This is us.  The one showing lots of shoulder (in her Chengdu, China Marine Ball ball gown!) is the EFM who writes this blog. The one wearing a tux (James) is the employee who moves her (and their two sons) around all over the world. The red link, below, is how you can get in touch with me...

The time in Chengdu, China

Chengdu: city of fabulous food and beautiful Buddhist monasteries!
Yes, Beijing's Forbidden City (pictured, above) is really pretty and all, but I like Chengdu much better than Beijing!

In Our Same Boat (with State)

  • Beyond the Cornfields
    Brand-new State Department family in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Love their two little girls (she just recently had a baby while being posted in Dhaka), horticulture, traveling and adventure!
  • Email From The Embassy
    State Department family formerly in Beijing, China, and recently posted to Amman, Jordan. A trailing spouse, she's also a writer, and frequently publishes articles with major news sources. A very experienced State family, this new post is something like overseas post number six or seven for them.
  • Just US
    A beautiful family of seven - they have arrived at their new post: Jerusalem! They just finished off an unaccompanied tour to Iraq and are very much looking forward to sightseeing around the middle east.
  • Our Life
    State Department family on their second post...Tijuana, Mexico. It's their first overseas assignment and they have two little boys. They love Tijuana so far and post pictures frequently! They also get to enjoy the best of both worlds for they can sneak over the border into San Diego when they want to!
  • The Dinoia Family
    State Department family formerly in California, now in DC for a DC tour. Next, the husband will do a one year unaccompanied tour. A very experienced State family (formerly in Iceland and Caracas) with a blog that has been around quite a while and has great archives. Jen has a sweet heart and a lot to give!
  • The Perlman Update
    State Department family formerly in Chennai, India, who then did a year-long unaccompanied tour in Iraq. They are now on a DC tour and after that will do another unaccompanied tour (Afghanistan). She totally tells it like it is and doesn't sugar-coat what life is really like. Witty, snarky, funny and down-to-earth. Look elsewhere if you want fake. Read if you want REAL.
  • Where in the World Am I?
    State Department family formerly in Bujumbura, Burundi and now in Hyderabad, India. They just had their first baby this summer - a beautiful little girl- (there's a separate blog about this) and she also eats gluten-free (with a separate blog, also).
One of the most intriguing things about Chengdu is that it is a seamless blend of ancient and modern... all together, side by side.

Can't Live Without (non-State)

  • Crass-Pollination: An ER blog
    The best ER nurse blog EVER!
  • Doctor Grumpy in the House
    The best doctor blog EVER!
  • In Which...
    My IRL friend, a stay-at-home, homeschooling Mama of seven. Her darling daughters are, goshdarnit, probably too young to be hoped for as my future daughters-in-law.
  • The Crib Chick
    My IRL friend, a stay-at-home, homeschooling Mama of five. Hopefully two (Any two! I'm not picky!) of which are my future daughters-in-law.
  • the underwear drawer
    An anesthesiologist who is possibly the most talented & entertaining writer ever. I've read her blog ever since she started medical school. No, don't know her in real life. Wish I did.
  • The Bloggess
    This blog is both hysterically funny and hilariously irreverent. I actually let my 17 year old son read it (who loves it as much as I do!), but wouldn't even CONSIDER letting my 12 year old son read it. Which is about all the description it needs!
The grounds of Chengdu monasteries can be very, very peaceful...even though they are smack dab in the heart of a city of millions of people.


Yes, there are Starbucks in Chengdu! All over the place, in fact. So much so, Starbucks even crafted mugs for Chengdu stores!
Texan bluebonnets. Because I learned during our very first posting (Houston) that there's nothing prettier in the spring than the meadows of Texas.
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OK I am self nominating. I guess I am conceited that way. First Colin's birthday scare because those stupid plants are used in landscaping worldwide, including in the US, and I don't want someone saying that "I wish I'd known that plant was poisonous" especially if they have a young child that is prone to putting things in the mouth. Scary! p.s. you aren't allowed to make fun of me for my plant obsession any more. It's a good think I do love plants because med had no idea what was going on until I remembered the flower! Ha!

Also on the subject of obsession- FOOD! Today I will post instruction to make homemade ricotta, important if you are totally craving lasagna or ricotta gnocchi, as in I wish I'da known this in Jakarta where I had to wait until I found ricotta at the store to make lasagna, sometimes it was a long wait. It will be up in a few hours, I have been busy homeschooling. I don't know how you do this girl!

Same topic at Email from the embassy Donna posted a recipe for tortillas. Yum. Can you tell I am hungry? Have fun with the roundup. I can't wait to see it.


alright I didn't expect to submit anything but I think my CNL post and especially its comments have been helpful to some and might be more helpful to others. So, I'm nominating myself. :)

and I still don't know what to do.

And I wanted to write a post about "if I had known I would lose 2 years of my life to this crazy FSO application process, I might not have done it" but the truth is that I'm still glad I'm here!!! Despite the crazy hair pulling out involved!

thanks, Kolbi!


Another self-promoter. We just learned we are going to New Delhi in May 2012 and I thought this could help anyone going through the bidding/research process. Here it goes...

Thanks for doing the Round up again Kolbi!~


I am loathe to do this, but since I went and purged a heavy burden on my blog this week and part of the reason for doing so was to get the word out about my mother's illness, I am going to add to the list of hopeful inclusions in the round-up. It's kind of a depressing one, but I promise the next post will be lighter!



I would like to nominate Emily's birthday blog ( What a great idea!!! I know I had fun celebrating with her even half-way around the world.


OK One more Monday's post about Alonzo and the schools here. I wish I had known more about the school before we moved to Malawi. Sigh.

A Daring Adventure

Thank you, Ladies! You're the greatest!!

And if anyone else is reading this who hasn't yet contributed - there's still time! Tons of it! :)

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James loves me. And our sons. And his job. But not having his picture taken. In 2011 he finished up over a year and half of training, and in the fall of 2011 we got to our first overseas post - Chengdu, China!
Mao says hi! Because Chengdu is one of the only cities in China with a Mao statue.
Flowers are like friends. Each one is unique. Each one is beautiful. They brighten up everything around them. And you can never have too many. 

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2012 is the Year of the Dragon, y'all! Talk about the ultimate in good luck! This kinda party only comes around once every twelve years!
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Colorful! (Inside a Chengdu ancient Buddhist monastery.)
Have I mentioned that I absolutely adore taking pictures? Here are some that I've taken recently:
A Daring Adventure's items Go to A Daring Adventure's photostream