Letting the Springs of Silence Overflow

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Dear Reader:

The stream that flows softly and gently with a tinkling sound as it passes over ancient mountain rocks ( located behind St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope in Trust, North Carolina) is simply named Spring Creek. ( It flows into the French Broad)

The last few times the Ya’s have been there with the amazing Honey as our guide to any and everything…the creek waters have been deep and fast…due to the last few (above average) snowy winters melting back into the waters from whence they came.

In fact, one time it almost looked like Spring Creek might overflow the banks.

Overflow.  I think it is my new favorite word. Around 5:00 each afternoon the sun dips low enough to cast its brilliance against the side fence where the window art decor frames hang. Suddenly each day…at just the right moment…the rays sneak through the open slats in the fence and overflow the light onto the window frames…setting them on fire.

This picture won’t do it justice…but you can, at least, get the idea.

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Overflow.

Aren’t some of our most memorable moments ones where our heart “overflows” with happiness, or joy, or understanding, or blessings? It is when we let the silence of God in…to whisper and tell us to look over at the fence…something wonderful is happening…that we learn about our relationship with Him. (And something wonderful was happening)

In Awakin Weekly….this week’s post, there was an excerpt from the book: Silent Compassion! Finding God in Contemplation by Richard Rohr…a Franciscean friar.

I love these excerpts from his book..(as I continue seeking the silence for my talk with God daily.)

“…Without silence, nothing has the power to change us, to awaken us, to give us that joy that the world can not give.”

“…Silence is a kind of thinking which mostly we see.”

“...Silence all begins with one clear moment of spiritual consciousness, which then becomes the constant spring inside us, overflowing and propelling us into the final eternal life.”

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Yesterday was a very special day, sort of a mini-Easter Egg Hunt day…without the hunt or eggs. Susan was coming to town and bringing her mother, Nancy, and granddaughter, Ady to visit and see family and friends.

We decided to put some food together and have lunch at my house…I picked up Eva Cate Monday evening so she could play with her cousin. Lee and Vikki came to join the family and Mollie brought Lachlan for everyone to meet. (Mandy had a small surgical procedure done and couldn’t bring Jakie)

There were several times throughout the festivities when I found myself just listening to the little girl cousins and their constant chattering and laughing, hardly a peep out of Lachlan who decided to sleep through it all… while being passed around to everyone for their share of love and hugs. The sound of surrounded family sounded so good when I stopped to really listen and appreciate the meaning behind us being together.

It had been pretty impromptu but aren’t these times some of the best? Yesterday they sure were!

Eva Cate and Ady were all into dressing up in my old clothes with my boots made for walking… modeling for us with old jewelry and anything else they could find…sometimes with funny teeth! They hugged when they saw each other like long-lost friends…too cute.

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A yummy lunch came together quite well….there was only silence and the sound of eating at first! Everyone was really hungry!

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IMG_3748And then there was the “pass-over” of baby Lachlan…literally…he got passed over to whoever was sitting in the shade on the deck…he would make a little whimpering sound at the exchange and then simply fall back asleep! Everyone wanted their turn at holding him!

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Susan and I eagerly waited our turn for the “pass over” too…that term will always have a new meaning from this fond memory.

Before Susan left she gave me a CD that she loved. She said she listened to it in the car and it always brought such peace while driving. I put it in the CD player (to listen to while writing this blog post) and the very first song was titled: “Be Still My Soul and Know He is God.” (Beautiful song and CD…thank you Susan!)

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A God’s Wink for today’s blog

 

 

 

 

“Be Still and Know” from Scripture Lullabies – YouTube

So until tomorrow…Be still my heart and soul…and know that You are God!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

lollipop-seeds4*Eva Cate got her lollipop seeds planted yesterday. We put soil in an old wheel barrow and attached two ribbons going across it – one blue and one pink.

On the pink side Eva Cate had to tell me what acts of kindness she had done recently (before planting the seeds) and reveal a kindness wish for someone. (I wish I could tell you her kindness wish…but it was directed at me and too personal to share…let’s just say that it had me in tears. -We will get Rutledge’s seeds planted later this week-beside the blue ribbon.)

While running errands I shared the photos of our “ceremony” with Samantha at Simple to Sublime since she sponsored the author and book signings.

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Now you didn’t think I would forget this first day of the Month did you? (actually I did) but Cindy’s whimsical bunnies brought me back to April 1…April Fool’s Day. ( I figured I have done enough foolish thing in my life to cover this particular day for a long, long time)

Some of you might have seen some of the bunnies on Facebook…they are precious…so starting today through Easter….we will look at a different “Cindy” Bunny.

Today is the first of the month….Say “Rabbit” for good luck!

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Listen!

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Dear Reader:

This is my “listening” spot….when I eat breakfast outside and listen to the birds and the world waking up….when I eat lunch or dinner out here and watch the sun set, while listening to the last coo’s of nature saying good-night.

One of my favorite times is when darkness is descending and the solar lights come up one by one throughout the garden. It is during these moments that I really “listen” and feel closer to God than any other time.

It is important for us to take time out of our day to simply listen to nature and God.

Ever since I heard the words “Hold my Hand” back in 2008-the night before my first surgery for breast cancer- I have come to recognize that inner voice directing me. Isn’t it amazing (watching all the animal shows) how baby animals always recognize their mother’s voice and vice-versus?

Even now…when I take Eva Cate to the parks here in Summerville…I can distinguish her voice from all the other children’s voices shouting, laughing, and crying.

I think this is true, as children of God, we know when we hear God’s voice…sometimes it just takes us a few more moments to admit it to our mortal rational minds. When people ask how you recognized the voice…the response is universally “Oh you know…you know.”

While reading Godwink Stories- A Devotional (Squire Rushnell * Louise Duart) a “listening” story appeared that I would like to share with you.

“The Voice”

(Dean and Sue Beyer)

Dean and Sue volunteered to help a congregational member move from Arizona to Las Vegas. They arrived safely, unloaded her belongings, grabbed supper in a diner and headed towards Hoover Dam.

They found themselves stuck behind an eighteen wheeler on a two-lane road but Dan knew it would expand to three lanes at the 10 mile marker and he could pass then…so he patiently bided his time.

They had just reached the marker and Dan started pulling out into the middle lane and passing the semi when he heard a voice.

“Quickly! Pull over in front of the truck”! 

Dan looked at the radio but knew it was off…Sue had fallen asleep…where had that voice come from?

There was no one behind him and he had plenty of time to pass the truck before the road went back to two lanes…so he shrugged and kept going.

Suddenly he heard it again…louder and more demanding:

” PULL OVER IN FRONT OF THE TRUCK NOW’!

Dan had been in the military and knew that type of command…and quickly obeyed. As he began turning back off his lane into the lane in front of the truck…he nearly missed some object in the dark night that was standing still…not moving.

He swerved the car quickly and barely missed the object. From his car lights and another coming the opposite direction…he saw what it was. A full grown burro standing in the middle lane.

If he had hit that burro going 65 miles per hour he and his wife Sue would have been killed instantly. He woke Sue up to explain what happened. They pulled over at the next rest stop to say a prayer and thank God for their lives. Dan said he would never forget that voice as long as he lived.

Scripture says: Isaiah 30:21

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying-This is the way, walk in it.”

So until tomorrow…Help us Father take time to listen to You as we are guided in the direction intended for us.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

 Some Bunny is sleeping away…like little bunnies do! Hippity Hop Hop little Lachlan!

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Eva Cate spent the night with me last night…trying on my earrings, a little lipstick and make-up for some modeling…it’s a girl thing we do!

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The Rest of the Story…

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Dear Reader:

I used many of Paul Harvey’s books (The Rest of the Story) to teach history to my students…(because his stories were so fascinating)….He would tell this amazing narrative and then wait for the conclusion to name the famous person he had just described (unknowingly to the reader)…like a Patrick Henry or Benjamin Franklin.

The students had to guess who it was we had been studying and it always made for a fun lesson…because Harvey’s stories personalized these historical figures and turned them into “humans” that students could relate to…

Books, of course, are only one way to tell stories….pictures tell stories too. And today we are going to finish the second half of the alphabet with a “vignette” beside each letter. (Yeah…I figured out a photo for “V” now!) We left off with “M”…so here comes “N”!

N – ightingale (The) – this is novel I am reading right now that I can’t put down! I am sure many of you read it when it came out previously…but somehow I missed it. Brooke is reading it and told me about it. I have been yearning for a book that I can’t put down…and this is it!

The backdrop is WWII-the location France- I am already finding myself looking for things to do around the house so I won’t sit down and finish the rest of the novel at one sitting. I don’t want it to end. The characters have become good friends to me.

