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Healing and Empowerment for Women

Category Archives: Gardening


The October Art Bead Scene Challenge was based on a painting, “Autumn” by Milton Avery.

autumn-1944 Milton Avery

I made a sincere effort to create some beads from polymer that “went with” this challenge. I designed a necklace with 18 polymer beads and Swarovski pearls. Each bead seemed like a good idea at the time. They didn’t work, although I admit that I learned a lot about the clay in making them.


Back to the drawing board. I had some beaded beads from Diana Costa Pedret from her Etsy shop Dicopebisuteria in Bacelona, Spain. You might have seen them in the previous post. I originally used the “blackberry” beads in a pendant, but they tangled terribly. So that is how the blackberry beads ended up in this challenge piece. I am not entirely happy with the rhythm of the piece and plan a slight restring of the necklace.

Blackberry Winter picks up the blues, magentas, whites and golds in the challenge painting.

I had fun with it. I have worn the necklace several times and have received compliments on it each time.

See the challenge and a collage of the entries at

You can also see the entries at


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Sunday our parched region experienced an all day rain. I walked in it for an hour at dawn, and again after church. This rose caught my eye as I hunted for micropuddles in old downtown Plano, TX.

Micropuddles fascinate me. They exist in liminal space: at the threshold of a new experience. They contain shining truths and epiphanies.

I hover over each one and imagine diving into another universe.

Join me!

This micropuddle shone in an old stone sidewalk:


I found this micropuddle in a magnolia leaf:


This one was on top of a rock wall:


These lovely geometric shapes formed in a brick sidewalk:


This oval shimmered in stone steps near a wall fountain silenced by the drought:



And finally, a micropuddle shining in stone stairs dating to Plano pioneer times.











Last week I was in the Hall Office Park in Frisco, Texas taking photos of micropuddles. I found this shovel, handle-less and covered in concrete and rust. I filled its bowl with water and took its portrait.

This week I returned and the shovel was still there. I claimed it as my own.

It rained all day Sunday. After church I took the shovel to my own office park and took it’s portrait in various poses.

Here it is gratefully receiving the runoff from a storm drain:



On some blooming monkey grass:


Atop a holly bush:


Embraced by Asian jasmine:


On Colorado River rocks:


Under a crepe myrtle:


And on a bed of lantana:


I now keep the shovel on the front seat of my car. I keep a jug of water in the car at all times so that I can take its portrait when promising venues present themselves.

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After weeks and weeks of dry we have had 12 hours of gentle, abundant rain.

And I am grateful.

Last night as I walked at sundown the sky was partly clouded. A single raindrop hit my arm, and I took hope.

When I got home I turned on the hose and washed the spiderwebs off of the garage door, watching the water fall and imagining rain.

By 9 the rain had come.

This morning I walked in the rain. I put my hoodless cycling jacket on so I could feel the rain on my head. I gave thanks with every step. It was wonderful to see rain on the sidewalk, rain in puddles and rain splashing in the curb streams.

The last two times it rained I had also hosed off the spiderwebs on the house, the first time in the back yard and, before a later rain, around the front door. Each time I imagined that the water I was seeing was rain.

Agnes Sanford, a powerful woman of prayer, said that when we imagine the result we are praying for, that it creates a container for God to fill.

I have plans to keep that hose at the ready. We are still in a drought and we need more rain to break it.

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My daughter and I visited the Japanese Garden in Fort Worth this morning. Expecting another searing day, we planned to leave at 8 a.m. to enjoy the garden in the cool of the morning. We were delighted to find the region blanketed with cloud and a steady, gentle rain falling.

We had wonderful sharing on the 50 mile trip over. Once in the garden, the rain still falling steadily, we went and stood in the covered area surrounding the bed of raked sand with its islands made of lichened boulders. We stood and talked for 20 minutes, continuing our deep sharing.

Courageously we moved out into the garden. We were delighted to see the rain lightly hammering the surface of the upper pond. It had always been so still on previous visits. We walked past the spot where we’d spent 15 minutes an arm’s length from a great blue heron, still enjoying the memory of that day.

We stepped up onto the porch of the tea house on the lower pond and enjoyed being out of the rain but still deeply in contact with it. We watched, enthralled, as silver droplets of water collected on the surface of heart shaped leaves, tiny droplets joining the larger, until, at last, the large droplet slid off of the leaf.

Later we sat in a gazebo, right on the water, and enjoyed the sight and sound of the rain pattering into the pond. I shared that I often visited a shelter in the park near my girlhood home and sat in a picnic shelter, listening to the sound of rain or snow falling. I called it the Rainsnow.

More deep conversation in a shelter high above the pond, then back to a dry bench near the raked sand.

We lunched at the Modern Museum of Art. I had a fresh tomato tart made with real tomatoes, homemade mayonnaise, homemade sour cream and pepper Jack. It was divine. The side salad was covered with thin slices of Asiago. A glass of dry champagne rounded out my meal.

I am grateful for this blessed time with my daughter. And 3872 steps and 20 flights of stairs (surely I will get a Fitbit badge for those stairs!) And I am grateful for the rain that drenched our parched region.

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Just when the temperatures here in Texas approach 100, just when all of the tender plants begin to burn up, the glory of crepe myrtles begins.

All through my town crepe myrtles are a riot of color. Hot pink, magenta, maroon, soft pink and lavender crepe myrtles line the medians and trumpet their joy.

The ones in my front yard are deepest pink.

The ones in my back yard are white, as you can see. When I pull out of the garage, while waiting  for the garage door to close, I am greeted with  a pendant branch of one of my back yard crepe myrtles, right by my window. If I lower the window I can smell a light perfume from the flowers.

I am so grateful for all of the crepe myrtles. As we enter REALLY HOT summer, the crepe myrtles will bloom until fall. They will delight and sustain me through the long hot summer.

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I have just come out of a creative frenzy lasting two weeks. I have made about 150 beads, most of them for Beads of Courage (for kids with cancer). I have also, in the process, innovated some beads for my Etsy shop, LadyFlowersbySusan. I hope to photograph them and post them later today.

But first it was time to clean up the mess that accrued during my creative frenzy. I deep cleaned the kitchen, even running Windex-soaked q-tips between the buttons of the blender! I put vinegar soaked cotton pads over all of the places around the sink where lime had accrued and after a bit, scrubbed away the lime deposits. My kitchen is sparkling clean again.

I had read on Pinterest how you can root the bottom of celery and grow more. I was intrigued by this. I normally only buy celery for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, to make Mother’s stuffing. I saved my Easter celery bottom and put it in a saucer of water. In about a week it started to grow new celery sprouts and in two weeks I could see fine white roots.

I potted it up today in the re-ordering of my kitchen. I have actually harvested two small stalks already for some beef stock I was making. I pried the tiny stalks from the outside edge of the new growth and put the stalks and their flavorful leaves in my stockpot.

Now for the bedroom and bathroom. The bath mats are already in the washer…

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