Carnivorous Plants!

The world is full of many wonderful, yet strange things. Take carnivorous plants for example. Most plants are harmless and don’t seem to do much. They just sit there waiting to be watered, fertilized and eaten. But not carnivorous plants! Instead of waiting patiently to be fed, they take a more proactive approach and catch their own food! With an active appetite for insects and other small animals, these carnivorous plants are definitely not your average garden plant. Carnivorous plants often ...

Humor: Laughter Matters…

“We must laugh before we are happy, for fear we die before we laugh at all.” Jean de La Fontaine Humor: Laughter Matters... Join the amazing laughing man by mused™ via Flickr Laughter is definitely the best medicine for us and it is healthy to find things to laugh about daily. It is also important that we remember some of the benefits of laughter and then seek and add humor to our lives. When I created this blog, I named it Mirth ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise!

“The only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us.” Francois de La Rochefoucauld Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise!  L L Bean Shoe Car on the Highway Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise!  Glowing Night lights Generally, I don’t like surprises, but we all have to live through them… The thing about surprises is that you have no way of controlling or directing the unfolding drama/event/item and sometimes, they stink or are hurtful. However, an amusing surprise will ...

Musings: Laugh A Little…

“When you laugh, you change, and when you change, the whole world changes.” Dr. Madan Kataria Musings: Laugh A Little… “What a kid I got, I told him about the birds and the bee and he told me about the butcher and my wife.” Rodney Dangerfield “She said she was approaching forty, and I couldn’t help wondering from what direction.” Bob Hope “When someone asks you the question, “Are you ticklish”, it doesn’t matter if you say yes or no, cause they’re going to touch you. If ...

Becoming A Hero

PT Dilloway was one of the first people I connected with when I began Chubby Chatterbox. Aside from the fact that PT is an exceptional blogger with a razor sharp wit, he’s also an accomplished author celebrating the release of his new novel, A Hero’s Journey. Fans have been looking forward to this book for a long time and I’m honored to have him as a guest blogger: Becoming a Hero Thanks for letting me take over your blog today, Mr. Chatterbox!  ...

Haiku: Just A Dream…

“I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams.” Jonas Salk Haiku: Just A Dream… The Nightmare by John Henry Fuseli Third door to your left Wisdom lay dead, Greed glared back The nightmare beckoned… “Brute!” said the horse head Winner take all, but what for? “Tough!” said Greed, “Mine, Mine…” There are great lessons to learn in dreams. Our nightmares remind us of what to conquer and what to embrace.  More below! “I never paint dreams or nightmares. ...

Back to Blogging: Revisiting the Past & Embracing the Future

Back to Blogging: What’s Not to Love? “The heart of blogging is linking…linking and commenting. Connecting and communicating – the purpose of the Internet.” ~ George Siemens Your blog is your unedited version of yourself. ~ Lorelle Back to Blogging: Finding our way via Twitter Images... This week, my sistahs at The SITS Girls site have suggested some great ways to get our blogging shoes back on. For the entire week, we are to follow the prompts below, dig deep into our blogmunition and ...

Hope: While The Sands of Time Flow By…

Hope: While The Sands of Time Flow By…

“Clocks will go as they are set, but man, irregular man, is never constant, never certain.” Thomas Otway Hope: While the sands of time flow...  Cleo quickly boarded the bus headed downtown and, walking briskly to the back, sat down on the window seat facing east. She had just met with her boss and while the news wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t great either. The department would be folding by month’s end and she had 30 days to find something else. Since the ...

A Romantic Rumor

I grew up with a diaphanous father who floated above me like a caption bubble saying, “?”. He was a romantic rumor, a previous chapter in my mother’s book of life, leaving behind no photos for his three little girls to frame and fawn over. There would be no frame hugging in this family. No searching his dark eyes for our own, or comparing the curve of our noses to his; no joy of discovering a trace of ourselves in his ...

5 Tips to Help Break a Creative Block

Anyone who has done any kind of writing for an extended period of time will eventually experience some form of writer's block or creative dry spell. It simply comes with the territory. I used to be a reporter with multiple deadlines throughout the day and had to deal with writer's block regularly. You might think it would be easy to write about "news of the the day" but that's not always the case. Especially if you're assigned a low interest, low visual, ...

World Cracking Words

Parents often remind kids that, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” That’s a great little saying because it rhymes and comes off as conveying profundity – but it’s a lie. Name calling and hurtful words can do considerable damage. While words may not actually break a bone, they most certainly can crush a heart, end a relationship or start a war. Words have world-changing power. Unfortunately, people take the power and impact of their words for granted. They shouldn’t. Consider ...

7 Questions With an Author: Bob Burg

Best Selling Author and International Speaker – Bob Burg 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 featured author is Bob Burg. Bob is a successful author and highly-sought speaker who shares information on topics vital to the success of today’s businessperson. He speaks for corporations and associations internationally, including fortune 500 companies, franchises and numerous direct sales organizations. Bob regularly addresses audiences ranging in size ...

My Manuscript Is In Shambles

You know how, when you’re doing a major housecleaning, there comes a moment when you look around and see everything in shambles? You think your place will never be nice again. But you keep at it, and the next time you look around (it seems), everything is gorgeous. Well, that’s where I’m at with my novel, Great Wharf. The reason it’s in shambles is that I hired a former Random House editor to take a look and give me some feedback. ...

My Nearly Famous Daughter....

A few weeks ago, we received a phone call from our county's department of environmental protection telling us that our oldest daughter had been recommended by her school to audition for a countywide talent search for a radio public service announcement (PSA) recording. A short-time thereafter, our 9-year old completed a telephone audition with the county worker overseeing the PSA program who gave her the "job" on the spot. After a few weeks, our daughter visited the number one radio station ...

St. Patrick’s Day With Cleverbot

Holidays provide a great reason to have a discussion with Cleverbot. What’s Cleverbot you ask? Cleverbot, is a web-based Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) application that supposedly has the ability to learn by conversing with humans via an instant messaging platform. While it’s a stretch to say that Cleverbot is intelligent, interacting with this particular “thinking” software can be mildly entertaining…especially when discussing holiday traditions and history. Here’s the most recent interview I had with this bastion of A.I. idiocy: An MLK Day Chat With Cleverbot Below, ...

Why People Can’t Stand Christians…

Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) courtesy of Wikipedia Over the holidays we spent time with some close family friends, and one of the topics that came up during our conversation was a seemingly growing distaste for Christians and Christianity in general. Through our discussion, it was obvious that the reasons for this perception are legion. However, one of the examples given during the talk shined a stark light on the issue. One of the individuals participating in our discussion had attended a series ...

Stephen - The Chubby Chatterbox

Stephen - The Chubby Chatterbox

Visit Stephen Hayes’ blog Chubby Chatterbox for excerpts from Hayes’ memoir The Kid in the Kaleidoscope, a collection of observations about growing up in the Fifties, Sixties and beyond. The Chubby Chatterbox is an unabashedly sentimental journey seen through the eyes of an artist, traveler and world-class screw-up.

John Doe

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John Doe’s photograph appeared sporadically in the paper for a month, when he died. I’d been following this story and had hoped someone would identify him. I’d even doodled a sketch from the newspaper clipping I’d come to know so well. It seemed a travesty that this man died without friends or loved ones at his side, his only possessions the rags he was wearing when found on the street. …

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Celebrations

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June is a time of celebration at Casa Chatterbox. Thursday would have been my dad’s 88th birthday, Friday was our son’s birthday, and yesterday Mrs. Chatterbox and I celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary. This picture shows us shortly after our honeymoon when we’d moved into an old duplex in West Los Angeles. I’d inherited the apartment from …

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CJ’s Birthday

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I decided to take little CJ to the park to feed the ducks and distract me from fretting that I’d never land another job. At the park it started to rain. I’d failed to consider the weather and hadn’t grabbed CJ’s umbrella or raincoat. Adding to my failure as a provider, I now felt like a failure as a parent. When the shower hardened into heavy rain we took shelter under a tree that did little to keep us dry. I noticed an empty …

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The Biggest Peeve of All

    It’s a mouse-size pet peeve, but sometimes it roars within me like a lion. Frequent readers of this blog know I’m often at odds with my eighty-nine year old mother. Mom is not mellowing with age and is feistier than ever. She spends most of her time watching Court TV and putting down the government. When I call, my role is that of a human crossword puzzle, keeping her sharp, even though I become blunt in the process. Ninety-nine percent of the time I call her, but she infrequently dials me. This is where my pet peeve comes in. The conversation sounds painfully like this:       Ring….ring….ring….            I pick up the phone. “Hello?&rdquo … read more

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Rubbed Raw in Verona

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Verona is a beautiful Italian city famous for someone who never lived there, as described by someone unlikely to have even visited Verona. Any guesses who I’m talking about? This should help: “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and (?) is the sun.” Don’t have it yet? “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou …

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The *Science of Sneezing

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There’s a nasty bug going around our neck of the woods. There’s probably one going around where you live as well. Yesterday I took Grandma Chatterbox to see her doctor for a post surgery checkup. (Yes, I did provide her with hair removal cream for her visit with handsome Dr. Fernando.) I noticed that many people …

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Master of the Zombie Apocalypse

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Disclaimer: if you have an intense fear of your mortality you might want to pass on this post. The public’s fascination with zombies never ceases to amaze me. TV shows like Zombie Hunters, Dead Set and Zombie Apocalypse receive huge ratings. And I know half a dozen bloggers who critique episodes of The Walking Dead with the seriousness of English majors analyzing …

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