Settling In Amid Peaks and Valleys

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Last week I promised that I would share my impressions of moving from the northeastern part of the U.S. to the town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I came site unseen since my husband relocated several months prior to my coming.

My original poem begins on the East Coast – and this segment picks up as my husband, son and I drove into Steamboat in a fierce snowstorm the day after Thanksgiving, five years ago.

(The form is a little different due to digital formatting challenges) but never-the-less every word is as I wrote it).

Settling In ~ by Sue Batton Leonard

Relocating, arriving like dandruff on shoulders,

a sprinkling of sugar, dusting about

dancing, leaving polka dots on

peaks and in deep valleys,

marking the panorama, a white capped day

ill-timed to some, peaceful, sparkling to others

trailing like ribbons of baby’s bonnet

freed from summer heat, a white capped day

insulating earth from hoarfrost of winter

playground for skiers, aggravation for vehicles

skidding and sliding, driving the

business of living

steep and deep canyons, icing tiered

high, champagne to play in, romantic visions,

a Christmas rose, welcome alpine

guests of a white capped day

effervescent spirits, chilling exteriors

covered, absolute abundance

paralysis, blocked highways and byways

igloo walls till spring thaw

children naively playing, blizzard conditions

pompoms on powder puffs, feathery scarves,

woodstove fed and red-hot fired,

melting spikes of a white capped day

sit and snuggle, aside a blazing fire

top the chocolate with whipped cream. A cherry.

till next fall, remember, a white capped day ~

whipped creme and cherry

Wishing You and Yours a Happy Holiday Season! Do return tomorrow to

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Phased by the Moon

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Aim for the moon. If you miss, you might hit a star.” ~ W. Clement Stone

I’ve been tossing and turning for the past few nights, thinking it was anticipation of the holiday season and my preparations for it. I don’t suffer from sleep disorders except when there is a full moon. My circadian rhythm gets thrown off. This is the last full moon of the year 2013, called The Long Night’s Moon and it leads to the coming of the Winter Solstice (on Saturday, December 21).

Appropriate to the lunar cycle, let’s take a look at movies about the moon on this Film Friday. If you follow this link, there’s a list of 25 films that have celestial themes. http://bit.ly/JSRr6E.

I look forward to the coming of the Winter Soltice on Saturday! My husband will be on his way back from his travels. He’s been coaching ski racing at the World University Games in Italy.

Our son will be arriving along with his gal, a delightful guest to have over Christmas. It’s seems like it’s been a moon’s age since I’ve seen him but it’s actually been 7 full moon cycles. They’ll find fresh perspectives by taking a break from their work. http://bit.ly/QiidY4. There are all kinds of fulfilling things to do in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. They’ll be over the moon, skiing their hearts out.

Next week my blogging will be little less frequent so I can enjoy this precious time with my family. We’ll be all tucked in under one roof for the holidays. How sweet that will be.

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Do return on Monday, to the blog of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

 

Putting Faith in a Move

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You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.” ~- Mary Manin Morrissey

tell us your storyThis winter marks my fifth year in Steamboat Springs, CO. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I like the positive energy of the people – they seem to live with purpose and intention rather than just going through the motions. Healthy mind, body and spirit is the focus in this place of awesome beauty. Besides recreation, the arts and entrepreneurship reign supreme. The people are so friendly and there is always something to do in this community. The wonderful library is a hub of activity. I’ve gotten quite involved all around.

Friends and family ask me all the time “Do you think you will live there the rest of your life?” Since I can’t answer that, I’ve decided I’ll live with the attitude that my mother-in-law used to have. She always said “you live till you die.” Alrighty, then! So I’ll say “I am here till I go somewhere else.”  By the way, my mother-law fulfilled her promise by living to the ripe age of 92.

Next Monday on All Things Fulfilling I am going to share a piece of writing from a creative writing class I took last winter. It’s about first impressions – arriving in this town of Steamboat Springs the day after Thanksgiving, five years ago, sight unseen. People ask me all the time – “How did you do that? Move to a place you had never seen before?” My reply….”I just put faith in the fact that I would like it.”  And so it happened, just like that!

Here is a great article called Living with Faith and Making a Great Landing. http://bit.ly/18wEp9O.

Do you have a story you could share about taking a leap of faith? Start writing!

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A Russian Winter

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Art is the right hand of Nature.” ~ Friedrich Schiller

Last Friday evening as I participated in the First Friday Art Walk, I felt as if I was living in the Russian valley of Oymyakon, the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world. The twenty below-zero temperatures seemed to have been heaven sent to provide a full-bodied experience for my emersion into the Russian art exhibition that opened that evening at the Steamboat Art Museum. The Russian paintings, on loan from a single private collector, are nothing short of magnificent.

SAM Russian Art

The Russian Experience” is a beautifully curated exhibit. I’d like to compliment artist Rich Galusha who really took great care in the placement of the paintings even painting the museum walls to accentuate the work – a job well done. And the Russian musical compositions that John Sant’Ambrogio played on the cello complimented the evening.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the educational information that was posted in the museum about the history and various styles of Russian Art. It was interesting to note that most of the artists did not reside in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but rather, they came from small, remote villages throughout the country.

As cold as it was on Friday, I wouldn’t have missed getting out. After all, my husband’s photography debut exhibition along with other student’s work from ColoradoMountainCollege’s digital photography class was next door to the Steamboat Art Museum at the Chief Theatre for Cultural and Performing Arts. http://www.chieftheater.org/. The student’s work will be at the Chief Theatre all month long.

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If you are coming to town this winter, don’t miss out on stopping by the Steamboat Art Museum http://www.steamboatartmuseum.org/ and take in “The Russian Experience.” It will be available until April 12. The frigid blast will have passed since we don’t often see temperatures this low for long periods.

Thankfully, as I strolled the streets going from gallery to gallery, I found some hot cider at the Wild Horse Gallery to warm my inners. It was much appreciated!

Come on back tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, the blog of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Grow as you Age

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Art is not a part of life, it is not an addition to life, it is the essence of those pieces of us that make us fulfilled. That give us hope.” ~ Hasan Davis

The most inspiring people that I have crossed paths with in my life time have been people who never stop growing emotionally, spiritually and educationally. I’ve been particularly impressed with the large base of very active retirees in this community of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Many, many seniors well into their eighties continue to do volunteer work, which they say “keeps them vital .”

The other day, I stopped by on business to Casey’s Pond, the new senior living facility in town. The first phase of the project is just days away from opening. In all the hubbub of activity, I ran into the developer Charles Gee. He was so kind to spend a little time talking with me.

Our conversation led to art, and Gee mentioned he is a big “proponent of the concept of art and healing.” The developer proceeded to show me a book of plans and pointed out wall nooks that have been designed throughout the building to showcase permanent installments. “Not all, but much of the art, “ Gee said, “will come from talented local artists.” The state-of-the-art facility is beautiful, by the way.

After I left the building and walked toward the car, I began to think how quality senior living facilities endorse bringing a diverse range of programs to the residents so they can continue to be actively involved and have the best quality of life possible. According to studies, all things that are culturally stimulating affect longevity positively.

If you wish to read more about using art to enhance the lives of seniors, here is a great blog. http://bit.ly/19xWHXC.

That’s the good news for today! It’s all I’ve got at this moment.

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Casey’s Pond Senior Care Facility. Opening October 2013

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Stirring the Mind

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“All things are possible until they are proved impossible. Even the impossible may only be so, as of now.” – Pearl S. Buck

creative-brainLast week, The Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, Colorado brought in a live stream of the TED Conference from Long Beach, California. I had hoped to individually highlight some of the presenters this week on this site. However, a better approach would be to share some of the fulfilling thoughts that I came away with after viewing a good deal of the four day broadcast. 

“We”, meaning as a country and a world, are indeed blessed with:

  •  forward thinking, creative people
  • a population of individuals who like to dream and imagine and ask “What if?”
  • people, who when they believe in their passions, are not afraid to take risks
  • technological advances that will increasingly free people to labor with their brains, rather than brawn.
  • living during a time when turning the hypothetical to reality, is happening more often.
  • learning more about our sixth sense and the amagydala – the emotive part of the brain.
  • “At the precipice of a new era where ideas can be used for global fulfillment in the world, rather than for just personal gain.” As stated by a TED presenter.
  • an era when professions will be more cognitively demanding and specialized. 

The TED conference was designed to stir thought, and for me, it fulfilled its mission. When I asked myself “Who Are We?” after viewing the broadcast, I can’t help but defer to the tag line of TED. We are a population of “The Young, the Wise and the Undiscovered.” Thank God for that! It opens up all kinds of possibilities for future generations. 

A special shout out to Jenny Lay, events coordinator and the library board members who do an outstanding job of bringing thoughtful programs to our community.

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.

Bundled Energy

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“Problems are not the problem, coping is the problem.” ~ Virginia Satir

energy in the worldTime to change the channel, there is no reason to stay stuck on it. http://bit.ly/Xkquu0. I’ve had more than my fill of news about the Carnival cruise ship that let down its vacationers. The travelers talk as if it was if they were intentionally “wronged.”  Fact of the matter – it was  an unfortunate incident that no one could have predicted and everyone was in a difficult situation. And, there are no guarantees that life will always be smooth sailing.

I did hear a few of the “victims” say that they had joined in with others to create prayer groups while awaiting rescue. There you go! Bundling positive energy together and using good coping skills. Would it be any surprise if those folks came away from the incident with much healthier perspectives? When  communities of people bring positive energy together and create networking groups, good things happen. Negative energy does nothing to attract positive energy, we all know that.

Let’s face it. The steam that moves us human beings forward in positive directions ultimately comes from our own reserves; as we draw from our wellspring of strengths, inner exertion and convictions and pluck!

Time to go and plan our monthly meeting for We Write Steamboat – a  meet-up group for independent publishers!  It is happening this afternoon. And, soon it will be lunchtime, when I’ll fill up my tank  and nourish my soul by going on my daily walk. I know I’ll find something fulfilling to write about for tomorrow.

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

Exploring Painting through Video

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My heart and soul have been surprised over and over again, with every work of art I explore. ~ Kathleen Carrillo 

ThePaintingExperience.com claims that “if you can hold a brush, you can paint.” Fair enough – you may not be able to create a museum quality piece, but there is no reason why anyone who desires it, can’t try it. 

A short video from http://www.thepaintingexperience.com explores the therapeutic value of “dabbling with art” or experimentation with painting. The video makes a powerful statement for seizing the moment and allowing your heart to lead the way through color, shapes and forms put to canvas. To watch the video, please go to this link.  http://bit.ly/VulI01.  

life paint and passionThinking you’d like to try your hand at some kind of art, is a positive first step. Smart people learn to follow their intuition. Art creation, of any kind, provides a wonderful outlet for our translating our emotions and our thoughts into imagery whether it is through music, film, words, dance, theatre, or any other kind of art or craft. 

Not every community, such as the town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, has imaginative businesses like Splatz Canvas and Wine, providing space, instruction and all the art supplies needed, so you can just dabble. An alternative –  in-home art workshops, brought to you digitally, is also useful. Learn more about www.thepaintingexperience.com through their website. 

artistically speakingThanks to artist Sheryl Allen http://smallbizbiglife.com/ for sending me information for today’s blog. Earlier in the week,  she contacted me as a result of a blog posting on All Things Fulfilling about Splatz Canvas and Wine. She’s been on a blog radio show called, Artistically Speaking http://bit.ly/VocrmJ.

Visit us 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.

More Fulfilling Signs of the Season

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“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” ~ Washington Irving

On Friday I posted photos of my walking tour in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I had given myself permission to enjoy the day doing something different, in celebration of my 1,000th blog on All Things Fulfilling. 

Today I continue with more photographic images of Ski Town U.S.A., and over the weekend Mother Nature left us with a fresh coat of white, which was greatly appreciated by this tourist town that relies on winter recreation of all kinds. 

My husband and I are grateful to live in such a beautiful and inspiring place, with gorgeous landscapes. Join me on this tour of historic Lincoln Avenue. The town has been bedecked, bedazzled and looks forward to welcoming all. It’s a very friendly place. Thanks for those who let me photograph their spaces.

IMAG0037Steamboat Art Company, offering wonderful coffee table art books and  unique hand hooked wool pillows from Chandler 4 Corners ,  designed by Laura Megroz.

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Center for Visual Arts, the CVA is a (501)(c)(3) nonprofit organization and community art center. Their mission is to support emerging artists , provide exhibition space,  educate through guest artist series and work with youth.

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Homesteader Kitchen Shop, specialty food items and wonderful kitchen gadgets and accessories.

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Nutcrackers Stand at Attention in the Windows, Handsome Fellows!

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Oh, look! The winter exhibition at the Steamboat Art Museum begins December 21st – a Retrospective of painter Jean Perry and sculptor Curtis Zabel. Can’t wait to check it out.

Photo Below: Lyon’s Drugs and alot more! Great gifts also.

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Photos above and below, more gift suggestions from Off the Beaten Path, the Indie Bound Bookstore in town.

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Branches – home decor and accessories. Pictured above and below.

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This town in filled with businesses of all kinds, including a host of location neutral businesses and people with lots of entrepreneurial spirit. Makes living here, very interesting.

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Telling Stories about Community

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In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it. ~ Marianne Williamson

Have you ever noticed that every community has its own unique “characters?” You know, people who are known to everyone in town, in all social circles. North, south, east or west, all neighborhoods have their own quirky people.

Author Sandy St. Clair offers a panoramic overview of the culture and climate in “Ski Town U.S.A.” in her new novel “Living with Miss Scarlett.” A real mountain resort town that she writes about, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, is where locals describe their community as a place “where the odds are good but the goods are odd.”  Click here for info & ordering

This book is about two mismatched widowers whose lives converge in “the Boat” and leave you laughing and weeping at the spirit with which they rebuild life together in a town of diverse people. Many women will relate to the plight of the two main “characters,” Sissy Rawles, a Dallas socialite and Ali McDaniel, an Iowa housewife.

Although the story is set in a tourist town in the Rocky Mountains, readers may feel as if they have met the characters before. Perhaps similar to a person who has drifted into their own life, has found they liked it and stayed put. Or akin to someone who has journeyed through on the pathway of life, managing to leave their mark on the hearts of hometown residents.

This delightful read, Living with Miss Scarlett, is available in e-book format through all major e-book retailers.

Sandy Eshbaugh St. Clair is also the author of The Cookbook for Non-Cooks published in 1984 by Workman Press.Click for info and ordering

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