Happy National Grammar Day!


In Praise of Homemade Soup

Today is National Homemade Soup Day, a day devoted to celebrating those warm bowls of comfort that nourish our bodies and souls. Take some time to make your favorite soup or experiment with a new recipe.

Here’s my go-to recipe for vegetable quinoa soup. I like making a large batch and then dividing up the soup into one-cup portions that I freeze for the week.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 small zucchini, chopped
8 cups of vegetable broth
2 cups cooked quinoa
Salt and black pepper, to taste


1. Rinse 1 cup quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa, 2 cups water, and a pinch of salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and zucchini. Continue cooking for another 4 or 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the vegetable broth. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the vegetables are fork-tender (about 25-30 minutes).

4. Stir in the cooked quinoa and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield: Serves 6 – 8

Buon appetito!

In Praise of Absurdity

Today is National Absurdity Day, a day created to celebrate ridiculous historical events, have fun, or let all the silliness out. Whatever you decide will be fine since you are celebrating a day devoted to absurdity.

But if you’re struggling with this concept or needing inspiration…

Here are 10 quotes extolling absurdity:

Some stories have to be written because no one would believe the absurdity of it all. Shannon L. Alder

Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth. They are inseparable. Albert Camus

In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.
Miguel de Cervantes

Be not afraid of absurdity; do not shrink from the fantastic. Within each dilemma, choose the most unheard-of, the most dangerous solution. Be brave, be brave.
Isak Dinesen

The world stands on absurdities, and without them perhaps nothing at all would happen. Fyodor Dostoevsky

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. Albert Einstein

My turn of mind is so given to taking things in the absurd point of view, that it breaks out in spite of me every now and then. Lord Byron

Never underestimate the healing power of silliness and absurdity. Steve Maraboli

A prophet or an achiever must never mind an occasional absurdity. It is an occupational risk. Oswald Morley

That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in another. Adlai E. Stevenson


Happy National Homemade Cookies Day!

Celebrate this National Day by baking a batch of favorite cookies or experiment with a new recipe. If you’re stuck, why not try the following recipe for raisin cookies. It’s a family favorite from my mother’s kitchen


1/3 cup margarine or shortening
2/3 cups brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, well-beaten
½ cup chopped raisins
1½ cups sifted pastry flour
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
4 Tbsp milk


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Using an electric mixer (or hand mixer), cream together margarine, sugar, and vanilla extract.
3. Add the egg and raisins.
4. Add sifted dry ingredients, alternating with milk.
5. Beat until all ingredients are well combined.
6. Drop by spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet.
7. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the centers are soft with a touch of color and the edges are golden brown.



Happy National Pancake Day!

pancakes1While it’s easier to add water to a mix that promises and delivers extra-fluffy results, I prefer to make my pancakes from scratch. Here’s a family favorite recipe from my mother’s kitchen.



1 egg
2 cups milk
3 tbsp white sugar
1½ cups sifted flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 tsp softened margarine
¼ tsp vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Preheat electric griddle.
3. Beat egg very well.
4. Add milk and sugar and continue beating.
5. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
6. Combine both mixtures.
7. Stir in margarine and vanilla.
8. Pour pancake batter onto the hot griddle. Pools of batter should be 2 inches away from each other.
9. Cook until golden brown on each side.
10. Place finished pancakes on a heat-proof plate in the oven.
11. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Makes 12 pancakes


Happy National Day of Encouragement!

The first proclamation for the Day of Encouragement was made by Mayor Belinda LaForce of Searcy, Arkansas on August 22, 2007. In September, Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas signed a proclamation making September 12, 2007 the “State Day of Encouragement” for Arkansas. Later, President George W. Bush also signed a message making September 12 the official “National Day of Encouragement.”


Here are ten of my favorite quotes about encouragement…

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” Alexander Graham Bell

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas A. Edison

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” William James

Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment. Stephen Covey

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt

“If you dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.” Walt Disney

“Everything will be okay in the end.
If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.”
Ed Sheeran


Happy National Serendipity Day!


Today is Serendipity Day, an officially recognized annual event and special day to celebrate unexpected and much appreciated grace.

Here of ten of my favorite quotations about serendipitous events…

The universe is always speaking to us…sending us little messages, causing coincidences and serendipities, reminding us to stop, to look around, to believe in something else, something more. Nancy Thayer

There’ll always be serendipity involved in discovery. Jeff Bezos

Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns on the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns. Just find your next adventure—do it well, enjoy it—and then, not now, think about what comes next. Dr. Condoleezza Rice

Sometimes serendipity is just intention unmasked. Elizabeth Berg

Unless you leave room for Serendipity…How can the Divine enter?
Joseph Campbell

History is an intricate web of timing, people, circumstances and serendipity. Don Rittner

In reality, serendipity accounts for one percent of the blessings we receive in life, work and love. The other 99 percent is due to our efforts. Peter McWilliams

Serendipity: Look for something, find something else and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.
Lawrence Block

What people call serendipity is just having your eyes open. Jose Manuel Barroso

If you use it intelligently, Twitter can be a form of engineered serendipity.
Jason Silva