Grandpa Charlie’s Biscuits-His All-American Favorite Food

Dear Reader:

I wish I could say I remember my Granddaddy Wilson…You have heard me refer to Grandmother Wilson many times with her wits of wisdom and common sense approach to life…She was the one who also helped raise me for almost a year following my father’s death.

What is even more remarkable about grandmother’s grit is the fact that  Grandaddy died within months of my father and then daddy’s father died just weeks before he did. (So within a small scale of months I lost my father and both grandfathers.)

My only memories of Granddaddy Wilson come from the stories grandmother told me as a child. The one thing that stands out above all else (one small remnant of a memory) is that he loved grandmother’s biscuits. He liked them plain, with gravy but most of all he loved homemade biscuits with molasses! For him…this was dessert!

Grandmother always put either sausage gravy, bacon gravy, or ham gravy on Granddaddy’s breakfast biscuits…it was his favorite part of breakfast. It certainly kept him fortified until lunch when dinner was served…the biggest meal of the day.

The mid-day meal had to give granddaddy the strength to work those cotton fields until supper. Supper was the smallest meal…usually some left-overs from dinner and some evenings granddaddy would say he was just too tired to eat…but he would appreciate it…if Mary Ellen would fix him a couple of biscuits and molasses for a little “dessert” and then wink at her.

Granddaddy Wilson’s heart gave out on him and he suffered during his last days but one day he was feeling a little better and probably more to please grandmother than anything else…he said he thought he could eat a small biscuit with molasses for his “dessert.”

Grandmother asked if he didn’t want a plain biscuit, or a  biscuit with gravy but he shook his head and with a tired smile said…“No Mary Ellen…it takes longer to pour the molasses on that biscuit and I want to spend it all with you.” He died later that night.

Jo sent a “Biscuit Prayer” to me, recently, which I vaguely remembered hearing a long time ago… but it felt like it was meant to be read this July the Fourth. It, also, got me remembering Granddaddy Wilson. I sense he would have loved this prayer, especially on this patriotic day. I hope you, too, enjoy it.

“The Biscuit Prayer”

A while back I read a story of a visiting pastor who attended a men’s breakfast in the middle of a rural farming area of the country.

The group had asked an older farmer, decked out in bib overalls, to say grace for the morning breakfast.

“Lord, I hate buttermilk,” the farmer began.

The visiting pastor opened one eye to glance at the farmer and

wondered where this was going.

The farmer loudly proclaimed, “Lord, I hate lard.”

Now the pastor was growing concerned.

Without missing a beat, the farmer continued, “And Lord, you know I don’t much care for raw white flour.”

 

The pastor once again opened an eye to glance around the room and saw that he wasn’t the only one feeling uncomfortable.

Then the farmer added, “But Lord, when you mix them all together and bake them, I do love warm fresh biscuits.

So Lord, when things come up that we don’t like, when life gets hard, when we don’t understand what you’re saying to us, help us to just relax and wait until you are done mixing.

It will probably be even better than biscuits

 Amen.”

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Within that prayer there is great wisdom for all when it comes to complicated situations like what we are experiencing in the world today.

Stay strong, my friends, because our LORD is mixing several things that we don’t really care for, but something even better is going to come when HE is done with it.

AMEN

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So until tomorrow… While you are enjoying your July the Fourth holiday picnic…Perhaps pizza, corn on the cob,  barbecue, hot dogs or whatever…maybe even a biscuit or two :)…know that alone or separate… we can’t fight this virus… but together…united in spirit and kindness… our great country can prevail and be better for it and for the generations to come.

Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Patriotic scenes that make me happy!

Have a safe holiday and let’s say a special prayer for God’s guidance through this difficult days! We need Him to shine the lantern to lead us out of the darkness.

 

 

 

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Take Time for a Slow “Mojo” Day…You Deserve It!

Dear Reader:

Just before I headed over to Vickie’s beautiful back garden to feed Sweet Fuzz (the cat I am babysitting) her breakfast and pour some clean cool water in her bowl…something caught my eye in my own back yard garden…It was a turtle…slowly making its way across the yard from the fence to the garden path.

I was in the middle of tying up the sunflower stems…they are so tall and thin…they just collapsed under the weight of the torrential rains a few nights ago. (looking like a deflated giant yellow and green mushroom spiral.)

