All posts filed under “Glimpses of Life

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Of Deer, Repellant and Plants

Hosta Walkway, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

A couple or so weeks back, we went out of town for a few days. We had fairly nice weather at our Chicago destination but back “home” in Lake Elmo, it rained and rained.  And, rain in our area is not necessarily a good thing.

This year we decided to plant one tomato plant and surround it with marigolds as deer don’t like the smell of marigolds.  It should have been a good deterrent, right?  Wrong.

The deer hopped over our 3 foot mesh fence and ate the one ripe tomato from our plant in spite of the smell of the marigolds surrounding it.  It’s as if they reached right over the marigolds to get their fill of our tomato.  Sigh …

Deer Eaten Tomato Plant

So ~ I’ve given up.  No tomato plants next year. The sage and thyme plants weren’t touched as deer supposedly don’t like the smell of those herbs.

Deer Eaten Tomato Plant

Part of the problem is when it rains, you have to head outside and spray the outer area to keep the deer away.  Whether it’s hosta flowers (ugh) or tomatoes, the deer will chomp on things they find tasty especially if they don’t have repellent on them.

Deer Eaten Hosta Plant

And because we travel sometimes, we aren’t always home to spray the repellent on the hostas and surrounding area.

Deer Eaten Hosta Plant

So ~ no beautiful hosta flowers this year. No tomatoes.  The deer have won.  My garden will never look like this:

Hosta Walkway, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Next year, the hostas will grow where they are planted, we’ll spray when we’re home, then we’ll just let nature, er, deer, take their course.

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Reflections On Kabetogama Lake – Minnesota

Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota

Staring off into the distance on a stormy day, the gray and white clouds on Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota mesmerized me.  My mind wandered into nothingness. There was no need to think.  Devoid of thought relieved me of all the noise that the world throws my way every day.

Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota Clouds

The darkening sky did not deter me from experiencing the peace the sky afforded me.

Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota, Clouds

So I kept coming back to this spot to observe the color changes in the sky.

Looking to my right, a mixture of light and blue skies filled the sky.  Such beauty.

Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota

As I turned my head even more to the right, I continued to see more light. The contrast of dark clouds with blue skies made me reflect on humanity and how our lives ebb and flow with each day.

Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota

Each person has their own journey ~ sometimes it’s clear and other times it’s stormy. Sometimes it’s both. But, outside of stepping out of this world, we must continue on the journey keeping our eyes fixed on the beauty that exists in our current moment.

It’s not always easy.

As I enter my “golden years” I find myself reflecting a little more each day on this life journey. I am a changed person from who I was 10 years ago or even 50.

Almost Sunset on Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota

Stop. Reflect. Grow.

I wish I had had this wisdom many years ago as heartaches I held onto would have healed over quicker. I have learned though not to have regrets as each moment was a step to greater growth.

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Talking Trees

As I was visiting family in North Dakota, I decided to take a walk on a beautiful crisp blue sky day.

The crispness in the air mixes with the oxygen I breathe and my brain seems to function in a heightened sense of awareness.

And thus it was that I happened to come upon ~ the short birch tree.

The Short Birch Tree

The Short Birch Tree

I had never seen a short one before.  With its large branches so close to the ground I wondered why it was so different than others.  And then it hit me ~ pruning.

This birch tree had been pruned and it could still stand straight as others but its majestic~ness would be able to be seen from those on the ground. A much closer look reveals horizontal markings on the tree. Every flaw is open for inspection and/or observation.

I found it to be a reflection of our humanness.

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”  John 15:2

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Of Falling Objects and God’s Protection

Fallen Treehouse

A couple of months ago we noticed that our very well built tree house was starting to lean. Every day it seemed like it leaned a little more and then a little more.  We were pretty sure the large tree stump that it was built around was rotting.

One morning I woke up to a semi cloudy day and wondered if I might be able to pull weeds.  Heading outside, I looked towards where the treehouse was and noticed there was weed pulling that needed to be done around and underneath it.  But then I looked at the sky and talked myself out of it.

Heading back inside the house, I started doing chores when suddenly I heard a loud swish and thump. It had been a little windy earlier and I thought “which tree fell this time?” Looking out the living room window, I noticed the tree house lying on its side on the ground with the tree trunk attached to it.

Fallen Treehouse

And … that’s where I had considered working.

There have been so many times when God’s protection shielded me and I was thankful that today was another one of those times.

Looking at the treehouse, a vivid memory came back to me of a movie I had seen several times called The Wizard of Oz.  In one scene, because of a tornado, a house is flying through the sky and then lands squarely on the body of the “wicked witch of the east.” But the only thing you see of her is part of her legs sticking out from under the house.

I shuddered to think that I could have been killed under this treehouse in the same manner.

“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”  Psalm 5:11


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Of Ticks and God’s Protection


I dislike working the outside perimeter of our yard because of the possibilities of ticks and mosquitoes. But this morning I said “I can do this. I will not be afraid.” And I prayed really hard for courage and protection. So, with weed whacker in hand, I headed out.

