Thursday, January 26, 2012
Jeff picked me up at the airport and we headed straight to a "new to us " Chinese place in Greensboro.
We both had to laugh at my fortune cookie---
It seems even the fortunes are making fun of the fact that I've turned 50!
I wasn’t able to even able to CHECK for comments to yesterday’s post until I was back to my digs after last night’s lecture and trunk show! What a full day!
It was really interesting to read the comments, and to hear people’s thoughts. I do think it is all about BALANCE, as is everything else in our lives. And --- I was so encouraged to hear that kids ARE still playing and imagining in many ways ---we can’t turn our backs on technology, but we can’t abuse it either. Again, balance!
Also – I think I don’t SEE it as much because my kids ARE grown – and all the commercials on TV are of course trying to promote something, to sell something, commercialism wise --- and we know that imagination doesn’t require all that stuff…….so it isn’t something that is seen as still alive and well unless you work with children every day.
Never fear, imagination IS still alive and well in many children’s lives and I am SO grateful!
I’m also grateful for the kind of day where I could have just a BIT of time in between a My Blue Heaven workshop --- and my lecture --- to experience a bit of the best that Florida has to offer! And it doesn’t require a pass to a “Magic Kingdom” for me to entertain myself either!
Say hello to the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast of Florida! It was a beautiful day --- and I was thinking about how different this ocean looks than the one on the OTHER coast. Was it really just a week ago that I left California? Holy Moly!
After our workshop, four of us wandered down to the beach, because I whined loud enough to make them understand that I can NOT leave Florida without at least spending a bit of time de-stressing by the water’s edge.
Beautiful sandy shores, and a few walkers out enjoying the last of the late afternoon sun. It’s about 5pm in this picture, shadows are long! But unfortunately we couldn’t stay and wait for the beautiful sunset that was soon to occur --- we had to get ourselves over to a guild meeting and get set up!
We grabbed a table at Sharkeys, a trendy little tourist spot, and delighted in the afternoon sun, tucked under the shade of our own awning. Don’t you love the bright colors of beach umbrellas? We ordered off the appetizer menu because no one wanted a big meal at just past 4pm --- but it would be too late to eat if we waited til after the meeting was packed up to eat something ---It was great chatting to each of the ladies and finding out what brought them to Florida, and what they “used” to do before they retired and threw themselves into a frenzy of quilt guild activity.
Sharkey’s sits at the end of the pier…and we had enough time after to go for a little bit of a walk down the pier --- watch the fisherman trying to get their bait out of the cooler to bait their hooks, all the while trying to keep it from the beaks of nosey birds who were sure the bait treats were just for THEM!
We watched this little fella for a long long time. If any other birds got near his territory, he’d puff up his tail and shoot those head feathers straight up, Mohawk style and raise quite a ruckus! He was such a character!
Here they’ve both got bait in their beaks…it should keep them busy for a while, but they just open up their beaks and swallow it down whole and expect more! I could watch the birds for hours…
I just love the shape of their necks! Wish I had been able to get a picture with his plumage all in a fuss!
I you have a chance to stop at Sharky’s --- it’s VERY nice, right on the beach and the pier, the food is great ---well worth a stop!
And while you are planning your trip to Sharkey's -- arrange it to coincide with a Venice Area Quilters Guild meeting --- you will be welcomed with open arms, and be treated to a wonderful time with some really great ladies and gentlemen!
I’ve got more pictures from the My Blue Heaven workshop to edit down, write the post and send it live to you as soon as I can. Too may photos to edit down before heading out this morning to catch my flight. So look for that maybe tomorrow ----I've got more to share!
I’m headed back to North Carolina!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
First off..a very special shout out to my son Jeff who turns 22 today! Happy Birthday, honey! LOVE YOU! :cD
Second off -
Yesterday was a Happy Scrappy Houses workshop with the Venice Area Quilter’s Guild of Venice, Florida!
And while I could talk about what we did in class, I’d rather talk about something else we found ourselves discussing and pondering and sharing stories of during our lunch break…because I’ve been thinking of it ever since!
We were talking about the difference between children today, and the children we raised ourselves when we became parents, and the children WE WERE when we were children and how times have changed. And then we thought back to what our parents told us about their own childhoods and how things were even more different back then ----Just within 4 generations, wow ---how have things changed!?
Well, obviously things are more computer-generated and electronic now than they have ever been – but the biggest thing we seemed to come up with is that children don’t seem as motivated or encouraged to play by PRETENDING as we were in previous generations.
Do kids still put on plays and want to act them out within neighborhoods anymore? Do little boys build forts and play Cowboys and Indians? Do little girls put on pretend dance recitals? I’m sure some still do, but more and more and more I’m seeing kids glued to TV’s and computer games ---What has happened to IMAGINATION!?
Imagination is SO IMPORTANT!
Neighborhoods are empty. Kids aren’t playing touch football or kick the can or things that were ever so popular growing up. They might have organized “TEAM” sports where they are on a soccer team, or a little league baseball team ---set days and times and practices appearing on the calendar like clockwork --- but do they really PLAY to PLAY?
I’m sure there are some who do. And maybe it’s just that I’m removed from what it is like to raise kids anymore – mine are grown ---but oh how I loved to imagine when I was little, and create, and dream, and play that story out however I wanted it to be….it wasn’t directed by any set response in a video game – if I wanted there to be unicorns, there were unicorns. With my imagination, I could make them green unicorns, or pink unicorns or whatever I wanted them to be. Our imaginations set us free – and taught us so many things.
One of our ladies, Pinkie, had recently retired from making puppets! Think back with me ---How many of you wanted the puppets that they had in the “Sound of Music?!
“High on a hill was a lonely goatherd, Layyeeeodle-Layeeodle Lay –hee whoooo!”
I wanted that whole puppet theater set! I asked for it for Christmas one year, the puppet set, the puppets, the one that played the tuba, the one that blew the foam off the beer --- but I didn’t get it. How many other kids secretly wished that they too had that really cool puppet theater?
Puppets were so fun to play with. We made them out of socks, out of paper bags, out of anything we could think of ((How many of you love the Fandango commercial at the movies and everything they made those paper bag puppets out of? I LOVED THEM!))
We put on puppet shows for the other neighbor kids and made up the stories as we went. What wonderful memories!
Pinkie ran and got us a couple of her puppets to see! These are cone puppets..and yep…the base is a cardboard thread cone! The dowel pushes the puppet up from inside the cone, and they can twist and dance and wave their arms…SO CUTE! They sold these as toys at craft fairs --- can you imagine the thousands of children who were encouraged to PRETEND and IMAGINE by the use of these puppets?
Could you resist these little faces? Adorable! So when you walk down the toy aisle at your local store --- are you seeing things that encourage imagination and play time --- or is everything digital and battery operated? I think it’s sad in a way. I love computers…don’t get me wrong, I’m on one several times in a day…..but I think we need more un-plugged play time! And so do our children.
And that play time is just what we got in our Happy Scrappy Houses class! We threw out the rules, we threw away the “you can’t use this with that” mentality of “matchy matchy” And we allowed our inner child to come out and we PLAYED!
If you want playful houses out of every kind of polka dot fabric, you can do that! If you want Halloween houses with ghosts and cats in the windows, you can do that! If you want to combine calicoes that you’ve saved since 1974 and combine them with a jelly roll from NOW – you can do that! If you want to put a flamingo in the window -- ((After all, it IS Florida!)) You can do that!
We had a great time as you can tell by the many whimsical house blocks above! Where would your imagination take you? You can make any house you want --- just use your imagination!
Come with me back to MY childhood…..oh how I loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory --- and how my imagination ran wild the first time I saw this movie!
Today is a My Blue Heaven workshop – and we’ll be making a creative mess again --- ALL. DAY. LONG!
Happy Wendesday, Everyone!