Barefoot Gardening

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you probably know I love to garden barefoot. If this is news to you, I invite you to click on the “Meet Cindie” tab and read a little background on my blogger name.

It’s not just being too lazy to put on my shoes (though that factors in some days), but something about my feet feeling the soil connects me to my garden. After a few hours of tending my flowers, I hose the dirt off of my feet and any stress and worries seem to have been washed away too. I am left with a sense of calmness, joy, and a deeper love for and awe of the Creator of it all.

But barefoot gardening does have its unpleasant hazards. The time when I missed my apron pocket and dropped a pair of garden shears onto my big toe immediately comes to mind. In that moment, there was no calmness and joy; it hurt so bad I couldn’t even muster a scream. Most of the time though, the painful moments are small ones, like the ouch of stepping on a thistle that needs pulling, a sharp rock, or the thorn of a stray rose clipping. Sometimes I even step on a desirable plant and feel a heart-sickening snap—my brain warns my bare feet to watch my step and tread more carefully.

The other night I was walking around the backyard deadheading and pulling weeds when I felt a sharp stab in the heel of my foot. My brain instantly sounded the pain alarm and told my foot to recoil and not bear down with all my weight.

Can you guess what this is?

Thankfully, my tough and summer-hardened soles also helped prevent this sharp, rusty object from penetrating my foot, but it still hurt like the dickens, causing me to hobble around for the better part of the night and next day.

As far as I can figure, after years of being buried when the McKee family farmland was bulldozed to become a Fitchburg subdivision in the late 1980’s, winter’s frost finally heaved this old screen hinge to the surface of our lawn, and there it stayed until it met up with my unfortunate foot. It made me wonder about the history of the land? What kind of building once sat here? A farm house? A dairy barn?

My foot has forgotten the painful mishap. I will continue my barefoot gardening, but sincerely hope my feet do not meet up with another one of these pain-inflicting gizmos. In the meanwhile, shoes or no shoes, happy gardening my friends.

A Passion Enabled ‘Yes’!

Phew! I’m dead last (#56) in submitting my writing for the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up. FMF is an opportunity for writers of all abilities to gather each week around a single word prompt to freewrite for five minutes flat, then share our work and encourage one another. If this sounds like fun, you can learn more here.

This week’s FMF writing prompt is: ENABLE

The weather is trending warmer and my garden is calling me from underneath that ever-thinning blanket of white stuff. I am getting excited about once again feeling the earth beneath my feet as I meander through my flowerbeds pulling weeds, amending the soil, and getting my hands (and feet) dirty as I tend to the flowers thrusting their heads above the sun-warmed soil. Getting time in the garden will be a little trickier this year, as I just made a commitment which will ensure that I will wash my hands and feet a few days per week. A job. I wasn’t looking for a job, but my eldest granddaughter sent me a text about a job opportunity at her place of employment anyway. Her message said,

“PT cook?”

Violet works for BeeHive as a CNA (certified nursing assistant). If the name of her workplace sounds familiar to you, perhaps you may recall that my mother spent the last year of her life living in the care of BeeHive Assisted Living and Memory Care. I spent a lot of time there too, mostly loving on my mom, but helping where I could too. It was all little stuff that I could do when mom was napping: filling birdfeeders, pulling weeds, cleaning out cabinets, and an occasional organizational or word-processing project.

Every now and then I would get in a bake-someone-happy mood and would bring a big batch of cookies along with me and leave them in the kitchen for the staff to use as a snack for the residents (or themselves). Before long, I had a reputation for my baking. One resident loved cookies more than anyone I have ever met. I loved secretly tucking a cookie or two into June’s walker bag. Seeing her face light up when she discovered the treat made any effort on my part so worthwhile.

A week ago on Tuesday my phone rang. It was Gina at BeeHive and she wanted to let me know that there was a job opening assisting the cook with baking duties (yep, the same job Violet told me about). Gina wondered if I would be interested.

Interesting how God used my love for baking and my passion for the mission of BeeHive to enable me to say “yes” to this opportunity without a moment’s hesitation. I didn’t need to say, “Let me pray about it.” I pray for them often and I knew that God was blessing me with this chance to make a difference.


Six on Saturday: Daylily Magic

It’s been a busy week in the garden – lots of weeding, tree and bush trimming, moving a few plants around, and snapping photos. Lots of photos. How do I choose just six for this week’s installment of ‘Six on Saturday’? Well, I guess I’ll start with an updated photo of one of my (new this summer) purple garden chairs.

The purple chair’s seat is filling in nicely with this show-stopper of a daylily (I’m pretty sure it’s ‘Elegant Candy’).

My granddaughter spent time with me last week helping me with a great deal of weeding. It was the push that I needed to continue making progress. Yesterday was spent weeding (a 55g bin filled to overflowing) and trimming overgrown bushes. My gardening muscles ached when I went to bed, but I slept well.

I have a hard time answering the question, “So, what’s your favorite color flower?” It pretty much depends on what is blooming at the time, but I know that I do love to plant splashes of yellow throughout my gardens. I’m really loving this little stand of yellow daylilies happily thriving under the dappled shade provided by our locust tree.

This deep fuchsia pink daylily and blue-green hosta combo nearly took my breath away with its beauty.

But I’ve been adding some hot colors to the garden in the past few years. This orange daylily ‘Tuscawilla Tigress’ is a new favorite.

Then again, there’s this coral beauty (forgot the name).

Ooooh! But, then there are so many charming pink daylilies too!

I go by the blogger name of ‘Barefoot Lily Lady’ and I think you can guess why. I find it fun to participate with gardeners from all around the world who invite people to virtual tours of their gardens every Saturday. The group is called Six on Saturday and is hosted by The Propagator, who provides the inspiration and forum for a weekly, six photos at a time show ‘n tell. If you’d like to take a peek at the gardens too, just click on the Propagator’s site and give his weekly post a read, then scroll on down to the comments section where you’ll find loads of links to explore.

Winter Drags On

Spring keeps teasing us here in Wisconsin, drawing us out of our houses for walks in the sunshine or a little time in the garden, and has us washing the salt off of our cars and sweeping out the garage. Then, BAM! Winter is back!

To think that just a week or so ago I was working out in the garden without my jacket and sometimes without my shoes Continue reading “Winter Drags On”