Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Short Post from Mr. Plant Lady

This is K- "Mr. Plant Lady"! She has asked me to share a couple of short, funny things about our engagement in Washington, DC.

Before I do so, I want to say just how much she has enjoyed getting to know each of you. A real highlight of her day is to post her blog entry and read your responses and to visit your blogspots as well. We both appreciate your prayers and I am thankful for the way you encourage her!

Now, two funny things that happened on our engagement trip to Washington, DC:

As she explained, this was a trip with a schoolmate and friend of mine, his wife and three children. Of course, when you pack 7 people in a single vehicle (even though it was a large SUV), there is very little room for luggage. I had one of the larger, hard side suitcases so my friend and I decided we would strap it and a couple of other pieces of luggage to the roof of the Ford Expedition. Seemed like a great idea at the time. But, after about 2 hours on the road, I realized I had packed the engagement ring inside my suitcase. I remember a feeling of panic come over me as I realized that if the suitcase blew off, my whole life savings would be gone - well, not really, but it was a major investment! I could not wait for our next "pit stop" to make sure the suitcase was still there. I was on the edge of my seat the remaining five hours of the trip - until I finally had the suitcase and its valuable contents back in my possession.

The second thing that happened may have been related to the first, but I am not sure. It may have been the stress of the whole situation! Once my friend, his son and I settled down in our hotel room for the evening, I could not get to sleep. I could feel and hear my heart beating in my temples. The longer I lay there the louder it seemed to get. At that point, I believe fear was the culprit. I decided to get dressed and go to the front desk and ask if there was a hospital nearby. Well, when I asked that, the young front desk clerk started to panic. He called 9-1-1 and very soon some of Northern Virginia's finest first-responders showed up. They hooked me to an EKG heart monitor that showed everything to be fine - just my overactive imagination. Needless to say when I told my friend and Plant Lady about the ordeal, they got a big laugh. To this day, she still has the printout of the EKG report in her scrapbook as reminder of my "nervous gitters."

So, enough from me! I am going to leave the storytelling to the "professionals." Thanks for allowing me to share a little.

God bless you all!
Mr. Plant Lady

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Proposal

Hello Everyone!

I have been telling you of the courtship between me and my husband, so Christi requested I tell the story of the "proposal." I guess after the proposal, I'll just have to tell about our wedding also. Now, that's a "story!" Stay tuned!

The Proposal . . .

In the Bloomin' Onion story, I mentioned K-'s friend from high school. He was talking to K- about wanting to take a trip up to Washington, DC to show his three children the Nation's capital and take them to the many historical places and museums located there. K- mentioned to him that he lived and worked up there for three years and that he would be glad to show them around anytime they wanted to go. A trip was planned for December, while the children were on Christmas vacation.

We were out for dinner with them one night when K- asked the children if they could persuade me to go with them on the trip to DC. Well, they were very persuasive and I said that I would.

We left on December 18 and planned to return on December 23. K- booked our hotel rooms at a hotel where he had planned meetings with his job in DC. We arrived around 11:00 pm and were very tired - imagine traveling with three children for 7 hours! The fellows shared a room and we girls shared a suite.

We took in all the sights and sounds of Washington, DC at Christmastime. We went to church service at Washington National Cathedral. It was a wonderful service and I enjoyed seeing the architecture and reading about the history of the church. We also took a tour of the many chapels located within it. The Smithsonian Museum was next on our list. There are too many to cover in just a few days, so we just went to the Air and Space museum and the Natural History museum. We visited the National Archives and saw the Declaration of Independence and the other founding documents for our country.

I wanted to see the Holocaust Museum, but the others didn't. I was so disappointed, so K- suggested we break away from them for a while. He and I went to the museum and it was the most moving and emotional experience I had ever had! The artifacts and pictures were unbelievable in their effect. It was as if you were experiencing the tragedy yourself. Tears could not be contained as I walked through. The most moving display for me was a pile of shoes - hundreds of pairs of shoes - that had been recovered from the concentration camps upon liberation. Men's shoes, ladies' shoes, and the shoes of the children! Millions of them!

How can there be so much evil in the world? How could six million people be exterminated?

After that, I did not feel like sightseeing the rest of the day. Too much sadness! I wasn't quite as cheerful as I had been earlier. How could one be, after experiencing only a minute piece of history and realizing just how horrible it must have been for the Jews and others who dared go against Hitler and the Nazi Party?

That night we went out to dinner and quite frankly, I did not enjoy the company. I was still affected, emotionally, from the visit to the museum. I had to restrain myself from breaking up, because I just did not feel "happy and cheerful" like the others. When we got back to the hotel, I was ready to turn in. Maybe tomorrow would be a better day.

It was a better day! God gave me a good night's rest and I was able to sort out my feelings. I forget the order of the day's events, but they included the Capitol building tour, the tour of the White House that our Congressman arranged for us and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and others. We had a great time! That evening, we had tickets for a dinner theater. My Fair Lady was being performed and it was great! We all enjoyed the performance and the meal as well.

The next day, we went to the National Cemetery and saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was a very solemn event also. We also went to the shops located at Pentagon City. You would know we had to get some shopping in! We found out that the other couple had their anniversary that day, so K- and I decided we would keep the children back at the hotel so they could spend some time together without the children. We took them back and ordered pizza and watched TV. Thank goodness we had two TV's in our suite. Too many cartoons for me!

The next day was a horrible day for me, I was unused to all the noise that three children could make and the "threats" of "certain" punishment for those who "didn't straighten up." Each time K- and I would suggest somewhere to go, they were uninterested. There's more, but you get the point, don't you? I wasn't a happy camper. Every time, K- and I thought we could find a moment alone, here came the children. We were their "playmates" and I had "played out!" K- realized that I was not having fun, so he said we would make some time together that night. We went out to dinner and looked around for a while and then returned to the hotel. K- told his friend that he was taking me out to see the Lincoln Memorial and that we would return later.

We took his friend's Expedition and drove around DC. We visited the Lincoln Memorial, and then the Vietnam Memorial - all of which was spectacular at night! As we walked on the Mall, we went to the annual display of Christmas trees representing each state. They were beautiful all lit up and decorated! On our way back to the Expedition, K- noticed a horse and carriage that was taking people for rides around the Mall. He took me to the carriage stop and we got the last tour of the night! We got into the carriage and began the tour. He was pointing out the different monuments as we passed and was telling me a little history about them. When we rounded the end next to the White House, he directed my attention to an UGLY blue wreath that hung on the White House and said, "The Clinton's are having a blue Christmas!" (This was the time when the impeachment proceedings were going on.) Of course, I thought that was hilarious and I started laughing. When I looked back at him, he held in his hand, a 1-carat diamond engagement ring!

I was speechless! He said, "You and I have talked about marriage before, and I didn't feel the time was right for me to ask you, but I do now. Will you marry me?" Without any doubt in my mind, I said "Yes!" The very worst day of the trip was suddenly transformed into the very best day of our trip. We talked a little about setting the date, and continued on the ride. The driver realized what was happening and gave us a little extra time and when the carriage ride was over, congratulated us! My husband now tells everyone, he had to promise me that someday we would live in the White House in order for me to marry him! I have NO DESIRE for that house!

That is the story of "The Proposal." I will tell you a little more about our trip to DC from my husband's viewpoint. I think it is hilarious!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bloomin' Onions

Hello Everyone!

I'm back! Our trip was very good and we had a great time in the mountains of North Carolina. On Thursday, I ventured out by myself since my husband was in meetings all day. I found a mall near our hotel and spent most of the day in the beauty salon. I decided I needed a new hair-do, nothing shocking, mind you! I had a very relaxed lunch at a nice restaurant and did a little shopping. I found a great sale on pillows, buy one at regular price, get one for 88 cents! I found a twin pack, so I got 4 pillows total for around $11! They are plump and fluffy and I just love them! There was also a wonderful Christian bookstore down the street and I spent a great deal of time there browsing! I had my name engraved on a new compact Bible I had purchased elsewhere.

I missed you all and I'm glad to be back. I've been wanting to finish the stories of courtship between me and my husband and I will finish up with this one, which is very special. God revealed that I was to be his "help meet" in a very unusual way, which was crystal clear to me, more clearer that I had ever had anything revealed before.

Here's the story . . .

Our third date almost didn't happen! I was terribly disappointed. K- called and invited me to a ballgame and cookout some friends from high school were having. Their children were on the team and this was their last game of the season, so they wanted to do a cookout. I agreed to go, but a few days later, I found out that I had to help my dad on his blueberry farm. With a crop like blueberries, you have to keep them picked, so it was something I could not postpone. I had to call and back out of the date. I was afraid he would think I was just making an excuse and that I really did not want to go out again.

Then an amazing thing happened! The co-op that my dad ships his berries with, called and said they were going to be closed on the very day of the ballgame and cookout, and asked us not to pick that day! Now, I could go on the date! I was so excited, but how could I call and then invite myself back? Do you see my dilemma? What should I do? I finally called, although I could hardly speak I was so nervous about the whole thing. I asked him if the invitation was still open and he said "yes!" So the date was on again.

