Magic Sunflowers


“Growing sunflowers in your garden, especially in the front of your home, is said to bring all sorts of good luck. They dispel pests and negative energies as well. Marigolds do much the same, but to a lesser degree. If you cut down a sunflower at sunset at the winter solstice, and then make a wish, it is supposed to come true before the next sunset!”

The Magical Garden: Spells, Charms, and Lore for Magical Gardens and the Curious Gardeners Who Tend Them by Sophia Sargent

Details of Making Camp


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When she crossed that channel, which she had done many times in the past decades, she always felt as if she was taking tender steps across her heart. She walked across her heart into a new life. Ellie would walk into that place where dreams expanded; where the details of making a camp in the woods mattered more than the demands of life outside the wilderness. Here, Ellie could come close to having peace and expansion fill her—what she needed now.”

Finding Mother, Voice Lessons: Tales of Breaking Free; by Catherine Holm

Fighting Domestic Violence in Russia


October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Marina Pisklakova, Russia

“I imagine pushing a large boulder up a steep hill, and then one day that boulder begins to roll on its own. To me this is success.”

Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World by Alyse Nelson

Shopping for Monsters


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“Finally the monsters were working! Zack sprinted up the stairs two at a time to see what monsterly mischief has spooked his little sister…Slowly and carefully, Zack rid the room of the tiara terror.”

The Monstore, written by Tara Lazar and illustrated by James Burks

Important Change


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The important changes begin with you and then spread outward to others.

Team Geek: A Software Developer’s Guide to Working Well with Others by Brian W. Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman

End of the Real Cowboys


Barnes and Noble

“Richard told a story about his college roommate’s father, who was, he said, “the real thing, an honest-to-God cowboy.” He was in his sixties when he learned he had potentially fatal cancer. “Now that I think about, he was probably about my age,” Richard said, a little startled that time was passing so quickly. The “old” cowboy rode out into the desert and shot his horse and then himself.”

“Chip reminded everyone of the white-haired carpenter who’d made our children’s dressers and toy chest. Clarence took his life for the same reason the cowboy did. He had cancer and didn’t want to go the hospital, or be dependent on anyone. He had lived by himself a long time. Well, almost by himself: “I think he shot his dog, too,” Chip said.”

“It’s easy to applaud the old cowboy, because he’s not your father or husband or son. The truth is, there aren’t many real cowboys left.”

If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska by Heather Lende

Truth Is Complicated


Calling Invisible Women

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The truth, we realize as we get older, is a very complicated pastiche of feelings and facts, of what can and cannot be said. It’s different for everyone.

Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray

Shared Fantasies


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“Where a long lineage of tribal organization is far more powerful than any form of government, where language is poetry and few can read or write but it is common for an illiterate person to have memorized the work of Pashto and Persian poets and to speak more than one language, parameters for established truths and knowledge are manifested in other ways than those outsiders easily recognize. In Carol’s words, in a nation of poets and storytellers, “what matters here are the shared fantasies.””

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg

Bullying Ravens and Silver Wings

This book is about a big Raven who bully’s a little raven and how they (eventually) become friends. It’s beautifully illustrated and presents an excellent (and often overlooked) perspective – the remorsefully bully. However, it provides very little in the way of useful or positive advice for those being bullied. Highly recommended as a conversation starter, particularly if used in conjunction with books geared toward providing practical advice to victims of bullying.

“I fell asleep, but in my dream I saw him flying still higher, the beating of his little heart thundering in my ears. When he was close to the moon, a harsh blinding light lit up the sky. It took me a moment before I could see clearly but then I saw him. He was gliding high above, his wings glittering silvery and as bright as the moon itself.”

The Little Moon Raven by Marcus Pfister

October is National Bullying Prevention Month