Friday, July 29, 2011

Whoopie Pies

I grew up eating whoopie pies back before they were a national and international treat. I saw them in Hong Kong when we were there. My mom used to make them and wrap them individually, put them in the freezer and we were pack them in our lunches. I have thought about making them for some time and decided that Miss K's birthday celebration with her cousins would be the perfect time to make them. I do recommend waiting for a cool day when you want the oven on for hours to warm up the house and not on a hot day.

I know there are lots of recipes out there but I decided to use my mom's recipe, the one I grew up on.


1 cup Crisco

2 cups sugar

1 cup sour milk

4 cups flour

1 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

4 eggs saving 2 hites

Mix together then add

1 cup hot water

2 tsp baking soda

Mix. Droe tsp on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 min. Fill when cool.


4 tbl milk

2 egg whites

1 tsp vanilla

4 tbl flour

2 tbl powdered sugar

Mix then add

1 1/2 cup Crisco

4 cups powdered sugar

Beat till fluffly.

Can add Fluff for flavor.

Fill, eat, and enjoy

The tasters loved them.

We enjoyed them. They are all gone. I guess we will have to make some more.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Miss K

Her birthday was actually a week ago and I am finally catching up.

7 Years old - where has the time gone? Her birthday was probably the longest day of her life. It was longer than 24 hours.

We started the day early with coffee at the airport.

Starbucks in Hong Kong gives steamed milk to children and will sometimes even put a smiley face on the top. Miss K calls it coffee. Three years ago we took her our for coffee on her birthday.

After coffee we said "good-bye" to Hong Kong and boarded a flight to Narita. Our flight left late and we didn't have a long layover. We ran to the gate and saw our plane but the gate was closed. Then we started our sit-in waiting for something to happen. We just sat on a bench and waited. Finally, they put us on a 9:30 pm flight to Honolulu. We got there around 10:00 am still on her birthday.

Here are the kids in Honolulu.

They each picked up a brochure of something to do in Honolulu. Only we weren't there long enough to do anything except check our luggage and get boarding passes and then sit at the gate.

Yes, my kids wore long sleeves in Hawaii.

We then went to SFO. It was still her birthday. We had time there to get two loaves of sour dough bread at 9:30 at night we called that dinner.

We got home and it was no longer her birthday. Miss K has been looking forward to her birthday for months. Her birthday was not over until she had cake. She has good taste and wanted a chocolate cake. Her  daddy and brother felt sorry for her and made a chocolate cake while mama tried to recover from two night flights. We had cake. We had to work to keep her awake for her cake.

She wanted her cousins to celebrate so we do that a few days later. She was so excited.

It took a few blows.

She put her head back to get a big breath.

She was happy with the celebration and her birthday is over.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hong Kong

We had four people and three cameras in China for a week. I think together we took 2000 pictures. We got back to Hong Kong and it seemed that we put the cameras away. Maybe because we have already taken over 5,000 pictures in Hong Kong over the years. That comes from having lived there for a few years.

The weather wasn't the best when we were there -- heavy rainstorms which makes being out in the city difficult. The last day we were there the weather was nice around lunch so we decided to ride the ferry. That was the one thing J wanted to do. I wanted to go to Pret A Manger for lunch so we did both. J asked if IFC had an observation deck. Daddy told him it did and if it was free we could go up. I am thinking, "guess we won't be going up there." Well, on the 55th floor there is an observation area and it is free. We did need to show photo ID which was not a problem as we were carrying our passports. On the 55th floor was the Monetary Authority display/museum. It was interesting to see some of the old money and also some of the processes that it goes through. Some of the money now is plastic.

The only camera we had with us was the iTouch so these pictures were taken with that.

It wasn't the clearest of days but we enjoyed looking out and seeing the city.

The view is all in the back of the building which means that you can't see the harbor.

We did look at the money displays and learned that money is printed where we used to live.

We were all the way on the 55th floor.

It was free; it was something new and it was fun.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A four hour cruise

For the past few year a friend has told that her favorite place in China was Guilin. We have seen pictures and it has been on our list of places that we would like to visit. We were able to go there this year. We took a four or more hour cruise on the Li River.

We started out in Guilin. There must be hundreds of tour boats that go down the river everyday.

This is the area that has inspired Chinese artists for hundreds of years.

We had just been in Yunnan in an area with mountains and it was interesting to be in Guilin and compare. The mountains here were more individual.

It was hot and I forgot to pack sunscreen. Chinese don't wear it so we could buy it.

I think the heat made it a bit hazy. I wonder what it would look like on a very clear day.

J was busy taking pictures and looking at all he could find. We saw some mountain goats and water buffalo.
This is called Nine Painted Horses. The Chinese always seem to have a poetic name for things. If you look closely you can see nine painted horses. How many do you see? I saw one and then when we were looking at our pictures the other day I was able to see another one. I have seven more to find.

The whole family was there. We were able to find someone to take a picture. Yes, it was hot. We got off the boat and had to walk a bit to get to the van. It was hot, there were hawkers there trying to sell things. Some lady was offering us a good price, a special price just for us on a photo book. We didn't buy it but rather printed our own 100 plus photos to look at. Actually, we didn't print all 100 just some.

It was a fun trip and I am glad that we were able to do it. This was one of the highlights of the trip for us.

Shhhhh, Grass sleeping

The sign says "Grass is napping, please don't disturb." Is your grass napping? Mine is wilting in the heat.

Have you organized your rubbish? I know about double negatives. Is this a triple negative?

This is a bit hard to see but it say "The Children playing here Should with adult" It was near a small bit of water.

All of these were taken in one park.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things we could have bought - Part 2

We could have bought some scrolls. I have a few at home that I am trying to get rid of so really I don't need anymore.

We could have bought some embroidered items.

Some trinkets. I don't think we need anymore.


Some tea

We did buy two ears of corn on a stick.



We also bought three hats.


Friday, July 8, 2011


Sometimes we wonder what Miss K remembers and if she puts things together. We were reminded that she is very aware of what is going on around and putting things together. It didn't take us long to cross the border last week and she was asking to watch "sheep".

Last summer she watched "sheep" which is technically called Pleasant goat and big big wolf and she knew she was back where she could watch it again. She does remember and put things together.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cormorant Fishing

After going to the market we went on a small boat on the Erhai lake and saw the fishermen fishing with cormorants. I couldn't believe we agreed to going on a small boat with Miss K. She is not always one to sit still.

Only two or three months a year are they able to fish using nets. most of the time they can only use cormorants. There are six families in the village with cormorants.

We went in a boat next to the fisherman and his wife.

The birds are able to dive about 25 meters. They have a straw tied around their necks. They are able to swallow the small fish but the larger ones they bring up to the fisherman.

We watched the cormorants dive for some time wondering if we would see them actually catch a large fish. We learned that if they are gathered together and fighting that they have caught a larger fish. The one who brings up the fish gets a treat.

This was a highlight of trip. We have heard about cormorant fishing but to actually see it in person was quite interesting. In Guilin they also fish with cormorants at night with lanterns.

To market, to market

I love markets. I remember one of my first visits to an Asian market in 1991. Markets are full of colors, sounds, and a few smells. I was so excited when our tour guide offered to take us to a local market.


Carrots - in Asia the carrots are larger. I have to say that these at the market were nice and clean.

I think the Bai people were using reusable bags long before we were.

Some spices for sale. I did see chili peppers as well.

The market was a highlight of the trip. We were in a local area and only saw four other tourists.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Things we could have bought - Part 1

We decided that we don't need any more things to clutter our house. Also at this point in our trip we don't have much space in our luggage. So we are taking pictures of things we could have bought.

Isn't it beautiful. If you know me, you know how much I love fabric and colors and would you believe I didn't buy any.

I didn't buy any but took a few pictures.

Snow Mountain

The first thing on the itinerary was Snow Mountain. We were told you went up a cable car and we had memories of the cable car last year at the Great Wall. I need to stay that we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the cable car is enclosed.

It was a holiday and the line to get on a econ bus that takes you to the cable car was about an hour and then once we got there we had to wait in line again. The wait was worth it though the weather wasn't the greatest. It was raining a bit which made the walkway slippery.

The sky had cleared a bit when we came down the mountain.

When we got to the top which is not the top but still high enough that the air is thinner. They sold oxygen in cans. We walked to Spruce Meadow.

We saw cows and horses up there. This was part of the "Tea Horse Road" When in the past they used to trade tea for horses.

We came down and Miss K said she wanted to go again. I think that is a sign that she enjoyed Snow Mountain.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

The room with a view

I mean a toilet next to the door. Our hotel was a very nice one considering where we were. The walkway to our room was surrounded by bamboo and beautiful flowers. Then we got to our door.

So if you are looking for a new use for an old toilet, here is an idea.


After the hour or more that we stood in line at immigration, Miss K drew a picture of mama.

(Turn you head to the right and you can see the picture. For some reason I was unable to rotate the photo.) You can see the eyes popping out.


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