1. CJ Armstrong says:

    Beautiful!! Love day lilies. Mine are done for the season and my Shasta daisies are too! Gone are the irises, columbines, and red hot pokers. However, my Russian sage bushes are blooming their lovely purple color. They smell good too!

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Marvelous Monarchs

We know pollinators are precious.

And we know that, among pollinators, monarchs are particularly marvelous.

Not only are their delicate wings dressed in a daring, dashing fashion reminiscent of tiny sky tigers, they use those fierce little wings to migrate hundreds of miles each year.

Like I said, marvelous.

Photo by Jiuguang Wang via Flickr

“But have you ever seen what exactly millions of monarchs in Mexico looks like?” asks Treehugger’s Melissa Breyer.

Admittedly, few of us have actually witnessed this famous phenomenon. So, to bring the monarch’s marvelousness into focus, up close and personal, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg created a short film for all of us to, well, marvel at.

“I’ve seen photos; they’re lovely. But this short film, ‘Wings of Life,’ offers a glimpse into this phenomenon that is nothing short of magic,” Breyer shares. “[Monarchs] fill the sky like paper in a tickertape parade; clouds of confetti, orange and fluttering. They sleep on the branches of oyamel trees, sometimes in numbers so dense that they break the branches. And to see them all together, as shown in the film, is a thing of unforgettable beauty!”

See for yourself, and feel your heart take wing …

P.S. If you’re a Midwest farmgirl, you may be able to help monarch butterflies on your property.

  1. Krista says:

    How beautiful! I remember learning about them in 2nd grade and we actually had one in a cocoon and waited for it to hatch! These butterflies are absolutely beautiful and I found it impossible to look away as I watched them move in the video. It’s crazy to think a mass amount of tiny monarchs can break tree branches, but it gives an idea of just how many there are. This would be a magical site to witness for myself.

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Driving Miss Norma

We’ve talked in the past about passing—dying, and doing it your way.

But what about those precious months, weeks, days … moments … leading up to the big event?

If you could suddenly hear the ticking of your life clock, what would you do with the time remaining?

Many people, right or wrong, throw themselves desperately at the feet of the medical profession, hoping beyond hope for a cure. They are willing to suffer through brutal treatments to try and extend life, often trading quality for a shot at quantity.

But not Norma Bauerschmidt.

Photo courtesy of Driving Miss Norma on Facebook

Last fall, two days after her beloved husband Leo’s death, 90-year-old Norma received the news that she had uterine cancer. Surgery, radiation, and aggressive chemotherapy were options, but she didn’t even pause to consider them.

“A tiny woman at 101 pounds and under five-feet tall, an exhausted Norma looked the young doctor dead in the eye and with the strongest voice she could muster, said, ‘I’m 90 years old, I’m hitting the road,’” recalls her daughter-in-law, Ramie.

And, by golly, Norma meant it.

Photo courtesy of Driving Miss Norma on Facebook

Norma’s son Tim knew that his mom couldn’t—or, rather, wouldn’t—sit still, living out her days in the quiet of a home she had shared with Leo for most of her life.

But what did that mean, exactly?

“Having recently read Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (please put this on your reading list), our best idea was to take her on the road with us. Norma currently is not in pain, her mind is sharp, she loves to travel, and she is remarkably easy to be around,” Ramie shares on the Driving Miss Norma Facebook page, where you can keep up with Norma’s adventures.

Photo courtesy of Driving Miss Norma on Facebook

Photo courtesy of Driving Miss Norma on Facebook

So, together, the family “hit the road” in an RV for the journey of a lifetime.

  1. Brenda White says:

    What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing it🌷

  2. CandyC says:

    Lovely post, thank you.

  3. Denise Ross says:

    Wow, what a courageous and wonderful woman she is.

  4. Barbara says:

    I’m with Norma…

  5. Kristi Wildung says:

    I’m as so pleased that you shared this story MaryJane. I saw it linked on the Glampers Facebook page and it left me feeling so very inspired. May we all be strong women, just like Miss Norma.

  6. Joan H. says:

    Occasionally we hear great tales of people who are getting it right. Love this example! Thank you for sharing. XO

  7. Krista says:

    I love this! She is a strong and inspirational women. I completely agree with spending the rest of your life making memories and enjoying an adventure rather than sick in a hospital bed. Great story.

  8. Swan says:

    It’s so great to hear about someone choosing to celebrate life instead of kowtow to the fear – mongering allopathic establishment. I know that most all of the people in the cancer industry mean well, but so many are misinformed . . . For anybody interested in learning about the many successful cancer treatment protocols around the world, there is a comprehensive documentary that came out last fall. It’s called “The Truth about Cancer” by Ty Bollinger.

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Ocean in a Bottle

For all of you landlocked ladies who feverishly need an ocean fix …

Photo by Skeeze via Pixabay

I have one word … well, it’s an acronym, really:


That’s right—a do-it-yourself ocean.

This cool concept puts a lusciously liquid spin on the dusty ol’ bottled-ship idea.

We’re talking real water here,

BLUE water.

Whether you call it your captive Caribbean, personal Pacific, or mini Mediterranean, you’ll love this simple craft from Rose Matthews of Dream Gem.

“This miniature bottle charm creates an ocean in a bottle just by using oil and water. When you turn the bottle side to side, the oil and water create the effect of a wave,” Rose explains.

Here’s her video tutorial:

I love it that you can actually wear a bottled-ocean charm, carrying a smidgen of sea with you wherever you go. Bigger bottles, by the way, look beautiful illuminated against a sunny window.

Rose offers another watery craft on her Dream Gem You Tube channel that you might want to add to your coastal collection. Take a look at this marvelously mesmerizing jellyfish in a jar:

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This is really cool for instant ocean feel! How lucky I am today to be in a condo right on Daytona Beach, Fl. With endless miles in front of me of deep blue waters and white capped waves crashing on shore. As pretty as it is……… it is scorching hot out there in the intense sun anytime except early morn and evening. However, sitting on the balcony in the shade and having a sea breeze, it is perfect for waiting out the hottest part of the day. I am so lucky to have been invited to come here with friends for a few days!

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