A Christmas Tree for TWINS!

Life is amusing. I was at the Home Depot for a lightbulb. I enjoy seeing their Holiday decorations. I don’t have a Christmas tree this year. FEELING LAZY, but I do miss it. So, I decided to see what “small” trees they had. I like these quirky looking ones.

I looked at their TOP branch, to see which tree had the TALLEST and STRAIGHTEST branch. Some had crooked top branches. That was an immediate – NO GO! On further inspection, I noticed two tall branches next to each other. WHAT?? Were my eyes deceiving me? Was there an actual tree with two tall branches?

By golly there was!! I immediately thought of my TWIN brother. THIS was a PERFECT tree for TWINS. I looked to see if there were any shiny gold or silver stars around. No, but one tree had these red bulbs on it. So, for fun, I put the two red bulbs on MY TWIN TREE. To make my twin brother smile, I put his bulb a little higher than mine. AT FIRST, I admit, I had the bulbs side by side, which is how it SHOULD BE. Somehow though, from a design perspective, it looked goofy. So, I lowered one of the bulbs.

Laughing — NOW, if you look at the bulbs, they look like EYES. This is a TREE MONSTER coming after me. I sent the photo to my twin, he liked it!

As I kept looking around, I saw these fantastic colored cactus. Wow, I’m not a cactus person, but I do love the bright colors. They are amazing. I should have read how long they bloom.

How about a Cactus built into an ornament. Had not seen that before!

Oh, an older lady asked me what I was doing when I was taking photos. I showed her. She said she lives alone, no children, doesn’t care about Christmas anymore.

HOWEVER, a BIG HOWEVER, when I showed her the pictures I had taken, how I was moving trees/plants around to get my photos — THIS made her SMILE.

Suddenly, she was HAPPY! She said I opened her eyes, she had not SEEN the things I had seen as she walked by. She was going to take pictures to send to her nephews/nieces.

So — I feel like I was someone’s ANGEL!

It’s a good feeling! We CAN spread JOY this holiday!

A Wishing Well…

Sometimes we get LUCKY! I was in Michigan at a fair. They had an historical center with different log cabins.

A I explored the buildings, I came across this Wishing Well. I’ve always wanted to see a Wishing Well up close, throw a coin in and make my wish. Of course, I was a bit disappointed when I got closer. Turns out it was a “fake” Well, no water, and you can probably see from the photo a plastic container inside that was very shallow for a plant maybe.

So, I could not make a wish. It would have been ridiculous. Throwing a penny in, would have felt like throwing my penny in the grass – no meaning. Sigh, but from a distance, the visual of the Well was GOOD!

When I got home, I did a search for Wishing Wells. Amazon sells quite a few, people buy them as a decoration for their garden. I had no idea. I know, it sounds silly, but I live in a city, we don’t put Wishing Wells on our roof tops. I think of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairly Tales when I think of Wishing Wells.

On to my next adventure. Blueberry and raspberry picking. Take a look at this. A field of raspberries, it was amazing. They are a thorny bush, so next time I wouldn’t wear shorts. Your legs can really get scratched up.

I met some really nice people who were picking. There was an older couple in their 70s, who have been coming to the same farm for years. They said they pick about 8 lbs each time. Their grandkids love the blueberries. There was one mother who said she had been coming for 22 years with her daughter. She was sad, because this summer her daughter could not make it. Kids grow up, but she was picking some for her. Keep the tradition alive.

I got to say, it was wonderful to get out of the city and be on a farm. Smell the fresh air, hear the farm animals.

Oh, guess what, while I was getting gas, I found TWO Lucky pennies.

So, the Wishing Well DID WORK — in a round about way! Don’t you enjoy coincidences like that!

Road Trip – Lavender Farm in Michigan

FFEDB355-5406-4D0E-AA1D-C99E01543143When I lived in Seattle, I tried to explore as much as I could. One thing I didn’t make it to was a Lavender Farm. It’s not that I buy lavender all the time, I just wanted to see the beautiful field of purple flowers blowing in the wind.

Good news, I have a chance to see lavender in Michigan. I grew up in Indiana, I know about corn, lettuce and sunflowers, but I didn’t realize across the border there were lavender farms. As a child, we did go blueberry picking in Michigan. We ATE a lot as we picked!! Luckily, the farmers never weighed us before and after, who knows what our bill would have been.

Here is where I am going in a few weeks. The Cherry Point Farm & Market, click on the link. They created a special lavender labyrinth. Now, their website says they lost a lot of lavender in early 2019 due to the Polar Vortex we had. They started re-planting Spring 2019, so it might not be as beautiful as in the website photos, but I will ENJOY walking through a labyrinth. I’ve never done that before.

My mother read many stories from Greek Mythology. King Minos and the labyrinth he had built was one of them. I will be thinking of this as I walk through the maze.

Europe has said borders are closed to American travelers. They are worried about a second wave of COVID. No traveling to Italy this year. So, that means we start explorations near our own home towns. 2020 – the year for change.

Porch swings… Are they a Southern thing?

DBE1BA3D-1D86-454C-BEA6-EA574BA1143AI have always liked the idea of a porch swing. Growing up near Lake Michigan, we would string up a hammock between two trees OR bring a lawn chair down to the beach to watch the sunset. A porch swing with lemonade was what we saw in the movies.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Felder Rushing’s Blog post, “Put a Bounce in Your Swing.” His story is wonderfully written about his father’s love for the porch swing and fine tuning the springs, so that it would be a perfect ride. The swing was also a place where his father’s creative ideas were imagined!

Reading Felder’s post reinforced why I have always found the idea of a porch swing relaxing. There is something traditional about taking time for ourselves to sit, swing, let our minds wander and enjoy nature.

Oh, and if you believe in saints, Felder has you covered. GET THIS, St. Proculus of Verona is known as the swinging saint. I would never have known this! You can read about him here…  “Swinging Garden Saints.

That brings me back to my question, “Why do porch swings seem to be a Southern thing?”

Need some LADYBUGS, buy Geraniums.

IMG_3514I enjoy gardening. When Spring comes I have favorite flowers. I love impatiens and geraniums. Imaptiens remind me of Carmel, CA, beautiful bedding plant, but they do need watering every day. Geraniums though, they are a hardy flower that bloom constantly with little care.

IMG_3510Recently, I went to the gardening store and was looking for geraniums in this pinkish/redish color. I looked down and this particular geranium was FULL of ladybugs. Of course, I smiled and was transported to my childhood when the “first” ladybug I ever saw had landed on my arm. This little bug was so pretty, sweet and dainty and when it walked up my arm it felt like a little tickle when it moved. My second thought was, “WOW – I must be in for some REALLY GOOD LUCK, there are a lot of ladybugs here!” My third and final thought was, how are there so many ladybugs on “THIS” particular geranium?

So, I read the little instruction sticker and it said that this particular geranium attracts ladybugs to it, which is good for your garden, because ladybugs eat different insects. DID YOU KNOW THAT? I didn’t.

When I got home I Googled “ladybugs” and found that in Europe ladybugs are called “ladybirds.” Not sure that I can see how a ladybug resembles a bird except for the wings it has. At the same time, it made me think that this sweet beautiful little creature does not look like a “bug” either. My research found that ladybugs “are known” for bringing “good luck!”

So, with this post, I share my ladybugs with you.

Let’s see what luck comes our way!