Blog Revamp

Well, it’s been a good three years since I last spruced up our little nook in internetdom, and I thought last night was as good a time as any to redecorate. It’s a bit hard to do any spur-of-the-moment renovations when you live overseas–Home Depot and Michael’s are right up there with unicorns when spotting their ilk abroad. And while most of the time I’m fine with that (waiting two weeks for a box to arrive provides mini Christmas feelings all year long), every so often I get the sudden urge to change things up (the result of not being able to live vicariously through This Old House episodes). An impromptu wall repainting or light fixture swap isn’t in the cards right now, but a little virtual sprucing is just at my fingertips…so here we are.

Truth be told, I’ve contemplated doing a major overhaul of the site for awhile–new name, new domain, the works–with the goal of establishing a broader audience and maybe even making a little money down the road. That may still happen at some point, but for now I’m happy with these minor renovations. I’ll also be starting a position at the embassy soon, so it’s possible my writing may become even sparser than it is now. So this virtual “repainting” is just enough to quell my inner This Old House junkie, which is lying dormant since the show isn’t on Netflix. Otherwise I assure you I would have spotted a unicorn by now.

Dainty baby blanket

A few months ago I wrote about my first quilt and my hopes of someday making a second. Well, here it is! While I actually finished it back in June, I haven’t been able to post any pictures because it was a surprise for my niece (well, really for my sister at this point…I’m sure my niece will appreciate it in a couple dozen years). I gave it to her over R&R so now I can give it to you as well–in digital form, of course.

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Rediscovering Home

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The bluff overlooking Fairhope Pier

Perspective is an amazing thing. I recall as a teenager feeling restless and antsy, always dreaming of leaving my small town for the great big world beyond. I eventually did, first to Kentucky for school, then D.C. for work, and now everywhere for life. But now that I’m older, (maybe) wiser and a bit more traveled, I have come to appreciate and enjoy the quaint lifestyle that I took for granted (or worse, scoffed at) as an adolescent. After traveling around the world and back, I can report that people just aren’t that friendly everywhere, sunsets aren’t always the breathtaking masterpieces I grew up seeing along the bay (read pretty much anything I wrote from China for more information), and a plate of fried crab claws isn’t the seafood staple that you’d assume it to be.

Now when I go back to lower Alabama, which is where we were for the past month on R&R, I can see why so many never want to leave. Granted there are still a few things that aren’t really my cup of tea (for instance, the social changes that occur ever so slooooooowly), but having lived in a few places and experienced multiple cultures I realize that many of the things that had me itching to leave all those years ago exist all over the world. Now, with my nuanced, grown-up lenses on, I see that home was a pretty fantastic place after all.

In addition to taking in the sights, seeing family and friends, and eating delicious food, we also contributed our fair share to the American economy, which included the purchase of a dandy new camera. I leave you with photos–taken with said camera–from the Eastern Shore, the quaintest area that I ever took for granted as a kid.

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Fairhope Pier
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Downtown Fairhope during First Friday, when all of the shops keep their doors open for the evening and host various bands.
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First Friday in Fairhope
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I could post photos like this until the cows come home. Seriously I have a ton of sunset pics. Can you blame me?
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Alabama: our flags are bigger than yours.