Portobello and Beans Vegetarian Chili, Meatless Friday

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The Garden Society at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, Michigan, had many volunteers and a core group of five women. The society began in 2005 and continues to this day. I retired from the group in 2013, leaving it in the competent hands of the dedicated Master Gardener, Ann. The garden society’s goal was [Read More...]

Feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower

On this first day of October, as we take our daily walk through the prayer garden, it seems so very appropriate that the Saint of the day is St. Therese of Lisieux. A Carmelite nun, St. Therese is, of course, lovingly known as the “Little Flower” and is the patron saint of florists. As someone [Read More...]

Summit Climbing

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I remembered being light headed and giddy. The man who had brought me to that secluded place held me tight as we leaned against the rocks of an adjoining mountainside. The air tickled my lungs in a way that a city girl—I was from Detroit—rarely experienced. There was a purity and thinness between where we [Read More...]

Embroider the Earth with Prayer

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I stooped at the waist to pull a few weeds. A twinge in my back caused me to stagger a bit so I lowered to kneeling and moved closer the flowers—a familiar intimacy. The rose next to me was Tuscany, a maroon heirloom rose, its richly perfumed center was fluffy with gold pollen. The base [Read More...]

Scent of Heaven

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Next to the south wall of the screened porch is a small stand of Liliaceae ‘Golden Splendour’.  They are one of the few flowers remaining from last summer’s dig-out, when, because of arthritis, nearly all of my gardens were removed. This trumpet lily cultivar was introduced in 1957. It is tall—at nearly six feet—and the [Read More...]

A Walk in the Garden

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The transformation in my gardens in the past two years has been one of lightening the workload. I’ve grown a bit more accustomed to the spaciousness of a small yard without voluptuous flower beds. In the smallness of it all beauty is more precise, less grand. My photography skills are minimal, but I try to [Read More...]

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...]

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...]

A Muddy Situation

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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