Tag Archives: Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.” ~Neale Donald Walsch


gluten free butternut squash bread, squash, autumn leaves, autumn decor, ThanksgivingThankfulness quotes for the whole year:

“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 (I just made my gluten-free butternut squash bread for supper and am thankful for it, so thought I’d add this image. If you want the recipe, click this blog link)

 “Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.” ~ Thomas Goodwin

autumn assortment of gords and pumpkins“Sometimes we focus so much on what we don’t have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have!” ~ Jeff Dixon

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” ~ John Henry Jowett

“The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.”  ~John E. Southard

Log cabin in a wooded setting during the autumn season“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.” ~Terri Guillemets

“For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”  ~William Faulkner

“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.” ~Neale Donald Walsch

“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.  It will change your life mightily.”  ~Gerald Good

 Autumn-Leaves-Garland

“Wherever I have knocked, a door has opened.  Wherever I have wandered, a path has appeared.”  ~Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”  ~Henry Ward Beecher

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”  ~Cynthia Ozick

autumn woods, autumn forest,“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.”  ~Mother Teresa

“Rest and be thankful.” ~ William Wordsworth

“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.” Henry Clay

“Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighborhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful!” Elif ShafakThe Forty Rules of Love

Mother and Child - Education--Victorian Era“Gratitude is the real treasure God wants us to find, because it isn’t the pot of gold but the rainbow that colors our world.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” ~ William Arthur Ward

A Glorious Defeat–My August Garden in the Shenandoah Valley


bright lights cosmosThe garden has gone to flowers, abuzz with bees and fluttering  butterflies. We can barely wend our way through the forest of blossoms. Corn battles to survive, potatoes are there for the digging, squash hangs on, and pumpkin vines wind and weave. I make forays to free the herbs; some are perfectly able to compete with this jungle, but not all, and those must be rescued. My salad patch needs work, and I will recover and replant it. Meanwhile, we enjoy a spectacular display. And it’s prompted me to consider giving in and growing a riot of color, and buying more of our vegetables at Farmer’s Markets.  Flowers feed the soul. Almost all the ones I grow are heirloom varieties.  Elise got some super pics. Our garden is below. Bright Lights Cosmos pictured above. Sunflowers abound.

flowers in garden and our old red barn

“Earth laughs in flowers.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I like to think a flower opens itself to outgrow its plantedness.  That it yearns to be carried away.”  ~Author Unknown

“A flower can not blossom without sunshine, and man can not live without love.”
 ~Max Muller

“For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.” ~David Herbert Lawrence

black eyed Susans and Rudibeckia

*Black-eyed Susans and heirloom zinnias. Bright lights cosmos above.

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”  ~Iris Murdoch

“To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.”  ~Beverly Nichols

black eyed Susans and Rudibeckia

“Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.”  ~John Ruskin

“Flowers really do intoxicate me.” ~Vita Sackville-West

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.”  ~Gerard de Nerval

“Can we conceive what humanity would be if it did not know the flowers?”  ~Maurice Maeterlinck

heirloom cockscomb

Crimson celosia, heirloom variety

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…” ~Susan Polis Shutz

“The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days.”  ~Robert Leighton
“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words.  They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.”  ~Lydia M. Child

nicotiana and black eyed susans

Nicotiana, sweet scented heirloom variety

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”  ~Claude Monet

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”  ~Claude Monet

garden in August

June in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia–Beth Trissel


*Lovely images by daughter Elise Trissel.

Abraham Darby

“A profusion of pink roses bending ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring.”  ~The Collected Later Poems of William Carlos Williams

“Can we conceive what humanity would be if it did not know the flowers?”  ~Maurice Maeterlinck “Flowers really do intoxicate me.”  ~Vita Sackville-West

“Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals.  Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock.”  ~Henry Ward Beecher, Star Papers: A Discourse of Flowers

wild ox eye daisies“The poet’s darling.”  ~William Wordsworth, “To the Daisy”

“The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms.  Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him.”  ~Auguste Rodin

“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, 1913, in L.M. Wolfe, ed., John Muir, John of the Mountains:  The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, 1938

poppies“Summer set lip to earth’s bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there.”
~Francis Thompson, “The Poppy,” 1891

“Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.”  ~Standing Bear

“Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.”  ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”  ~e.e. cummings

wild wood's phlox“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”  ~John Muir

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” ~Jane Austen

“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.  This is not done by jostling in the street.”  ~William Blake


“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”  ~William Shakespeare

Abraham Darby Roses, Ox Eye Daisies, Shirley Poppies,  wild Phlox

When Bad Things Happen to Good People–Beth Trissel


trees flowering in our yard“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses.” ~Colette

“The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.”  ~Henry Maudsley

(Blooming trees and new leaves in our yard)

Dove, Bird, Flying, White, Spirituality, Symbols Of Peace, Wing,Yesterday, my sister-in-law Catarina (my husband’s brother’s wife) an indomitable woman I’ve known since I was a teenager and always thought would live to be 100,  passed away suddenly from a ruptured aneurysm in her brain. The surgery performed to prevent this fatal outcome (involving a stint) was pronounced a triumph, but something went terribly wrong not many hours after.  We do not yet know why and await word from the autopsy. But for whatever reason, she’s taken from her loved ones and is in heaven now. It’s those left behind who suffer and deeply mourn her loss.

I feel especially sad for her grandbabies and the many children this motherly woman has cared for over the years in her home and her ministries with the little ones at our church.  Being a pensive soul, I’ve found some good quotes and books that may offer comfort in a hurting world. This has been an especially horrific week in America with the bombs at the Boston Marathon and explosion at the fertilizer plant in Texas.

Old Church 101“Often imitated but never superseded, When Bad Things Happen to Good People is a classic that offers clear thinking and consolation in times of sorrow. Since its original publication in 1981, When Bad Things Happen to Good People has brought solace and hope to millions of readers and its author has become a nationally known spiritual leader” (A book quote from Amazon)

“Even hundredfold grief is divisible by love.” ~Terri Guillemets

“Grieving is a necessary passage and a difficult transition to finally letting go of sorrow – it is not a permanent rest stop.”  ~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com

“Many suffering people want to love God, but cannot see past their tears, says Philip Yancey. They feel hurt and betrayed. Sadly, the church often responds with more confusion than comfort. This current edition of what is perhaps Yancey’s best-known book should speak to anyone for whom life sometimes just doesn’t make sense. And it should help equip anyone who wants to reach out to someone in pain but just doesn’t know what to say.” (From Amazon)
Phillip Yancey’s What’s So Amazing About Grace, is also a wonderfully uplifting book.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.  ~From a headstone in Ireland
“While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.”  ~John Taylor

Angel, Cemetery, Statue, Tombstone, Cherub, Child, Stone, Grave, Praying, Church“Sorrow you can hold, however desolating, if nobody speaks to you.  If they speak, you break down.”  ~Bede Jarrett

Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.  ~William Shakespeare

Sorrow makes us all children again — destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Images of: *Dove of the Holy Spirit *Stained glass windows in Episcopalian Church in Staunton, VA, *Ancient Mosaic of Jesus Christ in church of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey *Angel Cherub Cemetery Statue

“Raindrops are like fairy whispers,” and Other Fairy Quotes & Images


Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the disheveled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
~William Butler Yeats, “The Land of Heart’s Desire,” 1894

Fairies are invisible and inaudible like angels.  But their magic sparkles in nature.  ~Lynn Holland

The fairy poet takes a sheet
Of moonbeam, silver white;
His ink is dew from daisies sweet,
His pen a point of light.
~Joyce Kilmer

Spread your wings and let the fairy in you fly!  ~Author Unknown

Nothing can be truer than fairy wisdom.  It is as true as sunbeams. 

~Douglas Jerrold

The fairies break their dances
And leave the printed lawn.
~A.E. Housman

Princess Edane… heard a voice singing on a May Eve like this, and followed half awake and half asleep, until she came into the Land of Faery, where nobody gets old and godly and grave, where nobody gets old and crafty and wise, where nobody gets old and bitter of tongue.  ~William Butler Yeats, “The Land of Heart’s Desire,” 1894

When the winds of March are wakening the crocuses and crickets,
Did you ever find a fairy near some budding little thickets,…
And when she sees you creeping up to get a closer peek
She tumbles through the daffodils, a playing hide and seek.
~Marjorie Barrows

Every time a child says, “I don’t believe in fairies,” there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.  ~James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan

This is a work of fiction.  All the characters in it, human and otherwise, are imaginary, excepting only certain of the fairy folk, whom it might be unwise to offend by casting doubts on their existence.  Or lack thereof.  ~Neil Gaiman

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.
~William Butler Yeats, “The Stolen Child

A lady, with whom I was riding in the forest, said to me, that the woods always seemed to her to wait, as if the genii who inhabit them suspended their deeds until the wayfarer has passed onward: a thought which poetry has celebrated in the dance of the fairies, which breaks off on the approach of human feet.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, “History”

We the Fairies, blithe and antic,
Of dimensions not gigantic,
Though the moonshine mostly keep us,
Oft in orchards frisk and peep us.
~Thomas Randolph

Each fairy breath of summer, as it blows with loveliness, inspires the blushing rose.  ~Author Unknown

No child but must remember laying his head in the grass, staring into the infinitesimal forest and seeing it grow populous with fairy armies.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson, Essays in The Art of Writing

The wall is silence, the grass is sleep,
Tall trees of peace their vigil keep,
And the Fairy of Dreams with moth-wings furled
Plays soft on her flute to the drowsy world.
~Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

We call them faerie.  We don’t believe in them.  Our loss.  ~Charles de Lint

And as the seasons come and go, here’s something you might like to know.  There are fairies everywhere:  under bushes, in the air, playing games just like you play, singing through their busy day.  So listen, touch, and look around – in the air and on the ground.  And if you watch all nature’s things, you might just see a fairy’s wing.  ~Author Unknown

The Realm of Fairy is a strange shadow land, lying just beyond the fields we know.  ~Author Unknown

Blind folk see the fairies.
Oh, better far than we,
Who miss the shining of their wings
Because our eyes are filled with things
We do not wish to see.
~Rose Fyleman

A rustle in the wind reminds us a fairy is near.  ~Author Unknown

The fairies went from the world, dear,
Because men’s hearts grew cold:
And only the eyes of children see
What is hidden from the old…
~Kathleen Foyle

I think that people who can’t believe in fairies aren’t worth knowing. ~Tori Amos

Any man can lose his hat in a fairy-wind.  ~Irish Saying

Garden fairies come at dawn,

Bless the flowers then they’re gone.
~Author Unknown

If we opened our minds to enjoyment, we might find tranquil pleasures spread about us on every side.  We might live with the angels that visit us on every sunbeam, and sit with the fairies who wait on every flower.  ~Samuel Smiles

All royalty free images

Great Writing Quotes–With Fabulous Commentary and Pics!


“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” ~E.L. Doctorow

Although it worries my mother when I say I’m talking amongst myselves….

*Image of me writing surrounded by grandbabies.

“Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.”  ~Franz Kafka

Well that’s cheery, Franz, and why writers surround themselves with cats, keep pouring those heartening cups of coffee or hot tea, dive into chocolate, light candles, play our favorite music… sneak back online.  Again.

I especially like this quote:  “There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” ~W. Somerset Maugham English dramatist & novelist (1874 – 1965)

A word is not the same with one writer as with another.  One tears it from his guts.  The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.”  ~Charles Peguy

 I compare capturing just the right word to netting butterflies before they soar away.  Words flee my thoughts just as swiftly if I don’t snag them.

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~Sylvia Plath

Amen to this Sylvia.

Although I must add there’s a difference between courage and writing about the worst life has to offer and calling it art.

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  ~Toni Morrison

I actually do, do this in my writing.

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning:  I wanted to know what I was going to say.”  ~Sharon O’Brien

This is true as long as I am writing what I WANT.  Not what I think may sell.  And considering my sales of late, I must be in the minority about what’s popular.

Publication – is the auction of the Mind of Man.”  ~Emily Dickinson

And it’s going too cheap these days.  Not all books can sell for .99 on kindle or be free.  Assuming the author wants to eat.

Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”  ~Mark Twain

I love Mark Twain, who, BTW, is an ancestor on my father’s side.

I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”  ~James Michener

I can and do rewrite interminably.

“The wastebasket is a writer’s best friend.”  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Now, it’s the delete key on my laptop, but I remember the days of handwriting everything in ink and using whiteout until the pages were stiff with the stuff, then I’d crumple and throw until a pile accumulated around me and my faithful furry writing companions, both feline and canine.  As I write this there’s a small dog snoozing on one side, a large tabby purring under my arm and a playful kitten trying to get a rise out of someone.  To no avail.

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”  ~William Wordsworth

Trust Wordsworth to come up with something  this lovely and poetic.  And to him I reply, I do!

“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.”  ~Vladimir Nabakov

What an optimist.  Face it, to most writers blank pages are scary.  Sit there leering at us and must be filled with something, anything, as fast as possible.  One can always edit something, but not nothing.

And similarly a quote by James Thurber: “Don’t get it right, just get it written.”

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

He sure knew what he was talking about.

