ROW OF ANTS

I like to go for a three-mile walk every morning just to try and stay healthy.  I usually try to go around seven o’clock before it gets so hot.  This morning it was very nice; over cast and a nice breeze.  The breeze always helps. There is one hill that almost kicks my butt so I celebrate with a big drink of water when I crest it.  Small treats that makes one smile.  This grasshopper doesn’t have anything to do with my walk but I love his colors and was happy when I was able to capture his photo; another small treat.  God gives us so many things to be thankful for and we don’t have to look hard to find them.

CSC_0816     So what does grasshoppers and walks have to do with a row of ants?  Nothing really, I guess, except they are God’s creatures.  But as I’m walking I always notice these cars on one street I have to cross.  They are lined up like a row of ants waiting to get on the main highway and get to work or whatever.  People are so busy.  I once was a member of that rat race before I retired.  And I guess they don’t have a single thing to do with Shiny unless you can claim their headlights.  But it is interesting to see.  Just a few of my Monday thoughts.

Thank you for stopping by and God bless.  Stay safe out there.

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ELEMENT OF A MIDNIGHT BLOOMER

This beauty is said to only bloom at midnight.  A very dear friend of mine gave me a cutting of this plant and I as so thankful to her.  She warned me that it only bloomed late

CSC_0724at night.  So this year it is loaded with flowers and I just had to sneak out that at 4:30 this morning before I went for my morning walk and grab a peek.  I was so excited when I saw this wonderful flower.  Yes, of course I had to pick one of the blooms and take snapshots to share with y’all.

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Thanks for stopping by.  Have a blessed day .

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BUTTERFLIES

 

I have so many butterflies in my yard this year it is amazing.  Of course someCSC_0701of my flowers are paying the price but I’ve planted enough to share with them and still have plenty for myself.  Some of the caterpillars love my Dutchman’s Pipe vine and I have to keep a sharp eye out so they don’t eat enough to kill it.  And I do have Monarch but I haven’t been able to snap a photo of them yet but I will keep trying.

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I love sitting at my dining table or out on my back porch with a nice cup of coffee early in the morning and watch them dance from one flower to the other.  They even share with the humming birds.

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I just had to share these pictures with y’all.  I hope where ever you are that you are blessed with butterflies and birds.  I court them as God’s beautiful blessings.

Thank you for stopping by until next time don’t just stop and smell the flowers also relax and watch the butterflies.

God bless.

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TAMPA FOG

This is my first time for trying this one but here goes.  My entry for the Jennifer’s Weekly Weather  Challenge; fog in Tampa Florida

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Have a blessed day.

 

This Week’s Challenges: July 23 – 29 (OWPC & WW)

 

WITHOUT A DROP TO DRINK

 

To paraphrase Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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I haven’t posted lately because I don’t go on my computer when it is thundering and lightning.  Foolish … maybe, because I have a circuit breaker but I’m rather be cautious than have lightning strike my machine.   We have had our share of storms in the last few days.  That is a good thing since our water table is low.  There is a restriction on what days one can water their gardens and lawns even if you have a private well.  I usually don’t concern myself with such cares because I know God will give us what we need when we need it.  The recent rains have helped the shortage a lot.

I won’t complain because I love everything about Florida; bugs, storms and all.  When I was a child I was fortunate enough to go fishing with my Dad and brothers to Apalachee Bay thus began my interest in this state.  Then we vacationed a couple of times in Naples and I was definitely hooked.  I made a goal and told my parents “When I get grown I’m going to live in Florida.”  Of course as typical parents go they didn’t take me serious.  But here I am today fulfilling that goal.

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We have the Gulf of Mexico on one side and if that is too tame for you we have the Atlantic Ocean on the other.  Both sides have their plus and minuses.  There is absolutely nothing that compares to the smell of salt water and walking along a sugar-sand beach with a tropical breeze ruffling your hair and the sun kissing your face.  I will definitely visit other states and enjoy what they have to offer but I will always return to my wonderful piece of Florida.  I hope you can come to visit and see what I’m talking about but be warned once you get the sand between your toes you will want to keep returning.

Thank you for stopping by and please come back soon.

God bless.

 

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FEATHERLESS BIRD

After waiting  and watching for what seemed like and eternity I was finally able to get a quick shot of one of the humming birds that visit my yard.  They are so fast and I am so slow that getting this photo was like winning a grand prize.

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I love birds and butterflies and I guess the people who doesn’t are few and far between.  I plant flowers to attract them and put out food like so many others.  But there is one scene that I often see and I call this character a featherless bird.  There is a street that I travel on quite a lot and it is lined with some very nice apartments and condos on one side and a golf course on the other. So I assume this particular bird lives in one of them.  Really it isn’t a bird at all.  Out in front of the condos there is a man that does his exercise on the side of the road.  Now let me tell you; this is not a body builder or even a body that you would go “Wow!” over.  Bless his heart.  He is so skinny so I assume with all his workouts he is healthy.  He has red frizzy hair and certainly not a tan to brag about but I guess he thinks he is a fine specimen of mankind and that we all want to see him stretch and what have you.  In the summer he wears tiny running shorts, running shoes and socks; no shirt which would improve the appearance.  He looks like a bird who has lost all his feathers.  And in the winter he wears what looks like red thermal underwear with long sleeves and legs. Trust me this is not a pretty sight.  I don’t want to be mean because he has every right to be there and I think it is a great idea to keep in shape.   But come on, take your stretching to your yard or condo then if one sees you jogging by it won’t be so hard on the eyes and heart.  I salute him for being brave enough to do it beside a busy street and I’ve seen him for years so all I can really say is “Good luck Red and go for it.”  Bless his heart.

Thank you for stopping by.  This is not my usual post but I wanted to get this off my chest.  I will keep driving that way (you know I could go another street if he offends me but he really doesn’t) and I guess he will keep stretching and I will continue to picture a featherless bird.  Hey someone might think he looks great!  Until next time God bless.

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BRIDGE

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Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

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COLLARDS

DSC_0076.JPG      I think collards are probably a green vegetable that is usually eaten in the south United States and even then some have never developed a taste for them.  If you’ve eaten kale, well that is a cousin to collards and has a similar taste. Yes it is a strong flavor and I suppose it gets some getting used to.  Frankly I love them and so does my oldest son.  The rest of my family will “kindly pass thank you very much.”  My seven-year old grandson surprises me how healthy he eats but he also does not like my collards.  Anyway, they are a must plant in my fall garden along with mustard greens.  Now my husband can absolutely eat a lot of mustard greens.

     I’m telling you all that to tell you this.  Last fall I planted collards as usual and we ate them at various times and gave some away to friends and neighbors throughout the fall and spring.  But what really surprises me is the fact that they are still growing strong.  Week before last I gave some away and put some in the freezer. This past week I was able to gather (that’s how you say harvesting greens.  You don’t harvest or pick “you gather in the south) another mess (also a southern word for enough vegetables for a meal.  Stick with me and you will learn Southern).  The mustard greens, tomatoes and other spring vegetables are all gone but these collards keep hanging on and producing.

     I planted sweet potatoes and since this is my first time for trying to grow them I’m excited to see how they do.  Trust me I will keep you posted.  The whole family loves sweet potatoes.

DSC_0464     As you know gardening is one of my many hobbies and I truly enjoy it.  It is a wonderful feeling to plant a seed or small plant then watch it grow and produce.  If you are stressed gardening will help you relax and forget all the problems.  Try it.

Thank you for stopping by.  Until then, keep praying, smiling and seeing “how does your garden grow.” (quote from Mary, Mary Quite Contrary a Mother Goose rhyme.)

God bless.

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FLOWERS, BIRDS AND BUTTERFLIES

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Order in my yard; are you kidding?  There is absolutely nothing that you might call order in my plants, trees and flowers.  I’ve mentioned before that I am a plant collector so that makes my yard eclectic.  If someone is trying to get rid of a plant I am the first to volunteer to take it.  Plus I cringe if I must thin and discard any of my plants.  But sadly that was the case yesterday.  My husband and I worked out there for hours thinning and tossing.  Now he can easily do away with any or all my plants.  Every time I lug one home he says “Now where are you gonna put that.”  I simply say “I’ll find a spot.”  And I have to watch him like a hawk because he loves to clip; never mind if the season is right or not,  he will be out there clipping away.  Get this; he complains about my flowers but when we have guests he is the first to take them on a stroll of our yard and boast about the plants.  You’d think he did all the work.

Okay…okay it is not pick on husbands week.  I guess I’m crankie because my back muscles are sore this morning.  I used some yesterday I must not be used to using.  That bad husband will rub Biofreeze on it when he finishes eating his breakfast.

We both like to sit on our back porch in our glider and watch the birds and butterflies enjoy our flowers.  I put a Shepard’s pole and hung suet within a few feet of the porch so we have a wonderful view.  I’ve been able to snap photos of several species (is that what you call them?) of birds.  The one I can’t seem to catch is the humming birds and we have several that come to visit.  Oh well in due time.

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I’ll be posting more of them in future posts I’m sure and especially the humming birds when I get them.  I gotta run it is time for a back rub.

Thank you for stopping by.  Stay safe and keep gardening, bird watching and enjoying life.

God bless.

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LIBRARY

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I’m an avid reader and I love books; all kind of books—- fiction, non-fiction and even poetry.  I credit this to my older sister who (according to her stories) would prop me up beside her before I was old enough to sit alone and read to me.  As I got older I do recall her reading to me and my other sister loved poetry so she shared some of her favorite poems. I was so very blessed to have such loving older siblings. I’m glad they instilled that love for the written word in me. I have tried to pass it on to my two sons and I believe I’m a success in that area; both my boys love to read.  I’ve even gotten my husband absorbed in good novels.

After my sons grew up they would give me gift cards to books stores for most of the holidays and special occasions.  I asked them to stop because it was a waste of their hard-earned money. Does that mean I didn’t use the cards?  Absolutely not.  But I would buy books, read them then pass them on to others.  I explained to my boys that I just as soon get my reading material from the local library.  I love the library; it is one of my most treasured places.  When we’d move to a new town for my husband’s work one of the first places I’d locate was the library.

In the library there are so many worlds within our world.  You can travel, in your mind, to so many places and discover other people and their cultures.  You can teach yourself almost anything you want to do if you are able to read because the library is crammed with information and help manuals.

Oh yes, it is true that one can do and find almost anything via computer today and I think that is wonderful.  But to me there is nothing to compare to feeling the hard copy of a book in your hands and flipping those pages as you read.  I do have my computer and Nook and I do read that way as well.  Like I said I love to read and feel I am so blessed to be able to do so.

But as we argue the convenience of computers one can also find public computers at the library to use so… there is no reason not to visit the library close to you and check out what they have to offer.  You just might be surprised and wish you had discovered this place years ago.

Thanks for stopping by…. shhhh I’ll just close quietly and get back to my novel.  God bless.

 

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