Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hanging at Home in MA with the FLM 2010

Hanging at Home in MA

We decided a few days of hanging out at the homestead was a good idea. Toure and I love our home and property and wanted to be sure TFLM had time to relax and enjoy. It is October so the plants and trees are all peaking and getting ready to call it a season.

The FLM has found one of our strawberry patches and is having fun playing in the stalks. We had a great season this year and gathered about 8 lb.

The FLM loves to play hide and seek!! She had a great time in the gardens finding places to hide. Can you see her? Do you know the names of the plants she is hiding in?

This is a

miniature white lilac tree. It blooms in the spring and smells wonderful.

The plant that looks like a bush with the pink flowers is a Mum. It starts growing in the spring but doesn't get big or bloom until the cooler weather of our fall.

The last plant has tall stalks, this is the dinner plate dahlias. This is one of my favorite plants. It is colorful and the blooms are big. I have to dig those up every year and store them in my basement for the next spring.
Here are the Buddha's of the front yard, they are playful and help to bring about a peaceful atmosphere.
Now it is time to relax on the front porch and watch the traffic pass by. We are far enough away to see things and not so close as to hear all of the noises. The FLM is in Toure's rocker, but he doesn't mind sharing. She is so sweet.
The day is winding down and the FLM has said goodnight to Amy's garden statues. She is riding the pink flamingo into the house and heading to bed. Good Night FLM!! We will see you for the next adventure.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Flat Love Magnet Visits New England

My husband, Toure, and I were very lucky to have the FLM as a house guest for a few months last fall. We love New England and wanted to share different sites with her. We think she had fun - especially on the motorcycle trips. I will share five of our outings with her on her Blog. FLM, thank you for being so patient with me. I am sorry it took me so long to put this up for you. I hope you will come and visit us again, you were the PERFECT house guest.
Love, Amy & Toure

Massachusetts to Maine, September 2010

The FLM was very excited for her first ride on a Harley Davidson Motorcycle. It is September, but the temperatures are warm and we have lots to see and do. Our destination is Pine Point, ME for a lobster roll and some steamers. The Pine Point Lobster Co-Op is one of our favorite places to eat seafood. It is in a small fishing town in Mid Coast Maine just past Old Orchard Beach. FLM is checking out the passenger seat, but I think she will need to ride in the back so she will be safe.

The FLM and I are waiting for Toure. He has a few last minute things to do before we go. FLM is hanging out in my sling. I had shoulder surgery in August and have to wear a sling while it heals. I hide snacks in the little pocket inside the sling and FLM fits in nicely. She is having fun walking around the yard with me.

We made it! We took the back roads through New Hampshire to the coastal roads of Maine. Here was are enjoying the view and breeze on the docks outside of the Co-Op. See the boats in the back? They belong to fishermen. They go out everyday to catch lobsters or fish and then bring their catches back to the Lobster Co-Op to sell.

This is the front where they bring their catches. The restaurant is around the back over looking the water. Its small and very casual and lots of fun.

Ahhhhhhh, now that we are done eating let's sit on a bench and enjoy the view before we head back home. This is the beach that we found some shells on.

The sun is setting and its time to get a move on. We have many miles to go and want to enjoy the ride. The FLM is getting into her seat.

Nice and cozy she waves to the camera as we get ready to head out. See ya lata FLM!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Laurel and FLM checking out the seats in first class. The seats are wider and have a lot of leg room. Not bad for a first time flight. Just don't get used to it. The next flight will not be so comfy!
FLM didn't think the lavatory was small. It was plenty big enough for her!
Across Kansas there were cool patterns in the land. Farmers use irrigation equipment that sprays water as it rotates in the field creating very big circles.
As we crossed Utah we saw some salt flats that are remnants of seas that once covered this part of the US.
Approaching San Francisco, California. We could see the fog rolling across the land.
The flight to Beijing was on a Boeing 747. There were almost 400 passengers. There were three seats on the left and right sides and five seats in the middle!
Throughout the flight and between the movies, maps would show us our progress. Here we are about halfway there!
It is hard to imagine how much luggage 81 people have, but here it is! The van was filled full!
The traffic on the highways was busy! The cars were always weaving in and out.
There were lanes for the main traffic and side lanes for buses, taxis, scooters and bicycles. The far right lane was for scooters and bicycles only. Buses and taxis could use it for loading and unloading passengers.
Plates and plates of food was placed on a lazy Susan so that everyone could share. We tried to eat with chopsticks and finally master them a few days later. There was always rice, sauted vegetables and some type of meat--beef, chicken or fish. One meal we had squid!
FLM was amazed at how big Tian An Men Square was. It is large enough to hold one million people!
One of the buildings in the Forbidden City. A lot of the buildings were painted red. The symbolized power. Blue symbolized the heavens and green the Earth.

FLM was excited to see the lions. This one is over 5 feet tall and guards the entrance to the Forbidden City.
The ceilings and supports beams were all painted in a geometric design. There were flowers and leaves in some of the designs.
Dragon heads served as water spouts. There were carved from marble over 500 years ago.
Fresh water oysters contain many pearls. There were over 20 in this one!
Happy helped us try on pearls. FLM found a strand that was just her size.

The Summer Palace sits on the shore of Kunming Lake.

FLM thought Turtle Island would be a fun place to visit. It is connected to the shore by Seventeen Arch Bridge. The Emperor would speak to the people from the middle arch.
We road across the lake on a dragon boat. It is modeled after the boats used by the emperors to travel on the lake.
The last emperor of China had a dragon boat build of marble. It was used for banquets. It did not go anywhere, but let the people enjoy the lake and the views.
Beijing was once called Peking. We ate Peking Roasted Duck foe dinner one night. This is a traditional dish served to all visitors to Beijing.
The Great Wall is very steep. Guard towers and rest stops are all along the Wall.

FLM is ready for the concert. She has her viola tuned and ready to play!
Many Chinese tourists wanted their pictures taken with Americans. Laurel (center) and Michelle (right) were popular. The Chinese liked their red and blond hair and especially like Laurel 's curls.
If you look closely you might see the difference between the step heights along the Great Wall.

Large vases made of copper are covered with thin wires creating a design that will be filled in with enamel.
This lady is filling all the of openings with enamel. She has a pattern to follow that tells her what color goes in each opening. Rickshaws are a traditional way to travel in China. Today they are powered buy a rider on a bicycle. In the past they were pulled by a person on foot.
The entrance to the home we visited in Old Beijing. The family had lived here since 1949. The circular opening represents the Earth.

Their living room had a flat screen TV and an X-box!

The kitchen was very small. They go to the market every day to buy food for dinner.

This bedroom is for guests who can stay here much like a bed-and-breakfast here in the US. The cost is 400 Yuan per night and includes breakfast.
These girls appeared to be no older than 10 or 12! Wow they are strong and very flexible.

There were many stores, restaurants and brands that we see here in the US. A lot of the building had signs like this advertising what could be found inside. The first floor housed the businesses and the upper floors were offices or apartments.
This is a cart filled with tires, inner tubes and others parts to repairs bicycles.