Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘flowers’


I know that genetics is important for health issues. Many diseases can be traced through the family line. It is harder for people who have been adopted and don’t know their parents or other relatives. It is not only hair color, bone structure and height that are shared. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure are just a few diseases that are passed down.

Emphasis is being placed on nationality — not only in humans but also in dogs. People are very interested in the countries that make up their nationality. This interest has expanded to animals. Sunday a program was on television that shared the breeds that where discovered in a few dogs from DNA testing. Especially when a dog is a rescue — the animal’s breed can influence their behavior. Science is progressing.

Physical traits are easier to track. Harder to pinpoint are talents — singing, painting and dance to name a few. On my fathers side, I have discovered a couple of painters. There was a strong interest in religion — my great grandfather was a minister. He was also very interested in herbs. That explains some of my interests. I don’t know as much about my mother’s side except there is at least one successful writer. I have heard that I share some of her traits — what they are I have no idea.

Just because a trait is in your genes doesn’t mean that it will surface especially when it comes to a talent, if it is a disease — life style changes can make a difference. Heart disease is on both my mother’s and my father’s side. Since I am sodium restricted — I watch the sodium content of the food I eat as best as I can. Therefore I eat a lot of fresh vegetables. I no longer eat a lot of processed foods. It would be lovely if I said I keep my weight down — but I try not to lie, I have a LONG way to go.

When I was forty, I discovered I could paint. I totally enjoyed putting paint on canvas for many years until life intervened. Recently I have been pestered to take up a paint brush again. I used to paint in oil but now my husband has emphysema. I’m planning to try acrylics — the different textures has me confused at the moment. Some of the paint is more liquid, similar to water color. Some is more solid, similar to oil. Both are supposed to dry quickly. Oil takes days to dry.

I had an idea to paint the flowers in our garden at the camper. I ran out of time and we came back home. I took a photo before we left. It might turn into a painting. Time will tell.



Step by step, line by line — watch my thought rambles grow. My fifth year anniversary — 265 rambles — who would have thought I had so much to write about. Time passes so quickly, I thought this was my third year, then I divided 265 by 52. Didn’t quite believe the number I saw. Evidently I finally gave into the nudging in May of 2012 to begin to write. FIVE YEARS later my friends in high places still think I NEED to share the goings on in my life. If I don’t have a thought ramble ready to publish — I’m reminded that I have thoughts to share.

I enjoy going to the Botanic Garden in certain seasons of the year — daffodil time, crab apples in bloom, summer roses, fall asters, mums, etc. I probably would enjoy winter there as well, I just haven’t gone in a few years. I was at the Garden a few weeks ago — daffodils were in bloom — many plants were being planted — crab apple trees were waiting. After a couple of 70 degree days, I phoned to see if the crab apple trees were in bloom. The answer was negative — trees were in bloom in our neighborhood but the Garden was waiting. I phoned again this week — just starting I was told. So I waited a couple of days but rain was expected and I wasn’t sure how many blossoms would stay on the trees — how many would ride the wind. The Garden NEEDED a few more warm, dry days. White and pink crab apple trees were in bloom, red were still ladies in waiting. I still ended up taking more than 100 pictures. Trees, tulips, robins, frogs — many things caught my attention. Of course in that number I probably missed another one to two hundred photos. It doesn’t help if I remind myself that I have taken a picture of that same tree last year, I still capture the image. I will admit that some scenes DO NOT appear again. I have a lovely photo of a tree in bloom with different shades of tulips below that has not repeated itself.

More than blossoms have been on the wind — my eight year old granddaughter has been going through a very challenging time. Health issues have caused migraines to start. She is staying with us for the weekend. I had planned various things to do outside — GOD LAUGHED. Cold weather, storms are predicted. I found myself at Walmart, glancing at a basket with merchandise that was going to be returned to the shelves. I found a craft item that I thought she would enjoy. That reminded me to get a few new things for her. The item I found in the basket must be hiding in the store somewhere because I would not have found it. I did find a roll of stickers and an artists notebook. She loves to draw — crayons, markers, paint. I’m not ready for wet weather but I have a few things that hopefully will be fun.


The morning sunrise promised a beautiful day. The weatherman warned of an approaching front that would bring cool weather. We have been extremely fortunate — November and the temperature was still in the 60’s. We all knew that the summer weather couldn’t last, even though we were hoping it would. I asked my husband if he wanted to go to the Botanic Gardens, and I wasn’t at all surprised when he suggested I go by myself.

Since the Gardens is close to Lake Michigan, I knew the temperature might be cooler. I wore my hooded sweatshirt from Hawaii, topped with a yellow fleece vest. The vest had zipper pockets. I could travel without a purse, and still have room to safely carry my cell phone and wallet. Have camera, will travel! I was off.

Even though it was a beautiful day, the Garden wasn’t crowded. I parked closer, realizing that my knees might be problems on my return. The garden was already preparing for colder temperatures. The table in front that highlighted flowers was gone, but the front was ablaze with colorful purple mums. The entry arch’s were highlighted by yellow mums. The fountain in the lake was already off. I wondered about the waterfall. I was surprised by the roar of water. Looking for the source, I saw water bubbling up in the lagoon. Asking various garden workers, I learned they were emptying the fountains so the pipes wouldn’t freeze.

Although there weren’t as many blooming plants, I still found enough to catch my interest. Maybe I was paying more attention. At the camper, we had a plant with very interesting leaves. I bought it after the tornado, but if it had a name, I hadn’t written it down were I could find it. When we returned in October, the plant was covered with lovely daisies. At the garden that day, I learned the plant was Montauk Daisy, aster family, from Japan. One mystery solved.

Fall flowers were in bloom, Christmas lights were up and in some cases on. The leaves sported fall colors. I had plenty of opportunities to take pictures. The waterfall was still cascading down the hill. I stopped for awhile to enjoy the sound. I have to admit that I stopped more often than normal. My knees, although not screaming, were making their presence known. I’ll also admit, that I didn’t let them dictate my path — I walked my normal route — and the carillon bells were still ringing on the hour — although they were still on daylight saving time.

Crossing the bridge, I stopped to watch and photo a female mallard whose head was tucked under a wing as her feet continued to paddle. A tall gentleman was across the bridge standing near the waters edge with his camera focused. I wondered what he had found of interest. He showed me his photos and asked if he could take my picture. I now have two photos on my computer. The gentleman was from China, in our country 14 years. Chicago reminds him of home, it has the same four seasons.

I finally admitted I was hungry and headed for the cafe. They had a quinoa salad that I had been tempted to try. I bought a salad and picked up a plastic fork and a napkin, before heading outside. I found a table near the roaring water, put the salad, napkin and fork down before sitting down myself. THE NAPKIN AND FORK WERE GONE! WHERE? Not on the floor, not on a chair — not visible anywhere. I checked my pockets — empty. It wasn’t windy or even breezy — ?? I went back into the cafe to get another fork. I really don’t care for plastic utensils. There was a long line by the plastic utensils. I noticed they had metal silverware at another station. I’m STILL PERPLEXED! Where did they go? I was alone, wasn’t I?


I found a copy of my thought ramble SERENITY GARDEN on my computer. I don’t know if I published it on my blog or included it in my book JOURNEY WITH ME. I found it interesting to read — the ramble reminded me of when the garden was created — my wilderness space removed and the serenity garden born with its bird bath, shepherd statue and 31 plants.

The tornado, fallen trees and equipment needed to clean up the mess took its toll on my garden. The seven sister rose survived, the sunrise sunset rose reduced to a few stems. A few green leaves showed were Hostas had been. Thankfully the bird bath, shepherd and angel boy holding the puppy survived. If I wrote that the garden was sad, I would be understating the fact. Too sad, I went shopping for plants and came back with a few annuals for color. Each trip ended with a few more plants for the garden, some annual, some perennial. .

Fast forward six weeks — imagine my surprise when I saw 6 roses in bloom. A couple of days later, I counted 14. Surprising me, more of the plants that I had purchased were in bloom — The shades of the garden was pink — the color of love. Most of the plants I had purchased had their price reduced, I thought their time to bloom was over. My original garden was planted for shade, because of the trees — the plants received less sun. Shade was not my concern when I searched for plants to fill up the empty space.

When we looked for a place to put the new plant, I hadn’t paid attention to what plants were annual and which would come back next year. The Hostas have regrown, and I will admit that I have added a few more. I didn’t pay attention to the space requirements of the plants — many will need to moved. Counting plants — I have 10 annuals — 10 spaces available for new plants next year or to give more room to those requiring space to grow. The Hostas have regrown, they will need more space too. We are planning to add a new, bigger deck. Some of the ground cover will need to be moved.

I will admit, if I see more plants at a reduced price, chances are they will come home with me. Fall is the time to plant — bulbs anyone?


The landscape at Woodhaven Lakes has changed because of the damage caused by the tornadoes. What once were shady tree lined streets are now sunny. A few trees have survived, mangled branches providing some shade. We have lost more than nine trees on our lot alone. It was possible to spend time on our deck in the morning enjoying a cup of coffee. Now, by eight o’clock in the morning, the summer sun makes it very hard to sit outside. We have a clear view of the street and the park across the way, no trees block our view.

When we contracted to have some of the tree stumps removed, I noticed that the apple tree our friend Muscles planted is sending up new shoots. We kept the stump — hopefully a new tree will soon be growing. I noticed the crab apple tree in the back yard is also sending up new shoots. Acorns are already falling from our lone oak tree. I have found a few new oak trees sprouting in my flower garden. Decisions, decisions — should we pull them out or try to transplant them to a better location. We have ordered three new trees to be planted this Fall — a maple, a huckleberry and a red bud. Spring color as well as Fall will be different, oak leaves turn a golden brown.

While we were at the nursery, we learned that plans have already been made to plant some new seedlings. In the Fall, I always enjoyed a sunset maple tree on a corner lot. They lost not only the maple, but three evergreens too. Four new trees have already been planted. In a year or two, I’ll be able to watch their maple change colors. We are going to get our own maple, it’s leaves will change to red in the Fall.

Going for a walk on the nature trail, I spotted a tiny new evergreen and a small green leafed sprout that someone had planted. They have black circles on the ground to help conserve moisture.

The playground across the street only has a set of swings that survived. The slide and climbing bars have been mangled and roped off but children still stop by to swing. The tree stumps have been removed, the ground is safer, but less places to hide when playing hide and seek.

My serenity garden has been mangled by fallen trees and equipment. I was very surprised when I noticed the rose bush had a few flowers and more buds. The hostas that were stubs have regrown, ready to be eaten by the deer. I will admit that I have added many new plants, some that are tolerant of the sun. It will take a few years but the new growth has begun.


Rain, rain, rain — go away. Too many days — gray skies — damp, cool, wet. Finally a day of sunshine. I ran away from home to the Botanical Gardens and so did the world. I knew I was in trouble when I got off the expressway and entered a long line of sitting traffic. Barely moving, we inched our way to the entrance, resting every foot or two. Many cars turned around. I wondered what my options were. A shopping center was near by but I really didn’t want to be in a store. I WANTED TO ENJOY THE SUNSHINE!

As I approached the entrance I said a prayer that I would find a parking space. I repeated the prayer many times before I gained access. I asked a person directing non moving traffic if there was still parking. I asked another person at the gate about parking also. In fact, I asked which lot might have the best chance. As I drove up the entrance, I saw cars parked along the drive — I was concerned and said another prayer.

The first lot I drove into — I saw people heading for a car. I staked out their parking spot only to have a van with handicap plates pull in behind me. As I waited for the car to load and pull out, I noticed I was blocking another van that was ready to leave. I tried to send hand signals to the car waiting behind me — there are two spots. I didn’t know if they got the message so I tried again. The car I was waiting for pulled out — and I parked. The car that I was blocking — pulled out and the handicapped van parked also. They had a child in a wheelchair. I asked if they understood my hand signals. “Not at first, ” the woman replied. “Then we got the message.” I told her that I had been praying for a parking spot, I was glad they got one too.

The last time I had been at the Garden was during the week, this was a weekend. Daffodils had been in bloom, crab apple trees were waiting. Now daffodils were done, so were the crab apple trees. I was sorry I had missed them. The roses hadn’t started. The garden was waiting for sunshine — warm temperatures. I WAS TOO!

No sense crying for what I had missed — time to enjoy what was there. A man and his son each had an expensive camera, taking pictures of the same scene. I asked if they were having a contest. I didn’t see the swans but before leaving I found the blue heron. Redwing blackbirds sang, robins sang also. I found many photo opportunities. An older woman sat in a wheelchair, pushed by her daughter. I asked if they wanted me to take their picture. Thankfully their photo turned out well. Although I take many pictures, sometimes they are fuzzy — not clear. I don’t always take the time to let the camera focus the shot.

Since I’m by myself, I kibitz with strangers all the time. Thankfully this time I edited my comment before it left my mouth. An older boy pushed a baby stroller with a doll in it. I almost asked him where the missing child was when I noticed that the boy might have been challenged himself and it was his doll.

Right place — right time — all day.

Sadly — the forecast for the next week is RAIN — EVERY DAY! But at least I enjoyed the sunshine for a few hours.


It has been a long winter. Too many days of snow, cold temperatures, gray skies. As I write this, the country to our north is still getting SNOW — 9 inches. I’m sorry it is them, GLAD that it isn’t us. So now supposedly it is spring. Oh No — coldest spring in ____ years. We just had a week of rain, gray skies, cooler temperatures. To make matters worse, my husband’s cough required a trip to the doctor, which led to an EKG, than an appointment with a heart doctor — scheduled stress tests. First test he couldn’t breathe and we needed to reschedule.

STRESSED — I guess so. He passed his next stress test with flying colors. Afterward he suggested I take the rest of the day off — enjoy the warm ( 88*) day, blue skies, — visit the Botanical Garden. I didn’t argue.

Daffodils were still in bloom — tulips too. In fact, the Garden had planted 26,000 tulips to bloom for Mother’s day. The cold spring didn’t stop their flowering. The crab apple trees are forming buds, no flowers yet. As I wandered the garden, camera at the ready — I wondered what photo would capture the day. Would it be the single swan swimming in the lake? I wondered where it’s mate was. Then I heard young voices from the fountain in the rose garden. Two girls, shoes off, were enjoying the water.

I wandered from garden to garden — many flowers showed the effects of the weather, many flowers stood tall, showing off their blooms. Birds — many voices — many species sang their songs. Reminded me of ourselves — struggling through the challenging weather — doing the best we could. I passed many family groups — some with toddlers in strollers, some with handicapped people in wheelchairs, some elder couples — hand in hand — all enjoying a brief respite.

I stopped by the bubbling waterfall — listened to the water music, rested my eyes, when I opened them, I saw a flying bird with a large wing span. I recognized a blue heron and changed my path to discover its spot on the shore. My camera took a photo as the bird dived into the water for a fish — I just captured an outstretched wing.

I didn’t have the length of time to wander the Garden at my leisure. I wanted to be on the road before heavy rush hour traffic. That being said, I visited my favorite spots, took photo’s in passing and headed for the exit. A toddler, shoes off, dipped her feet in a fountain. The pair of swans swam under the bridge as I left — closing with the sights and sounds as the day began.

Wandering with SPIRIT is ALWAYS an adventure. This time the Garden was REFRESHING as well.

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