Tips on Growing Zinnias

Zinnias are a beautiful, daisy-like flowers will add colour and cheer to any garden, especially those living in hot climates. These sun-loving flowers come in a wide range of bright colours, shapes, and sizes. They will bloom from early summer until early fall. They are also known to attract butterflies! Besides beautifying your outdoor space, zinnias also make wonderful, long lasting cut flowers. These showy annuals can be planted in masses or used in a mixed border. Smaller varieties are ideal ...

Plant Profile: Portulaca

I love this annual, in fact it made it into my favourite new varieties for both 2011 and 2012! 2011 – Portulaca, Duet Hawaiian Rose 2012 – Portulaca, Happy Hour Coconut As you can see, same plant, completely different varieties! Commonly called the moss rose, this is a sun loving plant and must be planted in full sun in order to thrive. They like sandy soil and do well with little maintenance. However they are adaptable and will grow in any well drained soil. Make sure ...

Let Go of Fear and Hit Publish

My name's Duncan Bethel and I've spent most of my 49 years living with chronic depression combined with recurrent episodes of clinical depression. There's a trauma/ PTSD history mixed in there as well. I've also worked with and/or on behalf of youth and families involved with children's mental health, special education, juvenile justice and child welfare for about 25 years now. The chronic depression dates back at least 35 years-possibly longer. It's  been part of my life for so long that I ...

Musings: Women & Peace…

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman Musings: Women & Peace... Nobel Peace Prize Winner - President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Musings: Women & Peace... All Three Nobel Peace Prize Winners via LA Times I was thrilled when I heard the news about the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winners because no women had won this prize since 2004 when the late ...

Fun Flower Facts: Begonia

Begonia is a genus of flowering plants with 1500 species native to South and Central America, Africa and southern Asia. Plants are usually compact with dense foliage. With so many varieties available, needless to say, the appearance of these flowers will vary. Depending on the type, begonias can grow to be 8 inches to 2 feet in height. Flowers come in a variety of colours, including red, white, pink and yellow. Flowers can be single or double blooms, with delicate, ruffled ...

A Tale: The Mind Reader’s Lesson…

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” Ralph Waldo Emerson A Tale: The Mind Reader's Lesson... Long, long ago, in the days when the sun knew everyone by name, a powerful Seer, named Seep, lived in a famous town that exists in the space between your eyes. The Seer was known across the land for his ability to not only see the future, but for his particular skill at reading ...

Green – Travel Theme

I love following Ailsa’s travels and viewing her wonderful photographs and this week her theme is “Green”.  Read more here My selection is from close to home - my garden. It will never feature in Home and Garden;  it is a tennis court, soccer pitch, fairyland, petanque pitch, campsite and, if I get the chance, a relaxing spot to unwind with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and a favourite book! I just love the different shades of green that you can see, depending on the weather and ...

Gardening Inspirational Quotes

“If you have a Plant and a Garden, you have everything you need.” –Marcus Tullius Cicero “Gardening is not a rational act.” –Margaret Atwood “The Love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.” –Gertrude Jekyll “Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.” -May Sarton “Garden as though you will live forever.” –William Kent “In search of my Mother’s Garden, I found my own.” ...

10 Things I Wish I Shared With Dad…

My dad in his late 20s I loved my dad. I know that I’m lucky in that regard because many men are estranged from their fathers or have strained relationships at best. Part of that problem is that most guys aren’t great at expressing emotions or words. It’s difficult to build a relationship in that kind of communication vacuum. I was fortunate to have a good relationship with my dad. But that ended when he died of a heart attack almost six years ...

9 Bullying Myths That Parents Need to Know

Physical Bullying My family moved around a lot when I was growing up. Every two years or so, I had to attend a different school and since I was the "new kid" at each school I invariably experienced bullying in some manner - mostly it was shoving, destruction of my personal belongings and fights. It seems that I was not alone in my experience. According to the most recent government statistics 44 percent of middle schools reported bullying problems, while just over 20 percent ...

Am I a Bad Son???

My Mom's Favorite Cookies Driving into work this morning, I heard a commercial on the radio to order flowers for Mother’s Day which is this coming Sunday.  I immediately made a mental note to order flowers for both my wife – who’s the mother of our two girls – and for my mother-in-law. My own mother didn’t even cross my mind. The reason being is that she died in a car crash more than six years ago. When I see that in ...

3 Newfangled Newborn Practices

This past Sunday my wife and I took a tour of the birthing center at the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, MD where we’ll soon deliver our third child and first son in approximately six weeks. Even though we’ve been through this process before, it’s been seven years since our last birthing experience and felt a preliminary refresher was in order – hence the hospital tour. While the facilities and amenities seemed very up-to-date there were three aspects of the birthing ...

Leap Year Day Explained…(finally)

Today is one of the non-holiday anomalies that makes people scratch their heads asking, “Why do we add an extra day to the year every four years?” As aside, comic illustrator Al Capp (see insert) selected Leap Year Day in 1937 to be renamed Sadie Hawkins Day in Capp’s famous comic strip series titled Lil’ Abner. The gist behind the fictitious Sadie Hawkins Day is that it’s a sanctioned opportunity for women to chase down men every four years in an ...

The Hidden Beauty of a Band-Aid

Fashion Band-Aids That Our 7-Year Old Carries Since last Friday, our daughters have been visiting with their grandparents in New York. Ironically, this past Monday my wife had to drive from our home in Maryland to her parents to attend a funeral of her great aunt. My wife planned to stay at her folks with our girls Monday overnight, attend the internment service on Tuesday and drive back the same day - leaving the girls to finish the rest of their stay at ...

I’ve Been Drafted…

It seems I’ve been recruited into a battle of bloggers. The masterminds of this battle royale are Rob Shepard and Ricky Anderson respectively – who are actually great friends but highly competitive. In fact, these two guys are so stoked by the thrill of competition – they’ve pooled resources and commisioned an original cartoon drawing of all us blogging “combatants” by the gifted artist Wes Molebash. [EdiTOR's Note: In the picture  above, I'm depicted on the right hand side, third from the top in the brown tee-shirt with ...

Diving Naked

Cutting a rose before it buds leaves you with thorns. There will be no more abridged versions of what I need to write. It’s a bloody mess… so it is. A beautiful bloody mess. If I say it on paper, holding onto myself with naked arms, and I tremble at the truth, will it kill me? If I hold back the words, bury them like a money box, forgetting the hiding place, the shallow grave; will I ever find them again? Do I need to? Am I ...

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Thanks Task Force Argos

Queensland-Police-Service-logo-300x225

Task Force Argos – part of the Queensland Police Service – Earlier today the Queensland Police Service posted a link on Facebook to this article about the arrest of a 38-year-old Victorian man who flew to Queensland with the intent of meeting a 14-year-old girl he had been interacting with online, and having sex with her. The investigation, and ultimate arrest, was undertaken by …

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Mask of conformity and existence

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A roller-coaster day of possibilities, slammed into oblivion one-by-one. The result is a feeling of deflation, exhaustion, loneliness, and incompetence. The energy required to pick myself up, and dust myself off is lacking. The buffeting waves of optimism followed by decimation has left me drowning in self-doubt. When will I ever reach the calm shores of contentment and usefulness? Is it even possible? …

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Tricks of the mind

Ilusion

Sometimes you feel you are all alone. Sometimes you think no one cares. Sometimes it seems no one is listening. Sometimes it seems everyone glares. – But, sometimes it’s just our minds that tells us we’re neglected, tricking us into believing we are worthless, not worthy of being loved. – It is our mind that blinds us to the truth of how much others care and to …

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You were dreaming

Nightmares

The nightmares never end… Blake says I was only dreaming, that the Monster isn’t real. My screams woke him, and shattered the silence of the night. Two nights ago I was screaming while the Monster raped me – as an adult not a child – and although it was ‘just a dream’ my body has been sore from the assault ever since. Last night the Monster had murder on his mind. I was lured by his …

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Where to from here?

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I am not completely sure of the reason or reasons why, but my ‘life’ seems to have come to a screeching halt when I was 12. Everything revolves around this age. This is the age I regress to when the darkness hits and I am overwhelmed by even the smallest requirements of being a functioning human being. This is the age that haunts my, all-too-regular, nightmares. This is the age when I stopped dreaming about …

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Didn’t you think about the consequences?

child

Something I have often heard in the two years since my father committed suicide is “Didn’t you think about the consequences?”Not only have people asked me these things directly, they have also said very similar things about me to people who supported me in my decision to break the silence on being sexually abused as a child. Every time I hear this question, my …

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Trauma is trauma is trauma

trauma

Along the healing journey, it is common to hear comments from others, such as, “You don’t know what it’s like for me,” “I went through so much worse than you,” “He only did it to me, so it doesn’t matter,” “You don’t understand,” and “He only touched me, so why I am having so much …

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