Category Archives: Friends

Liberate Your Art 2017

 

I like to do different mail swaps through the year.  They are inexpensive and take little time.  The Bonus of my bit of effort is getting beautiful snail mail in return.

One of my favorite activities is the Liberate your Art Swap. This is led by Kat Sloma.  She is great about giving the very simple directions, reminding us as deadline approaches, and getting everything that we have mailed her circulated and sent out.

Basically this is how it works:

I send six postcards of my art to her and I get back six postcards o other people’s art.

My postcard is different every year.  Now that I am doing this a while and because someone else mentioned it to me-I should keep a spreadsheet. I always get extra postcards made and I don’t want to send the same one each year.

Sometimes my postcards are a photo of a painting I did.  Other times it is just a photo I think is cool.  Depending what it is and what I want, I will often use PicMonkey to add words to my card.

I took a picture of my friends rocks and loved it.  I asked her permission to use that as my postcard and I simply included her website on there.

It’s a lot of fun and the cards are beautiful.  I also have people I side swap with!

Here are the cards I got this year.

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Here are some of the cards I have sent in the past:

I hope you will consider doing a swap…very little time -very big rewards. When you order your cards-order a few extra.  Postcard stamps are cheaper and you will have some quick snail mail to send out to those you are about. I sent one to my friend for her birthday and I was so happy to see that she was excited to get a “piece of my art”.

 

Happy Creating!

 

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I DID IT-with a little help from my friends!

People find this hard to believe, but I am afraid of a lot of things.  OK I looked up the definition just to make sure I am using the right word. Afraid: 1.filled with fear or apprehension 2. filled with regret or concern 3. feeling worry or concern or insecurity 4. having feelings of aversion or unwillingness.The only one that does NOT fit is number four. 

I remember reading a book Love is Letting Go of Fear by Gerald Jampolsky.

“There are only two emotions: one is Love and the other is fear. Love is our true reality. Fear is something our mind has made up, and is therefore unreal.”

Gerald G. Jampolsky, Love Is Letting Go of Fear

At first I found that ridiculous but as I thought about different things I did-I realized everything I did-I could tie to either love or fear.  I started to think about over people’s behavior as well-the boss that hovers, the perfectionists, and the procrastinators. It helped me to see people differently.  We have all run into people at work that seem grumpy and indifferent. Instead of being upset-I saw them differently.  Certainly that type of behavior was not love-so they must be afraid of something.  It really is a paradigm shift and I think it is easier to stop taking things personally and be compassionate because no one likes to be afraid.

“Fear and love can never be experienced at the same time. It is always our choice as to which of these emotions we want…”

Gerald G. Jampolsky

Oh yeah-that is so true and I have gotten in trouble many times, with people I love, for choosing fear. Once it was too gone to get back-I realized my actions were fear based.  I will make every effort from now on not to make decisions based on fear-when it comes to my relationships with people.

I am always afraid of trying something new. Like I have a new silhouette machine.  Yes-I have been busy but I admit I may be procrastinating trying it the first time because it is new. I procrastinate on projects thinking I can’t do it, or I need hours of time-only to find out when I finally jump in…that I can do it just fine.


Sometimes if it is something I really want to do, I will do it anyway. It could be taking a class in a new technique, going to a party where I do not know anyone, joining a new group, or greeting someone at church (yes, this is scary for me). I won’t sleep and I ‘ll be anxious, but I do it.

But there are some things I would never do alone.  I am pretty brave considering all the things I have made myself do over the years and all the hairy things I have survived but I doubt I will I know I will never be as brave as my friend Annette who traveled to Italy by herself! I know I will never jump out of a parachute like my friend Sharon.

Ok I did crochet the bracelet I thought I could not do. But when I did not understand the directions for the closure, it sat for months.  Finally I decided I would finish it MY way so that I could wear this bracelet I loved.

Something that has been on my list for a while is a 5K. Now I am not a runner, I am a walker.  I want to do the Disney one because I want that medal. But, this is one of those things I am NOT doing unless I have a buddy. Too far out of my comfort zone. I have asked friends here and there but never followed through-well…because I am afraid.

