Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category
Brin and I have found a Chiropractic office that is FAB-U-LOUS! Dr Andreas is new to Back to Health so my timing was serendipitous. He has patiently explained my ex-rays, treatment plan, why and what he is doing as he adjusts my back and neck. I am thrilled to have found the entire staff at Back to Health and if you are local I highly recommend them. You know that feeling of belonging you get when you’re in exactly the right place at the right time? That’s been my experience here—I feel deeply cared for and that my whole health is truly essential to these doctors.
Last May I visited my Aunt Margaret in Canada, she was selling her home in a retirement community and moving into an assisted living facility. There was only so much she could take with her and one of the things slated to be donated was a hope chest. I have a weak spot for boxes. I am prone to falling for all shapes and sizes, makes, materials, they call to me from the nooks and crannies of thrift shops and craft fairs. I currently only have one hope chest which is home to my childhood treasures, memories of a twenty-seven year marriage, and keepsakes from Brin’s journey from newborn to young woman. I am a devout keeper.
My Aunt told me the hope chest was the first and only gift her parents had given her—it was an engagement gift. She’d had it for over fifty years! The chest was empty and a delectable cedar scent wafted from inside which still looked new—irresistible itself but it had family history! But I was going home by plane. I couldn’t take it. No way. Fortunately, not only am I keeper but I’m a hoper.
After staying at my Aunt’s for a few days I was hosted by my dear friend Beatrice and her husband Joop in Oakville. I shared the story of the hope chest and asked if I could get it to her house could it hang out in the basement until I figured out how to get it to Florida. Bea’s a kindred soul and a hoper, too. She welcomed the dear chest and even helped me carry it downstairs when it was delivered by my Aunt’s pet sitter a few days later. Do you see the synchronicities keeping the hope alive?
Once I was home I made a few inquiries for shipping but the cost was simply too high. Bea said it was fine where it was for a while and we would wait and see what the Universe sent us. Fast forward sixteen months when Bea spoke with friends who planned to visit south Florida in September and who had a brother and sister-in-law who would be driving from Canada to meet up with them. In a VAN. What fabulous friends that they agreed to this hopeful adventure!
Hope Chest Travel log leg one: September 9th left the basement of Bea & Joop’s Oakville house driven to Toronto. Thank you all for giving this hope wings.
“Oh. the places you’ll go” dear hope chest on your way from Toronto to Ocala! How do you keep hope alive dear reader?
…alphabet soup. do you remember eating it as a kid and trying to find the letters that spelled your name? did you ever?
…august is h-o-t! and dry. we awoke to the sound of rain this AM; it’s always good when it rains and this year, especially so…
…absent-mindedness. I plumb forgot I was ‘posed to send the current issue (Aug/Sept/Oct 2012) of Artful Blogging onto my friends, especially Laura ’cause her letter to the editor is published in it! isn’t that cool!!! check out the issue at your local bookstore.
…art journaling. this year I’ve been taking a lot of fun art journaling classes and next week, I’m taking a class with Tim Holtz, undoubtedly one of the best known designers/creators of mixed-media paper craft projects. I’m excited.
…accomplished! in this post I talked about completing a long-overdue quilting project that I’d hoped to finish by end of July. well, I didn’t quite make that deadline but I am so-o-o happy to announce that as of yesterday, August 13, I finished and sent it to the quilter. Hoo-Ray!!!
The quilt was a 2010 block of the month club I participated in; the quilt was designed by Sue Spargo.
So, what’s on your A-list?
We’re celebrating the letter A this week. Out of all the awesome words that begin with A as in my ‘one little word’ for 2012: actualize; or my last name; or our country’s name since the Olympics are culminating, I definitely had excellent options but I chose ACTIVE. This word is what brings balance, fulfillment, and accomplishment into my days. One of the tools that have inspired me to be more active is Weight Watcher’s Active Link—a flashdrive sized data recorder that captures all of your body’s movements using an accelerometer. Similar to the technology used in a Wii controller. How amazing is that?
Tracking my activity this accurately has shown me how much I need to move after long stretches of inactivity at the computer, writing, reading, or watching a movie. I use my egg timer to remind me to get up and move at the end of every hour and I row, walk, dance, or engage in a home-caring activity. Peak exercise periods are important but sitting for long periods can counter all that effort, so consistent activity all day is the ultimate goal. What motivates you to stay active?
Summertime is lazy time…uninterrupted hours filled with books and magazines to read, movies to watch, music to listen to, and lemonade or iced tea/coffee to drink… At the least, we generally fill our weekend dance cards with these activities. Being in protirement, I am lucky enough to have the summertime way of life pretty much 365 days of the year, if I chose. And I do!
Most, if not every morning, I start my day with morning solitude and quiet time – MSQT; I have written about it before here. This summer, I find my days are starting a little later and MSQT, lasting a little longer (partially due, I think, to the unrelenting heat we’ve had). Thanks to my iPad, I can read and listen to music anywhere in the house. But, I usually enjoy MSQT in the Great Room (family room), and quiet as it’s kept, I still do a lot of my reading the old fashioned way: paper printed books and magazines.
These days, my reading focuses pretty much on creative pursuits that I am dabbling in: quilting, knitting, art journaling, etc. I seldom read fiction. I find that I am interested in reading about the author’s process as s/he pursues her/his art. I learn and am inspired as much by the author’s reflections and sharing as I do from the passages dedicated to technique, how to, instruction.
Last week I read and fell in love with a delightful book: Doodling in French by Anna Corba. I don’t fancy myself a doodler – and neither did she – and I’m certainly not a sketcher but I was intrigued by the title. The author, an artist known for her collages coupled with simple line drawings has traveled extensively to France. This little book demonstrates how to draw French iconic items, e.g., le croissant; la tour eiffel (Eiffel Tower); le chien (a poodle), etc., and then use the drawing as part of a collage. Filled with clear diagrams on how to draw the items, this book is also a treat to look at and [it] invites you to pick up a pencil and try your hand. Inspired am I? I’ve already come up with an idea that I will eventually create into a mini quilt using both paper and fabric…
The other title that garnered my attention is Gwen Marston’s 37 Sketches. Gwen is a quilter of renown fame, best known for her liberated quilt-making techniques. The book is a compendium of 37 small quilts – the largest is 11.50 x 13.25 inches – Gwen made in 2010, as she practiced techniques and experimented with ideas. She refers to each quilt as a sketch. Dynamic is the word that came to my mind as I read. And, I am going to make some sketches, too! What better way to practice technique and bring to fruition my own ideas? Click here to read more about the book and here to see an exhibit of Gwen’s sketches.
Both these titles have, as the subtitle of Doodling in French says, inspired me with joie de vivre. Can’t wait to start but I will have to ’cause I have a few other things in process and first, I have to make room for these two new activities. TBC…
What’s on your recently read and/or to read lists?
I have a new iPhone! I bought it expressly for the camera! Takes really great photos! On Tuesday, June 12, I used both my new and old iPhones to take 12 photos…since Tuesday was June 12 and we were each going to take and post 12 photos for this week.
As is normal, I connected my old iPhone to my iMac and a) synced with iTunes and b) uploaded the photos I’d taken to iPhoto. So far, so good! Next, I connected the new iPhone to the iMac/iTunes, fully planning to upload those photos taken on 6.12.2012. And there, I hit a glitch! First, iPhoto didn’t/couldn’t import the photos I’d taken…and then, iTunes/iMac decided to “restore my iPhone,” whatever that means. Upshot: I lost all the photos taken with my new iPhone, including those taken 6.12!
And so, this is what I have left from my 12 on 12 photo shoot…and I think only because these were on my old iPhone (which has now become an iPod). Oh well, better luck next month… I think I’ll use the cloud, too!
PS. One thing I love about the iPhone, whichever version: I can take screen shots, just by pressing the camera button and on/off switch simultaneously. Too cool!
Verb Tribe Too began on Thursday and I was still awake at the stroke of midnight Thursday morning and couldn’t resist peeking at the prompt that was finally accessible, ‘You are a bird’. I watched birds all day and wondered about them. I listened to their calls, cries, and caws with a new ear attempting to differentiate and recognize them.
On Friday morning I was early to CrossFit and sat in my car with my little notepad and jotted down a few lines and words that came to me during my drive. Later at home after Morning Pages were tucked away I sat with my trusty Ticonderoga pencil and my blank sketch book and captured this poem:
My body is the night
blacker than pitch.
Imagine the evening sky, stars snuffed out like candles.
I am soaked in black
my feathers reflect iridescent purple.
Bold am I.
I scream at my crow cousins.
I am mighty—
They are minions in my kingdom.
Raven am I.
Maven of heaven.
My intense inky eyes
on either side of my head.
so foreign to you,
allows a view of ALL.
I am always alert, ready, poised.
The branch sways
I hold my head still
What buoyant substance is sealed in
these hollow bones?
Which make my body
than the air that kisses it?
I am not shackled by gravity
my wings spread in a shadowy embrace
my legs thrust
I point my beak to the rising sun.
Close to the ground I swoop and loop
over my crow cousins.
Krak, krak I call
to remind them
I am here.
Their dark master.
I lift on a current like a branch in the sea
a black smudge in an azure sky.
My belly is full.
My wings are strong
I beat them up then down
and feel the wind
shoot me higher.
I bank right.
The heavens are devoid
of other life
I circle the funnel of air
my wings stroke the air.
alive, I scream. I am alive.