A Change in the Weather

We were promised a chilly winter here (relatively speaking) but we didn’t really believe it until this week.  In the past few days we’ve gone from sweating to sweaters.  No heat in the buildings and no carpets on the floor means that it is difficult to warm up when we come in from a rainstorm.  And everything that makes the apartment comfortable in warm weather, like tile floors and lots of windows,  makes it uncomfortable now.

But this weather doesn’t last long and we are soggy Seattlites.  We just wouldn’t be comfortable without a few rainy days.  I’m glad to have an excuse to trade my tank tops for sweaters.  Change is a good thing.

And 7-11 sells thermal shirts.

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People Are So Nice Here

Pouring rain started after I set out for the market this morning.  Being a good Seattlite, I slapped on my rainproof hat and coat and kept shopping.  I was offered two umbrellas and several seats while I was shopping. There was a very tempting price on lovely cabbages so I decided to make sauerkraut which of course meant buying a big plastic container at the Everything Store.  As I was on my way home with all those packages, a nice woman first offered me her umbrella and then insisted on carrying my big bag to our apartment building.  Once in the apartment, the doorman carried my cabbages the rest of the way.  So helpful!

A Stellar Teacher

Nancy Olsen is an outstanding teacher. In addition to inspiring her students in their studies, she has taught them to think of others and how they can benefit the world.  Her Honor Society activities are legendary.  Most important, she provides a safe, supportive haven for her students to become at home with who they are and dream who they can become.  She is a magnificent teacher.

Don’t believe me?  Check out this “famous former student” speech at her high school. No one knew that it would turn into a “Nancy made me who I am today” speech.  (my apologies for the quality of this video – it was not intended for a larger audience)

Even better, she’s my sister-in-law.  Around here she’s known as my Best Sister.  And I am proud to know her.

All You Can Eat

We had our Thanksgiving feast on Sunday, but still wanted something a little special for dinner on Thursday.  We had seen giant restaurants (the size of a city block) with a cow logo as we were driving around . Thursday we saw one not too far from our apartment and decided that this was the day to try it.

Taichung Steakhouse

This place seats 200 or more (the photo shows only part of the restaurant).  It is a giant all you can eat restaurant.  They have steak on sizzling iron plates, Mongolian grill, sushi (not very good), noodle soup (very good), teppanyaki, fruit and salad, cake and ice cream.  We even found glazed sweet potatoes!  Dan met the younger brother of one of his students (a fourth grader) who graciously showed us around and told us how the place worked.

I think some of our best traveling meals have been at buffets – huge Amish buffet in Pennsylvania, theme restaurant in Mumbai with regional specialties and entertainment from all over.  There’s something about a buffet restaurant that leads people to help out newcomers and recommend their favorite dishes.  Plus you get to try a little (or a lot) of everything.

It was a lovely meal.

Trading paintings for cornmeal

Someone wants my paintings!  Bill came to visit Vickey and brought me spices, cornmeal, and other things I’ve had a hard time finding in Taiwan.  In exchange, all Vickey and Bill wanted were a few of my paintings. They couldn’t decide so I gave them four.  How lovely that they like my work.  Here’s what they decided on…

trees

field

colors

pumpkins

 

25 for Thanksgiving Dinner

The first Thanksgiving I ever cooked was in 1980.  It was not good.  (my apologies, cousin John, for the truly inedible cornbread)  I’ve had a little more experience since then.  Experience helps.  So does sharing the burden.

Simo and Dan set up the long, long table and all the borrowed chairs and stools we could find.  Carol and I supervised the kitchen and invented a last-minute gravy.  Gale stood in line at Costco for most of an hour to get the six roast chickens.  Everyone brought their family specialties.  It was a proper Thanksgiving – too much irresistible food, lots of conversations between old and new friends, and much thankfulness.  In fact, I think it was one of the best Thanksgivings I’ve ever had.

Most of the teachers are traveling over our four day holiday later this week.  The rest of the country does not have the same holiday so we’re taking advantage of the bonus days off to see spots that are normally crowded with weekend tourists.  Dan and I will use our apartment as a home base and take a couple day trips.

Dinners over the next few days will feature leftover roast chicken.

Happy Thanksgiving!