Scented Appetizer

Change is in the air. More sunshine and mild air warm the house and urge a creature to explore.

Short, quick trips at first. Test runs. Then, as the sun grows stronger and early plants begin to wake, the flights are longer. And more productive.

Trees are wonders. Buds swell on tiny twigs. Millimeter by millimeter they grow, preparing for their big show. Suddenly, one sunny day, they burst out of their covers and spread delicate white petals out into the air.

Mmmm. Buzzzz. The scent of a spring appetizer fills the air.

Humans admire the abundance and beauty of the ornamental trees lining the sidewalks and drives.

The hive dwellers come for a late breakfast, early lunch, afternoon snack, and pre-sunset dining. Soon the petals will fall like snow in a gust of wind. So this feast needs to be sampled quickly. Then it will be on to the next course, and the next, and the next.



A Remarkable Day

According to the records, it happened within twenty-four hours.

Before sunset the party of thirteen – a teacher/prophet/miracle worker and his twelve closest followers – gathered for a holiday meal. The leader taught by example when he washed dust off the feet of the others. They ate their meal. Prayers and a special blessing were placed on bread and wine.

One man left early on an errand. The others went together to an olive grove for prayer and meditation.

Then the arrest. A religious trial. A civil trial. A trip to another government official and back to the civil authorities.

By daybreak a mob outside the courtroom was clamoring for the death penalty. Insults and beatings did not satisfy. The prisoner was escorted to the place of execution.

He suffered. He died. A few faithful followers took his body to a tomb before sunset.

Christians throughout the Western world meditate, pray, and remember this remarkable day – the one we call Good Friday. However, you need to stay tuned for the events on Sunday. And again forty days later. And ten days after that. To make the meaning clear and the description truly GOOD.


Public Enter Here!

Elderly hotels have them extend to the street. Classy apartment buildings of a certain age wear them with pride. I associate them with busy city centers with lots of sidewalk traffic.

It marks the front door. It offers shelter from rain, snow, or searing hot sun.

At this building the vast majority of visitors and employees arrive by automobile. But for the last bit of their journey it offers shelter and shade. A hint of the message preached inside. Welcome. I’ll protect you. Comfort you when life throws problems in your direction.


Faith is a powerful force. Whether the building proclaiming the message is spare and sleek or of a more traditional construction.



Unlimited Palette

Close your eyes for a long blink and think “flower”.

Which of the thousands come to mind? In which color? One bloom or a grouping?

In my case it depends a little upon the season. It’s spring in St. Louis, warm for the date, and the daffodils are bursting out. So I’m thinking spring yellow.

White and all the shades of pink, rose, and red are popular also. Add a dash of blue, violet, or orange and you’ve got most of it covered. Many of you could name one or more variety which fits two or three shades of the above color list.

A couple weeks ago I found a new-to-me color. Brown. Or perhaps rust. Certainly an unexpected pleasure at the orchid show.



Hang it High

Decades ago, when I was a newlywed, it was popular to have hanging houseplants.

The concept has charms. In our circle of friends, the apartments were small and often older buildings. Furniture was minimal to match our paychecks. But if you had a nice window it was common to find a spider plant, wandering Jew, or other tropical foliage draping over the sides of a plastic or clay pot. During a macrame craze the holders became works of folk art with beads incorporated  into elaborate string designs. (Not at my house. I need to concentrate when tying my shoes.)

One plant more than all the others seemed designed to be admired when hung. Imagine this thriving specimen hung in a foyer with a cathedral ceiling.



Hardy or Delicate

Early flowers take a big risk in the American Midwest. Snow and frost don’t read the calendar. Rain my arrive cold, or late, or not at all. Or perhaps by the bucket.

A recent walk at the botanical garden reminded me of the annual trek my mother liked to make through the woods to search for the spring wildflowers.

Trees are beginning to bud. Green shoots poke through a ground cover of fall leaves and low profile plants. And for variety a few hardy species have set out their blossoms. A hope and a promise of things to happen in the coming weeks.



Performing to Expectations

Students study.  Doctors doctor. Teachers teach. Bookkeepers keep books.

It’s what people do. Many occupations are descriptive. Take writers.

Writers write. Some use pen and paper. Many use computers. Some write short, concise directions. Others long, multi-layered sagas. They record true events. Or make up fictional worlds and characters. It all comes down to writers writing – either for their own enjoyment or to inform and entertain others.

Want to try a little romantic suspense? Check out this collection of five, a variety pack of sorts, at a bargain price.


Available for purchase on your ereader at:


Lawn Squares

You’ve heard the stories. Aliens from Outer Space sneak in under cover of darkness and flatten crops in circular patterns.

Today I show you evidence of a new brand of Alien — from the plant CUBE.


Like their more famous cousins (distant) they work silently under cover of darkness. The evidence of their visits differ by the sharp corners of the patterns they make and they preference for lawns instead of crop fields. Small children puzzle over the colors and shapes. Animals sniff out traces of the rare creatures.

Be wary. They work in groups. The above example shows one complete and a second on the far right. Please respond if you’ve sighted the alien responsible.

Thank you.



Lion or Lamb

March – comes in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb.

At least that was the folk saying which passed for wisdom during my childhood. The adults around me paid close attention to the weather. Their livelihood as farmers depended on it.

In elementary school we decorated the March calendar with Lions, kites, and Lambs. Once in a while a shamrock was added. We made sure to wear green if the seventeenth fell on a school day. (No one likes getting pinched.)

How is the first of March outside your window? Are you having a blizzard? Cold wind and rain? Or a mild sunny day.

The flip side – scary part – is that if March arrives like a gentle lamb it will go out like a roaring lion.

I think I’ll take my storms early in the month. After the official start of spring my thoughts turn to gardens. What will I plant this year? When dare I start?