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Something special in the air…

IMG_1078Happy Fall, Y’all!

The glowing, delicious days of autumn are here!  I just love this time of year when the air is fresh and invigorating, and the countryside is awash with vibrant reds and golds. Doesn’t it just put that extra zing in your step! And, of course, I love fall walks, crisp apples, apple crisps and EVERYTHING pumpkin!

In the garden, I swap out the ‘bloom boxes’ for ‘pumpkin pots’, filling urns and window boxes with gourds of all kinds and pumpkins big and small. It’s easy to do and is such an inviting look for fall. Hope is in the air everywhere!

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Thanks to the many supportive garden nurseries and friends, it was a fantastic Pink Days In Bloom season, with more to come… And, so, in the spirit of breast cancer awareness, I thought I would share some nice news with you today. The pages below are from a newsletter that I recently shared on Pink Days In Bloom’s facebook page.  You can click on any of the photos in this post to enlarge them. October may be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but locally we’re streeetching it by a couple days to November 2nd!

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Bring a friend, or two, or three and make plans for lunch/brunch in the café and then head on up to the third floor Rocket Room to check out the fair.  I think you will be pleased with what the vendors have in store for you. Many of them have already begun working on one-of-a-kind items for this wonderful sale.0001YK0001vo

Did you know that each vendor at “The Little Christmas Fair” makes a $100 charitable donation in support of CBCF-Atlantic in lieu of their table space at the fair? (Some of the vendors don’t normally participate in fairs but they do this one because they have a real connection to the cause and they want to help.) Admission is charged on the door and then there are generally a few holiday-themed raffles. It’s a fun way to raise monies for breast cancer research and community programs.  And, of course, we depend on you and your family and friends to all come out in support and have a good time while together we are working toward a future without breast cancer!

I hope you will help spread the word so that we can make this year’s “The Little Christmas Fair” the best yet for our generous vendors who put their hearts and talents into supporting the cause, and for CBCF-Atlantic to help them continue to do their good work in creating a future without breast cancer.  Whenever you see something on the Pink Days In Bloom Facebook touting “The Little Christmas Fair”, it would be a really huge help if you would share it on your own page.  That will go a long way in helping to get the word out about the fair and bringing more people to the venue.

Of course, greeters and ticket sellers are needed again this year.  So, if you’d like to volunteer for a couple hours during the day of the fair (pretteee pleeease), let me know and I’ll put your sweet face on the schedule!  Doors open at 11:00 AM and close at 5:00 PM.  Volunteer shifts are generally 2-hour shifts with 3 persons working each shift. The shift times are 11AM – 1PM, 1PM – 3PM and 3PM –  5PM.  Email me at linda.pinkdaysinbloom@gmail and let me know which shift you’d prefer.  Even volunteers have a great time at the fair and many stay long after their shift is over to take it all in!  You’ll be contributing to something good! It’s a great feeling that will surely get you into the holiday spirit!
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WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING NEXT? DISCOVER PINK DAYS IN BLOOM ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER.          Don’t miss a thing!  ‘Like’ Pink Days In Bloom on Facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pink-Days-in-Bloom/382061855145657    Follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/LindaPDIB

Thank you for your support and for dropping in for a visit today!  Cheers to a beautiful fall season! If you happen to be in St. John’s on November 2nd, I hope you will check out “The Little Christmas Fair!” See you here again soon!

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Linda

 

THANK YOU to the many wonderful bloggers who are sharing on their blogs this month about breast cancer awareness!  I am blessed to be able to share with Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Tea Time TuesdayWhat We Accomplished WednesdayWow Us Wednesday, Cottage Style PartyWake Up WednesdayWhat’s It Wednesday, The Homemaking PartyShare Your Cup ThursdayHome and Garden Thursday, Thursday Favourite ThingsFeathered Nest FridayRomantic Home, What to do Weekends, Home Sweet Home, Saturday Show Off and Pink Saturday. Love your blogs!

 

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Tea from Sea to Sea!

Dear Friends,

 

I hope you all enjoyed an incredible summer. Mine was a busy one preparing our garden that was part of a Mystery Garden Tour fundraiser in July in support of our community’s botanical garden (175 people visited our garden on a single weekend) as well as attending Pink Days In Bloom fundraising events at local garden centres throughout June and August in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Atlantic.  I feel a little sad that summer is winding down and fall is coming on (although fall is my favourite season), but I’m delighted to be back at my blog and glad you are here visiting with me today.  It’s so heartwarming to be able to share with you all about a special tea that happened earlier this season.  It took months of planning, but was well worth the result.

On June 8th, a group of fellow breast cancer survivors and supporters celebrated “Pink Tree Day in the Park”.  The day was chosen to mark the Centennial Anniversary of our city’s beloved Bowring Park.  It also kicked off the Pink Days In Bloom fundraising season, an initiative that has grown from our small community here in Newfoundland throughout Atlantic Canada and beyond.  I am very happy about that!  Much gratitude to Proven Winners for this beautiful idea and the Invincibelle Spirit Campaign that donates $1.00 from the sale of every pink Invincibelle Spirit hydrangea to the Breast Cancer Research (BRC) Foundation in the United States.  I had the pleasure of meeting some of the wonderful and caring people behind the campaign in June 2013 when I was invited to the amazing Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, Michigan to share with their major growers about Pink Days In Bloom in Newfoundland. 

“Pink Tree Day in the Park” began with the dedication of a special Pink Days In Bloom bench, together with a pink-blossoming tree, at a heartfelt ceremony to honour the lives of those touched by breast cancer. This everlasting gift has created a beautiful and serene rest area where park visitors, especially those whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer, can find an especially meaningful place for reflection and rejuvenation, and to feel embraced within the park’s tranquil surroundings.
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A group of my fellow breast cancer survivors were the first persons to enjoy the new bench in Bowring Park! The Victorian-style bench was donated to the park in support of Pink Days In Bloom by a group of community-minded and kind-hearted business owners: New Victorian Homes, MacIntyre Homes and Renovations Inc., Ray Gushue Construction Ltd., Austin’s Contracting Inc., and J and P Contracting Inc.  A brass plaque inscribed with the names of the contributors is installed on the bench as a permanent “Thank You” to commemorate the occasion and to raise awareness. I will always be grateful for their kind gift.

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The occasion served also as a reminder of the importance of trees and gardens in our daily lives for healthy and beautiful living. I am thrilled that our city’s mayor, Dennis O’Keefe, and the founding chair of the Bowring Park Foundation, Bruce Templeton, were able to be there to help to cut the ribbon on the bench.  Olivia, the sweet Newfoundland, wore a pink flower in her ear. I think she instinctively knew that something very beautiful was going on!

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The Pink Days In Bloom signature garden fairies named ‘Pink’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Invincibelle’ joined the ceremony.  My friend, Joan, in the white hat helped the mayor to cut the ribbon.  Joan is also a survivor and has led a breast cancer support group, Sharing Our Strength (SOS), in our city for over a dozen years.  She is a beautiful spirit.  Thank you, Joanie, for all that you do every day!

Preview of “PDIB Postcard.pdf”

Aren’t the Pink Days In Bloom fairies lovely!  That’s Pink in the top photo, then Hope and Invincibelle. Their floral crowns were such fun to make, and I just love the way they turned out! I think the fairies love wearing them, too! Thank you to Erin (a.k.a. Pink), Jenn (a.k.a. Hope) and Kierstyn (a.k.a. Invincibelle) for volunteering with Pink Days In Bloom since the beginning in 2012! And, much gratitude to dear Apryl Stead of White Willow Photography for these gorgeous images.  It takes a very special talent to capture the image of a fairy. You must truly BELIEVE!

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My husband’s family donated a pink-flowering tree to the park in memory of my mom-in-law.  She passed away from breast cancer in November, 2009. She was a kindred spirit and I miss her every day. Helping us to do the planting was left to right: Bruce Templeton (founding Chair of the Bowring Park Foundation), Paula Tessier (Community Relations, CBCF-Atlantic), Dennis O’Keefe (Mayor of St. John’s), my husband and me. The maintenance team at the transit company where I work kindly painted our shovels pink!  It was a drizzly day, so tents were generously supplied by Bill Harris Tent Rentals who came through for us in a pinch last-minute and we were grateful to have some shelter from the cool wind.

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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead

The pink-blossoming tree that we planted on that day is a variety of cherry tree and will bloom in springtime. Spring blossoms represent new life and hope for the future.  The tree came from Pat’s Plants and Gardens, a participant in “The Pink Tree Project” and the first garden nursery in our province to host Pink Days In Bloom.  Pat and I have since become dear friends and I love her dearly. Whenever I get a crazy idea, and I tend to get a lot of them, Pat is always the first to, ahem, ‘volunteer’ her garden centre! Thank you, Pat, for your continued blooming support!  Here’s a little about Pink Days’s In Bloom’s “The Pink Tree Project”.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Apryl Stead

My awesome new friend Liz Klose made her hat especially for “Pink Tree Day in the Park”! A delicate china teacup and saucer are perched at the very top of this beauty – I mean you, Liz! :-). Even the teacup is filled with flowers! She wore it the entire day and without even needing to see a chiropractor afterwards!  Now, that is stamina in my books! Liz is the Director of Memorial University’s Botanical Garden in St. John’s.  This year, the Botanical Garden joined Pink Days In Bloom and celebrated Canada Garden Days by planting a pink-flowering plant in support. Friends of The Garden (affectionately known as FOG) held a summer-long plant sale at The Garden in support of Pink Days In Bloom and CBCF-Atlantic.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of plants with pink-ribbon twists inserted in their pots is being donated for innovative breast cancer research and programs. FOG will host their annual two-hour plant sale at The Garden on Saturday, September 6th between 10 am and Noon and will also have a vendor table at our local Some Good Market on September 13th in support! FOG volunteers have been working hard all season long!  Thank you!

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My co-worker Joan watched the tree-planting ceremony from the warmth of the tea deck. My young neighbour Julie, on the left, later served us tea!  Her summer job was working with Red Oak Catering who catered our delicious tea.

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PHOTO:  Apryl Stead

Olivia, the Newfoundland, is certainly loved! She gets a hug at the end of the ceremony for being such a good girl. Newfoundlands are such gentle beings. They’re easy to love.

The bench and tree dedication was immediately followed by a celebratory Pink Days in Bloom “Sea-to-Sea Champagne Tea” FUNdraiser complete with magnificent musical performances by very talented vocalist Adam Hunt and pianist David Chafe of Newman Sound Men’s Choir. Harpist Vanessa Goodyear soothed our souls with her lyrical harp notes during the meal.  The sound equipment was generously provided by Canadian AV Inc.  It was so nice of them all!

The elegant décor was a gift from the beautiful Sue Sharpe (By Sharpe Design).  Our delightful and humorous guest speaker was Bruce Templeton (Author of “The Man in the Red Suit and soon to be launched “The Man with the White Beard). Both of Bruce’s books are published by Creative Book Publishing and are an inspiring, heart-touching read with an important message:  It’s not your presents that count; it’s your presence.  A portion of the proceeds from Bruce’s Christmas book sales help vaccinate children in various parts of the world against the dreaded polio disease. For every book sold, three children are vaccinated against polio. I’ve already bought no less than 14 copies of his book “The Man in the Red Suit” and have given them to friends, neighbours, co-workers and family on my ‘good list’ for Christmas. Let’s see, 14 books = 42 children who have been vaccinated! It feels good to know that.

During the Pink Days In Bloom tea, there were pretty park views all around, prizes and surprises, too!  We enjoyed a delectable menu prepared especially for us by Red Oak Catering that included steaming pots of tasty teas, fresh fruit salad, a selection of satisfying savouries, tiers of luscious house-made pastries and sweets, scrumptious fresh-baked scones with jam and cream, and delectable English trifle. What a fancy feast! YUM!

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And, here’s the really special part:  At the very same hour that we were dedicating the bench and pink tree, and celebrating over tea and champagne here in Newfoundland on Canada’s east coast, the incredible staff and friends at the beautiful Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, on the country’s west coast, planted a pink ‘sister’ tree in their hotel garden and hosted a Pink Days in Bloom Tea of their own in their world-famous Tea Lobby in support of CBCF – BC/Yukon.  Monies raised in support of CBCF in each region stay in the respective regions, which is a good thing. The fundraisers help support community programs where we live.

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Thank you Rebecca and team at The Empress for all your hard work!  And, thank you to Helijet for partnering with The Empress in The Pink Tree Project. Breast cancer survivor Karen Sabourin and her daughter Laurel helped plant the “Tree of Hope” in the Empress Garden! Aren’t these ladies adorable!

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This photo just makes me smile! 🙂

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Everyone who made a donation in someone’s honour got to write the name of the person on a tag and hang it on The Empress’ new Tree of Hope.  Photos of The Empress’ world-famous tea lobby are below.  You can see more photos here at my blog post “The Elegant Empress”.  I have always LOVED “The Elegant Empress” and now I love ‘her’ more than ever for being part of this initiative.

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Empress PDIB Tea Tray

The Empress’ culinary team outdid themselves!  WoW! Look at all those luscious pink desserts!

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Empress message of hope

Guests were invited to sign The Empress’ Book of Hope and write an encouraging message.  This is truly a beautiful idea.

Those unable to join us in person for the Pink Days In Bloom tea on June 8th, in either Bowring Park or at The Empress, could still share in the event through a virtual tea.  Whether at the office, the kitchen table or by the pool, one could simply pick up their cup in support and pledge online to help fund breast cancer research and community programs.  For Twitter lovers, tweets about their tea experience at hashtag (#PinkDaysInBloom) could be seen displayed on a screen outside the Tea Lobby at The Empress.  I really liked that idea, too.  It helped to bring everyone closer together.

I hope you enjoy the following photos of our Pink Days In Bloom’s “Pink Tree Day in the Park ” Tea. Some of the photos were taken on The Bungalow’s tea deck.  It was a cold, damp day in June but we hardly noticed!  The tenting and heaters on the deck made it cozy for guests who sat outside. And, the deck looked dreamy, too, thanks to Sue and her team!

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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead

Isn’t this a superb way to do a seating chart!  Many thanks to the lovely Sue Sharpe, By Sharpe Design, who contributed her design services for the tea.  Many of the photos were taken by the talented Apryl Stead, White Willow Photography. Thank you, Apryl, for sharing the day with us and helping us to remember every moment through your glorious images!

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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead

Jessica Smith, the amazing floral designer at By Sharpe Design, artfully arranged numerous delightful bouquets like this one!  Jessica’s wedding bouquets are simply divine and make me want to get married all over again just so I can carry one of her out-of-this-world bouquets. I do love flowers!

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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead

I love my old Apple Blossom china. It is one of my favourite vintage china patterns. I used what I’ve managed to collect over the years on the tea tables, along with nearly all my pink transferware plus my teapot collection (about 30 pots in all gathered from antique shops, flea markets, garage sales – you name it) and dozens of vintage teacups (about 70 in total, I think). I can’t think of a more inspiring occasion to use pretty delicate china!  I never knew I had so many pieces until I started to dig them out of the nooks and crannies of the cupboards. It seems they were just begging to be used!  I borrowed the tiered sweet trays from my darling friend Marie who once operated the most elegant tea room.  We all miss your teas, Marie, my dear!

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This is one of my favourite teapots.Bungalowroom

A survivor friend captured the room’s interior just before everyone was seated. Do you see the Victoria Magazine placed on the seat of each chair? My neighbour Joanne did an exceptionally kind deed for me several years ago when I was undergoing chemotherapy treatments.  She organized a team of her gardening gal pals who cared for my garden when I could not. From June through September that year, they would unlatch the garden gate and let themselves in like little sprites flitting about weeding and watering to their heart’s content.  I wrote a story about my kindly garden fairies and their thoughtful deed. It appeared in Victoria’s Special Spring Gardening Issue in March. “Victoria” sent a copy of the issue for each tea guest at our fundraiser and I read an excerpt from the story during my little tea talk. You just never know sometimes what can grow from a seed of kindness…My real-life garden fairies inspired more than they, or even I, could have ever imagined!
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A survivor friend captured photographer extraordinaire Apryl working her magic behind the camera lense.
Victoria Magazines on chairs at Sea-to-Sea Tea
The tea deck looked very inviting. I have loved “Victoria” since the very beginning and have every copy of the magazine since it was first published in the 1980’s.  Doesn’t the spring cover complement the pink decor beautifully!
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Inside the Grand Hall of Bowring Park’s Bungalow was equally welcoming!
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I also used my set of 18 pink heart-shaped teacups for this day! I plan on using them again soon.

Heart Teacup

  I purchased the teacups several years ago online from Roses and Teacups. I wonder if they still stock them.
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 I like how the brew looks inside the heart-shaped cup, don’t you?
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 PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead

Pots of tea filled with the tasty ‘Empress Blend’ were served at the tea tables compliments of The Empress!

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 PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
We also drank Buckingham Palace tea, a blend that I learned from the tea vendor, Britannia Teas, is served at the Queen of England’s annual garden party.
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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
These dainty twin teapots belong to my friend Marie.  I love their petite size.  Would you prefer regular or decaffeinated tea?
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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
Sue and Jessica filled romantic moss-lined birdcages and mason jars wrapped in lace and twine with bouquets of fresh blossom that looked as though they came straight from the garden!
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 PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
Vintage teapots make lovely vases!  A confetti of pink rose petals sprinkled over the tables was a tender touch.
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 PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
The English trifle was delicious and a big hit.  It looked decadent in a wine glass and topped off with a fresh mint leaf. It was gobbled up in no time!
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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
The prizes were colourful and useful!  I hand picked most of them myself. Many thanks to all who contributed to the auction table. Can you see the glass flower peeking out of the watering can from behind the cushions?  Liz made it from glass bobs n’ bits – again, Pinterest inspired!  She makes tons of them and they are for sale as part of fundraising at MUN Botanical Garden.
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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
My friend Pat won this delightful grouping.  She was thrilled to win it and I was thrilled for her.  Maybe I’ll get to sip some tea from a pretty pink-striped mug soon. Hint. Hint.
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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
The table favours were custom made by my friend Maria who owns and operates a catering company called Petite Sweet. There are swans in Bowring Park, so I thought it would be fitting to have swan cookies on the tables as take-aways.  Of course some pink-tree cookies had to be included!  Honestly, Maria can create anything from cookie dough! She never ceases to amaze me.  I am very lucky and blessed to have so many supportive and talenteded friends.
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 PHOTO CREDIT: Linda Ryan, “Beautiful Ideas” Blog
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 PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
Jessica and Sue’s floral arrangements in vintage teapots were oh-so-sweet, a perfect complement to the tea tables.
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 PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
Liz brought greetings on behalf of Memorial University’s Botanical Garden and personally invited everyone to their first Pink Days In Bloom during Canada’s Garden Days at The Garden. She shared with us a hilarious story about the trials of making that incredible hat – but stories told at the tea, stay at the tea! Lol  And, there were many funny stories!
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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
Meet Gina, one of my real-life garden fairies who tended my garden along with my neighbour Joanne and two more of their gal pals.  Gina’s talented sister, Vanessa, played her harp for us while we sipped our tea. What a magical time! I love this picture! Can you tell how much fun we all had!
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 PHOTO CREDIT: Apryl Stead
Gail Pearcey and her husband Bruce are shown here having a laugh during the meal. Gail is the dedicated President of Friends of the Garden.  The group is affectionately known as FOG. They are hard-working and knowledgeable volunteers who help out at Memorial University’s Botanical Garden.  There are all sorts of things to be done at The Garden, so if you’re willing to volunteer some time, they have a job for you!
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PHOTO CREDIT: Apryl Stead
Everyone got in the pink spirit and wore the prettiest tea hats and fascinators.  Many of them gathered together on the Friday evening before the tea at Joanie’s house and made their headpieces themselves!  They thought they would surprise me. Mission accomplished!  🙂 There is nothing so pretty as a sea of tea hats, especially for a Pink Days In Bloom Sea-to-Sea Champagne Tea!  Well done, ladies.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Apryl Stead
This is one of my favourite photos from that day.  This group of breast cancer survivors really know how to have fun! They always make me laugh.  Laughter really IS infectious, isn’t it!  And, I think it’s true what ‘they’ say, “Laughter is the best medicine.”
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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
Jane wins a prize!  Don’t you just love that fuschia hat on her!
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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
YES! Debbie wins a prize! Just look at those stunning hats!
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 PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
Debbie was excited to take home these sunny indoor/outdoor cushions, perfect for relaxing on the summer patio.
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 PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
Kelli-Rae high-fives Sondria (seated).  Sondria actually won the prize! Can you imagine Kelli-Rae’s reaction if she had won! Lol  Priceless!
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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
I adore Sherry’s hat! The colour is gorgeous on her.  And, Barb’s fascinator is a beauty!  We had so many laughs! The entire day was a collection of beautiful moments.
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Sherry and Sharon are best friends. These beautiful women together lead a local support group, S.H.E. (Sharing. Hoping. Empowering), for women in our area with metastatic breast cancer.
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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
Sondria was enjoying a lucky streak and won twice!  What’s a girl to do! I think I will ask her to buy me a lottery ticket. Sondria spearheaded the One out of Nine Project, a series of photographs depicting brave local women and their individual journeys through breast cancer.
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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
Lenora’s going to enjoy some ‘me time’ watching great movies!  That’s ‘Invincibelle’ the Pink Days In Bloom garden fairy flitting out the door from the tea deck into the Grand Hall! You have to be fast to catch a fairy’s image on camera!
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 PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
I cart this dress form around to all the Pink Days In Bloom fundraisers throughout the year.  I bought the frame at Winners and the colourful bra at Wal-mart.  I added some silk flowers, pretty beaded leaves, faux ferns and a combination of velvet and sparkly sheer ribbons…Voila! Some Pinterest inspired beauty!
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 PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
Dress Form
And, another… I use them often as props for fundraising events. This won has lots of tulle and even butterflies.
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PHOTO CREDIT:  Apryl Stead
Maria made this gorgeous tiered cake adorned with cherry blossoms.  My mom-in-law, Ethel’s, photo was perched at the top of the cake in her honour. After she passed away from breast cancer in 2009, I was diagnosed just four months later. I have carried her in my heart every step along the Pink Days In Bloom path. I think she would have loved Pink Days In Bloom!
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I asked Joanie to help me cut the cake that was served as the final dessert course at the close of the celebration tea!
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“Pink Tree Day in the Park” was an enchanting afternoon of cake, champagne, cherry blossoms and hope. It was truly a joyous celebration of life!
Cheers to survivors
Cheers to breast cancer survivors everywhere and to those who love and support them!
Empress PDIB tea friends
Empress pink wig
It was a uniquely beautiful and touching ‘sea-to-sea sipper’, bringing people across the country even closer together in making a difference and working towards a common goal – a future without breast cancer. Pink Days In Bloom is flourishing throughout Atlantic Canada.  The dream is that it, along with “The Pink Tree Project”, will continue to branch out across Canada and together we will grow a future without breast cancer.
Join a growing movement
As many of you have come to know, Pink Days In Bloom is not JUST about FUNdraising, it’s about celebrating being together and helping one another get through the challenges. Having  breast cancer, or any life-threatening disease, is a time when we need that more than ever. Just to know someone cares means the world some days. I have met such an incredible circle of outstanding, brave women throughout this journey.
Thank You to everyone everywhere for being part of “Pink Tree Day in the Park” and “Sea-to-Sea Tea”, for reaching out, embracing others, sharing your hearts and demonstrating your support in so many ways.  It was a perfect day! We are already looking forward to next time…I hope you can join us!
National Tree Day is September 24th.  Planting a pink tree? Why not make it pink! There are lots of good reasons.

