Children’s Shimmering Waterfall Art Lessons

Since I enjoy painting on material with acrylic paint and then quilting it into a wall hanging, I thought it would be a fun project for Nandhana and Sanjana to do!  They both have their own style and really did a terrific job!  We used a photograph from Taughannock Falls State Park.  They admired the wall hanging below that I did and asked if they could make one, too!

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Pictured below are the young budding artists at work painting in the basement with the material taped down on a hard board.  Once their paintings were completed, I sewed the quilting in and backed them into wall hangings and added some shimmer, sequins and glitter!  These will look lovely displayed in their new home!

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A short video of the girls in their painting process is linked below!

Painting Art Lessons Video

And of course, we must have visiting time with Jaco Kitty!

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These young ladies are very talented and Nandanah plays the violin and takes piano lessons from me as well!  Below is a final photo of these two little angels all dressed up!  See Grandma Marge’s PINK Orb in the photo above Sanjana?  She’s always flying!

10252016Sanjana and Nandana Pink Orb

 

 

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My Original Piano Music “C-13 Sonata”

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Throughout the creative process, I paint pictures, write stories, take photographs and compose music which all interweave into the tapestry of my life.  Though viewing the process from the underside with all the loose threads it appears to be quite a mess, the passion within is determined to interweave all the colorful threads to behold a brilliant gift from the Universe!

This copyrighted piano composition is inspired by 1 Corinthians 13  and spans my life journey.  When my beloved Mother passed, Dad  had this engraved on their stone:

“A hug, a smile, a kiss, fond memories of a lifetime”

(Posted on You Tube as well as on my blog’s Piano, Art and Photography tab, with some of my artwork, photography and family photos to go along with the music).

Enjoy!

“Cities” Live Other Ear Video

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“The Power of Positive Thinking”

Norman Vincent Peale

“Believe In Yourself”

“A Peaceful Mind Generates Power”

How To Have Constant Energy”

“Try Prayer Power”

“How To Create Your Own Happiness”

“Expect The Best and Get It”

“I Don’t Believe in Defeat”

“How To Break The Worry Habit”

“Power To Solve Personal Problems”

“When Vitality Sags, Try This Health Formula”

“How To Get People To Like You”

“Prescription For Heartache”

“How To Draw Upon That Higher Power”

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“The greater danger is not that our hopes are too high and we fail to reach them, it’s that they are too low, and we do.”

Michelangelo

©The Other Ear – Ben Fambrough (Vocals, Guitar), Chris Carlsen (Vocals, Bass), Chuck Kozlowski (Back Up Vocals, Drums), Lori D. Marchell Carlsen (Keyboards) with guest musicians James Michael Thompson (Vocals, Guitar) and Rich Kennicutt (Keyboards).

©Photography Sam and Chris Kozlowski, Joyce Carlsen

©Loriginal Designs

©”Cities” Talking Heads

https://youtu.be/pmBQBYGHboQ

 

“The Other Ear” – Band Reunion!!!

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“Peanuts” Charles M.Schulz

“With God All things are possible.”

Luke 18:27

As summer is upon us, I have been asked to perform in “The Other Ear,” a band which was formed several years ago with our last gig played at “The Nines,” a college town bar located in Ithaca, NY.  The original Composer/Singer/Guitarist, Ben Fambrough, relocated out-of-state and life moved on.  The beginning of this project has turned into two gigs which will be held on Friday, July 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm at The Cyber Cafe’ West in Binghamton, NY and Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm at The Ransom Steele Tavern in Apalachin, NY.

The Other Ear

The band began as “The Big Ear” with Ben Fambrough, Composer, Guitar, Lead Vocals; Chuck Kozlowski, Drums/Percussion, Back-up Vocals; and Chris Carlsen, Bass and Vocals.  As many musicians know, a three-piece band is wonderful but requires additional fill-in music to allow for varied expression within the context of the song (of course unless you are a RUSH fan)!

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“Peanuts” Charles M. Schulz

So then I was asked to play keyboards and hence “The Other Ear” was formed!   Being classically trained, this was quite a new experience in music playing, listening and expression – to say the least!  As well as a patience-builder for all involved who play ‘by ear.’  My beginning piano playing involved sight reading to the max which includes such repertoire as Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique’ – certainly not a piece one learns to play ‘by ear’ with as many notes as possible crammed into one measure!

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“Peanuts” Charles M. Schulz

So as I have been somewhat absent from my blogging this past month, it has been due to  time spent practicing songs in preparation for the two upcoming gigs this weekend!  My thanks to all the other band members for their support with my learning curve from Classical to Rock!  Most of the songs are originals written by Ben, with some covers thrown in by Phish (Dirt), Talking Heads (Cities), Medeski, Martin & Wood (Think) and of course, the timeless Beatles (Prudence).

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“Peanuts” Charles M. Schulz

Below are a few links to some of the music.  Enjoy!

Roses Rise:

https://youtu.be/EWLMZ6PLy5w

 Shine:

https://youtu.be/bQIt0MnVZd0

 Over Me:

https://youtu.be/KykFlmSMG4I

 It Could Have Been an Open Window:

https://youtu.be/b1kr70CEudw

 Just You:

https://youtu.be/jo5rJpKzQCM

 What Goes On (Velvet Underground cover):

https://youtu.be/-Wsapzp7jDU

©Lorignal Designs

©Ben Fambrough

©The Other Ear

©”Peanuts” Charles M. Schulz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chert Dog’s First Television Interview!!!

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“Doghead is pretty easy to learn, you just have to speak from the heart.”

L.D. Marchell “My Father’s Greatest Gift:

Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

As some of you may know, I promised Chert Dog that I would get his story of unconditional love and forgiveness published, but that I would also promote it so that his mission and purpose would spread across the world. Today was “his” first television interview with Kara Conrad, producer and host on WBNG -TV CBS Channel 12 News featured in “Around the Tiers” segment aired Monday – Friday from 12:15- 12:30 pm. As synchronicity would have it, my booth at Otsiningo Park’s “All Paws for a Cause Dog Walk” is how this interview came about! Following is the link to the interview. Enjoy!

http://www.wbng.com/story/36115984/local-author-talks-book-my-fathers-greatest-gift

Local author talks book, “My Father’s Greatest Gift”

http://www.wbng.com

“Like” Kara Conrad on Facebook and “Follow” her on Twitter.

Chert was an old soul, and his charisma attracted all the children in the neighborhood including his female girlfriend, Syria, a Sassy White Bichon who just happened to live across the street! Chert had two loves, for his stomach it was PIZZA! And for his heart it was Syria! His favorite time of year was Halloween when everyone would come to visit HIM (or so he thought)! His last year with us, it was a prerequisite from all of the trick-or-treaters that they had to pet the dog first before they got a treat! I will always remember the magic and wonder Chert brought to my heart and am much blessed to have known, loved and to have been loved by such an altruistic angel in furry clothing!

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©WBNG TV CBS Channel 12 Kara Conrad Host/Producer “Around The Tiers”

©Loriginal Designs

Piano Lessons with Jaco Kitty (excerpt)

Chert Dog’s Greatest Gift:  Quantum Leaps of Faith

So if you recall, I have five digits on all four paws, with actual thumbs on my front paws which makes for excellent piano playing abilities!  We have composed my original song utilizing a triad chord which I can play easily along with Lori playing the melody.  I have yet to crawl inside the piano and choose best to either sit on the bench or underneath as going inside doesn’t interest me at all!

I have been so very blessed with the piano students who arrive for lessons as they first want to visit with me, as I seem to be part of the attraction for the children!  Because they are so free-spirited, they understand my contemplative nature and wish to share their love with me!  The children teach me so much about creativity and living in the moment as well as their inspiring imagination.  With my Zen practices and studying of the Chakra Energy Centers, I see the importance of music in opening-up each colorful Chakra through the note vibration with which each resonates..  There are many deeper levels to what things appear to be on the surface.  It fascinates me to continually be learning new pieces to this puzzle of life, for when you begin to connect each unique item, things begin to fit into place (no pun intended)!  Yet, there seems to always be an element of surprise in that knowing what the next step is which can conjure up old thought and belief systems which no longer serve you, the Universe or the highest and best for all concerned.  That is where that quantum leap of faith comes into play again.  By praying for discernment in all things and allowing the highest vibration of love to be your intention, you know that you are being supported in stretching, reaching and growing.

