Monthly Archives: May 2016

Rains From Heaven

100_3978 100_3980100_3981 100_3982Here is a glimpse of flowers in my garden after the plentiful rains that we have been having the last few weeks. There is no comparison between how well plants thrive on rainfall versus man sourced watering.

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Uncommon Courtesy

100_3988I was returning a plant to a local Home Depot store today. It was a crape myrtle with purple leaves.  I thought there was only one variety but apparently there are several. I had already planted one in my yard . It was supposed to have pink flowers. I missed reading the label that said this crape had red flowers. Being the OCD gardener that I am, I had to return it to get another one to match the one already planted.

I ran to get a buggy to haul the crape to the return aisle at the store. I parked it near my car and went around the back to unlock the back door. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed the buggy beginning to roll down a slight incline. It was headed straight for a blue SUV in a space parallel to mine. I watched as it banged the front left fender of the other car. Upon closer inspection, I found an orange mark on the other car from paint off of the buggy.  I felt horrible!   I decided to go into the store to report what had happened. I spoke to the man at the checkout counter.  I explained what happened and was prepared to leave my name on a piece of paper should someone file a complaint.  The man stood with his mouth open in amazement.  He said that it is very rare for anyone to report an incident like that anymore.  He said most people wouldn’t think twice about walking away from damaging another vehicle these days.

How sad it seems to realize that the days of doing the right thing out of  “common” courtesy for our fellow man are becoming quite uncommon.

I still believe in complimenting others for jobs well done. I believe in paying forward acts of kindness, looking for ways to make people feel appreciated. I believe in helping older people, those less fortunate or children. I believe in  giving away without expecting anything in return. I believe in saying “please” and “thank you.” I believe in writing thank you notes, sending get well cards or notes of encouragement and remembrance.  I believe in responding to invitation RSVPs, returning phone calls or emails. I believe in doing hard work and not looking for shortcuts when I am being paid for a job. I believe in giving others good tips for serving me. I believe in paying and not cheating on my income taxes as well as paying the bills I owe. I believe that I should return money that is not owed to me or does not belong to me.  I often pick up trash that is strewn along the street in my neighborhood.  I donate clothing to Goodwill and small items to the AmVets. I give to my church.  I take welcome treats to new neighbors.

These are just a few of the common courtesies that I have been taught.  We should serve others as in the golden rule, not expecting things back  from others but treating others as we would like to be treated. By definition courtesy is displaying excellence in social conduct. It is polite, respectful or considerate behavior and acts of expression.  It is  living life unselfishly and looking for ways to be a blessing to others. It is not looking for ways to take advantage of others.

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A New Garden Plot

100_3971100_3972We finally did it! We were tired of looking at the weeds in the back corner of our yard that had slowly grown wild since we moved into our house almost five years ago. It has been one of those projects we kept saying we would get around to one day. It seemed too overwhelming to take on. I never could do it alone. My husband works long hours and never has energy for big projects anymore so it was one of those things that got put on the bottom of the “honey-do” wish list. We decided to hire some help.

I should have taken a before picture so you could see how overgrown the garden plot had gotten. Trust me, it was a mess! A friend’s husband cleared the garden plot and tilled it for me. He is Peruvian and speaks broken English.  My daughter attended college with his wife. They live in a nearby community and have stayed friends. Last summer, Amanda travelled with them to do mission work at his family’s church in Peru.

My new  yard guy does gardening the way he did it in Peru.  He uses a machete to clear out debris. He does it faster than anyone I know working with power equipment.  Coming from the jungles of Peru, he has seen a lot of jungle creatures of the slithery sort.  Those things do not bother him like they scare me.  He told me he killed 4 snakes as he was clearing my garden.  Two were small and two were of average size.  He showed me the smaller ones. One appeared to be a copperhead. It was greyish with brown markings.  That’s all I need to know. A snake is a snake and I don’t want them around. My Cavalier would probably try to kill and eat a snake as she does the lizards on my back porch so I have avoided letting her go near that section of the yard. I feel much better now knowing those snakes are gone.

I began laying out landscaping fabric to make walkways through the garden. I  added newspaper for an additional weed block. I used man power to carry bags of mulch into the garden since it is at the bottom of our hilly backyard.   We spread out the mulch on top of the landscaping fabric.  I used 100% cedar shavings as it is supposed to be a deterrent to insects. I am trying to go as organic as possible. Next came the stepping stones and rounded edgers for a circular bed in the middle of the garden. I plan on making this area the herb garden. I will have four quadrants in the rest of the garden, two for flowers and two for vegetables.

I will keep you posted on the progress of my garden.

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