Darkness and Light, Catholic Photo Challenge

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The Catholic Photo Challenge this week is about darkness and light. Most living things experience a passage from darkness to light. Whether it is in the womb of the body or the womb of the earth, germination takes place in the absence of light. A seed is planted in the dark soil, and with minimal effort [Read More...]

Watering the Birds, Practical Gardening (with a video!)

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Water is a necessity for all life. Birds need water for drinking and preening; it helps keep a bird’s body cool from the inside and out. Water baths remove dust, loose feathers, parasites and other debris from their plumage. Adding a water feature to your garden is an important element, and one of the quickest [Read More...]

A Peace, Ancient and Alive

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After morning Mass at Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian Church—a 115 year old country parish—I decided to take a drive along farm lanes, through “God’s country.” The glow of having just received communion felt too fresh to not, in some way, continue the prayer. County roads here run straight and intersections at 90º a mile or [Read More...]

What-Why-How #MyWritingProcess

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The blogging about #MyWritingProcess appears to have begun in 2011. At least that’s as far back as the thread for this hash tag goes. It’s a wonderful insight about other writers and how they do what they do. It’s my turn to step into the pool and swim, thanks to Nancy Ward’s invitation.  What am [Read More...]

Mulch Madness, Practical Gardening

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Applying mulch is the best time-saving measure a gardener can take. This is true for every type of garden—flower beds, vegetable gardens, hardwoods. When you mulch a garden it is healthier, has less weeds, and the mulch helps hold moisture so the garden is more drought resistant and you spend less time watering. Organic Gardening [Read More...]

At the Scent of Water

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Planting fruit trees is not something done lightly. They represent a long term commitment to nurturance and stability of site. Once I felt established in my house, a semi-dwarf Johnagold apple and dwarf Bartlet pear were planted. The dwarf pear tree grew along the west fence that framed the back yard.  It had begun to [Read More...]

The Drama of Hydrangeas, Practical Gardening Series

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It’s hard to beat the beauty of the big late-summer blooms of hydrangeas. With multiple cultivars on the market, with impressive fall leaf color and diverse bloom sets, the options for your garden are many. Hydrangeas are a sturdy shrub and most require little care but light pruning. And since hydrangeas are terminal bloomers, flowering [Read More...]

A Deep Breath in Dappled Water

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The past two weeks have been busy…so much so that I’ve not had time to write. There were an MRI and doctor appointments, contractors and an unexpected plumber. After which, within the following five days, I had two presentations and a conference. It was Tuesday, the last presentation over, about an hour away from home, [Read More...]

A Muddy Situation

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I was walking a river path in the northern third of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. My rubber half-boots made sucking sounds when, avoiding puddles, I walked on the soggy chartreuse grass. The thaw had left the ground and spring rains melted the earth. It was mud season. Near the end of my trek, on the low [Read More...]

It’s Mud

"Muddy Hands", Michelle Bushnell Jones, Easter 2014

  Today I feel like a rock stuck in the mud. I’ve had a demanding strenuous few weeks and been unable to write much beyond compiled research. This morning I read a post by a fellow writer who shared her family’s muddy play. Happiness filled my office. Thoughts of  their fun with wet and slippery earth remind [Read More...]


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