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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, ...

Learn to Make a Halloween Flower Arrangement

Learn to Make a Halloween Flower Arrangement

We can’t contain our excitement! Halloween is just a day away! Have you carved your pumpkin yet? Have you decorated your home yet? Don’t worry, there’s still time! Decorating your home will get you in the Halloween spirit. And all you need are flowers! Adding flowers to your home is an easy and affordable way to add some beauty and interest to your decor. There are many fresh flowers available this time of year. Use dark coloured flowers and plants ...

Cool Places to See Flowers: Jersey Battle of Flowers

The Jersey Battle of Flowers is an annual flower festival held in the Channel Islands of Jersey, which is located between the south coast of the UK and northern France. It is  held on the 2nd Thursday of August. The main attraction is the show-stopping parade of flower-covered floats. Participants create these magnificent works of art, where some are as large as 45 ft wide, in hopes of winning the coveted top prize, the “Prix d’Honneur.” Thousands of fresh flowers, mainly ...

Guest Post: Innovative Birthday Floral Arrangements

Flowers are an excellent gift to make a certain someone feel special. Are you interested in offering your friends or folks flowers on their birthday? The type of flower or arrangement you should choose can be based on various criteria such as individuality, sex, or age. Beautiful arrangement of diligent flowers for the lady: Traditionally, floral bouquets have always been presented to females. Whilst choosing flowers yourselves, you should focus on her choices and try implementing different styles using the flowers she ...

The Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Canada

While Fun Flower Facts is a flower blog, we think leaves can be just as beautiful as flowers. In fact, Albert Camus, a French Nobel Prize winning author and philosopher, said it best: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Canada is a beautiful country, especially during the fall, when the trees are painted in vibrant shades of red, yellows and oranges. The sight is simply breathtaking and awe-inspiring. The brilliance of the fall foliage is one ...

I Want to Be Betty White When I Grow Up

It has come to my attention and disappointment that I am not aging in the manner that I would have requested had I been given a choice in the matter. I am not embracing the lines that Mother Nature bitch-slapped onto my face.  I am not appreciating the trendy little glasses that I require to read the fine print so I can discern who is trying to rip me off,  and I especially am not loving the achy feet resulting from years of ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal…

“The great renewal of the world will perhaps consist in this, that man and maid, freed of all false feelings and reluctance, will seek each other not as opposites, but as brother and sister, as neighbors, and will come together as human beings.” Rainer Maria Rilke Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal… Renew. Refresh. Resolve to work together. Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal… Kinkaku-ji Golden Temple & Rising Phoenix, Kyoto, Japan Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal… symbols of renewal – Keep Hope alive The phoenix has long been ...

Dad and Amelia's Disappearing Act

Two events from last week prompted this true story: the seventy-fifth anniversary of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, and what would have been my Dad’s 86th birthday. Whenever Dad saw a picture of Amelia Earhart, he’d get a wistful faraway look on his face and mumble under his breath, “You know, she would have been an attractive woman with just a bit of makeup.” I remember observing Dad as he watched a news report about her on TV: A picture of a ...

It’s Banned Books Week

I’m a bit late highlighting Banned Books Week, but this is a good case of better late than never. Visit the Banned Books Week website by clicking on this word website. Once there, click on the Mapping Censorship tab near the top of the home page to find example(s) of banned books in recent history in your state. I’m pretty sure this map isn’t exhaustive, but it gives a good range of what’s bothering people who want to keep kids from ...

Armored Frog: Old Wood, New Designs

When does furniture go beyond form and function to become a piece of history? When the material used in its construction is part of history itself. At the Armored Frog, each one-of-kind piece is steeped in history, crafted exclusively from old growth woods recovered from rivers and historical structures throughout the southeast United States. Wood for an Armored Frog original may come from a deadhead cypress log discovered in a local river, planks pulled from an old sawmill or beams salvaged from ...

Progress on First Novel, Part 2

This picture represents the stage I’m in with my first novel, which is entering its sixth draft. The flowers, perky and well-defined, are the plot points and characters; the pond, housing myriad underwater minerals and plants and animals, is the mind that imagined the story. The setting overall represents the combination of steady and fragile feelings as I take the plunge and start contacting agents. Here’s my current query letter, which I’m sending out this week to a selected list. Do ...

Reader Favorites 2011: #9 – An Important Lesson I Learned….

My daughter and I fighting the current Through January 3rd, 2012 I’m going to share with you the 10 most popular posts as determined by readers of this blog. I hope you enjoy these and find them to be interesting and worthwhile. With that, here’s the 9th most popular post from The Daily Retort for 2011: An Important Lesson I Learned originally posted in August. Last week, my family went on vacation at the beautiful Deep Creek Lake in western, Maryland where we rented ...

The *Science of Sneezing

There’s a nasty bug going around our neck of the woods. There’s probably one going around where you live as well. Yesterday I took Grandma Chatterbox to see her doctor for a post surgery checkup. (Yes, I did provide her with hair removal cream for her visit with handsome Dr. Fernando.) I noticed that many people were sneezing in the doctor’s waiting room. The vampire sneeze is very popular these days, where you cover your mouth with your arm and sneeze ...

Top-10 List: Creepiest Clowns Ever

I have to confess that I suffer from a disorder that currently has no cure. It's a mild case mind you but a haunting problem none the less that few people talk about. But I'm breaking my silence. I have coulrophobia - an acute fear of clowns. While this may not have the same high-profile cache as other phobias such as fear of water, heights or overly-hairy women it is a real disorder and not a laughing matter. In an effort to face this ...

Visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort

Get Your Message Heard!!

Michael Hyatt – bestselling author, speaker, leadership consultant

One of my all-time favorite bloggers is Michael Hyatt.

He’s a bestselling author, a sought-after national speaker, leadership consultant and is currently board Chairman of the largest Christian publishing company in the world.

His personal blog tends to focus on leadership, productivity and social media best practices.

Additionally, it has more than 300,000 unique visitors a month – in other words, it’s big time.

A few months ago, Michael was kind enough to feature two posts I wrote on his web site – and they were:

Five Ways Leaders Can Instantly Shift Momentum

Five Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs

It’s been an honor to be affiliated with his work in this small way.

Joining the Launch Team

A few weeks ago he mentioned on his site that he was looking for some volunteers to help promote his new book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World – and I jumped at the chance to play a more hands-on role actually helping Michael with this project.

I was thrilled when I got the email stating that of the nearly 800 respondents who applied to join the Platform Launch Team – I had been selected.  Here’s the list of those of us who made the cut for the team.

The past two weeks have been an amazing experience and education leading up to the actual launch of Platform, which will take place next Monday 5/21 through Friday 5/25.

Blowing Off the Doors

This launch will be huge and Michael is pulling out all the stops. For anyone how purchases the book during that five day stretch next week – Michael will send seven free gifts valued at $375.98.

I’ll share exactly what the free gifts on Monday, when I post my review for his book.

For now, you can get a general sense of the offer by clicking HERE but it’s ONLY available for purchases made during next week.

I can tell you that Michael’s book, Platform, is for anyone who has something to say or sell.

Who Should Read This Book?

Whether you’re a comedian, songwriter, photographer, artist, pastor, carpenter, author, lawyer or teacher – you will learn invaluable information about reaching your audience with your message, product or service.

I believe in Michael, his message and his passion to help people.

His book may well be the key you’ve been waiting for to unlock your future.

Question: What job would you love to do if money didn’t matter?

Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort

A topical blog that focuses on issues of faith, family, finance and fitness. I have more than 20 years experience as a former journalist and current PR practitioner. Additionally, I'm a father, husband, marathoner, writer and believer.

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