A Colorful Stroll

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The craving for color is as necessity as water and fire.~ Frenand Leger, “On Monumentality and Color”, 1943.

Walking through the streets of historic St Michaels, Maryland is like tip-toeing around dabs of color on an artist’s palette. The shops, restaurants and some of the houses are painted beautiful vivid colors with eye-catching contrasting trim such as lemon yellow, cerise, aqua, bubblegum pink, lime, amethyst, baby blue, coral, fuchsia, bittersweet and azure. Bright and bold, no watered down pigments and few earthy colors that reign in Western landscapes. There is no doubt I am in the Eastern part of the United States.

One can’t help entering through the doors of the retail spaces out of curiosity to see whether the goods inside are as decorative and enticing as the structures themselves. Come along on this photographic tour of the beautiful harbor town of St Michaels, Maryland. Return tomorrow , I’ll show you what else I found in St. Mike’s that was as tasteful as the gourmet cupcakes they sell at Sweetie Bakery . It was a fulfilling day of doing business in the “Land of Pleasant Living” and on the Chesapeake.

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Thanks for visiting www.AllThingsFulfilling.com, the blog of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

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Revisiting Charm City

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It’s surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time. ~ Barbara Kingsolver

Things have really changed in Baltimore from the days of my childhood in the 1950s and 1960s.

This past weekend I spent time visiting tourist sites in and around the Harbor Place and in other sections of Baltimore where monuments and museums I remember from my childhood, still stand. Now dubbed “CharmCity,” Baltimore has made the most of attracting tourists from all over the world to their port.

As my sister and I walked the city this weekend, so many fulfilling memories came flooding back. I was reminded of the fact that writers Edgar Allen Poe, H.L. Mencken, musician James “Eubie Blake,” and singer Billy Holiday called Baltimore their home. And of course, Francis Scott Key wrote The Star Spangled in this city filled with art, culture and one of the  top medical institutions in the country, Johns Hopkins.

Today, join me on my tour of the BaltimoreHarbor. It is always fun to return to this city and see the various phases of development that have come to sections of the city since my growing up in the suburbs of Towson, Maryland.

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 Pyramid Structure in Distance is the Aquarium http://www.aqua.org/

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Maryland Science Center http://www.mdsci.org/

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 Spirit of Baltimorehttp://www.spiritcruisesbaltimore.com/

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Frozen Custard, piled high, on the cone always brings fulfillment!

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Historic Ship – USS Constitution moored in the Baltimore Harbor http://bit.ly/13WUHQA

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Above Image:Barnes & Noble in the Power Plant – awesome store, multi-storied

Below: Interior of Barnes & Noble – books and more

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Performing Arts Center on the Harbor

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 Portable Beer cart – Taps are musical instruments

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Street Performer on a Unicycle

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Beach Volleyball in the Center of the City, Amid the High rise office buildings

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Of course- a trip to “Bawlmer”  isn’t complete without mention of the Marylander’s beloved “Oreos” (Orioles baseball team)

or “goin’  downy o-shun” (going down the ocean), Ocean City, of course. Marylanders favorite vacation spot.

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow, as I bike over to a place of personal fulfillment that I loved to go as a teen on rainy afternoons – The Walter’s Art Gallery. The architecture of the building is as spectacular as the permanent collections of art. The light filled spaces illuminate the art exquisitely. We will also see the Peabody Institute, Maryland Humanities Council, Mt. Vernon Place and other iconic historic landmarks.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com, the space were sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business.

Fulfilling Tour of Newport, RI

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“Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.” ~ Frank Borman

My travelogue of Newport, Rhode Island continues today. I had the opportunity to tour the Marble House, one of the mansions. High up on the Cliff Walk, overlooking  Rhode Island sound and the Atlantic Ocean, it was home to the Vanderbilts who made their fortune as venture capitalists in the NY Central Railroad and steamships. Their investments and other wealthy families foresight in our country’s future, brought more prosperity through expanding commerce.

The opulent stone palace, now a National Historic Landmark, was designed by Richard Morris Hunt and was constructed during the years 1888-1892. Once complete, it was a 39th birthday present to William K Vanderbilt’s wife, Alva. How do you wrap a present like that? In gold, of course, inside, rather than out. She loved to entertain and saw the Marble House as “her temple to the Arts in America.”

Husband and wife, had separate private reading rooms filled with books, on opposite sides of the mid-level landing of the enormous, two story marble stair case. It is where they went to get away, relax from all their social entertaining. They also built a Chinese teahouse on the property with a magnificent view where guests could go for peace and solitude away from the hustle and bustle of the Marble House activities.

Alva and William K Vanderbilt had three children. Their son, William K, Jr. was a pioneer in auto racing. Their son, Harold pursued his passion of yachting and sailed in the America’s Cup three times. Their daughter Consuelo became the 9th Duchess of Marlborough.

Photos are not allowed to be taken inside the mansion. To read more about the Marble House and to see a photo of the gold room in the Marble House, please visit this link. http://www.newportmansions.org/explore/marble-house.

It was a fulfilling weekend in New England, exploring art, history and architecture.

Return on Monday to www.AllThingsFulfilling.com where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

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Another “summer cottage” along Belleview Road

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Above:  Marble House, the Vanderbilt’s Summer Cottage by the Sea.

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Chinese Teahouse on the property of Marble House

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The Backside of Marble House – facing the sea

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Above: Me with the Babcocks, my niece Kara & Her husband Joe – two architects!IMAG0450

Above: Gates of Salve Regina Univ in Newport, RI – it was graduation day!

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Above & Below Images: Stopped by the International Tennis Hall of Fame – it was neat!

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Newport Harbor

Goodbye, Newport! Can’t believe we saw all these sites in Newport in one day. Well worth the stop!

Signed,  Grateful, that I returned to this area once again. Loved every minute!

Paving the Way for Commerce Westward

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Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” ~Warren Buffett

A stroll along The Cliff Walk and Bellevue Avenue was a beautiful place to be last Saturday. Sunny skies and flowering trees added to the charm of Newport, RI, a city filled with mansions from The Guilded Age.

Many of the homes were built with embellishments found in European castles and cathedrals. The structures, fit for kings and royalty, are now museums because they are so expensive to maintain, and they are open to the public for touring. The mansions were once “seaside cottages” for wealthy families who came to Newport, RI, their summer playground. Life by the sea for the Vanderbilt’s, Astor’s, Webb’s and Dupont’s was more glitzy than it is today for most ocean resort dwellers. The families came with a full staff of servants, and house help who helped orchestrate the entertainment of other notables of great wealth and social standing. These prominent society people can be thanked for paving the way for prosperity in the United States. Through their investment in the railroads and steamships, commerce spread westward across America. They were the same individuals who were great patrons of the arts, and invested in magnificent paintings and other art installations, such as sculpture, in their mansions.

Enjoy your tour of Newport, through my photos:

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 Photo above & below: At the start of Cliff Walk in Newport, RI

with my twin sister

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The Breakers, Newport, RI

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Another summer cottage by the sea on Cliff Walk

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Graduation Day at Salve Regina University, Newport, RI http://www.salve.edu/

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Tree on Campus of Salve Regina University – Rooted in two different places!

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Another of the Mansions along Cliff Walk

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Dogwoods, Azaleas, and other flowering trees were in bloom

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Sue, Jan and my niece, Kara in the middle

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. I  will show you a few more of the sites in Newport, RI from my travels. My trip to Rhode Island was not my first, but I found plenty of fulfilling things I had never seen before. Come back  to see the mansion we toured.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A Company Specializing in e-Commerce and e-Marketing for Independent Publishers.

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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 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.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com, a company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

Family, Faith and Travel

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Each day I am thankful for; nights turned into morning, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.” ~ Ritu Ghatourey

I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of fulfilling things since arriving on the East Coast. It all began with attending a social event of a book club group with women who reside in and around the historic area surrounding TaylorsIsland in Dorchester County, Maryland. The Grace Foundation is restoring churches and doing work on the island to preserve the history of the churches and schoolhouses. http://bit.ly/16Ezcex.

The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake, a book I recently read and adored, is on the reading booklist for the book club for this coming summer. Based on a small town sea-side community during World War 2, the post office was a hub of activity, and the spinster postmistress knows secrets which if told, will change the lives of some of the residents. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

Then I traveled to the Boston area to attend the beautiful wedding of our niece on my husband’s side of the family. It was so wonderful to see the bride and her sister (our second Leonard niece), who are now both married adults.

We also spent a lovely evening in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and had dinner at Loretta’s. The harbor area in Newburyport has changed greatly since last time I visited many  years ago. Full of wonderful restaurants with varied cuisine, we also went art gallery hopping. As a Mother’s Day present, my husband bought me a New England artisan-crafted necklace from Annie’s of Newburyport. Then we finished the evening with dessert at a fantastic coffee shop complete with musical entertainment featuring a sole independent musician playing the guitar.

Join me tomorrow on my journey back to Vermont, my state of residence for more than thirty years. I was greeted by “Miss America” of the independent publishing industry! She’s quite a package! Well-built, for future developments.

Here are just a few pictures from my fulfilling travels:

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My favorite home away from home, my favorite writing place in the lighthouse

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Hope for a bountiful catch

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Rode my bike to the vineyards on the Island

too early in the season for fruit on the vine

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John the Baptist Church, Peabody, MA for niece’s wedding

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Beautiful bride (above)

and her maid of honor – her sister

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Stained Glass Window

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Dinner in Newburyport, MA at Loretta

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Couldn’t resist this photo http://www.imarc.net/  for our son, Marc R Leonard.

He seems to be showing up everywhere!

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My Mother’s Day Present – New England Artisan Crafted

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Left my heart in Taylor’s Island, Maryland

will be back to get it before my trip to the East Coast is over!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business!

Books Bring a Change in Environment

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Conservation is a state of harmony between man and land.” ~ Aldo Leopold

sunrise on the chesapeakeEarly yesterday morning, as I sat looking out over the Chesapeake Bay typing a blog about Walk Two Moons, something very beautiful occurred. A pod of dolphins swam by in front of me. Close to the shoreline, they surfaced and dove, surfaced and dove, very graceful in their movements. It was as if they were signaling a good morning greeting. The water was serene and still, compared to many other mornings when I’ve visited and storms are raging.

“What a different world, I am in right now” I thought, “still a natural environment but unlike the wild, wild West.” One surrounding is not more beautiful than the other, just unique in the kind of climate challenges the residents face.

I recently read a book called Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas, a Colorado author. I learned a lot about what life was like during the days of homesteading and mining in the 1930’s and what friendship means to the human spirit.

Although we humans live in many kinds of different environments, the challenges in life can be the same.  How we as individuals face stormy seas, is all about attitudes and our survival skills in handling it.

That is why I love to read. Books and films allow a way to escape to other places and “walk on other moons.” Through reading, we have the opportunity to see things that we might not ever be able to experience otherwise, and learn how others deal with adversity and being tested.

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business. Off I go now, to visit a silk factory in China, and forge relationships with women who work in it.

This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.