Haiku: Think Pink…

“Every woman needs to know the facts. And the fact is, when it comes to breast cancer, every woman is at risk.” Debbie Wasserman Schultz Haiku: Think Pink… National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Haiku: Think Pink… National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Think Pink while you wait… For your mammography results Love meets awareness. Think Pink and hold on… For your kid’s birthday balloons Love floats towards you Think Pink … remember A Breast exam reminder Two hearts linked as one Since the fall of 1991, when the Susan G. Komen Foundation gave ...

Inspiration: What Are Life’s Big Questions?

“The most important questions in life can never be answered by anyone except oneself.” John Fowles Inspiration: What Are Life's Big Questions?... Who Am I? Paul Gauguin The Conversation Couch – Life’s Big Questions (Super Soul Sunday – Oprah Winfrey Network) We all have questions about our lives; big and small questions… Who Am I? Why Am I Here? We want to know the meaning of life: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? For each person, a ...

Haiku: Forever Young…

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” Sophia Loren Haiku: Forever Young… The Fountain of Youth by Lucas Cranach Would you take a sip? Frozen visage, Guileless face Sweet fountain of youth… Would you run the risk? Numbness, necrosis, death mask For a youthful look… Would you consider? Laughter lines, wrinkled life signs Or Dorian Gray‘s life… Given the ...

Reflections: Ten Things To Be Grateful For Today…

“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can – there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.” Sarah Caldwell Reflections: Ten Things To Be Grateful For Today... grateful for life, love and more... The gift of life ~ The gift of love ~ The gift of writing ~ Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post, on my Positive Kismet blog, that looked back at 2010 and then forward at 2011. The post which was based on ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary…

“Life is for each man a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.”  Eugene O’Neill Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary… A visitor in quiet contemplation at Trinity Church, NY Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary… After work hours in Chinatown… a solitary worker unwinds Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary… A lady reads in a local cemetery… Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary… Peace Day Banner Watch: live streaming video from peacedaytv at livestream.com As I work on this post, I am reminded again that September 21st is International Peace Day and that the ...

Masks: Why they Matter…

“Our masks, always in peril of smearing or cracking, in need of continuous check in the mirror or silverware, keep us in thrall to ourselves, concerned with our surfaces.” Carolyn Kizer Masks: Why they Matter... to reveal or conceal Protecting our Reputation… Masks play a significant, positive role in many cultures because they are used to present different aspects of life in a given society. At different points in our lives, we all wear masks. They could be real ones or imaginary masks. ...

Whats The Obsession with Pansy’s?

Though they are called pansy’s these hearty little flowers are anything but wimpy. They are one of the toughest flowers, they are perfect for our climate, and thrive here in Canada. This little flower has inspired many a poem, picture and story. According to Wikipedia: “The pansy is a group of large-flowered hybrid plants cultivated as garden flowers. They are derived from viola species Viola tricolor, hybridized with other viola species. The hybrids are referred to as Viola. The common word “pansy” ...

The pBook vs eBook: Dial D For Dilemma…

“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” Sydney J. Harris The pBook vs eBook: Dial D For Dilemma… Paperback — nothing beats opening up a brand new book or rummaging through a bookstore. 75.77% (294 votes) ebooks — you can get new books in a flash and bring multiple reads with you everywhere you go. 24.23% (94 votes) Total Votes: 388 ( Results ...

Reading is Dead, Long Live E-Reading

I may have possibly overstated the state of book reading in the title of this post – but it’s close. Consider that last Christmas – 11 short months ago – the largest book seller in the world (Amazon) reported that revenue from e-books had finally surpassed sales of print edition books. Is it really a surprise? Consider what has happened in the music industry. When was the last time you bought an audio tape or even a CD? It’s simply easier and more convenient to ...

Battle of the Sexes Part 4: Pillow Talk - Funny Movie Short

Here is part 4 of my Wedded BlissTors animated, movie shorts. The premise of these cartoons is that marriage is bliss, but couples often experience blisters (or "bliss-tors") along the way. This 2-minute episode deals with two different perspectives of a "nightmare" and the humorous realization that a dreamed perception might be reality. If you liked this video, check out my other animated movie shorts: Bathroom Humor It's About Time Men Buy Vs. Women Shop If you've ever subscribed to this blog, those links no longer work ...

5 Decision-Making Lessons for Leaders

Not all decisions are created equally – some are much tougher for a leader to make than others. Consider the recent decisions surrounding National Football League quarterback, Peyton Manning. A Gordian Knot of Decisions The future NFL hall-of-famer recently left the Indianapolis Colts to become the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Prior to that decision, Manning had only played professionally for Indianapolis. The team drafted him out of college more than 13 years ago. During that tenure, Manning won a Super Bowl, ...

Designing with Ann Sacks

One of my favorite things about being an interior designer is discovering new products and using them in unexpected ways. I always strive to create one-of-kind rooms, using products that are current without being trendy. And that’s why I love Ann Sacks! Her tile and stone products are unique and timeless. Here’s a sneak peak at a client’s kitchen where we used one of her new products as the focal point of the room’s backsplash. The lantern-pattern ceramic art tile is pillow-cut, ...

Life Personified

A friend recently commented on my habit of personifying things. At first I wasn’t sure what he meant so I looked it up on dictionary.com: “per·son·i·fi·ca·tio [per-son-uh-fi-key-shuh n] noun, the attribution of a personal nature or character to inanimate objects or abstract notions.” He was right. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. I think I do it because life has become so big and scary that humanizing things brings life down to my level. Living in a world where, amongst ...

