10 Italian Coffee Drinking Rules

I just read an interesting article by Anna Kay on line, like to share it with you.

https://www.medcruiseguide.com/10-italian-coffee-drinking-rules/

 

What Makes the Italian Coffee Culture So Special?
Cappuccino, espresso, macchiato… if you are a coffee lover, then you’ll recognize these popular Italian coffee-based drinks right away. However, not only have Italians taken the art of coffee making and consuming to a new level – their entire coffee culture developed a number of rules which the first time travelers to Italy might find a bit overwhelming.
Are you dreaming of taking an evening stroll in Rome, and then sitting down for a cappuccino in an authentic Italian café? Well, if you do that, you’ll break the rule #1 – never order a cappuccino in Italy after 11am, i.e. after breakfast time. Italians only drink it with pastry in the morning, which is their favorite breakfast (and it’s a sweet pastry, no less!).
Want to order a large cup of take away coffee? You’re out of luck if you do that in Italy (not to mention that you’ll break the rule #7), as there is no concept of take away coffee in their cafés. Their approach to life is that, if you don’t have a few minutes to sip that superb espresso at a bar, chat with the barista about the latest scandal, or take that much needed break from work, you seriously need to work on your priorities. 🙂
And yes, the Italian way to drink an espresso is while standing at the bar. Three sips while it’s hot, and off you go. That’s rule #8, by the way.
If you find these peculiar rules a bit intimidating, no worries. Take a look at this handy infographic created by Med Cruise Guide below and get acquainted with the 10 key Italian coffee drinking rules for your next Italian adventure. Once you get to know them, you’ll enjoy the coffee like the locals do in this country of passionate coffee-lovers.

 

 

 

Read more at https://www.medcruiseguide.com/10-italian-coffee-drinking-rules/

 

Raising A Child Is Not An Investment

 

Last Monday I wasn’t feeling well, headache and no energy. If I stayed at home and lying in bed, I might feel worse instead of better. Sonny was sick the night before, I got up several times whenever he needed me. He didn’t go to school, Terry stayed at home and worked around house; I went to our new building and painted the porch. With a easy working pace and cool breath, I felt much better when I back home. Sonny had a good rest, Terry threw some fertilizer. Next day, Terry and I finished throwing fertilizer on the rest of the farm.

That weekend Sonny spent most of his time playing video game, then he got sick, later he had to work on his homework on Monday evening. In sixth grade, he convinced us, he will responsible for his homework and take the consequences if he didn’t finish homework. So we don’t ask him about his homework anymore, we trusted him. He takes his homework seriously, spend quite bit of time doing online research for his homework. He likes to wear headphones and listen to jazz music when he’s doing his homework.

He didn’t want missing Tuesday school, because he had to turn in his social study’s homework. In the morning, he woke up and came to our bed to have a few minutes of cuddle before he got up.

He said,” mom, I have a confession to make, I’ll feel better if I tell you. I know lam responsible for my homework, I didn’t finish my homework last night, I need more time to do it than I thought. I’ll finish today and turn it in tomorrow, I might lose a few points for my grades.”

I said to him,” OK, you can finish today, turn it in tomorrow. But you can’t go to bed without finish it tonight. I’m glad you told me about it. I hope you”ll do your homework before play games in future.”

He told Terry on the way to catch school bus in the morning, Terry and I agreed that he learned his lesson this time, and we were gratified how he dealt his problem, instead of lying and hiding, he chose telling the truth and an open communication. He stayed up to 10:15pm to finish his homework that night.

 

 

 

Last week I watched a Chinese talk show, four people’s conversation, the topic was about that parents bring up children for the purpose of being looked after in old age. It’s an universal value for most of Chinese for thousands years.

On the show, one man has two grown up daughters, he told them that their mother and he both have retirement and healthcare, they can go to nursing home when they need. His daughters don’t need to come home for taking care them, but they are welcomed to come back if they want to, not for taking care of parents. His children are free individuals, they should live their life with their own interests, not for their parents.

Right after I watched the show, Terry and I had to go to town together, I talked about it with him in the car. He told me his view about it.

He said,” Children didn’t choose to come into this world, parents brought them into this world, parents are responsible to love and support their children. When your child reaches 18 years old, you can’t just ask them leaving home and make a living by themselves. Yes, they need to find their talent or ability to support themselves, but you still need continue loving them and supporting them. Raising a child is not an investment, you do so much for your child, so you expect them pay you back after they grow up. No, every happy moment you get from them are their payment, they already pay you back every single day. Love should be the only reason to have a child, the only way to raise a child.”

I like how we have our conversations, it’s so comfortable.

 

Same topic, same person, different ages or times, could have different opinions.

Before I married, saw the way my brother and his wife treated my mom. I was very angry and there was no way to forgive them. At that time, I thought a person could choose different person to be your wife or husband, but you couldn’t choose your parents, you only have one mother and one father. As a child, why do you even bother to pick a girlfriend or boyfriend who doesn’t like or accept your parents? Find someone can accept your parents, won’t put yourself into the bad situations. My uncle had four marriages, first two women were not nice to his widowed mother, he told them to leave. To those two women, he was a bad man and husband. But that was his decision, between a wife and his mother, he chose his mother.

Now as a mother, of course I hope my son will find a woman who likes me, and I love her. But nobody can predict future, certainty I won’t make him to choose between his girl and me. As long as they are happy and love each other, I’ll give them my blessing.

 

 

Someone said, love of a couple’s final goal is to be together, love of parents and children are destined for separation. The great love of parents is not to tie their children around them, it’s the freedom for children to pursue their dream life.

 

 

 

 

Coffee blossom season

Last week, Scott and Dillen helped us to chip coffee branches, we are officially finish our coffee season, feel very happy about it.

Terry had to work on our building project, so I took my time pruning the whole farm by myself. If I made sandwiches for Terry to take in the morning, I could work until two o’clock before lunch break. Some days I quit working early and cooked lunch for them around noon, at 4 or 5 o’clock I went back to work for another hour or two. Our friend Jerry prefers small lunch, so he can back to work easily without too full stomach, but I only can last a few days without rice. Usually We have rice with a meat dish and vegetable dish for lunch, it’s our main meal of a day, we don’t eat supper, only have snacks on your own. If several days without my regular lunch, I feel hungry and eat more food at the end of the day, it messed up our meal routine.

 

We had Scott to help dragging coffee brunches one day after I finished pruning, it was Saturday, Sonny helped too. Sonny is getting stronger, he dragged six big brunches at a time, then ran back to get some more. I told him not to run, he would get tired quickly. But he was full of energy and kept his own way of work, I guessed he had imagination games going on in his mind. I gave him complements and told Terry that evening. To further prove my words and how strong he is, he asked me to get on his back. So I stood on a chair and get on his back, he carried me and walked around in living room, say “ dad, look at me, look at me.” He was so happy about it, but I was happier underneath my heart secretly.

 

We just had a big round of coffee blossoms, I always have iPod with me when I’m working, so I had chances to capture these images below.

 

They are gorgeous, never get tired to look at them.

 

In 2018, I wish we’ll continue our small farming life and enjoy every day together.

 

Building Project

We are building our new home on the new farm. Right after last coffee harvest, we started working on the house foundation, it took us five months to get it ready.

The house site is not a flat spot, we had a backhoe to level it, then we found out that we had to refill some area. We moved many truck loads of rock from other part of farm to the building site.

Our good friend Jerry started building rock wall for the foundation, Terry and I finished at the end. After we poured concrete for foundation, building project goes pretty well. Jerry is a talented carpenter, has lots of building experiences. Just two of them did the beginning of house structure, then we had three more friends helping to put floor sheets on.

Jerry is like a family to me. He is a good cook, when he cooks special food, often he call us to join them, especial during my pregnancy, I had many meals at his house.

One morning they worked on the first side of wall frame, when I got there with some sandwiches at lunch time, they were taking a break and waiting for me. Jerry said that I could help lifting the wall frame before lunch, so I joined them to complete the work. I thought they could do it without me, since there were five men. But Jerry waited for me in purpose at this special moment, so I had the opportunity to be part of the building project symbolically. It means a lot to Terry, Sonny and me, our new house we build together.

I took many pictures to follow the progress of building.

 

 

 

 

Last month we had trusses delivered, they were so heavy, we had to rent a crane to lift and put on the top. Jerry had some questions, he asked Wayne, his boss who is a contractor, to check it out the materials and plan, before we had crane there.

It was Saturday, Terry took Sonny to his piano lesson, I went to the new farm to pick coffee. There were only about 150 coffee trees, but coffee was getting ripe. Around noon, a man walked up the drive way, he saw me and asked whether this is Terry’s farm. Then we introduced each other, he is Wayne. I heard Jerry talked about him before, but had never met him. I looked at his face, couldn’t move my eyes away, until I realized my behave was impolite. I couldn’t keep my mind quiet anymore, I told him:” You look like my dad a lot, your face, even your hair style.”

He laughed, said: ” Your dad has a good hair style.”

“My dad was a handsome man. Are you Chinese? I’m Chinese.” (Look back now, I realize how direct I was, not tactful at all.)

“No, I’m third generation of Japanese in Hawaii. We are all oriental, so we could look alike.”

Then I showed him around and the building plan. He grew up in Kona, family have farm land, we talked about farming and other things.

That afternoon, I told Terry that Wayne looks like my dad a lot ( he hadn’t met Wayne yet ). I didn’t know I would see him again very soon.

Monday was the day to put trusses on, I continued to pick coffee there alone, Wayne came to help because Jerry asked him. He was up on the ladder, securing the center part of trusses, Jerry and David worked on the two ends. While I was picking coffee, a picture occupied my mind; a man who look like my father was helping to put trusses on our new house. That man was not my father, but somehow, the image of my father’s figure, working on top of the building, freeze frame at that moment in my mind. I think, in future, whenever I think about building this house, my father’s figure will always appear there.

Working as team, they were very efficient, about two hours they put all trusses on. At lunch break, Terry tried to pay him, he refused,” I just come to help Jerry, because he helped me many times.” After two attempts, Terry didn’t insisting anymore, but he happily accepted one pound of dakine coffee.

Terry saw my dad’s picture before, he also think that Wayne looks like my dad.

Next day we had some coffee pickers, so I stayed home, picked around the house. Meeting Wayne opened the memory channel of my dad, I hadn’t cried for my dad for a long time. But that day I cried without holding back, let my emotion taking over and in charge totally. It’s good, I was alone, nobody saw my running tears and heard my crying voice, and nobody disturbed my very private moments. When I stopped crying, my eyes were a little pain, red and puffy, but I felt much better.

Can you imagine? Someone you love and care past away, many years later you meet a stranger  just look like your loving one. Is it suppose only appears in a movie or fiction story? But it happened to me, my emotion was a mixed one. Shocking, happy, loving. At the end, I come back to reality, they are two totally different individuals. Wayne is a kind and generous person, who helped us when we needed it, I could always have special feeling toward him. I’m a very lucky person, this was a gift, the life gave to me.

A couple of days later, it was Chinese Middle Autumn Festival, a family reunion festival. I met my parents in my dream, I led them into the unfinished building, showed them the house plan. They both seem very calm and peaceful, then dad showed me a new brown leather couch cheerfully. I would like to believe, they know everything happening in my life, because I’m still loving them and thinking about them.

 

 

 

Picking coffee again

We already picked 4 rounds of coffee. First round was in August, there was not much ripe coffee, I picked alone, Terry was working on our building project on other farm. This was first year, I didn’t feel lonely when I was picking alone. Sometimes I listened to music or podcast, sometimes I just enjoyed the peace and quiet. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the work or feel helpless, I just did what I could that time, hoped I will find some helpers later.

Terry works very hard, way harder than me, and I couldn’t even help him with certain works. My mom told me many times before, loving Terry and don’t let him work too hard, taking good care of him, so he can live a long life with me and Sonny. But Terry is not changing the way he works, he said about the ability of working, “if you have it, you use; you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”

Juan and his uncle, who helped us for years, went to mainland this year and didn’t come back. I didn’t know where to find coffee pickers, but I knew it won’t be easy this year. More and more coffee was getting ripe, I prepared to spend many days on the field picking coffee with Kathy this year. Then one day, a friend gave me a coffee picker’s phone number whom he used once. I called the number and met the guy at our post office next day, showed him our whole farm. Next day his wife, brother and friends came and picked the second round. The better part is that, his brother lives nearby, he can keep an eye on our coffee, they came to pick when the coffee getting ripe. I saw them many times on our road before, but never talked to them. Now I think I’m very lucky to meet them and get their help.

At the third and fourth rounds of picking, Kathy came to help too. She is an amazing woman, wish when I reach to her age, I can be as strong as her.

 

 

This Summer break, we didn’t go anywhere, spent most times working on the farms. At the beginning, we asked Sonny to make his own daily routine plan. He remembered that we let him to have free time with his games as long as he finished his routine works last Summer, so he stayed up to 11pm or 12pm often. When the school started again, he realized he needed more sleep, he took a nap after he came back from school every day in the first week of school. He learned his lessons, he decided that he could stay up to 9:30pm from Monday to Thursday, 11:30pm from Friday to Sunday. I liked his plan, and asked him to add two hours farm work from Monday to Friday. I told him, he grew up on a farm, we needed his help and he could earn some money too. He agreed with it. Then next day, he asked to give him Wednesday off, I gave in. The best thing is that he kept his promise. Sometimes, Terry and I both went to other farm to work, he stayed on this farm pulling weeds alone.

He is in second year of middle school now, they have debate class which is his favorite class. He could spend lots of time doing research on line, often he shared their debate topic with us, and the fun debate moments in the class.

One day, I picked him up after school, we had an interesting conversation.

He asked me:” Mom, if you love someone, but this person doesn’t love you; and another person loves you, but you don’t love that person. Who should you choose to marry?”

I said:” Neither of them. You should only get marry because you love the person and this person loves you too.”

I thought for a second, add, “If someone tells you, she loves you, you could try to see, can you find that kind of love in your heart toward her. If not, you have to be honest to yourself and to her. Now think about your dad and I, daddy loved me first and told me, then I found the love in my heart toward him, so we married. If in the future you couldn’t find a person to love and she loves you back, you don’t have to get married, you could live alone and still enjoy your life. Getting marry is just one kind of way to live your life, but not the only way. Living alone still can have a good life.”

I didn’t know why he came up with this question, I’m just glad, he is open and willing to seek my opinion when he has a question. I can share my thoughts with him, but he has to think about it himself, make up his own mind. Wish we can always talk to each other like this, even after he grow up.

 

 

Perennial Peanut Groundcover

 

Rain falls gentely almost every day, in the afternoon or night time. We are in raining season again.

Terry works on the new farm most time, I work on this farm. Sonny helped to  throw fertilizer last time, he helped with this job again last week.

He is as tall as me now, can carry some weight, and likes to show me his strength. I let him taking his own speed to do the job, I value more of his trying to help than the amount of fertilizer he threw. First morning, he did three bags, I did ten bags. He said to me,” Mom, you are awesome, you are so fast.” I told him that I had more practice. Second morning, we finished the job, but had four bags left; that means we didn’t use enough for the farm. Third morning, I used up those four bags at the area where Sonny did the job, it was his off day from farm work.

 

I started my Perennial peanut ground cover project last year. This plants grow low, don’t climbing on trees, build nitrogen in the soil, sounds great to me for our farm. I started on one acre flat area with more soil. Digging a small hole for one seed, about two feet apart. It took me some time to plant the whole area, Sonny helped me at weekend. But only 20% of seeds came through, weeds grew faster than peanut, at the end, not many peanuts are doing well.

After coffee season which is dry season, most weeds died down, only the peanut patches were healthy green. Finally I got some time to attend it, hand weeded those patches. I took these two photo at below this March.

 

Slowly we got some rain, these peanut patches took off, it spread out fast and wide. At the same time, weeds grew again, I tried to keep up with weeding this time. I used a sickle to dig out clump root of weeds, pull out young weeds, throw weeds into a big bucket, then dump the weed underneath banana trees. Often I worked 4 or 5 hours in the morning, 2 or 3 hours more at late afternoon if it’s not raining. I spent so much time squatting or kneeling when I was weeding, my knees and back started getting ache. Now I understand, why a person complain about pain of joints when they get older. I have a jar of  home made comfrey salve from Joni, some nights I rub a little on pain area before go to bed, next morning I feel much better.

It’s a simple job, but require a lot of time. I’m enjoy doing it, when I see the peanut cover more and more ground, image the land and coffee trees getting happier, it gives me a big satisfaction. Half acre of my first experiment area look like the three photo at below now.

 

 

 

Other half of acre look  like the picture below.

 

I had Sonny helped me to plant more peanut on empty spots between patches this March, it grow very well now.

 

The plants have yellow flower, it’s edible, has light sweet taste, I tasted it. The plants flower year-around, bees were busy and happy, I could hear their buzz when I was pulling weeds.

 

Planting Perennial peanut as ground cover on our farm was my idea, my project; Terry didn’t involve, he worked very hard on our new farm, six days a week. Two months ago, he spent two mornings pulling weeds with me, saw how well the plants growing.

