Tuesday, April 30, 2013


 How do you measure happiness?  Just like in the commercial asking how happy the customer is when saving money after switching insurance company - as happy as TOTA during NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Regular readers notice that I have not mentioned as much about my beloved Detroit Red Wings after the lockout ended.  I was occupied with school plus disappointed with the Wings not playing at expected level at the beginning of the "season" and the last few weeks, I could not sleep or eat (just kidding) worrying because there was a possibility that the Wings might not get into the Playoffs. 
After dropping to 10th place, then struggling just to stay alive in the last playoffs spot, I am pleased to report that the Wings climbed up to 7th place (still embarrassing compared to previous years when they would be the first team to clinch playoffs spot).  Playoffs (Round 1) start tonight with the Wings against Anaheim Ducks so I might not be able to stay up late (puck drops at 7:30 p.m. in California but that will be 10:30 p.m. St. Louis time).  Other interesting match-ups - Toronto v. Boston; Montreal v. Ottawa; Rangers v. Capitals; and St. Louis v. LA Kings.  I finally got my wish - all Original Six teams are in the Playoffs, (Blackhawks v.Wild) including Maple Leafs after so many years of missing the fun!
Today is April 30th - 38 years after the Fall of Sai Gon in 1975.  The day when the Viet Nam war was supposedly ended but a different kind of war began for the Vietnamese people, my family included, living under Communist controlled government.  We escaped by boat in 1979, survived the journey and the refugee camp and began a new life in American (New York City) on January 10, 1980.  I am reminded of how blessed we are to be living in America and grateful for the freedom and liberty we have enjoyed.  God Bless America and those who have served this great nation.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


 Since we are not going to Hermann for the ShelbyFest, I thought posting these photos would give the readers who are car guys and gals something to look at and for those who could not care less (like QQ) about the Shelby or any muscle cars - well, this is what usually takes place when you are at a car show.  There are mostly men who would spent hours drooling over other men's cars.
I don't remember who told me that "A car is like a woman - she is beautiful and she usually belongs to someone else.  So look but don't touch!".  (Unless you want to get a bloody nose and killed if you let the blood dripped on the clean engine.)
I tagged along with Ralphie to a few car shows, especially to those classic vehicles.  There are many of them during the summer.  I built up a good knowledge and decided to surprise my husband while we were walking around the show, I casually pointed at one vehicle on display and said, "Wow, that is a 1958 Fairlane 500 Skyliner with the retractable hardtop".  I kept my "Poker face" only for a second then burst out laughing when I saw the beyond relief "Are you my wife?" surprising look on my husband's face - to this day we still laugh about this!
Can anyone tell me what these men are looking atThese are strangers who did not know each other but now they became best friends and could spend hours talking about "their" restoration project, whether to put in a 5.OL or 4.6L engine block, what kind of suspensions or paint work and let's not forget the wheel bolt pattern.


The above is one of the best images I captured during our visit to Yellowstone National Park - man and nature (except for the fish not too happy being caught).
Last week the City Police Department sponsored a Shred Day.  For $5 cash or a bag of can food, you could drop off up to 10 banker boxes at the shredding location where you could watch the documents being "securely" shredded.  Well, I emphasize the word "securely" to be funny because if you could not trust your own police department, who could you trust, right?  My husband helped me load up 7 boxes, mostly translation documents and credit card statements from the last 10 years, into the trunk of my car.  I made cash donation and also a bag of can food.  Sgt. JH, the Community Officer, told me this week that it was a successful event with almost $1,500 cash and 300 lbs of can food collected and donated to the local food pantry.    
After the Shred Day, I stopped by the Books and Baked Sale at the Community Center.  I did not buy any books but could not resist getting a small bag of cookies and a few brownies from Sgt. JH's mother.  She was helping out at the SaleLooking at the last name on her nametag, I asked if she knew the Sgt. and she told me she was his mother.  Seeing her "How the heck do you know my son?" look, I explained that I knew him from the Police Academy community training.
It is that time of the year - the dreadful "allergy season" has started, filling the air with pollen, covering up our cars with the green stuff and people walking around sneezing and running noseThe last few years I have suffered from itchy and dry eyes no matter how often I sought relief from various kinds of eye drops.  I did not have any problems when we first moved to St. Louis in 1995.  I guess after so many years of fighting, my immune system has been weaken by the overwhelming pollen army.  
We were planning to go to Hermann, Missouri today for the Shelby FestivalHe Who Got to Drive a Clean Car decided not to go because "it would be embarrassing to drive around in a dirty Pony".  Ralphie could not wash the Pony because it was raining.  So we will be staying in all day which is fine with me.  I will be posting while Himself is out in the garage spending quality time with his T-bird and all the tools that are rarely used!

