Home Grown Pleasures

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It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” – Lewis Grizzard

“Come, you’ve got to see this,” said my father before I’d even set my baggage down for my annual visit.”

What is it that’s so urgent? I thought. I ‘d expect an impatience in my mother but not my father. He is the more serene in personality of the two.

“You’ve got to see my heirloom tomatoes. Your brother Scott gave me jillions of seeds of all kinds.” My dad gave me a tour of his garden, with plants in all stages of development.


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Sundown for Labor Day

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What a glorious summer it has been.  It is the time of the year when I feel as if I have returned to days of my youth. An outpouring of memories come with that.

Over Labor Day weekend and for a few days next week I’d like to encourage our readers to check out some of the posts in the archives. You can look them up by category or scroll through the site. Something will catch your interest. There are over 1700 writings on All Things Fulfilling that have drawn 100,000+ viewers to this website.

Each of the postings is about something that has inspired me as a writer or as a human being to follow my own kind of bliss.

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See you back here a little later in the week. I promise. Refreshed, rejuvenated and with a wealth of ideas that will come together between now and the New Year.

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

Bubble Brain

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When a person starts to talk about their dreams, it’s as if something bubbles up from within. Their eyes brighten, their face glows, and you can feel the excitement in their words. ~John C. Maxwell

Have you ever read a little tidbit of information in a magazine, newspaper, or book and then said to your self  “Oh, I didn’t know that!”

The other day I picked up O Magazine and read that bubble gum decreases our anxiety and boosts our happiness. Cortisol, a stress hormone, is reduced after 20 minutes of chewing. Scientists speculate that chewing gum provides benefits to our bodies because our blood flow is changed as well as our heart rate, making us calmer.

Perhaps there is some truth to this notion. We baby boomers loved our Bazooka, and then there was the other brand, Wrigley’s that “doubled your pleasure and doubled your fun.” No wonder life was much simpler and and less stressful back then.

I know when I hear the lyrics to this song from my youth, my happiness quotient is increased. How about you, babyboomer, does this tune bring a smile to your face? Do you remember it?

If your bubble has burst, and you are looking for ways to decrease your stresses and increase your personal fulfillment, this article gives other suggestions. Check it out and see you tomorrow on  All Things Fulfilling.

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

Bubble Gum, Bobby Socks, Malt Shops

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The best things in life comes in threes like friends, dreams and memories.” ~ Mencius

It’s Friday! Let’s have a little more fun thinking of the past.

Yesterday’s blog motivated me to dig up some more nostalgia that I hope you baby boomers will enjoy. I don’t know about you but, when I think bobby socks, I automatically think bubble gum. Who among you remembers these lyrics?

Does your chewing gum loose it’s flavor on the bedpost over night?

Does your mother say to spit it out, and you swallow it in spite?

For those baby boomers who are considering writing memoirs and are having troubles getting started, I am giving you a few writing prompts in today’s blog. Here’s your homework over the weekend. Chose one of them and jot down your thoughts.

bubble gum and bobbie socks

I know, you don’t like homework and I can hear y’all whining now “What a drag! The teacher gave us a heap of homework over the weekend. I was going to go down to the malt shop for a frappe and hang out. Then to the sock hop. Now I’ll have to stay home and write!

Well, here is a little homework help. If the picture and lyrics weren’t enough to stir your memories, perhaps this video will.

Have a great weekend everybody. This weekend shake a leg and get your own T-W-E-E-T, T-W-E-E-T thing going.  See you right back here on All Things Fulfilling on Monday!

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

Protect and Defend Wholesome Values

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unity in spirti

 

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.

Reading and Happiness

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“Surrounded by darkness yet enfolded in light.” ~― Alan Brennert

There is an interesting article in the New Yorker Magazine about the connection between reading and happiness.  Researchers say when we read that there is a neurological process that takes place in our brain that transports us away from our everyday life to feeling as if we are in the place in the story, right along with the characters.

Bibliotherapy (reading books to make people feel happier) can be traced back to 1916 when the term was used in an article in the Atlantic Monthly. “Books,” the article said, can be used as a “stimulant or a sedative or an irritant or a soporific. The point is that it must do something to you, and you ought to know what it is. A book may be of the nature of a soothing syrup or it may be of the nature of a mustard plaster.”

palisades parkI had to laugh when I read that quote because I am currently reading a novel called Palisades Park by Alan Brennert. Through the story I have been transported to the famed amusement park in New Jersey and I have been eating hotdogs with mustard and sugary cotton candy in my imagination from the Midway. My mind has been spinning in circles as I’ve imagined the Cyclone roller coaster and the tilt-a-whirl and all the other rides. Every bit of the book has heightened my senses, as it’s stirred nostalgic memories of my youthful visits to the amusement park at Hershey Pennsylvania and Gwynn Oak Park in Baltimore.

Brennert’s book has done well in taking me to Palisades Park during the height of it’s popularity, in the 1930s. He has helped me understand the value of such entertainment in uplifting the American spirit during war times. All four of my senses have been fulfilled through his rich descriptive writing of tastes, sounds, smells and site of the historical times and events in his novel. You’ll hear the cacophony of calliope and shrieks. A sensational nostalgic summertime read!   Highly recommended.

If you are looking for other good reads that will transport you back to another historical time Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul, will remind you of the times when life was much simpler. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

 

Film Friday: Paper Towns

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Coming this Summer! Paper Towns

Paper TownsJohn Green’s novel Paper Towns ended up #5 on the New York Times Best Selling Books List and now this part mystery/part coming of age story will be coming to the big screen.

The story is about a young teenage boy who moves next door to a girl who he finds confusing and perplexing. When she disappears she leaves behind clues to her where-abouts. Quentin, her neighbor, and his friends are sent on chase to find her. Will  finding her end up in some kind of a life altering event?

The story is written by the author of No Fault in the Stars and the cast of the movie includes Nat Wolff (Quentin), Cara Delevingne (Margo), Halston Sage (Lacey). “Paper Towns debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and won the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery.

To read more about this movie which could be this summer’s blockbuster.

See you back here on All Things Fulfilling on Monday.  Have a great weekend.

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

Strength Comes with Setbacks

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The beautiful thing about setbacks is they introduce us to our strengths.” ~ Robin Sharma

A large population of the  American people were thrown into an unexpected financial “dither” when the economy came to a nearly screeching halt some eight years ago or so. “The crash” forced the American people to look at sustainability in different industries. Economists and “the think tank” has been studying how to creatively deal with a whole new economy and how best to survive it ever since.

The publishing industry looked long and hard at environmental issues associated with books in print. More sustainable ways of publishing, such as e-books and print-on-demand have been developed. The way music and audio books is now distributed is also more sustainable. Downloading digital files rather than shipping product has brought new ways of doing business to the industry.

Thankfully hardback and paperback books have not completely disappeared from the planet. I like reading from a paperback book as much as my neighbor. But with print-on-demand, huge warehouses full of large inventories of  books have been reduced, as have the numbers of books being discarded in landfills. Thats good news!

Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life is a great read for those who doubt that living with less is the key to happiness. The book may help you to adjust your thinking and put balance back in your life.

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As the economy rebounds, it will be interesting to see whether the American citizens will return to their old ways of being or whether a true “renaissance” has taken place. Have people fully realized that in order to live a fulfilling life, we can do it with less stuff? Will we continue to put our energies into finding sustainable ways of doing business? If so, there were great gifts in the downturn of the economy.

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.

 

Art Journeys

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“Art isn’t a result; it’s a journey. The challenge of our time is to find a journey worthy of your heart and your soul.“ ~ Seth Godin

Kimball art centerNo visit to Park City, Utah is ever complete unless I look in on the exhibits at the Kimball Art CenterOver the Moon and Under the Sea, the annual Wasatch Back Student Art Show, was hung during my most recent visit a couple of weeks ago. The KAC  is an educational art space that brings in “over $14 million in economic opportunity to their community” through their largest fundraiser every summer. Assistance from foundations, grants and individual and corporate sponsors provides support for this vital art resource located in historic Park City.

YouAreHere-exhibitionYou Are Here is the upcoming exhibit at the KAC scheduled for May 29 to August 23, 2015. I particularly enjoy theme-based art exhibits because it is interesting to see the creative solutions and persepectives that each artist brings to the subject.

It never ceases to amaze me the scope of young artistic talent in this country. The other evening I attended a pot luck dinner sponsored by the Steamboat Springs Art Council in my own community of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The walls at the “Art Depot” were decked out with local students’ artwork that could rival that of the students of the Wasatch. As I sat eating and enjoying the evening program I couldn’t help but be saddened to think how few young artists pursue art as a lifetime career, when perhaps they could be missing out on their most fulfilling path in life. Fear of being a stereotypical “starving artist” or following someone else’s wishes instead of their own desires prevents many individuals from continuing along an artistic journey throughout life.

Today on AllThingsFulfilling.com I’d like to share a sampling of work from “Over the Moon and Under the Sea.” Thanks to the KAC for allowing me to take these photographs to share with our readers on All Things Fulfilling.

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KAC8Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling.com. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected” or 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!

Girl Scout Margaux letter without last name

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.