Positivity – It’s beginning to look like December.

HolidayJuliaVaboom

North of here there is 18″ of snow and winter for sure…South of here it is no doubt warm and sunny…Either way, there is no uncertainty that this is “The Holiday Season.” There is a very loud hum, almost a world vibration, of messages, products, sounds, scents, and traditions. A never ending fascinating topic to me is the world of advertising and how it plays upon all our senses and how it communicates messages. Communications must have two parts. A sender and a receiver. We, the consumers, are clearly the receivers. The senders, the advertisers, seem to think we are like sponges, waiting for a new liquid to absorb. The messages are so strong, and relentless, that most of us can’t help but soak some in!

The first thought was to find the origin of the word communication.

communication (n.) late 14c., from Old French comunicacion (14c., Modern French communication), from Latin communicationem (nominative communicatio), noun of action from past participle stem of communicare “to share, divide out; communicate, impart, inform; join, unite, participate in,” literally “to make common,” from communis (see common (adj.))” http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=communication

If we use the above, then, the advertisers create their message to share, to impart upon us, and invite us to participate in the fantasy/reality of their products. Fair enough-that’s their job, and many do it extremely well. As the receivers I would like to think we could be a bit more discriminating, but it gets tougher with the constant bombardments. The bottom line of all the holidays, despite your “given” religion, is a good one. A message of unity, peace, and joy. The candles and lights do indeed brighten up our minds and hearts. The greens are pleasant scents in closed up tight winter homes. Giving to others is encouraged. Advertisers want us to buy, but the bigger message of generosity, and sharing is a good one. The IDEAL is a good message. The world the advertisers are creating is not real, but the underpinnings of those symbols, the signs, the traditions in their purist form, those are good things. Maybe that’s why the advertisers can “get away with it” so blatantly? They know, we all know, what matters are the underpinnings.

The above Botanical Beauties are Vaboom and Julia. Vaboom (left) is the keeper of words. Her favorite words are ones of kindness. She offers you kindness. To the right is Julia. She is the community healthy food chef and baker. Food is an easy way to share, often bringing people together. Food is nourishment for the body, and sometimes the soul. Food goes with the art of communication; i.e., discussion. For those of us up here in the colder parts, a hot beverage is always a welcome treat. When it involves chocolate, it’s a extra delight! Julia has two mugs of hot cocoa to share. You can add whatever you would like to yours! … These two Botanicals join me in my personal communication to you. It is simple. I hope this message finds you with health, happiness, joy, and peace in your lives. May kindness rule, may whatever is causing you trouble find its way to your past, and may your future be bright….Add more kindness, add more hot chocolate, and with a little magic you will be guided through the winds of December. Hang on tight, sometimes it’s a bit blustery and gusty!

Journeys-paths of the woven tapestries.

Journey types

Journeys-they can be near or far, enormous, tiny, artistic, elegant, mundane, urban, rural, fantastic, terrifying, physical, emotional, even metaphysical, and so many more. Journeys may take you far in distance, but I would venture to say that they are never too far from your heart. Soulful journeys…Joyful journeys…Tragic journeys… Magical journeys…Life Journeys…Everyday is a mini journey, and everyday we have some reason to sojourn on. Interesting enough sojourn is defined as: “A period of time when you stay in a place as a traveler or as a guest.”  (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sojourn)

Therefor, the next question seems to be…Are we merely guest here on this planet, in our bodies? We all know the obvious answer to that is yes. Think of a day journey, or the other end of the spectrum, a life journey, we sojourn through. Even in the most difficult times we somehow find the strength to move thru. The journey is yours-unique to you-and yours to own. From our first breath to our last, it’s all a passage. Don’t be quiet in your own voyage. Every day make your sojourn one that matters, even it it’s just a tiny itsy bitsy bit-all those bits add up. Take the leap. Jump high and fly. Jump into your own odyssey. When all is said and done, my guess is that will be glad you did.

  • Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. – Confucius
  • Fall seven times, stand up eight. – Japanese proverb
  • Leaps of faith-maybe that should also be Leap of fate!?- BBB3
  • Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

This post is dedicated to David who did indeed sojourn on with grace, wisdom, love and dignity (…and The Redsoxs as well as the Patriots.) David ended his physical life journey today. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed. Special love to Mark, Rachel, Emily, Daniel, Ben and Jess.

Growing, people and our business

A few weekends ago we (that would be I and the gang of Botanical Beauties) were off again to a pretty special little town called Sharon Springs NY.

First, a heartfelt thanks and a nod to Cobbler & Co. located on Historic Main Street in Sharon Springs. They are now on the list of places you can walk into a brick and mortar store and buy Botanical Beauties & Beasties cards! It is a delightful store filled with wonderful treasures. Straight from their website- “Cobbler & Co. is a twelve-room eclectic gift shop. We offer an ever-changing array of gifts for you, your family, your friends, your home and garden and all of your entertaining needs...Take a look around our store and remember, we can ship anywhere!” (www.cobblerandcompany.com/index.html If you find yourself in that neck of the country I highly recommend a visit. For that matter, there are quiet a few stops worthy in Sharon Springs and the nearby environs.

Botanical Cards in the store.
Our cards displayed in the Cobbler & Co. card room. Hurrah!

Which brings me to Sharon Springs generally. The 2,000 census counted the population  as 547!  Sharon Springs NY is up in the Mohawk Valley, not too far from Cooperstown for you baseball fans. The countryside is beautiful, the wonderful Adirondack Park and Catskill Mountains are close by borders giving you some idea of its beauty. The ride is about 3 hours for me, the people I meet are always warm and friendly, meaning both the town folks and the fair attendees. Although I am lucky to even get close to breaking even when I am done with gas, lodging, fees etc I find myself returning each time. Why? What draws me to these shows 2x a year? The annual Garden Party (as the spring show is called) and the Harvest Festival (as the Fall show is named)- it seems like a crazy idea to keep going? So, why do I keep returning?

All this brings me to the words of hope, fascination, and charm. I think these may be the hidden charms of Sharon Springs?  There is something a bit intangible about it all, but it is contagious. I never know whom I will meet, but they are inevitably interesting people at these festivals. Some of it is plan old small town living, some of it is who these festivals draw in, and some of it Sharon Springs and its community. Granted, The Beekman Boy’s name is behind these fairs, it was fairly predominate, now it is a bit obscured. (Their FB page.) As a matter of fact, ETSY will be running the fair in the fall, so well see how that plays out. Regardless, The Beekman Boys are still a “draw” and fans come out to play!  There is a tour their home (a separate but planned extra if you so wish) and a fun array of other scheduled events happening on these weekends. For sure, it is a fun “weekend get-away” for many. I have decided to add to my weekend routine…after the arts fair is over on Saturday, I walk over (about 500 steps) and have a lovely cool cocktail on the amazing front porch of the American Hotel. Totally relaxing after a long day.  One never knows who might turn up there to chat with, and I like that! It is what I consider a quintessential front porch, and I met the nicest folks last time.

The American Hotel

Part of what is fascinating about Sharon Springs NY is its history. Here is a brief glimpse.  At one point, about 1836-1860, Sharon Springs was well know for its mineral water spa, with multiple large grand hotels and boardinghouses. By 1841, the village had become world-famous as the social elite came to take the waters. Magnificent large hotels and forest-like parks graced the village landscape. During the second half of the 19th Century, Sharon Springs was home to over sixty hotels and rooming houses accommodating over 10,000 visitors each summer. By the early 1900s… the summer clientele with the influx of European visitors (had become) primarily from Judaic tradition.” (more info.)  “Thanks to its sulfurmagnesium, and chalybeate mineral springs, Sharon Springs grew into a bustling spa during the 19th century. At the peak of its popularity, Sharon Springs hosted 10,000 visitors each summer, including members of theVanderbilt family and Oscar Wilde (who gave a lecture at the now-demolished Pavilion Hotel on 11 August 1882).” (more info) Sharon Springs also had a great location – in the 1800s two major paths (turnpikes and canals)  were constructed and Sharon was connected to Albany as well as larger cities like NYC easily. Farmers with cash crops of wheat and hops were now well positioned to thrive. To add to the good fortune of Sharon, the Delaware and Hudson Railroad open a spur thru Sharon, and the age of the spa was pretty well golden! Eventually, as family (and so spa and hotel proprietors) aged, fires, a hops blight, Prohibition, plus a few more national factors, Sharon Springs thriving success was brought to a halt. Here’s an interesting tidbit According to a NYT article (26 August 2000) “After World War II, Sharon Springs got a second wind from the West German government, which paid medical care reparations to Holocaust survivors, holding that therapeutic spa vacations.” More info.) In 1994 Sharon Springs, and its Spa-related structures were added to the National Register of Historic Places and Sharon Springs became a Historic District. The walking tour and the accompanying plaques were created to guide visitors through our history. The plaques showcase the many buildings, some still remaining, some long gone and put them in their historical context.” (Here is  a link to a brief, but complete  story of the fascinating history of Sharon Springs. More info. 

In todays, world Sharon Springs is again picking its self up and seems to be a story of revitalization.  There are charming stores and delicious restaurants to peruse and enjoy.  It appears that growing communities of artisans (both material and culinary) are living, and moving to the area…and don’t forget-I always seem to meet nice people there! Need a break? Try out a visit during the Fall Festival Sept. 20 & 21, 2014: Arts, countryside, amazing food, fun, frolic, and pretty much guaranteed a pleasant time.

Sharon Springs Collage

To all Mothers!

To mothers of human babies, and to all the mothers of all the creatures of planet Earth

 Happy Mothers Day! 

Rosie with Babies

 

 

Connections – and what does that have to do with cause and effect?

Every day is made up of our stories…some days are more mundane, some are wildly exciting- but all are parts of the weave of the day/week/month/year/life. What makes up the stories? Well there are the obvious things like your work, immediate family, and the daily task of your path. That’s all good stuff. To me, the really fascinating threads are the human interactions, the unexpected words, and experiences that fly all around us continually. I heard a great line recently that goes something like this – “You never know whom you will meet, and what influence/imprint they will have on your life and you on theirs.” Powerful. Amazing. Wonderful. Do you ever wonder why you meet (or met) someone? I have been examining some of the personal relationships in my life lately. Thinking about what is the give and take of these interactions, these friendships, and sometimes these brief and fleeting “moments in time.” (Moments in time are a whole other subject! The big question being how is time really marked and measured – why does it creep at points and fly at others?) Anyhow…..back to connections…Why are some of your friends, I say friends for they are chosen into your life, there? What do you add to their life and they to yours? Some may come and go, but I am pretty sure the ones that are here right NOW are for a reason, big or small.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves the awareness of a human encounter designated “Wow-now I get it.” You may select any other two world members, but it is essential that the first member of your team is yourself! It is also essential that the third member of your team is Yum (Yes, you have to imagine and pretend here! I’m sure you remember how! If you don’t then that too is part of your mission!  Yum is the “fairy of goodness,” she makes sure everyone is “behaving” as we would hope intelligent and kind humans should in the world.) She is a magical force as well as masquerading as a civilian, and she is a highly capable professional maker of self awareness. You have forty-eight hours to recruit Yum and meet me in the comments section to report on your mission. As always, should any member of your team be caught or become extra grumpy, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds. (Thanks to Mission Impossible for the inspiration of format!)

Zoie, The Monster, Yum
What do these characters have to do with each other? What IMPACT do they have on each other? ( Left to right, Zoie, Introducing The Monster, and Yum)

Spring, consciousness and attitudes.

Attitude is everything
See below for more about Attitude.

Today is finally warm again…alas the sun seems to have gone, and its raining, but at least the temps are 1/2 decent. Just asking– is this continuing of winter claws getting under your skin? It is mine! I could use some sun and warmth together! Just saying…Therefore, today we will chat about ways to try to help yourself get out of your own way. I am having a wee bit of trouble with this of late, it’s a tough one for many, at various times I am sure it is tough for everyone. Remember that’s it’s all about attitude, and if we are lucky maybe we can ‘adjust’ our own as needed ~ There are lots of great sayings about this…

  • Show up…
  • Park in front….
  • Everyday starts with a blank canvas….
  • Don’t give up. Normally it’s the last key on the ring which opens the door.
  • You don’t need to change places, you just see where you are with new eyes.

…and on an on. I must take you back to my yoga class. As usual, I find inspiration from the words of my teacher, Suzie. On Tuesday night she was saying, put your consciences in the palm of your hands. Of course, since it was yoga class I thought, ok…good idea Suzie I will do that. As the week progressed I have thought about it. Just what indeed does that really mean-especially to me? I realized I really didn’t have clue, so I sat down and thought about. Since I like, to share my favorite things with you all, I will share my thoughts.

Remember the blog post(s) on open palm living? They are still some of my favorite thoughts. Well, if you are living your life open; i.e.,open to: new experiences, people, things, thoughts, and your heart is open to the world around you then you are living in an open palm way. That also means you are possibly less ‘protected’ and therefor probably more ‘venerable.’ This is where consciousness helps. This is also where ATTITUDE helps. It may mean you have a sort of “self directed” path, you have awareness, and although most of us don’t understand much what goes on in our daily paths we know it is OUR path, and hope with all our might, wishes, crossed fingers, and a birthday candle blows, that it is the path we are supposed to be on!  (Can’t resist, another few sayings – Life is a journey not a destination, Your life is what you create in it). Now, lets take that one step further… Lets assume we are all trying to live our lives as ‘open beings’ with the added bonus of open palm consciousness.  You are now alive, open, and aware. Pretty amazing in itself if we can do that. Now, imagine you can touch it with your hands, that you indeed have ‘the power’ of consciousness in your palms, you can touch it at will. What will that bring? Does it mean you can mold it/shape it as you desire?  Can you adjust it with grace and ease for you can now touch it? Is it a burden or a pleasure to have this power? I hope you think it is a good thing, a pleaseure. Yes, I know I did not directly answer the question of “What it means to put your consciences in the palm of your hands?”  Well, what do you think it means? I hope, at least, I got you to think about it over the course of the next few days. Would love to hear from you in comments!

 Want a little more info on attitude? Click below. http://www.frenchbydesignblog.com/2013/12/wednesday-quote.html  https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/267482-the-longer-i-live-the-more-i-realize-the-impact (I was a little surprised when I followed through and found out who the author was) https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5139.Charles_R_Swindoll

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Babies, Hospitals, Cars, Dr’s, storms, and a Family story

It’s been a huge month in our family. There are TWO wiggling additions (one baby girl and one baby boy, a very big congratulations to all!!!), one snow storm (which when in DC/Baltimore/Annapolis area is a complete show stopper,) one major surgery (went very well-allowing me to breath again,) one emergency room visit (all is fine, thanks goodness,) lots of driving, one special family celebration, and lots of readjusting to all these new paths/stories/of our family…. I count in this story our dear friends, those connections/their stories, some less easy and “good” than others….I wish ALL the above only good news.  For the health side, I wish them recoveries and for the babies, clearly it’s health and happiness.  Everyone, even the four-legged family members are pretty darn tired. That too shall hopefully pass, as we all get use to all these new paths and find our ways on these roads. Constant realignment… letting go the past, our yesterday, and welcoming our tomorrow with all the turns, the curves, the uphills, and the easy downhills, that tomorrow will bring.

A BIG Huge THANK YOU to our friends and family members
…for all working together!
A BIG Huge Hurrah for us all!
Yes, at times, it does indeed take a small village, A.KA. a family and close friends.

and as the stories continue…

I hope and wish for all good outcomes.
That the fairies wands are all waving and working.
That the ill get well.
That the bones all heal and quickly.
That the babies all grow strong and well.
…and that our friends stay close!

