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Storytelling

Stationery

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Stationery

I have a weakness for beautiful journals, notebooks, planners, stickers, pens… pretty much anything you can find in the stationery aisle. If they served dark chocolate and tea there, I would spend a considerable amount of my day gazing at the lovely items you can find laying on the shelves and hanging on the displays. There are bright colors, perfect points on pencils, fresh ink in the pens, clean unmarked pages; yes, I do love stationery.

I’m not exactly sure why I love new stationery; I certainly don’t need it all. Perhaps it is a symbol of a fresh new start. There is potential in those writing utensils and beautiful books. A new story can be written down. A thought shared, lyrics to a song scribbled, a piece of art blooms on the page. Yes, I think that is it. I see optimism and hope in that aisle, all the way from the on sale 50 cent notebooks, to the colorful sticky notes, to the $50 planners. There is a fresh new beginning there. Oh, and a new beginning deserves beautiful tools.

Why not start something new today? Get a fresh new notebook and a pen that makes you happy — and start. Sure, there will be mistakes along the way, you’ll cross some things out, and eventually you’ll get to the end of the book. BUT don’t worry, there is always a new beginning back in the stationery aisle.

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Irish Heritage

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Irish Heritage

This past weekend we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. I sure hope it was a good day for you. I wore green, did you?

A fair percentage of my heritage is Irish, and I incorporate that heritage into my storytelling. As with many of us, I was not raised specifically in the heritage of my ancestors, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t come from history. It is up to me to learn about those who came before me. I am a storyteller; that is my profession, and as such, I am intrigued by the stories that were told in the countries of my ancestors. I’ve learned a lot of Celtic stories and I include them in my performances. I do not try to speak with the accents of the native lands and I am sure I would not give them justice. I speak with my own tongue, the one that belongs to me. However, passing on the ancient stories of my ancestral lands is important to me. It helps me to know myself and understand the traits I have.

I have a dream to one day go to Ireland. Oh my, I want to see that land with my own eyes. For now, I have the stories; I read them, remember them and carry them in the pocket of my mind… and I desire to share them.

What stories do you have in your mind's pocket? Share them with someone.

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People Watching at Panera

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People Watching at Panera

I've come to Panera Bread to work. As I sit here drinking my tea and eating my cranberry walnut bagel, I am looking at the people around me. One woman sits with her phone in hand as she eats her spaghetti with vegetables and I think, “That must be a new dish here. I don't remember seeing noodles and vegetables on the menu.”

Another woman eats a salad while she reads a book. The cover reads Percy Jackson; I'll have to look that up later. In the far back corner, two women are having lunch together; one has brought in a medium-size clear plastic tote that is half full with papers, along with a tote bag that appears to be heavy with books. Both of the women have a note pad in front of them that they ignore as they eat. In this part of the restaurant, there are only women. But wait — now there is an elderly couple coming into the area. The woman is dressed in all black, including her purse, and carries a blue cane. The man leaves to get beverages and napkins. When he comes back, he spills a little bit of milky coffee. Two bagels are brought to them. They must be on an afternoon date.

A third woman comes in walking quickly and joins the two women with notebooks in the corner. Their body language indicates that they have met before but not developed a friendship. Oh, there it goes: the woman with the tote is giving a presentation to the two other women. The elderly couple eats in silence. At the counter, a mother orders her food while her young daughter, who looks to be about 2 ½ years old, lies on the floor with a kid-protected electronic tablet. The little girl doesn’t want to get up. The mother picks her up.

This has become a great people watching day. They all have stories, and today they all became part of mine.

Hmmm, I wonder if anyone is watching me?

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Laugh about what you don't like!

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Laugh about what you don't like!

I have been doing a residency every Thursday for three weeks at a local school. It is one that I love to do. The students are making origami books, and in it they write a bit of an autobiography. I give the students prompts to spark their ideas and help make good use of their time. One of the things I asked them to include in their narrative is something that they don’t like. Many of those pages just made me laugh: “ I don’t like how my father’s feet smell.” “I don’t like elevators.” “I really don’t like wearing socks.”

I got to thinking — what if we all just laughed about the things we don’t like? It might not make those things more appealing, but a good belly laugh is really good for your health. It relaxes you, reduces stress hormones, helps you to connect with other people, burns calories, and makes you feel good. So, next time you are faced with something you don’t like, laugh instead… you might live longer, which means you can spend more time on the things you do like!

This song from Mary Poppins always makes me laugh: 

 
 

If you would like to learn even more about laughter, follow the links below!

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Stress Relief from Laughter? It’s no joke

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 Dancing with the Stars LIVE

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Dancing with the Stars LIVE

A week before Christmas our youngest daughter, Carmen, called and asked what my husband, Steven, and I would be doing for New Year Eve. I asked her what was up and she said she was trying to get her plans together for the night. It set me back that she was interested in spending that evening with us. When we had our family Christmas together, Carmen handed Steven and I an envelope and inside were tickets to go see Dancing With the Stars Live on New Year’s Eve. It was such a lovely surprise.

As Steven and I watched the dancers coming on and off the stage with different costumes, different music, and set images I took note of the stories that were being told. Some were dramatic, some a little silly, others romantic. The ease and flow between transitions were striking to me and before we knew it 2 hours had gone by and the dancers were taking their final bow.

To me, the night was lovely and so joyful. I got a little dressed up and was able to sit back and enjoy the date hand in hand with Steven. To appreciate the love and generous hearts of our children, and to be thankful for the artists of the world. I took a few pictures, they might not be perfect, but they hold a memory for me.

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