I only have one question……….
I see Don – but not sure if that is Rodney or not
Coming along – coming along
I only have one question……….
I see Don – but not sure if that is Rodney or not
Coming along – coming along
Tony sent me some new photos from our project in Graves County. It appears everything is moving along.
Waiting on some action photos with Tony in them – maybe next week!
Mother reports a racoon got into the house! Around 3 am in the morning. Scared her quite a bit – but she ran it off!!!! Apparently it opened a window and came in. Needless to say the windows are all locked tightly now!
Berlin – window art
This guy looked right at us when I took the photo – wonder what he is thinking
Now THAT is a car!!!!
Made a new friend today!
I love the expression in his eyes!
Wonder what he is thinking?
And we take over Berlin!
Awwwwww – LOVE IT!
Not going to mess with this guy
Today is the World Wide Photo Walk – people everywhere will be out and about with their camera’s taking photos!
Here are a few that I took today
We spent today at the Museum of Natural History – which was AWESOME! We saw some huge dinosaurs and all sorts of rocks. Big big collection of rocks – I know – I know – not overly exciting for some people. But – I loved it!
We walked outside the hotel this morning and it was chilly! Spitting rain and chilly. I defin am not complaining about it being chilly. Especially when I look at the forecast back home – terrible heat wave continues. I am certain that everyone is going to be sick of summer. Speaking of winter – looks like a La Nina winter ahead of us. That could be quite eventful.
Some pics from today
Had a fun day in Berlin – walked around and saw the Brandenburg Gate – went to some museums. Lot of walking. Weather is nice. Cloudy this evening, though. No rain
Where are we where are we
We went to the Pergamon Museum – which has a ton of ancient Greek art and Babylonia works. OLD!
Pergamon Altar in the background – was brought back from Greece. It is much larger than it appears
It is from the 2nd Century BC
The Ishtar Gate (Assyrian: ܕܵܪܘܲܐܙܲܐ ܕܥܵܐܫܬܲܪ translit: Darwaza D’Ishtar, Arabic:بوابة عشتار) was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. It was constructed in about 575 BC by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II on the north side of the city.
Ishtar Gate – 575 BC!!!! Now that is old.
Some pics from today – we had a blast at the Berlin Zoo – it was amazing. WELL worth going – never know about the zoo. But the Berlin Zoo was so good – great – that I think we are going to go back. I LOVED seeing all the animals up close. They were incredible. The only one that was sleeping was the Panda. Maybe we can catch him next time. It was pretty warm today – so maybe he wanted to nap.
Everything back home is going great. John and mother reports no problems – Jason fixed the radar issues on one of the computers – so that is good. Daddy and Tony report everything is going well! So – GREAT!!!
Store window – Berlin
Joey in with the elephants
He just could not hold it any longer
Jelly Fish – beautiful
I LOVVVEEEE Jelly Fish
Zebra – cameo appearance
Joey playing with the lion
Amazing – I think we will go back to the zoo!!!!
Shark at the zoo
HELLLLLO – I am not your lunch.
Loved the zebras
A white wolf
A beautiful bear at the Berlin Zoo – well worth going to visit
The Polar Bear was beautiful – graceful. Incredible to see!
Amazing – beautiful -
Polar Bears were incredible
Given me the eye
Mama and baby
And there is the baby
Protective of the baby
The giraffes were amazing!
Giraffe’s – love em
Just some fun in the sun today
I thought this building was unique
Another cool building – front of the building here in Berlin
We made it to Berlin. Had an awesome time at the Berlin Zoo. You could get quite close to the animals – loved the bears and the jellyfish – big fan of the jellyfish!!! One of the better zoos I have visited.
Took a bunch of photos – but the internet here is very slow – so unsure how many I will upload – will put them on Facebook. Easier.
Well, today is our last day in Sweden. We are heading to Germany tomorrow. Should be interesting. We will see what adventures we can find in Berlin.
It is nice here today – cooler – which is nice. Still hot back home – few storms yesterday. Might be some more later today – this afternoon. Line moving in from the northwest.
Everything else is moving along – zoom zoom.
Made a friend while we were out. He doesn’t say much but he does fit
in my carry-on.
Sometimes I think I become more creative when I go away for awhile. I have no idea why. Weird – perhaps. Who knows – maybe everyone is that way?
Stockholm, Sweden – photo I took a couple of days ago
Coke photo I took on a street near here – Coke is big here. Figured it would be Pepsi – but not so much!
