Monday, November 30, 2009

ninth folder, ninth picture

someone asked me to do this. so i opened my pictures went to the ninth folder and then chose the ninth picture. this was taken on a trip to hong kong. we were riding on the open-top double decker bus. whoever would like to do this please join.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

chicken soup with rice

In April I will go away
To far off Spain or old Bombay
And dream about hot soup all day
Oh, my, oh, once, oh, my, oh, twice
Oh, my, oh, chicken soup with rice

let's talk a little about chicken soup. chicken soup is the supreme comfort food. it is the soup your mother brought you when you had a cold or were sick in your bed. you ate it with crackers and let the warm broth slide down your throat. it is the soup you ate when coming in from a days play in the cold weather. it melted all the icicles and warmed you from the inside out. it would warm your frosty fingers as you cradled the mug between your hands.

today though when i am speaking of chicken soup i am speaking of the need to take a break. i am in need of a break. my children are in need of a break from me. when i sing carole king's chicken soup to my five year old all i can think of is the escape the song evokes. the escape from everyday problems and the saving grace of chicken soup to right all wrongs. a little chicken soup is much needed in our home today, with the power to heal and soothe and rather like calgon take you away.

Friday, November 27, 2009

we are celebrating thanksgiving here on saturday. of all the holidays that i miss not being in the u.s. for, this is the one that is hardest for me. christmas was always about just my husband and kids. rarely did we travel or spend it anywhere else but at our own home and in our own way, so this really hasn't changed much.
thanksgiving on the other hand has always been about spending it with extended family. the brothers and sisters i grew up with and my parents. people getting their feelings hurt. teasing. burning the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes. i miss those things. i miss that my children don't get to complain about sitting at the kids table, or the thrill of finally not sitting at the kids table. football games and heralding in the christmas season by getting out the decorations and listening to christmas music. so as we try to make our own thanksgiving traditions tomorrow, think about what your traditions are. what are the things that you cherish about this holiday?

Thursday, November 26, 2009


The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!" -Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

magical reindeer gems

for a mere 20 dollars you could purchase that unique gift you are looking for. the gift that will put all others to shame. yes we are talking about the gift that is sure to be on everyone's list.

limited edition

reindeer dung necklaces.

i know 20 dollars may seem steep so if you are on a budget you could opt for the $7.50 ornament instead.

evidently there is a zoo in illinois that has the dung dehydrated and sterilized. wouldn't you like that to be on your resume? reindeer dung sterilizer. anyway, so they dehydrate, string them, add a little paint and glitter and presto, the world's most sought after christmas gift. do you give this to people you like? i do know people who have received "crap" for christmas only they didn't get any glitter with it.

maybe i should buy a pet and go into business for myself. magical goldfish gem bracelets. guinea pig gem earrings. it could be a thriving enterprise. so if you are looking for that gift for the person who has everything, or maybe someone who loves to recycle this is the gift for you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

celebration of communism

in october china celebrated 60 years of communism. today i came across these fabulous photos of some of the celebrations. the chinese attention to detail strikes me. i also loved the human blocks of color. i don't have them pictured here but the military women who marched in the parade were wearing mini skirts and boots, well maybe midi, anyway my kind of military. enjoy

viewing in a local mall

this is actually hong kong's victoria harbor

Monday, November 23, 2009

life is so daily!

productive morning:

everyone out the door and off to work and school by 8:40. xxx ooo

chinese lesson with tina - she won't tell me her chinese name. she says it is too difficult.

hot chocolate from starbucks. hao hu! ( spelling?)

shopping for presents ( hubby returning to the u.s. wednesday - without me. boo hoo)

deliver school lunches. hao chi!

return home

listen to pomplamoose while blogging.

hope the rest of the day goes well.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


"by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart."

