Time Marches Forward

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In all things of nature, there is something marvelous.” ~ Aristotle

During the final days of February I marched myself down to New Mexico, while my husband went off to Alaska to coach the Colorado Mountain College ski team. I’d gone to spend a little time with the birthday boy, our son!

Over the next few days I will share a few of my travels.

If you are ever in the area of Tent Rocks National Monument located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, do stop! Ecologically speaking, it is quite unique. Not even to mention the scenery. If you go, be on the lookout for “Apache tears” – rounded, clear pieces of obsidian. Hot lava created the “tent rocks” some 6 to 7 million years ago, and the “apache tears” were caused by obsidian rock abruptly cooling.

Images will much better tell the story of tent rocks! Follow me through the slot canyons deep into the park.

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IMG_20150221_123313_835Oh, the climb was so worth what we saw at the top! Thanks for entertaining me Meghan and Marc. It was great being with you and happy 27th birthday, Marc!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Lettuce Thank Them

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We are all one Energy Stream, but what makes the separations or distinguishes the differences is perspective. You are a unique and individual perspective.” ~ Abraham-Hicks

We all know people who even as young children have “marched to the sound of a different drummer” or “keep a different pace than their peers” or perhaps it could be said “they go their own sweet way.”

Some people have a greater tolerance and understanding for deviations in personalities  than others. Thankfully “creative spirit” is not frowned upon in children as much as when I was growing up. People have grown to appreciate and celebrate creative thinking more, and the gifts unique perspectives bring to the world.

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When I saw this image below, I couldn’t help but ponder what extraordinary thinking and perspective!  It’s really cool couture! Yep, it’s a composition made with lettuce and etching.

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Today  we are celebrating creative thinking and creative spirits on All Things Fulfilling.

If the energy is positively channeled, sometimes magnificent things become of children who go along looking at life a little differently. It is what makes life interesting!

See you tomorrow we will have more to say on ways to BE!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Film Friday: Outdoors Adventure

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Thanks to a posting I saw on www.cruxcollective.com I became aware of a documentary film of interest in the outdoor adventure movie category.

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Valley Uprising http://reelrocktour.com/ is a film about extreme athletes who climb to explore massive cliffs, crags, boulders and rocks in Yosemite National Park in high up places. They are a whole culture of adventurous souls who are the next generation of outdoorsmen who flock to this area and find their “religion and fulfillment” in rock climbing.

Red Bull Magazine says it’s “The best climbing film ever made.”

It won the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Just one award among several others.

Worthy of attention, I am sure, although I have yet to see it.  I am putting this film on my 2015 list of films not to miss! Sounds like a nice evening of adventure from the comfort of my living room. Yet, Yosemite is on my National Park Wish List to see upclose some day.

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This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her award-winning publication Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and her new book of stories Lessons of Heart and Soul,

visit this website http://www.allthingsfulfilling.com/about-the-book/.

Insights Into the Soul

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Love unlocks doors and opens windows that were not there before. ~ Mignon McLaughlin

“There’s so much to see,” I said to my husband as we took a pace that was much too quick for both of us through the Denver Botanic Gardens. We wanted to see it all. “As much as I am enjoying the Chuhily exhibit, the structural elements and hardscapes that are incorporated into this garden are amazing. You can really see it this time of the year, without all the flowers. There is a real art to having something of interest in the garden year round  when flowers are practically non-existent or ‘bare bones.’ They’ve done an amazing job.”

“I agree,” said Terry. His father was a landscaper, and both of us have an interest and eye for design in the garden. My dad was a custom home builder so I’ve always loved architecture. I find doors and windows incorporated into any kind of structures interesting.

Today on All Things Fulfilling, travel with me through some of my favorite doors and windows that I came across in the Denver Botanic Gardens. I captured these visual images over a very fulfilling trip during the Thanksgiving weekend.

A small key opens big doors – Turkish Proverb

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Commitment opens the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the right stuff to turn our dreams into reality. ~ James Womack

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Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.~ Joseph Campbell

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There are things known and things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception – Aldous Huxley

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 All the windows of my heart I open to this day ~ John Greenleaf Whittier

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 Let there be many windows to your soul, that all the glory of the world may beautify it ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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Happiness sneaks in through a door we didn’t know we left open.” ~ Unknown

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 When one door is closed, don’t you know another is open. ~ Bob Marley

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How can I know anything about the past or the future, when the light of the Beloved shines now. ~ Rumi

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Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.  ~Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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The heart of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. ~ Audrey Hepburn

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For more insight into the soul of what makes this woman’s heart tick, check out Sue Batton Leonard’s award-winning memoir “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.” http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

Glassworks in the Garden

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I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape – the loneliness of it – the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it – the whole story doesn’t show.” –  Andrew Wyeth

The remains of summer, now shades of gray, ocher, umber, gold, crimson, wheat, rust and garnet lay dead and dried covering the forest floor and spaces of the outdoor gallery of the Denver Botanic Gardens. Then Pow!  Just as you rounded another corner intense spurts of color were exhibited in creative settings picking up the energy of the gardens where the plants are bedded down for their long winter’s rest.

IMG_20141128_152131_052On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, my husband and I snubbed shopping the stores and malls  and visited the Denver Botanic Gardens. Even though we were visiting during one of the darkest seasons it was filled with glory, brightly highlighted by the work of international glass artist Dale Chihuly. Color was present in the natural landscapes, in ponds and in streams. It was a sight to behold.

For more information on Dale Chihuly and the publications that chronical his education and work as a young man on a Fulbright Fellowship at the Venini glass factory in Venice, Italy and subsequent forming of the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State, please visit these sites.www.pilchuck.com and http://www.chihuly.com.

We thoroughly enjoyed our day at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Our only regrets were that we hadn’t visited much earlier in the season also when the flowers were blooming and we could see the whole story.

Enjoy the journey through these visual images of the Chihuly exhibition, and return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. I will share something else that I found besides glassworks in the bare bones of the winter garden.

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This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

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Upping the Happiness Level

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A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing with him the image of a cathedral. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Did you know that there is scientific evidence that you can increase your own happiness level just by being grateful? Want to know more? Read this article. http://bit.ly/1yvpdSx.

Turns out all this talk about being thankful, is not a lot of bunk. There really are psychological and emotional benefits. Learning to appreciate the small things, rather than big things is even more important.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to start a year-long, daily list of small things that you are grateful for. The smaller the better! Why? Because that means you are paying attention to the little yet, important things in life.

My happiness quotient rises when I see things like these when I least expect it.

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different colored eggs

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heart shaped cloud

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Doug Adams Studio Commercial Photographer,Redmond, WA

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What tiny things turn you inside out with glee when you encounter them?

As we end this week of Thanksgiving go into the next holiday of the year with your heart wide open looking for the little things that mean a lot during the Christmas season.

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

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

 

 

 

 

 

Place of Beauty and Reflection

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The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” ― Henry Ward Beecher

Today, we will switch gears. It’s been snowing here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and the temperatures have become winter like. They’ve dipped below zero already. Before I let go of autumn I want to share one more group of fall photos.

On the last day of my book tour on the East Coast, my sister-in-law Grace said “I want to take you over to the Cylburn Arboretum.”

“Sounds good,” I said. If you know me, you know any place that has to do with trees and flowers piques my interest!” The Cylburn Arboretum didn’t ring a bell from my days of growing up in Baltimore but I was up for one more adventure before I headed back to Northwestern Colorado.

As we drove along, we came to some very familiar turf! “Oh, my gosh, Grace!Look at that. There’s Sinai Hospital!” ,” I said. “Wow – do I ever have memories of that place!”  http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Sinai/Sinai1.aspx. This is where I came for my pediatric check-ups after my “pioneering” heart surgery at Johns Hopkins.

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“The Cylburn is right across the street!” Grace said.

Now the largest public garden in Baltimore,  The Cylburn Mansion with it’s beautiful grounds were once owned by a Quaker businessman, Jesse Tyson, who was President of Baltimore Chrome Works (later Allied Chemical). He came from a family who made their fortune mining iron, chromium and copper. Jesse’s brother, James ran mining operations in the states of Pennyslvania, Georgia, California and Vermont. For more information, please visit this link. http://cylburn.org/about-us/history/.

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Today, The Cylburn Arboretum is also home to The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.http://bit.ly/112G6Zj. The greenhouses this time of year were filled with poinsettias along with other aquaponic plants.

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Oh, what a lovely place the Cylburn Arboretum is. Thank you, Grace. It was a delightful morning spent in such a quiet, peaceful, reflective place. It seems we are always surrounded by our big family when you and I are together! It was delightful being just with you! Even in October, the plantings and flowers at the Cylburn Arboretum were gorgeous.

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The Cylburn Arboretum was the last stop I made along the path of my East Coast book tour. How blessed I am to be alive to share my story. For more information on the award-winning memoir  “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected,” please visit this link.http://amzn.to/141aW6S. The publication is available in audio, paperback and e-book.