Sprachgefühl (noun) Origin: German | A person who has the feel for a language.

This literally translates as ‘language feeling’ from compound nouns combining Sprache (language) and Gefühl (feeling). Basically, this does not only refer to a person who has a good understanding of foreign languages but also to a person who has intuitiveness for what is linguistically appropriate.

The truth is, I have no real understanding of foreign languages.  I do have a good understanding and am very intuitive to what people are saying, meaning, or wanting though. I’m perceptive to the needs of others.  Not always accommodating but very perceptive to what they want or need.

I have taken both Spanish and Nepali courses for work.  Nepali was easier for me because it was completely not logical and did not even use the U.S. alphabet but an easier form of Hindi.  I was also able to learn the Korean alphabet when I was in Korea. However, the Spanish language was and continues to be a struggle for me.  There is something about learning a very hard language that makes the teachers a little more forgiving and makes the learning more memorable.  

As you can see, I was a very diligent student.  However, few of the measures I took helped me learn the language.  I just do not have a mind for this type of thing.  I enjoyed the role playing, the music, the movies and I could always get the gist.  But the memorizing of nonsensical words in nonsensical sentences didn’t help me at all.  It was exhausting.

After 7 months of Spanish, a few weeks in Ecuador in a language program, and many folks doing their best to help me out, I was still confusing past, present, future, imperative, gender, words in general.  I think because Spanish is everywhere and you can make out so many of the words, i felt it would be so much easier.

For me it was not.  I cannot tell you how many times I would be telling someone a story about my childhood in Spanish, and the person would look at me and say, “Wait, me?  Wait, you?  Wait, who are you talking about?”  My feelings were that if you did not understand me completely, you should at least understand if you or I had done something.. work it out man.  When i tell you a story about being attacked by a seal…. do you really have to ask “who” was attacked by a seal? I mean, unless you were actually attacked by a seal then yes, that is a great question.  Anyways.  

Once I completed my language classes, I completely enjoyed every country I visited.  I loved being able to even partially communicate in any of the languages of the countries I visited.  It completely changed the travel experience. 

Also, even though I did not quite know all the words, I was able to tell jokes, laugh at jokes, sing along, and carry on broken conversations with just about anyone. I think that having a “feel” for a language is sometimes more important than to be able to speak it perfectly.  Sadly my bosses do not always agree with my philosophy .. and sure they are at least partly right.  I do know that I had fun and I do know that people had fun with me and sometimes at my expense for my communication errors.  In my world, that means total success.

I have been to many countries at this point and in many of the countries I never spoke the language at all.  I think if you looked at all of the pictures below, you would not be able to know which countries I understood and spoke the languages and which ones I did not.  For me, the understanding came with the smiles.  It came with laughing over common states of being.  It came from eating and drinking the same food and realizing that we all had some of the same joys and some of the same sadnesses. 

I am definitely classifiable as a Sprachgefühl … if that is even a classifiable state of being.  See, not even sure if this is a real word, but you feel me, right?

what does the dog say?   Rochelle; Ibonoco; varnika; Rosie; Troy; Debasis; Jim; Rebecca; helen; annette; libertatemamo; albigensia; Cherie; suzanne

Day 12 – Astrology vs Astronomy… hmmm.

I have been signed up for this Astrology Newsletter for years now.  There is something about the vagueness of many of the weekly readings that I am drawn to.  This one is also packed full of very interesting and affirming quotes and ideas. I do not read the entire newsletter every week but I will always read my horoscope.  It comes out on Wednesdays and this week sort of nailed my emotional state.
Years ago I was required to take an astronomy (not sure at that time that I knew there was a difference) class and the professor started asking all of us about our astrological signs.  We all proudly shared “what” we were and he started laughing and jokingly started chiding us.  To be honest, he started, most of you do not really know what you are.  In order to be exact, you would need to know the exact second of your birth and then you would need to go to a special book or website and search to find the exact star alignment at the time of your birth to determine the exact astrological sign.  It’s likely you are the sign ahead or behind the one you think you are.
At that point I decided to simply start claiming 5 star days as my own.  It’s worked out nicely for me.  However, sometimes my exact sign really puts out a reading that speaks to me… in it’s utter vagueness as if it was actually written for me .. and only me.
I give to you a sample of my flavor. Maybe it’s just the tons of quotes that are spread throughout this rambling newsletter.  So here is one of my habits and I think if you read it, you will either think I am a loon.. or you might actually go on to the site and sign up.
See a pretty version of this newsletter:
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the
old, but on building the new.”
—Dan Millman.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change
something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
—Buckminster Fuller
ARIES (March 21-April 19): An anonymous blogger on Tumblr writes
the following: “What I’d really like is for someone to objectively watch me
for a week and then sit down with me for a few hours and explain to me
what I am like and how I look to others and what my personality is in
detail and how I need to improve. Where do I sign up for that?” I can
assure you that the person who composed this message is not an Aries.
More than any other sign of the zodiac, you Rams want to *be* yourself,
to inhabit your experience purely and completely—not see yourself from
the perspective of outside observers. Now is a good time to emphasize this
+  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +
Imagine that the whole world belongs to you. The birch trees in New
Hampshire’s White Mountains are yours, and so are the cirrus clouds in
the western sky at dusk and the black sand on the beaches of Hawaii’s Big
You own everything, my dear sovereign — the paintings in all the
museums of the world, as well as the Internet and the wild horses and the
eight-lane highways.
Please take good care of it all, OK? Be an enlightened monarch who treats
your domain with reverent responsibility.
And make sure you also enjoy the full measure of fun that comes with such
mastery. Glide through life as if all of creation is yearning to honor and
entertain you.
+  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +
Dear Gorgeous Genius: You possess exceptional capacities that are
absolutely unique. You’re a masterpiece unlike any other that has ever
lived in the history of the world.
Furthermore, the precise instructions you need to ripen into your genius
have always been with you, even from the time before you were born. In
the words of psychologist James Hillman, you have a soul’s code.
You might also call it the special mission you came to Earth to carry out;
the divine blueprint that contains the open secret of how to be perfectly,
unpredictably yourself; the master plan that is your heart’s deepest
Would you like help in deciphering it? The Divine Intelligence Formerly
Known as God is always on call, ready to help. It’s your birthright to ask
Her a specific question every day about what you need to do next to express
your soul’s code; it’s also your birthright to receive a response.
The divine revelation may not be as unambiguous as a little voice in your
head. It might appear in the form of a TV commercial, an odd dream, or an
encounter with a stranger. It could be demanding and difficult, delivering
information you’d rather not have to deal with. Or it might show up as a
clear and simple feeling of knowing exactly what to do, and it could be easy
and fun.
What question will you ask the Divine Wow today?
+  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through
you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this
expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other
medium. It will be lost. The world will not have it.
“It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it
is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to
keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
—Martha Graham
+  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +
Like all of us, you have desires for things that you don’t really need and
aren’t good for you. But you shouldn’t disparage yourself for having them,
nor should you conclude that every desire is tainted.
Rather, think of your misguided longings as the bumbling, amateur
expressions of a faculty that will one day be far more expert. They’re how
you practice as you work toward the goal of becoming a master of desire. It
may take a while, but eventually you will get the hang of wanting things
that are really good for you, and good for everyone else, too.
“The only way anyone is ever cured of desiring nonsensical things is by
getting the nonsensical things and then experiencing the unpleasant but
educational consequences.”
—Ann Davies
“When I hold you, I hold everything: crones praying in the foamy sand at
low tide, a shocked waterfall gracing a new housing development, the
foxglove by the fence sipping the fragrance of distant blue straggler stars,
my dream of the white crow dreaming of me. In your eyes I see everything
that lives.”
—mash-up of Pablo Neruda and Rob Brezsny
Imagine it’s 30 years from now. You’re looking back at the history of your
relationship with desire. There was a certain watershed moment when you
clearly saw that some of your desires were mediocre, inferior, and
wasteful, while others were pure, righteous, and invigorating.
Beginning then, you made it a life goal to purge the former and cultivate
the latter. Thereafter, you occasionally wandered down dead ends trying to
gratify yearnings that weren’t worthy of you, but usually you wielded
your passions with discrimination, dedicating them to serve the highest
and most interesting good.
The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.
Two dangers threaten the universe: order and disorder.
—Paul Valéry
Without order, nothing can exist. Without chaos, nothing can evolve.
—Oscar Wilde

Happy 4th of Jul… What the HECK!!!!

