Saturday, April 21, 2018

It Ain't Easy Bein' Green

It ain't easy being green. Especially if you are one of my house plants! As you probably know, Hubby has a tremendous green thumb. He was raised on a farm. They grew strawberries, prunes, walnuts, black caps and filberts. After he left home his parents grew other crops such as eucalyptus and grain. They also grew peonies. When they moved from Gaston, Oregon to Prosser, Washington, the peonies came with them. They were replanted at their first home in Prosser and then when they moved, the peonies were transplanted again. Grandma and Grandpa have since passed on and now our son and his family have the peonies. Hubby has helped harvest the peonies for so many years now I've lost track. When May comes, the peonies are ready to harvest. 

Anyway, I used to have a green thumb with house plants. When we moved from Forest Grove, Oregon to Prosser, Washington, I had about 50 house plants. That first Christmas we went to Gaston over the holiday and while we were gone, our furnace quit working. All of my house plants died, except one. The Sansevieria, or mother-in-law's tongue, or snake plant. I did not use that last name, due to my fear of the "s" words. Oooh, I just shivered. Anyway, all my plants died. I never had that many again, but recently, when we lived in Sunnyside, I had a few. Like maybe 8. One day I got the water from under the sink - I always let my water sit for 24 hours before using it on my plants because it allows the chlorine to evaporate and helps keep the tips of the plants green and not brown or yellow - anyway, I got the water out from under the sink and watered all my violets and other pretty plants. 
My Hoya had flowers like these. Had. Once upon a time.

I'm not sure why I couldn't detect that I was actually pouring white vinegar on my plants. You would think that I could smell it, but I didn't until I started to fill up the gallon container to put back under the sink. The plants really didn't like the vinegar and some died. Others were stunted. Greatly stunted. I did manage to keep them going but they never looked the same. And what I was trying to get to is my hoya plant. I loved that plant when it bloomed. It hasn't bloomed since the vinegar incident and it's been several years. But I keep babying it and hoping that one day it will once again put forth its little clusters of star shaped flowers. I've given away my other plants and have kept the hoya, my Uncle Roy's Christmas cactus, and a pothos plant. (It takes a lot to kill a pothos!) The Christmas cactus still blooms, and the pothos is semi-okay, but the hoya just keeps growing more leaves and no flowers. 

I've decided to start collecting hoya plants or get starts and grow them. I was amazed at the different varieties of hoyas available. They are also called wax plants. The clusters always have 5 pointed star flowers. 

"Hoya is an Asclepiad genus of 200–300 species of tropical plants in the family Apocynaceae. Most are native to Asia including India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia." (Google)

If you will notice the greenery, the plant is not very attractive itself. It puts out long runners with leaves up and down it so you need to wind it around something either in the pot or up the wall or something. The flower makes the plant attractive. 


I love this bright pink.

This looks like Christmas.

These are so dainty and delicate looking.

The leaves on the different varieties are all different, too. They are considered succulent.

So as soon as I can, I'm going to start looking for more hoya plants. Even though we split our time between two homes, the hoyas don't need a lot of water and are doing fine in that respect. I'll let you know if I ever get another cluster of flowers.

Ta ta for now,

Nancy


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Everyone Has a Story

Everyone has a story to tell. That man you see on the street with a cardboard sign? He has a story. Sometimes we don't believe the story -- but he has one. That girl with the bruise on her face? She probably didn't really run into the door, more than likely it was a fist. That woman who looks as if she could use the services of a hairdresser? She doesn't get out much because she doesn't feel well most of the time. That's her story -- when she feels good enough to go out,  who cares what her hair looks like? 

We so quickly judge people with just one look. We also act as if others are going to judge, because we do, so we expect others to as well. It is not fair -- to ourselves, or to others.

Not everyone's story is written on a cardboard sign. Some hold their stories close to their hearts. They don't want to share. Sharing a story is hard to do. There are so many reasons why we don't -- and then there are those who share every little bit of every little part of their story. That's not fair, either. They take the opening of person #1 sharing something important to interrupt and begin to tell all of their problems.

If someone shares their story with you, please listen. It is important to them or they wouldn't be telling you. If you see a person on the street whose clothes are dirty, whose every hair is not in place, who holds a cardboard sign, say a little prayer for them before you quickly judge. 

Ta ta for now,

Nancy

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sing Along

The answer to yesterday's question is: How Great Thou Art! And "coincidentally," the song was sung on The Voice last night by Kyla Jade. She had tears running down her face. It was a beautiful rendition. Speaking of The Voice, I'm not happy with them. They close the voting before it even airs on the west coast. Not fair! I'm not sure Hubby and I like the new format. But they didn't ask us, did they? 

Kyla's choice of songs for the live playoffs reminds me of Jordan Smith a few years ago. He sang several Christian based songs. He won Season 15. I go back to The Voice videos on You Tube quite often. There are a few contestants who did not win that I enjoy listening to. If you would like to listen to past contestants and winners of The Voice, just go to You Tube and type in "The Voice" in the search box.

I listen to music a lot, and my taste runs to most any kind of music. I have numerous CDs in country, rock, opera, jazz, etc., etc. I also have (digital) music on my tablet to listen to on a little Bluetooth speaker. I say "little" but it has great power and sound. Most of the time. It skips now and then. I had dropped my really good little speaker and it died so I bought another one. We listen to music on the TV, too. 

I'm not sure what life would be like without music but I do know I don't want to find out! 

Ta ta for now,

Nancy

Monday, April 16, 2018

Gone Thriftin'

You already know I love to go thrift shopping. Hubby does too, sometimes. He sat in the car when I went in at The Little Crow here in Rockaway Beach. They always have fun stuff - some vintage, a lot new, some clothes, greeting cards, jewelry. I always manage to find something there. I doubt I've ever come out empty handed! Today Cellie was working. She and I always have a good chat. So I came out with a vintage Revere Ware 4 to 6 cup coffee pot, and a framed, stitched saying, "Then Sings  My Soul," (do you recognize what song it is from? I'll post it tomorrow.) And I also brought home a green glass, lidded whatnot keeper (seashells? candy?) and a two tiered aluminum server. The green glass jar is heavy, about 3 pounds I'd say. The aluminum server will be given to one of our daughters. I don't have room for it and I don't often entertain. I will make coffee in the pot one of these days. I don't think it will compare with my Keurig, though. I got it because it was cute and vintage.

At The Hope Chest Too, (a charity shop) we came away with a few items, not much, really. I haven't found much the last two times we visited there. I got a little white creamer with a blue trim to add to my collection. Hubby got a lid for a pan here at the beach and a little measuring cup for his weed spray. That is why we went there in the first place, to get a measuring cup for the weed killer. I do like to check the Hope Chest because they often have yarn at a reasonable price. Sometimes it is not a reasonable price and you could get new for less money. I guess it depends on the volunteer pricing the items. 

Fabric and stitching. So cute!
It has been raining for days! And the wind was blowing so hard last night it whistled through the house! A little bit eerie maybe, but we've heard it before. We can also hear it in the chimney. That's when we know it is really blowing out there. The inclement weather affects the wi-fi connection, it was on and off all day yesterday. And don't get me wrong, we both love it here even if it is raining. The ocean puts on a show for us no matter what the weather is like. Yesterday the waves were so huge I thought someone would want to surf them. In a wetsuit, though, because it was cold with that wind and the water is always frigid.

It's about 6-7" tall.
Good weather is on its way, I hear. So maybe I'll get to wear my flip flops soon after all.

Ta ta for now,

Nancy

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Saturday, April 14, 2018

You Do Too Much

My dear, sweet mother told me, more than once, "You do too much." Of course, I didn't listen to her. And now, in my "golden" years, I wonder if she wasn't right. When I look back over the years I can see times when I actually did do too much. Certainly having six children and a full-time job would keep a person busy enough. But add to that the various "extra-curricular" activities they had, and those that I, myself, had, one could say, from the outside looking in, I did too much

The kids were all involved in sports, whatever the season was, they played that sport. Volleyball, basketball, football, softball, baseball. And some were involved in National Honor Society. Some had jobs in addition to their school activities. We went to their games, and to presentations at school, too. We supported them. But, otherwise, did I do too much? I taught religion classes, was President of the Altar Society, took college level accounting classes. I took flying lessons. I sewed, I wrote, I had Tupperware parties, held civic office, and on, and on.

Why am I presenting this to you? I worry that maybe you are doing "too much." I was reminded of this when I read my morning scriptures. In Acts 6: 1-7, the disciples were increasing in number. They had been with Jesus in His earthly mission and afterwards with the risen Christ. They were called to spread the Gospel, yet God didn't expect them to do everything. Instead, the disciples asked others to step up and help - denying their ego to allow others to help in their mission.

Is that what I was doing? Just because I could do everything, was I egotistically doing it so that others could see that I was a talented person who could do a lot? I'm not sure. I have learned, however, that just because one CAN do everything, it doesn't mean one SHOULD do everything. This became clear to me in spades when Hubby and I owned the flower shop. I didn't hire an accountant or bookkeeper because I was fully capable of doing the books and the accounting myself. After all, I had taken classes to learn how to do it, and that had been my occupation when working for others. So, just because I knew how to do it, I didn't hire outside help. The flower shop was a busy, busy place. Sometimes I worked 16 hours a day. I always worked at least 12 hours a day, and sometimes I worked around the clock, running home for an hour to shower. So, at the end of the three years we owned the shop, I was behind in filing my income tax returns. I eventually did file them, after catching up my books, but what a mistake I had made, thinking I could do everything.

I also wonder if the reason I am having multiple health and medical issues is that I did too much. Rethink your station in life. Are you doing too much? Do you spend enough time with your spouse? Your children? Do you spend quality time with them? Are you going to end up with medical problems in your "golden years?" Does God expect you to do too much? No, just like with the apostles, God does NOT expect you to do everything just because you can. 

Ta ta for now,
Nancy