Praise – Moving Forward

Clematis Climber Framed

The weather in my area, in what should be glorious Springtime, has been grey, cold and dismal. The greyness is getting into people’s moods and outlook for the future. In the midst of another weekend of rain and gloom, I must look forward and seek out God’s Word to remind me that I need to keep on making small steps and not let myself become weary in spirit. The clematis vine is a good illustration of that point, at Winter’s end it is completely buried under the ground, but by small increments, and moving forward (and up) each day, it will soon cover its support with blossoms and leaves. I need to do the same in every aspect of my life. “FORWARD ALL!” Blessings on your day.

Pareidolia – Birds

Pareidolia – “The word is derived from the Greek words para, meaning something faulty, wrong, instead of, and the noun eidōlon, meaning image, form or shape. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia, which is a more generalized term for seeing patterns in random data.” ~ Live Science – Pareidolia

 

pareidolia - birds

The Daily Post Photo Challenge for this week is Faces, a perfect match for the driftwood I found lying on the beach of the Delaware River in National Park, NJ this past weekend.

Do you see the faces of two birds? I do. I couldn’t leave these pieces of river-drift just lying on the beach to wash back out with the next tide. I don’t know exactly what I will do with them, but I’ve seen some stunning examples of driftwood painted for display. I am wondering if these birds need a bit of paint, or perhaps some feathers. Hmmm…what do you think? Paint, feathers or left au natural???

Problem-Solving – The Flip Side of Moths

herbs

The flip side of moths is the damage many can cause if they get into your cupboards or drawers. I once found  a cherished wool sweater ruined by moths. A few years later my pantry became infested with moths, and I ended up throwing all dry goods and pasta away.

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Three herbs I grow in my garden are good moth repellents. Bundled with a rubber band, rosemary, lavender and sage,  hung inside a cupboard or laid in a drawer, will work as a moth repellent.

Praise – The Moth

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
~ Colossians 1:16

Moth 1

Yesterday, after a Saturday outing, we opened our front door and almost stepped on a beautiful moth in the entryway of our home.

moth 2

I didn’t want to damage the delicate creature by picking it up with my hands, so I coaxed it onto a piece of paper. Before it flew away I couldn’t resist taking a few photographs with my camera. I’m so glad I did. My eyes, even with magnifying glasses, couldn’t make out the  wonderful detail of the moth’s features. Examples of God’s handiwork, such as this beautiful moth, with its ‘feathers,’ and sweet face, never fail to fill me with praise. Hallelujah!

moth 3 (2)

As I worked toward identifying the moth I came across the terrific site of Discover Life. By filling in a questionnaire on various characteristics of my moth, I was able to narrow the search down to two types of moths: Lomographa vestaliata and Spilosoma congrea. On further Google searches, I was able to rule out the Lomographa vestaliata, and say with surety my moth was a Spilosoma congrea, better known as an Agreeable Tiger Moth.

moth 4

Photo Challenge – Earth

Earth is the subject of this week’s Word Press Photo Challenge. I’ve chosen two photographs that also illustrate endurance: a patch of Irish moss thriving in a small bit of earth between two bricks in my front garden, and an ant hill built deep within the earth.

endurance irish moss

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” ~ Galatians 6:9

endurance

Place – Buying Local/Farm Stands and Markets

roadside plant stand

The Brown Farm is located in Heislerville, on the way to the Delaware Bay. The owner sells the ‘odd’ plants I enjoy finding. I was excited to find penstemon, a tall perennial that attracts hummingbirds, and a new variety of purple bee balm. I also bought some butter lettuce, the rosettes so perfect, my husband thought they might be flowers themselves.

roadside plant stand 4

I try to buy from small businesses as often as possible. Plants  and farm roadside stands always draw me in. I am a true believer in the Health Benefits of Eating Local.

roadside plant stand 3

Searching out new places to stop and chat with the owners is one of the joys of our weekends.

roadside plant stand 2

Prompt & Place – Hope/Creamy Acres Part I

I love birds. The songs they sing as the sun rises fill my heart with joy. Watching them fly from feeder to feeder in my yard is one of my greatest pleasures. Birds often give my spirit an instant uplift of hope.

hope perches

Recently, while visiting Creamy Acres, a farm and garden center located near my home, I expected to see the normal barnyard animals. While we walked among the goats, rabbits, chickens and calves, a piercing cry suddenly alerted us to the presence of the exotic. When we located  the source of the sound coming from the top of the farmhouse porch roof, we were astonished to see the magnificent plumage of a peacock. Sometimes small surprises and pleasures can fill a whole day, and even beyond, with joy. In my own life, unexpected  blessings, like the sighting of a peacock on a porch roof, bring a sense of hope, even if many of my circumstances at the moment are dark.

“‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—”
~ Emily Dickinson

The first stanza of this poem by Emily Dickinson is a favorite of mine. The rooftop peacock (the ‘thing with feathers’) is still perched in my soul, the remembrance giving me a bit of wind beneath the wings of my spirit.

I also cherish the multitude of  hope-filled verses within the pages of the Bible, and  use as an example this verse in Isaiah that compares hope with the image of an eagle. God bless your day with hope.

“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.” ~ Isaiah 40:31

Plants – Iris

iris 2

My favorite iris plants are blooming. Because my area of the country is swamped in daily rain showers at this time, I decided to bring these beauties inside to enjoy in a vase. The colors, frills and fragrance of iris plants make them a good choice for indoor bouquets. Be prepared for complete enchantment when their fragrance fills the air. I can’t remember the name of this variety, but the scent is a mixture of grape-notes and soft florals.

iris 3

A vase with weight on the bottom is the best choice for displaying iris.

Planting – Sprinkle and Step Wildflower Garden

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In the Spring of 2015 I sowed several packets of wildflowers in my garden beds. They performed well, and I enjoyed the surprise of seeing well-known and less common varieties of flowers grow and blossom. The biggest surprise are the biennials and perennials that returned this year. Oh the joy of seeing an unknown plant grow, bud and blossom into this lovely cantaloupe-hued flower. Even better, the scent of these Wallflowers (Erysimum cheiri) is sublime.

Wildflower packets run the gamut of price points, from 25 cents in dollar stores, to near $10.00 for a large box with shreds of colorful mulch included for easy and even sowing. I’m enchanted by my wildflower garden and bought a few more packets to add to it this year.

My method of sowing wildflowers starts with roughing up the garden soil with a trowel. If needed, I work in a bit of fresh soil, then I SPRINKLE the seed and STEP gently over the entire area. A light spray of water helps the seed stay in place. In a few weeks new wildflower plants will be my reward.

Plants – Yellow-Greens

“Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.” ~Virgil

Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola has been a blog challenge I’ve enjoyed. I’ve participated through the 120 days at least a dozen or more times, and am very grateful to Jennifer Nichole Wells for her great idea. My last entry for this challenge will end on what I consider one of the prettiest colors in the world…yellow-green.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce

Yellow-green is the a color of renewal for me. It is the color of Springtime and new growth. Yellow-green blends harmoniously with almost every other color in the rainbow. It is a favorite of mine to use in my pressed flower greeting cards. Here are a few instances of yellow-green growing in my garden.

Creeping Jenny
Creeping Jenny

“April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.”~Christopher Morley

New growth on pine trees
New growth on pine trees

“Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.” ~Virgil A. Kraft

Pheathers – Color My World in Goldfinches

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An American Goldfinch changes colors with the seasons. In autumn the male molts from summer’s gold to winter’s tan. In the spring, another change begins and the male goldfinch becomes bright yellow.

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Today was the first day I noticed the goldfinches sporting their summer feathers. I had two pairs visiting my yard and photographed this sweet couple having a snack at my feeder. These beautiful birds are the perfect choice for today’s Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola Challenge – Yellow.

Pots & Pans – Blondies

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My grandsons visited this weekend, and I had no treat to offer them. These blonde brownies were easy to make and brought forth questions of, “Can I have another one?”

BLONDE BROWNIES

3/4 cup brown sugar (I used light)
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt

Combine sugar and butter, beat until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined.

Sift together flour and baking powder. Stir into wet ingredients and mix with spoon until combined.

Spread in 9 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

I don’t have this size so I use a Pyrex 7 x 11 glass pan and it works fine. An 8 inch square would probably work too, just add a minute or two to the baking time.

I add sprinkles or jimmies to the top before baking, or you can stir 1/2 cup chopped nuts into the batter. One of these days I’m going to try some hulled sunflower seeds on top.

A LOT OF P'S WITH A BIT OF QUIRKINESS THROWN IN FOR GOOD MEASURE.

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