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The Year of Being Vegan: 2012 Lessons Learned Part 2

I have always been a plant-based eater; a vegetarian. Over the last year David and I decided to become vegans. It has been an incredible learning experience! Between now and the end of the years I will share some of the things I learned. About Eggs I spent a lot of time experimenting with egg replacers this year. It was a truly informative experience. What I discovered is that there are certain recipes where there is NO substitute for the actual egg. These ...

Buffaloed

In 2010 Mrs. Chatterbox and I made a road trip to Yellowstone National Park. We arrived in the park in May, and while it was amazingly cold (all of the lakes were frozen) we had a great time. Aside from the marvelous scenery and remarkable geothermal activity, such as Old Faithful, it’s the animals that most tourists go to see. I remember traveling down a road and stopping because fellow tourists were leaping out of their cars to see a grizzly ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate…

“The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it; but it is also so clear that it is impossible to mistake it.” Madame de Stael Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate When I think of the word – delicate, what comes to mind are images of beautiful flower petals, a new birth, or of tender new life forming. Life is delicate… Each of us starts life in this vulnerable manner and then gradually; slowly but surely, we grow in ...

My Algarve Insider Tips

Our first holiday to the  Algarve was nearly thirty years ago and memories of the stunning beaches remain imprinted in our minds like footprints in the sand. The secluded coves and miles of beaches with soft golden sand, flanked by sandstone rocks, rugged cliffs and unspoilt countryside enticed us to return; not to holiday, but  to live. Nowadays, these same beaches are flanked by hotels and busy fashionable resorts such as Vale do Lobo, Albufeira and Portimão to name a ...

Meetup.com / Central Va Trailblazers/ Exercise For Body, Mind And Soul

Meetup.com / Central Va Trailblazers/ Exercise For Body, Mind And Soul

Meetup.com / Central Va Trailblazers/ Exercise For Body, Mind And Soul I recently discovered Meetup.com and signed up with several groups here in Richmond, Virginia. Meetup offers some useful guidelines for groups and activities in many different areas. My interests center around walking, exercise, being more sociable and photography. And so, last night I went downtown to join other members of Central Virginia Trailblazers on an introductory “icebreaker” 4.5 mile hike along the James River and over several bridges connecting the ...

Musings: Do you feel connected to your body?

“Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul.” Wayne Dyer Musings: Do you feel connected to your body? ... in what way? One of the great joys of blogging is that we make connections with other bloggers and visitors and learn news things; a comment, a blog post, an insight and voila! new vistas open for us. I followed a comment made by blogger creating reciprocity and found a wonderful post on her ...

Purple And Pliny / WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge /

The WordPress Photo Challenge this week is the color purple. The Color Purple, of course, is a book published in 1982 written by Alice Walker about a Black woman, Celie, who writes letters to God. Writing, or talking to God for that matter, on a regular basis is a wonderful exercise. I believe some of the color in this photo is purple. There are other colors too. It wasn’t easy finding a photo in my collection with this color. There doesn’t ...

Committing To Your Creative Journey

Committing  – Equals Action Committing, well now we get to another scary word .  Many  people are challenged by committment.  Are You? This is another of those words that has layers or levels of meaning.  Many people are fine with small committments but balk at the big ones. Obviously Committing and making Choices are two sides of the same coin.  We can’t commit to something until we have chosen that thing in the first place. Both things are essential. Committing requires action. Action requires actually ...

Cool Places to See Flowers: Chiang Mai Flower Festival

Every year on the first weekend in February, the city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, hosts a spectacular flower festival. It is during this time when the flowers are in bloom. Everywhere you look, there are beautiful displays of fresh flowers, including chrysanthemums, dendrobium orchids and Damask roses. photo credit: zigzagtravellers.com photo credit: zigzagtravellers.com photo credit: zigzagtravellers.com That being said, it’s not a flower festival unless there’s a parade! The main attraction is the flower festival parade that takes place on Saturday morning, ...

