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Showing posts from November, 2010

Gratitude, four dozen expressions

November is always one of my favorite times of year for many reasons, and as I've been experiencing life in a new country, I've pondered over what I am grateful for this month, and want to jot down what I have to be thankful for. I'm combining Thanksgiving and my birthday. In correlation with my 48th birthday on November 6, I will categorize my thoughts into four lists of twelve. These are not in any particular order of preference, and there are many things that I'm thankful for that I did not include.

Texas things (and people) I miss, that I'm grateful for:
1. Our home. We have a beautiful apartment here, that's furnished nicely and is comfortable, but I miss being back in my own home sweet home in Texas, where I've lived longer than anywhere else in my life--for ten years.

2. Parking lots, parking spaces. Parking a car in Austin is significantly easier than here. Oh, Taiwan! You're such a compact little island and you're fabulous, but I wish ther…

Taipei Temple

Kelly, Christopher, and I spent the morning on Saturday in Taipei at the temple and it was a beautiful experience. Next to the temple is a chapel that also serves as a visitors center for anyone who is interested in taking a tour and enjoying the gallery that features some beautiful LDS historical art.



Every month, our ward has a temple date scheduled, where members can ride on a bus to Taipei. We decided to just follow the bus since we hadn't been yet, and Christopher rode with his friends on the bus. In the US, bus drivers tend to be among the safest of drivers. That doesn't seem to be the case in Taiwan. Following this guy was so stressful with him changing lanes all over the place for no apparent reason, and he also would change the speed he was driving unnecessarily. We were relieved to have finally arrived at our destination, and needless to say, didn't follow him back to Jhubei.
I saw these pretty plants along the way and thought they were gorgeous, just along t…

Scooter collision on Veteran's Day

On Thursday night, eleven/eleven, which was Veteran's Day, Kelly got home from work and I took the car to the FE-21 with Christopher. We stopped by Hi-Life, a popular convenience store in Taiwan, to grab a quick snack to take back home to Kelly before we headed to the mall. Evening traffic was busy and I pulled over to flip a u-turn to head back to our apartment, then a scooter came crashing into us. Luckily, he wasn't hurt too badly, other than a small scrape on his left hand. It took the rest of the evening to resolve everything though, when I eventually got home at midnight.
The young man, Xin-Ting, is a 19-year-old college student, who thought I was just parking the car, rather than making a u-turn, so he kept going. It was quite an ordeal since I don't speak Chinese and none of the police officers and Xin-Ting didn't speak much English. I called a couple of friends to see if they could help translate, then Sonia, the Taiwanese wife of the school principal, s…

Peanut Butter Cookies

Here's the recipe. Enjoy!
1/2 cup peanut butter1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup brown sugar1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon vanilla1 egg1 1/4 cups flour
Cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth in electric mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla. Mix in well. Add egg, mix well. Gradually add flour. Whip all the ingredients together for a long time, a couple of minutes. Using medium stainless scoop, drop onto cookie sheets. Press with fork or a pastry blender in each direction of each cookie. Bake at 375 F for 12 to 14 minutes. Makes two dozen incredibly delicious cookies.

Fabric store run to Taipei

For my new volunteer position as the Relief Society meeting coordinator at our church, the president of the organization asked if I could plan something that will enable the women to do some kind of a sewing project for our December Christmas-themed meeting, after which we will donate the quilts. What immediately came to mind was the same activity that we had done in Austin for our stake women's conference that I helped to plan and carry out for the last two years--baby quilts! I made the suggestion and she loved the idea and said that's exactly what she had in mind.

I have never seen a fabric store since I moved to Taiwan, but found plenty today when I drove my car from Hsinchu to Taipei for the first time, taking along two wonderful, delightful women with me, Abish and Charlotte. Abish is the voice of an angel who normally translates the church meetings into English on Sundays for us and Charlotte is one of my sweet visiting teachers, and her daughter, Joy is in the pla…

Artistic expressions

As I have mentioned a few times on my blog, I have been helping ten youth from our church get ready for a Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing, to help them with their English, and to provide a praiseworthy and fun event for them to work toward together. When I first started directing them, they were using a 20-page script, the front and back of ten full sheets of paper. (By the way, the standard paper size used here in Taiwan is not the 8.5 inch by 11 inch paper that we use in the United States. They use A-4, which is slightly longer and slightly more narrow.)

I decided to retype the entire script for them and make handy little compact booklets. Next I highlighted each person's part in their booklet to make it easier for them to read and identify their parts. Can you imagine memorizing a script in a foreign language? They have their work cut out for them, but are making great progress each week. Last night, I took a picture of each actor (two of them were away travelin…