“Some people think that as soon as you plant a tree, it must bear fruit.  We must allow it to grow a bit.”  Prince Tunku Putra Adbul Rahman

A Rejuvenating Weekend

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“Delicately we breathe in the crisp air and splendid colors washing over our souls in magical bliss.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Oh to be as content as a cat; Meditative purring and soothing at that!”

L.D. Marchell

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“The conscious pause, observing.  The ripples flow in soft rhythms.  Alignment.”

Lisa Ann Carucci Lash

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“Stabbing, swirling, rapidly rushing; Carrying us ever swiftly to a new dimension.  One must be open to allowing the seasons of life.”

L.D. Marchell

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“When the Holy Spirit lays something in your heart, move without hesitation.  You have no idea who may be depending on your immediate obedience.”

The Word For The Day

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“So ever softly whispers ring; Across the timelines loved ones sing.  Showering blessings bountiful store; Imagining these precious ones; Is what conscious awareness is for.”

Connie Andrea Marchell

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©Loriginal Designs

©Connie A. Marchell

©Lisa Ann Carucci Lash

©The Word For The Day

Honorable mention to Philip and Tigger!

 

My Friend Midge!

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“Living in the Present Moment is the truest gift of all!”

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“For it is Knowledge which teaches Wisdom…”

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“…Wisdom which teaches Truth…”

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“…And the Truth will set you Free!”

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“Living in a state of wonderment is where you find joy.”

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“Life is about living one step at a time.”

IMG_2405“Fresh air, exercise, friendship and encouragement

are the greatest elixirs of all!”

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“Your are as young as you feel as our Spirit gives life.”

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“Seize the Day!”

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“Precious moments of a lifetime!”

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“Timelessness!”

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“Midge” An Inspiring 14 Year Old Standard Poodle

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©Loriginal Designs

Wonderment at Watkins Glen State Park

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“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“You know full well as I do the value of sisters’ affections: There is nothing like it in the world.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Life is so constructed that an event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots. I believe that this life is not all; neither the beginning nor the end. I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Better to be without logic than without feeling.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Cheerfulness, it would appear, is a matter which depends fully as much on the state of things within, as on the state of things without and around us.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Men judge us by the success of our efforts. God looks at the efforts themselves.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“If you are cast in a different mold to the majority, it is no merit of yours; nature did it.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“But this I know; the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master — something that at times strangely wills and works for itself. If the result be attractive, the World will praise you, who little deserve praise; if it be repulsive, the same World will blame you, who almost as little deserve blame.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“To see and know the worst is to take from

fear her main advantage.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“The writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master- something that at time strangely wills and works for itself.”

Charlotte Bronte

*

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“Novelists should never allow themselves to weary of the study of real life.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive!”

Charlotte Bronte

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“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Enjoy the blessings Heaven bestows, Assist his friends, forgive his foes; Trust God, and keep his statutes still, Upright and firm, through good and ill; Thankful for all that God has given, Fixing his firmest hopes on heaven; Knowing that earthly joys decay, But hoping through the darkest day.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

Charlotte Bronte

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©Loriginal Designs

©Charlotte Bronte

*Photograph of me taken by Lisa Lash

My Near Death Journey

My life came to a startling halt when a large truck smashed into the driver’s side of my small car. The impact crunched my vehicle like aluminum foil. The initial force thrust my seat to the passenger’s side of the vehicle. Rescue workers used the jaws-of-life to extract me from the wreckage. Notified of the accident, my husband sped wildly to the hospital.

The accident resulted in extensive swelling to the left side of my brain, broken ribs and a collapsed lung, and lower back injuries. Being in good physical condition at the time of the accident, I was spared internal injuries.

The doctors stated to family that if I did not regain consciousness and the brain’s swelling continued, they would have to operate to relieve the pressure. Brain damage or neurological impairments were possible.

Family remained at my bedside, hoping that I would regain consciousness. While friends and family prayed for me, my spirit traveled to a vividly colorful yet familiar place – my grandparents’ house (both had passed away prior to the accident). Their environment was lucid, tranquil, appreciative and loving. All the flowers, environment and people radiated this intense saturation of love and communicated telepathically.

In this dreamlike encounter, I was again an animated child of five soaring on my favorite swing set. Grandpa was close-by working in his garden. Grandma was on her way to walk the grassy, wooded trail along the creek that Grandpa kept neatly manicured. For prayer time, she referred to it as her rosary path. As I stood at the base of the rosary path next to the St. Francis statue surrounded by roses, I was no longer a child of five but a woman. As Grandma looked down to me from her path, she asked me to come with her in her strong Czechoslovakian accent. In a melancholy yet courageous voice I told her that I had to go now.

Was God asking me to stop long enough to take a good look at myself and realize how much I had to be thankful for NOW, in the PRESENT MOMENT? I truly believe that in my race to be more, do more, and become more, I had somehow quit appreciating who I already was.

After responding to Grandma’s question, I awoke from the coma. Family stood in front of the bed, looking down at me, indebted to God that I had finally regained consciousness.

The hospital released me the following Saturday into a disorienting, foggy existence. I did not know who I was anymore and felt like a puzzle whose pieces had been scattered. Could I put myself back together again? Were all the pieces still there?

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13, NAS) became a scripture I memorized together with, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, NIV).

God/Source had always been the center focal point in my life, yet I began realizing what it meant by “letting go and letting God,” which lightened my perspective and allowed me to rise above my emotions to a place of spiritual enlightenment.

Before the accident, I’d felt like a clear glass jar full of vitality and love. Being an avid runner, bicyclist, canoeist, and x-country skier, I had an active lifestyle. Playing the piano, sewing up clothes, painting pictures, and reading were other hobbies I enjoyed.

After the accident, I was a smoke-colored glass jar that was empty. A stretched optic nerve resulted in double vision. I would often say things backward or stop mid-sentence. My short-term memory and concentration decreased, so I wrote everything down to remember. Opposite behavior qualities emerged, including introversion, moodiness, and irritability.

A fatigue emerged that made me feel like I was asleep even when awake. I experienced “sensory overload,” which made concentrating on the immediate task difficult. I was experiencing symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. My relationships with those closest to me went under quite a strain.

People often said I looked fine, not knowing the distress that lurked in the depths of my soul because the injury was INTERNAL, not external. Yes, I was extremely grateful that I had not been disfigured, but injury occurs on the inside, too. This simply reemphasized to me, “For the Lord sees no as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord look on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7, RSV).

Since my friends and family lacked insight regarding head trauma, this made me draw closer to God because He could understand all my needs.

Looking back in my previous journal writings, I sensed an urgent need to bond with God and know and love myself. Using this convalescing time, I was being given a second chance to appreciate and reclaim those qualities that were still available to me.

“…that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, RSV).

I practiced the piano to increase concentration skills, painted, and began to read and record my voice to re-learn concepts. Living on the boat, bicycling along the country roads, and sketching summer scenes brought renewed vitality.

Now, 26 years later, this clairvoyance, peace, and love empower my life with inner knowing and joy.

– See more at: http://www.tut.com/article/details/232-my-near-death-experience-and-the-power-of-love/?articleId=232#sthash.9nuzq95R.dpuf

http://www.tut.com/article/details/232-my-near-death-experience-and-the-power-of-love/?articleId=232

My Near Death Journey

My life came to a startling halt when a large truck smashed into the driver’s side of my small car. The impact crunched my vehicle like aluminum foil. The initial force thrust my seat to the passenger’s side of the vehicle. Rescue workers used the jaws-of-life to extract me from the wreckage. Notified of the accident, my husband sped wildly to the hospital.

The accident resulted in extensive swelling to the left side of my brain, broken ribs and a collapsed lung, and lower back injuries. Being in good physical condition at the time of the accident, I was spared internal injuries.

The doctors stated to family that if I did not regain consciousness and the brain’s swelling continued, they would have to operate to relieve the pressure. Brain damage or neurological impairments were possible.

Family remained at my bedside, hoping that I would regain consciousness. While friends and family prayed for me, my spirit traveled to a vividly colorful yet familiar place – my grandparents’ house (both had passed away prior to the accident). Their environment was lucid, tranquil, appreciative and loving. All the flowers, environment and people radiated this intense saturation of love and communicated telepathically.

In this dreamlike encounter, I was again an animated child of five soaring on my favorite swing set. Grandpa was close-by working in his garden. Grandma was on her way to walk the grassy, wooded trail along the creek that Grandpa kept neatly manicured. For prayer time, she referred to it as her rosary path. As I stood at the base of the rosary path next to the St. Francis statue surrounded by roses, I was no longer a child of five but a woman. As Grandma looked down to me from her path, she asked me to come with her in her strong Czechoslovakian accent. In a melancholy yet courageous voice I told her that I had to go now.

Was God asking me to stop long enough to take a good look at myself and realize how much I had to be thankful for NOW, in the PRESENT MOMENT? I truly believe that in my race to be more, do more, and become more, I had somehow quit appreciating who I already was.

After responding to Grandma’s question, I awoke from the coma. Family stood in front of the bed, looking down at me, indebted to God that I had finally regained consciousness.

The hospital released me the following Saturday into a disorienting, foggy existence. I did not know who I was anymore and felt like a puzzle whose pieces had been scattered. Could I put myself back together again? Were all the pieces still there?

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13, NAS) became a scripture I memorized together with, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, NIV).

God/Source had always been the center focal point in my life, yet I began realizing what it meant by “letting go and letting God,” which lightened my perspective and allowed me to rise above my emotions to a place of spiritual enlightenment.

Before the accident, I’d felt like a clear glass jar full of vitality and love. Being an avid runner, bicyclist, canoeist, and x-country skier, I had an active lifestyle. Playing the piano, sewing up clothes, painting pictures, and reading were other hobbies I enjoyed.

After the accident, I was a smoke-colored glass jar that was empty. A stretched optic nerve resulted in double vision. I would often say things backward or stop mid-sentence. My short-term memory and concentration decreased, so I wrote everything down to remember. Opposite behavior qualities emerged, including introversion, moodiness, and irritability.

A fatigue emerged that made me feel like I was asleep even when awake. I experienced “sensory overload,” which made concentrating on the immediate task difficult. I was experiencing symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. My relationships with those closest to me went under quite a strain.

People often said I looked fine, not knowing the distress that lurked in the depths of my soul because the injury was INTERNAL, not external. Yes, I was extremely grateful that I had not been disfigured, but injury occurs on the inside, too. This simply reemphasized to me, “For the Lord sees no as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord look on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7, RSV).

Since my friends and family lacked insight regarding head trauma, this made me draw closer to God because He could understand all my needs.

Looking back in my previous journal writings, I sensed an urgent need to bond with God and know and love myself. Using this convalescing time, I was being given a second chance to appreciate and reclaim those qualities that were still available to me.

“…that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, RSV).

I practiced the piano to increase concentration skills, painted, and began to read and record my voice to re-learn concepts. Living on the boat, bicycling along the country roads, and sketching summer scenes brought renewed vitality.

Now, 26 years later, this clairvoyance, peace, and love empower my life with inner knowing and joy.

– See more at: http://www.tut.com/article/details/232-my-near-death-experience-and-the-power-of-love/?articleId=232#sthash.9nuzq95R.dpuf

http://www.tut.com/article/details/232-my-near-death-experience-and-the-power-of-love/?articleId=232

The Carousel Circuit!!!

All six carousels were donated between 1919 – 1934 by *George F. Johnson, founder of the Endicott Johnson Corporation (1857-1948).  His gift to the community was that all can enjoy riding the carousels for free!  The carousels were manufactured from the Allan Herschell Company, North Tonawanda, NY. 

Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day Broome County, NY.

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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY

“The Twilight Zone” Walking  Distance (TV Episode 1959) by Rod Serling”

http://www.wearemoviegeeks.com/2011/09/the-twilight-zone-carousel-opens-in-rod-serlings-hometown/

Recreation Park Gazebo
Recreation Park Pavilion, Binghamton, NY

Recreation Park Carousel and its housing Pavilion were built in 1925 with 60 “jumper” horses four abreast and two chariots.

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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
Recreation Park Carousel
Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY

This community has the only four abreast Herschell carousels still in existence which are:

  • C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel
  • Recreation Park Carousel
  • Ross Park Carousel
Ross Park Carousel
Ross Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY

Ross Park Carousel built in 1920 houses 60 “jumper” horses which are four abreast and two chariots.  It is currently under renovation.

C. Fred Johnson Carousel
C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel

C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel and the Pavilion were constructed in 1923 which houses 72 figures, all are “jumpers”  which are four abreast.

Highland Carousel
Highland Park Carousel, Endwell, NY

Highland Park Carousel was built in 1925 and originally located at the old En-Joie Park in Endicott, then relocated to its current location.  It has 36 “jumper” animals with a pig and a dog situated three abreast!

George W. Johnson Carousel
George W. Johnson Park Carousel, Endicott, NY

George W. Johnson Park Carousel was built in 1934 with 36 horses three abreast and two chariots enclosed in the original Pavilion. 

West Endicott Carousel
West Endicott Park Carousel, Union, NY

West Endicott Park Carousel built in 1929 has 36 animals three abreast, including a dog and a pig along with horses, all are “jumpers” and enclosed in a Pavilion.

There are fewer than 150 antique carousels left in the United States and Canada. 


*In gratitude to George F. Johnson and his vision for welfare capitalism.  Both sides of my family were immigrants from Czechloslovakia who worked at the Endicott Johnson Shoe Factory.  Mr. Johnson provided a pamphlet to all new employees called “An EJ Worker’s First Lesson in the Square Deal.”  Some of these benefits included shoes, medical, subsidized housing, playgrounds, parks and FREE CAROUSEL RIDES!

http://www.npr.org/2010/12/01/131725100/the-legacy-of-george-f-johnson-and-the-square-deal

©Loriginal Designs

In Honor of Memorial Day

“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.”

William Penn

The above photograph was taken of my grandfather, G. Clifford Mitchell with my mom, Connie A. (Mitchell) Marchell, on his return from surviving a ‘million dollar’ wound while serving our country at The Battle of the Bulge in World War II.  Some of you have read postings about Grandma Marge whose first husband was G. Clifford Mitchell.  This first year without Grandma with us, I planted her favorite flowers, red geraniums, at their memorial stone.  Looking around I saw volunteers with little American Flags being placed alongside a majority of the stones at Calvary Cemetery.

In honor of all the men and women who serve and have given their lives for the gift of our freedom, it is a time of deep reflection for the many sacrifices made by the bravery of those who committed to serve The United States of America.  Many families experience great challenges by being separated from their loved ones when they are called to serve their country in the military.  And some are called to make the ultimate sacrifice.  We have so very much to be indebted to these selfless individuals who believe in this great gift they provide for our country.

Let us hope that there will someday be a time where we will no longer require to fight for our freedom but to be able to cooperate and collaborate with one another.  I suppose that is what the new heaven and new earth are all about, where the lion lies down with the lamb and peace reigns supremely across the lands.

“We shall find peace.  We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.”

Anton Chekhov

Chert Dog’s Greatest Gift: Quantum Leaps of Faith (Jaco Kitty)

Chapter 1: Watershed (excerpt)

Psalm 91

Micah 6:8

Romans 8:28-31

Brrrrr, is it ever cold and windy from this high vantage point! All I can remember, really, is somebody took me for a long car ride and when the vehicle finally stopped, I was thrown out of it into a very dark and scary night. I am so thankful that I have excellent night vision because it helped me negotiate my unfamiliar surroundings. The side of the country road had pieces of rock salt which went in between my “20 paws and 22 claws” and I let out a squeak as I attempted to find some soft snow to wash away the sting. Yep, I was born with five toes on each of my paws and two extra claws which are located nicely between my “thumb” and four toes on my front two legs. Do you think THAT is the reason why they left me here? I know I have really big paws, but that’s what makes me unique!

Then, this really LOUD truck went chu-chugging along by where I had been soaking my paws and the bright headlights startled me as I ran away from the roadside into the pitch blackness of the slopping field below. There were rocks and clumps of snow together with prickly bushes and a barbed wire fence. Somehow I negotiated through the midnight maize towards some dried grass and welcoming brush. This seemed like a reasonable spot to take a rest for a bit, or so I thought. All of a sudden, some type of wild animal came out of the blindness of the night running right towards me! I must say my heart skipped quite a few beats as it felt as if it had jumped up into my throat as I sped towards the closest tree I could find. I climbed up as high as I could because I am still very young and don’t weigh very much yet so the very tiny limbs can support me.

Well, do you remember me telling you about how many toes I have? Now I know why God equipped me with such gargantuan paws. For what seemed to be an eternity for me, I held onto those fragile branches atop that big old oak tree. The wind picked up and the tree began to sway in the wind as I trembled and clung even tighter to the tiny branches. Then, the sun began to rise up over the hilltop as the sunlight shed some warmth on my nearly frozen body. Some chickadees flew up to see me as they sang their morning tunes. In different circumstances, I would have been dashing after THEM up the tree, but in my current situation, I was gladdened by their company.

Once the sunshine began to allow me to see my predicament more clearly, I literally wanted to take my one paw and place it up over my eyes in disbelief. What in heaven’s name was I going to do to get myself out of this situation? I had climbed so far up this friendly oak that my only solution would be to attempt to turn around and climb DOWN the tree. That’s about when the hypothermia began to set in. I hadn’t slept all night. I was hungry and dehydrated so I did what any logical person would do in a similar situation – I began to cry. What happened, though, is that I couldn’t stop crying. I’m sure you’ve heard this expression before: HAULT – don’t let yourself get too hungry, too angry, too lonely or too tired. Well, I had reached full-tilt on all four of those topics and then some!

As I cried deliriously, the most amazingly wonderful thing happened! A woman had been walking alongside the road and heard my calls. She climbed over the barbed wire fence and was underneath the tree looking up and talking to me. When I finally took a few deep breaths and subsided my almost hiccup crying reaction I was having, she began walking around the bottom of the oak’s trunk as she attempted to climb up a few branches. Then she motioned for me to jump down to a bigger limb which was quite a caper from my perspective. I just couldn’t let go. She then climbed back down the tree and went on her knees and prayed. Now, these past twenty-four hours have really encompassed the full spectrum of emotions for me, to say the least. Here I was last night being discarded by someone who didn’t appreciate me to this gal who not only tried to climb the tree to get me, but is now praying for me?

That was the “ah, ha” moment for me as I took my “first of many quantum leap of faith” to a lower limb and my enormous claws and paws grabbed onto the tree’s bark firmly. She encouraged me as I knew I would have to jump one more time before she could climb up to reach me. So, I literally closed my eyes when I sprang the second time and landed on the side of the trunk with pieces of the oak’s rough outer layers and small branches falling away. It was then that I truly learned what unconditional love really is. As she reached for me, I felt this amazing calmness come over me because I knew I had been saved.

Enveloped in her comforting and warm embrace, she wrapped her rainbow-hued fluffy yarn scarf around me and held firmly onto my paws else I decide to spring out of her arms. At this point, that was the last thing on my mind! Trembling and exhausted, I kept dozing off on our walk down the road and up the hill to where her home was nestled. As we approached our destination, a neighbor met us and offered a few cat toys, litter box and comforted me as I welcomed her kind words.

When we walked down the driveway to her home, a loud ruckus of several dogheads barking startled me as I almost sprang out of her grasp. Gladly, these friendly but very talkative neighbor’s pets were contained in a large fence surrounding their property. Whew, thank goodness for that! I’m sure they are friendly as they were my older brother’s girlfriends, but just the same, I am a kitten – not a doghead.

In Memory of Margaret D. Petran Mitchell Stolarcyck (excerpt)

Chapter 10: Tomatoes, Sunflowers and Roses

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

Lori found this writing John had done about his mother-in-law
Margaret Stolarcyk’s halupki the day after my Master had passed.
I personally do not care for cabbage, but John just loved it – please
read:

The Saga of the Last Halupki 

You came to me in a big red bowl, thanks to
Grandma Marge – you and 25 or 30 little piglets
in your kraut and sauce. I could have devoured the
whole bowl at one sitting.
But no – I decided to portion them out over
three days – sounds reasonable to me. Three here,
four there, one snack, two snacks – well, you get the
picture.
Finally, there was but one – and a perfect one at
that. The art and love that went into making you was
quite evident. The corners of the cabbage leaf neatly
tucked to hold every morsel intact. There you lay in
that big red bowl, nestled in a bed of kraut and sauce
topped by a strip of bacon – a little lovely – maybe. A
sight to behold – yes.
And as I opened and closed that refrigerator
door my mouth would water in anticipation of eating
that last tasty treat. But no – I would save you for
later – prolong the agony.
Then finally – it’s time to end this torment and
enjoy this last treat. Nuke for a few second – just
enough to warm it through. Then delicately slice and
savor each bite – right. Wrong – the savage in me
took over and I attacked this last morsel like a pack
of piranhas!
As quiet time took over and I wiped the corner
of my mouth with a napkin, I mumbled under my
breath –
Rest in peace you little bastard – you will
torment me no more.

So, what do you think about the symbolism in his writing?
It personally speaks to me about his life in a “halupki” shell, if you
will. Intelligent, handsome, athletic and witty, with a beautiful wife
and family, yet he had that one halupki in the batch which tempted
and tormented him during his entire adult life. The apostle Paul
speaks often about this weak nature and thorn in our side. He goes on
to say that it is only through our weakness that we are made strong
because we are to draw closer to God and He will draw closer to us. I
witnessed that moment of peaceful surrender and acceptance of John
that summer while he watched the sunset. All I can say is thanks be
to God for giving me such a wonderful Master and for God’s grace
to bring peace to John’s tormented soul.

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Sisters Margaret and Bobbie together once again

 

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A Tofino/Loriginal Romeo Series Photography/Art

“Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Through the inspirational, pristine and professional photographs taken by Tofino Photography, following are Loriginal Designs oil on canvas colorful painting interpretations together with Tofino Photography’s corresponding extraordinary photography.

Both the photography and the art prints are available for purchase through Tofino Photography. Contact the link for Tofino Photography below for more details.

https://tofinophotography.wordpress.com/

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Romeo’s Sunset Rapture” by ©Tofino Photography

Romeos Sunset Rapture resized

Romeo’s Sunset Rapture” Oil on Canvas ©Loriginal Designs

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“A Tofino Sunset Series” by ©Tofino Photography

A Tofino Sunset Series resized

“A Tofino Sunset Series” Oil on Canvas by ©Loriginal Designs

Eagle Eclipse 462017

“Eagle Eclipse” by ©Tofino Photography

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“Eagle Eclipse” Oil on Canvas by ©Loriginal Designs

©Tofino Photography

https://tofinophotography.wordpress.com/

©Loriginal Designs

Golden Chrysalis

 

The definition of chrysalis is something still in the process of development.  Is our life that of a golden chrysalis to then be born into beautiful butterflies?  All of these photos were taken by me in my flower garden.  Each of these butterflies flew up and landed on me first, then enjoyed the flowers for several minutes.  They all symbolize loved ones who have been reborn into their new lives.  The top black/orange/blue/white butterfly arrived on my dad’s anniversary of his passing.  The yellow and black in the middle is my grandmother finally free to spread her wings.  The Monarch arrived when I was pursuing educational pursuits, as my mom is and always will be the one who celebrates my victories.  The light yellow and black worn butterfly symbolizes to me the importance of perseverance irregardless of the circumstances.  All are miracles.  Thanks be to God!

Epilogue from “My Father’s Greatest Gift”

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“When we die, we leave all that we have

and take with us all that we are.”

Connie A. Mitchell Marchell

“My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

Ah, Doghead here. Hope you enjoyed hearing about what
my mission was while I was here. Just thought I’d like to point
out the synchronicity of all of the events that led to bringing that
much needed peace and serenity to John’s tormented soul. His wife,
Connie, had told him that if she were ever to leave the earth plane,
she would come back as his dog because he gave so much love and
attention to all of the animals in his life. All I can tell you on that
note is that since Love is all there is and we are all One in the Spirit,
it is quite possible that her love channeled through me to mend his
broken heart and bring life more abundantly into his life. So my
mission was accomplished and I want to thank you for giving me the
opportunity to share my experience of the unlimited powers of love
with you. Doghead out.

Grandma Marge’s Greatest Gift

Grandma Marge in Port Charolette, Florida her wonderful winter home!

In Memory of Margaret D. Petrany Mitchell Stolarcyk
2/26/20 – 8/15-8/16/2016

I felt led to share an incredible experience that Grandma Marge gifted me the week of her passing one year ago.  The day she passed, she held my left hand very tightly as I knew she was being prepared to continue her next life.  My fraternal Grandmother Susie passed on August 15th which is celebrated as the Blessed Mother’s Assumption.  Now please keep in mind that Grandma Marge was always early for everything her entire life. Yet, this most important day of which countless rosaries and prayers were said for many throughout her life, her date of crossing over was early on August 16th.  Grandma was always someone who would share a joke and make you happy, and we laugh at her intention to celebrate her passing on the Blessed Mother’s Assumption and just missing it.  Since there are different time zones throughout the world, we still believe that she was honored to celebrate her passing on that sacred day.  Her beloved daughter, Connie (my mom) passed on Easter Sunday the year of her journey to new beginnings.  When Mom was here with us, she traveled to Medugorje and with the children visionaries which impacted her total spiritual life.

Several years ago, St. Padre Pio’s Stigmata glove was being presented for blessings at St. Cyril’s and Grandma Marge and her sister, Bobbie took me there for a continual detached retina on my left eye which I was traveling to have surgery on once again.  Aunt Bobbie held the framed glove and blessed my eye with a rose petal placed over the glove.  Since that time, my left eye has been stable!  Needless to say, St. Padre Pio is one of many Patron Saints for me!  Aunt Bobbie (whose birthday was the same day as mine) recently passed and her service was held at St. Cyril’s with a beautiful testimony to her faith.  Now the two youngest sisters, who were from a family of 11, are now celebrating!

As family arrived and preparations began, I assembled her outfit with her favorite bright pink blouse and of course, her “poppuchies” (slippers in Slovak) together with her crystal rosaries and wedding ring.  After I cleaned the wedding ring, I placed it in her rosary pouch which I held in my left hand.  Immediately, the center of the palm of my left hand puffed-out like a fast-forward movie.  It hurt and I placed ice on it, thinking that it was just a spider bite.  Then it began to enlarge and turn blue and sunk into the palm of my hand, as a heart-shaped blue stigmata.  It didn’t bleed, but the spiritual empowerment from this gift made me become a channel for Grandma to prepare things for her celebration as I was led to scripture for her readings Daniel 3:52-90 (which I read) and Philippians 1:18-23 (my cousin read).  Fr. Tim made an incredible reference to the meaning of pink symbolizing love and commented on her countless acts of mercy and kindness towards others throughout her life.  The entire week of preparations I didn’t sleep and was assembling photo albums and visiting with family to prepare the most beautiful celebration of her life with us.  It was that week when the corn stalk tassel turned pink in my backyard as well as her yellow butterfly appeared in my garden.

As I carried her rose-painted ashes vase to her resting place, and sat next to her son holding his right hand with my left hand, I knew why I had received this gift from her.  It was for her love and healing light to permeate through me into her beloved son.  And then the blue heart-shaped stigmata disappeared.

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Grandma Marge’s Greatest Gift

Grandma Marge in Port Charolette, Florida her wonderful winter home!

In Memory of Margaret D. Petrany Mitchell Stolarcyk
2/26/20 – 8/15-8/16/2016

I felt led to share an incredible experience that Grandma Marge gifted me the week of her passing one year ago.  The day she passed, she held my left hand very tightly as I knew she was being prepared to continue her next life.  My fraternal Grandmother Susie passed on August 15th which is celebrated as the Blessed Mother’s Assumption.  Now please keep in mind that Grandma Marge was always early for everything her entire life. Yet, this most important day of which countless rosaries and prayers were said for many throughout her life, her date of crossing over was early on August 16th.  Grandma was always someone who would share a joke and make you happy, and we laugh at her intention to celebrate her passing on the Blessed Mother’s Assumption and just missing it.  Since there are different time zones throughout the world, we still believe that she was honored to celebrate her passing on that sacred day.  Her beloved daughter, Connie (my mom) passed on Easter Sunday the year of her journey to new beginnings.  When Mom was here with us, she traveled to Medugorje and with the children visionaries which impacted her total spiritual life.

Several years ago, St. Padre Pio’s Stigmata glove was being presented for blessings at St. Cyril’s and Grandma Marge and her sister, Bobbie took me there for a continual detached retina on my left eye which I was traveling to have surgery on once again.  Aunt Bobbie held the framed glove and blessed my eye with a rose petal placed over the glove.  Since that time, my left eye has been stable!  Needless to say, St. Padre Pio is one of many Patron Saints for me!  Aunt Bobbie (whose birthday was the same day as mine) recently passed and her service was held at St. Cyril’s with a beautiful testimony to her faith.  Now the two youngest sisters, who were from a family of 11, are now celebrating!

As family arrived and preparations began, I assembled her outfit with her favorite bright pink blouse and of course, her “poppuchies” (slippers in Slovak) together with her crystal rosaries and wedding ring.  After I cleaned the wedding ring, I placed it in her rosary pouch which I held in my left hand.  Immediately, the center of the palm of my left hand puffed-out like a fast-forward movie.  It hurt and I placed ice on it, thinking that it was just a spider bite.  Then it began to enlarge and turn blue and sunk into the palm of my hand, as a heart-shaped blue stigmata.  It didn’t bleed, but the spiritual empowerment from this gift made me become a channel for Grandma to prepare things for her celebration as I was led to scripture for her readings Daniel 3:52-90 (which I read) and Philippians 1:18-23 (my cousin read).  Fr. Tim made an incredible reference to the meaning of pink symbolizing love and commented on her countless acts of mercy and kindness towards others throughout her life.  The entire week of preparations I didn’t sleep and was assembling photo albums and visiting with family to prepare the most beautiful celebration of her life with us.  It was that week when the corn stalk tassel turned pink in my backyard as well as her yellow butterfly appeared in my garden.

As I carried her rose-painted ashes vase to her resting place, and sat next to her son holding his right hand with my left hand, I knew why I had received this gift from her.  It was for her love and healing light to permeate through me into her beloved son.  And then the blue heart-shaped stigmata disappeared.

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The Ocean’s Depths

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As some of you may know, my Father, John V. Marchell, was also a writer.  In the following song verses that I wrote to a piano piece I composed, his writings are used as the chorus for the song.  Collaboration with our loved ones wherever they are is essential for us to unify in Spirit, Love and in Truth.  It is our calling, duty and responsibility to end this holocaust towards the very earth and all her creatures which were given us as a gift to love, honor and nurture in Mother Earth’s ceaseless giving back of herself with all of her resources.  It is time for us to give great gratitude by giving back to Gaia.

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The Ocean’s Depths

Beneath the abundant waters, there lies an inner strength,

For all of life regurgitates its inability for breath.

Corporate greed and power trample innocence, as born and unborn was ashore,

Oxygen and hydrogen’s purity are tainted, as Belezugh’s holocaust roars.

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Chorus

Let there be a world to see, let it be of inspiration.

Let there be a world to see, let it be of God’s creation.

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White sandy beaches with turquoise to indigo waters flow,

Sounds of children laughing, as birds soar in the wind and fly so ever low.

Sandcastles built along the coastline retain the putrid-smelling oil in their motes,

Fishermen haul in their cast-out nets containing lifeless fish into their boats.

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Chorus

Let there be a world to see, let it be of inspiration.

Let there be a world to see, let it be of God’s creation.

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The gift of life is given us to do with what we will,

In God We Trust are words of honor written on our currency bill.

There is still time to wash away all corruption from the past,

Through gratitude, love and mercy, the possibilities are vast.

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Chorus

Let there be a world to see, let it be of inspiration.

Let there be a world to see, let it be of God’s creation.

©Copyright Lori D. Marchell Carlsen and John V. Marchell

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“…Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest.”  Matthew 20:26

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“I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.” Anne Frank

Chapter 11: Mr. Svelte (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

Bootcamp has been very challenging for me as I am
ALWAYS hungry and get very tired on my walks uphill. After my
daily ‘choopie fit” I normally have “doggie aerobics” which entails
stretching my legs and working them as if I were swimming. I just
LOVE to swim! We also have fun with “spin the dog” which seems to
work very nicely on the carpeted floor in the living area. I get turned
around and around until I get really dizzy. It actually is lots of fun
because it makes me feel like a puppy once again. It is so important
to incorporate daily exercise into your life. As I am finding out,
I feel better, I look better and I have a brighter outlook and enjoy
activities more now that I am slimming down and building stronger
muscles. Sometimes I am referred to as Mr. Slimbutt which actually
is a wonderful compliment as opposed to my earlier nickname of
Mr. Coffee Table. Isn’t it great to tape over old messages with new
ones that are uplifting, motivating and energizing?! Oh boy, oh boy,
oh boy!

