Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jason Performing

We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday at church and after the meal anyone who wanted could come to the stage to sing and play the guitar. It was a good time and Jason charmed the audience with his deep voice that two people said reminded them of Elvis! How cool is my husband? So wonderfully cool and it was fun to see him sing and play the guitar. His tunes included Tom Waits, The Avett Brothers and Steve Earle and I especially loved how he sang "Rich Man's War"--I requested it.

So, the picture is really not the greatest but our camera stopped working and I was lucky to get only 2 photos. Frustrating. . . to say the least. Aside from that, we had a great time.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

An Installation Artist in the Making

His best mediums are plastic bags, clothespins and hangers but he has also started working with pot lids, other kitchen stuff, rags and random cords.

Which of Soren's works do you prefer? I think my favorite is the 3rd photo that he did tonight when we got home. One of his other hobbies is putting toys (or whatever for that matter) in a plastic bag and then into another and then another. . .Then he'll close it with a clothespin or have it closed somehow and then hang the bag somewhere in the house.

Monday, November 12, 2007

So, I've been reading a book called Motoring with Mohammad about a man's journey back to Yemen to find his journals he'd left the first time he was there (due to a ship wreck)--such and interesting read about life there . . . and it's a true story.

The book was also one of the hand-me-downs from our
Australian friends. They lived in Yemen for a year and worked for the UN before coming to Scotland.

. . .Some other books I love:

The Self Healing Cookbook . . . and you can read it like a book. It is so delightful and philosophical in a very unpretentious way. I totally recommend it if you are into whole foods and balance in your life. Many thanks to Amber, my dear friend.

The Scarlet Letter -Did anyone else just love reading this book in high school? So revealing in so many ways. I think I should read it again.

Angela's Ashes --There was a tidbit about it on The Office and it made me laugh . . . although the book is heart wrenching.

Primo Levi--I had to read this in Italian and it was tough. Thank goodness for the class discussions.

I finished reading Kitty and her Sisters a few months ago and it was not an epic but I was glued until the very end with lots of sister drama.

The next book I'm going to read is a Feminism: Issues & Arguments by Jennifer Mather Saul. Jason brought it home from the university library for me. After that I have to read Freakonomics recommended by Charla.

I've not been a person that goes from one book to the next always reading and reading but lately I've started to want to read more and more. I've always been really kinesthetic and needed to get up and move around after a 20 page read--even if I was loving the book. I'd get tired in a restless way--tired from sitting! So I really enjoyed short stories for a while (has anyone ever read the short story The Sound of Thunder? -- it's a good one). Anyway, I'm happy to find that I can sit and be calm for longer and maybe it has something to do with being a mom and being busy even when I have nothing planned. Reading has become an escape.

What are some of your favorites?? . . . Or books you have read lately?

Sunday, November 04, 2007


My new Wellingtons! Rain boots are such an essential thing to have in Glasgow and I'm so happy to finally have a pair. Now we just need to find a pair for Jason.

And here are some photos of my little baby model. You've got to love that neck!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Big Issue

In Glasgow there is this Magazine called the Big Issue that is sold all over town (here is a link to read about its great cause: --it's concept is really a revolutionary approach to poverty aid) . I bought it the other night and was just reading a tribute to the founder of The Body Shop, Dame Anita Roddick (1942-2007). She is an amazing woman and example to the world. I want to be like her.

Some of her great words from the October issue include. . .

Activism is being a voice for the voiceless, standing up for the weak and the frail, engaging the human spirit. It's putting your head above the parapet. Being heard. Being seen. Being counted.

I wake up every morning thinking-- this is my last day. And I jam everything into it. There's no time for mediocrity. There is no . . . dress rehearsal. You've got one life, so just lead it. And try to be remarkable.

Being an activist is sexy. Being a voice of dissent, getting informed, finding something inside yourself that gets you outraged so you expose truth and get active is far 'cooler' that worrying about split ends and spots.

She supported and admired many organizations. The Forgiveness Project is a good example of this as it calls for peace and conflict resolution. Here is a summary of their purpose from the magazine:

. . .The Forgiveness Project is a powerful conflict-resolution concept that aims to prevent cyclical violence by facilitation reconciliation and the healing of past wounds between victims and perpetrators. It uses stories, and in particular its powerful traveling exhibition "The F Word", to open up a dialogue and promote understanding. The project works in prisons, schools, faith communities, and with any group that wants to explore the nature of forgiveness whether in the wider political context or within their own lives.

There is a great play on words. . . and why not. Let's give new meaning to the F word.

The list of organizations is wonderfully long from Human Rights to Fair Trade. . .from Poverty to Health to the Environment.

With the words of Anita: Do something. Do anything. Just do something.

During the tribute there is a beautiful photo of her with (what appears to be) an indigenous tribe and underneath are the words of Ken Saro-Wiwa

Dance your anger and your joys,
Dance the military guns to silence,
Dance oppression and injustice to death,
Dance my people.

The phrase reminded me of a documentary I watched in college about the holocaust. In the film were stories of the atrocities and I remember one well where a Jewish man in a concentration camp responded to the German military by dance. His dancing and singing outraged the Germans but he continued. Others joined in. They had everything taken from them but their dances and songs of praise could not be taken.

Sometimes I get downhearted and feel hopeless for the horrible things in the world but when I see and hear about people like Anita I feel hopeful and grateful for the good in the world. There is good.

Isn't Anita fantastic!!