The Ghost At Our Kitchen Table

A ghost sat at our kitchen table when I was a child, a ghost by the name of Grandpa Frank. He was my mother’s father, and he died seventy-six years ago in 1936. How he died always depended on who you asked. Stories range from scarlet fever to an accident brought about by falling from a church steeple he climbed on a dare. I don’t think I’ll ever know, but I have it on several counts that he was an ...

What is Bonsai?

Are you a plant lover looking for a new hobby? Try bonsai!   Photo Credit: Flickr, Clif1066 Bonsai (pronounced bone-sigh) is a Japanese horticultural art form of training full size woody plants in containers to look miniature. The name bonsai comes from two Japanese words, “bon” for dish or thin bowl and “sai” for a tree or plant. Thus, the name “bonsai” means “a tree planted in a shallow container.” The art of bonsai is thousands of years old and was once an practice for ...

Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs…

“Everybody needs a hug. It changes your metabolism.” Leo Buscaglia Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs… “I will not play tug o’ war. I’d rather play hug o’ war. Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.” Shel Silverstein  Hello there! My name is Hugo and I’m a hugaholic… I capture images of people and other life forms sharing a hug; in common and unusual settings. I travel around the ...

Mulching 101

Every gardener should mulch. It is one of the simplest and most effective practices to control weeds and improve the soil, while beautifying your garden without much effort! A layer of mulch will create a “professional” looking garden! There are many different types of mulch available. What is mulch? Mulching is adding a layer of material, such as grass clippings, leaves, bark chips and straw, to cover the soil in a gardening bed. Types of Mulch: Photo Credit: Flickr user, t0msk Leaves and Grass Clippings: ...

Reflections: Today I Choose…

“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.” Henry David Thoreau Reflections: Today I Choose… To be happy; so should you! Complete the following sentence five times “Today I choose …” Robert Holden. Today I choose to declare that I have the grace I need… Today I choose to believe I am full of power, strength, and determination… Today I choose to affirm that nothing I face ...

Reflections: Circles Of Appreciation…

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well” Voltaire Reflections: Circles Of Appreciation… Throughout our lives, we connect with many circles of friends, family, and people who enrich our lives and act as guardians on the path. I have had my share of pain and joy, and the goodwill of kind people helped me in those dark hours. I would be remiss if I ignore the fact that all we do and accomplish ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Series of Shadows…

"Look round and round upon this bare bleak plain, and see even here, upon a winter’s day, how beautiful the shadows are! Alas! it is the nature of their kind to be so. The loveliest things in life, Tom, are but shadows; and they come and go, and change and fade away, as rapidly as these!” Charles Dickens Pike Place Market Like the changing weather, our lives have their share of sunlight and shadows. Some might see the shadows as those dark nights of ...

The History of the Kentucky Derby Garland of Roses

As we all know, red roses symbolize love and passion. But did you know that it can also represents victory? Thousands of visitors flock to Churchill Downs in Kentucky, Lousianna, USA  each May not only to watch the famous horse race and to dress up in fancy clothes and hats, but also to get a glimpse of the imfamous Kentucky Derby Garland of Roses, which is given to the winner of the race. The 2 km horse race takes place on the ...

The Most Unfortunate Typo Ever

"Public" signs have new meaning... For the past 13 years I've worked in corporate Public Relations, which is sometimes called Public Affairs. I spend a lot of time writing and editing a variety of speeches, news releases, talking points and presentations. From time-to-time I'll attend workshops or conferences to sharpen my skills. It was at one such conference that I saw the most unfortunate typo ever. A professional was set to deliver a PowerPoint slide presentation to the audience of which I ...

10 Possible Titles for Jon Acuff’s “Quitter” Sequel

"Side Hugging" My Nearly-Almost-Friend, Jon Acuff I’m a huge fan of national bestselling author, Jon Acuff. So much so that I attended an out-of-state conference this fall just to stalk him…um, er…I mean meet him [see photo insert]. Jon is a supremely gifted writer who specializes in satire and self help, posting outstanding work everyday at his two brilliant blogs – www.jonacuff.com and www.stuffchristianslike.org. He’s written three books. His most recent one is one of my all-time favorites, titled Quitter. It’s intended to ...

Wisdom: 10 Words or Less…

A common carving on DC monuments where we live Here’s a quick-and-dirty ranking of the pithiest, most useful kernels of wisdom I’ve learned in life thus far. Each is actionable and well worth additional study and investigation. Please comment with other concise, worthy insights but remember the actual phrase must be 10-words or less: 10. A Quiet Word Turns Away Wrath – this is perhaps one of the most useful snippets on this list. I don’t care if it’s an argument in ...

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 ...

Wedded BlissTors – Part 7: Celebrity Crush – Funny Movie Short

Wedded BlissTors - Part 7: Celebrity Crush - Funny Movie Short

Here's the latest episode in my "Wedded BlissTors" series of animated movie shorts. Marriage is bliss, but these mini-movies have a humorous take on some of the blisters (or BlissTors) that couples can endure along the way. These mini-movies continue to be my most viewed blog postings. If you like one, please share it on Facebook and Twitter! Episode #7 deals with a not-so-secret celebrity crush. The links to the other episodes I've made follow the video below.  Please let me know what you think!!!! Wedded BlissTors - ...

Two Reasons I Love Being a Dad

Our youngest laid out her outfit...with a note.... In case you can’t guess the two reasons why I love being a dad – I’ll give you a hint. One reason just turned 8-years old and the other is 10-years old. Whenever they ask which of them I love more (as kids sometimes do), I tell them that they’re both so special and unique – that I love them differently. I give them the example that my favorite all-time dessert is Chocolate Trifle – if ...

Our Pregnancy Update – Week 30

The arrival of our new baby boy is approximately 10 weeks away and we’re thrilled as the due date draws near. Our son continues to grow and seems to have some sort of 24/7 dance party going on in my wife’s uterus because he is constantly moving! Perhaps he’s piping in dance tracks from some international-techno- rave party DJ such as Armin van Burren or Teisto! Regardless, he’d give that creepy dancing baby from Ally McBeal a run for the money. Here’s the latest developmental ...

Know Your “True Self”

Charlie Sheen T-Shirt Various philosophers and thinkers throughout recorded history have been credited with coining the axiom, “Know Thyself” – most notably Socrates, Plato and Xenophon. Regardless of who said it first or when, the profundity and elegance of that statement echoes into the modern era and it needs to be heeded. While the simplicity of this maxim opens itself up for wide interpretation, perhaps its most obvious message is “As best you’re able, identify your blind spots and weaknesses – so that ...

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New Arizona Wildlife Notebook

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Arizona Wildlife Notebook, Second edition I have completed the second edition of the Arizona Wildlife Notebook! The new Notebook has four more species groups than the first edition, and it has an expanded index. The most important change is in the conservation status for each species. This time, I standardized the information so that future changes …

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Arizona Fish Update–November 2013

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Small stretches of the Agua Fria River in central Arizona are perennial. The water is polluted by farm fertilizer and mine tailings. Invasive species are abundant. The U. S. State of Arizona occupies a dry region with limited precipitation, high evaporation, and not much surface water. Widespread winter rain and snow, and heavy summer rain can …

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Arizona Fish Endangered

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Arizona Fish Extinctions Noel M. Burkhead of the U. S. Geological Survey, recently performed an analysis of the extinction rate for North American fish (Burkhead 2012). Burkhead used the fossil record to determine that throughout geological history, one fish species went extinct about every three million years. During the past century, 57 fish became extinct, making …

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The Big One

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The striped bass is the main piscivore of the LSZ Do we have any fishermen on FanBox? In case you missed it on line, the state striped bass record has been broke in Alabama and could possibly be a world record but that will take a while to find out. James Bramlett went fishing at the request …

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“But, Did You Catch Anything?” In response to a readers question.

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Did You Catch Anything? I don’t remember if it was Patrick F. McManus, or John Gustafson from “Grumpy, Old Men” who said, “When you are not catching fish, your stories tend to revolve around the scenery, and what a beautiful day it was. But when the fish ARE biting… Well, then, it’s all about the fight.” …

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…The Tastiest of Baits.

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Isborr (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Challenges are lurking behind every endeavor, even for the person trying to get some ice-fishing time in. Now days, just getting the frigid temperatures necessary to freeze the lake surface seems impossible. Then coordinating the freeze with time off work seems a logistical nightmare. I remember when Old-Man Winter would freeze the …

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Fishing Memoirs- 8:10

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Trout-master Jim posing in front of the Castle Rock Inn Motel and Cafe along the Gallatin River. It was the early 2000′s, and the Detroit Red Wings were a force to be reckoned with on the ice, and Trout-master Jim and I were still fired up about the great, but very brief, fishing experience we had in …

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