The Art of Antiquity

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Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. ~ Lionel Hampton

Today we will continue our trip down Main Street in Berlin Maryland through images. The biggest treasures you will find in visiting each of the well-organized and well-displayed antiquities stores in the Antiques Capitol of the Eastern Shore on the Chesapeake will be your own recollections and reflections that will be stirred up. Most likely flashbacks will be associated with your childhood if you are a baby boomer.

Besides being The Coolest Small Town in America, Berlin has been the location for several movies. More about that in tomorrow’s blog along with information about why the town has earned a great reputation. We will be discussing some common elements between Berlin, Maryland and the town that I’ve called home for the past seven years, Steamboat Springs, Colorado. These characteristics help a community’s vitality and a community becomes notable for it’s uniqueness.

If you really want to step back in time, listen to the You Tube video as you scroll through these images. Thanks to all the businesses in Berlin who allowed me to take interior photographs. These pictures were captured at the following antique shops: Town Center Antiques, Uptown Antiques, Culver’s Antiques, Stuarts Antiques or Pitts Street Antiques.

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IMG_20150728_095850_861 Gum ball autog

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antique globes lights signed

 

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Amusement ride signed

Rest on Sunday

Hope you had a grand time, and we will see you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling when we finish up this three -part blog series on the community of  Berlin, Maryland.

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Thirsty Thursday: Art for Good

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chula beauregardOn this Thirsty Thursday, I will be sharing an interview I had with artist Chula Beauregard regarding her Art for Good Project. The good news  is Chula’s artwork goes to  support a humanitarian concern that she feels very strongly about. Read the interview to learn more about this young artist.

Chula Beauregard: Art for Good Project

 

 

Sue: Chula, back in the fall of 2011, I featured an article on All Things Fulfilling about the influences you have had as a young artist. We talked about your plein air and mural paintings. For those who missed it, here is the link. https://allthingsfulfilling.com/2011/11/08/influences-and-inspiration/.

Today, I’d like to discuss your Art for Good Project. But first, I’d like to ask you about your unique name – Chula. It has me intriqued.  Is it a family name or does it have special meaning?

Chula: It was a nick-name given to me by my Uncle Peter who had recently returned from studying in Mexico. At the time, it meant “sweetie” or “cutie.” My uncle influenced my life in another way when he served in the Peace Corps in the Solomon Islands. Two of his siblings also served: in Liberia then Micronesia, and Venezuela. You could say I come from a Peace Corps family!

Sue: Most of your paintings that I have seen at Wild Horse Gallery  have been beautiful Colorado landscapes. I know from our previous discussion that you particularly enjoy plein air painting over studio painting because of your love of the outdoors.

The images in your Art for Good project have a different kind of focus. For those who have not seen them, can you tell us a little about the art in this project?

Chula: I served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, Central Africa (1998-2000) in the agriculture program, making school gardens and raising rabbits. Along with these projects, I spent two hours every day making art. The images in Art for Good come from my collection of art from those years.

Sue: Why was it important to you to support the mission of this project through your art?

Chula: The stories and images I was seeing from the Ebola crisis really hit a chord in me. It looked so much like my village and the people I knew in Gabon. I imagined my good friends suffering like that, and it inspired me to do something. I thought about the art I had, and I realized that I could create something to raise money to send to the Ebola efforts.

Sue: How can others join you in supporting your Art for Good project?

Chula: One great thing about this project is that people can make a difference and also get something beautiful to share with others or put in their homes. All proceeds from the blank note cards and postcards goes towards the Ebola response. You can buy these cards and also giclee prints on my website www.chulabeauregard.com/art-for-good or at https://chula-beauregard-fine-art.myshopify.com/

Sue: What did you come away with as a Peace Corp volunteer that made the biggest impact on your life?

Chula: It is hard to quantify the impact my time in Gabon had on my life. It essentially helped form who I am today. The sense of gratitude I have for things like running water certainly has an everyday influence. It also helps me see the humanity in people from different cultures. I can imagine their families and their everyday lives.

Sue: I know you are the mother of two young boys. Do you see any artistic interests emerging in either one of them?

Chula: They both know how to be in an art gallery! They certainly have an appreciation for art and beauty in our world. My older son enjoys painting, especially mixing colors. They take after their dad, too, being oriented towards the mechanical and craftsmanship.

