“Stemfest” The Tulip Fesitival without Tulips!

In Holland, Michigan (a city known for its Dutch heritage) the annual tulip festival is being dubbed “Stemfest” thanks to unseasonably warm weather that has caused many of the flowers to bloom much to early. Tulip Time Festival has taken place in Holland for over 80 yrs & the festivals organizers are taking the hit in stride. Instead of fretting over the fact that more than 60% of the carefully planted tulips will be blown before the festival begins this Saturday, ...

On Friendship: Ten Lessons Learned from Winnie-the-Pooh & Crew…

“Promise me you’ll always remember; you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”Christopher Robin to Winnie-The-Pooh Friendship: The Original Winnie the Pooh Toys; via Wikipedia Clockwise from left to right: Tigger, Kanga, Edward Bear (aka Winnie-the-Pooh), Eeyore, and Piglet. If you watched or read any books on Winnie-the-Pooh, you’d probably remember that a major theme of the series was about friendship; the power of love and the lessons learned between friends. Winnie the Pooh, fondly known as Pooh Bear, had lots of friends in the Hundred ...

The Snake Charmer

The studio was packed with friends and admirers who’d come to celebrate an unappreciated old man, someone who’d long since given up on success and acclaim. Well-wishers raising their glasses to toast Henri Rousseau all shared a secret; the guest of honor was a shameful liar. Rousseau was a generation older than these new kids on the block, artists like Pablo Picasso. Picasso had lent his studio and arranged the banquet for Rousseau. The Spaniard was one of the few who ...

In Defense Of The Nap

Yogi Berra once said, “I take a two hour nap from one to four.” Funny, but naps have gotten a bad rap lately, only appreciated by exhausted moms desperate for a break from fussy babies, or kindergarten teachers praying for an after-lunch moment of quiet. I love naps. But one afternoon I neglected to close the bedroom door and was awakened by the sound of Mrs. Chatterbox talking to our son, CJ. In response to his questions I heard her say, ...

A Son Goes Astray: Risk Factors and City Kids

A child’s exposure to violence can have consequences for his development. Children exposed to violence are more likely to have internalizing and externalizing behavior problems (Peled 1995). In my December 2013 post, Castles In the Sky, I shared the story of how a young man's murder left a 7 year old believing that his life must not be worth much and America didn't care. That incident, combined with exposure to scores of others would indeed impact my development well into adulthood. I was collecting risk factors ...

Haiku: Happy For No Reason…

“Act happy, feel happy, be happy, without a reason in the world. Then you can love, and do what you will.” Dan Millman Haiku: Happy For No Reason… Pages turned or not. Cold days, long, long nights… He’s happy for no reason Pages turned or not… There are times when joy bubbles up inside of us, even as we’re going though major struggles. What triggers it? Does it even matter? When I saw the picture above, I tried to imagine what life must be like ...

Fun Flower Facts: Tiger Lily (Lilium Lancifolium)

Tiger Lily (Lilium lancifolium, formerly L.tigrinum) is one of the most popular species of lilies. It is considered a classic garden flower, an “oldie, but a goodie.” It is easily identified by its 6 bright orange, curved petals with black or dark purple spots that grow on tall, hairy stems. Unlike other lilies, Tiger lilies are not scented. Tiger lilies are native to China, Japan and Korea, but they are cultivated all around the world for its beauty. These flowers look ...

Food: A Taste For Dessert…

“Life is uncertain… Eat dessert first.” Ernestine Ulmer Food: A Taste For Dessert... Berry Crumble & Custard Food: A Taste For Dessert... Trifle But I, when I undress me Each night, upon my knees Will ask the Lord to bless me With a fine dessert please (amended) Eugene Field I love desserts and, frankly, given the chance I’d eat my dessert first… Some of my fondest memories of my High School days in England revolved around food; especially lunch time desserts in our refectory. I loved all our ...

6 Things to Consider Before Considering Kids: RELEVANT Magazine

A few weeks ago I submitted an article to RELEVANT Magazine online, which has a readership of 20-somethings and Millennials, titled 7 Ground Rules to Survive Relationship Conflict. Last week, I submitted my second article to the publication which they've posted as well. This second article is titled What to Consider Before Considering Kids and it addresses six areas that couples should consider, discuss and agree upon before having children. Here's an excerpt from my most recent piece at RELEVANT Magazine: ========================== Shortly after you’re married, ...

Women Speak More Goodly Than Guys

The headline of this blog post shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, in fact the best communicators I’ve known in my professional and personal live have all been the fairer sex – just ask my wife. In fact, the past 14 or so years that I’ve been in corporate communications all of my bosses have been women – and they’ve typically been some of  the best communicators within the various organizations. That fact comes to bear in two studies ...

Need a Laugh???

I’ve never been a fan of pranks or practical jokes, because they often can be cruel and get out of control quickly. Having said that, I do enjoy some of the stunts that the gang at Mediocre Films pull off. Below are two examples that poke fun at fast food restaurants and K-Mart respectively. The videos are clever, simple, yet exceptionally funny and still clean – which is becoming more and more rare. The first video features a guy (Greg Benson) using a ...

Book Review: It’s All About Relationship

Before I got up the nerve to ask my wife on our first date nearly two decades ago, I relied a great deal on the feedback from her friends to try and triangulate my feelings for her as well as gauge her interest in me. However, once we started dating the time we spent together talking and sharing experiences soundly trumped any past interactions with her friends because I had a direct line connecting me to her. That’s how I felt after ...

Stonecoast Writers’ Conference, Part 1

The reason I’ve been silent this week is that I’m in the delightful throes of a writers’ conference organized by the University of Southern Maine. It’s taking place in a great old building called Stone House on a leg of land just west of downtown Freeport (most famous as the home of L. L. Bean). I took this picture of one of the exterior walls. The set-in stones made me think of an abstract underwater scene because of the black-and-white ...

Birthdays Buzzards and Rainbows

Monday’s attempt at a birthday blog:Okay so I’m suppose to be writing a birthday blog and I’m finding that it isn’t so easy to write. I feel scattered. Maybe it’s that I have so much on my mind. Or perhaps it’s my age. Maybe my brain is starting to sag right along with my other assets. Sagging assets. Hahaha! Sorry. This isn’t going so well. Tuesday’s attempt at a birthday blog:I’m not feeling very reflective or poetic about my birthday. Having ...

A Good Master And A Greater Revelation

Here’s a great guest post from author, speaker and singer/songwriter Jason Clark.  Jason has just released his first solo book titled Prone to Love, which is available on Amazon.com, and poses a paradigm shift for the church today. If you’d like to write a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out ...

Share Your Favorite Vacation Memory

This week we're vacationing with some dear friends whom we've known for more than 20 years. We've rented a lake house and have had a great time boating, tubing, swimming, hiking and all the other water-related activities associated with lake life. While this is the first time we've ever vacationed with another family, our kids play well together and there's an aura of ease that surrounds the other parents, which makes everything very relaxing - this certainly won't be our last ...

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