Then one day I am sitting with friend Jo Foringer and she said she has signed up for a 10K and that she will be walking. I was listening-I asked for details. I used to walk over three miles a day so I figured I could do this-I can walk.  Knowing I would be with her-a confidence buddy or whatever you want to say…I signed up.  I told myself I needed to get out walking again and wearing sneakers (hate them) to get ready.  I had months.  Well, life is busy and I probably only walked a few times,  I was not giving up though-because as rigid as I can be when I am afraid, I am just as rigid if I have told someone I am going to be there.

So Jo and her husband Dave would meet me at the race. I got there first and then was freaking that she was not coming. Of course they did. I had only slept three hours the night before because-I was afraid. I knew I could finish in three hours because I know my walking pace.  But what if I have to go to the bathroom  What if I get a cramp? What if I get overheated? OK so I planned ahead.  I have a fanny pack and I packed it for every disaster.

Two waters

Two kind bars

tissues (lack of such could be embarrassing)

Deep Blue roll on (for cramping-my friend had used it in a previous race)

Digestzen (a tummy issue would NOT be good-I used this three times!)

Peppermint Beadlets (to keep me alert, help me if I get stuffed up)

Motivate Essential Oil-enough said

Cell phone-got to document this moment

Our friend Tara was there and that was a great feeling to see her before we began and get a hug.  Jo also had some other friends there as well.

When we started out, Dave & Jo were pacing a little faster than I expected. Dave has long legs and Jo was moving.  They asked if they were going too fast and I said no because really-it did not feel bad to me.  As I timed how we were doing, I felt the pace was a good one.

The walk started off with pelting rain and wind.  I was soaked and hated water getting in my face.  We had a headwind for sure but I would rather have it the first half and not the second. Overall I kept just a bit behind Dave & Jo.  The turning point was exciting.  I had no cramping, was not exhausted, and as water was provided, had plenty of water on me still.  I was not overheated at all.

I was thrilled when we got to the end-I think in just over two hours.  Would have been perfect if I had not fell in the sand.  Just to my knees-not out of exhaustion or anything but walking up the hill in the soft sand was the hardest part! There was one woman that was carried across the line by her friends! I got my Octopus Medal and I was SO PROUD of myself. I was SO THANKFUL for the experience. I wondered, of course, what took me so long to do this. But we know the answer, fear.

There were many encouraging words along the way!


After getting up that hill-we grabbed some water and then went off to party a bit before I headed home. Yes I did drink that before 10am!

Dave & Jo-I cannot thank you enough.  Thanks Dave for being the leader, even if you had to walk backwards sometimes. Thanks for your great pacing-all the encouragement helped me to do something that has been on my list for years.  Actually-a 5K was on my list so this was even better.  Just a little help from friends makes a difference.

Dave & Jo have already signed up for a 5K. As soon as I see that the date is not a conflict with our convention, I plan to join them.

Here’s hoping anyone that reads this will take a step towards doing something they really want to do that they are a bit afraid of. And if I can help you I will!

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Have friend-will travel!

My friend Cecil came to visit me from Texas.  We have been friends since before my daughter was born (she is 34). As long as we have known each other, we have liked traveling.  Sometimes we do the local things in a given area and other times we venture out a bit.

I kept asking Cecil when he could come and he finally pinned down some dates in April.  So then I compiled some ideas about what we could do. My husband suggested that we alternate longer trips and shorter trips-ending with local activities on Cecil’s last day.  This was a great idea.  With Cecil arriving Monday afternoon-we had four full days for fun-Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Saturday we would bring Cecil to the airport early-so that we could participate in an Earth Day Vendor Event in Orlando.

Monday we went to dinner at Rib City-this place is one mile from our home in Grant. The owner of this place has really made this a favorite local spot.  Great food, great service, and great atmosphere.  It is so wonderful to have this place so close to home! Not only is the food great, but The Old Grant Creamery is on the premises with the best ice cream ever!  While Cecil was here I think we went a total of three times-Cecil loved it!

This is what we decided on for our week of fun.

Day 1 Tuesday: Tarpon Springs

Day 2 Wednesday: Sanford, Cassadaga,  and dinner at Megan’s

Day 3 Thursday:  St. Augustine

Day 4 Friday: Indian Buffet Lunch, Downtown, and Beach Walk

Day 1: We headed to the sponge docks at Tarpon Springs. The weather was comfortable until the afternoon and by then we were ready to leave. We ate at Yianni’s.  I told Cecil he MUST have the flaming cheese ( Saganaki). Cecil did like the flaming cheese but I learned that Cecil does not like Gyros.  For him the meat and the spices were strange. I loved mine and he offered me the rest of his-but I was full. We walked the streets and we picked up a couple things.  I loved lunch-but the Gyro was not Cecil’s favorite. It was a great ride though-both ways.  Cecil and I like to take back roads-you never know what you will see. We went to Abbott’s Custard in Vero-kinda on the way home.  Abbott’s is something I have been connected to since childhood when my grandparents took us every summer.  Cecil loved it of course.

Decorated bicycles in Tarpon Springs, FL

Day 2: I told Cecil about Sanford after friends and I had gone their to see a friend’s art exhibit.  I fell in love with this town.  There is a great variety of stores and eateries. There is so much charm in this city.  I love the Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery.   I think Cecil was surprised by some of the crazy (that’s a good thing) art in there.  He really liked the watercolors. A new group was setting up and we met an artist that was retired after 47 years of teaching.  As Cecil and I are both retired teachers-that was fun.  We walked the streets, which are beautiful, and at my suggestion ate at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe.     My stepdaughter had recommended this to me and I had gone there with my girlfriends on the first trip.  This is excellent food.  I do not remember what Cecil had but he did like it.  I had the sausage plate again (like last time) but this time had sauerkraut and mashed potatoes with it.  The mashed potatoes were the best I have ever put in my mouth.  The kraut was fantastic and if you eat German food-you know mashed potatoes and kraut together are amazing.  I had the bratwurst-also fantastic.

After Sanford we decided to bop over to Cassadaga.    Cecil had been years before and enjoyed the town, bookstore, and a reading. He had the reading and left feeling great about everything the person shared.  He tried to get the same person again but she was busy.  He was able to meet with someone that day and was very happy with that person as well.  It was very interesting to listen to things Cecil had to say about the experience and that was one event this time that when he told me about it, I got goosebumps…

 

Last stop for day 2 is to Megan’s for dinner. She made a fantastic eggplant dish-I bought the salad fixins’.

Day 3: St. Augustine-the nation’s oldest city. I love St Augustine so I suggested it. It’s a bit of a ride but Cecil and I enjoy long rides and he would often look at the map and find alternate routes to using the highway.  We arrived in time for lunch and ate at a place I hadn’t eaten at before.  The menu offered Po Boys which appealed to both of us.  While the inside was typical casual decor-the food was great! The Florida Cracker Cafe–  I admit I loved the name.  It reminds me that I told Cecil he must read A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith.  When I mentioned this to Cecil in the Sanford bookstore, a woman chimed in and also shared her love for the book. We walked around after lunch and I was excited to find some jewelry pieces by Kelli Rae Roberts on sale. When the afternoon got warm-we headed home.  I think we stopped at The Old Grant Creamery again-Cecil said it is the best ice cream he has ever had.

Day 4: Kept things local this day because Cecil would leave early the next morning.  Didn’t want to tire him out! In the morning I stayed home and got a little work done-then we headed out for a few short errands before lunch.  My grandogs Lotus & Po are having a one year Whobilation (birthday) on Sunday so first stop was the pet store to get gifts.  My daughter always collects donations for the shelter at their BD but come on-I am the grammy so I was buying a present.  Megan told me Lotus needed something challenging-that girl is smart.  So I picked a puzzle with four things to do.  For Po-I chose a ball machine.  You put the ball in and it shoots out.  I also knew Diesel (chihuahua) would love it. Off to Taste of India for buffet lunch

We both enjoyed it-I have never been disappointed here.  After lunch we went downtown.  I found a new store there Giftique, with lots of things my friend Annette would like.  I have my eye on a gold crown I saw there. Lots of art by Kellie Rae RobertsCecil bought some bath salts at Indian River Soap .

