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Welcome 2011: We have 365 Days to Make a Difference…

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” Edith Lovejoy Pierce ♥ Happy New Year: May your year be bright, rich and colorful... HAPPY NEW YEAR’S DAY!!! What a gift to be alive in 2011… Resolutions, celebrations, invocations and more, won’t change the fact that we are blessed to be here, and must make the best of this new year. I’m not ...

Inspiration: Five Things To Be Thankful For Today…

“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” Marcus Tullius Cicero Inspiration: Five Things To Be Thankful For Today... A Thankful Tree... Just for today, I will not worry Just for today, I will not be angry Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings Just for today, I will do my work honestly Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing Traditional Reiki Prayer from Dr Usui. ♥Life – Today, I am ...

Featured Blogger: Donna Huebsch – Huebsch House Chronicles…

“It just goes to show you, it’s always something–if it ain’t one thing, it’s another.” ~ Gilda Radner aka Roseanne Roseannadanna Featured Blogger: Donna Huebsch – Huebsch House Chronicles... Donna Featured Blogger: Donna Huebsch – Huebsch House Chronicles... Pets; Sheba the cat and Molly If you’ve ever had to do major renovations on your home; especially a home you purchased that needed both obvious and not so obvious work, you’ll empathize with this week’s featured blogger – Donna Huebsch. Donna’s blog Huebsch House ...

Weird & Unusual: The Bug Eating Butterwort Plant

Butterworts (Pinguicula) are small, herbaceous plants native the northern hemisphere that produces pretty, purple flowers from May until July. It can grow to be 2-4 inches tall. But don’t let its innocent looking flowers fool you! The butterwort  may look like a regular garden plant, but it is a carnivorous plant that preys on small, unsuspecting insects! Its Latin name, meaning “little greasy one” refers to  the slightly greasy or buttery feel of the leaves, which grow at the base of the ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green…

“Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Weekly Photo Challenge: Green… Weekly Photo Challenge: Green… Weekly Photo Challenge: Green… Green–The symbol of growth, renewal, and the rebirth of plant life (sometimes all life) on earth; an expression of fertility, freshness, youth as well as inexperience. It is the color of paper money. Some mixtures suggest envy, jealousy, guilt, disease, ...

Musings: Color Me Poetic…?

“The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad.” Salvador Dali Musings: Color Me Poetic…? Autumn leaves Musings: Color Me Poetic…? Flying pig Musings: I’m Not A Poet… I’m Not A Poet… I Just Act Like One… And Bob’s my Uncle! Floating tree, floating tree, show me your autumn leaves. I met you on the Champs-Élysées But you pretend it was in Tennessee… Flying pigs, flying pigs I heard you exist. I’d worry if chicken grow teeth or cows sing a Gangnam Style hit… Musings: Color Me Poetic…? Add more ...

Guest Post: What MS Taught Me about Compassion for Self and Others…

“The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.” Thomas Merton Compassion: Healing Hands & Healing Lives... Margaret Tidwell has graciously agreed to share insights on MS with us. This is one of the SITSGIRLS Tribe building workshop assignments and my post is on her site. This is also my 100th post and I’d like to say a big Thank ...

Facing the Hills….

Here’s a great guest post from one of my favorite online writing buddies, Eileen Knowles. She’s funny, insightful and loves coffee as much as me – how can you NOT like somebody like that? If you’d like to write a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: ======================================================== My family and I recently moved from North Carolina to Georgia. It’s a coming home sort of move for my husband who was born and raised in North Georgia.  For me, it still feels like ...

7 Questions With an Author: Tamara Gerlach

This is my weekly series titled "7 Questions With an Author..." and today's featured writer is bestselling author, Tamara Gerlach, who has taught, mentored, and coached thousands of people in creating freedom and Cultivating Radiance in their lives since 1982. Her most recent book is titled Cultivating Radiance. Tamara bought her first business, Encore Gymnastics, Dance and Climbing in 1989. A former National Team Coach, Junior Olympic Program Committee Member, and Member of the Board of Directors for USA Gymnastics, she ...

7 Questions With an Author: Lauren Anderson

Lauren Anderson – author, speaker, business owner This post marks another installment of my “7 Questions With an Author…” series, where I ask published authors an unchanging set of questions and share their responses here. Today’s featured author is Lauren Anderson. Before starting her own business in 1990, Lauren was a top executive with Estee Lauder for more than 23 years. She is a frequent and recognizable guest on national television and writes numerous articles for top specialty and professional publications. Currently, she is working on two ...

Monday – Love Never Fails Excerpt And More

Monday - Love Never Fails Excerpt And More

It's Monday and all that implies. It's very, very Monday in my world. I'm tired of the heat since in our midsection of the nation we're locked into a historic heat wave and drought pattern that bakes everything.  I've watched the neighbor's new shrubbery die a slow strangled death under the sun and I water my own porch plants twice daily to keep them green.   It's so dry that in neighboring Oklahoma the governer called for a day of prayer yesterday just ...

Don’t Know Much About Geography???

I’m the first to admit that I slept through most of the geography classes I’ve “taken” throughout my academic career. [EdiTOR's Note: I use the word "taken" in the loosest sense of the term since that implies retention of knowledge on my part, which is not the case.] I’m not proud of that fact – I’m just being honest. That’s why I’m amazed by those individuals who know can pinpoint Timbuktu or Kathmandu on a globe or those who can easily answer questions ...

All The World's A Stage

As Shakespeare wrote around 1600, all the world's a stage and men and women merely players.  Players at the time meant actors but when I read his lines today, I think about my written words put out for the world to read. With the debut of my second novel, LOVE TATTOO (Evernight Publishing) yesterday, I feel like the world is a stage and that my work gains life when it is read. If I pause to think about it, it boggles the ...

Six Years Later – The Eulogy I Gave For My Dad

Today, August 28th 2012, is the sixth anniversary of my dad’s death. He was sitting in his garden, with his newish puppy nearby and a pocketful of dog snacks near one of the Finger Lakes in western New York where he lived. At the time, my siblings and I all lived within 30 minutes of him. That day, I was in New York City attending some focus group sessions for work – when I received a frantic cell phone call from my ...

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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

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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