Attitude, Positiveness, Positivity


Hello Fellow Caboodlers!  Welcome to Make Monday Matter!  Never underestimate the power of positivity.  This can be perhaps the most powerful tool you can possess.  Being positive can be what will get you the great interview, carry you through the tough list of strong candidates and land you the ‘to die for job’, then be the deciding factor for the promotion.  Your positive attitude will be a definite plus in so many relationships from friendships to your spouse to how you respond with your children.

There are countless times that you will be grateful for your positive attitude.  The attitude that will be the ‘carry it through all’ attitude.  We all have heard studies which show that a positive attitude can help prevent illnesses – not just the common cold either!  We have all been to parties where we end up being around Mr. Negativity … no fun, huh!

Positive thoughts will strengthen you, negative ones will weaken you.  I want to be stronger mentally.  How about you?    I definitely want to have a strong character.  Therefore, I want to focus on positive factors.  This, of course, is not an easy task.  However, it is well worth the effort!  Clear your mind and focus on beauty around you.  What makes you happy in your life?  Make lists of what needs to be completed and be sure to work each day to finish one item on that list.  A sense of accomplishment will ensure positivity.

Make Monday Matter … Stay Positive!


Anti-Inflammatory Foods, Antioxidant Foods, Low Calorie Too!


Hello Fellow Caboodlers!  Welcome to Wellness Wednesday.  We have been socked in with rain and humidity.  It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.  I thought that we all could use a reminder that food can fight for us!  We just need to make the right choices.

                                    Top Anti-Inflammatory Herbs & Spices

Black Pepper, Basil, Cardamom, Chamomile, Chives, Cilantro, Ginger, Parsley, Nutmeg, Rosemary. Cinnamon, Cloves, Garlic, Red & Yellow Onions, Cocoa, Turmeric, and  Shallots.  

                                  Other Food for Fighting Inflammation

Apples. Citrus Fruits, Strawberries, Beets, Cranberries, Sweet Potatoes, Cherries, Low Fat/No Fat Dairy, and Walnuts/Flaxseeds.

                                             Fruits High in Antioxidants

Apples, Cherries, Kiwis, Strawberries, Blueberries, Cranberries, Plums, Blackberries, Grapes,and Raspberries

                                      Vitamin Rich Foods to Fight Aging Skin

Blueberries, Raspberries, Vanilla or Plain Yogurt –greek for more protein, Green Tea, Strawberries, and Honey (Local). 

The more of these healthy foods you can incorporate each day, the better you will feel.  Remember, drink plenty of water!  I forget this one!  But when I drink around 70 oz. of water, I have most success with weight loss.  Also, Green Tea makes my joints feel better.  It also helps keep weight stabilized, it seems.  If you don’t like the taste, try mixing a green tea bag with peppermint tea bag. 

 Here is to the best health!



Forgiveness, Healing, Make Monday Matter


Hello Fellow Caboodlers!   Welcome to Make Monday Matter. Forgiveness.  This is complicated.  I have learned that if you forgive someone, you will feel freedom.  The longer you have carried this anger and resentment, the more emotional stress you have endured.  This could be causing health issues that you may not be aware of.  Now, it is one thing to still be upset at a sibling over some rivalry dating back years ago!  I am referring to something a bit more evil … perhaps you don’t even want to address it.  Something going back to your childhood.

Forgiving someone for something that happened, even if it is in a prayer or silently to yourself, and moving forward, is the beginning of the healing process.  Your family and your health are paramount.  The worse the offense, the more important it is to find forgiveness and to free yourself over this person.  You cannot allow this individual to have power over you.  In my opinion, by forgiving, you free yourself and therefore making that individual powerless.

This wisdom has come from my personal experience.  Personally, I had to reach a point in my life where, I realized that once I forgave, no longer did that person control my life any longer!

Forgiveness is very powerful and can be liberating in your life.

