Nasturtiums And Colorado

Nasturtiums and Colorado go great together. I see them all over our state. They do well up in higher elevations and well on the Front Range. Here in Colorado (and elsewhere), Nasturtiums are a gardener’s dream.  They are virtually carefree once established.  I was introduced to this beauty by my friend Nancy.  The summer of 2007, while a summer of grief over the loss of my sister Leslie, was also a summer of discovery love of this cheerful plant.  If you are in grief, there will be new joys that come along. The garden reminds me of this truth and helps remind me of my rooted hope.

The funniest thing about the nasturtium is that it likes old soil.  It does not do well in soil that has been amended with nutrients and fertilizers.  Best thing to do is to use soil that you have had in another pot for years and stick some seeds in that.  Yes, seeds.  I would not recommend transplanting nasturtiums.  Instead I recommend getting your pots filled with other annual flowers and your beds all planted and then go around and stick nasturtium seeds in empty spots. Do this once the threat of frost is past. Nasturtiums and Colorado only go great together once it has warmed up a bit.

I like to

When To Start Seeds

When to start seeds is always a question for me EVERY year. I am still learning about the best timing. I learn from so many people on the web. I decided to curate a few of my favorites. Since I’m in Colorado, I did add some sites particular to my state (as a lot of my readers are also from Colorado). But, I’d like to make this list good for everyone EVERYWHERE. So please, PLEASE add to this list other web resources that you have found helpful. It is easy to do in the list below. Just click on the red words “add to list” and then copy and paste the URL as instructed. Let’s all learn together on when to start seeds.
Oh…and by the way, in my list is one link about building your own indoor grow light system from Gayla at You Grow Girl. Her site is so GREAT!  And she has some wonderful books too.

Here’s the list: 

The Gifts In Winter

I am slowly learning that there are gifts in winter. This has required me to live a mentored life, receiving all that my mentors have to offer me as I experience what I call earlier a “figurative winter.”  This is a time when loss, sorrow or suffering is experienced in a rather intense fashion. I hate that life involves this. But it does. These figurative winters are often very harsh. Oh who I am kidding! They are not OFTEN harsh. They ARE harsh. And yet, if we have the character to get out into the winter and not avoid it, we can find a gift.

While at first we may only see the frozen layer of sorrow, something lurks there that is beautiful. The beauty may be underneath, it may be to the left or right. The beauty may be above, but it is there. “Open my eyes Lord, I need to see the beauty in the midst of this horrendous winter.”

I have been fortunate to have key people who have helped me see beauty in my figurative winters. I wish I could talk about all of them. But here I want to highlight two in particular: Parker Palmer and Dan Steiner. While I’ve never had a chance to meet Parker Palmer, I have read every one of his books. But I have met Dan. I wish all my readers could meet this remarkable man. He is one of my students at Denver Seminary. And, I suspect he will be a life-long friend.

Both Parker and Dan don’t know this, but they mentor me. Parker mentors me as I read his books and Dan mentors me as I gaze at his photography (and listen to his brilliant ideas in my office). As the mentee, I intentionally engage each of these men as a mentor.

I have received permission both from Parker Palmer and from Dan Steiner to share with you their art here on my blog, art in word and art in images. As you read here,

Sola Balsa Wood Flower Bouquet

If you are looking to make your own bouquet for your wedding, I would encourage you to consider a sola balsa wood flower bouquet. Why? Take a look at my daughter’s bridal bouquet.

If the picture doesn’t convince you, let me give you a few other reasons why a sola balsa wood flower bouquet and table arrangements might be the way to go. Besides, there are some of you out there in internet land that are looking to make sola wood bouquets and you are wondering whether to do it. You are scouring the net looking for photos (I found very few) so I’d like to share with you what we did and WHY.  So here is why….

When My Heart Turned

Every once in a while I like to peruse my journal and share with my readers an excerpt about the Alzheimer’s road on which my mother and I travel. Sometimes the road is a dark alley, a place I am unable to see much beauty. On a day two years ago, I found myself in such an alley. I was busy at work and a good kind of tired from the typical crazy start to a semester. Yet there were some decisions needing to be made for Mom. I was feeling the weight of what needed to be said. Mom’s care wasn’t up to what it should be.

Truth had to be spoken. Being an advocate is an honor and it is a VERY tough job. Reluctantly I drove over to her assisted living center. I entered upon a scene, one in which I was able to observe my mother from afar. It was a scenario that I later learned, made my mother gag. I don’t think it will turn your stomach. It didn’t mine. Instead, on this dark alley kind of day, my heart was turned, not my stomach. It was turned towards love, towards beauty; the kind of beauty that strengthened me to be a good advocate.

Make Time For Tea

There are certain days one must make time for tea. But since not all like tea, I should relent from my strong opinion! But I bet everyone reading would agree that there are certain days that one must make time for a friend. Just a few weeks back, I made time for my friend P and she made time for me. All we had was tea. We ate no cookies or cake. We simply sipped tea. It was a rich time. She brought out her glass tea pot and the jasmine bloom tea. She placed this tightly packed bulb into the pot, soaking it in the hot water. And then, tada!!  It ended up looking like this. Gah! I had never seen anything like it. It delighted P that it delighted me.

Prior to our tea time, the text message went something like this: