Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tis the season

Running to get errands done, gifts of yummy snacks in the office, sleigh bells and santa. If only we had some snow!

Secret Elf Swap

Not even a uk blizzard could stop my elf. A lovely broach, hot choc, and magazine. Cant wait to curl up by the tree with a cuppa and read. The magical elf... Cara...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oct secret elf swap

Lovely gifts greeted me. Mags from uk, tea, orange choc bar & cup cake holders. I savored every bite of the choc. It was a perfect way to curl up on the couch. PS......i am still enjoying the tea. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall images on the trail

Fall is in the air.... more about that later... and yes I will go on and on about the leaves and the cider! 

The squirrels are organized and ready to attack

deer right off the trail

I went to the Nature Center after work. It is on the way home and it is a great way to spend time jogging on the weekend. I tried to capture a few images while I was jogging. I amuse my gran with my episodes on the trail.

 Here are a few:
1. Almost got ran over by a deer... literally....this week deer was blocking the trail within the first 10 yards!
2. Turkeys are on the lookout when i first drive it
3. Squirrels are out to get me! Jumping from trees and criss crossing in front of me
4. the bunnies just sit back and watch

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Secret post club

It always seems to arrive on the day that I need it the most. Opening up my mailbox to this surprise truly lightens one's day. Funny enough my secret pal was the person I sent something to last month! This month I received a fab book---well any book is great isn't it?-- chocolates, fun napkins and a nice card. She also quilted a lavender pillow with the lavender from her garden. I love getting these goodies. It also helps me come up with ideas for the next month swap.

I have also received in previous months: books, scarf, chocolates, notebooks, soaps and cute storage tins. All of these are lovely and I truly try to remember to email a thank you every time. I keep forgetting to post about it so I wanted to take a moment to say THANKS to all the fab bloggers that I have sent and received gifts from.

Thanks a bunch everyone!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Ode to Brunch

I am a fan of Brunch. I am very sentimental of this type of meal. There are different versions of brunch that I adore. Brunch with friends at a diner/cafe, preferably outside, catching up on life, and sitting for ages without a rush in the world. Brunch with the kids/family full of pancakes, laughter and no cares. No planning or time limits that the Sunday dinner tends to bring. Then there is the romantic brunch. Either at home or out. Leisurely enjoying each other's company. Talking or not, newspapers or books stretched out before us. Minutes slip by and keep the tea refilled while in our own little world.

A park, the living room, or coffee shop- the brunch adapts to the location. Funny enough I also enjoy the solo brunch. Soft-boiled eggs or french toast at home while the radio or movie is on. Sitting at a coffee shop/ outside cafe (either at home or even when abroad) with the newspaper or favorite book and a cup a tea that never gets cold. I let myself get lost in my thoughts and re-charge for the week ahead---And of course, people watching. I love watching couples, families, and groups enjoying their time at brunch. Everyone is always cheerful, not in a hurry, and full of catching up with themselves or each other.

I indulge in this pleasure whenever I can. So today is the solo-brunch. Soft boiled eggs, bacon, and apricot jam on warm biscuits. Sitting with some tea and a new book, I plan on lounging away a few hours.


Monday, September 13, 2010

The Tint is in the air

As I was running along the trail this morning I could see the small changes that were showing the hints of fall. The evil squirrels were too busy now to try to scare me off the trails, the turkeys were gathering, and there is something different about the sun. The sun is bright and warm. Chasing away the chill in the air. I can only describe the change as it has a different tint.... the warm colors that will turn the leaves is peeking thru.

I have a fondness for fall. The warm inviting colors always bring me in like a cozy cardigans. the crunch of the leaves, bonfires etc... are on the horizon.

So while I was avoiding the evil squirrels I thought back to what a fine summer I had. The highlight was that my niece and nephew had a great week long adventure and road trip with me. Gardens, festivals, lounging with books in the sun, all made this summer great My to-do list is a bit shorter but never finished it..... but isn't that what summer is for? Avoiding those lists?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Break

