Inspiration: I Wish I Could…

“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of potential — for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints; possibility never.” Soren Kierkegaard Inspiration: I Wish I Could... Enjoy and share fruit...with gratitude Inspiration: I Wish I Could... Enjoy The Scream and share the proceeds...with love I wish I could… When I read this week’s prompts from MamaKat’s Writers Workshop, the fourth one caught my eye; I ...

Tired of Poinsettias? Try Hydrangeas!

‘Tis the season for poinsettias! More poinsettias are sold during the holidays than any other plant! Poinsettias are everywhere you look, from apartments to zoos! There’s no doubt that these traditional holiday plants are attractive and bring holiday cheer, but they are too predictable and a bit boring. In fact, some of you may even be tired of them! For something fresh and exciting this holiday season, try growing red hydrangeas! Early this year, Tesselaar Plants introduced the world to the ...

Inspiration: A Few Favorite Things…

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault Inspiration: A Few Favorite Things… Orange silk cat – not entirely but read the post The orange silk cat was a gift from my sister, way back in grade school. It now occupies a shelf in one of my twins rooms. Inspiration: A Few Favorite Things… Virgin Mary with child The plastic Virgin Mary with child was bought at a flea market when I ...

Hotel Give Guests Flowers

It has been said before and we’ll say it again: Flowers make things better! They bring smiles and joy to people. They bring colour and cheer to any decor. So it’s no surprise that fresh flower arrangements can be found everywhere, from apartments to hotels to restaurants. Having fresh flower arrangements in hotels isn’t anything new. Floral arrangements can be often found near the front entrances to welcome guests to the facility, adding beauty and colour to the decor. Nonetheless, at the ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: HOT!

“Some people change their ways when they see the light; others when they feel the heat” Caroline Schroeder Weekly Photo Challenge: HOT! A very hot fire ceremony at a home in Los Angeles Weekly Photo Challenge: HOT! Hot and sweet pepper display at a local supermarket I was quite happy to read the challenge for this week and imagined all things hot I could photograph and add to this post… But, once I started gathering my shots, I soon found myself stuck in ...

Haiku: A Plot Of Land By The Sea…

“Apply yourself both now and in the next life. Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, You cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation.” Plato Haiku: A Plot Of Land By The Sea… If you look for me… A plot of land, by the sea Is where I will be “If I were dropped out of a plane into the ocean and told the nearest land was a thousand miles away, I’d still swim. And I’d despise the one who gave ...

Fun Flower Facts: Witch Hazel

Scientific Name: Hamamelis Other Names: winterbloom, striped alder, snapping hazel Witch hazel is a genus of flowering deciduous shrubs and sometimes small trees. There are four main species and one hybrid, with two of them native to North America. These popular ornamental plants are grown for their attractive yellow, orange or red flowers, which bloom in clusters in late autumn and continue throughout the winter.  Not to be outshone by the flowers, the foliage is just as stunning. In the fall, the ...

Inspiration: Three Choices… And A Story.

“We can all be angels to one another. We can choose to obey the still small stirring within, the little whisper that says, ‘Go. Ask. Reach out. Be an answer to someone’s plea…’ The world will be a better place for it. And wherever they are, the angels will dance.” Joan Wester Anderson Inspiration: Three Choices… And A Story. The Choice of Hercules as retold by James Baldwin “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. ...

7 Questions With an Author: Rob Shepherd

Author, pastor, blogger speaker – Rob Shepherd Here’s another installment of “7 Questions With an Author…” and today’s featured writer is a personal friend of mine, Rob Sheperd. Rob is the lead pastor of Next Level Church in Newport News, Virginia. He has a Master of Divinity degree and a bachelor’s in youth ministry. He writes six times a week on his blog robshep.com, which averages more than 8,500 unique views a month. Rob and his wife, Monica, have a set of awesome ...

Grace and Poise on a Book Tour

It’s the rare author who gets sent on cross-country book tours these days. But when your book hits the front page of The New York Times Book Review, well, that’s a different story (or kettle of fish or ball of wax). I don’t know exactly when Lily King’s publisher, Grove Atlantic, decided to send her on the road to sign copies of Euphoria, but she’s been traveling each week now since June 11. The Times review was published June 7, and ...

May I Have a Moment?

Sometimes, when something wonderful is happening, I become intensely aware of the moment—and that as it unfolds it’s also slipping away, becoming a faded snapshot destined to spend eternity filed away in my unreliable memory …neglected, and eventually forgotten. Time really is an illusion. There is only now. Yet, now is ever changing like the clouds and the shoreline, seemingly moving forward like a man in a blinding snowstorm whose footprints are erased by the driving winds, leaving him unable ...

Helpful Ghosts

Being back in my home-town has given me the strangest sensation; it’s like entering a time machine and meeting my past…face-to-face. I sense an eagerness to explore the dark quarters, the condemned haunts that I occupied when I led my life by raw instincts, and wisdom was a dusty book kept on a high shelf...well out of the reach of my small hands. Up until now my home town has played host to a legion of ghosts and phantoms, resurrecting ancient ...

10 Comebacks I Wish I Would Have Said....

We've all been there. A social, business or public setting where someone says something or asks a question that leaves us stammeringly speechless. Then hours later we think of the perfect retort to the remark or comment, and we say to ourselves, "I wish I would have said that." As the proverb goes, "An apt reply is as gold." In no particular order, here are 10 such replies that I wish I had said, that I plan to use going forward: "If you'll forgive ...

I Left a Hot Pot of Coffee for This?

It's early, and eerie, and I’m getting goose flesh as my morning walk leads me into some really dense fog. I have to push myself across the threshold of hesitation, for who knows what lurks in this heavy haze? And to think, I left a hot pot of coffee for this. Each day is a gamble, but most days, I’m bright blue with optimism—the sky is mine, as is the sun and the moon. But on foggy mornings, when my faithful ...

A Tribute to Moms….

I don’t usually like being manipulated by commercials, but this one is pretty incredible. The folks at Proctor & Gamble have woven together a two minute tapestry that includes the heart strings of patriotism, perseverance and motherhood. The only thing this amazing video is missing is a basketful of rollicking puppies, yet it still manages to leave my cheeks a little wet from tears rather than puppy saliva. You don’t have to be a fan of P&G products to enjoy this amazing video ...

Reading is Dead, Long Live E-Reading

I may have possibly overstated the state of book reading in the title of this post – but it’s close. Consider that last Christmas – 11 short months ago – the largest book seller in the world (Amazon) reported that revenue from e-books had finally surpassed sales of print edition books. Is it really a surprise? Consider what has happened in the music industry. When was the last time you bought an audio tape or even a CD? It’s simply easier and more convenient to ...

Claire - Day To Day With Parkinsons Disease

Claire - Day To Day With Parkinsons Disease

One woman's journey as a caregiver to her husband in the advanced stages of Parkinson's disease... Loss of freedom as we have known it is a common adjunct to any disease. In the case of Parkinson's Disease it is the slow degeneration of physical capacity that limits freedom, and later in the disease for some, the cognitive impairment that limits one's ability to make rational decisions about anything, including what clothes to wear. The story of our lives together with this disease is what I hope to bring to you. Be assured that it won't be a tragic tale but I hope one of grace, humour and love for, after all, we are all struggling with life's trials in one form or another. Ours is well mapped out for us at least with all the literature available on the subject. I hope to bring it off the pages of the medical journals and into the realm of the ordinary.

Feet on the Ground

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She roared a bit too fast into the parking lot, music blaring. Perhaps not the best way to introduce herself to a new social group, she thought, turning the music off too late to have prevented the turning of heads. Today marked a beginning and an end. Mid-November but the the thermometer read January. Layered clothing, …

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Flying Solo

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The suitcase sat in an empty corner of her bedroom, labels dangling from its handle, its brand-newness glittering. Deep red, her favourite colour, and the recommended hard shell. The manufacturer promised it to be lightweight. Lightness of being was what she was aiming for. That and a tough exterior. Could the two be achieved together …

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Eulogy

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She stepped up to the podium. On contemplating this moment six months ago, she had told herself she couldn’t possibly face a room full of people. She had decided there would only be a graveside service with immediate family and closest friends. The thought of anything more nearly sank her. But the children …

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The Other Shore

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She slowly dipped her body into the frigid waters of the Gatineau River. Her hardier friend beat her to it and paddled lazily nearby. The two women chatted comfortably about the momentous events of the past week. A husband buried. A family bereft. As her legs and body cooled, then chilled she announced she would swim …

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Michael David Torontow

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It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Michael David Torontow at home on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 after a long and gracious struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 65 years old, having spent over 20 years, afflicted with a disease that sapped nearly everything out of him, …

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Bedside Musings Part 2

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Early morning sunshine fills the room. Rainbow prismatic fireflies dance about on the walls and sheets, sometimes forming a halo around the still figure in the bed. A crow complains beyond. His world has become very small but sometimes is filled with dogs and people communing around him. The ceiling fan purrs and the curtains murmur; …

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Sacred Rituals

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The minutes tick by. The house remains silent. Even the tired old dogs barely wake up for visitors or passersby. Occasionally there is an unexplained burst of wild, crazy energy from the little Scottie. They have been Michael’s nearly constant companions but today they stay away more from his room. Could the strong odour that …

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