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Posts from the ‘Fleurishers’ Category

Fleurishers: On Her Own Two Feet

Hello there!

Today’s Fleurisher serves as the ultimate example of how to travel through all of life’s adventures on your own two feet. “Oma”, as she’s known to her grandson who submitted the nomination, was born into a generation of self-sustaining farmers, raised a large and loving family of eight children, and is now, at the golden age of 90, once again “fleurishing” all by herself in their family home. Come and take a peek at what lessons “Oma” has to teach us!

Working the land with your own two hands was something that came naturally to the generation of children born in the early 1900s. Land was meant for planting, harvest meant for eating. “Oma” was no exception. While out in the fields, she and her female friends covered themselves from head to toe in order to maintain their (then aesthetically ideal) porcelain-colored skin. “Oma”‘s attention to aesthetics paid off when her future-husband spotted her from across the room at a village dance in Valkenburg. Her late husband’s lifelong dedication to the agricultural industry fueled their self-sustaining ambitions, and their land was constantly producing food to eat… potatoes, beans, tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, raspberries, and even rabbits, chickens, and cows.

In addition to practical produce, their gardens were always full of flowers as well. A particular specialty of “Oma”‘s is cultivating hydrangeas of all sorts. Her’s is the only bush on which I’ve seen blue, purple and pink hydrangea heads growing all at once.

She’s also a master at over-wintering her flowering friends. Everything from geraniums to petunias find their way to the garage where they wait out the cold winter weather before blooming again in spring. An avid walker, “Oma” has always enjoyed the rolling hills of her hometown. During recent years, “Oma” has found a new companion in her adopted cat, Miemie. As if animal intuition alerted Miemie to the void left after the sudden death of “Oma”‘s husband, this furry friend began frequenting her gardens. As they slowly gained a mutual trust, their friendship blossomed, and Miemie now happily calls “Oma”‘s home her own.

The two can often be found sitting outside or wandering around the garden, where “Oma” still busies herself. She picks raspberries straight from the bush for an afternoon snack and sells containers of fruit to neighbors and friends. When the autumn winds blow, “Oma” is sure to be found scurrying around the back field collecting walnuts, which she year-after-year gathers up and sells by the bag!

Determined to keep up her self-sustaining lifestyle, “Oma” tries to still do as much as she can herself. She has a nice backyard veranda from which she can admire her garden and flowers, even if the weather isn’t so cooperative. “Oma” is generous enough to allow neighbors to swing by every so often to pick some of her beautiful hydrangea flowers. She was also nice enough to let me take several huge flowers home as well! :)

I think that our generation of “want” and “waste” can learn a thing or two from the generations past. Instead of idling in a constant state of want, why don’t we focus on the things that we need? How can we learn to provide for ourselves? Sure, not everyone has enough land to grow adequate produce to support a whole family. Maybe we can make a start by appreciating what we have, learning how our food is grown, and being aware of where our food comes from. Support the farmer down the road, or frequent your local farmer’s market. Take part in a co-op offered by some hard-working folk near you. You might be surprised at the new foods you get to try, and you might make some new friends in the process!

Do you know any local Fleurishers? Do you have any special people, companies, or organizations in mind who you would like to honor with a handmade bouquet?

Please send me an e-mail with a little bit about the recipient and what makes them a Fleurisher!

For the Dutch visitors: Kent U een bijzonder persoon, bedrijf, of organisatie die in aanmerking zou komen om de volgende “Fleurisher” te zijn?

Stuur mij, AUB, een e-mail met een beetje informatie over de kandidaat!

Have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you all tomorrow!

Fleurishers: Keeping History Alive

Hello everyone!

This weeks fleurishers are very special indeed… allow me to introduce you to Madame and Monsieur Fabry! They were nominated by neighbors who admire the active lifestyle this pair embodies and the couple’s strong sense of community involvement.

Madame and Monsieur Fabry, both in their 80s, share a love for the region in which they were born and raised. Their roots run deep, and their connection with the land and culture is palpable. This love that they share is contagious and encourages many around them to re-connect with the past, both on a personal and historical level.

They were born, met, and married in Charneux, a small agricultural village neighboring Aubel, Belgium. Both have lived to see the countryside of Belgium transition through periods of growth and decline, including the effects of the Second World War.

Born into families of farmers, this hard-working couple chose to keep alive the family tradition of raising cows. Long working days and short restful nights kept their family healthy, vigorous and grateful for the little pleasures in life.

Here you can see Monsieur Fabry (second from the left) when he was a young boy.

Now, a bit older than the pictures above, Monsieur Fabry and Madame Fabry enjoy reminiscing on their memories, rich with priceless tidbits of historical information. Aside from keeping canaries and perfecting his woodworking skills, Monsieur Fabry has made it a hobby to collect as much information possible about his family, their roots and the region in which they have lived. When he’s not reading or writing, Monsieur Fabry is probably out on his daily walk for which he is famous amongst his neighbors. He waves at passing cars who toot their horn to say “hello”, he stops to chit-chat with old acquaintances, and he is always ready to share his many tales of the past.

