Musings: How We Spend Our Time…

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau Musings: How We Spend Our Time... This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important, because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something that I have traded ...

Reflections: Purposeful…

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Reflections: Purposeful… Most of us go through life wondering what our purpose is… Maybe it’s to do A or accomplish B What seems to be the overriding answer is to serve… Whether we help others or ourselves, that matters… Purpose… Have you always had a sense of purpose? As a teen, ...

A Princess And Stolen Gold

She was a real princess, an infanta of Spain, and I’d come thousands of miles to pay her homage. She wasn’t exactly pretty; she possessed those unfortunate characteristics that, had she lived a long life, would have twisted her sweetness into the grotesqueness so characteristic of her family. She was a Habsburg, and no one would remember her today were it not for the sublime brush of Velàzquez, her father’s famous painter. As I gazed upon her, I felt something ...

Musings: Observing Small Stones…

“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” Chinese Proverbs Musings: Observing Small Stones… Small Stones A walk on the beach Cleansing salt water in the air Pebbles everywhere A few invite me in to dine… When we take a walk on the beach, we go there not only to enjoy the ocean and get a tan, but to reconnect with something ancient in the air; perhaps the healing properties, the pebbles or sea shells we are drawn to. We stroll, we listen, ...

How to Prune Roses

To prune or not to prune? The answer is to prune. Even “bad pruning” is better than no pruning. Pruning keeps your rose plants healthy, productive and attractive by removing dead wood and improving air circulation. This extra bit of work will also encourage new growth and new blooms. Pruning is not as intimidating as some people believe it to be. In fact, it is very difficult to kill a rose buswith a so-called bad pruning. And if you happen to ...

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. ...

Musings: Ten Tips For A Saner Life…

“He was saner than anyone — he had fallen out of the world of illusion: love, interesting work, hope for the future.” John Gardner Musings: Ten Tips For A Saner Life… Keep wheel of emotional ups/downs in check. Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Auguries of Innocence by William Blake (1757–1827)via bartleby.com TO see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour. I can’t believe we ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Old Treasures…

“The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.” Aldous Huxley Weekly Photo Challenge: Old Treasures… fertility dolls For this Daily Post photo challenge on the word old, I sought old treasures to share with you… We all know good things do come in old cases too; fine wine, art, collectibles. Come back later and I’ll share my story of each item featured. We know the ...

I’ve Got the World’s Best Daughters…

Yesterday I had my first non-fiction book launch and it went extremely well – in fact, by the middle of the day my book A Question of Faith was ranked the #1 Hot New Release in Amazon’s Religion & Spirituality category. You can check out the Amazon screen shot HERE. But when I got home, there was an even more powerful visual hanging on the outside of our front door for the entire neighborhood to see – the image is captured ...

Nothing Makes Me Feel More Like an Idiot than Parenting

My kids are weird.  Having my husband and I for parents really leaves them with no other option. Odd is hard-wired in their DNA. If you follow me on Twitter you’ve seen some of the stuff they say because I can’t keep it to myself.  The world has to know.  Like: Daughter: “What’s a catheter?” I explain… “OH NO!  I am never asking you anything again!” or Me: “Son, you’re putting your pants on backwards.” Him: “Don’t judge me.” Matter-of-Fact Belligerence Probably my best/worst parenting moment ever was ...

St. Patrick’s Day With Cleverbot

Holidays provide a great reason to have a discussion with Cleverbot. What’s Cleverbot you ask? Cleverbot, is a web-based Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) application that supposedly has the ability to learn by conversing with humans via an instant messaging platform. While it’s a stretch to say that Cleverbot is intelligent, interacting with this particular “thinking” software can be mildly entertaining…especially when discussing holiday traditions and history. Here’s the most recent interview I had with this bastion of A.I. idiocy: An MLK Day Chat With Cleverbot Below, ...

