National Magic Week

October 25-31 is traditionally set aside as National Magic Week. It covers the seven days before Halloween, which is the day the great magician Harry Houdini died in 1927. By the way, if you live in or near Pennsylvania, you might want to celebrate by visiting the Harry Houdini museum in Scranton. You can take a look at their rather hokey website here.

National (or International) Magic Week has two specific purposes. The first is to celebrate magicians, specifically those who work on stage and do magic tricks to delight the audience. The second is for magicians to perform particularly for those who couldn’t get out to see a show, such as shut-ins. It is a time to celebrate the charitable work done by magicians throughout the year.

Of course in the last few years, there has been in increase in interest about magic because of the Harry Potter books for children and young adults – though many of us older folks liked them too. Also, one of my favorite series is the Dresden files, an urban fantasy series written by Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden is known as the only practicing wizard in the Chicago phonebook. It is a well-realized world of various creatures living side by side with us mortal folks.

So whether you like your magic real, as in fantasy novels, or just on stage in a show, this is the week to celebrate it. Or just celebrate the magic of the natural world where seeds turn into plants and caterpillars into butterflies, where trees suddenly stop being green and turn so many beautiful colors, and such things as giraffes and platypuses exist. We do live in a magical world, after all!


Quotes about magic

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.–Roald Dah

I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.–J. K. Rowling

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.–W. B. Yeats

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.–Arthur C. Clarke

Children see magic because they look for it.–Christopher Moore

Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.–Nora Roberts

Magic’s just science that we don’t understand yet.–Arthur C. Clarke

That’s the thing about magic; you’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.–Charles de Lint

I am sure there is Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough to get hold of it and make it do things for us.–Frances Hodgson Burnett

Magic comes from what is inside you. It is a part of you. You can’t weave together a spell that you don’t believe in.–Jim Butcher

It’s all a matter of paying attention, being awake in the present moment, and not expecting a huge payoff. The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses.–Charles de Lint

There’s a flame of magic inside every stone & every flower, every bird that sings & every frog that croaks. There’s magic in the trees & the hills & the river & the rocks, in the sea & the stars & the wind, a deep, wild magic that’s as old as the world itself.–Kate Forsyth

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at

Belva Ann Lockwood

October 24 is the birthday of an amazing woman that I had never heard of. Belva Lockwood was born in 1830. She is mainly known for being the first woman attorney to plead before the Supreme Court, and as the first woman to run as a legitimate candidate for president.

Already teaching school at 14, Belva married at 18 and was widowed shortly afterward. Realizing she needed a better job with better pay to raise her daughter, she went back to school, a move that was frowned upon. Women seldom sought higher education, and certainly not widows! After graduation, she was headmistress of several schools. It was during this time she met Susan B. Anthony, and became attracted to many of her ideas about women’s equality. Not surprising, as Lockwood was paid only fifty percent of what men in her position earned.

Later, she became interested in law and finally found a school that would allow her to attend. However, though she passed her courses with honors, the school refused to grant her a diploma because of her sex. Feisty woman that she was, she wrote to President Grant as president ex officio of the school, and within a short time had her diploma.

She had to work slowly and take small steps as she built up a practice, as not many were interested in a female attorney. She became known as an advocate for women’s issues, arguing such cases as those involving equal pay for women. She was also active in women’s suffrage movements. In 1880 she became the first woman to argue a case in the Supreme Court and later sponsored Samuel R. Lowery to the Supreme Court bar, making him the fifth black attorney to be admitted, and ultimately the first to argue a case before the court.

Belva Lockwood was the first woman to run for President of the United States. Lockwood  was the candidate of the National Equal Rights Party. She ran in the presidential elections of 1884 and 1888, knowing she wouldn’t win, but using it to advance the cause of women’s rights. She received 4100 votes, which is quite amazing as women could not vote at that time. Also it was said, that many ballots marked for her were torn up and thrown away.

In her later years, she did much writing, and was a strong advocate for peace. She died in 1917 and is buried in Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC. Though it’s too dark to use here, I hope you will take a look at her portrait from the National Gallery. It shows her getting an honorary degree from Syracuse University. She looks like a strong woman and a great role model. The picture of her below is from her younger days.

Quotes by Belva Lockwood

If nations could only depend upon fair and impartial judgments in a world court of law, they would abandon the senseless, savage practice of war.

The glory of each generation is to make its own precedents.

I know we can’t abolish prejudice through laws, but we can set up guidelines for our actions by legislation.

I do not believe in sex distinction in literature, law, politics, or trade – or that modesty and virtue are more becoming to women than to men, but wish we had more of it everywhere.

Even if women in the United States are not permitted to vote, there is no law against their being voted for and, if elected, filling the highest office … Why not nominate women for important places?… The Republican Party… has little but insult for women when they appear before its conventions. It is time we had our own party, our own platform and our own nominees.

I am, and always have been a progressive woman, and while never directly attacking the conventionalities of society, have always done, or attempted to do those things which I have considered conducive to my health, convenience or emolument.

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at

National Pizza Month

October is National Pizza Month, and theoretically, at least, you should be able to find some exceptional deals at your local pizza shop during this month. According to what I’ve read, October is also the month when pizzerias try out new flavors. So it might be worth checking out. By the way, it is said that pizza comes from the Latin root word picea which means the blackening of crust by fire. Not sure if that is actually true.

According to (which is definitely the go-to place for information about pizza), October was designated pizza month in 1984 by Gerry Durnell, the founder of Pizza Today magazine when he realized there were no periodicals or tradeshow publications to support his growing pizza business or the industry in general. And it worked well. Today it is estimated that there are over 63,000 pizzerias in the United States.

I live in a mobile home court, and we go out together for pizza once a month. Besides the fellowship, the best part is that if you buy 12 pizzas from Mia & Pia’s where we go, you get a free pizza. Yum! So far I have gotten two free pizzas, so you can guess how much I love it! And it’s always pepperoni for me. I’m a purist when it comes to pizza. But alas, as much as I love the Pacific Northwest, to get a really good pizza, you need to be in the east. Any of you lucky enough to be near a Pontillos in New York state, enjoy a pizza for me.

Here are a few fun facts from

  • The average pizzeria uses 55 boxes a day.
  • It’s estimated that around 251,770,000 pounds of pepperoni are consumed every year in the U.S.
  • The largest pizza ever made was 122 feet and 8 inches in diameter. It called for 9,920 pounds of flour, 3968 pounds of cheese and 1,984 pounds of tomato puree.
  • Mozzarella cheese accounts for nearly 80 percent of Italian cheese production in the United States.
  • The world’s fastest pizza maker made 14 pizzas in a record two minutes and 35 seconds.
  • The top 5 pizza sales days are: Super Bowl Sunday, New Year’s Eve, Halloween, the night before Thanksgiving, & New Year’s Day
  • Over 5 billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year.
  • And one of my own: in the Pacific Northwest where I live, you can tell a native of the area because they prefer Canadian bacon and pineapple on their pizza.


Quotes about pizza

Those pizzas I ate were for medicinal purposes.–Amy Neftzger

On Venus you could cook a 16-inch pepperoni pizza in seven seconds, just by holding it out to the air. (Yes, I did the math.)–Neil deGrasse Tyson

Pizza is like the entire food pyramid!–Madeline Oles

Heaven would be a comfortable chair, a library, Diet Coke, and an occasional cheese pizza.–Jayden Hunter

I will never understand the appeal of the Hawaiian pizza.–Judd Winick

There’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap.–Kevin James

I just want to be in my sweats, walk my dog, watch TV and eat pizza.–America Ferrera

And I don’t cook, either. Not as long as they still deliver pizza.–Tiger Woods

I think of dieting, then I eat pizza.–Lara Stone

I’m an emotional eater. If something’s worth celebrating, we’re going to grab pizza.–Laurieann Gibson

We’ve got a wood-burning pizza oven in the garden – a luxury, I know, but it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made.–Gwyneth Paltrow

My car broke down outside pizza Hut last night. So I ordered a pizza to be delivered to my house and got a lift from the driver.–Nikhil Saluja

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at

National Friends of Libraries Week

The third week in October is National Friends of Libraries Week. This may be an unfamiliar term. Friends of Libraries are groups which operate on the local level to promote their local libraries. Friends groups often hold interesting seminars and other informational meetings. They raise money for their local libraries, for there is not a library anywhere which has money to buy all the materials they want. They often spearhead expansion projects. They may run book sales. My local Friends group runs a perpetual book sale in the library garage. It’s called the Bookie Joint. Gift books which the library can’t use, and older books weeded from the collection are for sale there for very reasonable prices. It’s open two or three times a week and is often quite busy.

If your library has a Friends group, find out how you can get involved. If it doesn’t, the American Library Association has information on how to get one started. You can find all sorts of useful information about Friends groups here. Your librarian will thank you. Don’t know if your library has a Friends group? Ask your local librarians. They will know. My local library has a link to our Friends group on the main Web page. It clearly states who the Friends are, what they do, when they meet, and how to get involved.

But whether or not you join an official Friends group, I urge everyone reading this to become a friend to their local library. They serve an important purpose in this information age, particularly for people with fewer resources. I don’t know what I’d do without my library!


