Category: Friendship Basket

Rest Is Not Idleness

I’ve decided that Summer is actually about 3 weeks long. Once you take off the visitors ‘visiting’ time, and the parent involvement in summer activities you are actually only left with about 3 weeks of unscheduled summer.

Hmmm.  Three precious weeks. To nap, to read, to walk, to make overdue phone calls, and catch up on entertaining with friends you don’t see enough.

Our lives are so overscheduled these days that it takes a few days to actually ‘get into it’. To accept that the phone not ringing isn’t a bad thing. You’re not missing anything. It doesn’t mean you don’t have friends. Simply accept this time as a gift…

I often think that in days gone by – this is how people felt all the time. They may have worked much harder physically with no electronic gadgets, but when the day was done, there wasn’t addictive TV shows, emails to answer, or a Facebook to connect to. The sun when down, the moon came up, people talked, played games, went to bed, then woke up early to face a new day. We are so overscheduled and over stimulated that we fall into bed and wake up with a groan. We have to drag ourselves up for the new day.

I was raised with a strong work ethic. My Mom never sat down, although the men did. In many ways that was a good thing. It was easy to excel in my career. To look good next to everyone else who did the minimum. I always did ‘extra’ and it paid off. But it has also left me with a deep sense of guilt doing things I like, just for me. It would have been unimaginable to read if there was washing to be done, or nap in a hammock if the dinner wasn’t prepared.

Recently I came across this wonderful quote.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” John Lubbock

I’m keeping it close. To drown out the other voice that says ‘you can’t’ and ‘you shouldn’t. I’m determined to ‘can’ and to ‘do’ and to teach my family that ‘rest’ actually means to ‘fill yourself up’ and once you’ve done that you’re able to ‘give’ more to everything and everyone else.

Idle has never felt so right.

A week to forget!

When you do $3k of damage to your car just by rolling into a truck which decided to jam it’s brakes on outside Starbucks.  When your dog consumes a weeks worth of your thyroid meds and needs a day at the vet being pumped with charcoal and comes out with poodle legs due to the IV (no offence poodle lovers).   When you give your friend a ride and for some unknown reason the door smashes her schnozzle and she spends breakfast bleeding into her omlette, and when you finish the week off with a parking ticket which happened when you ran into a store to get change, you know this is one of those weeks from hell.   It got to the point, that I thought it would be safer if I stayed home and under the covers.   At least my husband was away on business so he would be safe from whatever bad karma I was carrying around. But it made me wonder what I was doing to attract such bad luck. Dont’ we always feel better if we find out there is a ‘reason’? Thank goodness my friend pressed into my unlucky little hands a card telling me that last week was Mercury Retrograde. Apparently it raises havoc with communicatoins, machinery, and all forms of decision-making. Luckily I didn’t make any major decisions, or sign any important contracts.   I was a week to ‘plan’ and not to ‘act’.  I’ll take it!  I’m so happy to have something to hang my hat on. If anyone feels like me and wants to forget last week – then mark your calenders 8/20 – 9/12 and 12/10 – 12/30. These are other bad weeks that we can blame on Mercury rather than our careless selves!   At Healing Baskets we have a ‘when life gives you lemons’ basket, maybe I should design a Mercury Retrograde Basket?  Anyway, thanks Mercury for being my scapegoat.  Last week?  What last week?

Saving Time


So we did it!  We turned back our clocks and  most of our nation observed Daylight Savings Time. These are the last few precious days before Spring officially begins.  When we move our clocks ahead an hour and manipulate our days to seem longer. I’ve often thought how lovely it would be if we really could lengthen our days – to stretch out those beautiful, sunny afternoons surrounded by friends and family and happiness.  Those “4th of July” kind of days.

Sadly, it’s the other kind that seems to stretch on forever.  The days where we are filled with worry – or when someone we love is suffering.  When each minute seems to take an eternity to tick by.   When life is really living one day at a time.

One of the most important roles we can take on, of course, is to provide moments of calm and peace and friendship – those periods of oasis, when a friend we love is struggling.  To show up with a meal (I’m not a great cook but my shortbread is always a winner) or some groceries – or make the time to share a cup of tea.  To listen or to laugh. (And remember, we don’t need to know what to say.   Your presence really is your present!  There really is no obligation to ‘fix’ a situation.  It’s just to be there and listen or hold a hand.  It’s not until you have been through this yourself that you will truly get it.

But time ISN’T something we can stretch or save. It is only ours to spend in better or worse ways.  We need to learn how not to waste it.  I love Google but it can suck up your days, leading you into more and more searches.  I just lost a whole weekend looking into a trip for the family.  And it’s not like I kept any information.  If we decide to go – I’ll go through the whole timely process again.


Time.   For some it drags.  For others there is never enough.   Let’s make a deal to try and meet in the middle.  Find some time for those who need to fill some time….

With my thanks and gratitude that you are reading my blog!

Caroline Cheshire
Founder of Healing Baskets, Inc.

PS: To send a great friend a few moments of TLC, consider the “Oceans of Love” gift basket:


Working Mothers

Of course EVERY mother is a working mother, The art of raising happy, confident families is a 24/7 job.  Throw on top of that the day-to-day management of a household (we won’t even MENTION the laundry), getting involved with Girl Scouts or the PTO and it’s amazing to me that so many of us maintain careers and businesses – and our sanity!

The buzz word for moms during the first part of our century seemed to be balance, and while I welcome balance to my own working-mother life, I have to admit that many days it reminds me of walking a tightrope.

For 2010, I’m thrilled to say that I’ve found a new buzzword and a great new image: RHYTHM.  Rhythm to me means being able to move and sway with the changing needs of my life.  It means that I can move more quickly when my business is very busy and I’m running around with my kids, and sway more slowly when a friend needs a loving ear or help with her sick mom.

And being a working mom, there is even less time to nurture friendships.  We are ALL busy in our own way.  Perhaps our circle of friends becomes smaller. It’s now quality rather than quantity. It’s now those who are there when you need each other.  No questions asked.  No thank you’s needed.  This ‘circle of friends’ makes the life we have chosen be even possible.

So how do I remain surrounded by inspired, empowered friends, when life as a working mom is SO full.  For me, I make it a point to make one connection a month to a friend I don’t see often enough – or who might really need a demonstration of love at that moment.  Okay, yes, I own a gift basket company, so it’s a little easier for me to do this.  But it’s one of the BEST ways I keep my own circle vibrant and current.  Those gifts of love ALWAYS mean so much when they arrive.

You don’t have to own a gift basket company to create this in your own life either.  While it may not be as amazing as my Healing Baskets (a little shameless plug there), you CAN create a very sweet tribute to a friend with a simple mug filled with socks  (Break out the artist in you and hand draw a card or jot down a funny memory or poem.) .   Sometimes it’s a gesture.  Today I’m putting in my friends mail box a cartoon from the Sunday Globe funnies.  She is an avid knitter and this hilarious cartoon of ladies sitting around a naked male model for a ‘figure knitting class’ will certainly make her chuckle.  Her Grandmother died two weeks ago and all I want to give is the gift of a chuckle.  I can’t fix grief, or sadness,  but one chuckle today might be enough to let you know that it will be ok.

So let’s try and stick together.  We have to make time to acknowledge each other and create a meaningful, loving rhythm that can move us through all of our lives – it doesn’t just happen.  It grows by nurturing, and sharing each others loads.  By noticing down days.  By paying attention to each others rhythms.   By reaching out when it is needed and not being too busy with our own lives to notice.

With my thanks and gratitude that you are reading my blog!

Caroline Cheshire
Founder of Healing Baskets, Inc.

PS: To send a great friend the “You’re a True Friend” gift basket, go to: