Friday, September 28, 2007

Liking Sweden. . .

I like it here! We're in Karlskrona, the naval base town in Southern Sweden. It is so great not to be in a touristy town - with lots of other loud Americans (no offense). The weather is chilly. Everything is clean, clean, clean. All the stores and houses look quaint and picturesque, though some look quite modern. The people are tall and beautiful (lots of blondes - no offense to short brown, red and black-haired people. You are lovely, too.)

To get here we rode a night train from Koln, Germany - it was 13 hours. I actually slept some. ( I'm known for not sleeping well on any moving vehicle.)

Well, when I look back on my posts during this trip it sounds like a world traveler has written them. I'm guessing I need to redefine myself to myself. Oh yes. That's exciting.
Signing off for now--
NC (mm jw), WORLD TRAVELER, and One-Who-Can-Now-Sleep-on-Moving-Vehicles.

(Nate... If you're reading this - know this: I am praying for you - as are a lot of other people. And you are prayed for by the Bear Valley staff and prayer group. I wrote some comments on your blog- but they haven't been 'printed'. I think you're supposed to do something to make them visible.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On to Sweden. . .

Tomorrow we leave Paris and head northeast to Sweden. We take a train to Brussels, Belgium and from there a sleeper train to Copenhagen, Denmark. From there we go to Kariskroner, Sweden where we'll visit Nic and Sarah Hoglind and attend the church they just helped start. How exciting. Here's how we know them: Nic and Sarah attended University of North Texas for its jazz school. Nic was in the 2 o'clock lab band and led the 5 o'clock lab band. If you know anything about that, you know that he must be one fine musician. While at UNT Nic played guitar at our church and Sarah sang. (They knew someone who knew someone who knew we were looking for a guitar player.) Anyway, they were AWESOME. AND they both became followers of Christ while there! They returned to their homeland, Sweden, and have now helped start a church very much like Bear Valley. In fact, the church JUST started about 3 weeks ago. This Sunday we'll be there and on the Saturday before (this Saturday) Sam will be meeting with the church's pastor and church leaders, including the Hoglinds, Oh my. It is exciting. We'll be taking pictures, and videos, to take back to share with Bear Valley. In fact BV is already helping them out financially (for about 2 months now). Needless to say, this last venture of our big trip should prove very rewarding, and not just in a sightseeing kind of way.

Paris has been wonderful. It is an amazing city. I was prepared for rude people, and while there was one, maybe two, most of the folks were nice. No one smiles, though, around here unless you give them a good tip!

A week from tomorrow we fly home. Will I be ready? I'm ALREADY ready! 'Course I'm very excited about the Sweden trip, but I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, hugging on my own dog (I haven't hugged on others), and cooking up some rice and beans with molho for Will-son. Oh yes.

Adieu... for now.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ahmadinejad...

What a kooky fella, this Iranian president. I think I'm glad he's speaking at Columbia University. It gets people to see what a kooky fella he really is.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Gay Paree . . .

So we're in what used to be called "Gay Paree". Now- in the 2000's- I don't think it's called that - well, because I think a lot of straight people live here. Ha. ('Course I did see some sort of 'iffy's.)
Well, the people we have met are NOT rude (as we were told)... so far anyway. They're very nice. Of course they should be - since they're museum employees and hotel employees. And certainly in their job orientation they were told to be nice to foreigners! Anyway, we're having a grand time.
I never dreamed that I could say "I've been to Rome and Paris." Now I can say that. [You live long enough and who knows what you can say. Me- I've lived long enough to say that. Yea!]

It's a great life.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Jet-setter

I'm a jet-setter. One country one day, another the next. This evening I'll be in Paris. (I realize that's a city.)
From what everyone tells us Paris is a rude city. I guess that's what to expect from some beauties: rudeness and stuck-up-ness. They think they're better than everybody. (Or maybe they're really insecure?) Well, I'm determined to be nice to everybody there. "Nice"- that's a city in south France -- but I'll occupy it in Paris.
I'm determined.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm glad . . .