Sue: Is there anything that you hope your children will learn from you through your artwork?

Chula: One thing they are learning is that I am not just a mom but a person. I have passions and aspirations in my art career. I am grateful that it is a flexible job, so I can still be there for them. We are all enjoying the life of adventure that goes with landscape painting.

You, too, can help to support the e-bola crisis through the Art for Good project. Visit http://www.chulabeauregard.com/art-for-good/. In February, Chula will be at the Vail Beaver Creek World Cup ski races, painting en plein air. Her art work is also represented by The Cogswell Gallery in Vail, Colorado. Here is the event calendar for the World Cup Ski Races in Colorado. http://vailbeavercreek2015.com/events/#event-calendar. Stop by and say hello to Chula if you are in the area. Or if you are in Steamboat, Chula’s paintings are part of the permanent collection at Wildhorse Gallery in Steamboat. You can see them any time of year! 

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 Storie: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Connections to First Chapter

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“In the first chapter of Genesis it is written that God placed mankind in the Garden of Eden. God knew from the very beginning that this perfect environment would be the key source for mankind’s healing and health.” ~ Dr. David Stewart author of Healing: God’s Forgotten Gift http://bit.ly/1rTR4LR.

An hour or two  in the National Botanic Gardens in Washington, DC is enough to uplift anyone’s spirit. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing horticultural wonders from all over the world inside and outside this beautiful structure last weekend.

Many of the plants I saw have healing properties that have been known for centuries. Others are yet to be discovered. http://www.deborahkingcenter.com/blog/2014/02/25/the-healing-powers-of-plants/

For instance, digitalis is a plant that for centuries has been used for heart ailments. However, today it is synthetically produced for many reasons. One is the ease of regulation of dosage. http://science.jrank.org/pages/2088/Digitalis.html.

Why has our world relied on so many synthetically produced drugs when much of what we need to heal is already at our dispose? I must ask. Some medicinal plants are not indigenous to areas where large populations of people roam. So, I suppose harvesting them to use in the healing arts industry may be too costly.

I ponder that in other cases a choice between harvesting beautiful plants  for pharmaceuticals and risking that they will become endangered, and no longer available for visual enjoyment and soulful pleasures may be a consideration.

Today I’d like to share some images from the medicinal horticultural section of the National Botanical Gardens. Additional photos will be shared over the next few weeks of flowers from a spectrum of colors, as well as some wonderful architecture and art from our National Portrait Gallery.

Stay tuned to this site – I have all kinds of more fulfilling things to share with you of things I discovered in Washington, DC over the weekend.

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

What a gorgeous building and grounds at the National Botanical Gardens

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Plenty inside the National Botanical Gardens to keep this avid gardener interested and uplifted!

Below: Aromatherapy – pots of spices from around the world – I indulged myself frequently at the “smelling pots”

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To read an article on the manufacturing of digitalis, a drug that so many heart patients rely on visit this link.http://science.jrank.org/pages/2088/Digitalis.html.

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Water is a magical substance. The health of all life is irrevocably connected with water. Find yourself around it, immerse yourself in it, and drink it with gratitude. ~ Unknown

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For a great resource about healing plants, please visit this site http://m.steamboattoday.com/news/2014/sep/14/local-herbalist-releases-first-ebook-series/

All Photos were taken by Sue Batton Leonard inside the National Botanic Gardens. Please read copyright statement on this site on the right hand side of the page.

Sojourns in Reaching a Dream

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After my book presentation on April 4 to the Yampa Valley University Women, Beverly, who is a group member and someone who was in the audience, came up to me and said “Sue, I get the feeling you have been on a real journey with this book.” “Have I ever,  Beverly, ” I replied smiling. I was thrilled that she understood the amount of work that went into it and how I was feeling, “There is no denying it,” I said.

Between writing about the publishing project throughout the process on this blog All Things Fulfilling and bringing the story alive on paper, it has been a real sojourn of sorts. It is as if I have been up in a hot air balloon looking down, and describing the publishing landscape has it has changed. I have soared as I have gone along for a ride with it.

The-Journey-Is-What-Brings-Us-Happiness-Not-The-DestinationI, like many others, was not aware when I started my memoir writing project how this would lead to enormous personal growth in so many ways that I had not anticipated. A lot of the development has come as a result of doing whatever it took to do it right, independently.