In my new neighborhood, there are several children who
come over to visit ME and even ask if they can walk ME! It makes
my heart sing and my dancing front paws sound like tap shoes on
the sidewalk. I get so excited going for walks with my new friends.
In the mornings, Lori walks me to the end of the block to visit with
a Slovak gentleman who reminds me a bit of John. He usually wears
a quilted flannel shirt just like my Master did and even speaks to me
in Slovak (Lori attempts to speak some words, but her inability to roll
her “rrrr’s” is a real disadvantage in speaking the language correctly).
Then the school bus arrives and all of my new friends get aboard the
bus and wave good-bye as they ride up the hill. I wish I could go to
school with them. I could talk to them about all of my stories that I am
sharing with you and they would laugh along with some of my antics.
Maybe some of the children have gone through losing someone that
they loved which would be something I could help them relate to as
well. I think what would be the most fun if I went to school is to ride
on the bus! I just LOVE RIDES! Don’t all Dogheads?…

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Silly Sylvester Somersaults

Sylvester came into my life Thanksgiving weekend while my brother and I were playing catch football outside.  He was still a kitten, but determined to make his home were I lived.  From the beginning, I could see that Sylvester didn’t know he was a cat because he believed in himself and that he could do anything that he set his mind to.

From “flying” from the back deck to the birch tree, wading in the steam alongside the property, “pointing” at pheasants in the brush, jumping to turn the light switch on or just climbing as high as he could go, he made certain that his message to me was clear – stand your ground, listen to your heart and follow your dreams.

The above video was a weekend project many years ago with friends as Sylvester was filmed doing somersaults, or the Slovak term, “koperdonitz” as Grandma Marge would call them. (Found on YouTube).  After a weekend of filming, he decides that he isn’t interested in somersaulting anymore and lets me know it on the last clip!  My first encounter with this acrobatic ability occurred  as he somersaulted into his food dish one day!  He brought much joy and laughter into my life and his message of believing in myself has resurfaced once again as a reminder to be true to my God-given gifts, talents and abilities and to somersault joyously through life!

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A Once In A Lifetime Love…

“It is good to have an end to journey towards; But it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

LeGuin

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On this day, May 20, 1961 my parents, John V. Marchell and Connie A. Mitchell were married.  It was a bittersweet wedding for my mom’s father, G. Clifford Mitchell, had passed from a heart attack less than a month prior to their wedding date.  Their love for me is crystal clear as I was the honeymoon baby.  Dad would often say to me that I was a ‘much loved child.’

I do believe that Grandpa Cliff’s Spirit has been with me always, as he was a graphic artist who, at an early age, was asked to work for Walt Disney.  He declined the offer and went into business for himself with many of his creative works promoting IBM in their beginning stages with their first place of operation located in Endicott, New York.

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So on this day, I honor my parents unconditional love and everlasting guidance still evident miraculously in my life as love transcends our human understanding.  It is through building a firm foundation by focusing on the gift of union which makes the relationship stronger and resilient to withstand any storm.  With the extraordinary gift of a once in a lifetime love,  one hundred percent belief, trust and faith in one another with open heart awareness; together the two open their arms wide to embrace the unknown.

As their hearts joined together pictured in the glowing setting sunset clouds, I know that their gift of new beginnings is approaching for me as their message permeates my soul.

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“It’s time to unite your hearts, for together your energies  combined are magnetic, magical and infinite in their abilities to manifest miracles.”

Mom and Dad

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“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore.”

Andre Gide

©Art and Photography by Loriginal Designs

Highland Lake, PA

(©wedding photograph, unknown)

The Rose

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!!!

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Mom loved to model, and this photo was taken of her preparing to go out on the stage at a local fashion show just 1 month prior to her death.  It is symbolic in that she is dressed in a wedding styled dress, where in some cultures, it was considered that a woman would be buried in her bridal dress to be going home to be with her groom (Jesus).  She also is pictured at the bottom of the staircase, as if it rises to heaven.

In memory of Connie A. Mitchell Marchell and all mothers including the entire animal kingdom, we have our lives to be thankful for their tenderness in carrying us within their womb and raising us in their lives.  Mom used to say that children were a gift loaned to us from heaven!

The Rose

She’s as beautiful as a delicate Peace Rose.

Her smile as radiant as the shining sun.

Her eyes sparkle as the evening stars.

Her words are always encouraging.

Her outlook is always positive.

Her heart is full of love.

As the fragrance of a rose grows more and more rich as it lives;

so does my mother’s warmth, faith and tender understanding

envelope all those who surround her.

But most of all, my mother has shown me the meaning of God in my life;

for her strength, courage and devout dedication to those she cares about

has shown me the meaning of life…LOVE.

And LOVE comes from God.

I Love Your Very, Very,Very Much, Mom!!!

Your Daughter Lori.

©Loriginal Designs

Reflections on Judgement 

“You can develop good judgement as you do the muscles of your body – by judicious, daily exercise.”

Grenvile Kleiser

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My favorite reference book is Roget’s Thesaurus for the various meanings behind the proper usage of words. Under the word judgement are five separate meanings!

  1. Intellect
  2. Discrimination
  3. Decision
  4. Condemnation
  5. Sentence

Through our lives lessons we learn to access intellectually the power of sound judgement in arriving to conclusions in decision-making in our lives.

The use of discernment in terms of discriminating what serves the highest and best for all concerned is utilizing another aspect of sound judgement in our lives. This can also be used towards spiritual discernment.

Our freedom and power of choice comes into play when we are calling upon utilizing out tool set in making decisions based on judgement.

Criticizing and lower vibrational fear based thinking is involved in condemning others acts, beliefs and behaviors without compassion when judgement is used in this context.

And then there is the legal system associated with controlling and manipulating others in sentencing them due to the judgement ascertained upon their actions.

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“I love when things are transparent, free and clear of all inhibition and judgement.”

Pharrell Williams

It became apparent to me this morning that the summons I recently received to serve on jury duty placed me in an awkward state of mind. Who am I to pass judgement on someone else? Have I lived their life, was I raised in their environment, have I experienced the social, moral, mental, spiritual and emotional influences that they have had and walked a mile in their shoes? And even then, who am I to judge? The log in my eye requires much more attention than the speck in my brother or sister’s eye.

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“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.”

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

It also became apparent to me when someone commented on something inadvertently directed towards me, it made me dig deeper in questioning myself to find the meaning to the feelings which were conjured up within me.

We all know that we are not to take things personally, yet there was a hidden message in what was said that made me “chew” on the concepts as I kept asking for a deeper understanding as to be clear about the message this messenger brought to me.

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“Judge not lest you be judged. For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

Matthew 7:1-3

Worthiness and self-love are core issues of the heart which are oftentimes disregarded in our early growth and learning process which eventually catches up to us.

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“What is not fully exposed earlier in life is revealed and made up for in development.”

Author Unknown

So the truth of the emotionally charged comment revealed an insightful level of understanding for me that was two-fold. First and foremost, when someone is unfairly judged, they unconsciously direct that towards others. Secondly, by it “affecting” me, it shows that I still have more inner self-healing to work on in that area of my life. It’s always about the refining and improving of yourself on this personal path of enlightenment, as all messages are a present to open and reveal the gift of inner growth.

So I am forever grateful for this message, for it has revealed a much deeper appreciation of conscious awareness towards others as well as teaching me what is most important in taking care of myself. It all comes down to compassion, unconditional love and forgiveness.

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“Circumstances and situations do color life but you have been given the mind to choose what the color shall be.”

John Homer Miller

The conclusion to my summons? It is clear that I will most probably not be selected for jury duty as it is not for me to judge – it is, however, essential to be compassionate towards all as our life is a journey of the heart.

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©Loriginal Designs

A Walk to Finch Hollow

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“On a day such as today, may it live on forever in your heart.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Precious are the moments that occur between the breath and warm the soul.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Travel lightly, step softly, live within the wonderment of the present.”

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“Mosaic colors of light dancing upon the trees sing joyously in the breeze which hushes our thoughts to breathe.”

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“Are dogs the angels in furry clothing which know us better than we know ourselves – our best friend for now and always.”

L.D. Marchell

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:2

“Only God can make a tree.”

Grandma Marge Stolarcyk

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“Sing to the Lord a new song!”

Psalm 96

©Loriginal Designs

 

Chapter 12: My, My, My, My, My Syria! (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

When I first laid eyes on her, I was hooked. My heart skipped
several beats! The sound of her bark was music to my Doghead
ears! She ran to me, with her fluffy white hair flowing in the gentle
breeze and her bright eyes winking at me as she ran up to me and
then around me and underneath me. I am in love for the first time
in my life! And better yet, she lives across the street from where I
now live! Oh, thank you God for giving me someone to love while I
am here helping out so many people! Well, we know that all things
work together for those that love God! All this diet and exercise has
transformed my body back to what I looked like when I was much
younger. I have so much energy now and it feels wonderful to go for
walks and actually jog a bit! All this preparation was definitely for a
reason. This little white flirty number moved in across the street and
my jaw dropped – she is the gal for me! Now I think I can realize just
how much John loved his wife. This lovely Bichon is named Syria and
our lives have changed for the better. She loves me just as much as I
love her – who would have guessed it?! Now, every single morning
for my walk I must go over to her house to say “hi.” Sometimes her
family opens the door for her to let her come out to see me, but other
times she just sits at the glass door looking out at me. I just don’t
understand why Lori can’t go over to the door and open it, but I guess
it is about respect of other people’s property and privacy. But all I
want to do is just be with her – she brings such joy to my heart and I
have a jump in my walk and a smile all of the time. Thank you, God,
for bringing Syria not only into my life, but across the street as well!

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PINK! Grandma Marge’s Trademark

On a beautiful August afternoon, I went to visit my Grandmother at the nursing home. The birds seemed to have a different energy around them as they sang gloriously in the trees where I parked, as if they were an entourage of angels celebrating life! It was the Blessed Mother’s Assumption and Grandma seemed to be preparing to go home. Her daughter (my Mom) had passed over 21 years ago, as well as her husbands and family and she seemed as if she was preparing for over the past month. She asked me to hug her and then held my left hand ever so tightly, then asked for me to put her ” Poppuchies” (slippers in Slovak) on her feet, demanding that I do it NOW! Then, she requested a hat for her head, NOW! Though lying in the bed, she wanted to be “ready” and asked to be seated in her reclining chair overlooking the hills NOW! And then I knew, the entourage was here for her and she, as always a punctual woman throughout her 96 years, was awaiting their arrival. Grandma transitioned that evening, but the family “joke” is that she thought that her love and devotion to the rosary, the Blessed Mother, and Jesus, her best friend, would have gotten her home on the Blessed Mother’s Assumption, but for the first time in her entire life, she was late! In my flower garden, the birds had planted a corn stalk and a sunflower. Sunflowers are one of many signs from my mom. The corn tassel turned PINK for one day – Grandma having a fun with sending signs that she is ALIVE, for LOVE JUST IS.

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A Convocation of Twelve Eagles

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“You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

On my morning hike the stellar sky and enlivening day brought about a feeling of oneness with Mother Earth around me. As I walked the local school track in meditation, I overheard a coach motivating the students he was training. The message he shared in encouraging, emphatic words: “You’re going to make mistakes on the field, that’s ok. Learn to fix them and move on.” Was he just coaching the athletes he was working with? As that message rang true to the very core of my being, I came upon the realization that was exactly how I have been approaching life. In the optimistic way he presented his message to those he was coaching, it brought about a yearning from those he was instructing to strive for improvement. The delivery of the message in a positive context planted the seed of working towards perfection within these adolescent youngsters.

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“Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud.”

Author unknown

More Eagles Grounded

As I left the track to venture up the back hill, I stopped as I came upon a congregation of immature eagles gathered alongside the ground as well as flying in the area! Thankfully I had my cell phone to photograph them, even though they are not professional looking nor close up shots. But the message was a very profound one for me in my journey of the heart. Symbolic as well, for the coach from the track training session had been instructing adolescent children on the importance of perseverance towards their goals, dreams and desires.

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“Being myself includes taking risks with myself, taking risks on new behavior, trying new ways of ‘being myself’, so that I can see who it is I want to be.”

Hugh Prather

Eagles Circling

As I stood there observing the eagles, they began to gather in a convocation as if to communicate with one another on their next soaring expedition, deciding on where the thermals and winds would allow for them to glide effortlessly to a new destination. I remember thinking how lucky they were to have each other to assist in their learning and growing stages of development, and how important that support system is within our own lives as well. When they began to unite as a circle of life joining their energies, I stood there with my arms reaching upwards towards their wings as they rose above me, their feathers just within reach of my outstretched arms. As they soared higher, I was able to count twelve of these youngsters who had graced me with their ‘anything is possible’ outlook on life. Their powerful, pure energy filled my soul with grandeur as a monumental experience for me in my personal life’s journey.

“Jesus said: With God, All things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

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“Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices; do the hardest thing for you. Act for yourself and face your truth.”

Katherine Mansfield

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From this profoundly enlightening experience, I slowly began the walk up the trail. As I looked to the right where some of the eagles had been grounded, I found a secondary eagle feather symbolically left for me from one of the messengers who flew into my life that morning. The eagle has been an animal totem for me my entire life and I have been attuned to their energy for some time. It has been a blessed experience for me to witness such a marvelous moment and to be able to share it with others as a way of showing that there is much around us to assist in our journey, we just need to be still, open and aware in trusting that still, small voice within, honoring Mother Earth and striving for the highest and best in all areas of our lives, knowing that mistakes are a part of our learning curve, in order for us to super duper quantumly soar!

Lori's Primary Feather

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

Thomas Edison

©Loriginal Designs

Faith and My Artistic Adventure

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“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore.”

Andre Gide

Today is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad as the Psalms express throughout their various expressions of keeping Joy in our lives. While living in Long Beach, California several years ago, my mother, Connie had her birthday on April 14th which was Good Friday that year and passed from an aortic complication to her heart on April 16, Easter Sunday. She had just turned 54. Our bond transcends limitations as it is heart – based, yet her physical presence and counsel, laughter and wisdom are sorely missed in my life. Mom was my cheerleader, encouraging me on my artistic path. When my car accident occurred, it was truly a miracle that I survived, let alone still had the use of my arms, legs and hands as well as mental, physical and spiritual healing. A great part of me died when she passed. Yet, through these experiences I have still focused my creativity in an attempt to rekindle the broken, scattered pieces of my life.

Following are some art pieces I have created throughout my life, some donated, some given as gifts, some available for sale, and happily accepting commissioned artwork from photography utilizing various requested mediums with various works included in this posting. Feel free to contact me if interested at: lorid.loriginals@yahoo. com, via the message on the website or look at my profile for more details.

“For Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.” Hebrews 11:1

The main posting photograph is an Altar Cloth with applique, sewing and beadwork, with sequin and ribbon created for St. Vincent de Paul Church in Vestal, NY which was our home place of worship. The altar and tabernacle cloth below are displayed for First Holy Communion every year, and ironically left out for Mother’s Day the following Sunday in my mom’s memory. Hundreds of hours were put into the tapestries, a true labor of love.

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My Godfather, Frank Hranek, or known as “Kristnetata” in Slovak, passed from leukemia. I created an oil painting of Cayuga Sunrise Memories with his classic Chris Craft mahogany boat . The painting was donated to Lourdes End of Life Hospice in his memory. Another labor of love toward a man who continually gave from his heart.

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A year prior to my Mom passing, I painted an acrylic of my parents, but a spiritual interpretation of their heavenly essence on the other side of the veil and gave it to them. I think between the painting and Chert Dog, Dad gradually adjusted to his devastating grief as my Mom was truly an earth angel! I still hear about her great assistance in encouraging and praying with others and her random acts of kindness from people I have never met before. Mom often wore flowers in her hair and radiated pure joy!

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Grandma Marge and Grandpa Eddie Stolarcyk had a home in Port Charolette, Florida with the canal behind them, the harbor beyond them and fruit and flowering trees everywhere! When we would visit, we were delegated to pick, pack and transport grapefruit when there were not shipping constraints. These amazingly grapefruits were disfigured on the outside but surprisingly pink, sweet and extremely juicy on the inside – as Grandma would say, Nector from the Gods! When Grandma had to move to assisted living, I painted an acrylic of her home on Bangsburg Drive as it followed her around the entire nursing facility from room to room as she began to transition. It is donated to the nursing home for their assistance in making the last few years of her life as precious as possible. We were blessed with Jose, an employee who became Grandma Marge’s “boyfriend” and who would learn to say to her every day, “Ya ti muc, muc, muc lubiem!” which means in Slovak “I love you very, very, very much!” It is her faith which has instilled in me overcoming all obstacles in the pursuit of my dreams and allowed for “My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever.” She was my first editor and known to all as “the word lady” as well as Mrs. Hallmark, who remembered every anniversary, birthday and holiday. She was Perfection Personified in a Pure, Loving and PINK Way!

