Joyful Pleasures Simplicity and Connection


I enjoy looking through catalogs as eye candy. I don’t really need anything. But it is fun to look at the pretty colors and designs. And it gives my eyes a break from staring at my computer.

In addition to gardening, I am catching up on my reading. My projects to update my bathrooms will have to wait. 

Instead of focusing on what I can’t do, I prefer to focus on what I can do. It feels great to clean out a closet or organize a cluttered area of the house. I am going through my clothes and bagging the ones that don’t fit or I no longer wear. Gently used items will be delivered to people in need through the charities that don’t charge folks. Donating to the food banks and pantries is also a priority. Many out-of-work families depend on them.

This pandemic has brought us together and I love the way we are helping each other and getting back to nature. I want to continue that feeling of giving back to the community. It’s the little things that make such a difference. 

Dr. Joy’s Myths Busters: Science or Fact?

I am very grateful for science. For the innovations, discoveries, ability to track and document changes, discovering new species, breakthroughs in medicine, health, transportation, communication and so much more. 

Sometimes I hear people say that science is fake, a fraud, etc. The facts are there for everyone to see. If they don’t say what we want to hear, too bad. That does not make science a fraud. We need to adjust our thinking to learn how to keep up with this fast changing world we live in today!!!

Scientists are working to find a vaccine for the Corona Virus 19. They are also working on cures for diseases, fighting germs, improving our health, and extending our lives through the surgical innovations they have invented. They have discovered treatments for past pandemic diseases. And they will for this one too.

People don’t understand how long it takes to create and test a vaccine. The safety and efficacy of the solution is paramount. I invite you to be patient, keep an open mind and appreciate science and scientists. They have played a hand in the cars we drive, the medical procedures available to us now, the amenities in our homes, long distance transportation and so much more.

Our best defense now is a strong immune system, healthy meal plan, quality sleep, daily exercise and focus on something that makes you feel a sense of purpose or accomplishment.

Change and Opportunity

In the great book, I Ching, the Chinese philosophers coded many different types of changes in hexagrams (an image with 6 lines). This is the book of many kinds of change. One of the hexagrams speaks to Change and Opportunity being bound together. When we look back in our ancient or recent history we can see that change, while being uncomfortable, inconvenient or detrimental, also brings opportunity for growth, scientific discoveries, new jobs, new inventions, and other things yet unknown.


In the beginning spending all this time at home made me feel inconvenienced, irritable and anxious. Anybody else gain a few pounds? I am now looking for the opportunities that I can choose moving forward. I am delighted to learn that the reduced impact of transportation and factories on the environment is allowing for a startlingly quick shift in the quality of the air and water. 


NASA’s air quality research satellite data shows a 30 percent drop in air pollution over the Northeast United States during this CoVid 19 time period. This is the lowest level of nitrogen dioxide recorded in 15 years when this project began! There is also a beneficial effect for the huge ozone hole over the Antarctic. It is showing signs of improvement. Ozone blocks radiation from the sun which protects our plant crops and helps protect us from skin cancer. Without ozone protection we would all starve. 


People have seen dolphins swimming in waters they had previously avoided. And the skies have turned blue in areas that once were full of smog. Distant mountains are visible again in India. Wildlife are evident in the parks again in Europe and America. Endangered turtles are showing up in droves at their nesting beaches. More people are gardening, talking to strangers and helping each other.


If my pattern change of only running errands once a week can benefit our air and water quality, then I am all in! This is something I can easily do. And it would save my time too. A double win! I am already recycling, reusing, repurposing and reducing my trash. What other things can I change or do to help? I’m looking for them!


What small changes can you make in your lifestyle and habits that would, collectively, have a beneficial effect on our planetary air and water quality? Discuss this with your family and loved ones. You might come up with some great ideas or a new invention!

Joyful Pleasures Attitude of Gratitude


It’s Spring! Just the color and smell of the flowers is enough to lift my spirits! The birds are singing their beautiful courting songs. The weather is milder with more sun and longer days.

The abundance of Spring makes me feel that there will be enough and we will survive. 

I am filled with a sense of gratitude for what I do have rather than focusing on what I don’t have and wanting more. What are you grateful for? Have you helped anyone today? What task did you accomplish? What did you notice? The gold finches have come back to my feeder again this year. I planted some vegetables. Be happy for the little things.

The Myth that Growing Food is Hard

Some people think growing food is hard. I used to believe that. I would plant and plant, year after year. But I never got much of a harvest. Many of the plants died. Needless to say, I was very disappointed and frustrated. My mom had grown our vegetables and fruit for years. Why couldn’t I grow anything?

There are rules to every activity. I never paid much attention to mom’s methods. I just enjoyed the produce. Well let’s bust that myth so you can grow food too! 

Before you plant check with the county department of agriculture where you live for gardening information suitable for your climate, latitude, weather patterns and soil conditions.

Plants need 3 key things to thrive: sunshine, water and nutrient rich soil. 

What you will learn for your local area is when to plant. That will be determined by the date of the last frost. The soil type will tell you what kind of soil amendments you will need to prepare your garden. 

Select the types of foods you want to grow then check to see if the growing season is sufficient for each type. If you want to plant from seed consult a seed germination chart. If you plant seedlings (also called starters) then you will be about a month or more quicker to harvest time. 

Gardening teaches you patience. Think of this project as an adventure. Get the whole family involved. (Best way to get the children to eat their vegetables. Grownups too!) Serve your fresh produce at meals when it is ready to harvest. You will be exercising, eating healthier and feeling better soon!

Ready to dig in?!?! Get my master gardener expertise, year’s of gardening tips and ORGANIC solutions to common garndeing problems.  I have a very special “How-To” video on gardening for anyone!  From pots & patio, to a full yard.  Anyone can garden!  A culmination from years of gardening and presenting annual workshops, this video series will help anyone get started, with ease, fun and joy!  Click here to get the download.