I woke up this morning without a plan, I slept in until almost 9am, when I heard the phone ring. It was Kay Dee calling to say that they didn’t need George today and that if I didn’t they would send him home. So I said that I could use him and so I called him and said, “Pick me up in an hour!” So I rushed around, got showered and ate breakfast. Then I rushed downstairs to ask Mr. Lin and Ms. Liu about where to go with George. They recommended “Lion Head Mountain” about an hour away from Hsinchu. So we got into the car, pickup a bite to eat and drove to the mountainside, asking directions along the way. We finally found the place and George and I walked up and up into the mountains. The air was clean, the view spectacular and we traded carrying Vince in the REI backpack. George is a very good sport, he took off his shirt and wore his undershirt and was sweating up a storm. The first bit of the walk was a bit tourist-y and it was brutally hot, I was a bit nervous about where we were headed, but George encouraged me to go on. The mountain is made out of rock and is a Buhddist retreat so there are places to stay overnight. The trail is amazing, all made by digging rock from the mountainside to create steps. We climbed a lot. Well I haven’t been climbing a lot recently, so this was a lot of exercise for me. Then we went back into town to the department store where I bought a second set of sheets! Hooray. The saleslady was very, very nice. Jeremy called in the middle of my transaction and said that his day went very well and that he was eager to come home. Wished me happy anniversary as it was our anniversary in Taiwan, but not yet in California. Then I went home and went downstairs and saw Ms. Liu and Droopy. Droopy is a bit under the weather today, so he’s on medication. I know yesterday we missed some largest-pig contest, which I decided not to go to because I felt bad for the poor force fed pigs, but George said that something happens only every 15 years and that Chen-Shui-Bien was here in town yesterday. Go figure, I tried to ask Ms. Liu, but I didn’t get her explanation either. Tonight I had dumplings and Vince ate a whole jar of sweet potatoes. He is nursing up a storm these days, last night, I swear he was on my breast all night. I think he’s hitting a growth spurt, ugh, my poor boobs.

So today was amazing! I went over to the Browns at about 10 am, so I called George our driver and got him to come and pick me up. Then we headed to the Browns and I had a good time with Kay Dee. Turns out her ex-husband worked for Bechtel! Small world. Fran got her hair cut in town (very brave!) and then everybody (Fran, Kay Dee, Emily, Grace, me and Vince) had lunch at the Browns (dumplings, cheese, salami, bread, and goat cheese (yum!)). After lunch, Vince, Emily and I took naps and read People magazine. David came home early because last night he worked from 10-midnight on a teleconference and we went to the park a few blocks from their house. Then we went over to the Pellerins and had Pizza Hut pizza and really pink strawberry ice cream, it was a shocking shade of pink, but quite good. We talked about how to more effectively use George. I think we are all going to end up getting cars, using those on the weekends and George during the week

Pretty quiet day today. I thought I was going over to the Brown’s this afternoon, but David was still not feeling very well and we didn’t want Vince to catch his cooties. Watched In&Out, a movie about a gay man about to be married. Vince had a whole chunk of bread at daycare today. He and I are having a good time together. We had another messy dinner of sweet potatoes and fully covered his body and clothes with orange, sticky goop. I saw Ms. Liu and Droopy, she actually called and wondered why I hadn’t shown up during the afternoon. She also told the security guard that I’m home without Jeremy and he has taken it upon himself to provide a watchful eye over me. He is also going to start introducing me to other moms in the complex who can speak english 🙂 woo hoo!

Went to the post office today, it costs 28 NT dollars to mail a letter to the US. I mailed some thank you notes and some address changes, nothing interesting. Also bumped into Fran and Kay Dee at the RT mart, helped them find a lighter for their oven. I do all my errands with the V-man on my back, I feel like a mule at times. A lot of other people end up staring at me and my contraption, but I feel quite mobile and agile. My thumb is killing me these days, I twisted it when Vince was 2-3 months old and it hasn’t healed yet. It gets better, the more Jeremy is around, since he can carry Vince more, but when I’m by myself, I reinjure it all the time so today it was even painful opening up the mail. I hear from the Strickers that Emy is un-telephonable these days, I hope she is doing well.

What a big day! Today Vincent ate his first real non-milk food! Well he has had some crackers and a good bit of paper, but never babyfood sweet potatoes. Backing up a moment, we went today to buy a baby seat for the dining table. He is starting to it up more reliably recently, and we have had some luck with baby seats in restaurants, so we decided now was the time. While we were downtown, we also got chops made for the three of us. When we got home we did a little shopping and settled on some sweet potatoes for Vincent’s big meal (we had chicken, vegtables and rice).

