Tips on Growing Hollyhock

Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea), with their big and beautiful blooms, are among summer’s tallest and showiest flower, growing up to 6 feet tall in one season! These old-fashioned flowers are cottage garden favourites and are becoming more popular in recent years. Hollyhocks come in a wide range of pretty colours and would be ideal for borders or backgrounds, planted along fences or walls. But you don’t have to go to great heights to get these beauties to bloom. Here are some gardening tips ...

Floral Trends: Flowers in Bridal Hair

Summer is well under way! It’s wedding season and conveniently, this is when all the flowers are in bloom. Flowers are romantic, feminine and flirty. Naturally, flowers as hair accessories, are perfect for summer brides, adding elegance and beauty. You could use a single bold flower for a simple hairstyle or a cluster of delicate blooms for a more complicated style. Tips for using fresh flowers: Pick fresh, resilient flowers. Choose flowers that are in season. Store the flowers in a cooler or refrigerator ...

Inspiration: What Inspires You…?

“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.” Bo Bennett Inspiration: What Inspires You...? Beauty in nature & enthusiasm for life... Aaradhna – Down Time What inspires you? Where do you find inspiration? Inspiration is a word we often toss around casually, and maybe take for granted when it comes easily to us. There are days when we wake up and feel like the fountain has dried up or that our ideas are foggy. Then, there are those days when everything falls into place like clockwork, ...

Inspiration: Building Bridges…

“Knowledge of other people’s beliefs and ways of thinking must be used to build bridges, not to create conflicts.” Kjell Magne Bondevik Inspiration: Building Bridges... Westminster Bridge Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth Earth has not anything to show more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty: This City now doth like a garment wear The beauty of the morning; silent , bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie Open unto the fields, and to the ...

Please tell me what a Spring Bouquet is?

In Canada and the rest of the northern hemisphere, the first day of the spring season was March 20. The last day is June 19. Many people like to order “spring bouquets” not only when spring seems to be around the corner but even during the depths of winter. Lilac – a gardens spring bloom Trying to define a spring bouquet is not an easy task for a florist. Many will carry tulips, iris and maybe daffodils. They might have forsythia branches ...

Arachnis Orchids

This warmth loving orchid hails from Malaysia, Indonesia & New Guinea so they do well in warm, humid climates. This climbing beauty must be planted in full sun and is surprisingly easy to grow. The vine is quite thick and can grow to 15 ft high or more. You definitely need to stake this baby; it will grow at least as tall as your stake, fence or whatever you are growing it on. The leaves are thick, waxy and flat, similar ...

Perspective: Walking On Thin Ice…

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air, a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white cloud, the green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child, our own two eyes. All is a Miracle.” Thich Nhat Hanh Perspective: Walking on Ice... It is five thirty in the morning, ...

Orange You Glad to See Flowers at President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration?

We were! We love flowers! Tangerine was Pantone’s 2012 Colour of the Year, but it made another big appearance a few days ago at President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration. At the Inaugural Luncheon on January 21, 2013, bright, orange flower centerpieces decorated the tables. Even though tangerine was last year’s colour, the bright colour was perfect for the occasion, as President Obama was sworn for his second term.  Orange flowers are a symbol of  energy, enthusiasm, confidence and passion. Jack Lucky Floral Design of ...

Good Feelings from Groups

Funny the stories that stick with you over the years. Have any of you read West of Eden by Harry Harrison? That’s WEST of Eden. Published by Bantam in 1984, it’s a marvelous piece of science fiction set in the prehistoric past. The book seems never to have made it into paperback. One of the key ideas in the book was the “early childhood” of the main characters, which took place in the ocean, where the characters were raised in ...

A Good Master And A Greater Revelation

Here’s a great guest post from author, speaker and singer/songwriter Jason Clark.  Jason has just released his first solo book titled Prone to Love, which is available on Amazon.com, and poses a paradigm shift for the church today. If you’d like to write a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out ...

A Modestly Monumental Success…

A Modestly Monumental Success...

Today was my weekly WeightWatchers weigh-in. As you may have seen last week, I was within striking distance - losing an additional 1.5 lbs. - of losing a total of -30 lbs. This past week, I was focused on achieving that goal by sticking to the PointsPlus Values plan, closely tracking my food intake as well as "moving" for at least :30 minutes every day.  As a result, when I stepped on the scale before today's meeting.... ..I was down -2.4 lbs. for a ...

Grace and Poise on a Book Tour

It’s the rare author who gets sent on cross-country book tours these days. But when your book hits the front page of The New York Times Book Review, well, that’s a different story (or kettle of fish or ball of wax). I don’t know exactly when Lily King’s publisher, Grove Atlantic, decided to send her on the road to sign copies of Euphoria, but she’s been traveling each week now since June 11. The Times review was published June 7, and ...

Commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

It would be hard to determine a total for the number of ways people come across books they want to read. “Word of mouth” is a great catch-all term, but it can mean a zillion specific ways. For example, my grandmother heard about the book on a radio program; a friend from high school included the book in a list gathered at the last reunion; a colleague at work who usually drives me crazy recommended this book and I was ...

Beating Back Worry

By nature, I'm a bit of a control freak and a Type-A personality. Others with similar traits may agree that a common companion of those personality aspects is "worry." I worry about a host of things, my pending book release, a side online business I have, certain aspects of my full-time job, my wife and girls - even this blog. Ironically, most of the things I worry about I can't control. It's at that point when I remind myself of that ...

Fabulous Finds: Serveware

The holidays are quickly approaching and that means family, friends and festivities! I love this time of year and when it comes to entertaining, I select serveware that reflects my design philosophy – neutral with a pop! I’m willing to splurge on exquisite pieces, but not if I can only use them once a year. Dishes or glassware that are only used at Christmas are a waste of money and storage space! You simply have more options if you choose pieces that aren’t seasonal ...

The $5.37 “Caption This” Contest: Vol. 9

Welcome to another edition 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. There were so many AWESOME entries this time, that I couldn’t decide on one myself. So I contacted my local congressional representative who quickly impaneled an independent 50-person task force, which issued its decision in a 200 page report (our tax payer dollars have to be put to good use). Thanks to such congressional efficiency, it was ...

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We’ll Meet Again

11-july-170

I have been AWOL for a few weeks, I hope some of you have missed me… I have been busy working on a tender document which has proved much more difficult than I ever imagined when agreeing to do it. I mean, three weeks of my life is too much to spend on writing something that I didn’t enjoy. It has been submitted now, at 11.45 am to be precise so I’m free now to write something I do enjoy enormously… …

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The ‘why’ is the easy bit, the ‘what’ a little harder to understand

why_we_do

I started my blog exactly five years ago this weekend. I had been thinking about retirement as my husband had taken early retirement and wanted me to do the same. I had read reports in the press of the increasing numbers of people approaching retirement age, who wanted to carry on working, in some cases they just had to. I wasn’t ready to retire then and I’m not now, but I thought that I …

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A change of style and a twist

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I’m waiting at the station. Penny is late. We agreed to meet at 10.00 the train leaves at 10.15 and it’s now ten past. I fiddle with the strap of my overnight bag, I do not feel comfortable waiting here on my own, but it is something I have had to get used to. Being on my own. I thought Penny was different from the rest, she is such a good listener and always says the right thing. She bolsters my …

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Junk Mail Junkies

junk mail

The corner of Roy’s mouth tipped up in a crooked grin as he looked around at Harry’s latest pigsty. It was a Goldenwest singlewide. The natural wood grain was photographed veneer but glued nicely from floor to ceiling. Panel so thin it cracked from the sound of a loud fart. Harry’s chihuahua, Halapeeno, had done a keen job on the carpet. He liked to dig and since Harry didn’t …

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You were dreaming

Nightmares

The nightmares never end… Blake says I was only dreaming, that the Monster isn’t real. My screams woke him, and shattered the silence of the night. Two nights ago I was screaming while the Monster raped me – as an adult not a child – and although it was ‘just a dream’ my body has been sore from the assault ever since. Last night the Monster had murder on his mind. I was lured by his …

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Memories of Another Life

30-may

Genre: Historical Fiction | Word Count: 100 – Memories of Another Life… The Guardian watches us. I slip through the gate unobserved; a delicious taste of freedom, though confrontation will follow. Fading memories of childhood brought hope to years of waiting. There was love and laughter in that other life I lived. Did they ever stop searching for me? Did they ever forget me? …

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An Uncertain Future

23-may

Our fabulous group achieved recognition by WordPress – the comment I liked best – ‘We love Friday Fictioneers as much for the blogging bonds it cultivates as for the range and power of the stories it inspires.’ If you missed the post you can read it here. So pleased for Rochelle and for the whole group too, as it is always a good feeling when your work is admired. Back down to earth now, my story this week …

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