Skits, Swaps and Songs

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We all have a place in the circle of life. Always remember who you are.” ~ Unknown

Who remembers singing rounds? I had forgotten all about that form of choral singing until I attended a Girl Scout Alumni Reunion the weekend before last. We sang many familiar campfire songs from my childhood. Skits were well done by some of the youth troops. They told stories about the G.S. founder Juliette Gordon Low and the history of the organization and cookie sales.


GS Sign in

I took SWAPS to trade with new friends who have found the same kind of meaningful connections through the Girl Scouts that I did many decades ago. If you have read my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, you probably already know from my chapter about the Girl Scouts what I took to trade with others.

I’d like to share a few pictures of the SWAPS I received from new acquaintances I acquired over the course of the evening. Each troop had their own swaps that they created to give to others.

GS Swaps

The swaps below were made by Sharon, a friend who is a beautician and hair stylist. She is an Alumni who enjoyed being a member of the youth organization during the same era as me. She made these swaps from emery boards, gauze and a little ribbon. The paper doll heads were made from clip art. Very creative and the girls who were lucky enough to receive them were so excited!

sharons swaps

The s’mores we ate around the campfire were gooey and yummy. I left the event singing a little ditty that baby boomers will remember if you were a member of the Girl Scouts.

I’ve got something in my pocket, it belongs across my face.
I keep it very close at hand, in a most convenient place.
I’m sure you couldn’t guess it if you guessed a long, long while.
So I’ll take it out and put it on, it’s a Great Big Brownie Smile!

A little trivia: The Brownie Smile Song was written by Harriet F. Heywood of Gloucester, MA in the late 1920’s when she was working as a Brownie Girl Scout troop leader.

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. If you have an Eagle Eye, you will see something in tomorrow’s blog that you’ve seen in some of my blogs and in my writings. I was pleased when I saw them hanging on the walls unexpectedly in an art space in Breckenridge Colorado when I recently visited.

 

 

“Serving Children of the World”

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It is Tuesday, June 17.  Today I am scheduled to speak with the Kiwanis Club http://www.kiwanis.org/ of Steamboat Springs, Colorado about my new publication “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.”

kiwanis 2The mission of Kiwanis is “serving children of the world.” I have dreams of reaching children around the world who have health issues through my story. Sick children and their parents need to hear stories of hope. My memoir will uplift many people. And a little humor has never hurt a soul so anyone can enjoy the book. As one reader said “Gift of Lifetime is indeed that…. a story of how the simplest words can have the most impact on our lives…”

There have been many studies in the medical field, in recent years, about the connection between healing and living with a positive spirit and humor. My memoir presents an example of how one person’s outcome in life was affected by having what I consider to be all the right conditions that are necessary to live a fulfilling life despite a very difficult start.

Thanks to the independent publishing industry and the ability to sell books on the internet, my book will reach readers from all over this country and places around the world who will take away from the story the message that we can learn a lot from people of all faiths, color and creed.

My greatest wishes for the book, is that parents around the world will learn of “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected” and share the upcoming audio book with their sick children to give them hope, and a little laughter to lift their spirits.

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Thank you Kiwanis Club of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It’s great being in your company today and I am grateful I am able to share my thoughts with you!

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Sue’s memoir See you tomorrow on http://www.allthingsfulfilling.com.

 

Texas Art Exploration

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All art is a kind of exploring. To discover and reveal is the way every artist sets about his business. ~Robert Flaherty

header_ArtistsGalleryAugust2013Today I continue my interview of artist Sandra Sherrod, an artist who splits her time between Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Houston, Texas.

Sue:  Sandra, what medium of art would you like to try, but haven’t tapped into it?

Sandra: Sculpture. I may try to do that when I am in Houston at a place called Glassell. http://www.mfah.org/visit/glassell-school/.  When I am in Houston I take all kinds of art courses. I am always learning.

In Houston, my art sales are stronger, particularly among women, because my pieces have a feminine side to it. In Steamboat, it seems the more masculine art sells a little better.

Sue: Interesting.  Do you stick with one project and finish it or do you jump from project to project?

Sandra: My rule of thumb is to make 15 – 20 pieces and explore an idea. When I get bored with it, I jump to something else. History has shown that both kinds of artists, those that work in only one medium and multi-dimensional artists can be successful. No matter what, you have to tweak your ideas every so often and not overwork it.

Sue:  What do you like to create the most?

Sandra: Writing is my favorite. As you know writing a book can take years whereas with other forms of art you can complete and get it out quicker to be seen by others. The satisfaction comes more immediately.

Sue:  What are you writing now, anything?

Sandra: I’ve been writing about 1,000 words a day. I just completed a series of eight books in the fantasy genre. They’re intergalactic stories. I am looking for a publisher so I can be involved in other creative projects. The series is geared to age nine to twelve.  I am also writing magical realism – earth stories with magical things happening. These are for young adult to adult.

Sue:  Seems like I’ve heard you read some of them at the Steamboat Writers Group.http://steamboatwriters.com/.

Sandra: Yes, I have read some of them to the group.

Sue: I look forward to seeing them published.

For a long time I’ve wanted to sit down and talk with Sandra about her life as an artist. Since  she was “manning the gallery” the day I visited with her, I had the added bonus of learning more about all the other artists The Artists Gallery of Steamboat represents.

Thank you, Sandra. You’d also make a wonderful art educator because you are so knowledgeable and your heart and soul is really in it!

Sandra’s jewelry was featured at The Artist Gallery in Steamboat throughout August, but it will continue to be displayed – stop in and see it. You can also communicate with her about ordering through her website. www.SandraSherrod.com.

This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. See you on Monday.

Fulfilling an Interest

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Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it. ~ Unknown

As a representative of We Write Steamboat and a volunteer for World Book Night, I stopped by the Colorado State University Extension of Routt County http://bit.ly/16qQLxr  to give out The Language of Flowers: A Novel

to volunteers in the agriculture department.

I took time to explain to the recipients that the mission of the World Book Night is to spread a love of literacy and I also gave them a brief history of the organization.

book_day 003 (2)We purposely waited until May Day to give out a portion of the books from World Book Night to this group because a gathering of CSU Extension volunteers had just completed their Master Gardeners program, and were holding a breakfast burrito fundraiser.

book_day 002When given the book, gratefulness was the overriding sentiment for a publication that so well-suited the volunteers interests. A few people  I gave books to worked in another part of the office building, but were there to support the fundraiser and get breakfast. One person walked out with me as I left, and said “I have to get back to work, but I can’t wait to peak between the covers!” I had explained to her that there was a glossary at the back of the book that lists flowers and  the emotions that are associated with each. During the Victorian period, giving flowers communicated feelings in relationships, the art of choosing an “appropriate flower” was very important.

My hope, as a World Book Volunteer, is that The Language of Flowers will help the volunteers of CSU Agriculture Department learn a fascinating new aspect about plants they had known little about before.

Happy Reading CSU Volunteers! I hope the snow we received on May Day disappears quickly so you can get out in the gardens and enjoy planting your passion!

Return tomorrow to  All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views  are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Second Annual World Book Night

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Book GiverWe shouldn’t teach great books, we should teach a love of reading. ~ B.F. Skinner

World Book Night was yesterday. As a representative of our local independent publishers networking group, We Write Steamboat, I was a Book Giver. Our group received a box of free books from the organizers of WBN titled The Language of Flowers.

I visited a senior citizen’s housing complex that offers a small collection of books for it’s residents. I also stopped by the Doak Walker Care Center, an “Eden Alternative Home” for senior living. It has the distinction of having national recognition, and it also houses a small library for its residents. I added to each of  their acquisitions. http://bit.ly/XUp3EG. My next stop was the Steamboat Community Center where seniors go for a noontime meal, and passed out some free books there.

A  group of people who will be volunteering their time to ready a community garden for planting as soon as the weather is conducive, will also be the recipients of the book.Right now, the ground is still frozen and there is still snow in northwest Colorado.  The title will be appealing to their interests.

The mission of World Book Night is to promote literacy. There were 6,000 towns and cities and 25,000 volunteers who participated in yesterday’s event which began in the United Kingdom two years ago. To read more about this growing organization, please visit http://www.us.worldbooknight.org .

I enjoy being involved with this event because it feels good to give to others in the community. If you live in an area where accessibility to good books is a problem, sign up to be a Book Giver next year and help distribute donated titles to your own town or city.

The objective is that when the recipients are finished with the book, if they do not want to keep the book for their home library, they will pass it along to someone else who find personal fulfillment from reading it. Happy Reading!

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Living and Learning

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“Writing and learning and thinking are the same process.” ~ William Zinsser

I had a lovely afternoon on Friday with a woman who fully embraces the concept of “life long learner.” I met her two years ago at a retreat sponsored by the United Methodist Women. Right away I was inspired by the interesting contributions she was making to our group discussions and wanted to know more about her. I’ve since learned she is an artist and a writer who is still avidly interested in the world and learning at eighty-three years of age. So young at heart, she still is in command of her own life. She swims at our local hot springs pool, volunteers weeding gardens and has a fulfilling spiritual life.

Last week, it was fun to finally see her contemporary paintings and discuss the thought process that she put into each composition. She interestingly explained the symbolism she incorporated into each of her paintings and how it related to where she was along her life path when she created them.

I took along an independently published art DVD to share with her that I knew she’d appreciate, a portrait painting demonstration, called “The Captain’s Portrait” by master painter Richard Schmid
 http://bit.ly/103RYtr. For me watching it brought back wonderful memories of 2001. I was in the audience the day the video was filmed and was attending my first live painting demonstration of a world-renown artist.

elderly paintingFrom our back and forth exchange of discussion as we watched the film together, it was evident that this woman has been a life-long art student. Although her works of art may not hang in top galleries throughout the country, she has won “Best in Show” awards. She seems to have a wonderful grasp of the concepts that were discussed in the film such as shape, form, values of light and dark, line, textures and color harmony. I shouldn’t be surprised, from the moment I met her she seemed very astute.

Just before we parted company , she told me how she has a void in her heart. Some years ago, the group of local painters who used to gather regularly at the Steamboat “Art Depot” and paint together, disbanded. She said “its much harder these days to find motivation to paint, and she misses the camaraderie greatly.”

I was reminded, once again, why art matters to young and old alike and to myself! This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Hiking the PCT with Strayed

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You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
~ Dr. Seuss Oh the Places You’’ll Go

This week I’ve hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s a place I never thought I’d visit. I hiked it with author Cheryl Strayed
and saw bears, rattlesnakes, a Texas longhorn bull and more.  At times throughout the journey I felt desperation set in, unimaginable fright, gratitude, inspiration, relief and grief.  Strayed’s thoughts of accomplishing what she set out to do, were familiar.

crossroads in the woods

No, Strayed was not alone  in her story, good authors always find the company of readers who appreciate what their characters have gone through and can often relate. I decided to travel along with Strayed by reading her book, so that when she shows up in Steamboat, at the Bud Werner Memorial Library http://bit.ly/16nUuYj  on April 11th, I’ll able to envision exactly what the Pacific Crest Trail looked like.

Wild is exactly the kind of book that reminds us why even when things are scary and uncertain, it is best to push through it, and accomplish the goal. Then we can look back and find the lessons within, and how challenges help us to rebuild our life.

Seuss’ words of advice are well-meaning. We need to do better job of teaching children there are so many fulfilling places to see and things to do in this world, and not to let obstacles stop them.  Books teach children and adults that we  never travel alone, there’s always a path thats been traveled and beaten before us.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance

You’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,

that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.”

~ Dr. Seuss Oh the Places You’ll Go

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.