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The Mommy Bloggers & Me...

Last weekend I lost my blogging conference virginity. I attended BlogWest 2012with about 200 bloggers from western Canada, from people just starting out to seasoned professionals. I went in knowing no one, excited and a bit nervous; I don't like crowds, and mingling with strangers is not a strength of mine... tweeting nasty things about the Kardashians while eating jellybeans at home, now THAT is a strength of mine. This conference appealed to me as a chance to meet a bloggy peer ...

Inspiration: A Taste For Balance…

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” ― Rumi Flavor: (1)Distinctive taste; savor (2) A distinctive yet intangible quality felt to be characteristic of a given thing: “What matters in literature . . . is surely the idiosyncratic, the individual, the flavor or color of a particular human ...

Myspace Blogging: the Illusion of Celebrity

Written 4/19/2008 A year ago I decided to begin blogging on Myspace. I was interested in seeing whether or not I could achieve any sort of fame by posting or commenting blogs. I began by joining every blog ring that had to do with writing that I could. Blog rings are a type of online group where you can find new blogs to read and where others can find your own work. I then began commenting on other blogs, doing my best to ...

New Uses for Used Books

Item 1: At breakfast in Genoa, Italy, the other day (heh-heh), at the start of our trip to walk Cinque Terre (out of this world vacation experience), I noticed how the hotel decorated its breakfast room. It felt like a personal welcome. True, I couldn’t read the books–in Italian–but it was the thought that counted. Item 2: I must share this with you, an article from Publishers Weekly (scroll to top of link, title “You Know You’re Going to Want One…”) about ...

My Book is an Amazon Best-Seller

I’m kind of stunned that my book, which launched today on Amazon, is currently the #1 “New Hot Release” within the Religion & Spirituality category. I took a screenshot because I couldn’t believe it myself!  While it ain’t the New York Times or Wall Street Journal best-selling lists – I’ll gladly take it and give all the glory to God! It’s not too late to join the party, click the link below to get your copy plus more than 60 FREE bonuses!!! http://thedailyretort.com/faith/ I’ll ...

Memories: What To Bring On A 524 Mile Road Trip

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain Memories: What To Bring On A 524 Mile Road Trip... Hold your horses; we traveled by car... What do you remember from your childhood travels? Were they good or tedious memories? We traveled a lot when I was ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.” Douglas Adams Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime. Salmon Bento Box Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime. Taiko performers Normally, with kids away in college and my recent enrollment in a challenging certification program, lunch is the least reliable meal in my household. If I’m out and about, I eat where I am. If I’m home, I might have some leftovers or a simple fruit and yoghurt dish.  However, when the kids come home for spring break, we eat out ...

Botanically Inspired

Design inspiration can come from anywhere, but most often it comes from what we see. And this time of year, I see flowers everywhere! From lush roses to tranquil lilies, inspiration for beautiful design abounds. Nature has always inspired me and I’m guessing I’m not alone. So let’s have a little fun! Take a look at these gorgeous rooms and see if you agree with the flowers that I think inspired them. The Sunflower. With its maple and black cabinetry and warm yellow ...

Happy Relaxation Day!

August 15th is National Relaxation Day! Today is a day where you can leave all of your cares and troubles behind, even if it’s just for a few moments. Life can be stressful, especially in our fast-paced society and all that extra stress can make us sick and tired. We need to make time for ourselves and take it easy. So take a deep breath and relax… Here are 10 ways you can celebrate National Relaxation Day: Have a cup of tea. Herbal ...

Fun Flower Facts: Magnolia

Magnolia, is a genus consisting of over 200 species of evergreen flowering trees and shrubs.  They are commonly found in North America and southeast Asia. Magnolias are popular ornamental plants  grown for their showy fragrant flowers and dark green, leathery leaves. Interestingly, magnolia flowers don’t have true petals and sepals, but tepals, petal-like structures.  The flowers come in shades of white, pink, purple and red and bloom in the spring and summer. The magnolia also produces a reddish-brown cone-like fruit in ...

10 Unique Vases & Container Ideas

Ok, so you picked up a bunch or two of some lovely fresh flowers, now all you need is a vase to put them in. With a little imagination just about anything can be turned into a flower vase! The same can be said for outdoor container gardening, you are only limited by your imagination (& sometimes your pocket book!). Without further ado here are some unique ideas. Rockettoro.com has this lovely glass vase which allows you to wear your favourite ...

Vacation Wrap-up

Well, the DH and I got home on Saturday afternoon and had a very nice vacation.  He even tolerated going to a yarn store with me!  More on that later this week, though. Besides visiting this lovely lighthouse, which is Currituck Sound Lighthouse, by the way, we spent time out and about on the beach, shopping, and relaxing.  I even had a good afternoon to fly my beginner stunt kite.  And I took lots of pictures.  Lots.  And I knit a ...

critters, 'shrooms, and a pile of poop!

 this past week it's been cooler in the mornings...in the 60's. aaaaaah...perfect weather for wandering around and traipsing into the woods out back. no mosquitoes, gnats or ticks. the hibiscus is still blooming.   and the little grasshopper nymphs which i've posted pictures of before... are munching away...and growing!  baby Anoles are all over the place. they're pretty skittish... so you have to be very stealthy when trying to get a picture.   here's a Six-lined Race Runner. i always thought these were the Five Lined skinks. silly me. i never counted the ...

Some Tips on Photographing Flowers

Now that summer is here, there are many beautiful flowers in full bloom just waiting for you to take their portrait! With the popularity and ease of today’s digital cameras, it is no surprise that many gardeners have taken an avid interest in photography. Photographing flowers and plants is also a great way for beginners to learn about photography. Flowers and plants are interesting subjects; they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colours that is sure to create ...

Author Archive: 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

Mind Boggling

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Have you ever given any thought to how amazing the mind is. The more I read and watch what happens in this world, the more I realize what an amazing creation God gave to us. Even as slow as I can be at times, it’s the other times that totally blows me away. I ask myself …

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Halloween Thoughts

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I thought of Halloween as an American Holiday but as usual when I think I know something, my thinking is wrong. I probably thought that way because I had not heard of any other countries having a Halloween Holiday. I wonder if it is practiced in the same way as America does it? In my childhood …

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The Supermoon

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The largest full moon of 2013, a so-called “supermoon,” will light up the night sky this weekend, but there’s more to this lunar delight than meets the eye. On Sunday, June 23, at 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT), the moon will arrive at perigee — the point in its orbit bringing it closest to Earth), a …

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A Redneck

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Below is the definition of a Redneck from Dictionary.com. The problem with this definition is it’s not complete. Being a Redneck is a way of life for many people in the United States. My son is a Redneck and very proud of the fact, but if he fits in any part of this definition it …

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Carlsbad Caverns

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When I was a five year old, my parents and I went to Carlsbad New Mexico to see Carlsbad Caverns. It was an experience that stuck in my mind like glue. I remember it all as if it was yesterday. It would be sixty years before I returned to that area. At my childhood visit, …

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My Grandgoats

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OK, I admit it I’m not the goat’s grandmother, but I am the mother of the owner of this small group of Mini Nubians. My daughter has gotten into the goat breeding business with both feet along with my son-in-law and grandson. They are breeding the stock to gain a milk producing, polled (hornless) variety. …

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