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Want to know what’s coming up next? Like Pink Days In Bloom on Facebook and follow along onTwitter.

If you’re in the area on November 2nd, I’d love for you to join us at “The Little Christmas Fair”.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for coming by! I hope you have a lovely weekend. See you soon!

Linda

 

I’m excited to be joining Pink SaturdaySaturday Show OffMosaic Monday, Busy Monday, Amaze Me Monday, Mod Mix MondayInspiration Monday, Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Tuesdays at Our Home, Inspire Me Tuesday, Teacup Tuesday, The Scoop, A Return To Loveliness,  Tea Time Tuesday, Tweak it Tuesday and Tea Time, Wordless Wednesday, WoW Us Wednesday, Wake Up WednesdayCottage Style Party, A Return to Loveliness, What’s It WednesdayThe Homemaking Party, Home and Garden Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Thursday Favourite Things, Tablescape ThursdayFeathered Nest Friday Simple and Sweet Fridays, Show and Tell Friday, Home Sweet Home and What To Do Weekends, and am thankful for all these wonderful blogs and kindred spirits!

A Garden Award!

Dear Friends,

The party in the garden is over for another year.  The blooms have faded and the bees are gone.  The fairies are all hibernating now, safely curled up and tucked deep inside the fern fronds.  And, although there are no great choirs of birds, you can still hear a soloist every now and then if you’re still and  very quiet…Past what the eye sees, there is much happening beneath the soil to ready for next season’s show of flowering splendour; for the garden, too, needs to retreat and store energy in order to survive and thrive.

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Even though, I am already dreaming of warmer days ahead. Very recently, at a lovely awards ceremony and reception at our city hall, hubby and I were presented with our city’s Award of Excellence for Gardens!!!  A beautiful etched crystal plaque sits, for the moment, on our kitchen table catching the light.

This has certainly been a good year for our garden! In August, our provincial landscape association and our university’s botanical garden asked that our garden be on their Mystery Garden Tour fundraiser next summer! Hubby and I, along with some friends, bought tickets for their inaugural tour this past summer held over a weekend in August and got a chance to tour a dozen private residential gardens. We enjoyed every single moment of it! I can’t wait to go again!  There are so many wonderful gardens and each one is uniquely beautiful!

It’s so humbling to be recognized for our accidental greenish thumbs! Lol When you plant a garden, the least you can hope for is that something will manage to bloom where you planted! And, the most you can hope for is that someone else will enjoy it and want to share it, too! Points of merit listed on the framed award certificate include:

 – “Even more beautiful than the garden, is the hope it has inspired. “Pink Days In Bloom” is a national fundraiser that began in this garden to raise funds to fight breast cancer.”

– Featured in an upcoming spring issue of Victoria magazine, this lovely garden is bringing communities together.”

Did you catch that last ‘bit’???? 🙂  As I know many of you share a love for gardens, I am, for now, sharing just a few photos of one section of our garden in bloom earlier this year.  Stay tuned for holiday planters…Thanks for visiting!

Wishing you a beautiful day!

Linda

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Non-stop begonias are still blooming!

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I am thrilled to be back sharing with Sandi at Tea Time, What’s It WednesdayOpen House Blog PartyFeathered Nest Friday, Pink Saturday  and Seasonal Sunday!

Categories: JARDINS, PINK

I’ve Missed You!

Welcome, Dear Friends!

I’ve been away far too long!  Work, fundraising projects for breast cancer research (primarily Pink Days In Bloom and The Pink Tree Project), and life in general, have kept me from my blog. It’s all good but things are finally winding down and I am now able to breathe again, finally.  I am very happy to be back here in my little corner of Blogland, catching up and connecting with you! I’ve missed so much! I love being here with you and visiting your blogs. And, just in time for the holidays – my favourite time of the year! I can’t wait to see what you share in the weeks ahead leading up to the Yuletide! Yay!

So much has happened during these past months, I hardly know where to begin.  So, I think I’ll just start with the end and work my way back! Here’s a little peek into what has been consuming so much of my ‘spare’ time…Incredibly, the first article (at the link below) was featured on the front page of “The Telegram” newspaper in July and the second article appeared in September. These writings pretty much tell ‘the story’ in a nutshell! 🙂

She’s Determined to Win! (July 2013)

Year-ender for Pink Days In Bloom (September 2013)

0001GpThanks for stopping in! I look forward to your visits and visiting you in return. Please leave your fabulous footprint so that I’ll know you came by! Wishing you a beautiful day,

Linda

I’m thrilled to be once again sharing at Return to Loveliness, Teatime Tuesday, What’s It Wednesday, Be Inspired.

Fill Your Socks at “The Little Christmas Fair!”

Dear Friends,

Thank you for stopping by today! As always, the kettle’s on and I am thrilled that you are here to keep me company! As many of you know, I have been MIA for awhile. Thank you for continuing to drop by while I’ve been away. While I have missed Blogland these past six months, I have been busy, busy spearheading a FUNdRaising campaign – Pink Days In Bloom – at various garden centres here on our Island of  Newfoundland this past summer.

Pink Days In Bloom is a high-spirited FUNdraiser that demonstrates support for persons living with breast cancer, their families and friends. This year, an estimated 330 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in our tiny province with a population of just over 500,000 people.  Monies raised through Pink Days In Bloom are in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) – Atlantic Region to help fund innovative breast cancer research, programs and equipment throughout our Atlantic provinces.

In July 2011, one garden centre (Pat’s Plants and Gardens was the first) hosted Pink Days In Bloom.  And, in 2012, Pat’s Plants and Gardens hosted their 2nd Annual Pink Days In Bloom and seven garden centres signed on! ‘The dream’ is that Pink Days In Bloom will, one day soon, become an Island-wide happening, and we’re well on our way!  I am thrilled to say that CBCF-Atlantic  recently adopted Pink Days In Bloom as its signature summer FUNdRaiser, promoting it in Atlantic Canada based on the Newfoundland success as a model! The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association  (CNLA) has also committed to promote Pink Days In Bloom to its membership across the country!  And, Pink Days In Bloom has ‘blossomed’ beyond garden centres to corporate Pink Jeans Days and BBQ’s, retail events, and even a ‘Pink Softball Tournament of Hope’ hosted by friends at Shand Nurseries (on the weekend following their Pink Days In Bloom event).  The season concluded with ‘A Beautfiul Summer Evening of Pink’, a champagne dinner at a local restaurant, The Tea Garden.

In one year, well over $25,000 (probably closer to $30,000 by the end of December) has been raised under the Pink Days In Bloom banner thanks to an awesome team of sponsors and volunteers working together. I have been working full-time besides all the while, so I am sure you can understand that it hasn’t left much time for blogging.  It’s good to be back!

“The Little Christmas Fair”

Treats offered in rockin’ Rocket’s Coffee and Bakery Bar during “The Little Christmas Fair” on Sunday, November 9th

As recently as last weekend, “The Little Christmas Fair,” also in support of CBCF-Atlantic, was held at our local Rocket Bakery, a favourite haunt here for many.  The building was built in 1852 and is a beautiful venue with old wood floors and exposed brick. walls.  The smells from the croissants and other goodies baking in the ovens as we were setting up the vendor tables at 6:30 AM was tantalizing!

“The Little Christmas Fair” was a joyous success, made possible by dedicated volunteers, generous sponsors & the kind patronage of fair-goers! Many of the vendors were preparing in the weeks leading up to the fair, and patrons were invited to shop for those special gifts to get a head start on the holidays. Visitors discovered an array of wonderful treasures, many of them one-of-a-kind, to fill those Christmas socks for everyone on their ‘Good List’. Fair-goers were able to enjoy refreshments in the Rocket Bakery café & wrap themselves in the warm ambience, uplifting spirit and genuine camaraderie of “The Little Christmas Fair” and what it represents to so many…

The spirit of Christmas was palpable in the air at “The Little Christmas Fair!” There were carollers with the voices of angels from our Memorial University’s School of Music and members of local community choirs, a delightful harpist, artful face painting, a zany holiday photo booth (complete with props like reindeer antlers, huge glasses, Santa hats…), St. Nicholas Silent Auction and Cheery Chance Auction, Comfort and Joy Christmas Raffle, coffee and bakery bar, a visit from Santa himself and, of course, garden faeries! No Pink Days In Bloom event would be without ‘Hope’ and ‘Invincibelle’, the ‘official’ Pink Days In Bloom garden faeries dressed in their Christmas garb!

Much gratitude to sponsors, vendors, volunteers, fair shoppers, the media and Facebook friends and all who helped get the word out – to everyone involved in any way, big or small.

Here are some images from that wonderful event. The Pink Days In Bloom Facebook link is also below, if you’d like to have a good ol’ poke around on there and see what I’ve been up to all this time! 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pink-Days-in-Bloom/382061855145657

 I don’t know where the time went these past six months – it flew by so quickly! Isn’t it hard to imagine it will soon be time to decorate for Christmas? Indeed, I have already started! It wasn’t too hard since I have been in Christmas mode for many weeks preparing for “The Little Christmas Fair” FUNdRaiser.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmastime and am looking forward to sharing some photos of our ‘Home for the Holidays’ with you very soon. I hope you are enjoying your ‘cuppa’ while you browse through the pics. Thank you once again, for taking time out of your day to visit! I promise it won’t be six months before I write another post! You all are very kind to keep coming back! I am so glad to share your company once again. Would you like another cuppa? XO

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Linda

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pink-Days-in-Bloom/382061855145657

 

Pink, Seriously…’Pink Days In Bloom’, Part II

Hi Dear Friends! Welcome!

I’m happy that you came by again today for a visit.  Would you care for a glass of pink lemonade for a change?  Or, maybe pink tea? It’s a beautiful sunny day here, and I could really use the company.   I am off work in misery with fractured ribs from coughing – the leftovers of a nasty flu virus that had me literally seeing double for 5 straight days. It’s just been an unbelieveable time.

I promised you  a second part to the ‘Pink Days in Bloom’ post…I’ve had this current post prepared for several months.  Some of you have been asking about it and so I thought that I would release it today.

What does it really mean to ‘Think Pink’?

There was a compelling interview on Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) Radio on Friday, January 27th with National Film Board (NFB) Producer Ravida Dinn who is challenging the iconic Pink Ribbon movement, its unending conglomerate fundraising, and where all the money goes. The interviewer referenced that despite billions of dollars raised every year to fight breast cancer, it seems we are no closer to a cure, prevention or, more importantly, finding the cause.

The pink ribbon is not new to controversy.

Some think it’s more about support and less about the solution. Breast cancer is an epidemic around the globe and, despite all that we are doing, we still have no idea what is causing it! 59,000 women in North America die each year from breast cancer.  The disease incidence remains high – I am ONE of 23,000 women newly diagnosed each year. (I was diagnosed in 2010 – 1.5 years after first seeing my doctor about the lump in my breast).

Women ARE living longer but , it seems, we still haven’t figured IT out. Currently, the biggest risk factor is just being a woman, and that’ a scary thing.  NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  Listening to what Ravida Dinn has to say – maybe we aren’t doing enough of the RIGHT things in waging an effective fight against breast cancer.  Maybe there IS a SMARTER way to engage in the battle?! This is, after all, a WAR.  Maybe we SHOULD be asking more questions.  Maybe we SHOULD be demanding more answers…

The business of the pink ribbon…

An NFB feature documentary called “Pink Ribbon Inc.” produced by Din and directed by Lea Pool opened in select Canadian theatres a week following Din’s CBC interview.  On Sunday, March 11th, I trotted off to the LSPU Hall to view the film hosted by the St. John’s Women’s International Film Festival.    It was the quickest 90+ minutes I’ve ever spent.  I was captivated from the start and the time flew – by the end of the film, it seemed more like only 20 minutes has passed!
Pink Ribbon Inc. observes the amazing staying power of the “ultra-feminine dream cause” thousands of corporations align themselves with each year and use as a powerful marketing tool, important in looking for new markets and branding themselves as good citizens.

80% of household decisions are made by women…

Pink is presumably soft and safe – a surefire way to reel in the corporate dividends. Breast cancer is the “cross-marketing poster child” for everything from airlines, car manufacturers, credit cards and cosmetics to time management, teddy bears, fashion and food products. KFC in the U.S. even has a pink bucket that has many scratching their heads! Chances are if you can think of it, there is likely a pink ribbon attached to it – legitimately* or otherwise!   Potential profits in the breast cancer marketplace are steep since 80% of household decisions are made every day by women. Breast cancer, undoubtedly, is BIG business and it’s everywhere – just like the disease…
Ravida Din, herself treated for breast cancer some years ago, admits that she has never identified with the pink ribbon  and questions our naive willingness to get into bed with companies whose goal is profits over health. The film speaks to the hypocrisy of large conglomerates who profit from the disease.  There are several riveting issues addressed in the film that are sure to stir emotions and get everyone thinking and re-thinking about the unstoppable mega PINK fundraising machine and the glitzy business giants who stand to profit from it.

What is “Pink Washing”?

  • The concept of ‘Pink-Washing’, i.e. companies who promote themselves as looking for a cure, making money off the disease while selling products that could be hazardous to women’s health.   The film’s makers allude that many well-known ‘Pink Ribbon Companies’, including popular cosmetic giants, according to environmentalist claims, refuse to sign a safe cosmetics agreement continuing to produce products that contain known carcinogens. Reportedly, car manufacturers, too, are riding the breast cancer bandwagon while vehicle emissions are to be a known cause and many of the companies’ employees who happen to be women have been diagnosed with the disease.
  • DID YOU KNOW? Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which began in October 1985, has its origins with a pharmaceutical company now known as AstraZeneca, creator of the anti-breast cancer drug Tomoxifen.  Shockingly, the company is reportedly the leading manufacturer of crop pesticides!
  • DID YOU KNOW?  The first pink ribbon was actually salmon-coloured, the invention of 68-years young Charlotte Haley.  Charlotte was fed up watching many of her close family members battle breast cancer, so she decided to take matters both figuratively and literally into her own hands, cutting peach ribbons from cloth while sitting at her dining room table.  Her genuine intent of this simple gesture was to protest to her government the shameful lack of money being invested in finding a cure for breast cancer.  The original ribbons were affixed to a card that said, “The National Cancer Institute’s annual budget is $1.8 billion, only 5% goes for cancer prevention.  Help wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.” When asked by Estee Lauder to share her ribbon, Charlotte denied the request refusing to allow it to be used to impact the company’s bottom line.  On the advice of its corporate legal team, Estee Lauder simply changed the colour and, before long, pink ribbons adorned many of the conglomerate’s products.
  • The point  that Din and Pool are making is that if companies TRULY care, there is no room for hypocrisy in this fight of our lives. Period.   The purpose of their film is to challenge us to be more demanding in that focus be on the cause and prevention of breast cancer – on saving  the lives of women.

Pink is everything cancer is not!

Pink has always been my favourite colour since I was a little girl. Pink is beautiful, calming, feminine, joyous… Ironically, pink is everything breast cancer is NOT. Sadly. Breast cancer is far from pretty, feminine or pink! There is nothing pretty or warm and fuzzy about breast cancer. It is a horrible, lonely disease. Like a thief in the night, it robs precious, irreplaceable time.  It robs women and their families of any sense of bliss or peace.  If you are lucky, it causes you to be constantly on alert, always looking over your shoulder and around the corner.  If you are unlucky, it steals your life. Women, indeed, have a right to be sad, angry, demanding, even militant for God’s sake.  Insightfully declared by feminist Barba Ehrenreich, it’s not Welcome to CandyLand, it’s “Welcome to CancerLand!”  She is author of a book of the same name.

“Do Everything!”

So here we are. We started out decades ago walking for the cure.  Now, in 2012, we find ourselves en masse running, jumping, dancing, shopping, cooking, kissing, pouring, ‘busting a move’ and more…all for the cure.  The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s (CBCF) own marketing campaign suggests:  ‘DO EVERYTHING’ for the cure!  Is anyone getting tired here?!
You know that well-known adage, “It’s not time that heals all wounds, it’s what you DO with that time…”  What have we been doing all this time in searching for the cure for breast cancer?
As the producer of the film, “Pink Ribbon Inc.”, Din challenges that it is difficult to dissect where the entire pot of money goes. So, why is it that after millions of people volunteering trillions of hours and raising billions of dollars, are we not seeing any improvement?  The film asserts that a lot of money goes for treatment and control, and less is focused primarily on prevention and disease origins. Is there an untold story here?  Din is using her thought-provoking film as a mechanism for social change and it just may be the spark to ignite the fire. Her film takes a critical approach in getting people to REALLY look at the ways in which the fight against breast cancer is being waged and where it is headed down the road…

CBCF is not impressed with the film.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) feels that the film is not an accurate portrayal of their organization’s goals or reflective of their commitment and the work that they do.  A representative of the organization stated in the same January CBC interview that there are many untruths presented in the film. CBCF reports that of the funds raised in support of finding a cure for breast cancer, 65% goes to research and, of that percentage, 10% goes to projects focused on risk factors and risk reduction.  They refute the film’s claim that new instances of the disease are up, while not enough is being done to actually STOP the disease in its tracks.  They counter that although the rate of incidence ( 1 in 9 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year) has not changed in 25 years, survival rates ARE, in fact, up and treatments have improved and are most effective.  Women ARE living longer with a better quality of life than decades previously.  CBCF further argues that the alarming rate by which cancer is increasing as presented in the film, is somewhat misrepresented countering that it is a global number and that developing countries account for much of the increase.
CBCF defends its record in investing in cancer research.  The organization cites references to significantly funding a number of life-changing medical breakthroughs in recent years, and believes that corporate support and fundraising is a WIN-WIN-WIN for all. CBCF suggests that no one is forced to buy pink products. *And, if you are in doubt about a company’s claims about its product and support, you are encouraged to contact CBCF for validation.  Their message is simple:

“Donate wisely. Think Before You ‘Pink’.”

CBCF expressed it is most concerned about the impact of the NFB film on people who, together with their families and friends, are very involved in raising monies to find a cure,  especially those who are experiencing breast cancer.  According to a CBCF representative, those people said the film made them feel “sad”.
The timing of this film coincides with my desire to grow Garden Pink Days here in this province. When producing the inaugural Pink Days event at Pat’s Plants and Gardens last July while still on medical leave from my work recovering from cancer treatments, I was approached by CBCF-Atlantic who asked if we would support the organization in our fundraising efforts.  I immediately raised some of the same questions being asked in the film and that I am just plain tired of raising money for breast cancer year after year, when it seems we are no nearer to reaching that illusive cure. So at the very least, we would wish that monies stayed in our province to help with equipment and treatment programs for our ‘sisters’ living among us….The Coordinator offered to send me CBCF-Atlantic’s annual report so that I could see for myself where the monies are being spent and how the dollars are being used in this province.   I was convinced that we should support CBCF-Atlantic.

“WHEN YOU DO nothing, you feel over- whelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.” ~ Unknown

After all is said and done, I welcome the film and subsequent debate that surrounds it. Din takes a hard-nosed, critical approach in getting people to really look at the ways in which the fight against breast cancer is being waged and where it is headed.  It gets people thinking, questioning, and putting everything under the microscope at all levels.  There is always room for improvement in everything; and if this film serves as a tool to do that, then it’s all good. Right?
DID YOU KNOW?  Run for the Cure was held at  60 locations across Canada in 2011; 170,000 people participated and raised $30 million. Family, friends, neighbours and co-workers have run in my name and have raised thousands in the past two years. This event, along with other mass fundraisers, often have been labelled  as ‘cult-like’.  Well, from my perspective, anything that brings people together in the neighbourhoods and communities where we live, and inspires hope and support, and makes us all feel good while raising monies together in the quest for a better quality of life – free of breast cancer –  is a good thing.  To know that we are not alone is a good thing.
I encourage you to see the movie. Open your mind, start new conversations and thinking about how things can be challenged with a purpose for improvement and ultimately swifter action in finding a cure.  In the meantime, I am not discouraged and will keep on with Pink Days in Bloom – any collective action that inspires women and their families and that can help even in a microscopic way is well worth the effort.  We cannot underestimate even the smallest efforts.  I am proud to support CBCF-Atlantic Region.
I believe that while there may be lots of room for improvement in coordinating research efforts around the globe, increasing awareness is a positive thing. Some may argue that we are already aware. I can attest there were many things I did not know about the disease before having been diagnosed with it.  Anything that helps women feel empowered in the face of this dreaded disease and that supports survivors and their families is a good thing.   My dear friend Connie wrote to me in an email once, “Leave it to you to make from lemons, pink lemonade!”  It has buoyed me in a tumultuous time in my life and keeps me going…
I’d love to hear your ‘pink thoughts’.  Thank you for dropping by today.  And, I hope you’ll come back again soon.  Wishing you a beautiful day!
Linda
Check out the great video in this post:
Check out Pink Days in Bloom on Facebook here:
This is my favourite of all Pinks!  Doesn’t this beautiful sight just make your heart go pitter patter?!  Gardening season is just around the corner…Come on out to the Spring Landscape and Garden Show on April 28-29 at the Jack Byrne Arena and talk with volunteers at the Pink Days in Bloom space to learn where there’s a Pink Day happening at a garden centre near you this summer!  We can’t wait to see you there!

Source: hgtv.com via Peggy on Pinterest

Pink Days in Bloom!

These roses bloomed from a rose tree-standard in a planter on my deck last season.  They are called ‘Waterfall’…

Welcome Dear Friends, Old and New!

TEA ANYONE?  I invite you to sit and sip a cuppa with me. Do you like raspberry herbal? I enjoy it very much without anything added, but you may like to try a little lemon or honey.  It’s a tasty rosy pink tisane!  I am so excited that you stopped by for a visit today!
A LOT CAN HAPPEN IN A YEAR!  Things are happening which I alluded to in a past Christmas post and promised that I would tell you about.  We have much to talk about. In fact, I have so much to talk with you about today that there are two parts to this post!  If you are a regular visitor to ‘Beautiful Ideas’, you may have noticed that I have been taking a little break from blogging lately.  Actually, I have been so busy partly because of the blog and the amazing opportunities that it has brought with it this past year, which was my first year of blogging!  Whew! A lot can happen in a year!  First, have a listen to this gorgeous Celtic Woman with the voice of an angel.  I love how she sings, “When You Believe”.  What happens when we believe in something?!  It fuels our enthusiasm, uplifts our spirit and often becomes our passion…
I think this performance was filmed at Powerscourt House and Gardens in Ireland – a place to add to my “Must-Visit Gardens” list…

“WHEN YOU DO nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.” ~ Unknown

GROWING PINK DAYS! I have been occupied in recent months tending a garden of sorts – growing ‘Garden Pink Days’ a high-spirited fun’draiser for breast cancer research, equipment and programs in my home province. The first local Garden Pink Days was held last July at a favourite garden centre, Pat’s Plants and Gardens.  It was a beautiful success!

Pink Days is about Awareness, Hope & Support for persons with breast cancer, their families & friends; while at the same time, promoting gardening as part of healthy & beautiful living.  Raising funds for breast cancer research, programs & equipment is a bonus.  Pink Days is a way like no other that enables garden centres to connect with their gardening customers in creating a future without breast cancer.  Pink Days is a Win-Win for everyone involved!”

 
THE SEED IS PLANTED…  The first seed was planted last June as I was browsing the pages of a gardening magazine. Proven Winners, a well-known grower to many gardeners, was promoting its first hybridized pink Annabelle hydrangea, ‘Invincibelle Spirit’, specially developed in tribute to persons with breast cancer.  For every plant sold, Proven Winners will donate $1 and up to $1 million to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. To date, proceeds from sales of ‘Invincibelle Spirit’ are climbing to nearly half a million dollars for breast cancer research!

