BOTTLED

  • In order to succeed in life you need three things - a wish bone, a back bone and a funny bone. Reba Mcentire

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BERRIES FOR THE BIRDS

BLUEBERRIES.

Could I live without blueberries???

I may never know -
I think my contributions may personally fund the BB market.

We decided to plant our own.
We planted ...
They died.

We learned, we prepared and planted again.
It has been a couple years.
This year the young plants promised fruit -
not a lot, but some.


The first larger berry was even starting to turn blue.
I took a picture in the morning.

In the evening I went back to show David.
Just to anticipate that really, actual fruit might happen.


The berries - lots of them, were gone.
Why was I surprised?
The birds always share our fruit and they got the BB first
but I suspect that they have no intention of sharing.

I will have to wait ...

And go shopping -

After I finish pouting!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

PARABLE OF THE PEAS

I love fresh peas.
YUM!
This year I planted a few peas.

One grew ...
The rest were too soggy and cold.

I replanted - in a drier spot with more light.
Then I forgot to water the new planting consistently -
the seedlings almost died but I finally put the sprinkler on -
I really do WANT some peas!


The new seedlings are now about 3-4 inches high.
Sometimes we need to change what doesn't work -
Sometimes we need to water -
Sometimes we need to stop watering.


Sometimes we need to weed!
(I'll put that on my agenda!)

I teach Course 14 Sunday School class -
teens that are 14 and 15 -
'nough said - we have fun.

Our course of study this year is the New Testament.  Mathew chapter 13 (verses 3 through 9) records a story - a parable - about a 'sower' - someone planting seeds.

Naturally I brought seeds -
of course!


(Most of the class could recognize peas, beans and corn - the seeds look mostly the same as our food except for being a bit dry and shriveled.  They were pretty intrigued to see tiny, tiny seeds - some so small they are like dust, and huge seeds the size of a thumb nail.  Each is unique - did you ever look at a beet seed?)

Home grown seed also helped provide and enlarge some of the analogies parables are best known for - how many pea seeds in a dry pod (or radish seeds in a radish pod - what? you have never seen one??)? How many 'peas' will one plant provide? How do you know if a seed will grow? and will it provide desirable produce? or more seed? How do you get pea seed? Will I get peas by leaving the dry seed in a package? or pod? How much water does a seed need? How much light? What kind of soil? Do all seeds need the same soil?  Are there seeds we don't want to grow? What care does a seed need? Do peas grow best when it is hot? or cold? How much space does each one need? Do I have to remove the huge dandelion dwarfing my seedling? Can I put the seedling back into the ground if it is uprooted when I weed? Why do I have to weed?


We talked about how to know if seeds are good - things we WANT - like me and peas. We read and talked about the seeds and IF they grow - or don't. I showed them some soaked pea seed that had a sprout emerging.



I gave each student a package of peas to take home and plant. I took the sprouted seeds home and planted them in a carefully selected, sure to be moist and not trampled, spot.

Do you think any of the students planted their peas?
I will ask them tomorrow.

The 'ONE' is doing well. One pod will be full enough to use for my lesson tomorrow - John chapter 15.  Jesus tells his disciples he is the true vine and we must be rooted in him.  He explains that a 'branch' can not bear fruit in itself unless it is rooted in the vine.


I took this picture in the morning sun a few days ago.
This young pod reminds me of my students.
Parables can be instructive.

NICE!



One full pod is ready.


I only need one - one will get the discussion started.
I think I will also pot up a small 'vine' to take -
weeds and all.


This pod gave us 7 - we ate them in class.
How many more pods will this 'vine' grow?

There is much to learn from nature.

I may tell the students that steady dating
is like eating a pod too soon ...
it is not ready yet ... neither are they ...
not yet,
not quite.

 Heavenly Father's plan gives us more - more of everything - more that is worth waiting for.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

QUINTON

Latin is a fascinating language.

Perhaps not to you -
but you use bits of it every day ...
it is the base of many languages.

