Monday, December 31, 2007
For insights from Jon, who lives with his wife Heather's chronic depression, visit Blurbomat.
Milton says, "My depression has beaten me like a rented mule this past week," writing with his usual straightforwardness -- even as he reminds himself and all of us -- "I am not alone."
For any of you out there who fight the beast named depression, know that I admire your guts and perseverance. And your honesty.
On a slightly different topic -- Cynthia recently wrote a very personal post about rape and its aftermath -- required reading for anyone who wants to understand how a victim feels and offer them help. Hint: First, practice saying "it's not your fault. No one deserves to be raped."
Saturday, December 29, 2007
See if you can read the sign on the wall next to Anna (click on photo for a closer view). We took a trip to Tunisia over Christmas.
David flies back to Grand Rapids on January 2nd. It's been fun rubbing elbows and getting chummy as a family again.
Oh, in other breaking news--Danielle's appointed to a Peace Corps position in Romania, teaching English to middle and secondary-schoolers. If the rest of her papers go through fine, she departs mid-May for training in the States, and then to somewhere in Romania. Have any of you visited or lived there?
Here's a family picture, now that we're all five together. It's taken in Carthage, which I never realized belonged to Tunisia. Piles and piles of Roman ruins all around the country.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
In the Bleak Midwinter
In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Enough for Him, whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.
What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.
--Christina Rossetti (1872)
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Little People--A Tiny Street Art Project (little handpainted people, left in London to fend for themselves)
another group of photos, with little people and food (can you really mow a kiwi?).
Friday, December 14, 2007
Raspberry Chocolate Triangles
Oven -- 350 degrees.
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter (soft)
1-10 oz. package frozen sweetened raspberries (or add sugar to unsweetened berries)
1/4 cup orange juice (or I've substituted lemon juice)
1 T. cornstarch
1 cup chocolate chips
Melted vanilla chips
Mix flour, sugar and butter.
Press flour mixture in 9 x 13 inch pan & bake 15 minutes.
Mix raspberries, orange juice and cornstarch.
Heat to boil, stirring.
Boil and stir 1 minute, cool 10 minutes.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over crust.
Spoon raspberry mix over chocolate.
Bake 20 minutes or until mix is set.
Refrigerate until firm.
You may drizzle melted vanilla chips over the top.
Cut into 3 inch squares.
Cut each square into 4 triangles. Voila!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Once again, it's Christmas market time in Germany. Heidelberg has a few different markets along the Hauptstrasse, all offering Glühwein (hot spiced wine), waffles dusted with powdered sugar, pork steak and onion sandwiches, deep fried potato pancakes topped with berries and cream, crepes, and many other food offerings. As you can see, most of them won't improve your chloresterol count...except for the Kräuter Bonbons (herb candy), that is.
Anna said that when we move back to the States (whenever that is...) she's going to miss these Christmas markets. So will I--they're better than glitzy malls and flashing lights everywhere. Portland's Saturday Market is the closest I've seen in the U.S.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
At first, I thought of potted plants...potting soil...then I realized what she wanted! (potted = abridged, brief)
Made me laugh. An example of those little language differences.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
But he sure is cute, isn't he? Anna calls him her "little brother."
************************************************************************************* What have you found most challenging or shocking as you worship here?
Amy: I still wish I could move more. When nobody else is moving, that situation inhibits me.
Joel: The opulent use of technology and massive performing forces in worship in your mega-churches is always a cause for culture shock. Beyond that, I miss hearing a broader mix of music. Churches need to be politically and culturally sensitive to the makeup of their congregations. I hear music from Mexico and Africa being represented, but I have yet to hear music from Asia, the Middle East, or Eastern Europe.
Being committed to welcoming people of color is a good thing, but housing the culture of people of color is a higher commitment. Churches need to decide: “Even though we are the dominant color here, we must show preferential treatment for people of color. Christ incarnated himself to become one with the poor, the alien, and the alienated.”
What does that mean in practical steps?
Joel: White people need to identify with non-white people, to engage themselves more in the culture of the emotions, the perspective of the heart, and the perspective of relationships. The diversity I seek is not just in terms of color, but also in educational background.
Language from the pulpit doesn't always have to be profound. We do yearn for the eloquent from time to time, but sometimes we need to hear the language of the poor and the uneducated, as a way of engagement. The Jesuits have a term for this – preferential option for the poor.
Amy: So to be preferential also means covering topics that are significant to immigrants, like establishing one's identity, discovering one's role in this community, and carrying out the purpose for which God has brought that person to this new community.
Joel: We rarely see a person of color in the pulpit, challenging people in very plain language. I wonder how many of us internationals are invited to homes of white people. Many churches ask international people to speak in Sunday school on random mornings. How about inviting them to speak in the pulpit?
Amy: Even just once a year, or once a quarter, invite non-whites to give their testimonies. The choice of topics and speakers should reflect the church's commitment to diversity.
What has been instructive that you wish to recreate back in the Philippines?
Amy: I appreciate very much the Sunday when we remember victims of abuse. Until now in the Philippines, physical and emotional abuse is a topic that is rarely spoken in the pulpit. I think it's so beautiful to dedicate a whole Sunday service—liturgy, music, and prayers—to that issue.
Joel: The practice of Communion at Church of the Servant CRC moves me profoundly—the music we sing as we gather around the elements, and as the bread and wine are passed from communicant to communicant. I also find its liturgy excellent, thoughtful, and carefully prepared. The use of the liturgical calendar is especially helpful.
This article was first published by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship:
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I did wonder if magic honey could take over a share of the market from Beano...
Saturday, November 03, 2007
1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup white and 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or raisins (optional)
1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, applesauce, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients. Stir in nuts or raisins, if desired.
3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.
Makes one loaf of moist, tasty bread. Enjoy! Both my daughters came back for seconds and thirds.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Anyway, I mainly stuck to the hall for English language publishers, but visited the area for German publishers at one point. Pushing past the crowded masses of stalls with an acquaintance, I asked her, "Do you have any idea how I can find my friend's publisher? She said she'd be at their booth."
"What's the publisher's name?" Kristin asked.
"Umm. Hmm. Oh, I remember...it's Verlag!" I answered, feeling proud of myself.
Silence. Kristin smiled.
"Laurie? You do know that Verlag just means publisher in German?" Kristin said.
Never did find that friend. Too many Verlags.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Also, see Betsy's blog for a unique costume link!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I write because I like words. I like putting them together. I enjoy their sounds.
And it’s amazing to see a poem or story emerge that I never knew was inside. Sometimes writing helps crystallize a moment in time.
I write to understand, to “make sense of life,” as Nadine Gordimer says. To try and figure out how I feel and think about spiders, people, God, spaghetti, and anything else. Somehow the act of writing taps deep inside and accesses those thoughts and emotions.
I write to have a voice. So many people want to talk loudly, all at once. Maybe it’s easier for me to speak through writing.
I write because I love reading the writing of others -- books and essays and poetry and stories. And I hope to give at least give a little of the same.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Yesterday was our 25th Anniversary. Jeff and I celebrated earlier in September by taking an overnight trip to Cologne (Koln), Germany.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Today, I remembered what Mom used to do when I was sick. She'd toast a piece of white bread, butter it, and float it in warm milk. Then she served me "milk toast," guaranteed to warm the body and spirit.
Wonder if that's where the phrase "milque-toast" originated. Must google it. Hmmm...this sounds like the same dish, but not with such fond memories.
Friday, September 21, 2007
I love it when friends visit. So, I wanted to extend an invitation to any readers: if you visit Germany while I'm living here, email me. I'll pick you up at the Heidelberg train station or Frankfurt airport and give you the tour! And if we have room, you can stay a few nights at our house. Just think about it.
Monday, September 17, 2007
11By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.
--Hebrews 11: 11-14
I think part of the reason this passage speaks so strongly to me is due to my upbringing as a "Third Culture Kid." Home is important to me--but where's my real home? In Africa, where I spent most of my first ten years, a year in high school, and a summer in college ? Or in Oregon, where we moved next? It took quite a long time (into my thirties) for me to begin to feel truly American. At the core, I was still a mix. Anyway, you get the picture.
Now, we're in Germany, and Oregon feels like home. What a crazy mixed-up world...
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Stayed overnight at Chez Leslie, a bed & breakfast within walking distance of the old town.
After breakfasting on the best croissants in town, we cycled through cornfields and vineyards to the tiny town of Eguisheim. As we passed one farmyard, a little white mutt with a distinct resemblance to Snowy chased David, nipping at his heels and spurring him to cycle even faster.
That afternoon, we took in the Musee d'Unterlinden: spent a long time pondering the Isenheim Altarpiece and moved on to Picasso afterwards.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
All the cousins (except for David & Anna, back in Germany). My oldest daughter, Danielle, stands top left. Then, moving clockwise, Aaron, Josiah, Gabrielle, Andrew, Hannah, Benjamin, and Austin. A great group, and I'd still say that if I weren't the "auntie."
* Bubble tea history and recipe -- "The drink originally started as a childhood treat in Taiwan in the late 1980's at small tea stands in front of the schoolhouses."
* Another bubble tea recipe
I've never tried to make my own bubble tea, but it doesn't look too hard. Just need to hunt down a store that sells large tapioca pearls...they must be sold somewhere in Germany.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
"Yeah, except a lot of people do stupid things and end up hurting themselves here," he replied. Recently, one teenager swung out far over the river on a rope swing, but forgot to let go and smashed back hard into the rock cliff wall. Another man injured himself falling out of a porta-potty, and when his young daughter saw his gashed leg, she fainted dead away. That was just the beginning... I'll bet the emergency room does good business this time of the year.
In other news: Trina of In the Buj posted about my brother, Dan, and his wife Tam. She wrote a nice tribute -- Dan and Tam just moved back to Oregon from Burundi, Africa.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Mike, an American who lived next door to us for two years, had a feud going with Olaf. Mike's daughter liked to play her rock music loudly with the windows open on Sunday afternoon. You may not realize, but Baden-Wurttemberg has quiet hours during the week from 1-3:00 in the afternoon, and all day on Sunday and holidays. This means: no lawn-mowers revving up then, no screaming and shouting, no loud car engines, and of course, no stereos blasting. But Mike didn't take kindly to Olaf's reminders about needing to be quieter. In fact, he may have encouraged his daughter to continue playing her music at an even higher volume. Maybe it's just as well that they're no longer living kitty-corner to each other.
But I had to chuckle at what my husband, Jeff, described seeing this morning--the neighbor directly across from us owns a huge golden retriever that barks its head off at random moments. Olaf walked over to their patio and leaned close to the fence. He whispered to the dog, "shhh, shhh," and held his finger to his lips. For several minutes, Olaf stayed there, making sure the retriever understood the importance of quiet hours. After he left, all was silent.
Now, if I still had cranky toddlers? I'd hire Olaf in an instant. Then I'd let him work his magic during nap-time. This man has a gift.
Friday, August 10, 2007
I won't be able to connect much with friends in Portland--most of the time is booked--a week in Sunriver with the entire clan, and a few days in Newport at the beach. So I guess that means I'll need to make a repeat trip soon...
What I can't wait for:
* The one-of-a-kind Sylvia Beach Hotel, a hotel for book lovers! This place is quirky and fun. A spot to meet intriguing people from all over the world. Check out some of the rooms.
* Walking along Nye Beach and listening to the waves. Picking up smooth rocks. Hearing the seagulls. Feeling the ocean mist on my face.
* Laughing with my family at the same old stories and silly jokes we bring up each time.
* Cycling along the trails at Sunriver. Sighting hawk, deer and maybe elk.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I'm bringing you a gift from Germany (just pray it doesn't break in the suitcase).
A few of your special qualities:
* You combine an artist's outlook with a down-to-earth business mind.
* You're always willing to try ethnic food--Thai, Mexican, Ethiopian, or any other triple chili pepper blend.
* You inspire me with your fitness walking.
* You have a knack for learning new things quickly.
* You care about your kids and take time for them.
Susan, I could write a lot more, but I mainly want you to know that I love you and you'll always be an important part of my life. I'm glad we got to spend time together in Italy last November and I'm looking forward to seeing you again in less than a week. Let's treat ourselves to espressos and tiramisu...
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one's bath like a lump of sugar. -- Pablo Picasso
I often painted fragments of things because it seemed to make my statement as well as or better than the whole could. -- Georgia O'Keefe
Art is never finished, only abandoned. -- Leonardo da Vinci
Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly? -- Frida Kahlo
I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me--like food or water. -- Ray Charles
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Time to figure out what to focus on now. Should I work on chapter 3 of a young adult novel I started awhile back? Or pick up the thread of an old picture book that needs reworking? I could send out a few completed essays that came back with a "no..."last month. Choices, choices.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Burundian women carrying loads of firewood and produce home from market--notice their excellent posture! Also, I now realize how much strength it takes to carry those loads any distance. Amazing.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
black tea drinker,
étudiante de Français,
wonderful oldest daughter,
service project volunteer,
Gilmore Girls watcher,
gear shift driver,
raspberry chocolate fiend,
Saturday, July 14, 2007
1. I’m the oldest child of four, and somewhat compulsive about knowing what’s going to happen in the near future (surprise parties throw me for a loop, fyi).
2. I love Tandoori chicken, Tazo Earl Grey tea with milk and sugar, dark chocolate, Thai chicken pizza, and, I guess, pretty much any type of food. When my youngest challenged me to tell her a food I didn’t like, I replied, “Umm, brains on toast?”
3. My brother’s nickname for me as a kid was “Truck.” As in lorry=Laurie. Those Brits out there will understand. Also, I got called “Professor” at boarding school when I started wearing glasses.
4. Like Ginger, I enjoyed climbing trees constantly as a child. Tall, bendy, spicy-smelling eucalyptus trees. I also liked lying in our tree house, listening to the wind blow.
5. Bumblebees are another one of my loves. They’re just so much fun to watch, bumbling among the blossoms. They’re like clumsy planes which somehow manage to become airborne.
6. As far as I know, I’ve never broken a bone or had strep throat. I did take tons of malaria medicine growing up and suffered my fair share of immunizations.
7. In high school, I skipped countless afternoon classes my junior/senior years and drove the country roads around Gresham. (Not recommended, for you students out there).
8. Choir concerts in old cathedrals and African drumming both make me happy.
I’m tagging :
Betsy at Blog Ness Monster
Holly at And Sew It Is
Laura at Today On My Wanderings
Milton at Don’t Eat Alone
* Players start with eight random fact about themselves.
* People who are tagged need to write their own blog about eight things and post these rules.
* At the end of the blog, choose eight (or less!) people to tag and list their names and blog addresses.
* Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged.
Friday, July 13, 2007
"IDOLATERS OF CLASSIC SCOOTERS" and in smaller letters underneath,
Did they maybe mean "Worshippers of Italian Scooters?" I'm guessing, here. But it made me look twice!
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Ah, you gotta love German movie theatres, though. We reserved our seats ahead of time online (can you do this in the States?) and claimed our nice middle row, not-to-close-to-the-front spots. I had the option of purchasing Welde beer at the concession stand, along with nachos and sweet popcorn. What really threw me for a loop--Anna ordered a chocolate bar, and the snack person asked her, "from the Kühlschrank?" (from the fridge?). Apparently, if you like, the candy's precooled so it doesn't melt in your clammy, hot hands.
Anyway, a nice outing. If you send me an email at the address listed in my Blog profile, I'll mail you a Harry Potter postcard in German. Picked up three, so first come, first served.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
I like watching comedies with Jeff, and he reads the funnies from the newspaper to me on Sunday. We chuckle together about silly quirks in people, and the odd habits of our corgi.
My big question, thrown out into the blogosphere—
What ways have you found to laugh together in your relationship with a friend or family member? I’d love to hear some fresh ideas. Please leave suggestions in the comments below. Remember, you can sign in as Other, you don’t need a Blogger account to comment.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
One of the things I noticed--Vigeland sculpted men, women, and children of all ages and shapes. Not only people in the prime of life, but those near life's end and just at the beginning. Genius, as far as I'm concerned.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Praise for the laughing group
& their chant: “abazungu, abazungu!”
Praise for the scarlet-crested turaco
wings flashing red and black,
pecking guavas split by the sun.
Praise for the priest’s forearm
corded with veins.
Praise for dugout fishing boats,
trolling Lake Kivu at midnight.
Praise for cowhide drums
beaten by men’s callused palms.
Praise for the widows, draped
in coarse cotton.
Praise for all manner of beetles.
Praise for yeast bread, baked
in rusted barrel ovens.
Praise for the overturned truck
on Kijabe’s slick curve,
a woman prematurely in labor
Praise for rain on tin rooftops,
erratic tap-tap and din of water.
Praise for the market lady
and her piles of soap,
Praise for the plastic shunt
in a child’s skull,
draining excess fluid.
Praise for coffee beans.
Praise for red dust
caking each eyelash.
Praise for voices rising
from terraced banana groves.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Andrea Bocelli -- Andrea CD
Writing Juvenile Stories and Novels -- Phyllis A. Whitney
Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth -- Barbara Park
Moses:When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom --Carole Boston Weatherford (illustrated by Kadir Nelson)
Planning to watch later this evening:
Touch the Sound DVD -- A Sound Journey With Evelyn Glennie
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
A runaway carriage--
A view of the city from the castle gardens--
The infamous "Schneeballen" (otherwise known as snowballs--deep fried fatty pastries rolled in powdered sugar, dipped in dark chocolate, and otherwise made dangerous to the arteries)--