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Can Toner Change Your Life? + A Few Other Suggestions

By Sandra Clark

That might seem like a funny title to talk about trust and testimonials, but it’s totally true. A few years ago I read “It’s time to use toner.” Even though I’ve probably read that elsewhere plenty of times and the dauntingly large beauty aisles at the drugstore would lead me to believe I need all …

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Favorite Comforts in Sickness and Health

By Teresa Bruce

The usual conversation when I’m asked begins with this reply: “My favorite food is anything someone else shops for, prepares, and cleans up after.” After nearly three decades of anniversaries and Mother’s Days and (ahem) a few more years of birthdays, my family and closest friends know to stop there. Others think they need to …

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Favourites: Personal blankets, and all that they hold

By Kellie Purcill

2008.  The night George ended our marriage, I walked into what – mere hours before – had been our bedroom, but was now my own. I wrapped myself into my favorite blanket and proceeded to turn the mattress into a sodden swamp.Our mattress was my favorite one as it was from factory direct which tends …

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Favorite Things: Running Tourism

By Shelah Miner

IMG_3857
Houseboats in a harbor I ran past in Vancouver, BC.

A few years ago, I had a security escort across the Golden Gate Bridge. Not officially, no, but it took about ten minutes to cross the bridge, and during that time at least three different sets of security guards on golf carts came up to ask if everything was okay. I guess that some people who arrive at the bridge, on foot, before the first light of dawn, might be thinking of jumping. I was just crossing an item off my bucket list, and with six kids back asleep in the hotel room, 5am was the best time to head out for a long run.

When I travel, I pack light. But there’s always room in the suitcase for the most important items I take on my trip: running shorts, Nikes, Gu, headlamp, Garmin, and water belt. To me, they’re as essential as my toothbrush and my phone charger. I love creating itineraries for each day of the trip, and for me, that includes an itinerary of where I’ll run each day.

I’m fully convinced that the best way to see any city in the world is at 6am, when there are no crowds, and the only people out on the streets are locals.

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A chicken named Herman and other favorites…

By Melonie Cannon

Today something special happened to me. I made time for my friend. It is not something that I tend to do, but I am learning. We went to lunch and as I watched her tender face light up while she explained a short story she was working on, I wanted to hold the moment- just …

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Favorite Things: Girls’ Camp

By Kellie Purcill

(Please note – this post is by Lara, not Kellie. Kellie tried to get WordPress to cooperate, but it didn’t go in Kel’s favour…) Girls’ Camp is one of my favorite things! I went four years as a young woman, and this was my fourth year as an adult leader—I love camping, I love crafting, …

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Favourite: Sheer Stubborn Perversity

By Kellie Purcill

The image that started it all…

This past week my Facebook and Twitter feeds featured the above picture of daisies.  Most of the related clickbait headlines or comments were practically glowing with panic and horror, like “Japanese radiation deforming flowers!”  “Contamination mutates nature!” “Flowers, fruits and animals suffering years after tsunami-caused nuclear disaster…” “I think these are GMO flowers #seriously #eatrealfood #gmoisdeath #coconutwaterislife”  (these aren’t real quotes, just general summaries of ones I saw).

After a quick click or two to check that the flowers had apparently been photographed in the area claimed, I stopped reading the wheezing, shrieking pieces that went along with it. But I found myself thinking about the photo every day.

I LOVE those little flowering champions!

Stubborn: adjective stub·born

: refusing to change your ideas or to stop doing something

: difficult to deal with, remove, etc.

In the face of all sorts of challenges, that plant just got on with living. Deliberately, stubbornly pushed its roots a little deeper down, in order to better stretch for the sun. Then, using its inbuilt DNA and resources, flowered.  In spite of changes in radiation levels, not being in a nurtured garden, it just got on with life.  And not only did it manage one flower, but several, and in bold and surprising ways.

Perverse: adjective per·verse

: wrong or different in a way that others feel is strange or offensive

Of course, humans freaked out because all the flowers weren’t normal – some were weird, perverse, wrong looking and not how they were meant to look, at least according to the people freaking out online. I’m betting that flower doesn’t know, doesn’t care, and (unless one of those pesky humans has come and dug it out or cut it up) it’s still there, photosynthesising away, flirting with the bees and hoping for rain.

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Favorites: Comforts from a Good Book

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Life's Lemons photo by Linda Hoffman Kimball
Life’s Lemons
photo by Linda Hoffman Kimball

This time of year, folks are looking for a variety of favorites. Beach reads? Must see movies? Favorite vacation spots? Summer recipes? I’m curious about all these categories, too, so let me know.

However, when I started musing on the broad topic of “favorites”, I found myself drawn to a very niche category: “My favorite biblical scriptures on comfort.” I’m surprised that this is where I’ve landed since I’m feeling upbeat right now – everyone in my family is in good health; my son and his wife just welcomed my 4th grandbaby; we’ve got an exotic trip planned later this month; I’m surrounded by good friends and nature’s spectacular beauty. It’s like there’s a sound track of Beethoven’s and Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” playing in the back of my mind much of the time.

But I’m not naïve. And I’m not always this full of hallelujah. I know Life is never just one thing. Never just “good” or “bad.”

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Favorites: My Favorite Place

By Shelah Miner

IMG_0270On that June morning six years ago when we moved in, I got to the house before the moving truck and the kids, pulled a chair onto the front porch, ate a yogurt, and fell in love. I’d never had a front porch before, and this one, with its graceful columns and plenty of room for chairs, was hard to resist. “I’m going to sit out here every morning after my run, enjoy my breakfast, and watch the street wake up,” I said to myself.

I am not a gardener. This year I couldn’t even muster the enthusiasm to weed my flower beds. But my front porch is always full of flowers. For the last few summers, I’ve lined the perimeter with potted geraniums, and unlike every herb and edible item I’ve ever tried to grow, these actually stay alive. 

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