Monthly Archives: April 2015

HOW AM I DOING?

Everyone with a business needs to know how it’s measuring up. The conventional measurements are expressed in numbers, of course, but what really charges my batteries is to hear or experience the reaction of people who receive a spontaneous gift of a Happiness Card, (little cards with my photography and an inspiring quote.)

I got a message from a friend who offered a card to an 8 year-old boy who’d been waiting for his mother in her waiting room. He chose one that had this quote on the back:. “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” He was delighted as he’d been read stories about Pooh and Piglet.

An interesting thing to do is to suggest someone choose a card by selecting the photograph that calls to them and then read the quotation. Often magic happens. “I needed to hear this,” or “This message was meant for me,” are comments that have been reported back to me over and over. When the quotation hits the mark like that people are visibly moved.

I had an experience earlier this week that illustrates the point. It was the birthday of a friend, and I’d been invited to celebrate the event with him and his friends at a local restaurant. I tucked a Happiness Card in his birthday card, and the card I selected for him was the peach-colored iris with a quote by Anais Nin. “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born, until they arrive.” I chose it because he’s someone who has opened up new worlds in me, but it also brought back a delightful childhood memory for him.

                He remembered being out in the country with his family when he was 5 years old. He found an iris, a flower he hadn’t seen before, sat down by it and got completely lost in the blossom. It reminded me of a quote by Lao Tzu that I shared it with him: “Flowers are love embodied. Look deeply at the color. Feel the vibrancy. Put your nose a little closer. Look deeply. Fall inside. Start your life over right here, right now, inside a flower.” I love how a chain of memories and events got triggered by one small card.

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born, until they arrive. Anais Nin

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born, until they arrive. Anais Nin

I began making Happiness Cards as a way to use my photography to spread some happiness. Maybe it doesn’t work every time, but it has been working enough of the time for me to feel I’m doing okay.

http://www.happinesscards.net

 

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS IN SPADES!

I love to find uplifting and inspiring things on the web that I can pass on. This morning I stumbled upon a wonderful piece with headlines and photos of “33 People Who Prove The World Isn’t Such a Broken  Place After All.” There’s not much to read, and you can find out about all 33 stories in 10 or 15 minutes. You’ll be glad you did!

WEDDINGS THEN AND NOW

When I tied the knot with my ex, Bill, over 60 years ago, weddings were much simpler affairs. I was married in a small chapel off the main sanctuary of the Methodist Church I attended. Those present were family and close friends, and a reception was held at my parents’ apartment in Park la Brea in Los Angeles. No wedding planner, no caterer. We did have a photographer. Bill’s best friend was a professional photographer, so when he wasn’t holding my wedding ring, he was shooting pictures.

Even the much larger weddings of friends I attended in the 50’s were nothing like the extravaganzas of today. I remember when I first became aware of magazines devoted to brides and weddings. I wondered how there could be enough material to fill up an entire issue, much less 12 issues a year. Now there are several publications devoted to weddings.

Having had sons instead of daughters I was deprived of or saved from (not sure which fits here) all the planning, shopping and expense involved. Now my sons and their wives are stepping into that role. My granddaughter, Heather, was married last August. There were over 100 in attendance, but everything was done by church friends. The only professional on hand was the photographer.

I supplied, at her request, 3 Happiness Cards for each adult attendee. She chose the quotations, and I combined them with three of my flower photos. The three cards were tucked into tiny envelopes and put in a basket by the front door for guests to pick up. They were a hit.

Bride, groom and bride's parents.                                                 Bride, groom and bride’s parents.

Recently a friend/customer, whose daughter is getting married next month, chose four of each card from my new edition (36 different images and quotes) to place on the chairs where the guests will be seated for dinner. As it will be an outdoor affair overlooking the Pacific, a small beach pebble collected by the bride’s mother will hold down the card and will be used later in a ceremony.

Jasmine, my first grandchild, married an Englishman last year in England. Only the two witnesses were at the ceremony, but the couple will be traveling to the U.S. in August to have a reception for their friends and family in this country. Another chance to spread happiness with Happiness Cards!

A GROWING BUSINESS

There are enough Happiness Cards out in the world that everyone in Hajduboszormeny, Hungary could have one, or Pudsey, England, or Alice Springs, Australia. In fact, everyone living on the Mendocino Coast, where I make my home, could have 3 cards, even the kids. Amazingly, I’ve sold and given away more than 29,000 and just took delivery on 9,000 more. A dozen are new photos and quotations: Here are four of the new ones:

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. Emily Dickenson

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.
Emily Dickenson

Love is friendship set to music. Joseph Campbell

Love is friendship set to music.
Joseph Campbell

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully everyone is blessed. Maya Angelou

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully everyone is blessed.
Maya Angelou

When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others. Peace Pilgrim

When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.
Peace Pilgrim

http://www.happinesscards.net

RHODIE ROUNDUP

Before I moved to California’s North Coast I’d never seen a rhododendron.

Rhodie Tree (1 of 1)

This time of year I notice them everywhere.

Many Rhodies (1 of 1)

Here on the Mendocino Coast wild rhodies add splashes of pink to the local forests and domesticated ones show up in many gardens.

Red rhodies (1 of 1)

Red edged white rhodie (1 of 1)

The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has a wonderful collection with some of the bushes reaching 20 feet high and more.

Red rhodies (1 of 1)-2

These  photos were taken at there.

White Rhodies (1 of 1)

Rhododendron on Light Box

Rhododendron on Light Box