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Friday, May 31, 2013

May Days

May has always been a good month for me. So many great things have happened to me in May. I stopped to reflect on this earlier in the month and I realized just how awesome this month has been historically:

1. I found out I was accepted to my first choice law school in May (2002).

2. I took my very first trip to Cozumel in May (2004).

3. I found out I passed the bar exam on the first try in May (2005).

4. I graduated law school in May. (2005).

5. I graduated with my M.A. in May (2011).

6. I took my second trip to Cozumel in May (2011).

7. My wonderful, amazing, incredible boyfriend has arrived from Germany to visit me! (2013). 

I am so excited to have Thomas here with me! I picked him up from the airport this afternoon and took him to Golden Corral for his very first dinner in Texas. He has been to America before, but never to Texas, and his last trip to the states was over 15 years ago. We have some great things planned, but for now my sweet, wonderful, love of my life is sleeping. He's been up for over 24 hours now with the travel time to the airport in Germany and the flight itself. 

I know from my own trips to Germany that a good night's rest on the first evening can really help the jet lag. So tomorrow he will be feeling better. Our first full day will be an easy one. We're going food shopping and we may lay out by the pool at the apartment. Nothing major planned, but we do have some fun things coming up so stay tuned!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cheerio!

I always thought I should have been British. I was born in Germany to American parents, but I've always felt a connection with all things British. I love rainy days, I love the accents, I love tea. I've never been a coffee drinker, it's always been tea. I adore mysteries, Agatha Christie topping the list, and I love British literature (hello there, Charles Dickens).

Recently, I've started watching some British television shows on Netflix and they are so great, I have to share.

The first series I watched was Doc Martin. The show centers around a top-notch London surgeon who develops hemophobia, a fear of blood. He retreats to Port Wenn, a tiny village in Cornwall where he becomes the General Practitioner (GP) for the little town, which is plagued by all manner of viruses, bacteria, and odd diseases. It's also plagued by all manner of interesting characters.

Doc Martin is a fish out of water in the fishing village, with his brusque and rude attitude. And yet, the town
comes to like, if not love, the GP who seems able to diagnose any disease on the spot and fix any and all maladies. The Doc takes a liking to Louisa Glasson, the resident girl next door and head teacher of the primary school in Port Wenn. Their relationship is fraught with more peril than seems possible, mostly due to the Doc's inability to express his true feelings.

The show is fantastic and just one of those fun mixes of lighthearted humor and serious storylines. Definitely worth watching! The first five seasons are on Netflix with the sixth slated to premiere in Fall 2013.

The second show I started watching this weekend is Call the Midwife. Based on the life of Jennifer Worth, a London nurse and midwife in the late 1950s, this series follows four nurse/midwives and the nuns they board with. The nuns are also midwives and nurses and the convent is located in London's East End, in a city called Poplar. The city is very poor and the nurse/midwives serve the people of the city who otherwise could not access medical care.

This show will make you laugh, cry, and realize that life is truly a gift. The nurse/midwives help bring people into this world, ease them out of it, and take care of all the needs of life between birth and death. These women worked behind the scenes, making life just that little bit easier for those around them. When the hospital was too far, when the night was long, they labored along with their patients, helping to bring new life into the world and easing the departure out of it.

And the patients were heroes too - women living in the poorest of conditions who soldiered on, raising their children, who sometimes numbered into the 20s because birth control was not yet invented, condoms being the only option with the women at the mercy of men who refused to wear them. And yet...they kept on going, making the best life for themselves and their families in sometimes deplorable conditions.

This series shows us that our preconceptions about the poor are really misconceptions in a lot of cases, that love is not an easy concept to understand or to live, and that life is never black and white. The rules are not simple, life is not simple, but if you have your health and you have someone there for you to hold your hand when you come into this world and when you leave it, you are truly blessed. And that is what these nurse/midwives did for their fellow human beings - they were there. And that is a true gift.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Musings

1. Sometimes I get mail for people who lived in my apartment before me and I wonder what their lives are like, where they are now and so on. 

2. There is something very comforting about the fact that my precious dog likes to sleep so close to me. Before lights out, she's usually on the bed with me, but when the light goes out, she snuggles as close as she can. It's very sweet and I feel so loved!

3. Today, I finally dumped five frozen dinners I had in the refrigerator. I don't like three of them and the other two have been in there forever. I feel bad when I do that because it's a waste of money, but at the same time I feel good because I'm letting it go and then I have room in there for the stuff I really will eat.

4. Frozen green grapes are awesome! I buy the grapes and freeze them overnight. Perfect snack for the hot days that are soon to come in Houston. Do not do this with the purple grapes though. They are not good frozen.

5. There is something very satisfying about getting small things done like finally sifting through all the paperwork that piles up on the nightstand or folding a load of laundry that has been sitting there for a couple of days.

6. Sometimes I miss the days when we didn't have Internet (or cell phones) and we were forced to go outside, ride bikes, go to the library to check out books (as opposed to downloading them) and so on. I love the Internet, don't get me wrong, but I do yearn for the days when you didn't spend half your time at a restaurant having to listen to someone on the cell phone. I also miss the days when you went to a party and actually interacted with people instead of seeing them on their phones "checking in" on Facebook. I think we've lost a lot with the advent of technology sometimes.

7. There's a real beauty in letting go of things and accepting them as they are. So many people get riled up and wonder why such and such a person won't do this or that or whatever. You know what? For better or for worse, they are who they are. If it bothers you, stop interacting with them and definitely stop expecting them to do whatever it is you want them to do. History shows it's not going to happen. Move on and make peace with it.

8. I totally stole this musings idea from Karen over at A Peek at Karen's World. Go read her blog. It's worth it!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

VOTE TODAY PLEASE!!!

Kimberly with one of her creations.
She's an artist folks!!
Short and sweet (in more ways than one). I am asking all of you to vote for my friend, Kimberly, in this small business contest. Voting is easy - no sign-up involved, no personal information, it's literally one click and done. 

You can vote from multiple devices every day. There are only two days left so please vote and please ask your friends to do so. 

About Kimberly, which you can also read on the voting page:

"I own a small bakery. At first, it was just for fun and "play" money. Well, my husband was recently diagnosed with Neurosarcoidosis at the age of 39. He is now paralyzed and blind. He was also a small business owner and we lost the business due to his illness. He is living in a rehab/nursing home trying to get more function back. I am the "family" breadwinner now. I would love more marketing material as well as more equipment. I have never advertised yet stay very busy. It would be nice to hire some help as well as have more pans, mixers, and other baking supplies."



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Viva La Fiesta - Photo Edition!

The fish protecting The Alamo

Flowers at The Alamo

Dad at an Alamo Memorial

Flags at the Fiesta Gartenfest

Dad under the archway of Market Square

One of the floats we saw in the street heading for the parade

Dad and Peanut in front of the Brackenridge Eagle train

Brackenridge Park river.

The family at Brackenridge Park

Entrance to the Japanese Tea Garden

Waterfalls at the Japanese Tea Garden

Beautiful flowers in front of the Japanese Tea Garden