Laetare Rocks

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We’ve passed Laetare Sunday, the fourth week of Lent, and still I’ve not been able to adhere to its disciplines: fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. My usual prayer and abstinence routines are securely in place. It is the extras, so important to this spiritual season of faith, that are lacking. The other morning after Lauds and [Read More...]

Fall Mums in Spring, Practical Gardening Series

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Mentioning hardy mums in the spring may seem like an oxymoron. Let me explain. For years as a garden consultant I’ve heard homeowners say what bad luck they’ve had growing perennial chrysanthemums. They plant the big cushy mums every fall and rarely find that they survived the winter. Tired of failing they stop planting them [Read More...]

A Tatting of Green

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I’m not fond of mud season, but this year I look to it with eager anticipation—it’s been a long oppressive winter. The snow, ice, record lows, and lack of sunlight stretched most of us to our limit. We all have had enough. Over the course of a week I watched the snow cover and banks [Read More...]

Starving to be Fed

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I was surprised this year by the return of migratory birds. It felt like the first week in February was too early with night temperatures still running near zero. With over two feet of snow on the ground there was very little food for the birds to forage or materials for building nests. Last week [Read More...]

Blue Blue Birds

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One of the delights of living a single life in silence is hearing the change in the songs of song birds. I had noticed over the past week that the black capped chickadees had started their flocking call. Their two-note whistle, after which the species in named, is the familiar chica-dee-dee-dee-dee. I had seen a [Read More...]

Grow Light

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It had been weeks since the last time it was warm enough to walk—a relative statement since it was only twenty degrees outside. I discovered my boots leaked while I walked along Leeward Drive. I stepped around slush puddles as best I could. My cheeks and nose tingled from the cold. Today the sun had [Read More...]

Christmas Greens and Their Symbolism

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Last week’s post on the herb, rosemary, brought requests about other symbolisms of plants in our Christian traditions. The meanings of evergreens in the language of flowers will be new to some of you, and familiar to others who may have read this column before. During the Christmas holidays I love how the fragrance and beauty of [Read More...]

Snow and Falling

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Sitting in my oratory, I finished the Salve Regina prayer. I then looked from the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe out the window at a gray winter’s morning. I felt heavy that morning, down, and I didn’t know why. Kissing the blue millefiori rosary in my hand, I returned it to the porcelain dish, [Read More...]

Rubbish with Attitude

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I find November to be a transitional month—not quite past autumn and not yet winter. Skies are often filled with heavy dark-gray clouds that suddenly open into glorious sunlight, illuminating yellow leaves. The business of outdoor activities is ending, and the bustle of holiday celebrations is waiting to begin. This is the month when nature [Read More...]

A Walk through the Garden

Marys Foot

This is one of my favorite pictures of a woodland statue, at the foot of Mary.             There was a heavy frost last night… a cardinal fluffed-up in the pine.   And its November, queue white Schlumbergera (Christmas Cactus). [Read more...]


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