Let the Rain Fall

Goldfinch in the Rain - Autumn, Mars, PA

Goldfinch in the Rain – Autumn, Mars, PA

Let the Rain Fall.

I watched you as you sat proud and beautiful
while the rain fell on and around you.

You didn’t need
the sun to make you shine.

In fact,
you stood out even brighter in the cloudy drizzle.

And I was reminded
true beauty comes from within.

It can’t be soaked or drenched
or washed off.

It can’t be dampened or doused
by the storms of life.

Let the rain fall.
Let the storms crash.

And continue to shine
your authentic beautiful self.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

The Light

Chandelier at Omni William Penn Ballroom, Pittsburgh, PA - 11/2017

Chandelier at Omni William Penn Ballroom, Pittsburgh, PA – 11/2017

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was at a meeting this week at the beautiful Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA.    The Omni is a gorgeous historical classic that was built in 1915 and hailed as the “Grandest Hotel in the Nation” when it opened in 1916.

During a tour in preparation for an upcoming conference I’ll be part of, I couldn’t help but snap a picture of one of the gorgeous chandeliers that hangs in the ballroom.  I thought of all of the galas and weddings and celebrations that took place under their sparkling light.  I thought of all the love that was shared….  all the victories celebrated…  all the accomplishments recognized.  And the chandeliers became more significant.  They represented over 100 years of “light.”

May we all shine as bright.
May we all be the light.

 

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Falling for Fall

Falling for Fall -Mars, PA - November 8, 2017

Falling for Fall -Mars, PA – November 8, 2017

Falling for Fall.

The days may grow shorter with darkness coming earlier….

but then we get to enjoy the warm glow of candlelight,
and breathe in the scents of pumpkin spice and cinnamon.

The air may grow crisp and the temperatures colder….

but then we get to wear flannels and hoodies and knit sweaters,
and sit by crackling warm fires under fleece blankets.

The leaves that once brought shade may turn dry and fall from the trees….

but then we get to kick and roll in the heaped, crunchy piles
and wait for sparkling white snow to stick to the bare brown branches.

The change of each new season…

brings opportunities for us to Fall for each one,
and embrace the joy and blessings it brings.

Fall for Fall!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi*

*A Born-Anew Autumn Lover!

 

On this Road called Life

Early November Morning Walk after the Storm - thecreativelifeinbetween.com

Early November Morning Walk after the Storm – thecreativelifeinbetween.com

On this Road called Life.

There will be ups and downs…
There will be twists and turns.

There will be sunshine and rain…
There will be seasons of change.

But straight roads
don’t make skillful drivers.

And flowers can’t grow
on smoothly paved roads.

This road called life
is your path to choose.

And if you don’t like the one you are traveling on….
pave a new.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

We had an unseasonably strong thunderstorm this past Saturday night, but Sunday morning brought shiny, clean beauty on my morning walk with Charlie that was made even sweeter by the extra hour of sleep gifted from “Falling Back” from Daylight Savings to Eastern Standard Time and the gorgeous colors of Autumn leaves.

A Wizard of Oz Party

A Wizard of Oz Party.

Yesterday, I shared a recipe for Butterscotch Haystacks that I mentioned I made for a  Wizard of Oz Party.  Today, I want to share some more of the super simple treats I prepared for our little group of 11 ADULTS who decided we wanted to watch the Wizard of Oz together.

I prepared a salami, cheese, and olive tray in the shape of the infamous Yellow Brick Road.

And oh what a joy it was to answer my cell phone at exactly the assigned start time of our little party to be asked to come outside…..

When I stepped out onto the porch in the dark and looked into the driveway, a group of seven silly, sweet friends had their arms linked together in a row and came skipping up to the porch singing, “We’re off to see the Wizard… the wonderful Wizard of Oz…” as if they were on the yellow brick road.

I knew we were in for a fun night!   One friend dressed as a scarecrow and another in the “outfit” she wore when she saw the movie for the first time – jammies, a blanket, and pig tails!

We had Bugles “Tornadoes” to dip and munch….


along with Potato Sticks “Scarecrow Straw” and Cheese Curls “Lion Tails.”


There were Hershey’s Kisses “Tin Man Hats”

and bowls of Skittles and Dark Chocolate M&M’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

We gathered at the bar first for drinks and toasting to get the evening started, then made our plates and settled into comfy seats (some even on the floor) to watch the classic we had discussed weeks before talking about how scared, yet fascinated we were as children.   (Notice even Charlie – peeking from front bottom right below – and his friend Gemma hunkered in.)

For almost two hours, we were mesmerized as if we were children, yet noticing so many more things as adults.  We sang along and recited phrases.  We laughed, we gasped, we recounted childhood memories…

It was a silly theme and reason to get together, yet somehow turned into a sincerely authentic experience…

Maybe I’m still on the Brene Brown buzz of vulnerability and courage to be oneself after reading her latest book, Braving the Wilderness, but I woke up the next morning (granted a bit fuzzy from a wee bit too much wine), but feeling completely joyous and connected and complete.

What would life be like without friends?  I hope I never have to know.

And remember……….

You’ve always had the power my dear.  You just had to learn it yourself.”

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Daily Stretches

Daily Stretches.

Stretch your muscles
to move about with ease.

Stretch your eyes open wide
to see the beauty in this world.

Stretch your mind
to explore new experiences.

Stretch your wallet
to give to those in need.

Stretch your heart
to give more love.

Stretch your imagination
to create art or music or beautiful words.

Stretch your arms open
to embrace in a hug.

Stretch!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

10 Months Ago Today…

10 Months Ago Today.

I crossed the railroad tracks today,
like I do so many days.

And I realized, after the fact,
that for the first time in 10 months

I didn’t get a lump in my throat…
I didn’t hold my breath…

I didn’t think of you
and the decision you made

10 months ago today.

It caught me off guard…
Made me both happy and sad.

Only 10 months ago
you were still here…

barely hanging on…
but still there was hope.

10 months later
there is no more hope

and the memory is beginning
to fade.

I want to be happy,
yet that makes me sad.

10 months ago today
you took your life away.

Rest in peace dear brother.
Rest in peace.

Love,
Jodi

Sticks and Stones: A Charlie Guest Post

Sticks and Stones:  A Charlie Guest Post.

I know you humans have a rhyme that says:
Sticks and Stones may break my bones….”

And I get it….
It’s a good lesson about name calling…

But I LOVE sticks and stones!
They are nature’s toothbrush and toy all in one!

Even ask my baby niece!
She knows who to watch and learn from.

When Mom brings her outside,
she brings a blanket and toys for her to sit on and play with.

But she watches how her Uncle Charlie has fun!
I romp through the leaves and play with the sticks and stones.

And then she does the same.

I’m such a good uncle!
Don’t you think?

Woofs and Wags,
Charlie

Charlie is an adopted dog with brown eyes and a white-tipped tail who brings joy and laughter to his family and friends.  Charlie is a gifted writer, raving food critic, cat, chipmunk, and donut lover, and exceptionally photogenic model.  Some of his best friends are Mike the UPS Man, Cliff the Mailman, Jaeger the neighbor dog, and ANYONE who delivers pizza to the house.   If you would like to read more guest posts by Charlie, simply type “Charlie” into the Search box at the top right hand corner of this link: thecreativelifeinbetween.com.   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.

 

Soft Spots

Leopard, Pittsburgh Zoo, October, 2017

Soft Spots.

Things I have a soft spot for….

The words “I love you” – especially from my sons.
Outstretched arms – especially from my granddaughter.
Belly laughs – especially from hubby.

The smell of lilacs and popcorn and cinnamon.
Misty mornings.
The blue sky of Autumn.

Vintage pearls.
Antique library card catalog cabinets.
Sourdough bread.

Random texts.
Handwritten notes.
Doggie greetings every time I return home.

The way my daughter-in-laws look at their husbands.
Hugs from friends.
Smiles from strangers.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi