There is an emanation from the heart

which cannot be described,

but is immediately felt and puts

the stranger at his ease.

~Washington Irving


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie


Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.
~Rumi


May my life be like a great

hospitable tree, and may

weary wanderers find in

me a rest.

~John Henry Jowett


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Hope is the thing.......



 Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
     And sings the tune without the words,
  And never stops at all.      
                                                     ~Emily Dickinson



A Few Days of Snow

Jowett Walk, Oxford

The UK is in the middle of what the BBC weather folk like to call a 'snow event', although having been raised in the midwest and spending most of my adult life on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains, I would just say that, 'it's been snowing for a few days'.

Holywell Street, January 18, 2013



Even in the middle of a 'snow event', Oxford carries on as though nothing is out of the ordinary.  Students on bikes still criss-cross the city, slipping and sliding along.  Since Holywell Street is closed to traffic, our snow stays lovely and clean, a beautiful winter scene.

New College, Oxford
I'm not quite sure why the BBC refers to snow as a 'snow event', since it's snowed every winter since I moved to Oxford and people seem to take it in their stride.  I especially love when they sound alarms for frigid temperatures of -1C.  I repeat, Celcius.  -1C. is 30 degrees Fahrenheit--or what they call in South Dakota or Minnisota, the spring thaw.  Frigid temperatures are when you have to plug your car in at night to keep the engine block warm, so you can start your car in the morning.

I learned what frigid really means when I attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie.  The week before my daughter was born it was -32F (-35C),  and we worried whether or not the car would start if I decided to go into labor at 2am.  Luckily by the time she was born it had warmed up to about -10F and starting the car at 3am was a breeze.  Ever since then, 30F and a few inches of snow is a breeze as well.  In Oxford at least and on Holywell Street, about the only eventful thing about it is just how beautiful this city is, frosted in snow.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

For American Downtonites

Tomorrow, January 6th, is the big day that American Downton devotees have been anxiously waiting for, when season 3 of Downton Abbey begins Sunday evening on PBS.  In Britain it was broadcast late last summer and early autumn, so many Americans were up in arms that they had to wait so long.  There were even whispered suggestions that it was payback for the colonies insolently forming their own republic in 1776.  Whatever the reason, the long wait is over.

It's been very difficult to keep quiet all this time and not give away any plot secrets, and there were many.  I've been dying to spill the beans, but I remained strong and I didn't.  All I'll say is that there were many funny moments and very sad moments--and everything in between.  So, my American friends and family, enjoy!

Below you'll find just what you need to watch Downton Abbey in peace and undisturbed, with your earl grey tea or your bowl of popcorn.
Download a copy here:  Go away, I'm watching Downton Abbey.