• Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Film,  Language Learning,  Lifestyle,  Winter

    My Winter Joys, Goals, & Other Things

    How’s that for a title after that last post? Thank you for your nice words and reaching out; I’m feeling a bit better these days. The photo taken above was at our annual half-term cafe day at the mid-point of the school year, this time taking place on a bench in my favorite square. I like this photo because even though I wasn’t doing well, I wasn’t going to not participate in this annual tradition – you’d have to drag me away. It seems somehow hopeful. Typically I really like January (and this one has been lovely!), and even though it hasn’t been easy, I can’t but help still feeling…

  • Thoughts,  Winter

    One Foot in Front of the Other

    One foot in front of the other, I tell myself, as I trudge to where I need to be. Trudge trudge, trudge trudge. Things are going slower than normal on this very routine walk, in a straight line directly from the north to south of the city. I brought headphones to listen to a podcast, but I decide not to listen to anything. Listening to two people chatting obliviously would be far more painful than the silence of this moment. My mind is a blank. A freshly-painted white wall. No thoughts contained within. I feel odd for not having any. Shouldn’t I have some? I look at the recently fallen…

  • Herbalism,  Lifestyle,  Recipe,  Winter

    Recipe: Chaga Masala Chai Tea

    This past December I was all about ‘dat chai. I was constantly cooking up batches of this delicious, spicy and warming masala chai to enjoy in the evenings mostly, but even in the day time as an alternative to coffee. See… here’s the sad news. I had recently come to the realization that coffee is no friend to me. Maybe one of those frenemies, but not a true friend. I had also been doing a lot of research about healing my hormones and found that I ought to drastically reduce both coffee and processed soy consumption. I’m more of a black tea person anyway, so this wasn’t the worst news,…

  • Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Winter,  Yearly Recap

    Year of Life & Travels: 2020

    We made it! And yes, even 2020 is going to get a recap post! I love these sorts of posts and catching up with what people were up to this year, so here we are. They’re also really wonderful to look back on and see the year as a whole. I know a lot of people choose a word of the year before the year even gets going, but as I do my year-end reflections on the last few days remaining, the word to define the year that was always comes to me. This year would be adapt, of course. And now, a run-down of the year that was… Ah,…

  • Christmas,  Daily Life,  Thoughts,  Winter

    Grieving/Healing

    Perhaps it’s yesterday’s full moon bringing all of these ripe feelings to the surface, but the turn towards Advent time hasn’t been an easy one this year – an odd, uncomfortable feeling towards something that has always felt warm, comforting and joyful. I am still grieving and feeling so many heavy things, mostly a bit different of what I choose to show on the outside, but today, the first of December, I can feel the healing begin. I woke up and tiptoed to the kitchen where I saw a marvelous pink and purple sunrise, welcoming in this new month. As I went out with the dog, the sky was doing…

  • Summer

    at winter’s end

    maybe this is far too optimistic for me to state at the beginning of march – this time last year when the ponds and rivers were frozen over – but the forecast here in the czech republic now seems firmly rooted in comfortable temperatures… dare i say it, springy? march has never been an easy month for me, but i actually see spring is on its way. 17°C (or warmer!) days becoming more frequent, wearing the shoulder season jackets in favor of the big bulky winter coats, sunglasses, drinking a cappuccino outside … i can feel it! although winter has treated me very well this year. it was one of…

  • Summer

    february city hangs | prague & linz

    it’s been such a great month so far! i thought january was good, but february seems even better and the fact that we just had our semester break and i enjoyed most of a week off work was just the thing. i was thinking i’d head to prague on sunday, the second day of the month, until  there was a “severe snow advisory” (??!) warning and decided not to mess with that. (besides, a friend of mine had to spend the night on a train last autumn when she insisted on traveling in heavy winds! trains + inclement weather = not going there) instead we went on monday when there was…

  • Summer

    january lately

    ah january, time to hunker down with a candle, cup of tea a stack of books and your favorite tv shows and films. or my favorite winter activity: i call it the ‘read-nap-read’ (or “the reading nap”) on a cold sunday afternoon with falling snowflakes outside the window. it’s typically hard to grant myself time to do those things, but winter does give me permission! what have you been enjoying? i’m making my way slowly through a little life (and all of its seven hundred something pages) as well as chunks of other books also on my nightstand.  i’ve also been watching a bit of ally mcbeal season 4 (the…

  • Summer

    nyepi: a quiet new year

    while i was at iceland airwaves, i managed to catch ólafur arnalds’ much-buzzed-about set on the first day at kex hostel in reykjavik, and he played a beautiful song called nyepi. while i enjoyed the song, the message behind it made much more of an impression on me: nyepi is the balinese new year’s “day of silence”. (have you heard of it?) arnalds explained that he lives there much of the year and had recently participated in this day of silence in which the city actually turns off the internet, no electricity is used, no travelling is permitted, no work, nor music or loud noises, and people generally just sit…

  • Summer

    a simpler sort of christmas

    hello all, i hope you have  had a magical christmas wherever in the world you celebrated it, if you are in fact celebrating, that is. once again, we had a truly czech christmas here in budejovice. normally we get almost two full weeks of holiday for christmas, and we opted to stay put this year mostly because 1) iceland, which i felt was almost like a christmas in and of itself, but also 2) our visa issues (from receiving it to reapplying for our next) making us a bit lighter in the wallet this time of year. but no matter, we had decided to fully embrace a simpler sort of…