Fun Flower Facts: Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

Birds of Paradise or Strelitzia reginae is one of the most recognized tropical plants. The bright orange sepals and purple petals emerging from the light green stalks resemble its namesake, a colourful bird with long feathers. As a garden plant, the birds of paradise would do best in tropical or subtropical environments, particularly climate zones: 9-12, where it’s warm, sunny and free from frost. A plant starting from seed will take 3-5 years to mature and produce flowers. Plants grown from ...

Musings: Share A Joke…

“If you aren’t a naturally happy person, take time each day to cultivate that which brings you happiness.” Madisyn Taylor A recently hired junior manager at a multinational corporation, Joe X, puts his foot in his mouth… On Joe’s fifth day at the office, he called the company canteen and ordered a sandwich. It didn’t arrive in 10 minutes as promised. After waiting longer than usual for his lunch order, Joe, already in a bad mood, decided to call the canteen extension… ...

Time: Losing A Day In Our Lives…

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” Albert Einstein Time: Losing A Day In Our Lives... Samoa Upolu - Where time will skip 24 hours... Time: Losing A Day In Our Lives... Samoa country map. Time is an illusion... What would you do if  you lost a 24 hour day? Zapped off the calender. Gone! At 11:59:59 p.m, the island nation of Samoa (not to be confused with American Samoa) will lose a full 24 hour ...

A Mother's Example and The Law of Giving

In 1959, a neighborhood child asked my mother to teach her how to paint. My parents, both artists, opened their home to this child and a seed was planted in The Fruitbelt Neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The dynamic exchange  of energy known a The Law of Giving and Receiving was set in motion as this seed quickly took root, was nurtured and allowed to grow organically. One little girl gaining exposure and access to the visual arts at my parent's ...

Pimping The Duke's Ride

When I graduated from college and decided to become a professional artist I had to figure out what type of art I wanted to specialize in. I considered painting landscapes because I enjoyed depicting mountains and streams, but I settled on portrait painting because nothing gave me greater pleasure than smearing colors on a blank surface to create an image that looked like it could talk back to you. This, for me, was pure magic. I placed samples of my work ...

Castles In the Sky

Social activist and educational reform leader Geoffrey Canada opens the documentary film Waiting for Superman by sharing the story of how he cried when his mother told him that Superman wasn't a real person. He goes on to share that his mother thought he was crying because he found out that his favorite comic book hero wasn't real. Yet he notes that in truth the tears were due to the realization that no one with enough power was going to come and save the ...

Fun Flower Facts: Tigridia (Tiger Flower)

Tigridia, also known as tiger flower or shell flower, is a genus of about 30 bulbous plants that belong to the Iridaceae family, which includes the iris, crocosmia, crocus, and freesia. Many of the species are native to Mexico and Guatemala. Tigridias are valued for their large, showy flowers that come in variety of bright colours and attractive sword-like leaves. Flowers come in vibrant reds, pinks, yellow, white and purple. These exotic beauties have 3 large outer petals and 3 small ...

Haiku: Immortalized as Lady Liberty…

“The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying, ‘Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.’ She’s got a baseball bat and yelling, ‘You want a piece of me?” Robin Williams Haiku: Immortalized as Lady Liberty Lady Liberty… Mine, cast in stone, struggles free Want a piece of me? Copper, Wrought Iron Her old clothes… tossed casually She wants to be free Suffering Lady On a painful pedestal Dashed dreams… Hopes for peace Why is it significant? She stands for the hope, fears and tears many immigrants live with in ...

Grace and Poise on a Book Tour

It’s the rare author who gets sent on cross-country book tours these days. But when your book hits the front page of The New York Times Book Review, well, that’s a different story (or kettle of fish or ball of wax). I don’t know exactly when Lily King’s publisher, Grove Atlantic, decided to send her on the road to sign copies of Euphoria, but she’s been traveling each week now since June 11. The Times review was published June 7, and ...

The Story of Three Vases

Here’s a guest post from writer, Lynn Mosher who writes unique devotionals over on her blog http://lynnmosher.com/. If you’d like to write a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: “God does not want us to be like vases of glass or porcelain.” ~unknown “Here comes a prospective customer,” whispered the cut-glass vase to the porcelain vase. “She’ll pick me. I’m the prettiest and I can tell she likes the best of everything,” the hand-painted porcelain vase muttered haughtily. “You’re just cheap ol’ ...

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 ...

Putting My Money (…you know where…)

Best-selling author, speaker, blogger - Michael Hyatt This is launch week for a fantastic book titled Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World written by best-selling author, speaker, uber-blogger – Michael Hyatt. I’m part of Michael’s Platform Launch Team and am helping make his book a New York Times best seller. That best-seller list is determined by reported book sales during a specific week – for Michael’s book, it’s this week. To help drive those sales – Michael is offering a great bonus offer to ...

3 Expectations Parents Should Have for Kids

Our Daughters 2011 I’ve always been a believer in the idea that your reach should exceed your grasp. In other words, bite off more than you can comfortably chew. I believe in setting high expectations and goals. Of course that type of thinking is out of vogue especially for kids these days with their fragile self esteem; “gradeless” report cards that are now based on effort rather than competency and bedroom shelves stacked with trophies and ribbons they didn’t earn but were given ...

4 Tips to Beat the Honey Do List

Photo Credit: Creative Commons – Jacob Aaron Here’s a guest post from a great writer, Marie Ortiz, who’s a part-time staff writer for www.DIYMother.org and a full time social media manager. She is a mother to two beautiful girls and enjoys teaching them and watching them grow. She loves to share her findings along the way. If you’d like to write a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: ======================== My husband and I have been married for ten years and together, we made and ...

Rejecting the Truth, Even When It’s True

Our family recently attended a surprise 40th birthday for a dear family friend. There were about 60 of us in total, 40 adults and the rest were children. After the collective “surprise” and dinner, most of the kids went outside to play on an ultra-cool playground that was about 100 yards from the dining hall where the event occurred. All of us adults remained inside and watched as Rob quickly opened his few gag gifts and cards, while a few of the ...

Life-Changing Books Redux / Eating Animals

About thirty years ago, I swore off veal. I had read a one-page consciousness-raising ad about how calves are treated from birth to death to make them good sources of veal. Imagine my shock the other day when I saw the exact same ad show up again in a magazine I was reading. Say what? I haven’t eaten veal for thirty years and these animals are still being treated like this? How naïve was I to think I could make ...

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