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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sweeping Up

Legal Disclaimer:  No brooms or mops were harmed in the photography for this blogpost.

Do you remember one of the closing scenes in Fiddler on the Roof when they must leave Anatevka?  Golda slips back into their cottage at the last moment to "sweep up".  She just can't leave without doing that.

That kind of sentiment is not lost on me.

I have no explanation for why I needed to come clear to China to  discover that I truly feel so passionately about mops and brooms.

But I did.

Number of pictures taken of my Swiffer at home:  0.

But in China...



mops and brooms

completely irresistible.

Whether they're resting in bamboo,

or trying to "work it" in a market,

or just valiantly striving to clean up China,

they are charming

humble, and

completely photogenic to me.

And for that,

I have

no explanation.

If I approach it philosophically,

perhaps I, like Golda,

feel the need to calmly perform routine rituals before the cosmic door closes. (gasp!!  Is Madd speaking euphemistically about death???  How dark!!  She's losing it!!!)

Or maybe they are just plain beautiful.

How do you get down off an elephant?

Mike and Norma Kneese

looking like they've taken an elephant to work every day for the last 25 years!!

Still Blasting From the Pasting

Contemplative young Buddhist monk in temple in Cambodia

More Cambodia

and a little more...

And back in Chengdu, yet another death in our neighborhood.  When you die there, these giant mylar memorials are delivered.  Your friends come and pay your respects by walking around and reading the streamers which we suspected carried sentiments and condolences.  Not to be disrespectful, but they reminded me of JiffyPop...

 Sometimes the wind caught ahold of them!

Continuing on in a funerial theme--we peeked in here on our way to church one day.  I think the mahjhong tables are for the family who sort of "hold court" in honor of their loved one--a viewing of sorts without the body--just a nice picture, flowers, and oh, I saw some snacks.  Refreshments!!

I don't know if you decorate your own tent or if that's contracted out. 

More of the JiffyPop on sticks.  The little pile of sunflower seeds in the right hand lower corner tipped me off that I would get along just fine with this group.

Posing with Ronald, John, Kevin and Harry in my classroom.  Yes, we wore coats!!!  Brrrrr, howdy...

 Spring Festival mid winter interruption of China to love on me some of these.

If two are in a selfie, is it an ussie?

Or a we-ie?

Will pick up my needles and create this someday...ahhhh....

And a Happy Birthday to this superior 7 year old.  Harrison is one of the kindest people I know.  He speaks gently, and I have never seen him be anything but a lovely gentleman.  It doesn't hurt that he has those eyes...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Just a T-shirt away...

On My Way Home From School Today, I...

paused to admire some mops (and you thought I had rehabilitated...),

wove and dodged through the lunch traffic,

 picked my way through a myriad of bikers,

walked through some sort of activist rally,

learned some sign language,

 indulged in music appreciation,

slapped down 10 yuan ($1.66) and became a card-toting member of the Cycling Association of Peking University,

and nearly took out this clown on my bicycle.

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley