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Showing posts from 2011

Happy New Year - Muppet style

Arthur H. Sulzberger A new beginning is perhaps the best time to say… It’s so nice to know you… And here’s wishing our friendship continues to grow in the days to come. Happy New Year - be safe, be well. be true. Tara

Women Create 2012

February 2012, Creative Arts of Women of Western NY will be holding a juried exhibit to celebrate the 5th Annual SWAN - Support Women Artists Now! I've submitted the following three painting to be considered for this upcoming exhibit - Open wide the window of my soul Leo's Pretty Tree and my newest painting - Raven's Dawn Acrylic/Watercolor on canvas. To view more images of my paintings, visit Tara Lamont Eastman Art/Mural Booking. At a certain point he (Poe) was very popular, from THE RAVEN. He was never fully appreciated, never made the money, and you know he was looked upon with admiration by some people, but also as an oddball. But that was his point. John Astin Read more:

Drop me a line

(Image from arfsc. homestead. com ) "...I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers..." Ephesians 1:16 is a great reminder of the importance of praying for others—and letter writing! Over the Advent season and into Christmas week, I've received many Christmas cards, letters and photos from friends and family all over the country. It's been greatly encouraging to hear from old friends, catch up on news and see what is going in their lives. If I'm totally honest though, I'd say what I love best about receiving these letters is the flood of warmth that rushes over me when I find them in my mailbox—it's such an encouragement to be remembered and connected with others! In the New Testament, 13 of the 27 books are written in letter form. Letters were the primary means of early missionaries to communicate with their church members back home. These letters were used to encourage, redirect, challenge and help Christians to continue

Whole hearted surrender

So here's the thing. According to "researching storyteller" Brene Brown (Visit her webpage at: - vulnerability is an important key to living our lives in the place of wholeheartedness. This evening I took twenty minutes to watch her TED presentation. One: she is so engaging that the talk seemed to fly by. Two: The more I listened, the more my heart pounded a little harder - like the words were making something deep inside me sit up and take notice. Three: the topics of vulnerability and worth are very connected, but often very hard to dig deep and wrestle with. Four: I think I have some wrestling ahead of me. Five: The struggle for perfection, is a trap that I sometimes get caught in. Here is Brene's TED talk. Make a cup of tea or coffee and really sit down and listen. I think you're heart may sit up and heed her challenge too! This graphic is a part of her program to challenge folks to live wholeheartedly. I love the way it's prese

The gift of catching my breath

Advent is a particularly busy time of year for me. I find myself getting frustrated when I can't keep up with my regular tasks. December kicked off with flu having its way with our whole household - just as I was recommitting to refocus and blog every day for the last month of the year. Needless to say, I have not kept up with that goal. Each year, for about 11 years now, I have been working through Sacred Space's yearly prayer book. Sacred space provides both online , kindle version , and old-school book form of this prayer book. Just as other things have seemed to fall behind already in December, I did not think to order my new church year prayer book until last week - but thankfully it's arrived today. Here is the Celtic prayer I found as I first opened it's pages: Deep peace of the running waves to you, deep peace of the flowing air to you, deep peace of the quiet earth to you, deep peace of the shining stars to you, deep peace of the shades of night to you,

You are a gift

(Nigel - Fall 2011) You are the gift that arrived into my life fifteen years ago today. You tried to arrive early, and once you encountered all that fuss, you decided it best to hang out where you were comfy until the last possible moment. But when you arrived, you wasted no time all. When you came into the room, you were bright, alert and unexpectedly calm. As your Dad held you in his arms for the first time, I called your name. "Nigel, hello there. It's good to finally see you!" At the first mention of your name, you turned your head and eyes to meet mine. There was an audible gasp from the medical staff in the room. "He turned his head and looked right at you!" Everyone was impressed with how clever you were, even at that very tender age. People still are impressed. They love your spunk, your concern for those in need, your depth of thought and yes even your sometimes-snarky sense of humor. You are a gift that we did not deserve, and yet here you are. Th


Image found at NYpersonalinjury blog. Walking where I've strolled before, I stumble over unanticipated obstacles. At first, I hardly flinch and land like a cat on my feet - feeling steady, feeling graceful. Other times I catch my feet and have to take a minute to recover, but still land upright in the end. Then there are the trip ups that lead to all out crashes - face forward on the way up the stairs or a butt bouncing trip all the way down. In the washing machine spin cycle tumble - the world is a blur of color, sound and sensation. Is there an injury? Do I spring back up on my feet - embarrassed for the fall. Up and down are shuffled in an unpredictable jumble of misdirection. Are things really out of whack or do I just need some reorientation of space? Is limbo where I belong? It happens so fast and ends so abruptly, like waking up startled and sweaty from a dream - of falling. The chaos settles into fuzzy mindedness as the world tips upright once again. Walking whe

Canine wake up calls

What are the things that wake me up? Quite literally my alarm clock that goes off at 6am every morning to wake me up. Alarm noise is followed by a robust greeting from not-so-dainty 40lb. beagle cattle dog - Aggie. She plops on top of me with great anticipation of the great outdoor trek just minutes away from her Alphas feet hitting the floor. If I don't move fast enough, doggy kisses are on the way. Doggy kisses at 6am have an effective wake up call for just about anyone - espically me. When I think about the awareness of my dog, and her ability to be present to the moment, I'm challenged. In my very human way, I will so often be in a moment but at the same time be thinking, planning, or working out the moment that has passed or is yet to come. Dogs don't get caught up in the past or the future. Dog's live in the present. Even in the midst of a snoring canine sleep, Aggie will hear a noise and jump to attention barking at whatever has upset her rest. Often times,

More than / less than - Advent

Image from 123RF. During this season of Advent, our thoughts may turn to the wise men searching through the challenges of distance, obstacles, and the great unknown as they searched to find Jesus. Who was this Jesus they were seeking? How would meeting him change their lives? How did they feel as they finally came to the place where Jesus laid waiting for their arrival? There are many things we can desire this Advent season. Out of all the things we could place on our wish list, what if what we desired most was Jesus? How would Jesus change, mold and impact our lives if he were at the top of our "wish" list? May this season of preparation for Christmas day bring you joy, peace and most of all -Jesus. This Advent, may we seek Jesus just like the wise men did on that silent, holy night when they found him lying in a manger. Jesus waits for us to seek him. Follow the star. More than/less than Prayer What do you need more of in order to draw close to Jesus this Advent seaso

The best gifts given are...

Image from Newsong . The Advent and Christmas season is one of my most favorite times of the year. In the past several years, I've become more familiar with the liturgical church calendar which is, "...the celebration throughout the year of the mysteries of the Jesus birth, life, death, and Resurrection in such a way that the entire year becomes a 'year of the Lord's grace'. Thus the cycle of the liturgical year and the great feasts constitute the basic rhythm of the Christian's life of prayer, with its focal point at Easter.". It has been a blessing for me to be introduced to this cycle in the last ten years and I've enjoyed thinking about and experiencing the holidays, seasons and focus on Jesus' life throughout the year. Every day of the year, in the liturgical calendar, points to the life, work and ministry of Jesus. By taking part in this cycle, I feel like I've become more aware of Jesus' presence in my own life - every day of ea

Thanks for the memories

Recently, I received a email from my cousin Adriane that contained an old family photo. In this photo, (from left to right) is my sister Heather (14), me (age 10), and Adriane (3-4). This photo was taken in May at my Grandpap and Grandma's home in Irwin, PA. At the time this photo was taken, I was and probably getting excited to head to Burton Ohio for summer camp in July. My sister. Heather, was 14 here. There is a great deal of emotion tied to this photo, as the summer of 1981 was the last full summer of her life. She passed away from heart problems the following summer after years of struggling with her health. While the context and story behind this photo are bittersweet (this is possibly the last photo of my sister and I together), the beauty of finding it after all these years makes me so thankful. Thankful for Aunts who save old photos, cousins who scan and send them in emails and the love of my family. This photo has jogged my memory and helped me to recall a very happy

Seeking wellness one step at a time

Image from Seeking wellness is a holistic journey. It causes an individual to look at all aspects of their life and ask the question - "Does this look and feel healthy?" This can be a very hard question to ask and an even harder one to ponder and then take action on. Some areas of health and fitness have been slipping recently due to two different foot injuries - one in August and one in October. Sad to say the scale has been sliding in the wrong direction since consistent cardio work has been off and on again for the last few months. I'm slowly getting back to it, but there is work - more than I'd like to think about and do - to be done. What are some ways you re-energize seeking wellness in your life? Are there any tools or encouragement that helped get your feet back on the road to seeking health without perfectionism and regret dogging you all the way? It will be a one step at a time journey - and I know that it's important to pay

Animoto makes PR work fun!

Earlier this week I posted some photos from the last weekend's women's retreat. I was introduced to Animoto , by my husband, which offers a simple format for making 30 second mini-movies. I use this kind of resource to help promote youth, church and art events. Here's the first try flick with Animoto - I hope it's a helpful and fun resource for you too! Create your own video slideshow at

There is joy

Image found at - by cartoonist Hugh MacLeod There is joy in the moments filled with: warm cups of Earl Grey Tea, puppies so happy they get to go for a car ride they speak to you, insight in an area that you've been looking for illumination - for so long, and witnessing a connection and blessing for another person - in something you've done, written, or said. Joy is all around us. Joy want to invade the dark corners of our minds - from the smile, warmth and caring action of another. Joy can fill the cold and hungry with what they need - from that hands that have the means to meet their need. Joy will make a way that leads to hope - if only we wriggle the door open a little wider. Joy dosent' need much room to make a difference in life, but she makes all the difference once she's made herself at home there. THERE is joy. There IS joy. There is JOY. THERE IS JOY! T.L. EASTMAN copyright November 2011

A year of status - facebook that is.

See My Year In Status... To make your own go to Year in status

True Sisterhood Women's Day

Take twenty women with ages ranging from 17 to 65, add a catered breakfast and tasty lunch, some inspiring readings and discussions, lots of laughter, an opportunity to build a stronger community, hands on art and craft projects, some quiet time, some not-so-quiet time, and you have a day retreat for a lively sisterhood of women; committed to growing in their faith - cross generational friendships - and a great future together! Thank you to everyone who supported, helped with and attended the first women's day retreat at First Lutheran Church of Jamestown. Keep posted for the next one to come Spring 2012.

Exhale, inhale

Image from Exhale all the worry, the doubt and fear, Inhale peace, being present and things that help us draw near. Exhale frustrations over triangulated tones, Inhale respect for who we are to become known. Exhale to let go of all that burdens your life, Inhale what lifts up and makes you feel light. Exhale expectations that no one expects, Inhale inspiration that make better best. Exhale whatever seems to block the way to inhaling the goodness at the break of each day. T.L. Eastman November 2011

Little toes make a big difference

Image from Sunday morning blog. Two weeks ago now I injured my right little toe. In a morning rush, I ran up my stairs and spot on kicked the base of the exercise bike with my right foot. It was quickly clear by my tears and yelp that I had done some damage to my toes, but not wanting to make a big fuss over "little toes", they were buddy taped and I was on my way. Over a few day there was growing annoyance with the whole development. I could not run each morning, as is my routine, due to the throbbing in my foot. Each morning I'd put my foot on the floor and hobble about clumsily as my canine jogging buddy looked at me in confusion. She was not happy with the development either! A week and a half in - it was not feeling better so I decided to give my chiropractor a call. Chiropractor? You see, in the past my chiropractor has been able to work on other joint issues I'd had. I had confidence that he could fill me in on at least how long this healing process was g

Eyes to see

Image from Rivercity Church page. Mark 8:18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember? On Thursday, I had the unique opportunity of being able to visit with a large number of high school students. Over the last ten years, I've been a part of an ecumenical team that helps to organize, encourage and assist a high-school level campus fellowship. Earlier this week, I had been invited to come back for a "Club Day" and promote the Campus Fellowship Club. From 10:30 to 3:00, I witnessed a visual and auditory feast of diversity and variety. The appearance of all the students was as varied as the rainbow of colors on a painters palette. As you might expect, specific social groups became obvious throughout the day - but what I think I was most impressed with was how different each person was from the other but how they all wanted to make a connection with someone else. Each one of us is unique, but we as humans like to be a part


Image from Nontoxic reviews. Just when you thought all the energy was sapped. Just when you think it's all in the past. Just when you want what you had back then... a spark is charged and a new fire begins. Wondering how it changes will only cause you to scratch your head. Be thankful for the spark that helped you and me start again. T.L. Eastman Nov. 2011

Yesvember to remember with gratefulness

Image November by Giovanni Pascoli found at blog Able Muse. Some folk don't shave for the month of November. Some try to focus on saying "Yes!" to life instead of "No!" for the whole month. Others, being that Thanksgiving is a part of the month, focus on gratefulness for the month. I've been in need of a November blogging muse, so I've decided to work in the vein of thankfulness and gratefulness. I need to do some upward, thankful, joyful musing. Would you like to join me? So, thinking in this frame of mind, I'm thankful to have the space and time here at this blog, as well as those who pop by for a visit, and comment too! Thanks to those who read, write, comment and take part in this month of gratitude. PS. By the way, I won't be giving up shaving. Gentlemen, have fun with that one!

Tick-Tack-Treat Game

Supplies needed: Pumpkin Lolly-pops Foam core board Color Paper 3 Bean bags Three sets of 2nd chance questions. Cover white/black foam board with color paper in three rows of three alternating colors. Lay completed tick-tack-toe board on floor. Stick candy lolly-pops into a pumpkin for a centerpiece. Allow players to toss the bean bags in order to get 3 in a row. If they win - allow them to choose a lolly-pop. If they miss or would like to try for a second one, offer them the chance to answer a "Brain Teaser" question, Halloween trivia question or a "Do you dare" challenge. If they get tick-tack-toe and the question they get two candies. If they get tick-tack-toe and choose to stop there they get one candy. If they get tick-tack-toe and miss the 2nd chance - they loose the first candy (double or nothing). If they miss tick-tack-toe but win the 2nd chance question they win one candy. Hope you enjoy this all-age activity for your upcoming Halloween parties! B

A friendly Halloween invite...

Image found at Hayward Library website. This Thursday Middle and High school youth will be visiting Lutheran Social Services residents from 6:30-8:30pm and holding a costume parade followed with group time in the Chapel. (Please wear friendly costumes that would be fun for the residents as well as youth.) This activity is coordinated with SLYM: Shared Lutheran Youth Ministry. If you need more info on SLYM, click on the following link: SLYM. This Friday (October 28th) First Lutheran Church's Member support and outreach committee will be hosting a community Halloween Party from 3:30-5pm. This party is geared for kids 12 and under, but if you are older you are welcome to attend or help. We will be having games, snacks and a parade of costumes. Happy Halloween - it's going to be a beary fun time!For more information call 969-3950.

Halloween is looking 'Rosie'!

Image from Free Historical Stock Photos. This year for Halloween, I'm happy to be dressing as "Rosie the riveter". I've alway' loved her look as well as her determined "We can do it!" frame of mind. It's also wonderful that there were and are many real life 'Rosie's" out there in the world. Thank you for all the it you have done and continue to do! Thursday evening, I'll be heading to a nursing home with youth group members to visit and share some happy Halloween cheer with the residents. Do you think there will be any "Rosie's" there? For now I have to wait and see. But for you, here's a peek at your's truly - in Rosie fashion.

Reboot "Artist's Share" and show and tell

In August of 2007, I helped to found a group designed to encourage, foster and help to better develop artistic efforts in the Chautauqua County area. This group was coined "Artist's Share of Chautauqua County" , in response to the group's focus on sharing creative gifts in a safe, affirming, and motivating environment. To watch a video on how the group started and what kinds of events the group has been working on, vist our page at Facebook here. This group is one that is very dear to my heart - and I'm so happy that I've connected with two other art's advocates, including Infinity Visual and Performing Arts , who are willing to help re-boot the group sometime around November 5th. News on the next show and tell will be posted soon!


Farewell dear friend. As you take this next step, know that God goes with you on the journey. This "rest stop" is a better one for having you spend some time here. Your caring words, ways and challenge to keep growing - is one you exemplify in how you live. Thank you for all you've given. Growing edges need to be cultivated. You have helped to cultivate the lives of many here and so it is right and good that you move on to a new space. This new space provides you with great room, sunlight, and rain - to grow. Once upon a time I wrote this phrase, " One question, is life about finding where you fit or fitting where you are?" . We all are searching for something. Success, love, and purpose are the big ones. But that feeling of fitting with a group of people, no matter the location, can help to make the most of the most challenging of circumstance. Please know that as you take the next few steps, that we are holding you and yours in our hearts. This

Trust wall/shelf

I have this shelf in my office where I collect trinkets, photos and notes of encouragement. Many of the items are gifts from youth or adults that I've had the blessing of getting to know in ministry. Earlier today I looked up to the middle of the shelf to see the words - trust in God. I don't know why it seemed different today, but the words seemed to be saying they were capable of caring for everything and everyone represented in my shelf/and wall collection. I like that - very much. I really needed to be reminded that God can be trusted with the concerns on my own heart as well as all the lives that touch mine too. Holding on to "trust" and G-d. PS. When I posted this first picture, more youth/young adults from my church took notice of my shelf/wall and started adding to it as well. This is just one more way for me to pray for and entrust more of who and what I care for to G-d. To be continued...

Dear Grandmother Rain

(Myrtle Susan Rain around twenty years of age.) Dear Grandmother Rain, You're son Gary gave me this photograph of you a few years ago and I keep it on my shelf in my office. I don't know very much about you except that you passed away after and illness, when my Dad was about three years old. Dad(Gary) has very strong feelings for you and to this day will get misty when he shares those early-childhood memories with me. Years ago, I'd meet some of the great Aunts or Uncles when we'd make a trip to Pittsburgh for a reunion - and they would comment on how I resembled you. Dad always says I looked a great deal like you and from the photograph, it's easy to see that we have a close physical resemblance. But I wonder if we are similar in any other ways? I've wondered if you liked to read or paint? Did you like to talk as much as I do? Were you a writer as well? By the strong connection Dad has with you to this day, I know you were (and are) a greatly loved Mom

Spicy meatballs put the fun into fundraising

Two weeks ago, First Lutheran Church hosted a "Spaghetti and Meatball lunch" collaborative fundraiser for the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering . The team of over twenty people helped to cook and serve five gallons of sauce, five-hundred meatballs, thirty pounds of pasta, and six cases of sliced Italian bread with the addition of raffling off 40 donated baskets to raise $1350.00 for the effort. The volunteers and donations came from people from St. Timothy's Lutheran, Bethel Lutheran, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Immanuel Lutheran and First Lutheran Churches. In July 2012, twelve youth and five adults will be traveling to New Orleans for worship and mission and fundraisers like this will be our main resource in achieving the goal of making this trip. Until November 10th, our team will also be selling coupon books for the Bon-Ton "Community Days" for $5.00 each. These coupon books are worth up to $200.00 in the Bon-Ton during their holiday kick off sale on November