Quickie Quotes: Living in the Here & Now

“Life is a gift to be grateful for & not a property to cling to.” Henri Nouwen

“The real enemies of our lives are the ‘oughts’ and the ‘ifs.’ They pull us backward into the unalterable past and forward into the unpredictable future. But real life takes place in the here and now.” Henri Nouwen

grace, peace & now-wow-moments

Virginia : )

Posted in Quotes, SNAPSHOTS & WHATNOTS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A little (self-medicating) Laughter…

Last week this redhead threw her back out (ouch, ouch!) Not a good time for such an occurrence given celebratory weekend plans (adapted a wee bit) for a certain redhead who marked the passing of another year. (Life is a gift, even with bad-back-blues!)

All that said, today here’s a little medicinal laughter from my hilarity-dispenser to yours.

“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old,

you grow old because you stop laughing.”

George Bernard Shaw

“The more you weigh, the harder you are to kidnap.

Stay safe. Eat cake.” (Anonymous)

Or, you can enjoy tea and scones…

…or (lots of) cauliflower!!

“I always wanted to be somebody,

but now I realize I should have been more specific.”

Lily Tomlin

“The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.” Bill Waterson

grace, peace & medicinal quotes

Virginia : )

p.s. One last (somewhat) comforting thought: “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.” Charles M. Schulz

Posted in Life (in general), Quotes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

A Prayer for Friday (or any day!)

Teresa of Avila is one of my favorite saints. Over the years many things she said in her writings have resonated deep in my heart, this quote especially:

“Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing affright you.

All things are passing. God alone remains.” 

Saint Teresa of Avila

This week I found another spiritual nugget of hers tucked away in an old journal – a meaningful prayer for this Friday, or any day of the week!

“May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”  Saint Teresa of Avila

grace, peace & Friday Prayers

Virginia : )

Posted in SNAPSHOTS & WHATNOTS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

(stylish) mermaid inspiration

During a recent visit to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens this stylish mermaid guided us along toward the path we were meant to go…

“The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in the direction we are moving.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Trust the past to the mercy of God, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence.” Saint Augustine of Hippo

grace, peace & inspiring mermaids

Virginia : )

Posted in Quotes, SNAPSHOTS & WHATNOTS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Walk in the Woods (Thoreau style!)

On this first day of autumn (in this part of the globe) maybe it’s a good time to take a walk in the woods.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.  I did not wish to live what was not life, living is too dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.  I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”  Henry David Thoreau (from Walden)

I first heard this favorite quote years ago watching the movie “Dead Poets Society” in the theater. I tried writing it out in my notebook (in the dark not an easy thing to do.) Locating Walden in the library afterwards I took down Thoreau’s words and placed them in my mind and heart.

When I was younger it seemed like a good maxim, carpe diem and all that. To seize each day as it comes, making the most of each day, hour, and minute even.

Sometimes that’s not easy to do when life is hard and mean. When troubles gather around us, weighing down our hearts and lives with heavy burdens.

Taking a page from Thoreau’s book: taking a walk in the woods can help our perspective, especially in autumn when glorious leaves glisten around us. Bright colors pop as trees transition from healthy green to the barrenness of winter to come. Kind of crazy, that leaves pop with color as they die. Don’t mean to be morbid, but isn’t that a challenge?

To pop with color, to appreciate what’s good around us even when tough stuff abounds?

To live in this moment, deeply, to choose to corner the sublime vs. the mean stuff?

On this first day of autumn, take a walk in the woods and take a few deep breaths.

Breathe deeply, breathe deliberately.

Carpe diem – seize this day!

grace, peace & (reflective) autumn walks

Virginia  : )

p.s. If you haven’t seen “Dead Poets Society,” it’s a long-time inspirational favorite of mine. When it came out in 1989 I saw it four times in the movie theater – a rare occurrence for this redhead to see something four times in the theater (that happened once again when Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” came out) but it was (and is) so impactful, even watching the DVD again today, many years later.

Posted in Life (in general), MOVIES !!, Quotes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Downton Abbey Movie (Absolutely FABULOUS!)

It’s September 20th, a day Downton Abbey groupies have looked for with great anticipation: the official release of the big screen Downton Abbey movie. Although the popular PBS television series ended a few years ago, the whole gang has returned.

The year is 1927 and big news: the King and Queen of England are coming for a visit.

Here’s a YouTube video of the official trailer. (Email readers, you know the drill – link to the Roses website to watch.)

My sister and I saw an advanced screening last week with a group of her friends. Must say, the movie far exceeded my high expectations!! Julian Fellowes (the creator and writer of the series) has devised a brilliant plot that engages every member of the cast (not an easy thing to do with 20+ characters) and draws the audience in right from the start.

While the drama of the movie includes Serious Goings On and touching scenes, funny bits like the repartee of one line zingers between Dame Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton kept us in stitches.

Fans of the series will be thrilled (as our packed theater demonstrated with boisterous clapping at the end) but you don’t have to be an avid fan to enjoy this movie that is absolutely fabulous!

grace, peace & absolutely fabulous movies

Virginia : )

“We must always travel in hope.” Carson, Downton Abbey

Posted in MOVIES !! | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Snapshots & Whatnot: Colorful Journey(s)

Traipsing around Venice with friends on a cold November day (during an unforgettable trip to Italy) we took a boat out to the fishing island of Burano. On a dreary day this island lifted droopy spirits as everywhere we looked bright colors popped us. (Although how droopy can spirits be traipsing around Italy?)

Chiesa di San Martino (17th-century leaning bell tower)

Bright colored homes, Burano Island

Even Burano boats get a colorful coat (PURPLE!)

“Colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites.” Marc Chagall

Bridges led from one colorful street to another…

…as we left a colorful sunset peeked out from the clouds.

grace, peace & colorful journeys

Virginia : )

“The journey is essential to the dream.”

Saint Francis of Assisi

Posted in Quotes, SNAPSHOTS & WHATNOTS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments