Houses & Gardens

Yesterday EJ and I worked in the garden for a bit. EJ planted his tomato and pepper plants in his veggie garden and then he planted his blueberry bushes in the area of the yard where the birdhouses are.

While EJ planted, I planted the two cherry tomato plants that our neighbor gave us in a hanging basket. We’ve heard about doing this online and thought we’d try it. I hung the basket on a hook on our front porch.

Then I decided on a location for the second new birdhouse and dug a hole with the post-hole digger and installed the post. I put it inside the fence near the lilac bush. When EJ finished his planting, he attached the birdhouses to the posts for me. I haven’t yet decided where to place the third new birdhouse. Unless we go buy more posts, I will have to put the birdhouse someplace where there’s already a post.

There were sparrows in all three of the birdhouses outside my kitchen window, but I noticed that they were having turf battles. Mostly they just warned each other off, but we saw two sparrows fighting fiercely in “hand-to-hand combat” the other day. After that, I no longer saw sparrows at one of the houses. I figured the houses must be located too close to each other, so after peeking inside to make sure the one house was really empty, EJ helped me move it to where we can see it from the other kitchen window on the other side of the house.

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Today we’ve had a quiet day of rest. We are studying and discussing what we are learning. EJ is on call today so he doesn’t have to go to work unless there’s a problem. I hope he gets to stay home because he is exhausted and needs the rest.

The news reported that Thursday morning there was a murder/suicide in a city not too far away. A man murdered his wife and then killed himself. The bodies were found when a neighbor heard the couple’s (now orphaned) 6-year old boy crying in the street at 1 a.m. and called 911. The boy was unharmed and is currently in Child Protective custody while waiting for his mother’s relatives to arrive. I mention this very sad story because EJ worked with the man for about ten years. This has been a shock to him (and other co-workers) and he is trying to process it. This is the second tragedy within the last year that involved a co-worker. Last autumn a co-worker friend of EJ’s was severely beaten up by her son. She’s still alive, but she’s not expected to live much longer. This has been a rough year.

3 Comments on “Houses & Gardens

  1. You have a real paradise for men and birds and cats don’t forget to mention them too. I love you garden and it will be more beautiful when everything you planted will bloom or bear fruit. But what a shock to read about the co-worker of EJ when you have worked with someone for 10 years you never ever expect something like this. That poor little lam of 6 years he will be traumatized for ever seeing this and even calling 911. I really feel forks sad for him. Teri what is going on in our world it is getting more evil by the day. In Holland we have things like this too. Sometimes I just want to shut myself off, not reading a newspaper or watch the news just get away in my own little world for a day of two to recuperate . I know that I can’t hide forever but now and than I need that. I think that is why we love to have a garden and just very basic things like the love of our family……..Love you all (((hugs))))) ❤


    • Simone, I think the world has many sad things in it too, some too overwhelmingly sad or terrible to endure. Sometimes we do need a break from it all. I think that’s one of the appeals of working in garden: It allows a person to create and appreciate beauty that is soothing and refreshing. And while we can’t uproot all the evil things that happen in the world, we can easily uproot the weeds in our gardens.

      You might already know this, but in studying Hebrew, I learned that the Jewish sages believe that there is an obligation to thank G-d for the beauty He has placed in the world. I believe that Pirkei Avot teaches that the sages believe it is a sin to see only evil in the world and not beauty as well.

      Torah.Org says of the Jews: “Whenever we see such sights as majestic mountains, deserts and rivers, we recite the blessing: “Blessed are You G-d, our all-powerful L-rd, King of the universe, who makes the work of creation.” Upon seeing exceptionally beautiful trees or fields (both of which having been mentioned in our mishna), we recite the blessing “Blessed are You… who has such in His universe. Upon partaking of seasonal fruits, when we first enjoy the first fruits of the new year’s harvest, we thank G-d with the blessing, “who has kept us alive, sustained us, and allowed us to reach this time.” We express our gratitude that G-d has preserved us until this time, and has granted us the opportunity to partake of His wonderful creations. Finally, the Sages instituted a special blessing to be recited when one first sees fruit trees blossom in the spring: “Blessed are You… who did not cause a lack of anything in His world, who created good creatures and good trees so that mankind can benefit from them.” We note that in this blessing, as well as in the previous blessing on new fruits, we do not praise G-d for His bountiful world alone. We rather thank Him that He has benefited *us* with it. This is not so much because we see the world as ours to exploit. It is because we view the miracles of nature as G-d’s gift to man: we turn our admiration into appreciation.”

      I think that it would be good to have this perspective. A garden is a good place to remind us of all the beauty and blessings and goodness that exists in the world, especially when we are saddened by encounters with tragedy and evil.


  2. I have again remembering myself with your words every time life is overwhelming in ways…. And just thank G’D for His wonders and His beauty.


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