Tuesday, August 31, 2010

40th Wedding Anniversary

I guess I have slow Internet link therefore pictures above are blur.
Anyway, two Sundays ago, it was our 40th wedding anniversary. We had a quite and wonderful day together and alone. That evening, we went to "Salty's on the Columbia" for dinner. The view was good but not as good compared to the upstream of "Best Western" place just south of Bonneville Dam on the Oregon side or Skamania Lodge on the north shore of Stevenson, WA. The seafood there was delicious but a bit pricey. The restaurant was almost packed, no recession there :)
Last Saturday, Mom would like to invite her long time family friend as well as her son Richard from Chicago en route to CA via Vancouver, Canada to have dinner there. Their family was the one that we had Doris' graduation dinner together in Boston, MA. Doris & Donald, remember that? The one majored in Mathematics. Yes, we dined together but, eventually, they paid the bill in the very traditional Chinese and/or oriental way. You know, everyone rushes to pay the bill with no good reason. The waiter was caught in between. But, I guess that restaurant has a lot of Vietnamese American customers, they probably use to it.
I ordered a tuna fish steak. It was about 4 ounces, raw and at $32.00 each without side dishes. I didn't know it was raw and I couldn't believe that I ate the "whole thing". Afterward, I did feel that I had a lot of salmonella and/or mercury inside my body. But, the taste wasn't bad at all but this will be the last time. Believe me. I am not a fan of raw seafood.
Oh, on the other subject, we bought 10 cubic yard of Hemlock mulch. It was dumped on our driveway and it was a large mound. I worked diligently for the past week to tidy our backyard with mulch.
Next year, when we come back here for the spring, summer and fall, we will order a chicken coop & chichs to raise 4-6 of them. Mom has high hope that we can have a lot eggs and enjoy our chicks before we leave here in late fall. Well, next year ???

Monday, August 30, 2010

250K for RS research.

First things first, please go here and vote for IRSF to win $$ from Pepsi. Top 2 vote getters get $250K for their cause. There is one more day of voting and we've been knocked down to 3rd before rebounding back to 2nd place. Please vote! Thank you!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Open house.


Jeremy took Vince and Edda to their schools for open house on Friday. Edda saw her teachers and aides, all familiar faces and they were all excited to see how much Edda has grown over the summer. Jeremy reported that Edda was not full of smiles, she seemed a little nervous.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Ice cream.

Thank goodness that it is Friday! School starts Monday - everyone is relieved. We are eating ice cream to celebrate.


Edda! Don't sleep through the ice cream!


Jeremy enjoying his gelati.


Edda and me!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Faux - appendicitis.

About noon today, Vince hobbled into my office clutching his stomach and doubled over in pain. I poked around his stomach and there was a specific point of extreme pain, so I thought, crappy, appendicitis. I rushed him over to the hospital - I carried him over from the car to the ER because he was in so much pain he couldn't walk. We were in a room within 10 minutes.

Ten minutes after settling into the room, Vince was still in a lot of pain, the doctor felt around his stomach - the sharp pain was on the left lower quadrant of the abdomen. Apparently that is not the location of your appendix. Appendices are in the lower RIGHT quadrant of one's abdomen. Anyways, long story short, took an X-ray and determined that Vince was just CONSTIPATED. Two hours after we checked in, Vince was back to his normal self.

He is fine. I feel silly.

I never knew constipation can be really painful, but we (Vince and I) surmised that Edda (who is often constipated) must often feel pain in her belly and maybe being constipated makes her scream sometimes when she is trying to fall asleep.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nationals game.

Is the mascot of the Nationals a chicken?


It was a blow out last night - final score 9 to 1 with the Nats in the losing position. Pizza and cotton candy. No rain. Strasburg is on the DL. Vince insisted on staying until the final out - so they didn't come home until 11:40 pm. Edda and I were already way asleep by then. Today, as Vince was explaining the game to me, he told me about all the "touchdowns" that happen when you go around the bases. Hmmmm. He has a lot to learn.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Worried about Little.

Eliana and Vince are headed downtown to see the Nationals game tonight with a bunch of people from Jeremy's work. We are trying to save him from being a Yankees fan, which I suppose is not in vogue these days. It looks like it's about to pour outside - I don't think getting really, really wet will be helpful in convincing Vince that the Nationals are the team to root for - although maybe it will be a plus, you can never tell with that child.

Edda and I are suppose to have a spa night, although I forgot to borrow some nail polish from Eliana as I am a tom boy through and through and don't own any makeup to save my life. Edda might have to settle for a shampoo and blowout and hand massage with some lotion. Now that she wears her helmet for most of the day, you can't really see her beautiful hair and her head does end up smelling like a rugby player after practice.


