September 23, 2018

Candles, Color, Crafts and Coffee

The end of summer finds me eager to embrace cooler temperatures and bless-ed time in preparing my autumn list. Love the beginning of each new season but this is my favorite. Highlighting in my bullet-list on what seems important during these last three months of the year is edifying, relaxing, and I have a great sense of delightful anticipation to achieve what I write down.
  • Decorate! I pull out my stash of pumpkins, leaves, lights and assorted "scary" decorations, and candles, oh yes, candles. After deep cleaning, set these out on the first day of fall. The splash of color in the house makes us smile and the house begins the cozy season.
  • Line books on my table to enjoy during quiet moments. Books on my list: remarkable creatures by tracy chevalier; the story of arthur truluv by elizabeth berg (a fun author); hard cider by Barbara Stark-Nemon; Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines; rereading Rosamunde Pilcher's books, along with an occasional holiday one to get in the spirit. I refuse to allow the excuses for not nestling - such as "Tonight I will read, but first…” Nope, not this year - reading will be part of my life this year.
  • Grasp the quiet moments! I sit on the porch with a candle burning, Spotify playing coffee house music, and read, people watch as neighbors stroll past waving and shouting greetings.
  • Drool over my delicious pile of magazines. Love Stampington & Company's selection in particular - in her studio (spaces and stories of creative women); artful blogging; artful journaling; where women cook. I have discovered a few go-to magazines, some have treats inside, such as flow. 
  • Crafts. Not being a very artistic person does not stop me from bumbling through projects. Currently, I have two silver-plated decorative trays on my list to be creative with. Idea: spray paint, snap up a couple really cool pictures, and mod-podge these onto their surface, hang on the wall. Sounds easy! Not for me, but my spirit will be in this activity. I am organizing a monthly craft afternoon with friends - the first one next week. In elementary school we had a project where we made "beauty" out of a piece of pliable copper-colored metal. The dread of art class crinkled my brow and true to what I knew - mine was horrible. But, we grow up and take on some challenges. This is one for me … action vs fear.
  • Gatherings with family and friends. I love autumnal parties, freshly made soups, candles on the table, coffee, playing board games. Last year my younger sister died and to think of having family over without her was too painful, but … this year I am full of ideas.
  • Update my calendar.  Include festivals, activities, writer events, trips to the orchard for a crispy sweet donut and cider while selecting the perfect apples for our basket.
  • Walking in the woods. The colors are stunning, leaves crisp under foot, an occasional animal scoots in front of us, all healing and peaceful. Look up "forest bathing" and see what you think.
  • Write cards and letters. Now, who doesn't like to receive a handwritten note? 
  • Create more friendships. This is a difficult one for me, but have begun by having a monthly "coffee chat" with old friends. I'm open if you would like a loyal friend … :) 

Enjoy this season - do you have plans or ideas for a special autumn? Please share.

September 2, 2018

A Sojourn to the Truth

"It is the mind that makes the body" -- Sojourner Truth. 

This makes sense to me. How about for you?

Sojourner Trut

My rudimentary interpretation of this quote is that Sojourner Truth believed we determine the way our bodies are presented to others by what we think about and focus on. I sense optimism over pessimism in her words. For instance and for some people, I believe you could discover studies proving if you tell yourself over and over that you will get cancer or some other disease, you just might fulfill your own prophesy.  By believing this intensely perhaps you allow your body to eventually receive what you fear. 

Further, I believe that if you are raised in a secure family where love and respect are second nature, your bearing and face may show testimony to your fortunate start in life. But truly, can we really look at a person and know that they have had a very difficult and challenging life ... yes, sometimes. But I've met people who've lived through horrible situations yet their face shows contentment and yet met others who have been raised with abundance and by loving families who bear a look of distress and sadness.

Sojourner Truth seemed to speak from ageless wisdom and experience. "It is the mind that makes the body” - so, it is not too late to adopt a more positive attitude - you know, a glass either half full or half empty outlook. 

Perhaps if we exercise optimism more than negativity - look at the shiny side of the coin on occasion - maybe we can create a mind and outlook we can be proud of ... even adore. 

I want to be a half full person who laughs and dreams in color. My mother was an optimist. I tend to be more positive than negative but there is much room for improvement. The choice is in our hands and opportunities for optimism and change toward contentment available - daily. I strive to embrace an attitude that will shape me on my Sojourn … and, that's the Truth. 

Sojourner Truth was an amazing role model for our times. Please take a moment to read her story.

My Memory Box

As the holidays approach, you will find me searching through boxes of Christmas cards until I find what speaks to me from the current year...