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!


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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



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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

Enjoy!


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.

Enjoy!


Ingredients

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

Directions

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