Tag Archives: outdoors

The 08/24/13 Joy Jar

24 Aug

Moi really likes weeping willow trees and thinks that they get a bad rap because folk think that they are sad. They are not, they are majestic. Here are Five Cool Facts about weeping willows:

There is a good deal of symbolism associated with willows. The Westernized thought of weeping willows as a symbol of grief most likely originates from a Bible verse, “By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the willow-trees we hung up our harps.” (Psalm 137), hence the name Salix babylonica. However, it is generally agreed upon by historians that the trees referred to in this verse are not actually weeping willows; they were most likely poplars. Ironically, in other parts of the world such as China, which is were the tree originated, the willow represents vitality, growth, rebirth and immortality. This symbolism stems from its ability to grow easily from cut branches. Nevertheless, the association between weeping willows and grief persisted throughout history, and were a common gravestone ornament by the 19th century.

Great Growers
Weeping willows are one of the fastest growing trees and sprout easily. In fact, they grow so easily that oftentimes they originate from a broken branch lying the in the soil. It is therefore very adaptable to soil conditions; weeping willows can flourish in both alkaline and acidic conditions. These trees grow an average of 6-8 feet per year and upon maturity can be up to 50 feet tall and 35 feet wide.

Helpful and Harmful Roots
Weeping willow roots are aggressive water seekers. In their search for water, roots can block pipes and damage nearby structures such sidewalks. This is why willows are often planted in open areas near a body of water Just as the roots can be damaging if placed in the wrong setting, they can very helpful if placed in the right setting. Weeping willows are used to help with soil drainage and can help prevent erosion.

Medicinal Uses
People have taken advantage of the medicinal properties of willow trees since ancient times (as early as 400 BC). Chewing on willow bark was an effective way of treating fever and inflammation. This is because the bark contains salicin, which is a chemical similar to the active ingredient in aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid. Recent studies have also suggested that willow bark contains additional antioxidant, antiseptic and immune boosting properties. Research suggests that willow bark is effective at treating headaches, lower back pain and osteoporosis.

Craft Uses
Weeping willows also have a role in arts and crafts. Willows have long been used for wicker work and basketry. Before plastic was invented, willow wickerwork was used to make an array of containers. Willow wood was also used to build houses and furniture. Today, using willow wood is a good way to add a natural rustic element to your living space. Weeping willows have also been used to manufacture charcoal, cricket bats and made into a dye for tanning leather. http://www.ask.com/explore/5-cool-facts-about-weeping-willow-trees

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the majestic weeping willow tree.

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
Bruce Lee

The willow which bends to the tempest, often escapes better than the oak which resists it; and so in great calamities, it sometimes happens that light and frivolous spirits recover their elasticity and presence of mind sooner than those of a loftier character.
Albert Schweitzer

There once was a Willow, and he was very old,
And all his leaves fell off from him, and left him in the cold;
But ere the rude winter could buffet him with snow,
There grew upon his hoary head a crop of mistletoe.
All wrinkled and furrowed was this old Willow’s skin,
His taper finger trembled, and his arms were very thin;
Two round eyes and hollow, that stared but did not see;
And sprawling feet that never walked, had this most ancient tree.

Julianna Horatia Ewing, “The Willow Man”

The 08/20/13 Joy Jar

20 Aug

When walks as opposed to driving or riding on a bus, one notices things. Wood and stone have a beauty that real materials have. There is a beauty to real wood and real wood products. Maybe that is why antiques are so prized is that they are constructed of real materials. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is real wood.

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back.
Steve Jobs

Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“To dwellers in a wood, almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature.”
Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree

I have little patience with scientists who take a board of wood, look for its thinnest part, and drill a great number of holes where drilling is easy.”
Albert Einstein

Out of defeat can come the best in human nature. As Christians face storms of adversity, they may rise with more beauty. They are like trees that grow on mountain ridges — battered by winds, yet trees in which we find the strongest wood.”
Billy Graham

“Rotten wood cannot be carved”
Chinese Proverb

The 06/19/13 Joy Jar

19 Jun


Riding on the bus, moi looked at to what could have been a great sunset. Then the sky turned cloudy and the potential was lost. Still, sunsets are some of the most beautiful parts of the day. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are those beautiful sunsets that just take your breath away.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
Rabindranath Tagore,
Stray Birds

Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgandy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road

There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”

Jo Walton

The point is that when I see a sunset or a waterfall or something, for a split second it’s so great, because for a little bit I’m out of my brain, and it’s got nothing to do with me. I’m not trying to figure it out, you know what I mean? And I wonder if I can somehow find a way to maintain that mind stillness.”
― Chris Evans

It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.Bern Williams

If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.”
G.K. Chesterton

The 05/12/13 Joy Jar

11 May


The past few days in Seattle have been glorious with sun and pleasant temperatures. Rain is predicted to start tomorrow and last for the next several days. A Seattle rain cleans the air and plumps up the skin. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the Seattle rain which cleans the air.

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
Dolly Parton

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
Langston Hughes

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.
Roger Miller

It ain’t no use putting up your umbrella till it rains.”

Alice Caldwell Rice

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

The 03/21/13 Joy Jar

20 Mar
Today was the first day of Spring and in Seattle, the weather can take many paths.  Spring can come early or late.  The calendar says Spring and moi is going with the calendar. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is Spring.
The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.
Henry Van Dyke
The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearl’d;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven–
All’s right with the world!
Robert Browning
Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.
Bishop Reginald Heber

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.
Virgil A. Kraft


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils.
William Wordsworth

April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.
Christopher Morley
John Mistletoe.

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
Mark Twain
Tom Sawyer, Detective.

The 01/14/13 Joy Jar

13 Jan

Sunshine can mean the warm from the sun or the warmth from the glow of a person or personality. Dictionary.com defines ‘sunshine’ as:



1. the shining of the sun; direct light of the sun.

2. brightness or radiance; cheerfulness or happiness.

3. a source of cheer or happiness.

4. the effect of the sun in lighting and heating a place.

5. a place where the direct rays of the sun fall.

The Urban Dictionary defines ‘sunshine’ as:

Sunshine is a special someone who gives light and warmth in your life. Someone who you want to wake up with just like sunshine and know that that is what gives you life. Someone who is really hot and brightens your day and your life.Good morning sunshine!

However one defines ‘sunshine,’ it makes you feel warm, even on a cold day. Today’s deposit in the ‘Joy Jar’ is sunshine.

“Some people are so much sunshine to the square inch.”

Walt Whitman

“The sun,–the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness to man–burst upon the crowded city in clear and radiant glory. Through costly-coloured glass and paper-mended window, through cathedral dome and rotten crevice, it shed its equal ray.”

Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder – Volume One: On Wisdom and Virtues

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.

James M. Barrie

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.”

Helen Keller