Hyacinths on a Window Sill

Often times, people use air freshener to spruce up the way their homes smells.

Well, the other morning I woke up and I was greeted with the soft, sweet scent of the hyacinths that I had bought the night before at the grocery store.

What a wonderfully natural air freshener! No chemicals! Just the soft, scent of flowers in bloom, just like nature intended.

So, the next time you are perusing the cleaning aisle in search of air freshener in an aerosol can or a chemical plug in or a candle, consider buying flowers instead. Flowers are safer because they do not emit chemicals. Flowers, rather than aerosol cans, do not harm the environment. Plants purify the air, in fact.

And, an added bonus is that flowers are a mood booster. Their beautiful colors inspire joy; their sweet scent quite simply makes us happy.

Happiness and joy are not difficult to achieve. Just place flowers in your house and spend quiet time simply enjoying them.

Rather than spending a sunny day inside your home tapping away at your computer or phone, consider going outside and planting a garden. Imagine the sheer beauty of bringing those flowers inside and placing them in vases for you to enjoy.

It’s nearing spring, so get started with your planting.

You will find joy.

And, joy, after all, is within your reach.

Just get started!

Have a lovely week.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2023

A Walk in Winter

On this chilly, gray overcast, windy winter afternoon, I took a walk in a garden near my house. I saw this beautifully red flower with raindrops on its petals. Such beauty! I took a photo and just had to share it with the world.

As with enter this winter season, we tend to fear the ravishes of cold and the uncertainty of a new year. We look behind ourselves and oftentimes regret those things we failed to accomplish in the past twelve months.

The past slaps us in the face as it slowly dawns on us that we wasted precious time with empty pursuits, such as scrolling websites on our phones or binge watching Netflix.

We can never get back wasted time.

Truly time waits for nobody.

Such are the thoughts that ran through my mind as I walked in the garden and noticed flowers in various stages of life and decay. This beautiful flower was still aflame with life and vibrant beauty. But, one day it will, too, fade away.

So, I captured its image with my camera so that I can be reminded of beauty, of the brilliance of life.

Before it fades away.

As we move into 2023, into a new year filled with the unknown, please be reminded that time is fleeting, but life is still a blessing.

Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Do not waste a second being fearful; have courage; trust in God and know that you are never alone in your despair.

Have courage to accomplish your goals for 2023. Do not waste a second. Life is precious; life is fleeting.

And, life is magnificently beautiful.

Take a walk in a garden on a chilly winter afternoon and be amazed by flowers that are still in bloom.

Copyright Jenny W. Andrews 2022


Red holly berries cluster beneath green leaf canopies; thin branches point skyward, end.

Sunlight, golden, shifts like pantomime against the pale yellow wall.

Window is a picture frame, frames the forest outside the library.

Peaceful. Silence. Calm.

I sit and simply watch the world go by.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022

Evening Sky over The River

I took this photo a few years back before real estate developers swooped down with a vengeance and started hacking down ancient oaks and cypress along the river banks so that they could construct ugly, dark cinderblock, outrageously expensive condominiums that no local residents could even fantasize about purchasing.

Now, on the steps of those outrageously expensive ugly, dark cinderblock condominiums homeless people stroll by pushing shopping carts filled with their earthly belongings. A few blocks away, homeless people have pitched tents, scattered blankets, so forth and so on, to make a home for themselves. Now, the powers that be have decided to pass an ordinance prohibiting anyone from sleeping on the sidewalk. Wow! Just wow!

Maybe they can go sleep on the bank of the river. Oh, wait, no they cannot. It’s gated off for the most part.

What’s an American to do in the land of milk and honey, endless opportunity, affordable housing, et cetera and so forth? It can’t get any better than this, watching homeless people pushing shopping carts past million dollar condominiums.

Anyway, the river used to be my favorite place to stroll along, but now, it just hurts to see its beautiful nature destroyed in the name of money and profit. Now, in order to even park in the city center, one must pay exorbitant parking fees.

As I near retirement age, I wonder where I can relocate to that greedy real estate developers haven’t zoned in on.

All I know is that developers always tout the importance of growth. Thing is growth is not always good; cancer is a growth and absolutely nobody wants that.

Now, do they?

Please leave me recommendations for places that are not destroyed by greedy real estate developers.

Thank you and have a beautiful week.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022

Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Sunny, warm Saturday, in a past season; but, the season of thankfulness never changes.

Blue birds and red cardinals are soaring across the pale blue sky, alight on branches of the oak trees that form a leafy green canopy.

Wet red and blue wings splash in the little white birdbath next to my lavender rose bush; warm breeze rustles the brown leaves.

God has been so good to me; I can see the kaleidoscope of colors, hear the melody of birds chirping and skittering in the branches swaying high above me; I can feel the warmth of sunlight touch my skin.

I can taste the sweetness of strawberries in the oatmeal I had for breakfast; I can stand in this ordinary moment and raise my hands in thankfulness to my God who has been so good to me.

To my God who has blessed me with breath, who has held me in the palm of his hand, who has lifted me up and let me see the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Jenny W. Andrew copyright 2022

Monday Blessings

Okay, Monday can either be interpreted as good or bad.

Well, I think it is all in our decision to either be happy or not; to either look up at the brilliant sunshine or cool rain, or to look down at the sticks and brambles that hurt our feet.

This is a photo of a little donkey I saw in the countryside of The Republic of Ireland back in October 2008. It makes me smile; it reminds me of that absolutely breathtaking landscape of mountains and lakes and stone bridges, and that tiny ancient whisper of my great-grandmother Mary Ellen’s people who had to abandon those magical green fields for the unknown land way across the ocean.

I walked those cobblestone paths in Dublin, County Cork, Kilkenny and thought of those footsteps that had preceded me. And, I smile.

On this Monday in late June, I smile at the beauty of memory; I smile at how decisions can change history, for either good or bad. It always depends on who is telling the tale. And, truly, only the passing of time can really determine whether those decisions were either good or bad.

Great-grandmother Mary Ellen’s people settled in the blazing heat of Georgia, farmed the land, toiled there, raised a family, and through their decisions, I am here on this Monday thanking God for the blessings of my life.

I am thankful for this beautiful Monday; I decide to spend this day after work writing on my new poetry book.

I plan to spend this beautiful Monday in happiness and thankfulness.

And remembering those beautiful moments I spent in The Republic of Ireland patting a silly donkey behind the ears.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022

Beauty to Begin the Week

Well, here we are at the end of another month. It’s hard to believe that we are half way finished with 2022. Time truly flies and doesn’t wait for any of us to make up our minds how we plan to spend the hours that we are given.

Pictured here is a duck that used to hang around the lake near my house. I took this photo nearly ten years ago; but, it feels like just yesterday.

As we all near this last week in June 2022 let’s consider how we plan to spend the following months of 2022.

Is there a goal that you have wanted to complete, but you keep procrastinating? Ask yourself why you keep procrastinating? What’s holding you back? Is fear of failure holding you back?

Consider this: Tomorrow comes no matter whether we are afraid are not. Tomorrow comes whether we waste away our precious minutes scrolling through a computer screen or whether we set aside the time to learn a new skill. Or, whether we call an old friend to just chat rather than send an impersonal message via social media or text message. Tomorrow comes whether we sit in front of the television and mindlessly eat chips and watch Seinfeld reruns (I love Seinfeld so trust me I am not disparaging Seinfeld), or whether we set aside thirty minutes to exercise.

Or, whether we set aside an hour to begin that novel we have in our head.

My point is is that time pays us no attention. It is this incredible gift that most of us squander. We bank on tomorrow. Well, I will get started tomorrow. . .we say.

While, yes, tomorrow does always come, truth is that unfortunately our tomorrows are not promised to any of us. So, those that we are blessed with should be used as productively as possible.

So, as we all turn our sights toward tomorrow, let’s consider what we can do to learn and to grow, to move toward a new skill, to explore a new place, to not let our precious and time-limited existence in this beautiful world be wasted.

Indeed, this life is beautiful. Of course, there are challenges. Life is complex. However, we have control over how we are going to spend our time.

So, make no excuses or time will make the decision for you.

Get going.

Start actively to set aside time to do what your heart yearns to do.

Pursue your passion. Don’t let fear stop you. Be fearless; most of all, trust completely in God and he will provide.

But, you have to get moving.


Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022

Afternoon in Summer

Summer afternoon, misty cool rain washes away sadness, residual pain.

Approaching promised moon, like a pearl balloon, floats above cloudy lanes drenched in rain.

Earth beneath forever sky, shimmers, shines with endless life.

Blueness blends in a thousand shades of sky, birds, flowers, rocks, rivers.

Earth aches under its own weight.

Power, beauty, prisms of light sparkle in rain puddles, and drench the parched earth.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022

Calmness of Ducks

This life can get hectic; there always is something to worry about.

Bad news is limitless; gray clouds loom in the distance.

We hurt ourselves by allowing others to disrespect us in a variety of different ways; at times, we disrespect others by not acknowledging their basic humanity, whether intentional or not. Truth is as humans we are fallible; we are broken.

We are in need of rest; we are in need of peace and calm.

This need brings me to ducks on a pond.

The featured photo here is from about ten years ago. I had been walking on a nature trail around a pond with a heavy burden in my heart.

But, when I decided to sit on the grass and watch these ducks I got to thinking about how absolutely peaceful they are.

Truly, I wanted to morph into a duck (a mallard or whatever it is); I’m not necessarily an expert on bird names. All I know is that I wanted to imitate that calm.

I sat there and just enjoyed the day. I felt much more calmer when I allowed myself to just rest and let go of my worries.

As we approach this upcoming week, take some time to just rest, to find a moment of calm in your hectic day.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022