Intoxicating Pops

Intoxicating Pops

Latin name “papaver” was formed from Greek word “pavas” – milk, since the plant’s parts contain milk, whereas it means “sleep-bringing poppy”. Poppy is a symbol of fertility, it is devoted to the God of Sleep. According to legends the god Morpheus made crowns out of the poppy flowers and gave them those he wanted to put to sleep. Poppy flowers were used to decorate his temple. Pops is not a simple flower, but a very wily one. She can come to your mind and make your world brighter and violent. Therefore it is better just look at it as a glamorous flower, however, be careful not to smell it deeply, as her odor is very dangerously intoxicating, you may feel dizzy.

Poppy

The ancient Romans used a concoction of the poppy to ease the pains of love; I guess if you are sleeping you can’t worry about love. The poppy is also grown for its seeds, which are commonly used in cooking and baking. In Ukraine poppy grains are considered to be dainty. Ukrainians bake different doughnuts with poppy-seed and honey for Christmas holidays. Moreover, in Ukraine poppy seeds are a symbol of everything finer or insignificant, and when you are not able to deal with some very difficult and spade work it is compared with gathering loose poppy seeds. 

Medical Pops

There are some of the ancient legends associated with the poppy. Now you are asking if I am ever going to explain the war connection. This too is an ancient connection going back to Ghengis Khan. It is said that after his annihilation of the enemy the fields were churned up and drenched in blood. Soon they were covered in pure white blooms of the poppy. During the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century the same phenomenon occurred. Churned up blood-drenched fields erupted in poppy flowers.”

Bloody Pops

The flower symbolism associated with poppies is beauty, magic, consolation, fertility, infinity of the universe, sleep and eternal life. Poppies represent the loyalty and faith between lovers.

Pops Together

The poppy thanks to its blooms that are so tender and wilt in no time, is also a symbol of youth and beauty that pass so fast. A wreath made of poppy flowers is likened to girls’ virginity — the petals are damaged and are lost so easily.

Virgin Pops

Red poppies represented pleasure, while yellow poppies meant wealth or success. White poppies symbolized consolation, a possible reference to the Greek myth about Demeter’s search for her daughter Persephone.

Pops in White

Poppies were believed to have a magic power and be helpful against all sorts of evil forces and evil influences; they were believed to be a good charm against witches.

Charming Pops

This flower can be of so many colors difficult to count even. And when it opens, then you can screw up your eyes from its beauty. Pops is so good-looking, splendid and mysterious. There is some mystery about it, especially when you look inside, its structure is striking.

Pops Inside

I have a wish to run through the field of poppy in a long dress with my hair loose and imagine myself a very pretty girl who looks out for the boy of her dreams. This beautiful girl is among these pops and suddenly sees how her Dream Boy is running to her, he is so handsome she hardly can breathe. Then he embraces her and holds very tightly. I see them running across this fabulous field, wind blows their hair and around is only pops, poppy…I cannot imagine more charming picture!!! And you?

Field of Pops

See you soon! Have a wonderful and peaceful weekend!

Looking forward to your comments!

Pops

Mr and Mrs Strawberry Basking in the Sun

Mr Samon

Samon Strawberry liked getting up with first glimpses of sun. He was an early bird. He wanted to quickly ripen and be the first among other strawberries, that is why he was in a hurry to catch the sunlight. Samon has a very attractive round shape and green thick forelock – a handsome man what to say. Everybody admires him and envy him. And as Samon was turning his red sides to the sun Galyna Strawberry was silently sniffing next to him.

Mrs Strawberry

She was a drop dead gorgeous beauty, juicy and spicy at the same time, always adorned and gentle by her husband’s side. Samon spent a lot of time to conquer her heart. He fell in love with her at first sight. They met in the field where many strawberries gathered for harvest celebration. He knew that he could not miss his chance and he did everything to catch her attention. Galyna also knew that such strawberries as Samon is met once in a lifetime, so she accepted his courting with pleasure. Now they had little children-strawberries, who became the fruits of their love. They were also calmly sleeping on the bush behind them. Sweet lovely strawberries Petryk, Maxym, Oleg, Mykola, Mikhael, Eduardo, Samuel, Peter, Bob, Denny, Maria, Rebekka, Marusya and etc. They were lucky to have so many strawberries, they were fertile.

Strawberry Kids

Mr and Mrs Strawberry house was in the first row, a very nice one with big leaf to hide from sun and comfortable stem. This family was not poor, but pretty prosperous. They worked hardly and were proud of their results. Mr and Mrs Strawberry were proud of their origin. Maybe you heard the story about berries on a straw? Nope…then here it is:

“There is a legend that strawberries were named in the nineteenth-century by English children who picked the fruit, strung them on grass straws and sold them as “Straws of berries”.”

Samon and Galyna always remind their kids that they are regarded as one of the most romantic fruit. Even it is a known fact that at wedding breakfasts in provincial France, newlyweds traditionally were served a soup of thinned sour cream, strawberries, borage and powdered sugar. 

Even if Mr and Mrs Strawberry were from noble Rose Family, they behaved like usual strawberries. They liked being on the field among other strawberries. Samon was a man of good joke, he knew a lot of jokes for any occasion. Other strawberries liked his company and regarded him as a leader…

Sun was already high in sky and everybody got up. Galyna joined her husband and took a seat on the sun next to him like a real Strawberry Queen. Soon their little kids joined them as well. A new day has come for Strawberry Family!

AnRo

Happy Weekend from Ann!!! See you soon!

Do You Hear Magical Bells?

My Friend

My little friend, squirrel Tickle, was very surprised to hear some strange noise this morning. He calmly was looking for some food when suddenly heard something very unusual. Tickle does not like strange sounds, it makes him to be on alert. He decided to check the situation and looked out. At this very moment I was walking along the path and saw little Tickle. We stare at each other for some seconds, whole monologues going unsaid across our features. However, silent moment did not last that long. A made a step closer… and scared him off…he went into hiding…I saw only his fluffy tail…

I looked up and saw branches of trees reaching up hungrily toward the blue sky. My eyelids drift shut for a second. I carefully made more steps and felt that I have to keep on going pulled by some magnetic force. Suddenly I caught a glimpse of very bright light. I went further and saw them…magical bells!

Magical Bells

I found a large field of gorgeous flowers. You certainly recognized these flowers….but I prefer calling them Bells due to their specific shape. Don’t you agree? Do not they look like bells? Do not you hear din-don?

Gentle Bells

A very interesting fantasy visited my head. For an instant I wanted to be another being. A butterfly or somebody else who is able to immerse into the flower head and read its thoughts. I can see your puzzled face…I know, I know…sounds very strange…but I like going deeper (literary talking). I am curious as ever about their inside nature. It can be such an experience to go behind the nature curtain, to peep through the holes invisible for human eye.

Water Paradise

A true stroke of luck is that I have at least zoom. With my photocamera I can zoom and satisfy my curiosity. I do not know whether flowers can smile, but every time I look at them  they do smile at me in reply. They might guess that I’d like to photograph them, so their initial reaction is to look prettier, they try to show their best side. I am not sure indeed…I only can dream of….observe…and imagine!

Bright Bells

These bright colors make us feel extremely energetic. Life turns into some show of sparkling colors changing every minute. You feel some splash of emotions, you want to catch this rhythm…

Colorful Heaven

I wonder whether you feel this endless energy that originates from them. In case some negative thoughts bumped into your head, you need to find your own magical bells.

Yellow WorldMagical bells can do wonders as all magicians. Yellow bells make you believe that sun will shine always on you, they make you feel positive as if you can do everything you want. You feel warmth embraces your body.

Lonely Bell

Oh, and look at it! How do you like Mrs Bell’s dress, isn’t it fantastic? Suits her just perfectly. Anyone can envy you Mrs Bell. Why are you so beautiful?

Bride Bell

Time passed so quickly and I had to say good-by to my magical bells. When I was heading back I met Tickle, he recognized me and decided to find out whether I have any nuts for him. How lucky he was – I did share with them several nuts, how disappointed I was – he did not eat them, but buried them. This time Tickle was very playful, he liked my white summer trousers and decided to try on the fabric… touched it. Then he ran away and again came back. He liked following me and even pretended to be ready to make a jump on me…but did not dare. Squirrels can be pretty playful, I do not know whether they feel danger if you are close to them, but sometimes they look at you in such a way that it seems they understood what do you tell them and reply in their own specific manner. Tickle is a young squirrel, if you pay attention, his ears are very short yet. He just discovers this world and sometimes not to careful. I hope he become more wisdom and smarter. I will keep on looking after him to be sure he doesn’t find any trouble…

See you soon!

Goddess Peony

Which flower comes to your mind when you think of May? Huh…yep, right you are, peonies! Who can resist the attraction of fragrant peonies? Once you experience the delicious fragrances that vary from rose scented to hints of citrus you’ll want to include fragrant peonies in a bouquet to grace your table.  

Peony Goddess

Folklore mentions the flower which further links Peony to the moon. It is believed that this flower of sheer romance was created by the Goddess of moon to reflect the lustrous shimmer of the moon’s beam at night…or sunshine at day time. Peonies do not look at you, they usually turn their heads into opposite direction mostly to sun. They enjoy being under direct sunlight. These Goddesses cannot imagine their happy life without sun.

Peony in White

As usually I caught myself at being unaware of what kind of flower peony is? So, I had to look through some useful information, the most interesting I share with you.

Colorful Peony

Did you know that Peonies have been grown in China for thousands of years, though at first they were primarily revered not for their blooms, but for their medicinal purposes.  In traditional Chinese medicine, the bark of tree peonies and their roots used for cooling the blood and relieving both pain and infections. We can say that peonies are very regarded in China even nowadays. China does not have an “official” national flower, but the tree peony can be regarded as a national favorite. The tree peony received the most votes in an unofficial survey conducted in 1994 in every district in China asking people to select a national flower. Isn’t it impressive? And what about your country? Do you have a national flower, if not, then what kind of flower you can choose for your country? My country has a variety of national flowers, one of them is penwinkle. 

Enchanted Peony

You may notice that I like legends, every flower has its own legend and my Goddess Peony is not an exception. I found out that its legend connected to Greece. The Greek story goes that the Greek god of medicine Asclepius had a student named Paena. But, the student was actually better than the master, so the teacher because jealous of him. The story goes that Zeus actually had to save the student from the teacher’s wrath by turning him into a flower. I do not wonder, I saw many examples when students were smarter than teacher and usually nothing good happened. From my student’s life I recall such teachers who were not able to read correctly in English, so how could they teach us? It is a shame! Thanks to this story we know that Peonies are very smart girls, when you come along paths with peonies be careful and do not say anything stupid, they will recognize!

Bushes of Peonies

Marco Polo once described peonies as “roses, big as cabbages.” If you look close you may find the similarity to a cabbage or funny hairstyle, am I not right?

Peony as Cabbage

White peonies traditionally symbolize young girls who are distinguished mainly by their wit but also by their beauty.

White Peonies

Peony  is often understood as a positive influence for woman and man living harmoniously together.

It also symbolizes good fortune and happy marriages because the blossoms of the peony flower is round which symbolizes money. The generous look of the peony flower also represents fortune in romance thus it symbolize a happy marriage. Traditionally, couples that are celebrating their 12th wedding anniversary are given peonies as present.

Couple of Peonies

Another symbolic meaning of the peony flower is peace but only when the flower is in full bloom. As for the negative connotation of peony, it could mean indignation and put to shame.

Gentle Peonies

This flower brings some hidden positive emotion that fulfills your heart and your nose…I saw people who were walking among them; there were only happy and smiling faces. We live in a difficult world and difficult time, so lack of positive became critical. Peonies can save the world from problems at least for some valuable minutes…

Sunny Peonies

My dear Reader, I ask you to leave all your tasks, sit comfortable next to your computer and spend with my peonies several positive minutes, you will not regret, trust me! Let us enjoy this world of peonies which is so sparkling…

Sparkling Peony

In my country peonies are blooming almost in every garden and what about you, do you invite peonies to make your garden more beautiful? They are right on their way to you…

What's Inside

My little Goddesses wish you a positive and sunny weekend! Enjoy summer, enjoy life, enjoy peonies!

