Life is Comedy and Mystery

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“Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.” ~ Confucius

fanny flaggDeath is no laughing matter, until it comes to Fannie Flagg’s humor. Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven is a funny story about Elner Shimfissle living in the town of Elmwood, Missouri. This story is about small town America at it’s best. Elmwood is a place where everyone knows everyone. People stick together and help each other out.

When high spirited Elner, one of Elmwood’s most beloved community members, passes away after being stung by wasps, she inspires a whole town to consider some of the absurdities and truths about life.

As stated by the Rocky Mountain News  “Elner emerges quite the character…a woman who uses the mind and heart she’s been given… ”

Fannie Flagg, one of America’s most talented humorists, takes us through a rollicking story that will warm your heart and keep you laughing. The characters are so charming, you will love this “feel good” story.

fanny flagg cant wait to get to heavenPick up this comedy-mystery at your library or at your favorite neighborhood bookstore.Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven will remind you not to take life too seriously and to have some fun with those who make your life fulfilling while you are living on this planet called Earth.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.



Connections to First Chapter

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“In the first chapter of Genesis it is written that God placed mankind in the Garden of Eden. God knew from the very beginning that this perfect environment would be the key source for mankind’s healing and health.” ~ Dr. David Stewart author of Healing: God’s Forgotten Gift

An hour or two  in the National Botanic Gardens in Washington, DC is enough to uplift anyone’s spirit. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing horticultural wonders from all over the world inside and outside this beautiful structure last weekend.

Many of the plants I saw have healing properties that have been known for centuries. Others are yet to be discovered.

For instance, digitalis is a plant that for centuries has been used for heart ailments. However, today it is synthetically produced for many reasons. One is the ease of regulation of dosage.

Why has our world relied on so many synthetically produced drugs when much of what we need to heal is already at our dispose? I must ask. Some medicinal plants are not indigenous to areas where large populations of people roam. So, I suppose harvesting them to use in the healing arts industry may be too costly.

I ponder that in other cases a choice between harvesting beautiful plants  for pharmaceuticals and risking that they will become endangered, and no longer available for visual enjoyment and soulful pleasures may be a consideration.

Today I’d like to share some images from the medicinal horticultural section of the National Botanical Gardens. Additional photos will be shared over the next few weeks of flowers from a spectrum of colors, as well as some wonderful architecture and art from our National Portrait Gallery.

Stay tuned to this site – I have all kinds of more fulfilling things to share with you of things I discovered in Washington, DC over the weekend.

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.

What a gorgeous building and grounds at the National Botanical Gardens


Plenty inside the National Botanical Gardens to keep this avid gardener interested and uplifted!

Below: Aromatherapy – pots of spices from around the world – I indulged myself frequently at the “smelling pots”







To read an article on the manufacturing of digitalis, a drug that so many heart patients rely on visit this link.








Water is a magical substance. The health of all life is irrevocably connected with water. Find yourself around it, immerse yourself in it, and drink it with gratitude. ~ Unknown



For a great resource about healing plants, please visit this site

All Photos were taken by Sue Batton Leonard inside the National Botanic Gardens. Please read copyright statement on this site on the right hand side of the page.

Focus on Simple Pleasures

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There are few things in common between where I grew up, in Towson, Maryland and where I am residing at this moment, Steamboat Springs, Colorado except great peaches and sweet corn.

It is an unexpected gift when you live high up in the magnificent Rocky Mountains to find corn and peaches as good as what’s grown in Maryland.  The produce comes in  from Palisades, Colorado every weekend on a truck.

We are getting into the fresh from the farm season! So, although, I am living many, many miles away from all of our family – today I would like post a reminder to myself.


And as gift for my readers on this sunny summer day – here is something you can make that is useful, healthy and delicious.It comes from Visit their website, there’s other fulfilling things they’ve posted for the visitors of their space on the internet.

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling! This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. NOW AVAILABLE IN AUDIO BOOK, TOO!

Peaches two


Blooming with Life

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“There will be eternal summer in a grateful heart.”  ~ Celia Thaxter

drinking out of hose


Is there is not a person alive who doesn’t look back over a long life and think “I can’t believe I survived that?”

When I think of the attention that is paid to infectious disease in this day and age with all of the antibacterial products in the marketplace, and how relatively little attention was paid to germs when I was growing up it kind of makes me chuckle. Yes, I know, different strains of viruses and flu  have been introduced to our world, and we must be more careful.

