Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fall Garden

We Welcome the Change of Season
The sun is shining in Amsterdam.

It is time to harvest.

Our garden offers us pears.

Chester helps me pluck three pears from the tree.

He is not sure what to think about them.

 The lawn needs work.

Daisies have popped up everywhere.
Fall brings in the spider season.
There are three giant ones in our yard.

I don't care for spiders.
However, the plants don't mind them.
I suppose even the ugly things in our lives serve a purpose.

The leaves turn golden brown, but the roses are still in bloom.

Our garden is a sweet place; a sacred space where life in in many dimensions occurs.
You can go there to watch the grapes grow.
Or you can feel the grass between your toes.

In your garden, you can grow and change with the seasons.
What kind of fruit do you bear?
What kind of plants have you planted?
Is it an English garden or a coral reef or a mountain forest filled with red wood trees?
There are many types of gardens around the world.

What does yours look like? 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jesus Culture in Amsterdam

Jesus Culture:

They call themselves "a new breed of emerging revivalists" and they fit that description. Jesus Culture started in Redding California in 1999 as a way of reaching churches and young people in the area with the radical love of God. Their message today is still the same.

When I arrived on the steps of the Heineken Music Hall, my heart jumped at the massive crowd waiting to get in. Young people chatted in excitement about a night of worship. It was something I never expected to see in Amsterdam, a city that inspires strangers to come from around the world for drugs and sex. Yet, these teens and young adults spoke not only about the thrill of live music but of worshiping God with a band that not only preaches love but demonstrates it.

Around 5, 000 people came in through the doors and crammed into the hall. Most stood in the center of the theatre without sitting for hours.

Overall, I would have enjoyed more music and a seat for my exhausted legs. However, it was a spiritually refreshing experience.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Alkmaar Cheese Market

Kaas- Dutch for cheese

The following photos were taken on the last day of the cheese festival in Alkmaar, Holland. Alkmaar is a quaint town that hosts the cheese market every year. I learned that the production of kaas has been part of Holland's history since before the Middle Ages. The Netherlands have the prime conditions for cheese making due to the wet soil. The marshlands create the perfect conditions for dairy farming. The Netherlands is one of the world's leading producers in cheese.

When you arrive you encounter a massive group surrounding a fenced off arena where line after line of cheese is laid out on the ground. From there two men move the cheese from the lines to wooden carts. They carry the cheese gently stacked on a sleigh. One man leads in front and the other carries the back of the sleigh. Both men have leather harnesses that connect the sleigh to their shoulders. It takes two years for these men to train for this honored position. They must master balance with strength and learn how to work together. Most of the men involved have fathers or grandfathers who also transported cheese. It is a generational honor.  

After the cheese is moved from the sleigh to the wooden carts, the carts are then pushed to the truck where the cheese is loaded up for transport.  From there, Hollands famous kaas starts its journey to different parts of the world.

For more information about the Alkmaar Cheese Market you can click here

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Owl and the Pussy Cat Went to Sea

Welcome to The Owl and the Pussy Cat. My name is Rachael and this is a blog about my own adventures over the sea.  I have come to Europe from America. I am a writer, an actor, and a film maker.  
Join me as I explore new cultures, learn new languages, and make new friends across the pond.