Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We are STILL moving….

 

Just a quick note to say that we are still in the process of moving into our new home.  We have had lots of repairs made, bought some wonderful furniture, moved hundreds of boxes and are almost ready for the furniture to be moved on Thursday……CANT WAIT!!!

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Moving Update

We took possession of our new house on Friday evening and on Saturday morning we were joined by son (Brian) and D-I-L (Amber) for a little bit of toting and carrying.

Of course, the FIRST room to be moved was my studio……

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Partly because most everything was already boxed up and ready to go and partly because I wanted it to be the first room finished!!!    Just look at all of the plastic boxes….we quilter’s really should own stock in one of these companies!!!!

While Brian moved boxes…..

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…..Amber helped clean the kitchen…….

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(would your Daughter-In-Law do this for you????)

After the kids left, I started working in the studio and Michael adjourned to his new office to do some work…..

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(don’t you love the Camo sling chair????

At then end of the day, my studio was looking better…..at least all of the fabric was on the shelves……

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….and the day ended with a toast on our screened-in deck…..

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More busy days to follow……

Thursday, September 6, 2012

You’re not from Good Hope, are you?

The above question will stand forever in our memory as “the day that we bought our new house”.  Here is the story.

We had gone to the new house to do the final walk-thru and then were headed to the Attorney’s office for closing.  His office was in another town not far from our house so we clicked on the GPS which took us down some minor roads to get to the office. 

As we turned on one corner, I looked across the road and saw the “Good Hope General Store”. 

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In their window were 6 or 7 wooden rockers.  Now, we had been looking for rockers for our front porch but hadn’t had any luck, so I pointed them out,  Michael made a quick turn into the parking lot and into the store we went. 

First of all, it was a typical small town general store.  There were indeed 6 rockers sitting on one side of the store and tables with chairs on the other side.  These tables were occupied by several coffee drinking men.  The store contained everything from building supplies to groceries.

Secondly, we had dressed up for the closing….I had on a dress and high heels and Michael was dressed in slacks and a nice shirt.  We were definitely out of place!!!

One gentleman came up to us and we asked if the chairs were for sale.  He sweetly looked at us and said the immortal words, “You’re not from Good Hope are you?”. 

We laughingly said “No” and he proceeded to call the store owner who, again very sweetly, told us to check at another store just down the road and then came back up and said that we should also check at Cracker Barrel. 

Michael and the first man continued talking for a few minutes (Michael adopted his “tobacco spitting” voice)  and then we said our good-byes. 

We have since learned that the 6 rocking chairs belong to the “Coffee Club”, a group of men who meet there several times a week, and Michael and I have a bet that the man who talked to us is the one of the local preachers!!

Anyway, we made it to the closing, signed hundreds of papers and are now the proud owner of a beautiful home in Bishop, Georgia.  

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All in all, it was a VERY good day, but no, we are NOT from Good Hope!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

She Finished!!!!

Back in March, I wrote this post about seeing my friend, Lyn, off on her epic journey to hike the Appalachian Trail.

I am so happy to tell you that she finished the journey on Saturday, with the scaling and summit at Mt. Katahdin!!!

Lyn at Summit

If you want to read more about her journey, check out her blog at Trailjournals.

Congratulations Lyn….I am so proud of you!!!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

China wrap-up

For the most part, we have enjoyed our fourth trip to this huge country.  During those trips, we have had the opportunity to visit many of the wonders of the world and have seen so many things that “two kids from Abilene, Texas” had no business ever seeing.  We both realize just how blessed we are!!!!

At this point there are no definite plans to return to China, but we have learned to “never say never”!!!

We found the Chinese people to be very friendly and interested in us two round-eyes.  We decided  that the Kunming area seems to be more parochial than the other populations that we visited, but that is probably because it is a rural city of merely 5 million people….just a small town by Chinese standards. 

This country has much potential, but we feel that the biggest problem is that the people are not taught how to think.  The school students  are taught by rote memorization and often seem to draw a blank when something is different than normal.  If they are ever given the go-ahead to think, it will certainly be a country to be dealt with!!!!

The other concern that I have for the future of China is the fact that, since they have a one-child policy, there are a whole generation of “Only-Children” who will soon be stepping into all of the leadership roles in businesses and government.  We found that many of the children seem to be fairly spoiled which makes sense since the parents are trying to protect their only offspring and I wonder how this will effect the outlook of the nation.  It will be interesting to watch as this phenomenon develops in the next 20 to 30 years!!!

Finally, thanks for traveling along with us and especially for your comments….it has been such fun to share our adventures.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Jet plane time!!

On Wednesday morning we headed to the Kunming airport one last time, this time serenaded by the Cabbie’s personal music choice….apparently a Chinese musical of some sort.  Just listen…………

We have sung that song for the past two days!!!!

We were extremely early for our flight and while we were waiting to check in, a young girl approached and said that she had met us last year at Xishuangbanna.   Who would have thought that we would have found someone that we knew!!!!

We arrived at the Hong Kong Airport and were picked up by a taxi.  Unfortunately, our suitcases (all THREE of them) wouldn’t fit in the back of his taxi so he simply pulled out a bungee and tied down the trunk.  Part of the problem might have been the laundry that he had hanging in the back of the trunk!!!   We thought that this was a strange arrangement but then saw that almost every other taxi had the trunk lid tied down as well.  Oh well, when in Rome…..

We arrived at the J. W. Marriott hotel (once again booked cheaply on agoda.com) and checked into our beautiful 20th floor room.   We have a view of Victoria  harbor…

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and an equally good view of the buildings and roads below……DSC06619

The hotel is built on top of a magnificent mall filled with stores that we could not afford to even walk into!!!

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After dinner the first night, we started trying to figure out what we wanted to do on our one day in Hong Kong.  Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be a whole lot that we were interested in so I had the bright idea that we would take the ferry across to Macau and visit some of the casinos.DSC06573

The ferry ride was great, but it took about 10 minutes for us to decide that we are NOT casino people!!!  So we grabbed the next ferry back to Hong Kong and enjoyed watching out the window as the high rises of Hong Kong re-appeared…..

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Our next stop (and where we should have started) was to the Man Ho Temple.  It was a very different type of temple as it only had three rooms and each of those opened onto the street.  Also, one of the rooms was a “Room of Remembrance” and we thought that the cubby-holes on the walls may have contained ashes of deceased worshippers

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The truly interesting thing about this temple were the incense coils that were suspended EVERYWHERE.  The ceiling was covered with them and, in this chamber, they also hung from lower poles.

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Each of these coils was burning and the intensity of the odor was amazing.  We both had to leave fairly quickly because we just couldn’t breath.  You can see the smoke in these photos…..

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While driving up “Hollywood Drive” to arrive at the temple, we saw a number of interesting shops so decided to take a short walk around the area.  One of the first sights were these temple worshippers….

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The interesting thing in this photo is that one of these appears to be a woman!!!

Many of the shops had small altars just outside of their doors…..DSC06605

…..and one very large altar on one of the side streets……

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There were people in this next shop so I didn’t get a great photo, but this shop was selling hand made coffins!!!!

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We went into one very interesting wood working shop where this gentleman was busy carving a door or screen…..

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We passed numerous shops that were selling bird’s nests, probably used in the making of “Bird’s Nest Soup”.  All we can say is “ICK!!!!”….yes, we have found something that we would not eat!!!…..DSC06615

For our last dinner in China, we opted for the J.W. California Steakhouse at the hotel.  We had a magnificent evening spent talking at length with the Maître de (John David) from Paris and enjoying a wonderful Rib Eye Steak and excellent vegetables.

When the time arrived for dessert, I immediately ordered the Chocolate Fondant.  The waiter mentioned that it was large and did we want to share.  We laughed and informed him that women do not EVER share chocolate!!!   When it arrived we had a great laugh at the presentation……

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John David laughed and said “Happy Birthday” but I informed him that I am at the age where I want fewer of them rather than adding more!!!!

Now before anyone asks, this chocolate orb was simply the cover for the ice cream covered fondant but it was a wonderful presentation….and tasty too although we left most of this shell on the plate.

To commemorate our last night, we had this photo taken……

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After a good night’s sleep, we boarded our final taxi to the airport.  This driver was very perky (wondered how many coffees he had drunk that morning) and he kept us entertained while we drove.

As I am writing this, we are winging our way toward the North Pole, over the top of the world and then down to Detroit.  The final leg will be a quick run to Atlanta.

Tomorrow I will do a final wrap-up……

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