What I Believe: A Top 10 List

June 18, 2018 – Here’s a top ten list I hope you enjoy:

1. Hearing the right song can make (or break) your day. It’s really special if you hear the song accidentally, like on the radio when you share the experience with others who may be listening.

2. Everything happens for a reason. Yes, I’m one of those people.

3. People come into your life and leave it for a reason. This may be an extension of the point above, but it’s best to separate things and people, don’t you think?

4. Smoking is disgusting. I know because its harmed people I love, it makes your clothes smell awful, and I used to smoke.

5. Happiness, like a positive attitude, is a state of mind. Smile. Not only will you feel better, but everyone around you will, too.

6. Everyone is entitled to believe what they wish, and we need to respect that. This is especially true these days with how we are all divided politically. How boring (and unproductive) would this world be if we all thought the same way?

7. Sometimes it’s who you know, not what you know. I don’t like it, but it’s true. The good news is sometimes it gets to be your turn to know the right people.

8. The Phillies could make the playoffs. They are definitely playing better than last year, and despite the ups and downs, this young group of players could do something big this year.

9. Miracles do happen. Keep your eyes open and you’ll see at least one every day.

10. People who litter should be punished severely. What makes any one think it’s OK to throw trash from a car window is beyond me. And that includes cigarettes, you butt head!

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Are You Ready for Bloomsday?

June 16, 2018 – “How can you call yourself a writer if you’ve never read Ulysses?”

This is not a question that keeps me awake at night, but rather one that my son asks me from time to time when he feels I’m not living up to my potential, which is about the same time, I suppose, he feels he’s not living up to his potential. The question is meant to inspire me to read the classics and push myself to achieve a similar feat. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to do for him.

I’ve never actually answered his question, but I did head over to my local Barnes and Noble to page through a copy of the James Joyce classic. With a cup of tea in hand, I sat in the café to read a few pages before I purchased a copy.

This week marks is the 114th anniversary of Joyce’s first date with his wife-to-be Nora Barnacle. Their relationship was the inspiration for Ulysses, a story that takes place all in one day on … you guessed it … June 16. Seems Joyce was not only a serious writer but also a serious romantic. In Ireland, June 16 is known as Bloomsday, named for the character of Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses.

And to all the writers who have read Ulysses, I commend you. It may be considered a 265,000-word work of art written in a stream of consciousness style, but I wasn’t able to get past the first few pages.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Numbers

June 8, 2018 — The weekly photo challenge ended last Friday after more than five years. To continue the challenge on my own, I went back to the beginning to complete the challenges I missed. So, this week’s photo challenge is numbers.

Cemeteries are filled with numbers, from the number of graves and people buried there, to the birth and death dates carved on the stones.

June is Lavender Month

June 4, 2018 – I never had much desire to visit France — I believe I’m more of a fan of the Mediterranean countries, at least when I vacation in my mind — but these gorgeous photos of the French lavender fields make me want to hop a plane now.

With lavender’s ability to sooth nervous tension, relieve pain and help insomnia, the people in this region must be the happiest and most well-rested people on earth. Just looking at them made me smile.

In my region of southeastern Pennsylvania, it’s lavender harvest season, which makes it the perfect time to visit a lavender farm. Two local farms I recommend are Peace Valley Lavender Farm and Carousel Lavender Farm.