Monday, September 17, 2007

born into brothels

recently we watched Born into Brothels, a more than touching film about a british-born photographer who immersed herself in the lives of children from the red light district of Sonagachi in Calcutta. moving to say the least, she equips the children with cameras as she teaches them the art of photography in the impoverished neighborhood they live in. what becomes remarkable is how with the camera in their hands, they gain a new vigor for life as they photograph their surroundings. what they photograph ultimately becomes the story of their life. as they gain hope through their art work they desire more and more to leave the brothels for a better life. what becomes immensely beautiful about the documentary is how their art work not only touches people all over the world but brings a type of beauty to the extreme poverty they live in where hope is hard to grasp.

a wonderful documentary and makes me want to return to india soon!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hi from Newberg

Hi all, I'm here in newberg visiting fam...

Saturday, June 2, 2007

uyuni and beyond...

now here's a great memory of A and i in bolivia. the setting: the little town of uyuni where the temperature was 14F. walking around in the cold at night and heading to bed at the insane hour of 7 p.m.!

rain and more rain...

i'm sure my reader audience has not missed my absence from blogging! it has been over three months since i last wrote and a lot of changes have occurred.

today is an appropriate day for blogging since as i look out our large living room windows i see a torrential downpour. no morning run this morning. about a month ago the locals told us the mosquitoes get to the point of being insanely annoying. that time has come. upon waking up at 6 a.m. to take the pooch outside to do his business i realize it is pouring down rain and it will not let up in the next minute or two to save my messy morning hairdo. i grab the one umbrella in the house, slip into john's running shoes and my rain jacket and take the pooch out. i'm sure i looked quite hilarious because of the fact i had to jump around to keep the mosquitoes from biting my legs, as i had on shorts. plus, keep the umbrella over the pooch and keep myself dry. i came back inside with a soaking wet pooch and 20 bonus mosquito bites!
on another note, J's garden is thriving and we ate our first cherry tomatoes this week!

Friday, March 2, 2007

"West Bank Story"

this ought to be a good laugh! a review to come soon...

il qahira...

this picture reminds me so much of my time in egypt. one of my friends lived in a poor section of town and i would visit her and her family from time to time. i loved going to her neighborhood since there was so much visual stimuli. i would always pick up my vegetables and cheese here since they were fresher than close to where i lived. at night it was even more chaotic with the good and the bad smells, insane traffic, tons of people, and more. you have to love it!

Friday, January 26, 2007


we have had Pabu one week now and he is doing so well! he does lots of little naps and here he is taking a snooze with a stuffed dog that i think reminds him of his mother. we also realized J and Pabu share the same birthday!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Happy Birthday To You!

one of the best trips i have ever taken was with my sis A to Thailand. what wonderful memories...
eating fresh oysters, bushwhacking our way to a deserted beach, loads of sun, kayaking, elephant rides, hiking, u-ing, orchid farms, long talks, crazy bus ride stories, Patpong at 2 a.m., more long talks, lots of laughing, snorkling, eating tons of Italian food, Ko Phi Phi, the ATM incident, talking about OJ, buying pearls, Suk 11, to bed at 3 a.m., kickin' new years party, Abercrombie skirts, DVDs and the police, temples, the hill tribes, time wasted at the Myanmar embassy, the crazy taxi ride to the bus station, nail biting, custom fit suits, rock climbing, boat rides, and the great companionship of a best friend! I love you A and Happy Birthday to you in Zurich!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

one time tonight...!

waking up 4 times in one night to take Pabu to the bathroom was fine the first night. he is now waking up less and so i am in a deeper sleep, thus making me feel as though i am sleep walking as i take him outside to do his business. i'm finding myself having very active and completely wild dreams. last night one of my wild dreams took place in Bolivia during new years. somehow mom and dad with S were there and were at a full moon rave party dancing with locals. then A and i show up and we're all surprised and happy we somehow managed to all be together on new years eve which hasn't happened since we were in high school. the second part to my dream was A and i trying to set up our tent in the back yard of some random persons mud house during a revolution in Bolivia. could it get any wilder or exciting?! tonight Pabu slept for 6 hours straight! he and J fell asleep on the couch together before we put him to bed. they both fell asleep so fast and a loud thump couldn't have woken the two of them up.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Kareem Raheem/Reuters

"there was never a good war or a bad peace" - B. Franklin

it's hard to know where to go from here when when numbers are at 300,000 for Iraqi casualties and American casualities at over 3,000.

Monday, January 22, 2007

a sweet indulgence...

is he cute or what?! this little boy, now a man, has been wonderful for the past few days with the new addition of Pabu to our family. he has never been a lover of dogs like myself but knew some day we'd have a little pooch running around our home. thank you J for indulging me.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


welcome the newest member of our family! Pabu!

Friday, January 19, 2007


as most of you know, J and I don't have a t.v., therefore we do lots of reading and listening to NPR. i thoroughly enjoy 'This American Life' with host and producer Ira Glass. i believe he started working for public radio when was around 19 years old. the show is so wonderful and every time i hear it i feel as though i am living through the lives of the people who are on the show. on every program they pick a theme and center their pieces around that one theme. this weekend's theme was 'settling the score.' an interesting discovery of a young woman of Polish origin. check it out and enjoy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

i traveled to India this week...

looking at old pictures of my trip to India and Nepal brought back many memories. one of the first phrases i hear in my head when i think of India is, "excuse me miss..." which i always ignored. i did one time give in to this phrase when i heard it from a young sweet looking boy on a rickshaw. before i knew it we were heading down a crowded passageway as he told me his story of learning to paint. we stopped suddenly at a small shop and a man comes out stating he is 'Deepak's' boss and he is excited to show me the young boys art work. as he is raving about the natural talent of this young boy i am thinking of a way to escape. and no, i did not buy Deepak's art work. : )
last week J received one of his text books from Delhi. how strange is that? what a surprise to receive a thick package from overseas with postage from India.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Happy Birthday To You!

today is Dad's birthday! since he and Mom are in south america i had to resort to an e-card with Hoops and Yoyo and these little guys are hilarious. Hallmark carries their e-cards which are quite funny.
a fond memory i have of Dad is watching him shave in the mornings. the earliest memory i have of this is when i was in 3rd grade. he would always shave in the downstairs bathroom which was painted light blue and had white cupboards and shelves. i would sit on the toilet cover and he would talk to me as he shaved. the best part of this event was when he was done he would splash on his aftershave and jokingly dab a bit on me which made me laugh and it always smelled good. now that i am married i find myself sometimes watching J shave in the mornings as we talk. i can still smell the scent of Dad's aftershave lotion after all these years. it's a comforting smell.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


i got this recipe book years ago and it has done it's share of sitting on the shelf. i dusted it off tonight and made 'mushroom-and spinach-stuffed zucchini' which turned out delicious. for those who like a hardy carnivorous meal, you might not be satisfied. : ) the Moosewood Restaurant has been around since 1973 in Ithaca, New York and creates natural health foods that are always scrumptious. i know A would appreciate the dish i made since she loves fresh veggies and has such a wonderful access to them at the large farmers market in Prague. i'm sure she could find superb portabella mushrooms that the recipe calls for. i remember zooming along the country road back to Prague from our jaunt to Poland to pick up polish pottery. all along the road the locals were selling fresh mushrooms, honey and jams fresh from their homes. so check out Moosewood and try out their easy and delicious recipes.

Monday, January 15, 2007

God Grew Tired of Us...

the movie industry in america seems to turn out movies each year that are not satisfying. we rarely rent movies because of such a poor selection of quality films. winning the grand jury prize and the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, the film, 'God Grew Tired of Us' explores the journey of three young men from Sudan who were part of the lost boys. the film documents their passage to america from Kenya and their new lives in a country that is so different from their own. it's exciting to see how one of the men in the film has used his experience to help his own community in sudan. this documentary looks like a must-see film!
i am reminded of the many sudanese refugees i saw in Egypt when i lived there. in 2005 i recall hearing about a refugee sit-in located in a park in Mohandeseen where they were physically forced to leave . what a terrible event. there were a lot of negative feelings naturally towards the Sudanese from Egyptians. i am glad to see there is more of a focus lately on what is happening in sudan and a film can reach many people.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

chicken with plums...
Marjane is at it again. this time she tells the story of her great-uncle who was a well-known Iranian musician; a tar (lute) player. it sounds as though it is more emotional than her other books i have read. i do hope though, that she continues with her signature humor in this book which is seen in her other work such as the Persepolis books which were autobiographical comic books. they were quite humorous and insightful and i learned more about life during the islamic revolution. maybe we should start teaching science and history to kids in school through the use of comic books. what do you think?!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

kiss the llama...

we drove by this image every time we left the island when we lived on whidbey. i always wanted to take a picture of J with it since i always thought the large piece of drift wood sticking out from the ground looked very similar to a llama. the light was right, the colors were right and i quickly told J to pull over and kiss the llama. and he did.

Friday, January 12, 2007

too funny...

i thought i'd post this picture since it was quite enjoyable to see pictures of the Tour Eiffel , the pyramids of Giza, the Colosseum, and various other world sites with the comfort of a View Master on a random street in La Paz, Bolivia. i paid the man about a penny to look into another world through the little red machine! A and i had fun looking at the pictures and taking pictures of others looking through the View Master.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

chicken tagine with lemon and olives

anyone who knows me well can quickly agree that i love salty foods. j is very healthy in what he eats although he has surprised me in a few foods that do not fall into the "healthy" category. he has gotten me into eating tatter tots which i always thought were incredibly gross. he does have a knack for making them crispy all around. definitely not like the kind we all saw on Napoleon Dynamite. another item we eat from time to time is SPAM. i know, another one of those incredibly gross sounding foods but again J knows just how to cook SPAM. i'm not much of a cook but i do love looking at recipe books with pictures and cooking magazines are the best. but please don't ask me to cook anything from them. i'm just a browser of recipes, not a cook. i did though try out the recipe from Cooking Light which was the chicken tagine. the turmeric gave it a wonderful color and the fresh grated lemon rind gave it a nice zing. throw on some cilantro at the end and it is an incredibly easy recipe. something even i can deal with in my lazy cooking style.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

very important to get for the pooch...

several weekends ago we drove down to Amelia Island in the late afternoon and it was a gorgeous evening. what a quaint little town filled with enticing shops and little bistros. we went to a little hole-in-the-wall where i shockingly ordered a hamburger which was delicious with organic greens. we also ordered the brie filled with walnuts and honey and baked along with wonderful bread. J decided on the grouper sandwich since he usually gets this at the club house and his looked fantastic. wonderfully fresh food, delicious conversation and a stroll at night as we poked our heads into shops was very enjoyable. i found this very cute Dog Owner's Maintenance log which i thought so appropriate for our new pooch! they also had a Dog Owner's Manual which was hilarious to look at. for example it gave a four sequence set of pictures to show how to put your dog's leash on. the graphics are what drew me to the book. who cares if i "need" a maintenance log! i'm a sucker for anything that looks aesthetically pleasing!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

from Norfolk to D.C. & Annapolis and back again...

going to the Naval Academy with J was a lot of fun last month. hearing about his adventures and pranks was great and Annapolis was really such a lovely city. meeting old friends, church in the beautiful chapel, sail boats in the harbor, blue sky, quaint shops, and midshipmen in their uniforms all gave me a better idea of J's four years there. and afterwards we drove back to D.C. to go to IKEA! here you can see a picture of some of the stained glass in the chapel which was so beautiful.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

the Pooch...

on saturday we went to visit the lhasa apso puppy we will possibly get. we went to savannah and it was a gorgeously sunny day. the mother and father were well tempered and the puppies were so cute, healthy and well socialized. so the new addition to our family will maybe be with us in a week! what fun to start planning for this new bundle of energy to come to our home. i have been reading about the Dog Whisperer and we are ready to throw ourselves into being the leader of the pack! we still haven't thought of a name so please leave a comment below if you have any good ideas for a name for a little boy!

Happy Birthday To You!

Today is S's birthday! she has always been very artistic and J & i were fortunate to obtain some of her art work which we think fits very nice into our home, as you can see. thank you S! one fond memory i have of my big sis S is her making me my very first stamp album. i think i was in first grade. her friend D had a stamp collection and so did she so i wanted to join in the fun. D thought i was too young for a stamp collection but S let me secretly join in on her stamp collecting adventure and away i went with my own album, made out of bright yellow construction paper with a picture of a stamp drawn on the front. S has always been creative and artistic! thanks for my first stamp album S! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, January 4, 2007


i have been doing quite a bit of research lately on adopting a dog in the near future. two breeds we are looking at are the Shih-tzu and Lhasa Apso. two very cute breeds of dogs, well mannered and seem to be quite hypo-allergenic which fits for my husband. it is a bit daunting though the vast amount of information on the internet. we are heading to savannah this weekend to check out a Lhasa Apso puppy. i am so excited!

as seen here, Kieka was a very cute and loving Havanese dog who i will never forget...

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

oh yes!

i'm constantly reminded on a daily basis, and in various ways, of how much J loves me. today it was through these...