Monday, March 31, 2014

An autumn type of Monday

Happy Monday:)

Hope you had a lovely weekend. It has started feeling so much like autumn around here! I'm sure for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who have been seeing snow for months, that sounds revolting. But it is such a refreshing change here! And even though every autumn and winter in South Africa I end up having a day where my internal holiday clock is confused and all I want to do is eat pumpkin bread and watch Runaway Bride, or (if it's really cold) watch Elf and listen to Christmas music, I do love autumn, anytime of the year.

What did you do this weekend? Ours was filled with local markets, an Indian festival (with nothing too great except some really inexpensive Mac make up!), and Captain America. It was surprisingly delightful.

The photo above and below is of the same tree that I park in front of at work. I took the top one last week and the one below, this morning. Look at the leaves! So fun!

Have a wonderful day!


Friday, March 28, 2014

True Tales of Gumption - The 30

Today's true tale of gumption is actually 30 tales.

At the beginning of the year, Forbes published a report about 30 social entreprenuers under 30  and what they're doing. It's pretty impressive - and intimidating. But, inspiring. Talia Leman knocked me off my chair - she raised $10 million at the age of 10! And I love Seth Maxwell's Thirst Project. Clean water is something I totally take for granted, especially since I'm part camel.

Reading these kinds of things always makes me feel a mix of "I'm in my mid-20s and what have I done with myself?!" but also, "It's not too late! What am I going to do?"

Which people/organizations most interest you? Do you have any cool projects you're apart of or have started? I'd love to hear.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

News Flash: Pro-Gun Law in Georgia

Since a part of this blog is focused on current affairs, I figured I needed to do more each week to feature what's going on around the world. I'm still working on exactly how information will be presented, but one way will be "News Flash". In this feature, I'll highlight something going on, somewhere in the world, that I think is relevant, important, or just noteworthy. Hope you enjoy and that it gets you thinking about things going on "out there".

Did you know that Georgia is likely to almost create a law that will allow people with weapons permits to carry a loaded gun into a bar, in public areas of airports, and will allow school officials to appoint certain staff members in schools to carry guns? You can read about it here.

The bill does stimulate that those carrying a gun into bars may not be served alcohol, but it does not say how this will be enforced. It also says that the purpose of staff members carry guns in schools is to protect children if there is an intruder.

The National Rifle Association, which has been lobbying for the bill, said that the bill is a "historic victory for the second amendment."

State Representative Rick Jasperse, who originally sponsored the bill, said that this issue of allowing people to carry loaded guns in public areas is a "private property issue".

My questions:

- Does someone's right to own private property (in this case, a gun), supersede someone else's right to live (since that is what is at stake here)?

- How will this actually be enforced in bars? And who is going to go to a bar, announce that they have a gun, and request that they not be served alcohol?

- Why does anyone need to carry a loaded gun? (Side comment: I live in country that is usually considered far more dangerous than the US…we have a wall taller than I am surrounding our house, with an electric fence on top...and I have never felt the need to carry a gun or even own one.)

- Am I missing a benefit to this bill?

What do you think? Thoughts?

Amiable comments only, please. :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Meet Rolo

I don't think you two have had a proper introduction.

Meet Rolo.

This is our two year old, so sweet, goofy, left-pawing (I'll explain in a bit), so-adorable-I-can't-take-it basset hound. I have featured him sporadically on the blog, but plan to do so more often, so I figured you needed a complete introduction.

Rolo was an engagement gift from my husband and when G got him, he looked like this:

I wish I had more photos of him as a puppy to show you, but they are all buried in my external hard drive somewhere. But he was just the most floppy, scrumptious thing you'd ever have seen! He's grown so much since then, but has seemed to level out.

I have to admit: although I absolutely adored him when we got him, I was a bit intimidated by the timing. (And I am sure I'm not the first to say that puppies are a bit frustrating at times...the peeing, the chewing, the pooping, the peeing, the chewing, the pooping, etc.) But now, I honestly cannot imagine our little family without him. But before I gush any more about Rolo, I think I need to explain: why bassets.

Basset hounds are the only kind of dog my family has ever had. My parents rescued one when they were first married. They named her Candy. Unfortunately, they had to give Candy away when my mom was pregnant with me because my mom started developing allergies towards her. (So sad!)

Then, when I was in primary (elementary) school, my parents rescued another basset (notice how many times "rescuing" comes up...they're a wandering breed) as a present for me. I named her Hershey. (Since my parents had previously named their basset Candy, I wanted to keep with the candy theme.) Hershey had a long and wonderful life - it was actually so cool to see her transform from being terrified of humans (we think she was abused when we got her), to absolutely loving them - and then went to doggy heaven around my sophomore year (grade 10) in high school.

Then, in our sadness over Hershey's passing, we decided to get another basset - a puppy. This was the first time we got a basset NOT from a rescue group or the pound. It could be coincidence, but this basset has (I'm embarrassed to say) been our least favorite; and I say this as lovingly as possible. She is moody, greedy, and lazy (and we think a runt of the litter); and this next factor is our fault, but we think her name has something to do with it. Somehow, we convinced ourselves to break the candy theme when we were naming her and called her Ginger. Then after it was decided and done, a friend told us it sounds like a stripper. And it kind of does. This is Ginger now:

To be fair, this was Ginger as a puppy…

So then, in our subconscious frustration over Ginger, we rescued another basset! This time, we hit the jackpot! We went back to the candy theme and named him Heath. Heath is unbelievably happy (we say that with him, everyday is Saturday and every night is Friday night), sweet, goofy, and dirty. He's like pig-pen from Charlie Brown. Heath and Ginger are still doing well and are with my parents and little brother in the US.

This is Heath and Ginger now (I know Heath doesn't look too happy here but I promise he always is. :)

And now, this is my new, little, wonderful family:

Like I said, very floppy... 

And he has a very bendy neck.

Just thought you needed to meet all of us. :)

From the three Fultons

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Elephant Sanctuary - Us

(WARNING: Too many elephant photos below. I have spent far too much time on these pictures - editing and choosing which ones to use - not like you will notice since I have still included so many!)

Over this past holiday season, I got to do something I have been dreaming of since…well, probably since I moved to South Africa. I was hoping to get to do this for my birthday this year, but my never-ceasing-to-be-incredible husband worked it out so that we could go to The Elephant Sanctuary in January! It was absolutely wonderful!

The Elephant Sanctuary takes in abandoned or injured elephants and gives them a home. Some of them were separated from their mothers and not accepted into another herd; others were being poached and the Elephant Sanctuary gave them refuge. This past weekend, hubby, some friends, and I stayed in a game reserve (more on that in the coming days) and I asked the lead ecologist there, what he and his wife (an elephant researcher) thought about the elephant sanctuary. They said some (as in, around the world in general) are just trying to make a profit; others sincerely try to help and do a decent job. This couple hadn't been to the specific sanctuary that hubby and I went to, but they've heard good things about it.

Elephants are absolutely amazing. They are social creatures who depend on and create a strong family structure. They remember and recognize people and each other; they cry; they are extremely loyal. And their babies are the cutest! I can't get over them. (Notice the little ellie that Danielle Moss designed for my footer? :)

We got to feed them, pet them, and I got to ride one! We really couldn't afford for both of us to ride, so my ever sweet and sacrificial husband arranged for me to do it. Love him so much.

I took so many pictures (well, hubby did...I was mostly busy trying to bond with ellies) that I've decided to split the event up into two posts: this one - us with the elles - and the ellies themselves. That one is coming soon!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What is your greatest fear?

And I don't mean the dark or spiders. (Although I'm really not a fan of either.)

What is your greatest fear?


What are you so great at or want so badly that it scares you?

I think we all want to be great and believe that we can be (at least at one thing), but are so afraid of being rejected, afraid of failing, afraid of succeeding.

I love seeing people who don't seem to have fear or at least, don't give their fear the time of day. They completely, passionately, and unabashedly pursue their greatness. They understand that they are great. They understand that they will live with every decision they make, so every decision needs to be whole hearted.

I want to be that and live that way.

One of my biggest fears (or dreams?) is having the opportunity to sing, make an album, and/or be in a musical. I tend to think that I've missed my prime for that…and if I am being completely realistic and honest, I probably have. But they (whoever they are) always say that the first step to overcoming something is acknowledgement, right? Acknowledging the fear. Maybe acknowledging that fear of mine won't ultimately land me a record deal, but it will help me make bolder decisions each day. So then, isn't that overcoming?

I watched Katy Perry's documentary/film not that long ago and so enjoyed it! Besides the fact that it was like having a personal concert in my living room, I loved hearing Katy's story. She seems like she lives that way - unafraid and unashamed of trying to live boldly. I'm thankful for Katy Perry's boldness; at the very least, because it's given me some pretty fantastic tunes.

So, what are you afraid of? And what inspires you?

Image one by P. Chis / Image two by The Voracious Filmgoer

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Welcome to the new Gumption!

"...she realized that she was missing a great deal by being sensible,
she made the whole world feel like home,
she decided to enjoy more and endure less,
she colored her thoughts with only the brightest hues,
she crossed borders recklessly, refusing to recognize limits, saying bonjour and buon giorno as though she owned both France and Italy and the day itself,
she ran ahead where there were no paths…"

As I'm sure you have noticed, Gumption has gone through a complete makeover...and I couldn't be more excited about it! I absolutely love the design, thanks to Danielle Moss! I wanted something colourful and editorial, fun but not too girly, but mostly, a design that highlights the writing here on Gumption. She has done a fantastic job capturing all of that! Danielle is easy to work with, creative, and honest. I highly recommend her if you're looking for a designer. :)

I can't get over the new design! Not just because it's fantastic, but because it's the start of a whole new direction for Gumption. I've been introducing a few changes to the blog since the beginning of the year, but in case you missed this or you're new to Gumption, here's what it's all about:

Gumption is a lifestyle and travel blog that strives to inspire people from all walks of life to live a life of gumption and a life to the full. At Gumption, I share personal reflections, stories of inspiring people and moments, and so many of the little things that make my life richer, even magical at times! While inspiring my readers to live a full life, I also want people (but especially women) to see and believe that you can “have it all”: a life full of joy, growth, contentment, and adventure. Sometimes I talk about current affairs or events of historical significance (I was an international relations major in college and am just not ready to abandon my inclinations towards academia). Other times, I share things I’ve learned, or am learning, in and about life. And still on other occasions, I just share the things in my life that make me happy – my newest baking venture, home d├ęcor changes, or something unique to whichever country I find myself living in at the moment.  
I hope you will tag along. And whatever you find to relate to here, I hope it inspires you to live a full life and a life full of gumption.

You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and/or Pinterest, if you'd like. Thanks so much for reading, whether you're a first timer or you've been here for a while.

Cheers to the rest of the year ahead and many more years of living with gumption!