If Life Was Just a Rose, But It Isn’t

by Carole Brown

Five Tips to Live Happily When Your Life’s Rose Has Thorns

If Life Were a Rose
by John Roxell
If life were a rose would I smell it?
Or would the fear of the bee’s sting hold me back?
If life were a rose would I take pleasure in its lucid color?
Or would the brevity of its glow cloud its sunshine?
If life were a rose would I marvel at its delicate changing form?
Or would the falling of its petals bury the moment of its triumph?
If life were a rose would I pick the frail flower to be my own?
Or would the thorns create a barrier causing me to leave it behind?
If life were a rose.
1.  We don’t always take advantage of the opportunities that are given us. But don’t despair. Follow your instincts, ask advice from trustworthy friends and family. Seek God’s face for His will for each one that is offered. That is the perfect solution for knowing which opportunity to accept.
2.  Life is full of bee stings. That’s a fact. Deaths, disappointments, rejections, bees-freesetbacks, illness, loss-nothing is perfect in life. But remember, we’re humans, and most, find some way to go on living. Take joy in your overcoming experiences. Take heart that you have another chance, another day. Refuse to allow sad and hurtful things get you down. None of these disappointments will last forever–except the loss of a loved one, but even in that, we know we can see them again someday.
3.  Take time to enjoy the world about you. Laugh and play with children. Take a stroll around town, in the country, in the park or by a lake. Watch the sunrise some early morning, or tell someone you love them. Dance in the rain. Thrill at the sight of blue lightning streaking through the dark clouds. Smile at a checkout person. Go see an older, lonely person. Love a pet. Call someone. Mainly, enjoy life. Enjoy the day God’s given you.
4.  Realize that nothing stays the same forever. We get older and older, then old. Sickness comes. Death comes. We lose jobs. We have to move. Expenses come that take that saved-back money. We don’t always get what we want, but isn’t that good–in some ways? How else can we learn to trust God? Has God a better plan for us that we can’t see at the time? Learning to leave it all in God’s hands is hard, but necessary if we are to be as a trusting child, knowing God will take care of us. Learn it!
  1. Don’t shun the small things. So what he didn’t get you a huge bunch of flowers! That
    bouquet of wild ones, meant he took time to go daisies-chamomile-freeinto the fields or alongside the country roads to hand-pick them for you. You didn’t get a big birthday cake? But your favorite grandchild gave you a hand drawn card with all the love his/her little heart could put into it. Don’t always expect the “big” things when the small ones are so much more precious.  Appreciate each gift you’re given!


Wishing you a happy, happy day–today! 

Guest Author Jenna Kraft – Top 10 Tricks and Tips for Gardening

JennaJenna Kraft

Hmm, a little about me? Well, I live with my awesome husband and two sweet boys in southeast Tennessee where the ground is made of clay and rocks. I’m a quirky, aspiring author. I love interesting words and long walks in the park. No, really.

I’m currently submitting children’s picture books, while writing a novel, being a mom, gardening, and making jewelry. Since only one of those things has a link you can look at, *Shameless Plug Here* here’s a link to my jewelry work.   www.strandofmemories.com If you like my post on gardening, maybe I’ll visit again sometime with more naturey kind of stuff.

Top Ten Tricks and Tips for Gardening

By Jenna Kraft

I’ve always been enthusiastic about nature and the outdoors. As little girl, I would chase lizards around and play in mud while wearing dresses. As an adult… I don’t think I’ve changed much, but I am more careful about getting dirt on clothes. It has been a joy to introduce my sons to mud pies and Blue-Tailed Skinks, and anytime they find a worm, they plop it right in my garden. That was their first tip on making a garden happy.

Apparently, playing in mud is hereditary, but they’re still cute. ^_^

Jenna 4          Jenna 6

Here are some tips for the rest of you:

Jenna 11. Got Aphids? These little buggers are the bane of every rosebush. I was torn between spraying pesticides that would kill the aphids’ natural predators (like lady bugs) and saving my roses, when I stumbled upon this excellent trick. Put your water hose on a higher setting and spray away at the affected areas. While adult aphids can fly, the babies can’t. Doing this once a day for two weeks cleared my bushes for the summer and left the lady bugs to pick off stragglers!

