Monthly Archives: September, 2014

Autumn has seized the countryside

“The magic of autumn has seized the countryside; now that the sun isn’t ripening anything it shines for the sake of the golden age…” ― Elizabeth Coatsworth I would miss so much if I didn’t get out and walk.  This neighbor’s yard, like so many, would be harder to appreciate through the windshield of a …

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Defiance of the contemporary

“A hobby is a defiance of the contemporary. It is an assertion of those permanent values which the momentary eddies of social evolution have contravened or overlooked. If this is true, then we may also say that every hobbyist is inherently a radical, and that his tribe is inherently a minority.” – Aldo Leopold This …

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It is all there

“London has the trick of making its past, its long indelible past, always a part of its present. And for that reason it will always have meaning for the future, because of all it can teach about disaster, survival, and redemption. It is all there in the streets. It is all there in the books.” …

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Bright and demanding

“She liked anything orange: leaves; some moons; marigolds; chrysanthemums; cheese; pumpkin, both in pie and out; orange juice; marmalade. Orange is bright and demanding. You can’t ignore orange things.” —  Catherynne M. Valente Though I’ve never thought of orange as one of my favorite colors, I love the way it brightens this time of year.  …

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Forgetting where you put it

“Moi does not recommend dieting. The only way you can lose weight is the same way you lose anything – by forgetting where you put it…A very common oversight in most weight-limitation programs is to pay excessive attention to the calories you consume rather than to the enormous numbers of calories you routinely avoid…You can …

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What counts

“What counts is what you learn after you know it all.” – Earl Weaver Sometimes it seems that life is one long series of reaching the top of one hill only to start all over again at the bottom of another one.  After awhile, we realize that we never stop needing to learn.  Most of …

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The full value of trees

“I never before knew the full value of trees. My house is entirely embosomed in high plane-trees, with good grass below; and under them I breakfast, dine, write, read, and receive my company. What would I not give that the trees planted nearest round the house at Monticello were full grown.” — Thomas Jefferson Because …

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A natural affinity

“Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants, and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime.” — Robin C. Moore and Herb H Wong One of the best ways to enjoy nature is to tag along with a child or two.  They notice things we have forgotten …

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We more than gain

“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.” ― Samuel Butler Happy first day of fall!  I hope this season is full of delightful gifts for you.  What do you most look forward to at this time of year?  Feel free to share some of your …

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One of those

“It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.” — P.D. James Perfect autumn days might be more numerous in our memory than in reality, but they can happen anywhere, and they aren’t just about foliage or pumpkins.  The photo above was taken on a beautiful …

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Outdoors in

“Bring the outdoors in. Plants make for a happy home.” – Mr Jason Grant There were a lot of ways my mother created a happy home for us, and one of them was the way she loved plants, indoors and out.  She was often joked about spoken of in regard to her composting and organic …

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To find the beautiful

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson A year ago today I wrote about Drew’s beloved toy raccoon Gludgey, who went along with our family everywhere we traveled.  Books, favorite snacks, and comfortable shoes are other things we …

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I sit and watch

Oh! ’twas very sad and lonely When I found myself the only Population on this cultivated shore; But I’ve made a little tavern In a rocky little cavern, And I sit and watch for people at the door… Then we gather as we travel, Bits of moss and dirty gravel, And we chip off little …

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Those moments

“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering and I responded…sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.”   –  George Saunders There’s nothing at all wrong with acting in ways that are sensible, reserved, and mild.  But there are times when such demeanor …

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There is nothing lacking

“Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” — Lao-tzu It’s a curious paradox that some of the people who have the most possessions never seem to have enough, and some with the least are the most content.  …

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Participate relentlessly

“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.” – Elizabeth Gilbert Two years ago today we got the devastatingly bad news nobody ever wants to get, and despite some initial hope that it might not be as fearful as it seemed at first, the prognosis only got worse and worse in …

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Dressing herself

“September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes I agree with Holmes that the beauty of October is usually more extravagant than the showy displays of September. …

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People together

“Adversity not only draws people together, but brings forth that beautiful inward friendship.” – Soren Kierkegaard Working together under difficult circumstances tends to strip away the vacuous and trivial concerns that we are too often preoccupied with, especially in affluent societies.  None of us want adversity or crisis, nor do most of us wish it …

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Another turned page

“…that old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air … Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.” ― Wallace Stegner Though it …

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When we came together

“Remember the hours after September 11th when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefighters ran upstairs and risked their lives so that others might live; when rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon; when the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed …

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Rest now

“…rest now. Rest for longer than you are used to resting. Make a stillness around you, a field of peace. Your best work, the best time of your life will grow out of this peace.” ― Peter Heller Jeff is really good about prioritizing sleep, but he doesn’t seem to enjoy resting.  I sometimes joke …

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If we only knew

“Good heavens, of what uncostly material is our earthly happiness composed— if we only knew it!  What incomes have we not had from a flower, and how unfailing are the dividends of the seasons!”  —  James Russell Lowell It’s hard to choose a favorite season, but this time of year I’m especially aware of the …

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Nowhere else to go

“I have been many times driven to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” ― Abraham Lincoln Not quite 152 years ago, the United States endured “the single bloodiest day in American military history” …

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No matter how close

“No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog.” — Dean Koontz Those of us who have adopted an animal will immediately connect with what Koontz is saying here.  Our non-human family members are …

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At the mere sight

“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.” ― Jane Smiley I was quite a few years into adulthood before I realized that the mere presence of books was a comfort to me, even if I didn’t reach out and take one from the shelf.  This seemed a bit …

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