Unless otherwise attributed, all content, text or image, on this site is © TaunaLen 2005-2011.
All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution is prohibited without prior written consent.

Monday, April 18, 2005



"The most celebrated message ever sent concerned a young sailor in 1784, Chunosuke Matsuyama, who was stranded on a coral reef, devoid of food and water after his boat was shipwrecked. Before his death, he carved the account of what had happened on a piece of wood, then sealed the message in a bottle. In 1935, 150 years after it had been set afloat, it washed up in the small seaside village in Japan where Matsuyama had been born."

~ Nicholas Sparks "Message in a Bottle" a novel, page 2


I picked up this book on the way to the park on Saturday, and read it straight through from Saturday afternoon to Saturday night. It was a pretty satisfying read, and since it was a paperback, I decided to check out a website that had been mentioned by some of my book club friends in the BooksAMonth yahoo group -- www.BookCrossing.com.

I registered this book on BookCrossing, then I "released it into the wild". The idea is that you pass the book along to someone else, or you leave it in a waiting room, or at a coffee shop, for someone else to pick up and enjoy. The new reader visits BookCrossing.com, and adds a quick journal entry, which I can track, and then the new reader releases the book again. Just imagine, books traveling across the city, the state, the country and the world, all because we decided to share. Isn't that inspiring? (awwww!)

So anyway, check out BookCrossing.com -- my ID there is pileofphrases -- and think very seriously about releasing some of your books into the wild so someone else can . . .

. . .read something profound!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Off The Map


"The sea was as still as an inland lake; the light trade-wind was gently and steadily breathing from astern; the dark blue sky was studded with the tropical stars; there was no sound but the rippling of the water under the stem; and the sails were spread out, wide and high;—the two lower studding-sails stretching, on each side, far beyond the deck; the topmast studding-sails, like wings to the topsails; the top-gallant studding-sails spreading fearlessly out above them; still higher, the two royal studding-sails, looking like two kites flying from the same string; and, highest of all, the little skysail, the apex of the pyramid, seeming actually to touch the stars, and to be out of reach of human hand. So quiet, too, was the sea, and so steady the breeze, that if these sails had been sculptured marble, they could not have been more motionless. Not a ripple upon the surface of the canvas; not even a quivering of the extreme edges of the sail—so perfectly were they distended by the breeze. I was so lost in the sight, that I forgot the presence of the man who came out with me, until he said, (for he, too, rough old man-of-war’s-man as he was, had been gazing at the show,) half to himself, still looking at the marble sails—“How quietly they do their work!”


“The Southern Cross we saw no more after the first night; the Magellan Clouds settled lower and lower in the horizon; and so great was our change of latitude each succeeding night, that we sank some constellation in the south, and raised another in the northern horizon.”

~ Richard Henry Dana, Jr. Two Years Before the Mast. Chapter 33 “Cracking on—Progress Homeward—A Pleasant Sunday—A Fine Sight—By-Play”


“The summer my father was depressed, the face of our Lord Jesus Christ appeared on a tortilla at the Morning Glory CafĂ©.”

~ Off the Map. Opening Line. Directed by Campbell Scott – www.offthemapmovie.com


We spent Tuesday evening at the theater viewing a special advanced screening for which Larry (my husband) had received free passes. We had no clue what the movie was about, but figured, free movie, Tuesday night…pop a tape in the VCR for American Idol (still waiting on our DVR.) …and let’s go!

And am I glad we did.

Off the Map is the story of an 11 year old girl and the summer of 1974 at her home in the New Mexico Desert. Her father is depressed, and doesn’t know why. Her mother tends the garden in the nude, and the tax man comes to audit them for not filing taxes for several years, and decides to stay and become a painter.

The cinematography is breathtaking. The story is exquisite. You find yourself laughing, and then wanting to cry at the same time. There are no mind-blowing special effects, none of the carefully orchestrated product endorsement you normally see in today’s films, and no “agenda” as my daughter, Sarah, so succinctly put it.

Joan Allen and Sam Elliot are brilliant, but the real star is Valentina De Angelis, the young girl. One of my favorite threads is the mother sitting by the kerosene lamp, and later, on the boat, reading from the classic 19th century novel Two Years Before the Mast. I did request this one from the library this morning.

I left the theater last night wishing the movie Off the Map had been based on a book; one that I could check out from the library and read at my leisure. Sadly, after googling, I found that there is only a screenplay, and that all but unavailable. So I will have to be content with returning, once again to the theater, (buying my ticket this time.) and looking forward to the day Off the Map is released on DVD.

If you get the chance to see this independent film by Campbell Scott, don’t let the mixed reviews fool you. It will be well worth your time and money.

So, go read (or watch) something profound!

~ TaunaLen

Monday, April 11, 2005

Quote of the Day:

He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."
~ Asaph (By the Holy Spirit of God in The Bible, Psalm 50:23)


Isn't it amazing how you can read scripture time and again, and suddenly, in the middle of a very familiar passage, revelation JUMPS out at you, and you are in awe? This is what happened to me yesterday afternoonm, with the quote above.

Sometimes we have to sacrifice to praise our Creator. We don't feel like worshipping the God who directs our steps. Things didn't turn out the way we wanted, and now it all seems to be a mess. But when we praise him IN THE MIDDLE of our circumstance, or our attitude, or our situation...we are setting ourselves up! We are giving Him free reign to SHOW UP, and to SHOW OFF in our lives. He is able to step in and fix us, or fix it, or both. Isn't He incredible?!

Why is it so hard to remember that sacrifical praise formula when we are worried, or disappointed by the way things have gone? Father, help me to remember that You know exactly what You are doing, and that Your love for me demands that You do no less than Your best for me. I want what You can see, not what my limited vision interprets as the best for me.

He really is better at running my life than I ever could be.


Yesterday was an awesome Sunday! We took a ministry team to the Hispanic Youth Services, Pastor CJ was a riot, and two young people accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, and decided to fall in love with Him! (That's what it's all about!!!)

We had a surprise cook-out birthday party in the park, in the rain, and the guest of honor slept through it! (Somebody dropped the ball on that one, but I was just a guest, and not the host, so I don't know what the arrangements were with the accomplice.) We had a blast in spite of everything. The burgers and dogs were good, because my sweetie is "Master of the Grill!" Even better was the relaxed fellowship with some of the most awesome people on the planet - volunteers in VCC SOUL Youth Outreach Ministries! I love getting to know how crazy and wonderful these people are outside of our church services! I rarely ever have so much fun as I do with these guys!

Last, but not least, we spent the evening at the home of a couple of friends, and instead of helping them repair a toilet, we hung out on the couch and watched tv, because the toilet was miraculously healed right before we arrived. (At least, that's what it's lack of symptoms would indicate.)

We headed home in the most awesome display of rolling thunder and flashing lightning, (the kind that makes you call ahead to ensure the kids unplug the televisions and computers.) And after checking the weather, and finding that all the storms were past us, and the warnings and watches had expired, we slept peacefully all night long! Thank you God!

So, anyway, that's about it. Hope you were inspired to smile, or believe, or shake your head in wonder, or maybe go read something profound!

Have a great Monday!


Saturday, April 9, 2005


The sea is emotion incarnate.  It loves, hates and weeps.  It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles.  No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can't."

~ Brom in Eragon (p. 169) by Christopher Paolini


This book, (Eragon) is so good!  I am really enjoying it.  My son, Jotham, read it in a day and a half.  He was intrigued by the fact that it was written by a 15 year old boy.  He decided to try his hand at writing, and emailed me the first 1000 words of his story yesterday.  It is really good.  I can't wait to see what happens next.

Today was a busy day, and I am exhausted.  But we had fun taking senior portraits for two beautiful young ladies!  Woodward Park is gorgeous this time of year, and I can't wait to show these girls how their portraits came out! 

Our Youth Outreach service today was awesome.  These teens are really learning how to worship God, and the praise and worship today was powerful.  God moved strong today in the lives of the teenagers and we had almost fifty at the altar.  I see so much growth, and it encourages me!  God is SO good.

Tomorrow we are going to take a team to minister at the Victory Hispanic Youth Services.  I can't wait!  It's going to be an exceptionally good day.  I wish I could think of something else to write about . . . wish I had something profound to share . . . but since I don't, I think I will go to bed.

Friday, April 8, 2005

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation."
~ George Washington
Thanks to my beautiful daughter, Jericho, for this awesome quote.

Okay, it's already noon, and I am going crazy trying to accomplish something on my to do list. Either there are too many things on my list, or my brain just can't seem to get focused. Or possibly both!
I should be working on lesson plans. I should be working on our ministry website. I should be grading assignments. I should be wading through all the emails in my inbox. I should be ....
But all I want to do is go crawl back in bed and read my book and be lazy. Of course, I won't do what I want to do. I will find a way to successfully complete at least a few of the tasks on my list. So I guess I should get to it.
Have a great day, and be sure to stop and read something profound!

Our Pets


"A good dog never dies, he always stays, he walks


"A good dog never dies, he always stays, he walks besides you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter's drawing near, his head within our hand in his old way." ~ Anonymous

"God made the cat in order that man might have the pleasure of caressing the tiger." ~ Fernand Mery


Okay, so I am supposed to be doing something constructive and worthwhile,

but I just had to share some of our latest family portraits:

Top Row L-R: Sequoia - a female Tortise Shell Tabby, Mercedes (Sadie Blue) - a female Blue Heeler Cattle Dog, and Tamarisc - a female Grey Tabby, daughter of Sequoia and Mau.

Bottom Row L-R: Phoenix Fire - a female Red Heeler Cattle Dog / German Shepherd Mix, Bagheera - a male Black and Orange Tabby with green eyes, and Mau (or Mouse) a male Grey Tabby.

In reality, they rule the house and just let us live here...

Thursday, April 7, 2005

My First Post

Here you'll find a growing pile of randomness including thoughts, quotes, observations and general examples of my love of words, letters, pages and language. It may or may not make sense, but that's okay. It's random anyway!

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