Gilbert Highet

Saturday, November 21, 2009

it is 12:40 and this is not where i should be spending my time. i have a confession to make -

my house is a mess

i know those of you who know me are saying: how can this be, she is so neat and tidy? doesn't she have a maid? What else does she have to do all day?

the truth is my house at the moment looks like we had a monster truck rally here.

the floors - yuck
the bathrooms - double yuck
the kitchen - ewww

not to mention the unfolded laundry

i mean is it really that hard to keep some semblance of order? is it necessary for me to have to stay up till the wee hours of the morning in order to have a clean and shiny home? the truth is that this is the home my family deserves - the clean and shiny home.

so yes, it is sad but i must leave and attend to these pressing matters so i may enjoy my sunday and so you do not have to read the sad and pathetic post about how my family deserted me for cleaner pastures.

Friday, November 20, 2009


number 2 son is settling into school at last. we have not had any tears upon departure this week, and when asked about his day, he says, "it was a little good" instead of the "horrid" response i usually get. this morning i was overjoyed to hear him singing a little chinese song as we got ready.
it has been unusually cold here. last year i can remember the girls riding their christmas scooters with no jackets. it does get cold here in southern china, but not like the cold in the north of china where they are already experiencing power outages due to the cold, and there have been reported deaths from the snowfall a week ago. here it does get chilly but is semi tropical. when the temp dipped last week i turned on my heaters and broke out my sweaters. even today i am still bundled, with the predicted high of 67. i know it is pitiful. this of course is the reason i will be someday retiring to a place of tropical warmth. year round summer is my friend.

i always loved those first crisp autumn days. the sun would still be warm on your face but there was that wind blowing in your hair and making you pull your jacket a bit tighter, preparing you for the months to come. i have fond memories of cold and snow. my friends and i would have snowball races. we would push our snowballs around for days to see who could make the largest. they would grow so large, eventually we would need help to maneuver them. we would make what we called slidees. you scoot with your wellies until you have a long smooth slide in the snow and then of course you run and slide. i have lots of snow and cold weather memories. i fear now that i shall never again enjoy the cold. what a shame, because of course what comes with cold is HOT CHOCOLATE!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

in the news

baby dies while doctor plays game online

this 5 month old baby was admitted to the hospital with and eye infection. the infection led to swelling within the babies skull. the family had been told all was all right. after a few hours the baby boy died.
a few days before this 10 patients who were having laser eye procedures got infections because the opthalmic center used the same laser machine they had used to do experiments on animals.
there is a lot of negligence and malpractice in chinese hospitals. china has had over 10,000 lawsuits over medical disputes since 2002. healthcare reforms are being called for.
the u.s. healthcare system looks pretty good from where i sit.
i leave you with a cbs obama visits china video.

many of these souveniers have now been banned. i am not sure if it is out of respect for obama or mao.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

i am so tired! i stayed up last night ordering all my u.s. christmas presents and things my hubby will try to stuff into his suitcase from his brief trip to the u.s. in about 10 days. i sat down to write a post and i was actually sitting here asleep. so i am off to nap. something more exciting later.

Monday, November 16, 2009

favorite quotes

“ Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own."

Carol Burnett

i like this quote. i think i have written before about how much i love words. it is indeed sad to me that i am not the master of words. i am a terrible writer but i truly appreciate the way others can put them together. i wonder though what carol burnett was speaking of. was it something that she said, or another. i smell a scandal.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

work day

my children slept in today, those who do. it is saturday and i think everyone should be entitled to an extra hour of sleep on a saturday. i can remember my dad marching through the house on a saturday morning, flinging open bedroom doors with the loud refrain "get up, it's a work day."

of course this was met with moans and groans. i have to say though that these work days are some of my best memories. i remember, having recently moved to the country, cleaning out the barn and clearing the lot. a lot of hard work but also a lot of family fun. i used to climb onto the tractor and shred the pasture, for me this was a prime chore as my imagination would have the time to dream as the tall grass fell behind us. i recall saturdays painting the house, and washing the windows with vinegar and newspaper.

my children i fear live a charmed life of endless computer games and very few chores. today is a work day. a thing they are not used to and something that to them is akin to child abuse. this announcement is met with me being told that no one else's mother makes them work. their ayi makes their bed for them. i am undeterred. some day maybe they will have fond memories of working as a family toward a common goal. striving to contribute to the group, valuing a job well done, and maybe they will have their own work days with their families.

