‘Tis the Season to Use Branches and Berries in Flower Arrangements!

‘Tis the season to use branches and berries! Take a walk outdoors and let the beauty of nature delight your senses! As you wander and explore your neighbourhood, you will find that inspiration is all around you. Just look at all the fantastic foliage and those branches that have fallen. Branches comes in all kinds of wonderful shapes and forms. Some of them may even have berries! Use these natural elements to create interesting rustic floral arranges while adding height, ...

Reflections: The Kids Advantage…

“You cannot catch a child’s spirit by running after it; you must stand still and for love it will soon itself return.” Arthur Miller Reflections: The Kids Advantage... Remember the days when we used to go outside to climb trees, run around and play? Not much of that happens of late. I remember idyllic days spent reading books, playing tag and communing with nature. Technological advances had not grown to the extent they have today. We had TV but didn’t watch it ...

Reflections: Seeking Solace In Tragic Times…

“I am sick of the solace of sorrow, And fear what the prophets foretold; I am tired of the tears of tomorrow, And wish that things were as of old; I have felt of the force of the fetters, I have drunk of the draught that embitters, And all is not gold.” Algernon Charles Swinburne Reflections: Seeking Solace In Tragic Times… May We all seek Peace By now, most of us have heard or read about the terrible massacre of innocent movie-goers in Aurora, Colorado. My ...

The Legend of the Christmas Rose

Christmas is a special time of the year-  a time when miracles and all that is good is celebrated and cherished! The Christmas Rose is one of these good things!  The Christmas Rose is not actually a rose, but a hellebore that will bloom in the dead of winter in the  darkest days and stay in bloom for the rest of the season even when nothing else is blooming! It’s a miracle! In fact, this is what legends are made ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE…

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” Carl Gustav Jung Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Main Altar Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Main seating area. Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Stained glass window at center of main altar. Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Stained glass window Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen front entrance “We do not believe in ourselves ...

What Giving Flowers Says About You

As we have been in the flower business for 30+ yrs we already knew that the gift of flowers evokes instant smiles & happiness but what about the gift giver? What does it say about them? Rutgers researcher Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D & director of the Universities Human Emotions Lab undertook the job of trying to find out what the gifts we give says about who we are & how we are perceived by others. What she found is that compared to ...

Seeing the light

Hello, it’s great to be here early for once instead of rushing around at the last-minute. I hope you’ve all had a good week. I’m looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend and Monday off, when I will try to catch up on some of my writing projects (she says with fingers crossed) Thanks to Renee Heath for the photo prompt this week and a special thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for her continuing support, diplomacy and encouragement. Copyright Renee Heath Genre: Historical Fiction Word Count: ...

Time: Losing A Day In Our Lives…

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” Albert Einstein Time: Losing A Day In Our Lives... Samoa Upolu - Where time will skip 24 hours... Time: Losing A Day In Our Lives... Samoa country map. Time is an illusion... What would you do if  you lost a 24 hour day? Zapped off the calender. Gone! At 11:59:59 p.m, the island nation of Samoa (not to be confused with American Samoa) will lose a full 24 hour ...

Ultra-Cool Learning Tool: Magnifying the Universe

A friend of mine recently sent me a link to one of the coolest web sites I’ve seen in a long time. It’s called “Magnifying the Universe” – and it does exactly what it describes. You can click on the link I’ve embedded below or the site link here. Take your computer mouse and click on any of the nine categories listed to begin, then click on the blue ball along the timeline on the bottom of the screen. Move the mouse to ...

4 Life-Changing Reasons Why You Should Have a Baby Journal

“…I don’t think it means what you think it means” – Inigo Montoya, From the Princess Bride There is a bit of confusion it would seem, in some of the more common expressions around parenthood. Before the birth of our son, my wife and I would always hear the comment: “Our child is the center of our world.” This sure sounds sweet and endearing, right? Guess what. It’s not. It is a cold, hard fact. After the arrival of our little bundle of joy, ...

St. Patrick’s Day With Cleverbot

Holidays provide a great reason to have a discussion with Cleverbot. What’s Cleverbot you ask? Cleverbot, is a web-based Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) application that supposedly has the ability to learn by conversing with humans via an instant messaging platform. While it’s a stretch to say that Cleverbot is intelligent, interacting with this particular “thinking” software can be mildly entertaining…especially when discussing holiday traditions and history. Here’s the most recent interview I had with this bastion of A.I. idiocy: An MLK Day Chat With Cleverbot Below, ...

Facing our Fears

Lately a lot of good people that I know have been getting pinned to the mat of life by some heavy trials. I’m stunned by the number of friends who are struggling in so many areas of their lives. Usually life will hit you in the wallet, or the heart, or your health. But it seems that these friends are being hit hard in multiple areas of their lives causing some to become really discouraged. We all know that life has ...

Another 10 Troubling Texting Phrases Parents Must Know…

Most kids are back to school this week. That means they’re getting a healthy dose of reading, writing and arithmetic. It also means that they’re probably getting exposed to an unhealthy amount of texting and/or sex texting (a.k.a. sexting). As I’ve written before, one of the biggest gaps in my knowledge as a parent happens to be texting phrases and instant messaging (IM) shortcuts that teens and preteens are using these days. While neither of our school-age daughters (10 and eight respectively) currently ...

Fighting the Good Fight – Against Myself

Boxing Glove Cake – Not the “Fight” I Need to Make I recently shared about a sobering emergency room visit involving a cardiac issue I had. As a result of that visit, I’ve made some lifestyle changes  regarding how I eat and how I exercise to ensure healthier outcomes going forward. I’ve been on WeightWatchers for three weeks now and went to weigh-in this morning. As of today I’ve lost another -2.6 lbs for a total loss of -9.2 lbs. So far so good. Additionally, ...

Amazing Perseverance...by a 10-Year Old

The same poster my daughter used when she lost last year, but won this year, hung in her room. I'm as proud as can be. When I got home from work last night I was told by our exuberant 10-year old that she had won her election race to be Vice President at her elementary school. But that's not what makes me proud of her. What makes me proud is that the photo insert you see pictured here to the left "Taylor C. for ...

25 Christmas songs in 2 minutes

The holidays tend to bring out the best in people – particularly from a creative perspective. Here’s a creatively, entertaining video from the folks over at ignitermedia.com – they produce a variety of faith-based videos, skits and production pieces. In this particular segment Rob Thomas (aka “Johnny”) and Braun Brown (aka “Chachi”) regale us with 25+ Christmas songs in less than 120 seconds. Don’t let the goofy wigs or extreme orthodontia scare you, it’s a pretty cool accomplishment. Question: Do you have a favorite ...

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So Many Castles, So Little Time

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Those exit signs take a little getting used to. After leaving Cologne, we made our way back to Weissenthurm to meet up with some friends for dinner. Thought Number One: Seeing New Places Cologne is only an hour north of Andernach, we had plenty of time prior to meeting at the Pfeffermuhle restaurant to finish our exploration …

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Empire The Show

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Empire The Show with a difference or two! We went to Newcastle this weekend to see the show Empire. It is like a cross between Cirque Du Soleil and your local circus that comes to town. However one of its main points of difference is that it is really adult entertainment with a burlesque element to …

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David Cameron visits the sleepy town of Aljezur

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Aljezur Market – Western Algarve, Portugal The sleepy town of Aljezur, in the Western Algarve, is now well and truly on the map after the British Prime Minister and his wife Samantha visited the local market to buy squid. I wonder what they thought of Aljezur? And did the Portuguese stallholders even know who they were? Aljezur …

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Arizona Damselflies and Dragonflies Status Update

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Damselflies and Dragonflies belong to the order Odonata (“toothed ones”). They are carnivorous predators whose earliest fossils occur in Pennsylvanian sediments deposited about 325 million years ago. Evolution chanced upon an efficient form for these creatures; only small changes have occurred for the last 200 million years. Compare that to mammal predators, most of which …

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A summer beach in Cardiff Bay… and a little bit of history

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According to statistics, the summer of 2013 is the best in the UK for seven years. Making the most of the lovely weather is the Cardiff Beach, a new attraction that has transformed Roald Dahl Plass in Mermaid Quay. There are live bands, lots of eating places, traditional seaside rides and stalls, for the energetic amongst …

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Take Action to Save Habitat: #Conservation Lands

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Habitat Concerns This post focuses on habitat conservation. The examples are in the U. S., but there are similar protection efforts in other countries. More are needed everywhere. A first step is to visit a protected area and learn first hand what is at stake. The major threat to Earth’s plants and animals is direct habitat destruction …

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Simple Zucchini, Tomato and Aubergine Bake

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Zucchini, Tomato and Aubergine Bake On our last visit to France, our daughter (Piglet in France) cooked this delicious Zucchini, Tomato and Aubergine Bake. She swore blind that she’d cooked it for us before, but I’m still convinced she was telling porkies! Serves four Ingredients 2 Courgettes 2 Aubergines 6 tomatoes Olive Oil Mixed Herbs chopped garlic (optional) Salt and Pepper to taste Method Grease an ovenproof …

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