It would be hard to imagine a more perfect weekend!!!! Carrie and her family came all the way from New Jersey - 8 of us altogether at my favorite restaurant in Towson, Strapazza's, for the season's last Feet on the Street. It was a wonderful evening of laughter, dancing and celebration - Happy Birthday Jill and Michael! What a gift to have all of you come to Towson and include me in your festivities!
Saturday was a delight - back at Strapazza's for lunch with Mycala and then off to the exquisite Court House Gardens. Sketched several times over the weekend and Zippy and Sparkiie took walks and had a Sunday afternoon date! And to add to the celebration, the Ravens and the Orioles both won today's games.
UPDATE: I wrote this wish list for 2015 on 9-24-2014. Some of the dreams that came true are listed below - italicized to differentiate them from the one's that didn't. The year was so much more extraordinary than what I had planned. Please see my Gratitude list for how the year actually unfolded!
One of the suggestions I gave my 'A More Creative You" class was to list their Wishes. The assignment prompted me to redo my own and add them as goals to add to my Rose tree. Some are silly, others most likely impossible, some simple and others more challenging. Two that were rather unexpected this year were my trip to Paris and purchasing a new home in the historical Lake Walker in Baltimore!
After losing my first list of wishes entirely, I'm grouping them in sections of 10.
Wishes that have come true are bolded and italicized!
I hope this will inspire you to make your own list!
Wish List for 2015 - I wish I could
The advent of autumn simultaneously warms my heart and brings an onset of nostalgia. Throw in a new moon, and the day is ripe with new beginnings and new possibilities, reminiscent of my grandmother's reverence for the cycles of the moon. No, she didn't consult zodiac signs and horoscopes, but she farmed seventy-four acres in Indiana, and sowed, reaped and harvested with the moon in mind.
She taught me to pay attention to the phases of the moon, to honor the cycles of nature and to consider the impact of their power. I am a believer. I've seen the cycles of the moon in action. When I volunteered in the prison, we all took a deep breath and gathered our courage during the full moon. We knew it would bring different behaviors. This is not my imagination. Police departments and hospitals have long documented the increase in crime and emergency room admissions when the moon is full.
The new moon's power is more subtle and often considered less potent, but I'm not convinced. The force it holds for new beginning is a positive power to be revered. Maybe it is simply a matter of the gift of opportunity, of a new beginning.
Each day is a miracle. Today I was reminded of this, as I am almost daily, by a friend reflecting on her weekend filled with concerns about a family member's health problems, and the the death of a dear friend in his seventies. Life is fragile.
My dad died in his early 40s and from that time on, I've been aware of the value of each day. I know life can end as quickly as a star can fall from heaven. For awhile, it seemed I had a reprieve. Very few people in my life died for decades. And then the pendulum swung. The death of loved ones increased, and my appreciation for life increases simultaneously.
Today's treasure is a new moon, the autumn equinox and the arrival of Libra. The air is crisp and cool, the moon is encouraging us to begin new endeavors, thought processes and leaps of faith and Libra brings balance, reflection and celebration.
This is the first day Mabon, the harvest festival, in the northern hemisphere. It is a time to harvest and to reap what we sow. Mabon is a time of rest, reflection and assessment. This is a time to celebrate your successes, consider which projects and endeavors were beneficial, and which can be replaced and set aside. Be gentle with yourself as you review and assess. Nature is here to support and lift you up, encouraging and empowering you to be the very best you can be. There is magic in the air!
The Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees played ten innings without scoring. I'm wondering if they were as distracted by the air show above Camden Yards as we were! It was a thrill to first hear the sonic booms and then see the arial acrobatics! The Yankees finally scored in the 11th in inning, followed by the Orioles. The Orioles won the game, 2 to 1.
The tall ships, sailing into Baltimore's Inner Harbor for the Star Spangled Banner Spectacular Festivities, was virtually a ballet! The extent of the artistry was far beyond what I had anticipated. The detail on the ships was the exquisite! I had no idea it would be so creative, varied, intricate, or vibrant! There was a dog on the side of one of the ships that reminded me of Zippy!
Newcomer's of Northern Baltimore County Star Spangled Spectacular
Today the Newcomer's of Northern Baltimore County hosted a delightful luncheon in the private dining room of the Rusty Scupper that faces the harbor, giving us a perfect view of the visiting tall ships! But not all of the entertainment was outside! Arlen St. John, who arranged the spectacular extravaganza, transformed into Mary Pickersgill before our eyes! With the help of her delightful granddaughter, and a few simple props, "Mary transported us back in time to tell us her story and the challenges involved in creating the enormous Star Spangled Banner that inspired the song by Francis Scott Key.
Mary Young was born on February 12, 1776 to another flag maker, her mother, Rebecca Young. She learned the craft which later gave her an economic base to support herself and later others. Mary married Pickersgill, but became a widow at the age of 29. She was able to support herself through her flag business and was commissioned to by Major George Armistead to make a flag for Fort McHenry. It was to be "so large that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a distance." The flag was completed ahead of time, delivered to Fort McHenry where it inspired the song that eventually became the United States National Anthem, written Francis Scott Key during the Battle of Baltimore.
Mary Pickersgill bought the house she had been renting in in 1820. She contributed time and resources to supporting disadvantaged women who had been widowed, were unemployed or found themselves in need because of economic challenges. She founded a home for aging women, and later built an adjacent home for aging men.Over a century later the facility became the Pickersgill Retirement Community, located in Towson, Maryland.
Her home, located at the northwest corner of Albemarie and East Pratt Streets in downtown Baltimore, is now officially known as the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House. Sincere thanks to Arlen and Newcomer's of Northern Baltimore County for bringing history alive and celebrating history in the making in beautiful Baltimore!
Planning our Roses by the Sea "Retreat" prompted me to look up the word "retreat" in the dictionary.
retreat - riˈtrēt/
It left me cold and uninspired. Recently I've found several words in the dictionary that seem to be lacking. There are so many people pouring into my life recently who have a gentler, more spiritual view of the world. It may be time for a dictionary with a broader, more spiritual perspective!
A few moments after consulting the dictionary, a friend called to read me a quote she thought I might like about why we need to take time for retreats!
"Taking a retreat is about stepping out of your ordinary existence to listen and attune to your truest, most authentic self. It is about being self-referenced to become self-restored. It is about trusting what you experience as sacred without the need for external sanction. It is setting apart time to tend the hearth of your inner life, feed your muse, reclaim your dreams. A place to reaffirm your values by giving yourself permission to do what you need when you need it, not when you think you should or when someone else thinks you should. About using loving self-discipline to push past limiting beliefs, to instigate change, to bring closure."
~ Jane Louden
Welcome!! I’m Mikell (pronounced Michael). If you love spicing up your life with herbs, recipes, decorating and crafts, symbolism and rituals like I do, I hope you’ll sign up for my newsletter and free Enhancing Your Life with Herbs e-book!
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!