The Simple Life
I love trees. They are so tall and majestic. They stand stately to brush against the sky. They provide protection from wind and shade from the sun. Even when they die and provide firewood, they are still taking care of us. Each year I plant a few more trees. I've got fruit trees, flowering trees, and shade trees. Some, such as my serviceberry trees, feed the birds right through the winter.
I've always loved Catalpa trees. At one house I lived at, there was a huge old catalpa tree, and in the spring it would be covered with sweet smelling bell-shaped flowers. It also has nice big heart-shaped leaves.
A couple years ago, my brother in law Mitch gave me a foot-high Catalpa tree that began growing from seed in his yard. It happened to germinate in a pot behind his house. I brought it home and planted it where I thought it would do well. This year it really took off. It has grown more than four feet this year, and now is as tall as me. This spring it was a bare stick out of the ground, until the leaves started budding out. It had a y fork at the top that looked dried up and dead. But as I watched week after week, the leaves started to unfurl and soon there were branches!
The tree just kept growing and growing. I know you will probably think me silly, but as I walked by that tree, and a peach tree I planted, I would stop and talk to them, and tell them what good trees they were and touching their leaves. I gave them encouragement. I planted some other trees as well, but for some reason, the peach and Catalpa were my favorite and they got just a little more attention than the rest. I wish I had taken photos. But if you could see how those two trees grew, it was amazing. They got no extra fertilizer than the others, and only a small amount of extra water. The other trees are doing fine, but these two have grown huge this summer. Now I've been told that peaches just will not grow around here. But then I met a woman who said she had a lovely big peach tree in her yard in McBain, until she moved. She did not know what kind it was, as it was planted before she moved in. That gives me hope.
Then I happened upon a book that mentioned the idea of talking to trees and garden plants and actually visualizing sending energy to the plants. It also talked about sending other people our energy. I know it sounds pretty far fetched, but really, it is true.
We send our energy, our love, out by our actions, our gestures, our looks, our thoughts, and even our feelings. We judge others in numerous ways, without even knowing their circumstances or knowing them as a person.
It made me wonder what would happen if instead of judgment, we just sent thoughts of love and goodwill out to others. When we see someone we would likely reject, instead we think good thoughts about them, and good wishes. I think we could really turn our world around.
President Obama said in his weekly radio address, "We and we alone as Americans will define what our country stands for." He is so right! We as people define the world around us. We can give others a blessing just by how we treat them. Good always comes back, multiplied.
Simple BBQ Casserole
3 cans crescent rolls
1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
2 c ketchup
2 T brown sugar
2 t vinegar
2 pounds hamburger
14-16 slices of American cheese
1 sweet onion, chopped (may also add mushrooms, or green pepper)
Brown hamburger and onion, drain. Add ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar and BBQ sauce to hamburger and cook on medium heat. While mixture is warming tear up about 5-6 slices of your cheese and let melt in mixture. While mixture is finishing cooking preheat oven to temperature that is on the crescent roll tube. Take your 9x13 pan and line it with crescent (about 1 1/2 tubes) Spread out to make a crust. Put this in oven for about 4 minutes. Take out of oven. Add your meat mixture on top of crust. Then take the rest of your slices of cheese and layer on the top of meat mixture. Then take remaining crescent rolls and make a crust for the top. Then put in oven until crescent crust is golden brown. Take out of oven and let sit for about ten minutes. This will allow your casserole to set up and cool. Enjoy. (You can substitute 2 cans Manwich for the ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar.)
Keeping it Simple,