• Domestic arts,  Gardening,  Optimism

    Little sparks of daily joy

    “Joy has been leaking out of our lives. The small pleasures of the ordinary day seem almost contemptible, and glance off us lightly.…So, perhaps it’s a good time to reconsider pleasure at its roots. Changing out of wet shoes and socks, for instance. Bath robes. Yawning and stretching. Real tomatoes.” ~ Barbara Holland, Endangered Pleasures There’s rarely good news in the world lately. We can count on a depressing cycle of war casualties, airline calamities, weather devastation, and vulgar political turmoil. Which is why I always look forward to David Muir’s “America Strong” segment on ABC’s “World News Tonight.” Concluding the nightly news broadcast, “America Strong” highlights uplifting stories of…

  • Domestic arts,  Gardening,  Personal growth

    A garden-variety mood booster

    “Many of us feel stressed and overwhelmed not because we’re taking on too much, but too little of what strengthens us.” ~Marcus Buckingham This week I spent several hours at plant nurseries, comparing the various selections of herbs, annuals, and perennials. As always, the fresh scents and colors of new plants lifted my spirits and filled my head with new landscaping ideas. I’ve learned over the years that gardening is a balm for my soul. There’s something deeply satisfying about caring for plants, whether you’re tending a small bed of annuals or a prolific vegetable garden. At the same time, beautifying your property can be a source of pride —…

  • Art & Creativity,  Gardening,  Inspirational quotes,  Motivation


    “During the times we think we’re being ‘unproductive,’ the seeds of new worlds are germinating within us, and they need peace to grow.” ~Martha Beck Somewhere along the line, I bought into the notion that I need to be working on something 24/7. I feel like a slacker if I’m not writing an article, teaching classes, organizing my home, digging in the yard, or otherwise being productive. You too? We live in a culture that celebrates busyness — so it’s not surprising that most of us are ashamed to admit that we need some time off. We’re afraid to be still. Or maybe we’re afraid that we’ll lose momentum. Today,…