Spring has Sprung!

“Springtime in Ohio is a fickle mistress. It lulls me into the false sense that summer can’t be far away by showing off its petticoat of warm, balmy days with blooming crocuses and daffodils—then I’m zapped when it pulls up its woolen knee socks and lets fluffy snow drift down.” Excerpt from my new mystery series with Birdie Chadwick. It is due to be released next month.

59917474_1549978508469627_8890013833733603328_n[1]Spring is here!! But spring in Ohio doesn’t mean it’s Katy-Bar-the-Door and everything goes into the ground. Where we live, a frost could still come along and spoil plans for a bountiful season.  A year or so ago, my daughter sent a little greenhouse to my husband, Bob, and me. We put it together. We weren’t quite sure what the heck to do with the dang thing. This year after putting cold-tolerant pansies and petunias into pots, I wanted more. New hose, a new watering wand, and pulling copious piles of weeds just wasn’t enough to scratch my gardening itch. I cast my eye around, and it landed squarely on the tiny greenhouse. Armed with seeds, a bag of potting soil, and flats and pots I set about getting herbs, tomato plants, and some nasturtiums for a splash of color started. I’ll admit the picture doesn’t show much in the way of seedlings, but I was thrilled when the first little sprouts popped their heads up. They’re toasty warm and safe in the little glasshouse from the last gasps of winter chill.

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You may look at these pictures and mock my sprouts, but it is a thrill for me to see them popping their heads up and out of the soil. Herbs on the left—Basil, Cilantro, and Chives. Nasturtiums and Cherry Tomatos on the right. A friend thinks we’re nuts to plant the tomatoes because they are so bontiful, but I love them and eat them like candy. I pretty darn sure they’re better for me than candy too!

They look innocent enough, right?

55455335_1514186375382174_1970085186389409792_n[1]Bob and I took the dogs for a walk in the park today. It seemed fitting for the first day of spring. The mallards had paired up and cruised across the water in connubial bliss. The male geese on the other hand, were struttin’ their stuff for the ladies by spreading their wings and flapping them against the water. I don’t know how impressed the gals were, Bob and I didn’t get that close. We made sure to steer clear of that end of the pond. Our Duke has a tendency to chase the geese, and I didn’t think they were in a mood to be dashed at by a fluffy ball of fur. Those big buggers can be aggressive. The ducks will scatter, but the geese…not so much.

It was our little Sophie’s first trip to the park since she came to live with us. Our Duke has always followed along. He likes to stick close to us, or I should say he used to like to stick close. Today he followed the wild one, little Miss Sophie. She took off with Duke hot on her trail. Have you ever noticed when you quietly lift the lid on a cookie jar your dogs are right there, staring at you with hungry eyes? For some reason, when on the run they’re completely deaf.

I came home exhausted. Exercise for the day…check!

The Cracked Pot

c-pots[1]I love this story. When our flaws become gifts…

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you”.  The bearer asked, “Why? What are you ashamed of?”  The Pot replied, “For these past two years I am able to deliver only half of my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you don’t get full value for your efforts”.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion, he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”  As they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it somewhat.  But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws.  We’re all cracked pots.  In this world, nothing goes to waste.  You may think like the cracked pot that you are inefficient or useless in certain areas of your life, but somehow these flaws can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.”

Ahh…youth

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This morning during a facetime chat with my daughter, she kidded her father about our snow. He gave her a blank look and said, “We have beautiful white sandy beaches surrounding us.” She chuckled. She and her husband live aboard a lovely boat in San Diego, where blue skies and gentle breezes abound. I’ve been thinking a trip to San Diego might be a really good idea right about now. With freezing temps coming this week…  It’s sounding real good. I grew up here, but I don’t remember this kind of weather. Maybe it’s because I was young that I didn’t feel the cold. I used to walk to school in tennis shoes, coat open, and no hat. I was a cool kid or at least I thought I was–not. Today I was bundled—boots, scarf, gloves, hat, and the heater blasting. I was still feeling the chill. I drove by the local high school as classes were finishing for the day. I passed a girl sporting tennies and an open hoodie. Yeah, it’s a young thing.