Weed Your Garden Day

This year, the area where I live had a cold, wet spring. For someone who hates being cold as much as I do, that meant I didn’t get outside to work in the yard, but the weeds had themselves a field day. The result is that now that the late spring flowers are blooming, I still have a lot of weeds vying for attention in the yard. I have actually been doing a weed your garden day every day for the last few weeks, but today, June 13 is the official day to get out in that yard and pull those pesky, unwanted plants.

There is a lot of debate about what is and isn’t a weed. One person’s weed is another person’s wildflower. In fact, there is much to admire about weeds. They grow under conditions that plants that are more delicate will not. They are hardy and resist being eradicated. And often they have lovely flowers.

There is a children’s book written and illustrated by Aliki about the life of George Washington Carver called A Weed Is a Flower. You can hear this read on YouTube. Very interesting story about a man who loved all plants, even weeds, which he said were simply flowers planted in the wrong place.

Of course, if you are not one who loves weeds, here are some suggestions to keep them from taking over. They are from the National Day Calendar

  • Cover the soil along rows and between plants with mulch.
  • Make sure to keep all weeds away from young plants.
  • It is okay to plant your plants closely together to leave less room for weed growth.
  • Have soil weed-free before planting.
  • Make sure you do not let any of the weeds go to seed.
  • Keep the edges of your yard mowed low to lessen the invasion of weeds onto your property and into your garden.

Quotes about weeds – the first is my favorite.

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.–Doug Larson

But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit. Weeds are people’s idea, not nature’s.–Author Unknown

What is a weed? I have heard it said that there are sixty definitions. For me, a weed is a plant out of place.–Donald Culross Peattie

But make no mistake: the weeds will win; nature bats last.–Robert M. Pyle

They know, they just know where to grow, how to dupe you, and how to camouflage themselves among the perfectly respectable plants, they just know, and therefore, I’ve concluded weeds must have brains.–Dianne Benson

What we call a weed is in fact merely a plant growing where we do not want it.–E. J. Salisbury

Criticizing another’s garden doesn’t keep the weeds out of your own.–Author Unknown

Roses are red,
Violets are blue;
But they don’t get around
Like the dandelions do.
~Slim Acres

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.–A. A. Milne

Many gardeners will agree that hand-weeding is not the terrible drudgery that it is often made out to be. Some people find in it a kind of soothing monotony. It leaves their minds free to develop the plot for their next novel or to perfect the brilliant repartee with which they should have encountered a relative’s latest example of unreasonableness.–Christopher Lloyd

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.–Author unknown

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Easter and Other April Holidays

This year, April 16 is Easter for both Western, and Eastern Orthodox Christians. The celebration of Jesus rising from the dead is the holiest Christian holiday or festival of the year. It is, however, not the only religious celebration of April.

In Hinduism, there is the festival of Hanuman Jayanti, celebrating Lord Hanuman. He is often called the son of the Wind God. The festival is the day when the Vanara god is believed to have taken birth. Known for his strong will, grit, and physical energy, Hanuman was able to assume any form. Devotees worship him and his magical strengths to ward off evil and any other troubles that have been affecting them.

In Buddhism, mainly in Southeast Asia, an April celebration is Theravada New Year. It is celebrated for three days from the first full moon day in April. Theravada is from the Sanskrit and means “school of the elder monks.” In Burma and Laos, there is a custom to buy live fish and release them into the wild, thus showing compassion for living beings

In Judaism, the festival is called Pesach or Passover. This, of course, celebrates the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. Back when Israel had been conquered by Rome, this was the day when nationalistic fervor ran highest, and the Jews hoped for deliverance from the Empire. Later in the month is Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, when we remember all those Jews who died in the camps in World War II.

The Baha’i faith celebrates the 12 days of Ridvan this month. It was during the Festival of Ridvan that Baha’u’llah, for the first time, publicly declared His station as a Manifestation of God, as the Promised One foretold in all the world’s religions. He brought with Him a Revelation that heralded a new era – the beginning of the Baha’i Faith.

Lailat al Miraj is a Muslim holiday that commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s nighttime journey from Mecca to the ‘Farthest Mosque’ in Jerusalem where he ascended to heaven, was purified, and given the instruction for Muslims to pray five times daily.

And at the very end of the month on April 30 at moonrise begins Beltane, the Celtic/Pagan spring festival, rejoicing in the returning fertility of the earth.

Quotes about April and Spring

April is hope.–Gladys Taber

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.–T. S. Eliot

April is a promise that May is bound to keep, and we know it.–Hal Borland

Suddenly a mist of green on the trees, as quiet as thought.–Dorothy M. Richardson

Spring would not be spring without bird songs.–Francis M. Chapman

Spring was running in a thin green flame over the valley.–Ellen Glasgow

Spring still makes spring in the mind
When sixty years are told.
Love wakes anew this throbbing heart,
And we are never old.–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spring slides gradually into the farmer’s consciousness, but on us city people it bursts with all the relish of a sudden surprise, compensating for much of what we lose.–Mrs. William Starr Dana

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”–Robin Williams

It was a perfect spring afternoon, and the air was filled with vague, roving scents, as if the earth exhaled the sweetness of hidden flowers.–Ellen Glasgow

In spring, nature is like a thrifty housewife … taking up the white carpets and putting down the green ones.–Mary Baker Eddy

Is it so small a thing
To have enjoyed the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved, to have thought, to have done.–Matthew Arnold

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Cat Herders Day

December 15 is Cat Herders Day. No, it isn’t literally about herding cats, not in the same sense as a shepherd herds sheep. Rather it refers to a seemingly futile or difficult task. The general consensus seems to be that the phrase was at least made popular, if not originated with the IT expert Dave Platt when he said that “managing senior programmers is like herding cats.” But all we really know for sure is that the holiday was invented in the last ten years or so. If you have ever tried to actually herd cats, you will know that it is a very appropriate phrase for an impossible situation.

There are other phrases out there which also express the same idea. My own personal favorite is “like nailing Jell-O to a tree.” An old tried and true saying is “like getting blood from a stone,” and another, “like catching lightning in a bottle.” One I had not hear before, but find amusing is “like playing darts with spaghetti.” I had a friend who was a teacher, who would have said, “like trying to herd preschoolers.”

So those of you who work in difficult situations, I salute you this day. Whether those be customer service, preschool, retail, caring for nursing home residents, high school teacher, or just anyone with an impossible situation or boss or coworkers or family situation, this day is for you. If you know someone in such a job, be sure to tell them today how much you appreciate all they do. And especially this Christmas season, be kind to all the folks dealing with shoppers in stores. Not a job I would want!

herdingcats

Quotes about difficulties

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.–Horace 65-68 B.C.E.

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.–M. Scott Peck

Adversity creates heroes.–Picabo Street

As you go along your own road in life, you will, if you aim high enough, also meet resistance…. But no matter how tough the opposition may seem, have courage still–and persevere.–Madeleine Albright

Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has. Out of pain and problems have come the sweetest songs, and the most gripping stories.–Billy Graham

Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against–not with–the wind.–Hamilton Mabie

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.—Moliere

He that struggles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.-Edmund Burke

The miracle is, in fact, that given the overwhelming odds against women, or blacks, that so many of both have managed to achieve so much sheer excellence in those bailiwicks of white masculine prerogatives like science, politics or the arts.–Linda Nochlin

Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition such as lifting weights, we develop our character muscles by over-coming challenges and adversity.–Stephen R. Covey

To overcome difficulties is to experience the full delight of existence.–Arthur Schopenhauer

When you struggle, that’s when you realize what you’re made of, and that’s when you realize what the people around you can do. You learn who you’d want to take with you to a war, and who you’d only want to take to lunch.–Chamique Holdsclaw

Out of difficulties grow miracles.–Jean de la Bruyere

When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.–Peter Marshall

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World Play-Doh Day

Who can resist those tubs of brightly colored soft modeling clay? September 16 is the day to celebrate and create something cute and squashy.

Play Doh was originally created in the 1930s as a product for cleaning wallpaper.  At that time it was an uninspiring off-white. People could remove soot and dirt from their wall coverings by simply rolling the wad of goop across the surface. The inventor was Joe McVicker. Joe learned from a teacher that kids usually found modeling clay too hard to manipulate. Discovering that the squishy cleaning product he manufactured could substitute, McVicker shipped some to the school. After teachers and kids raved, he offered to supply the product to all Cincinnati schools. More rave reviews followed.

But Play-Doh’s big break came when Captain Kangaroo began to feature it on his children’s show. Sales picked up and have never gone down. Play-Doh now comes in a wide variety of colors, with some being Paradise Purple, silver and gold. Since its inception, two billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold. If you took all of that Play-Doh ever made and wadded it into a giant ball, it would weigh as much as 2,000 Statues of Liberty, or be long enough to reach to the moon and back three times.

If this has whetted your creativity, go to your local toy store or check out Amazon’s offering.

091611-playdoh-300x300

One quote about Play-Doh, and a few about clay.

Once Play-Doh colors are mixed, there’s no going back.–Dee Ann Stewart

All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.–Jorge Luis Borges

Clay and people interact on a daily and continuous basis.–Tessie Naranjo

We throw clay to shape a pot, But the utility of the clay pot is a function of the nothingness inside it.–Tao Te Chin

Your life is a piece of clay, don’t let anyone else mold it for you.–Unknown

I like having my hands in the clay. I like the movie-making process.–Matthew McConaughey

I love to create, and to me, the ultimate freedom of expression is a blank canvas or a block of clay to capture whatever emotions your imagination gives it.–Daniel Boulud

Gold like the sun, which melts wax, but hardens clay, expands great souls.–Antoine Rivarol

I like doing clay work. It’s different from drawing on a page because you have something to mold into different shapes. It’s quite visual, it’s a thing you can hold and feel, and that makes it different from drawing.–Bonnie Wright

My mom’s the one I look up to for everything. I feel like I’m a lump of clay and she’s moulding me into a woman.–Chloe Grace Moretz

When you have clay in your hands, it’s hard to avoid making birds.–Eva Zeisel

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

My Hippy Dippy Weekend

We interrupt your normally scheduled blog because, well, my day has been interrupted. I got back from my walk this morning, and was checking my tomatoes for signs of frost, when I took a step back and tripped over a brick and came down hard on my right hip on my neighbor’s driveway. Thank goodness for helpful neighbors! One came and helped me up while his wife called 911. I had what I think was my first ride in an ambulance. It was weird to feel so completely helpless and dependent on others.

Once at the hospital, all the doctors and nurses and others have treated me very kindly. I had surgery to put in a rod Saturday, which so far has been virtually pain free, so I’m luckier than many. Up to this point, I’ve had the usual hospital food of Jell-O and applesauce. Hopefully something else soon. I’m also writing this on a different computer than usual, so it’s taking me time and more mistakes than I’m used to!

So just an observation – our lives can be much more precarious than we expect. You can be doing something as innocent as checking tomatoes and have your weekend totally change! Not to mention your life for the next three months, which is how long I’m going to have to use a walker. So if things are a little irregular for the next few days, you’ll know why!

hip

Quotes about health and wellness
The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused, while nature heals the disease.—Voltaire

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.–Irish proverb

He who has health has hope. And he who has hope has everything.–Arabian Proverb

Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.–B. K. S. Iyengar

I reckon being ill is one of the great pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work till one is better.–Samuel Butler

If you wish to keep as well as possible, the less you think about your health the better.–Oliver Wendell Holmes

Medicines may be necessary. Flowers lift the heart. But your smile is the best restorative of all.–Pam Brown

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.–Erma Bombeck

Our health is a voyage and every illness is an adventure story.–Margiad Evans

The sad truth is that there is no point to getting sick when you’re a grown-up. You know why? It’s because being sick is about you and your mother… Without that solicitous hand on your forehead, there is no one to confirm that you are really sick.–Adair Lara

This is a youth-oriented society, and the joke is on them because youth is a disease from which we all recover.–Dorothy Fuldheim

Time is the best doctor.–Yiddish Proverb

Visitor’s footfalls are like medicine; they heal the sick.–Bantu proverb

We are not responsible for our illness, we are responsible to them, to what they offer and require of all of us, sick and well alike.–Kat Duff

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

National Just Because Day

August 27 is National Just Because Day. For many of us, we do what we do each day because we have to, such as going to work or school, or whatever you must do. Well, today is a day to stand that all on its head. You can do whatever you want – just because!

Apparently, this was once a family holiday of the Goodwins of Los Gatos, CA, but it has spread to become a national, if unofficial, holiday. You are free to celebrate this holiday any way you want, as long as you do something just because you can. Feel free to do crazy things, like singing aloud in public (or in a committee meeting at work). Or skip work and go fishing. Take a walk in the park. Buy yourself flowers. Go for a long drive with no destination. Do something to feed your soul and not your boss’s pocketbook.

But there’s another side to this too. The holiday’s original creation was to give a gift to another for no special reason. That makes it a good day to do the same, or to volunteer at a soup kitchen, or help a neighbor, or do something nice for a shut-in. If you’re like me, you have garden produce coming on. It’s a good day to share some with a friend or neighbor. Get something fixed that will make your spouse happy. Bake up something yummy that will please a family member. But whatever you decide to do today, do it just because!

National-Just-Because-Day-August-27-1-1024x512

For the quotes today, here is a list of truly terrible “because” jokes – just because! By the way, I found these on the Funology Website. They do have some jokes there which are actually funny. 🙂

Q: Why did the banana go to the hospital?
A: Because he wasn’t peeling well!

Q: Why can’t you say a joke while standing on ice?
A: Because it might crack up!

Q: Why is tennis such a loud game?
A: Because each player raises a racquet.

Q: Why did the calendar write its will?
A: Because its days were numbered.

Q: Why did the computer squeak?
A: Because someone stepped on its mouse.

Q: Why did the thief take a shower?
A: Because he wanted to make a clean getaway!

Q: Why did the melon jump into the lake?
A: Because it wanted to be a watermelon.

Q: Why was the boy sitting on his watch?
A: Because he wanted to be on time.

Q: Why did the scientist take out his doorbell?
A: Because he wanted to win the no-bell prize!

Q:Why did the opera singer go sailing?
A: Because she wanted to hit the high C’s.

Q: Why did the gardener plant his money?
A: Because he wanted his soil to be rich!

Q: Why did the sea monster eat five ships that were carrying potatoes?
A: Because no one can eat just one potato ship.

Q: Why did the cookie go to the Doctor?
A: Because he was feeling crumby.

Q: Why did the surfer think the sea was his friend?
A: Because it gave him a big wave!

Q: Why did the spy stay in bed?
A: Because he was under cover.

Q: Why should you never tell a secret in a corn field?
A: Because there are too many ears.

Q: Why did the TV cross the road?
A: Because it wanted to be a flat screen.

Q: Why did the news reporter go to the ice cream parlor?
A: Because she wanted to get a good scoop.

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 Panini Month

Among its other interesting holidays, August is National Panini Month. For those who have never had this treat, a Panini is a toasted sandwich, usually made in a special grill not surprisingly called a Panini press, which usually presses grooves into the sandwich. Some people consider these special sandwiches nothing more than glorified toasted cheese, but to my mind, a Panini is far superior. In fact, just reading about this monthly holiday inspired me to change my boring old egg salad sandwich this noon into an egg salad Panini with onions, turkey, and melted cheese. Yum! By the way, I don’t have an official Panini press, so I use my tiny George Foreman grill, changing the sandwich around several times to get it heated equally top and bottom and front and back, in order to get those Panini grooves.

This seems to be a fairly recent holiday, perhaps created by Sargento Cheese in 2011. You can find some of their Panini recipes on their website. The Harvest Turkey and Apple Panini sounds particularly good. There are more Panini recipes here. The main ingredient is your creativity.

As a little background, the word panino is Italian for “small bread roll”; its plural form is panini. The word is the diminutive form of pane (bread). In some English – and French – speaking countries, panini is sometimes used as a singular word and sometimes pluralized as paninis.

So if you’ve never had a Panini, I urge you to check out the recipes and give them a try. For you old hands, celebrate with your favorite Panini sometime this month. Have fun!

As you might expect, there aren’t really any quotes about Paninis specifically, so here are some about sandwiches in general. Did you know the first time the word sandwich appears in the English language is in Edward Gibbons journal in 1762?

panini

Too few people understand a really good sandwich.–James Beard

There are sandwich shops in New York which offer the nobility and gentry a choice of no less than 100 different sandwiches, all of them alluring and some of them downright masterpieces.–H. L. Mencken

It has been well said that a hungry man is more interested in four sandwiches than four freedoms.–Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

My favorite sandwich is peanut butter, baloney, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and mayonnaise on toasted bread with catsup on the side.–Hubert H. Humphrey

There’s no better way to start your morning than with the delectable taste of our breakfast sandwiches. Our customers crave our breakfast sandwiches for one reason – they taste great.–John Gilbert

Call me All-American, but I love Ham and Cheese sandwiches. And not just any old ham and cheese sandwich… My mother’s is the best. I’ve tried many times to make these sandwiches on my own, but it’s never the same.–Andy Roddick

I used to have a jazz club, and I made the cocktails and I made the sandwiches. I didn’t want to become a writer – it just happened.–Haruki Murakami

I make a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich.–Jack Black

When I was a boy there were only three kinds of sandwiches in common use – the ham, the chicken and the Swiss cheese. Others, to be sure, existed, but it was only as oddities.  Even the club sandwich was a rarity, and in most eating-houses it was unobtainable. The great majority of people stuck to the ham and the Swiss cheese, with the chicken for feast days and the anniversaries of historic battles.–H. L. Mencken

So the perfect sandwich has to be toasted. It has to have Emmenthal Swiss cheese and a combination of sweet and savory – some cranberry or fig thing happening – with different kinds of meats like Black Forest ham and roast beef.–Kyle MacLachlan

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.