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.

Praise – Gratitude

“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.”     ~ A. W. Tozer


In the winter, I’m grateful for the barrenness of the tree branches, for they give me wonderful views of the neighborhood birds. Even a humble grackle is a glorious representative of feathered beauty as he suns himself in the sunshine of a January morning.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” —Robert Brault


A nuthatch having breakfast on a pine cone thrills me, and my heart is filled with gratitude as I witness God’s providence for the birds of the air. God bless you on this Sabbath Day

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” —Robert Brault

This post is part of this week’s Skywatch.

Photographs & Quotes – Morning Walk, November, Glen Lake

I often walk or bike to a small pond near my home to admire the way the surrounding landscape perfectly depicts the changing seasons. This week the beauty of Autumn was painted there in glorious colors by the Father of all Creation.

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”

                                                 ~ G.K. Chesterton

“This way of seeing our Father in everything makes life one long thanksgiving and gives a rest of heart, and, more than that, a gayety of spirit, that is unspeakable.”

                                        ~ Hannah Whitall Smith

“In almost everything that touches our everyday life on earth, God is pleased when we’re pleased. He wills that we be as free as birds to soar and sing our maker’s praise without anxiety.”

                                                   ~ A.W. Tozer

This post is part of Sunday Trees.

Pleasures – A Passion for Stones/Nurturing Thursday

I’m easy to please. I love stones…rocks…pebbles and consider them treasures. If I see one with promise I will pick it up. I once spent a week on Block Island beaches searching for hearts of stone. You can see the resultant video at the bottom of this post. I’ve shared it before, but as is the case with many posts, it is buried way back in the blog archives.

Have you ever attended a craft show and been entranced by a large bowl of polished stones? I love these stones and have bought them in the past always wishing I could polish stones too. Now, thanks to a rock polisher given to me by one of my sons on my 60th birthday, I polish my own. The stones in the photograph were collected from a creek near my home, Atlantic Ocean beaches, the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays, and Cape May’s Diamond Beach.

It took me a few tumbles to figure out how to process the rocks, and every attempt was worth the finished products. They are not without flaws, the prettiest ones are hardest to get smooth as their stripes and mottled appearance means they have different levels of hardness within the stone. The flaws don’t bother me, I’m going to dab them with a bit of polish and consider them finished. Tumbling and polishing stones is one of the ways I nurture myself. My stones seem a perfect fit for the Nurturing Thursday Challenge hosted by Becca at ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.‘ It’s never too late to start a hobby you’ve always wanted to try to nurture yourself every now and then.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~ C.S. Lewis