Category Archives: Selfie

Swimming in the USA, Summer ’14

This past summer, the kids and I traveled to back to the USA for eight weeks, our plan was to visit family and friends, but our main goal was to re-connect with our Hudson Wisconsin coaches and compete in some competitions. Our transition to swimming in Singapore has been difficult, and the kids were desperate to get in the water with their coaches Jen and Bob.

With such a short time frame to work with, we decided to schedule in as many swim competitions as possible. We landed in Minnesota on June 7th, and the boys were at the University of Minnesota at 6:30 am on June 8th. They were exhausted, jet-lagged but thrilled to be back in familiar swim territory with their Minnesota teammates. I knew better than to sign up Maria to swim, that girl was all about seeing her friends, and me? well, I was so jet-lagged it was a miracle that I didn’t fall asleep in some random stairwell somewhere in the Natatorium.


The rest of the summer went much the same way … early morning swim practices and afternoon swim practices as well. If the kids weren’t at practice, they were busy with friends. Weekends we were at competitions. It was a rush of busy-ness, and the kids were totally in their element. I loved every single second of it!!

Our second meet was at the University of Iowa for a “Swim Pink” fundraising meet for Breast Cancer.

Shane @ Swim Pink

Here is a selfie of Tina and I .. she is mom of Michael, and she is the ultimate swim mom, full of grace and humility, despite her son breaking 70+ USA National Age Group Records.


From there we went to Eau Claire Wisconsin,


Shane and my dad chilling out poolside between races:

My boys!

then back to Iowa for Speedo Sectionals,



back to the University of Minnesota for the State Championships,


and then to Oklahoma for a zone meet. Shane did well at all of his meets, but his 100 Freestyle win by out touching his competitor was the most exciting for me. It was such a close race!


Shane earned the High Points 2nd Place Award for the 13/14 boys, representing Team Minnesota.



A couple photos of Maria ( who gave permission to post photos as long as you cannot see her face. Really Maria??) and Cale:






And finally, one last selfie! Wendy and I were supposed to be taking pics of our daughters posing together, but we were sneaky and took a selfie of ourselves instead. We’re like that!



Happy Birthday Daddy!

So blessed to be with my dad on his 75th birthday!


He’s been the Mayor of Zelienople Pennsylvania since 1996! And for years prior to being elected Mayor, he served on the town council. 100% volunteer, no perks, no benefits. For a few years he was President of the Pennsylvania Mayors Association. He knows everyone in that state, oh yes he does!!

Here’s my sweet momma selfie, because behind every great man, there is a great woman!


Of course we spent a good portion of the day at a swim meet.


This is Shane in 60 years …



My favorite photos of India

This beautiful young lady wanted her photo taken, but was really shy.



Old lady with psychic parrots



This sweet boy also wanted his photo taken,  but became super silly when I went to take his picture.  His friends in the background were all laughing at him.




I met this young man in the slums, he was hanging out, not doing much of anything.  The common theme with my photos ?  Everyone smiles, all the time.  Their eyes light up, they smile with their entire being.



Love this photo!!



This lad made his own guitar, out of old cardboard and stretched rubber bands.  Yes, it worked!



This sweet grandma lives at the Snake Temple, and she sits quietly with her granddaughter all day long.



Sweet mom with her baby at the flower market.



These two men were hilarious, they flagged me down, wanting their photo taken.  They didn’t speak any english at all, but words were not needed.



This group was sitting on the stairs going into the flower market.  I had to climb down past them on my way out, and I turned to get a quick photo, taking them off guard.  A couple were quick with their smiles though.



Then as I went around the corner, they wanted another picture taken, which of course, I obliged.





This lady and her grand baby live in the slums, and Kaveri told me they are considered the wealthiest in the area.  Yes, they live in this small metal cage.  It’s their home.




And this man was my absolute favorite.  I LOVED the grey in his hair, as you don’t see much grey hair in India.  The men are very vane, and they dye their hair with henna (according to their religion it has to be all natural products, so they use henna, which is plant based) and it turns their orange.   But this man didn’t do that, he stood out among all the rest.


And he knew what a “selfie” was, and this is my favorite selfie ever!!  We both had the same reaction at the same moment …  looked at each other and made faces at the exact same time!


Selfie with the famous Ang Peng Siong

APS.  Has two meaning in Singapore.

APS is the famous Ang Peng Siong.   He held the world swimming record in 1982 in the 50 Meter freestyle with a time of 22:69.  He was all set to go to the Olympic games in Moscow and represent Singapore, but that year the Olympics were boycotted.  He was disappointed, yes, but you know that when one door closes, another opens, right?  So instead of the Olympics,  the top swimmers went to Hawaii to have a meet there, and Ang was the only non-American to make the top 8 final heat in the 50 freestyle.  The swim community took notice, and right then and there he was offered a scholarship to the University of Houston.

As he continued to tell me this story, he went on to talk about how he was only 18, in a foreign country, trying to figure things out, trying to learn how the Americans ran their swimming, was struggling … just as we Blinkmans living in Singapore.  This great man related his own life story to mine!

APS is also Aquatic Performance Swim Club  here in Singapore , which Ang Peng Siong started & runs.

I met him when we first landed in Singapore, when I was checking out swim clubs, and again in January.  He is one of the kindest, most warm hearted, humblest gentlemen I have ever met.  He denies that he is famous, waves me away when I fuss over him.

I am proud to call him my friend!!  I took this self of him & I at the SNAG meet in March.