I was really quite grumpy today. I think some days I do really well, other days I wonder why I’m here. So we finally got softer beds! Woo hoo! I can’t belive it. We also got more dressers and another shelf unit. I found out later from Helen that Ms. Liu hasn’t charged AMD for the extra furniture. Gotta fix that tomorrow. Droopy, Leah and Ms. Liu came over for the delivery and we played and played, Leah held the sleeping Vince in her arms while I rushed to fix the beds and such. For lunch, we went to the drivers license office and got Taiwan licenses. Then in the afternoon, we chased away the ghosts from the front of the house. Helen, Ms. Liu, Leah, Droopy and I all went to the front of our building and I put out a watermelon, kiwis, and mangos. I speared them with the sticks of incense and waited until they burned halfway down. Then we went over to the big flaming kettles and threw the incense in and followed it with paper money. Helen then took me to the fish market and the fish there looked so good. Yum! We went out to dinner with Sei-ping and Man fai and checked out the movie rental place nearby. Jeremy got his huge phone today, it’s really quite funny.

Yeager – sad news

So we got bad news from Emily on Wed. The Yeager-meister has cancer. It sounds like he has bone cancer that has spread to his heart and lungs. So Jeremy and I have decided not to bring him to Taiwan. Without knowing exactly how he is feeling, I just can’t bear the thought of him in quarintine for three weeks. Jeremy talked to Emy today and she is willing to be his nursing home. I was telling Jeremy that Emy is good at this kind of stuff, very clear-headed and calm, whereas I’d be a nervous wreck. I feel terrible for abandoning our furry feline in his time of need. That’s what really sucks about being so far away. So we got the news in the morning and Jeremy spoke with Emy today and it seems like Yeager is fine and in not too much pain. Which is a relief. I spent the morning after hearing the bad news at the Elephant Day care with Vince. He had his first taste of having a toy that he is playing with be taken away by another kid. He was quite unhappy. We went home at 10 am for a long nap, and I snacked during the day. Wed afternoon, I went to see Ms. Liu down at the realtor’s office, sat around for 1.5 hours shooting the breeze and playing with Droopy. It made me feel a little better. Everyone’s advice is to get another cat, but I want the Yeager-meister. Wed night, Vince was a bit upset because of his teeth, so I gave him a dose of Tylenol and he immediatly fell asleep at 8 pm for the night, which is unusual. Today, Thursday, we had a date with Kay Dee, Emily, Fran, and Grace to go to Taipei. I was originally thinking that we’d go see the “sea world” which seemed like fun, but I think that the Browns/Pellerins needed to do some more power shopping. I’m not sure what I really thought when they said that they needed to buy meat, it didn’t cross my mind as being unusual. But when we got there, I understood that this was no ordinary shopping trip. We loaded up van-fuls of stuff, salmon, steaks, chips ahoy, coloring books, cheerios, spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, etc! I really enjoyed hanging out with them, I’m really bummed that we don’t live closer. We went to Hola, B and Q and Costco. Whew. I’m beat. We also got a nice letter from our frient Cindy, who reported that Ruby and Monty are enjoying themselves.

I finally got up with Jeremy at 6:30 am. Was tough, Vince didn’t like it either. But I got all my morning chores done before 8 and so I walked over to the Elephant English school and spent a good part of the morning there. It’s really a lot of fun. I met the other english teacher who teaches upstairs to the older kids and watched them stand in a circle and sing and dance. Vince hit his head a number of times, once on the floor of the place and once in a crib while I was trying to lay him down. Ugh, it hurt for sure :). Then we went home and had some lunch and went to sleep together for about 2 hours! yipes. Then in the afternoon, I went to the RT mart and bought dinner, a chicken casserole, not too impressive this time and some delicious veggies. Then I went to the dry cleaners and then to the realtor’s office where I had a nice chat with Miss Liu. She’s a sweetie and with the kid and the dog, there is lots to talk about. Man Fai came over for dinner again and then we went and saw his apartment. We are about to get driver’s licenses and needed our pictures taken, so we went first to the RT mart, no luck. Then I remembered a photo place next to the dry cleaners and they take photos, we had fun, even took a family picture for the grandparents.