A New Birth

For years I had a “Moses in the Cradle” plant that grew so abundantly, I gave pieces away every time I cut it back.

But then my mama plant died, leaving me without any for years. I never thought I’d see its blossoms again.

This year Patti gave me pieces of the original plant she grew.  I created two potted plants out of those pieces and recently gave one to a friend who has given me a variety of plants over the past few years, blessing me with a slew of different-colored blossoms.

I was pleasantly surprised today when she sent me this picture of a blossom I thought I’d never see again!

Though my original plant was gone, the pieces of its essence live on to create more blossoms.  A new birth happened from what I thought was long deceased!

Don’t be surprised if what you think is dead and gone rises from the dead like a phoenix.

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Backyard Birds

I’m so fortunate to live where I do, with the Lehigh Canal literally in my back yard!

I’ve got blue heron, eagles, geese, ducks, blue birds, woodpeckers…and so much more.

This blue heron decided to grace me with his/her presence during yesterday morning bike ride.

What backyard birds do you have?


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What brings you refreshment?

As summer draws to a close, the excessive heat and humidity has fallen about 20% so far (from 90s to 70s for both).

The irritation of gnats and other pesty insects of earlier this year have diminished considerably so I can sit out without too much swatting.

Like jumping into a pool or licking on an ice cream cone of your favorite flavor on a hot and sticky day, cooler weather brings refreshment.

Some of summer’s other refreshments for me include biting into a ripe, juicy peach or eating a fresh picked strawberry or cob of corn.  Getting away from the normal grind of work-eat-sleep also refreshes my spirit.  Suzi’s backyard pond with the sounds of a waterfall and sights of coy, frogs, lily pads and a bloom pond lily rejuvenates memories of that refreshment.

What brings you refreshment?

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Vacation ‘Rental’ Bliss

I took my first real 8-day vacation in over a decade last week.  The front of my vacation ‘rental’ shows only a minute portion of the nature and beauty of the area.

In exchange for 8 days of solitude, I watered and dead-headed many of the annual plants in and around the house and fed the indoor and outdoor fish.

I  volunteered for the project to get the much-needed solitude to relax, read and write…all of which I did with a smile on my face the entire time. 

The loudest noises were the hummingbirds feeding off the front porch feeders and the dairy cows being vocal on the neighboring property.

How’s that for a free vacation?  I was in a state of bliss!

I even picked some yellow beans early Sunday morning before I came home.

Unfortunately, I was unable to save Suzi & Jerry’s garden from the ravages of the wildlife.  Fortunately, 30 minutes after I picked the beans, two bear visited the garden.  I’m glad I didn’t see that my first day there!!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and tap into some of that bliss!



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Nature’s Lesson

This morning’s foggy start in Tioga finally provided cooler temps, making it pleasant  
for a bike ride on the Lamb’s Creek trail.

Not even a mile into the 8-mile round trip journey, this velvet-horned buck and his family posed for some pictures.

While papa kept aware and alert, fearful baby fawn ran close to mama doe looking for protection.

The elders seemed unafraid of my presence while the little one was a bit pensive.

Throughout the minute or two of poses, the family nibbled on grass yet kept aware of my presence, aware of my every move.  Awareness of a walker coming the other way prompted a wooded retreat.

Survival in the wilderness always depends on being aware of surroundings and present in the moment to react if any potential threats unfold.

Nature’s lesson is one we, too, would do well to heed.  Being aware in the moment not only prepares us for potential threats but also allows us to take in and enjoy the fleeting sights, sounds and smells available only in the present moment.

Like this family, the present moment is here and gone.

Waste enough time over-thinking about the past or planning for the future and you’ll realize you’ve never made time in the present moment to be joyful and do the things you dream of doing.

How many present moments did you take today to contribute to your heart’s desire?  What are you waiting for?

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Gifts that Keep on Giving

Last fall, a friend dropped off a few plants to add to my garden. Unprepared, I dug a little hole, put a little soil around it and stuck it in the ground.     Gift

This one is a stella d’oro day lily.  It’s blooms were huge and vibrant.  I thanked my friend for the flowers when they bloomed.  It was such a thoughtful gift.

What’s great about this gift is it’s one that will keep on giving, year after year.

Today I took this picture (white datura or morning glory, I think).  Extra Gift

It seems a vine of the white flowers were intermingled with the day lillies.  While the lillies are no longer in bloom, the white flowers now add another pleasing color to the end-of-summer offerings.

I again thanked my friend, but she says she didn’t give it to me.  Was it from the flowers I planted two years ago?  Maybe, not sure.

No matter.  The flowers are the gifts that keep on giving.  They give me beauty, color, enjoyment, radiance, smiles and so much more.

Flowers represent only one of many gifts that keep on giving.  A smile…courtesy and kindness…honesty…integrity…the list goes on and on.

Can you share some gifts that keep on giving?

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What’s your best characteristic?

Character  “…moral strength; self-discipline, fortitude, etc…” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 5th Edition)

Martin Luther King had it right.  True education goes beyond the books.

Being rational, reasonable and able to think critically and analytically all factor into one’s character.  Are you open and honest?  Are you curious, optimistic, gracious?  Are you loyal, respectful, responsible? Are you fair?  Do you have compassion, integrity, humility and self-control?

These are a small part of what represent a person’s character.

Nobody’s perfect.  Yet trying to incorporate positive characteristics into how you deal with yourself and others remains the foundation for solid, long-lasting and loving relationships.

What’s my best characteristic?  That’s a hard choice to make but truth and optimism rank high on my list.  Being truthful, even though it may be uncomfortable at times, makes you feel optimistic about and peaceful in your daily life.

How about you?  What’s your best characteristic?  How does that make you, and others, feel?

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Actions Speak Volumes

English is the only language I speak…or so I thought.

I’ve discovered I speak in a different language, one that animals can understand and visa versa.  Language goes way beyond the words.

For example, when Mr. Duck is on the other side of the canal and I talk to him (“Are you hungry?  Come on.”) many times he will come over for a meal of corn and sunflower seeds.  Other times, he’ll see me outside doing Qi Gong and start walking toward me quacking up a storm to say, “I’m hungry.”

The many geese that poop all over my yard know when I yell “Hey” and clap my hands saying “Get going,” to leave the yard.  When riding on the canal, I know when they hiss at me, they don’t want me near their young ones.

I played!Abby tells me when she wants to play, or eat, or get an energy massage.  Like a dog, she’s learned to ‘speak’ by meowing and walking to the food dishes, toys, couch or bed that tells us exactly what she wants and where she wants it.

All of these communications involve being aware of your present moment, ‘listening’ to what’s being said and taking action to let the ‘speaker’ know you understand what they’ve said.

Actions speak volumes higher than words ever will.  They speak in a language beyond what words can convey.  They can communicate hunger, playfulness, joy, sorrow, respect, disrespect, understanding, desire and so much more.

What do  your actions say?


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Seeing the Essence Behind the Beauty

Brown-Eyed SusanThe vibrant color of these Brown-Eyed Susan flowers shimmer under the sunlight yet somehow my camera didn’t catch that.

Some people may not notice summer’s short-lived colors; others may see the beauty each contrasting color brings to the landscape.  Different colored flowers

Even like colors have their own tint, with varying shades of yellow, red, pink and green.

Some people like certain flowers, colors and fragrances better than others.  Each has a unique essence that draws us to its beauty, though, like the camera, we may not catch it.

Despite our personal preferences, each flower has its own unique shape, color, texture and beauty.  One doesn’t discount the beauty of any of the others but instead complements them.

Isn’t it odd how many cannot see that beauty and essence in the human race?  Can you imagine a world where we love all the colors and enjoy how they complement each other?

Like flowers, all people have their own beauty and their one-of-a-kind essences.  None is better or worse than another, just different.

Enjoy the beauty and essence you see today.


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A New Beginning?

The ‘Ballroom in the Clouds’  — a/k/a Flagstaff Park — brings back fond memories of a simpler time.

When I was a kid, I remember picnics at the facility and dancing on the ballroom floor to the 1960s tunes from the jukebox sung by groups such as Diana Ross and the Supremes and The Fifth Dimension.  In the ’70s, I saw Robin Trower grace its property.

Years before when my parents were growing up, the ballroom hosted live bands from the Big Band Era including the Dorsey Brothers.

Tomorrow the property will go through another transition with a new beginning as the run-down property goes up for auction.

Plans for the property’s renovation and expansion in late 2018 to include a 48-room hotel, rooftop restaurant, a renovated 350-seat ballroom and gondola never materialized.

Personally, I’m glad.  I hope (and pray) a buyer will choose to maintain the natural ambiance surrounding this location.  Growing up with the Flagstaff Road literally beyond our back yard, I loved the solitude, wildlife and beauty it offered.

I’d love to see rustic cabins instead of a four-story hotel, a labyrinth instead of a paved parking lot and an artists’ retreat instead of another tourist-centered building.

I know progress continues but I believe Asa Packer was onto something when he chose to build Lehigh University in the Lehigh Valley instead of Jim Thorpe.

I hope the new owner will honor the ambiance and beauty of Flagstaff Park.  It’s a new beginning I hope will hold onto the roots of history.


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