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Archive for the ‘Descriptive Words’ Category

Where I live in Michigan, winter weather gets to be a little overdrawn.  Winter seems like it is never going to end.  My way of coping is to dive into seed catalogs and gardening magazines.  It is like feasting on dessert after you have been on a starvation diet.  All of those plants with their lovely greenery and colorful blooms just lights up the soul and lifts the spirit.  Not only that, but when you are trying to buy fresh produce you quickly realize the high cost of fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter.  Cold frame gardening can help relieve the burden on your wallet if you build a couple of frames to supplement your produce needs.
Continue reading here:  Write Where You Are

 

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         Dr. Susan Love has started a massive undertaking to understand the complexities of breast cancer by organizing an army of women.  She has partnered up with the Avon foundation to get an army of women to sign up to do research on a large  cross section of women to get accurate information on genetic links as well as environmental links to help the medical community understand breast cancer better…so that we can more effectively treat and PREVENT breast cancer.  Check them out: http://www.avoncompany.com/women/avonfoundation/overview.html

        She made an announcement on Good Morning America with Robin Roberts (cancer survivor) interviewing her in October of 2008.  You can see the interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6118891.  

           I sort of envision an army of women all decked out in pink camouflage uniforms as they take up the challenge.  Breast cancer has stolen too many wonderful people from our world.  We have lost sisters, mothers, friends, lovers,aunts, daughters, grandmothers; as well as sons, daughters, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and friends!   If we can understand how it starts…then we will be able to figure out ways to prevent it.  If we can prevent it…maybe we won’t have to subject our loved ones to such difficult times during treatments.  It is a win-win situation.   You can learn more about Dr. Susan Love and about breast cancer by going here:  http://www.dslrf.org/breastcancer/content.asp?L2=1&SID=119

        Many people want to help…but, if they dont have money to give; they may say how can I possibly help?  This is an excellent way.  You can sign up to be a part of the army.  If nothing else….you can get information to help arm yourself in the war on breast cancer.  You can go here to sign up:  http://www.armyofwomen.org/  Surely you would like to see an end to breast cancer as we know it!

See possibly related stories here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/stand-up-to-cancer/ or, https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/

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     Every since young two year old Caylee became “missing”…her picture has impacted millions of people who found themselves caring for Caylee.  Thousands of volunteers looked for her.  News agencies kept her story in the news…every week.

     Each time that there was new information on the case, the media brought it to the public.  That picture of the beautiful young child, with the mahogony brown hair and the sweet chocolate brown eyes that look up so innocently from her preciously folded hands under her chin, is embeded in my mind’s eye for life.  

        Caylee’s spirit seems to call out to the person looking at her picture.  She was begging someone to find her with those big, beautiful eyes.  She deserved to be found; better yet…she deserved to live.  No child should have experienced what happened to young Caylee.

         This week it was confirmed that her skeleton was found less than a half of a mile away from the home that Caylee, and her mother Casey, shared with Caylee’s grandparents before she was discovered to be missing.  That is a horrible ending to the search for Caylee.

          Many believed that Caylee was deceased.  No-one wanted it to be true.  However, a meter reader found her remains in a garbage bag.   She was tossed away like she was garbarge to be dumped…that truly makes me sick.  I hope it haunts whoever is responsible for throwing away Caylee’s life.   News reports are not too informative ( i am sure that is for legal reasons  when Casey Anthony goes to trial for the alleged murder of her child).  What we do know is that the meter reader had called in to the authorities in August for them to search the area where Caylee’s remains were found on December 11, 2008.   It sounds as if an attempt was made by authorities to search the area but it may have been flooded at that time.   This past week, tests determined that the skeleton was indeed Caylee.  That skeleton was in pieces that were scattered around the area.  There was no flesh…and apparently, there was duct tape over the child’s mouth.  What kind of cruelty is that…the child was two years old for heaven’s sake!

        It is a horrible case; will the whole truth ever be known?  It is hard to tell; as Casey Anthony has told so many versions of “her” truth…that it will be hard to discern what really did happen.  It was decided that the prosecutors are not going for the death penalty, as they felt that the public would best be served by her serving life in prison; if indeed she is convicted of the murder of her 2 year old toddler.

         It is heartbreaking to know that a parent is even capable of such an evil act.  What is more heartbreaking is wondering if Caylee was aware of what was happening; and, if it is true that her mother caused her death…whether she knew who was causing her harm.    Earlier reports said that Casey Anthony had done internet searches on using Choloraform.  Whatever happened, it is a sad thing all around.  There are always plenty of adoptive homes that are ready, willing and able to care for a child such as Caylee.  Murder should never be an option; especially when it sounds as if Caylee’s parents would have gladly cared for Caylee. 

          As many grieve for Caylee…let’s remember those who were closest to her; those who loved her and cared for her.  Will there ever be enough information given to the public to understand why Caylee’s life was taken?  Probably not…however, any honest information would be welcome to those of us who have heavy hearts when we think about the death of Caylee.  It should never have happened!  Does her picture call out to anyone else out there?  She had a short life but made a big impact on alot of people.

       

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       Here in Michigan, we have had more than our share of wild and wacky weather of late.  We received, in a couple of days time, well more than 18-20 inches of snow in one dumping.  It was beautiful but destructive.  Now, we are going from an overnight temperature of a (unusually warm temperature) of 44 degrees…down into the teens today, with well over 40 mile an hour winds, this after rain and snow melt all night. 

          This will produce great danger of ice and travel difficulties.  Other states have been hit with the arctic blast of winds, snow, sleet and rain; many people loosing their electric and ability to heat their homes. 

            In the best of situations, people can be prepared for these types of situations.  This time it has caught me a bit unprepared.  I am sure that i am not the only one.  However, we are going to settle in and do our best to stay warm and dry.  It is important to take safety measures when you live in winter wonderland areas during this time of year!

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Just a little white blanket to dress things up!

Just a little white blanket to dress things up!

      Depending on your view of a snow day, that probably tells me about your age, unless,  you are an excitable kid at heart.  Many adults find it hard to remember the extreme joy of a snow day.  Adults get bogged down in the difficulty of driving in it, the danger of slipping on the snow and ice, the cost of heating their homes, and the inconvience of having heavy snow and ice removed from the sidewalk and the driveway.  It’s not that those aren’t legitimate concerns…but, there is another side to a snow day; do you remember?

 

         Kids, on the other hand, look at the rare snow day as a gift from God!  LOL   A sn0w day is like a reprieve from death row (school) to a kid.   It is a day filled with endless possiblities, such as: sledding, ice skating, snow boarding, making snow angels, building a snowman, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, throwing snowballs…in other words…having a blast in the white stuff.

         Thinking about the pristine, sparkly white snow; glittering on the surface of the trees and homes…what beautiful photos that would make.  Send a photo to your friends, in other warmer states, who don’t get to enjoy the fluffy, white blanket that covers everything as far as  the eyes can see.

         So, depending on where you live; what will you do with your next “snow day”.  Today, hmmmmm…it is full of possibilities to the kid in all of us.  Maybe even for some of us older kids…it might just include snuggling up with a comforting cup of  frothy, hot chocolate; and, reliving some of yesterday’s memories of  OUR favorite snow day! 

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     Today has been one of those lazy, do nothing and enjoy it kind of days.  Those are few and far between…but, so very necessary for the soul to rest and build up strength to do what must be done every other day of the week. 

      It has been cold and wet.  We woke up this morning to a growing blanket of fluffy white snow…the first of the season, to lightly coat the ground.  Of course, it did not stay there because the ground is not frozen yet…so, the warmth of the earth melted the brilliant, white snow early in the day.  This is just a mini preview of what is to come in the next few weeks.

       The snow brought joy to my child’s face…and, a look of acceptance to mine :)  Now is the time to contemplate making a nice homemade, chunky sort of comfort meal…like maybe a hot, hearty chicken noodle soup with homemade dumplings…or maybe a rich, smooth, smoky pea soup, or possibly a filling fall harvest kind of soup with some happy orange carrots, and some limey green cabbage surrounding floating chunks of the all american staple of potatoes in a nice rich broth of ham pieces or some pieces of bacon. However, this is work…and, cannot stand alone.  One must complement the meal with some fresh- from- the- oven homemade doughy, buttery rolls.  This is the treat that we offer ourselves when the reality of 6 months of cold, wet, dark and dreary winter comes sneaking upon us.  Oh, if that sounds ominous…then you will have to come back on another day when the snow is cherished and given glory…just not today when i have to grow to appreciate it’s beauty.

       Golly, you will just have to check back in a few weeks, when i paint the picture of a cheery morning; when the snow crystals sparkle in the sunlight and underscore the weight of the evergreen branches that bow under the weight of the heavy flakes of snow that have fallen overnight, much to our surprise.  Then you will see that the human spirit is flexible and has the wisdom to recognize all of the gifts in life. 

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        I find things that are the most interesting to me, are often things that are going on right around me; figuratively, in my own backyard.  That is why, when i read an article today about a man who lived less than an hour away from me; and actually at one time in my life, lived less than 10 minutes from my childhood home…i took a major interest in the story of his life and his death.  He was an inspiration to watch and learn from.

         This man’s name was Lewis (Luke) Arends.  He lived in Sparta, Michigan.  You might find by reading this post that you may share a connection with him as well.  Luke was 91 years old when he died on Monday.  But, what i found is that he was the man who “discovered” the Paula Red apple, that many of us know and love.  Paula Reds have a sweet/tart tingle on your tongue and when you taste them, they almost remind you of a ripe strawberry.  When mixed with a couple of other variety of apples…they make a wonderfully, tangy applesauce to feed to your family.  The texture is smooth and cool.  The skins remind me of the old saying, red apple cheeks. 

         It seems that Mr. Arends was an apple grower in the 1950′s.  One day, he noticed an apple tree that was a little bit different than the rest.  He continued to watch this tree grow and eventually, produce apples in time.  He learned that this apple tree was different, in the fact that the apples began to ripen much earlier, in August, than the other apples that he had growing in his orchard.  This new variety of apple tree was good and he decided to name it after his wife, who’s name was Pauline.  The tree is still standing there…a natural tribute to the man; and to the fruit growers who were wise enough to recognize a gift from above.  The tree provided early income needed to bridge the gap from one season to the next…helping fruit producers to ride out the ups and downs that naturally occur due to mother nature’s temperment year- to- year.

         This is when the apple called Paula Red was born.  So, through patenting and propagating the species…everyone gets to enjoy a good tasting, early ripening apple before the first bite of autumn makes it’s presence known.  Thank you Mr. Arends for paying attention to the gift growing in your own backyard.  God bless!

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       Bye Bye September…tomorrow is October…Fall is truly here and making it’s presence know.  That only leaves one more season left this year…and it isn’t going to be pretty what with the rising cost of living… I hate to see winter come.  With any luck, winter will be mild. 

        With all of the financial uncertainty hanging over the United States…thinking about heating homes is the last thing anyone wants to do.  Yet, i can’t help but admire the beauty that is Fall.  The golden yellow, the burnt oranges, the flaming reds and the burnished brown of the leaves as they glisten in the mellow fall temperatures.  The evenings are pleasantly cool enough to be enjoyed and yet not bothersome enough to turn on the furnace.  This is the beauty of fall.  Reaping the bounty of the earth’s growing season and preparing it for the winter.  It is all a gift. 

        Even the beauty of the first heavy snow fall as it coats the trees and the ground with it’s sparkling diamond dust is a work of art.  It is knowing that it wont be the last snowfall that wears on the novelty of it all…calculating the financial cost of removing all of that frosty diamond dust!  OH well, it is time to enjoy the moment.

        Time to walk in the leaves, smell the warm earth, gaze upon the fall flowers in a final burst of color…stand around a roaring campfire…heat up some tarty spiced apple cider…roast a few dogs over the open flame and stare at the glittering silver white stars as they twinkle in the deep blue black of the night sky.  This is a moment to remember and to treasure.  Bye Bye September!

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        It has been planted in my yard for a good many years now.  It is beautiful in full bloom…my Rose of Sharon.  The bush is full and round with pregnant buds; standing about 7 feet tall.  The leaves are an interesting shape..somewhat oak leafish but smaller in size.  They are green and when the flower buds begin to swell…it takes a few weeks to realize their full birth.  First they appear as small, hard, green buds; then, amazingly they start to appear white and twisted; similar in shape to a coned, morning glory flower bud, as it twists itself fully open.  It is all the more miraculous when you remember that only months ago…it stood proudly, looking for all the world like a dead, wooden monument to the life it had lived the year before.

         On this Rose of Sharon bush…the flower buds turn a deep shade of raspberry, in color.  When the flower petals reveal themselves…they open to a fluttery, fluted funnel.  Each petal eagerly overlaps the other to make them appear almost as if they are sculpted with those decorative sissors that make scalloped edges.  I have decided to expand the Rose of Sharon palette…i have added a light, lilac Rose of Sharon to the yard. 

         Together, they will be a show stopper in August when they tend to bloom…lasting for weeks with their dedication to painting the yard with their strong, visual presence with splashes of color.  The center of the Rose of Sharon is very similar in design to the hibiscus.  There is a long, protruding, white, bumpy center stamen, that contrasts with it’s glorious color.  On each of the colored petals are veins of a darker hue, than the petal, which just adds depth to the pretty picture. 

          It is with a sorrowful acceptance, that i tell you there is no hypnotic perfume from these beautiful flowers…their grace and attraction is in their butterfly shaped petals that flutter in the breeze.  That breeze that has been pleasantly scented by my other seductive collection of flowers such as the Stargazer, Oriental Lillies.  It sweetly spices the air with it’s signature scent.  It is like no other scented flower to my way of thinking.  It calls to the senses; and, adds to the nightime mystery that is my flower garden.  It has a tranquilizer effect for those who take the time to embrace the enveloping sweetness.

        One year, I remember mistakenly taking my vacation during their bloom time…and mourned the loss all year long.  It is something to nibble on…the feasting of the senses in late July/early August; when the Stargazers set out to stun the world with their shortlived appearance.  I give them their due…they are stunning if not a bit dominant during their show time.

          The smell is so wonderfully uplifting that you want to bottle it; so that you can capture the moment in time…it truly elevates the human mood to enter into the fragrance zone.  The touch of the petals is so soft and cool to the touch that you actually can’t stop yourself from gently rubbing its petals against the skin of your fingers.  The sight of the large pink and fushia, star- shaped flower petals, brings the awareness of the scent to your memory, moments before you actually indulge yourself with the smell.  Truly, if it could be bottled…no man would be able to resist it’s draw to the woman who wears it; it is that powerful.

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      Talk about a intense flare up of a conversation.  This week on The View, a conversation took place that was shocking in it’s intensity between the races.  The show got onto the topic of conversation of using the “N” -word because of a conversation recorded between (Reverend and i use the term lightly here, only as a matter of clarifying which Jackson made the comment) Jesse Jackson and another person.   Jesse Jackson, Jr. was horrified that his father made such statements; and publicly chastised him for doing so. 

          In that conversation, Jesse Jackson made a couple of inappropriate comments regarding Barack Obama.

      It seems that Jesse Jackson takes issue with the way that Sen. Obama speaks to the African American population.  He said it made him want to rip off his n–s.  Then later, it was also revealed that he allegedly, also used the other “N”- word. 

       On the view, Elisabeth Hasselback made a comments saying, that she felt it was inappropriate to use that word in private or in public.  Wow, did the other “ladies” of the view take issue with her. (more…)

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