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Week three celebrations are done and week four is underway. The celebrations for week two felt challenging and definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. This week, with a major holiday imminent, the activities were perfect…fun, playful and quickly carried out.
Check out this post, for an overview of how I am celebrating as I approach my 62nd birthday in January . And then scroll down to see which activities I drew out of the jar this week.
Week Three Celebrations
As a reminder, I wrote 62 activities on slips of paper. I folded those papers up and dropped them into a jar. Every morning I draw out an activity and do what is written on the paper. I love this game, trusting that the activity I randomly select is the perfect one for that particular day. This is a game that I play frequently, for various reasons. My trust and playfulness have both deepened greatly as a result.
Here we go…week three.
Drive to Scotland…Missouri
I’ve lived in Joplin for almost 39 years. Many times I’ve driven by a sign on East 7th Street with the word SCOTLAND printed on it. I have Scottish ancestry and I dearly love that country. And yet, I’ve never driven down that side road to see where it goes.
Scotland, Missouri is an unincorporated community located near Joplin. The post office opened in 1873 and operated until 1903. I didn’t know if anything existed still, in this tiny community. Drawing that slip of paper meant a short trip to discover what, if anything, remained in Scotland, Missouri.
The sun neared the western horizon as Greg and I drove east out of Joplin. I literally had minutes to get to the community before darkness fell. To my delight, a small cluster of houses occupies that space. The post office is long gone, however there are several streets laid out in a simple grid pattern. Woods encroach on one side of town and pastures surround the rest of the community. There is one business at the far edge of the little town, a trucking company.
I can officially say that I have driven to Scotland! I didn’t see coos or sheep, but three horses dwell peacefully in one of the pastures.
Listen to Music from a Different Country
This was one of two music related activities that I drew for week two celebrations. The country of Brazil immediately came to mind. I love Google. Typing in Brazilian music brought up a list of musicians and bands from that country.
On YouTube I listed to Michel Telo. Michel is a Brazilian singer, songwriter and actor. He’s been the lead singer in various bands, including Grupo Tradicao and has a solo career now. Michel’s biggest national and international hit is “Ai Se Eu Te Pego”, which happened to be the first song of his that I listened to.
Find a Role Model Who is Doing What I Want to Do
Meet the Accidental Icon. Lyn Slater is a professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Services. She started a style blog in 2014 after not finding one that offered an “urban, modern, intellectual aesthetic”. Her intention was not to become an icon. However, her fresh voice on fashion, politics, society and the world draws followers…and companies…to her.
What I find most encouraging about Lyn is her authenticity…and her age. She is 65 and discovering new adventures and opportunities every day. Just by being herself she encourages me to do the same. Lyn advises women to do the work they need to do, so that they are okay with being who they are, and to focus on the content they create.
Check out the Accidental Icon Blog.
Lyn Slater, the Accidental Icon. Photo by Calvin August Lom.
Listen to a New Genre of Music
At first I thought I’d find it difficult to listen to a genre that is new to me. However, I discovered there are more than 50 genres of music! I chose House Music.
This genre of electronic dance music was created in the 1980s by disc jockeys and music producers from Chicago’s underground club culture. DJs altered disco dance tracks to give them more mechanical beats and deeper basslines. They began to mix in synth pop, rap, Latin music and jazz into their tracks as well.
The genre expanded internationally to London and to major US cities such as New York City and Detroit. Over the years numerous subgenres developed. Today House Music remains popular on radio and in clubs.
Leave Encouraging Sticky Notes Around Town
My granddaughter Aubrey helped with this day’s activity. In fact, I supplied the sticky notes and a pen and she busied herself writing all the notes. In a few minutes Aubrey created a pile of encouraging notes with saying such as You Can Change the World and Don’t Give Up and Follow Your Dreams.
We had errands to run and a family dinner that evening. As we visited different locations, Aubrey and I left behind encouraging sticky notes. It was a fun shared activity! I hope we brought joy to the recipients.
Research a Topic I’ve Never Researched Before
When I selected this activity out of the jar, the first topic that came to mind involved water. In the new Frozen movie, a plot point involves water memory. Does water really retain memory?
I decided to research it.
Water memory is the purported ability of water to retain a memory of substances previously dissolved in it, even after repeated dilutions leave no molecules of the original substance. It’s an intriguing theory initiated 31 years ago by French immunologist Jacques Benveniste. The scientific community does not accept Benveniste’s findings, which have been duplicated occasionally, but not consistently, since his initial claims that water does retain memory.
Water is fascinating. It can occupy three states…liquid, solid and gaseous. Water is essential for all life on Earth. Japanese author Masaru Emoto demonstrated that human consciousness affects water molecules. And Professor Bernd Kroeplin at Aerospace institute in Germany discovered that an image of a flower remained in drops of water, after the flower was immersed in a container of water. He studies the drops of water on slides under a dark field microscope.
I intend to do more research on this interesting topic.
Check out an interview with Kropelin HERE.
Make a Heart Ornament for Christmas
For many years I’ve purchased a heart shaped ornament every December, to place on my Christmas tree. The ornaments remind me of the importance of my own heart and how necessary it is for me to keep it open and whole.
I was excited to draw this activity yesterday, until I realized that none of the craft stores were open on Thanksgiving Day. My choices for materials were limited to what I had on hand at home. Chatting with my daughters about my dilemma, Elissa suggested I make one out of a vintage handkerchief. What a brilliant idea! I have at least a dozen vintage hankies that belonged to my grandmothers and to Greg’s mom.
Looking through my collection later, I found a very delicate handkerchief that belonged to Leta Moore. To my delight, it even has a Christmas motif, with bells and holly embroidered on it. The thin material and embroidery gave me pause though. I’d have one chance to create a heart ornament from this keepsake. And the thought of cutting into the silky material bothered me.
Greg came to my rescue. He brought me a stack of white handkerchiefs that his father never used. I felt relief. I now had plenty of material to use. I’ll save the Christmas hankie to use in another way.
Making the Ornament
To make the ornament I drew a heart shape on card stock, cut it out and traced it onto the handkerchief, tucking the point of the heart into a corner of the folded hankie. After cutting out the heart, I pinned the edges together, adding a loop of narrow silver and white ribbon to serve as a hanger.
I’m grateful Granny Grace taught me hand sewing as a child. It didn’t take long to sew around the edges, right sides together, leaving a small opening to turn the heart right side out. The rest of the handkerchief became the stuffing for the ornament. I cut the material into narrow strips and stuffed them into the heart, then sewed up the opening.
Finally, I tied strands of white, purple and turquoise ribbon around the loop hanger. It turned out so cute! I love my heart ornament for this year.
A Week of Play
I loved the playfulness during week three celebrations. Curiosity led me to new discoveries and my creative side got to play. My granddaughter joined in and we had fun doing an activity together.
Fall decor is coming down and I’m ready to transform my home into a Christmas wonderland. I’m excited to see which activities show up, as December arrives.
Check out Masaru Emoto’s book on water:
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