Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Howdy Scotland!!!!

Scotland. Of all the places to vacation, why would anyone choose SCOTLAND?! I mean really, what's there... nothing but big mountains, so many lakes, old buildings, and people who talk without filters.

Wait, I forgot to use adjectives. big BEAUTIFUL mountains, so many AMAZING lakes...

I also forgot some nouns... Castles, Islands, Forests, Modern Cities, Great Performing Arts, and my favorite: People who love the earth, and are not afraid to use strong "adjectives" to say so.

I am Texan. My husband has Texas roots so far back they seem to have grown through the earth and surfaced in Scotland. He HATES traveling, but he found himself drawn to Scotland after watching several shows and films made there. We love the Monty Python series, and Outlander of course.

He once asked me "Is it really that beautiful there?" "Let's go find out!" We have made our first of many trips there, falling in love with the place immediately.

Texas and Scotland are a lot alike. Both fiercely independent states of a larger country that "absorbed" them, both fighting for that lost independence. Both have cultures that respect nature, where ranching and farming are essential to the economic growth, & grand landscapes that take the traveler from mountain to coast stopping in amazing modern cities on the way.

We stayed in a small village pub with rooms to rent, a large all-inclusive hotel, and an inner city apartment. We loved them all, but our son loved the small pub house best. He said it was like staying at the Prancing Pony in Lord of the Rings! I loved my Highlander Coffee!

Our stay took us from Loch Ard to Edinburgh. We rented a car and loved the freedom of the drive! We visited three castles, explored the forests, shopped in the city, and relaxed in pubs. One of my favorite things is where old meets new.

My husband found his football number!
 
And blue doors. They have blue doors. I knew I'd love this place!


SO, where to next? The Highlands? The east coast full of castles, or the west coast and all those beautiful islands? So much to choose from!!! My husband actually suggested we get a summer home there! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

That One Person

Wow. Here I go again, saying the same thing I've said too many times before: It's been over a year since I've written in my blog. Over two this time! I did NOT see that happening! Where did it go?! So now here I sit, finally having time and energy to write. The question is WHAT to write. I mean, why do people even blog (or vlog) in the first place? It feels a bit narcissistic when I'm writing about me, at no one's request, for the world to see. Then I remember that one person who lost a child and needs some support (been there twice), or that one person who just started teaching and really needs some good classroom tips (been doing it for 30 years), or that one person who loves travel stories because travel is not an option, or that one person who loves photography, or scrapbooking, or quilting, or costume design...

photo credit: Wren Weichman

It's all about THAT ONE PERSON who somehow finds their way through a myriad of personally opinionated bloggers and lands on mine because I hit a tender spot in a heart that needs my specific words. For whatever reason.

One person. It can start an avalanche of recovery, revelation, or maybe just a much needed rest from an otherwise chaotic day.

Sometimes I am that one person. Sometimes I just need myself to stop and listen to what I have to say to me. Or maybe I'm just clearing my head. Whatever the reason, I often feel pulled to my blog, like others are pulled to the beach or the mountains. It clears my head and helps me feel a bit more fulfilled. So why have I been ignoring it for TWO YEARS????

Life. It sweeps us up and carries us away while we are still looking back and reaching for that which we might never have, nor should we. It's what happens while we are pursuing what we THINK is our life, but actually, our lives are what happens while we live each day, each moment, each breath.


I am blessed enough that I will be able to retire from teaching and work from home while getting my son through the last 6 years of school. I love my job, it's been amazing, but I love my son more. My job isn't a typical teaching job. I teach high school theatre. I work long hours on my feet building sets, hanging lights, sewing costumes, coaching actors, and producing plays that cost thousands of dollars. I teach teenagers how to have successful lives in whatever they pursue. My body is tired, it needs a more gentle life. Thank God (and her team) for giving me additional skills to supplement my retirement income at such a young age. ...and yes, 54 at retirement is young, I know. Like I said, I have been blessed.


There are so many people out there far better at my skills than I, working as hard or harder, and just as connected, but their lives don't have the blessings that I have had. Maybe, just maybe, something I say in my blog will find its way to THAT ONE PERSON who needs my words. ...and maybe that one person is me. Reminding myself that I am loved. I am strong. I am smart.

So, as I approach the last year working at my theater, and I begin looking ahead to my next stage of life, making plans and rebuilding my efforts as a photographer and private acting coach, I will be getting back to my blog so I can keep myself in check while hopefully giving a little something to that one person who needs it.

Thank you for visiting, reading, and commenting. I hope you return. Spread the word, share the love.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Pieces of the Puzzle: Part 3, A Wedding

In August I took my son with me to our nephew's wedding in Oregon. We went to Washington for a few days first, then off to Oregon and a really cool winery to see Wren marry his love, Jenna. Weddings are so beautiful, and the joy in the faces of these two says it all. Gotta love love!

The moms...

The dads...

Me with my travel buddy...

Wren is a special effects creator and this is a re-enactment of a scene from a video he did... great idea to personalize the photo shoot with his groomsmen, who also work with him. Check out their work on You Tube here and here.


The cake...

The bride... 

 The groom...

 The girls...

The vows... Jenna's mom officiated her own daughter's wedding! SO cool!

 The kiss...

 The joy...

 The vineyard...

 The goofballs...

 The flowers...

 The cake? ...or a stolen kiss...

 Oops, need a new knife to cut for the guests!

 The dance...

 ...and the PAR-TAY, BAY-BAY!

So as the pieces of the puzzle to my life fall into place, I hold this past summer dear to my heart as I got to travel, create new memories while healing from the old, and spend precious time with the people who mean the most to me. I have no idea how the puzzle will look when it's all done, years from now I hope, but these images will stand out as my best memories of 2014.  

None of us ever know what we are going to be faced with, but we do know what makes us happy and who brings us joy. Those are the moments that will hold the puzzle together to create an amazing image of our lives. The more pieces to put in the puzzle just means a bigger image in the end.