Greetings from snowy Maine. I have been enjoying the winter months and a slower pace. We have been back in Maine seven months now, and I while I have not yet committed to a full time job, I have been trying to pull in some extra cash each month. I discovered a couple unconventional ways to make a buck, so I thought I would share them with you!
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Thursday, December 16, 2021
|My last pineapple bun (no pineapple used!)|
|Saying goodbye to our school.|
|Frangipani flowers--so fragrant!|
|Trail behind our apartment that led to the mountains.|
|Our farewell dinner with beloved colleagues.|
|I do miss Asian cuisine. Spring rolls at Ruam.|
|A hike to our favorite beach.|
|Ham Tin Beach|
|Tea at the Peninsula Hotel with my fellow school nurse.|
|Afternoon tea at the Conrad Hilton.|
|One of the first snows.|
|Looking out the cabin window on Thanksgiving day.|
|Impromptu trip to Myrtle Beach to visit a friend.|
|I'd never seen the loons with autumn colors.|
|My beloved camp, Living Waters, where I volunteer as a nurse each summer.|
|Home sweet home.|
|Foraging Comb's Tooth and Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms.|
|A drive along Some's Sound.|
|My husband and son at the Smash Up Derby/Springfield Fair.|
|Riding in my Father in Law's Model A on a visit to Michigan.|
|I was able to work for the Maine Army National Guard youth camp this summer.|
|Sunset at the cabin.|
|This is what it's all about.|
Tell me what you've been up to
I'll be back in 2022!
Thursday, October 1, 2020
I love a good challenge, and during this travel-less school year, I decided that I would make it a goal to save as much as possible, so when one of my favorite frugal bloggers (Jordan Page @ Fun, Cheap or Free) announced her Shelftember challenge for the month of September, I was all in. The basic premise is that you "shop" from your shelves first (pantry, freezer, fridge) to see what you have available before going to the grocery store. This ensures that items are not getting lost in the back/bottom and that you are actually using what you have on hand, before it expires or starts to mold. As a bonus challenge, you are only supposed to spend $25 USD a week on groceries, no matter the size of your family. Not gonna lie: it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be! Hong Kong groceries are quite a bit higher in general for items like meat, dairy and baking supplies. On the other hand, fresh fruits and vegetables can usually be found for less at the local markets.
I began each week writing a menu (nothing new) based on what we had and then ONLY buying the few fresh things I needed. It was not a month to "stock up." I ended up baking more than normal-bread, bagels, muffins and cookies, to name a few. I'd never tried bagels before; it wasn't that difficult, but it was time consuming. I used sesame seeds and a Mideastern spice mix that I had on hand for toppings.
Saturday, May 2, 2020
|Photo Op for the Ronald McDonald House of Hong Kong|
The main reason we are asked frequent questions is that we have been working from home since February 3, or "dealing with this virus mess" longer than most of the world, and we are in Hong Kong, which, as most of you know, has an amazing track record of dealing with the virus. Our first confirmed case was January 23, and as of today, there are just 1040 cases and only 4 deaths. This is a city of 7.5 million people that shares a border with mainland China. To put this in perspective, New York City has 8.4 million people, 170,000 cases and 13,168 deaths. They are also 8000 miles away from China and didn't have their first confirmed case until March 1. (I realize it is likely both cities had unconfirmed cases before then.) In other words, NYC had a big "heads up" regarding this. So why the differences? Here are my observations.
Back around the end of December/ (beginning of January?), I was at work--I'm a school nurse at an International School--when I saw an article about a strange new virus in China. Back then, it was believed to only be connected to one market in Wuhan and wasn't thought to be spreading person to person. Didn't seem so serious to me, but guess what? Within a week, Hong Kongers were wearing masks even more than normal during flu season. My colleague in purchasing asked me about our mask supply. When my husband asked his students about it, mentioning that the new virus was not believed to spread person to person, the students all said, "Nobody trusts China."
We already had plans to fly home to Maine for Chinese New Year, and we left Hong Kong January 22, the day before Wuhan closed its borders. When we returned to Hong Kong a couple weeks later, the whole city was wearing masks and there was a major run on them, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies, even though at the time, the government here, trying to thwart panic buying, told us masks were not necessary unless we were symptomatic. Again, Hong Kongers said, "We don't trust the government," and they wore their masks anyway, lining up for hours to buy them.
You also need to realize that in 2002, SARS hit Hong Kong in a big way, and that is in the collective memory of most of the city. They don't mess around. As I mentioned, even during a normal year, you will see a good portion of the population wearing masks during flu season. They are diligent about using hand sanitizer (they have little bottles hooked to their bags) and they use a tissue or their keys to push the elevator buttons. (They don't, as a rule, wear disposable gloves though.) Public areas like escalators and bathrooms are sanitized every hour or two. Temperatures are checked upon entering buildings. When the city had only a handful of cases, the decision was made to close schools (they still haven't reopened). All non-essential government agencies closed, and private businesses were encouraged to allow employees to work from home. No one had to tell them twice. The streets were pretty much empty for a month or so. But here's an interesting bit: parks, beaches, restaurants, hair salons, grocers, retail shops and public transportation were never shut down. Granted, these places were pretty much empty, because even without a mandatory "shelter at home" order, hardly anyone went out. What I'm trying to get at is this: Hong Kongers did on their own what most governments had to force upon their people.
So what happened? Through mid March, our cases remained very, very low. People got out and about more, and perhaps became a little less careful. But then as city residents, especially students, who were living abroad started coming home because cases were getting worse around the world, they brought a lot of imported cases with them, and our numbers rose. This brought on stricter measures: restaurants are only allowed to operate at 50% capacity, nail salons and bars are closed and groups of 4 or more are not allowed in public. (This is a tricky one, because public places have way more than 4 people, but I guess they aren't technically "together?") Most shops remain open and only those coming from abroad are quarantined.
|Finding someone without a mask it not easy. A street in Mong Kok last week.|
|We are not mask Nazis. We wear them when around people, but not when walking in open spaces.|