All ready

I don't remember how old Drew was here, but I think he was around ten months old.

I don’t remember quite when this was taken, but I think Drew was around ten months old.

I wanted to do something a little different with the quote today, just to change things up a bit.  Let me know what you think. I see lots of quotes online that are “posterized” with photo or art, and I always enjoy them, but I have ZERO experience creating them.  However, if you don’t mind being a test audience, I can try to improve my skills.

I don’t really recommend going after our troubles with any sort of bat, but I love the indomitable attitude Dr. Seuss calls up in this quote.  While there are times when passive resignation is the best course, I think we sometimes default to that simply because it’s the path of least resistance.

If you are troubled by negative thoughts and messages today, I hope you will talk back to them.  Think of yourself as wielding a big psychological bat made of courage, determination and hope.  Whether your despair takes the form of snarling mental dragons or tiny gnats of worries that nip away at your faith, go after them!  Chances are they’ll turn and run from you.

Much of what we fear lies in some imaginary future that may or may not be as bad as we dread.  Since it’s all outside of reality at this point, we might as well make ourselves — at least in our own minds — bigger and stronger than what is after us.  I dare you to give it a try!

One year ago today, a tribute to our beloved and fearless dog Pasha, who died 6-30-13:

The size of the fight


  1. raynard

    Julia, I got stuck in my head now some song , that goes like this..( cough cough 1 2 123 and “Nobody Seen the Troubles I seen..” I digress. Yesterday was ” a stop the world I wanna get off day'( Is that why I dont like Ferris wheels” or”does the mirrors in “the funhouse make me look fat err “Round is a shape” I digress. Still planning surprise trip to Virginia Beach around 18th of Next Month and want to have “patio garden done so I can send you a few pictures. Be blessed

    • Raynard, today was kind of like that for me. I ended up driving way more than I like to drive (which is practically none) in heavy rain most all day. So it was more like “stop the car I want to get out.” Matt’s open heart surgery is next month in DC near the time you will be coming to VA Beach, but we might be down there some of the time you are there. Let me know the exact dates once you find out. I have a post tomorrow about patio gardens that I re-blogged from Alys – perfect timing to get you going on one. I tried a tomato garden on my deck a few years back but the squirrels had other ideas for the tomatoes so I never got a single one!

  2. Susan

    Thank you, Julia, I needed this today! With only two days to spare, I was finally offered an extension of my contract at work yesterday. Elated, I ran home to renew the lease on my apartment, only to find that rent had been raised by over $900 per month! I was crushed. I will use the imagery that you provided this morning when I go talk to the management. I can be nice, but just knowing that I have a big bat should help my confidence in negotiations!

    • OH, NO! That’s the kind of thing that can pretty much ruin a day/week/month/year. One year Jeff and I had our rent go up by several hundred dollars and it was so frustrating because there was basically nothing we could do about it. After much negotiating the military had agreed to increase the housing allowance for our area, so SURPRISE! all the landlords simply raised their rent accordingly. 😦 By all means remember Dr. Seuss when you go in to talk to them and you can picture me sitting there beside you saying “You got THAT right!” loudly every time you make a point, until I drove them crazy and they said “OK OK, we’ll give you whatever you want, just get that woman out of here!!” Works for me anyway.

  3. Jim Beavers

    I loved the picture and quote for today.

    • Thank you Jim, I’m so glad you liked it!

  4. sarvjit

    Very inspiring words! I also love the attitude of Dr. Seuss. We are very strong from within. All we have to do is to peep inside. Thank you for sharing! Here’s a huge hug!

    • Thank you Sarvjit, here’s a hug back to you!

  5. Rene

    I read “I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sellew” to my oldest son SO many times when he was a toddler, and I was just thinking about this quote yesterday—how I could work it into a lesson for my class. “…big psychological bat made up of courage, determination and hope,” is a good starting point!

    • Thanks Rene. I don’t remember reading that particular Seuss book, but this quote from it made me want to go back and get a copy for myself! 🙂 Good luck with your lesson plans. I’ve often likened my own challenges to a big Whack-a-Mole game – something always popping up, sometimes many things at once. I could use a big bat there for sure!

  6. Sheila

    Julia, I think that you did a good job with the quote and the subject and presented a fitting poster. I see Grady following these footsteps. I always love your blogs that pertain to Pasha. Need I say more? I had a tearful, missing Salty episode last night. I hope all is well there. We are “camping” at Willow Tree…. feels so right! 🙂

    • Aw, Sheila, I wish I had been with you when you were missing Salty. I could have cried with you because I still miss Pasha all the time. I am glad you are able to be at Willow Tree – hope you have a lovely weekend, weather-wise and otherwise!

  7. I applaud your new presentation! Here we go Julia, here we go! (That’s a baseball cheer, LOL) Cute pic with the cubby widdle fingers holding that giant baseball, and those little runners are so sweet. Did you save any of Drew’s outfits to pass on to little Grady?

    I think you nailed it when you said, “may not be as bad as we dread”. I do find that when things finally play out, much of the anxiety was self induced fear and most often things are never as bad as you can imagine.

    I’m not the type to manage difficulties aggressively, although I’m sure that’s not what Dr Seuss was advocating. I have been called, “A dog with a bone” on more than one occasion though and tenacity can be a virtue. I guess I relate to, “if you don’t like how things are, try to change them”. Of course when it’s out of my hands completely, the course of action is to be the best team player possible. Nay-saying for the sake of being right never makes you popular either. I choose my battles carefully.

    • Aw, thanks for the encouragement. By the time we handed Drew’s clothes down to Matt (born just 16 months later) there wasn’t much left of them to pass along so I saved other less useful things such as baby china and blankets.

      I laughed about the dog with a bone bit – I once asked Drew why so many people told me I was strong when I’m not strong at all and he said “because you’re tenacious, and it’s easy to confuse the two.” 🙂 That being said, I am learning to choose my battles. For me, that’s been a difficult lesson. I do agree with you that often it’s far better to approach things collaboratively. Although it’s a fine line to walk, I think it’s possible to stay true to one’s principles without engaging in pointless confrontations. There is almost always a bit of common ground from which to start.

      • I sometimes think being agreeable and accepting in a less favourable situation will often have people mirror your behaviour and suddenly you hear things like, “well, we don’t have to do it TOTALLY my way, you’ve made a good points too’….ha! reverse psychology! It works 😉

        • It really, truly does! I think we often tend to “dig in” harder when we sense the same reaction on the opposite side. There’s something about having the other person be agreeable that often leaves us feeling kinder (or at least more ashamed) than if they had been nasty about refusing to cooperate. Attitudes really are contagious, which is one reason they are so important.

  8. I like the new format, Julia. Cute photo, too, of the little guy.

    “much of what we fear…” Oh yes. Worrying is such a waste of energy, but does it stop me? No. This is something I work on all the time.

    • I think many of us struggle with worry. It’s like getting our brains stuck in some uselessly repetitive cycle; so often I wish I had an “on/off” switch on my brain. That’s where the blogging does help. Looking at photos and reading interesting quotes is a good way to break the cycle.

      • I’m glad the blogging helps you in that way. I need to get back to mediating again. It really does calm the mind. The exercise does, too, and that I’m good at.

        I love your honesty and integrity, Julia and your forthright manner. It’s a breath of fresh air.

        • Alys, I’m so glad you like my “forthright manner” because my distinct impression is that not everyone does! I’m sure it comes off at least somewhat better in print than in person. Another reason blogging works for me, I guess. I really appreciate your encouragement!

          • LOL. When people are direct, you know where you stand. I like that, but not everyone does. My mom was very direct and matter of fact about things, so I’m more familiar with that approach. I can’t wait to meet you in person, Julia.

            • Thank you Alys, same here! I’m already making plans for April of next year, which begins with a massive excavation of all the JUNK I need to get rid of. Nothing like having a professional organizer come to visit to get you motivated!!! 🙂

              • Oh dear Julia. You have so much going on in your life. Please be good to yourself.

                • No worries Alys, I have a lot of encouragement coming my way from many wonderful people – thanks for being one of them! Plus I actually like cleaning stuff out, it’s just a matter of finding the time. Having a deadline to shoot for – even one that’s a year away — will help me prioritize it.

                  • Thanks, Julia. Deadlines are useful, and so is the magic of the timer. Rock on!

                    • 🙂

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