Friday, April 25, 2014

Cherry Blossom Pom Pom Flower Photos & Haiku Poem

The Kanzan cherry trees are in full bloom here in Maryland. I love their pom pom like flowers and late bloom time, which extends the joy of cherry blossom season.
These lovely flowering cherry trees inspired me to write this haiku poem:

Kanzan Cherry Blossoms Haiku
Fat cherry blossoms
fill the sky with loveliness.
Pink double bloomers.
 I cropped out some houses but you can still see how lovely the trees are lined up along the street.
I'm not sure what kind of cherry tree is pictured above but I loved the flowers. They are large and pink like the Kanzan cherry trees but flatter (more like a single bloom than a double bloom).
I hope you enjoyed viewing my Kanzan cherry blossom photos. Happiest spring wishes to you, dear friends! May God bless you and keep you!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter & Resurrection Chapel Photos

Happy Easter, dear friends! May the joy of Jesus' resurrection fill your heart on this holy day and always! Today's photos are from the Washington National Cathedral's Resurrection Chapel, one of my favorite spots in the National Cathedral (along with the Holy Spirit Chapel and all of the amazing stained glass windows). I pray that they will bless you.
The Resurrection Chapel's mosaics are more impressive in person but you can get a general feel for them here. The one above and two below depict Jesus in Biblical scenes after rising from the dead.
You should be able to click on any photo to make it larger.
 In person, the resurrection mosaics seem to shimmer with golden flecks.
The plaque in the photo above includes this Easter themed Bible verse: 

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." Colossians 3:1 (NIV)

May God bless you and yours this Easter and always!

Related posts:
Spring tulips at National Cathedral:
Easter Good News:
National Cathedral photos:


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring Tulips at the National Cathedral

I love the National Cathedral's Bishop garden. While it's most impressive in the summer (there's an amazing rose garden and a great variety of other flowers), I was thrilled by the abundant tulip blooms. The garden was much less crowded on this visit than any of my previous summer visits.
As you can see from the artwork embedded in the stone wall, the National Cathedral's gardens have delights for the eyes all year.
Although I live not too far north of Washington DC, I'm in a completely different planting zone and our tulips have just barely started to bloom.
Going south to see favorite flowers before they bloom in my area helps extend the season (as does going north after they finish in my area).
I hope you enjoyed this mini tour of the National Cathedral's Bishop garden's tulip beds. May God bless the National Cathedral's staff and may He bless you too!

Related posts:
National Cathedral photos:
My red and white parrot tulips:
My orange Angelique tulips:
My pink and white Angelique tulips:
Tulips, daffodils and spring blooms:

Friday, April 18, 2014

National Cathedral Photos and Good Friday Haiku

National Cathedral Exterior
"If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved." Romans 10:9-10 NIV

A blessed Good Friday to all those observing this holy day! Praise God for He is holy and yet so filled with love that He sent His Son to die in our place so we might live forever with Him!

I thought this would be an appropriate day to share my National Cathedral photos and I hope they bless you. If you're planning a visit, entrance to the National Cathedral is still currently free on Sundays but there is now an admissions charge for other days. You can also join their traditional worship services.

Good Friday Haiku
Jesus gave his life;
endured unspeakable pain
for your sins and mine
National Cathedral Interior Arches and Stained Glass
Even with the protective black netting the National Cathedral's stained glass window art is breathtakingly beautiful.
National Cathedral Good Friday Artistic Panels
 Today commemorates the day Jesus Christ was brutally beaten, mocked, and hung on a cross.
National Cathedral's Resurrected Christ Fresco
Praise God the story doesn't end there! Three days later, when we celebrate Easter, Jesus rose from the dead, conquering death and sin and making salvation a sure hope for those who trust in Him.
Prayer Engraved in National Cathedral Wall
The National Cathedral has many artistic and holy wonders to enjoy and this is just a taste of them. May God bless you and keep you, during this holy week and always!

Related posts:
Easter Good News & How to Become a Born Again Christian:
Funny Easter Moose the Cat Photos:
Funny Easter Snickers the Cat Photos:
My Hope America/The Cross Review:


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Funny Easter Cat Photos Featuring Snickers the Cat

Happy Easter from my friend Pam, her cat, Snickers, and me! Snickers loves to eat so we bribed her with treats to get these funny and cute Easter cat photos for you. We hope you get a laugh and a smile out of them!
Snickers didn't mind the bunny ears around her neck but she didn't like them on top of her head.
She was fine with the Easter eggs when they were stationary but if they moved, so did she. I love how she's sticking her little cat tongue out in this photo.
She seemed to enjoy the outside session more than the inside (perhaps the lack of rolling Easter eggs?).
But what I think she liked most were the treats Pam fed her. Hearty thanks to Pam and Snickers for opening their home and hearts to me and my camera!

Happy Easter, dear friends! May the God of all love, peace and power, bless Pam, her kitties, and you too!

Related posts:
Moose the Cat Funny Easter photos:
Easter cat photo fun:
The Good News of Easter:
Pam's Cat Castle:
Pam's Korean Cat photos:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cherry Blossoms, Washington DC Monuments and a Haiku Poem

Cherry blossom season is my favorite time of the year here in the Washington DC - Baltimore area and my favorite place to view the cherry blossoms is by the Tidal Basin. I took these photos this weekend and hope you enjoy the beauty of these fleeting flowers.
 The Washington Monument with cherry trees blooming near the forefront.
The Jefferson Memorial framed by cherry blossoms.
 A different view of the Washington Monument (from the other side of the Tidal Basin).
I love seeing the cherry blossom petals float in the breeze and that's what all those spots are in front of the Jefferson Memorial in this photo. People standing with me on the bridge exclaimed in joy and appreciation as the petals streamed by.

Cherry Blossom Haiku 2014
Beautiful petals,
like clouds of pink joy floating
in a light spring breeze.
Praise God for the beauty of His creation, which includes my beloved cherry blossoms! May He bless you and keep you, dear friends!

Related posts:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Zoo Fun with Jen & Martin

My dear friends Martin and Jen traveled all the way from New England to visit with me and enjoy a trip to the National Zoo. My favorite part of the zoo is currently the baby tigers. I'm not sure whether it's Sukacita or Bandar (those are the tiger cubs' names) in the picture with Damai, their mom, but they were both still super cute, frisky and fun.
Before we left for the big zoo we spent some time in my personal zoo (my home) and Moose the cat basked in Jen and Martin's attention. Moose let Jen hold her body and Martin hold her head (she likes that, even if it does look weird). Feral born Baby cat let them look at her in her sleeping basket, which is more than a lot of visitors get (she mostly hides under the bed).
The Andean bear cubs were enjoying the sun when we walked up to their exhibit but seconds later their keeper rang the dinner bell and they ran off to eat.
We toured the invertebrate house and even viewed a lobster feeding (I took a video; if anyone's interested let me know and I'll upload it to YouTube and share the link on my blog).
Then we enjoyed the small mammal house. I spent far more time talking with my friends than taking pictures but still wanted to share a taste of the zoo. I hope you enjoyed it!

Thank you to Martin and Jen for allowing me to use their photo on my blog and, most especially, for the gift of their time and friendship! May God bless them and may He bless you too!

Related posts:
Cheetah babies:
Red pandas:
Fish grabbing bird:
Andean bear cubs' birthday bash:
Laughing llamas:

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Life Lessons For Women: 7 Essential Ingredients for a Balanced Life" Book Review & Quotes

I thoroughly enjoyed and definitely recommend Life Lessons for Women: 7 Essential Ingredients for a Balanced Life by Stephanie Marston, M.F.T, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. Whether you just want to enjoy some feel-good stories by the folks who brought us the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books or really want to dig in and do all (or some) of the exercises, answer the soul searching questions and build yourself up with the positive affirmations, this book has something to offer every woman (and most open-minded men too).

Here are some of my favorite quotes and one of the great exercises from the book:

"Living a priority-centered life means balancing responsibility to others with responsibility to oneself, obligations with enjoyment, work with play, activity with rest. It means finding a natural rhythm to your day-to-day life that will support an atmosphere of fulfillment." Page 47

“The next time someone asks you to do something, determine what your limits are before responding. Ask yourself, What can I reasonably and joyfully do?" Page 60

"Most of you have an idealized image of what good parents, good employees, good daughters, good wives should be, and are haunted by these images of perfection. Rather than confront the comparison between the idealized images and your actual self, many of you feel inadequate and guilt-ridden because you can’t match up to your own impossibly high standards. You have a choice, you can either adjust your standards so that they more closely match reality or you can change your behavior. In the majority of cases, we would suggest that you get rid of those ludicrous expectations." Page 87-88

Exercise: “Strengthen your defender” write your self criticisms in one column and answer them with the most nurturing voice you can channel. E.g., “Critical voice: ‘You think you deserve some time for yourself? How about the laundry piled in the corner or the bills that are unpaid? Nurturing voice: ‘None of those things are urgent. I deserve some time for myself. Now tear the piece of paper in half and throw away the negative half. It’s time to banish your inner critic.” Page 99-100

"Simplicity is about reducing the things in your life that no longer serve you, eliminating energy-draining activities, and most of all, adjusting your attitude… It’s all about stripping back the possessions, activities and habits that eat up your time and energy so that you can focus on what truly matters." Page 218

“Treat yourself the way you would a cherished friend. You forgive her faults. You tolerate her flaws and mistakes. You cut her lots of slack and you accept her just the way she is, not how you would like her to be. Extend that same kindness, gentleness and understanding to yourself.” Page 269

I got so much from this book that I'm tempted to do a few more blog posts based on it (such as top 10 affirmations, soul searching questions, and inspiring quotes by other authors posts). If any of these potential topics interest you, please let me know and I'll be glad to share them soon.

Best wishes to you in your pursuit of your ideal life! May the God who makes all life possible bless you abundantly!

Related posts:

Disclaimer: This post (and all of my blog posts, unless otherwise stated) is my own opinion and I was neither asked or paid to write it. I am not affiliated with anyone or anything in the post.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sea Lions Fight and Make Up (Photos)

Two of the California sea lions at the Smithsonian's National Zoo had a an acrobatic fight right in front of the underwater viewing window.
 Even when fighting the sea lions are beautiful and graceful.
 Their battle lasted for a few minutes.
 And included some playful (I hope) nips.
But then they appeared to snuggle and make up, so peace reigned again in their habitat. I love a happy ending. Do you?

May the Creator of all creatures bless you and keep you!

Related posts:
Sea lion loves snow:
Sea lion feeding:
Baby tigers romp in snow: