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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Isaiah 40:27-31


27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
    and complain, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. 

We saw this young eagle fly up into a tree on the edge of Woods Canyon Lake on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona.

We waited around a long time for him to take off again.  When we gave up and headed back toward the car, he took off.  Of course, we missed it with our cameras.

But the glimpses we got of him flying over the lake were stunning.  The contrast of his beautiful white tail against the blue/green lake water was so beautiful.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pondering the Works of the Lord

I learned a new Scripture a week or so ago, and I just love it.  Here it is in two different versions.

Psalm 11:2

Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them. (NIV 84)

God's works are so great, worth a lifetime of study—endless enjoyment! (Msg)

Bee in Poppy

I love pondering the works of the Lord, pondering nature and all the wonders therein.

Bees are so amazing, they work so hard collecting pollen for their hives.  And they go around pollinating the flowers that make our garden grow.  "Busy as a bee" is an apt description.  Another thing we've noticed about the bees is that they tend to immerse themselves in their work.

Bee in Night Blooming Cactus

We went on a hike last week, and there were some cute little kids along, and it was so fun to point out to them all the ways God is so protective of his creatures by designing their camouflage.

My son helping the little one hold the frog.

We saw frogs, tad poles, and some unusual bugs in the stream.  It was wonderful to just sit and contemplate nature as God intended it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sweet Peas

I love, love, LOVE sweet peas!  Can you tell that I really like sweet peas?  I love their delicate colors.  But even more, I love their scent.  I'm sure heaven will have a sweet pea garden.

This is the first year that I've planted them in the garden and out front.  It's been a very cool, and rainy, spring here in Southern California.

I'm sure this weather has something to do with how well they're doing.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

God is in the Details

I just love looking at the details of flowers.  In fact, on the morning I took the nasturtium picture, I remember just sitting there and staring at them.  Part of that may have also had to do with the fact that I was only just starting on my morning coffee.  :)  But I'm entranced the intricate details in the middle of a flower, the designs, the similarities and differences.





If God cares for the details in these transient plants, we can be sure He cares about the details in our lives.  In fact, Jesus used the lilies of the field to illustrate God's care for us in Matthew 6, beginning in verse 28:

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cilantro, Part 2

Remember this post from a couple months ago in which I showed how to plant Cilantro in egg cartons?

It's great to see that 6 of the 8 planted are doing well.

Two of the little guys are thriving under the sorrel.

I did cut off the sorrel leaves that were directly blocking the cilantro.  But since cilantro likes cooler weather, I'm hoping that growing them under other plants (like tomatoes) this year will keep them from going to seed so soon.

This one, which I planted last fall, still hasn't bolted.  I'm learning that many of the tender-leaved herbs like it a bit cooler, with dappled or less full sunlight. 

HUGE Cilantro

The dill and basil are also very happy in this environment.

Friday, March 23, 2012

"I Wear a Hoodie, too!"

In memory of Trayvon Martin
That was one of my first thoughts when someone mentioned that Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie the night he was murdered*, and it was implied that the hoodie may have played a part in his death.

My very white 20 y/o son also wears a hoodie, a dark navy one, just like many of the kids here in Los Angeles, both in the suburbs and urban areas.  Some of these kids are looking for trouble, but most are not.  They're just wearing what everyone else wears.  Hoodies are warm and comfy and just right for our climate -- and for Florida's climate.

One of my 50-something grandmother friends wears a hoodie.  From the back, with our hoodies up, no one would know our race or age, just that we're both on the short side and could stand to lose few pounds, like many of the women and girls in this area.

Should any of us have to fear for our lives walking through a neighborhood at night wearing an article of clothing that millions wear, simply because some trouble-makers also wear it?  Of course not.  This issue is much deeper than hoodies.

The first person I heard commenting on the hoodie issue was a black man.  From what I was able to gather, he thought young black people shouldn't wear hoodies because it was somehow lowering themselves, or it was a symbol of something, I'm not sure what, but it wasn't good.  I pretty much ignored him, but the comment stuck in my brain.

Since then, I've heard hoodie mentioned several times in the past few days in relation to this tragedy, and I'm trying to wrap my head around it.  Somehow, the hoodie has become a symbol of what happened that night.

All that said, I'm praying for Trayvon's family, his former school, even Mr. Zimmerman, the man who killed him.  Sin and prejudice have far reaching ramifications, and many, many people have been hurt by this.

*and yes, I believe Trayvon was murdered, but that's a topic for another day and time

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I had not noticed until this spring the delicacy of some azaleas.  Many of them are bold and bright ...

A friend commented on how the ones at our house seem to glow in the shaded front yard.

And I love the bright pink color.  But I was also enchanted by this much smaller plant (it's to the left of the bright pink azalea) and its delicate flowers.

And just for fun, while I was practicing these close ups with the flowers, I took one of this cute little guy.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Heady and Intoxicating

Grapefruit and blossoms

That's how I've been describing my back yard this past week or so.  At first, I thought it was lemon blossom, which of course is delightful.  But the scent originated too close to the house; the lemons are farther back.

Instead, it's the grapefruit tree.  The scent is stronger than lemon, and is permeating the entire yard and wafting to the front, too. 

The tree is huge, too.  It produces lots of yellow grapefruit each year -- many, many more than we can use or give away. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


It was lemonade weather on Sunday.  Really, really hot. 

And the Meyer lemons are finally ready to be picked. 

They've been teasing us for at least a month, becoming a darker and darker yellow ... but the tree has not "released" them in great numbers, until Sunday.

For comparison, here are some Meyers and conventional lemons.

Along with being smaller and more orange in color, Meyers are more fragile.  Their skin is thin, and they will start spoiling in three or four days after being picked.  This is why you don't see them in stores very much, although I think commercial growers put something on the skin to help preserve them.

For the home grower, don't wash your lemons until you are ready to use them.  There is a naturally occurring coating on the skins that helps preserve the lemons.

Oh, about that lemonade ... it was wonderful. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


The trees are flowering here, and it's lovely.

Looking up ...

There is even beauty in the spent fruit of this pomegranate tree at the Huntington.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pretty Flowers

A common refrain here, but we went to the Huntington again today (God surely was good when he blessed us with a free membership).

Snapdragons, pansies, marigolds.

Just wanted to share some of the beautiful flowers we saw on this lovely day.

Stock, NOT Delphinium (or Larkspur)

[**Correction, the flowers above are stock, not delphiniums.  I pulled the wrong photo, and in my tiredness when posting, I just didn't catch it.  My bad.  Still, I should have known better.**]


Clivia (or St. John's Lily, Fire Lily, or Kaffir Lily)

THIS is delphinium (I hope!)


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

A couple of days ago, I developed a sudden desire for some Stargazer Lilies, or maybe freesias.  Something that smells like that but doesn't give me a head ache.  Weird, I know, but true.  I even looked for some at Trader Joe's.  They were out of Stargazers, but did have freesias.    And lots of other flowers.

And I realized it was almost Valentine's day.  Aha, I thought (usually, I buy my own flowers, but thought maybe I might get someone else to buy them for me this time).

So I told my husband, "You know, red roses are over rated this year."  


And then, hemming and hawing a bit, telling him if only if he was going to get some flowers..... that I'd love some Stargazer Lilies, or maybe some freesias.  But ONLY if he was going to get some.  And that they were cheaper at TJ's too, than roses, although the roses at TJ's are very reasonable.

Long story short, a lovely bunch of Stargazer Lilies awaited me this morning.

I've learned in our almost 25 years of marriage that it's OK to drop broad hints about what you want.  Broad hints as in pretty much asking out right. 

Happy Valentine's Day and week.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Like Mommy, Like Baby ...

I was scrolling through my photo files this weekend, looking for inspiration, and came across this picture taken at the LA Zoo in 2008.

"Like this, Mom?"  "Yes, that's exactly right."

This cub is doing exactly what its mommy is doing.

We as moms have a great influence on our children. Here is the cub with its siblings a few months later, again all doing what their mom is doing.

Tiger Street Gang

Aren't they just beautiful??

Proverbs 22:6 reminds us

Train a child in the way he should go,
   and when he is old he will not turn from it. 

This mama tiger reminds us that even in what some might call adverse conditions, one can still teach one's kids to behave properly ~~ as a tiger should, so to speak.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cilantro from Seeds

Cilantro is a member of the parsley family (it's sometimes called Chinese parsley), and all parsleys germinate in the dark.  Yes, it seems weird, but true.  I used to put newspaper cut to size over the pots or on the ground where I planted them.  And it worked, but you have to be careful to watch out that you don't leave the newspaper on too long, and with their very long germination time (~ 21 days), it's easy to lose track.  And then you have very bent and/or broken seedlings.

Cilantro likes cooler weather and or dappled sun here in California.  The extreme heat makes it "bolt" and go to seed very quickly, if you can get it to grow -- I couldn't, not until I planted it this winter in the garden, under the aforementioned newspaper, with bricks holding the corners down.

But I think I've found a better way.

Notice the seedlings peeping through the holes in the egg carton.

Egg cartons.  They provide the darkness necessary, and also the head room for the seedlings to start growing.  And you can plant them directly in the ground, just like those cute little peat pots you buy at the garden center.  Success!
You can water them more easily than with paper, too; just lift the lid.  With newspaper, you have to move the rocks or bricks or whatever you're using to keep the paper down and make sure the soil actually gets wet.

So I planted two or three seeds in each egg cup, and got a germination rate of 8 out of 12 cups, with some cups having 2 seedlings.  MUCH better than in the past.

Once the seedlings have popped up, cut the cups apart and make a hole in the bottom of the cup for the roots.  A couple of roots actually came through the carton.

I pretty much totally opened up the bottom so that the roots have lots of room to expand.

Make nice deep  holes for the seedlings, and bury them until just an inch or two of plant is above the ground.

Pat them in, and water.  Toss the egg carton into your compost pile.

I'll keep you updated on their progress.

Friday, January 27, 2012


The camellias are in bloom here.  YAY!

Actually, the one I love the best has been blooming since Christmas. 

It's a prolific bloomer with the prettiest blossoms, in my humble opinion.

 I also love this white camellia.

Camellias like a lot of water.  This has been the best year for blossoms for these two bushes, probably because I've watered them a lot more.

The next two pictures are from the same plant, I have no idea why the one has those pretty white stripes.

We also have two more trees in the front yard, but only one of them is blooming right now.

All those dead camellia blossoms are also good for throwing.  Here in LA we may not get much snow for snow ball fights, but we can have camellia fights.  Just sayin' ... LOL!