OMG, when our world tries to stamp out everything beautiful, I’m thankful You aren’t a quitter. You never stop recreating it!
Tag Archives: Flowers
OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: True Belief
O Lord, Your daffodils insist on showing up every February. Don’t they know basketball tourney time lurks in the near future, with its usual accompanying blizzard? Yet nothing keeps them down. OMG, help me believe in the Resurrection as much as they do.
Home Ownership: The American Dream?
Apartments worked for Hubby and me — until a percussion major moved upstairs. Then, upon expecting our first child, we learned our complex was a drug trafficking center.
We rented a house.
The only upstairs residents were squirrels. They pattered across the roof, but none sold drugs or played xylophones.
We possessed three whole bedrooms and a garage. No more scraping ice off car windows. Hubby and I began to succumb to the American Dream. …
However, the driveway didn’t shovel itself. Our house boasted a real yard — whose grass never stopped growing. Flowers I planted attracted real weeds. We purchased a shovel, mower and garden tools. Lawn chairs. And …
The infinite to-buy list should have warned us about home ownership.
But tired of paying rent, I longed to choose the colors of walls and carpet. Bang nails to hang pictures without asking permission.
So, we built a little ranch in a new addition … where roads hadn’t been completed. Also, water and sewage hadn’t yet been connected to the town’s system. During that inflationary era, the special 12 percent mortgage seemed cheap, compared to an earlier 21.5 percent prime rate.
We brought two newborns to that ranch. Mysterious stains marred my carefully chosen colors. I spent years watering grass and breastfeeding babies. Neither was ever satisfied. I also discovered I wasn’t handy. If I banged a nail into one wall, a gaping hole appeared in the opposite one.
The American Dream?
One other house we owned ate water heaters and softeners. Another featured a pillow-soft porch roof, as well as a toilet that randomly ran over and soaked anyone playing Ping-Pong in the basement.
We occasionally considered living in a grass hut in Bongo Bongo.
Still, Hubby and I have called all three houses “home.”
Home, where our babies took first, shaky steps. Where they learned to watch for traffic as they walked to school. Home, where we took prom and graduation pictures. Home, where they and their children now come for holidays.
Home is the only place where Hubby and I can put feet on the furniture. Where we can blow up and make up. Bake brownies, eating them all without anyone judging.
Our American Dream is no HGTV superstar, but at this address, we can be us.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What home-owning adventures have you experienced?
OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Deer Aren’t So Dear
Jesus, thank You for the beauty and grace of the deer You created. I’m thankful You preserved them on Noah’s Ark. But OMG, did those lovely Bambis and Falines wreak havoc there the way they do in my yard?
OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Pests or Pleasures?
O Lord, You know I didn’t plant these cosmos invading my arbor; having lived there last year, they simply assumed a welcome.
Ditto for these zinnias that interrupt my marigold border.
I’ve never planted petunias this color, yet they mooch off my orange impatiens.
OMG, are You teaching me Your interruptions and invasions of my plans can be lovely?
OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: One Thumb’s Green, the Other Brown.
O Lord, I am such a fan of the flowers You make! But OMG, why, though I water, fuss, and pamper, do they sometimes act as if I’m doing my best to kill them?
OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Wow, God. Just Wow.
O Lord, Your infinite mind has designed an infinite number of beautiful things, but surely, peonies must near the top of your lovely list. OMG, thank You that while our politicians don’t always get it right, they were smart enough to name it Indiana’s state flower!
Not Tiptoeing through the Tulips
Whether wide open, singing to a glorious, sunny sky or pursing lip-petals in a demure pout, tulips are delightful harbingers of spring.
My tulips, the teenagers of the flower world, refuse to get out of bed. I sacrificed knees and back to lavish exotic foods on them. Yet, they only lift a limp leaf or two.
Bloom? Too much trouble. Besides, why should they be bound by my expectations?
Each spring, I waited again. Again.
“Hey,” I yelled, “you’re supposed to be perennials!”
I stumbled over a “Do Not Disturb” sign erected by the tulip that had drawn the short straw.
One greenhouse declared tulips will faithfully bloom every spring … if I relocate to the Turkish Himalayas foothills. The fussy lovelies crave their native habitat’s hot, dry summers and extreme winters. Dutch growers have devoted 400 years to discovering ways to imitate these conditions. They have learned, as Mary Beth Breckenridge in the Chicago Tribune once suggested, to “think like a bulb.”
With all due respect to the Netherlands, I’d rather retain IQ points, thank you very much.
Only once have my tulips bloomed more than one season. Even then, contrary red ones, planted to border pink tulips, bloomed two weeks early. They formed a lovely circle … around dirt.
At least, the tardy pink tulips created a clump of color. For two days. Then, strong winds blew them flat.
Still, hopelessly in love with gardeners’ photos, I again fertilized and hoed. On my knees, I planted more bulbs.
The next morning, I peered outside at my perfect flower bed … only to meet squirrels’ chittery scorn. My efforts had supplied a Golden Corral buffet for little thieves.
Something inside me snapped. I dashed outside, yelling and swinging a hoe like a Mr. McGregor samurai. “Hi-yah!”
The squirrels escaped unhurt, laughing.
Rush hour drivers zooming past also enjoyed the show.
Why did they laugh? Just because I still wore my nightgown …
Once, though, I outwitted the squirrels, planting bulbs in a different bed. The following spring, these bloomed in glorious display.
For two days. Then deer devoured every last one.
Will I ever tiptoe through my own tulips?
When I talk Hubby into moving to the Himalayas.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do your tulips bloom every year?
“Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies.” —Unknown
In case you didn’t collide with card, candy, and teddy bear displays, I’ll inform you: Valentine’s Day was Monday. Think in terms of a major apology gift. Half-price chocolates save money, but will they impress your lady?
Perhaps I can suggest tips for future reference.
At all costs, avoid the “I-love-you-every-day-why-should-I-give-you-a-gift-now?” defense. Like the adage, “It doesn’t matter who wins or loses,” it contains elements of truth. But you’ll lose, big time. Unless you think sleeping on the couch — or driveway — is fun.
Fortunately, my husband figured this out. He’s come a long way since our first Valentine’s Day, when he gave me a history book. No, I’m not making that up.
After 47 years, though, he’s a master gift giver. Hubby should offer lessons on finding cards that make a wife’s heart sing. However, he faced a common February quandary: I adore chocolate, but I’m dieting. Should he give me only a card?
Some men bypass the obvious solution: flowers. Instead, they buy their ladies lingerie.
Seriously? When women are hating mirrors, are suffering from starvation, and are pushed around by skinny exercise gurus wearing Spandex?
Admittedly, it’s a cruel dilemma — only one of thousands women inflict on men.
Guys should blame marketing geniuses of the late 1800s and early 1900s who married chocolate and Valentine’s Day.
During the 1860s, beverage manufacturer Richard Cadbury discovered the answer to his own dilemma: how to use cocoa butter that remained after processing chocolate drinks. Before his descendants manufactured the eggs associated with his name, Cadbury marketed valentine candies in beautiful boxes he designed himself.
Milton Hershey reinforced the Valentine’s Day-chocolate connection when he began selling tear-dropped chocolate “kisses” named for smoochy sounds chocolate made during processing.
For a time, chocolate equaled milk chocolate. When I, a second grader, received my first Valentine’s Day chocolates from towheaded Paul Henry, I didn’t nitpick about milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bittersweet, or semisweet. Unlike modern connoisseurs, I didn’t debate whether white or ruby chocolate are true chocolate.
Question free candy? Stupid.
Speaking of stupidity, some gourmets have “diversified” chocolate. They’ve invented a chocolate éclair hot dog. Chocolate and black pepper goat cheese truffles. Even chocolate calamari soup.
I told my love, “While I crave both seafood and chocolate, please don’t get creative on me this Valentine’s Day, okay?”
“Since when have I been creative?”
“By the way,” Hubby continued, “why should I give you chocolates, when you’ve only given me cards?”
However, he, too, has been avoiding seconds at dinner. Toughening up with weights.
Should I give him the ultimate symbol of my love and concern for his health: broccoli dipped in dark chocolate?
Maybe just a card. …
Tune in February 14, 2023, to see if these old lovers learned anything during their chocolate chat.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What does Valentine’s Day look like at your house?
OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: True Flower Power
O Lord, nothing looked deader than the brown, shriveled seeds I planted last spring. But You breathed Your life into them, and now, a hundred colorful reminders of Your Resurrection dance for joy in the west wind. OMG, to think that You can do the same for us, if we let You. Alleluia!