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Flowers in the News: Water Hyacinth Plants take over Africa’s Largest Lake

Water hyacinth have attractive flowers, but the invasive and dense foliage have taken over Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, harming the fish that call the body of water home. Water hyacinths are one of the fastest growing water plants in the world and they have become an epidemic! In fact, if you visit Lake Victoria now, there is no water in sight! Instead, the lake has become a sea of green from shore to shore. It looks like a field ...

A Rose By Any Other Name

A Rose By Any Other Name

Remember when you had to study Shakespeare in school?        'Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, And ...

Inspiration: Dig Deeper For Gratitude…

“Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer Inspiration: Dig Deeper For Gratitude… If you find it hard to be grateful for what you have, it is time to dig deeper and be brave when looking for the gratitude. Madisyn Taylor As the holiday season is upon us, many are struggling and others feel overwhelmed. Let’s dig deep and find the good things that carried us through the year …  And when the tough questions come up, we’ll know ...

Oh, Those Kids!!!

Big news at Cheryl P's house OK...so maybe my kid coming for a visit might not rank as high as finding three girls that have been missing for 10 years or the ending of the verdict phase of  a "whackadoodle"  trial for Jodi Arias.....but it's news here at TAOBC. As my loyal readers know, Friday is "ODD NEWS" Day around here and....Really could there be anything more bizarre  than  the case surrounding  Jodi Arias???   In 2008 Jodi did an interview with  Inside ...

When Did Technology Stop Being Our Friend?

Thought Number One:  My Computer is a Peeping Tom I was watching one of the morning news shows and there was a segment about how all of us should be extra careful in leaving our computers on with the webcam exposed. Yes...exposed webcams are being used by voyeurs (or perverts, if you prefer)  to keep an eye on you in the privacy of your home.  At the beginning of the story there was an ominous tone that suggested that we were being ...

Happy Holidays: Grace & Gratitude to All!

“Holiday gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” Oren Arnold “Sending Best Wishes for the Holidays to You and Your Loved Ones; Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!” Happy Holidays to All! A Simple Request… Dearest Santa, My wish for the coming year is more goodwill and abundance in the world and less misery and scarcity! Please don’t mix these two up like you ...

Fun Flower Facts: Lantana

Lantana is a genus of 150 flowering shrubs native to tropical America and Africa and belongs to the verbena family. The plant produces clusters of bright, vibrant tubular flowers in shades of yellow, orange, pink, and white in various colour combinations. The fragrant flowers will change colours with maturity. Lantanas will start off with one colour and gradually change into another, resulting in multiple colours in same plant.  After flowering, toxic berries will appear. The berries will start off green ...

Peculiar Picture #6

Regular visitors to Chubby Chatterbox know that I was once a professional illustrator before shifting my attention to writing. I have a drawer full of peculiar pictures that have never been published, such as this one. Over the years this illustration has prompted a lot of smiles, but to my knowledge it’s never been published. It was born in a corner of my brain that I don’t always have access to, which is another way of saying it seemed like a ...

Sultan For A Day

I’m back, bleary-eyed with jetlag but back. I really missed everyone and look forward to catching up on your posts. I feel like Scheherazade with a thousand tales to tell, but not all at once. My grandmother used to make these delicious donuts that sank to the bottom of bubbling oil; they rose to the top when ready to be plucked and rolled in sugar. Stories are like that, I think—requiring time to rise to the surface. My plan is ...

Parenting – The Tender Balance

There’s something growing inside my wife. A living, breathing, heartbeat-having creation. That creation is currently about 37 weeks. It has a name. He has a name. His name is Aidan Robert, and he’s scheduled to leave the comfort and relative darkness of my wife’s womb on August. Parenting Imponderables I wonder what he’ll be like. I wonder if he’ll have his mother’s eyes or his father’s lack of a defined chin. I wonder if he’ll be sweet like my wife or if he’ll have ...

The Evolving Parent

One parenting style - "The Drill Sergeant" image courtesy of Wikipedia Every month I have the privilege of attending a meeting with a handful of men I know to discuss issues of faith and family. There’s never a formal agenda other than the opportunity to discuss and share whatever is on our minds collectively. Each of us has kids at various ages, but the other five guys are smarter and more eloquent than me – I routinely think they invited me to join ...

Capturing Nature’s Palette with Chip It!

Have you discovered Chip It! yet? It’s one of my favorite new design applications. The tool allows you to take any picture and turn it into a collection of up to 10 Sherwin-Williams paint colors through a matching process with the company’s extensive database. Not only is it very helpful, it’s also a lot of fun! I’ve been a bit of a mad scientist lately, experimenting with images and coming up with some unique and exciting color palettes. And recently I ...

7 Questions With an Author: Jason Boyett

This post marks another installment of my “7 Questions With an Author…” series, where I ask published authors an unchanging set of questions and share their responses here. Today’s co-featured author is an online acquaintance of mine named Jason Boyett. He’s a bestselling author with more than 10 books, an events speaker, an embarrassingly prolific writer with published work on Salon, The Daily Beast and The Washington Post as well as a dedicated dad and husband. Jason is one of my favorite ...

Connecting With My Kids….

The girls and I with our new green belts (I'm the one in the middle) I’m so proud of my girls. For the past several months my daughters and I have been attending family karate classes. The school we attend is called BMI Karate and it’s the only dojo we found in a 50 mile radius that has families – adults and kids – take classes together. It’s been a great experience so far and our girls still say they love the ...

Brahm - alfred lives here

Brahm - alfred lives here

I began this blog in fall 2009, after seeing Julie and Julia, a movie which inspired others to cook and had no such effect on me. I have always been a wannabe writer, and always had tons of opinions, so this was a natural fit. Random thoughts, big gay opinions, sarcastic observations, shared stories, political musings, quote collecting, and lots of love for Alfred the adorable Havanese.

Happy World Television Day!

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Today is World Television Day… and yes I am accepting presents for this important holiday. In December 1996 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day, commemorating the first World Television Forum in 1996. …the United Nations cannot achieve its purposes unless the peoples of the world are fully informed of its aims …

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Anderson Lives Here…

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Introducing Alfred’s new little brother, Anderson Quinn, who we call Andy… born September 4th, brought home November 18th, this ten week old beagle is the newest addition to our family! Over the last few months Alfie has gotten used to being the only dog in the house, so he has some adjusting to do, but is …

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The End Of Your Life Book Club…

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I read about The End Of Your Life Book Club online and downloaded it right away. This was a smart decision, as I loved – LOVED – this literate, heartfelt, touching book. I laughed a little, I cried a little, I could not put the damn thing down. In 2007, Mary Anne Schwalbe discovered that she …

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James Bond, Streisand, Obama: what a week….

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Last week was a crazy one for so many of us, from our first major blast of winter here in the great white north (a crazy 25 cm of snow)… to the frenzy over the US election (to quote Beyonce, Take that, Mitches)… and yet there is always my escape to pop culture world… Here are …

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Doggie Halloween 2012…

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Happy Halloween from alfred lives here! This year Alfred is a little convict, and yes he is guilty…. guilty of cuteness! Each year I dress Alfie up in a Halloween costume and take pictures. I enjoy it because he is so darn cute, Alfred doesn’t particularly enjoy the experience. He does however enjoy the bits of cheese …

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Doggie Halloween: The Past….

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Alfie is five years old, and yes every Halloween I have dressed the little dude up in costume. I wrestle it on him and then take a picture, and then never put the costume on him again. And yes I know some people disapprove of costumes for pets; and nope I don’t really care, as I …

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