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In Theory

Graduate school is a special time in an intellectual's life. It is a rarefied opportunity to acquire lofty knowledge that will serve the scholar for years to come. One develops skills to discern which professors are least likely to assign copious amounts of work. One figures out which secretary to cozy up to so dissertation paperwork will get signed and submitted by deadlines. One learns what to answer in a psychological battery to appear dangerously psychotic, and wonder if the ...

My New Favorite Breakfast Food

Most clichés become clichés because they are based on fact.  One example of that would be, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”  Despite the obvious need to replenish your body’s fuel there are additional benefits beyond those basic needs. There are several studies that show people who have lost 30 lbs. or more (and kept it off for more than a year) all ate a nutritious breakfast; while those who eat a morning meal tend to consumer fewer calories ...

A Great Sense of Achievement

Sometimes we set ourselves personal goals swept away on the crest of a wave by a moments reckless enthusiasm or, as in my case on this occasion, after a glass or three of cheap heady red wine. We believe anything is possible if we put our minds to it and of course it is if the goal is realistic. The NANoWriMo was for me one of those moments.Thank goodness I did not decide to become a brain surgeon or walk to ...

Portion Control

Portion Control

For the past few months, I have had the good fortune to have my weekday take-out lunch assembled by a particularly heavy-handed worker at the assembly-line style restaurant, Chipotle. This has meant my daily salad has included more than the average dollops of roasted chili-corn salsa, shredded vegetable-based rennet cheese, and sustainably raised chicken. A coworker who frequents a different Chipotle branch (and, hence, has never experienced the topping-overload from my unselfish server), informed that her location normally charges extra ...

Musings: Keep It Simple & Blog Hop…

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” Henry David Thoreau Musings: Keep It Simple & Blog Hop... Simplify your life; tune out the noise... Sometimes, the best way to refocus and turn down the noise is to simplify our lives and the way we do things… The constant din around us; voices, things, people urging us on to do, to be, to become, ...

We Made It to New Orleans . . .

My head is still spinning – over the last two months we packed up our home in Prescott, drove ourselves and the three cats 1650 miles across company and have more or less moved into to our new home. What an incredible amount of experience crammed into a few weeks! The kitchen in our house was gutted . Once escrow closed  Meggan installed a utility sink in the kitchen. She says it is hard to clean and paint without water! We got ...

Strange and Wacky Travel Destinations Part 1

If you have done much traveling you have undoubtedly come across at least one weird, strange or wacky location. You know the place. It's the one that made you wonder, "What were these people thinking"? And they are everywhere if you look hard enough. But I am proud to say that I believe we in the US have more than any other country. That doesn't mean we have a monopoly by any means. Oh no in fact what other countries ...

A WW1 Soldiers Pressed Flowers

Image Credit: www.blackmorevale.co.uk This beautiful album full of pressed flowers documents one soldiers travels on the front lines of Europe during World War One.  As this is the centenary year for WW1, items from the time period are becoming quite popular with collectors. The album above is expected to sell in the hundreds when auctioned at Duke’s, in Dorchester, England on 11th March, 2014. Not much is known about the album of pressed blooms. It was discovered during a house clearance and ...

London 2012 Olympics: Ceremonial Flowers

The 2012 Summer Olympics is well under way. Besides watching the athletes compete, fans can also look forward to the Victory Ceremonies for the medal winners. Along with the medal, the winning athlete also receives a ceremonial bouquet. Over 4000 floral bouquets will be presented over the course of the Games. The victory bouquet was designed by Jane Packer, an internationally renowned UK florist.  The flower choices represent the vibrancy of the Games. The four sections of the bouquet hold a different ...

The Lipstick Tree ( Bixa orellana)

Originating from Tropical America the Lipstick tree, as it’s commonly called, is prized for it’s pretty blooms and interesting seed pods. Bixa is a small, ornamental shrub or tree with a round head. The seeds of the flower have a reddish powder which can be used as a vegetable tint for soaps, rice, and many other products. It is believed to come from Brazil originally but was brought to Central and South America by the Indians, who used the coloring as body ...

Advantages and Disadvantages of using Tree Tubes

An Oak tree that has emerged from one of our 5ft tree tubes after only two years of growing. On our vacation in October we went to the farm to get it ready to sell and one of the things we did to get it ready was to check on the trees and the tree tubes and to see how the trees  fared during this years drought. The tree tubes have worked great so far but are not perfect. In this post I want to ...

Please tell me what a Spring Bouquet is?

In Canada and the rest of the northern hemisphere, the first day of the spring season was March 20. The last day is June 19. Many people like to order “spring bouquets” not only when spring seems to be around the corner but even during the depths of winter. Lilac – a gardens spring bloom Trying to define a spring bouquet is not an easy task for a florist. Many will carry tulips, iris and maybe daffodils. They might have forsythia branches ...

2013 Garden Trend: Air Plants

The latest trend in the world of gardening is growing air plants, also known as tillandsia scientifically. Tillandsia are exotic plants native to the tropics, with over 500 different species and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colours. And we can see why they are so popular! Air plants are nearly indestructible and will survive in just about any environment! Perfect for beginner gardeners or people that tend to kill their houseplants! Moreover, they are compact in size ...

Fun Flower Facts: Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema Triphyllum)

Jack  in the Pulpit (Arisaema Triphyllum) is a exotic looking perennial plant native to moist woodlands in eastern North America, including Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.  The Jack in the name refers to the central spadix, while the Pulpit refers to the pouch-shaped spathe (a sheath-like leaf) with an outer hood that surrounds the spadix. It is named so because the plant looks like a preacher standing in a pulpit (a raised platform for giving speeches). The plant grows to be ...

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Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort

10 Things I Wish I Shared With Dad…

My dad in his late 20s

I loved my dad. I know that I’m lucky in that regard because many men are estranged from their fathers or have strained relationships at best.

Part of that problem is that most guys aren’t great at expressing emotions or words. It’s difficult to build a relationship in that kind of communication vacuum.

I was fortunate to have a good relationship with my dad. But that ended when he died of a heart attack almost six years ago.

Shortly after his death, I relocated my wife and girls to the greater DC area and there have been major milestones that I wish he could have shared with us.  Here are 10 of those things.

10. The fact that our youngest and oldest are both playing instruments.

9. Our oldest selected and featured on a radio commercial on WTOP in DC.

8. The completion of my first (and five subsequent) marathons.

7. Our family all taking karate classes together and earning our green belts (we’re coming for you purple belts).

6. My dad was a die hard carnivore, so we would have loved him to try the Brazilian uber-meathouse Fogo de Choa in DC.

5. My father’s favorite hobby was gardening, we wish we could have shared the annual blooming of the cherry blossoms every spring with him along the tidal basin by the Jefferson Memorial.

4. Last summer, we vacationed for a week at Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland – he would have LOVED that.

3. The completion of my book A Question of Faith and its bestselling status.

2. His first grandson with the Constantino name.

1. Lastly,  I wish I could have shared the past five Father’s Days we’ve missed as well as the upcoming one.

Question: What’s something you shared with your father? If you’re a dad, what’s something you love sharing with your kids?

Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort

A topical blog that focuses on issues of faith, family, finance and fitness. I have more than 20 years experience as a former journalist and current PR practitioner. Additionally, I'm a father, husband, marathoner, writer and believer.

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