Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Children's Faces

This past Sunday at my home church there was a session of Winter Bible School. In the picture below, the children's class had an excellent storyteller that day. The reason I'm posting this particular picture is because of some of the expressions on the children's faces. Some of them were definitely caught up in the story. I love watching faces.

To best view the picture click on it to see a larger version.

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Time To Remember, No. 4, Houseboating

A couple times back in my twenties or early thirties, I would go houseboating for a week in Ontario, Canada with a group of men friends. It was a relaxing, laid back time as we boated on rivers, lakes, and canals. One got to see a lot of beautiful scenery along way and also sometimes some jealous looks when we passed by other people along the way.

The above picture shows the Petersborough Lift Locks. They were quite impressive to see in person.

This farm was part of the beautiful scenery to be seen. One night we anchered at an island out in the middle of a lake.

This was one of the groups I accompanied. In this picture we're sitting on the open air top deck of the houseboat.

This was one of the houseboats we used during those years. For eight to ten guys, it was closeknit quarters but lots of fun.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Donuts and Fastnacht

Fastnacht Day is coming up on February 28. Traditionally, it was a day when people used up all their lard and sugar by making donuts just before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Since I work in a bakery in a geographical area where many people still observe Fastnacht by eating donuts that day, it makes my next two days extremely busy and disruptive to my sleep schedule. Tonight and tomorrow night, I will be going in to fry donuts starting at midnight. There will be people frying donuts in the bakery from midnight tonight around the clock till late Tuesday afternoon. In the pictures below, I show some donuts that we regularly make year round.

Above are my favorite donuts - glazed sour cream stick donuts. The picture also show the glazing container.

This is a rack of donuts that I was taking out to the donut case this past Saturday morning. It contains a variety of donuts including glazed, powdered, sugar, and iced rings, Bavarian filled donuts, strawberry jelly donuts, white cream donuts, and more.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


At least here in the States, stores have begun to announce that Easter is coming by their large displays of Easter candy - a wide variety of chocolates, marshmellow animals, and jelly beans. It can be a temptation for both body and soul. The picture below was taken before the store open; hence the picture is a bit darker than it would be otherwise.

That is the commercial aspect of Easter. On the spiritual side, it is a time for reflection. Lent begins next Wednesday. My home church is participating with several other community churches in a series of Lenten services every Wednesday night till the week before Easter. Then there will be a solemn Good Friday service with communion and footwashing. On Easter morning, if the pattern follows as other years, we will have the opportunity to eat breakfast together at church followed by a joyous Easter service celebrating both Jesus' resurrection and the hope for our own resurrection to new life.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Kayakers in Tohickon Creek

This scene is located in either Plumstead or Tinicum Township of Bucks County, Pennsylvania along the Tohickon Creek and was taken in the Spring of 2000. Kayaking is something that appears so adventurous especially in creeks such as this one. This creek is only open for kayaking twice a year when they let water out of the reservoir at Nockamixon State Park further up creek. I keep thinking I ought to try it sometime; but never yet have.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Peace Valley Park, No. 3, Graffiti

I debated whether I wanted to post graffiti inflicted on nature. I don't support it. But I am also something of a social/cultural historian. I don't believe in hiding our negatives. Our negatives tell us something about ourselves. What do you think? What makes us (or some of us) want to leave our mark in nature?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Peace Valley Park, No. 2, Designs and Patterns

Designs and patterns in nature often fascinate me such as in the following photos from Peace Valley Park near Doylestown, Pennsylvania. In the past, I have used some of these types of designs as background images and patterns for web pages.

I love the patterns in tree bark and in this particular photo the morning sun shining brightly on the bark just magnifies the beauty.

Fungae on trees present a combination of curved patterns and slightly varying color contrasts.

This is actually the underside view of a fallen down tree stump. But I could actually imagine this as an upside down view of a topographical map for a selected terrain. Or it could also be a view inside a cave.

Sometimes the designs of above ground tree roots resemble flowing rivulets curving whichever way nature leads.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Peace Valley Park, No. 1, Winter

This morning I went for hike at Peace Valley Park located not far from Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It was a beautiful mostly sunny morning - peaceful with birds chirping away even though cold.

The above picture shows the North Branch of the Neshaminy Creek feeding into the 365 acre Peace Valley Reservoir also known as Lake Galena. If you click on the photo for a larger picture, in the distance on the right, there are some birds sitting in a tree and just beyond them some flying Canadian Geese. At the taking of this picture, the water in the lake is quite low.

This picture was taken further up the North Branch of the Neshaminy Creek. Neshaminy Creek eventually feeds into the Delaware River as it passes through Bensalem Township in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

This is just a bit further North along the creek. Notice the series of straight shadows from the trees creating a fascinating, geometric, contrast pattern between bright and dark.

Monday, February 20, 2006

A Time To Remember, No. 3

The picture below brings back several memories for me. This is in one of the stairways down to cellar in my parent's home. As a kid for many years, I used to take my lunch to school in lunch boxes like those on the right of the picture. When I got a little older but was still living at home, I took my lunch to work with me in the black lunch box on the left. And the many milk jugs on the many shelves, my dad used in the fall when he would make gallons upon gallons of apple cider from the apples he grew in his orchard. Fresh, homemade apple cider was a treat. Dad would often sell some; but we, kids, enjoyed it, too.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Visiting with my Nieces

This afternoon and evening, I spent with the family of one of my brothers. We spent some time today playing softball and table games. Later in the evening I read them their bed time Bible stories. In the picture below is one of nieces holding a picture she colored for me.

The younger sister of my above niece gave me this drawing below.

I love spending time with my nieces. They are so precious to me.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Report from Second MAMA Project Team to Honduras

For several years now, my church has sent two teams each year to Honduras under The MAMA Project. The second team just came back this past Monday. This team did both some construction work and medical clinics as well as spending time with the children down there. If you want to learn more, you can see an illustrated letter from one of the team members at the DRE MAMA Project Journal. You can also see a daily blog there from the January MAMA team of which I was a member.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Haarlem by Heather Neff

I just finished reading Haarlem by Heather Neff. The story line centers around a man searching for his mother from whom he was forceably separated in early childhood. But it is also a story of people living and working through addictions, of people learning not to only think of themselves, and of people learning forgiveness in a harsh, imperfect world. It's not a pretty story; but probably is realistic of some segments of society.

Honduras, No. 7, Copan

When I was in Honduras in January, my team at the end of our stay spent a short weekend in Copan. The first picture below was a neat little taxi that got us around Copan and nearby sites. The taxi held as many as three people squashed in the back seat and one other person sharing the driver's seat. It was a fun way to get around. The second picture was a neat bird that fascinated me at a bird preserve.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Banbury/MOPAC Trail, No. 1, Winter Scenes

Yesterday and today, the weather has been Spring-like - sunny with temperatures in the mid to upper fifties. So yesterday after work, I took a hike on the Banbury/MOPAC Trail in Franconia Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. With the sun shining it was so warm that I hiked in my short sleeves wearing no coat. Below are a few pictures.

I love creeks especially when the water is so blue as it is here.

Stumps of fallen down trees also fascinate me. There's something artistic about tree stumps even if it is somewhat abstract.

It's getting towards dusk here. But the reflections of the sun and the trees in the creek is awesome. It puts me in a worshipful mood. It reinvigorates me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Delicious Crock Pot Dish of Chicken and Vegetables

Today, I made a chicken and vegetable crock pot dish. It consisted of a split chicken breast, three stalks of celery, two carrots, two onions, two green peppers, two jalopeno peppers, two tomatoes, several potatoes, two apples, a can of cream of mushroom soup, water, and a teaspoon of salt & a half teaspoon of coarse ground black pepper. I slow-cooked it in the crock pot for ten hours - juicy and tender. In the picture above, I have already removed the chicken which I eat separately. It'll feed me all week plus I have a couple containers in the freezer for later. Delicious.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Time To Remember, No. 2

When I lived on the farm, I enjoyed the benefit of much home grown and/or homemade food. We canned a lot of our home grown fruit and certain vegetables and of course froze a lot, too. In the picture below some of the canned food includes applesauce, peaches, pears, tomato sauce, and more. We also often canned cherries, apricots, pickles, and ketchup which may or may not be in this picture. One couldn't find better tasting food than what I had to eat when I was on the farm.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Two Photos from Work

Last Friday, San Nakji tagged everyone who reads his blog to show a picture of their work. I can't completely cover that. But I have two photos below that cover a couple important aspects of my bakery work for a local three store grocery chain.

