Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Street Children at Christ's Table

I found this film on Candy Gourlay's blog --

Joey Velasco, the painter in this film, says he wants "to share the stories of a handful of small lives whose voices are often unheard and whose tiny dreams are shattered before they can even take form." This film is set in the Philippines, with references to Africa at the end.

"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in..." Matthew 25:35

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Not Just Any Sitar

I just discovered Aradhna, and downloaded their new album, Amrit Vani, off iTunes. All I can say is, A*M*A*Z*I*N*G! Click on "Sample Tracks" at the top of Aradhna's website, and listen for yourself.

This is unapologetically Eastern music. Unmistakably spiritual music. But it is also immediately accessible music. Tabla and Sitar combine with acoustic guitar and western drums. Hindi vocal weaves in and out of English counterpart...

A little background on Chris Hale, one of Aradhna's founders: Chris had been living in South Asia from childhood and could speak Nepali and Hindi fluently...he often felt torn between his eastern and western spiritual identity. He longed for an Indian expression of devotion to Yeshu Khrist, the North Indian name for Jesus Christ. In the course of this search, he had found Yeshu bhaktas (devotees) in different parts of the world who expressed their adoration through bhajans and the Indian way of bhakti (devotion).

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pineapple Hair Fixings

My sister Beth just started a blog. She included this photo in her first post--that's me with glasses, blue dress, and tropical fruit as hair adornment, Beth with the second pineapple, Susan (youngest) in white, and Dan sitting at our feet in the pineapple patch.

Hmmm. I'm thinking the four of us need to take another fruit or vegetable-themed picture together as adults. Maybe this time with radish earrings and papaya decor. Any suggestions?

Friday, May 16, 2008

One of Us

Joan Osbourne sings "One of Us."

Grief in China

Everything about the recent tragedy in China makes me sad. And there's one aspect I hadn't thought of until I read this article in the New York Times--for parents whose children were killed in school collapses after the earthquake, "too many of the dead are children in a country where most families are allowed to have only one." I can't imagine.

The end of the piece quotes a Mr. Li. He and his wife are trying to fit pink pyjamas on their daughter's body before cremation:

He said he was angry and sad. He said his daughter’s body was still warm when he found her at the morgue on Wednesday. He wondered how long she lived beneath the rubble. And then he turned away, leaning down slightly, and whispered in her ear.

“My little daughter,” he said quietly. “You used to dress yourself. Now I have to do it for you.”

I wish I could help out somehow. No parent should have to go through this.

I'm pretty sure the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, whom we support, will be helping. Also, World Relief (different group, similar name)is launching an emergency response in China. My brother, Dan, works for WR.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy 80th, Data!

I'm sure one of the reasons I love to read is because my father and mother spent time with me paging through many picture books and sounding out words. This picture was taken in Belgium, I believe--Dad was studying tropical medicine in preparation for his doctor work in Burundi.

In addition, both Dad and Mom took French classes while in Belgium. He told me the other day that he still remembers a sentence the French teacher said aloud to test their comprehension: Le soleil brille. Neither of them had any clue what she'd just said!

Another thing I loved to do with Dad:

Happy birthday, Dad! I do have to say, I don't remember a day when you were without a beard, but these pictures are proof of a prior time...

* Data = Father in Kirundi, the language of Burundi
* Le soleil brille. = The sun shines.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bologna Photos

French Children's Books

Bikers at the Bologna Resistance Memorial

Bologna's Main Square

Typical Covered Sidewalks and Arches in Bologna

Since the Facebook photo link seems to have expired, I've uploaded a few of my Bologna pictures, in case you didn't get to see them.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mom and Me

This is one of my favorite photos. Gives me a peaceful feeling every time I look at it.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Crouching Murphy, Hidden Chew Toy

This is one of Murphy's favorite positions when he's gnawing on his chew toy. Still cracks me up. The canine yoga stance.

Bologna Writer's Panel

I promised to write more about Bologna (oh, only a week or two or three ago!)-- so rooted around in my notebook to find stuff to pass on.

The second day there, I attended a writer's panel. A few ideas that were mentioned:

As a reader, I love -- prose like music; a sense of yearning; writing that casts a spell so strong, I forget I'm reading; caring deeply about the character and any adversity they encounter.
--Susan Fletcher

We are truth-tellers. That's our job.

Young adults will read a book five or ten times. They're searching for connections, for places to help them choose, find direction.

--Susanne Gervay

Don't describe what people will assume. Describe what they won't assume.

I think that writing is almost a vocation.

--Kathleen Duey

Thursday, May 01, 2008


If you need cheering up, this might do it. I particularly like the baby with big teeth. Brilliant.