Spring in winter.

Short and sweet today. I saw several of these ice blocks decorating our garden center’s parking lot when I was shopping for flowers last month. Such a pretty way to add color outdoors when the weather is cold enough. Might try doing this with aging winter bouquets to get a second display out of them.

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Convertible bouquet FTW!

This gallery contains 4 photos.

The hubby is quite dependable when it comes to flowers and holidays. That’s one of the advantages of marrying somebody with a primarily scientific background – if they see that something has had positive outcomes in the past, they will make damn sure to replicate that procedure in the future with all due reliability. He still occasionally manages to surprise me with his choices, though. For instance, this thing from last month’s holiday involving the color red, overdecorating with hearts and overindulging in chocolates. Generally, carnations aren’t really my thing. Too many associations with high school and supermarket bouquets and …

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August in Taiwan Photo Album (in which there is snake!)

This gallery contains 15 photos.

In late August of 2012, I had to return to Taiwan due to familial obligations. Afterwards, we spent a bit of time exploring some local attractions that I didn’t get a chance to see last time we were there. This included sampling some of the more unique food offerings at a night market. Hence the snake. Amongst other things.

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July in Taiwan Show and Tell Picture Show

This gallery contains 29 photos.

Back in July 2012, the hubby and I (and both sets of parents, plus his sister) spent most of our July in Taiwan, hitting up a handful of the more popular touristy spots. I shared some of these photos on Facebook when we got back, but haven’t had time to actually post in more detail, thanks to the craziness that started right after we got back. Here’s my chance to finally do so!

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Dreaming of spring flowers.

This gallery contains 11 photos.

One of the things I love most about spring in the north is the bonanza of flowering bulbs that burst out nonstop the minute the snows recede. I spent several years back in Cali trying to coax reluctant daffodils and hyacinths into bloom through rigorous refrigerator chilling regimens before finally giving in to the fact that I would only ever have them as cut flowers. Tulips and snowdrops never had a fighting chance. In our Finnish house, though, it’s a completely different story. I am already plotting elaborate flower beds and making wish lists from internet bulb suppliers, even though planting time …

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Birthday Flowers :-)

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Just an excuse to share pictures of flowers, really. You must understand, though, that I’d never received a real gift bouquet (because do graduation carnations count? I think not) until I met T five-ish years ago. Goes with the not-dating-much territory, I suppose. And I was far too cautious a child to ever end up in the hospital. I mean, sure, I bought myself a sprig of dendrobium or freesia every so often because I’d walk by the most amazing florist on the way home from classes at UCLA and sometimes couldn’t resist. But there’s something different about being surprised …

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Flowerish

These vaguely fit into the “garden” part of this blog, right? Right. Mostly, it’s just an excuse to share the pretty flowers that T got me for a certain holiday this past February. Yep, I really waited this long before posting them, mostly to stay away from all the vitriol that some people have against said holiday. But these were particularly lovely, so I had to share. I have a thing for orchids. Can’t seem to keep the plants themselves alive for too long, usually, but just adore the flowers. T usually gets roses, which are great, but don’t quite …

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Pike Cioppino and Lilies of the Valley

Nothing too in-depth today, just wanted to share a couple of photos. Yesterday was a pretty good day. We had the boy’s family over for dinner and I made my favorite cioppino with whatever seafood I could scrounge from the supermarket. Which ended up being a pound of frozen mussels (smaller than the kiwis I’m used to but still tasty), a pound of frozen shrimp (the wee kind, sadly, which shrunk even further in the stew), and a pound of fresh northern pike. It’s a great fish for stews of this kind, with mild white meat, though it is a …

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