Monthly Archives: January 2015

In this new era, quotes with gnomes.

gnome gnotebook 1st page 2015

It was only a few weeks ago that I told you about my late friend Bird’s Gnome Gnotebook, the contents of which I was so glad to receive in the form of a fat photocopied packet. One of you alerted me to the fact that one can buy empty versions of these notebooks online, and I quickly sent off for one, as a remembrance of my beloved friend.


And to keep quotes in, of course! Anastasia recently shared this fun Ogden Nash verse (above) and I copied it at the bottom of the first page, where the gnome sits with his nose in a book. These contemplative gnomes will keep company with whatever I write here, on every page.

I must have a thousand quotes in computer documents, and another few hundred on papers bursting out of a manila folder. For years I used some very efficient software to help me in sad face outlinemy collecting, called Smart Quote Organizer. But it eventually proved too hard for someone with my lack of computer savvy to maintain; every time we got a new computer or made major changes, I almost lost that data. Finally I did lose it, I lost all those hundreds of good quotes and was fairly deflated — for a few minutes. I realize that even the most excellent examples of pithy sentences are just representatives of truth and wit and wisdom. The substance remains with humankind. But I decided to return to more primitive methods of storage, while not abandoning my simple Windows document folders.

At left is a page in quotes money qbmy first quotes notebook, which I arranged alphabetically in subject categories. Some pages are full and some are still completely blank, so I probably shouldn’t give up on it yet.

Of course I wouldn’t think of giving up reading it. Just now the words on this page with the heading Money have made me muse on whether I have violated any of my principles by spending on my new (technically “used,” though not written in) Gnome Gnotebook. I don’t think so.

Bird didn’t have her jottings in any particular order and I don’t plan to worry about that with my new book, either.

P1120375 old quotes crp

Above is the old notebook with the quotes all hidden inside, waiting to be pored over and contemplated. And here is another page from that book. Clearly I gave more attention to good handwriting in that previous era a decade ago, which is about when I started using this book that was gift from son Pathfinder’s family.

quotes life & limitations qb

Many of these quotes on Life and Limitations immediately apply themselves to what could be called my hobby of collecting quotes – especially the reality of limitations. The Bible says that “of the making of books there is no end” (Ecclesiastes 12:12), and I don’t think I will run out of (quality – they must be quality) quotable excerpts from those books, or other writings or speeches or folksy proverbs.

I, however, am very limited in my time, my life span, and yes, my mental abilities. I am limited in how many quotes I can publish on my blog and still maintain good standing in the eyes of my readers. So that’s all for now, folks. Have fun with these!

The massacre of a small city, every year.

walk for life sf 2015“Newspapers are always happy to cover bad news—as the old saying has it, ‘If it bleeds, it leads.’  Stories of kindness and heroism are not considered news in the same way as are stories of atrocity and disaster—and massacre.  Consider the coverage given to the slaughter in Paris of late associated with the Charlie Hebdo magazine.  Consider the slaughter of innocents in Syria at the hands of ISIS.  Consider the massacre of children at the hands of Boko Haram in Nigeria.  All of these receive coverage from our western media, and accordingly arouse moral indignation and demands that something be done to make the massacres cease—and rightly so.  Newspapers can be counted upon to cover a massacre.

“Except, of course, when the massacre involves the unborn.”

Read the whole article by Fr. Lawrence Farley.

walk for life orthodox maher 15
Walk for Life 2015 – San Francisco

January Surprises


This week I was blessed by the usual end-of-January boost that we get around here. It always surprises me, because most of the month, and probably for a good bit of February, I am struggling against the dark and sometimes the cold. I think I am depending on the Christmas lights around my kitchen window to bolster my mood. But this is the time that we get some sunny days and I have to go into the back yard to do some kind of chore, and suddenly I see buds and flowers, and smell the fresh and cool air.


P1120323 manzanita buds
manzanita – Arctostaphylos

On the Monday holiday, Soldier son came to prune the wisteria and the plum tree, but didn’t have time to cut up the branches and get them into the trash, so he made a tidy stack under the tree.

I considered hiring a young man from church to finish the job, but it seemed like that might be more trouble than tackling it myself; I have often done this part before. On Thursday I decided to have at it for 20 minutes and see how much progress I could make.

It was so lovely to be out there, I ended up spending more than an hour, and I reduced the stack by about half. This cherry plum sends up very straight branches every year and I always want to save a bunch of them, envisioning row markers or bean poles or even just kindling for the wood stove. So I made a separate pile of those. It makes me feel young and strong to work with those loppers and my leather gloves, and I even enjoy the slight muscle ache that arrives two days later. This afternoon I pretty much leveled the pile of trimmings.

snowball bush buds 1-24-15
snowball bush – viburnum macrocephalum

I kept brushing up against the strawberry tree, and its little pale green fruits dangled around. Pale green leaves are sprouting on the rose geranium, and I wandered around the garden to admire tiny buds on the snowball bush, the earliest spring flowers, and the beginnings of manzanita blooms.

P1120314 strawberry tree
strawberry tree – Arbutus unedo

Sara inspired me this week with her post about following a tree, and I thought of observing our strawberry tree. I think I won’t take part officially in the group project, but I have observed now in January, and that’s a start!P1120309

The yard waste bin was not big enough to hold all the twigs and branches I collected, so I filled a couple of these garden containers that are a modern form of trug. After the big bin is emptied next week I’ll dump the rest of the clippings in. And then I better prune my dear rose bush!












I needed some green soup.

Some tortures are physical
And some are mental,
But the one that is both
Is dental.

~Ogden Nash

Off and on since October I’ve been the frequent recipient of the benefits of modern dentistry, at which I am amazed and for which I am greatly thankful. Still, more than once while waiting “for things to settle down” I’ve had the proverbial aching tooth that is so distracting and mentally consuming. Just to prevent pain and promote recovery I was on two different occasions instructed to eat “nothing harder than spaghetti” for three days. That means no crunchy vegetables, which are one of my favorite munchies. It’s a good thing I have many soup recipes, and it’s also good that I had made a giant batch of this one before the torture began.

I made it with kale this time, and Mr. Glad thought that version was not half as good as the original spinach, but I could still slurp it by the quart. It’s the anise seed that makes it special. The recipe is pretty straightforward; I usually multiply it x8 so that I can have it in the freezer and at-the-ready. It loses nothing by waiting in the freezer and is a great accompaniment to any Italian main dish. I like it just as well without the cheese and lemon.

P1120284kale soup


1 T. olive oil
½ c. each thinly sliced celery and green onion
2 tsp. anise seed
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach (other leafy greens may be substituted)
3 c. regular-strength chicken broth
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
lemon wedges
grated Parmesan cheese

Pour oil into a 3-4 qt. Pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add celery, onion, and anise seed to pan; stir occasionally until vegetables just begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add spinach, broth, and pepper; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Pour soup, a portion at a time, into a blender or food processor (or use immersion blender?), and whirl until smoothly puréed. Reheat if necessary, pour into bowls, and offer lemon wedges and cheese to add to taste. Makes four servings (unless you are serving someone like me, who would want to eat this whole pot.)