Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Referral Announcement and Blog move

Introducing Zhuang Lu He
Born February 7, 2010
Residing in Yi Feng SWI
in Jiangxi Province.

 We hope to travel in November to bring Zhaung Lu He home.  Her American name will be Audrey Lu He Nuckels.

And now that we have our referral we are moving to a new blog site too ... which is

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bon Voyage for Sandy and Richard

So after the monk chanting and Hanging Garden viewing we walked the block down to the Wine Cellar for Sandy and Richard's Going Away Party.
 This picture shows John walking next to Bow Tie Cafe (our new coffee shop!) very cute and new sign.
Bow Tie Cafe is right next to the Wine Cellar.
 Early scene at the Bon Voyage Party.
 The honored couple.  Oh my gosh how we are going to miss these two.

 Jim, Linda, Richard and Chuck.

 Candid picture of previous with addition of Kim Curran.

 Richard and Sandy being serenaded.
... and their serenader.

Hanging Garden @ Holy Cross Church

At 4 today we are going to walk up to Holy Cross to see the Hanging Garden.

Pictures inside were not allowed so here are promotional picture and outside building:

Besides being the best public art project I've seen in Cincinnati since my return here three years ago, Shinji Turner-Yamamoto's Global Tree Project: Hanging Garden at Mount Adams' old (and otherwise empty) Holy Cross Church is so contemplatively beautiful it should be permanent.  But that would create a problem - - one of the two trees suspended by wires in the middle of the former sanctuary is alive and needs care and watering.  (It's the one on top.)  The Japanese-born artist, who lives in Cincinnati and also has a concurrent exhibition, Disappearances, at Contemporary Arts Center, has devised a watering system, a jewel of technical invention.  But he could still use your prayers.  To that end, Sri Lanken monks from the Ohio Buddhist Vihara will chant on its behalf from 3-6 p.m. Saturday and Japanese monks will chant at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday.  Admission is free; parking is available.  The church is at 1055 St Paul Place.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could find worthy art projects for our other empty inner-city churches and sanctuaries? For more information, visit -- STEVEN ROSEN
The bon voyage party for Richard and Sandy was from 4-8 pm.  We decided to check out this exhibit before going to their party when the Buddhist monk was going to chant at 4 pm and both of us were glad we did. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Are we in?

Today I received our weekly "Program Update" from FTIA China Team (which is Betty).  The interesting part relative to us:

We've been told that the next referrals for China will be sent out next week.  The CCAA has been closed for Moon Festival from 9/22 - 24, so chances are they wouldn't make it to the US until later in the week at the earliest.

According to Chinese friends Moon Festival is similar to our Thanksgiving.

On another topic, last night I went to a Mt Adams Community Life sub-committee meeting at the Bar & Grill.  Topics included recapping Cinema in the City (a success), Halloween on the Hill (new plans which sound fun) and the website.  About 14 people attended and man am I impressed with some new neighbors (less than 1 year on the hill) and their level of involvement.

Today we all received a preliminary copy of the Halloween on the Hill Flyer along with map of the candy corners:  NEW THIS YEAR ... Trick-or-Treating made easy!  Be sure to hit all the Corner Candy Distribution Sites along Paradrome, Hatch and Pavillion Streets.  Trick-or Treat is from 6:00-8:00 om and the party continues at TAP & Go!  Parade begins at 5:30 on Guido Street and end with Costume Contest at Monk Fountain.  Contest ages:  0-2; 3-6; 6-12; 13 and up.  The Candy Corners have themes too:  Pirates (Paradrome & Wareham), Fairy Tales (Wareham & Hatch), Superheros (Bevedere and Hatch), Vampires (Fuller & Hatch), Witches and Warlocks (Carney & Hatch), Gangsters & Flappers (Pavillion and Fuller) and Famous Entertainers (St Gregory and Jerome). 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Firmstone Manor Septemeber 17 and 18th, 2010

The quote at the bottom of this sign:  " Life is made of ever so many partings melded together."        Charles Dickens Great Expectations

This picture in front of Firmstone with Barbara and her dogs China and Snoopa + Spot (the white puppy) she was watching this weekend.  China is named for the country because it is one of her favorites.  And of course we talked about our impending adoption.  Barbara has only owned this house for 8 years and oh my gosh does she have an interesting story.  Starting with the fact she was born in a POW camp in Germany.  Buying this inn and restoring it is her retirement job from an exciting but  stressful government career.  She is an amazing cook and oh my gosh the renovations she has accomplished. 

At this point you still are not even in the house yet.

The front hall.

The dining room.  Really terrific stencils and nothing is overdone like in so many Victorians.

Quirky solarium hot air balloon hanging from the fan in the solarium.  
Gazebo off the solarium.  There was a wedding the day before we arrived and one next week too.
Barbara made all the drapes and they are just stunning!

Blurry picture going upstairs but it shows the interesting ceiling.
On the railing at the top of the first set of stairs.

View of the room we stayed in, the Firmstone, from the bed.
And looking up.

And this picture, from the bathroom in our our, shows some of the creativity used in this renovation.  See the drapes...
... they are covering a pipe in the corner.

And this picture is a random room on our floor which fortunately the door was wide open.

Amazing ceiling!

Odyssey Race in Virginia

This weekend we traveled to Virginia to run in a trail race in Douthat State Park.  Proceeds from the race benefit veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Since the park books up a year in advance and we only decided to sign up for this 11 weeks ago we stayed just outside the park at The Firmstone Manor, which was so wonderful it needed a separate blog entry.

We arrived at Firmstone Manor around 3:00 Friday, met Barbara and her dogs China and Snoopa and then went to the park to check it out a little and check in for the race at 5PM at the Discovery Center.

This is the Boy Scout fire pit in the Discovery Center area which was also the start and finish for the race.  Douthat seems to be particularly kid friendly with lots of monthly activities for children.   We think we may stay here for future trips to Richmond after Audrey comes home.

This picture shows the first 2oo feet for all the races.  And it is really deceptive in illustrating what any of the courses were like since the trails were hardly flat and much more narrow.

This picture better illustrates what the trails were like.  Both of us were thought it was more difficult than we had anticipated.

We did not see this salamander but apparently they have them.

They also have fishing areas designated just for children under 12.

John's race started 1 1/2 hours before mine.  So after he took off I had to take my tote bag back to the car.  On the way I saw a woman wipe out on one of a trail.  Although I did not bandage her up I think in a way my first aid training may have helped.  I was the first one on the scene, got help before I could get back from our car with our First Aid bag and I recognized she was going in to shock (she started shaking) and yet did not freak out.  Her knee that was cut the deepest was also the one she had knee replacement surgery on as well. 

Minutes before my race started I learned that the 5 mile route was actually 5 1/2 miles.  I ran it in in 1 hour and 9 minutes.   I listened to my China CD candidates playlist on my ipod while I ran.  Ironically the song Celebrate Me Home came on just when I got to the lake which was the last 1/2 mile of my race.  John finished in 3 hours and his race was also longer than a 1/2 marathon.  The other 2 races were marathon and ultra marathon (40 miles) and about 160 total participants. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lunch with the Reds and the Nicolas Family

So we thought it was fun to have lunch with some of the young players for the Reds this week.
The tall guy on my right is Logan Ondrusik.  The guy on John's left is Chris Valaika.

And the we found out (via email and then C-Span) that President Obama visited the Nicolas' this past week.  Amazing.