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G-20 Summit Koala Diplomacy

Monday, November 17, 2014

I predicted this over a year ago - really!

Any similarities?

And how cute is this one???


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TARABEAR 11/25/2014 12:02PM

    This is busting my cute meter! eeeeeek! SO adorable!
emoticon emoticon

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PHEBESS 11/21/2014 10:59AM

    Sylph, places in Queensland let you hold the koalas - and it is wonderful!!!!!

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SYLPHINPROGRESS 11/21/2014 10:02AM

    You're cuddling a koala!!! I'm delirious with joy for you and longing to do the same.

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WATERMELLEN 11/18/2014 8:24PM

    U R psychic!! Or maybe you have a new career evolving in international diplomacy?? Great great pics!!

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ILOVEROSES 11/18/2014 8:00AM

    emoticon emoticon Yours is the BEST!

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GOANNA2 11/18/2014 4:58AM

    You were the trailblazer Phebes. Thank god
the G20 went off without any incidents. the
demonstrations were peaceful, so Queensland
can breathe a sigh of relief and be proud of a job
well done. emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon

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WENDYJM4 11/18/2014 4:13AM

    cute (the koalas)

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ROCKYCPA 11/17/2014 3:29PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SWEDE_SU 11/17/2014 12:32PM

    love it:-))

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Keeping busy with artwork

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I designed a batik with the lion dancers, had my buddies at the batik shop draw the image with resist, then painted on the dyes. Great fun, only took me two afternoons to design and then paint.

And the final piece:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TARABEAR 11/25/2014 12:54PM

    That is so beautiful! I love it! I'm glad you've found a way to still use your artistic talent while traveling.

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EDDYMEESE 11/18/2014 12:10PM

    Wow, gorgeous! You have such a talent! I wish I had that batik so I could frame it and put it up :)

Comment edited on: 11/18/2014 12:13:36 PM

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PLATINUM755 11/16/2014 7:41PM

    emoticon Okay, I may be biased as my background has exposed me to a lot of different cultures, but the background is not too's perfect! emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/16/2014 7:46:16 PM

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RDEE22 11/16/2014 6:31AM

    That is so beautiful Phebes.

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ROCKYCPA 11/15/2014 10:50PM

    Really beautiful Phebe - you are really artistic!

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GOANNA2 11/15/2014 9:41PM

    Very beautiful Phebes. I wish I had some artistic
talent. emoticon

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    You are the genuine article. This reminds me of the first time I heard a coworker-turned-friend at the piano after having known that she had career chops. Knowing is one thing, but seeing/hearing is extra special, somehow moreso than having seen/heard from the start. Maybe because it fills out the picture.
emoticon .

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WIFE48 11/15/2014 10:35AM

    That is very beautiful.

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PHEBESS 11/15/2014 9:47AM

    The men who do the drawing are very skilled, and do much of the background freehand, unplanned. When I asked if they had a lion dancer drawing, though, they seemed shocked. Maybe they thought it was too difficult to draw. I don't know.

If we're here for much longer, I can go back and see if they've used the design.

And, well, you know how when you're good at something it doesn't seem like much of a big deal? I've always been able to draw, so it never seems like a special thing. Just what I do.

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PJMX18 11/15/2014 9:43AM

    Beautiful artwork. emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/15/2014 9:31AM

    This. Is. Gorgeous!! You ARE an artist. Your versatile ability to connect with and experience deeply a local culture is so powerfully communicated -- what an amazing talent. How marvellous to bring this home! Way beyond a conventional souvenir it will literally transport you back often to what you've known here.

And I'm confident that this amazing design of yours will get borrowed over and over again by those less creative and with less training in visual design.

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On having a know-it-all sister

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I just need to vent.

My sister is 16 months older than I am, and has a history of mental health issues. As in being childhood schizophrenic and who knows what else. I know that, I accept that, and I move on.

But she drives me crazy, even half the world away.

There's always sibling rivalry, right? We all want to shine on our own and be noticed for what we do well.

But with my sister, it always is a competition. She always knows the right way to do things (her way) and everyone else is doing it wrong. When she was sleeping around and doing drugs, I was "square." When I was living with a long-time boyfriend and she found religion, I was "living in sin." I've tried for my entire life, all 60 years, to rise above her constant belittling. And competing. Most of the time, I have no problem, I just live my life the way I see fit. And let her live her life as she sees fit. (And step in and support her kids when they need it, because she doesn't.)

So - the latest - she saw my articles for Travel Fashion Girl. She replied to TFG. My ultra-religious wears-all-black covered from neck to heels sister gave her fashion advice. (She belonged to the Hutterites, similar to the Mennonites, and even though she and her husband left, she still dresses all covered up.) So NOW, TFG wants to publish my crazy sister's comments.

And of course crazy sister emails this news to me. Now, I have to give her credit, she did say she doesn't want to act like she's "trying to one-up me" and being "terribly cheeky" - really, that's a direct quotation.

But of course, she IS trying to one-up me if she's critiquing my fashion recommendations. Or giving her own thoughts, that women should be covered up all over everywhere.

I've spent 60 years being the "bigger person" and rising above - so of course I emailed back that she and I have different styles, and if her "fashion advice" could help someone who chooses to dress modestly (as in all covered) as a lifestyle, then fine - rather than my suggestion to be conscious of cultural mores where one is travelling and be covered according to what is acceptable there.

But it just irritates me no end. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!! I mean, she says this might help her advertise her soon-to-be-published book about being a doula, and all her thoughts on birthing and raising babies. Would she like it if I wrote a comment contradicting much of what she has written????? (Would I even DREAM of doing such a thing? No, of course I wouldn't, I'm too nice a person to do anything like that.)

DH says I'm too nice to my sister. (Who he hasn't forgiven for not attending our wedding, even though our father offered to buy her a plane ticket and I offered to find someone who could house her if she came.)

We all have that crazy relative who just makes us nuts, right? Mine is my sister. My younger brothers all ignore her. Somehow, I just can't write her off. She's my one and only sister. But man, is she a &*$%^ sometimes!

Okay, rant over.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TARABEAR 11/25/2014 12:49PM

    SO FRUSTRATING!!! I'm sorry that you always have to deal with this. You really do handle it very well. Just remember, you're having A LOT more fun than she is.

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EDDYMEESE 11/18/2014 12:09PM

    Oh, she is so trying to one-up you, though I'm sure a large part of that is due to her personality disorder. Somehow I suspect the few tidbits you've shared of her aren't even the tip of the iceberg. Can you contact someone at FTG? I agree with DH - you're being far too nice!

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PHEBESS 11/17/2014 8:05AM

    My 3 brothers and I have always been tight, probably because we sort of grouped together to avoid the crazy sister. It would be different if she was nicer to people, but we're all at the point where we live our lives, help each other out, and avoid or ignore her. Well, except me - the brothers have ONE nice sister, and for me, I only have the crazy sister. So I try to keep in touch, but AGH she makes me nuts with her craziness!

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SPINNINGJW 11/16/2014 10:19AM

This makes me so grateful that one of my mother's goals was for her children "to be friends." There are 5 of us, both parents are gone, but I can honestly say that I get along with all 4 of my siblings (3 of whom are here on Spark)

Hang in there, and remember that her attitude is HER problem. You are the better (don't want to say bigger) person for it. Perhaps she doesn't know a healthy way to seek acceptance from you?

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    Your sister, my dear Phebe, certainly is stuck in sibling rivalry. Too bad it's circa age 14. You don't have to be back there with her, but it's understandable that she galls you now and then. The life-long sibling relationship is powerful. Vent any time.
emoticon emoticon

P.S. I clicked into the last of your fashion columns, but found no reader comments.

P.P.S. Just saw your note that your husband thinks sister is the most self-absorbed. As she covers all bases, you are henceforth absolved from being absorbed by her.

Comment edited on: 11/14/2014 3:02:52 PM

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PHEBESS 11/13/2014 4:28AM

    I haven't seen her comments, and I certainly hope she didn't mention that she's my sister! And yes, I can't figure out how she thinks she can comment on fashion for travel.

But, well, I'm confining my comments to this page and to DH, who has described my sister as the most self-absorbed person he has ever met. So, I'll let you know if and when and where to find the comments.

I'm hoping it's as funny as Watermellen expects - I could use a good laugh over this one!

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RDEE22 11/13/2014 3:51AM

    I see TFG would love to get in the middle of two sisters having a public spat. Think how much Copy it would sell. Take some deep breaths and think nice thoughts not necessarily about your sister. Don't let her take up space in your head and soul.

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GOANNA2 11/13/2014 1:55AM

    I know exactly what you mean Phebes. I have
sister-in-law like that and she drives me crazy.
That is pretty mean that she would do that to
you about your article. Try not to let it get you
down too much. You've gotten it off your chest.
Don't think about her anymore. Enjoy your life.

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PLATINUM755 11/13/2014 1:26AM

    Every family has at least one and only one if you're lucky! UUGGGHH! emoticon Hang in there! emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/13/2014 1:52:46 AM

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ROCKYCPA 11/12/2014 10:41PM

    What a shame - it took me years to hook up with my brothers. Life is way to short to compete and fight over who is better. I really do sympathize with your situation and hope things work out.

emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/12/2014 10:42:39 PM

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WATERMELLEN 11/12/2014 6:07PM

    That would absolutely drive me CRAZEEEE!! No question about it. But: have to think that anyone reading her "modesty" comments on your brilliant TFG blogs is going to be in a state of pretty high hilarity . . . I mean, really!!! Does she identify herself as your sister? Or are these comments just "random" thoughts which could not be remotely useful to anyone outside a tiny fraction of the population similarly inclined (who presumably aren't very likely to travel, and if they do travel are not very interested in travelling fashionably anyhow). What was she thinking? And how could her comments on a travel fashion blog be relevant to her desire to promote her doula bizz: suitable garments to wear while giving birth fashionably in x country in y season??? Like I said, hilarious. Truly.

And -- particularly given this frustration for you today, thanks for your kind dinner party menu suggestions. They sound delish!! But I'd probably never be able to resist the mashed potatoes if I prepared 'em! (I think I'm turning into an anti-social curmudgeon, actually!!)

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A Carnival and A Concert

Sunday, November 09, 2014

There was a fun carnival sort of event outside our hotel - more like a food fair with some music and some sports stuff. Today, we went to an orchestral concert which was fabulous, all music by Rachmaninoff, held in the gorgeous Petronas concert hall.

And my favorite photo from the carnival, some guys selling handmade tie dyed tee shirts that were loosely based on the Malaysian flag:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRTOVAH 11/11/2014 4:44PM

  Hope you had a great time!

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PLATINUM755 11/11/2014 10:59AM

    Sounds like a glorious concert, and ...excuse me Ms. La-Di-Da with the private box emoticon emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 11/10/2014 7:59AM

    On our June trip with DD and family we included many concerts. DD is a classically trained pianist so activities were chosen accordingly.

Smart to be in a warm climate right now. We're scheduled for the "Christmas Markets" in Europe in December. We're hit all the northern ones already. Now it's Vienna and south. Staying warm is the goal. I remember the snow in the Black Forest. Pretty but BRRR!

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PHEBESS 11/9/2014 11:32PM

    Yeah, I hate the hidden friend feed thing. Drives me nuts. I have to go to team pages to find blogs and see what my friends are up to. Well, since I have subscribed to very many blogs.

