Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry was born on June 29, 1900. His family were comfortably off until his father’s untimely death when Saint-Exupéry was young, which left then impoverished. After a series of odd jobs, he entered the army, and while there took flying lessons. This led to him being offered a transfer to the French Air Force. Eventually, he became one of the pioneers of international postal flight, in the days when aircraft had few instruments. He seems to have been born to fly, and we see that image in many of his literary works.

He worked for Aéropostale between Toulouse and Dakar, and then became the airline stopover manager for the Cape Juby airfield in the Spanish zone of South Morocco. Later he was transferred to Argentina, where he was appointed director of the Aeroposta Argentina airline. He surveyed new air routes across South America.

He first published a novella called The Aviator, then in 1929 his second and more widely known book Southern Mail. The 1931 publication of Night Flight established Saint-Exupéry as a rising star in the literary world. It was the first of his major works to gain widespread acclaim and won the prix Femina. The novel mirrored his experiences as a mail pilot and director of the Aeroposta Argentina.

In 1935, he crashed in the Sahara Dessert and barely made it out alive, being rescued by a Bedouin. This incident would serve as the basis of two of his works, one for adults, Wind, Sand, and Stars, and his most famous book, the children’s classic Little Prince.

In July 1944, returned to active duty in World War II, he took off on a reconnaissance mission over the Mediterranean and never returned. It is presumed he died on the mission.

The Encyclopedia Britannica says about him, “[his] works are the unique testimony of a pilot and a warrior who looked at adventure and danger with a poet’s eyes.” Enotes says he developed “his definitive literary form, a combination of essay, memoir, fable, and prose poem that is difficult to classify.” I only know I love his work and his way with words.

Quotes by Saint-Exupéry

But the conceited man did not hear him. Conceited people never hear anything but praise.

He who would travel happily must travel light.

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Love does not consist of gazing at one another, but in looking outward in the same direction.

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.

True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.

Let your dream devour your life, not your life devour your dream.

Every person that comes into our life comes for a reason; some come to learn and others come to teach.

The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.

As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.

All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.

Real love begins where nothing is expected in return.

The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.

I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn’t much improved my opinion of them.

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National Pineapple Day

There is some dispute about the actual date of this holiday, but it at least started on June 27 in 2015, and so I am featuring it today. As I read somewhere online, it is a day to celebrate a fruit that is neither pine nor an apple. Instead, it got its name because someone thought it looked like a giant pinecone.

One reason I love this holiday is that my Dad, who was a grocer, was out visiting me on the west coast, far from his grocery store in the east. We were in the supermarket where I shopped when unexpectedly a woman approached him and asked how to pick out a ripe pineapple. We always teased him afterward that he must look like everyone’s idea of a grocer.

Pineapples are native to the Americas. They are herbaceous perennials, meaning they are leafy, not woody, plants that grow for more than two years. Like broccoli, when you cut off the main head, it will produce more fruit. Once harvested, they no longer continue to ripen, which gives them a long shelf life. According to an article called “Superfruit: Pineapple” Pineapple is known “for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Bromelain, an enzyme found in the juice and stem of pineapples, has been used medicinally since ancient times to help reduce inflammation, lessen hay fever symptoms, slow blood clotting, and even enhance the absorption of antibiotics. More than just anti-inflammation, researchers suggest bromelain can be used to control the growth of tumors and malignant cells.” It is also full of fiber and vitamin C, and although high in sugar, is low in calories. You can even make pineapple wine.

Pineapples are also a symbol of hospitality. This comes from a time when they were hard to obtain, having to come from the Americas via ship. When a pineapple was displayed at a dinner party, the guests knew no expense had been spared, and thus the pineapple became to signify hospitality. You will often find doilies crocheted with the pineapple to show they are welcoming guests to the home. They are sometimes carved on dining room tables for the same reason.

So have some pineapple today, either in slices or chunks out of a can, or get adventurous and buy a whole one at the store. Drink pineapple juice, or make a pineapple upside down cake. Or even – shudder – put it on pizza. Above all, enjoy!

Quotes about pineapples

He is the very pineapple of politeness.–Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Love is like a pineapple, sweet and undefinable.–Piet Pieterszoon Hein

I like pineapple. It’s delightful.–Sarah Drew

Somebody’s been putting pineapple juice in my pineapple juice!–W. C. Fields

I was in Cancun, Mexico, sitting in a disappearing-edge swimming pool, on a bar stool that was actually under the water, watching palm trees sway in a sultry breeze against the unmistakable aqua splendor of the Caribbean Sea; drinking coconut, lime, and tequila from a scooped-out pineapple, with salt spray of breaking surf and sun kissing my skin. Translation: I’d died and gone to heaven.–Karen Marie Moning

I always like to start my morning with a good amount of fruit. I really like pineapple, particularly because of the enzymes that it has.–Cynthia Nixon

Upon a low-hanging branch sat Tarzan directly above the majestic, supple body as it forged silently through the thick jungle. He hurled a pineapple at the ancient enemy of his people. The great beast stopped and, turning, eyed the taunting figure above her.–Edgar Rice Burroughs

When life gives you lemons, sell them and buy a pineapple. How to better your life 101.–Davin Turney

Be a pineapple: Stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside.–Jacqueline Wilson

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National Leon Day

June 25 is National Leon Day, which marks the halfway point between Christmas and Christmas, that is, the day when next Christmas is closer than last Christmas. Leon is noel spelled backward, and theoretically, on this day craters begin planning and making their handmade gifts and decorations for next Christmas. On the other hand, for those who prefer to buy Christmas presents, it is a time to start saving towards December, so you don’t have to finance those gifts all at once.

Finally, it is also a time for those who miss the winter to have Christmas in July and remember the cooler weather of Christmas and New Year. So if this describes you, get out the Christmas music and remember those cozy days when the house is decorated, and all those warm holiday smells are coming from the kitchen.

Apparently, some retailers go in for this in a big way, playing Christmas music in the stores all day. But more than retailing, nonprofit organizations, and charities may hold fundraisers to remind people that they need donations all year round, and not exclusively during the Christmas season. It can be a good time to go through your closets and find things to donate or to open your wallet to help the less fortunate.

Others can remember their own December holidays, such as Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or Yule.

As someone who loves Christmas, I am delighted to realize it is now getting closer to happening again. So celebrate today with Christmas music or Christmas movies or wearing an ugly sweater. Open up that fruitcake. Make Christmas cookies. And rejoice – Christmas is coming!

Quotes about Christmas that are good all year aound

Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you … to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old … Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world … stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death… Then you can keep Christmas! But you can never keep it alone.–Henry van Dyke

The … challenge of Christmas is this: justice is what happens when all receive a fair share of God’s world and only such distributive justice can establish peace on earth.–John Dominic Crossan

Christmas gift suggestions from Oren Arnold: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.

Christmas is a time to expand our giving encompassing the friendless and needy … near and far. Christmas is sharing.–Patricia Clafford

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.–Charles Schulz

Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.–Ruth Carter Stapleton

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.–Calvin Coolidge

Christmas is not just a day, an event to be observed and speedily forgotten. It is a spirit which should permeate every part of our lives.–William Parks

God grant you the light in Christmas which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth…–Wilda English

I like the Christmas that fulfills my needs … to be forgiven from greed and selfishness, to fill my empty soul with peace and compassion, for hope and faith and charity, for myself renewed and hope restored in an erring world.–Robert D. Wigert

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National Pink Day

PToday is the day we celebrate pink in all its various hues and shades. I have an ambivalent relationship with pink. I love pink flowers, especially roses, but am not particularly fond of pink in clothing or decorations, for instance. But this day is about more than simply featuring a color.

According to Days of the Year, “Pink Day was established in 2007 after a pair of students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, saw one of their fellow students at Central Kings Rural High School being bullied for no other reason than that they were wearing a pink shirt. In a stroke of brilliance, these two got together and decided to show support for the student and take a stand against bullying by getting everyone at their school to wear a pink shirt the next day. Pink Day was created to stomp out all bullying and spread understanding, and it’s a concept spreading throughout the world.” So one way to celebrate today is by wearing pink, particularly if you are a male.

Pink is also the color that reminds us to remember those with breast cancer. The pink ribbon is a reminder to us to donate to helping stamp out cancer of any kind. You can find information about the Breast Cancer Charities and how they are celebrating this holiday here.

Pink is also the color associated with the LGBTQIA community as PinkNews, a site for news that affects gays.

Some pink phrases from National Day Calendar:

  • In the pink –To be in top form, in good health, in good condition.
  • To see pink elephants – To hallucinate from alcoholism.
  • Pink slip – To be given a pink slip means to be fired or dismissed from a job. First recorded in 1915 in the United States.
  • Pink-collar worker – Persons working in jobs conventionally regarded as “women’s work.”
  • Tickled pink – means extremely pleased.

This is also Pink Flamingo Day, so there’s another reason to celebrate!

