Friday, August 31, 2012

Happiness and chickens

Edda + morning + swinging + chickens = Happy.

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Swampy anniversary -

We have been married for 14 years. Just keeps getting better and better! Somehow the day ended with us at 10:30 pm giving Vince a haircut, reading Little Women out loud and just laughing how great it was to be together on this crazy adventure we call life.

Just for fun, Jeremy took me to the swamps of DC for a hike, do we know how to celebrate or what!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Last night & Thanksgiving

Last night, Rena and I had wonderful dinner again with Annie (Donald's girl friend) and Donald at Cafe Castagna in Portland.  The food was good and we chatted a lot.  Maybe, this weekend we can get together again with them.  Maybe with their friends too.

Before that, late afternoon, a friend of ours from Bellingham, WA, came to visit us while en-routing to his son's family in Portland.  Rena prepared some egg rolls together with veggie juice before they departed about half hour later.

At noon time, we had another scheduled.  We were invited to a friend's house on top of a mountain which just locates on the north side of the Columbia River, for potluck and BBQ.  It has 50 acres with many beef cows too.  The view is stunningly gorgeous and it is very beautiful.  On the way back, Rena and I thought if we were10 years younger and with our current situations, we will very temping to buy this place.  But, right now, we know we can't keep up with all the work comes with the property there.

While at dinner last night, we discussed about our Thanksgiving gathering - east coast or west?  Let Donald and Annie figure it out and, then, we can firm up with all our immediate family members - hers and ours.  Don't know just yet at this moment.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Global warming lobsters.

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Because of global warming, the lobster population in Maine has exploded which resulted in record low prices at market. Our lobsters were only 8 dollars a piece (boooo to global warming but yah for cheap lobsters).

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Monday, August 27, 2012

First day of school -

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Today was the first day of school, but instead of showing you the lovely first day of school photos - I am still luxuriating in the days we spent at the beach last week. Julia invited us to stay at her beach house in Maine for a few days and we eagerly took her up on the offer.

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We spent a few hours each morning on the beach - Edda had one incredibly glorious day at the beach. The next day she wasn't as happy there. But we all boogie boarded and got sand in our shorts.

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We spent the afternoons napping and cooking. Vince spent the afternoons glomming wireless services from the neighbor.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Maxi and Boston

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We arrived in Boston with Maxi in tow - because we had the dog, we couldn't really leave her in the car roasting while we dined in air conditioned bliss so it limited our lunch options with my pal Lana. We gave up on dim sum (which I was really interested in), and ended up at a food truck in Boston Commons. We ate at Clover - famous for chickpea fritter pita and rosemary fries. I had the eggplant and egg pita - very delicious.

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Right after lunch, Vince accidentally let go of Max's leash and we spent a good few minutes chasing her around the park and when we caught her, all the lunchers applauded our efforts. Thank god Maxi didn't run into Boston traffic.

After lunch, we went swan boating (see everyone in the front row?) and then headed back to the car for another adventure.  I did want to go to MIT to see the old haunts, but we didn't really have time to stop, so we were just able to drive by 77 Mass Ave and give a good wave hello to the Infinite Corridor.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Our 42nd Wedding Anniversary


Today, August 22nd, is our 42nd wedding anniversary.  Rena prepared us a healthy and big breakfast (see attached picture).  This afternoon, we went shopping and got Mom a Bulova lady watch which is self-winding.  Mom always wants a good working watch with big characters on it.  On it, it has two hearts and a purse with see-through part to some of its internal mechanical gears. Looks pretty good.

Looking back, 42 years of togetherness is really a long time.  But, in certain sense, it is pretty short too.  Oh, btw, Mom would like to have an addition master bedroom at the first floor just behind the half bath (beyond the half bath window on her left side at the back).  Tomorrow, an estimator will show up and go over some details as well as pricing.  See what will happen next.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sitting on a sun porch.

I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon napping on and off in a screened-in-porch with Edda. It was an incredibly beautiful day and I snacked on chips and cheese while keeping Edda company.

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Frankly, I was a little paranoid to move Edda as her mood has been a little hair-trigger lately. We still haven't resolved her various episodes of complaints and with my pessimistic nature, I think she will be pissed off for the rest of her life. So I was thankful for an afternoon of relative quiet happiness with Maxi by her side and some snacking and summer breezes for me. There is nothing more relaxing than letting one's to-do list purposely lay idle for an afternoon.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Short Trip North

Last Wednesday (8/15), Rena and I took a short trip north to Bellingham, WA.  A classmate of ours has a summer home there.  Bellingham is a nice small town.  The only problem, we see, is that is at north of Seattle.  To get to the SeaTac Airport at Takoma, south of Seattle, is really a nightmare.  Due to its geographic situations, the traffic of Seattle is really bad, especially on the north-south run.  To get to the Vancouver, Canada airport is much closer.  But, due the border crossing, it isn't easy either.

Anyway, Rena and I had a wonderful time there with our classmate.  On the way back, we visited another classmate in Seattle.  He and his wife are crazy about Peking Opera.  It was fun of visiting them and sat on the basement sofa to listen and watch their Peking Opera session.   They do it almost every week we were told.

After listening for several hours, we headed back home at Washougal, WA.  We arrived about 10:00 PM.  It was fun.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mirror Lake, Klamath Falls, Crater Lake & Silver Falls







Last Wednesday, Rena and I took a short trip to Oregon to see Mirror Lake (around Mount Hood), Klamath Falls Lake (at California Border), Crater Lake and Silver Falls State Park which consists of 10 falls.  We spent an hour to walk to Mirror Lake, Stayed overnight at Klamath Falls, drove around Crater Lake and walked all 10 falls.  To walk around 10 falls, we started at 10:00 AM and completed around 4:00 PM, about 6 hours.

The first picture is Mirror Lake, the second is Klamath Falls Lake, the third and fourth are Crater Lake and the last two are Silver Falls.

After that, we are very busy at our yard work.  Hopefully, it will get done soon.


Media promos

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Jeremy is making his mark all over the place. Here he is quoted in our local paper: Here! And here he his quoted in Swedish: Here!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Parties -

Our house is so quiet tonight. SeHyun, our sitter, is on vacation until tomorrow. We had been hosting an Israeli counselor for Edda and Vince's camp for the past month, which was really nice, and she left for home today. And Vince left to visit Jeremy's parents today - so it is just the three of us tonight (Jeremy, me and Edda) and, of course, the two dogs. Even though the house is relatively unoccupied, we are still busy today.

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After dropping Vince off at BWI airport, we went to a party in Baltimore. It's not always easy bringing Edda to a party - I really only tangentially know the host (he's Jeremy's former co-worker) so I didn't know anyone there and no one knew us - but we settled Edda in the middle of the backyard with her little TV and a plate of chicken and we had a grand time - met lots of people, including many people who were astronomers - which was interesting to me.  We were the first to leave when Edda decided that she had had enough.  I have come to adjust my expectations when going to these social events with Edda, I thought we'd be lucky to last an hour or two, but we made it from about 3:30 to 7 pm, which is not bad.

It was the lawn Olympics - we (grown ups) had a balloon toss, an egg run, bocce ball. Mini-golf. All good fun.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bye bye Shamrock -

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We are saying goodbye to Shamrock (I always think that Edda rides Shamrock, although I think this photo is not actually Shamrock) - at least for now. We've been doing hippo therapy for at least 3 years now - but I'm hoping to switch over to other activities, adaptive soccer in the fall and maybe swimming (or maybe not). We'll see, we'll see.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Block party -

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Our annual block party this evening.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Statistics class.

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My statistics class is almost over. I can't wait until it is over, as it is a summer course it meets every day for a couple of hours and although I liked it in the beginning, I'm now a little bit lost (OK, really a lot lost) and it is frustrating. I have some work to do to before the final next week. It may be because my philosophy is to only spend the time that I'm in class working on statistics which isn't really working out that well because I'm not really understanding it the first go-round, maybe because I'm distracted (see grocery list on notes page).

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So I'm playing around with Instagram which I really don't like, but I'm trying it now (to keep me occupied during class).

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Computers dying - iPhone photos only.

So our IT infrastructure in the house is falling apart. All the computers are dying a slow death - viruses invade, children and guests download odd apps onto hard drives - someone drops a gob of jelly onto the keyboard rendering the "K" key permanently stuck. So I haven't been able to download my regular camera photos. So iPhone photos will have to do. (I know, tragic).

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Jeremy has been reading "Little Women" to Vince. Vince does not really like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson stories. He and Jeremy both enjoy kind-of old fashioned stories that don't have much to do with magic or demons. They both loved The Penderwicks, Swiss Family Robinson and The Wind in the Willows. I was the one who suggested "Little Women" - Jeremy hadn't read it either. I couldn't believe it, Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy, where have you been all of Jeremy's life!

I did have a hard copy, buy Jeremy found it free for the iPad, so he downloaded it and is reading it nightly (except for this week, the Olympics are on, so reading time is short). I was a little worried they wouldn't finish it as the 2nd chapter in - Vince asked, "So when does something happen?", but I think something did happen and they are enjoying the book together.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dinner at Portland, OR


What a coincidence!  Donald is on business trip to Portland, OR.  Last night, Rena and I have a wonderful dinner with Donald and his girl friend whom we have met before last year.  She is a wonder person and we enjoyed the occasion very much.  She even can speak Taiwanese. So am I.

Really it was a wonderful dinner.  The food was excellent and it was German.  Rena later told me we should go there more often.  I think so too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Working out the bugs.

We are enjoying watching the Olympic Games - I had briefly thought that we should get cable for the month to get the live streaming, but in the end, broadcast NBC is good enough (both lazy and cheap) - all the Olympics that I can use. Jeremy and I were amusing ourselves in coming up with new Olympic sports that we could actually compete in, like "Middle-aged married bickering" or "Cutest muffin-top" or "Leaving cabinet doors open / leaving lights on / scattering wet towels all over the floor triathlon" - all good events that I think we'd do well in.

It has been a stressful summer, Edda has had many, many evenings spent like:

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Crying, crying, crying, big unhappy tears. We've gone to many doctors and no firm conclusion about her unhappiness. Aside from Edda's unhappiness herself, there is only so much unexplained crying that a person can take without losing her mind, so I've spent the summer slightly bonkers - but I think (knock on wood, keep fingers crossed) that we may be coming out of this summer funk. It's been great just hearing her laugh again at her silly Dora videos that she's seen ten million times.

Kouign-amann, pancake practice, bacon.

Ohhhh, I love these Kouign-amann.  It's like a croissant covered in a crunchy sugar coating. I'm eating poorly these days, snackin...