Giant LEGO® Flowers take over Australia’s Outback

Go big or go home! LEGO® decided to go big! These giant LEGO flowers have been sprouting all over Australia’s landscape this summer as part of LEGO’s “Festival of Play,” to celebrate LEGO’s 50th anniversary in Australia. The life-sized iconic pine trees and flowers are the main attractions. At 66 times larger than the original size, these LEGO® bricks are quite the sight! The LEGO® Festival of Play is a nine month celebration of events and activities encouraging LEGO® fans, young ...

Peculiar Picture #5

A few years before I retired from illustration to focus on writing, my agent contacted me to ask how much more work I could produce. There’s a lot of down time being an illustrator so I told her I could probably churn out twice as many illustrations as I was currently producing—if she could sell them. She said, “Why don’t you change your style?” I was insulted; I liked the way I painted and had spent a lifetime mastering my craft. ...

Beautiful Hand-Carved Flower Soaps from Thailand

Believe it or not, these beautiful flowers are actually soaps! Talented Thai artisans create these flowers with nothing more than a bar of soap and a few cutting tools! Soap carving originated in a village in Northern Thailand. The ancient art of soap carving has been passed down from generation to generation. Photos via OddityCentral.com Visitors to Thailand can buy these soaps as souvenirs at the street markets. You can even watch the skillful artists in action as they create these amazing ...

Mini Pineapples

From the Bromeliaceae family, Dwarf pineapple is native to southern Brazil and Paraguay and carried by the Indians up through South and Central America to Mexico and the West Indies long before the arrival of Europeans.  Christopher Columbus saw the pineapple for the first time on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493 and then again in Panama in 1502.  Caribbean Indians placed pineapples or pineapple crowns outside the entrances to their dwellings as symbols of friendship and hospitality. With a wide ...

Puya Berteroniana, a Rare and Exotic Plant, Blooms in the UK

Wednesday June 19th, 2013 was an exciting day for plant lovers. Puya Berteroniana, an exotic plant that belongs to the Bromeliad family (a relative of the pineapple), bloomed for the first time in the 11 years at the Ventor Botanic Garden in the United Kingdom. It was an unexpected surprise, especially since it can take up to 100 years for the plant to bloom! But fortunately for visitors to the Ventor Botanic Gardens, they didn’t have to wait long to see ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Defining Moment 1985

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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 car blocked us in. A man jumped out waving his gun and badge. It was an off duty cop, out for an afternoon of shopping with his girlfriend. We were boxed in and… …

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Self Injury Awareness Day 2014

self-injury-awareness-day

This is my second year writing about sharing the importance of making March 1 – Self Injury Awareness Day. Many aren’t aware of this day and its importance and there are those that may be misinformed into thinking it is only about self harm as in *trigger warning* cutting and the like. I am going to attach a picture of the many ways a person self harms, …

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A Son Goes Astray: Risk Factors and City Kids

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A child’s exposure to violence can have consequences for his development. Children exposed to violence are more likely to have internalizing and externalizing behavior problems (Peled 1995). Risk factors have a cumulative impact and can span over 5 domains. In other words, the more risk factors spread out over multiple domains one has, the greater the likelihood for serious delinquency ang gang involvement. …

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Flying Solo

Flying+Solo

The suitcase sat in an empty corner of her bedroom, labels dangling from its handle, its brand-newness glittering. Deep red, her favourite colour, and the recommended hard shell. The manufacturer promised it to be lightweight. Lightness of being was what she was aiming for. That and a tough exterior. Could the two be achieved together …

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There’s no Silencing the Soul

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I received a letter every couple of weeks. Many times I unfolded his neat notes and dried flower blossoms would fall silently in my lap. Like tear drops. His sentence was for three years. The charges were murky to say the least. Several weeks before the grand finale and the gavel fell, he called me in …

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SOS

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In a black out I reach for my son soldier, in my war on drugs. I fumble with the tiny keypad on my phone. I try to type a note to say something; I don’t remember? Grasping for him has become the only predictable thing I do. Like calling an old lover after too much wine lonely; I hunger for someone who knows me someone to keep me from reaching the point I reach …

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