• Herbalism,  Recipe,  Spring

    Make Your Own: Lilac Syrup

    Some readers know that two years ago I started my journey with studying herbalism (more reasons why I’m doing that on that post) but I decided last month that, given the current world situation, now may be a better time than ever to go past “beginner” and take my studies to the next level with an intermediate course of study. I guess joke’s on me a little bit– hoping I’d get to “enjoy” the lock-down life because despite the pandemic I have been absolutely busy with normal things and really have to try hard (between work, cooking, garden, the necessary relaxation necessary to enjoy life) to study three subjects again……

  • Budějovice,  Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Milestones,  South Bohemia,  Spring,  Travel

    May, Lately + More Thoughts of Traveling “These Days”

    What a beautiful spring we are having this year! Unlike other years where it’s been like winter winter winter SUMMER and maybe one week of spring temperatures, we’ve really seen spring this year. April has been full of warm days and sun, trickling into May, even though we’re in a couple days of a cold snap right now (a good excuse to sit down and write something), I have really been enjoying it (ughhh, I probably say this every year, so here it is). I just actually learned about the days May 12-14 here called the “days of the ice men” (Ledoví muži). This is because those days are the…

  • Czech Republic,  Easter,  Minimalism,  Spring,  Thoughts

    On Silencing the Noise

    If there’s anything that has come of this whole self-isolation (today, April 20th being Day 38 for me), it’s that I envy the heck out of people’s sunny backyards and garden spaces. I am ever so grateful to live in a flat with a nice balcony, but not having my own outdoor space is a hard pill to swallow during these times. I suppose it’s inevitable when you want to do and see everything, when you want to live everywhere. I was lucky enough to grow up with a huge backyard at my disposal. In the nicer months, there wasn’t a day I wasn’t out there. I never realized until…

  • Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Spring,  Thoughts

    Surviving March, Pt. II: Embracing #MaskLife

    Well, that escalated quickly. From the time I published the my last post on March 11th, the day after the first of our emergency measures (which was the school closure announcement), only ten days ago, the situation in the world has devolved rapidly (I predict ten days from now at the end of the month, we’ll be able to say that once more, sadly). No longer are people even speaking about traveling (and if they are, they shouldn’t be). I have since learned new Czech words necessary to understand for everyday life that I haven’t had to know before, like vláda (governance), nouzový stav (emergency measure), and omezení (restriction). Where…

  • Herbalism,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism,  Spring

    Growing a Tiny Garden Anywhere

    I’ve always wanted to grow my own herbs and vegetables… but I don’t truly believe in the term “green thumb”. I think anyone can garden if, and only if they truly care enough about it and try as hard as they can and put in the time to do it well. Just like caring about how the food tastes and looks makes you a better cook almost automatically. If you are patient, have keen attention to detail about what your plants like or don’t like and are proactive, you can garden. Gardening makes us self-sufficient. It is a natural companion for people who love to cook (or who, at least,…

  • Iceland,  Spring,  Thoughts

    Iceland Uncovered: How My First Ever Trip to Iceland Went

    right around new year’s day, 2011 (about a year and a half before this adventure began), i won a sweepstakes contest to win a trip to iceland. i was naturally ecstatic about this development, as i’d been dreaming about the country for years. about two and a half years ago, i went on said trip. however, after my return the photos i took never really surfaced anywhere and weren’t really shown to anyone… because at the time, the trip was not my idea of an ideal vacation. it left a bad taste in my mouth and a chill in my bones. to be fair, there were circumstances unrelated to iceland…

  • Spring,  Teaching

    A Whole Lotta Rain

    it started raining saturday morning and it has not once stopped as i write this late monday afternoon. nuts! people are like, “oh but you’re from seattle so you’re used to this”. errrrg……. not really, right guys? in case you haven’t read about it, the central europe floods are making international news. i think today will be the worst of it and the rain is supposed to let up. in prague, the city is paralyzed. schools are shuttered, transportation is at a halt. the animals from the low-lying zoo near the river are being rescued. the metro station near our old ‘hood (malostranska) is closed. here in budejovice, we are…

  • Life Abroad,  Spring

    Blustery June

    june came in all blustery-like. i can’t remember the last time the rain started in the day and rained all night into the morning without stopping. reminds me of my favorite, “winnie the pooh and the blustery day”. south bohemia really isn’t well equipped to handle this quantity of rainfall. in cesky krumlov the river is starting to flood into the city and transportation problems abound all over the country and in austria. i don’t really bat an eye when thinking about all the rain but then i realize i’m in a place with very different geography, and the water can’t just flow to the sound. i don’t expect it will…

  • Austria,  Life Abroad,  Spring

    Linz-erdays

    took a weekend jaunt to linz, austria… just over two hours south of us by train and even faster by car. it’s the third largest city in austria and twice the population of budejovice. it doesn’t have the tourist draw of vienna, salzburg, or innsbruck but it was a medium-sized city in austria that was relatively close to get to. that’s mainly why i wanted to go, even though i found out later that linz does have a rich history but it’s just not quite talked about or as exciting as the other cities. who can compete with ‘the sound of music’, anyway? it’s also where people in budejovice go…

  • Budějovice,  Language Learning,  Life Abroad,  Spring

    czech language

    today i had my first real czech language class. i’ve had two 45 minute beginners’ classes before as part of my TEFL course (thank goodness for them). but today i bicycled on up to the center of foreigner integration – an NGO that offers free assistance to foreigners, and this is the first month they’ve had the funding to begin the czech language courses. i’m thinkin’, it’s free… it’s two times a day tuesday and thursday…. it’s a close bike ride away…. it might give me some good teaching or classroom management tips… what’s my excuse not to go? i love learning languages so i was pretty excited about the opportunity of a…