Can I talk about my flowers? Feature: Sweet Woodruff

Can I talk about my sweet woodruff? I only grow it because Vita Sackville-West suggested it in her many garden books. It is one of my favorite flowers in my garden now. Not only can it be used in tea & scented sachets, I also use it to make simple syrup for cocktails. Today I made May wine!

Cut 20 sprigs, rinse and toast them in oven at 275 degrees for five mins. Immediately drop them into a bottle of cheap white wine, sweet wine I’m told works best. Shelf it in cool dry place for three to five days, and you’ll have a nice little drink for spritzers or whatever you’d like!

Heavenly Blue Morning Glories, a favorite of Vita Sackville-West

Lost Garden Story: I love morning glories. This heavenly blue variety was a favorite of Vita Sackville-West. After five years I am still trying to find the perfect spot for them and the time to plant them. It seems I keep planting them too late; they never bloom until the frost comes in the fall, and unless I cover them every night they die. This year I tried to outsmart them by starting the seeds indoors two weeks before the last frost. Pictures above are my flowers through the years and my little seedlings this year! I love the way their centers glow! I’m planting them back in the spot they liked most, the west side garden fence with trellis’ to give them more room to climb. I hope to have the beautiful heavenly blues again in my garden this year, hopefully to enjoy way before the frost hits! .

In Your Garden by Vita Sackville-West

I think I have read just about everything Vita Sackville-West wrote about gardening, I also own many of her garden books. She continues to be the place I go for advice and also cute little anecdotes about additional uses for flowers most gardeners never think to mention. .

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Been fidgeting in the garden since late April, but the final frost will be tonight, and we can finally welcome summer in our gardens. So glad the lilacs and other flowering trees and bushes held off blooming for a few days so the frost didn’t kill their flowers. It’s about to smell really good in Michigan soon!!

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The Book of Nehemiah on Good Friday

Today is Good Friday! I feel so much joy today I can barely contain myself. My heart feels so full of love, as if it glows. The light of Jerusalem seems to be with me today.

Do you ever feel this way?

“Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.”- Nehemiah 2:17

Before I received a book deal to write about the Poletown neighborhood of Detroit razed for a GM plant in 1981, I went around telling everyone the story of the neighborhood’s demise by the hand of GM and the City of Detroit, because I thought a memorial of some kind should be built. Some told me to leave it alone. But a couple others (like two people) encouraged me to explore the story and the people involved. I knew God was telling me to follow him into the story because the story haunted me for many months, and I mourned and wept for what the people had gone through while they fought to keep their homes and churches. From following God’s breadcrumbs, I eventually became so knowledgeable about the story that I felt confident enough to ask a publisher if they’d be interested in it. I felt like Nehemiah wanting to reconstruct the wall of Jerusalem. From this journey I learned to follow the whispering voice that sometimes plagues me to do something. For a year God taught me how to follow his voice, how to read signs and people, when to leave things alone and when to push. I will forever be His student. I still have a lot to learn. I’m still astounded by the ways God revealed the story to me piece by piece, and I am even more astounded by the way I dropped everything just to follow his lead, and I got a book deal out of it. Something for which I had been praying for a long time. This was no small miracle. Don’t ignore the inner voice telling you to do something or say something. If it has plagued you long enough, and it comes from a place of love and truth and does no harm to any soul, then follow the voice in your heart, in which dwells the living Christ.

Contemplative Vision by Juliet Benner

Contemplative Vision by Juliet Benner is a book about contemplating religious art with prayer in mind and using it to expand our prayer life by gazing at the face of God through it, seeing His face and meditating about the art’s purpose/story, and the artist’s time creating it. The book discusses using art as a purpose to expand our faith and awe. For instance, the artists who create icons of Christ meditate on his face for hours while painting him. Just beautiful! .

Lorna Byrne: The woman who sees angels.

Maybe this will be white noise today, but maybe it will be some relief.

I recently watched a documentary about Lorna Byrne, the woman who sees angels. She has seen them her whole life. They speak to her, they tell her things. They are with everyone, she says. Everyone is born with a guardian angel that stays with them their whole life. Despite all the detailed stories about what they say and what they look like, I think her most valid point or lesson is that it doesn’t matter if you’re an atheist or if you practice a different religion, you have a guardian angel. We all do, because we are all a piece of God’s light. We are all very special this way. The angels are here to protect us, we are their treasure. And if we think about this for a moment, one can really understand that every single person deserves dignity and mercy, because every single person is

an extension of God, no matter what. While the whole world is battling against a sickness that is trying to kill our sense of peace

if not our elderly loved ones, perhaps it has instead unified us? It

has proved that we are all in this together. It seems every person is

scared or concerned. And even though we have laid oceans of distance between us, making ourselves islands, it is only to save each other and in this we are closer than ever.

I have posted the documentary on Lorna Byrne to my bio. Enjoy!

Select Letters of Horace Walpole

Oh, the wit of Walpole!! I find myself reading his letters with a perpetual smile on my face.

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To Richard West, Esq.,

“About two days ago, about four o’clock in the afternoon, and about an hour after dinner, —from all which you may conclude we dine at two

o’clock,—as we were picking our teeth round a littered table and in a crumby room, Gray in an undress, Mr. Conway in a morning grey coat, and I in a trim white night-gown and slippers, very much out of order with a very little cold, a message decomposed us all of a sudden, with a service to Mr. Walpole from Mr. More, and that, if he pleased, he would wait on him. We scuttle upstairs in great confusion, but with no other damage than the flinging down two or three glasses and the dropping a slipper by the way.” -Horace Walpole, 1739

Still another… To John Chute, Esq., “I have an aunt here, a family piece of goods, an old remnant of inquisitive hospitality and economy, who, to all intents and purpose, is as beefy as her neighbors. She wore me so down yesterday with interrogatories, that I dreamt all night she was at my ear with

‘who’s’ and ‘why’s’ and ‘when’s’ and ‘where’s’, till at last in my very sleep I cried out, “For God in heaven’s sake, Madam, ask me no more questions.” -Horace Walpole, 1743

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First Corinthians…

These are only my own contemplative thoughts. You may disagree and that’s OK!!

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I

reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of

childhood behind me.”

—1 Corinthians 13:11

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To doubt His mercy is like being a child when they sob and carry on

because they do not get what they want, and you, their guardian, are

appalled at the greed and neglect they display when they say they hate you, or when they storm off and say “you don’t love me!”. When my kids do this I just want to hit my head against the wall! Do they not

remember all the previous love and tender care I gave them in the

past? But they are children. They cannot see the bigger picture or the

life lessons I’m trying to teach them. Nor can they fathom all that

previous love I gave them, they are greedy for the ‘right now’. If you’re not giving them what they want ‘now’ you must hate them, you

must not want them, you must have forgotten them. Sometimes we can be the same way to God—if our prayers are not answered swiftly we feel He is not there, He has forgotten us, He doesn’t want us. But He is merely looking out for our best interest—maybe that job you wanted wasn’t for you? Maybe you would have gotten into an accident had you left for work on time today? We have to trust His guidance and keep our faith. We must not be like spoiled children, but humbled always and patient to put those childish ways behind us. I must remember this next time my kids are throwing a fit. I’m sure God rolls his eyes and shakes his head up there a lot, but always with a loving, tender

smile—for His love for us is great.