Musings: The Messengers…

“Man is a messenger who forgot the message.” Abraham Joshua Heschel Musings: The Messengers… Come through sounds and songs…   Grandmaster Flash – The Message (Live The Tube 1983) Have you ever had a stranger come to you and tell you something that did not make sense at the moment, but you could not get it out of your mind? Have you ever had someone sit beside you at the bus or train and start talking to you? Curiously, what came out of their mouth was ...

Celebrate Chinese New Year With These Flowers

Today is one of the happiest days for Chinese people! It’s Chinese New Year, one of the largest, most important holidays of the year! To celebrate this special occasion, homes are often decorated with assorted plants and flowers. In Chinese, there’s a saying “Hua Kai Fu Gui,” meaning “when flowers bloom, prosperity comes.” In the Chinese culture, plants have always been an important symbol in the home, symbolizing re-birth, growth and prosperity. It is considered bad luck to keep dead houseplants ...

Brown Bear

When I graduated from college, my art degree made me about as hirable as a shepherd. I was a newlywed living in San Francisco and my bride’s cooking had caused me to pack on the pounds I’d fought off in college. To make matters worse, because of the additional weight I didn’t have any clothes that fit to wear to job interviews. I was reduced to wearing a black leather jacket I tried to dress up with a tie. I ...

Fun Flower Facts: Salvia (Sage)

At 900 species, Salvia is the largest genus plants belonging to the mint family. They are native to a wide range of habitats in Central and South America, Central Asia and the Mediterranean. The genus includes the culinary sage used to flavour meats and vegetables. Salvia is a flowering plant that produces spikes of showy flowers from late spring until early fall. Flowers are tubular-shaped and come in a range of colours, including: red, white, pink, violet and blue. They are ...

Remember The Sacred Lotus: Rise Above The Fray…

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.” Buddha Remember the Sacred Lotus: Rise above the fray... be present Are you feeling stressed or irritated by the daily grind or the mini dismissals that cross our path from time to time? Are you distracted by the demands of ...

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

If you are from the United States, you have probably seen this flower before. The Blanket Flower (Gaillardia) is a plant native to central U.S and Canada and is a common wildflower in the U.S. These large, showy flowers are called Blanket Flowers because they typically have red petals, edged with yellow, which are the colours of traditional Mexican blankets. Blanket flowers look like daisies with serrated tips on the petals. Flowers measure 4 inches in diameter and will grow to ...

Flower Arranging 101

I love watching a professional florist work their magic! They happily jump into the cooler and quickly grab an assortment of blooms and greens to take back to their work area. Their experienced fingers quickly cut stems, strip leaves & if needed, remove thorns. Pretty soon an amazing piece of art is created, colourful contrasts and neutral greens are blended together and arranged perfectly into a one of a kind design. If only I had this talent! Yes, it is a talent. ...

Inspiration: The Infinite Grace In Moments…

“From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16 Inspiration: The Infinite Grace In Moments… “The more grateful I am the more abundant I feel.” Keep saying this affirmation and notice the positive effects it has on your day. Robert Holden Do you have moments when you feel the presence of grace is so palpable that you can touch it? Imagine this: Every night we go to bed, there is no guarantee that we will see the sun rise the following morning or the comfort of our ...

Question About Parenting...

We recently got the end-of-year report cards for our two girls and they were both very good. In the past, we've typically rewarded them with a special treat or toy for their efforts for their academic performance. Last year they each got an American Girl doll. The question is should we be doing that type of thing? I had a discussion with some parents this past weekend who do not reward their children in this manner. Their rationale is that they want ...

Insatiable Doppelganger

You shrink at the feet of desperation, that excessive tyrant who pushes you into a stinking alleyway where your desires, like a gang of delinquents, are waiting to overtake you. Their anemic eyes are shadowed by lack; their greedy hands rifle through your pockets, turning them inside out onto the filthy ground. Angry at finding nothing they demand everything…the sun, the moon, the pulsing lifeblood of passion that feeds your lean soul. You cower at their grandiose demands until you’re but ...

Mentors in My Publishing Past

From Alan MacRoberts, I learned–to my great surprise in 1970–that not everyone cared about keeping a job where they were, that they might be enticed to work somewhere else. His own reason was a purchase of our company by Xerox, which he decided boded no good for the publishing experience as he knew it. He was my first boss in the career path of my choice, and I was starting as the high-school science department secretary. Of course, he taught ...

