Friday, February 27, 2009

Polar Bears

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Polar Bear!

Flickr photo by floridapfe
Polar Bear, I know you could tear me limb from limb, but my goodness, how I'd love to snuggle with you!
And what a perfect day for snuggling. It's International Polar Bear Day!
Are you ready to celebrate? To take the polar bear plunge?

Not this kind...

Flickr photo by dalumetal
I think those people's brains have frozen. (I bet that's not all.)

No, I'm talking about this kind!

Flickr photo by manu.kalra
I ask you, what could rank higher on the cuteness meter?

Knut! You're so cute! Even though you now weigh 500 pounds and could crush me like a grape.

Flickr photo by laiandgan
I'm sure you're well aware that things aren't all Vanity Fair and roses for the polar bear right now. (No? Hop over HERE and let Sharon Lawrence (who went to my high school by the way-Go Caps!- tell you about it.) As global warming melts the polar ice caps, polar bears lose their only way to hunt.
Yep, that's right, bad bad news for polar bears. Isn't the economy enough to worry about?
My right eye won't stop twitching and I have a mad mad urge to drown my sorrows in a huge vat of macaroni and cheese. If I don't relax I'm going to be as blubbery as an eye- twitching polar bear!

I know. Let's just celebrate the polar bear and do what we can to help them.

Now for happy thoughts...
Polar bears like to play with tires.

Flickr photo by Vera Le Bail
I sure hope that's a Michelin!

Some polar bears play with dogs.

Flickr photo by CHARLES BRAY

Others like toothpicks.

Flickr photo by Hanjosan

And that, my friends, is THE END.

Flickr photo by
Have a wonder-full Friday and a super weekend, y'all!
Enjoy this sugary snack of polar bear cuteness!

Love, Becky

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Enter the Labyrinth

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Labyrinth!

Flickr photo by Merowig
Are you familiar with the labyrinth?
No, not that David Bowie movie where he juggles orbs and worms speak with a British accent.
No, I'm talking about the ancient pattern found in all religious traditions, shown in the amazing photo above from the Chartres cathedral in France.

The one at Chartres was the only labyrinth I'd ever seen until my church finished building ours a few weeks ago.

I think it's gorgeous there beside the grove of great big magnolias.

Until folks at my church started talking up labyrinths, I always thought they were kind of new age-y. Would we start wearing orange robes and walk around like zombies, chanting to each other?
I was suspicious. I was a little freaked out.
(What? People wandering around in circles praying don't freak you out? Not even a little bit?)

Right in the height of my freak out, the Minister of Education asked the Sunday School teachers to introduce the labyrinth to the children on Sunday. But this was my Sunday to teach!
Uh oh.
It was time to do some research.
Let me tell you, I'm now IN LOVE with the labyrinth.
You could even call me a Labyrinth Evangelist!
(Don't worry. No desk pounding or Bible thumping here. That comes later. Ha ha.)

Let me show you the cool stuff I found.
First this!

Flickr photo by MomLes
Guess where they found the oldest sketch of a labyrinth? On the back of a goat delivery/inventory tablet in southern Greece!
I wonder what's on the back of their grocery lists?

There are plenty of types of labyrinths, some more complicated than others.

But they all have one entrance point and lead you on a meandering path to the center.
Unlike mazes there are no tricks and no dead ends, nothing to stop you or get in your way.
You can pray silently as you walk, or just listen to the birds.

Did you know that labyrinths are popping up everywhere, even at public schools and businesses? People find that walking them brings them peace. I think it's the God connection.

There are all kinds out there.
Ones made of sticks.

Flickr photo by jonnybaker

Or lavender. Imagine that sweet smell!

Flickr photo by Call me Koko

Here's one in Derbyshire, UK.

Flickr photo by zoreil

And another at Land's End in San Francisco.

Flickr photo by SFHandyman

Apparently even dogs enjoy labyrinths.

Flickr photo by tortuga del desierto

You can even build a labyrinth in your backyard.

Flickr photo by N. J.
What? You have no backyard? How about this finger labyrinth I found HERE at etsy? Just trace your pointer around the path.

