Gardening Green

National Gardening Month is in the month of April. The spring time has made its entrance and the abundant growth of green forestry has taken over. Here are some gardening tips for the inquisitive and maybe new ideas for the advanced gardener.

Gardening, is it for me?

Not everyone likes to get down in the dirt. There are some that are happy with what exists, allowing nature to take its course with all the green shrubbery and delight. However, there are some like me that not only enjoy the natural delights but also find appreciation in creating a beautiful masterpiece. If you like to get your hands dirty, sweat a little, enjoy the heat of the sun, and the smell of blossoming flowers then perhaps you will enjoy gardening. If you are already an advanced gardener, be sure to share some of your tips and ideas below. To establish a garden its really nothing to it, except relishing the unique butterflies that seemingly come from out of no where. I do look forward to that.

First things first

It’s recommended that you check your Plant Hardiness Zone. This is recommended so that you can select the best plants or even vegetable garden so that you can ensure they can thrive. It’s important that you are aware of the best time of the year to plant and knowing what the potential last frost day may be in your area. You can check this by looking at the Plant Hardiness Zone map www.planthardiness.ars.usda.gov.

How big is too big and does small means not at all

green leaf plant beside river
Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

I’m just a believer that regardless of how small your garden space is, even one plant or one flower can change the whole entire vibe of your outdoor space. There is something about the simplicity of that one thing being the only object of attention and demanding a beautiful sentiment. It can offer such a sublime elegance. All of this of course depends on the exquisiteness of that one flower or plant that you choose.

Sooooo how big is your garden? That would be a determining factor on what you should grow. In case you weren’t aware, plants need space to flourish. Is the choice something big, or something small, or maybe just multiple perennials would do? All this adds up to how much work you want to contribute, all so you can keep the butterflies coming 🙂

butterfly perched on flower
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There are other things to consider, such as long-term care for your garden like weeding, watering, and the heat (don’t forget your sun-hat, the right angle would make an amazing selfie.) Can you handle this? If so, heres what’s next.

Best tools for gardening

There are so many tools that can be used to aid you in gardening. However, if you are a beginner and not sure this is something that you can’t stick with, then just starting out with basic tools with help you to flow on your flowery journey. Don’t spend to much upfront until you are sure that you’re up for the dig. Start out with these suggested tools: heavy duty gloves, a shovel, a rake (and not the word rake from Bridgerton), and some gardening hand tools such as: a trowel, weeder, hand fork, bag, and oh, don’t forget the mulch. Mulch isn’t necessarily a tool but it can be a very nice accessory when it comes to dressing your garden. It will provide a great accent to complete all of your hand-dy work 🙂

Bridgerton Netflix Original

What to plant?

When I first began to garden, I could not exactly figure out what I wanted to plant. What makes the spring and summer season my most anticipated time of the year, is being able to lull about in my garden. For some plants I knew that I would want them to come back on their own each year, which are perennials and for other plants I wanted to enjoy re-planting them each year, which are called annuals. Some of my favorite annuals are: marigolds, snapdragons, zinnias, geraniums, and sun flowers. Some of my favorite perennials are: day lilies, perennial sage, peonies, and hibiscus. Here is an additional list of others you may like www.all-my-favourite-flower-names.com

The BIG one

So, the real question is, how are flowers planted? My friends, this is where the real fun actually is. First things first, place the plant or plant and pot in the desired location, that way you can get a visual and can make any adjustments beforehand. Next, you will want to keep the plant label that is usually attached with the purchased plants so that you can dig the hole accordingly to the number of inches advised on the label. This is important because the roots of the plant stretch out longer and longer as they grow taller and taller. Having plants to close to each other basically stunts there growth and then they begin to wither. Typically, you would want to dig a hole twice the size of the root of your plant. Thereafter, once your plant is completely snug, re-fill the hole with the dirt that was removed and in addition you may want to add some additional soil as a supplement as well.

Go Garden

After all the digging, dirt, and perhaps dandelions, it’s time for you to water, ensure plenty of sunshine for your new green friends and then mulch. Mulch, it does a garden good! Mulch not only locks in rain after a nice quenching rain shower but it also offers an inventive and pleasing look to your garden or yard. While there are so many other gardening tips and ideas, the main thing is that in the end you are happy with creating your beautiful masterpiece. For more gardening ideas visit www.gardendesign.com

close up of tree against sky
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My friends, I hope that you have enjoyed this article. Subscribe by entering your e-mail address in the box down below.

