Day 12 – Architecture and Monochrome

I recently went on a trip with my family to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I could post architecture pictures all day from that trip, but the word monochrome helped me narrow down to these 2. They are bean curd cakes, kind of a candy that were being hand pressed into a mold and then hammered with a primitive “machine”. It was so hot, but a couple families were working hard churning these out especially fast to prepare for the New Years celebrations. They were also making candied ginger but  those photos will have to be for later.



Saigon, Vietnam

When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure where I was going with it, and I still struggle. It is not as easy to use as Facebook and I am not sure what complete strangers are interested in about me. So I am going to go with the things I love and places I have traveled to.

January 2016 I was lucky enough to go on a National Geographic Tour of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia with my family. It was a trip of a lifetime!

I plan to post some of my favorite pictures I captured along with what I remember learning about each one, over the course of several posts.


Ho Chi Minh aka “Uncle” statue in front of City Hall
The Post Office
Inside the Post Office – it is beautiful!
No Dunkin Donuts here!
Inside of a local church
Graffiti on the outside of the same church
My Aunt Carole in front of a propaganda sign


The largest market we visited


Sponsor notes for the pagoda
Each incense is a wish. According to the Vietnamese, that particular day was a very lucky day to make a wish so it was very busy.
Candles to light the incense


Assignment #4 for Blogging 101 is to write a post to my dream audience. I am still trying to figure this out, but I have been thinking a lot about the word JUSTIFY, so I am running with it.

One of my goals this year has been to travel, ideally to visit family, and be more present with them (less time on social media and actually have conversations)

Sounds like a lot of fun right? It has been, however, it has been harder than I thought too. Self Talk keeps getting in the way!

First trip was in March and unexpected. My uncle passed away suddenly. I started JUSTIFYING not going to the funeral because I couldn’t miss work, I just had taken time off and I was going to miss more work now?! What an inconvenience for my employees and me, getting more behind. I tried to JUSTIFY not going with the price of a last minute plane ticket. I tried to JUSTIFY not going because I had a trip home planned in just a couple months……my aunt could wait right?

Then, My Step Dads voice came into my head…..”ALWAYS go to the funeral” He has lived by that his whole life and I knew the right thing was to go and be there for my aunt. Funerals are for the living so stop trying to JUSTIFY why I shouldn’t go and get there! Needless to say, my aunt DID need me more than I could have ever known and I am so glad I went. It also gave me time with other family, including my 97 year old Grandmother.

Another goal for this year was to take a road trip by myself. Time to think and put life into perspective. I decided to drive 10 hours  to TN to visit my Dad for his 70th birthday. My friend Gayle lives on the other side of TN so I was going to drive 6 hours more to see her too. On my way home, I visited family from the west coast that happened to be in DC at just the right time. I was looking forward to relaxing and not keeping to a timed schedule defined by a flight. Since I had no money invested in a ticket or hotel, and had a lot of drama going on at my barn, I started trying to JUSTIFY why I shouldn’t go.

What if? What if? What if? (Just complete the sentence with whatever….we ALL do it)

The right answer was screaming in my head, STOP trying to JUSTIFY not going and do what is IMPORTANT! Family and friends are what is important! Don’t take them for granted! We are all scattered across the country and have to make an effort to stay connected by means other than social media. Of course the trip was well worth it and great to see everyone.

The bottom line….we all “self talk” or JUSTIFY why we should or should not take action, get out of our comfort zone, support a loved one, see friends and family, help a stranger, volunteer, change course, take a risk, take a time out, or speak up.

What is there to be afraid of?    (more self talk and justifying)   Know your priorities and go for it. If you lose a friend or relationship over it, then it wasn’t worth having.