When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This is a phrase that has pulled at our psyche each time Murphy’s Law is in full swing intending to motivate us as victims. And it is because of this flaw in our nature that it has become one of the best known sayings around the world, with all its variations.
But have you ever wondered who invented the phrase?
Though it is Joan Collins of “Dynasty” fame that claims the use of the expression, more than likely it was the motivational writer and speaker Dale Carnegie who really said it first since he did live earlier than Ms. Collins.
Unfortunately it was never documented when Mr. Carnegie first uttered these words, but the original quote is said to be, “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade” and it has transformed more recently into a more modern adaptation that is now known by the millions. It is because this phrase fits so seamlessly with the rest of Dale Carnegie’s teachings and philosophies that makes him the most likely candidate as its author.
So when we make lemonade out of lemons, it reminds us that almost anything in this world is possible. That if we take an optimistic approach when looking at things, we can expect a more positive result.
Take a look at the lemon itself. Though it starts out as sour fruit, its main use can be turned into a positive flavoring agent in foods such as fish, salads and sauces. Actually in Italy you will find that its primary growth is for the consumption of a cold refreshing zesty liqueur called Limoncello. As you drive along the Amalfi coastline there are literally groves upon groves of lemon trees hugging the vast seaside hills that surround the many cliffside villages overlooking the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea.
And if we were to travel to an area in the southeastern part of France along the exquisite French Riviera known for its infamous beauty, there is a quaint little town called Menton that makes lemon floats.
Lemon floats you say? Is that like a root beer float? Uh, no.
It seems the area that encompasses the city of Menton grows so many lemons that they celebrate every year with a “Lemon Festival” featuring floats and displays decorated with lemons and other citrus fruits. It’s similar to the floats made for the Rose Parade only with lemons.
Take a look at these lemon-laced exhibits showcased at this year’s festival event.
So when life hands you a lemon…
That is, if something were to happen to you that you don’t like…use the next time to make something out of it that you do like. Such as…
• L – Laughter – it’s the best medicine.
• E – Embrace others and surround yourself with those who want you to thrive.
• M – Move forward with fixed focus making a tangible difference everyday.
• O – Open your mind and your heart.
• N – Notice all the things in your life to be grateful for.
• A – Adjust your attitude and expectations.
• D – Decide to challenge your circumstances and do things for others.
• E – Evaluate your actions instead of blaming others avoiding “victim” mode.
Yes, make lemonade out of the lemons in your life!
So what do you think? How do you view the many lemons in your life? When life throws you a lemon, what inspires you to make lemonade? And what do you find floats your lemon float?
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Thank you for your many thoughts and fine comments everyone!
When life gives me lemons, I mope for a day or two and then get on with it! Seriously, my hubby has learned to give me that adjustment time with whatever changes are happening in our lives.
Beyond that, I agree with Jennette – I put it into a story. Not only my lemons, but my friends’ and neighbors’ as well. Or maybe especially. *grin*
Love the pictures – never dreamed such things were possible. Thanks!
Jennifer Jensen recently posted..All Things Irish
Hey thanks Jennifer for sharing your thoughts. Everyone takes things differently. The point is that we move on right? No sense festering the negative thinking. And the lemon give us a fresh cleam approach to that thought. And I love that you and Jennette put your experiences in your stories. Your friends, neighbors, well the whole kit and cabootle. LOL! I’m glad you loved the pics. They were an inspiation. Thank you Jennifer for dropping by! 🙂
Lemon floats. Who knew they could be so beautiful?! Jeannette is right, the lemony smell would be wonderful. I wonder if the builders of the floats have yellow fingertips after handling all those lemons?
I’m typically a glass-half-full type of girl, so usually when life hands me lemons I make lemonade, and when I get a lot of lemons, lemon jello shots!!
Ooh, now that’s a new one Lynette! Lemon jello shots. Can’t say we’ve experienced those here at my blog yet. That’s a first! Sounds delicious! And the thought of yellow hands after handling all those lemons makes sense to me. I hadn’t thought of that. What a mess. But the fresh lemon aroma in the air must give you a clean crisp feeling. I’m glad you’re a half glass full kind of gal Lynette! And I’m happy you enjoyed the floats! Thank you for coming by! 🙂
Karen, another wonderful post. I love the pictures. Who knew there were such wonderful uses for lemons?
thanks for the positive addition to my day.