After perusing downtown-we headed over the bridge to the beach.  Every time Cecil visits we go to the beach.  As we walked this time, we remembered when we first took Megan on a beach walk.  She was about three and would walk at the water’s edge, fall down, run a few more feet, fall down-she loved it.  It was a perfect day for a walk-in fact we were very fortunate to have beautiful weather every day Cecil was here.

Friday night-Cecil’s last night-he offered to take us for dinner to our other favorite local eatery-The Old Fish House Bar & Grill.  We sat outside and it was wonderful.  We suggested the Redfish to Cecil as it is a favorite.  I , however, have been craving clam strips so that is what I ordered-with hushpuppies of course because they are amazing.  We had a nice dinner-but then it was back home to work.  Marty and I had samples to prepare and had to pack the car completely for the Earth Day Event at Lake Eola the next day.  Cecil offered to help but we declined-thinking it would not take long! Sorry to say that we worked till almost ten! Cecil decided to turn in-good idea as we would be out early in the morning.

I always enjoy when Cecil comes.  I am looking forward now to getting back to Texas, on his territory.  Have a quite a few friends I can visit in Texas-it’s a big state.

I kept the list of ideas Cecil and I compiled for travel-for when he comes again.

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Sanford & Friends

I tend to be a workaholic-thank goodness for wild and crazy art friends to remind me to have fun! My friend  Mychele is on a roll with her creativity and is inspiring me to make time for creativity as well.

Artsy girls need to see art! Our friend Jaci suggested that we all go to Sanford to the Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery when our friend Tracy Stilwell would have an exhibit there.

While this may be a bit blurry, I love this shot of myself, Mychele, and Jaci under Tracy’s eyes.

Jaci and I drove over from my home and Mychele met us there.  We all, for some reason, thought this was a small gallery but it was not! Not only were there many rooms of art but rooms where artists worked on site.  Our hostess with the mostest, Bailey, told us how the gallery was laid out and got us going on our adventure.

     

I really enjoyed one couple we met-The Abbots.  Debe  had an eclectic collection of work as did her artist husband, Kevin. They have been doing art together for thirty years I think they said!  I admit my favorites are the rooms she creates.  You can see this process on her blog at Evolution of a Painting.   Mychele and I agreed she had painted our dream room/house.  We spent a lot of time talking to Debe and Kevin-great people!

              

Of course our main mission was to see Tracy’s work so we headed to that area and enjoyed seeing her Garden Girls and fabric creations.We took several photos and left her a love note at the comment area. Tracy’s fabric creations each have their own story.  They are filled with images and details-each one takes time to see fully.

                    

We were surprised to see a small collection of work by another friend Midge Beaudoin.

Midge and Tracy have both taught classes at Art More Place in Melbourne Florida. That is how I met these two artsy gals.

This not so little gallery is very impressive and I cannot wait to go back.

While shopping in the gift area, I was thrilled to find a fused glass bird pendant. I loved it immediately , bought it, and named her Sky.  I have worn her every day since and get at least two comments a day . The artisan is Martin Cheek .

After all the fun at the gallery-we asked our hostess ,Bailey, about lunch suggestions.  She and Debe gave us lots and we ended up next door at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe. My stepdaughter-Katie, quite a connoisseur, had recently suggested this place when she heard I was going to Sanford.  When she says you MUST go there, trust it.  It was right next door and I had read on yelp that they were great at helping with gluten-free/vegetarian choices.  Turns out they had a vegetarian menu! Our server Dalton was amazing! I was very hungry and therefore overwhelmed with the extensive menu.  He helped me pick something out quickly which I great appreciated.  He described the different sausages so I could make a choice.  I admit, when selecting sides, etc I went with his favorites-and I am glad I did. Dalton helped me select a sausage plate and two sides. It was delicious! The decor in this place was German of course-loved everything about this place. Although I did not have any, it seems there were many great beers on hand.

        

After lunch we strolled just a bit more.  We found a bookstore Maya Books and Music.  Well of course I was going in! (for those of you that don’t know me personally,Maya is my poodle’s name) This bookstore was packed with stacks and stacks of books.       

Then I found Magpies. I LOVED this place!  Just a room full of unique treasures!  I found soaps, gourmet cotton candy, jewelry, clothing, and small unique home decor pieces.  Cannot wait to go back! I set up the place on yelp because it was not on there and it deserves to be seen! Don’t miss it if you are in Sanford.

      

Sanford was a beautiful town and I admit I plan to get back there as soon as I can.   Even the walls of the buildings were unusual-encrusted with memorabilia. I did not have enough time that day to explore as much as I would have liked.

Mychele taking a shot!
View down the main street-there are many side streets as well!
just one of the encrusted walls.
Another encrusted wall-I thought this was fascinating.
A shot down the other side of the main road. Everything was so beautiful!

Sanford is now one of my favorite towns for a getaway.  Who wants to go?

Mychele also wrote about our day.  See her version here!

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30 Days of Creativity: In Honor of Lexi

Originally on Blogger 6/24/11

30 Days of Creativity: Day 1

When I heard about the 30 Days of Creativity challenge I was excited.  I felt this was something that would get me in gear so to speak.  I have a room full of wonderful supplies but often make excuses not to go in there.

My husband has never once somplained that I need to clean more or create less yet I continue to “work” on other things instead of making time to create.  I think it is because it is so much fun…maybe I feel guilty?

Well when I saw this challenge on facebook I was excited and determined to get something done right away.  Before I really learned how to make jewelry I bought kits here and there because I was a wannabe that hoped to develop skills later on.  I did!  My sister made a joke once that every time I went to NY I bought beads and tools but I never did anything.  I told her that I was getting ready and my day would come!

So I went into my room of magic and pulled a kit for a necklace.  It was a bit tedious to complete but basic and a lot of fun.  It was a necklace of chain with multiple chains hanging at the end.  On each chain were crystal beads, shoes, and purses.  How could you not like it?

When I posted the picture I got many nice comments.  I wanted to give it to someone and was trying to think who…and then I knew.  We all know someone sweet as pie that always seems to have it rough.  That’s my Lexi.  Mind you I know she has had blassings too but just not enough in my opinion.  I decided I wanted her to have it.

Lexi and I have a history-and a story.  She was my UPS person for years and then she showed up at my church.  Her son, Ryan, is very special to me.  She has always been tender to Megan as well.  Lexi and I also have this funny thing going….about a cow.

I asked Lexi how it all started (probably over 10 years ago).  I think I gave her a gift at Christmas.  The bag had cows on it and she loves cows.  We didn’t  always exchange presents but sometimes one of us would show up with a gift for the other.  Next  time she showed up at church and I got the cow bag back with something in it.  This went back and forth for a long time.  It is amazing the bag is still with us.

Lexi works a lot on Sundays so doesn’t always get to church.  We had lost touch a bit but found each other again on facebook. One day she showed up at church…with the bag.  It was at Christmas time and there was a book , chcoolate, tea, and other goodies.  Such a special collection of things.

Now it was my turn to bless her. I put the necklace in a pretty pouch and  took it to church one week but she was working so I missed her. I sent her an email to see if she would be at church because if she wasn’t I was going to bring it to her job.

She was suprised and I could tell she really liked it.  You deserve it  Lexi-you are special and you are loved!

The beautiful Lexi with the infamous cow bag.
The necklace.
The chains at the end.
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Day of creativity Mychele!

Originally on Blogger June 11, 2011

My friend Mychele and I always try to get together at least once for a full day in the summer.  Mychele lives two hours away.  I know that doesn’t seem like much but we both have very active lifestyles and families that keep us busy.

When I heard about the 30 Days of Creativity challenge on facebook (I still need to write and thank that person), I challenged my friends to come on board with me.  I was especially trying to pull in my friend Em (whom I  have never met but love dearly) and Mychele as they both have young children which means they HAVE to be creative every day.

