Wednesday, July 31, 2013

9 things I'm still not completely used to

I should note that half of these still-strange-to-me things have to do with driving, and I've only been driving here for a few weeks.

Other than that I've lived here coming on 9 months.

(Doesn't anything that lasts 9 months make you think of having a baby?)

Well I'm not having a baby, but I am surprised at what still surprises me here in good ol US of A:

1) Turning right at red robots.

I often forget that this is allowed when safe to do so. Thankfully Spokane drivers don't honk, they are the politest drivers I've ever driven amongst. So sorry about that guys, I'm working on it.

2) Still not calling robots "traffic lights" like the rest of the normal English speaking world.

3) When people say 'rufff' instead of 'roof'

It makes me giggle every single time, it honestly sounds like a cute puppy barking. In my defense my accent is the odd one out around here, so I get to laugh in your face on the inside.

4) How blue-sky, short-shorts, forever-days, melt-my-ice-cream, sexy-yummy-hot the Spokane summer has been.

I think about this everyday. I love it, can you tell?

5) Putting our automatic car in 'park'.  I forget.

At least I'm walking to the right side of the car 8/9 times as opposed to the 3/9 times of earlier months.

6) Just how much I miss my friends and family still.

It's a crazy amount of a lot.

...sniff, sulk, throws self on floor like a Disney princess and sobs for 3 minutes.

I'm okay, moving on.

7) That leaving my handbag or cell on the passenger seat (for everybody to see), isn't the dumbest thing I've ever done.

I've not heard of one smash-and-grab incident here.

8) Speaking of that... The fact that walls (never mind electrical fencing and spikes) are not a thing here.

I still can't help looking into people's yard and front windows to see what they have, just because I can! So again, Spokane guys, sorry, that creeper is me. (but seriously, hang a curtain, that Mac computer on display is making me nervous)

9) How expensive it is to get to South Africa.

It's literally on the other side of the planet. Why! 

I'll check in with you guys again in a few months, see how my progress is going. Talk about rufffs and traffic lights and such, okay? 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Powwow in the Northwest

Saturday was a particularly cloudless summer late July day. We arrived early at what's normally a dog raising track in Post Falls, ID. The venue itself was the perfect canvas in it's plainness to showcase  the intensity of color waiting to be displayed via outfits, horses and music. 
I liked hearing the hand drum groups doing their first round after navigating a bizarre maze of little shops, from the inside entrance to the outside stadium. Some selling handmade moccasins, other tye-dye hippie girl dresses, the kind you see everywhere. Waiting for the action to start we made our way up the bleachers, still with hand drum groups performing. By action I mean the horse parade contest and grand entry. The 40 minute anticipation was well worth the wait, and filled with wandering eyes over crowds. Observing fellow observers and listing to the cling cling cling of sometimes sparkly traditional dress making their way through the crowds, to some starting and viewing point I imagine.
I didn't know what to expect. I've heard the word powwow for sure but didn't know it meant, in basic terms, the gathering of Native American people. From what I understand the main event at the Julyamsh Powwow was the dancing, I've never witnessed anything like it.  There was generosity  about the few hours I had to observe the powwow. I felt a sincere thankfulness and a desire to learn more. I'm somewhat of a history nerd and the idea of this free time study thrills me more than is cool to admit.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Thursday distraction

Lately, I've been particularly easy to lead astray down the never ending path of distraction. Is it a combination of working from home and far off deadlines and the call of hot sexy weather outside? I'm not sure. What I do know is this; I've not felt this inspired to create in a while, so I'm going to go with that. I have dreams of getting a real grown up design here on Lanlettie (like dem real blogger ladies), studying community college courses, spending the day with my camera in Manito park, scrap booking(??!!?) or life journaling as the cool girls call it these days.  My thoughts seem more scattered and more far off than usual but it's as if the silent pull of where these thoughts go are creatively ordering themselves into a line... or a sentence. The kind of sentence that is easy to understand, a command to the next new, if that makes sense?

On that note, here are some of my distractors:  (firefox says that's not a word)

I love this post on African blog, Bright Continent, I like just about every post on that site, here 'The Others'. My imagination went wild.

Next time you need to be fancy and impressive as the entertainment diva you are, try making this homemade Roasted Tomato and Almond Dip. It's so easy and delicious!

I want most of these posters! Especially the Moonrise Kingdom ones.

I started having day dreams of us owning a cute little vintage trailer since our weekend camping trip. This post on a Beautiful Mess did not help such longings. I think we should buy this one and make it pretty.  Too many reasons why I'm thinking about it so much: I grew up camping in caravans with my family, I love the creative challenge of making something old into something new and pretty, we love camping, Amanda got me started on Craigslist. Pinterest search function.... dramatic sigh.


Still loving the 'Motherhood around the world' feature on Cup of Jo. This week is about parenting in Japan.  I love this series because it's got me wondering about what I'll find different once the babies show up.  Being raised the good ol fashioned Afrikaans way I wonder if I'll think American ways are weird. I guess I think that already...

Does floral art make you as happy as it does me? If so, go here now.

I leave you with this thought.

