Honoring Grandma Moses

Born this day in 1860, Anna Mary Robertson Moses was the third of ten children. As a child, she attended a one-room schoolhouse that is now the Bennington Museum in Vermont. She took art lessons at school and was encouraged by her father at home. At a later age, she wrote, “I was quite small, my father would get me and my brothers white paper by the sheet. He liked to see us draw pictures. It was a penny a sheet and lasted longer than candy.”

As a young wife and mother, Moses applied creative touches to her home. She used house paint to decorate a fireboard, created beautiful quilted objects, and made embroidered pictures of yarn for family and friends.

At the age of 76, she developed arthritis and was forced to abandon embroidery. She turned to painting, focusing on episodes of farm life she had experienced firsthand. A prolific painter, she created over 1,500 canvasses in three decades. She was “discovered” in her eighties.

Here are ten of my favorite quotes from Grandma Moses:

A strange thing is memory and hope; one looks backward, and the other forward; one is of today, the other of tomorrow. Memory is history recorded in our brain, memory is a painter, it paints pictures of the past and of the day.

I like to paint something that leads me on and on into the unknown, something that I want to see away on beyond.

I’ll get an inspiration and start painting; then I’ll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live.

A primitive artist is an amateur whose work sells.

People should take time to be happy.

Life is what you make it.

If I hadn’t started painting, I would have raised chickens.

I look back on my life like a good day’s work. It was done and I am satisfied with it.

Even now I am not old. I never think of it, and yet I am a grandmother to eleven grandchildren.

I would never sit back in a rocking chair, waiting for someone to help me.

Happy National Grandma Moses Day!


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Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

Celebrate this National Day by treating yourself to a cookie (or more) containing those tasty bits of chocolate. If you’re looking for a quick-and-easy recipe, try this family favorite from my mother’s kitchen.

Ingredients

14 ounces brown sugar
14 ounces white sugar
1 pound Crisco
7 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
12 ounces chocolate chips
7 cups Monarch flour
Dash of Salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cover the bottoms of cookies sheets with aluminum foil.
3. Beat sugar and Crisco.
4. Add eggs and continue beating.
5. Add flour and continue beating.
6. Add the remaining ingredients and continue beating.
7. Shape into balls and drop on cookie sheets.
8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy!


Honoring Amelia Earhart

Born this day in 1897, author and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. For this flight record, she received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross.

Ms. Earhart continued to set record after record demonstrating that women could aspire to the same heights as men. And even more amazing she was able to transform her hobby into a career going on to become an author, lecturer, poet, and airline industry vice-president.

A powerful role model, she continues to inspire girls and women of all ages.

My favorite quotations from Amelia Earhart:

Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?

Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.

Some of us have great runways already built for us. If you have one, take off! But if you don’t have one, realize it is your responsibility to grab a shovel and build one for yourself and for those who will follow after you.

There’s more to life than being a passenger.

Never do things others can do and will do if there are things others cannot do or will not do.

Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture.

The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do.

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.

Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying.

Happy National Amelia Earhart Day!


Happy National Haiku Poetry Day!

haiku1

Haiku is a classical form of Japanese poetry containing a total of 17 syllables shared between three lines, arranged in a pattern of 5-7-5.

First Line – 5 syllables
Second Line – 7 syllables
Third Lines – 5 syllables

Using the theme of transformation, I have written the following Haiku poetry:

haikume

Do you have any Haiku poetry to share?


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.

Ingredients

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

Directions

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