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.
Blog powered by Typepad

« In Which Both Elementary School and Chinese Exit Stage Left | Main | Just in Case Ya Didn't Already Know (Plus: Changes to the RoundUp!)... »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I think all the boys are pretty good shots. That is a good skill to have. Particularly since Matthew wants a career in the military.

I remember the police coming a few times to my high school, and the reason they had to come always got better and better as the day progressed.


I graduated from high school in 1966, and to my knowledge there had never been a policeman who had stepped foot in the place, unless he was a father.

Two years later, my younger sisters told me there were policemen stationed there.

And on another subject, I know "The Lord is My Shepherd," "Amazing Grace," and several other hymns by heart, all the verses, and the reason is because we used to say/sing them in school, after we recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Public school. Everybody. And nobody died.

Maybe that was because there were no policemen in the halls.


I love that James takes your sons to the range ... I think it's important to have a healthy respect and understanding for our husband's weapons. I know Matt wants the girls to grow up understanding about guns ... it's the stupidity of youngsters these days who have no clue that get them into an awful lot of trouble.

Best of luck to all of you on your Chinese classes ... ugh, I can't imagine how much work there is. For all of you.


I love that you have three different titles. Chuckles.


My California-raised husband was shocked to hear that I went to schools that ALWAYS had an armed police 'resource officer' on duty. When I was in HS, there were kids who had knives, spikes (it was the 80's), and I even knew kids who had guns (this was before my school had metal detectors). These things weren't really about school. They were about the neighborhoods where the kids got on and off the buses. Um.. is this reassuring yet? What I mean is, the kids I knew who brought weapons to school had a specific cause. So-n-so threatened them and they were going to be ready - true, that's not a good excuse, but it wasn't like they had any intention to conduct random mayhem. We had fights here and there, and one riot rumor that ensured that half of the police force, plus helicopters!, attended a particular football game. (The drum major even had one police man drive him across the field, lights and sirens blaring, during half time) Despite all that nonsense, we never had any serious incidents with innocent kids getting hurt.

btw - that school is where I learned to shoot. JROTC had a range, and I was captain of the marksmanship team. My husband thought that was crazy too... but he's got some pretty wild ideas about the school anyway, maybe because the first time he ever saw the place was on "Cops".

DC/MD/VA is not the best of areas, but there are a lot of good people there too, and good resources to deal with problems. If you think it would make you more comfortable, have you thought about a basic self-defense, martial arts class, like taekwondo?


Impressive. Keep posting pics like this and NOBODY will want to mess with the Darings!

The high school where Hubby taught college classes last year? Yup. Violent. Freaked me out. Two deaths in the first month of school (thankfully off campus, but still. . .)

The comments to this entry are closed.

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. 

Become a Fan

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!
free counters
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