Elvis Week

The second week of August is designated Elvis Week. Elvis Aaron Presley died on August 16, 1977, and so we remember him at this time of year. And believe me, this is a BIG deal at his old home of Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Take a look at their Elvis Week Web page. They have all sorts of events, from different artists singing songs he made famous, to tours of the area, to lectures on Elvis’ influence on culture, to a 5K run, and on and on. If you are a true Elvis fan, there is no better place to be than Graceland this week!

I was too young to be in the age group of Elvis fans growing up. My group was the Beatles, who were big all during my teenage years. But I did quite a bit of background work for a story I was going to set in the 50s, and as part of that, I listened to a lot of Elvis’ music and grew to respect him as an artist. So I won’t be at Graceland this week, but you might catch me listening to a CD of him singing from time to time.

I didn’t include any biographical information, as I assume everyone knows Elvis Presley, but if you want to read up on him, you can do so on his official site.

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Quotes by or about Elvis Presley

Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.–Elvis Presley

Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me. I can’t help it.–Elvis Presley

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.–Elvis Presley

There have been a lotta tough guys. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one king.–Bruce Springsteen

Elvis was the king. No doubt about it. People like myself, Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his footsteps.–Rod Stewart

His kind of music is deplorable, a rancid smelling aphrodisiac… It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people.–Frank Sinatra, 1950s

There have been many accolades uttered about Elvis’ talent and performances through the years, all of which I agree with wholeheartedly. I shall miss him dearly as a friend. He was a warm, considerate and generous man.–Frank Sinatra, 1977

I wanted to say to Elvis Presley and the country that this is a real decent, fine boy.–Ed Sullivan (many of us first saw Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show)

There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find his way back home… He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect from rock ‘n’ roll singers.–John Landau

There are several unbelievable things about Elvis, but the most incredible is his staying power in a world where meteoric careers fade like shooting stars.–Newsweek, August 11, 1969

Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it’s a whole new social revolution – the 60’s comes from it.–Leonard Bernstein

Elvis had an influence on everybody with his musical approach. He broke the ice for all of us.–Al Green

A lot has been written and said about why he was so great, but I think the best way to appreciate his greatness is just to go back and play some of the old records… Time has a way of being very unkind to old records, but Elvis’ keep getting better and better.–Huey Lewis

It’s rare when an artist’s talent can touch an entire generation of people. It’s even rarer when that same influence affects several generations. Elvis made an imprint on the world of pop music unequaled by any other single performer.–Dick Clark

Find more than 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 Farmers Market Week

The first full week in August has been designated National Farmers Market Week. According to the Press Release of the Famers Market Coalition: “Now more than ever, farmers markets serve as anchors across American communities, positively influencing community health and wealth. Markets result in more viable regional economies and local farm businesses, increased access to fresh, nutritious food, and stronger social networks that help keep communities healthy. By the beginning of 2016, there were more than 8,500 farmers markets in the U.S—that is 50% more than just five years ago.”

Their main points about farmers markets are that they:

  • Preserve America’s Rural Livelihoods and Farmland
  • Stimulate Local Economies
  • Increase Access to Fresh, Nutritious Food
  • Support Healthy Communities
  • Promote Sustainability

Another benefit is that buying food fresh helps build a bond between the food grower and the buyer. Also, the produce is fresher and more delicious. And it’s a great outing for the kids, to teach them that food comes from farmers, and doesn’t appear magically at the local supermarket. Plus, often you can pick up unique craft items as well.

So find your local farmers market and give it a try! Where I live, it’s the perfect time to be buying squash, peppers, snap peas, and lettuce, among others. See what’s available in your area.

The graphic below is of two of the attractive T-shirts you can purchase from the Farmers Market Coalition.

