Friday, November 28, 2008

Blooming Friday

our yellow-orange chrysanthemums

Since chrysanthemums are in full bloom by November, it has been associated with All Saint’s day (Toussaint, November 1) and All Soul’s Day (November 2) in France. Well, it may seem like a “sad” flower but if we’re going to consider that chrysanthemums are regarded as flowers of happiness and immortality in Asian countries like Japan, then, I guess commemorating our loved ones with this flower is quite appropriate. They may not be with us anymore, but they are in our hearts and memories for the rest of our lives. And who knows, maybe they are happier where they are now.

Well, I really like chrysanthemums for several reasons.
I love their flowers especially the daisy-like type. They come in a wide variety of colors and last for a long time. They are generally hardy perennial plants. And they are one of the few flowers that make November cheerful (it’s usually wet and gloomy here during this month). So for this Blooming Friday's post, I’d like to share some photos taken on one of that rare occasions when we had some sun even for just an afternoon this gray month. I hope to grow cuttings from our chrysanthemum so that by next year, we will have many of them to have a cheerful November.

I love this color against the blue sky. The flowers appear like little suns. It's no wonder why Japan has a"Festival of Happiness" to celebrate chrysanthemums. And not only are the flowers decorative, the yellow or white chrysanthemums can also be boiled to make tea (although I haven't tried doing this yet). And when these plants are put inside homes, they are reputed to decrease air pollution (source: wikipedia)

see other blooming friday participants
see my other blooming fridays

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

full moon seen from our porch

A fiery moonlight sky

see my other wordless wednesdays
see other wordless wednesday participants

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

By Twilight

I come home to you
for the soft glow that surrounds me
after the harsh light of the city

I come home to you
for you bathe me in serenity
after the chaos of the melee

I come home to you
for your heart listens to me
after battling the crowd’s cacophony

I come home to you
for you give me back my sanity
after going through the day’s folly

I come home to you
for your heart’s sincerity
after contending with the world’s hypocrisy

I come home to you
for with thee
I can just be me

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blooming Friday

a red rose in our garden

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into.

This is my first entry for Blooming Friday created by Katarina of Roses and stuff. I think it's only fitting to start the meme with a rose for she loves this flower. Thank you Katarina for inviting me to participate in this wonderful weekly post. This is a great way to end a hectic week and a plant a seed of hope for a pleasant weekend. Flowers never fail to brighten someone's day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Flicker of Warmth

fire in our fireplace

Aside from the fact that it feels so comfortable and warm being near a fireplace during the cold season, I like watching the flames dance to the beat of the crackling and hissing of burning wood. I’m drawn to it like a moth to bright light. (Well, just to make things clear, I’m not a pyromaniac. I think many would agree with me that having nice fire going in the fireplace on a wintry night is a much welcomed sight).

Our ancestors must have felt the same way when they learned to control fire. Aside from its practical uses like warding off animals, prolonging the day, keeping them warm, making food easier to digest, they must have been enthralled as we are as they watch the flame flicker against the dark night, creating shadows and emitting sparks. We are all hypnotized, powerless to resist its magnetic pull. The fire with its smoldering embers and undulating tongues of flame is like the sun and we are the planets revolving around it.

Why this kind of fascination? They say being near a fire subconsciously reminds us of the warmth of our mother’s womb, a time when we are safely sheltered from the harshness of the outside world. The direct heat awakens buried memories of being in a snug cocoon, nourished and protected….a time and a state of innocence and security.

This might or might not be the case. But one thing I do know is that one of the best things in life is to have a warm home to come home to, literally and figuratively.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

a spider in our garden

Honey, what’s for dinner? (see that trapped fly on the left part of the photo?)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Flowers and Stardust

Maybe flowers are stardust that nymphs scattered at night so that by daybreak
they would light up even the bleakest dawn,
glisten against the morning mist,
and send a streak of delight to a rousing dispirited soul.

Friday, November 14, 2008

On The Blog Side

Cats can pass through narrow spaces as long as they can fit in their heads…
hope can I make my images behave like them…

Since I can now post larger photos, I changed my template to accommodate their new size. Besides, I’d like to be more active in blogging again, so why not start with a new layout? I wanted a breezier, more streamlined look… and I believe the current appearance of my site answers that.

I tweaked a bit with the codes to give it a more "personal touch" with the help, of course, of some web sites (please see my “bloghelp” page). After some trial and error, I was able to achieve what I want… except for a few things (here goes my "O.C." streak again *sigh* !). Well, I try not to ponder too much on them save for these 2 details:
  • The “post comment section” --- I’d like to make the comment field (the rectangular area where you leave your comments) wider so people (including me) don’t have to do a lot of scrolling to view what they’ve written.
  • The size of the images --- Ok, ok, I said I’m happy with their new sizes. But what I’d like to know now is how to make them resize automatically with the dimensions of the screen. It's because beyond a certain point when you minimize your window, you can only see part of them.
Maybe I’m mulling over trivial things. But it would be good to know. I’m no HTML/CSS code expert, so if you have any suggestions on how to do them (or if you have other tips to modify a template), it would be much welcomed and greatly appreciated.

By the way, I haven’t finished re-uploading all the photos in their new dimensions (I cannot help not making my posted pictures uniform in appearance *contrite smile*). So if you’re accessing my archives and the photos are not available, my apologies for the inconvenience. I’ll try to re-upload them as fast as I can. In the meantime, I hope you find the new layout more “reader friendly”.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not-so-Wordless Wednesday

On the way to Lacs de Bastan (Bastan lakes), Natural Reserve of Neouvielle, Hautes-Pyrénées

It snowed one night in the middle of our stay in Hautes-Pyrénées (in the southwest part of France) last month. The following day, we are greeted by a bright sun and this lovely vista --- snow as early as first week of October! It was such a pleasant surprise, a wonderful and unexpected change of landscape for our hike. We’ve never done raquette à neige (snowshoeing/ hiking in the snow) before, and this was a fine initiation. With the brilliant sun against the clear blue sky, everything glistens as the sunbeams strike the snow-covered scenery. It was like being in “winter wonderland” in early autumn. I hope we can do more of this kind of hike in the future *hopeful sigh*.

see more of my wordless wednesdays
see more wordless wednesday participants

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Lady and A Rose

a rose bud in our front garden

Our rose bushes in our front house are very generous in giving flowers. Even with the dismal weather we’re having, they continue to present us with richly hued bloom, albeit few. Their redness stands out against the fading colors outside. And they give a note of life in an otherwise gray day.

Hence, I would like to dedicate this rose bud to Katarina of Roses and Stuff for it represents her in several ways. First, visiting her site is like entering a garden of colors (a real feast for the eyes) and breathing a good dose of fresh air to lighten one’s disposition. Next, for her thoughtfulness for she takes time to visit my site and never forgets to leave a word or two. I haven’t met her yet but her blog gives a glimpse of her character and I believe this rose bud reflects her graciousness.

And this might seem trivial after what I’ve said, but I would also like to thank her for telling me how to post bigger photos in my site. Although I’m not finished yet re-uploading my photos to their new sizes, I’m happy as a lark to know that it can be done *wide grin*.

So, to Katarina, thank you again for your time and suggestion. I haven’t read all your entries as of late but I will visit you as soon as I can. And I’m really grateful having you around.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Gearing for November

fallen maple leaves in our garden

It has been a while since I last updated this blog. Well, after spending some time in open air (we went to one of our favorite areas here, the Pyrénées), it was a bit difficult to go back to one’s usual routine. I guess, that’s the downside of going on holidays, no matter how long or short it is. It’s like hearing the alarm clock go off, just as you are about to kiss the red luscious lips of the girl of your fantasies or take a bite of a sinfully rich, dark, triple chocolate cake made by the nimble hands of silver haired fairies. What a torturous way to end such a heavenly dream!

And waking up to a gray dreary morning can make you cranky. Well, we did have intermittent sunny days which we spent raking leaves or cleaning our vegetable and flower plots. There is still quite a list to do before winter settles in. But I am not sure if will be able to do everything we planned because winter seems to have arrived sooner than expected. Snow arrived early (last week of October) in high altitude zones and heavy rains and floods were experienced in neighboring areas.

And speaking of rains, we are lucky not to have had big downpours but still, it was too wet to go outside when there’s no sun to chase the dampness away. And during these times, isn’t it so tempting to just cuddle up in bed with a mug of hot chocolate daydreaming or reading an engrossing book? I know, I’m trying to pave the way (so to speak) for a reason in not updating this blog. Wait! Haven’t I been doing that since the start? *apologetic grin* It may seem a lame excuse but there are times that I have so many things in my head to write about that I don’t know where to begin. Or the rain has seemed to wash away every thought, well, thoughts that I deem sensible to talk about. But hey, I'm doing exactly that right now --- talking gibberish! Well, I would really like to show signs that I’m still around, so excuse my prattling.

Well, since it is getting devoid of colors outside with the coming cold season, I told myself I would try to create my own sprightly-hued universe here through photos of previous, if not sun-filled, at least, cheery days. I’m not promising anything though, but that’s why I plan to do in the coming days. I hope I’ll be able to make good with my intention *cross fingers*.