I recently watched the last inning of a tense major-league playoff game between division rivals the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles. A great hitter was up to bat, a young pitcher was on the mound and thousands of fans cheered for the pitcher to win the duel. That's when a TV commentator broke through the tension and talked about how this might be a good time for the eager pitcher to pause and take a very deep breath.
He might have done just that, because he proceeded to strike the batter out.
If taking a moment to "breathe" can win a game for a young pitcher in front of the home crowd, think what it could do for harried parents. Yet, we all know it's not easy to stop and a take a breath as we huff and puff through our busy days.
Busy mom of three, antiques dealer and all-around creative woman Becky Lee would agree. That's why she painted "BREATHE" in big letters on the outside of her favorite toolbox-turned-succulent-container-garden, kept on her back porch.
"Whenever I step outside and see the word, I stop in my tracks no matter where I'm headed, and let out a deep 'ahh,' she said.
"Taking that time helps me be present, calmer and happier as a mom. It's a gift to my kids when I slow down and 'breathe,' " she said.
Becky paints and pots succulent container gardens with her kids to enjoy in their home and to give to others. Simple words like "listen," "respect," "patience," "share" or "learn" are painted on the outside and serve as inspiration for families to grow and change along with the plants.
"It's fun to pot popular, easy-to-grow succulents from a garden center or to bring your own inside for the winter," she said. "Kids love to recycle clay pots or whimsical containers, such as buckets and tin cans, for potting and decorating."
1. Use acrylic paints to paint an inspiring word or positive character trait in large letters on the outside of a flower pot or favorite container with holes in the bottom. (An adult should drill the holes.)
2. Scoop potting soil mixed with sand into flower pot or container. Plant succulents in the soil. Water. Set a drainage tray underneath and display in a sunny spot indoors. Water every one to two weeks, being careful not to water too much at one time.
Donna Erickson's award-winning series "Donna's Day" is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit donnasday.com and link to the new Donna's Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families."