Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Sunflower Smile!

I declare the magnificent sunflower Summer's official flower. These huge flower cluster beauties are growing abundantly in our vegetable garden. The bees were happily pollinating among the large heads, not disturbed by my presence at all. The stunning, vibrant yellow pedals make them a favorite for arrangements and flowerbeds alike.

Sunflower seeds make an excellent snack for humans, and also used as bird food. Sunflowers are made into peanut butter, or sunbutter. Sunflower oil is used for cooking, made into magarine, and used to make biodiesel. Some sunflowers are even higher in monounsaturated (healthy) fats than the ever popular olive oil.

I counted 18 flowers growing from one sunflower plant in our garden above.

I can't help but smile when I look upon the cheery petals of a sunflower. Artist Vicent van Gogh made the sunflower popular in his many sunflower paintings. I see sunflowers sold in several stores, and we have them growing here free every year. The seeds fall off naturally and are tilled for the next summer season. Amusing to watch the birds eat from the seed clusters, pecking in all kinds of positions. This year I plan to dry the seeds to make for snacks, and save a batch for bird food in the winter.


ochikeron said...

Hello jo!

How nice and big your garden is!!! Is that your house back the sunflowers?
I learned a lot about sunflower seeds today. You are so nice to save them for birds in winter!

I like your lifestyle!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jo,

Wow,you really have a great garden.I love it..looked so peaceful and bright..

I love sunflower too..You really enjoy your life there.Really hope I can get my own garden someday..

Jo A. T.B. said...

Hi Ochi,

Not my house in back of the flowers. I had purchased bird food, and I saw sunflower seeds mixed in, so I thought why not save for the birds.

Definitely a comfortable lifestyle, not for the real young, my daughter bored.

Jo A. T.B. said...

Thank you Jose,

Always fun to see what I can pick from the garden. I hope you are able to have a garden one day. It is very peaceful here.

ochikeron said...

Hi jo! I understand your daughter! Young people who live away from Tokyo are the same! Luckily, I grew up around here but I might have thought the same if I didn't!

You know what!? I am thinking of taking a course to learn about fruits and vegetables! I'm not sure yet, but I like to eat them, so I thought why not!?

Jo A. T.B. said...

Yes I know what you mean Ochi, I grew up in a small city. Always something going on. We have quite a few things here in my area too, but she always want to go to the city!

Well if you take a course on fruits and vegetables you'll be an expert. Would be a plus for your cooking expertise!

Jo Janoski said...

Jo, gorgeous sunflowers! I love them, too. The first time I grew one I was only in grade school, but the fascination started there. I planted the seed not knowing what it was, and voila! Imagine my surprise!

terrymcdermott said...

This reminded me of the sunflowers that were near my house as a kid. They enchanted me. Thanks for sharing.

Jo A. T.B. said...

Aren't they just terric Terry! I almost hate for Summer to end. So much beauty! Sigh!!

Patty Butts said...

Dear Jo,
Thank you. I hope this may be helpful to you.
Positive Parenting

 Being a parent is both the hardest and most wonderful
 thing you will do in your life.
 Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. ---Robert Fulghum
 Insanity is hereditary—we get it from our children.

Parents are generally the most important people in a child’s life.
My favorite book on parenting is , Everyday Parents Raising Great Kids, by James D. MacArthur. Listed below are a few suggestions for helping your family.

 Set clear goals for yourself and your family
 As a parent, the overall goal is to be a positive, competent force in a child’s life.
 1.Be involved
 2. Be open—talk to them in a way that will help them talk to you when they need to, so that includes being willing to listen.
 3. Be Firm/Set Limits
 4. Be together
 5. Be Kind
 6. Be fun—joke and play with your children

 1. Set or define your goals
 2. What is a healthy family?
 3. Evaluate your family
 4. Have family discussion time
 5. Have family council meetings
 6. Rate your relationships with each child on a scale of one to ten.
 7. What are you writing on your child’s blackboard?
 8. Talk or write about your family of origin

Brainstorm as a family ways you can pull together as a team.

My advice is to pray a lot. Teenagers do grow up, they do change and two people can do anything as long as one of them is the Lord. Over the years, I had seven teenagers and even more step-children.
The UnGame is a great game to share feelings.

Patty Butts, Ph.D., Licensed Professional Counselor

sunflower bouquets said...

One of the reason why i love this flower because every time i see this flower it makes my day blooming and i feel the beauty and diligent of our Mother Nature.I want to see its huge petal flower especially when i wake up in the morning.


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