Paper Flowers Redux

3 Comments

My dear girl, you must cultivate a taste for the finer things. Civilized pleasures give meaning to life.” 

― Barbara Taylor Bradford,  Being Elizabeth

Did you read yesterday’s blog about my childhood fiasco of trying to take my little brother on a road trip? If not, check it out.

Speaking of road trips – A few weeks ago, a friend and I took a journey from Steamboat Springs, Colorado to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. We gallery hopped, window shopped and had a tasty lunch. It was a wonderful and a much needed day away for both of us just before Easter.

Not only did my friend get to return to something familiar from her past, so did I. My book, Sue’s memoirGift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected had only been published shortly before and as I entered into a fanciful women’s  clothing shop, called Confetti Design http://www.confettidesign.net. I was nearly blown away when I saw their window dressing!

glenwood springs paper flowers dressThere she stood a shapely women, a manikin, dressed in a fitting Easter outfit all made from tissue paper flowers. I couldn’t believe my eyes! My memoir has a chapter entitled Paper Roses. which recounts my fulfilling experience of learning to make and sell paper flowers as a project in  junior Girl Scouts.

I had never seen an entire frock made out of tissue paper flowers. As you can see from this image, it was gorgeous and so was the women’s clothing shop. The store had a real vibrancy to it, every color in the spectrum was represented in their high quality and creatively decorated shop. The sales clerks in it could not have been more hospitable either.

I could have shopped til I dropped, but instead I behaved myself. I’m trying to be fiscally conservative so I can properly get the word out about my publication through a diverse marketing plan and that takes some bucks.

Some day soon, I will take Barbara Taylor Bradford’s advice and will return to Confetti Designs with cash in my pocket to splurge on something deserved and special just for ME – perhaps an accoutrement to an outfit for a book talk! From all appearances, the ladies in Confetti have an outstanding eye for style and design.  Maybe they will help me find just the right thing. I will be back!

IMAG1013

I want to remind everyone to shop around by visiting different blogs – it’s a great way to discover fascinating sites and topics through the world-wide-web. You never know what you might run into that may peak your interest. Looking for a fun fashion blog? Visit http://invisiblecrowne.blogspot.com/. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. 

 

Gatsby Groupies

Leave a comment

 “Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

gatsbyI feel as if I am becoming a Gatsby groupie! Today I walked into the Bud Werner Library, and saw a display case announcing the next One Book Steamboat (a community read). It is The Great Gatsby.I’m in,” I thought, as I proceeded to the DVDs and took out the 2000 production of The Great Gatsby movie by A & E Television Networks. Then I wandered over the computer and put in a reserve for a copy of the book by the same title.

I guess I haven’t had enough of the Fitzgeralds, the Jazz Age and the Long Island social elite even though last summer on my vacation, I took in the movie The Great Gatsby with my sister and I also hawked my mother’s copy of  Zelda and read it.

Truthfully, I was disappointed in the latest rendition of the movie, with Leonardo DiCaprio. The visual effects, I felt, were so over the top and frantic that it distracted me from being able to absorb the tragic tale of wealth and entitlement. The telling essence of Jay Gatsby’s character weaknesses were lost in the visual chaos of the movie, rather being told by the dialogue of the story.

The book Zelda, for me, provided much better insight into the psyche of an artist who “never wanted to give in or give up” despite failure and rejection. The narrative told an up-close and personal story of the relationship between wife and husband, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and it gave historical perspective into their friendships with other contemporaries (filmmakers, writers and artists) from the era.

As a lead-up to the community discussion of the novel, on October 10th, the latest Leo Dicaprio version of “Gatsby” will be aired at the Bud Werner Library. I’ll probably skip it. But then again, perhaps with a second look I might have a different opinion. But I hope not to miss what will probably be a very fulfilling discussion on Monday, October 21st.  It will be led by the English teachers of SteamboatHigh School. I hope students are required to join in and read this classic novel.  For more information, please follow this link. http://www.steamboatlibrary.org/events/one-book-steamboat

Come on back tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Fulfillment for the Royals

2 Comments

Of all the roles I’ve played, none has been as fulfilling as being a mother.” ~

Annette Funicello

It’s a high time for the Royal Family. Will Catherine, the Dutchess of Cambridge give birth to a Royal Princess or Prince?  I’ll bet the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, can hardly wait to see whether his offspring, male or female, will be next in line to the throne to fulfill his duties, if he ever reaches the post. That still remains to be seen.

As a mom, I am not sure I’d wish a royal role on a son or a daughter. It would be a blessing and a burden. But then, ordinary folk have both blessings and burdens in their lives, too! A big perk would be living in a castle with every whim or whimsy tended to. Bounty and agony can come with that  -imagine the upkeep. I think I’ll stick to an ordinary life, and surround myself with beautiful things when I want to. Sounds like a balanced solution.

I am on Royal baby countdown, like every fan of the British monarchy. You can be sure the Brits and the Americans are gearing up for selling commemorative plates, mugs, banners and all kinds of products to demarcate the big event of the  baby’s arrival into the royal family!

