September 30, 2013

September in Pictures

Look Down...

September 30, 2013 Photo of the day: 
"Look Down"

Monday got you down?
Why not enjoy the view?
You might discover that it's not so gloomy after all!
Looking down, I see every color of the rainbow:

Red Sumac

Orange Chokeberry Leaves

Yellow Birch Leaves

Green Wild Cucumbers

Blue Cornflowers

Purple Snakeroot

Even Hot Pink! What is this?

Cheer up! You might even find a friend!

September 29, 2013

Holy Hill - Fall 2013

September 29, 2013 Photo of the day: "Holy Hill"

This September Sunday, 
after finishing my weekend chores,
I took a drive to find inspiration.

Although the leaves have just begun to change,
Holy Hill and its breathtaking view beckoned me.

After a quiet moment in the basilica...

of the beautiful National Shrine of Mary,

I summoned the courage...

to climb the 174 steep steps...

to the top of the observation tower.

The view is spectacular,

both the architecture...

and the glorious Wisconsin Kettle Moraine.

In the coming weeks,

These muted colors...

will become increasingly vivid!

Back on terra firma, I walked around the basilica.

As many times as I've visited Holy Hill,
this is the first time that I noticed
this replica of the Grotto at Lourdes:
St. Bernadette (left) prays to the Blessed Mother.

My little pilgrim was an inspiring way to begin a new week,
to bid farewell to September, and to welcome a glorious October!

September 28, 2013


Summer has transformed into autumn.
The seasons have changed, 
yet both are equally beautiful.

(Cedar cones: above summer; below fall)

September 28, 2013 Photo of the day: "Cones"

(Spruce cones above summer, below fall)

September 27, 2013


September 27, 2013 Photo of the day: "Homecoming"

Today, Pewaukee High School celebrates Homecoming 2013. The obvious choice for my photo of the day, would be a sea of black and red Pirates at the pep rally, the parade, or tonight's football game, but I started to reflect on the term "homecoming." Traditionally, Homecoming at academic institutions was meant to welcome alumni back to their alma mater.  But over the years the focus of the event has shifted from the alumni to the current student body. Homecoming week is now a celebration of school spirit with dress-up days, hallway and float decorations, and class competitions. 

Last night, I experienced a more traditional Homecoming as I returned to my alma mater for Father Naus' memorial. The moment I stepped onto Marquette's beautiful campus, I felt an immediate sense of home. Isn't it wonderful how certain places are instantly comfortable? Perhaps it's because I am teaching Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises that I am so in tune with a sense of place. Or perhaps Jimmy Buffett put it best: "Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes...." I have been blessed to travel to many places but just a few offer a true sense of homecoming: Sturgeon Bay, Marquette University, and Paris. No matter how far I roam, these are places that I will always call "Home!"

September 26, 2013


September 26, 2013 Photo of the day:
"What I learned from Father Naus"

This evening, the Marquette community said good-bye to Father John Naus, S.J. All week, students and alumni have been sharing what we've learned from Father Naus. Over the twenty-five years that I knew him,  #FatherNausTaughtMe:
  • Find out what you love and you'll never work another day in your life! (This thought is displayed on the bulletin board by my desk at school.)
  • We rarely succeed at anything unless we have fun doing it.
  • "Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way ;)"
  • Eastern philosophy is more fun with fortune cookies,
  • Balloon animals make exams less stressful.
  • Miniature carnations will brighten your dorm room for a week.
  • Laughter is one of God's greatest gifts.
  • Clowns (like Tumbleweed) don't have to be scary.
  • St. Joan of Arc Chapel was the place to be at 10:00 on Tuesday nights.
  • If you forget the words to a song, just lip-sync "watermelon!"
  • Look forward to awesome Christmas cards in July. (I'll miss them.)
  • See written on the forehead of everyone you meet: "make me feel important."
Father Naus was a Jesuit priest, a clown, a philosopher, a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. His memorial Mass at Gesu Church was a celebration of his amazing life. As we sang "Rejoice and Be Glad", my heavy heart began to lighten. I realized that my tears were not really sadness for myself but for the generations of Marquette students who will never be blessed to have known this extraordinary man. Yet Father Naus' spirit lives in all of us who he taught to "Be The Difference."

September 25, 2013

What A Comeback!

September 25, 2013 Photo of the day: "Oracle Team USA"

Today, I witnessed Oracle Team USA’s defense of the America's Cup, one of the most incredible comebacks in the history of sports. Oracle won 11 races to score the 9 points required for victory (due to a two-race penalty imposed by the International Jury). Just last Wednesday, Oracle trailed Emirates Team New Zealand 1-8. With the challenger on match point, the defender closed out the series with eight consecutive victories. It has been such an exciting series and I have been glued to television and/or the computer for each race. Today's photo is actually a screen shot of my iPad as I watched Oracle cross the finish line in San Francisco Bay. America's Cup will stay in America!

This America's Cup series was even more exciting for me because I stood in San Francisco's America's Cup Park just weeks ago as Oracle prepared to defend the Cup, the oldest trophy in international sports! 

September 24, 2013

Crimson Bouquet

September 24, 2013 Photo: "Un bouquet rouge"

"L'automne est un deuxième printemps 
où chaque feuille est une fleur." ~ Albert Camus

"Autumn is the second spring when every leaf is a flower."

September 23, 2013

Fall Flowers

September 23, 2013 Photo: "Black-eyed Susan"
A bouquet of flowers for the first full day of fall

September 22, 2013

What a Fungi :)

September 22, 2013 Photo of the day: "Fungi"
There are so many different fungi here in Wisconsin.

Aside from morels, I don't know any of them.
Can anyone educate me?

After my misidentification of the deadly nightshade
(definitely not "wild currants!"), I just assume they're all poisonous!

Yet they are fascinating and quite beautiful!

A mushroom walks into a bar. 
Bartender says, "We don't serve mushrooms here." 
Mushroom says, "But I'm a 'fungi!'" 

September 21, 2013

Wine & Harvest Festival

September 21, 2013 Photo of the day: "Wine & Harvest"

It may be the last official day of summer,
but today felt like a lovely fall day:
Pee Wee Football (Chase & the Rockets)

September 20, 2013

Apple Picking

September 20, 2013 Photo of the day:
"Apple Picking"

Today I woke early to go apple picking.
My favorite variety? The silver Apple iPhone 5S ;)