Category Archives: Lady Bugs

THE GOOD NEWS EASTER EGG HUNT V.5

 

Family

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Kids

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Gardens

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Friends

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Community

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These are the things I love

Once a year

They all roll into one afternoon.

Five years ago

My friend Kay and I hosted the first

Good News Easter Egg Hunt

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For members of our church

Our neighbors

And extended families.

It quickly became a tradition.

Once again this year

Family…Kids…Gardens…Friends and Community

Came together on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

The crafts this year

Were musical instruments.

 

Which brings me to my friend Eddie Lou.

It’s always handy to have a music teacher

At your side.

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And that’s where we’ve been.

Side by side for the last forty plus years.

Church choir.

Raising kids

And now grand motherhood.

So it was natural

That the three of us would plan this year’s event.

 

Kay a master at the grand motherhood thing

And entertaining children.

Eddie Lou & Kay

Eddie Lou using her well honed teaching skills

To help children create

Rain sticks

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And Drums

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And Shakers

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And Tambourines

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More details were worked out by

Kara, Abbey and Tashana.

 

While Andrew and Katie provided

Bags of candy for all the kids.

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Megan filled 700 Easter eggs,

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And Monica supplied her famous lemon cookies

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The Ladybug release has become the highlight of the afternoon.

With kids not just expecting

To have bugs crawling up their arms.

They actually look forward to it.

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Needless to say

It takes a village

A community

To create memories

To nurture

To simply share

In the joys

Of Life!

Gail

Thank you Beth Young and Jennifer Cole for the use of your marvelous pictures.

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Filed under Butterflies, Children in the Garden, Easter Baskets, Easter Egg Hunt, Garden House, Gardening Friends, Grandchildren, Gratitude, Lady Bugs, Spring Flowering Bulbs, tulips, Uncategorized

TRADITIONS

Keeping traditions alive

Can be a tricky business.

I’m a believer in tradition

It gives a continuity to life

Between generations.

But you have to pick and choose

What to hold on to

Or there’s no room for the new.

The May Day’s of my youth have

Disappeared for a decade or several.

The last few years have given me hope

That this gracious tradition is not dead.

May Day had many incarnations

My favorite is the May Day of my youth.

Makeshift construction paper baskets

With pipe cleaner hangers

Filled with flowers

And hung anonymously

On doors of family, neighbors and friends.

A simple kindness.

It just seemed natural

That there should be a way

To re-introduce May Day to the next generation

What better chance than the church youth group.

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So this evening they came to make bouquets

For members of the church.

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You never really know

When you do something like this

If kids are going to like it

Or if you really are a much older lady

Than you let yourself believe you are.

They jumped right in

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Making 10 wonderful arrangements

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To spread kindness

Throughout the town.

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When I came back into the house.

As fate would have it

Some anonymous children

Had left a May basket on our door.

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And decorated the pot at our front door.

With none other

Than an original ladybug.

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Judging by the glitter

I’m pretty sure

Cassidy, Sloan and Beth

Made a surprise visit.

Kindness training

Something we all need

I’m guessing even more so

In 2016

Happy May Day

Gail

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Bouquets, Children in the Garden, Flower Arrangements, Lady Bugs, May Day, Nature, Uncategorized

GENERATIONS

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Four years ago

When we were planning the first Good News Easter Egg Hunt

We didn’t have a lot of children in our congregation.

So we encouraged everyone to invite

Their grandchildren

And great-grandchildren

And neighbor’s children

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And friend’s children.

And they did.

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Two families from Wichita have come home every year.

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So I was elated

When Elliott and Kristina

Began making plans to bring Henry & Harper

Here for their first Easter.

Traveling with twin 8 month old babies

Is brave to say the least.

But they have been amazingly relaxed parents.

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Last Saturday afternoon

We gathered in the garden.

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Many of these children have been coming every year.

They are very comfortable in my garden

And respectful.

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They know they are welcome to wonder through it all

As long as they stay on the path.

They can even leave their name in chalk.

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Fewer and fewer each year are concerned about

Ladybugs crawling up their arms.

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This year one child even made my

“Why do we release ladybugs in the garden” speech spontaneously for me.

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Sloan realized that we were a bit deprived

In the signage department

And convinced her mom to fix that problem.

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As more children have come to our church

Our numbers have grown.

It’s common to have three generations of families come.

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Sometimes even four.

Which is why I was thrilled when

My uncle George dropped by

To meet Harper & Henry.

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George is the last of my father’s 12 siblings.

It was a poignant moment to see them together.

The past meeting the future.

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Gardens have always been a gathering place

A place of reflection

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A place to pass along knowledge

And wisdom.

Generations of life happen in a garden.

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I’m so pleased that some of those memories

Are being made each Easter

In my garden.

Gail

Thank you for this personal indulgence.  I promise to get to serious gardening next week!

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Filed under Easter Egg Hunt, Grandchildren, Grandchldren Generations, Lady Bugs, spring

IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Saturday morning dawned cool, cloudy.

And sad.

Sloan dubbed them “mean teenagers”

The group that swept through our neighborhood

Stealing and smashing pumpkins Friday night.

Two solid block of streets littered with pumpkin parts.

And little girl’s broken hearts.

Since they smashed the pumpkin

Sloan had grown from seed.

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In the early morning dampness

We all dragged our poly carts out and cleaned up the mess.

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Shortly after that

The sun came out.

And the day began again.

This was the weekend I’d set aside for planting tulips

In the new bed at the front landing.

You may recall I ordered these

From a new (to me) catalog

Called “Colorblends”.

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Because I hadn’t ordered from them before.

I was a little nervous

Would they be big and firm?

What you need to grow glorious tulips

Come spring.

I was not disappointed.

They are great.

I followed my tried and true method of bulb planting.

Plant lots in a smallish place.

It gives you a burst of color

And stops people dead in their tracks.

Guess I have to confess and give an exact example.

Okay, I bought 500 tulips for this new bed

The L shaped bed is approximately

One foot wide by eighteen feet long.

And if you’re planting that many bulbs

You won’t dig 500 holes.

Dig a trench

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Placing the dirt in a wheel barrow

Or on a tarp close by.

My trench was about 4″ – 6″ deep.

I’ll plant annuals here after the tulips fade.

Which means they will likely rot

From summer’s watering.

So I consider them an annual.

And don’t plant them too deep.

Once the trench is dug

Sprinkle bone meal

Then mix it with the loosened dirt.

Place the bulbs point end up

Close together but not touching.

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Refill the trench.

Gently at first to keep from knocking the bulbs over.

Pack it down from time to time

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You should be able to replace all of the dirt.

This year I’m over-planting

With solid purple pansies.

There’s a lot of yellow in this tulip mix

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So I’m thinking the complimentary color scheme

Will be fun.

Now you may recall I’ve written a similar blog

Each fall at this time.

But this year is different

New bed

New tulips

From a new source.

And…you may also recall

That my tulip planting buddy Megan.

Married and moved to Florida.

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Where I’m guessing

She won’t be planting any tulips

In her zone 9 flower beds.

I missed you Megan

Both your help and our conversation.

Some new helpers arrived

Dressed in their cowboy boots

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After attending “Family Farm Day”

At the museum.

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Interesting concept here in the farmbelt

That you go to the museum to learn about the farm!

They may be city girls

But they are not afraid of dirt.

They helped me refill the trench.

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Having a great time

Throwing the dirt.

In the trench

On each other

And in those cute new cowboy boots.

Today we added the purple pansies.

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And watered it all in.

Megan’s sister Katie refers to this

As “the enchanted neighborhood”.

She’s moved back to raise her family here.

Saturday proved her right.

It’s not perfect.

Clouds will roll in.

Your pumpkin may get smashed.

But even a four-year old will bounce back.

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And bask in the community and love

Of this neighborhood.

Gail

“The connections we make in the course of a life–maybe that’s what heaven is.”
Fred Rogers

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Filed under Fall, Fred Rogers, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Lady Bugs, Pansies, Pumpkins, tulips, Uncategorized

IT’S HERE

It arrived over the weekend.

A bit later than the lunar calendar

But you could feel it in the air

Cool

Crisp

Fall

I love this time of year.

Beginning in August

We can hear the high school band

Practicing each morning

Soon after

It’s the sound of the Friday night football crowd.

Shortly after that

The whistle of the train in the park

Is silenced.

It’s the seasonal rhythm

Of the sounds of my backyard.

The change of season

Is also happening

In my garden.

Monarch butterflies

Stop for nectar

On their way home for the winter.

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Others flitter about.

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The roses give us another burst of bloom.

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Praying mantis appear

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Along with some of spring’s lady bugs.

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Dahlias are glorious in this weather.

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And we all know what happens to cockscomb in the fall.

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Basil is reaching for the sky

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Which means it’s pesto making time.

Peppers finally begin to come on

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And speaking of obstinate vegetables

Tomatoes are happy!

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So am I.

Hope you have a happy fall week.

Gail

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Filed under Basil, Bugs, Butterflies, cockscomb, Dahlias, Fall, Fall Vegetables, Herbs, Lady Bugs, Peppers, roses, Uncategorized, Vegetables

FAITH

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It happens every year.

When I finally get winter’s blanket of leaves removed

I wonder where everything has gone.

Sure the early blooming show offs are visible

The Iris and Peonies.

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And Larkspur sprouts are everywhere.

But right now I’m wondering why is there so much dirt showing.

And what is lying in wait beneath?

My friend Suellen used to call every spring

To tell me that everything had died over the winter.

Then…she’d call back in a week

Saying it’s OK.

And we would have a good laugh

Remembering the same conversation from the year before.

Faith

It’s as important to gardening as fertilizer, healthy soil and water.

It’s the belief that a tiny green frond

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Will unfurl into a gorgeous fern.

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That the precious buds on my Japanese Tree Peony

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Will soon take my breath away.

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That come June

These few leaves at the bottom of what looks like a stick plant

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Will give astonishing blooms.

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The robins have returned.

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Lady bugs and honey bees abound

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Peg is on her never-ending bunny search

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And the Hellebores are blooming their hearts out.

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It must be spring.

Faith

All we need to do is trust

And believe.

And as my friend Jerry used to say

Do the best we can…

God will take care of the rest.

Take time to breathe it all in.

Gail

 

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Filed under Bugs, Ferns, Gardening, Gardening Friends, Grape Hyacinths, Hellebores, Hydrangea, Iris, Japanese Tree Peony, Lady Bugs, Larkspur, Peonies, Perennials, Redbud Trees, Violets

Easter Egg Hunt

I love gardens

And children

So it is with great joy

that once again we hosted

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The 1st Presbyterian Church Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.

My friend Kay is my partner for this.

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She gives her considerable talent, creativity, energy and education

To the children of our church each week.

She does the lion share of the work for this event

Along with other talented friends.

Four generations of friends, neighbors and church members gather for the fun.

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When you think of it, what better place for an Easter event

Than in a garden.

But you may recall I was concerned that because Easter is so early this year

That my garden wouldn’t “look good”.

The grass was not picture perfect green.

Actually it’s mostly brown and still crispy.

Just a few things are blooming

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Forsythia, hellebore, pansies and violas

And plants are just emerging from their winter’s sleep.

When will I ever learn that I am not in charge here!

God has it covered…every time.

God…and Kay

She had many activities and stories.

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All of which told the story of Easter

Resurrection and new birth

From the live grass for the Easter baskets

Planted a month ago during Sunday School

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To the annual Lady Bug release

(Aphids don’t stand a chance in this garden)

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To enacting butterflies emerging from their cocoon

(A card table covered with a brown cloth)

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Learning about and experiencing nature

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Taking flight.

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Is there a better way to spend a glorious spring Saturday

Than to create memories for children and adults

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To experience nature

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And God

What a gift.

Happy Easter,

Gail

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Filed under Butterflies, Easter Baskets, Easter Egg Hunt, Forsythia, Hellebores, Lady Bugs, Uncategorized, Violets