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Monday, February 10, 2020

What Lies Beneath the Surface of Us?

I have begun a new blog titled What Lies Beneath the Surface of Us? It can be found on my website. I write about all of the  big and small ways that we can easily  witness the magic of us.  I hope that you will join me by reading my new Blog.
Thanks so much for reading All things Beautiful. It was my pleasure to write it and I am excited about the new direction.

Sunset at Siesta Key Beach

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year- 2020 and the Year of the Heron

Heron Mates
Amazing that we are in the year of 2020. Life seems to go really quickly and then really slowly. They are so many moments of importance in the blink of an eye. I am sitting outside on this gorgeous winter day in Sarasota.The weather is in the 70's, sunny and bright. I am listening to the sounds of a Great Blue heron couple that has mated in the pine tree outside of my villa. They came together on 12.16.19 and they have been inhabiting one of the mid level branches since then.

They built a nest using pine tree branches by passing the sticks from beak to beak. Each day they add to it. When they are together, they make these clicking and guttural sounds to communicate their love  connection. They are frequently moving the eggs around  in the nest so that the embryos do not stick to the egg shell. They sit on the net about 20% of the time . Usually, they are standing near the nest guarding it. I am allowed to sit under the tree and write this. I feel very privileged that I can look up into the tree day or night and see one or more heron parents.
The incubation period is about 25-30 days  so I have  relative quiet until third week in January. When I am up close like this, I realize how big and fierce this birds are. They have a wing span of 4.5 to 5.5 feet and they are 3.5-4.5  feet tall. They are magnificent birds. The coloration changes on them from bird to bird.

There is something so comforting about having them nest so visually close. I believe that they usually nest in colonies so this is  an unusual location. I do live on a pond where there are plenty of fish for feeding themselves and their babies. Heron totem is about following your dreams and letting your inner knowing be your guide. Just as I am writing this, they have mated again. It is so very quick with the male above the  female heron. It is quiet with only the rustling of their wings to note the event.
They mate several times during the incubation in order for the eggs  to hatch at delayed times.

Have a wonderful 2020 and more to come.......

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Clothing and Teens? What are they saying by what they wear?

Teens often talk about their intentional clothing choices in my therapy sessions. They explain that what they wear is an important way of communicating who they are.  I had a client who said that she would were the same jacket to school everyday of the year. Another one had purchased a beautiful red prom  dress and now could no longer connect with it. She worried about not being beautiful enough to carry it off. Or someone else, who could only wear clothes that were a certain fabric or style. If they wore the uncomfortable piece of clothing, they would be stressed all day. Another student said that she  wore  perfectly matched colors and meaning-full t-shirts for the day's activities.

Flower earrings at Selby gardens
I know that I have my own quirks about clothing. I won't wear clothing with tags that are left in, It annoys me. I sometimes wear the same pants for days in a row because it is what feels good to me. I won't wear wool unless it is below zero temperature . I don't like anything too tight or constricted on my legs, it makes me claustrophobic. I like wearing pinks and turquoises and don't like yellows and browns. I don't like wearing name brands labels on the clothing. And the list goes on and on. It all has meaning for me and I rarely say these things out loud 

As adults, we are  focused upon getting our children and teens  to fit in and accommodate to spoken or unspoken dress codes. Perhaps we are losing an important conversation by not asking and listening to their answers. 

Friday, March 29, 2019


Whimsy museum , Sarasota, Fl
I do love to work. Actually  I love having the balance of work and play. When I am not working, I feel that there is a piece of me missing. And when I am working, I need to remember the play part. I feel whole when I have both in my life.
My grandfather retired in his 80s in NYC. He was legally blind and deaf for the later part of his life. This did not stop him from traveling to Japan for a month at a time to buy new silk  fabrics by feel. He loved working and he loved being respected for his abilities.
My uncle Harry worked  as a furrier until he was 74  and then continued as the head of shipping at the Brooklyn Museum until he was 85.
My mother worked in ESL until she was 75 and then as a piano teacher and news writer until her late 80's. 
I identified with all of them. I have always thought that I would find ways of recreating myself as I got older. And  I find that I am similar to many  other women and men of my generation that feel the need to be of value and find meaning in our lives.   It is a good feeling  to learn, grow and be noticed . Perhaps it is selfish but I don't think so. It feels so  amazing  to continue to work, mentor and teach as long as we can. We cannot fix the world but we certainly should not be deserting it either. So whether we are retired or working, it seems very important to continue to inspire ourselves, our friends, family and  the community around us. 

The Whimsy museum is a play space for adults and children where the art is both  beautiful and fun. It is located in Sarasota, Florida and a wonderful destination for all ages.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Kindness in the Trump Era

I have a walking habit. I love to walk and purposely chose my  new Florida  home in an area that would allow me to walk easily.  I am lucky to have  three different walking partners. One of them is my friend Lavilla and we walk at sun up three days a week. We regularly admire the beautiful Florida sunrises , the flowering trees, the herons and other big birds. We also talk about the miserable state of politics and how mean people can be to each other. As we walked today, I turned my admiration to Lavilla. 

Palm Tree
She told me that she had been worried about one of the residents in our areas. This older  man walks daily with two small white dogs on a  long  tattered rope leash. He  usually  responds to hellos from passing walkers wtih a gruff, hey and never stops to chat.  Lavilla had noticed that he had not been walking for a few days so she took the moment of concern and did something about it.

She walked up to the front door of the man that had never expressed any kindness  to her in order to check on him. He answered the door and she asked how he was. He  smiled widely and told her that he was so touched by her concern that she was invited to come in and sit down. They spoke for  a few minutes and  then  she left. 

She felt so good about taking this small step. I continue to  wonder what hundreds of small steps might look like in this world......

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Giraffe Mind- a new form of Mind Less Ness

Giraffe Mind
I am amazed that it has been since May that  I have written a post. I have felt ambivalent about writing one certainly. While I love to do it, I also realize that everyone is doing one these days and they are amping up the quality, advertising, complexity etc. It is all a bit intimidating and why bother.
There are already too many things to read and much too much to remember..........

However, I can offer originality with my thoughts, feelings  and paintings.
As I created this painting, I realized that i am constantly looking at things in more than one way. it could be this, or that or none of those.  I feel like taking a step back , seeing and naming  the possibilities,  helps us to calm our anxieties down and and be more present.
I am suggesting giraffe mind as a new form of mind less ness.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Alligator Encounter

Good morning
I have lived in florida for about 18 months and I have always been aware of alligators. In the beginning, I was always on the look for them. I live by a pond so there was a very good chance that I would see them.  I was nervous if I saw them and nervous if I did not.