Quotes about the color pink

Pink isn’t just a color, it’s an attitude!–Miley Cyrus

People are people. Black, blue, pink, green – God make no rules about color; only society make rules…–Bob Marley

I don’t think I will ever get tired of wearing pink.–Emma Bunton

I love pink, it’s so girly!–Ashley Tisdale

Parenting girls makes you quite gender-conscious – it’s almost impossible to fight the power of pink. It’s not such a terrible thing to want to be a princess when you’re five, but it would be nice if there were some other options.–Robert Webb

I fell off my pink cloud with a thud.–Elizabeth Taylor

I’ve constantly tried new things, even as a child, and have always been obsessed with pink. Now I’m just a little more ladylike and fearless. You should never feel afraid to become a piece of art. It’s exhilarating.–Nicki Minaj

My parents told me I’d point to a bed of flowers and say ‘Pink. Pretty,’ before I knew any other words.–Joni Mitchell

My favorite jellybean is the pink one with the flavor inside.–Chester Bennington

I have as much pink as you can have. I love to see other women in pink. It’s good for every shade of skin and hair.–Evelyn Lauder

I can go without make-up and go fishing with my dad; other times, I buy pink shoes and shop for dresses.–Jordan Pruitt

I love pink – pink’s my favourite. I hardly ever – weirdly – wear it, but I love the colour pink.–Ellie Goulding

Pink is not a color – it’s a culture to me.–DeAngelo Williams

Pink is my favourite colour. I used to say my favourite colour was black to be cool, but it is pink – all shades of pink.–Roxane Gay

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World Giraffe Day

June 21 each year is World Giraffe Day. Initiated by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, it is observed annually on the solstice, so it is either the longest day for the tallest animal, or the longest night for the tallest animal.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed giraffes as Vulnerable to Extinction. Their numbers in the wild have plummeted in the last few years – some say by 40% in the last thirty years. There may be as few as 80,000 left. The main threat against giraffe (either giraffe or giraffes is an acceptable plural) is the expansion of human settlements. There is simply not as much room for them to live. Conservation efforts are underway all over their African habitats, but it’s a race against time.

Below are a few interesting facts about giraffe from the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. We call a group of giraffe a tower. A giraffe’s heart has to generate almost double the normal blood pressure of other animals to maintain blood flow to the brain against gravity. Giraffe have a complex pressure-regulation system called the rate miracle that prevents excessive blood flow to the brain when lowering its head to drink. And finally, giraffe have air conditioner skin to deal with the heat. I know more than one person who would like to have that in the summer!

Zoos and others all over the world are involved in celebrating giraffe this day. From the Aukland Zoo to Zoo Berlin to the Kenya Wildlife Project to Zoo Lyon to the Odense Zoo (Denmark) to the Prague Zoo to the Toronto Zoo to the Whipsnade Zoo in England, and any number of others in the United States, along with Disney’s Animal Kingdom. So check around. Your local zoo could very well be doing something special this day.

But whatever you do today, give a thought to these gentle giants who are now under threat.

Quotes about giraffes

Consider the biggest animals on the planet: elephants, and buffaloes, and giraffes. These are vegetarian animals. They grow to thousands of pounds of muscle and bone without ever eating cheeseburgers and pepperoni pizzas.–Michael Klaper

Wildlife is something which man cannot construct. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. Man can rebuild a pyramid, but he can’t rebuild ecology, or a giraffe.–Joy Adamson

Evolution is so creative. That’s how we got giraffes.–Kurt Vonnegut

I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe, and someone said I was a snake, I’d think, no, actually I’m a giraffe.–Richard Gere

However much you know giraffes, to see one in the wild for the first time feels prehistoric.–Jane Goodall

I’d hate to be a giraffe with a sore throat.–Mitch Hedberg

Did you ever see a giraffe? It is like something from between the regions of truth and fiction.–Geraldine Jewsbury

G. K.Chesterton once said that it is one thing to be amazed at gorgon or a griffin, creatures which do not exist; but it is quite another and much higher thing to be amazed at a rhinoceros or a giraffe, creatures which do exist and look as if they don’t.–Alan Watts

Giraffes stare over treetops, their huge brown eyes blinking, then lope away in seeming slow motion.–Thomas French

A giraffe has a black tongue twenty-seven inches long and no vocal cords. A giraffe has nothing to say. He just goes on giraffing.–Robert Fulghum

I can’t even explain the joy of riding through the Tanzania national park and seeing giraffes run across the road and elephants over in a pond and baboons running.–Emanuel Cleaver

The man who believes in giraffes would swallow anything.–Adrian Mitchell

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World Sauntering Day

Saunter might be one of those words you have heard, but don’t really know the exact meaning. If we are to do World (or International) Sauntering Day correctly, we need to know how to do that. So to start with Merriam Webster, saunter means “to walk about in an idle or leisurely manner, stroll.” Basically, it means to wander, enjoying the scenery. W. T. Rabe created this holiday in 1979 in response to what was a growing fad back then, jogging. He believed that jogging took all the joy out of what should be a relaxing mode of transportation, taking time to see the world on foot. Proper sauntering means observing the world around you, but not worrying about time, or having anything particular on your mind – even a pet. It means letting go of stress, and just enjoy the walk.

It’s ironic for me that this holiday falls when it does. I am getting ready to move, and my life at the moment is about as far as you can get from relaxed and joyful. Yes, I’m looking forward to my new destination, but there is so much to do to get there, that my life is full of worry and mild panic.

Sauntering can be done anywhere. It’s perhaps easier in the country or a forest, but you can also saunter in a town, just enjoying watching your fellow pedestrians. The important thing is to do it in a relaxed and joyful manner, which means it would be much harder is a big, bustling city where you are likely to be knocked to the ground if you dawdle. Still, you can always find a park and stroll around watching the pigeons.

So wherever you live today, I invite you to find a little time to stroll and smell the roses. It’s relaxing and good for you.

Quotes about walking

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.–Henry David Thoreau

The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.–Jacqueline Schiff

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.–Ellen DeGeneres

There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is likea piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast.–Paul Scott Mowrer

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.–Steven Wright

All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.–Friedrich Nietzsche

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.–John Muir

Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and soul primary to humankind. Walking is the exact balance between spirit and humility.–Gary Snyder

But the beauty is in the walking – we are betrayed by destinations.–Gwyn Thomas

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness.–Soren Kierkegaard

Meandering leads to perfection.–Lao Tzu

A little fresh air would be good for you just now. The weather is lovely; and a little stroll in the park will bring the colour back to your cheeks.–J. Palgrave Simpson

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.–Wallace Stevens

After a day’s walk everything has twice its usual value.–George Macauley Trevelyan

Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas.–J. K. Rowling

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Eat Your Vegetables Day

June is National Fruit and Vegetables Month, which makes it appropriate that June 17 should be Eat Your Vegetables Day. I admit this is not one of my favorite days. I love fruit and eat plenty of it, but veggies are another matter. When I make soup, I load it up with vegetables so that I at least get them that way. I also like salads, but just a bowl of carrots or green beans or peas – forget it. Besides lettuce, the only vegetables that I really like aren’t even really vegetables. Tomatoes are technically a fruit, and corn is technically a grain. Come to think of it, though, the last broccoli soup I made turned out pretty good. 🙂

Anyway, I love what Days of the Year,  says about this holiday. “They come in every color of the rainbow, almost every believable shape and size, and the flavors they bring to the table are absolutely astounding. Whether you’re just talking about the staple vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions that we all get from the store, or the diverse range of vegetables that come from around the world like Bok Choy and watercress, we’ve all been eating them our whole lives.”

So we all know vegetables are good for us, and a plant-based diet is healthier than too much meat. Dave Larson sums up part of the problem actually doing this when he writes, “Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.” I expect too many of us look back to our childhoods when we were forced to eat our vegetables to get to the good stuff like dessert, plus, at least in American culture, vegetables are too often seen as something women eat, and not as manly as meat.

But however you feel towards veggies, do try to eat some today.

Quotes about vegetables

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.–Jim Davis

A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables.–Gertrude Stein

An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.–Will Rogers

Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.–Mark Twain

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes? Only two things that money can’t buy. That’s true love and home grown tomatoes.–John Denver

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

I don’t want any vegetables, thank you. I paid for the cow to eat them for me.-—Douglas Coupland

Out of the thirty thousand types of edible plants thought to exist on Earth, just eleven – corn, rice, wheat, potatoes, cassava, sorghum, millet, beans, barley, rye, and oats – account for 93 percent of all that humans eat, and every one of them was first cultivated by our Neolithic ancestors.–Bill Bryson

And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.–Jonathan Swift

Vegetable gardening might be considered one of the great conservative rituals.–David M. Tucker

As for vegetables, I do not consider a plot of ground devoted to them worthy of the honorable name of garden.  Vegetables are, of course, a part of gardening, but the least, the last, –for those who do not have to raise them, the most dishonorable part.–H. G. Dwight

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