Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Thoughts - August 31, 2016

To live only for some future goal is shallow.
It's the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.
Here's where things grow." Robert M. Pirsig.

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" was a book that reached out to my soul several decades ago.....(not to mention I had to read it for several classes - and then it was a 'read aloud' with my hubby, a great gift we gave each other for several years). Mr. Pirsig, I learned today, was a child genius with some mental health issues along the way. To me, that makes his writing all the more profound, touched by all the issues of simply living. I realize that "future goals" are important, yet I've always admired people who somehow keep their eyes on the prize, but live each day as (if) it was precious, too. It is our relationships, friendships, daily walks, times of meditation and prayer and reflection, our fun, our hoeing in the garden and hanging clothes on the line, our dancing and twirling and giggling, our hugs, our catching-up with folks, our reaching out a helping hand........these moments are what sustain us as we head toward that goal. - Beth Almond Ford

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Thoughts - August 30, 2016

"I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."
Carl Sandburg
Seems to be in circles half the time.....and the other times, a long and winding road. But that is okay! If I learned anything from my illness last year, it was to keep on going. I could probably do it a lot better - charting a course, following a plan, organizing my route. In some ways, that would be the wise thing to do. Yet, I have been rather spontaneous my whole life and I've certainly enjoyed discovering what's around the hairpin curves of life. If that makes me an idealist, I'll take it! - Beth Almond Ford

Monday, August 29, 2016

Thoughts - August 29, 2016

“There is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men.”
― John Locke.
Oh, yes, those questions...why is the sky blue? where did Dango-dog go when he died? how long will it take our little bark boat to reach the ocean? Or, simply the honest ones...."why do you have so many photographs covering your fridge?" That one confused me (and I've been asked that by several children) because To me it was so obvious! But I have thought about it since -- "because I love to smile and talk to your picture....the memories of that day are precious....those were your great and great-great grandparents and I miss them....the two cats in that photo were my best friends for many years...that one shows the house where my son was born...I look thin in that one.....the cabin and waterfalls are my secret garden in my mind....precious friends from all the places I've lived....the new 'kin' as they arrive in this world...." Ah, dear children, keep asking your questions -- some answers we can look up and give you a 'real' answer...and some questions we can answer simply with our hearts. - Beth Almond Ford

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Thoughts - August 28, 2016

“She was like a butterfly, full of color and vibrancy when she chose to open her wings, yet hardly visible when she closed them.”
― Geraldine Brooks.
How often do we go around with our wings closed? Most the time? We are so busy with work, home, medical issues, worries of so many kinds. We forget to loosen our shoulders, bring out our smiles, slowly let the knot of tension in our bellies dissolve. Yet the wonder of it all is we do have the wings, ready and waiting. Each and every one of us. Enthusiasm takes about the same effort as moodiness. A smile reaches the eyes...as does a frown. Vibrant is not a word I use often, especially to describe myself. Why not?! - Beth Almond Ford

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Thoughts - August 27, 2016

“The world will give you that once in awhile, a brief timeout; the boxing bell rings and you go to your corner, where somebody dabs mercy on your beat-up life.”
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees.
I've always loved that word....'mercy'. "Mercy me!", the old folks would say. "Traveling mercies", my friend Barbara often tells people. "Have mercy", the prayers state. "An abundance of mercy", the blessed invoke. "Show mercy", the just and loving think. May your day be filled with all kinds of mercies! - Beth Almond Ford

Friday, August 26, 2016

Thoughts - August 26, 2016

"The next best thing to being clever is being able to quote someone who is." Mary Pettibone Poole.
I'm not sure when I started this morning 'habit' of a quote and reflection on FB each morning (it's been a couple years now, I think), but it's become a way to start the day with 'thought'. Not being a morning person with a clear head or much enthusiasm before several cups of coffee, I turned to quotes to help jump-start my mind. I've always loved quotes and peppered even the teenage years of papers and speeches and sermons with them (yep....I started early enjoying a stage, though shy in so many other ways). Please accept my thank you to those of you who take the time to read my wandering thoughts on some or occasional mornings. This community on FB has turned into a lovely group of pals as we share our lives and perceptions. It's turned into the donuts / coffee shops of the past, when people would gather in the early morning before starting their days, touching base with their friends. - Beth Almond Ford

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thoughts - August 25, 2016

"Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t." -
Bill Nye.
Chautauqua is the type of place where one often finds a 'new friend' sitting in the auditorium, on the porch of Presbyterian House getting a mid-morning mocha, or on one of the benches throughout the lovely grounds. The other day I went a bit late to a lecture at the Hall of Philosophy and the seats were overflowing, although the speakers hadn't started. I slid down a good sized tree trunk, sitting on its roots, and asked the older fellow already there if I could share his tree. Turns out he was another Southerner, a physician from Johnson City, TN. The talk on the origins of Gospel music and hidden meanings in spirituals had us whispering. I wanted to ask him more, but after the hour and a half talk was over, I think we were both more concerned about whether we could gracefully arise from our ground sitting position with the world's eyes upon us.... - Beth Almond Ford

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Thoughts - August 24, 2016

You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think.”
― Dorothy Parker, You Might as Well Live: The Life and Times of Dorothy Parker.
For those of you expecting sacred and profound every morning, be aware. Dorothy Parker (whose birthday was on my somewhat lamented wedding anniversary the other day), is a favorite wit of mine. As I sit on the porch of a lovely house nestled on the grounds of probably one of the most cultured places in America, Chautauqua Institution, I had to chuckle at this one. I hope you will, too. If I've learned one thing about myself in this life, it is that I appreciate people who can laugh and see the humor of just about anything. Including culture. Especially culture! - Beth Almond Ford
I don't know if we know a lot about culture, but we talked about confusion and clarity in our last podcast episode.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Thoughts - August 23, 2016

"Chautauqua is a place of beauty and of healing - a place where, in Mary A. Lathbury's words, 'heaven is touching earth with rest'." (from a pamphlet for Blessing and Healing).
There are some places on earth where it does seem especially true that 'heaven is touching' and there is a time for rejuvenation of the soul. This part of southwestern New York state has always been known for its spiritual awareness....here at Chautauqua Institution, nearby Lily Dale (spiritualist community from the 1880s); near the spot where LDS Joseph Smith found his message; near hilltops where folks traveled in the 18840s to await the return of God - even close to where women found the gusto and gathered to declare their rights as equal beings to men. Whether one can believe or accept such, there is something downright mystical about this area. For me, it has given rest, reflection, thought, and blessings....so many blessings. - Beth Almond Ford

Monday, August 22, 2016

Thoughts - August 22, 2016

"Look into your own heart, discover what it is that gives you pain,
and then refuse under any circumstance, whatsoever,
to inflict that pain on anybody else."
Karen Armstrong
What a lovely way of perceiving the Golden Rule! For me, it is sometimes hard to discover what gives me pain (which, now that I think about it, is probably a wake-up call). Some of us become quite good at numbing ourselves. There's the 'usual' methods of alcohol and addictions of gambling, porn, drugs, etc, but I'm thinking more of the easy way we dismiss how others hurt us. A lack of self-respect or self-confidence....or, for me, always the wish to cause no waves. So, what does cause me pain? Unkindness, for one. Being stereotyped or ignored is another (I am a white haired ol' lady after all....sometimes labeled the invisible class of people). Unfairness. Meaness. Superior attitudes. Insensitive. Hmmmmm....I guess I have a few things I can work on and refuse to inflict on others. But I know this is barely touching the surface of 'loving one's neighbor as you love yourself.' - Beth Almond Ford

Episode 23 - One Year Anniversary

About confusion and clarity

A little sweet...

Leslie is still working on zick-zack

Popular on Ravelry this week: Caramel by Isabell Kraemer  1861 projects

Also on Ravelry in crochet: Jordan - sleeveless pineapple top by Vicky Chan 253 project
A clever knitting tool: Increase Decrease Knitting Stitch Marker - Size US 5 - Item No. 64 by HIDEandSHEEP on etsy.

Montpelier, Orange, Virginia
Marion duPont Scott
Montpelier Fiber Festival
Staunton, Virginia

Meadows of Dan Folk Fair, August 20
Peach Festival in Stuart, Virginia

A Little Tart... 

Concerning working with Alzheimer's patients

Awakenings by Oliver Sacks

Beth's postcards for sale illustrating confusion


Leave a comment if you are interested in one of the postcards or the unique set!
Metamorphic postcards

A Little Unexpected... 

Review of Murder and Moonshine by Carol Miller

Sharyn McCrumb and her mystery series
Martin Clark

"I have nothing to offer to anybody except my own confusion." - Jack Karouac

“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That's why it's so hard." - David McCullough

Music Attribution
Reverie (small theme)
by _ghost
featuring Pitx
Drops of H2O ( The Filtered Water Treatment ) by J.Lang (c) copyright 2012 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/djlang59/37792 Ft: Airtone
Don't Be Scared ft. Christine Autumn by Calling Sister Midnight (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/romancito/50155 Ft: Klaus Neumaier, Christine Autumn
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Thoughts - August 21, 2016

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is,
knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out."
Ray Bradbury.
Do you ever wonder where 'that' thought, piece of art, comment, poem, sentence, etc., came from...especially if it was you saying or doing the thing?! Sometimes we surprise ourselves. Yet if we are consistently filling ourselves with good reading, observing or making art, spending time with interesting people, studying a variety of subjects, immersing ourselves in the wonder of the natural world, then the cup is always filled to the brim. It takes effort as well as talent. And when the time comes to "tip ourselves over", let us hope it is the beautiful stuff which flows out, mixed with our own unique perspectives. - Beth Almond Ford

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Thoughts - August 20, 2016

"The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer." -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)
It's easy to listen attentively to those we perceive as 'knowing the answers', but I need to stop and pay more attention to, well, everyone! And to think more carefully about my answers because someone might truly be listening. I'm actually not an expert at anything (except maybe antique postcards, something I've spent my life studying with a passion), but even an opinion should be well-thought out, even researched, eh? We have a responsibility with our words. And when I act on someone's advice, I should do them the compliment of giving thanks and let them know I was paying attention, listening with my heart. - Beth Almond Ford

Friday, August 19, 2016

Thoughts - August 19, 2016

Clara Barton (founder and president of the American Red Cross), who never bore grudges, was once reminded by a friend of a wrong done to her some years earlier. "Don't you remember?" asked her friend. "No," replied Barton firmly, "I distinctly remember forgetting that." Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes.
When I was a youngster, I read a biography of Clara Barton, Civil War era nurse ("I Was There With Clara Barton"....remember that old series?!) and she became one of my heroes. I marvel how fortunate I was to come across such a gentle soul when I was young and impressionable. Grudges are such nasty things, stirring up anger and spitefulness sometimes even into the next generations. The thing is, we can easily justify them. We can get our friends and even the courts to agree we've been wronged. And there are certainly times when wrongs need to be righted. But the hanging on part of them is the problem, the poison that turns us bitter. Have you ever noticed the eyes of a bitter person, full of spite? There is angst and sorrow behind the flashing anger. I've often wondered what that poison is doing to the body, to the soul. Best to 'distinctly remember forgetting" it! - Beth Almond Ford

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thoughts - August 18, 2016

"True humility doesn't consist of thinking ill of yourself but of not thinking of yourself much differently from the way you'd be apt to think of anybody else. It is the capacity for being no more and no less pleased when you play your own hand well than when your opponents do."- Frederick Buechner
Being humble (or the attempt to be!) is an important tenet of my particular religious beliefs. There are dozens of mentions about humility in the scriptures, which are helpful in trying to figure out just what is meant. Obviously becoming a groveling, cloying, insincere Uriah Heep type of person who spouts his own humbleness does no one any good. Reaching a balance of self-confidence and yet an ability to recognize the worth of others is not always easy. Holding one's tongue and temper is a good start. For me, recognizing my "power" comes from the Spirit and not a result of my own doings, is amother good start. My job is to build others up, not myself. Though it can be painful to watch someone play a full house over my two pairs (or see others succeed or simply do well), that is the very time to recognize it is 'not about me.' In my faith, I have absolutely nothing to prove. I am, and always will be, Loved. - Beth Almond Ford

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Glimpse of Meadows of Dan

Early morning flight of a great blue heron, soaring with peculiar grace over mist shrouded fields. - Leslie Shelor

Thoughts - August 17, 2016

"The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses.”
― Charles de Lint
I think those of us with a furry friend or two know how true this to be. The whisper of a cat "kiss" or the love in a pup's eyes can lift our spirits like magic. And our friends do this, too. A small gift on our desk at work, a message sent with words of concern, a raising of eyebrows and other body language that unites us with another. And our families are often attuned to our needs and reach out to do that one small thing that might have broken the camel's back. I like to think that magic works in whispers - those moments when we stop to watch the cawing crows on the tree branch, the frog on the back deck who comes back each day to entertain, the determined spider who drapes her art on the porch post. Listen and watch with your heart as the day unfolds. Magic, indeed! - Beth Almond Ford

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Thoughts - August 16, 2016

"What is life but one long risk?"
Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Risk is a difficult concept for those who are cautious (which is most of us) to embrace. The 'planners' amongst us do everything possible to reduce risks - schedules, maps, study, practice, imagining, weighing odds, engineering, etc. We are very thankful the designers of roller coasters, for example, reduce all risks. We exercise, eat healthily, have regular check-ups. Many invest for retirement and future security. Yet, with all our scheming and dreaming, life is still one long risk. ĂŽllness (I personally think of the retina detaching...) creeps or slams into our lives. Relationships break up, out of the blue or from bad choices long ago. Stock markets plunge and robbers scam. Accidents of all kinds happen and people we love die. Yet (yet another yet!), we are in the midst of our lives and there is no getting off until the final stop. So we either embrace risk and meet it head on or we despair and lament and blame. And there is something else to consider, of course....the Spirit who comes along for the ride with us and turns the risks into an adventure and a gift. - Beth Almond Ford

Monday, August 15, 2016

Thoughts - August 15, 2016

“The most important things are the hardest to say......and you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.” ~ Stephen King.
One of my fears as a teacher of memoir writing is that time when I may fail to recognize the significance of someone's story. It can be scary to reach deep inside and share part of ourselves. A box of Kleenex remains on the table - even a happy memory may bring tears. So why do we cherish and write down our past? For me, the reason is simple. It is a recognition of who I am today and who I will be tomorrow. The stories of my life, my whole life, are still unfolding. The horrors of diseases like Alzheimer's that rob us of memories bring home this point. Listen to your life, listen with respect to the lives of your friends. And make new stories every day. - Beth Almond Ford

Sunday, August 14, 2016

About Getting There

"It doesn't matter if it takes a long time getting there; the point is to have a destination." - Eudora Welty

Thoughts - August 14, 2016

“You shall love your crooked neighbour, with your crooked heart.” 
― W.H. Auden.

As a child, how I loved to open the well-used ChildCraft encyclopedias, turning to the poem about the little crooked man in his little crooked house with his little crooked dog.... I'd study the drawing, trace my finger over the scene. Even back then, I understood it wasn't totally about the physical condition of the man. Calling someone "crooked" meant they weren't fair and honest in their dealings with others. A crook ended up in jail or in heaps of trouble. As a teenager, I heard our president deny he was a crook. So what's this about loving our crooked neighbors with our own crooked hearts?! Could it be that we all have a bit of a deviousness that interferes with our fairness in judging others? Alas, 'tis true. For some it is no more than our crooked little toes; for others, there are times we are as crooked as a pretzel and just as salty. Something to keep in mind! - Beth Almond Ford

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Thoughts - August 13, 2016

“There are so many ways of being despicable it quite makes one’s head spin. But the way to be really despicable is to be contemptuous of other people’s pain.”
― James Baldwin.
We think we don't do this....we truly don't mean to do this. But I remember, as a child, the first time I heard someone say, "she's made her bed, now she can sleep it." And it was said so gleefully that it confused me. I asked my mom why someone would say such a thing and she said she didn't have aclue. We rescue each other in my family - thank heavens!! But it's not to say we're perfect. Perhaps we say - 'oh, they're fat and so they 'brought their illness to themselves', blah, blah. Or 'they didn't think....and now they're facing the music." Yes, I realize now...that is being contemptuous of other's pain. And the thing is, we all have been on the other side of such statements. I think that's part of the 'love your neighbor as you love yourself' flip-side of things!! - Beth Almond Ford

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Thoughts - August 11, 2016

"There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear

It is the 'anger of a gentle man' that caught my eye in this one. I grew up in a home with very little anger (except the "righteous" kind, where anger was directed at society's ills). My parents were never angry with each other, amazing as that sounds. Mom told me that once she tried to pick a fight with dad early in their marriage and he refused to argue, hugging her gently instead. My older siblings never had words - any anger was pretty much left to me and I stirred the pot on a few occasions. It took me many years to learn how to be angry, to even recognize that emotion. It is a powerful force and should be saved for things that truly matter, brought out when talk and reason and persuasion fail. Uncontrolled anger has been the downfall of many a person. But when a gentle person erupts in anger, take heed. It is wise to listen. - Beth Almond Ford

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

About a Snapshot

A great snapshot keeps a moment from running away. - Eudora Welty

Thoughts - August 10, 2016

"What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself." - Abraham Lincoln
Well, yes.....we will know them by their fruits, I reckon! I actually like skunks in a broad way. They are quite handsome and apparently have some redeeming qualities. My fine friend Ray Dietz had a pet skunk back in the 1940s, found as a baby in a field he was haying. He writes stories of their years together, the skunk's intelligence and amiable nature. But most of us think of waking in the night, the horrific mouth watering odor outside our window...the washing of the dog in peroxide, baking soda, and blue Dawn detergent....I often marvel at biology and the various methods used to repel those who may harm us. One has to admit, the skunk's way is more than ingenious! - Beth Almond Ford

