Monday, April 30, 2007

Thibetan Cuisine

I don't think anybody spells "Tibet" with the "h" anymore. But I like to.

You can't really know anything about a nation's food, I feel, if you've only ever tried it once. This is why, even though my brother and sister-in-law's city is replete with ethnic restaurants, both times I visited them I wanted to go to the same Afghani one. (That, and the food there is really really good.) I've never had Afghani food anywhere else . . . not even in London.

(An aside: can anyone help me out with an alternate term for "ethic restaurants" and "ethnic food"? Because technically hamburgers and hotdogs could also be ethnic. It's like claiming one doesn't have an accent. Of course one does. Everyone has an accent. I feel I'm being very inaccurate when I say "ethnic," but I feel I'm being confusing and long-winded if I say, "I like food which is native to an ethnicity different to mine.")

I've never had Thibetan food anywhere but Noho, either. The first time I visited that fair city (or that interesting large town, I mean), I was hanging out with Holly, and we both thought that Lhasa seemed like an interesting place to get lunch. It turned out to be a rather surprisingly bland place to get lunch, but it was sort of a comforting blandness, like Cream of Wheat. Plus the decor and atmosphere were pleasant. So on Friday I decided to go back and give it a second shot.

Still bland. I prefer, as Former-Manager-Frank put it when I discussed this with him later, "to have my tastebuds assaulted." On the other hand, the thing with understated food is that you have to concentrate to pick out the flavours, and if you do, it can be pretty interesting after all. So I concentrated on the watery yellow lentil soup that came first, and realised it tasted like coriander (aka cilantro). I love coriander. Then I concentrated on the stir-fry and the steamed Thibetan roll. The roll was something like a dumpling (which is really fun to say out loud, because "something" and "dumpling" almost rhyme and it's a cute, chubby sort of rhyme) and tasted like yeast. In a good way. The stir fry tasted like a stir fry, without being overwhelmingly salty or soy-saucy. It was also nice because the vegetables were just the right cooked-crunchiness. Do not, I repeat, do not serve me soggy vegetables. (Please.)

I could never be a food critic because I don't really have that refined a palate (except maybe when it comes to coffee), and what I can pick out often doesn't sound very complimentary when I say it (see above), even when I enjoyed the experience. But I did enjoy the experience.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Roadtrip

I've been wanting to go on a roadtrip for some time now. It's kind of funny, because I don't like driving that much as a general rule, except for when I have to do it for hours on end. When I quit (for personal reasons) the master's degree counseling programme in which I was enrolled in Denver, I drove all the way home across the country by myself. I thought it was going to be scary (potential blizzards and inevitable truck stops), but I had a great time. I listened to the Focus on the Family radio theatre CDs of the Chronicles of Narnia and laughed and cried my way out of the Rockies, across the Great Plains, and into the Northeast. (I'm going to disclaim here and say I don't generally find myself an avid fan of FotF, but these CDs are amazing).

Now I have neither the time nor the gas money to take a proper road trip. If I did, I would drive to the writer's conference which I plan to attend in the Chicago area in June. But I don't. I have frequent flyer miles, which work out to be a lot cheaper. So I have to get my roadtrip fix in other ways--and (except for once last summer because of a date at Tanglewood) I haven't done it, until today.

Today I went to Northampton. Northampton (a.k.a. Noho) is different enough from where I live to make me feel like I've gone somewhere, but close enough that I can get there and back in a day and still have a few good hours to do something there. I like Noho in the way I like Boulder, largely because they're the same sort of place; they're both large towns with artsy shops, hazy spirituality, and the intimations of marijuana. I do not and have never smoked marijuana, hazy spirituality makes me feel . . . hazy, and I can't afford the supercool stuff in the artsy shops, but I still like towns like this.

I probably would have gone there as a mini-roadtrip anyway, but it was also a good excuse to visit Former-Manager-Frank. He was going to be at his current Starbucks this afternoon, and I got to Noho at 11.30 a.m. I figured I'd wander around the artsy shops and then hang out at his Starbucks and get some writing done. And so it was.

But it was a little more involved than that. So I'll tell you the rest of the story in future installments.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Other Kinds of Grace

Apparently this obstructive computer is starting to feel threatened by the fact that I'm actually in the market for another one that isn't it, because it's been working fine for the last two days. Which is why suddenly I'm posting all the time here, even though I said I wouldn't be able to. The Item says my computer knows I'm about to break up with it and it's trying to work on things.

Well, that's nice, but I'd still rather have a Mac, I guess, as ardently recommended recently by Triumphant Scott and eternally by Matthew-the-Macintosh-Evangelist. Also, Mark-the-Dell-Wielding-Computer-Whiz says that if I can find a Macintosh for cheap, I'd be better off. He also told me what sorts of things to look for, and even sent me some links to some decent offers.

All these guys are, interestingly enough, friends from the days when I was a nanny in Southern Connecticut. Matthew-the-Macintosh-Evangelist lived with his parents at the time, and I lived in a room with a ceiling only about six inches higher than the top of my head, in the basement of the house where I nannied. (It was a nice room. Just tiny, without a lot of clearance. Also, there was a dragon on the other side of the wall, but that's probably a story for another time.) Neither of us could host social gatherings, therefore. Mark-the-Dell-Wielding-Computer-Whiz and various other members of the Christian young adults' group we all belonged to at the time would hold parties in their homes, and when my dear friend Paulina and I weren't carpooling to them together, Matthew and I (and sometimes Triumphant Scott) would instead.

After I left the area for other countries, Matthew started preaching to me about the superiority of Apple computers, but I never had the wherewithal to shell out for one. Until now, apparently. If this recalcitrant piece of machinery can largely hold it together until July, I can buy Matthew's most recent Powerbook for an amount that actually falls within the range of my tax return. Matthew didn't know what I was getting back in my tax return. I didn't know I'd be getting back so much.

This is the kind of boon I might barely imagine but not really expect. I'm incredibly grateful for the projected provision. But I'm even more grateful for people who, with years and miles between, are still generously friends.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

In a Few Moments of Compu-Grace . . .

. . . let me reiterate that The High Calling is a site to be seen.

Here's what I'm thinking about today. In the months of trying not to say mean things about customers, and when the alarm clock goes off at 3.45a.m. so I can serve coffee to people who are up almost as early, and when I have to miss an episode of Lost to work a closing shift, sometimes a job feels like just a job. Today, when my alarm went off in the hours before dawn, I thought, "Will someone please let me off this gerbil-wheel?" (That was after I figured out what my alarm clock was, and why it was making that horrible racket.)

Then I went to work and served coffee to those early risers, and a few later risers who say absurd things like, "Yeah, I'm not awake yet; it's early" at ten o'clock in the morning, and I smiled and was pleasant, and they were, too, really. And all I did was serve coffee. It doesn't feel very transformational, but yesterday a customer told me he doesn't have any friends and then talked to me for about twenty minutes about other stuff. And sometimes I get a glimpse of how serving coffee is maybe making a difference anyway.

On Monday (along with the computer shutting itself off three times in succession), our sceptic system backed up into the basement, and this guy (who gets paid way more than I do, but also has to scubadive in other people's waste-products), came and cleaned out the tank in the dark. Since I feel that I never have any money, but at the same time it's one of my lesser-motivating factors (which would be why I still work at Starbucks instead of the law office, I guess), I have a hard time imagining what possesses people to make a career of such work. But I'm glad somebody does it. Just the fact that they're willing to, whether they acknowledge God in it or not, makes a difference to me. God's grace can be given and received in any work.

I was reading "I Choose" by Don Murdock on the very site I'm, um, citing. He talks about choosing to live out each of the fruit of the Spirit every day before heading in to one's gainful employment. I usually just say something quick and cursory like, "God, please help me to exhibit who You are today." It's kind of mindless, which is maybe the point, because then I don't have to think about choosing, and I am not in much danger of feeling convicted by a specific attribute that I am not very good at or "accidentally" ignore. The article was a good reminder of the fact that the point of following Christ is actually to follow Him and not expect Him to just drop you into goodness and sanctified work automatically.

I have a feeling I'll be thinking more such thoughts the next time I get to visit that site.

I would also like to mention some of the others who are writing about their daily work, and God's caring about it, and The High Calling site on this blog tour. They include:

Gordon Atkinson, L. L. Barkat, Gina Conroy, Craver VII, CREEations, Milton Brasher-Cunningham, Mary DeMuth, Karl Edwards, Emdashery, Every Square Inch, Green Inventions, Amy Goodyear, Marcus Goodyear, Al Hsu, Not Ashamed, Charles Foster Johnson, Mike McLoughlin, Eve Nielsen, Naked Pastor, Ramblin Dan, Charity Singleton, Stacy, Camy Tang, Writer… Interrupted

Visit them, too. It will be well worth it.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The High Calling Goes Live

In case you haven't gotten yours yet.

Mark Goodyear generously asked me to be a stop on the blog tour for his (and others') website, The High Calling. It's a site dedicated to getting the message out that God cares about our daily work--and to helping us dedicate said work to Him, daily. It's full of articles, podcasts, devotionals, and other resources to get us thinking about this--and doing it. If it strikes your fancy, consider becoming a member.

I wanted to peruse the site at length and then give you all sorts of observations about it, as requested, but this may well be the last day of this computer's life on earth. I reckon I have about two minutes to finish this post before my laptop self-extinguishes. I am unaware of the existence of any local internet cafes, and (in faith that God would let this one chug along a little longer--when He obviously had other designs--or something) I have not actually done any computer shopping yet. So you may not see me again for a while.

But I did want to make sure you, at least, knew about the High Calling site so you could peruse it at your leisure, even if I can't at mine.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Link Love

My mom said something like, "I hope you've seen the cute plug for your blog over at Loud Time."

I love being linked to. Also, I think I should publicly thank the Zimmer-Man for quite frequently (like, three times, which is kind of a lot) referencing this little corner of blogosphere. I hadn't seen said link, though, and there were two other posts on there which hadn't been there last time I visited either. Which made me realise I've haven't been here very much lately.

There are varying reasons for this, one main one of which is that I haven't really had much to say. (I know. You can't believe it. And furthermore, it's no good reason not to read what other people have to say.) So, while you're waiting for me to think of something more interesting, go visit some of the folks on my blogroll. And Tolkein fans, take special note of Heather's public service announcement here.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Spring, Is It?

The crocii have triumphed.

I love daffodils, and actually all flowers that come from bulbs, but the crocus is the flower which to me seems the bravest. They poke their heads out of the ground, sometimes around February, testing things out and getting snowed on, just, it seems, so that they can give the other flowers the all clear when it is. This year they've all been a little timid, though. I don't blame them. I haven't wanted to go out either.

It stayed warm here right up through the beginning of January, and then got cold and snowy and icicle-y. This week has been well-nigh torrential, and just to vary things a little bit, we've had some snow thrown in there as well. But today, right around midmorning, the sun finally came out. So I called YCW and we went for a walk again.

This time, because of all the rain, we were pretty sure her family's Private Property would have some submerged bits, so we went to a nearby living history museum where I used to work. One of the current employees is also a current Starbucks customer, and he gives me free passes, so I can take $20 walks with my friends for free.

We found some rather soggy patches there, too, but we told each other it still wasn't as bad as it would have been had we stayed at YCW's. Although . . . the lower fields by the farm were completely submerged, with Canada geese smugly swimming in them. We weren't walking in the fields, though. And we did meander into the general store for some fudge cookies.

YCW had a few crocii up at her place, but they were fairly exploding at "the Village." I wish I had had a camera with me so I could show you. But suffice it to say that the sight gave me hope for spring, and for the crocii and other bulb flowers struggling to make their way in the garden here, too.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Haircuts

Yesterday I went to Bledi's new salon so he could cut my hair. Bledi used to date one of our baristas, and after they broke up, we all knew him and so it was hard not still to be friends. He used to say I should go to him to get my haircut, so I scraped together my Starbucks tips and went, and since then I've kept scraping together spare change, because I've never had somebody cut my hair just the way I wanted it before Bledi. But he switched salons in January (about a week after my last haircut), and yesterday was my first visit to the new one. It's definitely a step up. Now I can say I not only have the best haircut of my life, but also the most expensive one. It's a good thing tips were really great last week.

At this new salon, you walk in the door and they offer you a choice of water, tea, coffee, beer or wine. It's "complimentary." I requested water, but seriously, if there's ever a next time and I have to pay as much for my haircut as I paid yesterday, I'm getting the wine. I don't care what time of day it is.

Along with the drinks, each client gets a brief scalp and shoulder massage before their shampoo. I really liked that part. Massages are definitely a great thing.

And then during the haircut, there is, of course, conversation. It helps that I already know Bledi. On the other hand, it means that our conversations are usually sort of the same, because we don't know each other that well. Mostly they're about how he's still with his girlfriend but they don't have that much in common and he isn't very happy, and how I'm still not with a boyfriend. Yesterday I told him about my book contract because it was something new to talk about, and because I thought he might be interested since he's Albanian. The first time he ever cut my hair, we talked about God, but he got caustic and belligerent and hurtful, and so, in spite of my frequent conversational propensities, I usually try to avoid the topic with him.

But yesterday I asked him if he had celebrated Easter. He laughed and said no but that he and his friends had made fun of the priest. He wanted to talk about the irony of the fact that "religious people" are always trying to "change" people, when the Bible doesn't actually tell you to go out and try to get people to believe in Jesus.

"Um, actually, it does," I said.

Then he wanted to talk about how the Qur'an doesn't tell you to go out and try to kill people.

"Um, actually, it does," I said.

Then he said something (the precise nature of which I forget) which was basically an open invitation for me to present the Gospel to him or something, and I didn't. I sat there while he snipped at my hair, fully aware that I really could say something and probably really should say something and that the something wouldn't be that hard to come up with. And I didn't say a word.

While I was sitting there rebelliously not saying a word, I was also trying to figure out why. I can talk about Easter to Zombie-Boy at Trader Joe's without much batting an eye. I can discuss Jesus and faith and life with The Item for hours. But not Bledi.

Of course, I don't really know Zombie-Boy, so there's nothing to threaten if either of us says something totally off-putting to the other. Who cares? I'm just there to do my grocery shopping, is all. And I do really know The Item. We have enough mutual trust that we can disagree with each other pretty vehemently (usually I'm the vehement one) and know it's still going to be okay. But Bledi? Bledi cuts my hair. I know him well enough not to want to jeopardise the acquaintance, but not well enough to trust that it won't be jeopardised. Talking about God makes him angry, and his anger is an unknown quantity to me. I don't want to risk, in this particular scenario.

I sat there, as he dried my hair, wondering what would have been the right thing to do, really. The Bible says to preach the word "whether the time is favorable or not." It wasn't. But I still didn't. Then again, when Jesus sent His disciples out evangelising the first time, He apparently felt there was a time when "unfavourable" was final. I've never known exactly what the balance is between those two approaches. But I'm not entirely sure I should be the one to decide when God's done giving someone second chances. I just don't know how to talk to Bledi. But maybe the point isn't whether or not I trust Bledi. Surely the point is whether or not I trust Jesus.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How is it that people are not all utterly enamoured with Trees?

Check it out. Even the bark is so beautiful . . .






















Monday, April 09, 2007

The Blog that Got Thunk

(Obscure title reference to Dr. Seuss' shorter-than-usual story "The Glunk that Got Thunk.")

There's something strange and heady (pun possibly intended) about this. Last week Heather, over at L'Chaim, gave me (along with four other illustrious folk) this here award. She also gave me one of the Nicest Compliments Ever. I have a little treasure trove in my head (and my journals) of what I consider the Nicest Compliments Ever. I usually don't tell people about them because it feels like bragging, but this one has already been inscribed on the blogosphere, so it's not like I can erase it. Or anything.

There are, of course, rules and sharing that go along with this award, and they are as follows:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote. You can choose silver or gold.

This was a hard one, because I pretty much only read blogs if they make me think. So I hope no one feels too left out if his or her name does not appear here. It's only because of the restriction of five, I promise!

So, my five are (closing eyes, spinning around, pointing):

1. Christy at Dry Bones Dance. Ever since Lent started, I have not been able to access her blog for some reason (so I hope the link works). She's a tremendously gifted writer with a quirky sense of humour and a rather different take on life than mine; her point of view challenges and spurs me on, which is always a good thing.

2. John of the Item. Come to think of it, he has a different take on life than I do, too. He makes me think on-line and off.

3. My brother, who is smarter than I could ever hope to be, and who lets some of that spill out over at Wakey, Wakey (aka Gray's Theology).

4. Craver VII might consider indulging his readers with some more material. He hasn't posted in a while. But when he does, it's usually a masterful blend of the absurd and the how-do-I-perceive-or-live-out-my-faith-in-that-situation. Which, if you can blend those two things masterfully, is a great idea.

5. Marcus Goodyear of goodwordediting. He's such a writing professional that I usually feel a little intimidated over there, but sometimes some intimidation is a good thing. Plus he's so nice about it. He talks about deep issues and writing with equal passion and intelligence.

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts! And for sharing them with us.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Blogworthy Thoughts


Today my brain has been full of what have, at one moment or other, seemed like blogworthy thoughts. You can be the judge of that I guess, but just in case I was right about any of them, I have written them all down. I might have been able to come up with worthy transitions between each of them, but that would have made for an insanely long post, so I broke them up. You can read them in the order they appear on the screen, or in the order in which I wrote them, which is, obviously, the opposite.


My guess is that one direction goes from the ridiculous to the sublime (as sublime as I can manage, anyway) and the other from the sublime to the ridiculous, but you can be the judge of which is which on that, too. In any case, all this "blethering," as Mariam likes to say, should give everyone something to comment about . . .


Meanwhile, I wish and hope and pray for you all a Happy Easter, and a wonderful year in the light of it.

Chats about Zombies

After work today, I meandered to Trader Joe's to do some light grocery shopping. I feel Trader Joe's to be a sort of sister-company, in that they seem to have a similar approach to customer service; the people at the registers actually try to make conversation with you. I like this very much (which, incidentally, is kind of funny, because I used to be terrified of talking to cashiers and suchlike). Today I asked the young chap ringing up my purchases if he celebrated Easter. I was going to wish him a happy one, but although I don't think there's a good reason to be offended for being wished a happy Easter even if you don't celebrate it, still, I also think there's no point in going out of my way to offend someone with whom I can't discuss the holiday at some length afterwards.

"Well, I mean, not really," he said, "but kind of I guess. I mean, family's coming over and stuff."

"That's nice," I said, insipidly but sincerely.

"Do you?" he asked politely.

"Um, yeah, I do," I said, trying to decide if I should be slightly more forthcoming and tell him that it is my favourite holiday of all the year, or at least that I was going to celebrate it with family, too. I was, of course, anticipating the obligatory, "Well, happy Easter then!" after which I would be on my merry way.

Only I had underestimated the Starbucks/Trader Joe's talk-about-anything propensity, because the next thing the guy said was, "Getting all ready to celebrate the return of Zombie-Jesus, huh?"

I guess he wasn't as concerned about offending people as I was.

I wasn't really offended, but I certainly was startled. This was the first time I had ever encountered this line of thinking. He appeared to expect that. He had said it with the pleased air of someone who had come up with the comparison all on his own and was accustomed to jarring people with it. I have to give him credit for that.

"Ummm . . . that's an interesting way to look at it," I ventured, trying to figure out if I could say anything a little more redemptive before the customers behind me in line got impatient or the kid clammed up and stopped talking.

Something about my hesitance must have clued him in to the fact that maybe I was a little more invested in the holiday than he had at first given me credit for, because he then began to try to backpedal vehemently.

"Well, I mean," he hemmed, "in my understanding, when someone dies, and then they come back to life out of their grave, they're zombies."

"Ah," I said, even though I am not up on my zombie lore, "but I believe zombies are still actually dead, whereas Jesus is alive."

"Are they dead, though?" he said, and reiterated his previous point. I couldn't answer the question, because I don't really know. Somebody that knows about zombies might enlighten me on this point.

But the kid was still going. "I'm not trying to say that's something bad, though. I mean, that Jesus was a zombie. He doesn't have to be a brain-eating zombie or anything. I mean, I'm pretty sure from whatever I've read in the Bible, He wasn't really that kind of guy . . ." By this time we had come to the end of my merchandise and I had paid for it and everything, and there were other customers in line, so there wasn't really any call for me to start grilling him on how much of the Bible he's actually read. Besides which, I've never read anything about zombies, nor do I intend to.

I don't remember how the conversation ended. I don't even remember if I wound up wishing him a happy Easter. But what I'm wondering is, could I have posited that zombies are animated, but not alive, and Jesus is alive? 'Cause I'll bring it up next time. I've seen that kid at Trader Joe's before.

Waiting-Saturday

That's what I call today--this day sandwiched in between heart-wrenching horror and disappointment and the glorious surprise of death's head being ground into the dirt and Someone beloved, appearing again, more alive than ever. The day when the disciples were likely in suspense without even knowing there was something to be suspended for.

