Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Message From A Stranger

When I was driving through a nearby town, I saw a young man on the corner of the street holding a sign.  I looked closely, and in bold letters it said JESUS LOVES YOU.  I smiled and waved at him.  He had the kindest smile and eyes.  When I was driving back, I noticed him again, but this time he was holding his sign and dancing.

Sometimes people just
make our day,
ya know?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Barcelona Bound

I dream of travel, and Europe holds a special place in my imagination. 

To celebrate the achievement of my Ph.D., this year I decided to plan a very special trip with my two best friends and travel buddies, my sister Jess and my husband Renecke. 

We'd like to invite you to come along with us on a tour of Barcelona. 

The Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí, designed this awe-inspiring Roman Catholic Church, La Sagrada Família. 

When we visited, the day was hot but the sky was filled with white billowing clouds. The sunbeams pierced the cloud cover to backlight the massive stone spires topped with bushels of berries.

Construction began in 1882 and is scheduled to be completed in 2026. This construction worker is one of the many who have helped Gaudí to realize his wildly creative vision over the last century and a half.   

Barcelona has a striking combination of architectural styles. Art Nouveau buildings stand next to Gothic churches and the walls of old Roman forts.  

In the Barrio Gotic we stumbled upon a labyrinth of alleyways that might have looked the way they did in the Middle Ages. 

We ate and drank our way through the city, stopping at inviting restaurants every few blocks for flavorful tapas and cold sangria.

Las Ramblas was bustling with shops selling brightly colored flowers, tourist trinkets, jewelry, gelato, open-faced sandwiches, and fresh squeezed juice.  

The Columbus Monument was a welcome sign that we were close to the beach. 

The three days we spent in Barcelona were the perfect kick-off to our summer travel adventure. 

We look forward to sharing our time with you in Nice, France next week!

~ Nel ~

Friday, July 24, 2015

Downtown Fun

We have a downtown
festival every week
in our town during the
summer months.
There are goodies to buy,
and the shop windows
are all decked out
to look at when the
people are passing by.
Kids play tirelessly
in the fountains.
Polished vintage cars
are on display.
And there's a bench
to sit at when you can't
walk any more.
It's a fun thing to do
in our town during these
hot summer months.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Taste Of Europe

Here's a little preview of the girls' trip when they traveled to Europe.  They went to three different places, which we'll show more of later.

In Barcelona there is a special fountain on the main street called Las Ramblas.  They say that if you drink from the fountain, you'll return to Barcelona one day, so of course, Nel had to do it.

Nice is very nice. The harbor, swanky shops, and all the people walking through the streets makes the city alive and bursting, especially at night.

The little town they went to in Switzerland was so unbelievably charming with its swiss-style chalets and cozy cabins and all its natural beauty.  The people are incredibly nice and down to earth too.

I do worry about them when they are a thousand miles away to a distant far away land, but I am delighted they get to explore many different places.  But I always ask myself, "where will they go next?"

Saturday, July 18, 2015

They Don't Know

I was talking to a friend one time about my blog friends, and they looked at me as if I was talking about the wind.  It seems that they were puzzled on how someone can build a relationship with another by merely a blog.  But they don't know.

There is Patricia, my Australian gem, who is superb in all she says and does.  She keeps me updated on the worldly news, latest fashion, and exceptional art.  She is interesting and well-rounded, and we have a mutual fascination with the red cardinal.

Mary's splendid cakes are fabulous.  The time she puts into making them for family and friends shows her unfailing love.  Her taste in home décor is similar to mine like no other.

When the first thing you hear is "good morning darling"  from Ria in the Netherlands, it just makes your whole day.

Taryterre can spin a few words and give us a story that enchants us for days.  Her comical way with words makes me smile daily.  She's real, funny, and wonderful.

There is Diana, who is everyone's favorite with her witty, caring, and delightful character, and with all her creativity, wisdom, and laughs, she fills our hearts with humor every day.

Val  has been with me from the beginning, and has even sent gifts from her home in Portugal.  She is a grand lady with the same love for roses that I have.

What would my day be like without visiting my dear friend, Susie?  Her daily happenings remind me of a time when life was true, pure, and good.  She's salt of the earth, and a strong role model for all women.

Penny's precious creations melt your heart.  She adds facial character to her animals, with a splash of music and fun that brings back the whimsical in all of us.  A truly good person with a genuine heart, and I cherish each time I talk with her.

Dewena is a gal after my own heart, who enchants me with her words and wisdom.  A great lady who sees the big picture, not just the small screen, and who writes eloquently about her thoughts in a way that I can really relate.

Teresa told me once that while there's one child that looks upon the sky watching balloons flying by, faith isn't, can't be lost.  I only wish I had her imagination.  She is an inspiration to me, and like this balloon floating away, if we ever part from each other in the blogging world, my love for her will never fade.


Then there's Marcia, whose faith is everlasting, and whose gentle touch shows us a more beautiful world.  The detail and time she puts into her creations turn out to be a work of art.  And whose magical finger turns everything she touches to gold.

Jemma has a passion for life that thrills me!  She sees the good in all things.  She exudes color, charm, sincerity, and beauty, which makes the world a better place just by her being here.  She is the lovely face of what woman should be like.  My appreciation and respect for her is immense.

Kim, whose world touches the very core of my heart, and whose gentle kindness flows through her words and pictures.  Not many words she speaks, but what comes from her lips is truth.  Whose very own blog encouraged me and the girls to start one of our own.  And whose spirit connects with mine and so many others.

And Anita, a gentle spirit with a courageous heart.  Someone so amazing that you wonder how you ever got along without her.  She radiates strength, knowledge, wonder, and love, and is a rock in my life reminding me that once again, all is right with the world.

These are just a few of the amazing women here in blog land, and there are many others (Diane, Barbara, Karen, Nely, Lynn, Irina, Holly, Lucy, Tessa, Jess, Carolyn, Nancy, Susan, Deserae, Rue, Leslie, Ann, Celestina, Heather, Aida, Stephanie, Olympia, Deborah, Bety, Mary, Lauren, Dee, Angie, Judy, Patty, Doreen, Carla, Kimberly, Shirley, Imogen, Bonnie, Faye, Terra, Ana, Jennifer, Ritta, Janice, Stacy, Merle, Jan, miss b, Regine, Linda, Susie, Patti, Paula, Jan, Robin, Brandi, Jody, Noelle, Rose, Mona, Amalia, Grace, Vera, Francis, love t). Some may think that they are mere faces on a screen, out of reach and wondering to can you really ever be close to someone that you've never met?

But they don't know,
do they?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Not So Fancy Dinner

Every week, I go out to dinner with my son so we can catch up with the happenings of the family and spend some time together.  Instead of going to a fancy restaurant, this time we just went to the park.  I picked up some burritos and drinks at our favorite place, and we sat and ate them at the park.

I noticed a trail around the park, so I told him to walk with me for awhile.

This park is in an older neighborhood.  It's one of my favorites, where houses are painted in mint green,

squirrels scatter about, and birds come right up to you.

On the way home, a song came on the radio, Red Red Wine by Bob Marley.  We listened to it, and I thought of my son, who is my best friend.  He's the coolest young man I know, and he's always there with a smile, giving me a laugh or two, and bringing me peace every day.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Just Because

A little bit of my world
this summer.
I hope your weekend
is special.