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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Bastille Day!

Happy Bastille Day!

Image via ~

A brief history of Bastille Day:

Bastille Day is really a day’s celebrations of French culture. Many large-scale public events are held, together with a military parade in Paris, in addition to communal meals, dances, parties and fireworks.The Bastille Day is an essential national vacation in France. The Bastille Day perpetuates the beginning of, in France, the Revolution. The celebrations are held from coast to coast in which the most breathtaking have been in Paris.

Bon weekend!  :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Canned Tomatoes And Another Story

Ah, who doesn't love the taste of fresh red tomatoes on the vine and garden canned fresh tomatoes in the winter...This takes me back to my childhood once again and brings with it yet another tale.
Tomatoes on the Vine
Image via Pinterest ~ Originally pinned by Dina Belous
Growing up in the country had it's pluses and minuses.  When you are a kid there is nothing like the dog days of summer when you can go barefoot and feel the grass in between your toes, fish from a homemade cane pole down by the creek, catch lightening bugs in the evening and make clover bracelets while looking for a four leaf clover.  Activities like these filled my days as a child and bring back warm memories of being a kid.

We had a very large garden when I was a child and with 8 other brothers and sisters it was a necessity.  My dad and grandfather planted several l~O~N~G rows each of corn, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and other various vegetables.  Gardens were a main stay back then and canning the "fruits of the labor" was my mom and grandmother's job, and a job it was.  Dad was at work all day so my grandfather, who was retired, would come out everyday and work in the garden.  He would spent hours weeding and tending to the plants making sure everything was watered and fertilized.  He was the one who "patrolled" our garden and when I say "patrolled" I mean he never missed a day of working it.  I used to worry about him in the heat bending over all those rows of vegetables and would bring him glasses of ice cold water.  Of course my brother was supposed to help him if you could find him!  HA

When the vegetables started coming in and bushel basketfuls of green beans and tomatoes were ripe and ready for picking guess who had the laborious job of snapping the beans?  My older brother, who somehow always managed to turn up missing when it came time to snap beans and me.  Why, I even found him hiding once in the ditch near the road covered in recently mowed grass and as usual he was laughing...always laughing because he got away with it!  I would sit for hours outside in the evening and snap beans...and more beans...and more beans until I could see the start of blisters.  It was all in the name of having those delicious  green beans canned so that when winter came, we would enjoy eating them.  When you are a child though that didn't seem as important as playing. If I thought my job was hard, it was nothing to what my mom and grandmother went through everyday until there wasn't a tomato, green beans or corn left on the stalk and this is where my heart swells up when I remember back to those days.

I remember like it was just yesterday...being in the kitchen during the hottest summer months with no air conditioning watching them both first scalding the tomatoes and then peeling them. My grandmother would spend many hours cutting out the yellow spidery veins that ran through the tomatoes.  I don't remember why she spent so much time doing this but it had something to do with the tomatoes not tasting as good if you didn't.  I was too young to handle a paring knife so I sat back and watched.   Back then, you had all these jars, lids, and caps that had to be washed and scalded even before you could start the canning process.  Then the jars filled with tomatoes would be placed into a rack inside a huge canner filled with water that was brought to boiling and a timer set for the length of time it took to do its job.

Image via Pinterest ~ Originally pinned by Traci Forbes

This process took what seemed like weeks but I really think it pretty much took place through the later part of July and into the month of August.  I remember the both of them sweating and working so tirelessly and all of this to give us fresh canned tomatoes in the winter. Their hands would look like prunes all shriveled up and I could smell the lingering scent of tomatoes on them.  Through their effort we were able to have garden canned green beans, tomatoes and corn that pretty much lasted us throughout the winter.  I never stopped to think about how much work it was and how hard they worked at the time but when I think about it now it was surely the labor of the love they had for us measured by all the time it took them to do this year in and year out for as long as I can remember.  As long as my grandfather had a garden, well into his late 80's, my grandmother would can tomatoes and I remember her saying she was getting to old to can all of the tomatoes that came in every year but she always did. I think partially because it gave my grandfather something to occupy his time and because she knew, at some point, my grandfather wouldn't be able to plant his garden and that there wouldn't be any more canned tomatoes...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Language of Flowers And The Message They Send

I recently finished a novel, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and besides being a great read, I came away with a much different perspective on flowers and what they symbolize. Back in Victorian times, each flower had a specific word or phrase attached to it that described the message that each flower was to convey.  In the back of the book, there was a dictionary describing the different varieties of flowers and their symbolic meaning.  I thought it would be fun to share with you a bit of what some of these flowers mean.

Hydrangeas ~Dispassion
Image via Pinterest ~  Originally pinned by Theresa Bueno

Lily of the Valley ~ Return of Happiness
Image via  Pinterest ~ Originally Pinned by Sofia S.
Iris ~ Message
Image via Pinterest ~ Originally pinned by Laura Todd
Sweet Pea ~ Delicate Pleasures
Image via Pinterest ~ Originally Pinned by Cindy Burton
Gardenia ~ Refinement
Image via Pinterest ~ Originally Pinned by Alana Foa'i-Auimat
Honeysuckle ~ Devotion
Image via Pinterest ~ Originally Pinned by Carla Griffin
Baby Breath ~ Everlasting love
Image via Pinterest ~ Originally pinned by Lynn Hsieh
Marigold ~ Grief
Image via Pinterest ~  Originally pinned by Anna Rapson
Pink Roses ~ Grace
Image via Pinterest ~ Originally Pinned by Jeanie Gaudioso

Bougainvillea ~ Passion
Image via Pinterest ~ Originally Pinned by Joane Luesse

Basil ~ Hate
Images via Pinterest ~ Originally Pinned by Sharon Dodd

Star Of Bethlehem ~ Purity
Images via Pinterest ~ Originally Pinned by Charissa Belle
Rosemary ~ Remembrance
Image via Pinterest ~ Originally Pinned by Brianne Probasco

Sunflower ~ False Riches
Image via Pinterest ~ Originally pinned by Laura Bailey

Whatever message you are trying to convey be it an expression of love, grief, sadness, or happiness it can be sent by the type of flowers you choose. It has given me a whole new perspective on how I look at flowers and the message I want to send.  So, be it a bouquet of a variety or a single stemmed flower, you can be sending the wrong message based on what flowers you send.  Gee, I wonder how many mixed messages I have sent over the years!  HA

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