I’ve faced and recorded into words the  most poignant moments in my life, tackled my shyness about reading the manuscript out loud while having it critiqued by a whole bunch of professional writers. Then I faced the fact that I need to become someone who is comfortable with public speaking, if I really want to continue to achieve my dreams of traveling around and vocally sharing my retrospective thoughts.

I have had the great fortune of being in an environment that is very supportive of writers who helped me to achieve my mission. I would like to state my gratitude to anyone who has helped me along the way. You know who you are, and so do I. I consider each one of you as one of many “personal angels.”

My advice to anyone who is embarking on an independent publishing process – do whatever it takes to make it happen.  Don’t hold back, don’t limit yourself to what you are willing to do or not. In other words, remove all stops! And most of all seek out the help of others who can help you along the way.

What is the greatest lesson I have learned throughout the process? By maintaining faith, and being willing to open myself up to all possibilities, my dream has become a reality!

If you didn’t visit this site on Monday, it was very special day on All Things Fulfilling!  I revealed a chapter of the audio book version of  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It is posted permanently on About the Book Page for your listening enjoyment. Listen to it as many times as you wish so you can get a sense of the voice in the story.

Road to Providence

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“All that I know of tomorrow is that providence will rise before the sunrise.” ~ Jean Baptiste Lacordaire

If you know me, you know I feel very fortunate. Some of my pre-publication readers have remarked that my life must have been very difficult as a young child. Yes, I suppose it was but it’s all about how you look at it. I’ve learned all kinds of life lessons from my past experiences that I will share in my book.

providence roadMany people write memoirs for cathartic reasons. A cleansing of the emotions, if you will. Often stories attract interest because they are filled with regrets, grit and grime. Mine is vastly different – it’s about healthy attitudes, influences and outcomes. Not a “whine-fest.” Writing about our past is not always safe or pretty, however, some people write for a release and admission of gratitude. According to Jerry Waxler, M.S. memoirs have become a more popular form of non-fiction for readers in recent years. http://bit.ly/LnTUGP.

When writing about my life memories, everything fulfilling or not got stirred up. I began recalling songs, hairstyles,  our family’s automobile travels and school yard activities. Even conversations with significant others that influenced my life and things I learned about human relationships came out throughout the writing process. I remembered an awful lot, yet the things that brought me faith and joy  were more enduring than any of the bad stuff. Thank God for that!

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

Scratching the Memory Bank

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Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. ― William Arthur Ward

Illustration of Mother and Children Carrying Thanksgiving Dinner by Douglass Crockwell

What memories this nostalgic image of Thanksgiving stirs up. I will forever be grateful for how my mother so beautifully pulled off our childhood holidays. Tradition ruled in our house.

Just setting the table for a holiday meal was a chore in and of itself. All the good dishes came out of the china cabinet, and the silverware had to be shinned to a spit and polish before it was approved to go on the table. Setting the table with one fork, knife and spoon was almost considered blasphemous back in the era of my growing-up (1950’s and 60’s). My twin sister and I were well-schooled in the setting of a proper table and how to place an assortment of forks, knives and spoons in order of use.

As if getting the holiday dinner table set with a huge spread of food made from scratch wasn’t enough for a mother to handle, the entire family had to be dressed in grand fashion. Mom donned her most beautiful dress, heels, nylons, pearls and spritzed herself with perfume saved for special occasions. My father dressed his spiffiest, so as not to be outdone by his wife. Then she dressed all four of us kids to the hilt. But not before the clothing was properly ironed til the creases, pleats and darts were sharp, crisp and straight. My little brothers wore clip on bow ties for special occasions. My sister and I donned our fancy holiday dresses, with crinoline petticoats underneath.

My mother wasn’t being pretentious by dressing us all to the nines. It was how most families dressed back then for Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. We wouldn’t have dreamed of showing up at the table in anything less.

This Thanksgiving I want to thank my mother for all of the fulfilling memories that I have of our childhood holiday celebrations. As a mother myself, I know that the matron of the family usually does the lion’s share of the work. All these decades later, my mother still feeds anyone who shows up at her house. And she is still the perfect hostess with the “mostest.”

Happy Thanksgiving to All from West to East Coast of these United States! We are grateful  for your interest in this blog and in  www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. We will be featuring a newly released film just in time for the Christmas season.

Beautifully Aged Specimens

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Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

We all know someone who looks age in the face, and is out to prove every stereotypical trait of aging wrong. In fact, their determination to show others that being over age 50 is no reason to slow down, has become their fulltime job. Working at aging gloriously brings personal fulfillment to many men and women. After all, we take little notice of the fact that we are aging if we are busy enjoying ourselves.

There have been all kinds of studies that identify how influences to the human spirit affects the way we live. http://bit.ly/1hENNXn. Resilience and determination are just a few character traits that truly make a difference. Humor, gratitude, spirituality and creativity in our lives play important roles in the aging process, also.

We can often identify within minutes of meeting someone whether they have “esprit de la vie” or not. You can tell by the words they speak, the inflections in their voice and their outlook for the world we live in.

Juicy tomatoes_The Juicy Tomatoes Guide to Ripe Living after 50, by Susan Swartz is a look at women who take on the idea of living with spunk seriously. This book is written with cheeky attitude and humor,  which might annoy some readers but the tone matches the spirit of the book. It is fun, lively and a great gift for someone is overly concerned with growing older and the physical changes that naturally take place as we age.

Positive and negative attitudes affect not only our human experience, but also that of our children. My parents, who are well into their eighties and still maintaining their own house and gardens, are aging like heirloom tomatoes – a variety that has been passed down, through several generations of a family because of it’s valued characteristics.

How my parents have lived their lives has given me many reasons to be very grateful that I am their daughter. Mom and Dad, you are ripe with beauty – you’re wonderful specimens.

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

 

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.

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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.

Look for the Lessons

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I woke up this morning and turned on the news. The first image I saw were two girls kissing the ground they walked on. The women were among the 4200 passengers who had just gotten off the cruise liner that caught fire. There are many things to be thankful for  – the vacationers were rescued, there was no loss of life and the vessel was brought safely to shore after days of  people living in horrible, unsanitary conditions. 

Storms-Of-Life-Come___-Adijust-Your-Sails_1As I listened to stories of passengers recounting the incident, time and time again, I heard that the employees of Carnival Cruise Line did all they possibly could to keep calm and fulfill the needs of the passengers within their abilities. 

Sadly, there are people in this world who live in squalor everyday, and their lives are shipwrecks. They are unable to escape, however, they still manage to find a sense of inspiration and gratefulness in their lives. Attached is an article on how to find the positive when life challenges us with difficult situations.http://mayocl.in/12RaDIt.

Although I am sure it was very difficult to find the good  at the time, the 4200 passengers have returned home. Perhaps many have a renewed sense of gratitude for their lives. From here on out, their perspectives on life and their response to the vacation gone horribly wrong will all be about their attitudes.

Visit us again tomorrow on 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.

Fulfilling Services and Needs

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Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”  – William Arthur Ward 

The holiday season is in full swing, the signs are there – decorations, holiday fairs, parties, an appointment book that has become ragged and torn. A sure sign it is time to ring out the old and bring in the new. Increased activity of UPS, Fed Ex and other delivery trucks on the highways and byways, indeed indicates Christmas is near. 

On this blog site, we often recognize the work of artists and crafts persons working in a variety of mediums – writers, poets, painters, sculptors, filmmakers, potters, musicians and more. But there is another important form of art that we tend to forget – the art of serving others. 

 If you have ever worked in a service industry, or lived in a resort area, you become acutely aware of those who serve. These folks carry an extra burden at this time of year. In light of that fact, I would like to pause today to recognize people in all sectors of the service industry. They deserve our gratitude! 

  • Heartfelt thanks to nurses, doctors, hospice workers, and all medical staff.
  • Oodles of praise for mail carriers and delivery persons
  • Obliged to those who wait tables, to housekeepers, concierge and valets, too.
  • Respect for chefs, plumbers, electricians, builders, excavators and more.
  • Rewards for military servicemen and women who have ever kept us safe – well deserved
  • Abundance of kudos for repair shops, retail employees, gas station attendants, grocers.
  • Yule Tide Greetings to those service people I have missed such as the clergy. Many of you, because you serve, may miss holiday celebrations with families or friends. We greatly appreciate that you are fulfilling a need for the work  that you do. We desperately need people like you!

 Don’t forget to give a token of thanks to those who serve. Let them know that you appreciate what they do, over the holidays and each and every day of the year, too!

Return tomorrow for more independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.