Author Archive: Julia

The right mental attitude

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — author unknown, often falsely attributed to Thomas Jefferson Just the other day, Jeff sent me this quote because he knew I would like it; I knew, too, that …

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The power of celebration

“People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state–it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle…. Celebration is a confrontation, …

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Sweet remembrancers

…Thus in each flower and simple bell, That in our path untrodden lie, Are sweet remembrancers who tell How fast the winged moments fly. Time will steal on with ceaseless pace, Yet lose we not the fleeting hours, Who still their fairy footsteps trace, As light they dance among the flowers. — Charlotte Turner Smith …

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To serve the public

“The Smithsonian is a great museum that annually attracts more than 20 million visitors, every single one of whom was there when we arrived…my suggestion for the Smithsonian is: If you really want to serve the public, you should put in an exhibit called: A Big Dark Room Filled With Mattresses.” — Dave Barry Even …

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Showing off

“I’m lying in my room listening to the birds outside. I used to think they sang because they were happy. But then I learned on a nature show they’re really showing off.” — Jo Knowles So much for our romantic anthropomorphism.  But for a bird, maybe showing off is a cheerful sort of thing to …

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Endless, incredible loot

“The richest person in the world – in fact, all the riches in the world – couldn’t provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library. You can measure the awareness, the breadth and the wisdom of a civilization, a nation, a people by the priority given to preserving these …

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Much more the same

“As different as we are from one another, as unique as each one of us is, we are much more the same than we are different.” — Fred Rogers Perhaps Mr. Rogers touched so many hearts because he understood this truth.  All of us have fears, sorrows, flaws and deficits.  Each of us has hopes, dreams, …

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Faith Shines

            No coward soul is mine, No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere:               I see Heaven’s glories shine, And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.                                   …

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Silent devoted companionship

“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.” — Doris Day If you’ve ever had a canine friend, you know what Day meant.  There is something about the friendship between humans and dogs that defies …

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Filling the dark trees

Snow was falling, so much like stars filling the dark trees that one could easily imagine its reason for being was nothing more than prettiness.    ― Mary Oliver I saw more snow last week than I’ve seen any week since we lived in Ohio, and maybe more than any week ever in March.  It was hard to think of …

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Fascinating to watch

“The common animals, birds and insects that are found in a little yard in the city are as fascinating to watch, and as fruitful in affording the careful observer a glimpse into some of the mysteries of nature, as are the rare and uncommon creatures of some far-off land.” – Leonard Dubkin While our tour …

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Dressed in snow

“It felt as though the whole globe was dressed in snow. Like it has pulled it on, the way you pull on a sweater. Next to the train line, footprints were sunken to their shins. Trees wore blankets of ice..” ― Markus Zusak Just when I thought we were in for a fairly mild winter, …

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An echo from the past

Nothing is Lost by Noel Coward Deep in our sub-conscious, we are told Lie all our memories, lie all the notes Of all the music we have ever heard And all the phrases those we loved have spoken, Sorrows and losses time has since consoled, Family jokes, out-moded anecdotes Each sentimental souvenir and token Everything …

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Complicated

“Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore.” — Wallace Stevens I’ve noticed that advertising and publishing increasingly use variations on the word “simple” to promote their content.  Everyone, it seems, yearns for simplicity amid the overwhelming density of challenges our brains must deal with …

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Worthy of note

“Recently I was visited by a very good friend who had just returned from a long walk in the woods, and I asked her what she had observed. ‘Nothing in particular,’ she replied. I might have been incredulous had I not been accustomed to such responses, for long ago I became convinced that the seeing …

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Music, laughter, grief and imagination

“It wouldn’t surprise me to know that there are science professors who mock all other types of knowledge as though they’re simply the fluffy, pretty, inconsequential bits around the edge, while (they say) the physical sciences are the solid, hard, no-nonsense things in the middle.  Of course, nobody really lives like that for a single …

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Be the one

“I met one woman in Georgia who has been married to her husband for over 60 years. After being asked for her best relationship advice, she paused and then said, ‘Don’t be afraid to be the one who loves the most.’ ”  — Nate Bagley It seems to me this is the one piece of …

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Little oases

“All that the historians give us are little oases in the desert of time, and we linger fondly in these, forgetting the vast tracks between one and another that were trodden by the weary generations of men.” — John Alfred Spender One of the most fascinating (and frustrating) aspects of visiting historic sites, especially ancient …

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With the reader’s eye

“Print is predictable and impersonal, conveying information in a mechanical transaction with the reader’s eye.  Handwriting, by contrast, resists the eye, reveals its meaning slowly, and is as intimate as skin.” — Ruth Ozeki When I read this quote, I was flooded with mental images of the handwriting of so many people who live in …

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With no mistakes

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” ― L.M. Montgomery If you’ve already lapsed on your New Year’s resolutions (or never had any) you have another chance to start the New Year today, on Lunar New Year.  In fact, every day is a chance to …

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Part of your life

“Trouble is part of your life, and if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough.” — Dinah Shore Jeff is a pretty tough guy.  In more than 25 years of Air Force service, I don’t recall him ever taking a single sick day until …

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Be with yourself

“Children especially need solitude.  Solitude is the precondition for having a conversation with yourself.  This capacity to be with yourself and discover yourself is the bedrock of development.” — Sherry Turkle Much has been written about the changes technology is bringing to the way we relate to each other.  Does it connect us more closely, …

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Embracing winter

“Enduring winter is only a start– embracing winter is what you should strive for.  Winter gives a sense of purpose and saves one from a life of hedonistic self-gratification, lying around on a palm-shaded patio nibbling ladyfingers and posting selfies on Facebook.  You have promises to keep.  Miles to go before you sleep.  Also, a …

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To you today

“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.  I say to you today, my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King’s words continue to inspire us because his message was timeless.  In the face of centuries of oppression …

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Role models

“Dogs are my favorite role models. I want to work like a dog, doing what I was born to do with joy and purpose. I want to play like a dog, with total, jolly abandon. I want to love like a dog, with unabashed devotion and complete lack of concern about what people do for …

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