It’s Phenomenal!

“Lavender is known to bring grace and good luck.  Tranquil lavender’s gift to us is peace of mind.” ~ unknown

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Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I have a rather special post this morning (at least to me it is special).  And after reading the “Farmers Almanac” 2021 winter prediction for our area of  ‘cold and snowy,’ I thought before the snow begins to fly, I should share this bit of summer.  Perhaps you will find it worthy to tuck away in your ‘place of safekeeping’ until spring ~ possibly for your own planting.

Perfumes are the feelings of flowers.” ~ Heinrich Heine, 1797-18

You may or may not remember a couple of years ago I wrote about a new planting of lavender in our garden, around an olive jar. 

                                                   This photo was taken around the second week of May, 2019

This planting was done because we had lost a lovely purple beech tree.  The area was quite sad looking and longed for something lovely.  My vision was to have a small nod to France in the garden.  After all, I had a wonderful olive jar and it was a ‘must-have’ to enjoy something gorgeous, with an intoxicating fragrance, planted around it.  Therefore,  I spent a winter researching lavender.  The information I found was ‘Phenomenal.’

‘Phenomenal’ is a French hybrid lavender known for being cold and heat resistant as well as tolerant of high humidity. There simply are not enough good things to say about this plant.  The bees and butterflies love it, the fragrance is breathtaking, and its beauty is amazing.  What more could one ask of a plant? 

“It always seems to me as if the lavender was a little woman in a green dress, with a lavender bonnet and a white kerchief. She’s one of those strong, sweet, wholesome people, who always rest you, and her sweetness lingers long after she goes away.” ~ Myrtle Reed

As you can see the lavender plants have not only grown, they have thrived. They are almost as tall as the olive jar.  Additionally, this variety of lavender is not fussy.  She requires little water, enjoys poor rocky soil, and thrives in the full hot sun.  Also, the fragrance of this small planting when the warm summer breeze blows is breathtaking.  This is when ‘Phenomenal’ invites her friends and the show begins.  Yes, she begins to dance. Make sure you turn up the sound.  You don’t want to miss the songs of nature.  Visit here.

“Lavender is the soul of Provence” ~ Jean Giono 

While our stand of lavender does not begin to rival the beauty of the magnificent lavender fields in Provence.  I am grateful to enjoy such amazing beauty and exquisite fragrance in our own garden.  To me, it really is ‘Phenomenal’ and my nod to France.

 

Dear friends, know I wish you and yours a lovely day.

And. . .

May the week ahead find you “dancing in the summer sun.”  Stay well!

 

image A lavender field, somewhere in Provence, France.

In dreams of lavender fields, dancing in the summer sun, is where I always find her.” ~ D. Walton

 

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images:  Michael Lambiotte and Tumblr

Phenomenal lavender plants are available at High Country Gardens.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Uplifting Power of Beauty

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Good Sunday morning dear friends.  I hope this finds you enjoying a touch of autumn air.  We have actually slept with the windows open the past few nights and what a splendid treat that was.  It is hard to believe that September is with us once again, however, I always welcome the arrival.  September is a month to savor the moments and notice the hidden treasures.

” The world is large  ~ Its beauty indescribable.” ~ Zhuangzi

wonderhome: “ travellingcarola.com ”

As it is a magnificent morning, I thought perhaps you may enjoy my thoughts about by the power of beauty.  And would enjoy a few lovely things I have found.

As many of you know, France is a country that has captivated me by its charms for as long as I can remember.   The French are extremely resourceful and indeed understand beauty.  The home above looks as though it has been kissed by the sun for years, which I am certain it has.  However, it has also been kissed by ochre. 

You may or may not be aware of the Ochre Mines in France.  These pigments were discovered near the village of Roussillon (Provence region) and were mined from the end of the 18th century until 1930.  The pigments were used to color their homes (inside and out) and were also pounded down to use as watercolor paints and sold in the pricey art shops of Paris.  The colors range from deep orange, yellow to brown.  Additionally, the French used the mines as places to hide from the Nazis during the war. Today a single working ochre quarry remains in France, near the village of Gargas.

 

 

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”~ Pablo Picasso

image“Solitude” by, Diane Leonard

While art speaks to each of us differently, it holds such uplifting power.  If one too many rainy days has dampened your spirits, take a trip to your local museum and stand in awe of the beauty.  Or, with renewed interest, take a look around your own home at what may be hanging on your walls.  You may see beauty you had taken for granted.  I have been guilty!

image Gauguin

 

 

“Some long-forgot, enchanted, strange, sweet garden of a thousand years ago… ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

Is there anything as lovely as a stroll through a garden?  They are most often filled with intoxicating fragrances and exquisite beauty.  Stepping through any garden gate has transformative powers. 

gardendesign.com

“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.” ~ Anatole France

 

 

“The core of beauty is simplicity.” ~ Paulo Coelho

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Marte

To me, simple food is beautiful.   Especially when prepared with love.  Many humans have survived on ordinary fare during hard times.  A bowl of soup and a piece of bread was considered a lavish meal. We pray we never see such days again.  I try not to fail to count my blessings.    

 

 

“Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely is made for the eye of one who sees.” ~ Rumi

Dear friends, in closing I hope you have enjoyed your visit and found it to be uplifting.  Beauty does matter to each of us as it nourishes our hearts and souls.  It breaks the monotony of everyday living and gives us pause to marvel at the wonders.

Know I wish you and yours a beautiful day.

And. . .

A week full of joy.  Stay well!

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“Beauty unites all things, links together flower and star, with chains more certain than those of reason.” ~ Henry James Slack

 

Amour,

Sandra 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos:  Tumblr and Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better Days!

 

“And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief; . . .” ~ William Cullen Bryant

 

“The sorrow we feel when we lose a loved one is the price we pay to have had them in our lives.” ~ Rob Liano

Good morning, dear friends.  We are a nation in mourning. Today, my thoughts are with the families whose lives have been forever changed by the death of their loved ones.  It is for them, Mike and I offer our prayers and our hopes that in time,  their terrible wounds may be filled with joyful memories only they hold.  And, the memory that their loved one was truly on a noble mission.

My thoughts are also with our troops who were wounded and are now in a hospital in Germany.  We pray for their speedy recovery.

In closing, I am not forgetting those facing hurricane Ida and those continuing to deal with COVID.  

 

 Know I wish you and yours a peaceful day

And. . .

May we all enjoy better days ahead.   

Stay well and safe!

 

“Our only hope lies in the power of our love, generosity, tolerance, and understanding and our commitment to making the world a better place for all.” ~ Muhammad Ali

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

photos: Pinterest

Hope

“Where there is no hope, it is incumbent on us to invent it.” ~ Albert Camus

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Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you enjoying those you love, your sweet home and planning a peaceful day.  

Many years ago, I had the great pleasure of hearing Maya Angelou speak.  It was an experience I will never forget.  She was a wonderful speaker and an amazing lady who had endured much and left us with powerful words to ponder.  So, in lieu of the tumultuous week we have all endured, I thought I would share a few lines from one of her poems which is a favorite of mine ~ On the Pulse of Morning. The poem speaks to the heartache we, unfortunately, see in our world.  Ms. Angelou performed her poem at the presidential inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1993.  

In my opinion, Ms. Angelou was trying to inspire hope, respect for our fellow man and our planet, peace, and unity through her words.  I have not copied the entire poem but it is available here, should you want to read it in its entirety.

 

“On the Pulse of Morning,” by Maya Angelou

For this bright morning dawning for you. 
History, despite its wrenching pain
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
This day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream. . . .

Here, on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, and into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope—
Good morning.

Dear friends, please join me in praying for a better week ahead.  And especially, offer a prayer for all those who are trying to flee a country of violence and oppression.  Those dealing with the aftermath of terrible storms, involved in fleeing from horrific fires, stricken by dreaded COVID, or all who are suffering in any way.  My heart hurts for everyone that finds themselves in such horrible situations.  I feel yours does too.

Therefore, until we meet again. . .

Know I appreciate your visit and I wish you and yours a lovely day.

And. . .

May peace and joy be yours. ~ Stay well!

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

Photos:  Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ Paying Attention

“Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.” ~ Robin Wall Kimmere

Good morning, sweet friends.  I do hope this finds you well and enjoying these fleeting days of summer.   And, just in case you have been busy attending to a multitude of things, I would like to share a bit of summer magic you may have missed.

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Rose, Bee On A Flower, Honey Bee, Pollination

Have you noticed many honey bees this summer?  We have seen very few.  There are many plants in our garden they have always visited and enjoyed in past summers, but not this year.  However, we have seen an abundance of bumblebees (large and small), but I do worry about the honey bees.  Where are they?  

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“I’m ready to be inspired, she said & I said that’s not quite how it works, so instead we sat in the garden, breathing & watching the bees until she smiled quietly & said, I forget it’s that simple.” ~ unknown

“So many things become beautiful when you really look.” ~ Lauren Oliver

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There really is beauty at every turn.  Huge spider webs are amazing.  Often, you will see them with their artist still at work in the center.  I am not a fan of spiders but I do admire their artistry.

“We have buried so much of the delicate magic of life.” ~ D. H. Lawrence

geopsych: “Monarch butterfly. ”

“When the spirit of nature touches us, our hearts turn into a butterfly!” ~ Mehmet Murat ildan

While, not intentionally, we may have “buried so much of the delicate magic of life.”  To me, I believe our hearts melt at the magnificence and beauty of nature.  Sometimes we (should) simply stand in awe at the sight of something we see unexpectedly.  Often, it is like it was just sent for us to see.  And, perhaps, it was.

Spirit, rehearse the journeys of the body that are to come, the motions of the matter that held you. Rise up in the smoke of palo santo. Fall to the earth in the falling rain. Sink in, sink down to the farthest roots. Mount slowly in the rising...

“A red-winged blackbird quiescent as a flower until he’s riled up. . .”  ~ Kim Rodriques

Bluebird, Berries, Snow, Winter, Nature, Branches

“When nature made the bluebird she wished to propitiate both the sky and the earth, so she gave him the color of the one on his back and the hue of the other on his breast.” ~ John Burroughs

We had the wonderful privilege of enjoying these precious little birds at our home in Virginia.  It was a tremendous joy to see them bouncing through the sky, making their nests in the boxes Mike built and provided for them, and then feeding their young.  Anyone who has magic buried in their hearts will melt at the sight of a bluebird.

In closing, by ‘paying attention,’ have you recently noticed a beautiful and unexpected glimpse of beauty?

Dear friends, until we meet again.  I wish you and yours a beautiful day.

And. . .

May your week ahead be filled with kindness and unexpected glimpses of magic.

Stay Well and Thanks for Your visit!

pagewoman: “ Fallow Deer by compass ”

 

“Each day provides its own gifts.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

Photos:  Tumblr, Pixabay

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ A Gentle Nudge!

“In summer, the song sings itself.” ~ William Carlos Williams

 Good Sunday morning, sweet friends.  I do hope this finds you well and enjoying these summer days.  As always, they seem to pass all too quickly.  The ‘beauty of summer’ is something to treasure.  I always find that the lovely memories of its dazzling beauty helps to keep me warm on cold winter days.  

I am not one to wish these lovely days away.  Although many folks in parts of our country and around the world have and continue to endure many weather-related issues which they would be happy to wish away ~ and rightfully so.  However, I am still not ready to feel those chilly days or see upcoming holiday decorations in the stores. Therefore, I thought I might share a few reminders of this gorgeous season and perhaps give a gentle nudge toward enjoying these remaining days of summer.

 

“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day ~ like writing a poem or saying a prayer.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh 

In the cool mist of a summer morning, it is an absolute delight to walk in the garden and collect a few flowers to enjoy inside. Flowers should always be gathered early in the morning or after the sun goes down in the evening.  This is because the stems are filled with water and the air is cooler.  Once in the house, they bring such joy and add so much to any room they are placed in. 

“I walk the world in wonder.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Ah diamonds, sparkling on the water.  One of my favorite sights and how special it is to enjoy such a wondrous vision early in the morning.  My mom always told me, “Such beauty is the work of the angels.”  I still believe her words. 

“There is a blessing in the air.” ~William Wordsworth

“There is a blessing in the air.” ~ William Wordsworth

“Stillness is the altar of the spirit.” Paramahansa Yogananda

“Stillness is the altar of the spirit.” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“New beauty meets us at every step in all our wanderings.” ~ John Muir

The words of John Muir are certainly true.  And, we must not miss all that summer has to offer.  The lovely season does move along.

she-who-treads-on-water: “Honeysuckles blooming up the stair railings. ” Peaches and Cream Honeysuckle

“I sat me down to watch upon a bank With ivy canopied and interwove With flaunting honeysuckle.” ~ John Milto

“I would like to say to people, open your eyes and find beauty where you normally don’t expect it.” ~  Jean Paul Gaultier

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit and my gentle nudges to enjoy the remaining days of summer.  So, let’s take every moment possible and enjoy all the blooms, beauty, fragrance, and sweet times of summer.

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Enjoy a picnic, complete with the sweetest fruit of summer ~ peaches.

Gather wildflowers.  Because as Roland R. Kemler tells us, After all,  “What a lonely place it would be to have a world without a wildflower!”

 Or, simply spend an evening gazing at the magnificent beauty of God’s brushstrokes.

 

Wishing you and yours a glorious day and week ahead.

And. . .

May joy and kind hearts be with you every step of your way.

 

 

“The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year ~ the days when summer is changing into autumn ~ the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.”
~ E.B. White

 

 

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Images:  Michael S. Lambiotte, Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Random Musings

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. ” ~ Eleonora Duse

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you well and enjoying the beauty of these summer days.  

This post will be short and I will explain.  There was some confusion with my post last week, (Sunday, July 25) as it made its way into ‘blog land.’  Rather, I should say, “Not making its way.”  Most of my blogging friends did not receive the post until Monday mid-day.  Therefore, I decided to make today’s post short to see if all was well. Fingers crossed!

You may or may not enjoy the writings of Mary Oliver.  However, in my opinion, she often interjects her humor with sound advice.  Both of which I can often benefit from.  Therefore, I thought, perhaps, you may also.

“Upstream,” by Mary Oliver

“Come with me into the field of sunflowers is a better line than anything you will find here, and the sunflowers themselves far more wonderful than any words about them.” 

“I Worried,” by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot.  Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows can do it and I am, well, hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it, am I going to get rheumatism, lockjaw, dementia?

Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing.  And gave it up.  And took my old body and went out into the morning, and sang.

“Evidence,” by Mary Oliver

“Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.”

 

 

Dear friends, I hope you found inspiration from the words of Mary Oliver.  Isn’t it true that words so often fail us when we try to describe something of beauty?  And haven’t we all worried unnecessarily?  Or, stood in a magical place and suddenly realized the amazing blessing to enjoy such a place.  Certainly, I have done all of these things.  

 

Please know, I wish you and yours a lovely and peaceful day.  

And. . .

In the week ahead, may you

“Pay attention, be astonished, and tell about it.” ~ Mary Oliver

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Images:  via tumblr

Sunday Thoughts~ ‘A Pleasurable State of Mind’

“The sun will not rise or set without my notice, and thanks.” ~ Winslow Homer

Photo by, VonShawn

“Always take the time to be completely present, because it is perhaps the best and most joyous way to keep your mind sharp and your life bright.”  ~ Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you under blue skies and enjoying sweet moments with those you love. 

While I have been savoring my much-needed reprieve, I want you to know how much I have missed you.  Many of you I know personally and others are virtual.  But to me, I treasure you both.  Additionally, I want to thank those who have sent me personal messages expressing your sentiments and wishing me an enjoyable and peaceful time away from my blog.  Precious moments doing the things I enjoy. 

Rest and relaxation is a lovely gift, one should give themselves from time to time.  However, it inevitably seems to fall at the bottom of my list and it should not.   When we are rested and relaxed,  we notice and pay attention to the beauty that surrounds us.  Our garden, for example, has been especially lovely this year.  The sights, sounds, and scents are truly mesmerizing.  I might not have noticed the many small breathtaking details and intricacies if I were weary and not paying attention to my beautiful surroundings.  However, the garden has not been my only pleasure.  On the days when the weather was too warm to happily enjoy the garden, my stack of books, patiently waiting for me, provided marvelous enjoyment. 

Nonetheless, writing my blog is a spark of joy I have missed and I hope you have too.  My last post was May 22, 2021.  Goodness, time does move on. 

“Butterflies come to pretty flowers.” ~ Korean Proverb

Two of the sights I adore in our garden are the hydrangeas and the arbor.  Scampering up and over the arbor is ‘Peaches and Cream’ honeysuckle.  She is a charming and wonderfully fragrant addition to the garden and when she is in bloom (late June), she is exquisite.  Another sight I deem lovely is the hydrangeas.  I planted them about four or five years ago as an experiment to see how they would thrive in a pot.  As you can see, they have done well.  Their name is ‘Blue Danube.’ They are pink because I have not added soil acidifiers.  It is a risky endeavor to add soil acidifiers to potted hydrangeas.  From my reading, there is a fine line between adding too much or too little of this substance. Too much will kill them, too little does them no good.  Therefore, I chose to leave them alone and allow their color choice to be their own.  The important issue is, they are thriving with the help of their bi-annual feeding of fish emulsion and the great care Mike takes to pull them into the garage for the winter.  On warm days he will give them just a wee drink to prevent their roots from drying out.

Please step into the garden.  Rex would like to meet you.   Rex, our unique Cardinal who is named after one of Mike’s golfing buddies,  is a beautiful and always welcomed sight.  Hearing his call is music to our ears.  Every morning when Mike ventures out to feed him and his friends, he appears and begins his flying about routine.  Arriving close by the feeder then initiating his conversation with Mike.  Boldly, he flies closer and closer, waiting for Mike to stand back so he can land on the feeder.  And, of course, the feeder belongs solely to him.  Should you wonder what is hanging above Rex’s head, it is a sock feeder filled with thistle feed for the finches.  They find them an irresistible delicacy.

“Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.” ~ Louis L’Amour

Reading is pure joy for me.  It is a marvelous thing to read a book that sends me off in other directions.  Pointing the way toward people, places, and things I want to know more about.   What I am really drawn to are books by authors I almost feel as though I know personally, and especially books that have a connection to places I love.  However, I imagine I am no different from anyone who enjoys reading ~ we all have preferences. 

I absolutely adore all things, French.  Therefore, I am drawn to learning about this country and its people, which seems to have captured my heart for as many years as I can remember.  While all of the following books have in some way a connection to France, to me, they are books that bring forth to the reader the great testament of the human spirit in many different ways.    Therefore, I am sharing a few with the thought perhaps, you may enjoy them too.

“Lisette’s List,” by Susan Vreeland was for me, not only a lovely read but an informative book as well.  It is a story of a young woman and her husband  (André) who move from Paris to a small village in Provence to care for her husband’s grandfather.  Upon their arrival, they discover that the grandfather (a frame maker) had befriended the great artists, Pissarro and Cézanne, and had traded his frames for their paintings.  As World War II broke out,  André works to hide these paintings to keep them out of Nazi hands.

This book also discusses the ochre mines (located in this region of France) which  I found so interesting.  These beautiful pigments were mined, sold, and used to color their homes, both inside and out, as well as a multitude of other uses.  

Saving Mona Lisa: The Battle to Protect the Louvre and Its Treasures from the Nazis

“Saving Mona Lisa” was an amazing story of how a handful of people labored day and night to empty the Louvre of its paintings and ship them off to secure locations, safe from Nazi hands.  And, from these locations, paintings were often moved several times before returning home to the Louvre at the end of the war.  It is a  story of love, intense courage, dedication, and suspense.

I was drawn to this book because I had never read much about either artist, with regard to them personally.  In reading, I learned that Van Gogh was a gentle soul and in today’s world his mental health issues could have been easily treated.  Thus, allowing him to continue his work as an artist and live a far better life. The book also revealed that Gauguin’s nature was extremely competitive and in a far different way than Van Gogh, he dealt with mental health issues himself.  I found the book to be well written and at least I now know a little of the lives and personalities of both men. 

Do you ever re-read books?  I do.  And,  I never fail to be surprised as to what I missed on the first reading.  For instance,  In “My Life In France,” Julia Child refers to the small village of Mougins.  Mougins was and continues to be a famous haven for artists.  Among many of those famous artists, it was home to Roger Mühl. We fell in love with Mühl’s work several years ago and feel so grateful to own a few of his pieces, which we enjoy daily.  Mühl was best known for his light-drenched landscape paintings of the South of France.  The remarkable light in his paintings is what drew me to his work.  Photos do not begin to capture the light.  

Roger Muhl French, 1929-2008 Village, 2002 “Village,” by Roger Mühl.  Painted, 2002.

Also, in this book, Child refers to her favorite restaurant in all of France which happens to be in Mougins.  The restaurant is Le Moulin de Mougins.  This restaurant remains a lovely attraction today, known for its outstanding food, service, and charm. 

There were many other notable ‘takeaways’ from my second reading.  Without a doubt, the most is realizing I did not remember reading about Mougins during my first reading. How could that possibly be?   Perhaps, I should read it a third time.   

“In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.” ~ Curnonsky

Many of you who know me, know how much I enjoy cooking.  I am quite at home in the kitchen and can putter about all day.  Cookbooks are my delightful friends, ~ old and new.  When I retired and had a little extra time, my love became more of a passion. I wanted to improve my skills, cook new things, and so I did.  And, with my love of France, of course, I ventured into French cooking, with Julia as my guide and Mike as my ever-willing taste tester.   Julia is all about classic French cooking.  According to Julia, this means, “Not trendy, souped-up fantasies, just something very good to eat. . . where the ingredients have been carefully selected and beautifully and knowingly prepared.”  During the past few years, I have mastered many of her wonderful recipes.  Actually, most are not difficult ~ simply time-consuming.   Plus, winter days in West Virginia allow for the necessary time and a brief summer respite does also. 

With our garden about to burst, I can’t help bringing out the cookbooks and begin creating something delicious.  Especially, since we have just relished a beautiful season of lettuces, green onions, and such.  Now, swiss chard is in abundance, peppers of all varieties abound,  and the plump, juicy, tomatoes are about to explode.  Oh,  I must not forget the herbs. Stands of sweet and lemon basil, a full patch of thyme, oregano, parsley, and tarragon about to leap from the pot.  And, there are others.  Mike’s vegetable garden is an irresistible delight, just waiting to be prepared into a tantalizing culinary feast.

“Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.” ~Judith Thurman

The Best Things To Do in the Cayman Islands: 16 Essential ExperiencesGrand Caymen Island, B.W.I. ~ 1999

In closing, I will tell you I have also been doing quite a bit of dreaming.  My garden bench is a perfect spot for such pursuits.  Dreaming of places we have been and places we hope to go.  Possibly, you have been doing the same.

 

So, dear friends,  as this day ends and we begin a new week, let us wake up in the morning and see the beauty in the world

and in each other,

encourage others along their path, and count our blessings ~ we have so many.

 

Wishing you peace, love, and joy. 

And. . .

‘A Pleasurable State of Mind.’

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

“I’m into all that sappy stuff ~ a surprise picnic, nice dinner, or traveling. I’m kind of an old romantic.” ~ Will Estes

 

 

 

 

 

Images:  Michael S. Lambiotte, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Taking A Rest

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ~ John Lubbock

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Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  Perhaps, you may have wondered what happened to me last week.  Well, the week was quite a blur, filled with life happenings. Writing a post was not at the top of my list.  And, I certainly did not want to post something that was not from my heart and, therefore, might not touch yours.  That said, I have decided to take a wee break from blog land.  A little time to simply ‘be.’  To watch the flowers unfold, and enjoy the sweetness and beauty of nature.  Something I feel we all need from time to time.

Additionally, in my resting time, I need to give some thought to a few changes I would like to make to the blog and some things I might want to do differently.  Always with the goal of keeping the blog reader worthy.   

Know I will miss you and your lovely comments, and I hope you will miss me,  too.  I will continue to read your blogs, as I enjoy them so much and they are always a bright spot in my day.  Do enjoy these remaining lovely spring days, days we have long waited for and the summer ones which are ahead.  Always take a moment to notice the beauty that surrounds you and the moments  “. . .when you realize the simple things are wonderful enough.”  See you soon!

“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward. ~ Spanish Proverb

Amour,

Sandra

 

Photos:  Via Tumblr, quote in the last paragraph, Jill Badonskyxs

 

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Mother’s Day

“A mother’s love how sweet the name!  What is a mother’s love?  A noble, pure, and tender flame extended from above.” ~ James Montgomery 

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds everyone well and enjoying this wonderful time of year.  Today, a most special day, of honoring and showering our mothers with love and gratitude.  Letting them know how dear and special they are.  To stop for a moment and reflect on all they have given us, sacrificed for us,  and their monumental efforts to make our lives better and richer.  And most of all, to be grateful for their love and the path/paths they have helped us walk.

“A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.” ~ Princess Diana

 

Mother's Day Shrine, Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church - Grafton, West Virginia Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, Grafton, West Virginia.

This lovely church, built in 1873, was the location of the first mother’s day service held in 1908.   It was established as the International Mother’s Day Shrine in 1962 and designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1992.

The International Mother's Day Shrine located in Grafton, West Virginia honors the memory of the founder of the holiday.

The Mother With Children statue by William Douglas Hopen, outside the International Mother's Day Shrine, at the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia | Library of Congress

Mother's Day roots run deep in West Virginia | West Virginia | timeswv.com

“Motherhood is the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary ~ it’s an act of infinite optimism.” ~ Gilda Radner

Carnations are the flower symbolizing mother’s day.  During the first mother’s day service, in 1908, Ms. Jarvis handed out hundreds of white carnations to those in attendance.  The carnation was her mother’s favorite flower.  White carnations are traditional flowers to give or wear in remembrance of a mother who is no longer living. With pink representing gratitude and love and red signifying admiration and adoration.  

Dear friends, know I wish all of you who are mothers, or those who have been or are currently mothering others, a happy and beautiful day.    

And . . .

May God bless you and guide you in all that you do.

 

 

“A mother’s love endures through all.” ~ Washington Irving

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

Images:  “Times West Virginian” and Pinterest