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Pamela Houston

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Overcoming a Life Long Fear


Fear, n. desire to escape danger

I have lived my whole life afraid to go into the water, take a dip, yes, go swimming.

This fear was instilled in me at very young age.

My mother recounted the day her older brother, who was pre-teenage, drowned while swimming in the Tennessee River. She painted a very vivid picture of the river being dragged until finally the lifeless body of her precious big brother was pulled from the river.

I heard that story many, many times.  Each time I listened to it, I swore to myself that I would never let that happen to me because I was never going to go swimming.

I knew that I wasn’t going to go swimming because our mother told me as well as all of her children that we would never be allowed to go swimming.

In the 50’s and 60’s children didn’t dictate to their parents what they wanted to do. You did what you were told to do and that was that.

So, for me swimming didn’t mean hanging out with your friends, having fun at the pool on hot summer days.  It meant; get in that water and you might die. That kind of took the fun out of it for me.

Now fast forward about fifty years.....

For the past several years I have been working on improving myself so that I can live a life filled with love and gratitude. 

One of the most important things that I’ve learned is that you can’t be happy now by holding on to old beliefs from the past that don’t work for you anymore or that are just plain wrong.

You have to let go of negative beliefs that keep you from living life to the fullest. You have to be willing to make changes.  Be willing to try something new and exciting.

So this year my first change is going to be to learn how to swim.  I am very confident that I can enjoy swimming without the fear of drowning. That old fear has been tossed right into the trash can.

I took the first step by joining my community recreation center and signing up for swimming lessons.

I start March 19th and finish April 12th 2012.

Twice a week for 40 minutes each day I will be learning how to do something that I never thought possible.

I will be learning to swim!

My daughter is joining me on my quest to the best swimmer I can be. That will make it twice as much fun.

I will be blogging about my new adventure and logging my progress.

I am so excited,happy and grateful to be taking my first step into a whole new world!

I hope you will follow me, encourage me and share with me any positive life changing experiences you are going through or have undertaken in the past.

Until next time,
Stay positive and live in gratitude.



Sunday, February 6, 2011

Celebrating Black History Month

It's February and time to recognize some of the African Americans who have helped to make our lives better.

Since my passion is gardening, I thought that I would focus on some inventors who through their inventions directly affect me.

Lets start with Benjamin Banneker: He was a free African American who lived from November 9, 1731 - October 9, 1806.  He was an astronomer, mathematician, surveyor, almanac author and farmer. He also fought against slavery and was one of the first African Americans to gain distinction in science.

Woodcut portrait of Benjamin Banneker in title page of a Baltimore edition of his 1795 Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia Almanac

Now lets take a look at one of my favorites, George Washington Carver! He is believed to have been born in January 1864 and lived until January 5,1943.  He was an American scientist, botanist educator and inventor. This amazing man turned down an invitation to work for a salary of more than $100,000.00 to continue research on behalf of his countrymen. Mr. Carver discovered 300 uses for peanuts and hundreds more uses for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes. This agricultural chemist encouraged southern farmers to plant these crops, among others to help themselves economically.

These two gentlemen I have known about since I was a child, but the next group of inventors I discovered while doing research for this article. I hope you will enjoy meeting them.

Can you imagine life in the garden without a lawnmower?  Well neither can I. And apparently neither could John Anthony Burr.  On May 9,1899, patented an improved rotary blade lawn mower. Mr. Burr designed a lawn mower with traction wheels and a rotary blade that was designed to not easily get plugged up from lawn clippings. He also improved the design of lawn mowers by making it possible to mow closer to building and wall edges.  Thank you John Anthony Burr!

An early Victa rotary mower - National Museum

Now in keeping with the lawn theme, lets meet the African American inventor credited with completing the first rotary lawn sprinkler in 1897, making a spinning head that sent water from two exits. That would be J.H. Smith.

History of the Lawn Sprinkler

My last tribute goes out to Powell Johnson. Safety glasses protect the eyes from flying material. While eye glasses were invented in the late 13th century AD the first United States patent for eye protectors was issued on November 2, 1880. Mr Powell Johnson, an African American was the inventor of eye protectors. I don't mow or trim without mine.

So here are just a few of the African American inventors that made contributions that have made all of our lives better; especially when it comes to gardening.

I hope this article has been educational as well as interesting and entertaining
I certainly had fun writing it.

