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Thoughts I Have 


Things I Love

Dogwood trees are one of the most beautiful varieties of flowering trees (in my opinion…obviously). Not only is this glorious tree eye catching and always a talking point, but the flowering dogwood has a rich history of medicinal uses and famous lore surrounding it.

The Dogwood has some pretty diverse medicinal uses. Its bark can be made into a tea that can aid with fever reduction and also as a treatment for mange and malaria! Most commonly, the bark and wood are for making tools; like walking sticks. The wood is very strong and hard making it ideal for things that require a hard wood.

The name, Dogwood, comes most commonly from the fact of the wood being so hard and dense when it’s dry. Making it ideal for a “doggerwood”, or a fancy English name for “a stick used to skewer meat”. The other thought is that the bark was used to cure mange in dogs. Super glamorous right?

This interesting tree has some pretty diverse medicinal uses. Its bark can be made into a tea that can aid with fever reduction and also as a treatment for mange and malaria!

In the Victorian Era, the dogwood flower was a symbol of courtship and romance. A young man who was interested in courting a young lady would present her with an arrangement of dogwood flowers. If the young lady kept the flowers, she returned his interest. If she wasn’t feeling it she would return the flower. In my opinion, this would really work with any flower – pretty sure if someone returned or rejected any type of beautiful flower given to them it would convey rejection!

The Cherokee People had a super interesting theory around the dogwood tree. They believed that a small, tiny people lived among the Dogwoods and they were tasked to teach people to live in harmony with the woods. They were kind and were protectors of the babies and the old and ill.

While incredibly beautiful, watch out for the fruits they produce! Known as “dogberries” or “houndberries”, they are pretty gross and do not have many uses in the kitchen. However, they sure are fun for the kiddos to play pretend cooking!

Typically, a dogwood tree flowers in the spring and gets clusters of yellows, pinks, white, or red flowers. The flowers stick around for about two to three weeks. Many Dogwood trees can grow to around 20 – 25 feet and live for up to 80 years.

It is a safe haven and source of nourishment for many small birds and mammals.

So next time you see a Dogwood, take a moment to reflect on its unique history.

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I am proud to be from Dayton, Ohio. Yes, I make fun of my city at time, but at the end of the day, I love this little city. Dayton at in her heyday was a center for great minds, innovation, and growth. We get to claim the Wright Brothers (sorry North Carolina...they were born, raised, invented, and a buried here), James Cox, James Patterson (the man who truly coined the term "You're fired"...seriously look it up!) , and of course John Legend and Dave Chapelle frequent our great city. Forour foodies out there, I have one word: Cheez-its. Dayton was a manufacturing haven and people flocked here from all over the country to work in the automobile and manufacturing factories.

Sadly, that all changed at the turn of the century. One by one, the great employers of the area left and with them went job security and a promising economy. Dayton has spent the better part of the past two decades coming back. We now boast over 15 breweries, amazing dining options, over 360 miles of paved bike paths, and countless opportunities for those who want them. More than those things, we learned to come together. To love and support and not to judge. To see from another perspective and close our eyes to the prejudice around us. We lift one other up in this city and embody #DaytonStrong

So what are some ways you can better your community? How can you lead by example and love your neighbor? Well, that's a super deep question and one that will take some serious looking inward...but here are some ideas that anyone can implement in their own communities.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Split plants and offer them for free to your neighbors. Many neighborhoods participate in the community app, Nextdoor. Send out a message and offer some of your extra plants to help beautify your community. *Hostas split very easily and grow quickly*

  2. Organize a community clean up day! Again, use free resources like Nextdoor

  3. Volunteer to plant bulbs in a local park with friends

  4. Host a family day at a park or your home and help kids and parents learn about plants. Many times if you call local park departments or science museums they can help you!

  5. Just be a kind person. If you see litter: pick it up! See someone in need, help them. Basically, just don't be a jerk!

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