Language Translator

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Welcome Autumn, and, a friendly complaint!

~photo by Suzanne in Fort Worth, 
sometime early July, 2014

How are all of my blogmates doing, now that Autumn is upon us?  It is gradually cooling down here in the Lone Star State, and our State Fair opened on Friday morning.  I doubt that we'll try to fight the crowds to go, but, I'm sure it's going to be loads of fun!

I really just came by to say hello, and discuss a couple of concerns I have.  Somehow, I lost a lot of my illustrations from previous posts on this blog.  I don't know everything about 'high-tech' stuff, but, golly, what a mess some of my picture files have become.  A while back I signed on to Google +.  Now, somehow, they've zapped all of my picture files from my computer to my phone, thus taking up ample space on the phone!  And, I can't seem to get them off of the phone.  Consequently, when I tried to delete a particular folder (MyTexasGardens) from my phone, it also deleted them from my blog!  This is pretty frustrating, to say the least, and I think it will be quite a job to fix, don't you?
I just don't understand why the pics could not be deleted from my phone ONLY!  And, some of them are years old, and have no reason to be on my phone.  Is there a lesson here?
Maybe, 'If it's not broke, don't fix it?'  NAH...that's not it!  
So, for now, I'm up in the air about it! 

* Next, on my agenda is a subject no one really wants to discuss or complain about.  However, I am quite tired of the anonymous comments blowing up my emails to the tune of 6 to 12 per day!


A few every now and then can be handled, but the comments coming to this blog and Karo's Rockabilly blog are now bordering, not only on annoying, but also on harassment!  The comments do not make much sense, and are clearly of form letter content.  For the most part, these folks do not know what they're talking about!

 I have sent a complaint feedback to Blogger regarding this issue, and, have not received a response yet.   I do know there's not a lot that can be done,  I just want these comments to be reduced to a minimum.  I do appreciate that they are not immediately slammed on to our blogs, but, they are a hassle to go through and delete.

If these folks are so apt at  'so-called' constructive criticism, they need to identify themselves, or stay off of our blogs!

I do want to thank you all for coming by, and I hope your Autumn season is becoming quite enjoyable.  Just can't wait to see the falling leaves of red and gold, eh?  Stop and say hello if you get the chance...I love to hear from you!

*** And, remember, it is time to transplant your Iris, in order to reap a grand showing in the early spring.  Be sure to give them plenty of sun.  Cut back your Coleus and clean up your Begonias and Geraniums.  I promise they will give you some additional color during the fall months.

note:  The header photo and garden photo are mine

Thank you Yahoo images for loaning me a few images!

From my house to safe and give Love!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Visit From Our Grumpy Gardener Proves Mint Worthy!

~Grumpy Gardener from Southern Living magazine

Hello, my gracious bloggers, and, if you're new to this blog...welcome to MyTexasGardens!  Just look around, and let me know what you think!  I know that summer is coming to an end for most, but, as we all know, Texas continues to enjoy the stifling 100° just a wee bit longer than some!
 (just kidding, about the enjoying part!)

And, school has already started almost cute little grandson, Scootie will be starting Kindergarten this week, and, I hope he has a wonderful time!

Sooo...I brought you here today, to share some news from Southern Living's 'grumpy gardener'.  It seems as though some gardeners are having 'mint invasions'.  A reader wrote in to the 'grumpy gardener' with his dilemma about mint running rampant in the garden, engulfing hostas, daylilies, verbenas, yarrows, and black-eyed Susans.  And, when they try to pull the mint up by sections, it just bounces right back!  And, the reader asks if they need to completely clear the garden in attempt to 'de-mint' it, or would that just be 'demented'?


You know, I raised some mint for a few years, and, this disgruntled gardener is telling the truth!  I had it in a pot at first, and when the plant grew thicker, some of the stems broke off, and the mint started growing on the ground!  It grows everywhere it falls, almost!  And, recently, my mother in Kansas City had the same problem.  She would dig and dig, and, still-the mint would show up in and outside the garden!

What's a gardener to do?

~Looks like Mint Julep overkill to me!

* Okay, playtime is over.  Here's what the 'Grumpy Gardener' had to say on the subject.

~And, I quote:

  "You have made two serious mistakes.  First, you're wasting fresh mint on tea, when you should be using it for mint juleps and disappointing!  Second, you should never, ever plant mint in a garden with other plants or it will spread faster than fleas at a flophouse.  Grow it only in pots or confined beds by itself.  To eradicate this hellacious herb, dig up all your good plants this fall, remove any traces of mint, and store the plants in pots.  Then spray the entire bed with broadleaf weedkiller.  Replant when you're sure the mint is dead.  Some sprigs of mint you missed will undoubtedly sprout next spring.  Quickly pull them up." 

Well, what do you think?  Are you willing to dig everything up as the 'Grumpy Gardener' advises, or just take your chances on pulling them up as you can?  I'm just grateful my mint finally disappeared.  And, as much as I enjoy mint in my tea, and cucumber dressing, next time I will try to confine it to one area, or one pot.  

Gosh, who'd have thought mint could be so plentiful?  I love the smell of freshly watered mint on a warm evening, as the breeze whooshes by, don't you?

Let me give my thanks to:

Southern Living Magazine
The Grumpy Gardener via Southern Living Magazine
yahoo images:  All photos were acquired from Yahoo Images
note:  the photo of my Scootie is my own!

***  And, thank you my dearest readers for your visit!  I am so glad to see, you-rain or shine!  If you get the chance, please stop and say hello.  I know, I know, there are some shy ones out there...
...myself included, lol!  But, remember, we're among friends!

And, here's my sweetie Scootie coming out of schute #1

 -the, 'MINT SLIDE'!

~ photo by Suzanne * August 17, 2014 * Fort Worth, TX

*** If you're wondering why our outdoor summer photos of Scooter always show him in long pants and long sleeve shirts, we have so many mosquitoes, and, long sleeved clothing is one of the precautions we take to prevent mosquito bites on this precious gift of ours! ***

***  See you next time.  Be safe, give love and laughter!

I just can't pass up a funny one, can I?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Land Scape Ho!

Welcome back, blogmates and neighbors to our Summer Solstice program for 2014!  It is so good to be here, and, see all of your beaming faces eager for knowledge!  I hope I'm not too late for Bermuda shorts, Coca Cola, and watermelon!  And, oh yes, are you ready for the 4th of July picnics and celebrations?  My brother was born on July 4th, and, that made for the most fun celebrations ever!  Hot dogs, cake and ice cream, and fireworks, were the catch of the day!


I wanted to come by and spend a little time sharing some information I recently acquired.  On the Yahoo Shine site, from HGTV Family of Sites, comes a list of 7 Landscaping Don'ts.  So, in getting right to it, here's what we can do to avoid the time, money and maintenance generated by landscaping booboos!

'Must-Not-Dos of Home Landscaping!'  

1.  Landscape Overkill-don't let landscaping overwhelm your house.  You don't want to spend your time pruning trees and shrubs that 'over-grow' to a size, forcing you to fight your way out the front door!

2.  Don't start landscaping without a can draw your own plans out, but do your homework, and plant varieties that are indigenous to your neck of the woods. It's okay to try new and exotic plantings, I've sure been guilty of that, and, sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised.  Just be sure you can access the planted area easily with water and yard maintenance equipment, allowing you to keep your garden healthy and beautiful.  Isn't it great, however, that you can go online to find garden plans from various gardening sites, and garden magazines!  There is some great advice out there!

3.  Don't plant too much of the same thing.  Try to provide a bit of variety of planting, so as to keep blooms coming throughout the seasons.  The photo below illustrates just that!  Beautiful shrub roses, aren't they?  But, tell me what happens once the blooms are gone...what is left in this area to look at?  Additionally, the space must be trimmed and cleaned after blooming season is over.  Not for me!

4.  Don't let a big lawn suck your resources.  A large area of lush grass is nice, but, it can be a glutton for your time, requiring large amounts of water and nutrients. Try to reduce the size of a large lawn with some landscape beds that are attractive and low maintenance.  May I suggest some perennial beds that re-appear over the years, and possibly some low-maintenance shrubs?

5.  Don't let ivy climb your house unless you are ready to do annual pruning.  I agree-ivy vines are lovely, but once they are established, they can cover your windows, clog your gutters, and encourage pests like termites!  OH GAG!  Who'd of thought?  Thanks, but I'll keep my ivy in a controlled pot!

6.  Don't plant trees too close to your house, meaning species that may overtake the yard or your home's proportions.  An invite for headaches and nightmares, I promise!

7.  Don't install one-dimensional planting beds.  Try to plant in layers, featuring low-growing plants such as begonias or impatiens in front of the taller plants to conceal the legginess.  You can co-ordinate your colors to offer appeal, such as red or blue salvia with silvery Lamb's ear or white impatiens bordering the front.
The raised bed below would have been served better with fewer of the tall flowers, say in a rounded formation in the center.  Then, you could probably get away with planting one color of coleus around them, or a colored plant of the same substance as coleus.  Since this is a raised bed, a very low bordering plant such as begonias, would not show up over the edge of the box.  You could border this with liriope, also known as monkey grass.  

And, there we have it, gracious gardeners!  Not a tall order after all, you think?  
A few things to remember:
 When planning for a bed containing various plants or flowers, find the types that compliment each other in size, color...and, do they get along and grow well together?
Sun vs. shade-Zinnias, Periwinkles, Moss Rose, and Marigolds just LOVE the sun, and lots of it!
Hosta, ferns, impatiens, violas, and purple jew can do 4 or 5 hours of sun, and then they need some filtered light shade.

Okay, okay...I'll stop!  But, do your homework, ask questions, and look it up!

Thank You:
Yahoo images

***  Thank you, and, thank you so much for coming by.  I enjoy your visits, and I hope you do too. Did this presentation help answer any questions you may have?  I appreciate you and your comments!  And, as usual,  I did put in at least 2 cents, and added my own suggestions to the article, in hopes of clarifying any confusing terminology.

Our little 'Scooter' * June 8, 2014 * Fort Worth, TX
~photo by Suzanne

"Aaah, summer...that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days,
 free of responsibility, and rife with possibility.
 It's a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes,
 conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends."
~Darell Hammond

*note:  all photos except the last one of our Scooter were acquired from Yahoo images.  

Be safe...give love...AND laugh a lot!
See you next time!  ♥

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Magnolia Mile!

Magnolia blossoms ~ Artist unknown to me

Well, where have you all been?  I've been right here, minding my own business, and trying to stay out of trouble, just kidding...what fun is that?  I know I haven't written in a while, but I have NOT left the building!  

Gosh, I've been taking the same route to and from work everyday (almost) for the past 21 years, and, I never know what gorgeous sites I am going to encounter!  I had no idea Magnolia trees were so prominent in this area of north Fort Worth as I have seen over the past years.  I don't have a Magnolia tree, and I don't even know why!  So,  I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to this beauteous species!

What I have learned thus far-YOU CAN'T REACH THE BLOSSOMS!  How does anyone ever get to pick a Magnolia blossom to enjoy on the veranda whilst sipping a cool mint julep?  
"Oh, Ashley!"

~photo by Suzanne * Riverside Drive * Fort Worth, Texas * June 2013

Okay, we know this...Magnolia trees come in many sizes, the largest being the Southern Magnolia, growing to 80 feet, and the Cucumbertree Magnolia, also hailing from the US, at 90 feet tall.  I've seen these large beauties in front yards, and, adorning a vacant lot here and there in town.  They are actually native to the eastern half of the nation, with only the cucumbertree thriving as far north as New York State.  And, the Southern Magnolia has the largest range, from North Carolina, through the upper half of Florida...then, westward HO into Texas!

