Around & About, Beauty, Nature, Parks

Summer Memories


I am trying out a new web-based service, IFTTT, that connects all your web services (Instagram, WordPress, Twitter, Gmail, etc.) together — like sharing your Instagram photos to your WordPress blog.

The flower photo above was shared to this blog post via this service automatically when I posted it on Instagram a few minutes ago.

IFTTT is easy to set up and works fairly seamlessly, but I think that I would like to do more exploring before I start using it in earnest. I like to have more control over the look and feel of my posts, and I noticed in the dashboard of IFTTT, I can choose when/how the image will be posted on my blog. I had it set to the default, which is “publish immediately”, but I found that there are other publishing options: “save as a draft” or “publish privately.”

The next time I do this, I will choose “save as a draft” which makes a lot sense to me. This will give me the opportunity to tweak the post, add tags, or even delete the post altogether.

It is an easy way to get my instagram posts on to my wordpress site and that makes me happy!

Now if I could only convince Facebook to allow WordPress to publicize my blog posts to my FB timeline — who’s with me?

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Beauty, Poetry

A Little Poetry on Sunday Night

Magnolia imageThe hour is late on this Sunday evening — time to get ready for sleep. It’s quiet, I’m yawning and looking forward to slipping under the covers and drifting into dreamland.

I have been thinking about poetry a lot these past weeks — it is National Poetry Month, after all! I have been remembering the poems that I read and loved in my younger days. I used to read quite a bit of poetry back then. Hmm… maybe it’s time to get back to this lovely art form.

I’m interested to try some of the trending poetry books out now — Milk and Honey, and The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur or The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace. Poetry sure seems to be in vogue these days!

But back to my reminiscing. I was remembering the poets I used to read: William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Blake, Carl Sandburg, Christina Georgina Rossetti, e. e. cummings and Emily Dickinson — and thinking about the emotions and thoughts that their poems evoked. So many beautiful poems… some simple and easy, others requiring deeper probing. All of them beautiful in form and sound.

Here is one of my favourites. I think it is appropriate for this time of the year!

May-Flower

Pink, small, and punctual,
Aromatic, low,
Covert in April,
Candid in May,

Dear to the moss,
Known by the knoll,
Next to the robin
In every human soul.

Bold little beauty,
Bedecked with thee,
Nature forswears
Antiquity.

~ Emily Dickinson

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Mindfulness Thought

Sleep is the best meditation. ~ the Dalai Lama

Parks, Poetry

Hello, Spring!

Hyacinths image
The air is filled with the sweet fragrance of hyacinth in bloom!

What better way to welcome Spring, than to take a stroll in a beautiful park? Bear Creek Park is one of my favourite places to walk. Nestled in a wooded area of Surrey, and adjacent to the city’s lovely art centre and theatre, Bear Creek is a year-round destination. Along with a playground, pavilion, sports oval and a privately owned train and mini golf attraction, this gem of a park features resplendent gardens with plant displays that include greenery as well as seasonal flowers.

The gardens are especially gorgeous in the spring and summer when the plants and flowers are at their showy best. But it is lovely to meander through the paths and across the little bridges that overlook the creek any time of the year. Right now, the gardens are awash in vibrant colours and heady scents as the plantings confirm that spring has arrived!

Creek View imageAt the entrance to the Japanese plant display, stands a large piece of raw granite known as Poetry Rock. This art installation, part of the City of Surrey’s civic collection, is engraved with the poem — Mere Water am I — written by renowned Korean-Canadian theologian, Dr. Rev. Byung Sub Van.

Poetry Rock imageThe poem is inscribed on the rock in both English and Korean and symbolizes the universal theme of water in all its forms and pays homage to cultural diversity. Read the English version below:

Mere Water am I

Becoming vapour
cloud
rain drops
returning
Mere water am I

Drop by drop
making streams
flowing to oceans
Mere water am I

Filling a cup for the thirsty
moving factory machines
washing worker mops
then discarded
Mere water am I

Clinging to evening grass
soaking daylight soil
blood of tree roots
seeping deep into earth
buried tributary
of an enduring river
Mere water am I

~ Dr. Rev. Byung Sub Van

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Spring is in the Air — A Haiku Poem

Blog Post #359

Today is International Haiku Day — so of course, I did what anyone would do — I wrote a haiku!

It was a gorgeous day and my haiku is a tribute to the season. I love walking outdoors and noticing the budding trees and the blossoming shrubs. It lightens my soul and brightens my day to see flowers poking their heads out of the earth, preparing to burst forth in a showy hue. Soon the world will be awash in the beautiful colours of spring: fresh green, vibrant yellow, deep red and bright pink. I love the vibrancy of Spring!

Tulips

Spring’s beauty unfolds
red tulips wave in the breeze
tree buds unfurl green

Uncategorized

The Tooth of the Lion

Blog Post #117

Do you like dandelions? Or are you one of the people who considers them to be an insidious weed that you MUST get rid of?

