Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sinofied

I'm not even sure if "sinofied" is a real word.  But to me, the meaning is "to become Chinese".  I feel like in many ways I have become "sinofied".

One of the things I first noticed after coming back to China is how normal everything seems to me.  I went to a grocery store, and things I would have never bought before looked good to me now.  It so easy to sink back in to every day life here.

I look forward to eating the food.  I happened to mention at church that I haven't really been cooking during this visit.  The woman at church said incredulously, "What do you eat?!"  I was kind of dumbfounded, and plainly answered, "Chinese food....".  I love Chinese food, and I can't imagine not liking it.  I was talking to a friend who has been to China several times.  Her husband led a touring group from BYU.  Another friend asked us both, "Is Chinese food good?"  She and I answered at the same time.  I answered "Yes!" and she answered,"No!"  I told her that one reason she probably didn't like it was that she spent a lot of time at resorts.  My experience with resorts is that their food isn't very good.  I told her that if she went to a regular restaurant, she would like the food.  But later she did say to me, "Me and China don't mix."

I have to admit that I didn't always feel about China the way I do now.  As a new missionary, there were many things I wasn't used to.  Back in those days, cilantro wasn't really a part of the American diet.  When I first ate it in Taiwan, I didn't like it.  But through the years I have developed a love for it.  There are many other things about the culture that although I wouldn't choose to live them, I understand them and can accept them.

Although I might understand the culture, there are still things that I haven't really incorporated in to my psyche.  Let me give you an example.  The other night we went out with some friends to a part of "Old Su Zhou".  My husband, and the other man had a conference call they needed to attend by phone, so they went to a nearby McDonald's to find a quiet place to have their conference.  Me and the other co-worker, a woman, walked around the square window shopping.  While we walked, I mentioned to her that I hadn't been able to find any greeting cards in SuZhou.  I wanted to send some thank you notes to some people back in the States.  Today she is flying back to her home in Singapore.  This morning my husband remembered she had given him a small package for me.  It was a sack with some Chinese greeting cards in it!  The Chinese are so good at doing this.  I know they do it, but I have never really made it part of my thinking, so it didn't even occur to me to buy a present for her.

I guess you can take the American out of America, but you can't take America out of the American.  But I do think that China is sinking it's way in a drop at a time.  I do think I"m slowly becoming "sinofied".


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's Back to China I Go

I just got a VPN so that I can access my blog and Facebook, Pinterest etc.  I tried to get one on my iPad, but I could never get it to work.  I feel sad for people in China who don't have access to the wonderful sites and blogs that I regularly view.  I feel sad that they don't have access to as much information.

We are presently in SuZhou, Jiangsu, China.  I think this is the most beautiful city I've ever seen in China.  It was designed with the help of Singapore, and is considered a model for the rest of China.  In addition, the area where we are staying isn't quite as densely populated, so has much less traffic, and is cleaner.  Oh that all of China could be this way!

I'm still trying to adjust to life here.  My main problem is figuring out what to do all day.  I usually go out shopping in the mornings.  There is a vegetable market about a block away.  There is a grocery store right by it.  Then I come home and eat lunch.  I am taking an independent study class, but honestly I don't have the patience to spend hours and hours a day with it.  But I am working my way through the class slowly.  I still have a little jet lag, so usually take a nap in the afternoon.  Also, we have been getting a lot of phone calls from the U.S. during the middle of the night, so we aren't sleeping well.  We have had some family issues that we have had to deal with concerning my husband's brother who was involved in a wreck with a scooter my husband gave him to use.  In the evenings after my husband gets home, we usually walk a block or two to find a restaurant to eat dinner.  Eating out in China is inexpensive, and is really good.  So that's pretty much how my days go.

Tonight's dinner was unusual.  The speciality of the restaurant is a congee dish that is served with meat and vegetables in it.  We ordered some vegetables, shrimp spring rolls, and beef to go with it.  We were sitting right next to the fish tanks.  They have fish, shrimp etc. in big glass tanks.  Every few minutes the chef would come out and get some of the shrimp, or a fish to cook.  So we were just sitting there when all of the sudden a fish leapt out of the tank!  It was flopping on the floor right next to me, but no one but us seemed to even notice!  I called out to the waitress.  She came quickly over, smiling, and grabbed a net to put the fish back in the tank.  Pretty funny!

We have run in to some funny signs too.  One restaurant had the name "Toilet".  I am wondering if they meant "Towlette" or something.  Someone needs a refund on their translation.  

And this drink shop chose the name "Fly juice", when I think their meaning had more to do with the verb, than the noun.  We chose a passion fruit juice that had big black seeds in it.  It was a little too much like real fly juice.....


And the adventure continues....


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Losing Mom

The first of April my siblings and I made the decision to put my mother in a care center.  Her care was getting beyond me.  Her dementia had progressed greatly in the past few months, and there were times I wondered just how much she was aware of her surroundings.  Usually she would respond to me, and she was still "there".  But there were a couple of times that she wasn't, and didn't respond.  Putting her in a care center was EXTREMELY difficult.  We all felt so much guilt.  Some people asked if one of my siblings could take her for awhile.  Yes, theoretically they could have, but honestly, if her care was getting beyond me, it was also getting beyond them.  The care center people assured us we had made the right decision, and felt that she was one of the people who needed a care center most.

As I dealt with the guilt of putting her in the care center, one day I had a thought that really helped me.  It occurred to me that those feelings of guilt and feeling bad for my mother were actually feelings that are pleasing to God.  Feeling empathy, and pain for another person are godly feelings.  I ran across a scripture while reading the Book of Mormon:

Jacob 2:And also it grieveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech concerning you, before your wives and your children, many of whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God;

How would God feel if we didn't care about putting our mother in a care center?  If we had no regret at all, what would that say about us as children? My thinking is that feelings of empathy and concern are godly feelings and even though they might be painful, we should feel blessed to have the ability to feel them.


After three weeks of being in the care center, a great blessing happened in that my mother passed away.  Her dementia had progressed to the point that she was having difficulty swallowing.  Evidently, she aspirated something.  The care center called my sister, who lives 30 minutes away.  But my mother died before she could get there.  In my religious beliefs, and from experiences of family members who have died, I believe that loved ones come to "get" a person when they die.  I have no doubt my father came to get my mother's spirit.  Did she die alone?  Absolutely not.  And not to mention that my mother had done a lot of geneology and had come to know many ancestors who died before she was even born.  I'm sure a fair few of them were there as well to welcome her to the world of spirits.


As for me, I feel that because of her dementia, I lost my mother several years ago.  The person I cared for was not the person I have known all my life.  Our family has been grieving for years, so her death is just a release.  I feel relieved for her, that she doesn't have to live with a demented mind, and live in an unfamiliar care center.  And I feel relief for my family who no longer have to worry about her and wonder if she is okay.  We know she is with my father, her parents and siblings, and a daughter that only lived a short time whom she never met.  She lived a great life, and now can celebrate in heaven. 


Friday, April 28, 2017

Sewing Basket

Just a follow up to my last video.  I mistakenly said that I got this new prize at the craft store.  I actually got it at the thrift store.  I hit the jack pot!  Woo Hoo!

If you would rather watch it on Vimeo, click here.  For some reason, the video doesn't fit on blogger.  So clicking that link would probably be a better way to view it.


Movie on 4-28-17 at 9.11 PM from

Friday, April 21, 2017

Craft Room Tour

I'm finally getting around to sharing a tour of my craft studio.  Sorry the sound is a little crazy at first.  I'm still learning how to do this.  I tried using my phone, but couldn't figure out how to upload the video.  So I finally used my laptop to film, and uploaded it to Vimeo.  I hope this works.
This size doesn't fit very well....any suggestions?
Here is the link.  It would be better to view here.  https://vimeo.com/214233375


Movie on 4-19-17 at 5.14 PM from Delores DeVictoria on Vimeo.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SNAPCHAT Addiction

I've discovered the wonderful world of SNAPCHAT Filters.  Watch out world!



















Friday, March 03, 2017

Play

My sister Inklings blogged about what she played as a child.  I had already been thinking about that this week so decided to follow her lead.  I sort of feel like I could also talk about what I play as an adult, because honestly, I still like to play.  :)

My earliest memories of play revolve around our front yard.  I used to make mud pies on the driveway often.  I had a couple of friends in the neighborhood, so they would play with me.  Another thing I played is something that my husband teases me for.  I think he would like someone to analyze this.  We had a porch that was higher than the driveway.  So you had to climb steps to get up to the front door.  There was a railing around the porch.  I used to take my dolls and drop them from the railing.  Then I would run down to the driveway calling out, "Oh my baby, oh my baby!".  Then I would comfort the victim, and return to the porch to do it again.  Yea, I know, a little weird....  lol

I also remember that I loved to play with my sisters things.  They had an overnight case in the closet with Barbie dolls in it.  I often went in and played with them.  I don't know if my sisters always knew...

When I was about 6 years old we moved to Texas.  I didn't have any friends at first.  I started school and found out that one of the boys in my class lived just around the corner.  I started going over to his house to play with him.  But the only thing he ever wanted to do was try to build things out of wood.  He would get a hammer and nails and hammer scrap pieces of wood together.  This could be because his father was working with his sons to build a clubhouse in their back yard.  It turned out to be quite an elaborate clubhouse complete with a tunnel underneath that was used as an escape hatch.  So the boy, Alan, used to only want to hammer nails in to wood.  He had a younger sister that would come to see what we were doing.  He always told her to go away.  But frankly, she looked a lot more fun than him, so I told him I was going to play with her.  I never played with him again.  But at first I couldn't remember her name.  I would go to the front door and say, "Can "she" play?"  They would say, "Gail?"  I would say yes and play with her.  She was my best friend for most of elementary school.

Gail and I used to play Barbies more than anything else.  I had inherited my sisters' dolls and clothes.  Gail's family had more money than our family, so she had all new things.  But I do remember that she often tried to find ways to steal my doll clothes.  I always called her on it.

One thing we liked to do was pretend that we had boyfriends.  We each had a good boyfriend, and a bad boyfriend.  We used to watch an old TV show called "Alias Smith and Jones".  We both really liked the one actor and thought he was cute.  But Gail "called" him as her boyfriend first, so I was stuck with the other.  Now I can't remember which was Smith and which was Jones.  Then we each chose a name for our "bad" boyfriends.  She chose the name "Oreo".  I was kind of jealous because I thought that was a really great name.  I named mine "Earwax", but never really was satisfied with that name.  So we would pretend that the bad boyfriends would tie us to a tree or something, and then Smith and Jones would come rescue us.  We imagined all kinds of situations where the bad boyfriends would try to kidnap us or something, and the good boyfriends would rescue us.  Weird kids.

In our home in Texas, we had a porch that was screened in.   But with time, the screens kind of came away from the wood, so there were occasionally holes in the bottoms of the screens.  We used to play "store" there and would hand the goods in and out through the screen.  That was a favorite game.

I don't remember why exactly, but my brothers made a large wooden box.  Actually, it only had the top and sides, no bottom.  My mother wanted them to dig a hole in the yard for her to put an old freezer in to use as a potato cellar.  I think that was what the box was for.  Then one day my brothers found an injured owl.  They used the box to keep the owl until they could take it to a vet or rescue place.  Eventually they did dig the hole in the ground and even made dirt steps leading down in.  But we never did get the old freezer.  They put the box over the top of the hole.  For me, that was a perfect club house.  I used to spend a lot of time in there.  I also kept a box of "treasures" in there.

We had an alley that ran behind our house.  I often combed the alley for "treasures".  Like, maybe I would find a marble, or an old toy or something.  Once I met an old man who was coming out to the alley just as I passed.  He gave me a sack of shelled sunflower seeds.  He instructed me on how to soak them in salt water and bake them in the oven.  Nope, I just ate them plain.   One time I found a rocking chair that had one rung broken.  I took it home and showed my parents.  They actually went and had it fixed.  I was so happy they fixed my rocking chair, until they gave it to my brother when he got married....

My mother bought a large roll of paper.  I was allowed to use as much as I wanted.  I spent a lot of time making paper dolls, making and illustrating books etc.  That was the best toy they could have bought for me!

I really liked paper dolls.  We had a subscription to a church children's magazine called "The Friend".  Every month, "The Friend" included a paper doll.  I went through all of the back issues and took every paper doll I could find.  I spent many, many hours playing with those paper dolls.

My friends and I liked to play with Barbies, but we especially liked to make clothes.  Sometimes we would have contests to see who could make the best clothes.  I actually think I learned a lot about garment construction from that!  When I was 11, my parents gave me a Barbie doll house for Christmas.  Some people think that is too old to play with dolls, but I loved that doll house and played with it a lot.

My parents also got me some roller skates.  I skated quite a bit in our neighborhood.  For my birthday one year, they put new tires on the old bike my sisters had ridden.  They also put a big basket that had flowers on it.  I was kind of embarrassed about the flowers on the basket, but I was so happy to have a bike.  I learned to ride it and rode it to school often.  When my brother left for his mission to Mexico, he gave me permission to ride his bike while he was gone.  It was a ten speed.  I rode that all over town.

Now as an adult, my way of playing is usually to create.  I love using all kinds of mediums to create things.  Like, I might crochet something, or make greeting cards, or draw, or sew something.  I have a wonderful "studio" in the basement with a great desk.  I have a lot of rubber stamps, markers, etc.  When I need a "pick me up", I go down to my desk and putter.  :)  I have been thinking a lot about doing a "VLOG" about my studio area.  I watched one done by Mandy from "Sugar bee Crafts", and it inspired me.  So keep your eyes out for my first ever "VLOG" about my "creation station".  :)