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O – “Oh how I love my new rabbit (last year’s threaded apart) in the beautiful orange flower basket…I even added some carrots this year!”

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P – etunia – This tiny little “bush” came up with even  teenier buds and I couldn’t figure out what it was. (It earned the coveted “Plantus Unknownest” spoon beside it) Finally it started popping open this weekend and a dozen striped (yellow and white) blooms appeared…adorable!

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Q – ueen – Queen Eva Cate continues to reign alone as the only female in this generational “pack” so far. She was sad that there wasn’t a princess for her to play with (Lachlan)…but somehow I think she will always keep a “handle” on the situation!

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R – ow of Azaleas. As I was throwing empty plant containers away ( I must have a  zillion of them) I glanced down the side yard and driveway seeing a row of azaleas in bloom…a happy sight.

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S – weet potato plants with beautiful shades of green….they add so much to the garden with their diversity of color…and the solar ball decorations (like this one from Joan) add so much IMG_3717color and light at night! IMG_3718

T -hrift.  My latest addition to the garden…Thrift…these beautiful red blooms are named “Ballerina Red” and they do look like red ballet shoes….so pretty! Some dance music please?

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 U- Universally happy to be who I am, where I am, and how I am…at this stage of my life. Thank you God for your many blessings!

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V – Vignette. Doodle gave me a copy of The Country Rabbit and the Little Gold Shoes this weekend and I am thrilled! I can hardly wait to read it to Eva Cate and Rutledge. Some of you might remember it was written by Dubose Heyward (Porgy and Bess) and tells the story of a female rabbit who is chosen to wear the magical gold shoes (makes you fly) to deliver treats at Easter.

It was written in the 1920’s when “girl power” was making the news… women were seeking the right to vote and flappers were breaking older socially accepted barriers along many lines.

Heyward wrote about a female bunny who gets chosen to deliver the Easter eggs. She does it with a lot of help… everyone of her little bunnies helps out at home while she is away. A great history lesson on the women’s rights movement. And just adorable. Carrie said it was her favorite Easter story!

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W -Wreath  Show me an empty door and I will show you a wreath! Wreaths add so much happiness to plain doors.

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X – “X” marks the spot for a luscious looking fern in an old wicker chair…southern charm.

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Y – “Ya Ya” bench….given to me in 2012 when the garden was still just a dream…it sat inside my house taunting me for over a year…(“Do It!”)…to follow my dreams…create the secret garden filled with imagination for the grandchildren.

Build it and they will come.” It must have worked…the grandchildren have kept coming! And with a lot of help from many of you readers…the garden is “real.” The bench is a testimony to it!

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Z- Zinnias  Thank you God for zinnias so I have something that starts with a “Z”! Amen!

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So until tomorrow…You never cease to amaze and delight me Father with Your alphabet of creations on earth for us to enjoy during our stay.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

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Pastimes of Spring with Photos

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Dear Reader:

Since it was pretty cool yesterday morning…(like Lucy the cat) I found myself basking in the beautiful sunshine…actually sitting on the deck in “Lucy’s lounge chair” as she looked at me disdainfully for taking her “throne.” (Hey, I paid for it…it is brand new…thank you!)

As I was drowsily drifting off I started remembering games we used to play as kids…especially road games when traveling.

I See” was always a popular one. (besides counting cows and then losing them to the cemetery on the right or left of where you were positioned in the car…sadly there are few cows or church cemeteries left  (even on the back, back roads) any more for this game)

One version of “I See”  that we played was the alphabet game. Whoever spotted an “A” word first got  1 pt and so on…so I decided to take my Iphone camera and play the game…both in the house and outside. No pressure in this version to find it first…just find it and document it with a photo.

So on this cool spring afternoon….here goes. I will do the first half of the alphabet today and the second half tomorrow.

A – Azalea- What would our beloved  Flowertown in the Pines (and Festival) be without our famous azaleas? (even if the larger Formosas are late coming in this year… which is rather ironic…since we have had years they have come and gone by the festival.)

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B- Barbour – Even after all this time I can’t bring myself to take down mother’s door knocker that she received as a retirement gift before moving to Summerville to live with us.

After her passing…none of the subsequent renters ever questioned it remaining intact on the door…and it still makes me happy to see mother’s door knocker symbolizing daddy’s Scottish heritage every day.

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C – Cat.…as in Lucy. Her owner thought she was on her last stretch a few years ago…but with some food and a little loving she is still here. We share a lot in common as two older gals just enjoying the sunshine of life. (You noticed that she “skunked” my lounge chair back when I moved on.)

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D - Dogwood.  In Fayetteville, NC (where I grew up) we had more dogwood trees than you could “shake a stick at.” Not as many azaleas, like Summerville, but big beautiful beautiful dogwood trees.

In my childhood neighborhood…I can’t remember a single house on my block that didn’t have at least one dogwood in it. It truly looked like a faerieland in the spring! (Picture of my across the street neighbor’s dogwood)

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E - Eating. The Charleston area is certainly famous for its cuisine (which is part of the popularity problem for the ever-growing population)

As for me…I have simple tastes…for example I took this picture of my favorite Girl Scout cookie (mint) to use for the letter “G”…after which I took a bite for the letter “E-ating.two birds with one stone! (or that’s how the cookie crumbles)

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F – Faeries (old English spelling that I love)

I love this art decorated window frame that I bought from Kay at Baker’s ( Pond) Nursery …it now hangs on my side fence and makes me smile in imaginative anticipation at the sight of faeries playing in the garden…playing peek or boo with us.

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G – Gerber Daisies.  Since I just finished filling my front porch planters with Gerber daisies (to sit on the front steps below the morning glory and moon flower seed planters) I choose them for the letter “G“…they make me happy with their bright colors and cheery disposition…even if they are thirsty little creatures. (and of course the original Girl Scout cookie photo…before the food attack.)

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H- “Happy Room”- My den changes in decor….along with my personal changes in life…but, still, it always remains cloaked in sunshine and bright primary colors. I never tire of walking into my home and brightening up at the sight of it. It never fails to put a smile on my face!

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I- I Love You! …for all of your support and encouragement throughout the years since the blog (Chapel of Hope Stories) started in August 2010. You have been there for me through highs and lows and kept me writing…helping mecontribute my part to the “lake.”

Jean Rhys famous quote:…”All that matters is feeding the lake. I don’t matter. The lake matters. You must keep feeding the lake‘”…keep writing!

 

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J-akie. Eva Cate, Rutledge, and Lachlan….My “Thank You Note” to God…my breath of life.

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K – Key.  A change in the “Happy Room“…with a large decorative “key” that lies on the wall behind the mantle to remind me that I must keep turning the key to every possibility that arises in life. Locked doors just produce dusty by-gones.

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L- LOVE.  These days my heart overflows with love…it happens every time I get a glimpse of the future with the addition of another member to our family.

The latest being an “L” of course (Lachlan). Walsh said when he was good ….he would be the “Lach” (luck) of the Irish and when he was bad…he would be the “Lach” (loch) Ness Monster. Either way Boo Boo will love him forever…as she does all her precious treasures… called grandchildren.

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M-My “Magic” Moon Gate.  Like my “Happy Room” I never tire of walking out on the deck and seeing my moon gate smiling back at me…the entrance to a dream turned reality with the help of Anne, Doodle, Harriett, my Ya’s…and so many of you readers who have contributed a flower, decoration, bench, solar light, or plant to it. (And John Lee for building the moon gate for me!)

The “MY” in my garden only means “My My” how blessed I am to have friends who take time to reach out and push another fellow traveler… higher to the stars….higher to her dreams!

 

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We are half-way through the alphabet so I will end here for today but as Scarlet so aptly expressed: “Tomorrow is another day” and more pictures to come.

So until tomorrow…remember to pause and capture memories on photo before the memories fade from our minds.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

img_1261* We heard from the prayer line that my (our) friend, Linda Carson, had to return to Trident to make some repairs from her earlier surgery last Monday.

Please keep Linda, her husband Rick, and her caring family in your prayers also. I don’t know what I would have done without Linda by my side explaining everything to me during the chemo sessions I underwent. God ran out of sugar after making Linda…sweetest girl, friend, and nurse around!

*Linda with Eva Cate in one chemo session a little over a couple of years ago. They grow up too fast!

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* Anne emailed to reassure us she had reached Hawaii and gotten hooked up with her sister and brother-in-law….she said they were chasing rainbows and soon would leave for their snorkeling adventures. (Let’s hope a certain kind of fish isn’t chasing Anne)

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” The South: Where Summer Starts in April”

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The South
The place where…Tea is sweet… accents are sweeter
Summer starts in April
Macaroni and Cheese is a vegetable
Ya’ll is the only proper noun
Chicken is fried and biscuits come with gravy
Everyone is Darling’ and
Someone’s heart is always being blessed (unknown)

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 Dear Reader:

I love this phrase defining the South and nothing denotes summer more than sunflowers! I couldn’t help myself Thursday when I was in Mt. Pleasant and stopped by Whole Foods… I just had to break down and buy these beautiful flowers and berries!

Why? Because it makes me happy and I have finally reached the stage in life when making me happy is getting a lot easier.

The subtle innuendos for permission to treat yourself to something for yourself (really hard for mothers) arrived in 1971 with the MacDonald marketing ad:

“You Deserve a Break Today”

Two years later came the famous advertising campaign from L’Oreal hair coloring…using the sexy voice of Cybill Shepherd saying “Sure it costs more…(dramatic pause) and I’m worth it.”

Actually the L’Oreal product just cost 10 cents more than their largest rival, Clairol’s Nice & Easy…but it was those three famous words “I’m worth it” that has made L’Oreal out-sell their competitors for over four decades.

In 1991…Cybill Shepherd re-appeared in another sexy commercial ….now saying:

Like a  lot of us, Preference just keeps getting better and better. And I’m worth it.”

While debating whether to buy this bouquet of beautiful flowers at Whole Foods…I really did justify the extra cost …because “I am worth it”…to myself and the people around me…to occasionally do things that make me happy and subsequently… a happy person to be around.

It has taken me decades to be able to do something like this… I proudly paid the cashier the money while we both oohed and aahed together over how pretty the flowers were…leaving the store with two sets of smiles…mine and the cashier’s…

Like the phrase …”Summer starts in April” (in the South) we, the residents of the South, know that, the reality is, it can be summer one day and winter the next. ( This weekend’s weather report in the last days of March…before “summer”… gives credence to this fact.)

Spring, here at home, is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs on the temperature gauge. The long process in accepting myself, with all my weaknesses and quirks (and more importantly liking myself) has been quite a roller coaster ride in itself.

I can now look back at some turbulent events in my childhood that took place…uncontrollable events that rocked my security … and see how it all pushed me down a “dead-end” detour for too much of my life. In hindsight I made some un-wise choices based on the need for security.

I didn’t realize that by letting God be my security and lessening my reins on earthly “uncontrollable events” and “fickle people”… the creative side of myself (that God bestowed upon me) was now free. I was finally ‘free to be me.’

Self-compassion is so important in our lives.

We think that by striving to be “perfect” we can avoid pain and suffering but it is the quest for perfection that brings anguish into our lives. Instead we need to actualize self-compassion.

” A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” ( Chris Germer)

To be one’s best is not the same thing as being perfect…there is no such thing as a perfect person. (with the exception of Jesus) The rest of us need to strive to encompass our God-given talents and then share them with our fellow man. Period!

For me…worrying about what other people thought was my other downfall.

I needed someone to pull me aside, as a youth or young adult, and say, “Becky, quit worrying about what someone might think of you. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to please someone else.The only person you need to please is God…If you put your priorities there, the rest will fall in place.” 

Since I never got that message during my youth I had to detour and travel the bumpy road in the quest for perfection and all its failures accompanying it…to find the truth myself.

This quote from Anna Quindlen pretty much sums it up:

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”

Isn’t it a wonderful feeling of release when we finally grasp the truth about “Imperfection”? …as expressed in this idea:

If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice it’s knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty, strength, and imperfection go together wonderfully.

So until tomorrow…Help us Father learn to love ourselves as You love us…not as “perfectionists” (but as recovering perfectionists)  “good-enoughists” in Your Eyes.

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

* In response to the play with words blog yesterday…Sis Kinney replied with:

I LOVE hearing about new words – sometimes they’re really corny, and other times they really do make sense! My mother always used to say, of a person who had done something particularly nice, kind, or thoughtful, “How thoughty of [her, him, them].” I find myself using the same word every now and again. (Don’t we all become our mothers?)

(“Thoughty” will be my new word now… (I love it!) and yes…we certainly are our “Mother’s daughters”….seeing it more and more every day of my life.)

* A “Shout-out” to Sarahliz Photography for taking pictures that melt a grandmother’s heart. Some of you might remember the photos Sarah (friend of Mollie and Walsh) took in the fall with the pumpkins of Walsh, Mollie, and Rutledge.

She has her website set up on FACEBOOK now and you can go on her site for information on how to contact her if you would like her to come take pictures. She is marvelous and so good with children.

SarahLiz Photography | Facebook

If you would like to look at her pictures of Lachlan and family…you may do so by clicking on this link.

http://sarahlizphotography20.pixieset.com/babylachlan/
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In all “Truthiness”… I am a Happy Noob! Woot!

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Dear Reader:

After receiving that wonderful gift from Jo and Colby Wednesday about the 100th anniversary of Webster dictionary… with the reproduction of a page from Noah Webster’s very first dictionary…I decided to look up the latest words to be added to the dictionary.

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I discovered a marvelous website called: Mental_ Floss created by a personable-looking young man named Lucas Reilly. I love the way he thinks…very creative and funny. He had a list of 35 words that Oxford dictionary has accepted into its latest publication.

It is from this list that I came up with three new words in the title blog….like “truthiness” (which Stephen Colbert discovered and used over and over on his show.)

Truthiness” (n) means: the quality of seeming to be true…even if it is not.

Noob (n): A person who is inexperienced in a particular sphere or activity, especially computing or the use of the Internet. (Definitely me!)

Woot (ex): (Especially in electronic communication) Used to express elation, enthusiasm, or triumph

I am a happy “Noob” who manages to somehow stay afloat in the computer age (barely) and every time I learn something new or do something correctly on the computer or Iphone the first try out…I will start yelling “Woot!” from now on!

One of the grandchildren’s toys is still here (photo picture) and (in all “truthiness“) I can barely manage to work it…but I did manage to get the first line melody to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” played and then gave myself an oral “Woot” for my perseverance!

As Reilly observed…most of the words that made it into the Oxford dictionary were two words put together….like:

Screenager (n): A person in their teens or twenties who has an aptitude for computers and the Internet

Locavore (n): A person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food

Infomania (n): The compulsive desire to check or accumulate news and information, typically via mobile phone or computer.

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Lucas Reilly produces a magazine I want to subscribe to (named Mental_Floss) which contains all kinds of new words, ideas, expressions…I feel that I will need this to be able to communicate with my grandchildren soon! It’s a whole new world out there I am learning.

His website also connects to some other great, creative websites and I loved this one on innovative Easter eggs. These creative “eggs” aren’t really eggs at all as you see in this link. Miss Cellania is really imaginative! These are too too cute!

9 Strange and Different Easter Treats | Mental Floss

If coming up with new words means simply putting two ideas/words together…as a grandmother I can come up with:

1) Eva Cate-avore    IMG_3416

2) Rutlege-avore  IMG_3634

IMG_34263) Jakie-avore

4) Lach-avore  IMG_2398

They all mean that I could just “eat them all up” every time I see them….(figuratively, of course!)

Speaking of…I am getting hungry for supper…so this will be a short blog for a fun Friday… especially since it is the beginning of spring break for the public schools… With teachers and students alike…  more than ready for it! Everyone have a safe, fun break and Happy Easter!

So until tomorrow…as Robert Frost once said:

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. 

 Thank you God for life and its continuance for all of us, our families,and loved ones.

Words come and go but if we follow the Word we never get lost.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* Perhaps I should have named Lachlan….”Dimples-avore” as you can readily surmise from this adorable photo Mollie sent me yesterday.

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The “Green” of Spring or Fifty Shades of Green

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Dear Reader:

Within a two foot radius in my garden…there are three different shades of green growing stronger every day…stemming from dark to light to yellow-green…all strikingly beautiful.

I remember a couple of years ago when I toured Linwood’s Bed & Breakfast gardens…(Linda Shelbourne’s beautiful home and gardens)…she told our group that she didn’t try to keep blooming flowers alive in the hot summer months in the lowcountry…she simply diversified the shades of green in shrubs, bushes, and trees through-out her exquisite gardens.

It was a lesson that stuck with me. If I were running an “official” B&B I wouldn’t have time for all the pruning and watering necessary to keep flowers alive in the hot, humid months of the lowcountry south either. (So I pay the price for my love of flowers with high water bills  through-out the summer and early fall months.)

But I did take to heart the lesson of planting varying shades of green… and now I purposefully look for flowers or plants that diversify this color- the color that dominates nature.

