Friday, November 30

I'm still in Abilene after a busy Thanksgiving week of cooking for the gathering at my parents' house on Friday, then travel to the farm for a wonderful enchilada dinner organized by my could-be-a-caterer cousin where we had a great, but too short time, together on Saturday. I got to see my now three month old nephew, who has already changed so much.
I have my computer set to show pictures from the Tibet folder of pictures on my computer, because they are some of the best pictures I have, I think. So, even though I'm not anywhere near where these pictures were taken, and they're over a year old, I found a few that I don't think I posted the first time to put up here just because.

This isn't a fantastic photo, but I like the negative space in it.

This is a former student at the university I taught at who traveled some with us. She bought some pencils to hand out to the kids in this village we stopped at and she was good at crowd control, as you can see her here with her hand up telling them to be patient and get in line.

Looking at these pictures, feeling a little out of place here (especially during the holiday, for some reason), living out of a suitcase, and other things keep reminding me of impermanence. I'm ready to go back, but not anxious, and still not sure exactly when I'll go back. There are a lot of unknowns in the near future (and the more distant future) which keep me in a daily dependence.

I got my immunizations up to date today at the public health clinic. I haven't made any time for language study since attending a Korean church a few weeks ago, and that's something I need to be doing. I'm trying to find this balance of enjoying being here at the same time as I keep taking the steps necessary to go back.

Thursday, November 22

Thanksgiving snow

It started snowing here around noon and has kept going all day. It's beautiful! I took pictures of my parents' backyard after a rain about two months ago (man, those two months have gone by quickly!) so my mom commissioned me to take some snow pictures. I probably would have done it anyway, since I have such a fascination with snow.

We're having a non-traditional Thanksgiving here. I made chicken with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes in a lemon sauce for just my parents and me. My sister, brother-in-law and nephew are coming in tomorrow along with my grandmother, aunt, and cousins, as long as the roads aren't nasty, so we'll have our real Thanksgiving tomorrow. On Saturday, we are travelling to the West Texas farm to see the other side of the family.

Saturday, November 17

Advent Conspiracy

I had lunch with two friends today who were talking about the Advent Conspiracy, so I looked it up (at my Grandmother's house whose neighbors have fixed the free wireless problem!). I have been thinking a little about Christmas this year and what I want to do. This is a start!

Tuesday, November 13


Yesterday morning at breakfast, my grandmother is reading the paper, apparently looking at the celebrity birthday list. She says, "Today Whoopi Goldberg is 52." (pause) "I wish she wouldn't wear her hair like that."

I say with a sigh "Oh, Mimi. If I were black, I'd wear my hair like that." I sigh because I don't understand why it matters to my grandmother how Whoopi wears her hair.

She sighs, groans, and says she's sure glad I'm not black. She goes on to say that cornrows are okay, but those "drablocks, or whatever they're called" are just messy and ugly.

Last week, she put down the paper at breakfast and asked me to explain "in one syllable words" what google is and what it does. I said the main thing people use it for is to search for what they want to find on the internet. She was happy with that. She then proceeded to ask me what pilates is. (She pronounces it pilots, like the person who flies a plane. This is the second time she's asked about this and she's still not sure I'm giving her the right answer.)

I tell her that pilates is a form of exercise that is a little like yoga. She asks me if I'm sure and says she thought it was something they sell at Radio Shack.

Friday, November 9

mountains and cotton

(I'm sure you're in awe again at the imaginative titles I come up with.)

Last week in Colorado, a friend and I were escorted by a local to Red Rocks and some walking trails in the surrounding mountains one afternoon. (My battery was low and when that happens, sometimes the shutter doesn't open all the way, thus the black corners.)

I drove back all day Saturday and in Texas I got to see a lot of cotton ready for harvest.
Now I'm back in Austin. I already ate at Hula Hut again (I wasn't even picking the place to go this time!) and had a fried stuffed avocado. It came out looking like a fried ostrich egg, they had done such a perfect job of putting it back together after stuffing it. I wish I had let the Asian part of me take a picture of it, but I didn't, so you'll have to use your imagination.

When I came to my grandmother's house a month or so ago, I was super happy to discover one of her neighbors had open access internet that I used. It worked when I came back this week too, but only for one day. I don't know if they got fed up with me using it or what, but now I have to go to other places to get online. It's not a big hardship since just a few blocks away is Mozart's, where I can use the internet for the price of a drink.

I've been filling my days with reading this book, writing and sending out an update letter (if you didn't get one, e-mail me), and spending time with people in my home fellowship, among other things. We launched a 24-7 pryer room this week, too, which has been so good.