~photo by Suzanne * Rayner Street *  Fort Worth, Texas * June 4, 2014
This photo is out of focus (I guess it's the photographer, lol!)
But notice how large it is...and just full of blooms!
And, I had to hurry...I didn't want to get arrested for sneaking into a strange neighborhood to shoot pics of a tree?  Sure, they would really believe that,wouldn't they!

As we are all aware, it is rumored that these trees have reputations for attractive flowers and fine foliage.  I do know that some of them are evergreen.  Most of the larger Magnolia trees in my area stay leafy all year round, however, I have seen some of them turn brown.  Some of the leaves will fall and accumulate under the tree, leaving little chance for anything else to grow beneath it.  Magnolias are well noted as one of the premier shade and landscaping trees in the Deep South-the blooms being the official state flower for both Mississippi (nicknamed 'the Magnolia State') and Louisiana.

~ photo by Suzanne * Beach and I-121 * Fort Worth, TX

Some uses of Magnolia Trees:
* magnolias are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species,
including Giant Leopard Moth.
* the bark and flower buds have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine.
* In parts of Japan, the leaves of Magnolia are used for wrapping food
and as cooking dishes.

~photo by Suzanne * Higgins Street * Fort Worth, TX * May 2014

As you can see here, Magnolia blossoms grow at the end of a tree's branches.  And, it looks to me as though they kind of tuck themselves in which would make them hard to cut.  Also, I want to mention that Magnolia trees may feature pink, red, purple and yellow blooms.  They seldom have pest or disease problems, and, aren't usually munched on by deer-well, THAT'S refreshing!

~photo by Suzanne on Higgins Street * Fort Worth, TX in May 2014

See how the sunlight lends a soft glow to this bloom?  If you look upward to the right, you can see a new bud, and then, on the left up a ways behind a smaller, sunlit leaf, appears the fruit of the it okay at this point to call it a 'Mag'?

~ photo from Yahoo images
Here's a closer look at an unripened 'Mag' fruit.  As it ripens, the fruit kernels turn a bright chartreuse reddish.  Darn!  I didn't know that, because I haven't seen any red fruit on the trees in my area.  The kernels are high in water content, and a good food source for birds.  The kernels are actually the seeds, and start popping out as they ripen, however,  only about 50%  of them germinate, so, good luck on getting a 'Mag' tree to start successfully!  My research suggests that it takes about 10 years or more for a 'Mag' tree to start producing blooms and seeds.  I have come across some smaller 'Mag' trees in the area, but, haven't gotten any photos of them-I do look for blooms, and, I guess the information is correct.  After watching a few of the small trees during the past few years, I have yet to see any blooms appear.

~ripened Magnolia seeds * photo from Yahoo images

Sooo...are we at a 'wrap- it-up' point?

 Here are just a few 'Mag' tips:

* Pick the site for your 'Mag' carefully...don't crowd it.  These trees are hard to move, so find a spot with rich, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic, and add organic matter when planting.

* Mulch in the early years with a cooling mulch over the root area.

* Water deeply and thoroughly, but, don't leave the soil waterlogged, or the tree will drown.

*Sometimes the 'Mags' can develop 'chlorosis' (yellow leaves with veins), and you should treat with iron chelates.   Okay, here's what that kinda means!  Iron chelate is a soluable complex of iron, sodium and a chelating agent, which I cannot begin to pronounce-but it's soluable in water.  Sheesh!

* If your 'Mag' is desiduous ( the leaves fall seasonally), pruning is best after it blooms, however, it is suggested to prune desiduous trees only when necessary to correct the plant's shape, as the cuts are slow to heal.  On evergreen 'Mags', prune before the spring growth flush, removing the entire twig or limb to its base.  You can remove lower limbs from the trunk as the tree gains height.

  ~photo by Suzanne * Beach Street * Fort Worth, TX * May 30, 2014

Questions anyone?
  Gosh...I hope not!  I think I will continue to admire this gracious species whilst driving through town,
 and let the experts handle the 'Maintenance of the Mags'!

Please allow me to thank:

Thank you so much for your visit.  I love seeing you all, or, y'all, as we say here in the Lone Star State.  I hope you're doing well, and laughing a lot.  We have gotten some rain lately, and the temps are hovering in the high 80's and low 90's right now.  It's tolerable, but, we've got to run that air conditioning frequently.

And I want to tip my hat to you dads tonight.  Even if you don't have children of your own, I'll bet you've been a dad to a child at sometime in your life by just giving of yourself.  Being a mentor, tossing a ball back and forth, congratulating a child on a job well done, defines a dad in my book!

Happy Father's Day to you guys!

And now...
~ Somewhere in the early 1970's

"Sit with me in the top of a Magnolia tree.
Tell me all your secrets, darlin...tell me that you'll stay."
~from Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors

Love and Hugs to you safe, eat sugar-free popsicles!
See you soon!  ♥

Thursday, April 24, 2014

'Earth to Spring'...not a moment to waste!

~photo by Suzanne * February 28, 2014 * Fort Worth, Texas

Here we are in the midst of ...well, we're being told it's Spring!  What a HARD winter it was for a lot of us.  Not so bad for Texas as was other parts of the country. And, I certainly hope it's coming around to being green for everyone at this point!

This is Earth Week, isn't it?  We've had Earth Day, and then Arbor Day all in one week-hey, I almost forgot!  Karo planted an apple tree today.  He started this tree a couple of years ago from the seed of an apple he was eating.  Oddly enough the little seed had a root on it.  This was a Gala apple from the grocery store, and it has been in a small plastic pot for two years, braving the stifling Texas heat and the bitter Texas frost!  And, Karo's friend Ron says that apple trees cannot survive the Texas heat.   But, I guess time will tell all...the job is not complete...the tree will have to be nurtured and protected in order to ensure it's success.  And, Karo is just the man for this job!  He says, "Anything that can live in 4 inches of dirt for two years can surely survive the true element of our Texas soil." 

photo by Suzanne * Karo's Gala Apple tree * April 24, 2014

Soooo...moving right along!  How are you all doing lately?  At MyTexasGardens, we're spinning our wheels, hoping for the best showing of our plants and flowers this year.  

Here are some early signs of Spring in my neck of the woods.
~photo by Suzanne * April 13, 2014 * Fort Worth, Texas
Large white Iris, pink Dianthus, and yellow Violas

~photo by Suzanne * April 11, 2014
~a lovely peasant girl * Violas, Vinca Major, Day Lilies and,
all the way down is a Loropetalum !

As always, I like to refresh my 'Private Garden'.  It is so much fun to spruce it up, and, add new elements and trinkets each year.  The photo below is just the beginning of this process!

~photo by Suzanne * Easter Sunday * April 20, 2014

***Remember, the earth is God's gift to us.  It is ours to enjoy, to lavish with beautiful colors of our own personal choosings, and, to roam through and through as our hearts desire.

It is our responsibility to serve and protect our earth.  Let's keep it picked up and beautiful!
And, I'm talking about everyday, NOT just April, once a year!

~Mother Earth * Cool, huh?

"Like the trees, we are visitors, 
Guests of the earth."
~Kim Stafford

thanks Google and Yahoo!

And, the biggest thank you goes out to you, my dearest readers!  Please stop in and say hello if you get the chance.  I accept kindness from all...and, I strive to pass out all the kindness I can!  Our hearts can give and receive more love than we know!


Please be safe, laugh a lot, and give love!
Til next time, I remain your faithful blogger servant!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Strength in Numbers!

In 480 BC, Queen Artemisia commanded 5 battle ships as a Persian ally, during the Greco-Persian wars.  "What a Woman, you say!"  That's many of us are aware that this woman could have been one of the women's lib pioneers?  Not me...I knew nothing of her existence until just recently.

~Queen Artemisia

Even with a grown son, Artemisia took the throne after her husband's death.  And, as the ruler of Halicarnassas, Artemisia decided to participate in the battle at Salamis.  She was fighting for Xerxes I, the Greek King of Persia, against the free Greek states, and commanded her best 5 ships to enter into the expedition with her.  She chose to commandeer the most reputable ships in the fleet, that would present the bravest and, most notable warriors. Xerxes later praised Artemisia for her brave and wise suggestion that he maintain a low profile during the war, saying, "Spare thy ships, and do not risk a battle."   Hence, the opposition became wary of this and retreated back to their posts.  Artemisia commenced to fight as a soldier, and, the enemy's plan to capture her failed.
Xerxes presented Artemisia with a complete suit of Greek armour.  He held her in great esteem, exclaiming that through her brave and manly actions, she excelled above all officers in the fleet.

As the story goes, after the war at Salamis, Artemisia fell in love with a younger man named Dardanus.  The gentleman did not return her love, and, by the advice of an oracle, Artemisia jumped to her death from a cliff.

*** Sooo...I guess you're wondering---

"What has this got with the price of beans, or the herb of the year?"

Really?  You don't know?  Well, that's what I"M here for!  From the Western Reserve Herb Society comes the announcement of the herb of the year for 2014!

the Envelope please!

The herb Artemisia has been mentioned and used in popular culture for centuries.  This herb has between 200 and 400 species belonging to the daisy family, Asteraceae, aka 'mugwort', 'wormwood', and 'sagebrush'.  Most of the species have strong aromas and bitter tastes, however, the aromatic leaves of some species are used for flavouring.

*  Dracunculus, aka tarragon is widely used as a culinary herb, important in French cuisine.  It is a good source of iron for both men and women, and promotes normal heart and muscle function.  It also supplies a small amount of vitamin A for the eyes.

* Wormwood, highly potent spirits absinthe and Malort contain all have heard of taking bitters before meals, I'm sure!  It is used to stimulate the digestive system. It is also used to brew beer and distill alcohol.  But beware!!!  Prolonged use of this Artemisia species can cause mental impairment and loss of reproductive function.

* Dusty Miller * photo by Suzanne * Fort Worth, Texas

* Artemisia stelleriana is known as Dusty Miller, also a member of the Daisy family.  Hey!  I've had Dusty Miller!  See in my photo how silvery it is?  I took this picture at night, and, it almost glows! I have it flanked with red and white bordered Dianthus in the center, and a darker red Dianthus to the right of that little green frog.  The iris foliage makes a great back drop for this garden! Dust Miller stays alive pretty much year round, and thrives in almost any well drained soil with good light.

* Artemisia annua, aka sweet wormwood, sweet annie, boasts a single stem with fern-like leaves, yellow flowers, and a campho-like scent.  This plant and its derivatives are a group of compounds with the most rapid action of all current drugs and now are standard treatment worldwide for malaria.  


Well,  what do you think?  Strength in numbers?  Queen Artemisia used 5 battle ships (a lot of soldiers) to conquer the war at Salamis, and, I can't begin to describe all of the species and uses of the herb Artemisia to you.  The name Artemisia ultimately comes from the Greek goddess Artemis.  And, we do know that some of the species have aromatic leaves used for flavoring, albeit, they have a bitter taste.  And, some of the species are grown as ornamental plants like my Dusty Miller.

*** It's no wonder this herb was chosen for Herb of the Year ***

By the way...Artemisia is also used as home decor in floral arrangements!

Isn't this a nice one?

Thank you so much for taking the time to come by and see me.  I know I haven't been around much lately, but, I do keep up with all of your blogs, and enjoy hearing from you.  Everyone cleverly presents their news with exciting photos and captions...what is so much fun, are the stories behind the photos!  Even if the illustrations are not actually photos that you have taken, you bring them to life and make them speak, and, I always feel as though I am right there with you...ah, wishful thinking, eh?

My Thanks Goes out to:

* So, I say thank you once again, my gracious readers, and, please stop by anytime!  Everyone is welcome to come and browse, and say hello!  I mean...where else can you get two stories in one?  Haha! 

"Eventually all of the pieces fall into place.
Until then, laugh at the confusion,
Live for the moment, and,
Know that everything happens for a reason."

'Till next time, I remain your faithful servant...
Be safe, give Love

I'll be BAHCK!!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Holy Grounds Keeper

~ photo by Suzanne * December 5, 2013 * Fort Worth, Texas

Happy winter, my dear gardeners!  I hope you are all staying warm and comfy during this cold time of year.  Some of us have already braved temperatures under 20°, and have fought ice and snow (myself included). And, now, we're trying to catch up and get ready for the ultimate annual coming of Spring!

So, how's your garden growing?  Me?  Uh, well, there have been a few setbacks in my yard!  But, I have taken some potted plants indoors, and they are faring rather well at this point.

~ Nativity Scene-St. George Catholic Church
photo by Suzanne * December 18, 2013 * Fort Worth, TX

I bet you're wondering why I've posted the above photos...St. Francis of Assisi and a Nativity scene after Christmas?  Well, you know, I just got to thinking about my poor St. Francis garden statue, and wondered if I should retire him after nearly 20 years of  exemplary service.  Wouldn't you agree that he is looking a bit weathered?  He has acquired quite a few injuries over the years!

And, I bet you're wondering what all this has to do with the Nativity scene?  Well, I only found out this past Christmas, that St. Francis, while visiting the town of Grecio in 1223 to celebrate Christmas, desired a larger area to hold his congregation for Midnight Mass.

In a small corner of town, St. Francis found a spot and set up his altar, after securing permission from the Pontiff.  He brought in hay and prepared a manger, adding an ox and ass, then, summoned the people for the service.  St. Francis preached to the brethren about the baby of Bethlehem, singing his praises, making for a joyous and memorable Christmas.  It is due to the devotion of this holy saint, that we honor the crude and poor beginnings of our Baby Jesus, celebrating the night he was born.

~St. Francis's Nativity

Although St. Francis, was born into a wealthy and prosperous family, he chose to live in poverty, and acquired a following while preaching in the streets.  He founded a religious order for women, The Franciscan Order, and the Order of Brothers and Sisters, having been authorized by Pope Innocent III in 1210.

Being a lover of all of God's creations, St. Francis was said to have preached to hundreds of birds, about being thankful for God's care, and, for the independence they enjoyed.  The birds stood still as he walked among them, and, they left only, when St. Francis gave them permission.  He believed that all of God's creations were his brotherhood.

St. Francis of Assisi died when he was only 45 years old in the year 1226.  He was never ordained as a Catholic Priest, but is considered one of the most highly regarded religious figures in history.  And, on June 18, 1939, Pope Pius XII named Francis a joint Patron Saint of Italy along with Saint Catherine of Italy.

My dear St. Francis
~photo by Suzanne * Fort Worth, TX

Saint Francis' feast day is observed on October 4.  He is honored in the Church of England, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church USA, the Old Catholic Churches, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, along with many other churches and religious communities.

***  Well, my dear friends, I'm sure you know that we will NOT be retiring our faithful servant, St. Francis.  My mother gave me this statue in 1994, and he rode all the way to Texas with me from Kansas City.  Francis  has graced  various gardens in my yard ever since...he has been taped, patched and glued back together, and, still stands tall as ever, as our Holy Grounds Keeper!


Thank you so much for coming by.  If you're experiencing some treacherous weather, as is our good friend Thisisme in deep Devon, England, I hope all subsides quickly and without damage!

* And, I want to thank Shady Del Knight for so graciously bestowing and sharing his Liebster Award with me and, my commrade over at KardKornerKrib!

Other Gratitudes go out to:

My door is open, please step in and say hello...I always love to hear from you.  Even you shy ones!  Come on in and just say Hello, or BOO!

~ Our St. Francis among the daisies, iris, and lilies *
~photo by Suzanne * Fort Worth, Texas

"It is my hope that the inspiration of Saint Francis will help us to keep ever alive a sense of  'fraternity' with all those good and beautiful things which Almighty God has created."
~ Pope John Paul II, 1982

Happy February! Be Safe...give love and laughter! ♥