Friday, September 26, 2008

What A Difference A Day Makes! Pictures

Hello Everyone!

What a difference a day makes! Notice the blue skies!

Bodie Island Lighthouse and Jockey's Ridge

House used in the film "Nights in Rodanthe" and Old Coast Guard Station

Bodie Island Lighthouse and Orville and Wilbur Wright Memorial
Part of the Orville and Wilbur Wright Memorial - Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Hope you enjoyed the photos!
Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Deja Vu . . . All Over Again!

Hello Everyone!

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that when storms come at night, the rest is uneasy and the darkness and winds are your companions throughout the night - then comes the morning!
And come, it did today!

As I said yesterday, we left for our trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was a five hour drive for us and the trip was one of those non-interstate ones , you know, the ones that are slow and cumbersome. All went well with the travel but the weather wasn't going to cooperate all the way. The closer we got to the Outer Banks, the stronger the winds became. The sky became gray and angry and the sun refused to show its face.

Crossing the many rivers, we began to notice the whitecaps - wind driven water that looked like the ocean! As we crossed a large river, the seagulls could not make their way back to the shore to safety. Many of them were blown into the bridge railings and they lay dead on the road. I thought about the scripture that talks about God knowing when every bird falls from the sky! What a comfort that God knows!

We continued our journey and stopped for gas at Nags Head. One of the other motorist told us that they were trying to get to Hatteras and they were turned back because one of the roads was being bombarded with waves and that the Cedar Island Ferry had been closed for the day!
I must admit this news scared me! What were we going to find at Kitty Hawk, our destination?
Winds were gusting and the waves that were visible from the road looked ominous. Our journey continued through Kill Devil Hills, then on to Kitty Hawk. We found the hotel - the Hilton Garden Inn - waterfront. ANY other time, waterfront would be celebrated, but not in a Nor'easter!

We checked in and carried our luggage up to the room. We had a reception at 6:30 pm with heavy hor'doeuvres so we did not need to go out for dinner. As the evening progressed, the weather worsened! Our balcony has an ocean view, so I stood out on it to take some pictures of the surf. By the way, I forgot to mention that the reception was supposed to be on the pier house of the hotel, but it was moved because of the strong waves. The pictures today are of the waves as seen from the fifth story balcony of the hotel. You may be able to see the pier house (white bldg) in the photo. I'm glad the reception was moved to the hotel ballroom. I can't imagine eating shrimp and thinking I might be swimming with one any minute!!!

About 1:00 am, I was awakened by a LOUD "BOOM!!!!" I jumped up and all was dark except the emergency lighting! The power was out! Mr. Plant Lady continued to sleep. How could he sleep at a time like this, not knowing what had happened? I told him I was going to make my way down to the front desk to find out what had happened - he wanted to go with me. I, personally, think that he was afraid to stay by himself, don't you? Well, the elevators were out, so we went down five flights of stairs to the lobby. Four or five guests had the same idea and we were told a transformer has blown out. That was the source of the "boom".

We made our way back up to the room and opened the sliding glass door to let in a breeze, well actually a gust!! The room was becoming warm since the air was out. Once I saw the fire truck and power company trucks driving around the property, I returned to bed, only waking again three times to check on their progress!

When the morning finally came, daylight flooded the room and we were still safe! Power returned about 7:30 am and I ventured down to see about getting some breakfast. I'm glad I thought ahead and took the stairs again, because the power flashed off again and I would have been stuck in the elevator!

Breakfast was great! Crispy fried bacon, sausage and scrambled eggs with toast, grits, hashbrowns, and a tall glass of tomato juice! Yum!! Yum!!

I'll keep you updated on my continuing adventure. I just hope it doesn't include any more stormy weather.
Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On the Road Again!

Hello Everyone!

As in the words of the famous song by Willie Nelson, "I'm On the Road Again!" This time it's to the Outer Banks of North Carolina! Once again, I'm following Mr. Plant Lady as he attends meetings related to his service on the local Resource and Conservation and Development Council.

We will leave tomorrow morning. I have a stop planned to get some reeds and seagrass from a basketry supply store that's located about an hour away. Fortunately, the store is on our way to our destination. I'm excited about going to the Outer Banks again! The last time we were there, our destination was Ocracoke. It was one of the most relaxing trips that I have ever taken. Our hotel provided bicycles for us to explore the little island that is only accessible by ferry. Kitty Hawk, our destination this trip, is famous as the Birthplace of Flight. Wilbur and Orville Wright took the first flight from some of the sand dunes located there.

I will have my laptop with me and I hope to be able to post some pictures of my adventures in Kitty Hawk.

Keep us in your prayers as we travel.

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Monday, September 22, 2008

Come With Me!

Hello Everyone!
It seems like it's been ages since I last did a post. Looking at the date of my last post, it's been over two weeks! I've been on an adventure to the mountains of Virginia with Mr. Plant Lady and haven't slowed down since!

Mr. Plant Lady serves on a Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) and their regional meeting was held week before last in Wytheville, Virginia. I accompanied him and participated in some activities that were planned for spouses.

Our trip began on Wednesday morning. We hoped to leave around 6:00 am but did not get to leave until 11:00 am! We hoped to take a leisurely drive, stopping as we saw something of interest, but with our late start, we only stopped once, at a Farmer's Market in Virginia.

When we arrived in Wytheville, we checked in at the hotel and then went over to the conference center for the registration. After picking up our schedules, we went to a nearby Sagebrush Steakhouse restaurant for dinner. I ordered a Southwestern chicken entree and had some of the most delicious soup, a poblano pepper and white cheddar soup. Delicious! After dinner we turned in for the night because we had an early start the next day.

Thursday morning arrived and Mr. Plant Lady had meetings all day. I took him to the conference center and I explored Wytheville. My first stop was at a Goodwill store. I found a great black and red throw for $1.00! I plan to use it at Christmas as a table cloth for a small table I have. It will go well with my black and red table runner that I use on my dining table. Next, I went to a local department store hoping to find just the right outfit! No such luck! I had a turkey sub at the local Subway restaurant for lunch and then went back to the hotel.

After a short rest, I went to the conference center where I was to meet with other ladies who had signed up for the Wreath Workshop. Around ten other ladies and I boarded a van and went to the Beagle Ridge Herb Farm where we fashioned a wreath from dried herbs and natural materials collected from the woods. On the return trip back to the conference center, we saw several deer and wild turkeys. What an adventure!

Thursday night, Mr. Plant Lady and I went to the Log House Restaurant, a colonial tennant house that had been restored and turned into a restaurant. I ordered a chicken dish that was one of Thomas Jefferson's favorites. It had chopped tomatoes, mushrooms and olives along with some type of cheese. Delicious!

Friday, we took tours of the area. Mr. Plant Lady took a technical tour relating to his service on the council - a stream bank restoration tour and I took the Blue Ridge tour that included the Mabry Mill, the Blue Ridge Music center located on the Blue Ridge Parkway and shopping at an Appalachian Craft Center in Galax, VA , where I purchased a great mosaic-like gourd with a fish design and a gourd birdhouse I thought was cute! A wonderful day of sightseeing!

Friday ended with a pig pickin' and some lively local bluegrass music. We had a wonderful evening that ended with a silent auction in which I bid and won two items - a hand-turned tulip poplar bowl made in Kentucky and some "Green Grillin" Natural Hardwood Charcoal made from Appalachian Hardwoods from a sustainable forest project in the Appalachian Mountains.

We had a wonderful time and I took lots of photos for you to see!
Come along with me and enjoy the sights of a foggy Virginia morning!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Then Comes the Morning

Hello Everyone!

Then comes the morning! Dark and ominous clouds were our companions yesterday as the weather began to deteriorate as Tropical Storm Hanna churned off the coast of North and South Carolina making her way toward the coastline where she would make landfall. Winds began to pick up and rain began to fall as we started to feel the effects of the storm. As the day progressed, the skies became darker and darker. Just how bad was this thing going to be?

Clouds began to bank up in the skies, an ominous warning of things to come. Rains came next, at first as sprinkles, then as downpours. Winds were moderate up until landfall occurred, then they raged in the dark, early morning hours. Darkness! Heavy rains! Raging winds! Occasional lightning! These were our companions through the night.

Then came the morning! Winds still blew . . . rains still fell . . . dark clouds still filled the sky . . . YET . . . there was a comfort! It was morning! Fears of the unknown and unseen that had plagued during the night suddenly disintegrated. Light could be seen!

Such is the scene when the storms of life come to threaten us with their ominous downpours and raging winds. When the unknown and unseen forces of the enemy are amassed against us we can have the hope of the coming morning and the brightness of a new day!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Friday, September 5, 2008

Brillante Weblog Award

Plant Lady's Ponderings has been awarded the Brillante Weblog Award from AliceE! It is a great honor to receive this award and a big thanks goes out to AliceE for her encouragement to all of us.

AliceE is very sweet person whose love for our Lord shines through on her blog!

She offers encouragement to us all through those beautiful songs on her playlist and the poems and lyrics to songs we have often forgotten. Thanks AliceE for your friendship!!

I would like to pass this award on to Debrah , Kim , Becky , Christi , Dorothy , Mar , Katrina .
Award winners are to pass this along to seven people whose blogs you think are deserving of this award.

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Hello Everyone!

Cicadas are here!!! After seventeen years of laying in the ground, cicada nymphs dug their way to the surface and crawled up to the trunk of our pecan tree to cling there to molt into winged adults. What child reared in the country hasn't put the "empty skins or shells" on their nose in that wonderful childhood expression of joy? (I remember the joy even now, don't you?)

Seeing these fascinating creatures, I thought of how we, like the cicada nymphs, have a time of "spiritual development" before we make our way out of the dirt and darkness into the sunlight and crawl our way to the support of a Strong Tree, where we attach our self until we can shed the "empty shell" of our former life and spread our "new wings" of spiritual maturity in Christ. The empty shells are all that remains as a reminder of our former life, with all the scars (notice the "tear" or "split" on the shell ) that are actually beneficial to complete the process of maturity!

We have left the darkness of our "grave" in the ground to emerge into the light and attach ourselves to the "Tree of Life", Jesus Christ, our Saviour! There we will be able to "mount up on wings of eagles" and soar! Resurrection! That is what our Saviour wants for us!

As I observed the cicadas on the pecan tree, I felt like this was the post for today. I don't know if it was meant for any particular reader, but if for no one else, it was for me! Thank you Lord for your creation and the way you speak to me!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady

Monday, September 1, 2008

Practice Makes Perfect

Hello Everyone!

Practice makes perfect!

About a month ago, I received a call from a customer at the Farmer's Market. She told me she had purchased one of my apple gourd birdhouses earlier this summer. She was already thinking about her Christmas shopping list and had decided that she was going to give birdhouses as Christmas gifts this year. Many people like to receive handmade/homemade gifts because they are unique and are not mass produced - a gift from the heart and made especially for them! I believe this lady has many special friends and loved ones that she feels would appreciate a "gift from the heart."

She asked me if I could paint seven birdhouses like the one she had purchased earlier in the year. She described the gourd but I was still unsure about the colors and just how I had arranged the flowers on it. We agreed on a time and place to meet to "refresh my memory" as to its design. When I saw it, I immediately remembered it. I had a particularly hard time drawing the flowers and then painting them. I was satisfied when I finished it that I had done the best job I could. We agreed that I would paint seven apple gourd birdhouses in the colors and style of the one she had bought. I told her that they would be ready in time for Christmas gift-giving. I had to get to work! I dug through baskets of dried gourds to find "perfectly shaped" ones for the project. When I found them, I brought them back from the farm to my house and filled my kitchen sink with soap suds and soaked the gourds for a while to make the cleaning process easier. Cleaning gourds take patience and a lot of "elbow grease". When I had sufficiently scrubbed them, I put them out on the deck to dry. Next came the process of drilling the entrance holes and cleaning out the seed. Another job that requires patience and "elbow grease!"

With the gourds prepared, I sat down to paint. Painting the background colors were not that hard, but the flowers were a different story! I began by drawing the flower on the gourd with a pencil. I'm glad they make ERASERS, because I used it a lot! When the flowers were finished, I began to paint them. Talk about tedious, it was! I don't know how many times I took the gourd over to the sink and completely washed the flower off and started again. I couldn't seem to get the shape of the flower petal just right nor could I get the shading right either.

To my amazement, I found the more flowers I painted, the better I got at it! As I practiced . . . . and practiced . . . . and practiced, I got better at shading and the flowers began to ACTUALLY look like flowers! By the time I finished the last one, I had learned to paint flowers! Yipee!!!

Practice makes perfect! Striving to be better at any task takes practice. As I strive to be better in my Christian walk, I must continually practice by studying the Word, applying the Word to my life, praying and by fellowshipping with other believers. As I practice these things, I am confident that the Holy Spirit will be there guiding me as I "paint" the flowers of a life for the Great Master!

Be Encouraged!
Plant Lady