I can think of many people who have survived and thrived despite unbelievable set backs. When I hear cases of  trauma, illness, strife and struggle, it makes  me stop and consider just how strong the human spirit is. Carolyn Myss, PhD has done a lot of research and work on the power of the human psyche and healing. If you are interested in those topics, click on this link. Books By Caroline Myss, PhD

I’m thankful for each and every day that comes my way. What is it, anyway, about summer that makes  us more feel more alive than ever?

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. NOW AVAILABLE IN AUDIO BOOK ALSO! For more information, click on the underlined title of the book.

Images Stir Things Up

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I am so impressed by the life-giving power of literature. ~ Maya Angelou

Writing personal stories is a way of  communicating what we value in ourselves and others and in our world. A process of self-evaluation.picture of milk carton from 1950s

Images – the emotions they stir! They become catalysts for ideas for  books.

Can you imagine that the sight of a half pint of milk on a lunch tray could cause overwhelming feelings and prompt someone to write about it? Every day in elementary school when I pulled my three pennies out of my pocket to pay for the milk that I knew would only get chucked, I felt real sinking feelings of inadequacy and not being up to the task.  My stomach could only hold a few sips.

The other day I saw a book that  me feel differently about a little carton of milk. Perhaps not being a big milk drinker as a young child might not have been a bad thing.

Check out this book called “White Wash: The Disturbing Truth about Cow’s Milk and Your Health” by Joseph Keon. It unveils some interesting research. Milk may not be too great for your health which is contrary to what many of us have always thought.  The words in this book may forever do away children hearing from their parents “You can’t get up from the dinner table until you finish your milk!”

White Wash This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Click on the title to see more information on the memoir.

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. I will see what else I can dig up that might be helpful to our readers who are interested in living happy and satisfying lifestyles.

Chiggers at Vespers


“Oh, no!” I said out loud to myself, as I finally read my mothers e-mail correspondence from last weekend. My sister has the chiggers.

“Wow, does that ever bring back memories,” I thought. The first time I ever  heard of the chiggers was when my parents sent us twins off to overnight church camp in Virginia. Camp Glenkirk holds many fond memories for me. I recall my mother’s anxiety as she and my dad drove off leaving us girls in someone else’s hands for a week. It was the first time I was away overnight from my parents since my “pioneering” heart surgery.

Although I didn’t completely understand the magnitude of that turning point in my life, I know it was a step toward independence from the watchful eye of my parents. I don’t recall my uneasiness, only that of my mother’s. My anchor, my rock, my twin sister was by my side. And when there were certain strenuous camp activities that I was unable to participate in, my sister sat on the sidelines with me. She never left me behind. What a loyal sister! quotesonprayer

What I  also remember is when we went to evening vespers (evening group prayer), I prayed saying, “Lord a Mercy,” (mimicking Fanny, the stellar character in my memoir), “please don’t let me get the chiggers!” I’d heard from other campers that they itch something awful.God knows, there were plenty of them in the backwoods of  Virginia but, I managed to stay free – I guess someone greater than myself was watching out for me.

Jan – I hope you get rid of those chiggers real quick! Find something to sooth the itch! Be still and know that it is just the chiggers driving you crazy!

Today’s blog is brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard and that was just another childhood memory  not included in my publication Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Upcoming: An Artful Gathering

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Your supposed to be using your gifts and fulfilling your dreams at every age.” ~Victoria Moran

image for blog about Kneading Hands event On May 23rd from 5-7 pm I will be one of three people who will be featured at an art reception at Kneading Hands Therapy. Kneading Hands has the distinction of being “Best of the Boat” as a leader in massage therapy. They also have a growing apothecary and retail gift shop. Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected can now be purchased at Kneading Hands Therapy, so stop in anytime during their business hours or come the evening of May 23rd. I will be there and will personalize a copy of my newly released memoir just for you, if buy it. Kali Waldman, a multi-media artist whose love of art began at a young age will be present. Some of her art is abstract with unintentional messages that appear in many of her pieces which helps her to name them. Kali also enjoys photography and handbuilding with clay. For more information on her art, here is a link Lori Aigner will be present to talk about the Tower Garden, an aeroponic growing system. Her information will be timely, as planting gardens here in mountain country is just around the corner. Kneading Hands Therapy will have sale items, giveaways and refreshments. Stop in! I’m excited to be included in this event because the reception involves gals who are growing their passions through business and life – so an evening of  all things fulfilling! Thank you, Ali Boehm.  I’m looking forward to the event. This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Sue’s memoir