Coke photo I took a couple of days ago
Another photo I have been playing with that I took – this is the smallest statue in the City of Stockholm! Raining today – light rain. Feels nice out – love it. Going on a boat cruise tonight. Hope the rain stops for that
A BIG happy birthday to Mariah today!!!!!!
Another year older – it all just gets faster from here. Soooooo – try to smile and enjoy the hills and valleys that life will bring your way. It is always going to be an adventure – try not to rush things too much. Take time to smell the roses – look at the moon – count the stars – and smile at the rainbows!!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY – YOU ARE LOVED!!!
We are having a great time in Sweden – going to bed late and sleeping late – but the sun does not go down until after 10 pm and is already up before 3 am. So – it is all weird!
Some photos from the past week – mixed in with some magic from computer software. Wallla
If it wasn’t so hot back home I would say it is hot here. But, I guess it is just warm here! The local people are saying this is as about as warm as they get. I think most people back home would trade for this "warmth" -
Couple of photos from today
Couple of new pics sent to me by Tony – looks like everything is moving along!
Life is like a book – it is better with a glass of lemonade and should be enjoyed one page at a time.
The best things in life are not free. They cost us emotionally. And usually are well worth the price paid.
Tony sent me these photographs – looks like we are breaking ground! Moving forward with our new project.
This is near Symsonia, KY.
The sky here is immense – and such an amazing blue in color. The sky has been sprinkled with cirrusy white patches of clouds for the last few days. Although the city sidewalks radiate warmth the actual air temperature is relatively mild. This is especially true when you compare it to the excessive heat back in Illinois and Kentucky.
The warmth of the apartment we are staying in borders on a few beads of sweat but by evening the coolness of the air returns and before long the warmth of the afternoon heat is but a distant memory. We do not have air condition here – gasp. It is rare to find air condition in Sweden. It just isn’t that warm!
Stockholm is a clean city – as cities go. It is my understanding that it beat out many other cities in Europe for the title of most green and enviromentally friendly. Quite the achievement.
Many locals here are on holiday. Holiday is what the world outside of the United States calls vacation. I first heard this expression while I was in Canada. I guess it sounds more festive than simply saying vacation?
Everyone here receives five weeks of vacation. Yes, I did say five weeks. Five weeks of paid vacation! It is almost bordering on a human right in Europe. They take their holiday quite seriously, as I suppose they should. I suppose five weeks would keep most people happy. Especially paid vacation.
We had a wonderful tour guide today. Her name was Christina. She is from the Stockholm area. Her demeanor was one of patience and care. It was if we had known her for years. A gentle soul – as I like to say.
She knew most of the questions we would ask – before we asked them. I suppose one becomes accustomed of being asked the same questions after interacting with hundreds of people over the years. She never seemed bored – although I am certain she has seen the palace a thousand times. She expressed excitement in her voice as she talked about the well kept grounds and the history of the site.
So, as I mentioned, today we toured the palace of the king and queen. A beautiful country setting, outside of Stockholm. The palace is enclosed by a beautiful forest with a lake – there were many ducks and swans out enjoying the beautiful weather. The water was like a fine crystal – shimmering in the golden sunlight. The blueness of the water made me feel as if I had been transplanted back in time to a cleaner – purer age. One where you could actually drink the water straight out of a lake or river. Thousands of diamond like sparkles illuminated the surface of the water as the wind gently created little peaks and dips. I thought that perhaps this is what Narnia would look like?
The grounds of the palace were well kept.with obvious caring hands who meticulously made sure that every branch was trimmed just right, every deep green blade of grass was in its place – trees were perfectly lined up like toy soldiers that a child might place while playing make believe knight in shining armor right before battling a fire breathing dragon.
A whimsical, magical, and enchanting palace grounds – reminding me of a scene out of the recent Alive in Wonderland movie or a place that one might find in an old fairy tale of sorts. At any moment perhaps a little smiling cat would come floating down from above – with just its teeth and smile visible.
In the air was the smell of the lakes fresh water and the blooming of flowers on the palace grounds. Several times I simply closed my eyes to enjoy the moment. Taking it all in. The smell of the fresh cut grass and the sound of birds chirping and singing in the distant trees. Pretending that we were back in the 1700s or 1800s when only a horse and carriage would be seen traveling the grounds roads. Thinking about the latterns candle flickering on the sides of the carriage as someone of nobility pulled up to meet with the King or Queen. Perhaps on important business – perhaps just to say hello.
