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28 March 2012


In the Midwest, the bulbs are all abloom.
In south Texas, we find prickly pear flowers.


Even the sparrow finds a home
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise!
Psalm 84:3-4

27 March 2012

San Diego

I traveled to San Diego to teach ESL training over the weekend, and was able to stay an extra night to catch up with two girlfriends.

Which was terrific!

They took me to Ocean Beach and then to La Jolla, and we ate great Mexican food, and since they are photogs, we took pictures.

And we laughed and talked and stayed up altogether too late, which is exactly what friends should do, right?

Thanks Michelle and Tina!
I can hardly wait to come back!


Upon looking at it close up, I realized that it was a mosaic, tiny pieces of tile.
Man, that must take patience!


Graffiti we can live with.


At the end of the day of teaching, what I like to do most is just sit.


The short time together blessed me. When I am 80 years old, I want to be as excited about telling people about my Savior as this lady is.

23 March 2012


an unexpected plane change on a three-leg flight, and I will probably never be the first on the plane ever again!


technology. a small part of me always wonders if it is really going to work...

21 March 2012

hope of all the ends of the earth

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas;
the one who by his strength established the mountains,
being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,
so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.
Psalm 65:5-8 (ESV)

20 March 2012


We headed east to the beach, leery of spring break students, driving into storm clouds. (it does seem we rarely have an easy blue skies trip to the beach!) The clouds poured rain and the winds blew gustily, so we enacted Plan B- a retreat to look at rescued sea turtles. We still made it to the beach, and the really hearty even went in the water. We left just as the skies brightened and the college kids came out. Good providence, say I!


Our first geocache outing, our first geocache find.
But a lot more difficult than you think it might be.

19 March 2012

march sadness

March Madness, the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, is an eagerly anticipated event in my house. For years, my family has filled in the bracket and lived the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. We cheer for Cinderellas, and yet collectively groan when a top seed loses and slays a bracket. The last few years, we have played through the ESPN Tournament Challenge, adding multiple brackets and friends to the mix. We look forward to those Thursday first round games with much anticipation.

So imagine my surprise, and disappointment, when I realized, well into Thursday evening, my brackets didn't make it into the challenge! I am not sure what happened. It is very possible that I didn't save and actually enter them. It is also possible that another family member (who shall remain nameless...) ACCIDENTALLY (no accusations here!!) logged onto my account, and changed my settings to his/her own and lost mine. No matter- no entry for me this year.

The good news? Would you believe I have picked every single game right?! We'll never know... My picks are less than scientific, so not even I really remember...

But meanwhile, over at Holliday Fam and Friends, here's a 1st and 2nd round shout out to the leader board- my friend Anne who is looking strong going into next weekend; buddy Tim who is enjoying the top while it lasts since his predicted winner already lost; and son James and sister Kim who are tied for third. Best bracket name this year- definitely goes to daughter Ashley, true truth in advertising- "Pretty Logos."

And from me, just like my Lobos, I'm thinking "next year..."

(photo credit: Don Ryan, AP)


Sunday chicken dinner.

17 March 2012


there's no place like home,
there's no place like home.


Sitting alone, in an old church, sun streaming through the stained glass windows...
will never grow old.


"You came on the second best day of the year."
"What was the first best day?"

ahhh, yes- Spring!


Grilled chicken taco salad- not your typical airport food...

13 March 2012


Today I neither felt that tall nor that brave...

12 March 2012


I picked up graduation caps and gowns today.
There aren't too many years of cleaning up pastel dust left...

11 March 2012


I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
- His Eye is on the Sparrow, written by Civilla Martin, 1905

(go to Redemption Hill Music for a free download of the song)

10 March 2012


First asparagus of the season.
Wait- first asparagus of TWO seasons!

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

"People aren’t like numbers.  They’re more like letters and these letters want to become stories.  Dad says that stories need to be shared.”
-Oskar Schell, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Sad and sweet and full of loss and searching and courage and even forgiveness and hope.
I read that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has received a ton of negative reviews, but I fall on the side of the Academy Awards. I walked away glad I had the experience of watching the film, and that hasn't happened often lately. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close told a story that I would recommend to all.


I think it was the coldest night of the year. My temperature finger was numb. But pass up Cherry Garcia?
No way!

09 March 2012

on the web

I use google reader to follow blogs and sites on the web. That has been a great thing, as I see when there have been updates and I don't spend much time checking randomly, hoping for new content. Some favorite finds this week:

that made me laugh out loud (both from 22Words):
Crazy Library Lady - the best part, not a sound to disturb the library peace!
Guy Pranks a Friend- wait for the ending!

that I just plain enjoyed:
Keep Calm and Carry On- the story behind the British WWII poster (from
Women Travelers: A Century of Trailblazing Adventures: and the photos! added to my reading list (from Design*Sponge)

that made me cry and my stomach hurt (both from
The New Scar on My Soul- on selective reduction from a dad's perspective
Tornadoes- basically, I will never get over living in Nebraska and knowing what tornadoes can do

and more.
so much good stuff out there...

(photo credit: Wartime Posters- there's more than just Keep Calm)

08 March 2012


The sun, a flaming ball of beautiful deep orange, lingered on the horizon only momentarily. I took a side road, hoping to pull off and get the shot, chasing my own pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.What?! Trees obscuring my view in south Texas?! By the time I got a clear shot, it sank from view, but the pink and the salmon of the clouds remained glorious.


Wednesday routine-
and so thankful for it.


have no fear bare cupboards- relief is on the way.

05 March 2012


Fees and lines and shoes off and computers unpacked and shoes off and waiting and waiting...
Airline travel used to be a lot more fun. Even so, I'm thankful for the privilege.


Alert reader Robert Bitto (an old high school friend- thank you facebook for reconnecting us after all these years! I, Miss Cole, sat behind Mr. Bitto and Mr. Bowman in World History in high school. Old school Mr. Murdoch, alphabetical order in rows, last names, don't be tardy!) noticed my leap year error. It should be the 366 in 2012 project! oops!

I blog corrected!

04 March 2012


Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God's people,

Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil.

So, God's people, shout praise to God,
Give thanks to our Holy God!
Psalm 97:11-12 (The Message)

03 March 2012


Isn't travel a wonder- that I can start the day in the desert southwest and be eating lunch on the Pacific coast?
What a delight- to be by the ocean and to see Navy ships and to be in the sunshine and mostly, to be treated to sweet hospitality and fellowship!

(photo taken at the famous Hotel del Coronado, on Coronado Island, CA near San Diego)

02 March 2012


to my friends in northern climes- please stop reading now if it will jeopardize our relationship, but know, you are welcome to visit ANY TIME...

Oh March of my dreams, how I have missed you!!
For all those years while living in the frigid icebox of winter known as the Midwest, I would think, "March! MARCH!! Spring! Blooms! Buds! Warmth!"
And alas. Every, single, year I would be faced with a disappointment so deep it would ache in my bones. (or maybe that was because of the outside temperatures and my refusal to wear a turtleneck or heavy sweater one, more, day...)

March was the longest, loneliest month in my calendar, I believe. If I had a say in the change of seasons, March, April, and May would be Spring. (check back with me here in May, when south Texas begins to take on the feel of a blast furnace...) Come March in the northern states, the grass is yet prickly and gray green. And the trees remains skeletal and bare. The remaining snow lays in lonely piles, shrinking yet grimy and polluted. March in the north, it brings no satisfaction.

What a difference 1152 miles can make! Today down here at the very tip of Texas, I wore shorts and flip flops. My grass is more green than I've seen it in 10 months (though I dare not go barefoot- too many stickers for that!). I drove with the windows down, and reluctantly turned on the air conditioning in my house. Even in this place of perpetual green, I can discern a difference, brighter and newer shades, fresh and vivid, on the trees. Driving through town, I see trees in bloom, and bushes flowering. This, THIS is spring!

Yes, I know that it's a give and take. In just a couple short months (then I look at the forecast- tomorrow?), the air will be hot and the sun yet again intense, and I'll long for a trip up north, to sit under a real shade tree and run my toes through soft grass and wait for the first lightning bugs of summer to appear. But today, I rejoice! Hurrah for March 1st!

01 March 2012


The familiar rhythmn of crossing has become a comfort. But I'm pretty sure I'll never get over touching my passport about a dozen times an hour.