Free Library is back! Expats in Hong Kong, finding prayer…

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You never know what you are going to find on a walk. A friend of mine sent me a picture of this Little FREE Library she found. I’m continue to be amazed at how creative these neighborhood libraries can be. Normally, I see them as big bird houses, but this was indeed different. I asked her to see what books they had inside.

Take a look, one book called, “The Expatriates” by Janice Y.K. Lee about three female expats in Hong Kong. Then a second book called, “The Water Will Hold You / A Skeptic Learns to Pray,” by Lindsey Crittenden.

Two books, so different. I looked them up online, click on the links. I downloaded and started reading the second book by Crittenden. It’s a bit sad, it deals with family issues. At the same time, the author learns to find prayer and how she does that is interesting.

So, if you walk by a library, stop and take a peek, who knows what you’ll find!

New York – Jimmy Buffet goes to Broadway with “Escape to Margaritaville!”

Are you a fan of Jimmy Buffet? I know I am! He’s on Broadway (just started February 16th) at the Marquis Theatre with a musical called, “Escape to Margaritaville.” I saw a clip of the musical and it was wonderful. Many of his old and classic songs. It’s hard not to be in a good mood when we are listening to his Caribbean style music. It does feel like Paradise.

Put your tropical shirt on, get your straw hat, fix a margarita and GET READY TO SING ALONG! Thanks to YouTube you can hear his Broadway team practicing the songs here.

Hard for me to say which song is my favorite (Fins, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Margaritaville, He Went to Paris, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere….)!

On CBS Sunday Morning, Jimmy Buffet was being interviewed. He said that his mother loved going to the theatre. A few times a year she would go to New York to see some Broadway shows. A favorite of his Mom’s was “South Pacific!” That warmed my heart, it was a favorite of mine too. Such fantastic songs. His Mom’s watching from Heaven, she’s proud!

I still enjoy the movie, “Mama Mia!” with music by ABBA. Always puts me in a good mood. Now, I’ve got the Caribbean beat in my mind, I’ll be humming his songs all day!

Good Luck to Jimmy Buffet! Like he says in his songs, “get a margarita, its 5 o’clock somewhere!”

Happy Chinese / Lunar New Year! Chinese Food Recipes…

Chinese New Year DumplingsHappy Chinese / Lunar New Year!

If you are celebrating and want to try some new Chinese recipes, I have just the website for you.

I came across Elaine’s “China Sichuan Food” last year. She has a variety of great authentic recipes.

As I follow her Blog when she has a new recipe I receive an email. Yesterday she sent an email with a nice story about how her family celebrates Chinese New Year and the types of foods they normally cook at this time.

If you are celebrating Lunar New Year or enjoy Chinese food, you’ll find her website a real delight. Elaine’s recipes look easy and delicious to make. You’ll see she walks you through the recipes with detailed photos, so it’s hard to get it wrong.

There are so many recipes I want to try (i.e. Kung Pao Cauliflower)… I’ve got to get started!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

7CBC96C0-67F1-4CED-A951-0B3CF0A59BA6Today we celebrate Valentine’s Day. If you happen to be at the grocery store late afternoon you’ll see a lot of people rushing to buy their last minute flowers to bring home to their loved ones.

When I met my ex/mother/n/law years ago, I learned very quickly that she loved orchids. Back then I did not know much about orchids. Growing up in the Midwest our winters were long, so we did not see or think about flowers until Spring. Orchids were new to me, I soon fell in love with them too.

Living in California, with warmer temperatures, we had incredible tropical flowers. So for Valentine’s Day there was no need to just give red roses, we had a variety of flowers to choose from.

A favorite of mine is the bird of paradise. This flower with it’s bright colors does indeed look like a bird about to take flight. Amazing!

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For those of you who might be feeling lonely or forgotten on Valentine’s Day, I send you some flowers. Remember that Valentine’s Day is not only about receiving, but giving as well. If this is not your year to receive a Valentine, why not take the initiative to surprise someone and be the Valentine “giver” this year!

Wishing you ALL a very special and beautiful day!

This is called a “snow day!”

CBF9C2A4-8D1B-43B0-B4B2-750EBADAB74BWhat do you do on a snowy day? You take the dreaded walk to your car hoping you don’t find THIS… see photo! It’s tough enough to scrape the snow off your car, but if you don’t have a shovel and your car is totally snowed in — WELL, you have to use your feet as a shovel and kick the snow away from your car. As you can see, there is no where for the snow to go!

Excellent exercise for two hours, frozen hands if you took the wrong type of gloves. What do I mean by wrong type of gloves. For a tough job like this, you don’t go outside with your cheap pink knitted gloves, instead you need the high powered black water resistant gloves.

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I made the mistake of grabbing my pink gloves. The ones I bought on a day where I forgot gloves, my hands were freezing and I didn’t want to pay too much. I learned my lesson, don’t try to do a high level outdoor job with girly pink knitted gloves. Your hands become frost bitten!

I know, you are wondering if I got my car out. The answer is “NO.” I did make a good effort though. We need a snow plow and a sunny day tomorrow to melt the snow.

Time for a reward.

I’m going to make a hot chocolate and HOPE that Spring comes soon!

Snail mail is still the BEST!

My Year MugToday started out as an average snowy day. I got up, had my coffee and headed out. I went to the Post Office expecting bills and junk mail, but a surprise package awaited me.

Wow-wee, I even double checked to make sure it was my name on the package. Yep, it was me. I haven’t received a surprise package in years and I do mean YEARS! Clarification on “surprise” package. This is a package that comes unannounced. The sender does not tell you ahead of time to “expect” something.

I’m terrible! I get so excited if I send something to someone that it is hard for me to NOT give it away. I always want to be a secret sender, but it’s just not possible.

My ex/husband is German versus my Italian background. I was always amused by his restraint. When he received a package or letter, he would look at it and put it on the counter in a very precise type of manner and walk off. I would yell out, “Aren’t you going to open it??” No, it can wait until later. INCREDIBLE! When I received something I was ripping open the letter or package as I was reading WHO it was from!

I can say that is exactly what I did today! I was like a little kid, I was so excited about my surprise package. I started to rip it open until I read “FRAGILE” on the top, then I slowed down for fear of “breaking” the surprise!

The photo shows you my surprise gift! How special is that! The mug’s message with the card looking out onto the Lake, well, it was PERFECT! I really feel like a Princess today!

2018 –>  THIS WILL BE MY YEAR! 

(SMILING – The Universe has spoken!)

Teacher gifts for Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is coming up and the stores are filled with hearts, chocolates and flowers. I spoke to a woman yesterday who had a great idea! She was buying 10 of these cute little heart mugs from Williams Sonoma. Her plan was to put flowers inside the mugs and give them to her child’s teachers on Valentine’s Day!

This was a clever idea! I once spoke to a teacher who said it was nice when parents thought of her, but she had a closet full of soaps, scented candles and note cards. Enough already.

How about “apples,” I said. Do you get a lot of those too? I said that for grins. I guess I was shocked to hear a teacher’s thoughts on the “type” of gifts she was receiving. Didn’t sound very good, but I bet I would get tired of the same gifts for every holiday from multiple parents too.

Still, it is important to think about our teachers. They work hard to educate our children. This woman had the right idea, let’s get creative with our gifts. I’m sure that this little heart mug with a flower will be remembered. Certainly not put in the closet… at least, not until the flower is dead!