Sunday, May 11, 2008

My garden, My city...

On 11 May 2008 Asian News International reported: The pollution-free city of Chandigarh, which borders both the states of Punjab and Haryana, India---with its flowering trees, parks, gardens, and 'vast green expanses'---is a model city for the rest of India and the world to emulate.

In the planned city*, "One can today notice how the general feeling of---My garden, My city---has influenced the entire landscape and ultimately turning out to be the essence of Chandigarh. Chandigarh has also gained worldwide reputation for being a verdant haven. Be it roadsides, colonies or every possible place, care is given to ensure beautification through greenery."

The city's administration has employed over 600 gardeners to keep the city's gardens and landscaping green and beautiful.

* For more insight into the planning of Chandigarh go to:

© Copyright 2008 Global Good News®

Every day Global Good News documents the rise of a better quality of life dawning in the world and highlights those programs which have been proven to raise the quality of life for people in every society.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Nuggets of Gold...

This poem was written by my mother as a gift to me and every Mother's Day when I read it I understand a little bit more about my mother and myself...

I would, if I could, give you nuggets of gold,
But all I can offer are gems such as these…
A ray of sunlight on a new-green leaf,
A moment of quiet in a garden in bloom.
Thunder sounding on a bone-dry day,
And the rain that's sure to follow...
I can smell it on the way.
Embrace it! Enjoy it!
Treasure it, too.
Golden gifts seem far too few.
But I see some shining there for you
Like nuggets glistening in a mountain stream…
Waiting there for you to see.
You'll remember these things
When you're old like me.
You won't doubt any longer,
You'll be totally free to
Look back at what's happened
And suddenly know
Your life has had value,
It was full of ...
pure gold.

Nuggets of Gold © 2000 and Self-Portrait by Luella Phoebe Freeman (1910-2001) Wife, Mother, artist, horticulturist, and uplifter of all souls who ever needed encouragement on this interesting journey called "Life"...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The undeniable lightness of lemons...

The weather is inviting. Farmers' markets are opening and fresh flowers are beginning to appear everywhere in abundance. It certainly is spring in most places now. In some areas fund-raising events are in beginning to take place. Last year I volunteered to serve refreshments at an arts council event. The lemonade we served was a huge hit. Other beverages sold well, of course, but my station was the only one where people actually were standing in line to buy re-fills!

To make lemonade for the crowd that will be attending your event, you will need: simple syrup, water, crushed ice, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and lemon slices.

The day before the event you will want to do the following:
  • Make up a batch of simple syrup:
Combine one cup of white sugar and one cup of water in a heavy saucepan. Simmer the sugar and water over medium heat and stir until all the sugar dissolves. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes until the syrup is clear. Then remove the pan from the heat. Cool to room temperature. Pour this cool simple syrup into a gallon jar; add enough cool water to fill up the jar. One gallon of watered-down syrup is about right for a large family picnic.
For a fund-raising event, you will need to triple the amount of simple syrup shown above and add the cooled syrup to three gallons of water. Three gallons of watered-down syrup will serve a large crowd.
  • Reserve the sugar/water mixture in your refrigerator.
  • Next you will need to squeeze a lot of lemons. How many is up to you. But if you have a large event you will want one gallon of fresh-squeezed lemon juice for every three gallons of simple syrup/water mix. Reserve this lemon juice in a glass gallon jug or in several glass containers in your refrigerator.
  • Slice lemons cross-wise for garnish, wrap these in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
On the day of the event, set up your serving station:
  • Fill a clean ice chest to the brim with crushed ice. Place a sturdy scoop inside the ice chest so it will be handy.
  • Position a stack of tall beverage cups at your table/station.
  • Fill a glass pitcher with syrup mix and one with lemon juice. Place these, side-by side, and use a small sauce ladle for dispensing the lemon juice.
  • Have lemon slices on a pretty plate---at the ready.
  • Scoop ice chips into each beverage container as the order is placed.
  • Fill each beverage container 3/4 full of the syrup mix.
  • Add 2, 3 or 4 ladles of lemon juice depending on the customer's taste---Ask how they like it---mild, medium, or very tart?
  • Add a lemon slice as garnish and a swizzle stick or straw to stir.
If you are serving at a fund-raiser, smile sweetly and say, "Two dollars, please."
This recipe will return a tremendous profit, and gives enjoyment to all who buy!
Many thanks to Claire, my friend, neighbor and fellow arts council member who shared this recipe with me.
Still Life with Lemons was painted by Wanda Westberg, one of America's finest traditional plein-air landscape painters. This painting and others are currently offered for sale at William Lester Gallery: