This week Virginia will share post-a-day quickie quotes using her iPhone “ImageQuote” app. Learning about the ImageQuote app at a sci-fy convention awhile back, it’s been an easy way to post a pic with a quote on Instagram – and now, here!

Without further ado (and since today is the International Day of Peace ) here’s a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt to get the week started.

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” Eleanor Roosevelt

grace, peace & effort(!)

Virginia : )

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Transformative (#writing) Grooves in Kentucky!!

Last month Virginia (the person) zoomed from Virginia (the state) to the rolling hills of Kentucky for the Wedgwood Circle GoodLit2020 Writers Retreat.

“Heaven must be a Kentucky kind of place.” Daniel Boone

Twelve writer participants from around the country came (all wearing our masks) for a transformative week of inspirational interactions and strategic opportunities to hone our craft. Hosted in the beautiful small town of Stanford (KY) by Angela and Jess Correll (a bottomless well of gratitude to them!) we stayed at the Wilderness Road Inn guesthouses clustered around Main Street.

I enjoyed my stay at St. Asaph’s, a renovated inn with comfortable nooks and crannies to hang out and be inspired (along with a fully stocked kitchenette on our floor.) In the context of COVID-19, the Wilderness Inn took extra precautions throughout our stay. Workshop sessions took place in a huge ballroom with everyone wearing masks, while many events occurred outside on a large terrace.

Several magical evenings occurred on this terrace

Oh, and the food was incredibly DELISH. The Wilderness Inn organized an amazing caterer, the chef of the Bluebird Cafe, who whipped up fabulous breakfasts, luncheons and dinners for our group.

The Bluebird Cafe, Stanford (Kentucky)

As faithful readers know, my precious mama loved bluebirds: sightings were always occasions of joy. Looking out my window across from the Bluebird Cafe (+ enjoying multiple delectable meals there +) ’twas like a Heavenly Hello.

If you’re ever near Stanford (KY) check out the Bluebird Cafe!

Some of you may be asking, “Virginia, what were you doing at a writers retreat? Are you, like, writing a book?” To date Virginia has not shared here at Roses in the Rubble what she’s been working on. (Ahem.) More on that later!

Suffice to say, I’ve been working on a manuscript the past two years.

“Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse

The gift of Wedgwood Circle GoodLit2020 to me?

Before the retreat my unwieldy manuscript and I were floundering, but now with new strategic tools and GoodLit inspirational interactions, “eureka” moments, affirmation (and so much more) Virginia the Writer is rejuvenated to keep on going.

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”  Vincent Van Gogh

grace, peace & transformative opportunities

Virginia : )

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(a little quickie) Pumpkin Spice Humor

Yesterday I popped into Trader Joe’s for a few necessary items (don’t know how all that chocolate ended up in my cart!)

Everything was pumpkin spice this, pumpkin spice that (pumpkin spice tea, pumpkin spice salsa, pumpkin pasta sauce, even pasta shaped like pumpkins?) Pumpkin displays lurked all over the store! Since things here are still summery, all that pumpkin-ness took me aback. Then last night I saw the most hilarious meme a friend posted on Facebook.

Here’s my rendition of it:

“Summer isn’t over until September 22, so sit your pumpkin spice asses down! I’m not finished with my margarita yet!”

I’m still laughing — hope you are now, too!

grace, peace & margaritas*

: )  Virginia : )

*Or your favorite summer drinkie of choice

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YOU JUST GO ON (Virginia’s thoughts about it…)

When whacked out stuff hits our lives (an all-to frequent occurrence these days) what does it mean to go on?

Going on is kinda hard with a coyote on the road

Going on is not always an easy endeavor…

Going on in the face of adversity.

Going on in the face of death.

Going on bearing shame. Going on bearing guilt.

Going on when you can’t see a reason to keep going.

Going on when tears unexpectedly erupt, not gently but from your gut. Deep tears from deep hurts.

Going on when fear throttles your forward momentum.

Going on when you feel small. Ignored. A nonentity.

Going on when your dreams disappear into dust.

Going on when you feel crushed by the weight of it all – “it” growing bigger and more ominous with each passing moment.

Going on in sickness. Going on through pain.

Going on, just going on.

Doesn’t seem like such a hard thing to do, until you try to do it.

You just gotta’ keep going on.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…” Lamentations 3:22

grace, peace & never-ending Love

Virginia : )

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Facing Change: A Flowery Perspective

With so many topsy-turvy things facing us in these turbulent times, this quote made me pause and reflect:

“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin (1924-1987)

But, maybe sometimes we don’t want to face things, especially the hard stuff in our lives (and in our world.) Like this flower we turn our backs on what needs changing.

Or maybe we see others around us facing things, blooming fully, but we’ve given up like the sad crumpled flowers in this pic. Too tired to try.

Here’s the thing. Maybe we can’t face EVERYTHING that’s pounding us all at once, but we can take one small step, then another, and face one thing at a time.

As we gradually open ourselves up to being the change we want to see in ourselves (and in the world) maybe our circumstances won’t change – but we will.

“We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are.”  Madeleine L’Engle

grace, peace & brave flowers

Virginia : )

Photos: Rose of Sharon hibiscus flowers spotted last week at the Welcome Center in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia, the state.

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05 September: Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Today we celebrate the life of Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She has always been one of my heroes.

This picture of Mother Teresa, gifted and painted by a family friend, hangs on the wall by my desk.

For years it was my dream to meet Mother Teresa, but I missed the opportunity when she died on September 5, 1997. One of the most amazing women to grace the earth in my lifetime, Mother Teresa’s extraordinary legacy of love lives on in millions of hearts she touched around the world.

She continually impressed me with her humility and simplistic commitment to everyday needs and truths. With courage and faith Mother Teresa embraced the message of peace and love, turning power and violence upside down wherever she went.

Mother Teresa always valued life and the people she encountered, regardless of race, religion, wealth or position. In 1973 nine judges representing the world’s major religions awarded Mother Teresa the first prestigious Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

Motivated by faith she crossed mind-boggling barriers without fear. During the height of the Lebanese Civil War, Mother Teresa visited the Sisters of Charity in Beirut. Hearing from the Red Cross that a group of 37 children with severe disabilities were stuck in a bombed out building between warring Lebanese factions, she led a Red Cross caravan across the line of war to bring them out safely.

The Sisters of Charity in Gaza told me that when Mother Teresa crossed between East and West Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War, the Christian and Muslim factions stopped fighting for a few hours out of respect for her as an emissary of peace. When the international press pushed her for a statement about the war, Mother Teresa answered them with the peace prayer of Saint Francis.

That courage taking a stand on behalf of the poorest of the poor around the world qualified Mother Teresa as the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

I’m disappointed I never had the chance to meet Mother Teresa, but the legacy of the love of Jesus in her lives on: the light of Jesus Christ reflected in her eyes, His spirit of joy in her quick smile, and the presence of His love in her gnarled hands, bent from long hours of physical labor serving the poorest of the poor in Calcutta and all over the world.

“The Good News is that God still loves the world through you. You are God’s Good News.  You are God’s love in action.  Each time anyone comes in contact with us, they must become different and better people because of having met us. We must radiate God’s love.”  Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta

grace, peace & Good News saints

Virginia : )

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Snapshot & Whatnot: Art! ART! Art! ART!

Virginia has been away from the blogsophere the last few days, but she will be back before too long (sometime next week?) Until then, here’s a picture taken last week while traipsing around Danville, Kentucky, after enjoying tea+treats @The HUB Coffee house & Cafe.

Amazed and inspired to see such a huge building devoted to art in a small town (Danville population: 16,854.)

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Thomas Merton

grace, peace & ART groupies

Virginia : )

p.s. A good friend sent me this quote last week: “Art is not what you see but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas

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No “birding” around: Be Yourself!

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Dr. Seuss

grace, peace & authenticity

Virginia : )

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Prickly Pear Poetry

T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men has been one of my favorite poems since high school (along with Langston Hughes’ HarlemWhat happens to a dream deferred?)

Today here are prickly pear bits from T.S. Eliot’s poetry to contemplate…

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion…

 “Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”

T.S. Eliot, from The Hollow Men (1925)

grace, peace & prickly pear poetry

Virginia : )

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Snapshots & Whatnot: Going with the Flow

 “A good laugh heals a lot of hurts.” Madeleine L’Engle

Here’s something today from awhile back that still makes Virginia laugh!

Going with the flow @ Two Oceans Aquarium in Capetown, South Africa

“The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.” (Jim Hightower)

…or maybe not.

Wherever you’re swimming in the rivers of life, if at times it’s tough going upstream against the current – Keep swimming! Keep swimming!! Keep swimming!!!



grace, peace & motivational photographs

Virginia  : )

Photo:  Jamestown Island, VA

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