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Redeeming Twitter Theology

Italian Alps from Anesi, France Photo Credit: Mark Grace I just got through reading a wonderful, thought-provoking essay (okay, okay, a “blog post”) from Ryan Reed entitled “ReconsideringTwitter Theology.” Ryan's warning against trying to do theology on twitter is a marvelous example of what I think it means for Christians to engage the tools that technology has given us . . . Rather than uncritically accepting the tools and someday finding that they have become just another idol, like the bronze serpent Moses lifted ...

Caption Contest - Funniest Wins $10 Amazon gift card!!

We've heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case it could be worth a $10 Amazon gift card! Our youngest lost her two front teeth this week, and if you can coin the funniest caption you'll win the coin! The only rules are that all captions must be G-rated and entered as a comment here or on Facebook. Good luck and make us laugh!!!

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence

“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” Elbert Hubbard Silence – An anechoic chamber is very quiet Breaking The Silence: How long… “Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” Francis Bacon Sundial -The Clock of Silence can you… Silence – Newton’s Cradle Animation book …Stay Silent? “In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.”Henry David Thoreau Code of Silence – Our red lips are sealed Code of Silence:  Our lips… I wash my hands ...

The Silk Road

We’d left Cappadocia and were driving along the Anatolian plain in central Turkey when our bus pulled off the road and headed down a narrow path, gravel crunching beneath our tires. I had no idea why we were stopping but at least it was an opportunity for me and Mrs. C. to stretch our legs. Our guide informed us that we’d arrived at the Sultanhani Kervansaray. “The what?” I mumbled under my breath. I didn’t remember reading anything about this on ...

Pressure Cooker Beans with Flavor!

I love my pressure cooker. Instead of hours to cook beans it take just a few minutes. But as much as I love the convenience I have a big complaint about the taste. Toooooo bland! According to the “experts” you are NOT supposed to add salt of herbs to the pot when you pressure cook beans. This means that you end up cooking them in plan old water with a little oil to keep the foam down. When they come out ...

Facebook Follies

Facebook has become my friend, virtually linking me, often in real time, to my true flesh-and-blood friends. I check it frequently for updates on people's lives. I enjoy their news and the many links they provide; some educate, most simply entertain. I often laugh at silly videos or I am moved to tears, over a beautiful musical contribution, or contemplation over a thought-provoking news clip. It is sometimes this shut-in's only connection to the outside world. Recently a friend shared a ...

Tales from France – Tete de Veau – bone out!

On our recent trip to France, to celebrate our Granddaughter’s second Birthday, the funniest moment (from my point-of-view) was a meal enjoyed at a local restaurant. Son-in-law kindly translated the menu and Mr Piglet chose the veal option. When his meal arrived, it looked the strangest cut of veal I’d ever seen. Served in slices it resembled a patchwork of greasy meat textures surrounded by a layer of gooey fat. Mr P poked and prodded the offering; tasted it, pulled a ...

An Empty Cocoon

Nearly two weeks ago my mother fell down the stairs. She was staying with my older sister Vicki while my younger sister Sheri, her primary caretaker was out of town. Mom taking a nose dive down the stairs was Vickis biggest concern. Something she worried about every time mom stayed at her house. The agreement was that if mom woke in the night she’d call out to Vicki so she could help her navigate the dark safely. This was standard middle ...

Grief Garden, Forgiveness, and Rebirth

Electric Love Voluminous blossom Opens her face to the Sun; Swallows fire, Dares to dazzle, Has no fear When the rain comes Melting her pretty petals Fall Worthy remains Feed the garden of her blessed beginning. Tammy Wynette was one of my mothers favorites when I was a young child. She played this song many times. It opened my heart to fire of God burning in my belly every time I heard it. So, here’s to you mother.

Fun Flower Facts: Morning Glory

The morning glory (scientifically known as ipomoea) is a genus with over 1000 species of climbing flowering plants with large, showy trumpet-shaped flowers and heart-shaped leaves. The fragrant flowers come in a rainbow of colours, including blue, red, pink, purple and white and often attract butterflies and hummingbirds. They will bloom from early summer to the first frost. Gardeners love them because they are easy to grow, fast growing, and will thrive in poor, dry soils. They  They can be cultivated ...

Chanel Opens Pop-Up Flower Stall in London

Photo Credit: Boymeetsfashion.com Last Sunday, international luxury brand Chanel opened up a Pop-up flower stall in London, England just outside their boutique to celebrate Mother’s Day. It was a dazzling and elegant display. The flower stall was a chic, white barrow filled with fresh lowers used in their iconic perfumes, including roses, jasmine and irises. Along with the beautiful display of flowers, giant bottles of Chanel bottles were also showcased. Photo Credit: Boymeetsfashion.com Customers who bought a 100mL bottle of perfume from the ...

A Week in Words: Day # 1 Recap

Day One of my Week in Words (you can read about it here) was my first official day of Unemployment. Conveniently, it was also the day that I intended to Be Frugal. Everyone slept in till 8:30 am which is always cause for great happiness. One boy stayed home from school with me. After dropping his younger brother off at daycare, we immediately drove to Starbucks for an iced coffee (no cream, no sweetener, thank you). So much for frugality there. I didn’t have the gumption to brew coffee ...

Tips for Growing Peonies

This is one of the most exciting times of the year! Many beautiful flowers are blooming, particularly peonies. The peak season for peonies is April, May and June – just in time for wedding season! Peonies are large, luscious and sweetly-scented blooms that give roses a run for their money! These long-lasting, easy to grow and hardy flowers are popular ornamental plants that add colour and fragrance to gardens. They can live for decades with minimal care and maintenance. True perennials ...

The Working Artist

The working artist, now what does that mean exactly? It is amazing how much of our journey as an artist is in our heads. Or in our heart and not in our heads.  It has taken me most of my life time so far to realize and own being an artist and what that means to me.  So many of the stories I told myself,  kept me from the truth of  the creator I really am.  However when I look ...

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Cheryl - The Art of Being Conflicted

Neighborhood Dirt

Thought Number One:  Gardens in My Neighborhood

To catch everyone up to speed…I like to garden. (For my readers that have been around awhile, you might remember last year’s garden post about Lil Bastard, a ravenous rabbit that still calls my yard his “salad bar”. Just in case you missed it here’s the link… Hare Today Gone Tomorrow )

I say “I love gardening” in the same vein as others might admit to hoarding or binge eating…that is with a bit of “I know I shouldn’t be saying this out loud as people will think I’m either a nutjob
or old or both” but still…here it is…I like to garden.

As far as me being thought of as a whackadoodle.  Probably.  At least this is the case where I live.  Not so long ago my neighbors gathered in front of my house to have a little pow-wow.  Me, being the naive person I am, decided to join them and participate in what I thought would be the typical rumor mill type of conversation.  No…they were having a discussion on what a waste of time and effort “gardening” is.  Now you would think that because, I was out in my yard, knee deep in compost, pulling my little red garden wagon around with my supplies that maybe this conversation would of halted as the subject of the conversation came into ear shot.

NO…on they went with what a time and money suck gardening and yard work in general is.  For a couple of minutes, I tried to interject the benefits of monetary value on resale (added bonus to remind them that I am a Realtor…unfortunately another topic that repels them) or the emotional and physical benefits of working in your yard.  They were having none of that.

As the conversation went on, the neighbor from across the street went on to say that he had decided to tear out all of his foundation plantings as the caring for them is just too much work.  At this point, I decided to just keep my mouth shut.  Really, the crappy little shrubs that builders put around the front door here and call it “your landscape package” is usually three boxwoods with a Princess Spirea thrown in for color.  How much work can that take????

I am trying to be discreet while taking this picture with a zoom lens for fear the neighbor will be wondering what I am up to. He walked out of his garage 1 minute later.  I thought he would ask me what the hell I was doing, but he didn’t.

He was true to his word.  A week or so later, out they came.  All the shrubs have gone missing and now there is some type of drain something in it’s place.  I have no idea what that is about.

So for the last couple of weeks, I have been back in my yard for it’s seasonal clean up while my neighbors all glare across the fence with wondering about the depths of my insanity.

However, to rationalize my gardening is not without reward, this is a picture taken on the day our inspections were done when we bought our little money pit. This was 6 years ago on a very cold February day.

This picture is from a similar angle looking across my back yard now.  That would be six years and a lot of planting later.

There is very little color in KC gardens yet.  Our suggested planting date is May 15th to prevent freeze damage.  Most flowers are several weeks from blooming.

Thought Number Two- Gardens on the Tour

Last Saturday the Johnson County Kansas Master Gardeners held their bi-annual garden tour.  Given my neighbor’s disdain for me puttering around my yard, they probably need to prepare themselves for the possibility that a Master Gardener could move in here someday.   I think I will make a point when I sell this house, to sell it to someone that is really into composting.  I might even point out the logical place for a huge compost pile right next to my neighbor’s fence.  There are laws about discriminating against people’s creed, gender, religion, …really all sorts of things but NO WHERE does it say I can’t discriminate “in favor” of a Master Gardener.  I might not even show my house to anyone that isn’t willing to haul in some manure.

Here are some pictures of the gardens on the tour.  Serious gardens…..

My photography doesn’t do this little pond justice.  It was really pretty with it’s lily pads.

This side gate led to the prettiest of the gardens I visited. The woman homeowner is an artist by trade.  It showed in her garden.

There were brick walks all around the yard with interesting flower beds along the path.

Kansas City gardens are difficult to keep looking lush as we have both extremely cold winters that kill off perennials and extreme summer heat and drought will kill what is left. But this yard has it figured out.

I thought this was cute.  The homeowner has a little garden hide-away in the very back of their yard.  Seems their cat likes it as well.

A knot garden was prettier than this picture shows.  There was a man with an impressive looking camera lining up his shot and I was trying to stay out of his way.

A different angle but still not the best. Bet the guy with the mega lens camera got a good pic.

This yard had a lot of slopes but the homeowners still managed to put some pretty gardens in.

I added this one because at the back of one garden, the homeowners have built a little playhouse for their little girl.  I just thought this was adorable.

Cheryl - The Art of Being Conflicted

A veteran of corporate moves from which I survived moving 21 times for my husband's job. I currently am a married, middle-aged (if I make it to 116) middle income, mom living in the very middle of the country, with time on her hands to jot down observations, judgements, and musings about past and current events.

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