I'm glad my daughter is studying in Florence, Italy. Of all the places in the world -to study abroad-, this is the place I would want her to be. This is THE PLACE. Not only is it gorgeous - and provincial - like in a fairy tale, it is also easy to get around in by just walking. It also seems relatively safe. And the food is delicious, and you can drink the water.
It really seems to be 'the land of enchantment'. (Or is that New Mexico?)
Anyway, I'm feeling good about her being here. And I am so very glad I was able to come over and check it out for myself.
Oh yes.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Florence . . .

Florence is BEAUTIFUL! 'Course the fact that it is home now to my lovely daughter makes it especially beautiful. (And, of course, Colleyville and North Richland Hills, Texas are especially HANDSOME!!)

I did feel some culture shock today, but now am over it. That may be because Sam is watching CNN on television just now.

We've really enjoyed the food here. I was glad I was on a diet after the Huffmans left - I needed to lose those 5 pounds before I took this trip. I have undoubtedly already gained them back. I will probably waddle off the plane when we get back to DFW.
(I'm just writing what I think you might be interested in!)

When I can figure out how to put my new pictures on here, I will!!

Ciao!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Happy Birthday to Sam!!

Today, Sept. 15, is my honey's 55th birthday. Now he's the same age as I am. I know, you thought I was at least 20 years younger.
I used to be told I looked 35. Unfortunately that was when I was 35.

I've got pictures!

I've got pictures . . . but I CAN'T GET TO THEM! I could tell you about them but that would take over a thousand words. 'Course, that has never stopped me before . . .

We're having an awesome time in Italy. Two days ago we went to St. Peter's Cathedral in the Vatican and to the Sistine Chapel. Incredible. Yesterday we took a tour of Pompeii and Naples. That was a super long day - but worth it. Today we go to the Coliseum.

It's a rough life, but somebody has to live it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Happy Feet . . .










I couldn't resist putting this picture here. I just read Laura's blog and saw her feet in Venice. Now here are her Dad's feet. The Carmacks must like taking pictures of their feet. I'll see Laura's, as well as the rest of her, in Florence next Monday. I may have to tickle her toes - as my granddaddy used to do to mine. That really made my feet happy feet. Sam may like that, too. Hmm . . .

Well, tomorrow we leave on our big trip. I've stressed enough about what to take - and just packed some stuff that might work. Enough of being a perfectionist!! ENOUGH, I SAY!!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

9/11 is coming. . .

9/11 is Tuesday. And I'll be on a plane to Rome!!! Yea!!!
(My house won't be empty, in case you're thinking of burglarizing it.)

Friday, September 7, 2007

'All of Me' . . .


I'll miss this. Playing the piano 2 hours a day four days a week. I really love it. LOVE IT. I play background music at a precious tea room in an even more precious antique mall, Lone Star Antiques in Haltom City, Texas. I just love everything about it: the people, the food, the therapy playing brings, the booth that I have rent-free because I play, and especially that my son now waits tables there.
Talk about fun! I'll be gone for awhile - to Europe - and I'll miss it. But who would pass up a Europe trip, especially if it means seeing your daughter!?
Not I.
(The picture is of a song in a "Fake Book". I play mostly from 'fake books'. It makes it so easy. . . but I had to learn exactly how to play my left hand from just guitar chords. I'm proud of myself - that I mastered that.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Greatness...


Here's somebody who has greatness. Greatness in many regards. He looks normal here with sweet Shiloh (who he picked out (saved) at the animal shelter), but he's way above normal. For one thing, I know of no one more talented than he. He has an innate ability that will rival anybody. It is incredible. Whether it's playing guitar, bass, banjo, keyboard, even drums, or singing, writing incredible music, engineering music at a sound board, or whatever, he's good. For his birthday he got a steel guitar (they're not just for country or Hawaiian music anymore). He was playing it right away.
He's also an incredible photographer. That's a whole other story (about his photography class in high school, etc., etc.)
He marches to his own drummer. He dares to think his own thoughts.
Oh, he's hard on himself. Most artists are, but that is part of their greatness, I think. If they weren't geniuses they would go glibly through life never introspecting . . . and never really creating. Will is one of those geniuses.

I'm really speaking objectively here - even if he is my son.

Monday, September 3, 2007

I miss her!


I'm on the right. She's on the left. Now she's in Florence, Italy . . . and I'm in Colleyville, Texas. Soon, though, I'll be hugging her and giving her all kinds of advice. . . cuz I'll be where she is. And it won't be here in Colleyville.
I can't wait!