Weird and Unusual Plant: The Dancing Plant (Codariocalyx Motorius)

People aren’t the only living creatures that love to dance. And we’re not talking about animals. Believe it or not, there is a plant that also enjoys grooving to the beat. Codariocalyx motorius (or Desmodium gyrans), also known as the Telegraph plant or semaphore plant, is  quite the fascinating plant! It is a tropical Asian shrub that has rapid plant movement—just like the Sensitive Plant and the Venus flytrap.The leaves move up and down rhythmically, as if the plant is dancing or ...

Haiku: Auguries of August…

Not a whit, we defy augury. There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all. William Shakespeare Haiku: Auguries of August… Summer blooms (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Summer Blooms Wilting The Auguries of August Fall Beckons to You… “Life is an Album; and my free Imagination loves to look and read, with happy augury, thy ...

Flower Trends for 2014

Flower trends are constantly evolving from arrangement styles to flower varieties and colours. Here are the top floral design colour palettes for 2014. Confetti Bright and Bold is the general trend here! Tangerine, fuchsia, poppy red, bright green, hot pink, turquoise, sunshine yellow and dandelion yellow make up the rainbow of hues that is Confetti. As the graphic states, playful and fun is the theme behind the colours! Some flower suggestions within this theme: Gerbera Daisy, Green Trick Dianthus, Sun Flower, Zinnia, Gloriosa Lily and ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: CLOSE…

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” Frank Lloyd Wright Weekly Photo Challenge: CLOSE… Deer in the yard Weekly Photo Challenge: CLOSE… Searching Weekly Photo Challenge: CLOSE… grazing Weekly Photo Challenge: CLOSE… Foliage up close When things go wrong as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill, When the funds are low and the debts are high And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest if you must, but ...

Weekly photo challenge – Create – A Bird of Paradise

As soon as I read the topic for the challenge this week, I thought of my grandmother and a piece of work she created when she was 76, after signing up for a night school course to ‘learn something a bit different”. Her eyesight was getting worse and she was suffering with arthritis in her hands, but once she had started the embrodiery course she was determined to see it through. The result of her labours was framed and put on show in the town ...

Buccaneers Of Buzz

My illustrations were mostly created for books, newspapers and magazines. This picture, done for my own amusement, is the only one I created for a poem. I remember reading this short work by Emily Dickinson where she compared bees to pirates; it was so fun and lighthearted, so visual, that I couldn’t resist picking up my brushes to see what I could do with it. When I look at the results I feel like a kid again. I’m transported back to ...

Featured Blogger: Barb Taylor – Passionate about Pets & People…

“Give without expecting anything in return and it will come back to you a hundredfold” Anon Featured Blogger: Barb with Pop & Pen... girls day out. Barbara Taylor is one of those bloggers whose warm smile and kind heart reaches right through the screen to touch you. I met Barb this year through my interactions with lots of bloggers on the DailyPost Challenge organized via WordPress. The first time we connected, I was drawn to both her smile and blog name; Passionate About Pets. When I clicked through to her ...

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 ...

Has iPad Finally Jumped the Shark?

Fonzie “Jumps the Shark” – Wikipedia During the late 1970s and early 80s the most popular show on television was ABC’s “Happy Days.” The Cunninghams and Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli were members of the family – until Fonzie jumped the shark – literally. The phrase “jump the shark” relates to the episode during the series’ twilight when the cast went to Hawaii and the daredevil Fonzie had to water-ski jump over a shark tank for some contrived sense of honor. After that point, critics and ...

Warts Wrong With You?

I was thinking about genuine beauty the other day, and how, being human, we all have imperfections, or as some call them...warts. Yet it’s those very warts that we’ve been taught to despise that can often be endearing…even charming. I had a boyfriend once who had a thin scar across his top lip. Instead of viewing this as a flaw, I saw it as sexy as hell, giving him a bad boy persona which sent shivers down my spine. Unfortunately ...

“Loneliness is not much written about.”

So said Stephen Fry (actor, writer, and more) in a June 24 excellent post on his suicide attempt last year. Fry in “Happy Birthday to GNU” (2008), photo from Wikipedia entry Intrigued by his statement that loneliness is not much written about, I did a quick run-through in my own mind about books I’ve read and whether or not loneliness was in there. I’ve come up with these so far: A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle The Pleasure of My Company ...

Wedded BlissTors - Part 6: Car Trouble

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. Some people think they're pretty funny - and these continue to be my most viewed blog postings. If you like them or if they make you chuckle, please share them on Facebook and Twitter! This episode deals with a few of the car trouble issues that ...

Conjuring Halloween

The thing that I’ve always liked about Halloween is that it temporarily demystifies evil, giving us permission to laugh at, and perhaps even celebrate, the dark side of everything. The common bat with its leathery wings, hyper-flapping against the tranquility of twilight, becomes a prop for hauntings and mayhem as we mimic devils, zombies, and vampires, sucking up their dark powers and using them for sport. We get to poke fun at our greatest enemy, death, by dressing as ghosts and ...

7 Possible Downton Abbey Spin-off Shows

According to recent media reports, the second season finale for the critically-acclaimed PBS series Downton Abbey commanded the largest television ratings for public broadcasting in years. For those of us with little reason to watch government-subsidized public broadcasting, Downton Abbey is akin to the soap opera Days of Our Lives only it airs once a week and is set in England during the early 1900′s. While I’ve never watched a single episode of the show, I do know success when I see ...

I Could be Persuaded.

The morning nudges me awake like a dutiful parent; tugging softly, yet with purpose. I dress and head outside, squinting into the tropically brilliant morning, and even though I have a long work day ahead of me, I feel lucky to be living in such an alluring place. Watching the palm trees sway like hula girls and the playful Gulf of Mexico swish her foamy skirts at me...drives me to giddiness! Sometimes, when life turns dark and moody, it’s as though ...

Running for My Life…

Finishing the 2011 Shamrock Marathon I’ve written several times here about my training and completion of six full marathons over the past three years. The photo insert is my most recent finish from last year. During that time, I’ve learned a lot about myself through running. Here’s a post I wrote about 10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Marathon Training. One of the reasons I love running is because of it’s similarities to writing. Both are challenging disciplines that require time, attention and practice. ...

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Celebrations

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June is a time of celebration at Casa Chatterbox. Thursday would have been my dad’s 88th birthday, Friday was our son’s birthday, and yesterday Mrs. Chatterbox and I celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary. This picture shows us shortly after our honeymoon when we’d moved into an old duplex in West Los Angeles. I’d inherited the apartment from …

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CJ’s Birthday

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I decided to take little CJ to the park to feed the ducks and distract me from fretting that I’d never land another job. At the park it started to rain. I’d failed to consider the weather and hadn’t grabbed CJ’s umbrella or raincoat. Adding to my failure as a provider, I now felt like a failure as a parent. When the shower hardened into heavy rain we took shelter under a tree that did little to keep us dry. I noticed an empty …

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Birthdays

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Now what on earth do Birthdays have to do with art? Well quite a lot really. Today is my birthday and I’m taking the time out to celebrate. What do I have to celebrate? Well I have survived and prospered into the last quarter of my life. Not only that, but as so many other Baby Boomers are doing, I am finally taking up my life’s work and getting on with what I was really born to do …

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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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