Fun in Grand Rapids, Michigan

I had a wonderful visit last week in Grand Rapids. In addition to the usual catching up and girlfriend giggles, we did a bit of site seeing. One of my favorites was Meijer Gardens. The gardens have a conservatory and many plantings, but also function as an impressive sculpture museum. The outdoor works are placed in planted environments to enhance each piece.

On tour the week I was there were the Degas in Bronze Sculptures. I’d seen them once at the Milwaukee Art Museum and it was fun to have another chance to view them.

We also spent an afternoon in the Saugatuck/Douglas area. I had the opportunity to meet an artist, Stephanie Timmerman, who is a one woman dynamo when it comes to finding sponsors for children’s education in Ethiopia. She pairs with the organization TEFSA to send a child to school for a year on $250. Read the TEFSA blog to see a picture of Stephanie and the students. She travels to give art lessons to students who may have never seen a crayon before. She brings that work back to the states to sell in local galleries for more funding. Also, she’s convinced a Michigan winery to use some work for labels on different wines. A proceed of the sales goes back to support the program.

If you are curious, here’s Stephanie’s art. Art Aid, the project Steph started, is a great way to give back. (I am an admitted curmudgeon, and this girl stole my heart.)


  1. BrkfldDad says:

    Now, wait just a minute. How can you tell Jon Wolff he nailed it, and then go soft on Stephanie, why not sponsor children’s educaton in the good ole USofA? Personally, I don’t agree with Jon’s assessment, I know a number of people who have sacrificed entire careers and lives to work for causes overseas.

  2. Because I do both, but I talked about Stephanie here when I supported her effort in Ethiopia. (I think she does local stuff, too.) I can see where you’d think the two thoughts are opposed, though.

  3. Obama Mama says:

    Cindy, I really enjoyed the section about Stephanie Timmerman and her dedication to Africa/art. I simply love how she was able to connect her two passions in life.

    On another note, I’m surprised you have yet to post on Biden. You always manage to say something (usually negative) about everything. Why haven’t we heard a word on Obama’s VP choice? Could it be there are only good things to say???

  4. O’mama, I was playing when Biden was announced, so I didn’t offer an immediate response. You’re welcome to offer why you love Biden. Come on, I know you want to tell us… Is he your first best choice?

    It’s true I won’t be voting the ticket, but lots of folks will. Did Biden tip it to a Democratic vote for you?

  5. Obama Mama says:

    I think Biden was a great pick. He compliment’s Obama with his extensive political and foreign relations experience, while sharing the same set of strong family values. What do u think?

  6. I think Biden was an interesting choice given Obama’s propensity to slam old white guys. They do seem to have using the words of others in common, though.

  7. Biden is a very clean candidate

  8. BrkfldDad says:

    I think Biden was an interesting choice, but not as clean Leapin as you’d like. Or, at least not squeaky clean, that the other side won’t have some interesting items in the bag. He provides a bit of a mixed list of dichotmies for them to play on. Pro-abortion Irish Catholic – sort of muddies the faith argument all ready in play, when you profess one belief, yet support a contradictory. Health and age – 65 and having suffered two brain anuerysms and a pulmonary embolus, it sort of neutralizes the McCain age/health question. Profuse speaking reputation – all ready the rounds of Biden-isms, like his sharp tongue and the Barack America gaff, are making the rounds.

    All in all, I think he’s a neutral pick, if not slighly negative pick. I think that was evidenced by the lack of a bounce for Obama after the choice. I would have expected someone else.

  9. I thought Leapin was making a funny.