My Word is my Bond, even at Age 8

Here’s a guest post from a talented writer and graphic designer, Maria Cowell. Check out her site HERE or follow her on Twitter: @HipMamaMedia. If you’d like to submit a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines HERE. ============================= Some places are more free-wheeling than others. I live in Southern California, the epicenter of the laid-back lifestyle. Seriously, dressing up for a wedding here means wearing the flip-flops with rhinestones instead of the ones sans bling. Frankly, I don’t mind since I do, in ...

Conversing With Scarecrows.

Sometimes life’s familiar road unexpectedly forks, leaving one to converse with scarecrows on which direction to go. Both roads appear to be identical…equally strange, having never walked down either of these paths before, so choosing one is often as random as an impulse…I’ll go right because I’m right handed. When you don’t know where you’re headed any road will take you there. I don’t believe it’s the road that matters so much, (when you’re traveling without a map) it's the attitude ...

The Economics of Candy Trading

I’ve written about the best and worst candies before – been there, done that. But I’m in awe of this geniusly-funny satirical look at candy trading in the aftermath of Halloween, which spoofs classic economic theory as a way to maximize your confection capital. It was the funniest three minutes of my past week, and my funny bone is indebted to my friend Esther Buzzell for sharing this video – you won’t be disappointed! Question: How long will you keep Halloween candy in your ...

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Cheryl - The Art of Being Conflicted
May 22, 2012, 11:49 am

Neighborhood Dirt

Thought Number One:  Gardens in My Neighborhood

To catch everyone up to speed…I like to garden. (For my readers that have been around awhile, you might remember last year’s garden post about Lil Bastard, a ravenous rabbit that still calls my yard his “salad bar”. Just in case you missed it here’s the link… Hare Today Gone Tomorrow )

I say “I love gardening” in the same vein as others might admit to hoarding or binge eating…that is with a bit of “I know I shouldn’t be saying this out loud as people will think I’m either a nutjob
or old or both” but still…here it is…I like to garden.

As far as me being thought of as a whackadoodle.  Probably.  At least this is the case where I live.  Not so long ago my neighbors gathered in front of my house to have a little pow-wow.  Me, being the naive person I am, decided to join them and participate in what I thought would be the typical rumor mill type of conversation.  No…they were having a discussion on what a waste of time and effort “gardening” is.  Now you would think that because, I was out in my yard, knee deep in compost, pulling my little red garden wagon around with my supplies that maybe this conversation would of halted as the subject of the conversation came into ear shot.

NO…on they went with what a time and money suck gardening and yard work in general is.  For a couple of minutes, I tried to interject the benefits of monetary value on resale (added bonus to remind them that I am a Realtor…unfortunately another topic that repels them) or the emotional and physical benefits of working in your yard.  They were having none of that.

As the conversation went on, the neighbor from across the street went on to say that he had decided to tear out all of his foundation plantings as the caring for them is just too much work.  At this point, I decided to just keep my mouth shut.  Really, the crappy little shrubs that builders put around the front door here and call it “your landscape package” is usually three boxwoods with a Princess Spirea thrown in for color.  How much work can that take????

I am trying to be discreet while taking this picture with a zoom lens for fear the neighbor will be wondering what I am up to. He walked out of his garage 1 minute later.  I thought he would ask me what the hell I was doing, but he didn’t.

He was true to his word.  A week or so later, out they came.  All the shrubs have gone missing and now there is some type of drain something in it’s place.  I have no idea what that is about.

So for the last couple of weeks, I have been back in my yard for it’s seasonal clean up while my neighbors all glare across the fence with wondering about the depths of my insanity.

However, to rationalize my gardening is not without reward, this is a picture taken on the day our inspections were done when we bought our little money pit. This was 6 years ago on a very cold February day.

This picture is from a similar angle looking across my back yard now.  That would be six years and a lot of planting later.

There is very little color in KC gardens yet.  Our suggested planting date is May 15th to prevent freeze damage.  Most flowers are several weeks from blooming.

Thought Number Two- Gardens on the Tour

Last Saturday the Johnson County Kansas Master Gardeners held their bi-annual garden tour.  Given my neighbor’s disdain for me puttering around my yard, they probably need to prepare themselves for the possibility that a Master Gardener could move in here someday.   I think I will make a point when I sell this house, to sell it to someone that is really into composting.  I might even point out the logical place for a huge compost pile right next to my neighbor’s fence.  There are laws about discriminating against people’s creed, gender, religion, …really all sorts of things but NO WHERE does it say I can’t discriminate “in favor” of a Master Gardener.  I might not even show my house to anyone that isn’t willing to haul in some manure.

Here are some pictures of the gardens on the tour.  Serious gardens…..

My photography doesn’t do this little pond justice.  It was really pretty with it’s lily pads.

This side gate led to the prettiest of the gardens I visited. The woman homeowner is an artist by trade.  It showed in her garden.

There were brick walks all around the yard with interesting flower beds along the path.

Kansas City gardens are difficult to keep looking lush as we have both extremely cold winters that kill off perennials and extreme summer heat and drought will kill what is left. But this yard has it figured out.

I thought this was cute.  The homeowner has a little garden hide-away in the very back of their yard.  Seems their cat likes it as well.

A knot garden was prettier than this picture shows.  There was a man with an impressive looking camera lining up his shot and I was trying to stay out of his way.

A different angle but still not the best. Bet the guy with the mega lens camera got a good pic.

This yard had a lot of slopes but the homeowners still managed to put some pretty gardens in.

I added this one because at the back of one garden, the homeowners have built a little playhouse for their little girl.  I just thought this was adorable.

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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