Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Drilling Down

It’s my favorite time of the year, and there is just so much to do. Cooler temperatures give me energy! As I am making my morning coffee (as opposed to my mid-morning coffee, or my after-lunch coffee or that regrettable late afternoon coffee) I noticed a ray of sunshine coming in obliquely from a new direction, illuminating how dusty my lower cupboards had gotten. While the coffee brews, I grab the spray and paper towels and quickly wipe down the streaked, dusty doors, hoping no one else has noticed their grime. There are even a couple stray Pete-hairs, which make me sad. I still miss that sweet cat. I wonder where his spirit roams?


It’s the time of year for cleaning-out and re-organizing, and when you are a quilter, you have a lot to re-organize. I have shelves and bins of fabrics, shelves of books and patterns, shelves of cut pieces and threads, shelves of quilts ready to be assembled. January is such a great month for getting rid of things that just bog me down and collect dust. There are a few things I am sentimental about, but for the most part, I love the free-ness of clearing out the expendable.


And, with all the juices of renewal flowing, AdventureMan and I are planning one of our wonderful road trips. I used to do all the planning; AdventureMan might give some input but for the most part, he was focused on his job and I took care of travel plans, reservations, funding, etc. Now he has more time, we call back and forth from office to office about hotel websites, Google Maps, travel time. I create the data base and print out the segments, he helps with things to do and see and hotels and side trips. At first, it was a real adjustment for me, having input, but now it’s made things a lot more fun.


I didn’t used to print out segments, not once I got my smart phone, but to our horror, we discovered there are still places in this great United States where (gasp!) there is no coverage! When you have to make tricky road connections, it helps to have directions, and a hand held map. I put together folders, and we can just throw pieces away as they are accomplished. Our trips are more like missions, but a lot more fun.


We don’t do bucket lists, or not so much, but we do try to scratch an itch. There are places I haven’t seen, experiences I haven’t had. We’re alike in that way, AdventureMan and I. We love our road trips, as much for the unexpected blessings as for the planned ones. At dinner last night, I told him that about the worst experience I could remember was finding myself in a camp on the Busanga Plains in Zambia; it was about a week too early, it was still soaked with the receding flooding, game was scarce and it was very very hot. Mosquitos were everywhere, and I was covered with bites. At the same time, I have had better, less memorable experiences. You have to have the odd bad experience to help you understand just how good some of the good ones have been.

I had to do this photo because these below $2/gallon gas prices are such an unexpected delight:





And I had a moment when I thought my heart would stop as our nearly 5 year old “baby” stood up on the high bar at gymnastics!


So January is rushing by.

January 27, 2015 - Posted by | Adventure, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Qatteri Cat, Quality of Life Issues, Random Musings, Relationships, Road Trips, Travel, Weather


  1. I love that picture of Pete. Have you thought about doing a small quilt of that picture? After we lost Winston, I did a challenge quilt shortly after he died. (Theme-A river runs thru it). It was a very lonely riverside with a few evergreen trees and a full moon in a starry sky and I had a brooch that someone gave me that looked almost exactly like him and I put it on the quilt so he was looking across the river. It is a very sad piece but it hangs in my quilt studio and reminds me of the time we spent there hanging out. It was a way of moving on.

    Comment by momcatwa | January 27, 2015 | Reply

    • Huhn? I responded to this yesterday, but it must not have taken. Momcat, you made me tear up describing your Winston quilt. It sounds so melancholy, you really described how lonely life is when they move on and leave us behind. Aarrgh.

      Comment by intlxpatr | January 28, 2015 | Reply

      • Well, I’m happy to say that I can look at that quilt now and not feel the sadness so much but the appreciation of what he brought to our lives. He made me open my heart from being a cat person to being a dog and cat person. Adopting a very needy young rescue dog helped me give back to a hurting dog what Winston gave to me. Life is just a circle in some really weird ways.

        Comment by momcatwa | January 28, 2015

  2. That reminds me of the price of gas when I first went to study in the states back in 2003. I used to fill my car for $25! Buy the time I graduated I filled my car for $60 and started taking money from the girls riding with me LOL!
    The picture of your grandchild is adorable!

    Comment by chirp | January 28, 2015 | Reply

    • LOL, Chirp. I remember when I lived in Germany, I drove a Volvo and it cost almost $5/gal to fill. I finally had to just stop thinking about it! P.S. I am willing to bet you are a very particular and caring Mama 🙂

      Comment by intlxpatr | January 28, 2015 | Reply

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