We traveled a lot in 2019. Living abroad means seeing new things and places, but still having family obligations at home. We saw a lot of new cities and cultures in 2019, but yesterday we saw a place near home that we had never seen before. The Utah Olympic Park. My daughter was born during the SLC olympics in Salt Lake City. It was an exciting time. We came home for the holidays in 2019. We enjoyed my favorite thing of a “White Christmas”. Where will you be taking your final lap of 2019? HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
3 years ago for Christmas, we became a dog family. I grew up with parents who grew up around lifestock and they did not want animals themselves. Growing up, we had a cat and a dog at different times and some strays adopted us at intervals, but NEVER a house pet. After getting our Christmas puppy, I learned just how often some pet owners walk their dogs. I had never noticed. I had never needed to care. After I got a dog, I started seeing dogs and their people. Before, I walked a lot, but it was JUST moi. Recently, I joined a dog walking group. My new German friend lives in an apartment and walks her 90 lb. lab A LOT. I have an active breed dog, but he is happy to walk ten miles with me one day and chill the next. I have a walking blog and even I don’t want to walk as much as my friend. I am having fun in my new club, but I don’t want to commit to walking with companions (besides my dog) more than once a week.
Have you seen the Christmas stuff in the stores? I have even in China. LOLOLOL The Christmas stuff doesn’t exactly look the same. There was a yellow Santa Claus! NO, JUST NO!!!! Well, I’m one of the people who does NOT like seeing Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. I understand that stores have such insane quantities of stuff that the merchandising must begin well in advance of the holiday, but for me and my house we will have Thanksgiving decor until at least after turkey day. Last year, we had a very pathetic little Thanksgiving dinner. It was the best we could muster without an oven in our home in China. Ovens are NOT a normal thing here. We have one now because we moved into foreigner housing. I have made our entire Thanksgiving meal many many times since we have mostly lived away from extended family. I enjoy the process of purchasing a turkey in advance, preparing the menu, and executing the meal. I will be going home for the holiday. I am very excited to cook the food and EAT it. I also have some one on one hikes planned with my new teenager. We aren’t all going due to the lack of school days off. That means that children preparing for AP tests in the spring DO NOT get turkey day week off. Thanksgiving is such a cool holiday. #givethanks
Let me tell you about someone who made an impact. In 1986, I started middle school. My mom made me signup for orchestra. I wanted to take art class! She had previously made me take piano lessons and I sucked. I literally sucked through a few years of lessons. I could not read music. I chose the viola. I don’t know why. Probably cause I didn’t want to be there and it wasn’t the violin. I didn’t know anything much about the violin either. The class turned out not to be so bad. The teacher was an OLD lady who was nice. She had wrinkles and she was beautiful. She would walk around the room and tune our instruments before we started playing. I can NOT fathom how bad that awful racket must have sounded, but we were in a soundproof room so everyone else was spared. We started by plucking our instruments. I had a severely broken arm from an old school summer and even started playing with a cast beyond my elbow. As time went by, the jumbled up stuff on the page started to come together. We were making music.
In 7th grade, I decided I was enjoying it and I needed to improve. I asked my orchestra teacher who could teach me private viola lessons. I started taking lessons with another awesome teacher and improved beyond my imagination. Each year, we moved up with the same teacher. It was a small town. She drove to the high school for half of her day to also teach there. Soo she was also my high school teacher. My sophomore year, I left for study abroad. Upon return, it was back to orchestra. We took state that year. That means we had an awesome performance at a statewide competition. We didn’t let down our little town where we didn’t have the best of anything, but we had the best arts programs. That same year in 1992, we took an orchestra trip to Disneyland. We had a master class with a pro musician aka the rare paid unicorn. We couldn’t wait to ditch the playing for the rides. Our teacher was there by our sides for the fun too. I don’t know how she kept up with us, but she did. After the school days were over, I probably only saw her once. She was a bit stooped over but looked the same. She was still as beautiful as ever and had a smile and a hug for her former student. The effects of her teaching reach far and wide. I doubt much of what fast money that people aspire to achieve these days will leave the impact she did and what some good teachers do. RIP JUNE THORLEY 1928-2019
A few years ago when I was learning about this new to me blogging world, I wanted to attend a conference that to my surprise was happening in my city. As usual, I was late to the game. To my chagrin, I had no ticket to attend this event where the new age cool people were that week. Even if I had a ticket, would I be comfortable with these cool people? No. Instead, I went to watch what I could with my young children in tow since part of the event was outside in public. It was a hot day. We hung out on the periphery because the cool people didn’t use to have kids. (Now, children are incredibly useful tools for instagram pictures.) We eventually treated ourselves to some great Mexican food and went home. Fast forward, I was recently checking the blog of the GURU who created that event. Though I have read a few of the organizer’s books, I’m not super knowledgable about this person. The blog had turned negative. Every post was now a post about how things were NOT awesome. What a letdown. This person was mortal just like me! J/K ha ha.. Unless your GURU has moved on from this life, (Muhammed, Jesus, Buddha, Insert whoever) then life will always be filled with obstacles and be wary of the guru. (The get rich like me kind, get
healthy/SKINNY off my product kind, get awesome like me kind…..) I hope things turn around for this blogger. I did learn a lot from the author’s books.
