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Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’

Sitting at my desk and admiring the sleek beauty of my iMac computer, I think with sadness about the passing of Steve Jobs. His combination of creative intelligence and technological genius definitely put the “ding in the universe” that he so wanted. He challenged and inspired us with his innovations and changed the world forever.

#1 – Inspirational Quotes by Steve Jobs
Take a moment and read the 20 Most Inspirational Quotes By Steve Jobs.

#2 – Picture Perfect
Using the site iPiccy, I downloaded the graphic of Steve Job’s silhouette and the Apple logo, quadrupled the image, selected colors, and added text all within 15 minutes. Because iPiccy is so easy to use and is fun to experiment with, you’ll find yourself searching your photo library for more photos on which to test techniques and effects. Why not plan ahead and create something interesting for your holiday cards?

#3 – Apple Trivia
Apple season is here, so check out how much you know about this popular fruit:

• Over 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States and 7,500 varieties are grown worldwide.

• Apples are grown in all 50 states.

• The first recorded apple tree planting was in 1629 by the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

• Americans eat about 19.6 pounds of fresh apples annually, compared to about 46 pounds consumed annually by residents of European countries.

• Apples are a member of the rose family.

• A medium-sized apple contains about 80 calories.

• Apples float because 25% of an apple’s volume is air.

• Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.

• Apples contain no fat, cholesterol, or sodium.

• Apples are a great source of pectin, a water-soluble fiber found to reduce levels of cholesterol by removing it from the blood stream.

• Apples contain boron, an essential trace element that helps to harden bones, which may reduce the onset of osteoporosis.

• Apples are best stored in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

Read more apple facts at:
Knouse Foods
Sweetwater Cellars
FoodReference.com

#4 – Color Quiz
I wasn’t expecting much after I took this quick and simple Color Quiz. I knew color selection affects behavior and learning styles, but I didn’t really appreciate how much it could reveal about a person’s emotional state. Maybe it was just my mood yesterday, but my test results were interestingly accurate. Take the quiz and find out what color selection says about you?

#5 – Happiness
“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Have a lovely weekend!

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Bad news blares like an alarm and shakes my very existence. Within a short span of time I’ve received bad news from several people I care about. Too much all at once. Each person’s news is a reminder of the fragility of life and the ever teeter-tottering balancing act of happiness.

These bits of news are wake-up calls that cry out for life lessons to be revisited. In the blink of an eye, life can change. I’m acutely aware of that – savoring joy and living in the moment are underlying themes in many of my posts. Still, I let my guard down occasionally, complacency slides in and auto pilot takes over allowing life and happiness to be taken for granted. I’m sure there are countless others like me who need to be shaken awake from time to time by life’s wake-up calls.

Most of us let the details of our every day lives consume and control us to the point were life’s big picture is no longer in focus. We sweat the details and deny ourselves moments of joy. In my post On a Need to Know Basis I wrote about learning a life lesson when one of my cousins fell ill and passed away. I tell many of my friends, who fret and worry over their children’s grades, S.A.T. scores, and such, about how my cousin’s story has always helped me keep life in perspective. My cousin was close to finishing his freshman year in college when he became ill. Before he slipped into a coma and died he told his dad that he was sorry about his grades. My aunt and uncle are not unreasonable people. Like most of us they had hopes and dreams for their child and they pushed him to study hard. They never imagined that his last words to them would be about grades. We would all probably agree that in the big picture of life, grades aren’t really that important, but yet we can all probably relate to getting caught up in the details of grades. Put the details of whatever makes you angry, sad, frustrated, worried etc., into proper perspective  – or whole life perspective – and see if that doesn’t change your outlook on life a little.

Paint the big picture of your life in your mind and what do you see? What is important enough for you to include? What should you be grateful for? It takes practice and daily awareness to live a grateful life. Life is all about making choices. We have no control over certain aspects in our lives, but we can choose how we react and interact. As we go about our everyday tasks or write out our daily “To Do” lists, we must make sure we don’t forget to find some way of showing gratitude. Acknowledge people that support you in your workplace or in your community, find the positive in your job, be grateful for your health, tell your kids you are proud of them, and so on. We should make sure that the messages we are sending to those we care about come out loud and clear. The “unsaids” should be said more and the “saids” should be said less. The best intentions left undone are often ” I should of . . . ,” “I wish I had . . . ,” ” I was going to . . . .” Don’t miss the opportunities in life to show your thoughtfulness or gratitude or that you care. Don’t wait to be shaken awake again.

This post is dedicated to the memory of Steve Strann, a loving husband, a doting father, a fun neighbor, and a most wonderful friend who’s forever changed my outlook on pelicans, squirrels, orchids, and all things electronic.

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Call it taking a risk, call it following my heart, or call it just plain stupid for quitting my job. I recently quit my job at the clothing store where I worked for almost two years. I enjoyed my work there and I learned a lot about the world of retail and much about myself. As hard as it was for me to leave my friends at work, it was harder for me to stay. My soul kept crying out like Oliver Twist for “more.”

I’ve quit jobs before and, as a matter of fact, I’ve quit a profession before. For more than a decade I toiled as a dental hygienist before I chose an even more difficult job – that of a full time stay-at-home mom. But this time it’s different – I quit because I need to focus on myself. Selfish? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely. With the support of a loving husband, I’m continuing on my journey of finding out more about myself and learning what more I can offer the world. I know what I am – a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. But the question remains, who am I?

I’ve never been a risk-taker. Maybe it’s because I’m a middle child and I like everything all neat and tidy. Probably the riskiest thing I’ve ever done in my life was to go for a walk at night with a man I’d met minutes before at a college street dance. What was I thinking? I was following my gut instinct – the guy seemed nice and he seemed harmless. As it turns out, I married that nice man who offered to take me on a tour of the campus. Taking risks can sometimes pay off.

I’m following that gut instinct of mine again and it’s telling me there’s more out there for me. It’s already led me in new directions. Creating What About This? involved taking another risk for me. In creating a platform for my creative endeavors and the desire to spread joy, I knew that writing a blog about my ideas and thoughts would be putting myself out there for the world to see and judge. I always encouraged creative writing in my children, but I was never an active writer myself. However, in the process of writing my blog, I’ve realized that maybe I can write and maybe my writing can help people.

Combining my love of making things and helping people has also led me to crafting pieces of jewelry with selected words hammered into metal. I’ve been told more than once by well meaning people that there are other companies out there making this kind of jewelry. That may be true, but to me the value in my jewelry is really the process I take with my clients to reveal or uncover their specific words of affirmation. Often times affirmations are not self-evident. In my creative mind, I see many positive applications for my jewelry and it brings me joy.

As Alexander Graham Bell once said, “When one door closes, another opens . . . .” The journey I’ve chosen to take feels so right, at least for now. There will be twists and turns and maybe even u-turns in the road ahead of me, but at least I can say I tried and took a chance on myself.

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