Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

To Do…

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Happy birthday, America! Here’s to remembering our hopes and building our dreams.

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

― Howard Zinn

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It is Canada Day today and I am wearing a red and white beaver shirt and my Tilley hat and we’ve just come back from a long walk through the wild and glorious suburbs of Ottawa. Now I’m going to use the strawberry syrup I made from local berries for a strawberry lime freeze because it is hot and muggy.

I’ll leave you with the start of a poem about this great country; click through the link to read more.

Canada by Billy Collins | Poetry Foundation

I am writing this on a strip of white birch bark

that I cut from a tree with a penknife.

There is no other way to express adequately

the immensity of the clouds that are passing over the farms   

and wooded lakes of Ontario and the endless visibility   

that hands you the horizon on a platter…

While we’re on the subject of poetry, I discovered the Poetry Atlas, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Navigate to your favorite locale to find an associated poem, like these about Canada:

Poems about: canada – Poetry Atlas

O Canada!

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Photos by Joshua Balsamo and Joel Henry on Unsplash

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Note: I wrote this post two days ago but for whatever reason it did not go out for the Solstice on the 21st. Apologies to all the Druids out there!

Happy Summer Solstice!

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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Photo by John Mccann on Unsplash

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“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”

― Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum

Or in my father’s case, not so little. For passing on wisdom, an open heart, sharp editorial eye, love of cooking, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and so much more, thanks, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!

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Photo by Mieke Campbell on Unsplash

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Today, an experiment in animation. Thinking of my mom, my other moms, and all the mothers out there who help us grow.

Design concept and elements adapted from Garden tools set by pch.vector, and Garden illustration by macrovector via freepik, and Monarch Butterfly Insect and Animal Butterfly via Pixabay

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Photo by Uljana Maljutina on Unsplash

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There is a lot of trouble in the world right now, but we are not helpless. We are not hopeless. And if there’s any better way to remember that today than Star Wars, I don’t know it. Just thinking of the theme song raises my spirits. Here’s to building a better future. 

For motivation, check out this piece on the history of John Williams’ rousing theme:

Behind The Song: “Star Wars Theme” by John Williams – American Songwriter

And then, of course, there’s our scrappy band of Rebels.

“Would it help if I got out and pushed?”

— Princess Leia


May the Force be with us.

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via Pixabay 

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One day a little country girl bunny with a brown skin
and a little cotton-ball of a tail said, “Some day I shall
grow up to be the Easter Bunny: you wait and see!”
Then all of the big white bunnies who lived in fine houses,
and the Jack Rabbits with long legs who can run fast,
laughed at the little Cottontail and told her to go
back to the country and eat a carrot.
But she said, “Wait and see!”

— Du Bose Heyward, Majorie Flack (ill.), The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes 1939

When it comes to life’s challenges, may you (like my favorite Easter bunny) be “wise, and kind, and swift.”

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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I saw my first flower buds yesterday, in a planter filled with lovely little purple crocus plants. We still have a tiny bit of snow in the yard and my mother reports snow down south, but even so it’s starting to feel like spring. 

It’s good timing, too. Today is Økodag, or Dancing Cow Day in Denmark, when the country’s 200,000 organic cows leave their winter barns and head out to greener pastures. This year is extra special as the event has been on hold for the past two years.

Danes revel in ‘dancing cow day’ for first time since Covid outbreak

“The cows are so happy to be outdoors, to feel the sun and the wind, that they dance,” she said. “Out in the field, a cow can also go for her favourite dishes – grass, clover, various herbs etc.”

Happy spring!

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Photo by Luke Thornton on Unsplash

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On this day, eons ago, the brave Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee fulfilled their quest to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. And so it was decreed that March 25th would ever after be known as Tolkien Reading Day!

What does that mean?

Today is Tolkien Reading Day! – The Tolkien Society

And as an extra bonus, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Estate Releases Treasure Trove Of Drawings And Maps.

See those maps and more here: Maps – The Tolkien Estate.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.” 

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

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Photo by Martin Jernberg on Unsplash

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