Celebrate today! #celebratelu


We all know long-distance relationships are hard. (I do; I’m in one.) But long-distance friendships are challenging, too, even if they don’t provoke the same missing-you-every-day-every-hour feelings. I’ve had friends in so many places around the world and found that some are great fun in the moment, some continue sporadically when we happen to see each other, and some friendships are kept up more intentionally and regularly, through emails, Skype calls, letters or visits. They’re all worthwhile but the latter are indeed special. I’ve been lucky to have several long-distance friends come to Lancaster in recent months, as well as meeting up with a friend halfway between our locations at a state park last weekend. So today I’m celebrating those and all my other long-distance friends.

Also, on the long-distance relationship front: Jake surprised me by showing up at my door last weekend. I didn’t think I’d see him this month, so that was pretty awesome.

What are you celebrating today? Visit Ruth Ayres’ celebration link-up to see what others have to share.

Emily and Ang

Emily lives in NYC but came to visit at the end of September. She got along great with Ang.

Celebrate today: being outside



Brisk air is blowing through the window, and a candle is wafting spicy aromas through my apartment as I write, but before I fully indulge in the glories of the coming autumn, I want to celebrate the summer-ish ways I’ve found to be outside in the Lancaster area in recent months. Some of these will continue as the seasons change, but not with the same sunny skies reflecting off green grass. Here are a few ways I’ve celebrated the natural joys of being outside this summer:

Running at a rail trail, the county park, or along cornfields and through covered bridges.

Hiking at Susquehannock State Park.

Camping at Gifford Pinchot State Park.

Walking to a farmers market in a nearby city park.

Picking peaches.

This post is part of the weekly celebration link-up hosted by Ruth Ayres at her blog, Ruth Ayres Writes. Check out what other bloggers are celebrating this week!

Celebrate today! #celebratelu


I’m joining the Celebrate Link-up late this week. Check out Ruth Ayres’ site for others’ celebrations.

celebrate pics

This week I’m celebrating long weekends. A down side to being a journalist is that newspapers (in print and online) don’t close for weekends or holidays. The upshot is that I can sometimes manipulate the weekends I do work to allow longer weekends at other times. Like this past weekend, when I got to go down to Richmond for 3.5 days. Here’s what’s pictured above (click on the image for a bigger view):

1) The James River seen from Belle Isle. Richmond is the only city in the country with class IV rapids, apparently.

2) The Virginia Fine Arts Museum, which is awesome because it’s free and fabulously designed both on the interior and on the grounds. I loved the fountains and the way outdoor sculptures and building floors were lit up in different colors at night. I also enjoyed seeing an exhibition of photography from the Civil Rights Movement. It made me want to look through the whole archive of Life magazine.

3) Jake and a vegan watermelon treat at Carytown Cupcakes during the Watermelon Festival. Delish!

Those are just a few moments from a surprisingly activity-filled weekend. Some other highlights from Richmond were:

  • The murals. They’re all over Virginia’s artsy capital, and they’re not boring, historical ones. They’re funky and colorful.
  • Chop Suey Books, an indy book store where I purchased Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to MeA few essays in, I can’t believe I hadn’t read anything by this woman before. Now I want to read EVERYTHING by her.
  • A high ropes/zipline course adventure (an early birthday present from Jake).
  • Getting away from home/work and also spending time with Jake before he starts to have class and homework again.

Vacation Photos: Music City

The second leg of my vacation with Jake was in Nashville. I loved visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame, though I didn’t take pictures there. We also saw a cool exhibit on the history of animation at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. For a slice of not-so-Southern culture, we stopped by the novelty shop attached to Jack White’s recording studio, Third Man Records. It had a sort of dark-Willy Wonka aesthetic/vibe that was trippy and fun.

I insisted that we hear live music while in the Music City but instead of hitting the tourist trap bars downtown we headed outside the city to a barn dance/show at the Loveless Café. This was a great decision.

Cafe Loveless

The Loveless Cafe is a 63-year-old purveyor of comfort food and good music on Highway 100 outside Nashville. I loved riding the country roads to get there.

Loveless Cafe

A sure sign we were in the South. I did not eat at the Loveless Cafe, but I did have some awesome vegan tacos and vegan cake at The Wild Cow in East Nashville.

Loveless Cafe

Greensky Bluegrass was one of four country and Americana acts at the Music City Roots show. The evening also included some square dancing.

Vacation Photos: Asheville

Jake and I took a vacation in June that started in Asheville, North Carolina. Here are a few photos.


This is my friend, Pramad, who I met in 2011 at the Gesundheit! Institute. She’s an artist with a compassionate heart. She and Jake talked a lot about meditation and related topics.

Biltmore Estate

Pramad took us onto the grounds of the Biltmore Estate with her season pass. This is a rear view of the house, which was built in the 1890s by George Vanderbilt. The inside tour is crazy expensive, but the grounds are large and green and beautiful.

Biltmore grounds bridge

A small lake and bridge on the Biltmore grounds.

Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge Mountains at dusk with storm clouds overhead.

Celebrate today!


I haven’t joined in Ruth Ayres’ Celebrate Link-up in quite a while, even though I make a mental list of celebrations most weeks. I just usually don’t end up at my computer to write on post on Saturdays. But I love this link-up so I’m joining in late this week and just making it a quick one. Hopefully that will spur more celebration posts in the weeks to come.

My celebrations this week are both work-related.

  • I work with good people. There’s no particular event or anecdote that prompts this one, but it’s true, and it’s important not to take that for granted.
  • I’m still not bored. During the school year I often told people my job was hectic but I was glad I wasn’t bored. Summer is slightly slower in that I’m not actively visiting schools or events, but there were those minor things known as district and state budgets over the last month, so I’ve still been busy. And while I love observing classes and interviewing young people, I’ve also been delighting in a lot of data crunching and spreadsheet exploration in recent weeks. I love that journalism gives me the chance to practice different skills and learn about a range of subjects continuously.

My new blog on social justice & children’s books

Hi friends, I’ve created a new website, KaraNewhouse.com, where I’ll be exploring children’s book about cultures and social change on my way to getting mine own picture books published.

In the first two posts, I review two picture books about little boys that love dresses and a middle-grade novel set in Chile under dictatorship. If you’re a teacher, a parent, or just someone who enjoys kidlit (like me!), I’ll hope you’ll head over there and become a subscriber!


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