I love dandelions — their big, bright blooms shout out “joy”, the brilliant yellow faces smiling a greeting to all that go past. I’m really not a “lawn” person, I prefer my yard to be devoid of grass and filled instead with a variety of plants such as ornamental grasses, low shrubs, and pretty trees along with large rocks, benches and water features interspersed throughout. I wouldn’t mind the sunny Dandelion invading my lawn.

dandelion

Dandelions are more than pretty blooms — they are nutrient rich and you can eat the entire plant — flowers, leaves, stems and roots! Dandelions have been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years and you can even make tea and a coffee-like drink from this versatile plant.  Dandelions can absorb pollutants so it is important to remember to harvest dandelions from areas that you are familiar with where there is no possibility that they have been exposed to car exhaust, herbicides or fertilizers.

make a wish

Don’t forget — dandelions are also great for making wishes — just wait for the flower to go to seed, then pick it, hold it up close to your face, make a wish and blow the little seed parachutes into the wind. If you blow all the seeds out, your wish will come true! You can find out who likes butter by holding the sunny, yellow flower under someone’s chin — if their chin shows yellow, well, that means that they like butter!

Save

Save

Save

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Lavender’s Blue

Blog Post #57

Imagine, if you will, a beautiful, warm, sunny morning  — blue sky, slight breeze and three friends on their way on a little adventure. Their destination? A tranquil lavender farm tucked away in the Fraser Valley. That was Dani, Judi and I on our way to the Tuscan Farm Gardens in Abbotsford on this gorgeous Sunday morning.

Have you been to a lavender farm? It is spectacular, especially at the height of the blooming season!

Lavender at Tuscan Farm Gardens
Lavender at Tuscan Farm Gardens

 

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Another view of the lavender at the farm

Lavender is a hardy, perennial that can grow up to 60 centimetres tall. Lavender can be planted in flower beds, or along the edge of a path or even in containers, adding their colour and fragrance to where ever it grows.

Did you know that lavender can have purple flowers that range from pale mauve to deep blue or intense violet as well as white or pink?

Lavender has many uses and benefits; from culinary delights in honey, tea and coffee (try Lavender and Earl Grey tea, or an iced lavender coffee or a lavender latte) — to aromatherapy uses to soothe insect bites, to induce a calm, serene mood for relaxation, and stress relief.

Water Lily at the lavender farm
Water Lily at the lavender farm

We arrived at the farm, ready for a leisurely walk around the gardens, happy and chatting. The air was delicately scented with the flowers in bloom and the view was awash in the vibrant colours of showy petals — roses: pale yellow, vivid pink, luscious reds; swathes of poppies, blazing red in green fields — and of course, lavender. The purple, and mauve hues of the lavender plants washed across the green fields in a cloudy haze.

Lavender6
Judi sitting in the gazebo

We followed the path cut through the lavender, bees humming busily among the flowers, sipping the sweetness of the plants. Every few steps, we breathed in the heady scent of the lavender. Heavenly…

Lavender7
Dani talking to Judi in the gazebo

 

Lavender11
Yellow roses in bloom at Tuscan Farm Gardens

 

Lavender12
Vista of lavender

 

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Walking down the lavender path

 

Lavender 17
Outside the apothecary at the farm

 

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Friends at the farm — laughter, sunshine and lavender!

The day was perfect — I can’t think of a more wonderful way to spend a Sunday than with beautiful women in a lovely garden surrounded by lavender.

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Brynne’s Daily Drawing #57

Brynne's Daily Drawing #57

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The Bachelor, Gerbera Daisies and a Tea Party

Beautiful flowers and pretty teacups
Beautiful flowers and pretty teacups

I’m still feeling a little “flu-ish”, but  I feel better than I did yesterday, so, yay!!

I adorned the house today with little vases of colourful gerbera daisies today. Brynne brought them home from her work at the corner store — bouquets and pots of cut posies that have been around too long and will soon wilt, but still pretty enough to enjoy for a day or two. Daisies are my favourite flower and the bright, cheerful blossoms gave me a real lift!

The new season of The Bachelor began tonight. This program was one that my daughter, Bailey and I used to watch together. It isn’t really my kind of show, but it is a lot of fun to watch with her and so I guess it has grown on me. Unfortunately, now that Bailey has moved out on her own, it is a little harder to get together for Monday night TV watching. C’est la vie! We are trying to figure it out — maybe we will just have to watch it and text our comments to each other as the series progresses! It might be fun to do that and then chat about it later! We’ll see…

At 10 pm, Brynne wandered out of her room and we made a pot of tea (Exotica – delicious!) and settled down on the couch for a delightful cuppa, an episode of Castle and some chuckles from Failblog (a website of funny faux pas from the world wide web) and a couple of few handfuls of chocolate covered espresso beans.

All in all a delightful evening.

Today, I am grateful for beautiful flowers, delicious tea and a cozy evening of  togetherness!