The Small & Precious Space—Beneath the Stairs

Several years ago, the opportunity arrived to purchase the little house and grounds which intersected the L-shaped property of what is now known as, The House at Rooster Ridge. After the purchase we eagerly began to discover what would lead us to the renovation of this over-100-year-old building. Our first indication of the potential for this little structure was hidden behind a tiny door. Under the carpeted and narrow staircase which led to the second floor was a sheet rock wall and in it a small painted door, approximately 18″ tall by 15″ wide. As we peered behind the door, we found the first clue to the depth of the possibility of how amazingly quaint this little structure could become!

When the little door was opened we found a small space which had previously been used as a storage area for a vacuum cleaner. With flashlights in our hands the initial discovery was made—and the rest, as they say, is history! The floor of this tiny space was dusty and dingy—and constructed of very worn wide plank flooring. Peering inside and now with the assistance of light fully illuminating the floor we realized, what we were seeing between the several small separations between the planks, which lay side-by-side, was the stone-walled basement. This meant only one thing to us—as self-proclaimed-forensic-building-historians—that we were looking at the original flooring of this building!

The first action we took (excitedly, hurriedly) was to rip out the door and sheet rock wall which had been built to create this storage space. As the sheet rock was removed we also made our second wonderful discovery—the staircase was solid old wood. As we continued our inspection and through the enthusiastic discussions which followed, we came to understand that this wide plank floor ran beneath the existing and relatively new strip-oak flooring. This was the moment when we fully realized the little treasure we had found! And to think this precious gem was sitting right next door for—oh, over a hundred years!

One of the design themes at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge is the intention to create vignettes, small illustrated stories which are told in a visual language. The small and precious space, beneath the stairs in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge, is one of those tales.

Due to the small stature of this space the inspiration for this design-story unfolded as I pondered who would comfortably fill this space. I allowed my thoughts to meander, to carry me loftily to a lovely vision and as I did so, I imagined a young child sitting in this little room beneath the stairs. I watched an imagined tea-party with a brown furry bear and later, a quiet and special space to look upon a picture book.

And so it became, The Small & Precious Space—Beneath the Stairs. A table was added and upon it was placed a charming rooster lamp—complete with an amusing fabric shade depicting roosters and farm scenes and finished with a cheerful red pom-pom trim. The underside of the stairs were exposed by removing the angled wall—adding interesting geometric shapes and dimension then painted a warm vintage barn red.

A shelf followed—the top could hold little books and the shelf was adorned with wooden pegs to hang a little sweater or bag. During a recent antique excursion a French Iron Painters’ Chair was found and brought to The Cottage at Rooster Ridge adding the finishing touch. On the shelf hangs a Vintage Wreath Form, which was used to create fresh wreaths of greens and flowers, now the form awaits—to be filled at a moments notice should an announcement of a tea-party occur!

The Small & Precious Space—Beneath the Stairs came to be—as structured thoughts were invited to float away—leaving a small and precious space—within our thoughts, for a day-dream vision to arrive. We offer to you the same invitation, let go of what it is you actually see and welcome the ability to dream and design in your cottage!

Symbolism Abounds!


Once a Year, The Peonies Bloom—

Once a Year, The Peonies Bloom—their arrival, with their abundance of delicate, soft as a whisper petals is one of the true signs that Springtime has arrived. The Peonies only bloom once and the remainder of their summer is spent growing to ensure that the following year they will once again burst forth with glorious bounty. As I began to think about sharing their radiance with you—I came to understand, to realize—at certain times, words—become unnecessary. Nouns, adjectives and verbs only seem to create noise.

Sometimes, in the splendor of magnificent, natural beauty—silence speaks the clearest, the most exacting and perfectly precisely.

Once a Year, The Peonies Bloom—

Symbolism Abounds!


A Mother’s Day Story—

Some stories—in their depth, preciousness, wisdom or humor with earnestness and heartfelt desire, long to be told—and at times, over and over again. This is one of my favorite stories and I would like to share it with you. Please pour yourself a beverage and make yourself comfortable! I’ll wait!

Twenty years ago as my children left behind the world of toddler-hood and began their journey into being young children the understanding and tradition of celebrating Mother’s Day began. As parents, we teach our children what to celebrate, as we decide for our own individual families what we choose to honor—and how.

I have been fortunate to be the recipient of many wonderful Mother’s Day gifts, beginning as they often do, with my child’s hand-print embossed into a ceramic disc accompanied by the official “hand-print-poem” which completes this lovely keepsake. In looking back, as a Post-Mommy, the evidence of their growth, development and maturity can be observed in the gifts I have received on Mother’s Day. As dexterity increases, a painted macaroni necklace is carefully laced upon ribbon, and before you know it, the gift-making has advanced to a small shelf which has been proudly built, sanded and stained in a wood-shop class. Often, at some point in time, these hand-made gifts give way to the process of gift selection, which also tends to have a measurable quantifier of the age of the child! (Do I really have to wear that???)  In addition to gift giving on Mother’s Day often there is the decision of a desired activity, what would you like to do?

When my children were 5 and 3 years old, I was asked what I would like to do on Mother’s Day. Unbeknownst to me at the time, a wonderful tradition was born—and this is one of the reasons I wish to share my story this Sunday, 2 weeks prior to Mother’s Day, should any Current-Day Mommies become inspired to add this tradition to their own family. In the Northeast, May is the month when Spring with all of it’s flowering glory has finally arrived! We begin planting annuals—Impatiens, Petunias, and Snapdragons—which will spend the summer adding joyous color to pots and in rows and in mounds of brilliant color. My choice for Mother’s Day, was to share this task with my children.

Enthusiastically I responded, “Let’s plant flowers on Mother’s Day!”

I refused all gifts, I forbid being served breakfast in bed and restaurants were out of the question! This was my day and I wanted to plant flowers—together!

On Mother’s Day we embarked upon our adventure, starting with a trip to the local nursery where selections were made—everyone was allowed to pick a flower. Let’s just say the previous years of coordinating rows of colorful flowers and pots filled with size and color-balanced-blends was obliterated. Little gloves and spades were purchased, mud boots were donned and digging began. To say this was a peaceful experience would be untrue. Flowers were rudely plucked from the plastic flats with abandon as I hurriedly explained the need for the roots to remain intact. At some point a watering can was involved, which accidentally sprinkled all over a younger brother! When we finished our planting, I am uncertain whether there was more soil on the walkway, boots, children and our Golden Retriever puppy than left in the ground in which we had been planting. This Mother’s Day was filled with laughter, fun, flowers, mud, a puppy and children—and was—simply wonderful!

The next day, I solemnly walked into the garden, whispering quiet apologies to the flowers that had not fared too well, as I attempted to prop  them up—reorganizing their roots to actually be completely in the ground. I must honestly admit—there were casualties.

The following year a declaration was made; each year, every year, all I wanted for Mother’s Day was a flower-planting-celebration—and so we did! As the years continued little hands became more capable of tasks, color preferences and the kinds of flowers that were appreciated developed, and then changed, and then changed again. Specific areas in the yard were “claimed” as their own—to design and create their own unique and beautiful display. And the plantings were gorgeous.

To tell this story and claim that every year was glorious would be, well, not the truth. As the years went on negotiations began, as unsuccessful attempts and an upping of the ante of possible gifts were offered—in exchange for being released from having to go outside and plant flowers. There were several years of eye rolling, multiple claims that this was “unfair” and the insistent questioning, as to why they couldn’t just buy a gift—like a normal family? Nature also offered challenges, as a rainy Mother’s Day arrived—we adapted by carrying terra-cotta pots into the garage enabling planting to be done inside, as they “froze to death” requesting cup after cup of hot chocolate. (With marshmallows please!)

During certain years, I did find myself wondering; why am I doing this? However, for the most part, over our twenty year tradition the day was joyful, even when the planting event was a version of teenager joy—blasting music and hose fights between siblings. Nevertheless, it was our tradition and I loved every moment, okay fine, almost every moment.

The puppy which I mentioned who attended our first planting, joined our family as my oldest child began kindergarten. The idea (relentless begging) to add a puppy into our family resulted in Cody, a Golden Retriever. My thought which solidified the decision was that a source of unconditional love seemed a worthy endeavor. During the days when a required “time out” was appropriate Cody was always included, as he dutifully followed behind them. (“Come on Cody, we’re in a ‘time out’.”)

Cody filled the role of unconditional love to perfection, he would savor the opportunity to serve as a pillow during movie watching, with two little heads resting upon him. He insisted on wearing a pink tutu every Halloween as he accompanied princesses, hippies, ninja turtles and monsters trick-or-treating. Cody became the mascot for every team that was played on—as he proudly sported a team shirt. When a sick-day arrived Cody would assume his position—next to the bed of the little patient and wait protectively for recovery.

The secret wish I had—was that Cody would be able to be photographed with each child at the start of each school year from kindergarten to high school graduation. Having not taken the time to do the math, as this was in the wishful thinking category, this was asking Cody for fifteen years of offering his unyielding love—while simultaneously granting us the gift of loving and caring for him. That wish, as some do, remained unfulfilled. Cody enriched our lives for nine years and he was able to attend two elementary school graduation celebrations. While my daughter and son were in middle school the time came for us to say good-bye and to thank him for his love. The first Mother’s Day without Cody joining us while we planted flowers was bittersweet—by the next year we had adapted—families change—and this was just one of ours.

If asked, I would guess hundreds of flowers had been planted when The Mother’s Day arrived when my daughter was a sophomore in high school and my son was in 8th grade. The annual planting of the flowers was planned and due to their advanced ages, I decided we were ready to go to the next level of flower planting!

This would take preparation! I began two weeks in advance sharing with them my plan to obtain seedling flats to plant that year. Without them asking me (meaning they reluctantly listened and feigned interest and enthusiasm) I began the informative explanation of seedling flats—they were the source—of the flowers we had always purchased in the past from the nursery. Excitedly (not feigning at all) I explained that we were getting the original flowers from the growers—which would result in “this year, our flowers will exceed every other year in beauty and bountiful growth!” I told them the story of the four Dutchmen who had come from Holland to New Jersey in the late 1800’s and subsequently become the leading suppliers of all of the flowers in the United States! I wasn’t exactly certain how much of this information was historically accurate, these were stories I had heard and admittedly I had not taken the time to do my own research for verification. My rationalization—I was the Mother who had taught them about Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy and The Easter Bunny—I took the liberty of assuming all would be forgiven—as is the case in the other similar accepted Mommy-approved-teachings.

This year we were going to go the distance—the four Dutchmen and their farms—were a two-hour drive away!

An iPod Nano was offered, I was enticed with wonderful visions of a relaxing spa day, coupon books which would be filled with tickets redeemable for the least favorite of household chores and months of their savings for any purchase was willingly being offered—dangled before me in exchange for the cancellation of the flower planting excursion!

Pleadingly they begged, “Anyyyyyythingggggg but planting flowers! This is not just planting flowers, we have to drive two hours, go to the Dutch-whatever, pick up the seed-things, drive back 2 hours and THEN start planting flowers??? Can’t you go get them before Sunday?”

I replied with a non-emotional, “We’ll need to get an early start, 8:00 in the morning will be perfect. It’s Mother’s Day and I get to decide what we’re doing.” (Wow, that was impressive—why couldn’t I manage to do that more often?)

At this point in the story I ask you to please imagine moaning, complaining, yawning and overall general pathetic suffering on the morning of Mother’s Day. When we finally got into the car for this horrid, unfair trip—I handed each of them a gift wrapped in spring-like flowered paper. I’m a big fan of themes.

Chastising me they said, “Mom! This is Mother’s Day you’re not supposed to give us a gift—we’re supposed to give you a gift! And you said no gifts!”

Smiling I replied, “You are giving me a gift, you are traveling to the four Dutchmen to get seedling flats—these will be the most beautiful flowers we have ever planted! I gave you each a gift for making me a Mom, because without you—I wouldn’t be one!” (I channeled Doris Day for that response!)

Corny always pushes them over the edge and after all it was my day—and pushing them over the edge? Well, that was just a little gift to myself!

Obligingly they opened their respective gifts; for her—a pair of pink gardening gloves (her least favorite color at the time) and for him—a pair of blue gardening gloves (he would have preferred rugged leather.) Ahhhh, payback!

To which they sarcastically exclaimed, “Oh, wow, Mom, just what we always wanted…”

I smiled and said “You’re welcome!”

As a sophomore in high school my daughter had her driving permit, in an effort to placate them, I acquiesced to being relegated to the back seat. The 8th grader inserted a never-ending continuous flow of CD’s—his preassigned position (unknown to me) was to serve as the official DJ during our road trip. It was a reallllllly long ride—two hours can realllllly seem like an eternity!

After our drive (torture) was completed, we arrived at the home of one of the four Dutchmen. As we approached the house I reminded them to be courteous. We were being invited into someone’s home and we were being welcomed to share in their wonderful tradition of growing flowers.

Shocked that an additional request was being made of them (to be socially appropriate-how dare I?) they responded with, “What? Are you kidding? We thought we were coming to a store?!”

With great reverence I responded, “Oh no, this is one of the original, four Dutchmen families, this is very special.”

As we knocked, the door opened and we were greeting by a lovely woman who graciously stepped aside welcoming us to enter, “Please come in, I’ve been expecting you.”

As we entered the foyer, from another room, came a bounty running down a long hallway towards us—14 adorable, romping, bumping, rolling and yapping Golden Retriever Puppies! At the sight of all of this fluffy joy, two teenagers dropped to the floor to greet the puppies and in doing so, assumed their true roles—as children. (Mission accomplished.)

In childhood glee I heard, “Mom, look at the puppies! Did you know they had puppies here? I can’t believe it! They’re so cute!”

And I said, “Pick a flower.”

With confusion and possibly a hint of slight annoyance they responded, “What do you mean, we are here to pick flowers!”

“No we’re not, we’re here to pick a puppy-flower!”

There is no greater pleasure (well there is…but at this moment, there was not) than to render a teenager speechless, to be able to surprise, truly shock the all-knowing-ness of a teen! (I am victorious!)

We spent over an hour in the charming back corral of this gorgeous farm—playing with puppies—as we were being relished with licks, soft fur and playful nips as we picked our flower. The drive home was very different from the one which had brought us to this place. I was asked if I minded driving and the back seat was requested to enable turns to be taken to hold our flower. Gleeful, adorable discussions followed; a name needed to be chosen, when and how did I orchestrate my master plan, they wanted to know everything as they began to appreciate the nuance of the details I had constructed; the story of the four Dutchmen and the gloves I had given them. They questioned if we had food and supplies at home for our new family member and I assured them everything was prepared for our new arrival. As our journey ended, we pulled into the driveway of our home with our new puppy, and yet, the best moment was still to come.

With realization they asked, “What about the flowers? We didn’t plant any flowers this year!”

Was I hearing disappointment? That Mother’s Day, I received the best gift in the years I have been graced with the privilege to be their Mom, when they said—

“Let’s plant flowers next weekend.”

Lucas, our Mother’s Day flower, is now eight years old. He stepped in with an abundance of unconditional love and playfulness. Lucas has been part of our family for two high school graduations and two college graduations! During the six college years of my daughter and son participating in the to-and-from college departures and arrivals, the most outwardly enthusiastic greeting on every one of their returns came from Lucas.

This Mother’s Day the flowers will be planted without my children being present, who are now young adults. My daughter is on an amazing adventure in South America and my son is on location as he begins his promising career. I am not disheartened that they will not be able to join me this year, to me their absence represents that they are blooming—just as flowers do. I believe, in this summer-time of their lives they have all they will require to grow abundantly. To keep me company as I plant our flowers on Mother’s Day, I have twenty years of joyous memories to share the planting with—and of course Lucas!

When my daughter and son return this summer I know we will look at the Mother’s Day flowers together. I anticipate that they will appreciate the beauty of the flowers and acknowledge how magnificently they are growing. And I, will be looking at them—and agree, yes, they are growing beautifully and magnificently—their garden is thriving.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Joy Surrounds!


The Love of Color—GREEN! (Inside!)

Earlier in the week we wrote about The Love of Color—GREEN! Our original plan was to present a pictorial display demonstrating the cohesiveness of bringing the organic color of green indoors. The magnificence that we discovered and photographed in nature made our interior shots pale in comparison—so our first tribute to green saluted the glory outside. Today we move indoors to complete our task.

We find green to be a grounding color, connecting us to all that grows and thrives. Introducing this essence into our inner sanctuary creates a peaceful quality. At Rooster Ridge green is used sparingly as an accent color and often travels indoors in the original natural venue as in our Rainforest Green Quartz counter-top in the kitchen of The House at Rooster Ridge.

We splurged and got a little wild taking the leap to have green ovens installed. I have to admit—it’s really fun to cook in green ovens! We have found that color makes the heart smile—if you are in the process of adding small or large new appliances to your cottage—consider a color!

The Vintage Tin Ceiling which we adapted as a back-splash near the stove and the desk area in the kitchen is a deep moss green—this shade is very organic and creates a feeling of stability. We love to mix patterns and have no fear in placing the Rainforest Green Quartz alongside the patterned Vintage Tin.

Green is introduced in decorative accent accessories; as seen the in the Antique Rockwood Pottery Vase, Antique green wine-wash and Vintage Soda Bottles.

Green Verde Marble has been infused as a consistent hearth color in the four fireplaces in The House at Rooster Ridge.

Historic green paint was used as an accent to the mantle in the Vida Room and the inset panels in the Entry Foyer and Dining Room.

More natural green can be found in the Antique Side Tables and two small floors; the front entry and the powder room feature Green Verde Marble.

With the introduction of green fabric on two dining chairs, this textural introduction further relates the touches of green accents.

The six coordinated panels of Antique Stained Glass which has been installed in the windows of The House at Rooster Ridge is a salute to the beauty of natural green—growing vines travel gloriously on the glass!

Green—is one of the most treasured gifts of nature. Calming, peaceful, healing.

Green represents growth—for us as spiritual beings and in nature. We encourage you to invite green into your cottage!

Symbolism Abounds!


Vintage Pine Sideboard—RePurposed!

The Cottage at Rooster Ridge loves the original form of recycling—which we refer to as RePurposing! This concept is easily adapted when something is used in a new venue, a completely new purpose or an adaptation of the original use is put in place. In the case of The Vintage Pine Sideboard we took this piece of furniture and cut it (literally) into 2 pieces and, in twist of fate and good fortune sent the new use further back in history! Say what????

The original Vintage Pine Sideboard, for the most part, was a display piece, and indeed this wonderful Vintage Sideboard did so beautifully. These are photos of the Vintage Pine Sideboard back in the day (not the original day—these photographs are a mere twenty-five years old.) Back in the day—as in before the Sideboard became four RePurposed creations.

