Did you notice?

Hugs n’ blessings has been quiet for a little while.

On or about the start of Advent I knew I needed to pull away and enter into the silence of my heart.

Like a seed seeking to grow I needed time to plant myself in quiet soil to discover if God was calling me to bloom anew.

Has this ever happened to you?

I decided to detach from the noisy World in most social-media ways, immersed myself in prayer & contemplation, dove into journaling full-force, ate more carbs than I care to admit and allowed myself to be nurtured by

Continue reading “garden-path”

garden glory

All photos in this post taken by Jared Don.


“The lovely flowers embarrass me,
They make me regret I am not a bee –”
~Emily Dickinson, 1864

“For flowers that bloom about our feet;

For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;

For song of bird, and hum of bee;

For all things fair we hear or see,

Father in heaven, we thank Thee!”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hush now, as our gardens prepare to go to sleep…

sleep well dear blooms, until next year we doeth meet.

hugs n’ blessings to all who’ve cultivated God’s beauty this summer & to those who’ve captured their images to carry with us throughout the dormant months ahead. 

“Bloom where you are planted!”

The Bishop of Geneva, Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) is credited with the quote, “bloom where you are planted.” Later Mary Engelbreit made the phrase popular.

Gardenias & a magic-wand!

My favorite flower in the whole wide world is…

the Gardenia!

My very own home-grown Gardenia!

There is something romantically nostalgic

about this flower for me.

I have always called upon the gardenia

for the (most) special moments of my life.

And it has never disappointed me!

Like the fairy-godmother in Cinderella

who waves her magic-wand which turns

pumpkins into carriages,

I truly feel like the transformed pumpkin each time I am near one.

No wonder it was the flower at my wedding

and every birth of my children

and all the Mother’s Days there-after!

Not to mention, I am quite certain my family will know

which flower should be at my wake!



One of the fondest memories I have of the Gardenia was on our Wedding Day some 30 years ago, walking down the aisle of St. Joseph’s Church with my cascading bouquete of Gardenias clutched tightly in my hands! The elderly women in attendance commented how, “We could smell the gardenias as you walked down the aisle toward your groom!”


And I do so very hope it will be the same with Jesus one day!

As an eternal bride, with her favorite flower, headed toward her beloved Bridegroom…in Heaven.  And I do verily hope He will be just as pleased by the fragrance, as I process toward Him.

But first, by the grace of God,

I have a few more Gardenias here in this earthly world to enjoy!

This potted miniature-gardenia plant was gifted to me by two very dear friends for my 50th birthday celebration!

Last count it had 48 gardenia-buds waiting to burst into bloom!

These two Gardenias, outside our sun-porch, were purchased during a “surprise-BOGO” at a local nursery! Lucky me!


The Gardenia’s are beautiful this year because of the unusually high-humidity we have had during the summer months.  I wish I could explain the giddy-feeling I have each time I walk outside from the sunroom and am struck by the heavy-aroma from the fresh blooms!  My joy is especially heightened, as this is the first time I have ever been able to wear a Gardenia, tucked in my hair or behind an ear, without needing to purchase it from my favorite people at Allburn’s Florists.

I have done a lot of research on preserving my potted bushes during the cold Northeastern US winters; however, saddly it doesn’t sound promising.  My research also suggests “even if” you are successful in nursing the bushes through the winter months indoors, it is difficult to get the bushes to rebloom the following year.

Can you hear my sad-sighs?

However,  as I am learning this new knowledge of the Gardenia it has helped me to appreciate the gift I’ve been given with these 3 ‘make-me-smile’ bushes even more!  What a blessing to remember how important it is to fully embrace the joy which is given to us in the moment...for we never really know if we will always have it in our midst.

Yes, God is constantly teaching me!

Whether it is through the wave of a magic-wand,

the surprise of an unexpected sale,

the heat of an unusually humid summer,

or a favorite flower readily available to be tucked in my hair…

life should be appreciated fully (in the) NOW.

And praise be, He allows the fragrance from the joy to linger with us,

even when it’s gone.

A dried Gardenia from Mother’s Day 2016

3hugs n’ blessings for all the pumpkins turning into carriages in our everyday lives!