Friday, September 7, 2012


Here you go, because some of you asked to see it.
It's a view into the kitchen of my beat-up, tiny apartment
(it's very near the campus, so it's usually rented by students).
That's not a Wolf stove, but that is a Persian rug!
Yes, in the kitchen.

On Thursday, August 16, 2012
we had "the heat of 3 suns," but no more.
Last night on my walk, I heard, and then saw,
a noisy v-formation of geese flying overhead.
Going south and excited about it.
Mornings are crispy now. Football season has started.
My grandkids started school this week.
And there were a few yellow, crunchy leaves on the stoop this morning.
Summer is dwindling.

Last day of summer classes today! I'm free, and I'm happy!
So, I thought I'd finally start settling into this place, getting organized.
But instead I made a second cup of coffee
and chatted with Aaron on the phone.
I've got my priorities right, I think.

Bed is unassembleld. Mattress is on the floor.
But the room has the best light in the house in the morning.
This photo doesn't show that light.
This is late-ish afternoon light when it starts to get glowy in the room.
In the morning the room is awash in a cheerful-bright and clear light,
and so I take my coffee and Bible and sit there for quiet time.
And I write letters there, too.
And just sit and think.

This was going to be dinner tonight.
But I ate the super-delicious mango that is essential to the dish.
Change of plans.
(I am breaking every rule of good discipline today.)

A photo re-run, but from a different angle.

I have two weeks of freedom at my disposal,
and I'm going to spend as much of it as possible with my family.
I leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow and won't come back til I have to.

Enjoy these dwindling summer days
and the crescendoing beauty of autumn.

Moving this here to consolidate my posts:

Roman sent this text to his "daddy" a couple of weeks ago.
He needed crickets because he keeps spiders
and other insects (not that a spider is an insect, but, you know. . .)
and feeds them crickets.
Roman is truly an insect expert. I kid you not.
It's amazing what he knows,
and I don't mean just for a six-year-old,
but for a knowledgable adult.

But don't you love that spelling?
And the sweet note, too?
I do. It's so Roman.


  1. mmm, bible and coffee... that combination is perfection. love your space. so glad to see you posting :)

    1. Oh, lookee, I can reply individually! I've never done this before. :-) Thank you, Amy. I'm always happy to see you here! The coffee really is so good (and the Bible part, too). During my second cup this afternoon , my sister stopped by and said how gooood it smelled and then invited herself over for a cup of morning coffee soon, which I encouraged! :-) Take care! ~S

  2. Thank you for sharing a little bit more of your cosy little nest.....The Lord has really gifted you with the ability to make *any* space warm, cosy and pretty. :o)

    These kinds of posts are a real blessing to me.

    Enjoy your time with your family. :o)

    Blessings and a Hug,

    1. Thank you very much, Michele! How very sweet. I *will* enjoy my family, thank you. Can't wait. Blessings and a hug back to you! ~S

    2. Awww....that text is *precious*!

  3. What a treat, Susan~ to see these posts.
    It's good to hear (and see!) a little of your life.


    1. Thanks, Stacy. It's always so nice to hear from you! Hugs back. :-) ~Susan

  4. Just found this update and couldn't help but reply, however trivially:

    Yes, you are a brave woman for putting a Persian rug in your kitchen ;-)!

    I like the way the suns in your journal entry are getting progressively more uncomfortable looking!

    And I would like to make some heat comments based on life in Italy, even though where I live is probably cooler than many places in the US: I always wondered why Italians like coffee so much, even though it's hot here. The only conclusion I could come to is that they concentrate their coffee into espresso so they don't have to drink as much hot water. And also, I think they must like the tile floors because they're cool. Although here in the north there are some wooden floors, too. Ours are a mixture.

    Also, I'll just have to take your word for it that your bed is unassembled, because in that photo it sure looks assembled to me! I'll just assume for now that this is a photo of your previous house.

    In sum (as they say all the time in Italy, because they talk so much): You've done a lovely job with your new apartment. It's an inspiration!

    1. Hi Laura. I was thinking that the suns should look progressively evil, but I guess they're compassionate suns. Tile floors really must be nice and cool! Interesting that you have a mix. Which do you prefer? In winter, when it's cold (as I know it is in some places, including where you live, right?), do Italians use rugs?

      My bed in that photo really is unassembled! I just placed the headboard (and the footboard if you look closely) between the mattress and the wall at the head of the bed. The mattress and box springs are pushed right up against them so that they stand up straight and look as they though are really functioning as intended. :-) And thank you for your compliment about the apartment. Maybe I should take photos of the hopelessly awful bathroom or some other frightening things! :-) And now I need to get ready to leave the house.

  5. Suaan here, moving Laura's comment about Roman's text (since I'm deleting that separate post and adding it to this one, and I don't want the comment to go away!):

    I can certainly believe that a six-year-old could know as much about bugs (or various other subjects) as many adults--especially Roman.

    Also, I love that messaging app! It reminds me of "talking" to Sarie every morning when she was eating breakfast at camp (they only had WiFi at meals). I can hear at the little "whoop!" noise it makes ;-). Strange thing, technology!

  6. Oh how fun to find two posts of yours I knew nothing about :) Always a fun treat!

    Our days FINALLY got a bit cooler today (low 80s) and I am just aching for autumn air. We had such a mild winter last year and summer came too soon and has felt unending.

    We have jumped back into our homeschool and rhythms and my sweet youngest will be a one year old next month. He is a big chunk of love :)

    Hugs to you and always gratitude for your mentoring from afar. Megan (Contented Sparrow) and I always talk about needing to have you come for a girls weekend and let us glean from you more and in-person :)

    1. Hello there, Aimee! I know what you mean about autumn air! We actually had a morning with temperatures in the 30's yesterday and a brisk, breezy cool day, so change is coming for sure, but it's supposed to heat back up again by the weekend. I'm of a mixed mind about autumn coming on because I feel like my summer just began, but I do love the ambience and beauty of the season. Wow. Seriously. I can't believe your little guy is one! (But then I can't believe my "littlest one" is 25! Haha. *Really*, how did that happen?!) And oh, gosh, I don't feel anything like a mentor! Just a friend who hopefully shares as much as I have received from you and Megan. But thanks, and hopefully, we really will get together one day--that would be so much fun!

      I hope your rhythms, routines, and learning life will be sweet this year.


  7. That is such a sweet note. I love that he told his daddy to have a grat werkout. So thoughtful :)

    I hopped over here tonight just hoping there might be something new. Enjoyed catching up with what you have been doing. And so thankful for the learning links to be all in one place.

    Take care,

    1. I know, Stacy! I loved that, too, and it is *so* Roman! His little brother started kindergarten this week, and when Roman was on recess, he said that he kept looking in Jayden's room to make sure he was doing okay. He's a sweet boy.

      I'm glad you came by, Stacy. It's always extra nice to see you here.

      I hope you and your family are very well!

  8. Hey Susan! I am happy for you that you are getting a break from your busy school schedule. Sounds pretty intense!
    I was thinking of you this morning and wondering about your going back to school experience. Now that my homeschooling days are behind me, I too am considering going back to school (to get my masters degree in school counseling.) I'd love to know your perspective--any tidbits of advice? I never thought I'd be considering this path, but I do find it intriguing!
    I hope you enjoy many happy moments with your family during your break!

    1. Hi Silvana! I am really enjoying my break, thank you! I spent some days with Michelle's family, and now I am at my sister's house. We're going to Portland on Friday and bringing Aimee down for a week, and then we'll be off to the coast to see my mom and my other siblings. It's nice.

      I'm not sure I have any advice about going back to school. You seem a lot more competent than me, and I don't have any doubt you would do extremely well and would be a great school counselor. You're perceptive, intelligent, caring, active, and thoughtful, and I think you have a great combination of personality traits and skills that would make a wonderful school counselor. And being back in school, the academic part, of course, isn't going to be a challenge for you. Being an older student definitely has its advantages as there is more focus and drive, not to mention the life experience and accumulated knowledge/insights/experience of the years that *greatly* enhances learning. I need to move along and take my shower now, but I think you would very likely love this path, Silvana.

      xSusan (I probably haven't addressed your question well, but if you have something specific you want me to chat about, just let me know!)

    2. Thank you, Susan--your kind words are *such* an encouragement! :) I have had similar thoughts regarding being an older student--the experience of years helping with learning and understanding, etc. I have a whole new perspective on learning that I for sure greatly lacked the first time around. I guess what I wonder is how others perceive older students and what potential employers think--I'm sure this varies greatly from person to person. My hope is that they will see the value of "accumulated knowledge/insights/experience " too! But of course, that is in God's hands as well. :)
      I am very happy that you are getting to spend some extended time with your loved ones--and your mom, I hope she is well! I picture you all going on nice walks on the beach. Have fun!

    3. Hey, Silvana. Headed to Portland in just a bit, but I wanted to say, in regard to how others perceive older students, at school and with potential employment, that my experience at school has been fantastic both with students and professors. Sort of unbelievably positive and fun, really. This has been a big shock to me. And I have been told again and again, in multiple places and situations that I am extremely hirable. I've been told it's about how you "present," and I've been told I present well (whatever the heck that means!). But I assume that you, being younger than me by a ways and seeming to be very personable and positive, are in even better position than I am, so I wouldn't hesitate to just go for it. You're kind of as young as your spirit, right? I think being super-positive (too many middle-agers--my age--are sort of "downers" and put off a negative or know-it-all vibe, to be honest) and kind and others-oriented in demeanor and conversation can come off really well. I don't know. I just know that my experience has been very positive and encouraging, and I have only gained confidence about job prospects.

      Wish I could say more and say it more carefully! :-)


    4. Thank you, Susan! I could only imagine that people would respond well to you--and I really mean that because of your energy, outlook, and care for others. I am very glad that things have been going well for you at school!

      I'm still on the fence about it all, leaning one way today, the other the next. I can see many pros and cons to both. Entering the workforce--being tied to a schedule would be one drawback, as well as having less time for family and home. On the other hand, interacting and helping to guide students (very much needed in today's difficult environment) appeals to me. Thankfully, I don't have to decide soon, so I'll continue to pray for guidance. And either way, my desire is to invest in people which is always happening in the Thanks again for your thoughtful input!

  9. Good morning, Susan...just a quick note about 2 things: #1: it's good to see a post from you. You amaze me. #2: Here's a link Roman and his family may enjoy, if they haven't already found it:

    If I remember correctly, Bruce returned to school himself, to get teaching credentials, after having worked at the University of Minnesota for some time as an entomologist (PhD-type). He has had license plates that read "BUG GUY". The site has a button for "Resources", which Roman and his family may find interesting. Again, good to see a post from you. God bless you yet more. Minnesota, another state heard from

  10. Hi Susan! I just popped over here again in hopes of another post and discovered THREE!--you August and September posts. (If I knew how to do Google readers, I'd know instantly, but my non-techie mind is a long way off from there, I think.)I'll just comment on this post, since it was my favorite. I love the aroma of cofee, but never learned to drink it the healthy way. I can only do it as dessert...incredibly smooth (aka LOTS of cream!)and at least mildly sweet (if I'm drinking it with a sweet dessert, otherwise it has to be pretty sweet too!)

    I love the Persian rug in your tiny kitchen. Amazing what a touch of luxury does to a plain Jane space. Perfect! (under foot as well.)I love all your apartment photos. You have such a knack for turning anyplace into homey/cosy. And like you, I LOVE Light. (I think it's because we are people of THE LIGHT!) And I love the varying qualities of it throughout the day, as you've also noticed. I think of morning light as clean, clear, fresh, new, sparkling. Early evening light is rich, gold, still, infusing everything with itself. Thank you for the explanation in the comment section on your unassembled bed, because I was thinking the same as Laura. But then I clicked on the picture to enlarge it, and I can see that you are, of course, correct. ;)

    Love your word choices: "dwindling summer days"..."crescendoing beauty of autumn". :) Also loved Roman's text to his daddy..."don't fergit"...and all the other delightful misspellings, and even Daddy's response, "Haha...Okay son." It all made me chuckle. I also like the fresh new pictures on your credenza. Melissa's leaf color wheel was a "bright" idea!

    And one of the reasons I so enjoy reading your wise words is because you have your priorities right. I'm so glad you come back every now and then. It's a little surprise gift every. time. Thank you. And all the best to you in your new school year. I believe you are a true gift to all the young students whose lives you touch.

    Judi, from the upper peninsula of Michigan where it's supposed to get down into the 20's tonight. Autumn is past peak here, but still lovely with the rich deep tones of late autumn. I love it!

    1. Hi Judi! So nice to hear from you, as always. I don't have time to do justice to your nice, long comment because I need to leave for class, but I'm glad you stopped by, and I love how you always notice little details and nuances! :-) If you see this, have a lovely day! (And never mind the typos--I often have them right in my posts!)

  11. Yikes! I didn't proofread...and two misspelled words in the first paragraph! *you*=your, *cofee*=coffee. There! I feel better now! ;)