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Thursday, May 24

  1. page Arabella edited Hi! ... is Arabella, and I was born on the 4th of May 1996. I am 12 years old, and the youngest…
    Hi!
    ...
    is Arabella, and I was born on the 4th of May 1996. I am 12 years old, and the youngest in the 8th Grade.
    Welcome
    welcome to my
    Term 1;
    The Lonely God
    ...
    The Convenanters fought on the side of the British parliament, and helped lead them to their victory in 1646, when Charles I surrendered to the parliament. His surrender not only meant the end of the 1st English Civil War, it also meant the end, and triumph, of the Convenanters in Scotland. Thus, the Scottish Bourgeois Revolution was over.
    Bibliography
    en.wikepedia.org/wiki/The_Solemn_League_and_Convenant
    pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/sr280/davidson.htm
    www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/0859765857/ref=sib_rdc_toc?ie=UTF8&j=0#reader-page

    pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/sr280/davidson.htm
    www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/0859765857/ref=sib_rdc_toc?ie=UTF8&j=0#reader-page

    www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/timeline/1683.htm
    www.drps.ed.ac.uk/07-08/course.php?code=SH0054
    www.highlandhouse.com.au/view/military_history/the_scottish_revolution_1637-44.html

    www.highlandhouse.com.au/view/military_history/the_scottish_revolution_1637-44.html

    www.wikepedia.org/wiki/Scotland_in_the_Wars_of_the_Three_Kingdoms#The_end_of_te_civil_war_in_Scotland
    Quarter 3:Seasons
    (view changes)
    3:43 pm

Saturday, January 28

  1. page Suzhou, China edited January 28, 2012: Happy year of the dragon! We returned from Thailand on January 20th. On the 2…

    January 28, 2012:
    Happy year of the dragon! We returned from Thailand on January 20th. On the 22nd, we went to Shanghai to spend a night at the Hilton with the Mitchell Andersons and the Von Burens. It was a good way to see a lot of fireworks with a little less noise.
    School starts the day after tomorrow. I'm ready to go back, and think the spring semester will fly because it's just about like starting over in August after such a long break.
    While we were in Thailand, we saw a ton of our old friends from Dhaka Days. First, Arrastias were at our hotel when we arrived. We did a lot with them. Then we saw Curtis and Denise May/Hendricks, Lissa and John Lalonde, Jane, Tim, and Sarah Florea, Karen Sexton, Carla Magenheimer, Tiffany and Steve Goulet Augeri, and Chris Steffens/Lisa Bauman. We also saw Nancy and Katie briefly. Nancy was sick, so we didn't see them very much.
    We spent some time with the Littles after most people had moved on, and then we went to Pattaya. We had a couple of outings with the Westbrooks while we were down there.

    November 14, 2011:
    ...
    this based oneon brief notes
    Can't believe I couldn't get into this.
    March 6, 2011:
    (view changes)
    6:49 am

Sunday, November 13

  1. page Suzhou, China edited November 14, 2011: Wow, I finally figured out how to get back into this wiki! I hope to update …

    November 14, 2011:
    Wow, I finally figured out how to get back into this wiki! I hope to update this based one brief notes from Mom's, Ann's, and Libby's visit last April.
    Can't believe I couldn't get into this.

