Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: Life, Love & Laughter

...everything in between and what happens after."  Donavon Frankenreiter

I am so happy to see a new year roll around!  Not that the old one was bad; but I sense a corner turned, a new chapter beginning. ...and I love new beginnings of any sort--even Mondays.  The end of the old year and start of a new one has always held a special place for me.  I much prefer to stay in and quiet, eat good food and be contemplative rather than take in parties or fireworks.  What I loathe is starting a brand new year with a lack-of-sleep-hangover--no alcohol required.  Yikes. --Not that I'm opposed to alcohol--but let's make it good stuff and imbibe early :)

In retrospect, some of the highs and lows of my 2010:

High:  all the quality AND quantity time I got to spend with my daughters, sons-in-law and eight grand kids!

Low:  all the time spent apart from Randy last year.

High:  my trip to Cambodia by myself.  Amazing and empowering. 

Low:  Working my way through the Hormonal Upheaval--thank you, Lord, Dr. B, & Lianne.  The question still remains, though:  was my life affecting my hormones or the other way around?  I suppose the answer is both.  Looking back from this shore, I'm OK with that. 

High/Low:  Nikki and family moving out of our Colorado home (low) in order to move into their own home (high) 10 minutes away from our home (double high :)

High:  Reclaiming said home for two rather than 7.

Low:  Dealing with contractors to achieve the above.  Mercy.   Truly a tale of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."  I would list and rate them but I am afraid I would be sued.  ...and, admittedly, there were stars.  The Chappel's come to mind...:D  "This is going to cost the owners more, but in the end it will be worth it"  This Old House.  Indeed.

High:  My trip to Buffalo to meet with a dear Canadian sister (met in UB) to drive into Pennsylvania to meet up with some other dear Christian friends who had recently retired from Mongolia.  Excellent.

Low:  An extreme heartache.

High:  God's wonderful presence and tender leading to a better, stronger place of heart, mind & soul.

Taking a 3-month, 4-5 days-a-week Dahn yoga class.  Very healing in so many ways.

High:  A 2-week trip to Israel with Randy.  The trip of a lifetime.  Will change the way my Bible reads forever.

Low:  The ton of good-byes said in Mongolia.  Very transient place as far as foreigners go.

High:  The friendships forged in order to say the good-byes. 

All in all, the highs far outweighed the lows--even overshadowing the heartache which I thought would surely  consume me.

Enough looking back--onward ho!  On to the new year.  No fear (a theme the Lord hammered into me this last year :)  So, a fond farewell to 2010 and

"Lookin' for LIFE, LOVE & LAUGHTER and everything in between and what happens after"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Very Merry Mongolian Christmas

Yet again, it's been soooo long since I've blogged.  Last week I even debated continuing to blog or not and came to a decision:  my target audience will be my family and close friends.  Period.  If others take a peak, they're more than welcome, but my primary goal is to share my life which is so far away from home with the people who matter most to me.  Whew!  This decision has taken a great deal of pressure off me for some reason--after all, it's not like I have a huge blog audience just waiting for my next post.  Anyway, I do enjoy the technical challenge and creativity involved.  So, all that said, grab something warm and yummy to drink 'cause there are lots of pictures.

Here's a peak at my December in Mongolia.  Expats start leaving the country en mass to their home countries for Christmas.  This year I decided to stay and keep Randy company--though I have to admit I wasn't very good company as I tended to mope much more than I should have.  However, there were good times to be had...
like holiday baking & cooking...(that's pumpkin for soup and pies cooking in the crock pot)

 ...the party with my Bible study sisters at Nancy's place (that's the hostess herself yukking it up :)...

holiday sewing...including backing 16 knitted baby blankets with flannel to go to a needy maternity hospital next week (no, I did NOT do the knitting--you know me better than that :), and a Christmas table top quilt.  The table runner I bought from a local shop--it's from silk and not quilted at all.  I think it is gorgeous!

