Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas

Sometimes it’s fun to do something special such as doing a theme for a tea or luncheon. You can carry  out the theme in various ways through food and decorations. These rose tea party or luncheon ideas are ones that my sister and I did for a tea. Some are original and some we found through various sources.

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

The table and place settings of course, reflected the theme. As soon as you entered the room, you knew what to expect. We found some fabric that had teapots and roses on it. It was perfect for making a table runner. Teapots, roses, rose plates and pretty pink napkins carried out the theme. Even rose teacups hung from a chandelier adding to the festive affair.

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

 

Rose Themed Tea or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

We started about a week early and wrote down all the ideas we found and then came up with some of our own. We tried a few of them and then decided on which ones we wanted to use for the tea.

Here is what we used for each course……

Tea, of course! At a local tea store, they usually carry varieties of tea made from dried roses. Check out your local store. Select two varieties and switch teas half way through.

At a tea, scones are traditionally the first course. There are many great scone recipes, but what we did with our favorite recipe was to add dried rose petals. We added a few to the batter and then sprinkled a few on top of each scone. Be sure you order these online and use organic ones; not from your garden. You don’t want insecticides on your rose petals!

Rose Themed Tea or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

 

 

The second course is savory sandwiches.

 

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

This was an idea that I came up with for the savory course. I bought oven roasted turkey and had it sliced a bit thicker than the usual super thin slices. I wanted the brown roasted edge to show. Laying each piece on a cutting board, cut in half and roll up to look like a rose. Place a toothpick in it to hold. Slice off the end so it sits on a cucumber slice garnished with a small spinach leaf. If you like, place a dollop of cream cheese to hold the “rose” to the cucumber. The toothpick also holds the turkey to the cucumber slice. Be sure to warn guests that there is a toothpick in it. This is a nice low-cal choice. In the center of the plate, garnish with a tomato rose made from the outside peeling of the tomato.

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Not everything needs to look like a rose, but these roll-up tortilla sandwiches look great when they circle around the rose-cut watermelon pieces (use a rose cookie cutter).

 

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Open-faced egg salad sandwiches is another idea we used. While they don’t look like roses, again we used the rose cookie cutter and created a center accent of roses made from red and green peppers.

Cut squares from a dark pumpernickel bread. Freeze the bread squares for quick preparation. Take out of freezer and spread with a light coating of butter. Add a spinach leaf. Then, using a small cookie scoop, place a scoop of egg salad on top and garnish with a slice of olive. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

We found Rose Petal Jam online and used it with strawberries.  First, cut off crusts from white bread. Freeze. When ready to prepare, slice strawberries, spread bread with Rose Petal Jam on one side. On the other side spread with a little butter or cream cheese and cover with sliced strawberries. Place both sides together and cut into triangles.  In the center, make a strawberry rose for a garnish.

 

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

A small sweet item for this course was a failure that we revived…   We tried making small roses out of refrigerated cinnamon roles. They didn’t look like roses!  We salvaged them by using part of the frosting on top and then used a little bit of green food coloring to the remaining frosting and placed a dried rose on top!

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Third, and final course, is the dessert. I found the rose dessert on Pinterest and decided I should try it out before the tea. It was fine, but I felt it needed more flavor. I changed the recipe a bit. Check out my version!

Puff Pastry Apple Roses

Ingredients

  • 2 Delicious apples (or any bright red pie apple) for 6 roses.
  • 1 sheet of Puff Pastry (thawed)
  • 3 oz. cream cheese (softened and lightly sweetened)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • Powdered Sugar - optional

Instructions

  1. Thaw puff pastry and roll out almost double in length.
  2. Cut pastry into 6 - about 2 - 2 1/2 inch strips.
  3. With cream cheese at room temp. Add 1-2 tsp of sugar in a small bowl.
  4. Mix 1/4 cup sugar with the 2 tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl
  5. Cut apples in half and core. DO NOT PEEL
  6. Slice apples quite thin (as shown in the picture) and place in water with lemon juice.
  7. Microwave apples in the lemon water for 3-4 minutes until just pliable.
  8. Take each section of Puff Pastry and coat with a layer of cream cheese.
  9. Arrange apples across the top half making sure they overlap well.
  10. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the bottom part of the apples.
  11. Fold pastry over and start to roll from one end to another.
  12. Place in greased and floured muffin tin.
  13. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
  14. Sprinkle with Powered Sugar, if desired, just before serving
  15. Serve with ice cream - optional
  16. Serve warm.
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Rose Tea and Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Rose Tea and Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com Rose Tea and Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Puff Pastry Apple Roses….. so beautiful and they look like a rose!  Be sure to serve warm! Maybe serve with a small scoop of ice cream on the side!

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Another idea for your tea or luncheon is adding small rose mints made from candy melts. These can be done way ahead of time, too. All you need is the candy melts and a mold. You can find rose molds at Michaels.

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

We found these small petit fours and bought them. Not everything has to be homemade!

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

At the end, each guest was given this special Rose poem! The author was simply listed as Elizabeth. It was originally published in Poems on Life.

Rose tea or luncheon ideas grandparentsplus.com

 

Another idea is a rose napkin….   Check the link for an easy demonstration!

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

 

Hope you enjoyed these ideas. It’s easier when there a two to do it. Find a friend to work with, divide up ideas, and give a memorable Rose Tea or luncheon.

Phyllis

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Cowboy Baby Shower

Looking for ideas for a boy baby shower? This Cowboy Baby Shower is perfect for a little buckaroo! Decorations, food and game ideas are all included in this cute shower theme.  Have your guests wear something denim for this party. Decorate with burlap, denim, plaids, bandannas, and you’ve got a memorable shower for a little cowboy!  

This shower was given by my friend, Vicki.  I’m sharing her cute ideas along with adding some game ideas for this theme, too!

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

Don’t limit this just to a little boy, but change the colors to denim and pink and this would work just as well for a little cowgirl!

Vicki found the  denim pennants on a clearance rack and add the red-checked letters of the newborn boy! How quick and easy to do making a nice keep-sake for the new baby’s room.

 

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

 

Denim, burlap, bandannas and “cowboy” named snacks carry out the theme…..

Pitch Forks- Forks, Cowboy Caviar-Bean Salsa, Chicken Feed – Deviled Eggs, Cow Chips- Chips for the Salsa, Vittles- Cheese and Caramel Popcorn,

 

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentplus.com

Cow Pies – Cheesecake, Fruit Round-up – Assorted Fruits, and, of course, Cowboy cookies!

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

Hay Bales – Rice Krispy Bars, and the drinks are named: Morning Dew – Juice, and Cactus Juice – Punch

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

Cute paper plates and napkins add to the cowboy atmosphere. Also, use stuffed horses or a rocking horse for more cowboy decorations.

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.co

Looking for a cute gift idea to make along the Cowboy theme? These onesies with cowboy themed iron-on symbols are perfect for the theme.

 

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

Now, if you’re ambitious, sew a cowboy quilt for the little buckaroo. Nice job, Vicki!

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

 

Now for some game ideas….

Cowboys round-up “little doggies”  so a match game of baby animal names would fit.  Here’s a site with all the names of baby animals  to use for your match game.   www.zooborns   A smaller list is available for printing at www.baby-shower.com

Other cowboy related games are found on www.grandparentsplus.com/western-game-ideas.  These are ideas I used with my grandchildren for our camp, but the Snake in the Boot game would work for a shower game, too. Substitute the snake with a baby item! If you don’t have a cowboy boot, use a cowboy hat and stand at a distance to throw the pacifier or other baby item in it. Give 3 tries and see who has the best score!

If you would like to create your own game of interesting cowboy terms, go to www.lemen.com

For prizes, give bags of Trail Mix! 

For more cowboy food ideas, go to grandparentsplus.com/western-food-ideas

Here are ideas for Cowboy Cupcakes…..

Horse Cupcakes  – Complete instructions are on www.luckypony.com

Cowboy Shower Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Cowboy Hat Cupcakes by  ricarocuisine

Cowboy Shower Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Hope this gives you many fun ideas for a cowboy baby shower. Lots of these ideas would translate for a kid’s birthday party or even an adult western party.

Have fun!

Phyllis

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Winter Sunset

Most of the beautiful sunsets occur during the summer with the gorgeous colors mirrored across the lake. However, this winter sunset was awesome with the patterns on the ice. I had to take a picture and show that winter can be beautiful, too. 

Winter Sunset

 

 

This is the view out our great-room window! We never tire of the beauty of God’s world around us!

This is not my usual post, but thought I’d share.

Thanks for viewing and Happy New Year!

Phyllis

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Amazing Sunsets

Amazing Sunsets

We are fortunate to live on a small lake facing west. During the summer, we see some Amazing Sunsets! Each one is completely different. Even though it is take from our same yard, the colors, clouds, and water change to paint a different picture every time. (By the way, these are not color enhanced!)

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

 

 Some pictures are from my deck and some are from the beach area. I just love to see a beautiful sunset! Only God, our Creator,  can paint a picture so different and beautiful every time! On the picture above, the tall, stately, White Pines silhouette this amazing sunset! This was so short-lived.  Five minutes later, it was gone.

 

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

 

For the one above, I zoomed and focused across the lake. Those storm clouds turned into objects of beauty with the sun’s power.

 

Here’s another of pinks and blues….

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Quite different with grays and orange!

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

 

The next one shows clouds that seem laced in pink!

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

 

We’re not the only place that enjoys beautiful sunsets. I took this picture during our visit to the Puget Sound in Washington. There’s a sliver of the moon showing across the water.

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Back at home again…..

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

 

The sunset this night didn’t start too spectacular, but…….

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

the clouds moved and displayed the sun’s rays!

 

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

 

These next 3 shots I sent to a local news station and they made the news that night.

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the sun’s rays like they were this night. The clouds suddenly had a silver lining!

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

 

And finally fading away…..

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

The next two pictures were taken about 10 minutes apart.  At first, it looked like this…..

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

Later it changed to look like this…..

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

 

Another evening, it looked like this….

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

 

It seems that when there are  clouds in the sky at sunset, the sun does magic with them! Sort of like our lives…sometimes there are “grey clouds”, but God can do “magic” at making our lives beautiful again through Jesus Christ, our Lord! It reminds me of the song, “Something Beautiful”.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIfdDLXuuUg

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

I was just finishing this post and looked out the window at this Amazing Sunset! I had to include it!

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

Amazing Sunsets grandparentsplus.com

Hope you enjoyed a look at some of the Amazing Sunsets of God’s world viewed from where we live. 

Phyllis 

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My Bluebird Story

 

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

Over Memorial Day weekend, we noticed that there was a lot of Bluebird singing going on. It was pretty to hear, but didn’t know the reason for it. The next morning we saw a bluebird sitting on the edge of my baker’s rack right on our back deck. This baker’s rack is under an overhang and I have decorative items displayed on it. I usually have some plants there,  but that was one of the projects that wasn’t finished, yet.

On the top shelf, there’s a cute decorative birdhouse with a heart-shaped opening. It has been there for a few years.  Upon looking inside the birdhouse, I found that there was the beginning of a nest! This certainly isn’t the ideal spot for a nest. We have an outside cat and an occasional raccoon rambling by. This female must have had a creative streak in her because she certainly settled for “cute” rather than “location, location, location”!

 

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

Bluebird checking out my decorative bird house to the right.

The female was persistent and laid six eggs in her new home. My husband was afraid that a strong wind would blow it off the rack so he secured it on the edge making it so that the cat didn’t have a place to sit and reach in. We, also, limited our use of the deck by using a different entrance. (Anything for the birds, right?)

Finally, the eggs began to hatch. I had to quickly take pictures while the parents were away getting food.

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

 

After about  1  1/2 weeks, we noticed that only two survived. Their eyes were not completely opened yet, but the blue feathers are now visible.

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

We began reading about these birds and found out that they really like mealworms. Well, where do you find mealworms?

After calling around, we found them. They are not cheap, but anything for our little Bluebirds! After putting them out in a dish, they saw those things and dug right in. 

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

How many worms can a Bluebird hold in its beak?

It was so fun to watch them feed their young with them. They were not selfish about just keeping themselves fed.

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

Just near the deck is a White Pine Tree. This is the place where at least one of the birds would guard the nest while the other hunted for food. I caught this picture after they fed their young. It looked like they weren’t speaking to each other! Ha!

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

They were growing quickly and when I would go out to take their picture, they crouched down and wouldn’t smile for the camera. One morning, I was going to try one more time for their picture, and they were gone! No good-bye or thank you! I did see flutters of blue in the woods. The parents are gone from their watch on the branch, too. I’m sure they are tending to their young and teaching them to find food on their own. It was fun to have them so close, but now we get to use the deck!

And…. that’s “My Bluebird Story”! I marvel at God’s beautiful creation, don’t you?

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

.

Thanks for reading “My Bluebird Story”!

Phyllis

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Peonies in Bloom Part 2

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

This is the second part of “Peonies in Bloom”! I could have stayed all day at the Swenson Gardens to photograph all the beautiful blooms.Who knew they came in so many varieties? The color combinations are just spectacular! The best thing about these peonies is that they don’t flop! Yes, they stay upright even when in bloom! The varieties marked “landscape” have foliage that looks great all summer long. Their website is full of helpful information about everything to know about planting them in each zone. They list colors, varieties, bloom-time, and show each flower opening up!

I learned that they don’t need a lot of water. They are not like perennials and annuals where they need to be watered often. Simply let the rains water them. They do need 8 hours of sun, however, so they don’t do well in shady areas.

Be sure to check out Peonies in Bloom part 1 for some hints about growing these beauties!

On with the show…..

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Peonies in Bloom  Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Have you ever seen a yellow one?

Peonies in Bloom part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 2  grandparentsplus.com

One thing about growing peonies is that you become an instant flower arranger! There’s not a bad way to put a bunch together! These new varieties don’t get ants all over them so feel free to bring them in the house to enjoy!

Don’t these pictures make you want to plant some in your garden? I am not compensated in any way for this post. I just think Swenson Gardens grow and cultivate the very best. This fall,  I will be planting some in my garden that don’t flop!

Thanks for stopping by to look!

Phyllis

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Peonies in Bloom Part 1

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

These “Peonies in Bloom” are absolutely breathtaking! My sister’s friend invited us to come out to  the Swenson Gardens and tour the peonies at their peak! If you happen to be in the area of Howard Lake, Minnesota during late May or early June, you can tour these amazing fields, too! Live too far away? Tour their website!

Peonies in Bloom  grandparentsplus.com

My peonies have never been impressive. They bloom a little, but the blooms bend the branches over and touch the ground. The peonies at Swenson Gardens, stand straight and tall. The “no-staking” plant- blooms never touch the ground. They are spectacular in color and variety! On their site, they show each variety along with complete information about that plant. Swenson Gardens are the largest organic, chemical-free growers in the United States.

Here are a few of the things I learned….

  • They need a minimum of 8 hours of sun
  • Don’t water peonies. Let the rain do it!
  • Buy only a bare root plant. Don’t buy potted!
  • Don’t cut the blooms for 3 years. At 3 years, cut only 1/3 of the blooms. At 4-5 years, cut only 2/3’s.
  • Don’t plant one where a peony was before.

Did you know these tips?

 

Here’s Part 1 Tour …

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom  Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom  Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

 

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

Peonies in Bloom Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

Which one was your favorite? I have a hard time choosing as they are all so beautiful! More to come in Part 2!

Peonies in Bloom Part 1  grandparentsplus.com

 

Their website is beautiful and informative. Go to Swenson Gardens to find your favorites. They are wonderful people, too!  (I ‘m not compensated for this post. I’m just a huge fan!)

Hope you enjoyed Part 1!

Phyllis

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Miniature Garden Inspiration

Miniature Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

Creating a Miniature Garden (sometimes called a Fairy Garden) has become very popular today. It’s history, however, is over 100 years old! There’s an interesting history on fairy gardening which gives all the information on how and where it started.

Today, a miniature garden may contain fairies or just be a miniature scene where perhaps a fairy or gnome might visit. They are imaginative and fun to create. As you will see, any container can be used for a miniature garden. Scenes vary from elaborate to very simple.  The inspiration found on these sites will give you lots of ideas to create your own so let your imagination go wild and have fun! Click on the links found below the picture for more ideas and information for your inspiration.

 

Fairy Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

myfairygardens

This is one of several ideas on the site below…..

Fairy Garden Inspiration   grandparentsplus.com

minigardener

 

  Fairy Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

enmicocinahoy

 

 

This is a tub turned on its side!

Fairy Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

Found on etsy

 

This next site shows how to make houses from various items. Great video tutorials!

Fairy Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

http://www.sharonojala.com

This garden is just a sample of many found on this website.

Fairy Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

minigardener

A miniature terrarium garden….

Miniature Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

ourfairfieldhomeandgarden.com

 

Miniature Garden Inspiration   grandparentsplus.com

Wholesalefairygardens.com

Use tiny lights to make your miniature garden glow at night!

Miniature Garden Inspiration   grandparentsplus.com

livedan330.com

It doesn’t take a large container to make one like this…

Miniature Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

ourfairfieldhomeandgarden.com

Here’s an idea for an old drawer…..

Miniature Garden Inspiration grandparentsplus.com

wholesalefairygardens.com

A miniature winter garden…..

Miniature Garden Inspiration   grandparentsplus.com

primexgardencenter

Miniature Garden Inspiration   grandparentsplus.com

fleamarketgardening

Miniature Garden Inspiration   grandparentsplus.com

fairygardening

Miniature Garden Inspiration  grandparentsplus.com

fairygardening

This next idea is from New Zealand! Fairy Gardens are worldwide.

Miniature Garden Inspiration  grandparentplus.com

elowezil.blogspot

Here’s my version ….

Miniature Fairy Garden grandparentsplus.com

grandparentsplus.com

Are you ready to make one of your own? Which container will you use?

Each one will be unique and very cute!

Have fun!

Phyllis

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Miniature Fairy Garden

Miniature Fairy Garden

I’ve always admired tiny, miniature fairy gardens, but never tried to make one myself. With our busy schedules, I didn’t want to be tied down with keeping it alive with real little plants that dry out quickly. Also, I wanted this on my covered  front porch where no rain gets at it. By making a miniature fairy garden in a planter, it gives you options to move it where you like and by using artificial plantings, it makes it worry-free!

You can invest big money in these little miniature gardens. They don’t come at a “miniature price”! I already had the planter so invested in the cheapest resin house I could find. Keep the cost down even further by making a little house from a bird house.

Any container works, you just need to scale the house and accessories according to the container size. The planter I used measures 16 inches in diameter. The little cabin is 6 inches wide and about 5 1/2 inches tall.

First, I filled a planter with dirt and covered it with artificial sheet moss.

Miniature Fairy Garden   grandparentsplus.com

Next, I added some artificial succulents that I already had.  Using small pieces of artificial greenery works, too. I even used some greenery from my Christmas bin.

Miniature Fairy Garden  grandparentsplus.com

Get as elaborate as you like, but don’t over do it. Keep the theme going whether it is rustic, cottage, gnome, fairy, beach or woods. Let the accessories add interest, but not clutter. Sometimes less is more! Some very inexpensive additions are moss-covered rocks and small pebbles from Dollar Tree. I placed one blue glass bead in the well to resemble water.

Miniature Fairy Garden   grandparenstplus.com

This is a wonderful project for kids to help design with you. The possibilities are unlimited. A miniature garden can be in a wine glass, punch bowl, compote dish, bird-cage or whatever you choose.

Miniature Fairy Garden   grandparentsplus.com

In my miniature fairy garden, the house is hollow so I can put an LED light in it at night! Kinda fun! Are you inspired to try one?

Thanks for stopping by,

Phyllis

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Hummingbirds – Amazing Acrobats

I have a passion for hummingbirds. At home, in my flower garden, I have many feeders and enjoy the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds that come and visit. This past winter, we spent some time in Arizona where many varieties of Hummingbirds live or migrate through in the Spring. While visiting the Madera Canyon near Tucson, I was able to photograph many of God’s beauties. I hope you enjoy this pictorial view of these amazing creatures. How could you not believe in a Divine Creator after seeing these amazing, colorful acrobats in the air?

Hummingbirds- Amazing Acrobats grandparentsplus.com

 

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

Hummingbirds, especially the males, are very aggressive and defend their territories of flower patches and feeders.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

Hummingbirds- Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

Their metabolism is very high. Each minute, while at rest, their heart beats 600 times while taking 250-300 breaths. While flying, their heart beats increase to 1,260 times a minute. They also have the largest heart of any animal in relation to their body size.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

Hummingbirds’ feathers have only have shades of brown, rufous (rusty color) and black pigment. It is the tiny prism-like structures in the feather that reflect the light and produce the different iridescent colors.

Male and Female Broad-billed

Hummingbirds-Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

 

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

 Anna

  Hummingbirds  - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

A male hummingbird needs to eat about 60 times a day.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

Hummingbirds breast muscles are powerful and make up about 30% of their body. These muscles, which control the wings, enable them to do somersaults, fly backward, straight up, down, and sideways. They are able to maneuver so quickly because they do not just flap their wings up and down, but move them in a circular motion. They can change direction in an instant! This is why they are so hard to photograph!

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

The female builds the nest, lays two eggs, and raises the young birds by herself. The baby birds are raisin-like when born, but quickly transform and leave the nest in about three weeks.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

 

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats grandparentsplus.com

 

 

 Roufus Hummingbird

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

This Roufus was coming in for a landing and then quickly made a 180 and flew away! These tiny birds make the longest migration with some heading to Alaska for the summer and then to central Mexico in the winter – a distance of over 2,000 miles!

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

A Roufus with a Broad-Billed

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

 Broad-Tailed

This one makes an unusual sound when they fly due to their tail feather structure.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

Magnificent

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

Hummingbird - Amazing Acrobats grandparentsplus.com

 This Magnificent is a much larger hummingbird than most species. The colors reflected are mainly green and brown. The colors will vary depending on the reflection of the sun on their feathers.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

Two hummers staking claim to a feeder. Which one will win?

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats grandparentsplus.com

Researches have found that hummingbirds have great memories and often return to the same flower patches each year. I can attest to this finding as my hummingbirds will come back in the Spring and if the nectar is not out and ready for them, they will fly to a window and flutter there so I see them. They also do this if a feeder happens to be empty.

Black-Chinned

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats- grandparentsplus.com

Only when the sun hits their chin, do you see this beautiful purple marking.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

You can even see his little tongue all ready to get the nectar!

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats  grandparentsplus.com

 

Costa

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This Costa was not very cooperative and wouldn’t face the sun. The dark patch under his beak glows iridescent purple when in the sunlight.

No one could identify this little hummer! It may be a juvenile which makes it hard to determine.

Hummingbirds - Amazing Acrobats   grandparentsplus.com

Hummingbirds mainly eat the nectar from flowers, but they also need protein. They get it by eating small insects on plants and catching them in the air.

Now, what’s not to love about these acrobats? I can’t wait until they come back to my garden!

Do you get many hummingbird varieties? Which one is your favorite?

 

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 Hope you enjoyed learning more about these amazing acrobats!

Thanks for stopping by,

Phyllis

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Gazing Ball in a Container Garden

Ready to do some planting? Consider a gazing ball for something different within your container gardens. Often you see a gazing ball in the middle of a garden as a focal point. It usually stands alone on a pedestal. A different approach to using a gazing ball is to place it as a focal point in your container gardens or pots! Why not? It reflects the colors of the plants around it and makes a great accent.

Gazing Ball in a Container Garden

I looked for a gazing ball that was a bit mirror-like so that it didn’t set the tone for the colors, but would reflect them. By placing a tall cup in the middle of a large planting pot, the ball is secure and stays in place. Plant low trailing plants around it. If they get too big, just keep trimming them back. I used two different trailing vines that contrast in color and texture. I placed it among a grouping of several taller pots. I liked the way it looks, don’t you?

Just another way of mixing something different in your plantings!

Gazing Ball in a Container Garden

Happy Gardening!

Phyllis

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Why Cruise?

Just recently my husband and I took  a Caribbean Cruise. This winter has been so cold that we needed a warm getaway. The only compensation I was given for this post was Internet time.  We paid for the cruise on our own and all opinions are completely mine based on our experience.

Why Cruise? grandparentsplus.com

We chose Norwegian Cruise Line because we had been on another cruise with them and enjoyed it very much. We cruised for a week on the Norwegian Jewel that left out of the Houston, TX port.  The ship went to Cozumel, Belize, and Trujillo, Honduras. If you’re looking for a wonderful vacation, a cruise may be  perfect for you and your family. Here is why you might want to cruise and what to expect on Norwegian Cruise Lines.

First, it is like an all-inclusive vacation. You have several restaurants with 5 star menus available to choose from each day. If you want to go more casual, there’s a Garden Cafe Buffet with more choices than you can imagine. Not enough? Well, there’s  good old  hamburgers and hotdogs with all the fixings at poolside. Also, there are specialty restaurants that are also available for an additional charge. Other additional charges are for alcohol and soft drinks. Milk, tea, coffee, lemonade and flavored waters are free. Norwegian does allow you to bring on cans of soft drinks as long as they are unopened.

Why Cruise? grandparentsplus.com

The Garden Cafe had specialty nights, too. Mexican, Caribbean, and Asian were some of the evening specials. Pictured above is only one small section of the Garden Cafe.

Why Cruise?  grandparentsplus.com

At the back of the Garden Cafe, they have an open area for dining. In the morning, this was our favorite place to have breakfast! There were so many choices for breakfast! There was made-to-order omelets, eggs benedict, eggs any way you choose, bacon, sausage, juice, breads, rolls, sliced cold cuts, fruit, yogurt, along with cereals (hot and cold).

Now, in the evening, we liked to dine at the Tzar restaurant. It was beautiful! Norwegian Cruise Lines has a policy of what they call “Freestyle”. This means you choose what to do and when you want to do it. This includes dining! You are not assigned to a certain time to eat, but can choose when and where you want to eat. You are not assigned to a certain table, either. The dress code was merely wearing long pants (including jeans) for the men. No shorts for women, but capris were fine or many chose to dress up, too! Again, it is your choice!

Why Cruise? grandparentsplus.com

Grand entrance to the Tzar Restaurant

We have been on other cruise lines where you’re assigned to a late 8:30 dinner. For us, that is way too late for a big meal so we liked that we could choose when to eat.

Now, on to the second point…..   If you cruise as a family, there are lots of kid’s activities, too. There’s a club for young kids so adults can enjoy some free time as well as a teen area. Everyone can find something to do on the ship or you can just relax and chill out at the pool. Because there are so many directions of where to go, it makes it easier to keep track of everyone by bringing walkie-talkies.  Texting will cost you extra as you need to sign up for Wi-Fi minutes.

Why Cruise?  grandparentsplus.com

The ship’s ammenties are great! Above is only one of the pool areas on a port stop day. If you choose to stay on ship, you can enjoy the pool without many people there.

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Cozumel

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Another reason to cruise is that you go to different destinations. If you choose the cruise by the ports of call, you’ll find different attractions and things to see at each location. We had visited two of the destinations before so our criteria for the cruise wasn’t necessarily the destinations, but the dates that fit our schedule. Cozumel, pictured above, is great for snorkeling. Another attraction is the Mayan ruins. Belize, another cruise stop, is where you can tube on a river through caves. We did this on our last trip and it was very fun. There are many other options as well.

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Honduras

Our stop at Honduras (Trujillo) was very picturesque from the ship. This is a new developing port. The natives met those coming ashore with music and dancing. We enjoyed the shopping area here. I found a native nativity set here to add to my collection. It was very hot that day so we opted for a short visit and returned to enjoy the ship. Other people who went ashore said there was great snorkeling here.

Why Cruise? grandparentsplus.com

Here’s more reasons to cruise….You’ll have great entertainment day and night. There are live bands at the pool during the day. During the evening, there’s dancing and wonderful shows to attend. We found the evening shows in the main theater were very good. Throughout the evening, more live music is at the various lounges on the ship.

While on your cruise, you can expect incredible service from the staff. From the stewards that make up your room twice a day, to your waiter or any staff member, they are friendly and accommodating. Even the captains are approachable with a friendly smile and greeting. In your stateroom, each night,  you’ll find a cute creature sitting on your bed.

Why Cruise?  grandparentsplus.com

You have so many choices of things to do on the ship. Besides what has been mentioned, there’s a Fitness Club to work off all that wonderful food, along with a Spa, Casino, Library, and Card Room.

Final reason to cruise is that it is a very relaxing vacation. You can be as busy as you want or just take it easy!

Why cruise? The answer is, “Why not?”

I recommend to “cruise like a Norwegian” on Norwegian Cruise Lines! We loved it!

Why Cruise? grandparentsplus.com

Thanks for stopping by!

Phyllis

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Winter Walks = Healthy Fun

Winter Walks Provide Healthy Fun for the Entire Family

Winter Walks = Healthy Fun   grandparentsplus.com

The temperature may be plummeting and the snow might be falling, but winter is a great time to get out into the bracing air and take a walk around local parks or even into the countryside.

Get your children bundled up into their warmest clothes and head outside on an adventure walk full of frost-covered forests and frozen lakes.

Warm clothing is vital

The winter weather is not a reason to sit huddled indoors watching the television and this is a beautiful time of the year for walks provided you take adequate protection. Warm clothing including those padded jackets with hoods, woolly hats and scarves are a must to keep out the chill. If you’re intending on rambling over some country terrain then invest in some durable, waterproofed footwear. The right footwear will make it a lot easier for children to scramble through snow and muddy paths without suffering the discomfort of getting their feet wet.

Get outside, get healthy

A good walk will help to beat that winter slump, can enhance your mood and is a great low-impact aerobics activity. Any type of exercise will bring health benefits and walking is an easy way to be healthy as well as allowing you to get that daily dose of vitamin D. Buy a pedometer for each person in the family and keep a record of how many footsteps you take on each walk – it only takes 2000 footsteps to complete one mile. With kids, you can make it a game and calculate the number of steps in one week! Not only are you getting exercise, but improving math skills, too!

Winter Walks=Healthy Fun

Turn walks into an adventure

If your children are slightly against the idea of heading outdoors then turn the walk into an adventure. Visit a special preserve, park, historical site, or countryside for your walk, Winter adds an extra dimension to walks due to the frost or snow-covered landscapes and it’s a great time for some family photographs. Adding some activities such as wildlife spotting or finding animal tracks can turn what would seem like a tedious chore for children into a fun activity. Kids love winter activities so get them away from video games and TV and have a winter adventure outside together!

Walking in groups is a fun social activity regardless of the season and it’s something that can be undertaken by people of all ages. Get the entire family involved, bring the dog and spend some time this weekend exploring new scenery and sights in and around your local area.

Winter walk = healthy fun

 

 

Now instead of sitting inside, get out and take a walk! It’s beautiful, healthy and fun!

Enjoy!

Phyllis

 

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God Used a Penny

“God Used a Penny”   a true account …….

