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Welcome to a Simple Spring!

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  • Sheryl Simons
    The Simple Life Northern Michigan is at the height of spring color, right now. Tulips, daffodils, grape hyacinth, forsythia as well as, apple, cherry, pear,
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 26, 2004
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      The Simple Life

      Northern Michigan is at the height of spring color, right now.
      Tulips, daffodils, grape hyacinth, forsythia as well as, apple,
      cherry, pear, and crab tree blooms, are bombarding our senses. The
      smells are just as delicious. Soon the lilacs will bloom – the
      usual sign that it is safe to plant tender vegetables outdoors.
      Nurseries entice us to buy all manner of new and old varieties of
      plants, pots, tools, and supplies to have beautiful yards – but it
      still comes back to lots of hard work – but fun – and good exercise,
      too. (Just think of all that money you will save on a gym
      This year I will be expanding my garden by planting flower
      seeds, annuals and perennials and then transplanting them around the
      yard, and also making some wildflower gardens. You just can't have
      too many flowers! I mostly go with pastels, I don't have many red,
      but prefer pinks, lavenders and blues. I think it helps my garden
      feel "cool" on hot summer days. Also, the types of flowers I enjoy,
      old fashioned single hollyhocks, delphinium, petunias, pansies,
      roses are cottage garden types of flowers.

      * * *
      Janet Luhrs clears up the idea of simplicity for us with her
      quote, "Simplicity is not just one thing, one path. There is not an
      easy recipe for simplicity. There is not a perfect way to live
      simply. There is not a certain amount of money that you need to live
      on in order to be a bona fide graduate of simplicity school. You
      don't flunk if you own a car; you don't earn honors if you plant a
      garden. Simplicity is not so much the outward trappings of your
      life; it is the 'inner you' making decisions."
      Why do we make life so complicated when it can be so simple?
      Every moment is a decision to find simplicity – know anyone who
      wanted a complicated life? Universities don't teach courses on
      Complicated Life 101. But sometimes we find ourselves there. We may
      be in debt, out of a job, or just as bac, in a job we don't like.
      Somehow we all find ourselves living crazy lives from time to time.
      Sometimes it is temporary. A friend's husband has a chronic illness
      that strikes out at very inopportune times. These `flat tires' on
      the road of life tell us to slow down and smell the flowers. Don't
      put off what we may not be able to do another day. Live in the
      moment. Pray all the time. Sing. Hold a hand. Stay grounded.
      Make someone's world a better place – right now. Give lots of
      hugs. Hold a kitten. Enjoy the sunshine – don't forget the
      sunscreen. Let go of the things you don't really need, but hold on
      tight to that which you do - God, family, friends and peace. All
      the rest will fall into place. I promise!

      *** Spring Rhubarb Crisp***

      My Rhubarb is growing like gangbusters with all the recent rain.
      Tonight I am making a simple recipe of Rhubarb Crisp, to taste that
      first taste of spring, fresh out of the garden. Other simple
      rhubarb recipes might include substituting rhubarb for chocolate
      chips for rhubarb cookies. Or, try adding rhubarb to the chocolate
      chip cookie dough for a chocolaty fruity cookie. (Okay, maybe the
      cookie idea is a bit over the top!) Or, substitute chopped rhubarb
      for the fruit in a muffin or other dessert – even pancakes (well,

      Rhubarb Crisp

      Stir together in baking dish or bowl that is greased:
      4 cups rinsed and chopped rhubarb
      1 t cinnamon
      3 T flour
      1 c brown sugar
      3 T butter or margerine.

      1/3 c brown sugar
      1/4 c Margarine or butter
      1/3 c flour

      Bake for 45 minutes to one hour, until golden brown and bubbly at
      350`. Note: if rhubarb is not available, you can substitute peaches,
      apples, pears, or your favorite fruit.

      *** In the Garden***

      Right now in our Northern Spring area, there are all kinds of work
      to be done in the garden. Where to start?

      Make a list according to your needs such as:


      Don't put off the weeds. They may not be too noticeable yet, but
      underground they might be huge! Crab grass roots can be growing more
      than two feet long, with only a small tuft of grass sticking up. If
      grass is trying to move into your flowerbed, try Grass B Gon, from
      Ortho. It will kill most grass without killing your plants. Read
      the label first, of course. For other plants you might have to get
      down on the ol' hands and knees to pull a few. If you try spot
      spraying, use an old lamp shade to funnel the spray directly on the
      plant you want to kill, rather on your precious plants! It also
      gives the neighbors something to talk about!

      Keeping it Simple,

      PS, last week I had a question from a reader way up in Alberta
      Canada :) who needed info about indoor gardening. One reader,
      Teresa, shared with us:

      Although we grew-up in the south, my dad and mom always had veggies
      and flowers growing from seed indoors to get a jump on the season
      (and to save money). Before my dad built momma a small green house,
      he used to take a hanging flourescent fixture and fit it with
      a "grow bulb". He cleared out a space in the garage and hung the
      light about 18" above a table where he put the peat trays. The heat
      kept things warm enough to start seeds in January and he would raise
      the light as they grew. This was also a great way to winter over
      things like ferns, begonia's, etc.

      Teresa from Montgomery, Alabama

      Thanks for sharing with us, Teresa!

      You'all have a great week! If you think about it, please pray for
      my grandmother, Dorothy, 91, who will likely pass away in the next
      few hours. She will soon be with her Lord, and having a great
      reunion in heaven! She taught Bible studies for much of her life
      and was a great grandmother to me.

      See you all next week!
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