Make Monday Matter …



Clay Soil, Perennials


Hello Fellow Caboodlers!   Welcome to Fiddlehead Friday.  Here is a list of perennials that should work in clay soils.  I am eager to try these in my soil.  Although my current clay soil is much worse than our last house, I will try adding  lots of compost.  Our winters are more brutal and the soil lacks drainage in the winter months.  I would love to hear what has worked best for you.  So far, Echinacea Marmalade is a winner here.  Echinacea Pow Wow Wildberry, not so much.  Echinacea Double Decker no blooms but the foilage is doing well.  Artemesia Valerie Finnis is doing well.

Aster Frikartii –  ‘Monch’ – hardy zone – 5-10, h 2’-3’;

Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ Reed Grass – hardy zone – 5-9, h 3’-5’;

Campanula persicifolia – willow bell – hardy zone –  3-7, h 2’-3’;

Eryngium yuccifolium – rattlesnake master – hardy zone –  3-8, h 4’-5’;

Euphorbia palustris – spurge – hardy zone –  5-10, h 2’-3’ *this is the only Euphorbia I could find for wet soils.  It is for use in a rain garden.

Helenium ‘MoerheimBeauty’ – sneezeweed – hardy zone – 3-8, h 2’-3’;

Imperata cylindrical ‘Rubra’ – Japanese blood grass – hardy zone –  5-9, h 2’-4’;

Juncus effuses f. spiralis – corkscrew rush – hardy zone – 4-9, h 18”-2’;

Penstemon digitalis – beardtongue – hardy zone – 3-8, h 3’-5’

Physostegia virginiana – obedient plant – hardy zone – 3-9, h 3’-4’

Scabiosa Pink Mist – pincushion flower – hardy zone – 5-9, h 1’-2’;

Thalictrum aquilegiifolium – meadow rue – hardy zone – 5-8, h 2’-3’;

Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’ – Adam’s needle – hardy zone – 4-10, h 3’-6’


Anxiety, Depression, Mental Health


Hello Fellow Caboodlers!  Welcome to Wellness Wednesday.  Today, I am writing on mental health.    Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical health.  We all know people that struggle with anxiety or depression.  You can go to your Primary Care doctor and have a conversation with him/her and be prescribed a medication that will help you tremendously with that condition.  You can also seek therapy for help with anxiety or depression which is widespread.

If you are older, you probably remember someone in your family who most likely suffered from a form of anxiety.  It was almost always hidden in the family or it was dealt with by drinking a bit.  In my family, you were told to ‘deal with it’.  In today’s world, with a wide ranging set of problems that we did not have 25 years ago such as: terrorism, financial pressures, the  lack of quality employment, healthcare, the collapse of morals, and social bullying,  the young people today are left with a myriad of issues to deal with.  Please pay close attention to those around you that you love.  If you start to notice signs of disinterest, lack of hygiene, or excessive sleep, have a conversation with them.  There is help available.  You can start with their doctor if they are under the age of 18.  If they are older, you can contact a local therapist and inquire about an involuntary commitment or if your area has a Psychiatric hospital call it.  I live in PA and here it is called a 302.  This varies from state to state and even county to county.  To have someone involuntarily committed, you must be able to prove that they could harm themselves or someone else.

The best advice I can give to you is to intervene early, be positive and to have patience.  That is hard.  But, if the person you are helping is your child, or a close relative, seeing them through this difficult time will be rewarding.  I was once very cavalier about the subject of mental health.  I will take this seriously in the future.  Remember, our young people are our future!  We must nurture them to protect it.    Stay well mentally and physically!


Change The Path for the Future, Make Monday Matter, Remember Your Past


Hello Fellow Caboodlers!  Today’s post is completely objectionable.  It is about the future.  What would you change for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and future generations?

This made me think about what I had in my childhood that my children certainly did not.  First, I had fantastic grandparents.  Yes, four of them.  They were involved in my life and in the lives of all of their grandchildren.  They came from hardworking families and they had very little.  Both of my grandmothers had jobs in factories, they both drove, they voted and they went to church.  They loved to bake and cook.  I remember when Sunday was for going to church and then visiting with family.  You could count on family.  Growing up, I lived on a farm and all around me was family.  My maternal grandmother took me to church.  Sunday, Tuesday evening for prayer meeting and would take me with her to her meetings.  She was a fantastic seamstress too.  I was very fortunate to have had terrific role models.

