LET'S START AT THE VERY BEGINNING: 365 Days Project Begins Here

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 1

Today I asked my Dad to take me somewhere beautiful. And indeed, he did.

Quote of the Day, as found in Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat's Spiritual Literacy,

"I saw that if I belonged here, which I felt I did, it was not because anything here belonged to me. A man might own a whole country and be a stranger in it. If I belonged in this place, it was because I belonged to it" (Wendell Berry in Recollected Essays 1965-1980).

Saturday, May 5, 2012

To Begin Again...

Blogging again, with hopes that if I can form the world around me into tidy pictures and quotes, perhaps I can understand it just a little better. 

This time, though, no structure. No rules. Just whatever comes.

 "Those who don't know how to weep with their whole heart, don't know how to laugh either."
~ Golda Meir

Friday, October 1, 2010

365. September 27

Day 365. Thank you, dear reader, for a sharing in a beautiful year.

364. September 26

Taking the long way home...

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." 
~ Robert Frost

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

363. September 25

Lisa and Kyle meet small town USA.

"Never suppress a generous impulse."
~ Motto of Camilla Eyring Kimball

362. September 24

"A strong life is like that of a ship of war which has its own place in the fleet and can share in its strength and discipline, but can also go forth alone to the solitude of the infinite sea. We ought to belong to society, to have our place in it and yet be capable of a complete individual existence outside of it."
~ P. G. Hamerton

Friday, September 24, 2010

361. September 23

I sort of ran away to Grandma and Grandpa S's house today. I felt just like a little kid, hopping on my bike and pedaling like mad to the distant other end of town. I followed a path much of the ride, a pretty cool path because along the way one can see quail, roadrunners (which aren't as big as cartoons led me to believe), and lizards, among other creatures. 

Even better than the ride was the visit. Grandparents the best ever. Grandma and Grandpa told me stories of their recent adventures that I probably shouldn't repeat to their children. They even showed me their battle wounds. Grandma asked if I'd written any poetry lately, which she always does, even though it's been a while since I've had anything to show her. When I was younger, I always had little stories or poems to share, but somewhere along the way, I grew up, I grew self conscious, and I stopped sharing. What is it about growing older than makes one forget what's it like to feel unstoppable and brilliant? My writing may have improved since I was kid, but that little kid I was sure had more moxie than I do now.

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
~ Pablo Picasso

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

360. September 22

First day of fall.
My room is a mess, it's been a long day, and I'm a little on the cranky side.
But I woke up to the most beautiful morning. I love sleeping with the window open and waking up with the sun to find the morning breeze billowing through the curtains and to hear the birds outside. Of course, it also means hearing sprinklers, dogs, passing cars, and whole hosts of other noises throughout the night, but it's so worth it. Thank goodness for fall, and weather still warm enough to wake up to the sound of birds.

And thank you to Elbert Hubbard's Scrap Book for supplying yet another quote of the day.

"What can I do? I can talk out when others are silent. I can say man when others say money. I can stay up when others are asleep. I can keep on working when others have stopped to play. I can give life big meanings when others give life little meanings. I can say love when others say hate. I can say every man when others say one man. I can try events by a hard test when others try it by an easy test. What can I do? I can give myself to life when other men refuse themselves to life."
~ Horace Traubel

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

359. September 21

Just another remarkably ordinary, beautiful day.

(Hey mother, this is just a subtle hint that you should consider making pecan pie for your daughter's 21st birthday, but with riper pecans of course.)

And now on to the quote of the day.
"Why should I wish to see God better than this day?
I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then;
In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass;
I find letters from God dropt in the street--and every one is sign'd by God's name, 
And I leave them where they are, for I know that wheresoe'er I go, 
Others will punctually come for ever and ever."
~ Walt Whitman, from section 48 of "Song of Myself"

358. September 20

I'm currently procrastinating going into work. Fortunately there's only one more month left with this job, as a month from today my adventures as a Mormon missionary begin. I just want October to fly by.

And I forgot to take a picture of the day, but no worries, I still have a quote of the day, as found on my cousin's pretty awesome blog, Creating On A Budget. Check it out. 

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before." ~President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

And check out Uchtdorf's full speech here
I'm a little perplexed. If I began this blog on the 29th of last September, then wouldn't the 365th day be the 28th of this September? Why then is it lining up to be the 27th?

