what color is your brain?

You might be surprised to know it in fact is not gray. ;)

I found out that mine is gold.

What Color is Your Brain?

At work or in school: I like set routines and organized ways of doing things.  Rules and directions are a great help to me.  I prefer to stay on one topic at a time.  I need to know what is expected of me, and I always want to know if I am on the right track.  I like subjects that are useful and traditional, such as business, accounting, history and government.

With friends: I prefer people who are careful with their money and who make plans ahead of time.  I like my friends to be loyal, dependable and on time.  I am serious about love and show it in many practical ways.

With family: I like stability and security and enjoy traditions and frequent celebrations.  I like to spend holidays with family members, and I plan ahead for such gatherings.

What color is your brain?

Most of the above is pretty accurate.  And since living in Taiwan, although I prefer plans ahead of time, I've learned to fly by the seat of my pants too. :)

moved, no internet, and COB news

new house

Well, I am moved.  All my stuff is at my new home--most of it is still in boxes, but at least it is all in the right place.

It hasn't exactly been a smooth process.  In fact, at times, it has been quite frustrating.  When the "pain" has worn off a little and my preception is better, I'll share more.

I've now got the AC's installed, a new water heater installed, the stove in working order, and the phone company guy is coming next week to set up the phone.  Maybe, just mabye, I will be able to relax a little and enjoy my new home.

no internet

I have a close friend that lives in the same apartment complex (we can walk across the roof to get to each other's homes), and I used her internet last weekend right after I moved.  But, typhoon winds rendered her internet unusable on Sunday.  So, I've been without internet since Sunday evening. 

The two posts about pizza . . . well, I wrote them back in June and set them to a future date to use later when I didn't have anything to write about.  I just didn't realize they were set for this week. :)

I should have internet in my own home sometime next week . . .

Carnival of Beauty

I've been going though MANY, MANY changes this last week . . . but since I didn't have internet till just now, I didn't get a chance to write for the COB which was over at Ashley's place.  Please go check out her post on The Beauty of Change.

Next week the CoB is over at Bethany's place and is on the Beauty of Learning.  Please consider joining us.  I really hope to too.  I've missed writing for the CoB in the last month. :(

pizza delivery

Q: So . . . how does pizza get delivered in Taiwan? 

A: By moped.

pizza delivery in taiwan

And, cuz my mom asked before, here is how I get pizza home when I order take out.

seafood pizza

three different kinds of seafood pizza and one black pepper beef pizza

Did you know that there are actually multiple kinds of "seafood pizza"?

Yes, yes, that's right . . . you can choose between:

  1. Surf and Turf,

  2. Shrimp Delight,

  3. (Just Plain) Seafood,

  4. Seafood Jungle,

  5. Lobster Abalone Cheesy Lava 3, or

  6. French Style Seafood.

When some of my students came to my house for an end of the year/graduation party, they ordered pizza.  They had three different kinds of the above seafood pizzas and Black Pepper Beef pizza (the above picture).

And, once, I ordered a Shrimp Delight for my own dinning pleasure.  It was so momentous an occasion--that I choose to order a seafood pizza by myself--that I deemed the occasion picture-worthy (see below). :)

Shrimp Pizza

Shrimp Pizza

Don't knock till you try it!!

So, exactly how many kinds of seafood pizza have YOU tried lately?

more wonderful?

"What is there more wonderful and precious than Christ? Men do not know the gold which lies in the mine of Christ or surely they would dig for it night and day. They have not yet discovered the 'pearl of great price,' or they would have sold all they had to buy the field in which it lies.

"Words of eloquence fail to describe the person of Christ--it paralyzes the artist's arm when he would try to portray him; it would overwhelm the sculptor to carve his image- even were it possible to chisel it in a massive block of diamond.

"There is nothing in nature comparable to him. In comparison to his radiance the brilliance of the sun is nothing but a dim light; yes, nothing can rival him, and heaven itself blushes at its own plainness when his 'altogether lovely' person is

(Spurgeon,  public domain as seen on Grace Gems.)

moving day is here . . .

I am moving today.  Lord willing, I will be sleeping in my new apartment tonight.

I will be without internet till . . . hmmm . . . I don't know.  Hopefully, sometime next week I'll be back online in my new apartment.

I can't wait to show you how all my stuff is going to be moved. ;)


In case you were wondering, which you probably weren't, I listened to podcasts the whole time I packed up my house. 

I really enjoyed the sermons by Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church.  In addition to the way he presents Truth, I enjoy the way he gives insights and applications from the Word to both Believers and Not-yet Believers.  I don't think I've ever heard someone specifically address these two different groups several times in a sermon.

I highly recommend his recent Can You Trust Him?.  And his series on Ruth from last summer is excellent too! 


Oh, and don't forget to check out the Carnival of Beauty that is over at a dusty frame later today!  Our theme next week is the Beauty of Change is over at twentysixcats--I wonder if I knew at the time when I chose the topics and lined them up if that topic would come the week after my move  . . . I don't think so!

digging holes to China??

Antipode_globeSo, if you could dig all the way through the earth, would you really reach China?

I learned a new word this week: antipode.  According to Wikipedia, "Antipodal points on the surface of a sphere are diametrically opposite; on the other side of a globe."

So, is the USA an antipode of China?  Nope. Not at all.

Using this little antipodal toy, I found out that from my home in Texas, if I could dig straight through the earth, I would wind up somewhere in the Indian Ocean. [The top map is the original location and the bottom map is its antipodal point.]


And, if I were to dig all the way through the earth in a straight line from my home here in Taiwan . . . I would wind up in Paraguay. [And, no, Taiwan is not the same size as South America--the map scale on the left is different.]


So . . . I might not be EXACTLY 1/2 way around the world via the earth's core at least, but I sure am close.

And, Tiffany, one of my cousins who came to visit at the end of July, had just left Argentina after being there a year.  For the year that she was there . . . we lived almost exactly on the other side of the world from each other!  Cool!

not just rain--flooding too

It is still raining!!!  Right now, quite heavily.

And so for the last few days, like many others in the southern parts of Taiwan, all my neighbors have had their homes flooded.  One told me the flood waters came up to her mid-calf.  Another had waters up to her knee in their living area.

And what is the forecast for the coming week?  Well, according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau:


Yep.  Another WEEK of rain!!!  Why?  Well, because of Typhoon #3: Typhoon Sepat.



I found this picture on flickr by Poagao, and while it is not my neighborhood nor from this typhoon . . . you can still get a feel for what's going on around here.

Flood Alley by Poagao on flickr

a special banana

The only pictures we have from day 7 are of a very special banana!! 

banana twins

Two bananas inside one peel.  So, it's twins--Siamese twin bananas!! 

At the top they were joined together, but at the bottom they were separate.

See?  Isn't that fun and very unique? 

Tiffany and Becka's adventures--day 7

Judy and Me

Day 7 didn't quite go as planned.  It was supposed to be a total "play in water" day with lots of swimming in beautiful clear waters and playing on white sand beaches.

We started the morning by going to a great snorkeling place.  We rented snorkeling masks and some flippers.  Tied Gilby up to a coral reef thingee and got wet.

Tiffany and Rebecca took off to go snorkeling, while I gave my students quick lessons on spitting into the mask  to clean it and on breathing through your mouth while floating in the water.  They tried for awhile, and I went to check on Tiff and Becka.

The water was mostly shallow, but there was this 3-4 meter space that was a little deep--maybe 10 or 12 feet deep, and then it got shallow again.  My students got to that part and tried to decide how to best cross.  They had told me they were all swimmers but didn't feel confident in their swimming ability--most pools in Taiwan are no more than 4 feet deep, so "swimmers" can stand up at anytime. 

I helped one across with her holding onto my ankle, and thought the others were going to go rent some life jackets.  I hadn't seen Tiff and Becka in awhile--coral reef rocks blocked my view.  So, I went to go check on them while my students went to go get life jackets. 

Tiffany and Becka were fine and having fun, so I headed back to where my students would be.  I heard one of them scream my name, so I started to swim a little faster.  As I rounded the coral rock that blocked my view of where they were, I saw one of my students floating bottom up in the water far away from the other girls. 

All I saw where Judy's pink shorts bobbing in the water--an image I will never, ever forget. 

Panic flooded my heart.  Adrenaline flooded my bloodstream.  And, I swam as quickly as I could to get to her.

After I got to her, I pulled her back across the gap until I could stand, flipped her over, and started breathing into her mouth.  As I started to breathe for her, I realized all color had left her face except for her purple lips and that her eyes had rolled into the back of her head.

At this point, I thought she was gone, and the first thing I thought was "she is not a Believer yet.  Don't let her die!"  Then, I screamed "NO!" from the depth of my gut as I silently started to pray, pinched her nose and started to breathe into her again. 

All kinds of images and thoughts flooded my head in rapid succession, but I continued to breathe for her as we slowly dragged her up until the water was much more shallow, and we could lay her on the ground.  The other students had yelled for help and a nearby snorkeling guide came over to give us instructions.  At about the same time, Judy started breathing for herself!  Praise the Lord!!

Within about 10 min she threw up, and I felt much more relived.  We finally got her sitting up, but her eyes kept rolling back into her head.  Every time this happened, my heart fluttered and I told her "Don't go to sleep, Judy.  Come back to me.  Stay awake."  Her eyes would come back, and she would stare at me. 

Eventually, we got her to an ambulance and off to the hospital.  Two of the other girls went with her.  This left me, Tiffany, Rebecca, and two of my students--I pulled us into a circle and started to pray aloud for Judy.  For about ten minutes I was shaky and could do nothing--the adrenaline rush was over.

JudyJudy made it.  She is alive.  God saved her.  It was a miracle.  She knows it.  Her friends know it.

Later that day, when I had taken Tiffany and Becka to go eat lunch, I called to check on Judy.  She answered the phone with "thank you for praying for me"--not "thank you for saving me."  I smiled.  I loved that she knew it was the power of prayer that had saved her. I loved that her friends had told her that I was praying and had missionary friends praying for her too.

After she had been released from the little town hospital, we were all sitting around waiting for the taxi-van back to Kaohsiung.  We sat and talked about God's love, God's grace, God's power--His miracle saving power.  One of the girls said, "I didn't think I would ever see you again.  It really is a miracle that you are sitting here with us this afternoon."  Judy, an idol worshiper, told us it was the Christian God who saved her because she had a Christian friend who told her a long time ago that she was praying for her each day.

When we got back to Kaohsiung, I convinced Judy to go to a better hospital to be checked again.  She was admitted for two nights to watch for signs of fever and other complications from "near-drowning."  However, she was fine.  Again, praise the Lord!!

When I think back on that day, I can't but be amazed about how great God is.  The timing was perfect.  Had I been there earlier when she was fighting to survive--I might not been able to save her.  Had I been there any later--she might not have made it.   The fact that I had my wits about me and peace in the midst of it all is miraculous.  The fact that CPR in the water worked is miraculous.  The fact that I could even remember how to do CPR after learning how ten years ago is miraculous. 

Yes, day 7 was nothing short of a miracle.  Please pray for Judy and her friends.  I can just envision this being something that God will use to draw many, many to Himself.  And, I can't wait to see how!!

taiwan hearts FOOD

Allison eats stinky tofu

When I asked some teachers this summer in a week long English camp to list the top ten things to do while in Taiwan they listed number one as "eat" and number two as "eat some more." 

When I asked my kid brother what I should make sure to take our cousins to do and see, the first 75% of his list was all about food!!

When I show my students a picture of an armadillo, the very first question they all ask is either "how do you cook it?" or "does it taste good?"

Anyone who has been to Taiwan knows that Taiwanese people LOVE food. 

Every city, every county, every village has a food that it is famous for.  And, please do not return back to your hometown and tell people you didn't try the famous foods of the place you just visited.  This is a major faux pas

Oh, and instead of bringing back "My grandma went to LA and I all got was this t-shirt" gifts, all you have to do in Taiwan is bring back a box or bag of famous snacks from the town you visited and everyone will be happy.

Yes, it is true, the Taiwanese LOVE food.

When Sandy posted a youtube video on stinky tofu, I just had to go check it out.  I was pleased to find that there are actually a total of six videos on (bizarre) foods in Taiwan.

Part 1: Stinky Tofu
Part 2: ShrLing Night Market
Part 3: Herbal Foods
Part 4: A Food Court in 101

Part 5: Foods from Tea
Part 6: Aboriginal Foods

If you wanna know more about Taiwan, you can learn quite a bit (not just about food) through this Travel Channel show broken into 6 parts.  But, if you only have time for one . . . you gotta watch the first one on stinky tofu--THE national food of Taiwan--that "stinks even worse than it sounds." :D

But, my two "gripes" with this show are (1) he never leaves Taipei County and (2) they are mostly all unusual foods (not the things we eat on a daily basis). :)  But, the name of the show is "Bizarre Foods: Taiwan" so number 2 makes sense.  Oh, and he never tried the 1,000 year old egg that was on his plate. . . he is weak I tell you, weak.

All kidding aside, I would love for someone to make a show of this quality about the GREAT, unique foods ALL of Taiwan has to offer.  I would buy a copy of that DVD for sure!!

What's the most bizarre thing you've ever eaten?

Tiffany and Becka's adventures--day 6 (part 2)

After several outdoor stops and riding around on mopeds in the HOT sun, we needed to cool off.  So, what better way than to enjoy some fruit and ice?  Me and my students introduced Tiffany and Rebecca to what would be their first of many "chaw bing" delights. :)

mango and strawberry ice watermelon ice

After an early evening swim, we celebrated two birthdays on the beach--Afra's and Anna's.  It was my first time to ever have cake on the beach!! :)

Birthday cake on the beach Birthday cake on the beach


Then we had dinner off the street--Kenting Street turns into a night market at night with lots of souvenir shopping and great foods to try.  The girls were able to have some of their faves--Taiwanese fried chicken and freshly squeezed-to-order fruit drinks.  I, on the other hand, got to enjoy squid and try duck's tongue for the first time (let's just say it is harder to chew than pig's ears).

Night Market in Kenting

Before Tiffany, Becka, and I crashed and fell asleep (while the others went back out to the night market street till 3 in the morning) . . . we went back to the beach to play with sparklers.  Fun!!

Sparklers on the Beach

Finally, one of the cool things is that all along Kenting Street, right behind all the street vendors and above all the souvenir shops are small "hotels."  And, the fun thing about these hotels is that they have rooms with beds for EIGHT people!  That's right--eight girls, one room.  Fun, right? :)

hotel room for 8 hotel room for 8


And, that's it for day 6.  Once again, if you want to you can look at all the day 6 pictures on flickr (there are over 200 from that day alone).

a good update on "please pray"

Here is the good news from Teri and Norm:

They are still pregnant!  They are still standing firm in the Lord.   Mei said she knows God has a plan!

This is wonderful news!!!  But please please, please keep praying!  This battle is not over yet!   

As our friend wrote, “Please keep lifting her up.  I know the enemy
will use any opening to pry her away from the truth and kill that
baby.  PTL - she is standing right now.  Thank you for joining us in
this battle!” 

May God be glorified in this family's life!!!  Praise Him!!

Thanks for your prayers.

please go away

rain drops

The third typhoon in less than a full week is coming Taiwan's way.  We've had rain, rain, and more rain since Thursday.  The sky has been dark and deary for the last few days.

Since I do most of my getting around by foot or scooter, rain makes life difficult.  It forces me to stay home or get wet.  If it is light rain, I totally don't mind getting wet.  But, today it has been a constant, heavy downpour.

I have many things I need to be doing in order to be moving; otherwise, I would just sit back with a good book and enjoy the rain, but right now . . . I just need it to please go away!!

Oh, and this rain has come with thunder.  Now, I am from Texas, so I know how to enjoy a good thunderstorm.  But, let's just say thunder clapping and then reclapping through a maze of high rises . . . not quite the same as effect as thunder on the plains of Texas.

Tiffany and Becca's adventures--day 6 (part 1)

On Day 6 we went to Kenting.  Kenting is on the southern tip of Taiwan and a vacation spot for many.   The three of us (and Gilby too) joined five of my students who had just graduated for a few days of summer fun.

We rented mopeds and then took off. . . . Rebecca was our "on moped photographer."

on the road again


Our first two stops were the South and East Gates and city wall in HengChuan.

South and East Gates in HengChuan


There was a row of yellow lantana and black butterflies everywhere. It was so pretty.

there were butterflies EVERYWHERE!! Becka and the Lantana + Butterflies


After that we stopped to see the famous "out of earth fire."  Natural gases escape from the ground and can be lit.  Kind of neat to see, but hard to photograph and REALLY hot!!

fire from the ground


We then went to the east coast side of the southern tip--jia-le-sway.  We were here to cool off just a bit and to dip our toes in the Pacific Ocean.  But, in reality, Tiffany and Becka got a taste for the Taiwanese people's love of photo-taking. :)

Jia Le Sway

in taiwan


We made two more quick scenic stops before rounding the most southern tip of the island and heading back to our hotel completing our circle around the bottom of the island.



Day 6 was a long day . . . so, I'll talk about the rest of the day later.  Of course, you can look at all the day 6 pictures on flickr (there are over 200 from that day alone).

please pray update

I received this from my missionary friends this morning:

Just updating you,  we have heard nothing yet about Ming and Mei and the outcome of their doctor visit.  They are in a different country and sometimes communication is not easy.  We will keep you posted when we hear.  Thanks for continuing to pray. (Sunday morning in Taiwan)

As soon as I hear from my missionary friends, I will continue to let you update you as well.  And, like my friends, I also thank you for continuing to pray . . ."ask and keep on asking; knock and keep on knocking."

The Carnival of Beauty

Carnival_of_beautyThis week our theme is the Beauty of Prayer!! 

This week's CoB will be hosted by a dusty frame on Friday.

Please consider joining us. More info here.


It's been a little slow this summer, but there are still some good posts our there, so don't forget to check out our recent Carnival's:

see the row of waiting taxis?

See the row of waiting Taxi's?

Photo taken from the world's tallest building; taken from the 89th floor of Taipei 101.

You can tell it is mid-day during a weekday in the summer because the above ground parking lot is mostly empty.


Theme: Row | See More Rows |

Please Pray

I am passing on a request from
some dear missionary friends of mine in northern Taiwan, Teri and Norm:

Mei and Ming are new Taiwanese Christians, and their faith is really being tested.  Mei is about 6 months pregnant.  The doctors say the
baby is deformed and will have many health problems.   The doctors,
therefore, are telling Mei and Ming to abort their baby.  This is common.

Family and friends are all chiming in with the same
sickening chorus.  The parents are angry at them saying that the
reason this has happened is because Mei and Ming turned from idol and ancestor worship.

Thursday, Mei and Ming go to the doctor to check on the baby.  They will need to make a difficult decision.

Please storm the gates of Heaven with your prayers for this
little child and the parents.
  Pray this battle does not go to the
enemy! Pray for God to be glorified through all of this.  Pray for
strength for this new Christian couple as they seek to do what is
right.  Pray
for wisdom for the decision they must make.  Pray for more faith
to lean on the Lord and not their own understanding. 

Thanks in advance for joining with us as we boldly go before the throne of the Most High God.

(I have given this couple pseudonyms--the Lord still knows exactly who.)

done waiting

Remember when I wrote about waiting and how hard it is.  Well, that was over two months ago and now the waiting is over.  A decision has been made. 

These past two months have been interesting to say the least.  :)

Do you wanna know what is up?  Well, I am moving. 

I am leaving Kaohsiung--my home for the past four years and moving to Tainan.  Tainan is still in southern Taiwan, and is only about 40-45 minutes north of Kaohsiung if you are taking the highway and is anywhere from 30-75 minutes by train. 

This move also entails changing schools.  So there are lots of changes ahead in the next month of two.  Ahh . . . change.

This was not an easy decision as I love my home, my township, and my students.  But, I know this is the right thing to be doing right now.  The Father made that clear.

Anyway, this week and next week I will be packing up my current house and moving all my stuff into the new one.  I have considerably more stuff now than I did at the time of my last move considering my very first home in Taiwan was furnished.  Oh how very fast we humans accumulate stuff!!

But . . . for most of you my new location won't change anything because my home in the blogosphere will be the same.  :)

Here is the beginning of my packing--thanks to my very helpful friend, Ellen.  She came down this weekend and helped me to pack my nearly all of my living room and guest room.

moving as of 8/5

thank yall!!!!

2054558 Thanks to all of you I now have in my hot little hands a very tiny telescoping camera holder!!

Thanks to all your votes, I placed third in the BenSpark's win an xshot contest.  So, that means I actually won an xshot.  It was here waiting for me in my mailbox when I got back late last week from Taipei!  (And, just in case you were wondering, yes, my doorman made sure I found it right away.)

How exciting!!  Of course, I wish I had had two weeks earlier; but, like my mom always told me "beggars can't be choosers." ;)

Thanks again to all of you who voted for me!  I am grateful.

I'll play around with it, and then share some pics with yall later on. :)

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