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May 22, 2011

Let's Imagine You Have a Garden

Let's imagine you have a garden (some of us do). 

Let's say you have no garden service (some of us don't). 

Now pretend the Queen of England and Duchess Kate (or your favorite sports star or actor/actress) called and said they wanted to come visit your garden next week.

Would you get out there and do some mowing, trimming, pruning, edging, and weeding? Maybe even some planting and fertilizing and watering? Would you look at it with new eyes to see the potential of what could be made of your garden or how it could be improved?

Now let's say it's the King of the Universe coming to see it, and it's not your garden, it's your heart, mind & soul. And you don't know when He's coming, but He's definitely coming, and you're indelibly etched on His itinerary. And He offers to send Someone to help you get ready, if you'll let them. Oh wait, this isn't pretend. It's actually happening.

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May 22, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 16, 2011

Memorizing 19 Verses in June - Psalms and Colossians

Next month, in June, I plan, God willing, to memorize 19 Bible verses, from Psalms and Colossians, one a day from June 1-19:

June 1-15 - 15 verses from Psalms, from all the chapters ending in 6 (6, 16, 26, etc. up to 146)

Then, June 16-19 - 4 verses, one from each chapter of Colossians

If you would like to join me, you are most welcome, whether to meditate on the verses or memorize them. The Psalms are great stimuli for prayer!

There is also an accountability group online you can join for weekly encouragement in memorizing the verses.

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May 16, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 14, 2011

Knie Circus and a Duckling

As we waited to enter the Swiss National Knie Circus last night at the Zurich Lakefront, David photographed the cutest little duckling swimming near the shore:


Turning 180 degrees, with our backs to the lake, we could see this hungry llama...


In the show, the llamas were amazingly organized and well-trained as they trotted around the ring in various formations and leapt over each other in synchrony. I had no idea llamas were so teachable. And they looked so soft, too.

There were some insanely flexible, strong, daring, and balanced athletes performing. One troupe included a guy who stepped from head to head of his standing colleagues (no hands). Later, another guy stood on his head on top of his colleagues' feet (no hands, they were on their backs on the ground), and then they passed him around from person to person (on his head on their feet, no hands).
This is another troupe:

(all photos by my husband David)

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May 14, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (2)

May 08, 2011

Seleger Moor - David & Jason's Photos

I asked David to bring his wonderful big camera to Seleger Moor with us yesterday, and here are some of his fruits (and Jason took some as well).

Photo collages made for free online with http://www.photovisi.com

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May 8, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (1)

May 07, 2011

A Flowery Treat: Seleger Moor

Mother's Day weekend is a great time to visit the rhododendron/azalea/water lily park 15 minutes from our house, and see frogs and flowers galore:


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This says, in German, "Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf!" (Psalm 66:5). And underneath that, something like, "Praise and fame to You, God; You have brought about a glorious and beautiful creative work."
Awesome to see this credit given where credit is due, outside such a gorgeous garden.
David also baked this lovely four-layer chocolate cake for me:


May 7, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vienna Day Three: Kunsthistorischesmuseum, Part 2

Those with functioning eyes can look at the Madonna of the Meadow, by Raphael... 

While the blind or partially sighted can run their fingers over a relief model of the painting! Very cool, with Braille explanations in German...


Here's Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's 3rd wife (the one who died just after childbirth, poor thing), as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The great condition of these paintings is just amazing. This one is from 1537. 1537. That's over 470 years ago. Ok, that's a long time for a painting to stay so vibrant and clear. 



Then we admired some Pieter Bruegel - The Hunters in the Snow (1565)...


And the Tower of Babel:

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May 7, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vienna Day Three: Kunsthistorischesmuseum, Part 1

My favorite thing in Vienna's Kunsthistorischesmuseum is the interior of the building itself, as you walk in. A very tastefully ornate dome with a hole in it so you can see up to the next floor...

...followed, at the the top of the stairs, by a gigantic, pure white marble statue of Theseus killing a centaur who, we are told, disrupted a king's wedding feast:


Above Theseus, variegated marble columns (with golden Corinthian capitals) reach up to lovely arches and an enormous painting on the ceiling, surrounded by more beautiful golden accents.



We just stood and gaped at this entryway for some time. It felt so nice in there. The whole room is a work of art, that, to me, clearly rivals the "other artwork" housed in the museum.



Everywhere you look (in this case, straight up at the ceiling in a hallway), something beautiful:

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May 7, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Schönbrunn Palace, Part Two: the Gloriette & Maze/Labyrinths (Vienna Day Two continued)

One really cool part of the Schönbrunn Palace is the "Gloriette" - when I first heard someone mention this, I had no idea what that meant. Now I know! It's this cool building on top of the hill behind the palace. You walk a LONG way away from the palace to the fountain you see below, then up the hill. Nowadays there is a restaurant inside the Gloriette, and we had lunch there as a nice break after having toured the imperial apartments. 


The fountain at the end of the flat walk from the palace to the bottom of the hill:


After lunch, we climbed up to the top of the building, atop the hill. The view over Vienna and the palace:



Perhaps the very best part of the visit was the complex of three hedge mazes. Well, actually I learned the difference between a maze (of which there was one) and a labyrinth (of which there were two). A maze has decision points, where you can choose the right or wrong path to get to the center the fastest, or find a dead end. A labyrinth, on the other hand, has no forks, just one long, twisting path, that will get you where you're going eventually (but much later than you think at first). Here I am returning from a dead end in the maze with hedges too tall to see over...David got to the center before me and laughed as he watched me make my way there via many peaceful meanderings.

The labyrinths had fun activities to work on along the way, such as a climbing poles with a bell at the top to ring if you make it up, math challenges, and musical dance pads. Schönbrunn Palace is highly recommended!


May 7, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Schönbrunn Palace (Vienna, Austria, Day Two)

It takes at least one entire day to enjoy Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. We rode the U-Bahn (subway) out here and walked our legs off. The palace is huge, and the grounds are even more enormous; both are impressive.




The Privy Garden, which in German in known as the Kronprinzgarten - the Crown Prince's Garden. I find that much more descriptive. This is on the side of the palace.



They gave us a delectable sample of freshly baked Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) to eat during a baking demonstration. Then I innocently answered a question about how one would get the ready-to-bake strudel onto the baking tray without moving the tray - "You carry it with the towel it's on?" - and presto, the pastry chef asked me to come up and DO it! He put an apron and a hat on me and I transferred the long, stuffed strudel onto the baking sheet. Then he presented me with a signed document stating I was a master strudel baker...um...okay! Anyway, it was super tasty, and the way he got the dough so very thin was amazing.


In Venice, we saw lions everywhere in the decorations. In Vienna, there are eagles everywhere.

May 7, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 05, 2011

Vienna, Day One - April 29, 2011

The roof of the Stephansdom Cathedral.



 I liked the furniture at this café.



 Dessert at the Café Mozart at the Hotel Sacher - genuine Sacher Torte at bottom right...



 In a park with peonies...



 A 2,680 carat emerald...at the Treasury at the Hofburg Palace.



 Pink topaz, emerald, diamond, silver, gold necklace & matching earrings


Aquamarine from 1800 (Emily's birthstone)

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May 5, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (2)