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24 Jun 2010 Is it true?
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afterThis week’s activity was to try a new hair color…just for the very fun of it.  What color to try?  My hair is naturally brown and I have worn lots of shades of brown.  Red?  No….I’ve had enough red tint in the browns I’ve tried to know I don’t care for red that much.  Not going with an unnatural color so purple and green are out.  That leaves blonde. 

beforeMy stylist is a hair color specialist so I felt confident she wouldn’t let me walk out there looking like a freak!  My thought had been that I would try some version of blonde and if I didn’t like it, I could change it back in a few weeks.  She said if I did that I could easily damage my hair so much that a lot of it would break off.  So…not going there.  I’ve been working on growing my hair out for too long to do that! 

She suggested doing blonde highlights, done in a way that would be attractive and age appropriate, in a manner that I would likely want to keep it for a while vs. the double-change I was envisioning with going drastic & then returning to my regular color.  And if I liked it, then I could add more or go more dramatic once I adjust to this.  I like her thinking.  I knew she would take care of me and I trust her for that.  Especially since I have a speaking engagement tonight!

Slide1I tried a few of those virtual makeover websites a few days ago and took the photos in today to my stylist.  She said look at this…with this color you will look 20.  I told her, I AM 20 in that photo!  (I don’t have many full face photos so I used this one from my graduation from nursing school 30 years ago!)

 So…blonde highlights it is!  Thought I might get to experiment and see if blondes do have more fun.  I may need to go more blonde because I don’t want to just have part of the fun!!

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11 Jun 2010 A Sacred Journey
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drummingThis week’s Intentional Living activity was extraordinary.  I hosted a wellness retreat last weekend at Lakeside, Ohio, a chautauqua near Marblehead in western Ohio.  Saturday evening we were guided in a Shamanic Drumming Journey to reclaim our magical child. 

It is hard to describe this most unusual, multisensory meditative healing practice.  I can only tell you, if you haven’t done it before, and I hadn’t…..give it a try!  It is one of the most relaxing yet revitalizing experiences I have ever encountered.

Ours was guided by the gifted Deirdre Garvey, of  The Circle of Light Integrated Healing.  On her website, Deirdre describes these guided journeys in this way, “  What is Shamanic Healing?  Central to Shamanic Healing is the shamanic journey , a method of directly contacting our helpers and guides by journeying into non-ordinary reality.  The shamanic journey has been practiced  by people all over the world for more  than 40,000 years.  A steady beat from a drum or rattle is used to achieve a state of deep relaxation.  You then journey into non-ordinary reality with a question, and make contact with helping power animals and teachers who offer healing wisdom and advice.  The answers to these questions can form the basis for significant healing with issues in your life.” 

What a magical experience.  Thank you Deirdre!


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03 Jun 2010 How do you spell SUMMER ????
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watermeloncorn cobNothings says “summer” to me more than corn on the cob and watermelon.

I ate both at dinner last night.  Heaven, I’m in heaven….

 Let the summer begin!!!!


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28 May 2010 Games of Chance
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I have to admit, I am not much of a gambler tho I do enjoy having different life experiences….so my husband and I went to the casino in Erie.  We only gambled for probably an hour or two, which was just enough to have some fun.  I have only been to a casino a handful of times, but my naïve approach is this….anytime a machine hits any win of $20 or over, I cash out.  Then when my gambling budget is spent, I hand in all my vouchers.  I don’t like the idea of reinvesting the win back into the machine.  You can see…I am not a big gambler!  But it was fun for me as long as I set those kinds of rules for myself.  We even netted out ahead so that was fun!

I also found myself reflecting on the casino being a metaphor for life.  I am not even a gambler, yet I found myself wishing/hoping/praying that the machine would just deliver for me.  Reminded me how we tend to look to God in our “crunch” situations.  I have a daily spiritual practice and a belief system that everything happens for a reason so I don’t pray for specifics.  But in that casino, despite my beliefs and practices, I still found myself asking to please have the machine deliver.  How very interesting!  Years ago there was a movie titled “Life as a House”.  Maybe there should be a movie “Life as a Casino”.  I think we could probably learn a lot about human behavior at a casino.  game of life 2

I am, though, a risk-taker in life.  Actually, this entire Intentional Living Project is about life adventure..intentionally experiencing a wide array of life experiences.  In that way, I am a gambler and whole –heartedly through myself into this interesting Game of Chance called Life!

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21 May 2010 Shhh…it’s a secret….
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Secret Santa 2I am having such a wonderful year on this Intentional Living Project journey.  This week’s activity especially touched my heart.

What fun!  My husband and I were out to dinner and saw a young couple, obviously out to dinner before their prom.  My husband looked at me and said, “let’s buy their dinner”.  I said, “YES!  That’s on my Intentional Living list!”.  We called the waitress over and told her to give their bill to us, but to not tell them who paid for it.  What a wonderful feeling.  This must be how Kris Kringle feels!  And angels! 

I often buy presents for people, and it lights up my heart to have touched them with my gifts…but doing it anonymously.  I haven’t done much of that, and definitely not in this way.  I will do this again.  This is giving from the heart in it’s purest form.  I LOVED it!

Do you have a Kris Kringle story?  I would love to hear yours….

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14 May 2010 Happy Mother’s Day
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mothers dayAt a stop light, on Mother’s Day, I looked out the window & saw this roadside memorial.  I pulled off the road to visit this memorial.  I do not know this woman or her story, but I am guessing from her memorial along the sidewalk of Route 20 in Ashtabula, that a mother and her baby died together.  On this Mother’s Day, my heart goes out to you & your family.

 My Intentional Living list had included visiting the roadside memorial of someone I knew & also someone I didn’t know at all.   I wondered if the experience would be different.  It was, but visiting someone I didn’t know was extremely special in it’s own way.  It was a privilege to honor this woman and her child in this way.  Seemed a way to share with them that their lives were seen, witnessed.

Last fall when my mother passed away, a friend of mine, Jackie Swanson, sent me a sympathy card.  I had been out of touch & wondered how she knew my mother had passed.  She said she makes an intentional point to read every obituary.  She feels every person should have their obituary read by at least one person.  This is her way of  honoring life.  I love that practice.  Jackie, you are a special person.

On Mother’s Day I, likewise, had the pleasure of honoring 2 lives.  May they rest in peace.

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05 May 2010 Singing in the Rain…
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little girl looking upDoo-dloo-doo-doo-doo……

This week’s intentional living activity was to play in the rain.  How glorious.  Time to be a kid again.  The weather gave me a perfect opportunity.  I needed to plant all my new purchases in my garden…and we did it in the rain.  It was heavenly.  You may think this doesn’t count as “playing” in the rain, but I have to tell you…doing all this planting may well have felt like work if it hadn’t been for the rain.  Planting in the rain turned a job into fun and play.  It held the heat at bay and kept us cool and refreshed.  And made the planting oh so easy and enjoyable.  What a blast.  I will PLAN on planting in the rain next year.

singing in the rain dancingDoo-dloo-doo-doo-doo-doo…

I’m singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain…..


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28 Apr 2010 Can you really call THIS shopping??
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Kridler Gardens

Kridler Gardens

Do you need to purchase some plants for your garden?  Have I got the place for you!  Kridler Gardens, in Homeworth, OH, near Alliance and Mount Union College.  This week’s activity was to take a scenic drive, and I combined that with a destination of Kridler Gardens, as it is a gorgeous drive there.

My body, mind, and spirit are always so renewed when I spend time with all the natural wonders we have been given.    The endless gift of healing from the fresh air, sky, trees, flowers, water.  I am so grateful.  I try to build time with nature into nearly every day.

10Can you imagine, though, integrating a shopping experience with the relaxation and beauty we get from a scenic drive or a walk in nature?  Well Kridler Gardens has done just that.  Amazing.  I don’t usually use my blog to promote a business, but you have just got to check this place out!  Look at this.  You don’t even feel like you are shopping.  You feel like you are walking in the most peaceful, groomed, park you have ever been in…and oh, by the way, if you see anything you like you can actually take it home with you…unlike typical park rules!

 Here is their website description:   

“Kridler Gardens is a destination garden center specializing in hard to find, rare, and unusual perennials, trees, shrubs, and annuals. The garden center is located on a 100 acre parcel of land, that features our arboretum of unusual and rare trees and shrubs. The plantings cover a 20 acre site, with the nursery situated within these plantings. One of our goals is to be able to show you a planted, maturing, and growing specimen. This helps you to envision the plant in your home landscape.

The grounds also feature a lake, ponds, benches, and a lakeside gazebo… room for a picnic when you visit. There are also 40 acres of mature woods that are under development as time allows, with trails and sittings areas.”

11And then there is Barrie Kridler, one of the owners.  We took photos with us of our gardens because we needed serious help in selecting some bushes and perennials.  We simply told Barry our garden agenda (i.e., low maintenance, 3 -4 season color/interest, flowers that sustain well in indoor cut flower arrangements, etc).  You could almost see Barrie’s mind working as he took us through the gardens suggesting all kinds of various bushes, plants, etc.   He made this project so easy.  We typically find a plant we like & try to figure out where it might survive in our garden.  Barrie took the clearly much wiser and knowledgeable approach of picking the right plant for the spot.  It will be so rewarding to watch our garden flourish, rather than watch in wonder every spring to see if any of our perennials will come back to visit!



Go visit Barry at Kridler Gardens!  You won’t be sorry. 

4809 Homeworth Road
Homeworth, OH 44634
Phone (330) 525-7914



Little cottageOH…AND they have a simply beautiful cottage for rental there nestled in the woods.  Check it out!

Here is their website description:  “Envision a secluded, private cottage all to yourself…a soft rain beating down on a tin roof, owls hooting, and deer walking past your window. Or, a bright full Moon, shining down thru the trees and into your window as you nestle into bed. This is a small part of what you will find at The Little House at Kridler Gardens. Nestled within a mature woods and situated on the grounds of a landscaped arboretum sits an unexpected sanctuary. You can fish in one of our ponds…(throw back only!), hike, bird watch, sit by a campfire, read or whatever you like to spend time doing or not doing. The grounds surrounding the cabin are planted with native wildflowers, flowering trees and shrubs, rare and unusual plants are all around you. “



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21 Apr 2010 Global Communication
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This week’s activity….learning some basic sign language!!  I am LOVING this. 

I thought I would try to learn 10  signs that would help people communicate important messages.

I Love You sign

I Love You sign

I am learning the signs for:

  • Home
  • Store
  • Water
  • Drink
  • Hungry
  • Now/today
  • Hurt/pain
  • Happy
  • Please
  • Thank you
  • BONUS sign:  I LOVE YOU

I am well on my way with learning them but will need to review them daily for them to really stick.  I may add some other words to the list! 

When my kids were young we had a deck of sign language cards and tried to learn a new sign each week.  Obviously they didn’t stick well for me.:)  I will have to see if my kids remember any of them!

I noticed that my nephew, who is 1, is learning some sign language at Day Care.  I think that’s wonderful!

Do you know sign language?  I read it is the 4th most common language in the world.

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16 Apr 2010 Simple Pleasures
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BATHING BY CANDLE LIGHT_phpThis week’s Intentional Living activity was to take a bubble bath!

It was a buffet for the senses. 

Eucalyptus-scented bubble bath.  Essential oils.  Lavender handmade soap. 


Hot water.   Then tepid.  Then cool. 

Listening to “Tuscany,  A Romantic Journey”. 




italy_tuscanyThe sweetness of the music was like nectar from the gods, transporting me to the Tuscan countryside.

When the music ended…listening to the stillness and silence. 

I began the bath restless, frustrated, mind racing…left in stillness, peace & wonder.

But I forgot taste…light, crisp white wine and strawberries.   Scheduling a do-over!

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