Share Four Somethings – October

Something Loved


My hubby Bill and I spent much of last month traveling. First, we ventured to Spain to walk el Camino de Santiago from the town of Sarria, to Santiago, about 120 km.

The photo in the upper left above is us in front of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the site where the remains of St. James the Great are said to rest and the destination of all the pilgrims who walk the Camino.

After we reached Santiago, we traveled across Spain to Barcelona to explore that beautiful city. The photo in the upper right is me  (looking almost as though I have a halo) inside la Sagrada Familia, probably the city’s most well-known landmark.

La Sagrada Familia is the whimsical cathedral designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudi. After over 140 years of ongoing construction, the magnificent building is still unfinished. The goal is to complete it in 2016, the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death, but locals are skeptical that this will actually happen.

When we returned from Spain, we did our laundry, caught our breath, then three days later headed to South Carolina for a beach vacation with some close friends.

I think my favorite times at the beach were late afternoons when we would all congregate at the heated pool at the house we rented to have happy hour drinks and snacks and sing along while oldies played on the radio and we played in the water like kids.

Meditations in MotionOne afternoon while we swam, we began counting monarch butterflies as they drifted past on their migration to Mexico. We lost count after 300 passed by.

Something Said

Meditations in Motion“Rest in your God-breathed worth. Stop holding your breath, hiding your gifts, ducking your head, dulling your roar, distracting your soul, stilling your hands, quieting your voice, and satiating your hunger… The One who knit you together in your mother’s womb is the one singing these words over you, you are chosen.” Sarah Bessey

I love this quote from Sarah Bessey, the Canadian author of “Feminist Jesus” and other books. In her October newsletter, Sara calls on women of faith to stand up and be heard. I read her essay called “Nope, Not Going Home” with tears in my eyes.

This essay is dedicated to “Every single one of us who has been told by men to go home. To stay silent. To shut up. To stop stirring up trouble. To take a seat. That we are shrill or angry or bitter or disruptive.

Tell it, Sister Sarah.

Something Learned

Meditations in Motion

I have my sister and brother-in-law to thank for introducing me to the Netflix series “Round Planet” by BBC Earth.

When you first begin watching Round Planet, it seems like a conventional nature documentary series with lush, gorgeous photography and a posh-sounding British commentator a la David Attenborough.

It doesn’t take long to realize that the narrator “Armstrong Wedgewood” is actually a comedian doing a send-up of British nature commentators and the script is really not a stuffy oh-so-serious documentary, but a hilarious comedy. It’s the best of two worlds – educational and entertaining.

I watched shows on The Oceans (“massive death chowder”), Wildebeest (“one of the many species of ungulates and ‘cud munchers’ that populate the Serengeti”), and Bears (who”live in the tropics as well as the Arctic and exude a general air of ‘bear-iness'”). I am looking forward to Penguins (who” only have to waddle about to make children — and Amstrong Wedgewood — smile”).

Something Read

Meditations in Motion

How did I not read “Anatomy of a Rose” by Sharman Apt Russell until last month? Even though it was published in 2001, I had never heard of it until I stumbled across a copy at our local library’s annual book sale and bought it for $1.

I absolutely loved this book. Beautifully written with pen and ink illustrations, Russell educates the reader about flowers in such a delightful way that you never realize you are getting a botany lesson until you have finished.

I had no idea that flowers were so complex, willful, and, well…devious. These seemingly placid beauties have devised (evolutionarily speaking) all sorts of ingenious methods to achieve their goals of reproduction and propagation.

Who could not love a book which contains a chapter with a title like “Sex, Sex, Sex”? Referring to flowering plants, of course.

The best quote of the book: “Wonder is not only our starting point; it can also be our destination.


I am linking up with Heather Gerwing for her “Four Somethings”. Thanks, Heather, for giving the opportunity to think and write about four such compelling topics.

Also linking with Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Random-osity for Little Things Thursdays, Knit by God’s Hand for Thankful Thursdays, Welcome Heart for Let’s Have Coffee, Amy at Live Life Well, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Raisie Bay for Word of the Week, Morgan’s Milieu for Post, Comment, Love, Lyli Dunbar for Faith on Fire, Embracing the Unexpected for Grace and Truth, and Crystal Storms for Heart Encouragement.











      • That’s very true and I sure could stand to learn more Laurie … I am glad we both are able to immerse ourselves in nature and enjoy its wonders first-hand – there is something new to be learned every single day!

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      • We all could learn more. I am going to begin taking Portuguese lessons on an app on my phone. We are going to Portugal in April. Bill and I have spent most of the day yesterday and today outside. The weather is just beautiful!

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      • How exciting Laurie – that’s something to look forward to during the Winter. Did you get that idea to visit Portugal from your visit to Spain?

        Yes, I have so many things I want to try, or learn, but time constraints always hold me back, more so since I began the blog. I want to read more in the new year. I’ve gotten a few books for the holidays and intend to TRY to read one book a month. I’ve given up reading anything once I stopped taking the bus when Robb and I left the Firm which was downtown Detroit. I want to begin again – it’s been too many years since I lost myself in a good book.

        Our weather this week has been sunny (except today), but cold when I was out in the a.m. – I wished I could go back out again in the afternoon when I gaze wistfully out the door.

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      • Yes, we got the idea from our trip to Spain. We talked to a couple at the airport who were spending a month touring Portugal and Spain and Portugal just sounded so appealing!

        Blogging IS time-consuming, isn’t it? Since returning from our trip, I have adjusted my attitude about blogging. I always worried about posting on a regular basis and linking my posts to other blogs, but I think I am just going to focus on writing what I really want to write about and interacting with people like you whom I have met through blogging. I may miss a day or two, but, hey, it’s not a job, right?

        I hope you get the chance to read one book a month. When I was working, I didn’t have time to read except in the summer, but now I enjoy reading all the time!

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      • I thought maybe you got the idea since they are relatively close – we never visited Portugal on our Spain trip unfortunately. I was with friends of the family and they never suggested it. We stayed in Madrid a week all together before and after we traveled the coast to visit all the small towns enroute to Costa del Sol.

        I’m like you and enjoy blogging, but it is time consuming and I find it is consuming more and more of my time and I do get less and less done. That part is not good and I think with the cold and snow on the horizon, now is a good time to step back more often and indulge in some other activities. I suspect that once you take a break from it, it is difficult to go back to a regular schedule again, especially in your case since you had a blogging break for two weeks, and were only on sporadically while in SC with friends.

        A fellow blogger who is our age, has been on a hiatus of sorts, since her mother fell ill three weeks ago. Her mom is 93 and an active painter, painting still life from her kitchen table and still having gallery showings. (Yes, I want to be that girl!) She got an infection, was hospitalized for over a week and Joni spent a lot of time with her at the hospital and running back and forth to their respective homes to check on them, etc. Her mom lives alone, and is very independent, but she returned home a little weak, and still on antibiotics, so Joni has spent the last two weeks spending most days at her mom’s, just checking things at her house. She has no internet at her mom’s so said to me that it is difficult to get back to the whole regimen – I totally get that. She had written me about her mom as she regularly comments on my posts – Joni usually only posts once a week. She said it is still hard to put together a post (her posts are usually long). I really should have taken a break this Summer – I was overwhelmed at work, all the house mishaps and then the finger incident and typing all day and into the evening with a bum finger.

        I have a lot of books downstairs that my mom finished and I haven’t read, so it was a little silly to buy new books, but I had several I had heard about and decided to treat myself. If I immerse myself at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, I will be ready to start the new regimen, plus I bought a sketching how-to-book and some charcoals – I keep hearing it will be a long and cold Winter. I’ll have a few projects going besides the blog till it is good weather to walk every day again and I’ll try to keep up my newfound ways.

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      • It was a little bit difficult to get back in the habit of blogging once I stopped. I am sure I would have the same issue if I stopped running for any length of time.

        If you are feeling the need for a break, I think you should take one. It’s not like it’s a job for either of us – we do it for fun! There are lots of other activities competing for our time. So much to do, do little time!

        Sketching sounds like a wonderful pursuit. I have always liked artsy stuff like that. When I originally entered college, it was as an atr major, not chemistry or education! I hope I get to see some of your sketches!

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      • I really should have taken a break back in early June – this has not been a good year at all. But I enjoy writing the posts and being on WP, so I did not take a break, but got bogged down with work and behind here. I may need to just set a limit per day with myself not only here, but on social media, but I read the news and follow events online so it seems I am always online. Compounded with house/contractor issues was my boss and his health issues. He is very fit but was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year – he has spent the past two months seeing specialists to decide his best option. He will have radiation seeds implanted at the Cleveland Clinic in November. He wanted the least disruptive means available so he can return to his swimming regimen and not miss work.

        I will step away from the computer more – things will slow down for blogging anyway as Winter draws near. There will be no long excursions in bad weather and there will be shorter excursions to Council Point Park. I have three photo shoots from long walks taken this Summer to write about as I’ve put them on the back burner. Separately I wrote you about Tom – I know I must be more active and not sit so much especially once the walking slows down. I often walk in a park near my house in Winter … just laps around on the grass to keep walking as I don’t have a treadmill – in my cluttered basement, there is no way to fit it down there … but I do have a bike and need to use it. It is downstairs and sometimes I don’t want to go down where it is cold and ride the bike. Stupid I know. There’s nowhere to put it upstairs either. And I do shovel snow all Winter as well.

