Mini Panic Attack

Oh my gosh, in only 4 short weeks I'm going to spend the last night in my very own bed for quite some time.  Now I don't know about yours, but I think I own the most comfortable bed in the world.  It is probably one of the things I'm going to miss most about home that and being literate!  I had my first reminder of illiteracy the day before yesterday. I had  done some Christmas shopping (can you say NO POSTAGE FEES FROM CHINA) and the store I went to required my daughters behave perfectly.  I was in there for quite a while and decided to bribe the girls.  I told them if they behaved, I would buy them a prize...... they could have anything they wanted. Now I figured they'd go for a toy, hey the life size Barbie would have been my choice for getting even with mom, but they decided they wanted candy. "Ok" I thought "I'm getting off cheaply"  Well our first stop after the Christmas store shopping was the Asian Food Mart. Since we discovered imported Jasmine rice we all refuse to eat our local stuff. I wandered around just "checking things out"  when it dawned on me I didn't really know what much of anything in that store was.  Yes I know what rice, soy sauce and some of the staples are and how to cook with them, but I was clueless about most of the stuff in cans and packages.  I didn't even venture into the freezer.  Oh dear another light bulb moment.......this is what it is going to be like in China.....only worse. I've been to China, twice as a matter of fact and I did shop in the grocery and other stores, but it was just for little things you know, smaller diapers and baby formula.  I remember being able to recognize cookies and crackers, but I do not want to exist on only those things for the next two years. Then Julie started looking at various items and began asking, "is this candy mama, is that one candy?" I had to tell her I didn't know, I couldn't tell her what any of that stuff was. I had a mini panic attach right there in the Asian Food Mart!  I had to remember Lisa's words......I will not complain, I will not complain, I will not complain.....I also made myself remember there would be others there who would help me out in my time of need.  I just better take enough comfort foods to see us through!

I've sold my car, it didn't bring as much as I had hoped, but the price wasn't far off.  It sure beats storing it for two years, paying for license tags and insurance, and having it do nothing but deteriorate and depreciate.  Airline tickets have been purchased and we are leaving on Tuesday August 7th at 6:00 am.  (Yes we are flying United) We'll arrive in Beijing on the 8th at 2:35 pm, this is Charlie's birthday, although I told her we'd have a party in July when her Aunt Linda and cousins are here.  I'll apply for our visas this week and am planning on getting our passport photos taken for them tomorrow and sending it off to the travel agency handling them for us.  I've had my lovely Z visa physical (fortunately the girls aren't required to have one) and am happy to report I still don't have AIDS, syphillis or ghonerea (or however it's spelled). This is the third time I've had to have these wonderful tests.  The adoption physicals required them as well.  I think the Chinese government must think all foreigners have sexually transmitted diseases (I barely remember was sex was!)  I've got one suitcase already packed with my winter clothes and last week I sent 45 pounds of books to China.  Lisa told me about "M Bags."  These are bags that literally take the slow boat to China.  You are allowed to mail books, magazines and periodicals in these at a greatly reduced rate.  They are basically used as filler and when there is a full load of them they send them.  It can take up to 6 months to reach you.  I just sent a bunch of "trash novels,"  you know those lovely romances.  I bought a bunch of them at our public library for 10 cents each.  Hey they're written in English and when they arrive in 5 months it is going to seem like Christmas to me!

I've gotten most of the web page written, and hope to have it "uploaded" to the internet soon. With my wonderful experience in computer"ese" this could take the next 4 weeks!  Hopefully I'll get it done soon! 

That's about it for now.