I got some cord…the sunflower stems were sticky and scratchy…not fun to work with…by any stretch of the imagination…but I finally got it done! (It was like tying up a Christmas tree to lug to the car)

When I finally turned round the turtle was missing…no way it could have made it across the big back yard into the garden…but it had…I actually found it on the other side of the garden…this turtle’s name should be “Speedy Gonzales!”

Right after seeing the turtle in the garden…I came across two other turtle symbols (within an hour)…a school teacher/student t-shirt (on-line) and a turtle garden design from a  high school friend on Facebook…

Very strange…Somebody was sending turtle vibes my way…and I finally decided I was being cautioned to slow down in this extreme heat and just cool it inside.

I made one trip out to drop off some start-up supplies for my niece, Bekah and her daughter, Ady in their new apartment…They weren’t home so I left the goodies and gift cards in a bag by their door. Glad they had a happy surprise when they returned! Have fun ordering off Amazon girls! I sure do! 🙂

I got back, fixed a banana sandwich for lunch and fell asleep until I heard Jeff outside…he had returned to cut my bushes out front down, down, down!

They only have been trimmed but never really cut in all the years I have lived here…so  I was ready to get them cut down to my window ledge level…and not have the “giant” azalea bushes and others bushes dominating the front facade of the house.

The azaleas will have to go through an “ugly” wood stage… but not for long with this hot, wet summer we are having…the green foliage will cover it in a blink…in the meantime I am so happy to finally get the front bushes in a more manageable and organized condition.

Now when I look out my window..I don’t see a wall of green any more…but I get to see life in the neighborhood.

Isn’t it hard to believe we are already at the Fourth of July? What is the old adage about time…”The days are long but the years fly by?”

Even deliberately slowing down my personal day yesterday…the sun kept rising, then climbing, then sinking…while the moon took over its cycle of time. No matter what we do or don’t do…stay busy or not…nothing changes the daily natural cycle of life. Thank you God for that one constant comfort of reliability…of dependability!

Even when we ignore time (or try to) life keeps growing in spite of it.

So until tomorrow…While we sometimes (during these pandemic days) seem”stuck” in the waiting room of life…this, too, will pass. In the meantime….Give yourself a “slow” moving day as needed! 🙂 and remember: “Be gentle on yourself.”

 

 

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Life Imitating Art…Letting Creativity Flourish at Home

Dear Reader:

I had two green mountain apples the other day and was just about to place them in a hanging fruit basket in the kitchen…when suddenly I remembered how pretty the shadows were on the side garden fence with the outdoor hanging flower baskets.

I gathered and placed them on the ledge running along the faded wooden fence and loved the results! The beauty and charm of summer flowers, green apples, and a weathered-beaten fence just made me happy. (As simple as that!)

I have become conscious in the past few weeks… that I am drawn more and more to discovering beauty from the mundane, ordinary “art” scenes in my daily life. With a little research I have located many European and American artists who are feeling the same way…they have developed a new art form called Quarantinart.”

Social media today is filled with our friends’ photos of old family recipes including stews, soups, casseroles,  homemade breads, and makeshift masks crafted while staying home due to the coronavirus. But if we keep looking… it is easy to find another layer of at-home concoctions: “Scenes reenacting famous paintings and photographs in creative ways.”

For many viewers these creative reenactments from the Masters paintings are soothing feelings of claustophobia and, instead, anchoring “comfort and joy.” Here is an example from one artist.

  (Vermeer “The Milkmaid.”)

Meet Italian artist, Chiara Grilli, a teacher at the Università di Bari in Macerata, Italy. Grilli, like many in Italy, has been working remotely.

This gives me plenty of time — too much, actually,” she told TIME. She lives in a two-room apartment with her boyfriend — “no balcony, no garden” — and after two weeks, she says she felt “asphyxiated.”

But then she got several ideas from just scenes of shadows and sunshine falling differently in their small apartment…and watching pictures of people making bread again and performing simple tasks to make basic meals on Facebook.

The idea was born for re-creating Vermeer’s  ” The Milk Maid.” It caught on rapidly and now several famous museums are displaying the creative re-enactments of the famous Masters artisans of old.

For those of you who have followed the blog for awhile…you know I am always taking photos of shadows and light in my home and outside in the garden or neighborhood. Here are just a few from the past and present….

What got me pondering all the beauty of art around us…was when I opened the shutters the other morning…the window screens were dotted with raindrops from another powerful thunderstorm.

As the rising sun hit my bushes in front of the window…it looked like a bright, beautiful abstract “lime” painting to me…It was just something about those rain droplets, stuck to the screen, sparkling in the morning light…What a way to start a day!

So until tomorrow…Isn’t life always about finding beauty and peace in wherever we are with what we have…not what we don’t? For whatever is lacking in reality can be made up quickly with our imagination and creativity!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

What a way now to “end the day!”

 

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Suspension of Time, Space, and Water

Dear Reader:

If you are like me doesn’t this period of coronavirus time feel like we are suspended in space and time just waiting to settle…but not sure where?

Do you remember perhaps, as a child, making a craft ocean bottle at the beach? We would first gather water from the ocean…some pebbles, perhaps some colorful beads…finally sprinkling in sand. Then we would shake it, and like a snow globe, watch in fascination as the sand slowly settled on the bottom (perhaps with minute salt crystals)…the “suspended” particles leisurely floating downward.

I don’t think I “got” that there was a scientific lesson on “suspension” and the weight of particles… squeezed in the project at the time…but we loved playing with it while on vacation and later back home. It is still one of those memories that return quickly upon seeing an “ocean” bottle on display.

Some days, these days, I feel like those sand particles…like my world has suddenly been shaken up and I am slowly settling down but without direction as to where, when, or how? Anybody else out there feeling a little “suspended” too?

Some moments I feel a little “homesick” for the “old normal” life….like a sand particle that knows exactly where its place belongs on the bottom of the ocean. Still, I suppose, particles are like people…one never knows when the bottom of the ocean will be disturbed by man or mother nature…sending sand and salt particles flying out in all directions…until life calms down, the storm or interruption passes,  and a new setting becomes the new familiar.

So until tomorrow… “The new unknown to us lies not beyond the coronavirus…but within each of us…our new personal “frontiers.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

I purposefully plant new flowers each year… thus deliberately changing my garden world… so why shouldn’t I expect to do the same thing to my personal world… to make it bloom even more beautifully with yearly changes.

 And what about photos…aren’t they modern man’s way of suspending time for memories?

Mandy                              Walsh                              Tommy

 

***And today…All of our feet firmly planted on the ground (At least long enough for the time it took to take a photo 🙂

 

 

 

 

Guess What? “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit“! It’s the first day of July! Hard to believe! Let’s make it a spectacular one!

 

 

 

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What Would Summer Be…Without Tomatoes?

Dear Reader:

We have all heard the expression “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” but I am of the belief that the round red fruit (and vegetable) we need to eat for our health is tomatoes…juicy red tomatoes!

 

Yesterday was my monthly oncology visit…and unfortunately I had a “bad” night before it…I had stomach issues and cramps. I tossed and turned most of the night. Verzenio, the oral chemo drug I am on, causes a variety of stomach side effects and I am pretty used to them by now…but the timing was “bad” Sunday night.

I had an early appointment yesterday morning and I felt like a drugged rag doll getting ready. Then I prayed I wasn’t running a fever..didn’t feel like it…but again…everything just seemed a little “off.”

I lined my prayers up in chronological order…first I had to “pass” the temperature test in order to be seen, secondly I had to get blood work done and third- gets all my vital signs checked… before I could go over the results with my doctor…and I needed everything from the temperature check, to all the vital signs like (blood pressure and heart rhythm) to be in the normal range…hopefully.

I have to laugh at the first entry test…my temperature. All the way from Summerville to N. Charleston I had the air conditioning on high hoping it would perk me up from my sleepless night. I had it blowing directly on my face.

The medical examiner took my temperature with the latest forehead thermometer and then shook her head…”It says 94.7…this thermometer must be broken” she held it up to my forehead again and got the same results… I told her it was usually 97.4… which it really is just about every time.

Oh well” she shook her head and said...I must be seeing things backwards this morning…but at least we certainly know you are not running a temperature” and motioned me on to the next stop- checking in and filling out paperwork.

Then on to the lab for my blood work, followed by weight and vital signs and lastly my appointment to go over the blood work results. One of the “Physician Assistants” whom I adore came in and said she would be checking my vitals and  go over the blood test results with me for my appointment.