When I came back in, I showered and checked for ticks and found none so I made lunch, sat down and watched a little TV.

Then I happened to glance down at my arm and very quickly heading up my arm was a HUGE tick (well, okay, since I dislike them so much they look huge – this one was the size of a pregnant ladybug). I quickly brushed it away from me. Had I been smart enough (no comments here, hehe) I would have killed the evil creature.

So I spent the next hour vacuuming/hunting for the tick but it was not to be found. Fortunately, they die within 24 hours if they don’t have a water source.

I’m glad I prayed for and received God’s protection. I’ve come to realize that God doesn’t always part Red Seas for us as most of us don’t have those kinds of experiences. In the every day, mundane kinds of experiences ~ that’s where I see God at work.

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I received a call yesterday from a number I thought I had seen before that was a telemarketer. They called twice and left a message the second time that said “Stop calling me. I’m going to report you. Remove my number from your list.” The woman sounded upset.

So – I called her. An odd thing to do since she said “stop calling” but I hadn’t called her so wanted to see what she was talking about.

Come to find out the woman has been getting 6 calls or so a day from “my” number from telemarketers and collection agencies. She was so frustrated and didn’t know why they kept calling her.

I later found out that people can use other phone numbers besides their own to show up on someone’s caller id. It’s called spoofing and they even have apps for it.  What an unfortunate thing to have in our world ~ another tool for deception and pranks.

Bottom line: the number you see on your caller id may not be the number that’s actually calling you. You might be “spoofed.” So if someone calls you upset because they think you’ve been calling them, keep this in mind and be gentle with them.  Imagine how frustrating this can be.

I was able to calm this woman down and we talked for awhile. I’m thankful the situation worked itself out but imagine if I had reacted with an angry tone.  We both would have been upset and for no good reason.

Spoofing ~ man’s NOT best friend.

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Spring Arrival in Minnesota 

Last week I was lamenting the light snow that was coming down from the spring sky. Yet looking back on some of my posts, late spring snow is not uncommon.

Unfortunately, the older I get the more cloudy sky’s seem to affect me.   Cloudy skies bring me down.

Yesterday I worked outside for a few hours in spite of the copious amounts of tree pollen.   Then I noticed these beautiful flowers that have erupted into their beauty.

First, the daffodils. Daffodils are one flower that the deer don’t appear to like or eat – which is good because I haven’t found very many flowers that deer won’t eat.

Aren’t these daffodils beautiful?   They bring sunshine right into the heart.

I was surprised to see so many different colored tulips which I don’t remember planting.

Deer love tulips.   Fortunately the deer have not been around lately.   I do spray them with Deer Stopper and since the deer don’t like the smell they tend to walk on by.

But look at these tulips.   First there are the red tulips.

This yellow and red tulip makes me think it’s part daffodil and part tulip.  I wonder if they’ve ever combined the two and made a hybrid?   Hmm.

And then … a gorgeous yellow tulip.   Wowser!

But not to be outdone is this magenta tulip.

These tulips give me some ideas for possible quilt colors.

Are you enjoying your spring yet? Colors sure do lift my spirit.

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The New Mexico Sky

The Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, New Mexico

The sky in New Mexico has so many varied colors that appear right before the sun sets.  The photo above of the Organ mountains was taken in Las Cruces.

Simply brilliant!

New Mexico Sky Colors

I can sit and stare at the different hues of Organ Mountains forever – if they were to last that long.

New Mexico Sky

Yes indeed, the New Mexico sky has brilliant colors to calm the nerves and settle one in to mediate.

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The Cardinal

Three inches of snow had fallen overnight.

As I looked out the upstairs window, I saw that our snow plower had come that morning.  The driveway was cleared of snow. Heading downstairs, I walked to the laundry room window and peeked to see if my husband had had a chance to shovel the walkway.  Ahhh – I had to add this to my list of things to do.

After breakfast I headed to the garage and grabbed the snow pusher. I was glad that my brother-in-law had told me about the difference between a snow shovel and a snow pusher.  This pusher made my job a lot easier.

Opening the side door in the garage that led to the outside, I was greeted with a beautiful blue sky. Stepping outside, I shoveled a pathway to the front of the garage doors and over to the front walkway. I was glad that this snowfall was light because it made my life much simpler.

Once the snow was shoveled, I headed indoors, went to the kitchen and started preparing my husband’s lunch for the next day. With the ingredients out on the counter top, I turned around and happened to look out the window where a cardinal was staring at me.  The cardinal kept still then looked this way and that.

I wondered if I could quickly grab my camera to take a picture of him. Moving slowly away from the window, I grabbed my camera, focused and started taking pictures.  “He” kept still with the exception of turning his head this way and that ~ as if he was posing.

I felt blessed by the opportunity to view and take pictures of this beautiful bird.

Approximately 30 minutes later, he flew away.

It has been said that “When cardinals appear, angels are near.”  So glad I had angels visiting me.


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