Dec 31, 2010

A New Year to Endear

Hello Everyone!

As I close out the year and about to start a brand new one, I had to stop by and wish you all the all mean so much to me.

Below are some photos that I quickly took and made into a few gifts for a few friends this Christmas. The little tree was given to me by my friend, Renee, who has a little home to die for. It is one of many goals of mine to photograph it this year. When I received her little tree, the night before I flew out to NYC, it was love at first sight.

When I returned, I adorned it with some of my beloved little time pieces and took some snaps and framed a photo of it for her. This was about all I could conjure up for the holiday season as I had some things to deal with when I returned from New York such as surgery and a horrible migraine that lasted days, hence the lack of exciting updates on my part, but my book signing in NYC went so well and I had such a blast (and honor) meeting so many wonderful people that I can't wait to share. I find having my life disrupted as such is extremely hard to accept, but I am learning the signs and learning to accept that I have to take care of myself first and then just move on. I definitely don't like it, but my barber husband is pretty adamant when he sees me trying to take on too much after a serious migraine, but I can't wait to share!

However, in the meantime, I am sharing with you some of my little holiday photos and why I really took them and what they meant to me and share my thoughts as we all close our year together. And, I will start my year 2011 by happily sharing all the wonderful things that I have done and some let you in on some plans for the new year as well.

So for now, please enjoy my little photo fun day I had recently.  I call this photo essay:

It is All How You Look at It

We all have heard that having a different perspective on life or changing a point of view can make one's world seem better or different - that isn't a new concept. But what I have found in my own experience is that when I want to change my perspective, I tend to just move my eyes or head to get a different view on things to figure things out, instead of looking just straight on.

Over time, with lots of practice (of hardships and experiences), I slowly learned that moving ones' eyes around or turning one's head does help, but actually getting up and shifting is even better. Viewing a problem, or even an issue that isn't so much a problem, but rather a decision to make, is all the more clearer by actually getting up and moving around the issue, instead of staring straight into it. Some might see it as avoiding, but I see it from another perspective. 

How many times have we all had a decision to make and like the wise women we are, we do our research, ask others for advice, and studied it to death before we made a move? Do you see the irony of the last question? "Before we made a move?" "Moving" is actually one of the first things that we ought to consider....

By moving ourselves, we are actually "removing" ourselves from the issue at hand. We are allowing ourselves to step back and let it be. We aren't forcing. We aren't changing. We are just "being" by moving. Sort of an oxymoron if you think about. "Moving so we can remain being."

Suddenly, what we thought we saw, we didn't really see at all. And what we thought was clear, really wasn't so clear at all. But we do begin to see things that were there along and never even noticed....

Suddenly, the issue isn't so much an issue anymore to be tackled or afraid of. The worry turns into action. The answers start to come, even if the answers aren't the ones we wanted, there is a relief that we found some answers (any answers) because we know we are smart enough to deal with them and work with it. But mainly, we are seeing a clearer picture...

And here is the miraculous thing of all: Once we find ourselves working with the answers, even though we don't like the answers, we start coming up with ideas. Ideas that will work. New ideas. Fresh ideas. Ideas we would have never even thought of because we were forced to create them only because we had to work with the unwanted answers that were given to us. Answers we would have never chosen...

And soon, we forget how much we hated those answers and start working on creative solutions...

And with our creative, loving, determined spirit, we press on,  designing a one-of-a-kind solutions from rubble of a problem, a real life issue, a life circumstance thrown our way...not welcomed, unwanted, and never planned. And yet....

By moving out of the problem's way, and just "being" we can almost surely begin to see that all problems have an answer, even if we don't like the answer. 

And I have found that for me personally, when I just let it all go to someone much more powerful than me....when I give my worries and problems to Christ, He shows me something.....if you look closely will see it too.... 

He shows me that all along He was always there in me. See the reflection of the timepiece in the silver creamer? It was there all along, I really didn't notice it until I downloaded the photo. See the reflection of the timepiece's back in the mirror? Same thing. And see the reflection of the creamer is in the mirror as well? The timepiece is leaning on the silver creamer for support. We always have the answers in us, we just need to get out of our own way and ask for help. That's my goal this year, to get out of my own way.

I am betting most people found this old, cracked, worn mirror as beautiful, as I did. And yet, that is so much like our lives - cracked, worn, and yet full of beauty. And the funny thing is the cracks, the worn spots, and chips that make this mirror so beautiful in the first place! Had I used a shiny, new mirror for the photo, you would be saying, "Elizabeth! What are you doing? Why a new, shiny mirror?" Exactly. Why new? Why perfect? And why do we put those demands on ourselves personally? I know I find myself doing that, and yet, I go grab "the pretty, perfect mirror with cracks..." makes no sense...I'm senseless...another crack. Guess that is good!

So this new year, I am hoping to rely more on the beauty of experience, the Power of above to help me, and to be open to creativity that comes with it. What a gift! And I hope my life will reflect back all that I have done, accomplished, loved, and shared. And while the price for loving, giving, sharing, and sticking our necks out, can be hurt, pain, disappointment and sadness, it is these unwanted responses that help us to continue to create fresh, new ideas that we all continue to share with one another. This will be a year to endear, no endure.

May your New Year be filled with small discoveries that lead to creative joys that are shared in a world in which cracked and worn mirrors truly reflect the real beauty that surrounds us.

I am truly, truly honored to be included among so many loving and creative women. 

from my house to your house,


Dec 8, 2010

Birthday, Big City, Book Signing...Oh My!

Premier Issue now on stands of Where Women Cook!

Hello Everyone!

I had planned on catching everyone up with photos and news, but I am short on time this evening. My barber husband surprised me very recently with a trip to NYC for my birthday this weekend! Funny thing is, he isn't going with me...he is "sending me away" for my present to be with my theater friend, Bob, who was commissioned to write a play and it is performing in Philadelphia. And as my barber husband said, "I can't keep up with you theater people, staying up all night long, night after night...I need my sleep!" 

But let me back up a bit.

This coming weekend is also more then visiting my college/theater buddy, Bob. (For those with good memories, you will remember that Bob flew to St. Louis last year, as a surprise for my birthday and was waiting for me at the barbershop. You can read about it here.) 

It also just so happens that  Where Women Cook is launching a book signing party at Chelsea Market in NYC on Dec 10th. I fly in on the 9th! In case I haven't mentioned Where Women Cook...let me do so now...

WWCook is a NEW publication that is due out, this week, I believe. It is a take off of Where Women Create. And yes, I am very honored to be in the first issue - in fact, I am the first story. But don't let that discourage you from buying it...there really are for real cooks, chefs, and famous people. :-) On the cover is the Pioneer Woman - I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I flew out to her ranch and photographed her feature for this issue along with Fancy Farm Girl, Tiffany. I also took the photos of the feature of Joy Stinger, a bee keeper here in town...isn't that a hoot? Her last name really is "Stinger" and she is a bee keeper! Below are a few sneak peeks of her photos - and don't let her age fool you. She has more energy than me and very sharp mind. I love her!

Jo invited me to attend and so I will be at the book launch this Friday, in NYC along with many others, including Tiffany, Ree Drummond, Jo Packham and lots of other fab women. There is a great set up in the market (which is also featured in the issue) with vintage and custom made aprons - more on that later.

These are two of the pages of my feature in Where Women Cook. My story is a love story that involves a bald barber, a crepe pan, a kitchen renovation, and a delicious crepe recipe!

I am very excited about it and very honored to be a part of the launch party. I won't be able to stay long, as I will have to leave early to drive down to Philly with Bob to see his play. But I hope I get a chance to meet some of you who may be there. I hear it will be a fantastic party. I will take lots of photos! But, I don't want to disappoint my friend Bob, so I will leave early to attend his first commissioned play. It is about Ben Franklin. Descendants of Ben Franklin will be in attendance as well. 

And as a topper, on Thursday night, the evening I arrive, Bob is having a reading of another play he wrote and has asked me to read a scene with another actress for his playwriting class and an audience. I am very honored and haven't been on stage in quite a while. What is so neat about this is that I can finally say I have "performed on a NYC stage" and that it is Bob who is directing. That is neat because back in college, it was I who directed Bob in a play and I was in Bob's very play he ever wrote way back when.

We have now come full circle.

But what are the chances that both Bob and I should both have such big writing events in our careers happen on the same weekend, and that we both can be together to celebrate them? We both decided that it wasn't an accident. He has been writing for so long, and now he is getting paid to do so, and so am I. And now we are both getting a little recognition for it and it feels good to celebrate with someone who truly understands the hard, hard work, and all that is done for free, just to get where we are.

It will be a very special birthday, and I owe it all to my barber husband. Little did he know that when he decided to "send me away" (sounds a little dubious when I type it out, now that I think about it... :-) that he was sending me away for a really great birthday where I get to sign a few books, meet some neat people, read on a NYC stage (I don't care how small it is, because technically, if there is a floor, it is a stage, and it is in NYC), and I get to see my best friend's first commissioned play.

I do wish my barber husband was coming, but truth be told, we both know he would be happier being home, watching movies very loud (an issue of volume control between us) and sitting in his pj's eating hostess cupcakes. And I would be very happy not worrying how tired he is getting with me and Bob staying up late at a diner in NYC yakking over every detail of every scene and then walking to his apartment on upper east side and staying up later still, yakking over our Magnolia cupcakes (a New York must) wondering how the scene could have been done differently, all the while, barber husband wishing he had his straight razor so he could cut his own throat (or ours).

So, I need to pack, get some things ready, and how I wish I could still catch you up on some things, but right now, I don't have time.

I miss chatting with you all - but when I get back, I guess I will have even more to chat about.

Thank you again for allowing me to share my life with you. It means a lot to me. And I think that is what it comes down to really: sharing your life with someone. Like my barber husband sharing me with my best friend, Bob. And Bob and I sharing our lives with each other. And when I get back I will share my weekend with you. 

It is the sharing of experiences that allow us to remain human, I think. Without the sharing, we would eventually turn into hoarders. And what do hoarders do? They keep for themselves. It's not that they don't want to share, they are just simply afraid that if they give, they will have less. That is like trying to hoard the sunshine by letting it in the window, then quickly shutting the shade to "keep it" in the house so it doesn't get out. And what do you have instead? Darkness. The sunshine still shines - on the outside. You can't hoard it for yourself. That is how life experiences are...keeping them to yourself only makes them less. Sharing them with others makes the experiences all the more brighter for yourself and for others. Like sunshine.

Make sense?

In other words....sharing your life with others only makes your life more fun to live.

And speaking of sharing...below is a photo that I wanted to share last post, it is from our anniversary trip at a beautiful B and B...more on that later. But in the mean can only imagine the story behind the photo and you can imagine how thankful your husbands are at this very moment as they look over your shoulder and feel sorry for my poor husband who is victim to my camera at every turn...but I love him...rubber ducky and all...

I know, I know, he is going to kill me when he wakes up and sees this tomorrow...but look at his can tell I caught him having fun in the jacuzzi... now isn't that something fun to share?

from my house to your house,

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