Between Spaces and Relationships

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“Irish blessing – May the memories that you hold be your precious true pot of gold.” ~ Tom Baker

My dad was a custom home builder, as was my grandfather, my great grandfather and now my two brothers and my nephew.

When I came across these vintage home pictures from the 1950s and 1960s, they stirred nostalgic feelings of an era past. The images reminded me of all the times my Dad came home with a new set of blueprints, and unrolled them on the kitchen and dining room table and explained the layout of the different styles of houses to us kids. I was always interested in seeing them and tried to envision the houses when completely constructed.

I came to know what markings were used to show where the doors and windows would be placed and whether they’d swing in or out. Other sets of plans showed where the beams and the roof trusses ran, and kitchen layouts. It makes me happy that my Dad took time to explain all that, because now I have a basic understanding of what I am seeing when I  look at a set of building renderings.

Back when I was a child then there were no CAD (computer assisted designs) or drawings. Each set of blueprints were painstakingly hand sketched using drafting tools such as protractors, rulers, t-squares, tracing paper and more. Trying to make changes to features in rooms and design was so tedious.

The reason I am sharing this information today is because many baby boomers might find fulfillment in seeing these home designs of the 1950s and 1960s.You or a neighbor may have lived in a house just like them!

Enjoy, and do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. We often dig into the archives and find things to talk about that stir fulfilling memories for other people. Whether your childhood was spent in a big home or a little home – what unites happy families are the relationships that exist between the spaces.

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vintage house2vintage house1vintage house 7This blog brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1vFJw1u

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Towson, Now and Then

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Friendship is…..one of those things that give value to survival.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Today I am going to take a trip down memory lane during the 1950s and 1960s  to my native stomping grounds of  Towson, Maryland (in Baltimore County) . It’s the  home of Goucher College http://www.goucher.edu/  and Towson State College (now known as Towson University)http://www.towson.edu . Johns Hopkins University http://www.jhu.edu/ and Loyola University http://www.loyola.edu/ are  just down the road in Baltimore City.

When I was a young girl, Towson Plaza, was our shopping mecca. Stores like Tuerks (Twerks, as Fanny the stellar character in my memoir called it), Reads Drugstore and The Plaza Florest were just a few of the stores located there. Of course, S.S. Kresges (aka  Kresgeree’s according to Fanny) was the “flagship store.” It anchored all the rest of the stores and really kept the shopping center active with business.

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Just down the street, within walking distance was Towson Bootery, Stebbins Anderson, Finkelstein’s and Sunny Surplus – my Dad’s favorite store! The last time I went into Sunny’s was in the mid-to-late 1970s when I took my husband-to-be there. He nearly went crazy. I wonder if it’s gone out of business?

In the early nineteen-seventies, during the years I went off to college in Vermont, progress really began to take place.Commercial real estate development changed the entire look and feel of that area of town. Evidently, it’s gone through several renovations and revitalizations since then. Here’s a photo with just one of the crown jewel stores in the “Towson Plaza” area now.

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Although I visit family in Towson now and then, its been quite a while since I have been to the “Towson Plaza” area. I bet I’d have a hard time finding my way around. I’m hoping to return to the area this fall and do a book signing of “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.”

I’ll keep you posted. It would be wonderful to see old school friends, aquaintances and people who have done business with five generations of the Batton building businesses throughout Baltimore County and beyond.   http://on.fb.me/1k1hWb5  and http://bit.ly/1u2nrdE.

 

 

 

Clearing the Way

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“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Are you person who has always had an artistic calling, yet you have never pursued your passion in earnest? You are not alone. There are many people, for various reasons, who have had to travel down other career paths feeling they have not fulfilled their God-given talents.

Matt Tommey book1The book Unlocking the Heart of the Artist: Practical Guide to Fulfilling Your Creative Call as an Artist in the Kingdom speaks to this issue for the new generation of people who seek personal fulfillment as a priority in their lives. He invites others to live fully, doing what makes them happy, and to become “unstuck” by expressing themselves creatively.

The author, Matt Tommey, is a successful basket maker and art consultant from Asheville, North Carolina. His sensible messages to other artists, through his publications, helps clear the way of self-doubt by providing hope and insight to individuals who wish to thrive and become fulltime artists. His book Crafting your Brand: Simple Strategies for Cultivating a Successful Creative Career, is also a good resource for anyone who wants to pursue their calling.

A well-rounded artist, Matt Tommey,  makes a living in a combination of ways, also offering workshops on the craft of basketry. To learn more about his workshops,  how to order these publications and to see his website,  http://bit.ly/1bpQhI9 .

Do return tomorrow for Film Friday, we will be featuring a film that is soon to be released that plays well into our recent topics of writing on All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

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.

Building from the Right Perspective

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“The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”  ~ Zig Ziglar 

Last week I posted a blog called Disappearing Acts. It was about how our world as we have known  it is changing, and we are on the rise of a new era. If you missed  the blog, here is the link.   http://bit.ly/15zJUPx. 

 Rick, Kyle on roofToday’s blog is about new generations in business. Over the past four or five years, there are many industries that have suffered the effects of a down economy. I’m proud of the men in my family who have been good stewards of a  custom home construction business since 1902! http://bit.ly/13T52C1 and http://bit.ly/12PsOPW. Throughout  the decades they have experienced prosperity and have overcome challenges, too. The most recent recession hit (the one our country still struggles to come to terms with) around the time the fifth generation  joined the company. My nephew Kyle,part of the new era, has been witness to what it means when adjustments have to take place to make it through rough economic times.

Indeed, the building trades have gone through trials and tribulations. But according to the news, there are positive signs of a come back. Things are looking up. http://leafne.ws/WKdaxg . Like all gifts, years of a good economy and a strong foundation to build on, need to be appreciated and valued. Hard times also serve great purpose in life. As John Powell once said “the only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” 

I have much faith the family businesses will continue to survive and thrive, if steered carefully and thoughtfully. Knowing that things must be done a little differently, for sustainability, is a valuable lesson for every industry that has been affected by this economy. 

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Tomorrow Irish eyes will be smiling in honor of St. Patty’s Day on  All Things Fulfilling.  This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.