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To Life

Monday, April 25th, 2011
Easter Brunch 2011

Easter Brunch 2011

We had company for Easter Sunday Brunch; a nice meal and conversation.  I hope that whatever you did on this morning, it felt inspiring and uplifting to your spirits.  Our menu was divine: mushroom/onion quiche, strawberries, pear, chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, sparkling cider, chocolate and at least one PEEP.   Oh YUM!

Our whole city seemed to come alive this weekend to uplift spirits and inspire.  Out popped a 65’F/ 17’C sunny day, for our Arts Walk, Earth Day, Procession of the Species Parade, Good Friday and Easter weekend.  It is raining on all the egg hunts today – but oh how lovely it was yesterday and the peas made a green appearance in the garden beds.   I was amazed to discover so many wonderful and new artists in our community and to see and celebrate their experience.  One of my favorite parts of the parade is the precision push lawnmower drill team – and the beautiful giant puppets and colorful costumes are magnificent.  Music, music, music wafted upon the air, with the drums rhythm late into the evening keeping step.

To get my spirits prepared for this weekend, I carefully chose two documentary films to watch.

My friend Brad texted me about the film  THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE  by Cliff Azize and friends about his younger brother Jeff’s year long experience to understand family and love.  Jeff is quite a bit younger and suffered migraine headaches and has a form of autism.  His father was harsh and abusive with Jeff particularly when he was still at home and drinking; Jeff had not seen his father for over 10 years; he had recently moved into a half way house and it is from there the adventure begins.  The two brothers live on the streets with homeless people in New York City, they travel to find a group of surfers who help needy children all the way up and down the continents on the Pacific Ocean.   They travel to Africa to meet Lepers, and victims of AIDs recording what they experience and what they discover along the way.   It is a very moving film and in their simple presentation one is drawn into understanding the significant connection between love and family.

I was reminded of Mother Theresa’s words:  “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than bread”

This film was a healing experience for the brothers and for me brought out the feelings of gratitude for the love within my family unit and how that radiates into service for others.

The second film I watched was a discovery I made doing some surfing myself.  I was working on the question – “How do I inspire people to understand the importance of reading and why am I not doing a better job of this on my blog?”   I was led to THE HOBART SHAKESPEAREANS

This is a documentary film about an amazing teacher and his 20 years of teaching 5th Grade in one of the poorest segments of Los Angeles.  In this classroom, the children arrive from homes where English is not their first language.  They are surrounded by violence, as witnessed in one scene where the school is locked down because of a fatal shooting outside.  These 50 children are reading Classic American Literature such as OF MICE AND MEN, THE ADVENTURES OF HUCK FINN, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, and at least a dozen more, which focus on the American Experience.  They have a trip to Washington DC and they learn about their country through visiting all the sites; making history comes alive.  On their own time, they study Shakespeare’s plays and they understand every word of what they are learning; at the last week of school they perform their focus play, play the music, and clearly understand the work. Impressive.

Rafe Esquith the teacher, has several books out and is a guest speaker for a number of teaching organizations.  He teaches 6 days a week and on Saturday lots of former students come back to study for the SATs and work on other school work in his classroom.  I would have loved to be in such a wonderful classroom along the way, but as impressive as the classroom was, this teacher’s ability to help the children learn how to learn, how to keep their minds open and to formulate their own ideas was impressive and inspiring.  He opened the door to their own curiosity and gave them the skills to know and understand themselves.   Powerful.

This is how I prepared for a big weekend and gave myself inspiration to keep job hunting, and paying my bills; inspiring people to heal and make positive change in their lives.   How do you prepare yourself and motivate yourself to make change?  What techniques do you use?

Looking forward to your sharing ideas.


There is a book giveaway happening on the blog April 28th  for the PROCRASTION EQUATION.

A random drawing will be held for a comment written on the post on April 27th….there is still time to get your name entered!    Unless you are procrastinating?


Congratulations!!!!

Tess Marshall of the BOLD LIFE won the copy of the Book The LONG GOODBYE by Meghan O’Rourke

Related Reading:
Food and Money Insights
The Element by Sir Ken Robinson
Eat to Live
Move Your Money

A Valentines Kiss for you

Monday, February 14th, 2011
The Kiss

The Kiss

I can start my walk by going uphill away from downtown or I can go down hill to sea level and walk Capital Lake or Percival Landing.  If I take the Percival Landing route this delightful statue is near the beginning of the walk around the Inlet.

I love how the couple is just taking advantage of the moment , of just being in that space and choosing to reconnect with each other – connection holds the imagination in its embrace and is suspended in time.

The Kiss  was designed and created by Richard S Beyer in 1990   and was added to the board walk down to the Port.  The couple are in the perfect position to be admiring the Capital Buildings and Dome  or they could be turned around to see the sailboats  behind and off in the distance across the Sound the Snow Capped Olympic Mountains.

The Landing contains other lovely pieces of art and flower boxes and benches all along the route.  Several outstanding eateries are just off to the side and the walk turns at the Port and directs one through the Farmers Market.

A crafts fair is held on the Landing each year and local artists share their  works and endeavors and there is an amazing wooden boat fest complete with tugboat races and tribal canoe  storytelling.

I just thought I would share this KISS with you on this Valentines Day and wish you a loving moment in your day and someone to share it with.

My Maternal Grandparents were married for over 60 years and choose February 14th long before it became  a Candy Festival with rules and appropriate dollar amounts attached.   As a matter of fact  this date became National Celebration of the Potato Chip Day long before it became Valentines Day, in the USA!

My wish for you is that someone or some event touches your heart with love and you will feel the radiant blessing of THE KISS.

What does Valentine’s Day mean for you?  How do you make it a loving day?

Other reading you might enjoy:

The Wisdom to Know the Difference
The Wedding
Committed a Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Love Ceiling

3 Books and a Quick Look

Friday, January 21st, 2011

winter_orchard

I wanted to read some light and fast words over my vacation days.   Here is an update on the 3 books that I consumed and my thoughts about each one.  I think I will call these mini-reviews!

HANDLE WITH CARE ~Jodi Picoult

This was our January book group selection and because it was longer than the other two, it was a good read to curl up with while the family was skiing and just fully enjoy a reading day by the fire.  This book is an excellent ethical study using the mode of fictional storytelling to get the reader to deeply think about an issue and how it affects a life and a community.

A family is blest with a beautiful baby girl, which they truly wanted and love.  This new baby has a debilitating disease – in this case it is brittle bone syndrome.   The story takes one through the community’s response, the family’s struggles and pulls in the broader legal and legislative issues through secondary characters and the movement of the story line.   The financial difficulties are not glossed over nor are the individual family members and their emotions ignored.   It is a story that provokes many emotions to surface and it is very well written.

5 Ladybug rating 5-Ladybugs

A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD
~Jennifer Egan

An online book reviewer that I usually think has great taste, listed this book in her top 5 for 2010.  I’m game for a book about the promotion of music from the early days of rock and roll to the future.  I would count this as one of the worst books I have ever read.  One of the main characters remained a mystery woman right to the very end as she appeared and disappeared without as much as a comma.  The men were just bling characters with insatiable addictions to drugs, alcohol, abusing women and oral sex.  The transitions in this book were so jumpy and radical I was thinking they were intentional, but with so few folks into reading these days, I would define them as a mistake.  The female characters were all, without exception maimed in some way and were definitely suffering from at least one disorder, not to mention too incompetent to ever use the word NO or think for themselves.   Even the female toddlers at the end of the story were thought to be incomplete and lacking in educability.   I was appalled by the degradation of women in this book and I would discourage my grown children from reading this book as it was just tasteless and boring exploitation.  Yes, I do realize that tasteless and exploiting along with addiction and hedonism are all connected to the music industry and promoters, but the story did not grow out of that into a full story or a useful story with good characterizations.  I kept reading because one of the characters revealed some remarkable and noteworthy writing skill and that skill was what kept me reading the whole and not just wishing I had not purchased a copy.

1 ladybug OneLadybug

THE HATING GAME by Talli Roland

This was the most fun adventure in reading I have had in a long time.  I just came across this book on a post by Hilary at Positive Letters
The book was to be published first on KINDLE and then in hard copy and the blogging world in the UK was all set to push this book the moment it was released.  I bought my copy right away and added to the frenzy which put the book onto the KINDLE best seller list in just a matter of hours.

And just what did I get for my $2.99; I got one of the most delightful reads I have experienced in a long, long time.  It was a great spoof on reality TV shows, on romance novels, and thirty somethings.  I enjoyed the stops around London and the countryside and bantering friend’s conversations.  Insights into what the characters were thinking was just so true about how we try to second guess and get confused and distracted by our thoughts.

The author kept it simple and delightful and a chuckle just kept popping up to the surface.  Start to finish took me one long day and I felt a sense of refreshment and just let the fun overlap into my next activity.

5 laughing ladybugs  5-Ladybugs

Okay now it is your turn did you read something that was just pure pleasure to celebrate a vacation? Or the holiday?  Book, blog, magazine article, news item?   Hoping you’ll share and let us know if it tickled your funny bone or made you pause and wonder?  I always just love to hear what you have to say…

Related Reading:

American Wife
Two Cups of Tea and Mountain to Mountain
The Highest Tide