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Haiku: Time Capsule…

“We seem to have a compulsion these days to bury time capsules in order to give those people living in the next century or so some idea of what we are like.” Alfred Hitchcock Haiku: Time Capsule… For my Time Capsule… I’ll gather what honors us hope, love, life, good deeds “It’s almost a snapshot in time…  He was in this one position all that time. It’s like opening a time capsule — what did he have in his pockets? What did he have with ...

Artist Dates – Gathering Part 2

Gathering Part 2 – More on  Artist Dates. I have a couple of questions about your artist dates.. Did you get yourself a nice blank notebook on your first artist date last week? Did you record your first artist date? Schedule time in your calendar to do this on a weekly basis. This time has to be NON NEGOTIABLE!! You will be amazed at the number of things that come up to try and sabotage this time. When this happens, the first thing to do ...

The First Day

I know some of you purists out there that feel the need to think in a systematic, organized way are wondering why I am posting "Day ONE" when I already posted a post named Day Two. [Day Two link] Well...because it's my blog and I  can play fast and loose with the timeline...but in reality that post was referring to the day, I posted it...not what we did on day two.  The REAL Day Two post will be coming soon. So...to bring ...

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

Wow I’m flattered and very surprised! Thank you Nicole! If you haven’t checked out Nicole’s fantastic plain stated motivational poetry, arc on over to her blog bareyournakedtruth.wordpress.com, see what’s she has to say about taking charge in her/your life. This just in, while I was writing this post I was nominated a second time by Susan, at susanwritesprecise.com! FUN! Thank you very much Susan!  This is kinda funny, as you will see, in the list below that I was/did nominate her great ...

Fried Chicken

Is there anything better than fried chicken?  It's the ultimate in comfort food. Ingredients: 500ml buttermilk A dash of Worcester sauce A few drops of hot sauce 1 tsp garlic powder 2 tsp salt 8 pieces of chicken 2 cups of flour 2 Tbsp chicken stock powder 2 tsp lemon pepper 2 tsp paprika 1/2 teaspoon chili (or peri-peri) 2 eggs beaten Oil for frying Method: Mix the buttermilk, garlic powder, Worcester sauce, hot sauce and salt. Pour into a large zip lock plastic bag and put the chicken pieces into the bag. Shake the bag ...

Where’d Leslie go?

Moving through and toward new things. Don’t give up on my blog. I WILL RETURN. I feel the words coming, Have images beginning to flash through my mind. Winters beginning to nip at my fingers and nose. The Sun is sinking sooner and the Moon rises earlier. On clear nights the stars glisten like diamonds on black velvet.  I’m inspired by the weight of the dark. In a few days it will settle in around me like a cool cave. A womb ...

Reflections: Most Ordinary…

“Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Reflections: Most Ordinary... there is much beauty in a simple flower... Today’s prompt on seeing the beauty and importance in the ordinary is quite fascinating. Typically, we are coaxed to seek the exhilarating and exciting things in life and to stay away from the mundane. But as I read the ...

Flowers in Art: Kari Herer’s Mixed Media Prints

Kari Herer is an American photographer with a background in fine arts and graphic design. Her love of nature is beautifully expressed through these mixed media images, in which she artfully combines flowers with line drawings. These quirky, yet sophisticated pieces would be great additions to any home or office. You can see learn more about Kari and see her other works by visiting her website.  As well, these prints are available for purchase through her Etsy page.

6 Reasons to Weed By Hand

Weeds are a nuisance. You have worked hard to keep your flowers beautiful and healthy. Then suddenly, invasive weeds are taking over your garden and depriving your plants of precious moisture and nutrients. If you are reading this article, chances are that you have weeds in your garden and you are looking for ways to get rid of them. You could always take the easy way out and use herbicides to get rid of those pesky weeds, but those harsh chemicals are ...

Armored Frog: Old Wood, New Designs

When does furniture go beyond form and function to become a piece of history? When the material used in its construction is part of history itself. At the Armored Frog, each one-of-kind piece is steeped in history, crafted exclusively from old growth woods recovered from rivers and historical structures throughout the southeast United States. Wood for an Armored Frog original may come from a deadhead cypress log discovered in a local river, planks pulled from an old sawmill or beams salvaged from ...

Artistic Quality – Gathering Part 1

Continuing with our discussion of Artistic Quality  this post is about the skill of  Gathering. What is the artistic quality of gathering? Gathering is the artistic quality we need to use before we can Dream or Imaginate. How do we do this?  One of the best way to do this is to use a technique, first coined by Julia Cameron.  It is something that has become a staple in the tool box of many artists now.  Simply called ‘An Artists’ Date’ it has far-reaching ...

Black Bird Rose

One of the newest roses to be introduced is the Black Bird rose. It is actually a red rose tinted with blues and purples to give the petals a dark purple or black tint. Most tinted roses are a white or cream color with the tint either being absorbed up its stem to get a solid color tinted rose or each color injected into the stem which results in a rainbow colored rose. Tinting any rose is an inexact science so ...

Garden Diary: Container gardening – Cochonilhas and Mealybugs

On Monday, I met up with Joan a fellow “container” garden  enthusiast  and a regular visitor to my blog. It was great to not only see all her wonderful pots of fruit, vegetables and flowers, ask numerous questions ranging from types of compost, worm farms to problems with insects, but also discuss our successes and failures.  For example I discovered Joan’s zucchini suffered from the same problems as mine – once the flowers fall off the end of the baby ...

Freebie Friday! Free August 2013 Desktop Calendar Wallpapers

Wow! Can you believe it’s August already? Not sure about you, but my summer sure did fly by quickly! Celebrate the last month of summer with these colourful desktop wallpapers. The resolution is 1920 x 1080— perfect for widescreen monitors. To download, click on image. Image will open up in a new window. Right click to “Set as Desktop Wallpaper” or to “Save.” Enjoy!

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Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort

Yet Another Reason I Hate Funerals….

Nondescript Casket

My immediate family spent the majority of last week at my in-laws home in New York because my wife’s grandmother passed away.

While I think it’s extremely important to celebrate the memory of the deceased; support and sympathize with the survivors and offer a degree of closure for the living via the various death-induced services and rituals – I hate funerals.

As a former news reporter, I had to attend dozens as an uninvited gawker amidst grieving strangers and then trying to speak with someone on camera – yuck. Within my own family, the funerals for all my grandparents and both my parents further soured an already distasteful experience – double yuck.

However, the latest funeral affront I experienced last week was the seemingly unending cavalcade of culinary creations that crammed every inch of table and counter space at the in-laws single-story rambler.

As an aside, death is a natural part of our existence but I’m convinced that the ritualistic events around death make most people uncomfortable. They frequently don’t know the unspoken etiquette to engage grievers – it’s not something you can practice for in advance or take an online class titled “Funeral 101: communication tips.”The awkward nature of attending a wake, memorial gathering, funeral service or graveside burial adds a layer of stress to a stressful someone that you’re “Sorry for their loss” or “Quite a lovely eulogy the pastor delivered.”

After a point, conversations experience a metaphorical death of their own – and the easiest thing left to talk about is the food that everyone brought. Apparently death brings out the inner sous chef in all of us.

And what types of cuisine do people bring the grieving???

Comfort food.

Don’t get me wrong, the care, love and attention that people pour into food preparation for such events is humbling and appreciated. However, they also tend to pour in tons of sugar, shortening, oils, salt and butter to ensure maximum calorie density in an effort to assuage the pain of loss.

It’s ironic that the very foods that people tend to prepare for post-mortem funeral gatherings are overloaded with the cholesterol-raising, heart-stopping, clot-forming, artery-hardening, stroke-inducing ingredients that medical science continues to urge us to avoid in an effort to extend our lives.

I don’t know whether such food prep is an unconscious attempt to thumb a nose at the Grim Reaper, or an unspoken ethos to unabashedly indulge in the edible extremes that life has to offer – because life is too short – but I hate it, because I ate most of it last week.

Which brings me to this week’s WeightWatcher weigh-in, where I apparently gained +5.0 lbs in seven days. I have no one to blame but myself, but I am focusing an accusatory eye toward the strawberry trifle, twice-baked ziti, home-style chicken and biscuits as well as various baked in which I partook last week.

Damn, I hate funerals!

Assuming that all of my relatives can make it through the week this side of eternity – I’m hopeful that there will be less of me to write about after next week’s weigh-in.


Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort

A topical blog that focuses on issues of faith, family, finance and fitness. I have more than 20 years experience as a former journalist and current PR practitioner. Additionally, I'm a father, husband, marathoner, writer and believer.

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