Crafty & Committed Ladies

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“Each of us is an unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution.” ~ Deepak Chopra

The place was a bee hive of activity last Thursday as the United Methodist Women prepared for their Fall Fare which took place on Friday, November 13th. The community at large looks forward to this event every year, and it part of the traditional holiday happenings in Steamboat Springs, CO.

As I helped the women get ready for the Soup and Pie lunch we recalled the names of several ladies who had been part of the past success of event but have moved to higher grounds. Their legacy still lives on. Take for instance, Hope. Someone in her family has seen to it that her special cardamom braided bread still appears at the bake sale. It arrived in a beautiful woven basket with a note saying it was “In Memory of Hope.” There was even a book that accompanied the delivery that held some dear pictures of the lady who always made this special contribution while on earth. When the basket arrived, I decided to add a little embellishment of festive ribbon to the bags of bread. Hope’s legacy was deserving!

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Hundreds of people come through the open doors of the United Methodist Church annually to begin their holiday season at the bake sale and to have lunch with their friends.

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There were also crafts (such as aprons, notecards, embroidered flour sack towels, handmade scarves and more), recycled Christmas decorations and Equal Exchange coffee and special vanilla from far off reaches of the world and jars of jellies and jams. The United Methodist Women of Steamboat Springs, Colorado take great pride in the event. They are crafty and committed. Many learned homemaking skills decades ago from being members of 4-H.

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. We will be talking about trends in the building of NOW communities, and why this is important to the social, emotional health of our nation’s people.

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

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Cornerstones of Community

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“The spirit of neighborliness was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few!” ~ Lady Bird Johnson

It was a fabulous 4th!  Ski Town USA was abuzz with activity that well-demonstrated the great hometown spirit this community is noted for.

Independence Day would not be a day to celebrate if it wasn’t for the cornerstone principles that our forefathers laid before us. They fought hard, literally and figuratively, to build a society which includes more than just the freedom of the press.

Over the weekend I indulged myself with a gala complete with cupcakes to commemorate independent publishing since it’s been at the heart and soul of my interests.

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And of course, helping with the Strawberry Sundae fundraiser at the United Methodist Church has become something I look forward to each year. We ladies sliced and diced a heap of strawberries for the throngs of people looking for their next Independence Day treat after the parade.

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lots of berries

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The Tread of Pioneers Museum, right next door to the church, offered hotdogs and Routt Beer floats a plenty. On the 4th of July there is always free admission to the treasure trove that helps tourists and townies alike understand what life was like when the trailblazers arrived in this ranching community.

Now Steamboat Springs is also known for it’s tourism and broad variety of recreational opportunities. It’s home to Olympic athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, philathropists and others who love the Western and very friendly lifestyle.

Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow when leaps of Faith will be the topic. I look forward to sharing my independent thoughts with you!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stories in Music

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conducive-to-happiness[5]Every spring and fall the Yampa Valley Choral Society holds a community concert at the United Methodist Church in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This past weekend a group of 41 men and women and 10 young girls presented “I’ve Been Everywhere: It‘s the Journey That Counts.”

This year, the sound of young choral voices added to the concert. Ten young girls sang a few songs taken from film scores and musical theatre productions. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head (from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and two memorable selections from Annie – Tomorrow and It’s a Hard Knock Life (from Annie) were  included.

As usual, the arrangement of musical compositions sung by the forty-one adults were thoughtfully chosen and diverse. Spirituals included Set Me as A Seal which was paraphrased from the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament and How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place by Johannes Brahms. Words from Psalm 84 of the King James Bible were incorporated in the verses of this composition.

Karl Jenkins composition Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary was not familiar to me, however it was sweet sounding and harmonious.  Jenkins, is a Welsh composer whose album is unintended for words, rather the voices of the chorus made instrument-like noises.

Two songs had nautical backstories to them. Over the Sea to Skye tells of Charles Stuarts escape from Scotland in 1745 via ship, along with Flora MacDonald, who traveled incognito, posing as his maid. His exile took him to France where he spent the rest of his lifetime.

Dry Your Tears, Afrika,  one of my favorite tunes of the afternoon, was taken from the 1997 movie Armistad. The story is about 53 Africans who were transported by ship from Sierra Leone to be sold as slaves. They changed their destiny when they took hold of the ship and navigated it to Long Island. The events of their journey became the subject of a Supreme Court case. If you have not seen the movie, it’s powerful.

You haven’t been anywhere unless you’ve traveled across America. Songs from past Pop Hit Charts included Homeward Bound, Surfin’ USA, I’ve Been Everywhere, and I’ll Fly Away were incorporated into the concert, as well as America from West Side Story.

I never fail to learn something from the interesting backstories of the compositions that the Yampa Valley Choral Society choses to focus the themes of their concerts around. The program notes as well as the choir Director’s commentary help tell the story of each song’s rich history and their composers.

Thank you Yampa Valley Choral Society for yet another delightful hour of music. Look forward to your fall concert.

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

Storytelling for the Sake of Others

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Stories are how we learn. The progenitors of the world’s religions understood this, handing down our great myths and legends from generation to generation. —Bill Mooney and David Holt,Storyteller’s Guide (American Storytelling)

I’m looking forward to this evening. I’ve been invited as a guest to attend an event called Stories! It Takes Roots to Bloom! A year or two ago I was invited to attend this annual event organized by the Steamboat Christian Church . The first time I attended it I thoroughly enjoyed myself, so I am thrilled to be welcomed back.  The night revolves around telling stories orally.

When I gave an author talk at my own church, The United Methodist Church of Steamboat http://www.umcsteamboat.org on May 5th, I mentioned my strong belief in the importance of telling stories to help other people and to preserve culture. It makes no difference what religion you practice because those that relate to what an author has to say will appreciate it.