Photo by GoldenLightCeramics
I read about classrooms in which teachers gave school kids finger labyrinths to use at their desks whenever they felt anxious. Don't laugh! Have you tried walking a labyrinth? I bet it would calm me down before a test!

So, would you like to hear the rest of the story?
Our fourth graders LOVED the labyrinth. We walked it, joyously (ten year olds are joyous any time they get to go outside!) and when we came back to the classroom and asked them to reflect, they blew us away with their wisdom.
A few quotes:
How is a labyrinth like life?

"Life can be tough. You have to keep going, and you will find your way."
"Sometimes you think you're lost but you're not really because God is always with you. Nobody or nothing can stop you from going to God."
"Nobody can stop you from being happy." "Only you can stop yourself."

How this gives me hope!
Maybe that's why I like this.

Photo by
Find it HERE.

Have a wonder-full Wednesday, y'all!
Enjoy the bird's eye view of some labyrinth walkers.
Peace to you!

Love, Becky

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fairy Tale Slippers

Today's Wonder of the World is...Fairy Tale Slippers!

Photo by Sandra Evertson
Won by ME!
What a lucky duck I am! First, Sandy Mastroni's cat sign, and now Sandra Evertson's Cinderella shoes! Apparently someone sprinkled lucky dust on me when I wasn't looking.
Would you like to rub my head?

I must tell you about dear Sandra. Have y'all met?

Sandra is an amazing artist and author, just dripping in creativity.
I stop by her blog every chance I get to drool over the photographs of her latest creations and read the fanciful stories she weaves about them.

When she offered her Cinderella shoes as a prize for One World- One Heart, I left a comment, never expecting her to draw my name. There were 576 comments. How could I be so lucky?
I was!
They arrived this weekend!

I especially love all the little details. I had enjoyed them in the photographs, and they're even more charming up close!
Details like this.

Photo by Sandra Evertson
She sent them with Amities--kind regards, friendship!
She promised a surprise on the bottom of one of the shoes. But I'll save that for the end of this post, just for a little added suspense!

I love the wordy heels. Perfect for a writer!

Photo by Sandra Evertson
And the gemstones!

And on the sole (not the surprise one, but just as fun) --

Two little mice!
Do you know what these fairy tale slippers remind me of?

Another fairy tale shoe, and Wonder of the World...
Lady slippers!
The lady slipper orchid...

Flickr photo by DansPhotoArt
Wouldn't you like to slip your pretty foot into that?

Or maybe you prefer pink.

Flickr photo by erthsister
I'll take a size 8 1/2, please.

Or maybe purple.

Flickr photo by newzphotoman1
Nature makes such pretty footwear.
And so does Sandra Evertson!
Thank you, Sandra!
I think I'll do a little Cinderella dance in celebration.
Care to join Gwen Fosse and me?

If you prefer to Walk It Out with Gwen, hop over here!
Have a wonder-full Monday, y'all!
Love, Becky

PS. Almost forgot!!
Sandra's secret sole!

Too funny!
Maybe I should buy Cinderella a nicotine patch! Let's hope it belonged to a stepsister!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Caught in a Brainstorm

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Amazing Brain!

Flickr photo by ClintJCL
Lately I've been thinking about how weird the human brain is.
And not just because it looks like a walnut.

Flickr photo by mkushin
See what I mean?

No, I'm talking about the freaky things the brain does, all by itself.
For instance, it takes these two revolving sculptures,

and sees the headless lady dancing between them.
Cool, huh? I just wish we could hear the music.
If we're not careful, our minds might invent some to go with it.

Speaking of inventing sounds, have you ever heard of sine wave speech? My dear husband started telling me about it the other day, and just as I was about to nod off (just kidding sweetie!) he showed me some examples.
People, it BLEW MY MIND!
Listen to this (#1A), and see if you can understand it. Weird, huh? Sounds like sound effects from Dr. Who.
Now give this (#1B) a listen, and go back and try 1A again. Now it's as clear as can be! Right?
Since you knew what to expect, your brain filled in the missing parts!

Want to try another one?
How about this (#2A) and its clear version (#2B)
Let's all give your brain a hand. (Applause, applause.)

Of course, our brains' willingness to jump in sometimes confuses things.
When my daughter's best friend first heard Lil Jon sing Snap Yo Fingers (and yes, children, your ancient mother is embarrassing you by quoting Lil Jon on her blog,) she insisted he was actually saying "Snap your bagels!"
Listen to it and see if your brain doesn't agree! (He says it the first time around the 24 second mark.)

I wonder what Sarah's friend thinks about Obama's Elf?

(You don't want to be Obama's Elf anymore? I'll do it!)
The brain doesn't just invent elves for presidents. It even colorizes! See?

Oh, mighty brain, we don't give you enough credit.
We should build hospitals in your image.

Flickr photo by tragesesse14350
Oh that's right! We already have! It's the International Neuroscience Institute in Germany.

We really should stop taking your name in vain.
No more calling people Birdbrain!
No more Pea-brain!

Flickr photo by dadadreams
(Too bad. I really like Pea-brain!)
I say we should hop on over to Etsy right now and give the brain the honor it deserves!
We'll don our brain shirts,

Photo by
(Found HERE)
Put on our brain earrings,

Photo by
(Found HERE)
And drink out of brain cups!

Photo by
(Found HERE.)
It's all cool stuff, and zombies will love us!

I hope I haven't given you a brain freeze!

Flickr photo by ChrisP2005
Have a wonder-full Friday, y'all, and a great weekend!
Love, Becky

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Toothpick Art

Today's Wonder of the World is...Toothpick Art!

Flickr photo by M. G.. W...
At last! Socially acceptable things to do with toothpicks besides picking up cheese cubes and cocktail weenies!

I don't usually use my blog to rant (that's what husbands are for, ha ha,) but is anybody else out there grossed out by men walking around with toothpicks bobbing in their mouths?
Is this only a southern thing? Anyone share this pet peeve of mine?

Why are males pulled like magnets to the toothpick dispenser?
Men out there, explain this, pretty please!

Even Tanner the Slobber Dog wants a toothpick!

He especially LOVES it if he thinks I'm going to take it from him.
(Couldn't we have chosen a girl dog?)

Just kidding, Tanner. Run boy, run!

I tell the boys/man in my house that all toothpick usage should be done in private!
You look like a caveman, I say.
I looked it up and (Ha!) I'm right! Neanderthal skulls show signs of toothpick use!

If only people would use toothpicks for the good of mankind!
You want to use toothpicks in public for cleaning your teeth?
Make a toothbrush sculpture!

Flickr photo by henrique.moser
I'd sit and watch you do that!

Or do what my mama does. Turn your toothpicks back into a tree!
(By the way, that sweet looking lady is not my mama. I don't know who she is, but her tree would be prettier if she'd spray it with fake snow!)

Or go in a different direction.
Scale new heights with the Empire State Building!

Flickr photo by the gatfords

Or recreate your favorite lady!

Flickr photo by the gatfords
Build a trolley...

Flickr photo by veee man
Or something even more complicated.

Flickr photo by jiformales
Be inspired by nature, like the artist of this creature

Flickr photo by
Or this one.

Flickr photo by BeK'S
I do believe that's the most beautiful fake spider I've ever seen!

You could always use the toothpick as an artistic tool instead.
Have you ever heard of banana art?
No joke!
Draw on a banana with a toothpick. The toothpick marks will turn brown.

Flickr photo by Jun Gil [*]wanderlust[*]
Of course, this art has limited shelf life.
But it is eye catching!

Flickr photo by Gil Silvers
Or take your toothpick to a latte, and see what designs you can make.

Flickr photo by Langdon*
Mmm, coffee!
I must go have some. No toothpick needed.

Have a wonder-full Wednesday, y'all!
And try this toothpick magic trick! It's fun and easy and a great use of toothpicks!
All you need is water and five toothpicks, broken in the middle into V's, arranged with the points inward.
The video explains the rest.
Have fun!

Love, Becky