Friday, December 30, 2011

Another day....Supper at Mr. English

Yep another day of Kaohsiung adventure!  Melissa picked us up and we went for lunch at Don Burrito on Heti Road.  A regular Friday lunch meeting so we cannot break  the 'girls lunch' even though I do..........  soft tacos, quesadillas, nachos and a GOOD TIME.

Melissa dropped us off at the MRT (no fee ATM) so we could get $$$$ and pay our rent at the Post Office, yes, here you can do banking through the Post Office too.   Later, I went for a short bike ride, bought my iced green tea, stopped for a coffee and snack at the corner bakery Chung Hua Bakery...WHY buy tea and then coffee??  to see my tea stand friends and then a bit too chilly on the bike so coffee to 'you know' "go with the snack from the bakery".

Probably Chicken Caesar salad for supper but I MIGHT go for the burger!

New Year's eve tomorrow COULD be a quiet one....a morning wedding of a friend, I have youth 8-10pm and there was some talk of watching the EDA world fireworks from Melissa's balcony....but then I hear a lot of talk that was just a discussion of ideas......

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

The last few Christmas' have been very different.  Being in Taiwan there is LOTS of Christmas promotion, decoration and music but it doesn't stop December 25th with a screeching halt like it does in Canada.  Oh, it does start to disappear but music still plays however sometimes you can also hear a Christmas song in March!  Many of the sparkly tinsel decorations are used year round so there is just less of it.  For most Taiwanese it is an 'american' holiday so work and play go on as usual

This year we helped Melissa care for an orphan baby for the weekend, went to church, had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant and Christmas dinner at our Pastor's house, met some other church members and learned a new game.  We even had leftover turkey and pumpkin dessert for lunch today!!!

Now we will see what unfolds for the week....there are a few things to do at Melissa's apartment and then her(MY) IFH work list will start to be released.  It will be very different operating the guest house without actually living in the midst of it.  Much more personal privacy for her and her dogs and it gives her a  fresh perspective for the house too.

No real profound thoughts today....................

Friday, December 23, 2011

43 YEARS Wrapping Christmas presents

Just finished wrapping some Christmas presents for Melissa ..... 43 years with short fingers.  It was 43 years and one week ago that my right hand changed forever.   And of course even at 18 I WAS GOING TO WRAP MY GIFTS MYSELF.  

Wow what a lot has happened in those years!!!  Brenda Babich, then Walrath and Colleen wrote me inviting me to Aldersgate College the day of my accident.  What else is a guy gonna do....so off to Moose Jaw I went for 3 1/2 months that have had a lifelong impact.  Little did I know it would result in a wife, 2 children, a daughter in law and 2 grandchildren.  God has kept a guiding hand in my life for many years.  MOST times it takes the wisdom of hindsight for me to realize it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wow a MONTH since my last post and we are now 2 WEEKS into our Taiwan winter

It has been a whirlwind month.  I finished a renovation job that will pay for much of our time here.  Packed and weighed suitcases, lugged suitcases, rerouted flights, arrived in Taiwan at the time expected, settled in to a new apartment, helped Melissa settle into hers, forked out a fair bit of $$$$$, and HAVING A MARVELOUS TIME.

Now to participate in our Saskatoon and Kaohsiung worlds.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Finding Forester or MYSELF

It's an interesting character study but what struck me beside people's biases is that at the end (it's been out for a while so no need for a spoiler alert)  Forester [as only Sean Connery can accomplish] rides his bicycle off to Scotland for his final days...............hmm if I knew I had weeks/months left where would I want to spend my final days?  I don't know......Do you?  Now don't get me wrong...that isn't a negative or loss but a HMMM.

On a more shallow note, my below freezing winter is due to end in 16 DAYS................for that matter below 10 and maybe even 15C.  Kaohsiung, Taiwan  here we come!!!!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Coffee only $73 a bag!!!

That's better than the time we went for water filters and spent $200.  I am going to have to start leaving Colleen in the car!!!!!  We did get 2 travel mugs, two books and a jar of antipasto but I went in for Vanilla Hazelnut coffee!

EIGHT WEEKS TOMORROW and we are on the plane for Taiwan!!  We are travelling via Calgary, San Francisco and Tokyo.  We leave here at 6:30 AM and arrive in Taipei at 10:20 PM.  26 hours is about the shortest we've had AND 90 minutes is our longest layover.  But we do have to overnight in Taipei before taking the 2 hour High Speed train ride to Kaohsiung.  (the bus and it's 3AM arrival is NOT a tolerable option).  Even with the hotel and THSR we are MUCH LESS than if we left here any closer to Christmas.   I expect we will meet Melissa on her Wednesday lunch break.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.....our LOCAL extended family numbers about 40 now (and that's really only half......(one branch)  so we are using our church kitchen and cafe area.  We get to use the gym so the harried factor is lowered a bit.  I whine that it is not the same but it is still WONDERFUL and a blessing to have so many happily together.

To my American family and friends  don't worry yours is coming.........for once the USA follows the Canadian lead!!

Oh yeah, we are all doing well.   Melissa's melanoma surgery in June was successful and all tests continue to come back CLEAR. We've been able to spend some marvelous time with Alex and Gaby.  Although not much with Jay & Julie.  Our summer has been good, a bit relaxed and a bit hectic at times but NO major injuries or incidents!  And now to ease ourselves into our new Visalus Sciences business endeavour and prepare for 4 1/2 months in Taiwan.

love to all

Saturday, October 01, 2011

WOW 6 days short of 2 months

I apologize to the non Facebookers.  As much as I say FB is not for everyone I behave as if it is........hmmmm I suppose many of us have said  Do as I say not as I do.  

We have our annual Taiwan trip tickets booked and will actually get them fully paid for BEFORE we leave.  Dec. 5th through April 19th.  It's 2 weeks erlier than we intended but adding 2 weeks saved almost $1,000 EACH.   Now to see if we spend that money here or there or actually save it.

Alex turned 6 this week!!!!!!  Hopefully we will get together soon.

Yikes!! Thanksgiving is October 9th!  We now have the 3rd generation beyond the baby stage, for the most part, so nobody's home has the capacity.   Hopefully we can arrange to use the church .  It  definitely changes some of the essence of the gathering but sanity does have value.......

I have a couple Electrical contracting jobs on the go and should get them wrapped up by the end of October so I can rest and relax for Taiwan living.

Well all for now.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

This is what grandkids and summer is about!

We had a Thursday afternoon trip to Kinsmen Play Village.  LOTS of kids and parents/grandparents and the sharing was great to see.
And then off to the carousel and train. 

And we even got our the water guns when we got home after Burger King supper! 
Friday was a little bit quieter.  Melissa brought the Metrushka home from her 94-95 year in Russia.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Updates

I just reviewd the last several posts...well actually back to some of the initial posts 4 YEARS ago.
Melissa's cancer reports are ALL CLEAR.  The melanoma on her shoulder was removed successfully And the followup tests have been all clear.  Another followup test in 3 and 6 months.

Oh and Melissa has a few days off next week so THREE DAYS IN BALI..........SHE NEEDS THE RELAXATION.  The accommodations seem inexpensive and fantastic.

Alex and Gaby are coming for overnight tomorrow!!!!!!  We might not be quite as adventurous this week as last Saturday..........Colleen took Gaby for the departure bathroom trip and  the poor little girl's lips quivered because she didn't want to 'just do nothing' at home................ I'm sure it isn't THAT boring at home  OR fun at Grandma and Grandpa's !!  Alex has a BD party so she'll get her 'alone' time this week.

WE ARE BLESSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Kids, Grandkids, a house, beautiful skies, Central Air for summer, and Central heat for winter, good health (most of the time), great family, fantastic friends, a safe country, freedom to relax and freedom to travel(as long as we earn enough extra money and don't waste too much.

Another month and Another Birthday

I have had lots of thoughts and "I should blog this" and some thoughts just not clear enough to share.  However as much time as I spend at my computer my Blogthoughts are generally in my quieter times or in transit from home to youth activities or to that tiny bit or WORK I do

I got to CELEBRATE my 61st Birthday with my grandchildren! 
I had to go through that tunnel 3 TIMES in order to get all three of us in the photo you don't see.
YES DOWN THE TWISTY SLIDE, NOT JUST POSED

And then we played in the backyard pool.  The action in the middle is Colleen not knowing I was already recording.   THIS is one way I stay YOUNG..............

video

Monday, June 20, 2011

3 weeks of rambling thoughts

I am now able to say I am RETIRED.  I've spent 3 years getting my head past a layoff with severance.  Not dealing with it but describing it as retired.   Dealing with it has NOT been a problem.  Actually I should be semi or quarter retired to support our lifestyle!  Each year has been an adventure in scheduling, working, enjoying, pondering, playing, learning and seeing what God has for us.......

Retired means that while in Taiwan visitng Melissa I can think of a 3 day visit to my brother and as we discuss it let it grow into a week's drive across Kansas and back!  I had a great week with my brother.  I got renewed with second hand smoking, and both of us with cousins,
Rocky and Leona Faye Mason (Hugoton)
We stayed with Linda Wright in Liberal
aunts, uncles cousin's kids and grandkids.   We even got in some Tornado shelter time.
 
We got to go out to Arkalon Park with my Mom's brother Fred.
Arkalon was developed by OUR DAD to develop wildlife habitat and also use excess treated sewage from the City of Liberal KS.  A true sign of the skill and isnpiration that does NOT require University degrees and training

We had one hotel night to reward David's grandson.....after all a 9 year old deserves some FUN. 
But I managed to hurt my foot playing in the 3 foot deep water...................I would be on crutches but the Walmart we went to didn't sell them  (go figure)   Aleve did the trick though!   Enough that we could visit

my Dad's cousin, Lillie Kissinger, in Mulvane            and                        our cousin Calvin in  Wichita.
I OFTEN ASK OTHERS WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT FOR YOU.........

WELL FOR ME IT WAS REACQUAINTING WITH MY BROTHER'S VOICE

We probably haven't had more than 6 or 7 days together since 1968!   Not that we caught up on a lot of stuff but I think we caught up a bit on who we are..............

Monday, June 06, 2011

Wanting to be 3 places at once

Well maybe even 4...................

Melissa's surgery went well and her recovery is doing well and within 24 hours she should have the results of her 3 scans in 5 days after the removal of the melanoma on her shoulder.   What a week, and month!  It was only 5 weeks ago that she had the biopsy, Taiwan DOES NOT mess around with long wait times!  The medical care is superb (IMHO) and the personal care provided by Colleen and Melissa's friends has been FANTASTIC.

As my trip to visit my brother in Kansas City gets close I am missing my family.  The reality of NOT living around my aunts, uncles and cousins is working on my mind the last while.  Curiously it has been stimulated by the months living even farther away in Taiwan........  and more time to ponder thoughts and feelings rather than working on a daily JOB or projects.  We are going to have a great time as brothers and visiting family in Liberal, Tyrone, Mulvane and Wichita.

I'd LOVE to spend some time with Jay.  I need to learn how to visit with my son.  How did we manage to get so far apart in our ability to talk?    Maybe I will never know.  I know I WANT to know but don't NEED to know.

Maybe some of this is having Colleen away.  Maybe it's a stage of life thing.  Maybe?

Oh right place number 4....  I think it is right here in Saskatoon.  Yeah I think......

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Where do I start......................

General Conference was good.  Colleen is in Taiwan with Melissa who was admitted to hospital for surgery to remove a skin cancer on her left shoulder.  I helped with Power Hour at church and started with 1 Grade 7 worker, ended up with 17 toddlers.......also ended up with 3 more adults and one Grade 3 helper.  We thrived, well maybe it was survived................

I know most of you are back with Melissa................I was just chatting on Facebook with one of my Taiwanese youth friends and she phoned Melissa to check on her.   HOW COOL!!   I still don't have a name for the type of cancer other than it is considered 'skin cancer' and has a 5 year recurrence of 10%  so if you have to have IT this isn't a bad choice.

With Melissa, General Conference, Colleen travelling to be with Melissa, life in general, time with Alex and Gaby, essentially NO time with Jay and /or Julie my brain processes have been FULL.  Oh and in the midst of this I am making a 7 day trip to Kansas to visit my brother and some of our relatives and keep an eye on friends house while they are away.  busy enough? 

Oh and I finally got our 2010 income tax filed.  It only took 10 days to have the refunds in our bank account and 10 hours for it to be dispursed!

Some of you will have seen our pictures a couple weeks ago with Alex and Gaby. I got to spend 4 hours with them again today. I LOVE IT and them.  Here's today.........

FUN AT MARKET MALL


Gaby wasn't so excited about being in the free side of the car without a seatbelt.....


But Alex doesn't look THRILLED either, ok it's just the timing of the photo.....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I WILL POST

it will take a few  more days...need to finish income tax, some billing and STOP procarasitnating in this and 17 other things.

My plane for General Conference in Mississauga leaves 6 am Friday so I will be on it   and I am going to be on a plane June 9th to visit my brother in KC for a week.   OH and come back to Saskatoon in between.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back on Canadian Soil

2 weeks actually and not as busy as my blogging would suggest.   I am working at reducing my computer time..................some success, some is just a change in the activity.
I miss my Taiwanese life but I am glad to be in Saskatoon.  Our lives are full in both locations.  Family, friends that ARE family, great places to worship God, great places to eat, great places to serve God and celebrate Jesus' love, great places to relax, great places to have fun.

Now to get about the business of generating a bit of extra income so we can more easily afford our new lifestyle desires.......that discipline is not so easy to find and actually DO.  Immuntec is our direction but we are so slow that we are practically restarting after only 3 months away.

Oh a few people have asked if Melissa has adopted a baby.   NO.  She has friends that operate http://hishandstaiwan.org/ee/index.php/hishands/  which was was born from a vision to counsel, care for, and house unwed mothers in crisis pregnancies.  It was a privilege to spend time with some of the babies that are in the process of being adopted.

Please be praying for insight and wisdom for us as we work at reconnecting with Jay and Julie.  The difference in our and his beliefs are creating a major communication challenge (slight underexaggeration).  More could be said but would serve no benefit but further expose the frustration.and better guarded details.

Well lasagna is almost cool enough to eat.............Ciao for now.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another day another memory

Tuesday's Melissa has a couple extra hours off in the afternoon so we often do a 'field' trip.  This week we went over near the Jade Market to the 'Indian' store and also to a new bakery/coffee shop just a block or so from it.  WELL, the clothing wasn't of much interest so I wandered around, went through a couple shops in the Jade Market.   The market is actually only open Wednesday morning but it wasn't the primary target.

When I exhausted the easy options I just stood and looked around.  I noticed a woman go get her husband from inside their shop.  I don't know WHAT they sell.  I do know he used to live in Kansas City, MO where my brother happens to live!  OKAY David actually lives in Belton but most need KC for a reasonable reference point.  He had a friend in the shop who lived in California for 27 years.  I hit a gold mine!!  So I had some tea and pineapple cake while waiting for Colleen and Melissa who happened to be at the shop next door to Ray's.  OF COURSE WE EXCHANGED NAMES!  I suspect I was actually in a political activist's headquarters.   Almost EVERYTHING in Taiwan can be small and unassuming.  The American Flag and a Taiwanese flag, maybe it was a proposed one, flying from the 3rd floor was a bit of a giveaway.  And the brochure on Citizenship Rights!   And the TAIWAN IS NOT CHINA discussion.  I don't think I am now on a watch list.......  hopefully a visit will happen next year.

Melissa headed back to work after dropping us at Houyi MRT so we could ride home or go shopping.  Yep more shopping and a movie.  The Adjustment Bureau http://www.theadjustmentbureau.com/ was pretty good.  Colleen only needed Matt Damon.  A decent story.  Within the somewhat slow action it opens a few doors about a higher level of control and influence in our lives and even mentions free will.  Maybe angels, maybe somebody else.  It DOES give an opportunity to think about our faith and how to express it.   While I was waiting for Colleen after the movie one of the staff asked me how I liked the movie and as we talked he mentioned how he thought it was about faith...........Hmmm.  I said I was a Christian and he said he was too, yet one of his reactions as I mentioned it is about God in our lives and Jesus in our hearts was not easy to interpret nor was it appropriate to explore.  THAT is next year's territory.  How do I know......he remembered me as the guy who lost his bag last year!!!  yep same theatre, same guy helped me then but I did not remember.   Taiwan bridges!!!!

If that wasn't enough on our way home on the MRT a young man got up to offer me his seat.  Which Colleen figured I NEEDED to take.  I noticed the girl beside  me was studying an English phrase book.  WELL they have midterms very soon  AND the boy used to live in Wisconsin.  the girl got off a few stops after he did which happened to be ours!  So another friendly farewell and encouragement for a midterm test.

Just another day out and about in Kaohsiung!!!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

We had another shaker this afternoon!!!

http://www.cwb.gov.tw/V6e/   Melissa and I were dining with Ronald Mcdonald and Melissa felt a bump and saw one customer run out and HUG the front pillar.  The 5.9 was a steady shaker for a few seconds but it felt like vertigo for a full minute.  The pendant lights did a bit of a sway  I think they settled before my brain did!

On our way to McD's we noticed a groups setting up a bunch of boxes on a side street.  Fortunately they did not start until well after the quake settled.  The popping firecrackers, booming whatever......and then BANGING fireworks started while we were at the per adoption event.  THE DOGS DO NOT LIKE THE FIREWORKS.   There was a dark grey cloud from the firecrackers and the street was red from the paper casings.  I mean DARK GRAY and for almost a block.  It looked like somebody had set tires on fire but didn't last that long.  The BOOMS are just like getting hit in the chest!  talk about sound and air pollution.  It literally scared the poop right out of a couple dogs at the adoption event!  seriously!  And surprisingly not much available to clean it up so out come small tissues and paper bags....................

And then there was a second round of firecrackers as big or bigger than the first but at least we could see it and prepare the dogs.   We got home and Sadie and Cabu, Melissa's dogs, were so frightened they broke one of the spotwelds pushing on their gate!

Melissa and Colleen hosted a baby shower for Anastasia, Matt and Josephine's baby.  There were only 3 or 4 attendees  as the bigger shower was already held by others the second week we were here.  I vacated the house in favour of the females and walked to my Tea Shoppe, chatted a bit with the owner's friend who is taking 'Applied English' at E-Shou University, it's neat talking with him.  then I walked to the RueFong Night market to eat a delicious vegetable and chicken BBQ then wandered until the coast was clear...................

23 days and we are headed to Taipei and Saskatoon but before then we are going to Hong Kong the 3-5th of April.   Ah relaxing busy fun!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Melissa's bike almost gave me a rectal exam!!!!

I was merrily riding along looking around and fortunately I was getting ready to slow down when I head a SNAP and the seat dropped and when I raised up it fell to the street.  WHEW!!!   Good thing I have strong legs and lightning reflexes!!!  The bolt holding the seat to the post broke.  A few blocks later I found a store I thought MIGHT have a replacement bolt IT DIDN'T but my handy dandy electronic translator helped me get directions to a nearby bicycle shop.   Which I could not find!!!   I KNEW where one was but it was about a 15 minute ride.......fortunately Melissa's bike has a carrier over the back tire so I lowered the post and it was reminiscent of the banana seat bike!  A SMARTER PERSON WOULD HAVE REMOVED THE POST!!   The GIANT sales shop on Huasia Road tried but couldn't find the right bolt so I ended up a couple blocks away to the bike shop Melissa has used before.  I'd never actually been to it before!  Back in full performance!

About the time the bike seat broke Melissa texted me that she was about to board the HSR to go to Taipei for her Warden meetings so when the bike seat repair was floundering I called her for recommendations.  Who would have thought that the bolt sizes would be so different.

Oh the translator......I bought an electronic translator yesterday for $2,990NT.  cheaper ones had less English on the keyboard and also targeted to those learning English rather than my type......whatever MY type is!    Comment away!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We were shaken 4.8

http://www.cwb.gov.tw/eng/seismic/Data/detailData/EE0316211248026/detail_frameset.htm  and to give it perpsective http://www.cwb.gov.tw/eng/index.htm  There is regular seismic activity in Saskatchewan too.  But not according to this MRC map. http://earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/recent/maps-cartes/index-eng.php 

Maybe it was because I went on a 12.7 mile bike ride today.  I road along the BIKE TRAIL.  Very enjoyable afternoon.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Earthquakes, tsunamis and explosions

We were not shaken, stirred or glowed!   AS DISASTROUS AND HORRIBLE THINGS ARE IN JAPAN I want to assure everybody things are pretty normal in Taiwan.  Sure people are aware and concerned for Japan's losses and are following the developments.   I urge each to listen to the detail of what is said not just the lead line or speculations.  Politicians are responsible for leading and usually minimizing chaos;  REMEMBER News channels are in the business of filling air time so the highlights and spectacular often crowd the detail and accuracy into the corner.

I am KEENLY interested in the Japanese radiation as our return flight routes through Tokyo where radiation levels are increasing.  Oh I just read an article that said Japan moved 8 feet as a result of the quake.  http://www.chinapost.com.tw/asia/japan/2011/03/14/294582/Earthquake-moved.htm I wonder where the hole is?  I know NOT FUNNY............

Colleen called and talked with her mom this morning, her Monday night so all seems good.  we recently had babies added to the clan.  Arlin had Brooklyn about a week ago, Amanda had Hudson a few days ago, only 1 ounce under 10 POUNDS!!  I apologize to those I did not mention.  Comment and let me know!

We were going to a nearby Cultural Park on Saturday but Melissa's Mechanic said NO/replace the radiator.   That's what happened last year when we went to Taichung but it was a Sunday afternoon on the highway!   So we went to a couple small parks in the city. 
   
A closeup by Colleen
 


We did manage to get to the Cultural Village on Sunday.  Melissa had a different baby that day.
No the 'g' did not drop it was designed that way! 
Life continues, with a variety of joys, sorrows, pleasures and hardships.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Wenzoa Cultural presentation

This morning  I met with a friend to start what I see as a mentoring series, we will see how it develops. And this afternoon I met some other BCC friends (Bilingual Community Church) at a LANGUAGE SCHOOL to share first hand about our respective cultures of Canada, USA, Mexico and Haiti and in the process they received a fair bit of the value of spritual connections around the globe. 

One of our friends is in the class and as a MATURE student she is a bit more bold than most..................it turned out that one of the male students attends a church near City Hall.  Janine had taken the Haitians there last week, they are here working on MBA.  Now if I could only find out actually where Ken & Denise are in Haiti.   I looked and looked and stopped searching to find out.  It wasn't easy and simple to find so I gave up and referenced Dessalines.  I find it interesting and curious that Haitian students with English as a third language come to Taiwan to study in the same classes with students who also have English as a third language.  It certainly demonstrates the need to listen flexibly to those for whom English is NOT their first language.  And through all of this, English may not be the dominant language even though it may well be the most widely spoken.

Oh right, the students, University age, put on English language demonstrations that would work well in commercial or tourism scenarios and then we each did our talks with Powerpoint support.  Mine was pretty basic with some Canadian snow and summer shots and a few Taiwan shots to show our LOVE for Taiwan.   The woman from Mexico had been in Taipei a few weeks ago and had a MARVELOUS video of Mexico.  Short but very well done.  VIVA MEXICO, sorry Carla..........................  Now, as I write this I marvel at the Mexico, Haiti connections I have,  God must be chuckling!!!   This afternoon made my week and it's only Monday!!  I took some photos but as I review them the are unbelievably sterile and uninteresting to anybody but me.

So instead here is the water show that was part of the  nightly celebration at the Lantern Festival.
video
More Later, A bientot, Hasta la vista, tsai tchien

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

curiouser and curiouser

I think I may be mourning leaving Taiwan already and it is more than a month before we leave!  Or maybe I am not occupied enough.  Or maybe.........................................  today it's so easy to feel DOwn, or struggle with feeling hurt or something like that.  And THEN today I found out the Earthquake dampening ball at a builidng on Boai is the back of a Pizza Oven!  There's a sign that says HOT DO NOT TOUCH ME!  Last year there wasn't a sign!   Or heat!
OR MAYBE it was going to Taipei last weekend to see friends and Cirque de Soleil and the International Flora Expo and Cirque was OK but not MINDblowing then the Flora Expo was ok but THIS was one of the Canadian displays......now most are done by Taiwanese so don't jump on the Harper Bandwagon.
And then since it was ENVIRONICS  it was a soilless and sometimes sunless presentation of various plant growing methods with a couple Canadian house rooms decorated A la IKEA.

The grounds were artistic and well laid out.









But then we decided it was time to head back to Kaohsiung so it wasn't terribly late since Melissa had to teach the next day.  I like the order of this shot of the seats even though this is from our way up as it was pretty full on the way home.....a few times we were going 296 km per hour!
Well I feel a bit better now that I've expressed my feelings to myself and you!  thanks for reading.

OH AND ON THE WAY BACK TO CHRIS & NEVADA'S WE SAW THIS
the weekend in Taipei was a marvelous temperature!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Who woulda Thought

Who would a thought that to go THAT direction I needed to take the bus going the other way............Well, maybe if I could read more Chinese..........The bus does a couple over here loops in each direction and then turns back towards the opposite direction and to top it off it is a one hour loop with 2 buses so at the stop I was at you get to see both buses within 5 minutes and then wait almost an hour!  I think I missed them by 5 minutes the first time........BUT I WAS DETERMINED TO GO FROM THIS STOP.  I got home 5 hours after I said bye to Colleen as she went for a hairwash!!!!!  The marvel is that I knew quite well where I was in the city the whole time! I ALSO KNEW I WAS NOT WHERE I WANTED TO BE.  

Golden Lion Lake is quite a nice area but they are working to remove major amounts of silt from the lake so the beauty takes a bit of visualizing.  I think it is actually a water runoff catch basin for north eastern Kaohsiung City.  VERY nice walkways and paths around and over the lake.  the east side has 2 maybe 3 temples.

AND IF THAT WASN'T ENOUGH when I had looked around enough I walked the 3, 4, 5, 6 blocks back to the main road to catch the bus home.  It seemed like it was almost as long to wait for the bus as it was to walk home especially since there was a 5-7 minute walk from the bus stop to Melissa's place.   WELL  I was about 8 blocks farther east than I thought...................Google Maps says 38-41 minutes to walk............I must have sauntered because it took almost 50 minutes according to when I called Colleen and told her I was headed back and actually walked in the door.  I don't think I waited for my iced tea that long!

AHH the stories of Steve & Kaohsiung!

ooops 10 days have passed

We've done kind of ordinary stuff, well it seems ordianry for here.........Youth events, Church, A wedding, ride the MRT,  Lantern Festival Watershow, ride the MRT,  do laundry, ride the MRT, Lantern Festival Fireworks, Lantern Festival lanterns, ride the MRT, teach an English class at church, ride the bus for almost 2 hours, walk for 45 minutes, eat another of Colleen's wonderful meals.

Here are a couple wedding photos...

 
The Artistry continued into the wedding banquet.  I am  not posting the other food because I don't know what most of it is called.......

video

We've known Marco for several years and Tracy is super sweet.  She's very fortunate to have such a fine husband and I'm sure he knows how beautiful, gentle and loving she is!










Wow, we've been here 6 weeks and head home in 6 1/2! Tomorrow we are going to Taipei to visit friends, see Cirque de Soleil, The Taipei Flora Expo and get back early enough Melissa can survive teaching Tuesday morning. Feb 28th which happens to be Monday this year is a Holiday. A bit of a strange one, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/228_Incident


Oh my bus escapade deserves a seperate post.......................

Monday, February 14, 2011

OK uploaded some photos and recalled a couple mini adventures

A couple Sundays ago there was a Baby shower for Melissa's friends.  They are from a different church that meets in the same building as we do but in the afternoon.


This is the outfit we bought.  I was slow on the camera/had a bad setting....you can see the colours it was a top and pants.  It will fit Anastasia when she is aobut a year old.


One day we went with Melissa to her school and explored as she went in to teach.   This is Boai, the main road around the house and school.   One of the main North/south routes in Kaohsiung.


A few blocks west of Melissa's school is "Handwich Cafe"  The foccacia bread was very good.  Taiwanese chicken is NOT Canadian chicken presentations but the BLT was very good.


Oh and you almost ALWAYS go to the bathroom before leaving somewhere!   This one had an extra humour reward!
  Then as we walked back towArds home we passed through The Heart of Love River which is on both sides of Boai right near Melissa's school.   I think this bench sign is actually referring to the bike paths and possibly the local political reorganization.
 Parks and green spaces are plentiful in Kaohsiung.  Look at the flowers in the next shot.

 

that's MY finger! but it's the best curve shot....
I'M PRETTY SURE OUR MELISSA DIDN'T TAG THIS................. 

February 14, 2011

If I had done much less I would have stayed in bed all day today..................Oh I did make it up the stairs to 5th floor to do a minor repair and Colleen and I had a nice AT HOME dinner of IKEA meatballs, Idahoan potatoes and Taiwan Market Carrot.   WE DID WISH EACH OTHER HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY.

It was rainy and cool today so our only outdoor venture was for the garbage and recycling.

Yesterday Melissa received her baby for the day (friends run a home for unwanted babies and facilitate adoptions)

and then after church we went to E-DA World Outlet Mall. Interesting how malls are different around the world and yet are all the same!


 Well some have unique features.....................



 And then of course STARBUCKS and some relaxing.