We went to IKEA on Wed night for date night.  I like eating dinner at IKEA.  I was pleased to find out that they have started selling cupcakes.  I had a salted caramel cupcake.


Vince’s broken foot got cleared by the ortho today.  No more rides back and forth to school for him.  He’s going to have to walk.  Uphill.  Both ways.  In the snow.


I’m blue for no reason.  Sometimes I fight the blueness and try really hard to lift myself out of the blueness, but tonight I’m just going to wallow in it for a little while.  Don’t worry, if it goes on too long, I’ll know to do something about it.


Maybe I’m blue because I’m going to so much group therapy.  I’m not really choosing to go to group therapy, it’s part of my clinical rotation.  I don’t say anything in group therapy, but I listen to hours of people talking about their very serious issues.  And, although everyone’s exact circumstances is different, I’ve come to the conclusion that we all struggle with the same things:  how to respond to loss, how to react to disappointment, how to deal with anger, how to not feel hopeless, how to not feel lonely, how to accept love and how to do self-care.  I think some people are really good at this and don’t dwell and go through life resilient and fine.  Other people have a harder time and stumble here and there and some just have a lifetime of intense struggle with it all.

Or maybe I’m blue because I’m a little tired and hungry and that it’s still cold outside.


I take pictures of where I park in a garage so I don’t forget where the car is.

The parking in the employee lot at NIH a mess.  They parallel park a row of cars in front of other cars.  They never block my car in beacuse now I know which side they put the row of cars, but what happens if your car is trapped on the inside row?  Do they do a complicated valet parking dance?


Our next door neighbors got a fence installed yesterday.  I think the contractors put the fence up in about 5 hours.  I could see the workers dig the holes, install the poles and then wrap the whole thing with a wire grid.  It’s amazing to see how efficiently professional fence installers can put up a fence.  I think digging a single hole for a single pole would have taken me all morning.  
Now Tanner (the next door dog) has a great run-around playground that our dogs (Max and Ruby) can see into from my office window.  There might have been a lawyer calling me (seriously serious) while a pair of barking dogs three feet from my seat protested that Tanner was outside, so why couldn’t they be outside?  Hmmm… not ideal.
Edda’s liking her milk.  

May Have Family Guests for Our Huntington Beach Family Re-union this Summer

Mom has formally invited her brother and sister-in-law in Taiwan to join our family re-union.  Hopefully, they can come and it must be fun, especially for Mom.

I came from a big family with 8 siblings, she came from a family of two.  The age of her two is far apart.  So, I guess she is half of his mom, sort of 🙂

In Costa Mesa

I’m in Southern California now on a business trip. Today was a first day of a 3 day long meeting. It’s the big final sales push and everyone has been working pretty hard for the last couple of weeks. Last week, I ended up working on both Monday (a holiday) and Saturday. Still it’s been pretty manageable.

Today went well. A lot of big guns from our company are onsite as well. VPs and such. Every night there is a dinner where clients are wined and dined by our sales people. Of course, some nights I get to partake in said wining and dining. Other nights, the team has a lot of homework to do to prep for the next day’s presentation.

Tonight – unfortunately – I missed out on the nice, free meal. The grunts are back in the hotel room, working on slides and running thru demos again. Of course, I get to take a web break. 🙂


Edda is very particular about what she likes to watch on TV.  We’ve seen Finding Nemo, Dora the Explorer and Totoro ten billion times.  It’s very rare for Edda to add a new movie or TV show to her repertoire.  But I think we (we meaning Nat) may have managed to add Frozen to the mix.  It’s a good thing because Frozen is an excellent movie and I will be happy to watch it ten billion times.  Adding Hi-5 in while we were living in Singapore was a mistake.  A mistake we never live down at 5 pm each day when Edda gets a little stir-crazy and insists on watching it.  Low-budget children’s TV means lots of dancing around with brooms and aluminum foil hats and repetitive and slightly annoying songs.  Edda’s almost 11 now, so that’s 9 years of Hi-5.


There was snow on Saturday.  Jeremy shoveled Sunday.  It got to 50 degrees on Sunday, so I was hoping that it would all just melt away without anyone doing anything, but only I did nothing.  Jeremy did all the shoveling.


Edda’s a little crusty heading upstairs for a shower.   She’s happy though and there is nice light.  That’s all one really needs.


We watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Saturday night.  We’ve been watching them every other weekend or so.  Because they are so long, we usually only get through half in the evening and then we watch the 2nd half the next morning.  But I often miss the 2nd half, so I only know half of what goes on.  It doesn’t really prevent me from understanding the plot of the first half of the next movie.  I mean, you just have to know that Voldemort is terrible, Dumbledore is good and Harry Potter is going to save the day, right?


I’m teaching Vince to use my very large full frame SLR with the big lens.  I still lug the thing around everyday.  Sometimes I think I should just give it up and just shoot with the iPhone like everyone else. I’ve just been taking snapshots with my big expensive camera.  Nothing so demanding that the iPhone can’t keep up.   Vince wanted to learn to focus so I’m in focus and the background is out of focus.  I think he was just procrasinating.  You see the box on the floor next to me?  That’s his box of Chinese vocab words – he owed me 10 new words and 30 review words.  But instead, he asked to learn how to use all the buttons on my camera.

Snowy Saturday.

It’s snowy here.  They predicted 2-4″.  We got 8″.  The dogs loved being outside.


Edda’s here trying out a new tire swing.


Jeremy showed me the photos from his business trip.  You see the power point slide on that huge screen with the graph and Jeremy’s sitting on a bench with a thought bubble floating from his head?  I took that photo!  I think that might now be my most looked-at photo now.

Oh yeah, and they might have talked a little bit about the renewable fuel standard and/or the low carbon fuel standard. You can listen to Jeremy’s talk: here.

Cold week.

I start this entry with a terrible screen shot.  Jeremy’s home after being gone the 2nd half of the week in Texas.  He got in late to his hotel and the only room they had left was the Presidential Suite.  We got the full tour (via video)!  The room was bigger than the first floor of our house.  It had a full kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a dining room table for eight.  A leather sectional sofa, a million flat screen TVs, and bathroom with a big tub and shower with eighteen jets.  Very nice.  I asked if he got a valet to go along with the room, but alas, there was no valet.


I hung this heart that came home in Edda’s backpack on our front door.  I had to weigh the bottom down with pennies because it’s so windy outside.  It’s a beautiful heart, no?


Mom came by today to drop off some meatballs.  Notice Ruby asking, “For me?”


Vince is “loosening” Edda’s boogers.  I think he’s just bugging her.


Dragonfruit to remind us of the tropics when it’s 2 degrees outside.  They delayed school for 2 hours today because of the cold.  A little silly in my opinion because at 7 am it was 0 degrees, at 9 am it was 4 degrees.  Do 4 degrees really matter?  I think not in this situation.  Cold is cold.


Because it’s so cold, Vince’s campout got changed from outside to overnighting in a church’s basement.  Vince is bringing his own mattress.


Thank you Scott for designing Edda’s birthday party logo.  It’s time again to celebrate all that is Edda.  And to make a lot of bacon.  Join in, mark your calendars, it’s going to be on March 21st.