Don’t give up hope. Ever.

IMG_20160612_092713.jpg

I’ve never had success with gardens. I have a brown thumb and usually kill a houseplant within a year.

Strange that I still harbor a desire to grow something. When I walk into a house with beautiful, thriving plants, I just want to sit and stay a while. The same thing is true when I visit a house with a vegetable garden. I want to oogle and awe at the growing plants and to stop and admire the food that will soon adorn a plate or two.

I’d always think how spectacular it would be to go shopping in your own back yard.

Early, before spring, I happened to notice a raised garden in the store. My mind dwelled on the ‘what if’ ideas for a week or two. My husband was the one that gave me the push I needed to go and plunk down the money for the project. I knew what would happen. The plants would die and I’d feel terrible for having spent money on a failed project, and I would grieve for the plants that could have thrived in another garden.

We purchased the 4’x4’ garden and added close to $100 worth of dirt. Then I went crazy with plants. I wanted tomatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumber, etc…  Some I bought as plants, others were started from seeds.

I read on what to do to fight bugs, and read that herbs planted near the vegetables would help control pests. Then I had to have room for rosemary, lemonbalm, dill, garlic, and a few more. In the back of my mind I tried to forget the past rosemary plants that I’d already killed.

Once it was up and growing, we quickly came to the conclusion that a 4’x4’ area won’t grow everything I had acquired. My husband suggested we purchase another raised garden. A week later, we had not 2 but 3 raised gardens in the back yard.

The first garden thrived. Tomatoes quickly grew so abundant they couldn’t stand up. The circular metal stand I bought to prop them up wasn’t big enough.

Some plants thrived, others seemed to sit there not growing or doing anything.

After a month I noticed green-gray spots on the tomato plants. A fungus I learned. Apparently they didn’t have enough air circulation from being so close together. Yesterday, on the eggplants, which never bloomed, were a ton of ants.

We decided to pull two of the tomato plants to give the others a chance to grow better. As they were, none would thrive.

Yep, I’ve had problems, but somehow I’m not dwelling on the money we wasted, or the fact that those tomatoes would have been eaten if they grew in another yard.  I see what I did wrong. I know ways to improve my garden for next year.

This morning as I walked out to the garden to water it, I didn’t cry about the empty places those tomato plants had been growing. What I spotted, instead, was the lettuce that had begun as seeds. I’d long forgotten about it, believing it never grew. Oddly, this lettuce is 2 feet tall, and escaped my notice until this morning.

My garden experiment hadn’t failed completely. Oh, and that rosemary is thriving. Nice and green and tall, unlike the withered ones of the past.

I can’t wait until 2017!

 

Bye Bye Dark Ages

Technology can be the best time-saver in the world. In an instant, we can contact friends and loved ones and share all the tiny details of our lives.

Look what I ate for lunch.

Look at this awesome sign I passed while running errands.

This small thought run through my head, and I wanted to share it.

For years, I didn’t want to give up the time to learn all of the ways I could keep in touch. After all, if it’s that important, I’ll pick up the phone later and tell them the experience in a long-winded conversation while learning what they were up to since we talked last.

But, later never came. I always found something else to take my time. I had chores, work, cooking, and then I was too tired to pick up a phone. I’ll do it later I thought.

So I chose not to get a smartphone, or a tablet. Another factor that led to this decision was the fact that I lived in an area that did not receive cell phone reception. I’d always had a cell phone for emergencies, like a flat tire. I never felt the need to upgrade phones because I was limited to when and where I could use it. I’d also found a great plan. I had 150 minutes for $15. Since I never went over 150 minutes, I rarely paid over $21 a month. If I upgraded to a smartphone, and had access to all kinds of features, I’d lose my cheap plan, and still would rarely use the phone, so I’d be wasting money.

A week ago, I received noticed from Sprint. The old flip phone I’ve had for 8 years won’t work after they perform some kind of upgrade.

So I walked into the store, grumbling under my breath because I didn’t want to upgrade. The woman was wonderful. She listened to me and understood my predicament.

After discussing my options, I got another flip-phone with the same $15 a month plan, and I got a tablet with a $15 1G plan. Now, I may have to upgrade plans on that in the future, but until I know how much I will need, I’m not going crazy with a large plan.

I’m happy with my Sprint plan.

Here’s to the future and being able to do things I only dreamed of before.

Power of Prayer

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

As a writer, I often define each word to fully understand the written word. The message found in James 5:16 is something everyone should know and practice. Naturally, many words have multiple meanings, so I’m sure someone else could analyze this same verse and come to a different conclusion. Feel free to come to your own conclusion.

Prayer-a petition to God

Powerful– Full of power, the ability to act or produce an effect, possession of control, or authority, or influence over others. , physical might.

Effective-producing a desired effect. (effect- intent) i.e. getting what you worked toward

Righteous-acting in accord with divine of moral law, free from guilt or sin, morally right or justifiable.

I took the definitions from the Merriam-Webster dictionary that can be found online. As you can see, I included all of the definition, which could make the bible verse more confusing. At first glance, it may seem that the only people that can pray are those that are free from guilt or sin. That isn’t true at all.

How do I know that? Because I am not free of guilt or sin, and I have had prayers that God answered.

I believe a righteous man is anyone, man or woman that has an intent that is morally right or justifiable. That means everyone can pray to God, not divine or perfect people.

Prayers are powerful. That means you can produce a desired effect, no matter what obstacles you are up against. God has the power, and he can move mountains, so he can eliminate any barrier you are fighting.

Prayers are effective. They yield results. Desired results.

You don’t have to ask for something every time you pray. I encourage everyone to open up a line of communication with God. He’s a good listener. I promise.

I’ll post more on prayer soon.

God Bless You,

Christy

 

 

The Voice Marathon

What would we do without a DVR?

I never watch anything at the time it airs. What usually happens is we end up with several episodes of something and we watch them all in one sitting. This weekend we’ve been having a The Voice marathon.

If you’ve never seen The Voice, it starts with the blind audition. People sing and the coaches choose whether they want them on their team or not. The catch is that they don’t see the contestants, so they are only judged by their voices. This is good in the fact that someone who may not be ‘pleasing to the eye’ gets a chance to prove they can sing. Which is actually sad. It also shows how judgmental people are in everything we do. I could get into talking about Milli Vanilli, but that needs to be another blog in itself.

What I love about The Voice is how it emulates life. It is motivating. Inspiring. And Heartbreaking.

People work their hardest for what they want. We’re given their backgrounds, see their journey, and what they had to overcome to get where they are. We’re also with them when they are eliminated.

I can’t tell you how many times I wanted one person to continue, only to have them sent home.

This is real life. Only one person, or duo, can win The Voice. Being sent home doesn’t mean they can’t continue to sing professionally. It just means they aren’t going to win this one competition. I would love to see an episode where they give follow ups on past contestants. I’d like to know how many stopped singing altogether, and how many continued to pursue the career they claimed to love.

I can’t help but think that if they are sent home, and they quit the singing career they wanted, they did it because of one person’s opinion. Even though they may have gained thousands of fans after being on TV, one person demotivated them so much they quit.

I hope I never let one person derail me from my dream. I understand if they win the voice, they have coaches, and people right there to give them career advice. Without a coach, they have to figure it out on their own. They have to build their fan base, find their own singing gigs, etc… In other words, it is a lot more work. No matter what career you have, it’s work.

Would you rather work at a career you love, or one that you have to pursue, because you have to make money?

Watching the Voice reminds me to follow my dream and work hard at it. It also reminds me not to quit, no matter what one person said.

Time for the battle rounds, so I’m off to watch, actually listen, to the music.

Curious Puppy

IMG_0738 (1)

Just last night I found a partial piece of bread on the floor. I picked it up and studied it to find it was wet, soggy, and gross. I looked around automatically knowing Shadow had gotten hold of food he shouldn’t have. I found nothing incriminating.

