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Showing posts from February, 2019

Tuesday Travels: Pisa Postscript

I knew this would happen: I would publish a post, then realize that I had forgotten to mention something amazing. I recently wrote about our visit to Pisa, but I failed to share with you the incredible acoustics that are found in the baptistery. Listen to the video below. One man is able to sound like a small choir due to the way the sound reverberates.



Monday Mentions: Shoe Sponge

On my recent trip to Italy, I discovered something that some of you are probably already familiar with, but I was not. Our vacation was taken with a tour group, and the tour guide booked much fancier hotels than we probably would have on our own. A couple of those hotels provided a shoe sponge, in addition to the regular amenities. 

Now, I know that shoe polish bottles come with little sponges on the end, but these sponges were meant to be used without polish. I was so delighted to find that a quick rub left shoes shiny and spot-free! After doing lots of walking in the rain and snow, it was nice to be able to at least start the next day with a fresh-looking pair of shoes.

I'm thankful for new-to-me discoveries. Have you ever used a shoe sponge?

Ten Things of Thankful: Coughing my Way to a Beach-Body

As you may have gathered from my last TToT, I've been fighting the crud for several weeks now.  John mentioned recently that I have now been sick longer than we were in Italy. There really ought to be a rule against that, I think. However, I am getting better, andI have discovered that coughing really works the abdominal muscles.

You have probably heard that laughter is the best medicine. It also helps trigger coughing fits, which in turn, results in the equivalent of 100 crunches per episode. No need to feel sorry for me, though; I'm developing my own P90X-like workout routine. 

So, if you, too, are ready to tone up, read on! Listen to your body; you may want to start with gentle laughter before trying the full-blown coughing fit method. (*Disclaimer--always consult your doctor before starting an exercise routine. Proceed at your own risk!)

1. As indicated in the title of this post, I'm thankful for my new-found dedication to an abs workout. It's like something just come…

Ten Things of Thankful: Sometimes Exciting, Sometimes Boring, Always Thankful

I teach the 10-year-olds at church. Our class meets while the younger kids are meeting together for singing time. When our class time is over, we go to singing time and the younger children have class time. Today, as my class was leaving the room and the little kids were coming in, one of the boys announced, "It smells like vacation in here!" Apparently I still smell like Italy. 😄

Sometimes, I have exciting posts to share, like the posts about vacation. Other times, like this week, my life seems rather dull. However, there is always something to be thankful for, so let's jump right into this week's Ten Things of Thankful:
1. I am SO thankful I wasn't sick while I was on vacation. I know some in our group were not feeling well, and each day that I continue to cough and just generally feel run-down, I feel badly that some people felt this way while on vacation. 
2. I am also thankful that I'm not chronically sick. So many people battle chronic problems. This is n…

Six Sentence Story: Milestone

Each week, Denise hosts the Six Sentence Story blog hop. Each week, she comes up with a new prompt, and each week, bloggers post their short stories. I don't always join in, but I've never regretted participating. This week's prompt: milestone. 

One day made all the difference. Yesterday, she had been young and carefree, but now, a new phase of life beckoned. She couldn't wrap her mind around the passage of time; though the previous years comprised her entire life, they had gone by so quickly. Did everyone else feel the same way?Though other milestone birthdays would come and go, it would be 90 years until a similar birthday came. Acquiring that second digit in her age gave her a sense of maturity; she could only imagine how old she would feel when she turned 100!

Tuesday Travels: Pisa is More than Forced Perspective

"Did you see the Leaning Tower of Pisa?" more than one person has inquired upon hearing that I recently visited Italy. The tower is an iconic symbol, but before my vacation, I couldn't tell you too much about it, other than the fact that it leans. 

It is the bell tower for the cathedral in Pisa. 



A baptistery stands across from the cathedral, or duomo. Our guide told us that in the early years, a person needed to be baptized before being allowed into the cathedral. 


Built in medieval times, the tower started leaning almost immediately after construction started. Several attempts were made to straighten it, but to no avail. In recent years, the tower has been stabilized, and visitors are allowed inside to climb the crooked stairs. 


We climbed many different bell towers and duomos during our time in Italy, but the experience of climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa was unique. About half of the time, the climb felt extraordinarily difficult, and the other half, it didn't even…

Ten Things of Thankful: So Much to Say Edition

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was taking a bit of a break, but what I failed to mention is that John and I were going on a decades-in-the-dreaming vacation to Italy. Neither of us had been there before, and we spent two full weeks soaking in the sights (and soaking in the rain and yes, even snow!) This post will give only a quick overview of some of the things I observed. I have plenty of material for future blog posts, though, so stay tuned for more extended reports of the various places we visited. Before I jump into my vacation slideshow, though, I have to start with a very important thankful:

1. I'm thankful for my oldest son, whose (30th!) birthday is today. He is a bright, capable, caring adult, and I am so privileged to be his mom. I can look back on those early years and see how his personality was shining through even then: his sense of humor, as he belly-laughed as an infant, when John tried to hit a golf ball with a stick; the creativity exhibited as he quietly play…