Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cactus Symbol and Superstition

It has been said that the cactus flower is a symbol of maternal love. Because the cactus is a plant that can endure harsh conditions and also thrive, its flowers are symbolic of a mother's unconditional love.  Source:  Ehow Home

Every summer in my terrace,  two of my cacti bloom with flowers that last only for certain hours and to admire them can only be enhanced by taking their pictures as hereby shown.  It is such a pity that they do not last long enough because some of their flowers are so delicately beautiful.

The peculiar thing about cactus is that their leaves turn into spines while the stem evolves to become photosynthetic and succulent. Many species are used for ornamental plants, and some are also grown for fodder, forage, fruits, cochineal, and other uses.  Source:  Wikipedia

On the other hand, superstitious people avoid cactus plants with the belief that they may cause  bad luck due to their thorns.  But it all depends on your convictions.  If you think cactus is good, then it will be good.  However if you are a believer of the Indian Vastu Shaastras, saying that the cactus plants bring bad luck to the house, or Feng Shui, that says that cactus can bring you ailments, in either way, then why not plant cactus  right outside the house?  This way  you cover yourself from your harmful convictions, while you take the benefits of the easy to care cactus plants that do not require everyday water. They can also keep our soil replenished with water,  due to its property of absorbing a little water.  Try growing them, you will be amazed with the results.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

We Are Not Perfect But We Are Happy

Source of images:  Top Blog Posts

Two of them seem to be all dressed up and decided to celebrate the grand wedding. However, Daddy is not ready to go and unwilling to give his consent. What is going to happen then with the bottles of wine?  Will they be uncorked or just remain to be seen?

Ah! why is life so complicated and cannot be as simple as to celebrate a union between a happy couple whether they be the correct match or not in the eyes of many?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Moral Principle vs. Material Interest

Title: The Moral Principle And The Material Interest
Author: Ambrose Bierce

A Moral Principle met a Material Interest on a bridge wide enough for but one.

"Down, you base thing!" thundered the Moral Principle, "and let me pass over you!"

The Material Interest merely looked in the other's eyes without saying anything.

"Ah," said the Moral Principle, hesitatingly, "let us draw lots to see which shall retire till the other has crossed."

The Material Interest maintained an unbroken silence and an unwavering stare.

"In order to avoid a conflict," the Moral Principle resumed, somewhat uneasily, "I shall myself lie down and let you walk over me."

Then the Material Interest found a tongue, and by a strange coincidence it was its own tongue. "I don't think you are very good walking," it said. "I am a little particular about what I have underfoot. Suppose you get off into the water."

It occurred that way.

Source of Story: Read Book Online

But the story would have been different had both of them been in the bridge as shown hereunder.

This is China's Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, 26 miles long and inaugurated June 30, 2011 and  is now the World's Longest Bridge. It took four-and-a-half years to build the bridge. The bridge took the "world's longest" title from the 38.35 kilometer Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in the United States.

Source of Information/images: International Business Times - July 6, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How Dogs Imitate Men

Dogs are  men's first pet and became our best friend because of their nature of being a sociable, loyal and protective companion.  Curious enough, their name is God spelled backwards, although the English word "dog" comes from the Middle English dogge.

Apparently,  the domestication of dogs started about 15,000 years ago.  In this long course of time they have tried to imitate human behaviour and lifestyle given  the proper training and domestication by pet owners.

Here are a few funny photographs of dogs imitating human lifestyle. Enjoy these great moments of your best friend.  Source: Funny and Spicy

Monday, July 18, 2011

Some Flowers Can Be Edible

Flowers add color and fun to any food presentation and can brighten up any meal. Edible flowers abound, and there are countless ways to garnish your foods with flowers. However, when you go picking, avoid flowers treated with pesticides, and taste a small amount before dishing them out to friends!

I have not tried anyone of the flower menus, flowers look nice as decoration but to eat them? .... That is another story.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Flowers

Here's flowers for you;
Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi' the sun
And with him rises weeping: these are flowers
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age.
The Winter's Tale (4.4.122-7)

Source of Image:   Virtual Tourist
Source of Poem:   Shakespeare on Line

To Shakespeare's flowers, let me add their culinary values aside from the beauty they bring to the universe and not only precisely to middle aged men!

Lavender is an incredibly versatile herb for cooking. In today's upscale restaurants, fresh edible flowers are making a comeback as enhancements to both the flavor and appearance of food. Learn about Edible Flowers.

Source: What's Cooking America

Mint can add flavor to a variety of dishes, both savory and sweet. Minty flavor gives a clean fresh taste to food and shouldn’t be overlooked as a garnish, an addition, or as an essential ingredient in both food and drinks.
Source:  Wise Geek
Image :  Wilson Bros. Nursery

Summer savory is a compact, bushy annual herb. Leaves are used much like thyme and marjoram, as a seasoning for fish, pork, and turkey. Chopped leaves can be used in stuffing, soup, and stew, or boiled with beans and peas. Its flavor is hot and slightly bitter. It may be used as a garnishment with, or in place of, parsley.
Source/Image: Plant Care.Com

Sweet marjoram is related to oregano. With a more subtle flavor, marjoram has a wide variety of uses in food preparation. As an infusion it is a relief for stomach pains.

Source of Image: Being Plants
Source of Content:  Dig Herbs

A tea made of the flowers of the marigold plant stimulates the liver and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is a powerful antiphlogistic for skin diseases

Source of Image:  Stockfood
Source of Content:  Chacha

Saturday, July 16, 2011

On Fortune and Fame

Fortune's Smile
By Rosemarie Skaine

You looked back;
slowed your step.
Full with child
and a little wild,
fortune’s smile
crossed my face.

You look back;
slow your step.
Wet torrential rains
and undaunted restrain,
fortune’s smile
crosses my face.

The Weir couple celebrate their recent 180 Million Euros of Euromillion lottery winning, thereby equalling the fortune of David and Victoria Beckham, as published in today's press.

Like our Filipino saying "the one who says no never wins".  Does it sound like let us go buy a lottery ticket now?

Whereas, money did not bring happiness to JLo and Marc Anthony as today they have officially announced their separation.

Source of Poem:  Authors' Den
Press News    :  El Mundo

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sad But Brilliant

"He who listens is wiser.... than him who only believes in his own judgement".

Quino  or  Joaquín Salvador Lavado born in Mendoza  Argentina in 1932, is a famous cartoonist and author of Mafalda.  After being desillusioned with the way children of today are being educated,  he  expressed his views and concerns with the following sketches.

The children of today are the  pillars of tomorrow and how we educate them will make the difference. Contrary to the opinion of many, education should start from the time they are born.  We can help to create a better generation, by teaching through our good practices our children to be creative, to live in harmony, to be conscious of environmental protection and care, to LOVE, DREAM, ENJOY without prejudice of others, and most of all that the whole WORLD can be happy if WE JOIN HANDS....

Source:  Alicia Jordana Butticaz
         email of July 13, 2011 
Source of first image: Official web site of Quino
Source of last image:  De

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How To Grow Orchids

I found this Instructional video with simple tips for an amateur that are easy to follow on how to grow wonderful orchids, one of the most eye catching flowers in any  flower shop.
For an orchid grower, each new growth and root is cause for rejoicing while the slimy mark of a snail or the cottony warning of the presence of scale is cause for distress.
While nature is provided with the means to perpetuate this important breed, to a beginner it is a big help to find a website that contains a lot of helpful tips and information as to how to grow beautiful orchids.

Source:  Beautiful Orchids

Wild Cat Oncidium
Golden Yellow Oncidium
Sweet Baby Caramel Oncidium

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seven Blunders Of The World

"Seven   Blunders of the World"

1. Wealth without work
2. Pleasure without conscience
3. Knowledge without character 
4. Commerce without morality
5. Science without humanity
6. Worship without sacrifice
7.  Politics without principle
      —Mahatma   Gandhi 
8. Rights without responsibilities
      —Arun   Gandhi
9. Disagreement  without cause 
* Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar,
India. He led India's  movement for independence from British rule and is one
of the most respected spiritual and  political leaders of the 20th century. In 1948,
he was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic who  opposed his tolerance for all creeds 
and religions. Gandhi is honoured by his people as  the father of the Indian nation
and is called 'Mahatma', which means Great Soul.
Imagine the image of an elder man sitting  next to his grandson trying to teach him
the canon to a peaceful life everyday for an hour during the final days of his life. 
What a gift to Arun, the grandson and such a dedication of Gandhi  to teach and to
share his knowledge!
Arun added an eight blunder to the list of his grandfather. Now our challenge is to 
avoid committing the above-cited blunders while adding some of our own to the
list.  I added mine, can you add yours?  

An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Mohandas Gandhi.

Source: *Museums of the Mind
                  TLT Group

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lost Time

Lost Time by Rabindranath Tagore
On many an idle day have I grieved over lost time.
But it is never lost, my lord.
Thou hast taken every moment of my life in thine own hands.
Hidden in the heart of things thou art nourishing seeds into sprouts,
buds into blossoms, and ripening flowers into fruitfulness.
I was tired and sleeping on my idle bed
and imagined all work had ceased.
In the morning I woke up
and found my garden full with wonders of flowers. 

It goes to say, that even if we may not be moving, the world does not stand  still and in a blink of an eye our condition may change. 

Source: Famous Poets and Poems  
        Rabindranath Tagore (1861 -1941)
Image From: Acclaim Images
            Arts on Earth 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Underground River Puerto Princesa

Watch live streaming video from ppurtv at

SAN FRANCISCO, California—President Benigno Aquino has declared a national and global campaign for the Puerto Princesa Underground River as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature (N7WN).

Aquino issued Proclamation No. 182 on June 3 to encourage “all Filipinos, both here and abroad, and all friends of the Filipino people, to help in the campaign to ensure that the (river) is proclaimed as one of the N7WN,” the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco said in a statement.

From over 400 sites from around the world, the Palawan river, the lone finalist from the Philippines, is now one of the top 14 of the 28 official finalists chosen by a panel of international experts.

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, reputed to be the world’s longest, is located about 50 kilometers north of Puerto Princesa City. It features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2-kilometer navigable underground river.

A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the West Philippine Sea. The cave includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers. The lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences.

At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water’s edge. Monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels find their niche on the beach near the cave.

Source:  DON LEJANO/

The following are the two ways to vote for Palawan underground river:

1. Vote via the N7WN Website,

Internet voting is allowed per email address.

a. Click on the PPUR as your N7WN candidate
b. Register your email account
c. Send your vote

2. Vote via Text Message:

Each SMS sent counts as one vote for the PP Underground River in the Official New 7 Wonders of Nature. Simply text PPUR to 2861.

Mel and me were lucky to have been able to visit this wonderful site specially the lagoon surrounded by trees inside which you can access only through a small cavity enough for a person to get  through.  I could hardly fit in!

Let us  help through our votes in the campaign to ensure that PPUR is proclaimed as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Source: Inquirer Global Nation
             June 29, 2011

Funny Houses

Pictures speak more than words.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

If One Day

If one day you feel like crying, call me.
I don't promise I can make you laugh,
but I can cry with you.

If one day you want to run away,
don't be afraid to call me.
I don't promise to ask you to stop ...
But I can run with you.

If one day you don't want to listen to anyone.
Call me.
I promise to be there for you.
And I promise to be very quiet.

But if one day you call...
And there is no answer...
Come fast to see me.
Perhaps I need you.
...Perhaps I am not around anymore...

Friends and family, everyone needs somebody one time or the other.  Today for you, tomorrow for me.  Life is a merry-go-round, to love and to share.

Source Images: Image Envision, Bing
        Poem :   

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Be a Freesia

A king went to his garden and discovered that his trees, bushes and flowers were dying. The Oak told him that it was dying because it could not be as tall as the Pine. Getting back to the Pine, he found it drooping because it could not produce grapes as the grapevine. The Grapevine was dying, because it could not bloom as a Rose. The Rose was crying because it could not be as tall and solid as the Oak. Then he found a plant, a Freesia, in bloom and as fresh as ever.

The king asked:
- How is it that you grow healthily in the midst of this withered and gloomy garden?
- I don't know.  Maybe because I always assumed that when you planted me, you wanted freesias.  If you would have wanted an Oak or a Rose, you would have planted those.  At that moment, I told myself:  "I will try to be a Freesia the best way I can".

Now it is your turn.  You are here to contribute with your fragrance.  Simply look at yourself.  There is no possibility that you can be another person.  You can either enjoy being you and grow watered by your own love for yourself, or wither  condemned by your own sentence...

Source:  Translation from Short Story of Jorge Bucay
Image from:  Huerta y Jardín

The Stars Sower

The Sower of Stars in Kaunas, Lithuania

In daytime, this bronze statue of Russian influence looks like any other statue.

However as the sun fades, this statue gives justice to its name.

Follow your dreams they may not appear instantly, but who knows, maybe the Stars sower will come to make your dream come true if you keep on trying.  "Never let go of your dreams".  "Work to make them happen"!

Source: Destinos Curiosos
Quotes: Tree of Dreams

Fiesta in Soria

Beatriz and Ron spent last weekend in Soria, taking advantage of its popular fiesta de San Juan. Every day was significant: Friday was a bullfight day (the day before, bulls were led from a closer town through the countryside to the bull ring site). It was weird because between  bullfights  people got down to the center of the ring to party.

On Saturday, the bull killed the day before was sold quartered in a popular auction where bull meat, tail, bollocks, hoof, and wineskin bags were sold and some of them  costing a thousand euros (which usually happens when people are pretty drunk to spend such a ridiculous amount of money).

On Sunday, there was a pot parade and exhibition where traditionally in those pots the bull meat is cooked.  But nowadays they are just decorated with flowers.  Red wine was the most popular drink and red stains became prominent over the white colored shirts and dresses that people commonly used.

Music was constantly played by the band and party was unendingwith  people from all ages dancing all night long.  Despite the huge quantity of booze, no problem was observed!

Ron and Beatriz  were lucky because between friends and relatives of Beatriz  they were invited twice to have lunch at their homes, very welcoming and nice. One day they were served river crabs (which Ron never tasted before to find out later that he liked eating them) and another day, they had lamb chops.

Here are some pictures Ron shared.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Abaca Slippers

These are Philippine made slippers which are one of the Filipinos' pride for their quality, workmanship, innovative designs and infinite varieties.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Fountain of Youth

Beauty, much desired to ever last,
Like beauty and fragrances of Eden,
Endlessly odorous, feeding the eyes,
Soul contented, wholesome feeling arises,
Greatness defies barriers of seasonal changes.

The question of immortality,
If there is, one would never migrate,
From realities of life to spirituality,
Suppleness in command, gray shoved aside,
Is forever young a possibility?

Reminiscing the youth, there was once,
Strong desires to ward off seasoned looks,
Craziness to dance till the last song,
In every beat of the heart and in every vein,
With ease blood does flow, free from dirt of life.

Partially in dreamland,

The fountain of youth or the elixir of life, so priceless and sought after by many.  But is it really worth the chase?  When we can live forever, and have no fear of death, life will no longer have its mystery. 

Image Source:   Painting of Klimt- Tree of Immortality