Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More fascinating footbinding facts

I confess to a strange fascination with footbinding. It's incomprehensible to me that a culture found this form of torture not only acceptable but attractive. Can you imagine how many girls died from infection? The joy that was robbed from these *little* girls? Ugggggh

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Lotus Feet

CHENGDU, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Three old women with "lotus feet" gazed on in silence Saturday as the ribbon was cut at the opening ceremony of a new museum in southwest China.

Five thousand pairs of tiny bow-shaped shoes worn by women with bound feet have gone on display at the museum in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

"I have spent more than 20 years and a million yuan (130,000 U.S. dollars) collecting these shoes from the Chinese mainland and from Taiwan to make people reflect on our country's past," said Fan Jianchuan, a folklore collector and curator of the museum.

"Thankfully, the era of foot-binding is now over," he said.

According to Chinese legend, the custom of binding women's feet was first adopted among courtesans after a Tang Dynasty emperor about 1,000 years ago fell in love with a concubine who wrapped her tiny feet in silk when she danced.

As it spread, the practice became an important measure of female beauty, a pre-condition for marriage and even a sexual fetish for some men.

Girls' feet were wrapped in strips of cloth from about the age of five or six before they put on embroidered cloth or silk shoes. The excruciatingly painful process broke the bones in the girl's feet. The smallest known bow-shaped shoes are only nine centimeters long.

The eldest of the three old ladies invited to the opening ceremony was 103 year-old Chen Zhengshi. "We didn't want to have our feet bound," said the centenarian, "but we had no choice".

Covering an area of 1,000 square meters, the arc-shaped museum displays thousands of delicate shoes as well as pictures of the last generation of women with bound feet.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My little jock and morning visitors

Every Saturday morning, Lewis "plays" on a baseball team. He has a lot of fun but hasn't quite caught on yet!

Unless the coach is standing right behind him, telling him to stand up, Lewie is crouched down, picking dandelions and paying no attention AT ALL to the game. He never tries to catch a ball, even if it rolls by him!

After the coach yelled at Lew to put his mitt on. Hmmmmm, I wonder if I can pick flowers with my "mitten" on.

Look who we found sitting under our bird feeders, eating seeds and grass! We live no where near any pond or lake!

Our resident bunny - we see it almost every day hopping around and eating grass. It has never disturbed our gardens!

Another visitor enjoying breakfast at the "squirrel cafe."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Happy Adoption Day to my Baby Boy!

Yesterday we celebrated Lewie's adoption day! It doesn't make much sense to him but he sure liked the cupcakes!

Lewis' referral picture!

Here's Lewis at the White Swan. He was 2 years old when we adopted him.

Now he's 5 years old. We love our silly, cute boy!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Read of the week

I finished If you lived here by Dana Sachs on Saturday. It's told in two voices; a mortician who risks her marriage to travel to Vietnam to adopt the child she's always dreamed of, and a Vietnamese American woman who has spent 20 years trying to forget the life she left behind in Vietnam. They form a friendship and travel together to Vietnam. 2 thumbs up!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bathing beauties

In the blink of an eye, we have gone from early spring to full throttle summer! We dragged out the sprinkler and had a good ole time yesterday.

Unless I yell "no weird faces" at Elly, she makes.....a weird face.

Ana's "hair washing" pose

Ummmmmm, yeah, Frances is almost 9......or 19 as she likes to think

"Mama, wet feet and grass make monster feet."

Aren't they yummy?

Lewie, cycling through the tulips.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Ana's 7th birthday!

Ana's birthday was on Thursday! She was thrilled to turn 7 years old and feels like she's a big kid! She brought cookies for her friends at school and got to pick what we had for dinner - she requested homemade flour tortillas with chicken and guacamole and chocolate cake for dessert! YUM! She is such a sweetheart.
I was just a little mortified to hear my really LOUD, dirg-like singing in the video. I'm sure I don't really sound like that!! :)