This is what you shall do:
love the earth and the sun and the animals,
despise riches,
give alms to everyone that asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others,
hate tyrants, argue not concerning god,
have patience and indulgence toward the people,
go freely with powerful uneducated persons
and with the young and the mother of families,
re-examine all you have been told at school
or church or in any book,
dismiss whatever insults your own soul…

          ~ Walt Whitman ~

Quote from D.H. Lawrence

D. H. Lawrence (from Wikipedia)

D. H. Lawrence (from Wikipedia)

“I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade.
It’s amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor.”
D.H. Lawrence

It is hard to imagine the author of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” cutting up oranges or scrubbing a floor, but I do agree that getting busy at something – any mindless task – gets the mind off of one’s troubles.

What do you do when you get the blues?  

Bloggers, Books and Carl Sagan

C Sagan

“A book is made from a tree.  It is an assemblage of flat flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles.  One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years.  Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you.  Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs who never knew one another.  Books break the shackles of time – proof that humans can work magic.”
Carl Sagan
(Nov. 9, 1934 – Dec. 20, 1996)

As a confessed bibliophile I really like this quote from Carl Saga who wrote many books of his own.  While as bloggers we may not have the possibility of having our written words read a thousand years from now across the millenia, there is a faint parallel of similarity.

In my year and a half of blogging and reading other blogs, I have heard the illustrated voices of those far away in cyberspace via their posts.  The individual personalities have  been reflected in his or her writing:

 funny, bold, shy,
passionate, creative, troubled, conservative, carefree
retired, well-traveled, thoughtful, liberal
wise, caring, epicurean, helpful, eccentric
serious, delightful, insightful, smart
disgruntled, determined,
chic, outdoorsy, inventive

and sexy

I have found interests that matched mine and discovered new ones that I would never have considered exploring.  I have been challenged by technology, different opinions and lifestyles.  With gratitude I have made friends, young and seasoned, who encouraged me, commented on and “liked” my humble posts.  Thank you all!  And thank you WordPress!

Outer space was the world that Carl Sagan loved and explained so well to all of us.  I think he would approve of cyberspace and the communication it brings to so easily share knowledge and ideas around the world.

How would you describe your blog in two or three words?

I would describe my blog as “an eclectic bibelot.”  May you blog with great success in 2013!

Straight from the Heart…what would Ann Richards have to say?

Ann Richards at a 1994 fundraiser in Houston

As I have written before,  I don’t want to get into political controversies as I see enough of that on the daily news.  In July of last year I did post a piece titled “What Would Molly Ivins Say if She Could?” 

Now that the Republicans candidates have been winnowed down and President Obama has officially set his campaign machine in motion by raising big bucks, I wonder what the late Ann Richards, former Democratic governor of Texas, would have to say.  She certainly would speak her mind on the issues of women.

Richards was state treasurer of Texas in 1988 when she delivered the keynote address at the Democratic Convention in Atlanta, Georgia and came to national attention with her dry humor at the expense of then Vice President George H.W. Bush.  She became governor of  Texas in 1991 when she defeated Clayton Williams Jr, a wealthy rancher who made a joke about the weather and rape during the campaign.  George W. Bush regained the honor of his father when he ran against her in 1996 and won to become governor of Texas.  Some say that is what propelled him into the White House.  I tend to agree.

Her life was not without controversy.  She spoke out on women and minority issues.   Her marriage to David Richards fell apart as her involvement in politics took a toil on her personal life.  She admitted a problem with alcohol when confronted by family and friends and sought and received successful treatment for it.  She and Molly Ivins were friends and enjoyed sharing a drink or two together when they both lived in Austin.  Ann Richards died of complications from esophageal cancer in September of 2006 at the age of seventy-three.

It seems ironic or perhaps appropriate that one of her daughters, Cecile Richards, has been president of Planned Parenthood since 2006 and has been drawn into politics via that organization.  I think Ann and would be cheering her on! 


I’m not afraid to shake up the system, and government needs more shaking up than any other system I know.

Teaching was the hardest work I had ever done, and it remains the hardest work I have done to date.

The here and now is all we have, and if we play it right it’s all we’ll need.

Jill Buckley on Ann Richards: She’s sort of the female good old boy.

I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back.

I also wrote a piece in August titled “Run for you life!”   The political scene will be hot this summer and won’t cool down until the results of November 6 are in.  Exercise your right to vote and respect the views of others.  Remain civil…after all it’s only on election!

Straight from the Heart

A mere bagatelle just for fun…

Speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil...

“I am a drinker with a writing problem.” – Brendan Behan
Finally, an explanation of my condition.

In our age this is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues.” – George Orwell
 How timely is this in 2012?  Who would have thought we would all be discussing the evils or virtures of contraceptives in a political context?

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Haruki Murakami
I never seem to be reading what everyone else is reading even though I look around at Good Reads.

“No one has it who isn’t capable of genuinely liking others, at least at the actual moment of meeting and speaking.  Charm is always genuine; it may be superficial but is isn’t fake.” – P. D. James
I envy those who always remember to be charming.

A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.” – Mark Twain
I probably read too much of everything.

“Women may be the one group who grow more radical with age.” – Gloria Steinem
Age may be the true liberator for women. 

“Patriarchy, routinely blamed for everything, produced the birth control pill, which did more to free contemporary women than feminism itself.” – Camille Paglia 
I had to throw this one in as it is typical vintage Paglia.

Thanks for stopping by!  Cheers!

Quote for today

“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of year, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.”  ― Rachel Carson