Glancing down along the waters edge was a white swan. Along her side with seven baby swans. A sort of yellowish gray in tone. Occasionally they would dive below – a tuff of feathers and two little webbed feet were all that could be seen as they bobbed under the water for something to eat. They scurried along in the water – more like floating. Moving quite effortlessly. The summer breeze perhaps pushing them along the sea of sparkling glass. I am sure to them it was if they were on a great ocean – with water for as far as their little eyes could see.
They had not a care in the world – oblivious to me and everyone else around them. Simply going about their business of swimming and eating.
Two little girls, no more than six or seven in age, dashed over to the side of the pier – giggling and smiling – erupting in laughter and pointing to the baby swans. They cheerfully announced to everyone within ear shot "look LOOK – a swan and she has BABIES – lots of babies." I looked over at them and smiled. I thought about how the girls really didn’t care who heard them or if the whole world heard their shouts of glee. They were as obvlious as the baby swans to the world around them. Living in the moment – laughing and giggling. Holding each others hands – they must have been sisters or perhaps best of friends.
Eventually the baby swans disappeared under the pier and the little girls took off – skipping and hopping down the road to the palace. They were just arriving to see where the king and queen live. It wasn’t long and they disappeared – quite returned to the pier.
Even the swan and her babies were having a great day. Joey took this photograph.
Standing in front of the palace
Morning at the palace
The King and Queen live here.
The palace grounds
Our guide today – Christina
There is art everywhere – everywhere you look – everywhere you turn.
This little toy was in quite the hurry to get somewhere…
Coming back into port from the palace
The buildings here in Stockholm are beautiful.
I have no idea – but I thought this was funny
This is where we had lunch today. Yes that is a big chocolate chip cookie on the plate there to the left. – I couldn’t help myself.
St. Johannes church, Stockholm
Stunningly beautiful church – St. Johannes church, Stockholm
St. Johannes church, Stockholm – seriously it took my breath away. I just was simply in awe of this structure. It is huge – beautiful. Towers into
the sky like a mountain in the middle of the city. Simply incredible.
St. Johannes church, Stockholm – A SPECTACULAR church – one of the top scenic churches I have seen in the world. Just incredible.
St. Johannes church, Stockholm
Now THAT is a car worth driving!
I know Tony will appreciate this photograph
Moments amd memories – it is 3:30 in the morning over here and the sun is already up. Now, so am I. The sun did not go to bed until past 10 pm last night. Quite amazing. I missed dinner because I thought we had more time – since it was still light outside. By the time we looked at the clock and readied ourselves to go eat – it was already late. So, we decided it would be best just to stay in.
I was laying in bed a few minutes ago and my mind was wandering about like a tiger in the jungle. To and fro – back and forth. I started thinking about Kay and Kim Comer (if you don’t have Kay and Kim on your Facebook then you should add them – Kay writes about her daily living experiences in Round Knob, Illinois), I started thinking about Kay’s descriptions of being in the moment. Living in the momemt. Recognizing those moments for what they are. A single spot in history – a single living, breathing, specific point at which something amazing occurs. A moment in time that becomes a memory. It doesn’t have to be something spectacular – perhaps something as simple as watching the deer play in your back yard (in Kay’s case – her front yard). Or watching a lightning bolt streak through the summer sky. Moments that we remember – moments that we share with other people.
I don’t think that Kay realizes the impact of the words that she chooses to share with everyone around here. She reminds us of days gone past – moments in our lives that impacted ourselves and others. Having grown up with Billy and Kay – and their children – I realize more and more that we can never relive that time. We can remember it – we can share the memories- but we can’t relive it. Kay, in her writings, reminds us of why we are here. To watch the deer play, to share our lives with our family, to plant some flower seeds, to watch our grass grow, to love those around us, and to inspire others to simply be a better person.
Moments are mysterious. We can’t choose what moments we will remember. Many times moments that we remember – we would rather forget. But sometimes the moments that our minds chooses to remember are moments that we hold dearly in our heart – forever. Moments with someone we love – our grandmothers, our parents, our sisters or brothers – friends – those are the ones that we don’t want to ever forget.
I started thinking about how many times we allow moments to get away from us. Rushing here and rushing there. Rushing to see "something" – all the time moments are passing us by. Moments that could become special memories. But in order to capture that memory – you have to slow down. There is no way to measure just how many moments have gotten away from us. It is part of the mystery of moments. What we don’t experience – we don’t ever know. I have a feeling, though, that thousands of moments escape us.
I try to live in the moment. But it is not easy. Being ADD doesn’t help one live in the moment. lol You are constantly wanting to do something or mess with something. Staying busy as my mom would say. Living in the moment takes work. It takes a concentrated effort to tell yourself to STOP. Stop and listen. Stop and see. Not just hear and look. But listen and see.
I look back through my photographs from time to time. Maybe to make sure I am not getting too old to remember what has happened over the years. I truly think there is a part of me that takes photographs in order for me to hold onto memories even longer. Perhaps there will come a day when I can’t remember being somewhere. But a photograph will remind me and take me back to that moment. Anyway, I look at my photographs and I see moments. Special moments – moments that perhaps to someone else might not have much meaning. But – never-the-less moments.
Moments such as the time in Rome where I spotted the kid looking up in amazement at a naked statue of a lady. The boy could not have been any older than seven. But, the look at his face was priceless. Moments such as the time we were walking in Munich and we noticed a street performer that had outfitted himself as a water fountain. He was quite dramatic and animated – water pouring from his different spouts that he had arranged on his costume. Kids laughing and adults taking snapshots and video to place on YouTube. He wasn’t there as part of anything we had to pay to see – he wasn’t part of the planned schedule. He just happened to be there at that time and place.
I have noticed in life that the most special moments are never planned. Never orchestrated by anyone on purpose. They just happen. I can remember being caught in the rain once with some friends in Toronto. we had to walk home that evening when the thunderstorm rolled in. We were soaked to the bone. But we all laughed and stomped in the water that was over our ankles. We shivered. We ducked when lightning would flash and the thunder would roll. I remember it as if it was yesterday. And yet it was many many years ago. Why? Why do I remember something as simple as being caught in the rain? Why is that moment so special to my memories?
It is obvious to me that the best moments in life are never planned. They are never expected. They just happen. Time – space – and you happen to cross paths during that special moment and it becomes a special memory. Moments and memories are tied.
We had a great day here in Stockholm. Enjoyed the sites. It was warm – but we can’t complain because everyone is burning up back home. Temperatures have been in the 90s once again. 100 degree weather along the East Coast of the United States. Terrible heat for them. Nobody likes it. Looks like it will continue.
We spent today walking around – we saw a lot of sites. Some of the areas we were in today date back to the 1200s. Quite amazing when you think about it. Stockholm is full of beautiful buildings and art work. I tried to capture the "feel" of the city today.
Here are some photos
That would be me
This statue/memorial is near where we are staying. This was built to remember the labor movement. More info http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Branting_Monument
The Branting Monument
As with most cities in Europe – there is plenty of sculptures. One of the
pieces of art work near the city center.
Near the center of the City of Stockholm.
Statue for Peace. This work was inspired by the death of John Lennon.
You will never guess what movie is playing.
This statue is called the Orpheus Sculpture. Well not the Shrek piece
but the other. It is located near the concert hall.
This church was founded in the 1200s. Quite amazing. It is called
the Klara Church – Church of Sainte Clare.
Church of Klara
This is located in the Sweden Cathedral. This is where the royal couple got married a couple of weeks ago. Fighting the dragon in this statue
This art work was on display inside of the cathedral
The smallest statue in the city. This little boy could fit in the palm of my hand.
Joey in front of the memorial for the labor movement. The Branting Monument. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Branting_Monument
Joey standing in front of the Vasamuseet. This ship set sail in 1628. It only lasted
20 minutes before it sank. Poor design – to say the least. They raised the ship out of 100′
of water back in the 1960s. It was in amazing shape.
A beautiful piece of work. Lot of carvings on the boat.
Some of the amazing woodwork on the ship – this dates back to the 1600s. They raised the ship in the 1960s. It sank after only 20 minutes
on the Baltic Sea. Vasamuseet is the name of the ship.
You won’t find a street any smaller than this one!
Beautiful city – love Europe
Stockholm, Sweden – July 7th
Joey in front of some of the amazing buildings in the city.
Well, we made it to Europe. This is our frist trip over here by ourselves. So, it is a bit weird in one way and a bit cool in another. Some bittersweet mixed in there. This is also the first time we have been in Sweden.
The plane ride took about 24 hours total – that was about waits and lay-overs. We left Nashville around 9 am – the plane left around 11 am. Then Detroit – then Amsterdam – then from there to Stockholm. Not too bad.
We were able to sleep on the plane. The seats folder pretty much all of the way down. We tried a new airline this time – one owned by Delta. It was okay – but I will probably look at a different one next time. I slept – Joey did not. lol Sooooo – guess who is tired and snoring right now? If you guessed Daisy – you would probably be correct. But, Daisy isn’t here. So – guess again. YES – right – JOEY is snoring.and worn out.
Meanwhile I have the dance music on and I am WIDE AWAKE. Oh well – I went out in the rain and walked around for awhile – took a few photos – went grocery shopping – and hung out on the street. Watching people go to and fro. That is what I like to do. Explore and then explore some more. Joey keeps saying I go down dark streets where vampires could get us – or worse – ZOMBIES. I seriously need to take his Zombie book away from him.
Anyway – I had a blast riding the plane over. I have no idea why I love to ride the plane for that distance. There is something fun and exciting about being on an airplane.
We were in Nashville overnight for the Fourth of July – but it was fairly late and we were not able to see Sue and Jack. Wished we could have gone down to see her showing at the art show. But we pretty much had a swamped week from start to finish. When we get back, though, we plan on going to see Sue – Caesar and Geri are going down, as well. Perhaps in August or September. See how everyone is feeling.
We arrived in Sweden around 9 this morning – we don’t speak Sweden. But we know just enough words to get along. Joey’s job was to study the Rosetta Stone CD set that he had to have. He promised he would learn enough language for us to be able to communicate. Guess who hasn’t learned any words other than hello? If you guessed me then you would be wrong. I will just leave it at that.
The rain falling here in Stockholm was a WELCOME change from what we have been having back home. Temeperatures in the 90s with very little rainfall. I LOVE THIS WEATHER here in Stockholm. Rain makes me happy – for some odd reason. Same as snow. Got to have both. Lack of weather is no weather at all. Right? Well some might disagree. But – I will hold to that.
Hmm my quote of the day that I came up with on the plane ride over is – Memories are simply the present lost. I ran it by Joey and he gave me his stamp of approval on it. Unlike Ikecycle which he still says I should never say again. But – whatever. Meteorologists understood what it meant.
OK – it is getting late. I promised my mom I would post. My Blackberry is NOT working here. YAY? I think it is a YAY. No cell phone for 2 weeks here in Sweden? BUUHHHAAAA – I like the sound of that actually.
Some photos from today
Joey going down the stairs of our apartment in Stockholm
A clock with strength! Now that is what I can apprecaited. I bet his arms hurt at the end ot the day.
Dinner tonight was at this location
These two angels were in a store window. I thought they were pretty cool.
This church was built in the 1700s. Adolf Fredrik. It is right down the street from us
I really liked this car when I first saw it sitting on the side of the road.
Then I LOVED this car when I saw the license plate!! Wonder how hard it was to get that for a plate!
Store window decorations – or the evening staff? Unsure. He doesn’t look happy.
Store window decorations in Stockholm – I think he wants out
Enjoying the evening – before the rain really set in
I was tired of reading Drudge and Freepers on Saturday – all negative all the time. So, I googled Good News and came across some pretty cool items of interest. One of them that I came across was this project in India. www.joyhomeforchildren.com/index.html
They had some very specific needs – which I thought was cool. Tangible projects. They had a long list.
The list can be read here
One item they really needed were bunk beds. Right now the kids are sleeping on the floor. So we are going to get them bunk beds
They still have a bunch of other needs – some are small and some are larger. If anyone reading this wants to help then just follow the links. They need chairs – that is about $135.00 (for all of them). They are need some tables. The tables are about $132.00 (for all of them). Also some smaller items but important items such as rice, chicken, food. Toiletries.
Sounds like they are trying to raise money for a septic system, as well. Hmm maybe they need some teddy bears and Superman Comic Books from Metropolis!
More on what they do www.joyhomeforchildren.com/joy-home-what-we-do.html
This charity was one of the winners of the Optimist Charity Awards – 2010. Link optimistworld.com/Charities.aspx
Hopefully they will have their bunk beds soon enough!!!!
Photos of the kids currently at the orphanage
I will update with some more pictures once they get the bunk beds.
I found a cool web-site while searching for good news on the internet. There is so much bad news that I got tired of all of it! I figured there must be some cool positive news web-sites. I found this site http://optimistworld.com/News.aspx
Then I found this – which I thought was pretty cool! http://www.88bikes.org/home/index.php
From their web-site
It doesn’t always take a massive relief organization to tip the scales for joy and sustainability in places where children and young adults are challenged to be their own heroes. 88bikes provides a simple and direct opportunity to make a difference for a young person in the world: buy a child a bike!
Hmmm – June is over? Already?
Went to the movies last night with the kids – had a great time. Some vampire movie. I don’t know. Team Jacob did not win.
Trying to get ready for Europe. Writing sticky notes everywhere. See if I can remember what to bring and what needs to be finished up here at the house.
Had a nice lunch with Gil today – was good to see him! Going to meet with my mom and Julie here in a bit. Then Tyler has a baseball game!