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Victory Garden…

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I hadn’t quite decided what I was going to reward myself with once I reached my fifty pound loss since joining Sparkpeople. I had a couple things in mind and hit my goal in FEBRUARY??? Well it’s April now and I was still waffling (mmmmm waffles) between the wii Fit, which I decided to borrow from my daughter to make sure I could use, and either a Bonsai tree or miniature fairy garden because they just make my heart sing.

After using the wii Fit and looking around for a Bonsai the past month and a half my DH and I went in a different direction and decided to put a raised vegetable garden in our back yard instead. Something we always wanted to do. It’s been a huge process because we have California Desert Tortoises’ who like to eat every thing so the fruit & veggies have to be out of nibbling range until they are ready to be shared with them as well as family & friends. Which means we had to clear the back forty….. well we don’t have 40 acres it just seemed like it once we got started. Of course one raised bed can’t possibly grow everything we wanted to plant. So we added six pots… still not enough. Another raised planter was added and a couple rows of corn and giant sunflowers will be sowed behind a white picket fence once May arrives. We look forward to sitting by the pool this summer and watching the corn grow!!!! In the mean time we are sore, sun burnt, and giddy at the prospect of being urban gardeners. I am my most happy when working hard along side my sweet hubby. Thirty years as the king & queen of the DIYers has been the adhesive that’s kept our marriage strong. So how appropriate to celebrate this benchmark in my journey to healthier living than with our very own "Victory Garden."

The garden has become a focal point of our days… we drink our coffee there in the mornings and check several times a day to see if the seeds have sprouted. We have a new definition of brown nose now…. it’s what you get from peering closely at the dirt for new growth. Our evenings include giving them all a good watering and a pep talk to “Sunny” the scarecrow about keeping the raccoons and possums’ at bay. Our 9 year old grandson said, “Pop-Pop, that scarecrow isn’t going to scare anything away with that big ole smile!!!”

So far the tortoises see the greenery from a distance and head on over but once they get there the beds are too high. I have in years past seen them crawl on top of each other to complete a task so time will tell if the beds are high enough.

We shared our first strawberry yesterday and every thing is growing. beautifuly. Almost all the seeds are up and we’ve already lost a row of bunching onions to root maggots so we are learning a lot. Our garden includes cucumbers, bell peppers both green and gold, zucchini, romaine and head lettuce, leeks, bush beans, yellow squash, carrots, three different kinds of tomatoes, cabbage, a few herbs and some cilantro. My dad was the gardener in the family and was always successful with what ever he grew. He’s been gone now for a little more than three years so he’s our garden angel who’s not only proud of my weight loss but pleased that his traditional Victory Garden flourishes once again. Thanks dad for passing down the hoe. I will think of you every time we enjoy our garden. emoticon

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy. They are the charming gardners who make our souls blossom"~Marcel Proust

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAK106 5/2/2011 8:38AM

    Congratulations on loosing 50 pounds!!! That is awesome.
I love the pics of your garden, and I can appreciate the hard work.

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KESTRIE 4/28/2011 8:53PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PAWKETS 4/28/2011 7:32PM

    Your garden is a special place I love the scaarecrow
Looks very relaxing

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CURVYMEG 4/28/2011 12:29PM

    Thank you for sharing. This made my heart sing!


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JILL313 4/28/2011 12:42AM

    I love your garden and your GS is right that's a very happy scarecrow--LOL!! You will enjoy eating all those healthy veggies grown right at home--how great is that!! You are a very lucky couple to be so in love after many years--that is so awesome. Great pictures of you both and that wonderful garden! Obviously you live in the desert as tortoises thrive there--and so do you also!

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JOANNS4 4/27/2011 6:59PM

    Love your garden pictures. Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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MARSHASTAR 4/27/2011 6:55PM

    AWESOME! THANK YOU for sharing this wonderful news. I am inspired to do something about the weeds in my tiny raised garden box. . and do something about the rest of the mess in the back yard. HAPPY GARDENING. YAYYYYY.
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YIGOBUTTERFLY 4/27/2011 6:24PM

    Love your garden! It is beautiful. I may try planters for next year. Rainy season coming soon and I will be off island for a few weeks this summer so will aim for the next dry season which starts around January.

Jane on Guam

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MOTTAMAMALOU 4/27/2011 6:12PM

    I love your blog and your wonderful pictures. Good luck with your Victory Garden...It's fantastic.
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4EVERFIT011 4/27/2011 6:00PM

    I love gardening! It can be quite spiritual to have your hands in the soil of our earth and watching things grow.
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JONISECRET 4/27/2011 5:40PM

  Love your pictures and your story!

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A feast for the eyes…

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time.~Martin Luther

Around 1945, when he was just a young boy, Volker Kraft saw his very first Easter Tree, in German, and decided he would have one of his very own, when he grew up. Time passed and young Volker became a married man, with a family. But his childhood dream stuck with him and so he decorated a small apple tree in his yard, using 18 colored plastic eggs and began realizing his dream come true with his very first Easter Tree in 1965.

As the years past he and his wife, Christa couldn’t afford buy so many plastic Easter eggs. So they began drilling holes into real eggs, using the contents in the kitchen, and then hand painting the shells as decorations. When their children got old enough, they started helping with the decorating, and the Easter Tree became a family tradition, known not only in their home town of Saalfeld, but all over Germany.

The number of Easter eggs hung by the tree’s branches grew every year, and in 2011 it has reached an incredible 9,800 eggs.

See more pictures and read about this beautiful Easter Tree here.....


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY2010 4/19/2011 4:14PM

    This is just beautiful!
Thank you!

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HAPPYSOUL91 4/19/2011 11:18AM

    Amazing, it is beautiful

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FRANCO1230 4/19/2011 11:04AM

    WOW! Just beautiful!

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JECKIE 4/19/2011 10:22AM

    Wow, that's beautiful!

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JOANNS4 4/19/2011 9:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PATTILYNN224 4/19/2011 9:01AM

    Wow. Thanks for sharing!

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JAK106 4/19/2011 8:37AM

    This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing this.

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RENE54 4/19/2011 7:58AM

    Wow that's a lot of eggs!!! The tree is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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IONA72 4/19/2011 3:22AM


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JILL313 4/18/2011 9:27PM

    What a great idea and a Beautiful Easter Tree Tradition continues on . . .I'd love to see it in person!! Thank you for sharing this. Wishing you and your family a blessed and Happy Easter Dear Friend.



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KAYTIE22 4/18/2011 8:43PM

    How incredibly beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing this with everyone. It certainly put a smile on my face!

Have a nice Easter!

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Don’t be April’s Fool….

Friday, April 01, 2011

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

What an awesome quote by Maria Robinson and how appropriate for the start of a brand new month. Do you realize that we are already through the first quarter of 2011? It’s amazing how time flies when you’re trying to use every moment of every day to reach all your goals. And yet, we have all the time in the world to walk that path to healthier living and reach our finish line.

After reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” a few years back and really concentrating on living in the moment I found that time actually slowed a bit because I was focused on what I was doing or what was going on around me instead of worrying about the future or regretting the past. I found there really is enough time each day to do what truly needs to be done. And in doing so the future takes care of itself and there are no moments wasted wallowing in regret.

Don’t be April’s fool and find yourself at the same point you started 30 days before when May comes-a-knocking. Make April count towards your new ending. Each moment, every decision, all choices, build on the last one… you can’t go back but you can begin again right now. Not tomorrow, not next Monday… now. This very moment is the start of your NEW ending. Make it count… you will never get this moment back again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KESTRIE 4/12/2011 1:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PATTILYNN224 4/8/2011 8:48AM

    Thanks for this blog. I really needed to hear that! You have encouraged me and I appreciate it.

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PENGUINROSS 4/3/2011 7:35PM

    What is with you SparkPeople!! I appears that many of the blogs that I have recently read were addressed personally to me. Thank God for your blogs!


Comment edited on: 4/3/2011 7:36:24 PM

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JILL313 4/2/2011 11:41AM

    I really need to up my game so this is a great blog and a wonderful reminder of that! For me, time flys by and I usually don't get nearly as much done, in a day, as I think I should.

Enjoy your weekend Dear Friend with your DH and family.



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KAYTIE22 4/1/2011 11:04PM

    This is a great blog and so true. You did a nice job and I appreciate the reminder because we lose sight of this sometimes.

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JOANNS4 4/1/2011 10:46PM

    So much truth in what you said. Thank you for sharing.

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FRANCO1230 4/1/2011 6:03PM

    So full of truth....thank you!!!

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RORYLYONS 4/1/2011 3:40PM

    Thanks for the emoticonreminder.That's no April Foolin! emoticon emoticon

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PENNI68 4/1/2011 2:38PM

    How true it is and thanks for the reminder!! Very inspirational!!

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CSYOUNCE 4/1/2011 2:25PM

    Great blog - thanks!

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CATHRINE2010 4/1/2011 2:25PM

    Nice and so true!! Spring is here! Let's be happy!!

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BCARSON11 4/1/2011 2:22PM

    Great blog! Happy April 1!

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Let’s all sing like the birdies sing…

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I fell in love with spring the year after my brother Tom died. Fall had always held my heart but 2007 brought me a second lover. And I’m glad She’s back again to remind us that life goes on and it can be very, very sweet.

When Tom was dying he asked me what sound set the mood for each day as I awoke in the morning. With out hesitation I answered, “Oh, birds singing!!!” Then I quickly cringed inside because I knew that many a night he’d lay awake bothered by a mockingbird or two who’d perch outside his window taunting him to take aim with his pellet gun. He answered their calls once but felt so bad after carefully burying them in the backyard, wrapped regretfully in used tissue paper and placed in an old shoebox. He didn’t say a thing about my answer nor did we talk about it again. But I knew he and our brother John were making plans to meet up in a dream, after he died, and surf the cosmos together. So when the birds began singing… all day and all night the summer that Tom passed away and then continued all through the following fall, winter and spring… I knew Tom had sent them. Their songs still fill me with sweet joy each morning as they continue to remind me of how much Tom and I love each other still.

For Tom
November 18, 2008
Words by Grama Speedy
To be illustrated by
T. C. & Riley
Stella & Ollie


Gargoyles, perched high in the sky
Watching over each passerby
Weary the travelers sigh
As the full moon climbs high

He always wanted to fly
Like birds high in the sky
Now a broken passerby
Filled with the sweetest of sighs

Oh, If only he could fly…….

Fluff tickles his nose
Feathers begin to grow
Feet leave the ground on tippy-toes
As the wind kicks up and starts to blow


Surrounded now by cheering crows
Higher and higher he begins to glow
Only the Angels really know
When it’s time for us to go

And fly

Gargoyles smile as he passes by
He gazes down as we wave good-bye
Weary no more
He soars high in the sky

And fly’s

Flying to heaven on Angels wings
Taking memories, no need for things
He fly’s to meet the King of Kings
As bells toll, and birdies sing
He finally got to flap his wings

And fly, fly, fly………

Some day I too shall fly and sing as sweetly. In the mean time… welcome spring with all your promise… I knew you were coming.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    This is a beautiful tribute. Wonderful words. emoticon emoticon

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LINOVER 3/21/2011 4:42PM

    A wonderful tribute to your brother! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY2010 3/21/2011 12:59PM

    What a wonderful tribute to your brother!
Thank you for sharing with us your story!
Enjoy this fresh air, new hopes and wonderful beginnings!

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JAKEANDNELLIE 3/21/2011 11:30AM

    What an inspirational tribute to a beloved brother!
This is off the subject but reading it made me think about hearing the birds outside my window the past few mornings - a welcome sign of spring. I realized that I have gotten out of bed more positive and ready to face the day's challenges since I've woken to their magical songs! Oh, the power of a tweet-tweet!
Stay positive!

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JILL313 3/21/2011 11:15AM

    Linda, what a heart tugging tribute to your beloved Brother. I know you still miss him but he is in Heaven now and having a good time. . .He is still so proud of you and all that you have accomplished. I actually love all seasons but Spring is one of my favorites. I love to hear birds sing and see them fly away--I'll now be thinking of you and your Brother. God Bless.

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JOANNS4 3/20/2011 9:58PM

    Such a beautiful tribute to your beloved brother, Tom. I will listen to our birdies carefully tomorrow and think of you.


Comment edited on: 3/20/2011 10:00:36 PM

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FRANCO1230 3/20/2011 8:59PM

    THank you for opening up your heart, your life, and your brother's story to us. The sheer beauty of this tribute & poem brings tears to my eyes. I have always loved waking up to birds singing, and it is the "sound of Spring" in my mind, too. As the season changes, and I begin to hear the birds sing more and more each morning, I will think of Tom & remember to cherish even more the days I have with my brother & sister.

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GRANPATTIE 3/20/2011 7:45PM

    Linda, this is so beautiful. Tom has got to be smiling from ear to ear with the knowledge of your love for him. You must have had a great relationship.

Spring time has always been a sign of new beginnings. I'm glad you saw it that way after his death, and continue to do so now. It's a beautiful season.

Pattie emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 3/20/2011 7:40PM

    It was sad that you lost your brother but the poem is beautiful and what you wrote sure came from your heart. Let the birds sing their song

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2MUCHRUTHIE 3/20/2011 7:05PM

    Such a beautiful tribute to your brother. I can't wait till spring to hear the birdies sing emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PAWKETS 3/20/2011 5:50PM

    That was a wonderful tribute to your brother
I am partial to Spring as everything comes back to life after
a rough winter
To be able to open the windows and let the fresh air in and here the birds sing

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MADKAPKID 3/20/2011 5:25PM

    Linda what a tribute to your brother you have shared with us. It is a touching blog and eloquently written. I am, by nature, a lover of Autumn. This year Spring has caught my fancy and I am seeing things as if seeing them for the first time. Spring is such a season of renewal. ITS truly glorious.

Have a joy filled day, Karen emoticon

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From To-Do to Ta-Da!!!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Nine months ago.....

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Eight months later.....

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No life is great!!!!!!!!!!!!

My next goal is to reach my one year Sparkversary on June 21, 2011... the plan is to stay S. M. A. R. T.

"Our scars remind us of our past; it is up to us weather we let them dictate our future!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLYN0107 3/20/2011 2:58AM

    emoticon that you have reached your goal. Congratulations!
Great blog too.

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TEACHINMOM 3/9/2011 7:28PM

    Very cool blog!! Totally had to laugh at the scale!! emoticon Congrats on your success so far!!!!!! You're doing awesome!

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2BBLICIOUS 3/9/2011 10:22AM

    Congratulations! Way to Go!!! Woo Hoo!!! I'm SOOO happy for you!!!

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CURVYMEG 3/9/2011 9:45AM

    Love this! Thanks for sharing!


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KAYTIE22 3/7/2011 11:21PM

    This is emoticon. Great job! Very creative, fun and it certainly tells your story. I really enjoyed it.

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MARSHASTAR 3/7/2011 10:16PM

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JILL313 3/7/2011 1:47AM

    Linda, You've come a long way on your Journey to get Healthy in a short time. . .Everyone is so proud of you!! You must be so proud of yourself to have met your awesome Goal!! emoticon

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YIGOBUTTERFLY 3/7/2011 12:40AM

    Way to go! Good for you! Keep it up!

Jane on Guam

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WEEZYB7881 3/7/2011 12:27AM

    loved this message and all the little pictures. thanks for sharing your success. sure didn't take you long either - well done

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TUBLADY 3/7/2011 12:08AM

    That was great. I loved all the little illustrations.
Where do you find them and where do you find the time.
I think finding more time is by biggest need.
I am so happy for you. That's a lot of hard work and you are doing great.
Stay focused, stay strong, be positive, the best is yet to come.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MADKAPKID 3/6/2011 9:15PM

    too cute. And lots of fun. AND, I LOVE your message. WOO HOO, I am so happy and proud of you. Linda, you are awesome. Have a great day, Karen emoticon

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FRANCO1230 3/6/2011 7:09PM

    Love it!!! emoticon

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GINGER1OF16 3/6/2011 5:53PM

    You make me joyful, reading about your triumphs. Congratulations, and thanks for the creative sharing. I am proud of you, but not as proud as you must be. WooHoo!!! emoticon

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PAULAPOOH4 3/6/2011 5:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Congratulations dear Linda!!! Isn't it "wonderful" to see your progress!!!

emoticon emoticon You can do anything you set your mind to with support and motivation. And, you have that with your Spark Friends!!!!

I am so very proud of you. I know how hard it is just to lose 1 lb.!!!

Keep up the good work my friend!!!!

Your Friend,
Paula emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHYRL_C 3/6/2011 5:06PM


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ERLYWA 3/6/2011 4:58PM

    Good for you! You inspire me to keep on going! :)

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GRANPATTIE 3/6/2011 4:26PM

    Well, these pictures sure said it all. Great way to say it. And Congratulations!

Pattie emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 3/6/2011 4:22PM

    Fantastic....very nice indeed emoticon emoticon

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