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Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Telemarketer

Have you ever received an annoying sales call?  I’m betting your answer is ‘yes’.  Well, I received one from my lawn care company that was quite literally the ‘last straw’ and caused me to completely cancel their service.  Now, before you go thinking I’m just some crazy woman who was over-reacting, let me explain.

 

We had used this lawn care company for several years, both for our lawn as well as our trees and shrubs.  They did keep our lawn lush, green and weed-free and the gentleman who cared for our trees and shrubs was amazing.  He would talk to me about various diseases, insects and other details about how to keep my plants in tip top shape.  I had absolutely NO complaints about their service.

 

I did, however have a problem with their sales department. It seemed as though they called me every few weeks about adding some service that they insisted was something I NEEDED.  With each call I would politely decline several times, but they just wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer until I would quite emphatically insist that I did not want any additional services. The calls just kept coming and I finally asked them to put a ‘do not call’ message on my file because I did NOT want any other services except those that I had already signed up for.  Well, I still continued to receive sales calls–and I continued to tell them that I did not want any future calls.

 

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One day I got another call and I had reached the end of my patience.  I told the sales person very clearly that if I received one more sales call from their company that I was going to cancel my services with them.  I’m not usually  person who would resort to using a threat like this, but nothing else had worked.  I hoped that this would make the calls stop.

 

Well…..not even two weeks later I received a call from this company and when the person identified who they were, the first thing out of my mouth was “Are you kidding me?!?!?”  (I have to be honest and admit that it was not said in a sweet tone of voice.)  I told the person about my previous conversation concerning the cancellation of my service if I received any more calls and that THIS was that final call.

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I immediately hung up, called the local office and cancelled all of my services with them.  The operator apologized profusely and tried everything to get me to change my mind, but I was determined to stick to my decision.  Finally she accepted the fact that I wasn’t giving in and we arranged for the termination of all services.  I very adamantly told this person that I wanted my file clearly marked that I did not want ANY further calls from them for ANY reason.

 

Yep, you guessed it…..a few weeks later my phone rang and it was some person in management calling to see if he could somehow persuade me to change my mind and re-instate my contract.  I’m sure he realized he was in for a rough road when upon identifying himself and heard these outraged words….“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” (Again, not said in a very kind, sweet tone of voice.)  Needless to say, he didn’t get very far and finally gave up.

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I must say it has been a relief not to be receiving constant calls from them, but, the downside is that I am now searching for a new lawn care service. :/ I would like to find a smaller, local company/person who will do a good job, but not be hounding me to add services that I don’t want or need.  Any recommendations would be appreciated.  I do need to warn you— do NOT mention TRU-GREEN or I will respond with “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”

 

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Rainy morning in the Florida Keys

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We are on vacation in the Florida Keys and we have had gorgeous weather—until this morning when I awoke to the sound of rain.  I looked out the window and saw that it was ‘raining cats and dogs’.  I decided to make the best of things and get some jewelry made.  (Yes, I bring jewelry along on vacation. 🙂 )

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My morning work tray

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As I sat and worked on some jewelry, I just kept looking out the window toward the bay and watching the heavy rain continue.  After working a while I got up and looked out the window behind me and I got a beautiful surprise.  There was a white and dark pink orchid growing on a tree only about 10 feet from me.  Back in Pennsylvania I would not see an orchid growing on a tree.

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You can see the raindrops dripping off the stem.

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Apparently in Florida, you can attach certain orchids to a tree that is in the perfect location…not too much direct sunlight, but not all shade either.  If the orchid receives indirect sunlight and some fertilizer it will flourish.  I sure wish we could do that in Pennsylvania!!!

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Stunningly beautiful!!!!

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Later in the day the sun came out and I was able to appreciate the orchid close up.  Seeing the beauty of that orchid at a time I was not expecting it brought a smile to my face. Orchids are a thing of beauty and I’m thrilled that I was given the gift of seeing one today.  I am very thankful for my rainy day surprise.

