November 16, 2012

  • Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog!

    As much as I’ve enjoyed visiting Queena and Ethan, it feels so good to be back on American soil.  The hard part of coming home is getting my days and nights switched back where they belong.
    I’ve been awake since 2:00 am this morning.  Wide awake!   I know by afternoon I’ll be so sleepy.   I’m anxious for the 12 hour time difference to get back to normal again.

    Goldilocks and the Three Bears all done!

    Holly stayed over for an extra week.   All the pictures of Mark and her time in Bangkok and India are on her camera.  Once she gets home I’ll see if I can post a link to her site.

    One day Ethans took us into the rain forest where park officials feed the orangutans twice a day.  We were so hoping to see Ritchie, Baka and others.

    It was so hot and humid.   The trees were dripping droplets of water.   We waited and waited but no monkeys.   I was so disappointed but did enjoy our walk way back in the Jungle.

    Just look at the roots of these trees in our path.   I thought that curly vine was worthy of a picture.

    Back home and a good game of “Hide-and-Seek” with James.

    Another evening Dorie wanted a tea party with the girls.

    It wasn’t long before James wanted his sip of tea as well.

    Guess what this is!

    A sweet memory of my father Oren!

    Another evening we celebrated Holly and my birthdays by going out to “The Junk”.

    It was more of a western style restaurant.   After our meal we went to the river to enjoy the sights and sounds.   Remember this building in one of my previous posts?

    There were different musical groups along the way playing for a donation.   We sat fairly close to this guy and enjoyed his music.

    I especially enjoyed watching Queena visiting with these two Muslim gals in Malay.

    Thought you’d like to check out what my son Christopher is up to:

    Here is a link to his project, if you would like more details:

    Thanks again Queena, Ethan, Dorie and James for all the good times and for taking such good care of us.   We love you and will look forward to another visit at another time.

    ~ Parting Shot ~

November 6, 2012

  • Learning Malay

    Learning Malay


    Once a week Queena meets with this respected teacher to work on her Malay for a couple hours.   What a delight to tag along and sit in on this learning lesson.    When Queena’s teacher retired from public teaching six years ago, the president of Malaysia presented her with a metal of honor.

    We sat out on her open porch.   Part of Queena’s lesson was getting a list of new words about plants and growing things.

    I snapped some pictures of our surroundings as they worked away.


    This morning Queena and I went to a market that had a lot of tailor shops.   I had to smile as I saw the many women sewing away in their little shops.  Most of the ladies are making clothes or doing alterations.

    This lady won my heart.  She said she has been treadling on this very machine for over 56 years.  That is older then I am.
    In one of the stalls I spotted this hand stitched “Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt”. 

    It was the first quilt I’ve seen seen being over here.   I sure felt a kindred spirit with this lady and would of loved to sit and chat…       ….but I don’t know Malay and she didn’t know English.

    We stopped at the little food vendor for a bite to eat.   Queena said she is a regular customer.   The owner was so friendly and sat and visited with us while we ate.    He told me he loves when Queena comes.  He said she is always smiling!    They are a Christian couple.


    ~ Parting Shot ~

    We were thirsty and bought a bottle of water.
    What a name!

November 4, 2012

  • Church in Kuching

    Last evening I gave Queena and Ethan a date night and while they went out I stayed home with Dorie and James .   After baths we decided to play church.

    Here is James the preacher!

    When I told him it was time to preach he set up his own perch and pulpit as Dorie and I sat in the pews at the foot of the bed.

    He kept saying, “Now chapter 4…. now chapter 7….. now chapter 2″ and then he would page till he found a big number and announce that chapter.”   I know I’m not biased but it was adorable!

    Here’s Dorie the Sunday School teacher!

    We had a wonderful lesson on wise King Solomon.

    Followed by questions and The Preacher pointing out the right answer.

    Mark and Holly are still in India while I am enjoyi
    ng just being grandma here in Malaysia.
    The other morning I went outside to put some trash in the can along the road when just in front of me I heard a loud splat!   Here a 6 inch Gecko dropped from the ceiling right in front of me.

    Then yesterday as we were getting ready for a shopping excursion Ethan spotted a snail under the car.

    He tried to pull it out so we could get a better look at it but it was suction so hard on the cement.   I keep my eyes open and look where I’m walking!

    Yesterday we went on an hours drive to the border of Malaysia/Indonesia where each weekend Indonesians bring their wares to sell all along the streets.  It was so fascinating.

    Many of the stalls had these long green looking beans.  They reminded me of our pole limas back in the states.   Ethan chewed on one of the beans followed by all sorts of wild noises.  I figured then and there if Ethan didn’t like them I KNEW I wouldn’t.

    Now these rambutans are a different story.  They are sweet, juicy and rather good.
    Check out this link to Ethan’s description of the fruit.

    Update on Dories sewing project:
    Goldilocks is finished and we are now working on the Three Bears.

    ~ Parting Shot ~

    This is how the Mast children get clean!

October 31, 2012

  • Sewing and Shopping in Kuching

    Sewing and Shopping in Kuching

    Yesterday morning while Dorie and James were in playschool Queena took me shopping on India Street.

    We were joined by her Malay language helper as well as a friend.

    These looked good, but Queena said words like squid, jelly fish, etc.  I changed my mind about it looking good.

    I found some wonderful fabrics, cotton as well as some velvets.  My picture didn’t turn out to well so I’ll try again.    Queena was happy with this spice shop.   Ethan and Queena love their spicy foods!

    I brought along a little sewing project for Dorie.   Today we are making Goldilocks.   The three bears will come later.

    The days are so humid and hot so we plan our little outings in the evening once the sun is sinking.
    Ethan had been wanting to take the children to this special park made for joggers and bikers.

    It is also made to help youngsters with the rules of the road.  You know you drive on the left side here.  James you are on the wrong side!
    ~Hey, now that’s better.~

    They have lots of “Round-Abouts” instead of traffic lights.

    Here’s proof that I’m learning the rules of the road as well!

    How weird it felt driving from the right side of the car and left side of the road.  I only drove a short distance from their house.   Don’t think I have enough nerve to drive on the Round-Abouts and free-ways!

October 29, 2012

  • Sunday in Kuching

    Sunday was a very full day here in Kuching.
    After Sunday services and fellowship we met with Ethan and Queena’s friends for an afternoon outing.


    Sung and Karlynda have become good friends with Ethan and Queena and have been invaluable in helping them with the language.

    Dorie has found a dear friend in Via.  It’s times like these, hearing the two gals chatter away, that I know Dorie will learn Malay.

    We took an hours drive to a Longhouse at Annah Rais.
    It consisted of houses built above the rain forest on poles and all connected together.

    Everything is connected with bamboo walkways.

    A whole village connected, house after house.  We saw chickens underneath roaming around.   Around one corner I saw this amazing looking rooster.

    Found out later he was a “Fighting Rooster” used in fights.  The kids had went real close to it and it did show a nasty temper.

    This swinging bridge connected another long house.

    The cultural practice just two generations ago was to hang the heads of their enemies up in the rafters of the headhouse.  Oh my!

    After the tour of the longhouse we went to a hot springs.

    I much preferred putting my feet in the cool river then this murky, hot water.

    The river reminded me so much of the river I grew up along.   Dorie and Via had so much swimming and playing together.


    On the path down to the springs we saw fresh pineapples growing.

October 27, 2012

  • Language

    I am amazed at how fast Queena and Ethan are learning the Malay language.
     Queena visits her friend Lily once a week, and as they visit and cook together they both work on the others’ language.  

    I’m wondering how fast the kiddos will pick it up.   This morning I had to smile as I watched Ethan studying the language on computer.  After a while little James jumped on his lap and they said the words together.  I have no doubt that it won’t be long before James will be bilingual.

    Yesterday morning Mark flew out to Bangkok to met another team.  Holly will join them on Monday.  They will also spend some time in India before flying back here to Kuching.  I’m loving staying put right here!

    Supper preparations last evening:

    The cooking is done in the outside kitchen.  It’s basically a covered porch next to the inside kitchen.   I’ll try and get better pictures of that later. 
    James helped by hammering the lemon grass, releasing the wonderful flavors.

    Dorie helping grandma grate the carrots and chop vegtables for the stir-fry.

    ~ Parting Shot ~

October 26, 2012

  • We’re Here!


    After 22 hours on three different flights we finally made it to our destination:

    Kuching, Malaysia!

    How wonderful to  be with this dear family again.

    Double fun!  Finally getting to read to Dorie Dear and reading “Snip, Snap, Snurr”, one of my favorite childhood books.  Queena said she picked it up at book fair over here in Malaysia for about 30 cents.

    Ethan and Queena have a wonderful side yard and outside porch.   Kuching is about on the equator and is very hot, and since it is now the wet season the rains come most everyday.   Queena said laundry is a real challenge.  No one uses dryers so to get a load dry you need to watch for that window of sunny time.
    This picture is from the side and back view of their house.

    Today we used the side porch as an Art Studio.  Holly is a great teacher and helper.

    Last evening Ethan and Queena took us to the Sarawak river.  What a delightful evening.   The Sarawak river meanders through the city of Kuching.

    Holly and James with the beautiful State Assembly Building across the river.

    The best way across was in a boat!


    While the others climbed the tower I stayed down and took pictures.

    ~ Parting Shot ~

October 15, 2012

  • Dustin and Gina Wedding

    Mr. and Mrs. Dustin Graber

    This past weekend Mark and I along with Holly,  Tim and Diana, Chris and Alicia made the trip up to New York to attend our nephew Dustin’s wedding to Gina.   The leaves were changing and the drive was so beautiful. 
    It’s always a treat when we get to be with family.
    Here is Dustin’s parents Julia (my sister) and Paul Graber.

    Dustin’s sister Amy with Ashton.

    Mother visiting with some of her grandchildren.

    Dustin’s brother Quinten and family.

    Emily helping to entertain little Georgianna using her tablet.

    Holly and cousins!

    Our plans included a stop at Mark’s brother Nelson and Rose’s home for Sunday lunch and a visit.   Rose had a wonderful meal prepared and waiting for us.

    Their son Myron, Abby and children were also there.  What a special time of visiting around the table.   Rose has made their home so warm and cozy filled with plants, quilts and Nel’s wildlife.  They even have a bear mount. 
    I love this pictures of brothers visiting before the noon meal.

    Rose also loves to sew and quilt.  I sure enjoyed seeing some of her beautiful work.   This quilt her mother pieced many years ago and Rose quilted it.

    She has such a nice sunny quilt and sewing room.

    Thank you Nelson and Rose for your kind hospitality.

    This bunch sure did enjoy our time with you.

    Back on the road again.   Our next stop was in Baltimore to visit a very special six year old!

    Happy Birthday Maxwell!

    We’re home again but packing our bags for yet another trip!

    Kuching, Malaysia!

    Ethan, Queena, Dorie and James,  here we come!

October 7, 2012

  • A peek into our sewing circle.

    A peek into our day at Sewing Circle.

    As the days get cooler what better way to warm ourselves then by circling a quilt with sweet fellowship and busy hands.

    We kept the machines humming making patchwork squares.
    I like seeing Erica working alongside her great-grandma.

    Hows this for a multitasking mom?

    ~ Sew-n-Tell ~

    Grandma Lois made enough squares for two of these quilts.

    I love seeing the young ones with their hand-work.

    I showed the European pillow that Misty and I put together.

    A lovely shawl by Darlene.

    Thanks Glenda for showing your log cabin quilt.  I love the way you set the squares.

    We have room for many more at our monthly sewing circle.   Please come and join us the first Wed. of each month.

October 3, 2012

  • Cleaning at Kathydale & October Sewing Circle

    The Cleaning Crew!

    On Monday me and my girls (missed you Jessica and Queena) went over to Baltimore to give Cheryl a hand for the day.   They are hoping and planning on moving into their new/old home this Saturday and a lot of work and cleaning is ahead.
    When we drove in these guys had already put in a half day of work and were taking their lunch break!

    Alicia did a lot of mopping and wiping down the ceilings and walls.

    Diana scrubbed and scrubbed the woodwork and walls.
    Yes I’m just faking it for the pic.  I didn’t wash a single wall.  I spent my day washing the windows, curtains and screens.

    Holly gets the GOLD MEDAL for the day!
    Here is the ~before~ picture.

    And here is the ~After~ picture!

    We took a much needed lunch break around 1:30 at a little food joint down the road.

    Back to cleaning…..

    This is not a fake picture!  Yes I did mop one of the beautiful hardwood floors!

    I was going to post my sewing circle pictures I took today but they will just have to wait for another day.