Jazz in the Garden - September 9 from 5 - 7:00 p.m.
Delighted to announce that our History of Jazz Instructor (I've taken his course four times!) and saxophonist extraordinaire, Greg Thompkins, will be playing at the Rawlings Conservatory in Baltimore again. I've heard several area musicians describe Greg as "the best saxophonist I've ever heard." and in May he was inducted into the Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame.
This is two hours of sensory bliss - the surroundings are exquisite, the music divine, and there will be food and drink. All this for free! Join us if you can!
Recently we attend the phenomenal light show at Longwood Gardens. We arrived early and set up our chairs in the front row, very close to the center, so this display is very similar to the one was viewed. i was much too captivated with the experience to record the show so was delighted that this 'sneak peak' was so similar. The background music for the evening we attended was jazz, and if you follow my blog, you'll know I was delighted! This will give you an idea of the spectacular event, and hopefully it will inspire you to check the Longwood Garden site to check their schedule, purchase tickets and attend!
While we were at Longwood Gardens, I heard it referred to as "America's Versailles". I disagree. The variety of plants, artistry of presentation, reverence and dedication to nature and seasonal displays make Longwood far superior. The Versailles gardens were such a disappointment, but isn't it delightful to know we can save the airfare to France and have a much more delightful experience here? For those who are more interested in the history, architecture and furnishings at Versailles, it's worth the trip, but if you are going for the gardens, you may want to reconsider and head to Kennett Square, PA.
We passed this sleepy tree on the way in, already yawning by late afternoon. He probably didn't stay awake for the light show, but he's undoubtedly seen it many times!
We had a leisurely dinner at 1906 while we waited for dusk. Everything there is a step above what is expected. This is their shrimp appetizer - jumbo shrimp served on a square of tomato aspic with sorrel and touch of horseradish. Not only delicious but a work of art!
Although I've been to Longwood Gardens many times over the years and experienced each of the five seasons - spring, summer, fall, holiday and winter - at least once, this was my first after dark experience light display. I'm adding it to my collecting firsts!
As promised, I've updated my manifesto for the eclipse and the months ahead. I'll review it again in about 6 months - either my birthday or the new year. I hope you'll all be inspired to create your own, personal manifesto!
My grandparents were farmers and lived, planted and harvested by the cycles of the moon. Their livelihood depended on it. Understanding and respecting nature's cycles was an innate part of their existence. They spent time in nature, appreciating her gifts and respecting her predictability. They taught me the value of paying attention and I have never turned away from that perspective.
Many have grown detached from nature. I know people who don't know the phase of the moon or whether it is waxing or waning. Sadly, their are those who don't even know what that means. But the eclipse on August 21st has captured the attention of nation and beyond, and people are paying attention! Some merely see the eclipse as an amusing spectacle, but it is so much more. It isn't so much about how to view it, but how to use the momentum for months ahead. This is an ideal time to consider how to prepare.
The August eclipses are in Leo and Aquarius, providing a bridge to move us from the status quo to a new and more meaningful way of life. if we take time for self reflection and take action.
Eclipse season is two fold. It began on August 9 with a full moon partial lunar eclipse and received little attention. Those who watch the sky, however, were well aware of the power of this eclipse to consider letting go of what isn't serving us well, and we have been using that energy to embrace tomorrow's event.
People are traveling across the country to get a better view of the August 21 eclipse. Viewing it an exciting part of the experience, but the real opportunity is in using it for self reflection and progressive movement towards a more fulfilling life.
Each month brings a new moon, an ideal time for new beginnings. If I'm starting a new project, exercise routine or on line class, I coordinate with the new moon to bolster the odds of momentum and success. This new moon solar eclipse has the power of three new moons and it is the ideal time to move toward new challenges!
Those of you who follow my blog ( I get an average of 4,000 hits a day so I know you're out there!), know that I occasionally review and update my manifesto. I'll be posting it tomorrow. I encourage you to join me in considering your values, core beliefs and what you will and won't settle for in life. If you don't have a manifesto, you might want to consider creating one to provide a strong base for daily living. You can use mine as a guide, but I strongly encourage you to create your own based on your personal values. Copying mine will be significantly diluted compared to creating your own.
The power of this eclipse will support you most strongly at the beginning, but will continue to be powerful for months ahead. Use this time to find closure and release the people. places, projects and things that aren't working in your life. Put aside unhealthy relationships to open doors for new ones. Leave or avoid places that drain your energy. If you won't, or feel you can't leave, use creative thinking to do all you can to improve them. Complete, delegate, or abandon projects that are unfulfilling. Get rid of clutter. I recently did a post on the beatifying and healing aspects of clearing space.
As the moon moves across the face of the sun, consider what you want to 'eclipse out' of your life. Do you have negative mental clutter that would best be replaced with positive affirmations and a focus on gratitude instead of fear? Do you comfort yourself with the three white powders - salt, sugar and flour - when you know your body deserves food that provides vitamins and nutrients instead of white fluff? We look like what we eat, by the way. Do you surround yourself with beauty to honor the beauty inside, or do you deny yourself because you feel you are underserving? Do you share your time and energy with people who cherish you and lift you up, or are you being continually drained by people with opposing values, in a continues depletion of energy and joy?
Use the gentle movement of the moon's shadow across the sun to reconsider, reevaluate and release. As the sun reappears, welcome new love, light, self understanding and self acceptance.
The sun is the creator of all energy in our universe. It is the energy, the shakti, that enables all growth. Use this boundless energy force to redirect your life focus towards things that bring you joy! Namaste!
Recently Mycala, my oldest daughter who works in the Occupational Therapy Department at Towson University, invited me to a fund raiser at Bill Bateman's to support the Surfer's Healing Event in Ocean City, MD. The event was well attended with high energy (evidenced by four exclamation points on the flyer! I love it!!! I often use three but with four you know there is enthusiasm and support!) I've been to numerous fundraisers at Towson and this was by far the best! I haven't heard how much they earned, but hope a lot!
One of the prizes was a hand cut crystal vase trimmed in 24 karat Killarney vase from Ireland. It was filled with chocolate and the girl who won it didn't want the vase, so I was the lucky recipient!! This morning as I journaled I enjoyed periodically glancing at the vase, filled with the most gorgeous roses. Today's treasure will bring lovely memories for years to come!
My grandmother's rocking chair is home! The photos really don't do it justice. It is an exquisite piece of art, with fabulous detail, front and back. It was made by my great grandfather, or his father. I wish I had asked my grandmother more questions about the artist who created it. It's been in the family for as long as I've been alive. It was my great grandmother's and then my grandmother's. She was a seamstress and spent innumerable hours hand stitching her gorgeous quilts in this chair.
Over the years, the fabric was worn and the padding was nearly gone, so it needed to be replaced. I took it to Morrow's Upholstery and Furniture in Landisburg, PA and they did a superlative job preparing it for a few more decades. I plan to use it as my grandmother did; as a place to quietly create.
Do you have family pieces in your home that remind you of loved ones and treasured memories? Are there items that you could refinish, polish or simply begin to use again? Honoring the memories of loved ones through their most cherished possessions brings a feeling of continuity and legacy. Today's treasure was once yesterday's, and that makes me even more grateful to have it back in my life.
This is a close up of the fabric. It's very chameleon and reflected the colors around it. It looks more pink next to my pink velvet couch, but against the wood of the chair and the floor in the pictures about it looks more like earth tones. Photos just don't do it justice!
There's a crispness in the air today and autumn is on my mind! When I took Zippy for a walk this morning the sidewalks were covered with dried leaves from the enormous canopy of sycamores on Lake Avenue. Rich fall fabrics in pumpkins, cranberry, golds and rich browns are waiting! So many possibilities! Now all I have to do is make the commitment to use the shears!
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!