Whats The Obsession with Pansy’s?

Though they are called pansy’s these hearty little flowers are anything but wimpy. They are one of the toughest flowers, they are perfect for our climate, and thrive here in Canada. This little flower has inspired many a poem, picture and story. According to Wikipedia: “The pansy is a group of large-flowered hybrid plants cultivated as garden flowers. They are derived from viola species Viola tricolor, hybridized with other viola species. The hybrids are referred to as Viola. The common word “pansy” ...

A One-Day-One-Eye-Hacking Dog

With my bride at work but armed with her permission, I drove to the LA animal control facility where thousands of dogs waited for adoption. This would be our first pet as a married couple, and my first dog ever. Growing up, my parents only let me have pets small enough to flush down the toilet when they died. Try as I would, I couldn’t convince them it was possible to flush a dead German Shepherd. As I walked past an ...

Inspiration: Celebrate Good Deeds Day

“I believe that if people will think good, speak good and do good, the circles of good will grow and our world will be a better one.” Shari Arison Inspiration: Celebrate Good Deeds Day… pledge page Goodnet – A Gateway to Doing Good, is a media platform that aims to help you activate your goodness. Connecting between people, organizations and initiatives, Goodnet offers everyone a direct path to finding the opportunity that best suits them for doing good. In 2007, Businesswoman and philanthropist ...

The Sphinx of 22nd Place

In 2005 Mrs. Chatterbox and I decided to explore urban living; we bought a hundred year old house on Northwest 22nd Place in downtown Portland. The neighborhood, dotted with late Victorian houses, had a shabby chic quality. Our street was slightly run down but our realtor convinced us to overlook the decay. The area was adjacent to the trendy shops and restaurants of Northwest 23rd only a block away. Our street had seen its ups and downs over the years but ...

Guest Post: An Artfully Designed Flower Garden

An Artfully Designed Flower Garden with Colours, Textures and Decor It may still be the dead of winter, but I’m already daydreaming about spring gardening. Everybody has their own sense of style when it comes to their garden, but there are a few aesthetic elements to consider when planning your garden to be a work of art. Thinking about colour combinations, texture combinations, as well as how to preserve your masterpiece will yield the best results. Complementary colours for plants, stones, and ...

Memories: A Day Of Dance, Song And Synchronicity…

“We cannot change our memories, but we can change their meaning and the power they have over us” David Seamands Memories: A Day Of Dance, Song And Synchronicity... and dance, though not quite like Jagger Have you ever had a song follow you everywhere, popping up in all sorts of places? Well, the song, Moves Like Jagger has become one of those synchronicity experiences that has me scratching my head. I first heard the song at my Jazzercize class. Each day I ...

Fun Flower Facts: Oriental Poppy (Papaver Orientale)

The Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale), one of the prettiest flowering perennials in the late spring/early summer garden, is prized for its big, airy blooms that come in gorgeous shades of red, pink, orange and white. This type of poppy typically has four petals. Sometimes the base of the flower will have dark red or violet spots. These beauties can be seen from late May to about July. This is a clump forming plant, with hairy and dense leaves. Oriental poppies ...

The Ever Popular Peony

Peonies symbolizes nobility, value and peace; however, they can also signify shame. The name originates from Greek mythology- Paeon was a bright student learning under the god Asclepius. Zeus turned Paeon into a flower to save him from the jealous Asclepius. The peony comes from the genus Paeonia and is a member of the Paeoniacea family. The number of species range from 25 to 40. They are classified into five different flower forms; single, semi-double, Japanese and anemone. Two close relatives are ...

BGI Receives 2013 Designer of the Year Award

We are honored and thrilled to announce Barbara Gilbert Interiors has received a Designer of the Year Award from the national Interior Design Society! We received the first place award for Bath Designs under $30,000 for a glamorous master bathroom remodel. The design of the room was based on our client’s desire for a fresh, updated space with a subtle and feminine palette to reflect her personal style. She was beginning a new phase in her life and wanted her home ...

10 Worst Celebrity Baby Names

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. ~William Shakespeare Thanks for that Willie, but you’re wrong – names matter. ~Tor Constantino Despite what The Bard says, names matter. My birth name is Salvatore and as a kid growing up I was picked on a lot because my parents nicknamed me “Tory.” During the 1970s and 80s that kind of name was different, ergo it was an easy target for bullies and mockery. Based on ...

Talking Taxes With Cleverbot

Periodically I engage in conversations with an online, artificial intelligence (AI) software program called Cleverbot. The Cleverbot web site claims that the software learns from humans and becomes more human as it interacts with us. During the dozen or so conversations I’ve had with this computer interface, I’ve found it to be anything but human yet mildly amusing. A recent “talk” with Cleverbot is chronicled here when we discussed the virtues and history surrounding Martin Luther King’s birthday. Given that today marks the due ...