I want to hear from you. Comment on this article right below. What are some gardening tips or even if you don’t garden, are there any flowers or plants that you like in or around your home?

Because I’m a mom, too

yellow tulip flower field during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Inception

Hello to all my mom’s or mums as my daughter would say. I am graced yet again to be in front of your eyes. I intend on being transparent in this article, no shame, just un-avoiding avoided truths.

Parenting isn’t always easy. There are decisions, sacrifices, and lifestyle changes that come with the role. And yes, it is a role and you play that part until they are grown and you still play that part long after because as a mom, your work is never done. “Being a mother is learning strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” -Linda Wooten

If you have experienced childbirth or even adoption, was your feeling something like, “I’ll do everything in the world to protect you?” Sounds familiar? Well, it was something I said and even knowing that my kids would face their own challenges, me saying that was strictly from love. That feeling, that plunge of excitement to become that mother bird gets stronger and stronger day by day. The natural feeling to love, the natural feeling to protect, the natural feeling to become something greater and better than yourself, all because of tiny feet and a bundle of joy. These feelings carry on no matter the age of your child.

The New Mom

When I had my first child, I was cautious about seemingly everything. I was new. I was facing something that I never had before, something that books couldn’t teach me and something that people couldn’t tell me. I was faced with reality. As scary as that was, (I didn’t realize then what I realized later) but that fear motivated me to do as I had always done, persevere. I had to continue, go through the flow and find my way as a new mom. As things were swarming quickly around me, I didn’t have a chance to catch my breath and digest it all. There was another human that I just gave birth to and at that present moment those eyes, those big brown honey almond eyes was looking up to me, she was expecting something, something I didn’t know I even had and that was the strength of her mom.

Although I was shielding right out the gate, or out the canal 🙂 I didn’t realize that how I was feeling was a normal feeling as a new mother. The unfortunate part is that I had people around me that was judgmental and made me feel as though I was a bad person and inherently a bad mom because of how I felt. What I realized quickly was that it was the enemy. He knew that my husband and I would raise our children in the light of God and if he could discourage me, set doubt and fear in me at the very beginning, what was hoped to be my end was the start of a flourishing beginning. The good thing is that I did have family and friends by my side that was patient and understood that my reactions weren’t strange, they were natural. Many moms may have struggled with this, especially moms that weren’t sure of their support system. With my second child, I let off the pedal a little but not without caution. I would not be made to feel again how I was with my first child. I would not be made to feel indifferent when it was still so much I had to learn. By my third child, I was on cruise control and enjoying the ride. I had become more confident in not feeling condemned for rejecting those that did not mean my children or my family any good. I had become confident in embracing my weaknesses. My sense of blocking all else out that was irrelevant and impartial to me and my husband’s decision-making was very easy and necessary to do.

Trust the signs

I pray over my children daily. I thank God that he has kept them from harms way. Not every parent can say that there child has been without harm. I will tell you from one parent to another. Trust the signs that your child gives you when they are displaying unusual or silent behavior. Some kids are quiet and shy but outside of God, you know your child better than anyone else. You know that when they get around someone and they become a shadow that something isn’t right or that when they are told to hug or speak to someone and look at you first that something needs to be said. For the record, allow your child to want to express emotional sentiments, not telling them or making them. If they don’t reach out to the person naturally or excitedly, they have their own reasons and their own intuition. “When a child feels forced to show affection, he/she gets the message that they are not in control of their own body. And that’s a dangerous message for kids to receive.” -Amy Morin

If not already, have open communication with your children. Let them know consistently that you are there for them, that they can trust you, that they can talk to you. Talk to them. Ask them questions. Not the ordinary questions, like “how was you day?” or “how was school?” ask them more open-ended and precise questions like “what was the bet part of your day or the worst part?” Thankfully my kids are usually vocal, when they aren’t, it is always a clear sign that something is bothering them. Although no parent likes for their child to experience difficulties, it is a part of life but my daily prayer is that God covers my children and gives me wisdom on how to parent, and how to handle each situation according to his word and his way. If that can be done then you can’t go wrong.