        I am excited to try the sketching. Something good came out of the event that I thought would be about sketching anyway. I had wanted to wait until retirement but decided to just seize the moment and get interested in sketching again now.

        Is learning Portuguese your new item to learn for October – did you do a new item for September? Was it walking the Camino?

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      • I am so sorry to read about your boss. My dad had prostate cancer too, but he was older than your boss (I think). Bill and I bought a bike rack for our bikes this year, thinking that we would use our bikes more this summer. We hardly used them at all. It’s tough to get our exercise in when the weather gets bad, as you know.

        I am excited for you with the sketching. It’s good to have varied interests. That is one of the things I admire so much about my friend Dennis. He just signed up for a watercolor class. He also grows orchids, hunts fossils, golfs, and plays pickleball. I am sure I have missed some stuff too.

        Yes (sort of) on both counts. The Camino was my September thing and Portuguese is my November thing. I didn’t do one for October. Too much going on!

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      • My boss is 72 years old; will be 73 next March. He is very active though, so hopefully that will help him out. There is virtually no recovery time with this procedure which is 90 minutes long. He will go to Cleveland the night before and stay the night of the procedure as well then just return in one month’s time.

        I am excited about the sketching too – I realize in reading other posts that I have to have more varied interests like I did when I was younger. So hopefully getting into these two interests again will help fill that gap.

        Okay, you were allowed to have a one month lapse as you have been extremely busy this year, a whirlwind as I mentioned before. 🙂

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      • My dad passed away in 1996. He was 79 and had battled the cancer for about 6 years. He was probably about the same age as your boss when he found out. I am sure treatment has improved a lot in the last 20+ years, though.

        I hope you post some results of your sketching endeavor!

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      • Yes, I am sure the treatments have improved. I found this radiation seed planting interesting. Robb said it was 45 seeds but I read at the Cleveland Clinic site it was 100 – 125 seeds so told him that was a good thing. He’s had many friends/colleagues through the years with it – he always told me about their health issues and I reminded him that we are still dealing with those colleagues and his friends are all with us. Hoping to quell some of his apprehension.

        I will post if they don’t like like a child did them. 🙂 I follow a local photographer who takes photos of birds. I like her work a lot. She is following a couple of birders who take photos AND sketch birds. I started to following those two women as well. Their sketches are just beautiful, B&W charcoals and pastels. This was one of them:

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  1. I want wonder to be my starting point, every day of the week, Laurie. My father was a botanist, and I know this book would have been a treasure for him. It might have to become a treasure for me, too. Thanks so much for the updates on your travels and your discoveries.

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  2. Four great things to read about – thank you! Love that quote, and also the book sounds very interesting – I will be looking for that. Also, thanks for recommending Round Planet. It sounds like a hoot! Finally, you two had some amazing travels last month!

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  3. The words said this month about a specific preacher were heartbreaking. And for me, there is more than just the argument at hand about the roles of women in the Body. It’s about the heart toward other believers. Love is always the response. And, while love wasn’t what started this, LOVE is what will finish it.

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  4. Ooh I love this post. I am going to be watching Round Planet this weekend. It seems like something right up my alley and I think I’ll give my mum The anatomy of a rose for Christmas. Thank you for the recommendations.

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  5. WOW – you’ve had one busy month!!! Congrats on the accomplishments and discoveries. I’ve added the book to my to-read list, I love botany lessons like you described it shares. I hope you find moments of rest as you plan for your next adventures.

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      • That’s what I’ve heard about retirement – I enjoy seeing how others navigate the new found freedom to be busier than ever. I’m excited to read the book. It’s turning cold here, so I’ll be on the dreadmill for exercising, and I read to keep myself on it as long as I can. Yay – glad you’ve got more adventures planned. Thank you for sharing them with us!

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    • If only I would have moved a little bit to the left, I would have had a perfect halo! 🙂 Our Spanish trip was amazing. Our first trip to Spain! The monarchs were definitely amazing! To see that many of the little chips of orange floating by was beauriful.


  6. Sounds lovely, Laurie … the Camino walk and then the beach holiday meet up with friends … a lovely balance. The last time we were in Barcelona unfortunately the Sagrada wasn’t open, but we spent ages there just taking in this marvel. That nature doc sounds really good too. And ther scientist, eh … taking such an interest in the intricacies of the rose!! #WotW

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    • Our time in Spain was just amazing! It was our first time in the country and we loved it. Glad we missed all the riots and violent protests going on right now, though!

      Round Planet is hilarious! Not sure if it’s available in your neck of the woods, but well worth a look. Good to hear from you, Enda!


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