In my opinion, we all come to our faith (or not) through our own experiences, which is just one point of my memoir “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.” Some people are exposed to very traditional teachings and some come from unique and varied viewpoints, which makes for an interesting American culture.Click here for Info & Ordering on Sue’s memoir

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Several of our We Write Steamboat members are members of this congregation. They have published their stories in testimony to how their faith has made a difference in their careers. Courtney Diehl, an equine veterinarian shares stories about her dealings with horses and their owners. It is  filled with humor that anyone will enjoy. She also gives an accounting of trying to build a successful practice. At the root of her business is her faith that she will make it as a mobile veterinarian.Click here for info & ordering Horse Vet

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“Doc Dawn” Dawn V Obrecht, M.D. is a physician specializing in addiction. Her first book is about her medical missionary trips to far off places around the world helping  people who have been devastated by natural environmental disasters. She also has other publications that she has written designed to help those struggling with addiction. These are wonderful examples of personal stories told for the sake of others.Click her for info on all of Dawn V Obrechts books

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I’d like to extend a thank you to the Director of Women’s Ministry at the Steamboat Christian Church for inviting me. I am sure it will be an inspirational evening.

Do return on Monday! This blog brought to you by http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com and author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Sue’s publication, click on this text.Gift of a Lifetime – Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

May 5th: Steamboat Springs, CO

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Love grows from stable relationships, shared experience, loyalty, devotion, trust. ~ Unknown

You are cordially invited to Sue Batton Leonard’s book signing for Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected  in Steamboat Springs, Colorado: Here are the details:

  • Date: Monday, May 5th, 2014
  • Time: 6pm
  • Place: United Methodist Church, 736 Oak Street, Steamboat Springs, CO 8048

This event is open to the public and refreshments will be served.

The author will talk about her newly published memoir and about her experience of independent publishing.Sue’s memoir

See you on Monday, either in Steamboat or right here on the site of All Things Fulfilling!

Praise for Creation

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We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”  ~Cynthia Ozick 

I’ve been drawn back into the church as an adult, in part, by the memories of the beautiful hymns that I sang as a child. Around Thanksgiving time, many of the spiritual songs have words of gratefulness and gratitude for the harvest and for the impending season of darkness. For without winter gloom, there would not be a fulfilling sense of renewal of spirit in spring. 

Composers of yester year have created some of the most eloquent stories, through song, about the change of the seasons and the bounty of the Universe. Many hymns of blessings and praise, written decades ago, are still sung in sanctuaries today, such as – 

  • For the Fruits of the Garden ~  verses by Fred Pratt Green
  • Oh Food to Pilgrims Given ~  words by Maintzich Gesangbuch
  • Come, Ye Thankful People, Come ~ verses by Henry Alford
  • America the Beautiful ~ verses by Katharine Lee Bates
  • For the Beauty of the Earth ~ words by Elliot S Pierpoint
  • In the Bleak Midwinter ~ words by Christina G Rossetti 

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year to step inside the doors of a church. Listen to the vocal choirs, tune into the musical instruments, experience the peace and be grateful for the cozy warmth of the shelter for the body and soul. 

A few weeks from now, at the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/lAT08q  in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and in other places of worship everywhere, choirs will be magnificently singing Handel’s The Messiah. Don’t miss out!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Conspiring Through Smell A Vision

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A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” ~ Bernard Meltzer 

I have found myself caught up in the middle of a conspiracy, and it is me who is being conspired against. I know just who the little schemer is and how she is plotting to draw me in. The little manipulator is Darien Gee, and she is using word tactics of smell a vision to get me involved! 

You see, I never have been one who really likes to cook but, I did have many fulfilling moments of baking back in my days of raising a child. In fact, my son’s friends knew where to get the booty when their sweet tooth cried out for a fix. I was the rare Mom who made home baked goods. When I knew I’d have a houseful of kids, I’d jump into action and make something tasty. When the teen years rolled around, it was a good way to keep tabs on the adolescents, they’d frequently check in to see what was to eat. 

Ever since I became an empty nester and moved to a high altitude environment, where baking is more challenging, my cache of homemade creations has suffered. Author Darien Gee, the little conniver, is trying to lay a guilt trip on me through her book Friendship Bread. Have you read it? 

The magical powers of Amish Friendship Bread is the basis of the book. The wicked descriptions of warm yeast, cinnamon and sweet has made me want to try my hand at a batch. There are real consequences to jumping in because there is no way you can make just one loaf. The bread grows prolifically until before you know it, you are: 

  • Talking to your neighbors
  • Building community through food
  • Giving strangers more than just a passing glance
  • Strategically positioning yourself with groups
  • Building friendships based on commonalities and love 

I’ve peeked ahead in the book, and the recipe is there for the moment when Darien Gee is finished with brainwashing me into baking a pan. http://bit.ly/n50wn.  She is half-way done and I’m already beginning to execute my plan…. For starters there’s the Yampa Valley University Women, my fellow Kiwanians, the guys and gals at SHe Writes Steamboat, the Steamboat Writers Group and Lift Up Routt County (they can always use donations of food). 

I could put Strings in the Mountains on my list. Perhaps they would welcome a starter of something other than Steamboat fare for their own cookbooks. Then, lest I forget, there are always the kind and welcoming women of the United Methodist Church, although they can already abundantly cook! Then there is that other new meet-up group in town. What is it called? Ignite Steamboat? 

We will see, Darien Gee….with the way the recipe works, just getting people started might be the key. Perhaps then I can get out of the kitchen and just spend time creating other fulfilling things. 

Come on back tomorrow…. I promise the blog will not be so long!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.