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Waiting…

This post is inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is Waiting Fishermen spend hours fishing from the rocks or shoreline “waiting” to catch a fish. Waiting patiently for the fish to bite! They cast their line into the sea and then wait patiently for the tell-tale signs which signify a fish has taken the bait. As I watch the fishermen I feel although this is a solitary hobby, it is one I would really enjoy. If only I could ...

Friends and Strangers Can Get People Talking to Each Other

Hubby and I were treated Sunday night to a delightful home-cooked dinner at our friend Anne’s friends Bonnie and Ron’s home—in a heretofore unexplored (by us) location. Our Garmin failed us as we neared their residence, and our sense of direction did, too. But luckily, the hostess had said they were on a circle, so we figured out we could keep going and we’d get another chance at it. I did joke, as we parked in the driveway, that anyone ...

Piglet’s 2nd Blogiversary

Piglet’s blogiversary cake Two years ago today my daughter Piglet in France introduced me to the WordPress blog platform,  and Piglet in Portugal was born. She patiently (she is not renowned for her patience when demonstrating techie stuff on the PC to Mother) showed me how to make posts, include links and upload photographs, create pages and a blogroll etc. I missed my first “Blogiversary” due to the excitement of the arrival of our first grandchild in France. So I will celebrate my ...

Tales from France – Tete de Veau – bone out!

On our recent trip to France, to celebrate our Granddaughter’s second Birthday, the funniest moment (from my point-of-view) was a meal enjoyed at a local restaurant. Son-in-law kindly translated the menu and Mr Piglet chose the veal option. When his meal arrived, it looked the strangest cut of veal I’d ever seen. Served in slices it resembled a patchwork of greasy meat textures surrounded by a layer of gooey fat. Mr P poked and prodded the offering; tasted it, pulled a ...

Beyond the historic castle walls of Aljezur

From the ancient castle walls to the historic town of Aljezur, and to the mountain of Monchique beyond. This photograph was taken from the walls of the 10th Century Moorish castle of Aljezur in the Western Algarve. The castle, set high on the hill, has panoramic views across the rolling countyside, the historic town of Aljezur and to Monchique mountain beyond. This post is inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo challenge. This week’s theme is “Beyond”.

Writerly Reflections

I realized years ago that I wanted to write.  My first attempts at short stories ran to three handwritten pages or so, and I would make my sister sit and listen, along with an audience of soft toys and dolls. She got quite bored with my tales of princesses lost in woods and toys that would come alive at night when their owners were fast asleep. I moved on to bigger projects when I was about nine or so.  I announced ...

You an EXPERT? Leave the public domain works alone and write your own stuff

You an EXPERT? Leave the public domain works alone and write your own stuff. OK – this is just my opinion (as is most of what you’ll read on this blog), but I think co-opting public domain* materials to create your own books or info products is a cop-out.  It’s not illegal, but it is a lazy shortcut that shortchanges the reader, the person whom you, as a writer, want to be keeping at the forefront of your focus. “Wow – those ...

Weekly photo challenge – Create – A Bird of Paradise

As soon as I read the topic for the challenge this week, I thought of my grandmother and a piece of work she created when she was 76, after signing up for a night school course to ‘learn something a bit different”. Her eyesight was getting worse and she was suffering with arthritis in her hands, but once she had started the embrodiery course she was determined to see it through. The result of her labours was framed and put on show in the town ...

Artistic Quality – Gathering Part 1

Continuing with our discussion of Artistic Quality  this post is about the skill of  Gathering. What is the artistic quality of gathering? Gathering is the artistic quality we need to use before we can Dream or Imaginate. How do we do this?  One of the best way to do this is to use a technique, first coined by Julia Cameron.  It is something that has become a staple in the tool box of many artists now.  Simply called ‘An Artists’ Date’ it has far-reaching ...

Milligan’s Gander Hill Farm Taken Off the Market

I have decided to take our farm off the market. I didn’t want to sell before  we found another farm to replace our current place and the state of Iowa had started the process to make an offer to buy our land. I hadn’t been sleeping all that well, since putting our farm up for sale worrying if I was making the right decision by going into dept to buy a better farm.  After spending countless hours on the internet searching for a new place, I realized ...

Monkey Orchid: the flower that looks like a monkey!

One look at this flower and you will know why it’s called the Monkey Orchid. This weird, but beautiful orchid was discovered in 1978 by the botantist Luer. This extremely rare flower, also known by the scientific name Dracula simia, can only be found deep in the cloud forests of Ecuador and Peru over elevations thousands of meters above sea level.  The name “Dracula” refers to the two spurs that look like vampire fangs and the “simian”, of course refers to ...

Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco)

You don’t have to be a smoker to enjoy nicotiana or tobacco flowers. While nicotiana tabacum is grown for the production of smoking tobacco, there are many Nicotiana species that are beloved by gardeners for their beautiful and fragrant flowers. Nicotiana or Flowering Tobacco is a genus of 67 plants native to Australia, North America and tropical South America that produces pleasantly fragrant tubular flowers in shades of white, red, yellow, pink, maroon and lavender. The foliage is hairy and can ...

Loving Pears

Sketching & drawing is such blissful fun! I've just started doing sketches sometimes as opposed to painting all the time, and I'm so happy with my new found sketching skills! I know, I can hear you all... HOW could you NOT know that you could do this??!? I used to sketch when I was younger and I had serious trouble with perspective. For some reason painting didn't display my deficiency as much. So, when I began painting again I naturally seemed to ...

The 2012 Brussels’ Flower Carpet

It’s one of the most amazing sights in the world and it only happens every 2 years. 2012 was the year of the Brussels Flower Carpet. These photos don’t do it any justice. You really have to see the Carpet in person. The size and the detail will astound you. Unfortunately, you just missed this spectacular event and will have to wait until 2014. It took place this year from Aug 14-19th. The usually gray area in front of Brussels ...

A Good Master And A Greater Revelation

Jason Clark is a singer/songwriter, author, speaker, and pastor. Jason’s passion is to know the love of God more each day. He lives to see a generation step into their identity as sons and daughters ...

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Defining Moment 1985

One strong arm robbery (no weapons) turned into 2 when the take on the first was too light. The 2nd got us caught. I was driving, and we were about to pull away but a ...

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Guest Post: Bulb Flower Gardens

The fondest experience for any gardener is the sight of the first spring flowers peeking through the last snow of winter. These spring flowers have been long seen as a sign of new life. Whether ...

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The Kid Got to Me

When she told me that she wanted to write books I knew that she had suffered. Only the scarred would dare to write, to make sense of, or at least to look at, the entrails ...

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Haiku: The First Day Of Spring…

Today is Thursday March 20th, the first, official day of spring! The buds start to peak through; crocuses, forget-me-nots, blossoming cherry trees herald the awakening of a new day. Spring has sprung and we can ...

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Acknowledging the pain of others

People like me, who write about their experiences of child sexual abuse, do not intentionally set out to cause other people pain. Unfortunately, however, we do. When we are lucky enough to have people ...

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Artist’s Studio

My new artist’s studio is is finally setup! Your artist’s studio is the hub of your creative endeavors. It is your home away from home. Often it is the home of your heart. An ...

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Afterlife of the Viking

Shevata leaned back on the armrest of the obsidian throne. “Zermon, no more savages!” “I’ll remind you that you released the last one?” Zermon rolled his eyes looking over a short man brought before ...

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7 Questions With an Author: Frank Viola

Frank is a highly-sought speaker and an incredibly prolific writer with 16 published books so far. His web blog frankviola.org is one of the Top 10 Christian blogs on the Internet. His latest work is a ...

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Peer support through blogging

One of my reasons for returning to study is that I would like to set up an organisation whose sole purpose is peer support for adults (both women and men) who experienced abuse as a ...

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Run Like Hell!

Humans can be porcupinish in nature. You get too close and their adrenaline kicks in, triggering a panicky spray of barbed quills, homing in on your most vulnerable places, usually the face and eyes. And why ...

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Freebie Friday: Free April 2014 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!

While for some of us it’s hard to believe, Spring really is on it’s way! Here in Edmonton we are looking forward to double digit temps next week! Exciting! To help celebrate Springs arrival here are ...

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Art And Fear – A Book Review

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Art And Fear – a book review Art And Fear (Art & Fear) is a small book, written by David Bayles & Ted Orlando, sub titled – Observations on the perils (and rewards) of ARTMAKING. This little gem is 118 information packed pages every artist needs. Not only every artist but every creative person really. Why do I …

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A Floral Mystery from Space

space-cherry

The Ganjoji temple in Japan has a very old Cherry Tree, it’s estimated to be about 1250 years old. In 2008 some cherry stones from this tree were sent into space. They stayed on the International Space Station for 8 months, orbiting the earth a remarkable 4100 times. Upon their return they were sent back and …

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Guest Post: A Gardening Grandma Grows with her Grandkids

garden-with-grandma

I might be the stereotypical grandmother. I bake for my grandchildren. I spend a lot of time in my garden. And I’ve made it very clear that though the yard is a free zone to run around, the flower beds are not to be trampled on. Yes, my hobbies are predictably grandmotherly, but I just do things I enjoy- things that make me happy. Flowers probably make me happy because of my memories …

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Art Fear And Money

Venice

Art Fear and Money There have been books written of the subject of Art Fear and Money. What I’d like to address today is a fear that many of us have and try to ignore. It is more often than not a fear that we have learnt from our parents. Many of the decisions we make in …

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A Very Private Dancer

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I was very surprised and delighted that Rochelle had chosen one of my photographs for the prompt this week. It was taken at the end of a fiesta in Valldemossa, a lovely little town in Majorca where we spent a very enjoyable day. It is so good to see the number of writers taking part in …

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Guest Post: How to take care of indoor plants and flowers

Cozy corner at home

Having plants at home is a wonderful way to bring beautiful nature indoors and create a lovely and more relaxed environment. Indoor plants and flowers give a beautiful vibe to the home and suit absolutely every interior. Placing pots of flowers is the best way to decorate every room in your house or apartment and give the place an attractive charm. However, as living organisms, plants need to be taken good care of …

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