Cheese in the Dog’s Water Bowl

Sometimes the events of the morning dictate how the day will go simply because of our reactions to them.

For instance – I was preparing Hubby’s lunch and as I unwrapped a slice of cheese, it slipped from my fingers and fell into the dogs’ water bowl.

“Wonderful,” I thought as I bent down to retrieve it.

It wasn’t exactly wonderful – it was wasteful and cut into my already rushed morning routine – so as I plucked it from the water bowl, I made a decision and asked my mind to snap a memory of how the slice of cheese looked in the dogs’ water bowl.

It landed half in the water.  The uppermost half leaned against the side of the slanted bowl.  One corner of it was draped over the edge.  It resembled someone relaxing in a hot tub with an arm draped across the edge of it. Funny!

As I dropped it into the trash I muttered, “go swim in someone else’s dog bowl. The pool here is closed.”

My reaction to the dropped cheese had the power to affect the remainder of not only my day but Hubby’s as well (and each person we touched throughout the day).

All too often I react instead of choosing my response.  Perhaps it’s part of my personality.  Perhaps it’s simply learned behavior.  Perhaps, it’s a mixture.  I don’t know….

What I do know is that I need to be less reactionary and more intentional in responding in ways that are healthy, honorable, gentle and kind.

Locust Winter 2015

42 degrees.

That’s what the thermometer said when I peeked at it with uncaffeinated eyes this morning at 6:30.

So, I rubbed my eyes, slipped on my glasses, and looked again.

42 degrees.

Three sips of coffee later – it still says 42 degrees, but it’s not as fuzzy.

And, after three openings and closings of the outside door, I don’t need the thermometer to tell me the third “winter” of this Spring has slipped in upon us.

Locust winter is here.


And, yes.  Locust trees are blooming.  I saw one Sunday on the way to church – the racemes were just beginning to lengthen, turn white, and open.

(Can’t help but wonder about the Honey Locust trees at the Zoo.  If they are blooming, the aroma there would be delightful!!)

Redbud, Dogwood, and now Locust – that’s three “winters.”  The next will be Blackberry.

I’ve located two blackberry bushes, both of which are full of swelling buds.  It won’t be long before the bushes are dotted with white flowers. Perhaps, they will bloom during this week’s prolonged cool down and we can strike two winters off the list before May slips in and Summer’s heat begins to tease.

Not one to wait for Cotton Britches Winter to send winter wear packing to the attic, I’m already sporting shorts and sleeveless shirts. But, I’ve kept out a jacket and a sweater – just in case.  And, this morning it feels like a mighty good idea.

Dogwood Winter 2015

Slow down, Spring.  Please, slow down.

Your longer days bid me linger in your presence.

But, you’re passing so quickly I hardly have time to enjoy you.  I’ll blink twice and you’ll be gone.

Stay with me…settle in and pass some time with me.  Stay a while and let me soak up your sweetness and savor your beauty.

Red tulips. Yellow daffodils.  Grape hyacinths.  Flaming forsythia.  Violet violets. Pink peach blossoms. Hot pink redbuds. Green clover. New leaf green.

You’re in such a hurry – rushing toward Summer…. Slow down.

Let me touch you…smell you…feel you…inhale you…enjoy you.

Pear blooms – nearly gone.  Redbud burst blooms a week ago.  Peach blossoms…dropping.

And, now…now Dogwood spreads its bracts, wider each day, pale green, greenish white, whitish green, whitish tan, whiter…then white as the flowers within them bloom.

Today, a cold front rolled through with rain and storms and wind.  Tonight the temperature will feel more like Winter than Spring and offers a promise of frost for Easter morning.

Dogwood Winter is upon us.

That’s two down.  Three more Winters to go.

Recycling Giggles

The sign on the big, tall recycle bin into which we toss our recyclable trash says: Do not use for yard waste.

I think I now know why.

Upon first read, I assumed it was because some people might mistakenly fill it and place it at the road for the city to collect their leaves and grass clippings.

While I’m sure that has a lot to do with the edict, I have a feeling there’s more to it.

Here’s a clue:  If I say “recycle bin” my daughter erupts in a fit of giggles.

You see, I broke the recycle bin rule and used it for the collection of yard waste.

My next door neighbor has a large pine tree in his yard and offered me his fallen pine needles.  All I needed to do was collect them.

And, what better way to collect them but with a large, wheeled, light weight container?  The recycle bin was perfect.

So, I grabbed mine, freshly emptied by Metro, and headed across the yard, through the hedges, and into his front gate.

A rake stood against the old pine tree and I set about my task.  He had already created several piles of pine straw so the work went quickly at first.

