Tuesday, December 24, 2013

50 States of Pray

Mark Koopmans came up with this lovely idea to have a blogfest with 50 States of Pray.  I live in North Carolina, but am originally from Maine.  Maine is the known as the Vacationland state.  Why?   There is a wealth of activities to do: hiking the mountains, dipping your toes into the ocean, golfing, fishing, skiing and the arts.   There is a  state of mind, that comes over you when you cross the border and see the 'Welcome to Maine' sign.  Being a military spouse I have experienced this several times and want you to find this peaceful feeling in your world, your day

When you cross the border, you breathe differently and feel calm.  The clouds seem to part and the kite blue sky waves to you, "Welcome"!    The calmness permeates your soul and you are transported to slower pace, where you can smell the pungent knotted pine trees, the kiss of salty ocean air and be inspired to release your inner child.  Nature nurtures your being and you feel at peace!  A slower pace has taken hold and you will want to embrace it.     

 I climbed this mountain often, I grew up 20 minutes from this view.  Mt. Battie in Camden, Maine and the bay where my go to places when I needed time out.  I never wanted to leave, yet I married a sailor and did. 

This is my prayer-to slow down and embrace moments in your day.  Imagine it as a bike ride, there are moments of exhausting pedaling towards the peak, but once you reach the summit, make time to enjoy the view.  Find time every day to coast downhill.  Do the hard things first so you can find the joy, the calm in your day.  I hope you take your feet off the pedals and swing your legs wide free and shout into the wind! 

Sometimes we need to grab the hand of a loved one or friend and encourage them to find their calm. When you are in a crowded store, a grocery line be more thoughtful, open doors for strangers, smile more and remember life can be more of a 'Vacationland'-if you are open to see the good in every day! I once read that the people who are anger need kindness the most.  Pay kindness forward and embrace the Scrooges of the world-it will make you smile more!

Maine has 61 Lighthouses-so be a lighthouse-a beacon of light shining goodness into someone else's day!  

Are you singing with me?!

    Merry Christmas to you n' yours~   

From sight seeing to golfing or from skiing to the arts, Maine (Vacationland) has a wealth of things for you to see & do. - See more at: http://www.chacha.com/question/why-is-maine-called-vacationland#sthash.jDXKIdz0.dpuf
From sight seeing to golfing or from skiing to the arts, Maine (Vacationland) has a wealth of things for you to see & do. - See more at: http://www.chacha.com/question/why-is-maine-called-vacationland#sthash.jDXKIdz0.dpuf

Friday, December 20, 2013

Chasing Light

     Deadlines-we all have them.  My daughter needed a casual photo for her yearbook. She is a senior this year.   We kept talking about when and where, but somehow between her schedule and mine-it hadn't lined up.  This week was crunch time and we agreed to meet downtown after school, near the waterfront.  I had my sites set on the historical section, wrought iron fences near draping moss trees, old church steps and pillars.  The sun was shining and time was of the essence.   My daughter is a Grits girl=Girl Raised In The south.   I was raised in the north.  Daughter has a slight southern drawl and I still have my New England twang. I sound like I am from Boston-yes wintah and beeah.  Oh, do you need translation: winter and beer.

       I knew she had a site in mind, so did I.   As we started walking she chimed in,  "Let's get coffee at Muddy's-its so cold."  I was all for a cup of joy, but I knew this photo had to happen first.

      "We must capture the light, it is good now,  soon it won't be."  She agreed and we decided after the photo we \would grab our cuppa of joy.  Muddy Waters is a favored coffeehouse downtown-it has a European feel, with burlap coffee bag curtains, small tables of varied heights and in the center of the space a huge sectional couch in the shade of pale Morning Glory blue. Near the ceiling, shelves hold antique coffee items that give this watering hole its charm.  Muddy's brews roasted beans inspired by a Dancing Goat and their names could inspire poetry:  White Cliffs of Dover,  Trainwreck, Crowbar and there is even a Red Velvet brew, but I love their Liquid Brownie.
*No, not this kind-it's fake!*

      I had a special spot in mind, but it was now gated shut.  "Oh, well it is too dark in there anyway," she smiled.  As we strolled along, we enjoyed window shopping and the chill in the air.  Effortlessly she kept smiling-I will miss her next year when she is no longer part of my daily endeavors. She and I constantly bounce ideas off of each other.  We have fun editing each other, as mothers n' daughters often do.  There is an easy breezy feeling between us most of the time, trying to find the calm in our day.  I guess you could say we are always chasing light.  Chasing light means more to me than just snapping a photo-it is about finding the joy in your day.  It can be simple:  a hug, a kind word, a favorite book, and spending times with those you love.  I hope you are chasing light and don't let those with dark clouds dampen your mood.  It is too easy this time of year to feel this spiraled dance downward, as we compare our spending with others.  Remember finding light not only brightens your day-it reminds others to look, besides it is worth the chase.

Sweet rewards the photo, the company and the fun of chasing light!   

Sorry I haven't been making the rounds!  I hurt my back after our photo session Monday and have been chilling in bed with frozen peas.  I guess I pinched a nerve cleaning and my hands felt numb.  It is hard to type when your hands feel like Lobstah claws.  I am better and will be by to visit!  I hope everyone is doing well~

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Foggy in my World

Hello everyone!  I keep thinking how to explain my lack of everything online.  There is so many things that have happened to me-words tangle as I try to choke them out.   I am okay, but sad.  One of our pets died and I feel the void.  I do not lack words-I am scattered.   Here is an attempt for Corey's challenge.  Corey always makes me thinking of fishing.  Why is that I wonder?  Maybe because he drops his line of prompts into so many different worlds. Corey is a rig-that is a good thing and we never know what he will offer up, next! 

He asked us to ask someone a family member, a kid, a neighbor for an opening line to our poem or just a word to get us underway.   Thank you Corey~


Murmuring green stars hide 
under winter’s blanket
Reindeer moss waves 
hanging on Persimmon brow
melting sea of muddy frost
 pools n' puddles
like tarnished copper pennies falling into brine

Mood chimes as day sails in  
with red blinking numbers
 lost lambs wander in n out of day
Straggling threads of  metal linger
I plant blue wishes into night sky
Digging through chill of night
 tucking your indigo blanket up to my chin
I wade through sea of ghosts moths
coaxed by their singing
I fall into gurgling river
cold n' slow- I thaw 
night light follows me on empty dark road
 her fuzzy pale white gown 
floats a line on horizon
moored silhouettes tangle my seaweed thoughts
lost in coastal fog
I wait for yellow foam to rise,
 soldier like i march into day.

©Ellen Wilson

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Roasting the Bird

It is that time of year again-time to cheer and roast another fellow blogger. Last year it was our favorite Ninja, Alex Cavanaugh. This year it is our favorite bird- Arlee aka Lee Bird.   Lee describes himself,  “as a writer, speaker, entertainer, music lover, collector, husband, father, grandfather, friend, traveler, seeker of truth and wisdom.”  Lee has six blogs, but is most known for Tossing it Out.

The founder of  the annual A to Z Challenge, Lee is a well-respected member of the blogging community.

This roast is hosted again by Mark KoopmansMorgan ShamyDavid Powers KingStephen Tremp and the Ninja Captain-CheersFest 2.0 will go LIVE! Dec. 9, 2013.

Why did Lee come up with the A-Z blogging challenge?  

Lee loves Scrabble-it is juggling letters.  One night he was tossing back a few drafts he heard this song A, B, C, played to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and  he had to blur lines.  Fate led me to Lee and I was Hooked on his Phonics.  He thought this idea could catch the big one on(a)line.

If someone dreams about being a juggler, what does it mean?

He is a Scanner.  Scanners want to do it all-they toss their dreams in the air and wish they could pick one, but they can't, so they keep juggling.   They usually have more than two blogs and many talents.  They want to wear all the hats and the world is their big top.  

Is a post by Mr. Bird worth two in the bush?

Does a bird tweet?!   Of course,  I think it is worth three.  Yes, he loves to juggle odd numbers. (It's a designer trick)

Who could play Lee in a documentary? (Living or dead.)

Christopher Walken-he can do it all and he also is a Scanner. 

In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:

I think seeing is believing!

See, Walken is perfect to play Bird.   He is up for the challenge and his talents will soar leaps and bounds.   Tossing and juggler are part of his daily grind in the limelight. He will make Lee a proud Bird.   I wonder could they be the same person?!

For Bonus Points:
·                     In +/- 40 words, can you come up with a caption for Lee’s Facebook picture? 

"They don't know my real name is Lucky Charms-phew I just saved a rainbow."

Dream Destination Blog-hop

Lexa Cain and Julie Flanders  created a blog-hop called Dream Destination.  We are to pick our dream location to visit virtually~    Sorry I am late to the gate -my flight was delayed.    These  ladies came up with this unique hop to promote their new books-very clever!!  Congrats to Julie and Lexa~

Soul Cutter

Find The Ghosts of Aquinnah here: 

There are three places that tug at my heart.  Australia has been a favorite since mid teens, yet as an artist I would love to see France, but the baker in me wants to go to Italy.  Should  I toss a coin?!  No, I am going to France.    One of my favorite bloggers is Tongue in Cheek.   I am sharing some of  her photos.  She is an American who married a Frenchman and moved to France.   She shares her learning curve of the culture, her love of both homes-America and France and her  family.   She is a talented artist-writer, photographer and gatherer of sentiment and Brocante.

 First stop refreshment-of course I would want to see the usually famed tourist sites, but I would like to go behind the scenes, too.  I would love to watch n' observe and absorb the culture.

©Corey Amaro

I would love to live there for a bit and see the lifestyle.

Christmas lights in Paris (photo source Superstock.)

I would love  to experience the country with all my senses.  

Photos taken by Corey Amaro 

The French flag waved large under the Arc de Triomphe.

©Corey Amaro

~Yes, let's dance for Lexa and Julie and their Merde~

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Quotes Illustrated

I have been a fan of Lesley Riley's art, since the day I received her book, Quilted Memories.   She inspired me to see fabric as another art medium and to break the rules. 

 Thank you Lesley!

I am thrilled to be one of the many artists featured  in her new book Quotes Illustrated.   

The book is now available on Amazon

5-star reviews for Quotes Illustrated:

"Thought-provoking. Challenging. Beautiful. Inspiring. A book that combines two of my favorite things—quotations and art—is a sure winner, but this one goes beyond being simply a wonderful book. It will be a timeless source of dreams, a book whose pages demand to be studied over and over to see the artistry, details, imagination, and the sumptuous color. Each page is an adventure for the mind and the eye…and the heart." 
- Karey Bresenhan, Founder International Quilt Market & Festival

"Artists who are the most inspired and the most creative are those who share all that they know with everyone they know. That is what Lesley does always, but especially in her new publication: Quotes Illustrated. On these pages you will find the art and the inspiration to heal, to motivate, to continue, to change direction, to transform, to validate, and to encourage. It is a must for every one on every given day."
- Jo Packham, creator, editor-in-chief of Where Women Create, Where Women Cook, Where Women Create Business

"Who better to curate a book pairing art and quotations than Lesley Riley? The artists' interpretations of their assigned quotes offer fresh perspective on even the most familiar adages. On each page I discovered a favorite artist and message - and then the next page offered a new favorite. What a treasury!"
- Cate Coulacos Prato, editor, Cloth Paper Scissors Today Online Community

"Wow - Lesley has created a delightful book of art and wisdom that is a feast for the eyes and warms the soul. With her artistic flair and love of language, Lesley has put together a book which will become a classic, as well as a cherished keepsake, to be passed down from artists, art lovers, and other creatives to their children, colleagues and friends. It is a gift for the creative spirit, potent with an abundance of inspirations to reflect on today and for years to come."
- Gail McMeekin, best-selling author of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women and The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women

"With a diverse and eclectic mix of artists and styles, Lesley's book is loaded with inspiration for artists and creatives. No matter what your favorite style of mixed media art is, your creative wheels will be turning!"
- Claudine Hellmuth, illustrator and product designer for the craft, gift and home markets

Thank you Lesley!