Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Monday, October 30, 2006

Murphy Monday--the Premiere

My thirteen year old, Anna, keeps begging me to post more photos of our dog. So today is the beginning of a grand tradition: Murphy Monday. Drumroll, please...

Here's Murphy in his first role as The PostDog. This was filmed in Oregon a few years ago. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

When I Talk To You

Just bought "When I Talk To You: A Cartoonist Talks To God," by Michael Leunig. Very different than the usual, and I'm enjoying it to no end. Each prayer is paired with a cartoon penned by Leunig. Here's a snippet from one prayer :

It is time to plant tomatoes. Dear God, we praise this
fruit and give thanks for its life and evolution. We
salute the tomato: cheery, fragrant morsel, beloved
provider, survivor and thriver and giver of life. Giving
and giving and giving. Plump with summer's joy.
The scent of its stem is summer's joy, is promise and
rapture. Its branches breathe perfume of promise
and rapture. Giving and giving and giving.

Dear God, give strength to the wings and knees
of pollinating bees; give protection from hailstorms,
gales, and frosts; give warm days and quenching
rains. Refresh and adorn our gardens and our tables.
Refresh us with tomatoes.

There's another prayer thanking God for the invention of the handle and a blessing for those who are baffled and perplexed. I'll be looking back through this book often.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Wow. Just watched this video, which I found via Spidey, who got it from dualraven's site.

“Specially created for Harvard biology students, this eight-minute computer-animated film reveals the beauty and hidden cycle of intricate organic mechanisms at work at the molecular level. The focus is on how white blood cells respond and react to external stimuli. Everything that you see in this clip, the unusual orchestra of Nuclei, proteins, and lipids, are actions that are taking place right now in your body, in every individual cell. This includes one of the most surprising sequences – the motor protein plodding along on two pod-like feet along a track, carrying behind it a sphere of lipids. As cartoonish as that sequence looks, biologists report it’s an accurate rendering.”

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

A few weeks ago, I found "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," German version, at a flohmarkt (flea market) put on by the children in our little town. My own kids probably knew this book by heart when they were little, because I read it to them countless evenings before bedtime. The author and illustrator, Eric Carle, works in collage, layers, and cut-outs, giving most of his books an interactive aspect. Our own copy was almost shredded at the end, but very well-loved!

Someday I'd like to visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.

P.S. Maybe one of the reasons I like this book so well--when I was a little kid in Africa, we had an abundance of hairy, colorful caterpillars inside and outside. I had great fun watching them, especially their bumpy accordian style of moving from place to place. Better than video games!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Our 24th

October 16th-- our twenty-fourth anniversary. (Don't these kids look awfully young to be getting married??) Ok, if I had to do it over again, I'd not do the "Princess Di" dress. But half the brides wore one that year, I think. The biggest surprise of the ceremony was right before our kiss, when on cue, my bridesmaids all pulled out noisemakers they'd craftily hidden in their bouquets and blew a LOUD combined blast on those things. Whoo-hoo!

We honeymooned at the Columbia River Gorge hotel, and then the Oregon coast. I love the beach and I loved being there with Jeff.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sunshine All Around

Twas an absolutely gorgeous day in Heidelberg this afternoon. And fortunately enough, Jeff and I had signed up to walk the grounds of Heidelberg Schloss (castle) with the German-American club. Have a look.
Jeff is the man second from the right, and that's the Schloss in the background. Below, a view from the castle terrace overlooking Heidelberg. One of the prettier cities around, I think. Something about all those red roofs and the Neckar river winding through the heart of town.

A few of the interesting tidbits our guide tossed to us:

* Martin Luther dined at the castle in 1518. Thomas Jefferson visited the castle many years later and measured its giant wine vat, which holds 220,017 liters (58,124 gallons).

* The castle has a series of tunnels running underneath it, which soldiers used to move between different levels.

* Stonemasons who built the castle believed that they breathed life into the stones as they worked on them. Somehow, energy was transferred from people into inanimate rocks, and the wall came "alive." (I'm just quoting our guide!) If a stone was damaged during building, the masons gave it a proper burial.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Cards from Africa

From my brother's friend, Chris Page, at :

In April a friend from my church in Rwanda, and someone I didn't know from YWAM Switzerland, both asked if they could nominate CfA in a competition BBC World were running, in conjunction with Newsweek and Shell, called World Challenge. It was for businesses that are innovative and are benefitting communities socially, environmentally and financially. Of course I said that they could, but didn't really think any more about it.

Then I got a phone call from the BBC in June saying that over 800 businesses had entered the competition from over 120 countries, and that their expert panel of judges had chosen CfA to go to the final 12! They told me they were going to send a film crew out to make a 12-minute documentary to show on BBC World, and for writing an article in Newsweek magazine!

Well, you can imagine we were just a little more than just speechless for all of about 5 seconds, and then I shouted with delight to just about everyone I met for the next few days, including Jesus! The film crew (actually just one person!) came and went in July. Viewers of BBC World, and readers of Newsweek will be asked to go online and vote for their favourite of the 12 businesses. The winning business receives $20,000 and the two runners-up will receive $10,000 each, with the prize presented to them in the Hague , in the Netherlands ! Of course, both the publicity and the prize money will enormously help our marketing efforts, and we're very, very excited indeed.

They have told us that they will be showing the documentary of CfA at the following dates and times:

Saturday 14th October at 0930 & 1630 GMT& Sunday 15th October at 0230, 1330 & 2030 GMT

Other businesses will be shown the week before (same days and times) and for 4 weeks afterwards (2 businesses each weekend, for 6 weeks).

The article will go out in Newsweek on 23rd October 2006 (which they start selling on the 16th Oct), so please buy a copy, read it, pass it on to your friends, vote for us online, and then ask your friends, your neighbours, your postman and in fact anyone you communicate with over the next 4 weeks to vote for us online! Please!

Here's the link to vote for us - and a short video clip to whet your appetite:

Pass on the message :-)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Back to Walking

I've really had fun cycling through the summer, but as of today I'm focusing on walking again. Why? Mid-November, I'm meeting my two sisters and my folks in Florence for a walking tour through Tuscany. And I can't wait! There's something about knowing I'll get to see and hug most of my family in a little over a month. (Sorry, Dan, wish you could make it over from Africa).

That's been the toughest part for me of living in Germany--not living near my extended family. We've been pretty close, and it's like having part of my heart ripped out to be far away from them. That also applies to our friends back in the US. Even if I'm not the greatest at letters and emails all the time, I think about them every day.

Anyway, it was good walking this evening. Smelling the freshly turned earth, passing loaded apple trees and vogelbeere bushes. Watching a woman ride her black horse in the field across a meadow. Passing a gang of kids on bicycles, and remembering how it felt to ride around for hours with Patty Thompson, back on Clinton Street. Feeling my bunion ache just a tiny bit, and wishing my feet were still young!