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Some Tips on Photographing Flowers

Now that summer is here, there are many beautiful flowers in full bloom just waiting for you to take their portrait! With the popularity and ease of today’s digital cameras, it is no surprise that many gardeners have taken an avid interest in photography. Photographing flowers and plants is also a great way for beginners to learn about photography. Flowers and plants are interesting subjects; they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colours that is sure to create ...

Celebrate Chinese New Year With These Flowers

Today is one of the happiest days for Chinese people! It’s Chinese New Year, one of the largest, most important holidays of the year! To celebrate this special occasion, homes are often decorated with assorted plants and flowers. In Chinese, there’s a saying “Hua Kai Fu Gui,” meaning “when flowers bloom, prosperity comes.” In the Chinese culture, plants have always been an important symbol in the home, symbolizing re-birth, growth and prosperity. It is considered bad luck to keep dead houseplants ...

Friday Around the Water Cooler 9/10/2011

Friday Around the Water Cooler 9/10/2011

In Britain a man named Christopher Lowcock  pulled a fast one on the British police. Arrested for drug and driving offenses, Lowcock was sentenced to wear an ankle monitor to make sure he didn't break house arrest  But Lowcock, being the wily arch-criminal he is, had other plans and a prosthetic leg to help him. He wrapped his prosthetic limb in an elastic bandage when officers came to his house to set up the monitoring equipment. Consequently, Lowcock could simply ...

Happy New Year: Join the 365 Day Blogging Challenge for 2011!

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao-Tzu, author,Tao Te Ching ♫♥☼♪ ♫♪♫ Happy New Year To All! ♫♥♫ ♫☼♫ Happy New Year To You! ♫♥♫ ♫☼♫ Happy New Year To All! ♫♪♫ ♫♥☼♪ Happy New Year: Plant a Seed. Learn a Skill. Grow! I plan to post something inspirational every day in 2011! I’ve decided to join the WordPress challenge … by posting daily on this 2-year-old blog.  Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now. I will be posting on ...

SADE LIVE: In Concert In NY… A Pictorial Review

“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” Kahlil Gibran SADE LIVE: In Concert In NY... A Pictorial Review SADE LIVE: In Concert In NY... A Pictorial Review Last October, I was chatting with a friend on Facebook when a post flew by announcing that Sade Adu would be touring again and performing her famous hit songs after a ten year hiatus. I was thrilled. When Diamond Life came out in 1984, I bought ...

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 ...

Choosing our Elevator and Accomplishing Our Dreams…

“When God puts a dream in your heart, when He puts a promise on the inside of you, He deposits within you everything you need to accomplish that dream.” -Joel Osteen Choose Your Elevator Wisely Series #I - P Edwards Spector 2010 On Hate & Happiness II: Choosing our Elevator & Accomplishing Our Dreams… Yesterday, I shared a post on how an artistic installation in an elevator prompted another perspective; that we can view the image of riding an elevator through the lens of life and its ups and ...

Role of Kids in Your Family Life

Here’s a guest post from writer, Sophie Samuel. If you’d like to write a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: Children are an integral part of a family and a home. A newly married couple waits anxiously for the birth of their first child and for more thereafter. We all love sound of little feet running around the house, the mischief and prank, the unbridled laughter and so many other joys that only kids can give. Now what exactly is the ...

Valuable Lesson Learned From Our Crying Baby

Our baby boy turned nine weeks old last week. To say that he brings renewed joy to our lives would be an understatement. But he also brings something unexpected to our lives – when we’re willing to look for it – and that’s wisdom. Yesterday evening, about two hours before his bed time, he got very, very “fussy.” [EdiTOR's Note: I recently wrote a post about misused phrases that parents ply to try and describe their newborns behavior such as fussing, nursing, bubble...etc.] So, the ...

7 Questions With an Author: Ali Bierman

This is the next installment of a weekly series titled 7 Questions With an Author... where I'll pose seven questions to an author and then share their unedited answers here. Today's author is Ali Bierman,she's a competency-based psychotherapist who helps people ferret out exactly how they operate in relationships - revealing why those partnerships fail. With her training, clients grasp the knack of what to do to transform their patterns of behavior, leading to mastery in creating romantic relationships. She also regularly blogs over at http://www.howtohaveamazingrelationships.com/. Here's ...

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 ...

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 ...

Trombone Arms…really?!?

I grew up in a house jammed with music. Or drums, anyway. My dad was a drummer, so these instruments were part of the living room furniture, and a part of me. In fourth grade it was finally time to join the band. My classmates and I lined up to select our weapons of choice. “But you have good, long arms – perfect for playing the trombone!” This was the best sales pitch the music teacher could muster, after informing me that too ...

Random Thoughts on True Beauty

"The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express." ~Francis Bacon – philosopher "I love the confidence that makeup gives me." ~Tyra Banks – international super model The two quotes above capture the spectrum of physical, human beauty. The first alludes to a beauty that transcends physical expression, while the second implies a beauty that relies on an external facade to build up internal attributes. The first is true beauty, the second is false. The first is inspiring, the second is actually quite ...

