Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Strange Bird

Hello Everyone!

I've seen a new species of bird in the birdbath located in my aunt's side yard under the big pecan tree! It is very unusual - black and white with grayish spots under its throat, extending down its breast. It has long legs and was enjoying the nice cool water my cousin had added to the birdbath only an hour before. What a sight to see! I wonder if the Audubon Society would believe me if reported my findings?

Do any of you recognize this bird? I tried to capture it on film so I would be believed, but have yet to be successful. I'll keep trying! It was such a delight to see it standing in the birdbath, drinking the fresh, cool water on such a warm day! It reminds me of how God provides that which we need at just the right time. I've been in the garden gathering and just about the time I think I can't do one more thing, a nice cool breeze will come and revitalize me for the rest of my task. Such is the grace of God!

It flows over us like that nice, cool breeze that revitalizes us on a hot day. We are able to handle those unexpected obstacles that pop up in our lives each day.

Like the new bird in the birdbath, we can enjoy the nice refreshment of the Living Water and the cool breeze of the Grace of God as we face each day!

Again, if anyone recognizes this "bird," post and identify it. Here's a clue, it may be able to masquerade itself! It appears from time to time on "Plant Lady's Ponderings."

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Sunday, May 18, 2008

And the Winner Is . . .

. . . SKY4KAT (Katrina)! Congratulations to Katrina from Colorado for being the winner of the apple gourd birdhouse drawing. There were a total of sixteen entries. Everyone's name was placed in a gourd and Mr. Plant Lady did the honor of randomly drawing the winner's name. Thank you all for entering - this was so much fun! Would you be interested in a drawing like this again later this year? If so, please post and let me know.

The apple gourd birdhouses are becoming my most popular item at the Farmer's Market! Yesterday, I sold five after having spent most of Friday night putting on the "finishing touches." Plenty of herb plants were available too - another popular thing yesterday!

Earlier this year, I made a gourd bird feeder. The vendor in the space next to mine suggested I put some herb plants in it for a display. She thought it would make a great "hanging herb garden." It did! Within 20 minutes, it was SOLD! I guess I'll have to make more!

I am enjoying the Market since its opening on Mother's Day weekend! It gives me a chance to renew old acquaintances and make some new ones! A customer from last season came by to tell me that her sister had passed away. She purchased an apple gourd around Christmas as a gift for someone else, but had given it to her sister instead, to brighten her day. She said that the gourd was her sister's "prized posession!" It had given her many "bright, cheery hours" there within the confines of the nursing home. I am glad God uses me and the talents He has given me to brighten someone's day and bring encouragement their way!

Katrina (SKY4KAT), please e-mail me with your name and physical address so I can send your birdhouse via UPS. My e-mail address is

Again, CONGRATULATIONS! I hope you will enjoy the birdhouse!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Farmer's Market News and Reminder

Hello Everyone!

The time is drawing near for the gourd birdhouse giveaway on "Plant Lady's Ponderings." It will be held on Saturday, May 17 and the winner will be announced here on Sunday, May 18, 2008. Be sure to stop by to see if you're the WINNER!

So far, there are fourteen entries and I hope to get a few more. If you have not entered, just post your name and say "Enter me" and that all there is to it! I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you and if you know of someone who hasn't signed up, please let them know to stop by and enter.

I've been busy painting birdhouses for our local Farmer's Market. Last Saturday was our opening for the season and we had a great crowd! We estimated about 400 patrons and had lots of offerings- vegetables, herb plants, hanging baskets made from recycled materials, jam/jellies, baked goods, and one lady who makes homemade soaps using beeswax and honey from her bees. We had a great time of fellowship as we renewed friendships from seasons past.

Everyone enjoyed the free homemade ice cream that was churned right there at the Market using our fresh fruit. Of course, I provided a churn of blueberry ice cream, which seems to be everyone's favorite! One of the other farmers made three churns of strawberry and peach ice cream. I enjoyed the peach ice cream- it is my favorite!

We had a local elementary school chorus open the Market with a concert and they were great!
We probably will invite groups like that to perform at the market more often.

I guess, I'd better go now because it's almost time to get ready for Wednesday night service at church. I hope you have a great evening!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Short Note from Plant Lady

Hello Everyone!

Happy Mother's Day! I trust God will be especially close to you today as you spend time with family and friends.

Just a quick note to let you know that I will be posting sporadically for the next few weeks. This begins my busy season as I will be helping my daddy with his blueberry farm. The crop looks great this year! Plenty of fresh, juicy blueberries are just about ready for harvest. It also is a time of perpetual exhaustion for us as we carry on the jobs of about five people! There are always unforeseen challenges to overcome and I ask that you keep me and my daddy in your prayers. We both are not as young as we once were!

I hope to be able to post on Saturday evenings or Sundays and will be checking in on all my friends' blogs. If you have time, just drop me a line of encouragement as it will make my weeks go by much easier.

Take care and Happy Mother's Day!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Hello Everyone!

They've invaded! Roaming around, seeking what they can devour! I know this sounds like Satan or a "bad" science fiction movie plot, but it is happening in my garden! My Irish potatoes plants are in shreds, nothing but stems left! The broadleaf mustard greens are full of holes! At last glance a couple of days ago, they were fine, then suddenly - destruction!

The potatoes were developed enough that I don't think it will hurt the production, but I can't stand the thoughts of all those beetles lurking around. I guess they have to eat too, but I do wish they would find somewhere else to have the buffet! As for the culprits that have attacked the mustard greens, well, they've gone into hiding! I have something in store for them and it's not going to be pretty!

This episode has made me aware of how, when we let our guard down, our thoughts and minds can be invaded with the most destructive messages from the enemy and his "buffet buddies." Just a few days of "not being alert," caused the destruction of a whole season's harvest! How much destruction can be caused when we let our thoughts and minds be "diverted" from the purpose to which God has called us. Are we contributing to the "shreds and holes," and ultimately affecting the harvest?

In Ephesians, Paul talks about being alert to the schemes of the devil and how we are to use the armor of God as our weapon against his schemes. It is much more effective than that which I have in store for those "culprits" that are in hiding, somewhere in my garden!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Monday, May 5, 2008

My Proverbs 31 Wife (by Mr. Plant Lady)

Plant Lady had an early morning start today and a full day of work. So she asked me if I would post something on her blog.

I want to begin with a remembrance of one of our early conversations about marriage in which I told her, "I'm looking for a woman who will be the kind of wife described in Proverbs 31." Because she came from a strong Christian family and a background of faithful church attendance, I knew she must have read that scripture many times, heard it preached and taught. She impressed me as the type of woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31, NLT.

A Wife of Noble Character

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.

She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.

Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes.

She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

My reason for writing this today is to say just how blessed I feel to have Plant Lady in my life. I trust her and my life is enriched because of her. As you all have seen, she is multi-talented, crafty, strong in her faith, full of dignity, wise, kind, and beautiful in so many ways! I honor, praise and reward her for all she is to me and I thank God that He brought her into my life.

May she continue to be a blessing to each of you as well!

(Mr. Plant Lady)

An Unusual Mother's Day Request

Hello Everyone!

A bucket full of crickets! That's what a friend of mine told her husband she wanted for Mother's Day! Now, I don't think that has ever been on anyone's "Top Ten List" for Mother's Day gifts until now! Let me explain.

My friend has a special love for God's creatures, especially ducks. She has four ducks, two of them are Rouens, one is a White Pekin and one is a Mallard. They are her "babies!" She has even named them - the two females are named Little Bit and Peanut and the two males are Rouen Deux and Rouen Martin. She is known as the "Duck Duck Mama!" She will let them out of their pen and accompany them on scavenger hunts for the finest, juiciest bugs and such. I ask for weekly updates on their antics because, quite frankly, they cheer me so!

Her request would be a special treat for them because, after all, it will be their birthday and the crickets will be their "cake," of sorts! She has her party dress ready, and of course, party hat, which is a cap with a "duck's bill!" She is still looking for party hats for the ducks and I'm sure she will find some. If not, I'm sure she will make them, she is very crafty!

Her husband told her that he, "was not buying crickets for those ducks!" She replied, "No, you are buying them for me!" Well, I guess Duck Duck Mama has spoken! I'm sure Little Bit, Peanut, Rouen Deux and Rouen Martin will have the very best birthday party ever!

Let's all sing "Happy Birthday" to the ducks! I'll lead!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Busy Day

Hello Everyone!

What a day yesterday! I had intended to do a new post, but everything that could go wrong, did go wrong! I was supposed to be at a club meeting, to set-up for a food judging event at a local festival in our area, and I showed up at 10:00 a.m. just like planned. No one else was there! I couldn't figure out what was wrong! At our last meeting, the agenda said Friday, May 2, 2008 @ 10:00 a.m. in big bold letters. What I didn't remember was that at our last meeting, we changed it to Thursday 1, 2008, and I had written it down right next to the original date! I went on the wrong day! Totally missed the meeting! I was so aggravated with myself, how could I have overlooked the change in plans? Well, I guess it was "Providential" hinderance, because Wednesday night at church, the pastor asked me if I could take his wife to a doctor's appointment on Thursday and I agreed. She had been hospitalized several days earlier, then released, and on her first day back at work, they had to call 911. She has migranes really bad, but that was not why she was hospitalized. I think she has colitis. I guess I spelled that right.
I was glad I could be of assistance to her. Maybe that was in the plan!

I had to run a few errands yesterday after my "wild goose chase", and I stopped at a local farm to get some strawberries. They were beautiful! Large, red and juicy-full of flavor! I took some over to my dad's and ate lunch with him. On my return trip home, I needed some bows for a wreath on my front door. I stopped at a shop near my home and waited for the lady to make them. I left and turned into the road by my house and a lady flagged me down. I don't usually stop like that because of all the "crime" and such, but for some reason, I did this time. She asked if I could take her to her grandmother's house about three miles away. I reluctantly agreed, but said I had to make a quick stop first, then I would come back to pick her up. I let my husband know what had happened and he said to go ahead, but keep my phone with me. He came out on the porch to "make his presence known", and asked her a few questions. Then we left. I dropped her off at her grandmother's, but she told me to wait and carry her back to where I picked her up! Now that was too much for me! Something did not "feel" right. Another lady came out of the house and started searching for something in the back seat of her car. I asked if the lady was coming out and she said she didn't know. "How do you know her?," she asked. "I don't, I was just giving her a ride," I said. The whole thing was not "feeling right", so I told the lady outside to tell her I had to go and I left. I figured her grandmother or the other lady could give her a ride back. I want to be of help to people, but I need to listen to that "little voice" that tells me it may be a bad situation. Anyway, I know that God will bless my intentions!

When I finally got home, the house was a wreck! My husband said that his brother and wife were coming over for supper. We had invited them a day earlier, and they had declined, saying they had to work late. Now, they were coming after all and I had not prepared anything! I took out some chicken I had in the freezer and thawed it for the grill. We had a no-frills supper. Barbecued chicken on the grill, mashed potatoes and green lima beans. Fortunately, I had some of the strawberries left from earlier that day, so we were able to have dessert!

I was so tired after supper, I could hardly hold my eyes open. I know I must have dozed off a time or two while I was watching TV with my sister-in-law. I hope she did not notice!

They finally went home and I went straight to bed! I hope today is less eventful!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Wedding

Hello Everyone!

You know about our blind date, our courtship, and the proposal. The saga continues! Now to our wedding!

We set the date! Saturday, September 18, 1999 would be the happiest day of our lives together to this point. Many months went into the planning of our "day to remember." No stone was left unturned, so to speak, and we were ready! Ready for anything! Anything? Well, not quite.

If you live on the East Coast in the Mid-Atlantic states, or on the Gulf Coast, you know what can happen during the months of June through November! That's right! Hurricanes! Leave it to me to pick a date during which we would have the worst hurricane in decades! Hurricane Floyd came as an uninvited guest to our wedding, and he didn't even bring a wedding gift to congratulate us!

Hurricane Floyd made landfall on Wednesday evening, September, 15, near Wilmington, NC. It was a Category 2 hurricane with peak gusts up to 138 mph. As hurricanes go, it seemed relatively tame, compared to others I have experienced, but what was extraordinary, was the amount of rainfall. Here is the overview of Hurricane Floyd from the National Weather Service in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Hurricane Floyd impacted the East Coast of the United States from September 14 to 18, 1999. The greatest damages were along the eastern Carolinas northeast into New Jersey, and adjacent areas northeastward along the east coast into Maine. Hurricane Floyd produced more human misery and environmental impact in North Carolina than any disaster in memory. The 15-20 inches of rain that fell across the eastern half of the state caused every river and stream to flood. There were 57 deaths in the United States directly attributed to Floyd, and flood damage estimates range near $6 billion. Many rivers set new flood records. Whole communities were underwater for days, even weeks in some areas. Thousand's of homes were lost. Crop damage was extensive. The infrastructure of the eastern counties, mainly roads, bridges, water plants, etc., was heavily damaged.

God spared us the flooding misery that affected other areas of North Carolina. Our county had some flooding in the eastern part, but the main damage was from high winds. There were trees down and some minor damage to structures, consisting mainly, of roofing shingles being blown off.

Our reception was planned for the front lawn of my family "homeplace." My grandparents lived there until their death and then the house was inherited by my mother's youngest sister, who then sold it to her oldest sister, who moved from Asheville, NC.

The front lawn was huge with large pecan trees that were planted by my granddaddy. It was a picture perfect spot for a wedding reception! Until the hurricane! Tree limbs and leaves covered the ground. Not much time for clean-up! But we began. My dad took his tractor and trailer with rakes and pitchforks and others came to help. When we finished with the clean-up with the front lawn, we had to go across the road to the church and begin again!

The church yard did not have as many trees, but one huge sycamore tree was blown completely down and uprooted. How were we going to clean it up in such short time?

Our plan was to ride in a horse-drawn carriage (like the one in "The Proposal") from the church's front driveway around to the reception just across the road. Great plan, but the flooding was so bad in the area where we rented the horse-drawn carriage, the owners could not get out! They kindly apologized and refunded our money! So there went a part of the "dream!"

Several men from the church just "happened" to show up with large tractors, chains, saws and other equipment for cleaning up the tree. I couldn't believe they were doing this for us, without even being asked! God's hands and feet were at work, showing His love for us and the marriage He ordained! How humbled we felt!

I was operating on adrenalin. I was so tired and I think my "nerves" were frazzled. My cousin's husband tried to lift my spirits. He has always been somewhat of a joker, so he was in rare form. While my cousin and I were finishing up with the folding of our wedding program booklet, he asked for K-'s cell phone number. I didn't know what he was up to or I would not have given it to him. He called K- and told him I left upset and crying, had run away and wasn't coming back, or something to that effect! I was right there and realized what he had done! Immediately after he hung up with K-, my cell phone rang. It was K-, crying, asking what was wrong! I had to laugh, but it was not funny to K-! I soon calmed him down and let him know that it was my cousin's husband's way of cheering me up, although I don't think he thought of how it might affect K_.

Another way he tried to cheer me was by putting a wooden cut-out of a frog, sitting holding a fishing pole, right next to my wedding portrait, that was to be displayed at the reception. I ignored it, but I gave my matron-of-honor strict instructions to have it gone by the time the reception started. It did cheer me, so he was successful in his attempt!

The rehearsal was set for 6:00 p.m. We wanted to get a "feel" for how the service would go, because it was also set for 6:00 p.m. the next day, but we didn't anticipate we would have to rehearse by "flashlight." We had no electricity at the church! The high winds had knocked out all power at the church, as well as at my aunt's house, where the reception was to be! We had electricity (never lost it) at my house just next door! Imagine that!

The BIG DAY had arrived! Last minute preparations were being done. Still no power at the church! What were we going to do? I was like a "walking zombie!" I was trying to think of a contingency plan if we did not receive power. I remembered a friend of the family who did contract work for the power company, cutting rights-of-way. I tried to reach him to see if there was any way he could find out when the power would be restored. He said he would see what he could do.

The clock was ticking. Still no power. I had come to terms with the fact that we probably wouldn't have any electricity in the church and we would have to get married by candlelight. Not so bad, I reasoned. Then I saw them! The power company trucks! They pulled into the church yard, then went down the road. Then back into the church yard. They were trying to locate the problem! In a matter of a few minutes, the power was back on, with about an hour to spare before the start of the ceremony! God does answer prayers! I often wonder if the friend of the family, who did contract work for the power company, called in a favor or two. I don't know, but I know God was ultimately in control!

A few other disappointments came our way. Two of the groomsmen were unable to get to the wedding. One could not get a flight into North Carolina from the Dallas/Ft.Worth airport and the other could not get out of his own driveway, except by boat! He and his family weren't harmed in the hurricane, which was a blessing. He lives in eastern North Carolina, where the majority of the flooding occurred. One of my bridesmaids could not get a flight from Washington, DC. either. We were able to carry on in their absence. I'm just glad everyone was safe from the storm!

K- gave me a wedding gift after the ceremony. It was a book by Joanna Weaver, entitled "With This Ring, Promises to Keep. K- wrote a note in the front of the book that included this, in part,
"I know there will be tough times ahead, but if we can withstand a storm like Hurricane Floyd and still "pull off" a wedding, I believe, with God's help, we can do anything!"

I'm a believer!

Be Encouraged,
Plant Lady