Phun – Sea Beans

One topic I really like to talk about, and participate in, is beachcombing. When I am on a beach I can’t seem to sit under an umbrella for very long. You can usually find me walking along the edge of the water, head down, attempting to find ocean treasures. I search for seashells and other drift brought up by the waves, I also scan the sand for sea beans. A former post on this activity can be found here: Sea Beans.

Sanibel Island, Florida, yielded quite a few sea beans this year. I threw out any I thought might be Castor beans since they are poisonous. The others I sorted, soaked a few, and planted. The small sprouts in the terracotta pots are the results.

You can search for sea beans along any coast. Most times, you will find local seeds that have washed into the waterways, but you might get lucky and find a sea bean that has crossed the ocean. The first sea bean you find will perhaps inspire you to start a collection, string it as a pendant, or do as I do and try to grow them for houseplants. Enjoy yourself as you search for sea beans. Finding them is free and brings happiness that can’t be bought.

Perspective – What’s Important?

This song never fails to inspire me. I have posted it in the past, but with the worldwide conditions and changes we’re facing now, it reminds me once again of what is important, the relationship of men and women to their Creator…all over the world.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3 (KJV)

Quirkiness – Garden Hacks

So…I couldn’t sleep…probably not alone in this…there’s a lot going on in the world. Between 2:30 and 3:00 a.m., I was watching Youtube through Amazon Fire Stick, and drinking coffee, yes, coffee in the middle of the night. Oh my! I came upon this video of the most outrageously amazing ‘garden hacks.’ I was hooked by the first tip…Did you know you can root an aloe vera sprig inside a banana? The tips keep coming, and they get even more unbelievable. I began to write them down…I can’t wait to try a few. Anyway, long story short, I thought I’d share the video here…just in case you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep. Oh, also, if you’re not a gardener, look up ‘Amazing Life Hacks,’ or if you’re a crafter, a cook, a makeup artist, a mom…the list goes on and on of the tips you can find. Give these video tips a try…you’ll be hooked.

Quirkiness & Perspective – Unexpected Rainbows

A week or so ago, on a day when I had made some major changes in everyday goals, amid constant prayer for a loved one struggling through the last days of a battle with cancer, I walked into the room I craft in and found an unexpected rainbow across a good quarter of the ceiling.

I have prisms in my window, and these cast small rainbows about the room when the sun shines, but never have they cast the rays upward to the ceiling in such a large fashion. You can see the shadow of my hand in the second photograph.

There is truly something awesome about a rainbow above your head in close focus. I felt like God was giving me assurance that truly, all things would work out for the good, no matter what my circumstances.

I eventually found the source of the rainbow, but it made the experience no less precious. God’s light shone through my window, onto a CD laying on a craft table, the light reflected and beamed upward…creating a rainbow. I needed that rainbow and the remembrance of God’s love. I’ve since found a good article that explains how to make your own rainbow with a CD. If someone you love needs a lift or a bit of light, create a rainbow for them with an old CD.

Check out this great article on creating rainbows: Rainbow Science

Praise – The Beauty of the Earth

Block Island Vail Beach (2)

My computer is glitchy, the power cords/battery not powering up at all. I think they need replacing. In the meantime I’m using my husband’s computer to repost some of my favorite photos of Block Island, Rhode Island for today’s post. If you ever have a chance to visit this beautiful place you won’t be disappointed.

Block Island Vail Beach 2 (2)

On Sundays I love to include a bit of praise and gratitude toward the Lord God for all His love and care for us. Today I’m going to dwell on these words of Jesus and try to live them every day. God bless you!

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” ~Mark 12:30-31

Blog Block Island Heart of Stone

Planting – Mango Season

The photograph is a bit blurry, but I think you can see the small mango sprout in the center. I have sprouted and grown mango pits in the past, but the small trees didn’t grow quickly enough for me, and I didn’t continue on with them. I’m going to try once again, and this time start an earlier fertilizing schedule. I’ll update later in the season.

Growing a Mango Pit



Perspective & Phlowers – Colors

“The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.” Revelation 21:18-20

I love to imagine the colors and beauty of heaven. I am so often reminded of what will come when I wander around my garden admiring the flowers of God’s creation. I get excited watching a flower bud form and then bloom. God has filled the earth with such wondrous colors and sights, oh my, what will heaven be like?

Yesterday, unsure of the direction we were driving, we accidentally found a new garden center. (Sometimes the best moments/places/friendships in life appear when we think we are lost.) I am always on the lookout for a type of small dahlia called harlequins. These dahlias come in an array of bright colors. The feature that really gets me excited about this type of dahlia is the collar of ruffles around the center. I can’t wait to grow and press these beauties this year. The Harlequin Dahlias are my Flower of the Day.

I came upon a great article with growing tips for dahlias while researching this post. If you grow dahlias you might enjoy reading Longfield Gardens: 8 Tips for Growing Better Dahlias.

Pheathers – Brown Thrasher

I saw this beautiful bird near my feeder this week. He is not a normal visitor to my yard. Once again I relied on my camera’s zoom feature to get a good look at him. I was able to identify him as a Brown Thrasher. Cornell Lab of Ornithology has good information on the Brown Thrasher and also has song recordings. Click on the link above for more on this beautiful bird.

Many of the Cornell Lab’s Bird Cams give you views into the newly-hatched baby birds. Here’s a link to the Red-tailed Hawks. Across the top of the page you can find more live bird cams to visit. Cornell Lab Bird Cams/Red-tailed Hawks.

Photo Challenge – Slithering Orange

It was one of those idyllic sunshine days in April. I was with several of my family members on Easter weekend walking along the Chesapeake Bay in Elk Neck State Forest.

The girls were making sand castles with small shells and sticks, the guys were watching the sun on the water, I was looking for pieces of driftwood.  My husband eventually joined me and we walked further up the beach.

“There’s a snake.” my husband suddenly said. He dislikes snakes much more than I do, but let me tell you, when you hear the word snake, and don’t see it, you become very aware of the surroundings and your shoulders instinctively raise up toward your ears just a bit. It was a little eerie when I finally saw it lying motionless among the gnarled roots and pieces of debris. I wondered how long it had been watching us.

The Northern Water Snake species is harmless. It was probably an older snake. Its back was dark and the orange bands on the bottom of its body were faint.  The bands are brighter and much more pronounced when the snakes are young.

We went our way and I suppose he eventually went back to his den when the sun went down. The orange banding on the water snake is my entry in Traveling at Wit’s End Photo Challenge – Orange


Planting – Winter Sowing Update

My winter sown vegetables are ready to plant. They have done well, developing good root systems as they slowly sprouted and grew. They do not need to be hardened off before planting as they have grown in cold temperatures since day one.

The plants look small, but they will quickly grow in the loose soil of the Square Foot Garden. In a week or two they will double, maybe triple in size.  Planted this week are Arugula, Bread-seed Poppies, Milkweed, Mesclun lettuce, Black-seeded Simpson lettuce, Prize-head lettuce, Giant Spinach, Swiss Chard, Kale, and several varieties of beets. I will also be sowing many of the same seeds directly into the soil for later harvests.

One problem I did have was a batch of arugula and mustard spinach had already begun to develop buds in the recent warm temperatures. I discarded these as they would have had a bitter flavor once they flowered.

Quick Tip – Dollar Store Planters

I grow quite a few annuals that bloom best if they are routinely dead-headed of spent flowers and seed capsules. Johnny Jump Ups, one of my favorites, benefit from this type of grooming. I also use these small violas in my pressed flowercraft. To make access easy for pressing and dead-heading I like to be able to move the container they are growing in to a higher level. The dollar store oil pan they are planted in makes this easy, and yes, the pans are only a dollar. You can find them in the automotive section of most dollar stores.

I used several of these last year for my annuals. All I did to prep them was bang a drainage hole in the bottom with a hammer and screwdriver. (See below for my drainage hole trick) I found the entire bottom cracked and this made no difference at all. The bottom was hidden, and the wide cracks kept the soil well drained. Plants that don’t have a tap root do very well in these oil pans. Four to six annuals fill the pan and grow well for most of the summer.

Drainage bang out trick – To bang holes in plastic containers I place the bottom flush against the lawn. The grass gives the screwdriver/ice pick a stable area to enter after it cleaves through the plastic. This is an easy method that only takes a minute or two. The bottom doesn’t look that nice, but hey, who sees it anyway? Only you, me, and the earthworms will know the difference, and I”m not telling! If the hole/crack seems too large cover the area with a coffee filter before adding soil.

Pheathers – Phriday Pheathers/Bird Cam Time

It’s time to watch nesting hawks, cahows, hummingbirds, eagles, owls, etc.


You can find many more links on the Cornell Lab Live Cam pages across the top bar.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Cams


Explore Live Cams also has many links to live animal and bird cams.

Explore Live Cams


CAUTION: You might find yourself addicted to these amazing cam sites. ❤

Plants – Pussy Willow Catkins

It’s that time of year! Pussy Willow branches are available in the supermarket. This year the catkins were fully emerged when I bought them. Hooray! In past years they have been tightly covered and I’ve had to help the furry little catkins emerge by hand.

Forcing Pussy Willows

I must have come upon the branches soon after they were delivered to the store. When I cut the ends I saw that further up the branch there was still a touch of green, a good sign that the branches might root and continue to grow for weeks.

Pussy Willows in January make me smile and banish the winter blues! They help nurture me through the long winter days. This post is part of Nurturing Thursday.