The word “green” has a Germanic origin and consists of two root words “grass” and “grow.” Perfect combination, isn’t it? The color green symbolizes the hope of life and continual renewal of it.

Because the color green is so familiar to us (through its dominance in nature) it is a peaceful color to use and hospitals have traditionally gone with it to help patients heal in calming harmony with nature.

* And of course our latest “addition” (Lachlan) arrived on St. Paddy’s day ….the day when “green” rules.

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I agree with all these ideas about this beautiful color…because as I walked around my yard, garden, and neighborhood yesterday…I felt a calming, peaceful presence accompanying me.

So now come along…and I will show you (perhaps not 50) but several diverse shades of the color green in my neighborhood

Here are the three plants from the title photo (taken separately)…they are all close neighbors and offer such a variety of green in their section of the garden.

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During this time of the year I keep an on-going love/hate relationship with my two oak trees…one in the back and one that hangs over my car in the driveway from my neighbor’s yard. The continuous brown leaves falling, falling, falling gets pretty old about now.

But then, once they have fallen, the beautiful shade of green that emerges is breath-taking! Never again….will the green on an oak tree be that fresh-looking…like it just went through the washing machine….it sparkles and how I love it. (Throw in some yellow jessamine growing among its branches and it is just about perfect!)

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I have been fighting a bare spot around my Bradford Pear tree for several years…nothing sticks in the way of grass seeds. But this year moss has appeared and I am perfectly happy with it…maybe some Irish moss got stuck to the bottom of my shoes while there last summer….However it arrived…it is getting the job done…covering the bald spot! I also like the contrast between my boxwoods…

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On the right side of my house (facing it) nature has pretty much been left alone to do what it wants. (In other words I haven’t touched anything over there in a long time.) The azaleas have become trees and really large bushes…but it is this “wilderness” separating my neighbor’s and my property that is I am drawn to each spring.

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Even the grass re-appears as if it has just finished a calming shower and smells as fresh as it looks…especially after the first cutting.

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The tea olive bush isn’t my favorite in the green coloring category but it sure makes up in fragrance what it lacks in color…especially right now as we speak….I love walking around the corner of my house where my tea plant is located…UMMMM!

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Let’s turn out attention now to flowers and lovely green plants….with creeping Jenny to add another dimension of color…..to so many floral pots.

Even this indoor plant that I have had for several years keeps its green gleen…I think the plant is in love with girl behind it….

Last week I heard a thump and jumped. Redbird had fallen for some strange reason…I jumped up and placed it back in its spot quickly…don’t want any bad luck following me!

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“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”

–Pedro Calderon de la Barca [Spanish poet and playwright, 1600-1681]

So until tomorrow…let us all stay green, fresh, and open to God’s voice leading us along our path through life and the green of nature.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* I just talked about geese in the blog yesterday… and then two of them stopped in the middle of the road on Marion Avenue and stared at me as I slammed on brakes while they slowly and regally crossed the road. (Maybe that is what the I-26 signs are all about back home here in Summerville: (Expect the Unexpected.)

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* Donna Clark responded this morning with a quote she remembers her grandmother saying:

My grandmother always said, “God’s favorite color must be green because He made so many shades of green

( I read once that God picked green for earth and blue for skies because they are the most calming, peaceful colors to live in and under….Since God is the meticulous “detailer” and “planner” I think this is probably right….great choices!)

* I had another lovely surprise yesterday…Jo and her granddaughter, Colby, stopped by bearing gifts from Simple to Sublime. Jo said when she saw this… the history gal recognized what another history gal would love… and I did.

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Most of you recognize John Lennon’s lyrics from his song “Imagine” (which is pretty cool in itself) but it is the words behind the Lennon lyrics in dark black… that are fascinating.

The words come from a reproduction of the original dictionary by Noah Webster celebrating its 100th birthday from 2013. What a lovely keepsake…thank you so much Jo and Colby!

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And speaking of keepsakes Colby handed me this silver token with the words IMAGINE on it since I love imagination so much…but not as much as I love Jo and Colby!

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You knew I would have to place it on my “green” place mat…bring the blog full circle!

* Sorry I missed you Lassie, Pap, and Doodle….my Easter bunnies who hopped by when I was returning something at Belk’s…glad you got to see the garden and liked it….Love you sisters of mine!

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