Summer Scavenger Hunt

I spent this hot and muggy day with three of my grandchildren. I had a creative plan. I brought along paints and brushes and colored markers and a pile of river rocks. Our intention was to join the latest artistic craze by painting the rocks, and hiding them in the Joplin and Carthage areas. 

It was a fun idea. However, the high temps and humidity made being outdoors for any length of time unpleasant. If I have learned one thing these past three and a half years, it is to let go of expectations and outcomes and go with the flow. If a planned activity doesn’t work out, something else always comes along. 

That was the case today. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt
Inspiration came unexpectedly as the kids and I watched a humorous YouTube program. Three young adult men went on a city wide scavenger hunt. They gave themselves three hours to locate nine items they selected. Included in the mix was a selfie with a baby, an expensive sports car and a specific brand of shoes. It was a fun, well done show. And suddenly, a scavenger hunt seemed liked the ideal creative adventure for the day. 

Joey, Oliver and Aubrey each came up with six items to include on our scavenger hunt list. I wrote down their suggestions on strips of paper, folded them up and dropped them into a bowl. The kids took turns selecting three items each, giving us a list of nine treasures to look for. 

We drove to Joplin for lunch and visits to the library and the mall, our scavenger hunt list in hand. The rules were to locate each item, take a photo, and cross it off the list. We had an eclectic mix of easily found objects, such as a watch, very specific items, like a 1980s Ford Mustang, and more challenging quests like taking a selfie with someone we didn’t know. 

Here’s how we did:

1. Lemur – This animal proved to be impossible to locate in Joplin! We could have looked up a photo of one in a book at the library. Instead, we visited a pet store and took a pic of a white ferret. We named him Lemur. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt
2. 1980s Ford Mustang – We saw so many Mustangs as we drove to Joplin, all newer models. And then, at the intersection of 7th Street and Range Line, we spotted the older red Mustang. Perfect!

Summer Scavenger Hunt
3. Hover board – This fun looking mode of transportation was found at a remote control shop at the mall. $200 will get you one!

Summer Scavenger Hunt
4. Selfie with a Random Person – Oliver came up with this comfort zone busting item. We had an awesome waitress when we ate lunch at Chili’s. Heidi was attentive and friendly and the kids adored her. She was happy to snap a selfie with each child. The kids encouraged me to leave her a big tip, something I was happy to do. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt
5. A person wearing flip flops – Oliver spotted this person at lunch. He took a discreet photo of her foot, shooting over Papa’s hairy arm and around the straw in his water. Good job Ollie!

Summer Scavenger Hunt
6. A watch – The kids were so attentive and aware during our hunt. They saw this watch on the arm of the woman driving next to us. I kept pace with her truck so Joey could get a pic. Great shot Joey. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt

7. Pink hair on a person – I thought this one would be very difficult to find. Surprisingly, this gracious person showed up in my office…with pink hair. We stopped by the Keller Williams office so I could send out a contract and the kids were so excited to inform me that they had found a woman with pink hair. They asked permission to take her photo. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt

8. A bald person – This item on our list was much more challenging than I expected it to be. Aubrey added this one to the hunt and envisioned a man with a shaved head. We finally settled for partially bald. I laughed when I looked at the pic. It appears as if I was hiding behind a plant when I took the photo. I didn’t even notice the plant at the time. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt
9. Blue 4 door jeep – Aubrey was very specific about this item. And it was the first object spotted minutes after the hunt began. Good eye Aubrey! Unfortunately, we found this one so quickly that we didn’t have an iPhone camera ready. Thanks to teamwork and persistence, Joey saw another blue jeep in Joplin and caught it in a photo. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt
This was an incredibly fun way to spend the afternoon. The kids worked well together and stayed very present in the moment as they looked for items on the list. More than having fun though, the kids learned powerful lessons about how what we think about and dwell upon shows up in our lives. These were not all easy items to find. And yet, except for the lemur, they showed up rather quickly. 

One of the most amazing finds was struck from the original list. Joey had added a painted rock to the list, when we thought we might go by one of Joplin’s parks. After deciding it was too hot, he scratched that idea, exchanging the rock for a different object. 

Guess what Joey found inside the Joplin Public Library? Yes…a painted rock. What a great conversation starter that was. I failed to get a photo of the rock. However Joey still has it. We will re-hide it later with our rocks that we paint. 

Summer heat and summer fun and an adventure that we won’t forget. I look forward to more scavenger hunts and manifesting what we are searching for. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt

Design a Piece of Clothing

When I realized recently that the style of clothing that I am drawn to falls into the Bohemian range, I thought my desire to design my own clothes would fade away. Not so. I have found my thoughts returning to tops and dresses and wraps I’d like to design and wear. As I created a new version of the “draw a creative action” game last week, I included a slip of paper with these words printed in it:

Design a Piece of Clothing
This afternoon, I felt inspired to stir up the new slips of paper and draw one from the jar. I was already thinking about sketching some clothing ideas. This, then, was a way to see if my thoughts and the flow of life were in sync. I would let myself be guided, while holding a desire in my mind. 

I was playing. And as often happens, the Divine was delighted to play as well. 

I drew out the slip of paper with the creative action of designing and sketching a piece of clothing printed on it. Unlike last year, when I played this game, I don’t feel the need to complete the action in one day, since I am not selecting a new slip of paper each day. That decision gives me the freedom to take my time with the projects…as much time as I need. 

Design a Piece of Clothing
Design a Piece of Clothing
I have therefore divided this creative activity into two sections: designing and then sketching. Tonight I focused on the design aspect by creating an inspiration board. I got the idea from one of the books I purchased earlier this year. And I love the concept. In designing my own article of clothing, it helps to know what I am drawn to and what colors and patterns appeal to me. 

This first inspiration board is a collection of pieces from the J Peterman catalog. I like the classy casual styling of his clothing. I don’t want to duplicate Peterman’s style. I want to be inspired by it. I enjoyed browsing through a stack of Owner’s Manuals, as he calls them, cutting out the pieces and words that drew me. I was delighted that several of my selections had Italian influences. 

Design a Piece of Clothing
Design a Piece of Clothing
This was an extremely fun and satisfying activity for me tonight. I intend to create a second inspiration board featuring more Bohemian style clothing, which appeals to me strongly. With  those two boards to guide me, I’ll move on to actually sketching out my own desgins. I expect my style will fall somewhere in between classic casual and boho. I can call it Boho Casual…or Classy Bohemian. 

Or perhaps I will just call the look Cindy’s Style. 

I love the Ira Glass quote at the bottom of the page in the Secrets of Fashion Drawing book. “Great stories happen to those who can tell them.”  I am ready to tell my story through the creative outlet of fashion design. 

Design a Piece of Clothing

Spider Wisdom

I appreciate how even when I am not getting something immediately, the Divine keeps sending me messages. I have had a repetitive strand the last few days, that became more obvious today. And yet…I moved through my full day, asking what I should be paying attention to, asking how we should play, wondering what I would be writing about tonight. 

The images and thoughts that popped into my head were dismissed…until this afternoon when I suddenly realized how often I was encountering spiders, and spider webs. 

Spider Wisdom
Most people that I know dislike spiders, and a few are intensely frightened by them. Not me. I have always had a fascination and an appreciation for these little eight legged critters. In fact, as a child I used to claim a few of the garden varieties as pets, checking on them in their elaborate webs each day, tossing them flies, and talking to them as I watched them weave with gossamer threads. 

I have arachnid houses in my garden. I view the spiders as allies in reducing the number of harmful pests. The delicate white glass spider pictured above was a guest that I photographed as she rested among my lavender plants a couple of years ago. She was beautiful. This week I’ve been careful not to disturb spiders as I water in the garden, avoiding their intricate webs stretched across corners and clustered close to the ground among plants. 

Spider Wisdom
My awareness came up today, finally, after a little black jumping spider appeared in my car. He was harmless, but I started thinking about how frequently I was encountering his kind. A Facebook post from 2013 has appeared in my newsfeed for the last seven mornings, via the Memory Function. The accompanying photo features a spider web. 

Spider Wisdom

In that short piece I wrote about replacing fear with curiosity. “Fear stops you cold. Curiosity opens a way through,” I wrote. The words were true then…and they are true today. I decided to follow curiosity and research the symbolism around the spider. Because I don’t believe anything happens randomly, I wanted to see what message the spiders were bringing to me. 

I discovered that the spider is an important symbol in many cultures. I felt drawn to the Celtic stories about the spider. The Celts attribute three characteristics to the spider: The Bard is the Artist, the weaver of dreams and webs, The Ovate is the Seer, who brings fresh perspectives to life, and The Druid is the Teacher of wisdom. 

I can see those elements currently at work in my life. And I have a very strong intuition that I call my spider sense. It is like I have an invisible web extending around me, and when something brushes against that energy, I feel it. I pick up information about that person or event, energetically. However, this is not something new in my life. I have always possessed a spider sense. 

Spider Wisdom
What is this new awareness, that is so profound that it has literally smacked me in the face? A week ago, I was bit by a spider, on the chin. Missouri only has two poisonous spiders…the black widow and the brown recluse. I have both around my house. I’ve never been bitten by the black widow. I have been bitten many times by the brown recluse. Some people have a severe reaction to the venom of the recluse. My first bite took a year to recover from. However, I have built up a resistance to the venom. I can safely treat the bites at home without lasting ill effects. 

Except…this is my first bite on my face. And I should say bites, as I ended up with four distinct and painful bumps around my chin. I have not felt my best. And yet, I have healed, following my established protocol. Today the bites are almost gone and I feel much better. Although I will have my son-in-law the pest exterminator over to spray for them, I don’t resent the spiders. 

Spider Wisdom
Instead, I remained curious today, and open. What is spider telling me? What message is spider sharing by showing up so frequently in my life, and getting “in my face”?. 

These words from whatismyspiritanimal.com spoke strongly to me and answered my questions. 

Oh, Wild One. Because you’re here seeking the wisdom of Spider energy, magic, and medicine, it’s a sign your higher self is guiding you toward a deep understanding of your place and purpose in this life.

Each strand of Spider’s web connects to another, creating a whole, safe space in which you can feed your spirit. Spider knows, however, that anything worth doing is worth doing correctly. You cannot rush enlightenment. Reawakening your soul’s knowledge of the Great Mysteries can truly become a life-time’s pilgrimage.

Spider bears a message about light, darkness and the delicate balance between the two. We as humans sometimes forget there is a special beauty and power to the shadow self. By understanding that side of our being we come to embrace the light all the more fervently.

No one is perfect. Spider lets you examine your imperfections from a different perspective – one focused on creating transformation from within.

I love that message and I will take it to heart. I love that it begins, Oh, Wild One. I am feeling wild and free. I am expanding my creativity and my spirituality and my spider sense. I am becoming more aware and creating transformation from within. I am feeling connected to the spirit world. I am grateful for all the messages that the Divine sends to me and all the ways those messages arrive. 

Today, I am hearing from Spider and learning deep truths that will guide me and acquiring immense wisdom. May I continue to be an apt student. 

Spider Wisdom

Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

For months, I have had this 2016 movie in my Watch List on Amazon Prime, at the recommendation of my  daughter Elissa. She not only enjoys films, like I do, she has a good idea of what I will like and appreciate in a movie. Late this afternoon, I pulled up this based on a true story film. I woke up this morning, saying the word “Fey”. It was time to watch the movie. 

Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot stars Tina Fey, Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Molina, Christopher Abbott, Stephen Peacocke, and Nicholas Braun. This biographical comedy adventure was directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa and carries an R rating for language and sexual situations. The run time is 1 hour and 52 minutes. 

In 2006, Kim Baker (Fey), a New York copywriter with a desk job, accepts a three month assignment in Afghanistan, covering the war. Although an experienced journalist, she is not emotionally or physically prepared for the realities she finds in war torn Kabul. 

Kim has a team that accompanies her on all assignments, and includes a secuity man, Nic (Peacocke), Tall Brian (Braun), her cameraman, and Fahim (Abbott), her young and wise Afghan translator. She befriends Tanya Vanderpoel (Robbie), a correspondent from London, and Iain MacKelpie (Freeman), a Scottish photographer. 

Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Kim quickly learns how to thrive, based in Kabul and following the news, wherever interesting stories are unfolding. She is allowed to interview Marine General Hollanek (Thornton) and his men, and accompany them on patrol. And her direct, honest approach to people wins her friends in high places, such as Ali Sadiq (Molina), one of the most influential men in the country. 

When asked why she took the assignment in Afghanistan, Kim shares that her life was in a rut. She had a mediocre job, and a long relationship with an uninspiring man. She had ridden the same stationary bike for thousands of miles, and comparing that to her life, she realized one morning that she was going nowhere. It was time for dramatic change. 

Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

The three months stretches into years. Kim grows to love her new home and her colleagues and the Afghan people. She feels especially drawn to help the women, who are beginning to seek political and domestic change. However, the people back in the US have grown tired of war news from Afghanistan. Kim gets less and less airtime, which pushes her to take more risks to find bigger, better news stories. 

Kim must decide if there is a balance between pursuing the news and taking risks. And, what is the ultimate cost of risking it all? 

Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
I loved this fast paced film. Tina Fey was one of the producers, and she pursued the rights to the film after reading Kim Barker’s book, Taliban Shuffle, about her real life experiences in Afghanistan. Although liberally laced with humor, there was also a darker, underlying grittiness, due to the nature of the circumstances, that gave the movie a punch of reality. 

I am accustomed to Fey playing the comedian, but she excelled in this story of a woman discovering who she is and what she has to offer to the world. I admired her gutsiness and determination, and her willingness to move beyond her comfort zone and embrace change and growth. 

Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Kim Barker, on whom the movie is based. 

And, I appreciated the message that sometimes we can take a life lived beyond too far. Going after the adrenaline rush of bigger experiences, we can lose sight of the cause we are fighting for, even when the cause is greater personal growth. 

I am grateful my daughter recommended this movie. It is the kind of film that stays with me for a few days, while I ponder it and let it speak deeply to me. And, I can now recommend it as well. I give Whiskey Tango Foxtrot two thumbs up!

Movie Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

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Love, Laughter, Wine & Good Food

From the title, you might surmise that I have had a really good Monday! However, the reality is that I felt drawn back to the travel journal I am creating, after the recent trip to Italy. As I wrote about previously, I didn’t have time to journal the way I thought I would, during the trip. Instead, I decided to journal about the experience after the fact. 

I am appreciating how the acts of sketching and writing are allowing memories to surface. Like bubbles, they rise up and pop, surprising me and making me smile. 


On day two of our tour, we left Rome, and entered Tuscany. We stopped at the little medieval village of Lucca for lunch, and later enjoyed a wonderful tour and five course meal at a vineyard. As I flipped through photos on my phone today, I felt inspired to capture Dayan’s first Italian pizza in a sketch. I also drew the bell tower of Lucca, with the trees growing at the top, creating the illusion of hair. 

Although I would not learn about the significance of Italy’s bell towers until later in the trip, Lucca’s towers were the first to catch our attention and our interest. 

Love, Laughter, Wine & Good Food
We capped off our day at Fattoria Il Poggio, a Tuscan farm featuring vineyards and olive groves. What a magical evening. Our group dined al fresco, at long beautifully set tables under twinkling white lights. The wine and the food flowed freely. I learned that night that I would be fine, eating plant based in Italy. The food was marvelous. 

Love, Laughter, Wine & Good Food
As I wrote in my journal, I realized the true magic that wove itself through the evening involved relationships. That night, over a long and delightful dinner, strangers became family. Perhaps because of the wine, or the music, or the incredible beauty that surrounded us, 43 people bypassed the acquaintance and friendship stages and connected on deeper levels. 

We laughed, we sang, we danced, we dined on amazing local foods and drank wines created right there at the vineyard. We fell in love with Italy and ourselves and each other. 

The memories from that night warmed my heart and made me smile as I wrote in my journal. 

And then they jostled another memory, that sent me searching for a piece of paper. 

Love, Laughter, Wine & Good Food
My family! My Globus family! Judy and Chelsea and Hilda, Norm and Rohini… We all wrote our names and email addresses on a piece of paper labeled “Traveling Companions”. Let’s all stay in touch, we said. I’ll email you, I promised. 

I have not contacted my traveling companions, my new family, since I have been home. I found my paper with their names and email addresses. Perhaps this is why I was drawn to journal today. Perhaps this memory needed to surface. Regardless, I am grateful for the reminder that this day of the trip was full of so many good things, including gaining 41 new family members. 

I will begin emailing them tonight. It is time to catch up with my family! 

Love, Laughter, Wine & Good Food

Inspiration Starters

Lately I’ve recalled with fondness the month I spent last year randomly drawing creative actions out of a glass pitcher. I selected a folded slip of paper each day during the month of June, in 2016. Those activities were fun, and they not only revved up my creativity, they also deepened my trust in the Divine’s guidance in my life. 

This evening, after working most of the day, I was deciding what to write about when those folded slips of paper came to mind again. Yes. It was time to stop thinking about how much fun that exercise in creativity was, and take action again. 

Inspiration Starters
Of course, I changed the game up a bit. I cut 32 slips of paper and wrote out an inspirational activity on each one. Guided by this year’s theme of Inspiration, which includes Alan Rickman’s words about making life a bit more tender and art a bit more robust, and my greater health awareness, I chose to challenge myself. 

Inspiration Starters
Not every activity pushes me, but I attempted to come up with suggestions that take my creativity or compassion or health consciousness beyond where I am, currently. I included writing exercises…and challenges to submit my work for publication. Travel inspirations came to me along with designing, sketching and expressing tenderness in new ways. I won’t draw an activity every day. I’ll reach into my little ceramic jar, made by my younger daughter Adriel when she was a child, and “randomly” draw out a slip of paper when I feel drawn to. 

Last year this type of creative play formed the foundation for this year’s theme. I learned so much about myself, about how life works for me, and about the constant guidance I receive from the Divine. 

I am open to receive whatever comes from this experience this year…open and unattached to outcomes. The phrase I made up for these slips of paper seems apt. Fire starters are little pieces of wood that are soaked with a flammable solution that then ignites logs to create a bigger, hotter fire. May these inspiration starters ignite within me a creativity that burns brightly and feeds my artistic soul. 

Inspiration Starters

Happy Birthday Aunt June

This afternoon, members on the Lauderdale side of my family gathered to celebrate my Aunt June. She recently turned 82 years old. For the past five years, today’s party has been a joint celebration for Aunt June and her older brother, Rex, who both had July birthdays. Sadly, my uncle passed away earlier this year, making this afternoon’s gathering more poignant and even more precious. 

Happy Birthday Aunt June
My aunt is, in fact, the last surviving sibling in her family that at one time included my father and her twin sister, Jean. They were the six Lauderdales, children of my grandparents Dennis and Grace. One sister died in a tragic accident, as a toddler. I don’t think the family ever quite recovered from little Margaret’s death. My grandmother could not speak of her youngest child and my uncle always referred to her as “poor little feller”. My father was deeply impacted by the loss of his baby sister and carried a misplaced sense of guilt over her death his entire life. 

There was no sadness in my aunt today however, as we loved on her and sang happy birthday. This kind and sweet woman lives very much in the present moment. With age, her recent memories have begun to slip away or get tangled in her mind. And yet her spirit remains bright and pure, like a child’s. She is gracious and grateful, responding to affection with sweet hugs and kisses. 

Happy Birthday Aunt June
Happy Birthday Aunt June
I appreciate her children, my cousins Pam and Alan, continuing what has become a treasured family tradition. We decided years ago, as we gathered at another family member’s funeral to say goodbye, that we needed to honor the living while they yet lived. 

I am so glad that we put actions with that intention. Saying goodbye to Uncle Rex a few months ago, there were no regrets, no we should haves. I hope we have Aunt June here with us for many more years, to love and honor and celebrate. She is our beautiful Lauderdale matriarch. Her very presence inspires me to seize each moment and live it fully. 

Happy birthday, dear one. I love you! 

Happy Birthday Aunt June

Comfortable in My Own Skin 

It was a busy day today, in my real estate world…a full day in what has been a full week. As I was heading home this evening, my first thought was an early bedtime. My second thought was what to write about tonight. 

I checked the national holiday list. Nothing inspired me or was doable, until I saw this one:

                           National Nude Day 

I was amused by that one! And then I couldn’t get that national day out of my mind. This past spring I participated in Naked Gardening Day for the first time. Who knew there were multiple holidays that celebrate the natural human form? I had found my inspiration for the day. 

Comfortable in My Own Skin

It is interesting, the swirl of emotions around nudity. The exploitation of of women, men and children in the porn industry has skewed our views toward the human body in its natural state, which is a shame. And most definitely, people do need to be protected and cherished, rather than abused. 

I am thinking that self image and feelings of shame have more to do though with our discomfort in being naked. When we avert our eyes from our own image in the mirror after a shower, that isn’t modesty…that’s shame or self judgment. 

That’s the purpose behind this unusual holiday…to shed restrictions and beliefs along with clothes and appreciate the body au natural. 

Comfortable in My Own Skin
Comfortable in My Own Skin

While traveling in Italy, I noticed a vast difference in attitudes toward nudity. We were, quite literally, surrounded by nakedness there. Most of the sculptures and paintings that we viewed featured nude subjects so the artists’ work could be more easily seen and appreciated in the fine details of muscles and bone structures. It was an emotional experience to stand before the statue of David and see Michelangelo’s genius. Yes, David was naked…and also incredibly beautiful. The sculpture would not have the same impact if David stood before us in shepherd’s robes. At the beach in Monterosso, there were topless and nude sunbathers. Rather than being embarrassed, I loved the freedom expressed. 

I researched the health benefits of spending time sans clothing. They include:

• A better night’s sleep by reducing body temperature and restrictions caused by tight fitting pjs. 

• Smoother, healthier skin

• Increased body awareness 

• Absorption of vitamin D when nude sunbathing is practiced

• Lowering of shame and increased self image

Comfortable in My Own Skin
With all those benefits in mind, I was ready to celebrate National Nude Day. I chose to do so in my own home, in my room, with the blinds drawn. I lit candles and added Young Living Thieves Oil to the diffuser. I love that oil’s spicy scent. 

With my improved health and vitality this year, I have a renewed appreciation for my body. Is it perfect? No. Does it do the very best that it can? Yes! Even when I was not nourishing it with health giving, nutritious food, my body did its best. Now that I am caring for myself in the best possible way, it is responding beautifully with glowing skin and a more fit physique. 

I enjoyed relaxing in my bedroom tonight, au natural, reading and preparing for this blog post. And, I set up my camera for a little impromptu photo shoot. No worries. This post is entirely suitable for anyone to view. I had fun, though, reveling in my healthy body with some playful pics. 

And that, I think, was the best way to celebrate this holiday. Thoughtful research, a playful attitude and a spontaneous photo shoot were combined with sincere gratitude for my body. Happy National Nude Day!

Comfortable in My Own Skin

Wooden Pallet Boxes

I came home this afternoon to find a surprise waiting for me. Greg, who has been inspired lately to do some creating of his own, repurposed a seasoned wooden pallet into a couple of attractive boxes. I was thrilled with the result! 

Wooden Pallet Boxes
Because I enjoy creating vignettes, boxes are like picture frames to me. They frame a subject or a grouping, only in three dimensions instead of two, defining the objects within. These wonderful boxes that Greg made instantly sparked my imagination. 

As I completed the day’s work and watered the garden, my artistic self was sorting through ideas for using the boxes, and opening itself to inspiration. The rustic appeal of the aged wood drew me toward creating a very natural vignette. 

I found the foundational piece for the larger of the two boxes, in my backyard garden. 

Wooden Pallet Boxes
I have noticed a little volunteer plant growing cheerfully in a pot of begonias. It is a globe basil plant, named thus due to its compact, round shape. Although the leaves are smaller than a regular basil, it has the distinctive scent, which I love. 

As I watered the little plant, I suddenly could “see” it in its own little terra cotta pot, resting in the wooden box. These volunteer plants have inspired me greatly this summer. They are a testament to survival and resourcefulness. It has been at least two years since I had a globe basil plant in the herb garden., which accounts for my surprise when this aromatic herb showed up across the yard, in a flower pot full of annuals. With great care I tranferred the basil into its own clay pot. 

Wooden Pallet Boxes
I cleared a space in my bedroom, for the larger wooden box. The newly potted basil is my focal point. I gathered other natural elements to group with the plant, creating a simple homey vignette. 

A pinecone rests next to a small jar candle with a spicy scent. A carved stone incense burner sits atop a couple of books that repeat the colors of the terra cotta pot. I lit a charcoal brick and burned dried herbs from my garden. And finally a single seashell completes the look, its soft coral color complementing the darker rust hues. The conch shell symbolizes femininity and expansiveness.

I am pleased with how this nature inspired vignette turned out. And, I am grateful to be the recipient of these wooden pallet boxes. I already have ideas for the smaller box as well. Greg has a very artistic soul and a renewed desire to explore his creativity.  I am looking forward to seeing where inspiration leads him! 

Girls’ Movie Night

I’m posting briefly this evening, and late, because I am at a party…a grandmothers and granddaughters sleepover! The night kicked off with Aubrey and I meeting my sister Linda and her granddaughters, London and Aralyn, for dinner at the mall food court. 

After Chick Fil A meals, we settled in with the girls at the nearby theater for a showing of Despicable Me 3. 

Girls' Night at the Movies
This third installment in the Despicable Me franchise stars Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, and Nev Scharrel. The animated adventure film was directed by Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin and Eric Guillon, and has a run time of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Despicable Me 3 carries a PG rating, for action sequences and some rude humor. 

Gru (Carell) is back in this humorous adventure, now a devoted family man with a crime fighting wife Lucy (Wiig), and adopted daughters Margo (Cosgrove), Edith (Gaier) and Agnes (Scharrel). While adjusting to marriage and parenthood, Gru and Lucy suddenly lose their secret agent jobs. 

Girls' Night at the Movies
As they consider career options, Gru receives a surprising summons from an unexpected source. Gru learns that he has a twin brother Dru (Carell), and that the boys were separated as infants when their parents divorced. 

Dru is a mirror twin to his long lost brother, with opposing characteristics. He is cheerful, optimistic, emotionally expressive…and  he has a full head of hair! Not all is at it seems, however. Gru discovers the family secret, and he and his brother set off on a wild escapade against an evil foe named Balthazar (Parker), who is definitely stuck in the past! 

Girls' Night at the Movies
We all enjoyed this charming and hilarious film, featuring familiar characters, a new villain and those oh so lovable yellow minions. Since this was a girls’ night out, I asked everyone what they enjoyed most about Despicable Me 3. 

 London (age 7): I liked the part where Gru and Dru stole the diamond from Balthazar.  

Aubrey (age 8): The whole movie was fun…and I liked the last diamond scene too. 

Aralyn (age 3): I liked the big robot who said, “I’ve been a bad boy!”

Gigi (Linda): I liked when Gru lost his clothes and ended up wearing pink bubble gum and he floated by the birthday party where everyone was singing. 

Yaya (Cindy): I enjoyed the family relationships as stronger connections were formed…Gru and Lucy as a couple, Lucy learning to be a mom to the girls, and especially Dru and Gru as they forged a brotherly bond. 

Girls' Night at the Movies
As fun as Despicable Me 3 was, that was just the beginning of our girls’ night. Snacks were secured and pjs donned. Gigi and Aralyn have gone to bed. As I write, Aubrey and London are curled up on an inflatable mattress in the living room, whispering together and watching a DVD. A Dog’s Purpose has just started. I’ll watch the movie with them. Mostly though, I’ll enjoy watching these two cousins interact with each other as they discuss the movie, giggle and chat. 

It is definitely a girls’ movie night!

Girls' Night at the Movies