Friday, October 17, 2008

Just lemons

~ Pablo Neruda

From blossoms
by the moonlight,
from an
aroma of exasperated
steeped in fragrance,
drifted from the lemon tree,
and from its plantarium
lemons descended to the earth.

Tender yield!
The coasts,
the markets glowed
with light, with
unrefined gold;
we opened
two halves
of a miracle,
congealed acid
from the hemispheres
of a star,
the most intense liqueur
of nature,
unique, vivid,
born of the cool, fresh
of its fragrant house,
its acid, secret symmetry.

sliced a small
in the lemon,
the concealed apse, opened,
revealed acid stained glass,
oozed topaz,
cool architecture.

So, when you hold
the hemisphere
of a cut lemon
above your plate,
you spill
a universe of gold,
yellow goblet
of miracles,
a fragrant nipple
of the earth's breast,
a ray of light that was made fruit,
the minute fire of a planet.

So how about ten things that lemons can be useful for:

1. Grow a lemon tree - the most eco-friendly thing to do with lemons is grow them so that you have your own carbon neutral supply.

2. Highlight your hair - much better for you and the environment than commercial bleaches. Mix the juice of one lemon with one teaspoon of salt and apply to your hair with a comb. Get out into the sun for a couple of hours.
Do some vegetable gardening, tend your lemon tree, go for a walk, you get the picture. Don’t do this too often; it will dry your hair out.

3. Exfoliate and clean your feet - mix up some lemon pulp and brown sugar and get rubbing. Rinse and moisturize.

4. Combat bad breath - gargle with lemon juice to get rid of bad breath.

5. Fight off a cold - mix lemon juice with honey and hot water to sooth coughs and sore throats and give you a dose of vitamin C.

6. Sooth a sting - mix the juice of half a lemon with water and bathe a sting to lessen the pain.

7. Make homemade lemonade - and avoid all the chemical/preservative laden stuff in the shops. The basic
Recipe is 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup organic sugar, 1 cup water. That will give you a syrup to dilute, as you like. Add ice.

8. Freshen up your dishwasher - use half a lemon and jam it onto an upright in your dishwasher. Smells fresh, helps cut grease and has got to be more eco-friendly that those plastic lemon shaped things you can buy to do the same job.

9. Remove lime scale from draining boards and taps - use half a lemon to rub over stainless steel draining boards and taps. Leave a minute, rinse and shine with a dry cloth.

10. Clean a bar - it’s a bartender’s favorite, just lemon and salt, rinse and shine.

More tips and uses:

Get rid of tough stains on marble
You probably think of marble as stone, but it is really petrified calcium (also known as old seashells). That explains why it is so porous and easily stained and damaged. Those stains can be hard to remove. If washing won't remove a stubborn stain, try this: Cut a lemon in half, dip the exposed flesh into some table salt, and rub it vigorously on the stain. But do this only as a last resort; acid can damage marble. Rinse well.

Make a room scent/humidifier
Freshen and moisturize the air in your home on dry winter days. Make your own room scent that also doubles as a humidifier. If you have a wood-burning stove, place an enameled cast-iron pot or bowl on top, fill with water, and add lemon (and/or orange) peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and apple skins. No wood-burning stove? Use your stovetop instead and just simmer the water periodically.

Neutralize cat-box odor
You don't have to use an aerosol spray to neutralize foul-smelling cat-box odors or freshen the air in your bathroom. Just cut a couple of lemons in half. Then place them, cut side up, in a dish in the room, and the air will soon smell lemon-fresh.

Deodorize a humidifier
When your humidifier starts to smell funky, deodorize it with ease: Just pour 3 or 4 teaspoons lemon juice into the water. It will not only remove the off odor but will replace it with a lemon-fresh fragrance. Repeat every couple of weeks to keep the odor from returning.

Clean tarnished brass
Say good-bye to tarnish on brass, copper, or stainless steel. Make a paste of lemon juice and salt (or substitute baking soda or cream of tartar for the salt) and coat the affected area. Let it stay on for 5 minutes. Then wash in warm water, rinse, and polish dry. Use the same mixture to clean metal kitchen sinks too. Apply the paste, scrub gently, and rinse. Polish chrome
Get rid of mineral deposits and polish chrome faucets and other tarnished chrome. Simply rub lemon rind over the chrome and watch it shine! Rinse well and dry with a soft cloth.

In the KitchenPrevent potatoes from turning brown
Potatoes and cauliflower tend to turn brown when boiling, especially when you're having company for dinner. You can make sure the white vegetables stay white by squeezing a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice into the cooking water.

Freshen the fridge
Remove refrigerator odors with ease. Dab lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge and leave it in the fridge for several hours. Make sure to toss out any malodorous items that might be causing the bad smell.

Brighten dull aluminum
Make those dull pots and pans sparkle, inside and out. Just rub the cut side of half a lemon all over them and buff with a soft cloth.

Keep rice from sticking
To keep your rice from sticking together in a gloppy mass, add a spoonful of lemon juice to the boiling water when cooking. When the rice is done, let it cool for a few minutes, then fluff with a fork before serving.

Refresh cutting boards
No wonder your kitchen cutting board smells! After all, you use it to chop onions, crush garlic, cut raw and cooked meat and chicken, and pre-pare fish. To get rid of the smell and help sanitize the cutting board, rub it all over with the cut side of half a lemon or wash it in undiluted juice straight from the bottle.

Keep guacamole green
You've been making guacamole all day long for the big party, and you don't want it to turn brown on top before the guests arrive. The solution: Sprinkle a liberal amount of fresh lemon juice over it and it will stay fresh and green. The flavor of the lemon juice is a natural complement to the avocados in the guacamole. Make the fruit salad hours in advance too. Just squeeze some lemon juice onto the apple slices, and they'll stay snowy white.

Make soggy lettuce crisp
Don't toss that soggy lettuce into the garbage. With the help of a little lemon juice you can toss it in a salad instead. Add the juice of half a lemon to a bowl of cold water. Then put the soggy lettuce in it and refrigerate for 1 hour. Make sure to dry the leaves completely before putting them into salads or sandwiches.

Keep insects out of the kitchen
You don't need insecticides or ant traps to ant-proof your kitchen. Just give it the lemon treatment. First squirt some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Then squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks where the ants are getting in. Finally, scatter small slices of lemon peel around the outdoor entrance. The ants will get the message that they aren't welcome. Lemons are also effective against roaches and fleas: Simply mix the juice of 4 lemons (along with the rinds) with 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water and wash your floors with it; then watch the fleas and roaches flee. They hate the smell.

Clean your microwave
Is the inside of your microwave caked with bits of hardened food? You can give it a good cleaning without scratching the surface with harsh cleansers or using a lot of elbow grease. Just mix 3 tablespoons lemon juice into 1 1/2 cups water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High for 5-10 minutes, allowing the steam to condense on the inside walls and ceiling of the oven. Then just wipe away the softened food with a dishrag.

Deodorize your garbage disposal
If your garbage disposal is beginning to make your sink smell yucky, here's an easy way to deodorize it: Save leftover lemon and orange peels and toss them down the drain. To keep it smelling fresh, repeat once every month.

In the LaundryBleach delicate fabrics
Ordinary household chlorine bleach can cause the iron in water to precipitate out into fabrics, leaving additional stains. For a mild, stain-free bleach, soak your delicates in a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda for at least half an hour before washing.

Remove unsightly underarm stains
Avoid expensive dry-cleaning bills. You can remove unsightly underarm stains from shirts and blouses simply by scrubbing them with a mixture of equal parts lemon juice (or white vinegar) and water.

Boost laundry detergent
To remove rust and mineral discolorations from cotton T-shirts and briefs, pour 1 cup lemon juice into the washer during the wash cycle. The natural bleaching action of the juice will zap the stains and leave the clothes smelling fresh.

Rid clothes of mildew
You unpack the clothes you've stored for the season and discover that some of the garments are stained with mildew. To get rid of mildew on clothes, make a paste of lemon juice and salt and rub it on the affected area, then dry the clothes in sunlight. Repeat the process until the stain is gone. This works well for rust stains on clothes too.

