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Pasta and Presidente

It was early afternoon in the Dominican Republic. To reach our final destination, we had to take a couple of buses, settle into the bed of a very old truck and cross a river on a horse led by a young boy who charged us five pesos. The trip required patience and stamina. A sense of humor helped, too. I was U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer. My sister Liz was traveling with me, a visitor to this tropical island for the first ...

Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients: 1 1/2 packs chocolate wafers 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup melted butter 220g dark chocolate (70%) 2 tubs full fat cream cheese (220g) 1 cup sugar 4 eggs 4 Tbsp cocao powder (unsweetened) 1 tsp vanilla extract 500ml sour cream 4 Tbsp Amarula cream (Cape Velvet or Baileys Irish Cream works just as well) Method: Crush the wafers with a rolling pin add the sugar and melted butter and mix well. Press mixture carefully onto sides and bottom of a 23cm springform pan. Chill in the fridge. Cream sugar and cheese. Add eggs one ...

Art of Controversy

Two Thoughts for Tuesday Thought #1 - Is it Funny or Offensive? A few posts ago, I was talking about how many fountains are placed around Kansas City.  Our city is also very prolific in it's placement of "art".  Quotes?  Why the quotes, you ask?    If we were talking face to face, I would have done the whole air quotes thing, when I said the the word art as you and I might not consider the following examples of art....  well...as art. Depends on ...

Timeless

Suddenly, it’s Wednesday again and time for Friday Fictioneers (don’t ask, just accept it, we do) ~ Writers from all over the globe come together to submit their 100 word stories or poems, inspired by the weekly prompt sent out by our lovely purple leader Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  It is her birthday today so join me in sending her the warmest of birthday wishes.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROCHELLE. The photo this week comes courtesy of the lady herself, my story follows the photo. Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Genre: Fiction Word Count: ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” Henry Van Dyke Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful for the changing face of nature and her seasons Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful for gatherings on healthy living, service, advocacy and love for others I’m thankful I grew up the way I did. It made me a hard worker and insightful to other people’s lives. Rachel Roy I’m thankful for every moment. Al ...

Cappadocia

I don’t often create posts that are primarily photographic, mostly because I’m not that good of a photographer, but when Mrs. C. and I visited Cappadocia, Turkey, we found it so bizarre and interesting that I figured not even my photography skills could fail to capture the uniqueness. This region of Turkey, created millions of years ago by a nearby volcano, was one of the earliest sanctuaries for early Christians outside of Judea. They enlarged caves into churches in this ...

Winey Chicken

This recipe is courtesy of Greedy Girl’s Diet: Eat yourself slim with gorgeous, guilt-free food with permission of the author, Nadia Sawalha I am always keen to try new recipes especially those which are filling yet with not too many calories. My biggest problem with losing weight is that I usually only have to look at food and I pile on the pounds! However, at only 211 calories per serving this recipe from the “Greedy Girl’s Diet” is not only low ...

Plant Profile: Astrantia

Astrantia, commonly known as Masterwort is a beautiful, shade loving perennial that adds colour and uniqueness to every garden, especially so when you consider it makes for a beautiful & long lasting cut flower. Masterwort can easily be grown from seed. Make sure you seed them in the fall as they need cold in order to germinate. Once you have a mature clump you can easily divide by carefully digging up the plant, split it into two and replant the halves. Masterwort ...

Heavy Rains Destroy flowering vines in Britain

British winemakers have every right to “wine” about the weather. The excess rainfall this summer has been destroying their crops and their subsequent profits for the year. Some parts of the country have already experienced a month’s worth of rain within a 24 hour period. Vines normally flower before turning into fruit, but this year the flowering season has been delayed. Farmers are bracing themselves for a poor harvest year. This year’s yield will be greatly reduced- a tenth of what ...

Fun Flower Facts: Vanda Orchid

Photo Credit: Flickr user, orchidgalore Vanda or Vanda Orchid is a highly prized orchid valued for its large, fragrant, and long lasting flowers that come in many rich and vibrant colours, including blue, red, pink and yellow. Flowers grow to be 1-4 inches in diameter. The flower spikes will typically carry 8-10 blooms and arise from the base of the leaves. Leaves are typically flat, broad and strap-like, while some are fleshy (succulent-like). Vanda orchids are monopodial plants, which means they ...

Gardening in New Orleans

Our garden is growing – we have tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and melon plus a lot of herbs growing at breakneck speed. Something new is always popping up. The funny thing about gardening is that once you figure it out in one place there is NO guarantee you will be successful (at first) in a different place. Some of the tomatoes are being eaten by something – not cutworms, but something I have yet to identify. There are bugs and worms that I ...

Trend Report: Tribal Patterns

It’s hard not to have noticed the recent explosion of tribal patterns in interior design, and for good reason. Nothing is quite as intriguing as the combination of bold patterns and texture in tribal textiles. The designs simply beg to be touched and add instant interest and vibrancy to any space. But just what are those patterns you’re seeing in all the stores and magazines? Here’s the scoop! Ikat started the recent trend and quickly spread everywhere, from fashion to interiors. ...

Fun Flower Facts: Passion Flower

Scientific name: Passiflora The passion flower, which has more than 500 different varieties, is native to South and Central America, tropical Australia and the Pacific islands The passion flower grows mainly on vines, but there are some that grow on shrubs Spanish missionaries gave the flower its name, likening the structure of the flower to elements of the story of the Passion of the Christ. The 10 petals and sepals represent the 10 apostles (not including Judas, the betrayer and Peter, the denier); the ...

They’re destroying the planet before going on vacation

I hear crashes and yelling coming from the basement. I walk quietly down the stairs to investigate. The playroom is out of control. Legos and puzzle pieces and soccer balls and feathers (feathers?!) are everywhere. Hi Mom. We’re destroying the planet. I can’t get into this right now, so I nod ok and head back upstairs. Bits and pieces of their dialog float upstairs. No more pizza! Toss it off the pirate ship! One more minute! They are boys, and they are ours. This week we’ve experienced crankiness, heat, vomit, ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Art Fear And Money

Venice

Art Fear and Money There have been books written of the subject of Art Fear and Money. What I’d like to address today is a fear that many of us have and try to ignore. It is more often than not a fear that we have learnt from our parents. Many of the decisions we make in …

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Stuck In The Middle With You (Hundreds of Drivers)

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I used to have an art teacher that spoke of tilling the soil of your mind. She insisted that if you begin doing things differently like opening doors with the opposite hand you normally do, trying a new restaurant instead of that same old place or taking a different route to work, it tends to …

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The apology of Pope Francis

pope-apologises

Pope Francis asks for forgiveness for child sex abuse by priests, says sanctions ‘must be imposed. Hmm… with a headline like that, how could I not read the article? To be clear, I am not a Catholic, nor do I know the Pope personally, or in any other capacity, however, I have read many articles expounding his virtues and generally indicating that he is a pretty decent bloke. …

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April 11: Join Us For The Ultimate Party on Google+

G+ Ultimate Party

Good morning everyone! Can you believe we are in the month of April and our party is in its 5th week? We are growing steadily as more of you spread the word and share a post. Thank you! Now on our 4th week of this great Google+ party. If you are new to this post and unsure about what this is, I’ll explain. Every Friday we host The Ultimate Party on Google Plus – G+ Bloggers and G+ers join the fun. …

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A Very Private Dancer

dee-2

I was very surprised and delighted that Rochelle had chosen one of my photographs for the prompt this week. It was taken at the end of a fiesta in Valldemossa, a lovely little town in Majorca where we spent a very enjoyable day. It is so good to see the number of writers taking part in …

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I’m sorry for my hypocrisy

hypocrite

I haven’t always been so true, No one knows this more than you. When your child was abused too, I said, “This is what you should do.” “You should definitely speak out!” My words becoming a shout. You should’ve given me a clout And said, “Go sort yourself out.” For yet, and all the while, I was drowning in denial, That though I continued to smile, I …

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