    March 6, 2011:
    It's been ages since I've written; having a VPN that allows me access to Facebook makes this less necessary for me, but I like the idea that I have some sort of record of what happens here.
    ...
    wet market.
    I recently bought dumpling wrappers and used them to make little Mexican appetizers, filled with cream cheese, cheese, and chicken. I put the wrappers in mini-muffin tins, filled them, and baked them. A great little nibbly with some salsa for dipping.
    We've also been making an effort to keep a stock of fresh fruit on hand. Chinese strawberries are fantastic, firm and sweet. We had homemade strawberry shortcake with fresh whipped cream last weekend. I had to buy strawberries twice to accomplish it because the first batch got devoured plain before I managed to whip up the shortcake. The yellow plums were also delicious. There are a ton of green leafy items at the wet market that I can't identify, so starting to sample them is also on my list.
    ...
    I have gotten several emails from people who have checked here but haven't seen any updates. I stopped writing when my FB got re-activated, sorry about that!
    Here is a very general update of our life here since October 9:
    ...
    their son.
    The next big event after the Dhaka visits was figuring out what to do about our first Thanksgiving away from Dhaka in six years. I am coaching girls' JV BB, so I wasn't able to sign up for the school's Thanksgiving dinner in the canteen. Since that wasn't going to be an option for the whole family, we chose to reserve a Thanksgiving dinner at a nearby restaurant, "The Pig & Whistle". We had a nice meal--not exactly text-book style Thanksgiving dinner, but there was a half a turkey and a lot of baked ham along with gravy, vegetables and fried potatoes. We got to take away our leftover meat and I made several more dinners with it--a turkey stew in the crockpot and ham quiche. It was a relaxing evening with no clean-up involved. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we were invited to a Thanksgiving dinner by our Wisconsin colleagues. They provided the turkey, stuff, potatoes, etc. and everybody else contributed. One of the PE teachers brought a DVD of a classic football game. Alena asked why they were watching a football games . . . if we're not careful, she's going to lose her passport. Drew had to go to a chess tournament at school that day--he took a bus at 6:30 a.m. and wasn't home by 7:30 p.m., so he never did make it to the potluck. That was a little sad, but he enjoyed his tournament.
    After Thanksgiving, Alena' play "Prime Time Crime" was up. It was a cute melodrama. She was a ballerina in the opening scene on the first night, then other students rotated into her role. It was a good production. Tia's swim meet was next--the last of the season. She enjoys her team and is planning to go to Manila in February for a meet.
    ...
    Tia continues to go to gymnastics downtown with a 7th grader. Alena is enjoying floor hockey immensely. She has joined a band and dropped out of the middle school choir. She plans to re-join choir in grade 9. It's hard to believe that we'll have a high schooler next fall. Time keeps flying by.
    That was our fall in a nutshell. There have been lots of different dining adventures, a few little adventures on public buses or roaming around downtown Suzhou, or trying to figure out how to make our heaters work.
    ...
    their parents.
    I hope this finds you all doing well and staying warm. Happy Holidays and all the best for 2011!
    August 1, 2010:
    ...
    Today was a day at work. We arranged to have Feng, our ayi, visit the house. We met her when we came home, she is nice and did everything we had had a receptionist at school tell her to do and more. We showed our apartment to another teacher and visited hers. We came home, ordered pizza for the girls and then went to Singa Plaza to have a beer and dinner with other teachers from school.
    August 7, 2010:
    ...
    of walking!
    So, we made it out to the light show and it was quite something. colored lights on the water, sprays of water shooting into the air, undulating in time to music. There were thousands of people so I alternated between watching the show and watching the people out on the terraces. We were upstairs on the patio of Zapatas. After one beer, we started making our way back home. The crowds and traffic leaving the light show reminded me of a city in the US after a sporting event since we were all streaming out, some to cars, some to public transportation, and some walking. The show takes place every Friday and Saturday night, so I'm sure we'll be seeing it again.
    Drew has MobileMe account and when we get albums loaded, I'll post the link. Hope all's well for everybody.
    ...
    Today was new student/family orientation, so Tia and Alena came along for the whole day. We attended the introductions and tours, and there was a nice reception with coffee, juice, fruit and pastries in the rotunda at the end. The rest of the day I had a few short meetings and worked on getting ready for my first units. I finally got access to the information session, so I was able to see how many students I have. I found some nice materials to use with the grade 7 autobiography unit in the elementary library, and wrote my welcome letter. Tonight we are going to go grocery shopping and then maybe even cook our own dinner. A little hard since I shipped all of my kithen utensils. I might have to break down and buy a colander and no-stick spatula.
    August 15, 2010:
    ...
    remember it.
    I called MY MOM this morning, and it was easy-lemon-squeezy. Then Alena and I went to a nail salon. The salon is much calmer and nicer than the ones we went to in Bangladesh, but also more expensive. I think it's still cheap by US standards--80 RMB for a manicure, but I don't know since I never have manicures in Iowa. We wandered home, stopping in a little bakery along the way, and picked up toast bread, little spice-bread-type muffins, and some other bread. I will need more Chinese to be able to make sure what I buy is what I think I'm buying; we thought the muffins were chocolate. They were tasty nonetheless. This afternoon I am hoping to drag everybody out for a walk along the lake, but it is awfully hot so there's no big hurry. Tomorrow is our first day of school with students.
    August 17:
    ...
    September 12, 2010:
    My posts have slowed down as my work schedule has ramped up!
    ...
    football game.
    On

    On
    Saturday, it
    ...
    very impressive.
    After a snack, we went back the other way in a cab to check out the shops along the street we had originally set out to find. We found a little alley of 'farting monkey' souvenirs near the 'Master of the Nets' Garden, which we didn't go into since we thought the whole family should go together. We explored the area and then made sure we knew which bus to take back. Since we didn't have exact change for the bus, we took another cab. Taking the bus will definitely be a money-saver in the future, especially when it's only two people or if we're traveling alone--2 RMB each instead of 20 or so for the cab. We finished off the evening by making dumplings for the left-over chicken in the slow cooker, cookies in the toaster oven, and an episode of 'Ulgly Betty'. Now we're gearing up for week five of school. This week, the girls and I will all be off on camps from Wednesday-Friday. When we get back, Drew will be gone, at a conference in Shanghai. Time flies!
    October 1:
    (view changes)
    8:31 pm

Sunday, August 14

  1. 3:54 am

Wednesday, August 10

  1. 9:01 pm

Thursday, June 9

  1. page Rica edited ... Rosaline's Sonnet Box Find out about the thoughts of Rosaline (from Shakespeare's Romeo and J…
    ...
    Rosaline's Sonnet Box
    Find out about the thoughts of Rosaline (from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet) in iambic and pentametric sonnets.
    iSonnets
    A collection of my own sonnets.

    Back to Top
    Visit Others
    (view changes)
    4:06 am
  2. page iSonnets edited Grey Feathers Rica Duchateau So high, majestic do these grey ducks fly, To lands so warm the…

    Grey Feathers
    Rica Duchateau
    So high, majestic do these grey ducks fly,
    To lands so warm they’re just like paradise,
    And looking up into the golden sky—
    I realize their freedom’s a disguise…
    The murd’rer lurks in tall, perennial grass
    As wings keep flapping so unwittingly,
    But then they’re choked like in a chamb’r of gas
    Below a smile that reads: hostility.
    A bullet’s rushing like a hound unchained,
    Then juts right through their flesh like slicing beef,
    From which the feathers, ripped off, are obtained
    And stuffed in pillows feeling like a leaf.
    What’s beautiful will fall, which makes me weep,
    But this creates that freedom when I sleep…

    (view changes)
    4:05 am

Saturday, March 5

  1. page Suzhou, China edited January March 6, 2011: It's been ages since I've written; having a VPN that allows me access t…

    JanuaryMarch 6, 2011:
    It's been ages since I've written; having a VPN that allows me access to Facebook makes this less necessary for me, but I like the idea that I have some sort of record of what happens here.
    I've been thinking about writing about some of the food here. We are still really enjoying our new hometown. It has a blend of modern western style comforts from home, a range of Chinese and Asian (Korean and Japanese) restaurants, and many choices at the wet market.
    I recently bought dumpling wrappers and used them to make little Mexican appetizers, filled with cream cheese, cheese, and chicken. I put the wrappers in mini-muffin tins, filled them, and baked them. A great little nibbly with some salsa for dipping.
    We've also been making an effort to keep a stock of fresh fruit on hand. Chinese strawberries are fantastic, firm and sweet. We had homemade strawberry shortcake with fresh whipped cream last weekend. I had to buy strawberries twice to accomplish it because the first batch got devoured plain before I managed to whip up the shortcake. The yellow plums were also delicious. There are a ton of green leafy items at the wet market that I can't identify, so starting to sample them is also on my list.
    Spring seems to be near. Tia's big swim trip to Manila and her MUN trip to Nanjing have both been successfully completed, and my junior volleyball league tournament was yesterday. Drew will be in Shanghai from Tuesday to Friday for a PowerSchool conference, and then the time will fly until Mom, Ann, and LIbby arrive for our spring break.
    Today, we're planning to go out for groceries, perhaps lunch at a new restaurant, and then tonight we'll have crock pot jambalaya.
    January
    2, 2010:2011:
    Hello Everybody and Happy New Year!
    I woke up with a rumbly tummy so I didn't get to go downtown to the bar " The Drunken Clam" that had kindly offered to open early so we could watch the Rose Bowl game. Drew went to watch the first part. After two hours, he had seen the first 25 minutes, (the bar uses a VPN and streaming technique that can be problematic) so he came home before it finished. We have found repeats on our ESPN channel so we're watching now.
    (view changes)
    7:37 pm

Sunday, January 2

  1. page Suzhou, China edited January 2, 2010: Hello Everybody and Happy New Year! I woke up with a rumbly tummy so I didn't…

    January 2, 2010:
    Hello Everybody and Happy New Year!
    I woke up with a rumbly tummy so I didn't get to go downtown to the bar " The Drunken Clam" that had kindly offered to open early so we could watch the Rose Bowl game. Drew went to watch the first part. After two hours, he had seen the first 25 minutes, (the bar uses a VPN and streaming technique that can be problematic) so he came home before it finished. We have found repeats on our ESPN channel so we're watching now.
    Our holiday was pretty low-key, but fun. We spend time playing 'Texas Hold'em" and watching a lot of DVD's. We spent two nights in Shanghai, checking out People's Square and the museum there, along with some malls and markets. We played laser tag at an arcade there; very fun!
    Both girls are now the proud owners of hamsters, much to the chagrin of cat Melvin.
    Except for the visit to Shanghai, I completely blew my plan to do a few cultural things during the holiday. The girls and I are planning to go to a Broadway review of several musicals if I can get anybody in the ticketing office to answer the phone.
    The weather at the beginning of our holiday was unseasonably warm, and we managed several days of Ultimate on an open field near our house. Lately the weather has been much chillier, although still warmer than Iowa or Minnesota with a lot of sunshine. I enjoy our apartment which gets a lot of sun throughout the morning and mid-day. Melvin also likes to soak up rays while sleeping on our bed or on cushions in the living room.
    We have four weeks of school and then it's time for Chinese New Year and our much-anticipated trip to the beaches of Phuket. I used air miles to book our flights and spent a lot of time trying to book suitable, but cheap hotels. We'll see soon enough!
    I am still enjoying our new lifestyle and the balance between school and home that has developed. It has been rewarding to see how well the girls seem to be adjusting and I think that they have a more normal situation, as well, since they actually have chores and can strike out on their own.
    I have newish photos on FB.
    I hope that you all enjoy health, wealth, and happiness in 2011!

    December 18, 2010:
    I have gotten several emails from people who have checked here but haven't seen any updates. I stopped writing when my FB got re-activated, sorry about that!
    (view changes)
    1:31 am

Friday, December 17

  1. page Suzhou, China edited December 18, 2010: I have gotten several emails from people who have checked here but haven't s…

    December 18, 2010:
    I have gotten several emails from people who have checked here but haven't seen any updates. I stopped writing when my FB got re-activated, sorry about that!
    Here is a very general update of our life here since October 9:
    After our fall break ended, Nancy and Katie came for a short visit. We had gorgeous weather so we got out and about quite a bit. Nancy had several Starbucks opportunities. and Alena and Katie spent time with Alena's new friends here. The same day that Nancy and Katie went to Shanghai to visit their uncle Leo, Lissa and John Lalonde came to Suzhou for an all-too brief visit. We met them downtown for a quick meal before they took the train back to Shanghai, where they were visiting their son.
    The next big event after the Dhaka visits was figuring out what to do about our first Thanksgiving away from Dhaka in six years. I am coaching girls' JV BB, so I wasn't able to sign up for the school's Thanksgiving dinner in the canteen. Since that wasn't going to be an option for the whole family, we chose to reserve a Thanksgiving dinner at a nearby restaurant, "The Pig & Whistle". We had a nice meal--not exactly text-book style Thanksgiving dinner, but there was a half a turkey and a lot of baked ham along with gravy, vegetables and fried potatoes. We got to take away our leftover meat and I made several more dinners with it--a turkey stew in the crockpot and ham quiche. It was a relaxing evening with no clean-up involved. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we were invited to a Thanksgiving dinner by our Wisconsin colleagues. They provided the turkey, stuff, potatoes, etc. and everybody else contributed. One of the PE teachers brought a DVD of a classic football game. Alena asked why they were watching a football games . . . if we're not careful, she's going to lose her passport. Drew had to go to a chess tournament at school that day--he took a bus at 6:30 a.m. and wasn't home by 7:30 p.m., so he never did make it to the potluck. That was a little sad, but he enjoyed his tournament.
    After Thanksgiving, Alena' play "Prime Time Crime" was up. It was a cute melodrama. She was a ballerina in the opening scene on the first night, then other students rotated into her role. It was a good production. Tia's swim meet was next--the last of the season. She enjoys her team and is planning to go to Manila in February for a meet.
    I had several more BB games and a shopping trip to Shanghai's fake market, and that about wraps up big events.
    Our move here constantly reminds me that everything is relative. I have a colleague who moved here from Nevada, who thinks it's dirty and there's too much concrete. I sent her a link to a news report about the water in Bangladesh. There were several pictures with the article. I think that she now understands why I think this place is pretty clean and nice!
    Tia continues to go to gymnastics downtown with a 7th grader. Alena is enjoying floor hockey immensely. She has joined a band and dropped out of the middle school choir. She plans to re-join choir in grade 9. It's hard to believe that we'll have a high schooler next fall. Time keeps flying by.
    That was our fall in a nutshell. There have been lots of different dining adventures, a few little adventures on public buses or roaming around downtown Suzhou, or trying to figure out how to make our heaters work.
    This morning finds Drew and me home alone since both girls had sleepovers to celebrate the first day of winter break. They have read all of the information about how teenagers find their peers more important than their parents.
    I hope this finds you all doing well and staying warm. Happy Holidays and all the best for 2011!

    August 1, 2010:
    Today we arrived in Suzhou, our new home. We were met by a vet who helped us put Melvin into quarantine for seven days. We then were met by our apartment agent Dina, and jammed all eight of our suitcases and all of our carry-ons into a Buick mini van. There were three seats left after that besides the driver's, so Tia and Alena doubled-up on one seat in the back. The agent had to ride back with somebody else.
    (view changes)
    5:20 pm

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