Quotes about libraries

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.–Ray Bradbury

Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.–Walter Cronkite

What is more important in a library than anything else – than everything else – is the fact that it exists.–Archibald MacLeish

We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth.–John Lubbock

What in the world would we do without our libraries?–Katharine Hepburn

The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man.–T. S. Eliot

To Whom It May Concern: Welcome to the library where no one will tell you what to read or tell you what to think…. Meanwhile a book over there on a shelf will be glancing at you sideways getting up the courage to ask you out make you laugh make you cry make you fall in love.–Meg Rosoff

To ask why we need libraries at all, when there is so much information available elsewhere, is about as sensible as asking if roadmaps are necessary now that there are so very many roads.–Jon Bing

A public library is the most enduring of memorials, the trustiest monument for the preservation of an event or a name or an affection; for it, and it only, is respected by wars and revolutions, and survives them.–Mark Twain

The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.–Albert Einstein

Most people don’t realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn’t value its librarians doesn’t value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?–Neil Gaiman

You could go to a secret corner of the library where the only people talking are between the covers of books. They speak so softly that you can only hear them in your head as you read about forests and oceans and deserts and caverns and museums and a thousand other things.–Douglas Wood

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

October 18 is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. If you are a regular reader of this blog at all, you know I can’t pass up any day with chocolate in it. I also love making cupcakes of many flavors. And I learned a new word as I was looking up information on this important day: procrastibaking, which means the art of making cupcakes instead of something else you should be doing. I’m not sure it’s an official word, but it works for me! I may just go and do that today.

According to the National Day Calendar, “Cupcakes can be traced back to 1796 when there was a recipe notation of “a cake to be baked in small cups” written in American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons.  The earliest known documentation of the term cupcake was in 1828 in Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts cookbook.” Did you know that cupcakes are known as fairy cakes in Britain?

Nobody seems to know how or why this day got started, but it is always celebrated on October 18. What’s the best way to celebrate? By making cupcakes, of course. For a list of 20 variations on chocolate cupcakes, there is a group of recipes on a site called Bustle. They run from malted milk cupcakes to red wine chocolate cupcakes to rocky road cupcakes, with 17 other interesting variations to try.

The next best way to celebrate is to buy cupcakes from your favorite cupcake bakery. Whatever you do, enjoy a chocolate cupcake today!


Quotes about cupcakes

When you look at a cupcake, you’ve got to smile.–Anne Byrn

What Makes Life so Sweet? Cupcakes to eat and Someone to Love.–Marie Williams Johnstone

Dream as if you’ll live forever, eat Cupcakes as if you’ll die today.–Unknown

We’re encouraging them to bring healthy snacks, but when a parent comes up with a tray of sweets, I’m not going to turn them away. I don’t want to be the cupcake killer.–John Young

Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I wanted a cupcake, I did not have one.–David Grayson

I’ve never met a problem a proper cupcake couldn’t fix.–Sarah Ockler

What can I say? I’ve never met a cupcake I didn’t want to get to know better.–Jasinda Wilder

You can’t just leave a Mississippi Mud Mountain half-eaten! We leave no cupcake behind!–Molly Harper

Since every piece of matter in the Universe is in some way affected by every other piece of matter in the Universe, it is in theory possible to extrapolate the whole of creation — every sun, every planet, their orbits, their composition and their economic and social history from, say, one small piece of fairy cake.—Douglas Adams

I am thoroughly convinced that you can’t be sad when you are holding a cupcake or a bowl of ice cream. It is impossible to do.– Amy Rees Anderson

And here are some from @CupcakeQuotes on Twitter:

You don’t need an inspirational quote to be creative. You need cupcakes.

Sometimes I wonder how I became this women and then I remember through strength, coffee and cupcakes!

I see a book, I see cupcakes, I see coffee, I see a good day ahead.

Where there is cupcakes, there is hope.

I have OCD Obsessive Cupcakes Disorder

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy cupcakes… and that’s pretty close!

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at

National Cookbook Month

October is National Cookbook Month. While it’s true that I get most of my recipes off the Internet nowadays, I also love cookbooks. So do others. I currently have one on hold at my local library called The I Heart Naptime Cookbook by Jamielyn Nye. I was the third in line; now I am two of three. It consists of recipes which can be made quickly, giving you time to nap. Sounds good to me – and obviously to others as well!

According to Wikipedia, in the U.S., over 300,000 cookbooks are published or re-released each year. We are beaten only by China, which published an astonishing 400,000. (Statistics for 2013 for each country) The UK comes in a lagging third with 184,000. There are no statistics, of course, on how many of these are actually used by the buyers. Speaking for myself, I usually find one or two recipes from a book that I actually want to keep. Still, my own personal  cookbook is bulging with recipes I’ve collected from all over.

I suspect that like many of you reading this, I also cook seasonally. Lately, that has meant pumpkin. My sister has been visiting, and together we have made pumpkin swirl brownies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cheesecake, and even pumpkin chili. All those recipes come from the Internet, in case they sound interesting! Believe it or not, they were all delicious. So find yourself a cookbook or a new recipe and try it this month. It’s always good to step out of a rut and make something new.


Quotes about cookbooks

It was just the thing; the writer assumes you know nothing about cookery and gives useful hints: “When adding eggs, break the shells first.”–Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)

It is important to view a recipe book as one that you use daily and what we in our family call “a living book” — a book that you use all the time, not just read once and discard on the shelf. It is in a sense a spell book, a book of magical enchantments, to be consulted, used and altered as needed.–The Silver Elves

That’s the trouble with cookbooks. Like sex education and nuclear physics, they are founded on an illusion. They bespeak order, but they end in tears.–Anthony Lane

The biggest seller is cookbooks and the second is diet books — how not to eat what you’ve just learned how to cook.–Andy Rooney

Cook-books have always intrigued and seduced me. When I was still a dilettante in the kitchen they held my attention, even the dull ones, from cover to cover, the way crime and murder stories did.–The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book

I did toy with the idea of doing a cook-book…. I think a lot of people who hate literature but love fried eggs would buy it if the price was right.–Groucho Marx

Americans, more than any other culture on earth, are cookbook cooks; we learn to make our meals not from any oral tradition, but from a text. The just-wed cook brings to the new household no carefully copied collection of the family’s cherished recipes, but a spanking new edition of Fannie Farmer or The Joy of Cooking.–John Thorne

Old cookbooks connect you to your past and explain the history of the world.–Jose Andres

I love getting cookbooks – people will give them to me, and I read them like novels and file everything away.–Gwyneth Paltrow

What makes cookbooks interesting is to find out about the people and the culture that invented the food.–Vincent Schiavelli

The problem is that there is many great chefs and many great cookbooks, but none of them work at home.–Daniel Boulud

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at


As election day grows closer, I am feeling the lack more and more of civility in our political discourse. It is especially obvious in the U.S. election climate right now, but I see it in Britain with the Brexit controversy and indeed all over the world. There seems to be a distinct lack of not only politeness but even of taking responsibility for what one says.

Civility means working together for the good of all. At the very least, it means working to not offend others. It means being able to disagree without demonizing the other, to understand that people of good will can have different opinions. We can learn to respect each other and to work together even though we disagree. No one of us can change the tone of the current political rhetoric, but we can refuse to join in. We can come out on the side of kindness. We can be the voice of reason, and encouragement. I hope I can live up to that in my own life and I challenge my readers to do the same.


Quotes about civility

To work best democracy needs a diversity of thoughts, ideas and expression. This is only possible with freedom and civility.–Kevin Stirtz

When once the forms of civility are violated, there remains little hope of return to kindness or decency.–Samuel Johnson

As citizens we have to be more thoughtful and more educated and more informed. I turn on the TV and I see these grown people screaming at each other, and I think, well, if we don’t get our civility back we’re in trouble.–Emmylou Harris

Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.–Mary Wortley Montagu

Civility means a great deal more than just being nice to one another. It is complex and encompasses learning how to connect successfully and live well with others, developing thoughtfulness, and fostering effective self-expression and communication. Civility includes courtesy, politeness, mutual respect, fairness, good manners, as well as a matter of good health.–Pier Massimo Forni

Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, enemy to none.–Benjamin Franklin

Let us work towards not only bringing civility back in style, but ultimately making it a lifestyle.–Cindy Ann Peterson

Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.–George Washington

We have a choice about how we behave, and that means we have the choice to opt for civility and grace.–Dwight Currie

Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind.–Henry James

We all have to find way to be civil to one another.–Condoleezza Rice

Aspire to decency. Practice civility toward one another. Admire and emulate ethical behavior wherever you find it. Apply a rigid standard of morality to your lives; and if, periodically, you fail ­ as you surely will ­ adjust your lives, not the standards.–Ted Koppel

The main point about civility is … the ability to interact with strangers without holding their strangeness against them and without pressing them to surrender it or to renounce some or all the traits that have made them strangers in the first place.–Zygmunt Bauman

Good manners is just being respectful of others. Whether you know them or not, you should show respect for all people.–John Patrick Hickey

People who cannot restrain their own baser instincts, who cannot treat one another with civility, are not capable of self-government… without virtue, a society can be ruled only by fear, a truth that tyrants understand all too well.–Charles W. Colson

Civility awareness and a common foundation of considerate conduct are crucial to our future.–Cindy Ann Peterson

Civility is not a specific code of behavior as much as it is a call to unrelenting preemptive thought, and steady effort to care about influence on others.–John R. Dallas Jr.

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at