A rather nice painting of resistance fighters from the period.

Gray Sundays in Warsaw: Museum of Polish Independence

Welp, so much for spring. Warsaw is back to cold, gray and rainy. This morning, I was pacing like a tiger in the zoo in our apartment. When I started to seriously contemplate 1.) the consequences of my life choices and 2.) which flight I could get on TODAY to ANY destination with SUN, I…

A monument to Soviet soldiers in the park.

A Ray of Sunshine

The sun finally broke through the clouds today. I have never appreciated a simple ray of sunshine as much as I have in Warsaw. Never! Spring is technically here, though it hasn’t quite “sprung” yet. A few crocuses are peeking out here and there, but the temperatures were still in the 30s today. Still, any…

A big collection of these funny little figures illustrating European folk dances.

Gray Sundays in Warsaw: National Ethnographic Museum

It was a gray Saturday, but they count too. In fact, it had been cold and gray all week, so I insisted on an expedition, and picked the National Ethnographic Museum because it happened to be open. “Ethnological” or “ethnographic” museums are a European concept. Basically, they are big collections of whatever folk art or…

My great-grandmother, Palma Lee Lashley Bembry, on her farm.

Of Silk Purses and Sows’ Ears

I posted recently about how hobbies keep a lot of expat spouses sane. Since one of my hobbies is this blog, and I’ve resolved to post once a week, a bit more about that. (Also, Warsaw in late winter? If you can’t say something nice…) I have two categories of hobbies: creative stuff and genealogy.…

hometown2-6

In My Hometown

In my hometown, Johnny Cash welcomes you—right after you pass by the people drinking a morning beer at the airport version of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, and the bluegrass musicians playing in the arrivals hallway. Or sometimes, you are welcomed by a naked guy strolling through the airport. Here he is, in photos taken by a…

coffee

What Do Expat Spouses Do All Day?

Imagine, if you will, a world of single-income families in which one spouse of each couple does not have a full-time job. This is the bubble in which most expats live. The primary reason for this somewhat anachronistic scenario is the lack of availability of jobs for people who may not speak the local language, or…

Circa 1968.

A Word About My Hair

In general, I’m not one to write about “chick” topics. I may have mentioned weight/fitness goals a time or two, but that’s about as far as it goes. In part, this is out of respect for my long-suffering husband, who once asked me to remove the word “Tampax” from a post in which he was…

The interior of the Gran Mezquita.

Beautiful Córdoba

For our Spain trip, I wanted to do Madrid plus one smaller town. I like big cities, but I find that after two or three days, I need a break. It’s an introvert thing, I guess. So, I chose Córdoba, a couple of hours south of Madrid by train.

Parque del Retiro.

Mad About Madrid

Here’s an awesome thing about being an empty-nester: you can get good deals on travel because you don’t have to work around a school schedule. So, yay for that. Last week we took advantage of that fact to snag a bargain flight to Madrid. Got a pretty good deal on the hotel, too. Right on…

Very tempting to ice skate on these little streams.

It’s Snowing!

I have been taking an online photography course this week, and really enjoying it. Finally, I’m learning what all those buttons and dials do on my Canon. I am still somewhat mystified by f-stops (they seem to be some kind of backwards mathematical thing?) but I think with practice, they will become clearer to me.…

nyhavn-15

2015: Year in Review

This is the post in which I sum up all the wonderful and exciting things I did over the last year, painting a glamorous picture of Foreign Service life that will make you jealous as hell. Or not. Expat life is a weird combination of exciting, stressful, and totally mundane. That was our 2015, right…

The man in question: one of several portraits which vary wildly in quality.

The Pope’s Kayak

We have been to Krakow often enough that we are starting to seek out the smaller tourist attractions. These are often the best, anyway. Or at least the oddest. Our goal for a couple of extra hours we had last weekend was to visit the medieval art collection at the National Museum at the Bishop…