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Lists for all you taphophiles: lots of books about cemeteries

Lists for all you taphophiles: lots of books about cemeteries I remember a trip through New England where I made a point to stop at virtually every cemetery I passed on a single day. I don’t have a morbid bent – but if you’ve ever seen a New England cemetery, you know how beautiful they can be. The sense of history is awe-inspiring. Of course my visits were during the daytime. In one of those incidents that could be construed as nothing ...

Green Smoothies and Green Juice

We got a Ninja for Christmas. It’s not a VitaMix, but it is a big improvement over our trusty old Osterizer. And so far I am very impressed. We immediately took a field trip to Costco for bagged organic kale, containers of organic spinach and organic Granny Smith apples, organic kiwi and a bag of regular old carrots. Trader Joe’s was next and there we invested in more greens – arugula, bok choy and chard and some organic frozen fruit: pineapple, ...

Guest Post: Common Edible Flowers

Many people with gardens might not be aware that the plants already growing in their gardens can be used in the cooking of some simple, delicious, yet excellent dishes. Some commonly found and purchased flowers can be used as a colourful garnish or used to create a tasty nutritional treat. For those frugal yet culinary driven gardeners, edible flowers can be cheaply grown, harvested and handled for cooking. As many of the flowers can be grown quickly in a garden, there ...

100WCGU: The C Word

“The roman numeral for 100 is C so let’s make it the ‘Big C’. It can be any topic, any genre but to add a twist, each line must begin with a word beginning with the letter ‘C‘!” Click to learn more about 100wcgu ***************** “Can’t you do anything right?” Gretchen slurred. Choking back the tears, Connie was afraid to meet her mother’s hateful gaze. Coloring inside the lines was hard for a six-year-old, but Connie persisted. Clutching a yellow crayon in shaking hands, the little girl tried again. Carefully, ...

Food For Thought

I notice that many bloggers like to write about food. I don’t follow this trend, but a fellow blogger recently asked for advice on ordering the perfect hamburger. This got me thinking about the two problems I face when dining out. First, breakfast is Mrs. Chatterbox’s favorite meal. She cooks most of our meals but on occasion I’ll whip up one of my specialties, like egg omelets with linguica (a Portuguese sausage similar to chorizo) but on weekends she likes to ...

Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes and a Plant-Based Diet

Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes and a Plant-Based Diet

Here is the last part of my husband David’s story about his retreat from heart disease and pre-diabetic condition. He used a plant-based diet regain his health. I was fat. My belly was distended and my body fat index was over thirty so I qualified. I was more than fifty pounds overweight. My blood sugar was over one hundred and at one point above one hundred and fifty. My triglycerides were also higher than they should be in a healthy human being. ...

5 Famous Folks I Know (because of my blog)

If you’ve read The Daily ReTORt during the past few months, it’s difficult to hide the fact that I’m a HUGE fan and supporter of author, blogger, podcaster and nationally-sought speaker – Michael Hyatt. Michael is the former CEO and current board Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishing – the seventh largest publishing house on the planet. Michael is also a multiple New York Times bestselling author, and an individual whom I deeply respect. My friendship with Michael began from a series of ...

Cool Places to see Flowers: Floriade

While it is fall everywhere else, Australia is celebrating their spring. Floriade, which means “to design with flowers” in Latin,  is a month long flower festival dedicated to showcasing one million flowers in bloom. Floriade is usually held from mid-September to early October. Photo Credit: floriadeaustralia.com Photo credit: floriadeaustralia.com While many different flowers are planted at the gardens including irises, daffodils, hyacinths, violas and chrysanthemums, tulips continue to win hearts. Visitors can look forward to 78 different varieties of tulips. There will be ...

Freebie Friday! Free August 2013 Desktop Calendar Wallpapers

Wow! Can you believe it’s August already? Not sure about you, but my summer sure did fly by quickly! Celebrate the last month of summer with these colourful desktop wallpapers. The resolution is 1920 x 1080— perfect for widescreen monitors. To download, click on image. Image will open up in a new window. Right click to “Set as Desktop Wallpaper” or to “Save.” Enjoy!

Fun Flower Facts: Veronica (Speedwell)

Veronica isn’t just the name of a Archie’s on/off girlfriend; it’s also the name of an attractive plant known for its spikes of flowers that come in white, blue, pink and purple. There are over 500 different species in the genus, varying in sizes and types. While veronicas are known for their flower spikes, some have loose clusters of saucer-shaped flowers. Plants can be herbaceous annuals, perennials or small shrubs. They can grow to be 4 to 48 inches tall. The plant ...

Origami: Fall Flowers Edition

One of top searched terms on our flower blog is “origami flower.” For those that don’t know, origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative forms, such as flowers, animals and geometric shapes.We think it’s because people love flowers so much and they want them to last forever since fresh flowers eventually die! But on the other hand, paper flowers will last indefinitely! Plus, they are a lot of fun to make! Now that fall is just around the corner, ...

Fun Flower Facts: Black Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia)

The Black Eyed Susan Vine, also known as thunbergia (thun-BER-jee-uh), is a genus of 100 plants native to tropical regions of Africa and Australia that produces large, funnel-shaped flowers in shades of yellow, cream, orange and blue with dark centers ( or “black eyes”), along with heart-shaped leaves. The blooming period is from summer until fall. Plants can climb 4-10 ft tall. Thunbergia is generally grown as annual plant. It is easy to grow from seed and thrives in just about ...

Nature's Nice Surprise!

Here in North Texas we are being pleasantly surprised with a very good local crop of wildflowers. Late winter predictions were pretty dismal as we are dealing with a profound drought throughout much of the state this year.However, it seems the the area around Ennis, Texas is having a stellar year, and this year's month long Bluebonnet Festival is a rousing success. I have been there the past two weekends to shoot this year's carpets of bluebonnets (lupines for you ...

Spinning Improvements

I'm getting better!  I actually managed plying, washing and making a skein.  I am making spinning improvements.  I'm really enjoying my Craftsy class. I used a combination of wool roving I got from the SAFONA fiber festival.  I used Shetland (so far my favorite to work with) Jacob, Portuguese, and Blue Face Leicester Bottom roving.  All are nice to work with, and I wish I had bought more.  These wools came in a sampler pack.  I am also finding out that ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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3200 Years Old – 247 feet tall and still growing!

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This giant Sequoia is not only awe inspiring, it’s still growing! At the rate of one cubic meter per year he is one of the fastest growing trees in the world, despite his great age. There is only one place on the entire planet where giant sequoias grow; the Sierra Nevadas mountain range in California, found only on the western slope 5000-8000 feet above sea level. …

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Desert Habitat: Soil Microorganisms

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“When you thrust a shovel into the soil or tear off a piece of coral, you are, godlike, cutting through an entire world. You have crossed a hidden frontier known to very few. Immediately close at hand, around and beneath our feet, lies the least explored part of the planet’s surface. It is also the …

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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 Wildlife in Danger

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Monarch (Danaus Plexippus) Mourning Cloak Butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa) Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata) Conservation Status of Arizona Wildlife Many species of Arizona wildlife are drifting toward extinction. Over half of the larger animals listed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) are in danger, and the status of many smaller species such as the three butterflies above is uncertain. The …

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Arizona Butterfly and Moth Update–November, 2013

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Arizona Butterfly and Moth Conservation Two-tailed Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata) Arizona’s butterfly. Butterflies and moths are pollinators and they are food for other species. I know of no harm they cause to human interests. Nevertheless, many die from insecticide poisoning and others decline due to human removal of caterpillar host plants. The conservation status of these familiar …

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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 …

Continue reading: Arizona Fish Update–November 2013