The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air.  All I must do is find it, and copy it.”  ~Jules Renard, “Diary,” February 1895

Heck, I’ve got a number of those floating around.  Not terribly marketable in that form though.

A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.  ~Karl Kraus

Yes, there’s a lot of Yoda in writers.  We’re all striving to be Jedi’s.

“Size matters not.  Look at me.  Judge me by size, do you?” ~Yoda

“Do, or do not.  There is no try.” ~Yoda

And very apt for writing as well as training to be a Jedi.

“Writing is my time machine, takes me to the precise time and place I belong.” ~Jeb Dickerson, www.howtomatter.com

*Mine too.

“I love being a writer.  What I can’t stand is the paperwork.”  ~Peter De Vries

Or all the promo he probably didn’t have to deal with.

“A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote.” ~Mignon McLaughlinThe Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Ah yes, there are times I wonder if the reviewer read the same book I wrote.   Other times, I delight that they totally got my story.

“I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.” ~English Professor (Name Unknown), Ohio University

This could have been said of me who got a D in a college class called The Novel.

“Most editors are failed writers – but so are most writers.”  ~T.S. Eliot

“For me, a page of good prose is where one hears the rain [and] the noise of battle.”  ~John Cheever

And all that other good stuff, seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling…the five senses.  I also like to include the sixth.

“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”  ~Elmore Leonard

Oh gosh, me too.  Most people are probably skipping this post.

Write down the thoughts of the moment.  Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.  ~Francis Bacon

And this, dear readers, is the essence of my writing.  I am not a PLOTTER.

“Every writer I know has trouble writing.”  ~Joseph Heller

“Writer’s block is a disease for which there is no cure, only respite.”  ~Terri Guillemets

“When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.”  ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela

“A good style should show no signs of effort.  What is written should seem a happy accident.” ~W. Somerset Maugham, Summing Up, 1938

With these quotes I am in utter agreement.

When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don’t state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.”
~Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)

I suppose it’s sour grapes to point out that Carroll was an opium addict.  However, opium alone cannot make you brilliant so I still have to give him that.

“If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”  ~Lord Byron

Many writers are slightly mad.  I have a theory about writers, those who are on medication and those who should be.  I am.

“All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love Emerson.  And to this I say, let’s steal them back.

“What no wife (*spouse) of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.”  ~Burton Rascoe

I spend a great deal of my writing in these sorts of thinking times.

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”  ~Agatha Christie

Which also ties into the above quote, those vital pondering moments.

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”  ~Saul Bellow

“It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.”  ~Sinclair Lewis

And to all fellow writers I say, may the muse be with you.  And where would we be without the story tellers?  Now go snag those butterflies!

For the True Romantics–Some of My Favorite Quotes


“This is true love–you think this happens every day?” ~Westley, The Princess Bride

“True love always makes a man better, no matter what woman inspires it.”  ~Alexandre Dumas Père

“True Love burns the brightest, But the brightest flames leave the deepest scars.” ~ Unknown

“In true love the smallest distance is too great, and the greatest distance can be bridged.”~ Hans Nouwens

“It is impossible to fall out of love. Love is such a powerful emotion, that once it envelops you it does not depart. True love is eternal. If you think that you were once in love, but fell out of it, then it wasn’t love you were in. There are no ‘exit’ signs in love, there is only an ‘on’ ramp.” ~ Unknown

“Mortal love is when sensuality is satisfied. True love is when love is sacrificed.” ~ David K. Leung

Victor Hugo
“The most powerful symptom of love is a tenderness, which becomes at times almost insupportable.”

Vincent van Gogh
“Love is eternal. The aspect of it may change, but the essence remains the same.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The only gift is a portion of thyself.”

“To laugh often and love much… to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give one’s self… this is to have succeeded.”

Oscar Wilde
“To love yourself is the beginning of a lifelong affair.”

Agnes Repplier
“We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.”

Victor Hugo
“Love is a portion of the soul itself, and it is of the same nature as the celestial breathing of the atmosphere of paradise.”

Igor Stravinsky
“What force is more potent than love!”

Ovid
“Ah me! Love can not be cured by herbs.”

Percy Shelly
“Soul meets soul on lover’s lips.”

John Bulwer
“It is astonishing how little one feels alone when one loves.”

Ovid
“Meminerunt omnia amantes [Lovers remember everything].”

Eaton Stannard Barret
“Let no one who loves be called altogether unhappy; even love unreturned has its rainbow.”

James Thurber and E. B. White
“Love is the strange bewilderment which overtakes one person on account of another person.”

Ramanathan Srinivasan
“The most difficult thing to explain in life is the simplest truth called love.”

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” ~Shakespeare

“True love is friendship–caught on fire.” ~ Gatech Kato

Lovely Reader Review for Shenandoah Watercolors


“This is perhaps the most beautifully written memoir I’ve ever read. Its lovely and languid descriptions of the picturesque valley, the farm and gardens are equaled only by the charming and funny descriptions of the antics (and conversations!) of the farm animals. What a joy this is to read. I didn’t rush through it because I found it such a peaceful way to de-stress when I needed to. I’d read a chapter or two, or even a few pages and feel calmed by the flowing language, which painted scenes of baby animals growing in verdant pastures, kids skating on the frozen winter pond, birds trilling summer songs and garden projects of all kinds. Mrs. Trissel, a farm wife in a setting that makes you want to move to the Shenandoah immediately, has an insightful way of weaving the world around her into a quilt of colors and patterns, scents and sounds. Her perspectives are delightful. She doesn’t gloss over the hardships, but takes in the joys with such depth all is tempered and balanced.

Mrs. Trissel has an amazing knowledge of flowers and plants and a sense of humor that had me laughing on many occasions. Whether accompanying her husband to the county fair, pouring over seed catalogues with her youngest daughter or rolling her eyes affectionately at her older daughter’s ballooning wedding plans, the reader feels part of that life. She has a fascinating background that is revealed in snippets here and there as offhandedly as plucking flowers in the many gardens on the farm. Both that background and her obvious knowledge of literature (lovely quotes included throughout) add depth to her day-to-day life which comes across to the reader.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I’ve read a lot of memoirs, but none so appealing as this one. Highly recommended.”

~Amazon Reader Review by C. G. King

 

April On Our Farm in the Shenandoah Valley


So far this spring is filled with remodeling our old farm-house, and gardening, when it’s not raining,  and all the small people in my life, though not as much writing as I would like.  The remodeling is at an end, for now–there’s always more to be done in future projects.

Weather wise, we’ve gone from a gradually diminishing drought to flood watches out today.  April 2011 is turning into quite a wet month.  I’m not sure what ‘normal’ is in the Shenandoah Valley, but I’d prefer less extremes.   Still, I seek for the beauty amid the imperfection and this spring is sublime.  Thought I’d share a few pics of our farm along with some favorite quotes.

“April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.”  ~Christopher Morley,  John Mistletoe

“Hoe while it is spring, and enjoy the best anticipations.  It is not much matter if things do not turn out well.”  ~Charles Dudley Warner

“The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven –
All’s right with the world!”
~Robert Browning

“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.”  ~Hal Borland

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.”  ~Iris MurdochA Fairly Honourable Defeat

“To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat. ” ~Beverly Nichols

“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities of the world.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Flowers really do intoxicate me.”  ~Vita Sackville-West

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”  ~Gertrude S. Wister

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words.  They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.”  ~Lydia M. Child

“Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“Cares melt when you kneel in your garden.”

“A garden is a friend you can visit any time.”

“Kiss of the sun for pardon. Song of the birds for mirth. You’re closer to God’s heart in a garden than any place else on earth.” — Dorothy Frances Gurney

“But each spring…a gardening instinct, sure as the sap rising in the trees, stirs within us. We look about and decide to tame another little bit of ground.” ~Lewis Gantt

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” — Henry David Thoreau

“It is a greater act of faith to plant a bulb than to plant a tree.”~Clare Leighton

“To dig one’s own spade into one’s own earth! Has life anything better to offer than this?”~Beverley Nichols

“I have the simplest tastes~I am always satisfied with the best.” ~Oscar Wilde


“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit” ~Shakespeare

“Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.”~ Zelda 

“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.”~Anais Nin

“Anthropology is the science which tells us that people are the same the whole world over-except when they are different.” ~Nancy Banks Smith

“A true friend is somebody who can make us do what we can.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If a dog will not come to you after he has looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.”~ Woodrow Wilson

“The test of an adventure is that when you’re in the middle of it, you say to yourself, ‘Oh, now I’ve got myself into an awful mess I wish I were sitting quietly at home.’ And the sign that something’s wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure.” ~Thornton

“History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.”~Abba Eban

“The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.” ~George Bernard Shaw

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.” ~Oscar Wilde

“He was happily married – but his wife wasn’t.” ~Victor Borge

“You have delighted us long enough.” ~Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”~Mark Twain

“There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” ~Henry Kissinger

“Can’t act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.”~ Screen Tester on Fred Astaire