Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bee Buzz

A month ago, these strange blue green plants emerged in the garden. My first impulse was to pull them but upon further examination, I decided to leave them and see what they were. Well, as you can tell, they are Opium Poppies. The bees just love them....I hope they are not becoming addicted! My brother Russell, threw some seeds out in the garden years ago when my Mother was still alive (I'm in the family home) and they finally produced.

The flower's botanical name is papaver somniferum. The Sumerians called it Hul Gil, the 'flower of joy.' This flower is grown mainly by impoverished farmers on small plots in remote regions of the world. It flourishes in dry, warm climates and the vast majority of opium poppies are grown in a narrow, 4,500-mile stretch of mountains extending across southern Asia from Turkey through Pakistan and Laos. Heroin is also increasingly becoming an export from Latin America, notably Colombia.

About three months after the poppy seeds are planted, brightly-colored flowers bloom at the tips of greenish, tubular stems. As the petals fall away, they expose an egg-shaped seed pod. Inside the pod is an opaque, milky sap. This is opium in its crudest form.

It's amazing how how a drug that has ruined so many lives can come from a plant that is so beautiful.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day is a little sad for me these past few years. My Mom passed away in 2002 and my daughter lives in a different city. I received a sweet card from her and from our cat, Eiffel Jean Pierre. Today he turns 6.

I am blessed, however to have happy, good memories of my Mom. She raised 5 kids without complaint. She was smart, beautiful and an amazing nurse. I miss her so...

So, instead of being sad, I'm looking at the humorous side of Mother's Day with a few silly quotes.

"Mothers of teenagers know why animals eat their young." ~ Author Unknown

"Mothers are all slightly insane." ~ J.D. Salinger

"I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them." ~ Phyllis Diller

"There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it." ~ Chinese Proverb

"It takes a woman twenty years to make a man of her son, and another woman twenty minutes to make a fool of him." ~ Helen Rowland

"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found." ~ Calvin Trillin

"A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car for ever after." ~ Peter De Vries

"It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge." ~ Phyllis Diller

"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his." ~ Oscar Wilde

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." ~ Tenneva Jordan

"You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back." ~William D. Tammeus.

"Working mothers are guinea pigs in a scientific experiment to show that sleep is not necessary to human life." ~ Author Unknown

"Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers with ease." ~ LisaAlther

"My mother had to send me to the movies with my birth certificate, so that I wouldn't have to pay the extra fifty cents that the adults had to pay." ~ KareemAbdul-Jabbar

"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it." ~ Mark Twain

"My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it." ~ Buddy Hackett

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dirty Baby Bird

We have birds nesting in the cypress trees that separate us from our neighbors. I love birds but not these. These are dirty birds that poop every where and dive bomb you from time to time. They took over our waterfall fountain, have chased all the song birds away and have a horrible squawk. I have not enjoyed sharing my garden with them.

The other morning, my cat, Eiffel was minding his own business, looking out the window from his cat tree and the dirty birds were attacking him, well almost, through the window. There were about 20 birds freaking out! This intimidated Eiffel and he finally hid behind the curtain. Mind you, NOTHING intimidates Eiffel Jean Pierre - Nothing - EVER.

Later that morning, I was out watering the side garden and these dirty black birds started attacking MOI! Little did I now that they were just trying to protect their little one that had a mishap with his first flying lesson. As I was watering, this little newborn ran and hid under the fern tree. Later, he hopped on this dead sweet pea bush(that's another story)and I snapped a few pictures.

All of the sudden my heart changed towards these "dirty" birds. My vocabulary cleaned up as well. "Isn't it sweet how the Mom and Dad, fly down to feed him"? "Isn't he sooo cute?" "Just look at that precious baby; he must be so scared!" Five minutes earlier, I was asking my husband if I could buy a bb gun! Funny how a baby changes things.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Avalon!

Happy Birthday Darling!

Friday, May 1, 2009

1st of May - French Style!

On May 1st, 1561, King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court.

A long-lived pagan custom was to plant an adorned tree on this day to celebrate the return of spring. For the Catholic Church it is the first day of the month of the Virgin.

But by far, all over France, it is the succession of the "Workers’ protest Day" 1889-1947) which officially became Labor Day, la fĂȘte du travail, in 1947.