Tag Archives: gardening

Sunshine Blogger Award!


Sunshine Award

The Sunshine Award!

I smiled with joy when, upon opening a comment, I discovered that the writer had given me the Sunshine Blogger Award! What a treat and an honor. So thank you, Jay Morris, for honoring me so. I think my readers will also like your blog, which is The Wayward Journey (link will open in a new window).

I must admit I’m embarrassed to be so late announcing this. Jay actually wrote to me at the beginning of January. However, it’s been a rough couple of months health-wise, so I am behind on many things! Now, I am feeling better, and the beautiful Gerbera daisy above heralds the beginning of spring.

The requirements for accepting this award are that I tell you seven things about myself and that I nominate ten other bloggers for the award, not to mention letting Jay know how much I appreciate his award to me.

Let’s start with the seven things about me that you may not know.

1. I’m a cat person. I like dogs and had them while I was growing up, but I adore cats. I love their independent spirits, their ability to take care of themselves when I leave for a few days, and the way they curl up in balls when they sit in my lap.

2. I’ve traveled to South Korea, Japan, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.  I lived in Korea for nearly two years and loved that wonderful country and its friendly, loving people who always had a smile for this expat. I took an eco-hike on St. Croix and learned many things about herbal medicines from the naturalist who led the hike.

3. I’ve been in every state in the Union except for Maine, Massachusetts and Alaska. I would love to visit Alaska one day. It’s been a dream for many years.

4. I have one daughter, who is 39. She is a woman of many talents. I adore her and her son, who is the light of my life. When he moved back to be with his dad during his teenage years, I missed him so much I could hardly stand it. But I am so grateful for the spending most of the first ten years of his life near him in person. We had wonderful times and still do have beautiful, warm talks and hugs when I see him!

5. My favorite color is yellow. My sofa is yellow, and the chair that goes with it has lots of yellow too. Yellow is such a sunshine color and always makes me feel great, whether it’s in my own living room or at the store buying flowers. I hope my daisies will come back this year.

6. I love gardening and I have had several wonderful combination veggie/flower gardens. Unfortunately, because of my health now, I can’t garden like I used to. However, I can do container gardening. In 2012 I had way too many containers with plants and flowers and veggies! It took me 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to water them each day. But they were beautiful.

7. It is still my dream to travel more. I would like to go to the holy healing places of Medjugore and Lourdes. Maybe God will send me a miracle healing if I go there. Of course, maybe He’ll send one even if I don’t! Next, I’d like to go to Israel. It doesn’t seem like a very safe place right now. I always pray for peace in that region. Finally, I’d like to go to Eastern Europe and see the Czech Republic and some other places. I hope one day I can achieve this dream. But if I don’t, I feel blessed and grateful for the traveling I’ve already done in my life. Many folks haven’t even been out of their home city or state.

Okay, now for the nominations.

1.  Monce Abraham is a writer who lives in India. His blog posts will really make you think. They’re not fluff at all!

2.  Lead, Learn and Live is David Kanigan’s inspirational blog.

3.  Piya Singh is an Indian Artist, currently living and working in Germany. I think you’ll like her creativity.

4.  Charlie and Tom are photographers whose work is lovely. Their blog is PhotoBotos.

5.  Shannon Elizabeth Moreno writes about her strong faith in Revelations in Writing.

6.  Marney McNall scribes her volunteer experiences in The Volunteer Fringe.

7.  Rebeca Bud has a different take on her blog: Taking the Kitchen

8.  Loolie and Poolie have a fun blog about their vacations: The Adventures of Loolie and Poolie.

9.  Dianne Gray is an award-winning Australian author. Her blog is Writing and Loving Life.

10.Speaking from the Heart is an out-of-the-box blog by a woman who is a holistic health practitioner.

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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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What Eating Chinese Food, Gardening and Fishing Have in Common


Veggies from my 2010 garden

I found a great new Chinese/Japanese place to eat yesterday. I’d driven past it a million times, but something always kept me from stopping. Since my favorite soup/salad restaurant in the same area closed down, I thought it was time to try the Fuji Steakhouse in Spartanburg, SC.

If I had a fancy cell phone with all the whistles and bells, or if I’d thought to bring my camera, I’d be showing a picture of the most amazing plate of food I ordered. It was tofu with veggies and fried rice. Huge. Really. Beyond delicious as well.

