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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Dew Drops on Autumn Leaves Scan the sky and search the ground during autumn walks. Birds flying through crisp blue skies make their way south. Golden sunlight filters through trees, highlighting the angles of thinning branches. Falling leaves create gold, orange, and crimson-colored mosaics on streets and gardens. Rain drops cling to well-positioned surfaces and fresh air flows all around. Don’t miss one bit of this season’s show.

#1 – Gathering Words

While combing through a pile of books at a used book store, I came across a copy of Frederick by Leo Lionni. I already own a copy of this book, but because it’s a favorite of mine, I purchased it. My original copy of Frederick sits on a shelf with the books I will read to my grandchildren. The recently-purchased copy sits alongside my Greek worry beads and my “If I Only Had a Brain” music box. These three items form my writer’s block trinity. If you are looking for a gift for a child or any “word-gatherer,” I highly recommend this book.

It’s the story of a little field mouse named Frederick who gathers up supplies for winter in a different manner than the other mice. Rather than physically hauling scraps of food, Frederick gathers and stores words. For when cold winter days come and food runs out, Frederick uses his words to warm the little mice and renew their spirits. Bruno Bettelheim says in a review of this book, “The fable of Frederick, who is the dreamer among the little field mice, suggests the psychological truth that when we are in dire need, it is our dreams of happier times which alone can sustain us . . . A story about the glory of the human spirit.”

#2 – Describing Feelings
When children become frustrated and act out, adults will often say to them, “Use your words.” Whether you are a parent trying to help your child work out their frustrations, a writer describing a character’s emotions, or a person just trying to articulate what he feels, finding the exact words to use can be difficult. Take a look at This Vocabulary Wheel and chart and let them help you better define your feelings.Words to Describe Your FeelingsWords That Describe Emotions

#3 – Three-Ingredient Recipes
33 Three-Ingredient Recipes If making a Creamsicle Cake that requires only three ingredients sounds like a winning recipe to you, you might want to check out the other 3-ingredient recipes from 33 Genius Three Ingredients Recipes That Will Change Your Life.

#4 – Best of October

National Geographic: Best of October Photos

Photograph by Christian Spencer

The National Geographic Photo Contest ended in October. Photographers captured and submitted stunning images from around the world. Feast your eyes on some of the best submissions in Photo of the Day: Best of October.

#5 – Autumn Persuasion
“Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn—that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness—that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.”
Jane Austen, Persuasion

Go now and spread joy!

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Friday's Fresh Five! November 7, 2014 Edition Breaking free from the safety of their branches, the autumn leaves gently tumble to the ground. Their slow fall to earth resembles a graceful dance as they float and swirl effortlessly in the air. Falling where they may, they create their own destiny.

#1 – Being Happy
Watching autumn leaves fall is a calming and peaceful activity. It was an activity that I often shared with my dog Romeo. Under clear blue skies, he would sit and watch leaves fall in our backyard. His head would move slightly, as his eyes tracked the flight of individual leaves. Stopping whatever I was doing, I would sit down next to him and together we would watch the dance of the leaves. A year ago this month, Romeo left my family forever. I pay tribute to him and all other nature-loving-falling-leaf admirers with this Snoopy cartoon. Happiness exists in simple things.Snoopy and autumn leaves

#2 – Go Dog, GoPro
What happens when you strap a GoPro camera device to a happy Labrador dog named Walter? Watch the video and find out.

#3 – Words To Add To Your Vocabulary
Words to Add to Your Vocabulary At last! There’s a perfect word to describe one of my tendencies. The word “tsundoku” sounds so much better than book-hoarding. Check out more interesting words in There’s a Word for That: 25 Expressions You Should Have In Your Vocabulary.

#4 – Decorating With $10 Worth Of Sharpies
Charlie Ktatzer's Sharpie Wall Art Surrounded by basic cream-colored walls, attorney Charlie Kratzer wanted to do something special; he wanted to decorate his basement and surround himself with cartoon drawings of some of his favorite cultural icons. Read more about his project and see a 360-degree tour of his wall-art here.

#5 – Take the Power
“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.”
Susan Polis Schutz

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Dog Dreams Sleeping next to her leash, my son’s dog Ruca dreams of going for a walk. There is much we can learn from dogs. One thing my dog taught me about life is that if you set your mind on something and work relentlessly at it, you might just achieve your goal. For my dog Romeo, it was chewing through metal containers of Altoids to get to the mints inside or deftly pulling all the files out of my husband’s briefcase, without messing up a single paper, to get to one pack of gum. Granted, dogs have very basic wants and needs. Humans have loftier and more complicated goals. We need to be like dogs and persevere at whatever dream we dream or goal we set for ourselves: finishing school, finding a job, kicking a habit, losing weight, etc. These all take dogged determination, but if dogs can make their dreams come true, why can’t we?

#1 – Never Give Up Charlie Brown
Charles Schulz and Perseverance No one knew more about persevering in life than the Peanuts cartoon character Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown reflected the thoughts and life of cartoonist Charles Schulz. He said of Peanuts, “If you read the strip, you would know me. Everything I am goes into the strip—all of my fears, my anxieties and my joys.” Despite all of the failures and rejections in his life, Charles Schulz never gave up. Read Charles Schulz and Perseverance for an insight into his life and where he got his inspiration from.

#2 – Life Hacks
41 Creative DIY Hacks to Improve Your Home I dream of simplifying my life, so whenever I see clever life hacks, I make note of them. 41 Creative DIY Hacks to Improve Your Home offers many ideas that I’ve not seen before. Having just inherited half a dozen magazine holders from my son, I will be transforming them into sandal and flip flop holders this weekend. Check out the ideas and see which ones will make your life better.

#3 – Aerial Photography and Designer Clothing
Aerial Photography and Designer Clothing In a series of photos, photographer Joseph Ford juxtaposes his aerial landscapes with designer clothing for interesting effect. Appreciate his use of the artistic elements of line, shape, form, space, color, texture and value in his work.

#4 – Head Up, Heart Strong
Cancer does not discriminate. We all know that. I sew blankets for an organization that supports children with cancer. Yet, when I learned several months ago that my cousin’s 17-year-old daughter had cancer, I was filled with disbelief. As Katherine or “Moi,” as most family and friends call her, began her senior year in high school this month, she reflected back on her recent battle with cancer. Declaring her mantra while going through treatment as “Head Up, Heart Strong,” she shared her thoughts in a touching and inspirational speech to her high school classmates. We can learn so much from her experience.

#5 – Lesson From Defeat
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
Maya Angelou

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Taos Pueblo The juxtaposition of adjacent buildings creates an invitation to admire the scenery. The angles of the walls tease me to look beyond the structures, to scan the snow-dusted mountains. After a moment of gazing, the view becomes a philosophical “big picture” concept; I sense a message being conveyed: Dare to step beyond the walls. Something wonderful is waiting to be discovered by you. Go beyond your boundaries to find it. You may wonder, “Has she lost her all her marbles?” No, Mother Nature just has a way of making me reflective and introspective.

#1 – Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Not everything is as it appears. Try to think outside of the box. Challenge your preconceptions with these lateral thinking puzzles. Lateral Thinking Puzzles

#2 – Know What To Regrow
8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again and Again When it comes to dealing with your kitchen vegetable scraps, do you choose to trash them or compost them? Well, here’s an additional option for you to consider. From Healthy Body Now comes this list of 8 Vegetables That You Can Regrow Again and Again.

#3 – TIRED of Art?
Incredible Sculptures Made From Tires South Korean artist Ji Yong Ho (or Yong Ho Ji) sees the connection between man and his environment. He repurposes tires in an extraordinary way. Using old tires and other materials such as wood, steel, styrofoam and synthetic resin, he creates large  sculptures of animals and humans, realistic and fantastical. The Cafesjian Center for the Arts says this of his work: Tires are a medium that translate what the artist means to express most sufficiently. The black tires are reminiscent of industrialization, which includes industrial material, industrial wastes, and even environmental pollution. He focuses on mutated animals and especially on artificial mutation. His works seem terrorizing and strong but the truth is that they are fragile and unstable. Yong Ho Ji’s intention is to send a message of warning on environmental destruction and a human-caused threat to itself. Click on the following links to see more of his work.

Novomade
Twisted Sifter

#4 – Hut with A View
Solvay Hut Near the top of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps is a ten-bed hut with an incomparable view. Don’t even think about vacationing there. It can only be used for emergency purposes. Built in only 5 days back in 1915, the Solvay Hut is an example of something seemingly impossible made possible.

#5 – Angelou For Inspiration
Inspirational Quotes from Maya AngelouTo honor the life of Maya Angelou, I present you with several of her inspirational quotes.

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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Birds Flying High: Santa Fe Sunset The sun gives off a golden glow as it lowers itself in the sky. This glow creates a striking contrast to the mountains, turning them into a dark amorphous shape. With bright light reflecting off cirrus clouds, the sky resembles a Martian atmosphere. Birds flying by add focal points to an already interesting sunset. So, when is a sunset not just a sunset? The answer: When you take the time to notice it.

#1 – Soar
Blue Santa Fe Sunset Just minutes after selecting my lead-in photo of birds flying across a sunset, I accidentally came across the lyrics of Christina Aguilera’s song Soar on my computer. The first three stanzas of the song powerfully remind us to be true to our authentic selves, to listen to our hearts, and to forge our own paths – good thoughts to share during this graduation season.

When they push when they pull, tell me can you hold on?
When they say you should change can you lift your head high
And stay strong?
Will you give up, give in, when your heart’s crying out that it’s wrong?
Will you love you for you at the end of it all?

Now in life, there’s gonna be times when you’re feeling low
And in your mind insecurity seems to take control
We start to look outside ourselves for acceptance and approval
We keep forgetting that the one thing we should know is

Don’t be scared to fly alone, find a path that is your own
Love will open every door it’s in your hands, the world is yours
Don’t hold back and always know, all the answers will unfold
What are you waiting for, spread your wings and soar

Songwriter(s): Aguilera, Christina; Hoffman, Robert D; Holley, Heather
Copyright: © MUSIC OF WINDSWEPT
© POP FUTURE MUSIC
© UNIVERSAL MUSIC – CAREERS
© XTINA MUSIC

#2 – Sing Your Song
My Song by Kristen Jongen Here’s another inspirational interpretation of the need to “sing your own song.”
Author, speaker, and artist Kristen Jongen shares her “Courageous Poetry and Art to Feed Your Soul” on her site Soul Soup.

#3 – Birdbnb
Airbnb Birdhouse Ad Campaign Modeled after actual homes listed on Airbnb, an online platform for travelers looking to find a variety of lodging experiences, these birdhouses were featured in an ad campaign called Every Traveler Deserves a Home. See photos of the original homes and their birdhouse look-alikes.

#4 – Travel Tips
24 Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life Forever Flying high in the sky . . . on an airplane? Wherever and however you travel, it helps to be organized and prepared. 24 Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life Forever lists ideas, some familiar and some I’ve not seen before, that make traveling easier. You’ll wonder why you didn’t think of some of them first!

#5 – Fly Free
“Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly.”
Unknown

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Lizards fighting Posturing and positioning themselves, two blue belly lizards eye each other contemptuously. Using my deck as their battlefield, they crawl around in a strategic circle formation. In a flash the battle begins: one lizard lunges at the other and chases it away. Retreating, but not far away, the second lizard charges back towards the other. Charge and retreat; charge and retreat; charge and retreat; the battle continues. Studying these two rivals, I recognize that they are not only fierce competitors, but also survivors. Each sports a regenerated tail. Given a particular threatening situation, some lizard species have caudal autotomy, the ability to self-amputate their tails. Equally amazing is the fact that they can also regenerate new tails. This ability to shed or let go of an integral part of themselves in order to survive fascinates me. I ponder how this concept might apply to humans. Not in the physical sense, of course, but in the spiritual and emotional sense. What do we need to let go of in our heads or in our hearts in order to survive and regenerate?

#1 – Japanese Philosophy and Art
Kintsukuroi Comparing the kintsukuroi pottery process to trials in life, metaphysical teacher, author, and spiritual guide Carrieanne Fonger says, Take a moment to remember all of your own broken places. Instead of filling the memories with shame, guilt, sorrow or regret, fill those broken spaces in your life with gold. Think about how each circumstance changed you for the better, helping to shape your character and make you who you are – “more beautiful for having been broken.”

#2 – Backyard Fun
Outdoor Summer Fun Spending time in the outdoors can regenerate the spirit. There’s no need to travel far, either. Just step into your backyard. To that end, here are 31 DIY Ways to Make Your Backyard Awesome This Summer. What fun!

#3 – Easter Peeps Flower Vase
What if you stuck a slightly chipped or ugly vase inside a clear larger vase and used the in-between-space to place decorative elements? You would be giving new life to the smaller vase and creating something beautiful at the same time. Easter Peeps and Flower Centerpiece

#4 – Out of the Mouth of Babes
“There’s plenty of reasons to dance; you just have to look for them,” says this wise young soul. Watch this video and feel renewed and invigorated.

#5 – Let Go, Evolve, and Change
Kintsukuroi

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.”
Joseph Campbell

“Life is a gift, and should be cherished, lived and experienced. Though experience often reveals itself as pain in this world, it is still purposeful, it still has its place in the evolution of our spirit.”
Michael Poeltl, Revelation

“Change always comes bearing gifts.” Price Pritchett

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"Made With Love" Cookies Stamped with words, but made with love. I know this, because I made these cookies. No other day of the year combines words with love as well as Valentine’s Day. It seems tragic to me that some people can profess their love on this day, but not on other days of the year. My philosophy holds that love should be expressed everyday, in as many ways as possible. The challenge for all of us is to discover the hundreds of ways we can show love.

#1 – Show Your Love
Kris Carr On Valentine’s Day in 2003, Kris Carr was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. She then embarked on a passionate journey to enjoy her life more fully. From her blog, comes this post on How to Show Your Love.

#2 – Love Stories images Love has many faces and forms. In 1999, PBS gathered love stories from people across the country and created a series titled American Love Stories. These stories highlight diversity in relationships and tell about love in the face of prejudices involving race, religion, age, gender and more.

#3 – Heart-Shaped Envelopes
Turn a heart-shaped piece of paper into an envelope for your Valentine’s Day card or for any special occasion card, such as an anniversary card or a wedding card. If you don’t want to cut a heart out of paper, use a heart-shaped paper doily! Make an Envelope From a Heart-shaped Piece of Paper

#4 – Another Win-Win Idea
Last September, I repurposed clean and gently-worn t-shirts by making them into scarves and tote bags for the homeless. Now I have another project that again helps planet Earth and the homeless. I recently took a crochet class at my local craft store and will be putting my new skill to a test as I try crocheting plastic bags into sleeping mats for the homeless. These mats provide a moisture barrier from the damp cold ground and they offer more cushion than a piece of cardboard. To learn how to crochet these mats, watch the video below. Don’t know how to crochet? No problem, just click on You Tube video tutorials to learn how.

#5 – Joy is Love
Joy is love – a joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love, for she gives most who gives with joy.
Mother Teresa

Happy Valentine’s Day! Now Go and Spread Joy!

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