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Currently Browsing: Friendship

Five Things at the End of June

Every once in a while, I borrow my friend Lauren’s five things format to catch up with you and myself.

When I find I’m in a lonely woeful rut, I prescribe myself more creativity and community. Making and chatting makes everything a little more shiny and hopeful. And that’s exactly what I needed a good dose of after my rough start for Summer. #Payitforward15 from Shalavee.com

I happened on a Pay It Forward 2015 Project on Instagram and was folded into their generosity receiving a gift at the beginning of this week. So I am then turning around and sending five back out. Cause that is spreading the love to the world in a small, creative, and generous way. Love it.

I gathered my brains back up off the ground from the Summer’s Stutter Start and made a few adjustments to my thoughts and attitudes and did a round-up at the therapy appointment. Takeaways include my need to be my friend more than my parent. And I questioned how can I punish myself for not doing those things I have yet to even define?

Sunset on the dock at The Bridges Restaurant on Shalavee.com

Me and Pegeen at the Bridges Restaurant on Shalavee.com

Sunset on the dock on Shalavee.com

  • I got to spend a dockside sunset watching evening last Friday with an old friend who moved a half hour away. And had lunch with another dear gal friend today. Be a friend and you’ll have one.

Daddy and Fiona at Jimmys on Shalavee.com

Fiona at the Bridgeville playground on Shalavee.com

  • We play-grounded and spent family time in our backyard enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend and week beginning. And, being a good friend to me, I finally went back and watched the final episode of the 3rd season of the Walking Dead and the first episode of the 4th season. Ah I have missed everyone. But mostly myself.

Eamon and Fiona at Jimmys on Shalavee.com

Mark and Eamon playing guitar on Shalavee.com

  • My precocious children are well and thriving this week. Eamon wanted to mess around on the guitar and is now practicing the Star Wars theme on the piano after we watched the 229th Maryland National Guard Army Band play this and many other marvelous theme songs on the Courthouse Green. Sue and fiona on the Green on Shalavee.com

Fiona worked the laps in the crowd. This is the same two-year old who’s moving into ten word sentences and beginning to say the “I DO IT” phrase. Sigh. I’m thinking big girl bed and potty training are sooner than later.

Today we’re off to the beach for the first time this year so expect cute Fiona beach pictures!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Jane Said

We “met” during an online blogging course given by Holly Becker of Decor8.  I think I have a sixth sense for fellow Virgos and her familiar passion for creating, cooking, and mothering felt like home. Mostly, she’s honest and sweet and I am always excited to see what the next step she’s taking with her blog. Because she’s fearless and very impressive.

Meet Jane Gilheaney Barry, blogger and creator at That Curious Love of Green and Momma living in County Leitrim in North West Ireland. I am always impressed and inspired by her. For her tenacity to write a book in the wee hours of a winter with little ones in the house. And to pick up painting and driving within the same year. We are both proud late bloomers and have embraced so many of the same growth and creative concepts within the same time period.  We both had no idea what blogging would gift to us. One of those gifts was connections with other bloggers around the world. Back when I was pregnant, we even Skyped once without sound. She was charming as heck in that long distance live silent movie moment. As her then 2-year-old fished into her purse she typed, “oh was that my new lipstick. Oh well.” But that I could have heard that fabulous accent too.

Peruse her site and you’ll find her very honest and open. From her journey of creative self-discovery to her love of cooking, country, family, and farming, she’s a delight to know, or stalk. And her pictures of her beautiful daughters and house are candid and charming too.

Recently, in this post she wrote called Even More Books,  Jane responded to a comment by a woman named Melissa with the kindest most enthusiastic and truthful response to a stranger that I was moved to share this on my blog. This is what we do as human beings, lift one another up with our experiences. I may not see what I do for others but I saw this and felt lucky to have done so.

Dear Melissa,

I’m what you might call ‘truly artistic’ and it took me 39 years to really get started. I’d say I was the same as you, writing and drawing as a child and so on. I truly believe everyone is creative and some uber so. From what you describe you’re in the ‘uber’ camp, no doubt in my mind. For years the most creative thing I did was cooking too, and before that dressing, the days when I had a bit of cash. And all times I felt these things you feel and I knew I wanted to write, to paint but I just did not know HOW to do it.
That idea, ‘if you are creative you will create no matter what,’ is not as clear-cut as it seems. In one sense you already ‘are’ creating no matter what, the cooking, the searching, in your ideas and the way you think I’ll bet. But it’s not enough and you know that, like I knew that. My problem was I had no frame of reference for these things. I just did not know HOW to write or paint, where to start.
My best decision was starting the blog, that leap was the trigger I needed. Once I began I felt I had to blog at least once a week. I wondered what I’d ever find to write about but quickly found once I sat down the words came!

Then the terror of sharing, of putting myself out there, being vulnerable, oh the fear! But then that got easier. Then I noticed a style start to emerge, who knew! Each new discovery, each step took me further, to wider reading on the subject, to greater immersion in art in general, the list goes on.Jane in her library on the curious love of green from shalavee.com

Then the big one, the idea for the book and I knew now to trust it, to just go where it lead. When I started, terror! I froze, the seeming impossiblity, the sheer scale of it. Melissa, I forced myself. A strict rule of, at first 300 words a day, eventually up to 1000, in other words commitment, work. Then, the magic really started. I won’t go into it here as this is already so long I’ll just say as I’ve said here many times before, that writing the novel, trusting that process was what made me brave enough to start painting with the month-long daily PUBLIC challenge. The difference was this time I knew what to do, just start, commit, keep going. I refused to miss even one single day and the experience was out of this world, life changing.
Now I’ve definitely gone on enough about myself but my point is that NOW I will create no matter what. If I’m not writing I’m thinking about writing or still writing, only in head. I will find a way to write every day and do. This is because I ‘started’ committed, built a habit, felt the magic and then boom, obsession!
You have to find a way to make space for your creativity in your life, this is HARD for an adult! As Ken Robinson said,

‘Creativity is like many natural resources, buried deep.’

But once you start to take it seriously and give it time and space in your day you will find yourself in that place where you will create no matter what and it will help with the stresses too.
If you would like to send me something via email …(you are) welcome. One last thing. I think a lot of the time we are so concerned about not being good enough, we think we should be great from the start and of course we hope we have this potential, that’s natural. The sad thing is it stops people just out of the gate. This happened me hundreds of times, if only I’d had the knowledge to put all those hundreds together!

Now I hope and fully intend to be a great writer, of course, I’m thinking if I write every day for the next, oh five years without fail I will get there.
So you have started! That is wonderful! Most people never do. Keep going! Build a wall of positive thinking around you, blast every negative thought that you can’t or you’re not good enough with this thought ‘But I’m doing it,’ or, another favourite of mine,

‘Every negative thought is a lie’

I use that one a lot.
Finally, I really mean finally this time! There is another reward, that is you become enchanted with the process, not the goal. It is the work you will love. The joy really is in the journey. I sincerely hope this helps, write any time , I would love to hear how it all goes, I’m excited for you! You’re in such an exciting place.

Love Jane xox

Of course, I was brave and made sure I said Bravo to all of this. Because when something hits home, you should shout “Yeah!” And then the lovely woman to whom she wrote responded. And I quickly grabbed that and put it here. I certainly hope she doesn’t mind but I feel as if I witnessed a lovely gift exchange and I wanted to share.

Jane, thank you so much for taking the time to respond with such caring thought and kindness. I continue to be amazed by you! Shalagh is so right, I am indeed lucky to have found you Jane. I am inspired by your multi talent and also your kindness. Wow, I needed to hear those words, they resonate with me at a very deep level. You’ve definitely given me something to think about. I appreciate the invitation to write to you so much, it means a lot, more than I can adequately express in words.

<3 Thank you.

If you like my creativity, positivity, and wonder, you’ll love Jane as well. I suggest you visit her Facebook page where she has developed a great following and is endlessly posting lovely pictures and thoughts and encourages people to share their creativity on Fridays. She really is an incredible inspiration. And I am flattered to be considered a friend.

More posts from That Curious Love of Green that make me marvel

The Artists Way – A Book Review

Feed Four for One Week 45.40 Euros

Chapter 1 of My Book – Read it Now

Corraleehan

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The Chances of Luck

My friend Sandra, a photographer who resides in Vancouver and has a blog called Rainforest Cottage Salon, brought up an interesting thought in her recent newsletter (which is always really thoughtful and interesting). She pondered how much of our lives is in our control and how much of it is really due to luck?


She remarked,”It’s quite fashionable to imagine that we can control so much of our lives. I mean, that’s what drives a lot of the click bait on social media, right? The 10 ways to do this or the 20 ways to do that. Adopt the flavor of the month and you’ll lose weight, avoid cancer, make money, find a mate, sell your work. “The best way out is always through on Shalavee.com

Yet how much of life’s ebb and flow is dependent on so much of the world’s workings and the ebb and flow of the unseen. It seems both of us have a specific memory of a line from a television production that stuck with us on this subject. She says years ago, she saw “a Masterpiece period piece called “Any Human Heart about the life of Logan Mountstuart in the early 20th century. At one point his father says to him, ‘enjoy good luck when it comes your way. It’s all luck in the end’ “

I had a similar Aha moment on this subject watching a show in 1991 called Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. The amazing actor Ray Watson of My Favorite Martian fame, played the wise janitor named Augie. I remember them being on the school’s rooftop at sunset and he offers,”You’re never down or up for too long before you’ll go the other way”. I have since tried to remember this when I am in the midst of a crisis. I always say, soon this will all be a nightmare.bells of Ireland on Shalavee.com

Sandra concluded her thoughts by saying, “Things happen. Good luck comes our way. And that’ll end and there’ll be some bad luck too. Of course we have an impact on our lives – I can recall many times where I made good choices and some less than good choices and suffered the consequences. But there have been many times too when things have just happened. Good AND bad.

I can choose to rail against the bad luck. I can give myself all the credit for the good luck. Or how about this – why not just ride the wave, do our best and know that it’ll change again at some point. “

My window shamrock on Shalavee.com

I am grateful for like-minded friends keeping me grounded and real. And I’m trying super hard to keep up perspective on what truly is happening at any given moment. And am going to try to hedge my bets for the Good Luck side as much as possible by giving the best of myself and my hardest most honest efforts to the world and my family . And be extremely wary of that which I really can’t control.

Moonvine in Easton, MD : A Unique Little Shop

If it’s Black Friday, shopping locally is on my mind. Happily, my gal Pama’s shop Moonvine will be open for her second Christmas season on Harrison Street in Easton, Maryland across from the Tidewater Inn. And like last year, I plan to do some of my Christmas shopping here.

Moonvine creams at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Yarn ball ornaments at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

While visiting and gathering decorations for the Moroccan themed Christmas tree for Talbot Hospice last week, I took a massive amount of pictures so I could show you the magnitude of beautiful that is Moonvine. You should all be so lucky to have this sort of shop in your town. And if you live here, stop by and tell her I sent you.

Yet another mermaid at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Pama’s first love is Mermaids and they are everywhere.

More mermaids at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Yarn mermaids at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

She loves fairies too and you’ll find them tucked in every niche and adorning some lovely cards too.

Fairies are everywhere at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Greeted by a fairy at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Fairy cards at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Her mother Karen is a very talented artist and crafter and her work is everywhere you look.

Vintage and mosaic work at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

The mosaic pieces done with vintage bits are fascinating and would be stars in a minimalistic house.

Mosaiced frame with vintage bits at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

And the antiques strewn about the shop are also wonderful and many would make a styled shelf memorable.

Colored glassware at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Bust at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Pama is an amazing floral designer and there are beautiful florals everywhere.

Fabulous faux cotton at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Vintage vignette at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Gorgeous garland and homemade soaps at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

She also loves quality homemade soaps and there are more than a few lovely ones to choose from.

Luxurious soaps at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

I absolutely flipped over the library collection candles with literary names like Jane Austin and Mark Twain packaged in copper tins, they are amazing smelling too. I detest Yankee candles and while I love love love Votivo, these are really nice.

The Library candle collection at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

The library collection candles at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Christmas ornaments are also a one gift hit and she’s got some lovely ones. Charming Little sea creatures and mermaids dangle everywhere.

Nodding headed turtle ornament at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Closeup look at the teacher fish ornament at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Hairdresser fish ornaments at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Realistic little crabs at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

You can even take a little Eastern Shore of Maryland with you with these amazingly real crabs and cute handmade oyster shell ornaments.

Oyster shell Eastom, MD ornaments at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Plus … there’s the jewelry. Last year there was some fun pieces and this year, there’s plenty more. An entire case of vintage jewelry takes up one corner of the shop. And Fiona got to play with some dress up quality necklaces like she likes to do while I ran around and took my pictures.

Jewelry box at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

The jewelry case at Moonvine on Shalavee.com

Honestly, I was just in there and I could spend another uninterrupted hour fondling and smelling everything in the shop. A day trip here to Easton for a wander around and a nice lunch sounds like great fun before or after Christmas. Charm oozes from the cracks in the brick sidewalks here in Easton and Pama’s store is a jewel in its crown.

My post on Moonvine from July 2013 is here.

Moonvine is located at 21 A North Harrison Street in Easton, Maryland.

Visit their Facebook page here. And don’t hesitate to give her a call at 410-770-4451 for information or custom wreath requests.

Blog Suicide

Don’t stop me if I’ve told you this because I’m going somewhere different with it today. A thoughtful and somewhat sad place but I can’t stop thinking about it.

I started blogging with truly no clue about blogging. I did it because someone I knew said I should. I’d never really even read a blog. And I just began. What’s followed is a lot of blood, sweat , and tantrums.

I have stayed the course though and am glad I did because of the growth I have experienced both as a writer and as a human being who needed to prove my worth and the value of human connection. But you don’t get to enjoy the lessons unless you go the distance.

This can be a very solitary practice. So many sources of input vying for your attention that I feel lucky if anyone reads my blog. Please don’t feel bad that you don’t comment either. Those that can do. Purposes of entertainment are personal to everyone. And I can remember being reluctant to comment once too.

I have been online now long enough to see some of my fellow bloggers discontinue their blogging. One gal got a full-time job. Two just sort of stopped publishing posts and show up to “like” something every once in a while. But the one that upset me the most was a gal who I almost met this past Summer at the Blog U conference. She committed blog suicide.

I was just about to write a piece on how upset I was about her abrupt disappearance when Robin Williams took his life. And the death of this wonderful and beloved man seemed too tragic to even use the word suicide in any other context. But I do feel a kind of concern for this gal’s welfare and here’s why.

There’s a community here online and when you connect with people, they’re just like the people you know from your everyday life. Like your mail carrier or your bus driver. They make you happy when they chat with you. But then what if you heard them start to say that you were so pretty and that they could never consider themselves pretty. Or that you were smart and they just knew they were dumb. And then one day they were missing from their job permanently.

This gal praised me and I was so flattered but I felt that shift into implosion. Suggestions of unhappiness and unworthiness and anxiety. And then wham, she was missing. She had deleted her blog address and all of her social media outlets. I wanted to scream out, why? One of ours was gone. Many of us new bloggers have felt that wavering doubt of that first year of blogging. I understand low self-esteem so well. I comprehend comparing myself to other bloggers and writers (and designers) and feeling crappy about me. And I guess I am reminded again of how I love doing this and how tenuous our bonds with others really are.

So Jean, if you are still reading my blog, know that I heard your distress and felt absolutely powerless to help you. I did notice you go missing. I am not a more talented a blogger or writer or mother than you are. I hope that you and your children are well and looking forward to a happy holiday season. And that if you ever needed an ear or anything I have to give you, I am still here. Imprisoned in this box but also out in the world contributing my soul and gathering happiness anyway I can.

Sincerely,

Shalagh

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