For Lillie Belle and All Dogs Great & Small

Dog quotes
Lillie Belle
“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” –Agnes Sligh Turnbull, American Novelist (1888-1982)
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
–Anatole France, French Novelist (1844-1924)

Anyone who has loved and lost a dog will appreciate Lucy Dawson’s sketches in her book, Dogs Rough & Smooth, originally published in 1937.

Dawson (1870-1954) was a popular British illustrator known for her paintings and sketches of a variety of dog breeds and was commissioned by the Royal Family to paint the Queen Mother’s favorite Corgi, Dookie. The book, her second of dog sketches following Dogs As I See Them, was republished in 2016 with a foreword by Susan Orlean, an author of several books including Rin Tin Tin and a contributor to several publications, including the New Yorker, Smithsonian Magazine and the New York Times. Read more

In the Beginning…

“In the beginning was Power, intelligent, loving, energising. In the beginning was the Word, supremely capable of mastering and moulding whatever might come into being in the world of matter. In the beginning there were not coldness and darkness: there was Fire.”
–Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), French Philosopher & Paleontologist

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

A Memorial Day Salute to Our Fearless Protectors

Memorial Day quotesIn honor of Memorial Day, we salute all of those who courageously gave their lives to protect our great nation and the values it espouses by highlighting the military’s steadfastness, discipline, order, bravery, humility, integrity and respect, reflected in the below excerpts, creed and poems. Happy Memorial Day!

“Virtue & The Soldier’s Soul” (taken from Endowed by Their Creator: A Collection of Historic Military Prayers 1774-Present, 2012)

“Virtue is the ‘animating spirit’ of the American military and is the ‘keynote’ of a Commander’s sworn duty of exemplary behavior, supervision and correction.” Read more

Springing With Flowers

“Earth laughs in flowers.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet, 1803-1882

beautiful spring flowers

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.”
–William Wordsworth, English poet, 1770-1850

spring quotes

“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson Read more

Happy Mother’s Day!

“The ordinarily decent impulses the ordinary man learned at his mother’s knee are our last line of defense against the wickedness of overweening power at home and abroad.”  –John Dos Passos (novelist, 1896-1970)

Mother's day quotesThe importance of mothers is beautifully captured in the below excerpt from the book, What Jackie Taught Us: Lessons from the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Tina Santi Flaherty (2004):

“The memory of our mother never leaves us – the good, the bad, and the ugly. That Jackie Kennedy Onassis was an exceptionally good mother even her harshest detractors readily acknowledge. Motherhood was what mattered most to Jackie. She believed that absolutely nothing came before the welfare of her children. Indeed, she referred to her efforts in raising Caroline and John Jr. as the best thing she’d ever done, saying she wanted to be remembered for that achievement more than for any other. She once remarked, ‘If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.’”

Continue delving into all things mother’s day with:
a reflection on why mothers are so important
a Colombian mother’s influence on her son
a children’s book reminding us of a mother’s love
words used to describe our mothers (and their motherly advice)
delicious recipes for a Mother’s Day brunch
and heavenly biscuits for mother’s day morning

A Poem For Spring

Walt Whitman miracles poemAs we warmly welcome the bright and cheerful colors of Spring, enjoy the poem below by Walt Whitman – a reminder of all the good and beautiful “miracles” that surround us daily.

“Miracles”
by Walt Whitman, American poet, 1819-1892

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love…
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

March: All Things Saint-ly

“Why were the saints, saints?
Because they were cheerful when it was difficult to be cheerful,
patient when it was difficult to be patient;
Cathedral in Rome Italy
Church of Sant’Ignazio di Loyola; Rome, Italy
and because they pushed on when they wanted to stand still,
and kept silent when they wanted to talk,
and were agreeable when they wanted to be disagreeable.
St. Giles Cathedral Edinburgh
St. Giles’ Cathedral; Edinburgh, Scotland
That was all.
It was quite simple and always will be.”
St. Patrick's Cathedral Dublin
St. Patrick’s Cathedral; Dublin, Ireland

Turning to Dylan During The Winds of Change

Bob Dylan The Times They are a-changin'One can feel the winds of change and the increasing force with which they are swirling around the 2016 presidential race. With every state primary and every presidential debate, the atmosphere becomes more and more charged and leaves one with the feeling that a revolution is just around the bend.

Indeed, all manner of revolutions are taking place and changing everything – our country, our world and our lives as we have known them. Read more

February: Cold Hands and Warm Hearts

NYC Storm Jonas“Why, what’s the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?”
–William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

The storm of a new year and all of January’s hopes, promises and resolutions have now settled into the mid-winter reality of February – a snow flurry of 28 days when daylight lingers just a little longer. Outside the window one can feel the cold frosty silence of winter’s expanse; inside one searches for warmth – a heater, fire, wool sweater or hot steaming cup of liquid to help ease the midwinter chill.

And so, if you have “such a February face” that is full of frost and storm and clouds, try one of the recipes for spirit warming drinks below. They are sure to warm your hands and heart and bring a little Valentine-red to your winter cheeks! Read more