God Used a Penny  grandparentsplus.com

 Four years ago in October……

“Mommy! I swallowed a penny! I don’t know why, it just went down!”

Our 4-year-old granddaughter ran to her mother shouting those words. Now, this sweet, precocious little girl never put things in her mouth, even as a young baby, so this was very unusual.  After a quick call to the doctor, he advised just to watch to see that it passed through.

A few days later after not finding the penny, they made another call to the doctor.

“Well, we don’t routinely do an x-ray, but bring her in and we’ll do one just to make sure it isn’t lodged in the intestines somewhere.”

The x-ray did not show a penny, but it did reveal a fuzzy image of something attached to the spine. Strange! What could it be? After further tests, it was determined that it was a tumor on the spine suspected as Ganglio Neuroblastoma, an aggressive children’s cancer. They couldn’t be sure until they did surgery. The medical plan was to do surgery to biopsy it, place a chemo port into the tumor to shrink it, and then on a second surgery, try to remove the tumor.

Doctor’s told the parents not to go on the internet, but I did!  What I found, I didn’t like! There had been no symptoms at that point, but until they could decide through surgery just what they were up against, the future was unknown.  The phone calls to friends and their church prayer chains along with all the grandparents’ churches and friends’ connections made a difference knowing that so many people were praying for our granddaughter.!

Parents going through tough health issues with kids have a hard time emotionally, physically and mentally.  You wish you could trade places with the child so they didn’t have to suffer. I , now, have a new empathy for those parents and grandparents. It is only your faith in the Lord that gets you through these trials along with the prayers of other believers.

I don’t want to leave you hanging on for the results, but I do need to go back to just a couple of months before this happened. You may know, if you have followed my blog, that I hold an Oma and Opa Camp for my grandkids. We do crafts, field trips, songs, games and  have a wonderful time with the kids – no parents! This granddaughter’s favorite song that year was “Our God is a Great, Big God and He Holds Us in His Hand”! She sang it over and over at camp and she would sing it to the top of her lungs with her beautiful voice.  OK, now back to the story…….

Surgery began and instead of putting the port in, the doctor thought he could remove the tumor and began to peel it off . He was able to remove it completely! After testing, it was truly determined to be Ganglio Neuroblastoma. Had it gone any longer, the fingers would have wrapped around the spine completely making it nearly impossible to remove.  No chemo was required! Praise God!

In the Intensive Care room, our granddaughter sang, “Our God is a Great, Big God and He Holds us in His Hand!” She may have been to young to fully realize what God had done in her life through a “penny”, but we will remind her of the “God Penny”! God has something special planned for this little girl. Now, she is 8 years old and has had no reoccurrence! She loves Jesus and continues to sing songs of praise to Him!

 

We know that not everything always turns out the way we want, but we are thankful for this “God intervention” through a simple penny!  Everytime we see her, that song runs through my mind. By the way, the penny is engraved with “In God We Trust”

Just wanted to close with this verse…. 

 “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of The Lord.”  Psalm 78:46

At this Thanksgiving season, we hear the phrase,” Give Thanks! ”  I’m always frustrated that it doesn’t end with Give Thanks to God! Be thankful for all that God has done in your life this Thanksgiving season. Direct your thanks and praise to Him!

Continuing to Praise God! 

Phyllis

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Hint for Dividing Hosta!

A Fall Hint for Dividing Hosta……

When Spring arrives and the hosta start to peek their heads out of the ground, it’s hard to remember which hostas needed dividing. They all look the same! Here is a fall hint for dividing hosta in the Spring! It is an easy way to remember where that specific hosta is located that you wanted to divide.

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Fall Hint for Dividing Hosta In the Spring   grandparentsplus.com

Take a red, sturdy, plastic knife and label both ends with the name of the hosta using a permanent black marker. The winter elements of snow and ice may wear away the top label, but they won’t harm the bottom one.

Fall Hint for Dividing Hosta in the Spring  grandparentsplus.com

Stick the red knife half-way in the ground securely by the hosta that you want to remember to divide. Place it either right, left or center, whichever you choose, but be consistent with every one you place. Now, when Spring comes, the red knife will be a reminder of where that hosta is that needs dividing. You won’t be mistaken. If the name has worn off, you still can identify it by the lower half of the knife that is in the ground.

Easy!

When you are dividing  hosta before the leaves unfold, the hosta  look like they’ve never been touched.   Dividing later still works, but they won’t look their best until the next year.

Thanks for stopping by! You’re invited to look at my Hosta Haven! I really enjoy my garden!

Phyllis

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