Let it Rain

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I am sitting in my quiet living room, the soft tap tap of rain on the rooftop the only accompaniment to my wandering thoughts.

I am trying to pinpoint why I love the rain. Nobody appreciates a cloudless blue sky with the sun warm on my face any more then I do but the truth is I love the rain too. It’s a little cool in here with the windows open but I just grabbed my favorite soft fleece blanket and curled up on the coach.  There is plenty I should be doing and could be doing but I have chosen to take a break and enjoy the soft sounds of mother nature bathing the earth.

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I even like thunder and lightning.  When I was kid we used to have to sit in the hallway during storms as my mother was terrified of thunder and lightning,  as was her mother. I don’t know how that despite their fears I developed such a facination for booming thunder or electric bolts lighting up the sky but I did.

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Nature can be a thing of immeasurable beauty or at times what we think to be cruel and punishing but it should always be respected.

“Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous – indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.”

Richard Dawkins ~ River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls” Mother Teresa

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So no matter what you believe in Nature can teach us all something about life because although nature may not be in a hurry everything gets accomplished. For those of you hurrying through your life today please take an extra minute  to smell the roses, smile at a stranger, hold a door, lend a hand, share a laugh or simply take a moment to appreciate the quiet beauty around you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmVn6b7DdpA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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Weekly Photo Challenge-Foreshadow

Cut to the hot hot summer of 2012. We could see it coming in our rearview mirror: this bruise blooming, darkening the sky as it gained speed and intensity. It turned bright sunshine into strange green light as we raced down the highway in a bid to outrun a Canadian prairie thunderstorm.In a post created specifically for this challenge, post a photograph that evokes FORESHADOW to you.

Pink sky at night sailors delight, pink sky in morning sailors warning.

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Morning Fresh-Weekly Photo Challenge-FRESH

Fresh. The definition for fresh has a bit of a fork in it – it’s a state (new, recent, previously unknown) and it’s a taste or sensation (cool, sweet, invigorating, refreshing). Fresh is definitely this cantaloupe (“melone”) granita I enjoyed recently here in Italy. It cooled me down immensely (and it didn’t hurt that it was delicious, too!) I’m going to let the Daily Post community divide however you want with this – which definition will you go with? Show us what you got! In a new post specifically for this challenge, share a photo which means FRESH to you!

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Every morning I like to check for new blooms. This beauty greeted me this morning.  Fresh and new! Yellow is my favorite color, it symbolizes everything brilliant, vibrant and essential to me.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/weekly-photo-challenge-fresh/

Fresh New Day-Fresh New Blooms

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I love this whimsical time of year when you get to wake up and run outside and see what nature has accomplished while you were sleeping. I love fresh new blooms! I love to see how plants and flowers respond to the elements and to loving care.

I can see how gardening could quickly become a hobby that takes up a lot of time. I have big plans for the backyard for next year. 😉

My houseplants are probably feeling a little neglected but Sunday I will have the kids help me drag them all out to the back step and give them a good shower and let them bask in the sun all day.

I only wish I got the same joy from housework as I do from tending flowers.

Happy Gardening.

Michelle

Even a Jackass like me-The Accidental Gardener

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Yes that’s right I said it, any jackass can do it, even me. I used to think that gardening was reserved for people with a special and sought after “green thumb”

I always envied the blooms of my grandmothers flowers. Especially the wild pink roses with that intoxicating  scent that whispered summer.

I convinced my younger cousins that though we may never have “green thumbs” we could be the producers of great perfume. Armed with the spirit of the young, crumbled wild roses from the bushes that lined Grammy Millers lane, her plastic pepsi cups and some tap water we were passionate about capturing that earthy, heady smell for all to enjoy. I am quite certain our parents didn’t share in our enthusiasm but Grammy Miller graciously held out her wrist batch after batch to test it, told us it smelled glorious and encouraged our thriving ambitions.

Years later when my mom started gardening I would help her weed but took very little interest otherwise except to casually appreciate the beauty or smell of her blooms. I would often make fun of her for no longer taking pictures of her children but taking countless pictures of her flowers (we do turn into our mothers right!)

When we bought our first home I was excited to build on the landscaping that was started but it turned out to be a dying, overgrown mess. We opted that first year to clean up only and as a quick fix to the fast growing country weeds we put a thick plastic sheet down and mulched over top around the hedges in the front beds. This proved to be a nightmare when we attracted a den of snakes that would mingle underneath the plastic where it was toasty warm, slither across my walkway and get inside my front door. I had a huge property that would have been a gardeners dream but my fear of snakes paralyzed me from ever attempting to enjoy it.

We bought our house in Edmonton a couple of summers ago. They had a vegetable garden planted and mature fruit trees and herbs but very little perennials. The difference between perennials and annuals always confused me and it now confuses my daughters. They are anxious for the quick color fix that annuals bring but in my advancing age I think there is more to learn from sustenance and longevity and it has been a fun lesson in patience for all of us.

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Alas my love of house plants spilled over to the outdoors. I actually have some indoor  tropicals that I move outside in the summer, it strengthens them and sparks a fall/winter growth spurt.

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I had a daydream one day about a rose garden path, or it may have been an envious longing while looking at a gardeners magazine my husband bought me to read during a long road trip.

I was told by countless people that roses were difficult but my childhood love of roses and my lack of good sence prevailed. I did however not want to spend a lot of money in case my venture failed miserably.  I opted for bare root roses which had no foliage whatsoever.  I started them on a windowsill in late April. I planted them after the lost frost, using our own rich soil, some compost and a little peat moss. I planted the roses a little lower then the rootball to keep them warm and put beside each one a fertilizer spike from Rona. Each day I filled my coffee press with warm water, leaving my used coffee grinds in, I stirred and watered my roses with them. Most of them bloomed that first year in July. Being an accidental gardener I didn’t cut them back or cover them in time and when I came back from my late October vacation we had already had two snowfalls. I just crossed my fingers and they all came back except one.

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When my granddaughter Gracie was born I bought her her own rose bush. I tended the young root rose inside till after last frost. It didn’t occur to me not to plant the bush in the same location as the failed bush or at least to use new soil.  I am admittedly not a girl with a “green thumb” just a girl with a garden spade and a dream.

The rose seemed to shock immediately. It’s delicate limbs turned from brown to black. My initial thought was to yank it but because I had labeled it Gracies rose I wanted to dedicate some time to it. Daily I cut back a tiny bit more of the limbs. I scratched the bottom close to the root and noticed green beneath the surface so I felt hopeful. Twice a day I fed Gracies rose bush strong black coffee and I am proud to say that she is doing well. I am so excited to see her bloom next year.

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My daughter and I planted the other side of the garden path this year with beautiful pink drift roses and lavender.  This year I will cut them all back and cover them. I figure if I can do really well with minimal effort why not up the ante?

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I urge anyone who appreciates a nice garden to try your hand at gardening.  I find myself planning next year and for years down the road. To call me a gardener would insult actual gardeners. I am just a girl who would rather plant and tend flowers then do laundry.

It is very satisfying to watch a plant erupt from underground to full bloom, raised by the motherly love of me and the sun. Where nature meets nurture.

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Happy gardening friends!

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Golden Hour-Weekly Photo Challenge

IN A NEW POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PICTURE TAKEN DURING THE GOLDEN HOUR.

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This picture was taken on our recent trip to the West Kootenays,  in a little place called Faulkier, British Columbia.  This is the lakefront at a 100 acre orchard nestled in the woods along the Arrow Lakes. I caught a picture just as the last bit of daylight was retreating into the summer evening sky.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/the-golden-hour/#more-31440

Daily Prompt: The Natural World

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Nothing makes me feel more like I am present in the moment then when I am close to nature and you can find it everywhere. It’s not what you look at, it’s what you choose to see. The peony above got soaked with weeks of rain but in the morning a little sun peeked through the storm clouds and the petals opened up to meet it and bask in it’s hot splendor. Living things, raised by the unpredictable sun.

I am from Nova Scotia so I have always liked to be near the ocean. The call of the waves lapping against the rocks on the shore sings a special song to my heart. I often crave the solace that sound brings me.

The mountains of my West Coast home beckon me often. Whenever someone I know is visiting the mountains I say “Don’t forget to breathe! ” I drink the mountain air into my soul allowing it to fill my body head to toe. Part of my heart I leave there always and being reunited makes me feel whole.

Surrendering to nature makes everyday trials insignificant. Nature is restless, strong and enduring.

Natures plans are sometimes swift and fierce and others slow and steady.

The challenge is to allow yourself to see and feel the beauty and promises of our natural world. It is in your crowded city days and lazy country afternoons. It is everywhere if you take the time to see it!