While I was eating and reading a new book by Janet Evanovich I found at the dollar store, something occurred to me. I always eat Asian food with chopsticks. After two years in Korea and a love of far Eastern cuisine my whole life, I consider it almost a sin to eat these delicacies with a fork! As a matter of fact, I have also taught tons of people to eat with chopsticks in under two minutes. However, I digress.

What came into my thoughts was that you have to pay attention to eat this food with chopsticks. I don’t mean shoveling it in your mouth without thinking as you do when you’re eating with a fork. I mean you REALLY have to pay attention. If you don’t, you’ll not only not be able to eat anything, but you also may wind up with food all over the table and your clothes if you don’t. Real hand to mouth contact, so to speak.

I’d been working in my yard for a good part of the morning before I went out in search of the perfect meal or perfect deal. I found a pretty perfect deal, but I decided to wait.

When I’m working in the garden or fishing, I lose track of time. I am fully engaged in those particular hobbies of mine, just as I am paying exact attention when I eat Chinese food.

The Buddhists call it “mindfulness.” The new-agers call it “meditation.” Many Christians call it “prayer. It is being fully in the moment. It represents a time when we can concentrate profoundly on what we are doing, without letting the stress of our everyday lives get to us.

For me, I don’t think about what I’m going to eat, wear or if my house needs repairs. I forget painful memories, don’t worry about anyone else and feel joy and peace in every part of my being.

It is my way of communing with God, nature and my inner self. I sometimes get great revelations when I do so. I sometimes don’t.

I did forget for a moment yesterday and spilled a little food on my bright turquoise peasant shirt. I almost tripped and fell while walking down my uneven pathway while gardening today.

But I always catch fish. Come to think of it, it’s that time of year, and I need to go fishing.

One year I had the extreme pleasure of living in the mountains of Northern California. I went fishing every day there wasn’t snow on the ground. I caught tons of rainbow trout, my favorite fish. I felt awe at watching a family of ducks grow up. seeing the leaves turn their brilliant colors and looking at the reflection of the trees in the crisp, clean and cool water. That was one of the most painful years of my lives in other respects, but the fishing made the pain go away.

I hope you have hobbies or habits that do the same for you.

What will you be mindful of today?

Hey, and if you’ve read this far, how about leaving a comment! I’d surely appreciate it.

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Hello world!


Me, relaxing in Costa Rica, March, 2010

It’s time. This freelance writer has had a long dry spell, but my muse is finally working again.

You may wonder who I am and why I’m starting a blog. It’s simple.

1.  I have wisdom to share.

2. I know that my words are part of me, and I want to share them with more people.

3. I’m greedy. I’d like more writing assignments, so maybe some will read this and think – “I could use her skills on my website, my book, my articles, etc.” I’ll never know unless I ask.

A little about me:

My name is Ellie Kuykendall, and I live in my nearly perfect two-bedroom yellow house in South Carolina with my two calico kitties. It’ the first house I’ve ever owned, and I love it. I also love gardening, swimming, fishing for rainbow trout, reading, walking, eating out and going to flea markets and garage sales. But most of all I love God.

My writing experience includes articles for magazines and newspapers, contributions to books, and tons of website content. I started writing when the late 90’s boom for freelance writers hit the Internet. It was easy to get writing jobs then. People posted on places like Craigslist , and they paid anywhere from $.05 to $.50 a word.

Times have changed. Now everyone in the world wants to be a writer – we seasoned professionals call them “wannabes.” And so, the Web is filled with blogs and tweets,  updates and photos on Facebook and YouTube. Prospective employers check these sites to see if applicants are the type of people they want in their organization, folks look for high school and college classmates, and families stay in touch with their keyboards (whatever happened to the old fashioned dial phone? 🙂

So welcome to my world. You may love what I say or hate it. You may wait breathlessly each day to read my latest post or read one and wonder what turnip truck I fell out of. But one thing I promise. I will make you think, question and laugh. I’ll move you to cry, smile widely or pet your dog with gratitude. No matter how you feel when you read my writing, though, I hope you’ll share those feelings with me. And, if there’s anything I can do for you or anything you’d like to hear my opinion on, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Shalom and may the peace that passes all understanding be yours forever,

Ellie

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