I guess it wasn’t planned that way, but it ends up Mychele and I had a whole day dedicated to creativity.  We could not have done this without the infamous daddy Chuck taking the girls off for a day.  I do not think we would have gotten much done with Sophia and Gwendolyn in on the act!

Packing for Mychele’s was a riot-it looked like I was moving out.  I had to bring everything I wanted to talk to her about because I did not know when we would have this opportunity again! I knew Mychele wanted to learn Onestroke (I am a certified instructor).  I also knew she wanted to play with aluminum wire after seeing a picture of my bookmarks.  I had some things I wanted to show her and a mother’s bracelet I made her years ago that needed adjusting (we are adding Gwendolyn’s name).

Aluminum wire and tools-love this stuff.
Paint, apron, brushes, papers…
Beads, books, other secret stuff…
Mychele, smaller than the last time I saw her,greeted me with a beautiful lavender plant and a beautiful smile.

I had to leave at a certain time for my daughter’s birthday celebration so we discussed a schedule to make sure we got everything done.  We started by playing with Onestroke first as that was the most involved.  She took right too it and I left her with videos to keep practicing.

Then I showed her some new things I was getting ready to try.  Of course I can’t tell you about those….yet.

Then she got really creative with lunch. I saw her spreading a thick layer of guacamole on bread and I knew all would be well.  She added shreeded cheese and tomato and grilled it.  Or salad was spinach and fruit with a poppyseed dressing, It was WONDERFUL and I have since created that lunch again twice and my guests loved it as well.

After lunch Mychele started playing with the aluminum wire.             I could tell she loved it as much as I did.

We finished off the day with henna. Mychele is a henna artist that is very well known in the area. That is how I first met her-but that is another story. I love henna and can really get wild in the summer.

Mychele and I talked about our time together.  She had made a comment that I was doing the teaching-that she wanted to teach me something.  In discussion though we realized we need to accept that it is ok for people to “give” us things even though we may not feel we are giving back.  I have often blessed someone with something only to be blessed by someone else the next day.  I have had people share with me but it may be another that I share with.  The great things about close friends is there is no keeping of tabs.  We give/share for the love of it -without expecting anything in return.  I have found however, that what goes around comes around.  Everything I give away or share seems to come back in some way.

I felt totally blessed being with Mychele.  Packing for the trip made me get organized a bit.  It also made me get in my creative place where I love to be.  I learned two new great recipes from lunch, got a wealth of ideas, and came home with henna.  Mychele had also been through some of her other supplies and shared things with me. We both made out like bandits!  I also have some ideas/projects in the works that I bounced off Mychele and her responses solidified my ideas.

It was a wonderful time!  If only Ms. Em could have joined us…

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Books: What to read in 2010

Originally posted on Blogger 1/24/10

My friend Mychele posted a note on FB telling the books she wanted to read this year. She also encouraged me to do the same. This is a daunting task because I have so many books I want to read the compilation of the list will be time consuming BUT…it will be fun. I did buy a Bible that you read through in a year. I am very excited about the format and hope to accomplish that this year. I could not resist posting favorites below. Anything with an asterisk (*) was either read in my book club or is on the list to be read in book club. I use the library consistently and listen to audio books in the car constantly. I also often will choose to put a book on the kindle or ipod/blackberry (through audible.com) rather than own it in paper. It just depends. Of course I wish all my reader friends would post their favorites/to read list. I must stop now…although I could go on for hours but then I would not have time to read!

Fiction

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane Katherine Howe

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

The girl with the dragon Tattoo Steig Larsson

Death by Darjeeling Laura Childs (I want to read all her books-includes tearoom recipes)

Mistletoe Man by Susan Wittig Albert (want to read all hers-herbal mysteries)

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

The Queen of the Big Time Adriana Trigiani

Drop City T.C. Boyle

The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland *

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton * (book club pick for Feb)

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (Pulitzer Prize)

Memoir/Non-Fiction
Together Alone by Susan Wittig Albert –first few pages told me this would be great

Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan (Oprah pick)

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls (then make sure you read Glass Castle)*

Julie& Julia by Julie Powell

Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte (a book about a man taken over by his wife’s pets)

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn promotes empowering women

A year in the World Frances Mayes

Cherries in Winter by Suzan Colon (recommended by a friend)

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan (see her videos on YouTube)

Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale

This I Believe II by Jay Allison, Dan Gediman

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman, Susan Denaker

Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson and David Oliver

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (just got audio from library)

Take Joy by Jane Yolen ( a favorite author-a book for writers)-just bought this

Sisters and Anthology edited by Jan Freeman (just bought this)

Journalution by Sandy Grason (I totally believe in journaling and believe it saved my life)

Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer

(just bought the 4 books above this week at B&N as it was educator week)

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry : Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn


Books on My Kindle

Food Rules by Michael Pollan

Old Friend Far Away by Natalie Goldberg

Miracle and Other Christmas Stories Connie Willis

Kushiel’s Dart Jacqueline Carey (someday I will actually finish this book)

Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

A Dog Named Christmas

Books on my Blackberry
What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell

Books on My IPod

Always Looking Up : The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox

Writing down the Bones : Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

Books I loved –

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver this book has changed my life in so many ways-audio is awesome too-I own the book and the audio.

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver (the audio has her husband’s music)

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Very Valentine by AdrianiTrigiani (have read almost all of hers and bought her cookbook)

The Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman (picked it up-did not put it down till I was done)

The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard

An Unthymely Death and Other Gardening Mysteries by Susan Wittig Albert(recipes, crafts, herbal lore)

Grace (Eventually) : Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Red Leather Diary : Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel

Without Reservations :the travels of an independent woman Alice Steinbach

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (thank you Robin Leigh) I own the book and I have the audio on my ipod and have listened to it too many times to count.

The Red Leather Diary by

The Tender Bar by Moehringer

On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts, Sheila

Left to Tell Immaculee Ilibagiza

Susan Wittig Albert Books: herbs, mystery, and just plain fun

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (and any sequels/related books)

Harry Potter Series

Twilight Series

Flat Belly Diet

Books by Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods)

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt You MUST read it-I did the audio-amazing stuff

Anything by Isabelle Allende

Anything by Jodi Picoult

Anything by Phillipa Gregory

Anything by SARK

Happy Reading!

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Never too late-My First Tea Party!

Originally on Blogger 4/6/09

I have many things on my to do list. Some I may never get to do but that does not lessen my desire to do so. I want to see the Northern Lights. At first, I thought I could just go somewhere and do that-then realized it is not something I can make an appointment for. I also want to run a dog sled. Sounds like an unlikely event but a friend of mine is doing just then when she takes the Alaskan cruise this summer so that gives me hope. My list goes on-maybe I just get it in writing and I would love to see yours.

One o the things on my list was to have/attend a tea party. While I had some books and magazines on the subject, as always, I put it off because I was afraid. I had never been to a tea party so I had no reference. Those that know me think I am completely confident and will do anything. What they don’t know, is that it probably took a really long time for me to get the guts to try all the cool things I do. If it is something I have not done, I keep putting it off because I am afraid I will not do it well. Of course, when I finally do-it usually turns out well and then I am mad at myself for putting it off so long.

Kudos to my friend Sara for inviting me to my first ever tea party. Sara is not the boldest in my group of friends so I was surprised when she took on something I was afraid to do! She sent out adorable Vera Bradley invitations. Then she allowed us all to bring something. When we got there, the table was beautifully decorated with family china, a floral centerpiece, and a floral bouquet for each attending.

There were a variety of tea pots/teas, sugar cubes in white and brown sugar, and lemon. Sara made scones (loved those) and Devonshire cream (loved that too). She also served lemon curd and mascarpone. I made carrot cupcakes decorated like mini flowers. Others attending bought a variety of finger sandwiches and they were all great. Dawn bought her famous (in my book) 7 layer salad. Kim bought snickerdoodles-which I just realized are in a baggie here somewhere.

Marianne said a blessing and we dived into a wonderful variety of flavors. It was a great time for all.

Thanks Sara for hosting this great event (I think it should be an annual one) and helping me knock one thing off my list. It reminds me again that it is never too late!

 

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