Small Things Big Wonders

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All of our life is a miracle. . . . There is not a minute in the twenty-four hours that is not filled with miracles.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever noticed how the smallest things sometimes hold the biggest wonders? Consider:

  • The sudden appearance of blue-speckled robins eggs in the nest
  • An unexpected phone call from someone you were just thinking about
  • The delightful scent of a newborn baby’s head
  • A colorful rainbow after a wicked storm
  • Perfumed air from a gardenia, rose or lilac
  • The extraordinary talent of a musician, painter, dancer, writer or singer who has had no training
  • The crowing glory of the daffodils through the snow

When did you last stop, take heed and intently observe  a small thing that holds big wonders? Springtime holds an abundance of opportunity! Recharge your life by being keenly observant as the season of renewal unfolds and opens up. Deeply inhale all the goodness and find gratefulness in each daybreak and sunset.

little is much

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  See you tomorrow on http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com.

 

 

Sojourns in Reaching a Dream

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After my book presentation on April 4 to the Yampa Valley University Women, Beverly, who is a group member and someone who was in the audience, came up to me and said “Sue, I get the feeling you have been on a real journey with this book.” “Have I ever,  Beverly, ” I replied smiling. I was thrilled that she understood the amount of work that went into it and how I was feeling, “There is no denying it,” I said.

Between writing about the publishing project throughout the process on this blog All Things Fulfilling and bringing the story alive on paper, it has been a real sojourn of sorts. It is as if I have been up in a hot air balloon looking down, and describing the publishing landscape has it has changed. I have soared as I have gone along for a ride with it.

The-Journey-Is-What-Brings-Us-Happiness-Not-The-DestinationI, like many others, was not aware when I started my memoir writing project how this would lead to enormous personal growth in so many ways that I had not anticipated. A lot of the development has come as a result of doing whatever it took to do it right, independently.

I’ve faced and recorded into words the  most poignant moments in my life, tackled my shyness about reading the manuscript out loud while having it critiqued by a whole bunch of professional writers. Then I faced the fact that I need to become someone who is comfortable with public speaking, if I really want to continue to achieve my dreams of traveling around and vocally sharing my retrospective thoughts.

I have had the great fortune of being in an environment that is very supportive of writers who helped me to achieve my mission. I would like to state my gratitude to anyone who has helped me along the way. You know who you are, and so do I. I consider each one of you as one of many “personal angels.”

My advice to anyone who is embarking on an independent publishing process – do whatever it takes to make it happen.  Don’t hold back, don’t limit yourself to what you are willing to do or not. In other words, remove all stops! And most of all seek out the help of others who can help you along the way.

What is the greatest lesson I have learned throughout the process? By maintaining faith, and being willing to open myself up to all possibilities, my dream has become a reality!

If you didn’t visit this site on Monday, it was very special day on All Things Fulfilling!  I revealed a chapter of the audio book version of  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It is posted permanently on About the Book Page for your listening enjoyment. Listen to it as many times as you wish so you can get a sense of the voice in the story.

It’s Baltimore Lexicon, Hon

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If someone asked me to describe the people around the area where I grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, I’d have to say -

MD-Flag-croppedLoyal to their State.” In my opinion, that’s why so many Marylander’s rarely leave the state boundaries. Ocean City is the be all, end all, for family vacation spots for many Baltimoreans.

They are as loyal to “Bawlmer” as they are to their unique lexicon that they speak. It’s hard not to lapse back into it when I return to the soil of my native roots.

I may have to take some heat from my “Murlin” readers for these huge generalizations. Unless things have changed dramatically since the years of my childhood, I stand behind my opinions.

It’s ok if y’all send me a little feedback. I am only sharing what I noticed from my growing up. When I left hoskull and went off to cah-widge, I noticed a lot about y’all in Murlin. Besides, hon,we all have our own bleefs, including the Calf Licks. As long as I don’t end up going in the amblance to the hospital, a little heat from my readers won’t be harble. Bring it on, hon, bring it on.

family & love

This blog brought to you by All Things Fulfilling and the author of A Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Despite all my teasing about Maryland accents, please don’t ban me from the State of Murlin. I many want to do some book presentations! It is the setting of my publication.

 

The Nature of Easter

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 Fling off thy sadness!

Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth

Your ancient gladness! 

~Thomas Blackburn, An Easter Hymn

Today as my present to you, valued readers, I have posted an audio chapter of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

This audio recording will also be posted permanently to the About the Book page of All Things Fulfilling so you can return and listen to it as often as you’d like.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Your entire family will enjoy listening to what the stellar character in my memoir has to say about an element in nature that has more meaning than just a beautiful flower. Celebrate Easter week by sharing this story with others. Happy Spring!

