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Inspiration: On A Retreat…

“Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.” Marcus Aurelius Inspiration: On A Retreat... May Peace prevail on Earth... Inspiration: On A Retreat... Tree ornaments added color to all the green... Inspiration: On A Retreat... Part of the landscape... A retreat can either be a time of solitude or a community experience; a period of individual or group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction. At different points in our lives, we need to take some time to ...

Surreal Liquid Flowers

At first glance, those photos look like a computer manipulation, some kind of 3D modeling. Or maybe blown glass pieces. So it may surprise you to find out these surreal 3D images were created by the talented photographer, Jack Long. These photographs are part of a series titled “Vessels and Blooms,” where he creates flowers by combining paint splashes with high speed photography. He does not use Photoshop to make composite images. In fact, each photo was captured a single splash ...

What is Topiary?

There’s pruning to keep plants shapely and manageable, and then there’s topiary, a whole other level of pruning. Topiary, a word derived from the Latin word topiarius for landscape gardener, is the art of creating beautifully shaped shrubs through training and pruning. The shapes are often clearly defined and can be anything from simple geometric shapes to elaborate life size animals and creatures. In other words, topiary is the art of creating living sculptures. Here are some examples of topiary: Photo Credit: Flickr, ...

2013 Jersey Battle of Flowers

The annual Jersey Battle of Flowers, which takes place on the Island of Jersey (located between the south coast of the UK & northern France) on the second Thursday and Friday of August, is one of the best places to see a parade or two!  Elaborate, brightly-coloured flower-decorated floats are displayed at a parade on the Thursday afternoon and once again on Friday evening at the Midnight Parade. Thousands of fresh chrysanthemums and asters, which are shipped from the UK ...

Fiddlesticks, um I mean Fiddleheads!

Fiddleheads (Dicranopteris linearis) This unusual looking tropical floral green is actually the new growth of a giant fern that grows in Hawaii. The ferns new growth uncurls from the center of the plant forming these Fiddle like heads. As the Fiddleheads develop they will transform into a long straight stick or branch. The ferns fronds grow horizontally from the brown stems. Fiddle heads are available year round, there are two color forms available, burgundy (pictured) and green. Fiddle Heads are a bit fragile. ...

Memories: The Longest Walk…

“Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Memories: The Longest Walk... May you always walk in sunshine... What’s the longest you’ve ever walked in a single day? Throughout our lives, we are on a steady journey, taking a long walk to meet ourselves. We take one step after the other until we get there ...

New Twist on an Old Joke

Today, I am doing my two thoughts a bit differently.  I am breaking down an old standard Christmas song and infusing it with how someone might handle it today.  Be forewarned that my more modern version is that of a tech savvy girl that is at her wits end with an over zealous beau. So today...I have two thoughts. Thought Number One: The original song " The 12 Days of Christmas". Thought Number Two: How would the lyrics stand up to today's culture. If ...

5 Communication Lessons for Couples

A pile of melted plastic cups - the result of a communication breakdown at our home last night We’re a busy family. Between karate classes, violin and piano lessons, PTA, girl scouts, church volunteering and marathon training – our family has a lot going on. To enable us to maximize the time we have together, we’re blessed to have a bi-weekly housekeeping service that helps curb and control the nearly universal tendency towards entropy as far as home upkeep. Yesterday was housekeeping day, ...

3 Tips When Considering a Face Tattoo

Hip Hop Star Gucci Mane's head-scratching face tattoo I'm no stylist to the stars or savvy metro-sexual maven, but here's my top recommendation regarding your appearance to ensure your best chance at getting a job. Do NOT get a tattoo on your face!! Call me old fashioned, but nothing says "unhirable" quite like permanent ink above the shoulders. [see photo insert of hip hopster Gucci Mane's triple scoop ice cream cone with lightening bolt accents.] This little rant of mine was sparked by my commute ...

If Pinterest Was For Guys…

The Pinterest Logo I recently signed up for an online course that provided a basic introduction to Pinterest. If you’re not aware of what Pinterest is, it’s the third-largest and fastest-growing social media platform on the web. It’s kind of like a living mashed up visual montage of Better Homes & Gardens, Food & Wine, Parenting, Style and People magazines blended with the Oscars red carpet plus a dash of baby shower with a healthy dose of Silpada jewelry all drizzled in chocolate. Given ...

Incredible “Rube Goldberg” Page Turner Machine

The board game "Mouse Trap" is a Rube Goldberg-esque contraption Since I was a kid I’ve always loved Rube Goldberg-type contraptions – that take the most convoluted steps to accomplish the simplest activities. An example of a Rube Goldberg machine would be the board game “Mouse Trap” by Milton Bradley [see photo insert]. Below is an ingenious and funny video that depicts an absurdly creative method to help you turn the page of your daily newspaper – just so long as you ...

Are You a Builder or Breaker???

Builder or Breaker? - image via 123RF I heard this poem years ago and happened to stumble across it while reading this past weekend – it poses a provocative question for us all. I saw them tearing a building down, A group of men in a busy town, With hefty blow and lusty yell, They swung with zest, And a side wall fell. Asked of the foreman, “Are these men skilled? The kind you would hire if you had to build?” He looked at me, and laughed, “No, indeed! Unskilled labor is ...

Ten Rules for Book Club Success

Do you belong to a book club, or are you thinking of starting one? I love the suggestions in a short piece yesterday in the Washington Post, referring to the “Third Tuesday Book Club.” First there is a list of books the club has enjoyed most over fifty years. Following that list are ten rules for book club success. The rules are wonderful. Click here to read them. What’s your favorite rule? Hard to pick, isn’t it, but I’ll have to ...

NaNoWriMo 2012 Progress Report #3 – The Results

“Picasso produced hundreds of great paintings; Ralph Ellison wrote one great novel. Art is hard, but literature is murder.”—Joe Queenan, One for the Books So, on the heels of NaNoWriMo 2012, let’s talk about failure and self-forgiveness, shall we? The 50,000-words goal eluded me for the second NaNoWriMo in a row. And with the same novel even! Ugh. I couldn’t escape my inner editor enough to write just for the sake of adding words to the document. I tried that a few ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Share Your World

swingset

To participate in Share Your World, click here 1) What was the last URL that you bookmarked? The last URL I bookmarked was Vivian Delores, which is a blog I just started in memory of my mom. I am not quite sure what all I will do with it, but page 1 is finished. 2)For relaxation, would you …

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Closing the Window

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Fact-based: After another long day in the classroom, Sarah went home to take a short afternoon nap. Teaching elementary school seemed to be in her blood, as it was the chosen profession of her mother and grandparents. As she stared at the ceiling fan moving slowly, she reflected back on her thirty-five years of life and …

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How to Paint a Chair

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She rummaged around her paint shelf for the stain she’d used so inexpertly eight years ago on the garden furniture. Was it still there? She’d recently purged the basement of truckloads of detritus accumulated over the years. Much of it, including many old cans of paint, was recycled at various points around the city. Could …

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Out Of Hell

blind+cat+copy

Fiction to help celebrate Halloween: A shiver runs through me when I think back to the time when Tammy, my wife of five years, came to the conclusion that the gray tabby who’d lived contentedly with us since we bought her on our honeymoon, was lonely. Tammy convinced me that Sausalito, “Saucy” needed another feline to …

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Conclusion: Ghost of Kilarney Park

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If you missed Part One, check it out here. Haunted houses and Halloween go together like dots on dice, but the haunted house on our street never did anything to attract trick-or-treaters. So why was there a light burning on Verna’s porch? My feet began pulling me to the light. My head swirled with thoughts of murder: …

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Ghost of Kilarney Park

Skull+Tree+copy

In keeping with the season I’m reposting a true Halloween story from my memoir The Kid in the Kaleidoscope. I hope you enjoy it: Haunted houses belong in the realm of goose bumps, foggy nights and old neighborhoods, not pristine suburbs with freshly asphalted streets, unblemished sidewalks and immature trees. But a ghost lingered across the …

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