Friday, November 13, 2009


today is friday the 13th. i suppose that means that i am just going to have a stinky day and i should just accept this. i have read that friday the 13th is actually one of the safest days. fewer accidents are reported on this day because i suppose the world is full of superstitious people who either in fear do not venture out or are just extra careful.

in honor of the day here are a few friday the 13th myths:

  • a child born on this day will be unlucky for life but their lucky day will be friday the 13th

  • if you cut your hair on this day someone in your family will die.

  • if a funeral passes you on friday the 13th you will be the next to die.

  • bad luck will befall you if a black cat crosses your path.

so for today friends, beware. try not to crash your car, or fall down the stairs. please don't light yourself on fire or walk under any ladders.

what superstitions do you have if any?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

favorite quotes and art

"And forget not that the earth delights
to feel your bare feet and the
winds long to play with your hair."

Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

cutting the cord

number 2 son started school in september. we made the decision to put him in chinese school, since he misses the start date for american kindergarten. we were very excited about him being able to learn the language and to speak it fluently. i cannot tell you what a stress this has added to our lives. every night he asks if tomorrow is a school day. there are tears and pleadings. one evening he came in while i was cooking dinner and said he must speak to me alone. he told me how he hated school and didn't want to go back. he rides the bus in the morning, with four of his friends from the neighborhood. the bus attendant usually has to carry him away crying and then he watches me out the window for as long as he can. i have visited the school and dropped in unannounced and the teachers are loving and patient. i wonder how long it will be before he is comfortable. in between the lines i pull out snips of happiness. new songs learned, playing ball with new friends, reading circle. i think most of this comes from him being my last child. he is the only one that has had my sole attention, as the others were all in school. so days of having his mom all to himself have not served him well, and lets face it, he is my baby. after his first days of school the teacher sent home a progress report for the week. this is what it said:

Parrish, you are not stable in the mornings. you cry because you miss your mom.
you are a good boy and we all like you very much

i thought this very sweet. i hope soon he will adjust. my friend whose daughters go to the same school are in their second year. the first year they weren't always so thrilled to be there but now are quite happy. lets hope it doesn't take us a year.

Monday, November 09, 2009

christmas in november

today i spent with my girls. we drug all the christmas decorations out and started to cut out snowflakes. for the last three years we have been cutting out snowflakes and adorning our air-conditioned windows with snowflakes. we absolutely love them. our collection grows and grows. g is still holding out for real snow. i have promised her that one day i will take her to real snow. who knows when that will be. next christmas i was hoping for a trip, maybe australia. definitely not a snow location. my neighbor is throwing up her arms in disgust as her daughter is now pressing for their christmas decorations. i know, i know, thanksgiving is first. for some reason though christmas is just calling to me. so i thought i would share a bit of the bug with you.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

today i just wanted to share this amazing photo i found. this is china. isn't it amazing?

Saturday, November 07, 2009


There is an interesting dialogue in my mandarin lesson book. it is entitled:

di shi liu ke ren kao ye shuang

you are what you wear.

It is a conversation between a western woman and a Chinese woman. the Chinese woman is saying that she has discovered that western women don't usually wear make up unless going out, because they don't work here and stay at home and look after kids so there is no need.

Western women dress casually, so when they go out they look like a different person. at these comments the western woman responds in surprise, could these statements be true? Surely she should mend her ways.

In contrast the dialogue goes on to talk about how Chinese women wear light makeup during the day so they look more vigorous. They always dress nicely and wear lots of lipstick because lipstick looks beautiful. When they do dress to go out they look fantastic and amazing.

Wow, i am feeling quite inadequate and frumpy after this. It is amazing how different cultures look at issues. in Brazil and Venezuela (especially Venezuela, where every women you pass is dressed to kill and utterly gorgeous) there was a lot of emphasis on looks and the women worked out, were constantly getting manicures, having hair appointments, surgical enhancements. Now here in Asia you can see some of the same issues. I found it funny when we went to Japan Disney that there were all these men and women walking around in suits and dresses with high heels. Not that i am opposed, because lets face it even an old barn looks better with a coat of paint. I just hate the judgement sounding part of it, because I have met amazing women from all over the world. the truth is we as women have so much more to offer than appearance. Everyone should strive to look good. Let's just not go to the the extreme with it and remember who we are should not be defined by how we look. Perfection will always be just out of reach.

information of the painting above: Zhou Fang's "Hue Shan Shi Nv Tu" ( court ladies wielding fans) represents the beauty of the women of the Tang Dynasty.

Just so you know I do not discount the cultural histories that have brought women of different cultures to where they are today.

Friday, November 06, 2009

chinese saying -

under an overturned nest, can there be unbroken eggs?

i am off to mandarin lessons. wish me luck, i need it.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


i suppose time creeps up on all of us. i saw myself in a picture not long ago and i thought wow, that's not me. i have blond hair and wear a size 4. Even looking into the mirror it doesn't really connect. i hate it though. not the fact that i have changed but the fact that others cannot see me in the way i do. i still feel 16. i still think of myself as blond. i know that i have grown and changed, that i understand things in ways i did not as a youth, but i still have dreams and desires, some of them may have matured a bit but they are basically the same. i wonder if others feel the same as me. if in every old lady you see there is a tiny ballerina wanting to get up and spin about. if only they could.

these bodies of ours can be burdensome. although they are marvelous and amazing i am finding that mine is beginning to hold me back. i want to go out to dinner and savor the last cheesecake crumb. i want to jump and run and spin, but i find myself not as limber as i used to be. i want to read without putting glasses on. i think the hardest part of all this is i want someone to notice that girl that is still inside of me. her time is done now, and new and exciting things await the person i am now. someday though we will be reunited she and i, and i hope she is happy with what she became.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

i just wanted to share this with you because i think it is just amazing. what a great thing it is to be able to do what you love and get paid for it. more people should be able to share their talents and loves in this way. anyway i found this and i wanted to share. enjoy.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Everyone at my house has been ill. Throats so swollen you can hardly swallow, aching muscles and runny noses. Today i say "ENOUGH." I refuse to be held back by a nasty virus whose main purpose is to make me miserable and deter me from my path. Of course it is not only illness that has kept me from life but the dreaded knitting needles. They call my name in the middle of the night, while dusting, while putting up the groceries. They keep me from walking out the door to meet someone or pick up my children on time. I am powerless. I am under their spell. Not only do I have to contend with the knitting needles but now Gwendolyn is learning to crochet and I decided that anyone who knits should be able to crochet, so I set about learning and made G a hat with a lovely little flower attached. There is no stopping me now. Remy has half a pair of socks. There is also a lovely half-finished pullover, and three new babies coming who need a sweater desperately - so say their mothers. I am never content with just one project. Another always beckons. I pour over websites picking out beautiful yarns, self-striping for socks, glittery and bejeweled for scarves, cottons, wools, hand-dyed. I am a knitting junkie.

I always wished that I had enough time to do and to learn everything I wanted. Enough time to read all the books on my ever growing list, be an expert knitter, learn an instrument, climb a mountain, be super-mom, perfect wife, watercolor, sketch, cook a gourmet meal, travel, the list is endless.

What do you spend your time on?

Monday, November 02, 2009

chinese wisdom #2

“Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy”

- lao tzu -

after an eventful summer, a trip to disney japan, a trip to the huizhou sheraton beach resort and me fighting with a testy vpn situation - the reason i have been unable to view your blogs or post. all is well. since i don't plan on ever having to go through blog withdrawl pains again, i will be doing nablopomo for the month of november. so stay tuned. missed you all. china misses you, although not a lover of the blog.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


hello to all, many apologies. my vpn blocker seems to have blocked me out! when i try to confirm my password it tells me it is incorrect and it will not let me reset or anything. so i am sorry that i have not been available.

right now i am sitting in the lobby of the sheraton hotel in houston. listening to two gentlemen at 2 in the morning wondering where there is an open restaurant where they can sit down for a meal, but the catch is it must be a place where they can have a glass of wine because they are coming from brussels and cannot eat a meal without a glass of wine, even if it is from jack-in-the-box. wait they are approaching me, "do i by chance happen to have a bottle of wine hiding in my suitcase?" sorry gents, i cannot help you.

so i will try to do some posting while here in the u.s. to catch up on all your doings. i am off to try to sleep. good - night all.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

chinese wisdom #1

The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water; but to walk on the earth.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

someone likes me!

i received this award from charity. thanks so much! so here are the ten recipients of this award. keep in mind you are all great, but todays top 10 are:

1. this is a blog that i don't even have on my favorites list yet (only because i am lazy). it goes to terresa at the chocolate chip waffle, who shares my love for maxfield parrish and quotes and i would venture to say may also love klimt, and although i heard she wants to ban the scarlet letter - a favorite of mine - i love to visit her.

2. here is my wonderful brasilian blogger friend who is just a joy to share with and who's honesty and bubbly personality shine through. carla at how does this work again?

3. christine at strange pilgram is a fellow expat in italy who knows how to soak up life . christine i will soon be sending my market pictures to mr. linky.

4. cairo typO who is currently wandering the world and resides in egypt; who makes me laugh with her stories and is also a fellow knitter.

5. jessica at zakkalife always inspires and keeps my creative juices flowing. she is amazing.

6. in brasil we have ballerina girl on her roller coaster ride. she is a true friend reading and commenting on what-ever drivel i throw out. thanks bg

7. gabriela who is living la vida loca in brasil, who shares her tales of family and fun.

8. my beautiful gwendolyn at piggy love who loves me no matter what

9. my friend che at lifes bone. a recent follower who stuck with me even though twice now i have mysteriously disappeared. he always has things to make you think - some of us need a boost at times.

10. kiss the paper by kate and molly. i have been lax in keeping up with them lately but they are two truly creative and inspiring sisters who with the help of their friend jennifer have been able to share this with us.

there are so many others but for now i hope you can enjoy these. those of you honored follow my example and pass it on.

Monday, May 25, 2009

all blogs , you tube , videos and such have been blocked - thus my absence. my hubby bought some sort of a blocker. it disguises your isp. this means i am back and will be catching up on all your news.
thank you charity for bestowing the wonderful ladybug upon me. it is great to be g's mom - to which i truly owe this honor.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

after the rain

after a morning of hard rain my camera and i took a walk. we thought we would share some of our findings with you.

after the rain


quiet tree lined streets

the roots of drippy trees. these roots just crawl down from the branches and trunk. they are amazing and i just love them.

scootering through puddles


girls and umbrellas

shiny mailboxes

Friday, April 24, 2009

tomato, corn, and avocado salad

i am ready for summer and for all the delicious garden things that come with it. i have a favorite pasta salad recipe from my niece brittany's young women's cookbook. it is delicious but when i make it no one else will eat it so i end up eating the whole thing. not usually a good thing. today i saw this recipe and cannot wait to make. it looks like summer. it was listed as a side dish but i think i will make it for a light dinner.

1 ear corn (husk and silk removed; tip cut off)
2 pints cherry, grape, or pear tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Stand ear in a large wide bowl; with a sharp knife, carefully slice downward to release the kernels. Discard cob. Add tomatoes, avocado, scallions, lime juice, and oil to bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and toss gently to combine.

what are some of your favorite summer recipes?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

art or vandalism?

i came upon this photo and was amazed - as always - at the creativity of others.

i also was filled with sadness for is there anything lovlier than a book?

some of them are simply aesthetic while others more practical. i have books stacked all over my house awaiting the arrival of new bookshelves. maybe i should think of an alternate solution - a bookshelf made from books perhaps, but what would i put on it?

let me know what you think, art or vandalism?