Jul 27, 2012


“If you knew you had a week or two to live, what would you do?”
She started to speak, stopped, and Gage understood she’d smothered her instinctive response—for his sake. Instead, she smiled. “How am I feeling?”
“In that case, I’d do exactly as I pleased, particularly if it was something I’d normally deny myself or hesitate over. I’d grab everything I wanted, needed. I’d make sure the people who annoyed me knew just what I thought. And more important, that everyone I loved knew how much they meant to me.”

The Pagan Stone


Common regrets of the dying

Lil chalcedonicum 01EB Griechenland Hrisomiglia 17 07 01

At the end of our days, each and every one of us will be forced to stop and face up to the life we have lived. In this moment of reflection, many will ask, "Is there anything I would do differently?"

This question is the subject of The Top Five Regrets of Dying by Australian palliative care nurse and singer, Bronnie Ware.

It shares Ware's experience of being with people as they prepared to die. "People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality,"


“No confessing your sins, making amends?”
“If I haven’t confessed and amended by that point, screw it. It’s all about me now.”

The Pagan Stone

Jul 16, 2012

she sees clutter, he sees treasures


Why Getting Rid of Old Books and Clothes Is So Tough On a Couple; 

Revealing the Power Struggle Underneath

'Still Life with Oranges, Jars, and Boxes of Sweets', by Luis Meléndez

Clutter is a powerful enemy in busy families' struggle to stay happy and sane. Its psychological aspects can contribute to stress and undermine relationships. Few couples realize the importance of dealing with it until it is way out of control, relationship experts say.

Yet when a couple decides to conquer clutter, the process itself often becomes a struggle about power or control. "If you're arguing about a dirty towel on the floor, at a deeper level you may be arguing about who's in charge," says Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist with a New York practice.

To one person, a certain amount of disarray may be comforting and acceptable. To another, a disorganized household signals that home and family life aren't a top priority.


“You’re organizing my kitchen drawers.”
“Yes. You’re free to disorganize them at your whim and will. But doing this keeps me sane. And you
made the clever dividers.”
 He pulled open a drawer at random. “Jesus, Fiona, you lined them.”
“I’m so ashamed.”
“Let me point out, neither of us actually cooks, so what’s the point of having lined, divided, organized
kitchen drawers?”
“To be able to find things, whether or not you use them. And what’s the point of having all these things
in the first place if you don’t cook?”
“I wouldn’t have all this junk if my mother didn’t . . . never mind that either.”
“I can jumble everything up again if it makes you feel better.”
“I’m thinking about it.”
And she grinned at him, quick and fun. “I’m going to do the cabinets, too. You can just consider it my
little hobby.”
“That doesn’t mean I’m going to put things back where you think they belong.”
“See, look how well we understand each other.”
“You’re sneaky, and don’t think I don’t know it. I grew up with sneaky.”
“I got that impression.”
“That’s the problem. You’re not like her, but you are.”
“How about if I tell you I also understand you’re not really stewing about me organizing the kitchen
drawers, but trying to gauge whether this is a prelude to me trying to organize your life.”

The Search

Jul 12, 2012

strange sounds

"Look up, Lower 48."
He looked where she pointed and lost his breath. "Holy God."
"Yeah, I always thought it was holy. A natural phenom caused by latitude, sunspots and so on.
Scientific explanations don't make it less beautiful, or magical."
The lights in the sky were green with shimmers of gold, hints of red. The long, eerie streaks seemed
to pulse and breathe, bathing the dark with life.

"I've heard of them. Seen pictures. It's not like the pictures."
"The best things never are."

The otherworldly green continued to shift, glow, expand, shimmer. It was raining liquid jewels of color.

Northern Lights


Northern Lights Oddity: Strange Sounds of Auroras Explained



The northern lights of Earth are more than just dazzling light shows — they also generate their own strange applause too, a new study reveals.
The same energetic particles that create the dancing, dazzling northern lights high up in Earth's atmosphere also produce strange "clapping" noises just 230 feet (70 meters) from the ground, researchers said.
The results vindicate folktales and reports by wilderness travelers, which have long described sounds associated with the northern lights



Jul 10, 2012

dog-owning families may be healthier

He was talking with Ethan now, making wide, exaggerated gestures with his free hand 
while his dog took quick, playful leaps at his fingers.
 He took a huge bite of his sandwich, then talked through it. "We're boatbuilders."

His hands were far from clean, she noted, and his face wasn't much better. She imagined such niceties as
washing up before meals went by the wayside in a household of males. 
He wiped his mouth with a swipe from the back of his hand. The hand Foolish had enthusiastically
licked, before and after, Sybill noted with an inward wince.

Inner Harbor


Dogs are no longer just man's best friend: The furry family members may also protect infants against breathing problems and infections, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that Finnish babies who lived with a dog or - to a lesser extent - a cat spent fewer weeks with ear infections, coughs or running noses. They were also less likely to need antibiotics than infants in pet-free homes.


Jul 6, 2012

a house to look smart In

"I keep meaning to show you this particular room." Rowena stopped in front of a
double pocket door, swept it open.
And ushered Dana into a book lover's version of heaven.
It was a two-level library, with a lovely ornate rail encircling the second level. A
fire was snapping away in a hearth of rosy granite, its light, and the light from a
dozen lamps, glittering on the polished wood of the floor.
High above, a mural was painted on the domed ceiling. She saw dozens of figures
from the most romantic of faerie tales. Rapunzel, spilling her golden hair out of a
tower, Sleeping Beauty just wakened by a kiss, Cinderella slipping her foot into a
delicate glass slipper.
"It's incredible," Dana whispered. "Beyond incredible."
Wide, deep chairs, long, deep sofas were done in leather the color of good port.
There were other small treasures in tables, in rugs, in art, but Dana was dazzled by
the books. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books.

Key of Knowledge


Bibliothek St. Florian 

The idea of curling up with a good book has increasingly come to mean flipping on an e-reader, not flipping through the pages of a leather-bound novel in a book-lined room.

Yet the home library is on the rise, having become something of a cerebral status symbol. Affluent homeowners are buying quality books in quantity to amass collections for private personal libraries.

These rooms are as much aesthetic set pieces and public displays of intelligence as they are quiet spaces to reflect and retreat.


Her gaze glanced off him and focused on a wall of books. "That's quite a library."
"Oh, that's just some of them."
He stayed where he was when she crossed over. 
Joyce, Yeats, Shaw. Those were to be
expected. O'Neill, Swift, and Grayson Thane, of course. But there was a treasure trove of others.
Poe, Steinbeck, Dickens, Byron. The poetry of Keats and Dickinson and Browning. 
Battered volumes of Shakespeare and equally well-thumbed tales by King and MacAffrey and McMurtrey.
"An eclectic collection," she mused.

Born in Shame