Learn Something New Every Day!

Posts tagged ‘Roses’

Ah, Roses

“What a lovely thing a rose is!”  Arthur Conan Doyle

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”  James M. Barrie

When I think of roses, I think of my mom.

She always had a garden—and rose bushes were always part of that garden.  I can see her cutting a bud or two to place around the house or give to friends and neighbors.  The roses really brighten up the place.

Roses from Mom’s Garden

“The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.”   Hada Bejar

Over the years, I would visit various rose gardens with Mom and Dad. Mom just loved them, and Dad would photograph them.  There are lots of venues around, even just near where I grew up:  Los Angeles County Arboretum, Descanso Gardens, the Norman Simon Museum, even Forest Lawn Cemetery—as well as friends’ yards.  Now, wherever I travel, I watch for roses. And think of Mom and Dad.

The photos in this post are some of my favorites from throughout the years as well as some from my travels last year.  I was out looking for spring wildflowers and colorful fall foliage, but roses were out there too!  Roses just demand attention. Aren’t they great?

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”  Alphonse Karr

“An idealist is one who, on noticing a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.” H. L. Mencken

“Roses aren’t any less beautiful because they don’t live long. No one looks at them and thinks, man, what a tragedy they’ll only be around for a little while.  You just appreciate them while they’re there. Or if you don’t, you’re missing the point.”  Sophie Cameron

“There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”   Emma Goldman

“But he that dares not grasp the thorn, should never crave the rose.”   Anne Bronte

“You may break, you may shatter the vase, if you will, but the scent of the roses will hang around it still.”  Thomas Moore

“The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change: Yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.”   Paulo Coelho

“There is so much to appreciate about my life every single day, and I make a big point of taking time to smell the roses and noticing how lucky I am.  I never want to take that for granted.”  Josie Maran

“Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.”   Richard Brinsley Sheridan

“There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.”  Henri Matisse

“It’s ok to feel delicate sometimes. Real beauty is in the fragility of your petals. A rose that never wilts isn’t a rose at all.”  Crystal Woods

“The world is a rose; smell it and pass it to your friends.”   Persian Proverb

“One may live without bread, not without roses.”  Jean Richepin

“Days of wine and roses laugh and run away, like a child at play.”   Johnny Mercer

“I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.”  Gertrude Stein

This post is my entry for the Photo for the Week Challenge: Roses.

Summer: A State of Mind

It’s mid-July already and I have no plans to go away for any sort of vacation.  In fact, I have no plans to consciously go out and play on a staycation either.  In part, my time and energy are not available for any sort of “’cation,” given a long-term project I am involved in. In part also because I am working to settle some family matters that need day-to-day attention for the short term.  But mainly, I have decided to just have fun and act like I am on vacation!

You see, I figure summer is really a state of mind, regardless of weather and time off.  I live in Bakersfield, California, so summer means heat, temperatures typically hovering around 100 degrees or higher.  But those numbers stick around through September.  When I think about “summer,” various connotations come to mind.  Summer means rest and relaxation, extended time with family and friends, carefree days, long often cool nights, spontaneous play, and lots of good food. 

When I really think about summer, I realize it does not matter so much if summer is simply one day off a week, a three-day weekend or an actual week or two off from work. It is what you do with the time you have that makes it feel like summer.  It is the attitude brought to the activities!

So, with the few weeks left until fall semester starts, I am trying to use my time and attitude well—and enjoy my summer.  With my virtual vacation, I do not get bad sunburns, sand in my shoes or shorts, or itchy mosquito bites.  I do not waste time standing in long lines and fighting crowds.  I do not spend more money than budgeted because something unexpected comes up on the road.  I am not exhausted getting back from my vacation but needing to get back to work anyway.     

This year, I am enjoying my summer by doing the following:

Enjoying some wine or a cold beer or a margarita with friends, as we talk into the wee hours—it is just that we are on the phone not face-to-face.  Long conversations with old friends are always a treat!

Sitting outdoors at night to watch the night stars and hearing the brook babbling through my apartment complex and the croaking frogs that have taken up residence there.  There are no lightning bugs in California (except in a ride at Disneyland), but they are nice evenings nonetheless.

Enjoying the sweet luscious ripe delicious fruits of the season, such as watermelon, peaches, strawberries and black berries.  The avocadoes are good too, and the tomatoes.  Yummy.  I am making salsas and fruit salads and loving every bite.

I am not getting out to movies or ball games or visiting gardens or national parks, but I am re-visiting past activities end enjoying them all over again via some of my photos.  The Arboretum is close by but Valley of Fire State Park and Monument Valley are great places too!

In the evenings I am staying up to watch movies and read fun escapist novels.  I just saw Casablanca again! I have some of my other favorites to re-watch lined up and ready to go as the mood strikes:  Victor/Victoria, A Knight’s Tale, Fried Green Tomatoes as well The Fugitive and Die Hard.  I will rent some that I have not seen over and over again too!  And lately, I’ve re-discovered Janet Evanovich’s fun novels about Stephanie Plum, the unlikely bounty hunter living in Trenton, NJ.  Of course, these indulgences are possible any time of year, but they are more typical for me during summer’s down time, so they feel like summer vacation fare whenever I do indulge.

Sleeping in is always a treat, not just a summer extravagance.  But in the summer, after long nights up till the wee hours of the morning, sleeping in is so much better.  Given this summer I have Fridays off for the most part, I am able to stay up late and enjoy the morning with no alarm clock. And naps!  Naps are always a treat, especially on lazy summer afternoons.

The flowers of summer are great too.  Lingering wild flowers as well as roses, sunflowers, and daisies are evident around my complex and throughout the city whenever I do head out to work or play.  Bringing the flowers indoors is just an added bonus.

Finally, I plan to treat myself to a souvenir.  I typically like to buy jewelry, maybe something in turquoise or onyx—some natural stone.  I do not have to be out and about to do that! 

Okay, I know that this list does not sound like a thrilling summer.  But I can either relish these little activities or I can complain I am not getting a summer vacation this year.  I choose the former.  And I am hoping and planning that next year at this time, I can be taking an actual trip.  But I bet I will enjoy these activities then too.

So what are the everyday summer activities that remind you of the fun and spontaneity of the season?

What are you doing to make the most of the rest of summer?

A Gratitude Chain Reaction

Early in June, I talked about my plan to start a list of 1000 things I am thankful for—and I have been working on that ever since.  Not everyday, but close.  I add the little daily details that catch my eye as well as the bigger events that make my world better.  I have not been sharing them via my blog. .  .yet.  I am still not real comfortable putting all the details and musings of my life out into the nebulous world of social media. 

But fellow bloggers are showing me what’s possible by sharing their own gratitude lists.  Harold was the first who alerted me he was going to be posting his own list.  Michelle chimed in as well, using a delightful metaphor about the ripples of our gratitude pebbles heading out into the world—and maybe coming back to us as well.  And the thankfulness point of view can even be a bit off center, noting oddities and problems in the world and relishing that your life is not that bad after all, ala a great posting titled, “Well, that can’t be good.”  And Deborah shared how she used to keep track of what ticked her off each day, but that approach only brought more negative feelings her way—making the shift to noting the positive, the items worthy of gratitude, can make a difference. 

With so many fellow bloggers having the courage and conviction to put their gratitude lists out there for review, how could I not share some of my thankfulness list as well?  William Faulkner made a good point when he said, “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”  So I am going to share some of what I am thankful for at least once a month.  Committing to more than that would be a challenge I might not keep!


 Other bloggers who share their life lessons with honesty, humor and insight.

My dad being recovered enough from his major infection to be heading home this weekend, after a 10-day stretch in a rehab center.

 Summer!  Even in the heat of Bakersfield (it was 105 degrees the other day and 16% humidity—I know, I know, dry heat!), the joys of summer come through:  a cool pool to jump into, central air, peaches and watermelons and home grown tomatoes, and some frogs this year in the little brook that runs through my apartment complex.

 An abundance of roses in gardens and parks and thus the ability to bring them indoors to simply enjoy or to give as gifts to friends.

Visiting with a cousin this past weekend and hearing stories about our grandfather’s trapeze act back in vaudeville in the early 1900s. He had some art work from the time to share that he received from a distant relative he met online.  My grandfather was part of a duo wire act that performed in France at the Cirque Medrano; their act was captured in watercolor by the Vesque sisters in 1913 and 1916.  Among other things, they worked on a slack wire, which is supposedly more difficult than working on a tight wire because it can sway from side to side during the performance!  Ah the wonders of internet searches and connecting with long-lost relatives.

Rediscovering the murder mysteries by Susan Conant—they all have her main character’s Malamutes as central characters to the story, and each story includes other dogs as well. Her titles can be a bit hokey, but fun, such as Gone to the Dogs and Animal Appetites. The reading is fun and gives me little reminders of living with a dog.  I miss having a dog—little things like these books help. As does seeing dogs out in parks, being walked in the neighborhood, or wandering around my apartment complex.

Bees were buzzing around the other day, enjoying the summer weather.  I love to see them at work—and the butterflies too, making everything look simple and easy. 

The consistent love and support from my sister and my aunt, who are always there to say, “Hang in there!” or “Things will get better” or even just “Thinking of you today!”

Chocolate!  What more need I say?  The Lindt truffles (dark, milk and white chocolate) I brought to a little open house on Sunday were scrumptious—it seems impossible, but it is easy to forget how good, good chocolate can be.

Reliable cable/internet connections—they went out today for a couple hours but came back before I was getting too worried.  Yeah!

So that’s a portion of my ongoing gratitude list.  Enumerating the details helps set a tone and attitude of thankfulness that lingers, sets the stage for more observations.  The more I document what I appreciate, the more I notice what is out there full wonder and beauty. When I tell others what I value, they share as well.  The circle of gratitude widens!  Therefore, I encourage each of you to make your own lists—and to share with others what you appreciate and value. We do not control much in our lives, but we can control the dynamic feelings of happiness, love, laughter, and appreciation that we generate and transmit to others.  Go out there and set off your own gratitude chain reaction! See what happens.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.  John Milton

 Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Melody Beattie

Tag Cloud