Prespective

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Perspective….the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship.

Perspective, it’s all about how we see things. Everyone processes information differently so everyone can have a different perspective when viewing the same situations, photos, scenes, tasks and people.

For instance what do you see when you look at the picture posted above? Do you dead trees, and a brown colorless, lifeless piece of land? Does the photo show you a land that is sad, worthless and depressing? Or do you like me, see the potential of this piece of land? The lush green undergrowth that will soon fill this property, how it will be teeming with life and beauty. The beautiful majestic trees in full leaf shading the land and becoming home to birds, squirrels and even raccoons. The wonder of new birth that happens every spring just when you are sure that this year spring was not happening.

Perspective isn’t just about things or people, it’s also about we view tasks, chores and home improvements. I recently spent some time with my daughter in Ohio. I told her I would love to work on a couple projects around the house with her. She took me at my word and had a laundry list of things she wanted to accomplish while her husband was out of town to surprise him. Since her husband may read this I won’t go into detail, but when I saw what she had in mind my perspective on the list was a very positive “ain’t no way”, but as we worked through the list it suddenly became clear we can do this. My perspective changed when I made the choice to see the end results and not focus on the amount of work it was going to take to get there. And that change in my perspective made the experience fun and rewarding, dispute the bruised knee, sore arms, banged finger and stiff back. Home improvements need a safety warning for people of a certain level of gracefulness!

It’s the same when we look at people. We need to see the possibilities in that person dispute the outward appearances. We need to look beyond the current laundry list of things that may be wrong or need changed and instead look at what the possibilities could be for that person. We need to change our perspective on their future and if we can perhaps help them change their own perspective too.

Perspective…it’s all about what we do with the information we receive whether it’s visual or verbal, familiar or foreign, positive or negative. What will you do today with the information you receive? What will your perspective be?

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Update on my HOA post

So as I suspected but hoped would not happen, my request to change the color of my decorative screens was denied.  So out they went.  Here are the before and after photos.  This is how my English country garden now looks. It’s not near as pretty and is a bit sad but it is what it is.  I am not sure what I will do to enhance my garden so for now the plants will do what they can to disguise the ugliness of the utility boxes.  More updates later.

Before


After

After

Garden update – May 2016

This garden adventure continues and this time it looks like we stand a chance of actually making this work.  We have tomatoes ripening, strawberry plants growing, potatoes plants thriving, mini cucumber plants enjoying their spot, and the herbs are flourishing.  In an effort to continue to find the right balance between sun and water we decided to move one tomato plant container and the strawberry plants to an area in our front yard that gets more sun daily to see if it helps.  Our concern there is critters…so we are considering our options to protect the precious plant from invading marauders.  While to some gardening seems like a simple, easy task, for some reason the gardening skill has evaded me.  I can manage herbs and indoor house plants but tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and other such delicious edibles always seem just beyond my level of skill.  As the summer progresses I will be anxious to see if perhaps this year we win on this adventure.  

Another year, another attempt at a garden

If you have been reading my blog, you know that we have attempted and failed for a number of years to grow a vegetable garden here at our home in North Carolina.  We went from your standard in the ground open to the critters garden in 2012, while it started out great and it looked like we would have a bumper crop of fresh tomatoes, that dream ended when one morning I discovered all the green tomatoes had vanished off the vines overnight.  I blamed Big Foot, but it was more than likely a family of light fingered raccoons who discovered the open air grocery store and pilfered the tomatoes, leaving no evidence behind.  Garden-1, Us-0

In 2013 we built our garden cage out of a carport and fencing.  We covered the entire thing, including the ground with fencing.  It was bolted into wood and anchored down with fence posts.  We even grounded it, in case of a lightning strike.  This thing was going nowhere and nothing uninvited was getting in.  We planted and set up a watering system on a timer and awaited our glorious yield.  We planted tomatoes, peppers, zucinni, lettuce and cucumbers.  Alas, another failed year.  Not enough sun, too much water, we just could not figure it out.   The tomato plants grew straight up but yielded no fruit.  The pepper plants tried but only succeeded in giving us one tiny pepper.  Garden-2, Us-0


Not wanting to give up, we tried again in 2014 and 2015.  We had some trees cut down hoping to get more sunshine on the garden, we adjusted our watering schedule to account for less sun, we monitored and begged those plants to grow.  Again, tomato plant grew up at an alarming rate, reaching at least 8ft, but no fruit.  The pepper plants grew slowly and tried valiantly to give us what we wanted but lost that battle.  We did containers one year and raised beds another year.  The only thing that grew was some Swiss chard, and it didn’t show up until winter.  Garden-4, Us-0

Now it’s 2016, this year we have left the garden cage and moved back into containers.  We watched the sunshine in the yard and picked a place that is almost in the center of the yard to place them.  We relocated our watering system and downsized to four containers.  We have four tomato plants, three pepper plants, and numerous pepper plant seedlings.  We also have a unique lettuce growing system on our deck railing that consists of a rain gutter attached to the railing with drainage holes drilled in the bottom.  I think this year we have a fighting chance.  Already the tomato plants are growing tomatoes, and are not spiking towards the sky.  The lettuce is growing quite nicely, and the pepper plants are trying their best.  It’s still early in the season, so only time will tell.  And as an experiment we are growing watermelon, mini cucumbers and potatoes on a small area by our driveway that gets sun and was grass free. 


Now we wait.

My Garden Saga Continues

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UPDATE:  I know that my garden saga made a number of people smile when I posted it last September.  So, this year, 2015, we are trying once again to make our garden grow.  However, we have changed our strategy a bit.  We did have trees removed, (see my Trees blog), and have planted only  in the front beds of the garden.  They seem to be the ones that get the most sun.  We are attempting not to over water this year.  We are in agreement that if the garden fails to yeild more produce we will cry “uncle” and give up this venture.  There are so many farm stands in our area we will just help the local economy and purchase fresh produce from them.

Below is my original post about the Garden Saga, please feel free to comment.  

My Garden Saga continues

If you have followed my blog you saw the post about our garden cage and our attempts to make a garden happen. Year one saw us with some lovely plants but they were destroyed by critters. Year two we spent a lot of money and time building a garden cage out of a car port and fencing.  We planted in containers, and installed a very efficient watering system.  The result was extremely sad. Year three (this year) we spend more money and time building raised beds inside our garden cage and planted again and the results were extremely sad once again.

So, here it is the end of the growing season and once again our garden has failed to meet our expectations. We determined that our garden was not getting enough sun, which was evident by the fact that our tomato plants shot up to 10 feet searching in desperation for the sun.  We also determined that because the garden wasn’t getting enough sun we were probably over watering. Now I suppose we could water it less, but the fact remains that the garden does not get enough sun.   Even the plants that got more sun than the tomato grew slowly and produced poorly. We got some lettuce, a few cucumbers and absolutely no zucchini. So we began discussing a few options for next year.

 Option one would be to move the entire garden cage into a more sunny area in our yard. A couple problems with that, there is no real spot in our yard that gets sun for multiple hours during the day due to the enormous and densely planted trees that surround our beautiful yard. Another problem is moving the garden cage would take time and people and both of those are difficult to come by.

 Option two would be to leave the garden cage where it is and remove some of the trees that block the sun from shining so nicely on it. Problem there is removing trees is costly. Now I admit these particular trees really should be removed any way to avoid any damage to our house in the future, but the cost could be high to do this.

Option three (and this one is perhaps my favorite of the three) is to just admit defeat and buy our fresh vegetables from any one of the numerous vegetable stands that are within a few miles of our house. This option would not only save us time and money but also the frustration of attempting to make a garden work that apparently is not meant to happen. Not to mention that through these last three years of attempting to make a garden happen I have learned an important fact about myself…I AM NOT A GARDENER, AND I HAVE TO REAL DESIRE TO BECOME ONE.

Sure it’s nice to see plants growing and to be able to walk into your backyard and pick fresh veggies, but the work involved in preparation and maintenance, not to mention the bugs (had a bad experience with them) make me less willing to make gardening one of my hobbies.

So all that being said, we have a few months to make our final decision. Of course there is an option four, take a year off and see what happens in the future.

Oh yeah, any suggestions my gardening friends may have would be welcomed.

*any resemblance to real or imagined individuals, living or dead, is purely unintentional.  All opinions here are solely the opinion of the author. If you see yourself in this post, oops!

New Year..New Beginnings

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As years go by and our friendships wane
Our memories will always remain the same

Thank you for the laughter and thank you for the tears
Thank you for the happiness to last through the years

As we step over the threshold into a brand new year
Let us move ever forward without any fear

Keep our family and friends in our hearts everyday
Keep our eyes up towards heaven always seeking the way

May your year be filled with joy from all those you love
May your heart be filled with blessings from the Lord above.

Have a blessed New Year
Paula

TOO BUSY to keep in touch,

I wonder why it seems so difficult for people to keep in touch. I realize everyone is busy with life and some times it’s all one can do to just get through the day, but with all this modern technology surely everyone has a couple minutes at some point in their day or week to pop off a quick text or email to someone just to touch base, to say hi, or thinking of you.

It’s easy and doesn’t require a long conversational reply from the recipient, but it can sometimes make a world of difference in their life. How many times has a person come across your thoughts, and you think “I really should call or text them just to say hi” but you don’t because you are too busy? You have no idea what is going on in that person’s life at that very moment and your contact however small may have made a world of difference to them. Think back to a low moment in your life, and we have all had them, when that phone call, email or text came through and suddenly things looked a bit brighter and you knew you had someone somewhere who was thinking of you, and you were not alone. Honestly, if we get too busy that we stop heeding that small voice we hear in our hearts then we are frankly TOO BUSY.

So, my friends, the next time your heart speaks to you take the time to reach out to that person. We should never be too busy to show we care about others. And as independent and self sufficient as we like to think we are, the truth is there are so many people in our lives that care about us and just want to know we care about them.

So, one of my goals for this New Year is to listen to that voice in my heart more often and too never be TOO BUSY to reach out to someone. I hope you will do the same.

Be blessed,

What does my electronic use say? or Do I really need to check that now?

ElectronicsWhat does your electronic use say? or Do I really need to check that now?

Let me start by first saying I am talking to myself here, and by no means pointing fingers at anyone.

I love technology. I use it a lot, perhaps too much. I am seldom without my iphone or ipad. I have a laptop computer and a netbook. But I wonder what my constant use of my electronics says about me. When I am with someone, anyone, and I decide I need to check my iphone for messages or texts, what does that say to the person I am with? Does it say, I am bored, you are not interesting, there is someplace I would rather be, there is something I would rather be doing? What does it say about me that I can’t sit though an evening with someone without checking my iphone for texts or emails, or even check my Facebook account for updates from anyone?

I know it’s hard to not be connected with the outside world. I know that I enjoy the occasional updates on Facebook, and the connection with family and friends, but unless it’s a true emergency is it necessary to sit in a public or even private setting with someone and constantly check my phone?

When was the last time I sat for an evening with my husband and neither of us constantly checked our iphone, or played with our ipad? Why has that become an extension of our time together? Can we change that?

I challenge myself and everyone who reads my blog to spend an evening with your significant other, a friend, or a group of friends without checking your smart phone or ipad or other electronics for updates about people you are not physically with at that moment. Go on a date with your significant other, or simply watch TV together, sure it may not be a movie or a show you are particularly interested in, but I am sure there are many times they have watch something with you that didn’t interest them at the time, so enjoy the time together and don’t worry about what you are watching. Take a walk together, hold hands (not phones), talk and enjoy the world around you. (Now I am not saying leave your phones at home, they do come in handy for that occasional photo opportunity or in case of an emergency, but put them away during the walk.) Go to a movie, silence that phone. Go out to dinner, silence that phone. I don’t necessarily agree with the policy or practice of leaving phones at home, or turning them completely off, especially if you have teenagers, aged parents, small children at home, but if it is a true emergency and not just a “what is for dinner” question, or “when will you be home”, or “can Susie spend the night question”, the caller or texter will leave a message, and at some point, you will check it out.

I don’t’ know how many will actually attempt this challenge but if you do I would love to hear how it went. My husband and I are planning a stay at home vacation for a couple days soon and I think I will do my very best to not be totally connected to my electronics so we can hang out, do fun things and really enjoy each other’s company without that ‘third party’ known as the smart phone interrupting out time together.

Paula

*any resemblance to real or imagined individuals, living or dead, is purely unintentional.  All opinions here are solely the opinion of the author. If you see yourself in this post, oops!

Be Yourself

Be YourselfI love this photo that was recently posted on Facebook.  It reminds me to be who I am, who God intended me to be and not to try to fit into a mold that is not me to please others.  I am who God made me to be, I need to remind myself of that and continue to seek His guidance in what I do and say.  How I respond to people and situations may not be the ideal way or the way others respond, but it is how I respond and that counts.  There is not necessary always a right and wrong way to respond but there is always different ways.  And different doesn’t make it wrong.  I am still learning who I am, it’s a continuous ongoing process.  I am not afraid to grow and learn, and I am not afraid to change, if the change is my idea.  I am stepping out into areas that are new to me, and I am learning as I go.  It’s an adventure and it’s mine to take.  I hope that everyone who reads this post takes to heart what the photo says and grows in confidence in who they are, but is still willing to make changes that they may need to make to become even more of who they are intended to be.  Have a wonderful day.  Here’s to being yourself.