After two years of producing fabulous handmade costumes for my children, I have officially run out of steam this year and have made nothing for either child.  I had grand plans for making Vince a working Operation Game costume and Edda a Supergirl costume, but by yesterday, neither costume was in existence.  I will make excuses – Vince is too old for Halloween anyways and Edda, I think, doesn’t mind too much and has already forgiven me.  At least we have some chocolate in the house and Jeremy bought some pumpkins earlier in the week, so we will at least be a tiny bit festive for the holiday.

Casa Mezcal – NYC


From Deleware, we headed to the Lower East Side of Manhattan where we went to Casa Mezcal to celebrate Leah and Avery’s wedding.  The were married a month ago in Yosemite and we couldn’t make it out there then, but we knew we were going to be able to see them in NYC.  Avery is related to Jeremy through their great grandparents – Avery’s grandmother Clara was Jeremy’s grandmother Sylvia’s sister.


Leah and Avery run Make it Good, a place that uses textiles for dish towels, clothing, bags, etc and it’s based in Portland. 

Edda had such a wonderful time at the party.  Excited as soon as we got up to the 2nd floor walk-up space – full of smiles and wandered around and said hello to a lot of people.  She especially enjoyed the desserts.  She was a little bit loud during the meditative/yoga part of the day and there was nowhere really for me to go with her as there was only one room and the door lead down a flight of stairs, but I think, actually I’m sure, no one minded.  I think I need to get Edda going to more parties.


And here we all are – dressed up for a single moment in time.


Wilmington, DE

Road trip this weekend. We left DC Friday afternoon after school. Picked Vince up from his first middle school dance (he reported that the boys just ran around and the girls were on their phones and the big difference between middle school dances and elementary school dances is the absence of parents) and headed to Wilmington, DE. to visit our friends Yushan and Shaocong.  The last time we visited them was on their son’s David’s actual birth-day.  Somehow our visit to their house in Riverside, CA coincided exactly with Shaocong going into labor and they still insisted that we come and visit. It’s nice to see David now eight years later.


It’s fun to talk to Yushan and Shaocong because as they are first generation Chinese immigrants with a 16-year-old totally-Americanized teenage daughter who was just learning to walk at our wedding – it’s kind of like talking to a version of my own parents when I was 16.  Shaocong even pulled out the exact thing my parents said to me when I was 16 which was that – compared to all the other Chinese parents we know, we are the most lenient and accommodating, the least like tiger parents and so therefore, you are one of the luckiest ABCs around.   Maybe all Chinese parents think that of themselves?  Of course, we talked about getting into colleges and which of the professional schools (JD, MD or MBA) is the most lucrative to pursue. 

Vince and David got along smashingly.  Nothing like the common language of video games to keep everyone entertained.




Look at this beautiful photo of Edda before we knew anything was wrong with her. Sometimes I feel like I was such an idiot back then, just living blissfully thinking everything was perfect and just worrying about – oh whatever regular parents worry about.

Last week Monday, a pal of Edda’s passed away from a huge seizure.  Of course, he had always had seizures, but seemed just fine (well, as fine as any severely disabled child can be fine) when he went home on Friday from school.  But on Monday he had a low grade fever, so he stayed home from school and then took a mid-morning nap and then woke up to the seizure that he never recovered from.

I had spent some time with Miko, he’s the other 4th grader in Edda’s class – so often on field trips or class parties, I’d hang out with Edda and Miko in a sea of typical 4th graders.  The other mothers a little hesitant to say hello.  The kids kind of surprised to find out the Edda seemed to have a mom just like theirs. 

I’d never had the chance to meet Miko’s parents, so I introduced myself at the funeral – saying that I was Edda’s mom and that Edda is (was? I stumbled over the present/past tense) Miko’s classmate.  And Miko’s dad smiled at me and told me that Oh!  Edda!  Miko’s best friend!  It’s so nice that you are here.

Anyways, I’m spending the week trying not to be consumed by grief over what a shitty hand my little fraternity has been dealt.  And all I know is that tomorrow Edda will go on a field trip to Baltimore without her best friend and that next week, I’ll be at the Halloween party without Miko next to me.

Backyard Gate with X’mas Decors

After came back from our tour to Central and Northeast Oregon, with Mom’s design, we finished our backyard gate.  There are two X’mas red balls hung on the door, one at each side.  The door of the gate consists two 2×4 beams, the top one can be swung down which is hinged at the left, the bottom one can be taken off and put back on two brackets fairly easily.  Note that there are two farming tools of spade.  Left one is a hand tool, right one can plow the land, of course, with help from an animal.  We got those two from a garage sale here nearby.

Antique Show

Mom loves antique, we dropped by a lot of antique shops while traveling.  Here are some of her new collections along the way.  Picture 1 showed one of her collections – a brown flower vessel, the green one in picture 2 and old meat grinder in picture three.  Last night, we came home pretty late around 10:00 PM.  After showing, I went to bed right away.  But, I didn’t know when Mom went to bed.  I guess she spent time to sort and enjoy her new collections.
Of course, I think one of her antique collections is me 🙂

John Day Fossil Bed, Oregon

John Day Fossil Bed National Monument has three sites – all within approximately a 45 miles radius circle.  The oldest site is Clarno site (Picture 1).  The middle age one is the Painted Hill site (Picture 2), the youngest one is the Sheep Rock site (Picture 3).  The trial with a bridge that Rena stood one is properly the most expensive trail in the world, I think, because within a 3/4 mile of trial, it has at least 10 bridges like this one in the picture.

We liked the trip and, hopefully, will receive Vincent phone call using his first cell phone soon :). 

Collapsed Mountain

Over the weekend, Rena and I took a break from on our yard work and went to Central & NW Oregon for a short trip – 3 days, 900 miles.  After we passed a gorge (V-shape mountain in the middle of the picture), we found out the gorge was a result of a collapsed mountain millions years ago.  At that time, the mountain top, sat on a minor fault line, suddenly dropped more than 1,000 feet and created this magnificent scenery.