Friday, May 17, 2013

Floral Friday Photos of Gardening and Flowers

It's all very exciting. Today we begin the first Canadian long weekend of the spring/summer season.  And there has been the promise of a gift from Mother Nature — beautiful warm, clear weather.

So besides a plan to enjoy some time on the deck with a good book and a glass of wine — or two —  the forecast also has me thinking of flowers. Tomorrow I intend to hit my favourite greenhouse and sort through the selection of kaleidoscopic blooms for this year's deck and patio plantings.  There is much to consider:  colour scheme, mixes, shade or sunlight loving, high or low maintenance, and personal favourites. 

But it's not only those factors that have me wandering the rows for hours.  Walking into the warmth and brightness of this floral Eden is like a taking a long whispered sigh at the end of a trying day. I linger and look, touching petals and inhaling the earthy rich aroma of dampened soil.  I savour the quiet and the bountiful variety of colours and textures.

In a nutshell, I relax.

So with thoughts of flowers and planting on my mind,  I offer these beautiful collections for today, Floral Friday, and for my long relaxing weekend.

iCLIPART.com Gardening and Flowers Photos

iPHOTOS.com Gardening and Flowers Collection

Acclaim Images Gardening and Flower Photos

National Geographic Patterns in Nature: Flora

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Why Eat a Mediterranean Diet?

May is National Mediterranean Diet Month. While we may be more than halfway through, it's never too late to think about healthy eating.

Experts continue to debate on what foods hurt us most and how.  Is it too much bread, too much fat or too much sugar? My personal view is that the problem may simply be the words "too much".

Few,  however, would argue the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Who, after all, ever heard of too many vegetables?

Research has proven that eating the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, a recent study showed it also may reduce the risk of cancer and cancer mortality and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.  You can find this and other interesting information, as well as guidelines on what to eat, here: Mayo Clinic Mediterranean Diet

And if understanding the benefits of eating like you're living in the south of Spain isn't enough inspiration, then perhaps these photo collections will help:

iCLIPART.com Mediterranean Food Photos

iPHOTOS.com Foods for Mediterranean Diet

Acclaim Images Mediterranean Food Photos

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Best Collections of Photos for International Day of Families

As a child I was surrounded by family. There were my parents, two older siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins,  all living within a 10-minute drive of my home.

As the much younger of the home brood,  I was watched over by my elder siblings.  I could pop by to visit my maternal grandparents after school, and on the paternal side enjoyed large family dinners in the country.  My cousins and I shared vacation days and weekend adventures.

This was a far different world than my children — and certainly now, my grandchildren — are living. My kids grew up miles away from close relatives and with them now grown and scattered too, the situation is likewise for their children.  That said we do what we can to solidify the ideal that there is little else  as important as family.

May 15 is the International Day of Families, proclaimed in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly. This year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message stated that "Families hold societies together, and intergenerational relationships extend this legacy over time."

He went on to say that this year's International Day of Families celebrates "connections among all members of the constellation that makes up a family," as well as considers the affects of societal and economic trends, and strives to strengthen families.

For my part, to pay tribute to families in every sense of the word I offer these photo collections:

iCLIPART.com Photos of Family

iPHOTOS.com Families

Acclaim Images Photos of Families

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Getting the May Two-Four Party Started

It may not feel like spring right now, let alone summer, but this weekend Canadians will enjoy the first long weekend of the warming season with Victoria Day.  For people across the country it's the unofficial beginning of the summer social calendar. Cottages will be opened, camping gear rolled out, parties organized and fireworks displayed.

The holiday honours the birthday of Queen Victoria, who reigned over the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 until her death in 1901.  While the event was celebrated in Canada, long before Confederation, it was 1845, the year Queen Victoria would turn 35,  that legislation passed recognizing May 24 as the monarch's birthday.

After she died, this federal holiday legally became known as Victoria Day.  Still coined May Two-Four in some parts of the country, it's now celebrated on the last Monday before May 25th, whatever the date may be.

For sure, it's one of the favourite long weekends here — just the first taste of all the summer left to come. So let's get the party started a little early with these wonderful illustrations:

iCLIPART.com Celebration Illustrations

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sunny Illustrations for a Cool Monday

It's May 13, the Monday of the week leading into Canada's first long weekend of the warm season. And what did we wake up to? Snow — lying on the ground, on the rooftops and on the poor startled trees and plants.

While not a huge surprise; this is the Great White North, after all; it was disheartening. The only thing that could lessen this sudden chill in our hearts was knowing the snow would be gone by mid-morning, and that by the middle of the week temperatures were expected to soar once again. 

But considering it was Monday morning, which is generally hard enough to take, and that I had to retire the sandals for today, and scrounge around for clothes that would keep me toasty against the bitter wind,  I was feeling just a bit surly.  Knowing that a little sunshine can go a long way to cheer me up, I decided to find some great sunny day illustrations to warm me until this weather gets back to balmy where it belongs.

iCLIPART.com Sunny Day Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Sunshine Illustrations

Acclaim Images Sunshine Collection

ClipartGuide Sunshine Images

ClickArt Online Sunshine Illustrations

TOONClipart Sunshine Cartoons