Update #9, SHIPMENT ARRIVED! 9/16/15

The shipment from China finally arrived. They unloaded everything Friday afternoon. They were supposed to be here around 9:00 am, but didn’t have the proper insurance papers to work in our building. I told them twice before about it, but the word didn’t get to where it needed to be, and the movers had to sit in Mesquite until it was faxed from their company headquarters in Phoenix.


This is some of our China stuff, before we got it sorted out.

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They did a good job of unpacking and getting all the boxes and packing paper out of here. We finally finished getting everything put away by Monday. We’re so glad we spent the time and money to have the Elfa shelving installed throughout the condo. Everything eventually found an easily accessible “home”.

Now we’re waiting on our storage stuff. Right now, the plan is to go to the storage facility on Monday, Sept. 28, and sort out all the items in our 14 vaults. It’ll be divided into the “estate sale” stack, and the condo stack. It’ll all be loaded on two trucks and delivered simultaneously the next day, Sept. 29. That should take all day.

After that, we’ll be spending lots of time finding a place for everything. It’ll be nice to get our dishes, silverware, and cooking utensils back. There have been lots of times we’ve started to cook something or plan a meal, and realize we don’t have the stuff we need. We don’t want to buy it because we know it’ll be coming soon. Now, at least, the end is in sight and has a date.

Judy had an MRI on her left knee and leg last week. It’s been bothering her for several years, but began to get worse in April. The report from the doctor this week is that she’ll need a knee replacement. The surgery news isn’t great, but at least there’s a diagnosis with a possible solution.


Scenes from my morning bike rides on the Trinity Trails, around Fort Worth. I’m usually getting in between 5 & 9 miles each day.

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Update #8, Wednesday, 9/9/15

Our “shipment” update contains better news today. Our stuff has arrived at the local distribution point, and is scheduled for delivery on Friday, 9/11/15. We’re not sure what time exactly yet, but it’s nice to know it’s close, and the end is in sight.

Had a fun visit with Josie. I forgot to mention our Wednesday tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, in North Fort Worth. It’s one of two sites in the US (the other is Washington, DC) that prints US currency. The level of security and all the printing countermeasures to defeat counterfeiters is really interesting. Stacks and stacks of cash were sitting everywhere.

Thursday morning we took the Segway tour of Trinity Park and the 7th Street district. We did a lot of off-road riding on this tour. Judy joined us for the evening trip to AT&T Stadium and the Dallas Cowboys last pre-season game. I wasn’t expecting a big crowd, but by half-time, the stadium seemed nearly full. The game itself was very average (no starters played), with lots of guys working hard to make the team before the final cut.


And our Segway tour begins.

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I’ve been around the stadium several times before, but it’s still impressive, every visit.


Friday, I took Josie to the Stockyards. We wandered down a few of the streets and had a chance to watch the Longhorn herd drive down Main Street.


The longhorn “herd” waiting for cattle drive.


Time to go to work!


Those are some “long” horns


I took Josie to meet a friend in Grand Prairie. They were going to catch up on “old times” during their drive to Love Field to catch Josie’s flight back to El Paso. Josie is still not sure what her Visa status is. With the big “Defeat of Japan” celebration going on in China, and the upcoming Autumn holiday, Josie’s not sure when she’s ever going to get her paperwork finished and actually depart for China.

Our Labor Day Holiday was quiet. We enjoyed some family time. I made it over to the DFW table tennis session on Saturday. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent deciding about our “estate sale”. We have a site, and now the planning for when and how to get our stuff delivered is underway. Trying to figure out when and where to sort the stuff we want to keep, and then how to deliver it to the correct destination is the struggle right now. It’s not life or death, but it’s the biggest problem we have right now.

Update #7, Life was “jumping” this week! 9/2/15

We still have no news on our China shipment. Guess I’ll have to get back in touch with our LA contact. Based on the timeline we got from her, it should have been here already.

We’ve enjoyed lots of activities this past week. Saturday we attended a Knight family fish fry out at Mr. Knight’s Granbury lake house. It was a blast with lots of great food, combined with family visiting.


Knight family, posed in Granbury

Sunday, we attended the 60th surprise birthday party for a friend who was a long-time neighbor when I was growing up. Marsha Howse Scott attended Azle HS and was in the band with me, Judy, and Kathryn. The party was organized by her two daughters and held at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. It was fun to visit with the Howse family who lived across the street from my parents for many years.


Jiggs Howse


Bob Howse


Delaina, Marsha’s baby sister.


Marsha and her two daughters

I picked Josie up at Love Field on Tuesday around noon. We went to the Bush Museum, which was a first for me. It’s a good place to visit. Afterwards, we grabbed a late lunch before starting back to Fort Worth. We drove through downtown Dallas, through Dealey Plaza, and the Kennedy Assassination site. I’m trying out a lot of tourist sites on Josie for visitors who might come through DFW from China over the next few years. We finished off the day at Sundance Square.

Today, we visited the Amon Carter Museum across the street, and then walked through the 7th Street area. Later in the day, we went the Central Market to shop for some specialty food items. Josie wanted to find a few things to give us a “taste of London”, her hometown. She found what she needed and we headed home for our “English” experience lunch.

We finished the day with trip over to the Grand Prairie Premium Outlets. Josie is a shopper and needed a few things to take back to China she couldn’t find in El Paso. We made plans for a FW Segway tour tomorrow morning, and the Dallas Cowboys last pre-season game tomorrow night. I’ve never attended a Cowboys game in AT&T Stadium.

Update #6, life rolls on, 8/26/15

We’re still waiting on our shipment from China. I touched base with our contact in Los Angeles and was told it left LA on Friday, and should be in our area in 6 days. We’re anxious to get to get it here. We’ve been living out of what we carried in our suitcases when we left Beijing on June 21. That’s a long time out of 2 suitcases.

We made the decision to have more shelving installed in the “nook” area of our condo. It’s becoming more and more obvious to us that we’re going to need as much storage as possible when everything either arrives from China, or gets out of storage.


New Elfa shelving in our “nook” area.


New desk


Packing material left over after we unpacked our new desk.

We don’t have any good answers yet on our storage items. Without a place to have an “estate sale”, we’re stuck. Judy’s found a place that does online auctions and will take all our stuff. We’re trying to do a little research on the advantage of selling our stuff that route, or waiting a little longer for something to come open on the “estate sale” front.

Judy went over to Brad’s school and took some pictures of his classes. She’s offered to update his drumline’s website, along with their Twitter feed, and whatever other kind of social media he’s got going. The more she does with it, the more she is forced to read and learn. She’s enjoying the challenge.


Middle school “pit”


Middle school “battery”




High school “battery”


High School “front ensemble” or “pit”


“2nd year” class

I found out that Josie Francis, a friend who taught with me at BHSFIC is coming for a visit next week. She’s waiting on paperwork in China to clear so she can begin the visa process to return to China to a new job in an International School in Yantai, China. She’s staying with her son in his apartment in El Paso where she lived for 20 years before moving to China.