Edda has been battling a cold for the past three or four days. Smeared snot all over everything including us. I think it’s cleared up enough that she’ll be reporting back to school tomorrow. This is Edda and Denise sharing a nap on the couch last week.
One of my resolutions this year has been to be off the computer after dinner and on the weekends and although I’m know I’m breaking my resolution now, I’ve been pretty good at keeping it and I feel like my blogging is suffering a little – it no longer is real time, which I guess is OK.
Anyways, what is real time is that Jeremy staggered into the house at 6:30 this morning after his 8 pm train from NYC pulled into Union Station well past the last Metro. He walked to his office building and got his feet soaking wet, said hello to the security guard at 1:30 am, and slept on the floor behind his desk which was hard and cold. Then as soon as the Metro started running at 5 am, he got on and came home and walked to our house which is about a mile away. He had to backtrack a few blocks because a fallen tree was blocking the entire street.
My parent’s plane landed at 3 pm just as the first flakes were falling and Super Shuttled it home, making it to their powerless house at 11pm.
I shoveled the whole driveway by myself this morning which is something I thought I could never do in a single attempt, but it took me only an hour and it made me feel good 🙂
Here’s Edda down in the basement, keeping me company while I plaster another one of the drywall holes in our wall. While I was patching up the hole, I almost drilled through a PVC drain pipe which would have been very ego-bruising and a lot of extra work.
I’m sitting at home, the kids are in bed, the dogs have been on their evening walk. There is at least 6 inches of snow on the ground and more accumulating every minute. Jeremy decided a 6:30 am this morning that he would indeed attempt to make his one day round-trip-meeting in NYC.
I told him that he was a little crazy because even though the morning commute was going to be OK, that he needed to be prepared to stay in NYC overnight. So he packed a toothbrush and some undies.
Here he is putting his snow pants over his suit, his plan was to walk to the Metro and then Metro to the Amtrak and walk 8 blocks from Penn Station to his meeting and then do it all in reverse.
He managed to get on the Amtrak train at 8 pm – I think he’s going to pull into DC and then walk to his office and sleep in his suit on the floor. Maybe there will be a couch to sleep on.
And my parents are suppose to be back from Hong Kong today. I wonder where they are.. Hmmm.
Rena and I have been in Hong Kong for a long time – almost over a month. Here, we have had a wonderful time together. But, hopefully, we can also get back to our homes soon with no more delay, airplane mechanical problems or else.
It is still hard for me to admit to anyone that Edda has seizures – the same way it’s hard for me to acknowledge that I’m in my late 30s. The fact that I’m in denial about both of these things does not make these facts any less true.
We went back to talk to our neuro last Monday – Edda’s daytime seizures are pretty much gone, but 4-5 nights a week, she gets a doozy (at least for her) right at 4:30 am when all of us would rather be sleeping. So in conjunction with our neuro, we are upping the dosing of the Keppra just a bit more to see if we can get the nighttime ones under control.
Poor girl has also been constipated this week – way too much talk about poop in this house over the past 3-4 days.
With a babysitter and a day off, Jeremy and I celebrated MLK day by working together on a home improvement project that we’ve been planning on doing for over 2 years. We installed a storm door. We have such awesome date ideas ;).
We were going to pay someone to install the door, but it advertised “oops-proof” installation on the front of the package and promised to replace any part that was miscut for free, so we figured why the hell not…
It took us only 5 hours to do and I don’t think we got frustrated with each other during the whole time.
Hunka-hunka husband with the power tools:
We have been diligently trying to lower the heating/cooling costs of the house. We’ve been trying to seal the house better from drafts and I have been slowly removing drywall in the house to discover the lack of insulation in various key locations – so I’m slowing plugging up the drafts with polyurethane goop. I have a 3 – hole rule. No more than three holes are allowed in the drywall anywhere in the house at one time. If I want to cut a fourth hole, I need to patch at least one of the other ones up. I’m pretty good at taking the house apart, and not so good at cleaning up.
Rena & I have spent a lot of time here in China. My impression is that, in general, Chinese still think the USA is a much modern, cleaner and less corrupted place to live. They think the USA is still the No. 1 country in the world.
In addition, many ordinary Chinese still can sense us are from outside even though we speak Chinese, wear the same type of clothes as they do. The reason, after I asked several people, is that we are more polite, smiling most of the time, joking and saying “thanks” a lot.
Here in China, in my views, on the positive side:
1) New constructions are everywhere, even in pretty rural areas.
2) People have more money to spend.
3) Their shops and markets are full of all kinds of goods.
4) Cars are everywhere (+ or -?) with fewer beeps.
5) Excellent infrastructure, especially, their schools, highway & rail system.
6) Knowing outside world much better than before.
7) Ordinary people are very proud of their achievements, including the rise of their living standard, the world no. 1 super computer and their new stealth fighter (J20), etc.
8) There are a lot foreigners from African countries and the Muslim world which indicates China has much wider reach in those areas.
On the negative side:
a) Smokers are everywhere. They smoke all the time, even in no-smoking areas.
b) People get fatter and fatter, evidently, with less exercise and more food.
c) Not lining up for anything. Some place with no line at all.
d) Ignoring EPA laws, even openly selling some supposedly protected animals for food.
e) Not paying attention to details. In their pretty modern bathrooms, one can always find some crappy things there. There are small but annoying. Evidently, housing inspection & other inspections depends on those paper with Chairman Mao on it (ie, $$$) a lot. In Quang Zhou city, there are still some temporarily steel structures to beef up over pass highway. One can get scare by looking at them.
f) Corruption is everywhere. Ordinary people hate it but can’t do anything about it.
g) Housing is more expensive than those in the USA.
h) People are under tremendous pressure to get more money to support their higher living standard and/or to match others.
In all, Rena & I, as Chinese Americans, are also very happy to see their advancement. Even though, many tough problems and new challenges have faced Chinese citizens all the time.