Sunday Afternoon 8/27/2017

I would like this to be over now.

I will try to keep this short and sweet today as I’m tired, stressed and just don’t feel at my best today. Jury duty will continue tomorrow – we are now deliberating, but it’s not going to be quick or easy. I believe we may have a few more days to go before we can reach a verdict, so I’m not sure when things will return to normal on the blog.

My thoughts and prayers this morning are with Texas, and especially Houston and the Texas gulf coast. Hurricane Harvey was/is worse right now than what was predicted, and getting worse by the hour. Every time I check for updates it takes my breath away. I encourage everyone to help however they can – currently donations of money to relief organizations is what’s needed most; other donations, and volunteering can come later. Clean-up and recovery is going to be a long, long process after this catastrophe.

We’ve received other bad news as well this morning: Brett’s younger brother’s son, who is just two months older than our son, died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage while he was at work. He has a wife and 10 year-old son. While Brett and his brother are not estranged, they’re not close either, but this still comes as huge, sad shock. And, to add insult to injury we got a message from Meiling this morning right about the same time that during the night someone had cut the brake lines on her bike. Because she doesn’t drive, she depends on her bike to get to work and classes. Who does these things and why?

I’m feeling sad today as well because WenYu leaves this coming week, and with the trial going on I really haven’t prepared myself for her departure. I have loved having her home this summer, and will miss her greatly, but I’m also so proud of her and what she is doing with her life, a part of which is going to college.

My bedroom was the upstairs room on the right – I had my own door to the balcony!

In a not very fun week I discovered one fun thing. I think I wrote on the blog year before last about finding online that my childhood home was for sale, and how other than some cosmetics and the addition of a swimming pool nothing had really been done to it since we lived there in the 1960s. Well, it’s on the market again, this time for over $3 million (My parents sold the house in 1968 for less than $60K), and it’s been completely renovated, remodeled and redone since the sale. It looks amazing! I wonder if there’s a for-sale sign out in front this time – back when we lived there no realty signs ever went up, and houses were sold by word-of-mouth; there was a waiting list to buy something on the street. My parents heard about our house before it was listed because friends were being transferred, and they decided to snap it up.

Anyway, this afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I just downloaded Mother Daughter Me: A Memoir, by Katie Hafner onto my Kindle, and have barely started it, but so far it’s very engaging. The trial and all that has given me to think about has made it difficult to read most of the time – I have trouble concentrating.
  • Listening to: We had an absolutely beautiful morning, nice and cool and breezy, but know it’s going to get warm (hot) later on.  YaYu had to leave early to volunteer at the county fair, and WenYu drove her so she could go shopping on the way home for some thing she needs to take back to school. It should have been quiet around here but the washing machine is doing its thing. No rest for the wicked.
  • Watching: Brett and I are watching the Rebus series on Hulu right now. The show switched actors after the first season, and the second actor (the whole ensemble, really) is a much, much better fit for the character than the first, so we’re enjoying it more. We’ll watch another episode of Endeavour tonight on PBS, but otherwise I’m not watching anything else right now – there’s just nothing I want to see, and I haven’t had the time or inclination to look for anything this past week.
  • Cooking/baking: We’re going to have lumpia (Filipino spring rolls), rice and Asian-y coleslaw for dinner tonight. The lumpia is already made – I just have to fry it, and that won’t take long. It was cool-ish for a while this morning so I baked a pan of brownies for lunches/snacks next week.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: Heading off to jury duty every day this week has been a chore, but I made it on time and got through each day. I was unable to ride my exercise bike several day because of exhaustion, but I did study my language every day, and drank more than my daily allotment of water. I also reached the first goal every day with Swagbucks, and I’ve almost reached my second Swagbucks earnings goal (first was for Christmas).
  • Looking forward to next week: I’m hoping we (the jury) can reach a verdict sooner rather than later.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: Brett and the girls really stepped in to make sure everything got done around the house while I was gone for the day, and put up with me collapsing into a ball on the sofa when I got home each evening.
  • Reporting gains and losses: I’ve lost another two pounds this month, which frankly surprised me, but maybe it’s because part of me melted – it’s been that hot on a few days. I’ve lost 25 pounds so fa since February, and am somewhat ashamed to admit that there’s more to go. We put $721.46 in our travel savings last month, and our total is now $5311.22. We’re well ahead of where we need to be at this point to reach our goal at the end of the year so we’re happy about that!
  • Grateful for: I’m so thankful for my supportive and understanding family right now. I can’t talk about the trial, and they don’t ask. They also let me have the time to compose myself every evening, to get my head out of the trial, and back into the “real world.”
  • Bonus question: Do you like going to your county or state fair? Well, my answer is no – they’re really not something I enjoy. We hadn’t been to one in a long time and went to the Kaua’i County Fair the first summer we were here. It was so expensive! We thought we had brought plenty of money, but by the time we paid admission for all of us, we had enough left for the girls to go on just one ride so we could afford something to eat (one plate lunch that all of us shared). I’m not sure how families afford it. Generally county and state fairs are too crowded for my taste, the rides sketchy, and everything is too expensive. I’d rather spend my money on just about anything else. That said, I do enjoy seeing the farm and other animals and all the contest entries (canning, quilting, etc.).

