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.

Travel theme: Distance


Nepal

Ailsa’s travel theme this week is Distance.  Perfect theme for me as I am currently preparing to go very far away.  As I mentioned in my last post I am less than 3 weeks from heading off to Nepal.

country name Nepal in Devanagariscript *screen...

country name Nepal in Devanagariscript *screen shot –Immanuel Giel 09:20, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My head is full of Nepali and exhausted so I’m trying to find ways to rest my mind and enjoy a little bit of my remaining time in DC. While I prepare to go far away I am also trying to distance myself a little from the people near me and my life in the U.S.  As excited as I am to head out once again, I know that I will with as much passion and sadness miss the friends that are currently closest to me as well as my daughters who will not be traveling with me.

A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?  

Khalil Gibran

Last weekend a friend and I took a trip to Richmond, Virginia where we took a day to pamper ourselves (she is learning Vietnamese and will soon be off to ..duh.. Vietnam).  We spent a 2nd day in the area before returning to DC visiting a local winery.  While I”m not sure if the photos express distance so much as my sentiment does I hope you enjoy.

Windsor Wineries in Virginia

Windsor Wineries in Virginia

Windsor Wineries in Virginia

Windsor Wineries in Virginia – Cheers U.S.

Now it’s your turn to bring your most distant, faraway places to the foreground. If you would like to join in this week’s travel theme (everyone is welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel Theme: Distance
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or via RSS.

It sort of took my breath away..


While riding my bike to school at 6:30 a.m. I looked to my right and this is what I saw.

Arlington Cemetery

Arlington Cemetery 6:30 a.m.

 In this time of war, and in memory of our fallen heroes, we must be mindful to do everything in our power to keep our troops safe as they keep us safe. We must do better to take care of their families, who sacrifice in ways too many count.
 Senator John Kerry 

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting


“We are food for worms, lads,” announces John Keating, the unorthodox English teacher played by Robin Williams in the 1989 film Dead Poets Society. “Believe it or not,” he tells his students, “each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold, and die.” –  Poets.org 

So here I am..I have been sitting for nearly 2 days..sniffling, coughing..wondering if I will live …missing my family and the friends who just finished visiting me in May..a spring/summer cold in June.  In JUNE!!!!   Loads of language homework in front of me I can’t seem to focus on..alone.. alone..all alone..no one to baby me back to health…  feeling a little sorry for myself.  I mean, why wouldn’t I..

POOOORRRRR MEEEE!!!

Then.. I stumble across the Daily Post’s Challenge:  Fleeting.

What an inspirational set of photos and pieces of writing.  An hour disappears while I peruse other’s entries and I find myself inspired to submit a few of my own very recent fleeting moments.  A few times with friends over the past few months.  Happy fleeting moments that you can so easily forget about or take for granted.  I have a great life and here’s to enjoying some of the most recent moments that came and went quicker than I could have imagined.

I hope you enjoy.

To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy. – Henri Cartier-Bresson

 

iPhoneography Monday: Night Photography


I realize it is Tuesday but I loved this photo challenge. I loved it largely because I am NOT a night-time person.  I am often teased by friends because I like to be in my home and in my pajamas by about 7pm.  I would agree that it is a sad thing, however, I have been this way since I was a child.  While my sisters would fight bed-time, I would get my jammies on, go around give kisses and hugs and head for bed.

Another reason I loved this challenge was because most of my night time photos do not turn out very well.  My iphone photos are worse.  HOWEVER, I do have a few night-time photos I have taken over the past couple of months that I do like.  Despite the fact they did not turn out clear or perfect, I still like them.  I was super amazed with how well other’s iPhone photos turn out.. and not just turn out but are quite amazing.  I hope you enjoy.

Check out Sally’s version of the Challenger Choice here: iPhoneography Monday: Abstract and Polly’s version here:iPhoneography Monday: Portraits.