Friday, April 29, 2011


I finally got these photos from my husband's camera. He took the photos and kept forgetting to "forward" to me.

Since LG enjoys seeing the nice photos I took of QQ, I decided to post these additional photos from the St. Louis Marathon on Sunday, April 10th.
Click on the photo below and you might be able to enlarge the image of QQ after he crossed the finish line.

Below is a really nice photo of QQ at the starting line. I was so glad to find QQ among the sea of runners wearing the same bright green shirts. Good thing QQ was tall (and good looking) so it was easy to spot - haa haa! (In the Vietnamese language, there is an expression "Meo khen meo dai dui" which translates to "A proud cat brags about its long tail". I am not bragging about my long tail, just being so proud of my little brother!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Roxanne (above photo) has been working very hard digging (photos below) preparing a place for her babies.

From the windows in my home office, I watched Roxanne moving the dirt, stuffing layers of grass inside the nest and testing to make sure there is enough room for all the little bunnies she is about to give birth. (Does rabbits know in advance how many little bunnies were going to be born?)

I mentioned to my husband about Roxanne so he would be careful when cutting grass around her nest.
I told my sister about Roxanne. CH said she look forward to sitting in the patio, relaxing and watching the little bunnies running around the backyard. Country living at its best :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


It rained all day on Monday following Easter. The rain continued on and off the next few days. Floodwater from the Meramec River has crept onto the roads. Major flooding is expected as forecast of more heavy raining. We don't live in the flood plain but my husband might have to take a different (longer and more traffic) route to get to work.
The 1st round of the Stanley Cup playoffs was completed with two nail-biting Game 7s between Vancouver Canucks v. Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers v. Buffalo Sabres. I was relieved and happy that the Canucks advanced to semifinals. I was disappointed that the Sabres were eliminated because I don't care for the Flyers!

These photos were taken in 2009, the last time the St. Louis Blues got into the playoffs. The Blues were swept by the Canucks.

Since Boston Bruins eliminated Montreal Canadiens, the Canucks are the only Canada team still fighting for a chance to bring Lord Stanley back to Canada.

Here are my after-thoughts about Round 1 - Of course, I am happy that my Red Wings had an easy series (but too much resting could be a bad thing). I am also pleased that Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators advanced to the next round.
I don't care for either San Jose Sharks nor Los Angeles Kings, but I would have prefered that the Red Wings play against the Kings. I was deeply disappointed that my American hometown team New York Rangers were eliminated by the Washington Capitals. I was surprised watching Tampa Bay Lightning won 1-0 in game 7 sending Pittsburgh Penguins packing with the only goal scored of the game.

Round 2 will begin on Thursday, April 28th. I won't be making any predictions but regular readers (or read my comments above) know which teams I will be cheering for.

Monday, April 25, 2011


We had a wonderful Easter despite the threat of severe weather, the gloomy sky and the heavy rain. On Saturday morning (April 23rd), my husband drove to the local Polish grocery in downtown St. Louis to get the traditional kielbasa (Polish sausage). There is still a small Polish community there but the area is not a desirable neighborhood. To ease my worry, CP told me not to worry because "the bad guys are still sleeping and not causing any trouble so early in the morning"!
After CP safely home, we enjoyed breakfast that included eggs, a slice of the kielbasa and the babka (the traditional Polish Easter sweet bread that has raisin and fruit). We spent the day relaxing, eating and taking nap (and watching Stanley Cup playoffs games). We decided to attend 7:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday (April 24th) so we could get "good seats" and don't have to stand because at later Masses would be crowded with those "once-a-year" churchgoers.

We again spent Easter Sunday relaxing, eating and taking nap (and watching more Stanley Cup playoffs games).

A few weeks ago we noticed a bird nest was being built under the roof of our front porch. (There was no eggs when Qaptain Qwerty was here.) I was able to take a photo of the eggs (four beautiful blue shells) while my husband held up the mirror (one of his tools for checking under the cars). Yesterday we found out (while the mother was elsewhere getting food, i.e. worms) there were two little robins and two eggs that have not yet been hatched (bottom photo).

Because the nest is in the front porch, every time when we go out or get back into the house, the silly robin (I named her April) would fly away to the tree next to the garage (top photo). Lately she made lot of noise while flying away, like saying, "You hockey maniac, don't you dare touching my children."

My husband said he heard April yelled at her husband (George) for building the nest where too much traffic. George responded that the reason he chose our front porch because there are two cool cars, the T-bird and the Mustang!

"Feed me, feed me, I am hungry", the little robins screaming for more worms. Would you like to name these babies?

Sunday, April 24, 2011


FOURTEENTH STATION - Jesus is laid in the tomb. (Matthew 27:59-60)

"O my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live. You shall know then that I am the Lord. I have promised it, and I will do it, says the Lord" Ezechiel 37:12-14)

"He has risen. Behold the place where they laid him." (Mark 16:1-6)

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Happy Easter to all the readers and faithful followers. I am pleased to report that my area was not impacted by the severe weather. We live about 30 miles from the airport. I am sure Qaptain Qwerty was glad that it did not happen two weeks ago when he was here.
Actually, we were at church for Good Friday 7:30 p.m. Mass. At the start of Mass, Father Tim explained the emergency plan that was in place. At 8:05, the siren went off after the Second Reading. We all got up and quickly walked toward the cafeteria and the gym in the lower area of the church. After about 30 minutes, Mass was resumed when it was safe. Father Tim only said a few words even though he had prepared a "moving" homily!
Old Cathedral on Walnut Street - downtown St. Louis at the Gateway Arch.
Wishing you and your family a Blessed and Joyful Easter.

Friday, April 22, 2011


{Then Jesus took a cup, gave thanks and said, "Take this cup and share it among yourselves. I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until God's kingdom comes"} Luke 22:17-18

{Then Jesus took some bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to the apostles, saying, "This is my body, which I am giving for you. Do this to remember me." In the same way, after supper, Jesus took the cup and said, "This cup is the new agreement that God makes with His people. This new agreement begins with my blood which is poured out for you."} Luke 22:19-20

{Happy is the one who reads the words of God's message, and happy are the people who hear this message and do what is written in it. The time is near when all of this will happen.} Revelation 1:3

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Have you heard? My beloved Detroit Red Wings swept the Phoenix Coyotes (Wednesday, April 20th) in the 1st series of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. {For the benefits of Qaptain Qwerty and those hockey challenge readers - a sweep is when the better team (my Red Wings) won the first 4 games in the best of 7 series.}
I promised not to make any predictions but I am really worry about the Canucks (#1 seed in the Western Conference) because they are falling apart playing against the Blackhawks. In trouble are also my American hometown team, the New York Rangers losing to the Washington Capitals and my Canadian Cousin the Montreal Canadiens not doing so well against the Boston Bruins.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Even though I don't pay much attention to baseball, especially with the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs currently are playing, I agreed to see the Cardinals game. It would be our first baseball game this season. My husband informed me at around 10:30 a.m. saying that his boss gave him 4 tickets for the game at 7:15 p.m. (Tuesday, April 19th). These are good seats right behind home plate and about 11 rows up from the field. (The same seats that we used after I just had a root canal in the morning and chomping hotdogs and nachos later while watching the game!)

As we sat down in our seats, the workers began putting the tarf on the field (top photo). Looking up at the jumbotron (above photo) we saw the warning that severe thunderstrom was heading our way. The sky was getting darker and darker every second (below photo).

When the wind started to pick up, blowing debris around, we decided that it was time to find a safe spot inside the stadium. Within seconds, the heavy rain started to pour down and the sky was pitch black that you could hardly see the arch (below photo). The siren went off warning possible tornadoes. We found a good spot near a consession stand and the bathrooms. Everyone was calm, eating, drinking, chatting away, waiting for the storm to be over.

I was not happy that I gave up watching the Canucks v. Blackhawks game. I checked my phone and was surprised that the Blackhawks was up 3-1 in the 2nd period. The Canucks was beaten up real bad and lost 2-7.

The storm tapered off around 8:10 p.m. but the rain and significant lightning still persisted. When the heavy rain finally stopped and no strong wind, we decided to leave. We had an umbrella and our car was in the garage, so we did not get too wet. The game was not called off until after 9:30 p.m.

The tickets were free but it cost us $15 for parking and $25 for food. The Cardinals had a makeup game the next day, Wednesday, April 20th, for a double-header. Fans could either go to the 12:15 p.m. game or get tickets for another Monday thru Thursday game.

Monday, April 18, 2011


When I saw this scuplture, I thought of my nephew JL collecting pennies as a project at his school. I also thought posting photos of the sculpture is "sort-of" fitting for the deadline of filing 2010 tax returns.
The above scuplture, Penny, was created by artist Richard Brooks. The artist explained, "I remember my grandmother, sitting on her porch swing, telling me how angels toss down pennies from heaven to remind you that you are loved and watched over by something much larger than yourself. I used pennies that were touched by many hands to create my butterflies. The many people touching the pennies are like those touching the lives of those in need. The patina of the pennies shows the touch and generosity of so many."

Mom told me about my nephew, JL, collecting pennies and that Mom has been trying to help JL getting the award as the student who collected the most pennies. The school sent home a bag the size of a regular brown lunch bag. It was 1/3 full when I visited last November. In my luggages, I packed two half sandwich bags, one in each luggage, fill with pennies. I gave the pennies to Mom when I was there and that made her happy that I listened to her request.

The weeks leading up to QQ's visit earlier this month, Mom reminded me each time we talked so I would not forget to send the pennies with QQ on his trip back to NYC. I again did just what Mom requested. I hope the bag is at least half full by now.

My sister, CH, will be visiting St. Louis the first week of May. Then "Da Sistas" will be going to New Orleans. CH is going to attend a conference and I just come along to spend quality time with my little sister. I have not been to New Orleans so it would be fun to explore the Big Easy. Mom already asked me to gather the pennies and give them to CH to bring back to NYC.

PS: If you have not filed your 2010 tax returns by now, you would need more than a few pennies from heaven and a lot of "kindness" from the IRS!

Friday, April 15, 2011


As I sat in my car in the parking lot at the airport, I called my Mom to let her that QQ has boarded and should be on his way back to NYC. I thought it was a quick phone call but Mom was in the mood to talk. I was glad to capture the airplane and the beautiful blue sky. Then I realized that there was a security vehicle from the airport kept circling around me and then stop at the next lane as if he was keeping an eye on me. It gave me a good feeling that the protection system was in place, monitoring possible actions by those who might try to cause harm. I decided to tell Mom we would talk more later. The security vehicle followed me from the distance until I finally exited the parking lot. (To that security personnel, thank you for being diligent in your job.)
Monday, April 11th - When we got to the airport, we found out that QQ's flight originally scheduled at 2:50 p.m. was delayed to 4:15 p.m. I was grateful for an extra hour of quality time with my little brother. I also thought I could have taken QQ to another library or we could have gone to the Central Park in Chesterfield. Later, the flight was moved up to 3:45 p.m.

As I watched QQ going thru security and when QQ turned around, waved at me before walking towards the gate, a sense of sadness came over and I shed a few tears! (That is right, TOTA the tough and "rough around the edges" hockey maniac, had turned into a mushy/softy cry baby.) How I wish St. Louis is only an hour drive to NYC so we could see each other more often!
Before going to the airport, I remembered to take a photo of QQ in front of my poor, humble but proud home!
Below - QQ at Queeny Park - We even had time to make a quick loop around Queeny Park. I am sure QQ would enjoy the walking trail and running paths at Queeny.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs began on Wednesday, April 13th. Those who are regular readers and of course, my faithful followers, know that I might be "awol" for awhile. How long will I be absent from blogging will depend on how far my beloved Detroit Red Wings advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I will try to post regularly but probably with lot of cheesy photos and very few worthy notes! I won't make any predictions because I don't want anyone to blame me for jinxing their teams. However, I will share my thoughts after the series ended. Let the good times roll! I plan to enjoy every second of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Life is good :)

Monday, April 11, 2011


Even though it was disappointing that QQ was not able to achieve his goal of running a full marathon, I had a lot of fun cheering and was happy that we got to see each other. QQ's visit was short yet I believe we spent a good amount of quality time talking and being together. We managed to do a little of sighseeing and also a lot of R&R (resting and relaxing). On Monday, April 11th, after we got up, QQ and I had a chatty walk around the neighborhood. It was about 3.5k walk. We talked and laughed reminiscing about our childhood in Viet Nam, living in the refugee camp and our early years in America. After the walk, I again made breakfast. Later we visited a local library (not sure if QQ was impressed with the Asian Center, probably not since its collection was limited compared to what is available in NYC.)
After the trip to the library, QQ relaxed in the patio while enjoying lunch before going to the airport.
I was a bit sad when taking QQ back to the airport. We talked about getting together in another city when QQ decides to run another marathon there. The next trip could include my sister CH and that would be a great way to have a mini family reunion.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Sunday, April 10th - Surprisingly, I was the first one to get up at 6:00 a.m. I am not a morning person and I hate to get up early. But when there was a purpose, I could easily be motivated to spring out of bed and ready for action. While I got ready, CP went thru the connecting doors to the next room to wake up QQ. We were at the starting line at 6:45 a.m.
After taken a few photos, we wished QQ good luck, stayed outside the fence since only runners would be allowed to get inside the corral.
Go Qaptain Go!
I really had a lot of fun holding up the sign waiting for QQ and cheering for other runners. It brought back fond memories when I used to run the women's mini-marathons (I still have the medals) and was a volunteer for many years with the New York Road Runners. One year I was assigned to be a marshal during the New York City Marathon. To this day, I wonder why anyone would assign me, a little short, not yet chubby, woman to be a marshal!
We decided to walk to the Old Cathedral by the Arch for an 8:00 a.m. Mass. After church, we walked back to the hotel and were getting ready to enjoy breakfast when QQ called to inform us that the Marathon was cut short due to the high temperature. We quickly walked from the hotel to the finish line. Go to for details of QQ disappointing outcome not able to achieve his goal of running a full marathon.


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