Archive for ◊ April, 2010 ◊

28 Apr 2010 Can you really call THIS shopping??
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Kridler Gardens

Kridler Gardens

Do you need to purchase some plants for your garden?  Have I got the place for you!  Kridler Gardens, in Homeworth, OH, near Alliance and Mount Union College.  This week’s activity was to take a scenic drive, and I combined that with a destination of Kridler Gardens, as it is a gorgeous drive there.

My body, mind, and spirit are always so renewed when I spend time with all the natural wonders we have been given.    The endless gift of healing from the fresh air, sky, trees, flowers, water.  I am so grateful.  I try to build time with nature into nearly every day.

10Can you imagine, though, integrating a shopping experience with the relaxation and beauty we get from a scenic drive or a walk in nature?  Well Kridler Gardens has done just that.  Amazing.  I don’t usually use my blog to promote a business, but you have just got to check this place out!  Look at this.  You don’t even feel like you are shopping.  You feel like you are walking in the most peaceful, groomed, park you have ever been in…and oh, by the way, if you see anything you like you can actually take it home with you…unlike typical park rules!

 Here is their website description:   

“Kridler Gardens is a destination garden center specializing in hard to find, rare, and unusual perennials, trees, shrubs, and annuals. The garden center is located on a 100 acre parcel of land, that features our arboretum of unusual and rare trees and shrubs. The plantings cover a 20 acre site, with the nursery situated within these plantings. One of our goals is to be able to show you a planted, maturing, and growing specimen. This helps you to envision the plant in your home landscape.

The grounds also feature a lake, ponds, benches, and a lakeside gazebo… room for a picnic when you visit. There are also 40 acres of mature woods that are under development as time allows, with trails and sittings areas.”

11And then there is Barrie Kridler, one of the owners.  We took photos with us of our gardens because we needed serious help in selecting some bushes and perennials.  We simply told Barry our garden agenda (i.e., low maintenance, 3 -4 season color/interest, flowers that sustain well in indoor cut flower arrangements, etc).  You could almost see Barrie’s mind working as he took us through the gardens suggesting all kinds of various bushes, plants, etc.   He made this project so easy.  We typically find a plant we like & try to figure out where it might survive in our garden.  Barrie took the clearly much wiser and knowledgeable approach of picking the right plant for the spot.  It will be so rewarding to watch our garden flourish, rather than watch in wonder every spring to see if any of our perennials will come back to visit!



Go visit Barry at Kridler Gardens!  You won’t be sorry. 

4809 Homeworth Road
Homeworth, OH 44634
Phone (330) 525-7914



Little cottageOH…AND they have a simply beautiful cottage for rental there nestled in the woods.  Check it out!

Here is their website description:  “Envision a secluded, private cottage all to yourself…a soft rain beating down on a tin roof, owls hooting, and deer walking past your window. Or, a bright full Moon, shining down thru the trees and into your window as you nestle into bed. This is a small part of what you will find at The Little House at Kridler Gardens. Nestled within a mature woods and situated on the grounds of a landscaped arboretum sits an unexpected sanctuary. You can fish in one of our ponds…(throw back only!), hike, bird watch, sit by a campfire, read or whatever you like to spend time doing or not doing. The grounds surrounding the cabin are planted with native wildflowers, flowering trees and shrubs, rare and unusual plants are all around you. “



21 Apr 2010 Global Communication
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This week’s activity….learning some basic sign language!!  I am LOVING this. 

I thought I would try to learn 10  signs that would help people communicate important messages.

I Love You sign

I Love You sign

I am learning the signs for:

  • Home
  • Store
  • Water
  • Drink
  • Hungry
  • Now/today
  • Hurt/pain
  • Happy
  • Please
  • Thank you
  • BONUS sign:  I LOVE YOU

I am well on my way with learning them but will need to review them daily for them to really stick.  I may add some other words to the list! 

When my kids were young we had a deck of sign language cards and tried to learn a new sign each week.  Obviously they didn’t stick well for me.:)  I will have to see if my kids remember any of them!

I noticed that my nephew, who is 1, is learning some sign language at Day Care.  I think that’s wonderful!

Do you know sign language?  I read it is the 4th most common language in the world.

16 Apr 2010 Simple Pleasures
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BATHING BY CANDLE LIGHT_phpThis week’s Intentional Living activity was to take a bubble bath!

It was a buffet for the senses. 

Eucalyptus-scented bubble bath.  Essential oils.  Lavender handmade soap. 


Hot water.   Then tepid.  Then cool. 

Listening to “Tuscany,  A Romantic Journey”. 




italy_tuscanyThe sweetness of the music was like nectar from the gods, transporting me to the Tuscan countryside.

When the music ended…listening to the stillness and silence. 

I began the bath restless, frustrated, mind racing…left in stillness, peace & wonder.

But I forgot taste…light, crisp white wine and strawberries.   Scheduling a do-over!

09 Apr 2010 For love and honor
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full viewEaster Day…such  a perfect time to honor those who have passed before us and now live for eternity.

I made my first alteration to my working Celebrate 50! list in January when I was having lunch with a friend, Mark Young.   We were talking about how many years it had been since his teenage son died suddenly in an auto accident…11½ years.  He told me a beautiful story about his son’s roadside memorial.  He said one day he had stopped at the memorial and a poem had been attached to the cross.  Mark did not recognize the name of the person who authored and signed the poem, Kevin Michael Mooney.  He did some research, located Kevin, and contacted him.  Kevin said he had driven past the memorial every day on his way to work for years and felt compelled to write the poem and leave it at the cross.  We talked about not only the hardships, but also the amazing impact we can make on lives even when we have left this world.

I suppose, as I write this, that is also the lesson of Easter.  How fitting to stop and reflect on how we can contribute to changing the world, in how we live our lives and in how we live our deaths.

plaqueAs I wrote this post I contacted Mark as I wished to be respectful in what I wrote publicly, and wanted to know how much detail he was comfortable in my including.  He said to include whatever details I liked & then said something I will remember always…  “it is so special to know that after all this time someone still remembers and also wants to do something in addition”.  I wrote back & told him he would never know how often I think of Patrick and their entire family.  I would imagine Mark didn’t intend to change someone’s life or habits in what probably felt like a simple, heartfelt remark, but he changed mine.  When I read Mark’s note I realized all these 50 years that I have unintentionally withheld information that could bring such comfort.  So often in my days others come to mind, but in the busy-ness of the day, I don’t take the time to send a brief email or make a quick call to let that person know I was thinking of them.

Mark wrote to Kevin to ask permission to publish his poem.  Kevin mentioned in his response that he noticed something new had been placed at the memorial site.  I can only imagine what it meant to Mark and his family that someone who travels that road daily, thinks of his son, and noticed that the memorial had changed overnight.  Kevin went on to say, “I am truly grateful for that moment that I took - which is always a reminder that too many things in this world go unsaid, too many thoughts not shared. What blessings we receive when we just reach out… “  Amen, Kevin! is Kevin’s heartfelt tribute to a soul and boy he never knew.  The world needs more Kevin Michael Mooney’s!



Rainbows thrown through cloud fields white,
Alight they flow,
In through the heavens, gleaming eyes;
Emerald sunset smears with golden rash and indigo,
Sun splash through grass and wooden marker glows,
Illuminating this Patrick’s, life,
For whom such is love and sweetness pulls,
The heart, the eyes, the mind, the pulsing soul,
To decorate this spot with dancing spirit light heightened,
That speaks of compassion embraced and enlightened,
God’s omniscient echo fills, this air,
For here along this highway,
I am merely traveler daily in car on this road,
Passing this, gentle hallowed ground nightly alone,
While springtime ignites and the autumn trees throw down their clothes,
While summer birds spiral and butterflies hum,
While winter cold warms and hence again the cold comes,
Season after season the love and the memory remains young.

You are many things I am certainly sure of this,
More than just a memory to recall and reminisce,
For your loving presence passionately persists,
You have touched the fire in someone’s soul,
Who has let all who travel this road humbly know,
That there is, a Patrick for whom they grieve,
A wooden cross flowered by delicate wreaths,
Filling this atmosphere with quiet pleasantries,
Filling the air with a quilted peace.

So I stop here and step here and in silence here discreetly,
Within this sanctuary I press my shoes neatly,
Leaving a scribbling of mosaic of words,
Notice from a traveler that Patrick’s life has been heard,
Though death has ended a life,
This relationship, like the rainbows pressed into wispy clouds,
Alights and onward flows.

Patrick, indeed your life has been heard.  And you continue to affect change in this world even in your absence.  What a legacy…


Taking Chance

Taking Chance

If honor and respect of the deceased touches your heart, you might enjoy renting the movie “Taking Chance” starring Kevin Bacon.  “Taking Chance follows the journey of military escort Lieutenant Michael Strobl as he takes the remains of young solider Lance Corporal Chance Phelps back to his family. Inspired by Stroble’s personal journal that he kept following the outpouring of support he received along his journey, this story is a tribute to all the fallen and those who carry them home.”

I’ll leave you with one last, touching story about honor.  A friend of mine shared with me this powerful story of respect from her grandfather’s funeral.  He lived in a rural area in southern Ohio, and during his  funeral procession she noticed a fellow traveler on the road had pulled over to the side of the road, got out of his car, took off his hat, and bowed his head in honor.  What our world would be like today if everyone honored life and death with that much respect.

I would love to hear your special stories of honor and respect….

02 Apr 2010 Wonder at the Lake
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Mentor Headlands Beach Park, Mentor, OH

Mentor Headlands Beach Park, Mentor, OH

OK.. It’s 80 and sunny on April 2nd and I am going to blog about a snowy walk at the lake!  What a contrast.  Because of synchronicities I ended up doing several of my intentional living activities in about a week so have been catching the blog up to the activities.  But it’s perfect timing because it makes me that much more thankful for this 80 degrees!  Yes!

Snow & Sand

Snow & Sand




 I walk 3 miles a day most days, including winter, primarily at the park, and also spend a lot of time by the water..lake, rivers.  But I had never walked at the lake in the winter.  I saw some photos a Facebook friend posted of the lake in the winter & decided to modify one of my activities and turned it into a walk at the lake in winter.

 Gorgeous, gorgeous!!  The sky was endless.  With the lake and beach frozen you couldn’t tell where the sand and the water met.  And the sand and snow mixture was really cool.

Beach rocks croppedAs we walked my husband began to look for unusual stones.  He would pick one up and say, “I wonder where this came from?”, “how far did it travel?”, “who held this before?”.   I found his ponderings fascinating.  I had just seen pebbles on a beach and he saw living history.  It was a great new perspective & I was grateful for the eye opening he gave me.  What messages does the water bring? 

My wedding message in a bottleReminded me of the Kevin Costner movie “Message in a Bottle”.  Which reminded me of my wedding day.  Our reception was held at a place on the lake.  My family used the opportunity to surprise my husband and I.  They wrote a message, put it in a bottle, and we tossed it in the lake.  We actually did hear back from the people that found it a few hundred miles away.  How small the world is and how wonderful people are!

As I wandered the beach I remembered something I used to often do at the river on my walks and haven’t done in some time.  I closed my eyes and created a contest for myself.  How many different things could I identify using my senses?  I used to do this every day, trying to beat my personal record.  It is a great way to make oneself aware of how much we miss every day numbing out to all the beauty that surrounds us.  I could feel the heat of the sun on my face at the same time I could feel the cutting wind chill of the winds off the icy lake.  I could feel the shifting sand beneath my feet.  I could feel the stones touching my hand in my pocket.  I could hear the wind.  I could hear the still & the silence.  I could smell the freshness of the air.  You get the idea.  I really enjoy the awareness this silly activity brings.  Do you ever do this?

Then I kept my eyes closed and wandered the beach wondering what would it be like to not have sight?  I take it so for granted.  I made a decision to take something off my Intentional Living list and replace it with something more meaningful.  Sometime this year I am going to blindfold myself for an hour and live without sight for that hour.  I wonder what fascinating lessons I will learn.  Stay tuned..