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Cheryl - The Art of Being Conflicted

I Am A Lady

The Lady of Shalott painted in 1888 by John William Waterhouse

Thought Number One:  Titles

I have a new title!  Yes, it’s official…well…sort of official…

I am a lady.

Before I begin to try to prove my case for being a lady,  let’s just throw it out there that it is so much easier being a man as far as titles go.  For the most part the title “Mister” is one of the few titles that would be used other than a professional  designation.

Women, however, have an array of  titles that they may be called over a lifetime. Throughout the world, many titles have to do with the marital status of a woman or her level in society.   In the U.S. some of various choices have changed over the years.

For example:  There was a time that married women took on the husband’s first and last name when signing legal documents. For example a woman would write Mrs. John Doe when signing a check instead of writing her own given name such as Jane Doe.  My grandmother once got a call from the bank asking her to quit signing her checks like that after my grandfather died.  She was in her 90′s at the time and seemed to be annoyed  by the request.  They knew who she was after all.  The same bank didn’t have a problem cashing checks that had been stolen from her  with forged signatures on them so, I am prepared to just think they are a crappy bank but back to the subject at hand.

One of the reasons, I am bringing this up today is several times over the last couple of weeks, friends of various ages have talked about the period of time when a woman is referred to as “MISS” versus when she is routinely called “MA’AM” This appears to happen in the early 30′s range of age.

Many women seem to struggle with the onset of Ma’amism. Perhaps it is the fact that ma’am is the contraction of Madame.   Madame does have a certain matronly sound to it, I guess…oh and there is  that other connotation as well?  But is that any better or worse than the title “Mrs.” that is a contraction for Mistress.

It has been long enough now, that I don’t actually remember the time that I was called “Miss” more than I was/am  called  “Ma’am”. I am pretty sure that when I was 23 and pushing a stroller with 2 little babies in it, even then….  more often than not I was called Ma’am over Miss. Frankly, it didn’t bother me much one way or another.  In defense to those involved, it was fair to assume I wasn’t a “Miss”.  If they had the advantage of knowing my last name I would of been called Mrs.

Today, 30+ years later, things have changed somewhat in terms of titles.  Younger women could be called Ms. if the person addressing them was unclear about their marital status.  The word “Ms.” or at least words used in the fashion of not associating a woman to be the mistress of a man has been around since the 17th century but it didn’t gain popular usage in the U.S. until the 20th century.

In 1961, Sheila Michaels attempted to put the term into use when she saw what she thought was a typographical error on the address label of a copy of News & Letters sent to her roommate. Michaels “was looking for a title for a woman who did not ‘belong’ to a man.” She knew the separation of the now common terms Miss and Mrs. had derived from “Mistress”, but one could not suggest that women use the original title with its now louche connotations. Her efforts to promote use of a new honorific were at first ignored. Around 1971, in a lull during a WBAI-radio interview with The Feminists group, Michaels suggested the use of Ms. A friend of Gloria Steinem heard the interview and suggested it as a title for her new magazine. Ms. magazine’s popularity finally allowed the term to enjoy widespread usage. In February 1972, the US Government Printing Office approved using “Ms.” in official government documents

Around that same time other things changed as well.  More and more women retained their own surnames or hyphenated their name with their husband’s name after marriage.   Many opted to use Ms. instead of Mrs.

Thought Number Two:   Why I Am a Lady

Typically, if I am somewhere that people have to address me and they have the advantage of seeing my name on a charge card or some form of ID, they are still in a bit of a fix as to knowing how to address me.  Judging by my age, or the fact I wear wedding rings, it would seem easy enough to call me Mrs. BUT it isn’t easy because no one can figure out how to say my last name.  I, actually, admire the people that give it a try.  Few ever succeed in getting it right but they get points for trying.  Mostly there are the apprehensive about making a mistake,  though and  just say…Thanks, Cheryl or don’t use any name for fear of getting it wrong.  I respect that.

Sunday, though I was at a nursery getting bags of potting soil…big bags of potting soil that were beyond my capability of lifting.  After paying for the soil, the nursery  employee, walked me out to help load them into the back of my SUV.  After loading them, he was at a crossroads on how to address me.  I should tell you he was young and of Asian ethnicity.  After looking at my confusing name on the pickup slip, he grinned ever so sweetly and said, “Have a great weekend, Lady!”

So now I have been a Miss, a Ms., a Mrs., a Ma’am, and a Lady.  I think all of those need to be listed on the next government form I fill out so that I can check the appropriate box.

Cheryl - The Art of Being Conflicted

A veteran of corporate moves from which I survived moving 21 times for my husband's job. I currently am a married, middle-aged (if I make it to 116) middle income, mom living in the very middle of the country, with time on her hands to jot down observations, judgements, and musings about past and current events.

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