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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You don't have to worry about Paul Ryan. Nobody listens to him or votes for his ideas, even the Republicans in Congress.

He tried to get a bill passed that the US could only spend as much money as it took in. Sheer stupidity.

He tried to get a bill passed to drastically cut government spending. Complete idiocy.

He tried to freeze hiring of government workers because we have no money to pay them or their pensions. What kind of a lunatic is he?

He tried to privatize Social Security so that our kids would have some of their own money to fall back on, instead of allowing the government to spend it all as soon as it came into the system. Who listens to moronic plans like that?

The US is having no money problems, even though we're spending more than 4 billion dollars a day on interest to countries we borrowed money from in order to pay bills that we can't.

Entrust your life to the people who tell you that everything is fine. Believe with your whole heart the people who hire government workers and balloon new and old government programs. They are hiring and ballooning their voting base so they can stay in office and continue doing what they've been doing, and it's working perfectly. We will all remain safe and secure with this plan.

So the US is broke? What difference does it make that we owe more money than the entire country takes in? We will never have to go into austerity, drastically cut jobs/government agencies/programs, or print so much money that a loaf of bread costs a wheelbarrow full of paper. We are the US! Everything is fine. Paul Ryan should be ignored.

Actually, Paul Ryan is the enemy.


Actually, Paul Ryan is probably my oldest son's #1 hero right now.

He wanted us to name the new baby Ryan after him. (He was also lobbying for Acton.)

In spite of saying stupid things from time to time, his budget proposal is probably one of the most realistic for long-term fiscal health. Difficult to implement and not popular, but easier to do now than waiting and facing something more dire *cough, Greece*.

Anyway, I understand where you are coming from and I don't think Ryan's proposed budget is going to be adopted -- but I'm glad his voice for being more fiscally cautious is in the federal government (in spite of occasional dumb remarks.)


J15 likes Paul Ryan so much, that one of his top college picks is University of Chicago -- not only for their economics program, but also because it is close enough for him to volunteer/intern for Ryan. So. . . yeah. . . I hear about him a lot!


Btw. . . just wanted you to know that my comments are said with the utmost friendliness. *grin* I assume you'd know that, but just in case. . .

Becky Marvin

So,is Paul Ryan planning to take a 5% cut in his pay? How about a 5% cut to his campaign? How about a 5% cut in his benefits?

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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