Sylph, we didn't expect a major symphonic orchestra either - ncie surprise!

And Watermellen, I come from a musical family. While I can't play or sing very well, I do have a decent ear and enjoy music. I just can't make it myself.

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ROCKYCPA 11/9/2014 3:44PM

    Your descriptions make you feel that we are there with you. Thanks!

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    Your KL concert-going makes me feel ashamed that I never wondered or would have expected that city to have an orchestra. The hall is quite something, which isn't a surprise. [The surprise is that there was no line for the ladies'. Do you know that I've liberated men's rooms in several places, but never of the stature of Carnegie Hall or the Lincoln Center houses or similar elsewhere.] Rachmaninoff does rock.

The pics from the festival you tripped over are so nice and the roti look luscious.

If you've noticed that I haven't been commenting lately, please recall that SP's change to hiding the friend feed is the cause. Some unexpected occurrence brought me to it today.

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WATERMELLEN 11/9/2014 9:40AM

    What a marvellous description of not only the gorgeous architectural space of the concert hall but also the MUSIC -- my goodness, you are multi-talented in your approach to the arts!

Felt like I was there listening right along with you.

And yup -- love those Tshirts too! The pancake thing looks almost like a noodle lacy effect . . . .

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And the final part of the travel fashion series

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Capsule travel wardrobe for transitional or mixed weather - three long sleeved tops (include a sweater); three short-sleeved tops; jeans, slacks, and a skirt; and a short-sleeved dress. Add a blazer, maybe a rainjacket, shoes, purse, accessories. Good to go!

I'm planning to switch back to this smaller bag next summer, and practice what I preach! (My transitional wardrobe is smaller than outlined above, but I have more summer clothes than I'm wearing. Gotta downsize some more!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PLATINUM755 11/11/2014 10:49AM

    Mixed weather travel always trip me up and taking more than I need...Thanks for the tips!

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GOANNA2 11/11/2014 7:56AM

    Thanks for the tips. I'm off to NZ in 9 days
and even though it's supposed to be late Spring,
my friends told me to bring some warm clothes.
I also live in my birkies year round. The concert
sounds like it was really wonderful. Lucky you.

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PHEBESS 11/10/2014 9:20AM

    I live in Birkenstocks most of the time - yesterday, for the concert, I wore a dressy black top, black skirt, and my red Birks. My feet aren't happy with heels. Nor is my balance, LOL!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 11/10/2014 7:55AM

    I love the pictures and envy your ability to wear pretty shoes and dresses. I'm in running shoes and my industrial strength orthotics all the time except for really special occasions when I CARRY my shoes to the venue and put them on for the event itself.

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ALIIDA 11/7/2014 6:02PM

    This sounds like the perfect packing for a summer in London. You can get real summer heat and late autumn cold all in one week. emoticon

Enjoyed all the fashion blogs. emoticon Thank you.

Comment edited on: 11/7/2014 6:03:30 PM

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PHEBESS 11/7/2014 12:04AM

    I hate when I pack something I never wear - I've learned to pack my fave items and stick with that.

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ROCKYCPA 11/6/2014 11:00PM

    Your information is so useful - I pack so many clothes that I never wear them all. Really should take your advice!

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PHEBESS 11/6/2014 10:18PM

    Thank you, Watermellen - and I'd love to find a similar knit jacket that looked good on me. Could use it for every season except super hot days. Alas, I'm carrying the old lady alpaca sweater - truly looks like something Mrs. Doubtfire might wear. But nice and warm under my rain jacket!!!

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WATERMELLEN 11/6/2014 7:38PM

    Wow!! Once again, I can absolutely imagine the usefulness and versatility of every item in this transitional "capsule". I'm with you on the hits of red too -- works so well with grey or navy or black. That kind of short knit blazer is great: polished without being stuffy, and won't get wrinkly.

You've got this!!

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 11/6/2014 8:22AM

    Safe travels!

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