Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snow Day.

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It snowed so much today.  School was cancelled.  School is cancelled tomorrow.  Everyone is trapped in the house - a little bored.  I can not shake this blue mood even though I'm trying.  I'm hoping it'll go away when spring comes next week.

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Jeremy shoveled at least twice during the day.  He has this new shovel he's trying out - it kind of pushes the snow in front of it, so you never have to lift the shovel off of the ground.  But in order for it to work well, you can't let the snow get too deep.  Here he is admiring his handiwork from Edda's room.  We are out of salt, I'll have to remember to buy some next week to prep for next year's winter.  All the hardware stores have been wiped out of salt earlier this week from the freak rain/ice storm on Monday.



Freshly shoveled and still coming down.



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Vince had to interview someone older than 75 years and he picked Gene.  Vince is learning about WWII, so he needed to interview someone who remembers what it was like in the 1940s.  Vince got a lot of information.  Gene likes to talk.



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They were holding a book sale at Vince's school earlier this week.  I've read a bunch of young adult fiction over the past few years, some of them were really delightful (although I can't remember any of them) and I gave Vince some money and I told him to buy me a book he thought I would like.  Vince proposed a Grumpy Cat book, I told him absolutely not - not a Grumpy Cat book.



I said that he should image a novel that I might like and pick it out for me.  He got me this (tagline - Choose to lie.... or choose to die):



Not exactly something I would have picked out myself, but then I turned it around and noticed that the NYTimes said it was a page turner, so I guess I'll give it a go.  We'll see.



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I'm behind on everything.  Except sleep and cookies, I'm fine on sleep and cookies.

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Finally, Edda and I hanging out on the couch.  Watching TV.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Purim

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Tomorrow at sunset starts Purim.  Normally Purim doesn't mean that much to me because I'm not Jewish, but my Jewish / caterer / Rett mom friend, Lauren, recently posted on The Food Jew her mother's beloved recipe for hamantaschen.  The grocery store was all out of Lauren's suggested filling of apricot and prune, so we made due with raspberry and prune/plum.  I took advantage of Nat's talent for baking and she tried out the recipe this afternoon.  So yummy!  I did burn the roof of my mouth when I ate one because I couldn't wait for the filling to fully cool.  They were a tiny bit overfilled, so some of them lost their triangle-ness, but we will try again tomorrow.






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I found this old printed photo of Vince.  I'm getting all sentimental now that's he's about to be 13.  Was he ever really that little?



Monday, March 2, 2015

Winter will not end.

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It rained all day on Sunday and all the water froze into a sheet of ice.  School was cancelled today.  Again.  The temperatures were going to get into the 40s today, so I sprinkled a generous amount of salt on the skating rink that was our driveway and I left the house at about noon and hoped for the best.  I did have to put some salt and sand behind the front wheels of the car to get some traction because the car spun its wheels a little trying to manage the slight uphillness of our driveway and I did fall on my ass while getting said salt and sand, but no matter, it would be fine when I got home.  As I came home after dark, I was hopeful.  All the driveways I passed were clear of ice!  Our driveway certainly must have melted itself.  Clearly I was in denial, our driveway is in shade most of the day.  Luck was not on my side today.  I came home and it was still an ice rink and now the temperatures had dropped below freezing.  So Vince and I scrapped the driveway.  Yes, Vince helped me in shorts and bedroom slippers.  Well until he didn't help me anymore which was less than 25% into the deicing project.  Somehow, now that he is certifiably bigger than me, can I feel more resentful that he doesn't do more physical labor for me?  I have a full grown teenager on my hands, he should be doing all the shoveling, icing, mowing and raking, right?  I gotta figure that out.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Eggs.

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We went to a party at Boba's house last night.  Remember Boba is my true love so I go out of my way to see him.  Boba's mom does hold monthly get togethers and potlucks for friends and the parties usually have a theme.  Saturday night's theme was "sesame seeds and lemon grass".  Boba's mom has the most talented cooking friends.  I think it was the best potluck I've ever gone to.  Vince had a particularly good time.  Since the resident kids in the house are 2 and 4 years old, all the other invited kids were of similar age.  Vince out-aged them by a decade and at some point had kids hanging off every limb and he was dressed up like Batman.  Jeremy met a neighbor of the hostess and learned that she had 10 chickens in her backyard.  He scored a dozen fresh eggs.  mmmm...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

One More Full Size Bed & Two More Grab Bars for Bath

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Mom thinks that our house needs one more full side bed and I think we need two more grab bars for the bath, especially one in my shower.  It is not fool-proof to get in and out.  The shower curtain with world map, I believe, it was a gift from Doris many years ago.

So, we spent all morning to look for a bed and then went to Lowe's to get two more grab bars.  Mom think white ones are better looking.  So, bed and bars are in white.

I spent the afternoon and evening hours to put them together.  Around 9:00 PM, I finished all.  Picture one is our new bed.  Picture 2 is the newly installed white grab bar for my shower place.  The last one is for the Prince Room.

Friday, February 27, 2015

IKEA

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We went to IKEA on Wed night for date night.  I like eating dinner at IKEA.  I was pleased to find out that they have started selling cupcakes.  I had a salted caramel cupcake.

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Vince's broken foot got cleared by the ortho today.  No more rides back and forth to school for him.  He's going to have to walk.  Uphill.  Both ways.  In the snow.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Self-care

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I'm blue for no reason.  Sometimes I fight the blueness and try really hard to lift myself out of the blueness, but tonight I'm just going to wallow in it for a little while.  Don't worry, if it goes on too long, I'll know to do something about it.

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Maybe I'm blue because I'm going to so much group therapy.  I'm not really choosing to go to group therapy, it's part of my clinical rotation.  I don't say anything in group therapy, but I listen to hours of people talking about their very serious issues.  And, although everyone's exact circumstances is different, I've come to the conclusion that we all struggle with the same things:  how to respond to loss, how to react to disappointment, how to deal with anger, how to not feel hopeless, how to not feel lonely, how to accept love and how to do self-care.  I think some people are really good at this and don't dwell and go through life resilient and fine.  Other people have a harder time and stumble here and there and some just have a lifetime of intense struggle with it all.

Or maybe I'm blue because I'm a little tired and hungry and that it's still cold outside.

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I take pictures of where I park in a garage so I don't forget where the car is.



The parking in the employee lot at NIH a mess.  They parallel park a row of cars in front of other cars.  They never block my car in beacuse now I know which side they put the row of cars, but what happens if your car is trapped on the inside row?  Do they do a complicated valet parking dance?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dogs.

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Our next door neighbors got a fence installed yesterday.  I think the contractors put the fence up in about 5 hours.  I could see the workers dig the holes, install the poles and then wrap the whole thing with a wire grid.  It's amazing to see how efficiently professional fence installers can put up a fence.  I think digging a single hole for a single pole would have taken me all morning.  

Now Tanner (the next door dog) has a great run-around playground that our dogs (Max and Ruby) can see into from my office window.  There might have been a lawyer calling me (seriously serious) while a pair of barking dogs three feet from my seat protested that Tanner was outside, so why couldn't they be outside?  Hmmm... not ideal.

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Edda's liking her milk.  

May Have Family Guests for Our Huntington Beach Family Re-union this Summer

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Mom has formally invited her brother and sister-in-law in Taiwan to join our family re-union.  Hopefully, they can come and it must be fun, especially for Mom.

I came from a big family with 8 siblings, she came from a family of two.  The age of her two is far apart.  So, I guess she is half of his mom, sort of :)

In Costa Mesa

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I'm in Southern California now on a business trip. Today was a first day of a 3 day long meeting. It's the big final sales push and everyone has been working pretty hard for the last couple of weeks. Last week, I ended up working on both Monday (a holiday) and Saturday. Still it's been pretty manageable.

Today went well. A lot of big guns from our company are onsite as well. VPs and such. Every night there is a dinner where clients are wined and dined by our sales people. Of course, some nights I get to partake in said wining and dining. Other nights, the team has a lot of homework to do to prep for the next day's presentation.

Tonight - unfortunately - I missed out on the nice, free meal. The grunts are back in the hotel room, working on slides and running thru demos again. Of course, I get to take a web break. :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Nothin'

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Edda is very particular about what she likes to watch on TV.  We've seen Finding Nemo, Dora the Explorer and Totoro ten billion times.  It's very rare for Edda to add a new movie or TV show to her repertoire.  But I think we (we meaning Nat) may have managed to add Frozen to the mix.  It's a good thing because Frozen is an excellent movie and I will be happy to watch it ten billion times.  Adding Hi-5 in while we were living in Singapore was a mistake.  A mistake we never live down at 5 pm each day when Edda gets a little stir-crazy and insists on watching it.  Low-budget children's TV means lots of dancing around with brooms and aluminum foil hats and repetitive and slightly annoying songs.  Edda's almost 11 now, so that's 9 years of Hi-5.

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There was snow on Saturday.  Jeremy shoveled Sunday.  It got to 50 degrees on Sunday, so I was hoping that it would all just melt away without anyone doing anything, but only I did nothing.  Jeremy did all the shoveling.



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Edda's a little crusty heading upstairs for a shower.   She's happy though and there is nice light.  That's all one really needs.



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We watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Saturday night.  We've been watching them every other weekend or so.  Because they are so long, we usually only get through half in the evening and then we watch the 2nd half the next morning.  But I often miss the 2nd half, so I only know half of what goes on.  It doesn't really prevent me from understanding the plot of the first half of the next movie.  I mean, you just have to know that Voldemort is terrible, Dumbledore is good and Harry Potter is going to save the day, right?



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I'm teaching Vince to use my very large full frame SLR with the big lens.  I still lug the thing around everyday.  Sometimes I think I should just give it up and just shoot with the iPhone like everyone else. I've just been taking snapshots with my big expensive camera.  Nothing so demanding that the iPhone can't keep up.   Vince wanted to learn to focus so I'm in focus and the background is out of focus.  I think he was just procrasinating.  You see the box on the floor next to me?  That's his box of Chinese vocab words - he owed me 10 new words and 30 review words.  But instead, he asked to learn how to use all the buttons on my camera.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thanks, Jeremy for Shoveling the Snow, Apprciated

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Jeremy, really appreciated for shoveling the snow.  I am really afraid of Rena being slipped again. I am sure with your help, she has been taken good care of.  Many thanks. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Snowy Saturday.

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It's snowy here.  They predicted 2-4".  We got 8".  The dogs loved being outside.



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Edda's here trying out a new tire swing.



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Jeremy showed me the photos from his business trip.  You see the power point slide on that huge screen with the graph and Jeremy's sitting on a bench with a thought bubble floating from his head?  I took that photo!  I think that might now be my most looked-at photo now.

Oh yeah, and they might have talked a little bit about the renewable fuel standard and/or the low carbon fuel standard. You can listen to Jeremy's talk: here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cold week.

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I start this entry with a terrible screen shot.  Jeremy's home after being gone the 2nd half of the week in Texas.  He got in late to his hotel and the only room they had left was the Presidential Suite.  We got the full tour (via video)!  The room was bigger than the first floor of our house.  It had a full kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a dining room table for eight.  A leather sectional sofa, a million flat screen TVs, and bathroom with a big tub and shower with eighteen jets.  Very nice.  I asked if he got a valet to go along with the room, but alas, there was no valet.

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I hung this heart that came home in Edda's backpack on our front door.  I had to weigh the bottom down with pennies because it's so windy outside.  It's a beautiful heart, no?



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Mom came by today to drop off some meatballs.  Notice Ruby asking, "For me?"



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Vince is "loosening" Edda's boogers.  I think he's just bugging her.



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Dragonfruit to remind us of the tropics when it's 2 degrees outside.  They delayed school for 2 hours today because of the cold.  A little silly in my opinion because at 7 am it was 0 degrees, at 9 am it was 4 degrees.  Do 4 degrees really matter?  I think not in this situation.  Cold is cold.



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Because it's so cold, Vince's campout got changed from outside to overnighting in a church's basement.  Vince is bringing his own mattress.



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Thank you Scott for designing Edda's birthday party logo.  It's time again to celebrate all that is Edda.  And to make a lot of bacon.  Join in, mark your calendars, it's going to be on March 21st.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Library.

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With my clinical partner at the NIH library.  I spotted a 3D printer in this library.  I think I need to take a one-hour orientation and then I could print out anything I want to.  Hmmm, what to print?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Phones / wheelchairs / when things fall apart.

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Last week, only a few days after our last phone upheaval, Jeremy accidentally dropped his phone on the ground. There was only a slight crack on the glass face, but something internal was malfunctioning so it would start rebooting itself all the time.  We are using T-mobile, so it means we buy the phones outright and pay a reasonable amount for the data plan, but it also means that when a phone breaks, we need to buy a brand new phone.  Jeremy wanted a phone that was either $500 or $700.  Oh, it makes my frugal heart cry.  But as Jeremy pointed out, he spends more time with his phone than he does with me.  He was all ready to buy a new phone when he discovered that the broken phone was still covered by the year-long warranty for another three days.  Woo hoo, I felt like it was as if I found $700 on the ground.  For a few days while he was waiting for the new phone to arrive, he used Vince's old, old LG phone.  So light, so small, no apps loaded, nothing but what Jeremy needed.  He kind of liked it.

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Edda's wheelchair's brake stuck again today.  OMG.  The total frustration.  I'm not the maddest at how long it takes to fix (which I am mad about) but I'm maddest about the actual design of the brake!  Those engineers!  I need a good engineering design here.  This is an important piece of equipment in our house.  But I managed to fix it with some WD-40 and a good whack with a hammer.

Happy Chinese New Year - the Year of the Goat

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Happy Chinese New Year - the Year of the Goat.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow.

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It snowed last night.  Yesterday, some white chocolate chip cookies were made because my students were suppose to have their first big exam in Adult Health today.  Our recitation would have come right after the mid-morning test, so I wanted to give them some comfort food to celebrate (and not commiserate).  But school was cancelled for me too.  Where do you think all the cookies for the class went?  Straight into my tummy.  I must have eaten at least 10 today.

Monday, February 16, 2015

4 day weekend.

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Today was a holiday for some dead presidents.  It's frigid out (8 degrees!) and leaving the house did not seem like a fun idea.  Jeremy and I put in a full work day.  God, we are so boring.  Maybe someday we'll learn to have more fun - skiiing or bobsledding or ice skating or whatever it is that people do for fun in the winter.  The kids were bored. Vince tried to entice some friends over, but no one was free or willing to brave the cold weather.  Vince decided that he wanted to make fried chicken for lunch and this is what happened:



It was delicious.  Vince is a good cook.

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It's good that we got some extra insulation blown into the attic a few weeks ago.  Listening to the wind howling outside while paying last month's electricity bill and thinking about heat transfer can make a person think that dollar bills are just blowing off of the roof.  Even with the extra padding upstairs, the heater can't quite keep the upstairs at 68 degrees.  At 9 am, the upstairs was 65 degrees.  I was working at my computer with a bulky sweater and some cozy slippers and I was just fine.  Jeremy was shivering under 2 down blankets and reading some documents.  Jeremy thinks he might have screwed up his metabolism with his fasting diet.  He's cold a lot.  Even when it's not 8 degrees outside.

MCPS called a snow day for tomorrow.  We are relaxing into the last bit of our impromptu four-day weekend.  I'm hoping that the heater can keep up, that the pipes don't burst and that the electricity stays on.  Stay warm everyone!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Happy year of the goat!

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My father is in town this weekend.  We went to Far East to celebrate both Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year.  It's the year of the goat.  I asked what people who are born in the year of the goat are famous for and I didn't get a clear answer.  We went to dinner with cousins of mine; the woman, Xiao Yin and I have a common great grandparent.



Edda enjoyed her Peking duck burrito.



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Last night, Edda woke up at 2:30am which is a little early for her to call for us.  I went into her room and found her tangled in her blankets on the floor.  She was not hurt or unhappy, but she was immobile and seemed to tell me that she'd rather be in her bed.  I lifted her back into bed and pulled the covers straight over her and went to sleep next to her.  We slept until 7 am - a little Edda miracle.



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I do love Boba the best, but there are some drawbacks.  He is a dog, so there is the whole interspecies challenge.  He's blind.  He's also unemployed.  And he likes to pick up shoes and put them in different rooms of the house so when you are looking for your shoes, they can be anywhere which can be a little frustrating.  Other than that, he's perfect.  So many shades of grey!