I can not wait for Chinese New Year, which is on January 22 this year. Several people I know have had some mishaps back in Decemeber; my FIL was hospitalized for a day for high blood pressure and my co-worker lost his father. Even Ahgoo fell in the house and cut up her chin (thankfully it was minor)! With Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the terrible weather-related disasters around the world in the year of the tiger, I can not wait to say goodbye to this fierce tiger and herald in the gentle year of the rabbit!

Given all these mishaps, I was extremely careful to avoid doing anything dangerous or out of the ordinary. I told my co-workers to "avoid getting smacked by the tail of the tiger on his way out!" Well, with only one more week before the start of the rabbit year, something terrible happened to our neighbor!! At around 10pm on January 15, we were all getting into bed when there was a loud thud followed by a crash of glass! We jumped out of bed at that point and ran down stairs. Then a car alarm went off. In my mind, I thought some cabinets fell in our garage, Mr. BAW thought he forgot to close the garage door and all the rain broke the door! Soon, we heard a woman scream and that's when we knew that the source of the noice was outside our house. Turns out that a giant eucalyptus tree across the street had fallen straight into our neighbor's driveway, crushing all three of their cars (one was parked on the street and the other in their driveway)!! Since we only have six homes on our street, all the neighbors came out to see what had happened. Police was called and they came right over (the police station is only about two blocks from our street). Thankfully, no one was hurt. Our neighbor's house was far back enough that only a structure on their front balcony was damaged, along with the cars. But their house was not harmed. They had literally just came home from LAX (they were in Italy for a couple of weeks) when, minutes later, the tree fell! It has been raining heavily in our area for the past few weeks, these trees are all water logged. The one that fell was very close to the curb on one side and on the other side, there is a hillside dropoff. The roots just didn't have enough soil to hang onto. Thankfully, the tree right across from our house are futher down the dropoff so even if they fall over, they would slide down the hill and not reach our house. We also park all of our cars inside our garage...unlike many people who chooses to use their garage as storage.

The huge tree was left in place until the next morning when the city crew came to cut down the tree. But until they were done, we could not drive out of our street. Thankfully, it was Martin Luther King holiday and the kids didn't have school. But several of our friends have offered to drive us places so the kids would've been able to still get to school. The tree crew worked all day and were finally finished clearing the street by 3pm. But, as you can see in my picture below, they left the giant tree root there! It's a reminder of why they call eucalytus trees "widow makers." We are all still in shock of how lucky we are. You can see from my pictures below that our house is to the left of the yellow tape and the eucalytus tree barely touched our olive tree in the front. It was as if the eucalytus tree tilted just enough to avoid hitting our house and landed entirely onto our neighbor's house. I can't tell you how lucky I feel. I am so looking forward to the arrival of the peaceful water rabbit! Happy Chinese New Year to everyone!

Posted on January 20, 2023


We love this big boy so much, I can't believe it's been four years since we went to pick him out. At four, Kepler is still a big puppy. He loves to fetch but not bring it back to you, he loves belly rubs which we call "tummy time", and he loves to romp with his doggie friends. Mr. BAW and Ahgoo baked him a peanutbutter carrot cake. On each birthday, I also take fancy portraits of him and this year is no different. Happy birthday Kepler, you bring us so much joy!

Posted on January 14, 2023


Each year, I always dread January. Funny how my Januaries always seem to start out very similarly, as I am digging out mushrooms from my garden after some pretty intense rainfall. We've had two weeks of torrential rain storms north of us, in Santa Barbara and San Francisco. They've had to evacuate Montecito, a small town between LA and Santa Barbara. Thankfully, we are ok, just a few annoyances with some water seeping from our guestroom french doors and our neighbor's palm fronds falling onto our roof. We recently had a contractor put in new pebble steps on one side of our yard and I'm so thankful that we did! Otherwise, the heavy rain would've washed away tons of soil. We are not done with storms yet and it's good since we do need the snow and water.

This year, I think January is just flying by. In fact, I've been so slow with blogging that I still have to recap our Thanksgiving from last year! To celebrate my FIL's 80th birthday, we met up with everyeone (including my BIL's family) in Las Vegas during Thanksgiving week. We packed a lot into that Thanksgiving week, starting with Vegas then we swung by Red Rock Canyon and drove by Hoover Dam and then drove back to Arizona to spend Thanksgiving at my In Laws' place. Woosh, I'm out of breath just writing that down! Since there are so many pictures to show, I'll just break it up into several posts. Let's start with Las Vegas. Although I grew up going to Vegas with my extended family when I was young (being only six hours' drive from LA) I still had a great time. Thanks to our SIL (she's the adventurous one of the family), I got to see tons of new things in Vegas. She convinced the kids and Mr. BAW to do the zipline at Fremont Street! I've never been to Fremont Street before so it was nice for me to see. A few blocks away from Fremont Street, we were all startled by this giant mantis (appropriately called "The Mantis") when it shot actual flames into the sky! In addition, our SIL also convinced us to check out Area 15. I will have to dedicate an entire blog entry to that place. For our time in Vegas (we only spent three days there), we still managed to squeeze in a Cirque du Soleil show (we saw KA which was my second time seeing it but still amazes) and enjoyed the Christmas decor at the big hotels such as the Wynn, The Venetian, Caesar's Palace, and Bellagio. Enjoy a few of my "not so traditional" Vegas pictures.

Posted on January 12, 2023


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