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Grandma Marge was quite a party lady in the day, and I found golden bead trimmed party dress of hers and decided to paint a hummingbird with acrylic on a piece of of the dress material and used the beadwork to frame the quilted piece. This one is for sale. You may contact me at: lorid.loriginals@yahoo. com, via the message on the website or look at my profile for more details. (Commissioned work available upon request).

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I enjoy incorporating my painting on material and quilting it into wall hangings. I’ve done it for years. Following are a few more examples of my craft. The Taughannock Waterfall well as the 1957 Pink Packard Pet are for sale. You may contact at: lorid.loriginals@yahoo. com, via the message on the website or look at my profile for more details. (Commissioned work available upon request).

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quilted-packard

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The further examples of my artwork and quilting and not available for sale.

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Additional samples from pastel, oil, crayon and pencil to painting a nativity scene follow.

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As some of you may know, I also give private piano and art lessons and have also done painting parties. Usually, my piano students also take art lessons! A few photos below. Feel free to contact me for more information at lorid.loriginals@yahoo.com, my website or see my profile for more information.

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Miranda Birthday Party 1152017

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And of course, the children just adore Jaco Kitty! What a “ham!”

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Living By Faith

“We do not lose heart, because our inner being is renewed each day even though our body is being destroyed at the same time. The present burden of our trial is light enough, and earns for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. We do not fix our gaze on what is seen but on what is unseen. What is seen is transitory; what is unseen last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Winter Wonderment!

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“Purity”

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“Dawn”

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“Hillside”

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“Jaco Kitty”

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“Happy Dog”

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“Relaxation”

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“Picnic”

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“Birds Eye View”

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“Rejuvenation”

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“Restful”

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“Peaceful”

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“Rainbow Orbs”

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“Evergreen”

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“Footprints”

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“Acorn Collection”

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“Expansive”

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“Glimpses”

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“Steely Sky”

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“Amber Sky”

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“Garnet Sky”

©Loriginal Designs

 

 

 

 

 

A Holistic Harvest on Keuka Lake!

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“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

John Muir

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“No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening – still all is Beauty!”

John Muir

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“Everything is flowing — going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty-making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks… While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood…in Nature’s warm heart.”

John Muir

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“One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of Nature — inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her material is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe, and faithfully watch and wait the reappearance of everything that melts and fades and dies about us, feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.”

John Muir

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“How little note is taken of the deeds of Nature! What paper publishes her reports? …. Who publishes the sheet-music of the winds, or the written music of water written in river-lines? Who reports and works and ways of the clouds, those wondrous creations coming into being every day like freshly upheaved mountains? And what record is kept of Nature’s colors – – the clothes she wears – of her birds, her beasts – her live-stock?”

John Muir

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“Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts.”

John Muir

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“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

John Muir

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“Amos the Bordeaux Mastiff descendant of Turner and Hooch (aka Beasely).”

Thank you Paul and Sharon Kayes!

http://www.bighousebordeaux.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turner_%26_Hooch

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©Loriginal Designs

©John Muir

©bighousebordeaux.com

©Turner and Hooch

Special thanks to Paul and Sharon Kayes and meeting Amos the Bordeaux Mastiff!

Welcome to Chenango Valley State Park!

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“When sparkles dance upon the water, our souls twinkle like stars in the evening sky.”

L.D. Marchell

“Nature’s infinite palette splashes vibrancy upon the autumn day.”

L.D. Marchell

“We are drawn back to Mother Gaia, connected with her compassion and ever-constant love for all; in our returning back, we become one united with her; calling us to love her as she has unconditionally given infinitely and ceaselessly to us.”

L.D. Marchell

The breath of life, passionate, rapturous, invigorating, revitalizing; Let us welcome God’s love with open arms.”

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“All roads lead home to where the heart is.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Friendship is two spirits allowing each other to soar and fly.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Take time to travel apart for the answers you seek are within.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Faith is believing in things not yet seen but felt with the heart.”

Hebrews 11:1

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“Walk ever softly, tenderly taking in the wonderment of the present.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Wherever your heart is, there also is your home.”

L.D. Marchell

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©Loriginal Designs

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Indian Summer at Greenwood Park

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“Steely blue sky against autumn’s wondrous array; summer’s reborn as caterpillars come out to play.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Just when the caterpillar thought it’s life was over, it became a butterfly.”

Author Unknown

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“Go at life with abandon; give it all you’ve got.  And life will give all it has to you.”

Norman Vincent Peale

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“Did you know that by taking leaps of faith, the angelic winds will allow for you to soar?”

L.D. Marchell

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“Timeless meanderings on a stellar autumn stroll.”

L.D. Marchell

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“To be young at heart is the joy of life’s precious gift.”

L.D. Marchell

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“As woodlands whisper and sway in the wind, the call of nature speaks ever softly to our soul.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Upon Mother Gaia we walk ever gingerly, mindful of her gracious generosity if only we pause to listen to God’s unconditional love.”

L.D. Marchell

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“On this magnificent day, may each piece of  the precious moment create the mosaic of your life.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Be ever-present with all the senses, for miracles abound.”

L.D. Marchell

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©Loriginal Designs

©Norman Vincent Peale

 

 

An Autumn Saunter Around Quaker Lake

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“The water’s edge mirrors to us the glory of God’s creation.”

L.D. Marchell

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“The reflections of our inner self become evident upon the waters’ welcoming our heart home.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Timelessness is the hush of heaven.”

L.D. Marchell

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“In flight we travel as our awakening state becomes one.”

L.D. Marchell

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“As autumn is upon us, new life is at its door. Rejoice in its glorious finale, unencumbered now to soar.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Golden yellows and brilliant burgundy accents upon us now; as only the Master Artist could envision somehow.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Only God can make a tree.”

Grandma Marge Stolarcyk

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“Our adventure to awakening’s pathway is the journey to the heart.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Being open to all of our heightened senses, living presently in the moment, relishing the gift of life.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Let there be a world to see, let it be of inspiration. Let there be a world to see, let it be of God’s creation.”

John V. Marchell

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“In quietness and calmness we release and welcome all that is our connection to Mother Gaia.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Through all of life’s twists and turns, it is the colorful, blissful treasured moments that ignite passion of the soul.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Now abideth these three things: Faith, Hope and Love. And the greatest of these is Love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

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“Memories of childhood laughter echo as the water softly lapping into shore, recalling summer fun and hearts overflowing joy.”

L.D. Marchell

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“To the revitalizing waters we are drawn, as if it holds for us all the answers we seek; Tranquility is its messenger as it renews our mind, body and soul.”

L.D. Marchell

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©Loriginal Designs

©John V. Marchell

©Margaret D. Stolarcyk

Quaker Lake, Pennsylvania

Arrowhead Parable Book Signing!

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Arrowhead Parable Christian Store Book Signing

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Julie C. Tedesco, Rob Nearing (Calvin J. Boal), Lori D. Marchell Carlsen (L.D. Marchell)

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“London Calling Jesus”

Author:  Julie C. Tedesco

 

“St. George’s Cross and the Siege of Fort Pitt:  Battle of Three Empires”

“Valiant Warrior:  Knight of the Third Crusade”

“Last Run of the Whisperer”

Author:  Calvin J. Boal

 

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

Author:  L.D. Marchell

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“Sharon Whalen and L.D. Marchell:  my fourth grade teacher from MacArthur School!”

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“Visit from my friend Lisa!”

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“Thank you to Arrowhead Parable Christian Store and everyone who visited the book signing!”

©Loriginal Designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deck Duty

Chert Dog’s Greatest Gift: Quantum Leaps of Faith

The backyard deck is “purrfectly” designed for me from “hiding-out” behind the railings to sitting atop the railings which are wide enough for sitting comfortably. There is always much activity when February to March arrive, as the robins return to build their nests and other “birdheads” arrive on their way to stay for the season or venture further up to the north county. I much prefer the view from the deck, though taking naps in the flower bed during the warm summer afternoons is another of my favorite things to do!

Besides the chatter and flutter of birds arriving, I have been noticing an increased rainbow effect presenting itself within the clouds, brilliant colorful hues and angel-like feather wisps with colors changing as the moisture content seems to arrange an artist palette in the sky! Truly a magnificent sight to see, but you can “feel” it, too. Maybe because I have a strong sixth sense and can “hear” things at a higher pitch opens my awareness more to the prevalent intoxicating energy of love and light permeating and surrounding us, flowing from within our very being and resonating to all the quantum frequencies.