Another book I’m reading at the moment is a fun detective mystery.  The reason it’s so intriguing is because the main character is a dog named Chet.  His master, Bernie, is the detective but Chet is the one that usually solves the crime first, and helps out along the way.  Here is a fun scene where they have just gone into their back yard and found a stray tennis ball.

Bernie was gazing up at the sky.  A beautiful night–soft breeze, lots of stars, lights twinkling down the canyon, and what was this?  A new tennis ball on the lawn.  I went over and sniffed it.  Not one of mine, not anyone’s I knew.

“Wanna play fetch?”

I pawed the thing.  How did it get here?  Cooped up all day, but I’d kept an ear cocked, except for when I dozed off, of course.

“Bring it here, Chet.”

I didn’t want to, not with this stranger’s smell on it.

“Come on.”

But I never said no to Bernie.  I gave the ball a lick or two, making it mine, then took it over to Bernie and dropped it at his feet.  Bernie reared back and threw the ball up the canyon road.

“Uh-oh–where’d it go?”

Where’d it go?  He really couldn’t see it?  That never failed to surprise me, how poorly he saw after the sun went down.  I tore after the ball, bouncing up the middle of the road in plain sight, got my back feet way forward and sprang, totally airborne, snaring it on the short hop, the way I like, then wheeling around in one skidding motion and racing full speed, head low, ears flattened by the wind I was making, and dropped it at Bernie’s feet, putting on the brakes at the last moment.  If you know something more fun than this, let me in on the secret.

[Dog On It, by Spencer Quinn, pg. 2-3]



The Sword

This week I’m sharing quotes from some of the books I’m currently reading.  For some reason, I always have several books going at once.  I always wanted to know more about the King Arthur stories, so am finally reading the book.  You may recall that the wizard, Merlyn, taught life skills to Arthur (called “Wart” as a child) by turning him into various animals.  Here is the scene where Arthur has run to find a sword for his brother Kay, who had forgotten his at home.  The only one Arthur could find was the one stuck in the stone (only able to be pulled out by the future King of England).  Here is T. H. White’s account of what happened when he attempted to pull out the sword from the stone:

There was a kind of rushing noise, and a long chord played along with it.  All round the churchyard there were hundreds of old friends.  They rose over the church wall all together, like the Punch and Judy ghosts of remembered days, and there were badgers and nightingales and vulgar crows and hares and wild geese and falcons and fishes and dogs an dainty unicorns and solitary wasps and  corkindrills and hedgehogs and griffins and the thousand other animals he had met.  They loomed round the church wall, the lovers and helpers of the Wart, and they all spoke solemnly in turn.  Some of them had come from the banners in the church, where they were painted in heraldry, some from the waters and the sky and the fields about–but all, down to the smallest shrew mouse, had come to help on account of love.  Wart felt his power grow.

“Put your back into it,” said a Luce (or pike) off one of the heraldic banners, “as you once did when I was going to snap you up.  Remember that power springs from the nape of the neck.”

“What about those forearms,” asked a Badger gravely, “that are held together by a chest?  Come along, my dear embryo, and find your tool.”

A Merlin sitting on the top of the yew tree cried out, “Now then, Captain Wart, what is the first law of the foot?  I thought I once heard something about never letting go?”

“Don’t work like a stalling woodpecker,” urged a Tawny Owl affectionately.  “Keep up a steady effort, my duck, and you will have it yet.”

A white-front said, “Now, Wart, if you were once able to fly the great North Sea, surely you can co-ordinate a few little wing-muscles here and there?  Fold your powers together, with the spirit of your mind, and it will come out like butter.  Come along, Homo sapiens, for all we humble friends of yours are waiting here to cheer.”

The Wart walked up to the great sword for the third time.  He put out his right hand softly and drew it out as gently as from a scabbard.”

[The Once and Future King, by T. H. White, pg. 204-205]


Journeys of Healing

Here is a blog post I prepared but never ended up publishing two years ago, when my word of the year was “Journey.”  These quotes are too good to pass up, though, so I have decided to publish it now.  These are all quotes from Compassion International that contain the word “journey.”  We’re all on a journey of some type or another.

Paul and Barnabas were not stopped by John Mark’s desertion.  Regardless of the circumstances surrounding his departure, the journey continued.  They pressed ahead, keeping their eyes focused on the goal.  –Jose Carlos, Guatemala Country Director, One in Spirit

The last class we learnt about the story of Joseph and his journey to Egypt.  — Sponsored child Subha, Eastern India

One thing we are working on is understanding that partnership is a journey and our implementing church partners go through certain maturity stages.  — Wolfgang Riedner, Compassion Blog, 6/25/13

Let us create space for children on our faith journey, for their understanding of God and experiences with God are invaluable and thoroughly enriching.  Our children have rich spiritual impulses in them.  — Lawrence Mangalarajan, Program Director, South India, One in Spirit

My journey of learning to trust God has developed over many years — sometimes with giant leaps, but mostly with baby steps.  — Mary Lou Elliott, Assistant to the Executive Vice President, Compassion USA, One in Spirit

We need to notice each other…listen to each others’ stories, and help those around us take down their walls and take off their masks.  That is true dignity.  I learned on my journey that abuse can be defined as anything that is less than nurturing.  Taking the time to nurture someone into their real identity — now that is true dignity.  — Compassion Chapel, 7/31/13

There’s been a theme today — just our journeys, our stories.  I’ve appreciated you guys in sharing your stories and accepting my story; allowing each other to be wherever we are on our journey.      –Compassion Chapel, 7/31/13

As I look back on my journey — all the ups and downs, all the pain and all the grief — I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Through my journey I’ve seen the Lord restore the dignity of a child who wanted to be loved and cherished.  — Compassion Chapel, 7/31/13

I could no longer be blind to the hard places in my heart…I knew I had to commit to God’s healing journey for me at any cost because I knew first-hand how much pain it inflicted when people aren’t honest with themselves.  It took a lot of courage to begin my healing journey because I had to stop performing.  I had to stop trying to prove myself and I had to stop pretending that I was put together nice and neat.  — Compassion Chapel, 7/31/13

Great Links

Here are some great links to some of my favorite recent blog posts at Compassion International:

How to Write Your Sponsored Child From Your Phone

Ebola Outbreak in Africa:  Our Response

14 Playful Photos of Kids Being Kids

Watch Kids Get Sponsored in Real Time!

Team Constellation:  Take 2


Today’s Excitement

Today’s excitement is about Sarah and her job at The Micheli Center in Boston.  This week’s issue of Sports Illustrated has an article that mentions her work as a Bioengineer.  Check it out here:

This includes a video of the 3D Motion Analysis

This is the link to the article at Sports Illustrated

I don’t know if the article will appear in full, still, but if not, check it out in this week’s edition, dated September 8, 2014.  Sarah is mentioned in the article and there are a couple photos of her.  The Micheli Center website has a lot of information about what she is doing there, which is to operate the 3D motion capture system and collect data on various subjects.  She has been working on running, pitching and the golf swing.

When I was there a couple of weeks ago I took this photo of her at work.  You’ll notice all the baseballs on her desk!  She’s having a lot of fun with this job, and especially the challenges of creating the models for the figures used in the 3D analysis.


2014-08-20 10.06.55_500 She was also on the news in Boston, just before the Boston Marathon, when she had a guest athlete from the station, as you will see at the link below.

Reducing the Risk of Injury While Marathon Training

And here is another video that shows her at work:

Great job Sarah!


Snap 2

Here is the second snapshot of the summer — I travelled back East to visit Sarah in Boston and we visited my Aunt, Uncle and cousins in New Hampshire.  It was really great to see all of them, especially the children that I had not seen before!