Whiten clothes
Diluted or straight, lemon juice is a safe and effective fabric whitener when added to your wash water. Your clothes will also come out smelling lemon-fresh.

For Health and BeautyLighten age spots
Before buying expensive medicated creams to lighten unsightly liver spots and freckles, try this: Apply lemon juice directly to the area, let sit for 15 minutes, and then rinse your skin clean. Lemon juice is a safe and effective skin-lightening agent.

Create blond highlights
For blond highlights worthy of the finest beauty salon, add 1/4 cup lemon juice to 3/4 cup water and rinse your hair with the mixture. Then sit in the sun until your hair dries. Lemon juice is a natural bleach. Don't forget to put on plenty of sunscreen before you sit out in the sun. To maximize the effect, repeat once daily for up to a week.

Clean and whiten nails
Pamper your fingernails without the help of a manicurist. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to 1 cup warm water and soak your fingertips in the mixture for 5 minutes. After pushing back the cuticles, rub some lemon peel back and forth against the nail.

Cleanse your face
Clean and exfoliate your face by washing it with lemon juice. You can also dab lemon juice on blackheads to draw them out during the day. Your skin should improve after several days of treatment.

Freshen your breath
Make an impromptu mouthwash using lemon juice straight from the bottle. Rinse with the juice and then swallow it for longer-lasting fresh breath. The citric acid in the juice alters the pH level in your mouth, killing the bacteria that cause bad breath. Rinse after a few minutes, because long-term exposure to the acid in the lemon can harm tooth enamel.

Treat flaky dandruff
If itchy, scaly dandruff has you scratching your head, relief may be no farther away than your refrigerator. Just massage 2 tablespoons lemon juice into your scalp and rinse with water. Then stir 1 teaspoon lemon juice into 1 cup water and rinse your hair with it. Repeat this daily until your dandruff disappears. No more itchy scalp, and your hair will smell lemon-fresh.

Soften dry, scaly elbows
It's bad enough that your elbows are dry and itchy, but they look terrible too. Your elbows will look and feel better after a few treatments with this regimen: Mix baking soda and lemon juice to make an abrasive paste. Then rub the paste into your elbows for a soothing, smoothing, and exfoliating treatment.

Remove berry stains
Sure it was fun to pick your own berries, but now your fingers are stained with berry juice that won't come off with soap and water. Try washing your hands with undiluted lemon juice. Wait a few minutes and wash with warm, soapy water. Repeat if necessary until the stain is completely gone.

Disinfect cuts and scrapes
Stop bleeding and disinfect minor cuts and scrapes. Pour a few drops of lemon juice directly on the cut or apply the juice with a cotton ball and hold firmly in place for one minute.

Soothe poison ivy rash
You won't need an ocean of calamine lotion the next time poison ivy comes a-creeping around. Just apply lemon juice full-strength directly to the affected area to soothe itching and alleviate the rash.

Relieve rough hands and sore feet
You don't have to take extreme measures to soothe your extremities. If you have rough hands or sore feet, rinse them in a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water, then massage with olive oil and dab dry with a soft cloth.

Remove warts
You've tried countless remedies to get rid of your warts, and nothing seems to work. Next time, try this: Apply a dab of lemon juice directly to the wart, using a cotton swab. Repeat for several days until the acids in the lemon juice dissolve the wart completely.

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Venez et goûter..."

Pope Benedict XVI's Address To Seminarians And Young People
St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie, New York
Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering September 11, 2001

O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths
and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and
Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives
with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in
Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.

Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.

Pope Benedict XVI
Prayer at Ground Zero
New York, 20 April 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." (1 Th 5, 2)

1950 - 2008
R. I. P.

April 17, 2008

Tiny Town: Washington After a Fall
By Mark Leibovich

There are certain days when you can feel the air sucking out of Washington’s giant hot-air balloon, and Friday was one of them.

News of the “Meet the Press” host’s death moved entirely too fast, in that unnerving way that these things do in the viral media world, but especially here — the cycle of rumor to “did you hear?” to confirmation (“it’s online”) to disbelief lasted a matter of minutes. Riders on the D.C. Metro stared into their BlackBerrys, and every politician with access to e-mail was issuing statements, from the president on down.

These were the kind of days when Washington lives up to the cliché that it is really a small town — in the same way that Wall Street, Broadway and Hollywood are small towns, too, incubating outsize egos and ambitions, but also different. People remembered the big achievements of Mr. Russert’s career (“the pre-eminent political journalist of his generation,” said in a statement) and the little kindnesses, too (“When my mom died he sent two dozen roses,” wrote Ann Klenk, a producer at MSNBC’s “Hardball,” in an e-mail message. “I adored him.”)

In a sense, Mr. Russert seemed to have an intuitive grasp of all the petty concerns, Big Doings and peculiar rhythms of the place. He was a cut-throat killer when it came to booking guests on “Meet the Press,” and also a chummy neighbor who would watch the Washington Nationals play baseball with friend/rival Bob Schieffer, the host of CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Several years ago, Mr. Schieffer recalls, a minor league baseball team held a one-night “Bob Schieffer bobble-head doll” promotion.

“The next day on my desk was a little box with a bobble-head doll of Russert,” Mr. Schieffer remembers. “It was his way of saying, ‘Just so you know I have one, too.’ ”

Washington is the kind of place where people make sport of their outsize sense of pecking order while simultaneously flaunting their place in it whether such status is enacted at a roast at the Washington Hilton or on the face of a bobble-head doll.

It’s also a town of revolving doors, for which Mr. Russert was something of an exemplar, for better or worse. He was a longtime aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan who became a television commentator, placing him in a cohort of politics-to-TV re-inventers (MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, among them) who can coat Georgetown book parties or Capitol Hill poker games with a distinctively incestuous film. (Why go to the dinner when you can stay home and watch it on C-Span? Or not?)

Another local cliché: Washington is Hollywood for ugly people. So in a town that’s in fact entirely over-populated with blow-dried preeners, it seemed entirely appropriate that the signature TV star be, if not ugly, aggressively “not pretty.” Indeed, Mr. Russert seemed to intentionally hold his face at crooked angles, like he was sidling up to a Rust Belt dive bar (as opposed to, say, his favorite lunch joint in Washington, the Palm).

Mr. Russert liked to seem sheepishly above-it-all, but was also as acutely status-conscious, befitting the local water. He was always mindful of not appearing too often on MSNBC, NBC’s cable cousin, for fear of diluting his big-league brand. He was known primarily as a TV star to most people, but often identified himself by his more hierarchical title, “Washington bureau chief.” There is no shortage of politicians, beginning with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who believed Mr. Russert could be bullying and prone to grandstanding at times, making excessive show of his top-of-the-heap position.

One of my enduring images of Mr. Russert was at a 60th birthday party for “Meet the Press” last November, held at the not-yet-open Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue, halfway between the White House and the Capitol. It was one of those lots-of-famous-people affairs in which those who had been guests of “Meet the Press” were delineated by special blue ribbons on their lapels — a kind of varsity letter to signify high standing in the chattering class.

There was a long and snaking receiving line at the front that ended with Mr. Russert himself. It had the strange vibe of people waiting in line to pay respects to the king, which the king himself seemed to recognize, and he kept stepping away, as if to interrupt any hint of a grand procession.

Presidential candidates viewed their “Meet the Press” grilling as a rite of passage onto the national political stage. Pundits would review the candidate’s performance as if it were opening night on Broadway (“Edwards bombed,” “Obama held his own”). Journalists vied to get invited onto “Meet” as a way to confer A-list status. “Meet the Press” became known in shorthand as simply “Russert,” in the same way that “The Tonight Show” became “Carson.”

As a personality, Mr. Russert had achieved a neat synthesis between Washington big deal and Buffalo real deal. He was someone who had become so entrenched in the political scenery that it was always a little weird to actually see his face in person. (“Hey, that looks like Tim Russert. Wait, it is Tim Russert.”) Ted Kennedy has the same kind of countenance. And come to think of it, Friday felt a little like the day last month when word spread about Mr. Kennedy’s malignant brain tumor. It was hard to imagine the political life without the guy. And it was hard to talk about anything else.

I hardly knew Tim Russert personally, and I hesitate to even relay this for fear of appearing to. We probably had about a half-dozen conversations over the years, invariably on politics, his beloved Buffalo Bills or the Boston College sports teams (his son went to school there). My last encounter with Mr. Russert was at a Democratic debate in Cleveland, which he was moderating. I was with his colleague Mr. Matthews — I was writing about Mr. Matthews for the New York Times Magazine — and we ran into Mr. Russert in the lobby of the Cleveland Ritz Carlton. He had just worked out and was wearing a sweaty Bills sweatshirt and long shorts and black loafers with tube socks. An MSNBC spokesman who was with us tried to declare Mr. Russert’s attire “off the record,” which I found hilarious, and which I was of course compelled to include in the story. When I called Mr. Russert to tell him this, and he laughed so hard, I had to move the phone away from my ear.

Just do me one favor,” Mr. Russert said. “Say they were rubber-soled shoes, will you?” Done.

He laughed again, and we talked vividly, I recall, on the topic of how so many people in Washington are obsessed with where they rank, how they’re perceived. It’s a particularly acute concern in television and politics — ratings, veepstakes, poll numbers, the kind of things that mean everything and nothing in Washington. “You can drive yourself crazy if you worry too much about that stuff,” Mr. Russert said, with the self-assurance of a man atop the Washington heap and comfortable in his shoes.

Jim Rutenberg contributed reporting.

Source: The New York Times, Saturday June 14, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008


O! how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day!

William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
"The Two Gentlemen of Verona"


The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.

The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.

Henry Van Dyke (1852–1933)
Fisherman's Luck (1899)


William Wordsworth. 1770–1850

The Rainbow

MY heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old, 5
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety


For winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)
Atalanta in Calydon (1865)


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chocolate Wisdom

Good Living
is an act of intelligence,
by which we choose things
which have an agreeable taste
rather than those which do not.
~ Brillat-Savarin

Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. ~ Judith Viorst

Giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication, a sharing of deep, dark secrets. ~ Milton Zelman, publisher of "Chocolate News"

A chocolate in the mouth is worth two on the plate.

If it ain't chocolate, it ain't breakfast!

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE. ~ Linda Grayson, "The Pickwick Papers"

Chocolate: Here today .... Gone today!

Chocolate causes certain endocrine glands to secrete hormones that affect your feelings and behavior by making you happy. Therefore, it counteracts depression, in turn reducing the stress of depression. Your stress-free life helps you maintain a youthful disposition, both physically and mentally. So, eat lots of chocolate! ~ Elaine Sherman, Book of Divine Indulgences

Forget love-- I'd rather fall in chocolate!!!

I never met a chocolate I didn't like. ~ Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation

Nobody knows the truffles I've seen!

Caramels are only a fad. Chocolate is a permanent thing. ~ Milton Snavely Hershey

A true chocolate lover finds ways to accommodate his passion and make it work with his lifestyle. One key, not just to keeping weight down and staying guilt-free, but also to keeping taste buds sharp (essential for the professionals who evaluate new products as well as judge recipes), Is being discriminating. ~ Julie Davis of the Los Angeles Times

This guy found a bottle on the ocean, and he opened it and out popped a genie, and he gave him three wishes. The guy wished for a million dollars, and poof! there was a million dollars. Then he wished for a convertible, and poof! there was a convertible. And then, he wished he could be irresistible to all women... poof! he turned into a box of chocolates.

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt! ~ Lucy Van Pelt (in Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz)

The 12-step chocoholics program:
~ Terry Moore

Chocolate is good for three things. Two of 'em cannot be mentioned on public television.
"Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso." (Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick.) ~ Spanish proverb

Nuts just take up space where chocolate ought to be.

I don't understand why so many "so called" chocolate lovers complain about the calories in chocolate, when all true chocoholics know that it is a vegetable. It comes from the cocoa bean, beans are veggies, 'nuff said.

I could give up chocolate but I'm not a quitter.

Put the chocolate in the bag and nobody gets hurt.

A day without chocolate is a day without sunshine.

Life without chocolate is like a beach without water.

I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process.... It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?

I am a serious chocoholic. For the serious chocoholic, chocolate is better than sex. If you believe that, you REALLY need to meet that special someone who can change your mind. If you HAVE met that special someone and still believe that, I REALLY NEED to know where you get your chocolate!!!

Chocolate is the best when it melts so creamy and soft in your mouth and it slides down your throat.

Don't wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty. Chocolate isn't like premarital sex. It will not make you pregnant. And it always feels good. ~ Lora Brody, author of Growing Up on the Chocolate Diet

Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get. ~ Forrest Gump in "Forrest Gump" (1994)

If life is like a box of chocolates, then its time for me to buy another box, I seemed to have already devoured all the good ones!

Life is like a box of chocolates, the best ones are half eaten!!

In the beginning, the Lord created chocolate, and he saw that it was good. Then he separated the light from the dark, and it was better.

Chocolate - The breakfast of champions!

Carob is a brown powder made from the pulverized fruit of a Mediterranean evergreen. Some consider carob an adequate substitute for chocolate because it has some similar nutrients (calcium, phosphorus), and because it can, when combined with vegetable fat and sugar, be made to approximate the color and consistency of chocolate. Of course, the same arguments can as persuasively be made in favor of dirt. ~ Sandra Boynton, author of Chocolate: the Consuming Passion

Chocolate in the morning is what makes moms get through their day!

If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would be devasated.

Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.

Chocolate flows in deep dark, sweet waves, a river to ignite my mind and alert my senses.

Chocolate doesn't make the world go around ... but it certainly makes the ride worthwhile!

Everything I eat should contain either garlic or chocolate, but rarely both.

Researchers have discovered that chocolate produced some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana. The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two, but can't remember what they are. ~ Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show

Chocolate: luscious, lumpy. load of love...

All of the evil that people have thrust upon chocolate is really more deserved by milk chocolate, which is essentially contaminated. The closer you get to a pure chocolate liquor (the chocolate essence ground from roasted cacao beans) the purer it is, the more satisfying it is, the safer it is, and the healthier it is. ~ Arnold Ismach, "The Darker Side of Chocolate"

... the taste of chocolate is a sensual pleasure in itself, existing in the same world as sex... For myself, I can enjoy the wicked pleasure of chocolate... entirely by myself. Furtiveness makes it better. ~ Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Simply put... everyone has a price, mine is chocolate!

What Others Have Said

"If not now, when?" ~ The Talmud

"All appears to change when we change." ~ Henri Amiel, 19th-century Swiss writer

"Everything is one can change by itself." ~ Paul Hawken, environmentalist and author

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~ Joseph Campbell, author

"Without freedom from the past, there is no freedom at all, because the mind is never new, fresh, innocent." ~ Krishnamurti, spiritual teacher

"People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk and poet

"Follow your bliss." ~ Joseph Campbell

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." ~ Psalm 30:5

"Joy is not in things; it is in us." ~ Richard Wagner

"Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile." ~ Sir Wilfred Grenfell

"Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with." ~ Mark Twain

"Learning to live inthe present moment is part of the path of joy." ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

"Joy is prayer—Joy is strength—Joy is love—Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls."
~ Mother Teresa

"Winning is important to me, but what brings me real joy is the experience of being fully engaged in whatever I m doing." ~ Phil Jackson

"We read, frequently if unknowingly, in quest of a mind more original than our own." ~ Harold Bloom, literary critic

"Hold a book in your hand and you're a pilgrim at the gates of a new city." ~ Anne Michaels, citing a Hebrew saying, in Fugitive Pieces

"I cannot live without books." ~ Thomas Jefferson

"When I only begin to read, I forget I'm on this world. It lifts me on wings with high thoughts." ~ Anzia Yezierska, novelist

