Exploration Leads to Discovery

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“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

I walked into Exclusive Collections, an art gallery on Main Street in Breckenridge, Colorado expecting to see the usual – local photography, paintings of mountain landscapes, silver jewelry, pottery and the like. Wrong!

Very exclusive art decorated the walls, including these images which you will recognize immediately. Only 30 very select galleries across the country are given permission to handle this art. I’d like to thank Jon Peroutka, Assistant Gallery Director for allowing me to take photos for All Things Fulfilling and also for sharing his vast knowledge of the artists.seuss 1

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Among Dr. Seuss art were works from other seldom seen artists, whose work is so highly regarded due to the privileged art collectors who desire their work.  Daniel Merriam a master surrealist whom I was familiar with from Chalk Farm Gallery in Santa Fe, sculpture artist Angela Mia De La Vega, Daniel Ryan, and Ascenio are all represented by this Breckenridge Gallery. Tuan, a sculpture artist whose work is in the permanent collection of the White House was also among them. If you are not acquainted with these artists, take a look at their websites and their C.V’s. Very impressive!

This winter larger shows of Dr. Seuss art and sculpture artist Angela Mia De La Vega will be exhibited. Keep your eye on Exclusive Collections website for the exact dates.

Just as inspiring are the philanthropic interests of Exclusive Collections who also have other galleries in five other cities – Las Vegas (Caesar’s Palace), Laguna Beach, California, San Diego and Beverly Hills.

I ended my lovely day in “Breck” with a delicious burger at Blue Stag Saloon. I was taken by surprise when the waiter appeared with the bill inside the covers of a paperback book, published in the 1970s. A creative presentation and a perfect ending to a great day trip.

As you can see from yesterday’s pictures, snow has already arrived in the upper elevations of Colorado!

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

 

 

Balance of Power and Economy

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Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. ~ Jack Welsh

Beth Macy, author of the National Best Selling book Factory Man, held an author talk and book signing in Steamboat Springs, Colorado a few weeks ago. I attended and bought the book. It is a narrative non-fiction about Bassett Furniture Makers. The story is jam-packed with complicated family relationships, history and a whole community of people whose lives depended upon the livelihood of the textile and furniture industry in the town of Bassett, Virginia.

big_chair_little_chairAt the foundation of the story is a “full of himself” character who often strained the family dynamic with his leadership style. Add to that the exodus of industry – furniture products being manufactured overseas more cheaply, and the battle that ensued in saving an American town. What do you have? An impressive and fulfilling tale to tell.

A very well-researched book that award-winning journalist Macy writes in a compelling and “you’ve gotta hear this style.”

Business people in every industry at all eschelons of power will glean something from this story about a multi-generational family furniture dynasty.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. 

Protect and Defend Wholesome Values

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Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. ~ Mattie Stepanek

 

The mission behind All Things Fulfilling has always been a multi-media approach to sharing information about things that make my heart zing – what fills my heart with joy and happiness. That includes information on what has become my career and passion since 1998 – independent publishing.

I seldom make strong statements on All Things Fulfilling because we don’t need another platform on which to air controversial opinions all for the sake of being heard.

This statement I am going to make is about valuing human life and it really doesn’t matter where you stand politically. We need people in this country to discover and fill open spaces in their hearts with what brings them personal fulfillment, not evil and violence.

Dr. Ben Carson recently said about the recent occurrences in Charleston, South Carolina that the “heart of the matter is the heart.”   In my opinion, he was referring to what’s missing in the lives of the American people.

No matter where I find myself on the political spectrum, I can’t argue with Dr. Carson’s statement. The fact is we need more stories of people living by good, wholesome virtues. We can restore faith in one another by sharing stories that show the decency of the American people and how America’s fine character helped us to become a powerhouse nation.

Division is ugly. We need to get back to our roots and to a United States that our service men and women are proud and willing to protect and defend.

That’s enough about what we need. What can you give of yourself to help unify people?

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard, the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Good News, Dear Margaux

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May 27, 2015

Dear Margaux,

What a pleasant surprise when I opened my mailbox last week and found that the U.S. Postal Service had delivered this notecard from you!

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I am so glad you enjoyed my presentation “One Day in the Life of a Writer.” I was happy to learn that I am not the only one who wakes up in the middle of the night wanting to jump out of bed to write down ideas. It makes me feel better that you said the same thing happens to you. 

GS scribe badge I was not aware that my visit helped your troop earn your Scribe badges until I read the Girl Scout blog.

Tomorrow I am attending the  Girl Scout Fundraiser for adults at the Catamount Ranch and Club.  I am excited! I have my ticket! What a cool fundraising idea to have some of the best chefs around creating savory appetizers from sweet Girl Scout Cookies.  It will be interesting to see what the chefs will be serving up. I’d better take my camera! If your mom is coming, tell her I have saved a book for her and will bring it along incase she hasn’t yet ordered a copy.

Enjoy your outings, meetings and the friendships you have made through the Girl Scouts. I think I mentioned to your troop that I made life-long friends through scouting.

Keep on Writing! And remember the good news we shared about life “There are always flowers for those who want to see them!”

Sincerely,

Mrs. Sue Leonard (aka author Sue Batton Leonard)

Award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected 

and short stories – Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Fulfilling a Promise to Girl Scouts

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Good Morning! Happy May Day!

On March 24th I sent out a handwritten invitation to a very special group of youth –Girl Scout troop #12622. Here’s what the note card said:

You are cordially invited to “One Day in the Life of a Writer.” Join me at my writer’s desk in the Girl Scout meeting room on May 1, 2015  from 3:30 – 4:30 pm.

Well, the big day is here! I couldn’t be more excited to share my experiences of “One Day in the Life of a Writer.”  Here is what our program today looks like: 

  • A Peek into a Writers Day
  • A Tour of a Writers Desk
  • A Reading from an Authors Award-Winning Book

Girl Scout promise

Did you know the World Association of Girl Scouts is 10,000,000 “girl guides” strong and there are troops in 146 countries?I’ve asked each girl from troop #12622 to bring a question that they’ve always wanted to ask a writer but have never had the chance. On Monday, the questions and my answers will be published so Girl Scouts in other countries can learn more about what it’s like to be a writer.

I was a Brownie and a Junior Girl Scout in the 1960s where I grew up – in the heart of where north, meets south, on the Mason-Dixon Line in the State of Maryland. I can hardly wait to meet Colorado Junior Girl Scout troop #12622  – ages 9 and 10.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling on Monday because I promise to do my best to publish the girl’s questions to the author along with my responses.

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 and Soul.

Girl Scouts  where girls grow strong

 

 

 

 

Aired at the Farm, Refreshingly

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 “Feed your faith and starve your doubts.”Kenneth E. Hagin Sr.

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law, Grace, and I visited the Prigel Family Creamery http://www.prigelfamilycreamery.com/ in Glen Arm, Maryland to pick up some of their award-winning “Best of Baltimore” ice cream. The farm is located in horse country, near My Lady’s Manor, Maryland in Baltimore County, north of the city. It’s in the area of the state where the notable “steeple chases” take place every April. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, think fox and hound hunts. http://www.marylandsteeplechasing.com/main/mlm/datetime.htm

As we drove up to the farm, I was surprised by what I saw. A business that unabashedly shares their belief on a sign etched in stone right on the foundation of the building. You can’t miss it.

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“How refreshing is that?” I thought. So many businesses and individuals in this day and age would rather not display signs of the American values and principles that our country was founded upon – a sad state of affairs, I think, if I can be honest.

As everyone knows farming is one of the most difficult occupations there is. Hard work, unforeseeable challenges and the unrelenting task of finding ways to be a sustainable business is all part of the job. It also takes faith to be a farmer because they are constantly at the mercy of unpredictable weather!

Today during this week of gratefulness, I’d like to dedicate this blog on All Things Fulfilling to farmers and ranchers everywhere who keep us fed with fresh produce and other “fruits” of their labor and production – meat, eggs, grains, cheese, poultry, maple syrup and so much more. When we sit down to the Thanksgiving table on Thursday, let us remember where the food we eat comes from and those who produce it.

Here are a few more photos from my quick stop at Prigel’s, along the trail of my East Coast book tour, which I am so very grateful for.

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This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, which has won three awards, please visit this site.http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

 


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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 .