Besides a national park pass, the best thing I’ve spent my money on is family pictures. We didn’t have engagement pictures done. We set a timer on an old fashioned nineties camera on a hike and went with those. I didn’t have a dime so I didn’t know better. When we went to Hawaii for the first time, I wanted to book a professional to take pictures of our family. It was one of my best purchases.
I was just watching a youtube video I came across where the stars are going to cut back on their daily vlog. I feel like this is a world I do not comprehend. I mean these people grew up with reality tv and youtube. It is my children’s world. I do not get it. They make a lot of money showing up to their fans EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I’m not sure it’s worth it. I have seen very little reality tv. I grew up watching soap operas. I guess it’s the same thing. We used to be down in SOCAL on vacation in the eighties and we’d have to record (ha ha) the soap and watch it every night with my aunt. =Same thing, different day. Anyway, I am dealing with a lot of “constants” right now. I’m thinking about adding video content to my blog or doing something on gasp…. :0 Youtube. I hate to hear recordings of my voice, but it may just be the best medium we have for communication. I just heard that in Japan the most famous singer is now computer generated. HA HA.. So I guess I could get a computer-generated voice. It’s a new frontier.
It’s New Year’s Eve. I’m a big partier. I’ll be watching Stranger Things tonight. My teen begged and begged us to get Netflix. I don’t watch much on tv, but we’ve been catching up on it during the Christmas break. I’m kind of into it. We already had a big walk today and went to church. 2017 was an awesome year. We woke up in Utah for a snowy hike on the first day of the year. Hiking is something most everybody can do. I like to emphasize that it takes NO skill. Everybody seems to need to be the best at something and a mountain really doesn’t care how fast you go up it. The same with a walking trail. Every town on the planet has a place to walk. I’ve walked in some of the most urban places and some of the most remote. You can find enJOYment in walking. I also biked this year in Central Park for the first time. You can circle the whole park without breaking a sweat on a nice temperate May day. I enjoy a leisurely bike ride whenever possible and renting a bike on a trip is extra fun. I’m not going to be racing anybody. I’m out for the fresh air and a bit of physical fitness. I will definitely be finding some new and old hiking destinations in 2018. I hope you will too. Happy New Year!!!!
I’m not a follower. I always do my own thing. I am really bad with directions on even the simplest projects. So….. I joined a gym again after a few years off from my previous diligent, yet not psycho gym attendance. (—but I didn’t do it for the new year I joined in early November…) Anyway, I walked into the gym knowing that I was already going to join. It was not very simple as I had to have a tour and tell them my life story and agree to a health assessment before I could finally just JOIN. Anyway, I am back in fitness classes and having a good time. I was incredibly weak on my upper body the first few classes, but immediately I started to get stronger. The weeks passed and I had to go to my assessment. I really wanted to get my actual age info. but they didn’t give it to me probably cause I said no to the personal training 10 times and needed to leave. I really didn’t want to miss my yoga class for the week for that. The local yoga teacher has a fond need of calling me out to fix my poses and like I said above, I’m not good with directions. However, it’s an amazing class. She has some incredible moves, but I’m content to be improving on my upper body strength. The snazzy poses…… I might never get to. My advice if you join a gym in the next few weeks or ever. Go. Don’t be a statistic that pays and makes the gym richer for nothing.
I don’t recall ever enjoying autumn colors quite like I have this year. We lived in fall foliage country for 4 years. #Pennslyvania My mother was quite sad when we moved back West that she wouldn’t get to see the fall foliage tapestry anymore. (We don’t have a sea of leafy trees out here.) Maybe it was the fact that we ran our air conditioning all the time this summer. Or………. It was that school started with sports/outdoor activities canceled due to air quality warnings from the wildfires in the Western USA. It is hard to describe how awful it is when you have always known fresh air and you suddenly do not have it anymore. Thanks to the firefighters who tirelessly fight the fires! Luckily, it was only awful for a week. Anyway, cool temperatures were very welcome this year. I am a snow person, but this year seeing orange and maroon leaves falling like snow has been awesome.