Tag Archives: flowers

One Lovely Blog Award


Imagine my surprise when I opened my gmail account today and found that I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award. There are many different blogging awards. What I love about them is that you don’t have to have won a Pulitzer Prize to get one of them. All you have to do is have someone like your blog enough so that the person nominates you. To accept the award, there are certain procedures you must follow. So, here is my compliance with them.

First, I’d like to thank the writer of Barren to Blessed  for nominating me. I love her blog. It’s a story of hope, endings and new beginnings. I hope you’ll like it too.

Next, I have to tell you seven things about myself that you might not know.

1. God is the most important being in my life. Without my Lord, I have no idea where I’d be, but for sure, probably dead. With God, who has traveled with me through many trials, travails and joys, my life has been surely and most truly blessed. My fondest desire is to inspire others to get to know God on a personal level.

2. I adore black licorice. Not Twizzlers’ black licorice, for it is just a sham in my honest opinion. No, I love Red Vines’ black licorice, licorice from Australia, and licorice from several different European countries.

3. I’d like to get married again. When we got married,  I always thought I would be with my daughter’s dad for the rest of my life. It didn’t work out that way. I married again – for a very short time. I would love for God to bring me someone with whom I can spend the rest of my life. I would be grateful for someone with whom I could go on long walks, a man who is moral, honest, humorous and ethical, and who believes in God as I do.

4. I am an avid student of the Holocaust. I took the  survivor interview training at Steven Spielberg’s The Shoah Foundation, completed a one week course about teaching the Holocaust at the Bremen Museum in Atlanta, and wrote 8 out of 12 lessons for a Social Studies Services book about teaching the Holocaust with the Internet. It is one of my dreams to travel to Eastern Europe to see the landmarks of this period in history.

5. I have a passion for helping the homeless. It’s another one of my dreams to turn some of the abandoned textile mills here in South Carolina into housing for the homeless. I really can’t think of anything that would bring a bigger smile to my face!

6. I am an avid fisher-person of rainbow trout. I leave catching bass, crappie, blue gill and the huge fish of the sea to others. Sit me on the bank of a lake, put a pole in my hand, and I guarantee I’ll lose complete track of time. I simply adore fishing for trout!

7. I once danced with Little Anthony of Little Anthony and the Imperials. I still love 50’s and 60’s rock better than anything, though I also adore music in general. My favorite opera is La Boheme.

Finally, I have to nominate 15 other bloggers for this award. My favorite bloggers write about and photograph a number of different subjects.

1. Live simply, travel lightly, love passionately & don’t forget to breathe

2.Travel Photography by Dmitrii Lezine

3. Communicating.Across.Boundaries

4. Have Baggage, Will Travel

5. Chronicles of Illusions

6. My Journal of Praise

7. Let Life In Practices

8. Have A Dream

9. Forever in the Present

10. My Life in Color

11. Soul Feeding

12. Sicadai-Sirlan

13. On the Go with Lynne

14. Jim Fields’ Weblog

15. Serenity Spell

I hope you’ll take a moment or two or three and visit some of my favorite blogs as listed above. I’m sure you’ll be encouraged and inspired. Subjects range from fishing to travel, with a handful of spirituality thrown in for good measure. Kind of like me. 🙂

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Bloom Where You’re Planted


“Whoever would have thought I’d be planted here?”
Photo by Ellie Kuykendall

In a million years, I never thought I would be living in South Carolina. This is NOT where I wanted to spend my “golden years.” But you know, God had other plans for me. And this is where I am.

So, I was thinking the other day that I need to remember the simple phrase, “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” I remembered it while I was putting plants into the above unlikely containers. We’re used to seeing plants in pots of all descriptions: clay and plastic, bright and dull colors, large and small, patterned and plain, and hanging baskets. However, we’re not used to seeing plants in tea tins or ceramic pitchers that were designed for liquids.

And that’s like me in South Carolina. At times I feel like a flower in a pair of kid’s rain boots. Most of the time these days, though, I believe I’m exactly where I belong. Why? Because of the many blessings I’ve been given since I moved here almost four years ago.

I thought I’d be traveling the world, preferably with a husband. Neither of those retirement dreams has materialized. Maybe they still will, and maybe they won’t. How I accept the circumstances in my life is more important than the conditions in which I find myself.

Will I complain about what I don’t have, or will I be grateful for what I do have? Will I seek out new opportunities to help others, or will I isolate and feel sorry for myself? Do I do a check each day to see whether I’ve offended someone and then make amends if I need to do so? Can I look for the gifts I bring to others instead of wondering why I’m not more like so and so?

Each day is a new opportunity for me to grow, listen, change, be still, and add something to someone’s life. If I keep these things in the forefront of my mind, I’ll remember that I have done some traveling to different countries in the world. This is much more than many other people have experienced.

If I remember that I am a child of God, the negativity slips away.

And more than anything, if I continue to have faith, then I realize that God is doing for me what I cannot do for myself.

I hope you have a blessed day!

One more thing…I would love to hear about your blessings, so please feel free to leave a comment.

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Filed under Behavior, Feelings, Helping Others, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee


Spring blooms on tree in front of my house

“Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love” has always been one of my favorite hymns. And now, with spring’s abundance all over the place, it seems even more evident to me that God is one of love and glory is due. (Click on the link to hear the hymn.)

What is your joy factor today?

For me it is finding the beauty within and without. It’s not easy for me to see my own beauty within. I’ve spent a lifetime blaming myself, feeling sorry for myself and playing the victim. A friend told me last night, “Lots of people have a hard time forgiving themselves. You have made it an art form.”

And she is right. I find it so much easier to forgive others than to forgive myself.

But today I feel joyful. Spring is here, the trees and flowers are blooming profusely, and everyone seems to have a spring in their step.

Many years ago I had a very rough year. It was 1974. My daughter was born in February and in March someone vandalized our little house. They broke the mobile over her crib, smashed the vases from the flowers people had sent while I was in the hospital and poured cooking oil over our brand new chairs (the first new furniture we’d ever owned). Later that year, our business burned down and our best friend died suddenly. I was talking with my priest and he said, “Ellie, I once had seven years of Good Fridays, but Easter finally came.”

And that is how I feel today. Easter has come in terms of my health. I am healthier than I was a year ago, even more so than a month ago. I’ve always taken my health for granted. I will never do so again.

Anyway, I am joyful because some people recently told me I’m an inspiration to them. Wow. What a wonderful compliment that is.

I’m joyful because I have so many things to be grateful for: a comfortable and serene place to live, friends and family who care, food in my fridge and two cats who adore me! I adore them as well and have not had to get rid of them, thank God.

I am joyful because I’m getting ready to start working on my book again and know I will finally finish it.

I am joyful because I have eyes that see, a mind that works, ears that hear, feet that walk and hands that do what I tell them to do. Not everyone can say that.

I hope you are joyful during this season of renewal. Feel free to comment and tell me about your joy or to contact me by email or phone. Thanks for reading.

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No More Gerber Daisies or How Things Do Change


Beautiful Gerber daisies, compliments of Gianni http://morguefile.com/creative/gianni

I think I’ve wanted to grow Gerber daisies forever. But I didn’t even know their name until last year or the year before. So this year I decided was the year to plant these magnificent flowers. I drove all over town until I found the least expensive ones and promptly put the five plants into the ground with fertilizer. I watered them well and waited. Each of them, you understand, had flowers on the plants when I bought them. As the flowers began to die, I deadheaded them, knowing that more flowers would be forthcoming soon.

Nope. Nada. Neverlands. Nothingness. Zip. Zilch and so forth. In two months, just ONE of the plants bloomed again with one flower and that was IT. Darnation, Tarnation, Drat and Heck.

What’s a poor girl to do when one of her favorite flowers doesen’t bloom? Nothing to do but exclaim, “NO MORE GERBER DAISIES.” What a waste of time and money, huh?

But wait a minute. What if I were to read up on the care and feeding and so forth and so on of Gerber daisies? What if I were to overwinter the two other Gerber plants I bought in hanging baskets in my sun room this winter and try again next year? What if?

Well, they might bloom and they might not. Back to square one. I’m not a quitter usually. I hang on and hang on, much to the consternation of certain people who have been in my life. My teachers loved the fact that I hung in there. That was me, always the one with her hand up in the air asking questions, studying hard and getting pretty much great grades. The work paid off. Maybe it would pay off with the Gerbers too. One never knows about these things.

Sometimes hanging in there is really difficult, like someone who has cancer and is dying but is hanging in there through the pain and discomfort anyway. Other times, it’s a struggle, but it’s fun — such as when you’re hanging on to your fishing pole with all your might because there’s a whopper on the other end.

Hanging on can be useful, such as being in a raft and going through the rapids. Hanging on can be painful, too. You’ve broken up with your significant other, but you keep hanging on to the thought that maybe you two will be able to patch it up and live happily ever after. Good luck with that one. Been there, done that.

Hanging on to faith, hope, and God is amazing. During the worst of times, you have someone to turn to – someone who won’t judge, degrade or cynically laugh at you. You know you’ll get through whatever it is you’re going through, but only with God’s help.

What are you hanging on to today? Are you afraid of change or do you embrace it? What have you/can you learn from this experience? What can you share with others who are going through something you’ve been through and survived?

Whatever it is, I wish you a blessed week and hope you’ll pass on the link to this blog to friends and family who might appreciate it. I appreciate you. Thanks for coming by.

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