Wellness, Car, Babies, Friends

 

The Wonderful, Fabulous, Beekman Boys and BEEKMAN 1802

http://beekman1802.com/heirloom-charlie/
Wahoo!!!!!! Check out the link!
It starts out saying..

At Beekman 1802, we are always inspired by the artisans we work with to create our products, but we also get inspired by people we meet “along the way”.   We met artist Liz Carren at an event earlier this year and were inspired by her “starting life over” story.  She’ll be one of the 150 vendors at this year’s Sharon Springs Harvest Festival.  Find her booth and say ‘hi’.

 

The Beekman Boys are true to their words, they said they would do it and they did! A little,  make that  A LOT, of  PR for Heirloom Charlie and so The Botanical Beauties & Beasties too!!!!! Heirloom Charlie IS UP and On the Beekman Boys – 1802 Beekman Website ( http://beekman1802.com/heirloom-charlie/)   and FB page (https://www.facebook.com/FabulousBeekmanBoys) …ahem, they have 94,852 Likes on their FB page- it’s got to help our PR and help get us to our goal of helping feed some families that need a bit of help!

Join us at The Harvest Fest this weekend!

2013-Harvest-Festival

and from The Beekman Website as well…
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.–T. Roosevelt

 When we started the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival 5 years ago, we dreamed it to be an occasion to celebrate the harvest from our local farmers and a day to bring the community together.   The first  year we were thrilled when 500 people showed up to the one day event.  Last year, imagine our surprise when over 8000 people over two days came to visit our little village.  Why?  No other reason than it’s a weekend to acknowledge what is good about small town America.  We want you to come by and say ‘hi’ to everyone.”

http://beekman1802.com/heirloom-charlie/

Perseverance pays off- hopefully in spades!

• And More big news. Every time We, The Botanical Beauties & Beasties and myself, are out and about in public, at shows or wherever, many folks ask, “Where’s the book?” “Do you have a book out yet?” Or, I hear them say, “You know, you ought to write a book” and on and on it goes, Well, 2 years later, I am finally “on it” – I am actually writing a book. I have about 1/2  of it drawn and the first draft of the words are also about 1/2 down on paper, well actually in the computer so digital paper. I plan it to be a series, starting with Heirloom Charlie, and for small children. Each book will feature one character, introduce another (which will naturally be the next in the series) and gently tell about the characters story/cause. The last part of each book will be about community and helping one another in the small and big details. I am hoping to be able to keep all the cost down, and be able to “package” 3 or 4 of the books together with ribbon, much like a “card packs” I do now.  I’m excited, and working away over here in my land of BBB3!  If anyone has any great ideas, or knowledge that can help- please, bring it on!

 

 

Glorious Flowers

Jolie Morning Glory  with Dalia Hat

I’ve always loved the wild abundance of Morning Glories when they take off. This vine self seeded from the other side of the porch. It makes me happy to see it every morning, it’s a summertime joy! Given all of the Morning Glory characteristics  I particularly like the statement from below-representing the renewable nature of love.

“The morning glory flower blooms and dies within a single day. In the Victorian meaning of flowers, morning glory flowers signify love, affection or mortality. In Chinese folklore, they represent a single day for lovers to meet…The tubular star-shaped morning glory flower primarily symbolizes affection, according to the Victorian Bazaar website. The flowers blossom in the morning and die by afternoon or nightfall, making it representative of the sometimes fleeting nature of affection. But the vine produces new flowers every day during its growth season, representing the renewable nature of love.

  • Victorian Tradition: When the language of flowers began in the Victorian era of the 1800s, morning glories signified love and affection, according to Victorian Bazaar. Given morning glory flower’s short lifespan, it also signifies unrequited love.
  • Chinese Lore: A traditional Chinese tale attached the morning glory to young lovers Chien Niu and Chih Neu, according to the Living Arts Originals website. When the pair fell in love, they neglected their duties in caring for water buffalo and sewing. In anger, gods separated the lovers on opposite sides of the Silver River and allowed them to meet just one day each year.
  • History

    • Wild morning glories have been traced back to ancient China where they were used for medicinal and ceremonial purposes. The Japanese first cultivated the flower for ornamental use in the 9th century. Aztec civilizations used the juice of some morning glory species native to Central America to create rubber-like substances, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Priests prized the hallucinogenic properties of the seeds for use in ceremonies.”

    Read more: http://www.ehow.com/about_6519699_meaning-morning-glory-flower_.html#ixzz2cXZQgvPN

…and we are off to The Cape

 

Cptuit Sign

 43rd Annual Festival of Arts & Crafts in the Seaside Village of Cotuit.

This weekend the CraftFest Cotuit on the Cotuit Village Green becomes the largest outdoor crafts festival on Cape Cod! Come on down and join the fun, see the art, and enjoy.

“More than 100 artisans and craftsmen gather at this premier showing of skilled craftsmanship and artistic talent. A day spent at CraftFest Cotuit is a day full of artistic inspiration, dialogue and learning, with all the pleasures of a quintessential summer village festival, down by the seaside, on Cape Cod. And, once more, the festival’s organizers will offer both free parking and free admission.”

Farmers Markets

 No farms – No food.Tractor

Although it’s dogmatic I still like this (No farms – No food) bummer sticker/slogan a lot. It’s all to easy to forget WHERE our food comes from. Do our kids know where food comes from other than the grocery store? Some yes, some no.

farmers’ market (also farmers market) is a physical retail market featuring foods sold directly by farmers to consumers. Farmers’ markets typically consist of booths, tables or stands, outdoors or indoors, where farmers sell fruits, vegetables, meats, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages. Farmers’ markets add value to communities.[1]  (Wikipedia) 

There are all kinds of Farmers Markets in the warmer seasons. They exist world-wide, reflecting each areas culture and flavors. When you stop to think about it Farmers Markets are about as old a tradition as they come.  A gathering of a few locals, selling food and wares, pretty much happening since sharing food began!. Time marched on and Trading Post came to be, then The General Store…take a million steps forward and we transferred that into mega grocery stores.  There are now some Markets attempting to bring us back to better health and making the shopping experience more connected-such as Whole Foods Markets.

Local Farmers Markets are a better ‘carbon footprint’ than any grocery store. Here’s why – The items are primarily all from LOCAL people, driving/transport is kept to a minimum due to the local factor. Now days you usually have an ‘organic‘ or ‘natural‘ element you can choose from, thus keeping pesticides and chemicals uses down. With small local markets the refrigeration is often coolers with ice, not those giant walk in cooler (which certainly DO have their place but also do take a LOT of energy to run.) Farmers Market food pretty much has to be fresh, and have had less time in storage. This equals a healthier food. Markets are generally outdoors, no energy needed for that solar lighting! Not to be left out is that the profit go directly to the farmer/grower/vendor. These are ALL bonus points for the individual, the community and the planet. . Recently a more sophisticated consumer is seeking out these factors/qualities more and more. The last really nice part is, if you attend your local Farmers Market regularly you will inevitably start-up a conversation, have fun food shopping, get to know a local farmer, and maybe a new neighbor! A local conversation and communication in-person, face to face. Now there’s a good old fashion true value!

 Hopkington Farmers MarketWe will be at The Hopkinton Farmers Market this sunday 1-5 pmBUY LOCAL, BUY FRESH!
Open every Sunday, June 16 through October 20 for the 2013 season.
1 pm to 5 pm.
Hopkinton Town Common
Street Parking.
Free Admission

Come get your produce, cheese, honey, meat, bread and wine (wine not every week), and ARTs, and/or some other special visiting vendor each week!!

(across from 11 Ash Street, Hopkinton MA)

map-Hopkinton