The above photo shows the shoofly pie goo in our larger cooker that I made today. Shoofly pie contains a bottom layer of goo made from molasses, eggs, water, and flour, a sweet cake-like middle layer, and a layer of butter crumbs on top.

This photo shows the van I used to make bakery deliveries to restaurants, other businesses, and our two other stores. I'm usually working with deliveries about twenty hours a week.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The storm is over --- Here

Well, the storm ended early this afternoon but we didn't get much more accumulation since I last posted. In Souderton, we probably got a foot of snow; just a few miles away they may have gotten as much as seventeen inches. But I hear that New York and the New England states are getting hit worse than we did with some places being over two feet of snow and still going. After I dug out this afternoon, I went and visited with one of my brothers and his wife and two year old son. Roads were okay as long as one didn't drive too fast. There and back here, I watched some of the Winter Olympics.

Below is a picture of my car before I dug it out. One might think it was a snow mobile. :)

The Big Snow Storm Continues

Well, I think we have around a foot of snow and it is still coming down. Below are three photos from the apartment complex that I live in. To get the full effect, be sure to click on the pictures. Before long, I will probably be going for a sightseeing walk in the snow.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mystical Nights

Mystical Nights
Snow Illuminated Lamps
Colors From Beyond
To What Land Have I Gone?

Maine Scenes, No. 3, Baxter

How about an area so remote that the privy along a hiking trail is out in the open? Both pictures are from Baxter State Park in Maine.

Wild Sensations
Invigorating Physiques
Loons Laughing
Dense Branches

Envoys of Another World
Neath Our Canopy
Expanding Our
Sights and Sounds
Sharing a Vision

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Will we have the big storm?

This morning I got up and the weather people were talking up the possibility of a major snow storm this coming Saturday into Sunday perhaps as much as ten inches. I'll wait and see. But it has gotten me into a wintery sort of mood such that I dug up a photo of a snow storm from back when I lived on the farm. There's something energizing about the potential of a big snow. I guess I still have a bit of the kid in me. :)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Maine Scenes, No. 2, Acadia

Below are a series of sunrise photos taken from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine. They say this is the first place the sun rises on the United States.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Time for Colors

I grew up on a farm and my Mom always loved growing flowers. These were from some years ago; but they bring back good memories. I think she taught us her children an appreciation for gardening and nature. When I still lived on the farm, I often grew many a flower, too, especially in my childhood. I still love flowers but unfortunately don't have the grounds to grow them myself. So from time to time I go to places where other people provide the opportunity for me to enjoy the fruit of their labor.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Maine Scenes, No. 1, Baxter

One of my favorite vacation spots is the state of Maine. This particular photo is taken from the top of Mt. Katahdin of Baxter State Park in North Central Maine. The views from here are terrific. The hike is long and strenuous but well worth it. But don't take a wrong step; to the right is Knife's Edge, but unfortunately you can't see the top of that narrow sliver in this picture.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Time To Remember, No. 1

A time to remember
A place to be
A feeling of promised warmth
A sense of danger

Fuel for the woodstove
Recycling old lumber
Industrious and waste not
Moved by love

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Trail Beckons

The trail beckons
What lies around the bend?

The heart yearns
The mind decides
The body moves

For the soul must know.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Honduras No. 6 - Cute Children

On the last clinic day, I was given the chance to hold the cutest little baby girl. And she smiled in my arms as I talked to her!

Here I'm reading a Spanish language children's book to a fun-loving little boy who also enjoyed having his nose and face decorated with stickers. :)

In the background of this picture, I'm holding one of the most affectionate and charming little girls. She loved being held and was all smiles when I told her that she was "muy bonita." She touched my heart with her smiles and affection. Click on the picture to see her better.