Cherry Tomato

A friend of mine told me about Groables from Miracle Gro. It sounded very easy and was only a dollar at Walmart. I only bought one seed pod just to try and see if it actually work. There were many different vegetable and fruit choices available at Walmart, but I picked the cherry tomato. It’s my favorite and I can eat so many of them.

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It was super easy to plant and all I have to do is water everyday. And wait for it to sprout and grow up to be cherry tomatoes.

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It took about a week when it started to sprout. A tiny baby sprout. I was so excited when I saw it. It actually works!


There are now two sprouts. I was told by my friend to thin them when they are a bit taller. Something about helping the tomatoes not to be overcrowded. Probably another couple of weeks before I can start thinning it out.

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One of the seeds ran away from the pod. I hope it does okay out there by itself.

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Commencement

I would not have shown up for the commencement if it was up to me. Just seemed like a hassle to show up for the ceremony in May when I already received the diploma in January. However, I did went to the commencement. When I told my father earlier this year that I was finished with university, he asked me if he can come to my graduation. Obviously, it is wrong to say no to him.

So, on an early Saturday morning, I woke up very early in the morning to get ready for the ceremonies which started at 8 am. As I was getting ready, I felt like I was doing my duty as a daughter to make my father happy. My father had asked me many times in the past when am I ever going to graduate from school. Due to my enlistment to the Army Reserve and the year-long overseas deployment to the Middle East, the journey to earn my Bachelor degree took a longer time. I started at the community college, Cypress College, in 2004, where I earned my Associate degree in 2011. Then I finally transferred to CSU Fullerton in the fall of 2012. lt also took longer because I work full-time while taking classes. I couldn’t take many units of classes per semester because the workload would be too much for me. It wasn’t a surprise that my father constantly asked me when am I going to be done with school. That journey was a long one, around twelve years.

I didn’t get really excited for the commencement until I was in the assembly area and walking the processional with the rest of my fellow graduates and candidates for the main university commencement. It was the Pomp and Circumstance music that really got to me along with the infectious happy atmosphere. It finally hit me that I deserved to be part of the commencement. It wasn’t just for my father, but also for me to finally celebrate that I made it through the journey to get that Bachelor degree. I finally did it!

The day of the commencement was a nice weather day. It wasn’t very hot which was good since the ceremonies were held outdoors. There were two ceremonies for the commencement. The first is the main university commencement and the second is for the different colleges/departments ceremonies. Even though the weather was especially nice, I was sweating a lot underneath the black polyester gown. The heat was trapped inside the gown. My college ceremony was also held outdoors in the same location as the main one. Some of the other colleges ceremonies were lucky enough to be held indoors. Thank goodness that there were cool breezes. Southern California sun can be too bright sometimes.

It’s cheesy, but it was nice to hear my name being called in recognition of my concentration in Business Economics. What made it extra nice is the name reader is Chinese and she pronounced my given Chinese name perfectly. Recognizing the hard work and achievement is the main point of commencement and it felt really awesome to be recognized. I am very glad that I went and my father was there. He was happy and I was happy. That was all I need.

Go Class of 2016! 

At peace 

Andy’s ashes are back at home. I went to pick him up earlier in the week. His paw print came with it which made me teared up a bit when I was looking at his imprint. The emotions were still raw since Andy was my first dog and he was incredibly special to me. I’ve never personally dealt with a death of a pet before, so looking at his paw print reminded me memories of the times I played and smelled his paws. I don’t know why, but his paws  had a good smell! It made me miss this little punk even more.

Having Andy’s ashes back safe at home gave me a sense of closure and peace. I was terribly sad when he passed away suddenly at home couple weeks ago. Now that I have his ashes back, I feel relieved and at peace. It was almost the perfect timing that he passed a week before my trip to Portland. I don’t think I could have handle it well knowing that Andy was literally not there at home. The grief that I felt losing this little punk of mine was overwhelming. I never felt these sorts of emotions before. It was like a piece of my heart was ripped out. A few days away from home was good for me as I was distracted during my Portland trip. The day after I came back from the trip, I went to pick up his ashes. And my home doesn’t feel so empty anymore.

The transitional phase is feeling a bit weird. I miss going on walks with Andy in the morning and evening. At the same time, I can sleep in a little bit later because I don’t have to rush out for the morning walk which is sort of nice. I somehow need to find a new routine to do. Not sure when I will have another dog. I miss having one, so eventually I will adopt another dog who needs me. I am at peace knowing that I helped Andy during his time of need and gave him a very spoiled and well-loved life during his senior years. It didn’t really hit me that my love for Andy is completely unconditional until he passed. I still miss him, but I remember all the good times I spent with him. He was truly a special dog.

Missing that punk 

It been a week since Andy, my little punk, passed away. I am not so sad anymore because I know he is in a much better place. His health and quality of life was declining so rapidly before his sudden passing. The little punk’s body was shutting down due to his old age. I don’t know his real age, but it was definitely 15 plus years old. I have to remind myself all the positive things about his passing. One of his last treats was a cheese cube that I stuffed his pain medication in it. He happily munched on it and was at least high on his pain meds when it happened. When I told the vet what happened, she said that he probably had another stroke and a clot went to his brain. At least it was quick and painless for Andy. He probably didn’t realize what happened.That gave me some peace in my heart. Andy didn’t suffer when he passed away. 

What I miss the most are the little noises. My home is too quiet now. Even though I know that he is no longer here, I keep expecting to see him at his usual places. I miss hearing him click clacking on the hardwood floor whenever he wandered throughout the house. I miss the sounds when he drank water from his bowl. The ways he used to block me and make me almost trip over him, that little punk. It the little things I really miss the most of all. Coming home to an empty and quiet house is quite hard and sad. I don’t spend much time at home lately because of it. It is a little depressing to come home and not seeing his little face at the window of the patio door waiting for me. I haven’t been able to put away his dog beds or bowls away. It is too hard for me to put it away in storage. Eventually, when some time have pass, I will store it for future uses. I am glad I will be going on a vacation for a few days later this week. It will be good to get away from my house for the time being. It’s too quiet at home. 

Dogs are so wonderful. I miss having one. 

Farewell, Sir Andy. 2001(?) – April 25, 2016

When I first started writing a draft for this post, I was going to write about how I will have to say farewell soon to my old dog, Andy, due to his rapidly declining health. Little did I know that the farewell will be on the same day.

He passed away at home. I think he must have went peacefully as he was laying on his side like he was sleeping. When I came home, I noticed something was off when he didn’t react to my presence and he was too still. My fears came true when I touched his little body and felt that it was stiff. His eyes were slightly opened, but the life in it was gone. I couldn’t believe it. It happened so suddenly. He was seemingly doing okay before I left for work that morning. I was sure I would see him later in the evening and feed him his dinner. In my mind, I thought I might have another week with him. Sadly, his little old body couldn’t take it anymore. That morning was my last moments with him.

His health was declining as he was an elderly dog. Andy was a rescued and when I adopted him, he was already a senior dog. The rescue group didn’t really know his real age and estimated that he was between 9 and 10 years old. When he passed, he was 15+ years old. Many of his health issues were related to his old age. Neurological issues from his stroke, bad back, arthritis, hearing loss, poor eyesight, and a heart murmur. The rapid decline started two days ago when his back seemed to have given out and he couldn’t use his back legs to walk. I gave him his pain medications to help him eased his pain. Then he had a seizure middle of the night on Sunday. He seemed to be okay after that episode and I took him to the vet in the morning to get him check up. They did a blood work on him and the vet told me that Andy was at that stage in age where his body is shutting down. She said to continue giving him with his current medications and we can proceed after the lab results are back regarding medication for his seizure. It wasn’t meant to be and maybe Andy didn’t want to take any more medication.

There are a lot of “I wish” thinking which couldn’t be help. I just didn’t expect for Andy to be gone so soon. I wish I had stay at home. I wish I gave him a big plate of delicious food. I wish I was holding him when he passed. No matter how mentally prepared I was because I knew in the back of my mind that his time was near, it is still heartbreaking to say farewell.

Farewell, my little old punk. You are in a much better place where you are not in so much pain. I hope that you are running around in doggy heaven and eating unlimited food at the doggy buffet. Thank you for being the awesome buddy. I was so lucky to have you in my life and I will never forget you. I miss this little punk’s face. Rest in peace, Sir Andy.

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When I first adopted Andy in February 2010. So young-looking.

 

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April 25,2016 – Last photo of Andy. Taken hours earlier before his passing.

 

 

Healthy Balance

I’ve followed my doctor’s advice. She recommended that I join a weight management program to help with my type 2 diabetes. It’s 14 weeks long program and meet once a week. Actually, it is 24 weeks, but 14 weeks is the minimum requirement. Currently, I am at week 6 and had lost around six pounds. Since I started the program, I’ve been eating out less and cooking more in the kitchen. I think I’ve ate more vegetables than ever before. I’m also trying to be more active by walking a lot more during the weekdays by going to the nearby park at work during lunch and walk for 20 or so minutes. I am trying to do more hiking in the weekend, but so far I only hiked once.

Meeting once a week does help keeping me accountable. Since I prepaid the 14 weeks session, it forced me to show up for every session. Every session that I had attended so far had been a helpful learning experience. It’s good to know that there are other people who face similar struggles with their health and weight. What also really help is MyFitnessPal app and the pedometer on my phone. I even ordered a Fitbit recently to help me track my steps better because carrying my phone everywhere is not convenient. Using MyFitnessPal to track what I eat was an eye opener when I first started using it. I can easily over eat without thinking about it. That is probably the main cause of my diabetes. Eating too much and not getting enough exercise. MyFitnessPal has been a useful tool for me to track my daily calorie intake.

What I need is not a quick weight loss, but a major lifestyle change. Less processed food, more healthy food. With this weight management program, it is to eat more vegetables. Simply put, I need a healthy balance in my life.