Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Miscellany

Let’s see if I can be a bit more upbeat this week. I’m not making any promises, but I do have to say that I’m bored with reading about how pathetic I am.

Here’s something interesting – last Friday, for an unknown period of time (my keen observation skills leave something to be desired) the company across the way flew the Chinese flag instead of the Ohio flag. It was a pretty windy day so I had trouble getting a good picture, but you can tell that the flag is definitely red with gold stars and not red, white & blue.

Fascinating! It was like that in the morning, & then when I came back from lunch they were flying the Ohio flag again. Prank? Visiting dignitaries from China? The company is based in the Netherlands, but they did file bankruptcy last year so maybe they’re secretly owned by the Chinese now. Who knows!

Saturday Dr. M & I got to spend a couple of hours with Anne (from Reverent Irreverence) & her husband. They were in Cincinnati for a family birthday. We had such a nice time! Of course we both love Anne, but had never met Ken before. Turns out we like him too! I wish we all lived closer to each other.

Yes, Anne is wearing sheep earrings. Is it any wonder we love her? 
My Facebook status from yesterday: Channeled my grandmother Mary this morning & broke into alto on Just as I Am. We're supposed to sing the melody line when we're in the congregation (strange Episcopal rule?), but Mary wouldn't let me :)

On my way home from church I saw this:

Which just completed my day. Biscuit anyone?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sundays in Zambia - The One with the Documents

This post originally appeared in January 2010.

Today we're taking a break from pictures of the gorgeous country and people. I know, I know – why? I promise – there will be some more next week. But this week I want to talk about some of the documents I required to live in Zambia – besides the obvious passport and work permit.

First of all, I had to have an Aliens Registration Card. At the time I had not ever heard of a non-citizen of a country being referred to as an alien so I thought that was hilarious. I was an alien. Heh.

 Before I came to Zambia I was issued an International Driving Permit.

However, not too long after arriving I had to apply for a Zambian driver's license. Boy that was a process! Forms and going to multiple offices, and then at the end, an oral exam along with the other missionaries who were applying for a license. I was asked what emotions might cause a person to drive carelessly. I said rage or anger or sadness. Nope, none of those was the right answer. The right answer was joy! The examiner said that a very happy person doesn't pay attention to the road. At the time I thought that was a very funny answer, but later I learned better. My only speeding ticket was a few weeks before my wedding 21 years ago. I was barreling down the road singing to Amy Grant at the top of my lungs. I was going 82 mph. In a 55 zone (it had just changed from 65, but still!). Thankfully I didn't lose my license. Anyway, I managed to pass the driving exam & received my Zambian license!

A couple of other ladies and I decided to get memberships to the Intercontinental Hotel pool. We decided to say that we were a family so that it would be cheaper. Yes, I see the irony that two missionaries and a teacher at the American Embassy School (whose name was also Dana!) were cheating. I even feel somewhat ashamed about it now. In any case, we got our membership. I always laugh when I see the name – Mr. & Mrs. Damawallace. My name was Dana Wallace. Apparently I was taking the fall in this caper.

The last document is my membership card to the Bulldog Den at the local marine base (? I have no idea what it was called – these were the marines assigned to the embassy). We would go to watch movies, eat popcorn and flirt with marines. I saw The Princess Bride there for the first time – one of my favorite movies of all time (next to Joe vs. the Volcano). And I got a date to the Marine Ball with one of the marines from Michigan. We also played softball with the marines (I use the word "play" loosely – I am no athlete). One of the guys was from eastern NC and I loved hearing that voice from home. His accent was so thick that the other marines couldn't understand him over the radio. Made me homesick, a bit.

Come back next week when I talk about my attempt to teach cross-stitch at the Women's Missionary Union conference. Not a pretty picture!

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012 Project 365 – Week Thirty

After having a rather desultory week, I’m surprised at the nice variety of pictures we have. Of course, just because I spent the week staring into the middle distance didn’t mean that Dr. M did.
Saturday, July 21st
We spent the evening at the home of one of Dr. M’s colleagues. We had a great time – good food & fellowship. C. took us to visit Wapatomica - a political gathering place for the Shawnee that lived in the area. Here are the two historians by the monument.

And the history widows – heh.

A. has this great blackboard in her kitchen – she had the menu on there so she wouldn’t forget anything.

While she fixed dinner I sat on this chair/stool. It’s just like one we had in my house when I was growing up – except ours was white & black. Made me nostalgic.

Sunday, July 22nd  

Little Rosy.

Monday, July 23rd     
Geese. They’re on the move again.

Isn’t the sorghum pretty? I’m enjoying all its stages – and the birds are too.

Dr. M used the wrong settings for this picture, but I lightened it a LOT & think the effect is pretty cool.

Tuesday, July 24th
The weekly squirrel.

We finally got a nice BIG rain. This was out my window at work.

Much better moon shot!

Wednesday, July 25th   

The State of the Bug – paranoid about possible hair loss. And look at all that gray hair!

Thursday, July 26th       
Chickens! That one in the front made me cackle (Get it? Cackle. Heh).

Dr. M was trying to illustrate how huge this tomato is – that’s a quart jar that it’s sitting on.

Friday, July 27th        
Dr. M saw these lovely flowers.

The Tax Time Pig is being Piggy the Pooh!

Love this toad shot – they like to hang out near the spigot out back.

Go to Sara’s blog here to see the blogs of all the other Project 365 participants. Have a great week!

Most of our photos are taken with a 12 megapixel Nikon D5000 DSLR, using a 55-200mm zoom lens. This is the camera that Dr. M takes with him most days. He also takes pictures with our old reliable 7 megapixel Canon Powershot A710.  The Bug uses our new Nikon Coolpix S6200 most of the time. If you’re interested in which camera was used for a particular shot, just ask! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Have a Plan!

I’m not a big bundle of energy at the best of times, but things seem to have hit a new low. Basically, my eyes would prefer to remain closed at all times. And there’s extra gravity. Writing this post is exhausting. [Please note the Drama Queen label on this post.]

But I have a plan!
  • I’m going to try to eat all my recommended fruits & veggies each day.
  • And, although I have managed to walk almost every day, I’m going to add more minutes (probably by walking more often).
  • And I’m going to add a “weight training” activity a few days a week (since I’m starting with 3 pound weights I’m not sure it really counts as actual weight training).
  • And I’m going to try to be in bed by 10:30 each night. It doesn’t matter if the score is tied at the top of the ninth – if it’s 10:30 I’d better be snoozing.
Wow – I feel more energized already! Or maybe it’s the cantaloupe I’m eating right now…

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Figure Eight, 1952, by Franz Kline


You do the one foot drill
(in front of the other)
Keep your eyes wide open
until you turn the switch
Do the things the things
again and more again
Smile for the camera
Reach for what
glues you together
until you just
And every day is a
figure eight
which is a damn
good thing.

You don’t even
have to watch
your feet.

This is a Magpie Tale. Please go here to read other responses to the prompt.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sundays in Zambia - Chipata Church

This post originally appeared in January 2010.

On our way back from the park, we stopped at another Chipata village to participate in a church dedication. They had just completed construction on the structure. It wasn't quite what I expected. I thought it would be another cinder block building, like the other churches I'd seen.

Isn't it beautiful? We milled around a bit outside before the service.

The pink arrow is pointing to the nshima we'd be eating after the service.

Washing my hands before the meal

I felt very honored to participate in the service, but even more honored to be allowed to eat a meal with these beautiful people. It was a good day.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

2012 Project 365 – Week Twenty-Nine

Another hot (mostly) dry week here in Ohio. We had a nice visit with Dr. M’s uncle, aunt & cousin on Sunday (so there are a lot of pictures from that day – oops!)
Saturday, July 14th
Busy bird feeder…

The Board of Directors with its Chairman.

Our sunflower.

Sunday, July 15th
We had lunch in Yellow Springs with the NC folks. We all loved this bench.

The State of the Bug. Can’t you see me on the bench? No? Oh, I’m behind the camera. Yes, I forgot to photograph myself this week. I know you’re really bummed.

After visiting Dr. M’s campus, we stopped by a farm stand & visited with their pet buffalo. This is Uncle B after feeding some corn to Buffy and that silly goat.

Then we went to Young’s Jersey Dairy to get ice cream. Here are the Jersey Girls.

After they left Dr. M took a picture of some flowers that have shown up behind our hedge – makes us smile.

Of course, these ladies who were on the move from next door make us smile too.

Monday, July 16th     
The squirrel (we think) broke off the sunflower head, which made us very sad. However, doesn’t it look nice on our shelf? 

Tuesday, July 17th
The last of the yellow daylilies.


I was behind this car trying to merge onto the highway & they were driving kind of slow. I kept saying, “Go go go go!” and then I noticed the license plate & said, “Go with God, but GO!”

Wednesday, July 18th   
We got a few drops of rain! Can you see? What – the teaspoon of rain in the jar isn’t showing up?

Wet tomatoes.

Thursday, July 19th       
Dr. M saw this field of sunflowers – so much fun.

The last orange daylily.

The remains of my lunch today. I just couldn’t do it. I ate the littler pieces, but the big carrot chunks were just too much for me. Blech!

Friday, July 20th        
Dr. M saw a goldfinch on our front hanging basket. Lovely!

Go to Sara’s blog here to see the blogs of all the other Project 365 participants. Have a great week!

Most of our photos are taken with a 12 megapixel Nikon D5000 DSLR, using a 55-200mm zoom lens. This is the camera that Dr. M takes with him most days. He also takes pictures with our old reliable 7 megapixel Canon Powershot A710.  The Bug uses our new Nikon Coolpix S6200 most of the time. If you’re interested in which camera was used for a particular shot, just ask! 

2024 Project 365 – Week Sixteen

It’s “cold” (53 degrees) and rainy and I am in my sheep pajamas with a warm laptop on my lap. I’m not mad about that. Sunday, April 14 th  ...