Golf, God and Free Will

I’m horrible at golf. I’m horrible, despite the fact that I took 12 private lessons from a golf pro when I first started so I could learn to play the correct way. Even though I didn’t have any preexisting bad habits that the coach had to break, his best efforts only improved my game enough to ensure that I’ll continue trying to play and practice until I can’t swing a club. Despite my horrible golfing ability, I still enjoy playing. One of the interesting ...

Top-10 List: Things That Smell Better Than They Taste

The only vegetable that's served in Hell... Science has proven that our sense of smell plays an integral role in how things taste. Ironically, even though some things smell incredibly good - they actually taste neutral to downright awful. Here's a list of the Top-10 Things That Smell Better Than They Taste. 10. Flavored Coffees - these various caffeinated concoctions smell wonderful when blended by your favorite barrister; however, they taste terrible - a blend of cough syrup and motor oil. 9. Mushrooms - while cooking, ...

God Is Not a Plumber – Talking to Kids About Death

The topic of death and grieving have been covered several times on this blog, because those are realities that all of us will face during this life. I’m thrilled to share with you this guest post from a writing friend of mine, Michelle Johnson. As a blogger Michelle has a keen interest and ability in addressing grief, bringing her to write for and work with Adelaide funeral homes and various publications dealing with death, funerals and the grieving process. Here’s her guest post: There ...

Transcendent Tango

Transcendent Tango - In recognition of the close of Poetry Month I have revised an old poem I wrote. I'm dedicating it to April, a pretty month, honoring her devotion to hope, awakenings, and vibrant new beginnings. Transcendent Tango The sky is a moody companion driving calm white billows into foamy currents over blue piercing thunderous cliffs with jagged lines of silver and sending the sun into exile. I skip. Not really. But I have the mind to for the wind has revived the fallen leaves who thought their days had ended, yet now ...

Ridiculously Funny Shopping Prank….

I’m not really a fan of practical jokes, because they can be cruel, but this video is harmless and one of the funniest things I’ve seen. Two guys decide to write a nonsensically absurd shopping list for each other. Then each of them must enlist the help of a retail worker to help them locate as many of the crazy items as they can. The hilarity ensues because neither guy knows what the next item on the list will be since each ...

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Shirley McLain - Writing, Musings, and Inspiration...
February 22, 2012, 10:54 am

Apparently Your Never To Old. Yea!!!!!

Oxygen toxicity occurs when the lungs take in ...

I was reading an article last night on how the over 60 age set is partaking of an experience I absolutely loved when I was doing it. It created so many different emotions from pure delight to fright. I suppose I have waited long enough to tell you what I’m talking about, scuba diving.

I am an Oklahoma farm girl who got my first taste of a big city when I went to Honolulu to work at Kapiolani Woman’s and Children hospital in Honolulu. I absolutely hated it for the first two months I was there, but then developed a love for the state and my life there. I stayed a full year and didn’t want to leave then.

After I settled into my routine life,I decided I wanted to something different.  I became a PADI certified diver. What an experience that was for me. I took private lessons just so I would feel more secure in what I was doing. It was hard for me to let go of my trainers hand and actually go on my own.  As with everything else, I just needed the self-confidence that I could do it.

I loved the beauty of the undersea world. The beautiful colored fish and even those nasty eels with the big teeth.  Of course I had seen the movie Jaws, so that was always in the back of my mind.  When I looked down and couldn’t see anything but empty space, I would think about some creature coming up and getting me.  I quickly pushed that from my mind and went on exploring the sites.

I do have to tell you I bit my mouth piece in half once because I was frightened.  I was swimming along close to the  bottom observing everything.  My mind was concentrating on some star fish when all of a sudden, two white tip sharks came out of the sand and straight up in front of my face. That startle reflex did me in. I had to leave the water.

If you have the opportunity, learn how to scuba.  It will open up a new world to you. The beauty and tranquility around you can’t be described in words. Since I read that article that the over 60 crowd is doing their diving thing, I may have to grab my wet suit, flippers and mask and head back to the open water.

Image via Wikipedia

Shirley McLain - Writing, Musings, and Inspiration...

I am fairly new at writing. I started my book “The Tower” in March and it was published in November. I can say it was a learning experience from the start. I continue to learn all the time, from other people, who have published, or those trying to publish. I guess the bottom line is, I am always learning and hopefully improving my craft. I want my blog to be someplace that I can go to and write what I feel. Hopefully have some meaningful discussion on writing and everything it entails. This is a new world for me, and I am jumping into it with both feet. Ye Ha

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