Sunday, November 27, 2011

{Monday} Moments: Taking a Bite

Took a tiny bite out
of the Big Apple for two
and a half days with my
family last week, before
taking the train to Maryland
for Thanksgiving with my
brother, his family and
our parents.

I arrived with the flu and
promptly fell into bed in
their nice, dark guest room
for the next 18 hours.

When I first woke up,
thankful to feel a bit better
on Thanksgiving Day, I lay
cozied up under the down
comforter, thinking back to
all the fun memories we had
made in NYC.

Lit a candle at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
It was the first visit for our
kids, and my hubby and I were
grateful that they are teens and
able to navigate busy streets and
crowded places with confidence.

Beautiful Central Park

Dylan's Candy Bar
Having them with us was like
seeing the City for the 
first time.....

Times Square

Rockerfeller Center, where the big tree was still under wraps.

The glorious Statue of Liberty

F.A.O. Schwartz

Bergdorf Goodman had our favorite windows!

The moment that stands out in
my mind from our brief time
in NYC didn't happen at a show
or on Times Square, though.

Instead, it occurred when we
went to pay our respects to a
small but powerful memorial
outside the corporate headquarters
of my husband's employer in
midtown Manhattan.

It was created by artist Richard
Fleischner to remember the 358
employees who lost their lives while
at work on September 11, 2001.

The inscription reads:

Our lost colleagues are, above all,
your adored children and parents,
husbands and wives,
sisters and brothers, 
your cherished relatives and friends.

Each person's unique signature 
 is etched on the wall behind
their name.

I couldn't help wonder where
the signatures came from, since
all the documents from their
offices had been destroyed.

A check?
The closing document on a
first mortgage?
Their driver's license?

Did Michael or Sharon have
any premonition of what was
to come when they dashed off
this particular signature?

chose to think not, as I studied
the various styles of handwriting
and each name, representing a 
life taken far too soon.

At that moment, I chose to
believe that they had signed
their names on an ordinary,
sunny, happy day.

And as we moved on from
the memorial, merging into the
teeming sidewalks, we became
enveloped in the upbeat energy
that is Manhattan during the
holiday season, physically leaving
those 358 souls behind on a 
glass wall, but carrying the moment 
forever in our hearts.

What moments do you bring
to our virtual water cooler, today?

Big or small, informative, fun,
beautiful, crafty, delicious or
thoughtful, 'tis the season to
share, as we embrace this
wonderful thing together 
that we call life, for the
Michaels and Sharons and
others no longer here
to celebrate it with us.


PS:  I am leaving the {Monday}
Moments link open all week, so
pop back any time to catch up on
a variety of special moments!

PPS:  I will be announcing a
giveaway later in the week; it's
going to be a goodie : )

Sunday, November 20, 2011

{Monday} Moments

Saturday morning I loaded
my duffel bag into the car 
and made the short drive 
to spin class, the first tiny
snowflakes of the season
dancing merrily on my

{Our driveway}
My teens were still asleep
and my husband was 
at the gym.

I wasn't rushing to drop
someone off.

I wasn't rushing to pick
someone up.

I wasn't rushing to a meeting
or to the store to get something
that I'd forgotten earlier.

{A local favorite}

I'd given myself plenty of 
time, so I wasn't even 
rushing to spin class.

One of my favorite 
songs was on the radio.

I turned it up.

I smiled.

{Lake Minnetonka}

I make this drive three to
four days a week, but am
usually hustling to get there
and don't take in the details
of the drive.

Saturday was different.

{The florist was newly decked-out.}

As I sang along to the radio
and absorbed the minutia
of my brief drive, I felt a
funny leap in my chest and
I knew it was nothing but

I was joy-full.

{Summer drive-in turned Christmas tree lot.}

My mind wasn't racing 
ahead to the rest of my day,
or chewing on something
that had happened in the past.

I was fully present.

The first Christmas gift
of the season and it was
to me,
from me.

{Ready to drive out of the drive-in.}

In these holiday weeks
ahead of us, I wish you all
moments like this in the 
midst of the hustle and bustle.

Happy moments.
Present moments.

{Even the lamp posts seemed joyful!}

Stitch them gratefully
into your own life's quilt.

And most 


PS:  What moments are you
sharing around the virtual 
water cooler, today?  I will 
have the Moments link open all
week, so bring 'em on any time
that works for you.  Can't wait
to hear what you've been up to.....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mystical Magical


The Flower Lady
a pet seahorse
the size of a dog

fancy ladies who
wear huge flowers
as hats  

floating in the
sky with butterflies
the size of kites

or in the ocean on
a scallop-shell boat....

Sea of Poppies

Viewing his on-line
gallery is like stepping
into the pages of a 
magical book.

Last year I read about
Harrison Howard's work
for the first time on a blog.

I was smitten.

The Maze

Harrison's Flower Girls,
as he calls them, are
whimsical watercolor and
gouache paintings inspired
by fashion illustration,
children's book illustration,
flowers and decorative arts.

I call them

Rendezvous at Night

Since I love a good story,
I was equally taken with 
the tale of a Pennsylvania 
boy who had his first art 
exhibition at the age of 19, 
selling all 24 watercolors,
except one.

Harrison went on to become a
renowned muralist, painting
for clients with names such
as Vanderbilt, DuPont,
Firestone and many other
renowned families.

The Coral Gardener

Currently he is creating
smaller paintings and limited-
edition giclee prints from his
studio in La Jolla, California,
like those I first saw last
fall on a that memorable 
blog post.

I left a comment.

He read it and
commented back.

The Reader

Serendipitously, the post
I had up at the time was about
my daughter's dream to be
a working artist someday.

Howard generously offered
some words of wisdom from
the perspective of a professional
artist ~ and new friend.

The Letter Writer

I asked Santa to Please bring
me a Harrison Howard giclee
print for Christmas.

My mom beat him to it : )

Because I had included Harrison
in a little post that I'd done about
artists that I admire, he gave
my mom his special price.

Christmas 2010
Love that.

I hope to add more of these
mystical-magical prints 
to my first one and start a
collection of art from this
talented and kind gentleman.

If you'd like to indulge your
own sense of whimsy and step
into a beautiful, imaginative
world for a few minutes, then
visit Harrison's gallery, here,
and prepare to drift away
to some new lands.

Garden Work

{I am not affiliated with his
gallery in any way; I simply
want more people to learn 
about this amazing artist!}

Magic becomes art
when it has nothing
to hide.

~ Ben Okri

Here's to finding
magic in our own