Friday, November 30, 2018

Facing our emotions

"It would be impossible to estimate how much time and energy we invest in trying to fix, change, and deny our emotions -- especially the ones that shake us at our very core, like hurt, jealousy, loneliness, shame, rage, and grief." ~Debbie Ford

Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Take your time

"Try to be patient. Don't rush anything before it's ready. All good things take time." ~Croydon Allen

Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Start small, think big

"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A variety of friends

"Having many true friends is the key to happiness." 
~Epicurus

Beauty in variety / Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Our home in a holiday commercial

"From a commercial point of view, if Christmas did not exist it would be necessary to invent it." ~Katherine Whitehorn

Cindy La Ferle

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Setting up the living room / Cindy La Ferle
Last week, our home was transformed by Detroit's TMV Group into a festive set for a Faygo Redpop commercial. 

Two days prior to the shoot, a film crew rearranged the furniture in our living and dining rooms to accommodate lights and production equipment. Meanwhile, a Christmas tree with twinkle lights was assembled in our living room, then trimmed with ornaments. The staircase was festooned with bows and garlands; the fireplace mantle decked with holiday greens and Christmas stockings. (Doug and I did our best to stay out of the way while watching the creative process.)


Remy / Cindy La Ferle
Now airing on television, the commercial is both fresh and nostalgic -- and we're delighted to be a part of it. Best of all, you'll see that our adorable grand-dog, Remy, made his film debut near the end. We were babysitting Remy while the crew was working in our home, and, as many success stories go, he caught the director's eye and was asked to be in the commercial. (You can join Remy's fan club and follow him on Instagram.

A Detroit original and proud of it, Faygo has been producing soda pop since the early 1900s. Today, more than 50 flavors are available. If this sweet commercial doesn't put you in the Christmas spirit or make you want to run out and buy a case of Redpop, I don't know what will. To view the commercial, click here. ~ Cindy La Ferle






Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday

“I think I am going to have to supercharge my optimism to arm myself for the battle ahead. Trust me, it is going to be a battle.” ~Rebecca Bloom


Izzie in hiding / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

"It's not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, that is the true measure of our Thanksgiving." ~W.T. Purkiser

At Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI / Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Making room at the table

“Pull up a chair. 
Take a taste. 
Come join us. 
Life is so endlessly delicious.”  
~Ruth Reichl


Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Generosity

“In the end, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love


Brys Estate Winery / Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, November 19, 2018

Finding quiet time

“The true quality of your life can be determined by how you feel when you are alone.” ~Edmond Mbiaka


Winter guest / Cindy La Ferle

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Essay: Giving thanks

"Gratitude isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It is a way to live." ~Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear

Cindy La Ferle

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What bothers me most about the winter holidays is that the well-meaning sentiment at their core is limited to specific dates on our calendars. We count our blessings before slicing the turkey at the Thanksgiving table, for instance, but on the following day, we resume the habit of grumbling about how hard and unfair life is. 

In the weeks before Christmas, our hearts soften again, and we send Hallmark cards professing our desire for peace, love, and goodwill toward all. After the holiday decorations come down and the last bit of glitter is swept from the floor, we return to business as usual, and the crabby months of Seasonal Affective Disorder drag on.  

But what if we were to make a point of expressing gratitude and counting our blessings every day of the year -- starting this week? 

We could thank the folks who touch our lives, even in the smallest ways.... The cook who prepares breakfast at the local diner. The driver who delivers our flowers and packages. The salesperson who lifts us with a compliment and offers great customer service. The boss who boosts our confidence. The thoughtful neighbor who brings soup when we're sick. The friend or relative who makes time to check on us at a critical moment. The auto mechanic who makes room in his schedule for our cars. 

As surely as I believe in sending flowers to loved ones while they're still alive, I'm a fan of mailing hand-written thank-you notes. And I'm always taken by surprise when others insist that these notes are redundant or unnecessary. 

Robert Brault observed that "unexpressed gratitude is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude." The way I see it, however, every giver deserves to be appreciated -- and it's a shame to miss an opportunity to tell them so. Selfishly speaking, I also find that putting my gratitude in writing gives me another chance to recall the pleasure of receiving a special gift or outstanding service.  

This week, for instance, I sent a Thanksgiving card with a personal message to every doctor and surgeon who helped me get through a frightening year of health challenges. A few sentences in a card can't possibly convey how very grateful I am for their skill and caring, but I felt better when I made the attempt.     

There are times, of course, when hand-written notes aren't necessary. A sincere, verbal "thank you" or an email is usually enough to make the giver's day. Whatever we do, we need to make it clear that thoughtful gestures, good service, and true friendship are never taken for granted. 

With that in mind, I'll be thanking a lot of people this week, and I hope you will too. ~Cindy La Ferle




  

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Expanding my perspective

“It is very difficult to learn anything new or worthwhile if you only listen to those who share your views.” ~Wayne Gerard Trotman


A narrow perspective / Cindy La Ferle

(Location: LeBear Resort, Glen Arbor, MI)

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Funny Friday: reality humor

"Someone asked me today to be real, and I said, 'Do you want me to be real my way, or the way you think real should look?' And I guess that was a bit too real for that particular discussion." ~Brian Andreas, Impossible to Know


Izzie and Dickie / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Telling the truth

"Some things are true no matter how hard you might try to block them out. A lie is always a lie, no matter how prettily told. Some doors, once they're opened, can never be closed again, just as trust, once lost, can never be won back." ~Alice Hoffman


Cranbrook House & Gardens, Bloomfield Hills, MI / Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Paying compliments

"Compliment people. Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses. Always recognize the goodness you see in others." ~Quote found on Pinterest

 Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Wonder

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder 
than one closed by belief." 
~Gerry Spence

Remy's first snow / Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Giving up judgment

“Often I have asked myself: What would it be like if I no longer had any desire to judge another? Or be controlled by the judgment of others? I would walk the earth with a much lighter heart indeed.” ~Henri J. Nouwen


Sunrise in Vinsetta Park / Cindy La Ferle

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Appreciation

“It's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on all the things you have long taken for granted.” ~Bertrand Russell

Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Accepting our responsibility

"Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our choices, actions, and everything we have done or not done." 
~Hubert Selby, Jr.

Early snow bird / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, November 9, 2018

Funny Friday: political humor

"I don't make jokes. 
I just watch the government and report the facts." 
~Will Rogers


"If I don't laugh, I'll cry" / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Reality check

"We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away." ~Zhuangzi

Cindy La Ferle
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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Looking on the bright side

 "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are." --J. K. Rowling


Jack B. Nimble / Cindy La Ferle
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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Our right to vote

"Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country." 
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Greenfield Village / Cindy La Ferle

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Get out and vote today!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Essay: Our best teachers

“Your best teacher is the person 
who offers you your greatest challenge.” 
~Cheryl Richardson


Apples for my teachers / Cindy La Ferle

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We don't necessarily meet our best teachers in school. In everyday situations, we can learn invaluable lessons from the button-pushers who anger, annoy, baffle, disappoint, enrage, or challenge us in a variety of ways. 

How about that slow-moving stranger at the grocery store -- the one who's always in your aisle -- for instance? Or the raging politician whose propaganda makes you scream at the TV? And what about the careless friend who mistreats or neglects you? There's a message in each painful event or awkward encounter if you look for it. 

Just for starters ....

* Maybe you're always in a hurry. The slow-moving grocery shopper is teaching you to pause and savor the privilege of purchasing food for yourself and your loved ones.  Likewise, when you're stuck in slow traffic, you could seize the opportunity to breathe deeply and count your blessings.

* The obnoxious politician is a reminder to tone down your own rhetoric when you're discussing controversial issues. Or he could be hitting a raw nerve that you need to explore on a deeper level. Or maybe it's time to cut back on cable news.

* If a friend's thoughtless behavior is chronic, it might be your cue to lighten up and invest less emotional energy in the lopsided relationship. Or maybe the lesson here is that you need to start treating yourself with more respect -- and spend more time with other pals who are a better fit for your companionship. 

Sometimes our best "teachers" aren't other people. They can arrive in the form of job loss, ill health, and unexpected challenges. 

I was terrified when I developed skin cancer on my lower right eyelid, for example. I worried about the outcome of my reconstruction surgeries: How would I look after the skin graft and surgical wounds healed? During my long recovery this summer, it hit me that I'd wasted too many years caring about superficial appearances. My bout with eyelid cancer taught me to look deeper for self-worth and validation.

And on it goes. We cannot change unfortunate circumstances, nor can we control the behavior of others. But we can manage our own responses. Once we start seeing negative encounters or hurtful events as opportunities to learn and grow, we can thank those teachers and move on. ~Cindy La Ferle 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

A remedy for duplicity

"Nothing so completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity himself, than straightforward and simple integrity in another." ~Charles Caleb Colton


Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Self-reliance

"You won't always be a priority to others, and that's why you need to be a priority to yourself. Learn to respect yourself, take care of yourself, and become your own support system." ~Marc & Angel Hack Life



Cindy La Ferle
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Friday, November 2, 2018

Breaking free

"The key to personal freedom is hidden in plain sight. You'll find it when you start living authentically from your heart and soul. You'll find it when you stop worrying about what other people think; when you're no longer motivated by the need for applause or approval. Think for yourself. You won't be free until you stop letting others have power over you." ~Attributed to Louise Hay


Where did you put your keys? / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Patience

"Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind." ~David G. Allen


In Friendship Woods, Madison Heights / Cindy La Ferle

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