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The Bolo Rei – The Portuguese Taste of Christmas

When Steph Blog in France suggested a Christmas Blog Hop I thought what a great idea and maybe someone can share their tried and tested recipe for Bolo Rei as it originates in France! Bolo Rei - a true symbol of the Christmas season Bolo Rei is not simply a cake but also symbol of the Christmas season in Portugal as it is in France. The Bolo Rei (King Cake) originated in France and only arrived in Portugal during the mid-nineteenth century. It is ...

Two Thoughts on Kansas City

Two Thoughts for Tuesday Yesterday, hubby and I needed to go to one of the local shopping centers to pick up a few things.  Those of you that are regular readers know that I am not a big fan of shopping.  However, if I can use it as an excuse to walk around, people watch and have a meal thrown in for good measure, then it's not so bad. I especially like sitting on the benches by the fountains and watching all ...

On Twitter and the New Author by C.C.Cole June 18,2011

As a new author, I admit being slow to catch on to Twitter.  As I watched TV and saw Twitter quoted on numerous occasions, all I could figure it was the same as telephone text messaging, but many (thousands) at once.  With the help of an expensive publicist when my first book “Act of Redemption” came out in 2009, I had a Twitter account.  With a complete misunderstanding of how it worked, I successfully “tweeted” myself for almost a year.  ...

The Epiphany Part II

When last I posted here (now realizing it has been more than 2 weeks) Id and Ego were left behind while I went away for a vacation. Why is a vacation such a big deal? Why were Id and Ego left behind? Well, I don’t think I came to fully realize its value until I got back and thought about it. When Mariann (my late wife) passed away I poured myself into my work and became a bit of a social ...

What is a Cataplana?

Cataplana Since moving to Portugal one of my favorite meals, when we eat out, is a fish stew (Caldeirada) but the type which is cooked and served in a copper dish called a Cataplana. As you can see from my photograph the dish resembles the shell of a clam with two hinged shells which are then clamped tightly together during cooking. Researching the origin of the dish Wikipedia states Cataplana was invented by Armando Luz (1927-2002), however other sources such as ...

Strange and Wacky Travel Destinations Part 2

If you can't get around the globe to visit some of the sites mentioned in Part 1 click here then don't worry. There are plenty of strange attractions right here in the US. Here are a few places to stop on your next road trip. National Museum of Funeral History Image by Mr. Kimberly via Flickr The Museum, which was founded by Robert Waltrip, opened its doors in 1992 in Houston Texas. The museum has various exhibitions that include a casket factory, Civil ...

And Winter Drags On and On and On and On and On

Gotta love the return to rotten weather.  At least I am trying to love the return to rotten weather!   After 9 days of sun and warmth in the wonderful state of Texas we are back in the thick of winter.  Ugh.  I am so over winter.  It seems to be dragging  on and on and on and on and on.  You get the point. I must say that we were very, very fortunate to get back from Texas in such good ...

Creativity In Coromandel

When I was in Coromandel, well to be more precise, on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, recently, I had coffee at a place called Colville.  What’s at Colville then? Well not much actually – a Post Office, a General Store which seconds as a petrol station and this little coffee bar called the Green Schnapper Cafe  .Now I had to look it up on line and there seems to be a little controversy over the spelling of Schnapper.  Is ...

5 Flowers that Love the Heat

As you know, not all flowers are created equal. Some flowers prefer shady conditions and avoid the heat like a plague. And there is good reason to stay in the shade. Extreme heat can destroy your flowers and should be protected from the heat. On the other hand, some like it HOT! In fact, the hotter, the better. There are flowers that thrive in the heat and aren’t afraid of extreme temperatures. And I’m not referring to those prickly desert plants. ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers…

“Each flower is a soul blossoming out to nature.” Gerard De Nerval Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers... Beautiful Lutea... Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers... Lovely lilies... Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers... More blooms in lilies... Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers... blooming black eyed susans... I love flowers in all shapes and forms and could spend hours in a garden enjoying the blooms. At different points in my life, I have been an avid gardener and then a reluctant one. When I moved to the suburbs, just before my twins ...

Red Tipped Photinia

Red Tipped Photinia Tree Photo credit: davesgarden.com Photinia is in the genus of deciduous and evergreen east Asian trees and shrubs widely cultivated as ornamentals for their white flowers and red fruits; in some classifications includes genus Heteromeles. From the family Rosaceae; rose family (a large family of dicotyledonous plants of order Rosales; have alternate leaves and five-petaled flowers with numerous stamens). Suitable for zones 7a & up this plant makes for a lovely shrub, hedges or if left alone will grow quite ...

Procreate – An Awesome Tool For Creative Block

Procreate – Overcome some forms of creative block with this tool! Procreate is a great iPad App that works in a similar way to Photoshop. This week I came up against a creative block in my current painting. I am working on an image that I have adapted from a photo. The problem I faced was converting a largely monochromatic image into one that celebrates colour. However as I was doing this, I didn’t pay enough attention to what was going on ...

prickly nature

thorny. spiny. ouch! barbed. nature's prickly backyard things. BUT FIRST... a month or so ago, i tried to make reservations at ANY north florida state park campground... for thanksgiving weekend. but no luck. no availability. so i took the FIRST weekend we could get...at ANY park. and that turned out to be THIS weekend...at Paynes Prairie State Park... our hometown park!  ha! well, it's one step up from camping in our own backyard, like we did last weekend! Paynes Prairie is cool though. LOTS of trails...a lake...maybe 'gator, wild horses and bison ...

It’s Dahlia Season!

Summer is one of my favourite times of the year because many of my favourite flowers will be in full bloom, like the stunning dahlia! Not only are they beautiful, in the language of flowers, the dahlia symbolizes elegance and dignity! Dahlias are known for their their breathtaking beauty and the way they seem to bring life to any garden or indoor space! They are popular ornamental plants that come in vast range of colours, sizes, and forms! And best of ...

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Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort

I Want to Hear From You!!!

Usually I’m spouting off about something or other here, but I’d really like to hear from you! Now that May is over and summer has unofficially begun I thought it would be cool to go back and look at a few of your favorite things from his Spring. In the comment section below, please share with us the best book you read; movie you saw or experience you had in the few weeks – please include a few sentences why. My hope is to spark a bit of discussion and interaction…

Calling All Bloggers!!!!

If you’re a blogger, leave a comment with a link to your favorite blog post that you wrote in March, April, or May. (If you’re not a blogger, leave a comment to your favorite blog post on someone else’s blog during the Spring.) There’s nothing wrong with shameless self-promotion.

Excited to read your favorites!

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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