Friday, April 26, 2013


This is me, taking it easy and enjoying the free time (I would be the one sitting on the rock while others swimming around).  A few of my classmates have kids that are between 6 and 8 years old.  One person has a 9 months old baby.  Others work full time and carrying the same course load as I do.  They attended class and submitted assignments on time.  They don't expect special treatment or getting passing grade without doing the hard work.  I told them that I greatly admired them for their determination and how they managed to handle all the responsibilities.  I remembered when I was at Hunter College while working full time but that was when I was young and had a purpose and lot of goals in life than simply watching hockey/football games!
I still don't know how I did it - one semester I carried 12 credits while working full time.  Somehow I managed to earned a straight A's that semester.  It could be because I set goals to achieve a college education and a better future.  And I had to take care of myself since I did not have a husband back then.  Now I am a geezer, not much energy left, and I could live off my husband who has been very supportive.  After 30 years of working and paying taxes, I will try not to feel too guilty about taking it easy for awhile.  Besides, I would rather be working only if I was not "thrown-off" the bridge .......     


 Happy Friday ya'll - it is good to be blogging again!  I could not believe that I have all the free time on my hands, no reading hundred of pages of "legal mumbo jumbo", no research or drafting assignments, no looking thru cases to locate authority, statutes or court decisions.  All the chapters have been covered, (weekly) assignments have been submitted, I only have to make it thru the finals and I would be free until the summer semester starts!  
 Looking at these photos taken from our Westward adventure in 2011 makes me long to be on the roadI love seeing America and there is so much to see (13 more States to be exact).  I have not taken pictures lately (QQ, are you surprised?) so for this Friday Sky post, I am sharing these photos from our visit to Yellowstone National Park.
 Just in case you heard about flooding in St. Louis, we are ok and don't live in or near flooding areas.  It was sunny yesterday but today is back to cloudy with a threat of possible rain late in the evening.  In addition to school schedule, I have been busy with going to the courthouse to observe "justice in action".  Did I share that I started a Legal Studies Club on campus?  We had our first club meeting on April 3rd and it was sort-of well-attended.  Election of officers will take place at the next meeting and I have been busy with campaigning, fundraising in between a few rounds of golf and family vacation - all expense paid for and funded by the club membership dues (just kidding)! 
 We had a nice and quiet Easter (can't believe that it was a month ago).  A new manager (let's call him NC) from my husband's workplace is from Charleston, North Carolina.  NC is actually originally from Boston.  His wife is still in NC as they are trying to sell their house.  So we invited NC to our home for dinner to celebrate Easter with us.  We did not talk politics, only pleasant topics like football and hockey!
This small church is right across from our hotel in Gardiner, Montana.  This is the view from our room on the 2nd floor.  It is a great view to see each morning or anytime when looking out the windows.  Mass schedule listed 8:00 a.m. during the summer but only 3 times each month and 4:00 p.m. Mass during the winter.  I tried but the door was locked so I could not take any pictures inside the church.

Friday, April 05, 2013


These photos of the colorful balloons against the beautiful clear blue sky were taken at this year Ice Carnival in downtown St. Charles (faithful readers know I love writing about balloons, especially the ones that got away, broke free from the "golden handcuff", flying high into the sky to freedom and liberty).  I just noticed there was an "airless" red balloon in the above photo. 
Happy Spring to ya'll - the hot and humid summer weather will be here before you know it!


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