I have been a little worried about Little's (the tadpole) development. He has grown tiny, tiny back legs which don't seem to be able to move and he grew them weeks and weeks ago. And even though he eats enough and poops an ungodly amount of green poop, he does not want to seem to transform into a frog.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer picnic.

Last night we headed up north (40 minutes or so) for the end-of-summer picnic/BBQ/potluck for our local Rett Syndrome support group. The food was so good! The kids are so cute! And the evening out on the deck was perfect.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Slow Internet Link

Recently, we lost our free high-speed Internet link from our nearby High School (guessing.) We do have the dial-up Netzero slow link everywhere in USA though for our secured banking stuff via land line.

Therefore, we discovered that our local library and McDonald's can help - they provide free wifi services. Since it is a small town and distance-wise, anything in it really does not make that much a difference. But, guess what, library isn't that reliable as McDonald's.

That reinforces my feeling (bias, maybe?) that government isn't as reliable as private sectors doing the right thing in economic matters. The government can only set up policy as well serve as a watch dog on behalf of its citizens.

As employment sinks further, government employment is increasing at an alarming rate. I don't think this Obama-noics is going to work. he is working on health care, wall street new regulations with a brand-new agency (where is the old SEC?) &, of course, the mosque a lot (an unfornate distraction.) But, how about the unemployment ?

Friday, August 20, 2010


As an early birthday present request, Jeremy asked for a ukulele. He wanted an instrument that would allow him to sing to Edda while she fell asleep (although she is often asleep when Jeremy gets around to playing). The ukulele is also known as the simplest instrument to learn to play according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Right now, Jeremy's playing Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. Earlier, he was playing Beatles songs and I've Been Working on the Railroad. Learning from internet and youtube videos.


When Jeremy's interest in the ukulele was just starting to take hold, we found the following youtube video of a 5-year-old kiddo playing the ukulele and singing (in Japanese/English) I'm Yours and I thought that if a 5 year old can do it, certainly Jeremy could do it no problem. But, of course, this kid is simply amazing and it will take a long time to learn to play like him.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I have been working through the doldrums of August. Both of the kids are at home full time until school starts on the 30th, Eliana is feeling pretty sick, both Jeremy and I are swamped at work. I pride myself on being able to juggle a lot of things - but these past few weeks have been hectic and I have not been able to manage everything with my usual cheerfulness. The car sprung a leak while Jeremy was out of town, the fridge is intermittently not able to keep our frozen things frozen and the gutters need some tender loving care after the storms of the summer.

Yesterday, Eliana came down for work at 9 am and I took one look at her and realized that she was too sick to take care of the kids and sent her back up to bed. I told Vince (in a stern managerial tone) that he was in charge and that I needed to put in a full day of work and that he needed to watch Edda. I set up the baby monitor downstairs with the kids and went upstairs to work. I did take a lunch break where I made them a hot lunch and Eliana did poke her head into the living room between doctor appointments and naps and changed Edda's diaper, but Vince, man, he really pulled it together and was the babysitter for the day. Gave Edda snacks (grapes) and juice. Made himself snacks (microwave popcorn), changed videos, did arts and crafts, put Edda down for a nap (!). I didn't hear a peep from the kids until I logged off work late in the afternoon.

Here's a photo of Edda at Brookside Gardens enjoying the butterflies and the flowers.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Oral tradition.

Here's Vince at a friend's birthday party, telling a youngster about Star Wars lore.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Go Patriots!

Went to my 20th high school reunion this weekend. I had a great time! Better than I thought I would! These are some of my best friends from high school. Yes, we are all Asian. But we aren't all Chinese!


Jeremy not only had our kids for the evening, but also volunteered to babysit a 1-year-old! I was a little nervous when I left for the reunion, I could see the intersection of Edda and the one-year-old's bedtime (simultaneous) and I could see that it might not be easy for one person to handle. But Jeremy had a great night and Vince was his baby-sitter assistant, keeping either Edda or the one-year-old entertained or soothed when Jeremy had to tend to the other.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Brickfair 2010.

brickfair 3

Brickfair was held in the Dulles Expo Center this past weekend. Brickfair celebrates the love of all things Lego. Vince and Jeremy went this weekend with some school pals and had a blast. Brickfair shows Lego creations which are not made from a specific kit. The only thing you need is your imagination and 10,000 Lego pieces.

brickfair 2

One of the highlights was being able to buy a minifigure without buying the whole kit it comes in... This is what Vince chose:

brickfair 1

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday night round-up.


Vince is coming home tonight! It's been a quiet week here - the house seems so much emptier without Vince's energy.

Jeremy and I spent last night and this morning reading and talking about Atul Gawande's article in the New Yorker about end-of-life medical care. I have been melancholy lately and there is nothing like kicking it up a notch by talking about death and desired quality of life. Life is so full of grief, sometimes I don't know how we get up in the morning to face another day. Jeremy told me that I had to read The Plague.


Eight Vacations ???

Michelle Obama is catching some flack for taking her "private" trip to Spain with her 9-year-old daughter Sasha. Critics, from Fox News to the New York Daily News are laying into the First Lady over everything from the trip's price to a travel warning on the State Department's website, according to Yahoo.com.
Fox News reports that the State Department had issued a travel warning on its site stating that "racist prejudices could lead to the arrest of Afro-Americans who travel to Spain." But the warning was removed from the site on Monday, two days before Michelle left for Spain.
In an Op-Ed on Thursday, New York Daily News writer Andrea Tantaros compared Michelle Obama to a "modern day Marie Antoinette" for taking such a costly vacation when so much of the country is suffering to make ends meet. It doesn't help that Michelle, Sasha and their entourage is staying at the Hotel Villa Padierna, a Ritz-Carlton hotel with rates from $500 to $2,500 a night.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that the Obamas will pay for their own personal expenses, as will their friends who are traveling with them. However, the most costly part of the trip is the full-time Secret Service and entourage, which is all covered by taxpayer money.
Lynn Sweet, of the Chicago Sun-Times, wrote that by the end of the summer, Michelle will have taken eight vacations, including the June trip to L.A. to watch the NBA Finals, as well as the two trips she has scheduled with the President in August.

Mom's Woodwork & More Hiking ...

Mom is very interested in woodworking. Her father was a very skilled part-time carpenter. He made several pieces of our furniture without any nail on it. His basic tools were a saw, a hammer, a chisel and a surfacer. Then he made any other tools to fit his work, like work bench, etc.
The first picture above showed that Mom, with the help of her part-time carpenter friend, was working on her project - 4 piece extensions for her long table to sit people of 12 with turntable in the middle. She was working in the garage of her friend. There, it houses a lot of woodworking tools.
The next picture is about more hiking. Here, the air is good & cool, a lot of shaded hiking trails scattered around within a short distance.
Btw, I am working on Mom's project in our backyard. When I have time, I will take pictures and put on the blog.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cello and violin duet.


Jeremy's dad (aka Kappa) is a professional cellist and has always been excited and quietly encouraging us to start music lessons for Vince. I think Kappa gave Vince a 1/8 size student violin for Christmas almost 3 years ago. It's been hard trying to fit lessons and practicing into our schedules. We've tried a few times to start lessons, but it hasn't worked out in the past. Anyhow, things came together this summer, we found a teacher in the neighborhood (though Ruby's connections, she is friends with the teacher's doggie Inky) and we got in 3 lessons this summer.

So this is the happy result! A little duet with grandfather and grandson this past weekend.



Picture of Edda & Rena on Canvas

Mom love the picture with Edda on our June 28, 2010 blog. Finally, with the original one from Jeremy & Doris, it was printed by them on canvas. We just received it yesteray and we hanged it on our "grand kid wall". Look, Mom was enjoying it. I think I will put a black frame around it if I have time.
The other picture is "The Sun Rise on Columbia River."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

National night out!

Last night, while Vince was at Yankee stadium awaiting A-Rod's 600th homer (which, alas, happened tonight), we went to out to our neighborhood National Night Out.

There were proclamations:


There was food! We brought a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies and, in return, ate burgers, hot dogs, samosas, tuna sushi, tabbouleh, fruit salad and cake. We are so lucky to have found this neighborhood. You never know when you buy a house that you have nice neighbors, we were just fortunate in this regard!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fruit picking.

Mead farms!

Blueberry picking:


Sampling the goods:



On Dad's shoulder peach picking!



Monday, August 2, 2010

Walking around.


I love walking around the campus of Bard College. You never know when you'll run into an Airstream trailer called the "MFA Cafe".



Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back from Chelsea Clinton's wedding.

Just got back from a whirlwind trip to Chelsea's wedding. Kind of. Jeremy's parents live about 5 miles from where Chelsea was getting married this weekend and we had been planning on driving up this weekend for months to drop Vince off for a week of county livin'. We didn't see even a single person dressed up all fancy, so we missed the whole thing - but it did add a pleasant buzz to the weekend.

Vince seeing his grandmother come up the driveway of the house:


Edda exploring the front yard:


Inside the house: