Happy Monday: Spring planning!

Hello and happy Monday! I hope you all had a great week last week.  Last week was our spring break so we did a few activities close to home and it was wonderful. I’m always a little sad to see them go back to school. I like having my boys near me but I have so many projects to do this spring that I need the time to work on them without interruptions.

Above is my first infused water of the season. I need to up my game with water intake and this makes a major difference for me. This one contains lemon, basil, and strawberries in it. It’s pure yum! I am also back in the gym starting today with more vigor because I have about 2 months before our family vacations begin and this one wants to fit into some shorts! Wish me luck!

I think I’ve already mentioned I have started playing in my garden in an attempt to prep for spring plantings. I will be starting my seeds indoors tomorrow. I feel like I am a little late on this because I couldn’t locate my mini indoor greenhouse. But Leao found it yesterday so I just need to get some soil and some popsicle sticks for markers. I am also trying to get my mason to come by and repair some walls that are damaged. It is normal “wear and tear’ but needs to happen sooner rather than later.

In my literature adventures, I have some great reads that I need to sit down and complete. I have some announcements about a new initiative with regard to my reading journey so stay tuned in Belinda’s Book Nook for an announcement.

My family history research. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve also really geared up my genealogy research and education over the past few months in preparation to finally start an Ancestry.com membership. This is such a rewarding project and I consider myself a newbie when it comes to genealogy work. Hence, why I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos and even purchased a few reference material. Something about this work really fascinates me and I am so happy I am finally committing real time to do it on a regular basis.

Product Development. I also have a long list of ideas that I want to try out for new products for Belinda’s Crafts that I somehow have been neglecting. One of my latest endeavors is to learn brush lettering. I would really like to learn how to do it.  Recently, I have begun to do the foundation research of all the materials that I need to buy and the resources to begin learning how to brush letter. I have to admit I’m truly intimidated but I’m up for the challenge. It would be a great asset for some of my products as well as for my personal projects. I have numerous craft projects that have been neglected and I will be setting aside time to re-establish some new deadlines. This time of year, my work schedule has to incorporate my gardening so lot’s of careful planning has to occur on my part or it becomes one hot mess.

The weather is supposed to be great today so I’m going go help Leao put prepare the lawn and put down grass seeds. If time allows I will also work in my deck flower garden and amend the soil in preparation for plantings.

The sun is shining and I am ready for a great day. Have a blessed one!

Belinda

Me Time on This Rainy Day!

Hello and happy Friday everyone! I am currently sitting in my front room with an intoxicating candle burning, a cup of green tea, lovely jazz playing on my Bose speaker and doing some genealogy research. About two months ago, I decided to take off Fridays from work and divide my time to genealogy and reading. At first, I felt so guilty not putting in work hours but I decided that if I really wanted to make headway with my genealogy research that I had to commit scheduled time to make it happen. So Fridays seemed liked the best day to end my busy workweek with my genealogy pursuits. Since I didn’t want to overdo it, I divide my typical work hours between genealogy education & research and pleasure reading. Which we all know that I indulge in on a daily basis but to know I have a scheduled date with my books has been so wonderful.

So today I am in the process of finishing taking notes from a book called, “Mastering Online Genealogy” by V. Daniel Quillen. I have several of his books but this one is a library copy that I will soon need to return so I am moving rather quickly through it today to finish.  I also watch Youtube tutorials so I can continue to learn more about researching and then I spend time entering information into my software or attaching photos to people in my software.  I consider myself a beginner and am trying to soak up all the information I can find to avoid common mistakes and to create a good system.

For my reading today, I discovered this new UK magazine called, “Breathe and make time for yourself”. This pairs nicely with my efforts for my OLW (One Little Word) efforts to become more authentic.  Self-care is something we often neglect and I have to catch myself often from burying myself in my to-do lists rather than pausing and caring for myself. So I am hopeful for great inspiration from this magazine. I will let you all know what I think after reading it.

So if it should rain all day, it will be perfect for my garden and my activities today so I am not complaining. I hope you all have a blessed day and thanks for stopping by.

Belinda

Belinda’s Book Nook Review: Unbowed by Wangari Maathai

Title: Unbowed: A Memoir
Author: Wangari Maathai
Copyright: September 4, 2007
Genre: non-fiction, memoir
Format: book Pages: 368

I first saw this book at my local library and checked it out. I once again did what I have been doing lately and kept renewing it to the libraries limit and then hijacked the book for a few additional days while I waited for the book to arrive in the mail (I had to own a copy after I started reading it.) I’m not proud of holding on to books late but this bookworm had to do what she had to do!

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

In Unbowed, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary journey from her childhood in rural Kenya to the world stage. When Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, she began a vital poor people’s environmental movement, focused on the empowerment of women, that soon spread across Africa. Persevering through run-ins with the Kenyan government and personal losses, and jailed and beaten on numerous occasions, Maathai continued to fight tirelessly to save Kenya’s forests and to restore democracy to her beloved country. Infused with her unique luminosity of spirit, Wangari Maathai’s remarkable story of courage, faith, and the power of persistence is destined to inspire generations to come.

My Thoughts:

This book is such a very important read and even more so as we approach Earth day and the ‘March for Science’ across the country. I liked the way she told her story. She provided the readers with her background by going back to her childhood growing up and working the land with her family. Her story demonstrates how you don’t need to have a fancy education or be wealthy to make a difference in the world. One quote from her book sums it up:

“Education, if it means anything, should not take people away from the land, but instill in them, even more, respect for it, because educated people are in a position to understand what is being lost. The future of the planet concerns all of us, and all of us to do what we can to protect it. As I told the forresters and the women, you don’t need a diploma to plant a tree.”   – Wangari Maathai

Although Wangari was able to pursue her education at a time that most girls were not in Kenya, she points out that her idea did not require her degree, it just helped the process. For her ideas for planting trees took hold and people began to help realize her dreams.  I love that although she received her degree in the United States, she didn’t choose the path to try to stay here, she chose to go back home and help her country. She ended up starting the Green Belt Movement in 1977 in response to her observation of the decimation of the local trees in her country and the negative effects it had on the land and the people of Kenya. She realized that the British colonists were cutting down vast amounts of trees for lumber to sell and that it had a tragic effect on the land. It compromised the integrity of the soil and caused droughts.  The Kenyan women told her of streams drying up, their food supply diminishing and as a result of the logging, they had to walk even farther to find wood for fencing. So Wangari proposed that the women take the seedlings and plant them to grow more trees.

The story is so amazing. It talks about her eventual marriage and the demise of their union and her on-going struggle with the Kenyan government, who saw her efforts as a threat.  Many times, I couldn’t believe how brave she was to keep pursuing her dream.  She endured imprisonment and death threats but continued her very important work. Did I also mention that she won the Noble Peace Prize in 2004? Yes, she was that amazing.

Wangari Maathai is someone we should all learn about because it is so relevant everywhere, not just in Kenya. In the photo above I am holding up the picture book version of her story that I read to Apollo. It was breathtakingly stunning and held it’s own in keeping up with all of the many important facts of Wangari’s story.

I leave you with one more amazing quote from the book:

“A tree… tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded, and that no matter how high we go it is from our roots that we draw sustenance.”

I highly recommend this book and I give it 4 1/2 butterflies for not only delivering a great story and message but concluding with ways to help. As I too will leave you with the link to The Green Belt Movement so that you can see the great work that continues even after her death.

Happy reading friends!

Belinda

Easter Happenings with the Family

I really love our time spending Easter with my in-laws. We decided to pack our bags and head over on Friday so we would be able to spend more time with them.  My mother-in-law always makes an amazing spread so the extra days give us time to catch up and play games before the actual celebration of Easter.As Apollo gets older I realize even more how important it is that he grows up spending a lot of time with my in-laws. I say this because he can’t remember things as clearly from 3 years ago. Now, things really seem to stick and form long-term memories. I don’t have memories of my mother’s mom because she passed on when I was very young. I want for my boys to have solid memories they can share with their children. So our frequent visits and outings with my in-laws remain a top priority for us.The weather…wow, we had great weather over the weekend. It was well into the 80s on Easter so we spent time hanging out on my in-laws deck.The Easter meal didn’t disappoint and the conversation was lively as usual. I also didn’t manage to snag first place in the egg dying decorating once again. I even considered bribing the judges.  Leao unanimously won the top prize so I will have to regroup and think of a cool technique for next year!I hope you all had great moments big and small over the weekend with loved ones because, at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

Have a blessed day!

Belinda

 

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