8 Ways Books are Better Than Scrolls: eBooks of the Ancient World

book cover of Libraries in the Ancient World

While trying to figure out how ancient books were repaired, I came across the delightful Libraries in the Ancient World by Lionel Casson. It’s a small, friendly sort of book, clearly written and even the black and white illustrations are fascinating. If you asked for a book in an ancient library, a page would bring […]

Growing into shape: A 1,000-year-old linden tree

This 1,000 year old linden tree has such a perfect shape from the outside. A really old tree gives me a new perspective on life and how long it takes to grow something beautiful. This one almost certainly saw a procession of Emperors passing by. It’s very near the open-air museum of Tilleda, a kind […]

An Epic Tree

Battered oak with huge gall, blasted branches, lost bark and holes that shelter who knows what.

This weekend, my husband and I went looking for a half-circle of oaks he knew from thirty years ago. (No comments from the peanut gallery 😉 He said their group held hands around it because it was so big (nearly 8 meters around and 24 meters tall!). It’s gotta be old: 600-800 years! We found […]

The Day the Wall Fell

Yesterday, Germany celebrated the Tag der Deutschen Einheit, (literally, the “Day of German Unity.”) It’s the day when East and West Germany came back together after World War II. Once as a student, I visited East Berlin while the Wall was still there. I’ll never forget the eerie passage through the restricted zone. Guards armed […]

The Joy of Exploring Your Writing Territory

I’ve been reading Susan Kaye Quinn‘s Indie Author Survival Guide (Second Edition) Crafting a Self-Publishing Career Book 1). In spite of the title, the book covers topics that are also interesting to traditional novelists. All writers struggle with figuring out a target audience, creative freedom, and how to keep from “stopping too soon.” Susan Kaye […]

Marc Chagall’s stunning gift of reconciliation

St. Stephan’s church in Mainz, Germany has stunning stained glass windows. The church burned on February 27, 1945 and Marc Chagall designed most of the current windows in the late 1970’s. The windows show love stories of all kinds: Colorful people and angels float in a sea of blue glass. In light of the Holocaust, […]

Create something new: What would you do with 500 olive trees?

I recently came across another inspiring example of using your inheritance to create something new. Alessandro inherited 500 olive trees with his grandfather’s Sicilian property. Most people look at 500 olive trees and think olive oil, but Alessandro had a different idea: soap. His engineering Ph.D. comes in handy for designing the tools he needs […]

Spring is coming. Let’s not give up on hospitality yet.

Lately, I’ve been wondering if migration is our natural lot and living peacefully in one place all our lives a rarity. Cranes are migrating and their calls remind me of spring. The current news shows destroyed cities in Syria, failed cease-fire talks, and a refugee bus being shouted down by people in the former Democratic […]

Hope for February: ESPERANZA RISING and Esperanza Spalding

Hope keeps cropping up. This weekend, hope took the form of an audio book, a YouTube video, a walk under gray skies, a skit, and a newspaper article. Last night I listened to the first part of Pam Muñoz Ryan’s ESPERANZA RISING with Trini Alvarado as narrator. I’m looking forward to the rest! ESPERANZA RISING […]