January 29, 2010

Gardening Tip #1: Out with the Old

Gardening is a HUGE passion of mine. When I am not traveling, you can find me in any of my six distinct gardens. I love the fresh air, free tan, and getting my hands dirty.

Considering my green thumb, I thought I could give you guys insight into happy gardening every once in a while.

Tip 1:
It's time to cut out all of your dead growth and trim back overgrown shrubs.

The bulbs are sprouting their stalks, and it becomes more difficult each day to clip out the dead stuff surrounding the gorgeous new growth. If the plant grows back each year (like daffodils), trim the dead plants as close to the ground as you can. If it dies completely each year (like marigolds), gently dig out the root ball as well.

Remember to use your yard recycling bin to discard the debris.

This is my first blossom of 2010. It is a snowball, a 5" tall tiny bulb which splits often. (Meaning the bulb splits itself in two... more delight for next year!)

feel free to comment with your gardening questions!
Green Thumb Archives

Gardening Tip #1:  Out with the Old
Gardening Tip #2:  Quality (Pruners Clippers)
Gardening Tip #3:  Unfortunately time to weed
Gardening Tip #4:  Hot pink rubber gloves
Gardening Tip #5:  The perfect flower bouquet
Gardening Tip #6:  Get rid of Aphids naturally

January 16, 2010

Short apologies for being distant...

My short apologies for not having been around as of late.

No worries to all of you who are Rose-starved: I will begin blogging weekly. I have over 40(!) blogs of awesome stories abroad to share with you - And I finally have time to sit down and finish them.

I encourage you to subscribe to my blog. By doing so you will receive an email each week with my new blog, and it saves you time in clicking to another page. Look on the right column and scroll to the bottom. Click on "Follow." You're done :)

My return to the US has been a bit difficult.
While I have published little publicly, I have been rather prolific in private.

I wrote over 220 pages in the last three months. (Insert self-justified smile.)

I need this time personally, yet I still feel I've gypped you guys on ten dozen awesome stories, and a thousand amazing photographs. Part of my new year resolution is to stop feeling guilty about discontinuing my communication. Rather than combat this impossibility, I figure I can simply communicate - I'll polish and post some of my half-finished blogs, dig out some photos, and we can all get along quite nicely again :)

January 15, 2010

... Hot water springs: The Natural Escape

I am staying in Ridgecrest, California. The middle of a desert. In a military town where the Navy likes to blow things up (China Lake Naval Weapons Center).
I'm visiting my best friend Danyelle, her husband Mark, and their two twin toddlers. Mark is a project manager on the base, the twins are adorable and act like they're two, and Danyelle is a full time mom, miracle worker, and more.

I am having an... interesting time. Good: With best friend. Eating well. Playing with twins. Late nights alone blogging or emailing. Spending time with God... Or at least wondering where God is. Bad: I sleep in the same room as the twins. The house is very small for five people. And I'm not used to being around kids all day long. Danyelle says I will be a "professional mom." Meaning? I'll have a job and hire a nanny. If I'm going to have a kid, I'm NOT going to hire a nanny. That's what Dad is for :)

On Monday Mark kindly allowed Danyelle and I to go hunt down a hot spring she vaguely recalled from her childhood. After a bit of internet research and studying a few maps, we find what we are looking for: Remington Hot Springs. They are off of the Lower Kern River. If you didn't know to look for a big dirt parking lot, the lack of signs would keep you driving through a hundred more miles of desert scrub. (See below for better directions.)

We first drove by Miracle Hot Springs, which didn't appear to be closed like our internet research suggested. Unfortunately the state parks services bashed out the tub walls and all that is left are a few pools you could soak your calves in. Sad.

After finding the Remington parking lot, I wondered which of the seven dirt trails to take down to the river. I knocked on the door of a camper. This guy who is about 55 peeks out. He points in the general direction of our path. At this moment it is pouring down rain and I am drenched. "The weather's turning catastrophic," he says. "You'll be really cold when you are done hiking up the hill. I've got hot coffee and cocoa waiting for you!"
Danyelle walks up behind me. "How far is it to the springs?" He didn't hear her. I gave her my evilest eyes, attempting to communicate that she needs to not communicate with the slimy guy who is making advances on us. "How far is it to..." I turned and left. She followed suit.

I digress.
Danyelle and I finally made it down the muddy path to the hot springs - and we are amazed. We found well maintained pools and waterways directly on the river's edge. They are primitive and pristine. The top pool was the smallest, about the size and shape of a coffin, and the warmest. Its water flowed to the medium sized, and on to the largest. The boulders and floors of the pools were cemented together and the cement was laden with colorful marbles, stones, dice, buttons, glass, and phrases such as "Eternal Joy" and "Seek Happiness." Good energy vibes to be sure.


January 11, 2010

What I Want (most in life)

I took a 2,000 mile road trip to Kansas City in December 2009.

I was going on a pilgrimage to encounter the Lord: To IHOP.

No, not this IHOP (found right next to Krispie Kreme's in Kansas City, MO)

I wrote the following while attending IHOP's (International House of Prayer) conference, One Thing. I did not come away with many answers. I can't say that I 'encountered' God. But I did realize it's essential I know what I want - So I wrote those desires down.

Word for word from my journal.

What I Want

To experience God. Feel, touch, receive, hear.

God to manifest & dwell in me, to be my constant companion.

To know my purpose

Joy - to replace my mourning

Clarity of mind- Spiritual discernment, emotions, relationships, capacity to correctly feel & recognize love

To continue to seek You. To desire to seek you. To be purposed. Focused. Passionate.

Physical restoration - freedom from pain.

To understand, believe, & know both the Bible and Christ

To be satiated.

To understand how to trust the Lord, and to do it.

To be a woman of wisdom.

Don't pass me by. Open my heart. Open my eyes. Reveal yourself to me.

I want truth. I want reality. I don't want to fake it.