During the renovation of The Cottage at Rooster Ridge one of our primary goals was to try our best to avoid placing any cabinetry in the kitchen area. The plan was to utilize furniture in places where cabinetry usually serves an important function. The kitchen sink obviously is one of the mandatory items in the world of kitchen needs.

The Vintage Sideboard had sadly lost its home with the new space configurations which were occurring. While studying the sink-space that was available in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge and studying the Sideboard—I began to make a quick sketch. I imagined using the lower portion of the sideboard as a place to house the farm sink we had planned to purchase. Measuring ensued. Would the sink be at the right height? There was a window in this wall, would the Sideboard fit under it? Was the length of the Sideboard able to fit on the wall?

Yes, yes and yes. (Enter good fortune.)

The Pine Sideboard had two marble inlays; removing one created the beginning of the space required to hold the sink enabling a visual inspection! Removing one of the three drawers created a hollow opening. The rest, as they say, was up to the saw! Maybe they don’t say that—but you get what I mean!

What to do with the top portion? The thought of discarding this wonderful Vintage Pine (not) a Sideboard was never a discussion as this Sideboard had been loved (wax on, wax off) for many, many years. The two black iron cup racks were removed creating more of an open shelf appearance. The top of the Sideboard was affixed to the wall, placing the top snugly against the ceiling which brought about a feeling of crown molding. That sounded so easy—right? Okay, there was sweating involved. (Not by your author.)

There remained two last pieces of the Vintage Pine Sideboard—thinking cap time (my version of sweating)—how could the last two items be RePurposed?

I know! First, addressing the section of marble that had been removed to allow for the sink to be installed, we realized the marble could be transformed into a little counter-space between the stove and the refrigerator. How to hold the marble in place became the next quandary, underside support brackets seemed so, well, boring. A newel post! As it turned out (enter fate) the original mahogany newel post from The House at Rooster Ridge had been resting in the attic for more than twenty-five years, now at long last this newel post was able to be back in service! Note to self; always keep solid mahogany newel posts.

And, in case you are counting, what was the fourth RePurposed item of the Vintage Sideboard? The fourth piece requiring RePurposing is the drawer that was removed to create the space for the farm sink. (Thinking cap was still on.) The drawer—lined with heavy plastic and with holes drilled into the bottom to allow for drainage—a charming outdoor planting box was created, knob and all!

One beloved Vintage Pine Sideboard when embraced with love and allowing ourselves the freedom to have a vision— “ta-dah!” transformation occurs! We hope to inspire you—to think outside the box, or Sideboard—please continue to join us at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge—where we find joy in sharing artistic thoughts, designs and dreams!

We have found in RePurposing—the original artistry and craftsmanship continues—to live!

Art Lives!


The Love of Color—GREEN!

The color green is used in the design of The Cottage and The House at Rooster Ridge as an organic and grounding accent color. There is an intrinsic relationship between all that grows and lives in the wonderment of nature. We find introducing green into the interior creates a cohesiveness between our exterior world and our inner sanctuary.

This post began as a pictorial study—entitled “Outside—In.” The venture seemed interesting and clever enough to warrant a read or more directly in this case, a view.

As the post was coming together frustration settled in, this was not due to the lack of beautiful green subject matter in the interior—the issue became, everything, and I mean everything paled in comparison to the green presentation outdoors. To that end, and with the utmost honor, respect and gratitude, our pictorial tribute to green remains outdoors where the most perfect design is available—nature.

Just as the leaves of the fern gently unfurl, our intention at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge is to gently inspire. To present design—and the thoughts which created them—to encourage others to follow their own inspirations, interpretations, visions and tributes to what brings them joy.

We have found, during the times when inspiration is lacking, all we need to do is quiet ourselves and allow the spectacular design that rests before us in nature to move us forward.

Art Lives!


Renewal of Springtime—

With the renewal of Springtime and the world literally and symbolically in full bloom, nature has stepped gracefully forward reminding us of all of the beauty life has to offer—each and every one of us.

With this fresh viewpoint and new-found feeling of hopefulness we often find ourselves in moments of inner reflection and quiet contemplation. The core of this might be as simple as thinking—I feel so hope-filled and at peace at this moment, how might I have this continue?

Perhaps, at that juncture, we find ourselves reviewing past actions in an effort to move forward in a positive direction—to do more good, to feel this inner peace more frequently or to reach a higher place of being—having the ability to share more light and love with others.

As I ponder these thoughts I am directed to the passage entitled; The Lesson of Self-Forgiveness from my book;  Lessons from the Trumpet Vine.

In reading these words I am reminded to learn from past errors and through the gift of self-forgiveness gently move further along in my journey toward peacefulness.

With my heartfelt love and best intention to serve the highest good, I wish to share with you:

Lessons from The Trumpet Vine

Written & Illustrated by Jeri L. Glatter

The Lesson of Self-Forgiveness

Dear child, we see the sadness you are experiencing and the pressing weight of your new awareness. Despite the understanding and the grace you now encompass through our lessons, we see there now exists a new-found heartache. You have become melancholy as you pause reflectively with new eyes, as you review your past behaviors and intentions. You now see clearly the results which were directed by your previous viewpoints and your past actions and words. On one hand, your fresh perspective had made you buoyant with hope for future days. Yet you also understand the challenge and diligence which will be required of you. Through this new window, you now see clearly your past transgressions, and this is not something you had anticipated. Consequently, you now find yourself disheartened, and your soul is heavy.

Let us commend you for your insight, for reflecting upon yesterday through the eyes of your new knowledge. Moving forward with renewed grace and good intentions toward tomorrow would be far easier without this burdensome review of the debris you left behind. We understand that the path is more difficult to travel when one brings forth the knowledge of poor actions and misguided intentions into the light. We further sense your question that asks, “Now that I understand, how will I live peacefully, accepting that there have been actions which I now regret, which I now understand were poor, and knowing that there have been those who have been hurt by me?”

With a gentle, symbolic hand, we reach down as we compassionately raise your head. Dear child, do not look down in shame. Walking in your newly-realized self-disappointment serves no one—not you, not those you have hurt, nor those whose lives you now touch. Shame and guilt serve no one. This is not our wish for you. Within the feelings of shame, regret, and guilt, the seeds of change cannot be born. Do not tarry there. Instead, we ask you to bravely take action, first through your thoughts. Learn from your errors. Study them with an open heart. Allow them to teach you where you had become misguided. In that way, you will bring forth into tomorrow the knowledge to prevent further poor actions or harmful words.

To forget about your past actions, or to allow yourself the unacceptable excuse of focusing solely on the actions of others who were in relationship with you, will prevent you from altering future behavior. Instead, allow the past to become a course of study upon which you reflect and learn for the life yet ahead. In addition, stay alert to the opportunity to correct hurt that you have caused. At times, you will be presented with a person whose path will cross yours once again. As you now stand in the light of understanding and good intention, share that light, dear child. When appropriate, share your regret with them for your actions or your words by saying to them, “I regret my actions which caused you hurt. I now fully understand the error of my deeds. I have learned from this, and I am committed to never repeat that damage again.”

The most powerful way to move forward is to not allow yourself the indulgence of self-regret but to take action that will alter your future behavior. When appropriate, share your lessons and your mistakes with those who travel next to you. Allow your transgressions to become the positive actions of others through the generosity of sharing of your darkest stories. This is the only way to transform poor past actions into future good actions by yourself and others. Practice self-forgiveness and kindness as you accept the adage that says, “As you now know better, you do better.”

Lessons from the Trumpet Vine is available online;

Barnes & Noble:      http://bit.ly/HrLpTk

Amazon:     http://amzn.to/HxJBvG

Book website:     http://bit.ly/xvOhAs

Please feel free to view the book trailer:     http://bit.ly/xdHFAd