Kat’s Weekly Reflection of Gratitude: The Privilege of Voting

The sentiment about exercising your right to vote is timeless. Today is the day if you haven’t already … vote, and make your voice heard. I believe love can trump hate, and I hope kindness and our American tradition of inclusiveness will prevail.

Ciao! ~ Kat

Travel. Garden. Eat.

One of the only blessings coming from Hurricane Sandy is a brief respite from the usual tenor of political campaigns at this juncture, with the election for President of the United States now only a few days away.  Other important offices, at the federal, state and local levels, are up for grabs in this election, as well.  In many states, important constitutional amendment questions are posed to the electorate, in some cases asking the populace to forever determine constitutional rights of others in our society.

Whatever your political affiliation — whether you swing left or right, red or blue, or like many, somewhere in the middle — spend the next few days educating yourself on the candidates and the issues that are going to present themselves on your ballot.  Really educate yourselves . . . I am not talking about reviewing the latest Facebook updates, tweets on Twitter or, as entertaining as it…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

Never forget… and keep moving forward toward peace on this Veterans Day. ~ Kat

Travel. Garden. Eat.

Walking the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, I yearned for the assurance that we will move forward as a nation toward peace.

Arlington National Cemetery

The wars throughout America’s history have shaped the thoughts and aspirations of generations, and touched the lives of millions around the world.

U.S. National World War II Memorial U.S. National World War II Memorial

The monuments in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., often memorialize or reflect upon war.  Their words and images ran through my mind as we walked the rolling hills of the cemetery.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial Korean War Veterans Memorial

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Vietnam Veterans Memorial

While Arlington National Cemetery also contains the graves of notable American heroes or other people of influential significance, unrelated to any military conflict, I could only think of the sorrow that war brings as I surveyed row after row of white marble markers.

Arlington National Cemetery

The old trees cradled some markers in their gnarled roots, while their broad canopies…

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A few weeks out

Ahhh, to be young again without life getting in the way! Don’t get me wrong, life is good, but I am so excited to share with you my oldest son’s first blog post as he departed for a summer of study abroad in Spain this morning! Follow along, and chime in with must-sees or must-dos as he travels during and after his study abroad program in Toledo, Spain. Ciao! ~ Kat

Chuck's Trip

Here it is, my first blog post. I’ll use this post as a sort of introduction before I do any real traveling, as well as a way to start figuring out how to use WordPress. I started this blog per recommendations by study abroad counselors and others (mom), with the intention of recording what I see and do while abroad in Spain and elsewhere. I say elsewhere, because I haven’t really formulated any solid solo-travel itinerary yet — so far, just a general loop around the country and a stop in France, a route to potentially follow during the two weeks after the study abroad program officially ends. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up in Croatia (probably not).

Anyways, I’ve taken Spanish since 8th grade and continued my studies at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus, working toward the completion of a Spanish minor. Keeping that goal in…

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Duluth students finish 2nd at world robotics championship

After a whirlwind week of volunteering and spectating in St. Louis, I hope to put up my own blog post soon about the experience of watching our home team take place a 2nd place trophy from the FIRST Robotics World Championships! In the meantime, here’s a great synopsis of history made by this Duluth, Minnesota team — first Minnesota team on the Einstein playing field, all the way to the finals match! ~ Kat


A group of students from Duluth placed second in a world robotics competition, the best any Minnesota team has ever done.

The Daredevils from Duluth East High School was on an alliance of teams that finished second at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis Saturday night, the Duluth News Tribune says.

This year’s challenge – Recycle Rush – involved students building robots that could lift boxes onto each other. The boxes were topped with a recycling bin, and then each alliance tried to have their robots “properly dispose of litter” by throwing pool noodles into the opposing alliance’s bins.

The Duluth East Daredevils, who had been ranked 52nd in their division, were picked as an alliance partner Saturday after showing their versatile robot named Acervus “could perform many tote-stacking…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

Life is full … all good, but full … so bear with me as I go through another phase of sporadic posting.  A little late to the orange party, but “orange you glad” I posted anyway?!

Happy Friday, all!

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Orange” was this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.