I tipped the tall recycle bin onto its front with the lid flipped over its back and began to rake straw into it.  When I could rake no more into it without packing it down, I grabbed the handle (which was under the opened lid) and began to lift the bin into an upright position so I could continue to load it from the top.

Simple enough, or so it would seem.  The problem was the large lid that attaches to the handle.  Instead of flipping it closed, I allowed it to remain open. (Big mistake.)

As I pulled the bin upright, the large lid flipped outward onto the ground and I stepped on it.

I’ve yet to figure out the exact steps that caused what happened next.  And, no.  I’ve not tried to duplicate it apart from in my mind.

As I pulled the bin upright, my right foot stepped on the lid.  The weight of my body on the lid pulled the bin slightly sideways and off balance which threw me off balance as well. And, somehow, in attempting to keep the bin upright and myself from falling, I ended up headfirst in the bin which caused the bin to topple over onto its other side.

Exiting the bin a bit slower than I entered it, I brushed myself off and examined my stinging right shoulder and aching left pinkie finger.  My left forearm felt a bit odd, as did my wrist, but neither showed indication of injury. My pride, however, smarted a great deal and I looked around to see who might have witnessed my tumble.

The pine straw in the bin had cushioned my fall and become compacted to about a foot in depth by my jarring impact.  I quickly set about work and had the recycle bin full and ready to drag across my neighbor’s front yard, out his gate, down his drive, up the street, into my drive and across my yard to the backyard where I would dump it. (Was a far shorter journey when I could lift it over the hedges that border our yards.)

The problem was the little tan Chihuahua named Rose.  She was intent on accompanying me through the gate.

As I was pondering what to do and how to do it, I received a text from Daughter saying she was heading home from the zoo.

Problem solved.  I would just wait 15 minutes for her to arrive home and ask her to occupy Rose in play while I slipped out the gate with the recycle bin.

And, that’s what happened.

I had no intention of sharing my recycle bin fiasco with anyone, but when Daughter offered to hang around while I finished up the work of loading and transporting the bin twice more….

Well, sometimes things come up and out in casual conversation that you intended to keep private.

Such was the case here.

Of course, the telling of my debacle delighted Daughter.

And, every time she hears the words “recycle bin” she giggles uncontrollably.

Personally, I don’t see what’s so funny about it.😉

Redbud Winter 2015

With bated breath, I watched the forecast late last week.  Lows in the mid 20’s were forecast for Friday and Saturday nights.

Peach and plum trees, in full bloom, would suffer.  As would ornamental trees.  The first blush of Spring would brown by morning.

I grieved the loss I knew would come.  Then, I acknowledged that it was beyond my control, took action to protect what I could and moved on, hoping for the best.

Friday night’s temp dropped as forecast.  There was talk of Redbud Winter, but no Redbud blossoms had yet been sighted.

‘Round these parts we have Spring “Winters” – Redbud is the first, followed by Dogwood, Locust, Blackberry and Cotton Britches.  By the time Cotton Britches Winter gets here, we’re usually glad for the cooler temps it brings.

Yesterday, Saturday, Hubby and I headed out on an errand run.  We had not gone 50 feet before I saw confirmation that this was, indeed, Redbud Winter.  It was as if the freezing temperatures had squeezed the branches and popped out the blooms.

As we traveled down the interstate, the blush of Redbud dotted hills.

Spring had officially arrived.

The last freeze of the season?  I doubt it.  The last cold snap? Nope.

Time to finish garden prep?  You betcha! It’s time to plant garden peas and lettuce.

Springtime marches toward Summer.  We’ve 4 Spring Winters to go.  Time will pass all too quickly as the days grow longer and outside demands grow heavier.

Now…if the rain will just hold off long enough….  My to do list just grew longer and more urgent.


What a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday – World Meteorological Day.

I have a definite affinity to all things weather wise.

Excuse me – the sun’s shining and the sky is clear blue.  I’m going to celebrate.  I’ll let you guess what.🙂

The Promise of Spring

Daylight Savings Time slipped in last weekend and a week filled with rainy days followed.

I love rainy days – but a week of them? I’ve had my fill, thanks.

Sunny skies and dry ground – that’s what I’m looking for.

It’s time to reconnect with the earth and enjoy the changes that all the birds are tweeting about.

In other words – it’s time to get out the garden fork and turn over the garden soil.  Time to get my hands dirty.  Time to work my stiff muscles and build back what I lost during Winter’s idle days.  Time to plan the gardens and purchase seeds.

It’s time to face the future and embrace now.

Spring grass is growing.  Wild onions and blue hyacinths, henbit and chickweed will choke the yard – and the mower – if action is not taken soon.  As much as I dislike the thought of cranking the mower before late April, I have plans to begin early this year.

Early – as in this week.

The hedges will receive their first shearing this week, too.  Best to get it done before the poison ivy leafs out.

Gardens begun, grass cut, hedges trimmed….  That’s what’s planned outdoors for this upcoming week.

And, I’m looking forward to every scratch, blister, and sore muscle that will result.😉

Of course, I’ll need my days to be longer than they were this past week.  I’ve not yet figured out how to stretch 24 hours into 36.  (If I could just figure out a way to live without sleeping or eating – oh the things I could accomplish.)

Heading into this week – head up, looking for opportunity, big plans, high hopes.

The Scent of…a Newly Opened Can of Coffee

I scrapped the last grounds from the coffee can and reached for the new one.

I like my coffee.  I like it hot or room temperature.  And, I like it black.  Nothing more. Nothing less.

I prepare my coffee maker each night before going to bed so the first thing that greets me in the morning is the aroma of brewing coffee.


As I was saying, I scraped the few final grounds from the can of coffee and reached for the new can.  I removed the lid and stared at the silver air tight seal that covered the opening of the can.

I hesitated.

“I really should wait to open this until tomorrow morning,” I thought.  But, I quickly dismissed the thought and yanked the silver seal from the can.

Immediately, I knew I should have lingered longer over that thought.

The aroma of fresh coffee grounds curled up my nostrils and into my brain.

AAAAAHHHH…what an aroma.  This must be what Heaven smells like.

I shook my head in an attempt to clear it and quickly scooped out the grounds I needed to complete my task at hand.

I snapped the lid back on the can and put it away.

But, the wonderful fragrance lingered.

And, it followed me as I passed through the house to the bedroom.

I closed the door upon it, but it slipped under and followed me into bed.

“Darn coffee,” I said to Hubby.  “I can smell it all the way in here.”

Throughout the night, each time I woke, I did so to the aroma of fresh coffee grounds.

Aaaaahhhh…talk about sweet dreams.

This morning when I rose, I did so to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

I’ve had 7 cups so far and my morning just crossed into the afternoon.  I’ve added more of the fragrant grounds atop those in the filter and poured more water into the coffee pot’s reservoir.

There’s still 6 cups left and my day is hardly half gone.  I take my last sip of coffee at 6 pm – nothing later.

AAAAHHHHH…excuse me while I enjoy another cup.


This Winter has been one for the record books – at least in my adult opinion.  It may not have set any records weather wise, but it certainly goes down in my book as one to remember. (Or, leave behind.)

According to Mom, it’s similar to the way Spring of 1960 blew in.  My brother was born during a span between two snow falls (thankfully, there was no snow on the ground when it was time to go to the hospital).

I’m hoping this year will not be like the years 1968 and 1996 where snow fell in appreciable amounts on March 21-22 (8.5 inches) and March 19-20 (9.3 inches).

By mid March I hope to have the gardens ready to plant with peas and lettuce seeds at the ready to go into the ground.

I hope.

We’ll see.

Of course, if things don’t go as I plan, and a late March snowfall comes, I’ll just scrape enough snow from the top of our car to make snow cream.

If life gives you snow, make snow cream!

And, people wonder why Southern Folk make a grocery run for bread and milk before a big snow fall arrives.  Everyone here knows you can’t have snow cream without milk!  And, no one wants to cook – so sandwiches and canned soup are a given.  Mom’s like to play in the snow, too, you know.😉

Lent 2015

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon The Words and find myself drawn repeatedly to them, mesmerized by them, hungry for them….challenged by them.

I’ve not yet read all of the words – at least not in this format.

I’ve chosen to do so during Lent.

Here is my reading for today.

Blessed are you who hear the word of God and follow it where it leads. In doing so, you will be like the servant who, when the master comes, is found doing right.

Blessed are you, who put your whole trust in God. Yours is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you, who are acquainted with sorrow, for you will be appointed great comfort and courage. Blessed are you, who with humility recognize your need of God. The whole earth will be yours. Blessed are you, who hunger and thirst after righteousness. You will be satisfied and filled. Blessed are you, who are merciful. You will receive mercy in return. Blessed are you, who are pure in heart. You will see God.
Blessed are you peacemakers, for you will be called the children of God. Blessed are you, who pursue salvation. You will become the citizens of the kingdom of God. Blessed are you when you suffer blame and are spoken of evilly for doing my will. Rejoice! Leap for joy! Great is your reward in heaven. In a similar manner, they persecuted the prophets before your time.  (The Blessings)