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Posts Tagged ‘inspirational quote’

Tuesday's Thoughts The words return, recover, and regroup define Mondays. Return to routines and schedules. Recover some semblance of order. Regroup by checking calendars, prioritizing, and taking inventory. I’m not a big fan of Mondays.

On Tuesdays, however, I allow myself to breathe. I write and let my mind stretch and my thoughts wander. I call these my Tuesday’s Thoughts. Starting today, I will throw some of these thoughts into the mix of my usual Tuesday content of food and crafts. Consider Tuesday’s Thoughts as food for thought. I am pleased to present this inaugural edition.

Today, I’m going to teach an art class at the Wellspring Women’s Center. The Center “nurtures the innate goodness and personal self-esteem of women and their children” and provides “all of the services in an atmosphere of hospitality with dignity and love.” Located in an impoverished area, the Center offers many services that “bolster the dignity and hope of people under duress.” I am most impressed that alongside food, counseling, wellness, and advocacy programs, it offers a free art therapy program called Art of Being: Wellness Through Creativity. Some of you may wonder, if the needs of these women are great and many, then why offer art classes? To this point, the Center states, “Creative expression is a powerful tool to cultivate the positive qualities of mindfulness and insight. Being present in our lives can help us to tap into our inner strength and wisdom and increase our feelings of well-being and joy.” Even though these women’s lives may be difficult, they are learning through art to see the world differently, to express themselves without fear and judgment, and to share their journeys. They are learning that who they are is more than where they live.

Tuesday’s Thoughts: Take a moment for yourself and feed your soul. Let loose your creativity. Be present in the moment. Do not judge or critique your creativity, because, if you do, you negate the joy you felt while freely expressing yourself.

Now go and spread joy!

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Water Drops on Succulent Cradled in the leaves of a succulent, drops of water shimmer like jewels. Throughout time, succulents have survived their arid conditions by adapting. They store water in their fleshy parts – leaves, stems, and roots. They evolved to survive. Will mankind evolve quickly enough to survive a potential megadrought? Will mankind learn to value water and treat it like the life-saving, shimmering jewel that it is?

#1 – What’s The Difference?
The Difference Between Cacti and Succulents Do you know the difference between a cactus and a succulent? Just in case you need to know, here is what U.C. Master Gardner Denise Levine wrote about the topic:

All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Succulents (from the Latin word “succulentus,” for juice or sap) are defined by their moisture-storing capacity and come from many botanical families. Medicinal aloe veras and familiar Chicks and Hens are two examples of succulents many of us are familiar with.

Cacti have small, round, cushion-like structures called areoles from which spines, branches, hair, leaves and even flowers grow. While many succulents may look like cacti in every other respect, if they don’t have these circular areoles, they are not in the cactus (Cactaceae) family.

Another distinction is that succulents are native to most parts of the world, but cacti are only indigenous from Alaska to Chile in the Western Hemisphere. Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine have never found a native cactus, but Canada has found several that have evolved to survive Canada’s freezing winters.

#2 – Oldest Living Things
The Oldest Living Things in the World With my birthday approaching next week, I started searching for other old living things. This search led me to Rachel Sussman’s photographs of “The Oldest Living Things In The World.” After viewing the photo of 12,000 year-old Mojave yucca plants, which are succulents, and her other incredible photos, I suddenly felt very young. Everything is relative.

#3 – Miniature Fairy Gardens
Miniature and Fairy GardeningHere’s a project for the young-at-heart. Check out Naturework’s photos of Miniature and Fairy Gardening. You’ll put transforming a broken clay pot into a fairy garden on your “Creative To Do” list.

#4 – Rock Cacti Garden
Cacti Made Of Painted Rocks This cute and clever idea suits people like me who have sparks of creativity, but also have brown thumbs. Be on the lookout for perfect rock formations, so that you can make your own Cactus Made of Painted Rocks.

