Seasons and Life Cycles

Consider this comparison between the seasons and human life cycles:

Spring ~ birth through one’s 20’s

Summer ~ 30’s and 40’s

Autumn ~ 50’s, 60’s and 70’s

Winter ~ 80’s, 90’s and beyond

The problem with this thinking is that we can’t rely on living to a specific age.

The winter of our lives might be in our 20’s. Or even at birth.

When we consider that life is just a “mist” we are able to appreciate people in the present.

The flowers should be sent today. The “thank you” should be mailed or, better yet, call the person. I’m sure they’d love to hear your voice.

Time is shorter than we think. Live now as if it was your last day.

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Yellow Daylilies

We moved into a new house about 8 months ago and weren’t sure what any previous owners may have planted in the yard.

Walking around the property, there was one corner that had a couple bushes but I wasn’t sure what kind they were.

Lo and behold! Yellow daylilies.

A friend of mine has posted pictures of 5 different colored daylilies. I had seen yellow and orange ones but she had one that was salmon colored that was really pretty.

What’s your favorite color of daylily?

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Bee Balm Plant

Pink Bee Balm Plant

Having moved to a new house with a sunny southern exposure, I’ve been on the hunt for plants that will survive full sun.

It’s quite different from the mostly shady acre property where we lived in Minnesota. I’m almost giddy with all the selections I now have.

In Minnesota, we were able to plant bee balm because we had some sun in a corner of our property. Did we attract hummingbirds, bees or butterflies?

We mainly attracted large butterflies and hummingbirds. It was rare when we saw a bee on our mostly shaded lot.

After planting this one bee balm plant, I was surprised that it did so well in its first year.

After being in the ground for about a month, the flowers started withering so I headed online to see if I should “deadhead” them. Deadheading is when you remove the withered flowers so that new buds can grow ~ I usually just use my hands and twist the dead ones off.

Online, this is what I found:

“If you want a bushier plant, pinch off the stem tips as new growth appears in the early spring. In late fall, cut the bee balm down to just a few inches tall. In cold areas, it may die completely to the ground during the winter, but will reappear in the spring.” This was from the “gardening knowhow” website.

Isn’t this one of the prettiest pink bee balms? Next year I’m hoping to plant several of these.

Do you have any bee balm photos you’d like to share?

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Of Coronavirus, Free Masks and Sharing

While I was walking around our neighborhood recently, I had to stop and take a closer look at a tree that had “something” hanging from it.

I was quite surprised when I took a closer look and also read the sign next to the tree.

Tree with Free Face Masks

Free masks? Yes, indeed. The family who lived in this house decided to offer free masks ~ all you had to do was pick it from the tree. They had carefully put each mask in a plastic baggie.

How original and thoughtful! Wouldn’t you say?

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Amaryllis & Patience

Patience. I purchased this amaryllis in early December and thought it was dead as it was not growing. But I watered it once a week and, although I was ready to give up, my mother said “wait.” Then it started getting “leggy” and a bulb started to grow. It’s a beauty now. Just goes to show everything has its own journey even if it seems slow to us.

There are so many lessons I learn from God in nature.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Have you ever wondered what to do when a new neighbor moves into your neighborhood?

We recently moved to Illinois and our neighborhood has walking trails nearby so we would go walking but the people would not be responsive to our “hellos.” I was getting quite discouraged that we wouldn’t make any friends.

One day while I was napping, my husband heard a knock on the door and I heard him calling “Norma, Norma.” So I got up and went to the front door where he was at. Standing outside was a young couple with a child in their arms.

“We want to welcome you to our neighborhood,” she said. Then she extended her hand and gave us a tin and a bag. We thanked her and stood at the door talking for a few minutes. After they left, I set the tin and bag on the kitchen counter and opened it up.

Homemade chocolate chip cookies, cleaning supplies and a candle ~ what a nice surprise!

They also put their contact information inside in case we had any questions about the neighborhood.

During Halloween, this same couple knocked on our door with her 2 year old and some friends. Later she texted me and apologized for not having time to talk. No worries I assured her. Maybe we could meet up for coffee or something, I told her.

Then, I received a surprise invitation to dinner at their house. We accepted and had a pleasant chicken dinner.

Now it’s Christmas and I had planned on taking over a gift for their little girl along with cookies but … another knock on the door. They had brought us some homemade popcorn for the holidays.

How nice!

Now, this is a nice way to say “welcome to the neighborhood.”

Have you ever done anything like this before? It seems like nowadays people are so caught up with social media that they don’t have time for one-on-one relationships.

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Of Glimpses and Visions

New Mexico Organ Mountains

C.S. Lewis wrote: “A glimpse is not a vision. But to a man on a mountain road by night, a glimpse of the next three feet of road may matter more than a vision of the horizon.”

It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? Visions are good to have but sometimes we focus so much on them that we are paralyzed with taking the step right in front of us.

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Of Geese and Fake White Cranes

Our new house in Illinois is near a walking trail which is about 1.25 miles long.

The first time I walked this trail I noticed the beautiful white cranes sitting next to the fountain in the middle of the pond.

The second time I walked the trail I again noticed the cranes ~ so elegantly sitting next to the pond. They must like the fountain I thought.

By my third walk, I looked a little closer and noticed that the white cranes weren’t moving. That seemed suspicious to me. I started laughing as I realized that the white cranes were fake. I couldn’t help laughing all the way home.

Come to find out, fake white cranes scare away geese. You know ~ geese who leave their poop all over the place.

As I explore my neighborhood, I see more and more fake white cranes and few, if any, geese. The fake white cranes are working as decoys as geese do not get along with them.

Not til l moved to Illinois did I think this was possible. I wonder why Minnesota, where I’m from, has not figured this out yet. There the geese are protected instead of discouraged.

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Eight Things To Do To Sell Your House Quickly

After living in Minnesota for 9 years, we decided to move back to Illinois to be closer to my 93 year old mother.

My mother has never driven and has always walked or used public transportation to get around. Do you know anyone else who has never driven? There are few people left who fall in that category.

After we put our house on the market, we had an offer in 4 days. That was unreal. Here are eight things we did that I feel helped to sell our house quickly.

  1. Declutter. We went through the house, room by room, and removed any items that we had not used in the last couple of years. We took these items to the second hand store.
  2. Next we went through our clothes closet and got rid of anything that we had not worn in awhile. It’s amazing how many things stay in a closet for years just sitting in the back not “bothering anyone.” Get rid of it! Someone else can enjoy your 10 year old flannel shirt that you haven’t used in awhile.
  3. Clean the flower beds and weed. Anything that is dead should be removed. The yard should have a fresh and inviting look.
  4. Power wash the outside of the house and deck. Those cobwebs that you see in the front of the house that don’t really bother you might signify to someone else that you don’t maintain your house. Yes, I know it’s a little thing but little things not only add up but they make a big statement.
  5. Clean the inside of the house. Again, go room by room and make sure everything is clean. Wipe down kitchen cabinets and appliances. Our house was on a well and it took a lot to get the toilet rings removed, but it was important. (Although, when the photographer comes to take a picture of the house, make sure those toilet lids are down. It just looks better). Clean the inside of the stove and refrigerator (throw out leftovers).
  6. Clean your garage. Anything that you are not going to take with you should be donated. And make sure that if you have a two car garage that two cars actually fit in it. Wipe the garage floor and shelves clean.
  7. Make sure the driveway is swept. Remember, this is your first impression to buyers.
  8. Lastly, minimize what you have in your house. You need your rooms to look bigger so that buyers can visualize their furniture in your house. It’s okay to put things in a corner of the garage if you have the space. Box them up if possible so it will look neater.

There are some homes that have very bold paint colors on their walls. If it’s possible, the walls should be painted a neutral color but quite honestly, we had yellow walls through the main area and the bedrooms were a gray-ish blue and it looked fine because the colors would match anyone’s furniture.

Is there anything else you can think of to help sell a house quicker?

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A Beautiful Day In Our Neighborhood

Walking out the front door to go for a walk, I breathed in the fresh air as I walked across the street to the nearby park trail.

What a gorgeous day it was!

The trail is a little over a mile and I only saw one other person around who was sitting on a bench.

As I continued walking, I looked up and saw the beautiful blue sky and it reminded me of the song by Fred Rogers on his TV show “it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.”

Because indeed, it was beautiful!

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