Saturday, May 30, 2015

Our New Crib

Today has ended.  We have ended the day with our new Crib.  You might be thinking we have a new house.  That would be a good guess.  As many children as we have, a new Crib might be needed.  The Crib I am talking about is a Baby Crib.  I assisted Angie and the girls with building it.  I am probably the last person you would want assisting you with a project like this or fixing a computer.  I have little or no patience.  I think I managed to do my part with minimal sniping.  That is pretty good.  Usually, Angie and I will go back and forth until I go into the bed room after giving up.  Elana has her new bed to sleep in.  Now it is time to fold clothes and rest.

An Alternate Look at the Same Adoption

As you all know, Angie is the person who handles the technical side of the adoption.  She also has a blog.  She does not blog as much as I do, but she might provide more information for an international adoption.  Her site is       Please check it out.  I told her that I was sending people her way.  You might even find where I embellish some of my stories.  Enjoy!

Computer Malfunction!!!!!

As you can see, I am posting late in the day.  I know that I should be working, but I have been having issues logging onto my computer.  I keep getting an error.  It won't let me log onto the Internet and most of the time the screen is black.  I did do a check with Search and Destroy.  I hope my computer is not crashing.  I've said it time and time again, things tend to break down during adoptions.

Last night, we did not do much.  Michelle invited friends to sleep over.  We did not want her to do this, but this child tends to have a mind of her own.  When we woke this morning, we hit the ground running.  I started in Mia's room.  I was pulling out things left and right.  Angie had to start going through the stuff.  We were able to pull out three or four boxes for Goodwill and a big box of books for the library.  We donated the things.  Now we are up to building the crib.  We still have to put things up, but we are making progress.

Michelle woke this morning and decided to continue playing with her friends.  We eventually had to have her friends go home.  I did try to go out early to do yard work.  Angie vetoed that one real quickly.  I didn't mind.  It was too hot.  We need rain!  Hopefully our plants will not die when we are gone.

We did manage to sell two items.  A tent that little children can play on and 40 Beanie Babies.  It was not a lot of money, but we can use anything we can get.  We will finish the day with more work and rest for our day with Kayla.  I am hoping that I can find a solution to my computer issue.  I can't write on a Kindle.  I might be able to send an email to the sight.

An update to the computer issue.  It is still not working like it should.  It says I need to update my drivers, but it will not link in to the Internet, so that I can update those drivers.  Tomorrow will be another day of trying to pinpoint the issue.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lunchtime and nothing to do but chat

I have breezed through the sites.  Nothing going on.  I want the day to be over.  Once at home, it will be time to go into overdrive.  I have to make it through the day.  It has started out pretty good.  We got doughnuts and fruit.  Now I think the food is making me tired.  My mind keeps thinking of the things that need to be done before we leave.  At work, I need to get my phone message done.  I will do that on Monday.  I don't want people around when I record it.  I have already programmed the Out of Office for my Outlook.  I could keep looking up places to visit, but I will probably wait.  Trip Advisor seems to be a great place to go.  I just checked and American has updated its film listings.  For once, I have not actually seen a lot of the films listed.  At least, we will not be bored on this flight.  I will finally get to see Chappie and Cinderella.  Angie and Michelle will get to see The Kingsman.  It is about time that they updated their information.

Another Gem from the Past

The other day, I got to share Jurassic Park with Michelle and Kiersten.  They had not seen the movie.  Kayla was a big fan of it.  She is looking forward to Jurassic World.  I think the both enjoyed the movie.  If you have not seen it on Blu Ray, you are missing a great transfer.  It was crystal clear.

As I am writing this, I remember when we got Jurassic at the movie theater.  We set up a huge promotion for the movie.  I was able to get train tickets to Orlando, FL from Amtrak, tickets to Universal Orlando from the film company, TV advertising, without having to pay for it, etc.  We decorated the inside of the theater with cargo netting and a huge opening using the oringal standee and tripling it in size.  It gave the customer the impression of going into Jurassic Park.  We also were able to get our local museum to bring in a dinosaur skull for opening weekend.  It was one of our better promotions.  I wish I had saved a set of pictures.

6 Days and Counting!

We have made it to the final weekend before travel.  I have a long day ahead at work.  Then, it is time to go home and get into cleaning mode.  We really only have tonight and tomorrow.  Sunday is mainly a rest day, where we go visit Kayla.  We might have a little time when we get back.  Monday, Angie and Michelle are going to be preparing for our long ride to North Carolina.  I wish I had taken off, but they need me at work also.  Let's hope this day flies by.  I am ready to go home now to get started.  We still have some packing to do.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Facebook: Is it worth being on it?

I was looking over my Facebook site.  I wonder why I do.  I find it to be a waste of my time.  It's a great way to keep up with family and friends, but I have been trying to cut back my postings.  Sometimes posting on it is like writing my blog.  I see that a lot of people might read it, but I don't get many responses.  If I am already doing this everyday, what's the point of doing Facebook also.  The ads are killing me.  They keep showing things that I have no interest in.  For some reason, they think I am into sports, diets and weightlifting.  I wish I could pick the ads I want to see.  My ads would be movie related only.  

Two and half Days Left at Work!

Another fun filled lunch time.  I always get bored at lunch.  At one time, I would exercise in the stairwell or outside, but it is too hot in Florida.  I would get too sweaty.  Now I just surf the web.  That can get really boring.  I mainly stick to the movie news and some financial.  We did get good news today.  Imax is over $40.  It may go higher.  It has decided do an IPO in Hong Kong.  Besides that, I am just wasting away my hour so I can get things done before we leave for China.  I wish tomorrow was the last day.  I should have taken Monday off also, but I did not think about it.  I just hope they don't try to overload me before leaving.  I still have 2 and 1/2 days for my co-workers to do some kind of surprise baby shower, but I am not holding my breath.

Airlines. . .We are not getting what we Pay For

I just checked American Airlines to see what the entertainment was going to be like.  I will have to wait.  Their schedule is for April and May.  That is sad.  We have to pay large sums of money for air travel and they can't even keep their site up to date.  Where is all the money going?  Bonuses for the executives?  I don't know if this bodes well for our travel over there.

7 Days and Counting!

I woke up Angie playing the song 7 Years Down by Rancid.  In one week, we will be in the air.  This is the point of the adoption where things are going too fast.  I just hope we have time to enjoy it.  We made another sale yesterday.  We are using a site called Offer Up.  It is sort of like Craig's List.  We have sold a couple of things this week.  They sold for more than what they would have at the yard sale.  This weekend, it will be the final chance to get things ready.  If not, it will have to wait.  I just hope for the energy to get things done.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

8 days left on Reece's Rainbow

If you are new to this blog or do not understand what the Reece's Rainbow link on this blog is, let me explain.  It is a fundraising outfit that helps families like ours to adopt child.  If you make a donation, it is tax deductible.  We only have 8 days.  I think that once we are travelling, it shuts down.  If you would like to assist us, anything would be welcome.  If you want to, you can go to the main site and see other kids that you might want to sponsor.  They do a lot of good for children that are harder to adopt out.

Another Day on the Front Line

It has been another uneventful day.  I am trying to finish up my work, so that I do not have anything waiting until I get back.  I only have 4 days of work.  During lunch,  I found a list of restaurants in Harbin.  For Russian, we have Katusha,  for American (don't know if we need that one)  we have Donnelley's and the fall back McDonald's, and the King of Oriental Dumplings.  They had other titles, but they were in Mandarin.  I will just try to refer to Trip Advisor when we get to Harbin.  Some of these sound interesting.  At some places, like Katusha, we may have to depend on the server or menu, if it is in English.

The Girl Who Likes to Eat Returns to China!

When we adopted Michelle 10 years ago, the person who runs the orphanage described Michelle as:  That one, she like to eat.  She has not changed.  She is looking forward to the food.  She is hoping for Orange Chicken.  I don't know if that is more American Chinese than Chinese.  I know she will like Sweet and Sour Pork.  We also have dumplings to look forward to.  We are going to try Hot Pot.  I know this because the Toilet Bowl Restaurant serves this.  Michelle wants to get pictures of this.  I hope this will be a trip for her to remember and that the food meets her expectations.  At least she is not looking forward to McDonald's.  That was the last trip she went to China.

8 Days and Counting!

Angie tells me that she is stressing thinking about all she has to do.  I don't feel stressed.  I'm sure it will hit me soon enough.  Yesterday was a calm day.  Went home, made dinner, put Mia down for sleep, and rested.  I want to do things around the house, but after a day of work, I don't feel like doing much.  I will have to summon some strength to get things done.  As I am typing this, I see that I have started a list of things to do.  I can take a shot of caffeine when I got home.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fundraising My Outlook at the End

To all that plan on adopting, I am not writing this to discourage you from trying.  I am merely explaining what I see as our effort.  When we into this, I thought it would be easy to raise money.  People are always telling us the good we are doing and blessing us.  I thought they might also bless us with donations.  We did raise some money and like I've said all is appreciated.  I just am disappointed in the fact that you see those Go Fund Me fundraisers and they have no problem raising money.  We have had to beg and sell things.  Even with selling  things, that still did not guarantee a donation.  If you do raise money, I wish you luck.  I just wish we could have raised more.  Right now, I feel that when people say how great we are doing and blessing us, they are saying to themselves, better them than us under their breath.

Quiet before the Storm

Today has been a quiet day.  I wonder if all week will be this way.  I'd rather it be busy.  That way the week would fly by.  A lot of my co workers are out today.  Nothing is really going on.  I am still doing my last minute stuff.  I am ready to get home and see what I can do.

Weather in China

Lucky us, it looks like we are going to see rain.  I believe this is the rainy season for both Harbin and Guangzhou.  I'm not surprised about Guangzhou.  It tends to be more tropical.  I would compare it to Florida, but it seems hotter in the late summer.  We will be finding out what early summer feels like.  Harbin, on the other hand, is known for its cold weather during the winter.  I just hope that the rain does not deter some of the outings we have planned.  I guess we'll need a poncho.

Carrying on the Family Name

It is funny.  When I grew up, I always heard people saying they wanted a baby to carry on the family name.  Of course, that would require those people to have a boy.  This is the same issue that exists in China, only for different reasons.  With the dawn of the Internet, I can safely say that the Fahey line will live on.  Not only that, but my name in particular is very popular.  I grew up thinking I had a name that was not so common.  The reason had more to do with where I lived than anything else.  I now know that Sean Fahey is very popular, especially in Ireland.  If I ever go there, I will have to be careful when they call for Sean Fahey.  I might not be the only one raising my hand.  All kidding aside, I would like to visit Ireland, as well as other European countries.  Maybe when my kids are gone and have flown the coop.  [Even spellchecker does not recognize my last name.]

9 Days and Counting!

We are out of the double digits.  Yesterday was a very successful day.  We got a lot done around the house.  Angie even managed to sell a couple of things over an Internet website.  I did clothes, cleaned some of the floors, and got the living room clean.  We still have things to do, but at least you can tell we have made some progress.  We still have the rest of the week and one last weekend to prepare.  We still have to build the crib for Elana.  So far, we have not received any more requests from our guide in China.

Today, I have to get things ready at work for my departure.  It is going to be fun.  Time is going to go by so quickly.  I have wrtten that things are slow in the beginning and fast at the end.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Movies and frugal living

If you don't already know, I am a big fan of movies.  My favorite way to see them is for free.  I have found, in America, there are plenty of websites that offer tickets for sneaks.  Some would love this way of seeing movies.  I have talked to some that find going two or three hours before a showtime to be a waste of time.  I do not see it that way.  

Another way to get tickets to movies, especially in the summer and holiday times, is to buy a DVD with a free ticket or a sum of money that can be used for a ticket.  Right now, there are deals for Jurassic World, Minions, Pitch Perfect 2, and Entourage.  They do limit the price and getting into an IMAX movie will cost extra.  

My final advice to get free tickets, at least in Florida, is to donate blood.  At one time, if you donated during the week of a holiday, they would double the incentive.  If you wanted a movie ticket, you could get two for you donation.  Lately, they have stopped doing that.  This week they are giving four gifts, but only one is a movie ticket.  I stopped doing this when I discovered the websites.  

10 Days and Counting!

Last night, I started to feel a little anxious.  I hope this is not a premonition of what will happen the night before.  I'd rather sleep the night before.  I probably exercise a lot the day before.  Maybe I can trick my body into sleep.  I might be going to a movie the night before travel.  I have tickets for a sneak of Me, Earl and the Dying Girl.  It looks like a good movie.  I love any free sneak.  Well, I would not go that far.  If I have to see a bad movie, I'd rather see it for free.

We are at day 10.  More cleaning in line for today.  Mia and I are getting haircuts.  We have a crib to build.  Then it is time to just pick things up.  We are selling some things on a local site to raise money.  It has been somewhat successful.  We still have Reece's Rainbow.  They even revamped the site.  Be sure to click on it.  We would appreciate any donation.  Beside the bills we have incurred, we have medical tests and procedures to look forward to when we get home.  Elana will get a full checkup.

Tomorrow, it will like going up a rollercoaster.  Each day we get higher, until next Thursday.  At that point we will have reached the peak and time to drop.  It will go by just as quick.  I hope to document every step of the way.  I hope to do it day and date, but I can not guarantee that I will be able to.  If I can not email my blog in China, come back after two weeks.  I will add each day separately.   I plan to write or type the information each day.  There will be lots of pictures.   I hope to top the last trip.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

11 days and Counting!

Today, we spent the day visiting Kayla.  Next week will be the last Sunday for two or three before we get to see her again.  At that time, she will get to meet Elana.  We did get some things done yesterday.  Today is sort of a light day.  We are still trying to clean, but tomorrow will be a more grueling day.  Between cleaning, moving things around and putting things up, we have a lot to do.  I hope we get a lot done.  This week is going to be hectic.  We have to gather things we will be travelling with, getting the outside ready (by that I mean mowing and edging to keep the home owners association happy), making sure mail and paper have been stopped.  I think we are ready, but only time will tell.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


I have started packing.  I pulled out a suitcase and put half of the things I will need.  One piece of advice I can give is to use those plastic bags that you put your clothes into and push out the air.  We have used our set many times.  Make sure you weigh it.  All airlines have weight limits.  China differs from international by about 5 to 10 pounds.  Hopefully, everyone else will put a little in suitcases each day, so we are not rushing at the end.  Rushing or staying up late before driving 8 to 10 hours is not fun.  Something always gets missed when rushing.

Another Form

We are quickly running out of time and our guide sends us another form that has to be filled out and send back to him.  I hope he sends everything before we leave.  I'd hate to get to China and find out we are missing a crucial piece of information.  We have seen others that had issues.  Believe me, they will make you wait if the paperwork is not in order and the way it is supposed to be presented.

Donation to Orphanage

When you go to adopt from China, you have to give a donation to the orphanage.  It is a monetary sum that is spelled out.  Besides that, you are encouraged to bring gifts for administrators, nannies, and other officials.  Sometimes, they in turn will give you a gift.  During Michelle's adoption, we were given a vase made in the Jaingxi region.  It was very nice.

The last adoption, we brought things the orphanage could use.  This time will be not different.  We have various things to bring.  I have even decided to bring some Beanie Babies for the children.  We'll see how much we can bring.  Today, we received an email from Air China.  It was in Pinyin (Chinese Characters).  Angie did a translation and found out that we are being limited to one check on bag per person.  I think we can handle that.  In Harbin, we will be able to get another suitcase to  add to our bags.  When we go to Guangzhou, we may be able to pick up another, if we need it.  We'll have to see the limits for Canton Air and Japan Air.

If you do donate things to the orphanage, they like new things and gently used.  As for gifts, they tell us to buy things that you can find/made in America.  That can be hard.  You don't realize how much comes from China until you have to do this kind of search.

12 Days and Counting!

Today is our big clean up the house day.  Monday will be our fallback day.  Sunday is dedicated to Kayla.  Last night, I mowed the lawn when I got home.  That is sort of done.  I still have a lot of weeding to do.  I also want to enlarge our berry patch.  I don't know if I should start now.  I might wait until after China.  Our rainy season has not started.  If I plant things, they might die.  I might try to add some more pineapples.  We have three fruits growing in the yard.  If you have a warm climate, cut off a top of a pineapple and plant it.  I usually takes about a year or two.  I am not constantly watering them.

Our main goal is to clear the floors and get Elana's bed ready.  I think that we can accomplish that.  Poster sales have been suspended until June.  Ran out of time and free listings.  They will continue.  I will be signing off to assist Angie before she forces me off the computer.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Lunchtime on a Slow Day

It has been a quiet day at work.  Half of the office took the day off.  I could have, but due to the adoption, I need to save my time.  I was just thinking that 2 weeks from today, I will be arriving in China.  It has only been about 3 years since our last visit.  I am looking forward to it.  I will be able to hold my little daughter and hopefully she will be looking forward to seeing us.  We will get to explore parts of China we have not been to and parts we have been to.  We  get to share that experience with our 10 year old.  The last time she went to China was 2009.  I think she is looking forward to the trip.  I wish I could bring everyone, but that would make this an expensive trip.  It already is, but even more so.  In a couple of hours, I will be able to go home and start our long weekend of getting the house ready.

13 Days and Counting!

We are going into 13 days and a holiday weekend.  We have an extra day to do things around the house.  We have a lot to do.  At least, the yard sale is out of the way.  We still want to get rid of things.  So, there will probably be another sale in the fall.  That money will be needed to pay off things from this adoption.  That is if we need to borrow money.  I'm sure some of the things are on credit cards.  It just goes with adopting internationally.

I went to see Poltergeist last night.  It was good.  It had scrares that made you jump, but it sort of felt like watching the Cliff Notes for the original.  I would have liked to see them go in another direction.  That is the way to do a remake or reboot.  Use the concept but give the audience a totally fresh storyline.  I thought the actors were good.  It still felt like a re enactment.  If you are looking for a movie this week end, go for Mad Max.  It has a 98% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes.  That is pretty good after being out a week.  Eveyone I have encouraged to see it has loved it.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Attaining New Heights at Ebay

We are now Top Sellers.  I don't know if that is a benefit.  I have looked and it looks like it might help your selling, but if you want advantages, you have to offer 1 day shipping and jump through other hurdles.  We will have to wait until we get back from China to see if it pays off.  Even where we were, we didn't see an increase in sales.  We do believe in keeping the customer happy and selling a good product.

Healthcare and your adopted Child

We are trying to add Elana to our insurance.  We like to do this before she gets home.  That helps get her set up with a doctor, so when can start scheduling appointments.  I would say this is important.  You want to get your child checked and start off their shots.  Even though they get some in China, there might be some needed for their records.  If you child is sick or gets sick from the trip, you want to get that checked out immediately.  Sometimes, the doctors might even question the age of your child and want to do a Bone age test.  Depending on your child's special need, you need to set up appointments with groups that can assist them.  In Florida, we have Lighthouse.  They assist children and adults with seeing issues.  They have helped with Mia and we hope to get their help with Elana.  Your doctor might want the child to go through Occupational Therapy and/or Speech Therapy.

14 Days and Counting!!! Getting nervous!!!

Last night, I spent the night unrolling movie posters.  I had this great idea that people would give a donation for a poster.  It started at $10 and ended at $1.  I was wrong.  No one wanted to give.  I had put rubber bands on about 50 to 100 posters.  Well, rubber bands will cut into a movie poster or just dry rot on them.  They had to come off.  I will not do that again.

This morning I asked about our final package.  Angie told me that the guide in China will be present that to us.  We in turn will give it to the American consulate in Guangzhou.  Once that is finalized, it goes to Customs in America.  After opening, Elana is a US citizen.  We still go through the process of re-adoption in America.  This helps with birth certificates and other things.  If we don't do it, we have to go through China to get that information.  I don't know how easy that would be.

I am getting excited and nervous at the same time.  My mind is wondering about the things I need to do before leaving work and what has to be done in the house.  People at work have been wondering if I am excited.  I say yes.  Still haven't had that baby shower.  Guess they won't be throwing one.  I do find it funny how people treat adoption versus birth.  Just remember that when someone close to you adopts.  Throw them a baby shower.  You might surprise them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

15 Days and Counting!!!

Another day closer to our journey.  Last night was a wash out.  Lately, I have been getting home from work and have been too tired to do anything.  I don't know if I am coming down with something.  I'm sure it is not work.  It is a person friendly environment.  Not only that, but our stressful season does not start until the summer.  I can say I am not stressing.  I might be about the upcoming travel.  When I got home, I read a travel book about Harbin and Guangzhou.  It did not provide me with much information.  I need to get back to research on the computer.  This weekend is going to be dedicated to getting our house in order.  We get an extra day this weekend due to Memorial Day holiday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Husband Math: 16 days and Counting!!!!

I stand corrected.  Angie pointed out to me that I was off by 2 days.  Now we are at 16 days and counting!  At least we have a three day weekend coming up.  This weekend will be dedicated to cleaning up the house and preparing for our journey.  Michelle is telling her friends that she will be having her last day on June 29.  I asked Angie if she was going on June 1.  She replied that Michelle says she will be busy packing that day.  I don't know how much she plans on bringing.  We are only there for 2 weeks or so.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Before Travelling . . .Research!

I have been finding maps of the subway systems for the two provinces we are going to.  Harbin does not look as developed as Guangzhou.  We may be depending on bus service.  Guangzhou is looking real promising.  Everything we want to see is on the line.  I just hope Harbin is just as easy to get around without getting lost.  We did that in Chengdu.  Taxi service was not helpful.  Now I have to see how we can get to the Noodle King.  We will be going to a restaurant we went to last trip in Guangzhou.  We were able to get dumplings and rice very cheap.  It was very tasty.

19 Days and Counting!

Our countdown is nearing the final stretch.  I am at work getting ready to finish things and tie up loose ends before going on our trip.  Last night, I found an article about a farmer finding old munition from WWII that the Japanese had buried before leaving China.  It is in the province that we are going to.  It is north of Harbin on the border of Russia.  I don't think we will be digging anywhere.  Time is going to go even faster.  We have to get the crib ready, clean the floors and overall prepare for our new addition.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

20 days and counting! (My days are off)

Today was a day of rest.  We went to visit Kayla and take her to a movie.  They got to see Mad Max Fury Road.  Everyone loved it.  I, on the other hand, got to keep Mia company in the theater lobby.  She is not much of a movie fan.  She took a nap most of the time.

The theater was nice.  I have not had the luck to go inside one of the theaters, but the lobby is adequate.  While sitting there, I go into audit move.  I start looking at things they do wrong.  Multiple times, the ticket takers left the lobby unmanned.  Anyone could have walked in.  I did go down one of the corridors.  I was searching for a family bathroom.  The other side had one, but not the side I went down.  At that point, I could have gone into a theater and they would not have noticed.  Another thing I noticed, was that they had warmers for the popcorn.  Customers really don't like to see you pull from a warmer when the popper is popping.  I'm surprised they don't get complaints.  We always did.  Customers always want the freshest popcorn.

Starting tomorrow, we need to do a little each day to get ready.  Except for Tuesday and Thursday.  Angie has to go to a study for Kayla and I have a Poltergeist sneak.  I am looking forward to it.  If it is not up to the original, I did not pay for it.  I have to keep researching where to go and eat in Harbin.  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sale of the Century. . .Not so much!

The sale has ended.  We had a bunch of people, but they were not always buying.  We did manage to get rid of some things.  We did not return much to the garage.  I did make a run to the library to donate books, VHS tapes, and CD's.  They use them to make more money to buy things for us to read and watch.  I did go by Goodwill to donate.  They took most of the things, but he stopped at the old style TV.  He said they do not take those kind of TV's anymore.  Something about it not working and they would have to pay to get it repaired.  We left it at the curb.  Maybe the yard sale crows will haul it away.  We did a decent amount of sales.  It is money that we did not have.

I forgot to say that I did like all good husbands do during yard sales.  I helped set up the sale bringing out what I could.  Once I was done, I went inside to do clothes and stay cool.  At the same time, I would make sporadic checks on Angie.  I even went to get breakfast.  When done, I helped to break down things, run to the charities and stack the remaining things in the garage.

The Big Sale and fundraiser (now with pictures)

Today is the day.  We were up bright and early at 6:30am to get things organized.  I almost think that we do not have enough room for all the things.  We have had a steady flow of people.  We are hoping to get rid of most of the stuff.  It is starting out to be a hot day.  Hopefully the rain will stay away until the end of the day.  We have 22 days and counting.  Between this sale and Reece's Rainbow, we are running out of fundraising space.  Ebay is charging a listing fee.  I will have to wait till next month.  Tune back later and I might have pictures of today's event.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ready for the Sale

Today has been a productive day.  Still fighting the urge to keep everything, but I fell I have made progress.  We have a bunch of things going out tomorrow.  We have kitchen items, clothes, movie posters, movie buttons, CD's, video movies, books, etc.  What does not sell will be going to a charity.  Wish us luck!  I am getting ready to retire.  Hopefully I am just tired and have allergy issues.  Now is not the time to get sick.

Day of Preparation for the big sale

I have taken the day off to assist with the big yard sale.  We are going to keep going through things today and tomorrow.  Hopefully, we will sell the things.  Whatever we are left with is going to Goodwill or some other charity.  If it comes back in, we will never get rid of it.  My biggest problem is giving up the stuff and realizing I will never use it.

Our fees have been wired to China to pay for hotels, plane flights, van driver, guide service, etc.  Things are getting finalized.  We are still prepping for travel when not with our guide.  We are not travelling that far to sit in our hotel.  We will make the most of this trip.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Year of the flashback!

I am going to see another film from my past.  I will be watching Poltergeist next Thursday. I remember the year the first one came out.  It is turning out to be a great year for films.  Instead of just remaking the films, they are looking at the subject matter from a different point of view.  I hope this one is as great as the first time around.  It does have some great actors, but can the director compete with Tobe Hooper.  We'll see.  Next up, Jurassic World and Terminator Genysis.

Subway Safety

Have you seen the Youtube videos of people being forced into a subway car?  We have not experienced that, but I know it exists.  We have seen it get busy.  Believe me, it is not fun trying to get on a subway car while pushing my daughter in a wheelchair, not to mention my other child in a stroller.  Getting up and down the stairs was an adventure.  Today, I am looking at my news under Facebook and I see where a man was shot in a Harbin metro station.  Another thing to watch out for.

Time is not on our Side

All the procrastination has finally caught up with us.  We have gone from a position of plenty of time to 23 days and counting.  We are still setting up our hotel and in China transportation.  Due to the lack of planning, Angie and I are looking towards the provinces to see how we are going to get around.  Both areas have subway systems and buses.  Taxis are an option, but the last time we tried to use a taxi in China, the driver refused to help us.  In Guangzhou, it looks like the subway is our best bet.  I have already been marking up schedules.

In two days, we will have our mega yard sale.  We are hoping to sell a lot of the things, but if not sold, it is being donated.  Ebay seems to be an issue.  They are charging a listing fee.  I guess 50 listings a month is all we get before incurring listing fees.  I wonder if they up the listings with good reviews.  Soon, we will be gathering our suitcases and getting them packed.  Michelle has a list, but I think we need to remind her that we are not moving there, we are just visiting.  That and she is going to carry her own suit case.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Bird in the Hand, worth one in the Engine

Angie was going to the car tonight.  Next thing I know, Kiersten is coming up to the door mouthing something.  I tell her I don't have my car and she actually has to say something.  I get that a bird flew into the car.  I unlock the door and go see where it went.  The vehicle is running and only two doors are open.  I'm wondering why all the doors are not open.  It turns out the the bird almost went into the car but was scared under the car.  I tell Angie to turn off the engine and lift the hood.  Once the car is quiet, we hear the bird thumping around.  Michelle looks in and sees the bird.  I go in looking for something to get the bird.  I did not know if it could fly.  It looked like a  baby.  By the time I had come back, the bird had jump through the engine area and flown into a tree.

Running out of Time

We are at about 24 or so days.  I guess I have hit my limit at Ebay.  I am getting charged for listing.  Our Reece's Rainbow site is increasing.  So, thanks to whoever gave.  It looks like this and they yard sale will be our remaining fund raisers.  Angie is working on our itinerary.  Our guide should be getting back to us tonight.  We have both been searching the Internet about ways to travel in Harbin and Guangzhou.  They both have a metro system.  We might be depending on them.  Also, the Garden Hotel in Guangzhou is near a station.  Keep on giving, if you can.  If not, then keep on reading.  Travel is quickly approaching.

Fighting for a Chair

My daughter has informed me that she will have to decide where she wants to sit on the plane.  She says that she prefers the seat near the window, but also likes the aisle seat.  She wants that seat so she can grab food when the carts go by.  At the same time, she says she does not want the carts to hit her arm.  I looks like we might have to compromise and take turns.  I really like the window, but on a flight like this, you can't see much.  The window shade stays closed most of the time.

The Garden Hotel Guangzhou, China

It looks like we will be staying at The Garden instead of the Victory.  I think i have found the subway line.  According to their webpage, Line 5 Taojin Station is nearby.  This will be our main way of travel when we do so alone.    Here is the site, if you'd like to look at it.  It looks nice, but most of the luxury hotels look nice.  It doesn't mean we will be able to do much inside.  I doubt we will eat dinner there.

I-800 Approval

We got our approval for our I-800.  Now it will be combined in a packet that will be sealed and can only be open upon return by a customs agent.  We have to show the American Consulate in Guangzhou the packet.  When you are goung through this process, they warn you not to open the packet.

Revisiting the Past in Style

Last night, I got to see Mad Max Fury road.  If you are a fan of this series or just love action movies.  This is a must see.  The film was like an upgraded Road Warrior.  Bigger cars, bigger action, and really great acting.  Tom Hardy slides into Mel Gibson's shoes with ease.  I hope this is the movie to catapult him into the upper levels of acting.  Charlize Theron gives a great performance as usual.  I look forward to her next picture.  If you are looking for something to do this weekend, go see this movie.  The better it does, the better the chances we will continue to see R rated movies geared towards adults.  I got to attend the movie at Regal Cinemas in an RPX theater.  The seats were comfortable.  The picture was brought to us by a 4K projector.  The sound was perfect.  

Visa the Gold Standard

We got our Visa's yesterday.  We have graduated to a 10 year visa.  I guess they think we might be back in the near future so they approved us for an extended visa.  So, if that 6th adoption does happen, this will be one less charge we will have to pay for.  I would say to anyone considering adoption and think they might do it again, apply for a 10 year visa.  Paying for each time can be costly.

Cost of doing Business

We got our sticker shock last night.  The guide sent us some of what he expects us to pay for.  He sent us the bill for the hotel stay, guide services and transportation.  This does not even include any sightseeing.  This is the part that I usually tune out.  I don't want to know about how much it will cost.  I do have a problem when they charge you for one thing and another form of transportation might be cheaper.  Or one hotel room might be slightly larger than another.  I can point out the the bill is slightly larger and we are not made of money, like most families who adopt internationally.  For me, two beds, a crip and a bathroom suit me well.  I don't care if it is 3 star or 5 star.  I've slept in a homeless shelter before.  Sometimes, you are just happy to have a place to sleep.

We will have to ramp up the charity push.  Remember, I have a link to Reece's Rainbow.  Anything given will be appreciated.  The bills just keep coming in.  We haven't even travelled yet.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Monkeywrench

Our guide sent us an itinerary.  It makes me wonder why they requested places we wanted to visit and stay.  He totally ignored it.  It does not look like he plans to do much sightseeing.  We will venture out on our own.  I found out that Harbin has a Metro system.  Guangzhou  has one as well. I plan on looking at maps, printing directions and try to have something in Mandarin so that we can order if no one speaks English.  It almost feels like we are pros.  They are taking off the training wheels.  I just hope we don't get lost.  If places are on the subway lines, we will be safe.

Also, he has us leaving at 4:00pm to go to Hong Kong.  I would rather leave early.  If we wait until 4:00, the hotel will charge us for late checkout.  I don't see why we can't leave in the morning.  Not only that, but we would like to see some of Hong Kong.


When you are trying to save money while flying, layovers play a part.  I have since found out that we may have a lot of time to visit some of the airports.  Our first layover is in Dallas.  I don't know how long that stay will be.  In our Hong Kong stay, we leave Guangzhou at 6am to drive to Hong Kong.  Once at the airport, we will not leave until after 1am.  I am hoping to leave the airport and go see something, like Victoria Peak.  The airport had restaurants, shopping and an IMAX movie theater.  In Japan, we arrive at 6am and our next flight will leave around 12pm.  I think it will be worth it.  At least we will have time between flights.  I hate rushing from one gate to another.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Another Donation to Reece's Rainbow!

We are closing in on $400.  Thanks to whoever gave to our fund.  Any amount is appreciated.  Thanks again!!!!

International Airport?

What constitutes an international airport?  When looking for flights to China, we had few choices, since we are leaving out of Raleigh Durham Airport.  It's supposed to be International Airport.  I don't know if they fly internationally.  We will be going from there to Dallas, TX.  I think in the past, we flew to Detroit, MI.  Can they claim international status if a carrier flies internationally from another airport?  I just don't get it.  If you bring up the list of carriers, there are not that many and even fewer that fly out of the country.

Another Actor/Actress for My Unproduced Film

I have not mentioned my unproduced film in a while.  I wanted to bring up another actress.  I feel the Zi Yi Zhang would be a great addition.  She would play our main guide that accompanies the families.  I feel that this movie would be both a comedy and a drama.  She has displayed a great talent for both, as well as action.  She has been in movies like: Musa the Warrior, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Road Home, Sophie's Revenge, and House of the Flying Daggers.  If you have not seen her or have not seen many of her movies, you are depriving yourself of seeing some great performances.  As I would see the direction of the story, I would think she would make a perfect addition.  I was lucky enough to write her and get a response.  I had asked her if she was going to try for the Mulan live action movie.  She responded she might, but she preferred comedy and dramas.  No, I do not plan on sending her my unproduced ideas.  When you do that, anyone in film and TV will instantly shut down and never respond to you.  If you do hear a response, it will be from their lawyers stating that they did not read your idea and that they do not accept ideas unless it comes from an agency, etc.

Just to let you know, I am not making up the conversation.  She has a page on Facebook.  I messaged her.  It may not have been her answering, but I'd like to think it was her.  I was wondering the same thing.  I did not think they had Facebook in China.  She does travel out of the country and being an actress, I could see the need for a page.

Blast from the Past, Part II!

This year is a great year in movies.  We are getting all kinds of stories that continue some great series.  Vacation, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and Mad Max.  I have been following the Mad Max story since I was young.  Even recently, I have been following the story of how the current one got made.  George Miller had been trying for many years to get this movie made.  It is an interesting story.

He had tried to do it with Mel Gibson, when Mel was hitting his stride as a director/actor.  He was ready at one point to film the movie in Iraq and the Iraq war started.  Another time, he was ready to shoot in a desolate part of Australia, but had to scrap it after rain caused the are to go from dusty wasteland to green landscape.  He finally gets to film this movie.  I am ready.

This movie reminds me of The Road Warrior.  I first saw this movie when I was young.  I still love to pop it in the DVD player and watch it.  It really has stood the test of time.  We plan to take our daughters to see this movie.  I wanted to make sure it would be something they might like.  I sat down with Michelle and we watched The Road Warrior.  Kiersten was there, but she walked off.  I don't know if it was because she did not like it or just had too many things to do.

Michelle loved this movie.  At the end, she asked to see the next one.  I found Beyond Thunderdome and we started to watch it.  Unfortunately, she was tired and started to fall asleep.  She says she wants to get back to it.

Since the girls are going on Sunday, I have to come up with an alternative way of seeing this movie.  Someone will have to stay out with Mia.  She will not sit through it.  On Saturday, I was fortunate to get tickets to the sneak on Tuesday.  Stay tuned.  I will update with my semi-review.

Searching for a Needle in a Haystack

This weekend, I had planned to get ready for the big yard sale.  At the same time, our bids were up at Ebay.  We had a decent amount of sales.  Before I could go through the house, I had to make sure I had the posters ready for shipping.  When I started selling the posters, I thought I had a great plan to put the posters in tubes with a code.  This way I could keep track on the computer.  Then, I started taking posters out and leaving them in the room.  Next thing I know, I have posters everywhere, except where I thought they should be.

On Friday, I am looking for one poster.  I looked where the spreadsheet tells me it should be.  The tube is empty.  I stand back and realize I have moved them to another tube.  In front of me stands 50 to 60 poster tubes.  Some have many posters and some have a few.  For the rest of the weekend, I keep going through the tubes.

Sunday, I am coming up against a deadline.  I have no idea where the poster is.  I do know one thing, I have to reduce the number of tubes.  After visiting Kayla, I get home and devise a plan to reduce the number and check each tube.  While I am doing this, I am putting an X on tubes checked.  That way, I know I have checked and it is not there.  Three hours later, I realize it is past 6:00pm and we still had to eat dinner.  I rush through a bunch more.  Just as I am about to give up and go to dinner, I find the tube.

At least, I have weeded out some tubes that can be used for shipping.  I will need to work during the week to shed other things in the house.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Flying with Special Needs Chidren

I was watching the news this morning and saw a story about a family who was kicked off a flight because their autistic daughter was upset about food choices  I feel for them.  I have been there.  Kayla has autism.  Although she has not had a fit on a plane, she could have had one.  One time, we did have an issue with her not waking after a plane had landed.  Mia had issues, also.  She came home when she was 3, but more like a baby.  She was scared and wanted us to hold her.  The flight attendant made us put her in a seat.  She screamed.  People probably did not like it, but just think about how scared she was.  This was her first time flying.  In 26 days, we will be doing it again.  I can only imagine how Elana will take this.  We will do our best to keep her content.  

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in the world!  This is a special time for us.  Not only do we celebrate the sacrifices our mom's made for us, but we also thank the mother's who gave birth to our daughters.  If it were not for them, we would not have our daughters.  They made the ultimate sacrifice.  We may never know all of the reasons, but they did make sure that they were placed in a safe area.  One day, my daughters might go back to their country in search of their birth mom's.  I have no problem with that.  We will help them when they want to. We try to instill in our daughters love for their birth family.  If not for them. . .

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Charity in a day!

Angie was telling me about a family that was adopting two children from Ukraine.  They decided not to tell customs about a large amount of cash they were bringing into the country for the adoption fees.  Customs found it.  All of a sudden, they need cash in a hurry.  Within a day or two, they have $7,000+.  We leave in 27 days and I don't see any rise in our account.  I guess if we did something forgetful, maybe we'd get a large sum in our account.  I doubt it.  They would just call us stupid and throw up their hands.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Survey Says!

Today, I got to do a survey.  I had to listen to 817 songs for a local radio station.  I got paid $85 for my time.  As for the songs, it was 5 to 10 seconds of each song.  I enjoyed it.  A lot of the music was the stuff I grew up on.  As I listened to the song, I would remember when I listened to it as a kid.  Sometimes I was reminded how much they over played some of these songs.

If you are trying to raise money for an adoption, look for marketing firms.  They are always looking for people to try things, watch things, listen to things and they pay.  Depending on the product, you can make some good money for a short amount of time.  I once did a beer study for a week.  I made $250.  All I had to do was drink two beers a day and give my opinion.  Alcohol studies tend to pay really well.

Fundraising for another Child

I have been writing about a 6th child.  What if it were true?  Would you be more willing to give a donation?  I wonder how people would react.  I will probably have a heart attack.  I will definitely be outnumbered in our house.  I would be stressing about the fact we would have to come up with the money for the fees, travelling and any needs the child might have.  The problem is that I'm not that good fundraising.  Some people can post things and get lots of donations.  We have Reece's Rainbow, but it is not really growing.  We have 27 days and counting.  Feel free to give if you'd like.  Adoptive parents have a lot of extra fees that people giving birth do not have to pay.  Adopting domestically is usually taken care of.  We just feel a special bond with the children from China.

I will write more about my past, if some people donate to Reece's Rainbow or if you want to give suggestions, I will write about things people want to know.  I could send people movie posters, but I don't see much interest in them.  I do have Beanie Babies.  Would anyone like to give a donation for a Beanie Baby?  I would have to set a certain price like $10 or greater.  I do have to pay for the shipping and I seem to have readers from around the world.

Thanks for being a reader.  It makes my job easier when I know people are actually tuning in.

Hotel and Excursions

Yesterday, Angie sent our guide a list of places we'd like to visit.  Prior to this adoption, our agency spelled out where we were to stay, how we were to travel and where we were going to visit.  This agency is different.  Harbin is new to us, but Guangzhou is not.  We have been there three times, as well as Beijing, which we are skipping.

In Harbin, they have a lot of places of interest.  In the winter, they have the festival  and snow and ice related activities.  Since we are going in the summer, we will miss out on those activities.  I hope to visit in the winter one day.  We put the Siberian Tiger Park, the Unit 731 Museum and a map to get to places in walking distance from the hotel.  I believe there is a shopping district close by.  We also want to visit Sophia Square and Stalin Park.  It will be interesting to see the buildings and eat the food.  As for hotel, we had one to choose from.  It is the Gloria Hotel.  It looks nice.

Guangzhou is our other stop.  It is a big city.  We will  be staying at the Victory Hotel.  The reason why?  It was the cheapest and had decent reviews.  Not only that, but we know the area really well.  It is right up the block from the White Swan on Shamian Island.  We know where a shopping area is and we are close to a subway station.  We have asked to visit Baiyun Mountain.  To get there, we will take a cable car from a near by park.  After that, we hope to visit the Noodle King.  Besides that, we feel we can do the travelling around without much assistance.  I do hope to visit an opera house in the city.  They have a couple of places of interest nearby.

We picked a van to take us to Hong Kong.  That might allow us to see more of the city and countryside that we drive through.  On a train, it goes by really fast.  I don't know if the driver will make a stop or two.  Hopefully they will speak English if the guide does not come with us.

Blast from the Past! Why I love movies!

Yesterday, I got a blast from the past.  They released the trailer for Vacation.  I remember the first one.  My father brought us to that movie.  That is the one thing we loved to do together.  When we did get to see him, he would scrounge up enough money to take us to a movie.  When we lived in California, we'd go see double feature films.  A lot of those times, it would be R rated films.  By watching all of those movies, I gained an appreciation for film.

It is an appreciation that I was able to turn into a minor in college.  Those classes gave me even more appreciation of film.  They also taught me to watch film from different view points.  I learned that some of the best films are the ones that need to be watched multiple times to understand or find greater meaning.  I am not a film snob.  I love all movies.  I will give most movies a chance.  This week I saw Hot Pursuit and Pitch Perfect 2.  I did so with an open mind.  I loved Hot Pursuit, but Pitch Perfect 2 was more for teens.  To me it felt like a 2 hour episode of Glee.

Getting back to films.  That love of films that my father shared with me is now shared with my daughters.  Three out of four of them love movies.  As they grow older, I can point out things that I have learned over the years.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Stock Market Payoff

Recently, I have considered selling some stock to pay for the adoption.  Things were reaching new highs.  Just as I was about to, the floor dropped.  I don't understand it.  The future is looking good for IMAX and Disney.  It seems when the Fed drops hints about raising interest rates, everyone freaks and takes their money out of stocks.  Now I will probably have to wait another quarter.  For IMAX, they just announced that the next Avengers will be filmed with one of their new cameras.  This is not just a scene or two, this is the whole movie.  If it is highly successful, it may revolutionize the way Hollywood films movies.  There are a lot of comic book/Sci-fi action movies getting ready to be filmed.  Disney is set for the next couple of years.

20,000 views and Growing!

I have passed the 20,000 mark.  Thanks for helping me achieve this milestone.  It is fun to see all the different countries that are tuning in.  I wish it could break it down further, but it's still interesting.  Feel free to share it with your friends and family.  I hope to educate, entertain, vent, and share my life.  Sometimes, it seems I am living the life of adventure.  I like to share.  I had hoped to be a screenwriter, but this is a great alternative.  Unlike the rejection I would get trying to submit screenplays, I do not feel that here.  I wish people would comment.  I guess as long as people keep coming back, I must be doing something right.  Maybe, one day we can get this adapted into something bigger, like a book or movie.  I don't think a reality show would be that great, since a lot of the action has already happened.  Not only that, but it seems that when families do a reality show, it really affects their relationships.  I can't afford a divorce.  


Through our adoptions, we have been matched with children and found the children we wanted to adopt.  Our first international adoption was a match, as was our domestic, and the others were through special needs postings.  All of them have turned out to be excellent matches with our family.

The special needs postings come from either a shared list our the agency we are going through.  As time goes by and a child does not find a match, they might go from agency to agency.  Angie looks at these every day.  She can see where a child was with our agency is now being shown through another.

If a person is interested in a specific child, they can request information through their agency.  But if that child moves to another, the person can request that their agency ask about the child to see if another agency will give the child back to your agency.  Sometimes, those other agencies may not want to share.  I don't know if it has something to do with saving face with China or just pride.  I just think that the most important thing should be that the child gets a family, no matter which agency is responsible.

Through social media, the families might advocate for the children.  They add postings and try to share information so that people will adopt the child.  Some of these children are friends with children who have been adopted.  In some situations, they might even be related.  I think they try to adopt twins together, but I don't know about siblings or if they even know that that child might have an older/younger sibling.  I know in Florida, they try to adopt families together, but that can be hard to do.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Sixth Child!!!!!!

The other day I wrote about a 6th child.  Would it be so crazy to want a sixth child?  My grandparents had 6.  I guess my grandfather was better off than we were.  We have opportunities and love to give our daughters.  We may not be rich, but not everyone is.  I did not come from a rich household.  I managed to pay my way through college.  I am trying to instill in my daughters to study hard and do as much as they can.  Kiersten seems to be working hard to achieve straight A's.  I don't think it would be crazy.  I wish that that home show was still on and we could get a make over.  I think that would cost us money, even though they act as they are giving those family all this stuff without having to pay for it.  You still have to pay taxes.  The bigger the house the greater the tax bill.  A sixth is not on the way, but would it be so bad.  I love my daughters.  They bring joy to us every day.

Skymiles and Adoption

When adopting, keep in mind to get your Skymiles or whatever the program is called by the airline you use.  We have accrued a bunch of miles.  We might be able to use them for some of our hotel stay in China.  If not, we can save them for our next visit.  We will want to go back as the girls get older.  When you travel these long distances, you get a nice little reward.  If you already are a frequent flyer, you can use your points to help save money.

For our third adoption, we were able to use our miles to rent a car and stay at a hotel next to the airport.  It helped to get us to and from the airport in a reasonable amount of time.  In America, they expect you to show up two to three hours before your flight.  That gives you time to get through security and find your flight.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

6 by 60!

It was funny.  After the last adoption, I joked with Angie about 5  by 50.  Now, it looks like that is happening.  I wonder if I should joke about 6 by 60.  Of course, the cut off is both parents can not be over 50 when adopting.  I don't know.  I just hope people don't tell her we can't do it.  She's liable to adopt another.

30 days and Counting!

Angie got the Visa applications out yesterday.  They will be going to a courier.  That person will had deliver it to the Chinese Consulate.  At this time, they will review that application and issue the Visa's.  Then, they courier will go back and pick it up.  Finally, they will return the package to us.  All of this requires money.  They courier needs to get paid for their service.  China has an application/Visa fee.  Fed-Ex will expect their money.  If will lived in or knew someone who live near the consulate, we could have them deliver and pick up the Visa information.  That is why we have to pay for the courier.

Angie also has started a fundraiser through Facebook.  You can set up an auction and try to involve people that are adopting or willing to help people adopting from China.  I believe Reece's Rainbow has a page on FB.  That brings me to our Reece's Rainbow page.  We are up to $328.  Feel free to visit.  It would be greatly appreciated if you donated.

Ebay is doing OK.  I have 3 bids out of 50 things listed.  I do have some watchers, but that does not translate into sales.  I did read through Ebay that next month we may be graduating to Top Seller status.  Maybe it will come with benefits.

Work fundraiser is dead in the water.  I still have the yard sale to look forward to.  I wish Kiersten could come in and walk around.  She probably would sell all the bracelets.  I am not that good at selling.

Time is moving fast.  I realized I have fallen behind on the countdown.  I will need to add more and start playing the songs in the morning.  30 days from today, we will be on the airplane.  Getting nervous.

Monday, May 4, 2015

My Father

This weekend, I was listening to music while doing things around the house.  KC and the Sunshine Band's "Please Don't Go" came on.  I started to reminisce.  The first time I can remember hearing that song was in Oceanside, CA when I was a kid.  Our father would take us to a Vietnamese restaurant.  We would order spring rolls and he would play that song.  

As I grew, I lost touch with the song as well as my father.  We would see him intermittently, but we'd also go months without seeing him.  As I hit adulthood and CD's came out, I started to search for the song.  At first, I thought I had discovered it in the song "Babe" by Styx.  I would listen to it and it sounded a little like it.  But something was missing.  

Finally I found the sound.  I would say that I most associate this song with my dad, but there is a song by Sarah McLachlan called Angel.  As I have written or not, my father was an addict.  His life went in a downward spiral that he never really recovered from.  As we grew, we tried to help and encourage him.  His addiction was more powerful than his family. 

In my early 20's, we got the call no one likes to get.  My father had passed away in a hotel in Atlanta.  I wish I could call it unexpected, but he had been in and out of hospitals.  I thought one day it would happen.  At the time, I was in college.  I was taking classes in screenwriting.  I had hoped that I could write a screenplay in honor of my father.  It would be a sad and depressing film.  Then, Leaving Las Vegas came out.  I would say that film is close to the end of his life.  

If you listen to the lyrics of Angel, it talks about leaving this life in the arms of an angel from a dark hotel room. (  It gets me every time I here that song.  

I wish he were still alive to meet my girls.  I think they would have liked him.  

Visa, Not Mastercard

Angie has been busy plugging away at our Visa.  I joke with her and say why don't we use Mastercard.  To go to China, you have to apply and pay for a Visa.  It lets China know why you want to come into the country, the dates, and who is coming.  They require pictures and background information.  For our daughter, we have to provide a lot of extra information.  They want to see her passport, her Chinese passport, adoption records and re adoption information if it exists.  When you fill out the forms, you have to follow all instructions or they will reject it.  I'm hoping this is the final step, but who knows.  We are still waiting on our in China arrangements.  All of these things cost money.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Great Deals exist Online, but do the Research

Last night, I was looking at Facebook.  I guess our posting inspired some advertising for hotels in Harbin through Trip Adviser.  I clicked on it.  I found the place they want to book for us.  It is around $140 a night.  Then I saw some that were listed at $40 a night.  When I stared looking at them, I found that you are just paying for a bed and a roof over your head.  They did not look that clean.  Make sure you read what other travelers say before booking.

I did look up the Youth Hostel in Guangzhou.  Their prices were $20 - $30 a night.  It did not look too bad.  They had free Wifi and a TV.  We will never stay there.  Angie saw the movie Hostel and has banned the thought of staying in one.

Ebay and the Brick Wall

I guess I have been hitting a lot of Ebay seller opportunities over the last two months.  Today, I found out that they have a limit to your overall limit.  That is, you can list up to 50 to 100 things without being charged an insertion fee.  I have a limit of 200.  That means, I have to wait for 7 days for the 50 I listed to come up before I can list another 50 items.  I can list more, but I will have to pay .30 for each listing.  If they don't sell, I still have to pay the fee.  My posters do not sell every time.  I fell it would be a big waste.  I will keep looking and maybe Ebay will have another seller bonanza.  Besides that, we are up to 64 good reviews and no negatives.  We just wanted to sell more at the beginning, since we are running out of time.

We do have an auction coming up on Facebook.  We hope to make a couple of dollars.  Of course, we have the big yard sale.  I'm sure you are all tired of hearing about that one.  I will be glad to have it over and all the stuff out of the house.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Persistence Pays Off

We got ripped off recently.  A yard crew got money, but did not come back to finish the job.  We were able to turn in the supplies for store credit.  We have called the people and they kept promising to come out.  I thought we should call the police, but Angie felt it would be he said vs. she said because we did not have any evidence.  She did post their business card on a local site and told people to beware of these people.  Later, another person on the site tried to advertise for them.  Angie went on to tell the people that these were the people who ripped us off.

Two days ago, she saw their vehicle on our block.  They were at our neighbor's house.  She went over there and confronted the person.  The person was not the owner.  He claims that he did not know the work had not been done.  He said he would pass on the information to the boss.

Yesterday,  Angie went to pick up Michelle up from school.  As she was waiting, she saw the boss.  He was waiting to pick up his son.  So, she went up to him and asked for our money.  He said he did not know his son did not finish the job.  Why would he do something like that if he expected to get more work in our neighborhood?  He asked how much would repay us.  He only had a certain amount.  He claims he will give us the rest on Monday.  We'll see.

Due to her persistence, we have got over half the money back.  If this happens to you, be persistent.  Warn neighbors about the fraud and track the people down.  I would be careful.  If these were not legitimate businessmen, they might be long gone.  These guys lived around her.  You can always call the police if you keep records.