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Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

White Mum by Linnell Chang One thing always leads to another: While putting a colorful Mother’s Day bouquet in a vase of water, I decided I should snap some photos of the flowers before they passed their prime. The following morning, I got out my camera and looked at the flowers from different angles. As my camera lens zoomed closer and closer to the delicate chrysanthemum petals, I became intrigued with their spoon-shaped curves and concentric rows. Soon I found myself “Googling” chrysanthemums on my computer. I learned from Symbolic-Meanings that Dreaming of chrysanthemums indicates an unfolding of the inner self, during a tumultuous time of life. More specifically, it may represent a time of deep personal growth forged by hardship or conflict. The result leading to a stronger, more realized self. At another site, I found out that John Steinbeck wrote a short story in the 1930s titled The Chrysanthemums. After reading the story, I sought more information about Steinbeck’s use of symbolism and how they relate to the development of his characters. As the morning passed, and as one discovery lead to another, all I could think of was how the beautiful bouquet of flowers was a gift that kept on giving.

#1 – Humanity

Act of Kindness

A man giving his shoes to a homeless girl in Rio de Janeiro

Reading the newspaper or watching the news every day can be a depressing experience when story after story highlights crimes against humanity. View this series of 35 Photos That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity and remember that acts of kindness can set a chain of positive events in motion.

#2 – A Two Minute Respite
Need to relax, unwind, take a break, de-stress, recharge, or refocus? If so, go to the Do Nothing For 2 Minutes site. Close your eyes or gaze at the photo of the sun peeking over the horizon. Relax and listen to the sound of ocean waves while the timer ticks down. Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly. The instructions state, “Just relax and listen to the waves. Don’t touch your mouse or keyboard.” If you dare ignore these instructions, a red “FAIL” appears on your screen. Give yourself a gift of 2 relaxing minutes.

#3 – One Sentence
After taking a 2 minute break and recharging your creative juices, how about trying your hand at writing a true story in only one sentence? That is the challenge of the site One Sentence. The site says, “One Sentence is an experiment in brevity.” The entertaining part of the site is to read what other people have submitted. If Ernest Hemingway could write a six word short story, you can write a story in one sentence!

#4 – One Recipe, Two Uses
The May issue of the Nutrition Action newsletter features a versatile recipe for a “Greek-inspired topping for grilled or roasted salmon or other fish — also doubles as a delightfully tangy salad dressing.” For more healthy recipes check out the “Healthy Recipes” section at Nutrition Action.

Yogurt-Dill Dressing:
Combine 6 oz. of fat-free Greek yogurt with 1 cup of fresh dill sprigs, 1 Tbs. of lemon juice, 1 Tbs. of Dijon mustard, 1 small shallot, and 1/4 tsp. of salt in a food processor. Process until smooth.

#5 – Happy to Be Grateful
In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.
Brother David Steindl-Rast

Wishing you a weekend of grateful happiness!

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Daphne

Daphne by Linnell Chang

If you walk up to my front door right now, there’s a gift waiting for you. For, at this very moment, the sweet fragrance of Daphne flowers infuse the air. Such a delightful way to be greeted, but how will you reply? Will you bask in the moment or will you move on?

#1 – Tolkien’s Ents?

Methuselah tree

Photo by Rick Goldwasser

From a flower-strewn bush of Daphnes to the sky-high tops of trees, nature’s gifts always impress. Mother Nature Network assembled this photo series of “The World’s 10 Oldest Living Trees.” Looking at these photos of ancient trees, one has to wonder if any of them were the inspiration for Tolkien’s wise Ents?

#2 – A Bright Idea
DIY project: Aluminum Lanterns Here’s a really clever decorating idea that was inspired by a creative person’s shopping trip to Home Depot. These lanterns are made from aluminum sheets and require minimal supplies to construct them. Looks like a fun project for the weekend!

#3 – The Skinny on Salad Dressings
Eating a salad for lunch or dinner is a nutritious and low-calorie meal, right? Well, that all depends on the salad dressing you’re pouring over those fresh greens. Not only do many salad dressings contain fat, many of them are also high in sodium. Here’s registered dietician Joy Bauer’s recipe for a low calorie (59 calories per 2 tablespoons) and low sodium (40 mg per 2 tablespoons) salad dressing:

Joy’s Skinny Balsamic Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp mustard
1 tsp honey
1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:
In a jar, combine all ingredients. Shake until everything is well combined. It’ll stay fresh in the fridge for five days.

Makes eight 2-Tbsp servings

#4 – Made Me Smile
Made Me Smile Just looking at this graphic made me smile, but I loved the introduction to Marc and Angel Hack Life‘s post “7 Things Happy People Say Every Day.” The introduction reads, “You have the right words within you to make every day a happy one.” Words have power – say the right ones!

