Twas The Night Before Apocalypse

Twas the night before apocalypse and what I have in my focus –
Twenty-eight teenagers are laughing and playing and causing a ruckus.
There’s chocolates and cookies and goodies galore;
Funny gifts, Elvis’ Christmas, and non-stop kids through the door.
Their plan is to bring tomorrow, whatever it brings – 
Stay up all night long until the first birdy sings.
New puppy is roaming, lapping up all the crumbs,
Guitars are strumming and, are those bongo drums?
Fresh out of school, Christmas still pending
None seem too worried that the world may be ending.
So on they continue with the gaiety and fun
But I’m off to bed to be up with the sun.
Cause no matter the parties or threat of a world gone berserk,
My boss is still expecting me tomorrow to show up for work! 
So I doubt I’ll get more than a short winter’s nap
But I’m not too worried that my patience will snap, 
Because the rustle, commotion, and clutter and fun 
Remind me the world is still turning and life will go on! 

12 Days of Christmas – Day 1

On the first day of Christmas my true love should give to me (thus begins my online Christmas gift list for those of us who are unashamedly plant nerds):

A Garden Girls gift certificate!

If you haven’t ever seen this Garden Girls website and you are a gardening gal who loves to work hard and still look as cute as you can when covered in dirt and sweat, check out these adorable duds. I could   buy every thing they make!  Goovy boots:

Flattering overalls:

Practical essentials:

So for the first day of Christmas, I want my garden attire to be as fashionable as well as practical.

Win a Williamsburg Christmas Wreath!

One of the greatest treats I had this spring was the opportunity to see first hand the wonderfully creative work that P Allen Smith has in the works from his Mountain Home Retreat. And to introduce you to his delightful Holiday collection I’ll be giving away the Williamsburg Christmas Wreath!

THE NEW WILLIAMSBURG COLLECTION

The Williamsburg Collection celebrates American history and tradition. Southern fare is symbolized by golden pears decorating the fresh, fragrant greenery of Noble Fir and Western Red Cedar bedecked with pinecones and a shimmery earth-toned satin bow.

I love the natural look and fragrance of this wreath and its simple elegance.

Here’s a little more about Allen and his new digital magazine coming out this month!

Little Rock, AR— November 11, 2012 – Award-winning designer, gardening and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith announces the release of the first edition of his new digital magazine, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home Style.
The online lifestyle publication highlights home and garden design and style ideas and will be released quarterly. Serving as an idea book for its readers, Garden Home Style focuses on themes of design, cook, create, shop and travel.
Smith says “I am thrilled to publish a magazine that offers readers ideas for creating a garden home lifestyle through decorating, gardening, cooking and entertaining. It’s equally exciting to offer Garden Home Style in the digital arena; users can access the magazine from desktops, smart phones and tablets. Inspiration at your fingertips. I love it!”
The first edition will be released Tuesday, November 6th and will focus on holiday celebrations. With recipes, holiday decorating and gift ideas, and a section on social responsibility, the magazine fully embraces the holidays by using ideas from Smith’s own family holiday traditions.
“There is something so enchanting about this time of year that I thought it would be the perfect time to launch this new endeavor!” Smith said. “Christmas reminds me of home and family and of holiday traditions. The holidays are a time for festive parties filled with lots of fun, glittering decorations and fragrant aromas that waft from my kitchen and fill my home.”
Future editions will continue to serve as a lifestyle idea book, and they will be seasonally themed. Garden Home Style will be published on the company website, www.pallensmith.com.

*  *  *
About P. Allen Smith
P. Allen Smith is an award-winning designer, gardening and lifestyle expert and host of two public television programs, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, P. Allen Smith’s Garden to Table and the syndicated 30-minute show P. Allen Smith Gardens. Smith is one of America’s most recognized and respected design experts, providing ideas and inspiration through multiple media venues. He is the author of the best-selling Garden Home series of books published by Clarkson Potter/Random House, including Bringing the Garden Indoors: Container, Crafts and Bouquets for Every Room and Seasonal Recipes from the Garden. Allen is also very active on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Allen’s Blog and YouTube as well as on the new eHow Home channel. His design and lifestyle advice is featured in several national magazines. Learn more at http://www.pallensmith.com.
Using fresh greenery is a tradition in my family and I often look at what I’m planting in my garden to see how I could use it during the holiday season.
 A winner will be chosen at random and the wreath will be sent directly from Berry Family of Nurseries. To win this wreath, just click on the link below and follow the instructions: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway




In full disclosure, I have received no monetary or in-kind compensation for hosting this giveaway. I just thought it would be fun to let one of my readers win a wreath for their holiday decorating. Thank you to the Berry Family of Nurseries and to Allen for allowing me to host.


The Growing Zone – Day 39

As I’ve mentioned before in “The Growing Zone”, horticulture and the world of landscaping and gardening can serve as a backdrop to either reflect or expose what is going on or growing on inside of us. The stories of a garden are in many ways the stories of life, and sometimes I simply have to remember the truths that God has taught me through my interaction with His botanical handiwork to gain direction for other areas in my life.
When one of my sons was young and wanted to be outside with me while I was working in the yard, he decided he would help me by pulling up all the “weeds” that were in one of my flower beds. By the time I got over to see what he was doing, over 200 of the crocus and daffodil bulbs that I had planted the previous fall had been pulled up. I was aghast. But the hardest thing to bear was the misunderstanding in my son’s face when, after he had thought he worked so hard to help me and couldn’t wait to see my pleasure, all he saw was dismay and disappointment. That precious relationship between mother and son, between nurturing soil and growing bulb was briefly interrupted. Forgiveness became the soil that regrew relationship as we worked together to replant bulbs and restore what had been removed. Some of the bulbs survived, some did not, and some didn’t bloom until the following year.
Over the years I have found myself on both sides of the forgiveness field – the one needing to forgive and the one needing forgiveness. Sometimes I have been the unwitting puller of crocus causing deep disappointment in another. Left to lie on top of the ground, a relationship that has been pulled by its roots because of words or actions that have been misunderstood or misspoken will never have a chance to bloom again. Restoration comes when forgiveness is coupled with genuine sorrow and repentance where needed. With tears as healing rain and understanding as healthy sunshine, regrowth can begin.

Link My gardening friend, Helen Weis, recently posted this with the comment that “Forgiveness is not what effects them… Forgivess is what effects you.”
My wish this Christmas season is that regrowth and restoration be accomplished within all our lives. The Christmas story is one of love and redemption, and most of all about forgiveness.

“Mary, Did You Know” video