Sunday, September 23, 2012

Alone with the heavens

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be." - Anne Frank

My desk companion

Look who came home with me from the grocery store the other day! I must have been standing in front of those bins for at least 10 minutes trying to decide on a pumpkin. All the bumps, shapes, colors, and sizes give each such a unique personality! I will try to limit my number of pumpkin posts this season, but for this pumpkin-loving girl, it is best I do not make any promises in that regard : )  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

In case you were also wondering . . .

Reading Partners is a national literacy non-profit with a strong affiliate here in Dallas. We provide one-on-one personalized literacy instruction to help students reading 6 months to 2.5 years behind grade level. We empower the community to make a positive change and transform each child’s reading experience. Our model is research-based and outcome oriented. Research has shown 83% of fourth graders from low-income families are reading below grade level. For every month with RP, our students typically gain 1.6 months of reading skills. We are working to make literacy a national priority so that every child can reach his or her full potential through the joy and power of reading!

So many people have been asking, so I have been practicing how to offer the above description of where I work word-for-word. With a few more practices, I should be able to quote it in my sleep! Are you interested in being one of our wonderful volunteer-tutors : ) Please see here

"W" Bookshelf Love

Eeek! Can someone help me build this please? This would look perfect perched above my bed. The convenience of grabbing a book before bedtime only makes it more appealing! I generally lean toward more traditional structures, but this modern design is beautiful, I think!

Photo via: Modern Hepburn 

Monday, September 3, 2012

September has come

What did you do this Labor Day weekend? I was able to visit with dear friends and family. What a blessing they are to me! I feel as though I am overcome with peace and as ready as ever for the week ahead! I cannot explain it, but there are two things that seem to have that effect on me: water and family. How the two are connected, I could not say, but I am always in such a better place after being near water, family, or as was the case this weekend, both!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My morning run with Hawthorne

On my morning run, some of the most prominent American authors cheered me on, one step at a time. I ran up and down these steps a time or two, but as I was so intrigued by the quotes etched into the stone, I soon forgot about my exhaustion. After my second set of stairs, I stopped to catch my breath and take a picture of a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne. His words are so wise and thought-provoking and as I continued my morning workout, this quote lingered in my mind.

Other notable quotes by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

“Words -- so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.”

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you”

“Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not.”

“Our most intimate friend is not he to whom we show the worst, but the best of our nature.”

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bay Area landmarks

Photo via: Pixarplanet

Among all the sights to see in the Bay Area, Fenton's Creamery must be the most amusing! This traditional ice cream parlor was featured in the animated Pixar film, Up. After a full day of training, the entire outreach team gathered at Fenton's where we were met by mile-high hamburgers and vanilla malts served in shiny tin pitchers.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Buttercup mornings

I have returned to Dallas after a whirlwind trip to the beautiful Bay Area! Pictures of San Francisco are soon to come. The coolness of the Pacific Coast was a welcome treat after the sweltering heat of Texas. There is comfort in being back in Dallas, but I cannot help but miss the friendships formed during those two weeks of training. Every morning, we would gather at a pie diner known as the Buttercup around 8 a.m. After about three consecutive days, we became "regulars" and were directed to "our" booth, where "our" waitress, Barbra, always welcomed us with a warm smile. She soon learned our orders and by the second week, she would bring me oatmeal and a fruit cup as soon as she saw me snuggling into our booth in the far corner of the diner. As each person staggered in, I would slide further down the booth, allowing us all to gather around the table. With yawns and sleepy eyes, we would talk about the day ahead between sips of coffee and forkfuls of Belgian waffles and three-egg omelets. Barbra gave me the biggest hug on our last day of training. I shall miss those bleary, yet comforting mornings spent gathered together at the Buttercup.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

First day charm


I am so blessed to call this my new "workplace"! Despite showing up on the first day without a voice (I think my body may be telling me to slow down a bit), it was the perfect first day! I feel so honored to be working for this organization. There is nothing more encouraging than working with passionate people for a cause you deeply support. To read more about Reading Partners, please see this link

Friday, July 20, 2012

Just a little trick

I have always been told, to keep flowers looking fresh longer, add a sprinkle of sugar to the vase water! It is such a helpful little trick! Someone else told me that a copper penny works much the same. Do you have any other tricks up your sleeve?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bacon, egg and toast in a cup

I recently made these bacon, egg and toast cups and they were quite a success. I took a few liberties with this Martha Stewart recipe. There are so many variations you could do. Stick with the base of toast and eggs and then add your favorite toppings . . . feta, spinach, tomato, artichoke . . . and enjoy!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stadtporträt Lucerne

Der See. Die Stadt. Natur pur. Lucerne (oder Luzern auf Deutsch) has everything to offer the traveler. My favorite moment was when five of us rather ungracefully climbed into a red paddle boat . . . purses, cameras and all. We propelled ourselves along the reflective surface . . . all the while admiring the city sights from our serene look-out point. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

To realize the value of ONE YEAR,
ask a student who failed a grade.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH,
ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of ONE WEEK,
ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of ONE DAY,
ask the person who was born on February 29th.

To realize the value of ONE MINUTE,
ask the person who missed the train.

To realize the value of ONE SECOND,
ask the person who just avoided an accident.

To realize the value of ONE MILISECOND,
ask the person who won the silver medal in the Olympics.

Anonymous, excerpt from Bernard Werber's Empire of the Angels

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

America-Canada Day

Photo via: Modern Hepburn

The Americans and Canadians in our little community in Kandern, Germany are coming together today to take part in a joint celebration of our respective countries. With Canada Day on July 1 and Independence Day on July 4, today seemed like an appropriate compromise! If the weather will cooperate, we will pay tribute to America-Canada Day with a traditional barbecue complete with homemade salads in Tupperware, hot dogs, potato chips, and multi-colored popsicles. As it is, the rain showers have come in steady, rhythmic patterns today. Rain, sunshine, rain, sunshine . . . our timing will need to be impeccable if were are to avoid a rain-soaked party.  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Basler Papiermühle

The Basler Papiermühle is a fully functioning workshop. During Sarah’s visit, we were able to try our hands at paper making, typesetting, calligraphy . . . etc. She was enthralled by the historical exhibits and the technical artistry of the craft transfixed me. The workshop employs methods used from the Middle Ages up to the start of mechanization in the 19th century. I am adamant that typography is the ART of producing a text by means of letters, lines, pictures, spaces, etc. The result is apparent whenever we read a text, whether print or electronic. The design and development of a typeface is, in my personal opinion, an art form. Wouldn’t you agree? Have you ever marveled at the beauty of a manuscript?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

For you . . .


You really do.  You’re beautiful.  Go out and conquer this world.

Print via: Modern Hepburn

You do. You truly do! Now go out, have the most amazing day, and remember that I love you!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hair tutorial

Smashing girls with gorgeous locks . . . the track is "Cotton in the Grossness" by Bexar Bexar and the video was created by Tiger in a Jar. On my next long morning, when I have more primping time than usual, I will be giving these new styles a go!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Words to keep inside your pocket

Quiescent - a quiet, soft-spoken soul.
Chimerical - merely imaginary; fanciful.
Susurrus - a whispering or rustling sound.
Raconteur - one who excels in story-telling.
Clinquant - glittering; tinsel-like.
Aubade - a song greeting the dawn.
Ephemeral - lasting a very short time.
Sempiternal - everlasting; eternal.
Euphonious - pleasing; sweet in sound.
Billet-doux - a love letter.
Redamancy - act of loving in return.

Via: Bathwater

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Awandering we will go

Die Wildhornhütte liegt im Naturschutzgebiet Gelten-Iffigen. We ventured out on Saturday morning and up, up, up the mountain we climbed. The contrast in terrain was striking. At one moment we were stripping off layers, sweltering in the heat, and at the next, we were bundled up, trudging through the snow. After a day of wandering through God's majestic creation, we reached our destination. Ovaltine and hot milk awaited us at the top. Despite rather tight quarters, we all slept soundly and awoke to a day of slipping and sliding back down the mountain. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tea time at Wittlingen

These photos were taken at Wittlingen, the dorm where I lived as a sophomore and junior in high school. My room, both years, overlooked this sprawling backyard with its tire swing and wild strawberries. On lazy spring days, we would take our after-school snack outside and have a picnic in the warm sunshine . . . 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The stylish men in my life

I love these two men, not for their GQ-worthy style, though I would contend they are the most handsome men I know, but for their compassion for those in need. They love others with a selfless love and they are devoted, mind and heart, to the pursuit of the Truth. Leaders among men and humble in spirit, I am honored to call them father and brother.