IMG_5170Initially we celebrated the 4th of July back in February.  I know.. I know.. I really didn’t understand what was going on because.. well.. it was February.  I had NEVER heard of celebrating our nation’s holiday five months ahead of time. Apparently there were good reasons for it.  Though I can’t necessarily be convinced.

In essence, we celebrate the 4th of July to honor the adoption of the declaration of independence.  We claimed independence from Britain on July 4, 1776 and lo and behold Democracy was born.  We take this time to celebrate that event by eating hotdogs and hamburgers with our family and friends or even just groups of random people. There are usually fireworks, popcorn, and children running wild.  So in honor of this great tradition, we commenced celebrating our 2nd fourth of July for the year.

It started out so normal….

The singing of our national anthem and the raising of our flag…

Next came the food.. apparently not delicious but still fairly normal..


Is that a.. piece of chicken or pork or ???

Oh and who doesn’t like a little popcorn, ice cream and ..uh.. tarot reading..


Yes, there were kids.. not necessarily running amok.. but there were kids.. docile kids standing in a line.. waiting to have their faces painted. A huge contrast to my own childhood.


There were ponies, face painting, nail art and henna tattoos, pottery making and cotton candies.. yeah you heard me, more than just one..

Oooohhh yeah.. carnival rides.. that’ll be fun..

Then it got a little weird.. strange there wasn’t a line..

Apparently "sitting in a chair with a man on a ladder ready to pour a bucket of water on your head was a little too long for the sign"

Apparently “sit in a chair with a man on a ladder ready to pour a bucket of water on your head” was a little too long for the sign”

And then just plain frightening.. There was a clown.. JUST ONE!!!! Maybe if there had been a couple of them.. or they were dancing in a line or juggling.. maybe it wouldn’t have been so frightening.. OHHH SOOOO VERY FRIGHTENING.. I know of at least one baby who cried and two grown boys who were terrified.  They tried to act like they weren’t but they were.  Every where I looked there he was// or she was// or it was!!!!!  In retrospect.. I suppose I WAS only looking at the cotton candies.. I mean.. I really wanted some but that clown wouldn’t leave.. I eventually had a child bring me one.

IMG_5196 IMG_5194 IMG_5178 IMG_5177

Lucky for me.. right before I left.. I was able to see something to remember exactly why I was there..


Happy 4th everyone!!

In response to the daily wordpress challenge I now present to you other posts showing contrasts that I enjoyed:

  1. Chittle Chattle Weekly Photo Challenge – Contrasts
  3. Monochrome Contrast
  4. Life is a Vacation 2 Men, Music and Light
  5. Across the Bored Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast
  6. Retired2Travel Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast
  7. drycrikjournal Riding Drag
  8. Jasper Smits Contrast
  9. The Bass Rock – Mittened Hands
  10. Morbid Is as Morbid Does Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts
  11. Stefano Scheda Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts
  12. The Rider Contrasts- Weekly Photo Challenge
  13. Cee’s Photography WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast
  14. codziennik Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts
  15. scrapydo Contrast – Weekly photo Challenge
  16. Northwest Frame of Mind Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts
  17. Words We Women Write WPC: CONTRASTS
  18. Beyond the Brush Photography Nature’s Contrasts
  19. Third Person Travel Contrasts-WP Weekly Photo Challenge
  20. The other pictures. Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts
  21. Today, on Earth Contrasts
  22. Mad Meandering Me Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast (Take 2)
  23. Chris Breebaart Photography / What’s (in) the picture? Weekly Photo Contest: Contrasts (Breakers Noordwijk)

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


Taking it to the Streets – Peruvian Style Street Art

POR FIN!! I know this will be a shock to some in locations that are more technologically stable, but it took literally 3 days to upload these few pictures.  That’s the thing about technology.. when it works it’s amazing and when it doesn’t we all begin to feel a little doomed.  I know, I know.. a bit dramatic.

Speaking of dramatic.. (nice lead in right).. Some of the street art / graffiti in Peru did in fact carry that title quite proficiently.  As you might have noted from one of my past blogs regarding street art I am a bit fixated on random artistic street art.  Some of the following pictures are definitely typical graffiti and some of the pictures show how amazing and beautiful this type of expression can be.  I think even some of the most basic graffiti can look amazing when presented in a different language.  Same when someone says something to you with an accent right? Tell me I’m wrong.. go ahead..  Enjoy..

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