Next, I never had to worry about security.  Now, you need to be wary just going to your local Walmart.  Sometimes, you may not be safe in your own home.  I need to be vigilant with my daughter as she drives for her job.  All the while, worrying about what effect this is having on my children.  Then, we keep hearing about ISIS/ISIL.  So, we have huge global security fears that need to be addressed.

Every time you turn around, you are faced with commercials warning you about your identity being stolen.  Again, is it any wonder that our young people have become so cynical?

I continue to try to set the example of showing kindness.    Let me know what you would change.  What do you miss?  Make Monday Matter



Clay Soil, Perennials, Zone 5


Hello Fellow Caboodlers!  Welcome to Fiddlehead Friday.  I sure have been struggling with clay soil, as I am sure many of you have also!  I had clay soil at my last house, but it didn’t seem so sticky and I know it didn’t stay so wet through the winter.  I pulled out my pictures of the perennials I grew there and have been combing through gardening books for suggestions.  I have compiled a list of some of the best perennials for clay.

This list is of the perennials I have grown before in clay and have had success:

Acanthus spinosus – bear’s breeches, hardy zone 5-9, h 3’-4’;

Achillea millefolium- yarrow, hardy one 3-9, h 2’-3’;

Aquilegia – columbine, magpie, hardy zone 3-9, h 2’-3’

Brunnera macrophylla – hardy zone 3-8, h 1’-2’; I want to try ‘Jack Frost’

Coreopsis verticillata – threadleaf coreopsis – hardy zone 3-9, h 2’-3’;

Echinacea – purple coneflower – hardy zone 3-8, h 2’-5’; *Many new varieties.

Gaillardia – blanket flower – hardy zone 3-10, h 2’-3’;

Gaura lindheimeri – hardy zone 5-9, h 3’-5’

Hemerocallis – daylilies  – hardy zone 3-9, h: varies;

Leucanthemum – shasta daisy – hardy zone 5 – 9, h 3’-4’ *I’m growing Silver Princess from seed.  It’s only 12”.  I am right on the hardiness zone.

Liatris spicata – blazing star – hardy zone 3-8, h 2’-4’ *plant ‘Kobold’ 14”;

Leymus arenarius – blue lyme grass – hardy zone 3-9, h 2’-3’ ***can be invasive*** do not put this by your prized perennials – I placed this around a cable tower.  I pulled out new shoots very frequently and tossed in the garbage.  It is pretty in the proper place.  You must be vigilant.  I never watered once established.

Monarda- bee balm – hardy zone 3-9, h 2’-4’

Rudbeckia – black-eyed susan – hardy zone 3-7, h 2’-3’;

Salvia nemorosa – sage – hardy zone 4-8, h 2’; *I think I grew Cardonna

Sedum – stonecrop ‘Autumn Joy’ hardy zone 3-9, h 1’-3’;

Sedum – stonecrop ‘Frosty Morn’ – hardy zone 3-9, h 1’-2’;

Sedum – stonecrop ‘Purple Emperor’ – hardy zone 3-7, h 1’-2’;

I recently went to a lecture a local Master Gardener held.  Unfortunately, it really was not that interesting.  What she did say that got me thinking is:  “It has been recommended that you start planting perennials that are more hardy than this zone.”  Questions began quickly.  I recall a few years ago that the hardiness map was reworked and we became zone 6 after being in zone 5, well since the beginning of time.  Several people I know went out and bought plants that were labeled zone 7.   I certainly don’t have to tell you what happened.  The past two winters here have been brutal.

Perennials that have grown well here for decades have been lost.  So, as I try to begin a new garden, I will definitely be looking for perennials that are not pushing the hardiness zone here.  The Silver Princess daisies I am planting from seed, I see as a fairly small investment.  However, I am the type of gardener who never likes to lose a plant for any reason.

Let me know your favorite plants or not so favorite ones that you have growing in clay!