Leaves Of Three Or Is It Five?


Today’s post idea comes as a response to help my friends who are in danger of unwittingly becoming the victims of a horrific case of poison ivy.

I’ve been the sufferer more times than I can count of a case of poison ivy.  The itching, oozing, crusty puffiness is miserable.  All the ointments in the world only alleviate the symptoms.  They don’t really get rid of it.  The dreaded affliction must run its course.

The worst case I had was when I went to summer camp. One night, our camp counselors wanted to give us the quintessential camp experience so they built a big bonfire for us to roast marshmallows and sing camp songs. Unfortunately for me, the tree limbs they burned had poison ivy on them which I inhaled in the smoke.  I developed a systemic reaction and became covered inside and outside of my body with poison ivy.  Misery — Pure Misery.  I had allergy shots after that experience and avoided the plant like the plague.

The best way though not to get a case of poison ivy is to recognize it and avoid it.  Poison ivy has three leaves.  A very common saying is Leaves of three, let it be” and “has been cited in print since 1907” according to this site I found.   The leaves can be very small when they first unfurl in the spring but can become quite large like the one below which is about the size of a salad plate.

poison ivyPoison ivy is a vine that will go up trees and send out runners across the ground.

poison ivy 2Virginia creeper is often confused with poison ivy but virginia creeper is not poisonous.  Although, the berries that form on virginia creeper are toxic.  Virginia creeper has five leaves and like poison ivy, the plant sends out runners and climbs trees, fences, and structures.

virginia creeperVirginia Creeper working its way up a tree.

virginia creeper 2Poison ivy on the left and virginia creeper on the right.

poison ivy and virginia creeperAdditional information

  1. Article from the CDC
  2. Article from Mt. Rainier Cabins
  3. Pictures of Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac
  4. Photos of the rash
  5. Information about burning Poison Ivy

Remember ‘leaves of three, let it be ‘  —  I hope you have an itch free summer!



“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”  2 Timothy 4:3 NIV Bible




Tending the Garden,Tending the Soul


I’ve done a little garden tending this week.  The birds were chirping, the wind whispered in the trees as I pulled up weeds, raked, and moved dirt around with my hands. I like this task of caring and tending to the garden.  My mind wanders and begins to soul tend, too.

fleabaneI found weeds blossoming. Pretty, but a nuisance.  I work diligently to keep them away.  Sometimes, poison is required.

I have weeds deep in my soul.  I fool myself into thinking they’re pretty.   As I yanked and pulled those weeds in my garden, the roots held firm into the ground while they broke easily at the base of the stem.  I know that I need a spade to get the remainders out.  Like those in my soul, I know they’re going to require some muscle to remove and if I don’t take care of them, they’ll once again produce and choke out the good I want.

With a little effort and nurturing, the blossoming begins.

clematis 2I removed debris and the suffocating weeds so the plant had the space to freely thrive and bloom.  I tilled at things buried deep inside as I puttered about the yard while persuading attributes of joy, hope, kindness and love to sow in their space within me to bloom like my garden: fresh, clean, and well-tended.

clematisHow does your garden grow?



“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”  Isaiah 58:11 NIV Bible

Backyard Spruce Up


Things are really cranking up at my house getting ready for our next wedding.  Doodlebug gets married in 6 weeks and the weekends for doing projects are flying by fast!  (swoosh!!!!)

The outside has been getting a little sprucing up.  Honey Do has really worked hard!  The first project he tackled this year was the fence around the pool.

 Fixing the pool house area was next.  Honey Do had begun a retaining wall next to the pool house several years ago.  Weeds began sprouting up between the retaining wall and pool house and just looked awful. We decided to put down gravel.
(I love how I said we …. Reality is he, as in one person, Honey Do,  put in the gravel!)
Honey Do is finishing up tamping down the gravel.  First, he leveled the dirt, added some sand and  plastic and then, the gravel.
I think he did a GREAT JOB!! (But, are you noticing how awful that house looks?!)
View from out my back door earlier this spring…. YUCK!
Hallelujah!  A fresh coat of paint on the pool house and surprise!  A trellis has been put in.  Still working on the retaining wall and the landscape but its starting to take shape.
Front view of my new and improved pool house with planters!  (What doesn’t show is the not so glamorous parts; Honey Do also re-plumbed the pool house and replaced the filter for the pool.)
My big contribution was picking out the paint colors.
I  think its looking so good!  I can’t wait to show you more!


Meg, our 14 year old Border Collie, is a huge help.  Her specialty is supervision.  
She likes to keep her eyes on each of us and keep us all herded together!
 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me”  John 10:14  Life Application Bible