Fun Flower Facts: Impatiens (Touch-me-Not)

Impatiens is not a plant for the touchy-feely types. The nickname, touch-me-not, refers to the fact that when the mature seed capsules are touched ever so lightly, they will “explode” and send seeds flying through the air as far as 20 ft from the plant! Impatiens can also be called “Busy Lizzy” because the plant is a prolific bloomer, producing bright, colourful flowers from early summer to fall. Flowers come in assorted solid colours including, red, orange, pink, white and violet; ...

Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking…

“A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.” Oscar Wilde Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Newton’s Cradle via Wikipedia Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Computer Love/From Me to You. Inspiration: Animated GIF Is Alive and Kicking… Kettle Can Wait. Cinemagraph via AnnStreet Studio/From Me to You. The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987[1] and has since come into widespread usage ...

Fun Flower Facts: Acacia

Acacia (a-KAY-sha) is a genus of trees and shrubs belonging to the same family as the pea.  More than half of all the acacia species grow in Australia, but they can also be found in warm temperate climates like Africa, Central America and Mexico. Acacia produces clusters of small, yellow, fluffy flowers. Numerous stamens give the flowers a pompom look. The flowers are also wonderfully fragrant. In additional to the brightly coloured flowers, the plant produces a dry seedpod as its fruit. ...

Stinky Corpse Flower Blooms in Washington, DC

For some strange reason or other, people seem to be drawn to stinky things! Whenever the giant corpse flower or titan arum blooms and releases its foul scent, the event draws massive crowds around the world! Whether it was in Switzerland last year, Canada a few months ago or Belgian earlier in July, people can’t seem to get enough of the corpse flower. Not to be left out on the excitement, Americans had their chance to view the giant stinky flower ...

Our Favourite Flower Quotes

Here at Fun Flower Facts, a humble flower blog, we love flowers and what they represent! These beauties are definitely a source of inspiration and happiness. Not only do fresh flowers bring beauty and brighten up our homes and workplaces, they make us feel better during tough times. Flowers can cheer up the sick and the lonely, as well as making loved ones feel loved and appreciated. That being said, quotes about flowers remind us of the beauty and carefree nature of ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shades of Red…

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” Pablo Picasso Weekly Photo Challenge: Shades of Red… red trimmed windowframes. Alleyway in Cambridge, UK  Weekly Photo Challenge: Shades of Red… red room in a downtown manhattan restaurant Weekly Photo Challenge: Shades of Red… red phone booth in Cambridge, UK  What does the color red mean to you? Do you make any associations with specific colors? Which colors do you gravitate to and why? Most people consciously or unconsciously reach for the same family of ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

“To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” Oscar Wilde Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected – street art Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected – the famous postwar Times Sq kiss Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected – Madame Tussaud’s hand One of the joys of having access to a major city is that, without doubt, you’re bound to come across the unusual, the unexpected, and the creative surprise piece that puts a smile on your face. I live close to NYC, and whenever possible, I make my ...

Inspiration: Happy Mother’s Day…

“And it came to me, and I knew what I had to have before my soul would rest. I wanted to belong – to belong to my mother. And in return – I wanted my mother to belong to me.” Gloria Vanderbilt Inspiration: Happy Mother’s Day… To all mothers and daughters My Mother by Ann Taylor Who sat and watched my infant head When sleeping on my cradle bed, And tears of sweet affection shed? My Mother. When pain and sickness made me cry, Who gazed upon my heavy eye, And wept ...

Visions from Vail

Sometimes it’s impossible to leave work behind. And honestly, who wants to when work involves inspiring design?! Julie, our Project Manager at BGI, recently vacationed in Vail, Colorado with her family and couldn’t resist taking pictures of the town’s picturesque architecture and design. It was her first time skiing in almost 20 years and she said it was the perfect setting for tumbling down a mountain! She and her family had a great time, and we’re just glad she didn’t break ...

Reveal Day with Dwell with Dignity

It was reveal day recently! After months of planning and hard work, members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Interior Design Society were able to present the apartment we completely furnished and designed for one very deserving family through the Dwell with Dignity organization. We were also able to personally meet the family of five and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. If you’re not familiar with Dwell with Dignity, it’s a non-profit group of interior designers and ...

10 More Troubling Texting Phrases Parents Must Know…

This week our 10 year old daughter began mandatory sex education classes. I wrote about how my wife and I prepared her for that information in a post titled A Father’s Worst Fear – Part II. The reality of the information and what she didn’t know forced our hand as parents. That got me thinking about the information that we as parents don’t know. One of the biggest gaps in my knowledge as a parent are texting phrases and instant messaging (IM) shortcuts ...

Why People Can’t Stand Christians…

Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) courtesy of Wikipedia Over the holidays we spent time with some close family friends, and one of the topics that came up during our conversation was a seemingly growing distaste for Christians and Christianity in general. Through our discussion, it was obvious that the reasons for this perception are legion. However, one of the examples given during the talk shined a stark light on the issue. One of the individuals participating in our discussion had attended a series ...

6-year Old Inspires All Wanna-be Bike Riders...

This is a great video by a group of talented musicians called the Gregory Brothers who "songify" all kinds of news videos and home videos posted on YouTube. In this video, they transform a cute snippet of a random home movie into a catchy inspirational tune. Enjoy... And here is the original home video....

Designing with Ann Sacks

One of my favorite things about being an interior designer is discovering new products and using them in unexpected ways. I always strive to create one-of-kind rooms, using products that are current without being trendy. And that’s why I love Ann Sacks! Her tile and stone products are unique and timeless. Here’s a sneak peak at a client’s kitchen where we used one of her new products as the focal point of the room’s backsplash. The lantern-pattern ceramic art tile is pillow-cut, ...

Helpful Ghosts

Being back in my home-town has given me the strangest sensation; it’s like entering a time machine and meeting my past…face-to-face. I sense an eagerness to explore the dark quarters, the condemned haunts that I occupied when I led my life by raw instincts, and wisdom was a dusty book kept on a high shelf...well out of the reach of my small hands. Up until now my home town has played host to a legion of ghosts and phantoms, resurrecting ancient ...

Don’t Cripple Your Message….

For the past 13 years I’ve worked in corporate Public Relations, which is sometimes called Public Affairs. So that means I spend a lot of time writing and editing a variety of speeches, news releases, talking points and presentations. From time-to-time I’ll attend workshops or conferences to sharpen my writing skills. It was at one such conference that I saw the most unfortunate typo ever. A professional was set to deliver a PowerPoint slide presentation to us in the audience. I’m not sure ...

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Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort
May 25, 2011, 1:29 pm

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

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
situation.  How many times can you tell
someone that you’re “Sorry for their loss” or “Quite a lovely eulogy the pastor

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

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

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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