Memoirs Connect People

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Kit Cat

“Each day provides it’s own gifts.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

I am very excited! Last week I reconnected with a childhood friend who I have been out of touch with since I graduated high school in 1975. That was many,many moons ago – do the math!

Out of the blue, she connected with me through my Facebook page and said “that she had learned I had published a book and had ordered “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected” for her Nook. She had questions about a few details of our childhood in trying to recall exactly when we moved down the street to our second childhood home, built by my father. When I was an newborn we lived next door to her parents. She said, “I still remember the cat clock you had in your bedroom.” Hard to believe after all these years she’d remember, with clarity, a detail like that.

Did any of you readers have a cat clock like the one in the image?  It’s still available through the Vermont Country Store! http://bit.ly/1hVqDkQ.

Mine hung in my bedroom. It  was a gift from my maternal grandparents to my twin sister and me.  They both passed away when we were very young children, and the clock is a remaining memory that I associate with my mother’s parents. I remember laying in my bed mesmerized every night watching the cat’s glowing eyes go back and forth, along with it’s swishing tail  until I drifted off into laaa laaa land.

What I have since learned from my childhood friend, Cindy, is that her sons, Brian and Jason Lyles, are involved with a publishing endeavor also. They recently published The Lego Neighborhood Book: Build a Lego Town  which gives tools to create your favorite architectural styles in homes and buildingsHow cool is that? http://bit.ly/1hd18dm 

If I hadn’t written a memoir, who knows if Cindy and I would have ever connected again throughout our lifetime! So today’s story is all about neighborhood and community connection! See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

 

 

Film Friday: Comeback of an Era

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Any good comeback needs true believers.”  ~ Unknown

drive-in-movie-theaterDo you remember going to the drive-in movies? I love looking back at those nostalgic times of going to the movies with my parents in my pajamas, car packed with snacks, and watching the big screen outdoors, with excitement, till I finally fell asleep in the back seat of the station wagon.

Most drive-in theatres have been demolished. There are only 355 left nationwide according to Las Vegas-based Drive-ins.com, which tracks the industry. In the State of Michigan there has been a resurgence of drive-in theatres. Think about it – with jumbotron screens, like those you see in sports arenas, at concerts, and in Times Square, reviving outdoor movie viewing may make sense in more ways in one!

Reliving a bygone era makes for a fun bonding experience with family and friends. Using land that has been sitting vacant, for drive-in theatres, must be cheaper than building behemoth buildings to house cinemas. Downside is the short season for outdoor movie viewing in some climates.

Zhivago2Imagine watching Dr. Zhivago with snow falling all around you (the real thing) as you watch the ZhivagoDVDmovie!

Interested in rewatching an old classic, Dr. Zhivago? Click for info & ordering

That would be a unique experience. Perhaps there is an untapped niche of people, like the “polar bear club” who would find going to drive-in movies year round fulfilling. Social networking groups, enthusiasts who appreciate the art of the drive-in movie experience, in all conditions, might be the next big thing to spring up. You never know in this creative and interesting economy, perhaps we shouldn’t put drive-in movies in the museum of dying giants yet! http://bit.ly/12GKFTK .

When was the last time you went to a drive-in movie? In Michigan there are people who might answer that question, “very recently.” To read about the comeback of drive-in theatres in Michigan, visit this link. http://on.lsj.com/13QDldB.

Come back on Monday to All Things Fulfilling, the space for independent thoughts, words and views from CFS (www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com). For information on author Sue Batton Leonard, Click for info on her memoir

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.

Film Friday: Red Doors

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 Never lose a holy curiosity ~ Albert Einstein

I am trying to put two and two together, and it has me inquiring. As I have driven around the Mid-Atlantic States, I have noticed a trend that never occurred to me before.

What is it about churches and red doors? There must have been a run on them at some time in history because they seem to be prevalent. Or perhaps, I think, “maybe I am reading  into something that isn’t there.”

As I have come to find out, red doors on churches, apparently, do have historical and meaningful significance. They indicate a place of harbor for those who are facing life’s storms. Physical and spiritual protection is found for many who open and enter into crimson-colored doors.

Did you know there is an award-winning film called Red Doors?

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http://www.reddoorsthemovie.com/story.html. It is not a new release but it still has relevance in the world today and it is worthy of attention. The film is about a family that is trying to communicate its feelings and each member is doing their own soul searching about relationships. Diversity of culture is also a theme that runs throughout the movie.

If you are looking for something to do that is thought provoking this weekend, Red Doors may be the solution. Click for Info & Ordering Red Doors

Before you leave this website, there are photos below of some of the places that  have given me inspiration for this writing.

Come back on Monday, we will share some other independent thoughts, words and views from author Sue Batton Leonard and www.allthingsfulfilling.com , the blog of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com .

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 Photo Above: Old Trinity Church, Church Creek, Maryland – built between 1686- 1692 http://oldtrinity.net/aboutus.html

Photos Below: Other ” Safe Harbors ” on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

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Cambridge, MD: Creating an Art Community

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 “Whenever we witness art in a building, we are award of an energy contained in it.” ~Arthur Erickson

Checking out the local art scene is something I find interesting to do when I am traveling. Last Friday, I stopped into the Dorchester Center for the Arts in Cambridge, Maryland.

Since my last visit about ten years ago, The Dorchester Center for the Arts http://bit.ly/12APkwy has relocated. Its art programs are growing, and they are fulfilling their mission of “creating community through the Arts.”  After a successful one million dollar capital campaign, the art center moved into a large old furniture store space, and they are renovating it, phase by phase, to accommodate for their plans for the future. Fully committed to providing a “vibrant performing and visual arts center,” the historic building is large enough to house a gift shop, exhibit space, several classrooms and administrative offices and more. There are plans to fill the substantial space on the second and third floors with a 250 person capacity reception area and 400 seat performance hall. The entire structure is dedicated to the arts in this town of 12,000 people.

The day I first stopped in, there was a knitting class and drawing class in progress. Each year visitors of all ages attend gallery shows, classes, workshops and special events at the DorchesterCenter for the Arts.  The staff member who greeted me and took me on a tour could not have been more hospitable.

Here are some pictures from my visit. Please return tomorrow so I can share with you information about this month’ s two featured artists  and their work.IMAG0647

Best of the Eastern Shore, Art Programs

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Drawing Class with Model in progress

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Gift shop with paintings, jewelry, pottery, prints, all kinds of artistic creations

including  books of regional interest  by local authors

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Below: My favorite thing in the gift shop – artistic pins by As Time Goes By. Baubles, creatively styled incorporating time and puzzles.

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Please return tomorrow to www.AllThingsFulfilling.com to learn something about the artists that were featured this month by the Dorchester Center for the Arts. This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected<a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=sue%20batton%20leonard&linkCode=ur2&rh=i%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3Asue%20batton%20leonard&sprefix=sue%20batt%2Cstripbooks%2C305&tag=allthinfulf-20&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&linkId=7UVM27KUVJZ3M67Z”>Click for info on the memoir</a><img src=”https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=allthinfulf-20&l=ur2&o=1&#8243; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />  and www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

Book Marketing Savvy

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“….from the reading of ‘good books’ there comes a richness of life that can be obtained in no other way.” ~ Gordon B Hinckley

On Tuesday I joined a book club of women from Dorchester County Maryland for lunch. It was the second time I have been among the group, and talk naturally flowed to who is reading what, favorite authors, book lists and other common subjects among book lovers.

One member of the group mentioned she was headed to Boonsboro, Maryland to the historic Inn that is the subject of Nora Roberts recently published Boonsboro trilogy. Roberts has capitalized on capturing the hearts of her readers not only through her books, but by giving her fans an opportunity to visit and relax in the setting of some of her stories. In my opinion, it is a great example of using creative book marketing savvy and smart business.

boonsboro innObviously her investment in the old stone property, the Boonsboro Inn, on the corner of North  Main Street and Potomac, and in the town, itself, has been made possible by her success as a very prolific writer. She has approximately 200 titles to her credit, and some of her novels have been adapted for film. www.noraroberts.com.

The Boonsboro Inn aims to provide a fulfilling vacation travel experience with a literature experience. The assistant innkeeper, Patti, worked at Turn the Page Bookstore for four years. Obviously a booklover and well-read person, I am sure she is well-versed in providing the guests with plenty of background about the Montgomery brothers, the clan featured in The Next Always (Book 1), The Last Boyfriend (Book 2) and the final book of the trilogy, The Perfect Hope. To read more about the Boonsboro trilogy,Click here..

To learn more about the Boonsboro bed and breakfast experience, the amenities offered and the renovation of the historic property, please visit the website. http://bit.ly/19GwZhM.

According to hospitality surveys, more and more people are looking for unique vacations. If you have had a satisfying vacation in a literature hotel or inn, please share your experience with booklovers and writers who frequent www.allthingsfulfilling.com. Click on comment below and tell us all about it.

Wandering Walters Art Museum

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The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. ~Aristotle

As a teen, the WaltersArtGallery (now known as the WaltersArt Museum) in BaltimoreCity was one of my favorite spots to visit on rainy afternoons. It was interesting to return, decades later, to the museum as an adult. As a young person, I was not fully aware of the breadth and depth of the collections, ranging from pre-dynastic Egyptian to medieval to baroque and Italian. Flemish and Dutch, and art from far Eastern parts of the world (Asian art) is also among the more than 35,000 artifacts, paintings, ceramics, sculpture on display at “the Walters.”

Many of the naturally illuminated galleries, exquisitely showcase the artwork from around the world in the best light. The architecture is as interesting, and inspiring as the art itself. To read more about the treasures within the WaltersArt Museum, please visit this link. http://thewalters.org/about/history/. Follow me as I explore the interior spaces through this photographic tour. I did seek permission before taking these photos inside the museum.

It was a memorable Memorial Day weekend, spent in Baltimore. Time spent with my twin sister is always fulfilling!

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The exterior of the building is far different than the interior. Don’t let it fool you!

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Dramatic and exquisite entry into the “Walters”

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Above & Below: Baroque & Flemish paintings inside this gallery space

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Above & Below Images: Architectural Embellishments

The Leo in me couldn’t resist the Lion on the doors to one of the galleries

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Images Above & Below: Italian Art

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Above Image: Exhibit about book binding

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This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. See you tomorrow on http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com , where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

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.

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