fighting hard water build up

In Taiwan–at least here in Tainan–we have really bad hard water problems.

I hate that our bathroom looks dirty from all our stuff being coated in hard water deposits.  This weekend, I decided to fight back.

I was actually avoiding using some of my special stuff from the States (gotta love the USA’s outlet stores!! yipee!!) because it just made me feel gross to touch a bottle covered in hard water grime.   I know that at the time I was doing it Lawrance thought I was crazy to even attempt to “clean” bottles of soap, but he did appreciate the effect clean bottles had on the “appearance of clean” in our shower–at least that’s what he told me. ;)
So here is what I did:
  1. Emptied out our bathroom’s shower stuff
  2. Filled a spray bottle with lemon juice*
  3. Sprayed down our bottles with it
  4. Used paper towels and elbow grease to rub them down
Now, they aren’t perfect, but I’m happy. :D

*Apparently you can also use vinegar to remove hard water build up, but I opted for lemon juice since it smells better.

house hunting rejects

First, thanks for the feedback earlier this week.  We appreciate it!!

Second, Lawrance and I are praying about moving, and so I spent yesterday afternoon looking through some apartments online.

It’s kinda of fun being able to do this a husband.  It was always just stressful before. Also, I’m thankful we found an online site to peruse first to see what is out there before we go looking in person.

Here is what we have decided we are looking for:
  • around 25-35 ping (approx 890-1,250 sq feet)
  • 3 “bedrooms”
  • functioning kitchen (providing our own stove top & gas is ok, but we don’t want to have to provide counters, cabinets, and sinks)
  • not top floor of apartment building (too hot to cool down)
  • if higher than 4th floor, an elevator would be nice
  • allows pets
  • no or little furniture included (specifically, I want to bring our own mattresses, our own fridge, and our own washing machine–other than that I’m quite flexible)
Things  that make the apartment more attractive to us but are not necessary:
  • ceiling fan(s)
  • a bath tub (Amanda’s choice)
  • elevator (Lawrance’s choice)
  • location (close to subway, school/parks, a market)
  • more than the standard tiny Taiwanese kitchen
  • wooden floor room (we think this would be a great place to have groups over for worship since they’d feel comfortable sitting on a wooden floor*)
There are several we rejected for various reasons, but I thought I’d show you some of the more “interesting” rejects. (Images can be clicked to be viewed full size.)

This is not the reason this one got rejected, but it is definantly a "half bath" ;) This would be an example of a "non-functioning kitchen" Again not the reason why rejected . . . but this kitchen so totally would need a Hello Kitty Theme. ;) Now, this one looks ok small, but I don't think I could last very long in this apartment due to the effect the wallpaper has on me. Come down 3 stairs and then up a flight--huh? Tiles on bedroom walls is not an immediate reject, but dark green ones? Yes.
*Outside shoes are taken off at the door, and slippers worn inside.  But even slippers get taken off before entering a room with a wooden floor.  Making it the “cleanest” floor in the home.

getting back into the groove

looking out the window

I don’t like to blog about blogging, and I like blogging about not blogging even less.  However, I just need to work through why I’ve not been blogging recently so that maybe I can start back again.

Here are some of the issues I’m trying to work around:

This blog is no longer just between me and the “great unknown”Before, my family and friends back in America did read my blog, but family and friends here in Taiwan that I work and live among did not.  I now have to be more careful about blogging about things I don’t necessarily want people I interact with on a daily basis to know–ya know, like the intimate struggles of our lives. ;)  There is something about anonymity that allows us to disclose private things–and there are advantages and disadvantages to that.

This blog is no longer just about me and my lifeEven if it was still Following an Unknown Path and “my blog” . . . the things I deal with no are no longer affect only me.  I have to consider what my husband feels comfortable with in letting the world know about our lives.

Our readership is very diverse
It is very hard to categorize the people (I think) read our blog.  And, like I teach my students, we write to be read, so as writers we must always think about our readers.   When our (presumed) readership is SO diverse it is hard for me to focus on what I should write about.

Unsure focus of our blog now
Actually, I was kinda hoping switching to wuhoo! would help with this.  I had a very clear focus in mind for Following an Unknown Path–it was a blog about a single woman living in Taiwan struggling with her singleness and documenting what life was like in a strange land while depending on God and his kindness.  Now?  . . . well, I’m not sure.  Part of the problem is it really could be so many things.

This land is no longer strange
That’s a good thing for me.  But, it makes it hard for me to think about what might be interesting to people wanting to learn about life here in Taiwan.

There are SO many other blogs out there
What can I possibly have to add to the wealth of info and mass of words that is already out there on the web?

Facebook kinda fills the need for why I originally started blogging
Facebook allows me to quickly and efficiently keep friends and family updated about what’s happening here.

Any words of wisdom?  Any thoughts, suggestions, or encouragement you’d like to share?

(Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.)

on my heart today

My eyes are dry
My faith is old
My heart is hard
My prayers are cold
And I know how I ought to be
Alive to You and dead to me
But what can be done
For an old heart like mine
Soften it up
With oil and wine
The oil is You, Your Spirit of love
Please wash me anew
With the wine of Your Blood

–Keith Green

Same song recently recorded at a church in Ohio

happy 2nd 1st anniversary to us!!

Ceremony (43)

Yep,  that’s right . . . we celebrated our 2nd 1st anniversary this weekend. :D

A year ago Sunday–March 7, 2009–we had our Taiwanese wedding and banquet.

Which means . . . we’ve been married-married for a year and a half.

How can that be??

It’s hard to believe that I’ve only known the man who knows me most and best for a little over two years.

All I can say is . . . God is good.  He is so very kind.

So, happy 2nd 1st anniversary to us!!  Wuhoo!!!!


This morning started with a jolt–literally.   It’s the first earthquake in a long time where I felt like I needed to get to a doorway for safety.  It was a 6.4 on the richter scale, with the epicenter in Kaohsiung County, northeast of PingTung City.

As of right now, there have been 20 aftershocks so far.  Some pretty weak, while others have been quite strong.
We are ok.

And, while I feared two of our bookshelves were going to fall over, only the photo frames on them fell.

taiwanese tea

My freshmen English class’ final project last semester was to put together a video introducing some aspect of Taiwanese culture to “foreigners.”  These two students–Ray and Steven–made a video on Taiwanese tea.

I enjoyed it, so I asked if I could share their video with yall.  They reluctantly agreed (but that’s probably because a good Taiwanese student must show humility in the form of shyness).

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