Happy birthday, Ginger!

January 17th, 2021

Pretty light

Monday was my fabulous mother-in-law’s birthday – happy birthday!

Our wonderful downstairs neighbor Ian texted this morning with an offer of just-from-the-oven sourdough bread (with golden raisins and walnuts) – what a great way to start the day! (We served with Ian and his then-girlfriend-now-wife in Islamabad.)

I don’t have a lot to report this week – work was pretty routine, although we’re short-staffed again which makes for busy days. Folks are keeping to themselves in an effort to stay healthy, so it’s basically just to work and back home. I’ve been having groceries delivered in an effort to avoid the grocery store, since Liberians aren’t keen on masks and social distancing (although you are expected to wear a mask inside the store, compliance is spotty, even among employees).

I had a good long chat with Pam in Toronto last weekend. I worked yesterday afternoon, preparing messaging for the new COVID testing requirement put in place for people entering the United States. Otherwise, we’ve just stayed home – great for my introverted self!

Off to a rocky start

January 10th, 2021

Hopes of a drama-free 2021 were dashed with the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. It was hard to turn off CNN and finally go to bed, unsure of what we would wake up to the next day. I hope we can weather the storm.

Our new ambassador arrived this week, and we had our first country team meeting (virtually), so 2021 will be different in that regard. We have so enjoyed working for the Charge the past year, but it will be good to have an ambassador back in the country.

I had a fun video chat with David and Alison from the new condo this week – they go over to check on things every so often. My good friend Pamela gave us a bed, mattress/box springs, and a highboy, so we arranged to have that moved from her house this week – the previous owner left a lot of furnishings but one bedroom was empty so we appreciated Pam’s generosity. I’ve been trying to figure out what I need to buy and what I already have duplicates of that I can take when we eventually get to go see it in person!

Winter view

 

Flavie enjoying the sun

Apple pie – a gift from a friend! Snowflake design top crust!

…and happy new year!

January 3rd, 2021

I think we’re all in agreement that it’s time to get 2020 in the rear view mirror! John and I had black-eyed peas and cornbread in hopes of bringing some luck to 2021!

I’ve enjoyed having some down time over the holidays, including this three-day weekend for New Year’s. Over the week I’ve had video chats with Pam, Ann, and Jackie for Pam’s birthday (happy birthday!), and talked to Cousin David in Hot Springs.

I read a book written by a former Secret Service agent called “Becoming Bulletproof” that was interesting. I’ve watched quite a bit of television, including “Let Them All Talk” with Meryl Streep and binged on a raunchy comedy series (it was funny!).

But-bye, 2020

Merry Christmas!

December 27th, 2020

Reindeer Rolls

We enjoyed a quiet Christmas at home. My co-worker’s fabulous wife brought us a lovely Christmas dinner, including reindeer rolls! We opened packages from our friends Scott & Tammy and Mary – fun! Tammy always finds the cutest things – an inflatable tiara and tiny tinsel Christmas tree with color wheel! Mary sent lots of food goodies – she’s heard me complain too much about the lack of good food options here. And I got my two favorite things from my mother-in-law: the annual Audabon daytimer calendar and chocolate covered cherries! We had a good phone call with Pete and Ginger, and I had a video chat with Pam, Ann, and Jackie. Earlier in the week, I had a video chat with Mary in Nashville and got to see Ander and little Samantha – life’s good!

Cuz everyone needs a tiara!

(Speaking of Nashville, luckily Mary and Ander’s family weren’t affected – a bomb? Not sure what the world has come to.)

I finished “The Biggest Bluff” this week – a good book about a psychologist who learns to play competitive poker in the name of science (chance and luck vs. psychology). I watched an old classic, “Moonstruck,” and finished “Little Fires Everywhere” – it went a little off a deep end with the story line, but an interesting story nonetheless.

Contented Flavie

Almost Christmas?

December 20th, 2020

It’s so hard to think of the holidays when it’s hot and humid, and no Christmas decorations to speak of, save for a Christmas tree in the embassy atrium and our stockings hung on our door at home!

I enjoyed a video chat with Jackie today (we were dismayed that Jamie’s phone connection dropped!). Jackie took me on a tour of Hillcrest where I got to say hello to Bruce & Beth, John & Nan, Oigan, Mary, and Judy! It was all quite a fun surprise! I even got to see our duplex across the street from Judy’s house. Thank you, Jackie! John and I also had a fun video chat with David and Alyson last weekend – we wished we were there with them, sitting by the fireplace. Some places in Arkansas got snow!

Our big news of the week is that we closed on a condo in Hot Springs! It’s a short walk (or swim) to David and Alison’s on Moonlight Bay in a quiet, no-frills complex. We look forward to getting back to Hot Springs at some point to see it in person!

View from condo balcony