities. I long for Spring, and it cannot come soon enough!

I know in my heart that I should not be complaining. I have friends who live on the East Coast, in the Mid West, near the Great Lakes. They have been measuring the snowfall in feet,  not inches. Many of them cannot remember the last time that the weather was above freezing and they didn't have to exit their house wearing 4 layers of clothing.

In the Pacific Northwest, we have been blessed with what most would call a very mild winter. There have been a couple of snowfalls, but no more than 3 inches.

But I want Spring! I want to clip and prune. I want to stake up tall floppy tulips and dig in the earth to plant annuals. I'd even be happy to pull weeds. 

But, there are a few signs that Spring will come. I can almost hear it!
The daffodils are up and ready to bloom. Within a few weeks my front yard will be dotted to yellow and gold.

flowering quince
This is an ornamental shrub. The bright pink blossoms are a sharp contrast to the ebony branches.

rhubarb bud emerging from the ground
Although not a "pretty face" this is perhaps the most exciting part of Springtime for me--the rhubarb is beginning to awaken and emerge from the frozen ground.

Which season is your favorite?

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Billy Graham Quotes

Evangelist Billy Graham took Christ literally when He said in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
He preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history—nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories—through various meetings, including Mission World and Global Mission. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts.
Beginning with the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade he led hundreds of thousands of individuals to make personal decisions to live for Christ, the main thrust of his decades-long ministry. The Los Angeles Crusade in 1949 launched Mr. Graham into international prominence. Scheduled for three weeks, the meetings were extended to more than eight weeks, with overflow crowds filling a tent erected downtown each night.
Many of his subsequent early Crusades were similarly extended, including one in London that lasted 12 weeks, and a New York City Crusade in Madison Square Garden in 1957 that ran nightly for 16 weeks.
Today, Mr. Graham’s ministry is known around the globe. He preached in remote African villages and in the heart of New York City, and those to whom he ministered have ranged from heads of state to the simple living bushmen of Australia and the wandering tribes of Africa and the Middle East. Beginning in 1977, Mr. Graham was given the opportunity to conduct preaching missions in virtually every country of the former Eastern bloc, including the former Soviet Union.
Billy Graham went to his eternal home last week, at the age of 99. 
"The number one problem in our world is alienation, rich versus poor, black versus white, labor versus management, conservative versus liberal, East versus West . . . But Christ came to bring about reconciliation and peace." 

"There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possess men."

"When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost."

"Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything."

"Nothing can bring a real security into the home except true love."

"God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there."

"I've read the last page of the Bible. It's going to turn out all right."

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A New Spin on Dying Easter Eggs

Isn't the Internet an amazing treasure hunt? You just never know what you might find there. For example, look at these Easter eggs. Aren't they amazing?! Guess what, you can make these even if you have absolutely NO artistic talent.

I know that Easter is 6 weeks away (we celebrated Ash Wednesday last week), but this method of dying eggs will take more of your time than the typical "buy a box of dye tablets". That's why I am sharing this post with you today. 

These beautiful eggs were created by simply wrapping eggs in silk fabric, boiling them, and cooling and unwrapping. Click on the video to get the easy step-by-step instructions.

If (like me) you don't happen to have scraps of silk just sitting there waiting to be used up, take a trip to the Goodwill. Old silk ties are the perfect size for this craft. Fabric stores also sell remnants at a deeply-discounted price. So, you have six weeks. Have fun shopping.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Love Is In the Air

Yes, I'm a helpless romantic. In just a few days it will be Valentine's Day. Here are 4 different dessert ideas for you and your love.