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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Close up of frog

Photo by Linnell Chang

He: It’s late. Are you coming to bed?
She: In a minute.
He: What are you doing?
She: Taking pictures of a frog.
He: A frog? Where? It’s one o’clock in the morning!
She: Yeah, well, when I was checking the door to see if it was locked, I noticed a frog stuck to the glass. It’s not everyday you can see the belly of a frog up close!
He: I should have known better than to ask you what you were up to!

Opportunities to learn something new present themselves everyday, all day long. It’s easy to ignore or dismiss these moments because we live busy lives and because we take the world around us for granted. So the next time you see something you take for granted – a frog on a window, an autumn leaf on the ground, a candle burning, etc., ask yourself these classic questions: why, when, what, where, and how? For example, how is a frog able to cling to a smooth surface? Why do some autumn leaves turn yellow, some orange, and some red? When a candle burns, where does the wax go? Whether we take the time to observe, study, or investigate depends on our willingness or receptiveness to learn. Don’t forget . . . the more you know, the more you grow.

#1 – Sharpie Art
Sharpie decorated mugs Isn’t it time you learned that Sharpie pens are not just for writing? Take a look at these 20 Sharpie Projects Perfect for the holidays! You’ll be surprised with what you can create with a Sharpie pen!

#2 – Santa Hat Pretzels
Santa Hat Pretzels Looking for an easy-to-make holiday treat? Make these cute Santa Hat Pretzels. Simple, clever, and no baking required!

#3 – Ink and Water

Alberto Seveso

Part of the A Due Colori Series by Alberto Seveso

In the hands of an average person, mixing ink and water together spells out one big mess, but in the hands of Italian artist Alberto Seveso, these two elements create something beautiful. Click here to see more of his intriguing work.

#4 – Random Acts of Kindness
random acts of kindness When we truly open our eyes to the world around us, we take down our blinders and open our hearts, too. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about random acts of kindness, so when I saw these 16 Unbelievable Acts of Kindness, I knew I had to share them with you. They’ll restore your faith in mankind and propel you to do something kind for someone else.

#5 – Just For Today

Just for today, I will not be angry.

Just for today, I will not worry.

Just for today, I will be grateful.

Just for today, I will do my work honestly.

Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.

The Five Reiki Principles by Dr. Mikao Usui

Learn something new this weekend!

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Kishu Mandarins

Watching fierce winds whip the branches of a small Kishu Mandarin tree forced me to make a quick decision. With a trunk no wider than an inch and tiny branches heavy with fruit, I worried that the tree might break under stress. With a pair of pruners and a basket, I harvested all the fruit from the tree, being grateful for its abundant crop. Considering that this is its first year of bearing fruit and it’s container-grown, this little tree did itself proud.

#1 – Gratitude
“Gratitude provides for us even when we think we have nothing or no one. Because we do have many things and people in our lives. Gratitude just lifts the opaque veil from our eyes so we can see that more clearly.” This passage from the article 3 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude highlights the simple fact that even when we think we have nothing, there still must be something for which we can be grateful. In addition, it suggests maintaining a gratitude journal to help keep life in perspective.

#2 – Falling Leaves
The winds are also blowing down beautiful autumn leaves. When I take walks in my neighborhood, I carry an empty plastic bag in which I can transport home my newly found treasures, freshly picked off the ground. I’ve researched ways to preserve and display leaves. Here are some techniques and ideas I found that will let me enjoy the beauty of leaves for a long time to come:

Skeleton Leaves how to make skeleton leaves How to Preserve the Beauty of Fall Foliage how to preserve leaves

Fall Leaf Candle Holder fall leaf candle holder

Very Cute Leaf Animals
animal leaf art

Easy Leaf Prints how to make leaf prints

#3 – Cork It!
wine cork wreath I can never resist sharing ways to reuse, re-purpose or upcycle things. Here are some Awesome DIY Ideas With Wine Corks. Included are a few holiday-themed projects. Check them out!

#4 – For the Love of a Dog

Fiona Apple and her dog Janet

Fiona Apple and her dog Janet

Singer-songwriter and pianist Fiona Apple wrote a touching four-page, handwritten letter to her South American fans explaining why she needed to postpone her tour there. This may be old news for some of you, but I thought it was worth posting for those who have not read it yet. Read a small excerpt below and then click here to read Fiona’s touching letter in its entirety. Animal lovers, be advised, have tissues in hand:

It’s 6pm on Friday,and I’m writing to a few thousand friends I have not met yet.
I am writing to ask them to change our plans and meet a little while later.
Here’s the thing.
I have a dog Janet, and she’s been ill for almost two years now, as a tumor has been idling in her chest, growing ever so slowly. She’s almost 14 years old now.I got her when she was 4 months old. I was 21 then ,an adult offi
cially – and she was my child.
She is a pitbull, and was found in Echo Park, with a rope around her neck, and bites all over her ears and face.
She was the one the dogfighters use to puff up the confidence of the contenders.
She’s almost 14 and I’ve never seen her start a fight ,or bite, or even growl, so I can understand why they chose her for that awful role. She’s a pacifist.
Janet has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact.
We’ve lived in numerous houses, and jumped a few make shift families, but it’s always really been the two of us . . . .
She slept in bed with me, her head on the pillow, and she accepted my hysterical, tearful face into her chest, with her paws around me, every time I was heartbroken, or spirit-broken, or just lost, and as years went by, she let me take the role of her child, as I fell asleep, with her chin resting above my head . . . .

#5 – Success
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
Maya Angelou

Have a lovely weekend!

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Goldfinch molting

Photos by Linnell Chang

“Whatcha lookin’ at, lady?” the bird seemed to say crossly as it stared back at me. A rather rotund, but scraggly-looking bird sat on the ground, hardly moving, not even as I approached it. “It must be sick,” I said to myself as my brain tried to recall information on local bird rescue groups and as I considered the possibility of West Nile Virus. I sat there watching it for several minutes, willing the little bird to move, “Come on little one . . . get going . . . fly away.” And it finally did, but not very far. Sitting on a weeping cherry tree branch, five feet away from its original spot, the bird posed for my camera and dared me to observe it more closely. I noticed its feathers were dingy and bedraggled-looking. Some stuck out at odd angles on his head and neck.  Since some Goldfinches molt twice a year, I thought, “Maybe it’s molting.” I am hoping this is the case – that this little bird was merely changing into the fall version of its beautiful self.

#1 – Begging For Change
Holding a sign scrawled with the word “Change” and a small tin can, a homeless man sits on the pavement in front of a store. Is he asking for change, as in money, or for change, as in changing the world? Watch this 10 minute movie, written and directed by Sharon Wright, and think about her message.

#2 – Sugar High
How apropos that I came across this infograph the day after Halloween. With my own sweet tooth trying to sway the decision as to what to do with the leftover candy, this graph helped me change my mind. The candy is going to my husband’s office!

SugarGram

 #3 – Be the Change

Hurricane Sandy rescueMohatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” We’ve seen the images and read the stories of the brutality of Hurricane Sandy. Now is our chance to “be the change” – to help change someone’s life. Check out How You Can Help After Hurricane Sandy and consider making a donation.

Hurricane Sandy dog rescue Sadly many evacuees left their homes quickly and either could not take their pets with them or became separated from them. For many people who have lost everything, they anxiously want to find and be reunited with beloved pets. To read about and to find ways to help with animal rescue as a result of Hurricane Sandy, check out these links:
Red Rover
North Shore Animal League
Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets
Petfinder

#4 – Light Graffiti

TCB Light Graffiti

Light Graffiti by TCB, Twin Cities Brightest

In art, light is a key element. In light graffiti art, light is THE most important element, for in a mere second light can change the entire piece of artwork. Squiggles, curves, and lines of light create focal points, movement, and color that are captured in photographic compositions. Much imagination and skill goes into creating light graffiti. You can see spectacular examples in Light Graffiti: 10 Masters of Light Photography. Pablo Picasso is one of them.

#5 – Change
Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.
William Somerset Maugham

This weekend, change something for the better!

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Oooo . . .

how dark it was . . .

how dread it was . . .

walking the road

to the end of the town . . .

for the halfway tree . . .

the Ghost-Eye tree . . .

was feared by all . . .

the great and the small . . .

who walked the road

to the end of the town . . .

Rounding the bend and seeing the Ghost-Eye tree, that I had imagined many years ago, those words from a children’s book fluttered back into my consciousness. Deep-cut bark created a pattern reminiscent of some exotic animal skin, while twisted gnarly branches became sinewy “arms” that, in a moment’s notice, could reach out and snatch someone. Old branch scars bulged out like “eyes” keeping watch.

When my children were young, I would dramatically read them the tale of The Ghost Eye Tree by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. They loved the scary story of a little boy and his sister who were forced to walk past the dreaded Ghost-Eye Tree in order to fetch a pale of milk on the other side of town. I always told my children it was just make-believe, that there was no real Ghost-Eye Tree. But standing in front of this tree, I realized I was wrong. The Ghost-Eye Tree exists in my imagination because someone planted the seed about it, but my imagination took it a step further and applied it to reality. The notion that minds can convert things in our imagination into reality is powerful. So much of progress and change stems from seedlings in our imaginations. Keeping our minds open to possibilities is what makes the impossible possible.

#1 – Make A Difference
Make a Difference Day Everyday is an opportunity to change lives and to make a difference in this world. But imagine a day when a nation collectively strives to make a difference. On October 27th join others around the nation and participate in Make A Difference Day: National Day of Doing Good. Click here to search for a Make a Difference Day event near you. It does not matter whether what you do to help is on a large or small scale. It just matters that you’re making a difference.

#2 – Virtual Choir


Using his imagination and creativity, composer Eric Whitacre gathered over 2,000 video submissions on You Tube and engineered them into a virtual choir. These beautiful voices from around the world sing together in perfect peaceful harmony.

#3 – Inspired Writing
Short Story Ideas When was the last time you sat down and wrote something for the sheer enjoyment of writing? A document for work or an expository piece for school certainly does not qualify on this count. Go to Short Story Ideas and click on the button that says “Inspire Me!” Three random words will appear in a small white box. Using those words as a source of inspiration, start writing. If you need more inspiration or a different type of inspiration, click on any of the headings in the toolbar at the top. For example, if given the first line, “It was never going to be an ordinary day” or if given the setting, “A bus stop is the location, money is the root of all evil is the theme. A fur coat is an object that plays a part in the story,” what would you write about? Let your imagination flow. Your writing doesn’t have to be perfect or well-thought out. It will not being graded or looked at by anyone else but you, so write because it’s fun, challenging, and good exercise for your brain!

#4 – Advice To Your 15-Year-Old Self
Arianna Huffington Advice Using your imagination, go back in time. Go back to when you were 15. What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self? What things do you wish you’d known back then? In honor of the International Day of the Girl, CNN collected these inspirational thoughts and reflections from remarkable women around the world. Read each of their Things I’d Wish I’d Known.

#5 – Speak Your Truth
“Speak your truth even if your voice shakes. By being yourself, you put something beautiful into the world that was not there before. So walk your path confidently and don’t expect anyone else to understand your journey, especially if they have not been exactly where you are going.”
Marc and Angel Hack Life

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Sycamore tree bark

Photo by Linnell Chang

Giant leaves crunched under our feet as we walked along a pathway. “You should see these trees,” my mom said as we approached a grassy common area in her neighborhood. A row of tall sycamore trees dominated the landscape. Incredible patches of bark, resembling camouflage, covered their large trunks. They looked like an artist splashed paint on them. Taking my camera out of my pocket, I focused on the bark of one tree and while looking through the viewfinder, I spotted something interesting. A profile of a face and a neck, complete with an Adam’s apple, sat in the middle of my LCD screen. Blotches of reddish hair, a round eye, and a curve of a smile further defined the face. “Art within art,” I said to myself as I snapped the photo. Can you see the face?

#1 – Oh, the Possibilities!
Seeing the possibilities in things is a talent upcyclers possess. Awhile back on this blog I mentioned that I shred empty toilet paper tubes and add them to my compost bin. Well, there are more creative ways to reuse those toilet paper tubes! Check out these upcycling ideas from other bloggers:

Toilet Paper Roll Wall Art

Paint With Toilet Paper Rolls

Painting with toilet paper tubes

Toilet Tube Gift Boxes

Toilet paper roll gift boxes

Toilet Paper Jewelry Tray

toilet paper jewelry box

Seed Starter Pots

tolilet paper seed pots

#2 – Strength Training
Don’t see any reason why you should lift weights? Take a look at the 10 Reasons to Strength Train infograph and you’ll discover more than one reason why it’s important. strength training infograph

#3 – Clever Science
Science World Museum clever ad To reinforce the notion that science is interesting and exists everywhere and to entice more people to visit their museum, the people at Science World in British Columbia presented a clever series of billboards. Which billboard catches your attention?

#4 – Pumpkin Beverage Dispenser
DIY pumpkin beer keg Seeing is believing. Picture apple cider streaming out of a spigot stuck into a pumpkin. Sounds pretty fun. Although the directions Carve Your Pumpkin Into a Beer Keg mention beer as the beverage of choice, I think serving any beverage in your “pumpkin keg” will make fall entertaining more festive!

#5 – Seeing the Distance
“Always concentrate on how far you have come, rather than how far you have left to go. The difference in how easy it seems will amaze you.”
― Heidi Johnson

Have a lovely autumn weekend!

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Zoom! Zoom! Ka-Boom! Aggression rages outside my kitchen window – thanks to one particular alpha male. With all his speed and might, this guy slams his body into another male. Zoom! He’s back to his guard post. This mighty hummingbird perches protectively on a chain that supports a sweet nectar feeder. A few seconds later, he spies approaching invaders and darts off to give chase. I watch as other hummingbirds attempt over and over again to reach the feeder, but alpha-bird will have none of that. I sigh, “Come on guys. Why can’t we all get along?”

#1 – Love Those Hummingbirds
In order to learn more about this hummingbird’s aggressive behavior, I searched the internet for information. From the World Of Hummingbirds and How To Enjoy Hummingbirds sites I learned:

♥ Hummingbirds are the tiniest birds in the world and they are also the smallest of all animals that have a backbone.

♥ Because hummingbirds can rotate their wings in a circle, they are the only birds that can fly forwards, backwards, up, down, sideways and hover in mid air.

♥ The bright flashing-colored feathers of the hummingbird’s neck is called a Gorget.

♥ A hummingbird’s brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom.

♥ Hummingbirds are very smart and they can remember every flower they have been to, and how long it will take a flower to refill.

♥ Hummingbirds can hear better and see farther than humans, but they have nearly no sense of smell.

♥ A hummingbird’s heart beats up to 1,260 times per minute.

♥ A hummingbird baby is generally smaller than a penny.

♥ Most hummingbirds die in the first year of life, but those that survive have an average life span of 5 years.

♥ Hummingbirds are very territorial and will perch in trees, vines or bushes, between feedings to watch the area . . . and will attack other birds that might try to feed at their food source.

#2 – No Limitations
In another inspirational video from TED, activist Caroline Casey “tells the story of her extraordinary life” and “asks us all to move beyond the limits we may think we have.” Worth watching.

#3 – A Can You Can Hang

This repurposing idea from Brian Jewett is beyond clever. By attaching cleaned paint cans to a wall, he creates multipurpose hooks. A garment can be hung over the can, stuff can be stored in the can (I’m thinking keys), and something, like a scarf, can be hung on the can’s handle! Directions for this project can be found on Instructables. These can hooks would look great in a garage, an artist’s workshop, a child’s bedroom or playroom, etc.! There’s no end to creative ideas!

#4 – Yosemite HD
The talented combination of Sheldon Neill and Colin Delahanty, two young videographers, brings us this under-four-minute incredibly beautiful video of Yosemite National Park. Yosemite HD, a high definition, time lapse video, depicts the majesty of nature. Even if you’ve seen Yosemite with your own eyes, you’ll still want to see it through their eyes!

#5 – Every Moment
Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.
Thomas Merton

Enjoy every moment of your weekend!

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This tree. This beautiful weeping cedar, a graceful perch for so many birds, is dying. It’s just a tree, I tell myself. But nonetheless, for over sixteen years, without any special wants or needs, this tree’s long, downward-growing branches covered with silvery, grey-green bursts of needles created an elegant archway into my garden. Now, it stands almost completely denuded. The arborist came last week, dug around, and shook his head while he uttered, “Probably some type of fungus. It’s a wait and see game, now.” Everyday, I go outside and look at this tree. I examine it for new growth – there is none. I touch the branches – needles fall slowly to the ground. I scratch lightly at the bark to see if there is any green underneath it – there is. There is still hope for this tree.

#1 – “Staying” Green

Planet earth is counting on creative people to save it. Smart concepts such as this “Urban Hotel” illustrate my point. Although you would expect solar-power and rain water recycling systems in these hotels, a unique feature of this concept are the bicycles in the rooms. The bicycles can be used for exploring surrounding urban areas or used for exercising inside the rooms. While exercising, the bikes convert “the bike’s pedaling into kinetic energy to power the room and any extra energy is used to deduct rooming costs.” Make sure to click on the link to view all the features of this earth-friendly concept!

#2 – The Green Gift

My neighbor came to visit the other day and she brought with her two gift bags. One contained my birthday gift and the other one contained another kind of gift. The bag was filled with empty toilet paper tubes. She remembered a comment I made about how I compost toilet paper tubes and paper towel tubes. After collecting several tubes, I cut them open, flatten them out and then feed them into my paper shredder. They add much needed “brown” organic material to my compost bin. There are many other items around the house that can be added to compost piles. TLC’s article on 75 Things You Can Compost, But Thought You Couldn’t is a good refresher course for those of us who compost. If you haven’t started composting, please consider it. It’s an easy way of redirecting some of your garbage away from landfills and back to the land.

#3 – When Chefs Get Bored

What do chefs do when they are bored? I don’t know the answer to that, but I would imagine they play with their food! Check out this series of food art photos and see that creativity knows no bounds in the kitchen!

#4 – To Market, To Market

What could be better than going shopping? What about shopping outdoors in the fresh air and sun? Most farmers’ markets carry more than just produce. I love walking up and down the rows of stalls looking at and sampling the fresh seasonal produce. I also enjoy visiting the stands that sell olive oil, soap, honey, hand-crafted and fresh baked goods, plants and flowers. I always make sure to bring my own bags/baskets, cash, and, of course, my camera. For more tips, visit Recyclebank’s 10 tips to Shop Smart at Farmers Markets.

#5 – The Tao of Pooh

“Say, Pooh, why aren’t you busy?” I said.
“Because it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.
“But you could be doing something Important,” I said.
“I am,” said Pooh.
“Oh? Doing what?”
“Listening,” he said.
“Listening to what?”
“To the birds. And that squirrel over there.”
“What are they saying?” I asked.
“That it’s a nice day,” said Pooh.
“But you know that already,” I said.
“Yes, but it’s always good to hear that somebody else thinks so, too,” he said.

Benjamin Hoff, author of The Tao of Pooh

Happy Earth Day! What about this? Do one thing every single day that is good for the earth!

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My garden is so lush and lovely right now and would be perfect, if not for the glaring exception of the fountain in the backyard. Thick, icky green was the only way to describe it yesterday. So what to do? Well, a little algaecide goes a long way or so I’ve just learned – now I have a fountain full of bubbles! It’s fun to look at, but I’m really concerned about little birds taking bubble baths in it. It’s time to use elbow grease instead of chemicals! Be kind to the earth.

#1 – Random Acts of Kindness
“Random acts of kindness are those sweet or lovely things we do for no reason except that, momentarily, the best of our humanity has sprung into full bloom. When you spontaneously give a stranger the bouquet of red carnations you had meant to take home to your own dinner table, when you give your lunch to the guitar-playing homeless person who makes music at the corner between your two subway stops, when you anonymously put coins in someone else’s parking meter because you see the red “EXPIRED” medallion signaling to the meter maid – you are doing not what life requires of you, but what the best of your human soul invites you to do.” Daphne Rose Kingma

Make someone’s life a little easier, a little better, perhaps a little happier, by performing a random act of kindness for them. Here are a just a few suggestions that I’ve not mentioned before on this blog:

*Call a soup kitchen to find out how many people they generally serve. Then offer to prepare and deliver muffins, salad, or dessert for one of their meals.

*Share a recipe.

*Tell someone you appreciate them.

*Park farther out, giving others the choice parking spots.

*Offer to return a shopping cart to the store for someone loading a car.

*After loading your groceries into the car, return your shopping cart.

*Invite someone new over for dinner.

*Invite a college/apartment-bound student over for a cooking lesson.

*Open the door for another person.

*Give your full attention and simply listen to someone.

*Pay a compliment at least once a day.

*Roll an elderly neighbor’s garbage cans back up the driveway at the end of trash pick-up day.

*Volunteer to drive a sick friend to his doctor’s appointment or to his chemo appointment.

*Donate blood.

Please send me your ideas for random acts of kindness so I may share them with others.

#2 – Cutting Roses
What time of day is it best to cut roses from your garden? According to Rayford Clayton Reddell’s book A Year In The Life of a Rose, “Rosebushes begin drawing in moisture with the first hint of approaching dusk, and they hold it until the morning light gets strong. Since you want blooms with as much moisture in them as possible, cut either before midmorning or after midafternoon . . . . What you most want to avoid is cutting during midday, especially during hot weather, when blooms are limp.”

#3 – Reuse Those Plastic Storage Bags
Why waste plastic bags? As long as ziploc-type plastic storage bags can be washed out, I reuse them. Unless they contained something gross or raw, I wash them out in sudsy water, rinse them, and then let them air dry. The best way to air dry them is to open them and invert them over something like a bottle or a vase. I separate these used bags from the new ones and use them only for storing nonfood items. These used bags came in very handy during my recent trip to Greece; they held sundries, medicines, cosmetics, scarves, etc.

#4 – Unkind Food
According to the most recent issue of Nutrition Action, The Cheesecake Factory’s Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake ” . . . weighs in at three-quarters of a pound . . . Just 1,670 calories and 2-1/2 days’ worth of saturated fat (48 grams), nearly all of it from chocolate, sugar, cream, white flour, and butter.”

#5 – Make a Living and Making a Life
We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill

It’s going to be a warm weekend in my part of the world and I’m ready for it! Have a good weekend!

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P1080541

The leaves are turning varying shades of brown and are dropping one by one. I’m not referring to the oak trees that line my yard, but to my tomato plants. It’s that time of the year when summer’s bounty comes to an end. Summer’s bounty? I hardly think my harvest qualifies to be called a bounty. Here’s an accurate recap of my harvest: My cherry tomatoes were not so cheery; my peppers were only a little peppy; my zucchini zeroed-out; and my cukes went cuckoo. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a brown thumb, a dark chocolate brown one to be exact.

Every year I have this primal need to grow vegetables and live off the fat of the land. This year I went to great lengths and purchased Earth Boxes after seeing the glorious ads of luscious tomato plants growing skyward and after reading scores of testimonials from people reaping bushels worth of produce. I set the boxes on the south side of my yard so they would receive plenty of nice hot summer sun. Following the directions exactly, by adding fertilizer strips and attaching drip irrigation lines to the water tube, I had great expectations. As each little blossom of potential fruit developed, I marveled at the miracle of nature. Then disaster inevitably happened. Appearing like a light dusting of snow on the leaves of my plants, white flies came from out of nowhere and sucked the life juices from the besieged plants. Bees started avoiding my crops. Were my crops inhospitable? I was forced to perform cross pollination on my zucchini blossoms using a not so scientific looking elementary school paint brush. Large and lovely tomatoes would form to perfection only to have their beauty marred by the ugly brown spots of blossom end rot.

My sister-in-law and I were lamenting the other day about the failures of our summer vegetable gardens. The only tomato plant that had performed well for her was a neglected rogue volunteer in the corner of her yard. I recited my gardening woes to her and humorously said that my husband and I could not live off the fat of the land unless we could survive on rosemary, which is the only plant that seems to grow without any effort on our part. She laughed and suggested I write a post on 101 uses for rosemary. That’s a challenge for the future!

Here’s a photo that puts my gardening skills into perspective. Although, I was very appreciative of my pepper plant’s effort to produce something, it was certainly not on a grand scale, especially when compared to it’s market counterpart!
P1080551_1

I’d love to hear your vegetable garden “success” stories!

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