Friday Bouquet #25

bouquet-flowers-tulips-flower-buds_1280x720_sc (1024x688)

Sherry Lachelle over at Fabulous 50’s is a superbly talented photographer and travel writer who I have followed ever since I’ve been blogging.

From her About page:

Looking back, my decision to resign from a traditional 8 to 5 job and take care of my mother, was the beginning of a wonderful chapter in my life! Working in the corporate world for 30 years and raising a son left little time to discover my likes and dislikes…Starting my own meetup, entitled “Travel Spirit Meetup”, enabled me to take 13 people through 9 countries in Europe for a month in the summer of 2014. I’ve had time to take some photography classes and am now a Photographer and Travel Writer for Cincinnati Refined…I am a Life Hugger and hope to inspire others with my positive enthusiasm and set an example of what someone can accomplish at any age!”

dsc_4063

I selected her recent post below because I ADORE the photography. Check it out, you won’t be sorry!

Farm Life in Rural Ohio

I’ve disabled comments here in the hope you will comment on Sherry’s blog.
If you do, please tell her Jennifer sent you.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

<3

Old-Fashioned

038 (1024x683)

Definition of Old-Fashioned*:
1. a: of, relating to, or characteristic of a past era, in or according to styles or types no longer current or common; not modern.

When we undertook the renovations to our home, one of the features Paul and I emphatically chose not to replace was the stained glass in the two bay windows and in the window over the stairs. These colourful panes were original to the house when it was built in 1923, came special order from England, and bear a trio motif of roses, thistles, and shamrocks.

035 (1024x683)

   Rose of England              Thistle of Scotland               Shamrock of Ireland

But what is the significance of this trio? As Wikipedia explains:

“Since the 1801 Act of Union between Britain and Ireland, the shamrock was incorporated into the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, depicted growing from a single stem alongside the rose of England, and the thistle of Scotland to symbolise the unity of the three kingdoms. Since then the shamrock has regularly appeared alongside the rose, thistle and (sometimes) leek for Wales in British coins such as the shilling and crown, and in stamps. The rose, thistle and shamrock motif also appears regularly on British public buildings such as Buckingham Palace.”

031 (1016x1024)So even though nearly everything else has been renovated, replaced or upgraded,
we are happy we made the decision to keep the stained glass.027 (1024x681)And though they may not be modern or practical…
032 (683x1024)

…we love the feeling of tradition and heritage they impart,
034 (1024x671)

…and the beauty they add to our sunsets.

*This has been my take on this week’s photo challenge: Old-Fashioned @ wheresmybackpack.com

Allergic to the Letter ‘E’ Challenge

My good friend Mark Bialczak reached out and tapped me this morning in the Allergic to the Letter E Challenge.

If I don’t write a paragraph without using my old friend ‘e’ I will be banished to the page of lame. Not one to shrink from a good challenge, I accepted.

Here are the Rules:

1) Write a whole paragraph without any words containing the letter “e” even once.

2) By reading this, you are already signed up.

3) Challenge at least five bloggers to do the challenge. They must do it within 24 hours or it is considered as failure.

4) If you fail or pass, suffer in the Page of Lame.

5) If you win, wallow in the Page of Fame.

Letter_E_Coloring_Pages_03

Here goes nuthin’!

Mark thinks I can do this activity, so voila: I know, from my own long history and without a doubt, that most folks cling to similar actions, comforts and habits in this world. Many of you claim your own brand of total autonomy with such adamant conviction, but I don’t buy it. From following your many blogs, I can confirm that all humankind is bound by customs that show our wish to link, to join, to attach, to align, to hook up, to plug in, or to marry. “No man (or woman) is an island” is my motto. Can you find fault with this logic in my soliloquy? I think not!”

Done. Thanks, Mark. ;)

Here is my list of nominees (don’t hate me, just do it!):

http://greenlightlady.wordpress.com/

http://talktodiana.wordpress.com/

http://loisajay1213.wordpress.com/

http://carrierubin.com/

http://theoffkeyoflife.wordpress.com/

Have fun!

Friday Bouquet #24

natural-flowers-bouquet-1920x1080

Me – Who Am I? reflects on her personal journey and shares her observations and inspiring thoughts on daily life.

From her About page:

Life is a road full of experiences that mold you into the person you are today and the person you will be tomorrow. But, what if one day you find yourself lost in the middle of the road, asking yourself “Who am I?” Discovering the answer may be quite a journey and you have to be ready, as you don’t know what you’ll find in the process. The inner you can be brilliant and sometimes haunting. This blog is a journey of discovery.”

In the post highlighted below, she talks about the priceless gift a blog can be to others, after that blogger is no longer with us.

Our Voice When We No Longer Have One

I’ve disabled comments here in the hope you will comment on the writer’s blog.
If you do, please tell her Jennifer sent you.

Have a nice weekend, everyone.

<3

Tuckamore

pablo (18)

…though it may be difficult to do so…

pablo (11)

pablo (13)

pablo (14)

pablo (15)

***

tuckamore (1)

Tuckamore

Tuckamore are a part of Newfoundland’s natural landscape. They are the small, gnarled, and tangled evergreen trees that grow and flourish despite harsh conditions and obstacles that try to stand in their way: unforgiving adversaries like wind, rain, snow, and sleet.

A Tuckamore tree is known for its resiliency, adaptability and ability to survive under tough circumstances.

***

What have you survived in your life in spite of tough circumstances?

Where The Heart Is

pablo (8)

***

I can hardly believe it. It’s been nearly five years since my husband and I went through with our plan to trade in our old lives and move out of the city.

In August of 2010, we threw caution to the wind and put our home of ten years on the market. Paul kissed me goodbye, drove to his hometown, and began overseeing the gargantuan job of renovating his grandfather’s old two-storey in Bonavista North. When the sale of our house closed near the end of September, Maisie, Vivian and I joined him. We stayed nearby in a friend’s vacant summer home until the bulk of the work was completed.

During the first week of December that year, we finally had enough upgrades done to buy our new appliances, unpack the boxes, and begin to set up house.

Do I have any regrets? Not many. That first winter, I missed living close to my family, and I still wish I could see my children and grandchildren more often than I do. But other than that, I am happy to have relocated here to our home by the sea. Somehow, I don’t think I would have taken up writing the way I have if I’d stayed in the city, so taking this journey to fulfill my lifelong dream has certainly made it all worthwhile.

Besides that, Paul’s dream to return to his boyhood home has come true too. <3

Looking back now, I think we can both vouch for the old saying: the best journey is the one that takes you home.

***

pablo (9)

***

Have you lived to see a dream come to fruition?
Or are you working on one for the future?

Friday Bouquet #23

bouquet-flowers-tulips-flower-buds_1280x720_sc (1024x688)

Val Boyko of Find Your Middle Ground is a professional life/career coach and a yoga teacher whose posts I’ve enjoyed for some time now.

In her own words:

I believe that we can all contribute to world peace. It starts with being kind to ourselves and finding peace within ourselves. Helping others is a good place to start, but the real work is ours to do for ourselves. We must find that peaceful, nourishing and inspiring place…

One morning I woke up with these words in my mind:

“Life is a series of highs and lows

Be grateful for the highs

Be graceful in the lows

And find contentment in your middle ground.”

I am highlighting the following post because I love the idea of receiving a lesson from dogs on how to overcome the ego.

Stop Trying to Let it Go

findyourmiddleground.com

findyourmiddleground.com

I’ve disabled comments here in the hope you will comment on Val’s blog.
If you do, please tell her Jennifer sent you.

 Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

<3

Berg Watching

Iceberg Alley is what we call the area stretching from the coast of Labrador to the northeast coast of the island of Newfoundland, and the best time for viewing bergs is late May and early June.

Saturday was beautiful and sunny, so Paul and I decided to drive to Greenspond to see if there were any icebergs close enough for good snaps. Before we entered the town, we were delighted to meet a few of them next to Greenspond’s causeway.
may 2015 119 (1280x535)

may 2015 178 (1280x741)

I can’t remember ever getting this close to a berg so huge!

may 2015 033 (1280x573)may 2015 026 (1280x603)

may 2015 190 (1280x663)may 2015 125 (1280x497)

This group climbed down on the rocks to get a closer look.

This group climbed down on the rocks to get a closer look.

may 2015 040 (1280x1180)

Close-up of a tiny waterfall on the iceberg.

may 2015 183 (1280x776)

Loving Nature’s sculptures

may 2015 156 (1280x619)may 2015 042 (1280x854)

 We drove on into Greenspond to discover even more of the frozen beauties from the North.

may 2015 111 (1280x383)

Well, hello there, giant hunk of glacier!

may 2015 086 (1280x733)

may 2015 090 (1280x578)

Such a pretty backdrop

This one makes me think of a flying saucer. Notice the deep blue middle.

This one makes me think of a flying saucer. Notice the deep blue middle.

may 2015 070 (1280x518)

A splendid view from this property.

may 2015 074 (1280x616)may 2015 053 (1280x466)may 2015 096 (1280x853)may 2015 095 (1280x853) may 2015 052 (1280x691)

One more look from the causeway on our way back

One last look from the causeway on our way back

Have you ever gotten up close and personal with an iceberg?

Friday Bouquet #22

natural-flowers-bouquet-1920x1080

Karen at Healing Your Grief knows all about the enormous shock of suddenly losing a precious child. She lost her nine-year-old son to a car accident, and found a way to journey through the pain by writing about it in her blog.

In her own words:

When we tragically lose one of our children, our entire world comes to a grinding stop and everything we have ever believed is questioned.
Through understanding this journey you have been given, my wish for you is to connect to a new hope and to a process of complete healing.
You may at first not understand how you could ever survive this loss, that there can be no way out of this pain, yet over time, I promise, there is a way through.”

I have chosen to share her first post because it explains how she is courageously surviving such a profound tragedy.

My Journey – Walking Through Grief

shamanismandhealing.wordpress.com

shamanismandhealing.wordpress.com

Comments are closed here in the hope you will visit Karen’s blog.
If you do, please tell her Jennifer sent you.

<3

In Praise of Young Adult Fiction

I used to think I was a bit of a dork for liking Young Adult literature, even though my years as a young adult are long gone.

picblog4

Not so anymore. Although some may be too shy to admit to it or call it a guilty pleasure, YA fiction has a huge fan base among grownups; in fact, a recent study states that 55% of its readers are actually adults. And while I also choose from a variety of other genres and often crave the more literary and classic offerings as well, I particularly enjoy writing Young Adult fiction, as two of my upcoming novels will attest.

Why do I and so many others love reading YA novels? I don’t believe it implies immaturity, but rather suggests a more “young at heart” sensibility of the reader. And I am careful about not lumping all of them together; as in every genre there is great writing and not-so-great writing. With that in mind, here is what I find appealing about most of the YA and coming-of-age literature I have read:

  • It draws you in and hooks you on the first page.
  • It is usually light on the exposition and heavy on the action and dialogue.
  • The drama isn’t contrived. The teenage years, with all of its growing pains, can be filled with turmoil. Ordinary situations often feel emotional, and even catastrophic.
  • Teens are well-known to be impetuous and curious, therefore their actions are often unexpected. This opens up all sorts of drama which may include acting on violence, sexuality, and other previously uncharacteristic behaviours.
  • We’ve all been there, so we can identify with many of the common conflicts that arise. Other times, we might enjoy reading YA as an escape into wish-fulfillment: a way of righting the wrongs in our own experience.

Still not convinced to give Young Adult a try? Peruse these quotes taken from bestselling YA fiction:

recite-h0wfzl

recite-en8wqs

recite-19wy7zc

recite-13f8a3k
recite-1d5a996 recite-baznm3
recite-xdv7e1

recite-1di69t3

slide_337455_3428836_free

What do you think of the Young Adult genre?
Do you have any favourite YA quotes to share?