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How many of you do a weekly (or daily) photo challenge? Here is my submission for this week’s photo challenge from wordpress.

Incidental Imagery

A forming rose bud with a blurred background. A newly planted rose with the background out of focus.

This week’s Photo Challenge asked us to share a picture that is a blur.  I lack appreciation for pictures that are a complete blur, so I thought that perhaps shooting something close-up and in focus with the background intentionally out of focus would suffice.

I have been enjoying the signs of spring in Pennsylvania.  The greenery is a welcome relief from the long period of white and grey during the winter.  This is a shot of the top of a rose bush that I just planted.

The lawn is just starting to turn green, and the trees have yet to bloom.  The cornstalks across the road have long since lost their golden hue.  I love the contrast between the new life of the rose and the dormant surroundings.  I thought the blurred background helped to highlight this.

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How to Get More Done With Less Willpower

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Do you struggle to find the willpower to get things done? Would you like to get more done with less stress?

I think most of us would give the same answers to these questions. If you, like me, find these thoughts appealing, then I wholeheartedly recommend this article for your consideration.

Shoulders Slightly Hunched – The Shape of True Love – by David Drummond

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What shapes represent love to you? This one is not traditional, but shows a lifetime of living care.

Kindness Blog

old man hunched overI can see him now: shoulders slightly hunched, white hair uncovered, walking slowly up the wooded lane. He doesn’t pause as often as he once did, because he doesn’t hear the birds and deer quite as well anymore.

His pace, though slowed by time, is purposeful. He has done this walk before. In fact, he has done it thousands of times. He is walking home from work.

I can see him stop at the mailbox, glance across the field at the neighbors horses, wave and smile at the stranger driving by, and resume his walk across the lawn, up the steps, and into the house.

His shoulders are still hunched slightly forward. As a matter of fact, I can still hear Grandmother scolding him gently for his poor posture. But you see, she recognizes that he has earned that hunch.

I have always been a little intimidated by Grandfather. This…

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Trust which is easily broken
Requires that no malice be spoken.
Unfriendly discourse
Shown to bring such remorse
Tends to render relationships frozen.


This feeble attempt at poetry created in response to the trust prompt.  I attempted to combine the acrostic and limerick forms.  What do you think?

Crowdsourced War

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Having spent some of my youth in the Ukraine, I am still deeply interested in what is happening there.


Editor’s note: Jillian Kay Melchior writes for National Review as a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center. She is also a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.

At least 4,000 people have died in Eastern Ukraine, according to United Nations estimates, spilling roughly 5,000 gallons of blood on the nation’s soil.

As with much of the needless waste of war, this bloodbath was avoidable and this death toll could have been much lower.

In 90% of potentially survivable battlefield mortalities, uncontrollable bleeding was the top cause of death, the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research found in 2012.

These statistics caught the attention of Ilya Tymtchenko, a young Ukrainian man who recently moved back to Kiev after studying in the United States.

Using the crowd-funding website Indiegogo, he raised more than $2,000 in 10 days to provide bandages and QuikClot, a blood coagulant, for Ukrainian soldiers…

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Voting Resources for the Uncertain Voter on November 4th, 2014

If you are voting in Pennsylvania today, I urge you to do a little research before going to the polls. This link offers several voter guides assembled from a variety of sources – nonpartisan, league of women voters, family research council, and more.

Some Thoughts on Voting

Some good thoughts on the idea of throwing away your vote.