Weight-good (one nice thing about having “little c” is weight stability or  even gain is considered good…losing weight continuously…not so good.)  My blood pressure came back better than usual…think I was so tired I couldn’t get up enough energy to send it skyrocketing like usual.

And for once my blood work results were better than normal-nothing was even discussed concerning the low white cell count. I tried not to grin…here I was feeling wasted and getting my best overall blood work  report in the last few months. Life is an enigma.

So my P.A. and I just talked about our gardens and how beautiful and/or bountiful they were this year. She was growing vegetables and organic tomatoes…she told me she had started bringing tomatoes in for lunch each day and was having to stand over one of the sinks to eat her tomato sandwich because the tomatoes were so juicy they ran down her chin.

She must have seen my mouth literally watering…because as we walked out together…she called me over and handed me one of her beautiful, red organic tomatoes. “Have a great lunch today” she whispered.

She had also brought tomatoes for her colleagues and some of my former nurses, other P.A.’s and pharmacists gathered around as a second P.A. (who knows my daughter-in-law Mollie and had a son in the same class as Rutledge last year)…told the group about what my grandson had told her in an earlier conversation before the coronavirus hit. .

She said she introduced herself to Rutledge at school one day as being one of the cancer medical staff who knew his grandmother and was working hard to keep his Boo Boo up and going and enjoying life… being able to be a grandmother to him, his brother and sister, and cousins.

She told me  and the assembled gathering ..that first grader Rutledge replied, ” Thank you for helping Boo Boo with her cancer…but God is the One Who is really healing my Boo Boo… so she can be our grandmother forever.” (Oh the beautiful innocence of faith in children)

There wasn’t a dry eye in the group. Suddenly the long night of tossing and turning morphed into a most beautiful morning.

When I got home I got out my Captain Derst Old-Fashioned “yella” bread, mayo, my last slice of bacon, salt and pepper and fixed the best tomato sandwich I have had all season ! No stomach issues at lunch! (And of course my potato chips…can’t eat a sandwich without some!) 🙂

So until tomorrow…

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

My second hibiscus opened up and another amazing surprise! Beautiful!

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No Day is the Same

Dear Reader:

Life fascinates me…no matter how many pine trees are in a forest… none are exactly alike upon closer inspection. Ask any parents of multiples births…(their children might be physically “identical” twins, triplets, quads, etc.) but each one’s emotional and social personality is unique to only that one.

And even though I have certainly complained about the similar days-restricted to home- and how I have spent them..dividing each day into garden time, meals, walking, reading, watching television, and blog writing…no day has really been the same upon reflection.

*I find different floral surprises blooming every day in the garden that weren’t there the day before, preparation of different meals, finishing one book and starting another story, different shows on television, and especially different idea for blog posts.

***I just discovered what color the second hibiscus is going to be…either a cream color or a pale yellow…here’s a peek of it starting to unfold.

Saturday evening definitely broke the mold for “same old…same old.” The past few days have been in the 90’s…hot and sticky…but Saturday night the sameness changed in a quick moment…a scary quick moment!

Around 8:30 I had put the garden to sleep…giving it one last drink of water…putting up the swing and bench pillows in case of rain and had come back in the house ‘to settle in’ for the night. The television was on and I had gone back to my bedroom to get “pinkie” robe … since a strange, almost chilly air, had started blowing in the front windows. And then it happened. Godzilla Dust Storm met Terrifying Thunderstorm!

Suddenly…everything got loud! Really loud! My first thought was my refrigerator was dying…but then I realized the sound was outside…you could actually feel the tension of the loud winds building up to some great crescendo…and POW! with a gushing sound the wind blew in my open windows so furiously it knocked over my small planter tables sending dirt and plants flying…

I thought “tornado” and flew towards the bathroom…rain and wind continued to pound the roof furiously as I heard broken limbs hitting all around…I gathered my courage and returned to close all the windows before any more damage could be done inside my house.

I don’t know what the scientific term is when wind starts swirling in circles like a tornado but not a regular tornado…smaller and more numerous…perhaps a “swirling dervish.” It was over in a short period but it  left me quaking in the after-math.

At first when I woke up Sunday morning…I was shocked not to see as much debris as I thought…but then when I went to check on the computer and blog post…I glanced out the window…and there it was several large tree branches that looked more like parts of trees ripped away.

