A few of my favorite things – 2013 in review


Thanks to all who have been following my blog, commenting on it and actually enjoying it.  I really appreciate your comments.  I mean I really, really do.  I have enjoyed and have been inspired my many of your posts as well.  Thanks again to all who have stopped by and even nominated me for special awards. In honor of the end of an old year and the beginning of a new year I am going to highlight the past year with some of my favorite, favorite photos from 2013.

I left Venezuela in December of 2012 and from Venezuela went and visited my children in Washington State, from Washington, I took a train with my youngest daughter and her son to Chicago and then went on to New York.  After a few weeks in New York I traveled down to DC and on to North Carolina for a week.  After North Carolina I went back to DC and began an 8 month Nepali language course.  During the course I had several old friends visit me in DC.  Some friends were from the military and some were from high school.  I took trips to New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Richmond, VA.  I went to wine tastings and food festivals.  Finally I passed my Nepali test and WOW.. ended up in Kathmandu, Nepal.  Those are the nuts and bolts.

What happened emotionally for me was some beautiful births from family and long-time friends.  My sister got married and the wedding was such a touching and emotional event for me. I can’t adequately describe to you now nor to my sister at the time at how proud of her I was and glad I was to be her sister. I had emotional break downs with my older sister who got me to laughing and re-thinking my state. Man I love that girl.  I was able to meet up with family and friends I haven’t seen for so long and it was like time had never passed.  There was a completely unexpected death of a very amazing young friend that shook me to the core.  I’m still dealing with some of the emotions that came from that. I was able to find a very old and dear friend that meant so much to me for so long and from that I had to come to terms with some truths about life and love.  Letting go and reconnecting, meeting new friends and re-affirming long time friendships. I have spent a lot of time this year coming to terms with who I am and what I’m willing to accept and realizing that there are some serious changes in me that need to take place. There was awe, joy and great satisfaction at people, places and things and personal accomplishments.  There was shock, horror and extreme emotional despair at people, places and things and a new-found understanding of life in general. I put up way too many photos here but there were tons more that could have been used.  No photo can clearly express how I am feeling at this moment of remembering all of these things and right now there are no more words to say.

To all, have a prosperous and happy (focus on happy) New Year. Stay safe.

I hope you enjoy.

A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.  ~Edward de Bono

Have a safe and happy new year.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Attractions in 2013

These are the posts that got the most views in 2013. You can see all of the year’s most-viewed posts in your Site Stats.

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2013. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

Click here to see the complete report.

So long ago…


WoW!! Time has been rushing by so fast and at the same time it seems to have passed soooo slowly.  I am down to about 10 class days left of a 7 month language program.  Less than 3 weeks remain until I am on my way to Nepal and a whole new set of adventures.  I also finally paid someone to scan all of my old photos onto a disk and have spent a significant amount of time looking at these instead of studying.  So in honor of a break from my studies and my hopeful return to a normal life I wanted to share a photo from so long ago…

Madison, Samantha and Miranda - 20 years ago.

Madison, Samantha and Miranda – 20 years ago.

31 days of randomness – Personal Inspiration day 19 – Flash Back


In continuation of my 31 days of randomness – Day 19 will be a focus on stepping back and remembering or focusing on a time from the past.

There is a saying:

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’–                      –George Santayana

I agree with this saying but it in no ways indicates this will be a heavy post about historical mistakes made or interventions or recovery.  I only started with that quote to mislead and well, I really like that quote. No this inspirational day is about remembering the best and forgetting the rest.

I know that we are all supposed to be living in the present and embracing it as well as looking toward the future.. BUT.. sometimes there are just things from the past that were too good to ignore.   Now I wasn’t old enough to really have had a physical appreciation of the 70’s (and yes I know they weren’t all good.. that’s why my theme focus is on remembering only the best) but I love the music and the style from that generation.

If you say you don’t I won’t believe you.  How could you not?  Really if it wasn’t so great why does it keep coming back?

It’s not just the clothes and the hair and the music that I love, it might really be everything.  Think of the emotions and the passion that emanated from that generation.

