Sunday, January 31, 2010

SPAGHETTI & CHICKEN FOOT


I have an amazing friend here in UB. Beverly, who is in her very active 60s, recently took on 3 young teenagers to finish raising. Beverly has known James, Aaron & Jonathon for most all of their young lives. They are great guys. Anyway, they all blessed me one afternoon recently for lunch & Chicken Foot (dominoes). Two pounds of meatballs and all the fixings plus one big bag of Russian vanilla icecream later, we finished off the afternoon with a game of Scrabble. Beverly beat me something fierce. And then was on to her next 2 parties.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

BIBLE BABUSHKAS & CHINGGIS KHAN VODKA

Here are two of my Bible study sisters getting ready to go out into the frozen UB tundra (-31 F)--do they not look like Russian babushkas? Neither is Russian--one is German and the other Scot! I really should have gotten the boots in for full effect. My friend in the purple, Evelyn, has boots that a Siberian general would envy. Serious boots. Irene, on the other hand, is seriously furred up. Then I took a shot of the Chinggis (vodka) sculpture outside of the Grand Irish Pub (I do not make this stuff up). This is the building that my salon, Charming Beauty, is in. Nope, didn't make that up either (the whole salon is done in pink & white, too). I took the picture last week and when I came out from a salon appointment, the tree was all but dissembled! The Mongolians do a good job of trying to accommodate Western Christmas, Russian Orthodox Christmas (Jan 12 I think) and calendar new year plus Chinese new year which is close to their Tsagaan Sar holiday. Whew! A marketing blitz.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

JANUARY COMFORTS


My daughter recently shared in her blog http://nikki-fancythat.blogspot.com :)  that January tends to make her feel blah. This same sentiment was repeated by a few friends of mine, too. It made me think about why I've always liked January. For one, the holidays, with all their blessings, are behind (whew!). As is the frenetic activity--leaving January with the luxury of Time. Time to reflect and time to put one's home and inner self in some order. Time to think of what's next. I love making New Year goals (less guilt involved than making resolutions :). This year's involve focusing on creating more (sewing, blogging, bread baking, etc. and learning more (tai chi/yoga, more Mongolian language, tech stuff, essential oils/herbs, etc.) Oh, and reading through the Bible (found 3 great plans to choose from here:  http://www.navpress.com.

Anyway, January & February tend to be the coldest months here in Mongolia and this has been an exceptionally cold month. A few days ago when I took this picture out my front window, it was -47 F!  A few of my "likes" that bring me comfort during these slower, chilly days are pictures of my family which are all over our apartment, a new deluxe Scrabble game my sister sent us for Christmas :) , my sewing corner that I try to be in most every day--even if it's just 15 minutes...and my friends, of course! Then there is my French press. Dealing with my hypoglycemia has forced me to cut waaay back on my coffee consumption. So, I try to make my 2 cups with breakfast a coffee moment. This does the trick.





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Friday, January 8, 2010

BLOOMIN' IN MONGOLIA

Despite the fact that it's been hovering around -30 or -40 F or so for the last week (this is my 6th winter in this crazy cold), my plants and my adopted peeps (they're birds so what else would they do?!) seem to be thriving. I'm especially pleased with my BASIL :) I have grown basil here repeatedly but it never seems to make it through my absences (which have been many over the last 5+ years). Each time I return to UB, I start a fresh batch--who can live without fresh basil I wanna know? Here I can get cilantro year round (the Chinese cook lots with it) and sometimes parsley in the markets, but that's it. So, for me and my birds, life is good :) I would also like to share that the traffic out my window is somewhat new. The road was just paved and put all the way through last year and is now a super highway (gridlock as I write this). Not too long ago there were pony carts along there. I'll have to dig up that picture. But that's another blog :)



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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

REBEL GEISHAS IN MONGOLIA

At last! I begin this quilt almost a year ago with my Mongolian quilt class. Then, it traveled across the world to Colorado where it remained untouched. So, back around the world it came and I just put the last stitch in place over the New Year holiday. I named it Rebel Geisha's because all the fronts have matching backs except the two in diagonal corners (I ran out of fabric!). And since most Asians find great beauty in uniformity (except for Mongolians!), hence the rebels. I did some pretty extensive free motion stitching if I say so myself. Done. Good feeling :)

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Friday, January 1, 2010

WELCOME 2010!


I love New Year's Day. I just love new beginnings (yes, even Mondays)! I love spending the 1st day of the year filling in the birthdays, etc. on my new calendars and planner and breaking in a new journal. It's crazy cold out today in UB and it's been delightful just snuggling in. Last night we went a party with friends--the one picture was taken there with my Mongolian language teacher, Chimgee, is in the middle :)--and though the company was sooo interesting and we were having a great time, we purposefully left a bit after 9. As much as I like the new year, I equally dislike starting it all tired and draggy. The night before we attended the annual Wagner holiday party and it was lots of fun, too, --but late. The one picture is of a few of Randy's "girls" as he affectionately refers to them: Oyunga, Shagai, & Ulziimaa--and of course me, duh! Notice that 2 of them received exceptional employee awards! So here's to our brand new year! I'm looking so forward to the journey and hope you are, too.


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