Enjoy The Little Things In Life

I went for a walk around my yard one morning this week and took the time to actually enjoy some of the small things that normally go unnoticed.

For example, there’s a nice population of rabbits living in my yard this year. I rarely have the time to stop and appreciate how pretty and how fast they are.

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Someone has been busy.  Impressive, isn’t it?

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The hydrangea that I told you about last month continues to surprise me. These next two images come from the same bush.

 

The irises are in full bloom too. This one came from my friend Emily. The color is even more stunning in real life than you see here.

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And then there’s this – the place where I love to sit when the weather is less humid and hot. A wonderful message. Enjoy the small things – whether it’s a flower, an intricate web or just a few minutes free to relax.

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It’s Saturday. Enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

Always Believe

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This pretty little number popped up Monday! It caught my attention because this perennial has never bloomed in the two years it has resided in my flower bed. This leads me to today’s point.

Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

You may not see this wonderful thing developing or know that it’s coming but it will appear when you least expect it!

Porch Party Time

Yesterday’s work session was a great success, partly because the weather turned out okay and mostly because my parents came to help.

The house is clean(er). Not perfect but much better. I even got the porch cleaned up, some flowers potted and the porch ready for the season.

If you need me this summer, chances are I’ll be here if I’m not out adventuring. It’s a perfect hideout and I like to call my time here porch parties. It’s typically a party for one and the soundtrack consists of bullfrogs and whippoorwills.

My outdoor style is flea market chic – otherwise known as cool old junk. It’s a comfortable place and a great place to read or just sit and relax. I’ll have most of meals out here until it gets too cold again.

But for today, adventure awaits. I’ll have to relax here later.

Hope you go out and do something fun today!

It’s Just Around The Corner!

It’s just around the corner! Long woodland hikes along Trillium lined trails! Isn’t it pretty? Trillium is Ohio’s official wildflower, in case you ever need to know.

Winter into spring 2018 (81)

And flowerbeds filled with Irises of every color! My favorites are the traditional rich purple pictured here and bright, sunny yellow.

Winter into spring 2018 (90)

Hang in there, friends. Spring will be here soon! And remember, happiness is having something to look forward to.

Visiting The Phipps

phipps 5.JPGLast fall, my friend Nichola hosted me for a long weekend in her adopted hometown – Pittsburgh. We spent an action packed weekend visiting all of her favorite Pittsburgh spots and I had an amazing time learning about the city from a local.

I didn’t write much about it at the time because I wanted to revisit the memories during the cold, dark days of winter.

It’s cold and dark so I think it’s a great time to start doing that with a visit to the Phipps.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is Nichola’s happy place and I can see why. It encompasses fifteen acres and features a large glass house with fourteen distinct rooms. It feels like an oasis in the middle of the city. In fact, you wouldn’t know you’re in the city at all.

In addition to acres of gorgeous flowers, including impressive collections of orchids and desert plants, the Phipps boasts a spectacular collection of glass art and historic art. You’ll find several pieces by renowned glass artists Dale Chihuly and Hans Godo Fräbel,

Rather than blather more about it, I’m just going to show you some pictures.

If you like flowers and plants or if you crave a place of solitude, I suggest you make time to visit the Phipps. It’s an amazing space and feels like a vacation without ever leaving town.

 

A Losing Battle

37811308_10208930804945780_3769043357989339136_n_edited.jpgI’m fighting a losing battle in my garden this year. The extreme swings from ridiculous heat to torrential rain have made it hard to keep up with my weeding. When the weather is good I like to spend it doing fun things and walking for fitness rather than pulling weeds. Frankly, it shows.

So I won’t show you pictures of the weeds, we’ll just focus on these little beauties that finally popped up this week!

Lessons From The Garden

I’ve been thinking a great deal about my flower garden lately. This is the first summer in many years that I’ve been home to really appreciate my yard and to realize that it’s sort of a mess.

Over the years I have added a flower or two here and there, creating flower beds that have a kind of cottagey, messy feel. This used to suit my tastes but it feels like change is needed.

I would like to rearrange some things into masses and to create greater order. Not only will it look better but masses of flowers are easier to keep weeded. There’s research to be done so I can understand how best to accomplish this goal and, plainly put, I just need a plan.

Meanwhile, I’m mainly observing and trying to get my head in the right spot to cause so much upheaval in my yard. I’m not ready yet.

b12There’s a lot to be learned from nature and from your flowers and many of these lessons can be applied to your own life. For example, some things are most striking just before they bloom.

I absolutely love the colors and shapes of the buds on this Hosta. When the buds open, the flower is delicate and yet sturdy and strong.

 

 

 

Some flowers are beautiful, not for their perfections but for the damage caused by conditions such as bugs and heat. They are survivors.

Others are beautiful for the way they reach to the heavens. None do so with such enthusiasm as my Rose of Sharon which are loaded down with blooms and growing so fast they’re officially taller than the house.

Some things are most beautiful only in the right light while others may share their secrets and become transparent in that same light.

And sometimes you stumble into something in the garden that isn’t quite what it seems. This dragonfly is made of old utensils. Cute, right?

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I like the way that flowers work together, side by side, and without worry that they’re a different color or shape or from different places.

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I like the way that they create beauty where there is none. Such as in this vintage peanut can turned flower pot. The phrase “bloom where you’re planted” comes to mind.

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I appreciate resilience and strength in the face of adversity. Between the torrential rains, extreme heat, deer and insects, my flowers have shown their will to live this year.

I also appreciate these qualities in people.

Life is hard and sometimes it feels like the people around us work to make it harder. People don’t like someone for the color of their skin or push political views on others who are literally harmed by these views and actions. People are judged for their personal choices or made to feel inadequate because they don’t have enough money or the right house or because they love the wrong person. They don’t dress correctly or they simply don’t fit the mold of what society says is right.

Many people aren’t nice anymore. They seem to have forgotten the Golden Rule. Just as bad – they teach their own children to bully and name call. Never in my life has it been ok to call another person names and now I know people who think it’s cute when they’re tween calls someone a libtard.

And for what?  Why do people try so hard to make life more challenging for others and, sometimes, for themselves? I can’t answer that question and lack the energy to try today. Instead, I’m going to focus on the things I do know to be true and the things I can control.

b5I’m going to take note of some things my flowers have taught me – try to get along, find beauty where you can and bloom where you’re planted. Also, understand that sometimes a weed will appear but if you’re lucky – it’s not a weed – it’s just something you didn’t plan for like this pretty daylily that I don’t recall planting.

 

And when in doubt, just keep trucking. Because, unlike flowers which must bloom where they’re planted, human beings have choices to make and can move along if they’re not happy where they are in life.

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I sat down to write a short post about flowers and not to publish a diatribe on what’s wrong with society. So here are a few more pretty pictures to brighten your day. I hope you make it a good one.