Friday, September 06, 2019

Five On Friday, Maybe Six

"Flowers seem intended
for the solace of ordinary humanity."

The last couple of days have been very summery. We feel the balmy air and warm sunshine as we sit on the front patio eating fresh peaches and sipping our Monk's Blend tea. It hardly seems like September when we see how the garden just keeps blooming. We think it's all that rain and cool weather we've had. Plants relaxed, having neither to fight for water nor shrivel because it's too hot. Plus, it made our world green, green, green. Trees that have struggled for lack of moisture over several years this year seemed sated and happy once again. Makes me happy.

Today's post is short and sweet, but we hope our little offerings will be worth your visit. Our thoughts are still with those dealing with Dorian. And any thought of my grumbling about any little discomfort or inconvenient thing these days dies on my lips as I remember these dear folks who are experiencing such trauma, devastation, and loss.

~ ONE ~
The last roses of summer

Yesterday we plucked the last sprig of roses in bloom from the Peace Rose. These four beauties were all on one stem. A perfect offering for our neighbour two doors down -- a token of celebration upon hearing his very good news after a cancer scare earlier in spring.

~ TWO ~
Gazanias on the deck

These have been fun to watch all summer. On the many cool and wet days, these sun loving flowers closed up and remained in tight wads. But as soon as the temperature warmed and the sun touched their petals, the daisy-like flowers opened. Gazanias need the rays from the sun in order to survive and add new growth. They've been a joy to host on our back deck. 

A glimpse of the front yard

In spring I dared to plant shade-loving begonias in our southerly facing front yard. Mostly because by the time I went to the greenhouse -- I don't plant annuals too early for risk of frost and, alas, snow -- the heat- and drought-hardy sweet alyssums which I usually get were sold out. If we would have had the usual warm summer days, the begonias would not have thrived, but as you can see in the left photo, they flourished and grew lush in our cool and rainy summer. Blessings in every port... 

~ FOUR ~
Reading Louise Penny's latest

Louise Penny fans were chomping at the bit this summer, waiting for the August release of her latest Inspector Gamache detective mystery, set in the pretty village of Three Pines. I ordered my copy from Amazon back in May, joined the 'Three Pines Friendly' Facebook page, and kept company with other fans as we waited for our copies of A Better Man to arrive.

I read it in two days and then sat there for the next two rereading the last chapter trying to prolong the ending. It's a page turner. It's in Louise's beautiful style. This story does not disappoint. Loved it. Loved how it ended. Yes, I did. Already looking forward to her next one. Thank you, Louise.

By the way, she's going to be in Edmonton, Alberta in a couple of weeks. I've got tickets! I can't wait to see her in person. I'll be standing in her autograph line for sure.   

~ FIVE ~
Taking a selfie

"Less perfection, more authenticity." Snapped this photo to show my sister my new hair cut. I was worried it was too short. But it grew on me (haha). After editing out the wrinkles, I'm posting it here for you to see too. If I'd known I was going to post it for the world to see, I'da fixed my lipstick before taking the pic. C'est la vie!

~ SIX ~
Saying goodbye

Sweet, sweet girl
Fun, Funny, Friendly

You were our joy

Loved by those who knew her
Will be terribly missed
Your Aunty Brenda
♥ ♥ 

* * *

Wishing you a beautiful weekend.


Friday, August 30, 2019

A Visit To A Bit of Paradise


“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”

My goodness, I know the calendar says that we're nearly at the end of August, but surely it's too soon to be moving from summer to autumn already! As these last few days unfold, try as I might in my own mind, I can no longer hold onto the feeling that we are still in deep summer. There IS a definite shift in the air and in the lighting. And when it's not raining -- we've had a great deal over the summer -- the sun comes up of a morning casting its seasonal fiery orange across tree tops and roof ridges, hinting at the deep oranges, russets and golden leaves soon to follow suit.

