Friday, August 30, 2013

Outdoor Dining Experience

It's Labor Day weekend! 
Honestly,  until I just wrote those words ... I didn't realize how timely this weeks' simple pleasure is.  Funny how this stuff works sometimes.  I give all the credit to my sub-conscious that is probably working overtime here on my blog! (And also give credit to it for my spelling errors and run on sentences.... it's out of my control)

It's the beginning of a new school year and it's the end of summer (for all those who actually think summer is the first day of Memorial Weekend and the last is Labor Day weekend)  I've had this discussion before.... summer actually ends Saturday, September 21.
Any way you look at it, having an outdoor picnic is a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors!

Although shish-k-bobs are more of a barbecue type of food... why not go gourmet when picnicking in the backyard?  For some reason, presentation of the food makes it seem like it tastes better!!!  I've separated the vegetables from the meat.  We've learned over the years, and it seems quite obvious now... our vegetables were always quite crispy, while the meat may have been under cooked.  Then I figured out to separate the skewers and have separate veggie and meat ones. Voila`
Although we are no longer salt fans, we do marinate both meats (and sometimes the veggies) in tasty McCormick Grill Mates packets (of course frugally purchased as a loss leader for $1). Good ole zip lock bags, cut up meat, a little olive oil and water.... add the Chipotle Pepper marinade pack and as stated on the packet.... it truly is FLAVOR you can see!!
We squish the meat in the bag for a few hours while it's being refrigerated and right before we are ready to grill.... then I stick the skewers in!

Uncork a tasty bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon wine and add some fresh baked bread and it makes for a perfect.... end of summer meal!
Week #35 LIFE'S simple pleasures - a picnic
Pack up your food in a pretty basket, don't forget to add the napkins and make sure your iPhone camera is charged up ... get swept off your feet, create an attractive setting and discover the fun to be had with an outdoor dining experience!
Be Safe!
Brighten Someone's Day!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Picnic 101

Enjoy nature's beauty and get swept off your feet with an outdoor dining experience you're sure not to forget.  Create a fabulous outdoor setting by tossing out your black and red plaid blanket in one smooth motion as you find that perfect grassy knoll to settle down and get comfortable.  It's time to open your rattan picnic basket filled with American classic foods that will satisfy your culinary palette as you sit back and relax.

Wow!  Those words sure make a picnic sound FANTASTIC!!!!  It's a combination of phrases I found in some picnic advertisements. I am very happy to know that some of the LIFE'S simple pleasures are really a lot of fun and simple things you can do with family and friends. As simple as you can get.... put food in a basket/cooler, pick out a destination (it can even be the living room floor on a rainy day), bring the bug spray and enjoy the great outdoors!!!

I'm not going to give you specific recipes, just a general idea of some of my successes. 

I used to boil corn on the stove top.... I still do, but now as the water just starts a rolling boil I add a teaspoon of granulated sugar and a generous splash of lime juice before I put the shucked corn in.  You might have locally grown SWEET corn, but ever since I found this suggestion.... my corn has never tasted better!

The key to a great grilled burger is the FRESH ingredients.  After I make the ground sirloin patties (we enjoy the leaner meat) ... I learned to flatten the center more than the edges..... so it looks like a slight saucer shape.  There used to be a meat tenderizer that we found at WalMart, Dales.... haven't been able to find it lately.  I think we can order it online... it's really tasty... but not worth the effort at the moment.  So, I use a dash of Worchestshire Sauce and a little salt and pepper.  We like a fresh toasted Kaiser roll and some zesty pepper jack cheese.  My burger above is topped with a sliced tomato from my own garden and few lettuce leaves.  That first bite to the last was super juicy and delicious!
Standard picnic fare food you want it to be easy to eat, fork only, or finger foods (no knives) easy to transport and things that wont spoil quickly: potato salad, macaroni salad, watermelon, deviled eggs, bread, cheese, cold cuts, grapes, olive, potato chips, veggies, cookies and a beverage.  Last but not least....

The ultimate camping out... cookout ... open fire (or in this case, microwave) delicious dessert s'mores. 
I found a new way to enjoy that gooey chocolate flavor over at Kevinandamanda. She combined a Ritz cracker with a Reese's Peanut butter cup and marshmallow and made that sweet treat even better.  Here is my attempt at it.... still using the boring graham crackers.... but as you can see... I almost licked the plate clean! Just think of the possibilities but switching out the crackers and the candy bar!!!!
Week #35 LIFE'S simple pleasures - a picnic
Hope you stop by again and see what other ways we've created our picnics!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Who Do You invite to a Picnic?

If ants are such busy workers, how come they find time to go to all picnics? Marie Dessler

If you just happened upon my blog, Welcome!! 

If you are an old friend, thanks for continuing your support by visiting me today! 

I am having fun creating my blog. 

I like change.... honestly I do!  I am fearful sometimes at 'change'.... but most of all, I get bored doing the same ole same ole.  So, if you visited me last week, my blog MIGHT have looked different (finally figured out how to put my custom header at the top of the page).  Today, I'm working on the watermark for my photos (that's my signature line... so in case someone wants to try and copy my great photos and use them as their own).... and who knows what will happen next week. 

So, stay tuned for my fun!

This entire year on my blog I'm dedicating myself to find LIFE'S simple pleasures.
I - inspiring
F - feeling
E - evolving
S - shining
I'm seeking out FREE or relatively inexpensive ways to enjoy the simple things in LIFE.  We are into Week #35 of 2013 and this week I'm exploring picnics.
I truly enjoy eating (some) my summer meals outdoors not if it's 96 degrees like today with the heat index of 104 degrees ... well, if the conditions are perfect.... no bugs, low humidity and a light northeast breeze.
Well, I'm still working on coordinating my photos with my post... but if I took a picture a few months ago, sometimes I didn't quite capture what I might be writing about.  Today I wanted to point out a few of the different places we've had a picnic.  My pictures look more like I'm showing you the food... I am... so I'll just tell you the different places we've had a picnic.
Not shown.... don't you like that in a yearbook photo?  We've had a few picnics out the back hatch of our Honda ... but here are some of the other places...
Top left: our city's namesake.  Around 100 years or so ago when the Lake froze over in the winter a local ice company recalled how Crystal clear the lake was and perfect for creating the blocks for some of the first ice boxes (refrigerators) in some of the local Chicago areas, transported by horse and cart.
Top right: Local watering hole that was transformed from a Vulcan rock pit, to a beautiful recreation park.   A few weeks ago I commented here on my blog about our Kayak adventure.
In the above picture left: a scrumptious cookout with some lovely wine in our backyard oasis.
Right: company picnic held at the Picnic Grove in Six Flags Great America.
I can't help it, but I like a nice picnic and some great food! 
Can you believe all the people who blog about their food!!!!  I must admit.... it's kind of fun.
Come back tomorrow when I give a few recipes for some of that fine picnic cuisine!! Yummy!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Not Your Av-er-age Pi-ca-nic Basket

If the rain spoils our picnic but saves a farmers crop, who are we to say it shouldn't rain. ~ Tom Barrett

Week #35 LIFE'S simple pleasures - a picnic

A picnic is a pleasure excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors, it can be combined with a cookout or a barb-b-que, a pot luck, a family reunion or a romantic meal for two.

When is the last time you went on a picnic?? 

Being the frugal person I am... okay, really I'm cheap!  I love a good picnic. 

My homemade sandwich is exactly like I want it.  I actually try to clean out the fridge because I must admit, most all of our picnics happen on a Saturday, which is just before we go grocery shopping to fill the fridge for the next week!  We enjoy eating the rest of the assortment chips (crumbs) from the bottom of the opened bags in the pantry.  I fill Ziploc snack bags with carrots and celery.  I pull out ice cold beverage from the downstairs fridge, add a simple cookie or chocolate dessert... and a few napkins.... and we are good to go!

Here is my official 'pic-a-nic' basket... it's never been on a road trip.  We've been using a big red soft sided cooler. 
This basket is too pretty. 
But I'm tired of it sitting by my piano hiding extra knitted scarfs.... I'm going to actually use it soon!  There is no reason to save it! Just like the 'pretty' dishes we're saving for company.  Or the special napkins only for Thanksgiving.... I'm going to start to use and use up everything.  No longer am I saving it for a special day!  Today.... is that day!!!! 
(source: Longaberger Website)
By the way, if you don't know.... It's a Longaberger basket... it's not your av-er-age ba$ket if you know what I mean .... it was a beautiful gift from a group of nice friends! The passion of the Longaberger business is evident as the corporate headquarters in Ohio is built like a basket!
One of LIFE'S simple pleasures, going on a picnic!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Beautiful Struggle

Live with ART ♥
it's good for you!

Week #34 LIFE'S simple pleasures - stage of change LIFE happens

We are approximately 238 days into this year!!  I'm looking back... slightly... but also embracing these new stages of my life.  And you know what.... I'm seeing the signs everywhere that LIFE happens.  We can try to stop it.... and hold on for the moment... but it keeps moving... and I'm happy to say there have been more good days than bad!!!

How timely I found this video posted on Facebook.... this mom says EVERYTHING I'm feeling.

And so.... LIFE after raising my children goes on!  And I get to continue... for the moment... I am truly blessed that I can't use up creativity, the more I use the more I have!

Sometimes when things are falling apart, the may actually be falling into place.
Can that be?
If the simple things in life don't put a smile on your face, then you will never be truly happy! 
So, I will make a point to do this as often as a can.... sending smiles   ... if I can't be in person to give them, freely!!

Do you see a theme going on here?  Not only in my quotes, but also my cards?   I am happy to incorporate my whimsical cards with a twist on LIFE!
If you find yourself out on a limb have a seat, enjoy the view!!

Life is simple when you live simply!

And so, we have choices!
make mistakes
(it'll all be okay)

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things it will come and sit softly on your shoulder - Thoreau
Just so you know friends out there in blog land.... today's post was not planned at all... it all just came to me as I was typing.  All of my cards were made over the past two weeks and some how *wink it all just came together as the stage of LIFE that I am right now, at this very moment!!
Some day everything will all make perfect sense.  So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason!
*Bold and italicized text are quotes I have found over the past years
Brighten Someone's Day!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Falling into Place

I'm in a new stage of my LIFE and there have been a lot of changes going on around our house. 

Although it's almost 90 degrees out, it somewhat feels like fall.  The seasons are changing as well. I see leaves flying off the trees.  We've had some weird weather around here this summer.  And of course, once the kids start going back to school... it's automatically fall.

Last week I had Sinistrality (the condition I've had my entire life, being left handed) and now I have Empty Nest Syndrome  (a feeling of grief and loneliness parents may feel when their children leave home for the first time, such as to live on their own or to attend a college).

I'll admit that I'm feeling very emotional, but I'm also a little excited!!

Last Saturday I went on a 14 mile bike ride with a neighbor.  No big deal, right?  But I can't tell you the last time I ever went on 14 mile bike ride.  And it's not that I wouldn't have done it with my kids around before.... I just never did.
Can you see that shine on the counter top???  I can't tell you how long ago it ever looked like this for more than one day.  Granted, I am a boarder line 'cleaning freak'.... but when you have teenagers who could careless about their room or bathroom.... I stopped being their 'maid' a few years ago. (If my children are reading this... I love you very much, but sometimes you need to just clean the ick at least more than once every three months.)
My first two homegrown vine tomatoes.  I'm so proud!  Although I've grown sun flowers and pumpkins from seed, I'm not sure I was ever so blessed with this abundance of vegetation from two little free seedlings. And too, I've gardened and planted with my children and they've helped with mowing the lawn and raking the leaves.  Being an Empty Nester, I will no longer have that 'free' help.

Week #34 LIFE'S simple pleasures - stage of LIFE (changes)
I'm very proud of my two kids who both wore graduation gowns like the one above.  But I'm a bit excited that I finally stuffed it into the 'girls' closet after it was hanging off the laundry door room for 74 days.  I didn't bug her to 'put it away'.... and guess what.... she never did.
It's what they call bitter sweet. I'm a bit of both happy and sad that the kids are away at college.  I miss the day to day interaction.  I miss their hugs.  I miss the sound of their footsteps down the stairs or the shower running and running. The dogs miss them too!
But a part of me is kind of excited that I get to clean up the kitchen(insert: any room in the house) and it will actually stay that way!  I kind of like having the full driveway open when I pull my car out and I really don't have to explain where I'm going or when I'm coming back.  I'm looking forward to trying new things that maybe I didn't have the chance to do before.
A good LIFE is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pimp my Ride

Well, I think I got the "new" header situation finished.... finally!  This photo shop and blogger stuff seems easy enough, maybe I'm the one making it complicated!!!

On yesterday's blog post I left you with a teaser.... as part of my next stage in LIFE, I'm going to have to make some changes.  I'm sure to anyone else, these things I'm doing aren't really a big deal ... but last week, two months ago, 15 years ago.... I was a full time stay-at-home mom.... now I am no longer the day to day hands on mom, we've become empty nesters and now I am the mom of two college students!! I'm at a new stage of LIFE.

Thus, my car has grown up too!  No longer is Mickey waving his sweet hello, no longer am I displaying our average stick family with two kids (boy and girl) and two dogs ... my decals now promote that we are associated with two big colleges!!

University of Iowa - Hawkeyes

University of Missouri - Tigers
Week #34 LIFE'S simple pleasures - stages of LIFE
So, what's my car say about me now???  The license plate is Illinois, my license plate frame is Green Bay Packers and I have two out of state decals representing colleges I never went to.
I did a little research.  There is a website called College Confidential .... the question was asked, "Do you have a college sticker on your car?"  I enjoyed reading each post on the thread and agree with many.
Having the kid's college decals on the rear window of my car makes me smile and think of both of them each time I walk around to my driver's seat.  It helps me to find my car in a sea of blue Honda Pilots in the parking lot.  I'm proud of my children and it shows school spirit and sometimes is a way to stike up a conversation and meet other parents who are either alumni or have kids at those schools.  And somebody behind me can laugh and think.... I know where all your money went!!!!
And then there are those may think it's boastful.  There are others who thought it would give a reason for a stupid rebel to key their car. I don't want to think about it those ways!!
This week I am embracing some of my changes! I am the proud parent of two wonderful individuals... this business of training little humans for LIFE is a mind boggling process!
Making a big life change is pretty scary.  But know what's even scarier? Regret

Stay tuned to see what's next in the nest!

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Kid was an Honor Student

"I believe the key to happiness is: someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to."  Elvis Presley
Oh, I like  Mickey is waving left handed!!!
Week #34 LIFE's simple pleasures - stages of LIFE
We all go through different stages of LIFE. From being a child to a teenager, from a new driver to a college student, from a young adult to a married couple, from new parents to empty nesters and from grandparents to senior citizens.
Whatever you call your current stage in LIFE, we all go though numerous changes... every day.  This year of simple pleasures I am having so much fun finding things that I really connect with, during ALL the different stages and changes I am going through....
One act of kindness could change a person's outlook on LIFE, forever!
It's better to look back on LIFE and say: "I can't believe I did that." Than to look back and say: "I wish I did that."
LIFE is a beautiful struggle.
I am currently in the stage of 'empty nest', as we have taken our youngest child off to college. 
I truly know that family and friends are honest and sincere when they say my parent 'job' will never be over!  But the active day to day parenting that I have been doing for the past 20 years has come to an end.  And I do know that it is okay to grieve over this loss.
Not that I'm throwing all of the past AWAY, but I am moving forward (with some things)  This post is really about me growing up (just a little bit). 
The picture above, I have always LOVED my Mickey decal.  It always made me smile when I was looking for my car in the parking lot.  He was always waving at me.... here is your car, here is the PILOT.... (you know how many look-a-like cars are in the parking lot at Target??) 
And below is the decal of our family.  I've seen this response to those stick figure decals : I don't know why they do that. All it does is let potential kidnappers know that their next victim may be in that car. I think that most attempts to "personalize" family vehicles are terrible ideas. People driving around with their family's last name emblazoned on the back window, right next to little stick figures that represent the members of their family. Look below and you see a bumper sticker telling everyone where their child goes to school. Great idea!!!

I took these pictures for posterity.
So what did I do? ....  I peeled off my decals.
I removed the honor student and hockey parent clings from the side window.
I'm really sad that they are gone. But it is time for a change in this stage of my LIFE!
Stay tuned for tomorrow's post to see what's new!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Lucky Lefty

One of my favorite quotes is from the creator of the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes, Bill Watterson...
“You know what's weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change, but pretty soon...everything's different.” 
Ain't that the truth??
And the above picture is one of my favorite paintings I did for my he♥art journal.  LIFE is certainly an adventure!!
Knowledge is power!
I love to learn every day!

I can't explain in words how excited I am to write my daily blog posts about my LIFE'S simple pleasures of 2013. 
I hope you have enjoyed some of my adventures and have taken time to explore the little things around you that are just so amazing!!
Week #33 LIFE'S Simple pleasures - left handedness (embracing the uniqueness that is you!)
I admit it! My condition is Sinistrality. 
It sounds truly authentic and almost mysterious.  I am left handed.  Although I favor my left hand in writing and some day to day tasks, I don't think I'm officially ambidextrous, able to use both hands equally. I used to be able to write on a chalkboard with both hands at the same time, they were mirrored images of each other (sort of), part of that backward thinking.
This is where I think a lot of young people gain their confusion as children.  ( I
 know I did as a child)
You are born with a dominant preference to either the right or left side.  If a child is dominant in their left hand they are more often taught by and have tools (scissors, pencil sharpeners, desks, ringed binders) that are designed for 90% of the population, the right handers.  Thus, they have to either feel awkward using those products, or adapt to using both hands.  One percent of the population is truly ambidextrous: able to use both hands equally.  And most lefties are multi-handed: ability to use both hands to some degree.  Righties mostly do everything with their right hand (boring!!!)

So, as I finish out this week.... I wanted to post a few pictures of my newest creations... a Pinterest SUCCESS  (highlighted in Week #15) ... it's all the rage and the hottest fall craze.... a burlap wreath for the front door.  Using my 'right' brain.... many lefties are creative in music and art... I think that is a true fact about me!!  And so excited too.... the entire wreath cost me only $15.... I used coupons and most everything was 40% off at Hobby Lobby!!!
Left-handers are wired into the artistic half of the brain, which makes them imaginative, creative, surprising, ambiguous, exasperating, stubborn, emotional, witty, obsessive, infuriating, delightful, original, but never, never, dull.” James T deKay
Now go out there and BRIGHTEN SOMEONE'S DAY!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Advantage LEFTIES!

Well, it's official.... the nest is empty.... but that's a whole 'nother story for a different day!

This week I'm talking about #32 LIFE'S simple pleasures - left handedness ( or in some cases.... embracing your differences)

Science tells us that the right brain controls the left side of the body and the opposite is true for the left brain controlling the right side. There's a bit more science to it all.  Currently, scientist haven't quite figured out which gene it is that creates left handedness, but there are some statistics and facts that they have gathered throughout the years. 

Being left handed is genetic.  The older the mother is, the more likely she is to have left handed children. About 30 million people in the United States are left handed.
The girls in today's cards are lefties!
Four of 5 original designers of the Mac Computer are left handed. Three of the last 5 presidents were/are left handed. The Boston Strangler, Jack the Ripper, and Osama Bin Laden were lefties.
Additionally, left-handers are often discriminated against by social, educational, and religious institutions.  For thousands of years, the Devil has been associated with the left hand in various ways and is normally portrayed as being left-handed in pictures and other images. Social customs and even language set the left-hander apart as “different” and even “bad.  In many societies, efforts are made to "convert" children who are naturally left-handed to using their right hands.  Modern neurology strongly frowns upon this practice. Left handers are not disappearing and as the creativity of new science evolves, there is more understanding for the left handed child and more tools are being created specifically for their needs.

I don't know about you, but my eye is drawn to someone I see on tv doing things with their left hand.... writing or a manual tasks.  Because we live in a predominately right handed world, I notice... and get a little giddy when I see a fellow lefty!!! 
Here are a few noted lefties (in no particular order)  Presidents, Obama, Clinton, Bush 41, Reagan, Ford, Ben Franklin, Col. Oliver North, Alexander the Great, Prince Charles and William, Oprah, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Phil Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Carol Burnett, Cary Grant, Peggy R. & Delores H!
Now, there are a lot of great things about being different and left handed.  One cool thing is.... I can work on the computer and move my mouse and write with my LEFT hand at the same time.... I don't have to adjust the mouse and drop it to write with my pen.  Gottcha there righties!!!!  Us lefties have to adapt to everything!!!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Left-Handed Logic

Is it just me???

I am so excited to find out that left-handed people have their own logic. 

Of course, if you are a righty... you really don't even have a clue what I'm talking about.... because almost 90% of the world is set up for those who are right handed.

I too have used my left-handedness as an excuse because I was unable to do something and felt uncomfortable with tools and activities .... cutting, ironing, vacuuming, hitting a ball, painting, serving food... the list goes on.
There is a forum I visited recently that made me smile... it was a list of things a left-hander finds odd or difficult to do... I too have often flipped a magazine from back to front, my check marks on a survey or a test are backwards, I sometimes extend my left hand when I shake someones hand, I do a little dance on the sidewalk trying to figure out which side I'm supposed to walk on crossing the path of another person.... some lefties have trouble with upside belt buckles or zippers, signing a sales receipt when its held down on the right side of the counter, papers in hanging files are upside down, difficulty with locks and keys and tying shoes.

Often left-handed people just think differently and even feel self-conscious when someone points out that they have backward thinking or backward logic.

I always thought I was a little different, and I never quite understood why. 

Well, now I know one of the reasons why my thinking and doing is so different.  I now love the fact that I'm unique and always in my RIGHT mind! I'm proud to be left-handed!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Today I Celebrate my Rights!

I am so excited to share this weeks' simple pleasure.

As a small child I never thought much about it.

As a teenager it really felt awkward.

Later, I realized I was so different.

Then I met others like me.

I'm pretty unique and special, and now I understand what was so different about me.

I wish I could have had the correct tools to make things simpler.

I can admit it now.... the condition I have is SINISTRALITY!!!!

In science we learn that the right hemisphere controls the left side of our body... it controls music art, creativity, perception, emotions, genius and holistic thinking!

Week #33 LIFE'S simple pleasures - being LEFT handed (or accepting something total unique to you)

Today, August 13 is International Left-handers day!!!  It's a day for people like me to celebrate our right to be left-handed.

If you are a righty.... you'll never really get it!  But if you are left-handed you understand what it is like to constantly adapt to a right handed world.

I've read that anywhere between 13 to fifteen percent of the population is left-handed. That is a small percentage to the rest of the world... especially for those that never think about the difficulty of writing in a notebook with the ring binding in the way, or scissors that aren't molded to our hand, or pencil sharpeners that we have to crank with our less dominant hand, or a computer mouse that is specifically made for the right handed typist.... the list goes on and on and on.
So in celebration of International Left-handers Day.....if you are right-handed, imagine yourself left-handed for a while. Eat with your left hand, write, shake a friends hand, throw a ball, stir a brownie mix, open a door.... try it all with your left hand!!!! What would change?
Go out and celebrate the southpaws that you know... because you have to admit.... we are ALWAYS in our right mind!!!!
Hey, and also.... go and BRIGHTEN SOMEONE'S DAY!!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Who Said LIFE was Fair

Enjoy the simple pleasures in LIFE!!!!

Don't let them pass you by.... you do have a moment.... make a moment and slow down!!!
This week my blog has highlighted going to the Fair. 

There are so many different kind of Fairs to attend.  Just like finding those simple pleasures in LIFE.... there is probably a Fair to attract like minding, fun, creative.... artsty fartsy types.... Like a Starving Artist Fair.  My home town had one of those.  I like the name.... Starving Artist.... you do art because you have a passion and a love.... not because you want to make money!

Not until my kids were a little older in elementary school did we attend our first Book Fair.  I just loved helping set them up.  I've highlighted numerous times this year, in some form or manner.... that books are a wonderful simple pleasure!!!  Book Fairs are great..... you can buy wonderful new books at great prices and it benefits the school or library that sponsors the Fair.

County Fairs, 4H Fairs, Science Fairs.... State Fairs..... all amazing places to see goods and services sponsored by young people who have a passion for caring for their environment, the land and showcases how we can use the world and see it's resources today..... and in the future.
Who doesn't love the great smells when walking through the cow barn on a 95 degree day in the summer????

There are Street Fairs and Music Fairs..... Renaissance Faires and  Balloon Festivals.  All throughout the year.... local newspapers highlight special events throughout the city, county and state. 
A fair is a great place to see new things and get to know your area.  It's a place to exercise and to people watch.  It's a place to sample new foods and just sit and relax. It's a place to create a nice memory.
Let's all go to the fair!!!!  LIFE'S simple pleasure!!!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Full - Circle... of LIFE

As friends and family of mine, you all know that very shortly I will be going through another stage in LIFE.... I will be part of the Empty Nesters' Club. 

It's hitting me pretty hard.... there I said it!

We all have to make choices in LIFE. 

Our choice, Jeff and I when we became pregnant with Kyle was for me to be a stay-at-home mom.

Almost two years later with Holly barely 3 weeks old we moved to Tennessee and so our journey began.  Two moves and 18 years later... my job of every day event coordinator is about to end.  It is truly.... bitter-sweet.

One thing I do know is that I love to create... or in some CASE-s.... recreate.  That is something that is part of who I am. 
I had an aha moment recently.  I have incorporated Art imitating LIFE... or my LIFE imitating my art ♥
I've taken on a few self improvement awareness programs... if that's what I should call it.  As part of my Year of  (think of New Year's resolution ).... at the House of SHINE... I decided to take on the Year of LIFE's simple pleasures.
I also took an on-line mixed media class that goes the entire year.... it's called LIFEbook 2013.  Each week I get inspiration to think and feel my art.

And another activity is part of Do52.
Each week I pick a new Popsicle stick with a verb on it and try to incorporate that word into my  daily LIFE.
There is a method to my madness. I have been able to combine all of my interests and create a story.... my story!!!
 I get to dream it, believe it, think it, doodle it and live it!
And this is how I discovered that my LIFE, I'm living a full circle.  For the past 31 weeks I have been highlighting 'one' of LIFE's many simple pleasures... and I have been randomly picking a verb... and here is what I found interesting... all randomly chosen....
Week #1 we all need to LIGHTEN up on our BEVERAGES.... Week #2 there are different TYPES of SNOWFLAKES... Week #4 a FIREPLACE can SUPPORT the structure of a home.... Week #5 BOOKS can SPILL out of a backpack... a few of them don't work out but then there is.... Week #14 each SPRING I have a to do LIST to check off.... #16 a fun activity when you have extra TIME is to PEOPLE WATCH...#23 SUSPEND in time and STOP & SMELL THE ROSES.... #25 some people GATHER BUGS and collect them... #27 we OBSERVE other peoples' Birthdays and celebrate them.
LIFE has many ways of testing a person's will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.

Can I help you???
An adventurous LIFE does not necessarily mean climbing a mountain, swimming with the sharks or jumping off cliffs.  It means risking yourself by leaving a little piece of you behind in all things you meet along the way.

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions and the roots spring up and make new trees - Amelia Earhart

LIFE moves pretty fast if you don't stop and look around once in awhile you could miss it.
It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life




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