Every time I miss my dear grandma, I make rice porridge, like this:

Taste of love

I remember when I was little, I got sick a lot. I would cry every morning because I did not feel well. Grandma would get up at 5 am in the morning and start the stove. As soon as the rice porridge boils, as the fragrance of boiling rice along with all kinds of nuts dominate the house, I would jump out of the bed and start staring at the porridge pot—my was mouth watering, stomach was groaning, and eyes were wide open as I watch the steam slowly goes up into the air and disappears…

It has been a year and half since Grandma left. No matter how hard I try, the rice porridge is never the same.


It is back to school time! I hosted a couple of friends who are in town for the campus move-in. One of the ladies I hosted flew straight from Beijing. So it is not hard to imagine the issues she had to face with the flight delays and even cancellation. But after all that, she made it. I was imaging a stressed out, lost, and crying girl coming out of the terminal. But no, she seemed excited! She was outgoing and loud. I was totally surprised.

5 years ago, I did the same thing as her. I flew all the way from the other side of the earth to North Carolina for school. I was nothing like her though. I do not remember myself being happy. I came from the highest place on earth, the waves of NC heat soon took all my energy away. I could hardly breathe– at least that was how I felt. Surrounded by 18-year-old kids who would not stop talking, I felt so alone because I did not know how to butt into any of their conversations, such as something about Destiny’s Child, and so forth… The rest of my 4 years at Duke University is a long and successful story… I guess.

I am so happy for this girl who has such a positive spirit!


Good luck!

Tribute to my little nephew (Age 6, 3rd grade, smartest kid in his class, smartest kid in my family, happily lives in China)

Ok, let me just begin by admitting that I only watched the opening and closing ceremonies of this entire world-class event! My favorite part of every Olympic game (to be fair, 2008 Beijing Olympic was the first Olympic game that I was old enough to remember or care) is the parade of participating countries. A few reasons explain why this is my favorite part: 1, I get to learn about new countries that I have no idea where they are located; 2. I get to see what each country is wearing ( I just simply love seeing what they are wearing); 3. I get to see how many players each country has sent; 4, I LOVE to hear the announcers say the countries’ names in French!

But, I am not making any comments on the opening and closing ceremonies themselves. Let’s just say, it was interesting. But I was surprised to learn one thing: Victoria Beckham WAS a member of Spice Girls? I know, I know, this sounds terrible. I know about her, but nothing about Spice Girls. Apparently they were the most financially successful girl band in the history of mankind. When I heard that comment, I did gasp.

The reason I am making this post is because my nephew (age 6) would not stop talking about how he is sad that he will never be able to see Kobe Bryant play basketball in person when he grows up and comes to the US to watch NBA. He kept asking me if I saw Kobe dunk or whatever the basketball terms people use to describe certain activities. Oh yeah, right, I need to learn these terminologies. I am a Blue Devil! I love NCAA games, I am just not very good at describing games…

Well, Kobe will be gone by then. But I am sure he will have someone else to watch.

Red Hat @ Children’s Day event

I have been learning about WordPress in the past couple of years, from attending WordCamp conferences, meeting and learning from the most influential people in the WordPress community, such as Michael Torbert, Cory Miller, Andrew Nacin, Lisa Sabin-Wilson, Jane Wells, even Matt Mullenweg himself… and simply figuring it myself. I finally joined the WordPress community as a learning professional!

WordPress, here I come!

Forgotten Bon Fire Day

I have been living in the US for five years, have lost track with things related to Chinese New Year. Just realized that today is the 15th of first month of 2012 according to the lunar calendar. When I was little, people in the village would set up a chain of bon fire throughout the entire village during the day. The tradition is to have everyone in the community jump over the bon fire chain at night when they are all lit. It was considered a sign of crossing bad karma and all kinds of other stuff. I was too young, too short, so my uncle would pick me up and jump over the bon fire. Everyone was there, including some old folks who clearly could not do the jump. Some naughty boys would throw fireworks into the fire when people are jumping, which made them very happy but the adults very annoyed. However, everyone had a good time laughing together.

I miss those days so much as I was looking out the window on this rainy North Carolina sunday…

This kind of fear

I am scared, not because of busy Chicago but the thought of going home, the thought of getting home and knowing that Grandma is no longer there. This fear, is tearing my heart into pieces. Longing for home, but home is not going to be the same anymore. Grandma visits me in my dreams every night as if she is still there, but I know she is just being the usual her—loving me. Oh, how can I fight this fear, this loneliness?