Glimpses of Wedding (Ukrainian Look)

Ukrainian Wedding Cake

You won’t believe but somewhere deep inside I wanted to be a wedding photographer…you know why…because wedding photographers earn nice money and positive emotions, they have the most comfortable offices and they are in contact with many happy people who smile and pose for them…however, I do know very well that it’s a hard work and only for professionals who really are able to create and manipulate photos, who are able to look deep into your heart and show your best side…or not? Anyway, I was lucky enough to become such an amateur wedding photographer just for fun when I got an invitation for my cousin’s wedding. I did it for myself and not for money. So, when I dived into it I felt the need to share with you my impressions and ideas on weddings!

Many years ago Ukrainian weddings were very different from nowadays. There were obligatory traditions and rules to follow. Now we copy American or European style of weddings, which means that wedding became a real challenge for a couple and their parents…it costs a fortune! So, in case even after my very critical view on weddings you still would like to have a big wedding be ready to have a nice sum of money on your account! I am going to be pretty harsh and critical since I do not understand the reason of big and expensive weddings. In my view wedding is a formal procedure which purpose is to get a certificate that will confirm your marital status, I do not find romantic standing in hot registration offices where a serious lady reads some formal text and then pronounces you “husband and wife”, she does it quickly and sometimes forgets words because there is a big queue behind closed doors. Then you are going for a very boring photo-session in some park where photographer treats you like two statues. Finally, you come to a restaurant where you see a huge amount of unknown so-called relatives who start greeting you…then you hear endless speeches, toasts, stupid jokes from showman whose scenario is always the same. After couple of champagne glasses and some food your only wish is to escape and never come back here…am I not right?

However, it can be otherwise if you break this stupid wedding rules and do just like you would like. Wedding I visited was also quite typical, even I found out that a couple didn’t want to have it, that was their parents’ wish. Nevertheless, I found some interesting for myself, for example, the restaurant where it took place. It’s very nice, traditional Ukrainian one. Look at this building, doesn’t it look very nice?

Wedding Restaurant

It’s a countryside wedding, so restaurant was in a small village at the lake bank. Nature was amazing as well as air, I found myself here uncommonly pleasant. You just can stand at the lake bank and enjoy its wild nature. Surroundings are breathtaking!

Wed Nature

Territory itself is decorated with many traditional symbols. This clay pot in Ukraine is a symbol of unity between Sun and Earth without which it’s impossible to have prosperity at home. 

Wed Decor

Look at this Kozak (Ukrainian), he is always on guard! He will protect you from evil power.

Wed Kozak

Then my attention is caught by this miniature of old Ukrainian house, which is usually made of clay and straw. All the materials required to construct this type of dwelling were available to the settler: longs, clay, straw, and lime. Pine or spruce logs were preferred but poplar was commonly utilized in their absence despite its inferior quality. An axe, saw and auger were the only essential tools. Nails were not essential but they were used if available. A unique feature of the Ukrainian house was the addition of a clay embankment (pryzba) at the vase of the exterior walls.  The pryzba slanted downwards away from the house to a distance of approximately two feet.” The pryzbashed rainwater away from the house thereby preventing the log walls from rotting.

Wed House

The house was usually subdivided into two rooms and a hallway although some houses simply consisted of two rooms. The western section of the dwelling consisted of a kitchen-living room (mala khata). The eastern section consisted of a room reserved for special occasions (velyka khata). A narrow entrance hall (siny, khoromy) separated the two rooms from one another. The mala khata “was a  place for living, cooking, washing, eating and sleeping.

Wed Hall

The velyka khata was reserved for formal occasions and the accommodation of guests. 

But now we come back to our wedding, which was celebrated here, in this room. It was a very modest wedding with a limited amount of people, although a couple felt quite tired even from them. 

Wed Table

Even if it’s always interesting to visit weddings and study them I cannot understand why weddings have become mostly money-making businesses starting from a bouquet of flowers for a bride till the food for guests. I have already visited several weddings and honestly at every I felt very boring and sorry that so much money was wasted on following the fashion. Maybe I sound too extreme for most of you (since you had your big weddings) but I would cancel big weddings if I could or offer to celebrate weddings after 10 years of common life. I do not cancel having a certificate, no, just I think that celebration in full swing should be later after many years of life full of compromises and different moments, fundamental joy of family as the raison d-etre of all men. 

