Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Undeserved surprise

This morning I was feeling pretty low for a variety of reasons. I came upstairs after I had packed the girls lunches and sent them off to school and found this on my computer keyboard. My youngest daughter had put it there with a sweet message inside. It turned my day around. Funny how something like that can make such a big difference.

Madagascar...the people

My living conditions Janurary 19

My views of Paris January 18

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sometimes my kids surprise me.

First, I want to apologize to all the other 365ers. I haven't been able to post any comments lately. I can't wait to catch up with everyone. It's been all I can do to snap a picture of my own.

I'm running around in circles. I can't get focused. I ran downstairs and there was Tori, studying for one of her exams with her snack. Wow. Maybe I didn't ruin their eating habits. How often do you see kids choosing veggies (even if she did add ranch dip) for their after school hunger buster? Made me proud! Now, if only I could always make such wise choices!

And then this is the other picture I was going to post. Since I'll be silent for the next few days, I figured I could go ahead and post more than one today. I love candles. For a long time I was too economical to burn them...if I burned them I'd use them up. What kind of logic is that? I guess I'm a grandchild of the depression! I'm finally over it though, and I love the sight the smell, the feeling.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I'm getting ready to go to Madagascar. It's a little stressful, only because I'm not sure what's going on. I think conditions are going to be pretty rough. I was advised to bring long sleeved, cool clothing. Unfortunately, I don't have much of that! I guess mosquitoes are pretty bad. They said there are two kinds. The daytime critters cause dengue fever and the nighttime ones cause malaria. What fun!
It's going to be okay though. It's definitely not a vacation. I hope and pray that God will use me somehow. I ordered a few books on ESL. I'm desperately hoping they arrive prior to my departure. I have tomorrow to run the last minute errands and stock up on food for Art and the kids. Then the next day, I'm off!

Monday, January 15, 2007

January 13-15, 2007

These pictures loaded backwards, but that's okay. I was at White Sulphur Springs this weekend, a retreat center for a group called Officer's Christian Fellowship. We go twice a year with the mids from the US Naval Academy. They are weekends of football and skits and line dancing and talking and then there is always a speaker. This weekend we didn't participate as much as usual. I was trying to get some talks ready to give in February. I leave for Madagascar on Thursday and go down to Florida soon after I return, so time is short. The girls were studying for finals. Anyway, the center is in Pennsylavania, it's really pretty. It's beautiful in the snow, but no snow this time. : ( This is the road leading up to the barn.

The mids almost always have a skit night. Here we've got three of the guy mids embarrassing the heck out of one of the girl mids by singing to her. The guy on the left is about 6'8"!
This was where I spent a lot of time, working on my talks. It's a really old inn, built in the 1800's. This is probably the best room. Unfortunately, there is no internet access!

Well, these pictures aren't much to look at, but they are pretty representative of my weekend.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

We went to Tori's basketball game tonight. It's really hard for me to get good pictures in a gym, but even though this isn't technically good, I like it. We're leaving town tomorrow, I may or may not be able to post while we're gone. But I will take a picture a day while we're gone and post them when I get back.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

January 11, 2007...again

I know I already posted once today, but I have to post again. We just got back from watching Tori, our youngest daughter, in a play. It was a sort of medley of Shakespeare with minimal props. She kept telling us she just had two tiny parts, not to expect too much, etc. Tori's very quiet, she doesn't like to be the center of attention, not extroverted at all. So we were all literally sitting with our mouths hanging open when she was on stage. This was a different child. She was great! Her expressions were animated, but not too much so, her motions were natural, she seemed completely confident. When she left the the stage we all looked at each other in stunned silence. Here she is playing the part of Portia. She's the one on the left. Anyway, I had to share this. We were all just so shocked.

January 11, 2007

I'm blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the country. It's easy to take pictures around here. I drive over a bridge daily, and this shack is next to the bridge. I've been wanting to photograph it for a while, so this morning I got up and went as the sun came up to catch it. It was an added bonus that the mist was rising from the river.
So...I got an early start. Hopefully I can make good use of this day that God has given me. I bought and downloaded the household chore organizer that was recommended to me. Hopefully it will help.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

January 10, 2007

We have this beautiful Greek Orthodox church just a mile or two down the road. I love to see the sun glistening on the gold of the dome and the crosses and bells. Once a year they have a Greek Festival and the cars park everywhere! They have greek dancing and drink and of course food, including gyros!

Winter has definitely begun to make its presence known. The cold whipped around me as I took this picture and bit at my fingers, making me wish for the gloves I left at home.

I went to Barnes and Nobles with my dd looking for books on teaching ESL. There really wasn't anything there for teaching conversational English, they all assume reading and writing. Sigh. Doesn't someone want to write one?

Also looked at some Russian books. It's such a daunting language. I may give it a try though.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

January 9, 2007

This is my second daughter, fourth child, helping me out today. She needed the money and I needed the house cleaned, so it worked well.

She graduated from college last month and now she's living at home taking classes in what she wishes she'd majored in! Art education. I don't think her other degree is wasted though. She was always terrified of being in front of others and she chose her major (communications) to make herself overcome that fear and she did. She graduated in 3.5 years, playing varsity soccer the whole time. Not bad. It's great to have her home again. Her boyfriend spent Christmas with us. He's a great guy. We are all assuming this is leading to marriage, but right now he's working on his private pilot's license so that he can join the military as a pilot. We can't seem to get away from this whole military connection. Even our daughter who is a civilian works for a defense contractor! Go figure.

Monday, January 8, 2007

January 8, 2007

Talk about a last minute effort! It wasn't for lack of desire, it was simply a lack of time. I was in DC all day, (for the last time as a volunteer, I turned in my letter of resignation) and then to my dd b'ball game, north of Baltimore, then home and out the door again to our small group from church. Fortunately I had my camera in the car, so when I saw the moon, I knew that was my picture. I was wishing I had a tripod with me, so that I could get details of the surface of the moon, but beggars can't be choosers. And I was glad to see this. I was resigned to the fact that I was going to have to take a picture of the headlights of the car in front of me, that would have been fairly representative of my day! My dh drove down the road for me, so I could get a better foreground, bless his heart. He's a good guy. Of course we have our moments. I guess most everyone does. But he tries so hard to help and support me. It's a huge gift, really it is.
I had another great thing happen. I'm going to Madagascar on the 18th of January. I've been a bit nervous because I have so little information. One of the guys in our small group works for the military as a pilot and guess where he is going to be the second half of this month? Africa! So he gave me the satellite number of his plane (jet?) and told me to call if I get in any trouble! Isn't that cool? I have a safety net! I seriously doubt that I'll need it, but it sure is nice to know that it's there.
Anyway, happy Moonday!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

January 7, 2007

Warning: Corny poetry

Nothing to do, so I was at the stove cooking,
Cracking the eggs and not really looking.
When out of the window I saw something white,
In the depth of the winter an unusual sight.
I ran for the door and slipped my shoes on...
For what were the chances of spotting a swan?
This time of year they swim waters warm
And leave our small creek alone and forlorn.

I ran through the woods with my lens in my hand,
Running roughshod through the woods on our land.
The swans were not staying within easy view,
But this was the shot to be shared with all you.
My shoes were too slick and I took a slight tumble,
Though my camera was safe, my dress, it got rumpled.
The leaves were sliding all over the place
And when I got to the hills I slackened my pace.
And there at the point as I leaned on a log,
I took this sweet picture to place on my blog.
I hope you enjoy it, it seems God's special gift,
I hope that their beauty gives your spirits a lift.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

From my kitchen window

It's one of the things that I love most about having undeveloped land behind us. The glimpses that we get of wildlife, like this buck I saw this morning. We've seen foxes and turkeys and deer and of course all kinds of birds. Sometimes there are swans swimming in the water behind the deer.
I even enjoy the squirrels...just NOT at my birdfeeders. Greedy little creatures. :) And smart too, which makes them frustrating!

Friday, January 5, 2007

January 5, 2007

Some of my friends have been feeling blue about their kids growing up and entering a new stage of life. Which is normal. I'm feeling it too, just at the next stage. Sharing my kids with their jobs, and their spouses and feeling the distance. But I just wanted to say that there are some good things too! My dh and I can go out for lunch, just the two of us, without leaving anyone behind! And (since there are no growing teenage boys) bring the leftovers home for supper! There are other good things as well. More freedom. But sometimes I wish I could go back in time for just one day and revel in their childhood again and feel their arms around my neck. I want to play games with them and read them books and splash them in the tub. I guess God is preparing me to be a grandmother.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

January 4, 2007

I love watching the birds out my kitchen window. I have four feeders. I only wish I had some trees nearby for them. I wonder if it makes them nervous being so out in the open? We're even getting several kinds of woodpeckers at our suet feeders!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

January 3, 2007

I'm posting a picture of the sunrise that began my day. If I posted a picture that really represented my day, it wouldn't be nearly so pretty! I spent most of the day at the clinic, trying to get some prescriptions refilled and get ready to go to Madagascar. Shots, malaria meds, and all that. One thing after another went wrong and on top of it there was another frustration. The man who is my contact for the trip to Madagascar has not been answering my emails and I knew that he left the country today. I knew he had purchased my ticket, but I still didn't have it. And I didn't have any of my questions answered. I was getting so stressed that I was beginning to have nightmares. So...I was trying to get hold of him all day. He finally called as I was fixing supper tonight, right before boarding his plane for Europe! And then, my ticket arrived in the mail! So that was a huge relief. I was really beginning to doubt that the trip was going to happen. I saw two of our mids this afternoon. Betsy stood in for me (I was still at the clinic) and picked them up at the airport. It was so good to see them again. Both want to go Marine Corps. Then tonight one of our former mids dropped in with a friend. They are spending the night here before heading down to Quantico and TBS. Grant just finished a Master's degree in Applied Math at Oxford. Then he went to Morocco for ten weeks for an intensive Arabic course. He's a really interesting guy. It was great to talk to him again. Hopefully he'll come up some weekends.

Well, my arm is sure sore from this typhoid shot. It's the first time I can remember that a shot has bothered me. And last year I got four at one time!

Okay, here's the picture. It didn't turn out as well on film as it looked in real life!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

January 2, 2006

The second day of a new year, but it's also a day of endings. The celebrations are over and the clean up begins. For a while there will be empty spaces where the decorations were until they are filled again with the humdrum of everyday life.

Holidays are hectic, crazy, fun, different, busy and sometimes enough to drive me crazy but when they are over, relief is mixed with melancholy. So here is a picture of today.

Please bear with me!

I'm trying to learn so many new sites at one time. I didn't even realize we could get comments! I'm going to try to post my January 1 photo. If it works, thank 7!

We had a quiet celebration. We went downtown earlier to Annapolis' First Night celebration, but the rain sent us home. So we played games and drank sparkling cider. I wonder what the coming year holds for Betsy and Eli?