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Not alone

“We read to know we are not alone.” – C.S. Lewis

Though what I read has changed over the years, this quote still holds true for me. Especially on grey, rainy June days when I can found with a cup of coffee and a book.

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Motivation

Mocha Motivation

Grounds for Thought

Grounds for Thought

This afternoon finds me sitting at Grounds for Thought, a local coffee shop in Bowling Green, Ohio, after a morning of babysitting (more on those adventures later!).  I have spent many an afternoon or evening (and even some early mornings) sitting in Grounds reading, writing, or hanging out with friends.  Sometimes I even claim to accomplish all three at once!

Anyway, I love Grounds.  It is one of my home away from homes.  Well, since I don’t really have a home at the moment, I suppose I should just say that I enjoy spending time at Grounds.  It is comfortable and familiar; the owners and some of the baristas know me.  The coffee is good; the music is eclectic.  And I swear that the internet has become more reliable recently, which is fantastic since I love to blog!

One of my favorite aspects of Grounds though is the smell.  It smells of delicious coffee!  I love it!  Even if I just run in for a drink, I emerge smelling of coffee.  It is fantastic and unique.  The whole Grounds experience is delightful, even though they removed most of the outlets so charging computers can be a bit of an issue.  I’ve played many games of chess; had long, deep, thoughtful conversations; written most of my undergrad papers; and generally lived life in Grounds over the past four years (sadly, I didn’t discover it until sophomore year, but I wasted no time and dove right into life at Grounds).  If facebook would work or I had my external hard drive with all of my pictures, I would show you some of my adventures at Grounds.  Since I don’t have any at the moment, I’ll leave it to your imagination until I can post pictures!

Where do you enjoy hanging out?  Do you have a favorite coffee shop?

The sun is shining

The sun is shining today as I sit in a Starbucks in Dayton, OH!  It is so delightful and warm!  I love sunshine!  It just delights my soul!

I have been extremely bad about blogging recently, my apologies to all!  I am working on a post about God’s faithfulness since my return to the States, but I thought today I’d just let you know the sun is shining!  Spring is coming!  Dreary winter is almost over!

Winter weather was one adjustment that I wasn’t so keen on making upon my arrival.  Despite growing up in southeastern Michigan, I really don’t care for bitter cold, biting winds, more than two inches of snow, and any ice, hail, or sleet.  I just prefer milder climes.  Portland’s more moderate temperatures and tendency to rain rather than snow are two definite aspects of living in Portland that I am looking forward to!  Anyway, back to winter.  It was definitely winter when we arrived in Ohio.  It was freezing cold.  We experienced a massive snowstorm/blizzard within two weeks of being back.  The temperatures dropped below zero degrees Fahrenheit at night.  I hated it.  I couldn’t go for walks.  Stepping outside was miserable.

And then with no explanation whatsoever, the weather decided to cooperate with my desires and began to warm up and be sunny for the past few days!  I know it is still February and that I am still in Ohio, which means that it will more than likely be freezing again quite soon.  But for now, I am going to enjoy the sunshine!  I love walking places rather than driving, and warmer weather actually accommodates this!  Also, it just makes me happy!

What makes you happy?  And do you prefer winter or spring?

Carrot Walnut Muffins and Hazelnut Coffee

So I’ve been back about 2 weeks give or take a day or two, and I haven’t blogged about anything.  Trust me, I have plenty of stories and experiences to share.  My apologies for not sharing them with you sooner; adjusting and reverse culture shock have proven to be different than expected.

This afternoon finds me sitting in the Panera in Bowling Green, Ohio.  It is so lovely and delightful to have coffee shops to go sit in and read or write or talk with friends or just chill.  This afternoon is particularly enjoyable.  The free wifi is fast.  There are endless refills of Panera’s delicious hazelnut coffee.  I’m alone with my thoughts, my interests.  I feel comfortable in the atmosphere.  No one stares.  I don’t have to worry about my safety.  It’s good.

So is Panera’s carrot walnut muffin, which I was given for free!  In a word, delectable.  Especially when paired with the hazelnut coffee.  It tastes like carrot cake without the frosting.  I love carrot cake frosting; however, it is super sugary, and I am trying to watch what I eat.  The muffin was a perfect choice when I found my stomach grumbling angrily mid afternoon.  Sadly, I forgot to take any artistic pictures before enjoying my tasty treat.  I’ll try to remember next time!

All in all, this afternoon was perfect.  Though I didn’t really get any work done other than this post, it was good to be out of the house I’m staying in (more on that later).  Though adjusting to American culture has had its cons, I definitely love the availability of coffee shops!  I missed them greatly while in China.  I love having a third place that isn’t home or work to go relax in… and I’ll admit that I love people-watching sometimes.  It is interesting to watch everyone come and go and scurry about their business.  Anyway, that is all for now.  Time to go home for delicious homemade pizza (just one perk of living with an awesome cook!)!