Friday, October 29, 2010

Only in Asia

can you buy Hello Kitty brand balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Chips and Soup in a Bag

We like chips and we like Borsch but I am not sure I would like Borsch flavoured potato chips. I didn't buy them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The view from my window

A view people have mentioned to me to be sure to take lots of pictures. I am guessing that they would like to see those pictures and so this is probably the easiest way to share the pictures. At one time in my life I was traveling quite a bit and took pictures out of my hotel window so I will share a few from this room.

We have a few of the harbor. Yesterday morning we could see a cruise boat come in. This morning we saw a cruise boat come in.

For many years they were working on this building and it was behind a wall. If you were high enough you could look over the wall and see the work. Finally, it is finished.

These pictures were taken in the morning. The city here seems to wake up late but then stay up late. When we lived here we were amazed that the train was packed at 11pm.

I will have to get some pictures at street level.

Random Things about me

Here are some random and interesting things about me.

1. My parents moved to their first house 5 days before I was born. They lived in that house until I was just 2 months shy of 21.

2. My parents have had the same phone number my whole life except for the area code change.

3. I am the oldest of 4 and the favorite daughter.

4. I prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate and love mint chocolate. The love of mint chocolate got me in trouble once -- I thought I was buying a mint chocolate bar from Hershey's and didn't read the Chinese closely until after I bit into it and then spit it out to see it was Green tea.

5. I grew up in a non coffee drinking family but somewhere acquired a taste for coffee and enjoy a cup or two a day. Most days 364 a year it is hot coffee but maybe one day a year I will have an iced coffee.

6. I love fabric. I have more fabric than time for projects.

7. I first traveled to Asia in 1991. I think that was the last time I flew 1st class.

8. I was born on my great aunt's birthday about 55 years after she was born. She always called me her birthday girl.

9. I think I have become a city girl. I grew up with a cornfield behind our house but now love living in the city.

10. I enjoy reading though it seems I don't have as much time to read right now unless you call reading books to the kids for school reading. When I was growing up I think my name was on most of the cards at the little library in our town.

11. I won a FFA trophy for the most unusual pumpkin. I think that was as close as I came to being a farmer.

12. I won 2nd place in a speech contest when I was in high school. It was a humorous speech. I might even remember parts of it.

13. I failed shorthand. I don't think I ever used it after college but I did study it.

14. I used to earn money mowing lawns.

15. I don't like snakes especially snakes in the yard where I am mowing.

16. I don't really like coconut but decided that I wanted to learn to like it. I have used it in some things and didn't taste it. It is a texture thing.

17. It has been over a year since I have cut my hair unless you count the times I have put it in a pony tail and cut. I once cut my bangs when I was in college and they were crooked and short so I have learned. I am pondering a hair cut.

18. I remember buying penny candy. There was a general store in the town when I was growing up that sold penny candy. The store closed about the time I was old enough to walk there.

19. I had a phase as a vegetarian. I don't remember how long it lasted but there are times when offered various things that I have considered becoming one again -- the raw shrimp was one of those times.

20. I love paper. I remember as a child having lots of papers and playing office. Now I have lots of paper and call it crafts -- scrapbooking for cardmaking.

21. I do not like heights if I am in the open but love it enclosed. So the open cable car that took us up to the Great Wall was not a good thing. I remember enjoying watching thunderstorms move across Bangkok from my hotel room.

22. I have spent my birthday in 4 different countries.

23. I don't think that a person can have too many bags. Bags are so useful. I might consider becoming a bag lady.

24. I wear contacts most of the time. I got glasses when I was in high school and then contacts when I was in college and needed to wear glasses full-time.

25. My mom saves everything -- I know this is supposed to be random facts about me but what that means to me is I have all kinds of things from when I was a child -- old toys, drawings quite a number of which have been tossed and a few other things. I have the dog that my dad gave me when I was born and the teddy bear that my grandmother gave my mom when she was pregnant with me.