Until next time,

Happy Gardening

Monday, May 31, 2010


Let's celebrate this Memorial Day by giving thanks to the men and women who served in our Armed Forces and gave their lives so that we could live in the land of the free and home of the brave. Let's be thankful for what we have and who we have in our lives.

Today while we are enjoying our extra day off from work and while we are enjoying the cookouts and parades, lets stop and remember why we are afforded these privileges.

Freedom isn't free. Freedom comes at a price. And sometimes we have to pay the ultimate price for our freedom.

For those who have paid the ultimate price, America has set aside this special day to honor them. So lets stop and say thank you to those brave Americans who died so that we can be free.


I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day.

Until next time,

Happy Gardening and God Bless America!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Make A Day of Intent

Sometimes we wonder why things aren't going right in our lives. Sometimes we wonder why others succeed while everything we do seems to fail.
To find the answers to these questions, we need only to look inside ourselves. While we may not like to hear it, the answer is; we are responsible for everything that happens in our life. If you don't believe me, take a moment to think about what you think about.

Do you tell yourself that you are beautiful, rich and loved? Or do you tell yourself that you are overweight and ugly, in debt, and unworthy of love? The recording that you hear playing over and over in your head becomes your reality.

In order for us to become happy and successful, we must replace the negative things that we say about ourselves and to ourselves with positive affirmations about ourselves.

Tell yourself  "I am beautiful!" Say to yourself  "I am powerful!" Declare often "I love myself." Start a new dialogue with yourself that makes you feel good about you.

Create a new reality for yourself. Tell the Universe what you want. How else can we attract what we want to ourselves if we don't ask for it? You don't have to know how it works, all you have to do is put in your order to the Universe and it will be filled. The Universe is always working to fulfill our desires. It's just that we don't focus on what we want most of the time so we end up with what we don't want.

These principles work for me because I believe they will work. I ask for what I want, I believe that I deserve it, and I receive it in gratitude. I am by no means rich, but I do have the tools to help me reach my life long goals. 

I guess by now you are asking yourself how did she get to be so smart? Why should I listen to her? Well the truth is I didn't learn these methods overnight and I am still a work in progress.

My new journey began when I read a copy of the book "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. That book led me to read "A New Earth" and "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. From there I read "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. All of these books teach the power of positive thinking and the power in loving yourself.
Whether you ever pick up one of these books and read it is up to you, but from this day forward, you can not say that you did not know.

There is hope and help for all of us. All we have to do is ask!

Learn to plan the kind of day that you want to have. In order to reach your desired results, you have to let the Universe know what it is that you want. I am going to leave you with a positive affirmation that was given to me and that has worked with much success for me.

"I am taking this time to design my day and I am affecting the quantum field. Show me a sign today that you paid attention to any one of these things that I created. And bring them in a way that I won't expect, so, I am surprised that I experienced these things.
And, make it so that I have no doubt that it has come from you."

Say this affirmation out loud and with conviction. And see what happens.

I hope that I have helped make some one's life better today, because that was my intent.

Until next time,

Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010 - A New Beginning!

Well I've spent the first few days of the New Year making some changes around the house and planning how to implement some of my new ideas for a new garden for next spring. The first thing I did was to rearrange my bedroom to include an office space.

This has made all the difference in the world in my attitude when I walk into my bedroom. I feel more inspired and creative now. That makes me happy.
And me being happy is the most important thing in the whole scheme of all of my big plans.
The next thing that has gotten me excited about this year is my plan for a new garden here at Chesapeake Gardens. Last year I added a rose garden. My EarthKind Rose Garden was a wonderful success and I am so very proud of it. Here are few of my favorite pictures of the rose garden.
Left to right: Spice Rose Bush, Spice Rose, Caldwell Pink Rose Bush, Ducher Rose, Climbing Pinkie Rose, Sea Foam Rose.

Now that winter has set in, I am concentrating on my plans for a White -Theme Garden

which would consist of Sweet Violets, Trailling Petunias, Zinnia Elegans, Impatients, Marigolds, Iris, and & Daisies or an Evening Garden.

This garden will consist of flowers in pale shades, and silvery foliage that glow in dwindling light, and flora perfumes that scent the evening air. Shade loving perennials placed under a tree already in the garden with perennials for sun such as Aster, Arternisa, and Veronica will complete the layout. These free-form garden spaces are best suited around a patio or deck.

As you can see I'm very excited about my new garden plans and look forward to sharing my new adventure with my fellow gardeners. I hope that you will follow me on my new journey.

I get my ideas and garden plans from many sources. These are two of many courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens. You can visit the website at

Take care and until next time,

Happy Gardening!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 Day 2

Good Morning New Year.

Good Morning 2010.

I'm having my breakfast right now. I'm eating a big bowl of black eyed peas doused with hot sauce, a fresh slice of homemade cornbread dripping with butter and drinking a fat mason jar filled with raspberry tea! Yes I said breakfast.

I'm indulging myself this morning because that's what I'm going to do all day today and everyday. This New Year is going to be my new beginning. I've been doing things the "right way" , now I'm going to do them "MY WAY"

Ummmm, these peas are sooooo good.

Just wanted to put the Universe on notice that Pamela is coming. Let the fun begin!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Seems like just a few weeks ago we were all so excited about reaching the new millennium! Where did all those years go so quickly? From the year 2000 until now, the 1st day of 2010, time has gone by so fast that it seems almost impossible.

I can't begin to tell you how much I've grown in the past ten years. My spiritual growth is what has helped sustain me throughout these difficult and often almost unbearable times.

I have learned that it is not enough to just believe in God.
I have learned that I have to believe in myself as well.
I have learned that I can choose my destiny. I can not only dream a dream, but I can make that dream come true.

Having faith in myself has been the most important thing that I have learned over this past decade.

Loving others is wonderful, but loving myself is a gift to the Universe. A gift that will never stop giving.

Life is a never ending journey, but as long as my path is paved with love and gratitude I am sure that I will be blessed beyond belief as I travel along my way.

May this New Year be filled with love and peace throughout the world. This is not an impossible dream if we all choose to believe that it is possible.

My love to you all,

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my bloggin' friends. I hope everyone has a very happy holiday season filled with love, peace, and blessings!

My Christmas wish this year is that we would all spend more time showing gratitude for our family and friends by praising and blessing them.

Let us all take care of each other throughout the New Year as we continue on our journey for personal growth.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and as always, Happy Gardening!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Corner Succulent and Cacti Garden

When planning my garden spaces I've tried to keep it somewhat native. I've designed wildflower gardens, butterfly gardens, humming bird gardens, perennial gardens, shade gardens, and even a water garden for the pond. But the garden that I wasn't so sure about was my Cacti and succulent garden. I thought about putting container gardens in the area where I wanted this garden, but I also wanted to keep that area rather rustic looking. So I decided to plant a corner garden with a Yucca plant Vera Jameson Sedum and a couple of cactus.

The pink blooms of the Yucca plant and the pink blooms of the ground cover that the Sedum provide make for quite a bright surprise in the fall.

Til next time,

Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Changing Seasons in the Garden

The days of summer have come and gone and autumn is now upon us. This is the second year that I have been able to plan and design my own gardens, and I have had the most wonderful experiences. The many flowers and trees that I planted over the past two years seem to have been the perfect choices for my gardens. I have enjoyed with great pride and awe how my gardens have flourished without a whole lot of stress.

I'm not saying that the process has been easy and without failures. Because it was hard work and there were a few casualties. But all in all I've decided that what grows and what does not grow are both examples of lessons that are taught to us by Mother Nature. Lesson that must be appreciated.

My first big project this summer was the planting of my Earth Kind Rose Garden. I planted nine rose bushes and developed a garden around the bushes.

The second project was to landscape my two tier pond that I installed last year. I kind of went away from the usual water plants and designed a butterfly hummingbird garden around the pond which has a peach tree for a backdrop.

(I've never eaten any of the peaches, the squirrels always get to them first.)

That idea proved to be an excellent one! The butterflies showed up daily to drink the sweet nectar of the flowers and flaunt their beauty. The hummingbirds made their appearance in late summer.

The sound of the waterfall in the pond - the fragrance from the zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers,salvia, and blanket flowers - the constant visits from the butterflies - not to mention the array of songbirds that stopped by for a drink, made for a very tranquil and beautiful space in my gardens.

Summer may be gone, but autumn is no slouch. Most of my gardens are still in bloom and now the mums and asters have made their debut. They are bursting out all over.

I know the fall will be just as beautiful as the summer was.
I used to think that spring was my favorite season. But now I can't decide. I guess my favorite season of the year is the one I'm experiencing right now.
I hope you have enjoy my look back over my summer of 2009. The holidays are fat approaching and this yer will soon be over. I've discovered that life goes by much too quickly so we must always stop to smell the roses or whatever flower that we are blessed to be near.

Until next time,

Happy Gardening!