"To grow mature is to separate more distinctly, to connect more closely." ~ Hugo von Hofmannsthal, poet and dramatist

"The world is not yet exhausted; let me see something tomorrow which I never saw before." ~ Samuel Johnson, lexicographer and author

"Perfection is a road, not a destination. Every time I live, I get an education." ~ Burke Hudson, songwriter

"I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get." ~ Anne Tyler, author

"Only the hand that erases can write the true thing." ~ Meister Eckhart, 13th-century mystic

"That's what I consider true generosity. You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing." ~ Simone de Beauvoir

"The only gift is a portion of thyself." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Giving is a necessity sometimes...more urgent, indeed, than having." ~ Margaret Lee Runbeck

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." ~ Winston Churchill

"If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass
without sharing it in some way." ~ Buddha

"The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give." ~ Walt Whitman

"There is only one real deprivation, I decided this morning, and that is not to be able to give one's gifts to those one loves most." ~ Mary Sarton

"Anything that is of value in life only multiplies when it is given." ~ Deepak Chopra

"It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding." ~ Kahlil Gibran

"Anything that has real and lasting value is always a gift from within." ~ Franz Kafka

"Just trust yourself then you will know how to live." ~ Goethe, Faust

"I could be whatever I wanted to be if I trusted that music, that song, that vibration of God that was inside of me." ~ Shirley Maclaine, It's All In The Playing

"It is impossible to go through life without trust: That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself." ~ Graham Greene, The Ministry of Fear

"Trust yourself. Think for yourself. Act for yourself. Speak for yourself. Be yourself. Imitation is suicide." ~ Marva Collins

"Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

"Don't just lower your expectations. If you truly want to live a joyous and adventurous life, you should relinquish them." ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

"Nothing that once made you happy is ever lost. A golden thread of pleasure runs through your life. You just need to rediscover this thread before the joy of living completely unravels." ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

". . .Let me call Heaven's blessing on thine eyes, my sudden adoration, my great love!" ~ Keats

Thoughts of the Day

"I learned . . . that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness." ~ Brenda Ueland, 1891-1986

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."
~ Vincent van Gogh

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one."
~ Mark Twain

"If winter comes, can spring be far behind?"~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822

"Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist so long as she manages to also be a good wife, mother, good-looking, good-tempered, well-dressed, well-groomed and unaggressive." ~ Marya Mannes (1904-1990), journalist and writer

"All things must change to something new, to something strange." ~ Longfellow

"Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons." ~ Ruth Ann Schabacker

"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance."
~ George Bernard Shaw

"To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions."
~ William James, 1842-1910

To My Friends

To My Friends
If you should die
before me, ask if you
could bring a friend.
~ Stone Temple Pilots

If you live to be a hundred,
I want to live to be
a hundred minus one day,
so I never have to live
without you.
~ Winnie the Pooh

True friendship is
like sound health;
the value of it is
seldom known
until it is lost.
~ Charles Caleb Colton

A real friend
is one who walks in
when the rest
of the world walks out.
walk in front of me,
I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me,
I may not lead.
Walk beside me and
be my friend.
~ Albert Camus

Strangers are
just friends waiting to
Friends are the Bacon
Bits in the Salad
Bowl of Life.
Friendship is one mind
in two bodies.
~ Mencius

Friends are God's way of taking care of us.
I'll lean on you and
you lean on me and
we'll be okay
~ Dave Matthews

If all my friends were
to jump off a bridge,
I wouldn't jump with them,
I'd be at the bottom to
catch them.
Everyone hears
what you say.
Friends listen to
what you say.
Best friends
listen to what you don't say.
We all take different
paths in life,
but no matter where we go,
we take a little of each
other everywhere.;
~ Tim McGraw

My father always used
to say that when you die,
if you've got five real friends,
then you've had a great life.;
~ Lee Iacocca

Hold a true friend with both your hands.
~ Nigerian Proverb

A friend is someone who knows
the song in your heart
and can sing it back to you
when you have forgotten
the words.
~ Unknown