Reflections: Que Sera Sera…

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” Albert Schweitzer Reflections: Que Sera Sera... Comet Hale-Bopp. When I was just a little girl I asked my mother what will I be Will I be pretty will I be rich Here’s what she said to me Que Sera Sera Whatever will be will be The future’s not ours to see Que Sera Sera What will be ...

Fashion Friday: Floral Backpacks

I hate to say this, but it’s the last day of August. It’s the end of summer. The days will be shorter. The nights will be longer and colder. No more lazy days of soaking in the sun. No more lounging around and drinking ice tea on the patio. September is just around the corner. It’s time for the kids to start their school year once again. Your kids may not look forward to going back to school, but you can ...

Flowers in the News: Water Hyacinth Plants take over Africa’s Largest Lake

Water hyacinth have attractive flowers, but the invasive and dense foliage have taken over Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, harming the fish that call the body of water home. Water hyacinths are one of the fastest growing water plants in the world and they have become an epidemic! In fact, if you visit Lake Victoria now, there is no water in sight! Instead, the lake has become a sea of green from shore to shore. It looks like a field ...

Fun Flower Facts: Nasturtium

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum) is a genus of flowering plants known for their brightly coloured flowers and attractive foliage. It is native to jungles of Peru. There are trailing, climbing, and dwarf varieties. The showy flowers can be single or double and come in fiery shades of reds, oranges, and yellows. Leaves are pale green and umbrella-shaped with long stems. Nasturtiums are the perfect flowers for beginner gardeners! These annuals are very easy to grow from seed, drought tolerant and can be be grown ...

Carpet of Flowers at Arundel Cathedral

Arundel Cathedral UK – completed in 1873 Photo credit: arundelcathedral.org Every year thousands of people from all over Britain head to Arundel Cathedral in Arundel, West Sussex to view the annual carpet of flowers that is created in the central isle of the Gothic styled cathedral. The yearly tradition was started shortly after the cathedral was completed in 1873 by Henry, 15th Duke of Norfolk. Originally all of the flowers needed to create the floral masterpiece were grown on the estate, the gardeners ...

Musings: Other Faces of Beauty…

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Confucius Musings: Other Faces of Beauty… Quiet Corona. Musings: Other Faces of Beauty… Saturn and her rings Musings: Other Faces of Beauty… Mars NASA – The Transit of Venus She Walks In Beauty by Lord Byron She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that’s best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellowed to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies. Contd below Our solar system offers many ...

Writing Challenge: The Lady In Blue…

“God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there’s no turning back.” Gloria Steinem Writing Challenge: The Lady In Blue… I like to take long walks on the aqueduct and sometimes by the Hudson River. Usually, I take my camera and take random shots of birds, flora, the river, pebbles and even the Tappan Zee bridge. Last week, I drove to the water front, parked my car, grabbed my camera and ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

“The city is a fact in nature, like a cave, a run of mackerel or an ant-heap. But it is also a conscious work of art, and it holds within its communal framework many simpler and more personal forms of art. Mind takes form in the city; and in turn, urban forms condition mind.” Lewis Mumford Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban… Os Gemeos mural in Boston Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban… The need for attention on Wall Street, NY Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban… that distinct ...

Share Your Favorite Vacation Memory

This week we're vacationing with some dear friends whom we've known for more than 20 years. We've rented a lake house and have had a great time boating, tubing, swimming, hiking and all the other water-related activities associated with lake life. While this is the first time we've ever vacationed with another family, our kids play well together and there's an aura of ease that surrounds the other parents, which makes everything very relaxing - this certainly won't be our last ...

7 Questions With an Author: Rob Swanson

7 Questions With an Author: Rob Swanson

This post marks another installment of my “7 Questions With an Author…” series, where I ask published authors an unchanging set of questions and share their responses here. Today’s featured author is Rob Swanson and his latest book is titled Do Angels Still Fall? Rob is a freelance writer and ghostwriter, as well as a husband, father and Christian, Rob explores, among other things, the depths of God’s riches and wonders. His professional website is www.swanwrite.com and respective publishing site is www.prevailpress.com. Here are 7 Questions With ...

Top-10 List: Holiday Christmas Specials!

I’m amazed at all of the holiday specials that are playing and replaying this time of year. Growing up during the 1970s with only three TV networks, holiday specials were truly “special.”  My fondest memories of those days were the “Animagic” Christmas specials produced by Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass. You know the stop-motion classics about Rudolph, Heat Miser, the Winter Warlock…etc. Now, ABC Family channel is running those specials wall-to-wall, decked halls and all until the end of the month. That prompted this top-10 ...

Parenting – The Tender Balance

There’s something growing inside my wife. A living, breathing, heartbeat-having creation. That creation is currently about 37 weeks. It has a name. He has a name. His name is Aidan Robert, and he’s scheduled to leave the comfort and relative darkness of my wife’s womb on August. Parenting Imponderables I wonder what he’ll be like. I wonder if he’ll have his mother’s eyes or his father’s lack of a defined chin. I wonder if he’ll be sweet like my wife or if he’ll have ...

5 Tips to Break a Creative Block

Creativity Takes Work Anyone who has done any kind of writing for an extended period of time will eventually experience some form of writer’s block or creative dry spell. It simply comes with the territory. I used to be a news reporter with multiple deadlines throughout the day and had to deal with writer’s block regularly. You might think it would be easy to write about “news of the day” but that’s not always the case. That’s especially true if I was assigned a ...

BGI Receives ASID Legacy of Design Award

We are honored and thrilled to announce that Barbara Gilbert Interiors has received First Place in the 2013 ASID Legacy of Design Awards for Bathroom Design! Founded in 1975 and with over 30,000 members, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is the oldest and largest professional association for interior designers in the United States. The association’s annual competition recognizes the finest interior design achievements in each state’s chapter and, needless to say, the competition is fierce! Pictured from left to right: ...

Imagining John's Independence Day

I sat at John’s bedside; his face was graveyard gray, and sagging like the worn planks of a condemned house. In his youth John was a capable navigator for the Royal Dutch Navy. It was 1940, and John was home for a short furlough with his parents when the German army tore the front doors from the hinges of his sleepy village. It was a home invasion of massive proportions, disrupting checker games, and Sunday suppers, trampling well-tended lives underfoot, ...

Book Review: 31 Days to Find Your Blogging Mojo

I've been a professional writer (journalist and public relations guy) for more than 23+ years, but I'm a relative newbie in the realm of blogging and the blogosphere in general. As such, I'm continually on the hunt for new books that will help me improve as a blogger. I've found a great one in Bryan Allain's new e-book, 31 Days to Find Your Blogging Mojo currently available at Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble.com. As background, Allain has been an expert blogger since ...

Over TWO MILLION member blogs read… Get your blog read.. join today!

3200 Years Old – 247 feet tall and still growing!

01-sequoia-climbing-team-670

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. …

Continue reading: 3200 Years Old – 247 feet tall and still growing!

Desert Habitat: Soil Microorganisms

2008-color-5x3-and-one-quarter

“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 …

Continue reading: Desert Habitat: Soil Microorganisms

New Arizona Wildlife Notebook

az-wildlife-notebook-vol-i-vertebrates-150-dpi

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 …

Continue reading: New Arizona Wildlife Notebook

Arizona Wildlife in Danger

0808_two-tailedswallowtail_001

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 …

Continue reading: Arizona Wildlife in Danger

Arizona Butterfly and Moth Update–November, 2013

1-20080825-0808_af-1-photos_059

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 …

Continue reading: Arizona Butterfly and Moth Update–November, 2013

Arizona Fish Update–November 2013

1-agua-fria-river

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

Arizona Bird Update–October 2013

vulture-in-flight

The Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count shows that since 1967, many U. S. birds have declined. Twenty of our most familiar bird species (Common Birds in Decline) have lost at least half their populations over the past four decades. The causes of some of the declines are know. Observers have reported direct connections to habitat destruction for …

Continue reading: Arizona Bird Update–October 2013