Hippity Hop!

The Easter Bunny Keeps on Hopping!

The egg delivering Easter bunny has been active in the United States since the 1700s. It is believed that German immigrants brought the tradition with them. They called the bunny Osterhase. Children made little nests for the rabbit to lay colored eggs in. It sounds a little crazy, but we have carried on the tradition for centuries. Of course the tradition evolved to Easter baskets and of course egg hunts. My personal favorite is the egg hunt.

I found it interesting that there are other animals that bring eggs besides the bunny. In Switzerland it is the cuckoo. That makes more sense than a rabbit. I also read about an Easter witch in Switzerland who brought chocolate to the children. Witches are scary, but if they bring chocolate they must be okay!

Easter is the most important religious holiday for Christians. Without Jesus’s resurrection, the religion most likely would not have formed. The Easter lily represents that Jesus has risen. It is one of the fragrant spring flowers that bring us reassurance that the winter has ended. Jesus assured us that another kind of darkness had ended. May all of you find joy in Easter wherever you are today, because Jesus is always with us!

Peaceful Place to Reflect

Reading in Solitude

There have been times in my life where I wished I could just escape and become a monk. A monastery where talking was forbidden sounded like a true vacation. Since that was not an option, I turned to books.

I read uplifting books for the most part. My husband calls them Hallmark books. They probably would fit in that category, however, the library calls them inspirational. My little reading angel always reminds me to calm down and find a good book. If there was ever a time people needed to escape to a place of laughter and inspiration it is now. Books provide that.

My Kindle has allowed me to get books from the library which of course is closed. That has been a true gift! I admit I’m old school and like browsing the book shelves of the library, but this works great.

The warm spring days we had brought everyone relief. It’s tough being inside. I don’t have much interest in watching TV. I wonder why we have so many stations when there’s nothing I want to watch. Thank goodness for books! I now have the quiet of a monastery when I read and it’s good. Life will return with its hustle and bustle, but for now, I read, cook , and garden. It’s not all bad.

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah!

There’s a Bluebird!

I loved Uncle Remus and I sang along with him when he sang Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, there’s a bluebird on my shoulder. Of course we didn’t have any bluebirds, so it was just part of a magical world in my mind. We had blue jays and that was close enough for me. Just for the record, blue jays aren’t as sweet as bluebirds. They used to dive bomb our cat!

I now have bluebirds coming to my feeder and it makes me so happy. The robins also like meal worms. There is one robin who is particularly big who is probably eating much more than his share, but I don’t have the ability to give him the “We need to share” talk.

Being able to go outside makes being restricted to my home bearable. The rain is complicating things, but I’m still getting outside. I’ve pruned and weeded and am eager to do more. We have a couple cardinals that must live close by and they have been singing their hearts out. What a blessing!

Nature continues to provide me with joy and peace. I am so thankful to have a yard. I know there are many who are not as fortunate. For me, nature is the best medicine in avoiding depression. I pray that my readers may find some relief from this time of anxiety by enjoying nature’s gifts. Just opening a window and breathing in fresh air helps. You can also watch Uncle Remus sing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah on You Tube for a shot of sunshine! I still love hearing him sing that song!

In Like a Lion,Out Like a Lamb!

Roar! It’s almost spring!

This beautiful guy was created for Columbus’s Home and Garden Show. The theme this year was Africa and each landscape company was given a wire animal to make come alive. The Seely Landscape Company were so determined to do this they contacted a taxidermist for eyes in order to obtain the life-like quality. They won best of show for their amazing landscape which included the lion.

The saying In like a lion, out like a lamb is a weather prediction that many of us grew up hearing. This year, March came in like a lamb, sooo we’ll wait to see if we experience a roaring ending. In the past, people believed nature maintained a balance and the month of March is a perfect example. In Ohio, we have both wintry snow and beautiful spring days. My blooming spring flowers always receive a little snow.

We often hear people talk about finding a balance in life. This is usually directed at work and family or work and play. Finding a balance of foods we eat is also a balancing act. Those noodles throw my diet askew. I however wish for imbalance in my life. I desire an imbalance of love and joy! I want an imbalance of sunshine. Those of you who live in Ohio understand this. I don’t care if it’s cold, but I want sun!! I’m happy March is here and my daffodils and tulips are pushing through the soil. I have bluebirds eating at my feeder and today we have sun. I appreciate this imbalance in my life and hope that it continues. I hope March has an imbalance of warm sunny days. I’m done with winter and wearing my winter coat!

Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday?

Last Day to Feast!

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of forty days of fasting for Christians and perhaps for those who want to end a bad habit. The forty days is because Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness praying.

For many it is Mardi Gras which is the French term for Fat Tuesday. It is also Shrove Tuesday. It was customary for early Christians to ask to be forgiven of their sins or shriven on this day. The Pancake Bell would ring, people would confess their sins and then make pancakes in order to use up all the rich ingredients. During lent, people were not to eat eggs, milk, butter, or meat. People around the world will eat pancakes today in keeping with this custom.

It makes me wonder what people did with the eggs they gathered and the milk that the cows produced during that time. Cows have to be milked twice a day, so they probably made butter and cheese and ate it on Sundays along with eggs. Sundays were exempt from fasting because they were (and still are) considered days of joy in celebration of Jesus’s resurrection.

I always give up sweets and seldom make it the forty days. I have chocolate chip cookies to eat tonight! I plan to make it this year. (I always plan to make it!) I will give up the unhealthy sweets and add more prayer time. A time to grow spiritually is the benefit of lent. Hope you all find a benefit in this lenten season.

Valentine Trees Speak Volumes!

A new idea with lots of potential!

Tired of the flowers, candy, dinner out routine? How about a tree? Of course mine isn’t finished yet. I still have a couple days. My idea is to tape little messages on the ornaments. I read that many of the first valentines were puzzles. They were handmade and the creator probably spent hours thinking on it. I could put clues on the ornaments that leads to a hidden gift. That might be fun. Again, I have a couple days to decide.

The first commercial valentines were made in England in the late 1700s. They were printed or engraved and then colored by hand. In the mid 1800s Esther Howland started a valentine making venture in the top floor of her father’s Massachusetts home. She and her friends made intricate three dimensional valentines and sold them for $5.00 each. They made a nice profit of $100,000 in a single year! They are credited with making the first commercial American valentines.

I like Valentine’s Day because it is a day of love. One doesn’t have to have a sweetheart. I love my family, my friends, nature, good food, my kitties, I could go on. It’s a day to take stock of all the things I love. Of course a little chocolate will make the day extra special and perhaps another house plant would brighten my day. Just a suggestion to my sweetheart.

Winter’s Beauty!

Every season has beauty!

All I saw when I raised the blind was another gray, rainy day. January and February are known for long, gray days in Ohio. My eyes went to the birdfeeder and then this tree. It was beautiful!

I knew I had to get a picture, so I headed outside. I took several shots and then began to explore the yard. I noticed a few green leaves pushing through the dirt, a busy squirrel digging in my flower bed, and two robins hunting for worms. It was great! Mother Nature had given me a dose of her natural medicine.

We have several more weeks of these rainy, gray days but today there is snow on the ground. It brightens the day even with gray clouds. It’s not enough to shovel, but enough to make everything look fresh. I’m grateful.

I enjoy living in a state where I can experience four different seasons. This winter has been mild, and we are all eager to see if that will continue. I don’t want a delayed winter. Please no snow on my hyacinths this year! Today I will walk in the snow and look for other beautiful things nature has waiting to be discovered. Every day has something to rejoice in, and I need to remember that!

Pollyannas Make Us Grateful!

The Glad Game can change anyone’s outlook!

I was talking with a friend who had never seen the movie Pollyanna, but she knew what it meant to be called a Pollyanna. I think if there were more Pollyannas, people would be happier. Think of all the books written about how to be happy. Surrounding oneself with happy people is one of the suggestions.

Pollyanna was written in 1913 by Eleanor H. Porter. It eventually became a board game and a movie. It’s the story of a little girl who went to live with her rich aunt after her missionary parents had died. Her father had taught her the glad game and she taught it to the people of the town.

It’s definitely a feel good movie, which I like. It’s also a lesson in gratitude. Finding something to be glad about when a person is facing great difficulties is a challenge, but there is always something. Maybe it’s just a friend to talk to, which of course is something to really be grateful for!

Pollyanna is a fictitious character, but the story had a tremendous effect on its readers and obviously the entertainment world. I know it had an effect on me.

Mountain of the Holy Cross

Once was a national monument!

I discovered this photo in Michael Medved’s book God’s Hand on America. The photograph was taken in 1873 by William Henry Jackson in Colorado. The story of him carry heavy photographic equipment and developing the picture on site was fascinating.

The cross was formed by deep fissures in the mountain that were filled with snow. Explorers had talked about seeing it since the 1840s. When Jackson and his party finally reached a point above the fog, they were rewarded by seeing the gleaming cross. As they stared, a magnificent rainbow appeared. The men were awed by this sacred sign. The site became a holy site and attracted thousands. Some attributed miraculous cures to it.

The photo was widely popular and in 1951 became a postage stamp. Unfortunately, sometime in the 1940s the right arm of the cross was lost due to rock slides. The site was a national monument from 1929 until 1950. I thought some of you might find this as interesting as I did.

Beautiful Imperfections!

This bowl was created with a bump!

I love pottery. In fact my husband calls me a pottery junkie. This is one of my treasured bowls. I like it because it’s so different. I have a cupboard full of pottery bowls that were each uniquely created.

There is a Psalm that calls God the potter and refers to us as the clay. I’ve always liked that. It also helps me accept the fact that I’m not perfect and don’t have to be. My bowls aren’t perfectly created and yet they are beautiful and they hold a variety of things.

We hold a variety of talents and knowledge. I have bumps and imperfect coloring, but I still have talents. I can make a great pie and I can design a beautiful flower bed. However, being a good person who accepts others is what is most important to me.

The political environment of our country is so divisive it’s scary. I love my family and friends for who they are as unique individuals, and it really doesn’t matter if we have different political views. The potter who created me, created them, so I think that’s what is important. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone remembered our shared creator?