Haze, party, metamucil.

We woke up this morning to hazy skies from the fires in Canada. Air quality is very poor. Jeremy broke out his n95 mask – all purpose now for the modern life of pandemic and fires (otherwise usually referred to as the apocalypse. just have to be on the lookout for zombies), for both germs and soot? ash? I’m not sure what is making the sky hazy.

On Monday, when the air was clean and glorious, Edda’s class had their end of year picnic. Mr Pat makes the best slider sandwiches and Ms. Jackie make a delicious variation of tres leches cake.

It was here that we told the teachers about Daybue and the predicted poop. If we can get Edda to drink it, it’s actually a great time to start because her teachers won’t see her for the summer and in the fall, when they see her again, they can see if there are any changes to her demeanor/behavior that we might not notice on a day-to-day basis. I’m generally a pessimist about these things, I did listen to part of the video that had parent experiences who kiddos were in the clinical trial and had a positive experience, I’m not a huge fan of anecdotal evidence and I felt the kiddos were not quite like Edda – falling on both sides of her – much more and much less disabled that Edda, but I’m willing (and hoping) to be surprised. I have in my mind what I’d like to drug to do for Edda – well see if that happens. We tried giving her metamucil this morning as the first step in the poop protocol, it is super disgusting. I had no idea. She had a little bit. Haha! It’s starting out great.


My friend, Kristen, is really into paddleboarding and introduced it to me last year. So I asked for a paddleboard for Christmas and we waited until the weather got good to go together. Normally, I’m very reluctant to buy equipment for low-use hobbies because I’ve let so many things just sit there unused in the past. But in my middle age, I’ve decided to try to let it go a little. It’s not as if I’m buying a horse (which means a barn) or an actual yacht (which needs a marina), it’s hard for me to buy paddle boards, guitars, etc knowing that some of it isn’t going to be regularly used in the end. But I think in doing so, I’m also closing off various interesting possibilities in my life.

So our first outing was supposed to be yesterday. I hadn’t even unboxed the paddleboard from it’s box! It was a beautiful day, but she had to cancel because her daughter got ill. I was disappointed and I didn’t want to go by myself, but Jeremy said we should go together instead just to try it out and see if Elka would be willing to be trained to ride on the board.

We drove out to lake Needwood and inflated the board with a hand pump.

Here I am breaking the board because I forgot about the fin I had just attached to the bottom of the board (don’t worry, we fixed it when we got home and I ordered the spare part from the company).

I floated out into the lake and Elka was delirious with happiness (maybe worry?) and wanted to be with me.

I pulled the paddleboard up to the launch and tried to convince her to jump on board a few times. She is totally willing and did it, but then promptly jumped off. Jeremy went home and ordered her a life vest. We’ll see how far we get with this!

Summer is coming.

I had a nice Saturday – I had a chance to watch Sofie play catcher at one of the fields that I played on as a middle schooler. I spent the rest of the morning meeting with a guitar teacher and attending a beginner group lesson. Then in the afternoon, I did some laundry and exercising. I’m looking forward to many summer plans, both big and little.


Exciting day here at the Martin-Lee household. The first shipment of Daybue arrived at the house via overnight FedEx in an enormous box with tons of ice gel packing galore.

The med is liquid – strawberry flavored – in 450 mL bottles to be refrigerated and not frozen. This is a key thing for Jeremy because when he packed the cat Ivy’s insulin for his cross country flight, the liquid froze, thus rendering it unusable. The insulin was worth $100 a bottle, this is Daybue, is worth $9000 a bottle (yikes! like really yikes!). We are not paying for any of it, insurance has approved it for a year.

We took the beer out of the drink fridge to make room for the medication. I think we’ll start next Friday. This next week, we are going to try to start a bowel routine to try and stave off the predicted diarrhea. Then start the med and we’ll wait and see if Edda gets, as I told her teacher, 10% more awesome. And her teacher said (very kindly), well that’ll be very hard to do because she’s already 100% awesome.


On Tuesday, we went back to Vince’s high school auditorium to hear Sofie sing in her 6th grade choral concert – she was the first soloist of the night. Very, very impressive.

Long weekend.

Today is a bit rainy, so it’s unfortunate for today’s memorial day parade, but it’s been a lovely long weekend for us so far. Quiet, lots of people over for low-key hellos. I moved all the plants outside onto the porch outside that like to be there during the summer. I feel like they all breath a sigh of relief once they are out on the porch – living their best lives in the sun, rain and soon-to-be humidity. Lauren found me this plant from her neighborhood listserv which was first peed on by a cat and then in an effort to rinse out the cat pee, was overwatered and all the leaves started turning brown and the previous owner thought they couldn’t rescue it, so I took it on and I’ve been tending it inside for six months hoping that it would make it to Memorial Day so that it can be out on the porch and there is new growth and ready to be outside for it’s first summer.

Jeremy spent the weekend tending to his bicycle and doing random things on it that he calls me over to look at and admire. So I do that and nod and say wowlook at that! at the appropriate time.

Vince sent a single quick text that he was spending the weekend in Tahoe. So I snapped this location on Google maps. I have not heard a single thing about this adventure yet.

I spent a bunch of time with Sofie this weekend – most notably on a Saturday when we did a 2.5 hour Pokemon Go walk. We were trying to get our Pokemon in gyms and we saw a new gym that we’d never been to near the senior center where we took a break under a tree. The new gym was in a strange spot – in an office park. Usually this game centers around public parks, shopping, etc and not in office parks. But obviously someone who works at this particular company made an effort to put gyms at their work location (you can nominate points of interest). So we walk towards the office park and found like no trespassing signs at the front of the drive (also, the pokemon gyms/stops need to be on publicly accessible locations). I probably set a poor example and told Sofie we were going to walk on the grass far away from the buildings (which all had cameras on the outside) to try to get to the 8 pokestops/gyms that were centered around the outdoor employee eating/smoking spots in the back of the building. So we walked towards out Pokemon Go destinations and stopped under a tree to do the requisite Pokemon battle and while we were doing that, I lone security guard rounded the outside of the building and looked over at us and nodded, I guess approving our presence on the site. Thereby deciding that we – an Asian woman, an Asian-ish child, a dog with a rainbow leash – were not there to make much mischief.

I brought this up at dinner at our house with Jeremy, Mike, Sofie and Edda that night that it’s goes along with my theory that Asian women can get away with doing very bad thingsTM. I’ve always felt that I can steal the Mona Lisa during the day with people watching, by just putting on a smart dress suit with beautiful heels and white gloves by saying – I just need to take this for some restoration work, excuse me! excuse me!

On Sunday, we celebrated Bette’s 85th birthday with BBQ and an enormous delicious chocolate cake. It was fun. I’m thinking about getting either a nose piercing or an eyebrow piercing and I talked to both Rachel and Sarah (they both have nose piercings and many ear piercings) about their experiences and what they recommend.


At the beginning of 2019, my mother gifted me a set of simple, plain diamond stud earrings. I think she had bought them for herself many, many years ago and never wore them because she’s like that. I actually tried to decline the extremely nice gift because I thought I could never wear them as well because, knowing myself, I was destined to lose one of the earrings. I told my mom, I’m going to lose one of the diamonds if I wear them and she pressed the box into my hand and said – no, wear them, it’s ok if you lose one of the diamonds.

So I did wear them. I bought some locking backs for them and I wore them 24 hours a day – through the pandemic, through all the elastic ear masking/unmasking which was hard on them and my ears and though I thought they were a bit extravagant for my taste at first, grew to really love them. Once when I was shedding a mask in the shower stall of a public pool, I felt one of them yank off and skitter across the tiled floor, I ended up looking for it couched nakedly in a public place and I triumphantly found it a few feet away not at all close to the drain.

One I fingered the stone during a dinner and noticed that it was loose from its setting and wiggling like a 6 year olds baby tooth and got a jeweler to tighten the setting.

Last week, I touched my right earlobe and noticed that the stud was gone and I spent all afternoon looking around the house for the missing stud and I did find the backing on the bathroom floor but could find no sign of the earring anywhere. And then I took the other earring off and sighed a big sigh and said that 4 years was a good run and tried to figure out when was a good time to tell my mother. I figured I lost the earring in the bathroom and it most likely went down the bath drain (I usually only take baths unless I’m at a public pool).

Then I thought maybe I should replace the earring (because I finally had to admit that I liked them and missed having them) and also maybe then I would not have to tell my mother that I lost the diamonds she gave me. So I looked at many diamond earring websites, looked at lab grown diamonds vs mined diamonds. Looked at the process of making lab grown diamonds (with Jeremy on his phone and then it instantly and automatically turned his Instagram feed into all diamonds all the time) and I was almost about to buy a replacement set, but honestly, couldn’t stomach the price for something that literally does nothing but sit there and sparkle because I’m like that.

But yesterday, I was on the phone and while I was talking, I decided to empty a little sewing trash can that is hanging from my office desk. I have a little sewing trash can on my desk because sometimes I sew at my desk to keep my hands occupied during long zoom meetings. Anyways, I found the diamond earring in the little trash can! I have no idea how it got there so far away from the backing that I found, but I was so happy I interrupted Jeremy during a meeting in which he was talking. He said – I knew you would find it. Anyways, I’m happy to have the pair again in my ears.

Graduation and independence.

We went to Rachel’s graduation party yesterday afternoon where we congratulated the new grad (two degrees – public health and French) and admired this glorious cake made by Lauren.

Rachel is going to grad school next year, also at MD and in public health specializing in biostatistics.

It was a glorious day and I spend a lot of the party eating and introvert lounging in the backyard hammock.

Louisa was at this party and told us that the kiddos are direct descendants of a signer of the Declaration of Independence! It’s all on wikipedia apparently. Here goes:

NASA, tinned fish and gotcha.

A small update on the children, OK? Edda was overjoyed to see Ms. Megan back at school as evidenced by this photo. Edda loves her teachers. Part of me feeling better is that all the forms I have to fill out on Edda’s behalf don’t feel as unbelieveable daunting. When I was feeling terrible, I couldn’t even really look at the forms and when I did start to pick them up to work on them, I would just want to crawl back into bed (which I did. often.) We started finally receiving the SSI checks for Edda that we applied for a year ago and I had to join the NASA federal credit union to set up the representative payee account (none of the big banks seem to want to manage this type of account (actually not a surprise)) and in order to join the credit union I had to join an “I LOVE SPACE”-type non profit. We do love space and space exploration. That took only two in-person visits to the bank and hours wrangling on their difficult to use website. Of course, all the websites that I need to access – SSI, credit unions, medical assistance renewal, doctor’s offices, prescription refills, etc. etc. are all clunky and difficult to use, but if I want to buy shoes that cost $900, that website is as smooth as buttah.

Edda is sporting her Purple Rain the-artist-formerly-known as Prince shirt that I bought for her at the Minneapolis airport from a dedicated Prince store where the employee who checked me out looked a lot like Prince and told me very, very seriously – wash cold, hang dry. DO NOT PUT IN THE DRYER. I looked back and him very seriously as well and said – of course, I’d never put Prince in the dryer. But alas, I have already reneged on my promise. The house is only big enough for exactly one type of laundry workflow – which is wash and then dry in the dryer. Don’t worry! Prince survived the dryer.

Here is Edda moving out of her comfort zone. As part of the end-of-school-year fun, Edda did get to do the color run. Perhaps it was not her favorite thing to do. But it was a gorgeous day and Mr. Pat is very enthusiastic, yes? And update on the Daybue medication. Both Edda’s primary insurance and secondary insurance have approved the medication, now the drug company is working to have them work together. Usually the primary insurance picks up most of the cost and the secondary picks up the (substantial) copay. We’ll see what happens and when a shipment will arrive. The drug company rep called me last week and said – you must be frustrated at why this is taking so long. And I said – not really. It’s taking exactly as long as I think it would take to get my hands on a drug that’s is like a bazillion dollars.

We’ve been talking to Vince a bit this week. He still has like 3-4 weeks of school left even though all his Maryland friends are home from school already. We have been chatting logistics of the summer and planning for the future. I asked what he was doing last night and he said – Oh! It’s fancy food night. He told us that tinned fish are in vogue right now, so it was tinned fish and cheese and mango board night. Lol. This reminds me so much of Jeremy. Tinned fish was not on Jeremy’s radar in 1995 when he was wooing me, but there was cheese and an avocado (which back then, was exotic and not to be found on the East coast) and a cutting board that he took out into the woods with us on a hike and he served me the most beautiful lunch in the dappled sunlight.

Yesterday was Elka’s gotcha day! We celebrated it by going to the dog park and giving her lots of treats like fried chicken! We are so lucky that Elka is ours and we are hers.