Tree Decorating Lifts Spirits

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This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in. ~  Theodore Roosevelt

Last Thursday evening I had an unexpected request from Lift Up, an inter-faith thrift store and food bank where I volunteer twice weekly. I was asked if I would help decorate for the annual “Festival of Trees” at the Tred of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat Springs, CO. I and three other volunteers, who I rarely come in contact with each other, because of our differing schedules and duties, had a great time together!

Our tree was sponsored by the Community Food Bank at Lift Up. Ninety or ninety-five percent of the “food-themed” decorations that went on the tree were donated to the thrift store or came from recycled materials. Georgi, a very creative and energetic person had used her skills to make some of the ornamental food from plastic bags and “Mod Podge,” a crafting material. She also made the tree topper – a red chef’s hat. The tree turned out beautiful. Here are a few pictures.

Below: Georgi is here in Steamboat for a one year stint with the Colorado Episcopal Service Corps. She would make a great full-time resident of this community.  She has yet to experience a “three wire winter”  since she just arrived in town a few months ago from Pennsylvania.  (That’s what locals call winters when snow so deep it reaches the third wire on fences (in other words, it exceeds your armpits!). And it happens frequently.

Georgi

Below: A few full-time employees of Lift Up

Lynn food bank mgr

Angela case worker

Below: Four representatives for all the dedicated people who make Lift-Up the

wonderful non-profit organization that it is.

Hundreds and hundreds of volunteer service hours are donated

annually.

Lift up volunteers

LU tree with topper

As Christmas grows nearer, I will share more pictures of the beautiful Festival of Trees from the Tred of Pioneers Museum on All Things Fulfilling. They were all delightfully decorated.

I was fully thrust into the festive spirit and it continued the next day as I helped the United Methodist Women prepare for the Fall Harvest Fair. We wrapped and priced all the baked goods, jellies, jams.

Come back tomorrow to see what that shopping experience looks like. Hundreds of people come through the open doors at the United Methodist Church every year to shop for the holidays and fill their empty stomachs at lunchtime with homemade soup and bread.

This blog is brought to you by  EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, Sue Batton Leonard.

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Advent Day #22 Open Hearts in Community

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Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” ~ Dale Evans

I’m more proud than ever to attend a church whose motto is “Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors.” The Steamboat United Methodist Church reached out, extended their welcome and showed that they practice what they preach to the Jewish congregation here in Steamboat. The menorah issue was put to rest and it was lit on Tuesday December 16th on the front lawn of the United Methodist Church. The Menorah is symbolic of  “light, wisdom, and Divine inspiration” but it was also designed as creative art for our community.

This story was broadcast on CBS and in newspapers in other cities. To watch the video about what ended up being a story about love in action, please follow this link.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/12/11/menorah-blocked-from-courthouse-lawn-in-steamboat-springs/

One of the best things you can teach children when they are old enough to grasp the concepts is about multi-cultural understanding. Author Sue Batton Leonard recounts her personal experience with multi-cultural love in her memoir, an anthology of stories in her book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It has won several awards, one in the young adult category. The book is perfect for giving to “tweens’ and teens and an entire family.

Xmas image of book cover for Mailchimp newsletter

The memoir, an award-winning anthology of short stories is available in audio book (narrated by the author), paperback and e-book. Here is how to order:

Audio Book http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

Uniting People and An Artist

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“In my opinion, the cornerstone of our country is free press – that’s the cornerstone.” ~ Milos Forman

I find it interesting, but not particularly surprising, that the NormanRockwellMuseum has been holding swearing in ceremonies for new U.S. Citizens. “At an art museum?” Some of you might be questioning.

norman-rockwell-golden-rule-do-unto-others-april-1-1961Think about Rockwell’s painting, The Golden Rule. In this image Rockwell captures people of all different faiths and nationalities, who have come to the United States seeking a better way of life. In my opinion, a swearing in ceremony among paintings that depict iconic American life is a good fit.

Personally, I hope that the original painting of The Golden Rule is front and center, next to the American flag, in the area where our newest U.S. citizens pledge their allegiance to our country. The image is a good reminder that if you work hard and conduct yourself with integrity and honesty, you can reap the benefits of our prosperous nation. But you must treat others as you want to be treated yourself – with respect and dignity. Our nation’s pioneers founded the country on these principles, and we should not be a nation of “handouts.”

If you would like to read more about the swearing in ceremonies at the NormanRockwellMuseum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, read this article.  http://bit.ly/1dVvgbO. And if you would like to order a giclee print of The Golden Rule, please visit www.art.com.  

I am proud to be an American citizen living in a country where independent thoughts, words and views can be aired on sites such as this. But, again, we must respect each others opinions and values because  “we are one nation under God” and there is “liberty and justice for all.”  We live in a place where the laws of he land must be abided by.

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling This blog brought to you by ww.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com .

Journey toward Enlightenment

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Words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Okay…it’s 4:30 in the morning and any minute we’re off to the airport…Burlington VT to Newark, NJ then 14 hrs to Bejing, from there to Mongolia and the Gobi–the first leg of the journey has begun!” ~writes Clemma Dawsen from Sandgate, Vermont.

I doubt my friend Clemma has taken her feline. She’d be more likely to transport her horse. She’s an equestrian, and finds the same kind of fulfillment in owning an equine as the Dali Lama does in having a cat. If you missed the story about His Holiness and his feline, scroll down to yesterday’s blog.

clemma dawsen

Clemma is part of a group that is traveling from Vermont to Tibet to learn more about personal fulfillment. This group is made up of artists of all types. She will be journaling as she travels, she is the poet/writer of the group.

I am so proud of Clemma. She is deserving of this assignment. I met her when I worked as education coordinator at the VermontStateCraftCenter “Frog Hollow.” She is one of those kinds of people you feel as if you have known forever – warm, loving and friendly. We “clicked” immediately. Although we only worked together for a relatively short time, she has never left my heart. When we met, we had a lot in common – both of us had sons, who were only children. They attended the same high school and both boys have artistic spirits. We’d share notes on teen rearing a lot.

I encourage you to follow Clemma and her fellow adventurers on the blog Triptych Journey: The Alchemy of Stories, Art and Travel. http://triptychjourney.org/  .

The group is also comprised of a project advisor (a Buddist who has more than two dozen books on spirituality to his credit), a documentary cinematographer, a photographer, and a choreographer. Their mission “is to tell compelling world stories that speak to all of us. Using multimedia arts and expression, Triptych Journey connects audiences to vulnerable people, cultures and ecology, instilling values of conservation and preservation in a rapidly changing world.”

Happy Travels to All! I can’t wait to be enlightened about what is learned from this experience that will take  these artists to far off reaches of the world.

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

Meeting Needs, Circuitously

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“I’m conscious of a series of circles working its way through my life.” ~ Ben Okri

Circle-Of-Life-(Small)

Image above: Artist Nathalie Parenteau

There has been a certain synchronicity lately on All Things Fulfilling around the theme of building things – building stone walls and memorials, building a beautiful home and family, building business through our passions, building meaningful relationships between people and community.

If you read yesterday’s blog called “Riding the Circuit,” there was a bit of self-deprecating humor over searching for answers to what the term “circuit rider” means. Here is a continuation of my story.

As a first time visitor, I opened the red doors to the tiny UnitedMethodistChurch on TaylorsIsland with quiet trepidation, and with much curiosity about what this “circuit rider” my mother spoke of might look like. I imagined someone in the pews would be wearing a cowboy hat, since that is what I had grown accustomed to seeing on Sunday mornings as I entered the UMC in Steamboat, Colorado. From my relatively new Western point of reference, in my mind a circuit rider is a cowboy who rides the rodeo circuit.  

In I entered. I sat in a pew behind a small group of people who turned, smiled warmly and said “Good morning, welcome!” 

“No cowboy hats in this crowd, East coast dress code” I thought. I sat quietly and reverently listening to small town conversation around me. Finally, someone remarked that “the Reverend must be running late.”

“No big deal,” I thought. I was used to people running late, in places where people recreate (in vacation places like shore towns and ski resorts) people have more laid back attitudes, and seem to run on their own time clocks. 

Finally, in the Reverend walked. What I came to find out after the powerful, inspirational sermon he delivered was that the “Rev ” is the “circuit rider” my mother talked about. He goes around fulfilling  the spiritual needs of people at four services, at four different churches on Sunday mornings. That’s why he is called a circuit rider! To read more about this preacher’s life, please visit this article. http://delmarvane.ws/1bqWxTq. This minister has been serving people for almost sixty-six years helping to build one-on-one relationships between people and God, in different communities.

Tomorrow, a shorter blog. I promise! This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

 

 

Stone Preservation

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“We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them or build with them.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Beautiful stone creations with historical value – things to preserve rather than destroy. Building with stone goes back centuries. Along with our culture’s growing passion for geneology, there has been an increasing interest in the art of preserving stone monuments and markers in America. Even the finest historical markers and structures made of rock, like cathedrals, churches, castles, bridges and roads need attention because their integrity becomes compromised due to land development, weather, neglect, acid rain and vandalism.

Jonathan Appel, is a stone conservator who has been working in graveyards to preserve monuments and markers in Civil War areas, such as in Frederick, Maryland. http://bit.ly/18ApKGI. Finding fulfillment in preserving our country’s history on holy grounds, he trains others to become monument conservators through workshops.

Last weeks blog about the building of rock sculptures for a unique, personal reason left me feeling uplifted, because one man’s efforts became an community building event. stone_sculptor_at_workOut of all the statues, obelisks, monoliths, pillars and plaques that have been created to memorialize the spirit of beings, all over the world,  I hope an overwhelming number of them have been placed to remember positive spirits who have existed on earth.

If you did not read the blog or watch the video about community efforts to support a grieving man and his art, visit this link. It’s an interesting story. Let me know what you think. http://bit.ly/145b3xc

Please return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow for more independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com . Our blog tomorrow is about a special angel and how that angel has inspired a blog that I believe deserves special mention for it’s beauty.

America through Images

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I think at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

 Happy Birthday, America!

Today’s blog is all about independence, patriotism, and all things fulfilling and nostalgic through American art posters.

Each of these works of art have been created by independent artists and can be purchased, and shipped world-wide through e-commerce (through the web or on-line). Please go to www.AllPosters.com .

As you take a tour, remember those who have fought to defend our country’s liberties, this day and every day. Enjoy the American story, told through images.

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

adolph-treidler-soldiers-without-gunsfood is ammunition dont waste

girl pulling for soldier

wwii-can-all-you-can

edward-penfield-every-girl-pulling-for-victory-save-waste-papersilence means security

stevan-dohanos-two-generations-of-vets-july-5-1947

scott-westmoreland-surfin-usa

wwii-us-poster-1942

charles-coiner-give-it-your-bestThis blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

Do return tomorrow to www.allthingsfulfilling.com .