Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday's Photoshop

It seems like the group I am going out with for learning about our cameras and photo taking keep picking Tuesday.
So here are my favorites from our excursion yesterday to a local graveyard.

Kinda eerie I know.
Imagine walking around on a mish mash of nice straight rows, some without markers, some kinda above ground and covered in dirt, others deeper and more what we come to know like a graveyard.
The ones with this star symbolize they were part of the communist party...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years and still fresh

I would like to pay my respects to all of those lost on
September 11, 2001.
It has changed all of our lives, forever.

I was walking outside of our house in Texas, ready to take my son to his Mother's Day out program. Neighbors were huddled in the street, calling out to me to join them. I was a little late already, but I still went over to their group. They were all talking about something inconceivable..
I asked innocently, What are you talking about?

They explained to me what happened. I missed the live coverage, but of course, saw the replays. My husband was sent home from his tall tower in downtown...everyone afraid that it could happen in their city. Ours was a city rich from oil, and in their minds, a possible target.

What we all didn't realize, is that we would forever feel like a target. It lessons with time...and of course, I do not live in fear of being a target. But my life and how I look at my fellow passengers on a plane, is certainly changed.
Let me say, I do not judge people. I try not to stereotype. I am quite tolerant of different cultures and religions.
It just is a sad reality that we live in a world where we have a guard up...
even if there isn't anything we can do about it.

So, I cried through the reading of the names today, and I watched those that are still suffering.
I thank God that it didn't affect my friends or family directly, as much as it has so many others, yet it still affects every one of us...
in every nation, in every religion, in every walk of life.

War on humanity is what needs to be stopped, in my opinion. We need to respect others.
It seems so simple, but then power and superiority gets in the way.

May all those that perished rest in peace.
God Bless America
and every nation

Thursday, September 8, 2011


This is my new word.
It describes how I am feeling here in Atyrau. And it makes me happy.

When we first arrived and through most of the year until we left in June, I felt unsettled here. There were good days and there were bad usual in any place really. For me though, it felt unsettling. I felt like there wasn't anything that interested me here...or was it that I was looking for too much outside of myself, and not enough inside of me.

This year (and yes, my "years" right now run on school years-August-August), I feel different.
Atyrau is a good place for me to be right now, to find me, to define me, to find what is interesting to me. There is a lot of time to do all this discovering here!

So, what is it I have been up to?
Well, I have been trying to enjoy the beautiful Autumn weather we are having right now.

I'm trying to spend a lot of time outdoors...either biking, walking Bella, or just sitting in our beautiful back patio.

The flowers have been blooming beautifully for us. Check out these sunflowers?!
They are massive!

They make me smile every morning.

I have been catching up where I left off last year with my Italian lessons. Yes, Italian lessons in Kazakhstan. I could learn Russian or Kazakh, and maybe it would be beneficial while I live here, but I get by. The locals and I have a great hand language going on, as well as a few words in each of our respective languages. So, I get by.
And I learn my favorite language that I have been wanting to learn for years, Italian.
My husband calls me the Italian Princess....well, I was actually the Italian Junior Honoree from the Italian Heritage Society of Pittsburgh, a few years back, when I was 17.
I have a scroll with my name on it to prove it, hahaha!
I have been learning it through the widely used computer programs found today.
Va bene..

I have started to learn more about how to use my camera, and what all those knobs and buttons mean. Usually I was randomly turning and pressing them, and now, I'm actually learning why I did that, and which way I might want to try next time!
It is still a long work in progress, but fun to try.
So, that's what's been happening in my world in Atyrau. I'm really enjoying life right now.
It feels good to be comfortable!