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Quotes about farmers markets

Farmer’s markets are more than places to buy food. They’re important parts of the community.–Michael Pollan

What makes the farmers market such a special place is that you’re actually creating community around food.–Bryant Terry

Buy quality, buy organic, buy natural, go to the farmers market. Immediately that’s going to increase the quality of the food you make.–Michael Symon

Most cooks try to learn by making dishes. Doesnt mean you can cook. It means you can make that dish. When you can cook is when you can go to a farmers market, buy a bunch of stuff, then go home and make something without looking at a recipe. Now youre cooking.–Tom Colicchio

Look at our farmers markets today, bursting with heritage breeds and heirloom varieties, foods that were once abundant when we were an agricultural nation, but that we have lost touch with. Bringing all these back helps us connect to our roots, our communities and helps us feed America the proper way.–Jose Andres

People should go to their local grocery store or farmers’ market and buy ugly, misshapen foods, then cook with them and document their dishes. And share not only the funny-looking foods, but the fantastic results.–Dana Cowin

Farmers’ markets are one of my favourite sources for Christmas goodies.–Sheherazade Goldsmith

We’ll be going to the fish market and a farmer’s market this afternoon to get what we need to make and eat dinner as a family. I’m trying to expose my kids to going to a farmers market or the fish market and learning what that’s all about.–Emeril Lagasse

Go to the farmers market and buy food there. You’ll get something that’s delicious.–Alice Waters

Farmers’ markets, community co-ops, and mobile markets get fresh, organic produce to the people who can’t afford to shop at health-food stores.–Van Jones

The farmers markets were another step to giving people an opportunity to take more power over their own lives-and also to provide another outlet for organic produce.–Jerry Brown

I cook. I go to farmers markets in London and cook really good sort of organic foods.–Keira Knightley

I even feel alive and inspired when I walk through farmers markets appreciating and learning about local fruits and vegetables.–Amanda Schull

I would like to see people more aware of where their food comes from. I would like to see small farmers empowered.–Anthony Bourdain

Find more than 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 Lighthouse Day

On August 7, 1789, Congress approved an act for the establishment of lighthouses and other such. In Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the signing of the Act and the commissioning of the first Federal lighthouse, Congress passed a resolution which designated August 7, 1989 as National Lighthouse Day.

I am a big fan of lighthouses. I currently live in Oregon, which has many handsome lighthouses as you go down the coast. You can see pictures of them at the NW Coast Website.  I’m admittedly prejudiced, but I think the Oregon coast is the most beautiful coast of all, which makes our lighthouses the best.  🙂

But even more special to me is one particular lighthouse in New York state. When I was a kid, we had a cottage on Lake Ontario at a camp owned by my particular denomination. Just outside the camp was an old abandoned lighthouse. We used to hike over there and sneak in, climbing up to the lamp room, where there were beautiful views of the lake. I’m sure if my parents had known, they would have been horrified, as it was quite dangerous, but ever since I’ve dreamed of having a room like that at the top of a house, all glassed in with a comfortable place to read.

The official name of that lighthouse is Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse and it has now been renovated and is the focal point of Golden Hill State Park. The lighthouse was transferred from the Coast Guard to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation in 1984. It was featured on a set of four stamps from the USPS a few years ago and is now open for tours for a modest fee. The picture of this lighthouse below is my own.

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Quotes about lighthouses

A lighthouse is not interested in who gets its light! It just gives it without thinking! Giving light is its nature!–Mehmet Murat ildan

Lighthouses are not just stone, brick, metal, and glass. There’s a human story at every lighthouse; that’s the story I want to tell.–Elinor Dewire

The isolation spins its mysterious cocoon, focusing the mind on one place, one time, one rhythm – the turning of the light. The island knows no other human voices, no other footprints. On the Offshore Lights you can live any story you want to tell yourself, and no one will say you’re wrong: not the seagulls, not the prisms, not the wind.–M. L. Stedman

What does a lighthouse do? I ask myself. … It can only point the way. Yet, through one lighthouse, you guide many ships. Show this old lighthouse the way.–Lisa Wingate

We have a light upon our house, and it gives hope to all who sail upon the stormy seas.–James Michael Pratt (The Lighthouse Keeper)

I wish to spend a lifetime near a lighthouse where loneliness will be the glimmer of luminous prancing upon ocean waves… rising and falling only for my breathing.–Munia Khan

One moment I gaz’d from the hill’s gentle slope,
All hush’d was the billows’ commotion,
And tho’t that the Light-house look’d lovely as Hope,
That star of life’s tremulous ocean.
–Thomas Moore

Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.–Anne Lamott

We are the captains of our own ships sailing the sea of life, but in times of a stormy weather, you will discover true friends when they don’t hesitate to be a lighthouse.–Dodinsky

Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.–Edwin P. Whipple

I learnt to love the Lighthouse…
It seem’d, when lives around me
Were fraught with changes ever,
A glad thing to behold one light
False or inconstant never.
~Rowland Brown

Find more than 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 Oyster Day

August 5 is National Oyster Day. For any of you who love oysters and live near New Orleans, there is good news. Several restaurants there are selling raw oysters for fifty cents apiece that day. Here’s the link  to which places are participating. If you are more of a do-it-yourselfer and want to learn the technique for shucking an oyster, there is a link on that page to learn that as well. Good luck with that! According to the Huffington Post, “As one of the only foods that humans eat alive, oysters may not be for every palate. Still, humans slurp tons of them down with Champagne (naturally) year after year.”

As far as oysters go, there are over 100 species. Oysters take on the characteristics of the water where they live, so flavors vary widely. The largest oyster-producing body of water is Chesapeake Bay on the east coast of the US.

People have been eating oysters pretty much since human beings began. Piles of shells have been found that have been dated to 6950 BCE. Can you imagine being the first person to try an oyster? They don’t exactly look like something wonderful to chow down on.

Oysters have the reputation of being an aphrodisiac (which is why many people eat them, I’m guessing), and apparently there is some truth to that, as they contain an amino acid that triggers increasing levels of sex hormones.

Pearls in oysters are generally found in oysters farmed for that purpose, so don’t expect to find one in your oyster at a restaurant.

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Quotes about oysters

All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.–Federico Fellini

…oysters are the only food that never causes indigestion.–Jules Verne (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea)

The man who doesn’t like oysters, the woman who cannot abide sardines. We know the type.–Harold Nicolson

Oysters are the most tender and delicate of all seafoods. The stay in bed all day and night. They never work or take exercise, are stupendous drinkers, and wait for their meals to come to them.–Hector Bolitho

I prefer my oysters fried;
That way I know my oysters died.
Roy Blount, Jr.

I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded, dead.–Woody Allen

He was a very valiant man who first adventured on eating of oysters.–James I of England

Oysters are more beautiful than any religion… There’s nothing in Christianity or Buddhism that quite matches the sympathetic unselfishness of an oyster.–Saki

Some feel as though the world is their oyster; others feel as though they were the oyster itself, plucked from the ocean, cracked open, and robbed of all that is precious to them.–Joseph B. Wirthlin

Why, then the world’s mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.–William Shakespeare (The Merry Wives of Windsor)

An oyster, that marvel of delicacy, that concentration of sapid excellence, that mouthful before all other mouthfuls, who first had faith to believe it, and courage to execute? the exterior is not persuasive.–Henry Ward Beecher

What’s so great about the world being your oyster? Does that mean it’s really hard to open, and when you do, you have something slimy and gross on the inside?–Anne ursu

And a couple of stanzas from The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll:
A loaf of bread, the Walrus said,
Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Oysters, dear,
We can begin to feed!

O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,
You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

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

Watermelon Day

Watermelons are a colorful summer fruit that have become a staple at family picnics and cookouts. Did you know that watermelons are 92% water? Sponsored by The National Watermelon Association, August 3 is Watermelon Day. Their website declares they are “Dedicated to making a positive difference in the business and lives of our members.” This is a delightful website, and I encourage you to visit. They a post quarterly publication called Vineland, and give agricultural news that affects watermelon growers. Their blog is called “Seeds for Thought.”

There is also a watermelon.org which represents 1500 watermelon growers. They recently had a watermelon carving contest. I have included two pictures of winning entries later in this blog. For the watermelon lover, there are all kinds of information and freebies on the site, as well as links to watermelon festivals so you can find your nearest.

Watermelons are thought to have originated in southern Africa, and have been cultivated since at least the second millennium BCE. Watermelon seeds were even found in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. In the 7th century, watermelons were being cultivated in India and by the 10th century had reached China, which is today the world’s single largest watermelon producer. European colonists and slaves from Africa introduced the watermelon into the New World.

There has been effort put into growing seedless watermelons, which I don’t understand at all, since the only reason I see to eat them is to have seed spitting contests. However, some people actually do love the taste. So celebrate and enjoy a watermelon today!

Melonzilla   2016-CarvingContest-Blog-v3

Quotes about watermelons

The true Southern watermelon is a boon apart, and not to be mentioned with commoner things. It is chief of this world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took we know it because she repented.–Mark Twain

We always try to do something fun on Fridays. We have snow cones or watermelon. We make it a little different from the normal school year.–Alan Hawkins

He said, “Onions are the only food that can make you cry” That was before I hit him in the face with a watermelon.–Unknown

So in our pride we ordered for breakfast an omelet, toast and coffee and what has just arrived is a tomato salad with onions, a dish of pickles, a big slice of watermelon and two bottles of cream soda.–John Steinbeck

Watermelon – it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.–Enrico Caruso

Oh, my dear, it’s a buffet. I have chicken a la king. I have cold turkey. I have hot rolls. I have cold ham. I have a big watermelon, all filled with fresh fruit.– Perle Mesta

Two watermelons cannot be held under one arm.–Turkish proverb

Many wagon-loads of enormous water-melons were brought to market every day, and I was sure to see groups of men, women, and children seated on the pavement round the spot where they were sold, sucking in prodigious quantities of this water fruit.– Frances Trollope

Pick up a sesame seed but lose sight of a watermelon.–Chinese saying

And to finish, some silly watermelon jokes:
Q: When do you go at red and stop at green?
A: When you’re eating a watermelon.

Q: Why do watermelons have fancy weddings?
A: Because they cantaloupe.

Q: What do you call fruit that commits egregious crimes?
A: a waterfelon.

Q: What do you have left after a pig eats a watermelon?
A: Pork rinds

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

Simplify Your Life Week

As a Quaker, this week is near and dear to me. Simplicity is one of our core tenets, which I appreciate very much. Late summer can be a good time to start getting rid of things so you go into fall with less stuff. Goodwill or some other organization will be glad of your extras, as long as they are good quality. It’s always good to share with others.

But simplifying your life is about more than getting rid of what you no longer use. It’s a way to look at your life and eliminate the things that take away from what you really value, such as family time, or relaxation from the stresses in your life. For me, I value time to write, and have accepted a life of less money to have that time. Only you can decide what it is that causes clutter in your life, whether that is actual physical objects, or allowing others to take too much of your time.

So how do you go about simplifying your life? The first step is to understand what is really important to you. There are many ways to go about that. One that worked for me was to think of my funeral and what I hoped people would say about me. If you do that, then ask yourself, are you living your life as if those values are uppermost?

Once you know what is important, then there are various strategies to implement that.

  • Just say “No.” You don’t have to agree to everything. Know your boundaries.
  • Limit the things that are unimportant. Do you really need that pair of shoes? Do you need to remodel the kitchen? No judgment, just know what is important to you.
  • Have a plan. Think about what you will need for the week ahead and get ready beforehand so you are not tempted to spend because you were unprepared.
  • Learn to live below your means, and use the extra money to get out of debt. That will give you a tremendous amount of freedom.

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Quotes about simplicity

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

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 believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.–Albert Einstein

It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.–Laura Ingalls Wilder

A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.–Eleanor Roosevelt

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

Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.–Edwin Way Teale

Simplicity, clarity, singleness: these are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy.–Richard Halloway

Simplicity is the nature of great souls.–Papa Ramadas

Simplify your life. You don’t grow spiritual, you shrink spiritual.–Steve Maraboli

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

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