Giant Killer

Several of you asked if I ever found the albino tadpole mentioned in "Burgie the Carpet King." As Paul Harvey would have said,"Here's the rest of the story." In the early 60s, I whiled away summer days under the sycamore tree in the front yard of our modest Kilarney Park home. Never far away was my best friend Ricky Delgado. One morning Ricky said, “Let’s go check out Cabrillo Creek.” “Naw.” I was enjoying a library book about a pet turtle that ...

A Beginner’s Guide to Starting Seeds Indoors

Now is the time to start your seeds indoors, generally 4-8 weeks before the last frost date. Growing plants from seeds is inexpensive and gives gardeners more variety to choose from. There is also a sense of accomplishment and joy that comes from starting from scratch.  This would be a fun little project to do with your kids during their spring break. It’s not as complicated as some people may think. Here is a beginner’s guide to starting seeds indoors: Seed Choice Seeds ...

Preventing Plant Troubles

All gardens, no matter how well maintained are subject to troubles from insects and diseases that can, and will attack your plants as soon as your back is turned! The best way to handle plant troubles is PREVENTION. Choose your plants carefully! Bulbs: You want bulbs that are solid & firm at the base with no growth. Ensure they are are mold free. Stay away from bulbs that are covered if they are covered in withered scales. Most are planted in Autumn but ...

On Labor Day: Shifting Gears From Summer To Fall…

“A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity.” Thomas Jefferson On Labor Day: Shifting Gears From Summer To Fall... Ignore the no white rule... live! On Labor Day: Shifting Gears From Summer To Fall... capture the colors of falling foliage Labor Day Weekend  is a time to shift gears from the summer of surf and sand fun to a return to work and the impending fall season. It sets the tone serving us notice ...

Putrella, the Corpse Flower is Now in Full Bloom at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton

What’s 8 ft tall and smells like death? That would be Putrella, the Corpse Flower! Also known scientifically as titan arum or amorphophallus titan, the affectionately named Putrella, is the tallest and the stinkiest plant in the world and we had an opportunity to see this rare and unusual plant in person!  It’s a rare sight to see an exotic plant like this, especially in a winter city like Edmonton. And it’s even rarer to see it bloom, as it only ...

Haiku: Autumn Clouds…

“A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed…It feels an impulsion…this is the place to go now…” Richard Bach Autumn clouds arrived Like a wounded bride, glumly… Grey, cold, day and night When we need to be succinct and practice periods of quiet contemplation, a haiku can’t be beat.  Recently, I took some photos of clouds and they made me pause. Nature is so magnificent; it offers miracles everyday. “But the sky knows the reasons ...

Fun Flower Facts: Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla)

Pasque Flower (sometimes pasqueflower) is a genus of flowering plants native to the meadows, foothills and prairies of North America, Europe and Asia. It is a member of the buttercup family. The pasque flower can be identified by its showy, bell-shaped flowers and attractive seed heads. The leaves are grey-green. Fine hairs cover the entire plant, including the flowers, stems, leaves and buds. The flowers have 5-7 petal-like sepals. Flowers are available in a rainbow of colours including, blue, pink, ...

How to Plant Tulips

There’s no denying that tulips are one of the most popular spring-flowering bulbs! Tulips are reliable and winter hardy bulbs that do well in cold, harsh climates, like Canada. While tulips are considered perennials, they are often treated as annuals in North America. These beauties, which come in a rainbow of colours and variety of forms, are garden showstoppers, especially when planted in masses. So if you want beautiful colour in your garden next spring, late fall (before the ground freezes) ...

Capturing Nature’s Palette with Chip It!

Have you discovered Chip It! yet? It’s one of my favorite new design applications. The tool allows you to take any picture and turn it into a collection of up to 10 Sherwin-Williams paint colors through a matching process with the company’s extensive database. Not only is it very helpful, it’s also a lot of fun! I’ve been a bit of a mad scientist lately, experimenting with images and coming up with some unique and exciting color palettes. And recently I ...

Top-10 Phrases From My Mom

My mom in her 20s Last night I saw that one of my sisters had a collection of our mother's photos posted up on a Facebook page. The photo insert to the left, was always one of my favorites of my mom when I was growing up. Our parents raised five children and would have celebrated their 45th anniversary last month had they both been alive. My father died of a heart attack in August 2006 and my mother died in a ...

Three Things That Make Summer Great

Our two girls officially began their summer vacation this week. The other night at dinner I asked, "What three things would make this summer great?"  Here were the verbatim, ranked responses: The 9-year old 1. No more school - (Ok, that's a given. It's kind of like a wasted genie wish.) 2. Horse camp - (Indeed, she did this camp last year and loved it - there's no doubt that Horse Camp version 2.0 will be anything less than spectacular.) 3. Swimming like a ...

Fourth of July Conversation with Cleverbot

One of the more popular features here on The Daily ReTORt happens to be my conversations with Cleverbot. What is a Cleverbot you ask? Cleverbot, is an Internet-based, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) software  that supposedly learns by conversing with humans via an instant messaging platform. While Cleverbot is not intentionally clever, conversations with it can be somewhat entertaining – especially around holidays. Here’s the most recent interview I had with this bastion of A.I. idiocy: Belated Memorial Day with Cleverbot Below, is a conversation I had with ...

12 Rules for Every Family

Every Friday and Saturday, there's an Amish farmers' market that occupies a large storefront at a local plaza near our home.  We visit a couple times a month to shop for produce and other goods. During a recent tour of homespun products from the residents of Lancaster County, PA we saw this sign titled "Family Rules" that my wife and I loved - it's pictured here as it's currently hanging in our home. Just in case the image quality isn't that great ...

1st Radio Interview for My Book!!!

Last night, I had the opportunity to talk about my new, best-selling book A Question of Faith with Phoenix-based radio talk show host Michael Ray Dresser, his nightly topical radio show is titled Dresser After Dark. If you’re interested, here’s my 15-minute interview in its entirety: If you’re interested in my book, I’m offering a special  limited time offer this week. Click the link below for details at how you can get your copy of A Question of Faith as well as 60 Bonus ...

Huffington Post Book Club and Me

You may recall my plan to participate in the Huffington Post Book Club (to refresh your memory, click here). It depends on what aspect of being in a book club you want to focus on, to decide whether I succeeded. Did I participate? Yes, in the first third of the reading schedule. Did I read the whole book? Yes, but after the first third I was behind everyone else. Did I enjoy the book? Not really! Will I try another book with that group? ...

Sepia Silence

I tried to write a blog but all I found was rain and silence. I drew the silence unto myself, snuggling in for a mind-numbing cuddle. Silence initially manifests in black and white, like an old photo whispering sepia secrets, slowly mingling with my mind and stirring up color—stringing dreams across my soul like a gypsy clothesline. When I close my eyes I can see eternity, the lofty things with no boundaries or limitations—my playground, my meditation hall, my burial ground. ...

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Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation
March 17, 2012, 2:59 am

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual…

“Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.”  Edward Weston

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual… Changing terminal lights

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual… Changing terminal lights

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual… Changing terminal lights

“I feel as though I have lived many lives, experienced the heights and depths of each and like the waves of the ocean, never known rest. Throughout the years, I have looked always for the unusual, for the wonderful, for the mysteries at the heart of life.”  Leni Riefenstahl

What is normal and what is unusual? In the world of one eyed fish, a two eyed fish is a freak… But is it? Remember the Twilight zone..? My normal could be your nuts! The photos and videos I share might tickle your fancy as unusual or not. I’ll understand. The first two pictures above were taken at the arrivals concourse at Ann Arbor airport. I adjusted the remaining two to show how the colors changed. What struck me as pretty unusual but equally stunning was the way the colors changed  as you walked through that tunnel; it felt like a psychedelic discotheque.

