“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain.
Summertime arrives, and many of us travel near and far, and that’s great. As our world gets smaller and smaller, and seemingly crazier, an escape, an adventure, a mind opening experience, a new path, all seem appropriate.
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
The journey might be five minutes away or 5,000 miles-both count and both matter.
Spread your wings, fly, walk, run, ride (whatever is your pleasure) and discover your destination.
(Note-background is from the series of illustration backgrounds that I am creating for Book #2 – Working Title of Garden Bud – stay tuned!)
Times they are a changing…
The weather, the earth, the world….it’s enough to make my head spin!
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam And admit that the waters
Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin
Dylan famously goes on to write the next verse about writers and critics, followed by politicians, with the last stance about mothers and fathers. So timely!
The times certainly are ‘a-changing’, Bob Dylan is now the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for literature—first time for lyrics, as opposed to a novel. It was said that it is “perhaps the most radical choice in a (Noble Peace Prize) history stretching back to 1901.” (reason #1)
Spring brings Easter, Passover and I am sure there are other holidays of spring renewals that I don’t even know. Spring is busting out with colors- greens, yellows, pinks and red splashes all around! (reason #2) I’ve been thinking a lot about changing, or ‘reinventions’ as I am now trying to call, and view, all the changes. As a child the world is always changing, we are continually learning, and trying all different hats, paths, and ways all the time. That’s a good thing. As an adult constant learning and forward motion is still a good thing. That said-constant change is not easy. However, I hope I never stop learning and exploring. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Curiosity does keep the soul, mind, and body alive! (reason #3)
For myself, all these ‘reinventions’ are global as well as very personal. It feels like a spinning top at a dizzying speed. How about you?
…and speaking of changes…
A new kind of Botanical Beauties has come to town! I’m having fun with flowers in new ways (reason #4.) Stay tuned as we see together what and how this develops.
Feeling a bit soggy?
Here are a few ideas of ways to make a rainy day better.
Don’t think of it as cold wet water:
Think SPRING FLOWERS!
Here’s a list of ideas for spring shower happiness.
💦 Pretend you are two years old and go splash in puddles-I know a very special little one that this works well for!
💦 Enjoy some artwork. Galleries, museums, or exhibits are all luxurious and wonderful places to forget it’s raining outside.
💦 There’s always the movies.
💦 Meet a friend for a cup, or glass, of whatever makes you smile.
💦 Plan a rain barrel for your garden, then the next time it rains you will be receiving bonus water!
💦 Gray is much better than black. Look outside-gray is probably everywhere and Mother Nature is usually is pretty smart!
Maybe Gray still is the new black?
💦 Gray is a subdued and quiet color so crawl into that: Tuck yourself in and enjoy a good read with a hot cup of tea/coffee. Or just nap!
💦 Remember that rain is not frozen, or slippery, and it requires no shoveling.
💦 Learn new things. For instance- Did you know that the iconic crayon color, Dandelion, will be retiring? To send him off in style, Crayola is taking him on a 4-week retirement tour! VERY clever marketing and fun to watch. Here’s the link. https://youtu.be/WSBaRK1BM3Q
(BYW – today 3/31/17 is National Crayon Day…who knew?)
AND OF COURSE – there is always “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly!
They say an elephant never forgets and I think your heart remembers it all as well. Emotions make us human. We have appealing emotions (such as caring, love, and trust) and then there are less ‘agreeable’ ones (no need to list them.) Emotions can wreak havoc on out hearts and days, sometimes in good ways and at other times in pain. We need them both but OMG they both can be tough on one’s mind, body, soul, and heart!
It seems fair to say we all know:
There is a direct connection from mental to physical health.
Growing evidence that out thoughts become our attitudes, our attitudes becomes our actions, and therefore our thoughts become our actions.
Negativity is not healthy, happy or something most of us want to be around, share or be consistently identified with.
We need both good and bad to achieve some balance and reality.
Our minds and bodies are one machine.
Something you may not know- “Recent HeartMath studies define a critical link between the heart and brain. The heart is in a constant two-way dialogue with the brain — our emotions change the signals the brain sends to the heart and the heart responds in complex ways. However, we now know that the heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart.” ( HeartMath source from TODAY.com)
In traditional medicine we often treat but we also often mask an issue. Here is a paragraph from a Psychology Today article that I find very useful. If you have the interest and time I would click the link and read the whole thing- it’s not long.
‘As a cardiologist with Eastern roots, I am also aware that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) supports the idea that there is a direct relationship between emotions and physical health. The concept of qi, or vital energy, dictates that emotions are closely integrated with the organs. The heart is the source of all emotions and holds the essential spirit, so if the emotions are out of balance, the physical heart must be, too.” She goes on to say “Rather than simply seeking happiness, we should seek to learn how to create harmony between emotions, soul, spirit, and body. If we are connected with our inner emotional selves, we will be able to manage any circumstances that come our way in a manner that will not destroy or severely damage our health and our heart.” (read the article here)
… I don’t think I could say it any better and so I will leave it at that.
(Quoted from Cynthia Thaik, M.D., is a Harvard-trained physician and currently an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.)
For those of you that have read all the way through- a BONUS!
here is a 2 minutes and 39-seconds Meditation to Calm Your Emotions – click here.
• It was Tuesday morning.
• I was a bit nervous!
• I put on my best fluffy pink boa, and my magic feather hat
(which is technically called a Fascinator Headband.)
• I picked up my basket, took a deep breath, and jumped in with both feet.
• My audience was unfiltered truth tellers – Toddlers!
• Kids tell it as it is, they would either be interested and engaged or not.
• My stage was story-time at the local library.
To my total delight, the kids were totally engaged! On each page, they were chanting the word Awesome with me. They were searching for Fuddles, and enjoying themselves! I was (and still am) THRILLED.
Birds fly – Awesome! – Sample Page
For those of you unfamiliar with my book – called Awesome, here is a bit of info: It is for the younger set – three to about six, maybe seven-year-olds. The words of the book are simple, however, the concept is not. It is about Awesomeness, and what makes something/somebody awesome. The illustrations are a large piece of the book and in part carry the younger children along. I see lots of potential for interactions and ‘projects’ that can weave their way around the themes of kindness/awesomeness. I am working on many ideas, so, stay tuned!
I am looking for places to read to more kids-schools, libraries, playgroups, even parties! Have other ideas of places? If you are interested, or know anyone else that may be, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy, please contact me at email@example.com. Please put Book Purchase in the subject line.(The price is $20 + shipping. It is a 7″x 7″ full-color paperback.)
I put on my best fluffy pink boa, and my magic feather hat (which is technically called a Fascinator Headband)
I picked up my basket of books, a few other supplies, took a deep breath and jumped in with both feet.
My audience was unfiltered truth tellers – Toddlers!
Kids tell it as it is, they would either be interested and engaged or not.
My stage was story-time at the local library.
To my total delight, the kids were totally engaged! On each page, they were chanting the word Awesome with me. They were searching for Fuddles, and enjoying themselves! I was (and still am) THRILLED.
For those of you unfamiliar with my book – called Awesome, here is a bit of info: It is for the younger set – three to about six, maybe seven-year-olds. The words of the book are simple; however, the concept is not. It is about Awesomeness, and what makes something/somebody awesome. The illustrations are a large piece of the book and in part carry the younger children along. I see lots of potential for interactions and ‘projects’ that can weave their way around the themes of kindness/awesomeness. I am working on many ideas, so, stay tuned!
I am looking for places to read to more kids-schools, libraries, playgroups, even parties! If you are interested, or know anyone else that may be, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy, please contact me at email@example.com. Please put Book Purchase in the subject line.
(The price is $20 + shipping. It is a 7″x 7″ full-color paperback.)
…the least perfect moments are sometimes the one that imprint the most, the ones we learn from (hopefully) and the ones we move to the next whatever from.
Some say a circle is perfect, some feel a clean fresh snowfall is, while for others it’s the roar of the ocean. Ultimately, it is probably your attitude that enables you feel a moment, an event, or even a lifetime as perfect.
Our preferences change as do our lives-everything is subjective. Our eyes see what they see, our ears hear what they hear, and it is all filtered and processed through our own brain. We learn ‘it’ and act on ‘it’ as we so desire, maybe as we need to, or even have to. Things change, and we adjust.
For instance, I am clear Climate Change is a real thing. I see, hear, read supportive evidence that supports my feelings and thoughts on the subject. However, others clearly disagree. To me, it is preposterous how anyone could think/believe that Climate Change is a hoax. To me it is clear, I see ice caps melting, water tables rising, temps and weather abnormalities everywhere. This absolutely is not just “perceptions.” The imprint of big oil companies and big money on the ecosystem will leave an imprint that possibly can’t be changed back. There will be repercussions we can’t recover from. What will be “next”- we don’t get Earth 2.0!?
Back to the circle-something’s can turn back on themselves, something’s can roll on, and something’s cannot. Some people have ideas you cannot change, right or wrong it is their view. Not too many things in this universe are static, movement is critical. Winds blow, waters flow, ice melts and it all starts again. Life is indeed cyclical. Improvement, movement, and human interactions are the most essential aspect of human survival and existence.
Life often is a balance issue, and we try to stay on the tightrope the best we can. If you are in the North-catch a falling snowflake. In the South, catch a ray of sunshine. Either way, hope it’s a healthy happy balance for you as 2016 closes and 2017 dawns upon us.
It’s been a long time since I sat down and shared, wrote, and put The Botanical Beauties & Beasties “out there.” Too long. Much water has been crossed over; bridges have been traveled to and from and back again. I know it’s time to get back to BBB3. The present state of the world, our new politics, and policies are quiet distressing to me. If you don’t agree that’s your option/opinion and you can unsubscribe if you so wish. I won’t be talking much politics here except to mention that our nations new paths of exclusion, non environmental, bigotry and violence in words and actions have spurred me to go back to the BBB3 core message and tag line of Kindness, because it’s always the bottom line. When I changed the tag line back in May 2015 I had no idea of what was to come in November 2016. We need a world of INCLUSION, compassion, awareness of our world, the earth, and each other. This is what has partially pushed me out of my blasted off rocket that took off so many months ago. I have indeed landed, bumpy at times, but a good landing overall-moving forward with the Botanicals feels especially pertinent now. I am far from even remotely thinking I am more than, or even as big as, a submicroscopic dot on this universe-however, if ALL the tiny little parts gather ourselves up and collectively we can make a small impression it’s a great start. I will try to do my part here, and hopefully The Botanical Beauties & Beasties can shine and do their small part.
So-I hope to be able to provide a small smile, a kind thought and new drawing every 10 days or so. If I can accomplish that I will certainly share them with anyone that so kindly reads these post.
“When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell
Here’s to keeping your eyes open for the cracks and cranny’s of new doors. That we all see the new with joy and excitement. May 2016 bring new adventures, new friends, new smiles, good health and many magical doors.
A lot has happened in the past month or so. A constant thought has been an awareness that I/we often don’t really know what’s going on with whomever is front of me/us. What’s the back story? Is their a cause and effect? Am I missing something? Do they have a “truth” that if I knew would cause me to understand or perceive something, or them, differently? Creating a different interaction? Changing the outcome of an event? This happens everyday, small events and spreads to gigantic events that can effect many.
As I often do, I was listening to NPR en route to work. This week had two particular interesting pieces to me with my Things are not what they always appear to be mindset. The first-
“Is It Time To Resurrect The Brontosaurus?”
The Brontosaurus may be back.
Not that it ever really went away, at least not in the minds of generations of people who grew up watching Fred Flintstone devour one of his beloved Brontosaurus burgers.
But, if you’re a scientist, you have to stick to the rules, and in 1903, the name Brontosaurus was struck from the record. That was when paleontologist Elmer Riggs deemed that the Brontosaurus was really just a different dinosaur, Apatosaurus…..As NPR reported in 2012, the tussle over naming the dinosaur goes back to the so-called Bone Wars of the late 1800s, when rival fossil hunters raced to name new Thdinosaurs. Othniel Charles Marsh led a team that found the skeletons of two creatures….
The first was found in 1877 and named Apatosaurus. But, as the story says, “it was missing a skull, so in 1883 when Marsh published a reconstruction of his Apatosaurus, Lamanna says he used the head of another dinosaur — thought to be a Camarasaurus — to complete the skeleton.”…The second dinosaur, found in 1879, was named Brontosaurus, or “thunder lizard.”… As Smithsonian notes, “The fate of Brontosaurus now relies upon whether other paleontologists will be able to replicate the results, as well as what those researchers think about the threshold for when dinosaurs merit different names.”
The part that actually thrilled me was the sub name for Brontosaurus, of “thunder lizard!” A giant, long-necked, heavy bodied, swamp-dwelling, 15-30 ton, well loved by many small children, and movie goers, creature possibly never even existed and is a lizard?!!!! Who knew lizards could be have such a breath of size possibilities? It was news to me. No wonder the word THUNDER is in its name! The need to make lots of noise and be heard seems clear for the cause. Where is the truth? What’s the real story? What’s the back story? In the name, it seems that someone had either a great imagination, or sense of humor, with the words THUNDER LIZARD? The pairing of those two words seems incongruous and yet somehow wonderful! This delights me. Who’s behind those Foster Grants-a giant thundering big stomping dinosaur? A scampering tiny camouflaged quick creature? A minister of truth? A 1879 Brontosaurus? A few bones here or there, a skull-for sure they all make a difference, I get it but….There always seems to be a back story-even in science! There are at least 1/2 dozen articles this week on this issue-it’s big news in the Dino world. Who would think in spring 2015 the Brontosaurus would be prime time news? In the words of Abbott and Costello, Who’s on First? Does it matter? Who’s behind those dark glasses? It all mysteriously ties together for me. Does it for you?
As for the second piece of NPR that drew me-well, you will have to wait until next time. This is plenty to think about for now… Stay tuned and enjoy the very welcome warmth and sunshine of springtime. Today, up here in NE, we are finally getting to see, and feel, a bit of spring. Flowers should start popping out soon-thank goodness for small miracles of nature!
Winter solstice. Dark skies. Cold temps. No wonder bears and other animals decide to hibernate! Some days that indeed feels like the perfect plan. Today is the shortest day of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere, we get only 9 hours and 4 mins of light here. That’s kind of a bummer until you flip it around and realize the positive, that TOMORROW it immediately starts getting better! The days start getting LONGER! Another positive about the long winter nights is, that if there is a clear night, it can be spectacular star gazing.
Isabella has decided to “accentuate the positive.” She is listening to music (“Baby it’s Cold Outside” just happens to playing as I type this. A fun winter song of dilemmas and choices that often makes both Izzy and I smile!) Izzy (her nick name) knows the importance of attitude as these dark days role thru the winter. Remember, the dark skies make the bright stars appear to shimmer and sparkle!
We (Izzy and I) want to remind you that Isabellas role, in the community of Botaniums, is that she is the driving force behind “The Knowledge Café.” A place that strives to always offer a warm welcome to all that travel through the doors and to be a gathering place for all. The Knowledge Cafe is a place of wonderment for many and that delights Izzy. The Café not only houses theJoyful Sparkles Bakery of Julia with its delectable goodies and beverages, but also acts as a general store with books, handmade local gifts, fun technology, an art gallery as well as arts center, and sometimes even an art studio. All this helps foster friendships, and connections. Izzy believes in the importance of all these facets of life, especially the friendships and connections part-life is not nearly as much fun or interesting without those!
All this helps reminds her, and by proxy we hope you too, that life is actually pretty darn great….Despite winters cold temps, head colds, slush/mush, dark days, and some of the other less exciting winter attributes, there is still plenty of reason to smile, snuggle, enjoy and be happy.
According to Victor Hugo-“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” How can we argue with a famous poet, novelist, dramatist?
…One kind word can warm three winter months. – Japanese Proverb… Make Victor Hugo proud – use kindness and laughter to warm up these long dark winter days and nights!