My daughter's fifth child is named Quinton. If you look up the roots of the name it comes from Latin and means fifth.  William Whitaker's Words is a great Latin look-up tool.

There are many interesting things that can be done to a name.  Some names have many nicknames.  Quinton doesn't.  But it can be written in hieroglyphics or spelled out with nautical flags just for fun. In school my art teacher had us make pictures using the letters of our names - that was intriguing.

What do you do with your name?

Grandpa Wallace Will Ames was nicknamed 'Bill'.  Papa can tell you some fun stories about nicknames and names - be sure to ask him about his father's nickname of Bill. That story is about what he 'did' with a name.

This year Quinton is 10 - that is double 5 - both hands - all your fingers ... or toes - take your pick.

I hope he has a very HAPPY birthday!

When you were 5 could you imagine being 10?
Could you imaging being so old?
At 10 can you imagine being 100?
Many people live to be that age?

If I imagine what life might be like when I am 100 years old and write it down today, how may things might I guess right and how many things would be totally wrong OR happen long before I am 100? I think I may go do that - write a letter to myself to be opened when I am 100 years old.

Want to join me?
What about you Quinton?

When you are 10x10 years old what will your life/world include? Where might you live? Will you be able to see and hear? Walk? Run? Will you be married? have children? how many? Will you have a car? How will transportation change? Will there still be schools? Will we still need teachers? doctors? librarians? policemen? gas? roads? refrigerators? stoves? beds? books? CDs? movies? How will our food change? What tool do you wish you could have?

And do you have any questions you want to know the answers to?

Monday, June 20, 2011

A SON

Back when -
gender was announced by the doctor as a baby arrived.

We never knew if a boy or girl was coming.
We prepared for either.

As my second child was born Doctor Robert Taylor pronounced, "It's a boy," with almost as much glee as we felt to have a hoped for son.  We loved our daughter and now had a son - a girl and a boy!

Tad was a delightful child. 
His eyes sparkled with interest and just plain fun from day one. 
They still do - he can see humour in even serious situations.
He told me once, "have a good day every day - it is a choice."

On his mission he wrote home, 
"Smile - If you can't lift the corners, let the middle sag."
That saying is still one of my favorites.


Tad loves doing and being. He loves babies and people, music and drama, working and playing, biking and climbing, birds and animals, art and sports ... the list perhaps includes almost anything - he chooses to enjoy life. 



When I learned to print professionally as a draftperson that type of writing did NOT amaze him - what was the big deal? He felt anyone could print like that if they chose to - and he could - and often did!

He excelled in school at any class he choose to do so in AND in any sport he attempted.  His school basketball team, the Hamilton Hornets, won every game - except the last one in the championship - and second place was OK too.  Cheerful Sportsmanship was a way of life.  He sang and danced in Theatre (Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz and Johnny Pye in Anne of Green Gables) as well as solos and choir productions at church. In shop he made small furniture, jewelry and useful or decorative items such as a lamp that we still use. 

Tad always did what ever he decided to do - did it well, and often made it look effortless - and helped you to believe you could do the things you wanted to do.  

'Nice' was a word we heard a lot - from Tad and from those that met him and especially from those that knew him.  If he said someone or something was nice that was high praise - and when others said he was nice - he was ... well - nice about it!!

On a school writing prompt he said he had a nice summer, his teacher and family were nice, classes were nice, sports were nice, and ... well you get the picture - it was a very nice writing exercise.

He loved rhyme and poetry and often wrote verse. 

about 6th grade with teacher remarks in red

One of his first loves was art - even as a young child. 
A beginning mosaic depicts a hawk.


Later art pieces received invitations for display or purchase.

His work improved year by year as he tried and applied new mediums, techniques and ideas and became meticulous. One of his first 'on his own' gifts was a water color portrait of me for Mother's Day. I cherished it then.  I cherish it still.



Along with a typical 'nice' letter.  No special occasion was needed for these - he just let people know he cared or that they were 'nice'. He genuinely has concern for all people and creatures.  It is very difficult for him to understand any cruelty or unkindness. I often said he was a big marshmallow - all soft, sweet and mushy and I wonder how he survives in an 'adult' world  - no - I think I know ... he chooses to see good, and be good, and do good.  


This month he is a year nearer to 40. 
I am not sure he needs to be any wiser ...
only to always remember the wisdom of his youth. 

Happy Birthday, SON.








Saturday, June 18, 2011

BABY PAPA


A tiny little baby boy, the third child,  arrived to the Ames home somewhat unexpectedly.

A birth announcement tells us that he weighed 6 lbs and 8 ozs.

He makes a guest appearance here today to share a few memories.


"When my father was studying medicine, he arranged for one of his professors to deliver me at home.  When the time came the doctor stopped in to check on my mom.  He told her that I wouldn't be coming for about a week.

"When he walked out the door my mother went to stand over the heater.  She says he no sooner went out than my father came in.  When my father came so did I.  Mom says she barely had time to make it to the couch.  Having almost been born over the heater, my mother used to tell me that I was a little hot head.

 "I was born with a club foot (one of my feet was turned around the wrong way).  The doctor said that when I became a teenager they would put a brace on me and that I would always walk with a limp.  Mom told Dad 'Well your a doctor, you fix it.'  He did.  25 years later I placed 5th in the Utah Amateur Ballroom Dance Competition. (There were 200 couples competing.)  That summer I went to a dance with my mother.  She was thrilled.

"One day at church,when I was very young, all the young women were gathered around me, trying to make me smile.  I wouldn't, no  matter what they did.  My mother walked into the room.  Seeing her I smiled, then immediately stopped smiling.   The girls begged mom to get me to smile again.  She told them that she wouldn't do that to me and left them to keep trying.  I didn't, but I'm sure it was as much fun for me as it was for them.

"I have been told that I wasn't much bigger than D.D.'s doll.  Since she was 8 when I was born she probably remembers that better than I do.  Here is a picture of me when I was a little older.  I think that this may be her doll."


There you have some history from Papa himself.

I have heard that Papa was a 'blue baby' when he was born, so his mother and several neighbors and kind friends watched him around the clock and massaged him constantly to keep him breathing.

He thinks his 'bad' foot was his left - because he sat on it in school.  He says the teachers that were interested in education left the foot issue alone and that the teachers that were interested in authority always were constantly at him to put it on the floor and not sit on it.

Papa has told me that because of his foot that his mother recognized his steps and always knew when it was him coming. The children's room was upstairs so if he ever walked across the room she knew if it was him that was out of bed.  He felt that was very unfair - she didn't know, if it were his brothers, which one was up.

Friday, June 17, 2011

UP IS FARTHER THAN DOWN

After prayer David said, "Up is farther than down,"
as he groaned a little, paused
and pushed himself to stand up and run off to work.

At work he sits all day - mostly.

We have lots of work in the yard that requires bending stooping and kneeling.  Our knees complain a little after several hours of abuse.

After he spoke I thought of the 'glass-half-full-half-empty' analogy.
Like the glass, up and down is a process not a state.
As we age, we work at making sure up or down
are NOT a state of being - either one - lol!

A funny ditty randomly plays in the back ground of my laugh
"And when your up your up,
and when your down your down,
and when you're only halfway up
you're neither up or down!"

I have many ways I am neither up or down.
I suppose it doesn't really matter a lot -
as long as there is purpose in being -
up
or down
or neither ...

It is, after all, a process - right?

Now back to clover,
overgrown, down on the knees,
tangled going to seed clover!

Hard-at-work productivity is a good thing -
(except when it comes to clover - it should not be productive)
especially for an 'up and down and neither' mind.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

REST

"Doing nothing is the hardest work of all,
 because one can never stop to rest."

