Dragon’s Philosophy – Always work on your Craft


Artsy Fartsy – Christmas Snow by Bob Ross (The Joy of Painting)

The Modern Caveman by Christina B (BLW Contributor)



There continues to live a bit of caveman in us today, I think. The man of our house, for one, loves making a wood fire whether it’s in a fireplace or for a barbecue or simply for the sake of having a sociable ambience fire, and I love having a wood fire just as much. Staring into the flames of a cosy fire while time seems to stand still for a while is mesmerising, comforting, peaceful and very social. Nothing rushes us as we sit around a camp fire maybe with a glass of wine and life slows down for a while, bringing us back to nature and the people around us.  Television or mobile phones are superfluous, the company of the fire which has a life of its own and those around us are enough. It takes us back to a time where daily activities ended with last light and everyone would gather around the fire at night to share stories and life would slow down for a while.

The smell of a friendly wood fire triggers happy memories of sitting around a camel thorn wood camp fire whilst holidaying in Namibia, a hard wood that would burn slowly with its own particular magical smell. It’s something I’ve loved doing from my childhood days. Sometimes in Namibia in the middle of winter in freezing temperatures we sat around a camp fire at night but it was so bitterly cold that only the part of your body which faced the fire stayed warm. Every so often after you’d warmed your hands over the fire you’d have to turn around to warm your back because it would have got cold in the meantime, and so you’d continue to keep turning around every few minutes to try to keep warm. And no camp fire was complete without having toasted some sticky sweet marshmallows on sticks.

One of our camel thorn wood camp fires in Etosha, Namibia, on our last visit there

One of our camel thorn wood camp fires in Etosha, Namibia, on our last visit there

Where cavemen might have looked at the sun askance and murmured amongst each other over the weather, we now have weather apps predicting and forecasting what we can expect. We have weather stations telling us current, minimum and maximum temperatures and weather channels on TV with long-term forecasts. My husband loves weather stats, amongst others, and always updates us on the latest forecasts, especially when we’re away from home. The weather station goes along on holiday and gets moved around to different locations for different readings in an attempt to find the ideal location, such as under the front veranda of the tent or beside the tent in the shade.

Recently when we stayed at Donnelly River, an old mill village in the Southwest of Western Australia, in an old timber miller’s cottage we had the opportunity to enjoy some lovely wood fires again. Lying nestled in a little valley, the village gets colder than the surrounding area and with tall Karri trees that have grown to about 30 metres all around, the sun sets early and as soon as it does the temperature dips quickly. Our caveman was in his element when he was able to light us two fires every night – one in the fireplace and another in the old wood fired kitchen stove. Collecting the kindle and firewood supply of varying thickness was a daily activity with which Child No 3 was tasked to help dutifully every time, much the same as it would have been in years gone by and great was the joy – mine included – when the little timber cottage started heating up and in the early morning cold we’d try to warm our hands over the fire inside the old kitchen stove. We teased him over his unabated joy and pride in having made us the fires, true caveman style, but we enjoyed having those fires in equal measure.

The old wood fire kitchen stove

The old wood fired kitchen stove

The old wood fired kitchen stoveA trip away wouldn’t be complete without the weather station going along though, so we had accurate temperature data all along, but it was quite entertaining when we were very proudly told the actual stats of a 0.1°C temperature increase inside the cottage not long after the fire in the old kitchen stove got going and I realised that even though we love all the temperature gages and modern gadgets that our technological age provides, deep down there still lives a bit of caveman in us, which really makes us but modern cavemen and which will hopefully live on in years to come. It’s great to take a step back sometimes and appreciate things in life that really matter, albeit with the aid of some mod cons.

Check out other great articles from Christina B


Weekend Inspiration – You are not Alone



The Rebellious Typewriter by Ryan Fu




Sitting down on her tiny table top chair furiously banging on the keys on her cute old school turquoise typewriter, typing right in front of the Apple Store during a busy holiday season at the Grove. She was in her own universe creating her own world as she typed out poems on demand by people who gave her donations, but honestly I think she would have done it for free because it looked fun. After finding out the epic thing she was doing I was totally enamored by her. Plus, I wanted to check out her work maybe even writing a poem for me.

I wait patiently even though I was the only one waiting in line for her to create a poem for me. At the moment she was in the middle of finishing up a masterpiece for a nine-year-old girl. Her parents looked like artistic hipsters, who also thought what she was doing was cool as well. The tiny tot looked on as the bigger version of herself typed with a purpose occasionally missing up on a word and manually fixing it on the fly, which we all take for granted with Auto-Correct. We all forgot the simple pleasure of carefully typing in words but if you messed up, you really had to care a lot to correct your mistake but it made you into a better writer.

As I watch her being in the zone as the little girl danced around her and her turquoise machine, a crowd started to gather like a Sprinkles Cupcake store when they have giveaways but you don’t get sick of too much poetry maybe a little crazy but that’s a good thing. Some people looked puzzled at her prehistoric machine. Even workers from the Apple store where a bit confused on what she was typing on, making comments outside of the store like,

“What is that? Is that an old computer? Where is the screen?”

But then the comments became a little more abrasive as the employees showed off their Hater Degrees, telling each other that she shouldn’t be there, which did not faze her one bit. She continued on finishing the little girl’s poem even with the rude comments from the Apple employees.

When she finally finished her poem, she handed her completed piece to the toddler. The look on the little nine-year-old girl was simply priceless. She made her feel like it was Christmas morning and the parents were so happy giving the poet a generous donation. I couldn’t wait for my turn like a fat kid next in line at an ice cream truck on a hot summer day.

I confidently step up into her office as she asks me what she wanted me to create. She wanted hints or pointers on what the poem should be about. I tell her that I was in terrible mental and physical discomfort like a prisoner in solitaire from working at the Grove for then last thirty days. She gives me a smile from chin to chin as she could see the pain in my face but also knew that I had a good sense of humor. She confidently tells me to wait on the side giving her ten minutes to type it up.

I was simply amazed. 10 fucking minutes, it took me that long to type up a title!

It takes the poet prodigy ten minutes to create a poem? Now I was totally intrigued because what kind of art can you create in less than ten minutes or less. She takes a minute to digest what I said to her then she takes one last look at me then off to the races. She begins to get to work, systematically and carefully constructing my piece. But like everything else great in life, nothing lasts forever. Security finally notices her surrounding her in the middle of my poem. 

“Excuse me miss but you have to leave,” as security kindly tells her.

Without lifting her head, “Sure, but tell me why,” continuing to finish my poem.

“Ugh, I’m not sure miss but you have to go.”

“No, that’s not a good reason,” she calmly tells the security guard making him look at the other security guard for support but he just shrugged his shoulder. 

I couldn’t believe what was happening. She was so feisty and rebellious towards authority like revolutionary poets of old not giving one fuck for anyone’s opinions except for their. Before the security calls his manager she tells him she was done, “I’m finished. I’ll leave now,” handing me my poem, which by the way she completed a little over ten minutes.


I handle it like an ancient piece of artifact making sure I didn’t smudge or bend it. She quickly wraps up her operation before attracting any more heat to her picking up her typewriter and folding her chair. I was so excited that I get my poem, which I didn’t even get a chance to read it. I was like just a happy kid and I was simply amazed how she continued to do what she loved to do in the midst of so many haters. I graciously thanked her and gave her a generous donation.

She gathers her things proceeding to leave to the Grove not because of the security telling her to do so but own her terms because she already made her point. That you can’t stop art or control it, you just have to let it be.

You can make art anywhere you want to with any kind of device, just make you sure you have passion for it and don’t give a fuck what people think because any good artists will tell you that you must have a bit of rebellious nature if you’re going to be a great artists because you’re pissing off the status quo.

Good art is a little dangerous because it can evoke emotions, which sometimes is not all positive but at least it makes you feel something for it. Art is supposed to make you feel alive making you forget the mundane motions of your life. Great artists add the beautiful bright colors to this dull grey world making us believe that we can do and imagine anything that we want to be in our lives.

Sometimes we have to act like rebellious typewriters in a world dominated by obedient computers.




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Foodie Friday – Chocolate Bavarian Pie Recipe


Hershey web recipe image


  1. 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  2. 1-3/4 cups milk , divided
  3. 2/3 cup sugar
  4. 6 tablespoons HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  5. 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  6. 2 tablespoons butter
  7. 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1 cup (1/2 pt.)cold whipping cream
  9. 1 baked 9-inch pie crust or crumb crust , cooled
  10. 1/4 cup HERSHEY’S Syrup


  1. Sprinkle gelatin over 1 cup milk in medium saucepan; stand several minutes to soften.
  1. Stir together sugar and cocoa; add to milk mixture. Add corn syrup. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Add butter; stir until melted. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup milk and vanilla. Pour into large bowl. Cool; refrigerate until almost set.
  1. Beat whipping cream in small bowl on high speed of mixer until stiff. Beat chocolate mixture on medium speed until smooth. On low speed, add whipped cream to chocolate mixture, beating just until blended. Pour into prepared crust; refrigerate* until set, at least 3 hours. Just before serving, drizzle each pie slice with chocolate syrup. Cover; refrigerate leftover pie. Makes 8 servings.

Credit: Hersheys

Happy Thanksgiving by The Ivory Tide (BLW Contributor)


national-lampoon-s-christmas-vacation-national-lampoons-christmasvacation-31459765-1500-997Happy Thanksgiving to all my followers and anyone from around the globe who happens by. This is my favorite time of year and if you know me just a little by now, well, I’m not so serious. I love a good laugh. The movie Christmas Vacation always had us in stitches, especially the antics of the good-hearted character played by Chevy Chase. My father used to tell me, “You know Mike reminds me of Chevy Chase.” Mike, of course, is my husband. Yep, I had to agree with my Dad. So every time I see him in a movie I think of my husband. Thanks Dad, I’m grateful. I guess God knew I needed laughter in my life.

There’s something about Dads in our life. You go to them for those important conversations in your life. We save them for the big stuff and then we never talk about it again. Our mother’s are there for us every step of the way, and we even call them mommy when we are teens. Somehow this makes us feel good. Now I’m one to believe that these roles can be reversed, so you see I use this loosely. A father can be more motherly and vice versa. People give us different things in life, some gifts, some pleasure, some outright trouble, and then, the special ones give us love. And we keep going back for more of that, right!?

Please think about this on this special holiday celebrated in America. I believe the little ones want more of your love along with boundaries and restrictions. They don’t want to be told no and how awful they are. Try to lift your little ones up and give less put downs. Think about yourself and how you’d like to be treated. Families don’t live by each other anymore, so grandparents don’t get to be a big part of the little ones lives. One of the common threads for my husband and myself in our life was grandparents. We were especially close to them. They gave us unconditional love. Always. I think children lack this now a days. What do I know? My family life is not perfect, but I do keep trying and loving.

I think knowing you are loved is a primary gift we get in life and some kids don’t have that. I am grateful for my parents, all their love and support they gave me throughout the years. They were supposed to be here with my family this year and we are sorry they couldn’t be here. Instead they are with one of their children, my brother, who needs them more. That’s the kind of parents they have always been, supportive til the end of time at their own expense. We love you mom and dad, forever. Miss you, too. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Now to lighten things up a bit. Have you ever heard of a turkey vulture? I hadn’t until I moved south many years ago. When you finally see one you will never forget them. They hang out in groups and love to perch themselves on the rooftops of homes or high in the trees. If you spot one or ten, then know that something big has died in your vicinity! Take a look.

turkey-vultures_nick_toddBy Kim Troike

Google Images Credit

Check out other great articles from The Ivory Tide 

Happy Thanksgiving to All our Friends & Family!!! – We appreciate all your support Thank You!!!


This is your Chance to Post on BLW!!! – Share your Thoughts, Stories & Ideas with Us






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More Fall Colors! by Smiling Notes (BLW Contributor)



I cannot believe it’s November already! Which means winter is approaching soon…but please, pretty please can I make Fall stay with me forever!?

I must have said this a hundred times before that Fall is my favorite season! Especially for east coasters where the winter can get pretty brutal at times. Now that the Halloween festivities are over, everyone will be geared up for the upcoming black friday sales and Thanksgiving. For people like me who celebrate ‘Diwali’ – the Hindu festival of Lights (which is just around the corner) it is yet another reason to enjoy!!

Ok…so enough of my ramble…getting to the point – I captured these photos over the past few days. I kid you not, once I literally made the hubby stop the car as we were driving by so I could go all bat-shit crazy clicking photos! Now I know that certain states like New Hampshire or Maine get the prettiest fall colors (there’s no denying that) but New Jersey and New York get fascinating glimpses of Fall too!

Loving the beautiful bed of leaves –


By far, this is my favorite pic –  

They say ‘Fall is a second Spring…when every leaf is a flower’so I am enjoying this ‘second spring’ as much as I can because honestly, even though I love snow…it can truly get depressing in the winter sometimes. Hope this post added a little bit of extra color in your lives the way it did for me! 

Keep smiling!

Check out more pictures from Smiling Notes