He said to me, ” at beginning, I worried how determined are you with your project, are you going to be persistent with it? Now I think you did great, it looks so nice. I’m so proud of you.”

I was surprise to hear he said so, because I didn’t catch any hint of his doubt, he didn’t express any negative opinion about it in this whole time. Instead, he gave me a little encourage, let me do it all in my way by myself. I’m very happy to hear his complement, but the strongest feeling it give me is gratitude, for the way he treated me, let me try to carry out my idea by myself. There is the presence of his love, love with wisdom behind the whole thing. I’ll remember this, will try my best to love him and Sonny in the same way in the future.

My goal is planting this ground cover on rest of farm. Terry suggested planting smaller area at a time, so I can keep up weeding these areas. It might take me several years to complete this project, but I think I can do it.

 

Mountain Apple Flower

One morning, I was feeding our chicken, saw the mountain apple tree full of beautiful blossom. It reminded me the Spring time at my aunt’s village.

My aunt and uncle’s villages located on top of a mountain, no transportation to there when I was young. It seems took us very long time to climb the mountain, we usually reached the village in the late afternoon. Often, we were stopped by some relatives who were working in the field, kept us to have lunch with them in their working shack. I don’t know why, their field seems very far from their home, take a hour walk to get there. In Spring, we saw wild cherry, peach, plum blossom everywhere, and often we broke a wild cherry blossom twig to play with. When we reached the village, most flowers lost their pedals.

My aunt’s old house had a plum tree, it was very close to back deck, we could climb up the tree from the deck. My aunt’s two grandsons were a few years younger than me and my sister, we had a lot of fun when we visited them. In my memory, my aunt’s house with plum and peach blossom is the most beautiful house, that image keeps a warm spot in heart. I told Terry that I’d like to plant peach, cherry and plum tree near our house, not for their fruit, but for their blossom. Even their blooming time are not very long, only once a year, but their beauty are like delicious food to my happy mind and happy heart.

I don’t have my peach, plum flower yet, but I’m very happy to enjoy the sight of mountain apple flower, capture some of their moments.

 

 

 

Sonny was chosen from his school to attend literacy award ceremony by Achive 3000, it was hosted on Wednesday in a fancy hotel. We were happy for his achievement, he asked for screen time in Tuesday evening to reward him, he got his wish.

 

 

 

 

Giving and Accepting

Kathy helped me picking the last round of coffee. Terry and I worked together  pruning, some coffee stumps are old and tall, don’t have very healthy branches. I pruned with a hand saw, when I saw  a coffee stump needed to be trimmed, I tied a ribbon on the tree; Terry trimmed the tree with chainsaw. It took us 3 weeks to finish the job. At that time, our friend Ann and Brad were having their vacation in Kona from Canada, they came to help us dragging coffee branches and piled on road side.

We had Scott to help us chiping the branches. First day, it took some times to get the chipper working, it ended up just Terry and me, we did three hours work. When we fed the chipper branches, we needed to hold the branches and gave a little push. The vibration wore out Terry’s wrists very soon, I fed the chipper a little more at the end. Second day, Terry dragged branches close to the machine, Scott and I fed the machine. We worked five hours to finish the job. I thought the machine works better than last year, our friend David fixed our machine last year.

Now I can really say, coffee harvest season is over, it sure make me feel good about it, even there are other farm works waiting for us.

 

I hadn’t visited our other land when I was busy picking coffee, Terry worked on the land often. He worked very hard, but it made him very happy and satisfied with his complishment at the end of the day.

Our pumpkin patch produced lots of pumpkins, we tried to give away, but the circle of our friends is not big enough to use it all. I asked Terry to build a small food stand, set it up by the road, offer free pumpkins to whoever want it. He didn’t build the stand right way. He picked 11 pumpkins and left by the road, next day he found they all gone. We both were happy someone can use it. I asked him to build a food stand again, in that way, pumpkins are in the shade and out of rain. A couple of days later, he made one. I know he had to find a right day and in the mood to do it.

Every time we left some pumpkins on the stand, it won’t take very long, pumpkins got picked up one by one. A few times, Bill,  who lives on the hill and knows Terry, left some nice ginger from his farm on the stand. We took some and enjoyed it very much.

