Now that summer is here, it's a great time to get outside and have some fun. It might have been years since you've done "kid" things like flying a kite, but there is no rule that says you can't do it now, no matter what your age.
You may want to go kite flying with children, but if you don't have any handy, just go get your own kite and find a field or beach where there is a breeze and get going.
Here is a short video I found to get you started.
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It's not unusual to hear writers talk about how hard it is to write, to get published, to find an agent. Some writers talk about writing as though they have to slit their wrists and bleed on the page. For years I believed these people who complained about how hard the writing life was and allowed all this discouragement within the industry to keep me from writing.
But even if it is hard, so what? What isn't?
Going to work at a job you hate year after year is hard. Having children and going without sleep night after night as you nurse a sick baby is hard. Making a marriage work through difficult times is hard. Losing a job and wondering where the next meal is coming from is hard. Living with illness, family problems, financial difficulty is hard. Losing a parent, or a child, is hard.
Writing? It's a piece of cake. It’s not hard to sit at a computer and make up a story. Putting words together into cohesive sentences is not difficult at all. It's more fun than a lot of other things that make up ordinary life. The act or writing is simple. Sit, type, read, correct, write some more.
I’m not saying that writing isn’t work though some people seem to think it’s not. Like going to school, or learning a new skill, it will take time and attention. You have to educate yourself to become a good writer. You need to develop your skills, and you need to read a lot. You can shorten that process by working with a good writing coach.
Writing a book can take many hours, or even months to complete. After that come the re-writes and the edits to polish a manuscript. Time-consuming? Definitely, but not really that hard.
In fact, compared to a lot of other things, writing is easy!
What about publishing? These days, getting your work in print or digital format has never been easier with print on demand and e-books. Book distribution has also changed in favour of the author. Thank-you Amazon.
If you want to publish the traditional way, through a publishing company, it can be a longer and tougher process. Either way, what if it does take a while to see your work in print? Try harder. Do the work.
Can't find an agent on the first try? Try again. Don’t give up. Keep on until it works. Rejection won’t harm you, but it you let it, it can stop you. Improve the book. Try again. Do whatever it takes.
But let's all stop complaining about how hard it all is. Try doing something really difficult then come back to writing. I predict that writing will seem a whole lot easier and more fun. Perspective is everything.
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Today is National Seashell Day so I thought I would share a few ideas for decorating with seashells, and crafts that you can create with found or purchased shells.
The wreath on my front door says "summer" in any language. I made it with a vine wreath from a craft store, shells, moss, driftwood, and hot glue.
This photo is from a vacation day at Ocean Shores, Washington. I made the frame and even incorporated a little crab shell and beach sand.
The shelf in my bathroom features shells that match the sea theme decor. Keep the colour family in mind when decorating.
I picked up this sand and the shells on the gulf coast of Florida and placed them in a candy jar with a blue toned candle.
Here is another simple way to use shells in decorating. The glass candle holder inside the hurricane lamp also holds blue sea glass.
Here is a good example of using a large, showy shell as a focal point for a collection.
I love shadow boxes and this one holds different kinds of shells in its individual spaces.
My daughter brought me this shadow box back from her trip to Santorini. It contains the black volcanic sand from the island.
This one is actually a picture from a calendar. I made the frame using purchased shells, starfish, and seed beads.
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ome time during my first year of marriage, my husband told me that in his family he had learned to wipe his body down with the damp washcloth after a bath or shower. The idea was to remove excess water from the skin before drying off with the towel. After a while, I adopted the same procedure, never giving the practice much thought—until recently.
One day last year, while standing in the shower wiping my dripping body down with the washcloth, I began to wonder why on earth I was going through these motions. The more I thought about it, the more it made no sense. I began to examine the possible source of this habit to see if there was any validity in continuing. I followed the trail back through the family habit history and figured it out.
My husband was born in England several years after World War II, where towels were few, heating scarce, the climate damp, hot water infrequently available, and children plentiful. Under those circumstances it made perfect sense to keep the few towels the family owned as dry as possible as the kids filed through the bathtub on Saturday night. After all, mom couldn’t just toss the wet towels into the dryer to emerge fluffy and ready for the next wet child.
While Canadian-raised if not born, my husband still had parents who remained, in their habits at least, resolutely English until their dying days. They managed to pass on a great many of their English habits to their offspring. Washcloth pre-drying was one of those.
So, some thirty-five years later when I stopped to ask myself why I did this, I had to admit that the reasons behind the habit did not exist in my life. I have more towels than I can use at any one time. I have a clothes dryer, a warm dry house with forced air heating, and no one is going to use my towels after me. Furthermore, by dropping this habit, I shave about five minutes off my time spent in the bathroom at shower time.
I did a quick calculation and discovered (if I got the figures right) that I’ve spent a total of twenty-two days of my life just wiping the drips off my skin before wrapping up in my towel.
By now, I’m sure you’ve figured out that this is not about the washcloth. It’s about habitually doing things that have no basis in need but that we keep doing anyway because we never stop to examine why. These little habit can get in the way of doing other things of more value. It’s also about questioning why we do the things we do and whether they hold any value anymore.
Or, How to Find a Good-fitting, Comfortable Bra in 100 Tries or Less.
I live in a village where the shopping options are minimal. So, when it became painfully obvious that I needed some new bras—something about gaining some weight (don’t ask)—I have to get in my car and drive to the next town down the highway.
No problem, I’ll just pop into town later in the afternoon, go to my favourite bright-coloured, tiny-clothes store and pick up a couple of my usual style bra.
Thus began “The Quest”
First, the style I like has been changed so the size I need no longer fits right. Second, my shape has changed, again. (Isn’t that the bane of a woman’s life?) And third, my skin has become more sensitive thanks to some hormonal tempest that is perpetually brewing.
While perky young things brought me bra after bra (about 23 different ones) and inquired about how I was doing (feeling queasy, thanks for asking), I ended up with two well-maybe-these-won’t-be-pure-torture choices, which I had them put away for me while I checked out the department store down the mall.
Yes, No, Maybe
There, another 27 styles graced my luscious curves. On, “no”, off. On, “no”, off. Meanwhile, the skin on my sides and back felt like it has been gone over with a cheese grater.
The problem is that when you’re looking for comfort as well as fit, any bra that feels better than the instrument of agony that you just ripped off feels like a great big, “Aaaaah!” But don’t be fooled because it’s a matter of unrealistic comparison.
I bought two of one style that seemed almost comfy. After I got home and my skin stopped throbbing, I put one of the devices on to wear it for a while. It lasted about 10 minutes before it went back in the bag with its twin, and the receipt.
Next day, back I went to the store, returned these bras, and started again. This time I tried on another completely different group of about 31 bras, though a couple were repeats from the last trip. I wondered what I saw in them the first time around.
I’m sure you can tell by this list that I’ve just talked myself out of the bra market altogether. Which would be fine with me but well, no. I might have a perky mentality but I’ve got a push up reality. When you’re 50+ (she said coyly), you have to take the cumulative effects of gravity into account. Moving up another weight class doesn’t help either. (Thanks, low thyroid.)
I bought two more bras, twins again, one beige, one black. Again, I went home and gave my shredded skin some TLC (meaning that I went bra-less for the rest of the day) then tried on this new bra. I wore it for 15 minutes (a new record) and removed it, with relief, hence to yonder bag. These too went back to the store, and I on to Round 3.
Next came the boxed bras, (as opposed to the ones on those impossible little hangers). Before that, though, I had spent several hours searching the Internet for the perfect comfort bra. Basically, that got me nowhere, since one woman’s (or manufacturer’s) comfort is another woman’s torment.
I’ll spare you the details, except to say that by now I’ve tried on nearly 60 bras, not including the ones I tried on more than once to check against each new hopeful possibility. This time I bought only one bra, which between when the quest began and now had gone one sale. This sale price could be called the one bright spot, if not for the fact that the bra actually works.
So here is what I ended up with. It’s not glamorous or sexy. It can’t stand up by itself like so many ultra-structure (read, “body cast”) bras can. It’s not even a pretty colour, more’s the pity. And perky? Well, that stopped being a consideration days ago. But it sure is comfortable.
If I find the need to be trussed up like the Thanksgiving turkey I’ll just have to dig out one of my old bras, hook it on with safety pins and bale twine, and suffer for whatever offenses I may have caused in my past. In the meantime, don’t mention the words, “bra shopping” to me for at least six months. Give me some time to forget.
Where I share creative ideas, uplifting thoughts, and spread sweetness to help us all make life pretty.