1248. I am forced to conclude that God made Texas on his day off, for pure entertainment, just to prove that all that diversity could be crammed into one section of earth… ~Author Mary Lasswell

The stars at night – are big and bright
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The prairie sky – is wide and high
Deep in the heart of Texas.
The sage in bloom – is like perfume
Deep in the heart of Texas…
~Excerpted lyrics from a song
by June Hershey

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Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession.
Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word.
Like most passionate nations, Texas has 
its own
history based on, but not limited by, facts.
~John Steinbeck

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I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study and the passionate possession of all Texans. ~John Steinbeck, 1962

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And, “Texans for the most part have never learned to be dull,” accurately quipped Randolph Campbell.

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As I’ve said repeatedly the intense heat of the Texas summer has always been difficult for me to tolerate. It forces me to stay indoors much more than I like, and being separated from the earth and God’s voice in the natural world starves my spirit. However, I have come to love much of the unique Texas experience, and I am thankful that the Lord created the man or woman who invented air-conditioning. I’m grateful too that our house has lots of windows so I can at least see my yard during times when it’s just too miserably hot to be out in it.. Also after I bought a digital camera, I’m able to save the garden’s glory in photographs that help me make it through the times when the summer heat temporarily robs the landscape of much of its beauty. How blessed are we that the work of His hands is as apparent as ever in His world.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19 ✝

**Images found on the Internet, Pinterest, and Pixabay; collages by Natalie

 

1131. The rose is without an explanation; she blooms because she blooms. ~Angelus Silesius

Roses of the field whisper divine poetry,
but you must listen carefully to hear it
because noise from the wheels of progress
drowns out everything that sings.
~Edited poem by Judith Cody

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You love the roses – so do I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses!
Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and red
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!
~Edited poem by George Elliot

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He(the Lord) will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. ~Psalm 91:4  ✝

**Image of my Night Owl roses

923. Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark. ~Henri-Frédéric Amiel

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs;
ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is
people who have come alive.
~Howard Thurman

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I remember reading an article a while back about Pablo Casals, the world-renowned cellist. He was in his 90’s at the time and still going strong so the reporter asked him to what he attributed his health and longevity. Casals answered that they were the result of his passion for music. When I read that, I was envious because at that time I had never experienced that kind of passion for anything. But the Lord knows the desires of our hearts, and it came to pass that He granted me things to stir up passion in me. It began one summer when I bought some seeds and sowed them in pots on my patio. From the onset seeing new life emerge from those tiny seeds, I was hooked. So with spade in hand, I began pushing it down into the soil and thus began my love of gardening. As my efforts flourished and the birds and bees came, the desire to capture the day to day beauty of it all became the catalyst of my passion for photography. Now not only do I have a great camera and lots of beds with wondrously beautiful flowers but on my blog I’ve also sown, it seems, a “garden” that blooms with amazingly deligtful people.

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4  ✝

**Images via Pinterest, and the music in video is my happy song

830. Morning glory is the best name, it always refreshes me to see it. ~Henry David Thoreau 

In the morning, everything is new.
The day’s blank slate lies before me, ready for my writing.
So I welcome this new day.
It is a gift to me, a new creation, a promise of resurrection.
I am thankful for being alive this morning.
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May I not miss beauty.
May I not miss joy.
May I not miss wonder.
May I make the world a better place this day.
~Both passages are excerpts
from Ceisiwr Serith
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Oh how I love vines; I love the way they climb; I love the way they twine around things, and so I’m thrilled as up, up, and up they go, these beautiful morning glories of mine! One of their best features is that the hotter it gets, the higher and faster they climb, and the higher they climb the more blooms they produce. Also morning glories come in a variety of colors, and the best part is that they all easily reseed themselves. That means I seldom have to start any new ones because Mother Nature does it for me. I do, however, occasionally try new varieties like the striped ones and the curlicue one you see. Although right now, because of the intense heat, my morning glories are only blooming in the mornings, as their name suggests, they will start staying open most of the day when it finally cools off sometime in September or October. Regardless of when they bloom or how long they stay, morning glories bless my day and among other things make me thankful for the gift of a new day. Thoreau may have been speaking of the glory of the morning in general, but these beauties can’t help but make the glory of the morning more spectacular.
**Give thanks in all circumstances, for this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ~1 Thessalonians 5:18  ✝

812. And sure enough even waiting will end…if you can just wait long enough. ~William Faulkner

You can become blind by
seeing each day as a similar one.
Each day is a different one,
each day brings a miracle of its own.
~Paulo Coelho

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I’ve always been delighted
at the prospect of a new day,
a fresh try, one more start,
with perhaps a bit of magic waiting
somewhere behind the morning.
~J. B. Priestley

And waiting did come to an end, this day was a different kind of one, and there was magic waiting behind the morning. However, it wasn’t until after much waitng that such as what you see in the photo appeared in my yard, for I had had to plant three passion flower vines before one would survive much less bloom. I know not why the first two vines didn’t make it, but alas and sadly they did not.  But determined as I was not to give up I put yet another one in the ground last year, and that one not only survived but actually continued putting on new growth well into autumn. When it died down to the ground as these vines do in winter, I waited and as spring approached watched to see if it was going to make a come back and sure enough it did. The waiting finally ended a week ago when I spied its first two blooms. Then today another of these rather exotic blossoms is prettily perched atop the back fence. So here’s to waiting, morning’s magic, and miracles!

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. ~Psalm 65:8  ✝

732. Poor dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprises! ~Wallace Stevens

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise; whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy, it will open a new place in our hearts… ~Henri Nouwen

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Some time back in March, I was standing in line at Lowe’s to check out when I looked over and saw a small packet of Peruvian Daffodil bulbs. Since I’d seen photos of these flowers before, I knew they were amazingly beautiful and was tempted to give them a try. However, never having had much luck with yellow daffodils, I wasn’t sure they would do any better with these especially as late as I was going to get them in the ground. But then I thought, as I often do these days, what the heck and bought them anyway. When I got home I had some Dahlias I was going try in pots and so I threw the Peruvian Daffodils in a pot too and set all 5 pots in places around the yard. After a couple of weeks, foliage began to appear. However, by that time it seems, I’d forgotten what was in that fifth pot. And then last week long stalks holding the blooms shot up from the strappy foliage, which I’d already been intrigued about making me even more curious about what in the world was growing in that pot. Curiouser and curiouser I grew, until…the lengthy “brain burp” ended, a vague memory of the incident at Lowe’s surfaced, and a bloom finally opened up. Oh, how I love surprises!!! And none better than exquisitely gorgeous ones in the garden! But now the surprise is raising conundrums.  For example, I’m wondering if they’ll make it in the pot through the long hot summer and on into autumn and winter? Or should I put them in the ground when they’re finished blooming? And if I do that, will they make it in the ground during summer, autumn, and winter? Or should I take the bulbs out of the pot when they’ve finished blooming, let them dry, and store them until next year when I can repot them? My oh my oh my, perhaps it’s time to look for the yellow brick road so I can go ask the Wizard of Oz or follow the white rabbit down the hole, like Alice did, and see if he has any answers or check to see if Einstein had any ideas about such things or should I just ask the Holy One whose hands made all there is? That’s it! That’s always a good idea, just like Paris is! Oh yes, my friends, our trip to Paris is getting closer and closer!

PS.  The little bug on one of the yellow anthers seems to like the surprise too!

He(God) will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. ~Job 8:21    ✝