Filling the Void – Walking, Watching, Waiting

owl coloring book art
This was soothing and fun – Colorama Coloring Book. I always loved to color as a kid!

The Void

This is rough. One day blends into the next and home projects continue to be undone for no good reason.

While life as usual has been completely disrupted by coronavirus, my personal struggle and biggest void has much more to do with losing my sweet Oscar on March 2nd. I considered a dedicated tribute post, but just can’t seem to bring myself to do that quite yet. Suffice to say, we are heartbroken and saying goodbye was not and has not been easy.

To that end, what do you do when stuck at home, sad and in need of distraction?

Walking

I’m a big fan of walking and have been uplifted seeing so many people doing so. The more I walk the better I feel, both physically and mentally. So, while gyms remain closed, I walk on my treadmill or outside with responsible social-distance in mind, of course.

Watching

If I’m a fan of walking, I’m certainly an even bigger fan of TV. I’ve been filling the void with some pretty good shows and came to the conclusion that I love British television. If you like suspense, definitely check out The Stranger and Broadchurch (I was so excited when I realized there were 3 seasons). Both set in England and really well done.

Other British Shows I’ve Binged and Liked…

After Life – Ricky Gervais – Kind of heartbreaking, but good.

Derek – Also Ricky Gervais – quirky and good.

Crashing – watched a while ago and found interesting.

Gavin & Stacey – James Corden, cute.

Kath & Kim – Actually an Australian show, but similar kooky British humor. Silly, but funny.

Other Shows I’ve Liked…

Northern Rescue – good.

Virgin River – good.

Dirty John – creepy, but good.

Broad City – outrageous, super silly, funny (if you like absurd humor).

High Fidelity – cool, interesting, different.

Do you have any show recommendations?

Waiting

And so now we wait. What more is there to say or do? This is, by far, the strangest time in my life.

I hope you are doing well and filling the void as best you can.

Wishing you all good health and sanity.

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Positive Daily Intention – Bring it on 2020!

positive daily intention 2020
One can only hope!


It’s easy to slide down the slippery slope of negativity. We are barraged with a lot of challenging issues, situations and unwelcome realities. Often times, it’s hard to “look on the bright side.”

Over the past several months, I have begun practicing the art of setting a positive daily intention. I have followed suggestions from this link to help go about being a more positive person.

Additionally, I read that it is helpful to write down your intention. I found this to be the most valuable piece of advice. I have actually chosen to text my daily intention to a “buddy” who is also interested in embracing a positive mindset. By texting my intention, I’m not only writing it down, so to speak, but I’m inviting accountability by sharing my goal with another person. This has been helpful and uplifting.

The idea of living a positive life and setting daily intentions may sound overly optimistic, if not a bit delusional. I can only tell you that for those of us who have tried it, and compared notes, it really has worked. While the negative things that surround us have not changed, the way in which we respond to them has.

I firmly believe that we can rewire our brains to the positive. Throughout this process, I have begun following The Power of Positivity both on Facebook and Instagram. My Aunt first turned me on to these short affirmations and I marveled at how many spoke to me at times when I really needed an encouraging word. For that, I thank you Auntie Carolyn. I continue to follow and enjoy the Power of Positivity every day.

We all have a little Debbie Downer in us…

 

If you’re in a funk and feeling the winter blues, setting a positive daily intention may be a small step toward keeping Debbie down and out of your life!

My Daily Intention

My intention for today is to prioritize and stay focused on what’s most important.

A Few Favorites from The Power of Positivity on Instagram

positive daily intention fear positive daily intention peace positive daily intention patience positive daily intention greener grass

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RePost-Winterlights at Stevens-Coolidge Place

REPOST  – this wonderful event is happening again NOW through DEC 29th. An illuminated grove of trees and an interactive children’s section have been added. I can’t wait to get there. Read my post from last year’s event, below.

Purchase tickets HERE.


I was so happy to be invited to the opening of Winterlights at The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover. There is nothing like the twinkle of holidays lights to get a person in the holiday spirit. To have a wonderland of lights spread throughout the beautiful grounds of a historic home was nothing short of magical.

I snuck peak of this spectacular display  at dusk last Thursday night. I felt so happy to be frolicking through the luminaria lit paths and all I could think of was how wonderful this experience will be for little kids and their families.

The opportunity to walk the various gardens, identify each of Santa’s reindeer, stroll through the poinsettia filled greenhouse, warm my hands by the firepit and discover Santa’s den, where you can leave Santa a letter or meet him in person on December 15th, was quintessentially kid-like in the best way possible.

In addition to The Stevens-Coolidge Place, The Trustees have introduced Winterlights at their Nuamkeag property in Stockbridge, MA. Don’t miss the opportunity to brighten your season at either location.

Winterlights runs through December 30th and opens in Stockbridge this Thursday.

