Featured Blogger: Kimmie – Life Balanced: A Chosen Path…

“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” Mark Twain Featured Blogger: Kimmie - Life Balanced: A Chosen Path... Kimmie Our featured blogger this week is a very special lady who has channeled her childhood and life challenges into a purposeful life of service and love. Kimmie, inspirational blogger/owner of Life Balanced: A Chosen Path, is a wonderful soul and a survivor of sexual and emotional abuse. She has dedicated her life and her blog to helping ...

Furniture Fiasco

Have you ever purchased a piece of furniture only to realize you’d made a dreadful mistake? Mrs. Chatterbox and I made a regrettable decision when we visited Paris on our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Our trip had been a bust; much of the city was on strike; all the museums, monuments, and many of the churches were closed. Trains were also shut down so we couldn’t leave town. Bored, we decided to kill time at the Paris flea market which, unfortunately as ...

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Birds have been popping up in home decor, contemporary art, popular literature, fashion and floral design. The same bold beautiful feathers that are inspiring current trends have also caught the eyes of floral designers. Flowers and feathers alike have visual appeal, so it’s no wonder the two have come together. The product is amazing, larger than life floral bird sculptures! This white peacock sculpture was created for a wedding in southern France last year. It features all white flowers, including Cymbidium ...

Reflections: Nothing To Lose…

“Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.” Nadine Gordimer Reflections: Nothing To Lose... censorship or a calling... Self-censorship: The act of censoring one’s own work or other means of expression out of fear of, or deference to the sensibilities of others, without overt pressure from any specific party or institution of authority. Every day, many of us are held hostage by our upbringing, our ...

The pBook vs eBook: Dial D For Dilemma…

“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” Sydney J. Harris The pBook vs eBook: Dial D For Dilemma… Paperback — nothing beats opening up a brand new book or rummaging through a bookstore. 75.77% (294 votes) ebooks — you can get new books in a flash and bring multiple reads with you everywhere you go. 24.23% (94 votes) Total Votes: 388 ( Results ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” George Sand Cherished wintering birds in our yard Wintering birds in our yard A wintering bird in our yard This week’s photo challenge calls for a treasure or treasures we cherish. The obvious comes to mind and I’ll acknowledge that above all, our relationships carry more currency than any objects. However, we all do cherish other additional things and experiences. We ...

Fun Flower Facts: African Violet

Chances are you have heard of the African violet. It is a common houseplant found on windowsills worldwide. African violets, also known scientifically as saintpaulia, are known for their pretty purple flowers with yellow centers. Despite their name, the African violet doesn’t belong to the  violet family, the Violaceae. It actually belongs to the Gesneriaceae family, which includes other flowering houseplants like cape primrose. The plant is native to tropical rainforests in Tanzania, Africa. African violets can grow to 2 to 6 ...

Fun Science Project: Glow in the dark flowers!

Fun Science Project: Glow in the dark flowers!

Flowers don’t have to be plain and boring! They can be fun and exciting! I found this science experiment on the Youtube Channel NurdRage. It’s a really easy project to do and it literally takes minutes to prepare! Try it with your kids. They will think you are the coolest parent ever! All you need is: a container for your flower, i.e a vase or cup any flower of your choice, preferably in white a highlighter marker, any colour a blacklight Instructions: 1. Fill container with water. ...

The Infectious Nature of Inspiration

Tebowing - courtesy Wikipedia The idea of  ”inspiration” is intriguing. The actual word has several meanings including “…to breath in…” as well as “…spirit or muse indwelling…“, and it’s that intangible “spirit breath” that’s believed to be the core for all creative endeavors. Whether it’s writing a song, a novel, blueprinting an invention, launching a business or nonprofit – the initial motivation starts as inspiration. And yet, inspiration can also surprise you. This weekend I saw two news stories that proved that point. The first ...

The One Trait Every Writer Needs

There are as many different attributes of great writing as there are great writers. Many writers have a knack for dialogue. Others have a gifting for character development. Some are expert researchers. While other creatives have a penchant for captivating storytelling and conveying novel ideas. And then there are those that just seem born with an innate ease and unexplainable talent for connecting with readers – this type of writer galls me! That doesn’t even address the obvious hallmarks of good writing such as ...

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 ...

Working 9 to 5…with kids in tow

Take Your Child to Work Day - 2012 Yesterday was “Take Your Child to Work” day. My current employer has a minimum limit of seven years of age before a child can participate, and I had the wonderful opportunity of taking both our girls for the first time. The idea behind the initiative is to not only give kids a glimpse into how their parents earn a living, but to demonstrate the importance of education as well as work-life balance. Before we set out, ...

Halloween by the Numbers…

As a kid growing up, Halloween was second to Christmas as my favorite holiday. For years, the idea of dressing up as the Six Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin and getting free candy made me so anxious the night before that I couldn’t sleep. As I grew older, my fandom of Halloween waned through my teen years and 20′s because of a near-blinding accident that occurred to me when I got hit in the eye by an egg that ruptured the iris ...

Ignoring the Muse

So, last week I started writing in my head. Well, actually it was longer ago than that, but last week my mental writing became so distracting that I was having a difficult time concentrating on anything else. It was like having a little movie screen in my head. At first it was easy to shut it off, but as the story deepened the more distracted I became, until finally I couldn’t concentrate on much of anything else. My brain was ...

Designing with Ann Sacks

One of my favorite things about being an interior designer is discovering new products and using them in unexpected ways. I always strive to create one-of-kind rooms, using products that are current without being trendy. And that’s why I love Ann Sacks! Her tile and stone products are unique and timeless. Here’s a sneak peak at a client’s kitchen where we used one of her new products as the focal point of the room’s backsplash. The lantern-pattern ceramic art tile is pillow-cut, ...

Death of a Former Boss

Richard T. Morgan May 19, 1937 - March 9, 2012 In his tragedy Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare had Marc Antony say, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” We don’t say enough about the good ones when they die. The good pays forward as strong or stronger than the bad; it’s just more quiet about it. A good man died March 9, a former boss of mine and of many other people. His name ...

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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

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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

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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 while I talk merrily sipping poison that …

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Time Traveler

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I had been forewarned, by whom I still do not know, but they were kind enough to give me the chance to do things differently. My youngest brother Cody, aka, The Codeman, spent the better part of his life struggling to overcome drug addiction. He and I were always close. More so than I actually …

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