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.

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!

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Fulfilling an Interest

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Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it. ~ Unknown

As a representative of We Write Steamboat and a volunteer for World Book Night, I stopped by the Colorado State University Extension of Routt County http://bit.ly/16qQLxr  to give out The Language of Flowers: A Novel

to volunteers in the agriculture department.

I took time to explain to the recipients that the mission of the World Book Night is to spread a love of literacy and I also gave them a brief history of the organization.

book_day 003 (2)We purposely waited until May Day to give out a portion of the books from World Book Night to this group because a gathering of CSU Extension volunteers had just completed their Master Gardeners program, and were holding a breakfast burrito fundraiser.

book_day 002When given the book, gratefulness was the overriding sentiment for a publication that so well-suited the volunteers interests. A few people  I gave books to worked in another part of the office building, but were there to support the fundraiser and get breakfast. One person walked out with me as I left, and said “I have to get back to work, but I can’t wait to peak between the covers!” I had explained to her that there was a glossary at the back of the book that lists flowers and  the emotions that are associated with each. During the Victorian period, giving flowers communicated feelings in relationships, the art of choosing an “appropriate flower” was very important.

My hope, as a World Book Volunteer, is that The Language of Flowers will help the volunteers of CSU Agriculture Department learn a fascinating new aspect about plants they had known little about before.

Happy Reading CSU Volunteers! I hope the snow we received on May Day disappears quickly so you can get out in the gardens and enjoy planting your passion!

Return tomorrow to  All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views  are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Stimulating the Palette with Food Art

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Good food is wise medicine. ~Alison Levitt M.D., Doctor in the Kitchen®

flower kidsSpring has arrived in southern parts of the country. Gardens are sprouting new crops of fruits and veggies. Today on All Things Fulfilling, we will share images of food art that have been circulating over the internet. Mouth-watering ideas and all elements of art – color, shape, form, texture and values have been used to create these food compositions, as well as use of line and space. The visual effects are enough to make even the pickiest child want to eat the daily recommended servings of produce.

Some food art is basic, and any Mom or Dad can make it to impress their families, and stimulate palettes. While other compositions are very time consuming and are best left to highly skilled caterers. With practice and the help of proper kitchen utensils, books and DVDs anyone can now become a culinary artist in their own kitchen, and promote better nutrition.

John Gargone, a chef from Pennsylvania, teaches others his craft of food carving and sculpting in his popular book Food Art: Garnishing Made Easy and through his independently published DVD series.

You are invited to take this tour with me, through the fulfilling world of food and art. Perhaps we will both be inspired to include a little more creativity in our food preparation and diets.

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Return on 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.

Spreading the Joy in Indie Publishing

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Joy isn’t in things, money or positions. It is IN us. And we need to bring it with us and SHARE it!” ~ Unknown 

Day Two of 2013!  My resolution this year is to do something a little different each month, to promote our growing population of independent publishers here in Routt County, Colorado. 

snowboarding tricksWhy? Because I believe greatly in each one of our We Write Steamboat, independent publishers. They are a creative and well-educated group of people, male and female. Many of them are award-winning authors with award-winning books! Each of them is a healer of mind, body and spirit! They have career knowledge in all sorts of fields. Our members include teachers, physicians, life consultants,a chef, holistic health consultants, experts on our natural environment,  just to name a few. All with valuable experience in life to write about. Our group also includes young people and retirees who like to spin yarns just for the fun of it! (Of course, they don’t object to selling their books, also!) 

In my opinion, all writers are helpers and healers of mind, body and spirit! After all, we publish books to educate, inspire others, entertain,and inform readers. Could there be better reasons? I don’t think so. In fact, writing is as therapeutic for the author as well as the reader. It gives us a way to share our thoughts, emotions, experiences and our imaginations. http://bit.ly/ZSk0Yc.

A networking group of independent publishers, She Writes Steamboat, that I began almost two years ago, has grown, and as of January 1, 2013 we have changed our name to We Write Steamboat. From the very first meeting, we have had male writers attend, and we don’t want them to feel slighted! We’ve welcomed them and have been delighted to have them part of the group from our inception.

We, independent publishers here in Ski Town, USA and Routt County, Colorado, come together and meet monthly. In a nutshell, because producing independent books, films and music is a win-win for the artist creating the work as well as for the audience who so enjoys it! Our mission is to provide networking opportunity and to promote success of independent publishing. Our affiliation with the Colorado Independent Publishers Association www.cipabooks.com , also fosters our growth as award-winning writers and publishers.  

If you wish to learn more about starting up an independent publishing networking group in your area, contact me through this blog.

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

Praise for Creation

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We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”  ~Cynthia Ozick 

I’ve been drawn back into the church as an adult, in part, by the memories of the beautiful hymns that I sang as a child. Around Thanksgiving time, many of the spiritual songs have words of gratefulness and gratitude for the harvest and for the impending season of darkness. For without winter gloom, there would not be a fulfilling sense of renewal of spirit in spring. 

Composers of yester year have created some of the most eloquent stories, through song, about the change of the seasons and the bounty of the Universe. Many hymns of blessings and praise, written decades ago, are still sung in sanctuaries today, such as – 

  • For the Fruits of the Garden ~  verses by Fred Pratt Green
  • Oh Food to Pilgrims Given ~  words by Maintzich Gesangbuch
  • Come, Ye Thankful People, Come ~ verses by Henry Alford
  • America the Beautiful ~ verses by Katharine Lee Bates
  • For the Beauty of the Earth ~ words by Elliot S Pierpoint
  • In the Bleak Midwinter ~ words by Christina G Rossetti 

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year to step inside the doors of a church. Listen to the vocal choirs, tune into the musical instruments, experience the peace and be grateful for the cozy warmth of the shelter for the body and soul. 

A few weeks from now, at the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/lAT08q  in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and in other places of worship everywhere, choirs will be magnificently singing Handel’s The Messiah. Don’t miss out!

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Getting Drawn In

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Gardens are a form of autobiography.” ~Sydney Eddison 

The other night, I read my first e-book! I don’t have an e-reader yet, but I downloaded Kindle onto my laptop (yes, it is possible!).  I decided to give digital books a whorl, by taking advantage of a free e-book, available until Labor Day. “When Hummers Dream” was my book of choice.  It is on the Kindle best selling free e-book list. http://bit.ly/rgRNo1.

You might ask –“Did you like reading by digital format, rather than having a book in hand?”  I dunno! I was too involved in waltzing through a painting of a gorgeous garden created by words of author Mara Purl to notice. Which, I suppose supports the argument that if a book is fulfilling, it really does not matter which format you use. Good books come via hardcover, paper bound volumes, audio and digital forms. The choices have been expanded by one more platform with the addition of e-books. 

There was one drawback, however, to downloading Kindle on my laptop computer, rather than having an independent e-reading device. I was too tempted to quickly peek to find out if I had any urgent emails.  I overcame that urge by deciding to fully enjoy my stroll through the place of enchantment where hummingbirds dream. I followed along the path of the little winged creature as it flew among hollyhocks, soared above the blue and purple flags of iris and indulged in the essence of the scented flora. 

Let’s face it – the distractions are there when reading books in print, too. Thoughts of a decadent ice cream treat, a steamy cup of tea ……a sound of an intriguing voice can interrupt a journey through a wonderful storyline of any book.  But a good read http://bit.ly/cPS5QL will always draw you back in, time and time again.

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Artists Supporting Communities

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In art the hand can never execute anything  higher than the heart can inspire.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Adele in the Garden” by Richard Schmid ’09

In just a few more days August will be upon us! This year, Old Man Winter found it hard to leave and the sun-filled summer arrived much too late, for my taste, here in the mountainous areas of Colorado. The benefit of long lasting snow did provide extra days for plein air painters to capture those last winter landscapes on canvas, however. 

Attention Artists and Art Collectors: Save the Date of September 4th for the 16th Annual Richard Schmid Fine Art Auction. This auction has been held to benefit the Rist Canyon Fire Department since 1996. Since it’s beginnings, over 1,100 paintings have been auctioned off generating a total of 1.6 million dollars. The proceeds of $600,000 have benefited the volunteer Fire Department and the art auction has created the center attraction for the Rist Canyon Mountain Festival each summer. This is the  Fire Department’s big fundraising event of the year and a great chance for collectors to acquire a new pieces of Art.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with artist Richard Schmid, he has received the John Singer Sargent Award for Life Time Achievement and also has been honored in Washington, DC by the Portrait Society of America. In the opinion of many, Richard is the finest  representational painter of our time. This year he is offering for auction his painting “Adele in Our Garden.”
Other art for auction includes portrait paintings, landscapes, western-theme art, florals, animal-themes, still life, seascapes and even a few abstracts too. For more information on this ever popular art event, visit the following links: 

 Thanks to the generosity of Artist Richard Schmid and the other participating artists, the Rist Canyon is a much safer community in which to live.  This canyon area is dry, and susceptible to fire, particularly in the heat of the summer. The Richard Schmid Art Auction does a great job in fulfilling the financial needs of keeping the Rist Canyon Fire Department operating all year long.

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Character Analysis

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Everyone tries to define this thing called Character. It’s not hard. Character is doing whats right, when nobody is looking” ~Unknown

Yesterday’s blog Gardens Heaven Scent made me think back to a time some years ago when I would hold annual perennial plant swaps in my gardens in Vermont. I’d get out my best china and linen, make fancy finger foods and entertain with a beautiful garden party. I’d invite the gals over to nosh. Some would come dressed in their durable gardening clothes, and others would arrive in their floppy garden hats and finery, appropriate for a high-noon English tea.

What fun we used to have!  Ironically, many of the attendees were book enthusiasts, too. Sharing opinions and thoughts of “characters in the garden” came easily and it was all part of the fulfilling day. We’d discuss:

  • What the reaction of others was to the overall scene.
  • Which personalities had conflicts with their neighbors
  • How figures underwent change through seasons.
  • Which characters ran around spreading their seeds
  • Star performers vs. minor role players.
  • Which cast of characters maintained their uprightness no matter what
  • Weaknesses and strengths in bit players.
  • What elements contributed to the fate of individual players
  • Villains vs. heroes

Gardeners never run out of things to talk about. Swapping talk of the trade is as fulfilling as the act of gardening itself.

As I write this blog, I am about to head off to discuss another of my passions –  growing the garden of independent publishing. Our meet-up group She Writes Steamboat is helping others who want to grow books . We are having a garden party of sorts. Before I go, I’ll leave you with some food for thought. http://bit.ly/oIkV2g

Gardens Heaven Scent

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Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero 

Doesn’t it feel good when our heart sings? That is the result of being involved with things we are passionate about.  

On Saturday, I played guide for the Strings in the Mountains Kitchen & Garden Tour. The home I was assigned to was a little slice of Vermont right within the city limits of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The lush green gardens were filled with most of the same species of plants that my extensive gardens inVermont contain. 

When I first arrived at the gardens where I was to volunteer, it was as if the names of the perennial flowers had been filed away in the archives of my brain. I had to dust off the files and dig back into the records of my mind, to remember the names of a few. Once the names of all my favorite flowers were brought to the fore, there was no stopping me. The names all came spewing forth. I had identified each type of bloom before it was time to leave. 

There were Master Gardeners at the site, and I was in heaven for just a few hours, talking the language that plant aficionados find so fulfilling to speak. We talked botanical names vs. common names, climactic zones, acidic soil, shade plants, sun lovin’ plants, invasive species, succulents, ground covers and so much more. 

It has been two and one half years since I have returned to my home in Vermont. This weekend was heaven sent. I  visited Vermont without having to travel and I nursed my dire need for some garden talk, all at once. 

How grateful I am that I have lived in two beautiful nature-inspiring, mountain communities. One is as magnificent as the other, in very different ways. Thanks to the folks that organized the Kitchen and Garden Tours www.stringsmusicfestival.com  for assigning me to this most appreciated locale. I was able hear my heart strings sing, very loud and clear.

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