Find Joy Where You Are...
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I am simply dazzled! I just put this photo up on my Facebook page and asked if anyone could help me identify these and my friends didn't let me down! They are a magical enchanting fungi called Earth Stars growing right in a little gully at the edge of my driveway. Gracious ME! I am beside myself I am so tickled! (Click on the link to read more about them.)
I am simply enchanted with the natural world and the miracles that abound. Some days it might be a Magic 8 Ball and today a magical mushroom but the world is full of more wonders than one heart can hold. What a blessing!
Closeup, Dragonfly Cottage Earth Stars...
So often when we think about the things that make us happy, that bring us joy, we think of big things. For me, more and more, it is the simplest of things. Today, walking with the dogs in our backyard, I picked early daffodils and wild snowflakes, those delicate little white bells with tiny green dots on the tips of each petal, bright yellow stamens inside, and a delicious sweet fragrance. They are all the more precious because they are "volunteers." This is my 4th February in this place and the first two years there was not a snowflake in sight. Last year they appeared, spottily, around the yard. Today I picked the first one.
Today, too, I found, once again, that what Camus wrote is true for me once again. He wrote, "In the midst of winter I found that there was in me an invincible summer." And so there is. And this winter's day I found the tiny flowers that made their way here and survive despite the odds. There is great comfort in that.
Tonight, I feel joy.
Monday, February 11, 2013
From the amazing Rima Staines blog, The Hermitage
One day I happened upon a link to a blog post called "Old Women Who Paint On Their Walls" on a blog by an artist named Rima Staines. Rima is an amazing and innovative artist and this blog is a feast of riches but this particular post intrigued me, never having heard of the blog but curious to see what old women did that merited a post on what they might paint on their walls. Whoa Nelly! I opened up that page and my jaw dropped. All of a sudden a new world opened up to me, and two things popped into my mind. First of all, always having wanted to paint but figuring in my 50's it was too late to start I was reminded of Grandma Moses who didn't start painting until she was in her 70's (I've always loved her quote, "If I hadn't started painting I would have raised chickens."), and painted past 100. I may not turn into Grandma Moses or Georgia O'Keefe but that doesn't mean I can't paint for the joy of it, and now with a little table-top easel and some inexpensive canvases and art supplies I'm about to start.
The other thing that I loved was that they painted on their walls. With a lifetime of that "Paint the walls white in case we ever have to sell the house" school of thought behind me as soon as I had my own little place every single room was a different color with painted ceilings and down the hall to the bedrooms and den the walls are painted turquoise with the doors painted the same color as the rooms themselves, a bright sunny yellow, a warm rosy pink, and an orchidy violet. I just love it, but the idea of actually cutting loose with my art all over the walls thrilled me down to my toes.
So I ask you, what can be more joyful than following your heart and letting the opinions of others be their own while you revel in that which brings you bliss, which makes your elbows tingle, which makes you giddy with glee? Right now I have a brightly colored house with twinkly lights all over it. Someday I'm going to be an old lady painting my walls, and I look forward to it, it gives me something to live for. If it doesn't work out I'll raise chickens.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Okay, forget psychics, they're expensive and not always reliable. Me, I'm investing in a Magic 8 Ball. They never steered me wrong as a kid and they are just plain, well, magic. If you are not a true believer, you can go watch t.v. or something...
You have to get in "the zone." You have to take it very seriously. You form your most deeply held question, probably something SO secret you wouldn't share it with a soul, and then you turn the 8 ball over and up from the murky depths comes the answer. (It really IS magic!)
Wikipedia, on the Magic 8 Ball, lists these as the 20 possible answers....
- ● It is certain
- ● It is decidedly so
- ● Without a doubt
- ● Yes – definitely
- ● You may rely on it
- ● As I see it, yes
- ● Most likely
- ● Outlook good
- ● Yes
- ● Signs point to yes
- ● Reply hazy, try again
- ● Ask again later
- ● Better not tell you now
- ● Cannot predict now
- ● Concentrate and ask again
- ● Don't count on it
- ● My reply is no
- ● My sources say no
- ● Outlook not so good
- ● Very doubtful
I don't know about you but there's nothing I need to know that wouldn't be answered with one of those. I think I'm going to go out and get one. Life sure would be simpler...
When I think back on my childhood there are some things that left such an indelible mark that at nearly 59 I am overwhelmed with a nostalgia that can almost bring me to tears, and so it is with Colorforms, the Original set, not the ones that came for decades thereafter in the shape of cartoon characters but the original ones that came with several sheets of vinyl shapes in a many colors and it was up to the child's imagination to create things coming up from deep inside. I know they were one of the early influences in my life that created the artist that I am today, and I wonder and worry about children whose toys and games are so pre-set and unimaginative that they leave little to the original mind of the magical child. When I saw, a few years ago, that they had released a 60th anniversary edition of the original set I bought it for my grandson who is now 8 as well as the original big sets of basic Tinkertoys. This young boy, who likes computer games as well as the next kid, has an amazing imagination and delights me to my core.
I would love to hear from any of you who had and loved these colorforms. They delight me still and I wouldn't be surprised if a set ended up in my studio one day!
Saturday, February 9, 2013
And sometimes to find bliss, we need to escape into solitude, and silence, meditation, and prayer, and this is where I have been. I am going through major life changes and the last 3 days my computers have been being updated, networked, a new big printer, a gift from a friend added into the mix, and my old farmers table overlooking the woods and gardens, wild birds at many feeders and the Magic Ship off into the distance looks like command central. I have to laugh. I never imagined such a thing in my life, but as I finish one book, create eBooks, work towards starting a small press of my own, and, on the tables in the center of the room where I will paint, design, and create art, art supplies, a table-top easel, and all manner of mixed media supplies are being organized. Serious work is about to be done in here and a lot of work has had to be done to make this happen. James will be back today to spend several hours working on the computers to finish up and I have been with my animals in silence, resting, making notes, dreaming, reading and allow the table to rise inside of me. On the brink of great change we must ready ourselves by recharging our batteries and powering off the world at large, and so I have done for 3 days. By Monday I will be back and up and running and I am excited about it, too, I have found true bliss in these quiet moments. It's good to unplug. It's healthy. Joy is born of days of exquisite self-care and it has truly been bliss.
I wish you joy, bliss, and all of this, and I will see you here very soon...
Monday, February 4, 2013
If You Didn't Have This As A Kid You Really Need To Get Some Now! If You Did, You Remember How Much Fun It Is. Time To Grab A Plastic Egg & Have At It...
Get out the funny papers, crack open the egg, it's time for...
I don't think there's a kid in the world that had silly putty that didn't love pressing it down on the funny papers and stretching it out. I think if I had some now I would carry it in my purse and try to silly putty everything in sight. Did you have silly putty? Remember how much fun you had with it?
I wonder why it is that as we grow older we lose the fun gene, at least fun in the way that children have it, with innocence and joy, at least we did. It makes me sad that kids seem most interested in computer games and cable t.v. I know there are kids out there who do play with fun things because my grandson does and that makes me so happy. I have a joy plan in motion and I intend to find it. Why these days you could go to a dollar store and cart home a load of these kinds of things. Bubbles and crayons and silly putty and more. I think I'm going to have to make a trip to the dollar store...
If you had silly putty as a kid I'd love to hear some of your memories of playing with it. Leave them after this post if you did. I want to know about others out there -- and I know there are lots of you -- who loved it then and would be delighted with it now. I'm looking to stir up the joy pot for other people. You wanna jump in the pot with me?
One of the greatest delights of my childhood was the beginning of the new school year when, with our new school supplies, we always got a BRAND NEW BOX OF CRAYONS. (My favorite colors were always magenta and cornflower blue. I'd LOVE for you to leave comments here and tell me what YOUR favorite colors were.)
Well, I'm almost 59 and I'll tell you what -- I'm about to go out and get a new box of crayons. Do that for someone for their birthday, you know give it to the person who gets a diamond bracelet from someone else and wrap up in bright colorful paper and lots of ribbons a new box of crayons (They now have boxes of 96 which just dazzles me all to bits but I think I'd feel overwhelmed. I think.) as well as a cheap pad of paper. The recipient of said gift will likely love the diamond bracelet but be DELIGHTED by the crayons and immediately hunt for their favorite colors and set to drawing. I always got in trouble because I would color the trees orange with purple leaves and a magenta sky and cornflower blue grass and the nuns would have fits with me and say, "YOU WILL NEVER BE AN ARTIST." Clearly they had NO idea what makes a REAL artist!
If the person does not get excited about the crayons take them back, say you can't be friends anymore, and go home and color. Trust me, life is short and you don't need friends that have forgotten how to play.
I am making up a whole new set of rules about who is friend-worthy or not. And I'm going to start having a lot more fun in the process!
IT'S NOT EASTER WITHOUT CONFETTI EGGS!!!
(And frankly I think that doing them year round could be essential
to create a continual JOY-FEST!)
When our kids were little we made lots of these and had friends over and ran around outside chasing each other and bashing these on people's heads with gales of laughter. They are Easter Eggs filled with confetti and when you smash them on someone they EXPLODE and confetti goes everywhere.
I am including a how-to link for making them but essentially you tap about a dime size hole in the end of an egg, drain it out, let it dry, then you can color or decorate as normal, fill about 2/3 full of confetti and use a glue stick and little pieces of colored tissue paper to close the hole. Easy as that.
PLEASE NOTE: It is very important, when bashing someone on the head, to hit with the SIDE of the egg which smashes quite easily and doesn't hurt. DO NOT bash someone on the head with the END of the egg which does not break easily, stays amazingly hard, AND HURTS!
This is more fun than a barrel of monkeys and once you do it everyone will want to do it every year. Click HERE for a page of directions on making them!
Everything's better with bubbles!
I have a bubble story and it's something you can do too because it was just a joyful bunch of fun.
For awhile I worked in a hospital in a department where we saw a lot of sad hard cases. We had had a string of really rough ones and everyone was really down from secretaries to bosses. I had an inspiration on the way to work and stopped in a drugstore and bought all the little jars of bubbles they had. When I got in to work I carried them around and gave every single person in our department bubbles and all day long you would see bubbles floating in the air and people laughing and giggling, blowing bubbles at one another, and one of the things that tickled me most was looking down the hall and seeing bubbles coming out of the open door of our bosses office and hearing him laugh.
There's a little kid that lives in all of us no matter how old we are. That little kid still needs to come out to play sometimes. It's good for our mental health, and share the wealth. Take bubbles to people you work with, or home to your whole family, and all have fun together. You just won't believe how it will change the whole tenor of the day. Sometimes even the person who always seems dour and unhappy will light up like a Christmas tree. Bubbles are just plain magic...
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Go here ---->
The author of the blog is the amazing Melissa Will and when I found her years ago her blog had the delightful name "Pioneer Woman With A Cell Phone." Here's a tour of her old garden. "Garden Art." IT WILL BLOW YOU AWAY! She had to move and is 2 years into creating a new amazing garden
So here's a video tour of her new garden...
There is a whole YouTube channel with her videos and her blog has a LOT about frugal living in an amazing colorful way + art and it is a feast of riches. Really, HONEST, you don't want to miss this...
Last Night I Watched One Of The Most Charming Movies I Have Seen In A LONG Time. I'm Still Smiling Just Thinking About It!
If this doesn't charm the pants off of you nothing will...
Click above to read more about it!
(Also, I happen to be in love with Chris Messina!)
This Is One Of The Most Inspiring Videos I've Ever Seen, I've Watched It So Many Times I've Lost Count, Over 98 MILLION Have Watched It On You Tube, And It Just Fills Me With More Joy (& Plenty of Tears, Every Single Time I Watch It) Than I Can Possibly Express...
First of all I have to give credit to the incredible artisan who made this mug. I love her work and she's a very dear person. Her name is Marla Gill and you will find her gorgeous work at Atelier Marla on etsy!
Now, the tea, ohhhh, the tea, is from one of my top 5 favorite tea companies, Art of Tea, and if you click on the name of the tea it will take you to this particular tea on their site to read more. It is: Coconut Cacao Puerh and if you think you don't like Puehrs, oh trust me, you should give this a try. You can get an inexpensive 2 ounce sample that is plenty for a number of cups and can be steeped more than once. It is so divine I can barely write this for just wanting to sit here with my nose in my teacup, sniffing the delectable aroma, and sipping in bliss. Uh-huh, BLISS in all caps! Seriously, this is tea to SWOON over...
I Have Always Hated To Exercise But I Have Found A Way To Exercise My Way To Health, Happiness, and Well-Being on Every Level. How? Why, The Hokey Pokey of course!
I'm serious. Now c'mon, do it with me, let's do these kids proud.
A wise soul once asked, "What if the hokey-pokey really IS what it's all about?" Well, I think it might be. And if you make your life about the hokey-pokey how could you NOT find Joy & Bliss? I mean when you put your whole self in, your whole self out, your whole self in, and you shake it all about... well, I'm thinkin' that's a winner!
"Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."
~*~ Henry James ~*~
I am about to feed the dogs and settle in with tea here at the computer to chat with friends far and wide. There is nothing like afternoon tea...