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Last evening I was given an incredible gift.  It was a custom-designed treat that touched my heart and lifted my spirit after a rough day.   Yesterday was an emotionally challenging day because my granddaughter had the surgery to fix her cleft palate.  The anxiety leading up to the surgery and the pain of watching her suffer as she woke up and began her recovery made it a very long and tiring day.  I was very thankful that the surgery went well and she was doing well.  All in all, it couldn’t have gone better and I was already feeling very thankful and blessed……..

…………then came the unexpected blessing.

 

I walked out on my front porch late in the evening and was greeted by the sight and scent of at least 30+ moon flowers.

 

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They grow all over the railing of my front porch and vine up to the ceiling as well.  I’ve grown moon flowers for many years and have never had a night with so many blooms.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of smelling a moon flower I recommend that you find a way to do so.  They have one of the sweetest and unique scents of any flower I’ve ever smelled.  They are also incredibly beautiful–so delicate and pure white.

 

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I brought out a glass of wine and simply enjoyed being surrounded by the beauty and the sweet aroma of my favorite flowers.

 

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I don’t see this gift as just good luck.  I’m learning more and more to accept these moments as gifts from a God who loves me and knows how to bring joy to my soul.  I’m also learning how to enjoy these gifts to their fullest.  🙂

 

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Your ‘gift’ might not be a porch full of moon flowers, but I would encourage you to look for those special little things that occur in your life and recognize them as gifts from above.

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Garden Labyrinth at West Shore Evangelical Free Church

Up until a year ago I had never heard of a ‘labyrinth’. During a session with my Spiritual Director, she mentioned that walking a labyrinth might be helpful to me. We drove to on that was nearby and it was beautiful– surrounded by trees, gardens and next to a pond with a fountain. I had no idea the impact that little ‘walk’ would have on me.

From the minute I took my first step across the entrance I began to forget about things outside of the labyrinth. One of the first things I saw was a rock with the word “Breathe” on it and I realized that I was tense and had been holding my breath. I consciously relaxed my body and slowly let my breath out. That simple act of letting go of my breath somehow opened up my heart.  I know it may sound a bit crazy, but as I walked the grassy path it felt like I truly was somehow entering into the presence of God. I’m not exactly sure why, but the simple act of walking that labyrinth started a process that has enabled me to be more open and receptive to spiritual things.

One thing I’ve done to continue that process is to be part of building a garden labyrinth at my church. (see pictures) It was a lot of work, but it felt ‘right’ to be doing it. It has been done partly as a memorial to those who are no longer with us and is a place where people can go and remember their loved ones and seek to find comfort and healing.

I often go to the labyrinth just as the sun is setting—in the cool of the evening. I walk up to the entrance, remove my shoes and begin to walk the grassy path to the center. Sometimes I have music and other times I simply listen to the night sounds. There is a tree and a little bench in the center and I usually find myself kneeling and allowing my soul to open up. As I pour out my heart to God a peace slowly begins to fill me. After a while I stand up and begin the walk back out. I can’t explain it, but I almost always feel comforted and a bit stronger to face the next day.

 

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Bench at center of Labyrinth for sitting or kneeling

 

Walking a labyrinth may not have this effect on everyone, but I am thankful that I have discovered one way that I can draw closer to God. I would encourage you to find whatever works for you. If you’d like to explore this further, Gary Thomas wrote a book called “Sacred Pathways” that talks about the different ‘paths’ to God that might be the way to help our souls open up to spiritual things. There is an entire spiritual world out there and we just have to find ways to become aware of it. For me, the labyrinth is one way I can do this.

 

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Me at entrance of Labyrinth (barefoot and ready to walk)

(for those of you who know me, I did make some jewelry with labyrinth charms

so that my jewelry can ‘feel’ right while I walk the labyrinth. )

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View of Labyrinth from gardens on hill

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Sitting area at entrance of Labyrinth–can be used to prepare to walk or to wait for someone who is walking.

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