Wishing You a Bouquet of Dandelions

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We've known about these sunny yellow flowers since our toddler selves picked them for our moms. As kids, we obeyed Mother Nature and scattered their fun seeds everywhere.

Our adult selves rarely see them as pretty or fun. They’re a lawn pest. They grow back. And they multiply like bunnies.

A few weeks ago, I learned something positive about them. Dandelions are now my inspiration. Yes, you read that correctly.

Forget the perky one above and its seedy sister.

Look at this one.

Old. Bedraggled. Pulled from the warm earth it called home. Left to wither and die on the cold, hard concrete. It refused. Instead, its flower spikes turned upward in defiance.

It had made it's first appearance a little before Christmas. Live-In Handyman had pulled it during one of our spring-like January days that were followed by days of cold and rain.

When I took this photo, the dandelion had been lying on our patio for about a week. All total, the dandelion lay there for at least ten days, probably more like two weeks before Live-In took pity on it (translate that to mean the next warm day) and stuffed it into a trash bag. Had I known this dandelion had such heart, I would've taken more photos.

This dandelion refused to die. I wondered if it would send roots into the concrete. I'll bet it was trying to break through.

We can learn a lot from this mere weed, determination and desire among them.

So when life's problems get you down or you never hear back from the agent who gushed over your novel at the conference, remember the dandelion.

Keep your head up, plaster a smile on your face, and get to work on the next greatest thing, whether that's your life, your health, your next idea, or the next sentence.

If a dandelion can do it, so can you.

Dandelions = Determination

Also, since it's the first Monday in February, it's time to tell you about the new contest on my website. This month, the author is Nancy G. West. Nancy and I have been writer friends for several years. All her stories are filled with mystery, humor, and romance. They'll have you laughing out loud. For real.

Nancy is giving away the winner’s choice of any of her ebooks to THREE lucky winners.

Here's a little bit about Nancy's books:

Nancy was writing NINE DAYS TO EVIL, Meredith Laughlin's story of psychological suspense, Shakespeare, and nonstop-action, which won the Blether Gold Award. But a funny thing happened. Meredith's graduate school friend, Aggie Mundeen, with her wry sense of humor, demanded that Nancy write a book about her. Or maybe a series. The result was the Aggie Mundeen Mystery series.

FIT TO BE DEAD #1, was a Lefty Award Finalist for Best Humorous Mystery.

DANG NEAR DEAD #2, named a "Must Read" by Southern Writers Magazine, depicts love, mischief and murder in the Texas Hill Country.

In SMART, BUT DEAD #3, Aggie, still single, pushing forty and getting desperate, returns to the university to study how genes affect aging. Can scientists change her genes to keep her young? She gets a professor who dislikes her, stumbles on a campus corpse and lands in jail. Detective Sam is not pleased. (2015 release.) 

Anyone who has tried to start over, get in shape, stumbled into trouble or loved the wrong man will appreciate Aggie Mundeen. 

Meredith and Detective Sam reappear in all of Aggie's books. She needs their help.

You can learn more about Nancy at her website: http://www.nancygwest.com/.

To enter, click the big WIN button at the top of my right sidebar. It takes you directly to the contest page on my website. Read the rules, Choose the answer to the question about the photo, fill out the entry form, and click Submit.

Winners will be chosen after 6 p.m. on February 28.


Clarissa Draper said…
That's funny that someone would want a book written about them. Usually people don't want their friends to include them at all.

Also, I love Dandelions. I won't pick them until they seed. They're beautiful. Whoever declared them a weed probably was a better gardener than I am.
Bish Denham said…
One could perhaps make wine from those dandelions... which might also boost one's determination.

Nancy's books sound like a hoot!
Anonymous said…
Never looked at dandelions as inspirational before.
Elana Johnson said…
I totally will look at dandelions differently now! I know they're determined, because they take forever for me to dig out of my lawn. I've never appreciated them though...
great post! I always did love those dandelions. :) we gotta keep going! always.
Wow, how persistent. Great metaphor. And yes, weeds will grow through concrete. Mine do all the time. So don't be afraid to break through that wall and keep going!
Chrys Fey said…
I love dandelions! :) And yes, many flowers can grow through concrete. That reminds me of a poem by Tupac...

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature's law is wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems but by keeping it's dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.”
Shelly said…
Great piece! I feel a little guilty for pulling some up the other day...
VR Barkowski said…
I know they're weeds, but I've always liked dandelions. Now I know why.

VR Barkowski
Carol Kilgore said…
Clarissa - I like the flowers. They look happy and make me smile.

Bish - Wine? We could call it DandyWine :) Nancy's books are fun.

Delores - There's a first time for everything.

Elana - This plant was an eye opener for me.

Beth Ellyn - Like the little pink bunny.

Jan Christensen said…
I never did understand why everyone hated dandelions. I think most kids love them. What an inspiring post! Thanks for perking up my Monday.
DMS said…
What a great post! Dandelions do persevere that is for sure. I have always found them to be pretty, but I know most people can't stand them (but wild flowers are enjoyed- so I wonder if people don't like them because they are "weeds" and not because of how they look).

What a great February giveaway too! :)
Michael Di Gesu said…

I remember picking bouquets of dandelions for my mom when I was a little guy. She loved them.

My grandmother(being Italian) would flour and fry dandelions... They are actually very delicious when done correctly....

Gotta love that determined dandelion.
cleemckenzie said…
That is one tenacious plant. I'm more fond of the dandelions now.
Mark Noce said…
Who doesn't have good memories plucking dandelions? :) I think an old name for them is hog's snout too. Pigs, lions, plants...it's all good:)
Yay for dandelions - more stubborn than stains.
Yay for writers - my comfort, my escape, my education and my delight.
Carol Kilgore said…
Beer - I think I hear concrete cracking :)

Chrys - I love that poem! It's new to me, but I'm going to save it.

Shelly - I know what you mean. I won't see them the same way now.

VR - A kinship.

Jan - Consider it a perk-shop. Sorry, couldn't help the groaner :)
Nick Wilford said…
I've always thought dandelions were lucky. Kids blow the seeds off them and make a wish, I don't know if that is done the world over or is a British thing? This one didn't give up!
Now I'll look at dandelions in a whole new light! I guess they're "The Little Engine That Could" story of wannabe flowers! Nancy's books sound like a fun read. Thanks for including them in your contest, Carol!

Cherie Reich said…
That was one hearty dandelion! I still like dandelions. I don't care if they're weeds. They're pretty little flowers and fun to watch their seeds floating in the air.
And if a weed can make it, so can we!
Still hate those buggers in my lawn.
Carol Kilgore said…
DMS - Maybe I should've referred to the dandelion as a wildflower instead of a weed. It would've been kinder.

Michael - I didn't know you could eat them! How cool. I should've been Italian :)

Lee - Me, too!

Mark - I never heard that name. I'll look around and see if I can find out why.

EC - I love tempting you :)
Leandra Wallace said…
That's great inspiration! And poor dandelions, we do give them a bad rap, eh? =)
Helena said…
I really love the titles to these books, especially "Smart, But Dead." I'm a sucker for humor.

Dandelions were my nemesis as a kid, since we had to dig them out of the yard by hand (my Dad wisely believed in using very few chemicals in the yard). But one advantage to having so many: my pet bunny loved to eat them.
Robin said…
That dandelion impressed me. We should all be so determined!!!!
Carol Kilgore said…
Nick - My particular bunch of kids never made a wish, but I don't know about others over here.

Julie - You're right on both counts!

Cherie - My respect for them has grown, for sure.

Alex - Exactly!

Leandra - Yet they still thrive despite everything.
Jo-Anne Meadows said…
I found this interesting
Melissa said…
I like dandelions everywhere except my yard.

Love the books! :)
Shelley Munro said…
Are you sure the dandelion wasn't an alien? I've always liked the cheerful yellow flowers. :)
Anonymous said…
I think dandelions are very pretty. I loved seeing them up north, although I didn't have to deal with them living in an apartment. Now I'm seeing a lot of wild morning glory, which can get out of control and wrap around other plants. Dandelions sure are determined. I feel like one when life gets tough.
Rula Sinara said…
I love dandelions :). They're actually really nutritious, both for humans and pets such as guinea pigs, chickens etc...(if grown organically that is). In fact, I just had a mug of roasted dandelion tea yesterday (it is a bit bitter though).

And Nancy's books sound great. The titles alone are humorous!
Lexa Cain said…
I love the tale of the dandelion. That little guy was gutsy! Congrats Nancy on all those awards. Her books sound adorable! I'll be putting the contest on my Friday Freebie post on the 5th. :)
Loni Townsend said…
Excellent comparison. I hope to have the determination of a dandelion.

Grats to Nancy. It sounds like her books are my kind of read!
Gina Stoneheart said…
Nancy's books sound awesome. Thanks for sharing the giveaway!
What a beautiful story you wrote about dandelions. This is definitely inspiring and probably one all of your readers can relate to. I love this...
Dandelions = Determination
Linda G. said…
I love dandelions. Heck, you can make wine out of them--what's not to love? ;)

And Nancy's books sound like just my cup of tea -- mystery, humor, and romance. Great combo! :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Helena - I like humor, too.

Robin - I'm totally onboard with becoming a dandelion :)

Jo-Anne - Thanks. I'm glad.

Melissa - Exactly!

Shelley - You may be onto something :)
I've always loved dandelions. I've been using them in my logo since I started writing. They're just really one awesome flower!
Jemi Fraser said…
I'm still getting over the fact that you have dandelions! Our snowbanks beside the driveway are taller than our truck...

Nancy's books sound awesome! :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Medeia - Morning Glory is pretty, too. I've seen it grow wild in some of the places we've lived.

Rula - I'm learning a lot more about dandelions in the comments!

Lexa - Thanks for including it on Friday's Freebies :)

Loni - Cool about Nancy's books. Go enter :)

Gina - I'm happy the dandelions spoke to you.
Lynda R Young said…
Wow, that's an amazing dandelion. I have a gazillion... so your positivity will be easy to remember (determination is something I definitely need at the moment).
Lynda R Young said…
Wow, that's an amazing dandelion. I have a gazillion... so your positivity will be easy to remember (determination is something I definitely need at the moment).
I don't understand people who freak out at the sight of a (gasp!)dandelion growing in their lawn. Then again, I don't guess we've ever been "lawn people." If there's green in the yard, that's good enough for us. The dandelions, wild onion flowers, buttercups, and violets are all like icing on our cake.

My favorite story about dandelions is about a mother and young daughter spotting a bunch of them growing."Oh no! Look at all those weeds!" the mother said. The little girl smiled, and said, "Look at all those wishes!" It's all a matter of perspective.

Nancy's books sound fantastic!I WILL be reading them, one way or another. (Thanks!)
Morgan said…
Oh, what a BRILLIANT analogy, Carol. I absolute loved this!!!! Dandelion = Determination!!!! :)
Julie Flanders said…
I'll never look at dandelions the same way again. What an awesome post.
Carol Kilgore said…
Linda - If there's wine involved, they must be good. Right?

Elizabeth - How cool!

Jemi - Yikes! I like snow, but I wouldn't enjoy dealing with that kind of snow.

Lynda - Grab a little determination from each one of your dandelions, and soon you'll have all you need.

Susan - This particular dandelion was taller than my knees. It was Super Dandelion, LOL!

Morgan - Thanks!

Julie - Neither will I.
I love that! I admit I still blow dandelions. They are pretty cool.
Lovely lesson here indeed, Carol. We can learn so much from the dandelion :)
M said…
How interesting. Last night I went and got my nails done, and I chose a color called "dandelion." And I've had three rejections in two days, so I can definitely use the determination; sometimes it's hard not to wilt and wither. But then, I've always liked dandelions. I know they're weeds, but I love wishing on them.
Crystal Collier said…
I love the dandelion story. Definitely something to keep in mind. We're tougher and more resilient than we think, but it's easy to get discouraged.

Nancy's stories sound awesome. I wish I could do nothing but read. =)
Carol Kilgore said…
Holly - Truth? Sometimes I do, too :) I try not to do it in our yard, though.

OE - Thanks. I think we can learn so much from everyday living.

M - How cool about your nail color!

Crystal - So true. Pretty soon you'll barely have time to breathe, much less read, LOL! But definitely worth it ♥

LR said…
Aw, what a fantastic post!

Indeed sometimes we feel just like that dandelion in the picture, rather than all sunny. But we must persevere.

Plants are so amazing. I threw away a strawberry plant years ago because didn't seem to be thriving. But it managed to reproduce itself and now have little strawberry plants popping up in the weirdest places. So funny.
Christine Rains said…
I will never look at a dandelion the same way again. Awesome post!
LD Masterson said…
How do you know about my gushing conference agent who never responded to my requested pages?


I think dandelions are just misunderstood. First they give us lovely yellow flowers in spring, then white puff balls for kids to blow on. Plus, they make an excellent tea.
Carol Kilgore said…
LR - How cool about your strawberry plant. I imagine that dandelion has found a great new home at the dump :)

Christine - All your dandelions will appreciate you much more :)

LD - Can't tell you, LOL! Someone else talked about dandelion tea ... and wine :)

Claudine G. said…
I've always liked dandelions because they link to a Ray Bradbury book ~ 'Dandelion Wine.' Now I like it even better!
Arlee Bird said…
I've always had a fondness for the yellow dandelion flowers. They pop up in our yard now and then, but not often. I don't see them here in California like I used to back in Tennessee.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out
Carol Kilgore said…
Claudine - Cool! I can see I need to try dandelion wine one day.

Arlee - I think I'd like dandelions just fine if they didn't love our yard :)
Ava Quinn said…
I love it. Dandelions = determination. You've completely changed my thinking on those weeds. :)
A dandelion always reminds me of the childhood jingle: he loves me - he loves me not - he loves me - he loves me not... :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Ava - Cool :)

Michelle - Oh, yeah! We used to do that, too.