I enjoy work-
of all kinds.
I have endured forced rest.
There is, in that, a mental and spiritual work.
I think I prefer physical work.

Work is a capacity to do and learn.
Work is developing, growing, serving, becoming.
All work is important.

My parents taught us to work.
They also taught us about rest - 
idleness and laziness.  

"Can't is a sluggard to lazy to try."
"Idle hands are the devil's workshop."
"The only thing wrong with doing nothing is that you never know when you're finished."
"By the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat ..."
"The idle shall not eat the bread [of the worker]..."

I think I heard such cliched sayings from not only my parents and grandparents but also our neighbors and religious leaders too. I am grateful for their wisdom, instructions and examples.

One the over arching philosophies guiding my life is striving for balance - but I never feel it is quite achieved. Intense curiosity fuels tangents of fervor-ed action on changing, ever rearranged fronts and diversions.

I will never be a concert pianist because I am too busy learning about too many things to diligently apply the principles and acquire the skills practice might confer. I will also never be a softball champion, an Olympic swimmer or Slalom Skier or even a consistent 4.0 student.  Life distracts me.

I admire those that can focus their energies and desires to achieve greatness and acclaim - and I understand and sympathize with those that dabble in multiple disciplines.

(It can also be difficult to accept developed talents or successful achievements -searches out more learning, more action and practice possible, and principles I haven't attempted or applied yet.  I clearly see my fallibilities and understand the impossibility of ever completely learning or achieving all theoretical probabilities.)

 I, - ssssiiiiigggghh,
consider all I can't do,
and plod along attempting what I can -
AND trying to prioritize and organize my efforts
 to achieve and complete valid useful results.

Work can be grinding and discouraging.

I was also taught to rest.

I am grateful for the fun and the examples
those same adults were of rest - after diligent hard work.
Ice-cream.
Swimming.
Skating.
Fireside sing-a-longs.
Monopoly or Rook.
Quiet reading.
And the Sabbath ...

One day of each 7 to seek the perspective, refreshment, and renewed vigor needed to resume the ongoing struggles of mental, physical and spiritual self. These, work and rest, have no real division for me as each affects and effects all else.

Scripture records the example of God -
about work and rest -
and about the results of each.

"And on the seventh day I, God, ended my work ... and I rested on the seventh day from all my work, ... and I, God, saw that they were good; ..." Moses 3:2

 In the Bible and other revealed words from prophets we learn God works, he rests, and about what he accomplishes (it is good).

My work gives greater meaning and enjoyment to my rest.

God commands man to work.
None of us seem surprised by that.
We accept that necessity
and can choose to enjoy work.

He also commands us to rest -
and set an example of doing so.

So why do I ever try to do anything except that on Sundays?
If I accept the one commandment then why not the other?

Can I choose to rest?
Truly rest?
Seek His refuge, and his love,
his solace and comfort
and blessings?

Each commandment promises 'good' - blessings for obedience.
What are the blessings of rest?
Of keeping the Sabbath?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

WORK

clover in flower bed - honest - there are flowers in there! 

My yard is a disaster!! 3 years of neglect is a bit much. I had a surgery in July 2009 - there goes that year!! I had another surgery July 2010 - write off another year!

This year the problem is motivation - desire.
What is all this effort really accomplishing?

I see July 2011 coming and I haven't gotten completely around the yard yet. SO MUCH TO DO!!!! Today I tackled about 10 feet of the back flower bed.  I can only work for a short bit and haven't much stamina back.  Grass and Irises seem to have a major attraction to each other - the Irises grow towards the grass and the grass - well let's just say that if there is grass anywhere on the planet I am sure it will find a way to get into my Irises.

I had a pile of rocks once - quite unsightly!


Moses Lake should be called Moses Rock. Every time I touch a shovel I find a new boulder.  My kids think I am like a water dowser - but I use a shovel (instead of a forked stick) to find rocks. And I wonder if my garden grows more than vegetables.

Most  rocks pictured here came out of my garden and flower beds. I admit I found a basketball sized round white rock that followed me home one day but mostly ...

What do you do with so many rocks?
I get creative.  I, of course, means 'us' and 'we' and it was not a royal 'we' either - I had a lot of help and the process seems to be ongoing.  Every time I think I am rid of my stash more rocks seem to appear.

By moving one rock at a time I can make my rocks useful, functional and even decorative.
Notice the rock path along the front.

I pile them into walls.
The walls terrace our sloping lot.


I make edges with them.

property/flower bed edge -  rocks define edge

I lay them under the gravel when I need a driveway - first the fist sized, then the egg sized, then smaller stuff, and top it all off with a shallow layer of gravel. We only needed a couple of pickup loads of gravel.

My pile was the left overs from driveway construction - plus we dug out a new bit of garden about 8'x12'.

I began, I sorted, I gave up, I started again, I ignored naysayers, I sorted in new ways and places, I cleared and measured a small area and then started to place the rocks one at a time until patterns in my mind emerged into a walkway and fire pit that used many sizes and shapes of rocks.

that is a thin skin of gravel over a rock foundation on this driveway


I worked.

Sometimes a grandchild could be bribed to help and a few times my spouse hung about but mostly I just spent a small amount of time each day doing something to make it happen - anything - even standing looking at it and thinking!

Several times I decided I was foolish and it was of no use. That didn't get rid of the unsightly rock pile however. The pile was there a few seasons. And rocks are one thing but weeds and grass started to grow- how does grass get into the middle of the driveway anyway?

And then someone threw a brick on the pile,
and then a board and ...
I could see where that was going!
Not going to happen in my yard, I decided.

So I began to think and I started again.
I changed my mind several times.
But I hadn't actually done anything yet.

Then I started and changed my mind again.
I had wasted a lot of effort.
A couple months passed.

Then I made THE decision.  Since I couldn't get rid of the rocks any other way I could make them useful.  We had a small fire pit - just an old rusting wheel rim. The rock pile was against it on the driveway side. The grass area was badly worn and the heat when we burned things made it worse.  Only a bit of stubble sprouted for several feet out. I decided the rocks might as well lay there in an organized fashion.

I made a genuine commitment to myself -
and then I kept it. I worked every day -
even if it was cold, or wet,
even when I was tired,
even when I felt crummy,
even when I was sure I was silly,
especially when I felt I was wasting my time.

As I clean and weed the yard and edge the beds I feel like I did when I started and quit so many times on that rock pile.  Cleaning that 10' or so of flower bed was daunting today - it seemed impossible.  I think impossible might just be discouragement or despair in action - or rather lack of action. It took time. It took effort.  There are about 50 more feet to clean! It seems overwhelming and I have barely started!   My legs hurt, my back aches - wah, wah, wah - I experience that whether I work or not (so I might as well work), whether I complain or not (and that is not fun to hear - even from myself), and you can't believe how hard it is to just put on my shoes and find my gloves etc!

But 10' is clean and planted.

I cut myself some slack too - I come blog or look at Facebook, talk on the phone a while or take a nap,  have a snack or go shopping,  -  and then I get back to work!

Work is doing what may not seem fun or easy.  It may be misunderstood.  It may even be a time of learning - changing and especially decision making.  Work is doing something persistently and consistently - diligently and often repetitively. It feels good just to do it for the sake of doing something - choosing to act!

Our 5 year old granddaughter calls every so often.
 She always asks for her Papa.
He is usually 'at work'.

She asks why.  I tell her he gets the money to pay for food and for gas in our car so we can drive to see her.  She seems satisfied with that.  He works. Good things come from work.  That is OK for her.  It is OK for me too. Thanks Papa.  I like having a house.  I like good food.  I especially like to visit family.

In March while listening to a CES fireside I heard L. Tom Perry say,
"Prayer is a form of work ..."

His statement caught my mind with force
and completely engaged my attention.
Prayer is a form of work???
I don't remember ever hearing it put quite that way.

And then he continued ...
"and is an appointed means
for obtaining the highest of all blessings."

I was astounded.
I wrote it on my bathroom mirror.
(I will tell you about the mirror another day.)

Prayer - like moving rocks?
Prayer - like digging out weeds?
(Did you ever let clover go to seed in a flower bed?)
Prayer - like separating grass roots from Irises rhizomes?
Prayer - like vacuuming? or dishes? or laundry?
Prayer - like a job? like every day? for hours?

When his talk was available I listened again so that I could be sure I was quoting it correctly. I was astonished again and felt a tiny bit foolish when I found a footnote next to his statement that indicated it came from the Bible Dictionary [page 753] in the King James LDS Bible.  I wonder greatly that I have never understood this.  Surely I have read it - probably more than once.

Perhaps studying my scriptures is another bit of 'work'.

Hmmm ...

I'll 'work' on that -
along with a few other things
AND prayer!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

TITLES

I indexed an Old English record [1500's] this week for the Right Honorable Most Gracious Lord [SomebodyorOther].

His name was something else, other than that title. 

Indexing, for those that may not know, is an opportunity to help make all the vital records in the world searchable - to digitize and 'index' any and all available records so that anyone that wants or needs to can find their ancestors. Anyone can help do it. It costs no money - yes it is free, and you can 'test drive' it here and once you try it or sign up there is no minimum commitment or amount of time or quantity that is required - how much or if or when you do any records is up to you.

 And let me add/warn - it is way more fun than any video game and you get points for doing it too. It can become an obsession - it is addictive ...

On Monday this week almost 1 million records were ready to be made available to the public - 946,521 to be exact - almost 2 million were indexed the same day - that is a lot of names on a lot of records!

There - that's a blatant plug for indexing - now back to blogging!

Anyway - as I typed in the name I noticed that none of the lengthy title that may have made this man or his family important in the place they lived was needed to make his descendants able to locate him in an index.  I began to ponder and notice the designations that I was required to attach to his name and to the names of his family -

Father, 
husband, 
son,
wife, 
mother, 
daughter,
child -
born/baptized
buried
married (widow/er or divorced)
single (bachelor, spinster).

Very basic terms and states of being.

A friend sent me an e-mail asking that I fill in several lists of 3 things about myself to share with her.  I noticed she could fill in 3 actual names she has been called.  I began to try to think if I had ever had a nickname or been called anything except my given name.  After some thought I realized that the only names I have are my given name, mom and grandma (or some baby-lisping variant thereof).

I can not think of any more desirable name or title.

Father, mother.
Husband, wife.
Son, daughter.

Each of us have at least some of these titles.  

They are precious and everlasting titles. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

ONCE OR TWICE

The house next door on the north is a rental. As tenants move in and out usually the grass gets watered - at least once (and some times twice) per year and in the spring gets mowed - at least once.

On the south, our neighbor has a beautifully manicured green lawn. Well - had. She moved in about 15 years ago and her lawn was always beautiful and well kept.  I asked her what her secret is. She said it is to mow the grass once a week whether it seems to need it or not - and to use a specific fertilizer once a year.

We started following her example (sans fertilizer that costs money) and our lawn improved immensely. But sometimes we only mowed every 10 days.  We eventually tried the fertilizer and discovered that it
a. turns the lawn deep green,
b. makes it need a lot more water,
c. requires more mowing and
d. needs extra care in other ways (we think the weeds do better too and we never had clover before using that brand of fertilizer and couldn't seem to get rid of it until we stopped using that).

Mowing once a week seems to be the secret to a decent lawn - and giving some water.

About 2 years ago South Neighbor started a new job and now only mows and waters on irregular schedules. Her lawn looks a lot like ours now - not bad but not always as terrific as previously.

