Thursday, September 6, 2012

404 - 406 Fun Things to Do!

404 - Take photographs of some of your favorite flowers in your garden!  Every morning during Morning Glory season, I march out my front door in my pajamas to say "good morning" to them.  I get lost in their radiance!

Then I move on to greet and appreciate my Black Eyed Susan hanging basket, and my fabulous hot pink Mandevillas.

This morning I was greeted with 15 Heavenly Blue Morning Glories!  The gorgeous twirly buds are so stunning to me.  I am a lover of buds, and the Morning Glory buds are tied with the Black Eyed Susan buds for twirling magnificence.  My friend, Sally, introduced me to the exotic Mandevillas -- a plant I never thought would thrive in N.E. Ohio, but it does!

The memories of these flower-filled mornings and these photographs will help get me through the Winter!

405 - Send an email to your friends including wonderful photographs of your flowers.  Today is my dear friend Susan's birthday, and since she lives in Florida, I can't coordinate a fabulous celebration for her, so I am sending this photo of Black-Eyed Susans to her.  They can sing "Happy Birthday" to her in her imagination!  And if I can catch her by phone, I will read Happy Birthday to You! by Dr. Seuss to her with great enthusiasm!

406 - Send photographs of your favorite flowers by text to your friends who can't see them in person!  My friend, Liz, lives in Washington state, so it was fun to send her a text with some photos this morning, so she can be in my garden with me a bit, without really being here.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

401 - Go to your class reunion!  This is the reunion celebration of the Class of '65 turns 65 (although I am still a young 64) from Firestone High School in Akron, Ohio this Summer.  I am on the far right.  It was a fun weekend of camaraderie and memories.  We practically shut down Swenson's, our local drive-in restaurant, and went to Mary Coyle's ice cream parlor, along with the meet and greet on Friday night, and the dinner dance on Saturday.  No matter where our paths have led, we all still have those mutual high school years to remember  and there's a certain tenderness about that.

402 - Catch up with friends from long ago!  Here are Mitra and Jim LaRocco -- Jim was one of my most important friends in high school.  He always gave me advice about boyfriends, thank Heavens!  I got to hear the romantic story of how Jim and Mitra met.  It is always great to know that people you cared about in high school are out there having interesting and fun lives.

403 -  Use treasured buttons in unusual ways.  Mitra LaRocco has a wonderful collection of buttons that once belonged to her Mother.  Now Mitra puts those buttons on many pieces of her own clothing in her Mother's memory.  This is the skirt that Mitra wore to one of the events at the reunion.  I thought it was one of the best looking skirts I had ever seen.  When I found out the story of the buttons, I just had to ask if I could share it.  Thank you, Mitra!

Monday, August 27, 2012

389 - 400 Fun Things to Do!

389 - Go to an exciting, challenging, fun, and awesome workshop.  When I saw that Mike Dooley from would be making a stop in Cleveland on his World Tour III, "Playing the Matrix".  I pulled every string I could think of to get there. Luckily, my friend Jean was just as enthusiastic as I was about the potential of this experience.  It turned out to be an amazing day I will never forget, with the most dynamic presentation I have ever witnessed.  When it was over, I felt full of yes!  In the photo with me -- Mike and Jean.

I get daily emails from the Universe sent out by  They are short, fun, and quirky bits of wisdom that help me start off my day in just the right frame of mind.  One time I was getting some presentations ready for a conference, and I was so busy I thought my head would spin off my shoulders and go into outer space.  Then I read an email from the Universe that said, "It's not that you worry Carol, it's that you care so much!"  Worry implies that maybe things haven't gone well in the past, that you might fail, and you might let people down.  Caring means that you are doing the best you can, you believe that things will go well, and that you are capable of doing a good job that people will most likely appreciate.  That one sentence from the Universe (written by Mike Dooley) set me free from the times of worry that have plagued me since I was a child.  I still worry now and then, but when I remember that message from the Universe, and I calm right down and keep moving forward.  You can see why I made a big effort to attend this workshop!

390 - Take an outdoor fairy garden class.  I recently took a wonderful fairy gardening class at Graf Growers in Akron, Ohio.   It's my favorite garden store, and being a fairy gardener, I was excited to participate in this fun class.  It was extra happy to be with children, parents, grandparents, and other participants and to watch as everyone created their own amazing fairy gardens.  I put a little rose bush, ferns, thyme, hens and chicks,  a bench, fairy gazing ball, a clay piece with "love", a tiny lantern, a polka dot pinwheel,  and pebbles in a cobalt blue bowl.  It is the most delightful fairy garden I have ever made, and I have made a lot for myself and other people!  I put it where I can see it as I'm coming in the side door.  Now I have three fairy gardens in my yard.  Hooray!

 391 - Go to see three movies in one weekend!

I went to see "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" one Friday night with my daughter Maribeth.  It was a very different movie, and I liked it a lot.  Jennifer Garner did an excellent job acting, and so did the little boy who played her son.

Then Saturday night, I went to see "Hope Springs", with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones.   The acting was incredible -- not just the delivery of the words, but the facial expressions, and body language. A five star rating for sure!  I went with my husband of almost 42 years, Tom who really appreciated it, too.  "Hope Springs" is for people who have been married for a long time, for those who are new to the marriage game, and for anyone in a romantic relationship, or wanting to be in one.  I guess that covers a lot of people!

Even though I love to go to the movies, and it is one of my very best stress relievers, sometimes I don't get there as often as I would like.  So when I noticed that I seemed to be involved in a very exciting movie weekend, I couldn't help but go to the movies by myself on Sunday afternoon!

 I went to see "Step Up Revolution", which is a movie about
street dancing and flash mobs.  Since I love dancing, music, and flash mobs, this was a terrific movie for me.  I want to see it again.  The energy was amazing, the love story a little predictable, and the entertainment value very high!

392 - Go to the movies by yourself!  Many years ago, I decided that I needed to learn to go to the movies by myself.  I picked "On Golden Pond" with Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, and Jane Fonda because I knew it would be so wonderful that I wouldn't mind being alone so much.  It was a spectacular movie and kept me totally engaged.  When I left that movie I had changed from a person who was shy about going to the movies by herself to a liberated movie-goer who can go to any movie on the spur of the moment without having to find a friend or family member to agree to go.  When you go by yourself, you don't have to worry about anyone else's movie experience, you get to choose the movie, and you get to lose yourself in the movie theater experience!

393 - Order a wild pizza for yourself.  These days most pizza parlors have an exciting array of toppings so you can order a nontraditional pizza very easily.  I love a white pizza, which can be made with an "alfredo" style of sauce with artichokes, onions, and mushrooms.  I was stuck in the traditional pizza world for years, now it is fun to experiment and surprise myself with unusual combinations.

394.  Rent a convertible.  This would be fun to do for a weekend of local adventure, or when  you're on a trip and you want to add a little pizzazz to your activities.  If I rented one, I would want a red one, but wouldn't turn down any other color.  My sister, Barb, had a convertible for most of her life, and we had many happy times together in it.

395 - Dip your strawberries in chocolate.  Recently, my friend Jean and I
were in Cleveland at a restaurant called "The Chocolate Bar".  If you can believe this, there were half price appetizers, one of which happened to be berries in chocolate!  When our friendly waiter brought this amazing plate of ten gorgeous strawberries and a martini glass full of chocolate, I felt like doing a happy dance.  I stayed seated, but I was doing a bit of a happy dance in my chair!

Every Valentine's Day, it is a big deal tradition for my daughter, Maribeth, and me to go to the local candy store and get boxes of chocolate dipped strawberries for ourselves and my daughter-in-law, Dyan.  We all believe that we are experiencing chocolate heaven.  Now I know that heaven can be even a little bit more exciting and delicious by having a chance to personally dip my own strawberries!  Yippee yo yo YO! 

396 - Go to a farmer's market.  There's a wonderful flea market and farmer's market in Hartville, Ohio.  I could easily spend a day in the Hartville area.  Produce there is quite extraordinary -- I even found out that purple string beans taste much like green ones, except sweeter.

397 - Light a candle to create a special atmosphere, on a dinner table, or for any occasion.

398 - Write thank you notes every day for 30 days!  Once you start thinking about it, you will be amazed at how many people make your life easier, but often go unnoticed.  You can let your mail carrier know how much you appreciate such faithful service, a manager know how helpful a salesperson was, a friend for their love and care, a former teacher for mentoring you . . .  finding 30 people to thank could be an amazing adventure!  Expressing gratitude on a regular basis can be very fulfilling and even life changing.  I read that you can't ever be grateful and upset at the same time.

399 - Send a greeting card once a week to someone with a brain tumor -- sign up at   I have been sending a card every week for two months and it has been a very rewarding process.  I make just one card a week to send along, but my friend Ann creates and sends over 80 each week!

400 -  Make a tradition of taking a photograph of your child (or grandchild) just before they start their first day of school every year.  Here are Nate and Andrew, my beloved grandchildren, just before they started fifth and second grade at their new school.  My son, Kevin, has taken a photograph of the first day every year since Nate began kindergarten.  These photographs are special treasures for sure!

Today is a celebration in reaching 400 fun things to do out of the goal of 1,000!  We are almost halfway there.  Please join me by adding your ideas in the comment section.  Together we can make it happen!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

365 - 388 Fun Things to Do!

365 - Take photographs of some of your favorite flowers in your garden.  I don't know the name of these purple flowers, but as far as I am concerned, they are my miracle flowers!  At the end of the Summer few years ago, I put this pot in the garage.  I was so surprised in the Spring to see that new growth had started even in the darkness, so I put them out and they did a beautiful job blooming again.  I don't even know if they are perennials or not.  This year I forgot and left them out in the corner of the patio during the Winter, and they started growing again in the Spring.  Early in the season, deer came and ate every single bud, but I left them out anyway, and new flowers burst forth again and again!  Usually they only bloom once and they are done, so I guess the deer did me an unexpected favor  this year!

One of my favorite exotic plants is the Mandevilla.  I am sure they come in many colors, but I always choose hot pink.  The look like they shouldn't be able to bloom in N.E. Ohio, but I always have a profusion of blossoms all Sumer long.  Their buds just twirl out like performance art, and the blossoms are the kind you can just peer into for some great flower fun!

366 - Enjoy watering your garden.  During this Summer of drought conditions, we have needed to water our flowers quite often.  I appreciate checking in with them to see how they're doing and if they need anything other than water.

367 - Create your own hot fudge sundae!  The other day my husband, Tom, brought home the fixings for hot fudge sundaes.  I was surprised to realize that I had never before ever made my own hot fudge sundae.  When you get a hot fudge sundae at an ice cream parlor, there is always the risk of running out of hot fudge before you get to the end of the ice cream.  Oh no!  But at home, you are in charge of the amount of hot fudge that is distributed.  In these days of 90+ degree weather, a generous hot fudge sundae is a happy thing!

368 - Get out some chalk and create a game of Hopscotch.  This fun game has been passed on from generation to generation.  You might even be able to teach someone how to do it!

369 - Collect flyers and brochures of fun and creative things to do.  This Summer may be the most fun ever because I have really paid attention to free and/or inexpensive concerts, art exhibits, and fun events all around our area.  Last Sunday, my friend Jean, my Dad, and I attended a free Akron Symphony Orchestra concert at Hardesty Park.  It was a delightful evening with a quirky selection of beautiful music.  There was even a place where people could learn the basics of conducting an orchestra with their own baton action.  Many people brought picnics and all ages were in attendance.  I wonder if my Dad, who is 95, was the oldest person there?

370 - Declare a day of peace, calm, and quiet.  Every once in a while, it is refreshing to not watch TV, listen to the radio, or get on your computer.  You can catch up on some reading, take a walk, visit with someone, or whatever you like.  It is amazing to find some extra time to spend however you wish.

371 - Try a recipe that scares you!  One time I asked a friend what his favorite meal is, and he told me Beef Wellington.  I wanted to make a special birthday dinner for him, but the recipe was at least two pages long in The Joy of Cooking, which was a little too intimidating for me!  So I asked him for his second favorite meal, which was barbecued ribs -- a little more doable!  Now I am on the alert for a recipe to challenge me that is a little tricky, but not too too frightening.

378 - Recreate one of your restaurant favorites.  I have recently gone on a streak of eating spinach salad with chicken, pickle slices, shredded cheese and vinaigrette dressing.  One day it occurred to me that I could put that together at home for a lot less money, and with more control over the ingredients.

379 - Take a photograph of a street sign that corresponds with someone's last name, and then pretend you had the street named after them!  This is a birthday gift which I framed and gave to my Dad, Sherman Bailey, for his 95th birthday.  He found it very amusing, but I am not quite sure if he believed that it was really and truly a new street dedication.  Maybe you'll have better luck!

380 - Have a "Zero Dollar Day".  This is a day when you don't spend any money at all.  It's a great way to feel like you're saving money.  Sometimes I even get in and out of a store without spending anything at all if I am well on my way to having a day where all my money stays in my wallet!

381 - Pre-read a few pages in the books you are going to take on vacation.  This way you won't be lugging books around that are going to disappoint you during your time away.  Thank you to my friend, Nancy, for giving me this great idea.

382 - If you're thinking about buying a book at a bookstore, but you're not sure if it will be good or not, read a paragraph 1/3 of the way in, and 2/3 in, also.  This is not recommended for mysteries though -- you might ruin the suspense!  Authors spend a lot of time devising their first paragraphs, so this has helped me over the years get a better feel for a prospective book purchase.

383 - Take a photograph of your vegetable garden bounty to send to someone out of state.   Featured here are yellow squashes, zucchinis, green peppers, and an eggplant from my Dad's big vegetable garden.  Tomatoes are now in, but have yet not been photographed.  We call his tomatoes "Bailey tomatoes" -- they are always better than anybody else's tomatoes in the Universe!  My Dad is 95 and has had vegetable gardens almost every year of his life with rare exceptions.  He works his magic in a community garden, and is very generous with his advice and assistance to other gardeners.  When I was a child, one of my fondest memories was of gardening with my Dad.  I have inherited his love of gardening, but with more of an emphasis on flowers.  Hooray!

384 - If you really love a movie, see it twice in rapid succession.  You will notice things in the second viewing that escaped you in the first.  I recently saw "Moonrise Kingdom" and was so enthusiastic about it that I saw it again two days later.  The second time around convinced me that it is definitely one of the best movies I have ever seen!

385 - Observe gardens in your neighborhood and on your driving routes.  I have favorite seasonal flower delights all around town.  We have neighbors that tend to a wonderful sloping garden which I pass by almost every time I drive up the street.  This year, their purple clematis grew up and over a trellis to join beautiful red roses for a glorious display.  Now they have gorgeous red hibiscus blooming.  Every once in a while, I stop and offer my appreciation for their flowers and the hard work they put into taking care of their yard.  On another street, I look forward to their huge pink hibiscus blossoms surrounded by amazing lavender blossoms.   I am also an admirer of big blue hydrangea in bloom, especially since they seem impossible for me to grow!

386 - If you love to write, invite a friend to join you at a cafe to do writing prompts.  You can find writing prompts on the internet and in books, or make up your own.  Then you write for a certain amount of time and read the results to each other.  My friend April writes the most quirky and fun responses to writing prompts, and we always have fun trying new approaches to short writing pieces.

387 - Try a writing prompt cafe hop.  Get together several friends who enjoy writing, and have little writing episodes at different cafes all on the same day.

388 - Encourage someone you love, who is technologically resistant, to make a fun computer purchase.  This is my Dad at the Apple Store in the midst of buying an iPad.  The employees were great with him and enjoyed his sense of humor.  

If you have any ideas of fun things to do, please add them in the "comments".  We are over 1/3 of the way to achieving a list of 1,000 fun things to do!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

362 - 364 Fun Things to Do!

362 - Go to a steel drum presentation!  This one was held at Fairlawn-Bath Library in Akron, Ohio and featured Ron Kerns, Co-Owner and President of Panyard, Inc.   They are world leaders in the making of steel drums and their company is in Akron!  For more information, go to  Ron told a lot about the history of steel drums and how they were invented in Trinidad.  You can play any kind of music on steel drums, including calypso or even country and western.  It is amazing to see how much interesting music can come out of such a simple looking instrument!

363 - Try playing a steel drum.  Ron made sure that every child (and some adults) in attendance, got a chance to play some fun and rhythmical music on steel drums.  My grandsons, Nate and Andrew, were intrigued with the whole idea!

364 - Make sure you collect flyers and brochures from your local library to find out what is happening, not only at the library, but in other places, too!  A big thank you to libraries all over the world for having such interesting activities!  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Zentangle Challenge #77 - "Fiore di Pietro"

This month's Zentangle Challenge touched my heart so much that I invited some of my friends from the Zentangle Club of N. E. Ohio to come over and participate.  The challenge is to do a Zentangle, or Zentangle inspired art (ZIA), using Rho Densmore's new tangle (pattern), "Fiore di Pietro", which she created in memory of her brother-in-law, Peter, who very recently passed away unexpectedly.  She is going to use these images in books that she will be giving to her family in honor of Peter.  Jean, Sophia, and I created the Zentangle and ZIAs below with gratitude for the privilege of joining people from around the world in helping to put together this tribute.  We all give our permission for Rho to use our images.  Rho is a Certified Zentangle Teacher, and so are Jean, Maria, and I.  Sophia is Maria's daughter.  

You can go to for more information about "Fiore di Pietro" and about this challenge.  If you click on the individual names, you will have the opportunity to see an amazing array of entries from people who have already contributed.  Entries will be taken until this Saturday night, and all are welcome to participate.

In Honor of Peter by Carol Bailey Floyd

In Honor of Peter by Jean Rogers

In Honor of Peter by Sophia C. Kostoff

In Honor of Peter by Maria V. Copetas

Monday, July 2, 2012

356 - 361 Fun Things to Do!

356 - Take "canopy" photos of your favorite trees!  Have you ever been out in the woods on a hike and looked up through the trees to the sky?  That is always a big WOW! for me.  This photograph is of a white oak in our front yard that we planted in memory of my Mom, who passed away in 1987.  I just love the shape of the leaves, and the buds are glorious.  The tree below is an ash of some type, and it shades our patio, and also provides perches for neighborhood birds as they enjoy our bird feeder.

357 - Declare a theme for a time period!  I decided that this whole Summer would be a vacation for me, even though I don't have a specific vacation planned.  I have declared it to be a "Summer of Fun and Autobiographies and Biographies".  So far I have shared my Summer with Judi Dench (actress), Jane Lynch (actress), John Lithgow (actor), Avi Steinberg (writer and prison librarian), Shirley MacLaine (actress and writer) and others.  Being a lover of reading, having this theme encourages me to take reading breaks, even when I am busy.  This is the first Summer since I was a child that I am making it my business to emphasize fun! Hooray!

358 - Before you go to bed, write yourself a note to see in the morning!  This is a great way to encourage yourself and get some friendly energy for starting the day.

359 - Take a nap with a pet.  We don't have any pets, but my son, Kevin, and his wife, Dyan, have a wonderful, friendly, and companionable boxer named Woody.  Sometimes when I go over early to babysit Nate and Andrew, I have to wait for them to get up.  Once in a while, I take a little nap on the sofa, with Woody as my fellow napper -- very cozy!

360 - Listen carefully to children.  I consider it a privilege to hear any child explain anything!  Kids are usually able to get to the heart of things, and their observations are often quite memorable.

361 - Get up early to hear the birds chirping.  It's as if they have made some kind of agreement to loudly announce their presence to each other, and to you, too!  I picked up my friend Jean about 5 a.m. recently to take her to the airport, and my reward was hearing a symphony of birds sounds that was a delightful musical celebration!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Annual Planting of the Circle Garden!

Every year, my grandsons, Andrew and Nate, pick out flowers for a circle garden in our yard.  They are 7 and 9, and we started this tradition several years ago.  It's so much fun to go to the garden store, get a double-tiered cart and let them pick out almost whatever they want.  This year we have Gerbera daisies and geraniums that match the color of their Little League baseball teams -- red and orange, along with an assortment of pink, hot pink, yellow, purple, lavender, magenta, and cream fabulous flowers.  Another big part of the fun is in the planting -- Nate said, "We're doing a better job this year because we're older!"  I look forward to this tradition every year, especially in the Winter.  I used to match my flowers and balance out colors, but my creative grandsons have helped me burst through my inhibitions with their enthusiasm and happy energy.  Now I am much more bold in my flower choices and have a much more interesting yard.  Thank you, Nate and Andrew!

355 - Fun Thing to Do!

358 - Attend an indoor fairy gardening class and make fabulous fairy gardens!  Here are some of the results from a recent group's creativity.  There were four adults and four children, and all their fairy gardens turned out wonderfully different and exciting.  It was a fun evening, and I was so impressed with the different styles and approaches.  The conversations during the building process were really fun, too!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

347 - 354 Fun Things to Do!

347 - Display a collection proudly!  These hearts are so precious, not only because the heart symbol is very meaningful to me, but because they were all given to me by people I love.  This table in my living room reminds me how very blessed I am to have such wonderful family and friends.

348 - If you can't decide between two kinds of cake -- have a piece of each!  Cake was served after church recently and two of my favorites were served -- red velvet and chocolate.  I remembered how fun it was recently when I faced the same dilemma with pie, and ate two different kinds, so I felt an obligation to follow the same theory!  As far as I can recall, this is the first time in my life when I have gone wild and eaten two pieces of cake at the same time.  Hooray for decision busting happiness!

349 - Make a list of remarkable things that have been invented in your lifetime.  I have seen the onset of the general use television (and then the miracle of color TV), computers, cell phones, talking hybrid cars, organ transplants, talking automobiles, digital cameras, and more!  I wonder what is being invented now that will astonish us all?

350 - Leave a book in  random place for someone else to discover.  Check out to find out how you can join a community of generous book givers.

351 - Take photos of hotel or bed and breakfast rooms that you occupy.  This will bring back memories of your trips and the times you spent in these temporary homes.  I always take art supplies and books to read, so I have always have a great time no matter where I am.

352 - Have a favorite take-out dinner party.  Ask everyone to bring their favorite take-outs, provide some drinks, and be prepared to have an unusual, fun, and very tasty adventure.  I did this once, and 14 people brought 14 different take-outs, with no consultation with each other.  I will never forget the sight of our kitchen table full of interesting food.   This is also a wonderfully economical way to have a get-together.

353 - If you are going to donate something that has a lot of wonderful memories, take a photograph of it first.  You can even have an album full of things that have made the journey in and out of your life.  This will help you let go with a much lighter heart!

354 - Notice the wonderful sunshine art that is often shown between segments on CBS Sunday Morning News.  Sometimes I even take photographs of them because they are so delightful.  You have to really be paying attention because they flash by fast.  It is one of my goals to get a sunshine accepted by CBS -- so if you ever see me, ask how that's going.  Then maybe I will get coordinated!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

344 - 346 Fun Things to Do!

344 - Observe and appreciate flowering bushes and trees as they come into season.  I started the Spring with deep gratitude for the bursts of bright yellow Forsythia here and there.  Then I turned my attention to the fabulous Azalea bushes that started to flourish around town and under my kitchen window.  Next, I noticed the Dogwood trees that were livening up the neighborhood, including the two beloved Dogwoods in my yard.  Now my attention has turned to the sometimes enormous, amazing, and delightful Rhododendron bushes that often go two stories high!  We also have stunning Magnolia trees whose appeal sometimes makes driving a little swervy!  There are even yards that have several of these flowering bushes and trees in glorious bloom at the same time!

345 - Take a photograph of someone you like in front of a flowering bush or tree!  Who needs photo studio painted canvas backgrounds when you have Mother Nature?  This is my friend, Cathy, who loves gardening like I do.  We were having an adventure together that included gardening conversations and spotting Rhododendrons when we got the idea of photographing each other in front of a giant Rhododendron bush in my neighborhood.  Fun!

346 - Trying to decide between two kinds of pie?  Have a piece of both!  I was at a joyful baby shower recently for our beloved Sara, and there was an ecstatic array of delicious food, including many different pies.  I browsed the table, had some pie conversation with one of the hostesses, and narrowed it down to two possibilities.  Then I realized that I had never had two pieces of pie in my life, so the answer was obvious -- first eat one, then the other!  I felt like a renegade pie consumer on a sacred mission!  It was hilarious!  I wouldn't recommend this as a regular procedure though -- it might lead to pie addiction!  (By the way, the peanut butter chocolate pie won the taste test by far.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

338 - 343 Fun Things to Do!

338 - Make and eat weird sandwiches!  This is my olive and cream cheese sandwich on pumpernickel bread.  It is a tasty delight that I have been eating for years and years.  I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese and large olives.  My daughter, Maribeth, has a penchant for peanut butter, honey, and Nacho Cheese Doritos or baloney, mayonnaise, and Frito sandwiches.  Dyan, my daughter-in-law, fixes grilled cheese with jelly sandwiches for my grandsons, Nate and Andrew.  What kind of unusual sandwiches do you like?

339 - Have a reading festival!  Plan a day when you can read for pleasure for most of the day.  You can read in your living room, plan a trip to the library, read on a bench at a local park, or grab your book/s and go to a cafe.  Plan a meal for one, accompanied by your favorite book.  One time my friend, Sally, and I just spent an evening reading together.  It was very companionable -- free and wonderful fun!  Turn off your TV for the day and dive into your books.  I have a bumper sticker that says "Fight Prime Time, Read a Book" and I have it on my TV for a friendly reminder to myself.

340 - Look through a kaleidoscope.  There are all kinds, and if you don't have one, I am sure there is a store in your town that carries them -- browsing doesn't cost anything, and you can be in the wondrous world of kaleidoscopes for a while.

341 - Make a kaleidoscope!  You can start with a cardboard paper towel tube.  There are many sites on the internet that can show you how -- here is one  I took stained glass lessons once, and made five kaleidoscopes for my family.  I collected bits and pieces of things from their lives, like little stones from their garden, parts of old jewelry, birthstones, glass from a broken window, etc. and gave them lists of what was inside each of their kaleidoscopes.

342 - Move things around in your house to get a new atmosphere for your home.  Moving furniture is an obvious way to make your house look different, but you can also move knickknacks, artwork, books, and curtains.

343 - Change your living room and dining room to reflect the seasons.  You can hang lighter curtains for the Spring and Summer, and put out different pillows, mirrors -- whatever suits your seasonal fancy!

Please feel free to add suggestions or comments below.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Zentangle Challenge #66

The challenge this week from the Diva at is to make a Zentangle featuring "auras", which is really outlining an existing tangle (pattern).  The mug I used when I was at Certified Zentangle Teacher training has a design on it that inspired me.  Check out the Diva's website to see interpretations of this challenge from all over the world -- just click on each name.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

17 - 23 Gratitude for Tea!

17 - One of the best things in my life is my love of tea. I know that a cup of tea will always be relaxing and rejuvenating.

18 - I especially appreciate the Rose tea that is available at my favorite coffee shop, Angel Falls at Highland Square. Sometimes when I write in my journal, a cup of Rose tea is perfect. I buy it there and bring it home for special occasions.

19 - I have a collection of mugs that suits my every mood. There are mugs from vacations, two "Life is Good" mugs that are very cheerful, and one with a heart one it that I used when I was taking my Certified Zentangle Teacher training. I even have a mug that says "Confidence" on it that I use sometimes during conference phone sessions or on other phone calls. I own one giant mug that I created at a "Paint Your Own Pottery" place. It's the ugliest mug in existence in this Universe, but I made it at the same time one of my grandsons was making a project, so I have really happy memories with it. (The vase that Nate made turned out great!)

20 - Once in a while, I will put out a favorite mug beside my journal on the night before as a sort of an act of kindness for myself. It's a great way to start my day when I come into the kitchen in the morning.

21 - Having a cup of tea with someone is always a companionable way to have a conversation.

22 - It took a lot of years for me to step past ordinary teas into more adventuresome flavors. My very favorite is Blackberry Sage from Republic of Teas. I even carry a few bags with me for times when hot water might be available, but only average tea bags.

23 - When I really want to go wild, I either make a pot of tea, which is a fun accompaniment to any project, or order one at a coffee shop. There is something luxurious about having a whole pot of tea to share, or to have all to myself!

23 - A nice cup of tea can either energize me or relax me, depending on the type I choose. I try not to drink very much soda pop, so iced or hot tea are great alternatives for me.

Hooray for tea!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

5 - 16 Gratitude for Colors

5 - I just love noticing colors. When things are not going very well in my life, I do not notice colors particularly, but when life is the berries, colors are brighter and more bold. Sometimes it's like going from a black, white, and gray life to a rainbow colored life. One way I've found to lift my spirits is to emphasize color in my life.

6 - My favorite color is PURPLE by far. I loved this from The Color Purple by Alice Walker:

Shug: More than anything God love admiration.
Celie: You saying God is vain?
Shug: No, not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off when you walk by the colour purple in a field and don't notice it.
Celie: You saying it just wanna be loved like it say in the bible?
Shug: Yeah, Celie. Everything wanna be loved. Us sing and dance, and holla just wanting to be loved. Look at them trees. Notice how the trees do everything people do to get attention... except walk?
[they laugh]
Shug: Oh Miss Celie, I feels like singing!

7 - I love that colors are free! Anyone can enjoy color in so many ways in their lives. I love to dress colorfully, not only for myself, but for other people. I am very willing to wear goofy clothing for my personal amusement, and I hope for the amusement of others. The photo at the top is of a wild and beautiful shawl that I have. When I am surrounded by that colorful shawl, I am very appreciative and happy.

8 - If things are not going well in my life, wearing colorful clothes and fun jewelry improves the quality of my day dramatically.

9 - When life is terrific, wearing colorful clothes and fun jewelry emphasizes my gratitude for living!

10 - I have a project -- learning to love the color ORANGE. I appreciate orange in fruits and vegetables, especially in a beautiful real orange. And I like orange when it is with hot pink. I feel disrespectful for having a color I don't like! I've made progress with liking orange, especially when it was the team color for my grandsons' baseball teams for the past few years.

11 - My favorite place to appreciate color is in a rainbow. What is more inspiring than a gorgeous unexpected rainbow? An amazing double rainbow!

12 - I exist in gratitude for all the wonderful lipstick colors there are! My friend Wendy and I love to trade lipstick stories -- isn't that a fun thing to have in common? Here are some of the color names of lipsticks I currently own -- Earthly Ore, Golden Splendor, Chocolate Icing, Blushing Nude, a Different Grape, and Tawny Tulip.

13 - The names of paint colors are fun, too. I recently bought some brown paint that was called "Wild Manzanita" -- I just couldn't help myself. Then I had to buy another color to paint over it because it was a little too wild even for me!

14 - Most of us have favorite crayon colors -- mine is "Periwinkle". For a complete history of Crayola Crayon colors, click here

15 - I love unexpected color, whether it is in artwork, in nature, or in clothing. Often it is the odd color that doesn't seem to "match" that gives a real punch!

16 - Nail polish excitement has been around for quite a few years, but I am always amazed at the creative ways that nails are done these days. Right now I have a French manicure with blue, green, and purple tips for Spring.

My gratitude for colors is boundless. Do you have any color stories to share? Please click on comments.