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Floriade 2013: Australia’s Celebration of Spring

While everyone else in the world is getting ready for Autumn, Australia is celebrating Spring with Floriade. Floriade, which is Latin for “design with flowers” is a month long flower festival that takes place in Australia from mid-September to early October. This annual festival is held at the Canberra Commonwealth Park with a different theme each year. The festival, which showcases a million flowers in bloom, is one of the most popular tourist attractions. Numerous, beautiful gardens with spring-flowering bulbs, such ...

The Gift: Ten Things Money Cannot Buy…

“Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding the third” Marge Piercy The Gift: Ten Things Money Cannot Buy... Life *Life/Health *True Love *Wisdom -understanding Today, I was thinking about one of our recent Daily Post prompts: What is the best gift you’ve ever received? The more I thought about all the wonderful material things I have received or bought in my lifetime, the more I imagined other material things that would put a smile on my face. Sure, there’s nothing ...

Monday Musings: On Optimism and A Little More…

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill Monday Musings: Optimism is... a brightly colored wrapper on a barren farm The Question: Are you an Optimist or Pessimist? Optimist, Pessimist, Realist, Fatalist, Sit-On-The-Fence-ist.  At any given point in our lives, we find ourselves fully engaged or wallowing in one of those descriptions. Does it matter? Yes and No. Yes? How we view our world and live in it has an impact on the choices we make and on others around us. No? ...

How to Make Your Own Floral Perfume

Wearing perfume makes us smell good and feel extra pretty. But the problem is that store bought perfumes are expensive and full of chemicals that are bad for your health. Fortunately, you don’t have to quit wearing perfume. You can just make your own!  Making your own perfume is an easy, fun and inexpensive alternative. And it’s all natural! Flowers that are commonly used in perfumes include: roses, jasmine, violets, lavender, orange blossoms, and lilies.  You can use one type of ...

Popular Wedding Flower Trends: Billy Ball Flowers

Craspedia (Cras-PEE-dee-a) billy balls, or more commonly  known as just billy balls or billy buttons, are cheerful, bright yellow flowers that have gained popularity as wedding flowers over recent years. The round pompom flowers add texture, vibrant colour and visual interest to bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces and other flower arrangements. They are typically available from early spring to fall and are fairly inexpensive to purchase. If you are looking for affordable, yet elegant flowers, billy balls are perfect for you! Designing Tips: the ...

Did You Hear The One About ???

Normally, I zero in on the lesser reported news stories to give you a bit of a diversion from the 2 or 3 main stories that are being aired non-stop by the major news outlets. It seems that the major players that dole out the latest and greatest news,  now latch onto the "hot story" and beat us over the head with it.   It doesn't appear that getting the facts straight is nearly as important as getting great ratings. Which brings me to some of ...

Reality Bites

Reality Bites

Why is it that I keep hearing people discussing shows that I didn't know existed?  Where are all of these reality shows coming from and when do people find time to keep up with all of the many.  Even with the biggies such as Dancing With the Stars and American Idol, I watch the last 10 minutes to see the results of how it all came out. (as you all know I LOVE my pal Tivo) Sorry, I just can't sit for hours watching ...

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 ...

Your Heart Will Be Cut…in a good way

Sincere thanks to my friend and blogging mentor Michael Hyatt who shared this compelling video today over on his site. It is a powerful reminder for all of us to be vigilant of the needs of those around us. But, we’re not only to be passive watchers of those needs but active “engagers” to help meet those needs. I hope this video cuts your heart as deeply as it did mine. Question: Have you ever helped someone or been helped as portrayed in the ...

State Of The Chatter Address

Today is the one year anniversary of Chubby Chatterbox. Our son CJ came up with the idea of starting a blog because I was depressed over numerous rejections from literary agents, one of whom told me I didn’t have a flair for writing and should try something else. CJ, who at the time had more confidence in my writing ability than I did, suggested I circumvent the publishing world by creating an audience of my own. As children often do, he ...

I'm a Creature of Habit....

This is a busy time of year at my fulltime job, I work at a biotech company that produces medicines for a few different types of infectious diseases. The respective seasons for those respiratory conditions are winding down. However, the ramp-up and planning for vaccinations that begin this fall are already underway. The resulting work-related meetings have occupied my lunch hours for the past few weeks – and that’s my feeble excuse as to why I’ve not been able to attend ...

Facing the Hills….

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 to Georgia. It’s a coming home sort of move for my husband who was born and raised in North Georgia.  For me, it still feels like ...

25 Christmas songs in 2 minutes

The holidays tend to bring out the best in people – particularly from a creative perspective. Here’s a creatively, entertaining video from the folks over at ignitermedia.com – they produce a variety of faith-based videos, skits and production pieces. In this particular segment Rob Thomas (aka “Johnny”) and Braun Brown (aka “Chachi”) regale us with 25+ Christmas songs in less than 120 seconds. Don’t let the goofy wigs or extreme orthodontia scare you, it’s a pretty cool accomplishment. Question: Do you have a favorite ...

Sometimes Fighting Siblings is Good…

My girls and me pose with our orange belts Kids learn to care about the things that their parents care about. Hopefully, kids are able to develop a passion for those activities or hobbies on their own. Such is the case with my family and Karate. We’ve been attending classes together for the past six months. Let me be clear – Karate is not about beating people up and it’s not evil. However, when I was a kid my parents forbid me from taking ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Visions from Vail

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Sometimes it’s impossible to leave work behind. And honestly, who wants to when work involves inspiring design?! Julie, our Project Manager at BGI, recently vacationed in Vail, Colorado with her family and couldn’t resist taking pictures of the town’s picturesque architecture and design. It was her first time skiing in almost 20 years and she said …

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From Here to There

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Amsterdam…Part Twee (Dutch for the word two) I am committed to wrap up my travelogue today….yes, I am sure you are eager for me to get back to my normal nonsense (with the word normal being used in the most broad spectrum sort of way). The problem for today is whittling down this last post as …

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Two Sided Guilder

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Already, I have misled you about Amsterdam. They no longer use guilders so the title should of been “Two Sided Euro” I guess..but then it would be less “Dutchy”. I am all about “Dutchy.” I know that my regular readers are aware that I am married to a Dutchman. His grandparents were part of a group …

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Where is the Princess?

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Stolzenfels Castle Middle Rhine On my last post, I left off with our traveling south from Koblenz…appropriately named Going South. Clever, huh? We continued our journey south to see some of the 40 castles and fortresses that still exists along the Middle Rhine. The Middle Rhine is one of four sections of the river. There are more than …

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Going South

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On the last travelogue post, we were in Andernach, Germany…So Many Castles, So Little Time. After spending the day in Andernach exploring we met up with a group of “new” friends for a lovely dinner. The group consisted of a Brit, a German, a Canadian, and 3 Americans. It was great fun comparing viewpoints on so …

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So Many Castles, So Little Time

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Those exit signs take a little getting used to. After leaving Cologne, we made our way back to Weissenthurm to meet up with some friends for dinner. Thought Number One: Seeing New Places Cologne is only an hour north of Andernach, we had plenty of time prior to meeting at the Pfeffermuhle restaurant to finish our exploration …

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