Category Archives: life

Lessons from Trees

This morning I could feel an autumn crispness in the air. A little bit of an uncomfortable nip crept inside my clothes as I stood at the top of the back steps waiting for our dog to do her thing so I could go back inside. Autumn is really here. Finally! It’s mid-November. Most of the leaves that still dangle from the branches over our front porch maintain a bit of green. Not the pale new green of spring, but the faded and weathered, worn-out green off a long summer finally giving up. While I watched out the front door I heard those leaves rattling and rustling as though a storm blew through. Hundreds of leaves blasted straight down from the tree before scattering in every direction, Some blew north, some east and some blew straight south. I think it must have been some kind of a downdraft. No, there weren’t any helicopters overhead. I checked. Sometimes, I guess blessings are like that. So much at once that you don’t know what to do with them

I decided to finish a poem I started last fall. Five yellow leaves on my apple tree. Maybe one day I’ll get that poem finished. It didn’t happen today. That apple tree has dozens of yellow leaves now. It was taller than me when my son planted it a few years ago for Mother’s Day.  It towers over our porch now. How old are apple trees when they start producing? I’m betting it has as much to do with their surroundings as their age. They may never bear fruit in an inhospitable environment.

I grew an avocado tree from the pit from my friend’s lunch. Thanks, Meleia. This summer it grew a branch. That tree is so tall and spindly I have to keep it staked as it is much taller than it is strong. It would die if I left it outside during the winter, but it grows too fast in the house. If I measure the pot and tree it is close to 6′ tall. What on earth am I going to do with a hyper-needy avocado tree?  (Advice is welcome and encouraged!)

And then, there’s my Christmas Tree. Usually, I put my tree up during fall break in October. It is nearly Thanksgiving and I have no desire to mess with rearranging the living room to find a space for the tree. Is that a sign of depression or simply exhaustion? Maybe a sign that I need to learn to say, “No.” to other people’s projects. Hmmm. Maybe.

May you and yours be blessed on this Veterans’ Day.



Lessons From Children or Hookers and Salads

So, I’m trying to lose weight. Maybe thin does feel better than anything tastes, but since I’ve never been thin, I’ll have to take someone else’s word for it. I’ve joined a gym. All thanks for that goes to my DIL Katie. She has also become my workout buddy. Have I lost any weight? No, but I feel better. (General muscle soreness discounted.) It helps a great deal to have someone in my corner with the same goal, i.e. helping me lose weight.

My youngest daughter is also trying to lose a few (15) pounds before prom, so she works out with us. She already found the perfect dress. It is beautiful, but I can’t share pics anywhere because the boyfriend hasn’t seen it yet.

Let me add here that he spoils her rotten. Even knowing she’s trying to lose weight, when she asked him to take her to her favorite fast food restaurant, he didn’t hesitate. He bought her a burger, fries and soda. I told her she didn’t have to eat fried stuff when she went there, that they have other options. My wonderful husband said, “Her favorite fast food restaurant has good salads. You could have gotten one of them.”

I don’t know if she heard it somewhere else and applied it to the conversation at hand, or if she made it up on the spot, but she held up a perfectly golden french fry and said, “Going to my favorite fast food restaurant for a salad is like going to the hooker on the corner for a hug.” Perhaps it is. I know I don’t head to any restaurant with the intention of eating a salad.


Let me add an especially grateful “Thank you.” to Kyle Dahlem for teaching me to love learning new words.

Your words for the week are:

  1. aegis: support or backing of a specific organization or person
  2. fatuous: silly, foolish, inane, asinine, pointless
  3. garrulous: excessively chatty especially when expounding on trivial matters
    1. I think we all know someone who simply must add everything they know to every conversation. Sometimes, I’m the guilty party.
    2. This is only here because I know you don’t put a 1. if you don’t put a 2.
  4. prate: to talk foolishly or tediously about something (I think prate and prattle sound sillier or funnier than garrulous. But, both sound quite boring.)
  5. perspicuous: to explain clearly without distraction, to make easily understood, a closely related word is limpid. A close cousin is perspicacity which means to have a ready insight into and understanding of things, keen.

Have an awesome and productive week.

Isaiah 40:31






Lessons from friends

No, you don’t have to share my political views to enjoy this bit of humor.

A friend of ours who delivers and sets up equipment has encountered mind boggling beliefs and behavior. I’m almost afraid to write it down. It feels like committing it to print makes it more understandable.

He has come across a growing number of people who don’t want to go through all the hassles of changing their address when they move, so they take their mailbox with them. Yep, you got it. They imagine that the mailbox determines the address, not the location of said mailbox. And, those people vote.

I know I’ve made some (according to friends and family who claim to love me) stupid mistakes, but that one doesn’t happen to be one of mine. The people who dislike me probably have a bigger list of my errors. Moving your mailbox makes sense in a very warped and one sided way. I wish it worked. The USPS has a hard enough time getting all our mail to us in a timely manner the way it is. What if our addresses were portable like some home phone numbers? What a nightmare for the letter carriers! “I know it was here yesterday.”

I still collect words I don’t know in my word box. I hope you do, too.

Your words of the week (or fortnight) are as follows:

mendacity: lying, corruption, untruthfulness,

oubliette: a secret dungeon accessible through a hole in the ceiling. According to some websites, the holes were too deep to crawl out of and frequently so tiny that a prisoner couldn’t even turn around!

perspicacity: perception, having a ready insight into and understanding of events and motives, keen, sharp, discerning

poltroon: utter coward, a weakling, a yellowbelly (Why, he’s got a yellow stripe a mile wide down his back.)

taciturn: saying little, reserved to the point of appearing snooty, uncommunicative in speech.



Isaiah 40:31

Lessons from . . . the farm.

Yes, I think I’ll continue with five words for the week for you.  I also think that this year I’ll try to make my blogs about Lessons I’ve Learned. I think the world is more than ready to teach us if we are ready to learn. I was reminded of just how ready the world is this weekend when I was hiking with my husband.

We’d been to The Farm to visit my mother. Please note my use of upper case letters. The Farm refers to the tiny portion of NW Oklahoma where I was raised. Mom is 81 and tires easily. We took a walk so she could nap. We hiked to The Pond. Again, more capital letters are used to denote a special place. I’m 58 years-old. We built that pond when I was a 2nd grader. Yes, it is a special place. It is about a half mile as the crow flies from the house to the pond, but I’m not a crow. It was a tiny adventure.

On our walk through the pasture to the pond, we did not encounter any cattle.  While this isn’t normal, it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. We did notice that cattle had been on the same trails recently.  As we walked across skinny little dams that delineate ponds either full and dry, up and down hills, and up and down more hills, I noticed a few things.

  1. It seems that there are always more uphills than down.
  2. The cattle leave behind more (How do I say this in a genteel way?) plops on the uphill portions than the downhill ones.
    1. Yes, I hear your voice. The uphill and the downhill slopes are the same slopes; the difference is the direction you’re heading at the moment.
    2. Yes, but I was raised on this farm, remember?
  3. So, why more plop on the uphills?  Well, I’m glad you asked that. It seems that when we have to expend more effort to accomplish things–we must let go of the (pardon my vulgarity) crap that weights us down. When life is hard, we have to let go of crap and just move on.

There is our lesson from the farm. Let go of crap and get on to better things and places!


Isaiah 40:31


Your words for the week are:

  1. macabre: horrible, horrific, gruesome, awful, gory, dreadful, disturbing
  2. melancholy: lasting and pervasive sadness. A couple of dictionaries I consulted called it Black Bile.
  3. blowsy: this usually refers to a red-faced, coarse or untidy woman
  4. execrable: extremely bad or unpleasant, in Late Middle English it usually involved a curse.
  5. hubris: excessive pride or self-confidence (I think we all know one or two of these people.) Perhaps I’ll do one of this year’s “Lessons From” on someone with this personality flaw.


Green Thumbs?

My children have always said that I have a green thumb, and a green hand, and a green arm.  My pink hyacinths have bloomed.  The grape hyacinths were a lovely purple.  Does anyone know if they come in other colors?  My irises are not yet blooming, but I see a myriad of buds.  The ones I got from my Aunt Mary aren’t budding yet.  Red, pink, and white verbena grace the path from the back door to the fence.  I have red honeysuckle.  It is growing like crazy.  I didn’t check it for blossoms or buds.  I bet I get to it later today.

Most of my trees are putting on leaves.  I do have a small problem.  It is my dear little avocado tree.  I got the pit from a friend last winter.  (Thank you, Meleia.)  My tree did fine for over a year.  A few weeks ago, I notice it was leaning terribly to the side, so I cut a twig from one of my cottonwood trees and stuck it in the pot with the avocado to help support it.  I tied them together with a little pink ribbon and voile; my little avocado tree stood straight once more.  But then. . . after a few weeks, the cottonwood twig started putting on leaves.

Makes me say, Hmmmmmm.  I need to go on record as saying that I didn’t plant a cottonwood on purpose.

Todays’ words.

  1. knoll; a small hill, usually a grass covered mound.  Naturally occurring, not man made.
  2. gardener; one who keeps and or cares for a garden whether it is theirs or someone else’s, whether said garden is grown for pleasure or for financial gain.
  3. lissome; thin, supple, graceful, slender, willowy.
  4. guileless; (absence of guile–go figure!)  innocent, not deceptive, pure of thought and action.
  5. insalubrious; unhealthy, dangerous–especially when speaking of a climate or a locality.




Isaiah 40:31