Spring

This week, maybe just for a week, the dogwoods are blooming. Spring comes in waves around here. First it’s the star magnolia, showers of white petals beginning to peep in early February, then the camellias. Then the tulip trees blossom in March, and the Japanese maples and the birches begin to leaf out. Now it’s April, and the street is awash with white and pink dogwoods. The roses are just about to burst open, as is the jasmine.

Things I love about my friend Kalyn

Kalyn Denny

Do you know Kalyn Denny of Kalyn’s Kitchen? You should. Kalyn is one of my favorite people on the planet, and here are just a few reasons why:

  1. Kalyn is one of the kindest people you will ever meet
  2. Kalyn is a great organizer of people and events
  3. With discipline, exercise, and healthy eating, Kalyn lost a lot of weight and has kept it off
  4. When Kalyn feels down, she doesn’t stay there too long, she bounces back
  5. Kalyn has a great smile
  6. Kalyn has over 30 nieces and nephews and she sends them each a card on their birthdays
  7. Kalyn loves kitchen gadgets
  8. She looks great in the color orange
  9. Kalyn is an evangelist for cilantro
  10. Kalyn has taught 30 years of grade school kids, including the children of people she taught when they were kids
  11. Kalyn is not afraid to be politically liberal in conservative Utah
  12. Kalyn loves her family and is not afraid to show it
  13. Kalyn is the author of an amazing food blog
  14. When you need to blow off steam, Kalyn will patiently listen
  15. Kalyn loves vegetables
  16. Kalyn is not afraid to learn something entirely new, even if it’s difficult
  17. She doesn’t give up easily
  18. Kalyn is not judgmental
  19. Kalyn takes feedback
  20. Kalyn is extraordinarily productive
  21. Kalyn has mastered her gas grill
  22. She has a spectacular garden with raised beds
  23. Kalyn cans her own tomatoes to eat all year round
  24. Kalyn loves African art
  25. She is a great travel companion
  26. Kalyn is generous with her time
  27. Kalyn is financially responsible
  28. Kalyn can keep a secret
  29. Kalyn is brave
  30. Kalyn rolls with the punches
  31. Kalyn always has your back
  32. Kalyn never stops learning and improving her skills
  33. Kalyn is an outstanding discussion moderator
  34. Kalyn always gives credit where credit is due, and even when it isn’t
  35. Kalyn is diplomatic
  36. Kalyn keeps her chin up, even when she’s down

Love you Kalyn!

Feist Counting to 4 on Sesame Street

Love this song from the Apple ad. Now Feist takes it to Sesame Street. (link)

One, two, three, four monsters walking cross the floor
I love counting, counting to the number four
Are you counting? Counting with me
To one less than five and one more than three

Oh oh oh, counting to four
Oh oh oh, let’s count some more

One, two, three, four penguins that were by the door
I love counting, counting to the number four
I see four here, I see four there
Favorite number, nothing can compare

Oh oh oh, counting to four
Oh oh oh, let’s count some more

One, two, three, four chickens just back from the shore
I love counting, counting to the number four

Oh oh oh, counting to four
Oh oh oh, let’s count some more

One, two, three, four chickens just back from the shore
One, two, three, four penguins that were by the door
One, two, three, four monsters walking cross the floor

Ba ba ba da, ba ba ba ba da da
Ba ba ba da, ba ba ba ba da da

Whoah, counting to four
Oh oh, counting to four
Counting to four, counting to four

JK Rowling Gives Commencement Speech at Harvard


J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling gave the commencement speech at Harvard this year. Harvard Magazine lists the full text of the speech as well as a Quicktime video. Rowling focuses on two themes – failure and imagination. On failure,

So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

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