Sunday Thoughts ~ The Little Things

“Joy comes to us in moments ~ ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.” ~ Dr. Brene Brown 

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“It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.” ~ J. R. R. Tolkien

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” ~ Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder

“Never get tired of doing little things for others, sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.” ~ Unknown

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Magic is not necessarily a big thing. A delicious morning coffee with someone you care about, aware and grateful for that moment all the time it’s happening, is as wonder full as a rabbit out of a hat, if you’re willing to see it that way. Magic does not have to be in capitalized to be magical.” ~ Jonathan Carroll

. - https://weheartit.com/entry/263456698

“I shall take my morning tea with the birds and the trees and the bumbling bees.” ~ Freya Turrill

afaerytalelife: “ Coloured Water, by Grace Chi. ”

“In solitude, we give passionate attention to our lives, to our memories, to details around us.” ~ Virginia Woolf

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” ~ John Kabat-Zinn

by brittanyyork

 

Dear friends, thank you so much for your visit this morning. 

May you find great joy in the ‘little things’ ~ today, and every day.

And…

May the angels walk beside you, wherever you roam.

 

“The Lord likes small things best, especially those done with love.” ~ Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

Images: via tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rays of Light

“…Every day I discover even more beautiful things. It is intoxicating me, and I want to paint it all – my head is bursting…” ~ Claude Monet

Good morning, dear friends and welcome to Maison De Jardin (The Garden House).  I am so happy to see you and I love your visits.  It is always wonderful to enjoy friends and hear their comments, even virtually. 

While unlike Claude Monet, artistic ability is not a talent I possess.  Therefore, I cannot paint the lovely things I see.  But, I can tell you the stunning array of beautiful things which constantly comes across my path certainly makes my head whirl.  So do come in, make yourself at home, and enjoy your coffee/tea while I share a few off these lovely things.  Perhaps a little inspiration?

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“May all those who enter as guests, leave as friends.” ~ unknown (I hope you will.)

“In the presence of Beauty, there is quiet contentedness.” ~ unknown

“I would like to paint the way a bird sings.” ~ Claude Monet

I think it would be simply marvelous to be seated in a comfortable chair, appreciating the beauty of the fog, the ocean, and watching the artist at work.  “Quiet contentedness.

It was morning; through the high window, I saw the pure, bright blue of the sky as it hovered cheerfully over the long roofs of the neighboring houses. It too seemed full of joy, as if it had special plans, and had put on its finest clothes for the occasion. ~ Hermann Hesse

Isn’t it wonderful to greet the light of a new day?  Light is a true blessing ~ in many ways.   Perhaps, these thoughts stem from my childhood.  When I would go to bed at night, my mom would always open the curtains and say, “Honey, you want to make your wish upon the stars and you want the sun to greet you in the morning.”  Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoy seeing the outside.  To me, it is wonderful to see the stars and greet the morning.   

The person who designed our old home must also have loved light, as she has many windows with the light always pouring in. This is a blessing, especially in the winter, as there are many gray days in North Central West Virginia.

lescoupsdecoeurdetara: “. ”

“Tomorrow morning, when the sun shines through your window, choose to make it a happy day.” ~ Lynda Resnickic

Beautiful windows are a pure delight for me.  To see the sunlight bouncing around a room makes me almost giddy.  And, what a lovely spot this is with nature as your companion.  A perfect place to enjoy, while reading a marvelous book, sipping a cup of tea, or giving serious thought to an untold novel which has been spinning around in your head for years.  By the way, mine is titled, “The Girl in The Blue Coat.”  And yours?  

“Live in rooms full of light.” ~ Cornelius Celsus

“I look out of this window and I think this is a cosmos, this is a huge creation, this is one small corner of it. The trees and birds and everything else and I’m part of it.” ~  Morris West

“Beauty is unobtrusive, subtle, nuanced.  It is only there for those with the eyes to see.” ~ unknown
Dappled light is also something quite special.  The beauty it creates is Heaven sent, simply for our enjoyment.   The dappled light, painted at random, on this wonderful old home only adds to her beauty. To enjoy a meal on her terrace would be a pure delight. 
When we notice the details of beauty, it makes our lives sweeter. And, by sharing our awareness of such details, we are are also able to enrich the lives of others.
Cherish sunsets, wild creatures, and wild places. Have a love affair with the wonder and beauty of the earth.” ~  Stewart Udall

1lifeinspired: “♥ ”

Ah, to see sunlight on the water, dancing like glittering diamonds, is an exquisite sight.  It looks as though the beautiful swan is enjoying it too.

 

 

“One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, What if I had never seen this before?  What if I knew I would never see it again?” ~ Rachel Carson

Capri & the Amalfi Coast Capri, along the Amalfi Coast of Italy. 

The light is magnificent and breathtaking.  Such amazing beauty certainly would open one’s eyes.

“A sensitive plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light,
and closed them beneath the kisses of night.”
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant,” 1820

yellowrose543: “Had to share this @WeHeartIt ”

The human soul needs actual beauty more than bread.” ~  D. H. Lawrence

In such a lovely place, I would stand in awe of the beauty and wonder about all those who have enjoyed the same, years before me.  The light creates a bit of magic in this photo, along with the pretty hand-tied bouquet. 

“To love beauty is to see light.” ~ Victor Hugo

In closing, certainly, I would be remiss if I did not mention the most important light ~ the one ‘which shines from within.’  Each and every one of us is born with such light.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it seems as though this light has been snuffed out for too many souls on this earth.  

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Now more than ever,  I believe with a heavy hand, we must scatter beauty and its light to everyone and every place we roam.  And, in any way we can, put a light in places where we see darkness.  By doing so, we enhance humanity.  And, to keep our inner light burning brightly, we must feed it with wonderful inspiration.  Feed it with our dreams and the things which make our heart pound a little harder.  For each of us, certainly, these things will be different as well as the inspiration which feeds them.

For me, my dream is to see the Lavender Fields of France.  It is hard to explain, but in my heart, I know I am meant to see this part of our glorious world.  

So, dear friends, whatever your dream/dreams maybe, or the inspiration you desire, remember to,   “Drop your fears and pick up your dreams. The world needs dreamers like you. You are the light of a brighter world.”    Really, you are!

 

 

Wishing you a beautiful summer day.

 

And… 

 

May your day be filled with kind people and happy moments.

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Notes:  Ending quote ~ Liam Tinker

Images:  via tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ August 11, 2019

“This is a place where grandmothers hold babies on their laps under the stars and whisper in their ears that the lights in the sky are holes in the floor of heaven.”~ Rick Bragg

“He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.” ~ Psalm 147:4

     Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  Sundays, I believe, are special days for all of us.  A day set aside for worship, family, friends, rest, and relaxation.

     On Sunday, many say their prayers in a church, others say them in a garden or in the peace of their home. Where ever the place may be, it is important to count our blessings and be grateful for them.  Also, to be grateful for our successes and mistakes, both have lessons. 

“Nothing happens unless first, we dream.” ~ Carl Sandburg

     A lovely Sunday is also a perfect time for a little dreaming.  Perhaps, planning in our minds something we would like to do with our families or friends, memories we would like to make, or simply planning the upcoming week. It can also be a time to bring to life treasured memories we have tucked away in our hearts, special dreams which became reality.  Moments of time spent in a beautiful place with love, laughter, family, or friends.  However, one may enjoy spending their day, it should bring joy and above all,  peace.
     I don’t know about you, but I feel it would be wonderful to spend the day on this grand old swing.  Peacefully dreaming, or in the company of a great book, and being sweetly hugged by the love which stitched the quilt.oldfarmhouse: “Summer in New Brunswick is a very pleasant season, and the front porch is great for entertaining company and for just sitting. ”

“The greatest thing about dreams is they don’t expire.” ~ Casi McLean

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed my ‘Sunday Thoughts.”  Know how much I appreciate your visit. 

 Wishes to you and yours for a beautiful day.

And…

May wildflowers speak to you wherever you roam and fill your heart with joy and beauty.

 

“Keep your faith in beautiful things;  in the sun when it is hidden, in the Spring when it is gone.” ~ Roy R.Gibson

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

Images: via tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ August 4, 2019

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

Good Sunday morning, my friends.  With your coffee or tea in hand, come along with me for a short walk through a little beauty of this earth.  Even though the walk may be virtual, the beauty is real.  So, let’s begin with sea oats dancing in the breeze, celebrating a glorious sunrise at their home on Folly Beach, in South Carolina.

Sea Oats, Sunrise at Folly Beach, SC © Doug Hickok

 

“Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.” ~ Albert Einstein

Nature, with her enthralling beauty, is truly captivating.  Aren’t the flowers amazing in this enchanting fog?

ijustwannaseeyouhappyandnaked: “ in the garden i see only your face from trees and blossoms i inhale only your fragrance 💖 ~ rumi ”

 

“How right it is to love flowers and the greenery of pines and ivy and hawthorn hedges; they have been with us from the very beginning.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

I could admire the beauty of this garden all day.  With such a lovely entrance, one can only imagine what must lie beyond the gate.

 

“My heart found its home long ago in the beauty, mystery, order, and disorder of the flowering earth.” ~ Lady Bird Johnson

I certainly agree with Lady Bird Johnson, as that is where my heart resides as well.  Perhaps, your does too?

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A walk in nature walks the soul back home.” ~ Mary Davis

Dear friends,  as Emily Dickinson once said, “I hope your rambles have been sweet, and your reveries spacious.”

 

Thanks for visiting.  Wishing you and yours a beautiful day.

And…

May you ‘meet new beauty with every step.’

 “Look closely. The beautiful may be small.” ~ Immanuel Kant

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

Images:  via tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Precious Friends ~ The Bees

“The hum of the bees is the voice of the garden.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence 

Good morning, my friends.  I am so happy to see you.  This morning I would like to share some thoughts and information about our ‘precious’ friends ~ the bees. I have been paying close attention to them this summer, especially since we have a rather large stand of zinnias in our garden, full of bees that don’t know which bloom to visit first.

Now, in my reference to them as ‘precious’ friends, I am not inferring they are precious in the sense of darling or cute.  Rather, vital and extremely important.  I am certain you are totally aware of the environmental and other issues facing the bees. Today, I not only want to talk about these issues but other interesting facts and folklore you may or may not know.  And, if the bees are not currently on your ‘friend list,’ perhaps at the conclusion of your visit you will be inspired to make new friends.

You may want to find your coffee or tea and make yourself comfy. There is much to say about these wonderful friends of the earth.I cannot have enough of them!

“Beekeepers are careful to tell their bees everything important that concerns the family and household~births, marriages, deaths, a new set of curtains, and suchlike. But that’s not superstition, just the practical observation that if you don’t tell them, they will fly indoors to find out for themselves.” ~ Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson

Are you familiar with a custom referred to as ‘The telling of the bees?’  If not, this is what it means.  The ‘telling of the bees’ is a traditional European custom in which the bees are told of important events in their keeper’s lives, such as births, marriages, or departures and returns to the home.    If a death in the family occurs and this custom was omitted or forgotten, or the bees were not properly put into mourning, then it is believed there would be a penalty, such as the bees would leave their hive, they may stop producing honey, or they may die.  This custom was widely known in England, but it was also practiced in Ireland, Wales, Germany, The Netherlands,  France, and the United States.  

There are several ways in which bees were informed of a death in the family and, therefore, ‘properly put into mourning.’  In England, the lady of the house would drape the hives in black, hum a song to herself and say for example:  “The master is dead, but don’t you leave, I will be your mistress and I will be good to you.”  Another description from the Carolina mountains was to knock on each hive until one had the bees attention and then state that such a person, mention the name, was dead.  

On a brighter note, bees were also told of happy times, ~ such as weddings.  Personally, I can’t imagine bees involved with weddings, however, folklore tells us it is so.  In Germany, the custom was for newly wedded couples to first introduce themselves to the bees before going into their home or it was feared their marriage could be unhappy.  And, in Scotland folklore tells of inviting bees to the wedding and leaving a slice of the wedding cake by their hive.  This may all seem like a bit of rubbish  ~ but who knows?  In past times there was a great connection and respect between man and other living things which inhabited the earth.

If you need a little something extra to get you moving in the mornings, the following should do the trick.  Way back in 1978, Neil Diamond wrote and recorded “The Dancing Bumble Bee Boggie.”  Here are a few of the lyrics, “And when the hot winds blow tonight, the dancing bumblebee takes flight.  And all the flowers in the field prepare their nectar soon to yield.”  While I am quite a fan of Neil Diamond, I am not overly fond of this song, but I do like the music.  However, if you have never heard the sound of a swarm of bees, the sound of the music in this piece is almost identical.  Give a listen, here.

“The only time I ever believed that I knew all there was to know about beekeeping was the first year I was keeping them. Every year since I’ve known less and less and have accepted the humbling truth that bees know more about making honey than I do.” ~ Sue Hubbell

Honey Bee gathering pollen from Christmas Palm plant. Photo by jungle mama on Flickr.

When Mike and I lived in Virginia, he kept bees.  At the height of his experience, he had eight hives.  We both thoroughly enjoyed the entire process of watching them and Mike taking the honey.  (Notice I said, “Mike.”)  However, the hurricanes, mites, and aerial spraying of crops brought this time to a close.  But, I never forgot the words of our elderly neighbor (Mr. Love) who helped Mike with the bees.  One day he was visiting and he said, “You know Mike, what kills the bees will eventually kill man.”  Mr. Love spoke true words and he would be ever so concerned as to the plight of the bees, as well as ours, today.  

The varroa mite, a parasite that invades hives, and exposure to pesticides are the two largest contributors to the declining honey bee populations.  Currently, researchers are looking into how to safely treat the hives for the varroa mite.  And there is a great effort underway to educate the public regarding the use of pesticides and the detriment of such to the bees, as well as man.  Additionally, researchers are trying to determine what changes we could make to our habitats to encourage bees.  The real question is, “What is man willing to do?”

“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” ~ Saint Francis de Sales

Johnnie Shene Photography ( Bee & White Poppy (벌과 하얀양귀비)

There are, however,  many things we can all do to help our bees survive.  Some are to plant wildflowers and bee loving plants.  A few of these plants are monarda or ‘bee balm,’ honeysuckle, hollyhocks, zinnias, cosmos, snapdragons, lavender, and foxglove.  And rather than using a toxic spray for bugs, plant catnip near the plant’s bugs seem to adore.  Catnip wards off bugs and also, the bees love it.  A two for one.  

In the early spring, do not destroy the dandelions.  They are one of the first sources of food for the bees as they begin to wake from their winter’s sleep.

“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should,  for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.” ~ Ray Bradbury

Should the number of bees and beekeepers continue to decline, we will see higher food prices.  Such as in California where 85% of the world’s almonds are grown.  Farmers rent bee colonies for pollination and the cost per colony to some have increased to nearly $300 per colony.  These prices will eventually come to the consumer.

A recent and most unfortunate turn in the ‘help for the bees,’ came as the U. S. Department of Agriculture announced it has suspended its data collection for Honey Bee Colonies due to budgetary reasons.  This came just a few weeks after researchers reported that 40% of the managed honey bee colonies in our country were lost this past winter.    This decision was surprising and disappointing to researchers because such information is vital for scientists to be able to understand the long-term trends of honey bees and also allow policymakers to make sound future decisions.

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
In closing, I hope you have enjoyed your visit and found our ‘precious friends’ interesting.  Truly, they are vital to man’s survival because they help the farmers grow our food.  It is important to keep in the forefront of our minds that our food does not come from the grocery store.  It comes from the fields.  If you have any doubts about the seriousness of this issue, I suggest you read “The Silent Spring,” by Rachel Carson.  Even though the book was written in 1962, the words will stay with you always.  Senator, Ernest Gruening of Alaska told Carson,  “Every once in a while in the history of mankind, a book has appeared which has substantially altered the course of history.” 

“I want to raise up the magic world all around me and live strongly and quietly there.” ~ Virginia Woolf
waynestratz: “Just in case you needed more evidence on how hip #dahlias are when visited by a #bumblebee ”

 

 

Wishing you a beautiful day.  Enjoy these fleeting days of summer.

And…

Come again soon!

 

 

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Notes:
Images: via tumblr
Much of the information for this post was gathered throughout the years. Especially when Mike was keeping bees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ Wing Haven

“All ye who humbly enter here are welcome and to Wing Haven dear, Behold earth’s beauty, the heavens above, Yet if some presence other than doves Should startle you, Fear not. . .for tis God!” ~ Paul Carpenter, Jr.

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  Today, I want to share a beautiful garden I know only through the words of the gifted writer and magnificent gardener, Tovah Martin.  Ms. Martin describes this peaceful paradise in a way only she can.  However, even though my words will pale in comparison, I will attempt to convey the beauty of the almost fairy-tale world she described.  The lovely quote above, written for Wing Haven, is on a plaque embedded in the brick at one of the garden’s entry gates.

I would love to visit and savor the beauty of Wing Haven ~ perhaps, you will too.

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“A beautiful garden is the work of the heart” ~ unknown.

Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary, tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood three miles from the center of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been a special part of the community since its beginning in 1927.  The exquisite garden, once a field of red clay, was the vision of Elizabeth and Edwin O. “Eddie” Clarkson.  As they could afford, between years of 1927 and 1937, Eddie Clarkson purchased a total of eleven parcels and the gardens grew to nearly three acres.  While they were knee-deep in the process of creating their beautiful garden, the name for their piece of paradise came to them one evening as they were simply sitting on a bench enjoying what they had accomplished to that point.  And, that is exactly how it happens.  If one listens carefully, homes and gardens whisper their names to us.

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“All gardening is landscape painting.” ~ William Kent

The Clarksons had a vision of their garden as a peaceful place of beauty and a ‘haven’ for their winged friends.  Throughout all the seasons, the garden offers interest for humans as well as nesting sites and food for the many varieties of birds and other creatures who call Wing Haven home, or simply stop by for a visit.  There are also pools, fountains, and numerous birdbaths, offering a constant source of fresh water. 

The gardens include formal areas,  an herb garden, woodlands, and brick paths, and are enclosed on all sides by brick walls.  The building of the walls and paths were costly and took time.  So, for many years, on anniversaries, birthdays, or any special occasion, the Clarksons gifted each other a thousand bricks at a time.  Upon completion, the process had required a total of 350,000 bricks.  Additionally, during a period of 44 years, there were numerous plaques and statuary carefully chosen by Elizabeth Clarkson.  All echoing the spirit, beauty, dedication, and passion of Wing Haven and its creators.

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  “Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God: But only he who sees takes off his shoes.” ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
In 1940, Elizabeth Clarkson helped bring to life the Mecklenburg Audubon Society, an organization which continues to remain involved with Wing Haven.
For years, Elizabeth Clarkson kept meticulous journals,  noting every species of bird she returned to health or saw in her garden.  In 1944, she compiled these observations in her book, “Birds of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina,” a comprehensive guide to local and migratory birds. Through the years, over 150 bird species have been spotted at Wing Haven, including those noted by Elizabeth Clarkson in her journals.

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“Every spring I hear the thrush singing in the glowing woods he is only passing through.  His voice is deep, then he lifts it until it seems to fall from the sky.  I am thrilled.  I am grateful.” ~ Mary Oliver

In 1970, in order to ensure the future preservation and maintenance of their gardens, the Clarksons established Wing Haven Foundation.  And, in 1971, they gifted their gardens to the Foundation.  Since that time, the Board of Directors has been responsible for maintaining the property in a manner true to the Clarksons’ wishes.

The Wing Haven Foundation is a non-profit organization that owns and operates Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary, truly a hidden gem in the center of Charlotte.

Clarkson_Garden_1.jpg    A plaque embedded in one of the walkways at Wing Haven.

 

Clare Ansberry tells us that “gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes.”  Perhaps, the Clarksons knew this as they worked for years, establishing such a magnificent legacy of beauty which others would enjoy for years to come.

 

 

   Wishing you and yours a lovely and peaceful day. 

And …

May you discover many sweet moments in the week ahead.

Thanks for visiting!

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Notes:  Should you have difficulty reading the quote by John Ruskin,  It reads as follows:

“I will not kill or hurt any living creature needlessly,  nor destroy any beautiful thing, but will strive to save and comfort all gentle life and guard all natural beauty upon the earth.”

Images:  Wing Haven Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts – July 21, 2019

“Everyone should have themselves regularly overwhelmed by Nature.” ~ George Harrison

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  My post this morning is about the beauty of Nature and also, beautiful words.  I believe in our ever-changing, often alarming world, both of these provide hope and comfort.  At least they do for me, and I hope they do for you as well.  So, please join me for a virtual stroll through the beauty of nature. I hope you will embrace the lovely words given to our world by these marvelously talented souls.  Collecting wonderful words is something I have thoroughly enjoyed since my early teens.  Many, many moons ago.

senerii: “ Butterfly by *bydandphotography ” Beautiful, Monarch Butterfly.

“The greatest thing a human being ever does in this world is to see something… To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion all in one.” ~ John Ruskin

A precious hummingbird enjoying a honeysuckle bloom.  They are such a delightful gift.

“I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life where love does. It doesn’t come in an envelope. It’s ushered in by a sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the smell of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It’s the invitation to actually live life, to fully participate in this amazing life for one more day.” ~ Bob Goff

stepfordwasp: “Derwent Edge © @andymapp ”

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Wild poppies

“Nature is the one song of praise that never stops singing.” ~ Richard Rohr

swansong-willows: “(via (90) Pinterest • The world’s catalog of ideas) ”

“The forest and I was all there was.  In the deep still silence I could feel the Earth’s beating heart.” ~ unknown

Great Smoky Mountains - Craggy Steps by Joye Ardyn Durham

The Earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.” ~ John Paul II“All those who love Nature she loves in return, and will richly reward, not perhaps with the good things, as they are commonly called, but with the best things of this world-not with money and titles, horses and carriages, but with bright and happy thoughts, contentment and peace of mind.” ~ John Lubbock

“My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth’s loveliness.” ~  Michelangelo

Dear friends,  thank you so much for your visit.  Know I am wishing you and yours a day of beauty, joy, and peace.  

And…

May you see the “Earth’s loveliness” and find joy along your path.

 

Wild Flowers: romantic Dahlia

 

“Each flower is a soul opening out to Nature.” ~ Gerald DeNerval

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

Images: via tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zinnias To The Rescue!

“There is no gardening without humility.  Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.” ~ Alfred Austin

Good morning, sweet friends. I am happy to see you this morning.  Please find your coffee or tea and join me as I share a gardening story.  

I have always been a firm believer in listening to the little voice I believe we all have inside of us.  You know the voice, the one that says, “No, I don’t think so” or “Maybe I should think about this a little more.”  I don’t know about you, but usually, my little voice doesn’t fail me.  And, such was the case with the olive jar and lavender.

A few years ago, we lost a magnificent purple beech tree (another story).  So, of course, something had to go in its place.  One day I came upon a wonderful olive jar (hard to find) and my mind immediately went to lavender.  Now, I well know many varieties of lavender are not fond of severe cold.  In our region, we can experience temperatures of twelve below zero during January and February.  Our planting zone is 6-A.  Knowing our planting zone and temperatures, I went on the hunt for a variety of lavender which would suit our area.  And I found a beautiful variety, ‘Lavandula Grosso,’ hardy Zone 5 through 9.  Now understand, when a plant is marked hardy to zone 5 that means it is hardy under conditions of minus 10 to minus 20 degrees.  I was ecstatic and proceeded to order my plants.  But did I have reservations regarding my decision? Oh, yes, it was that little voice saying, “Sandra, are you sure about this?”  Anyway, my beautiful and healthy plants arrived and were planted around the olive jar.  And so began my lavender dreams.  Marvelous fragrance, wispy blooms gently swaying in the breeze, and watching the bees and butterflies dance.  Truly, I was in lavender heaven.

“Gardening is not a rational act.” ~ Margaret Atwood

In this photo, you can see the plants at the size they were when planted in May 2018.

This photo was taken in October 2018.  The plants had spread just as they were supposed to do and were even beginning to bloom.  I had a clear vision for spring.  It would be absolute magnificence, sitting in the garden sipping lavender lemonade and enjoying the beauty.  To say I was thrilled with the progress would be a complete understatement.

“The garden is a love song, a duet between a human being and Mother Nature.” ~ Jeff Cox

Now, I am sure you are wondering, “What happened to the lavender?”  Three below zero is what happened.  And the plants obviously were not hardy to zone 5, as stated.  We allowed the brittle twigs of the lavender to remain in the ground until the end of May, in hopes to see green.  However, all we continued to see were the brittle and dead plants.  I was sick and heartbroken.  Mike was also, he loved the lavender as it grew.

So, what was a gardener to do?  Clearly, we didn’t want to look at an unadorned olive jar and no blooms for the summer.  I didn’t want to plant any type of perennial as I had not given up on the lavender. But, I wanted something happy to help with my sadness of having lost the lavender.  Zinnias were just the ticket, they came to my rescue.  Their blooms are so cheerful and they have engulfed the olive jar, perhaps they knew they were needed.

We are truly enjoying this lovely stand of blooms.  However, we are not the only ones they make happy.  The bees are simply beside themselves.  They do not know which bloom to visit first.

The more one gardens, the more one learns; And the more one learns, the more one realizes how little one knows.” ~ Vita Sackville-West

In closing, I hope you have enjoyed hearing how I turned ‘brittle sticks into blooms.’ The most significate lesson I have learned from this experience is, thoroughly and I do mean thoroughly, research the plant of choice.  I am in the process of correcting the ‘error of my ways’ as there are two other lavender cultivars I am considering.  

  Look closely, you will see an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on the orange zinnia.

Meanwhile, the bees and butterflies are happy and so are we.  Hope to update you on my progress in the fall or next spring.

 

“Words, are flowers. Poetry, is a garden.” ~ unknown

Wishing you a beautiful day, full of blooms and bees and butterflies.

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

Images: tumblr, M.S. Lambiotte, S. Lambiotte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts – July 14, 2019

“ Anyone who takes the time to be kind is beautiful. ” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

Good Sunday morning, sweet friends.  Wherever you may be, I do hope this finds you wrapped in summer beauty.

Today finds me thinking about kindness.  The sprinkling of little things can truly elevate our lives and enhance the quality of our days.  Such as a little package my husband and I received this past week from our dear friend, Janice.  I had the good fortune of meeting and working with Janice many years ago, probably around 1978.  Janice quickly became a wonderful friend to both of us.  She is great fun and has a fabulous sense of humor.  For instance, when I turned forty, she placed a banner on the front of my car which read, “Honk, I’m 40.”  Not until I arrived home did I understand why all the cars were blowing their horns. 

After all these years, Janice is still up to her mischief, good mischief.  She is ‘the one’ who would knock on your door with a bundle of wildflowers she had picked just for you.  Or send a package with kitchen towels which read, “Live life in full bloom and Let’s Flamingle” (Mike loves pink flamingos).  The list of Janice’s “thinking of you” goes on.  But, have you ever noticed it is the people who have endured great loss and sadness who think of others?  On days when it is probably difficult for them to put one foot in front of the other, they think of you.  Janice does.   We are not only blessed to call her our friend but she is such a total package of inspiration.  Indeed, folks like Janice inspire us to be better people.  Her actions “speak volumes to what’s in her heart.”  

“Sometimes ~
Our voice is hard to find…

We stumble over our tongues
trying to put together the words
that reflect our thoughts…

And Sometimes ~
There are simply no words beautiful enough.

But actions ~

They become the voice,
the words that may never reach the lips,
yet speak volumes to what’s in the heart.” ~ Neva Boone

 

 

“Set a high value on spontaneous kindness.” ~  Samuel Johnson

a-delightful-moment: “ Signe Bay ”

“Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.” ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

“I firmly believe in small gestures: pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile or try to be kind even when you don’t feel like it, pay compliments, chase the kid’s runaway ball down the sidewalk and throw it back to him, try to be larger than you are ~ particularly when it’s difficult. People do notice, people appreciate. I appreciate it when it’s done to (for) me…”  ~ Jonathan Carroll
delta-breezes: “Susan | @susanlicht ”

Wishing you and yours a beautiful day. 

May you be blessed with unexpected acts of kindness and bless others in return.

 

“You blossom under kindness, don’t you? Like a rose.” ~ Sylvain Reynard

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

 

Images: via tumblr

 

 

 

“Walking on Sunshine”

“Beauty should be shared.  It is a right that belongs to everyone.” ~ William Morris

Good morning, dear friends.  “I’m walking on sunshine” and I hope you are too.   “And don’t it feel good?”  Now, don’t ask me,  where those words came from? But, do lyrics from songs ever pop in your head for absolutely no reason?  They sure do mine.  I will attribute this particular song to sunshine and summer blooms.

Speaking of blooms ~ the garden has kept me quite busy this year and it does seem to take a bit longer to accomplish the things which need to be done.  I wonder ~”could age possibly be a factor?” Anyway, therein lies my reason for not writing a post for a few weeks.  Along with the fact that my ‘inspiration hasn’t been blooming.’  You see, I am in the final stages of ‘spring bloom withdrawal.’  This always occurs as the spring blooms leave.   

flowersgardenlove: “ Pink Mums Flowers Beautiful ”

But summer blooms came to my rescue and the days are finding me “walking on sunshine.”  I am so grateful for the beauty of summer.

“I question not if thrushes sing,
If roses load the air;
Beyond my heart I need not reach
When all is summer there.” ~
John Vance Cheney

These lovely hydrangeas shout, “Summer is here!”

And, is there anything prettier than a mixed summer bouquet?

That said, for my needed dose of inspiration, the subject for today’s post is ‘Beauty’ ~ my absolute passion.  Because I feel beauty is vitally important in our lives, it seems as though I always have something to say on the matter.  And, with the help of the internet world, beauty abounds.  Therefore, I hope you enjoy your visit and leave totally inspired.  Because my friends,  beauty does make our lives sweeter.

“Beauty is charm.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita

image

Beauty in our homes and gardens need not be extravagant to be charming and lovely.  Just as in this photo, there is the charm of the lace curtains and soft light in the window.  Of course, the blush roses take the photo over the top.  I have no doubt the ‘lady of the house’ is seated in a marvelously comfy chair, reading a grand book, enjoying her surroundings, and a delightful cup of tea. 

“There is beauty in simplicity.” ~ unknown

image

“In a simple and a peaceful cottage…

with a beautiful view, you will not be dreaming about the palaces or the heaven, because you already have a perfect thing!” ~ Mehmet Murat Ildan

“Beauty comes from tenderness.” ~ Katherine Cente

Butterflies are so beautiful.  For some reason, I always feel as though I should be still and quiet when they are around.  Dancing from bloom to bloom, never making a sound, they cause us to pause and be in awe of their beauty and gracefulness. I think they are saying, “I have come to thank you for the blooms, so please stop what you are doing and watch me.” 

The delicate beauty of wildflowers should not be ignored.  They happily live without any attention, other than a drink from the heavens, and thrive to beautify our roadsides and fields.  They are most worthy of our attention. 

“. . . as I wandered the forest, the green leaves among, I heard a wildflower singing a song. . .” ~ William Blake

“Beauty is an accumulation of details, the kind of layering that takes a long time.” ~ Hélène David

Our homes are filled with an “accumulation of details.”  These details can remind us of people we love and perhaps places we been or plan to go.  The beauty of them is, they come together and are a representation of our lives.  Such beauty takes time, as does living.

seabois: Mildred Anne Butler (Irish; 1858-1941) ~ Artist PaintingArtist, Mildred Anne Butler (Irish; 1858-1941)

Most of us have a certain piece or two of art which speaks to our hearts.  These make us happy and there is something about each piece we love which captivates and charms.    As Pierre-Auguste Renoir once said, “. . . painting that lends joyousness to a wall.”

Or, perhaps you may have a collection of beautiful vintage teaspoons sitting in your grandmothers spooner.  Years ago, spooners were most often kept on the kitchen table for easy access.  Mine has a place on the kitchen counter.  The spooner and spoons are special to me because of the lovely details on the spoons and the beautiful memories of the many places they have been collected from throughout the years.  And, I can assure you my morning coffee tastes better stirred with a silver spoon.  Do you have a spooner and spoons?

image

“Surround yourself with things that you love, and you will always have inspiration in your life.” ~ Amelia Cooke

Whatever the things are that you love, how they have come to have a place in your home are part of the ‘details’ which make them beautiful.

“Beauty is above genius, because it does not require understanding.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was correct, ” Beauty does not require understanding.”  When we see something which makes our hearts pound. . . all we need to do is stand in awe and enjoy.  There is nothing to understand about the beauty of these gorgeous lilies, one just needs to drink their beauty.

picturetakingguy: “Lilies ”

“I felt a sudden shock of beauty so strong that I could only stand frozen in wonder.” ~ Billy Baldwin

lil-cookie99: “🌸🌹Yesterday was a beautiful day with a wonderful friend of mine🌹 🌸 ”

“They blew in the wind softly, this way, that way. They were not disappointed when they saw the scissors, rather they braced themselves sweetly and shone with willing-ness. They were on tall and tender poles, with wheels of leaves. They were soft as the ears of kittens. They felt warm in recognition of the summer day. A dozen was plenty. I held them in my arms. They were silent the way the deepest water is silent. If they wondered where they were going they didn’t show it, as they sprinkled freely over my shirt and my hands their precious gold dust.” ~ Mary Oliver
stefano-bonalume: “Lilium speciosum var. Rubrum ”
“It was a glorious evening, the sun seeming to hesitate in the process of setting, as if it couldn’t bear to end the day. It was teetering on the horizon, throwing ribbons of pink and mauve across the sky like life ropes, and the air was sweet with jasmine.” ~ Kate Morton

East Texas Sunset

In closing, know how much I appreciate your visit.  I do hope you have enjoyed your time spent with me at Maison De Jardin.  It is always my goal, to begin your day on a happy note and give you an image or a few lovely words to tuck away in your heart.  I believe we all need these things to move us forward in our daily rounds.

So, until we meet again, know I am wishing you glorious summer days “Walking on Sunshine.”

And. . .

“May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with fairies and talk to the moon.” ~ unknown

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

Notes:

The lyrics to “Walking on Sunshine” were written by, Kimberly Rew.

Images: via tumblr