Winter Didn’t Kill Them

This past winter was brutal for a large part of the US. We had a week of -30 temps with wind chills reaching -51. Crazy, right. It’s not like I live with Santa or anything.  But with the temps that cold,the heating systems in the area really struggled and so did my indoor plants. I though I may loose my violets because they are so sensitive but as you can see below, they are doing well. My thumb is more brown than green.

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My violets

I love the delicate flower in rich purple with the bright yellow…stamens? I think that is what they are called. See, brown thumb.

Regardless of thumb color, I am enjoying the flowers inside as well as out. Once I finish planting, I will show my outside flowers, that last week were brought inside due to threat of snow…in May!!

I am also enjoying my bird watching. I guess its a retirement thing as I never had time before to really enjoy them. Saw my first Gold Finches this week. Awesome beauties.

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A beauty
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Gold Finch, Wood Pecker and Cardinal
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Wood Pecker & Gold Finch

If you are wondering what the white stuff is all over the pole of the bird feeder…squirrel deterrent…Crisco shortening. They can’t climb the greasy pole.

As we enjoy the fun, warmth and the beauty of spring, lets remember to share the warmth, fun and beauty of kindness. Kindness is God love shining through our action, even if its just a smile. A smile is a frown turned upside down and a smile can turn your upside down mood back into a light mood of love. Always be kind.

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Memories of Spring, Escapist Coloring Club

For Linda G Hill’s monthly challenge of the Escapist Coloring Club, I have created another idea of spring. Our winter was brutal and spring is not being very friendly either. So I color you a fun idea of spring in hopes that your spring will be kinder than mine here in  Iowa.

HOP INTO SPRING!!!

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The fun side of Spring

As you enjoy your spring, remember the beauty of new life as plants start bringing forth their beauty. As this beauty makes you smile, remember to share that smile with others and be kind. Kindness is a reflection of God’s love so share it often.

Kindness elephant

 

Love is…

What an open ended statement. Love is many things to many people. I have been away from my computer for a few days as I have been busy with one of my loves…gardening. We have finally been blessed with spring weather, temps anywhere form low 60’s to mid 70’s. Awesome. And this is what I did. You can buy the plants and put them in hangers or buy plants already in  hangers. I did some of both. Plus added some to the ground. But in reality, I am just getting started.

I was trying to get it all done before the rain started last night. Thank goodness I didn’t as what we call where I come from, Blackberry winter, has come upon us. Good grief, wasn’t the real winter long enough. Apparently not. Therefore…the hangers are now decorating my living room as temps are expected to drop below 30 with an inch of that dreaded white stuff. Sorry guys that are already in the ground, hang on.

So since there was no loving to do outside I sat down with another love and read. I finished the next to the last book of a 14 book series by Jan Karon called the Mitford Series. It is a wonderful series set in the North Carolina mountains about everyday life, its tragedy’s and triumph’s. Since I am from the south, I was very familiar with the areas she she spoke of and how very true the conditions she wrote starting in the early 2000’s are even today. I strongly suggest reading this series. You will laugh at the absurdity of its richness and cry with the truth of the pain.

Reading this series really brought home to me God’s love for us as people, human beings and how we as humans are just so…lost sometimes. It is astounding how we as a creation of love can cast off another human or animal as discarded trash or a conquest as we strive to what we believe is a higher purpose leaving destruction in our path. I looked through my study bible to see how many time the word love was used – didn’t want to count them as it was a full page and a half. Scripture tells us to love our neighbor as we love our self. Do we not love our self? And who exactly is our neighbor. My opinion is we are all neighbors, all brothers and sisters, all family. Do I fail at loving my neighbor …daily.  But if we as humans who can reason with some form of clarity about how we are supposed to be, we should be getting closer to our created purpose, yet at times we are in far left field.

So as I write my blog, I always try to remind all of us about the beauty of life that has been handed to us. Yes our circumstances may be in the bottom of the barrel but we can always CHOSE to have joy. There is a vast difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is a feeling we get due to circumstances around but joy is having inner peace. This peace comes from Christ. Jesus says “My peace I give you.” Its a peace beyond all understanding to our human minds but it is a free gift. A gift we often do not use.

As you go through your week next week, remember the inner joy and let the light of it shine through you to others around you so that to may enjoy the light and the joy it brings and always be kind.

