08 December 2012

March 2012

Another sunrise from our living room window.
Finally finished the tiger puzzle, only two pieces missing :-)

Craig and I were invited to the Irish Ball which benefited several charities.
We actually had a mini-blizzard during the night.
Early the next morning everything was still white.
...but later in the morning most of the snow was gone. This group of people have their daily exercise together before starting their shift.
A few elderly braving the cold, snow and possibly slick spots. I shot these out the car window, sorry for the quality.
One of my favorite shopping areas, totally Chinese, which means next to no one speaks English.
These ladies do a lot of sewing for ex-pats, they understand our meager Chinese and pantomimes.
At another shop, we were invited to visit their "other room" which was upstairs and down the hall. I think this room would have been their storage room but was converted to a more exclusive shop that catered to wealthier patrons.
You can find almost anything here. This outfit was so tempting but we both passed on it, lol.
Our wonderful home teacher and his lovely wife.

07 December 2012

February 2012

Early morning sunrise.
Each morning is beautiful.
Valentine's Dance at Church. The young moms came up with this arch. They're so talented!
This is a very famous street near Tienanmen Square. It's being renovated, keeping the flavor of Old Beijing.
Three-wheeled car. Would love to put one in my suitcase and bring it to Texas with me.
Old rickshaw on display at one of the International Schools in Beijing.
We have the MOST interesting guests for Sunday dinner. Bro. and Sis. Crook are some of our favorites.
Nikki's first banana bread.
This is the Trashman and his shop. Everyone comes here to shop even though it's so far out from the city. I  thought about giving him his own blog and posting a hundred pictures of what treasures you're likely to find.
This is the front door.
You never know what you will find here.

Don't forget to look up or you will miss a great buy.
Not sure if it's a pet or dinner. Another day it was a crazy squirrel, or you might find a bucket of red ear slider turtles, or even a cage of rabbits.

03 December 2012

January 2012

Craig was out of town and I almost didn't go. At the last minute I grabbed my camera and headed to the bus where a small group from church met and we all headed to the Long Dragon Gorge.
The ice slide was made for children but all the skinny adults were trying it out, too.
The dragon entrance to the green and gold dragon, the ice city, the dam, the chair lift across the gorge and a lot more things to do.
Walk through the dragon's mouth and take the stairs and escalators to the tip of his tail and climb down a short, scary ladder to walk across the dam.
Black canvas is anchored across the gorge to create the roof or sky above the ice city beneath it.
I really thought the blossoms were real. Even so, it was beautiful.
Beneath the black canvas is the ice city.

It was hard to pick which pictures to use to show you the wonderful buildings made of ice. Be sure to notice the "stars" attached to the "sky".

A well, water vessels, all of ice.

The flash knocked out a lot of the color.
Wouldn't be China if there weren't vendors. I bought a hot cooked baked yam to warm my hands then ate it to warm my body. I also bought a little can of soymilk. She pulled it out of a pan of steaming hot water. Great idea to warm it up.
One of the bridges.

19 September 2012

Chinese New Year 2012

The last day of celebration ends in fireworks till 1 a.m.

By 6 a.m. the streets are all cleaned up as if the fireworks never happened.

Wondering what this is? It's a floating candle lantern, like in the movie "Tangled". It was a long exposure.

Chinese New Year 2012

It's the year of the Dragon. Here are a few pictures from last winter. Enjoy.

This is like getting your picture taken with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland.

Only the emperor could have 81 knobs on his door.

The baby Dragon

A very important person's carriage.

24 June 2012

21 June 2012

June Solstice

Solstice Skies Around the World

The rolling Planets, and the glorious Sun,
Still keep that order which they first begun;
But Man! once innocent -- perversely strays,
Swerves from his God, and walks in devious ways.
-- Freebetter's "New England Almanack" for 1788

The June Solstice - - The Sun at 23 1/2 degrees North

Back in my public school days, I was taught that the Earth's axis is inclined "23 1/2 degrees" to the plane of its orbit around the Sun. Like many of the things I learned in public school this was an interesting factoid, but didn't help me very much in inderstanding what was going on in the sky. but this number "23 1/2 degrees" turns up in mnay intersting ways, especially around the solstices.

On June 21, the Earth reaches a point in its orbit where the North Pole is leaning in the general directgion of the Sun. As seen from the Earth's surface, the Sun appears to reach the northern extreme of its annual circle through the sky. So on this day, the Sun appears to "stand still" and not move further North. For this reason, the Romans called it the "solstice," which means in Latin, "The Sun stands."

On the June solstice, the Sun reaches its furthest extent to the North in the sky. For folks in the northern hemisphere, the Sun is highest overhead at Noon, and the Noon shadows are the shortest of the year. Also, the morning Sun is seen to rise furthest to North than any day of the year, and also sets furthest to the North. For this reason, the June solstice is "The Longest Day of the Year," and "The First Day of Summer" for everyone in the Northern Hemisphere.

-- from Classical Astronomy, 20 Jun 2012 issue, published by Jay Ryan, http://www.classicalastronomy.com