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Reflections: How To Generate Blog Post Ideas…

“Creativity – like human life itself – begins in darkness.” Julia Cameron Reflections: How To Generate Blog Post Ideas... Begin in the dark... start out with nothing Make a topic appear out of nothing… Where do ideas come from? How do you get ideas for your creative writing or for your daily/weekly missives on the Daily Post Challenge? Were you sitting on the potty when your last great novel appeared full blown with each despicable character fully delineated? Please tell me it’s not ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

“To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” Oscar Wilde Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected – street art Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected – the famous postwar Times Sq kiss Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected – Madame Tussaud’s hand One of the joys of having access to a major city is that, without doubt, you’re bound to come across the unusual, the unexpected, and the creative surprise piece that puts a smile on your face. I live close to NYC, and whenever possible, I make my ...

My New Favorite Breakfast Food

Most clichés become clichés because they are based on fact.  One example of that would be, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”  Despite the obvious need to replenish your body’s fuel there are additional benefits beyond those basic needs. There are several studies that show people who have lost 30 lbs. or more (and kept it off for more than a year) all ate a nutritious breakfast; while those who eat a morning meal tend to consumer fewer calories ...

Lamb Shanks

Ingredients: 4 sprigs fresh rosemary 3 cloves garlic - crushed and finely chopped 6 lamb shanks 1 bottle dry white wine 4 tablespoons of olive oil 3 large onions - chopped 3 cloves of minced garlic 4 large carrots - chopped 3 bay leaves 4 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only) 1 liter beef stock Salt and Pepper to taste. Method: Mix the wine, garlic, rosemary and bay leaves to make a marinade.  Place the lamb shanks in a large flat dish and pour the marinade over.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (the ...

Lamb and Tomato Stew (Tamatie Bredie)

Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil 1 kg lamb neck 1 cup red wine 2 springs of Rosemary 2 onions chopped 2 carrots roughly chopped 2 stalk of celery roughly 2 tsp minced garlic 2 whole cloves 2 x 410g tins whole peeled chopped tomatoes 1 tbsp chopped fresh chili 2 tsp sugar Salt and Pepper to your taste 5 large potatoes cut in quarters Method: Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the lamb cubes, wine and rosemary in a bowl marinade for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 180C On the stove top, in a large oven proof pot ...

The World Awaits Us

Mrs. Chatterbox and I try to plan one major vacation a year. Paying for these trips isn’t easy but we feel it a good investment in body and soul. Last year we were unable to travel to Egypt as planned because of all the political turmoil; we settled on Turkey, and now a year later the timing still doesn’t feel right to attempt Egypt. Mrs. C. and I have a few health issues that have convinced us that now is the ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Power Of Threes

“There are three constants in life… change, choice and principles.” Stephen Covey Weekly Photo Challenge: The Power of Threes Weekly Photo Challenge: Three Is a Trend… When I read this week’s challenge, the first thing that crossed my mind was the Holy Trinity and the power that is invested in that triangle. As I was thinking of what to feature, I started looking through my pictures and noticed that for New York Fashion Week, which ended on the 18th, the number three was ...

Plant Profile: Saucer Plant (Aeonium tabuliforme)

Here at funflowerfacts.com we love unusual plants, the weirder the better! This pretty little succulent fits the bill. Aeonium tabuliforme, otherwise known as Saucer Plant or Dinner Plate Plant is the flattest plant we know of. Found in Tenerife, they grow on cliffs and other vertical rocky places where there is no chance of water standing around their roots or in their crowns. They are fairly cold tolerant and can handle temperatures just below freezing but keep in mind they are ...

The Key (Flash Fiction)

The door slammed making the adrenaline surge up my backbone, gripping me with instant fear. I knew he was in the house. I have to stay quiet or he will find me. I can hear him tromping around in his heavy boots. The cabinets and drawers open and close, as he searches for the key. I have it well hidden. He may find me, but he won’t find the key. I’m in the clothes hamper in the back part of Mom’s ...

Busy as Bees!

Today's post was inspired by my friend, Mark Moffett's extraordinary photo spread of exotic pollinating creatures in the March Issue of National Geographic. On  my visit to the Dallas Arboretum for their "Dallas Blooms" event, I was able to spend time with my current favorite flower, the Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule). As this is the weekend of the Vernal Equinox, I wanted to share the recent images of Iceland poppies and their pollination. Preparing to Pop Click in any of the images ...

The Health Benefits and Uses of Echinacea

Not only do their showy, daisy-like flowers bring colour and cheer to gardens everywhere, echinacea is also one of the most popular herbal supplements in the market today. Historically, Native North Americans used the herb to treat a variety of ailments. It was considered the “cure-all” herb. Echinacea is available at most pharmacies, health shops and supermarkets as a tea, liquid extract, dried herb or capsule. The E. purpurea (Purple Coneflower) is the most popular species used in herbal supplements. Both ...

More on Felting

I'm pleased with the felted "landscapes" that seem to have evolved from my first experience with needle felting. I didn't set out to do landscapes, but something about the way you can blend colors of felt became for me reminiscent of either open vistas or stormy oceans (perhaps this one?): These are all the tools you need, a wire brush for blending of felt colors (two actually) and the needles: The only other materials needed are the foam board for the punching, and a piece ...

What are Groundcovers?

If you are a regular reader of this flower blog, you may have noticed that sometimes we would say that this or that plant would be perfect for use as a groundcover. But do you know that we mean by “groundcover?” A groundcover (or sometimes, ground cover) is a plant used in landscaping to cover up and beautify empty areas, while preventing soil erosion and suppressing the growth of weeds. There are many different types of groundcovers available, ranging in sizes, forms and ...

The Tale of the Two Ghost Orchids

Do ghosts exists? Nobody knows for sure. But what we do know is that Ghost Orchids do exist! They are rare in the world, but you can see, feel and smell them! In fact, the name Ghost Orchid actually refers to two different types of orchids: the dendrophylax lindenii and the epipogium aphyllum. Ghost Orchid #1 Photo Credit: flickr.com Scientific Name: Dendrophylax Lindenii Other names: American Ghost Orchid, Palm Polly, white frog orchid Unlike most flowers, this one does not have any leaves. This ghost ...

Author Archive: David - Virginia Photos

The thoughts of a retired guy living in Virginia. His interests include photography, writing, poetry, relationships, walking and the humorous side of things.

The Day After Thanksgiving

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In the first place, I don’t think we have yet found a good name for the day after Thanksgiving. We are, as of now, in the middle of it and I’m sitting here at the computer wondering why, in heaven’s name, anyone would call it black Friday. Or Black Friday. It’s not the shortest day …

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Cold Weather Camping And Jogging / Exercise For The Soul

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Monday afternoon. We went camping this weekend in the cold mountains of Virginia. Karl, Peggie, Mike, Sean, me and Roscoe, the dog. And when I return home the bed, the chair, the furnace and the frig all seem new to me. I love their presence. At one point this weekend while we were sitting around the fire, …

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Running In The Richmond Half-Marathon / Jogging And Taking Photos Too

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Today there was a marathon, half-marathon and 8k race here in Richmond so there were tons of folks downtown and lots of photo ops. I ran in the half-marathon for the second year and decided to take the little point and shoot I use for backpacking to, hopefully, distract my senses from the …

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Ghost Tour / Richmond Virginia / Post Election Ramblings

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So here we are a day after the erection, oh wait, sorry, election and I’m catching up on some writing because I have been in a time warp. Day dreaming. Imagining things. Once, long ago, I participated in a campaign for George McGovern in a small way, handing out campaign buttons in Harvard Square. A …

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The Destruction Of Hurricane Sandra / Invisible Storms And Peace

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I just saw a post somewhere that says New Yorkers are eating out of dumpsters. Because there is a problem with distribution of goods up there. Everything from gas and water, to electricity and diapers is in short supply. But eating out of a dumpster should not be a symbol of the “end times” now …

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Central VA Trailblazers / Bear’s Den Hostel & Harper’s Ferry Trip

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We went up north this past weekend to Harper’s Ferry for some sightseeing and hiking. The weather was very accommodating and we took lots of photos. Here’s a look at the hike to Raven Rock and back. It is described as strenuous due to the 1500 ft. vertical gain and the very rocky trail on the …

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