Musings: The Messengers…

“Man is a messenger who forgot the message.” Abraham Joshua Heschel Musings: The Messengers… Come through sounds and songs…   Grandmaster Flash – The Message (Live The Tube 1983) Have you ever had a stranger come to you and tell you something that did not make sense at the moment, but you could not get it out of your mind? Have you ever had someone sit beside you at the bus or train and start talking to you? Curiously, what came out of their mouth was ...

Learning from Our Mistakes

Before, I get started today...I little blog glitch has come to light here at The Art of Being Conflicted.  For those of you that subscribe to my blog via email, there seems to be a problem with new posts being sent out. I have been working all week to try to figure out the problem but as of yet..it's still a problem. I appreciate all my readers and hope until this is corrected soon In the meantime, I hope that you ...

Musings: Creating Balance In Life…

“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” Euripides Musings: Creating Balance In Life... Lately, I’ve been thinking of ways to balance and/or integrate the demands on my life and time. Most of us start out with good intentions to accomplish our goals and then life happens. So what do we do? Something, ...

Flowers that repel mosquitos naturally!

Most people like spending their summers outdoors as much as they can. Who can blame them?  There is so much to do, from BBQs to swimming. It’s so much fun in the sun! But those pesky mosquitoes and flies sure can ruin your fun! But fear not! Grow these flowers in your garden for a mosquito-free good time! Marigold Marigolds, especially the more fragrant varieties can repel Japanese beetles, white flies, and mosquitoes.  These brightly coloured flowers contain a distinctive odor that ...

8 Reasons to Garden

“Life begins when you grow a garden.” -Confucius To all the people who have yet to discover the joys of gardening, this blog post is for you! In today’s stressful, fast-paced, technology-obsessed world, gardening has become an increasingly popular trend. People want to reconnect with nature and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Gardening is a low-cost and highly rewarding hobby. In fact, gardening has become a way of life for many people. Starting a garden can change your life. And all ...

Fun Flower Facts: Cyclamen

Cyclamen, a genus of perennials, grows from tubers and is native to Europe and the Mediterranean region. The name Cyclamen comes from the Greek word “kuklos,” meaning circle. Cyclamen is also known as “sowbread,” as it is eaten by pigs. Cyclamens are grown for their scented flowers, reminiscent of an up swept ballerina skirt. The five-petaled flowers come in shades of pink, white or purple. They flower all year round, depending on the species. This delicate beauty was so popular in the ...

The Best Shade Loving Plants for Your Garden

Some like it hot. Some like it cool. Not all plants are created equal. Some plants do best in full-sun and others do thrive in the shade. Shade loving plants do best in cool conditions, avoiding direct sunlight. They are often planted under trees, shrubs and overhangs. Though these flowers are not as bright and vibrant in colour as their sun-loving counterparts, shade-loving plants can still make an impact in the garden! There are many beautiful plants to choose from, ...

New Flower Varieties 2012 – My Top Picks

It’s that time of the year again when my mind starts digging in the dirt, splitting plants & planning my garden changes for spring. The snow is all gone, it’s starting to warm up and even though it’s only the beginning of May my well settled plants are sprouting up already. A welcome sight compared to this time last year when there was still 2 feet of snow covering my flower beds! So I have started my hunt for New Flower ...

CJ's Birthday

Today is our son CJ’s thirty-fourth birthday. I don’t feel old enough to have a son that age, but the wrinkled face in the mirror assures me it’s true. Mrs. C. and I were twenty-eight and had already been married six years when we had our one and only child. Since we’ve known each other since high school it isn’t inconceivable that we could have a son in his forties. I shiver at the thought. Two reflections tango in my mind ...

Deep and Plain

I had an unexpected visit from my neighbor, Addie, yesterday morning. Addie is a spry ninety one year old, who’s as thin as Olive Oyl, and can still move like a warmed up yoga instructor. Her tanned face has been stamped by time, like a well traveled passport, and when she speaks she’s a study in animation, using all available facial expressions to make her point. Addie laughs easily, with her mouth wide open, oblivious to onlookers and divinely confident. ...

Killed By The Cure

Last night while watching TV a commercial appeared that went something like this. (Note: imagine this being voiced over by a minor celebrity from the Seventies whose career stalled after several DUIs.) “Is your life so empty that you don’t care your kids are now covered in tattoos heralding a Zombie Apocalypse, or that your spouse has a house account at the Embassy Suites and a credit card receipt for a strip pole in his hotel room?  Or that you’ve broken ...

The $5.37 “Caption This” Contest: Vol. 6

Thanks to everyone who entered to win the staggeringly ironic $5.37 cash prize for the most recent “Caption This” Contest! After consulting with the firm Arthur Anderson to oversee the integrity of the selection process, a winner has been chosen. That winner is Chris Muller see his caption below. “Bugs Bunny Jr., looking to escape his father’s shadow, took a decidedly rebellious turn in life.” Congratulations to the victor – who can message me at Facebook or on Twitter with an appropriate email address ...

Committed to Keeping My Kids Uncool

In elementary school, I had a pair of hand-me-down pants from one of my older sisters that I hated wearing. To be clear, this school-age cross-dressing was imposed by my parents as a cost saving measure since they had five kids to clothe and feed. Being that I had two older sisters, 50 percent of my “gender neutral” closet (i.e. pants, pull over sweaters, zipper hoodies…etc) was technically girls’ clothes. Hand-Me-Downs From My Sisters I’m not proud of that fact, but it was an ...

Conclusion: Supertrout

Read Part One It burst from its hiding place beneath a submerged log, and it was moving so fast that at first I couldn’t identify it. But one look at David told me all I needed to know—at long last, here he was. The legend was true; it was Supertrout! He seemed to be everywhere, flashing like a ball of mercury struck by a hammer. For a minute I thought he was just making a boastful appearance before vanishing into his hiding place. ...

Vanitas

When this image peered out at me from my picture file I was reminded that Halloween is just around the corner. While in Rome not long ago, I dragged Mrs. Chatterbox to one of the gazillion churches to see a few famous Caravaggios. After viewing the paintings, I saw this sculpture by the door on our way out. At first I was startled by it, but not so much that I couldn’t snap a picture. This is referred to as a ...

Angry Birds: 10 Games That Didn't Make the Cut

Blockbuster game "Angry Birds" I don't understand the game Angry Birds. I've never played it but virtually everybody I know does - I don't get it. At its core, the game pelts suicidal birds at shoddily constructed buildings in the hopes that the structures will collapse on and kill green pigs that are inside. Could you imagine the public outcry if any part of that scenario was actually true? As inhumanly cruel as it sounds, that's the premise that was approved, designed and ...

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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.

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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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