Preparations – Time with the family


On On…. After leaving Nepal back in July I was able to spend some time with the family before taking off to get to my training for my next destination.  It has been difficult to keep up the blog while traveling, but thought it would be fun to give a huge shout out to the good ‘ol US of A and of course I need to start with time spent with my family.

Starting from the beginning.  I dropped in on my daughters a few days earlier than expected and was able to surprise them.  It took about 3 people, my dad, my photographer and a friend to organize this event, but I was able to pull off the surprise…priceless and such a great memory.

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My dad had been off and on not feeling good for a few months and I knew it was time to go home and spend a few extra days there.  I feel blessed to work for an organization that fully supported me going to be with my family a little longer than expected and dad also appreciated the effort.  Me being home for a few days longer benefited everyone.

There were too many photos taken during my time in Spokane.  Some from Coeur D Alene and Valleyford and some from Spokane.  It was difficult choosing my favorite family photos.  I was there a month and enjoyed every bit of it.  It’s amazing how much you appreciate your family when you live so far from them.

I was able to visit a dear friend from high school and take my kids and grandkids to a horse riding trial.  I initially mistakenly thought I was taking them to an actual rodeo!! So much fun to see the kids enjoying the even and my friends boys were awesome on the horses.

Colbert, Deer Park and Springdale

I was also able to meet up with dozens of friends and reconnect. Not nearly enough time with my friends, but this trip was about spending the most time with dad and the kids.  Well worth it and my best friends definitely understood that.  I love them all and ended up wishing I had had even a little more time.  I just can’t complain though.. it was all good.

Starting out in Spokane, I was able to say good-bye to dad, get matching tattoos with my daughters and my niece, who would be riding with me to Ohio, felt comfortable enough to let me know how she felt about me talking too much during the ride.

There you have it.  The very first part of my travels was about to begin.  Over the next few days I was able to drive from Spokane, to Minnesota, to Ohio, to Pennsylvania, to Boston, to NY (fly to Toronto) and then make it to DC.  No amount of photos can really demonstrate the entire trip, but I hope you enjoy the small smattering of what I was able to capture.

Road trip itself to be continued…

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Little ens..


Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.

Behold the little’ens…

Youngsters

A Photo That.. reblogged from August 2012


Well, I usually don’t do this but I’m re-blogging one of my old favorite posts. This post was put together based on a contest that had already passed. I liked the idea so much that I decided to follow the post challenge and submit this blog based on that challenge. It’s still one of my favorite posts and I’m actually inspired to try to follow this idea on an annual basis. It was fun looking back and I want to thank the most recent commenter on this post who reminded me about it. Thank you blueribbonfair…

I hope you enjoy.

The Hostel Bookers 7 Super Shots photo challenge was held in January 2012. I wasn’t blogging back then but someone sent me the link thinking I might enjoy the challenge and they were correct.  The photos highlighted on that site were amazing.  I’m not competing in the contest obviously, but it was just a fun way to go back over some of the photos I have taken over the past few years and see what would fit where in each of the following 7 categories.

Even though I know that the contest is over, and you should also be aware of this, I wanted to participate whole-heartedly in this past contest that will reap me no reward other than my own personal satisfaction.  So here goes. I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them and revisiting them.

For the purpose of the contest I had to choose 7 of my own photos, one for each of the following categories:

  • A photo that…takes my breath away

  • A photo that…makes me laugh or smile

  • A photo that…makes me dream

  • A photo that…makes me think

  • A photo that…makes my mouth water

  • A photo that…tells a story

  • A photo that…I am most proud of (aka my worthy of National Geographic shot)

I like some of the following blogs for their amazing photographs and style, others for their incredible wit and ability to entertain.  Other’s largely because they offer guidance on some topics I am interested in, like food, travel and photography reviews. Finally, I feel these particular blogs have something to contribute to the blogging world and the world in general.  So in no particular order, here are some of my favorites.  I will probably edit the list to add more, but these are just off the top of my head.  Thanks for reading all.

Emma’s Life UnravelI Miss Me TooUtesmileTahiras,  Beyond Paisley,Where’s my BackpackGrandmother’s MusingsSued 51  

A Tale of Two Cities – Spokane and New York City


Ok.. so I love my job.  I love my life.  I am blessed with it all.  However, I’m still a little homesick and sometimes envious of so many of my friends.  Maybe it’s Facebook’s fault.. seriously.  There is a thing called Facebook envy.  This is something that revolves around how our self esteem and even our happiness is negatively affected by spending so much time looking at the perfect lives that our friends and family are projecting on this and other social network sites.  Everyone I know seems to be spending their time with family and long time friends. everyone is having a great time and toasting the holidays.

Realistically we all know that we all post only the best portions of our own lives and our best looks on social media.  Even knowing this, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for myself on a bad day and wish I was also hanging with my family and friends. (Picture me stomping my foot, pouting or throwing myself on the couch and crying about how everyone in the social media world is spending so much lovely time with their family and close friends.)

The Daily Post’s May 5 prompt “A Tale of Two Cities” made me go back and look at my favorite places in the world and I finally narrowed down the two places I would split my time with if I could only split my time between two places.  In fairness it only took me about all of 2 seconds to decide on these 2 places however, it was fun looking back at all of the places I have been.

My first choice is an obvious one.  Spokane, Wa because that is where the majority of my family is.  Spokane is where I grew up and where I finally returned to raise my kids.  Spokane is the place where I always wanted to leave but always love returning to in order to reconnect with friends, family and just the city.  I especially love Spokane in the Summer.  My city has a beautiful river that runs through it, a giant park in it’s city center that was once a rail station and became the home of the 1974 World’s Fair which ended up transforming the city.  (World Fair Spokane, WA) It was the smallest city to host the world’s fair and it was also the first to focus on environmental issues rather than on futuristic themes.

Then:

Now:

Other events Spokane is now Known for:

BloomsdayLilac FestivalArt FestHoopfestPigout In The ParkSpokane Interstate FairFirst Night Spokane

My own personal visions and memories of Spokane.

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My second city would be New York.  I love it so much that I have actually been requesting it adopt me.  I love New York for virtually the same reasons I love Spokane.  I have a variety of friends and family living there.  Every trip I have taken there has been loaded with fun and great memories.  New York will always hold a special place in my heart and mind.  Even if it doesn’t adopt me. Though I don’t know why it wouldn’t.  Maybe there is a law against it.  I’m not sure.  I do love New York and I love my friends and family who live there.  There is always something going on in New York and always someone who is willing to do it with you.  Whatever IT is.

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Other posts I liked.

  1.  Home is Where the Heart is
  2. A Tale of Two Cities or Ages
  3. All Things Cute and Beautiful
  4. Tucked Into A corner
  5. New York City and LA
  6. Life is Great
  7. New York and Pennsylvania
  8. Wherever she is
  9. Hung
  10. Turkey and the Big Apple

Till they all come home….


Whether you support the policies or the politics, conflicts or peaceful resolutions…Please support the people… Hate the game not the player

Happy Memorial Day…

This video was created by Joe Curtain.  He is still an active Navy officer… The only link he has is his Twitter page. His Twitter handle is: @FR33SpeechMusic

I spent 20 years and 9 months in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserves.  I joined when I was 16 years old and went to bootcamp between my junior and senior year in high school.

I spent a year on a ship and visited dozens of foreign ports. I learned how to create and be a part of an extended family that your biological family may never even know about.  Like a biological brother or sister, sometimes you hated them and sometimes you loved them but you always supported them.  I was trained to have very high work ethics for self and how to expect and obtain the same from others. I grew up to be adaptable, creative and accepting of others and to reach out a helping hand to those life long friends I have made over the years as well as to random strangers on the street.  I made friends I may never, ever see again but know that at the drop of a hat if I did see them we could reunite as if no time at all had ever passed between us.

I was trained to give and receive orders.  I took entire courses on how to build things and how to immediately tear them down.  I practiced the art of self-defense and learned how to shoot a variety of guns, studied crowd control measures and sometimes fought the art of self-control. I had to practice how to never use these skills unless under extreme duress and then I was trained in how to handle extreme duress.  Most of the people I have worked with over the past near 21 years have considered themselves peacekeepers and not war mongers.  Through all of these times I was fortunate enough to mostly serve with people who could laugh at themselves as often as they laughed at me.

We have all believed in our country and gave up a lot to support it.  Most of us would do it again if asked with absolutely no hesitation.  We do not expect everyone to agree or believe in our purpose when we leave.  However, we do hope that we will be accepted and welcomed home on our return.

“I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: ‘I served in the United States Navy.” 
― John F. Kennedy

There are always two sides to every story. Two opposing thoughts to every situation.


We must never forget why we have, and why we need our military. Our armed forces exist solely to ensure our nation is safe, so that each and every one of us can sleep soundly at night, knowing we have ‘guardians at the gate.’ – Allen West


“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower


“The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country”  ― George S. Patton Jr.


 “As long as a population can be induced to believe in a supernatural hereafter, it can be oppressed and controlled. People will put up with all sorts of tyranny, poverty, and painful treatment if they’re convinced that they’ll eventually escape to some resort in the sky where lifeguards are superfluous and the pool never closes. Moreover, the faithful are usually willing to risk their skins in whatever military adventure their government may currently be promoting.”

― Tom RobbinsSkinny Legs and All


“This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor… This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!”

― Albert Einstein


So long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. When you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you’ve served us – because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they need when they come home. – Barack Obama


The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution.–   John F. Kennedy


I started to make a study of the art of war and revolution and, whilst abroad, underwent a course in military training. If there was to be guerrilla warfare, I wanted to be able to stand and fight with my people and to share the hazards of war with them.   – Nelson Mandela


The U.S. Military is us. There is no truer representation of a country than the people that it sends into the field to fight for it. The people who wear our uniform and carry our rifles into combat are our kids, and our job is to support them, because they’re protecting us.   –  Tom Clancy


We shall listen, not lecture; learn, not threaten. We will enhance our safety by earning the respect of others and showing respect for them. In short, our foreign policy will rest on the traditional American values of restraint and empathy, not on military might. – Theodore C. Sorensen


  1. How America Treats Illegal Aliens vs. Veterans
  2. Friday Night Think Tank:  Memorial Edition
  3. Growing up after Graduation
  4. What Heroes Gave
  5. Memorial Day is not about your aunt
  6. To all our service members
  7. Thanks Dad