“Today is a most unusual day, because we have never lived it before; we will never live it again; it is the only day we have.”  William Arthur Ward

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual… lights in the woods

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual… lights in the woods

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual… lights in the woods

Traditional Irish Blessing: Happy St Patrick’s Day

“Afraid no, I wasn’t afraid but it was an unusual thing, it was an unusual feeling. It was an unusual atmosphere for me having grown up in this country and, and, and never seeing anything like that.”  Ralph Boston

These set of colorful lights appeared out of nowhere as I was driving home from a rural part of upstate NY.  As I turned a corner, they were sitting there glowing in the woods in the dark night. I pulled over and took these shots; unusual for the area. The Irish Blessing  video is not unusual. (Thanks Francine!). I added it to celebrate St Paddy’s Day; now his story is a tad unusual. So, let’s just go ahead and celebrate all that we are; unique, unusual, unabashed, unadulterated, unapologetic… and then let’s stand tall in our St Patrick’s Day  regalia and blow off some steam… better yet, let’s get beyond the blarney. Slainté! (Irish for Here’s to your Health!)

“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” Jim Rohn

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual… The Octagon House

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual… The Octagon House/Armour-Stiner House

The Browser You Loved To Hate: IE

Today can be a healthy unusual day for you — and for others — if you take time to give someone a smile . . . to express a word of kindness . . . to lend a helping hand to someone in need . . . to write a note of gratitude . . . to give a word of encouragement to someone who is temporarily overcome with problems . . . to share a portion of your material possessions with others.” William Arthur Ward

This home, the Octagon House (Armour-Stiner House), is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It is a popular 8 sided, pink colored historic home in Irvington, NY. It is known locally as the Octagon House and I walk by it on my Aqueduct jaunts. Several years ago, I took a tour with the local Historical Society and was surprised to find the rooms were unusual in size and the ceilings somewhat low. The grounds are quite beautiful and the home is occupied. The video is just something to make you laugh. Enjoy! More below.

“Comedy is unusual people in real situations; farce is real people in unusual situations.”  Chuck Jones

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual… Floor length hair

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual… Nested Magazine Bowls

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual… Comic Con Character in Connecticut

“The Greeks already understood that there was more interest in portraying an unusual character than a usual character – that is the purpose of films and theatre.”  Isabelle Huppert

Okay, so the rest of  my unusual choices are an eclectic mix of photos. The first is my friend J with her floor length hair; pretty impressive. The next is a set of nested bowls made from magazine pages. They are quite sturdy and colorful. I got them at a fair. The last, for those familiar with Comic Con, is something my kids are into. Every year, they go to several of these gatherings where people dress up as comic characters.  Hope you enjoyed this! What are your thoughts? What photos depicting Unusual did you find? Was it easy/hard to find photos that made sense of your views on the Unusual? Were you drawn to certain types of photos for the prompt? Do share? Thank you!

My fellow bloggers were equally creative with their selections. I listed several below. I appreciate TRACKBACKS/PINGBACKS & LIKES from fellow bloggers too! Check out how others interpreted the theme UNUSUAL below. ***

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual. Share a picture that means UNUSUAL to you!

Positive Motivation Tip: Celebrate all that you are; unique, unusual, unabashed, unadulterated, unapologetic YOU! What is normal and what is unusual? In the world of one eyed fish, a two eyed fish is a freak… But is it? Remember the Twilight zone..? My normal could be your nuts!

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection. Except: 2nd Armour-Stiner House Photo, via Wikipedia.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation

Motivate. Elevate. Laugh. Live Positively… I am a mother of two, sister to many and a card-carrying certified optimist. My family and friends are golden because our love and trust is unequivocal. I've traveled, I've lived, I've had my share of happiness and hurt and I remain grateful for God's grace in my life...

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