This morning hubby asked why I hadn’t bought bread when he knew he’d written bread on my grocery list. I assured him I had bought bread, even going into the story that I was happy that the brand of bread he prefers was on sale. The bread was mysteriously gone, and I failed to put two and two together that our sweet innocent puppy had a small piece of bread that he’d been playing with the night before. A half hour later, hubby hauled from outside a half loaf of bread found underneath the stairs.

Lesson learned.

At least I hope it’s learned. Anything safe on the counter, or desk, isn’t safe. Now that the little puppy is no longer little he can, and will, reach things that don’t belong to him.

Today’s assignment, along with walking puppy to give him an outlet for all the puppy energy. Check where everything in the house is located. Push things back from the edge of the counter, tables, and desks. This isn’t a cure-all. It is a start. I have to remember not to place anything near the edge later. Twice he’s gotten books I was reading.

Love that puppy!

I’m Innocent

IMG_0763

This was the sight we came home to yesterday. Our sweet, curious puppy, Shadow, had chewed up an entire roll of toilet paper.

He’s a puppy. These things are to be expected, but we’ve had him long enough that he’s learned what belongs to him and what doesn’t. He is very familiar with the phrase, “That’s not yours!” I have no doubt the moment he stood on his hind legs, reached his paw across the bathroom counter, and snagged the roll of toilet paper, in his little doggy mind, he knew he was doing something he shouldn’t do.

One of the traits I love about him is his curiosity. He sticks his nose where it doesn’t belong. He looks at everything, sniffs everything, and loves to explore. So, when I opened the door to find a pile of shredded toilet paper, I couldn’t be angry.

I was hysterical with laughter.

As always, when we come home, he’s excited to see us. This day was no exception. If anything, he was more excited that we’d come home. He’d had so much fun shredding the paper, I think he wanted us to share in his delight. I was surprised this picture turned out as well as it did. Shadow was so excited he wouldn’t stand still for me to take it.

I understand his excitement. I have to admit I’ve done things I know I shouldn’t do, but was still excited when I did it. I’ve eaten the large Banana Split when I was on a diet. The day I got my wisdom tooth pulled, I had a margarita when I took my pain pill. Neither one of these things are recommended, but at the time, I still did it, enjoyed it, and knew I shouldn’t have done it.

Have you ever done anything you shouldn’t have and failed to feel guilty?

My Shadow, a Lifesaver

IMG_0708 (2)

As a writer, I find myself sitting in a chair most of the time. I type out a story idea. I string along sentences and paragraphs to bring a small idea to life. I sit at the desk, pounding away at the keyboard to get just a few more sentences written. I’m driven to fix those few odd sounding sentences that aren’t clear. I scour the thesaurus to make sure I have the correct word. I hear my high school English teacher bugging me when I have the wrong verb.
It takes hours to develop just a few pages to as close to perfection as I can get.
Those hours sitting in a chair create havoc on my health.
I own a treadmill, a Bowflex, and numerous work out machines. When my mind is preoccupied with a story, and driven to get it finished, no work out machine can make me stop.
Then I feel a small paw on my leg. My Schnauzer named Shadow. In late spring I came across him, and he was in desperate need of a good home. He was sitting inside of a tiny cage, looking at the ground in front of him. Quiet. Scared. There was no way I could turn my back on him. He’s gray, with crooked ears, and black eyes that make me think of an Opossum’s stare.
“Get up,” his eyes beg. “Will you walk outside with me,” he’d say if he could talk like a human.
Some would say I saved his life by taking him home. I argue that he saved mine by forcing me off the chair, and by being a companion that encourages me to walk in nature. It’s not only that I get more exercise, but I relax more. We walk in the woods, watch the butterflies flutter, and he pounces on every lizard he sees. I get to laugh at his futile attempts, further relaxing more.
Thank you Shadow, for improving my health and making my life enjoyable.