Beauty

Where I live, spring is the most beautiful season of all. Right now I have in my garden California poppies with their bright orange, peonies in deep pink, iris in deep purple and light orange, and Scotch broom, which seems to glow yellow with its own inner light. There are some smaller blue and lighter purple flowers as well.

I have tomatoes started in my back room, with its south facing window. When the sun comes in there in the morning, it turns the leaves an amazing vibrant green, almost see-through, and I think to myself, “Is there anything in the world more beautiful than a tomato plant in the sun?”

My neighbor’s honeysuckle is opening, and another neighbor’s roses, and they smell beautiful. We are just past the lilac time, which to me are the most beautiful smells in nature.

When I was growing up, my family had a cottage on Lake Ontario, and the sunsets there were often breathtaking. In my adopted Pacific Northwest, breathtaking applies to the ocean, to the Cascade Mountains, to the many lovely rainbows I experienced when I lived in the Willamette Valley, to the redwoods, and to Crater Lake among many, many others.

It’s easy to see what I consider beautiful! For you it might be entirely different, but we all have a conception of beauty. So think of what is beautiful to you, and celebrate it today. Let today be “I Appreciate Beauty Day.” We’ll start a new holiday.

For a graphic today, I chose a scene from the Moville Shore Path in Moville, Ireland, where some friends live. Ireland is indeed a beautiful country.

Here are some of my favorite quotes on beauty. There are many more on my site, URL below.

Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.–Franz Kafka

Beauty addresses itself chiefly to sight, but there is a beauty for the hearing too, as in certain combinations so words and in all kinds of music; for melodies and cadences are beautiful…–Plotinus (The Enneads)

Beauty is everywhere to he or she who would behold it.– Frater Achad

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.–Khalil Gibran

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.–Helen Keller

Every day stop before something beautiful long enough to say, “Isn’t that b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!”–Alice Freeman Palmer

I have found that all ugly things are made by those who strive to make something beautiful, and that all beautiful things are made by those who strive to make something useful.–Oscar Wilde

Keep your faith in all beautiful things; in the sun when it is hidden, in the Spring when it is gone.–Roy R. Gilson

Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them.–John Ruskin

On a day when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open and
the world is full of beauty.
Today is such a day.–Rumi

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.–Iris Murdoch

We are living in a world of beauty, but few of us open our eyes to see it.–Lorado Taft

The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.–J. R. R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com.

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G. K. Chesterton

“Let me introduce you to my friend Gilbert Keith,” was how a fellow student in college told me about G. K. Chesterton. He is a fascinating man, and someone very quotable.

Chesterton was born May 29, 1874 in London, England. He is known as a poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, lay theologian, biographer, and literary and art critic. In modern times, he is probably best known as the creator of the Father Brown detective stories, currently brilliantly played by Mark Williams (Mr Weasley from the Harry Potter films.)

In his time, though, he was more well known as an essayist. Time Magazine said about him, “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” He was a memorable figure. He stood 6 feet, 4 inches tall, and weighed 280 pounds. With his quick wit, he loved to debate such figures as Bernard Shaw, but he was also very absent-minded. It is reported that on several occasions he sent a telegram to his wife Frances from some distant (and incorrect) location, writing such things as “Am in Market Harborough. Where ought I to be?” to which she would reply, “Home”

About him, Wikipedia says, “Chesterton wrote around 80 books, several hundred poems, some 200 short stories, 4000 essays, and several plays. He was a literary and social critic, historian, playwright, novelist, Catholic theologian and apologist, debater, and mystery writer. He was a columnist for the Daily News, The Illustrated London News, and his own paper, G. K.’s Weekly; he also wrote articles for the Encyclopædia Britannica, including the entry on Charles Dickens and part of the entry on Humour in the 14th edition (1929).” His best known nonfiction is Orthodoxy, about the Christian faith, and his best known single fictional work is The Man Who is Thursday, which is quite the challenge to read.

He influenced such widely differing people as C. S. Lewis, and Neil Gaiman, where he appears in one of the stories in the Sandman graphic novels.

Chesterton died June 14, 1936 of congestive heart failure.

Here are some my favorite Gilbert Keith Chesterton quotes. There are a lot of them, because he is one of my favorite quotable people.

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An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered. (my absolute favorite)

Children are innocent and love justice, while most adults are wicked and prefer mercy.

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried. (What’s Wrong With the World)

The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world. (Generally Speaking)

Everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace.

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. (Heretics)

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.

The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.

The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.

Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel.

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.

There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people.

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.

Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out.

To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it. (The Wisdom of Father Brown)

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com.

National Wig Out Day

Wig Out Day was invented in 2006 by Kate and Alice Clark. The sisters were able to inspire the residents of Bellingham, Washington to go to work wearing all different types of crazy wigs and then gather downtown at the end of the day for a party. Since then, Wig Out Day has grown and spread throughout the nation. It’s your chance to try a wild and crazy wig and pretend to be someone else for a day. Sort of like a mini Halloween.

In ancient Egypt, both males and females wore wigs made either from human hair, sheep’s wool or vegetable fibers, depending upon their social status. Other ancient civilizations whose citizens wore wigs were the Greeks, Romans, Assyrians, and the Phoenicians. For the Romans, in particular, wigs were often made with hair from slaves. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the use of wigs fell into disuse in the West for a thousand years until they were revived in the 16th century. Perukes or periwigs for men were introduced into the English-speaking world with other French styles when Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660.

In modern times, in Britain, most Commonwealth nations, and the Republic of Ireland special wigs are worn by barristers, judges, and certain parliamentary and municipal or civic officials as a symbol of the office. Hong Kong barristers and judges continue to wear wigs as part of court dress as an influence from their former jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Nations.

For ordinary people, in addition to changing ones looks or compensating for hair loss, wigs can serve a very useful purpose. There are two sites where you can donate hair that is at least ten inches long for wigs for cancer patients. For children, the site is Locks of Love at http://www.locksoflove.org/get-involved/. For adult women, the site is Pantene at http://pantene.com/en-us/brandexperience/make-the-cut. For those with long, untreated, not grey hair, do consider this as a gift to a cancer patient.

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Quotes about wigs.

Aunt Petunia often said that Dudley looked like a baby angel – Harry often said that Dudley looked like a pig in a wig.–J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.–Frank Zappa

For Heaven’s sake discard the monstrous wig which makes the English judges look like rats peeping through bunches of oakum.–Thomas Jefferson

Three things are men most likely to be cheated in, a horse, a wig, and a wife.–Benjamin Franklin

My house used to be haunted, but the ghosts haven’t been back since the night I tried on all my wigs.–Phyllis Diller

I’ve seen more convincing wigs on William Shatner.–John Larroquette

As long as I can wear a wig I can be any character, and in real life I can be myself.–Ginnifer Goodwin

I’m the artist formally known as Beck. I have a genius wig. When I put that wig on, then the true genius emerges. I don’t have enough hair to be a genius. I think you have to have hair going everywhere.–Beck

Men will confess to treason, murder, arson, false teeth, or a wig. How many of them will own up to a lack of humor?–Frank Moore Colby

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Since Waldo Emerson (as he preferred to be called) has provided me with so many wonderful quotes, it seems appropriate to celebrate him on his birthday. Emerson was born on May 25, 1803 in Boston. He was an American Transcendentalist poet, philosopher and essayist. Transcendentalists believe that each individual could transcend, or move beyond, the physical world of the senses into deeper spiritual experience through free will and intuition. They were very much into individualism, so struck a chord in the new country of the United States.

Emerson did various things, such as preaching and teaching, but he is best known for his essays and poetry. In his day, he was a favorite lecturer, and earned much of his money that way. He knew many of the famous people of his day, such as Daniel Webster, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Carlyle, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, and Amos Bronson Alcott.

He traveled in Europe, but later settled down in New Hampshire, where he became known as the Sage of Concord. Some of his best known writings are Essays, First and Second series, along with many individual essays and poems, such as “Nature,” “Self-Reliance,” and “The American Scholar.” He also wrote poetry, the most famous of which is probably “The Concord Hymn,” which begins:

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

Emerson died on April 27, 1882, leaving a rich legacy of wonderful words for us. Below are just a fraction of those which I have on my Website.

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All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man had taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of you first.

Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end pre-exists in the means, the fruit in the seed… You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong.

The definition of success – To laugh much; to win respect of intelligent persons and the affections of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give one’s self; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition.; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm, and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.

The difference between talent and genius is in the direction of the current: in genius, it is from within outward; in talent from without inward. (Journal, May 3, 1841)

The faith that stands on authority is not faith.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.

The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it – so fine that we often are on the line and do not know it.

Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.

People only see what they are prepared to see. (Journals)

The real and lasting victories are those of peace and not of war.

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com.

World Turtle Day

May 23 is World Turtle Day. I’m including tortoises is this. One of my earliest memories is going to Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York, where they had this huge tortoise. It must have been very old. I loved watching it move slowly around.

Turtles are among the oldest and most primitive groups of reptiles, having evolved millions of years ago. Turtles live all over the world in almost every type of climate. Turtle and tortoise are often used interchangeably as synonyms, but there are distinct differences. Turtles spend most of their lives in water. Tortoises are land animals.

The largest sea turtle species is the leatherback turtle. It weighs 600 to 1,500 pounds and is about 4.5 to 5.25 feet long. The Galápagos tortoise grows up to 6 feet long and 573 pounds. The largest freshwater turtle in North America is the alligator snapping turtle. It can grow to 2.5 feet long and weigh as much as 200 pounds.

Turtles and tortoises show up in a variety of stories. There is the famous fable “The Tortoise and the Hare,” which teaches us slow and steady wins the race. You will notice that although the tortoise won the race, there are no sports teams named The Tortoises.

Because of their great age, turtles are sometimes seen as wise. Master Oogway in the Kung Fu Panda movie is pictured as a turtle. A tongue in cheek mention goes to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. One of the stories from my childhood is Yertle the Turtle by Doctor Seuss. I have a couple of quotes from that below. It teaches us not to try to reach the top by crushing other folks.

But of all the turtles, my favorite has to be the green sea turtle for its beauty and grace. Unfortunately, according to the World Wildlife Fund, nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as Endangered. It is a shame that they are so vulnerable to poaching and other activities. In honor of their special day, I celebrate the turtle.

Green-Sea-Turtle

Quotations about Turtles and Tortoises

Then again, from below, in the great heavy stack,
Came a groan from that plain little turtle named Mack.
“Your Majesty, please… I don’t like to complain,
But down here below, we are feeling great pain.
I know, up on top you are seeing great sights,
But down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.
We turtles can’t stand it.  Our shells will all crack!
Besides, we need food.  We are starving!” groaned Mack.–Dr Seuss (Yertle the Turtle)

And the turtles, of course … all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.–Dr Seuss (Yertle the Turtle)

Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.–James Bryant Conant

You’re slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter.–Dilbert’s Words of Wisdom

Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help.–Alex Haley

Try to be like the turtle – at ease in your own shell.–Bill Copeland

Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause.–Bruce Feiler

It’s OK to do cute little things like kissing a turtle, but you can’t kiss another person because he’s a different color? Give me a break. And you have to remember, I’m from Dallas, Texas.–Aaron Spelling

I am now a turtle. Virtually everything I own is on my back and suffice it to say I am one ton lighter and therefore 2,000 pounds happier. All houses are gone.–Bobby Darin

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com.

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Mary Earhart was born July 24, 1897 and disappeared July 2, 1937. But today we celebrate the successful completion of the first flight across the Atlantic by a woman, May 21, 1932. She had intended to end the flight in Paris, but troubles along the way made it necessary to land early, and she touched down in a pasture just outside the small village of Culmore, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. When someone asked, “Have you flown far?” she replied simply, “From America.”

Earhart’s nearly 15-hour flight established her as an international hero. As a result, she won many honors, including the Gold Medal from the National Geographic Society as presented by President Hoover, the Distinguished Flying Cross from the U.S. Congress, and the Cross of the Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French government.

Earhart was a remarkable woman in her time, pushing the boundaries of what women could do. She became involved with The Ninety-Nines, an organization of female pilots providing moral support and advancing the cause of women in aviation, becoming the organization’s first president in 1930. She set many aviation records, and her accomplishments inspired a generation of female aviators, including the more than 1,000 women pilots of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) who ferried military aircraft, towed gliders, flew target practice aircraft, and served as transport pilots during World War II. She was friends with Eleanor Roosevelt, also someone who championed women’s accomplishments.

She married George Putnam in 1931 (after he proposed six times!) but in a move unheard of in that time, kept her maiden name. He seems to have been proud of his adventurous wife and very supportive.

In 1937, attempting a flight around the world, she and Fred Noonan were about three quarters of the way to their goal, when they took off from Lae, New Guinea, and disappeared. Someone has called her the most famous missing person in the world.

Amelia Earhart was a role model for women in a time when there were so few. I celebrate her as someone not afraid to follow her dreams.

She authored two books (20 Hrs, 40 Min, and The Fun of It) and left behind a number of inspirational quotes.

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Flying may not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.

I lay no claim to advancing scientific data other than advancing flying knowledge. I can only say that I do it because I want to.

The stars seemed near enough to touch and never before have I seen so many. I always believed the lure of flying is the lure of beauty, but I was sure of it that night.

The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life and the procedure. The process is its own reward.

My ambition is to have this wonderful gift produce practical results for the future of commercial flying and for the women who may want to fly tomorrow’s planes.

Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace, the soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things.

Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.

Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.

The most effective way to do it is to do it.

Everyone has ocean’s to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?

Never do things others can do and will do, if there are things others cannot do or will not do.

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com.

Postcards

Before there was Twitter, there were postcards, which forced people to be succinct in their messages to someone else. On May 19, 1898, the United States Post Office authorized the use of postcards. I never really thought about it before that postcards came after letters, but there was a time before they were created.

Of course, postcards are becoming obsolete, as people can take pictures with their mobile phones and send them instantly anywhere in the world. But the nice thing about postcards, is that they make colorful, small, easily carried souvenirs of sights you have seen, and they are nicer to pass around to a group than pictures on a phone. When I traveled in Great Britain and Ireland last summer, I saw too many tourists taking picture after picture rather than enjoying what they were seeing. Because of that, I decided I would just look and not take pictures, but just savor the view. I bought postcards of everywhere I wanted to remember, mailed a few, and brought the rest home.

In days gone by, postcards were an art form. You can see a wide array of vintage postcards at http://www.oldpostcards.com. They come in subject areas as diverse as lobsters, log cabins, and chickens. Well worth a browse, and they can be valuable too. In the chicken category, I saw one labeled Grade 1 that was selling for $75. So if you have old postcards in a trunk in your attic, you might want to dig them out!

Of course, I live in a very scenic state, and you can find many wonderful postcards of the Oregon coast, the forests, the mountains, and the high desert country, as well various cities, Portland being the most common. The postcard below is of Crater Lake, the nearest scenic area to me. It truly has to be seen to be believed, but you may enjoy the postcard for now.

OR-Postcard

Quotes about postcards

The world before us is a postcard, and I imagine the story we are writing on it.–Mary E. Pearson (The Miles Between)

Wherever you travel to, I would love to receive a beautiful postcard.–Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom)

Zoe’s mom liked to send silly postcards that made her laugh, but they usually dwindled as the summer wore on.–Christine Brodien-Jones (The Glass Puzzle)

I’ve always felt there is something sacred in a piece of paper that travels the earth from hand to hand, head to head, heart to heart.–Robert Michael Pyle (Sky Time in Gray’s River)

If it takes the entire army and navy to deliver a postal card in Chicago, that card will be delivered.–Grover Cleveland

For email, the old postcard rule applies. Nobody else is supposed to read your postcards, but you’d be a fool if you wrote anything private on one.–Judith Martin

I love that works of art are printed so that anyone can buy them. The variety of what they put on little postcards astounds me.–Leonard Lauder

Tacked above my desk are photos of artists I admire – Hopper, Sargent, Twain – and postcards from beloved bookstores where I’ve spent all my time and money – Tattered Cover, Elliot Bay, Harvard Bookstore.–J. R. Moehringer

Every time I see an exhibition, I make a pit stop at the museum gift shop to buy a postcard of something that inspired me.–Ruzwana Bashir

I resolve to make better use of the wonderful Royal Mail, and send letters and postcards to people.–Tom Hodgkinson

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com.