I met him at the ball field, we saw the game and then we went by his house to pick up some things he was taking to the cookout. Onions! He has agreed to make bloomin' onions for everyone at the cookout! He told me that he had fixed some at an earlier get-together and they were requested at this cookout as well. So we got the onions, breader mix, and the cooking utensils and headed out for his friend's house.

When we got there, I was introduced to everyone, about twenty people, and then we went into the "cookhouse," which was near the pool, and began the task of breading the onions. A cooker was set up and the oil was hot enough to start the frying. He put three huge onions into the large pot and the cooking began. I continued breading the other onions as he tended the ones in the pot. He asked me to hand him a platter with paper towels so he could take up and drain the onions that were ready. I got the platter, placed paper towels on it and stood beside him holding it as he placed the hot onions on it to drain. God spoke to me while I was standing there! It was not an audible voice, but it was God! I could feel Him speaking to my heart saying. "This is the man I have prepared for you! You will be his 'help-meet!' Just as you are standing by his side, holding the platter for the onions, you will stand beside him helping him all the days of your life!" As I am typing this, tears fill my eyes. God had a plan for my life. Not five months earlier, I had submitted my life to God in that I had resolved that if it was His will for me to remain single, I would! Up until the point I realized I was lonely, five months previous, I had never envisioned myself marrying. Now, God was telling me that I would!

I never recognized that marriage was a "desire" of my heart, but I think of the scripture in Psalms that says to "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

God put that desire in my heart and awakened it when I submitted to His will! I'm so glad He did! I am so thankful He made a good Christian man for me and that I chose not to go out in search for companionship and just "waited on the Lord!" He is faithful!

We have had many trials in our almost nine years of married life, but we both agreed from the beginning that, "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain." Psalm 127:1 The enemy has thrown all kinds of obstacles in our path, but we know Who built this home. God did! And His purpose will be fulfilled, whatever that is!

My prayer for each of you is to be submissive to the will of God, whatever that is in your life, as it is different for everyone. For me, that awakened God's plan for my life and gave me the "desires" of my heart of which I had been totally unaware. God is truly wonderful and awesome! I love Him and the wonderful man he made for me!

Be Encouraged,
Plant Lady

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Hello Everyone!

Have you ever been to a rodeo? Well, I must admit we don't get many rodeos in North Carolina and I had never been to one, but now was my chance! The fellow I told you about in my last post, "Blind Date," called and invited me to a rodeo they were having in our area. "Great, I would love to go," I said, as we made plans for the weekend.

By the time Saturday evening arrived, I had changed clothes about three times. What does one wear to a rodeo? Jeans and a t-shirt? That was what I finally decided. He arrived and came up on the front porch, he wasn't a "back door friend" yet. When I opened the door, the first thing I saw was the "pointy-toed" cowboy boots! Yes! That's right cowboy boots! Almost anyone who knows me, knows that I cannot stand "pointy-toed" cowboy boots! It is a pet peeve of mine. I don't know why I have such an aversion to them, but I do. Yet, there they were, standing right in front of me! In my post, "Blind Date," I mentioned a "laugh", my friend and I got from my previous blind date experience. Guess What! That fellow had "pointy-toed" cowboy boots also!
They seem to be my "lot" in life!

We got into his Explorer and were off! I did not realize, but he also had a big white cowboy hat in the back seat, which I found out about later! I was able to "convince" him, he did not need to wear it. As we were finding a seat in the arena, he heard someone calling his name. We looked around and sitting two rows up, was his entire family - mother, sister, brother and sister-in-law! I felt I was on "display" for the family, - not a good feeling for me! He was unaware they were also going to the rodeo, although I've always suspected they knew where he was taking me. Too great a coincidence, in my opinion!

The rodeo was great, and I enjoyed myself. I got to meet the whole family and got that out of the way. When he took me home later that night, he asked to see me again. I said, "Call me," and that ended our second date. I told him later in our courtship, that if he had come to my house on our first date wearing those "pointy-toed" cowboy boots, there wouldn't have been a second date! Would there have been!? What do you think? Post and let me know!

Our third date story is for another day! It is a most special story to me, because it was the time I realized that I would eventually marry this man.

F Y I -I am going out of town for the next couple of days and will be unable to post until I return on Friday. Please pray for traveling mercies for me and my husband as we travel on Wednesday and then again returning on Friday. I will try to check in if I can find computer access on our trip. I'm going to miss you all for the next two days. You have become great friends and have encouraged me so much. I love you all!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Monday, April 21, 2008

Blind Date

Hello Everyone!

In my very first post on "Plant Lady's Ponderings," I told you that I am a "happily married lady who enjoys gardening." Here's the story of how that came to be.

In May 1998, a dear friend called me and said, "Has a man called you?" Taken off guard, I replied, "No, if a man had called me, I'm sure I would have remembered!" I had not "dated" anyone and I had resolved myself to being single for the rest of my life. I was 33 years old and had never really found anyone I would date. People began to tell me that I was too "picky," and some "friends" had taken matters into their own hands by trying to arrange a "match" for me.

One in particular, was a "blind date," that I found out about at the last minute. The "friend" neglected to tell me about what she had done! I felt obligated to go, so I did. Needless to say, it was a disaster! So, you can probably tell, I am leery of blind dates!

Well, as I was saying, my dear friend called to inquire if a "man" had called. When my reply was "no," she told me what she had done. "I NEVER set anyone up on blind dates, BUT, I ran into a friend of mine from college and we talked about old times and all of a sudden you popped into my mind," she said. "I asked him if he was dating anyone and he said he wasn't so I gave him your phone number and told him to call." She then asked me if I remembered him from high school. We had gone to different high schools, but were from the same county. I was familiar with who he was, because of his involvement in various school and community activities within our county.

After she told me of what she had done, we got a big laugh from my other "blind date" story and our conversation ended. About five minutes later, the phone rang. It was him! He said, "This is K__, my friend M_____ told me she thinks we should meet. Would you like to go out on Saturday, May 23?" We talked for a while, then I agreed. The "blind date" was set, although it wasn't exactly blind since I knew a little about him.

The date went well. He came by to pick me up. I invited him in to meet my parents, then we were off! We went to dinner and a movie. On the way to the restaurant, we talked about our families, our churches, and other things we had in common. It was as if I had known him all my life. I was very relaxed with him, not at all nervous like with the other "blind date."

When the date was over, he said, "I'd like to see you again." I said, "Okay, just call me." That was our first date! By our third date, I knew in my heart, that we would marry! I'll save that story for another time.

I'll continue to share stories of our courtship and marriage in future posts if you are interested.
It gets more exciting as our courtship continues!

Let me know by posting your thoughts.

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Shiniest Angel

Hello Everyone!

Whew! What a day this has been! I was called to do some substitute work for one of the teachers at a child care facility and I have spent the entire day with ten rambunctious toddlers!

Today, being with the children, has reminded me of how Jesus loves them and gathered them all around. Jesus said, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:14

I can recall a church play from my childhood, that told the Christmas story. The parts were being cast and everyone got a part. Everyone except me. I was devastated! Why didn't I get picked for the play? All of my little friends were going to be angels with white robes and a shiny tinsel halo. My heart was broken and I was in tears!

My aunt championed my cause! She asked the director to find a spot for me! While no speaking parts were available, she agreed that I could be a "silent" angel, standing with the group. But there was a problem! There were no more robes and halos! My aunt swung into action!

Going through her linen closet, she picked out the very best white bed sheet she had. She cut out and sewed the very best angel robe in the whole wide world! She then found some wire around the house and covered it with the most beautiful silver tinsel off her Christmas tree, and fashioned the shiniest halo ever!
I remember trying on the costume for the final fitting. It was glorious! I was all shiny in my halo and I can remember the feeling of excitement that I had. I was going to be an angel in the Christmas play!

The play begins! The angels proclaim the good news to the shepherds! I stood among the heavenly host with my head bowed and my hands together, as if praying, and my pearly, white robe aglow, and don't forget my shiny, silver halo sparkling for everyone to see!

Jesus was proud of me that night!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"What's Your Definition of Love?"

Hello Everyone!

I've been visiting other blogspots that have sprung up from the Bible study on Rachel Olsen's blog. On one of them, a favorite verse was posted and it reminded me of something that happened last year.

I was running errands in town and had a "gnawing" in my stomach (for those who don't know this expression, it is a hunger pang)! I was going home to cook, but I just had to have a "snack" before I got home. I decided to run through the drive-thru at Burger King. As I approached the restaurant, I thought about how the burger might "spoil my supper." I said to myself, "A small burger will not spoil my supper," and then the thought, "Yes it will!" As you can probably tell, the indecisiveness, I believe, was a battle in my mind for obedience. God was directing me to go to Burger King and Satan was telling me not to go! I finally did and here's why!

As I pulled up to the window after having placed my order, the girl at the window handed my order to me and asked this question I will never forget. "What's your definition of love?"

Without thinking about the question (I was in shock!), I instinctively quoted John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." The girl smiled and said "thank you," and closed the window.

As I pulled back onto the highway, the magnitude of what happened hit me and my eyes filled with tears! I believe God sent me to this girl at the drive-thru window at Burger King with a message for her. I don't know her circumstances, but I believe God directed her to ask the question and receive the answer for her life. Only God knows!

I went away rejoicing that He used me and that I was obedient!

Be obedient and be used by God!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Zucchini Marmalade

Hello Everyone!

As some of you may know, I enjoy gardening and I "share" the blessings of the garden with others. Two years ago, I had a bumper crop of squash - zucchini, yellow and the patty-pan (a scalloped, white squash, which is my favorite.) I had plenty for sale at our local farmer's market.

One Saturday, at the market, I struck up a conversation with one of my customers about the prolific production of my squash plants and how I might use the ones that did not sell. "I can't eat that much zucchini bread," I told her! We discussed my dilemma and she had an answer for me. "I have a recipe for Zucchini Marmalade," she said, "I'll give it to you!" "Great," I said, "I've never heard of it!" She finished her shopping and left the market.

A few minutes later, she reappeared with a recipe card for Zucchini Marmalade. She had driven home, found the recipe (she must be extremely organized, I would have taken days to find where I put it) and returned to the market to give it to me! It is amazing how zucchini can bring people together! She is now a good friend!

As a result of the prolific production of my zucchini plants, another friend of mine came over and helped me make the marmalade for the shut-ins of our church and community! It's like Jesus feeding the five thousand! Baskets full of leftover zucchini! I planted and He gave the increase!

I want to share the recipe with all of you. Enjoy! It's delicious!

Zucchini Marmalade
6 cups peeled and shredded zucchini
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 pkg. Sure-Jell
6 cups sugar
6 oz. orange Jell-o
Cook zucchini for one hour on low heat
Add lemon juice, pineapple, Sure-Jell and stir well.
Add sugar and cook six minutes, then stir in Jell-o while hot.
Pour into jars which have been sterilized, then seal.

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Prayer - Let Me Show Love

Hello Everyone!

Today, in my quite time with God, I put on Steve Amerson's CD "Sacred Spaces." As I was listening, one of the songs, "Let Me Show Love," spoke to my heart. I want to share the words of that song, written by Paul Johnson.

If I speak with the words of an angel
But have not love, but have not love
I'd be nothing. I'd be nothing.
Without love, I am nothing at all
And if I give away
all my posessions
But have not love, but have not love
I'd be nothing, I'd be nothing.
Without love, I am nothing at all
Let me show love
When callous words are spoken
And angry voices pierce
right through the heart
Let me show love
Let me bring hope
Where people are despairing
And frantic prayers
ascend to heaven above
Let me show love
Let my life be measured
by compassion
Judging myself, before I cast blame
Let my heart be enlarged by mercy
Knowing that mercy
bears God's holy name
Let me feel love
Toward unfamiliar faces
And all the world's races
torn by tragedy and war
Who long for so much more
Let me show love
Let my faith reveal what grace is
And show that God embraces the
least of all
No one's too small
Let me bring hope
Let me give voice to the voiceless
And music to the ones
who have no song
Who suffer and don't belong
But most of all
Let me show love
Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Monday, April 14, 2008

Gourd Birdhouse Give-away

Hello Everyone!

What a busy day! I've been planting gourd seeds for my crafting projects. Last year's crop consisted of about 150 gourds (loofah, apple, and birdhouse gourds). I'll have plenty to paint and sell at our local farmer's market. I've done this for about 2 years now and have quite a "following". I've had invitations to show them at some local craft shows in our area and even had one "auctioned" off at a fundraiser for our District Extension Club last year. The "Rooster in the Barnyard" gourd sold for $45 and I was very excited that someone would pay that for one of my creations! I have sold quite a few, (not that expensive) and am always thinking of a new design.

A friend of mine does basket weaving as a hobby and she has talked me into trying to incorporate some basketweaving techniques into my "gourd art". I have done some already by weaving reed around the entrance hole of a birdhouse gourd and also created a bird feeder from a martin gourd and did some basket weaving on it. She said she was impressed and that she had to have the first one, so I gave my first birdhouse to her! She is such an encouragement to me. I'm still learning and I guess with practice, I'll get better at it!

I have drilled entrance holes and cleaned 10 apple gourds that will make the cutest birdhouses. I will paint some and leave some natural. I put a polyurethane varnish on them to protect from the elements when hanging outside. When I can find my cd copy of my gourd photos, I will post them for you to see.

I thought about having a drawing to give away one of my apple gourd birdhouses. It is shaped like an apple and painted red with a green leaf on top near the stem. It has a clear coat polyurethane varnish to protect from the weather and includes drainage holes underneath. If you would be interested, post your name only (I want to respect your privacy). The winner will be announced on my blog, Plant Lady's Ponderings, on Sunday, May 18, 2008 and we will make arrangements for shipment.

Please post and tell all your friends!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Friday, April 11, 2008

He Loves Me!

Hello Everyone!

He loves me! I know this because he brings me little gifts ever so often - things he would NEVER buy for himself. Things like brussels sprouts - he says they taste like dirt, the "highly seasoned" party mix - he says gives me "zoo breath," and recently 4 pounds - yes, that's right - 4 pounds of dry roasted pistachios, my all-time favorite nut.

I enjoy all the "gifts" he showers on me, especially the one he gave me for our second anniversary - a box of animal crackers! I had mentioned to him that I really loved them when I was younger. No diamond or pearl could ever compare to that box of animal crackers!

I love him with all my heart and have always believed that God put us together! He is my best friend - and a wonderful husband! I thank God for bringing us together!

Someone else loves me too! I know this because He also gives me gifts. Things like love, joy, peace, and comfort. I especially enjoy the gift He gave me on my (new) birthday - Eternal Life! No other gift could ever compare, not even animal crackers!

I love Him with all my heart. He is a Wonderful Saviour! My Wonderful Saviour!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Season of Drought

Hello Everyone!

My dad is a blueberry farmer. Every year, he replaces some of the older, dead plants with new plants he has rooted. To do this, he takes cuttings of 3-4 inches and inserts them into a template placed on the soil in a propagation bed to create even spacing allowing the roots room to form and grow.

While the cuttings are in the bed, a constant mist of water is applied for about 12 hours a day for the first few weeks and then decreased gradually. After a few months, when the cuttings have begun to form roots, the water is turned off. In essence, they are forced into a drought!

The drought conditions force the plant's roots to spread out in search of moisture, creating a stronger root system that is more vigorous and able to absorb nutrients that sustain the plant when transplanted.

Our lives are like a blueberry plant. When we are in a "dry season" or drought, our search for the moisture of the "Living Water" will allow our lives, or "root system" to grow more vigorous and be able to withstand the elements we face from day to day!

Are you in a drought or "dry season"? Allow your "roots" to spread out into God's Word and search for the refreshing moisture of "Living Water".
Psalm 63:1
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.

Be Encouraged!

Plant Lady

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Billy, Barbara, and Sally

Hello Everyone!

Today's post is a "fairy tale" Mama told me as a child, and she even let me throw in some of the more "creative" details. This was my favorite bedtime story!

Once upon a time there were three little goats named, Billy, Barbara, and Sally. They lived with their mother in a little cottage in the field. Their home was beautiful! They had red and white checked curtains on the windows, white enamel pots and pans with red trim, on the stove. (My details)

One day Mama Goat had to go visit a sick neighbor. She told Billy, Barbara, and Sally she would return in just a short time, and warned them to be cautious if anyone came to the door. So they agreed they would be careful.

A short while after she had left, their playing was interrupted by a loud knock at the door. (My mama would knock on the headboard to illustrate)
They ran to the door and lifted the curtain from over the "peephole" and saw that it was the big bad wolf! "Go away Big Bad Wolf", they said, "You can't come in!" The wolf turned around and left. Billy, Barbara, and Sally went on with their playing until they heard another knock at the door. They ran to the door and lifted the curtain from over the "peephole " and saw their friend, Mr. Sheep.

Now, Mr Sheep had visited them before when their mama was home, so they decided it would be alright to let him in. Just as soon as they did, they realized their mistake! It wasn't Mr. Sheep at all! It was the Big Bad Wolf dressed like a sheep! He had gone to his flour sack and dusted himself in flour, from head to toe, so he would appear white, like a sheep.

The wolf chased the children all over the house, catching and eating Barbara and Sally! Little Billy escaped by hiding in the grandfather clock! He was so afraid the wolf would hear his little heart pounding as he hid in he clock. After what seemed like an eternity, the wolf left, giving up on his chase.

Mama Goat came home about an hour later to find her precious children gone, and her home in disarray! Billy heard her cries from up in the grandfather clock and flung the door open and said, "Here, Mama! Here, Mama! I'm up here in the grandfather clock! Mrs. Goat was thrilled as little Billy jumped into her arms. He told her the whole story about how the wolf had come and they turned him away, and how he had returned as Mr. Sheep. Mama knew what she had to do!

She figured the wolf would probably have a nap after his big meal, so she went down to the stream where she thought he would be. Sure enough, he was laying by the stream, asleep.
Now, she happened to have her sewing kit with her in her purse (my detail), and she took her scissors and cut the wolf's stomach open and got Barbara and Sally out, unharmed, because the wolf was so greedy, he did not even take time to chew them up! She found two rocks by the stream that were about the size of Barbara and Sally and placed them inside the wolf's stomach where they had been, then she took her needle and thread and sewed the wolf back together.

Later, the wolf woke up from his nap very thirsty. He bent down to the stream to get a drink and those rocks inside him rushed forward and caused him to loose his balance and he toppled into the stream and drowned!

Mrs. Goat, Billy, Barbara, and Sally lived happily ever after!

I hope you enjoyed this story my mama told me! I would have her tell it each night before bed. I never got tired of it! Precious memories!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Straight Rows

Hello Everyone!

Today has been a busy day! I've been in the garden setting tomato plants - 100 of them! I also planted squash, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, and butter beans. I am so anxious for the harvest to begin, yet I must remain patient.

My thoughts were drawn to a conversation I had some years ago with my aunt, while out in the garden. She said, "I have never seen such straight rows. How does your dad make rows so straight?" I just laughed and said, he had been doing it a long time and has had a lot of practice.

Today, as I remembered our conversation, I had the opportunity to ask Daddy about it. He said, "I just look straight ahead and aim the tractor where I am looking!"

Something so simple holds the key to the "straight and narrow." When traveling down this "Row of Life," simply look straight to Jesus and aim yourself toward Him. You will be following the "straight and narrow," if you don't look away!

What a lesson for me today! Perhaps you also!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Monday, April 7, 2008

She is Faithful!

Hello Everyone!

She has been attending our church for three years. She is the first to show up on Sunday mornings, waiting to greet, as the "early arrivals" come up the church driveway. She is there, evening services also, each time there is an activity at church. How does she do it?

She always welcomes with hugs and kisses! Everyone is drawn to her cheerfulness. Her dedication is evident and recognized by those who know her. Children love her, she takes up time with them. They are never overlooked. What is her secret? How can she be so cheerful?

I need to be like her! She is always ready to show friendliness, always ready and eager to be a friend. Yesterday, two people remarked to me about her faithfulness to attend church, noting that we needed others as dedicated! Why is she so dedicated?

I do not know exactly what motivates her. I can only guess it is the "purpose" that God put into her when He created her. I can learn from her! She is fulfilling her purpose by being a friend to all she meets, by cheering those who may be down, by taking time with those who, sometimes, are overlooked.

Dear Jesus, Help me be like her! She is always ready to cheer someone, always ready to give a hug or kiss, always ready to be a friend, always faithful, always ready to spend time with others. Thank you for letting me see her example. Thank you for giving her to Daddy as a companion after Mama's passing. She is a good dog and so many people have been uplifted and encouraged by knowing her. I thank you for the way she loves, unconditionally. That is the way I should love too. Thank you for bringing us together that day at the pound. She is such a joy!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Note: She lives just up the road from the church. We have not figured out how she is able to tell the time of the services, but she is always there to meet and greet. We have taken her home after Sunday morning services only to find her back when we return that evening for the Evening service. Amazing!

She is in one of the photographs on this blog, standing in the edge of the corn patch near the tomatoes!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Heritage Skills

Hello Everyone!

Does anyone have some old fashioned heritage skills they would like to share?

My mama taught me how to can and preserve foods and make straw brooms. She also made lye soap, but I did not write down the instructions. I want to learn the old time skills our parents and grandparents knew and be able to have a record of them. I am especially interested in any skill that has been passed down from generation to generation. I'm afraid that if these skills are not recorded and used, they will be lost.

If any of you have these skills, or know about them, if you would like to share them with me, along with any family history or thoughts about them, please post and let me know.

I would love to learn how to do these wonderful projects that were so much a necessity of life years ago. What a wonderful thing to pass on to future generations!

Any craft, skill, recipe or anything else you would like to share would be appreciated.

Plant Lady

Friday, April 4, 2008

Little Pig of Love

Hello Everyone!

Tragedy comes to us all! Today's story is the recollection of a tragic event in the lives of my mama and her sisters.

Growing up on a farm, they were exposed to the cycle of life - birth of pigs, calves, kittens, puppies, hatching of eggs, times when injury occurred, and the sorrow of death. This sorrow manifested itself in the death of a little pig.

Mama and her sisters found out about the "untimely passing" of one of their little pigs. Her baby sister, knowing that it was proper to give a "loved one" a "decent" burial, suggested they have a nice funeral for the pig. Plans were made and friends and relatives were alerted to the sad news.

An old shoe box was acquired for the "casket," flowers were gathered, and the final touches were put on the funeral service. As the crowd of mourners (Mama's sisters and a cousin or two) gathered, their sorrow was "very" evident. Everything from quiet tears, sobbing, crying, to the more flamboyant wailing, expressed their deep sorrow.

At the funeral, hymns were sung, the pig was eulogized, and the preaching was done, all by these young "mourners!" Now, it was the time for the burial! A grave was dug and the "casket" was lowered. This act unleashed all manner of sorrow, the sound of which could be heard in the nearby field where their daddy was plowing. He thought, "something terrible must have happened for a crowd to be gathered," and came running to investigate. As he got closer, he saw their sorrow! A little grave with flowers spread on top, with a sign that read, "A little pig of love, to look at flowers above."

Hope you enjoyed this adventure my mama told me of her childhood.

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ice Cream

Hello Everyone!

Growing up in the 1920's in rural North Carolina, my mama and her sisters found the grandest excitement in the simplest things. One of those excitements was being able to go with their daddy to town "in the mule and buggy." The town was very small, but for these three little girls, it was the big city!

On one of those rare trips, their daddy decided he had enough money left from buying the "necessities" to treat his girls to ice cream. The ice cream back then came in little round cardboard cups and included a flat wooded spoon. After the cardboard lid was taken off, the girls delighted in the cold, sweet taste of ice cream - a frozen treat that was rare in those days!

It was a joy to hear Mama recall and relive the experience of one of those trips to town "in the mule and buggy." But, better still, to hear her tell of her efforts to savor the frozen treat as long as she could by keeping the cardboard cup as a "souvenir" and savoring the lingering sweet fragrance after a few days had passed!

Such simple joys of life!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mama's Encounter With The Devil

Hello Everyone!

Thanks for visiting today! This is another story my mama told me of her childhood adventures.

Growing up in rural North Carolina during the 1920's, my mama was the middle child of three girls. They lived right across the road from the church they attended all their life. I've heard many thrilling stories of the church services, activities and community "gatherings" she attended as a child. She told me they were at the church "every time the door was open." Now, that's dedication!

Her parents were devout and their children were raised to follow the ways of Christ. Mama said "I knew there was a devil, because I learned about him in church, but, I had never seen him." Now, for a child, other that what the Bible says, she had no idea of what he looked like. That is where that "little girl imagination" comes in.

One day, she and her sisters were playing outside, possible in their "pretend" playhouse under the grapevine arbor. As they were playing, they began to hear, in the distance - coming down the dirt road a loud roaring noise. As it got closer, they could see a huge, horrible looking creature which Mama, recognized immediately, as "the Devil." She grabbed her two sisters and went screaming into the house where their mama calmed their fears.

Upon further investigation, "the Devil" was a huge road scraper machine that came by cleaning out the ditches along the dirt road. Mama's "little girl imagination" got the better of her that day, but she practiced, in her childlike way, what we are supposed to do when we encounter evil - run from it! "Resist the devil and he will flee" James 4:7 (my paraphrase)

I hope you enjoyed this story my Mama told me of her childhood. Stay tuned for more.

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fine China

Hello Everyone!

Do you remember your first set of fine china? No, I 'm not talking about as an adult, newly married! I'm talking about your very first set as a child!

As a little girl, my mama told me wonderful stories about her childhood. She told of amazing adventures she and her sisters had in their playhouse. Their playhouse was a "pretend" house under a grapevine arbor located in the backyard.

Her mama would let the girls have some of her old, broken dishes that would be "magically" transformed by their little girl imagination into the very finest china. They would have wonderful tea parties for their dolls, and sometimes, unexpected guests (cousins) would drop by, and of course, they were invited to Tea!

I treasure the stories Mama told me of her childhood! You may have some stories also. If you do, and haven't written them down, do so. I am sure they will be as magical to your children or grandchildren as well.

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady