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Calling All Bloggers!

CALLING ALL BLOGGERS!: Our “Blogiversary” Link Up Nov. 2, 3, and 4th! (Updated!). The World Moms Blog is celebrating its first birthday. Come, be part of the blogiversary, write your own posts about motherhood and culture and link up those posts with us. Click the above link and read the details. Surprise gifts will be won! And more than that, this is your best chance to be featured on the World Moms Blog website. This morning as I dropped off my oldest at ...

Birds of Paradise: part one

Spending twelve hours trapped inside a so-called luxury bus that alternated between freezing cold and stuffy heat faintly scented by urine isn’t what one might call the most auspicious beginning to a romantic adventure. Our clothes were wrinkled and our eyes grew tired as the night wore on. But despite our appearance, we were excited and optimistic as we  approached our final destination: a  small working ranch in southern Mexico deep within Zapatista territory. Sitting near the tiny, unlit bathroom facilities in ...

Holiday Red and Green Salad

While I know how important fresh veggies are, I am not ready to go to a raw food diet. . . I know cooked veggies are good, but the heat does kill some of the phytonutrients. Simply put, fresh is always better. My question is: how many salads can you eat without dying of boredom. Which means, of course, that I am always trying new ideas and combinations to keep myself entertained. Last week we were in our local health food ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie

“Friendship with ones self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.” Eleanor Roosevelt Oy gevalt! , Do We Need More Of You? No, The Selfie in triplicate Do We Need More Of You? No, The Selfie i Selfie I was thoroughly amused when I saw the weekly challenge prompt and then, on second thoughts, I wasn’t. Why? I take selfies but not much and I don’t take them with my cellphone. It always strikes me ...

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge / Miranda Lambert / Virginia Beach

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge / Miranda Lambert / Virginia Beach The Weekly Photo Challenge over at WordPress is Today! And, of course, today is no longer June 1st when they issued the challenge. Last Friday was a busy day around here and there are lots of photos from the air show already posted. Please check them out if you are interested! And my submission for the photo challenge is going to be something different from all the jets doing amazing things ...

Random things I hate in hotels… Another reprise…

Coming back to Dubai from two weeks travelling in Germany and Spain, I was chuffed to see that, after featuring the first part of my hotel rants article in May 2011, Travel & Tourism News Middle East picked up the second part for their “Speaking Out” column in the June 2011 edition. Check it out… You can read the article on the TTN website here. As always, thanks to Liz O’Reilly, Kim Thomson, Fiona McAndrew, and Shalu Chandran for their help ...

My Algarve Insider Tips

Our first holiday to the  Algarve was nearly thirty years ago and memories of the stunning beaches remain imprinted in our minds like footprints in the sand. The secluded coves and miles of beaches with soft golden sand, flanked by sandstone rocks, rugged cliffs and unspoilt countryside enticed us to return; not to holiday, but  to live. Nowadays, these same beaches are flanked by hotels and busy fashionable resorts such as Vale do Lobo, Albufeira and Portimão to name a ...

The Awards of Writing

I spent last Saturday at a NH University participating in a writers day event.  These things are always interesting for me. Events like this can quickly become lots of people talking about writing, many of them, when truth gets told, rarely write.  Or worse, you can also end up talking about everything but writing, which drives me absolutely nuts. Showing up to these events is my way of saying to the universe that I’m serious about my work as a ...

Geckos Give a Helping Hand to Save Rare Flower

Photo credit: National Geographic Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean, comes alive every June to October with blossoms of the rare Trochetia plant. Trochetia boutoniana has been the national flower of Mauritius since 1992 and it is often illustrated on stamps of Mauritius. It was named after French botanist Louis Bouton. The Trochetia plant is one the few plants worldwide that produces coloured nectar. It is thought that the nectar developed colour over time to attract a specific species of bird ...

Wedding Flowers: Trends of 2012

Summers are notorious for weddings.  And like hot days and lemonade, weddings and flowers go hand in hand! A wedding just wouldn’t be a wedding without flowers! Here’s a look at some of 2012’s wedding trends. White Bouquets The white bouquet is a classic. It will never go out of style. Traditional bouquets made of roses are romantic and timeless.  Kate Middleton’s Royal wedding bouquet was simple, yet chic and inspired other brides to follow suit. Rustic Flowers Using local wildflowers such as daisies, ...

Growing Flowers in Slums Creates Jobs for the Young & Unemployed

Flowers growing in slums? It’s almost absurd! For those living in slums, flowers are considered luxuries. In fact, flowers are the last thing on people’s minds. Survival is the only thing that matters. Slums are characterized by poor, sometimes inhabitable housing with barely any access to clean drinking water and other basic necessities. Slum dwellers live a life of poverty and desperation and the situation doesn’t seem to be getting better. According to a UN-HABITAT report, the number of slum dwellers is ...

Art and Eternity

My band released our first video this week.  Here it is, for those of you who are interested. At the end of the video I wanted to put the quote below, but we decided against it because we were afraid it would take away from the music. So I thought I’d share it here where words are expected. “The only thing that’s real... The only thing that lasts... Is the art.” Does this mean that I think souls aren’t real? No.  It means that I think that ...

2013 Bloemencorso Zundert Flower Parade

While most people around the world are getting ready to go back to school or back to their normal routines, the town of Zundert in the Netherlands celebrates September with a world-famous flower festival! Every year since 1936, Zundert organizes the world’s largest flower festival on the first Sunday of September. Tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world come to see the extraordinary, larger-than-life floats in fantastical characters and shapes. Amazingly, all the floats at the Bloemencorso Zundert ...

Guest Post: Innovative Birthday Floral Arrangements

Flowers are an excellent gift to make a certain someone feel special. Are you interested in offering your friends or folks flowers on their birthday? The type of flower or arrangement you should choose can be based on various criteria such as individuality, sex, or age. Beautiful arrangement of diligent flowers for the lady: Traditionally, floral bouquets have always been presented to females. Whilst choosing flowers yourselves, you should focus on her choices and try implementing different styles using the flowers she ...

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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

I.
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

II.
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?

III
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.

viafamouspoetsandpoems

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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