#5 – Flowery Thoughts
Couldn’t decide, so here are two:

“The earth laughs in flowers. ”
e.e. cummings

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in Nature. ”
Gerard De Nerval

Get out and smell the flowers this weekend!

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Today’s post is dedicated to the memory of Alicia Rose Parlette who passed away yesterday at the young age of 28. Alicia was a gifted writer, journalist, and was a close friend of my oldest son. Bravely chronicling her diagnosis and ensuing life with incurable cancer in a 17-part series called “Alicia’s Story” for the San Francisco Chronicle, Alicia was and continues to be a source of inspiration for people all over the world. The world has lost a beautiful person and a brilliant spirit.

#1 – The Language of Flowers
Most people will agree that a gift of flowers is a thoughtful gesture. So that you know what your gift is really saying, here are some of the more traditional meanings for today’s popular flowers according to Pioneerthinking.com:

Anemone – Unfading love
Baby’s Breath – Everlasting love
Cyclamen – Resignation and goodbye
Daisy – Innocence
Forget-Me-Not – True love; memories
Gardenia – You’re lovely; secret love
Hydrangea – Thank you for understanding; frigidity; heartlessness
Iris – Faith; hope; wisdom and valor
Jasmine – Amiability; attracts wealth
Lavender – Devotion
Marigold – Comforts the heart
Nasturtium – Conquest; victory in battle; maternal love; charity; patriotism
Oleander – Caution; beware
Petunia – Resentment; anger; your presence soothes me
Rose (general) (red) – Love ; I love you
Stock – Lasting beauty
Tulip (general) – Fame, charity; perfect lover
Violet – Modesty; calms tempers; induces sleep
Zinnia – Thoughts of friends

#2 – A Book to Grow By
Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott wrote a little book called If Life is a Game, These Are the Rules that’s filled with a lot of food for thought. She writes about her “Ten Rules for Being Human.” These rules may seem self-evident to most people, myself included, but I discovered reading about them in detail to be an enlightening experience.

Here are Dr. Carter-Scott’s Ten Rules For Being Human:
1. You will receive a body.
2. You will be presented with lessons.
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons.
4. Lessons are repeated until learned.
5. Learning does not end.
6. “There” is no better than “here.”
7. Others are only mirrors of you.
8. What you make of your life is up to you.
9. All the answers are inside of you.
10. You will forget all of this at birth.

#3 – Make Word Clouds
Sitting at your computer, but need to take a little break? Go to www.wordle.net and make a “word cloud.” You type in the words and decide on font, layout, and colors. A print-worthy word cloud is yours for free.

#4 – Updates & Comments
Here are a few comments and updates from readers:
A. My coworker’s husband who has been eating steel cut oatmeal as per My Most Requested Recipe post has had his cholesterol score drop 34 points since his 2008 results! Way to go Jim!

B. I received a comment from someone regarding an entry I wrote on April 9th. I wrote about about how your garden can help others if you “Plant a Row for the Hungry” and reader Gar offered this additional information:
Another way your readers can help the needy is to visit http://www.AmpleHarvest.org – a site that helps diminish hunger by enabling backyard gardeners to share their crops with neighborhood food pantries.

The site is free both for the food pantries and the gardeners using it.

Backed by Google.com and the USDA, more than 1,600 food pantries nationwide are already on it and more are signing up daily.

It includes preferred delivery times, driving instructions to the pantry as well as (in many cases) information about store bought items also needed by the pantry (for after the growing season).

If your community has a food pantry, make sure they register on http://www.AmpleHarvest.org.

C. It seems a lot of readers did not understand the title of my April 12th post. “Release the Cracklin!” was a tongue-in-cheek referral to the phrase “Release the Kraken!” that the god Zeus yells out in the movies “Clash of the Titans.” A Kraken is a mythical sea monster of gargantuan size. A cracklin’ or crackling is the crispy skin of a pig. I was taking artistic leeway in calling bacon a cracklin’. Okay, you can laugh, now.

D. Although this is not a comment, it is a request from a reader. I have been asked to ask my readers, especially the gardeners out there, if they know of any pest or critter that could be responsible for stripping off all the leaves and flowers on his vegetable plants overnight. Something devoured his plants and he can’t figure out what. He has wired fencing all around his vegetable garden to keep the deer away and he has placed barriers into the soil to prevent rabbits from burrowing under the fence. He thinks it had to be something that climbed over the fence. Ideas, anyone?

#5 – Little Flower
Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
-Hans Christian Andersen-

Goodbye little flower. Bless you Alicia Rose Parlette.

For more information about Alicia and to contribute to the Alicia Parlette Fund for Aspiring Journalists please go to msparlette.wordpress.com.

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