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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How utterly frustrating.


May I just say in Chengdunese -
我的天啊。・我的天啊 wuh de tyen, ah!!!!


Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."

naoma lee

Ohhhh, how exceptionally frustrating! And how very open minded & open hearted of you to know when to just let it go.


Any Mouse

HR may not have released your e-quip to DS. Incredibly frustrating and scarily common.


Sorry about all that! I know who really WOULD appreciate your presence...orphans! Could you volunteer at a local orphanage? They would never forget your kindness, and you would never forget those little ones who have no one! (which seems like a more lasting relationship to me than with your efm security clearance friends)


Frustrating to tears. . . Really. Oh, wow.


(((HUGS!))) SO proud of you!!! You are a class act!


Now you will have some time to put your alltime favorite blogs & pics together and get your self published! I want to buy signed first edition copy!!! :0)

Matt Keene

Ugh. Speechless. But, you know, even if you don't do EFM work in Chengdu, you may find you want to do it in the future. Or there may be some other reason you'll need a clearance that you can't foresee right now; for that reason alone, you might want to push the ball across the goal line, just so you have it done.

Why does everything in this career have to be this difficult?


Omg, how unbelievably infuriating! If you have indeed given up and moved on, then more power to you - best of luck in school and exploring China. However, chances are your info is still saved under your SSN in the eqip database. I just went through the process and completely identify with the pain of putting all the info together (being foreign born and all mine was 50 pages) but as Amy M pointed out, it is possible that it was SUBMITTED but not RELEASED to DS (these are two different things and I was forever confused about them). If you did not RELEASE your clearance after SUBMITTING it, DS will never see it. And as Matt said, you may want to look into what happened just because you never know when you may need a clearance in the future. I'm more than happy to talk to you about this, if you want. You've definitely proven that you can kick ass in whatever you do, so best of luck, Kolbi!!!

Carla Runs The World

No! Don't go dark! What's the fun of that? Post sporadically if that's what you need, but don't stop posting!

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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