Category Archives: Blogging

Mundane Monday: Chinese Coke

One of my kids had this drink at an excellent restaurant near the great wall. 


I rarely if ever drink Coke anymore, just as a special treat. But I still like their can designs, especially the ones at Christmas with the polar bears. And in this case, the arrangement of these characters is attractive in itself.

For the Mundane Monday photo challenge #120.

Afghan Girls Orchestra, for #WATWB

WATWIC-Bright-TuqBlkIt’s time for this month’s We are the World Blogfest (#WATWB)! In a world where news and social media are awash with negativity, we aim to turn the focus on to small but significant stories that renew our faith in humanity.

My article for this month is about Zohra, an all-female orchestra from Afghanistan. Named for a Persian music goddess, the orchestra toured the world earlier in the year, starting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The musicians are all very young, most not out of their teens. And many of them are the first in their families, or even in their entire provinces, to play an instrument.

I was touched especially by the story of the 18-year-old conductor, who played the viola when she was an instrumentalist. Her uncle was initially against her playing in the orchestra, but he eventually grew to be proud of her.

“I’m happy that at least I changed my family,” she said, adding, her fellow musicians, too, “are going to change their families and when their families are going to change, you can have a society which is changed.”

Sign up to join us and be visited on the last weekend of the month when you post your article.  Click here to enter your link on this Linky Tools list! This month’s #WATWB co-hosts are: Simon FalkRoshan RadhakrishnanInderpreet Uppal, Sylvia Stein, and Damyanti Biswas. Please stop by and say hello!

Mundane Monday: Travel Bag

This textile pattern looks like it could have come from one of the museums I’ve visited on my trip. 

But it’s actually from the side of my travel bag. This bag is smaller than most backpacks, but big enough to hold passports, a water bottle, my journal and pen, various chargers, band-aids, anti-itch cream, a nail clipper, and has pockets so I don’t lose my subway card and hotel key card.

I bought the bag in Turkey about 8 years ago. I don’t know the origin of the pattern or if it’s “authentic.” I just liked the patterns and the colors. Like me, it’s pretty far from home.

For the Mundane Monday Challenge #117.

Mundane Monday on Tuesday: Flag Reflection

Today is US Independence Day. And it’s a Tuesday (not Monday). But I’m a bit late this week as I have just gotten back from a trip to Asia. More on that soon.

In our old house I put up a flag holder and every year I would fly the flag on Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day. This picture is from Memorial Day several years ago. What I like about this picture is how strong the reflection is in the glass of the storm door, and you can see our neighbors’ house across the street.

FlagReflection copy

For the Mundane Monday Challenge #116.

Choose Love for #WATWB

I’ve been traveling for the past few weeks, and just got back yesterday. In a quirk of the International Dateline, our plane landed before it took off, making July 2, 2017 possibly the longest day I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Now that the post-trip laundry is mostly finished I’m posting, belatedly, for the We Are the World Blogfest (#WATWB).It is supposed to take place on the last Friday of every month. This event seeks to promote positive news, stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. This month’s wonderful co-hosts are:  Lynn HallbrooksMichelle WallaceSylvia SteinSylvia McGrath, and Belinda Witzenhausen.

We are the World Logo

The story I chose for this month is the following: Mom of Sandy Hook victim says she forgives shooter, wants others to choose love by Allison Slater Tate in Today‘s parenting section.

Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse died in the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, started the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement in 2016 in his honor. It is a program for schools that aims to change the classroom climate and make it a more caring and nurturing one, giving kids the tools and emotional resilience to “be grateful when life isn’t easy, to forgive when the person who hurt you is not sorry, and to step outside your own pain to help someone else.”

I would find forgiveness difficult if not impossible in Ms. Lewis’ situation. I wish such programs had been more available when I was in school.

A Wrinkle in Time

For this week’s book review, I am reblogging this wonderful review of one of my favorite books, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, by one of my favorite bloggers, ecofiction author and environmental lawyer PJ Lazos. I think one of the reasons this book still inspires and has stood the test of time is that it integrates both the arts and sciences. There are many ways to be a light in the darkness. . .

Green Life Blue Water

For my bloggy friend, K. L. Allendoerfer, at A Thousand Finds, neuroscientist, violinist, educator and geocacher extraordinaire, who knows the power of reading and science and credits L’Engle for sparking her interest in both!

A Wrinkle in Time

If I had read Madeleine L’Engle’s book, A Wrinkle in Time when I was young, there’s a good chance I would have pursued a career in science. First published in 1962 before the concept of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) became a colloquialism for young women — a rallying cry, really — L’Engle’s book reads like a STEM Sisters manifesto, a how-to on being a girl and not being afraid to shine, even if it means being better than a boy in math or science. Today, a measly 12% of female bachelor students go into STEM careers, yet, I posit, that had more girls read A Wrinkle in Timeas…

View original post 861 more words

The Bicycling Violinist

We are the World LogoIt’s already the last Friday of the month, time for the We are the World Blogfest! The #WATWB seeks to infuse social media with good news. This month’s hosts are Emerald BarnesEric Lahti, Inderpreet UppalLynn HallbrooksPeter Nena, and Roshan Radhakrishnan. Please stop by and say hello!    Continue reading The Bicycling Violinist

Holocaust Education: The Missing Piece

On the last Friday of the month, I am participating in the We Are the World Blogfest (#WATWB), in which we share a hopeful or peaceful story about humanity.

This month, I’m sharing this story, Holocaust Education: The Missing Piece, about the work of my new friend and sometime music partner, Dr. Margareta (Maya) Ackerman. I met her in the context of music at church. She sings, I play the violin, and we have performed together in services a couple of times. We’re getting together later today, in fact, to prepare for this Sunday’s service, called Faith and Hope after the Holocaust. We will be performing two Emily Dickinson poems set to music. Continue reading Holocaust Education: The Missing Piece

Mundane Monday: Stacks and Cracks

This week’s Mundane Monday challenge shows the Taj Mahal framed by stacks of sandbags. It reminded me immediately of the stacks of sandbags I saw, and photographed, last week along a creek bed. No Taj Mahal here, but I was reminded of Leonard Cohen’s lyric, that the crack in everything is “how the light gets in.” In these stacks, the crack is where the flowers can grow:

FlowersAndSandbags.jpg

Communicating Science Through Art

WATWIC-Bright-TuqBlkThis is my first post for the “We are the World” Blogfest. (It’s a day late, just like yesterday’s Thursday Doors post on Friday. Time doesn’t always move in a linear fashion in my world.) To participate in this blogfest, join us on the last Friday of each month. As the co-hosts say, “no story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.”

Continue reading Communicating Science Through Art