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Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Legend of the Dogwood Tree

Two thousand years ago, few trees in the Middle East were big enough to construct anything. However, one tree was valued above the others for its thick trunk and fine, strong wood. When the Romans came to rule over Jerusalem, their government used this same timber to build the crosses for executing criminals. A group of workers were assigned to gather wood for the crosses. Before long, every Roman official knew the best wood came from these gatherers of execution wood, so those workers became popular.

One day, the wood gatherers received a special request. An officer of the Roman court came and said, "The King of Jews is to be put to death. Deliver an extra-large cross made from your finest wood." So, a fresh tree was cut from the forest of the trees with thick trunks and fine, strong wood. An extra-tall (and extra-heavy) cross was quickly made and delivered.

Three days after the death of Jesus of Nazereth, the chief wood gatherer got alarming news. "All of our finest trees are withering!" the messenger whispered. The wood gatherer hurried to the forest and saw that it was true. Several years later, the chief wood gatherer heard that, every spring, many people visited the old forest that had once made his job so easy. Despite his advancing years, he set out to discover why. He saw the remains of forest, now like a salty bottoms, with only a few trees still standing tall, bare, lifeless and rotting. But what was this? As he drew closer, his feeble eyes could make out the people walking among thousands of beautiful, flowering bushes. Seeing one of his own workers there, the old man said, "No one could ever make a cross out of this twisted wood. Our finest tree has gone to the dogs!" He noticed the beautiful white flowers, each blossom looking as if it had been burned from the touch of a miniature cross.
As told to Ben Baston by his grandmother, Louise Brown.

There is a legend at the time of crucifixion the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber for the cross. To be used thus for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus nailed upon it, sensed this. In His gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering Jesus said to the tree: "Because of your regret and pity for My suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross--two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember."

The pink dogwood is said to be blushing for shame because of the cruel purpose which it served in the Crucifixion. The weeping dogwood further symbolized the sorrow. The red dogwood, called the Cherokee, bears the color to remind us of the blood shed by our Savior.

Blooming Trees ~ What Else?

Kwanzan Cherry... Dogwoods and Redbuds.. ahhhh the fruits of my labor and blessings from God...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What's Left of the Bradford Pear

My dad cut the broken limb off and cut it up into perfect pieces to take camping with us for a campfire. You can buy bundles of wood there for 5.00, but it is usually pine or poplar and burns up very quickly. The picture shows the original split in the tree that I found a few weeks ago. We have to take the rest down soon...

Bear and Bees

Bear loves to eat bees... He will jump off of the ground to grab one in mid air. He caught this one on the porch today when I was outside with him taking pics... He curls his gums back and bites the bee continuously until he kills it.

A Couple More Spring Pics

Redbuds are indigenous to our area. I stood in front of the dozer when clearing the lot if he came too close to a couple of them :) The others I transplanted from saplings that grew underneath my mature ones. They are throughout our woods and I love them. Their leaves are shaped like hearts and they are perfect to put near your house and are very hardy.

Red is one of my favorite colors and it looks so vibrant in the spring with all of the yellow flowers. I am not a fan of tulips, but the squirrels are... :)

More Spring Blossoms

I love this little spot in my back yard... It is full of perennials and is pretty with the split rail section behind it. I lost a dogwood tree a few years ago and would love for the stump to be cut down shorter, but buried on a honey do list somewhere... The hyacinths and daffodils are so pretty together...

My friend Iva Mae gave me a piece of this gorgeous Bridal Wreath... I have several of these now in the back yard. This one is the largest.

My friend Donna gave me the purple phlox. It has spread nicely and it is a great fill in. I enjoy sitting here and watching the girls chalk on the driveway and play basketball with their friends... when I'm not participating as well :)

This is one of a few white dogwoods that I planted. It is starting to open and will have huge gorgeous blossoms in a couple of weeks or less.

... more pretty daffodils ~

Sunday, April 12, 2009


The Easter Bunny arrived! Little info about him...

The Easter bunny has its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. The Hare and the Rabbit were the most fertile animals known and they served as symbols of the new life during the Spring season.

The bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have its origins in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s. The first edible Easter bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s. And were made of pastry and sugar.

The Easter bunny was introduced to American folklore by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s.

The arrival of the "Oschter Haws" was considered "childhood's greatest pleasure" next to a visit from Christ-Kindel on Christmas Eve. The children believed that if they were good the "Oschter Haws" would lay a nest of colored eggs.

The children would build their nest in a secluded place in the home, the barn or the garden. Boys would use their caps and girls their bonnets to make the nests . The use of elaborate Easter baskets would come later as the tradition of the Easter bunny spread through out the country.


Wishing you and your family a wonderful Easter! He is risen!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Weeping Cherry Tree is Blooming!

This is one of my favorite trees in the yard... I wish I could blink and make it bigger, but it is rather slow growing and I love it anyway... I have to prune the bottom so I can duck my head and mow under it. I think it looks better pruned evenly.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Englander Pellet Stove

We purchased this Englander Pellet Stove from Home Depot and it is now hooked up and running. I absolutely LOVE it! I filled the hopper with pellets yesterday around 12:30 and it has hardly used any pellets. I turned it off through the night and back on again this morning. Our home is very well insulated and I have had the setting on 1, which is the lowest setting. If you have been thinking about purchasing a wood stove vs. a pellet stove, I would definitely go with the pellet stove. It is so easy to use and much cleaner than the wood stove. I am seriously thinking about putting one in the family room within the next few years to replace our woodstove. We'll see how the wood supply holds out ;) I still need to find a more appropriate hearth pad, but using this one for now. I would prefer a corner hearth pad and a darker color. Enjoy your day and be blessed!

Split Bradford Pear

We had high winds here on the mountain the other day and they split my Bradford Pear tree... Oddly enough, there was a large split at the bottom of the branches, however, the split was on the other branch. We cleaned up the broken branch and will have to take the rest of the tree down soon. Bradford Pear trees are known to have soft wood and break easily.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pellet Stove Installation

The pellet stove pipe installation kit is complete. Because the vent on the back was in line with the electrical outlet, I decided to run the pipe up on the inside out then out, alleviating having to reroute the electrical wire to have the pipe outside. The pellet stove installation kit is galvanized, so I painted it flat black. The piece on the outside is galvanized and looks nicer than I thought it would. (I'll post a picture later of the outside piece.) Fortunately, my dad's roto saw did a great job. I couldn't believe how much drywall dust landed over the entire living room, just from cutting the 7" or so inch piece out.

The second hearth pad was shipped and it was white with missing grout and a chipped stone, damaged during shipment. The company that I bought it from said to keep both and offered to send another pad out as soon as I approved the picture they emailed to me. The pad that the pellet stove is sitting on is not for a corner, but at this point, I want my money back and I will purchase one from a local woodstove dealer when they stock this fall. I prefer one that is darker and more rustic and is actually a corner pad.

We still have to install the air vent to the outside. It is a small vent to assist the draft. After that, we will test it and make sure it is working properly and hopefully I'll be able to relax and enjoy it this fall ;) I'll let you know how well it heats after the test run... xox

Good morning Wednesday~

Last summer when we went to the beach on vacation, we also visited a beach where wild horses live called Assateague Island. I took this pic from the vehicle. We didn't get out and explore because we could drive and see them on either side of the road... I would have much preferred to park and walk and enjoy, but was outnumbered ;) I found their link if you are interested in checking it out.

Cloudy here today and calling for rain. I managed to sell a few things on eBay, so I was happy to see that this morning. I suppose someone told my buyers that the economy is bad :)

Enjoy your day and be blessed. xox