Reflections on Winter 2013-2014


Occasionally I take the time to reflect upon the seasons and the many different changes they put you through. Winter is, by it’s very nature, one of the most extreme of the seasons. Winter  2012 through to March 2013 here in the US of A’s mid west was mild, although it snowed intermittently through to June. This was the first spring that my petunia’s came back.

Au Contraire for winter of 2013 through to spring 2014. Cold, and promising to be anything but mild, it has snowed consistently since early December with no let up in sight. We definitely had a white Christmas this year. Along with that beautiful white snow came the cold and ice–wet and penetrating. Christmas shopping was a painful affair. The wind cut through every layer of clothing, and, despite the cold, people thronged everywhere; making an uncomfortable situation even more uncomfortable.

Now don’t get me wrong, I truly love winter. To be honest, I truly love people.   🙂  The winter skies are the most bright and clear, and stars shine like diamonds. Also, fresh snowfall is one of the most beautiful and unique examples of GOD’s creation.  Sadly, it gets dirty fast. Driving mile after mile with dirty snow piled up beside the road can get depressing.  Nothing white stays white for long.

Snow white beauty piles up inside my driveway causing my car to bog down while going out on an important mission. Why haven’t I plowed the driveway? Believe me, I have. Those 35 mph winds just blew the snow back into the driveway. Let’s not mention the walkway. After shoveling and breaking up ice for hours, the wind delights in re-covering the walkway as well. So, I guess you could say that all that effort is in vain, right? Why go through the snow, ice, and cold if you don’t have to.

Well…after analyzing some possible choices–sunny Florida, Arizona, California, and other southern and southwestern states, perhaps even Australia (summer in January) I’ve come to the conclusion that every locale has it’s own drawbacks. I may be shoveling snow like a pro here–but someone else may be experiencing hurricanes or tornadoes. Others may be dealing with volcanoes, or even earthquakes. This year, the whole country is experiencing unseasonal cold weather. Did I forget to mention the -60 wind chills? Brrrrrrrrrrrr.

I long for the spring, which has allergies and grass-cutting waiting for me, but also the most beautiful, gentle breezes. My daffodils and crocuses herald the new season, and inspire me to begin my gardening. I look forward to beautiful roses, pots of begonia and impatiens. Every spring I bring out my cacti, and they grow and bloom until Fall. I begin in earnest on my vegetable garden which also keeps me busy through Fall. I find it fun and invigorating.

But…back to winter. After all this complaining, I guess I really do like winter. Whether winter likes me is the problem. 🙂 I am praying that everyone caught in the throes of Old Man Winter will come out hale and hearty this spring.


Narrative credit: Momma Cha

The Joy and Pain of Gardening…by Chaelwest

The Joy and Pain of Gardening

There is this crazy urge that I get each Spring when the first crocuses peek out of bed, and the daffodils put on their bonnets–it is called, in my vernacular, time to dig. Whether it is digging into the black dirt with my toes, or grabbing a shovel and digging holes, or using a tiller to turn the soil over for planting–It truly doesn’t matter because the urge is simply to dig-dig-dig.

Along with this urge comes a need to plant baby flowers and vegetables in the hope of watching them grow into fruit producers and bloomers of the garden variety. Before this can be accomplished, however, there are many steps toward this luxurious goal. No pain no gain.

As I am no longer in the ‘bloom’ of youth, each year it becomes harder and harder to perform the gardening tasks necessary to say that I have had a wonderful, productive season.  I used to be able to kneel and pat those little suckers right into place with no aching aftereffects, but now Mr. Arthur shows up almost immediately after I have patted the last little plant and put them to bed. Ibuprofen to the rescue!!! I guess if I weren”t so driven I would simply let the garden do the natural thing. It would overgrow itself quickly and what a tangled mess I would have.

Since it is human to want to control everything and everybody around you, lest there be any surprises, I struggle year after year to reach the same gardening goals of  twenty years ago. I want little pansies to smile at me while giant sunflowers tower over the fence and protect the borders. I long to see Jack command his pulpit while begonias beguile me with their constant beauty and variety. The shrubs and bushes offer summer glamour while fruit trees, maples, and oak offer bountiful shade.

I am a sensory person. I enjoy textures and myriad colors around me. Nothing is more sensory than touching the fleshy petal of a Day Lily or an Iris. The beauty that is the rose family is absolutely breathtaking–domestic or wild. The variety of colors  is mind-boggling–giving me a glimpse into the rainbows of Heaven. Will there be gardens there to plant and explore?

There is great joy in watching the tomatoes grow and ripen on the vine. Cucumber’s yellow flowers team with the golden orange of the melon flowers. Such a lovely scene. The greens of the foliage form a wonderful contrast to the bursts of color that speak of fruit to come.

My garden always makes me think of the responsibility of parenting. The little seeds that we are given to water and nourish grow quickly. If we give them good food then we will yield a plenteous harvest with strong seed toward the next generation. Will it be easy? No. Just as the garden in my yard takes careful tending in order to grow–so do my children. My difficulty is that I am like ‘The Old Lady Who lived In A Shoe’– I have so many children in my heart that I don’t know what to do. At home and abroad, they take careful tending each day. An earnest prayer here and some encouragement there–a shake of the head when I see them making some of the same mistakes that I made in my own youth; panic when I see that they are going to follow their own chosen path making wise or unwise choices along the journey and disregarding my loving advice. 

I will continue to tend my gardens and the mixed bed of joy and sorrow will be mine to lie upon. Prayerfully, hopefully, the flowers of my heart will someday bloom with beauty and wisdom. I will then hold them close and kiss the dew from their faces.

credit: charlene

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[News] 120201 JYJ and Min Hyo Rin’s Pictorials: “Fresh like Spring!”

[News] 120201 JYJ and Min Hyo Rin’s Pictorials: “Fresh like spring!”

JYJ’s Jae Joong, Yoo Chun, and Jun Su, and actress Min Hyo Lyn have taken promotional photos for clothing brand NII.

The photos were shot at a studio in Nonhyeon-dong, Seoul. The theme for 2012 Spring is “Feel Good in Nature (NII or nature).” It means it loves all natural colors in the world.


A spokesperson for the brand says, “We have recently signed a two-year exclusive contract with JYJ, who have received wide attention from the advertising industry. Through the models’ competitiveness, various new suggestions for fashion items, and intensified marketing, we are planning to settle as a brand that always satisfies customers.”

In addition to this, NII is expecting that JYJ will create a big synergy effect because they are holding an exclusive concert in South America next month. They are also planning to hold various promotional events and donation such as Heart Campaign consistently.

source: TV Report
credit: en.korea
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