Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday Hit Picks

If you have the office "blues," maybe this arrangement will help you to see that all is not bad that is Blue!
Storage is an important feature of the desk, as well as the ottoman.  Comfort for the two side chairs.  Task lighting on top of the desk and a tall - yet almost invisible - white wire floor lamp. The blue four-tile art piece is reminiscent of Mexico, which makes me think of the warm beach and the soothing symphony of the ocean waves and...relaxing!  Did I mention I was going for calm, I am.  What mood would you pick for your "Office Haven Space?"  My hope is that this "Thursday Hit Picks" might inspire you how to make your space more calming by using neutrals with indigo/navy blues and greens. Or if that isn't your pick, make it pop with blues and coral or even yellow.  Enjoy your dream design journey! HSH 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Service to our Servicemen and Women This Memorial Day

I hope that you enjoyed my photographs of a thought provoking and touching war memorial that my hubby and I came across during a recent trip.  Yes, I know I am missing a sign from WW I,  and I do not know how that happened! My sincerest apologies.

Seeing these stone plaques got me thinking more deeply about the upcoming Memorial Day holiday and how I and perhaps many of us should be celebrating the weekend and specifically Monday.  So I jotted down a couple of ideas that came to mind that I hope may inspire you to express your gratitude to those who have given so much if not their all including leaving behind their own children, wife or husband, girlfriend or boyfriend, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and dear friends - to preserve freedom and peace at home and abroad.

Say "Thank You."
Sounds simple, yes, but it will mean so much.  About three years ago I called my uncle that served in the Army and told him how grateful I was for his service.  He was stunned at first, but I could tell how grateful he was for the call. If talking by telephone is not possible or a little uncomfortable, try jotting down a few thoughts of encouragement and gratitude in a card or letter and mail it to someone you know that has or is now serving.  These seemingly small gestures will give a lift to the spirit of those that receive them, if for no other reason than to realize that someone remembered them.

Secondly, check with a cemetery in your community that has grave stones of servicemen or women that could use a cleaning. What a kind expression.  And if you want to do more leave a flag or a flower. You will feel good inside.  If you have children, this would be a great opportunity to teach of the wonderful gift of service.  Service that that person gave for us and of the gift of service you can give in return.

I hope that you will have an especially happy Memorial Day surrounded by family and friends.  And please set some time aside to make it a memorable day for you and for some deserving serviceman.  Please, if you have ways that you serve these true American Hero's, won't you share them with us in the comments section. Until next time, enjoy the journey!  HSH

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Simple Pleasures: The Art of Being Neighborly

Happy Tuesday to You!

I subscribe to Houzz and receive their e mails twice weekly. This article reminded me of the time when I was a newly wed and was personally shown several thoughtful and much appreciated acts of neighborly kindness that eased my nervousness of being the "new kid on the block."  
When we moved into our neighborhood we were greeted with what was called the "Welcome Wagon."  This volunteer group gave out packets of information to new move ins with helpful listings of doctors, churches, police and emergency numbers, etc.  My family and I was so grateful for this act of neighborly service.  We even had neighbors who introduced themselves by making a delicious, warm meal for us and offering their help in anyway that we needed.  Because of these great examples I knew that I wanted to reciprocate by helping any neighbor who was moving in or out.  Being involved with our neighbors helped to build friendships that still thrive today. We watch out for each other when one goes on a vacation or needs help in an family emergency.  Yes, there are some who are more private and we respect that, but we still continue to be friendly and watch out for and include each other.  When you stop and think about what the alternative is, no one wants that.  Being neighborly and building bonds of community based on friendship is, I think, one of life's highest art forms.  
Enjoy the journey. HSH
“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.”
― Jean Vanier, Community And Growth

Learn the heartfelt gestures that go a long way in creating a welcoming community.

Being part of a welcoming community makes daily life so much more pleasant. Whether you are already friends with your neighbors or want to get to know them better, these ideas for simple parties and heartfelt gestures will help strengthen those bonds. Please add your own stories of neighborliness in the Comments.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Why Religion Matters: The Salt of Society


In cultures throughout the ancient world, salt was a symbol of friendship, compassion and generosity. The people of Israel revered it as a sign of a covenant. Persians honored it as an emblem of virtue and grace. Arab culture cherished it is a gesture of goodwill. Jesus likened his followers to “the salt of the earth”[2] and told them to “have peace one with another.”[3] Christians understood these words as a call to support the societies in which they lived. We have always been relational creatures, and today this metaphor still has spiritual resonance. Religion, like salt, seasons the interactions between strangers, adds flavor to our civic relations and preserves the dear things of our common existence. To be the salt of society means to savor its success.
Societies are complex organisms with untold layers, dimensions, facets and sensibilities. Government, commerce, the arts, families and schools all play a part in vitalizing the body politic. And religion can help enliven these associations, instilling them with moral direction, charitable commitment and the force of dignity.