1307. One’s home is like a delicious piece of pie… ~Lemony Snicket

‘Mid pleasures and palaces
Though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble,
There’s no place like home.

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A charm from the skies
Seems to hallow us there,
Which seek thro’ the world,
Is ne’er met with elsewhere.
Home, home, sweet sweet home,
There’s no place like home.
~Excerpted lyrics from a song written by
Christopher D. Gates,
Jeremy Matthew Mitchell,
and Phillip Owen

We had a lovely visit with our daughter and her family and made in home safely. As always, even a short trip away always reminds me that there truly is no place like home.

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. ~Proverbs 24:3-4  ✝

1159. Words are such small things, like confetti in the brain, and yet they are color and clarify everything; they stain the mind or warp the feelings. ~Diane Ackerman

Ecstasy is what everyone craves —
not love or sex, but hot-blooded, soaring intensity,
in which being alive is a joy and a thrill.
That enravishment doesn’t give meaning to life,
and yet without it life seems meaningless.
~Diane Ackerman

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In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,
In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,
I will honor all life —
wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.
~Excerpted verses from a poem
by Diane Ackerman

Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor. ~Proverbs 21:21  ✝

**All images (my enravishments) were taken by me in my yard.

1146. An interior is the natural projection of the soul. ~Coco Chanel

A house is much more than a mere shelter.
It should lift us emotionally and spiritually.
~John Saladino

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This week I mentioned to a friend that I was getting a new sofa for our living room, and she asked me to send her a picture of it when it came. So I took some photos and afterwards I sat on it a while, along with my cat, enjoying my newly cleaned living room and looking at all the things that we have accumulated therein over the last 40 years. Ours is not a large house and it’s a modest one, but we have done some things within our means over the years to improve and update it. It’s still certainly not a fancy one; but it is ours and so holds all that define who and what James and Natalie and Nikki are. Simply put, it is the altar upon which lie the strivings, good and bad, of our combined lives. And since then I’ve been wondering what others might have to say about what makes a house a home and if it means the same for everyone? So to delve into that quandary I gathered some thoughts by others who more or less put into words what I would say on that subject and decided to accompany them with photos of the part of my house I took that day.

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I always amazes me to thing that every house on every street is full of so many stories; so many triumphs and tragedies, and all we see are yards and driveways. ~Glenn Close

Luxuries are never so comfortable
as
are the familiar, ordinary things of home. ~Eucharista Ward

Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other.  It is the place of confidence.  It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts.  It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule. ~Frederick W. Robertson

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Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration. ~Charles Dickens

Home is where we feel at ease,
where we belong,
where we can create surroundings
that reflect our tastes and pleasures…
Making a home is a form
of creativity open to everyone.
~Terence Conran

Home should be an oratorio of the memory, singing to all our after life melodies and harmonies of old-remembered joy. ~Henry Ward Beecher

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Home is a place where we feel safe and comfortable, a place to relax and recharge. ~Catherine Pulsifer

There is a magic in that little world, home;
it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts
and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits.
~Robert Southey

Home is the father’s kingdom, the mother’s world and a child’s paradise. Home is the heart of life… ~Christian Morgenstern

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Where is home? Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart’s tears can dry at their own pace. ~Vernon G. Baker

Home is
where you can be silent
and still be heard . . .
When you can ask
and find out who you are . . .
Where people laugh with you
about yourself . . .
Where sorrow is divided
and joy multiplied . . .
Where we share and love
and grow.
~Author Unknown

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. ~Psalm 84:3  ✝

**The top photo is a part of the front of my house.

1057. When all is said and done, we exist only in relation to the world… ~Diane Ackerman

The more we exile ourselves from nature,
the more we crave its miracle waters.
~Diane Ackerman

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In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
—wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.
~Diane Ackerman

In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. ~Hebrews 1:10  ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

1034. Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of mystery. ~Max Planck


Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth. ~Hugh Macmillan

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When the ages of ice came
And sealed the Earth inside
An endless coma of cold,
The heart of the Earth held hope,
Storing fragments of memory,
Ready for the return of the sun.

Let us then salute the silence
And certainty of mountains:
Their sublime stillness,
Their dream-filled hearts.

The wonder of a garden
Trusting the first warmth of spring
Until its black infinity of cells
Becomes charged with dream;
Then the silent, slow nurture
Of the seed’s self, coaxing it
To trust the act of death.

The humility of the Earth
That transfigures all
That has fallen
Of outlived growth.
~Edited excerpt from In Praise of Earth
by John O’Donohue


“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” ~Genesis 8:22  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

1010. He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L. Smith

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go;
There’s a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well,
The sturdy kind that doesn’t mind the snow.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas;
Soon the bells will start,
And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart!

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The wartime Christmas years introduced classic Christmas songs to the culture. The song White Christmas first debuted in 1942 in the Movie Holiday Inn. Sung by Bing Crosby it became an instant hit as its peaceful feeling hit home with both those on the home front and those on the battle front. Another Christmas standard I’ll Be Home for Christmas made its debut in 1943. The words touched the hearts of separated loved ones as the song speaks of yearning to be home at Christmas even “if only in my dreams.”

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My parents were married in 1942, and soon afterwards my dad was drafted into the Army. Following that he was coincidentally ordered to leave for basic training the day I was born, October 17, 1942. Because mom wanted dad to be able to spend a little time with me before he was sent over seas, she and I traveled by train from California to Florida when I was six weeks old. Then, when he was moved to Mississippi for his training as a medic, she and I followed him again and remained there until he departed for North Africa. After Dad shipped out, she and I left Mississippi, and as she was pregnant with my middle sister, she decided we would stay with family in Texas until Kathleen was born in December of 1943. Thinking about it now I believe Dad must have missed two Christmases with us before he was wounded and sent back home in 1945. As a young girl I remember hearing these two songs on the radio every Christmas and eventually came to know how much “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” meant to my parents. Perhaps that’s why I never hear it without tears of remembrance wetting my cheeks.

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“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David…” ~Luke 1:68-69 ✝

879. You are not too young or too old; it is never too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret. ~Adapted line by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Each one of us has an inner room
where we can visit to be cleansed of
fear-based thoughts and feelings.
This room, the holy of holies,
is a sanctuary of light.
~Marianne Williamson

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Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where
we perform the job of taking care of our soul.
~Christopher Forrest McDowell

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The ache for home lives in all of us,
the safe place where we can go
as we are and not to be questioned.
~Maya Angelou

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A sanctuary is your space,
a safe place in a troubling world,
private and strong for healing wounds
an oasis where you can relax
take off your shoes
enjoy being your true self
feel free, think big, think small
take your time and breathe
savor the moment
open up your heart and
laugh, cry, or be crazy if you like…
“Remember the entrance 
to the sanctuary is inside you.”
~Rumi

You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for Your Word to renew me. ~Psalm 119:114 (MSG)  ✝

**Top photo is a view of my garden, my own personal sanctuary; the other lovely ones are via Pinterest