The Legend of the Christmas Rose

Christmas is a special time of the year-  a time when miracles and all that is good is celebrated and cherished! The Christmas Rose is one of these good things!  The Christmas Rose is not actually a rose, but a hellebore that will bloom in the dead of winter in the  darkest days and stay in bloom for the rest of the season even when nothing else is blooming! It’s a miracle! In fact, this is what legends are made ...

Fun Flower Facts: Butterfly Ginger Lily (Hedychium)

Butterfly ginger lily (hedychium), a member of the ginger family, the Zingiberaceae,  is a perennial native to woodlands in India and the Himalayas. This exotic beauty is valued for its attractive, fragrant flowers and distinctive foliage. When the plant blooms in the late summer until fall, it produces clusters of beautiful blooms that look like butterflies, hence the common name.  The scent is delightful, reminiscent of a spicy gardenia! White is the most popular colour, but the flowers can also ...

3D Printed Flowers – It was only a matter of time…

3D printers are making everything from food to houses, it was only a matter of time until flowers were created. This project, nicknamed Blossom, explores the concept of 3D Printing using dual materials. “The flower came about as the idea of trying to create this organic form out of this totally non-organic process and material. Basically it’s a curved hollow chamber with flexible rubber. As you inflate it, it creates a gap of air which pushes against the other layer. It ...

Mistaken Identity

A little later than usual, here is my effort for Friday Fictioneers this week. A big thank you to the lovely Renee Heath for the photograph this week and to Rochelle for all the time and effort she devotes to FF - we are all truly grateful. Bow, curtsy… Genre: Memoir Word Count: 100 Mistaken Identity “Stop, stop. Stop!” My son tightens his grip, his little nails dig into my hand. “What’s the matter Sam, whatever’s wrong?” I pick him up. His face is ashen. Two perfectly shaped teardrops ...

Flower Tattoo Ideas

Did you know that one of our all time most popular search terms for our Fun Flower Facts blog is the phrase “flower tattoos?” About a year ago, we wrote a blog post on flower tattoos  and thought we would revisit the subject again, as the topic is so popular! In fact, it was one of our top 10 blog posts for 2012! As a flower blog, we would have thought “roses,” “tulips” or “orchids” would be our most searched ...

Best Plants for the Classroom

Now that it is September, students and teachers will be spending the majority of their time in the classroom. So you might as well, make the most of it. Classrooms can feel dull and drab without some fresh flowers and plants. A few plants can add liven up the room and add a burst of colour. Plus, some of them will even clean the air! They will also provide learning opportunities for students. Many indoor plants are now available at the ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth…

“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous, unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.” Henry Miller Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth… Tentacles of a budding Japanese Peony Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth… Japanese Peony budding. Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth… Japanese Peony growing. Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth… Japanese Peony fully formed buds Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth… Japanese Peony flower Growth of Man — like Growth of Nature — by Emily Dickinson Growth of Man — like Growth of Nature – Gravitates within – Atmosphere, and Sun endorse it – Bit it stir — alone – Everywhere we look, every ...

Danger from above

The whitewashed walls reflected the sun’s glare. Alice adjusted her sunglasses. Small stones skittered and bounced down a wall then, with a wail, a boy landed at her feet. He was small, dirty and frightened; Alice saw blood running down his left leg. She took off her rucksack, pulling out a bottle of water and some tissue.  She bathed his leg while he stared defiantly up at her. A battered car screeched to a halt, Alice stared in disbelief as the driver pulled out a gun. She ...

Credentialing for Would-be World Enders???

Harold Camping muffs end-o-days prediction Most states require a licensing process for a host of service providers ranging from hair stylists to mechanics. Those are important services if you’re in the market to touch up your roots or replace your brake pads – but those services don’t come close to predicting the end of the world. Apparently anyone can predict the end of days without so much as a certificate of apprenticeship. Case in point, an 89-year old Internet pastor-turned-prognosticator believed ...

Mentors in My Publishing Past

From Alan MacRoberts, I learned–to my great surprise in 1970–that not everyone cared about keeping a job where they were, that they might be enticed to work somewhere else. His own reason was a purchase of our company by Xerox, which he decided boded no good for the publishing experience as he knew it. He was my first boss in the career path of my choice, and I was starting as the high-school science department secretary. Of course, he taught ...

Family Finance – Talking Dollars and Common Sense

Author, blogger, speaker – Carol Peterson Here’s a guest post from writer, Carol Peterson – author of the book Fun With Finance. If you’d like to write a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: =============== Many of us learned how to handle money by watching our parents. Then our kids learned from us. Unfortunately, that’s sometimes like making a copy of a copy. Each copy becomes more and more distorted. What if we started over, learning proper money management and taught kids ...

Yet Another Reason I Hate Funerals….

Nondescript Casket My immediate family spent the majority of last week at my in-laws home in New York because my wife’s grandmother passed away. While I think it’s extremely important to celebrate the memory of the deceased; support and sympathize with the survivors and offer a degree of closure for the living via the various death-induced services and rituals – I hate funerals. As a former news reporter, I had to attend dozens as an uninvited gawker amidst grieving strangers and then trying to speak with someone on camera – ...

The Best Advice I Ever Got....

Are you a "thermostat" or a "thermometer" My maternal grandpa died in 1982 when I was 12 years old. His name was Matthew Nichols, and his passing was the first significant loss of my life. He never graduated high school and was a self-taught electrician by trade, yet there were several invaluable life lessons that I learned from him. One such lesson occurred when I was in the first grade at Hawthorne Elementary School in Wilingboro, New Jersey. One day during recess I got ...

Slowing Down in an Accelerating World

I don’t know about you, but I can get worked up about things very easily. Whether it’s the cares of life, pursuit of wealth or desires for other things – I unintentionally let external craziness mangle my attempts to maintain internal calm. So every morning, I try to read or focus on something that will help me keep my peace in place – for at least a little while. This morning I read a passage in a book by author Philip Yancey ...

Monkey Mind Maybe

My meditation sitting didn’t go as planned this morning. I went into it feeling sort of blue, hoping to visit the tranquil center of my soul, but then Monkey Mind invaded my thinking. I taped my brain waves during this morning’s session and this is how it went. Please realize that Monkey Mind isn’t me. I don’t know who he is. Monkey Mind: “So, why so glum chum? What’s the prob today? Something always seems to be bothering you. Aren’t you ...

Interview With Cleverbot....

 A web-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) experiment developed by AI pioneer Rollo Carpentar. Last week I stumbled upon Cleverbot, which is a web-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) application that learns to speak by conversing with humans via an instant messaging format. As background, you may recall that Hollywood has made several movies about Artificial Intelligence and computers that can learn including, HAL from 2001: A Space Odyessy; the WOPR computer from the 1980's movie War Games that starred Matthew Broderick; and SkyNet from the Terminator series. Now, I've always ...

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Susan - The Wizards Word
March 2, 2012, 9:18 am

11 Q&A

I’ve chosen (more or less) to be tagged by Monique, over at The Long and the Short of It  Below are my answers to her questions.

1) Lefty or Righty?

Right on!

2) The happiest time of your life is/was:

When I was a little girl and had not yet started school. My dad would be at work & I’d have my mom to myself all day long. We had good times together. Sometimes we’d visit my Aunt Franny, or go shopping with our best friends who were also our neighbors. I am still friends with them.

3) What is your earliest memory?

It was Valentines Day in…1961? Mom was taking me for a spin in my stroller when an elderly neighbors stopped us. He had a giant (for my small hands) chocolate heart for me. It was beautiful! The way the red foil sparkled in the sunlight; not to mention the smooth yet crinkly texture. I was mesmerized; turned it over and over again in my hands.

4) Most embarrassing moment (that you’ll admit to):

So many from which to choose! Farting on a first date is always a good one.

5) What makes you laugh out loud?

When people try to stuff WHOLE  Portobello mushroom in their mouths. Whole. It gets me every time!

6) Name one thing you would like to “fix” for all of mankind, be it a collective thought or gift to give:

If only we were all color blind…

7) Evolution or Creation?

Yes. I think that G-d is responsible for both.

8) Do you remember any of your high school teachers – who and why?

I was far too busy in high school to attend my classes.  What with smoking cigarettes (or whatever) in the adjacent park, lunching at  Tastee-Freez across the street, trying to look, feel, and act cool..who had time to actually go inside the school? Unless to powder my nose or cake on that 6th coat of mascara…The instructors are a dim memory. I do however, remember my kindergarten teacher. Her name was Miss Jamieson. She was very kind to me and stopped he other kids from making sport of the horrific case of separation anxiety. She was beautiful inside, and to me, outside as well. One day some kids were talking about how ugly she was & I went ballistic. That was they day I learned the difference between inner beauty, which matters, and so-called outer beauty, which does not. The lesson was forgotten during my teen years, obviously.

9) Who is your hero and why?

Vivian D. Mazur (my mom), Golda Meir and Benazir Bhutto. Gutsy, smart, courageous.

My Mom

Golda Meir

They are women who made a difference.

10) Can we make a “Better” tomorrow? How would you contribute?

Sharing. Everyone has something to share whether it be material, knowledge, a talent or gift.

11) Inn-ie or Out-ie?

Innit to win it!

Thanks Monique, this was fun!

To the first eleven people who visit my page, please answer the above questions, if  the spirit moves you. Enjoy!

Susan - The Wizards Word

I am a freelance writer who lives in the Hartford, CT area. I specialize in ghostwriting, editing, and SEO content writing.If I were not a writer, I'd probably be a linguistic anthropologist or a crash-test dummy.

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