Closing out the old year. Ringing in the new.

Although the kids are still out of school for the rest of the week, we are settling back into our old routines which means that I’m able to hit my priority #1 – getting enough sleep (once I’m able to do this, everything else follows so much more smoothly).  I’m back at work – the quarter ends this biweek.  Jeremy’s office is closed, but he’s working a bit and he’s decided to paint Vince’s room.  He’s doing it by the book, all the steps, no shortcuts – washing the walls, taping and drop cloth-ing everything, patching up all the holes and priming.  He even got himself coveralls and a painters hat.  We’ll see how it goes!

Taylor Swift has abandoned Spotify and I must admit I couldn’t resist and I downloaded her whole album and I’m listening to it during work this week.  Ha ha.  Love it.

Worked Inside and Around the House

I came back for Christmas to be with Rena.  My birthday dinner was very good.  The wonderful birthday card from Vincent was funny as well as creative.

In the meantime,  for safety, I kept working inside and around the house.  I installed two toilet safety frames, one in the master bedroom, the other in the first floor bath.  In there, an additional long vertical grab bar was also installed for the ease of setting down and getting up.

Several entrance doors were taped with glow-in-the-dark tape which consists of aluminum oxide grit materials.  It helps immensely when the light is just turned off and/or becomes unavailable.  After that, the glow will gradually fade away.  It works better for a couple of hours.  Indeed, I got up around 1:00 AM for two days to check.  And, it is indeed just that.

Outside the house, I taped up the entire wooden bridge in our backyard with anti-skid black tapes.  I also installed 7 vertical wooden posts for round fences to be installed later (next trip back in mid-January) to keep off deer.

Oh, btw, Mom’s three Mahjon widowed friends (77 or beyond) insisted to take Mom and me out for launch, yesterday. They never asked for the restaurant I preferred.  They simply picked a place worth the money. What could I say?  I guess they have been their household boss for a long, long time.  But, I did enjoy their invitation, food and their companionship – very, very different from all others.

looking forward for Mom to coming down to Nashville, TN for four days to celebrate our new year (2015) together next Wednesday (12/31),

Japanese Steakhouse.

It’s been busy here at the Martin-Lee household.  I’m all holiday-ed out.  We did go out to dinner last night to celebrate my father’s birthday.  Noel = born on Christmas.  The young lady seated next to us was also celebrating her birthday and my father was hopeful that her name was Noelle, but alas, it was not.

We went to a Japanese steak house where they set oil on fire, flipped eggs into pockets and performed acrobatics with utensils.  I was able to capture photos of some of my family members attempting to catch flying bits of food.  It was amusing in just the right way, we all had fun.

Hey look!  Jeremy’s wearing his Christmas vest again!

And here is my dad opening his FARTing card (which was selected by Vince) – lest you think I gave my dad a f*&*ing card as he mentioned in his blog post below.  I can be crass, but giving my father a f(*&^ing birthday card on Christmas is not something I’m capable of doing.

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday

Early this morning, while in Oakridge, TN, Rena and Donald both called and wished me a “Merry Christmas & Happy Birthday”. After finishing my apartment chores, in the afternoon hours, I flew back to Dulles, Washington DC.

Doris was already there at the airport to pick me up.  She then drove home and picked up Jeremy, two grand kids.  Her final stop was at our house to pick up Rena.

Afterward, we went to dinner together at a Japanese Steak House nearby.   The food was excellent and Vincent was pretty amazed to watch the cook cooking in front of him.  We had a good time together. Vincent even spoke a couple of Chinese sentences to the waitress and the cook.  His Chinese is pretty good.

Then, we went back to our house to taste my birthday cake and exchanged Christmas gifts.  Rena hand knitted one small blanket for Vincent and for Edda, a hand-knitted skirt.

Besides cake, Rena also gave me a $100.00 bill in a red envelop as a birthday gift to buy a dremel tool. And from Vincent and Doris, a big box of chocolates and a beef stick.  With it, there is a f__ting birthday card, generated those funny sounds from a high-tech chip inside.

Well, finally, wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Chinese. Party.

Vince’s first Chinese essay:

I had promised Vince that I would look up a way to type in Chinese while he was at school on Tuesday and I found a few ways that were unsatisfactory.  He came home from school and I told him I couldn’t figure out exactly how he could type his essay and he promptly went to youtube and typed in “how to type in chinese mac” and found a 3 minute tutorial and 5 minutes later he was typing this essay in MS word.  I’m almost more impressed with that than the essay itself.


Jeremy’s work holiday party was Thursday night.  He went to work in a demure olive green cardigan which covered up (you guessed it) his favorite Christmas vest.


These are the people dreaming up national fuels policy.


Look who is in town!  Sue!  I’m sure when we were 16, we talked about cute boys.  Now we talk about kids, child care, real estate and aging parents.  I got to hold a baby today.  Sometimes babies like it when I hold them, but often they don’t like it (hmmm, maybe this doesn’t bode well for the peds nurse idea).  Bradley didn’t like it very much when I held him.  I showed him the most exciting part of Rockville – the kid section at the main library.  Sue hadn’t yet been to the new library, we both remember the old library where we spent time going through the immense card catalog to do school papers.


Winter concert tonight.  Vince is in the 8th grade class because he’s taking Chinese which I guess is the same time as the 7th grade orchestra class.


Edda enjoying the concert in her way too small wheelchair.  The repair people still haven’t answered our emails.  Maybe Edda’ll be using this old wheelchair when she’s 17.


Edda fell asleep to the choral rendition of Maroon 5’s Maps.


After the concert, Vince worked the school store and sold Jeremy a Santa hat.


Post concert celebration at the local bubble tea place.  And we are studying Chinese!  A week and a half of study has pulled Vince’s grade from a C to B.  Which is more than I can say for my Adult Health final which I got a C on!  I don’t think I *ever* got a C on a final in college.  (Grad school, another issue – I remember getting a 17 on a test.  The math was getting really hard. So hard.) Nursing school is killing me.  I know I have a ton of other stuff I’m doing, but really, I could have studied another week and not done much better.  This is an example of a question:  You have a patient with a stroke who is unconscious and unresponsive.  He also has acid reflux.  What do you assess frequently? I know all the things to do for a stroke patient.  I know all the things you do for an acid reflux patient (you do too: Tums, don’t lie down after a meal and don’t eat spicy foods).  But what the heck do you do for a patient with acid reflux AND stroke.  I figured you’d ignore the acid reflux because you have a crap ton of other things to worry about.   Ha, ha.  No matter.  This term is done!  I’m done with going to school full-time and working full-time.  I was really lucky to have pulled this term off – the stars aligned.  Let the holidays begin.

Dry Aging Chicken

Well, I guess Rena’s left arm is getting better.  I can see it, not from her directly, but rather from our credit card charges.  Our cards went to sleep for a while.  Right now, I am glad it gradually moves back to normal  – a lot of them from Dollar Stores or Dollar Trees.  But, few items actually come from Macy’s.  That is good too.

Also, her activities increase a lot – sewing, harvesting potatoes, etc.  Look, here are some of her dry aging chicken in the garage.  Last year, they were hung everywhere, though tasty but not too neat, I thought. Therefore, I installed several racks. But, she still used those crooked paperclips.  It looked slightly better, but not much.

Right now, look, all those s-shape hangers (not paperclip).  They are very neat indeed.  I am very impressed. Well, “Happy Wife means Happy Life” 🙂  What more can one ask?