Making Rainbows…

Dear Reader:

If this weather pattern, we are in right now, is any indication, it could be a long, hot dry summer. So, as much as watering is not my most favorite thing to do ( I see dollar bills spraying out of the hose) I have decided that I must change my attitude about it. The sun has helped me do just that.

The last few times I have watered one area of the yard (that doesn’t get watered from the garden hose set-up) beautiful little prisms of light have appeared reflecting off the water droplets and spray emitting from the hose. I can’t help but smile at the little rainbows forming, almost at will, in the daffodil area of the back yard.

I found these directions for making rainbows, after I just accidentally discovered the process, by being at the right moment, at the right time, at the right angle to the sun. (I love the idea of touching the spray that is causing the rainbow…as close as we will ever get to feeling a rainbow.)

Turn your back so you are directly opposite the sun (you’ll know when you see the shadow of your head in front of you). Using a garden hose with a nozzle, spray some water about 40 degrees from the shadow of your head and you should see an arc of color. Lee said that much as you can touch a mirror but not the image in it, you can also touch the spray that’s causing the rainbow — about as close as you can get to actually feeling a rainbow. 

Sprinkler in a rainbow

 

Is there anything prettier than catching a rainbow in your own backyard with the sprinkler on?

 

 

Under an article titled: “7 Colorful Facts You didn’t know about Rainbows” (Adrienne Lewin, Today contributor made this comment about Kermit and his top recorded song “Rainbow Connections.”

Kermit was wrong when he sang “rainbows are visions, but only illusions” in the song “The Rainbow Connection”: They are indeed visions, but not illusions. “A rainbow is very real in the sense that it’s an image that you can photograph,” explained research professor Raymond L. Lee Jr. of the U.S. Naval Academy, co-author of “The Rainbow Bridge.”

“Anything that can be photographed is not an illusion.” To be more technically accurate, “The Rainbow Connection” should say, “Rainbows are images but certainly not objects.” (Lyrically, however, Kermie wins on this one.)

The Muppet Movie (1979) | Rainbow Connection | Kermit … – YouTube

If I ever listen to this sweet, sweet song (The Rainbow Connection) I know I will be humming it for days. It is one of those songs you just can’t get out of your head. In fact, yesterday, after writing this blog, I watered another area of the yard and hummed it every time another prism formed…I have the formula down pact now for producing rainbows….such a feeling of power! *

Maybe I have found the “Rainbow Connection”! 🙂

Talking about connections.…our Jo Dufford and Lynn Gamache are connecting since Jo has read many of (Lynn’s author/father) Phillip Keller’s books and enjoyed them so much. ( I ordered the Phillip Keller book on the theme of spiritual gardening…it should come in any day now!)

Lynn also sent some photos of her life in British Columbia. I am having some problems saving them to my file….will keep trying…but the pictures are beautiful….Lynn has a home, along with her son on a five acre stretch of land that is breath-taking…seeing pictures where someone lives and family helps us identify more with each other doesn’t it?

I remember when my own “children” went off to college and then got their first apartment…it was important for me to go and visually see their “digs” so when I talked to them I could envision their surroundings.

Don’t get me started on the red cardinal “condition.” I have moved my car and gone overboard to accommodate the cardinal’s family but all in vain. The side of my car and mirror are beyond disgusting…no matter where I park. I have been gagging just thinking about it when I go armed with paper towels and Windex to clean at least twice a day.

Many of you have “chirped” in with similar problems (Lynn, Patty, Dee and Mike, etc.) Everyone has tried covering the mirrors with hair nets, cardboard, bags and it proves only a temporary solution until a storm comes along and blows them off or they have practically wrecked their cars changing lanes…having forgotten to unveil the mirror before driving.

And yet, as Rodney Dangerfield would say, “We still can’t get no respect.” Here we try to be compassionate and accommodating for nothing. It is becoming a contagious problem I think since when I went to the Bi-Lo parking lot yesterday, I spotted two cars and one truck, besides mine, plagued with the same disgusting problem on their side view mirror and side doors.

Yes…we’ve got trouble right here in River City!”

I am beginning to think that TIME is our only friend…we must survive this nesting period, with hopefully a long break, until next year rolls around. I salute you my formidable cardinal…you have been a determined opponent!

*And Mike I think you are right…I can identify ‘my’ cardinal now, also, with his beady eyes, pursed beak, and cocky attitude…I talk to mine like you…to no avail.

So until tomorrow….Have a wonderful day….with thoughts of rainbows in your head!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

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How It All Began? A Coincidence?

Dear Reader:

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Deep within you nothing is hopeless. You are a child of God and hope has been planted in you by God.” 

Squire Rushnell thought about these words one afternoon after receiving 30 rejections from publishers about a book that talked about a connection to what we mere mortals may call coincidences, but God sees as spiritual directions. Hope was all he had left.

He had never forgotten the night when he threw out his notes on a speech he was giving to a congregation in a little church on Quaker Hill in upstate New York…located well off the beaten path. He had written it weeks earlier and titled it: “Coincidence; Is it Evidence of a Grand Plan?”

Rushnell had just discovered that this little church was located across the road from the country home of his hero, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, the prominent author of “The Power of Positive Thinking.”

Then just days before his talk, Dr. Peale died-on Christmas Eve-and was buried behind that little church, causing him to alter his opening remarks.

“President Clinton said something this week that resonated with each of us. He said, “What a coincidence that Dr. Peale, who gave his life to the celebration of Christ, should be called to God’s side on the very eve that the world celebrates the birth of Christ. Coincidence? I wonder.”

At that point Rushnell felt like Someone else was talking to the crowd..  as he began telling folksy and homespun tales of his own personal encounters with  “coincidences” that seemed bigger than mere chance to him. He started looking into the faces of adults who appeared, like children, listening intently to a bedtime story. The audience was engaging him with smiles, nods, and wide-eyed wonder.

It was that extraordinary experience that made him determined to write a book on “God Winks.” The whole process of writing, publishing, and marketing would take almost a decade. God, however, had not steered him wrong…the readers were there, yearning to hear of others experiences and then bravely writing their own spiritual encounters to send in to him.

Rushnell knew he had made it when his publisher called and said that Oprah had given a tour of her home and upon entering her bedroom she mentioned that she liked to keep her favorite books by her bed and the one on the very top was called When God Winks by Squire Rushnell.

Oprah told the camera…”I have a book called When God Winks…I love that… little stories about how there are no coincidences in our life. I believe that…don’t you?”

All it took was that one comment and Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble were scrambling trying to meet consumer demands. Hope and perseverance had won.

Dr. Charles Vincent Peale, had once told a congregation this anecdotal allegory on hope.

Catching Hope

Hope is a powerful force in life. It’s like going into the kitchen, turning on the faucet, and being surprised by the water pressure. You almost jump back, giddy that there’s so much energy pouring out.

Your hope is stored up inside and wants to burst out of you the same way. You need to turn on the faucet of your faith and then feel the surge of hope that springs forth.

If you are fully hopeful, you’ll cause other people around you to almost jump, happily splashed with your enthusiasm.

Reinforced by the wonderful Godwinks that happen to you, hope is contagious. Go ahead. Spread it around!  

……………………………..

So until tomorrow let’s never forget that hope is just a twist away…turn on the faucet of hope and see what happens…dreams come true.

“Today is my favorite day.”  Winnie the Pooh

*Saturday night I pulled a grandmother “mistake.” I had almost finished the blog except for adding some of the new fairy garden update photos, along with some “girl time” fun with Eva Cate. By 9:05 she was down for the count. Unfortunately by 9:10, I was too!

As soon as I knew she was asleep…my original plan was to sneak in the computer room and add the photos. Obviously I was a lot more tired than I recognized….so if you thought that the blog post yesterday was rather visually inhibited, it was Boo Boo falling asleep on sentry duty.

Hopefully these photos will show you some of the fun of a “girl weekend” with a granddaughter.

 

 

 

 

 


Big Red has never had more blooms- perfect for a little girl and a keepsake!

I delivered Eva Cate home safe and sound last evening- she was happy to have gone and happy to be back with her family!

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Teacher Appreciation Week

Dear Reader:

Last week, about mid-week, I sent Mandy a text simply asking how the week was going and how the grandchildren were doing….I got back three words. “I am exhausted!”

Ah…that brought back memories. When Easter arrives late…teachers pay the price. Spring fever becomes epidemic, there are lots of extra-curricular activities going on….especially for special areas with art contests , plays, recitals, competitions, etc.

When Mandy called back Friday…she was so relieved the school week was over. It turned out to be Teacher Appreciation Week so she said that all the nice things the PTA and others did for them definitely helped tired teachers and administrators keep plugging away until Spring Vacation and Easter.

A thought formed in my head that surely teachers have been just as tired and exhausted, from the very beginning, as they continue to be now. There are just too many requirements for a limited amount of time in a school day to accomplish. Poor teachers always feel like they are lagging behind in all their check-off lists.

(One bit of information I can pass along, coming from a retired teacher, is that a teacher will never be finished as long as he/she teaches…The teacher will simply pass the baton down to their replacement one day, and another will take up the endless check-off requirements for another year. A never-ending cycle.)

When I came across this humorous anecdote about the trials and tribulations of teaching…even with Jesus as the Teacher…I had to laugh. Enjoy!

 THE LESSON

Then Jesus took his disciples up to the mountain and gathering them around him, he taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are they that mourn. Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are they that thirst for justice. Blessed are you when persecuted. Blessed are you when you suffer. Be glad and rejoice for your reward is great in heaven.”

Then Simon Peter said: “Do we have to write this down?”

And Andrew said: “Are we supposed to know this?”

And James said: “Will we have a test on this?”

And Phillip said: “I don’t have any paper!”

And Bartholomew said: “Do we have to turn this in?”

And John said: “The other disciples didn’t have to learn this!”

And Matthew said: “Can I go to the boys’ room?”

And Judas said: “What does this have to do with real life?”

Then one of the Pharisees who was present asked to see Jesus’ lesson plan and inquired of Jesus: “Where are your anticipatory set and objectives in the cognitive domain?”

And Jesus wept.

…………………………..

So until tomorrow….Thank a teacher for demonstrating the virtues of patience…what would we do without them?

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*These days I love ‘teaching’ my grandchildren. I picked Eva Cate up yesterday afternoon and we came back to “work” in the garden…specifically the new 2017 Fairy Garden. We cleaned out the old wheelbarrow, with dirt filled with old roots and debris, put fresh sod in, added foliage for beauty, cleaned up old fairy items that had been buried in the dirt, and selected a few new fairies to call the wheelbarrow home.

*Honey had made  Eva Cate some fairy mushrooms for the new garden. So much fun!

 

 

 

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Being Conscious of our Treasures of Gratitude

Dear Reader:

Isn’t it amazing how just by expanding our perception, even a little, the answers to many of our questions lay in wait…and always did. We just didn’t see them.

Case in point: Thursday morning…I was on a mission. Ever since my bank switched over to a new digital/electronic customer service program, I have experienced several password dis-functions. resulting in new passwords. (I find much security in my ‘old’ passwords because my feeble brain can remember them. But if I start messing around and changing an exclamation to an asterik, or whatever I am required to do, it takes me forever to transfer my brain neurons into accepting the new password/icons.)

I had finally gotten that straightened out, mentally, when I noticed another problem. When I went into my account…it only showed the location where I spent money, usually with my bank Visa check card, or perhaps a partial copy of a check…but it didn’t show me the amount.

To me that is equally important! Now and then I would get a glimpse of part of a check I had written but that was it. When I explained the problem to the teller, she had me wait outside an office for additional help.

The woman was so nice and after explaining my dilemma, she said that I should be getting all the information…type of payment and amount for each purchase made. So she went into my account and bingo…there it all was.

I sat there stupefied (is that a word…it should be if it isn’t) staring at the screen…”That’s not what my screen looks like at home”  I responded. She clicked on something and suddenly it looked just like what I saw. “Yes” I said excitedly…that is all I am seeing.

“Then you are seeing only half the screen.” You need to enlarge it in order to see the amounts listed beside each purchase… on the far, far right.”

Where is a shovel when you need one? If I could have dug a hole through the office floor to China, I would be in  Shanghai as we speak.

Even though I was embarrassed, when I returned home, I realized that my screen was automatically on as big as it could go…in order to squeeze in the location on the left and the amount on the far, far right I had to center the screen perfectly and then I could just barely see it all at the same time.

There is way too much space between the location information on the far left and the monetary amount on the far right. Two-thirds of the screen is just a blank screen….doesn’t seem too efficient to me…I find myself having to turn my head from left to right to take in both pieces of information at the same time. That seems a little silly…why aren’t they closer together?

Never-the-less, I now have the information I wanted and needed. It was right there the whole time…but my perception was limited resulting in misinformation. I started thinking about this problem on a bigger scale and isn’t that how most conflicts begin? Two sides don’t see the same problem at the same level of perception. One side might only be getting part of the escalating troubles, while the other side is privy to the whole picture.

…And what gratitude I felt when I was given a simple explanation for the confusion and a quick remedy to the problem. Even after just a day or two I am automatically adjusting my screen to the “magic centerfold” that allows me visual access to everything I need.

Now I smile when I open my electronic account instead of shaking my head in frustration. It just took a bigger perception than what I had available in my knowledge on this particular dilemma. I needed someone to show me the way.

Now gratitude has replaced frustration and I am more open to exploring new possibilities with other digital sites as they appear now and in the future.

Thorton Wilder said: “We can only be said to be alive in those moments where our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

So until tomorrow..If our treasures consist of measures of gratitude, then we are wealthy indeed.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

A mystery solved: Remember my challenges with my red cardinal who insists on beating himself up on my right reflective mirror and then leaving splatters of “white” all down the side of the door. Yesterday I had finally reached my limit of tolerance. I had gone out and cleaned the mirror, the car window, and the sides of the car a few minutes before I left to meet friends.


As I approached my car…to my dismay, the cardinal had returned and made the most of its time completely messing up the mirror, glass, and car door again.


While eating a friend suggested that there must be a nest nearby where I am parking my car and the cardinal thinks an “enemy” (mirror reflection)  is lurking nearby who could endanger the nest. So that is why it keeps attacking over and over again.

Sure enough, in the woods and Azalea Ally, located beside and farther down my drive-way…I discovered a bird nest with Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal pecking away in the foliage near the drive-way…not far from it.

I didn’t have a white flag…but I cranked up the car and moved it to the other driveway…as far away as possible. Stay tuned…I will let you know if this was the right solution to the problem. I sure hope so…and if so…this solution will be met, on my part, with much gratitude…treasured gratitude.

 

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When “Too Much of a Good Thing Can Be Wonderful”

Dear Reader:

Legend has it that the ‘bigger than life’ actress, Mae West, coined the expression “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful” in her sultry, sexy voice to the delight of audiences everywhere.

Today this expression has been used in marketing to lure more customers into picking companies,buying stock, and sticking with them..

Maybe it is my “Libra” birthday (horoscope) but I am always more comfortable ‘in the middle’ when it comes to life…following Aristotle’s famous line of advice about life: “Moderation in all things.”

I was also raised along the line of moderation in my own personal life-changing decisions through examples in my family. If the pendulum swings too far right or left, life becomes chaotic and out of control. Keep the pendulum anchored in the center, was my family’s philosophy.

It was this movie, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, that started our first Ya Ya reunion soon after its first showing in the summer of 2002.

We played the movie for everyone and decided on which character each of us best represented…we even had a secret Ya Ya ritual with fireworks and sprinklers on the front lawn of the Edisto Beach House…all dressed up in our Ya Ya attire…chanting away! I am sure the neighbors thought we were completely “looped.” (Maybe a ‘tad’ but certainly not completely.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is one poignant scene in the movie that has remained with me long after my first viewing.

But first, let me give you a quick synopsis of the plot…Sidda (Sandra Bullock) is estranged from her crazy but endearingly vulnerable mother (Ellen Burstyn) Vivi. Sidda has finally fallen in love but has been so traumatized by her own childhood that she is scared of marriage and is thinking about calling the whole thing off.

To the rescue go Vivi’s three best friends from old high school days (the Ya Ya’s) to kidnap Sidda, bring her back home to Louisiana from NYC, and finally explain to her (now as an adult, herself) what caused her mother to be the way she was, which also included loving her above all else.

Vivi’s first true love was killed in WWII and on the rebound she married a local boy, Shep (James Garner) had four children and  a miserable marriage…fighting loss of dreams, drugs, and mental break-downs.

When Shep hears from the Ya’s that Sidda is out at the old lake house while they try to set her straight about the reality of her childhood and the huge mistake she will be making if she throws her chance at love away out of fear of repeating her mother’s mistakes…he comes to see his daughter.

As Sidda and her beloved daddy talk…she stops and asks him:

James Garner’s response to that question touches me so much “What’s enough?”  And then, in typical daddy fashion, he wants to be reassured that his little girl got enough love…to be able to return love, now, as an adult.

“What’s enough?” On this Earth, in this life, that’s a tough question to answer. Can we ever really get enough love?

I have realized in reading, watching talk television, watching movies, that ‘life after death experiences’ follow one same pattern. When the directive to return to earth is given, no one wants to return. The reason: Most children and adults, alike, talk about being completely filled with love… an unconditional, amazing love that completely consumes them. It is so overwhelmingly beautiful and powerful, at the same time, that it is hard to give that up and return to a diseased body or other restrictive environment…even to a healed body.

On earth, it is rare for us to feel that kind of empowering love…we only catch quick glimpses of it along our path through life…if we are lucky. Love on earth is tainted by requirements to prove we are good enough to be loved. God loves us without such judgment. (Thank goodness!)

One great truth in this life is pretty simple…our most important compass marker: “Love and be Loved.”

So until tomorrow: If we want to feel that we have been loved enough on this Earth…then the only way to fill our bucket is to love others first…it is only then that love can be enough to fill all our personal bucket lists.

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful” if that good thing is love.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

 

 

 

 

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There is Beauty in Simplicity

Dear Reader:

This year I have decided not to try to “out-do” any previous spring/summer gardens I have planted in the four years since its existence. I have decided to let Mother Nature have more a share in the garden and let nature do what it does naturally…stay beautiful!

I remember when Hurricane Matthew threatened to hit our area (in early October)  Sam Clark came over and helped me drag garden items into the garage..I had no idea I had so much “stuff” (shortly before Tommy and Kaitlyn arrived to pick me up and take me to Asheville with them to “weather” out the storm there (So much Fun!)

As I looked around, one last time that day (back in early October last year) to see if I had gotten everything put away I noticed how stoic and serene the garden looked…more like when it first started. I didn’t realize how much bric-a brac I had added, over the years, that I didn’t need. In fact, upon closer scrutiny…I realized that it actually took away from the serenity and beauty of the garden.

This plaque, Honey made for me, sums up the problem. ” Leave room in your garden for the fairies to dance.” I want the grandchildren to have room to run up and down the garden “magical moon” path and in and out of bushes without tripping over garden decorations.

So I have started clearing out the garden. One way to keep the garden open and move-able is to have hanging baskets in strategic places. They add to the beauty and give height to the garden without taking up much place…so I plan to add more hanging baskets.


Old chairs, hung on trees or in front of trees can hold plaques or flowers…again not using up much room but displaying Welcome Signs and flowers in a more simplified fashion.

Give old flower baskets a chance to “resurrect” on their own in the “rehab” location under the tree house. Patience (on my part) is needed to wait it out and see what will return and what needs to be replaced.

Just like I am excavating the past to uncover prior plants and other living foliage just waiting for their time to shine….Squire Rushnell concludes his book (When God Winks at You) by asking us to do the same thing in our own personal past, in regard to God Winks.

Mapping: “Go back to those times in your life when you came to a cross-road. Your life changed abruptly. You lost someone you loved. You found a soul mate. You had a new baby. You moved geographically. You ran into someone that completely changed your career-or your belief system.

Revisit each of those times in your past to uncover God Winks that were sent to you even if you weren’t paying attention. Make a list of the “coincidences” and answered prayers. 

This is what you’ll discover; when there were multiple paths that your life could’ve followed, there were always signposts of reassurance- God Winks of personal communication- to you and no one else on Earth.”

“Here’s more good news! The map of winks from God will continue to unfold long into your future. Just look for them. And acknowledge that He is communicating directly with you.”

…………………..

The nice thing about God Winks is that they also can connect you to someone else. For example: Today on my way to pick up prescriptions from the Charleston Cancer Center I pulled off old Lincolnville Road onto Ladson and got behind this truck.

Linda Carson has mentioned being caught behind it too in early morning traffic and the sign always makes her smile. Now I smile because it reminds me of Linda’s “God Wink” now being shared with me. And because it is Linda’s 2017 word of the year! Smile!

So until tomorrow…

“Keep Life Simple” One thing I have learned in my life is that bigger isn’t necessarily better…just bigger…and less can be best…the best life has to offer!

 

 

 

 

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

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With Every God Wink…You are Right on Top!

Dear Reader:

When Tommy and Kaitlyn arrived at Lachlan’s birthday party last Friday Tommy told me they had found a book that they thought I would enjoy and had left it in my car for me.

It was Squire Rushnell’s  When God Winks at You. (I had not read that one in the series…just his original book, When God Winks.)

The original book, in the series of “God Wink” books,  started this much-used expression in my blog (“God Wink“) and has been one of its permanent benchmarks throughout seven years of blogging.

(Now that gift in itself was a “God Wink.”)

 

Many of you are familiar with Squire Rushnell through his books, as a popular speaker, and former ABC television CEO who led Good Morning America to number one. (He is also the “Father of School House Rocks”– one of my favorite series as a parent and teacher.)

If you happen to watch “Kathie Lee & Hoda” on NBC TODAY…Squire is seen monthly on their show bringing true stories of every day God Winks.

I am going to start doing the same thing…occasionally bringing in a story from my “gift” book When God Winks at You and  also incorporate your stories…because everyone’s “God Wink” is fascinating and it helps us learn how to look for and identify our own God Winks when they happen…and let me reassure you they are happening all the time… around each of you.

For many of our readers… who weren’t here for the original explanation seven years ago…let me fill you in now with what a “God Wink” is…as explained by Rushnell, himself.

*To paraphrase one of his simplest explanations…He asks us to go back in time and think about sitting around a family dinner table, either with just our parents, siblings, and/or even extended family…aunts, uncle, grandparents, etc. Suddenly you feel someone staring at you and when you look up there is your grandfather or uncle or aunt and he/she is nodding and gives you a quick wink. Nothing more…just a smile, nod, and a quick wink.

But suddenly everything feels different…someone across the table is letting us know that we are special in their eyes, that they are watching over us, and everything is going to be okay. That incident, according to Rushnell, is a metaphor for a God Wink. 

“Hey kid…I’m thinking about you right this moment. I’m proud of you. Everything is going to be all right.” This is similar, only on a smaller scale of receiving a “God Wink” from God that translates.”Hey kid! I’m thinking of you…right now!”

…”It’s a clear message of reassurance-that no matter how uncertain our life seems to be at the moment, He will help move us towards certainty. 

And it is a sign that we’re never alone. In fact, we’re always on His GPS- a global positioning system I like to call “God’s Positioning System.”

(Rushnell starts his book by saying:)

…”I aim to show that every “God Wink” that happens in our life is a personal experience. I’ve collected one compelling story after another to convince you that we will never again have to wonder where we rank among those six billion others in the world. Like those in the stories that follow, the instant we receive a “God Wink” we’ll know it. We are right there at the top.”

…………………………..

So until tomorrow…“The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be…His treasured possession. – Deuteronomy 7:6.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*I had so much fun making arrangements in my new “Honey” vases. When I fixed the one on an end table by one of the front windows…I opened up the window. Since my den is a sunken den…it stays pretty cool all the time…but as soon as I raised that window it felt like someone had turned a heater on outside directed straight through the window. I was almost knocked over by the heat that came rushing through the windows as I went around opening more and more. My Iphone weather app said 90 degrees around mid-afternoon…that must have broken some record. Crazy weather!

…But beautiful natural flowers from the yard and garden!

 

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