Last 24 Hours for Contest!

Here's the free artwork that I will give away on March 1st!

February's Contest Prize

This is brand new art and will not be available for a while on D.A.I.S.I.E. Company… so the only way you can get it right now is to win it!  To enter the drawing, all you have to do is refer my blog to a friend or family member and send me an email at audreyjeannesblog@daisiecompany.com or post a comment on my blog noting that you referred someone and I'll automatically enter you in the contest.

The art that is given away will be for personal use only.  Hope you'll enjoy it! 

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Planting Annuals Quickly & Easily

I rather impulsively bought out most of my Lowe's gardening department on Sunday afternoon.  I bought 7 six packs (pansies, icelandic poppies & stock) and a half flat of snapdragons to fill out my window boxes and patio planters.  Most of our last snow had melted away, the ground was soft, and I figured I'd get them in the ground some time this week — until a winter storm warning was issued!  We're supposed to get another foot of snow over the next two days.  Now I had to figure out a way to get my baby flowers in the ground quickly before the six packs freeze and damage them.  Once in the ground there should not be a problem as our temps don't drop very low.

The six packs were the newer, deeper versions that encourage strong healthy root systems.  Looking at them, it occurred to me to try using my hand-held bulb planter to create the holes quickly, neatly and easily.  The bulb planter is one of those spring loaded hole corers that bring the soil out and leave a perfect planting hole.  I dug holes about 5" deep and then put about 1/2 of the soil back in nicely loosened up, placed the plant in the center of the hole and gently packed the rest of the soil around it.  The extra width and depth of the hole will give the seedlings good growing room, and yet caused the least amount of disturbance to the surrounding plants.  I was amazed at how quickly it worked.  I planted the entire lot in just over half an hour. 

While out in the garden I noticed that my tulips are almost 6 inches high and my daffodils are probably a week from blooming… snow or not, spring is unfolding all around me and I'm so excited I can't stand it.  Then I ran inside, scrubbed the dirt out from under my fingernails (I hate wearing gloves!) and defrosted my hands with a hot cup of tea.  Now I can't wait to see my window boxes in bloom!

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

 

 

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Sunflower Digital Clip Art and Scrapbooking Kit!

Okay… now out comes the tease in me!  I have to show you what you're going to be getting from me in the March issue of the D.A.I.S.I.E. Club!  For those that are anxiously awaiting spring, I've brought it to you a little early.  There's something so sunny and friendly about sunflowers.  I'm going to go out into my garden this week and start sowing some seeds so that I'll have them as early as possible (if the birds will leave them alone and let them grow!)

Friendship printThere's over 30 pieces in this collection.  This particular print is included with and without the text so that you can make it your own.  it's a 6" square to make a greeting card out of or you could make it as a framed print or a tile or?!

There are several full paintings that have been included in this kit as well as a couple of frames, some borders, some….. well!  There's just some of everything!

 sunflower seed packetYesterday, I was a bad girl (I'm soooo good at being bad sometimes!)  We went to a movie and did some shopping down the mountain and I brought home a half flat of snapdragons, some pansies, stock, icelandic poppies and I can't even remember what else Embarassed.  Now I have to race to get them in the ground because we might have snow again tomorrow!  Oh well… they'll do fine and after all Spring is right around the corner!!!!!!

A REMINDER… THE FREE GRAPHICS GIVE AWAY WILL HAPPEN AT THE END OF THE MONTH.  ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO ENTER IS REFER MY BLOG TO A FRIEND(S) OR LINK TO IT ON YOUR BLOG OR WEBSITE.  TO ENTER, JUST LEAVE A COMMENT SAYING THAT YOU DID SO AND I WILL AUTOMATICALLY CREATE YOUR ENTRY FOR YOU.  TO COMMENT, CLICK ON THE COMMENT LINK BELOW.  I'M PLANNING TO GIVE AWAY SOME BRAND NEW GRAPHICS THAT I DO NOT INTEND TO RELEASE FOR DIGITAL LICENSING FOR QUITE A WHILE SO YOU'LL BE THE ONLY ONE WITH IT Innocent IS THAT ENTICING YOU OR WHAT?!

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Life Isn’t Fair, So What Do We Do About It?

When my children were young, they were constantly saying, "That isn't fair!"  And as their parents, our usual response was something to the tune of, "Life isn't fair, sweetheart.  Expect it, get used to it, and be prepared to keep going on past it."  It's a very easy thing to say when the child's unfair situation is that their brother got a bigger piece of cake than they did!  It's a little tougher to deal with unfairness when unrighteous, unkind or even evil people unfairly bring damage to our lives… what do we do then?

"Sometimes the Lord calms the storm, sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child instead…"  That's an old fashioned saying I have held close to my heart for years.  Sometimes, when I face those sudden, painful, unfair "twists of fate," that constitute a storm, I find myself hurt and angry at God.  After all He is big enough, powerful enough and all-knowing enough to have stopped the event, so why didn't He? 

There's two things I love the most about God, one is that He's big enough to take my petty temper tantrums and love me anyway, yet like any great parent, He never lets me get away with them.  He always has a lesson to teach me that will probably be best taught right in the classroom of my current storm.  The second thing I love about God is He loves to redeem things… in other words, to take something meant for evil and transform it into such incredible goodness that I'm almost happy the event took place.  That doesn't mean I'm ever happy something bad happened, but I am able to see the beauty that came after it happened because of God's strength, love and care for me. 

If you're struggling with something today that "Just isn't fair!"  I'm praying the Lord will do something incredible in the midst of your storm.  And He will bring such beauty and blessing that you're amazed and delighted when you get to the other side of the stormy seas.  If you're struggling, perhaps praying this prayer from the depths of your heart will help: 

"Lord, I don't understand what has happened in my life.  It doesn't seem right or fair to me, and I can't even imagine how you could make something good out of this problem I'm facing, but I'm asking you to do so.  Show me your strength, power and lovingkindness through this situation.  Help me to be righteous when others around me aren't, to be strong in faith when all the foundations of my world are swaying and to see your plan in the midst of such overwhelming darkness and stormy seas." 

"Lord, I want to learn to see the possibilities for good that you can bring through any situation that I am placed in.  I want to see things like you see them, seeing the possibilities not just the devastation in front of me… but unless you teach me and enable me, it isn't possible.  Lord, I trust you and I love you.  Please put your hand in mine and let's go walk through this storm together because you promised you'd never leave me or forsake me."

I'm praying for you today and if I could give you a giant bear hug of comfort I would Smile

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

 

 

 

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The High Sierra Peaks

Left Side Panoramic View

I had hoped to get a snow picture of the view today, but the weather refused to cooperate! 

This is the left side of our panoramic view.  I pieced it together out of about 4 or 5 photos to try to capture the entire effect.  For some reason (probably too large) it had to be cut in half to upload it to my blog.

This is Big Baldy.  The large white spots are a huge granite field on the side of the mountain, so even in summer it almost looks like it has snow on it.  This is where the giant Sequoia forest is.  In fact if I could zoom in far enough, they are so large that I could point them out to you!

Great Western DivideBehind Big Baldy and blocked from view is Mt. Whitney, which is the highest peak in the contiguous United States.  It's visible from up on the mountain at a great lookout point.

The picture to the right is exactly continuing the view and you see the Great Western Divide.  Don't tell my neighbors but I have to restrain my daughters from cutting down his pine tree Annoyed because they hate how it intrudes on the view!  I've talked to them about their "Christian Witness!"

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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The Death of a Canopy (UPDATE:I was Wrong!)

Well, Steve thinks he might be able to resurrect her, but I don't know… He's going to try and jack up the canopy, turn it inside out and then hold it up with a pole.  Hmmmm…. he is my "engineer" and is pretty good at this stuff, but we'll see!

Here's a distance shot to show the total devastation.

So who thinks he can save it?  MMMMMM, I'm just not sure, though he's worked some miracles before.  Boy do I wish I didn't have a child in college sucking up all the bank account, because Sam's club has this truly awesome teak wood (or similar) gazebo with a really sharply pitched top that's sooo adorable for just under $1,000.  Ah well….. (UPDATE: HE DID IT, IT'S EVEN STANDING UP ON ITS OWN WITHOUT A POST, BUT HE WILL INSTALL A POST IN THE CENTER WHERE WE PLACE OUR DINING TABLE AND THEN "SISTER" SOME ALUMINUM BRACES WE HAVE IN THE GREAT PILE OF THINGS WE'LL USE SOME DAY.  SO SHE'LL MAKE IT THROUGH ONE MORE SUMMER BEFORE WE HAVE TO REPLACE HER.  THE $179 WE PAID FOR HER AT TARGET HAS DEFINITELY BEEN A BARGAIN!)

I"m hoping it will clear up enough to post a picture of our view of the High Sierra peaks today.  That's what makes everything that's a little extra effort to live up here worthwhile.  Even a great picture just doesn't show it off well enough.  I think it's Lucy Hampton who has the quote "God is the greatest artist" on her signature line at Daisie… He sure is!

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Spring is Buried in a Snowfall!

You know us California girls, we love to rub it in when you midwesterners and eastern seaboarders are freezing cold and we're basking in the sunshine.  Hmmmm … what was it, a week ago I posted my crocus blooming?  Well… it's buried under a foot or a little more of snow!

The view out my studio windoThat window is my art studio window (technically the formal dining room) and at the base of the fountain was where my crocus blossoms were blooming and my daylillies were about 4-6" high!

We had a little catastrophe after I took all our pictures this morning, an aging gazebo/canopy on our deck collapsed under the snow load before we could get out there to clear it off.  We couldn't take the canvas off of it because it was so rotten it would never have gone back on! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is my deck off of our master bedroom and those are my hummingbird feeders… I don't think they'll be here for a little bit yet!  During the summer we've fed as many as 50 or more hummingbirds at a time.  We have video footage that I'm gong to try to figure out how to upload so you can see it, it's like La Guardia at rush hour!No hummingbirds now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Here's the bench I have for Kath to use!

Kath's bench!

Okay, I've delayed as long as is permissible, now I have to go help clean up the mess!

Have a warm day!  Audrey Jeanne Roberts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Personalize a Wedding or Anniversary with Digital Clip Art and Scrapbooking Kits.

Are you preparing for an upcoming wedding?  Do you want to celebrate an anniversary that marks a milestone?  Do you want to do it in a way that will be both timeless and classic yet contemporary?  Then my new art collection is for you!  Wonderful parchment, cocoa and latte browns mix with clean fresh blue hydrangeas to make a romantic statement.

Creating a beautiful Certificate of Marriage for that special Bride and Groom or making favors for their reception will be so easy with all the pieces you'll find in this new digital art kit.  There's even a new hand lettered font that will be released along with it, "Audrey Jeanne's Loose Handwriting 1."Timeless Treasures Collection Preview 

This font is shown in the Title of the image to the right.  A loose, but elegant handwriting that speaks to the best of the elegant traditions of the past but when mixed with the loose floralia swirls is contemporary for today's bride.

This kit will be available probably by next Friday if my schedule allows. 

For a ready to purchase gift of unsurpassed elegance and value, try Cottage Garden's 12" x 12" shadow box Dimensional Decor photo frame with and elegant walnut finished frame.  Very reasonably priced… it will be the gift that they talk about and show off proudly as their favorite!

Call 877-210-3456 to inquire for purchase.

Cottage Garden's Scrappin Decor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Family, Friend or Both?

I woke up to a call from my sister, Nancy this morning.  It was one of those "catch up" calls.  There are some wonderful things happening in her life, after a very long season of heartache and loss.  We think of her all the time and vice versa, but don't always get to the phone to connect.  Yet the most amazing thing is that it's always as if no time at all had passed, because we're connected at the heart.

I'm so blessed to have members of my family that I would truly pick to be my friends even if they weren't stuck with me Laughing, but I know some of you aren't quite so lucky.  Before you get jealous of my "perfect" family, however, trust me we too have some slightly "irregular" members!!!  What do you do when no matter how hard you try, you can't be close to your family?  You can find ways to create a new one for yourself!

Friends can, over time, become closer to your heart than a brother or sister.  There's an old fashioned saying, "Friends are family we choose for ourselves."  Perhaps you just don't quite connect with members of your family or you've found nothing but hurt and frustration whenever you've tried to be close.  Perhaps the solution is to seek deep fellowship elsewhere and readjust your expectations from the relationships you have with your blood relatives.  

I have many friends that I truly consider as family and have enjoyed relationship with their extended families as well.  I've shared Thanksgiving with my dear friend Sallylou's family, as well as attended funerals, weddings and graduations.  She's walked me through the long battle with cancer and the eventual death of my first husband, Jim Brennan.  She's held my hand in sorrow and kicked me in the backside when I was throwing a pity party and really needed it!  She's been as true a sister as you could ever have.  Though we share no blood relation, we are sisters of the heart and of the spirit.  Just as every family takes hard work and a long season of time to grow strong, so do friendships.  A great friendship can meet the deepest needs of your heart.

I wrote this in the beginning of my book, "The Heart of a Lasting Friendship" :

"Lifetime Friends… share their hopes and dreams, never worrying what the other thinks.  They keep each other's confidences providing a safe place to reveal their deepest fears and most heartfelt emotions.  They discover new insights and direction and are refreshed and encouraged after they spend time together.

They can laugh and be silly, giggle and play practical jokes, as well as cry together and comfort one another.  They value each other's opinion, especially when they differ.  Lifetime friends have learned how to be real with each other."

If you have family that you feel are true friends… take time to tell them that today.  If you have a true friend that is closer than a sister or mother… take time to tell her that too!  If you don't have either and your heart longs for it, Jesus' greatest desire is to be your friend and He'll lead you to someone who can help fill that place in your heart if you just ask Him to. 

"There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24b"

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

 

 

 

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Celebrating Spring with a Freebie!

Okay … so it’s wishful thinking… hopeful thinking…. desperate thinking… but spring is, by the calendar only a month away!  So to help tide you over until it’s here, I created this colorful little butterfly for you to play with.  Just click on the butterfly to download.  Downloadable freebie!

 For those of you not familiar with my clip art kits, here’s the link to my entire D.A.I.S.I.E. catalog, www.daisiecompany.com/cart/index.php?manufacturers_id=32&main_page=index

Check back often it is growing every week.  Also you will find products that have been created out of my artwork by the wonderful D.A.I.S.I.E. Designers sprinkled throughout the printables portion of the store, link here UPDATE: freebies are for a limited time only.  This link no longer functions.  Check back later for other special gifts). 

 Image available in English Cottage Garden Collection 1

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you that have purchased my, "Audrey Jeanne Roberts’ English Cottage Garden 1" clip art collection at D.A.I.S.I.E. Company (link no longer active)

This butterfly will work with the side view butterfly (shown to the left) in the collection so that you can use them for animation purposes.

 

Until Spring is out our windows we’ll have to make her happen on our computer screens and in the gifts we make for those we love.  Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Family Heirlooms, Crafted with Love

I'm an "Antiques Road Show" fan.  It's fascinating to see the amazing array of things that are collectible and valuable and the various ways they came into the possession of the current owner.  I'm jealous of those of you in the midwest and east with spacious basements and attics.  We in the west don't have them, so we don't end up owning the family "junk" of one generation that becomes the treasure of the next!  I especially love when the show reveals that something is extremely valuable, yet the owner would never part with it because of how much they love and treasure the memory of the person that gave it to them.

If an item comes from someone we deeply loved, we call it an heirloom.  We cultivate respect and love for it and the person who made it, or gave it to us, by sharing their stories with our children.  Through this process of family storytelling, they too come to love and treasure it and pass it down to their generations.  If it is merely old or came from a crotchity old aunt of ours, we call it an antique and we just might part with it for the right price!  The difference isn't the item it's the relationship…

You that are crafters, every piece of creativity that you make (and for the most part give away) has the potential to be an heirloom to your children and your children's children.  They watch you put your heart and soul into its making.  They see you express all the love that you feel in the delicate care you take in your creations.  Sometimes even the content of your creations, such as scrapbooks or quilts or framed sentiments are full of messages of love.  A beautifully detailed, hand-made card or minibook will probably never be thrown away.  It will be tucked away to bring back the priceless memories of you.  The work of your hands will continue to communicate your love, for generations to come.  Remember that as you play in your craft room.  You're not just playing, you're doing very important work… you're creating heirlooms of the future for your family to treasure and keep!  Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Will This Matter in Twenty Years?

Are you "crazy busy?"  Do you race from task to task without pausing for a breath and fall into bed at the end of the day worrying about what you have to do tomorrow?  Are you afraid that the life that is racing past you seems to hold less and less meaningful memories and more and more stress?  If so, you're not alone.  I think often about how I can live a legacy, so I can leave that legacy to my children and my generations yet to come. For me that means working to do more each day that will matter for longer than this day.

My friend, Karla Dornacher and I laugh so often at how our lives perfectly track with one another even when we don't talk for a month at a time.  Here's a quote from her February 12th, 2007 blog post, which I read at about 1:30 this morning because I couldn't get to sleep:

"I recently heard a speaker talk about how a common thread woven through our culture is busyness. It sometimes seems as though we wear our busyness as a crown… as though an overly full schedule validates us as a person of value in today's world. The reality is we are all busy and our lives are full… sometimes so full we forget to stop… not to smell the roses… but to love, encourage, and delight in the people God has sovereignly placed along our life path."

You can find the entire post here: karladornacher.typepad.com/karlas_korner/2007/02/this_is_cindy_t.html

This simple question that the Lord taught me to ask myself some years ago has done more to help me move along the path to living a life that matters than any other:

WILL THIS MATTER IN TWENTY YEARS?  If so, do it with all your heart, if not find a way to do it quickly or perhaps not at all.  When raising children, its important to clean the house, but maybe it will matter more that you took them out to play in the snow and made memories (and perhaps even scrapbooking those memories) that will be treasured for a lifetime.  Perhaps it was stopping to teach them a lesson about telling the truth when they were caught in a lie, because the character that you are helping to develop in them will matter in twenty years.  Perhaps it's taking time to sit with your husband at the end of the day and just talk or hang with each other, even if it means the dishwasher doesn't get loaded.

Are your kids making noise and getting under foot because they can't go outside and play — which means you can't get your list accomplished today?  Will it matter in twenty years whether the laundry got folded today or tomorrow morning?  Probably not… but it will matter if your children or husband feel the list is more important to you than they are. 

After twenty years or so of putting this into practice, I can tell you I've discovered that relationships with family and friends and the tasks that build them will always matter in twenty years.  However, any work I do to feel important, or because I just can't say no, or because I feel I "should" or feel the pressure of guilt rarely will.  Also, if knowing God better and making Him more real to others is part of the task, it's always going to matter

The most satisfying part of learning to ask myself this question has been hearing my children ask it back to me!  Or hearing my daughter's boyfriend ask her, when she's stressing over some unimportant detail in her life.  That's a legacy worth passing on.  Try asking yourself this question the next few days and see how it changes your perspective! 

1 Cor 3:12-15  If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.

 

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Winter’s Baaaacccckkkk!

Remember that sunshine I was bragging about yesterday?  Boy, was it ever short-lived!!!  Today is rainy and dreary once again and Spring seems to be pretty far away.  I did have a nagging little thought yesterday as I enjoyed the sunshine and pulled a few weeds in my flower beds… I thought to myself, "Wasn't it about this time last year I was wearing shorts and sandals and asking my 89 year old neighbor Steve if we were ever going to have a winter this year and by the end of the week it was snowing?"  We had a total of 4 feet of snow in March last year, so I think I'll wait a while on buying the 6 packs of annualsCool

I finished the "Sunny Days" art kit for D.A.I.S.I.E. yesterday and once I got started on it, I took off on a tangent and spent about 2 hours doing some really, really cool new stuff.  Lots of distressing and washes and swirlies and…. Those of you on the message boards at D.A.I.S.I.E. got to witness my temper tantrum as I had to pull myself away from the fun and back to the work I have promised to a couple of manufacturers (not a pretty sight I assure you!)

I will be featuring sneak, sneak peeks at "Sunny Days" all week long for those of you that can't stand to wait for presents, or for the first of the month for the new D.A.I.S.I.E. Club!  If you don't know what the D.A.I.S.I.E. Club is, it's the best bargain on the internet for digital crafters and scrappers.  For $9.95 you get 10-12 full sized kits!  However, when the month ends, so does that particular deal.  Those same kits go into the store at full price, so shop for February's kit before the end of the month then return for March and my "Sunny Days Collection."  Because, though my false spring yesterday was fleeting, this collection can brighten your days foreverLaughing

Remember, pass on this link to a friend, then email me at audreyjeannesblog@daisiecompany.com or leave a comment to let me know that you did and you'll be entered into a drawing for an Audrey Jeanne's FREE ART KIT as a thank you! 

Here's to looking for the REAL spring!

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Spring is Right Around the Corner & Friday Freebie

 

 

For those of you still locked in the throes of winter… my apologies, but my crocus’ are popping their little purple heads out of the ground this morning!  The tulip leaves are about 3 inches tall and the daffodils are just slightly ahead of them.  After two weeks of heavy rains (which we badly needed) and cold grey gloom, the sun is shining in a clean blue sky and the Sierra Nevada peaks are glistening with snow.  If you’re unfortunately still buried under snow, I hope you’ll enjoy my sneak peeks of the new kit I’m preparing for The D.A.I.S.I.E. Club for March.  It’s called "Sunny Days" and will have a wide assortment of sunflowers and other "sunny" flowers.

I’m also going to be working on some small kits for Easter, some with pretty crosses and Christian elements (no sneak peeks yet as I still have to paint them!)  I may also do some elegant easter eggs and perhaps some easter baskets.  I can’t promise how much I’ll be able to do on these as I am creating my first quilt fabric collection which will encompass at least 20 different related fabric patterns.  The floral cluster in the background of this blog is a tiny part of the collection that I’ll be doing. 

As to what else I’m working on… I have 6 new Kitchen towel, hot pad and oven mitt sets that I’m designing right now.  I don’t know exactly how long they will take to get to market or where you might be able to see them, but will keep you posted as we go along.

If you are unfamiliar with The D.A.I.S.I.E. Company, you can find it at www.daisiecompany.com or in the links to the right on my blog.

D.A.I.S.I.E. is a digital download and scrapbooking company that has a wide collection of wonderful artists that create digital art kits that you can use for crafting (even for craft shows), making your own greeting cards and for scrapbooks.  The designers at D.A.I.S.I.E. create incredible ready-to-print projects such as gift boxes, bags, note-n-tote bag, European decoupage cards, centerpieces and more.  If you haven’t been there today’s a great day to visit as there’s a "Friday Freebie" bookmark that is made from my Gerbera Daisy and butterfly art by Barbara Clooney, one of our designers from England.

(UPDATE: freebies are for a limited time only.  This link no longer functions.  Check back later for other special gifts). To get to the Friday Freebie, click on the link above, select add to cart (you won’t be charged at check out), register for D.A.I.S.I.E. and download your freebie.  You may want to register for the newsletter as well there’s always some little free surprises in those as well.  DAISIE treats its customers really well, such as the 11 recipes and 12 blank recipe cards that they sent out free last night.  If you had been registered to receive the newsletter you would have received them as well!  When you’re done, check out the message boards, where some of the nicest people in the world hang around and encourage one another!

Hang in there Spring is coming!!!!!

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

 

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Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

I have been thinking about this topic all week long and then my dear friend Stacey got "shoulded" on… as in "How dare you make a mistake you should have…"  Someone took offense at a simple mistake, and hurt someone precious to everyone at D.A.I.S.I.E. Company.  Why is it easier for people get angry at an inconvenience and feel put out than to choose to be kind and understanding?  Perhaps these kinds of things happen too easily in our society because we've lost the genteel art of "giving someone the benefit of the doubt."

Do you remember hearing that phrase when you were growing up?  I do.  It was a common place, communal wisdom.  Do you remember hearing it lately?  I haven't.

Giving the benefit of the doubt.  It's as simple as assuming the best about someone, rather than jumping to the worst possible conclusion.  Taking a moment to stop and try to put yourself in someone else's shoes.  To give the same grace you would like to have given back to you.  These are some precious foundation stones of civility in society and they are stones that are all too often missing and we wonder why that foundation is crumbling.

Whether in the political arena or in community relationship it's a precious skill that builds bridges rather than walls.  In politics someone can be "sincerely wrong" and you can still be friends because you don't have to doubt their sincerity.  You can dispute a conclusion without having to destroy an individual. A leader can be wrong and not be evil.  I wish our political realm would remember this principle and begin to apply it to our national debates… and I wish we could apply it to our workplaces and our homes a little more too.

Sometimes we take things personally that really don't have anything to do with us at all (like children we all feel like we're the center of the universe!)  The next time someone lets you down, try saying something like this, "Oh I know you didn't mean to offend or dissapoint me, I know your heart, you would never do anything like that on purpose.  It's no big deal."  You just might make someone's day! 

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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