Super Lunar New Year!

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We had a fun celebration on Super Sunday starting with a exhilarating church service. Two of our pastors squared off with a sermon duel with the theme of finishing strong. Quarter one was about Solomon and his varied appetites that kept him from finishing strong. Quarter two was about Moses and his anger that kept him from finishing strong. Quarter three was about Judas and his greed that kept him from finishing strong. Quarter four was about Jesus and although it seemed that He wouldn’t finish strong because of his crucifixion he rose again to victory over death and sin. In order for us to finish strong we need to follow Him. There were penalties thrown and commercials in between quarters, a half time show, and Bibles with football binding given out to kids in the end zone after touchdowns!  In the end and maybe a bit prophetic Pastor Alexander with the help of his stand in after his injury on the field (sprained tonsils), pastor Goetze, edged out Pastor Wolfgang for the win.

We came home pumped up and started a few preparations for our Super Lunar New Year Bowl party.

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It was fun to gather up goods to set a Chinese New Year themed table for our party. This inspiration started in January while I visited San Francisco’s Chinatown with an old friend of mine.

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These three wine covers were the instigators for the table. A large variety of these were offered for sale in every shop Alice and I went into on our visit to Chinatown. I kept handling them but walking away. Finally in the last shop we visited my resistance was depleted and I bought these three. Look at those little hats with the braid attached! They were only $1.99 each!

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Now I was in search of more items to complete my table and room decor. There are several large Asian stores around our area and I went to one where I found the Lucky pockets, candy, almond cookies and fortune cookies.

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The lanterns, dragons, plates and napkins came from a party store.

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Before hand I queried each of our guests for the party about their favorite Chinese take out dish. We ordered each of these dishes and picked them up just before our planned start time. This take out idea really made hosting the party easy peasy. We heated up the Panko shrimp from the frozen section at Costco that went real well with sweet chili sauce. We would recommend it if you ever need an appetizer for a party.

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The one thing I prepared from scratch for our party was this Egg Flower Soup. You can click over to Mennonite Girls Can Cook to get the easy recipe today!

Happy New Year to all our Asian friends who are celebrating today!

Old St. Mary’s Cathedral

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Old St. Mary’s in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The first building erected as a cathedral in California, Old St. Mary’s served the archdiocese of San Francisco in that capacity from 1854 to 1891. Once the city’s most prominent building, much of its stone work was quarried and cut in China and its brick brought “around the Horn” in sailing ships

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Old St. Mary’s Church was established by Father Henry Ignatius Stark as a mission. The purpose was to teach the Chinese community about the Catholic faith. It was built by Chinese laborers in 1854 with brick brought around Cape Horn and granite cut in China. It was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and rebuilt in 1909.

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When I was in Chinatown with my friend Alice we got to the church after it was closed for the day. On Saturday before we left San Francisco Dear and I walked to Chinatown and we went into the church. Because of a funeral that was about to begin I didn’t feel comfortable taking too many photos of the inside.


They’ve built a new St. Mary’s that is not in Chinatown and my friend says that the people of Chinatown aren’t thrilled about traveling to go to the new church.

Linking up to InSPIREd Sunday with Beth and Sally.

Hope you all are enjoying the last weekend of January. We are here at this old house. The sun is shining through the clouds for a change and we can see some blue sky. We’ve had a very rainy week so it’s nice to see some blue mixed in with the grey clouds.


Whether they are Friday’s Fave Five with Susanne or Five on Friday with Amy here are my favorites I’m sharing this week. Some are  illustrated with some photos from our time in San Francisco last week.

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  1. A quiet week after time away with time to read and pray. (photo from Grace Cathedral in San Francisco)

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2. Some fun adventures finding things to decorate a Chinese New Year table in February. I bought some items in San Francisco but when returning home I realized I needed more things to pull the table together. (above photos from Chinatown San Francisco) While shopping at Goodwill I spotted…


…this! Back in 1973 when I was in England I started my china Hope Chest purchases with a tea set from England. Were you in the Hope Chest era? The pattern is Moss Rose by Royal Albert. After I was married Dear and I completed my set with a dinner service for 12 that we drove into Canada to buy. When I saw this smaller teapot and trivet at my local Goodwill I grabbed it fast. With my senior discount these pretties cost me $10!


3. Happy find while I was out and about was a Persian Bakery and a Persian restaurant in a strip mall close to our home! Just look at that fresh Barbari bread above! I grew up enjoying Persian cuisine. My parents’ families escaped out of Russia into Iran in the early 30’s. My parents spent their teen and early adult years in Persia and learned to enjoy Persian food and to cook it. My father even learned Farsi while he lived there. I’m looking forward to eating at the restaurant soon.

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4. One pot meals! Tomorrow on Mennonite Girls Can Cook I’m sharing the one pot meal I made from these ingredients. Earlier in the week I made Susan’s (My Mother’s Apron Strings) Skillet Lasagna and it was delicious.

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5. Since Dear has been working from home we are walking together most days of the week. It rained all night and all day yesterday so we skipped but we are determined to get out on most days and do our loop. Our walk starts on a gradual uphill before we hit the steepest part of the walk and we get our hearts pumping. Then we have another flat spell before we head downhill home. This photo is not from our neighborhood but from a lovely walk we had in England on a trip in 2014. I’m always ready to go back to scenery like this!

Here we are heading into the last weekend of January. Nothing major going on which is nice. Maybe I’ll get around to dusting! What’s up in your neck of the woods?

San Francisco Chinatown

We just returned from a few days in San Francisco. Dear was attending an oncology conference and I tagged along to enjoy some sight seeing. It worked out for me to also spend some time with a couple friends from my college days. My Chinese/Russian friend Alice gave me a tour of Chinatown on Thursday as part of a larger tour of the city she knows well. Then on Saturday morning we had a couple hours before we left the city and Dear and I walked to Chinatown.

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The most photographed structure in Chinatown is undoubtedly the large Chinatown Gateway, also known as the Dragon Gate.

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The gate was designed in 1970 by Clayton Lee and is based on the ceremonial gates that can be found in Chinese villages. The gate is adorned with sculptures of fish and dragons and is flanked by two large lion statues. The gate has three passageways. The large, central one is meant for dignitaries while the two smaller passageways are meant for the common people.

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San Francisco’s Chinatown is not only the oldest but also the most famous and largest Chinatown in the U.S. Thanks to the many ornamented houses, shops and eateries the area is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. The lampposts are all very ornamental and have dragon motifs.

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While in Chinatown with my friend Alice we enjoyed Dim Sum at one of the restaurants.


Alice celebrates Chinese New Year so we shopped around the town so she could pick up some things for her celebration. I bought a few souvenirs to create a Chinese table setting and I think we’ll pick up some takeout for Chinese New Year and celebrate, too. It’s the year of the Monkey.

I’m linking up to ABC Wednesday created by Mrs. Nesbitt and carried on by Roger and the ABC Team.

C is for Chinatown!

I’m also linking up to Tuesdays Treasures hosted by Tom The Backroads Traveller