2. In case you haven’t heard, coffee grinds and eggshells are in! While there is debate about the amount of calcium that eggshells add to the soil, they do keep the slugs away. There is no debate that coffee grinds are an excellent source of nitrogen, among other things. I just keep my eggshells until I have about two dozen and a pot or two worth of coffee grinds. Then I put the eggs in a blender until they are in small pieces and sprinkle the mixture on my garden. It gives great results. Also, coffee grinds are slightly acidic, so they work great with plants like hydrangeas. Just be sure to sprinkle, not dump on, the grinds as they can form a water barrier if they are heaped. http://www.sunset.com/garden/earth-friendly/starbucks-coffee-compost-test-00400000016986/

I put mine in a container with a shaker lid for ease.

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Jenna 23. Mulching fertilizes, helps keep moisture in the soil, and helps keep down weeds. It’s a go to for any gardener, but sometimes weeds still stage a takeover. It’s tempting to put down weed barriers under your mulch, but those can prevent nutrients and moisture from reaching your plants. A great way around this is using brown paper bags or newspaper (use more than one sheet for more durability) under your mulch instead. The moisture will still get through, and as the paper decomposes, it adds nutrients back to the soil.

4. Fire ants in a garden have to go, but I have little boys. So, I want to do it in a way that won’t hurt my kids. Diatomaceous earth is perfect. Once sprinkled on an ant nest, it breaks down the waxy coating on their exoskeleton causing them to die from dehydration. Not only is it safe if my kids accidentally get into (it’s the remains of diatoms- chalk basically), people actually consume it in food grade form for digestive issues! It’s an all around great product with lots of uses.

5. When starting a garden, you have to pay attention to how much sun your spot gets and what zone you are in for planting, but there are also micro-climates in regions or even in your own back yard! Where I live in Tennessee is zone 7, but I have sheltered places in my garden where I can get zone 8 plants to thrive. They love the warm stone fJenna 5oundation of my house, and my azalea blocks the direction that the cold winter winds blow. Be aware of your weather. A valley in zone 6 may have a zone 7 micro-climate, or maybe just a nook in your bed does.

My Victoria Blue Salvia is zone 8, but even after a very harsh winter she came right back.

6. This year I had a neighbor’s cat wreck havoc on my ground cover plants. They were dying, and my garden reeked of cat pee. We had tried startling him, but the cat was determined. So, we put out mothballs. The smell is strong for a day or two but then diminishes with the mothballs. They will keep both cats and dogs away, and by the time the mothballs have dissolved, the offending animal will have developed another routine for its business. These however, you will want to make sure that little hands do not play with (sometimes stinky things are intriguing).

The dianthus was his prime target, but it sprang right back.

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Jenna 97. Do you have a toad house? These cute little items are more than just decorative. They offer toads a suitable shelter from weather and predators, and who doesn’t want a slug eating machine in their gardens?


Jenna 88. Even though they eat garden pests, it’s unlikely that any of us are a fan of wasps. Can I get an “amen”? However, the vast majority of parasitic wasps are incapable of stinging and are great garden warriors. Scientist have even utilized them in controlling invasive insects worldwide. So next time, do a double take before you squish. It may be a comrade in arms.

9. Did you know that gardening can make you happy? Meet the beneficial bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae. It lives in the soil and gets released into the air during gardening. Once breathed in, it acts as a mood booster. Some studies have even found it as effective as anti-depressants! http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/raw-data-is-dirt-the-new-Prozac

Ladybugs make me happy too.

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10. Finally, the last of my top ten tips and tricks: Prayer. My whole life people complimented my mom on her beautiful gardens and ask what her secret was. She would tell them that she prayed every time she planted something (and sometimes a little extra if it was looking sad). She doesn’t do it like a magic chant. She really loves plants and cares about them, so she figures that God does too. I get my love of green things from her, and my gardens get watered in prayer. Now, when people ask me my secret, I tell them that I pray over my plants…though the coffee grinds help too.

This beautiful Tennessee Valley sunset was painted by the same God who cares about you- and your tulips.

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