Thursday, February 22, 2007

A good cause

A scrapbooking gal I admire, Ali Edwards has set a goal to have 1,000 people donate to Autism Speaks before I believe March 31.

There's a contest, through, and the charity badge which raises the most $ by March 31, will get a matching grant, up to $10,000 from Kevin Bacon.

Anyway, I'm going to add the badge to my blog, and here it is.

I wanted to explain what it is about.
This is a cutie pic of Ali's son, Simon.

If everyone does a little, together, we can move mountains.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What kind of cookie are you?

I found this quiz today....
Hum...I kind of like the answer

You Are a Chocolate Chip Cookie

Traditional and conservative, most people find you comforting.
You're friendly and easy to get to know. This makes you very popular - without even trying!

Friday, February 9, 2007

My PhotoSpiva Entries

Here are the six pictures I'm having printed for PhotoSpiva.
I'll enter five of the prints....I'm not sure which one I'm going to leave out.....Leave a comment and let me know...
I also have to name them....any suggestions Bek?

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Recent Column

This ran recently on & in JOY a joint publication of, Carthage Press and Neosho Daily.

The Essentials in Life
A recent article by Ali Edwards, a scrapbook designer I admire, explored what she considered the "essentials" of the craft. Edwards listed 10 supplies, out of all of the hundreds available in the growing industry, which she considered necessary to be creative. It made me stop to think about what I consider indispensable in my own life.

The ice storms in January continued this line of thought, especially as friends and family went days without electricity or heat. One family I know moved into their travel trailer after the power failed at their home because the trailer was heated by propane. This meant two teenaged boys, one older-elementary girl, two parents, a dog and a pet rat lived in the 30-foot structure for five days.

During the storm, I witnessed how basic or indispensable electricity has become to our culture. Gone are the days when people in America warmed their homes or cooked meals with wood heat. A few hours without electricity reminds us how dependent we have become on the utility for every aspect of our lives, even if we only use it for the necessary items.

Water is another essential in life. Throughout the storm, several family members and friends not only worried about how to heat their homes, but also how to water their livestock-especially those who used well water for their farms. By the second day with no electricity, my parents found a generator, primarily to pump water to the cattle and horses. When their power was restored, the generator helped pump another friend's well for the same purpose.

Food is also an essential in life. One man interviewed by a coworker during the storm lamented that he and his wife purchased their month's supply of groceries just before the storm hit. He feared that that everything would be spoiled by the time they were able to return home.

One only had to walk into a grocery store before or during the storm to realize how unprepared we are when it comes to winter weather. On the eve of the storm I went to pick up a few items and found the milk case almost completely empty. One woman was furious that the store had not stocked more milk and took her anger out on a clerk. I guess she didn't realize that hundreds of others, like myself, had shopped earlier in the day for the same food staples.

Sometimes the convenience of fast food makes us forget what our forefathers knew--one needs to have a supply of basic food items on hand at all times on the off chance a storm blows through. It's easy for me to get busy and forget to keep a well-stocked pantry, with milk, eggs, butter and other basic supplies used in most recipes. I've fallen into the habit of "picking something up" on the way home from work, rather than keeping many supplies on hand at home.

Beyond food, water and electricity, I realize there are other things essential to my life. One is my desire to take time to be creative.

It's very easy for me to fill my life with a ton of things, forgetting to take time to photograph items which catch my eye, design scrapbook pages, or be creative with needle and thread.

On a recent weekend, I spent time working on several unfinished projects. I had almost forgotten how calming it is to set aside time to create something of beauty.

Faith is yet another essential I have found to be very important to my quality of life. While I might not have been able to worship within a church during the stormy weather, I could fill my days with prayer, journaling and other things.

In the movie Anne of Green Gables, the character Anne Shirley says, "If I really wanted to pray, I'd go out into a great big field, all alone, I'd look up into the sky. I'd imagine it was the dome of a great big cathedral and then I'd close my eyes and just feel a prayer.

One only has to look around the ice-covered world to see God among the trees, snow and ice. I might not have had Anne's cathedral, but I found other ways to pray during the storm.

Other essentials emerged after I spent part of last fall in Brazil. Removed from television, instant Internet access and telephone communication, I saw first-hand how I value communication with my friends and family. I also discovered how I take for granted books and other academic pursuits when I saw how much books cost at the local "big box" store.

What do you consider essential in your life? What items are so important that you cannot live without them?

When you boil it down, there are many things we think are important, but in reality, are like icing to a cake-simply decorative items in our lives.

A friend, whose home filled with water after the ice storm damaged pipes in her home, described the situation this way, "my family and granddaughter are fine. Everything else is just stuff."

Was she upset? Of course, but she knew that things could be replaced, but human life is precious.

So that's my list of essentials: electricity, heat, water, food, creative time, faith, family and friends, and learning.

What makes up your life's essentials? Why not make a list and see what comes out on top. It just might change the way you live and think.

Possibly knowing what you value will help put things into perspective the next time you have to wait in line more than 10 minutes at a "big box" store or something doesn't go just right at work. Knowing what is essential in your life may help you become more content with what you have. I know my list has.

Allan K. Chalmers states it like this: "The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."

May we fill our lives with something that deserves our happiness.
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