The little signs that seem so small, may not be nothing or it could be something. It does not mean a life-affecting situation has happened; it means you need to be aware. No, it’s not you being paranoid, and yes, it could be something there. Either way, create a safe zone for your child and create an environment where they can speak to you without fear. All moms/mother figures worry about their children in some capacity. It may not be the ecstatic worry of sitting by the door waiting for them to come home (unless they are in trouble, yikes!) or it could be when you lay down at night and recount the many ways you screwed up that day as a parent (that’s me, sometimes, hands raised high) that you worry. I do like to give myself credit and pats on the back. My children give me credit, they tell me that I’m the best mom ever on most occasions-I wonder how long that will last, hmmm but I’ll take it. However, what they don’t see is that when all is quiet and settled down, I am recounting my day and going over what I could have done better or said better. How to be a better mother than the day before. Did I listen? Did I give the right advice? Oh Lord, did I quote the right scripture when trying to give spiritual guidance? (I need a handy dandy pocket bible) 🙂 The list could go on and on, really. This is what stops the list for me “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:7. Wow, just quoting that made me breathe a sigh of relief and I do have to meditate on God’s word so that I can have relief. I don’t have to carry all of that and neither do you. Anxiety creeps in from time to time but it has definitely gotten better. Trusting in God’s word makes it better; he has removed all worry. He has removed all fear.

Right or Wrong

Sometimes, well usually, the best response is a silent one. Don’t feel the need to always have to explain the choices you make for you and your family, especially if they are good moral ones. No one is perfect and no parenting skill is perfect. Hopefully it’s agreed that as parents we are all just trying to do the best that we can with what we have and the knowledge that’s in us. Although it doesn’t stop there, it’s always good to educate yourself on parenting styles and research resources that can benefit you and your family. Don’t beat yourself up; no matter how much we do, even with all of that, we will still drop the ball and guess what, that’s okay.

Speaking about morals earlier. What are they? To basically describe morals, it’s the understanding of what’s right and wrong. This seems so immense for some and yet it is a critical factor in our everyday choices. Moral development is influenced usually by those that are around us, being family, friends, peers, co-workers, etc.. This influence can also be a factor in provoking you to make the right or wrong decisions but in the end, it is your own choice that you ultimately make and “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7 KJV

Mind what you say, mind what they see

We have heard that kids are like sponges, that they hear and see everything. Well, I can almost tell you that as a mother of three, that’s an understatement. They become the sponge, that absorb the words, and if the wrong thing is absorbed enough then they react the words in their actions and there behavior. Now, its not always a bad thing that they absorb because depending on what it is there is a principle in it. Your kids watching you pray, read your bible, clean the house, wash clothes, cook meals, encourage others, volunteer, promote good relationships are all great things but sometimes as parents we can do things in front of our children that are not so great. For example, if you are upset with someone and speak badly about them, (near your kids) they are most likely going to become agreeable with you (keep in mind, as there parents, you are one of the most influential people that they see everyday) and then they can develop a negative opinion of that person you were talking badly about. Why wouldn’t they? You are mom or dad after all and they trust you, which means that they trust what you say. What’s so bad about it? At the time you were angry and said all those unpleasant things, you could have possibly been in the wrong and decided that you needed to apologize to that person. Well the damage has been done, to the other person but to your child as well. Now they have the negative perception of a person that they could lose disrespect for. What if it’s a close relative, neighbor, or church member? What if it’s someone you care for and really admire but was caught in the heat of a disagreement? That damage has been seen or heard by little ears and is one you would have to repair. Kids may not always understand the reason behind the things that grown-ups do, after all they are kids. We don’t expect kids to be in the business of adults, so how could we expect them to know when an adult conversation was right or wrong. They may not understand the aftermath of the apology that you gave and the wrong part you played, all they hear are the words and see the action. Although this example may resound with many, the great thing is at the end of the day we will still be called mom and open arms with be waiting for you with a big smile at bed time.

Because I’m a mom, too, I understand as a parent that our job isn’t easy. It may be hard to admit that you are struggling with parenting with fear of judgement or just not knowing how to express that or who to talk to. That was the purpose of this article and hopefully you can open up to those who care around you and talk about your feelings. It makes a difference to hear a similar narrative and to know that what you’ve gone through you were not alone. Just like I need to hear, sometimes you need to hear you are doing the right thing or to hear that you need to be more wary or to hear that you need to pump the brakes a little. On today I want you to also hear that “mom, you are the best ever.”

Until next time my friends, from one mom to the next, be blessed

Reflection

This week is Holy Week, which is the week leading up to Resurrection Sunday from March 28th until April 3rd. As today being Thursday or ‘Maundy Thursday’, coming from the latin root word “mandatum” or “commandment”, I am reflecting on the commandment that Jesus gave to his disciples after washing their feet. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.” -John 13.34

There are people all around the world in the remote, driest, hottest, and coldest places demonstrating the love of Christ. How are you amplifying the love of Christ where you are? Jesus gave his whole self because of his love for us and he meant for us to express that same love through ways of mercy, kindness, forgiveness, and sacrifice with those around us. Reflecting on God’s love for you can cause you to identify with how precious it is to render your own selfless love to others.

“Live in such a way that those who know you, but don’t know God will come to know God because they know you.”

The word reflection is “a thought or writing of something, particularly in the past, or it can be what one sees when looking in a mirror.” As I look back over my life, I reflect on how I have been kept by God. He has kept me and made ways for me even in my most darkest times. I reflect on my trials and triumphs and I am thankful for both, giving me the strength that I need and providing me with the courage that I sustain, making me into the woman I am today.

There will be many reflections upcoming on the thoughts of Resurrection Sunday, what it means and what it stands for. For me, it’s humbly a day that I recognize as Jesus rose. I acknowledge and am grateful for the fact that “he lives.” Because Jesus rose that means that we also have the power to rise and overcome adversities. We can rise above the hate, we can rise from what has hurt us, from what has held us back, from what has shamed us, belittled us, or even broke us. Yes, you can rise from all of it and the start of it happens through prayer.

The prayer that Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, he asked,”father if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” -Luke 22:42 Jesus could have asked God to take anything else from him but he specifically asked for the cup to be taken because that cup represented the blood that Jesus knowingly would shed. Jesus was in despair at the time of that prayer and from my revelation, it was a prayer to confirm God’s will, knowing the agony and pain he would endure. In Jesus’ despair, God sent an angel to strengthen him. God answered him and sent what was needed for Jesus to continue fulfilling his will, ….”yet not my will but yours be done.”

The will of God is perfect and even in our imperfections, there is still a plan for our life. “As we grow closer to Jesus, our lives will reflect him more clearly.” Your thoughts will be clear, your actions will be clear, your decisions will be clear, and even your expression of love will be clear, all in the pursuit of fulfilling the will of God.

Jesus, even near his crucifixion, went to pray. He received strength and love all through prayer from his father. If you’ve ever felt like you were at your end and decided to pray, then you know what prayer can do. How does your reflection of how God provided for you cause you express your love or extend a helping hand to others?

Put your Dreams into Action

Hello FFC readers and subscribers!

HAPPY 1 MONTH BLOG-A-VERSARY TO FFC!

Exactly one month ago from today I published my website and my first blog post making today my 1 month Blog-a-versary! I have been able to execute my dreams through motivation and determination and the unwavering support of my family and readers like you. It has been an extraordinary experience and one that I embrace daily. I stepped out on the promise of God and put a dream into action. FFC was formed purposefully and precisely with a certain goal in mind. See more about the purpose of FFC on my homepage. I have been able to look back and realize my growth in this short timespan and will welcome the learning experiences to come.

I am so excited to celebrate this seemingly small but huge milestone. I am ongoing with the grace of my heavenly Father. In honor of my 1 month blog-a-versary, I’ve highlighted some of my inspirational messages that I have written in different blogs that I have posted. What were some of your favorite statements from previous blogs or this one? Share in the comments below. Here are some of my favorites.

Having dreams is a start to envisioning what you want to do or where you want to go. Having a dream and putting action behind that dream takes another step, in fact, it may take several. There are many people that simply dream. They dream of a better life, they dream of a better job, they dream of a better future but there are no actionable measures put into place to make it happen. To have a dream is to have “a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.” At the point of having a dream it will only go as far as you pursue it. Lifestyle changes occur when the decision to do something different than the day before takes root in your mind and is followed by sound decision-making. “Stop looking at what you don’t have and start using what you do have. Stop living in a fantasy world and create the life you want to live by taking action.” -Sope Agbelusi Some people are limited to putting their dreams into action due to lack of resources that are needed and not available. I used to be a person to believe that since I don’t have everything I need then I can’t start but then I realized for me it was just a misconception that I allowed myself to believe. No one is going to have everything they need when they first start. It’s not about having everything initially, it’s about making it with what you have now. Because of the misconception and disbelief I believed that it ended with me. It doesn’t end with you. Reach out, research, inquire or simply speak to someone about it, you never know the resources that may fall in your lap or even just getting tips or helpful advice to help you start down your journey.

“Follow your heart. Do what you love. Because I was constantly struggling with that. If it’s in your heart, go for it.” -Maz Jobrani

The courage that it took for me to step out and own my dream was unfathomable as I knew that it would take time and dedication. When I made the decision to go for it with my blog, I had one major thing going against me and that was time. However, it wasn’t until later that I realized a pivotal moment, that my desire to write and not having enough time wouldn’t stop me. It just meant that I had to strategize and put a plan into action for when I would blog, how much time I would dedicate to it and how I would prioritize other important matters. As a writer there is not a turn on or off button; I wake up many nights in the wee hours of the morning with ideas, content, and just happy that I get to create another piece that will hopefully encourage and motivate someone to be a better them. It never once occurred to me that because I have so many other things to do that I can’t fulfill my dream. It never occurred to me because I had already made up in my mind that I would refuse to allow excuses or objections to get in my way. Instead of deferring my dreams I decided to live them. What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? I could go on and on with this one, I believe Langston Hughes knew exactly what happens to a dream deferred. They do dry up and not only that, once they dry up, it can cause you to doubt the very idea that God placed in your heart but what is meant for you will still prosper regardless of the delay.

It would become much easier to just sit down and turn on Netflix. Let’s be honest, I really enjoy my Netflix shows but when you begin to work in your skill, television no longer steals the show. Dreams will give you the desire but action will get you the results. What are you going to do to awaken yourself and act on that ambition? If one month ago I didn’t decide to act on my ambition, I wouldn’t be here writing to each and everyone of you. To that end, in light of my 1 month blog-a-versary, I would like to sincerely thank each of you for following and subscribing to my blog. Thank you for taking the time to read past the first paragraph or sentence 🙂 Thank you for engaging, your comments, likes, shares, the special e-mails and text that I seem to get on a daily basis just continues to encourage me and lets me know that someone is being helped by the hands of God. I look forward to continued milestone celebrations and I look forward to hearing about how you put your dream into action.

Until next time my friends……

Take a break.

Hello readers, subscribers, and friends! HAPPY SPRING BREAK! (If that applies to you or maybe soon 😊)

This week is Spring break for my family and I. Although this is our time we are also taking time for ourselves and including in the things we love to do. At the moment my husband is tuning into his latest podcasts, my eldest daughter is drawing art, my youngest daughter and son is watching Spongebob, lol and I’m writing a simple message on today, Take a Break.

It’s okay to take breaks, we all need them. From time to time we just need to breathe and enjoy the present moment. Enjoy the gift of life. To enjoy yourself doesn’t necessarily mean traveling, although you could, it is just as relaxing to take solitude in the space that you are in. Maybe it’s enjoying your new home, doing a small home project, or simply taking in the fresh air right on your front porch. Whatever it may be, let it be for you. Let it be on your own time and by your own rules. Don’t get pressured into always having to stay on a time crunch simply for the next thing. Stop. Breathe. Take a moment for you and add yourself to your calendar, fill it up and title it ” Busy Day Taking a Moment for Me”.

pink petaled flowers closeup photo
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

This Spring break as I do all others, I decided to spend some time with my family, enjoying our time and reflecting on past times, and just truly being thankful for each other. Don’t deny yourself quality time. We can get so in the routine of our day to day life that we forget about ourselves or planning to do things for ourselves. Do something with your family, friends, or maybe just for you.

This week, I decided to take a break from writing, which didn’t happen and I partly didn’t expect it to (you don’t really break from what you love) but it made me realize that taking time for yourself doing what you love is also doing what makes you happy.

When taking time for yourself, do something that makes you happy, not doing what other people would expect, or trying to keep up or outdo the next person or formulating the next big thing, just do what simply pleases you.

Like for example, I am pleased to say that Spa treatments make me soooo very happy and I have an appt. in e-minus……

Until next time my friends, be blessed and find you some ME time.

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