• Austria,  Christmas,  czech culture,  Life Abroad,  Thoughts,  Winter

    This Festive Season

    Sometimes people ask me if I’m going back to the States for Christmas and the answer always seems to be… no. Don’t get me wrong, I deeply enjoy being back in my hometown for the holidays, away from the big city bustle. Every year when we would get on that on-ramp away from Seattle, there was something incredibly peaceful about driving north on I-5 and watching the sprawl slip away. Driving around the island on Christmas Day, Sufjan Stevens‘ album always playing on the car stereo. The white skies, tall evergreens, the sea. Again, I have to use the word peaceful, but a certain, specific peace only this kind of…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Prague,  South Bohemia

    It’s November (Life Lately)

    Hi friends, happy November! For the first time in awhile, I did not manage to make the annual ‘Spooky Movies to Watch in October’ list. Shame, that. Just for anyone interested, we did continue with our October Movie series and watched in the following order over the course of the month: The Raven (1963) – A Vincent Price classic. Hokey but perfectly Halloweeny, and containing one of the funniest spooky scenes in cinematic history: a magic duel between Price and Boris Karloff (not in a monster role) from thrones. It has to be seen to be believed. ᇫᇫᇫᇫ The Babadook (2014) – Creepy, a bit dystopic, that feeling of losing…

  • Summer

    the difficulty of switching gears

    the other day i was running a few errands. picking up some brewing equipment (for what hopefully will be my new everlasting supply of kombucha), stopped at the shopping center to pick up some bottles, then headed back home. a few blocks from my door, we came across a new little hole-in-the-wall greengrocer’s and i stopped in and got to chatting with the new owner who had just moved her shop in while i was in the states. she was so welcoming and gregarious, it just made me happy introducing myself to another friendly face in the neighborhood! it couldn’t have come on a more perfect day when i felt…

  • Summer

    april, lately

    i’m writing this from a place of calm. something about the weather lately, maybe. every day, noticing new buds, green leaves unfurling, cherry blossoms starting to make themselves known. or possibly it’s because these april weeks have felt really nice and slow – it’s that strange and unexplainable cancellation time of year that many language teachers seem to be feeling right now. life is starting to feel lighter again. it has meant a lot more leisurely time spent with a nose in the book on cushy sofas, hiding under blankets, nestled between pillows. i’ve been reading michelle obama’s ’becoming’ (after being on the library wait list for months) and the…

  • Summer

    7 things to do when you REALLY miss a place

    i am an expert place-misser and i know many of you can relate! you go around the world and leave your heart in so many places, with many people, and then go back to where you live and just sort of slump around for awhile in those periods of heavy homesickness. and hey, homesickness isn’t just for your hometown. travelers, wanderers and expats all know that the concept of home is a tad bit more complicated than that. without a doubt, i believe it can be for another place where you leave your heart and it hurts not to be there sometimes… especially when you’re fresh from a trip to that place.…

  • Summer

    on getting lost

    yesterday morning i was waiting for a bus when i noticed two very small children (the oldest couldn’t have been older than seven) get off another bus that had just pulled off and walk past me. my “morning thoughts” brain just took it and ran. things like, “wow! i can’t believe they are so young and traveling across town to school by themselves!” you don’t really see that in america. it got me thinking of when i was a wee lass and one day, had to ride the school bus to the next elementary school, get off, and walk to the middle school for a pottery class. this walk couldn’t…

  • Summer

    running down a dream

    now we’re fully into june! but here’s a little ol’ post i wrote about the beautiful month of may.  from the very first day of the month spent with our lovely neighbors and friends at at our garden party, to the middle very high highs and low lows, to the last day of the month where i rose much too early after five hours of sleep from an all out rock party the night before to cook breakfast for our visiting family from chicago before sending them on their way to ljubljana to finish off their european tour… then crawling back into bed and getting a few more hours rest…

  • Summer

    the place i can’t get out of my head

    i don’t know where my obsession with iceland came from… because it is an obsession, full-blown. maybe it was in college at some point when an acquaintance of mine did a one month seminar in reykjavik in the mid-aughts. it was the first time i had ever heard of someone going to reykjavik, besides that one time the mighty ducks went there to play the “evil icelanders” in D2: the mighty ducks. but i digress. i became quickly enchanted with even the idea of visiting this island that met all of my criteria for a fascination: isolated. island. big enough, but not too big. a mysterious history steeped in myth.…

  • Summer

    march friday things

    hi guys, time for a friday things-style post. i don’t know if it is just that winter has gone on for what feels like unbelievably too long, or if it’s so so close to spring break, but i’m just not having it lately, guys. it’s hard to summon up the ire for my work, i need way too much coffee, and my enthusiasm is starting to wane. (alex and i have a joke that whenever one of us uses the the word ‘wane’, the other person has to say, in a garth algar voice, “waaaaayyyyne?” because this is who we are. alas, it’s one more week ’til our prazdniny (holiday)…

  • Summer

    in the bleak mid-winter

    fair warning: this is not exactly a “feel good” holiday post, but one full of “living life vibes”. this year has been one i will remember. mostly for good reasons, but it’s been a sad past week. this was the year that i went to my first czech wedding (reception), first celebration of new babies that were born, and sadly, also my first czech funeral. (hopefully my last, but you never can be sure). what i think it means is that i am living life. life is happening right now. i celebrated new life, i celebrated the joining of two lives, and mourned the loss of a friend and student of mine.…