Bells will toll and news of the royal birth will ring out loud and clear on media sites, in print and on-line everywhere.   Castles and Coffeehouses wants you to “Be the first on your block” to own a souvenir of the special birth day of the newest royal family member. Read it for yourself.  http://bit.ly/16ADMET.

Happy Royal Baby Watching everyone!

keep calm and be yourself

This blog brought to you by www.AllThingsFulfilling.com  , the space for independent thoughts, words and views

from

www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Fulfilling Tour of Newport, RI

Leave a comment

“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.

IMAG0436

Another “summer cottage” along Belleview Road

IMAG0432

IMAG0437

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

IMAG0441

Chinese Teahouse on the property of Marble House

IMAG0428

The Backside of Marble House – facing the sea

IMAG0443

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!

IMAG0451

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

IMAG0452

IMAG0447

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

Leave a comment

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:

IMAG0416

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

with my twin sister

IMAG0413

IMAG0414

IMAG0419

The Breakers, Newport, RI

IMAG0420

Another summer cottage by the sea on Cliff Walk

IMAG0422

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

IMAG0424

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

IMAG0426

Another of the Mansions along Cliff Walk

IMAG0435

Dogwoods, Azaleas, and other flowering trees were in bloom

IMAG0397

IMAG0429

IMAG0427

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.

Humor in Marriage and Friendship

6 Comments

Laughter is the best way to make somebody’s heart beat.” ~ Robert Holden 

 Happy Labor Day Monday – just a light-hearted subject this morning. Good to focus on fulfilling things other than publishing, every so often.

Don’t you love having life long friends? I have quite a number, but there is one friend who has brought more cheerful times and humor to my life than I can tell you. We met the first day I arrived on my college campus. Her nickname is “Chatterbox,” for good reason. More fittingly, however, her name should be “Chatter, the Character! ” She’s made of stuff that you read about.

The other day was Chatter’s 29th wedding anniversary, and much to my surprise, when I  went to her Facebook page to send her “Happy Anniversary Wishes” there was a picture of her all dressed up in the wedding dress she wore 29 years ago, complete with floral bouquet in hand. The dress still fit, she’s always been tall and slender.  I was bowled over with happiness and warm feelings when I saw the image. Nostalgic thoughts  came flooding back;  my twin sister and I were bridesmaids in her wedding. I’ll never forget when she left the reception for her honeymoon. She exited sitting on the back of a convertible, Jackie Kennedy Onassis style, as if in a parade, waving to the wedding crowd while her newly betrothed husband drove the car. It was something she said “she had been waiting to do her whole life.” 

Of course, as soon I saw the image she posted on Facebook the other day, I wrote a comment and an exchange of e-mails soon followed. Evidently, on the morning of her anniversary, she had awoken her husband of 29 years all dressed up in her gown. What pleasure  I felt in my heart when I saw her again in her wedding outfit; I can only imagine what the surprise did for her husband.

 Could this be a new trend for women who are celebrating their wedding anniversaries? A chance for ladies to wear those gowns every year, rather than only once in a lifetime. It might be healthy for marriage; bringing fulfilling memories back and a  reminder of what was promised.  What better motivation for women to maintain their  girlish figures – so they can fit into their gowns each year. Perhaps a way to reduce healthcare costs for women. 

Today, this blog is in honor of my friend Chatter! She has overcome adversity in her life, and a bout with cancer – always with dignity and honor and humor. 

Girlfriend – you are an inspiration! You remind me that laughter brings sweetness to life and friendship. I will see you next spring or early next summer as we have planned.

“Chat” and me at my niece’s wedding a year ago, October 2011.

Photo credit:  Erin Batton of eebphotography.blogspot.com

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com

Daylight Comes in Memories

2 Comments

 “Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” ~ Wayne Dyer 

Daylight savings time has arrived. For those people whose bodies are sensitive to light, perhaps the long season of diminished day light will provide an extra hour of sleep.

Spring, summer and fall are my seasons of choice. Here in mountain country, winter is literally experienced in the raw. The biting, blustery Arctic winds are a reminder of the nature’s less gentle ways with us. Moments of glory in winter come when the rays of sunshine peak out from behind the somber clouds of a raging snowstorm. Those rays carry a special splendor, far different and more dazzling, than the sunshine of summer days. I rely on extra moments of light and illumination from within during the dark season of winter. 

This year, my memories and photographs of our family’s October wedding by the Chesapeake Bay, will bring me pleasure in the bleak hours of a winter’s day. My niece’s engagement began with the husband-to-be creating a story that will long be remembered. The thoughts of the sparkle of the bride’s eyes on wedding day, the camaraderie of eight cousins brought together to share a special occasion, the budding new relationship of two strong families tied together through a marriage, and God’s grace in granting long, healthy lives to the bride’s Grandparents who were there to witness the scene, is enough to brighten even the longest winter. 

My Thanksgiving horn of plenty was filled early this year with the blessings of a family gathered. A nourishment of spirit comes with fulfilling thoughts of gratefulness for the abundance of a happy home and family. I need not a thing more.

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