Why are we doing this? Because we have more than we need, sharing make us happy, giving is our first step to be genorus, be accepted by other is the step  to build and make us a better person. So when you accept someone’s sincere and kind offer, you are making that person to be a better and happier person. So I think that giving is a good move, but accepting complish the mission of giving. Giving without asking for return, is the true meaning of giving; returning without be asked, is a good surprise. That is how we felt about Bill’s ginger

 

Every married couple develop their own way to understand each other and get along. I made a rule for myself. If I want Terry to do something, asking  or mention three times is the limit number to me. Because he is a hard working person, I rather  let him taking his time and find the right mood to do it, than keeping remind him. Sometimes my idea wasn’t appealing to him, he would give me other way to approach, or just refuse to do it. “Yes, dear” is the magic words to a good marriage, but NO is a powerful word too, we all need to learn to use it sometime, even to the one we love. Because we love each other, I don’t want him forcing himself to do a thing, just to please me; I rather want him be true to his feeling. If he is happy with himself, he can bring happiness to me and make me happy too. If I couldn’t do it by myself, I just gave up, otherwise I tried to do it myself. I made a small tin roof shad by the garden, two barrows to catch rain water, so funky, but works for me. Often I fixed up our chicken coop too.

there is never ending of learning in our life time. I was’t a much of cook before I married, now I’m a good enough cook for Terry and Sonny. I had never killed a chicken before I married. In my family, my mom and I were the only two people couldn’t kill a chicken. One Chinese New Year Eve, only mom and I at home, we both felt helpless and had our New Year’s Eve dinner without a dish of chicken. Now we raise chicken, I learned to kill and butch a chicken from my sisters.

One year, we caught wild pigs in the trap frequently, one pig a week. Our friend Jerry killed the pig and butched it, it was a quite of work, he was getting tired to do it. I would like to learn to butch a pig, so I asked Jerry to teach me next time we catch a pig again. He would teach me, and Terry hung a long strong rope in garage for that purpose, but we haven’t caught any pig since then. Well, there are so many things out there in the world we could learn, and it’s impossible to learn it all, I’ll try to learn the things come to my way, interesting to me or necessary to me.

 

Let Him Speak Up

This is Sonny’s first year of middle school in a bigger school, there are 10 class rooms of his grade. I wondered how he would adjust in a new environment.

After 2 weeks in school, we asked him if he made any new friends and their names, he said he made some new friends but don’t know their name. I was very disappointed, told him that he need to put a little effort to build a friendship, start with remembering their names. I gave him an assignment for following day, remember four kids’ names who sit around him. Next day, as soon as he got out of car after school, he told us those kids’ names.

A Friday night, Sonny and I watched a long movie “Save Private Ryan” together, it was past 11:30pm when we went to bed. We couldn’t sleep right away, we had a little talk. He told me he made two new friends and their names, two girls from other classes. He told me how he met them. One day, a girl was playing Ukulele at recess, he walked over and asked if he could stay there and listen to her playing Ukulele. Later another girl joined them, she can play single drum. Sonny introduced himself, told them he plays piano, could he join their group when they play music together?

I was so happy to know that he has no problem to make friends, boys or girls, as long as they are interesting to him. I told Terry about it next morning, Terry praised him, ” If you can make friends with girls and women, you are having half of the world as your friends. Because half of the world are made up with women.”

His school held a parents shadow day event after they started school a month later. I went and observed him in different classes. He seems quiet, paid attention to his lesson; didn’t raise his hand to teacher’s question like some kids; a couple of classes he sat far end of room, a boy who had no interests to lesson tried to talk to him.

I went home, told Terry what I observed, what I thought. I thought that he need extra study except what he learn in school, he need put more energy and time on study, less on video game and screen.

Sonny got home, I told him my thought after the parents shadow day. He was very upset in the evening, because I wanted him starting with new routine right away.

He cried and argued, “Why do we need to change the old routine? With the old routine, I was a good student and graduated from 5th grade, I still can be a good student in 6th grade. ”

“Discussion is listen to each other’ ideas. You told me what you want, don’t listen to me what I want, this is not a discussion.”

“You think you are my boss, can make any decision for me? You can’t control me, I’m an individual, I have my own freedom.”

“Are you going to make all decisions for me of my whole life?”

I said, ” Before you are 18, we make most decisions for you. After that, it’s up to you.”

But inside of my heart, I felt bad to make him cry, he has never cried such long time and so sad before. After we stopped, he read his book about half hour. Before he went to bed, like every other night, he said:” Mom, I love you. Good night.”

I was left alone in living room, amazed, that he still can find love in his heart for me even I just made him cry. It made me rethinking about myself, he was right with his argument point. He is a loving person, much better than me, as he has no trouble to love me at any time. Now I need to go inside of my heart, find the same kind of love for him.

Next day, I talk with Terry, he thought we were a little too hard on him. He agreed with Sonny, we should make the plan together. On Sunday, after our beach time, we all sat down and made a new plan. Sonny had one more week before we start with new plan. He was very happy, regained one hundred percent of his happiness.

As he growing, he talks back to us more and more, he always has his own mind. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. Compare with my childhood, I’ve never talked back to my father. I was afraid of him like a mouse afraid of a cat. I think the fear inside of me shaped my personality, squashed my confident. I couldn’t go back to the old time to change the way I grew up. But my experience taught me, a child shouldn’t grow up in fear of his/her own parents but their love. If a child can express his mind freely to his parents, he will has confident to express himself to other people, even to the whole world. We try to raise him to be a person, who is always be able to speak up for his mind, be able to let other people hear his idea; we are trying to be reasonable parents who listen to his mind at the same time.

 

Sonny and Tulsi Gabbard

At Veterans’ Day, Sonny went to veteran cemetery with Kathy to visiti uncle Nick. Our congress woman Tulsi Gabbard gave a speech, Kathy took a photo of Sonny with Tulsi Gabbard.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

We finished 4th round of picking last Thursday. On Friday Terry and I both worked around house, felt satisfied after cleaned the house; on Saturday I made dumplings, a thing always make me happy. We have to work harder at harvesting time, then our off days seems so much sweeter to us.

Rumiko from Japan comes to visit us at coffee season every year. This time we were picking on the day when she visited, she came and started picking right away. She picked an hour with me, and picked all perfect beans.

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We planted some pumpkin on the rocky hill side of the new farm, now we have lots of pumpkin to share. I make stir fried with young green pumpkin or ripe one, they both taste very good.

 

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This summer I hardly wrote for our blog, one reason is that we worked very hard to clear the other farm; another reason is that I got sucked into watching Chinese TV series shows. Except working hours, I became a couch potato with iPad. TV hasn’t been a big part of my life for years, especially Chinese show, now I have so many options to watch online. I watched the first one which was very popular in China last year, it was a very good show. I got to know some new faces of actors and actress, they are so good, it led me to watch their other shows.

When I watching a show, my mind was totally raped by the story. Most stories were set back in old time, love story was only a small portion of it, but they definitely caught my mind. In these stories, these characters couldn’t be together for many reasons even they loved each other. I laughed and cried with these characters when they happy or sad, their love stories are beautiful but they are fiction. It made me thinking about our love story, the real one in our life.

The time which we just met seems so far away, some memories are fading away, I remember one thing, Terry remembers another thing. I wanted refreshing these memory, felt the beginning of our love again, so I read my old diary then Terry’s diary.

In his diary, he asked himself every day, why and what was he doing in China? He wasn’t looking for a wife. And I wasn’t looking for a man, maybe I was waiting for the right person come to me. I am the lucky one, the right person came from far far away place and found me.

I remember a conversation with my girl friends when I was in high school, they thought a woman with 2 divorces had bad reputation. But my opinion was that, if you were not happy with your marriage, why were you stay together? If I had to get married 100 times to find the happy marriage, I would. At that time, I was only 19 but strongly held that opinion. Now I’m older, I realize that a person don’t need to get married so many times to find a happy one. You just don’t get married with casual decision, marriage is serious thing, a commitment to your life partner. If you want a happy married life, you need to try, even have to through a few marriages.

I told Terry how these Chinese show affected my emotion and thoughts. It rebuild my passion of love, remind me why I fell in love with him. He said that love is not a dead thing, it need to be nurtured and maintained, otherwise it will disappear slowly. Like a river, if you let your love flow, it can go a long way, it might become a bigger river as the love growth. Or if you stop adding more love into it, it become smaller and weaker, eventually it will dry out. We talked about our old times, how we felt about each other at that time, our favorite restaurants and noodle shops while we traveled together. We plan to revisit some places with Sonny next time in China, a nice dream we can looking forward in future.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, but I hold great gratitude every day for all the people in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving!