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Showing posts from April, 2012

April Photo Challenge, Day 22: the last thing I bought

The last thing I bought was a cup of tea and a blueberry muffin at Costa Coffee in Heathrow Airport.  But I didn't take a picture of that.  The last thing I bought before that was groceries, which is the main thing I buy.
The most recent thing I bought for myself, though, was this Ethiopian shawl that I hope to wear at the weddings this summer.

April Photo Challenge, Day 22: a bottle

Yesterday I flew from Oxford to Ohio.  The trip started with racing to meet a bus at 2 a.m., getting to the right terminal at Heathrow, and then dozing off in Paris, not realizing boarding for my flight had begun.  Thankfully I made it to the final destination with no mishaps!  But I didn't take any pictures yesterday, either.
Here's a picture of a Coke bottle....the kind made with sugar and served in a bottle is the best!

April Photo Challenge, Day 20: something I drew

Ha!  Ha!  I can't draw.  I mean you might be able to recognize what's depicted in the drawing....and then again maybe you wouldn't.  I certainly don't win Pictionary!!!

So I cheated and drew with Photoshop.  This is a picture I took today of a flower in a park.  Then I used a filter in Photoshop to make it look like a drawing.

April Photo Challenge, Day19: orange

Yesterday's photo challenge was orange.  I've noticed that orange is a color you don't see much of.  (Yes, I know I just ended a sentence with a preposition.)  I don't wear orange because I think my skin looks kind of orange/yellowish anyway.  But here I am wearing the one orange thing I have in my wardrobe.

April photo challenge, Day 18: hair or Going "No 'Poo"

OK, I know going "no 'poo" sounds disgusting.  If you've never heard of it, it means you don't use shampoo.

My sister first told me about it in November and I thought it sounded really weird.  I'm quite fussy about my hair.  I don't spend a lot of time on it, preferring a wash and air dry style.  But I can't stand having greasy hair and I wash my hair every day.

But I was intrigued so I did some reading on no 'poo.  I discovered that, first of all, shampoos are made of chemicals and they send your hair on a wild cycle of over-compensation.  The shampoo works so well to de-grease your hair, that your head stimulates even more oil to bring a natural balance of oil back to your head. Your head starts saying, "Oh no!  You're too dry!  Produce more oil!" So it becomes a vicious cycle.  Not to mention that the use of chemicals on your body probably isn't really a good thing.

I also discovered that for some people no 'poo means they on…

April Photo Challenge, Day 17: something you don't like

I know British cuisine gets slammed a lot, but before I start this post I have to say that every meal I've had that's been prepared by a Brit has been excellent.  So this has only to do with my personal preferences.

I'm not a fan of peas, but I'll eat frozen peas.  Tinned peas, I really don't like that much.  But mushy peas?? You've got to be kidding.  That's taking a barely tolerable vegetable and makes it into something disgusting.

Americans have come up with ways of ruining vegetables too.  Creamed corn??  Really?!  That's as disgusting as mushy peas.

Speaking of food, a Korean church from London came to OCMS, where John is studying, and had a cook-out for us today. That was good food!

April Photo Challenge, day 15: Flower

Spring in England is absolutely beautiful.  Finding a flower to photograph should be pretty easy, but one can't go tramping through people's private gardens, can they?

I often walk past this flower shop with it's display of purple, pink, yellow, and white flowers. It seems to me that Brits really like buying cut flowers to have at home.  Every day when I'm out I'll see people heading home or to a friend's house with a bunch of flowers in hand. I really like that and I think it's a good way to add color to a dark, dreary day.  I think in the US we tend to do flowers for special occasions, but it seems to be more of an every day occurrence here.  But, maybe I'm wrong and a lot of people have a lot of special occasions!

I also got a picture of this flowering tree growing along a city street.  I don't think it's cherry, but I'm not sure what it is.

April Photo Challenge, day 14: Sunset

I guess I could go out and try to get a sunset photo.  But I'm going to change the challenge and call it a stormy sky photo.  It has rained a lot the past three days.  But this afternoon I managed to go out for a walk without getting wet.  

Just as I was arriving back home, I saw that the sky was dark over in the direction of the Port Meadow. The sky was beautiful because the sun was in the opposite direction, so it was shining on the dark sky and the green trees, making them a sharper, more brilliant color than they normally appear.

I couldn't help but wonder if there could be a spiritual lesson from the cows chewing their cud in the meadow while a storm approaches.  I thought of two lessons and you can take your pick!

1.  The cows are content and calm even though the storm is coming.  They just carry on, chewing their cud, doing what they're supposed to do.  "Stay calm and carry on" is their motto.  So we should be like the cows.  Storms may be all around us, but…

April Photo Challenge, day 13: how I feel

Even though I'm an introvert, I'm not a very introspective introvert.  In other words, I'm fairly quiet, and definitely not the life of the party.  I enjoy people and I'm not afraid of people, but being with people a lot exhausts me.  I need to be alone to re-energize.  But, even though it's a common trait amongst introverts, I'm not really introspective.  I don't spend a lot of time looking inward, getting in touch with my feelings and so on.  I have a pretty steady and placid temperament and most of the time I'm ok.

I do have bad days and certain things do get me in a bad mood.  Unkindness, especially if it seems intentional, gets me down.  Cold and dark on a constant basis gets me down.  Sometimes I feel lonely and sometimes I wonder if what I'm doing really matters.

While in Niger, I think we're all aware that we're under stress, but I don't realize just how much stress until I get to a place where I'm not so hot I can't think …

April Photo Challenge, day 12: something I found

The nice thing about living in Oxford is that there are so many places to walk.  We don't have a vehicle, either, so we HAVE to walk.



Our flat is right next to the canal and there is a path along the canal that is perfect for walking.  So on my walk today, along the canal, I kept my eyes open for something to find.

Kids seem to find things everywhere.  I looked and looked, but I didn't find anything!  But I did find Spring!

*I found green, green grass, even though they say there is a drought here.

*I found flowers in bloom....mostly yellow ones like dandelions, forsythia, and daffodils.  

*I found swans and ducks, swimming in pairs, up and down the canal.

*I found children with rosy cheeks, on their way home from school.

*I found that the sun can be shining one minute and then suddenly it's raining with no warning and in a few minutes the sun is out again.

*I found a toilet beside the canal.  What???  It's hooked up, too. It hasn't just been dumped there.

*And I can't…

Take Me Home Terrible Road

I know it seems kind of random to write about Niger when I'm in England, but I've never had a chance to write about our experience traveling back to Niamey from Maradi. So, if you'll excuse the disconnect.....here we go on a road trip in Niger!


We left Maradi around 7 a.m., knowing we had about a 12 hour trip ahead of us.  Thankfully, we knew the worst part of the road was the first part.  Once we got through the first three hours, it would be smooth sailing from there on out!


The road between Galmi and Maradi is pretty much destroyed.  Some parts of it you can't even tell that it was ever paved.  Other parts are still paved, but full of potholes  (the disappear to China kind!).  At other places it's just easier to go off the road and drive beside it.


We were making good progress when we heard a strange noise.....there were three others traveling with us.  We stopped the car to look and we had a flat tire.  So, John decided it would be a good idea to pull the car off …

April Photo Challenge, day 11: stairs

Today I went into an old church in Oxford.  I think this one was called St. Margaret's.  I looked for the name but I didn't have anything to write on and of course I forgot it by the time I got home!

Both John and Charles Wesley preached from the original pulpit at this church. This pulpit was replaced to the present one some time in the 1800's.  So, it's not the exact pulpit they preached on, but it's in the exact spot and in the same church.
These steps are also in that church.

April Photo Challenge, day 10: where I had breakfast

In the kitchen, of course! 

April Photo Challenge, day 9: Cold

It is currently 102 in Niger and 48 in Oxford, so yes, we're a little cold!  It's a bit of a shock to our systems!!  We've gone for long walks the past two days and it really hasn't been too bad out in the sunshine.

Today we walked out to an old church I had discovered last time we were here....St Margaret of Antioch, Binsey. John and I looked around and sat there in the quiet for awhile.  It was very chilly in the church and I can't imagine what it was like in the old days in the winter to come there to worship. There is neither heating nor electricity in the church to this very day.



The present church has a Norman foundation and was rebuilt some time around the 13th century.  The church is famous because it was a medieval pilgrimage site.  The well on the property was reputed to have healing powers.  In Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland the treacle well to which he refers is the well at this little church.

Here's one lady that won't feel cold with he…

April Photo Challenge, day 8: a younger me

This picture was taken of me when I was about 10 years old.  It's one of my favorite pictures ever taken of me.  The lighting looks very professional.

And I wish my hair was still that blonde. It is now brown and quite curly and totally different than it was then.