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Showing posts from June 19, 2016

18,000 Gorgeous Garden and Flower Photos

"The greatest gift of the garden is in the restoration of the five senses." — Hanna Rion

For the first time in the 30-plus decades I have lived at my home, I am able to walk around the gardens and not be completely embarrassed by what's happening. While it's always been obvious to passers-by that there was no green thumb at work here, finally there's a suggestion of a modicum of botanical knowledge at work.

When we first moved into our house, it had been vacated two years previously by an aged bachelor who had cared little for the interior decor.  It was a hodgepodge of styles and colours,  clearly intended to only have been a roof over his head. Spilled liquids ran in streams across severely sloped floors, catching in the the cracks of ancient linoleum.  The living room carpet was comprised of church aisles runners and stained, peeling, not to mention downright ugly wallpaper graced all of the rooms. In multiple layers as we eventually discovered.

Needless to s…

15,000+ Photos of Beautiful Beaches

"As a student on the shore, thinking thoughts not thought before.
I wondered why, yes why, do lakes appeal to me?
What is there magic lure? 
Oh yes, it's magic to be sure.
But there's more to lakes than eyes can really see.
So.. give me lakes, give me lakes, give me lakes!"
— Kenton M. Stewart

I'm so very grateful for summer. It joins the list of counted blessings each morning for what it brings to life.  Its brilliant sun brightens the psyche's dark places.  Pretty gardens dense with vivid colours and textures enliven the senses.  It is a performance graced with fragrance, music and beauty, with flora and fauna sharing centre stage.

Having burst from our winter cocoons, in summer we are joyful butterflies flitting from spot to spot, activity to activity. We cycle, we walk, we hike. We garden, we mow. We paint and repair. We laugh and love. We travel and escape.

The latter is often to the beach. Most people in this corner of the world will find themselves there at …

2 Wow-Worthy Beach Clipart Collections

The other day my nephew posted a picture on Facebook of his new front-yard view. Having given up on the urban landscape, in favour of a piece of property in resort country, he rises every day and looks out at the trees and waterways of Northern Ontario.

While the exchange also meant giving up a beautifully refurbished Victorian for a tiny log home, the evening wines on the deck have him reciting one of my Dad's, his Pa's,  favourite lines, "I wonder what the poor people are doing."

I should note, that this was always said with tongue planted very firmly in cheek. My father was not a wealthy man. He didn't make that comment in a derogatory way. He wasn't lording it over anyone. He was simply finding a way to express contentment with a particular experience.

He appreciated the riches he did have.  For Dad, who spent four decades toiling at a job that took a physical toll, that was any time spent in leisure. He loved being on a golfcourse with his grandsons, l…

4 Summer-Themed Photoshop Tutorials

Summer made a brilliant, and muggy, arrival yesterday. Sunlight sparkled while heat undulated making everyone duck for air conditioning. Even the birds were silent, hiding among the verdant cover of majestic maples.

Any thoughts of winter were effectively chased away as we pondered more of the same sunshine and humidity in the weeks before us.

Summer has a way of filling one's thoughts. Work conversations turn to vacations — where we're going or where we've been. Have we travelled or stayed there before? What's it like?

Weekends too are always worth talking about now as they fill up with outdoor activities. Who did we spend it with? Did we do anything different?

Even when rain threatens, it's all a part of the season's personality and we accept it.

But we're always thrilled when it's over, as  outdoors is where everyone wants to be. When we find ourselves with mundane household tasks, we resent the work that keeps us inside. This past Saturday, I went …

2 Clipart Collections Celebrating Summer

Today is the official start to summer. If there was any doubt that the season of sunshine and rainbows has arrived we only needed to reflect on the past weekend.

Saturday and Sunday couldn't have been more perfect. Actually, at risk of sounding a little hyperbolic, it was positively utopian. Temperatures soared while humidity was held at bay. A consistent breeze stirred the torpid air just enough. Skies were clear through day and night. Backyard campfires lit the landscape like clusters of landed fireflies.

Even the mosquitoes co-operated and allowed us a peaceful bit of socializing through the balmy evenings and into the nights.

I welcome summer's arrival with slight reluctance. It's time with us is far too short and I celebrate more late spring as we linger at its edges. It's more relaxing to enjoy the promise than it is to think of its days slipping away.

I'm not really sure when this happened. I remember the summers of  my youth, comprised of long lazy days,  a…