Friday, 18 January 2013

A GENTLE PLAN

Welcome to everyone from the blog party. More about me and my blog at the bottom of the page-giveaways too.

You have arrived on a special day, please read on...


"I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that
Then I realised I was somebody." Lily Tomlin

Today is the day I'm saying "I am a somebody".  At the end of 2012 we were again shocked by senseless tragedy.  For whatever reason this is the one which pushed me to the limit. This is the one which has moved me from talk to action.

This is what I am asking you to to do:

Take something ugly and make it beautiful

Why?

Let's just say I have known ugly and it hurt. Beauty has made me whole again. Given me laughter, joy, freedom and peace. 

“Beauty will save the world” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Will it?  I say its time to give it a try. Save a little part. Then a little bit bigger and so on....

I'm not going to tell you what to do specifically.

The key for me has been creating beauty in my garden .Then I moved beyond my garden and started volunteering in a very small, local way.

I'm setting up a website 
A Gentle Plan.com

"In a gentle way, you can shake the world." Mahatma Gandhi

My aim is for it to become a repository of ideas and an avenue for discussion. I need YOU to fill the pages with your experiences, plans, ideas and opinions. With things you have seen, heard, made, bought or done. Want to guest post? There is a space for you here.

The definition of beauty will be fluid. If you think you can make something beautiful, and it does not create distress for any other creature, then go ahead. Conversely, if you think something is ugly but someone else thinks its beautiful and its not hurting anybody then leave it alone.

Beauty can be in an action, in a person, in design, in a location, in an idea, a product, a business practise, in art and nature. Just write and tell me what you are doing or draw attention to some special place, person, organisation or business that makes the world beautiful. It can be in your home, yard, workplace, school, neighourhood, city or half way around the world. I like small ideas as they are usually more achievable but let me know about small things that have grown into bigger things too.

A Gentle Plan.com needs some last minute tweaks so isn't online yet. I couldn't, however, pass up the opportunity to make my announcement as part of Vicki's blog party.  The party itself is a beautiful idea and Vicki being a somebody and making it happen is beautiful too.

Included in the party are lots of give aways. Here are my contributions

1.
Made byThe Rocky Mountain Soap Co in Canmore, Alberta. Kudos to the company for not only using natural ingredients but also remodelling their store in an environmentally responsible way. They hire local which gets them on my beautiful list. I use their soap all the time.

2.
                                       Small Garden Tools Set - Gardening

These are from Lee Valley Tools, a Canadian institution. A great many men dream of retiring and going to work in a Lee Valley store. Until then they wear their Lee Valley sweatshirts and baseball caps and pretend to work at the store. 
Here is the catologue blurb so you know what you are getting: 
"These are not feeble plastic tools. Made from glass-fiber-reinforced polypropylene, they are lightweight, strong, and non-rusting. Children will enjoy learning to garden with this brightly colored selection of tools, suitably sized from 8" to 9" long. Adults can also use them for indoor gardening, as they are easier to store and less cumbersome than traditional hand tools, and they won't scratch surfaces the way metal tools can.The set of six includes a wide trowel, four-prong cultivator, weeding fork, narrow trowel, two-prong cultivator, and weeder. They are also appropriate as a beach or sandbox set."
I find them useful for potting and ideal in therapy programs.
Leave a comment if you would like either of these gifts. Please indicate if you are interested in one or the other or both. I will mail overseas. You do not have to follow to be eligible to win.

If you are interested in A Gentle Plan I encourage you to follow by email to be certain of receiving updates. I value your opinion so please let me know what you think.

If you are reading my blog for the first time, you can get to know me here and here.

60 comments:

  1. What a simply wonderful idea - I shall definitely want to join this plan - can't wait to get started. The tool set looks amazing and so much prettier than the usual metal ones. I live in London where plots are not huge but having a thriving vegetable garden, some raised bed herb gardens and a prolific greenhouse and conservatory means we can produce much food. Sadly it is very cold and snowy at present - but spring is around the corner. x

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    1. I am so glad you are going to join the plan. As soon as I saw your note about The Kids Company I knew we thought the same way. Gardening in the city is a beautiful thing to do.

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  2. Dear Susan,
    I have just come in from feeding and watering the birds who are feeling this biting cold weather we have at present. And such snow!
    We have no garden here - just a small strip of balcony so no real gardening for us although AGA does his best. Back in Melbourne we have a garden but at present it is suffering due to the intense heat.
    Anyway I like your idea and I am going to 'stay tuned'. In the meantime I am going to think of my ways of making beauty. I shall let you know.
    Kirk

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    1. I'm looking forward to your ideas Kirk. I know they will be creative as well as beautiful. You have already made beauty today by feeding the birds.

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  3. Susan this all sounds to be very exciting. I have learnt a few things about you too - for some reason I thought that you were in the UK, but now I discover you are in Canada. You love Wm Morris and so do I. His country home, Kelmscott, is literally on my doorstep. "H" is a Professor and he too has piles of stuff everywhere. I am always buying him filing cabinets which he forgets to use.

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    1. I absolutely have to visit Kelmscott. Have you been to
      Red House? I aspire to "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” however the Prof is a bit of a challenge in that direction.

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  4. Our local school has recently started gardening so these tools would be perfect! Not at the moment though as most schools locally are closed because of the snow!

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    1. School gardens are beautiful. We have one at our local school. Unfortunately teacher friends of mine tell me there is still a lot of resistance by administration.

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  5. Susan, I stand and applaud you. I will most definitely be visiting your website "A Gentle Plan". Bonnie

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    1. Thank you Bonnie. Your support means a lot to me.

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  6. Hi Susan, your new website sounds like a great idea. I think you deserve a hand of applause for stepping up! I love the Rocky Mountain Soap.

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    1. Thanks Terry. I've never met a birder who wasn't a beautiful person.

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  7. I'm a new follower. I look forward to reading your blog, but I have to head out to watch Michigan Tech play hockey. I wish I could stay home and blog hop. The giveaway is awesome. Love both items, especially the soap.
    ~Diane

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    1. Fortunately Vicki is leaving the list up as there is no way I could visit everybody today.

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  8. Hey Susan, I am a new fan and follower. Your blog is beautiful! And I look forward to hearing more about "A gentle plan". Thanks for visiting me and becoming a follower. Looking forward to getting to know you better.

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    1. Thanks for following. I know I am going to enjoy your blog.

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  9. I'm your newest follower. I know there are a few things you can teach this killer of plants!

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    1. I'm O.K. in the garden as nature usually picks up the slack when I forget to water but the houseplants don't do so well.

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  10. Hi Susan, good to meet a fellow gardener and volunteer. Love your header photo! I am your newest follower.
    xo Beth

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    1. I,ve visited your blog and signed up. It is lovely.

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  11. Hi Susan - thanks for commenting on Comptonia :)
    Are you in Alberta? I spent a summer there ages ago, first in a little town called Stettler and then in Banff.
    And Lee Valley is my longtime favorite tool company, but I've only ever seen the catalogs. I can't imagine going into an actual Lee Valley store - I might never come out!
    I'm going to follow your blog and see how your new project develops :)

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    1. Thanks Quinn, I'm quite nervous about my new project so your support means a lot. I hope you enjoyed Alberta. We have just moved from Alberta to British Columbia. I think Lee Valley should have a fan club, although I can't think of a nickname for members.

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  12. Hello fellow Gardener! I love your post! I admire the skills of the Canadian gardener, each summer I drive up to Ontario area(Ft. Erie) to admire the neighborhood gardens. They have such a European style to them. (Im in Ohio)I have been to Vancouver and wow'd by those gardens. Im so glad to have found your blog. Have a wonderful week. Dianna

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    1. We have just moved to British Columbia and I'm looking forward to putting in a new garden. If you ever come this way again take tea at the Empress hotel in Victoria. The tea is great but I think you set a nicer table.

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  13. Hi,
    I love the name of your blog "As long as you have a garden".
    I am now following along, xx

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    1. The name is rather long but the quote is a true reflection of how I feel about the world.

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  14. Hi Susan
    I love gardening as well. There is nothing as sweet as the smell of fresh earth when you turn it over!! gardening is so meditative and feeds my soul. I am so excited to hear more about your new idea blog. Sounds amazing and count me in.

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    1. Thank you Catien. I get a lot of issues resolved while I'm gardening. Your blog is lovely. I'll keep you posted re my "plan".

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  15. Susan what a great idea for a blog and I look forward to finding out more about it...your giveaways are so nice...the soap company sounds heavenly although my skin is sensitive o I only use one soap....and those tool are too cool and what gardener wouldn't want those!!

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    1. Donna, I am coming over to your blog right now as I want to get in on the fantastic books you are giving away. Thanks for the support re the new blog, I really appreciate it.

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  16. Thank you for stopping by Bird Lady Blog. http://birdladyblog.blogspot.com

    I love to garden too, just a few flower pots a small beds, but it brings such joy.

    Your Gentle Plan 'plan' sounds intriguing. I could see my bird photography as something beautiful that I love to share with others.

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    1. You've got it. Your photography is adding beauty to the world. I'll put your name in the draw for the tools.

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  17. How could I forget to mention that I would love to win the garden tools! Lightweight would be perfect for my arthritis!

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  18. This is a great idea! I'll be keeping an eye out for it. My yard was a bare ugly mess until I created a garden.

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  19. OMG! I am visiting right now from the Grow Your Blog party but I will be back for a longer visit to read more. I love your thoughts and concepts you have chosen to focus on... Kate being another one. I am your newest follower and am so glad I found you... we can thank Vicki for that!
    Hugs,
    Beth P

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  20. No kidding, you live on the Sunshine Coast? It is truly beautiful up there./I am interested in seeing what your new website looks like! I'll be checking in. Great to "meet" you! Nancy

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  21. What a wonderful idea! I have been trying to do personal kindnesses just because, but your blog of sharing is a wonderful opportunity to get many many people involved. I love the idea. Your give aways are so wonderful too. I love Rocky Mountain Soap products, and have been using them for quite some time as both my children (teenagers now) suffer from eczema. Thanks for your energy in this wonderful idea... I will return. Thanks also for visiting my blog.
    Kim - Letting in the Light

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  22. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I'm following you too. Looking forward to getting to know you through blogging.
    Best,
    Sharon

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  23. What a wonderful idea. You really got me thinking about the simple acts of kindness I can do to make the world around me a better place. I'm looking forward to your new site.

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  24. Taking something ugly and making it beautiful sounds like a great challenge. It will be interesting to see how the idea develops.

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  25. Gardening make sme sooo happy, the earth communicating with me is something special, I have no other words! Love the concept of your blog! Thanks for the chance at your giveaway! Please stop bu my blog if you can!

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  26. Great idea. When we stop and think about the fact that WE are the somebody, it changes things, doesn't it? I have an email from you too that I'm going to read right now. I've been a little under the weather but better now. :)

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  27. Hey, Alaska, my favorite state in the union!!! Count me in on your give away. And I'll be back.

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  28. You have a lovely blog. I'm new follower and 'Grow Your Blog' participant. Have fun in at the party!
    Evalina, This and that...

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  29. Hi Susan-
    Thank you for stopping by Girasole Farm via GYB.
    I've been an avid gardener for many years. It provides peace and order to my life. It's my refuge for solace.
    I too have admired the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.
    I would love to live in a early Bungalow style home.
    I'll be following along on your blog so that I can get to know you better.
    -Becka @ Girasole Farm

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  30. Hello, what a great blog! I love your idea for your new blog and will be checking that out. You are also entered in my giveaway at HighKnollHomestead.com , thanks for stopping by. Lynda

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  31. I look forward to reading more of your blog.
    Thank you for your wonderful giveaway, and I'd be happy if I won either.
    :o)
    pippirose59 at gmail dot com

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  32. Hi-
    I'm visiting through Vicki's blog party- That Lily Tomlin quote is one of my absolute favorites!- I'll be following you and be very interested in learning mote about your gentle plan venture. In my latest post I recycled an old book into a mini garden- not sure if that's the sort of thing you're interested in - of course it's very small in scale
    All the best
    Christina
    PennyWise

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  33. Hi Susan,

    I'm still making my way through visiting everyone from Vicki's Grow Your Blog party. Glad to meet another gardender. I hope you will stop by to say hello.

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    1. I'm still partying too. Your designs are beautiful.

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  34. visiting via Vicki's GYB party and love your giveawys; I've some of my own on my blog post.

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    1. You have a lovely and inspiring blog. Thistle Cove is such an appealing name.

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  35. I really like the idea of your "A Gentle Plan" website. I would greatly enjoy being a part of it.

    Angela
    stitchinginthezoo.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you Angela. Your support means a lot. I see from your blog that you cross stitch. There are so many beautiful designs out there I'm really tempted to take it up myself.

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  36. Hi I am slowly getting to meet more bloggers from the list and found your delightful blog this morning. Of course our climate (tropical Australia) is very different to yours - about as different as one could get. Those tools look wonderful - I think the best thing about them is the colour - I am always losing my rusty sand coloured tools!

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  37. Hi Susan, my fellow Canadian blogger! I loved reading your about pages. I garden too, over here in Vancouver but also in Oxfordshire England. When my youngest, now 20yrs old, was born I decided to get my master gardener status with out botanic gardens. Do you have a master gardeners program in Calgary? It's a great way to connect with fellow gardeners. I have a friend who bloggs from Edmonton and she is really complaining about the snow right now. We have our usual rain. :( I've followed so I'll see you soon.

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  38. Hello Susan and so nice to meet you. I am here from the Blog Party and I am finally finding some free time to get out and visit all those that left me sweet comments.

    I love to garden myself and it's been quite the experience here in the low country. I have learned a lot and each year I add more pretties to my garden.

    The soaps sound wonderful as well as those cute little garden tools. Although, I always love trying new soaps!

    I can't wait to read more of your lovely blog. I have a Give-Away going on too!

    sandy
    @french laundry 132

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  39. I found your great blog thru the party and would love to be entered in your giveaway.

    Linda
    http://bengalcatlover10.blogspot.com/
    bengalcatlover10@yahoo.com

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