Posts Tagged With: life

This or That: Walk or Run?

Some people are runners.  Some hate running with a fiery passion.  Me, I’m a runner at heart, but a walker by injury.

I’m one of those insane people who likes to run.  I hate walking (for exercise).  I feel like it’s a waste of time – by running you can go much farther in the same amount of time!  Running helps calm my monkey mind, helps me zone out, erases all the scribbles in my head.  Walking just makes it worse. Unfortunately, about 6 or 7 years ago, I injured my knee.  Still not really sure what I did to it.  I went to the doctor, I had an MRI, I went for physical therapy.  No one could tell me what was wrong, and nothing made it better.

I miss running.  I so wish I could do it again. Once we get back to the US, maybe I’ll be able to go to a specialist, or maybe I’ll check out acupuncture.  (Yeah, I miss it enough to be stuck with a hundred needles…)

So what about you?  Which would you prefer?  Everyone who comments on This or That in the month of June is registered to win a 4×6 print of this photo:

House by the Sea

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Inspiration Tuesday

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This or That: Speak or Hear?

Would you rather have the ability to hear, but not be able to speak, or be able to speak, but not hear?  And what I mean is: would you rather be able to understand others but not be able to communicate (talk, write, etc), or be able to communicate but not be able to understand others (hear, read, etc)?

It’s an often talked about fact in the expat community, that you lose some of your speech while living abroad.  You stop using idioms, because they don’t translate in a different language (or because non-native English speakers (or whatever your language) don’t understand them).  You have to look up words in the thesaurus a lot more often (case in point:  I had to look up “translate” in the previous sentence because the only word I could think of to convey my meaning was “transmit”).  You start using words for things that foreigners use (car park instead of parking lot, baby cot instead of crib, take-away instead of to-go).  I often find myself struggling to find the right words for things lately.  The language barrier is compounded, for me, by not usually talking to more than two people most days, one of them being a 1 year old.

Being a writer, a lover of words, I find this development…somewhat disheartening, to say the least.  Words used to flow out of me, my mouth, my pen, my keyboard, but I’m having a harder time of late. I have a plan of action…if I could only find the time to put it in place…

So obviously speaking (aloud or in print) is important to me.  But what if I could communicate, but not hear/understand?  Well, that would suck, but at least then I wouldn’t hear the bullshit spouted by some people, the hatred, the bigotry.  But I also wouldn’t be able to understand my husband, or my baby, when they say they love me.

Interesting conundrum.  I feel like it’s self-centered to say that I would rather be able to share my feelings with the world, put my thoughts out there, than hear what they think.  But I would rather tell my husband and son I love them a thousand times and not hear that they love me, than to not be able to tell them.  And that seems a bit less narcissistic.  I hope.  🙂

So what about you?  Which would you prefer?  Everyone who comments on This or That in the month of June is registered to win a 4×6 print of this photoHouse by the Sea

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Inspiration Tuesday – Donate your hair!

I used to have really long hair, down to my butt.  I had long hair for years.  I always intended to donate it to Locks of Love, I just hated the thought of cutting 12″ off!  Until one day, I bit the bullet and did it.  12″ gone.

Then I did it again, about 3 years later:

Locks of Love donation

I was very proud of my donation.  I have really thick, healthy hair, and I hope they were able to make a fantastic wig for a kid out of it.  It makes me happy that I was able to do it not only once, but twice.  I received a little postcard to thank me for the donation, and I have it framed.  It hangs next to my college diploma at home (although both are currently in storage in the US).

So when I saw this story, it made my heart happy.  An 8 year old boy grew his hair out to donate it, putting up with bullies while he did it.  He’s awesome, and quite the inspiration!

What’s inspiring you this week?

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This or That: Luke or Han?

We finished rewatching the Star Wars trilogy, and I will say it again – there’s so much I didn’t remember, plot-wise. I did remember more about the third movie than the first two, for some reason. Ewoks are still so darn cute, I don’t care what you say!

Growing up, I seem to remember Luke getting a lot of love from the girls. Even though I didn’t remember the movies so well, I feel like I was more of a Han fan girl myself. Having rewatched the movies recently, I’m definitely a Han fan. Nothing quite like that bad boy with a heart of gold. I found Luke to be a whiny teenager, at least in the first movie – less so by the third, of course.

So I’m wondering, readers – Luke or Han? Who did you have a crush on growing up, and has that changed now that you’re older? Who did you idolize more? Who did you want to be more like?  Let me know in the comments below!

New giveaway rules – each comment on a This or That post in the month of June will be entered into a random drawing.  The winner will receive a 4×6 print of this photo:

House by the Sea

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Inspiration Tuesday


The Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen, available at

The Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen, available at

I recently started reading The Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen. I’m in Chapter 5 already (3 days in), so I would definitely say I’m enjoying it so far. I found it especially hard to put down last night, when the character of Chloe shows up. Chloe has a gift: whatever book she needs shows up when she needs it. As we’re introduced to her, she has kicked her boyfriend out for cheating on her, and the book that magically appears on her couch as she turns from the door is Finding Forgiveness. I’m waiting to see if she forgives the cheating bastard.

But it got me to thinking – Can you imagine?!

I mean, I love books, so I was instantly sucked into the idea that they can magically appear. Then I started wondering what would appear to me, right now? Probably Stop Making Excuses or some such title.

So, if books magically appeared for you whenever you needed them, what book would show up today?  What kind of inspiration do you need today?

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Inspiration Tuesday

I was once in a college math class with a six year old in pigtails. She wasn’t a child prodigy, though. She sat in the back of the class, coloring, quiet as a mouse, while her mother, a fellow student, took notes. At one point, as the professor was explaining some mathmatical function or another, the little girl started humming softly, then started singing. “Night fever, night fever, we know how to do it.”

The entire class froze, stifling laughter. The girl’s mother was mortified, and hurried to the back of the room to quiet her daughter. The professor looked at the woman, smiled, said, “It’s okay,” and carried on.

Other than that one little disruption, the little girl didn’t cause any trouble. She just sat quietly, occasionally humming. She got some coloring done, and her mom worked on her education.

I was reminded of this when I read this awesome story of a professor soothing the crying child of one of his students during class. I love that the professor not only allows but encourages women to get an education, even with a baby in tow.

What’s inspiring you this week?

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Inspiration Tuesday – Be naïve.

“What’s wrong with being naïve? Wasn’t Christopher Columbus naïve? Wasn’t Ghandi naïve? Weren’t the 1969 New York Jets naïve?”
Eric Weiner, The Geography of Bliss


I’m slowly working my way through this book, and I’ve been enjoying it.  He’s in Iceland now, and I find it interesting how a lot of his descriptions of the people there could easily apply to Finland.  He talks about how in Iceland, it’s okay to be naïve, “because you can always start over.”

What would you do if you could start over?  Or, have you ever started over, and how did it turn out?

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Inspiration Tuesday

My heart is happy today, and it’s because of Facebook.

Go figure.

You see, as many faults as FB might have, however much people may hate it, it does manage to do one thing.  It helps you keep up with people you would otherwise lose touch with.

There are those that will argue that if you like the person enough, you would keep up with them.  But, come on.  That’s simply not true.

Look, there are plenty of people on my Friends List that I am not truly friends with.  People I haven’t seen in over ten years, people I’ve never even met.  People I would walk past and not recognize.  Most of these people, though, I still like to see what’s going on in their lives.  They get engaged, married, have a baby.  They get a new job, take up running, lose 80 pounds.  They go back to school, or realize a dream they never knew they had.

And I get to share in that a little with them.

There’s the sad, too, the loss of a parent, or a beloved dog, a house fire, or an illness that has a lasting effect.  But I’m glad to know those things, too.  Because these are people’s lives, and they matter.

What it comes down to is this:  I love seeing the people I know happy.  A friend who is so blissfully married it’s disgusting.  A friend who just finished a half marathon, and by the way, looks *amazing* (seriously, did you drop 30 pounds?).  A friend (or four!!) who have adopted and have the happy family they’ve always wanted. And today, a friend who got engaged.

My heart is grinning.


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This or That: London or Paris?

You must pick one, and you must explain why.

I’m asking this one for myself, actually, having never been to either (other than driving to CDG in Paris – oy!). We’ve been considering a trip to one this year, but not sure which would be better/easier with a baby. From what I hear, Paris is smaller, everything is closer together, whereas London is very spread out. But in London, there’s less of a language barrier. Eating in Paris with a baby who’s bedtime is 7:30 will be difficult, since many restaurants don’t open until later.

So, what say you, readers, which city do you like more? Which would be easier with a baby? Let me know in the comments below, and you’ll be entered to win a 5×7 print of one of my favorite photos:

A view of Mont St Michel through the poppies

Mont St Michel, Normandy France


Last week’s This or That generated a lot of comments, and Coke is the clear winner! Kudos to Jay Dee for pegging the problem with Pepsi – it tastes like flat coke! The winner of the Northern Lights photo is Christie – Christie, I’ll get with you on FB to get your mailing address.  🙂

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