Don’t Step on a Bee Day

July 10 is Don’t Step on a Bee Day, a holiday I’m sure we can all appreciate! My first encounter with a bee when was I was a child. I didn’t notice one was on my arm, and when I bent the arm, the bee wasn’t pleased. Neither was I. I seem to have a natural attraction for bees. It’s an unusual season when I don’t get stung at least once. Last year there was one on the railing going down my porch steps and I put my hand on it. Ouch!

However, we couldn’t, of course, get along without bees to pollinate our plants and flowers. In 2015-2016 (April to April), beekeepers lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies. According to Bee Informed, the twin culprits were the “varroa mite, a lethal parasite that can easily spread between colonies. Pesticides and malnutrition caused by changing land use patterns are also likely taking a toll,” they added. The Department of Agriculture mentions “Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which is a syndrome specifically defined as a dead colony with no adult bees and with no dead bee bodies but with a live queen, and usually honey and immature bees, still present.” They say there is no proven scientific cause for this, though many would blame pesticides.

Under the heading, “why should the public care about what happens to honey bees, they say, “About one mouthful in three in our diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination. Commercial production of many high-value and specialty crops like almonds and other tree nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables depend on pollination by honey bees. These are the foods that give our diet diversity, color, and flavor.”

So let us celebrate bees today, and please, don’t step on one!


Quotes about bees.

If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.–Maurice Maeterlinck (The Life of the Bee)

The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.–Henry David Thoreau

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance.–Henry David Thoreau

Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.–Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)

There is only one real reason to keep bees, and that is because they are fascinating. If you just want honey, make friends with a beekeeper.–Adrian the Bee Man

For bees, the flower is the fountain of life;
For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.
–Kahlil Gibran

How doth does the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
from each and every flower
–Isaac Watts

His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee’s experience
Of clovers and of noon!
–Emily Dickinson

The only reason for making a buzzing-noise that I know of is because you’re a bee…The only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey….and the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it.–A. A. Milne (The House at Pooh Corner)

Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.–Mary Kay Ash

Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
from each and every flower
–Isaac Watts

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

Simple Living

My church is having a Simplify Your Life yard sale this weekend. The idea is, you go through all the clutter you have accumulated and give away what you no longer need, or anything that keeps you from living your true values.

Simplicity or living simply is not a, well, simple concept because it means different things to different people. One might find it easy to get rid of a television, and despise a Game of Thrones fan. Or one might find it easy to use the library instead of buying books. Or live without very much technology. Each of us have areas where we can easily step back, and other areas where giving something up is very difficult. Of course.

The secret is to take a look at who you are and understand what you value, and then live all your life according to those values. There are many ways to get at this understanding. Ask friends and family members what they see as your strong points. Or think about what you want written on your tombstone or spoken at your eulogy. Ask yourself what you would do if money were no object. Use whatever works for you to get at your true self. There are also all sorts of books out there, from the philosophical, like First Things First by Stephen Covey, to the entirely practical like all the cheapskate books by Jeff Yeager.

De-cluttering, downsizing, simplifying your house and your life – whatever you call it, it’s good for you, if for no other reason than taking stock from time to time gets you on, or back on the right track. So start a box for Goodwill, hold a garage sale, throw something out. It will make you feel lighter (and maybe richer).

Quotes on simplicity

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.–Hans Hofmann

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius–and a lot of courage–to move in the opposite direction.–Albert Einstein

Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.–Elise Boulding

I’ve learned to keep things simple. Look at your choices, pick the best one, then go to work with all your heart.–Pat Riley

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.–Charles Mingus

Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires.–Lao-tzu

Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify, simplify, simplify! … Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.–Henry David Thoreau

The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.–Paulo Coelho

Simplicity is an exact medium between too little and too much.–Sir Joshua Reynolds

Simplicity is the nature of great souls.–Papa Ramadas

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.–Leonardo da Vinci

Simplifying isn’t meant to leave your life empty, it’s meant to leave space in your life for what you really want to do. Know what those things are before you start.–Leo Babaura

‘Tis a gift to be simple,
‘Tis a gift to be free,
‘Tis a gift to come down
Where we ought to be
And when we find ourselves
In the place that’s right
‘Twill be in the valley
Of love and delight.–Shaker hymn

To be simple is the best thing in the world.–G. K. Chesterton

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


Partially in tribute to the Dalai Lama whose birthday is today, July 6, I’m posting thoughts on kindness. An advocate of living a life of kindness, he has written such things as, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible,” and “Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.”

We have been admonished to do random acts of kindness, which can range from simply paying for the drink of the person behind us in line at the coffee shop, to paying attention to needs of coworkers, to genuinely smiling and saying thank you to a busy clerk, to whatever creative thing one can think to do. And these things are good, but perhaps what most of us need to do is pay attention to those close to us and act kindly to the ones we so often ignore or take for granted.

We sometimes also need to be kinder to ourselves, and not beat ourselves up over our shortcomings. Everyone one of us has things we wish we could do better, or stop doing, and trying to better ourselves is a good thing. But no one is perfect, and that’s okay. It’s a good thing to sometimes remind yourself of what you do well, not just what you do poorly.

So, be kind to strangers, be kind to friends and family, and be kind to yourself. That pretty much takes in everyone! Brighten someone’s day today with a kind work or act, and it may brighten your day as well.


Other quotes about kindness.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.—Plato

Be kind to strangers. Let strangers be kind to you. Think of it as a positive exchange of … compassion in the circle of life.–Sarah Ban Breathnach

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.–Og Mandino

Consider it: every person you have ever met, every person will suffer the loss of his friends and family. All are going to lose everything they love in this world. Why would one want to be anything but kind to them in the meantime?–Sam Harris

A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.–William Hazlitt

Kind words are a creative force, a power that concurs in the building up of all that is good, and energy that showers blessings upon the world.– Lawrence G. Lovasik

Kindness is a language the dumb can speak and the deaf can hear.–Christian Bovee

Life is short. Be swift to love! Make haste to be kind!–Henri F. Amiel

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.–Aesop

Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?–Sir James Matthew Barrie

The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.–Mahatma Gandhi

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

If you want more kindness in the world, put it there.–Zero Dean

When you are kind to someone in trouble, you hope they’ll remember and be kind to someone else. And, it’ll become like a wildfire.–Whoopi Goldberg

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.–Albert Schweitzer

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


July 4 is called Independence Day in the U.S., a time when we celebrate our independence from Britain. However, I want to expand that and focus on Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms. Rather than thinking of freedom as something related to one country, he spoke about what that might look like if expanded to all people and nations. With the political and social ills in the world today, it seems even more relevant than it was three quarters of a century ago.

This is part of his speech from January 1941.

“In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.”

This is the kind of independence day to work for – peace and freedom in the entire world. FDR did not see this as impossible, but, the “kind of world attainable in our own time and generation.” Is that true? We can’t know until we give it a try. We can’t know until we begin treating all human beings as our brothers and sisters, and work for justice for all. So on this July 4th, let us expand our vision of freedom to encompass the globe.


Quotes about Freedom

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.–Universal Declaration of Human Rights (U.N. Article 1.10 December 1948)

Give me your tired, your poor;
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.–Emma Lazarus

Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purpose is beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.–Louis Dembitz Brandeis

A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular.–Adlai Stevenson

Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it.–Gennaine Greer

Freedom unexercised may become freedom forfeited.–Margaret Chase Smith

He who would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.–Thomas Paine

I believe in liberty for all men: the space to stretch their arms and their souls; the right to breathe and the right to vote, the freedom to choose their friends, enjoy the sunshine, and ride on the railroads, uncursed by color; thinking, dreaming, working as they will in a kingdom of beauty and love.–W. E. B. Du Bois

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.–Thomas Jefferson

Next in importance to freedom and justice, is popular education, without which neither justice nor freedom can be permanently maintained.–James A. Garfield

Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.–Fannie Lou Hamer

The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts.–Edmund Burke

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

National I Forgot Day

Yesterday, I posted this quote to my email list: “I did know once, only I’ve sort of forgotten.” by A. A. Milne (from Winnie the Pooh, of course), not realizing that today was National I Forgot Day. Funny how things work out sometimes! (By the way, if you are interested in getting an inspirational quote in your inbox each day, you can subscribe at

This holiday was invented by Gaye Anderson, when she was having a period in her life when she was having trouble remembering things. There are several ways to use this day.

First, sit down and think about things you may have forgotten – birthdays, anniversaries, etc. – and send a card or make a call to the person, explaining why you are suddenly contacting them today.

Or, perhaps it’s a day for you to stop beating yourself up about not remembering a few things, and give yourself permission to simply forget them – for today, or forever.

Third, if there are things that happened in your past that are poisoning your present, this is your official permission to forget them. Let the past be the past. Deal with what you can, and forget the rest and move on. Seek professional help if needed.

So whether you are someone who needs prodding to remember, or someone who needs to let thing go, or someone else, celebrate this holiday in the way that helps you the most.

The graphic is from the National I Forgot to Remember Website.


Quotes about memory.

The charm, one might say the genius of memory, is that it is choosy, chancy, and temperamental: it rejects the edifying cathedral and indelibly photographs the small boy outside, chewing a hunk of melon in the dust.–Elizabeth Bowen

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.–Ralph Waldo Emerson

How we remember, what we remember, and why we remember form the most personal map of our individuality.–Christina Baldwin (One to One)

If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.–E. Joseph Cossman

It is memory that provides the heart with impetus, fuels the brain, and propels the corn plant from seed to fruit.–Joy Harjo (Conference)

It would add much to human happiness, if an art could be taught of forgetting all of which the remembrance is at once useless and afflictive … that the mind might perform its functions without encumbrance, and the past might no longer encroach upon the present.–Samuel Johnson (The Idler)

Memory has the singular characteristic of recalling in a friend absent, as in a journey long past, only that which is agreeable.–Charles Dudley Warner (“Fifth Study” Backlog Studies)

Memory is not about what went on in the past, it is about what is going on inside us right this moment. … It is made up of the stuff of life in the process of becoming the grist of the soul.–Joan Chittister (The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully)

A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness.–Elbert Hubbard (The Note Book)

Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.–Willa Cather

A strange thing is memory, and hope; one looks backward, and the other forward; one is of today, the other of tomorrow. Memory is history recorded in our brain, memory is a painter, it paints pictures of the past and of the day.–Anna Mary Robertson (“Grandma”) Moses (in My Life’s History by Kallir)

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