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The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Sweet Blog Award

Deborah Baker at Living Between the Lines   just passed on a sweet treat and what a delicious way to start out the New Year and the Valentine Month of February.  I am the recipient of the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. Lucky me!

At first I was not quite sure about this honor, because I have been busy returning to my NO SUGAR campaign, which I vacationed from during the past holiday season.  Then I thought, no indeed, this is a good way to receive a sweet morsel, which only serves to remind me that connections with others is one of the sweetest treats one may receive.  I just wish to say the stickiest of thank yous to Deborah for her thoughtful gift.

Now I am to indulge myself in the pure delight of talking about myself….here are 7 individually wrapped nuggets about me you may not have known.

#1  I am allergic to chocolate, dairy products, and caffeine.  Remembering that chocolate contains caffeine, if I mix the various allergens together, I get a migraine headache which lasts for about 8 hours.

My health is an extremely important factor in my life because I was born with cancer and because my Father made me promise I would learn as much as I could about environmental cancers.  If you spend much time with me, you will realize that I will talk about health issues #1 and I feel healthier and healthier as I debrief all the information that comes to me from other sources.

#2  I have watched the movie Julie and Julia 62 times.  Why you ask?  Because Meryl Streep is brilliant in it, Julia Child’s cooking show was the only program I was allowed to watch when I was healing from surgery or came home from school sick, and because it is about a blogger who succeeds in her hoped for arena of success.  It inspires me.

#3  I was blessed with incredibly beautiful skin, and when other’s teased me about how clearly you could see veins through it, I knew immediately they were envious.  I take very good care of my skin and never take it for granted and I am grateful for its power to hold me together.   I rarely cover up the red patch on my forehead, because I believe to be a beacon of wisdom and a direct receptor to my heart.

#4  I used to think my greatest gift was my beautiful singing voice, but have learned that my greatest gift is listening and music is how I practice and improve that art form.

#5  Surveys – I enjoy taking them very much.  I find them a powerful teaching tool, but I need to be able to voice my thoughts and not just answer yes, no and undecided.  I no longer participate in surveys that do not allow me a place to comment.

#6  I totally dislike the smell of coffee.

#7 Working on a new dream.  I have been taking lots of time to be healthy and wealthy enough to enjoy the last third of my life.   I am very happy to say that I feel as though I have truly lived each and every day on purpose, with a few highs and lows to make it extremely interesting.  Now as I am reaching out to touch the “peak of creativity” (around age 65 for women), I am developing a new dream and exploring possibilities.   I can smell the sweet enticing smells of something awesome which is coming my way, and I will say it is irresistibly yummy!

I want to say thank you to Deborah for including me in this award.  It was chewy and nutty and fun.

I also want to say thank you again to Eliza of Silver and Grace   for including me in her free e book, Women Who Make a Difference   and highlighting me on her blog December 2011.

Here are my nominees for this sweet treat, hope they will enjoy this award too:

The Shyness Project
Arriving At Your Own Door
The Rose Bandit 
The Secret Goddess 
Today’s Path
A Sharing Connection
Holessence Speaking From the Heart

For those I have nominated, the rules, as I understand them are:
1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the Award on to some of your own deserving blog friends.
4. Contact those friends and let them know.

Hope this is not too sweet for you?  What do you find irresistible?

If you purchase anything from this site from Amazon or Powell’s I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

For the month of February Wise Ears  is offering a mini Journal writing and listening seminar to every 5th person who subscribes.   Who’s hearing you?

Jane Dillon Wingfield – Local Artist

Monday, September 19th, 2011
Oly Market Scene

Oly Market Scene

I want to share my birthday gift with you right now.  My friend and book group sister Jane Wingfield offered me a print of her lovely art as a birthday present, because I so enjoy her work and being in her good company, and because I was overjoyed by her offer, I requested to be a bit greedy and share her art here and give you the link to her blog where she shares even more of her drawings. Jane said, Yes!

Jane is off to Connecticut to celebrate her daughter’s wedding.  I did a piece about Lianna and her Juvenile Diabetes fundraiser earlier in the summer right after the 4th of July, when we were celebrating Jane’s Birthday, which is on that day!

Every week I go to our Farmer’s Market from April to December and I do so love how Jane’s sketches capture the joyful energy.  There is a touch of whimsy to many of her sketches that produce a feeling of delight for me.

Schilter Family Pumpkin Patch

Schilter Family Pumpkin Patch

Jane works full time for the State of Washington and has shared her wisdom with 3 amazing children and numerous pets and critters.  Her partner John travels all over the earth helping Unity Churches develop and grow.   She is a high energy person and enjoys being with people, she asks the tough questions and laughs easily to keep us from becoming bogged down and uninspired.

I loaned Jane my Foley Food Mill, because she was making Apple Butter to share with all the guests at the wedding.  She also gave me a jar – yum.   She returned my pan so shining and scrubbed, I seriously considered asking her to assist me in cleaning up my other cookware!

Regents Park London

Regents Park London

Wasn’t this a great birthday gift?

Her enthusiasm for living is infectious.

Do you have a favorite local artist who helps you in joy your community?  Are you drawn to the art? Looking forward to your comments.

Marcia Orchids Nighttime

Marcia Orchids Nighttime

If you enjoyed reading wander over and see what is happening at Wise Ears and Biking Architect

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If you purchase anything from Amazon from this site I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Thank you

Related Reading:
Schilter Family Farm
Creative Potager’s Precious Seconds
The Wisdom To Know the Difference
An Apple of Appreciation for the Teacher

Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses ~Claire Dederer

Monday, April 18th, 2011

I first heard about this book at one of my book groups.  Jane came in the door waving a copy of the book and said, “I want to share with you this book my sister in Seattle just gave to me.  It is all about growing up in Seattle and about a young woman discovering her authentic self through yoga; it is quite funny.”

I turned on my Kindle and we went to the site and I reported that the book was $26.00 in hardcopy and $12 in Kindle, and while the group debated about the book being too expensive and no used copies yet, I downloaded it to my reader.  (The book has dropped in price now and is available in paperback)

I just knew this book was going to be “my cuppa tea” kind of read even though there were a lot of references to the Seattle Coffee reputation being built and contributed to by the author.  This is a record of a person’s life and how she made changes and came to terms with being whom – who she authentically was – is.  The author is another Change Artist in Action.   She tells her story through the framework of 23 yoga poses, which she explains well and then lets them breathe into how they defined the times of her life.

There is definitely something about letting gravity work in a yoga pose that calms the mind and allows ideas and thoughts to bubble up into consciousness and identifies what they need to work on, what to turn into play – inquiry and investigation.

Dederer is a journalist and works as a freelance writer and her skill is delightfully punctuated with sly sarcasm based/ tongue in cheek sense of humor.  Her views of the “perfect” mother syndrome of her friends starting families, breast feeding and stroller distancing problems (got to wear that baby around your neck to truly bond) just made me feel so much happier with the “post hippie” parenting mode I experienced and carried my own children through.  I just had to laugh right out loud at times in the story.

The author did a great deal of questioning about her own parents and even though she was questioning in relationship to her own needs, wants, and confusions her writing and storytelling was very respectful of their journey. This book is kinda, sort of about divorce.  I do not think the author felt unloved, rather I think she felt “over” loved sometimes, if that is possible.

Her descriptions of various yoga styles, studios, and practices were wonder  full.   The drawings that started each chapter were delight full.   Her words about getting into poses, holding, breathing, and recovery  made me feel, “been there and done that”; I was so happy that she was reminding us to breathe along the way.

The book group went ahead and chose the historic novel Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth, which is a huge tome of greatest, detailed storytelling about the slave trade I would ever want to encounter.  It won the Booker Prize for its brilliant writing and its historic relevance.  I read the book and will discuss it this week at group, but I will not do a book review on site, because I do not write about books I do not care for; I did not care for READING this paperback book – of 630 pages on tissue paper with extremely small print, which made my eyes hurt and act as though I had an astigmatism.  The details of how a slave ship was built, detailed, and modified overwhelmed me and since other good friends adore these types of detail, who am I to give this book a rating?

I gave Poser 5 Ladybugs
5 Ladybugs
Elizabeth Gilbert the author of Eat, Love, Pray – loved this book

I purchased these books, no agency or individual paid me to review this book or not to review the Hunger book, but if you purchase this book off this site I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

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A reminder:  there are two book” give aways” happening on Patricia’s Wisdom right now:

April 22, 2011 will be the drawing for a copy of the book THE LONG GOODBYE – all you need to do is be from the USA or Canada and leave a comment.

April 28, 2011 The author of the book THE PROCRASTINATION EQUATION is giving away a copy to the best procrastination story or anti-procrastination technique from the comments section.

Can you recommend a book to me that you discovered and enjoyed?  Have you made any delightful discoveries as of late? Did you just decide to read something on a whim or suggestion that turned out well?  Let’s share

Related Reading:
How Yoga Works, a novel
Naked In Eden
Olive Kitteridge
Change Artist In Action

Carbon Fast?

Monday, February 28th, 2011


Our household has been actively working with the Architecture2030 plan to revise the codes and laws creating the change needed in energy consumption ( particularly oil consumption) and reduce carbon emissions.

We added solar panels to our house, study our water usage, do not use our clothes dryer, recycle, reuse and study to make our Architectural Firm the Greenest Design Folks in our area.  I am proud to say that we have taken an extremely old house, made it beautiful and created a lifestyle that has meaning and is very green.

We have offset our carbon production by the equivalence of planting a tree every month for the past 18 months.   We have produced enough power to run our household and 10 more for a number of months now, even with our dull and cloudy 2010 weather.

Can we improve?  Yes I am sure we can and that feels powerful to me, to be able to actively do some things to make an actual difference in my life and my planet.   So when the following invitation came to my email box – I said count me in…What a great way to bring carbon neutral into my spiritual practice for 40 days.

I just wanted to pass this on to you so you could have the option of making a difference on a daily basis.

Here is the invitation:

Please Join Us in a Lenten Fast . . .   From Carbon
As we write this invitation, the World Meteorological Organization along with NOAA and NASA all have data showing 2010 tied with 2005 for being the hottest year on record.  We also read that in December 2010, Arctic sea-ice cover was the lowest on record.  Just as humanity now recognizes climate change as a predominant scientific, economic and political issue, we also realize it is a profound moral issue.  Life on earth as we know it is mortal – it is susceptible to change, hurt and, yes, death.

Ash Wednesday (March 9, 2011) invites us into the season of Lent – a time within the church year to acknowledge that we are mortal, limited.  Lent awakens us to hope in God whose “steadfast love endures forever” and to struggle against everything that leads us away from the love of God and neighbor.  The Lenten disciplines of repentance, fasting, prayer, study and works of love are guides for returning to the steadfast love of God.  During Lent we confess our mortality, our limits and our vulnerability so that we might be transformed and become the new life God calls us to be.

We invite you to join us as we commit to fasting from carbon during Lent. Beginning Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent, participants will receive a daily email with the day’s suggested carbon-reducing activity.  When possible, this will include a quantitative measure of the carbon reduction resulting from the activity.  Each daily email will also have a section suggesting a weekly focus for the congregation.

If you are a pastor, we encourage you to email this invitation to the members of your congregation.  If you are a denominational leader, we encourage you to extend this invitation (perhaps with your own introduction) to your churches and pastors and invite them to send the email to the members of their churches.  Our hope is that Christians the world over from every denomination might participate in this carbon fast.

Congregations that participate are encouraged to gather weekly to share their experiences, support one another, compare notes, share resources and pray.

God is calling us to be the change we long to see.  Let us engage this spiritual discipline, grateful for all God has entrusted to us, and trusting that with God all things are possible.

Click here to participate

The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal  •  Conference Minister and President  •  Massachusetts Conference, UCC
The Rev. Dr. Chuck Barnes  •  Conference Minister  •  Rhode Island Conference, UCC
The Rev. Dr. Lynn Bujnak  •  Conference Minister  •  Vermont Conference, UCC
The Rev. David Gaewski  •  Conference Minister  •  Maine Conference, UCC
The Rev. Gary Schulte  •  Conference Minister  •  New Hampshire Conference, UCC
The Rev. Chuck Wildman  •  Interim Conference Minister  •  Connecticut Conference, UCC

An initiative of the New England Regional Environmental Ministries, United Church of Christ

This  fast is adapted from materials created by the following organizations, whom we gratefully acknowledge:  Tearfund; the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Initiative; The Environmental Outreach Committee of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC; Washington Interfaith Power & Light; United Church of Chapel Hill; Rock Spring Congregational UCC; Alternatives for Simple Living; CLR(NSW) Social Justice Committee; Buzzle.com.

Local Washington State group organizing carbon Lenten Fast  Earth Ministry and WAIPL Lent Prayer and Reflection Guide, Earth Ministry and WAIPL Carbon Fast Calendar

So are you working on helping the planet?  Do you think this is a good idea?  Do you like to be active and to do things that can make a difference?  Did you sign up?

Related Reading you might also enjoy:
The Biking Architect
Agenda for a New Economy
Do you know your Walk Score?
Taking it on the Architecture 2030 Challenge

As always I look forward to your enlightening comments: