Finding the Upside to Life

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When you were a child, do you remember sitting at the Thanksgiving table being asked what you were thankful for? It was so awkward. I hoped and prayed that all things that anyone could possibly be grateful for would be mentioned before it was my turn to speak up.

There was always the person at the table that had some profound thought or reflection to share but not in my family. Thankfully, I am happy that we were allowed to be silly and if the only thing we could think of was to say we were grateful for our animals, that was good enough. No stiff collars in our clan.

So, on this day before Thanksgiving, here is my thought for tomorrow. I am immensely happy to spread the joy of this notion with you, if you can relate to it!

mother cutting hair

Whenever you are having a bad day, I’d suggest visiting this website. There are also lots of fun things “from out of the mouths of babes” to  turn your frown upside down on this You Tube video

As we age, we begin to recognize the upside to the downside of life. It was the impetus behind my writing of an award-winning anthology of stories called Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. With age, comes wisdom.

See you back here tomorrow on Turkey Day, I will be sharing more memories of Thanksgivings of my childhood. This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard.


Sunday’s Blessing

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 It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home. ~Author Unknown

Happy Sunday, everybody! I hope those who traveled a distance over the Thanksgiving weekend arrive home safely and are filled with fulfilling memories of the good food and good company they shared over the weekend.

Here on All Things Fulfilling I had a nostalgic recollection, and Sunday is an appropriate day of the week to share it. Normally on weekends,  I regroup and abstain from blogging.

Who among you can relate to this picture and this hand-sign diagram? If you know what it is, who taught you how to do it ? Your parents, your siblings,  friends or in church or at school?What are these two children saying about faith through their actions?

If you can’t figure it out, scroll to the end of the blog and I will give you the answer.


heres the church, heres the  steeple1

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her newly-released memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link. The book is available in audio, book in print and e-book.

Answer:  “Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the doors and see all the people?” That’s what the two above images are showing.


Upping the Happiness Level

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A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing with him the image of a cathedral. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Did you know that there is scientific evidence that you can increase your own happiness level just by being grateful? Want to know more? Read this article.

Turns out all this talk about being thankful, is not a lot of bunk. There really are psychological and emotional benefits. Learning to appreciate the small things, rather than big things is even more important.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to start a year-long, daily list of small things that you are grateful for. The smaller the better! Why? Because that means you are paying attention to the little yet, important things in life.

My happiness quotient rises when I see things like these when I least expect it.

whiskers on a kitten


different colored eggs


heart shaped cloud



hot chocolate

Doug Adams Studio Commercial Photographer,Redmond, WA

peacock feather

dewdrop on flower




What tiny things turn you inside out with glee when you encounter them?

As we end this week of Thanksgiving go into the next holiday of the year with your heart wide open looking for the little things that mean a lot during the Christmas season.

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

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






A Multitude of Blessings

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thanksgiving image 1

Thanksgiving image 2

thanksgiving quote It’s been a very exciting and busy year. Publishing an award-winning memoir has been just one of many things I am grateful for this day. And for family and friends and so many others who have been so supportive of my efforts.

Thank you readers, I appreciate your interest and patronage! See you back here on All Things Fulfilling on Friday – tomorrow! This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard.


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 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.

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.


“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.




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.



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 Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. We will be featuring a newly released film just in time for the Christmas season.