Monday, May 14, 2018

PICTURIT: A Shutterchance Love Story

For Astrid's upcoming Retirement at the end of May, 2018, I have celebrated this milestone by making a 12 x 12 book of 245 of my favorite images of her 1200+ postings on Shutterchance, the photoblog where she and I first met in 2007....

...and then married in 2010!  As Astrid often says, "Blame it on the internet!"

This is, indeed, a love story.  ENJOY.

Once you click on the "Click here to view this photo book" link above, click "view" when it opens to see the book exactly as it should appear.  To read the text, you may need to enlarge your screen several times:  Ctrl + for Windows; Command + for Mac.

You can also now find this book added to my sidebar, where clicking on it will direct you to this page.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is an early post for this week because Astrid and I fly to America on Wednesday,
first for a week in Michigan for my 55th high school reunion (Class of '63),
followed by 1.5 weeks in Atlanta for g'son Nicholas' high school graduation.
He returns with us to The Netherlands for 2 weeks on June 3rd.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Meet-Up with Jim and Laurel

How often do you get to rendezvous with old friends you haven't seen in almost 35 years?!?  Lucky for me, it happened a couple weekends ago, Sunday, April 29, when Astrid and I drove to Amstelveen (suburb of Amsterdam) to pick up Jim and Laurel Morrison, visiting from California.

Remember the Morrison part, because that'll come up later.

The "old friends" part goes all the way back to when Bill and I served in Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, first in San Diego, and then in Pasadena, CA, back when our kids were born in the early 70s.  Laurel was the one back then who gave son Mark his Marks-n-Sparks moniker.

We all look older now, of course, but it was like we all picked up from where we last left off...with Astrid merging into the mix like she had always been there from the beginning.  Besides, she's the same age as Jim and Laurel.

After picking them up in Amstelveen, on a rainy day, we drove first to Hoorn, 54 km north.
Jim and Laurel both were good sports about the rain.  We all took it in stride.

Hoorn is a delightful harbor town on the Markermeer lake
that has become a "bedroom community" for many who work in Amsterdam.

It's hard not to be mesmerized by the place, even with the rain.

Our short walk that day took us to the Hoofdtoren (Head Tower), the city port on the waterfront.
It was built in 1532 from limestone and brick and is now a restaurant.

And yes, that's where we ate lunch, compliments of Jim and Laurel.  Thank You!
We had been to Hoorn with Robin first (2012), and later with Chris and Chad (2013).

As we walked back to the car, it was fun to watch Jim hand his camera over to Laurel for a photo...

and then to look at what she took.

In the process, I took my own photo, of course.

From Hoorn we drove east to the tulip fields to find what we could see.
Lucky for us, tulips were still in bloom.

Even on a rainy day, they are a wonder to behold.

At the second field, I stayed in the car and took pics of the coming and going.

On the other side of the road, through the car window, I caught these lookers, enjoying the rain.

After the tulip fields, we ended up in another harbor town, Medemblik, on the IJsselmeer lake.
It was time for a good koffie break with appeltaart.
But guess what!  They had no appeltaart.  WHAT?  In a Dutch, harborside café?!
But guess what!  The owner had his girlfriend go out and buy one to put on our table.
We were given "permission" to eat the entire thing...and we did!

Here's where the Morrison thing comes in.  Remember?
This café sports all kinds of music posters on its walls from the owner.
Next to our table was a Jim Morrison poster from The Doors.
So Jim took out his passport to show the owner that he also is Jim Morrison, in that café.
And that started a long conversation about San Francisco (where Jim and Laurel live)
and from where the owner himself swam to Alcatraz Island.

It's a small world after all!

 Another harbor to explore on a rainy day....

before we headed back to Amsterdam to drop them off at their hotel.

It was 7 hours of catching up and remembering why we have remained friends after all these years.
Thank you, Jim and Laurel, for the time and effort.
We'll never forget it.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Watercolor Sunday and Saturday's Color: April 2018

Once you get to May, you should feel that summer is almost here, right?  But believe it or not, our last few days have been in the 40s-50s F and barely even springlike.  But I'm getting ahead of myself....

Here are my Watercolor Sunday posts on Facebook for April, 2018:

April 1 (photo manipulation):
"Some people probably think of the Resurrection as a desperate last moment expedient
to save the Hero from a situation which had got out of the Author's control."
--C.S. Lewis

"A single crocus blossom ought to be enough to convince our heart that springtime,
no matter how predictable, is somehow a gift, gratuitous, gratis, a grace."
--David Steindl-Rast

April 8 (photo manipulation):
"No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude,
without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true."
--Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

April 15 (photo manipulation):
"The spring has sprung, the grass is rizz.
I wonder where them birdies is?"
--Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)

April 22 (photo manipulation):
"Time plays like an accordion in the way it can stretch out and compress itself 
in a thousand melodic ways.  Months on end may pass blindingly in a quick series of chords,
open-shut, together-apart; and then a single melancholy week
may seem like a year's pining, one long unfolding note."
--Julia Glass

April 29 (photo manipulation):
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
--Albert Einstein

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
--Albert Einstein

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My Saturday's Color posts on Facebook for April 2018:

(finished on 21 January 2016, posted on FB 7 April 2018)
In case you ever wondered (!), sometimes I do NOT like how I've colored a design.
Here I discovered that I don't do well with more than 4 or 5 different colors.
Like I said, in case you I thought I'd show you.
(from my Color Me Happy (NOT) book)

(finished on 21 March 2018, posted on FB 14 April 2018)
(If it's possible to think of anything else besides WWIII--as in North Korea)...
whenever I start a design from my Art Deco book, I check images on the internet for color ideas
and hope I have marker colors to match what I see.  This was pretty close.

(finished on 5 April 2018, posted on FB 21 April 2018)
Halfway through this Mandala design, I wished I had added a third color (like maybe yellow?).
As a 12 x 12 design, that's a LOT of hot pink!

(finished on 25 February 2018, posted on FB 28 April 2018)
Because yesterday was King's Day here in the Netherlands,
I knew I would save this Color Me Fearless design for today.
Who knew someone would come up with such a perfect design for the King's birthday!

And now that May is here, it's supposed to go from the 50s to the 70s any day now.
Or so they say.