Six Years Later – The Eulogy I Gave For My Dad

Today, August 28th 2012, is the sixth anniversary of my dad’s death. He was sitting in his garden, with his newish puppy nearby and a pocketful of dog snacks near one of the Finger Lakes in western New York where he lived. At the time, my siblings and I all lived within 30 minutes of him. That day, I was in New York City attending some focus group sessions for work – when I received a frantic cell phone call from my ...

Rejecting the Truth, Even When It’s True

Our family recently attended a surprise 40th birthday for a dear family friend. There were about 60 of us in total, 40 adults and the rest were children. After the collective “surprise” and dinner, most of the kids went outside to play on an ultra-cool playground that was about 100 yards from the dining hall where the event occurred. All of us adults remained inside and watched as Rob quickly opened his few gag gifts and cards, while a few of the ...

7 Questions With an Author: Alice Chan, Ph.D.

This is my weekly series titled 7 Questions With an Author... where I pose seven questions to an author and then share their unedited answers here. Today's author is Dr. Alice Chan, a former professor at Cornell University and current inspirational speaker, author and coach. Her most recent book is titled Reach Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator in Your Life. Here is 7 Questions With Author: Alice Chan =============================================== 1. Tell us about your book? REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to ...

Cute Caption Contest Winner!!!

Look Ma, no teeth!!! The official caption winner of our daughter's two missing front teeth is Lisa Stivers who submitted the aforementioned caption.  She will receive a whooping $10 Amazon gift card for her creative efforts.  Thanks to all who submitted ideas, the best of the best are listed below. Christmas in July Sale!!! 2-for-1 deal of "two front teeth"! -Rubin Ledbetter Go ahead. Pull them all. The Tooth Fairy is gonna owe me the big bucks tonight! -Stuart Nager Hi! I'm Bella & I finally got my ...

Neutral with a Pop!

When does an interior designer turn into a kid in a candy store? When she walks into a room full of fabric swatches! Selecting fabrics and putting together a design color board for clients is one of my favorite things to do. It’s almost like being a child creating the perfect ice cream sundae…picking the right flavors, adding sprinkles, syrups, whip cream and then finishing it all off with a cherry on top. Of course, instead of ice cream and confections, ...

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New Trailer Now Out for “Gone Girl”

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Usually I’m a stickler for a movie representing the book, especially when it carries the same title. I was not pleased when the film The Shining changed what happened somewhere in the middle; it put me on the edge of my seat the rest of the time, since it didn’t follow what author Stephen King had written on some key point. I guess that’s why they changed it, so I’d still be scared. And it …

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Mind Boggling

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Have you ever given any thought to how amazing the mind is. The more I read and watch what happens in this world, the more I realize what an amazing creation God gave to us. Even as slow as I can be at times, it’s the other times that totally blows me away. I ask myself …

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Joffrey in the Underworld

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The love-to-hate little evil King Joffrey of “A Song of Ice and Fire” books and “Game of Thrones” series meets the Gastar series lead character in the afterlife. Let’s have some fun with His Grace: Shevata sat in Zermon’s huge chair before the huge fire pit surrounded by a smooth black terrace. Though she found Hell …

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The Dragon and the Demon

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“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” The Gastar lead characters meet the dwarves at the Lonely Mountain: The group of dwarves looked over the odd pair with suspicion. “Exactly who are you?” Asked one of them, with a long white beard. The tall, horned demon opened his mouth to speak, but the teenage girl with him, gestured him …

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On Prince Richard

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“The White Queen” Henry Tudor As “The White Queen” series wrapped up, as usual, I had to watch the finale about four times to take in all of the details before making up my mind what inspired me the most about the series. Overall, I found it enjoyable as well as Ms. Gregory’s books. As we …

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Artistic Imagination

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Artistic imagination Artistic imagination is one of a creators most important assets. To continue the previous conversation on day dreaming, is daydreaming any more important to us as artists, or to creative people than to any one else? Well actually it is. Why? To create significant works of art we need to develop our artistic imagination or the …

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On The Game of Queens

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Richard III “The White Queen” With the US release of “The White Queen” cable series, again I find myself behind as usual on literary works and history with my vast hard science educational background. While I knew about The War of the Roses, I’m embarrassed to admit I asked my liberal arts-educated husband if it took …

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