Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Gardens in Orlando

Many of the plants that grow in middle Florida also grow where we live.  The difference is that they thrive down there, and our's just grow.  While visiting Orlando I was amazed at how the canna lilies were dense with blooms, the hibiscus had trunks twice the size of any in my yard, and the bougainvillea shot out everywhere like a wild hair do.

I think this is Texas Sage.

Ribbit, Ribbit?

The Mimosas were covered in fluffy umbrella blooms.

Although I don't allow my children to pick flowers out of public gardens we were able to snag a hibiscus bloom off of a pile of clippings, that the gardeners collected.  

And she had fun with it.

And she has new glasses.

And I don't know why she is making this face.

Outside of a few years I spent in Atlanta, I have always lived near or in the tropics.  If I ever have to move I know I will miss all the flowers and trees common in this zone.  What about you?  Have you ever moved and missed the plants of your past?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

One day not so long ago...

...we took a quick vacation to the Coronado Springs Resort.  It was breezy, comfortably warm (most of the time), green and lush and the sky was crystal clear with large puffy clouds.  My spine relaxes just gazing at this picture.  Can you remain stressed at such a location?

And on this day we slipped into swimsuits, grabbed our water bottles and beach ball and headed to the pool.

And, what a pool it was!  As is typical in middle Florida, the sky clouded up for a little afternoon shower, but it went as quickly as it came and we returned to playing in this gorgeous oasis.

See how exhausted she is from this labor?

Eventually we worked up an appetite and headed off, but not before creating a few poses.

What?  You don't bring a sword to the pool? 

As we walked to the restaurant the sun set on the lake, but not our trip.  More to come...

Where have you enjoyed watching the sun set?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Red Brick Chimney - A World War I Monument?

If you've ever travelled south on Interstate 95 through south Georgia, you have probably noticed the tall deteriorating chimney that one of the on-ramps wraps around.  For many years, I wondered how this brick structure had come to reside amongst the 1950's neighborhood and within a short distance of the interstate.  Even though I wasn't familiar with it's history I had a strong pang of sadness hit my gut when its current owner painted it white and used it as a sign for their business, which was located at the base of the chimney.  

So, when one of our recent geocaching treks took us quite close to this odd structure, my curiosity finally resulted in me doing some research.  During the 19 months that the United States was involved with World War I, two picric plants were commissioned.  This brick chimney and a few small out buildings are all that remains of this 7 million dollar plant.  Just a month before the plant was completed the war ended, and after that the history of the facility becomes quite sketchy.  Ultimately many of the buildings, including the twin to this chimney, were destroyed with the exception of a few out buildings.  Those that remain and that are now used for more modern businesses, feature unusually thick brick walls and large oak beams, as picric was explosive in nature.

While I'd like to take my children all over the country to see many of the monuments created to honor our war veterans, I believe this is just as much a memorial as any that were designed, with that sole purpose in mind.  I wonder as we approach the 100th anniversary of our involvement in World War I, which is five short years away, if structures such as these will become more valuable to us.  

One thing I know for sure...

I was right to regret that it had been forever changed with this layer of white paint.

Do you have a building, factory, or wharf in your neighborhood that was built to support World War I or II?  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Review - "Named by God" by Kasey Van Norman

In "Named by God," Kasey Van Norman portrays  life when you choose to journey with God and live in the forgiveness God provides.

This book reviews how our present, past and our even our plans for the future affects our relationship with God.  If you feel as though you have spent your life dragging your childhood behind you, her advice on "The Healing Power of Letting Go," will set you on the right path to a brighter future.  In Part 2 -  "Transforming Your Present, she covers topics such as "Broken and Beautiful" and "Seizing His Plan for You."  And finally, in part 3 this book will help you "Embrace Your Future as a child of God."

Whether you are a new or mature Christian you will benefit from reading this book.  I was reminded of how God is always present in our pain and the importance of forgiving and moving on.   As you examine your past and present many of God's promises are outlined and help you to launch your vision for the future.  

I enjoyed this quick read as it reminded me of the simple aspects of Christianity that make life worth living.  If you know someone who is experiencing a plateau in their spiritual journey this would be a great gift.  Ms. Van Norman is especially affective in offering Biblical perspective on breaking free from the guilt of our past, embracing God's forgiveness for our souls, and moving on as a child of God and living a life that glorifies Him.

If the following excerpt tugs at your heart I encourage you to read this book.  You will not be disappointed.

"Are you feeling tempted to quit or remain complacent in your relationship with God right now?  Is there something God is calling you to do, but you're making excuses?  Instead of letting the uncertainties of life stop you or cause you to run int he other direction, all them to make you more faithful, more daring."

If you are the first person to tweet about this review I will send you a free copy.  Post the url to your tweet in the comment section.

If you've enjoyed this review and would like to receive all of the Hammock Tracks posts in your inbox enter your email here:

Delivered by FeedBurner
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...