...the Notre Dame Orphanage Christmas program--note the little sheep's behind--he was quite an unruly sheep :D

...our Christmas Eve buffet dinner with as many remaining expats as we could find plus two Mongolian friends, Shagai & Ulzimaa & children Tselmeg & Enkhmaa--my Kenyan friend, Jane and her Dutch husband, Jon, as well as the Mongolians had never seen or tasted turkey!

finishing up with the Wagner Holiday party on Christmas night....can you recognize the moms above in a group picture below?  Oh, and the young guys from Wagner, Chris, Josh, Derrick & CJ, all dolled up?!  OK, Randy & I are probably hard to recognize, too--hint:  I'm the one dressed like the Queen Mum :)

...that's our December festivities.  One more week of the month left and I am hoping it will be a quiet one :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Guy's Birthday

We just celebrated Randy's birthday here in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia--I believe the 7th that we've celebrated somewhere in Asia.   --Don't miss the truly Asian sentiment on the gift bag :D

Anyway, his birthday wish was for a nice, quiet day.  So, in honor of that wish, he got a birthday breakfast complete with real breakfast sausages!  They're produced here in UB as a joint venture with New Zealand and are free of MSG and a whole bunch of other stuff.  They tasted great  (they ought to for what we paid for them; hence saved for a birthday breakfast!)--not as fatty as US sausage.  ...hmm...amazing the things one gets excited about in a developing country... I had brought back this great Turkish robe from Land's End; perfect fit!  So will monogram it soon.  Let's see, we enjoyed a yummy lunch at a newer Thai restaurant, then home for his annual cheesecake.  This year is the traditional New York recipe with a crust made from a cookie-dough batter--a recipe that originated with my dear Aunt Hare, who sadly is no longer with us.  I've made pumpkin/ginger ones a few time that are really yummy, too.

According to Randy, this was a perfect birthday.  Glad to oblige, glad for another year to celebrate, Dear!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bloggers' Quilt Festival!

I'm so tickled to be a part of this year's Bloggers' Quilt Festival!  My entry was done in Outer Mongolia (literally!  --read on).  This quilt is one of my favorite recent projects that I named "Renegade Geisha's" --renegade because two of the geisha's don't conform to the rest (mainly because I ran out of coordinating fabrics!).  Can you find the two renegades?  ;)  The quilt incorporates fabric origami and the quilt itself is from  Fantastic Fabric Folding  --many projects from this book were a big hit with the Mongolian class pictured below.

Due to my husband's work, we live in Mongolia; and I was privileged to teach classes at a local quilting studio.  I've included a picture of the class where we were working on the geisha blocks.  The students spoke almost no English and I speak what I call Monglish--a lot of English sprinkled with Mongolian.  Regardless, we all had a blast!  ...and, I'm very pleased with this quilt of mine!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Little Wings...Not!

I was actually listening to "Little Wings" by Kris Delmhorst (amazing song; a current fave of mine--check it out!) and so the title for this blog...but these pics are from the Eagle Festival I got to attend last March outside of UB--not a "little" wing in sight. Since it has been ages since I blogged, I figure I need to start (again) somewhere. So, since Life prevented me from blogging these great pics, I thought I would start here. One pic of of my dear longer here; sigh. Their absence is sorely felt. Back to did Ingrid Michaelson get into my head? Those of you into lyrics (my husband believes that 70% of the population is not--?!) will enjoy "Maybe." Or maybe not--may be where my head/heart is at these days. So, on a really positive lyric note (? ;) I'm also loving "A Crooked Road" by Darrell Scott.

ANYWAY...aren't these creatures amazingly beautiful?  Took my breath away. 

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Still Stitchin'!

 In response to my daughter Nikki's blog--always an inspiration!  Check it out: I too have been sort off line when it comes to sewing. Living out of a suitcase has its challenges. Plus, it just seems to take me longer to accomplish anything these days--and there has been PLENTY to accomplish this summer. ....but sewing is still something that gives me great joy and and allows my mind and body to just go, "ahhhhh." So, I have been scheduling in my sewing time--yep, putting it right there in my planner. OCD? Perhaps; but it tends to give it the importance it deserves!
Anyway, here are a few recent projects: the sewing machine cover (great pattern I've used 3 times!--find it here:  ) Some aprons off of these great fabrics, and lastly, yesterday I started a quilted cover for my cedar chest in my bedroom. I'm aiming for a slightly Asian look in my bedroom; nothing too over the top, because, well, I'm not Asian ;) I got these greeaat fabrics last year when Nikki and I went to the Denver Sewing Expo together. I think the block is perfect, don't you?  Oh--and I also made bath critter towel #8!  Each grandchild gets one during their 1st year; the last one, a fox, I made for Andreas' 1st birthday on August 11.  Note how I initially separated all those little pattern piece out--with grandchild #1, Hannah,--never dreaming I'd be blessed with 8!  Smart Granny ;)

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