 

I worked most of the morning picking up tree branches that were manageable…and left the one big tree limb for Jeff who is coming Tuesday for my regular lawn maintenance. But I made the mistake of sending the big limb photo to Vickie, my neighbor.

After working all morning inside and outside cleaning up debris…I fell into a “dead” sleep Sunday afternoon. When I woke up…I went to write this post and the tree limb was gone??? How? I had dragged one part of it off the Ginger Shells ( since the thick trunk was squashing them)…and that about did me in. Who was able to move it?

It was then I saw Vickie cutting her grass and was praying hard she didn’t do anything like that by herself…she had mentioned stopping by after she finished work at the golf club…but I never heard a knock or bell ring…couldn’t imagine her being able to pull that heavy thing to the street…but she had.

When I confronted her…she just grinned and said it wasn’t her…it was a big fairy. I responded it must have been a giant fairy!…Vickie should try out for some marathon or something…just amazing.

So glad “wimpy me” can at least help repay the kindness by keeping Vickie’s cat Fuzz a few days this week while she is visiting her granddaughter. When I followed her over to her rain forest (back yard  garden)…so pretty…she showed me Fuzz’s new “house” in the forest and more beautiful foliage.

Isn’t it “funny” how we get bored when things seem too much alike day after day…until something frightening happens and then we just want to return to the good old normal days with less drama?

So until tomorrow…

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

While picking up debris yesterday I noticed two new blooms on the Spanish petunias and a red rose that had survived the torrential winds and rains… beauty always lives on.

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History Repeats Itself in Board Games

 

Dear Reader:

It is interesting to realize… if we ever take time to research the history behind many famous children and adult board games… that there is a common core stemming from their origins. They all emerged from challenging situations historically.

One example, of course, is the game Monopoly and how it was a way to live in a fantasy world during the Great Depression with the hope of getting rich on a board game…while in reality the players had lost most of their economic jobs, hopes and dreams.

I made a personal startling observation while writing this blog and that was the fact that my mother was born in 1919 in the midst of the great Spanish Influenza and I was born thirty years later in the midst of the worst stage of the Polio epidemic. A case of history repeating itself.

Some of my earliest memories dealt with staying home in the summer and not being allowed in public pools or camps because of the spread of polio.

I remember being terrified of seeing children my age inside one of the “iron lungs” on black and white television…I had nightmares over that for a long time!

 

Years passed and we moved to Laurens, SC (in the sixties) when I was 14…I became a Candy Striper (volunteer) at the local hospital.

I still vividly remember helping give out sugar cubes to prevent polio one Saturday at a nearby high school in Gray Court.

 

The origin of the still popular children’s board game, Candy Land, was created in direct correlation of the polio epidemic. Here is the story behind it.

It was created by Eleanor Abbott, a retired schoolteacher, who contracted polio, and found herself in a polio ward during the epidemic of the 1940s and ’50s.

(The outbreak  forced children into extremely restrictive environments. Quite similar to today’s restrictions.)

In 1948,  Eleanor Abbott invented Candy Land while recovering in a San Diego hospital. Abbott had been diagnosed with polio and during her convalescence she was surrounded by children suffering from the same disease. The experience inspired her to create a game that would entertain children during a painful and lonely time in their lives.

Patients were confined by equipment, and parents kept healthy children inside their homes for fear they might catch the disease. Candy Land offered the kids in hospital wards a welcome distraction—but it also gave immobilized patients a liberating fantasy of movement.

Children of the era faced an unenviable lot, whether infected with polio or not. Gerald Shepherd provides a glimpse of the paranoiac atmosphere of the polio scare and its effects on children in his first hand account of his San Diego childhood in the late 1940s, at the height of the epidemic. Quarantine and seclusion were the most common preventative measures:

Our parents didn’t know what to do to protect us except to isolate us from other children … One time I stuck my hand through a window and badly cut myself, and despite several stitches and wads of protective bandaging, my father still grounded me that week for fear polio germs might filter in through the sutures.

Kids his age were well aware of what polio could do. “Every time one of our buddies got sick,” Shepherd recollects, “we figured he was headed for the iron lung.” If you caught polio, you would be committed to a hospital with a chance of being forever anchored to a machine. If you didn’t catch it, you would be stuck indoors for the foreseeable future (which, from a child’s perspective, might as well be forever).

On the original board game …the little boy starting out on the adventures through Candy Land wore braces to show the history behind the game….

 

Later the braces were removed from the boy’s legs and never seen again.

The COVID19 pandemic we are going through today is different in the sense of its widespread global effects but still history teaches us how quickly we forget our own personal history with viruses…and how few generations have escaped their impact.

We also forget how similar the “protective measures” were and still are before a vaccine is discovered to eradicate a potentially crippling or deadly virus…  quarantine, seclusion and isolation.

We forget too how early vaccines with polio did not work…in fact they made matters worse for the first groups trying them out…until a sweet cube of “sugar” cured the disease…in the end it was just a “spoonful of sugar” that made the medicine go down and eventually cure the polio virus.

Today we, too, must not jump too quickly on the first vaccine without substantial trials…or we might end up with the same initial adverse reactions. We must always learn from history.

So until tomorrow…

Won’t it be interesting to see if some creative person invents a board game for COVID19….time will tell?

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

I finally found the right place for the newest garden tin plaque…on the back door window on the deck…decorated with a ‘vine of flowers. ‘ Now the plaque will be safer from the elements and last longer!

 

 

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“All of a Sudden”…Life Becomes a Beautiful Mess

Dear Reader:

Can’t we all remember the moment, in our lives, when we realized that we couldn’t control what happened in it…and even if we could…should we?

I don’t know about you…but has life suddenly started feeling like a board game gone awry? Some days when I hear another bad news story in the media…I feel like I am continuously stuck on two of the four corner squares in Monopoly- Jail and Go to Jail. And then if I am not stuck in jail I am pulling the “bad” Chance and Community chest cards.

Even Mother Nature is sending us a “gift” that initially sounded good according to our local weather persons…but is increasingly sending off alarms now. I am referring to the “Godzilla” dust storm heading our way from West Africa…another natural occurrence that is bringing mixed blessings.

One of our local weather girls, smiling brightly, said that the dust storm, that usually occurs in June, will protect low country residents from early hurricanes forming….

“Though the Saharan clouds may look disastrous, they suppress hurricanes in several ways. The dry, dusty storms soak up moist, hurricane-friendly air like a sponge and can create sinking air and changing winds that tear apart baby hurricanes before they get big.” 

That all sounded good to me…since June 1 is the official start of hurricane season for the low country and we literally have to sweat this natural “game of chance” out every summer and early fall.

So I stayed pleased for about two days until a national report on the storm shared some not-so-good information about this year’s particularly massive dust storm.

“Humans, however, do not thrive in enormous dust plumes. To anyone living in its direct path, the dust cloud poses a significant hazard to public health.

In one sense, there’s never been a better time to ask people to wear a mask—everyone has one. But there’s also never been a worse time to be surrounded by a miasma of particulate pollution that could trigger preexisting or new respiratory conditions.

People living in areas with high levels of air pollution are more likely to die of COVID-19. An over-taxed health care system might collapse under another large scale emergency public crisis. “

Mixed blessings…but then isn’t life the same way? And doesn’t it always come down to the way we react to crises…not just the crises themselves?

Don’t we love getting to the phrase in a story that reads “All of a sudden”… because we know something exciting or challenging is about to transpire…and suddenly life is magnified with more color to our eyes?

The following saying sums it up quite well!

I discovered this while in the garden yesterday. My automatic sprinkler system goes off every morning from 7- 7:45 so I always wait until around 8 to walk through it. (I don’t have to worry about the “dew still being on the roses” because all the flowers are dripping droplets of water from the sprinkler and smiling up at me with a big grin of contentment.)

I also cherish this time because it is when the garden starts out swathed in shadows…but by 8:30 the sun is filtering through the trees and the contrast between light and shadows thrills me every time I experience it throughout the garden. See for yourself-Come walk with me! 🙂

So until tomorrow….”In the noisy confusion of life…keep peace with your soul.”

 

My brother, Ben, stopped by for a few minutes before heading back to Conway…he was visiting his son and family in Charleston, and his daughter and granddaughter in Summerville…yesterday was moving day for them…a new apartment. I told him he had a matching mask with his outfit. 🙂 Quite debonair old boy!

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“She Designed a Life She Loved”

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I was doing some research on a cool sculpture I read about in a novel and somehow ended up going from sculptures to wooden plaques? Suddenly there it was: “She designed the life she loved.”

I call these unexplained internet mystery links “Blink links” because it seems that I blink and suddenly find myself in a new genre discovering something more fulfilling than my original intent.

Immediately I felt the epiphany as I re-read the engraved wooden quote…”She designed the life she loved.” “That’s me, I realized, in a nutshell!

For the past twelve years I have consciously, and unconsciously, been re-designing the life I want to live for the remainder of my life to be… I have paved new paths off old roads while discovering new adventures.

I have never taken the time to actually sit down and make a “Bucket’s List.” And if I ever do….I won’t call it a Bucket’s List…I don’t really like that term. My life list will be called “Desiderata” from the beautiful poem by Max Ehrmann.

The last three stanzas are my favorite and verbalizes the way I see my life unfolding.

 

…You are a child of the universe

no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

This past decade plus two, however, has provided me the time to see life in a different light, grow closer to my Creator, and understand my purpose in life. Those are three powerful change-agents.  These changes have morphed into home renovations, a  garden peace center and a daily blog.

I can’t imagine my life without my garden today…my sanctuary. It has provided me the space that I need to converse with God, which I do casually on a daily basis, the beauty surrounding me in God’s Creation, and my blog with which to share my story…my journey to you loyal readers and supporters.

Today I have the most amazing friends one can be blessed with, a supportive, loving family, a mostly renovated home, a magical garden, and hard-earned pensions that provide adequate financial resources…enough to live on and enough to save on for surprising and spontaneous opportunities that makes me shout, “I am a child of the universe and I have a right to be here and be happy!”

So until tomorrow…Never forget to daily take time to thank your Creator for life…the most precious gift!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

My hibiscus bush is loving this semi-tropical mixture of showers and sunlight inter-mixing on and off…the blooms are gigantic! *Still waiting on Hibiscus # 2 to bloom to discover its color.

I ordered an old tin plaque that had the name of the year the garden was created so I wouldn’t ever forget it again. It came two days ago…still trying to decide where it should go…might wait until Jeff comes Monday to nail it in…but I love the words on it…

“Boo’s Garden

Blooming Love

Since 2013″

 

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Memories of “Funny Money”

Dear Reader:

Some memories from the past come floating back so easily with just a few words…actually two… “Funny Money.”

Mother was able to put three children through college because of daddy’s pension which she never touched…and believe me…there were several occasions (that I can recall) when she sure could have used that money.

So basically myself and my siblings’ college tuition was paid…but we were all on work scholarship to earn our spending money during our college years.

I didn’t have a car in college so I had no insurance or taxes or monthly payments until I graduated and finally got an old used car from mother for that special occasion. I was thrilled…that old car made many trips between Laurens (upstate) and Charleston (lowcountry) in those first few teaching years following graduation.

However, when least expected, a letter would arrive from home to Erskine and mother would have cold cash inside…it always warmed my heart and miraculously arrived when most needed…or simply most wanted!

I remember one day I was opening my mail in the canteen and waving the letter with joy…mom had sent me her special treat of money. Libby stopped by and sat down and told me that in her family…they called that kind of unexpected cash “celebration” … “funny money!

This immediately caught my curiosity…and I wanted to know the reason why. Libby said her mother (“Miss Nell” as she was known affectionately in her hometown- she was “Queen of the World’s Grits Festival” in St. George, SC) thought everybody needed to be surprised with some unexpected money, occasionally, that was theirs simply to enjoy…to spend with abandonment. To just have fun with…

“Funny Money” just adds a little pizazz to life and everyone deserves a little pizazz in their lives! Miss Nell said that she enjoyed sending it even more than her college age children loved receiving it. Because it was simply “I love you” money…go have fun!

To this day…I still send my children (and their spouses) some “funny money” to spend on themselves or take the grandchildren all out to the movies or do something fun…it really is more fun to send it …Miss Nell was right!

As the grandchildren get older…I hope I will still be around to continue the tradition…it is a good one! Thanks Libby…Thanks Miss Nell!

So until tomorrow

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

John and Mandy are back with fun memories from their mini-get-away…it is amazing how many memories can be packed into a small amount of time…they are called moments...the most special element of time.

I was able to follow a busy bumblebee around the newly opened blooms on the old-fashioned narrow-leaf sunflowers…there were three blooms and the bee hit all three while I took photos.

This tiniest little geranium has an even smaller bloom but it lives up to its name…Rose Splash… (especially after a night rain)

 

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