North Neighbors sometimes complain about the terrible condition of their yard. They also complain that their landlord won't listen to them and reseed the back yard (that is dormant and weed infested).  They further bash the landlord for giving them notice to water because that costs more money and causes them to have to mow more often and they already got a notice from the landlord this year that if the lawn is not mowed by a set day that the landlord will have it mowed and charge the cost to them. "It is so much trouble to live here," they explain, "it is so much work and no matter what we do it never improves the yard or makes any difference."

Really? Did they really think that leaving a tiny sprinkler running all day and night for 3 days (so that a giant puddle formed in a low spot and eventually ran off like a river to the street) would make the lawn grow better and magically be a groomed, manicured yard? They did not move the sprinkler or turn it on except on the day they got a notice to do so or pay. Did they really believe their yard would look like paradise by mowing only after the grass was taller than their knees and left 'hayfield stubble' that became dormant from that lack of water? And why wait until the county notifies you to remove the noxious weeds or pay a fine and the cost of having them sprayed and removed?

I began to notice a pattern - for both neighbors.

 On the north it was "only do what is required and that compulsory means mandate.  And only make the minimum effort specified - or perhaps a little less if it can be gotten away with."  They ask how we get our grass to grow but they don't want to do any of the things we try.  They are happy to let David spray their weeds when he sprays ours! The few extra pennies of prevention is worth many pounds of cure on our downwind side of the fence.

On the south it was "make time and effort to do all the can be done - even before required - and take personal interest and responsibility for life and surroundings. And always do something - just try."  Even the dark green and yellow stripes of improper fertilizing were just a learning experience not an excuse to quit trying - just a new chance to learn and become better.

My parents taught me you only need to pull a weed once if you get it before it seeds.  There may be many weeds but each one only needs to be removed once if you prevent seeds and roots from being established. My father was particularly vigilant about thistles and burdock.  Mother hated thistles too but was quick and poison death to morning glory and anything else with invasive roots.  They instructed us carefully about getting the 'root'.  Ragweed, red root and mallow just had to be hoed or pulled. Even a kid breaking off the top was preferred to letting them go to seed.  And what kid wants to step on a thistle with bare feet?

I notice habits can be a bit the same.

Some of mine are somewhat like the barefoot kid
trying to avoid thistles.

I try to 'walk' my entire garden and yard once a day and no less than twice a week.  When I do, I see problems when they are small and more readily resolved. I can pull out the weed hiding among the daisies or dahlias or see the seedlings sprouting from bird droppings.  I notice when it is time to spread Preen on the stone path or gravel driveway as just a few sprouts show themselves and can be hoed out quickly. I see a diseased leaf or twig or a new bug infestation.

My yard and garden are a good analogy of life. Some weeds come no matter what I do and I have to pull them out before they can become established or cause other problems. Some good habits prevent the growth of other less desirable habits that, like weeds, seem to always show up and choke out the grass or vegetables or flowers.  And sometimes even good things can (like calendulas or columbines) become invasive themselves in such overabundance that they are like bad habits or weeds with negative impacts and consequences.

Calendula is a drought tolerant edible flower/herb that can grow in almost any location and has many good uses. It's pretty daisy shaped blossoms (in yellows, oranges, and reds) make prolific seeds several times a season that will grow even in sidewalk cracks. When it bushes out nearby plants stop growing or die back (nice for weed prevention) and a better balance must be regained. Calendulas grow easily and can be removed easily.  Just break a plant off or hoe it out and it is gone. No invasive root or tough unbreakable stock and the seeds stay dormant if not watered and seeds or small plants are easily moved to new locations.  I love them on all counts.

I struggle for balance in all areas of my life. I try to learn new things each day (like what is that and why is it growing there?) and try again to apply some advice or counsel that may change something for the better (wow - why didn't I get a quiet, battery operated, electric lawnmower years ago?)- and I 'walk' the property.  I enjoy the sights and scents and pick a few vegetables or herbs, water something a little, and ALWAYS watch for the weeds - and stop to pull one ...

at least once or twice.