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Whirling Dervishes

We entered a cave and passed through a tunnel that opened into a theater carved from rock. The blistering heat of the day couldn’t reach through tons of insulating rock. We were in Cappadocia, here to see the famous Whirling Dervishes. I knew little about them, aside from that song “Maria” in The Sound of Music, where singing nuns complain that Maria could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl. I remember wondering what this meant but never bothered to find ...

A Photo Essay: Road trip to Coroico, Bolivia.

Coroico is a town in Nor Yungas Province, in the La Paz Department of western Bolivia. Thanksgiving weekend - the first time our family is traveling ‘solo’ through the roads of Bolivia. Our car finally arrived, and the time to explore our surroundings has begun! Some 2 hours from the capital, La Paz, the city of Coroico was the choice made for an extended weekend of adventure and relaxation! Also, a fantastic way to test husband’s skills when driving with no road shoulders, endless cliffs, through thick fog ...

Trifecta Meme

This is my Trifecta Meme post.  Click here to learn more. 1) What is your name (real or otherwise)? My real name is Susan Shuman. My otherwise name is SusanWritesPecise. 2) Describe your writing style in three words. Creepy, dark, maudlin 3)  How long have you been writing online? I’ve been a freelance writer for nearly a year and my blog was born in October. 4) Which, if any, other writing challenges do you participate in? I participate in 100wcgu, Haiku Heights, Saturday Centus, and Share Your World. 5) Describe one way in which you could ...

Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans

Our long warm fall has turned into a long (or so it seems) cold winter. Not a lot of rain, snow or cloudy skies, but still very cold. At least for me! After holiday excesses we spent most of last week juicing and drinking smoothies to try and detox a little. After a week of that I was really ready for some bulky, tasty and very hot food. Baked beans seemed like just the thing. Threw a batch together and stuck ...

What the hell is Facebook trying to tell me?

What the hell is Facebook trying to tell me?

Like many of you, I have regularly visit "the facebook"... (uh, catch up and see The Social Networkif you don't get the reference). So aside from endless vacation pictures, status updates from my friends, Huffington Post news blips, and quizzes to determine which Golden Girl I am, there are lots of ads the screen which I pretty much ignore. Facebook tailors the ads to you, based on your profile and friends and location and other secret voodoo stuff. So if the ads ...

Best Satire Video of 2012: Whole Foods Parking Lot

We live near Washington, DC which has exposed us to a variety of new experiences – not the least of which is the Whole Foods Market  grocery chain. Living in New York most of my life, I’d never been to a Whole Foods until we moved south of the Mason-Dixon line. In a nutshell it is a high-end grocery store that specializes in selling expensive, sustainable, green-centric organic goods and unpronounceable, exotic vegetables. It’s what the Wegman’s grocery store chain would be if ...

Babysitting in Babylon

This week’s Trifecta Challenge is extra-special: “…we are giving you a page from the Oxford English Dictionary.  The ninety-ninth page, to be exact.  (Click to enlarge.)  From this page, you can choose any word, any definition, to use in your post.  (Please type your chosen word in bold, so we know.)  And instead of our typical 33-333 word limit, we are asking for 99 words exactly.” *** Courtesy of Wikipedia.com Picture Babylon: The year was 606 BCE. I was the nine-year-old niece of Shadrach, Meshach, or Abednego, (I forget) and ...

Plant Profile: Portulaca

I love this annual, in fact it made it into my favourite new varieties for both 2011 and 2012! 2011 – Portulaca, Duet Hawaiian Rose 2012 – Portulaca, Happy Hour Coconut As you can see, same plant, completely different varieties! Commonly called the moss rose, this is a sun loving plant and must be planted in full sun in order to thrive. They like sandy soil and do well with little maintenance. However they are adaptable and will grow in any well drained soil. Make sure ...

Fresh Flowers, from a vending machine?

You have to admit, it’s a novel idea. Just pop your credit card in the vending machine, choose a bouquet and voila! You have a ready made bouquet to give to a loved one… In Shanghai, China an entrepreneur has created the worlds first floral vending machine. They have been in operation at 2 metro stations for just over a month now & no, they have not been very successful so far. Each machine holds 12 bouquets and boxes of flowers. The ...

Handspun Hat

I finally put some of the handspun I made on my drop spindle to good use.  I knit myself a hat, of course. I used the three skeins that I have acquired through spinning of the natural wool roving I had been working with.I love the natural rustic colors with the unevenness of the yarn.  It's cool, I like it, and it's mine. Here's the nitty gritty on Ravelry, if you are interested. If you are a spinner, what have you created from ...

The Ever Popular Peony

Peonies symbolizes nobility, value and peace; however, they can also signify shame. The name originates from Greek mythology- Paeon was a bright student learning under the god Asclepius. Zeus turned Paeon into a flower to save him from the jealous Asclepius. The peony comes from the genus Paeonia and is a member of the Paeoniacea family. The number of species range from 25 to 40. They are classified into five different flower forms; single, semi-double, Japanese and anemone. Two close relatives are ...

Maiden Sleeps I

Maiden Sleeps I Derived from this original part of the secrets painting. Secrets Inspiration I played with it for a while and developed it into this…. Maiden Sleeps I Development This is obviously an improvement.  However the painting still seemed to be very closed in on itself.  There was more work to do, however I wasn’t sure just what that might be.  So I left it for several days – turned to the wall. Got it out again and felt rather like Eeyore – ‘Its ...

Creating a Cutting Garden

As many gardeners will tell you, picking fresh flowers from the garden to create beautiful arrangements for the home or for friends and family is one of the many joys of gardening. Unfortunately, when the flowers are cut and removed, the garden will look bare and unattractive. So what are gardeners to do? The solution is to creating a designated “cutting garden,” where the flowers are grown with the intention of being cut. Since the flowers are meant to be cut ...

Telling Porkies

When my son and fiancée moved to their new home in the UK they inherited a neglected, but nevertheless healthy rhubarb plant which had masses of thick juicy stalks. I was green with envy as the plant was growing in a small container and I’d desperately tried for years to grow rhubarb in containers, with little success. Healthy rhubarb growing in a small container Thinking of my ailing rhubarb plant in Portugal I jealously stared at it in disbelief; it defied EVERYTHING ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Catelyn’s Cause

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Catelyn Stark meets with the lead character of the Gastar novellas. A tall wingless demon stood outside of Shevata’s hideout in Hell; a comfortable apartment with gilded velvet furniture. A desk stood in the middle for some bookkeeping and the few rejections Zermon had her review before exiling souls from eternal doom. “She’s waiting inside.” Shevata …

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Afterlife of the Viking

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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 them in chains. “If you want to drop this one in the pit, then do it.” Shevata attempted to jump down to leave, but Zermon held her back. “No, little devil. Let’s meet this man.” He handed her the scroll. She glanced a scowl as she unrolled it and read …

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On the Love of Intrigue

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So many aspects of stories reel in the readers of books or viewers of films or shows, be it action, fantasy, drama, horror, but on the short list of it all is the lure of intrigue, when we must know what happens next and a few hours sleep or loads of laundry won’t stop us. Many daytime television dramas I recall watching as a kid not missing them so much when school started, but during summer I hated …

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And the Oscar Goes To

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The battle rages on. Yesterday thanks to the abysmally low temperatures and the sleet/snow mix that found it’s way to hold me hostage, I spent the day doing looking at various screens. Really, the only way I could of accomplished LESS over the weekend would be to have been in a coma. BUT…given the fact, hubby is working …

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On Plot Turners

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“Layer Cake” As a fan of fiction, I applaud stories that reel me in with not only unexpected endings, but with characters that lay low making the biggest difference when the story is said and done. The recent example I’ve written about the most recently is the history based “The White Queen” with Richard of York beginning …

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Gastar and Greyjoy

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The Bastard of Bolton has Theon Greyjoy in a bad way in “A Song of Ice and Fire” and “Game Of Thrones.” Let’s see if the lead characters in the Gastar novellas can help Theon out a bit. “Are you kidding me?” Zermon lumbered behind Shevata as she turned the lock of the gate behind the …

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