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The Fun Side of Easter

We approach this new season with a lightness in our hearts. New life comes up from the ground as new flowers begin to show their faces. The air is warmer and we enjoy outside more. We open the windows to breath in fresh air and thankful for the brightness around us.

Where we have fun at Christmas while we celebrate His birth, the celebration of His rising at Easter brings us all new life, new hope and the strength to carry on. Even if you are not a believer in Christ, the understand of what it means is somewhat familiar to all. It is fun to share the newness of  life about the resurrection and be able to relate it to children with the newness of spring.

New flowers who have been dead all winter are not waking up to new life parallel with the resurrection story. The trees and bushes coming back to life with the new leaves of new life.

New wildlife babies are born representing the newness of life as created by our Father in heaven.

Then there are those who love to decorate their home to show a newness of life or the welcoming of spring, like door wreaths.

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This pair of purple house finches are the first to visit my feeder this year. They are really pretty.

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I also like to show off some of my mothers fun Easter stuff as it makes me smile and remember the fun parts of her. The silly waving rabbit family I painted for her when I was in college.

So while Easter is a celebration that should never be taken lightly for its true meaning, we can enjoy the newness of spring as it also bring us new life and new hope for the coming year. And as you take in the new life, let it send out kindness roots that spreads kindness seedlings wherever it goes.

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Always be kind

Gift of Thankfulness, SoCS “fab”

My devotional reading this morning was about thankfulness. When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, you inner mind becomes dark and disgruntled. When you approach God with thanksgiving, the light of His presence surrounds you. Lets have some examples from my life –

The harshness of this past winter only to be reminded of the ever resilient fabulous bulbs of spring.

The poor commitment of the “handy man” that showed up to get the old curtains down but has yet to show up to put up the new rods. But yet the light shining through the windows has been beautiful and helped my violet to burst forth in fabulous white and purple blooms.

The most inconvenient idea of being without a refrigerator for 10 days, yet I can still enjoy a fabulous cup of hot tea. And last but not least…

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Mandarin Oranges

The ability of being able to enjoy fabulous fruits all year long from those warm climate zones and the trucking industry getting them to the stores for us to enjoy.

The inconvenient challenges of life can drag us down or we can give thanks to God that we have an ability to view those challenges through His eyes and find that silver lining – there is always one however small it may be.

So all the more reason to understand you inconvenience and be thankful of the light they can shed on us and bringing forth kindness to others who are also experiencing inconveniences themselves. Remember to always be kind.

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Show kindness to others

Linda G Hill’s challenge today for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “fab.” And I think if we really look around we can find more fab than non-fab. You just need to correct frame of mind. So I challenge you to review and give thanks for all the fabulous things you have in life. You could probably amaze yourself in seeing your gifts.

Escapist Coloring Club Prompt; Spring

The monthly prompt from Linda on coloring gives those of us who enjoy the adult coloring books, calender’s, desk blobs, etc. to show off how much fun we had. Its not about the beauty and perfection of your drawing, however some are quite strikingly as Linda’s dragon, but its about the fun. I do my doodling/coloring at night when I have trouble sleeping because my brain is still going 900 miles an hour…and I am retired…semi-retired. Compared to what I used to do, answering the phones 3 days a week at the church is a major cake walk. However, being ADD, well…y’all know how that can be.

Anyway, since the winter was so brutal, we are all excited for spring being right around the corner so I drew a reminder spring. Come join in Linda G Hill’s Escapist Coloring Club Prompts this month’s and share your fun.

 

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The bird even with out coloring was quite elegant.

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And as always, I remind us all to be kind. Now that spring is getting close, we will be outside more so remember to share this great gift; the immeasurable gift of kindness.

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I Could Not Help It

I am doing some minor remodeling downstairs and I needed to go to Lowe’s for supplies. So as I came up to the register, they had in the aisle early bulbs coming up. I didn’t really need any bulbs but I could not help myself. I needed the proof that spring is actually coming.

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So tired of the  cold, so ready for the warmth of spring and the smell of flowers and the stores know this so that’s why they put these right by the registers. I admit it, I am weak and I fell to the ploy of management impulse buying techniques.

Once it does really look like spring, I know this year I will not have to buy as much as last year. A lot of bulbs already planted, hopefully the bitter -34 degrees didn’t destroy them.  Time will tell. Until then enjoy what Mitch Teemly calls Sprinter.

And as the sun begins to shine more warmly, try to shine yourself more warmly and be kind. It is a brightness that is much needed.

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