Monday, September 20, 2010

357. September 19

I've had a TableTopics cube in my car for quite some time now. I picked it up at a thrift store and I found it amusing to keep in the car for random conversation. The other day cards spilled out of the case and all over the trunk of my car. While clearing them up, I came across a few that were particularly intriguing to me, such as this one:

And this one:

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”
~ Pope John XXIII

Saturday, September 18, 2010

356. September 18

Tonight, I lamented to my dad that I needed to get out of the house. Ten minutes later, three bikes were in the back of my dad's truck and my parents and I were off on an adventure. My dad took us down a relatively new bike trail, through parts of my home town I'd never even seen before. That's what I love about my dad; he just knows a lot of cool stuff. He also knows southern Utah better than nearly anyone I've ever met. And this is what I love about southern Utah; I could live here twenty years and still not see it all.

Another from Hubbard's collection...

"The ideal life is in our blood and never will be still. Sad will be the day for any man when he becomes contented with the thoughts he is thinking and the deeds he is doing,--where there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul some great desire to do something larger, which he knows that he was meant and made to do."
~ Phillips Brooks

To Answer Your Question, Miss

A little note on Love Locks, as it seems to have gathered some curiosity, though I don't know much more other than that I like the idea. There is a Love Locks gate at 223 S. Main in St. George, UT with new gates to be installed in the next couple weeks. Kanab, UT also has one. Check out more at "Love Locks" on Facebook. Then, go find yourself a lover to lock love with.

355. September 17

Friday night out on the rowboat with ma and pa. 

Wow, only ten days left with you, dear reader, and then my days of twenty are up. This is fortunate because I've run out of inanimate objects in my home to photograph at a quarter to midnight, but also a shame because I've only just discovered Elbert Hubbard's Scrap Book. I found Elbert Hubbard's Scrap Book, published 1923, in a thrift shop today. The cover page describes it as "CONTAINING THE INSPIRED AND INSPIRING SELECTIONS GATHERED DURING A LIFE TIME OF DISCRIMINATING READING FOR HIS OWN USE." In other words, it is a truly unique and valuable collection of quotes and poetry gathered from a lifetime of reading. For example, today's quote of the day:

"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a prettier shell, or a smoother pebble than the ordinary, whist the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
~ Newton

And check out this Elbert Hubbard quote, posted here, last November.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

354. September 16

Today was not a particularly busy or fulfilling day, but hey that's life, and it wasn't a bad day in the least.

I kind of love this wall to the right of my home computer. Up top is an endearing shot of my sister and I, clearly being punished for living in the 90s. I'm the kid to the left, the obviously cuter one. And below is the September page of a calendar my sister-in-law put together, filled with pictures of her and my brother's son, Cash. It's so strange to think that Cash will be walking and talking when I see him again, after time away in Russia. He'll be his own little person, with a character that's already making a strong appearance. I sure love that little guy and wish I could see him again soon.

The highlight of my day was watching Dead Poets Society for the first time. Now there's a film that knocks the socks right off of you. Loved it.

"Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day, boys, make your lives extraordinary." 
~ Dead Poets Society

Make your life extraordinary. What a wonderful idea. I think I'll do just that.

353. September 15

I find I am happiest when my days are full, but not too full, when I am productive, but not overwhelmed, when I am busy, but not too busy. I like a day than includes work and pleasure, worship and adventure, beauty and simplicity, and both solitude and social life. I like balance, that's all. And I don't think there is ever a day that should be so busy as to not have time to photograph flowers.

This quote was running through my mind all day today, as the more I think on it, the more true it seems:

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of."
~ Benjamin Franklin

352. September 14

The other day on the radio, I heard an ad for Lovelocks. As the story goes, there's a custom, believed to have originated in China, where lovers close a literal lock and throw away the key as a symbol of love that cannot be undone, a love that is forever. All around the world, there are fences, chains, and poles adorned with these symbolic padlocks. Click here and here to see what I'm talking about. Now there is an organization called Lovelocks creating gates for people to lock their love to, be it love for a lover, family, or friend. And my little hometown has it's own Lovelock gate. How cool is this? 

(Oh, and on the Luzhkov Bridge in Moscow, Russia, can be found "Trees of Love," based on the same idea. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to see these "Trees of Love" someday soon.)

We'll forgive the slight grammatical error on this next lock. It's the thought that counts, right?

