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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Francesca Kelly

Have recently discovered your blog and it's really funny! I kinda like our eggs coming with feathers so I know they really came from a chicken. I mean, given what kinds of toxins are in "Made in China" stuff, this is probably reassuring. :)


Welcome back friend!!

FYI - the eggs here usually have more than just feathers on them to remind you they came from a chicken. No, I have not taken a picture :)


You can picture the marketing team sitting around the conference table, arguing why Helen Keller preferred purple glasses. One can only imagine the myriad of conference table conversations normal people would squint and shake their heads at, yet those very decisions alter our lives in the blink of an eye.

The old Yiddish proverb says, "Man plans and God laughs."

I prefer Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."

Of course, if your heart's desire is Spicy Duck Tongues, I guess we can now all infer that Chengdu is certainly lousy with those.


Mr. Tang - SPIT out my water I was laughing so hard!
And I hope based on your Blog Name, you bought yourself a pair of those stylish glasses!
I also noticed I am not on THE MAP - will be here in Saigon only until April 1 - then DC for six months - then San Salvador on Nov.1 -
Thank you - Welcome back!


I am soooo glad you are not gone but seriously you gotta quit doing this to us, my heart can't take it! I guess I can go delete the loooong e-mail I was writing to try and convince you to reconsider.

Loved this post. In Malawi our eggs often come with feathers and just a little "something extra" that makes me wonder if I should be bleaching the eggs too. BLECH! Spicy duck tongue...think I'll pass.


As a random stranger who lurks on several FS blogs, I too am glad you're back.


So glad you're back!!!!!


Adding my voice to the chorus of Welcome Back! I'm so glad you returned.


I too was worried about you and am glad to see you back. And oh, that Spicy Duck Junba's got me all intrigued now...


Double thumbs up for stepping back into the blog-o-sphere. You were missed (even if it was for just a few days). I'll trade you a bag of spicy duck tongue for a package of dried jack fruit (tastes like Hubba Bubba bubble gum x a million). But you can keep your feathery eggs. We've got lots. Am in the states now & one of my simple pleasures is NOT standing at a bleach filled sink scrubbing poop off my eggs. Ahhh, the glamorous life of a Foreign Service wife...


Nomads By Nature

Definitely would love a picture of you in those glasses! Glad you are back too!


Hmm? I can understand duck leg, gizzard, neck, um.. tongue.. and even in tablet form, but what's a JunBa? Hi Kolbi! Missed ya! <3

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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