Inspiration: In The Heart Of Winter…

“On a lone winter evening, when the frost has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills, The Cricket’s song…” John Keats Inspiration: In The Heart Of Winter… Tallin I noticed winter’s frosty blanket Outside my kitchen window Everywhere and on everything… It slows our pace and numbs our hands It forces us to contemplate… In the heart of winter, a warm dawn awaits More below! “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, ...

Peculiar Picture #9

When I painted this illustration I had a clear idea in mind, but art directors never warmed up to it. This piece had been around awhile without being used, or so I thought until I was staying at a bed & breakfast in Sedona, Arizona, where I saw my illustration printed in a local magazine. I read the article alongside my picture but couldn’t figure out the connection, the reason the magazine’s editor had selected this piece of art. Do you ...

On Father’s Day: Memories of Love Lost & Found…

“We never know the love of our parents for us till we have become parents.” Henry Ward Beecher On Father's Day: Memories of Love Lost & Found... Have a Happy Father's Day Losing a parent is never easy… When my dad passed away several years ago, I mourned his loss not only because I loved him, or that he was loved and cherished by my family and many in his extended community, but also because his death meant that he wouldn’t be ...

On Food: Hunger Steals The Memory…

“Hunger also changes the world – when eating can’t be a habit, than neither can seeing.” Maxine Hong Kingston On Food: Hunger Steals The Memory… 2nd place Winner World Food Day Poster by M. Benol – Central African Republic (Age group 13 to 17) HUNGER: what you need to know. ACT Volunteer your time Reach out at your local farmer’s market Raise money Organize a food packaging event When a poor family has no food to eat, every bit of energy is spent on finding ways to stave off ...

Haiku: Think Pink…

“Every woman needs to know the facts. And the fact is, when it comes to breast cancer, every woman is at risk.” Debbie Wasserman Schultz Haiku: Think Pink… National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Haiku: Think Pink… National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Think Pink while you wait… For your mammography results Love meets awareness. Think Pink and hold on… For your kid’s birthday balloons Love floats towards you Think Pink … remember A Breast exam reminder Two hearts linked as one Since the fall of 1991, when the Susan G. Komen Foundation gave ...

Memories: What To Bring On A 524 Mile Road Trip

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain Memories: What To Bring On A 524 Mile Road Trip... Hold your horses; we traveled by car... What do you remember from your childhood travels? Were they good or tedious memories? We traveled a lot when I was ...

Cool Places to See Flowers: Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay, which is home to thousands of rare plants and flowers, is one of the most spectacular, environmentally-friendly parks in the world. This 250 acre, award-winning park located in Singapore consists of 3 beautiful waterfront gardens and 2 energy-efficient conservatories. In the two conservatories, the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, visitors will have the opportunity to see many unique and interesting plants from around the world. The Flower Dome features cool-dry climate plants, such as succulents, and eucalyptus; ...

The Law of Giving and Self Help

I'm starting to understand how giving can truly support overall mind body health and wellness. In Deepak Chopra's book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Law Number 2 is The Law of Giving and Receiving. Excerpt from Deepak's book: "The universe operates through dynamic exchange . . giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives." I'd recommend reading ...

Caption Contest - Funniest Wins $10 Amazon gift card!!

We've heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case it could be worth a $10 Amazon gift card! Our youngest lost her two front teeth this week, and if you can coin the funniest caption you'll win the coin! The only rules are that all captions must be G-rated and entered as a comment here or on Facebook. Good luck and make us laugh!!!

My Nearly Famous Daughter....

A few weeks ago, we received a phone call from our county's department of environmental protection telling us that our oldest daughter had been recommended by her school to audition for a countywide talent search for a radio public service announcement (PSA) recording. A short-time thereafter, our 9-year old completed a telephone audition with the county worker overseeing the PSA program who gave her the "job" on the spot. After a few weeks, our daughter visited the number one radio station ...

Beware of Dumbass Choices

So, today I’m just going to ramble on about what ever. I just deleted an entire page of writing and it felt amazing. It was as though I was God and I was erasing a paragraph in Genesis that I felt was a little wordy. Okay maybe that’s a bit heady, how about deleting a rainy day or a traffic jam. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that in real life? Erase the crap. “Oh hey! This sucks, I ...

An April Fool’s Day Quiz

In each category, match the number of the statement with the letter of its author. (Answers at “For Fun” tab above.) Politics 1. It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country. 2. It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt. 3. A fool and his money are soon elected. 4. There was a time when a ...

No Lie – Truth Telling Improves Your Health

“It’s not a lie, I crossed my fingers…” It’s something we all do and, according to recent studies, most of us do it 11 times a week. This frequently practiced act is the act of lying. Lying is almost universally unavoidable as humans living within close proximity and contact with others. While we all do it, we rationalize away our own personal pack of lies we peddle to others, yet lose all semblance of civility if someone lies to us. Some researchers at Notre Dame ...

Avoiding Cyber-Monday Scams

I don’t know about you, but I’m an unrepentant self-admitted Cyber-Monday shopper. I simply prefer the convenience of shopping online for the holidays compared to the crowds and hassles associated with Black Friday which I try to avoid like the Black Plague. However, online shopping does have its own pitfalls – identity theft, computer hacking and compromised debit cards are just a few. Here’s a useful infographic from the folks at Veracode that offers some insight into how consumers and merchants can protect ...

Honey Do List: Wedded Blisster Series – Episode 12

Here’s the latest episode in my “Wedded Blisster Series” of animated movie shorts. Marriage is bliss, but these mini-movies I make have a humorous take on some of the blisters that couples face along their blissful way. Episode #12 deals with the one thing that every male in a committed relationship dreads – the Honey Do List.  The links to my other recent Wedded Blisster episodes follow the video below. Question: What seems to allows top your “Honey Do List?” Black Friday Blues: ...

5 Ways to Get Stuff Done

Here’s a guest post from writer, Rachel Thomas who writes about kids and family issues over on her web site . If you’d like to write a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: ========================== I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have fun and waste time then actually get things done. There is just something so intimidating about starting a new project or cleaning up that last mess. However if you never get anything accomplished you end up broke ...

Please visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation
May 25, 2012, 3:00 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

“How sweet I roamed from field to field, and tasted all thesummer‘s pride.” William Blake

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

A Summer Day by Lucy Maud Montgomery

The dawn laughs out on orient hills
And dances with the diamond rills;
The ambrosial wind but faintly stirs
The silken, beaded gossamers;
In the wide valleys, lone and fair,
Lyrics are piped from limpid air,
And, far above, the pine trees free
Voice ancient lore of sky and sea.
Come, let us fill our hearts straightway
With hope and courage of the day. Contd below

For those of us who live in climates with clearly delineated seasons,summer is a time to shed the baggage of the winter, the rains of spring, and embrace the lightness and colors of a new season. That lightness carries over to our clothing, our meals, the spring in our step, and the cascading colors of summer blossoms popping up everywhere. Summer flowers speak to me because they are my clearest indication that all the drabness of winter is surely being replaced by a burst of color. For this week’s Photo Challenge – Summer, I’ve decided to share some of the beautiful blooming flowers I’ve seen on my path to and from the aqueduct, and some I saw on my visit to the NY Botanical Gardens last summer.

“I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year.” Edna St. Vincent Millay

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Noon, hiving sweets of sun and flower,
Has fallen on dreams in wayside bower,
Where bees hold honeyed fellowship
With the ripe blossom of her lip;
All silent are her poppied vales
And all her long Arcadian dales,
Where idleness is gathered up
A magic draught in summer’s cup.
Come, let us give ourselves to dreams
By lisping margins of her streams.Contd below

It is amazing how all that once seemed lifeless, unfurl their wings and pop up their heads in a flourish of color in the summer. I’m always nicely surprised when I come across a new planting of flowers or the return of a taller, stronger looking version of an old favorite in the summer time… When I take my walks on the aqueduct, the landscape includes homes with beautiful gardens and flowering shrubs on the pathway.  My camera captures it all and several of those pictures are in this post.  The white flowering shrub/tree above gives off an intoxicating perfume and each time I walk by it, I stop to inhale the fragrance and watch the bees at work.

“Some people plant in the spring and leave in the summer. If you’re signed up for a season, see it through. You don’t have to stay forever, but at least stay until you see it through.” Jim Rohn

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer See the bee?

Adown the golden sunset way
The evening comes in wimple gray;
By burnished shore and silver lake
Cool winds of ministration wake;
O’er occidental meadows far
There shines the light of moon and star,
And sweet, low-tinkling music rings
About the lips of haunted springs.
In quietude of earth and air
‘Tis meet we yield our souls to prayer.

Flowers and gardens have always been an important part of my life.From my earliest memories of my mother’s plantings, to my own efforts at gardening against all odds, I have come to appreciate the many steps flowering plants take to get from seed to vase… I appreciate the grace that protects hibernating perennials in the harsh winter and awakens them in warmer climes. So when I see a gorgeous bloom, I stop to both admire and applaud it. More below!

“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language” Henry James

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

To Summer by William Blake
O thou who passest thro’ our valleys in
Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat
That flames from their large nostrils! thou, O Summer,
Oft pitched’st here thy goldent tent, and oft
Beneath our oaks hast slept, while we beheld
With joy thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair.

Beneath our thickest shades we oft have heard
Thy voice, when noon upon his fervid car
Rode o’er the deep of heaven; beside our springs
Sit down, and in our mossy valleys, on
Some bank beside a river clear, throw thy
Silk draperies off, and rush into the stream:
Our valleys love the Summer in his pride. Contd below

When I think about all the other wonderful things we enjoy in the summer;vacations, time at the beach, ice cream trucks, summer sandals and clothes, salads and top down rides in convertibles, I appreciate the season even more… But I still turn to the magic, grace and beauty of a summer bloom… and I am grateful… By the way, I have written a guest post. It is titled: Gratitude For Small Things and it is on my blog buddy Deb Bryan’s popular blog – The Monster in Your Closet. Check it out. Thank you!

“Warm summer sun, shine kindly here. Warm southern wind, blow softly here. Green sod above, lie light, lie light. Good night, dear Heart, Good night, good night.” Mark Twain

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

Our bards are fam’d who strike the silver wire:
Our youth are bolder than the southern swains:
Our maidens fairer in the sprightly dance:
We lack not songs, nor instruments of joy,
Nor echoes sweet, nor waters clear as heaven,
Nor laurel wreaths against the sultry heat.


When all is said and done, summer flowers add a burst of warmth and color to our hearts. They make us smile and give us hope for a brighter, happier world where variety adds spice, and people remember to appreciate the message flowers send us; bloom where you are planted, add some joy to a special event, cherish the offerings from things that last (perennials), and from things that give us joy, even for a short while (annuals).

Hope you enjoyed this! What are your thoughts? What photos on summer did you find? Was it easy/hard to find photos that made sense of your perspective on the subject? Were you drawn to certain types of photos for the prompt? Do share? Thank you!

*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience!

My fellow bloggers were equally creative with their selections. I listed several via Zemanta below. (I will update it and add more). We all appreciate trackbacks/ping-backs and LIKES from fellow bloggers too! Check out how others interpreted the theme – SUMMER – below. ***

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer. Summer. Where you live, summer might be arriving soon, or (if you’re in the southern hemisphere), a fleeting memory. But what signifies summer to you? For me, it’s this picture, taken a few weeks ago in Rome, of me wearing shorts and shoes with no socks on the cobbled streets of Rome. When I’m able to dress like this for more than a week, I know that summer’s really here. Share a picture that means SUMMER to you!

Positive Motivation Tip: Summer is a great time to shed the doldrums and step out to play. Enjoy the offerings and remember time flies.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation

Motivate. Elevate. Laugh. Live Positively… I am a mother of two, sister to many and a card-carrying certified optimist. My family and friends are golden because our love and trust is unequivocal. I've traveled, I've lived, I've had my share of happiness and hurt and I remain grateful for God's grace in my life...

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