"Travis suddenly knew why they called it falling in love. It did feel like falling, helpless, half terror and half exhilaration. Wishing desperately to call it off, Travis, wishing it undone, calling it stupid, senseless, hopeless, everything a mistake, knew he was in love...He hadn't know it was going to feel like this. It was going to take some getting used to."
~ S. E. Hinton, Taming the Star Runner

351. September 13

This little love note, from the fabulous Jenn, traveled two thousand miles to bring me a smile. Thanks, dear. Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

"This is just to say I'm glad you're alive in the world."
~ Cynthia Voigt, A Solitary Blue

Monday, September 13, 2010

350. September 12

Decorating for autumn on a Sunday afternoon...
Life feels good today.

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
  ~ George Eliot

349. September 11

 Nine years to the day since

 “Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children."
~ President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001

348. September 10

Early autumn adventures...

I am positively in love with autumn and cannot believe how beautiful the weather has been. However, I can't help but miss another autumn, one spent in Asheville, North Carolina where the trees throbbed with color unlike anything I'd ever seen before. Someday, Asheville, I'm coming back to you.

I wonder what an autumn in Russia is like?

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere
I want it more than I can tell
And for once it might be grand
To have someone understand
I want so much more than they've got planned..."
~ "Belle (Reprise)," Beauty and the Beast

And to Kelsi, a very happy 21st birthday.

Friday, September 10, 2010

347. September 9

Little Mermaid birthday gala for Miss Melysa's 21st.

Happy Birthday, Melysa dear.

"Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible."
~ Cadet Maxim, U.S. Military Academy, West Point

346. September 8

Just kind of an icky day.

"There will always be a happy ending. If it's not happy then it's not yet the end." 
~ Spongebob Squarepants

(Thanks, Kyle's Facebook page, for this quote. I can't find it anywhere else online, so I hope you're correct.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

345. September 7

"I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business."
~ Michael J. Fox, quoted by Lorne A. Adrain in 'The Most Important Thing I Know'

344. September 6

Hiking. Sunshine. Family. A holiday.
This, dear reader, is happiness.

"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air."
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

343. September 5

Sunday dinner with my mama's delicious (and poorly photographed!) pecan pie for dessert.

"The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only—and that is to support the ultimate career. "
~ C.S. Lewis

Saturday, September 4, 2010

342. September 4

My little brother asked me to play photographer for his group for the Homecoming dance. It was kind of fun. Thanks, Kyle, for faith in my little camera. You sure looked handsome in that tux of yours. But I feel slightly creepy posting pictures of your group, so instead I'll offer a shot of the ladies showing off their sweet kicks.

"I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good; to be admired, loved, and respected; to have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send. To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman; and I sincerely hope my girls may know this beautiful experience."
~ Marmee, of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women

Of all the fictional mothers I have met, Marmee is by far the most dear to me.

341. September 3

Photographic adventure in a ghost town...
Thanks, Sarah, for the excursion.

"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often-times we call a man cold when he is only sad."
~ Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

340. September 2

Hand wash and wax. Vacuum. Dust. New seat covers.
My baby has never looked so good.

"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved."
~ Victor Hugo

I think my little car is feeling pretty dang happy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

339. September 1

Hello September. Today actually felt September. There was an ever so slight chill to the morning air that seemed to whisper, autumn. I adore autumn. I'm ready for it. So September, hello, and welcome.

One thing I will miss about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit. I am a passionate lover of peaches, plums, nectarines, raspberries, and oh yes, strawberries as well.

Today, as is often the case, the picture and quote show two different facets of being; the picture illustrating my physical participation in life, and the quote reflecting the preoccupations of my mind.

"By the time I was twenty it was clear to me that I was good for--and good at--nothing else. I hated every job I had...picking cucumbers, hoeing beets, selling popcorn, life guarding, waitressing, selling Kentucky Fried Chicken...I knew if I were to have any chance at all for happiness in work, I had better throw myself at the writing life."
~ Louise Erdrich (when asked why she decided to become a writer)

338. August 31

"And then, quite suddenly summer was over."
~ Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

337. August 30

Busy, busy day. I think I'm drained of creative juices. So you, poor reader, get another late night scramble for a photo. Mind if I introduce you to Mr. Bear, my oldest and dearest stuffed friend? I sure was clever with the names as a small child.

"And I hear them saying you'll never change things
And no matter what you do it's still the same thing
But it's not the world that I am changing
I do this so this world will know
That it will not change me."
~ Garth Brooks, "The Change"

Good song, from one heck of a great musician.

Don't bother the search for teddy bear quotes. They are all pretty unbearable.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

336. August 29

Isn't family just the greatest?

"Never forget the nine most important words of any family--
I love you.
You are beautiful.
Please forgive me."
~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Monday, August 30, 2010

335. August 28

Loved this day. Most of it, anyhow.

Still, it left me feeling an old and familiar sense of restlessness...

"I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited."  
~ Sylvia Plath

334. August 27

Every summer, these beauties grow wild along the freeways of Utah. For some landowners, the wild flowers are a horrific pain, but for weekend road-trippers such as myself, they are a source of immense pleasure. Thank you, little wild flowers, for brightening my drive.

"The men where you live," said the little prince, "raise five thousand roses in the same garden--and yet they do not find in it what they are looking for." 
"They do not find it," I answered.

"And yet what they are looking for could be found in one single rose, or in a little water."

"Yes, that is true," I said.

And the little prince added:
"But eyes are blind. One must look with the heart..."
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, trans. Katherine Woods
(Jeremy, thank you for suggesting The Little Prince. You were 10,000% right that I would enjoy it. I loved it.)

333. August 26

Today I did have a camera by my side. These are just a few snapshots from a Thursday adventure downtown.

"You don't need to worry about what happened before. All you need to look at is what's happening now...And be happy about it. And if that means you only get to be happy for a month or two months or three months, so what. A month or two months or three months is a good long time."
~ Jacqueline Woodson, Feathers

Thanks, Danni, for the loan of Feathers. It was a lovely book, even if I still don't appreciate it like you do.

332. August 25

"I'm writing you, to catch you up on places I've been
And you have this letter
You probably got excited, 
But there's nothing else inside it

Didn't have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm
In the mood to lose my way with words.


Guess you had to be there
Guess you had to be with me

Today I finally overcame
Tryin' to fit the world inside a picture frame."
~ from John Mayer's 3X5
(Thanks, Hillary, for the essential John Mayer mix, upon which I first heard this song.)

331. August 24

Freshly baked bread and homemade granola. Did I mention my mother is a saint?

"One of your unique, precious, and sublime gifts is your femininity, with its natural grace, goodness, and divinity. Femininity is not just lipstick, stylish hairdos, and trendy clothes. It is the divine adornment of humanity. It finds expression in your qualities of your capacity to love, your spirituality, delicacy, radiance, sensitivity, creativity, charm, graciousness, gentleness, dignity, and quiet strength. It is manifest differently in each girl or woman, but each of you possesses it. Femininity is part of your inner beauty."

330. August 23

Hiking the Subway of Zion National Park. 9 miles, nearly 8 hours. What a terrific and inspiring challenge.

(Thanks, Maren, for the picture--and the hike.)

"What is there that confers the noblest delight?  What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him?  Discovery!  To know that you are walking where none others have walked."
~ Mark Twain 

Perhaps the Subway wasn't a journey to discover where no others have walked before, but there was a certain thrill I'd never known, when at the end, overlooking what we had hiked, I knew I'd seen and experienced what so few on this earth ever will. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Come Monday

Come Monday I'll give a lovely week of posts. For now, check out recent posts on my other blog, Ode to Poetry, a blog which was basically created as an excuse to indulge in poetry. So go ahead, indulge.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

329. August 22

My passport arrived, which apparently means the world is now mine. What to do with it is the next question...

I know a boy whose head is a delightful file of quotes. He shared today's quote with me, as well as the wonderful speech from where he heard it. Thank you, sir, for picking this particular quote from the recesses of your curious mind to share with me.

"Loyalty is for the loyal man not only a good, but for him the chief amongst all the moral goods of his life, because it furnishes. . . him a personal solution [to] the hardest of [all] human . . .problems, the problem: 'For what do I live?'"
~ Josiah Royce, The Philosophy of Loyalty

For what do I live? A good question indeed... I've been thinking on this for a few days now. I have thus concluded, I live for my faith and I live for my family. I live also for joy and for beauty, but I find faith and family to be the greatest source and enhancement of all other joys and beauties to be found. So dear reader, I live for my faith and for my family. For what do you live?