2015 at Madhuban

Postscript to Letter No. 69

Postscript to Letter No. 69

I forgot to talk about the caves.

On the way to Xi’an, we passed innumerable caves that people used to live in.  They really fascinate me.  I learned from Lana they are called yaodong, but she didn’t know much about them.

On Thursday this week, at our regular women’s class session, we started talking about the caves and Teresa mentioned that she lived in one for thirteen years as a child.  She was able to tell us a lot about these caves.  Her grandfather dug the cave with the help of friends in the village.  Ultimately, the family occupied two caves because there were three or four children, plus parents and grandparents.

I told them about the caves in Chongqing, which are shaped the same way and were used as bomb shelters during WWII.  You have told me so many stories about them, but the picture in my head didn’t go with the actual caves.  Now I know better.  When I return to China, I plan to do some more research about them.

Sara told us about caves in Baoji that were dug to house machinery from a factory in order to protect the factory from the Japanese bombs.  Having had that discussion on Thursday night, imagine our surprise when the next day in the Baoji paper there was a detailed article about those very caves!  Apparently, Baoji was marking their anniversary.  Anyway, it was exciting to see the pictures.

Cave News Article (I couldn't figure out how to rotate them.)

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Caves in Feng Xiang, Shaanxi




Caves in Chongqing:

cave entrance (7)

Cave shop

2015 at Madhuban

Pictures to Accompany Letter No. 69

The Wedding:

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The Bridesmaid                         Vows

The man on the right is a combination DJ and officiator.

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Chinese traditional dress

Energy Sky's Engagement


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Children's Day Party

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The page is in pink, the dean in red.  All events have pages to assist participants.
Chris is the young man in glasses.

Chris' Birthday:
The colorful repast

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The cake ---->  The smear
2015 at Madhuban

Letter No. 69

Letter No. 69                                                                          Sunday morning, June 28, 2015
Baoji, Shaanxi, China

Dear Daddy,

This will probably be my last entry in this blog (barring something exciting happening or I add pictures) because I leave for the States in about a week.  I will give my last three finals this week and have the grades ready by Thursday morning.  After that, I’ll be free to clean the apartment and finish packing.

I shipped three boxes of winter clothing and other items home the middle of June.  Two of the boxes have already arrived and are in my room at home.  The third one was the heaviest and should arrive soon.

It has been an eventful and fun spring and I will miss China, but it is time for me to go home.  There were three holidays this semester:  Tomb Sweeping Holiday on April 4th, Labor Day on May 1st, and Dragon Boat Festival on June 20th.  There was also International Children’s Day on June 1st, but it was not a government holiday.

I already talked about the weekend in Feng Xiang during Labor Day weekend.  I see I didn’t say anything about the school’s annual sports meeting.  Everyone (except us foreign teachers) was involved.  It was the day I went to the hospital, but I wanted to see the opening ceremonies before going.  Unfortunately, the section of the stadium assigned to the Foreign Language Department was directly across from the VIP stand and there was a giant placard that completely blocked our view.  We could hear the music and periodically see hands with pompoms moving to the music, but that was all.  Each department of the university marched around the track to the VIP stand and gave a performance – and that was what I had wanted to see, so it was very disappointing.  I didn’t attend any of the competitive events, but the meeting lasted three very hot days – no rain but typically muggy for this area.

Between the sports event and Dragon Boat Festival, I attended a wedding, an engagement party, and a Children’s Day party.  The niece of one of my adult students got married on May 23rd and she invited me to attend.  It was an elaborate affair with beautiful clothing and amazing quantities and varieties of food.  The bride and groom exchanged vows while all the guests watched from their tables.  Sara, my student, took me all the way to the front of the room to sit at the first table.  Foreigners are still unusual enough that people stared at me as if I were a celebrity.  Altogether, it was a fun experience.  Then, on May 27th, I attended Energy Sky’s engagement dinner.  Usually, only the family is invited, but because I will not be here for the wedding in September, Energy Sky invited me to the dinner.  It was informal, but then, to make it official, he proposed to his fiancée in front of me.  It was so sweet.

The Children’s Day party was held at a small “home” school near the new campus.  It was like a costume party.  Tiger talked about Marco Polo and I dressed as a fairy godmother and talked about fairy tale godmothers.  It was fun.  Each of the children also gave a presentation or performance of some kind.  One boy did a really nice magical act, another recited Chinese poetry, a girl danced, and there was a skit reenacting the assassination of the Qin Emperor.

I went to the Foreign Language Department’s graduation ceremonies on June 15.  It is very different from American graduations.  First of all, parents and family don’t attend.  Students from the freshman and sophomore classes are dubbed to be the audience.  Then, since there were at least 300 graduates, they brought ten at a time onto the stage.  The dean of the department went down the line handing them a folder and moving each tassel from right to left.  Then he went to the center of the line, smiled for a picture, and walked around the table in time to meet the next group of ten.  After this ritual, three speeches were given, one by the dean, one by a faculty member, and one by a junior.  The speeches were in Chinese, of course, and I caught about every 10th word, but graduation is graduation.

The next day was Chris’ birthday, so we had a small party at my apartment.  The tradition here is to smear the birthday person with icing from the birthday cake, so everything was a royal mess.  However, right when I was beginning to worry they would stay too late, Chris said, “Time to go.”  Fifteen minutes later the house was spic and span and the students out the door.  I didn’t have to do a thing.  I like Chinese parties – the guests clean up after themselves!

At the last minute (on Thursday night, June 18), one of my adult students, Dr. Zhao (Lana) invited me to Xi’an for Dragon Boat Festival (leaving Friday, June 19).  She had really wanted me to meet her family, so when her son found out he had two days off work, she jumped at the opportunity.  We took the high-speed train to Xi’an on Friday afternoon.  We had a lot of fun and I got to practice my Chinese.  Her grandson (age 6) is the only one in the family who speaks much English.  Even though Lana speaks some English, my Chinese is just barely better than her English.  Her son came up with the idea of using WeChat (Chinese Facebook) to translate.  I would type a message in English on WeChat; he would translate it to Chinese via WeChat; he would type a message in Chinese on WeChat, and my WeChat would translate it.  So between that method and my poor Chinese, we all could communicate pretty well.  Her son and I have a bit in common:  we both like pizza, ice cream, coffee, and movies.  He took us to see Jurassic World in 3D.  I don’t Lana had been to this kind of movie.  We both jumped when the big fish lunged at us, and then cracked up laughing.

This past Friday, I was invited to a weekend school to meet and talk with the students so they would have an opportunity to hear native English.  I was impressed by how well behaved the children were.  After talking to them a little in class, and posing for lots of photos, we went to the Botanical Garden.  The field trip was far less controlled than the American equivalent.  I saw no permission slips.  The children piled into the cars willy-nilly, although each car had at least one teacher.  Our car contained me, the driver, my teacher friend, and six 10 year olds – a total of nine people in a Hyundai luxury sedan.  It was raining, to boot, more of a misty rain, which deterred the children not one iota.  They ran screaming and playing until they were out of sight.  I don’t know how they were gathered back together, but by the end of my walk with the headmaster and my friend, the kids were all gathered under a pavilion under the control of the teachers.  Then proceeded more picture taking – me with each student individually, me with teachers, me in front of the lotus pond, me … You get the idea.  The afternoon/evening ended with the headmaster taking all of us – about 40 kids and five or six teachers – out for dinner.  I thought he was very brave to do so.  The food was delicious as usual.  I will really miss Baoji food.

I think this just about covers the adventures of the past month or so.  I’ll post a bunch of pictures, too.

Lots of Love,
2015 at Madhuban

Letter No. 68

Letter No. 68                                                                          Sunday morning, May 17, 2015
Baoji, Shaanxi, China

Dear Daddy,

As I was browsing through your letters looking for references to doctors or optometrists, I came upon the following quote.  It so reflects my own attitude toward teaching English here, that I must share it.

From a letter dated August 24, 1932:
I am teaching three evenings a week at the WMCA.  They have classes for the Chinese in English, German and Chinese.  I try to teach English Conversation.  I do not know if they get it or not.  I told them that I could teach "American" but I was not so sure about English.

You’d be surprised how many times I tell my classes this very thing.  I teach American (Indiana accent).  When they want to know the difference in pronunciation of a particular word, I often have to say I don’t know because I don’t speak British English.

My latest (small) adventure was acquiring new glasses.  Both my regular glasses and sunglasses disappeared when my purse was stolen.  So, yesterday, a student (Cataleya is her English name) went with me to a glasses shop.  I had been there last year when I needed to buy some reading glasses.  Cataleya assured me they had the instruments to measure the eyes and prescribe glasses.  She was right; the owner had a couple ways to measure the eyes – one was a box-like machine that reads the curve of the eye and determines the correction needed.  My optometrist in America has one, among many other more modern devices.  The Chinese “optometrist” also used the visual cues of whether I could clearly see the capital E pointing in various directions on a projected wall chart.

As iffy as it might seem, the prescription came out the same as what was prescribed in America, so I am satisfied.  Cataleya and I took about an hour to go food shopping and have something to drink, then returned to the glasses shop and the glasses were ready.  Altogether, the exam, sunglasses, and regular glasses (I didn’t bother with bifocals since I usually wear my contacts) came to under USD$150.  Cataleya thought it was terribly expensive.  I explained that by American standards, it was cheap – the same glasses in America would have been close to 3000RMB.  No wonder the Chinese think all Americans are rich.

I also found that you wrote in a letter dated July 13, 1939, while you were on a fact-finding mission regarding the Burma Road, addressed to your first wife, Mattie:

(Incidentally, you will be interested to know that I have just about decided that I need some glasses.  If my eyes are no better when I get back to HK, I shall have to look up a good oc--- [occulist] whatever you call an eye doctor in polite society).

A later letter confirms that your eyes cleared up, so there is no record I could find of any trip to the eye doctor for you.

Earlier this week I was requested to teach another class, a post-graduate English class.  This created a conflict for me because I don’t feel that I can take on any more classes and keep healthy.  After discussing it with several people, all of whom recommended I not take on the class, I chose for a compromise.  I told the English office that I would teach the class as long as I could drop one of my days in the English Resource Room.  Unfortunately, neither of the other two is available to take up the slack, so my plan is to close the resource room on Wednesdays.  I will still have one day a week there on Mondays, which is the basic requirement of the foreign teacher.  Tiger and I were only taking two days a week voluntarily because 3 teachers are hard to spread across 5 days.  I think it’s a good solution and will confirm it tomorrow.

I’ll get this posted now.

Lots of Love,

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2015 at Madhuban

Letter No. 67 - More Pictures

Here are the caves we investigated:

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This was part of the old village.  All homes had little shrines in the outside walls.  Today the shrines are covered, destroyed, or, a few, still used.

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David, his cousin, and his mother.  Hongmei was in a motorcycle accident and is recovering from knee surgury.

0501151223b_Burst16 Feng Xiang means "flight of the phoenix."  This is the city's symbol.

East Lake:
0503151138 Lele, age 7

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(Center)  One of the ancient willows.

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2015 at Madhuban

Letter No. 67

Letter No. 67                                                                          Wednesday morning, May 13, 2015
Baoji, Shaanxi, China

Dear Daddy,

As they say in Chinglish:  too much has happened since I last wrote.  (It means “so much.”)

This has probably been the most emotional time ever for me in China.  It could be an American country-western song if I chose to tell it that way.  I travelled a couple times, lost my oral English textbook and class lists, my purse was stolen, and my little cat died.  Then almost everything turned around and I got back the important things (textbook and class lists, passport, and bankcard) – except for Wan’er.  If you want the details, good and bad, keep reading.

First, a short trip into the Qing Ling Mountains was delightful.  It was a hot late April day and the further we drove up the winding road, the cooler it became.  The leaves on the trees were all turned up in expectation of rain, and although the sun was shining, I kept saying it would soon rain.  And sure enough, eventually, we were directly under a storm cloud and it began to rain.  Energy Sky drove and Joker and I went along for the ride.  It was so lovely with everything dressed in spring green and some of the trees in bloom.  We took pictures, as is always done on such an outing, to “memorize” or “memorialize” it.

The first weekend of May was International Labor Day, a 3-day weekend.  I went home with a student, David, to Feng Xiang, a town/county near Baoji.  I stayed with his family in their village, which was a wonderful experience of the quiet village life – no cars, fresh air, wheat fields, and cornfields.  It was so comforting.  On Friday, we went to Lin Shan, a Buddhist temple near Feng Xiang.  A giant golden laughing Buddha sits atop a small mountain and can be seen for miles around (next to a weather station, which can also be seen for miles around).  The temple was built in the traditional imperial Chinese architecture style and we climbed from the lower main temple gate to the top of the mountain and the main temple hall.  There were surprisingly few people there, given that it was a holiday, but perhaps it was because we arrived in the morning instead of the afternoon and it had been raining.

That afternoon we went to a local market (much like American flea markets, but much, much more crowded).  We visited a small, local temple and listened to recorded Shaanxi Opera (not to be confused with Peking Opera, although I’m afraid it all sounds the same to me).  The live performance would take place later and it was likely that it would be a concert, not an actual performance.

Saturday we rested, walked around the village, prepared food, etc.  We also went to the edge (literally) of the village and descended into wheat fields which were growing where the village once stood.  In the cliff walls could be seen many, many caves.  I had been wanting to get close to those caves for a long time, but had never had the opportunity.  Even then, we could not get into the caves because of the wheat, but I got a much better look at them.  No one could tell me why the village moved out of the valley, but it makes sense to use it as fields.  The caves looked rather dangerous.  I could see where some form of plaster had been used to shore up the ceiling and walls in some places.  There were handy shelves carved into the earth, but I couldn’t see how the cooking was done; perhaps it was done outside over an open fire.  It was fascinating to get as close as I did.

That evening we were going to go to the “square dance” held in the main village square.  We walked there, but were too early, so we left.  I felt I had walked enough and didn’t need to dance, too.  Besides, I’ve been to the square dancing a number of times (and described it to before).  It’s fun, but it makes me feel extremely uncoordinated.

On Sunday, we visited the famous East Lake in Feng Xiang.  It is a very beautiful place.  It is a small lake surrounded by green trees, primarily weeping willows.  Two of the trees are ancient willows that were planted by well-known Chinese historical figures.  We met David’s middle school English teacher and her family at the lake and walked together around it.  Her daughter is 7 years old.  Early in the walk, we had stopped by one of the famous willow trees when she looked up at me and asked, “Are you happy?”  I answered yes.  After that she took my hand and we walked together most of the way.  What a sweet child!

Then, a week ago, on Tuesday, I ate dinner at Pizza Hut with Tiger and a couple Chinese ladies who want me to tutor them in English.  I had hung my purse from the back of my chair.  When we got ready to leave, I stood up and discovered that it was gone.  We looked all around the table, checked in the car, which was in the parking garage, asked the waiters, and called out the manager.  It was nowhere to be found.  Then we had the manager check the video, which confirmed the theft.  I did not see the video, but was told that it showed a man on the phone slip the bag off the back of my chair, toss it on the floor, and then take it with him when he left the restaurant.  We called the police, who responded within 10 minutes.  They talked with each of us, as well as the manager.  Then they viewed the video.  After that, they took us to the police station to fill out a report.

The bag contained my passport; cell phone; 2 pair of glasses (one sunglasses and one prescription bifocals); keys to my apartment, bicycle lock; and English Resource Room; my wallet, my bank debit card, my bus card, and some cash.  I was most upset about my passport because it would be the most difficult to replace, although the bankcard was definitely a problem, too.  One of the Chinese ladies gave me an extra cell phone that she wasn’t using, so I had my phone number placed in it.  That way no one could use my original phone.  However, the bank wouldn’t give me another card without my showing them a passport (which, of course, I didn’t have).  Thus, I was locked out of my bank account.

That day I also had lost my textbook and class lists, so it was a very strange day.  The textbook and class lists were returned to me on Wednesday.  I had left them in the classroom by mistake and she had found them and taken them for safekeeping.  I took their return as a good sign.

Last Saturday, was the worst, though.  Wan’er slipped from the window ledge and fell four floors to the cement below.  I had left the window open because she had previously negotiated the ledge safely.  I heard her claws scrape as she tried to catch herself.  When I ran downstairs to get her, she had crawled into a sheltered spot and was severely injured.  With the help of students, we called a vet and took her to the animal hospital by taxi.  Unfortunately, she died on the way.  The vet tried to resuscitate her, but was unable to get a response from her.  It is probably better that way because her injuries were so bad – I think her spine was broken and there were internal injuries because she couldn’t walk and had difficulty breathing.  I will miss her.

Then, on Sunday, my administrative boss called me from Beijing (where he was on business) to tell me that my passport had been found.  It turned out that one of the ever-present street cleaners had found the passport, wallet, and bankcard in the trash.  The wallet contained my boss’ business card and so they called him.  The cleaner (age 57) had found it on Friday, but couldn’t read; he knew it was something important, so he waited until his sister got home.  She called my boss, who arranged for us to pick it up from the family.  It was pouring rain, but the relief of getting the passport and bankcard was greater than the discomfort of the rain.

This week has been more normal so far.  So I’ll stop here for now and get this posted.

Love and kisses,

Qing Ling Mountains:

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0426151733 Energy Sky and me.

Feng Xiang:  Lin Shan Temple

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0501151045 0501151106a David and me

More pictures to follow.
2015 at Madhuban

Letter No. 66

Letter No. 66                                                                          Friday afternoon, April 17, 2015
Baoji, Shaanxi, China

Dear Daddy,

My excuse for not writing during the past two or three weeks is that I was ill with kind of a cold, kind of indigestion, kind of absolutely no energy.  Because feeling tired lasted so long, I yielded to the urgings of friends and students to see a doctor; and thus, the makings of adventure.

I first went to the campus clinic and they gave me medicines for indigestion.  As far as I could tell, it didn’t hurt me, but it didn’t help either.  So next, a week later, I went to the Baoji Central Hospital.  Fortunately, I was accompanied by two very kind and patient students, who I’m sure had more of an idea of what I was getting into than I did.

The basic process for obtaining medical help at the hospital was:

  1. Registration:  Get a slip of paper and fill out name, birthdate, and ailment.

  2. Obtain hospital ID card – the size of a credit card that will be used to pull up your data on the computers.

  3. Wait to see the doctor – you are assigned to a specific room and doctor, depending on what ailment you have.  The biggest lines were the respiratory ailment rooms.  It looked like 25-50 people outside waiting for the doctor.  Fortunately (?), no one had my symptoms, so I got into the doctor after a very short wait.

  4. See the doctor - who asks questions about the ailment (my students were so helpful, translating and explaining), then decides which, if any tests are needed.  The doctor assigned 3 tests:  ECG, ultrasound, and blood screening.

  5. Pay for the tests.  The cost for the three tests was under $100 US (under 500 RMB).

  6. Go for the tests.  I was able to have the ECG the same afternoon that we first went to the hospital because it didn’t require fasting.  Unlike the US, the technician handed us the results immediately.  The blood tests required fasting, so we returned to the university (1/2 an hour by taxi) that afternoon, and went back the next day.

  7. Blood tests.  Arriving at the hospital around 11 am or so, we used the hospital ID card and payment receipt to register with the phlebotomist.  There were probably 50 people milling around the area, but I made it to the window fairly quickly.

    I say window because the phlebotomist was behind glass (like a bank teller used to be).  There was a good-sized opening at the bottom of the window through which you put your arm, resting it on a well-used cushion.  I was duly impressed that the blood drawing was quick and painless.  Often my veins are difficult to find and roll out from under the needle; but she got it first time.

    The big adventure was peeing into a miniscule plastic condiment cup, using a Chinese toilet.  For my women friends, that means squatting over a hole trying to aim at the little cup, which you can’t see.  But that’s not all.  Having completed the business, you have to carry said cup through the crowd of people to find where to deposit it for analysis.  I got to make the trip twice from one end to the other trying to find the right window.

  8. Ultrasound tests:  This test had the longest wait.  When we registered, they gave us a number (296) and we were called in via groups of numbers (281-285, 286-290, etc.).  They were on number 266 when we arrived, but we got in just before noon.  Then, we waited some more in a hallway until machines were available.  Like the ECG, they gave us the results right away and we were out of that area by 1 pm.

We were told to come back at 2:30 or 3 pm for the blood results, so after the ultrasound, I took the girls to lunch at a noodle shop.  Baoji, being in northern China, has some particularly good noodles.  Most of the noodle shops are family owned and run.  They make their own noodles and sauces.  We ate at a particularly good one.

  1. Pick up blood test results:  The hospital has a very nice machine that you can stick your ID card into and it will print the blood test results.  However, the machine was broken.  That meant lining up at a window with a single person printing the results.  I learned how to say, “Get in line over there.”  [Pai dui le zai nar.]  This kept people from butting in front of us in the line.  It was actually funny when one of the hospital workers saw how long the line was; her jaw actually dropped and her eyes got wide.  I have a feeling the machine gets a lot of use.

  2. Return to see a doctor:  With the results of all three tests in hand, we returned to the room we were first in the day before.  It was a different doctor, so she asked many of the same questions, but was able to look at the test results.  Bottom line:  nothing serious wrong.  Her diagnosis was that I work too hard, the seasons are changing, and I need to rest, eat right, exercise, and lose weight.  (No news there.)  She gave me two prescriptions and said to come back if I didn’t feel better.  (Fortunately, I do feel better, although I don’t know whether it is the medicine or not.)

  3. Pay for prescriptions.  They cost about $10 US.

  4. Pick up medicine.  You go to yet another window and they hand you the meds.

As I said, it was an adventure.  Being able to say that, in and of itself, tells me I’m feeling much better.  I had lost my sense of adventure and I am very happy to have it back.

Note:  I am not addressing the sterility (or lack thereof) of the hospital.  I just don’t want to go there.  It offers healing for people and is very different from western hospitals.  Enough said.

I’ll stop here and tell about the annual school Sports Meeting in my next post.

Love and kisses,

Hispital Reception BldgHospital Registration Building

Hospital Waiting in the heatLab building behind the very nice man who let me take his photo.  BTW, the temperature was 90 degrees that day.
2014, May 1

Letter No. 65

Letter No. 65                                                                          Sunday morning, March 28, 2015
Baoji, Shaanxi, China

Dear Daddy,

For the 3rd or 4th day in a row, there is no internet this morning.  This is most inconvenient for me because it is during the window of time I have to talk with friends and family in America.  I don’t see how you managed with only letters, which often were delayed for weeks.  The following snippet is from a letter you wrote on October 7 and 13, 1943, to my mother.  At the time, you were in parts unknown on your way to China.  Given the sensitive nature of your work, you could not tell her where you were or where you were going.

Did I tell you that you can send me the kind of telegrams [that use] … this APO number as an address?  Well, you can.  In case I change numbers, I will let you know.  But, until I do let you know, keep on writing (or telegraphing) to this number.  Don’t use the name of any town or country in the address, just send to me directly.  I think it will take a short time, perhaps a week or so, for mail to reach me.  But, if you send to Washington, it may take a bit longer.  Try both ways until you know for sure which is the quickest.  So far, I have sent you no mail except through the APO.  Later I will try the local Post office here to see how much longer it takes, if any.

I will leave here sometime tomorrow for the next stop on my itinerary, which is some 48 hours away.  However, until further notice, keep right on sending letters to this APO number.  I will get them eventually.  Just don’t expect replies immediately.  So far I have had no mail whatever from the States so, even now, cannot make replies to letters I know you have sent.  I do hope, though, that you have been getting the ones I have sent you along the way and from here.
It is possible that I will spend some time at my next stop, although I still don’t know and won’t until after I arrive and have a chance to talk the matter over with those who are already there.  I'11 try to send you a telegram when I arrive there so you will know of the arrival, even if you won’t know just where I am.  By the way, you can reply to any telegram I send if you advise the telegraph office that you want to send reply to the office of origin of the telegram.  They won’t know where that office is but they will be able to send reply by refering [sic] to the code letters or numbers of the incoming telegram.  …

On the whole, this week went well.  Friday morning, Anna and I took Wan’er to the vet to be fixed.  She is 7 and a half months old and I didn’t want her coming into heat.  The operation went well and she is recovering quickly.  It took several hours, including the time for her to wake up enough to be taken home.  The doctor said she was very sensitive to the anesthesia.  As soon as she was able to stand, we brought her home.  Instead of bandages, they tied her into a tight-fitting, cloth straight jacket, leaving her limbs free.  She slept the rest of the day.  She was most comfortable sleeping on my chest and stomach.  The heat must have eased her pain.  She curled up with me on the bed that night, too.  Yesterday she slept on the sofa leaning against me while I graded papers.  Last night she slept on top of the covers in the bed.  We will take her back to the vet tomorrow to get the binding off and have the vet check her progress.

Yesterday Jackqueline and a couple friends came by to bake (I’ve designated Saturdays as baking day).  They brought a box mix they had picked up in Italy thinking it was a cake.  It was a box mix for yogurt crème pie.  Unfortunately, all the instructions were in Italian.  Some of my Latin came in handy, but by downloading Italian to my Google Translate phone app was of great assistance.  We managed to add butter to the crust mix and yogurt to the crème powder, pretty much as instructed.  Two hours of refrigeration later – voila!  Yogurt crème pie.  I tasted a little bit and it is too lemony for me.  But we did it.

I guess that is the news for this week.  I’ll post this and some pictures as soon as the system will let me.

Love and kisses,

IMAG5548 Wan'er in the CONE

IMAG5550After surgery, just waking up.

IMAG5552 After surgery, trying to stand up