Posts Tagged With: Date ideas

Weekend Getaway: Get your weekend at Charley Creek Inn!

Lobby of the lovely Charley Creek Inn, Wabash, Indiana. It’s delightful small-town charm in the Midwest.

More to come on this lovely boutique hotel in charming Wabash, Indiana…but there’s a Charley Creek Inn Groupon deal right now you’ll not want to miss.

Check out Charley Creek Inn website here for photos that are true to the charm you’ll find.

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Categories: Date Ideas, Solo traveling, Uncategorized, Weekend Getaways | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why have you made me like this?

“Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” ~ Romans 9:20b-21 (NKJV)

Wheel-throwing clay during my recent date at Bisque It Pottery in Fort Wayne. My teacher is Ashlyn Emberton. For more info on their classes visit their website: http://www.bisqueitpottery.com/Clay.html

Categories: Artistic Dates, Date Ideas, Date Night, Pure Fun, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“So I went down to the p…

“So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw [her] working at the wheel.”

Jeremiah 18:3 – NIV

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Solo traveling: How to spend a Sunday afternoon in Washington, D.C.

“Exploring things on my own means I get to set a pace that works for me.”

The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Setting my own pace. That’s just what I did yesterday as I set out from my hotel in Washington, D.C. for the three-mile walk to the National Cathedral. The uphill climb in the near 90 degree weather was made a bit easier by observing the many beautiful foreign embassies along Massachusetts Avenue. Entering “embassy row” near Dupont Circle and walking north reminded me a bit of a day at Disney’s world showcase at its Epcot theme park. Ok, it’s not like “being there,” but one can see and taste small pieces of various cultures in a short time and you don’t have to go through customs.

Mexican Embassy on Mass. Ave. in Washington, D.C.

With wonderment and curiosity, I strolled. Past various countries – Luxembourg, Sudan, Ireland, Madagascar, Malawi, Korea, Japan, Brazil, and the United Kingdom to name a few. Past the brightly colored Mexican Embassy. Past Winston Churchill standing with one foot in the UK and one in the US.

Winston Churchill with one foot standing on US soil and one on British Embassy grounds, symbolizing his Anglo-American descent, and the alliance he worked to forge in war and peace

Does anybody really know what time it is?

To highlight the marking of time, I passed the Naval Observatory master clock and snapped this photo just as it was changing time, making it look as if it isn’t working properly. Time is like that sometimes, don’t you think?

First glimpse of Washington National Cathedral approaching from Massachusetts Avenue

A half mile or so from my destination, towering spires began coming into view. I reached the National Catheral in time to share in the last third of the morning worship service, glorying in the anthems, the readings and partaking in communion with worshippers from all walks of life and faith backgrounds. Afterwards, I quietly explored the Cathedral’s many chapels, praying, meditating and lighting candles along my way.

Returning to the sunshine of the day, it was time to venture another long walk. This time I would take a path down Wisconsin Avenue.

Embassy Row had seemed quiet and a little austere. In contrast Wisconsin Avenue, even on a Sunday afternoon, was bustling and inviting. Shops from chic to punk, conservative to bohemian, enticed me in.

The final pièce de résistance – Thomas Sweet bittersweet chocolate and lemon custard ice creams. Come now, a gal doesn’t walk 6 miles for no reward!

Thomas Sweet – Now that’s a reward! I’m just sayin’

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A Word of Encouragement on Painting (& Life) from Vincent

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Ponder & Chat: How does this principle apply to other areas of your life? What’s happened when you have lived this principle?

Categories: Artistic Dates, Date Ideas, Reflections, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“I’ve done what I could…and my painting is open to criticism; that’s enough”

“I’ve done what I could as a painter and that seems to me to be sufficient. I don’t want to be compared to the great masters of the past, and my painting is open to criticism; that’s enough.” ~ Claude Monet

Thanks to Wine and Canvas for a great date night and first painting class.

With my version of Monet’s “Water Lillies, 1916” painted on one of 52 Dates with Myself

Ponder & Chat: What are you working on today that you’re ready to put out to the world?

Categories: Artistic Dates, Challenges, Commitment, Date Ideas, Reflections | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How I got in a fine fettle with Monet

“Take clear water with grass waving at the bottom. It’s wonderful to look at, but to try to paint it is enough to make one insane.” ~ Claude Monet

Insane or not with the help of a great deal from Living Social ($17) and a fun company called Wine & Canvas, I had a great time painting my very own rendition of Monet’s Water Lilies, 1916, including working to capture that grass waving at the bottom.

Enjoying working on a “masterpiece” on a recent night of 52 Dates with Myself

Nearly 30 of us – one or two brave men among all the women – met at The Factory restaurant in Fort Wayne and enjoyed an evening of painting, singing, and – for those so inclined – a glass of wine. (The singing to Don McLean’s, Bye, Bye, Miss American Piewas impromptu, not included in the price of the “date,” and indicative of the relaxed and fun atmosphere.)

I’d always wanted to take a painting class just to see what might be secretly waiting to erupt on canvas. This was a great way to dip in and try my hand, to make a start.

My impression so far is as Monet once said,

“No, I’m not a great painter. Neither am I a great poet.”

Of course, we all know his criticism of himself was quite unfounded. Of me, it’s apropos.

Never mind that! I’m a work in progress and for now along with Monet, I find,

“I’m in a fine fettle and fired with a desire to paint.”

Ponder & Chat: What are you in a “fine fettle and fired with desire” to do? How can we encourage you to begin?

Categories: "Cheap" Dates, Artistic Dates, Date Ideas, Date Night, Pure Fun, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I See Arlington Through Different Eyes Now

Photo taken on my visit to Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“When we were visiting here all those years ago, we could never have dreamed we would one day be here for something like this.”

Yet here we were on the first Friday of September 2011 following behind the caisson of a young Army Captain killed in the line of duty. This special young man and dear friend to my daughter, also an Army Captain, had left a clear message that he had died doing what he loved to do. Indeed, what he felt called to do. Nevertheless, the bitterness of losing him tragically permeated our hearts and lives. Burying him in Arlington has forever changed these hallowed acres for me. Now more than ever, I understand

  • there’s an amazing life story that can never be adequately represented by a simple granite stone.
  • the ongoing sense of honor and comradeship encapsulated in a soldier’s final request to be forever laid to rest near others who have served, and perhaps paid the ultimate price for doing so.
  • the haunting collective and individual beauty encapsulated in the precise angles and lines of row upon row of white headstones.
  • the true sense of the cost of war.
  • the honor and gratitude due those resting within and those left standing afterwards.
On this Memorial Day, I hope you took time to reflect on those who have served our nation in the armed forces. And perhaps one of your 52 Dates with Yourself might be a visit to one of our national cemeteries. Consider taking some flowers with you to leave as a token of thanks for some of those resting there.
Ponder & Chat: For a complete list of U.S. National Cemeteries click here. What National Cemeteries have you visited? What stories did you discover on your visit?
Categories: Date Ideas, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Garden

“It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.”  ~James Douglas, Down Shoe Lane

Lovely date this morning just enjoying the fruits of yesterday’s labor in the garden and pondering the moments of today yet to come.

A dove visiting with me in my garden this morning

There are days of back-breaking labor when I despise and curse the retired woman whose love of nature spawned these many beds. But this morning as the dove coos, the woodpecker taps, and the yellow finches flit and dance among the sage and salvia, I perch in the midst of gentle morning breezes breathing in the aroma of lavender, mint, and roses and bless her.

A butterfly perches herself on a knot hole near pink clematis

A butterfly lands nearby just beneath a knot hole in the fence post. I want to snap a photo of her lovely wings, but she closes them as if to tell me her morning thoughts are hers alone. Ah, the flower garden paparazzi never relents and snaps away regardless.

Not without cost, however, for as the camera focuses, I see where yesterday’s gardener missed culling some dead branches from the pink clematis. Shoot!

Categories: Reflections, Relaxing Dates, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Mother’s Day Date with Nosey Flynn

"Oh, I've never seen old Ireland o'er the ocean
Tho' I've wished for the chance to greet it
In my mind I've always had a crazy notion
That I'd know a bit of Irish when I meet it."

(Stanza from "Did Your Mother Come From Ireland?"

McNamara’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee

This date doesn’t get to count as one of 52 Dates with Myself – but since I get to make up the rules of my dating game, I’m sharing it anyway. Such a special date with my daughter I had this evening as we ventured out on a rainy Nashville night to McNamara’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in celebration of Mother’s Day.

David Coe, Sean McNamara, and Josh Culley of Nosey Flynn Band

Our time began in the restaurant with a “proper” cup of authentic Irish tea served with milk and sugar. We also enjoyed an appetizer of steamed mussels. Nearing 6 p.m. we moved to the pub in preparation for the music of Nosey Flynn, a bit of Hart’s Lager and a pear salad, before capping off the evening with Irish coffee and Sean McNamara’s tenor voice serenading us to “O Danny Boy.

There are lots of places to visit in Nashville and lots of country music to be found. But there’s only one McNamara’s and one Nosey Flynn band. There’s also only one person in the world who could have made it such a special date for me. Thank you, dearest daughter – light and love of this Momma’s heart!

Categories: Date Night, Restaurants | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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