That’s it for this week. I promise  details from the trial once we arrive at a verdict, but like I said, it might take a few more days. Otherwise, I hope all of you have a wonderful week, and have another good one to look forward to!

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19 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 8/27/2017

  1. Kris Vaughan says:

    So sorry to hear about Brett’s nephew and M’s bike.
    What street did you live on in San Marino? My cousins lived on Euclid and sold their tiny house with many issues and zero updates several years ago for 1.3 million dollars in 1 week.

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    • Laura says:

      Hi Kris – this comment went to the trash for some unknown reason! My apologies.

      We lived in three different houses in SM: first was Brentford Road (the house is currently valued at $1.8 million), then on Homet (the house currently on the market for $3 million), and finally on Cumberland Road (current value is $1.37 million). It’s crazy what houses cost there now!

      Euclid is very close to my grandparents’ home on Carlaris. It sold nearly 10 years ago for over $1 million.

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  2. Laurel says:

    Oh, Laura. I feel for you. It seems like bad news comes in streaks and sometimes when we’re not up to dealing with life another crazy thing hits. And I always feel sad when my kids leave. Hang in there. Here’s hoping the verdict comes more quickly than you expect.

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    • Laura says:

      That’s the way it feels right now – too much bad stuff coming at once. Jury duty is NOT helping. Everyone wanted it to be over on Friday (me included) but there is a lot of evidence to go through and there was no way to do that in two hours on Friday. So, we’re back at it tomorrow. I couldn’t believe some of the things I heard from other jury members on Friday, all in pursuit of a “quick” verdict.

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  3. The One in Debt says:

    Lumpia?! Yummmmm. Leftovers cold the next day are great too! My uncle make delicious lumpia. Funny – one time I made 2 batches (tofu and chicken) of lumpia for a football game. The guys complained I brought tofu. Do you think there were any left? I think not! ha.

    I really am sorry about the family loss. My condolences. And what kind of messed up is that where somebody feels the need to cut the brake lines. Geesh. Internet Hugs to you surrounding your girls. May the days leading be brighter for you.

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    • Laura says:

      We love lumpur – we can get it in bulk at Costco. I divide it into smaller packages and freeze it. It isn’t very Filipino, but I love mine with sweet chili sauce.

      Brett and his brother are not close, and we learned today that his brother and the nephew have been estranged for over a year, which makes it even sadder. The news was very difficult for our son – he’s just two months younger, and remembers his cousin – they used to play together.

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  4. vivian says:

    Sorry to hear about your nephew.

    I hope you will keep the jury on track. I was on a particularly difficult case and all of us had to gang up on one particular juror because of her prejudice against the victim. Never seen anything like it in the 9 trials I participated in.

    I’m sorry for what happened to Meiling but am thankful that she caught it before she was injured. I have never figured out why people like to smash things.

    I hope all the bad things are past and this week turns out better.

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  5. quesoit1 says:

    Very sorry to hear about Brett’s nephew. It’s sad that father and son were estranged. Wonder if that is now a cause of regret for the father?

    Didn’t know you were from San Marino! My husband grew up there, first in a modest house on Darby Rd. and then in a more palatial house on Oak Knoll. When we drive through the neighborhood occasionally to go to the Huntington, Jim always marvels at how the neighborhood looks the same as when he grew up. The demographics have changed dramatically, though, as you know — it was VERY un-diverse when his family lived there.

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    • Laura says:

      Your husband is from San Marino? Wow – talk about a small world. I know where both Darby Road and Oak Knoll are – my grandmother lived close to Oak Knoll, on Carlaris. Our family started out modestly as well, on Brentford Road (just south of Lorain, off San Marino Blvd. we then moved to the big house up on Homet and lived there for many years. My parents downsized and bought a smaller place in Cumberland – just a 5-minute walk to the HS, but my dad got transferred to San Diego so I ended up graduating from school there vs. SMHS. What year did your husband graduate? I was in the class of 1970. Your husband may have had my mom for math at Huntington School! He’s right – it all looks the same but is so much more diverse now than it was back then.

      I’m sure Brett’s brother is really regret over the estrangement, although for what caused it it’s understandable. We both doubt it would have lasted, but then the son died suddenly.

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      • quesoit1 says:

        Like you, my husband did not end up graduating from SMHS–when he was in 9th grade his family moved to Contra Costa County when his father got a promotion. He would have been class of 1973. His parents were very involved with the San Marino schools and his father even ran for school board in the 1960s after becoming disgusted with the influence of the John Birch Society in town. (He lost.)

        The math teachers that Jim remembers from Huntington Jr. High were Mrs. Arnes, Mr. Spencet, and Mrs. Field.

        Jim’s grandparents lived in a beautiful house on San Marino Ave. in the 1920s before going bust in the Depression. On Google Maps street view, remarkably the current exterior looks the same as the pictures in the family photo album.

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      • Laura says:

        Your husband would have been the class after my younger sister . . . .

        I had Mr. Spencer in 7th grade, Mrs. Field in 8th grade. My mom was Mrs. F, if that jogs his memory. It was very strange having my mother teach at the school that I attended. Most people seemed to like her, but if they were struggling in math, boy did I ever hear about along with disparaging remarks about my mom. These days I mainly hear positive things about Mom – what a good teacher she was, how helpful, her high standards, etc.

        My grandparents’ home on Carlaris was purchased for a song from a builder that went bust. My grandfather owned a successful insurance business in South Pasadena, which is where he got the tip. It was a wonderful, Spanish-revival home – I spent many happy times there. The house pretty much looks the same now as it did back then. My mom was able to tour it a few years ago with her sister – the only difference was the kitchen had been remodeled, and a pool added in the back yard.

        Ah, the John Birch Society. They were the reason we couldn’t have flouride in our water, among other forward-thinking improvements – it was a Communist plot. Actually, everything was a Communist plot to them. Good on your F-I-L for running for the school board.

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      • quesoit1 says:

        My husband doesn’t remember a Mrs. F other than Mrs. Field. Boy, asking Jim tonight about junior high unlocked a flood of memories! He vividly remembers Mr. Spencer’s protractor problems and collaborating with other boys to solve Mrs. Field’s math homework problems. He says getting 8 blue certificates (whatever those are) at Huntington was one of his top two academic achievements–the other being his Ph.D. in chemistry! He says to thank you for the trip down memory lane…

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      • Laura says:

        Did he have Barbara Fletcher for U.S. History? She was a piece of work. Or Miss Rich? One thing about my mom teaching there is that we knew where all the bodies were buried, so to speak.

        I don’t remember the blue certificates, maybe because I didn’t earn any LOL.

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      • quesoit1 says:

        Jim doesn’t remember Ms. Fletcher. He remembers Miss Rich, but didn’t have her as a teacher. She taught both of his older brothers, who are 13 and 12 years older than him. We were laughing about how back then all of our schoolteachers seemed really old, but were almost certainly younger than we are now! But he thinks Miss Rich actually was old.
        He says blue certificates were awarded for A grades. Perhaps they didn’t start the red and blue certificate system until after your time there.

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      • Laura says:

        One more SM memory: Miss Rich was old then. My older brother used to mow her lawn, and besides paying him she also made him a huge tin of peanut brittle! She was the reason I became an ESL instructor – all those grammar lessons in the 7th grade paid off! The last day of 7th grade, as we streamed out of her classroom she came out into the hall and yelled after us, “the verb be never takes an object!”

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      • quesoit1 says:

        Isn’t it remarkable how something random — like having a particular teacher — can end up having a big influence on one’s life, sometimes in a very unexpected way? The connection between Miss Rich’s English class and your ESL teaching is probably not something you could have predicted or even imagined.

        I suppose Miss Rich had your class diagram sentences? Sentence diagramming fascinated me in 8th grade English and definitely helped me understand grammar. I would guess it’s not taught anymore — what a pity!

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      • Laura says:

        Oh yes we diagrammed sentences. Every. Single. Day. And apparently it stuck with me because I could still do it all those years later in grad school! It is a lost art.

        Thinking good thoughts of Miss Rich tonight – for her instruction (and that delicious peanut brittle).

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