The music was what all future music bounced off of.  So the 70’s brought us music, style, passion, dreams, weird predictions of the future.  You can love it or you can hate it but I’m inspired to step back for a day and just enjoy it.

Friday line-up and Children’s Saturdays

Commercials

There was two shows at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival.
One was on stage.  One was the people off stage

Of course there are a million more memories but I’ll stop for now.  I wonder if tomorrow I might flash back to the 80s?

This all started from a random site I found called thenester.com.  Apparently there is a group of people who have committed to posting a topical theme a day for 31 days.  31 Dayers 2012

 

Remembering Mom


In 2011 I took a trip back to the U.S. at the request of my father.  My mother had passed away about 4 years prior and he wanted to visit her resting place.  He also wanted us to know how to get there to spread his ashes when the time came.  It was supposed to be just my older and younger sister and myself but when it was all said and done there were about 12 of us packed into a travel van trekking from Spokane, Wa to this very random highway marker #13 in Montana.

Mile marker 13

We drove through Glacier National Park, Hungry Horse Dam, visited a bear park and camped in some random national park in Montana.  It was a most amazing and memorable trip. One that will not soon be forgotten and an inspirational tribute to my mother and the love we all felt and still fill for her.

The first few pictures are of mom in her younger days.. and in her younger younger days as well.  She was a fireball.  I think the term piss and vinegar fit her well.  There were many people who were actually afraid of her.

Mom in the 1990’s – 2000s very far left dancing with dad and some random woman

She had scoliosis and refused surgery because she thought it would limit her ability to move around and do things.  She once said she would rather be dead.  That’s how she was.  After a doctor told her she would need to start using an oxygen tank to be able to get around and move she wouldn’t go to the doctor, instead she went to a yard sale, somehow managed to find a vet who would fill her tank for her and she would tote that with her wherever she went.  This could be an urban legend but that’s the story I heard and I’m sticking to it.

I remember one summer when I was putting myself through college and raising my 2 daughters I had to rent from mom and dad. They had this terrible little run-down house and I wasn’t paying much rent so in order to sort of pay them back I was slowly replacing windows, cleaning the yard and making it nicer so when I moved out they could get better rent for it.  One day she heard about me and my plan to have the place re-roofed.  She was very possessive of her properties and with her oxygen tank in hand she came over.. pretty much re-wired the entire house, re-roofed it (with a little help) and re-did much of the plumbing.  She was an incredible woman.

When she passed on it was a shock to everyone.  We all knew it was inevitable between her scoliosis and her emphysema she was slowly losing a life-time battle.  The thing was, you would never have known. Even looking at her and talking to her she was just a strong woman and never complained about it.  Don’t get me wrong, she complained about a lot but never about how weak she was.  She made a point of wanting to be cremated and then laid to rest where her mother and her son had been placed.  So after she died that’s what dad and my sisters and I did.  It was a touching, touching sad trip and freeing at the same time.

Fast forward to 2011 and we are now driving to this same place in a van with both my sisters, my two daughters and grandkids and my older sister’s daughter and my younger sister’s boyfriend and his daughter and my dad.

The rest of this journey will be shown through a photo journey.

Head stone of mom and grandma

RIP mom.  Still love ya.

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A re-visit to growth – 9/11


My post on “Growth” was probably the best tribute to 9/11 I could have put out there. I don’t like remembering some of the negative imagery however, I think sometimes you should take a moment and just remember..

The scary times..

The ridiculous times…

And the times you need to stop and reflect and remember…

Believing You Must Not Think Negatively Can Rebound                    by Ken Ward

Part of the Positive Thinking movement advocates that negative thoughts shouldn’t be tolerated. The irony is that suppressing these thoughts seems to cause them to repeat. One of the sure ways to get someone to think of something is to tell them not to.

It is regarded by some almost as a truism, that we should avoid the negative and embrace the positive. However, the process of self-development is not that simple, and positive thinking is helpful to some, but not others, and depends on the context. Sometimes positive thinking makes us worse.