It seems that the last couple of months have flown by. Spring has been busy with work, birthdays, finals, anniversaries, festivals, buying a car, activities & more. One of the highlights this spring was taking a daytrip with my grandma to Mansfield MO to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead/Museum and attend a pioneer festival. My family is avid Laura Ingalls Wilder fans and readers. I grew up with the show and the books. I connected with her because I grew up in the MidWest where pioneer history was around every corner and moved alot like her. Maybe this is why I still braid my hair in pigtails and still love the rolling prairie hills. It was almost surreal walking into her kitchen, seeing names such as Nellie on greeting cards, and other personal items mentioned in her books. The best was seeing Pa’s fiddle. At moments my mind was at odds with what I was seeing and what I remembered from the books/tv series. As I walked around I kept hearing bits of her books replay in my head. It still amazes me that she lived so close to where I am now and did normal things like eat at the local diner and drove cars. My mind wanted to keep her in that pioneer image. It was a wonderful day and I am glad to share it with my parents and my grandma.
I am getting ready to go on my 2 week break from work and I wonder how in the world the time sped by. The kids are already gone for the summer, the pools are full, summer heat has hit, and the gardens are producing their bounty. It is June 11th and I am only now able to completely take the time to enjoy it without looking at my to-do list. I think the reason why Spring snuck by was because it was such a short season—weather wise. We didn’t have the normal transition into spring. It was pretty cold and not the traditional spring storms. Maybe that is why I feel that I am a season behind. :)

The end of the school year has brought on some changes. I am now going to be a 12 mth employee. Changes are happening in my office and we all are switching some responsibilities. Change is good, but the unknown can be a bit stressful and exciting. It is silly but I haven’t had to work full-time in the summer for over 10 years. This will be a bit of a change but I won’t mind the paycheck. :)

The family is doing well. Everyone is healthy and the kids are growing up fast! I don’t know how much longer Auntie Lisa will be able to keep up with them. I am still dealing with my back but the PT is really working and helping me address the issue. I am hoping to focus on this during the summer so I will be healthy by August.

I don’t think I will be doing much travelling this summer. I have a trip up to see the kids and Utah planned but all others have been postponed. Plus it seems that Mother Nature keeps delaying flights periodically in Europe and I can’t risk it this year. Woe is me….LOL!! I will just keep myself entertained with the World Cup----- that will be another post! Time now to go walk barefooted in the grass and turn off my alarm for the next two weeks.
I will post some spring pics soon. I hope that you are enjoying the summer sun!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I blame facebook!

I know, I know. It has been awhile since I really posted anything of substance. It seems like when I try to post I realize that I have said everything via Facebook or Twitter. But then a kind relative reminded me that others may want an update.

Spring is here. I am so glad for the sunshine! Feb was such a long month but March flew by.. All of my 'to-do' lists for March were a blur. At work the end of year deadlines are approaching but so is my summer break Like many school districts, we are getting hit by budget cuts for this year and next. It seems like every week we hear something new. My district is still pretty solid so we are just trimming down so we don't have to do drastic cuts.

I have been enjoying the outdoors since the sun made reappearance. This really isn't helping my motivation for my Grad work. I was very strict and on-task till Spring Break. I really need to buckle down but try to squeeze in some outdoors time. Tennis starts soon and I want to get my hip healthy to play. Summer plans are up in the air. I am trying to drag a friend overseas but I may end up just doing a long weekend somewhere. This is my motivation. :)

Big New.... I got a new car. It is a Nissan Altima. It has been over 7 years since I bought a car so it was a shock. It has been great so far and I am getting over 100 miles more per tank. I miss my SUV.... I almost teared up when the dealership took it away. But it served me well.

Hope all is well with you! Keep me posted.

Cheers, Lisa

Tartan Day Part 2

Scottish Homecoming Video

Scotland Homecoming 2009

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tartan Day

Happy Tartan Day to all my Scottish Friends. (Or those who just love everything ) Scottish. Grab your kilt and a wee bit o’ haggis!!

From the Glens to the coast and the Craigs to the Highlands, Scotland is a lovely country. No matter where I went, Scotland had a certain feel about it. Always lined with a bit of salt air. Living there was everything I thought it would be plus more. I didn’t realize how vivid & wild the countryside would be and how eclectic/diverse the people are. Plus is is a history-buffs dream. Throw in the accent and I am lost. I will admit that there are parts of Scotland that I haven’t figured out. Especially the divide with catholics/non-catholics, Glasgow, and the crazy rivalry between the Celtics 7 the Rangers and fried candy bars. Regardless, Scotland sweeps me off my feet every time.

Some Tartan Day Links:

Scottish Peeps
Sir William Wallace

Robert Burns
Mary Queen of Scots
Queen Victoria

Sir Sean Connery- James Bond

Gerard Butler

Craig Ferguson

David Tennant- Dr Who
Ewan McGregor

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St Patty Day

I know that I will leave something out but here are some lovely Irish things. Enjoy!!

Irish Movies
The Quiet Man
Michael Collins

Waking Ned Devine

Boys and Girl from County Clare

The Matchmaker


Colin Farrell

Aidan Quin

Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Liam Neeson

Maureen O' Hara



The Corrs


The Chieftains

Flogging Molly

The Clancy Brothers

The Pogues

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hurry! Hard!

I admit it..... I have a crush on John Morris on the Canadian Curling Team. Plus the 'BEAR' rocks. I figured out the basics of the game and fell in love with watching the olympic matches. I should really have paid better attention when i was in Scotland. 

Far Right: The bear  2nd from right: John Morris

Find out more about Curling:

USA Curling

Canada Curling- They claim to perfect the game

UK Curling

Scotland Curling- They claim to invent the game

Thursday, February 25, 2010

200,000 miles for my trusty Rodeo!!

The End of Winter?

As I look at the calendar I am so excited to be leaving Febuary and heading into March. March holds the promise of Spring and sunny days. However the 'in-between' season is my least favorite. Snow melting into gray-ish piles. Freezing in the AM and PM but overdressed during the day. Brown grass and dead gardens making an appearance as the snow leaves.No leaves or green.....anywhere. And mud....really can't stand it when I have my nice shoes on.

I haven't written much in Feburary. I blame the other ways of chatting to peeps. By the time I go to write in my blog, I realize that I have said everything already via facebook or twitter.

I am working on a project for my family. No details but it is going to rock!! I think even tears will be involved. I hope to have it done by April or July. Speaking of the family. All is well. The kids are growing so fast and gearing up for spring sports. We, like many families, are feeling the effects of the economy. It looked like we escaped some problems but alas they found us. I hope that it makes us stronger and take time to see where we are at in our lives. Easier said then done. Things could be worse and everyone is healthy and safe.

I have tried really hard this month to step back and save more. I will need a new car someday and need to start acting like a grownup. (insert snickering here) But I think I am back on track for the things that really make me happy.

My summer plans might actually happen. I have a nice little trip planned. Now I just got to buy the tickets and start finalizing things. It is a nice distraction from cabin fever and homework.

So that is Feburary. Drama-free but full of cabin fever. I have loads of pics to put up from xmas..... will do soon.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Robert Burns Supper--- The Bard

Happy Burns Night to all of my Scottish/Scottish Lovin peeps!

If you didn't know, Burns Night/Supper celebrate Robert Burns who is a hero of Scottish Lit. Jan 25th Scots and Scottish societies celebrate his life and being scottish with food, music, and his poetry.

There is a specific order to the supper. Welcome with a scottish blessing, Haggis with the famous poem to accompany it, dinner, toast to Robert Burns, toast to the lassies, reply from the lassies, songs or poetry of Burns, closing with singing of Auld Lang Syne . Entertainment is scattered throughout. 

Gerald Butler is currently making a movie of Burn's life.

Red Red Rose

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Warm and Cozy

Today is a chilly, wet day. If I didn't know better I would think that I was in the Highlands of Scotland. So I made some cozy beef veg soup and paired it with a sourdough baguette.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I have been struggling with this blog. I wanted to make some points without seeming insensitive or heartless.

Haiti is a very complicated situation. The Haiti in my mind is from the violence and corruption of the 90’s and 2000’s and also its history of human rights violations. It has been struck with multiple hurricanes ( as recent as 4 last year). I still recall images of citizens risking their lives in anything that could float to escape and make it to our southern shores. It is the poorest country in the Americas and the 4th poorest in the world. Haiti relies mostly on aid money and debt forgiveness.

As the TV coverage shows the horrible conditions in Haiti, fingers have been pointed. Is it the fault of the French who left the colony to fend for itself, American fault for not helping more, or even the Spanish who first colonized the island? I would like to see if the coverage will remind everyone that the wealth of the country has been pirated away to 1% of the country who also holds government office. The decades of dictators did nothing for the greater wealth of the country and just lined their pockets. I was appalled that they actually interviewed the leader that tried to say he felt the citizens’ pain because some of the PALACE that he lives in has been damaged. I really doubt that this is relatable. Seriously??? Stop doing interviews and open your gates for medical workers and shelter!

Also I think that this is a prime example to show how just throwing money ‘aid’ to a country does not mean it will use such funds to better the country. Will this be covered? And if it is, will aid still be carelessly thrown their way without a true rebuilding of the country? And finally, will we(Americans) even care?

I hope that within this crisis hope will emerge with Haitians trying to re-build its country for a stable future. My fear is that the aid will not get to those who need it and the wealthiest will keep lining their pockets.

My heart goes out the families that have lost and will have to rebuild. I will never truly understand the pain and loss that they are enduring. I only hope they can have the courage and adequate assistance to survive thru this tragedy. Other countries have and I believe they can also.

 Relief Agencies:
British Red Cross -

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Plans for Utah

I should be making lists, plans and appointments but I haven't been in my 'travel mood' this week. It is odd. I leave on Sat for a Ski weekend and I really have nothing planned. So today I made a few lists. They only consists of restaurants want to eat at and shopping. LOL!!  Hopefully I will be motivated and fill in the gaps.

Just heard they are having inversion.... hope if blows away before I land. If not that will be a better excuse to stay in the mtns and play.

Have a great Wednesday!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

All I hear is the crunching of snow under me

The snow has hit us hard. We are looking at temps in the single digits and lows in the negative. So the last 2 days work has been called off. I don't know if it is due to the cold, the snow, or the wind. It might be all 3. As i was outside at the gas station I felt like I was 8 yr old. I had on my warm boots from scotland, 3 layers with winter jacket, gloves, has, and scarf. I think the only thing that was showing was my nose and eyes. LOL!! I felt like my mom dressed me to go sledding.

I don't mind the cold and snow. I like drawing inward and enjoying time inside. Books, movies, games along side a fire with a hot drink is great. That is if you have everything to keep you toasty and warm without complications. Plus I love the clothes of winter. Soft sweater, fleece, cords, layers with flannel, some warm socks.

It is soooo hard to be motivated to workout. The thought of running and then climbing into a cold car is the last thing I want to do. But I have 2 wks off from the gym and I need to do something. While in Utah it was easy, throw on some snow shoes or skis and you had an instant workout.

While outside i stood still for a bit and took in the sights and sounds. I loved the smell of the snow. The distinct sound on snow crunching. The houses and trees are dusted in white. The stillness of winter is also amazing. In the cold you can hear everything even the smallest branch moving seems amplified in winter. Smoke is even different. Fireplaces take on a warmth and glow this time of year. It hangs in the air and mixes with the snow. I loved going in the mtns and experiencing this. The one thing I realized that was missing was the pine. The pine mixed with the snow can't be captured by a candle or spray. Boy do I miss this smell.

Don't get me wrong. The cabin dream day will soon fade and I will be craving the sun. But for this moment, nothing can get me past the snow crunching underfoot.

The Last Ten Years Rambling

I had plenty of time to think will sick during New Years. I made a little list of the last 10 years. Mind you, I was under the influence of codeine cough syrup! So here are my thoughts.

In this decade:
  • My first decade as an 'adult'
  • loved and lost
  • Gained a sis-in-law, 2 nephews and a niece
  • Reconnected with old friends
  • went to and was in too many weddings to mention
  • Moved cross-country
  • Came to grips with a few realities that are out of my control
  • Found myself, lost it, and found it again
  • learned how to snowboard
  • driven the same SUV
  • Had amazing roomates that influenced who i am today
  • Backpacked with roomies across Europe and visited Thailand
  • Finished 2nd degree and started final one
  • Found a new career by accident and had amazing students
  • Saw our country fall on its knees on 9/11
  • Solo-backpacked northern England & Scotland
  • Lost 2 grandparents (father's parents)
  • opened my mouth but learned how to close it
  • lost my dream job
  • Seattle
  • Lived in 4 locations in SLC (2 houses, 1 apt, 1 townhouse)
  • Moved to Scotland
  • Volunteer and experienced Sundance Film Festival
  • NYC broadway trip
  • 2000 was a size 8/9.....ummmm not now :) 
  • moved back to the midwest
  • dream Central Park carriage ride in the snow
  • SLC Olympics
  • Skied, hiked, snow shoed, canoed, road tripped in the mts of Utah
  • Moved from CDs to Ipod to Macbook to Iphone
Not too shabby!