Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dressed up

I find myself wondering about their lives...When you buy a piece of vintage clothing you're not just buying the fabric and thread - you're buying a piece of someone's past.
~Isabel Wolff


Karen Peacock's art today. The vintage dresses she includes in her mixed media pieces caught my eye. I'm also including two paintings at the bottom. (I think Karen will make custom art with your vintage clothes on commission.) Thanks, Karen, for giving me permission to share your work!

Homemade
by Karen Peacock

Ophelia
by Karen Peacock

Phoenecia
by Karen Peacock

Wallflower
by Karen Peacock

Parts Unknown
by Karen Peacock

An Idea of Progress
by Karen Peacock


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Do the stuff that only you can do

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before.
~Neil Gaiman


For Wellness Wednesday, we have Neil Gaiman and Zen Pencils:



Monday, December 5, 2016

Everything

Running, the music flew into him, became the wind that pushed back his hair and the slap of his own feet on the pavement.
~Ann Patchett


Okay, time to wake up, everybody! City of the Sun:



Sunday, December 4, 2016

20 Things We Should Say More Often

Never decide to do nothing just because you can only do little.
~Steve Maraboli




Friday, December 2, 2016

Yielding

The beauty is in the walking ― we are betrayed by destinations.
~Gwyn Thomas


Announcing the winner of my Kitty Hawk giveaway:

Our esteemed Poetry Friday host, Bridget Magee! Congrats, Bridget!

Two poems intended to soothe the spirit today.


Walking Blessing
by Jan L. Richardson

That each step
may be a shedding.
That you will let yourself
become lost.
That when it looks
like you’re going backwards
you may be making progress.
That progress is not the goal anyway,
but presence
to the feel of the path on your skin,
to the way it reshapes you
in each place it makes contact,
to the way you cannot see it
until the moment you have stepped out.

************


photo by Erin English

from
A Milkweed
by Richard Wilbur

What power had I
Before I learned to yield?
Shatter me, great wind:
I shall possess the field.

************

Wee Words for Wee Ones has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Bridget!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pomology

Who knows but this chance wild fruit, planted by a cow or a bird on some remote and rocky hill-side, where it is as yet unobserved by man, may be the choicest of all its kind, and foreign potentates shall hear of it, and royal societies seek to propagate it, though the virtues of the perhaps truly crabbed owner of the soil may never be heard of, -- at least, beyond the limits of his village?

...Every wild-apple shrub excites our expectation thus, somewhat as every wild child. It is, perhaps, a prince in disguise. What a lesson to man! So are human beings, referred to the highest standard, the celestial fruit which they suggest and aspire to bear, browsed on by fate; and only the most persistent and strongest genius defends itself and prevails, sends a tender scion upward at last, and drops its perfect fruit on the ungrateful earth.
~Henry David Thoreau


When I look at these pomological images (pomology -- the branch of botany that studies and cultivates fruit), I am delighted by the care that Amanda Almira Newton has given to the details. It reminds me of the way a poet notices the natural world.

I'm also a bit dismayed that the grand variety displayed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection is nowhere to be found in our grocery stores.

Golden Ball apple
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Black Ben apple
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Roman Stem apple
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Spitz apple
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Red Astrachan apple
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Pumpkin Sweet
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Goodwin apple
by Amanda Almira Newton
U.S.D.A. Pomological Watercolor Collection, Beltsville, MD

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bereavement tips

She, if she had to, would grieve wildly - with noise, mucus, paint on the canvas, blustery walks on beaches, curse words and exhausted sleep. But everyone grieves differently just as everyone loves in different ways.
~Susan Fletcher


For Wellness Wednesday, I'm thinking about everyone who has lost a loved one this year. Grieving during the holidays...what to do?



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City of Hope offers these suggestions:

Grieve together. “There is a tendency for those grieving to withdraw from social interactions to mourn alone,” Folbrecht said. “But by sharing this experience with others, they will know that they are not alone in this ordeal and are better able to share, and ultimately work through, their feelings.”

Be prepared for interactions. “Mourners may also avoid socializing because they are afraid to burden others with their grief, a feeling that is amplified over the holidays since they may meet people they do not regularly see throughout the year,” Folbrecht said. To address that, Folbrecht suggests mentally preparing with how much (or little) they want to disclose about the situation to various social circles. Finally, mourners should be not be afraid to say "no" or "later" if the situation becomes too overwhelming.

Consider your traditions. One reason the holidays can intensify sadness is because cherished activities become a source of pain. Rather than focus on the loss, Folbrecht suggests mourners should examine what traditions they want to keep and practice to remember their loved ones. "Some traditions may be difficult to continue after the loss, so loved ones should consider replacing them with new activities that honors the death while helping loved ones through the grieving process," Folbrecht said.

Don't forget self care. “Grieving is a very exhausting process for both the mind and body, so it’s important to take a break for self care,” Folbrecht said. The holidays offer numerous opportunities for mourners to take their minds off bereavement, she added, suggesting that they volunteer at a food and clothing drive, write greeting cards to loved ones or simply check out the festive decorations in their neighborhoods. Activities like exercising, meditating and enjoying a massage will also help reduce the stress of the holidays.

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from From Finding Holiday Joy Amid the Grief:

Discover Small Joys

As the holidays unfold, tune into small joyful moments, Apollon advises. "When you hear the laughter of children, focus on how good that feels. When you eat a piece of pie, really taste it. In the moment, it tastes so good -- and in that moment, you're outside your grief."Also, look for opportunities to laugh. "When you're laughing, your brain produces endorphins to boost the immune system," she says. "Give yourself permission to find things that make you laugh."

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Here's a tip from Chesapeake Life Center's bereavement counselors:

Above all, communicate: Communicate what you can handle comfortably during this time to your friends and family. “Let folks know that you might need to take a break from festivities after a while,” Roberta Rook, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, said. Let them know it’s not because you don’t want to be with them, but because you need the time to recharge and gather yourself. Tell them whether or not it’s alright for them to talk about your loved one. Make them aware if you need to make changes in your role in family holiday responsibilities. “By relating your needs, you minimize the chances for misunderstandings and hurt feelings,” Rook said.

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Another video, although this one focuses on depression during the holidays.

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Lastly, here's Gayle Danley, Your Grief Girl