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Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in January

My personal diary. Over the next year I will be keeping a monthly diary of all the fruit and vegetables I grow in my urban garden here in the Algarve. Gardening is one of my passions, and although my efforts are not always successful my tenacity makes up for what I lack in knowledge. I’m always open to suggestions (or encouragement) so please feel free to leave a note in the comments section below. December was the first entry in my ...

Hot Cross Buns – To Share with Friends

According to English folklore there are many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. My favorite superstition is accompanied by the rhyme… “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be” Apparently, if you share a hot cross bun while saying the above words it is meant to ensure friendship throughout the coming year. This is my first attempt at making “Hot Cross Buns” so here’s to sharing them with all my blogging buddies… HaPpY eAsTeR! My first attempt at "Hot Cross Buns" Hot ...

Life Interrupted

Oh Delta…why oh why?   Once again I had an adventure !  After a fabulous time in North Carolina–great time with my BFF, Ann, and then a weekend with Aaron I settled in for the trip home. I was taking a flight to Minneapolis and then the little prop plane flight into Mason City so Chris could just pick me up there since he had been home all last week and we did not have a car at the Minneapolis airport ...

Petition to Amend the Standard of Identity for Milk

Petition to Amend the Standard of Identity for Milk

Every now and then there is something in the news that really gets me going! Right now it is chocolate milk. Why? Because the dairy lobby is pushing the FDA to approve the use of the artificial sweetener aspartame in chocolate milk. Sugar isn’t bad enough now they want to add excitotoxins to dairy products on the down low. Terrific idea – take milk which has many harmful side-effects and up the ante by adding excitotoxins! And this is how my tax dollars are being ...

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused / Downtown Lights Richmond Virginia

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused / Downtown Lights Richmond Virginia Taking photos as darkness falls can be challenging. I thought my camera settings were alright for this one but, as frequently happens, they were off a bit. And I was not using a solid surface of some sort to keep the camera still. There was a lot going on and surprisingly enough, something interesting resulted as many of the people sitting around at the folk festival looked like they were beamed ...

Do you let life interfere?

I have been terrible at blogging this past week. I have let life interfere with what I love to do, and that is writing and blogging. I also seem to be spending more time than I like with the social networking. I do love people and communication. Those sites let me talk to people all over the word. I consider that a blessing from my Lord. This week I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off. ...

Is Social Media and the Latest Technology “Gizmo” Driving YOU Crazy?

When I bought my Blackberry, I thought about the 30-year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a cell phone that plays music, takes videos, pictures and communicates with Facebook and Twitter. I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, 13 grand kids and 2 great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space. That was ...

Changing It Up A Bit

I have purchased a few new Sakura Gelly Roll pens as I await the arrival of my order from Dick Blick. I just couldn't wait to try some new techniques I've been reading about and letting them steep in the back of my brain. I've had some seriously wonderful creative dreams, knowing that these new supplies are coming. I'm dreaming up new paintings and when I wake up I can still see them in my mind! It's so thrilling, this ...

Light your Garden on Fire with the Flame Lily

Scientific name: Gloriosa  superba Other names: fire Lily, climbing lily, creeping lily, glory lily It’s a showstopping flower that will ignite your passion for gardening. The flame lily is a climbing vine with showy, wavy yellow and red flowers that resembles flames, hence the name. In bud, the pale green petals face downwards. As it matures, the petals elongate and wrinkle, while arching backwards to reveal a gorgeous 6-petaled flower. The stamens are just as visually stunning as the petals, spreading outward ...

Trend Alert: Living Pictures with Succulents

Vertical gardening and living walls are still cool. One of the hottest trends right now in gardening/home decor is “living pictures,” where succulent cuttings are artfully woven into a frame to create a living, breathing piece of artwork that can be hung in any space! It is a fun and easy way to add some colour, texture and interest to your home. And the best part is that these living pictures are low-maintenance, which would be perfect for beginner gardeners! Succulents ...

friday moment 6 – 5

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week .. some time ago .. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember

Londons Olympic Blooms

What used to be a predominantly neglected industrial area is now London’s newest pride & joy – Olympic Park. The final wildflower meadows were seeded a few days ago and should be in full bloom by the opening of the games, creating a sea of gold around the Olympic Stadium. Photo credit: london2012.com There has been a lot of hard work involved to take this neglected industrial area and transform it into this 250 acre public park. The largest urban park created ...

Some of the World’s Scariest/Spookiest Plants!

Boo! Halloween is just around the corner.  The best time of the year to celebrate all things creepy, scary and spooky! To celebrate the upcoming holiday, here are some of the world’s scariest/spookiest plants that remind me of Halloween: The Bat Flower (tacca chantrieri) Bats are creepy. Flowers that look like bats are even creepier, especially with those dark menacing “eyes” and those frightening filaments! There are even people that believe that it’s bad omen to look into the eyes of the bat ...

Flowers you can eat!

Flowers aren’t just pretty to look at; some of them are edible! There are so many varieties to choose from. Here are a few flowers that to get your taste buds started: Begonia The whole plant is edible, including the leaves, flowers and stem.  Begonia blossoms have a citrusy taste. The petals can be used in salads and as garnish. The stems can be cooked like rhubarb. However, for those people who have gout, kidney stones or rheumatism, they should avoid eating ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Tales from France – you must be joking!

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“We’re going to make a Mickey Mouse cake for baby Piglet’s birthday,” my daughter announced. Her words immediately triggered alarm bells in my head. I looked away from my computer aware this conversation needed my full attention. “We” probably meant “You” as in “Me”. “Really?” my response was at best non-committal and even a little lukewarm. I …

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Birthdays Buzzards and Rainbows

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Monday’s attempt at a birthday blog:Okay so I’m suppose to be writing a birthday blog and I’m finding that it isn’t so easy to write. I feel scattered. Maybe it’s that I have so much on my mind. Or perhaps it’s my age. Maybe my brain is starting to sag right along with my other …

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Birthday #60

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Mrs. Chatterbox is slightly older than me; she turned 60 three weeks ago. Since then I’ve pretended I was a younger man consorting with a cougar. But yesterday was my birthday. Now I’m S-I-X-T-Y, and taking solace in a post I wrote back in my younger days, when I was a mere 59: There are benefits …

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Keiko Matsui At Birchmere / Happy Birthday Mr. Blogger

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Last week Betsy said, “It’s your birthday next week and so we are going to see Keiko Matsui at the Birchmere Theater in Northern Va. tomorrow night.” Cool! What a nice Bday present! And so, away we went, and had fun. We arrived there early and sat on a bench with a few other early birds. …

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The First Christmas

This Christmas was the first Christmas without my brother in law. I still miss him terribly, especially during my nephew’s 2nd birthday party. He was my sister’s best friend and the best brother a gal could ask for. He was kind, patient, funny, and selfless. I still remember the day my sister, Lexi, my brother-in-law …

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Name Your New Year Resolution

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As a blogger, I’m almost obligated by the fictional Blogger Code of Conduct to write a post about New Year resolutions. It comes with the territory. So to keep my non-existent blogging certification and license in place, here’s my requisite resolution post. In 2012 I hereby resolve to complete the following: 1. Train and complete two full marathons, one …

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