To listen, click the arrow pointing  right, next to the speaker icon.


 

 

 

 

 

Writing about the King

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The Irish – Be they kings, or poets, or farmers… They keep company with the angels, And bring a bit of heaven here to earth”~ Unknown 

My uncle, my mother’s brother, was named Joseph King. But he was called King his entire life.  Joseph was his father’s name (my maternal Grandfather’s first name).  King was his mother’s maiden name (my maternal Grandmother). If you ever met my Uncle King, you would never, ever forget him. And you’ll have a chance to meet in him my memoir. He was a lively character who really celebrated life! I believe he felt an obligation to live up to a reputation of being a magnanimous character.

Palm SundayToday, as we approach Palm Sunday, it seems fitting to dedicate this blog to him. The reason will become apparent if you read my upcoming book. The lifeline on the palm of my hand would most likely be very short, had King not become one of my saviors in life. The “King” is  part of my upcoming memoir “Gift of a Lifetime.” I share this small bit of insight into my story, as a gift to you this Easter season. I’m going to remember my King, enjoy Palm Sunday and celebrate the fact that spring is just around the corner. Hallelujah.

On Monday, I will posting a sample audio chapter of  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected on All Things Fulfilling. The audio chapter is  for your listening enjoyment and it’s about Easter. Do return and listen in – you might learn something about this holy week you had never known before.

Remember? Dear Twin Sister,

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 Remember? Dearest Jan,

culotte dressesOur culotte dresses back in the 1960′s? Didn’t we think we were the hottest things going? With our home sewn outfits, our matching wooden handled pocketbooks, our Pappagallo flats and our pink Tangee lipstick, we were stylin’! We added a spritz of our fav perfume “Heaven Sent” (for me) and Yardley’s “Lily of the Valley,” (for you)  and we were sweetly ready to face another day of high school, which we pretty much dreaded.

I don’t think we ever sewed our culotte dresses with sleeves in them. Those were too time consuming. It wasn’t easy getting the inset sleeves just right. Besides when it was chilly we liked wearing our little, white round-collared blouses under the culotte dresses. We turned out the “jumpsuits,” as some girls in other parts of the country called them, a dime a dozen.

Remember the fulfilling feelings when we had gotten through a sewing project without the sewing machine malfunctioning and getting the bobbin and thread all knotted up. Seemed to happen every other minute – that temperamental tension device on the machine caused ultimate frustration!

We were always under our own pressure to get our latest fashions completed to wear to school the next day to show our girlfriends. Remember?

What ever happened to our sewing machine anyway? Did you hand it down to one of your daughters?

wooden handled pursesPappagallo flats from the 1960stangee3heaven sent perfumelily-of-the-valley-eau-de-toilette

Jan, memories of all these products and more came flooding back to me as I wrote my memoir. Did you know that some of  these products can still be purchased? At the Vermont Country Store. And lots of other throwback products from the good ole days!  www.vermontcountrystore.com.

Jan, thanks for walking down memory lane with me this morning. Next time we are together, hopefully it won’t be too long,  I’ll do as you have requested. I’ll sign your copy of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected!

Much love. Your Twin Sister.

P.S. How do you want me to sign your copy? With my maiden name Sue Batton or my married name – Sue Batton Leonard?

 

Twin Abnormalities

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One of the most startling photos of my twin and me was taken when we were about 14 years old. It is included in my newly published memoir. The size difference between us is so dramatic that you have to see it to believe it. It’s almost laughable.

My sister and I are likely a case of Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) which is a prenatal condition in which twins share unequal amounts of the placenta’s blood supply, resulting in the two fetuses growing at different rates.”

My parents never had official confirmation that their twins had that anamoly since ultrasound screenings and prenatal echocardiograms back in the 1950′s were non-existent. The tools had not yet been developed to diagnose such a condition.

According to the Fetal Care Institute in St. Louis, “the imbalance of blood flow starts to affect the the heart function in one or both babies.  This is seen in abnormal blood flow in the umbilical cords or hearts of the twins.” http://bit.ly/1dSHmEr. 

imperfection and delight

If you are a twin or know twins who are cases of twin-twin transfusion syndrome, my sister and I would be interested in hearing from you to learn whether you ever physically caught up to one another as adults. Please feel free to email me through this website and tell me your story.

Do return tomorrow. This blog is brought to you from the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, by Sue Batton Leonard.