Louise Behiel recently posted..Why Being The Family Hero Hurts
Hi Louise! I am so glad you loved the pictures! They are amazing and inspiring to me. Yes, who knew Louise! Thank you so much for coming by! 🙂
Holy smokes – those are some awesome lemon floats! Gorgeous pictures.
I love how you used the letters to make positive resolutions! Way to go Karen.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Hi Patricia! How are you girl? Yes, weren’t they awesome? What an inspiration! Oh and well, you know me. I try to make thing end on a happy note! Thank you Patricia for coming by and sharing your thoughts! 🙂
Lovely post, Karen! I’d love to visit “Lemon City.”
Debra Eve recently posted..Dick King-Smith: The Gallant Late Bloomer
Why thank you Debra! Wouldn’t that be something? What a beautiful area and to personally be able to see those floats would be amazing! Thanks Debra for coming by! 🙂
Awesome post Karen!! Making lemonade and great blog posts from lemons 🙂
Coleen Patrick recently posted..The Freedom and Adventure of Taking to the Road in YA
Thank you Coleen! I so glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂
Those floats are awesome! How fun! When life hands me lemons, I usually cut it up and put it in my water ;-). No sugar, just lemon water. Tasty!
Melinda recently posted..50/50 Update: Double Feature!
LOL Melinda! You do have a way with words girl! You are going to wite a wonderful book. I just know it! I do hope you put some of that awesome personality of yours in the story. It would be sure to perk it up! Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed the post! 🙂
Wow, what an awesome post! I love those pictures! Those floats are beautiful. My husband is wonderful at reminding me, whenever I’m freaking out over something (being Type A, that means, whenever something doesn’t go according to plan) how great we have it. He puts his hands on my shoulders, looks me in the eyes, and says, “April, we have nothing to worry about. My business is doing well, we have a great daughter, we have each other, a roof over our heads and a fridge full of food. Nothing else matters.” And he’s right. so I try to remind myself of those little drops of lemonade every time I’m faced with lemons. I also think most of my lemons are self-induced, meaning, it doesn’t have to be as bad or dramatic as I’m making it. 🙂
April Plummer recently posted..Why Not Jump For Joy?
Wow April, your husband sounds like amazing man! Congratulations, he’s a keeper! It helps when we have a special someone in our life that helps us keep our balance. And it is always good to reflect on the things that we should be grateful for in our life! LOL on your thoughts about the self induced lemons! I think you’re quite capable of making a great batch of lemonade, or any of the said forementioned drinks that my guest like to make with lemons! LOL! Thank you April for coming by and sharing your thoughts! 🙂
Beautiful post, Karen! And the acrostic is definitely a keeper for me! Thanks!
Alicia Street recently posted..Reader2Author
Why thank you Alicia! I’m glad you enjoyed it! It was a fun post to write and the pictures were inspiring! Take care of yourself and give my best to Roy! 🙂
I’m pretty sure this was said WAY before Dynasty. I can remember in my 4th grade class there was a poster of a ginormous head, opened up with lemons going into it and a spout on the nose with lemonade coming out. I’m old, so that’s my proof that it wasn’t Joan Collins.
The funny thing about that poster ~ it freaked me out so much that I didn’t ‘get’ the lesson until many, many years later. One day I was sitting in a Literature class at University and something the professor said clicked in my head and I yelled out, “Oh, so THAT’S what it means!” The whole class looked at me like I’d grown antlers on my butt.
I love the L.E.M.O.N. definitions up there. I like that saying, ‘When life gives you lemons, make margaritas’, but a limoncello is really good, too. I’m all about taking the bitter and finding some sweet. Or, tart in this case. Those floats are incredible! What patience they have to make them so beautiful.
Tameri Etherton recently posted..Southern California Writer’s Conference Recap
Ha, ha, ha Tameri! I’m pretty sure you’re right! Oh geez, what a sight! I would’ve been a little freaked myself with that picture! Antlers on your butt, LOL Tameri! That’s hilarious girl! And you would be the first to mention margaritas! But yes, linoncello it delicious! And what work to put those floats together and then to keep them looking so pristine. Thank you so much Tameri for coming by. I love you sense of humor and it is alway great to see you! 🙂
Karen, this is such a lovely post on life, attitude, missed or grabbed-by-the-neck opportunities and… food! You combined so much in such a short, but delightful, article. Bravo, my friend!
I am such a crazy optimist that when life throws anything terrible at me, I always look for ways to turn the situation around to my advantage. I’ve learned a long time ago that weeping gets me nowhere but a positive attitude is always a base for my success, lemons or not 🙂
Why thank you Angela! Coming from you that is quite a compliment. I am so glad you liked it. You are so awesome Angela! I love your inspiring attitude girl! You Rock! Thank you so much for coming by and for all your support! 🙂
I love you’re lemonade list and the photos are great.
Alica recently posted..Bitches or Subs:Where are all the normal women in fiction?
Oh Alica I am so happy that you loved that list! It was just so upbeat and positive! And weren’t those photos awesome? I’m so glad you came by and thank you for all your support Alica! 🙂
Love those photos, you should put them up on Pinterest!! Just a thought, lol!
And life never gives you just one lemon if it can give you five!
Sailors used to suck on lemons to prevent scurvy.
Squirt lemon juice in cracks where ants live and around window ledges to prevent infestations.
Add fresh lemon juice to you white wash to make it brighter and fresher.
Squirt it on potatoes to stop them going brown.
Use it as a gargle to freshen breath, make sure you rinse to protect your tooth enamel.
Rub half a lemon all over alluminium pots and buff with a soft cloth to make them sparkle.
To make furniture polish pour 1/2cup olive oil and 1/4cup fresh lemon juice in a squirt bottle and voila!!!
However, I do like them in the bottle neck of an icy Mexican Beer.
CC MacKenzie recently posted..WHAT NEXT FOR NEW VOICES FINALIST LINDSAY PRYOR?
Oh I know what you mean about that Christine! It seems that life gives us plenty of lemons to keep up in the air while we forge on ahead! But it’s all about attitude, isn’t it? And that’s why you are so successful Christine. That’s why you keep pressing on! I am so glad you’re doing better! We missed you and we’re glad you’re back! Oh, and thanks for these awesome suggestions. They are quite useful. Thanks so much for coming by! 🙂
Such an uplifting post, Karen. And you are such a lemonade-making machine! 😉 I particularly love your pointer on opening our hearts and minds. So many answers and adventures lie there if we simply check in.
August McLaughlin recently posted..Leaping Smart: Useful Steps for Authors
Why thank you August! That is very kind of you! I try. Wow, yes, what a connection between the heart and mind. It’s all about how we choose to view things, isn’t it? But I have to say that your posts always seem to have a heart and mind connection. And you make things very palatable from the lemons in your life! We keep coming back for more girl! Thank you again for your support August and for coming by. I’m glad you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it! 🙂
Hmm, what to do when life hands me lemons? I’d try to think of how I can use it in a story. 🙂 That parade is not only beautiful, I’ll bet it’s the best smelling parade on earth!
Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..My Town Monday: Arts and Letters, with a Leap Year Twist
Now see, that’s what I like about you Jennette! Spoken like a true writer! The smell, I love it! Yes, what a refreshing odor the lemons must bring to that town every year during the festival. Great point! And talk about writing a story. I just did! LOL! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself Jennette! Thank you so much for coming by and I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
First off, I LOVE Limoncello! Tasty-Tasty! Those Lemon Float pictures are amazing. So bright and cheerful which is really what a lemon is all about. 🙂 I’m like Natalie, I believe I tend to make lemonade out of situations if I can, even if it’s not immediately. And if I can’t make lemonade, I try to cut my losses and get the heck outta dodge.
Really great post, Karen. Thanks for the inspiration!
Ginger Calem recently posted..WritersButt Wednesday: Create a Powerhouse in You!
Oh I am really glad that you liked it Ginger! Don’t you just love limoncello? It is awesome! Love it! I am so glad that you brought out how cheery the lemon is! So many of us love the color of a lemon and feel good around the color of lemon yellow. Interesting? And you know I could tell that you made lemonade out of a lemony situation. Good for you! Cut those losses girlfriend and get outta dodge! Oh, that’s dodge Ginger, not my blog. LOL! You’re always welcome around here! Thanks again for coming by! 🙂
Ooh, I like Diane’s lemon martini suggestion–and, one of these days, I’ll try Limoncello.
Meanwhile, in my backyard, there’s a four-year-old Meyer lemon tree. It hasn’t produced a single lemon over the past two years, and only yielded a crop of two the year before that. I was steeling myself to dig up the tree and replace it when I discovered it’s covered in buds. Will this be the year the tree gives me lemons? I hope so!
Love the way you spell inspiration.
Pat, I’m telling ya, Diane is giving my blogs quite a reputation! LOL! One week it’s champagne, another lemon maritinis. This is a riot! And yes, I think you will be in for a lot of lemons if you’re seeing that many buds on that tree. That’s fantastic Pat! I love Meyer lemons! Now what are you talking about? How did I spell inspiration? What did I do? And where Pat? You’ve got me going on this one girl! LOL! Thanks for coming by and I’m glad you enjoyed the posts!
You always surprises me, Karen. I know I said it before, but it’s still true 🙂
The pictures are great (this city is worth a visit), and the acrostic is genius.
I agree with Diane. With lemons, you can make many vodka tonics with a twist 😉
Fabio Bueno recently posted..The Repentant Bully
Hi Fabio! You are so kind! I just like to share things with others that inspire me! I am so glad you find them suprising and that you enjoy them! Vodka tonics eh? See what Diane started! I’m gonna get quite a reputation as a party girl if I don’t watch it! LOL! Thanks for dropping by and for all your support Fabio! 🙂
What lemons! That’s enough to make me, you, Diane and Joan Collins a few lemon martinis apiece 🙂
LOL MIke!!!! When’s the party? A lemon martini sounds so good about now! Thanks for sharing my posts today! That was a lot of fun! And thank so much for coming by! 🙂
Those are some beautiful photos. I think that’s a great way to celebrate. I much better take than the Rose Parade actually. Reminds people of what your post says, make good out of the sour you’re dealt. I love your post, very inspirational.
Debra Kristi recently posted..Dip Me in Chocolate! Healthy and Happy
Oh thank you so much Debra! It means so much coming from you. I’m so happy that you like the photos. Those floats were something else, weren’t they? Yes, I found them refreshing too. Thanks again for coming by Debra! 🙂
Those floats are amazing. Wow! And that Limoncello sounds yummy!
Lynn Kelley recently posted..Rats!
Limoncello is yummy Lynn! I’m so glad you like the floats. Good to see you girl! Take care and thank you for coming by! 🙂
Wow – that was a lot of lemons – love the photos!
I’d like to think I am the type of person that tries to always make lemonade. Maybe sometimes not right off the bat but once things settle down, I try to see the positive, the good, or what I can take away or make out of a tough situation. It isn’t always easy but I find serves me well in life…
Great post Karen!
Natalie Hartford recently posted..Urban Word Wednesday: Spark in my ass
Weren’t the photos terrific? When I saw them I knew I had to write something about them and then the analogy about the lemon came to mind. It’s crazy how the mind works. LOL! You know I just knew you were the type of person who took the positive road to life Natalie. Your posts always show that about you. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂
Great photos, Karen! When we were in Italy, we saw the most amazing lemons. Huge. The size of grapefruit, which is what we thought they were until someone set us straight. Of course, the best thing to do when life hands you lemons is to make a lemon martini….
Diane Capri recently posted..Diane Capri Reveals Paul Levine
Well I couldn’t agree with you more Diane! A lemon martini sounds delicious! And I do know what you mean about the size of the lemons in Italy. My husband and I have been there several times and we’ve traveled up the coastline from Salerno to the south, through Amalfi up to Positano! Absolutely gorgeous! And nothing but Lemons as far as the eye could see. It was amazing! Thanks as always Diane for dropping by! 🙂