Showing posts with label Feng Shui. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Feng Shui. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Garden Design: Aging in Place

Keep- it- Simple- Sweetie works, every time.
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Perhaps my Garden Design rule breaker, Overdose- on- a- Theme, is how you want to garden design, in spots, instead.


If this were the only garden space, above, I had until age 89 it would be my life's goal/mission to be the sole soul maintaining this sweet garden.
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Why?  Means I would be climbing a ladder to clip the espalier fruit tree or gather fruit, in season.  Oh my, the joy of clipping the low hedge and spiral.  Puttering about with the pots, bulbs, mentally deciding thru the years how to out-perform the previous year/s in fabulosity.
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If this little garden design did need a hired helper it merely needs unskilled labor twice a year.
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 Beautiful, low maintenance, mentally stimulating through the years, no chemicals or watering needed, fruit to eat, turn into jam or give away.
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These little doorway gardens are quite common in historic gardens across Europe.  History is the best teacher.
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Lawn with foundation plantings, fertilizer, insecticides, pre-emergents, and a plop of colorful annuals twice each year?  Mr. Mow-Blow-Go-Commodify-All-I-Touch on contract to arrive weekly?
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Not for me.  Mentally & spiritually soul crushing along with being bad for my physical well being.
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Aging in Place.  Make the choice in your garden for type of garden design, the beauty, mental paths and joy in the maintenance whether you do it, or a helper.  Take the joy.  Joy, it's always there, whether you think so or not.  Take joy, Tasha Tudor's favorite saying.
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Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Free Garden Design Class: Flow

 “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

John Muir, 1838-1914, American naturalist, author, and wilderness advocate

Arriving at jobsite yesterday morning, below.  Already knew: 3 generations, 80 - 7 mos., gather here, 400+ acres, cattle, 3 acre lake, view a mile deep from the back porch.
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Matriarch wants a new gate, below, patriarch a stone column.  Will match stones to the house, field gathered from the property, smaller stones as plinth with fieldstone topper as done a century ago.  Sourcing historic farm gates from England making every effort to keep this gate's frame & let an iron monger copy our new (old) idea.  



Do you know what an Alice In Wonderland house is?  They get bigger the closer you walk.  That's this house.
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Go slow reading this, v e r y s  l  o  w.
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What is missing, below?
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Flow.
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Cole Porter wrote about this house, don't- fence- me- in.
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Coming off the right side of the porch, I've put steps.  
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This door, below, leads to the kitchen.  What do you think I designed here?
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Seriously, design this, right now, in your head.
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From the corner of the front porch, and along the entire side of the house I've put in local gravel, 26' wide, straight to the foundation of the house.  A priority making things simple for the matriarch & matriarchs she's raised.  Aside from being historic they must unload groceries easily from their car.  


What else did I do, below?
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What would you do?
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Remember, Cole Porter.
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Have sited fieldstone steps, gathered on site, into hillside.
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More about 'exactly' where they go in another post.  Very easy, stay tuned.
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View, below, from the back porch.
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Have removed the 1st fence, not needed for cattle anymore, and put a gate, needs to be sourced, into the second, with a stile too.  A path of invitation to the lake, adding a flagstone terrace, fire ring, and Old Town canoe with tiny motor attached.


Do you see, below, Cole Porter again?  Where?
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Help, I can't get on/off the porch at the side of the house.
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At the open end of the porch, below, I have put in steps.


Fireplace, and 2 pair of French doors are inside this screened porch.
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Help, I can't get out.
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A pair of screen French doors have been designed into the far right panel, on axis with an interior pair of French doors, with stone steps.  You knew that, right?
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 You should be in the swing of this 'flow' thing.  Finish the song.
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1 thing left to do, below.
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What is it?
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A pair of steps off the left side of the front porch.
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Voila, FLOW.
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Garden design, for plants, must be vintage with no maintenance.  What do you think I did?
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Sleep on it.  Will post the plant design soon.
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Garden & Be Well,      XO Tara
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Pics shot at the jobsite yesterday morning.
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This patriarch is one of the closest copies to John Muir I've met, though he looks exactly like Deke Slayton, who lived around the corner and my dad designed booster rockets for, with Wernher von Braun, and trained at the controls .  The matriarch?  I bow low in praise of her.  Met one of the matriarchs she produced, close to my age, at a jobsite we shared, and how I came to the work.  Matriarchs are a special love of mine.  Yet many do not produce matriarchs themselves.  Odd, yes?  When women of a certain age have not crossed into the matriarch zone it is Joseph Campbell, 'if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere.'   Discovered Garden Design 'flow' at Lake Rabun, the family home I married into/out of.  Would marry that alcoholic again solely for what I learned about Garden Design at Lake Rabun.  Driven for Garden Design?  A bit.  Toss in decades of studying historic gardens across Europe.  Yes, I was anal enough to add a motor to the Old Town canoe !
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Flow is done in a Garden Design first.  Not plants.
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Please pass this post to any of your friends who are interested in Garden Design.  It's that important, aka it took me 30 years to be this simple, and sure.  And, my work for Hedgerow Farm.  

For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
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Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
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Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
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Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Minimalist Guide to Building Your own Conservatory

Better Homes & Gardens magazine recently put a Conservatory I built with Susanne Hudson for the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival in their magazine again.  Haven't read it yet but am curious.
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My garden is 8500sf total, including house.  This is for tiny gardens too.
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Conservatory in my garden, below,  best investment in 'me' ever.
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Salient facts: 12' x 18' is the minimum size, doors must be on 2 walls minimum, electrical outlets on every wall, chandelier, ceiling fans, wood stove.  Site parallel or perpendicular to your home.  
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 A 'moveable' structure meets most zoning laws allowing you to site properly.
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90% rescued materials, below.  Most, a century old.
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A decade of search/rescue + filling the piggy bank to pay for labor/materials/electrical.  Voila.


Choose a good carpenter, let their talent shine on your team.


Never tire of these French doors, they began life a century ago, 1 each side of a fireplace, in my grandmother's Federal style house.


Ground was not level.  Stone steps were rescued, and gravel chosen for the floor.  No worries getting finished interior grade level.


Conservatory, above, Susanne & I built, in the new BHG magazine.  Styling, above, is ours, the magazine has theirs.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Top 3 pics in my backyard.  Wanted a larger Conservatory but space did not allow.  Squeaked by with the minimum, 12' x 18'.  The day my Conservatory was completed and the men helped bring in all the antiques from the garage, then left, I sat in the finished Conservatory for the 1st time alone, IT BEGAN.  Life's tipping point.  Who knew?  Beware of getting what you ask for.  It WILL change your life.  What was seen thru a glass darkly will shine clear.  In that moment you will let go of every thing holding you back.  Fear that crippled will fall away as if you knew nothing of its existence.
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Lunch Ministry is often held in my Conservatory.  Amazing the amount of laughter, and tears, this blessed Conservatory has already harbored with friends.  Beloved, when he realizes I'm in the Conservatory, most often, will leave me alone until 'I' decide to come in.  Grace pulsating.
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Minimalist?  Mentored, as a little girl, by Miss Katherine Scott, "I can live without the necessities but must have the luxuries."  From age 7, wisdom understood.  An understanding never appreciated by my dad, a little more by Beloved.  Kindred spirits totally 'get it'.
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For a beautiful garden & home filling you with joy, become my client, local/on-line.
.
Award winning speaker, hire me for your group, local/out-of-state.
                                                                                 .
Books by Tara Dillard, Amazon
.
Tara Dillard & Associates Design: farm to city pied-a-terre.
.
Construction by Award Winning
Shaefer Heard Construction, licensed home-builder, renovation - new construction.  Heard's Landscaping a unit of SHC.  3 decades of service.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Art on the Walls in Interior Design

Have you had this epiphany, Your garden views are art on the wall.

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No?
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Once you do your garden, and life, will change.
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Beautiful garden, beautiful life.  Vanishing threshold.
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More, the beautiful life awaiting is beyond the limitations of filthy lucre.
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These are the gardens I design.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic via Cote de Texas.  Why waste a moment on this earth designing green meatballs, a lawn, and annual beds for testosterone-on-wheels-mow-blow-go-commodify-all-I-touch?  The post-WWII-industrial landscape Monsanto & Ortho & Scotts sell to?  My landscapes are agrarian, historically based to enrich the soil, watershed, pollinator habitat & soul.    

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Choose a Theme then Overdose

 Choose a theme, Overdose on your Theme.
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Orchard House, (aka my starter home in a working class neighborhood of cluster homes ca. 1986, today.)


Feng shui has it right about gardens, better than any garden class, 'you must be able to flow easily around your property.'  Like Mrs. Wilcox I adore walking round my garden.  E. M. Forster knew women.  Coop, below,  is mostly rescued materials.  Why not boxwood, roses, itea, hydrangea, camellia, daphne?  The coop is worthy.


View across the drive, below, with front loading garage.  Some jurisdictions have outlawed my type of home.  Too unfriendly.  Garagecentric.  No worries, it is my starter home, here 5 years & off to something more worthy of my magnificence.


It's obvious I had to do more growing than the garden.


I'm particularly pleased with this bit at the side of my garage, above.  Though the white roses lost their graft and only the root stock is left.  Reminds me of an old vicarage wall .
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Did you see the neighbor's houses?  Why would you?  You've entered my world.  An old cottage......  and become lost in my theme.
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pics taken in my garden last week.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Let Simplicity Serve Your Needs

There isn't a lot here yet the magic is intense.


Narrative.  Simplicity.  Choices.
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"What plant should I put here?", I'm asked often.  It's not the right question, in return I ask, "How do you want to live?"
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Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
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Pic The Vintaquarian.  Remember this trinity: Narrative.  Simplicity.  Choices.  What is your garden, today, answering?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Japanese

Invitation.  




 "...eternals as applicable in the smallest of spaces as in the vast acres of a country house garden." Sir Roy Strong.  Above, vast as a mountain range.


Water Mirror, miroir d'eau, above.




Water breaks the footprint of the Tea House, above.  Small touch, huge impact.


Looking outward, above, from the bamboo window seen coming in the entry, top pic.


Framing the view, above, for centuries this has been done.  Is a brick ca. 1960 ranch less worthy?


Hidden, then meandering, above, then spilling into the pond, below.


Why, above, do we like walking on water?

 At the minimum, 2 stones.  Male & female.  Earth & sky.  Ying & yang.  Even the shadows are benevolent.


Leaving the Japanese garden from its other side, above, into a pecan orchard.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Pics taken Massee Lane Garden last weekend.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Table Top Design

Mantles, tables, chests, dressers, bookshelves, and their flotsam/jetsom, tell me how to arrange clients gardens.
Do they like simplicity, focal points, pairs, drifts, matchy/watchy, shiny, bright colors, rustic, fru-fru, farm, castle, muted hues, eclectic, showy & etc.


Junking recently I found this dresser for the foyer of my new office.  Once sited I went to the kitchen & started grabbing blue/white.  Free is good.


On its way home, above/below.


What is the Garden Design indicated by the top of this chest with the blue/white?  Girlfriend obviously likes pairs & focal points.  Biggest platter is a gorgeous antique iron gate. Tulipiers are brick/stone columns with pair old urns and the smaller plates a flagstone path. Surface of the chest is groundcover Asiatic jasmine.
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THIS is how I see interiors.  Source material for the garden.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO Tara
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Never anticipated my new office being this fun, 'camp chic' style.  Nor psycho-analyzing my own table top style.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sanctuary Gardens: Terry Hershey


Last year a client forwarded Sabbath Moment from Terry Hershey.


Every week, I take the time to read all of it.  Often passing it forward.
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He gardens too, above.
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Garden & Be Well,  XO Tara


Terry Hershey

Uncle George

December 10, 2012

What is honored will be cultivated there. Plato   

If I have told you these details about the asteroid, and made a note of its number for you, it is on account of the grown-ups and their ways. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?" Instead, they demand: "How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?" Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Jesus     


Do you have any relatives that make you wonder
about the gene pool in your family tree?  Well, Uncle George was demanding and difficult. Looking after him was stressful, taxing and thankless.  Driving to the funeral of Uncle George, the young man let loose with pent-up emotion.

"Thank God," he says to his wife. "I suppose I'm sorry he died, but I've got to tell you, I don't think I could have stood one more day with that annoying man. I've had enough. And I'm telling you that the only reason I gave so much time and energy to your Uncle George was because of my love for you!"

"My Uncle George," she says flabbergasted. "My Uncle George? I thought he was your Uncle George!"

We collect Uncle Georges. It is the perfect metaphor for any anxiety, worry, fret, disquiet, apprehension or fear that is elevated to the level of urgent consternation. Uncle George consumes us. And he's not even our uncle. 

"Martha, Martha! You worry and fuss about a lot of things."
Jesus, The Gospel of Luke 

Which means there is a shift: I am now worrying about stuff I can do nothing about. And I give the better part of my attention, energy and time to non-essential matters.

And yet. For all our objections to the contrary, we collect worries like we collect all our STUFF... there's always room for one more. It seems to take care of something. I know I like to use Uncle George to let you know how important, or busy, or indispensable I am. It's still about control.

But worry and fuss is a pickle, because it gums up the system. Stops the flow. Worry, from an Anglo-Saxon word "to strangle" or "to choke." As if literally cutting off the air supply that allows us to breathe emotionally and spiritually.  

It's not just the accumulation of Uncle George(s), it is that we have become untethered and susceptible. So we feel at the mercy of--whether it be exhaustion, public opinion, the need to pacify or please, the need to impress, or fear or embarrassment or potential failure.

Here's the deal: preoccupied with Uncle George, I am quite literally, not myself. I am of two minds. I am exhausted, busy, pulled in many directions... and numb, not really available for people I love. And I am not really available to any wholehearted fire or gladness or desire or intention.  This is not to say that we can't engage in activities, or service, or work. However, work that is fueled by a need to be needed, or need to prove value is too consuming, leaving no time for rejuvenation, or prayer, or delight, or the quiet work of the Spirit.

So. What to do? As if we don't feel bad enough, some opt for the willpower-on-steroids approach, "Just cut it out!" That lasts for a half hour or so, about the same amount of time I can give up serious dark chocolate.

Others opt for techno-cure. Our paper had an article promoting "Hot gadgets to chill on vacation." Who knew? To think I can't relax unless I have the proper equipment. (Although, maybe they have a devise to help me remember all the stuff I forgot to worry about.)

The bottom line? With Uncle George we lose focus. When this happened to Jesus' friends, ("because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat," The Gospel of Mark), Jesus--mercifully--didn't preach or lecture or lead a prayer or offer a gadget.  The story says, immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the crowds away. "Come with me by yourselves," Jesus told them, "to a quiet place and get some rest."

It's not about creating a life absent of stress.
It's about being present, even in the hectic.
In other words, it is in the rest, the refueling, the "be-ing," the Sabbath that we refocus on essential matters, and allows us to let go, to be present, even in the busy, the noise, the demands, the lists.   

My friend tells the story about a Nativity play at his parish. Mary and Joseph show up at the inn, hoping for lodging. The little girl, playing the innkeeper, has only one line, "No room." But she apparently isn't beholden to the script. She opens the door (of the inn), looks at Mary and Joseph, and then looks out at the priest. She looks back at Mary and Joseph, and then looks out at her parents. She looks at Mary and Joseph and says, "Oh well, you might as well come on in for a drink."
Yes... I think that's great. We need the freedom (wisdom) of that little girl... the spontaneity and joy and compassion and gladness that comes from not being beholden. 

Today I am stressed. I have a rather intimidating pile on my desk (it could be two piles, but I'm afraid to try and separate them). I have obligations and travel commitments and speeches to make. I recognize that with the stress, I go through my days with a different point of view. It is predictable that I no longer see surprises, or splendor in the unexpected, because now I am too focused on what is missing, and I see only defects, imperfections and blemishes. This worry is gumming up the system. It is choking my sense of awe. Perhaps I've lost sight of essential matters.

There is more work to be done tonight, but it can wait. Sarah Mclachlan is singing Silent Night, there is a little Bordeaux left and a couple more ornaments for Zach to put on the tree. Right now, this is more important. It is the heart of Sabbath. The music washes over me. And, at least for the moment, I don't give any thought to Uncle George.
 
I want to know if joy, curiosity, struggle, and compassion bubble up in a person's life. I'm interested in being fully alive.  Alan Jones    

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Poems and Prayers          

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles,
but most of them never happened. Mark Twain
   
Why I am Happy
Now has come, an easy time. I let it
roll. There is a lake somewhere
so blue and far nobody owns it.
A wind comes by and a willow listens
gracefully.
I hear all this, every summer. I laugh
and cry for every turn of the world,
its terribly cold, innocent spin.
That lake stays blue and free; it goes
on and on.
And I know where it is.
William Stafford

Dear Lord,
Help us to do our very best this day
and be content with today's troubles
so that we shall not borrow the troubles of tomorrow.
Save us from the sin of worrying,
lest stomach ulcers be the badge of our lack of faith.
Amen.
Peter Marshall 


Be Inspired

Misty River -- Heather's Song
Melissa Etheridge -- Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Sarah Mclachlan -- Silent Night

Favorites from Last Week:    
Patty Griffin -- I don't ever give up  
Patty Griffin -- Forgiveness  
Final dance in the movie Strictly Ballroom   
The only response is gratefulness - Brother David Steindl-Rast
When it don't come easy - Patty Griffin 
Sarah Mclachlan -- Answer 
The Prayer --  Shy Boy and his Friend Shock the Audience on Britain's Got Talent
Sarah Mclachlan -- In the arms of an angel 
Pete Seeger -- Forever Young 


Notes from Terry
 
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(2) Enjoy a stroll in my garden...   

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