The History of the Shamrock and St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! For as long as St. Patrick’s Day has been around, the shamrock, a three leaf clover, has become Ireland’s most celebrated and iconic symbol. But how did the shamrock become the symbol for St. Patrick’s Day? Long before the commercialization of St. Patrick’s Day, the shamrock was considered a sacred plant in Christianity. Legend has it that Saint Patrick used the shamrock to illustrate the fundamental concept of the Holy Trinity to the pagans. He explained that just ...

Clever?

Do you remember when it was considered a compliment to be called clever? I remember hearing comments like, “That Johnny is one clever boy.” I wanted to be like Johnny. I thought my parents wanted me to be clever, a term I equated with smart. But somewhere along the way clever became undesirable. My ears are still ringing from the last time my wife said, “You think you’re sooo clever!” Clever was once used to describe someone who was brilliant, sharp ...

Super Bowl XLVI: Ten Tips For A Fun Night…

“Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” Vince Lombardi Super Bowl XLVI: Ten Tips To Make It A Fun Night... Enjoy it! On Sunday, February 5th at around 6:30pm, The New York Giants will face off the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, to decide the champions of Super Bowl XLVI (read roman numeral #46).  The NY Giants Eli Manning and Patriots Tom Brady will have another chance to show what makes them superstars in the football arena. According to the NFL gamecenter site, this ...

Travel: Capture The Colors In Five Takes…

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.”  Pat Conroy Photo Info: Lotta and Bjorn took me around Stockholm sightseeing. We came here on an overcast day to get a panoramic view of the city. The air was damp but the water smelled fresh. The colorful homes behind us sparkled, there was a ship named Cinderella docked nearby, and for ...

Dos and Don’ts of Container Gardening

Container gardening is still as popular as ever, especially for those living in tight spaces. It’s a fun and easy way to add some colour, life and beauty to your home. There are many varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers that can be planted in containers with great success! All you have to do is visit your local garden center to see what is available in your climate zone. And best of all, just about any vessel can be ...

Best Flowers for Mother’s Day

Flowers for Mother’s Day may be cliched and predictable, but they really are the perfect Mother’s Day gift! Besides Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day is the second busiest time of the year for florists because we all know you can’t go wrong with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. It’s a known fact that flowers make people happy! Your mom will definitely give you a big hug and smile when she sees the fresh flowers! And as a bonus, flowers are affordable and a ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: All Things Round…

“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.” Albert Schweitzer Weekly Photo Challenge: All Things Round… Government - Interior Rotunda of The US Capitol Bldg in DC Weekly Photo Challenge: All Things Round… Govt - Interior rotunda of Capitol bldg ceiling art Interior Rotunda shots: The US Capitol Bldg in DC Circles are very powerful energy retainers. We see and know the world as a circle; a tremendous energy circle. The sun and the moon radiate heat and ...

Fashion Friday! Winter Florals

2012 is the year of the floral! Floral prints were all the rage in the spring and summer! And we can see why the trend was so popular.  Floral prints are fun, flirty and feminine! There were floral shoes and floral bags, to name a few examples. Celebrities were even sporting the look. While the growing season may be over, the floral trend is still in full bloom heading into the winter season. Fall/Winter 2013 collections continue to be inspired by ...

Conversing With Scarecrows.

Sometimes life’s familiar road unexpectedly forks, leaving one to converse with scarecrows on which direction to go. Both roads appear to be identical…equally strange, having never walked down either of these paths before, so choosing one is often as random as an impulse…I’ll go right because I’m right handed. When you don’t know where you’re headed any road will take you there. I don’t believe it’s the road that matters so much, (when you’re traveling without a map) it's the attitude ...

Best Blog Posts of 2011 – #10

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 or funny. With that, here’s the 10th most popular post from The Daily Retort for 2011: Top-10 Traffic Pet Peeves City Traffic Jam - courtesy of Wikipedia For whatever reason, climbing behind the wheel of a car transforms the average rational individual into a self-absorbed idiot. I’m not immune to ...