The impossible can always be broken down into possibilities. ~Author Unknown

TRUE BEAUTY AND DEEP MEANING IN THE GARDEN   I loved the idea of having a way to add beauty and true meaning to my garden, and to honour my beloved mom-in-law,  Ethel, who died from breast cancer in November 2009.  She was an avid gardener, a best friend, a kindred spirit… Every day I miss having her in my life. And, off I went in search of the ‘Invincibelle Spirit’ for my garden to honour Ethel’s beautiful spirit in our garden. I found the pink plant at Pat’s Plants and Gardens, Bay Bulls. Many of you know already that I was on medical leave at the time myself recovering from breast cancer treatments. So, for me, the plant has even greater significance.
IF YOU BELIEVE … When I returned from Pat’s Plants and Gardens, I googled the plant and discovered that Proven Winners has a ‘Pink Days’ campaign.  I immediately contacted Pat Puddester, the owner of the glorious garden centre where I had purchased my plant, and asked if she might consider hosting a Pink Day to raise funds in support of breast cancer research, programs and equipment in this province.  Pat not only said, “Yes!”, she insisted that we hold an entire Pink Weekend! What a woman! In addition to funds raised from prize draws, auction items, and other fun activities, Pat offered to contribute 10% of pink plant sales throughout the weekend!  Pink Days generated a lot of excitement and positive buzz about town. Just a few short weeks later, we had ourselves a beautiful and successful Garden Pink Day! We raised over $2,300.  You can see what we did and photos here, here , and here .  Pat and I, and many of the volunteers that day, have since become good friends – another beautiful bonus of Pink Days!

Make your optimism come true. ~Author Unknown

A TRULY BEAUTIFUL IDEA! Proven Winners actively promotes their Pink Day campaign in the U.S.  Initially, I emailed the company and thanked them for the beautiful idea of the Invicibelle Spirit pink hyrangea.  They were thrilled to know that Pink Days was in bloom here!  Shortly after that first contact, Proven Winners asked to use this blog post about our local event as part of a presentation to their major growers to let them know the impact of the plant and the Pink Days campaign in this part of the world!

Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way. ~Abraham Lincoln

 EXPERIENCE PINK…  A month or so after the inaugural Pink Days here, Proven Winners emailed me (while I was on holiday on Prince Edward Island, meeting my new friend Carolyn Aiken of the popular blog Aiken Home and Gardens!) to say they would be attending a huge international industry conference in Chicago the following week, and could they use articles from my blog posts possibly for distribution in their media kits.  Over 10,000 people would be attending. And could they, too, incorporate some of the blog photos from this post in their table centrepieces at a luncheon they would be hosting for 500 guests – just to let people know what they’d be missing out on if they didn’t host a Pink Day!!  No problem! WHAHOO!

We will either find a way or make one. ~Hannibal

I CAN’T BELIEVE!  Okay, here’s where I say, “I can’t believe what just happened!”  Barely four short months after the first-ever Pink Days was hosted at Pats Plants and Gardens here in Newfoundland, I was invited to Toronto to speak at a national industry conference of representatives from independent garden centres across Canada hosted by Sheridan Nurseries.  I was to tell about my own story about having breast cancer and my personal Pink Day experience. The beautiful Stacey Hirvela from Proven Winners was presenting and she was playing the photos on the big screen behind her of our fun’draiser as an inspiration to others! The dream for me has been that in the years to come, the idea of Pink Days will catch on and continue to spread across our fair Island.  I could never  have dreamed in a zillion years,  that I would have an opportunity to champion the cause to owners of garden centres across the country!!!

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. ~Mayo Angelou

I am thrilled to tell you that Pink Days has grown this year to include five (Yes, 5!) AWESOME garden centres on the Avalon Peninsula in Summer 2012.  Pat’s Plants and Gardens is excitedly looking forward to hosting its Second Annual Garden Pink Days on July 14-15.  Generously joining in the cause are:  Hickey’s Greenhouses, both their Dunville (June 30) and Kelligrews, Conception Bay South (July 7) locations; Shand Nurseries, Pouch Cove (July 21), and O’Neill’s Gardlenland, Spaniards Bay (July 22).   And, interest is growing…

I hope you enjoyed your tea!

PINK BLOOMS!  This year, Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador, too, has joined the cause in kindly contributing space at its Spring Landscaping and Garden Show and Symposium on Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th at the Jack Byrne Arena, Torbay enabling ‘Pink Days in Bloom!’ to be promoted to the thousands of visitors to the show.  Canada’s own gardening guru Mark Cullen will be their special guest!

INSPIRING WOMEN… More recently, I was invited to a meeting of a local breast cancer support group (the first time I’ve ever been to anything like this) specifically to talk with members about Pink Days.  Many of them volunteered to help get the word out at the Garden Show!  Thank you to all you lovely ladies who signed up!  You are the best!

Four short words sum up what has lifted most successful individuals above the crowd: a little bit more. They did all that was expected of them and a little bit more. ~A. Lou Vickery

THANK YOU!  I am over-the-moon by the enthusiasm and support demonstrated by local businesses and volunteers; including women living with breast cancer, survivors, and their families and friends.  It is beyond inspiring to see all of these people so willingly give back to their communities. The high energy, big-heartedness, and all-embracing spirit – even among strangers – that springs from a Pink Day event is palpable and infectious.
A WAY LIKE NO OTHER… Garden Pink Days is really a way like no other in connecting with people, young and old, who live in our neighbourhoods, while offering comfort and support to fight the disease.  Raising funds for breast cancer research is a bonus!  To someone like me,  Pink Days mean the world.  We have to believe that the cause and cure for breast cancer will be found in our lifetime, so our children today will not have to suffer tomorrow.

 

And, speaking of children…I could not resist sharing with you this photo of my precious young grandnieces Victoria, 8 and Lily, 1. Big sister just adores little sister!  I played with the special effects a bit…I love how it looks a little like an oil painting.  What do you think?  

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.  ~Maya Angelou

THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTION:   “Is there inequity between the iconic ‘Pink Ribbon’ campaign proceeds and breast cancer research?” Is your curiousity peaked?  Stay tuned for ‘PINK TWIST’ – Part II of this post…

PLEASE BE SURE TO VISIT PINK DAYS IN BLOOM ON FACEBOOK…

Many thanks for choosing to spend some precious moments of your day here!  

I’m so glad you came.

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Linda

I am joining Meet Me MondayMasterpiece MondayTeatime Tuesday, Bloomin Tuesday, Tuesday Garden PartyYour Cozy Home PartyTea Cuppa TuesdayTea Party TuesdayA Return to Loveliness, Friends Sharing Tea, Outdoor WednesdayWhat’s It Wednesday, Time Traveller Thursday, Open House Party,   Simply Sweet, Seasonal SundaySunlit Sunday and Spring Link Blog Hop Party!!


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