Friday, March 23, 2012

How to prune pampas grass the easy way, without the mess!

Spring is a wonderful time of the year. We rejoice with flowering fruit/ornamental trees and smile to see daffodils and hyacinths blooming. Our neighbors have their gardens tilled and ready to plant. Everyone who owns property has some type of yard work that needs to be tended to. Life is fresh and new again.

Our son Nathan with our neighbor’s pampas grass in background. We transplanted some of this pampas grass into our backyard a few years ago.

Cotaderia selloana, commonly known as pampas grass, is a tall grass native to South America and was introduced to North America, Europe and Australia as an ornamental grass. Pampas grass grows in dense tussocks that can reach a height of 9.8 feet. Each plant is able to produce over one million seeds during its lifetime! The long slender leaves are green most of the year, but they go dormant during the winter. We leave our pampas grass alone in it’s dormant state because it is lovely all year. In the spring we cut it down so that it can start all over. Isn’t that what spring is all about?

Anyone who cares for pampas grass understands that it does require pruning each year. This year my husband Stanley came up with a brilliant idea to make the job a bit easier and more tidy.

For this tidy, easy method of pruning pampas grass and removal, the tools needed are:

  1. Strapping tape
  2. Chain saw
  3. Pickup
  4. Rake

Use strapping tape to wind around individual tussocks of pampas grass.
Use a chain saw to cut pampas grass off near the ground. Use the reverse side (or the top side) of the chain saw to prevent it from plugging up.
Because the tussocks were bundled with strapping tape, the pampas grass doesn’t fall all over the place while you are cutting it. 
A pile of strapping taped bundles of pampas grass.
Pampas grass loaded in an antique pickup truck.
My husband Stanley (left) took charge of the pampas grass job, pictured with my neighbor Duane (right) who mows our lawn—it got it’s first cut today!
Actually, the easiest part of the project is if your only role is photographer, ha!

Happy spring! As you prune out what is dead, may this be a season you recognize God’s many blessings in your life and keep Him first in your future. I pray you enjoy His creation and share your faith this spring by planting seeds to nourish and bless those in your life.

Need inspiration? Read John 15.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Remembering Mom is a Blessing. She gave me life, love and shaped my soul.

This year I have a better understanding of sorrow. For one thing, it has been a year since I lost my mother. Losing someone you love is difficult, whether it be to death or any other way people lose each other. But Christian believers know that death is not a final loss. This faith takes away the sting—even though I am sad in the present—I have peace in the promise of eternity together. The gift of faith I received in baptism and through hearing the Word of God allows me to trust that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is pure grace which redeems me. It helps me understand sacrificial love.

Curious people love to learn. This is why the adult Bible class I go to after church on Sundays is well attended. I don’t do well at studying on my own, so it really helps to participate in class as a listener. Not that I retain all the knowledge that is available to absorb on my own, but I know the Spirit uses this method to get things into my thick noggin and amazingly allows me to retrieve it when I need it most.

One of the great things about this class is that it offers opportunity for questions about the sermon, is open to and often is side-tracked into discussion about various topics that are current in everyday life. This way I am able to learn about a perspective often not available through the popular news media. For example, I would not have known about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandate. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) response—the video was informative and interesting. President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison testified on Capitol Hill before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, representing my position. I object to the use of drugs such as “the morning after pill” and procedures that are used to take the lives of unborn children, who are persons in the sight of God from the time of conception.

Now, our Bible class is into the third of the past three topics listed below:

  1. Isaiah—Book of the Bible (740–861 BC)
  2. Witness • Mercy • Life Together Bible Study, Albert Collver (2011)
  3. What Happens When I Die?, Stephen Hower (2011)

Ruth Margaret (Olson) Busse

Remembering Mom is a Blessing 
I see her in the mirror
Hear her in a sister
Feel her in the sky
Imagine her in my car
Find her in a photo
I remember her smile,
her discernment,
her grace,
her hug,
her voice,
her wisdom.