Wed Picture

Marriage is a hard work, constant search of compromise sometimes with your heart…I hardly believe these newlyweds understand it, they are too young and too unexperienced. Only life can teach them…

Wed Couple

Carpathian Ukraine: life is difficult, breathe is easy (Slavske Village)

Slavske Up the Hill

Slavske (Ukrainian Village)

And so my journey starts in the Carpathian Mountains. Mountains are everywhere where I look. I cannot hide from them; they keep an eye on me and my deeds. Today I am lucky to be in Svavske. This village is located deeply in Ukrainian Carpathians on a distance of 28 km from Skole in a picturesque valley of the river Opir and the river Slavka on the mountain chain Beskid. It is surrounded by 1000-meters height mountain ranges, Troyan (1235 m above sea level), Il’za (1066 m above sea level), Dovbushanka (1236 m above sea level) and Menchela (1014 m above sea level). Mountain ranges Beskid and Slavsky created unique local climate favorable for relaxation in any time of the year. Around 6100 inhabitants live here.

Slavske

Slavske, first of all, is a ski resort that attracts many skiers in winter. It can be called a paradise for skiers and snowboarders,  there you can find almost everything you need, hotels, restaurants, fast food, shops and even bowling. However, in reality it is a bit far from European resorts. And this is thanks to our Ukrainian Authorities (no matter current or previous), they are not interested in Western Ukraine; they think that here there is nothing except mountains and lakes; there are no roads to be built or repaired or any infrastructure. Our State Governors have never traveled these awful “roads” that hardly be called like that. You can use there only a tractor or rover, but a usual car, even don’t think, no way! Then a question arises who will ever dare to drive there? Only somebody who would like to feel extreme, by the way, you can use a quadricycle…

Chair Lifts

Driving these awful “roads” made my blood boil…these roads can be fixed so easily, no big money required, and then this resort will be full of tourists, especially Ukrainians, as we do not have many places to go nowadays, even from Black Sea we have only a small piece now. Somebody has stolen it or, better to say, annexed (we all know WHO). Tell me please where Ukrainians should go for holidays – definitely not to Crimea where Russians would like to leave you even without trousers. And what about foreign tourists, prices are very catching, only service should be improved, I agree. I have been abroad and know the prices are higher here as well as service quality.

Slavske Village

Indeed, we need to do serious changes, however, when you can taste our wine or vodka and borsch (beetroot soup) with garlic, you won’t regret that you came here. Ukrainian traditional cuisine is a cultural heritage which reflects historical development of Ukrainian nation, traditions, customs and culture. It is very unlikely that the Ukrainian national cuisine will leave you indifferent. After a good meal you can find yourself soaking into the traditional wooden bath tub with herbals and tea (have you ever heard about it?). You can relax there and enjoy tea. Everything is for people and with all the heart.

BBQ in Slavske

 And we should not forget that the most delicious BBQ can be prepared only in Ukraine and only by a male chef-cook! I see your puzzled faces…in our country it is believed that women have no right to deal with such delicate food as BBQ…I cannot explain exactly why, but I guess that women like doing everything quickly since they always have lots to do, BBQ is a very capricious food which should be cooked slowly, gently and passionately…men are able to do it since they usually do not stay the whole day at kitchen! Don’t you agree?

BBQ

People are so friendly and so hard-working here. Life is difficult for them, there are no jobs, everybody is abroad working as baby-sitters, cleaners, nannies, housemaids and etc. They did not deserve for such life. You should see their eyes, very bright, and their hearts are so kind. During my journey I accidentally met several typical representatives of Western Ukrainians; somehow they told me their stories. I have no right to share their stories with you, it’s private, the only I can say that I do still envy them, they are so brave, so free like wild horses galloping through time…

Bridge in Slavske

They still can joke and never complain. I like calling them Carpathian Ukrainians…they are special people…something tells me that changes in our country are possible only if they do something…they never give up, they won’t let to be conquered – better to die!

Church in Slavske

They are the symbol of unsubdued Ukraine that fights till the last breathe…symbol of an old man who brings his horses up to the mountains and for the question ” how is your life” answers: “difficult, but breathing is easy”…

Gates in Slavske

To be continued…