Google Images Treasures

I love Google Images.  For instance, the other night we had some power outages in our area.  A friend posted on social media, after a few hours with candles and kerosene heaters, “I Have Power.”  I immediately thought of the 1980s He-Man cartoon, in which he raises his sword when he transforms and says “I have the power,” so I searched for that on Google.

What I found was even better: 

So naturally I posted this picture to her post.  There’s nothing particularly creative about Google Images–anybody can do it, and a little copy and paste work and you’ve got all kinds of interesting stuff.

Be careful, though, because when I say you can find anything on Google Images, I mean literally ANYTHING.

But you can also Google Image search “baby giraffe” and come up with this:

Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.

Gingerbread Houses

Happy Thursday, friends!

Tomorrow is December 1st, when I officially allow myself to get excited about Christmas.

But I wanted to tell you a story about a little girl who was excited when I met her.

She and her mother were in the grocery store line behind me.  Mom had a basket full of stuff, she was proudly clutching a gingerbread house kit and grinning widely.

There was a bit of a wait, so in order to pass the time I politely admired it and asked her if she got to help put it together.

I kid you not, she didn’t take a breath:

“My little brother’s at home and he’s asleep and he can’t help because he’s too little but I can because I’m going to kindergarten and I had a birthday and a Frozen birthday party and Anna’s my favorite but also Elsa and Olaf and Sven.  Sven’s the reindeer.” 


So…..that’s a “yes” on helping with the gingerbread house, then?


Hope all’s well out there, friends, and God bless.

Dealing With Depression

Hello, friends!  It’s been a while since I’ve had any new interviews for you.

More WILL return.  I believe in this project and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it, and look forward to having a lot more fun coming up.

But I probably need to tell you about something that’s been going on in my own life.  First, I’m feeling much, much, much better than I have been.  Honestly, as I’m typing this, I’m having a pretty good day.

I was diagnosed a couple of months ago with major depressive disorder.  Evidence suggests that I was suffering from it a couple of months before the diagnosis.  We’ve been busily playing around with medication levels, and I’m very happy to report that we appear to have arrived at a good level, and I’m feeling much more myself.

However, it’s been a very rough few months, and it’s been a struggle just to get out of bed in the mornings and get through the day, and LOTS of things, including this blog, have gone by the wayside.

So, I’m better, and I’m back, and I’m looking forward to getting going again.  But I’ve lost a lot of traction and momentum and it’s probably going to be awhile before I have enough interviews to make a regular posting schedule.  I’ll be posting SOMETHING every Monday and Thursday until I get a margin built up again, just to keep things interesting.

I appreciate you bearing with me.

I hope all is well out there, friends.  Thanks, and God bless.

Sven Christiansen–Advice for Canyon Hikers

I’d like to welcome Sven Christiansen to the blog, and thanks for being with us. Can you tell us how old you are and where you live?
A whopping 53, and Fishers, Indiana, a northern suburb of Indianapolis.

What do you do for a living?
President of USA Homestays – placing international college students to live with local families. Plus more.

Do you have a website or a blog or a Twitter account or anything where people can learn more about you?

Okay, well, I’ll link to your organization’s website anyway, if that’s all right. How did you get into working with international students?
(At this point Sven and I had a lengthy phone conversation going around the mulberry bush a few times. We were neighbors twenty-five years ago, and it was a great chance to reconnect. We talked about families and kids and the international college kids he’s met and had the opportunity to get to know. The whole talk was a lot of fun, but it would take several pages to transcribe. I’m also, quite honestly, not a particularly good notetaker on phone conversations. The upshot is that there are lots and lots of international students who come to college in America and are looking for opportunities to stay in American homes and make friends and learn from each other. Sven has WAY more students interested in doing this than he has host families for, in several metropolitan areas. He’s always looking for more host families, and would also love to have coordinators to start this work in new areas. Check out the website for more details.)

The most interesting place you’ve visited?
North Korea. I was there before Dennis Rodman made it cool. (Clearly there’s a story there…)

Okay, what were you doing in North Korea?
During my college days, my dad was stationed in South Korea (US Army). I visited the family during the summers, at which point I also had summer jobs/internships. These jobs were always at AFKN, the American Forces Korea Network, TV and radio for troops. During one of my summer jobs, they had an armistice meeting in Panmunjam on the DMZ. I went and covered it. The meeting area is divided down the middle between North and South. Media are free to roam across the dividing line. I took two steps into the North and then two steps back to the South. That was enough for me.

Your favorite meal would be?

You’re an outdoorsman. Tell us about some of your trips?
Each summer we take a group of students to the mountains of Colorado. Each spring break we take a group on a 50 mile hike through the Paria Canyon in Utah and Arizona. The canyon hike is brutal. I love the Colorado trip because all the young studs can go hiking to their hearts’ content while I stay at the lake and fly fish.

Pet peeve?

Favorite book?
Love the “Circle Trilogy” by Ted Dekker and “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for……?
Us to meet the right international students and the right host families.

Tell us about your family?
Been married to the same paragon of patience for 27 years. Four kids.   (Kelsey is a social worker in Indy, Connor plays football for Elon University, Chase just left for Alderson-Broaddus University and will play volleyball, and Mikayla is a freshman in high school.)

One thing many people don’t know you can do?
Hmm. Well, there isn’t much I can do… I guess some people are surprised I can speak German.

When and how did you learn to speak German?
I was born in Berlin and German is my native tongue.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
Read a novel.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.
I’d also like to write a novel.

Assuming you were serious about “I’d like to write a novel,” can you tell us what genre appeals? Western? Thriller? Sci-fi? Literary?
Thriller. For sure.

Can I ask you to offer some advice to canyon hikers?
Stay home.

Ha! But, seriously?
Serious advice: train, train, train before you go. And watch for quicksand.

Okay, and thanks much, Sven. I appreciate you taking the time to let us get to know you a little, and may God bless and guide you and your co-workers in your work with Homestays.