Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Kindness Diaries, is A Must See Series

There is no doubt in my mind that we need a little more kindness in the world!  Actually, we need a whole bunch more kindness. One such man, unsatisfied with the material success he had achieved in his life, felt that there had to be more to life than money and good fortune,

The man, Leon Logothetis, having read the book, "The Motorcycle Diaries" was inspired by how Che Guevara, road his motorcycle across South America living entirely off the kindness of strangers. Logothetis, greatly inspired by Guevara's journey, decided to create his own Motorcycle diary, with a twist.  Logothetis not only would travel around the world on a broken down motorcycle relying on the kindness of strangers, he would also reward people for kindness shown to him in very beautiful and heartwarming ways.  In turn, he created his own diary called. " The Kindness Diaries."

I saw The Kindness Diaries on Netflix and I highly recommend it!  It really reminded me that in spite of all of the division, hostility, and negativity in the world today, deep down, humans are really still very loving at heart.   I highly recommend this video or book, it is life-changing!

Until the next time,

Happy Gardening!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Best Way To Ant-Proof a Hummingbird Feeder

Both my wife and I are fascinated by hummingbirds. For the longest time we had a pair that were regular visitors to the feeder we hung of our balcony then one day they stopped showing up.  When I went to investigate I found that the feeder was crawling with ants. I was going to have to find a way to ant-proof our feeder.

Fortunately I have a coworker who keeps a feeder outside his office window and I noticed a small barrel-shaped device attached to the cable mid-way between the top of the feeder and the tree branch it was hung from. I asked him what it was and he told me it was to keep the ants off of the feeder.  Of course, I wanted to know right away where to get one.

I found The Perky-Pet Ant Guard  on Amazon and because I am an Amazon Prime member, I get free shipping. I wasted no time in putting mine to use. The ant guard is smartly designed and easy to use.  Under the cup is a chemically impregnated disk that ants refuse to cross. I've had mine up for several weeks now and it has been very effective; there have been no more ants on our feeder.

I decided also to add a package of Perky-Pet Red Instant Hummingbird Nectar. I like the Perky-Pet brand of nectar because they are a trusted brand having been in business since 1958.  They do have a clear version of the nectar, however, I chose the red because it seems to attract the birds better and because, well, I like the color better.

The package of comes with easy-to-follow instructions for mixing.  I chose the 16 ounce recipe because that's about the amount that will be consumed in 2-3 weeks here.  I don't like to mix too much because it tends to be less appealing to the birds if it has sat too long.

After about 10 minutes I had the nectar mixed and the feeder along with the antguard assembled and hung over my balcony.  All that is left is to sit back and let our little birdy friends give us a show!

Until the next time ~Happy Gardening~

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Who Rescued Who, Us or Our Dog

Pet rescue has been one of the most rewarding acts of stewardship I have performed! In April of 2013, after much insistence from my wife, I finally agreed to adopt a pet from a local shelter. We both decided, since we live in a condo, we would prefer a small dog. Lucky for us, Halo Animal Shelter was overflowing Chihuahua’s so they decided to waive the adoption fees. We decided to leave that very day to see if we could find our forever dog.


We arrived at the shelter early on a Saturday afternoon and were overwhelmed by the number of dogs that were available for adoption. They had over 75 Chihuahuas alone and we wanted to pick just the right one for us. After looking for nearly an hour and wrestling and struggling with all of the available choices, we decided to look down one more row of kennels and there she was, our forever dog. Mocha was housed in a run/kennel with about 5 or 6 other dogs. Some were sleeping, some were barking, and one was even snarling. Mocha stood calmly in the middle basking in the sun. No question about it, she was the one.

Waiting patiently for a treat.

After letting one of the staff know we were interested in her, we were bought into a meeting room and Mocha was brought in. She immediately took a liking to us and crouched down in a play posture; it was love at first sight.

Mocha Loves to Fly

 Mocha has been with us for almost four years now and has stuck by our side in good times and in bad. We gave her a chance at a happy new life and she has given us more than we could ever have imagined. Every day when we arrive home from work she greets us as if she hasn’t seen us in years! Aside from work and church, Mocha is with us most of the time. She even went on an airplane with us this summer to visit my mom. She rode all the way there in her carrier under the seat and never made a noise the whole way there and back. She has even boldly proclaimed a spot between us when we sleep at night. Adopting her was one of the best things we ever did, and I think she feels the same.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

My Road to Serenity

The Beatles wrote a song titled, “The Long and Winding Road.” I think that best describes the spiritual path I’ve taken in this life. Let’s see, I was raised Wisconsin Synod Lutheran, joined a spiritual recovery program, became an Episcopalian, stopped being Episcopalian, attended a Four-Square Gospel Church, stopped attending a Four-Square Gospel Church, attended a Spiritual Group, married a Roman Catholic woman, and ultimately became a Roman Catholic. Throughout it all I remained and grew spiritually. At this point I no longer have any need or desire to change churches again, I have found everything I could ever hope for to practice my faith in The Roman Catholic Church. As for my spiritual path, it winds on because it must wind on!

A recent Picture of Me in Front of St. John's Omro,
the church I attended as a child.
Ok, so let me back up a bit. I really didn’t start living a spiritual based life until my back was up against the wall and I had to turn to something greater than myself. When I was a child growing up and attending church with my mom and my grandparents, I was just going through the motions and not really connecting to anything or anyone greater than me. I eventually became an adult and stopped attending church altogether, because, well…who needs that right? I mean, when you’re young and invincible like I thought I was, I really didn’t think I needed God. In June of 1995 that all changed and I found myself between a rock and a hard place! It was then and there that I threw up the white flag and surrendered. I had been trying all of my life to run the show, and I was doing a horrible job of it. I needed God!

 I have been practicing living a spiritual life ever since that fateful day, and I am living a life I never thought possible. While I am not loaded financially, I am richly blessed with good health a loving wife and daughter, great friends, a home I own, plenty to eat, nice clothes and all of the material things I need. Most of all, I am richly blessed spiritually and have a peace inside that I could never find on my own. I have hope, I have purpose, and I have love!

 I believe that there is a spiritual path for everyone and it is my hope, that through this blog I can share my experience, and learn from the experiences of others. I will share some of the methods I have learned to grow spiritually and in turn hope that you, the readers, will share your experiences with me. Please feel free to comment and connect with me; I welcome all comments whether you agree with me or disagree with me as long as they are in the spirit of love.

Until the next time, Happy Gardening!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Redefining the Garden

I cannot believe it’s been over three-and-one-half-years since my last post!  Much has happened to keep me away.  To start with, I got married to a wonderful woman from The Philippines who has completely transformed my life.  My wife and I also agreed that a bachelor pad with 1970’s era d├ęcor wasn’t a fitting home for a married couple.  The result of this agreement was a complete makeover of our condo, much of which we did ourselves. We also began attending a local Roman Catholic Parish and me, not being Catholic, went through the process of becoming one in April of 2014.  We also took a few trips to California, Vegas, and Minnesota to visit my Mom.  So yes, I was busy, but that’s not the real reason I haven’t posted; the real reason has been a bad case of writer’s block!

In the time prior to my absence I was posting primarily about gardening and plants.  However, I often found myself straying away from the topic, instead writing about cooking, sustainability, farmer’s markets, travel, etc.  I began to realize that what I really wanted my blog to be was a way to help and encourage myself and others to care for ourselves, each other, and our planet.  In other words, I wanted to write about stewardship.

Stewardship, according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, can be defined as “the careful and responsible management entrusted to one’s care.  I struggled and procrastinated for a long time while trying to come up with a post that would bridge the gap from my old gardening blog to my new stewardship blog without changing the title and losing traction.  Finally, the thought occurred to me, I would broaden the scope of and change my own definition of the garden.  When I began to put more thought into this subject I realized that the garden could be a metaphor for our planet Earth which would include caring for all of its resources both living and non-living.  To put it simply, my future posts will be focused on sharing ways that will allow us to care for our planet and all of its inhabitants, and most of all, each other.

To do this I have come up with five main topics that will include all I am interested in writing about. I call them the 4 s’s not to be confused with the 5s’s used in lean enterprises although that in itself would make a great topic for numerous posts.  My 4 s’s are as follows: Stewardship, Spirituality, Sustainability, and Self-Sufficiency.  I may or may not come up with more s’s later. In upcoming posts I will elaborate more on each topic and all future posts will be labeled with one of the 4 s’s.  I can’t wait to get started!

Until the next time, Happy Gardening!