Twelve Months. Twelve Days. Twelve Moments.

To wrap up my year, I decided to choose¬†one picture from each month of my phone’s 2015 camera roll. ¬†When I actually sat down to do it, it wasn’t so easy. ¬†Do you choose your favorite picture, or a picture of your favorite day, or a shot of something you still laugh about now, months later? ¬†¬†And it’s different choosing a picture now versus what I may have chosen months ago. ¬†Our memories change. ¬†Our emotions change.

These twelve pictures were clicks on my phone. ¬†So fast. ¬†They were simple and memorable and perfect in their own way. ¬†That’s what moments are. ¬†They add up to the hours of our days, and the days of our months and years. ¬†Sartre compared moments to little diamonds. ¬†Aren’t they though? ¬†Some small, some big, some you’ll never have … some brilliant, some rough, all perfect in their own way.

It’s good to look back as we set intentions for the new year. ¬†There are important people and important things that happen in our lives every single day. ¬†It is about those big goals we set in front of us, and it’s about the little things too. ¬†The lovely perfect and not-so-perfect things. ¬†It is about the things we looked forward to, and those we never intended on, never planned on, never knew would come. ¬†It is about the every day, and how we live each moment.


‚ÄúShe smiled and said with an ecstatic air: “It shines like a little diamond”,
“What does?”
“This moment. It is round, it hangs in empty space like a little diamond; I am eternal.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Jean-Paul Sartre, The Age of Reason


“If the whole world I once could see
On free soil stand, with the people free
Then to the moment might I say,
Linger awhile. . .so fair thou art.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: First Part

Foothills of Greatness

Today, we finally chose a picture to send into the Purdue Alumnus magazine (, hoping to show off our world travels. ¬†This is what I submitted to them and the President’s Council this morning, which inspired me to share it here, and a few more pictures of our Sarangkot experience.


My friend, Susan, and I are so happy to send you this picture we took last month at Sarangkot, Pokhara, Nepal. ¬†Susan and I met in 1989, both playing saxophone in the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band. ¬†We have remained great friends over time and distance ever since. ¬†After graduating from Purdue in 1993, Susan spent more than 2 years in Nepal with the Peace Corps. ¬†This year, she planned an amazing trip to see the country again, visit friends and host families, and experience a homecoming of sorts. ¬†Since 2010, I have been living in Shenyang, China, so when I heard about Susan’s trip, I invited myself along. ¬†We met in Kathmandu and later visited Pokhara, where this picture was taken. ¬†We awoke at 4am that morning to make the trip to Sarangkot and watch the sun rise over the Annapurna range. ¬†It was our distinct pleasure to show Purdue Pride in the foothills of greatness. ¬†***

The Big One

Last year, I started to get emails from a wonderful woman named Suzie. ¬†She had lots of questions about getting her cat here and I was happy to help. ¬†Her husband would be in Shenyang on a contract with an aviation firm. ¬†Once Suzie moved here, we became friends. ¬†We watched each others’ cats. ¬†We talked and shared. ¬†I got to know her children. ¬†Then the contract ended after only 9 months and they were faced with a lot of decisions. ¬†Such is the life of an expat.

One of those big decisions was about their cat, Humphrey. ¬†Her husband had a line on a job in England, but it was another short-term contract. ¬†She was torn about moving her 11-year old furry son to China for 9 months, then England for 6 months, then who knows where? ¬†After much anxiety, Suzie popped the question. ¬†She asked if we would be willing to take care of Humphrey for those 6 months, or 9 months, or longer, depending on their situation. ¬†I said yes, then I asked Tim what he thought. ¬†Then details, details, details, and Humphrey came to stay with us for a transitional period to see how it went. ¬†He’s still here.

There was hissing. ¬†Our 7 pound, 13 year old Daisy wasn’t too happy about waiting such a long time be the Alpha, then have a big ole British Blue move in on her territory. ¬†The 10 pound, 12 year old Bandit just wanted to be sure the thing wasn’t going to eat his tuna. ¬†And the much bigger, 11 year old Humphrey had never lived with other pets before. ¬†So there was more hissing.

It’s been a couple of months now. ¬†Daisy still doesn’t like him, and Humphrey isn’t sure what to make of her. ¬†But he and Bandit are buddies. ¬†The “wake the humans up at 5 in the morning, eat some tuna then go to sleep” buddies. ¬†Suzie was true to her word when she said Humphrey prefers women. ¬†Tim might get to pet him once a day. ¬†But he loves me, even takes a shift sleeping under the covers when we go to bed. ¬†Cutie.

So why “The Big One”? ¬†Our other two cats, Daisy and Bandit, have names that can be translated. ¬†Ch√ļj√ļ (ťõŹŤŹä) and¬†T«Ēfńõi (ŚúüŚĆ™) were the names given to them by our driver, Pan. ¬†So what do we do with a given name like Humphrey? ¬†It was difficult for him to pronounce and he didn’t understand. ¬†So we decided on Da de, big one. ¬†And the name fits.

Welcome to The Next Adventure, Humphrey!