All this fish, baking in the sun grosses me out! The UK is old school and puts raw food like this on ice rather than in refrigerated places. And, even though it is cold outside, it can be quite warm sitting in the sun behind a window...I don't think I will be buying fish from this place any time soon!


I think I'm paranoid...hey, I think that's a song...okay, I can't lie, that song has been stuck in my head for the last two days. But besides the song, I am having a bout of paranoia.

First, yesterday a lady got on the bus with me and then got off with me by my work. That is a very large distance with many bus stops in between, but it could have been a coincidence. Then, on my way home, the same thing happened, but with a different person. Weird? I think so.

Whenever Ian is out of town, darkness seems to scare me the way it did as a child. I constantly check to make sure the front door is locked...probably did it at least five times last night. Evey noise makes me stop and think of every place to hide...seriously, paranoid!

Then, last night, I had a nightmare. I won't go into the details, but I woke up half screaming. That has never happened before! When I woke up, my heart was racing and my shoulder area hurt (which is where I was being attacked in my dream). What's interesting about this nightmare is that supposedly cheese gives you crazy dreams...I ate a cheese quesadilla before I went to bed...

Paranoid? I think so!

Interesting Inventions

Hygienically Wrapped Toothpick
Location: Yu Chinese Restaurant, Aberdeen, Scotland

Honestly, I don't even know how this has a market! You can already buy individually wrapped toothpicks if you have a problem getting one out of a container. And, what makes it hygienically wrapped? And, why is the toothpick oddly shaped? And (don't worry, this is the last "and"), why does the company have a fork as the logo for the hygienically wrapped toothpick?!?

Dairy Stix (milk in a bag)
Location: On a train somewhere in the middle of Scotland

Though this isn't the craziest invention ever, it is interesting. I don't quite know the reason for it; possibly because it saves packaging. Who really knows though? My only beef about it is if you don't get all the milk out, then set the packaging on the table, the excess milk comes out onto the it an invention error.

Starbucks VIA (their new instant coffee)
Location: Starbucks, Edinburgh, Scotland

Though I never would have put "Starbucks" and "instant coffee" in the same sentence, I totally know why they went down that path. This gives Starbucks a chance to break into a different coffee market; expand into hotel rooms, trains and more. It will be interesting to see how it goes. Now for my review of the new instant coffee...I tried both the Colombia and the Italian Roast. I personally liked the Italian Roast better, but that is due to my taste in coffee. I am not big on acidity in my coffee, and instant or not Colombia has it. I don't think this will replace freshly grounded coffee in my french press any time soon, but it is a good alternative when on the run...and for people like my parents who don't mess with making coffee!

What I Learned in Aberdeen

Ian is working up in Aberdeen this week and I decided to take the train up to visit him. The following are some of this things I have learned while up here:

1. Aberdeen is definitely NOT a tourist attraction. Sure, its the third largest city in Scotland, but that is about where the interesting stuff ends. Trust me, I tried to find something to catch my attention!
2. Hotels have "ironing rooms". Ian thought it was something for the housekeeping, but we soon discovered that it is actually where you are supposed to iron your clothes. And for having its own room, you would think they could at least have sprung for a full sized ironing board! Oh, and steam irons aren't allowed. Supposedly they set off the fire alarm...I don't believe that.

3. "Normal" showers do exist in the UK! Everywhere I have been, including my own house, has pump showers that you have to turn on and off. And these showers don't have great water pressure. When I got in the shower at the hotel today, I got into a normal shower with great water pressure. I am jealous!
4. I think I have discovered why the Scottish loathe basketball so much. It is possibly because they are trying to play it on grass!

5. KFC, which is all the rage over here, charges for ketchup. 10p a pack. What's up with that?!?

A Lost Childhood

Last night, I was waiting for the bus and these two little boys (maybe about 10 years old) came up to me and asked me for a light?!? Say what!?! They even had a cigarette with them! There are so many things wrong with this situation. It was 9:30pm, where were their parents? Where did they get a cigarette? And, why did they think any respectable adult would give them a "light"?

These smoking little 10 year olds ended up sitting by me on the bus, where I got a front row seat to their lives. Here is part of the conversation:

boy 1: Want to spend the night tonight?
boy 2: Yeah.
boy 1: Do you think your Mum will say yes?
boy 2: She's drunk by now so she'll say yes to anything.


boy 2: Does your mom want to say hi and hug you a lot when she is drunk?
boy 1: My mom is a f*****g b***h when she is drunk.


Next up, a conversation about the best ways to steal food. WHAT?!? Honestly, my heart broke for these boys. They should be enjoying life, riding bikes, playing video games and more, not stealing food, smoking and talking about their drunk mothers. Every time I think of last night, I feel sad. No kid should have a childhood like that.

What is Love?

If I judged love basted on store windows and advertisements, I would think love has something to do with chocolate, flowers and lingerie. Valentines day has always been a funny day to me. Why do couples need a day to celebrate their love? They already have their anniversary, and that's something to celebrate given that it's a milestone each year. But a day to celebrate love, I just don't get it. And why all the expense? Honestly, who really wants chocolate for Valentines day or really any day? Okay, I am sure there are some of you out there that would appreciate it, but it does seem rather impersonal and unexciting. And really, what does chocolate have to do with love anyway?

In my relationship, love is celebrated everyday. We constantly tell each other I love you, do nice things and take time for the other person. So why some couples need a special day for this, I don't understand. Maybe the day should be a time for couples to reflect and figure out how to be loving toward each other every other day in the year!

But, back to my original question - what is love? The dictionary has many definitions of love. All of them have something to do with passion, affection and attachment. When you think about it, love is extremely hard to define in words. And not only is it a feeling, but it is action as well. And most times, it is the actions that define love. It is putting someone else before ourselves. It is helping each other along in this thing we call life. It is enjoying each other's company. It is the nice, selfless things we do for each other. And most importantly, it is every day, not just to be done (or shown) on the special days of the year.


Seriously, every time I see this picture it tugs at my heart. This is a picture of a koala bear, Sam, getting some relief from the fires in Australia. Sam was rescued and treated for burnt paws. Poor little Sam, but I am glad he got some help.


After looking at these pictures, I give all of you permission to be jealous of me! Seriously, the city looks wonderful covered in snow. Last night, we hit a nice -17 Celsius (1 Fahrenheit). That's the coldest these parts have ever seen...of course who knows how far back the records go! Anyway, enjoy the pics as I enjoy the view in real life...

Lastly, a cryptic message for my mom. I don't think the rest of you will get it...

Winter Wonderland

In the span of a couple short hours, Edinburgh has turned into a winder wonderland. Normally the snow doesn't stick where we live, as our house is right on the sea. Well, tonight has been an exception to this. Seriously, snow has been dumping for only a couple short hours and it is sticking. I can only imagine what the castle looks like right now!

Banking in Britain

I got a rebate check in the mail from Canon (not that you need to know this, but it was for my fabulous new camera!) and needed to put it in my account. For some strange reason, you can't deposit anything into ATMs here...maybe that's why they call them "cash machines"?!? So, Ian and I stopped by the bank today. I was just going to cash the check, but apparently it could only be deposited, as it was that "kind of check". What kind of check can only be deposited and not cashed?!? Anyway, we also did not bring a deposit slip with us, which is a big no-no. The lady finally got enough info from us, left her little desk, went behind a locked door for a few minutes before deciding that is was in fact okay for her to deposit the check. Seriously, all this trouble for a check?!? Good thing checks aren't used very often here!

The Best Job in the World

Just what you all have been waiting application video for the best job in the world! It is a little cheesy, but don't be a hater, at least I did one! How many of you can say that?!?

Now I present to you, the dorkiest video ever...

Drum roll please...

Oh, after all that anticipation, you have to go to the website (click on "website", as that is the direct link) and see it for yourself! Be sure to rate it!

Self Medication

I was out and about today when I saw an old lady (like late 70's) totally drunk. She was so drunk, she could barely stand. Good thing there was a cop there holding her up! At the sight of this, I decided to look at what time it was...2:27. 2:27 in the afternoon and this old lady was so drunk she couldn't even stand on her own. This got me thinking...

What makes us go from being our parent's miracle (tiny newborn babies) to people who self medicate ourselves (drink or use drugs to not deal with life)? Somewhere in life we make some bad decisions. Those bad decisions sometimes follow us around. They create stress in our life. That stress adds up and eventually we can't take it anymore. So, we self medicate.

The problem is in feeling out of control, feeling trapped. Getting snowballed in life and not knowing how to pick ourselves back up. But really, with so few years on this earth, does anyone want to spend them medicated? Not feeling what real life feels like? There is pain in life. There is disappointment. But, there is also joy, happiness, love, friendship, family, fun and more. Feeling all the greatness in life is worth feeling the pain for. Plus, no one wants to be the old lady stumbling around drunk on the sidewalk at 2:27.


Scars tell a story. They tell of who we are, where we've been, what life has been like. I have a good many scars, and a good many stories.

I have a scar on my upper thigh from the first time my parents left me with a babysitter that wasn't a relative. She put me in my car seat, ignored my cries, and allowed my leg to get a hole burned into it from the hot metal. When I was growing up, my dad introduced me to that lady as the lady who burnt your leg. She seemed less that thrilled about this. Even though I know he was joking, I also know he never wanted this to happen to me and was surely very angry at this babysitter.

I got stitches on my chin six times before I was 8. There are some nice stories there. It tells of being a crazy little kid. Playing in the pool. Jumping (stupidly, I admit) from the fence into the trailer...and not making it the whole way there!

I have a huge scar on my right knee. This is from when I was 13 at church camp. Being the cool kid I thought I was, I left my cabin when I wasn't supposed to and ended up falling down a hill. It was a nasty injury, so wide that stitches weren't even an option. It took a long time for that one to heal!

A couple weeks ago, I badly burned my left hand at work. There now is a scar. Every time I look at that scar from now on, I will remember living in Scotland.

See, scars bring back memories! We can choose to forgo the memory of the pain and remember all the good times we had! Scars tell a story; they are like a permanent reminder of life.
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