“”Everything in nature is lyrical in its ideal essence, tragic in its fate, and comic in its existence.” – George Santayana
Dear Friends and Avid Readers:
Life is full of choices. We can view the ending of a chapter in our lives as just that — an end. Or we can view it as the beginning of the next chapter, brimming with possibilities for new experiences, opportunities, challenges and rewards. After spending years behind the scene, applauding my husband’s and children’s triumphs, I recently choose the latter point of view. Certainly I’ve enjoyed the amazing journey I have spent in everyone’s blossoming life. I’ve been fortunate in developing long-lasting relationships with business, civic and political leaders from all over the world. But a time comes in our lives when we need to reexamine our personal goals — our hopes, dreams…ambitions. We need to remember that it’s never too late to become the person we could have been. To not let time become our enemy. Not as long as there’s a door within reach — a soul-satisfying opportunity just waiting to be found. True success and accomplishment involves taking risks, discovering true potential, and leaving our indelible mark in this world. So why sit alone on a footstool when you can shoot for the stars?
Quote of the Month:
“It is the month of June, the month of leaves and roses. When pleasant sights salute the eyes, and pleasant scents the noses.” – Nathaniel Parker Willis
Fun June Facts and Beliefs:
June marks the beginning of Summer in the northern hemisphere and the month of the Wimbledon tennis tournament in England.
June is the sixth month of the year and takes its name from the Roman goddess Junno, the goddess of marriage. For this reason, June has always been looked upon as the best month in which to marry:
The flower for June is the red rose. The red rose is the symbol of:love.
The rose also has a special importance on Midsummer’s Eve.
At different times during June there are ceremonies called well dressings. Springs and wells of fresh water that come from the underground streams have always seem to be magical things, so some wells are honored with decorations.
These decorations consist of branches of greenery and amazingly beautiful pictures made of flower petals and moss.
The official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II is marked each year on June 13th by a military parade and march-past, known as Trooping the Color (Carrying of the Flag)
The longest day of the year is June 21st or 22nd. It is the day when the sun is at its most northerly point and this is why it is “the longest day”. In Wiltshire, there is a circle of huge stones at a place called Stonehenge, and hundreds of people go there to watch the sun rise on June 21st.
Midsummers Day, June 24th, is a time associated with witches, magic, fairies and dancing.
On the eve of Midsummer’s Day, many bonfires used to be burnt all over the country. This was in praise of the sun, for the days were getting shorter and the sun appeared to be getting weaker, so people would light fires to try and strengthen the sun.
Roses are of special importance on Midsummer’s Eve. It is said that any rose picked on Midsummer’s Eve, or Midsummer’s Day will keep fresh until Christmas. At midnight on Midsummer’s Eve, young girls should scatter rose petals before them and say:
Rose leaves, rose leaves,
Rose leaves I strew.
He that will love me
Come after me now.
Then the next day, Midsummer’s Day, their true love will visit them.
Beneath a Marble Sky: A Love Story by John Shors. While historians agree that the Taj Mahal was built by an emperor in the seventeenth century who was grieving the loss of his wife, the true details surrounding this story have been lost. Shors imagines them in Beneath a Marble Sky, bringing to life a story of love, war, beauty and tragedy.
Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christine Watson. Watson’s nuanced portrayal of daily life in Nigeria is peopled with flawed but tenacious characters who fight not only for survival but for dignity. Blessing is a wonderful narrator whose vivid impressions enliven Watson’s sensual prose.
Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult. This is a controversial and heart-wrenching story of a family with two daughters. The second, Willow, was born with brittle bone disease, a condition that makes her bones break easily and that limits her height and movement. When Willow is four, her parents decide to sue their OB for “wrongful birth,” claiming that Willow’s condition should have been diagnosed earlier in the pregnancy so that they could have had an abortion.
A Favorite June Recipe: Kaylin’s Lime Chicken Rice
This tasty, colorful dish can be served with chicken and is perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. The piquant flavors blend into the rice perfectly. A delicious and delightful dish that everyone will enjoy!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast half – cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tomatoes – peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
salt to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 lime, juiced
2 bay leaves
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Mix olive oil, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Toss chicken in marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook chicken and set aside. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and cook garlic and onion until translucent. Stir in jalapeno, chopped tomatoes, salt, and turmeric; cook for 2 minutes to soften tomato. Stir in the rice, mixing thoroughly. Stir in half of the lime juice, bay leaves, chicken stock, water, and cooked chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, then cover and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice has cooked. Remove from heat, discard the bay leaves; stir in the remaining lime juice and cilantro.
Here’s a little something to make your smile:
A Cork travel agent looked out through his window to see an old lady and an old man gazing longingly at his display of posters for exotic holiday resorts. As a publicity gimmick he decided to offer them a free round-the-world cruise with all expenses paid. When they returned some months later he asked the old lady if they had enjoyed themselves.
“Wonderfully,” she replied, “but tell me one thing, who was that old man I had to sleep with every night?”
So remember … Stay positive, give happiness away, and be sure to recommend Flaherty’s Crossing to everyone you know!
Have a great month!