Sunday, February 28, 2016

No-fail flowers

If you live in the middle of America like me, you probably know gardening can be a challenge.  With our unpredictable weather, high winds, and hard clay soil, you never quite know what a year will bring!  But after gardening for a few years, I thought I'd share my favorite flowers that have done well in years of drought and years of steady rain.

     Daffodils... Every spring I am so thankful I took the time and effort to plant daffodils!  They are the first flower to bloom after a long winter and they bring lots of joy as well as bouquets for Easter dinner!

     Tulips... They are the second flower to bloom and I just love them.  When we moved to our house I planted some red ones along the woods behind our house and they are so pretty and cheerful.

     Irises...  Irises just might be my favorite flower, or maybe roses, or lilacs, or peonies...  But yes, back to irises, they are so beautiful, and smell so sweet, and once you plant them they are good to go for many years.  We have irises growing in ditches around here with no house in sight.  The flowers lasted longer than the farm.

     Daylilies...  I'm talking about the old-fashioned orange ones.  They grow really well and are hard to kill.  We see these at old farmsteads around here as well, where they've been faithfully blooming for a hundred years.

     Zinnias...  These are my favorite flower to grow from seed.  They don't bloom till a little later in the summer, like July/August, so when the May flowers are a memory your garden is still beautiful and full of color.  Plus they attract butterflies, so that's fun.

     Marigolds...  These little cheerful flowers are easy to grow and give lots of color.  They are a little pungent, but are pretty if you don't get too close!

So there you have a few no-fail flowers for our part of the world.  Do you have any additional suggestions?  My flower beds are full so I might need to do some expanding this year! (:

I am joining No Place Like Home.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Loving Tea Parties

My great aunt gave us an amaryllis bulb kit for Christmas this year, and I was excited to try it since we've never had one before.  It did not disappoint!  Miss E and I enjoyed having a little tea party with the beautiful amaryllis front and center last week.

Miss E asked me who made it and I was glad to tell her God did!  

This pretty little Valentine belonged to my Great Grandma.

With Valentines day and our pretty red amaryllis, we had to use our red transferware.

These teacups are called Romantic England, by J.G. Meakin.

The amaryllis has cheered up our winter, we might have to get one every year!

I am joining No place like home

Friday, February 5, 2016

When You Can't Choose Joy

The cold and dreary winter can sometimes wear on a person.  We start to feel a little low, like the clouds that hang low over the dead landscape.  We hear the phrase, "Choose Joy", like it's something we can just conjure up.  But that never seems to work for me. 

A few days ago I read these verses that Jesus spoke to his disciples just before he was crucified.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in my love.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love,
just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
Now notice this next verse--
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete.
So to have complete joy, we just need to obey Jesus' commands.
Now you may be thinking, obey a bunch of commands?  How could that bring joy?
Check out the next verse--
My command is this:
Love each other as I have loved you.
John 15:9-12

I don't know why these verses never registered with me before,
maybe they did and I just forgot, but it makes perfect sense.
If we love each other, with true love like Jesus has for us, then our lives will be full of joy!  What is the most common cause for discouragement in our lives?  Isn't it usually people problems?  But if we are loving each other (and that means loving everyone) then our lives will be much happier because we aren't spending all that time being mad and annoyed at people that bug us.

Remember what true love looks like?
Love is...
it does not envy
it is not rude
it is not self-seeking
it is not easily angered
it keeps no record of wrongs
it does not delight in evil
it rejoices with the truth
it always protects
it always trusts
it always hopes
it always perseveres
it never fails
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

"Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth and song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares."
~Frank E. Graeff~

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