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Thoughts - August 9, 2016

"When a man is willing and eager, God joins in." Aeschylus

Sometimes that is actually my prayer....."God, grant me some enthusiasm here"......you know?! The above quote resonates with me because I know how true it is in my own life. It takes that same eagerness that comes about when I'm doing something fun and special, an excitement that isn't there as often as it used to be? Now the "willingness" is not so hard, at least for me. I can plod and plow myself through many a project. I can put myself into rote-mode and do all kinds of good and Godly tasks. But....when I'm eager, when I'm right where I'm meant to be, when the Spirit joins in....now that makes all the difference! It is no longer "me." It is "Us." Eager - who knew it was such a powerful word?! - Beth Almond Ford

Monday, August 8, 2016

Thoughts - August 8, 2016

When I can look Life in the eyes, / Grown calm and very coldly wise, / Life will have given me the Truth, / And taken in exchange---my youth. -Sara Teasdale, poet (8 Aug 1884-1933).

As I sit here on the porch (in a sweater, on a glorious rainy August morning, on a day I have no bless-ed place I have to be....), I find myself teasing apart each line of this poem. Looking Life in the eyes obviously holds much gratefulness to me after last year's detached retina and multiple eye surgeries. Literally and otherwise. I'm not so sure about the calm part, but have grown more so than any other time in my life......and wisdom I would appreciate, but "coldly" scares me. How detached does one desire to be to reach a point of cold wisdom? Although my youth is long past in a physical sense, I still cling to its remnants and memories in a fond way, perhaps holding too tightly. I have yet to figure out all the Truths. There are many truths, I think - there is Purpose, Love, Creation, just to name a few. - Beth Almond Ford

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Thoughts - August 7, 2016

"Granma said when you come on something good, first thing to do is share it with whoever you can find; that way, the good spreads out where no telling it will go. Which is right.”
― Forrest Carter, The Education of Little Tree
I was in a small weekly writing group when I lived in Vermont. We decided to read this book and write on a couple of the wise sayings in it....we wrote on it for months! One of my all-time favorite books. It seems we all need a little "good" to come our way today. It can be as simple as a big smile, sharing ears of corn, listening to a friend's woes, giving a ride, an extra scratch on the pet's favorite spot, a kind word to the clerk at the store (or the customer on the other side of the counter), acknowledging a child, loaning a shoulder for someone's tears. It is fun to think of ways to spread the good, the joy. Now it's time to do it! - Beth Almond Ford

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Thoughts - August 6, 2016

"You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning."
Billy Wilder.
Sometimes I feel like I'm living inside a dream, sitting in the sunshine sipping coffee and watching cows and donkeys munching in the meadows. Or even when taking a group of international folks on a tour at work. Or, even as I sweep the floor of the candy store after a long and busy day. But obviously that's not what Mr. Wilder was alluding to in his quote. He's thinking of "the plan", the wild and exciting dreams for the future. Have those lessened as I get older? Do I so much as allow myself to dream of love, of profession, of fame, of 'doing good'? In other words, do I recognize that life deserves a dream simply because I have gotten up this morning? - Beth Almond Ford

Friday, August 5, 2016

Thoughts - August 5, 2016

"Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away." -
Barbara De Angelis

I would change this to read Women, men, and children....and especially those of us who have a bit of the introvert in us. Last evening when my friendLeslie and I were walking her two dogs, we discussed the merits of solitude. For me, with two public jobs, the time alone is not simply for self-reflection and prayer, though I relish those moments. It is also a time for me to be silly and ageless. I really do twirl my baton and listen to "old" rock and roll as loud as I want. Or blues or jazz or Irish jigs or tear-inducing Scottish ballads. I read whatever I darn well please. I eat chocolate Nips or chewy skittles or let peach juice run down my chin. I wear the comfy clothes that should be in the rag drawer. And so forth.... I imagine (or would hope!) we all do this? - Beth Almond Ford

