Friday, September 12, 2014

Summer of Magic

I've been doing a lot of dance instructing!  I am grateful for that, because it has rekindled my "knowledge base" for dance and put me back in the saddle.  Glorious ballerinas!  Most of these gals were my students when they were 3-6 years old.  Then I went away.  I came back and they are beautiful and on pointe! What!?!?!

And although I LOVE every single minute of teaching dance, it has been nice to do some other things, as well.
Like, I finally got to sew! I made a happy little journal cover.  It was great to sit at the machine and create something!  Happy fabric in my hands again.  I simply love it!

Every once in a while, life delivers such a gift that there are no words to describe it.  This past weekend, the hubz and I were fortunate enough to spend time at the beach.  Just the two of us.  No hustle or bustle, no obligations, no interruptions in our "bumming around", just sheer unrelenting bliss.  I pinched myself often to make sure it was real.  Paul got a t-shirt to prove we were there, and of course, I took a zillion photographs.  Our friends, who are generous beyond words, just gifted us a 3 day weekend at their beach villa!  Dave & Lisa, there aren't enough words in the universe to properly thank you.  But because I am southern and must write thank you notes, I will certainly try!

  We were on Melbourne Beach.  I have truly never seen a cleaner, less populated beach.  It was gorgeous and lovely.  And fun!  Yes, we boogie boarded, walked along the water's edge, gazed at the horizon and studied seashells, watched birds dive for fish, and just jumped in and out of waves and I watched the waves come in and go out over and over again.  Oh yeah, and I got knocked over a lot ... by the waves.  They are bullies sometimes!

 We took some selfies.  Grandparents should really practice these things.  We have not practiced enough, obviously.  But we had fun anyway.
In fact we laughed right out loud.  It was such a happy weekend!
The second beach day we went to Sebastian Inlet.  We were gifted with a pair of manatee out for their Sunday swim in the ocean.  We have been with plenty of manatee, swimming and observing and etc., but NEVER in the ocean.  WHAT AN AMAZING SITE!  There were lots of folks fishing off of the pier ... but they would kindly pull their lines in when the manatee got close.  So nice to see the kindness in people's hearts.  Such a sweet confirmation that people really are kind.  And the grille served the most delicious grilled shrimp on skewers with french fries I've ever tasted!  It was such a lovely day.  And there are no words to even touch the tip of how grateful and blessed I feel.

There were lots of turtle nests on the beach.  Some of them had been covered up waiting for the eggs to hatch ... but this particular one had been abandoned ... egg shells scattered all around as evidence.  What a miracle these journeys are!  We did go down to the beach in the moonlight trying to either witness the laying or the hatching.  But we ended in fits of giggles at the crabs scurrying on the beach, laughing at our night vision (lack of) and enjoying the night air.  Gosh, what beauty!


And the sky!! oh my gosh!
 But the sweetest of all was when Paul took the chairs up to the car and came back to a beautiful sunbeam spray burst.  There was a couple on the beach who had been in an obvious photo shoot frenzy.  He mentioned to them to look at the sky, saying they'd photographed everything else and it would be a shame to miss that.  It turns out the lady was having some very serious cancer surgery the next day and they were documenting the day with extreme faith and joy.  It was a precious moment.  And truly added to the magic of our beach trip.  I'm telling you ... it was extra, super duper special.

 There is no way to tell you how gorgeous this was in person ... the sunbeams went on forever!
None of my photos are touched up.  Takes too much time!

I returned to the north - North Carolina
 The easy way! Thank you Allegiant Airlines.

I went from this
 to this

in one hour and 15 minutes! 

And I had a jam packed weekend!  And it was delightful!  I went with the exclusive mission to surprise my sweet friend, Patti Connor Greene for her wonderful art exhibit opening reception for the Crossnore Fine Art Gallery, where we both proudly display our work in hopes of helping the children.
Such true joy!  I LOVED being there.  And Heidi Fisher (the Director of the Fine Arts Gallery) did an exquisite job of having the gallery in pristine show shape!  As Patti, says, Heidi is a genius at hanging shows and using space.  Perfection!

And help the children Patti did!  Her show was such an over whelming success!  Just like Patti, AMAZING!  And it was such fun to see her surprise, and get to hug all of my NC friends.
 Clearly, there was NO standing room left during the reception.  It was such a fabulous turn out!

Patti's brother Bob and his beautiful wife, Robyn came down from upstate NY for the event.  I couldn't resist capturing brother and sister together.  They were just so precious.  You can almost see Robyn hovering the the left hand corner (above) with her camera, too.  It was such a lovely evening to document!
Virginia Greene was there, too!  Although I failed in my photographer role, I have everything and everyone etched in my memory.  It was truly a lovely, unforgettable evening.  I have such a grateful heart that I was able to attend, and hug all the olives who could be there, and the other lovely and wonderful friends, both new and old.  We attended a delicious dinner at some of our sweet friend's gorgeous cabin afterward, and I felt so very FULL of love, and goodness. Thank you so much, Ellis & Barbara!  I really feel like it has been such a magical summer!  In spite of some rather intense challenges!

Another ABSOLUTELY GLORIOUS part of visiting NC was seeing MY BABIES!!! And their mom, of course.  She won't let me photograph her, so you never see her ... but she's there!  I cannot believe how much the twins have matured.  They are saying everything!  And so very cute, sweet, precious, perfect, you know.  And they still just melt my heart with every motion.
Like when I walk in the door and one of them lifts their little arms up like this:

 Everly & Stephen with their wonderful Nanny, Brie.  I LOVE her and obviously, so do they!
 Stephen likes to climb up the furniture ... see him in the green shirt going for it!
(Almost caught mom on the left!)
 Everly would much prefer NOT wearing any pants.  Thus shedding them.
Everly also likes to climb on furniture.  The table in this instance ... and it makes her giggle!  That girl is never still - always blurry photos!

 Stephen wanted a close up

and a selfie ... which as you know, is my expertise! 
 Everly wanted a close up but would not be still for it

The window sitter

 Now they are serenading me with the most popular "Let it Go"
 and they TOTALLY get in to it!
SO Adorable!!

I cannot fit any more of our past few weeks into this blog.  So Sunday I will try to write again an share some other stuff, like my grand daughter's first birthday! This blog post has been in the works since Labor Day! Enough!
I am going through the paces.  And I know I will get there.  Stand by!
Many blessings to all,

Monday, August 18, 2014

Slipping into Something a little More Comfortable & Walking on Sunshine!

Well, we made it! Walking on sunshine!  Two weeks and counting.  Most of the boxes are unpacked and there are not many nooks and crannies left open!  It is amazing to me that before we moved we thinned out so much, yet not enough!  My car is filled with things going to the donation center.  I have a new found joy in letting go.  And it has taken some serious  consideration to get there!  It's all working out!  

 We had an unpacking marathon yesterday.  Gosh, it was FABULOUS to get all of that put away and reclaim the space inside this area for more important things!  And the beautiful Heidi Fisher quilt is now displayed for ALL to see!  I am starting a trend here in FL.  ;-)

The comfort level is about 100%.  It is warm (ok, hot ~ but the point is, not freezing).  Vitamin D refills are right outside the door.  It is gloriously beautiful.  Not the same beauty as Grandfather Mountain, and this I plainly state.  He is GORGEOUS in a unique and perfect way.  But goodness knows, there is such beauty in sunshine.  And this cactus lives in the corner of the my neighbor's backyard that is beside us.  It is beautiful!  I've decided it is a very old man, so gnarly and battered, but his flowers come out at dusk and last until mid morning when the sun heats up.  It is spectacular to watch! The night we drove in from North Carolina, he had 2 or 3 dozen blooms.  So beautiful!  It is such a surprise to see something that normally looks very menacing and angry with prickly bits all over it to all of a sudden be the epitome of beauty with soft yellow flowers all over it.  Surprises are happening to us every where.  It's like being on a never ending adventure!  A good thing for us.

We are both working...doing what we love to do and even having fun doing it!  Paul is making some gorgeous iron work.  The company he works for just finished installing ironwork in the Four Seasons Hotel at Disney.  Gorgeous Hotel! Beautiful work!  Happy man.  Win/Win.  :-)  His badminton extravaganza continues with great gusto and he is organizing tournaments and all sorts of things.  His enthusiasm for life never ceases to amaze me and I am so grateful for the positivity!
I stepped into the Dance Studio last Monday for the first day in a new season.  The feeling of great gobs of happy was inside and outside, all throughout my entire being.  It felt SO GOOD to teach again ... and to teach dance again was the bonus.  And I was comfortable.  And I felt like I was once again home.  I am so grateful to Susi and Kelly, who still believe in me and invited me back.
The house here in FL is comfortable and we love it.  It is small enough to manage but large enough to get alone time when needed.  I have a perfect little studio with all of my treasures and art supplies, and a pretty long list of things that need to be made for sweet clients.  I have most of it put together now, so this week will begin the parade of handmade gems from artsymatilda. :-)
And just for you, Cindy Michaud, here is my gallery wall thus far:

The state of the studio went from this in every square inch of the floor

To this,  the art studio ... where I will live and breathe the majority of my time at home.  The energy in this room is awesome.  Added to my normal things to do in here are the new tasks of downloading music, choreographing classes and doing all things dance.

 I have stations because I do a variety of art ... this side is art related, 
paints, brushes, gel mediums, etc.  Plus weaving cotton and books.
journal making station here, plus the printer
mostly financials in the bins, big red bin on bottom is mosaic glass ... prep table in the corner where I cut out fabric, paint & doodle, etc.

 sketching and notecard writing station also here

 sewing center, obviously need to put the fabric on the shelf.  Still in progress there ... 
 wrapping papers, cork for mosaics, glass for mosaics and some lovely happy precious artwork

 My sweet desk ... my favorite piece of furniture.  And upon it are a myriad of projects.  All dance related today. Yay!  Music gathering ... always fun but SO time consuming!
 So my gratitude meter keeps pegging out!  The things I am grateful for are, well EVERYTHING.
We are blessed ... we are thankful ... and we are comfortable in our own skins, once again.  Personally, I am still seeking balance.  This may be the first time that my word for the next year will be the same one as the word of the year before.  Maybe 2014 is remedial balance, and 2015 will be advanced balance?  It is already toward late August.  Not that much more time in the year to get it figured out!  Have y'all ever had a do-over?  That's what this is feeling like.  :-)

Amongst the giant list of things I am giving thanks for is my improved health.  Goodness knows, this has been a CRAZY time for my poor body.  I am continuing to regain strength, for which there is no replacement.  I am able to do all the things I took for granted; walking around, cooking, talking to people, getting from the car to the store and back again, ingesting food & drink, staying out of the bed the entire day, yard work, laundry, etc., etc.  There is no taking for granted any more.  I am SO glad to be reporting the improvement!  And now I get it.  I understand when someone is sick, not able to regain footing, and all the things that are involved with illness.  And I wish perfect health for EVERYONE, always!

Like Red Shoes Catherine!  Who got this report back this week.  Great news!
The IG community held a big auction for her.  It was filled to the brim with love.  Everyone was so truly invested in her improving health.   I just know the support of friends makes all the difference in the world in/on a healing palette.  I am so grateful for all of my sweet friends, Olives, who clustered around me and fed me healing support and energy.  I know that was a MAJOR part of the healing I have received.  And to honor them, I unpacked the tambourines so we could all be in the back-up band together!  So here's to you, Olives: Patti, Peg, Cindy, Barbara, Lisa Lu, Heidi, Yvonne, and Tammy, for all you do, are and stand for!  I have boxes filled with these.  Come on down!!  They are waiting for you!

Our NC house is officially on the market.  Braswell Realty in Newland has the listing.  If you know of, hear of, dream of anyone who may be interested in buying an old beautiful home, please give them a nudge.  Although we love the home itself, we are invested in making this change.  And I would love to see another family in that home who could love it like we have.  Linda Taylor is our agent up there.  Making two house payments is no kind of fun ... <3  Help is appreciated. :-)
When I wrote I would be blogging more, I think I forgot to account for the unpacking!  When all is said and done, I'm sure the writing will pick up its pace!  Until then, I'll continue to try to update as time allows.  But meanwhile, here are some other beautiful photos you NEED to see!  Our very precious Tessa Jane in her photo shoot glory.  This little girls melts my heart, delights me in ways I cannot even imagine or express, and fills my soul with love and light.  She is such a HUGE blessing to our family.  Along with the three grandsons in our lives.  We are so richly blessed.

 Blessings to you all!