Quick Tip and Phavorites – Reruns


“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
~ Ecclesiastes 1:9

If you’ve read my blog over the course of a year you will notice that I tend to repeat my best hints. At times, I might tweak them up or down a bit, but basically, a lot of my tried and true activities stay the same year after year. I write blog posts according to where I am in my own life, and when I use a hint that works for me I tend to blog about it again…and again…and maybe even again. So to those who have read this hint in previous posts, my apologies. 🙂 For those of you who have never tried to root cuttings in green glass, you might want to give it a try.

I’m going to carry out my own experiment on what glass color roots a cutting faster after reading the two opposing opinions below. I’ll update in a few weeks. If you have some cuttings to root, why don’t you try the experiment along with me?

An Experiment With Green Glass – Yes it Works!
A “Scientific” No to Green Glass

Philm & Phavorites – Enchanted April and the Guttenberg Library

“To Those Who Appreciate Wisteria and Sunshine. Small mediaeval Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be Let furnished for the month of April. Necessary servants remain. Z, Box 1000, The Times.”

This advertisement for an Italian Castle enchants me and gives me cause to dream. In a dreary, cold winter in England, two ladies, Rose and Lotty, become friends and persevere through many doubts to rent an Italian castle in April. It makes no difference that the book and movie are set in the era between the World Wars, when Lotty opens her window on the gardens of San Salvatore, I am there too.

The first time I was captivated by the story of Enchanted April was through the movie. The novel by Elizabeth Von Arnim, written in 1922, was harder to find. It is available in print again, and is also available free through the Guttenberg Library.

I’ve enjoyed browsing through the Guttenberg Library, searching out old stories and books I read as a child. If you love vintage stories, but can’t find the books you would love to read one more time, search for the title in the Guttenberg Library.

The score for Enchanted April is also beautiful, listen for a moment—

Phavorite – Turn – AMC series

In April of 2014, I watched the début of the AMC series “Turn.” The series is based on real-life spies during the Revolutionary War. The show quickly became a favorite, and I didn’t miss an episode. I hoped the series had been renewed, and was delighted to find out season 2 will begin in the Spring of this year. If you enjoy watching historical movies and television, be sure to watch “Turn.”

There is time beforehand to view clips of the series, read up on what is coming in season 2, and make yourself familiar with the characters. On Demand often replays a series in the few weeks before a new season begins. I’ve included several links below that will give you a good look at the show before you decide to watch or purchase season one. Season one is available at Amazon.com/Turn

AMC series: TURN
Video Clips of AMC series: TURN

Plants & Phavorites – Welcome Minerva



Minerva, the Amaryllis bulb I purchased in November, finally grew and bloomed.


In November, I blogged about finding the bulb dressed up in a pretty gauzy bag.


Minerva has lived up to her packaging and beautiful name. She is a medium-sized Amaryllis with gorgeous stripes running the length of her petals. Minerva was worth the two months it took her to grow and blossom.


I grew three Amaryllis plants this year and hope to bring them back into bloom next December. I found information on how to do this at the United States National Arboretum website: How to bring an Amaryllis back into bloom.


The United States National Arboretum is a great site to browse. I’m hoping to visit there within the next year or two.


My Orange Sovereign Amaryllis unexpectedly formed seed pods. I checked a few sites to see if an Amaryllis is Self-Pollinating, but found the answer was no. Somehow, either by a gnat or other insect, or by moving the plant from room to room, the amaryllis was pollinated. I found some good information to follow on Youtube from the Amaryllis Man on how to grow the seed. We’ll see if I have any luck growing one of these beauties start to finish.

Phavorites & Prose – The Invention of Wings & Goodreads

sue monk kidd

I am reading Sue Monk Kidd’s novel,The Invention of Wings, based on real-life Abolitionist Sisters Sarah Grimke and Angelina Grimke Weld. The book is based on the story of the early Abolitionist movement and told through the eyes of Sarah and Handful/Hetty, a slave born and raised in her father’s home. Both Sarah and Angelina, part of the Abolitionist Movement, lived to see the end of slavery.

goodreads 2

I’ve enjoyed The Invention of Wings, and as always, I am thinking ahead to my next terrific “read.” A site I use to find books to buy or borrow from the library is Goodreads. If you search out a book you’ve read on the Goodreads site, you will find in the right corner of the page, other books that are similar. I’ve used these recommendations several times over the past year, and have only read one story that disappointed due to subject.

Goodreads Best Books of 2014 is a great site to check out.

“Goodreads is an Amazon company and “social cataloguing” website founded in December 2006 and launched in January 2007 by Otis Chandler, a software engineer and entrepreneur, and Elizabeth Chandler.The website allows individuals to freely search Goodreads’ extensive user-populated database of books, annotations, and reviews. Users can sign up and register books to generate library catalogs and reading lists. They can also create their own groups of book suggestions and discussions.” ~ Wikipedia

Phavorites & Philm – Three Christmas Favorites

These are three of my favorite Christmas films. Without fail, I watch them every year. “The Nativity Story” is hands down my favorite. I have it on DVD, and even watch it throughout the year.

“The Christmas Story” is also a favorite. One or another channels usually plays this all day long on Christmas. We have no problem dropping in and out on Ralphie and his family throughout the day. It doesn’t matter that we have seen it over and over again for years…we still laugh at our favorite parts. Flick licking the frozen pole never fails to make us laugh and wince at the same time.

“A Christmas Carol” starring a favorite of mine, George C. Scott, is also required viewing in our home. I think it the best version, but perhaps you have a different favorite of this timeless tale.

Phavorites – The Piano Guys

Piano Guys

Every holiday season I buy at least one special CD of Christmas music. If truth be told, sometimes I buy two or even three! 🙂 This year my first choice was The Piano Guys – A Family Christmas.
I fell in love with a video I saw of the song, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” I’m including the video here for your enjoyment. The entire CD is breathtakingly beautiful.

Phavorites – Coupon.com/Money-saving Tip


I recently began using the Coupons.Com site. I needed to download their program, but my virus scan indicated it was a safe site, and I have had no problems using it thus far. One additional money-saving tip, before you print out your coupons, set your printer default to black and white. If you are unsure of how to do this search for tips through a search engine.

Phavorites & Philm – The Sound of Music

I have many favorite films, but the “Sound of Music,” is my “Go-To ” choice when I am ill, anxious, or feeling blue. I know it might sound odd, but in all truth, I am sure I have seen this favorite two dozen times plus some. What are your favorite “Pick-Me-Up ” films or books? With all the turmoil surrounding us, the chaos that seems to be erupting at a global scale, perhaps we need to take an hour or two, sit down, and immerse ourselves in what makes us sing or smile.

The Sound of Music

“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”

~ Maria, The Sound of Music

Phavorites & Quotes – Autocrit & Stephen King

“Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.”
~ Author Unknown


Did you notice the “intentional” goof in the quote by Author Unknown? If not, “proofread” one more time. I cannot even begin to count how many times I have gone back to an old post and found an error so obvious even a third grader would spot the mistake. Why does this happen to me? I’m not alone, it happens to all of us. I caught an old blog post error yesterday and edited it out. My grammatical faux pas: A Autumn-” instead of “An Autumn-.”

A good site that points out grammatical mistakes along with overused words and phrases is AUTOCRIT. Take a look at this terrific site if you enjoy writing, but sometimes miss your own mistakes.

“I have spent a good many years since―too many, I think―being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all.”
~ Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

My all-time favorite book on writing is Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.” Beyond the often hilarious and touching biographical chapters you will find a goldmine of good advice on writing.

I’ll end with this great quote in hopes that even though I sometimes miss my mistakes, I usually am able to make a point of something in each blog post.

“Many writers profess great exactness in punctuation who never yet made a point.”
~ George Dennison Prentice (1802 – 1870)

Phavorites – Rapture Ready

I’ve shared this great site in previous blog posts, but as with all my “Phavorites,” it is definitely worth sharing again.

Rapture Ready

blog post dandelion.jpg

I check into this site at least once a day to read the Rapture Ready News. This section is filled with articles gathered from all over the the world. I don’t always agree with everything on the site, but it helps me keep watch, as Jesus instructs in Matthew 24:42.

“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.” Matthew 24:42

Painting & Phavorites – October Wet Canvas Plant Parade Challenge & Color Palette Generators

big huge lab

The Summer of 2014 was not very hot, but that fact was an advantage for my wildflower garden; the closely packed flowers thrived without the wilting heat. I spied a sweet bumblebee visiting a bachelor button and managed to snap a photograph at just the right moment. I have chosen this as my reference photo for this month’s WetCanvas Plant Parade Challenge.

WetCanvas is free for anyone to join – Welcome New Visitors Page
WetCanvas Create New Account Page

Joanne N is the host for the WetCanvas Plant Parade October.

The October 2014 Plant Parade

“Welcome to October!

Fall is just beginning in the Northern Hemisphere, while Spring has just arrived in the Southern Hemisphere.

But I’m not ready to let Summer or my garden go quite yet (even though we had a huge dump of snow in early September). So if you’ll bear with me, I’d like to share some photos from my garden with you to use as reference photos this month. Feel free to paint your own garden reference if you wish.
Use any media you like, we love them all! If you have time, do more than one!

Keep the banter going, share your adventures and misadventures while you’re creating.
All we ask is that you do not post your work until October 25th!.”

Joanne N posted an amazing array of reference photographs to use. I’ve chosen three of my favorites for this post.

PicMonkey Collagejpgwc

After I chose one of my own photographs as my reference for the October Plant Parade I broke down some of the colors in my Paint application.

Bachelor Button Chart

When I create a color chart I have an easy time choosing watercolors to use.

I also enjoy using color lab palette generator sites for viewing the color charts they create. I’ve included three for you to take a look at:
Color Palette FX
Color Palette Generator
Big Huge Labs

Prose & Phavorite – Chickens in the Road


I am in the process of reading Suzanne McMinn’s outstanding book, “Chickens in the Road.” I am in a happy “rut” of searching out and devouring books that tell the story of leaving a familiar routine for a new life of homesteading. After finishing Kristin Kimball’s, “The Dirty Life” and reading her blog, I have been on a quest to read as many back to basics and farming books as possible. Perhaps I am living vicariously through these ladies. All I know is that I enjoy the interesting, fun and sometimes amazing stories they have lived.

I found several terrific links to more of Suzanne’s ideas and stories:

Chickens in the Road, Facebook Page

Chickens in the Road Blog

Here’s a Youtube video narrated by Suzanne. Enjoy!

Phavorites – Brown Thrasher

I finally identified this amazing bird as a brown thrasher. A close relative of the mockingbird, he/she has been singing me beautiful songs throughout the day. Here is a short video of a brown thrasher’s beautiful singing. (Thank you to krab1110’s youtube channel)

I am at a loss as to why there are two images of the same youtube video…I’ve worked at getting one deleted to no avail. I guess this is just one of those times I am bamboozled by the html, and will have to let it stay “as is.” Apologies!

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Paths & Phavorites – Creative Fun/Lunapic

I’m going to start off by giving you the link to this terrific site. It’s free and you will become addicted to altering your digital photographs with the filters and effects it offers. The sites is called: Lunapic You can reach the site by clicking on the name.

I started with a picture of a hibiscus flower I took in Jamaica.


Here are some of the ways I played: Create a Border


Use stars for a border:


Create a unique dollar bill:

hib 4

Design a Christmas ornament:

hib 5

Put in some lightening streaks:

hib 6

A filmstrip is a nice look:


Even a kaleidoscope is possible:

hib 7

Pardon my cliche, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many creative ways to “doll-up” your pic. Give it a try!