Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas in England

Hello Friends and and Merry Christmas!

Well, it's the 27th of December and Christmas is over. It was a wonderful time spending it here in England with Mark's family. It has been even better knowing Ben was able to come and spend time with his Brit cousins! They have been having a great time and enjoying taking him out to the local pubs to partake in consuming the local draughts! He has been enjoying that.
The weather has been typical English weather, dreary, overcast, and rainy....but no complaints from me...I'm with my husband and son and having a fabulous holiday! Ben leaves the 29th for Detroit before he heads home to Atlanta. Mark and I leave on the 30th for our return to China. I only have 8 weeks left in China (I leave the 23 rd of February) so I can do my Capstone practicum for the last 15 weeks of school at home. I will probably also work a bit at my job so I don't forget how to be a nurse!! ;) I miss my work family and it will be good to see them. I really can't believe how fast time has flown by! I will be done with school at the end of May/ beginning of June and then I am done! The light at the end of the tunnel is a lot less dim, and getting brighter with each passing week.
Till next time.....

Friday, December 2, 2011

Yowzer...time is flying by! It's December 2nd already?

Hi Again..so it appears we are posting WOO-HOO! So much has been going on over the last few weeks. I will do my best to do a bit of a synopsis. Have gone and done a bit of shopping a couple of times in Shanghai. One trip was with just 5 other ladies. MJ was heading back to the USA and wanted to get a shopping trip in before leaving. We did that on a Thursday, and the following Monday, we had a bus full of expat ladies heading to another shopping area to shop for the holidays before heading back to homelands for the holidays. I have become quite the bargainer!
In fact, my reputation preceded me into the shops! (We call it the "Chopstick Express") Once it's known there are Westerners in the area who are buying...word spreads from shop to shop! One lady said to us, "I will deal with her (pointing to one of my shopping companions) and then YOU (poining at me)...I know you look like tough negotiator!" Seriously? Okay...and bargain I did! I scored 3 bluetooth keyboards for 3 of us who have Ipad 2 for $20 each. I also got quite a few gifts for Christmas and a few other personal bargains! I'll tell you it's a sport to shop here...and I am getting to professional ranking!! :)
Speaking of rankings, my poker club has been busy and fun. It's getting quite professional in as much we have been getting ranked and even have a banquet scheduled on December 8th. I am looking forward to it, and it should be a lot of fun for us degenerate gamblers! I adore these folks who have welcomed me with open arms and make it fun as well as competitive to play poker with folks from all over the world! I always look forward to my weekly poker game at Ollie's. On Thanksgiving, we had Thanksgiving dinner at Ollie's with 2 other couples. It was a lovely traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It made missing it with my family back home a bit easier to deal with. We enjoyed it and our table companions were fun.

Crafting has been busy on Fridays to get things completed for the Craft Bazaar being held tomorrow at a local hotel. It's a charity event that raises money for some local charities here in Suzhou. Mark and I will be volunteering from 12-2. Should be fun, and a productive day. There will be quite a few vendors there as well, so I am sure I can get a few Christmas decorations for the apartment while there. I have NOTHING that even resembles a Christmas feel anywhere! Even though we are going to England to spend the holiday with Mark's family, I need it to feel a bit "Christmasy" while here before we leave on the 22nd. I will miss spending Christmas away from my family in Michigan, but at least Ben will be joining us there! Mark found him a flight from Atlanta to Manchester on the 24th. He will be with us for 5 days and get to spend time with his cousins that he hasn't seen in 8 years! It should be a great time for all of us. The down side is, it will be rough for the family since it's the first Christmas without Mark's mom since her passing in August. It will be nice to see Mark's dad and spend some time with him and see how he is doing.
So that's a bit of what has been going on here. I hope to be more of a regular blogger...let's hope the Internet, Blogspot, and my proxy server cooperate! Ciao my friends!!

Been busy..and frustrated with Blogger!

Hello Friends!

I know...longtime, no postings! Believe me, I am beyond frustrated! I know it has something to do with Blogger and having to use a proxy server to access the internet to publish my musings from this foreign land. If it was something easy to fix...I would but it's hit or miss. The internet over here has been pretty dodgy the last few weeks as it is. So, this is a bit of test(again) to see if this will publish. (Crossing fingers and saying a prayer.....)