On this day, I feel, all waiting converges. The waiting of Advent, for Jesus' first and now second coming. The waiting of Lent for the dawning of Easter. But also the waiting for other hopes and dreams and seeing how things will turn out. Once I said all life is kind of like Lent. But maybe really it's all like Waiting-Saturday. I know the reality of the brokenness of the world. (And other people know it far better than I do.) But Something has happened, and even though mostly life is going on looking broken, I can't shake the feeling that there's a What's Next, and it's going to be big.

Anyway, Waiting-Saturday has become kind of an important day for me, at least in my head. This year I observed it by getting up early before work and heading down to the church. Two young guys, one still in high school and the other just recently graduated from it, had decided to organise a prayer vigil at our church, spanning from the end of our Good Friday service last night, to the first of our two Easter services on Sunday morning. I thought this was a great idea, and it was nice to go when no one else was around.

Possibly, it would be an equally good idea to have this sort of prayer going on there all the time, and for me to participate in it before work, because even though it was a crazy-as-usual Saturday at Starbucks, I had an apparently endless supply of energy and good-will, nobody got on my nerves, coffee was purveyed, and I left at the end of my shift in a good mood. By which I mean, I kind of had fun.

Sacrifices and Substitutes

Yesterday I read about Abraham almost having to sacrifice his son Isaac. I wondered, I think for the first time, whether that event was in Jesus' mind when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweating blood, pleading for a way out.

In Abraham's story, God asked for a sacrifice, but at the last minute, when Abraham's faith was proved genuine, God provided a substitute. In Jesus' case, He was the sacrifice. But He was also the substitute. For some reason I'm never going to be able to figure out, God thought it was worth sacrificing His Son--Himself--so that He could have some sort of relationship with us--with me. I don't have a clue why. All I know is that I needed to suffer that eternal anguish that was concentrated for Him into one moment . . . and He stepped in and suffered it instead.

But this Awe-ful Friday, I just couldn't help wondering if Jesus, in His dread--of the physical pain, maybe, but surely more likely of His momentary cosmic separation from His Father--didn't wish there would be some sort of ram in the thicket which would accomplish for humanity what only His own death could do.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Earth Month

Easter's almost here. Death comes before resurrection, but there's this kind of anticipation of the shroud being flung off, even though we haven't got through that Best of Fridays yet. You can feel it in the blogosphere, too. People are talking about nature and life and the outdoors and . . . um, kicking things and private property.

Today I got the bright idea that I know someone with private property, with whom I could probably have a nice walk and a nice chat. So I invited myself over to Young Christian Woman's house and we went tromping through the rain-sodden forest. (It wasn't actually raining, but it has been, and the ground felt a little like pudding in places.) Let it be known that there are "No trespassing" sorts of signs in certain places on the property, but they are not overly prolific, nor are they yellow.

The walk was really beautiful, especially the swamp part. I'm serious. Have you ever looked at a swamp? There's something about dead trees jutting starkly out of the water that is so stunningly bleak and inspiring. Plus, at the tops of some of these tree-skeletons were the crackly tufts of herons' nests. YCW conceded that we probably wouldn't see any herons, though we had been wishing we would, and then suddenly and obligingly a heron flapped into view, pterodactyl-like, and perched on its nest. It remained there for as long as we did, which was quite a few minutes, and I felt some sort of benediction. Then we went inside and had hot chocolate, which was nothing to be sneezed at, either. (Although I think YCW did inhale some of the powder by accident.)

In another natural vein, I was finally reminded to check out Gustavo's blog. Gustavo is one of the men who works with my aunt in Costa Rica. I found out about his blog shortly after my visit there last autumn (which can be read about in posts like this and numerous ones thereafter--finishing here, and with a complete photo-post here). But then I forgot to visit it until my aunt's Christmas letter arrived yesterday. (I feel that I can be forgiven my tardiness, as it clearly runs in the family.) He is currently writing about trees and soda bottles. This is a good blog to read if you're interested in checking out some great stuff going on in Costa Rica. Plus I really enjoy recognising a few of the kids in the photos.

Title

Today is a good day. I finally figured out how to get a title field for my posts.

Hey, I never claimed to be the sharpest tack in the box.
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