Thursday, July 19, 2012
Our trip to China was very intense, interesting, exciting, revealing... we visited places I have always wanted to go and places I wish I didn't have to be dragged to (tourist shops). The pluses definitely outweighed the negatives; I am glad I went, and glad to be back home.
I wanted to journal while I was there, but there was so much to do that I really didn't have time to. I would like to start a blog page and detail the trip, but have been too tired and disoriented with extreme jet lag, that I haven't had the energy to start one. I hope that I feel up to it tomorrow before detailed memories start to fade. If I get one started, I'll post a link.
Our days were so packed that I'll need several SP blogs to give some highlights to the trip.
This heritage tour was sponsored by the Chinese government and for children adopted from China.
Our official tour began with a visit to the child welfare department and in particular, the matching room. This is where children are matched to their waiting families.
This sign was made up of a collage of children who have been adopted.
This was the largest heritage tour they have sponsored and a media event. We were followed by the media everywhere in Beijing. Below are some links to some of the news coverage. We weren't featured, but if you look closely you will see my sister, niece, and I included in the coverage. Our friends are featured on the front page of the China Daily and we are standing right behind them.
While in Beijing, we also went to the Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall.
We climbed to the second tower on the Great Wall. At this gate, the climb is very steep.
Can you see the second tower way up there?
We definitely got our exercise on most days. What none of these pictures can show is how dang HOT and humid it was! I am glad I did my step training in the heat before I left!
TMI.... sign off now if you don't want to know.
The first squatty potty of our trip was in the welfare offices. We encountered many, some very clean, some not so much.
I am very glad that I have kept up my yoga for both flexibility and balance. It was hard for quite a few people, but I found that in China I preferred them to 'western' toilets in public areas because they stayed cleaner. The hotels all had western toilets in the rooms and lobbies. We only had the squatties when we were out and about... which was just about always.
I'll try to post the next part of the journey tomorrow.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Well, this is it! After preparing for what seems like forever, tomorrow I take off on my second adventure in China with my sister and niece. I hate flying, but am trying to put that aside. Really, my overriding emotion is that of excitement.
I'll try to post pictures, but don't know how much of that I will be able to do from China. I know Facebook is blocked; not certain about other sites.
I have been conditioning myself by walking every day heat or no heat, as it will be hot. We will be walking a lot (I hope) and will do a bit of bike riding on the old part of The Great Wall.
Mike and Stella will be holding fort while we're gone. Sad to leave them behind, though.
This is a photo I took 11 years ago from the Great Wall. It is really very beautiful.
If I can't post from China, I'll 'see' you late July.
Friday, June 22, 2012
It has been a long time since I have tracked, or blogged, or really even checked in.
I have been very busy since school got out getting ready for an upcoming trip. It has also been an opportunity to get basic things done that are hard to do during the school year; get my annual eye exam, see the podiatrist, get my teeth cleaned, you know - the basic maintenance.
Life has been busy but good. It has been very hot and humid, but I have been keeping up my walking regimen on most days, doing most of my walking in the cooler part of the day both morning and evening.
So far this week I have walked 130,943 steps or 66.14 miles and climbed the equivalent of 156 floors.
This is a beautiful time of the year here in Ohio and I have been really enjoying my hikes in spite of the heat. I thought you might enjoy a bit of the scenery. These are pictures I took on this evening's walk.
And so my life has been; staying busy, enjoying pastoral beauty, and spending less computer time. All is well and I hope all is well with you too.
Monday, June 04, 2012
Some people do not like their birthdays, but I have always liked mine. I have been told that I will not like them so much when I get older, but I am not so certain about that. It has always been a day to celebrate the fact that I get to spend time on this planet enjoying family and friends for however long I am gifted that opportunity.
So 62? Are you kidding me? I can't complain ~ with the exception of my current foot setback, I don't feel too much different from how I felt when I was 40. A little less energy, but still energy to spare. I have been back on track with diet and exercise for the past several years. My blood pressure is great, my cholesterol levels are excellent... the benefits of healthy living really show.
My birthday was also my first day of summer vacation. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and I spent most of it outside, celebrating with dear friends.
And for birthday dinner, a little something light and delicious!
Another joy in my life is my niece who I get to share a special celebration with. 11 years ago, we went to China to bring her home. What a special day it was to finally meet and hold her!
Now she is a lovely 12 year old young lady. I treasure having her in my life and can't wait to get to spend time with her this summer.
Mama and Daughter United
Monday, May 28, 2012
Between hawks, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes, we have had one disaster after another with our chickens. Two nights ago, a raccoon got into the chicken tractor before I got there to close up their door and that stinking raccoon killed Myrtle, my sweet black australorp. Nora, the barred rock, is our soul surviving chicken. She spent yesterday walking around mournfully and alone. Not that Myrtle can be replaced, but I need to find Nora some chicken buddies. This will have to be after the school year ends though. With camping coming up, there is absolutely no time for me to follow up on leads of healthy, young adult chickens.
Thank you to everyone who commented on my news feed about being restless while being inactive. I appreciate your ideas and your caring. I really don't get bored; there are so many things I love to do and my mind is always busy. It is a physical restlessness; I miss my walks! I have a friend whose feet have become so deformed from foot and toe issues that she literally has to walk on her ankles - therefore does not walk anymore. So I completely understand needing to take care of my feet rather than keep trying to push myself through the pain right now. Intellectually, I get it. Physically, it's hard to do!
After my chiropractor confirmed my podiatrist's first diagnosis of Morton's neuroma (I hate you, Morton!) in addition to the metatarsal capsulitis, I have gone on line to see what I could do to relieve the neuroma pain and help heal up the neuroma, which unlike the capsulitis, can't be helped with adjustments. I have added ice followed by heat, massage, and taping to my foot regimen, and that seems to be having some effect. It would be very nice if most of the inflammation went away before my three day camping expedition with my students.
I had to log in to my fitbit page to let my fitbit download my walking data. Yeesh - it is hard to see how little I have walked! I am now ranked 15th among my fitbit friends, instead of 2nd. I am usually right behind the unstoppable and inspirational ROCKMAN6797. I am trying hard to let common sense and not my competitive nature determine how much walking I do. I even forgot to wear my fitbit one day, so I guess I am doing a pretty good job of letting go while my foot heals.
As usual for the weekend before the end of the school year camping trip, I have been de-winterizing the camper and getting it cleaned, packed, and ready to be base camp this week. It is just about ready. The final touches will need to be done Tuesday before heading out on Wednesday. I still have a shopping trip to do with a few of my students to get the perishables and those, along with the camping supplies I have stored at the school, will get packed Tuesday evening.
I have two school guitars and two ukuleles packed in the camper for students and me to play. I'll throw my music and a stand in last minute so I can get in some practice time. My guitars stay at home where they will be safe and climate controlled.
Stella wishes she could go. She is following my every footstep as I clean and pack the camper. I know her feelings are going to be hurt, but she's going to have to stay home this trip. Poor girl!
This is what base camp looks like at the park where I take the children camping. They set their tents up in adjoining campsites, and we put the tables from their campsites around the base camp fire pit for meals and other gatherings. (The table in the photo is mine - a very clever collapsible table a friend built out of plywood.)
It is a great park with a lake to swim, fish, and canoe in, playgrounds, and a camp store. I have one school parent, a naturalist, who will bring binoculars and take children birding, and the park naturalist takes groups to do water sampling or night fishing. It is a great way to end the school year!
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