FOTD – April 20

Cee challenges us to find inspiring flowers each day. Now that things are starting to bloom, I can again play with this challenge.

They had the ranunculus flowers out this weekend but I knew this weeks weather would not be good for them to be put so they are currently adorning my coffee table. Possible snow tonight! Go away winter, you have had your turn. Oh, I see one of Mimi’s dog hairs across the petals. Fur gets everywhere!

Remember the power of being kind in all that you do. It’s a value that has not boundaries. All of creation understand it’s potential.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Open

Spring is finally showing it beauty in the midwest, although we may get a light snow tonight. BUT, I am open to the possibility to a marvelous spring. I took this photo on Sunday and they were just beginning to open to share their marvelous fragrance.

I have no idea what the name of this is but you could smell it long before you got to it. Maybe be some type of honeysuckle as it was sweet like honeysuckle. Nancy Merrill’s challenge this week is open. Come join in.

As you open up you heart for spring, remember to open up to kindness. We have all had a very hard year and need to feel the kindness from each other.

A Different Kind of Short Story

Friends from the Garden

The sun shone brightly upon the earth below as greenery and life awoke in the backyard garden from its long winter’s nap.

“Susan. Hey, how are you? It is so good to see you again this year. How was your nap?

“It was good Daisy, how was yours?”

“It was good. Feels so great to stretch towards the warmth of the sun.”

“It looks like you have a part there that is not wanting to stretch out.”

“It was a hard winter. I had ice packed in all around me. Hoping the sun will tease it on out.”

“Well, hello there my little beautiful friends.”

“Foxy, how in the world are you? Good to see you rejoin us this year,” said Daisy.

“It’s always good to be seen. Did I miss anything yet?”

“No. We are just getting started. I remember last fall the gardener just threw out a bunch of old seeds in that empty space over there where Lupi was. It used to be just grassy weeds and such. Wonder what will grow there.”

“Oh, I remember ole Lupi being there by herself. Always complaining that her gorgeous pink color was being wasted away in the weeds,” said Susan.

“I remember back in the day when that was a beautiful bed of Lupines, Bee Balm and various lilies. The old gardener left and Morning Glories took over and choked everybody out,” said Foxy as he stretched his stalk toward the sun as new buds for blooms started to form.

“Glory was beautiful but a little wild for my liking,” explained Daisy.

“I agree,” said the every stretching Black Eyed Susan as she bent her petal toward the sun. “But if the new gardener didn’t rake up all of Glory’s seeds when he cleaned out the dried stalks last fall, they will be back. They are quite persistent.”

The sun awakened more wonderful life from the ground over the next few days and green sprouts of various shades were being seen not only around the main bed of established friends but over in the new bed where new life was beginning to show itself.

“Hi everyone,” said a bright red chrysanthemum as she popped up next to Susan, opening her bright petals toward the sun.

“Chrissy, hey. Great to see you again this year.”

“Anything new?” Chrissy asked.

“We don’t know yet,” said Susan. “We are watching across the way to that bed where the Glories took over. Supposedly the new gardener worked in there last fall. But we haven’t even see Lupi yet. She is usually up by now.”

 “I hope the glories didn’t finish her off,” moaned Foxy.

“Or maybe the gardener dug her up,” whispered Daisy.

“That would really be bad,” said Chrissy.

“Look Susan, those stalks are getting tall as you,” said Daisy as the breeze moved them around. “Let’s see if they will talk to us.”

“But what it they don’t like us, like the Glories,” cautioned Chrissy.

“They look to be stem oriented, instead of take-over vines. So maybe they will at least be nice. Yoo hoo,” called Daisy and she called across the yard.

To everyone’s surprise, several stems of various sizes and shades of green turned in their direction with help from the breeze, each swaying lightly. Some of the small stems already had small blue bell shaped flowers. The taller stems had larger buds but were not yet open.

“Hello,” said one of the small blue flowers.

“Hello,” said Daisy, who was always ready to greet anyone with a smile. “We in this small patch of white blooms are Daisies. Those lovely yellow blooms next to us are Black-eyed Susans. And a red chrysanthemum is stuck here in the middle. We wanted to welcome you to spring.”

“Hey what about me,” said the Foxglove being hurt for getting left out of the introduction.

“Sorry Foxy. This is Foxy, he is just getting started. Once he fully opens up and gets his height, he will be amazing. And that red beauty is Chrissy.”

“Thanks, Daisy. I forgive you for forgetting me. Welcome aboard friends to a wonderful garden space,” Foxy shouted over to the new friends.

“The call me BB. That is short for Blue Bell. My family comes from Scotland.”

“Hello BB, said a bud on a tall stem next to her. I too am a bell flower. They call me Tall Bell.”

“May be we can call you TB for short,” whispered BB shyly as she looked up at the tall stem moving in the breeze. “What will your color be?”

“Blue like you, but I am more of a star shape than a gentle bell like you.”

“What is that interesting smell,” exclaimed Foxy trying not to be rude of the pungent smell that suddenly hit the air.

A small quiet voice coughed from the back of the new bed trying not to interfere in the conversation. “Sorry guys. That would be me. I have a disgusting but realistic nick-name of Skunk Weed but I really come from the Spider Lilly family. I am a Rocky Mountain Bee Plant and true to my name, and smell, the bees love me.”

“That’s okay,” said Susan. “Some of us have different smells and some of us have no smell at all. It’s all part of the garden plan.”

“And some of us are liked for how we taste,” came a voice in the back of the original flower bed.

“Chicky baby,” cheered Foxy. “You came back.”

“Whenever I can,” laughed the tall blue Chicory flower as it danced in the breeze. How are we all doing this year? Oh, I see we have new friends. Hello.”

Hello came several calls from across the way.

“Have we seen Sunny yet? He was always such a hoot,” asked Chicky.

“It’s a little early yet for him. Plus the birds usually plant them and I have not seen the feeder get filled yet. Maybe soon,” said Daisy.

As the day wore on, they noticed the gardener come to fill the bird feeder with sunflower seeds so they knew that someday soon, Sunny would be back to visit them. The flowers chatted happily as the sun warmed their hearts making them shine brightly in the sun.

The following morning broke with a grayness all around them. Daisy hung her head and Susan tried to close her petals as a light mist covered them. While the plants themselves enjoyed the water, the flowers worried of bacteria and fungus being in the water that would make them sick and could kill them.

But by the next morning, the warmth of the sun was again surrounding them shaking off their fears the moisture had caused. Daisy stretched her head and followed the warmth of the sun. Susan and her friends hummed softly in the breeze as they swayed back and forth. Then a muffled gasping sound came from the bed across the way as something new was bursting from the ground that was loosened from the previous day’s moisture.  

The new flowers of the bed turned to watch a tall spike begin to raise its head toward the sun. Its top buds were still tightly closed but shades of lovely purple were being seen in the lower buds as they were cracking open to receive the sun’s warmth. The flowers marveled at the lovely shade of purple knowing that it fit so well with their various shades of blue with a few white asters scattered about.

“Oh my,” said the flower once it caught the warming rays of the sun. “That really feels good.”

“Lupi, is that you,” asked Daisy as she stretched to see better, not quite sure what she was seeing.

“Why, of course it’s me. I am the longtime resident of this bed. Who else would it be?” she asked flippantly.

“Well,” said Daisy as she looked over at her friends who refused to say anything, for what they saw was shocking. “I guess we are a bit shocked as you are usually early with us. We were concerned about you being late and…you look different.”

“I was late because I got extra dirt poured over me,” she said defiantly. “When I get my height, I will be as elegant as ever.  I am the same rose colored Lupine,” she said as her voice faded to a whisper as she looked over herself. He rose colors were gone. Too many years she had been in the ground and with age she had reverted back to the original color of purple.

“Oh, no. I am ruined,” she all but sighed. “My beautiful rose color is gone. I am now…old,” she said as she hung her head in sadness. Her tall spike falling next to TB who gently caressed her.

“How can you think you are old?” TB asked. “Your vibrant purple makes the rest of us come together as one. We have been shades of blue with the scattering of white and now with your beauty, you bring us together even more as a family of lovely colors.”

“Really,” she asked.

“Yes,” shouted Daisy and Susan from across the way.

“But I have always been a lovely rose color, now I am the standard purple,” Lupi said sadly.

“There is nothing standard about your shade of purple,” said BB. “My name is Blue Bell of Scotland, my friends call me BB. That tall fella by you is TB, Tall Bell flower and our white star shaped lily like flowers around us are asters. While each of us is quite beautiful, there is nothing as rich as you in this bed.”

“Hey Lupi,” called Foxy, “Remember, it is the Queen who gets to wear the purple.”

“You are all being so kind to me in my sadness,” she said sweetly. “Thank you. I have not always been kind in the past. I am so sorry my, friends.”

“It’s because you were over there by yourself for so long,” said Daisy. “Now you have new friends. Share your beauty with them and let your kindness shine.”

“Thank you, Daisy. And thank you, my new friends. I would be honored to share my height of purple in kindness to show you how kind you are being to me. Let us shine out together.

So as the Lupine, the various bell flowers and aster lilies raised their blooms to the sun, the kindness of that small garden reflected gently in the breezes as they moved through the yard all spring and into summer. And the summer fun of both beds brought in a new fragrance of peace that spread out through the entire yard making it a place where the small creatures, the birds and the gardeners enjoy spending much time.

Things That Bring Us Peace, FOTD

This morning is another beautiful day. I walk around my small yard and thoroughly enjoy the peace God put there for me to see.

Especially after a night of police chases down our quiet street…twice. Proof that satan is busy all around us and now more than ever we need the rest and peace of Christ. Sarah Young reminds us this morning in her devotional Jesus Calling of the importance of resting in Him. Through the quiet restful time devoted to God we find His peace and love. He wants us to know how very much he loves us and it breaks his heart when we feel unworthy of His love. He said we were worth it and that we should never feel that we are not.

He will rejoice over you with His love

I think we sometimes gets caught up in idea that we need to earn our love from Him but with Him His love is boundless. And He loved us long before we started doing any type of work.

So I encourage you today to take joy in His love for you and let His light warm your soul.

And may He bring you Peace.

I leave you with some more beauty from my yard to enjoy Cee’s Flower of the Day. Flowers do make me smile and remind me of God’s love for us. And if they are fragrant, that is even better.

And as always, I remind you of the beauty and magic of kindness.

Beauty in Life

Monday is the day we start out work week so I want to start mine with a reflection of the beauty of nature. Monday Macros is a good time to focus on the details of beauty around us so I give you Sunshine’s Monday Macro from my yard and wish you a beautiful start to you week.

Bees are still visiting my yard
I am only 2 inches in size big in beauty
Yellows and red make this Dahlia special
I am the larger of the blooms picture this morning but still under 3 inches

Hoping these smiling flowers bring a smile to you. And as always remember to be kind. It shows the beauty of YOU.

Always Be Kind

Fall is Coming

Finally today the sun is shinning after a week of steady rain. I am not really complaining, we needed it badly. I pray that the Pacific coast gets some rain soon or at least relief from the fires.  Yet still the south is reeling from the floods of hurricanes – 2 within a couple of days and we here in the midwest are still cleaning up from last month’s Derecho, an inland hurricane, where massive decades old trees were knocked over like toothpicks. 

Trees don’t go across streets..with car light behind them…

Weather, whether we like it or not, affects us all, sometimes good, sometimes bad. But today I am relaxing in the sun and tolerable temperatures and taking some fun pictures of the few remaining flowers as cool temperatures start leaning their lives toward their winter’s sleep. It’s hard to think of it that way since its just mid-September but last year it snowed on Halloween so…

I am just not ready for the grayness of winter…

As much as we would like to think we are in control…we really aren’t, but how we allow life to affect us as it swirls around us, plays an important role in how we survive or not and how those around us thrive or not. So for now I chose to let the sun shine in, smile with the flowers and hopefully spread some smiles in your direction.

Ring of light proof of surrounding love

My sincerest prayers is for all to be happy, encouraged and have the ability to enjoy the life surrounding you. Where there are troubles surrounding you, may they be short lived and may you feel the peace of Christ flow about you.

Flowers and nature make me smile so I share with you the smiles I had today.

And as always remember the beauty of kindness. All of nature understands this gift as it is from God, and we just forget to share that sometimes.

They all understand…so should we.

FOTD, August 17, Hibiscus

 

On my way to work this morning I saw this flower and had to stop and take it’s picture. Don’t know that I have seen an all white Hibiscus but it was striking.

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Never pass on the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of flowers. Cee’s challenge Flower of the Day gives us to chance to see what others are seeing.

And as always, as you enjoy the beauty of what you see, be the beauty you can be by being kind. Kindness has a beauty all its own.

Kind26

FOTD, August 13, Lilies

Come join in the the fun and beauty of flowers. Cee has created a fabulous prompt that we can all share the beauty we see.

Even toward the end of summer and a crazy storm, the lilies are still hanging on. It is interesting to me in that depending on where the lilies are growing, some are still going strong. My lilies in front yard are gone but the back ones that get sun all day long are still going. They have been a real testament to the 2020 season with all the craziness going on. Stay true, stay strong and you will survive.

And as always remember the strength and resilience of kindness and carry it wherever you go.

kind hummer

 

CFFC Challenge,Wilting & Dying

We are now getting into the sad time of year where the beauty of the spring flowers are about done. Its about time to start planting the fall flowers of yellows and golds.

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Even though the under brush is dying, the determination to bloom still holds.

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The bloom of the sunflower has bowed in death, yet the birds still feast on the few seeds left.

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The pods of this beauty are curled in death but a new life is sprinkled to the ground for spring.

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The leaves of the tomato where fruit was enjoyed lay wrinkled in death at the end of a season.

 

Come join in on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. This week’s CFFC topic is Special Request: Wilting, dead or aging flowers and leaves. Be creative and mostly have a lot of fun.

But remember the beauty they gave us earlier in the year with their colors so vibrant and fragrances so dear. We bid them goodbye, dreaming of the next season come and encourage them to tell us “what about next year?”

I am reminding you as always to be kind and enjoy the simple things of life. I am sharing a picture group that shows pure joy…hope it makes you smile. Thank you Random Acts of Kindness for the Photos.

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