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thoughts - August 4, 2016

"We sat down and told stories that happened to us in our childhood, to our children. They were all basically based on the truth. These stories were funny and poignant to us. They just took off. These are all stories from my life." Howie Mandel
Share some stories with your friends and families today...what a refreshing change of topic - better than discussing politics, work, other people's problems...the weather. Let others know what it was like spending a Saturday in your hometown! In our book, with my 4 siblings, we did this very thing. We had such laughs and memories remembering downtown Buckhannon, WV, circa 1960s....boy, were we craving hot dogs, french fries, DQ, Rainbow Restaurant, Liberty Lunch, GC Murphys...the list goes on -- and our friends from long ago, of course! Today, at our book club, we will listen to stories of Patrick County, shared by Aaron McAlexander. How I love to hear the tales of my friends and neighbors! - Beth Almond Ford

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Thoughts - August 3, 2016

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.” ― Erma Bombeck.
Every Sunday in our little Presbyterian church on the Blue Ridge Parkway, we pray together a prayer of 'confession'. For me, it's quite powerful to hear a roomful of folks who have become like family and dear friends, say together we may not have lived up to our potential (among other things). We ask forgiveness for "wasting your gifts" (and for "forgetting your love", which is quite powerful in itself). I know I could use my talents better. I know when I'm being lazy. I know when I'm not trusting and have self-doubts. This weekly 'confession' helps to get me back on track, to look at the opportunities I have on this very day. Of course, figuring out what our 'gifts' are is a whole 'nother topic, isn't it?! - Beth Almond Ford

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Thoughts - August 2, 2016

"Inspiration doesn't really work like that - you're not looking out for it. Inspiration is something that tends to capture you rather than you capture it." Joan Armatrading.
I've often thought long and hard about this concept that inspiration "captures" one. I've come to the conclusion that it works both ways - perspiration (getting down to work) and inspiration. I can 'force' a story I'm writing and it can be okay, pretty good. Yet, when I'm out walking or driving or simply sitting and staring at the wall, I can be overwhelmed with a tale or idea that has to be put down on paper. I can read it over and ask myself 'where did that come from - surely not me!" I imagine there are artists of all sorts who recognize that moment. And sometimes music helps to spur on that capturing...."Love and Affection" by Joan Armatrading is one of those songs. First time I heard it (way back in the 1970s...), I found I could 'really dance' .... though it was surely not me doing the dancing! - Beth Almond Ford

Monday, August 1, 2016

Episode 22 - The Importance of Post Offices

Elizabeth's Pizza in Patrick Springs, Virginia

Beautiful little dishes with vintage style insect prints from Mattie B's.
Mattie B's Shop in Stuart, Virginia
Home Comforts, also in Stuart

Reynolds Homestead activities

Floydfest

A Little Sweet...
Completed Reyna Shawl, made with Unplanned Peacock Peacock Sock yarn in colorway Gummi Shark

Reyna shawl (picture) made with Unplanned Peacock Gummi Shark

Binding off

Zick Zack Scarf by Christy Kamm made with Queensland Collection Uluru cotton blend yarn
Chinese Tile Fail

Three loop knitting ring by ItsVera on etsy.

Silverleaf by Lisa Hannes  Most popular pattern on Ravelry this week and it is beautiful! 
A Little tart...

Discontinued post offices in the Meadows of Dan area and Hemlock, West Virginia.

Discontiued post offices Virginia at Scraps of American history.

A Little Unexpected...

"Why I live at the P. O." by Eudora Welty. Inspired by a photo she took of a woman ironing in back of the post office.  Photos by Welty.

Quotes by Eudora Welty:

"A great snapshot keeps a moment from running away."

"We are the breakers of our own hearts."

"It doesn't matter if it takes a long time getting there; the point is to have a destination."

"The excursion is the same when you go looking for your sorrow and when you go looking for your joy."

"Never think you've seen the last of anything."

Genetics may influence why we are liberal or conservative in politics.



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Thoughts - August 1, 2016

"Feel, he told himself, feel, feel, feel. Even if what you feel is pain, only let yourself feel.”
― P.D. James, The Children of Men.
I am a big fan of Ms. James' mystery stories. Her quote this morning is appropriate for the program we're doing at work this morning - a challenge course with educators. Feel and think and do....and ponder the whys. We don't always allow ourselves to feel, fear of the pain and possible heart break, I guess. But it's difficult to love one's neighbor or one's self without empathy. Professionals in the medical field, nurses especially, are often told to be careful of feeling too much. I learned to 'click' my brain and go into "nurse-mode" and basically go numb. Sometimes it was very necessary to do that very thing. Sometimes it became too callous. I do know what it feels like to click that switch. Sometimes I need to remind myself to turn it back on. - Beth Almond Ford