National School Lunch Week

School lunches get a bad rap – or at least they did when I was a kid. And from what I’ve read, compared to the lunches in some other countries, they may deserve it. My brother used to refer to anything unpleasant, whether food or not, as a “school lunch.” Yet especially in poorer neighborhoods, the hot lunches children get at school may be the best food they get all day. In fact in my town, several organizations band together to give children one free meal each day during the summer and other school holidays so they don’t go hungry because school is out. Some children also get breakfast at school.

So whatever their reputation, school lunches are important. Through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, schools must meet certain nutritional standards for school meals. These include such things as more fruit and vegetables, whole grains, meat or a meat alternative, and reducing sodium and fat in the meals. So things are gradually getting better.

I must admit that I never did buy school lunches. I carried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all my school life, and probably on white bread. I eat better now! Whatever we think of school lunches, children who are not hungry learn better. So if lunches need to be improved, let’s improve them, but in the meantime, I am glad they are there, especially for poorer children.


Quotes about school lunches, plus a few about lunch in general.

Rats! There goes the bell… oh, how I hate lunch hours! I always have to eat alone because nobody likes me… Peanut butter again… I wish that little red haired girl would come over, and sit with me. Wouldn’t it be great if she’d walk over here, and say, “May I eat lunch with you, Charlie Brown?” I’d give anything to talk with her… she’d never like me, though… I’m so blah and so stupid… she’d never like me… I wonder what would happen if I went over and tried to talk to her! Everyone would probably laugh… she’d probably be insulted someone as blah as I am tried to talk to her. I hate lunch hour… all it does is make me lonely… during class it doesn’t matter… I can’t even eat… Nothing tastes good… Rats! Nobody is ever going to like me… Lunch hour is the loneliest hour of the day!–Charlie Brown as recorded by Charles M. Schulz

“We have lunch at ten-forty-five,” Colin said. “A stupidly early lunch. At our school, the older you get, the stupider your lunch period.”–Rebecca Stead

The practice of doing more than necessary works best when packing lunch boxes.–Josh Stern

We’re talking about our kids’ futures. Our schools need to be teaching our kids how to eat healthy.–Nadine Burke

We need to reform our school lunch programs. We need to get healthy items into the vending machines.–Joan Lunden

Students can’t focus if their stomach hurts because they’re hungry or their head hurts. They’re not learning, and they’re not making positive choices.–Diane Gillen

In an ideal world for me, school lunch would be free for everybody.–Tom Colicchio

I really am at a place where I think we need to feed every child at school for free and feed them a real school lunch that’s sustainable and nutritious and delicious. It needs to be part of the curriculum of the school in the same way that physical education was part of the curriculum, and all children participated.–Alice Waters

When I was in school I had two favorite subjects, lunch and recess.–Unknown

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.–Milton Friedman

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.–Orson Welles

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

World Octopus Day

October 8 is a day to celebrate these distinctive cephalopods. Of course, one of the great questions about these creatures, is what is the correct plural? According to Merriam Webster, the actually correct plural is octopuses. Octopi came into being when some folks decided to take English words that end in –us and treat them as if they were Latin words. The problem is, octopus actually comes from the Greek, which means if you were going to treat it as a foreign word, the plural would be octopodes, a word seldom heard (a good thing!) So feel free to use whichever suits your fancy.

The largest octopus species is the North Pacific Giant Octopus, which can weigh over thirty pounds and grow over 14 feet long. Octopuses have a beak and two eyes. The eight arms are four pairs. It has no internal or external skeleton. There are over 300 species in various colors and shapes. And of course, they have the cool ability to shoot ink when threatened.

Katherine Harmon Courage has this to say in the Scientific American blog: “I think these animals deserve at least one day of celebration. Octopuses have some remarkable assets, including eight semi-autonomous arms, thousands of smart suckers, cold-adapted blue blood, three beating hearts and eerily advanced intelligence. And they have been around for 300 million years—long before even the ancient T. rex emerged.” The sad thing is, they are now in danger because of overfishing and the fact that they are considered a delicacy in many places. Statistics say that over 50,000 tons are caught for food each year. As someone who has eaten octopus once, may I say they are in no danger from me!


Quotes about Octopuses

Octopuses are tough–and not just in the sense that they can take out sharks… They’re almost pure muscle.– Katherine Harmon Courage (Octopus!: The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea)

Exaggeration is the octopus of the English language.–Matthew Pearl,

The Hawaiian creation myth relates that the present cosmos is only the last of a series, having arisen in stages from the wreck of the previous universe. In this account, the octopus is the lone survivor of the previous, alien universe.–Roland Burrage Dixon

Oh, I love hugging. I wish I was an octopus, so I could hug 10 people at a time!–Drew Barrymore

Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.–H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Whenever you are threatened by a hostile presence, you emit a thick cloud of love like an octopus squirts out ink…–William S. Burroughs

No one ever explained the octopuses.–Gail Carriger

Tell me, O Octopus, I begs,
Is those things arms, or is they legs?
I marvel at thee, Octopus;
If I were thou, I’d call me Us.
–Ogden Nash

I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’s garden in the shade
He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been
In his octopus’s garden in the shade.

I’d ask my friends to come and see
An octopus’ garden with me
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade.

We would be so happy you and me
No one there to tell us what to do
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden with you.
–Richard Starkey

Octopus floating
in earth’s ink-ore core
whose arms extend
up here as trees
may your branches squirt
their black across
my pages please.
–Bill Knott (“Octopus Floating”)

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

Mad Hatter Day

Mad Hatter Day began in on October 6, 1986, among a group of computer folks in Boulder CO. The date was chosen for two reasons. First, it gives us a second day of silliness almost half a year from April 1. Secondly, in the famous John Tenniel illustrations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter has a sign in his hat that reads, “In this style 10/6.” As some have pointed out, in Britain, this would make the day June 10, but since the holiday originated in the U.S., the day to celebrate is October 6.

Think of today as a kinder, gentler April Fools. It’s not a day for playing tricks on others, but rather a day for doing something silly, or perhaps, looked at another way, it’s a day to do something sane. After all, what’s so sensible about wearing a small noose around your neck to look important or business-like, or wearing the shoes many women put on to look glamorous or serious? If nothing else, take the day at face value and wear a crazy hat. You can always take it off when you get to work. At any rate, break from the routine. Ask silly riddles or tell silly jokes. If you need ideas, check out 6 Stupid Yet Entertaining Games To Play In The Office Whilst Your Boss Isn’t Looking.  But whatever you do, have fun!

Mad Hatters Tea Party
Mad Hatters Tea Party500hats

Quotes from the Alice books.
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

“Have I gone mad?”
“I’m afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are.”

“Mad Hatter: “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
“No, I give it up,” Alice replied: “What’s the answer?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter”

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

No wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.

It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.

The time has come
The walrus said
To talk of many things:
Of shoes- and ships-
And sealing wax-
Of cabbages and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings.

Curiouser and curiouser!

And quotes about hats
A great hat speaks for itself.–Unknown

Whenever you wear your hat, your day will be special.–Margo Nickel

We’re out to prove a great hat can change your day.–Plaza Suite hats

The rush of power to the head is not as becoming as a new hat.–Helen Van Slyke

If a woman rebels against high heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a very smart hat.–George Bernard Shaw

Women who wear hats know who they are.–Unknown

I have a hat. It is graceful and feminine and has a wide brim with a red ribbon around the band. It gives me a certain dignity, as if I were attending a state funeral or something. People are generous in their compliments. Someday I may get up enough courage to wear it, instead of carrying it.–Erma Bombeck

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

Spinning and Weaving Week

During the first week in October, we celebrate some of the fabric arts. Spinning and weaving are among the oldest crafts of humankind. Although this holiday is sponsored by the Handweavers Guild of America, it is truly international in scope. Quoting from the HGA Website:  “The crafts of spinning, weaving, dyeing, and basketweaving are as ancient as our history; they are the threads that bind us to our ancestors and to each other. Our crafts know no national boundary. They are a part of the heritage of the world. The Spinning and Weaving Week celebration reflects the truly international membership of the Handweavers Guild of America, Inc., and the international traditions of our crafts.”

During Spinning and Weaving Week, those who spin and weave come together to not only celebrate their craft but to share it with the public. You can find information on several events at the HGA Facebook page.  If you have anyplace celebrating the colonial way of life near you, there will doubtless be someone demonstrating spinning there. A good place to visit this week.

There is evidence of handspinning as far back as 20,000 years ago. It has typically been a woman’s craft, so it’s extra important to celebrate this contribution to the beauty of life. Last year in Ireland, I visited Killybegs, which used to make really amazing hand woven rugs called Donegal Carpets. They employed dozens of women who hand-knotted fibers at a huge loom. I have great respect for those who spin and weave. The carpets now grace such places as Buckingham Palace and the White House.

So check around your area and see if there are any demonstrations going on this week. At the very least, check out this sheep-filled coloring sheet to celebrate spinning and weaving. Get yours here.


Quotes about spinning and weaving

To care about weaving, to make weavings, is to be in touch with a long human tradition. We people have woven, first baskets and then cloth, for at least ten thousand years. This book will give you many ways to become connected with that tradition.–Phylis Morrison

From the manner in which a woman draws her thread at every stitch of her needlework, any other woman can surmise her thoughts.–Honore de Balzac

I have learned that each and every piece of cloth embodies the spirit, skill, and personal history of an individual weaver. . . . It ties together with an endless thread the emotional life of my people.–Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez

We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning.–Henry Ward Beecher

You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out.–Martha Graham

Today, most women … go through catalogs or department stores to buy clothes instead of shearing sheep, carding wool, and weaving cloth for skirts and coats and blankets.–Helen Fisher

In Old Europe and Ancient Crete, women were respected for their roles in the discovery of agriculture and for inventing the arts of weaving and pottery making.–Carol P. Christ

Be the best basket weaver in the world. Throw your heart and soul into it.–Dean Karnazes

O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!–Walter Scott

I do regard spinning and weaving as a necessary part of any national system of education.–Mahatma Gandhi

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

World Quaker Day

Today, October 2, we celebrate the Society of Friends, better known as Quakers. Quakers are one of many Protestant denominations in the world today. We have been around since 1650 and were founded in England by George Fox.

Obviously, there isn’t time to go into Quaker history in one short blog, so I’ll approach the description of Quakerism from what we call Quaker SPICE, which tells a little about who we are.

S stands for simplicity. Quakers take to heart the saying “Live simply so others may simply live.” It is one of our founding principles. In the early days of our movement, it was shown by simplicity of dress, and by treating all people the same, not a popular position in a society where the nobles expected to be bowed to. Today it leads Quakers to be involved in caring for the Earth, and living a simple lifestyle.

P stands for peace. With the Mennonites and Brethren, Quakers are one of the historic peace churches. We tend to take Jesus’ command to love your enemies seriously and to promote peace in the political process. We also believe in peace between individuals, and try to live that way.

I stands for integrity. In our early days, this led Quakers to refuse to take oaths, especially in court because when you swear to tell the truth, it implies there are different levels of truth, and we believe we should be speaking truth all the time. Today we try to live integrated lives so that our inward life is expressed in outward actions.

C stands for community. We believe in King’s “beloved community,” and strive to make our meetings a place where people feel safe and can grow.

E stands for equality. This had led Quakers to be in the forefront of the fight for civil rights. We divested ourselves of our slaves long before the Civil War in America. Many Quakers were active in the Underground Railroad and in the women’s suffrage movement. You will find us currently in the fight for civil rights for all, both here in the States and abroad.

All of these things arise out of our times of worship, either corporately or individually. If you would like to know more, may I suggest The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction by Ben Pink Dandelion, a current Quaker historian.


Quotes by and about Quakers

I saw also that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness: and in that also I saw the infinite love of God.–George Fox

There is a spirit which I feel that delights to do no evil, nor to revenge any wrong, but delights to endure all things, in hope to enjoy its own in the end. Its hope is to outlive all wrath and contention, and to weary out all exaltation and cruelty, or whatever is of a nature contrary to itself.–James Nayler

True silence is the rest of the mind; and is to the spirit, what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.–William Penn

Look at the Quakers – they were excellent business people that never lied, never stole; they cared for their employees and the community which gave them the wealth. They never took more money out than they put back in.–Anita Roddick

Quakers are known for wanting to give back. Ban the bomb and the civil rights movement and the native American struggle for justice – those things were very, very front-burner in my childhood, as were the ideas of working for peace and if you have more than you need, then you share it with people who don’t.–Bonnie Raitt

Quakers are terrific.–Ian Mckellen

The Puritans had accused the Quakers of “troubling the world by preaching peace to it.”–Voltairine de Cleyre

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