Monthly Archives: October 2013

Hualien 2.0: White Water Rafting

I’ve never been white water rafting.  It’s always looked cool and it’s been something I would like to do for a while, but the opportunity never arose until Nick’s dad came waaaaay back in August.  After visiting Taroko Gorge, we decided that a white water rafting trip was in order.  With help from our great friend and co-worker Anly, we made reservations with a company that picked us up and took us to the starting line.  After gearing up and watching a safety video in Chinese, we were ready to go!!!

Before loading the boats, we had to get into groups of 8-10 people.  At first it seemed like no one wanted the English speaking Americans and we were standing around like a few lost puppies, but finally some people took pity on us and called us over.  We wagged our tails in appreciation and quickly joined them in line.  Our group consisted of four Taiwanese people and three Japanese people, all of whom spoke at least a little English.  We ended up getting along really well with them and were a big, happy, wet family by the end!

The rafting trip was really fun!  There were soo many boats and we all started at the same time.  Unfortunately our boat got stuck on some rocks right off the bat, so we ended up being the last boat to start its trek (clearly none of us had done this before).  Amongst the row boats, there were workers in motor boats who were there to push people in the right direction, help people get their boat un-stuck, and to splash everyone with water, of course!  I think I want that job!

So, there you have it!  Hualien 2.0!

Categories: Fun Stuff, Nature, Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Breaking the Radio Silence

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I’m sorry, I know your lives all revolve around my blog posts. 😛  The writing bug hasn’t really hit me lately, but today, I’m breaking my radio silence! (Insert applause here).

I just want to start with how amazing Fall is!  Unfortunately, we can’t watch the leaves change color here in Penghu due to the fact that we only have plam trees and evergreens, but we can delight in the change in weather.  I love Fall!  The weather, the clothes, the upcoming holidays, the soups, the PUMPKIN, the opportunity to wear jeans to work and not sweat to death, everything!  I’m using a lot of exclamation points here, but Fall is totally worth it!

To kick off Fall, I made pumpkin pie!!! This was my first time making pumpkin pie, and I have to say it was a success!  Not like it’s that hard, but you’ve gotta enjoy the little things.  I made three, which I thought was a little excessive, but then everyone wanted to try some, so it went pretty fast saving Nick and I from pumpkin coma (it’s a real thing).  We followed up by making Flautas for a bunch of the foreigners in Penghu.  Everyone loved them!  That’s another great thing about Fall, we can cook and not sweat to death (as you can see, summers here are pretty brutal without air conditioning).

Fall has already brought about many adventures in cooking, and as you know, we LOVE adventures!  Another recent adventure of ours is dog sitting two dogs for a friend for a month.  We love having dogs! Nick was a little skeptical at first, but the dogs worked their magic and now he LOVES them!  They add so much fun and excitement to our lives!  The say people with animals are happier, and while I haven’t done any kind of studies, I agree with them.  It’s a constant source of entertainment!

dog on couch

Dogs are just so funny!

So there you have it, The recent happenings in our exciting life!  (Impressive, huh?)  As soon as I remember to bring the camera to school with me, I’ll write some more about our summer adventures, but if you know me, my memory isn’t my best asset, so it still might be awhile. *sigh*

Categories: Cooking, Fun Stuff, Nature | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Running is bad for my health

I hate running.  I think it was sent from Hades himself to torture me.  I know many of you are thinking, “running is great!”  “I feel wonderful afterwards!”  “It helps me relieve so much stress!”  “I do my best thinking when I run!”  “Liv, you should really give it another try.”

Well, I have, and it’s just not workin’ for me.  Running makes me feel like the kid from The Goonies who’s forced to do the truffle shuffle.  I hate it.  I get sweaty and stinky and I have to take a shower afterwards (another thing I hate is showers), not to mention I wheeze like a chronic smoker.  Yeah, it’s not a pretty sight.

truffle shuffle

And for the record, the best stress reliever for me is sitting on the couch snuggling and eating brownies while watching a movie.  Now that right there is perfection! Also I do my best thinking while sitting and thinking (it takes lots of concentration).

Despite my vaguely concealed hatred, my husband still thinks it’s a good idea to “take a jog” every once in a while. So, earlier this week, I conceded to his pleas and went for a jog run…with three dogs. (Granted, I was only holding onto one of them- the old one mind you.)  So we wake up early and begin our, didn’t know ’til later, two mile jog run.

As always, I started out thinking.  “This isn’t too bad.”  “The weather’s nice, it’s not that far, I can do this!”  What a lie.  About 5 minutes in I’m huffing and puffing and getting pulled by the (old) dog.  I keep encouraging myself until we reach the halfway mark.  By then, I’m spent.  I’m thinking, “just go get the scooter and pick me up here, then find a nice grave by the ocean for me.”  Rather than die, I decide to take a break and walk a little, which means that Nick gets soo far ahead of me.  Oh, yeah and the dog still wants to run, so I’m still getting pulled.

Thinking I’ll be clever, I decide to make a short cut through the field to catch back up with Nick.  Little did I know, but there were people playing golf in the field. (It is a driving range, but, really, people, golf at 6 am?)  So now I’m trying to catch up with Nick (which means more running), pulling a dog that now decides it’s time to find a place to poo, but I’m also watching for flying golf balls!  In the midst of my golf ball dodge, I suddenly realize I’m just pulling an empty collar on the leash.  The dog had wriggled out of it and was sniffing around, the devilish fiend!  FINALLY, I make it back to the side walk with the dog in tow and catch up with Nick who’s now waiting on me.

So there you have it folks, running is bad for my health.  Now excuse me while I go gobble up some gooey brownies and watch a Disney movie.

Categories: Fun Stuff, FYI, Humor | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments


Perfection.  We all aim for it.  We all miss it.  We all get upset every time.  Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves?  We’re not perfect, we’ve known that since Adam and Eve, yet every time we miss that mark we ask ourselves why.  Now I’m not here to point out the flaws of the human race or get into some deep theological shenanigans, but I just want to say, you don’t have to be perfect.

God doesn’t expect it.  He doesn’t judge us on how well we climb the corporate ladder, or how well behaved our kids are, or if we remember all our students names all of the time (this is a BIG problem of mine).  He loves us whether we succeed every time or fall flat on our faces over and over again.  So why do we put our self worth on those silly human things?  Lately many of my friends have been telling me how stressed they feel.  How they put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect, and it’s a wreaks havoc on their self esteem.  This is no way to live people!  Let’s put our self worth in God!  We should be filled with joy!  We should be enjoying the lives that God gave us!  So let’s make mistakes.  Let’s miss the perfection mark.  Let’s take some pressure off of ourselves and rely on God!

Psalm 121:1-2  I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD,  the Maker of heaven and earth.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

We’ll fail sometimes, and that’s okay because our God loves us the same yesterday, today, and forever!  He’s always right there, to help us up, to encourage us, to forgive us.  So, when your best laid plans fail, don’t despair.  Turn to God, get filled up again, be refreshed, and remember next time, remember, you don’t have to be perfect.  Try your best.  Ask God for help.  Put your trust in Him, not yourself.  I promise you, you’ll feel better.  You’ll feel calm.  You’ll feel happy, joyful even!  It’s a great feeling!!!

Psalm 16:8  I keep my eyes always on the LORD.  With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 34:8  Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Isaiah 41:13  For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Categories: Faith, FYI | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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