• Halloween,  Holiday traditions

    Happy Halloween!

    “There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.” ~Robert Brault The practice of trick-or-treating actually began a few hundred years ago in Europe as an All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2) tradition. The less fortunate would visit the homes of wealthier families and receive pastries known as “soul cakes” in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of the homeowners’ deceased relatives. The tradition was called souling and was later adopted by children. In Scotland and Ireland — where many of today’s Halloween traditions began — children and young adults disguised themselves in costumes and asked for small…

  • Communication,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Health & wellbeing

    The future of incivility

    “If you do not have control over your mouth, you will not have control over your future.” ~Germany Kent In these volatile times, too many people seem to think it’s fine to speak their minds without regard for the feelings of others — and without considering future consequences. When they hurt or offend someone, they’re likely to defend themselves rather than apologize. But they do so at their own peril. As today’s quote suggests, it’s much wiser to think before you speak. Whether your insensitive comments are personal or political, whatever you say will come back to haunt you later. ~Cindy La Ferle

  • Halloween,  Halloween features and essays,  Holidays

    Halloween people

    “Some people are born for Halloween, and some are just counting the days until Christmas.” ~Stephen Graham Jones It’s no secret that I’m a major Halloween fan. Every year, I eagerly await the start of the spooky season, and usually start decorating on October 1st. One of my friends calls me “The Halloween Queen” because she doesn’t know anyone who collects as many Halloween decorations and accessories as I do. To be fair, some of those items (including a set of Halloween wine glasses) were gifts from others who’ve indulged my affection for the holiday. For me, Halloween always stirs a cauldron of happy childhood memories — making costumes with my…

  • Aging well,  Change,  Personal growth

    Still looking through an old lens?

    “If you don’t allow yourself to learn and grow from the experience — from what was said, done, and felt — you will always look at your life through the same old lens.” ~Marc and Angel Chernoff, Marc & Angel Hack Life Sometimes we just don’t get it. We keep repeating the same mistakes, yet stubbornly expect different results. Or maybe we’re so stuck that we don’t understand why our old patterns of behavior or outdated viewpoints aren’t working anymore. As today’s quote reminds us, that’s when we need to be honest with ourselves and view the situation with fresh perspective. ~Cindy La Ferle

  • Domestic arts,  How to be a friend quotes,  Personal growth,  reciprocation

    Pure generosity

    “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” ~John Wooden My mom was a stickler for good manners, and “reciprocate” was an active verb in her vocabulary. Whenever she was invited to someone’s home for dinner (and whenever she received a gift) she took care to return the favor. She was secretly disappointed when others didn’t follow the same rules of etiquette. While reciprocation is a lovely thing, it took me years to fully appreciate the concept of paying it forward. As today’s quote reminds us, the true spirit of generosity is giving a gift or doing a favor…