Saturday, April 23, 2011

Assembly Line Granny

I've been sorting through my digital pictures (7 years worth!!) lately and it tickled me how my holiday and just-because notes and gifts for my Munchkins have went from a few to 8 within those 7 years (! ) resulting in quite the assembly line of giving.  After all, I couldn't do for just 1 and not all 8 for goodness sake.  Here's some pictures of just a few projects--without the countless fun pillowcases I make most every year and the set of Bitty Baby clothes for each granddaughter when she turns 2 (receiving the Bitty Baby when she turned 1).  Before I leave the US in the fall, I always have books and jammies/nighties sewn or purchased for Christmas; but still, we like to send cards and icecream $ to mark all the holidays :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On the Road Again

...or, in my case, in the air again.

Re-entry into UB was a bit bumpy this time--the jet lag hit me up the side of the head.  The result:  I spent about 2 days as a giant Whine-y Butt.  Yuk.  Poor Randy.  Now, it could be due to the fact I've been on 6 international flights and one domestic within the last 3 1/2 months.  It's worked out to every 3 weeks within that time--plus one Mongolia-US trip on the horizon in, yes, 3 weeks!  Still, no excuse for sin, hmm?

Stars or Bars?  Randy says perception is reality.  Do I whine and complain about the stresses and strains of this kind of travel/life or do I embrace the incredible adventures I've had for the last 7 years?  My choice.

All that said and out of the's some things that make me smile:

My travel buddies--my Travel Pro Walk About (#2 for me--my 1st just plain wore out.  I gave it to Randy :).  This is technically a carry on--but I just don't.  However, it holds enough to keep me for a month, fits in Asian taxis and almost under the bed when empty. My real carry on is a little Travel Pro.  It holds my laptop, the dreaded ziplock of liquids, 2 changes of tops and underwear, chargers, etc.   This is a REAL carry on because it will fit under the seat with that stupid box that takes up half the foot room on some planes plus leaves room for my feet. Don't ask me how I know this--trust that experience is talking here.  Letting the airline check it for you often results in the carry on going somewhere that you are not.  Lastly, my Daytimer flight bag.  Very compartmentalized.  We have traveled together so much that I know where everything is long after the brain cells have turned to mush on 30-hour trips.  Boarding passes.  Passport.  Hand lotion.  iPod.  Phone.  Snaks.  All in the same place all the time.  Plus, it sits upright and snug under the seat.  No slouching, no digging.

Next favorite travel aid:  these expandable mesh bags.  I usually take 2; one for chargers, camera, etc. and one for meds, nail polish, bandaides, and that sort of misc.

 Lastly:  Ziplocks.  Ziplocks have to be the Number 1 travel necessity.  All sizes, from snack size to gallon.  I put each charger in their own to keep from getting tangled.  Good for keeping fresh clothes smooth in my little carry on.  Good for swimsuits wet from that one last dip in the ocean before leaving for the airport.  Good for make up.  Good for lots and lots of stuff.

Then, there are some things here in UB that I appreciate lots:

 This GREAT hair dryer I got in Singapore 4 or 5 years ago.  It has 3 speeds, the ion thing--and it's quiet! --Unlike the one I have back in Colo that I use ear plugs with.  Every morning.
This 15- (or more)-year old Maytag oven. We inherited this when Wagner remodled the kitchen at work (they feed all 400 employees a full lunch everyday!).  There were 4 of them that blazed away every day until they were replaced by restaurant-sized stuff from Bejing.  Anyway, this thing is right on the money temperature wise and it responds instantly.  --and it's full size; unheard of in Asia and a lot of Europe.  You know America--bigger is better :) and sometimes it really is.  The little Russian "cooker" I had when I first got here wouldn't even accommodate a 9x13 pan.
My trusty Pfaff 1475.  She is 18 years old and besides all the standard clothing and household projects,  has sewn 2 bridal gowns, umpteen bridesmaid dresses and too many baby quilts to count.  All that and she still purrs.  Compared to my top-of-the-line Kenmore in Colorado, she's the Lincoln compared to a really good Ford.  A bit of luxury is hard to come by here in Mongolia, and I so enjoy this machine.  She makes me smile.

...and oh, yeah--Randy is my most favorite thing in Mongolia.  He makes me smile and laugh and keeps me grounded.  (No, that is not Mongolia in the background)

Whew! Quite the wordy blog.  Well, time to be off into the markets and put my Monglish language skills to use :)  Bayarla!