Our Pregnancy Update – Week 25

Week 25 gestational age (GA) image - courtesy of BabyCenter.com Every week is another step closer toward our estimated delivery date of June 19th for Junior Constantino – who’s been baking nicely at a toasty 98.6° within the innards of my wife for the past 25 weeks. Our pending baby boy has been very active during the past week, both our girls have been able to distinguish his kicks and fist bumps on a consistent basis. Last weekend, the family made our first ...

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. ...

10 Rejected “Eye of the Tiger” Alternate Phrases…

This past football weekend, I heard no fewer than a dozen different sports commentators describe various athletes as having the “eye of the tiger” as a positive tribute to a particularly gritty or unrelenting athletic performance. The phrase is a metaphorical reference to the prowling carnivore’s unrelenting hunger to survive – and it was introduced to the American sports lexicon in 1982 when Eye of the Tiger was the theme song for Rocky III, written and performed by the band Survivor. According to ...

Putting My Money (…you know where…)

Best-selling author, speaker, blogger - Michael Hyatt This is launch week for a fantastic book titled Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World written by best-selling author, speaker, uber-blogger – Michael Hyatt. I’m part of Michael’s Platform Launch Team and am helping make his book a New York Times best seller. That best-seller list is determined by reported book sales during a specific week – for Michael’s book, it’s this week. To help drive those sales – Michael is offering a great bonus offer to ...

For the Fatherless – a Heart for Orphans

I’m a graduating college senior and we recently submitted our “big” senior papers. Having finished mine about two weeks early, it wasn’t anything monumental in my mind. However, what I learned from my research was enough to break my heart even further for those who are broken, for those who don’t can’t speak for themselves. This is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of orphans. In the Old Testament, there is a litany of passages which talk about three ...

Name My Blog Contest!!!

Help Name My Blog!!! I’ve been writing this blog fairly regularly for more than a year now, and I’ve shared a host of thoughts, feelings and opinions regarding a range of topical areas.  But now, I need your help…. The title of this blog is EXTREMELY clunky – “Comments and Questions of Faith, Family, Finance and Fitness” (yuck!) I intentionally made the title so unyielding, after I read an article by blogging guru Chris Brogan who stressed the need to, “…write about what you like and include as much of ...

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Prom Dresses: Fashionable Styles And Tips

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Did you attend your high School Prom? Do you remember what you wore? In case you’ve forgotten, Prom Night is around the corner, and it’s time for High School seniors to learn some shopping tips to help them find fabulous gowns and tuxedos for the occasion. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, Prom Night …

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A Mother’s Example and The Law of Giving

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In 1959, a neighborhood child asked my mother to teach her how to paint. My parents, both artists, opened their home to this child and a seed was planted in The Fruitbelt Neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The dynamic exchange of energy known a The Law of Giving and Receiving was set in motion as …

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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 …

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4 Tips to Help Your College Kids Cope

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Photo Credit: Creative Commons – Je_suis_le_morse This is a guest post from Mariana Ashley who’s a blogger and freelance writer for www.onlinecolleges.net. She offers advice for choosing the perfect online program for prospective students and parents, welcoming comments at [email protected] If you’d like to write for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: ====================== Heading into the New Year, colleges …

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Little Bird Saves Woman!

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Okay, 2012 sort of kicked my butt. Yes. It was a stern teacher springing pop quizzes on my unsuspecting soul, re-teaching me things I thought I had already learned, only to discover that I had acquired a sturdy mental assent on theory but the lessons hadn’t completely made it to my heart. Like a strategist …

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Snapshots of the 2012 International Day at School

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[or when you've got more than one Country in your heart!]. This past international day at the kids school made me remember a post I wrote some time back, about raising our children with a sense of different cultures… honoring and loving their unique background… Picking their ‘home countries’ up for the 2010 World Cup! When you’ve got …

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Reading is Dead, Long Live E-Reading

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I may have possibly overstated the state of book reading in the title of this post – but it’s close. Consider that last Christmas – 11 short months ago – the largest book seller in the world (Amazon) reported that revenue from e-books had finally surpassed sales of print edition books. Is it really a surprise? Consider what …

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