What Inspires You?

Where does the path lead?

This picture hung in my classroom all year. It was now spring and one of my students asked, “When are we going to write about that picture?” I had not thought about making that an assignment. I told her if the picture inspired her she should write about it, and I would love to read it. She said she didn’t like to write that much! So Sad!

The picture could be the basis for several stories. At the end of the path there’s a tree that the cat would climb in my story. The tree allows the cat to have a different perspective of the garden. She would see the homes of the garden insects and critters and appreciate the beauty of what the gardener created. Maybe she’d see the gardener differently and understand why he didn’t want her using his flower beds as a giant litter box! It’s just a thought.

I enjoy art and don’t feel every piece speaks to me. But when they do, I feel I have a connection with the artist. Someone took this picture who had an artistic eye. I wonder what he or she would write about it. Any thoughts?

Fairies and Fires!

A Fire Provides More Than Warmth!

I love our wood burning fireplace. No, I don’t mind building the fires or removing the ashes. I think a fire has a magical quality as many stories have been told along side one.

Obviously man has used fire for centuries for heat, light, and cooking. It also keeps unwanted animals away. It even keeps the fairies away until the fire dies down and only the embers are left. The soft, red glow of the embers is an invitation to the fairies to come out of hiding. They cautiously gather in the ring of light and the ceremony begins.

The dance of the fairies is well known for its beauty and mystical quality. Only a few have witnessed it. I was told the fairies’ wings were silver and their clothes shimmered in soft colors of blue and green. After the dance, wishes were taken to the embers to see if they would be granted. Wishes that caught fire were accepted and white smoke carried them into the night sky.

I wonder if this will work in my fireplace. I think it’s worth a try!

Waiting, Just Waiting

Waiting for Snow!

A sled without snow is useless. All it can do is sit and wait for the flurries to fly. It makes me think of Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and the Waiting Place where people just wait. Over the holidays I heard a lot about what people were waiting for in 2020.

Students are waiting to hear where they will be accepted for college, others waiting to hear about jobs, a few waiting for medical tests to be completed. All are waiting. The question is what do we do while we wait?

I admit I’m not very good at waiting. I choose not to be like the sled and just sit, so I’ve learned to redirect my energies if I can’t affect the wait time. There is always someone who needs help and there is always something that needs to be done. I love a new project that takes my mind off whatever I’m waiting to happen.

I don’t want to spend much time in Dr. Seuss’s Waiting Place. It isn’t a pleasant place and nothing gets accomplished. If you find yourself there, look around and see where you are needed. Giving of your time and talents will help you feel confident about what lies ahead. Also if it ever snows, get on a sled and enjoy the ride!

Christmas in Pine Grove

Rudolph will be there!

This is my fourth year to write the Christmas show for Maple Grove Methodist Church. The show will be performed on Saturday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m. This year it’s a story about two angels who visit Pine Grove. They find that people do a lot of singing!

In the show, Rudolph has a bad case of fleas. Yes, I know deer don’t get fleas, but it works. His agent Saulie is frantic because he has scheduled many events for Rudolph. It’s a good thing there is an angel in town!

There are serious moments in the show and there is lots of laughter. Particularly from grumpy, old Ed who insists on cream in his coffee. That part is based on my need for cream. The show is very entertaining because the cast is so talented. All are welcome and tickets are only $5.00. I consider the show a gift to the community. I hope to see you there!

Old Tin Canisters are filled with stories!

Many uses and many memories!

My tin canisters are very useful. They are decorative in themselves and look great with dried flowers in them. I keep my chocolate chips in the Nestles one and brown sugar in another. They brighten my pantry with color and memories. I remember my mom had buttons in one, thread in one and coins in another. Obviously, tin canisters are great for organizing household items.

I didn’t realize that tin cans were being used in America as early as 1820. Being able to store food in tin cans made a tremendous impact on the food industry. Products could be sent a long distance safely and food lasted! Aluminum cans weren’t produced until 1965. This is an invention we appreciate still today. One can’t beat a can of tomato soup on a cold day!

Think of the stories that could be written about items found in a tin can. Keys are always a good item because they lead to something. Come to think of it, I think one of my aunts kept keys in a tin can. I’d love to hear your tin can stories! Please share!

Indian Corn’s Secret

The secret is Revealed!

In my last blog, you read that wild turkeys used to have bright colorful feathers and some thought they were related to peacocks. In fact, I read that Christopher Columbus thought that. I have the answer for how those feathers were so colorful. They ate Indian corn!

There is no research to prove this, but I’m going with it. The settlers saw bright colored turkeys and the Native Americans introduced the settlers to corn. They go together! I think the bright corn kernels created the bright feathers. It’s possible!

Another fact about Indian corn is it can be used for wishing. Shell a handful, hold it in your hands and make a wish. Then toss it into the fire. The white kernels might pop because they can be used for popcorn, but that might enhance your wish! It’s worth a try and you’ll enjoy sitting by a cozy fire at the same time.

It’s Turkey Time!

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving dinner if we didn’t have turkey!

Thanksgiving has been an American holiday since Abraham Lincoln signed the proclamation in 1863. Much has been written about the first Thanksgiving and what was eaten. For sure they ate venison and turkeys were likely on the menu because they were in abundance during that time period. My brother has many wild turkeys on his farm and none of us would eat one. They look scrawny to me, but historically they were beautiful, magnificent birds.

Ben Franklin was so impressed by them he wanted to make the turkey America’s national bird. I read they had bright colors and some thought they were related to the peacock. Wild turkeys not only fly; they fly fast! They can fly up to 55 mph. I would have been impressed too, Ben!

I love reading picture books at every holiday and most of the Thanksgiving books involve Tom escaping the farmer’s ax. Our domesticated turkeys are so fat they can’t run and certainly can’t fly. They also have lost their previous thinking ability. Unfortunately, they don’t have a lot of brain cells working for them any more. However, in children’s books they always outwit the farmer. I wouldn’t want it any other way!

My turkey is quite cute and no one would want to eat a turkey that looked that cute. To be honest, I like chicken better than turkey, but it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey!

Scarecrows Don’t Scare!

Too Cute to Scare!

People have smiling scarecrows in their yards which I love to see. This one is in my yard and a big black crow actually landed on its head! I read to be effective, a scarecrow should have tin pans tied on it so the sound and shine will scare the birds away.

I wondered what the crow was saying to my scarecrow while sitting on its head. Maybe the crow would ask why the scarecrow was hanging around my yard. I like to think the answer would be because she enjoys the flowers that are still blooming, the bubbling fountain, and the birds that eat at the feeder. It is quite lovely and my scarecrow gets to enjoy it in the warmth of the sun!

October days are the best! The cold nights and warm days with the addition of the leaves changing color makes it a a perfect month. I hope you all make time to be outside and enjoy this season, and give a scarecrow a smile as you pass. They really aren’t scary!

Why was Dracula Afraid of Garlic?

Garlic can be deadly!

Bram Stoker was the first to write about garlic as a way to ward off vampires. I think it was because garlic made this Irish author sick. Garlic can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It also can make one’s throat itch and constrict. That’s what happens to me because I’m allergic to it.

Garlic was used by the Greeks and Egyptians for medicinal purposes and to ward off evil spirits. Stoker would have drawn upon this information when he decided that it could be used against vampires. I like to think he had a more personal experience with the smelly herb. Hey! It’s possible!

To me, garlic is scary. I react even to the smell of it. I was buying fresh produce at an outdoor stand this summer and there was a small basket of garlic by the cash register. My throat started to itch and I began to cough. The stuff is deadly! I can understand Dracula fleeing from the smell.

I know most people love garlic. I’m aligning myself with Dracula and avoiding it!

Squirrel Entertains!

Gardeners become well acquainted with the critters who visit their yards. Deer, chipmunks, voles, groundhogs, rabbits and squirrels all enjoy my garden.

Last week I watched a cute little squirrel turning, twisting and chattering on the top of my split rail fence. A rabbit was sitting in the grass watching. The rabbit never moved. It just sat and watched. Its ears did twitch a time or two. The squirrel entertained for ten minutes and then a loud noise scared both the entertainer and audience away. It was unbelievably cute!

Picture books are filled with cute, smart animals that talk and say cute things. I can imagine what the squirrel said to the rabbit. The squirrel asked what the rabbit had enjoyed for breakfast (petunias) and the rabbit asked the same of the squirrel (tulip bulbs). The squirrel then asked if rabbit wanted to see his new routine. He told her a few jokes and then did his fluffy tail dance. All very cute, except they had once again eaten my flowers!

The ground hog likes my green peppers, the deer devours my lilies, Victor Vole eats bulbs and digs tunnels. The chipmunks won in the battle over my strawberry patch, so I no longer have strawberries.

My dad was a farmer and years ago when I complained about all the critters in my yard, he just smiled and said, Plant more, they need to eat too. Besides, they’ll win every time! So I plant more!