BGI Selected an HGTV Pro Network Designer

We are excited and honored to announce Barbara Gilbert Interiors has been selected as an HGTV Pro Network Designer! As an HGTV-featured designer, our work will be highlighted in the new Designers Showcase section on HGTV and through Pro Galleries on HGTVRemodels. Here’s just a glimpse at some of our designs shown to date! Cozy Classic Kitchen boasts a show-stopping island, timeless cabinetry, deep granite countertops and a butler’s pantry equipped with a coffee station. Glamorous Transitional Bathroom features slate tile with ...

A Classic Thanksgiving Prayer…

A Classic Thanksgiving Prayer…

One of the great cartoon theologians of our time shares some poignant thoughts on this Thanksgiving…. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Will This Mean the End of Facebook?

James Best Jr./The New York Times In case you missed it on Tuesday, Google launched another attempt to out-friend Facebook. The service it launched is called Google+. It looks and functions a lot like Facebook, but a key difference is that under the marketing banner of enhanced privacy it allows you to share status updates, photos, videos, links...etc with exclusive groups of friends - not the entire Internet or even your entire list of friends. Currently if you click the "share" button on ...

Reader Favorites 2011 – #4: 20 Texting Phrases Parents Must Know

Through January 3rd, 2012 I’m going to share with you the 10 most popular posts as determined by readers of this blog. I hope you enjoy these and find them to be interesting and worthwhile. With that, here’s the 4th most popular post from The Daily Retort for 2011, it’s a useful piece that every parent should read regarding 20 Texting Phrases Parents Must Know and was originally posted in October. According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center ...

Raymond Burr, Man of Mystery

As far as I can determine, only two biographies have been published on the actor Raymond Burr, who died in 1993. They are Hiding in Plain Sight: The Secret Life of Raymond Burr by Michael Seth Starr (2009), published by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books; and Raymond Burr: A Film, Radio, and Television Biography by Ona L. Hill (1999), published by McFarland and Company. Both books have had less-than-scintillating reviews because neither digs deep enough to offer truly new insights ...

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Super Bowl XLVIII: 10 Things To Know About Super Bowl 2014

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“That’s the biggest gap in sports, the difference between the winner and the loser of the Super Bowl.” John Madden Super_Bowl_XLVIII_logo MetLife Stadium for Superbowl XLVIII 1. It’s the first time it’s being played in NY/NJ area 2. It’s the first one played in an outdoor stadium in a cold weather city. 3. Of the 48 Super bowls played, it …

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Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it?

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In January I started my diet (RUDE word, but needs must). My goal: lose 42lb in 21 weeks. Achievable? Climbing Everest is achievable! My personal trainer convinced me it was possible “Anything is possible if we put our minds to it.” That’s diet of course, not climbing Everest, which of course would not. She’s obviously a good saleslady, …

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Plant-Based Diets and Iron

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As a young woman my pulse was alarmingly high. I was a swimmer, got plenty of exercise and should have had a nice low resting pulse rate. My Doctor at the time was alarmed enough by my pulse rate to order a blood test that measured my hemoglobin. The results showed that my hemoglobin was very, …

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Facing the Hills….

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Here’s a great guest post from one of my favorite online writing buddies, Eileen Knowles. She’s funny, insightful and loves coffee as much as me – how can you NOT like somebody like that? If you’d like to write a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: ======================================================== My family and I recently moved from North Carolina …

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3 Painful Lessons About Practice

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My medal for completing the 2013 Frederick Half Marathon Four weeks ago I ran and completed the 2013 Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon – a 13.1 mile jaunt through the highways and byways of Frederick County Maryland. Now mind you, the last time I had run a distance that far was early last summer before the birth …

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How I Lost 30 lbs in six months….

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I’ve written a few times on this blog about the scary heart issue that I had toward the end of last year and my subsequent overnight in the hospital emergency room. I also wrote about the ongoing fight I’ve been forced to face against myself to lose 40 pounds at the recommendation of my cardiologist. Since I’ve …

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Herbal Teas to Relieve Stress

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Life isn’t always a walk in the park. It can be quite stressful. In times of stress, you may be feeling highly irritable, emotional and anxious. And as a result, you may suffer from headaches, insomnia, loss of appetite, and weight loss, just to name a few symptoms. That being said, don’t stress out! One …

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