  Now let's all be ridiculously productive!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The North Cascades. In photos and figures

Summer is summering it's glorious heights around here and nothing could make me happier. I'm content in heat, it's my favorite. All the other seasons require my sales skills at best to convince summer me that it's all part of loving the change from one to the next. However, here I am in it and I want to take it in and love on all things hot.

You know what I love about summer? (Other than everything)

Roadtrips! When a roadtrip involves camping and when a little camping involves a a little hiking. All the things!

Last weekend we went wild for the North Cascades National Park. We camped, we hiked, we thought about how happy this makes us.

Here is that weekend in numbers:

3: The number of campsites still open when we arrived at Colonial Creek Campground sites at 5pm Friday afternoon

+150: Campsites on a first come first serve basis.

7: The amount of backup campgrounds Ben had written down for in case. 

12: USD per night, per campsite.

18: The amount of times we said how relieved we were that we landed the camp site we did.

5: The amount of hours spent driving from Spokane.

2: The amount of confused deer prancing around the busy roads.

8: How many times we made fun of Winthrop

7: Miles,  the hike we took on that Saturday.

12: That hike in kilometers.

0.5: Miles up in elevation

6: The amount of times we said: "Easy Pass Trailhead should be called 'Challenging-not-so-easy-but-worth-it Pass Trailhead"

2845: Mentioning to each other that this is breathtaking.

3: Marmots spotted.

0: Bears, mountain lions and Big Foot spotted.

1: Dr. Seuss flowers spotted.

1 044 839: Bugs on the hike.

1: Cliff bar consumed.

76: The amount of times we talked about how that was possibly the most beautiful hike we had ever completed.

30: USD for a year long Northwest Forest pass.

5: USD for a day pass, per car.

6: Time re-applied sunscreen.

132: The surprising low amount of photos I took

89: The photos I took of me following Ben.

3: Days after the hike and my body is still injured.

11: The time of night the campsite starts to quite down.

13: Our estimate of free range children running around, possibly starring in Lord of the Flies 2.

21: My mosquito bites.

0: Ben's mosquito bites.

1 00 000: The times I will happily go back to the North Cascades.

2: Times per day I need to remind myself that I actually live in Washington and I'm not just a tourist anymore.

You guys! This is like my backyard now.

All: The amount of friends and family I hope to lure in to coming to visit me by these seductive nature photos.

 If you were wondering... The glaciers in the surrounding high country slowly wear down the mountains, the grinding of rock against rock produces a fine silt that meltwater streams carry into the lake below. This 'rock flour' if you will, reacts with light and gives the lake this amazing color.
I like being useful around here.

I'm going to copy the lovely Text Sketches with her great idea of linking up to  Found love. Now what for her brilliant  Travel Tuesday link up idea. I don't know about you, but I can spend all day dreaming, reading, planning, envying any form of a travel story. So come check it out with me.

Found Love. Now What?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy 95th Birthday Madiba

This is one of my favorite quotes:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others

image source here

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer Winter

Same place, different seasons.
Little did I know that when I was here over a year ago that I'd soon get engaged to my best friend (that same trip in NYC), move to the Northwest USA and eventually bring my parents here in glorious summer time. Isn't life just the grandest/strangest?  The seasons have been good to me.

My photography is improving, no?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Tuesday Distraction

See, told I'll be back and here I am. Slightly tripping on cold meds still, but hey, let's see where that takes us.

Here are a few things that have caught my attention lately, for your distraction satisfaction:

Oh, first, remember how I said making this lemon drizzle cake was a priority? Of course you do. Anyway, I made it and it was amazing, might be one of my favorite recipes to date. Try it!

This piece on 10 surprising things about parenting in Norway is fascinating. Even if parenting isn't your jam right now it's still interesting to be offered this peek into 'the Norwegian way'.

The Everywhereist writes a totally unhelpful guide to the Eiffel tower. Confusing your cliche landmark photo poses made me laugh out loud.

The trailer for 'Long walk to Freedom'. Even the 1 minute trailer made me teary, can't wait to watch the movie. Have you read the book?

Speaking of, Mandela day is coming up and I'm wondering what I can do in Spokane this Thursday for 67 minutes. Any suggestions?

These bathing suites are on the want list.

Appreciating the discovery of this encouraging and uplifting blog.

Totally loved this post by Chestnut Mocha on being a foreigner in a smaller town USA. We have so much in common it's crazy so I found her piece especially easy to relate to.

The crafty housewife in me is itching to make this Hexagon Patchwork Quilt.

I'm not a fan of the 'selfie', even the word 'selfie' makes me cringe but I like the reasoning behind the 30 Day self portrait challenge as posted by those lovely Beautiful mess girls. I'm going to give it a try, you can follow and laugh at me @lanlettie

I love Text Sketches' posts on fantastic places to visit in Southern Africa. This post on Knysna made me a little heartsick for my beautiful country, also spent part of our honeymoon there which makes this post extra lovely to look at.

Totally agree with Willful/Joyful on this garden philosophy.

Based on how many attempts it just took me to spell philosophy correct I think it's time to call it a day and go overdose on Vit C. Have the best of days friends