I was out doing a little bit of shopping and somehow ended up in front of the potato chips, specifically the Pringles display. Someone smart at Walmart had it set up right next to the beer section, which was honestly what I was perusing. And then my eye was drawn to the word “Bacon.” What’s this? Bacon Pringles? Curiosity outweighed my ability to usually resist this treat, and I had to give them a try.
I love the Japanese maple tree. The richness of the bold red leaves provide such a great contrast in a perennial garden. They seem to be relatively hardy in partial sun and the shapes of the leaves are mesmerizing.
Back in 2004, when I was in the midst of my first growing season in what was then my new house, I dug up a small section of the yard by hand. Positioned on the side of the house between two little sidewalks going up to the front and side doors, it was really a pain for my sister to mow. (We lived together at the time, and I am allergic to the freshly cut grass.) So, she had less to mow, and I got to play with a brand new canvas of dirt.
During Clean Up Week at the end of that school year, I managed to fall off of my platform sandals and severely injure my ankle. When my parents came out the following week for a preplanned trip, I was still hobbling around on crutches. They had brought with them a ton of river stones that I had unearthed in the yard at my previous home in Ohio, and I was anxious to get them into the garden. I also wanted to get this new garden started. My father had been an avid gardener, so I trusted him to guide me in this new endeavor.
We made quite a pathetic pair as we hobbled around the local nurseries, I on my crutches and he with his cane as he favored a bum hip. Even more comical was the sight of me scooting on my butt around this patch of dirt, as we laid out the new plants and pavers that were going in. I loved the arrangement we designed together, but even more endearing was spending this quality bonding time with my father.
Over the years, the tree grew a little and provided the perfect accent to the bed. It was a variety that was designed to stay small and was often complimented by my neighbors.
In 2011, my father passed away. My world, which was already fragile for other reasons I will likely share in other stories, crumbled. I didn’t know how to process it and neglected the garden more than I should have.
In 2012, the tree didn’t bud. I kept waiting and waiting for something to happen, but it didn’t. I was devastated. Here was this piece of my father that was supposed to still be alive, and it was dead. But I couldn’t bring myself to dig it up. I only cut it back a bit and hoped.
Move forward to 2013. Again, the tree didn’t do anything. I ran into “The Tree Guy” at one of the local farmers markets, from whom I had purchased a threadleaf Japanese maple tree, and asked him about it. He was apologetic, but said sometimes they just don’t make it. I still couldn’t dig it up. The thought of doing it made me ill and a voice in my head kept telling me to leave it alone.
2014 rolled around and I knew I needed to get out to clean up that big bed. Everything was overgrown and weed trees were starting to take root. I also figured it was time to remove the dead Japanese maple tree and consider purchasing a new one to put in its place.
I discovered a miracle.
There at the bottom of the dead tree were tiny new branches starting to grow. I remember shrieking and crying and taking pictures to send to my best friend. “Dad’s tree is back! He came back!” It seemed very fragile, so I was careful to keep other plants from encroaching upon its space. I checked on it almost daily. By the end of the season, it had filled out nicely, almost like a little bush, and its glorious autumnal change was spectacular.
Last year, it was still holding its own and I gave thanks every time I looked at it. A part of my dad was still here and living in my garden. Now this year, it has again filled out and thriving. Something about the wonky winter and spring that we had is making the Japanese maple tree thrive in our area this year. I still like to tell myself that Dad has a bit of a hand in it.
Dad’s fifth anniversary was just this past week. For some reason, this year it hit me harder than the past few years. A lot of factors probably went into that, but I have heard that can be pretty normal for those multiples of five. I did spend some time reminiscing and mourning over those few days. The day after the anniversary, I declared that this bed was going to officially be the memorial garden to my father, and I spent several hours cleaning it out. I am proud of how it looks. I am still in love with this Japanese maple tree. It just meshes well with everything around it.
I love you, Dad. I miss you every day. But your legacy will live on.
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Parents are always looking for ways to learn more about their child’s development and early learning. They also seek quality books for their children to enjoy, whether in ebook form or hard copy. The Artt of Early Learning series engages the interest of children, while also teaching some needed parenting skills. The author has many years of experience working in the field and provides so much information, both through her books and website. Through today only, this series is available for free for Kindle through Amazon.
This book is designed to promote pre-literacy skills, growth and development, and fun!
Welcome Smart Artt is the first book in a series of children’s books that teach parents about growth and development for children ages birth to three.
This series provides information that every parent and caregiver should know, in the short amount of time that it takes to enjoy a fun children’s story!
Welcome Smart Artt and The Artt of Early Learning Series make excellent baby shower gifts, yet older children love the stories too!
Meet Smart Artt. He is loved by all! Since the moment Smart Artt was born, he’s always doing something that makes him even smarter. Unfortunately, his ideas often cause a bit of mischief! He will make you smile. He will make you laugh. He will find a place in your heart.
A Fish Named Bart is book two in The Artt of Early Learning Series. This series provides information about developmental milestones for parents, and the information is conveyed in the time that it takes to read a fun children’s story. Smart Artt is at it again! After hearing Grandpa read a bedtime story, Bart the fish has a wish. Smart Artt uses his advanced skills to help Bart get his wish, while creating a little bit of mischief along the way! Smart Artt is entertaining for all ages and includes age related developmental milestones for 8 month old children.
The Lemon Tart is book three in The Artt of Early Learning Series. This series provides information about developmental milestones for parents, and the information is conveyed in the time that it takes to read a fun children’s story. Smart Artt is at it again! It is his first day at nursery school! Smart Artt uses his advanced skills to help the other children while creating a little bit of mischief along the way! Smart Artt is entertaining for all ages and includes age related developmental milestones for 13 month old children.
Don’t Touch That Dart is book four in The Artt of Early Learning Series. This series provides information about developmental milestones for parents, and the information is conveyed in the time that it takes to read a fun children’s story. Smart Artt is at it again! He is starting to get into everything and Momma wants to keep him safe. Will that be possible when Aunt Kaye comes to visit? Smart Artt tries to help while creating a little bit of mischief along the way! Smart Artt is entertaining for all ages and includes age related developmental milestones for 18 month old children.
Smart Artt is going to the circus. He loves to point to the animals in his circus book when Poppa reads to him, but today he will be able to point to the REAL circus animals. If you know Smart Artt, things don’t always go as intended, but don’t worry Smart Artt has a plan. Will it work or will things get a little bit out of hand? You will find out when you read this book, the fifth book in the Artt of Early Learning Series of children’s books that were written to promote growth and development by informing parents about the importance of developmental milestones, in the time it takes to enjoy a fun children’s story. This series is written for children from birth on up. Expecting parents can also benefit from the information in this series. The books are also written with simple words that your child will love to read over and over again as they continue to grow. Someday they may even share the stories of Smart Artt with their own children as they themselves learn the importance of early learning that can help every child.
Kids love Smart Artt and you will too!
About D.A. Batrowney
When it comes to babies, D. A. Batrowny has a simple philosophy,
Relax and Read a children’s book!
As the mind behind the children’s character Smart Artt and the Artt of Early learning series of children’s books, she has devoted her life to sharing the secrets about how parents can build the foundation their child will need for the future success… right from birth.
Her extensive background includes over 25 years working with children and families as a nurse home visitor, longitudinal research interviewer, children’s nonprofit Program Director, writer and Coordinator of the nurse home visiting component of a countywide school readiness program.
She has bundled all of that experience into one fun children’s series that will help you lay the foundation for your child’s future!
Currently families in the U.S, Serbia, Algeria, Panama, Brazil, Columbia, Nicaragua, Canada, and the UK are enjoying Smart Artt’s adventures!
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What Casts the Shadow?
Brandon Chane is an artistic visionary, a profoundly gifted young musician and poet. He is also deeply troubled, and seemingly at the mercy of dark forces that threaten to tear his life apart. He has risked all of his fragile hopes upon the fate of his band, Edge of the Known, and the dream of following his Muse.
Here he narrates the incredible journey that begins when he meets Saul Mason, an enigmatic soul-guide who insists that Brandon’s life and destiny are of his own making. Saul’s wisdom and guidance sets Brandon upon a path of spiritual awakening; and this inner transformation reverberates not only within his own life but also within the lives of all the hungry, searching souls who are touched by his music…
About Seth Mullins
Seth Mullins first conceived of his dream to write novels in his early teens, and this one desire has stayed with him throughout all the other myriad twists and turns of life. His inspirations include methods of inner exploration such as dream-work and shamanism and his experiences as a songwriter and performing musician. He studied creative writing at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico and Lane Community College in Oregon.
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Do you have an author whose new releases are an automatic one-click for you? For me, one such person is the amazing Bonnie R. Paulson. I was introduced to her a couple of years ago through one of her zombie series, Barely Alive. I’m not a big fan of zombies, but I was reassured that I would probably like this series, anyway, so I gave it a shot. I couldn’t put it down. As she released more books, I just kept on reading.
I love Bonnie’s books because you can’t help but get sucked into the characters and their lives. They are all so real that you feel like you know them all personally. The ones that are told in first-person truly make you feel like you are actually the character.
That’s why I am so excited for The Psycho Collection boxed set to come out. I am longing for some time to be able to really dive into this collection, because I know Bonnie’s storytelling capabilities and know that I will fall madly in love with each and every one of these stories. I hope you will, too.
So read on to find out more about this series and then download your set on your favorite reading platform. Stop back and let me know what you think!
EVERYONE HAS A LITTLE PSYCHO INSIDE…
Purchase The Psycho Collection on your favorite reading platform:
PSYCHO INSIDE ME
I killed my first victim at thirteen years old – my age, not his. He was going to rape me, him and a couple of his friends. And so, I killed him. And then… I killed again. And again.
At seventeen, I’m killing four to six times a year – maybe more. Don’t stress out. I only go after the pedophiles and rapists. There are more out there than I could cover in a lifetime.
Saying I did this on my own would be selfish. Enforcing justice holds a glory all its own. But now, my lifelong friend and backup, Deegan, has been arrested. I have to decide if I want to give myself up and take his place or leave him with all the damning evidence. I don’t want to stop killing. But if I let him take the fall, I can’t kill anymore. And I need to keep doing that.
But the worst part of it all? I love him.
Samantha wants to love him.
Maria wants to kill him.
Dr. Luke Lawson has no idea that the girl he’s dating has split personalities fighting to control her body. Samantha must keep Luke safe at all costs.
If Samantha wins, Maria will die and disappear forever – taking Samantha with her.
If Maria wins, Dr. Lawson will die and she and Samantha will move on to the next doctor – the next kill.
But Luke is special.
He could save Samantha from herself… but only if Samantha can save him.
WATCH ME BURN
I’ve been in love and it hurts.
We hurt each other.
I can’t escape the guilt.
I don’t want to be just friends with Levi.
But I will be.
He’s been hurt before and I just want to be there for him.
Someone needs to be on his side.
Levi Cole is mine.
I want him.
She can’t have him.
She needs to die.