High Heel Hell

Most of us have experienced it, the high school ritual known as Senior Prom. The Willamette River runs through downtown Portland. An esplanade bordering the river is crowded with restaurants that are popular on prom night. For years Mrs. C. and I have made a habit of parking ourselves on a bench to watch the parade of young people dressed in finery on their special night. Stretch limos come and disgorge self-conscious teens trying their best to look nonchalant and grown ...

Reflections: You Yourself Must Change It…

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin Reflections: You Yourself Must Change It… Dreams Before Waking by Adrienne Rich What would it mean to live in a city whose people were changing each other’s despair into hope?- You yourself must change it.- What would it feel like to know your country was changing?- You yourself must change it.- Though your life felt arduous new and unmapped and strange what would it mean to stand on the ...

Musings: What Is Your Mondegreen?

“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” Ludwig van Beethoven What’s your mondegreen? A mixed bag of musical instruments A mondegreen is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning. It most commonly is applied to a line in a poem or a lyric in a song Wikipedia What is your mondegreen? Have you ever misinterpreted the lyrics of a favorite song? Do you remember anyone else who has? ...

The Best Shade Loving Plants for Your Garden

Some like it hot. Some like it cool. Not all plants are created equal. Some plants do best in full-sun and others do thrive in the shade. Shade loving plants do best in cool conditions, avoiding direct sunlight. They are often planted under trees, shrubs and overhangs. Though these flowers are not as bright and vibrant in colour as their sun-loving counterparts, shade-loving plants can still make an impact in the garden! There are many beautiful plants to choose from, ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers…

“Each flower is a soul blossoming out to nature.” Gerard De Nerval Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers... Beautiful Lutea... Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers... Lovely lilies... Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers... More blooms in lilies... Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers... blooming black eyed susans... I love flowers in all shapes and forms and could spend hours in a garden enjoying the blooms. At different points in my life, I have been an avid gardener and then a reluctant one. When I moved to the suburbs, just before my twins ...

Inspiration: Ten Things A Dream Home Must Have…

“Home is a place not only of strong affections, but of entire unreserve; it is life’s undress rehearsal, its backroom, its dressing room, from which we go forth to more careful and guarded intercourse, leaving behind…cast-off and everyday clothing.”  Harriet Beecher Stowe Inspiration: Ten Things A Dream Home Must Have... Home is where the heart finds peace Last fall, I wrote a post on my Positive Kismet blog about My Dream Home, it had all the razzmatazz one could imagine, featured some ...

A Beginner’s Guide to Holiday Greenery

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, nothing says winter holidays quite like fresh greenery! As convenient as faux/fake greenery may be, it just doesn’t compare to fresh greenery! Decorating with fresh greenery is a beloved holiday tradition and will bring festive cheer and a wonderful, fresh fragrance to any space. There isn’t anything quite like the beauty and perfection of nature! Types of Holiday Greenery Eucalyptus, an attractive, scented greenery popular in cut arrangements and garlands but tends to dry quickly. English Holly is ...

Peculiar Pixture #14

This illustration was marketed on my Royalty-Free CD Business Fundamentals, sold on the Internet by Getty Images. Unlike some of the illustrations I’ve posted, this “peculiar picture” has sold very well outside of the United States, the last time to a company in South Korea. Since I don’t read or speak languages other than English, I have no idea what foreign companies are marketing with the help of my illustrations. Do you have any idea?

Book Collecting

Image by h.koppdelaney First, Happy Halloween! This picture of ravens with a book is reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe, and that’s a Halloween sort of author if there ever was one. My post has nothing to do with Halloween or Poe, but it does have to do with a creepy individual. I just finished reading a true crime story about a man (John Gilkey) who stole rare books, the man who worked hardest to make sure he got caught at it, and ...

Two Reasons I Love Being a Dad

Our youngest laid out her outfit...with a note.... In case you can’t guess the two reasons why I love being a dad – I’ll give you a hint. One reason just turned 8-years old and the other is 10-years old. Whenever they ask which of them I love more (as kids sometimes do), I tell them that they’re both so special and unique – that I love them differently. I give them the example that my favorite all-time dessert is Chocolate Trifle – if ...

Reader Favorites 2011 – #4: 20 Texting Phrases Parents Must Know

Through January 3rd, 2012 I’m going to share with you the 10 most popular posts as determined by readers of this blog. I hope you enjoy these and find them to be interesting and worthwhile. With that, here’s the 4th most popular post from The Daily Retort for 2011, it’s a useful piece that every parent should read regarding 20 Texting Phrases Parents Must Know and was originally posted in October. According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center ...

Case of the Missing Timeline

The novel I’m writing has a lot going on over the course of a year across seven characters’ intertwined lives. I have managed the timeline very carefully, double-checking myself with each new scene. A cheat-sheet of dates and events and chapter numbers has helped me keep it all straight. This morning I went to check something on it, and it’s missing! Did you take it? The piles in my office have been in worse shape. Things are looking under control, in ...

10 Women I’d Like to Have a Glass of Wine With

I’ve noticed several blogs recently that have posted “10 Women I’d Like to Have a Glass of Wine With,” and I’ve developed such a list myself now.  My mother, Barbara Burnham Rutter, who died two weeks after I turned eighteen. I’d love to catch her up on how things have gone for me. I might leave out a few stories, just to keep the conversation on an even keel. My grandmother, Mazie VanderWyk Burnham, who died on a Christmas day while, thirty miles away, ...

My Favorite Part of Being a Dad

The kiddos and me on a fall hayride One of my favorite things about being a dad is experiencing the myriad of “first” with our kids. Whether it’s the first laugh, word, step, Christmas or first day of school – they are all precious moments that truly add meaning to life. Here’s the lasted in a constant string of “firsts” from our four-month old son  T.J.   Question: What’s a favorite first your family has celebrated?

There'll be Fireworks Tonight

A rushing red river, currents twisting, raging through my head; speaking in phlegmy android echoes. How strange. It’s a day better than others, a cream puff by the shore, where little dogs draw crowds, and laughter tips the scales. There’ll be fireworks tonight. This river flushes through me, cyclic, with primitive beats, redundant. Forget the river. Eat your cream puff, and flirt with the sun. This day by the salty sea is yours. This place you call home. Where you spend your days ...

Golf, God and Free Will

I’m horrible at golf. I’m horrible, despite the fact that I took 12 private lessons from a golf pro when I first started so I could learn to play the correct way. Even though I didn’t have any preexisting bad habits that the coach had to break, his best efforts only improved my game enough to ensure that I’ll continue trying to play and practice until I can’t swing a club. Despite my horrible golfing ability, I still enjoy playing. One of the interesting ...

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The Knead for Success (In Life or Dough)

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You are the baker of your ideas; you are the yeast and the sponge from which all elasticity rises. If you choose, you can stretch and fold or slap and punch your way though any obstacles. You will know when your plan becomes the texture of your earlobe that guaranteed rewards wait just outside the oven of completion. However, if you simply loaf, you may find your outcome to be lame and bland …

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Tricks of the mind

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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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Where We Are Supposed To Be

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April 6th, 5:00AM and there I sat underneath the Palm trees and across from a fountain. Sipping an over priced Cafe Mocha and waiting for the dawn in Southern California. The fountain is quiet and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s broken. 2,180 miles away from home for the Seduction of Spirit Mediation and Yoga Retreat. …

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Tuesday morning on the 10.25

Countryside as Seen from a Moving Train

“Are things any better with Jack, or still the same?” “They’re still the same. I’ve tried my hardest to find out what the problem is, but nothing I do makes any difference. I’m afraid I have just given up.” As the two women take their seats across the aisle from me, I try not to stare. Their …

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Peer support through blogging

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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 child. After making the decision to take action instead of remaining silent, I sought answers to all the questions I had about going through the legal process, as well as general questions relating to whether I was ‘normal’. I wanted to know, for instance, what happened during the legal process, how I could help ensure the safety of my step-mother, how I could help …

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Becoming whole by finding all the pieces

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One of the difficulties we have in ‘becoming whole’ is that others hold pieces of our story. As children, we do not have the capacity to understand the full context in which our abuse occurs. As we get older, and start to question who and what we are, we sometimes feel we are not ‘whole’ – that we are not normal, and there are parts of us missing. It was not until I wanted to heal, …

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Reflections: At A Crossroads…

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In life, we sometimes reach a point of indecision; a crossroad. At that point, we must stop and reflect, look back and then move forward. What crossroads have you had in your life? This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: If You Leave – CROSSROADS. Life is a series of beginnings and endings. We leave one job to start another; we quit cities, countries, or continents for a fresh start; …

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