Light blue touchpaper…

Happy New Year!  Friday Fictioneers are back, you can read other stories here photo courtesy of Lora Mitchell Twenty five cards are lined up on the mantelpiece. My daughter is smiling as she pours drinks for everyone, pleased so many have thought of her today. The party moves outside where boyfriend Dan is busy lining up rockets, fixing Catherine wheels to posts, balancing Roman candles along the flat bit of the fence. He is grinning. He organised this dual ‘event’. I stand watching the bonfire ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” Henry Van Dyke Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful for the changing face of nature and her seasons Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful for gatherings on healthy living, service, advocacy and love for others I’m thankful I grew up the way I did. It made me a hard worker and insightful to other people’s lives. Rachel Roy I’m thankful for every moment. Al ...

State Of The Chatter Address

Today is the one year anniversary of Chubby Chatterbox. Our son CJ came up with the idea of starting a blog because I was depressed over numerous rejections from literary agents, one of whom told me I didn’t have a flair for writing and should try something else. CJ, who at the time had more confidence in my writing ability than I did, suggested I circumvent the publishing world by creating an audience of my own. As children often do, he ...

The Glories Of The City Dump

When I was a kid there was a place that affected me like metal drawn to a magnet, our town’s very own Disneyland—the City Dump. Like many boys, I looked forward to our annual trip to this place of riches and enchantment. The visit was preceded by Mom telling Dad it was time to clean out the garage because it was getting difficult to squeeze the car inside. It was a mystery to me how she knew this since she didn’t ...

Haiku: Happy Thanksgiving In Ten Takes…

“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” William Blake Haiku: Thanksgiving -  A Bountiful Harvest means sharing good food Haiku: Thanksgiving – Menorah Lights; This year Hanukkah starts on the same day Happy Thanksgiving! It’s formed with 5 syllables I’m grateful for that On this special day We give thanks for our blessings Gratitude abounds A rare gift this year Hanukkah and Thanksgiving Let’s celebrate both A quote floated by… “Thankful people are happy!” On Facebook today Say thanks and prayers Life is short. We never know… For whom the bell tolls Thanksgiving is truly the beginning of ...

MeetUp Mondays Blog Hop: Add A Blog Post & Join in the Fun

“Community cannot for long feed on itself; it can only flourish with the coming of others from beyond, to meet their unknown and undiscovered brothers.” Howard Thurman MeetUp Mondays Hop: Join the flock and share a post. Image via Wikipedia MeetUp Mondays – A New Blog Hopping Communication What is a Blog Hop and why does it matter? If you have a Blogger blog, you might have come across the term as it is a popular way to connect with other bloggers on ...

Weekly Photo Challenge – Delicate

Some interpretations of ‘Delicate’ Festoons for fiesta in Valldemossa Christmas decoration in the Burlington Arcade Intricate sandcastle on the beach in Pollensa Quince flowers in bud in my garden ♥♥♥♥♥♥ I have been thinking too at this sad time, how delicate the balance is between life and death. I pray that the families who lost loved ones in the heartbreaking, senseless massacre at the school in Newtown can find some peace, can take some small solace from the knowledge that so many thousands of people are sending them their sympathy and heartfelt condolences.

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 ...

Middle Child Syndrome: Truth or Fiction?

Today’s guest post comes courtesy of an online writing acquaintance of mine, Cathy Miller. Cathy Miller is a freelance business writer with more than 30 years of professional writing experience. Cathy has a business writing blog at Simply Stated business as well as a blog regarding health. If you’d like to submit a guest post yourself, here are the guidelines. ============================================== I wear the middle child of seven distinction as an honor badge. It creeps into my writing and even an email address. I am fascinated by the ...

Early Onset Dementia of the Alzheimer’s Type

Kudos to Pat Summitt, age 59, for the way she is facing her newest competition, early onset dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. She wondered at her erratic behavior and got herself checked out at Mayo Clinic. She didn’t hide from reality. By not hiding, and by forcing others to face her reality as well, she’s setting a great example for respecting the truth. Once you have answers, you can start to pick among whatever options are available to you. You make ...

The $5.37 “Caption This” Photo Contest: Vol. 14

It’s another installment of the lowest-cash-award-for-a-photo-caption-contest on the Internet, the $5.37 Caption This Contest! Thanks to everyone who entered the most recent iteration of the contest  last week. The winner of last week’s iteration was Melinda Todd with her geniusly pithy and funny caption below. Congratulations to the victor – who can message me at Facebook or on Twitter with an appropriate email address. That will allow me to send the incredibly confounding $5.37 cash prize via Paypal or as an Amazon e-gift card. For everyone else who ...

Baby, Birth, Delivery – Our Newborn Son Has Arrived!!!

After nearly 42 weeks of pregnancy, my wife had a scheduled Casearean section this morning at 9:30am. The surgery lasted less than two hours and it was completely complication-free and uneventful. Except for the fact that at 10:08am, the newest addition to our family – Salvatore (Tor) James Constantino, T.J. for short – entered our world. My wife is doing great and is with our newborn son as I write this. The early steer from the medical team is that she’ll have ...

I Feel Like I'm Cheating....

I've been a lifelong Steelers fan - except for today.... I've had a lifelong love affair. Every year, my fondness and love toward the object of my affection as grown stronger - not weaker. But I'm not going to lie, as with any relationship that endures and stands the test of time there are ups and downs, but I've always been unwavering loyalty. Until today. For as long as I can remember, I've been a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan. If family folklore is to be believed, ...

Moving Toward Launch

One of Newton’s laws of motion is that bodies at rest tend to stay at rest. Not only does that apply to physical objects, I believe that it applies to people as well. The inertial energy, risk and commitment to start something new is often too overwhelming to motivate an individual to try – so they don’t. I’m attending the 2012 Launch Conference to learn from top-tier speakers and authors about what it takes to launch your message, product or service. Here’s an infographic ...

Me, Myself and Lies

I like to think that I’m an honest person. Unfortunately, that’s not completely the case . How Do I Lie to Me, Let Me Count the Ways… Don’t misunderstand me. I’ve never perjured myself on the witness stand. I’ve never lied to the IRS. I’ve never lied about using performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. Yet it seems that most of my lying I do – I do to myself. Selective Attention For instance, when I’m late to a meeting I’ll ignore my tardiness and tell ...

Cupid Must Think I'm Stupid!

Valentine’s schmalentine’s, who gives a crap? Is this day just for daters and maters or for the general population? I’ve been married 35 years and I’ve yet to get a valentine gift. Of course I’m not the type to make a fuss. I like to silently seethe. Actually, I come from Worcester County, which happens to be the home of the first Valentine. I think I should be demanding preferential Valentine treatment. And I would, if I thought it would do ...

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New Love: A Short Shelf Life

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If you fell in love, you know what a driving force “new love” can be. I was one of those people who only wanted the “new love”, and it took me a long time to figure out it was never meant to stay. Needless to say, long-term relationships were not my strong point at that …

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Just Another Friday

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Just Another Friday She leaned her forehead against his, “Michael, Michael, I have to call an ambulance. I don’t know what else to do.” She had found him on the floor between the couch and the coffee table, stretched out on his belly. She wasn’t alarmed. He spent a lot of time down there these days. He …

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Happy Valentine’s Day: 12 Tips On Self Love…

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“Where there is great love, there are always wishes.” Willa Cather Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos ✿♡✿Happy Valentine’s Day!✿♡✿ Love is a wondrous thing and, on Valentine’s Day, lovers meet, bearing gifts and sweet words. Every year, some ask the same question: Why show such effusive love only on the 14th? Why is no lover coming …

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Tarts, Sours, and Crème de Poo Poo

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Finance Blogs are reporting that Valentine’s day may be a little more expensive this year due to the increasing cost of raw materials, almost 5% higher to be exact. The cost of producing perfume, chocolate and silk has risen considerably but it is the cost of Cocoa that has risen a whopping 15% in a …

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Life throws me a curved ball

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I haven’t posted anything for a while; I have had to deal with some very upsetting family developments which, quite frankly have let me stunned. I had been away to Crete and had a wonderful holiday (post on that to follow hopefully) when on my way home from the airport, I had to deal with a call …

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Hope for the Hopeless? Jesus on Divorce

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Below you will find the conclusion to Linda’s sermon on Mark 10:2-16. Without collapsing the tension or avoiding the dilemma that Jesus’ teaching poses, she points us to a surprise ending, one that is routinely overlooked when this passage is preached. The disciples are listening in when the Pharisee’s propose this question: “Is it lawful for …

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Love in The Looming Shadows

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There’s a bit of enchantment in the air. It could be coming from the trees, dressed in scorching colors, tossing acorns and apples — shamelessly showing off, or from the cobalt sky as it poses behind the flashy trees, my two pretty sisters, vying for attention. Or perhaps the universe is feeling generous; directing the …

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