Home / Blogs / Wonderful Words Blogs /


Each blossom a new beginning,
each thorn a new experience,
all made possible by a winter of quiet –
a restful creative sleep,
that holds the root dormant
until something within them
signals that it’s time to grow…
~ Julia Thiel, 1992

Thought for the Morning

madrid2_dailybreakfast“I wake each morning torn by the desire to save the world, and a desire to savor it. That makes it hard to plan the day.”
~ E.B. White

Sharing the love of color!

Spent time in beautiful southern Spain and delighted in pulling out my travel paint set and letting my friends Abraham and his brother Benjamin express their creativity through watercolor. It brings the kid out in all of us!

Steve Jobs Commencement speech at Stanford



Steve Jobs Commencement speech at Stanford University

The Double Life – I wish I were twins!


“Begin doing what you want to do now. We’re not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake.”
– Marie B. Ray


The Double Life
How very simple life would be
If there were only two of me,
A Restless Me to drift and roam
A Quiet Me to stay at home.
A Searching One to find his fill
Of varied skies and newfound thrill
While sane and homely things are done
By the domestic Other One.

And that’s just where the trouble lies;
There is a Restless Me that cries
For chancy risks and changing scene,
For arctic blue and tropic green,
For deserts with their mystic spell,
For lusty fun and raising Hell.
But shackled to that Restless Me
My Other Self rebelliously
Resists the frantic urge to move.

It seeks the old familiar groove
That habits make, It finds content
With hearth and home – dear prisonment.
With candlelight and well-loved books
And treasured loot in dusty nooks,
With puttering and garden things
And dreaming while a cricket sings,

And all the while the Restless One
Insists on more exciting fun,
It wants to go with every tide,
No matter what…just for the ride.
Like yowling cats the two selves brawl
Until I have no peace at all!

One eye turns to the forward track,
The other eye looks sadly back.
I’m getting wall-eyed from the strain,
(It’s tough to have an idle brain)
But One says “yes,” and One says “no”,
And One Self wants a homebound life
And One Self craves the drifter’s life.

The Restless Fellow always wins
I wish my folks had made me twins.

— Don Blanding

The Magic Fountain

There is a wondrous relic from 1929 still delighting Barcelona, la fuente mago – the Magic Fountain. Created for the World Exposition, it is a multi-tiered water dance with lights, colors and music – choreographed sprays and cascades dancing to the music. It was created LONG before computerization – so I often wonder if there was a hidden fellow behind a curtain “playing” it, much like the Wizard in Oz. It is truly a classic “tourist” delight – and us locals love it also. What a romantic setting!

The Great Cheap Red Wine Challenge

Fun way to practice languages while enjoying a day in the park, sampling over 24 bottles of red wine under 5 Euros – (About $6 U.S.) There are Meetups all over the world – the next time you travel, look here to   and meet some locals and new folks!

Sampling red wine in the park with 24 world travelers

Favorite Quotes on Travel & Adventure

postcard back

“Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion.”
– L. Hunt

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes,
but in having new eyes.”  – Marcel Proust

“A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time
are vaguer than yours.”  – John Bryton Priestly

“I think that wherever your journey takes you, there are new gods waiting there, with divine patience – and laughter.” – S. Watkins

“Everyone has two journeys to make through life. There is the outer journey, with its various incidents and milestones; and there is the inner journey, a spiritual odyssey, with a secret history of its own.”
– Dean Wm. R. Inge

“If you are wise and know the art of travel, let yourself go on the stream of the unknown and accept whatever comes, in the spirit in which the gods may offer it.”    – Freya Stark

“Then, forehead against the pane, I suddenly feel the longing, open-armed behind the bone – to drown myself in other worlds –
to steal into all lives, all times, all countries not my own.”
– Francis Hope Schlossbesuch

“There is a great moment, when you see, however distant; the goal of your wandering. The thing which has living in your imagination suddenly becomes a part of the tangible world.” ~ Freya Stark

A Breezy Walk on the Beach

Nudity is not against the law here – so the bold and hopefully sunscreened few are often seen biking or beachcombing.

A Day in the Park

In Barcelona, there is an intimate little park-like grotto tucked deep in the hillside of Montjuic, on the grounds of the 1929 World Expo – this sweet spot has tables perfect for relaxing and sketching, of course! I spent the afternoon sketching in this sweet little hideaway; the outdoor cafe now closed, but seats and tables perfect for a quiet afternoon alone with my sketchbook.

Buy your copy today! Cuba for Mama: A Daughter’s Journey 2016

Like what you see? Subscribe by entering your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Pen2Paint Portfolio

Art Prints