Isn’t it amazing how time flies? Looking at family photos from so many years ago, it’s hard to imagine that a boy much younger than myself could already be over 80 years old. Where do the years go? Don’t we all still feel young inside? As I (not so) slowly approach 30, I don’t feel a day over 18. Yet when I drive past a high school with students milling about, I can’t help but think about how small and young they look.

With each medical set-back Madame and Monsieur Fabry face, they grow ever-conscious of our fleeting time here on earth. They cherish each day they are given, and try to make the best of it. No matter what the future may hold, neither of them will have to worry whether they have made a mark on this world. Family, friends and neighbors alike can attest to the vitality and youthfulness with which this charismatic couple greet each and every day. They take life by the horns and milk it for all that its got!

So let’s learn a lesson from Monsieur and Madame Fabry and make a conscious effort to seize each day we’re given and live life to the fullest! :)

Do you know any local Fleurishers? Do you have any special people, companies, or organizations in mind who you would like to honor with a handmade bouquet?

Please send me an e-mail with a little bit about the recipient and what makes them a Fleurisher!

For the Dutch visitors: Kent U een bijzonder persoon, bedrijf, of organisatie die in aanmerking zou komen om de volgende “Fleurisher” te zijn?

Stuur mij, AUB, een e-mail met een beetje informatie over de kandidaat!

Have a great day, and I’ll see you all tomorrow!

Fleurishers: Passion for Painting and Plants

Hello and welcome to today’s Fleurishers! Jos and Marianne are a couple rich in passion for plants and painting. Nominated by their daughter, this pair’s creativity both inside and out make them the ideal recipients for a handful of Fleuropean flowers!

Jos and Marianne live in a picturesque village surrounded by plenty of natural inspiration used often for both work and play. Jos is a well-respected artist  whose ethereal paintings hover between the realms of magic and realism. It was fun to get a privileged peak within his art studio where his colors are mixed, ideas are sketched, and where his dreams come to life!

With skylights specifically designed to allow North-Eastern light to flood the work space, Jos’ atelier makes every other oil painter green with envy. There’s no shortage of canvases, brushes, and oil paints… the combination of colors and materials is enough to make anyone want to pick up a paintbrush and give it a go!

The poetry of each painting, nearly all inspired by real life scenery and acquaintances, tells a unique story. The longing to bring to life the beauty surrounding him and a quest to “capture” or “translate” those visions into art remains a central focus throughout all of Jos’ paintings. The detail in the landscapes and the dream-like quality of the central characters results in a breath-taking final product.

Aside from painting inside, Marianne and Jos also stay busy in their outdoor “atelier”… the garden!

When she’s not busy teaching children within the classroom, Marianne can be found enjoying many hours working in her garden. With a homemade greenhouse, Marianne propagates her favorite plants from cuttings, starts pots full of seeds, and Jos grows more yummy veggies than a hungry tummy can dream of!

With an emphasis on letting nature run its course, Marrianne creates colorful borders with a soft-spot for agastache, salvias, and all sorts of fun flowers in purples and blues. Careful not to remove any “weeds” too early in the season, she is often pleasantly surprised by the wonderful volunteer seedlings that pop up all throughout her garden.

Jos and Marianne embody creativity from the garden to the kitchen, the artist’s studio to the classroom. Their passion for various creative outlets reminds us all that it’s important to be inspired by our imaginations… to not get too tied down in reality, but to live just a little in our own special dream worlds as well!

Do you know any local Fleurishers? Do you have any special people, companies, or organizations in mind who you would like to honor with a handmade bouquet?

Please send me an e-mail with a little bit about the recipient and what makes them a Fleurisher!

For the Dutch visitors: Kent U een bijzonder persoon, bedrijf, of organisatie die in aanmerking zou komen om de volgende “Fleurisher” te zijn?

Stuur mij, AUB, een e-mail met een beetje informatie over de kandidaat!

Have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Fleurishers: Cultivating Creativity

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! This Sunday, I had the opportunity to meet up with our most recent Fleurisher, Tjeu! We met at Val Dieu, where I stood waiting underneath the entrance archway, bouquet in my hands… reminiscent of  a Hollywood blind date from your generic chick-flick. After our “meet-cute”, the two of us got to know one-another over a couple glasses of diet Coke… always refreshing. The wind was blowing as storm clouds came and went, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying a nice chat outside!

Tjeu was nominated by his son and daughter-in-law who are proud to have a family member so dedicated to fostering the well-being of children in our region and appreciate Tjeu’s constant exploration into the world of creativity.

As part of his journey through life, Tjeu has become something of a professional challenge-finder. With a background in the field of PR, Tjeu made it a point to switch jobs every 5 years in an attempt to challenge himself and explore new possibilities. He’s dabbled in everything from sports journalism to writing books, hosting radio and TV programs to developing new educational methods.

 

Tjeu’s most recent challenges and passions stem from his long-time position as a Dutch teacher and department coordinator. He has published several books (Gelukskunde and Slimmerkunde) which embody his dedication to making the educational experience as fun, exciting, creative, and challenging as possible. You won’t see Tjeu shying away from technology either. If he’s not writing a book or attending one of the many creative workshops on his agenda, Tjeu is probably busy posting tweets on twitter or updating his blog!

As part of his busy schedule, Tjeu also acts as editor-in-chief for the annual newsletter published by the SVO PL (The Secondary Education Foundation of Parkstadt Limburg). Among all the new and exciting projects featured in the newsletter is one developed by Tjeu himself: TalentenAcademie.

Leren van elkaar… I think we can all “learn from each other” as the title of the article above so justly states. If we all took the time to nurture our creative side, confront and overcome life’s obstacles, and open our ears, eyes, and minds to those around us, the world would probably be a much more understanding place. So thank you, Tjeu, for all your hard work helping a new generation find their way in this wild world full of challenges!

Do you know any local Fleurishers? Do you have any special people, companies, or organizations in mind who you would like to honor with a handmade bouquet?

Please send me an e-mail with a little bit about the recipient and what makes them a Fleurisher!

For the Dutch visitors: Kent U een bijzonder persoon, bedrijf, of organisatie die in aanmerking zou komen om de volgende “Fleurisher” te zijn?

Stuur mij, AUB, een e-mail met een beetje informatie over de kandidaat!

Have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you tomorrow! :)

Fleurishers: Family First

Hello everyone!

I’d like to introduce you to this week’s Fleurisher: Lies!

Lovely Lies was nominated by her granddaughter, Deidre, as the next recipient for a handmade bouquet plucked straight from my garden.

Lies was nominated for this special surprise due to her compassion for others and her love, above all else, for family. It didn’t hurt that she’s also an avid gardener, famous for her green thumb! ;)

Lies has a long history of putting others before herself. She has been there through thick and thin for countless family members and is always eager to lend an ear for listening or a shoulder to lean on.

Her furry, four-legged companion, Sammy, keeps her company during walks and at home, where Lies can be found knitting up a storm! If she’s not inside, she’s probably busy tending to her wonderful garden, where the clematis, wisteria, roses, poppies, and a variety of other flowers put on a colorful show.

I think we can all agree that the world could use few more people who have a heart as warm as Lies’. We should all strive to cherish and support those we love, day in and day out. After all, what in life is more important than close friends and family?

Do you know any local Fleurishers? Do you have any special people, companies, or organizations in mind who you would like to honor with a handmade bouquet?

Please send me an e-mail with a little bit about the recipient and what makes them a Fleurisher!

For the Dutch visitors: Kent U een bijzonder persoon, bedrijf, of organisatie die in aanmerking zou komen om de volgende “Fleurisher” te zijn?

Stuur mij, AUB, een e-mail met een beetje informatie over de kandidaat!

Fleurishers: Piet and José

Hello everyone!

Today marks the beginning of another fun floral project I plan to put into action: Fleurishers!

This project is dedicated to honoring those around us (people, local businesses, organizations) who are helping society to grow in the right direction… making the world a better place. Of course, in usual Fleuropean style, I’ll be honoring these Fleurishers with handmade bouquets. I think it’s time to shower these special people with flowers! :)

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce to you my first Fleurishers, Piet and José!

A retirement home for dogs in their golden years… what elderly pup wouldn’t enjoy living in a loving home nestled within the beautiful nature reserves of Zuid-Limburg?  Besides simply being worderful people, Piet and José have chosen to make the world a more wonderful place, one dog at a time. They are currently loving parents to three “high risk” dogs, each adopted from local animal shelters. Suze, the youngster of the bunch, is a 10-year-old Jack Russel Terrier who suffers from a rather serious heart murmur. Suze needs a smorgasbord of pills each day in order to maintain a good quality of life. Xena, a deaf 14-year-old Jack Russel Terrier, was left without a home when her owner passed away. Lucky for her,  Piet and José were looking to expand their family! And, last but not least, there’s Bobby, an 18(!!!)-year-old Jack Russel Terrier who, after several appearances on local TV shows, failed to find a new home… until Piet and José decided that their retirement home could use one more furry friend! :)

This “fleurishing” couple knows how to stop and smell the roses… and encourages their family of three to do the same!

In honor of their dedication to animals in need, Piet and José were the lucky recipients of the very first Fleurishers bouquet. This is a “thank you”, Piet and José, a token of my appreciation for the love you share, not just with people, but with animals as well.

Do you know any local Fleurishers? Do you have any special people, companies, or organizations in mind who you would like to honor with a handmade bouquet?

Please send me an e-mail with a little bit about the recipient and what makes them a Fleurisher!

For the Dutch visitors: Kent U een bijzonder persoon, bedrijf, of organisatie die in aanmerking zou komen om de volgende “Fleurisher” te zijn?

Stuur mij, AUB, een e-mail met een beetje informatie over de kandidaat!