We’ve Got Ya Covered

Leave a comment

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of the living.”   –Miriam Beard

I’ve always had a penchant for covered bridges. I suppose it began during my childhood years when our family spent time on Lake Champlain in Vermont for many summers. Every time we passed by the Shelburne Museum, I saw their covered bridge and loved it.

When I was in college and moved off campus, I had to cross a covered bridge every morning and evening on my way to campus. Sometimes it was by way of foot and sometimes in my old hand-me-down station wagon. The girth of the car took up the entire bridge it was so wide. Only one car at a time could travel through it.

If you are a fan of covered bridges, you’d love Vermont, and you ought to visit the State. Leaf peeping (aka fall foliage) time is the best. Colors of golden yellow,  vibrant orange and firey red from the maple trees are a sight to behold along with the contrast of verdant green in the fields and meadows. From the northern border which touches Canada to the southern part of the State, bordering Massachusetts, vibrant color is everywhere.

Crossing over that covered bridge in Johnson, Vermont every morning and evening gave me warm, fulfilling feelings. As it turned out, this girl who originated from the south of the Mason-Dixon Line had found a place in the North Country that she would call home for three decades.

Covered bridge near Chaffee House

Above: Covered Bridge at Rt 100C, Johnson, Vermont

This image and more wonderful Vermont images can be purchased through www,hansonstudio.com

Johnson State College  http://www.jsc.edu

Below Photos: Shelburne Museum   www.shelburnemuseum.org

shelburne museum1Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont.Shelburne_lighthouse1shelburne museum3Shelburne Museum 5

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For information on the memoir, please visit this website

http://amzn.to/1oj1hjW

Advertisements

No Excuses, Play On

Leave a comment

Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy. ~ Robert A. Heinlein

I remember thinking how lucky one of my girlfriends was because every year Mary Ellen and her sister and parents went to amusement parks  in their motor home for Christmas.

Instead, our family rented chalets and went skiing in the mountains of Vermont. How I wished our family was “normal.” In the 1950s and 1960s few Maryland families traveled great distances. I remember trying to voice my opinion of how much fun it would be to go to amusement parks more often instead of having to work so hard at learning how to ski. Skiing wasn’t easy and I nearly froze my fanny off in the process. Not to even mention toting the all gear – that was very difficult for a young child whose start was so tenuous.

Vintage ski picWhen I whined, my Dad used to tell me carrying the equipment builds muscles and the rope tow WAS an amusement park ride. “Who cares about muscles. ” I thought. For others who watched me fall off  the rope tow, it probably was amusing. Doing face plants every foot up the mountain because I didn’t have the strength to hold onto the rope, and then again as I skied back down the mountain wasn’t exactly my idea of fun!

When I went off to college in the North Country, I was never so grateful for the years my parents spent planting seeds of appreciation in me for the love of the great outdoors and teaching us kids to ski. Those skills came in handy and my enjoyment of the sport grew in gigantic proportions.

There have been other lifelong benefits that came out of my early struggles, too. As an adult I can admit “Dad and Mom knew best.” Here is an article about the health benefits of skiing.http://bit.ly/1unzjDi

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Now available in audio book, paperback and e-book. Psst…..the voice holds the real treasure!http://amzn.to/1orPIRI

Booksellers Dream Wedding

Leave a comment

Dreams are illustrations….from the book your soul is writing about you.”

 ~ Marsha Norman

The best thing about planning any wedding is designing a day that is uniquely designed to reflect the tastes of bride and groom.

Last Saturday, The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont http://www.northshire.com/  closed early for a private party. The store hosted the wedding of Sarah, one of their booksellers.

The event was everything fulfilling that a bibliophile could dream of. Even the bride’s bouquet was made from book pages and I’ll bet she tossed the paper posies from the commanding iron staircase that is the outstanding architectural feature in the store.

bridal bouquet with book pages

northshire bookstore stairs

I hope “Miss America of the Independent Publishing Industry,” the Expresso Book Machine, gave up her famed status for the day and let the bride be the star. I don’t want the  EBM to feel downgraded or upstaged, so I’ll give her a repeat feature of the blog I wrote about her early last summer. Click on this link to read more. http://bit.ly/10RIonQ.

Rumor has it that one of the wedding gifts was a handmade quilt with titles and cover images of the bride and grooms very favorite books. Imagine the pressure of having to decide which publication should be included and which will be left out. Avid readers have a long list of favorites, and I am sure there were too many books and too little space on the quilt’s surface.

I wonder if the couple first encountered each other between the shelves of the book store? Do you think they had custom written wedding vows that included a little poetry? Ahhh..the beauty of a relationship where two people come together with the common interests….and the advantages of owning an independent bookstore. “Nothing is set in stone,” as it is etched on the pavement leading into the Northshire Bookstore. That means you can do anything you please including closing early to host a booksellers dream wedding.

To learn more about this event, please visit the Facebook page of the Northshire Bookstore. http://on.fb.me/1cZVDKU

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

Social Entrepreneurs

1 Comment

Being successful and fulfilling your life’s purpose are not at all the same thing…” ~ Rick Warren

There is an NGO that All Things Fulfilling has been following for a few years called the BOMA project: Prosperity with Dignity. The BOMA Project has lifted North Kenyan women out of poverty by giving them entrepreneurial skills so they can help them selves. If you missed our previous blogs about the mission of this organization, please visit these links.

The founder of the BOMA Project, Kathleen Colson of Dorset, Vermont has been selected as a Rainer Arnhold Fellow. This prestigious fellowship is awarded yearly and it “is offered to 16-20 social entrepreneurs around the world who have promising solutions to the biggest problems that face developing nations.” 

Kathleen Colson1Colson’s vision and spirit, along with the partnerships she has fostered has lead to educational opportunity, advocacy, economic empowerment, leadership and training for women in a part of the world where poverty is widespread.

Today, I would simply like to say Congratulations to Colson and her “team” of people who have been so successful in lifting up 28,000 women and children out of extreme poverty by helping to launch 1380 micro-enterprises in Northern Kenya. The income and savings from the businesses are used to support 23,340 children and 4,668 adults. This group is just one of many NGO’s that have had fulfilling results in helping people in impoverished countries.

To learn more about the BOMA Project’s mission and accomplishments, there are several You Tube videos on the Boma Project Channel. http://bit.ly/1cvIz2d . Check them out.

In the future, I would like to highlight social entrepreneurship here in America on All Things Fulfilling. Please send me suggestions of undiscovered, worthy candidates who have done much to empower women in the U.S.A.  but have not yet reached celebrity spotlight status.

All Things Fulfilling is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com, a company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

Star of the Publishing World

1 Comment

In I walked, last week, to the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont and I was greeted by “Miss America of the Independent Publishing Industry.” That’s my tag line for her, but, she’s better known as the Expresso Book Machine. At one time there were only five “clones” of her in the world, but no longer. Her appearance on the scene has led to the growth of a new generation of publishing, and print-on-demand has a bright future. She was in action, performing her art of downloading, binding and printing a book right there in front of people, on stage, at the entrance to one of the top independent bookstores in the country, according to Publisher Weekly Magazine.

IMAG0339

IMAG0341

IMAG0342

IMAG0344

I’d gone to the bookstore to meet with an author, who was somewhat jet lagged after being in Bali with Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul series.Click for info & ordering Chicken Soup For the Soul Series . She had arrived home from her travels late, the previous evening. Keep your eye on All Things Fulfilling in the coming weeks because her book, which we will be featuring, is all about success in life and business. Many of the strategies she offers are valuable to independent publishers.

Earlier in the week, I also met with a leader who is beginning to write her story. She hopes to publish independently. Her “dream” has led her to helping people around the globe to know that they matter. I look forward to seeing her publishing project evolve and come to fruition.

I also visited with numerous old friends in Vermont, and oddly each is one seizing new opportunities and starting down new paths, for very different reasons. We talked about baby boomers retiring,  life, change and where it leads us. Our conversations reminded me of what C.S. Lewis once said “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

IMAG0345Etched in stone, outside the Northshire Bookstore, http://www.northshire.com/ Manchester, Vermont

Here are pictures of other familiar places I stopped by in my travels:

 IMAG0347

Weston Playhouse, Weston, VT http://www.westonplayhouse.org/ where I volunteered for more than 25 years.Saw many outstanding theatre productions.

IMAG0348

Can’t go to Vermont without a stop by the Vermont Country Store. http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/. I ran into my office assistant who worked with me when I was an insurance agent and branch manager for Finn & Stone, Inc. many years ago.

Return tomorrow to www.AllThingsFulfilling.com as I highlight a city, in Rhode Island, that is being revitalized by a group of shakers and movers who are capitalizing on the city’s art, history, architecture and universities. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com, specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

Treasured Time with a Child

3 Comments

The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.”  ~  Ralph Waldo Emerson 

If you visited All Things Fulfilling yesterday, I made a promise I intend to keep today. Here is a short list of my favorite children’s books, published in the 1980s ,when I was raising our young son. At the time, there was  nary whisper of the changes that were on the horizon for the publishing industry, at least not that I was aware of. Thus, the following books are mostly, if not all,  traditionally published. 

In today’s world, there are many fulfilling reads, for children and adults, published independently of the big six or seven conglomerates. What changes we have witnessed in publishing over the past ten or twelve years!  

Jan Brett’s books ranked high on our list of treasured children’s books. Living in the north country of Vermont, our family related to the Nordic themes and art illustrations that were present in most of Jan’s books:

  • The Mitten
  •  Trouble with Trolls
  •  Annie and the Wild Animals
  • Wild Christmas Reindeer

New Hampshire author, Tomie DePaolo’s books, claimed a stake in our hearts, too. My son’s love of Native American history and lore drew us to several of Tomie’s books.

  • The Legend of Indian Paintbrush
  • The Legend of Blue Bonnet
  • The Legend of the Poinsettia 

A few others to consider by various authors:

  • The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (now adapted for film)
  • The Napping House
  • The Jolly Postman
  • The Polar Express (also was adapted for film) 

Don’t forget to take time out of this busy holiday season to appreciate God’s gift to you, your child. Spending time with the little ones is far more valuable than anything you will ever find in a shopping mall! The rewards are great for both parent and child. 

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

Northeastern Book Angels

2 Comments

If one looks closely enough, one can see angels in every piece of art.

 ~ Terri Guillemets 

“Mama, Do you Love Me?” Yes, I do sweet child! “More than a walrus loves his tusks,” I would recite. Barbara M. Joosse’s lyrical story, “Mama, Do You Love Me?” offered the perfect opportunity to teach my son about the unconditional love a mother has for a child along with learning about the Inuit culture and Artic wildlife, too. 

With my child, I read a staggering number of enticing and magnificent children’s books as he went through the years of growing up. Because reading together was not something either of us was willing to let go of, I had the privilege of reading to him daily until almost age 12. It was the most treasured and fulfilling part of our evening routine. 

Children have a natural ability to learn language. The importance of reading to a child and talking with them, even about simple things, can not be overstated. It is how a child builds a solid vocabulary for understanding the world around them and how they learn to communicate effectively with others. For more information on this topic, check out this article http://bit.ly/np1Xzh

The most fulfilling Christmas shopping I did each year was stepping inside the Publishers Weekly award-winning Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont. Picking out the most meaningful books I could find for my child, I knew my buying helped to support a top-notch independent bookstore. I also loved the mission of their Book Angel program which put worthwhile books into the hands of many underserved children in the State of Vermont. http://conta.cc/txlh5s

 As far as I was concerned, the best gifts given to my child at any time of year were new books or DVDs. Besides Legos, books and films were always his most prized holiday presents. They were gifts that kept on giving for many years. The money spent became a real investment in my child’s future, too.  

Come on back tomorrow. Since I am in the reminiscing mode, I will share a list of my favorite children’s books, published in the 1980’s that “Santa” gave my child over the years. It may help out with some last minute shopping ideas.

More independent, thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com tomorrow! Come on back!