Give me a few days and I won't mind at all that we're edging towards Autumn Equinox here in the northern hemisphere. After all, Autumn is my favourite time of year, as is Winter, Spring and Summer. 😊 I used to be able to say unequivocally that Autumn was my absolute favourite, but as I get older, I've come to truly love and appreciate each season in its turn, always sorry to see one season go even though I know I'll love the next one. So while we still have a few more days of summer, it makes me take out my gratitude 'butterfly net' to gather moments that still give me more time to sit on the deck, go for walks in the sunshine, listen to the kids still playing and hollering at the water park down the street. 

Yesterday was a proper sunny summer afternoon. Rick and I went to the greenhouse to look for fall bulbs -- he's been chomping at the bit the last week or so. It was a tad early as they were just getting in their shipments of bulbs. Our trip was not a waste as we took a stroll through their small but lovely botanic garden. So peaceful and soul-refreshing. We were the only ones there, except for the gardener who, though busy pruning junipers, stopped to chat awhile. The hydrangeas were especially lovely. And what a sweet pleasure to see the tiny apple orchard, several varieties laden with globes of red and golden fruit. Allowed to sample, I picked a Norland and enjoyed its sweet, juicy flesh.

Took some pictures as we walked -- with you in mind, of course. Isn't that why many of us take photos nowadays, to share them online? I wouldn't doubt if ninety percent of my photo-taking is with the idea of planning future blog and social media posts. And so, on this nearly last day of August, here are a few, just for you.......

"We might think we are nurturing our garden,
but of course it's our garden that is really nurturing us."

"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food and medicine to the mind."

And so our little meander winds around and comes to the end.
Much like the meandering of this post and it's done too.

" is the homeland of the heart.
When it can dwell in beauty
the heart is home."

Wishing you a pleasant weekend and a spot o' loveliness
where your heart feels 'at home'.


Monday, August 05, 2019

Peace Rose: A Notecard Set

Some years ago now, a dear blogging friend Vee used to host a Notecard Party. It was held once a month, and the rule, as I recall, was that participants were to create a blog post featuring a collection of four photos taken from the pictures they'd already published in past blog posts. It had been such fun to search for pics that made a compatible foursome, and I always took delight in the creative endeavours of other bloggers. Alas, as things go, the Notecard Party was eventually disbanded. I admit to missing that meme.

So for today, I'm somewhat resurrecting the Notecard idea. My mom's Peace Rose, which currently lives in our garden and is overwintered in our garage, has been in its glory this past week. Having bloomed in early June, Peace Rose took several weeks to regroup, and despite all the rain we've had this summer, she has given us another sublime showing over the last few days of perfectly-formed buds opening into blossoms surrounded by glossy, bug-free leaves. 

Here in Alberta, we never take for granted any roses that make it through winter and start growing in people's gardens come spring. I never tire of watching roses in bloom, and I never tire of taking yet another photo, just in case I didn't get every angle.

The Peace rose, formally Rosa 'Madame A. Meilland', has large flowers of a light yellow to cream colour and are slightly flushed with crimson-pink at the petal edges. The rose over the decades has become a symbol of hope around the world. I think we all could use some hopeful thoughts for better days, in light of this past weekend's terrible events. If you haven't heard of Peace Rose's famous history, you are welcome to read about her HERE.

I dedicate this post to my mom, since it is her rose (we're happily the caretakers) and since she is a 'beautiful rose' in her own right. And now, in four delightful stages, I give you... 

Peace Rose: A Quartet

Where you tend a rose, my lad,
a thistle cannot grow.”

God gave us memories that we
might have roses in December.

The Rose is without an explanation;
She blooms, because She blooms.

The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies.
Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential.
It seems to be constantly in the process of change:
Yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.

A word of encouragement for those of us not roses, don't you think?
At each state, at each moment, we are perfectly all right 'as is'.

A rose must remain with the sun and the rain
or its lovely promise won’t come true.

* * *

A bonus pose -- a favourite photo from Summer 2017.

Aren't you glad for eyes to see such exquisiteness? And what about noses to smell? Her fragrance is like a whisper -- one must lean in close to catch the scent -- the way a woman's perfume ought to be, not overwhelming, just a hint on the breeze . . . soft and sweet and intimate.
* * *

On that note, dear friends, I'm wishing you a beautiful day.