Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Time for Irish Spring

No ... Ireland hasn't relocated to the southern hemisphere. It's just entering autumn at this time of year. But this week, I realized it was time ...

What do you remember most about this soap's commercials?
Now, before you get really worried, I do shower regularly, and I use a less pungent soap than Irish Spring. But do you know where Irish Spring can be quite useful? In the garden.

As it turns out, deer can't stand the smell of Irish Spring soap, and its shavings keep the pesky critters away from tender plants. If you are unfamiliar with the smell, then next time you're at a store that carries Irish Spring, pick up a packet and smell it. But keep the shrink wrap on to soften the olfactory blow that Irish Spring delivers. You'll understand why deer stay away from it.

Despite my own feelings about its smell, I wish I had spread the odiferous green stuff out in the garden sooner this year.

Future tree or deer treat?
A few weeks ago, my husband discovered a volunteer sapling, growing up in the shadow of a larger lacebark elm tree we had planted several years ago. Each fall, the elm sheds seeds

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Follow-up photos for a friend

Hello, friends -- don't worry! I'll be posting as usual tomorrow, but in the meantime, I wanted to post two pictures for a friend who has asked for follow-up photos from two posts. Ask and ye shall receive!

In Worries on the road less traveled, I mentioned my dog sporting her pack:

My pack dog, part chocolate lab, part Tasmanian devil

And in last week's the blazing in of fall, I shared a photo of a gorgeous fall tree. My friend wanted to see the less-than-ideal photo from the day before, and so here it is:

Same tree, different light, windier day
I realize now -- upon closer inspection -- that the sun was out after all, but the tree looks washed out and isn't reflecting in the more turbulent waters. Do you agree that it's the lesser photo?

Come back tomorrow, when we return to regularly-scheduled programming.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The blazing in of autumn

For those of you who have followed me through the change of seasons, you may remember that I don't totally love summer, despite its gardening wonders, bountiful fruit and golden lining. But autumn? Quite simply ... I love it.

Here's just one of the reasons why:

A favorite tree at one of my favorite spots in the whole world.
Do you know where this is?
All of summer's lovely flowers can't come close to the stirring of my soul when I look on this tree in fall. It's as if I've held my breath to survive the heat and humidity and mosquitoes of summer and, when I see the promise of this tree, I can finally let the breath go.

I can't wait to visit it again soon and see whether this fall will repeat this beautiful image -- the brilliant orange blazing in the sunlight and the calm water reflecting its fire.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When the acorn rolls away from the tree

I was at an appointment this morning with a doctor who is always conversational and tries to keep the visits light and fun. Today's conversation veered in the direction of faith and religion, after I told her I'd been busy working on a book about trees in the Bible.

She spoke first of her son, a pre-teen who has announced he doesn't believe in "all this God business." Maybe he's just going through a rebellious stage and trying to hit his parents where it will hurt most, but she's worried that he may end up like two of her brothers who grew up going to church and now, as adults, don't have faith.

She went on then to speak of her daughter, away at college, and her struggle with how hard to push her daughter about finding a church at college. She decided that she'd mention it once and then try hard not to nag or ask again, wanting her daughter to make her own choice about finding a faith community as an adult.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The ray of sunshine never lost

Hi, Friends,

I'm posting a bit earlier in the day than usual so you can jump on a limited-time opportunity to see two of my favorite Christian authors in a replay of a Webcast they aired last night. From noon today (Wednesday, 9/7/11) through the end of tomorrow (ET?), you can tune in to learn from Lysa TerKeurst and Ann Voskamp about saying yes to God. And really, who can't benefit from a reinforcement of that message?

Sometimes God asks us to do something that is simple or fun or easy. Other times, the clouds roll in. Excuses mount up. Our daily to-do lists to trump what God has called us to do. Sometimes, saying yes to God can mean a long, long wait to see results, and that can be truly frustrating.

I'm in the midst of an obedience test from God, and at times, I want to give up and try something else. After all, if I'm following God's call, shouldn't I see immediate, fabulous outcomes? No, not always. I had a great reminder of that when I opened my church bulletin this past Sunday (thanks, Rumple Memorial), and I'd like to share it with you:

"No ray of sunshine is ever lost but the green which it awakens needs time to sprout, and it is not always given the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." -- Albert Schweitzer

Wow. I have read that a number of times since Sunday morning, and each time, it stops me in my tracks. No, wait. It doesn't stop me. It moves me along the tracks.