Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Desert Land

I'm in Arizona visiting my folks, courtesy of a Christmas ticket in my stocking. So each day, we walk past prickly pear, saguaro, and a host of other cacti. Off in the distance looms the jagged outline of the Superstition Mountains. And most of all, an abundance of sun shines down! A neighbor gave us an entire box of home-grown tangerines, oranges, and grapefruit to snack on. I begin to see why Mom and Dad like living here...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Dog Is A Noodlehead

I'm sorry to say, but sometimes I wonder about Murphy.

It started when we moved to Germany three and a half years ago. Before, we trekked to the end of our Oregon cul-de-sac and grabbed mail from the mail box. Now, envelopes and magazines are shoved daily through a little swinging mail slot in our front door. Sounds great, you say?

Well, think again. Murphy takes it as a personal affront that SOME HORRIBLE MONSTER IS TRYING TO SNEAK INTO OUR HOME! MUST ATTACK! So each time, he charges the mail slot, hoping to dismember an evil sneaker--who's obviously entering to rape and pillage.

He's actually torn the mail slot off the front door...and I'm afraid for the day when Murphy gets hold of a thumb or set of fingers.

We've tried positive reinforcement--one of us restrains the dog while another family member flips the mail slot back and forth--then we reward Murphy for not attacking. But this dog has incredibly short-term memory. Maybe if we spent twelve hours of intensive training, then he'd learn?

He's usually a sweetie. Just not when mail slots are involved.

P.S. In the photo, Murphy's sitting in front of a massive mound of sugar beets, a crop that's harvested in this part of Germany during late fall.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The 2nd Newbery!

Calvin College professor Gary Schmidt just won his second Newbery Honor--I'm even happier because he teaches at the college from which our oldest daughter, Danielle, graduated and where our son, David, is now a junior.


Newbery Awards

Watched the Newbery Awards just half an hour ago via webcam...thank God for technology!

Newbery Medal:
Good Master, Sweet Ladies by Laura Amy Schlitz
Newbery Honor Books:
Elijah of Buxton -- Christopher Paul Curtis
Wednesday Wars -- Gary Schmidt
Feathers -- Jacqueline Woodson

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Editorial Anonymous

I've added a new link on the right to Editorial Anonymous: A Blog Of A Children's Book Editor. Lots of good questions and answers about the kid's book business. Take a look. You can even email him/her questions.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2007 Pics

October--Gaudi Window, Barcelona, Spain

November--Leaves & Seeds

December--Strasbourg Carousel, France

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

More Pictures From 2007

June--Swan Princesses, Oslo, Norway

July--Nürnberg Church

August--Black-Eyed Susans, Oregon

September--Unterlinden Museum, Colmar, France

Pictures From 2007

January--Elephant At Stuttgart Zoo

February--Horse & Buggy In Fields Near Our Town

March--Schwetzingen Garden Mosque

April--Beach Flowers In Sardinia

May--Strasbourg Flowers For Sale

Friday, January 04, 2008

A Blue, Blue Feeling

Another of the famous doors. Blue paint vendors must make a killing in this town.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

When Will The Door Open?

In Tunisia, we visited the town of Sidi Bou Said, known for its whitewashed walls and intensely blue-painted doors and window shutters. Paul Klee, one of my favorite artists, spent time in this town, along with many other painters and illustrators.

Perhaps these cats await lunch?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Increasing Tension in Kenya

I just read an article in the New York Times about increasing tension in Kenya after a disputed election last week, which was almost certainly rigged. Back in 1974, I attended Rift Valley boarding school in Kenya (outside of Nairobi) for a year, so I still feel as if it's home, even if only in a small way.

Pray for Kenya and the people of Kenya -- that further violence would be averted, and that the president and government leaders act honestly and with consideration for all ethnic groups.

Remember leaders of other countries too...I know presidential primaries are just around the corner in the US.