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Best Flowers for a Cottage Garden

A cottage garden is a gardening design that uses an eclectic mixed of old-fashioned flowers and sometimes edible plants to create an informal, traditional look. Traditionally, flowers were planted with veggies and fruits to help pollinate them. But despite its name, you don’t need a cottage to create this informal and charming style of garden. It’s all about mixing and matching assorted plants, including bulbs, shrubs and perennials in an casual and manner. The best part is that flowers don’t need ...

Reflections: Musings on Aging…

“Experience is a revelation in the light of which we renounce our errors of youth for those of age.” Ambrose Bierce Reflections: Musings on Aging... an older militia man Before 74 year old body builder, Ernestine Shepherd, started getting a lot of well deserved press for her fantastic physique, there was Marjorie Newlin, an 86 year old body builder who stunned many with her youthful physique and energy. While many of us fear the aging process and fight it with plastic surgery, ...

Summertime: Seven Seasonal Favorites…

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time” John Lubbock Summertime: Seven Seasonal Favorites... Summer flowers ... orange flower Summertime: Seven Seasonal Favorites... summer chamomile flowers FLOWERS: With brightly colored flowers everywhere, who could resist the charm of summertime flora? What is your favorite season? When I think of my favorite time ...

Castles In the Sky

Social activist and educational reform leader Geoffrey Canada opens the documentary film Waiting for Superman by sharing the story of how he cried when his mother told him that Superman wasn't a real person. He goes on to share that his mother thought he was crying because he found out that his favorite comic book hero wasn't real. Yet he notes that in truth the tears were due to the realization that no one with enough power was going to come and save the ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: REGRET…

“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.” Henry David Thoreau Weekly Photo Challenge: REGRET... Loss opens the door to memories of what could have been... Weekly Photo Challenge: REGRET... for the unknown soldier... Definition of REGRET: To mourn the loss or death of: to miss very much: to be very sorry for: to experience regret Merrian-Webster Dictionary Top 5 ...

Fun Flower Facts: Tigridia (Tiger Flower)

Tigridia, also known as tiger flower or shell flower, is a genus of about 30 bulbous plants that belong to the Iridaceae family, which includes the iris, crocosmia, crocus, and freesia. Many of the species are native to Mexico and Guatemala. Tigridias are valued for their large, showy flowers that come in variety of bright colours and attractive sword-like leaves. Flowers come in vibrant reds, pinks, yellow, white and purple. These exotic beauties have 3 large outer petals and 3 small ...

Fun Flower Facts: Canna

Canna (or canna lily) is a tropical perennial plant that produces big, bold paddle-shaped leaves and bright, attractive flowers that grow on spikes in shades of red, orange, yellow and pink. They are valued for their beautiful foliage, as much as their flowers. Cannas are grown from rhizomes, bulbous structures that grow underground. Cannas will grow to be 2-6 feet tall and about 3 feet wide. The plant is sometimes called canna lily, but it is not a true lily. As members ...

1st Radio Interview for My Book!!!

Last night, I had the opportunity to talk about my new, best-selling book A Question of Faith with Phoenix-based radio talk show host Michael Ray Dresser, his nightly topical radio show is titled Dresser After Dark. If you’re interested, here’s my 15-minute interview in its entirety: If you’re interested in my book, I’m offering a special  limited time offer this week. Click the link below for details at how you can get your copy of A Question of Faith as well as 60 Bonus ...

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 ...

Table Talk about Books

Photo copyright by Meredith Rutter (not taken in Maine, but pretty, no?) My husband and I had a wonderful dinner with friends the other night at Ports of Italy restaurant in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. The weather had turned summerlike for a few days, and we were thrilled to be given an outdoor table overlooking Commercial Street on this, one of the last nights the town would be catering to the general public before closing most places for the season. (This isn’t ...

7 Questions With an Author: Salvatore Manzi

7 Questions With an Author: Salvatore Manzi

This is my weekly series "7 Questions With an Author..." where I ask an author seven questions about their respective book and share their unedited responses with you. Today's featured author is a personal friend of my, Salvatore Manzi. He's a successful business owner, author and presenter. Not only do we both share the same first name and passion for Italian cuisine, we both believe in life maximization. Here's "7 Questions With an Author: Salvatore Manzi" 1. Tell us about your book? Feng Shui ...

Furniture Fiasco

Have you ever purchased a piece of furniture only to realize you’d made a dreadful mistake? Mrs. Chatterbox and I made a regrettable decision when we visited Paris on our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Our trip had been a bust; much of the city was on strike; all the museums, monuments, and many of the churches were closed. Trains were also shut down so we couldn’t leave town. Bored, we decided to kill time at the Paris flea market which, unfortunately as ...

Loving Your Loved Ones Correctly

Sometimes, I find it hard it to love loved ones. Not because I don’t actually love them, but because I do not love them correctly. I say “I love you”, but I do not display it in my actions! Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but ...

Peculiar Picture #6

Regular visitors to Chubby Chatterbox know that I was once a professional illustrator before shifting my attention to writing. I have a drawer full of peculiar pictures that have never been published, such as this one. Over the years this illustration has prompted a lot of smiles, but to my knowledge it’s never been published. It was born in a corner of my brain that I don’t always have access to, which is another way of saying it seemed like a ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Writerly Reflections

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I realized years ago that I wanted to write. My first attempts at short stories ran to three handwritten pages or so, and I would make my sister sit and listen, along with an audience of soft toys and dolls. She got quite bored with my tales of princesses lost in woods and toys that …

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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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On the Women

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When the “Gangs of New York” film came out, the documentaries followed behind, uncloaking the history and reminding me again of my sore lack of historical knowledge but appreciation of it as it obtain it now. Of course, with my vast hard science educational background, I had no clue there was a “Five Points” in …

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On the Complex Characters

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With my non-stop film/novel addiction, strong characterization baits me to a story better than any fishhook. Once I’m introduced to the world, the situation, and the people (or non humans) I’m ready to know them. What are their backgrounds? What are their secrets? What force that drives the plot also drives these characters? I posted recently …

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Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence

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“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” Elbert Hubbard Silence – An anechoic chamber is very quiet Breaking The Silence: How long… “Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” Francis Bacon Sundial -The Clock of Silence can you… Silence – Newton’s Cradle Animation book …Stay Silent? “In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding …

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On Beating the Readers

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“Jurassic Park” When Indie writer John Locke published his “how to” book about selling books, I’ve noted before an important point he made: You may not be a great writer, but you will need to be an entertaining writer. (Paraphrased). Putting aside any controversy about Locke, he clearly writes entertaining novels that people like. His point …

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