Flower Care Reminder: Poinsettias at Christmas!

As we enter the mid November weeks, magic is in the air as Christmas begins to wind its way back into the air and the holidays begin to approach rapidly! With Christmas of course comes the wonderful potted Poinsettia, a jeweled messenger of the holidays seen in homes all over the world. Noted here is some tips for care and handling of your Poinsettia potted plant, just in time for you to pick one up for the big month! Fun Fact: ...

Buffaloed

In 2010 Mrs. Chatterbox and I made a road trip to Yellowstone National Park. We arrived in the park in May, and while it was amazingly cold (all of the lakes were frozen) we had a great time. Aside from the marvelous scenery and remarkable geothermal activity, such as Old Faithful, it’s the animals that most tourists go to see. I remember traveling down a road and stopping because fellow tourists were leaping out of their cars to see a grizzly ...

Masks: Why they Matter…

“Our masks, always in peril of smearing or cracking, in need of continuous check in the mirror or silverware, keep us in thrall to ourselves, concerned with our surfaces.” Carolyn Kizer Masks: Why they Matter... to reveal or conceal Protecting our Reputation… Masks play a significant, positive role in many cultures because they are used to present different aspects of life in a given society. At different points in our lives, we all wear masks. They could be real ones or imaginary masks. ...

Reflections: On Storytelling…

“I think that instinct, that storytelling instinct, rescued me most of my life.” Armistead Maupin Reflections: On Storytelling... The Red Moon by Pedro Pablo Sacristán There was once a little grey planet that was very sad. The people living there hadn’t looked after it, despite them having all the inventions and space ships you could ever need. They had contaminated the whole countryside so much with rubbish and pollution that there were no plants or animals left. One day, a little boy was walking ...

Wake Up: Your Dreams Need a Reality Check…

“If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.” J.M. Power Dream of Jacob by Michael Willmann We all know people who talk endlessly about what they will do when/if, all their ducks, imagined and real, are in a row. It’s all well and good to visualize, fantasize, and imagine our future success and our dreams/goals but, like all good exercise plans, we have to move our behinds and take the first step. Our ...

Reflections: A Winter Eden…

“We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.” Zhuangzi Reflections: A Winter Eden... Tree meets home and snow... Reflections: A Winter Eden... The family gathers in the snow... Reflections: A Winter Eden... They look for bright berries... A Winter Eden by Robert Frost A winter garden in an alder swamp, Where conies now come out to sun and romp, As near a paradise as it can be And ...

Fun Flower Facts: Goldenrod (Solidago)

Goldenrod (Solidago) is a genus of flowering plants native to North America and belongs to the aster family. It can be easily identified by its clusters of small golden yellow flowers that grow on tall, hairy stems. Flowers are strongly scented. Goldenrod grow to be 2-6 feet tall.  Flowers are commonly found growing in fields, road sides and salt marshes, blooming from late summer until fall. Most North Americans consider goldenrod to be a weed for its fast growing, aggressive nature, ...

Reflections: What Are You Declaring Over Your Life?

“Our words have creative power. Whenever we speak something, either good or bad, we give life to what we are saying.” Joel Osteen Reflections: What Are You Declaring Over Your Life? Abundance… 1 I declare God‘s incredible blessings over my life 2 I declare I will experience God’s faithfulness 3 I declare I have the grace I need for today 4 I declare it is not too late to accomplish everything God has placed in my heart From: I Declare by Joel Osteen We know that ...

Life's a Hot Beach

“What better way to spend the forth of July than at the beach,” my daughter’s voice chirps through the phone. I agree, as we have no other plans, and it has been awhile since we had a family day. I gather my beach accessories: my favorite beach towel, large enough to wrap me up like a burrito, bottles of cold water & pop, sandwiches, chips, apples, sunglasses, sunscreen #15, & 30, hairbrush, chap-stick, change for parking, beach umbrella & chairs, camera, ...

Working 9 to 5…with kids in tow

Take Your Child to Work Day - 2012 Yesterday was “Take Your Child to Work” day. My current employer has a minimum limit of seven years of age before a child can participate, and I had the wonderful opportunity of taking both our girls for the first time. The idea behind the initiative is to not only give kids a glimpse into how their parents earn a living, but to demonstrate the importance of education as well as work-life balance. Before we set out, ...

We Can’t Borrow Our Way Out of Debt….

We Can't Borrow Our Way Out of Debt....

Below is a great article by personal finance expert Dave Ramsey.  His books and programs have helped thousands of families achieve debt freedom. What I really like about this particular piece is that he applies the federal government's spending habits to the annual income of a middle class family - which provides stunning clarity to the woeful money management of our elected officials.  Here's the link if you'd like: www.daveramsey.com/article/federal-budget-vs-household-budget-how-do-they-compare/lifeandmoney_budgeting/?ectid=1105cnlextra_4 By Dave Ramsey Whenever the talking heads on TV start talking about the national economy, ...

Incredible New Year’s Eve Stunt….

1970's daredevil Evil Kenevil - image courtesy Wikipedia I was a child of the 70′s and was a HUGE fan of daredevil motorcyclist Evil Kenevil.  As a kid I idolized him and would set up ridiculously small ramps made out of bricks and spare plywood – then pretend I was jumping Snake River Canyon on my Huffy bike. However, as I grew up and learned more about him as a person, I  learned that he was an incredible jerk to his family, ...

A Memorable Date Night With My Daughters

Our two girls on our “date” last night One of the best books I read shortly after the birth of our oldest daughter – nearly 11 years ago – was titled What a Difference a Daddy Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Dad Leaves on His Daughter’s Life by Dr. Kevin Lehman. I found this book to be very insightful and helpful as a new father. The most important lesson this book taught me was the crucial role that the opposite gender parent plays ...

The $5.37 “Caption This” Contest: Vol. 8

Welcome to another edition of the lowest-cash-award-for-a-photo-caption-contest on the Internet, the $5.37 Caption This Contest! Thanks to everyone who entered to win the most recent iteration of the contest a few weeks ago. The competition was tough – so I had one of our longhair, Ragdoll cats walk around the caption entries I had laid out on the floor and the entry that she regurgitated a hairball on would be the winner! That lucky winner was Ken Hagerman see his caption below. “I told you I didn’t want ...

Truth vs Hysteria

Earlier this week I had a telephone conversation with a close friend about life and how it likes to slip the scary stuff in with the regular stuff—as if we wouldn’t notice. It’s much like the random red sock that finds its way in with the whites—turning the entire wash load pink. She’s a few years younger than me and still has son number three in the nest. Son number one got married last year and son number two left ...

Shock and Gawk

Eating Life Raw (ELR) was conceived from a genuine desire to speak with undaunted honesty about life, resulting in a cathartic release for me and hopefully an inspiring and stimulating experience for you, the reader. Lately I’ve been feeling a bit “goody-two-shoes” editing myself in order to please the agents of the world who may, or may not, be visiting ELR. I’m seeking to get my novel, Cosette’s Tribe, published, and in doing so I think I’ve omitted some of ...

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

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I can’t help it, but summer puts me in the mood for … a vacation. When I think of summer, I dream of languid days spent at a beautiful tropical beach, with clear blue water, palm trees tossing their fronds in the wind, and freshly squeezed lemonade served in a tall glass filled with ice. Sounds simple enough eh? But that’s not my reality at this moment, so I’ve chosen to inhale some summer loving …

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No Forks Needed

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No Forks Needed Genre: Crime Word Count: 100 Mary sat at her usual table, her laptop open and ready. The story she was writing was going well, but now she was stuck. Did she kill off the character giving her problems, or try to rework the plot? She was watching the street, waiting for her muse to return, when two strangers came in. One man went to the kitchen. She heard a …

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We’ll Meet Again

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I have been AWOL for a few weeks, I hope some of you have missed me… I have been busy working on a tender document which has proved much more difficult than I ever imagined when agreeing to do it. I mean, three weeks of my life is too much to spend on writing something that I didn’t enjoy. It has been submitted now, at 11.45 am to be precise so I’m free now to write something I do enjoy enormously… …

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The ‘why’ is the easy bit, the ‘what’ a little harder to understand

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I started my blog exactly five years ago this weekend. I had been thinking about retirement as my husband had taken early retirement and wanted me to do the same. I had read reports in the press of the increasing numbers of people approaching retirement age, who wanted to carry on working, in some cases they just had to. I wasn’t ready to retire then and I’m not now, but I thought that I …

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A change of style and a twist

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I’m waiting at the station. Penny is late. We agreed to meet at 10.00 the train leaves at 10.15 and it’s now ten past. I fiddle with the strap of my overnight bag, I do not feel comfortable waiting here on my own, but it is something I have had to get used to. Being on my own. I thought Penny was different from the rest, she is such a good listener and always says the right thing. She bolsters my …

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My Pinterest Boards

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This photo is one of my “No Comment” pins What I love about Pinterest is its hit-or-miss attitude. There’s no pressure to pin on any schedule or with any intention of finding closure. It’s an option that accommodates spur-of-the-moment captures as well as planned collections. The latter are sometimes secret boards; for instance I’ve got a …

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The Blog Farm | Check out our new ‘Post Image Wall’

Post Image Wall ( large )

Just a taste… “Keep scrolling down to reveal every picture on The Blog Farm. If one strikes your fancy clicking on it will take you to the post. Trust me… it is impossible to scroll through the images below without clicking on one, I have tried many times. That is why images will open on a new page… …