Being Rivendell

I have long been drawn to Rivendell, in the fictional land of Middle Earth. The dwelling place of Lord Elrond, the wisest of elves, Rivendell is a place of restoration and healing, joy and happiness, wisdom and beauty. It is a protected place, tucked into the Misty Mountains, where all may dwell in peace. 

Being Rivendell
For many years, I have desired to create such a place, an actual Rivendell, nestled on beautiful acreage with a river or lake, walking trails, cottages and an event center. At the core of this dream is the desire to create a sanctuary for the soul, a place where weary life travelers can rest, eat healthy food, walk in nature and find strength, healing and restoration for their bodies, hearts and spirits. My Rivendell would be just as protected as the elven realm, surrounded energetically by peace, love and joy. 

Being RivendellA scene from The Hobbit

Being RivendellMy own backyard Rivendell

In the years since that dream was born in my imagination, I’ve come to realize that my longing for Rivendell has found outward expressions through my creativity. My backyard paradise is a place of peace, joy and beauty. It is a protected space, where my heart and spirit can open and expand fully. 

And the vignettes that I love to assemble are another way of creating Rivendell. There is beauty in those arrangements, along with joy, repurposing, and connection to people through vintage items. The vignettes tell stories, offer hope and inspire. 

Being Rivendell
More recently, as I have journeyed onward and upward, learning, growing, shifting, releasing and opening, I have recognized that I AM Rivendell. That space of restoration, joy, peace and beauty starts within me and overflows through my heart, creating Rivendell around me. I am more and more aware that what I long to see in my external world, begins within me. My outer world is a reflection of my inner world. The desire I have for a place of peace and joy in the world, will only come forth from a place of peace and joy in me. 

Being Rivendell
This morning, I met with a client at a home. We are friends as well, although we have not been around each other for a while. After we toured the house, we stood outside in the crisp air and discussed real estate for a few minutes. As my client walked toward his car, he suddenly turned around and said, “You have such a beautiful, peaceful spirit around you.”  And he came to stand beside me, literally placing himself within my space. 

I don’t share this story to pat myself on the back. I share it because with my client, my friend, I got to offer Rivendell space, I got to be Rivendell. As a realtor, I walk with people as they buy or sell properties. However, there is more to it than that. Often they are buying or selling properties because of a shift in their lives. Sometimes they are happy changes…a marriage, a new baby, a better job. And sometimes, the reasons for the shift are less pleasant…a death, a divorce, an illness. In all circumstances, it is my desire to offer a space of peace and joy as I walk with my clients, a space where they can relax and breathe and just be. 

My client and I stood together and talked, not about real estate or the house, but about life, the journey, the challenges, and the opportunities for growth. He shared his heart with me, and allowed me to share mine with him. I was able to extend Rivendell space around us both, and in that sacred, protected space, there was peace, joy, hope and love. 

I don’t know if I will ever own the acreage with the river and walking trails through the woods, the cottages and plant based café, but that’s okay. Rivendell exists already. It’s in the garden in my backyard, and captured within the vignettes in my home. And it is within me, flowing outward, creating a space of peace and joy. 

I am Rivendell. 

Being Rivendell

Day 159: Apothecary Garden


When a window of opportunity opened this morning, meaning my area was in between storm fronts, I leapt through it. According to the weather app on my phone, I had 2-3 hours before the next rain shower arrived. My first for today was to plant an apothecary garden.

This section of my garden evolved over the past few months. I had intentions of creating an herb garden. As I read about apothecary gardens, that intention morphed. Essentially, they are herb gardens, with a few additional plants that are useful for healing. As with the other sections in my backyard, this will be a garden in process that will continue to grow and adapt over the next few years.

The quiet and fragrant beauty of an apothecary garden and the peaceful activity of caring for it can be healing in itself. The purpose of such a garden is to deliver a healing harvest useful for teas, decoctions, salves and tinctures. I also use dried herbs and flowers to make my own potpourri and bath products. I am very interested in continuing to learn to use herbs and flowers to create other health and beauty products.

The first healers were herbalists and the first medicines plants. The apothecary garden is steeped in history. These gardens were first grown in the Middle Ages and cared for by monks who studied plants and their therapeutic uses. In later centuries, physicians maintained their own healing gardens and stillrooms for growing and preparing botanical medicines.

Today, I planted an assortment of herbs in my apothecary garden. I included Platinum Blonde Lavender and Silver Anouk Lavender, East Friesland Sage, Russian Sage, and Garden Sage, Peppermint, German Thyme, Greek Oregano, Garlic, Lemon Grass and Lemon Balm, and the Basils: Cinnamon, Purple, Spicy Globe, Sweet and Thai. There are several other plants I’m searching for, including calendula, feverfew, German Chamomile, comfrey, Apothecary rose and sweet violet. I’ll add a container of aloe. It can’t survive the cold, so must winter indoors. There is an empty space between the purple sage and the silver lavender that is saved for a large black cast iron kettle that Greg’s dad is giving me. I’m excited to bring that home and plant more herbs and flowers within it.

I loved creating this space today. The rain arrived before I finished and I spent the last two hours in a gentle shower. That was okay. The rain and I are friends, after all. Greg was a tremendous help, using his truck to bring in two loads of mulch. He removed grass from the section I was planting in and spread the mulch after carting it into the backyard with a wheelbarrow. Until the rain started, the cats cavorted about, checking out each new plant.

I left my contact lenses out this morning, which meant I could see well close up, but not at distances. That had the beautiful effect of bringing my vision to what was immediately before me. The world beyond my fences blurred out and could not claim my attention. What I focused on was digging in the rich moist dirt and setting the plants into the earth, envisioning what they would become, but willing to journey with them over the next months and years as they mature and fill in their allotted space. With water and sunshine, these herbs and flowers will become what they are so wonderfully created to be, offering their beauty, scent, leaves and blooms freely to me. What an amazing shared journey it will be.


Day 92: Teavana


I love tea, especially hot tea. I have English ancestry, which must be why I enjoy it so.  During the past five years, I’ve begun to use loose leaf tea over tea bags. I like blending my own, using a mix of herbs, dried flowers, dried berries and green tea leaves. I use a metal tea ball to contain the mixture while it steeps in my white porcelain teapot. When my friend, and Keller Williams colleague, Janet, told me about Teavana, I looked forward to visiting for a first. This afternoon, I got that chance.

Teavana is an inviting little shop located in the Battlefield Mall in Springfield, MO. The aroma of freshly brewed tea wafted out as Greg and I approached the entrance. We were greeted by a friendly sales associate who offered us several samples of hot and cold tea. All were delicious! The front part of the store was filled with an assortment of teapots, cups, kettles, teamakers and infusers. Someday I’d love to own a Japanese cast iron tea service. But today, my focus was on Teavana’s high quality loose leaf tea.

Behind the back counter were huge tins with a variety of green, white, Oolong, black, maté, and Rooibos teas and herbal infusions. Ahhhh…..the delicate scents filled the air as the associate removed the tin’s lids and stirred the air. I had a difficult time choosing, so I bought several kinds including Blueberry Bliss, a fragrant blend of blueberries, grapes, black currants, hibiscus flowers and green rooibos tea. Perfection. I also purchased a pineapple blend, a raspberry-lemon maté, and high grade black, green and Oolong teas. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

After I arrived back home, I did research on the company. Founded in 1997, Teavana believes in the importance of a life well lived. Centered on the philosophy that balance, meaningful experience and everyday luxuries are essential elements of such a life, Teavana desired to create a place where people could step back from the frantic pace of the world and enjoy fresh, high quality tea. They take tea seriously and they are passionate about the entire sensory experience found in a good cup of tea.

Teavana’s philosophy and mission are so in line with what I desire to offer, through my dream called Rivendell. I understand why I was drawn to this company, and even why I am drawn to tea as well. It goes beyond being a refreshing beverage. Preparing an aromatic cup of tea, sharing that tea with a friend or loved one, involves heart, simplicity and ritual, all of which are important to me. I am looking forward to my backyard garden renovation being completed, which will signal the launch of the Rivendell experience. I am, literally, creating Rivendell in my own backyard, initially. I envision sharing this space in myriad ways with guests. As part of the experience, there will be freshly brewed tea offered. I believe I have found my source for the tea. Teavana and Rivendell….what a beautiful partnership!



Day 52: Tagline for Rivendell of the Ozarks


If you know me at all, you know I am a huge fan of JRR Tolkien. His writings have greatly influenced my life. And the recent Peter Jackson movie adaptations of Lord of the Rings and now The Hobbit have brought those stories to life for me. There are many life lessons contained within the books and the films. About 12 years ago, a vision was born in me. I longed to create a place much like Rivendell in Tolkien’s stories, and invite people to stay there for a time, disconnecting from the busyness of their lives and reconnecting with who they really are.  Rivendell would be a place to rest, heal, reflect, and be restored, surrounded by beauty, nature and a peaceful, joyful atmosphere.

I’ve carried that dream for many years. And then two years ago, I realized that Rivendell is a reflection of me. I am Rivendell. What I hoped to offer someday, I can offer now. I don’t have the wooded acreage and the cottages and the trails to explore, yet. But I can create space, now, that allows others to discover who they are. I can offer out of my heart all that I long to offer someday in a place called Rivendell. More specifically, Rivendell of the Ozarks.

Today’s first is a stepping stone from where I am, to where I want to be. There are many planned firsts this year that will help my dream take shape. Today, I created a tagline for Rivendell of the Ozarks. This seems like a very simple task, and in some ways, it is. And yet I’ve thought about it all day! Before I create a logo, I wanted to consider what I am offering, and how that can be expanded upon. So the words are important to me.

Here is my tagline:

Rivendell of the Ozarks

Relax  Reflect  Refresh

Much thinking….for those three words. However, I am laying a foundation that must be solid for that which will be built upon it. Those words capture the essence of what I want to offer in the future, and what I offer now.

I have a quote about Rivendell in my office. There is a phrase contained within it that states, “Rivendell is a haven of light…” Rivendell of the Ozarks is my light, and my gift, that I shine outward into the world.