Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April Gardening Stories




Way back in October, I planted some bulbs and scattered some flower seeds hoping, as all gardeners do, that in the spring, I would have blooms. After a long cold winter, with nothing green in sight, finally seeing green shoots and leaves and later actual flowers come through the ground, is truly a miracle. Every day or so, I wander through my yard and flower garden to see the progress and enjoy the process. Aren't these hyacinth buds beautiful? I planted these in a grouping around some rocks and I love the vibrant colors.



This lovely green sight, growing every day, is from the wildflower seeds I planted in the fall. To tell you the truth, even though I followed the company's directions to sow the seeds after the first frost, I didn't really believe anything would come up in the spring. I will be keeping an eye on these - they seem delicate, but are probably a lot hardier than I think, considering they are growing in quite a harsh spring. I am excited to see what flowers I will have to enjoy.



And then there are my tulips. Thanks to a fat bunny that lives in my yard, though they came up beautifully and were close to blooming, I discovered they had become a lovely green snack. No tulip blooms at all this year and so disappointing! I did a little research and will try a few rabbit repellents next spring, including scattering coffee grounds around the first leaves that surface.

Happy spring gardening!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sunshine and Easter




We woke up to beautiful sunshine on Easter and knew it would be a lovely day ahead. My girls were home to spend the day and our plans changed slightly when my parents were unable to join us for Easter dinner. We decided to venture out on a day trip to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather. After mass, we quickly stopped at home to open Easter baskets and headed out. And yes, no matter how old they are, I still love putting together baskets for my girls :-)



Our destination was a small city about an hour or so away, called Frankenmuth. It is a quaint place, steeped in German heritage, known for its old fashioned, all you can eat, chicken dinners. There is shopping, fudge shops and even a general store, complete with bags you can fill with penny candy. However, it is the dinner that is the highlight - chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, homemade buttered noodles and more. All served family style at your table.



It was lovely to wander through the shops and just enjoy being outside in the sunshine. Maybe not the most conventional Easter, or the most conventional Easter dinner, but we had so much fun spending our day together.

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Good Friday - Faith and Friends



As is our annual tradition on Good Friday, we ventured into the city of Detroit for a fish fry, followed by the Good Friday vigil at a beautiful inner city parish. We had a lot of fun at an early lunch, which is traditional polish fare - fried perch or halibut, along with potato pancakes and pierogis.

After lunch we headed to church, all together, as a group. There is something very special about attending mass with good friends that are so special to us. This church's Good Friday vigil is very moving, with lovely and spiritual music and is well attended. It is a quiet time to reflect and show your faith, during those hours Jesus spent on the cross.

After mass, we made a few more stops at some of our favorite spots around the city. It was a lovely day filled with food, friends and most important, a celebration of our faith.

Happy Monday!


Friday, April 18, 2014

40 bags in 40 Days - Good Friday Update





My 40 bags in 40 days Lenten challenge in now complete for another year. Last year I was able to fill 40 bags, which means a lot of clutter and miscellaneous items were removed from my home. When I started the challenge this year, I wasn't sure if I would be able to find 40 bags from the areas I had in mind. But, the process remains the same, no matter how many bags you fill. You are making space both in your home and in your mind. You are freeing yourself of the past and moving towards a future, that is calmer and a home only filled with what you really need. During lent, you are using the 40 days to take something on, instead of giving something up. And in writing about it here, I am showing my faith to the world.

I was able to fill 27 bags this year. My total bags included 12 to donate, 14 to the trash and 1 bag of books for the library. I donated servings pieces, I never used, but were taking up space in a basement storage area. Many clothes, from every member of the family, will now be used by those who need them. Both a hall closet and my laundry room closet and cabinets were emptied and I feel uplifted when I see the space and the organization.

This Lenten challenge has been good for me in many ways. It is something I will continue to do, whether I am able to fill 40 bags or not. It is the process that is good for your soul.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!


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