#5 – Sit or Don’t Sit
“The world is full of cactus, but we don’t have to sit on it.”
Will Foley

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Remembrance Box The woodworker stood back and looked at his project. While pouring his heart into the design and construction of it, his mind focused on only one thing – the purpose of it. At a recent meeting of local woodcrafters, a plea had been made for boxes. Keaton Raphael Memorial, a nonprofit organization that assists families with children with cancer, was in dire need of woodworkers to help make Remembrance Boxes. When a child being helped by Keaton Raphael Memorial passes away and becomes a special KRM angel, the organization gives the family a wooden box containing bereavement reading materials and oftentimes a grant to help with funeral expenses. The woodworker rose to the challenge and his expertly-crafted work reflects the beauty of fallen leaves, signifying, in my opinion, the short, but significant lives of young souls.

#1 – Land Art
Land Art Nature doesn’t need any embellishments. However, when man works with natural components, interesting art can result. You will be impressed by the scale of some of the projects in 21 Unforgettable Examples of Land Art.

#2 – Got Stuff?
Recycling Goods With children moving hither and yon, I am left with a garage full of “stuff.” All of it is useful – to somebody. Rather than toss everything into the garbage, I’d rather find new homes or new uses for them. If you are in the same situation of having stuff and not wanting to add to our landfills, go to earth911. Type in what you would like to recycle, add your zipcode, and a listing of local recycling centers should appear.

#3 – Easter Decorations
80 Fabulous Easter Decorations While scrolling through the ideas in 80 Fabulous Easter Decorations You Can Make Yourself, I went into creative overload. There are so many cute and clever ideas in it, I don’t which project to start first!

#4 – Fresh Eggs
How to Buy the Freshest Eggs PossibleWith Easter right around the corner, you’ll want to make sure you buy the freshest eggs possible. In How to Buy the Freshest Eggs Possible, learn how to read the Julian date on an egg carton. And here’s a tip from me: when selecting a carton of eggs in the grocery store, just don’t open the carton and look at the eggs. Always wiggle each egg. If an egg doesn’t move, there’s a good chance that its shell is cracked, causing it to stick to the carton.

#5 – In Every Falling Leaf
“In every change, in every falling leaf there is some pain, some beauty. And that’s the way new leaves grow.”
Amit Ray

Note: The beautiful Remembrance Box in the photo was made by Mr. Jim Hunt

Now go and spread joy!

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Friday's Fresh Five! Oh, we’re going to a hukilau
A huki, huki, huki, huki, hukilau
Ev’rybody loves a hukilau
Where the laulau is the kau kau at the big luau

Oh, we’ll throw our nets out into the sea
And all the ama ama come a-swimming to me
Oh, we’re going to a hukilau
A huki, huki, huki, huki, hukilau

Words and music by Jack Owens

The Hukilau Song can be heard throughout my home, as my husband and I practice playing our new ukuleles together. It all started when my husband asked for a ukulele for Christmas, so that he could sing to our granddaughter. He began taking classes at a local music shop and started spending a lot of time searching for instructional videos on the internet. I felt left out, but being already overextended, I had no intention of learning how to play a new musical instrument. Seeing the joy it brought him, however, I itched to get my hands on a ukulele and try playing its happy music. A few weeks ago, he surprised me with an early Valentine’s Day gift – my very own ukulele. Our mastery of chords and strumming patterns is progressing well, but our singing definitely needs work. Besides learning a new skill together, filling our home with music, and having a ton of fun, we’ve also discovered that it is a great stress reliever. The moral of the story is: the couple that strums together, hums together!

#1 – The Nimble Brain
Ways to Exercise Your Brain Whether you are learning how to play a new musical instrument or learning a new language, your brain thanks you for keeping it nimble. Want to learn more ways to exercise your brain? From mental_floss comes this list of 11 Ingenious Ways to Exercise Your Brain When You’re Stuck Inside.

#2 – Love Is All Around
Hearts In Nature When looking for love, it’s a matter of perspective. See if you can find the hearts in the captivating Hearts In Nature photo series.

#3 – Repurposing Photos
30 Creative Ways to Repurpose Photos If you have boxes of photos taking up space in your home, you might want to repurpose them. I like to use them to make photo mosaics, but so many other clever ideas exist on the internet. To get started, check out Brit + Co’s 30 Creative Ways to Repurpose Photos.

#4 – Rules For Being
12 Rules for Being a Beautiful Human Being “This moment is a gift” is rule number 11 of the 12 Rules For Being a Beautiful Human. They are good reminders for all of us, as we journey through life.

#5 – Making Your Own Music
“Play with your heart, sing with your soul.”
Unknown

Now go and spread joy!

 

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Steller's Jay

Calls of “shaack shaack shaack!” interrupt the peace and quiet of the creek area behind my house. My eyes follow the sound and see blue-feathered birds swoop elegantly from tree branch to tree branch. Behaving as if they own the area, these noisy birds parade on my deck like beauty queens and scare off smaller birds from feeders. Teasing me with their frequent appearances, I go inside to get my camera. Ironically, the moment I step back outside, they are nowhere to be found. “Just one good photo of a Steller’s Jay, that’s all I want,” I think to myself. After waiting patiently for that one shot and then viewing the image on my computer, I know that a single photo of these striking birds will not be enough for me.

#1 – Is it Blue or Cerulean?
Color Thesaurus What color is the bird in the lead photo above? If your answer is like mine and you said blue, you may want to check out a color chart that young adult writer and illustrator Ingrid Sundberg created. Her Color Thesaurus gives specific names to shades and hues of colors. So, instead of describing the bird as just being blue, we can now say that it is a deep cerulean blue-colored bird with touches of cobalt and aegean.

#2 – Photos for Perfectionists
The Perfect Snowball Imagine a snowball that’s perfectly round. If you are a bit of a perfectionist, you will appreciate the shape of this snowball and the other 34 Photos That Will Satisfy All Perfectionists.

#3 – Growing Onions in a Plastic Bottle
Growing Onions Vertically Because I hate putting plastic products in the garbage and because I hate cleaning out my refrigerator and throwing away limp produce, the idea of growing green onions vertically in plastic bottles appeals to me. Having fresh green onions available at a moment’s notice and re-purposing a plastic bottle at the same time sounds like a win-win situation. Click here if you would like to learn more about this subject.

#4 – Mysteries of the Unseen World
In this TED Talk filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg provides us with glimpses of the incredible unseen world around us.

#5 – Do You Really See?
“The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.”
Joseph B. Wirthlin

Now go and spread joy!

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IMG_0275 Book Stack -T What do the books laying around your home reveal about you? Plenty. Are you a romantic, a gardener, a do-it-yourself-type of person? Looking at this short stack of my books, can you tell that I read books about history, like to cook, love dogs, collect books just for their titles and don’t like to clean my house, worship well-written classics, pretend that I can read French, and search for nuggets of wisdom?

#1 – Characteristics of Book Lovers
19 Things Only Book Lovers Will Understand This week a friend and I found we shared similar tendencies when we are around books, such as in libraries and book stores. Both of us lovingly run fingers down book spines and both of us enjoy feeling the heft of books in our hands. Odd you say? I think you would be surprised how many other book lovers do the same things. Check out the 19 Things Only Book Lovers Will Understand and see if you recognize any of the traits in yourself or in someone you know.

#2 – Searching For A Book?
Searching For Old Books If there’s an old book or a book out of print that you really want to get your hands on, consider searching for it on AddALL. I searched for several books on the site and within 20 seconds pages of sources appeared. You can also search AddALL for other things such as books in print and ebooks.

#3 – Ikea Versus Apple
While on the subjects of books, this Ikea ad is just too tongue-in-cheek for me not to share it:

#4 – DIY Creative Chandeliers
29 Magnificent Chandeliers Made Out of Crazy things To all the people who think, “What if . . . ,” please don’t ever stop thinking that way. The world needs your creative and outside-the-box way of looking at things. To that point here are 29 Magnificent Chandeliers Made Out of Crazy Things. Some are made from pages of books, plastic bottles, waxed paper, zip ties, etc. These projects would be even better, if they are fashioned out of re-purposed goods.

#5 – Reading Outside the Box
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
Haruki Murakami

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Fall Fruit Thanksgiving is but a day, but the practice of giving thanks should be lifelong. Life is fickle and can change instantaneously, so there is no time like the present to show gratitude to those whom you care about the most. Tell them what they mean to you. Tell them that they matter to you. Tell them how they make a difference in your life. Being grateful re-centers and puts life into perspective. That being said, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you who take the time to read What About This? You encourage me to become a better person as I work to improve my blogging skills, as I discover new items to share with you, and as I find more ways to spread joy. Thank you for all you have given to me.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie

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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

Now go and spread joy!

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Early Morning Calm Like angels ascending to heaven, the morning mist lifts ethereally from the lake. A lone skiff floats through the mist and breaks the stillness of the glass-like water. The world is quiet and I am lost in my reverie. Fishermen arrive and set up their gear, but they do not disturb the peace I feel. The lake soon hums with activity, but the calm I felt during those precious early morning moments still flows through my blood and into my heart, setting the cadence of my heartbeat for the rest of the day.

#1 – A Small Portrait
Miniature Paintings by Lorraine Loots It takes calm nerves and a steady hand to paint paintings that are no larger than a small coin and are painted in a photo-realistic style. For each day of the year 2013, Cape Town-based artist Lorraine Loots painted a miniature painting. The paintings were for her project 365 Paintings for Ants and she is now working on a project called 365 Postcards for Ants. Watch the video to learn more about Lorraine and her work.

#2 – Making Clouds
Decorating With Clouds The introduction for this project from Oh! Crafts states, “Let your children fly their imagination in their own room with these great clouds hanging on the ceiling.” Forget about the kids! Adults need all the help they can get to fuel their imaginations, so go ahead and put up soft, billowy clouds in your home and make no excuses for them. And remember that clouds don’t always bring rain.

#3 – Your Green House
7 Easy DIY Green Home Solutions Get your head out of the clouds and start living a greener life. Follow these 7 Ways To Make Your Home a Greener Place and live with a “clean” conscience.

#4 – Answer These Questions
25 Questions To Ask People (And Yourself) “What does a perfect day look like to you?” I could easily answer question #24 of 25 Questions to Ask People, but I would have to stop and ponder my answers to some of the other questions. Whether you ask others or yourself these questions, the important takeaway from this article is not so much about asking the questions, but it’s more about learning to be a mindful listener. Listen to yourself, too.

#5 – Morning Thoughts
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Marcus Aurelius

Now go and spread joy!

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Friday's Fresh Five! (10/17/14) “I know I can do this,” I say to myself as I try to swaddle my newborn granddaughter. Remembering what my son told me, I carefully lift one corner of the swaddling cloth and bring it over Charlotte and tuck it under her body. Then I secure her other arm by bringing the other corner up and wrapping it around her like I am making a burrito. While doing this, I think to myself, “Seriously, it’s not like I didn’t swaddle my own three children!” I finish tying up the loose ends and shout “Success!” Then, while watching Charlotte sleep, I see a slight movement under the cloth. Slowly, one tiny arm creeps up and before I know it my little Houdini-like granddaughter has escaped her swaddling confines. I’m afraid this grandmother’s swaddling skills are a little rusty!

#1 – Halloween Party Ideas
31 Halloween Party Ideas From Tip Junkie comes this frightfully fun collection of 31 Boo-worth Halloween Party Ideas and it’s just in time to help you plan a “spook-tacular” school party or a “spirited” evening with your favorite ghosts.

#2 – Interesting Person, Boring Life
Interesting Person, Boring Life Does fear control the choices you make in life? If you feel you are being held back from being the person you want to be or living the life you want to live, you might want to read Dr. Linda Sapadin’s article Interesting Person, Boring Life. Aristotle once said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

#3 – Playing With Clouds
Fun Cloud Photography Be what you want to be; see what you want to see. Have you ever looked at cloud formations and seen familiar shapes? In 18 Superbly Playful Photos of Clouds, imaginative photographers captured images of clouds in the most unique compositions.

#4 – Mariam Paré, Mouth-Painter
Mariam Pare, Mouth-Painter Fear turned to gratitude and joy, when artist Mariam Paré relearned how to paint. A victim of a random shooting, Ms. Paré became a quadriplegic at the age of twenty. Read her inspirational story of how she learned to paint with her mouth and see some of her works of art on her website.

#5 – A Chink In Your Armour, A Crack In Your Soul?
“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
― Leonard Cohen

Now go and spread joy!

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