Friday, April 30, 2010

Winterthur's Azalea Woods

Imagine that it is the early 1920's.
Your name is Henry Francis DuPont.
You have more than 1000 acres to work
with...and you love horticulture.

In fact, as a child you were home schooled
and as part of this education you
took many nature walks where you
learned the Common and Latin names of
the plants around you.
The dinner table was your quizzing place.
This was where you proved your knowledge
at the end of the day.

Imagine that one day you decide to
try growing azaleas. So, you choose
seventeen varieties from Europe.

They do so well that you end up
planting more than 1,000 azalea
bushes in an eight acre wood.

What you get all of these 90 years later....

Eye candy....
Lot and lots of eye candy.

Every way you look it is a
different color palette but
each is absolutely stunning.

Sadly, this annual beauty is short-lived.
That is why I would not consider
basing a garden exclusively on azaleas.

However, I don't have a thousand acres
to work with either.

Due to our early warm weather this Spring
all of our plants and trees are about
two and a half weeks ahead of schedule.
So, while these are normally at peak
Mid-May....this is Peak Week.
Gardeners can plan and plan,
but plants have their own timetable.

We followed path after path of
nothing but azaleas in bloom.

Some of the bushes bore two colors.
It was rather shocking.

We greatly enjoyed our visit
to these colorful woods....
but this was only the beginning
of our lovely day.

I cannot wait to show you the
rest of our day.
It will take several posts over
the next week or so.

And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Isaiah 58:11

Wouldn't you like to be compared to
the loveliness of a garden such as this?

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Isaiah 61:11

Ahhh....Bring it Forth, Lord.
I am ready!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just a Peek!

I must go make supper...
but today was soooo very glorious!

You have to see just a bit...

Oh, it was a sweet day with two very
special ladies.

It was a lovely surprise to
discover Mrs. Rabe and her family
at Longwood Gardens.
It is always nice to see them~
They had been there
while we were at Winterthur.
Who knew?


Putting on our Walking shoes....

...And heading to the very beautiful
Winterthur today...hoping the azalea
forest is still beautiful.

Even though we had lots of rain
over the weekend
the Winterthur Blog says it is Peak
Week for Rhododendrons and Azaleas.

I hope the house tour is featuring a different
floor than we saw last time. It was lovely
but I want to see more.
Call me greedy, if you like.

Mom, Chelsea and I are going for sure.

Jonathan is deciding now....
Poor Mikey and Warren have to work.

I'll be back with lots of photos!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Tale Of Weeds and Thistles

Last night was perfect weeding weather.
It was in the 50's and breezy.

Weeding is not on my list of top ten
most favorite things to do.

There is all of that bending and
kneeling that just makes me pant and puff.
And then there is the dirt...
It is so....dirty!

When it is just a bit warmer the
spiders are very active.

And then there is that
Heaven forbid!

However, I hate those nasty weeds that
taunt me with their quick growth even more.

I pulled some healthy looking thing out
of the flower bed last night and said to
Warren, who had dropped in to see the progress....
I sure hope this is a weed.
He assured me that it was growing way
too vigorously to be a flower!
Funny man.

So...I made a lot of progress.
In one hour.
At least two large loads of those
stupid thistle plants.
I do not know where they come from
but they very much enjoy my perennial
bed. The roses have done well in that
area, as well. So maybe it is something
about the conditions there that prickly
plants prefer.

However, neither Georgia's or my Roses
are doing
well this Spring.
Must have been all of that snow.


Although, I have to say that Mikey pruned
his in the Fall and they are off to a wonderful
start. Guess I should have done that too.


Maybe that is why he is the horticulture kid.
Good grief.
He is already doing all kinds of
side jobs and will hopefully interview for
summer work at "THE GARDEN".
They called yesterday
but we weren't here.
Keeping our fingers crossed
and our knees bent in prayer.

Updated to add: Mikey has an interview
at "THE GARDEN" on Tuesday...Yay!

Well enough of my jabbering.
I just hope we get more good
weeding weather because I still
have plenty of weeds to pull.

Just a couple of photos of plants
in progress.

The Astilbe...

Two varieties are quite happy.

An orderly clump of violets
under the Dogwood Tree.

A new addition from clearance last
year. I forget what it is exactly,
but love it and may get more.
This is also under the Dogwood and
would do a lovely job of filling
in and keeping the weeds down.

Have a great day.

And don't forget to visit others at
Outdoor Wednesday.
Susan at A Southern Daydreamer
is the lovely hostess.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I am NOT a SHEEP!!

Our dog, Bandit, has a nasty
habit of "herding" me when she
needs to go outside.

She comes along
behind me, pushes me,
and nips me in the behind.
She makes a general nuisance
of herself.

I am working on breaking her of
this but the other evening she
was at it full force.

I got mad.
(Yes...that happens!)

The next thing I knew I yelled,

Warren happened to be nearby.
He totally lost it. me!

Who wouldn't?

Isn't that such an odd statement
to hear out of the blue?

Well, that line has become a bit
more common around here,
as it surely makes us smile.

However, I feel guilty each time
I say it, because figuratively
speaking, I am a sheep.
With the best Shepherd
any creature could have.

In the Bible Jesus uses
the Sheep and Shepherd analogy to
describe the relationship between
Himself and the Christian.

He says that His sheep know
His voice.
He also says that if just one of His
sheep doesn't come in to safety
for the night He will seek until
He finds it.
And so much more...

So, while I greatly resent those
little nips and steering from
a certain little dog,

until the day
she finally learns to be civil,
I will try to use it to remember that I
have a very loving Shepherd...

and I am honored
to be
His Sheep!


Monday, April 26, 2010

A Mosaic and Chatting...

Good Morning Friends

A Mosaic for Contribution to Mary's
Mosaic Monday.
To see more mosaics stop
by The Little Red House.

I have a busy day ahead with a large candle order
due to be delivered this evening.
A quiz team has been selling to raise money
to go to one of their competitions.

In addition,
there is a box of refilled jars to
be returned to a customer
as well as
two HUGE (64 oz)jar
candles for another.
I love reusing and recycling
candle jars. They work every
bit as well as a brand new one.

I am happy that each of these
orders can be taken to the same
location this evening and will be
distributed very efficiently.

But first, they have to be

I will spend today finishing up the teacup candles,

stuffing my white paper gift bags,

putting plastic on the top of some refilled containers,
and loading the car.

The teacups this Spring are Blue and White.
So...connecting with Sally's Blue Monday
Party. You'll find the rest of the Party
Attendees at her blog...The Smiling Sally
Thanks, Sally. I had to work a bit
harder to come up with Blue today...but am editing
this post to add the process of pouring a tea candle.
It is so very similar to pouring actual tea,
as you can see.

Also on today's agenda are
Resume Writing for Mikey
French for Chelsea.
These among the rest of
their regular

Jonathan is finished
with school.
I may ask him to spend more time
on his novel writing...
if the computer is available to him.

It is so amazing that one of the three
is completely finished with all of these
many years of homeschooling.
God has been so good to us!

Mikey is so very close to completion.
He has to finish reading a book
and complete some math requirements
and he will be done.
With High School.
I have mixed feelings, for sure!

Chelsea and I are going to have to
figure out how to have school without
the boys.

I am very sure we will be
just fine.

Well, none of this will get done
if I don't get started...
so hope you have a very productive
day and that it includes many smiles.



Sunday, April 25, 2010


My cousin's middle name is Joy.
I can remember my Grandfather rumbling
out "Pamela Joy _____" in his very deep growly voice.
He said it so very often that
I am sure he liked the way it sounded.
And frankly she was a busy one,
always into this or that!
So that was a factor as well.

Grandad has been in Heaven for many years
now. My cousin has grown up.
Having been
quite a bit younger than the rest of the
cousins so we were never very close.

But we have had opportunity to reconnect
this past year, thanks to
Facebook and

I love this girl.

PJ struggles with sugar and has a blog to
address those challenges (Confessions of a Sugar Addict).

However, most recently she has started a blog to record
her joys,(The J Stands for Joy)!
Man, the pressure of
a middle name
like "Joy".

I know these things,
my middle name is "Faith"!
Gotta live up to it,
you know?

Hope you'll have a couple of minutes to visit
and increase her JOY!

A few scriptures to encourage your day!

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Psalm 47:1
Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.

Psalm 51:12
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

True joy does not come from external circumstances.
It is a condition of the heart in which

we celebrate the very miracle
of our existence
and the ONE
who caused us to be.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Cool Family Stuff....

Today I was needed.

To iron the white shirt for Mikey's Tux.
To help him button the hardest of many buttons.
To tell him how very awesome he looked.

To take pictures.
No...he didn't ask for that!

Tonight we are Waiting.

For Mikey to come home from his big evening.
Warren, Jonathan, Chelsea and I.
Sitting in the living room.
Listening to Mark Schultz...loudly.
I have just cut Warren's hair.
He looks GOOD!

Occasionally Chelsea and Jonathan have had to dance.
I try not to watch them directly.
They get too self conscious.
They are so very funny.

I love my family!

It is good to be needed.
It is good to be together.

I am so tired.
Sleep would be great.
But I hate to be the first one to leave the room.
So I'll stay.

We are together!

Enjoying time.

Chelsea is yawning....and leaving the room.
Muttering something about getting ready for bed.

Warren leaves the room to retrieve
a drink from the kitchen.

So soon the moment is past.

It was good to have experienced it though.

Do you notice those special moments?
I wish many of them for you and yours!

You Are Invited....Blog Meet at Longwood Gardens

Edited: A California Blogger may be joining us.
A date will be chosen soon.
I'll let you know as soon as I know....
I think a Saturday will work best for the most people.

If you have read here much
you know that our family is quite taken
with the beauty to be found
in Kennett Square, PA.

It is the ideal place to meet
as walking and talking are so
low key and easy.

A small group of us did this last
year and vowed then to do it again.
JD, of the Ribbon Challenged Blog,
is reminding me that it is time to
get it on the schedule.

This was our group last year.

Bloggers attending were Mrs. Rabe of Creekside Cottage,
My girl, Chelsea, of It's About Friends,
I am behind her,
Jill of Ribbon Challenged
and Karen of Nittany Inspirations.

Jill's husband, Jim, and my husband,Warren, were there
and enjoyed the day as well.
They even had their
own table at lunch.

These were some of the sights we saw
in the Spring of last year.

This year's feature is all about Fragrance.
Everything has been planted with thought to
how the fragrances blend.

To find more about Longwood Gardens and
ticket pricing you can see their website

All Bloggers are invited.

You can email me at beckypfa(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Please let me know what days of the week are
best for you....

I'll be anxiously waiting for your responses.

Now I am off to my kitchen to
make nearly fifty candles.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Climb with Me?

Many mornings at a certain time
the dogs go a bit crazy.
They bark excitedly.

In September it takes me a bit
to remember that it is bus time and
the neighbor boys are at their bus stop.
a.k.a. Our driveway.

So, in those early days of the school
year I often go to look who might be
out there.

What I see is pretty predictable.
Boys in our maple tree.

What is it about a tree that makes it just
need to be climbed?

Those boys aren't the only ones who love
to climb this tree.

Look who I found there on Monday....

Reaching new heights.
Seeing things from a different perspective.
Enjoying the beauty,
While facing fears in the process.

That is what draws us . . .
up into a tree
or to the peak of a mountain.

Have you climbed lately?

Stretched beyond your normal
comfort zone?

Maybe you have
taken a much needed respite among the
beauty of God's creation?

Whatever your reason for
climbing. . . it is worth it!

Best of all,
You don't have to
do it in your own strength!

The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
Habakkuk 3:19a

Let's Climb together!
Reach for those goals and dreams
that are just outside the realm
of comfort and the known.

I know of several people right now
who are climbing...

Whether it is ~

to win against illness,
to have a much wanted child,
to find a job in a market that is cruel,
to start a business,
to cheerfully meet the demands of a busy family,
learning to live without a spouse who is gone,
taking on the challenges of a needy foster child,
in the ministry that they have been called to.

And we are off!

In HIS strength.