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Showing posts from August, 2010

The Dragon Fly Wand

What joy a simple thing can bring!


Remember me telling of my bamboo walking stick, aka: "vine and branch pulling" tool? Remember me telling you of how a bright red-orange dragon fly decided to lite upon the end of it and then did so again while picking wild blackberrries with Deni?


Well, it is now officially known as my "Dragon Fly Wand". Yesterday, after church, I placed a rhinestone hair clip on the end of it, and look what I caught!


Well, "GALL"-Y!

Remember Gomer Pile? He used to use the expression, "Well, GAAAAALLY".. This post has nothing to do with 1960's sitcoms or Jim Neighbors; but it does have to do with "Galls". You may be asking, “And what on earth are “Galls”? You wouldn’t be alone in your inquiry.

I can't help but to conclude that few people know what a gall is. After all, I have lived almost 50 years without knowing what a "gall" is and yet there are tens of thousands of galls and they are all around us.

It all started with the "oak balls" or "oak apples" . There were thousands of them hanging on the branches of the oak trees in the Secret Garden. There were big ones and little ones; dark brown ones and light yellow ones; round ones and kidney bean shaped ones. We discovered these during our first week at the apartment. I had seen oak balls throughout my life, but never really knew what they were. My aunt actually incorporated a few of them in the wreaths he wou…

The Blackberry Massacre

Not only did we discover mulberries on a tree growing right along our second story balcony, but we also discovered that there were all kinds of fruit and nut trees lining the creek that ran behind our apartment. Wild plums (three different varieties) figs, walnuts, cherries, and what we think may be hazel nuts. Among all the fruit and nut trees are also giant eucalyptus, redwood, palm, Japanese silk, and lotus trees; and, of course, three or four varieties of oak trees. All of these trees are extremely old, and are not cared for by anyone. They grow wild in a protected area which is bordered by a cemetery, a major highway, and the apartment complex where we live.

We discovered that this area was once called, "Foothill Farms" and was primarily orchards and gardens prior to being developed. The trees and all the plants lining the creek were all part of Foothill Farms and are the only ones remaining since the area was developed.

Well, while out walking in the garden, we also disc…

What are those miniature blackberries growing on a 40 foot tall tree anyway?

During the first week here in California in our little apartment; one of our favorite places to spend time was on the balcony. The trees where so close that we could have reached out and grabbed them if it wasn’t for the bug netting that completely enclosed the balcony from any outside unwelcomed visitors, i.e. wasps and bees. It seemed to us that the bug netting; although we could see out clearly, must have been almost like a two way mirror to the birds and the squirrels, as they would come within a foot from us while perching in the branches of the trees.

This, of course, delighted both of us. We felt as though we had our very own private nature arboretum. We could sit for hours watching the squirrels play in the trees, while occasionally stopping to munch on the little berries. However, with the bug netting enclosure, we felt, at times, that we were the ones in a cage, and they were actually watching us.

Back to the tree. This tree with its liitle berries fascinated both of us. Nei…

How It All Started...

On May 18th, 2010 we were married and would spend the following week driving from North Carolina to California where we would begin our life as a married couple. I had procured a small one bedroom apartment and had spent the month prior to the wedding preparing our new dwelling. The apartment was an upstairs unit with a balcony that faced a County owned wilderness area. My desire was to make that balcony space into additional living space; but, that would entail a great deal of creativity.

The balcony was outside the sliding glass doors, and the idea was to create an enclosed, bug free room, which would allow us to keep the sliding door open.

I purchased bug netting, a large rectangular market umbrella, and a sea grass area rug. After an entire day devoted to this room, it came together.



Growing near the balcony, to the right, was a large oak tree; and to the left a beautiful tree that the squirrels loved to play in. The tree to the left had, what appeared to be, miniature black berrie…

The Secret Garden and Dry, Dead Bones!

In Ezekiel 37:1-14, we are told of the vision given which speaks of the Israel of God as being like a valley of dry bones. The prophet is asked the question by the Almighty, "Son of man, can these bones live?" To which the prophet answered, "O Lord God You know."

God, in His infinite wisdom, has given two kinds of sight to most of us whom He has raised from the dead. The first is of a natural order of which most are partakers of to see the beauty of the glory of God in creation and the ugliness of this fallen world. I say most, because some are born physically blind or lose their natural eye-sight in this life for the glory of God. The second is of a spiritual nature, to see beyond the natural into the realm of God Himself, of which all of His children are partakers of; so that even in objects which speak to most nothing but death and decay, He brings His Word to mind by the power of His Spirit, because of the finished work of Christ at Calvary, for the express purp…