Beyond Bubble Bath
Gift Ideas Just for MOM!

Throw a Cleanup Party!
One year for Mother's Day our family gathered for a potluck at Mom's. We showed up armed with rakes, shovels, and garden gloves and cleaned out mom's flower beds. You could also turn the dirt in her vegetable garden so she can just pop the seeds into the soil.

Lunch & a Show
Two years ago the women in our family started a new tradition. In May all the girls met at a restaurant for lunch, and afterward went to a play. We had loads of fun when we saw Little Women live stage at our local theater.

When my daughter and daughter-in-law were expecting I treated them to lunch out and then shopping for a new outfit.

Find Refuge in Your
Own Nocturnal Garden

Romance blossoms in the moonlight and so do some plants. And a variety of flowers wait for sunset to release their fragrance. Several years ago, my friend planted a moon garden. She rooted in many of the night bloomers, like evening primrose, moon flower, and four o' clocks. For added daytime texture she planted white and silvery colored plants such as dusty miller, artemisia, lambs ear, and white balloon flower. Whether day or night, even in her busy neighborhood she has a tranquil place to relax with a cup of tea and a good book.

Go to and search nocturnal plants. Read The Night Shift by Master Gardener Judy Sedbrook Jan. 5, 2010, or do a Google search for nocturnal plants.

Did You Know?

May is Flower Moon month, named so for the many flowers in bloom this time of year.

According to the Farmers' Almanac, early Native Americans named the full moon of each month to mark the change in seasons.

"When you fall down - A true friend takes you by the hand, pulls you to your feet, wipes away the tears, and leads you back to the lighted path." -- Kathleen Kohler

Spring is a great time to recognize
friendships - old and new.

Show your girlfriends how special they are by hosting
a fabulous Friendship Tea. Invite your lifelong friends who have
seen you at your worst and still love you, but be sure to include
a few women you'd like to know better. Six to ten guests is a good number
to have. Here's one of my tea party recipes.

Chicken Salad

½ C. chopped green onion ¼ - ½ C. chopped parsley
3 C. cubed boiled chicken breast ½ C. mayonnaise
1 ¾ C. halved red seedless grapes 1 Tab. chicken stock from boiled breast
1 - 15oz. can mandarin oranges ½ teas. pepper & salt to taste
1 C. coarsely chopped pecans

Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate overnight to let flavors blend. If you want your salad a bit spicier, add 1 T. of country Dijon mustard. Serve on a bed of mixed salad greens with warm artisan bread.

Don't Forget Party Favors

You can put this one together for under two dollars each. Purchase a pansy or primrose to place by each person's plate. Put the 4" pot into a sandwich baggie, and position in the center of a 12" square of bright-colored paper. I use solid pink, green, and yellow. Draw up the corners toward the plant and tie around the pot with a 28" length of raffia or garden twine. Knot the end or tie a bow.

Make a decorative plant stake by cutting a bamboo skewer to 9". Print friendship quotes on cardstock paper and cut out each quote. Use craft glue or tape and attach the flags to the top of the skewer. Poke the sharp end of the skewer into the soil of your flower pot. Find quotes in books or search online under friendship quotes.

Relationship Building:

To encourage conversation during lunch ask your guests to:

• Read their friendship quote out loud.

• Tell a funny experience they had.

• Share a story about their favorite childhood friend, vacation, doll,
  stuffed animal, book, or school memory.

• Give a summary of the current book they're reading.

If you don't have enough tea cups for everyone ask each woman to bring her own and have her share the story behind her cup. Was it passed down from her family? Maybe it called to her from a store window. Does her cup have a unique history? And what does she like about this particular tea cup?

For more ideas check out the following: If Tea Cups Could Talk & The Twelve Teas of Friendship by Emilie Barnes, and Tea Time Magazine.

June is National Rose Month

The rose is the national flower of the United States.

Rose Trivia

• George Washington was the first rose breeder in America.

• 1.2 billion roses are sold each year.

• The oldest known rose in the world flourishes against the walls of St. Mary's Cathedral in Heildelsheim, Germany. The light pink rose winds itself fifty feet high, and is believed to be over 1,000 years old. Visit World Heritage at to watch a short video and learn more about the history and legend behind this famous rose.

Ways to Celebrate

Tour a public rose garden. My husband and I love to stroll through the gardens at Shore Acres on the southern Oregon Coast.

See if there is a rose that bears your name. If so, plant one in your yard.

Donate a rose to a local nursing home.

For more information on roses and their care visit , , and read their March 20th, 2010 blog. And if you join the American Rose Society at you'll receive a free rose.