Hallowed Halls of Johns Hopkins

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The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. ~ M. Scott Peck, author of Gifts of the Journey, In Search of Stones and The Road Less Traveled

Happy Halloween, everyone. On October 3rd, my cousin Meg Heisse and I witnessed a little hocus-pocus when we attended An Evening of Victorian Magic at Evergreen Mansion and Library, which is a Johns Hopkins University Museum. Since my cousin is a member, we attended a pre-performance reception held in the Asian red room among Chinese and Japanese collectibles. The bartenders stirred up Victorian libations and we saw up close magic tricks by David London. Mind reader indeed, out of a 52 card deck, the magician asked me to select one card and show it to others.  No slight of hand involved, through telepathic transmission he correctly identified the card I had picked. But that was just the start of the delightful evening. The magician had many more magic tricks up his sleeve once the show started and he came to the stage.

There was no need to build a stage for the evening because there is already a Victorian era theatre in the Evergreen Museum. And although there were no upper level seats for celestials to sit as in many Victorian theatres, we were told apparitions are in or about the rooms of the mansion. The theatre, painted by Russian Artist Leon Bakst, was used regularly to entertain the three Garrett boys, who at one time lived there.

The Evergreen Museum and Library was built in 1850 and became home to railroad magnate, John Garrett and his family. He was President of Baltimore and Ohio “B & O” Railroad. A little over one hundred years later, in 1952, the Italianate home from the Guilded Era was donated to Johns Hopkins University and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also in the mansion is a 30,000  volume library with much of which is English Renaissance literature. Paintings by Picasso, DegasModigliani and stained glass by Tiffany, a 23 karat gold plated bathroom all are housed in the structure. In the Asian red room I spied several pieces of Chinoiserie furniture and as I snooped around in the museum gift shop at Evergreen, I saw several beautiful publications about stained glass.

Today, my Halloween treat to our readers is a recipe for soul cakes which traditionally was the offering to others on All Hallows Eve. And here are a few pictures of our evening at Evergreen Museum and Library, too. Look carefully you might see things that fool the eye!

Some time soon I do look forward to returning to the historic Evergreen Museum to take the full tour. This wonderful landmark is only one of the institutions of the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins. Check out the others on their website.

Thank you Meg for inviting me to accompany you for the evening.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.

 

A Classic Way of Life

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promoting-empathy-and-a-sense-of-community-4-638People are beginning to understand that wealth is not all about money. Real wealth means having good neighbors, living in a close-knit community, finding jobs whose real value is in the personal fulfillment it brings to us.

There is a new community in Devens, Massachusetts, called Emerson Green, whose goal is for it’s residents to “Come home to a connected, community-focused neighborhood that hearkens back to a simpler era – and looks ahead to a sustainable future, aimed at having it’s residents return to a classic way of life and a tight-knit community.” Something to really write “home” about if you are successful in finding such a place in this transient society.

Union Studios, national award-winning architects and co-developers for the project along with NOW Communities have designed the Emerson Green Project with the “right size” in mind. In other words, sustainable living. It has reused a plot of land  on the outskirts of Boston which used to be a military base. The homes, which have several different floor plan options, are as suitable for first-time home owners, families, professionals and empty-nesters alike.

Once the project is finished and people are well-established in their new community it would be fun to see if Emerson Green has met it’s the objectives of  providing a satisfying way of life which by design encourages social interaction. With our emigrating society, this is something more and more people are looking for because studies point to “social interaction” as a contributor to good health and longer living.

P.S. Having good resources such as an outstanding library helps to build great community. If you visit Union Studios website, take a few minutes to peruse information on the newly completed Tiverton Library project as well as other civic and residential projects the architectural firm has been involved with.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Mr. Twains Angels

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I have been on the verge of being an angel all my life, but it’s never happened yet. ~ Mark Twain’s Autobiography

twain_bedDid you know Mark Twain slept in his bed backwards? According to an article in Yankee Magazine by Amie Seavey, she says it’s so. It is an unexpected and little known fact of the fabled author’s life.http://www.yankeemagazine.com/article/new-england-101/mark-twain-bed

He slept with his pillows at the foot of the bed so he could see the guardian angels that decorated his headboard. The carved angels on the dark walnut bed he and his wife purchased in Venice for $200 ($4600 in todays market), spanned across the headboard and atop each post. He said he liked to sleep in the bed backwards to “see what he had paid for.” The bed was, according to Mr. Twain”the most comfortable bedstead that ever was and enough space in it for a family.”

Clement’s bed, which was left to his daughter Clara was given to the Mark Twain Memorial and Library in 1940. The Hartford, Connecticut museum http://www.marktwainhouse.org has the bed as a showpiece for Twain enthusiasts.

Sweet dreams, Mr. Twain. We will always remember the important contributions you made to this world with your fulfilling words about life.
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This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the award-winning audio book, paperback or e-book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/141aW6S.

Providential Visit

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All that I know of tomorrow is that Providence will rise before the sun ~  Jean Baptiste Lacordaire

It’s a city rising, moved by philanthropists, architects, artists, bankers, shopkeepers and others who have engaged in The Providence Portrait Project http://providenceportraitproject.com/  to revitalize Providence, R.I. a city full of history, art, architecture. I enjoyed a day in this city last week when I went to visit my niece who is an architect at Union Studio Architects, and is currently involved in the design of a new library in Tiverton, Rhode Island. http://www.unionstudioarch.com/ .

I encountered so many wonderful sites in Providence that had to do with architecture, history, libraries, books, art, design and education that I will share what I saw through images, rather than words. Enjoy the pictures!

My next stop will be in a city of mansions where wealthy bankers, investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs lived in the early days of our country. Many of them invested in the railroad which allowed for westward expansion of commerce and thus, more prosperity for citizens of our country. Many of the castle-like mansions have become museums, open to the public for touring.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow.

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Above two images – my niece Kara explaining about the Providence Portrait Project http://bit.ly/14tLl1w.

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IMAG0356The roof top garden above Union Studio Architects

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 Image above: Symposium Books, Providence, RI  www.symposiumbooks.com

IMAG0360Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

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Image above & below: Athenaeum Library http://www.providenceathenaeum.org/

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Twin Sisters (yeah, I know, it’s hard to believe) together at the List Art Center

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Walter Feldman Book Arts Studio http://brown.edu/academics/visual-art/facilities

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At the Gates of Brown University, Providence, RI  http://www.brown.edu/

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Image above: John Hay Library http://library.brown.edu/about/hay/

Three Images Below: Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

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 Above: Catherine Bryan Dill Center for the Performing Arts http://bit.ly/16MpQN5

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Above Image: The Edna Lawrence Nature Lab in Providence, RI http://naturelab.risd.edu/

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Photo above & below: Strolling the streets of Providence looking at church architecture and steeples.

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A beauty, isn’t it?

Image below: Grace Episcopal Church, Providence, RI

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I found providence,  grace and many more fulfilling things in Rhode Island! Thank you Kara, for being a tour guide and showing the sites.

Please return to www.AllThingsFulfilling.com tomorrow.

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TED: Ideas Worth Spreading

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Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” ~ Chris Grosser 

ted2Have you ever attended an event just because your intuition tells you that you will enjoy it? I am rather excited. Next week, I have decided to attend a TED Conference at the Bud Werner Memorial Library. It will be broadcast from Long Beach, California. 

It’s interesting – the power of words. The titles of the sessions, alone,  have more than piqued my curiosity – vocabulary like progress enigma, the spark, dream, create, sustain, coded meaning, secret voices and the ripple effect. I’m on board – sounds enticing! 

Attending the gathering will be progressive thinkers and doers from the fields of technology, entertainment and design. Speakers will be challenged to stimulate and inspire others to engage in the ideas they will be presenting. 

To learn more about TED and the non-profit organization’s mission, visit their website. http://www.ted.com/

Here is the schedule for the four day event at our local library as listed on their website. The event is free, open to the public and you can attend various sessions throughout each day or stay and listen in on the entire conference. 

If  the TEDS conference is as informative and educational as I anticipate, I will be sharing some of the ideas on All Things Fulfilling two weeks from now. Join in and participate in the discussion.

Visit us again tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

New Generation Libraries

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What should young people do with their lives today? Many things….create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut  

When I moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado back in 2008, I felt like I had hit the jackpot when I saw Bud Werner Memorial Library. It had just undergone renovation and had opened only three months prior to my arrival. The improvement in physical structure (addition of approximately 26,000 sq feet) is not all that  impressed me, however. Since then, the library has become a real hub of community activity. Library services have been expanded and updated to accommodate for the digital age. The library’s computer technology is relied on, heavily, for people in the surrounding rural communities where internet access is a problem. 

quote on librariesI enjoy learning about other communities, throughout the country, who have recently built or expanded libraries with an eye on the next generation of readers. There is a library, in Tiverton, Rhode Island, which I am very excited about. It has been in the planning and developmental stages for many years.; construction begins this coming May.

Union Studio Architects: Architecture and Community Design of Providence, Rhode Island was instrumental in bringing the vision for the project together. http://bit.ly/WMDsiX . A young, hip firm, founded in 2001, draws plans for what they see as being fulfilling living in community development for the next generation. I am proud to say one of my nieces, Kara, is a contemporary in the company and helped design the Tiverton Library.

To learn more about the Union Studio Architects and their philosophy on new urbanism, here is a short video. http://bit.ly/YC4yyf .  Check out the movie star, Stanley, in this video – he is as charming as Barney, President Bush’s, dog who  sadly went to doggie heaven this week.

I look forward to seeing this facility when it is completed.

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

 

Crafting Words and Wares

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“Do what you can with what you have, where you are” ~ Theodore Roosevelt 

Here in our own little center of the Writers universe in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the Steamboat Writers Group ww.steamboatwritersgroup.com  has grown since early this fall. Perhaps people have decided the time to tell their story is now. 

Holidays in the Rockies” is a featured event this weekend, in town. Artisans, craftsmen (and women), and other “creatives,” including local authors, will be gathered and selling their wares. Support those who work with great entrepreneurial spirit in cottage industries and in the independent publishing industry, too. 

Members of our meet-up group, SHe Writes Steamboat, an affiliate of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association www.cipacatalog.com will be selling and signing books. We will be located at Booth #l at the Bud Werner Library from 9am to 4pm. Some of our gifted writers such as Kathy Cunningham Guler, Dawn V Obrecht, Susan Mead, Karen Gilroy and Jo Hardesty Lauter will be there to introduce you to their books and to greet you. Ali Boehm will be in attendance with her brother’s book “Louie’s Saxophone” too. Stop by the Steamboat Art Depot across the street. Our member Mary Kurtz will be selling her books and her photographic note cards at the second locale for the event. 

Have plans and unable to attend? You’ll get a second chance. Join Karen Gilroy at the Bud Werner Library on Wednesday evening the 14th at 6:30pm. She will be giving a presentation based on her book “Discovering the Healer Within.” The following evening, on Thursday, December 15th at 6pm Mary Kurtz will be introducing her book. It is of great regional interest here in Routt County and the surrounds. Mary’s book is “ At Home in the Elk River Valley: Reflections on Family, Place and the West.” 

Literature will be available for those who are considering telling their stories in the New Year. The mission of SHe Writes Steamboat is to support independent publishers and to foster independent publishing success. 

See you on Saturday, December 10th! 

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