Monday, December 28, 2009
We have no clue what this means, but it has got to be good.
Was it supposed to be PEACE or FAITH? Who knows.
Believe it or not...this is NOT a one-of-a-kind. The lady selling these had tons of them. She also would not negotiate price because she said it "was the best quality." I didn't have the heart to tell her that it was not the "best quality" because it means nothing to the people she is trying to sell it to. So I paid full price of 30RMB (~4.50USD) and was full of FACE with my purchace.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Before we moved to Norway, we were just settling down in El Paso, Texas. We bought a house and started moving in, only to be transferred six short months later. Needless to say, we pretty much combined our bachelor/bachelorette furniture with a few new pieces and made do...all of which is in now in storage.
So why would we buy furniture here?
1. Because it is dirt cheap. I LOVE a good deal. That is the truth.
2. There are wonderful people here who are experts at replicating/copying.
What made this challenging was that the furniture workshop is an hour away one direction, the fabric market is one hour in the other direction,(I'm sure our driver, Mr. Goo, is as sick of these places as I am) and there is very little English involved, which can get tricky.
At the bottom of this post is what we had in mind.
And here are some pics of what we got!!
The new things in this picture are the apothocary cabinet in the left corner. The two chairs, the pedestal table and the ottoman coffee table.
Friday, November 20, 2009
As I was checking out, she approached me again.
"I had to tell you...I was so relieved when I found out that you were a teacher. The first time I saw you I thought you were in high school. I had to ask my daughter if there was a new girl in school that was pregnant!"
Needless to say, while I was working this week I felt like her:
I think I need to wear a school badge or official name tag....maybe glasses on a chain worn around my neck.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Well, when my oldest brother Brandon caught the Chicken Pox, I knew my time was right around the corner! My time did come....and of course it wasn't as glorious as I imagined it would be. After the week or so I was ready for the pox to be all gone.
Needless to say, I am now immune to Chicken Pox!
Little did I know...I am NOT immune to Shingles. Shingles is the "Grown up" version of the Chicken Pox. This virus I had as a child (works the same if you have had the vaccine) never really goes away. It becomes dormant. Then, when you are older and your body is in a time of stress (like pregnancy), it can return.....as Shingles.
Well, that is the cause of the burning sensation that I have on the back of my right leg. Shingles settles in one specific spot and this is where it has chosen to stay on me. I am now reliving those few days I had to spend in the Pink Lotion AND once again I can even spread Chicken Pox (not Shingles) to those of you who haven't had them yet. Lucky me!
Good news is that it causes no harm to Carter...I may even pass on a bit of immunities to him.
I have just learned that I did not catch the Chicken Pox from Brandon! I caught them from a friend while we were living in Scotland.
I did, of course, rub my victory in Brandon's face by singing "I caught them first". He would then taunt me back by poking me in the Pox and sing "Well, I'm going to get them next." I don't think he caught them.
Who won that battle? I'm thinking Brandon. (As I sit here on day two in my Pink Lotion.)
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
In case you are wondering. This toilet is called a "squatter" by other foreigners like myself. It is level with the ground. The grooves on either side are where you put your feet. There is no seat. Get my point. If we are in a place that only has "squatters" I usually enter the restroom and exit with in the same ten seconds...leaving John to navigate us to another location quickly where I can try again. I refuse, unless it is an absolute emergency.
This is HuaLuan....or as John and I call it "Walmart." (We do have a real Walmart here but this is our Chinese Walmart.) Our Chinese Walmart is across the street and we frequent it regularly. It has all of your personal and household needs. Clothes, bedding, dishes, appliances, cleaning supplies and groceries.
The true stress and frustration comes with waiting to check out.
I have learned to totally appreciate my personal space of about 3 feet. Here that doesn't exist. In fact if you aren't inches behind someone you get cut off. With no regard, they will cut in front of you and pretend like nothing happened. And that TOTALLY gets me fired up. (Just thinking about it now gets me so angry.) But this happens to me quite a bit.
*Some of the other things to add to the list:
-People hawking lugies. (not even sure how to spell this)
-Loud, I mean REALLY loud yawning.
-Throwing trash on the street, even when there is a trash can.
-Being asked "You want Coach, Gucci, Louis Vuitton?" Over and over and over again.
-"I give you special price." "This is best quality."
-Driving on the wrong side of the road or on sidewalks.
-People driving while holding down their horn. WHY?
-Picking noses in public, even at a restaurant.
-People staring at you.
-Rushing into the elevator before you have a change to get off.
-Taking a #1 and #2 on the sidewalk.
When you have had too many of these things in a row on a particular day and you feel like you have had enough, this is called a Shang-Low Day. We all have them from time to time. They are horrible and can even make you cry.
A bad Shang-Low Day can be cured by following these two little steps:
1. First, head across the street to Bamboo 7 immediately.
2. Go shopping for something fun. Like a new handbag, jewelry or my latest China obsession....furniture. Here are some pics of pieces we are having made.
Once these two little steps are followed you are back to saying "I love Shanghai!" and that is called a Shang-High Day!
*I could go on and on with that list. I'll save some others for when I catch a picture of them!
Friday, October 16, 2009
As most of you know, we are expecting a baby boy. We are thrilled to meet little Carter in just 12 weeks (unless he is late or early).
This picture was taken at 24 Weeks and 3 days...which brings me to the most recent huge event. Carter's picture was taken the same day his twin cousins were born.
Luke and Hudson Van Sickle were born on September 23, 2009.
This is their first family photo. My older brother, Brandon and my sister-in-law, Suzie are now proud parents and I couldn't be happier for the two of them.
The twins are just adorable! Mommy and Daddy are doing well and I am obsessed with checking their blog for updates. www.twobabiesandbailey.blogspot.com I was lucky enough to be in the US this special day and got to hold them everyday their first two weeks. I miss their sweet little faces!
Finally, here are a few belly shots from the past several months that we have been away from the blogging world.
(My friend Laura who is due a month ahead of me with her little girl Elle. She is 27 or 28 weeks in this picture.)
Friday, July 10, 2009
Recently though, huge riots against the Communist party have broken out in western China (not any where close to us) and for this reason, Facebook has been blocked.
Now this was going too far. So we did something about it.
Where there is a will, there is a way...and how are you supposed to live with out Facebook!? So, needless to say...with some sneaky ways, we are back to open access internet.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Our back porch... Getting ready for Norwegian Independence Day! The 17th of May!
In town, looking toward the sea. I'm so glad we found these pictures. It is so strange to think how quickly life changes. Enjoy every minute!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
First lesson: Eating Duck. Wonderful...love it.
Second lesson: Brunch is a weekend must.
So our first brunch to join them, they took us to Taiking Lu (Lu means street). From the main street...this place looks very shady. However, once you get into the alleys it is amazing! It is a crazy combination of old and new. The bottom floors of the old homes have been converted to cafes, art gallery's, photography studios, boutiques...you get the idea. The upper floors are still homes. VERY COOL.
After brunch we wandered the area and got some pretty "different" pictures. I seemed to have taken more pictures of the strange stuff...and not so much the whole idea (or new, normal stuff) of the place. But as I've already explained, we are not the best tourists.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Today we went to Yuyuan Garden to take a look around. This big tourist spot is the place always shown on the Travel Channel when they visit Shanghai.
One of the neatest things about Yuyuan Garden is the architecture. This is how I always pictured China. Ironically, in Shanghai, this is the only area like it and it is a bit crazy to see skyscraper's standing tall around this 5-acre area in the middle of the city. If you want to read more about it here is the wikipedia link: Yuyuan Garden.
Like most things we've seen so far, this too is centered around yummy food and shopping!
This lady is making steamed dumplings. They are one of our favorite.
A dumpling for lunch! Through the straw in the middle, you sip out warm soup. Then devour the dumpling. (Excuse the remains of my last manicure.)
A bit of shopping in the markets.
Steve, this one is for you! Add this one to memory: 218 Anren Jie, Huangup District, Shanghai, China.
So apparently, other people have gotten much better pictures. If you would like to see more pictures taken by people who know what they are doing click here: Yuyuan Garden Photos.