• Books change lives,  Holidays,  Politics

    Celebrating freedom

    “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt, that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” ~Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own Wishing you a safe and happy Independence Day with time to reflect on all the rights, privileges, and freedoms you cherish and never take for granted. What freedoms do you value most? ~CL

  • Holidays,  Photo stories

    Memorial Day

    “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt There’s an important difference between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. On Veteran’s Day we honor those who served in our U.S. military; on Memorial Day we commemorate those who died defending our country. But we might lose sight of the sobering reason for Memorial Day while we enjoy our family picnics, plant our gardens, or shop the holiday sales. So, no matter what you’re doing with your long weekend, please pause to remember the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the countless privileges we enjoy today. As novelist Cynthia Ozick wrote, “We often take for…

  • Garden tour,  Holidays

    Spring blooms

    “Giving flowers is a disarming way to remember another person, but flowers were first a gift from nature to all of us. They look beautiful, they smell beautiful, and they make us feel beautiful.” Victoria Moran, Younger by the Day Last week I spotted a lone blue hyacinth in my garden — the first of the spring bulbs to bloom on our property this season. Like some of the other bulbs scattered around our yard, the hyacinth was an Easter gift, years ago, and I’m always amazed to see it reappear every spring. Flowers are living symbols of perseverance and positivity. They remind us of personal renewal as well as…

  • Fun stuff,  Holidays,  Humor,  Seasons

    Welcome, April!

    “It is the ability to take a joke, not make one, that proves you have a sense of humor.” ~Max Eastman Happy April Fool’s Day! Though I don’t have any pranks or jokes today, my mood always lifts as soon as I flip the wall calendar to April 1st. The sound of the word “April” works like an antidepressant. Mother Nature might have a few tricks up her sleeve, but no matter what the weather brings in the next couple of weeks, my sense of optimism tells me that winter is behind us. I’m thinking about my garden again, making plans, feeling hopeful. Happy weekend to all! ~CL

  • Friendship and relationship advice,  Holidays,  Love & Valentine's Day

    The heart of the matter

    “When you love someone, you love the whole person as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.” ~Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina Most of us idealized love when we were young. If we were raised on fairy tales, for instance, we imagined marrying the perfect partner and living happily ever after. At the same time, we also held our friends and family members to impossibly high standards, and were disappointed when they didn’t behave like the best friends or families portrayed on TV sitcoms. As we mature, we discover that real love isn’t always picture-perfect; sometimes it gets as messy or as complicated as real…