1183. A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. ~Jackie Robinson

The purpose of life is not to be happy.
It is to be useful, to be honorable,
to be compassionate,
to have it make some difference
you have lived and lived well.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest; text added by Natalie

719. His Labor a Chant – his idleness – a Tune – oh, for a Bee’s experience of Clovers and of Noon! ~Emily Dickinson

Give and Take…
For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life
And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love
And to both, the bee and the flower,
The giving and receiving is a need and an ecstasy.
~Kahlil Gibran

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…store of bees, in a dry and warme bee-house
comely made of fir boards to sing and sit,
and feede upon your flowers and sprouts,
make a pleasant noyse and sight.
~William Lawson

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The men of experiment are like the ant;
they only collect and use.
But the bee…gathers its materials
from the flowers of the garden and of the field,
but transforms and digests it
by a power of its own.
~Leonardo da Vinci

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To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee, And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.
~Emily Dickinson

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No matter whether it hops, crawls, runs, wriggles, slithers, swims, flies, buzzes, chirrups, grows from the ground or lives in water, we, mankind, need nature. And those of us who garden know that what we as stewards of Creation must supply feeding stations and safe havens for the bees, the birds, and other wildlife. Therefore our flowers, berries, seed heads, etc. should be free of toxins. And among other things in autumn we need to resist disposing of things like hollow plant stems because tiny bees may be hibernating inside. All this is why years ago I started meeting the requirements for my yard to be certified as a habitat, and now that it is I proudly display my National Federation of Wildlife signs on the gates.

There are so many joyous components that go into what a yard and it flowerbeds and gardens are, and for me the buzz of the bees is one of the most essential of those elements. I love my bees and over the years I have intentionally planted things to attract them, especially after I began reading more and more about the alarming and widespread decline of bee populations as well as the collapse of beehives here in the US and all over the world. For instance, there are places all over our country where too many pesticides have been used over the years and as a result their ecosystems are void of bee populations. That’s why nowadays hives have to be transported from state to state by 18 wheel trucks so that farmers and growers can pollinate pollinate their crops and orchards.

What mankind desperately needs to realize is that should bees completely vanish from planet earth, there would never again be peaches and almonds(two of my favorite foods by the way) and so many other things, things we desperately need and depend on to support human life. So I always advise people who have a growing space to please consider planting things that will invite these amazing creatures to sup at their table. And as for being stung by one, let me just say two things: first, it’s a small price to pay for the preservation of our species; secondly, I have hundreds of bees in my yard, and I walk among daily among flowers to work in the beds or to take photos, and in the 20+ years that I’ve been doing I’ve not been stung once. A couple of times I have gotten a loud, warning buzz, especially when it’s a bumblebee that has been offended by my presence, and I just get up and walk away until the “grumbling bee” moves on. Ya know, now that I think about it, that works well in human relationships too. Hee hee!

Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and you will not be cut off. ~Proverbs 24:14   ✝

**All images via pinterest and the internet; opening collage created by Natalie

447. The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. ~Gertrude Jekyll

We cannot conceive of matter being
formed from nothing,
since things require a seed to start from…
Therefore there is not anything
which returns to nothing,
but all things return dissolved
into their elements.
~William Shakespeare

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Photo taken by Mike Bizeau at: http://naturehasnoboss.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/sunday-brunch/

May God bless the soil and may it forever be wholesome and fruitful…
May there always be sufficient water, warmth, and light for earth’s crops…
May God bless all seed-bearing plants for their bounty of food and flower…
May seeds never fail to burst into the fullness of their kind…
May God bless the farmer’s labors and the gardener’s work…
May all the world’s crops be plentiful and good…
May God bless us all, great and small…
May earth’s peoples be good stewards of God’s Creation…
And may summer perpetually reveal God’s wondrous ways…

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” ~Genesis 8:22   ✝

Sweet Jesus, fill us with the mercy you bled and draw us back unto Yourself!

209. Bad weather always looks worse through a window. ~Author Unknown

Spooky wild and gusty;
swirling dervishes of rattling leaves race by,
fleeing the wildflung deadwood
that cracks and thumps behind.
~Dave Beard



White, the world is still white, very white and very frozen!  And the only movements I see out my window this morning are leaves fluttering to the ground and birds coming to the feeders for breakfast and the bird baths for water.  Sadly all the birdbaths are so frozen that no matter how hard they peck at the ice, there’s no water beneath it to be had.  So after putting in enough chair time to be fully awake, I braved the cold and took them a bowl of water.  As I inched along on the frozen ground, I noticed that some of the fallen leaves from the red oak were striking lovely poses wherever they’d fallen.  One of them had even lodged itself quite prettily inside a large ceramic pot I’d emptied of its greenhouse-bound contents.  Once back inside after my errand of mercy and a few snaps of the camera, I heard on the news that there was a 30% chance of more sleet today and that the temperature would remain well under the freezing mark.  It really didn’t feel all that bad while I was out, but it seems we are in for another forced stay-at-home day.  I won’t complain though for like the birds I have much for which to be thankful.  The birds too have warmth and safety?  Indeed they do, for the ones who are cavity nesters, I’ve put in place plenty of birdhouses around the yard and for the others several kinds of evergreens have been planted.  If God stewards and provides for me, and he does so well, how can I not in turn steward and provide for all that He has given me?

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!  ~Romans 5:17  ✝