March 17th

Happy Evacuation Day!

B’s dad, who was a very long-tenured elementary school principal in western Massachusetts, used to do an announcement every March 17th about what an important day it was because, in 1776, the British were forced to leave Boston, which had been under siege since the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19th, 1775 (which is commemorated as Patriots’ Day). In the days of dot-matrix printers, he even had little greeting cards printed for Evacuation Day, which, of course, involved a Minuteman and cannon.

He used to use Evacuation Day as an excuse occasion to gift his wife with flowers.

After he passed away in 2005, B and I took up the tradition of giving Evacuation Day flowers to Grandma, first having them delivered from their favorite local florist, and then choosing and delivering them ourselves after she moved here from Vermont.

Last year, daughter T, who was home on spring break from grad school, and I chose a planter instead of cut flowers. Grandma loved them and put them in the center of her dining room table, as she usually did.

We didn’t know that Grandma would succumb to a heart attack less than a week later.

We kept the planter there for a remembrance and a splash of color as we did the necessary work to clear out her cottage. Then, we brought the planter to our home.

Over the summer, T, who had just finished her MPS in conservation biology of plants, took over plant care and broke the planter into separate pots, as it was becoming too crowded. The African violet stayed in the original green basket.

When she left in late January for her Missouri job-on-the-prairie, the plants were looking healthy and a few weeks ago, the African violet started to bloom.

So, this week it has many blossoms to remind us of the happy occasion of delivering flowers to Grandma for the family tradition of Evacuation Day.

Oh, and lest I forget, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, too!

Another record!

I posted last week about a new record for likes.

I am shocked to report that that record, 66 likes, was shattered yesterday, setting a new record of 103 likes!

And, in the odd record-keeping of WordPress, I had only 79 views…

I realize part of that is that I allow full posts by email and in the reader, so some likes come in that don’t register as views.

I had four posts yesterday.

The first was a re-blog of gorgeous flowers from My Food and Flowers. It attracted likes and some new followers from the photo-blog sector, including one who went on to explore and like a lot of posts. Thank you, v4vikey!

My planned post yesterday was about the ever-popular subject of exercise, featuring adventures with Wii Fit.

Then, there were two spur-of-the-moment posts on my re-vamping of my blog theme, one on the new header and one on the menu.  Posts about blogging always seem to attract attention – among bloggers.  Go figure!

Part of the success of the post-likes in a single day is the time of day when the posts appear. All four posts appeared in the morning in my time zone, so it gave more hours for my readers to find them the same day.

Thanks to all my readers and “likers” – especially those of my followers who visit on a regular basis. I really do appreciate your visits, comments, and likes here at Top of JC’s Mind!

Wishing you all a great weekend,

Portuguese Squill/Hyacinth of Peru (Scilla peruviana) 地中海綿棗兒/地中海藍鐘花

Sharing some beautiful blossoms from one of my favorite photo-blogs.

My Food And Flowers

Portuguese Squill/Hyacinth of Peru (Scilla peruviana) 地中海綿棗兒/地中海藍鐘花

2016-01-31 132 (Medium) Portuguese Squill/Hyacinth of Peru (Scilla peruviana) 地中海綿棗兒/地中海藍鐘花

2016-01-31 134 (Medium) Portuguese Squill/Hyacinth of Peru (Scilla peruviana) 地中海綿棗兒/地中海藍鐘花

2016-01-31 131 (Medium) Portuguese Squill/Hyacinth of Peru (Scilla peruviana) 地中海綿棗兒/地中海藍鐘花

2016-01-31 135 (Medium) Portuguese Squill/Hyacinth of Peru (Scilla peruviana) 地中海綿棗兒/地中海藍鐘花

Beautiful bulbous perennial.  Easy to grow.  Best growing in full sun to partial shade location but also tolerant light shade.   Small deep blue flowers in flower ball in spring.  Flowers attract bees and butterflies.  Good for cut flower.  USDA Zones:7-10.  Mature size:6″-1′(H) X 3″-6″(W).  Plant is toxic if ingested.  Propagate by seeds, bulb or division.

美麗的多年生球根花卉.  容易栽種.  最好栽種在全日照到半日照處但也能生長於散光處.  小朵深藍色小花聚成的花球於春天盛開.  花吸引蜂蝶.  也適合為插花的花材.  喜熱不甚耐寒.  成熟株高6吋到1呎,寬幅3-6吋.  植株全株有毒勿食.  繁殖以種子,球根或分株方式來進行.

Reference links: 參考網站資料連結:                                              

View original post

August Garden 八月的花園

I love flower photos and this blog is an extravaganza! Enjoy!

My Food And Flowers

August Garden 八月的花園

Cheddar Pink (Dianthus 'Firewitch') 多年生石竹 Cheddar Pink (Dianthus ‘Firewitch’) 多年生石竹

Mina lobata (Ipomea lobata) 金魚花/魚花蔦蘿 Mina lobata (Ipomea lobata) 金魚花/魚花蔦蘿

Double Annual Poppy (Papaver somniferum 'Black Beauty') 黑美人重瓣虞美人 Double Annual Poppy (Papaver somniferum ‘Black Beauty’) 黑美人重瓣虞美人

Canna Lily (Canna indica )美人蕉 Canna Lily (Canna indica )美人蕉

Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica) 含羞草 Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica) 含羞草

Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) 大波斯菊 Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) 大波斯菊

Red Double Blanket Flower (Gaillardia 'Red Plume') 大紅重瓣球型天人菊 Red Double Blanket Flower (Gaillardia ‘Red Plume’) 大紅重瓣球型天人菊

Tricolor Viola(Viola tricolor) 堇菜 Tricolor Viola(Viola tricolor) 堇菜

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia fulgens 'Elmfeuer') 紅花山梗菜 Cardinal Flower (Lobelia fulgens ‘Elmfeuer’) 紅花山梗菜

Bulbous Bergonia (Bergonia) 球根海棠 Bulbous Bergonia (Bergonia) 球根海棠

Bachelor's Button (Centaurea Montana) 多年生矢車菊 Bachelor’s Button (Centaurea Montana) 多年生矢車菊

Godetia Azalea Flowered Mixed (Clarkia amoena) 古代稀 Godetia Azalea Flowered Mixed (Clarkia amoena) 古代稀

Firecracker Flower (Crossandra infundibuliformis) 鳥尾花 Firecracker Flower (Crossandra infundibuliformis) 鳥尾花

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) 花旗蔘 American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) 花旗蔘

Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum) 韭菜 Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum) 韭菜

Hall's Honeysuckle(Lonicera japonica)忍冬或叫金銀花 Hall’s Honeysuckle(Lonicera japonica)忍冬或叫金銀花

Clematis (Clematis) 鐵線蓮 Clematis (Clematis) 鐵線蓮

Clematis 'Sweet Autumn' (Clematis 'Sweet Autumn') 甜秋鐵線蓮 Clematis ‘Sweet Autumn’ (Clematis ‘Sweet Autumn’) 甜秋鐵線蓮

Anise-hyssop (Agastache rugosa)藿香 Anise-hyssop (Agastache rugosa)藿香

Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) 海芋 Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) 海芋

European Bellflower(Campanula rapunculoides) 歐洲風鈴草 European Bellflower(Campanula rapunculoides) 歐洲風鈴草

Blue-eyed grasses (Sisyrinchium bermudianum)庭菖蒲 Blue-eyed grasses (Sisyrinchium bermudianum)庭菖蒲

Tree mallow (Lavatera) 錦葵 Tree mallow (Lavatera) 錦葵

Double Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus double blue selection) 重瓣桔梗 Double Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus double blue selection) 重瓣桔梗

Self-heal(Prunella grandiflora 'Freelander')大花夏枯草 Self-heal(Prunella grandiflora ‘Freelander’)大花夏枯草

Honeysuckle Fuchsia (Fuchsia 'Koralle') 鞭炮吊鐘花 Honeysuckle Fuchsia (Fuchsia ‘Koralle’) 鞭炮吊鐘花

Common Soapwort/Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis) 高性肥皂花/石鹼草 Common Soapwort/Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis) 高性肥皂花/石鹼草

Double Lily (Lilium) 重瓣百合 Double Lily (Lilium) 重瓣百合

Obedient Plants (Physostegia virginiana) 隨意草 Obedient Plants (Physostegia virginiana) 隨意草

Carpathian Bellflower (Campanula carpatica 'Blue Clips') 矮性叢生風鈴草 Carpathian…

View original post 192 more words

SoCS: the fight of the bumblebee

It’s not often that I run away from something – okay, it’s not often that I run, period – but this past week, I did.

I was out mowing the lawn, using our electric rechargeable lawn mower, which I convinced my husband to get a few years ago so I could help with the mowing. I had trouble even starting our gas-powered one and wanted a lawnmower with a smaller carbon footprint. So, while I don’t have decades of experience with lawn-mowing, I’m not totally new at it either.

While we live in a suburban-style neighborhood, we and many of our neighbors have more rural-style lawns, meaning that among the grasses there are other plants, some of which flower. Depending on the month, our lawn has wild strawberry blossoms, violets, creeping charlie, dandelions, clover, and other flowers blossoming. Where there are flowers, of course, there are bees and we are used to seeing them as we mow. They generally buzz away from the mower to find another flower that isn’t in its path, with bumblebees being the mellowest, just moseying slowly away.

I was really surprised, then, when a bumblebee came around the corner of our shed and headed straight at me. Startled, I ran away, even tripping and falling in my haste – and getting grass stains on my pants.

I felt sheepish about being chased away by a docile bumblebee and, determined to finish the little patch of lawn left, went back to the mower. After a couple more episodes of bumblebee-chasing, I realized that they were flying in and out from under the shed, which meant that they must have built a nest under it. By that point, I was almost done and was staying away from the shed, so I thought I was safe.

But, no.

One of the bumblebees, obviously upset by my continued presence, followed me back to the garage as I headed back to it to plug in the the mower, got under my shirt-sleeve, and stung me.

In the not-the-most-mature reaction, I screamed, batted it to the garage floor, and hurried inside the house. I called my husband and told him I was scared and didn’t know what to do. Because my mom is allergic to bee stings, I had grown up being scared of bees and had only been stung once by a yellowjacket when I was a child. My husband, on the other hand, has been stung many times over the years. He calmly told me to take a couple of benadryl and ice the sting. It was getting near time to come home, so he said he would leave and be there in a few minutes.

The ice helped with the pain and, when he arrived, he made sure there was no stinger in my arm. He looked up some information that confirmed that bumblebees, unlike some other species, don’t have barbed stingers, so, good news – the stinger doesn’t remain lodged in the victim but – bad news – they can sting multiple times without dying. They also are not aggressive unless they are defending a nest. Yup. Got that fact right, too.

I am all healed up now and none the worse for wear. I haven’t needed to go back out to mow, but, if I ever have to run away from a bee again, I’m not going to go back out and try to finish.

I learned my lesson.
This post is part of Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturdays. The prompt this week was to build the post around a word that ended with “-ay.” Join us! Find out how here:

SoCS badge 2015

July Garden 七月花園

It’s summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, so I thought I’d share this lovely post of summer flowers. For my Southern hemisphere friends, I thought you’d like a reminder that spring is only a few weeks away.
– JC
(Make sure to click on View Original to see the rest of the lovely photos!)

My Food And Flowers

July Garden 七月花園

Bee Balm Beebalm (Monarda) 美國薄荷 Beebalm (Monarda) 美國薄荷

English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)英國薰衣草 English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)英國薰衣草

False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)姬向日葵 False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)姬向日葵

高性肥皂花/石鹼草Common Soapwort/Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis) 高性肥皂花/石鹼草Common Soapwort/Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis)

Tickseed (Coreopsis grandiflora) 大花金雞菊 Tickseed (Coreopsis grandiflora) 大花金雞菊

Japanese morning glory (Ipomoea nil 'Kikyo Snowflakes') 日本朝顏'桔梗雪花' Japanese morning glory (Ipomoea nil ‘Kikyo Snowflakes’) 日本朝顏’桔梗雪花’

2015-07-07 025 (Medium)

Peruvian Daffodil 'Sulphur Queen' in bloom with beautiful fragrance! (Hymencallis caribaea) 黃色的蜘蛛百合開花了,美美的花香! Peruvian Daffodil ‘Sulphur Queen’ in bloom with beautiful fragrance! (Hymencallis caribaea) 黃色的蜘蛛百合開花了,美美的花香!

White Peruvian Daffodil in bloom! (Hymencallis caribaea) 白色的蜘蛛百合也開了. White Peruvian Daffodil in bloom! (Hymencallis caribaea) 白色的蜘蛛百合也開了.

American ginseng flowers. (Panax quinquefolius) 花旗蔘開花了. American ginseng flowers. (Panax quinquefolius) 花旗蔘開花了.

Honeysuckle Fuchsia (Fuchsia 'Koralle') 鞭炮吊鐘花 Honeysuckle Fuchsia (Fuchsia ‘Koralle’) 鞭炮吊鐘花

Pineapple Lily (Eucomis bicolor) 鳳梨百合/彩鳳蘭 Pineapple Lily (Eucomis bicolor) 鳳梨百合/彩鳳蘭

Chinese Artichoke/Artichoke Betony flowers. (Stachys affinis) 甘露子/草石蠶開的花 Chinese Artichoke/Artichoke Betony flowers. (Stachys affinis) 甘露子/草石蠶開的花

Double Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) 重瓣繡球花 Double Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) 重瓣繡球花

Zinnia Bi-Color (Zinnia elegans Swizzle Scarlet & Yellow, Cherry & Ivory  ) 雙色百日草 Zinnia Bi-Color (Zinnia elegans Swizzle Scarlet & Yellow, Cherry & Ivory ) 雙色百日草

大花夏枯草 Self-heal(Prunella grandiflora 'Freelander') 大花夏枯草 Self-heal(Prunella grandiflora ‘Freelander’)

Calendula 'Neon' 重瓣金盞花 Calendula ‘Neon’ 重瓣金盞花

Silene armeria ‘Electra’ 甜威廉捕蟲草 Silene armeria ‘Electra’ 甜威廉捕蟲草

Double Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus double blue selection) 重瓣桔梗 Double Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus double blue selection) 重瓣桔梗

Tree mallow Tree mallow (Lavatera) 錦葵

Anise-hyssop (Agastache rugosa)藿香 Anise-hyssop (Agastache rugosa)藿香

Summer Phlox/Garden Phlox (Phlox) 多年生直立型福祿考 Summer Phlox/Garden Phlox (Phlox) 多年生直立型福祿考

Summer Phlox/Garden Phlox (Phlox) 多年生直立型福祿考 Summer Phlox/Garden Phlox (Phlox) 多年生直立型福祿考

Supertunia Petunia (Petunia 'Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso') 滾綠邊的深粉紅矮牽牛 Supertunia Petunia (Petunia ‘Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso’) 滾綠邊的深粉紅矮牽牛

Carpathian Bellflower (Campanula carpatica 'Blue Clips') 矮性叢生風鈴草 Carpathian Bellflower (Campanula carpatica ‘Blue Clips’) 矮性叢生風鈴草

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea) 紫錐花 Purple Coneflower (Echinacea) 紫錐花

Anise-Hyssop (Agastache 'Bolero') 茴藿香 Anise-Hyssop (Agastache…

View original post 79 more words

Flowering trees near Waikiki

There are always flowers of some sort here in Honolulu. One of the things about coming at different times of year is that you catch different plants flowering.
non-native tree
I am not sure what these trees are, other than I know they are no longer planting them as they are not native. (If my younger daughter were here, I’m sure she would be able to tell us what they are and how they are being managed.) It’s interesting that the blossoms develop along the branch but not at the tip. There are clusters of blossoms and then more leaves beyond.
Some yellow hibiscus in Kapiolani Park, adjacent to Waikiki beach.
We have often seen plumeria blooming on other visits, but not nearly so prolifically as this June.

While I’m at it, let’s throw in another couple of photos!
trees from Lulu's
Looking out from lunch at Lulu’s near Waikiki. We were sitting at the edge of the second floor, which, like many restaurants and hotel lobbies, is open rather than walled off.
bird of paradise
A pair of bird of paradise blossoms outside our hotel.

The most thoughtful Christmas present I have ever received.

Such a beautiful post on love, loss, friendship, and remembrance by Tric, who is a wonderful blogger from Ireland, that I felt I had to share it. I hope that all of us have at least one similarly thoughtful and compassionate friend in our lives.

My thoughts on a page.

I’m sure some of you have contenders, but I think it will be difficult to beat the one I received last year. It was given to me by a friend of mine after a very difficult year.

The year had begun with young Daniel coming home from hospital just before Christmas. He had been diagnosed with leukemia aged twelve years. On St Stephens Day he asked to have his hair shaved off as it was shedding due to his leukemia. It never again grew back.

During the awful year that followed there were huge lows and a couple of small highs. I was in contact on a daily basis with Daniels mom. Looking back it would appear that we shared more bad news than good, as we spoke or texted each other. I was a person who preferred to cry alone, but so regular were my tears that my family…

View original post 452 more words

%d bloggers like this: