Saturday, February 17, 2018

Feeling Special

I have the most beautiful friends!

Back when I was on refugee status in December, while I was hanging out at Dalat, Aunt Mary, a dorm mom, made the most beautiful birthday cake for one of her dorm students.  I'm not exactly sure what my comments were about the cake, but it was a cake with shoes, and it was awesome!  If you know me, I love shoes!! :D I commented on how sweet it was and that it would be my kind of cake.  So Mary said, "That's it! I'm making you a birthday cake when you are next at Dalat!  I said, "That would be awesome, but are you sure?  Most people are deathly afraid to make me a birthday cake."  Mary said, "It's not going to be perfect, but I'm going to make you one!"

And she did!

Last night, Mary and friends from Tembagapura, threw me an early birthday party.  She made me the most beautiful cake!  The taste was fantastic.  There were sparkles.... and there were shoes on top!!  High heel shoes!!  Perfect cake for me!

This cake was so special and Mary hit it out of the park!!

The beautiful Mary.

Me and my beautiful cake.

Making a wish...

 The Tembagapura ladies.  I am so glad these ladies were in Penang to help me celebrate!

One thing that is so special about this life we live, is that I have met some of the most beautiful people in this world.  We all are from different parts of the globe, but all connected somehow.  At times like these, I just sit back and think about how very thankful I am for all my blessings.  Last night once again showed me how truly loved I am.  :D

Thank you Aunt Mary!  You will never know how much last night meant to me! xoxo

Friday, February 16, 2018


Of course!  When there's hardly a lick of communication available, something always happens...

Last Thursday the fiber optic cable that connected our island to the rest of the world was damaged.  The damage took out all communication to the island except for Chris' Freeport email address and our land line phone (I don't even know the number to that phone, because we never use it! ;))  Anyway, I suggested to Chris Friday morning that he should email the kids and give them a heads up that if they needed to get in touch with us, they would have to email his work email.

Well, Friday passes and then Saturday Chris gets an email that we need to call Gabby.  Only, it was two hours or more that the email was sent before he opened it... of course... ;)

So Chris gets on the land line and calls Gabby.  I walk in on the conversation already in progress, this is what I hear... "It's fractured?  How did you do that?"

I knew Gabby was playing in a basketball tournament that weekend, so I assumed that it was an arm or part of a leg... Nope, it was her NOSE!!

OUCH!!  I'm not exactly sure how it happened other than a girls head connected with Gabby's nose.

Two fractures!  Made my eyes water when I heard that... no, not because it was my baby girl and she was hurt... but because I could just imagine what that would feel like to get smashed in the face with someone else's head! OUCH!!

Thankfully we have a great school nurse and the kids dorm mom is a nurse, so Gabby had plenty of knowledgeable people helping her out!  No surgery was needed to fix the nose.  They say because the head hit the nose from the bottom up, there was less damage than there would have been if it was hit from one side or the other or straight on.

Every day and night we would ask Gabby to send us photos.  I was excited to see the color change. lol!!  She is quite a bit swollen in the first couple days.

Starting to get  a bit of color in the corner of her left eye.

On Wednesday, I started my previous planned trip to Penang with a stopover in Bali first.  I finally had Internet connection and Gabby could send me pictures.

I was so excited to see the color come out!  I know, crazy mom right??? ;)  (The red on her cheek is from something going on at school that day...) But the color around her eye was promising. :D  I was so looking forward to getting to school Thursday night and having a daughter with two full blown black and blue raccoon eyes!!  Wear your war wounds proud my Gabby Goo!! ;)

I finally arrive at school and then.... much to my disappointment.... ... nothing!!  There's barely a bit of color left around her eyes!  The raccoon didn't show up... :(   LOL!

There was still a hit of color yesterday, but nothing much... I'm pretty sure my normal eyes look worse than her fractured-nose-eyes ever looked!  lol!  This just goes to show what the power of icing your injury can do for you!  Great job Gabby! ;)

Looking great as always Yummy!!!  I think you will survive... ;)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

8 Years!

We hit our eight year mark of living in Indonesia,  January11th, while I was on my self induced media fast. So now I’m just getting to the blog post...

What can I say...  A LOT has happened, A LOT has changed!!  Go through the blog if you want a taste of all that’s been going on in our lives since we first stepped foot on the island. ☺️

A very big change... our kids. Lol!  This was the last picture we took of the whole family before leaving the US...

The most recent family photo...

Mmmm sigh..... oh the memories... 😉

Home Again!

After 2+ months of living out of a suitcase in Singapore, Penang, back to Singapore, Bali, and Hong Kong, my refugee status has changed...  I am finally home!

My chauffeured ride up the mountain. 

Thankful for a bright sunny day even though it makes for taking horrible pictures out of the chopper's armored window. 

Very happy, very thankful to be home!  Now it’s time to get my life organized again, just in time for the next time off the mountain. T minus 28-ish days and counting...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Hong Kong Day 4

The Perfect Date

Listen up guys, if you want to win the heart of my little girl, follow these instructions closely, VERY closely! 

First, you get back on the MTR and go back over to the mainland for the third time in as many days, to walk the Promenade and to find the perfect egg tart. If there is a chicken pie, grab that too.  Now don't get to horribly upset if the Promenade is closed due to new construction, you can always go with plan B...

Plan B... skip the Promenade and find the egg tarts and chicken pies ASAP!  Then find an open bench by pier #3 for Marz to sit and indulge...

Next after walking off all those calories by walking through the biggest conglomeration of make-up stores you have ever seen, you "stumble" upon one of  Marz's favorite restaurants in the whole entire world!  Dan Ryan's!  Her dad would be so jealous!!

Then you feed her again!  This is really why we walk so much...  So Marz can eat to her hearts content... ;)

Even if egg tarts were only two hours ago, don't forget dessert!!  An important fact... if there isn't carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, cheese cake is the next best dessert.  Also, and this is very important!  After two adult beverages, her face gets really red.  So make sure you stop there or else... ;)

Then you take her back to her hotel room and LEAVE HER AT HER DOOR for her to get some rest for the second half of the date. :D

At 6 pm, you go pick her up for the best part of the day... 

More dessert!  This time it will be at a place called Atum.  They use liquid hydrogen to make these pretty fancy desserts.

The Roselle and Bamboo Chocolate were her desserts of choice, but I'm pretty sure you can't go wrong with any one of the choices.

PS... Make sure when you video the liquid hydrogen act, that the video isn't upside down! Really, truly, my phone was not upside down!!! 

Then after dessert number three of the day, you get back out on the street and do more walking to the MTR to catch the train to what she really has been looking forward to all day... The Carnival!

Now, if you are really smart, I would find a carnival with this particular ride.  She says it's her favorite!

This one was just a quick little fun roller coaster, but if you really want to please her heart, you will find her a bigger, much bigger one!

And then find the two most "freaky" rides in the park...

If you can handle this insanity and not puke, you probably have a good chance at winning her heart.  Me on the other hand, you could not give me a BILLION bucks to do this!!  

And that's the simple way on how to win the heart of my beautiful Marz!  Good Luck!! :)

With that, this concludes our four days in Hong Kong and my self induced FB media fast!  Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we head to the airport and go our separate ways.  Marz back to school in the US, and me, finally home to Tembagapura.

Hong Kong, you have been great!!  You were not as scary as I thought you would be and were definitely way more fun than I could have imagined!

I leave you all with this thought, probably the most important thing I saw in all of HKG...

Fortunately for me, I know I am, as is everyone, truly loved by the creator of all those dots! ;)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Hong Kong Day 3

No Puking!

The Peak Tram.  Up first on today's list of things to do... 

Because we are now professional MTR navigators, we don't have to walk all the way down here!  Thank goodness!  We get on the MTR at Causeway bay to Central.  Why on earth did we not discover how to use this the first day??? Sooooo, Soooo EASY!!!

Sorry, on with the story....

The tram takes you up, in a cable car (Thank heavens not one of those pod thingy's that dangle from a cable wire!! I am not a fan of those!) to the top of Victoria Peak.  Victoria Peak is the highest point on Hong Kong Island.  At the top, there is a 360 degree viewing deck for all to get a good look of HKG island.

My newest friend in the whole world!  With the exception of last night's "jade" markets, these guys have helped us out immensely! [Not sure how the jade market helped you out mother, but okay...]

Waiting with the mob.  I tell you, I love my time with Marz, but I cannot wait to get back home where I am not body bumping into everyone as I walk along!  There are just too many people!! ;)

On the tram...  I really hope I don't puke!  It's almost like a carnival ride... ;)

I cannot describe how steep this ride up the hill is... And the pictures won't do it justice either...

As we waited in line to buy our tickets, we thought we would buy the whole package deal and go see Madame "whomever"... We at first thought it was a magic show... We can't read Chinese... and the guy on the poster looked like a magician... :D Boy oh boy were we wrong...  It was a wax museum!! LOL!! All are life sized wax replicas of the real people. So we take a little detour as we are known to do... ;)

Me and not my boy, Brad Pitt. He is really a small dude...

And then we have Miss photogenic...  So we had some fun with a few pic of me thrown in...

Every time I glance at this pic, I think its a pic of my sister and wonder what's she doing here... ;)  Can you even imagine???

Oh wait, another pic of me.... ha ha!  Just practicing for the future... Madam President... Hmmmm... I kinda like the sound of that.  After all, I was PTA president at one time... lol!!

Ok, now I think the rest are of Marz...

Look who we found... Joko, president of Indonesia.  BTW, we also found (whisper) Obama, but my camera wasn't quite working at that exact moment... Have no idea what happened! ;)

Probably my most favorite and coolest pic of the day!

This was sooooo funny!

I guess one more of me... I am not a small woman.  This guy is/was huge!!

For dad... and Ernanto... ;)

We finally stop taking detours and get to the top observation deck.

It was FREEZING!  I'm pretty sure the temp at the hotel was 14 celsius [about 57 to you uncultured swine] (Oh my gosh! LOL!!  I just snorted out loud!!  Someone has hacked my computer!!  MARZ!!!) when we left, but the wind was blowing like we were back in South Dakota... That bone chilling cut right through you cold wind... Well at least for me...  Marz thought it was just right. I mean look at how she is dressed!  I was covered from head to toe and still not warm enough!! ;)

Enough pictures! Get out of the cold already! :D

Like Singapore, almost every building here has some form of shopping and places to eat.  At the top of Victoria Peak, they had Forrest Gump and Hard Rock restaurants.  We chose Forrest for lunch. :)

The cable car to take us back down.

I found it interesting that everyone sat backwards on the way down.  Then at about the half way point it dawned on me that the reason for this is because the ride is so steep that if you were sitting facing forward, you would fall right out of your seat!  It's was very difficult to get that feeling in a picture! So I didn't... But not for lack of trying. ;)

This shot I took over my shoulder as I was facing forward and we were riding down backwards... [yes, Carol] Uh, mom, Marz wrote that when I wasn't looking!! ;)
When that was finished, Marz and I decided we hadn't gotten our six miles in for the day, so we walked back to the hotel, no problem... Then nap time!  We needed to prepare ourselves for the nights event.  The one thing to do on my bucket list...

The Symphony of Lights Cruise.

A friend who had been to HKG in October, told me to take a ferry across the harbor at night to get a look at all the skyscrapers lit up. So instead of just taking a ferry, Mersades booked a harbor cruise for us a few days ago so we could go see the night lights of Hong Kong.  I was really looking forward to it and since we really hadn't spent a lot of money doing tours, (cuz we have been walking EVERYWHERE!!!)  I thought we would splurge on this one.... After all, it was at the top of my list.... ;)

I knew we, or at least I, would absolutely NEED some warmer clothes for the nights events!  As I said before, today was quite chilly and I knew if we were going to be out on the water, it would be next to miserable for me if I wasn't dressed warmer. (I really would have been prepared for colder weather, but remember, I have not been home since November and I have been living in Bali and Penang which are very hot!)  So after our beauty rest, we ran across the street and found a few sweaters, scarves and a hat for for me.  Thank Goodness is all I can say!!!

Waiting around for the boat to show up. Pier 3

Our chauffeur for the night.

Of course we had to sit up front... Where the wind was blowing the hardest and was the coldest... ;)  But Marz looks soooo cute.... She's queen of the world.... :D [that's right, and don't you forget it]

Just before the boat left the pier.

Maybe I'm queen of the world.... ;) lol!  (I really hope I don't puke!)  It was quite rocky on the water.

Above where we got on the boat was a massive observation deck for people to go and watch the light show.  I'm thinking they were the smarter ones.... ;)

A different tour boat loading up passengers.

Heading out...  Sorry I didn't take the time to edit the pictures before I put them on here.  I really just want to crawl in bed and warm up! ;)

After about five minutes, I threw my vanity over board and put the  muggers hat on.  I couldn't handle the cold any longer.  The wind just cut right through you!  I almost used Marz like a blanket and had her sit on my lap! hahahahah! ;)

 Then the light show began...  Yup, that's about it.  Very non eventful... :(

I hope you weren't too disappointed... :D  I was a little bummed... But I was still spending time with Marz, freezing my tail off... What more could life have to offer??? ;) [not much]

Finally, after the laser light show, we still had about 30 more minutes on the boat cruising the harbor. I talked Marz into moving to a part of the boat that was at least protected a little from the wind.  Here is a better picture of my mugger's hat.  I love my scarf... However, when will I ever use in the near future other than tomorrow???  Oh well, money well spent!

And then we disembarked... Right next to a carnival!! Marz wanted to stop, but I was so cold, and really had to use the little girls room, and we were still a good 30+ minutes away from the hotel... I talked her into waiting and going back tomorrow night.  Our last hurrah in HKG!

Just so you all know how dedicated I am to informing you about my life, I am sitting here at the computer still wrapped up in my three layers of clothing, my scarf and hat, drinking a cup of boiling hot water, finishing this post from the day! ;D

Night night everyone or good morning... Or however you want to look at it. ;) xoxo