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Where is the Princess?

Stolzenfels Castle Middle Rhine On my last post, I left off with our traveling south from Koblenz...appropriately named Going South. Clever, huh?  We continued our journey south to see some of the 40 castles and fortresses that still exists along the Middle Rhine.  The Middle Rhine is one of four sections of the river. There are more than 40 castles and fortresses in this section that is comprised of the area between Bonn, Germany and Bingen, Germany.  One of the most expedient ways ...

Food May be Hazardous to Your Health

Her head was down, lost in a puzzle, her usual way of passing a silent meal. She had decided on an easy meal of beans on toast (an old favourite from her childhood) but had jazzed it up with a fancy salad dressed with fruit and nuts to assuage her guilt over the otherwise canned meal. He ate in complete silence as always. Sometimes, if he doesn't like the meal and is too polite or just rendered mute by the disease, ...

Musings: National Chocolate Cake Day…

“Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.” Audrey Hepburn Musings: National Chocolate Cake Day... Chocolate fondant - Molten Lava Cake. Musings: National Chocolate Cake Day... Chocolate Fudge cake Ingredients: Molten Lava Cake via FoodNetwork.com 6 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate 2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar 3 large eggs 3 egg yolks 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons orange liqueur Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease ...

Reflections: In Hindsight, Optimism Prevails…

“Optimism is the light of God. It is a form of grace which allows you to be much more perceptive and to look at life with greater clarity.” Amma Reflections: In Hindsight, Optimism Prevails… Monkeys at rest in an outdoor spa When I started my blog, back in 2008, I was a deer in headlights. I had no idea where it would lead or if it would last but, one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to add a ...

Healthy Lemon Chicken

So many people have been asking me for healthy low fat and low carb recipes.  This one is light and fresh and really yummy.  Healthy doesn't mean tasteless. Ingredients: 4 Skinless chicken breasts 2 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried basil leaves 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 4 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons olive or canola oil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 clove garlic, finely chopped Method: Remove any visible fat from chicken. Combine the basil, parsely, lemon juice, oil and garlic in a bowl and stir well. Place the chicken and the sauce ...

Trifecta Meme

This is my Trifecta Meme post.  Click here to learn more. 1) What is your name (real or otherwise)? My real name is Susan Shuman. My otherwise name is SusanWritesPecise. 2) Describe your writing style in three words. Creepy, dark, maudlin 3)  How long have you been writing online? I’ve been a freelance writer for nearly a year and my blog was born in October. 4) Which, if any, other writing challenges do you participate in? I participate in 100wcgu, Haiku Heights, Saturday Centus, and Share Your World. 5) Describe one way in which you could ...

Piglet is Spitting Feathers!

A year or so ago we went to a brilliant Italian restaurant in a seaside town near Portimão, in the Algarve. The staff were efficient and friendly, the pasta was perfect, the sauce delicious and the desserts outstanding! Even the decor and ambience were welcoming, so we vowed to return next time we were in the area. We returned today, as promised, and the restaurant was empty. Strange, because many of the other places we’d passed on the way were quite ...

Spiderman's Dollhouse

My boys love to play with my old dollhouse. It is old. Forty-plus years. Yes, I’m dating myself. But I saved it all these years, I guess, thinking I might have a girl one day. I didn’t have a girl. In fact, when I heard I was having a boy after our ultrasound, I cried. I called my mother in tears. I’d been a girly girl; I didn’t have brothers; I never played sports. What was I going to do with a boy? Anyway, the ...

Plant Profile: Saucer Plant (Aeonium tabuliforme)

Here at funflowerfacts.com we love unusual plants, the weirder the better! This pretty little succulent fits the bill. Aeonium tabuliforme, otherwise known as Saucer Plant or Dinner Plate Plant is the flattest plant we know of. Found in Tenerife, they grow on cliffs and other vertical rocky places where there is no chance of water standing around their roots or in their crowns. They are fairly cold tolerant and can handle temperatures just below freezing but keep in mind they are ...

BGI Relocates!

We’ve been feeling a little like Christmas elves lately - dashing around to get things done. And that’s because we’ve moved! 4950 Westgrove Drive, Suite 120, Dallas We have relocated our offices to a larger design space directly off the Dallas North Tollway to better serve you. Our new offices are located at 4950 Westgrove Drive, Suite 120, in Dallas and house extensive product samples for your design or renovation project. Everything we need to design fabulous rooms and furniture for you is right ...

mushroom maniac...

"maniacal frenzy" that's what i'm suffering from these days. (well, not really suffering...i'm a merry maniac) with the everyday rain we've been having lately (which is highly unusual this time of year)... every time i step outside...i see MORE mushrooms... NEW mushrooms... growing to enormous size in just ONE night! and so...i can be seen...crazily running around...camera in hand... trying to battle the mosquitoes and dodge the gnats... snapping pictures, sometimes from an ant's point of view. if you're anything like me... you'll enjoy all the different shapes, sizes, textures and colors! (i ...

I’ve waited two years for this………..

I love peonies. I ordered a Peony Tree from a very reputable grower and planted it with great care almost two years ago. I watched as it grew and produced lots of lovely green leaves that danced in the summer breeze and withstood Autumn gales; waiting for the beautiful pink blooms to appear. I waited and waited. I asked a professional gardener friend what I was doing wrong, “Don’t worry” he said, ” be patient and the flowers will come”. I waited a little ...

Some Tips on Photographing Flowers

Now that summer is here, there are many beautiful flowers in full bloom just waiting for you to take their portrait! With the popularity and ease of today’s digital cameras, it is no surprise that many gardeners have taken an avid interest in photography. Photographing flowers and plants is also a great way for beginners to learn about photography. Flowers and plants are interesting subjects; they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colours that is sure to create ...

How to Pick the Freshest Flowers for Your Valentine

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. And being the romantic and caring person that you are, you want to give your Valentine some beautiful flowers this February 14th. Although you can simply and conveniently order flowers online or even over the phone, you’ve decided you would rather go to your local florist and hand pick the flowers this year because it’s more personal and meaningful! Here are some tips to picking out the freshest flowers at your local florist: Flower are ...

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Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation

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...

1 comment to Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

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