26. I am not a movie person. There are a number of movies that I have seen.

27. I thought it would be easy to think of 45 random things about me.

28. I have been a flower girl, jr bridesmaid, bridesmaid and bride. I still have all those dresses except the flower girl dress.

29. I need comfortable shoes maybe that is a result of foot surgery when I was 13.

30. I still have a baby tooth -- there is no permanent tooth.

31. I have never broken a bone.

32. I don't like wearing flip flops -- see above about comfortable shoes.

33. I am right handed. I remember thinking it would be fun to be left handed but I am still right handed.

34. I kick with my left foot when I play kickball.

35. I played volleyball and basketball in high school. I was not the star player.

36. I really should put my kids to bed. It is bedtime but the debate is if I allow them to stay up later will they sleep later. I think they are finally in this time zone.

37. We had a dog for 6 weeks when I was growing and a cat for some time as well. My parents had a cat later when I was out of the house. Now the only pet we have is a fish that has no name.

38. I have a collection of blue and white dishes that I bought in Thailand most of them from the weekend market.

39. I like Coke better than Pepsi. I used to like Pepsi better but being in Asia changed all that. I didn't like the taste of Pepsi in Asia and switched to Coke and just have not switched back.

40. I worked in a candy & nut store one summer.

41. I have never worked in a restaurant except for 3 weeks at McDonald's.

42. I love a good bargain.

43. I have wonderful parents who have taught me so much in life first is what they have taught me about God and second how to live.

44. I have a wonderful husband who spoils me. I tell him he should have married me when he met me instead of waiting 5 years.

45. I have celebrated 45 birthdays and am thankful all that God has given me these many years. While my husband had a busy day working, my wonderful friend spent the day with us and treated us to lunch and a special visit.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Indian Lunch

As we prepared for our trip here, everyone mentioned different things we wanted to do. The largest section on the list were places we wanted to eat at. One of the "have to go to" places was Shalimar, a small Indian restaurant with 8 tables in the area where we used to live. I think when we moved there we had not eaten much Indian food and we went there because it had an English menu. It didn't take long until we developed our favorite items and came to really love Indian food.

We had to start the meal with vegetable somosas. We did find an Indian restaurant here our home but it just didn't compare.

Chicken Korma is another one of the favourites.

We are noticing all the changes since we left here 18 months ago. It is a new menu since then and one of my favourite things about Shalimar -- the Coke in a glass bottle went up 2HK$. I still treated myself.

It was a fun memory meal and I am thinking about various Indian dishes that I can make when we get home. When we lived here and ate there often, I made a number of things with lentils. I might need to get those recipes out and cook Indian food again.

Museum Wednesday

The museums are free on Wednesdays. I don't think we have enough Wednesdays for all the museums.

We started the morning at the History Museum. It is one of my favorite or I should write favourite museums (when here spell like you are here). Like so many museums it begins with 4, 000,000 years ago. We just walked quickly through that part. Then they have a section on the old way of life -- living on the fishing boats. That makes my old 700 sq ft flat look large.

Then we move through the history and get to a bit of the colonial period, a mailbox with Queen Victoria's emblem.

The kids were practicing driving a ding ding.

We walked through the exhibits on the Japanese occupation and then to the post war period. The kids enjoyed the museum more than they thought.

Daddy met us for about 2 hours and we headed to the Science Museum. Our first stop was the special exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci which was very interesting. I think that will make a good homeschool rabbit trail study and thus a lapbook. After that, we spent some time in the museum. The World of Mirrors is a fun place. I don't think the picture really shows how funny this mirror was. Miss K is fuzzy because she was busy dancing around.

It was a fun day at the museums.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Candy Hunt

Once upon a time when I was a child, to replace Halloween my mom created a candy hunt. Now it is in it's second generation. Today was the annual candy hunt. It is a bit like the egg hunt but in the fall and the candy is in plastic bags. The kids were allowed to dress up for the event. I wanted them to pick story characters.

So we had Long John Silver.

That is his parrot sitting on his shoulder and you can't really see his peg leg.

Then we had Madeline.

She put it on. Gave us enough time to take a few pictures and then it was on the floor in a heap.

I had fun making these. The cost was 90 cents and rummaging through the fabric stash. I had bought the yellow felt a few weeks ago at the thrift store just because it was too nice of a piece to leave there.

The pirate's pants were made from a pajama pattern and then some brown added around the knee down to make it look like a peg leg. He did have something to put on his head but decided not to put it on.

Madeline's outfit was made from using a coat and just cutting and guessing. The collar has a pleat in the back because there was extra collar and the cape becomes a hood in the back. The hat was a bit challenging but I think it was the least frustrating that I could make.

The candy hunt was fun. They have full bags which will be treats over the next few weeks. After the kids had searched for 20 each it was open season and I found 3 treats and a pair of glasses.

It is wonderful to be close to family and be able to join these events.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

She can say a full sentence.

"I want to eat donuts."

That is what she told Daddy yesterday morning when she saw the box from Dunkin Donuts.

I guess she just saves sentences for really important things.

Sequential Spelling

Last year for spelling we just used a spelling list that I found online. That was after trying Rod & Staff and discovering that was not for us. So we just used that list. It was okay but I felt that he didn't really remember the words. I have heard people online talk about Sequential Spelling but I wasn't sure I was going to buy another program. I decided to just continue with the lists that I found online. Forget the fact that I have Spelling Power on my shelf and that I bought Sequential Spelling at a yard sale for $4 which was Book 1 and Book 2 plus a workbook that had a few days written in. After a few days of head banging on  the part of  both student and teacher and probably more from the teacher, I decided we need to switch. J is a bit behind grade level especially in Language Arts which is understandable he has only been speaking English for less than 2 years.

I switched to Sequential Spelling. His initial response was he liked the fact that he was learning to spell longer words. Then he got tired of doing spelling everyday (we had only been doing spelling once a week or maybe twice a week). He did like the way words build on each other. He still fights at times doing spelling everyday. He is learning to spell.

The only thing I don't like is I don't have the spelling rules that they refer to. I have looked to purchase it but it is expensive.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Apple Picking

I remember in kindergarten going on a field trip to the orchard. There was one orchard where we grew up and it was called "the orchard". That orchard still gives tours. My brother worked there for years picking berries and other things.  Anyway, yesterday Miss K and I went with her preschool class to an orchard.

It was cold in the cold room where all the apples are stored. I did manage to get a picture.

Then we went and helped to make cider but the best part was drinking the cider and eating the cider donut.

Finally, we got on the hay wagon and went out to pick our apples.

We were each allowed to pick 3 apples. The Red Delicious apples were huge.

It was a fun morning and then we raced to co-op for the afternoon events and the preschool swap.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Road Trip

We took a few days and went on a road trip. I think it was the longest road trip we have taken as a family - 6.5 hours according to GPS but a few stops and some traffic make it a bit longer. We headed north to visit with some wonderful friends. We talked, drank coffee, shopped, went to the fair, played chess, ate delicious food, visited a lighthouse, and just enjoyed spending time together.

On Saturday some went to a fair.

We really are city folks. I don't think we can go far before we come to a traffic light. We did enjoy the peace and quiet of the country.

We ate some delicious food. My friend made corn chowder and J said it was good and "why don't you make this. I guess that was a hint. On Monday she told him she was making sloppy joe's. He told her that "at our house we eat it in buns" because she had told him that sometimes they eat them on rice or in tortillas he again told her that at our house we eat it in buns.

We had beautiful fall weather. It was cold for our picnic and I think it was named the last picnic of the year.

Our sewing project for the weekend was rags -- maybe it sounds better to say "paperless paper towels". We made 60 of them.

Aren't they pretty and fun. Just what you need to clean up a mess.

I shopped at Reny's, LL Bean and Stonewall Kitchens. I have lots of blueberry syrup and jam.

It was a fun weekend and we enjoyed our visit.


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