FYI

OPEN THURSDAYS – SUNDAYS through December 30th

Entrance to the gardens is ticketed in 15-minute increments between 5-8PM. Purchase your tickets in advance here. Choose your preferred location for your ticket options.
Members: $12
Nonmembers: $17
Children 12 and under: FREE

Fun For All Ages

While I know that little kids and their parents will love this, I fully intend to go back with my teenage daughters and husband. This is a family event that everyone is sure to enjoy.

More Information

For more detail visit thetrustees.org. and be sure to check out each Winterlights night’s featured entertainment such as Tetra-Fire performer, Crispelli on December 9th or Ice Princesses on December 29th. Full calendar of events here. Choose your preferred location to see the performances and activities near you.

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What Now?

blog photo

I cannot believe that my “summer break” from the blog has now landed me smack in the middle of holiday season. I think saying middle is appropriate seeing every store I’ve been in over the past two weeks has Christmas décor on display. I had every intention of resuming posts in September, but time simply got away. To those who kindly inquired about the blog, thank you! It’s so nice to know that 3 Olives was missed.

Where I’ve Been

My summer was spent readying Julia for college (she is doing great at Fordham in NYC) and keeping tabs on Ally, who is busier than ever (her junior year and college search are in full swing). Tony spent a good part of the summer (who am I kidding – nearly all of it) golfing and Oscar kept me on my toes with his growing, elder dog, demands. That sweet Schnauzer is a full-time job!!!

Of particular note this summer, and fall, was how much I enjoyed the escape from social media. A big part of my hesitation getting back to the blog was the realization that posting drew me into the blogosphere and social media world, in ways that I didn’t particularly enjoy. Every time I thought about blogging again, something held me back. I just wasn’t ready.

Writing is an art form and sometimes the motivation and creativity wanes. Following a fun year of book promotion, my creative spirit and energy needed time to reset and recharge. While it took a little longer than anticipated, I am, once again, excited to reconnect with my keyboard.

Where I’m Going (I hope🤞)

So, what now? While I do plan to resume the blog, on a much looser schedule, I’m also excited to begin a part-time job search. This isn’t so much a reinvention as a continuation of my path as a writer. My dream is to find secure, steady work in a creative space. I have workplace visions in an art gallery, a design studio, a radio or television station. But, no matter where I land, I long to return to a team environment where I can collaborate with others. I miss that.

I look forward to something new and to reconnecting here at 3 Olives & a Twist.

What’s new with you?

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The One Good Thing – Best Book Club Yet

 

The One Good Thing by Kevin Alan Milne got passionate mixed reviews from the ladies of book club. However, I’m ranking it as the best book club read so far. This is based on the number of book clubbers who actually read it and the lively discussion this book elicited.

I absolutely love that some readers really liked the positive messaging of The One Good Thing, while other vehemently hated it. Yes, the word hate was used. Differing opinions on what we read is exactly what makes book club so much fun!

If you’ve never heard of The One Good Thing (I hadn’t), here’s a little bit about it.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

For as long as Halley Steen has known her husband Nathan, he has carried a handful of stones in his pocket. Each day he uses those stones to remind him to follow the Golden Rule, moving a stone from one pocket to the other with each act of kindness. So it’s not unusual that Nathan stops to help a stranger on the side of the highway while on his way to his son’s football game one Friday evening. But that one act will change all of their lives forever, when a car hydroplanes off the road, killing Nathan instantly.

As Halley and her children Ty and Alice struggle with their grief, Nathan’s spiritual legacy lives on. A Facebook page appears, where countless stories about Nathan’s selfless acts are shared. But among them is one that stands out, from a woman who says that Nathan saved her life. Neither Halley nor her children have ever heard of Madeline Zuckerman. But soon Halley discovers years of e-mails from this woman to her husband on his computer that refer to “our little girl.” How could her husband have kept the secret of this other child for their entire marriage? Why had he lied to her? Was he not the man she thought he was?

Only thirteen-year-old Alice maintains unwavering faith in her father. She knows there’s an explanation. When she sets out to find Madeline and learn the truth, she will start to unravel the complex story of The One Good Thing Nathan Steen did that had the greatest impact of all. 

Review

The range of reviews for this book was indeed wide. Some enjoyed the feel-good concept of acts of kindness. Others thought the story was predictable, trite and even poorly written. I agree on the predictability – I knew the twist would straighten itself out from the very beginning. The fact that this very nice man was tragically killed at the onset of the book was also a bit of a bummer. But, I liked that the author presented the mystery early on and enjoyed the ease of the read. The “do good” lesson also spoke to me in a positive way. Add to that, one of our thoughtful book club members gifted each of us with a bag of little stones and I call that a win. Thank you Kelly!

 

 

Our lovely hostess also served the sweetest handmade chocolates in the form of a little book – adorable and yummy too. Thank you Margaret!

 

 

I passed my copy of The One Good Thing to my mother. Mom, have you read it yet? What did you think?

Next Up

Educated by Tara Westover has come highly recommended and will be book club’s next read. I am looking forward to it.

 

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