The bell rings and horns blow

snakeThe Common Character of People Born in the Year of Snake
People born in the Year of the Snake are reputed to be thoughtful and wise and to approach problems rationally and logically, seldom instinctively. Such people are complex beings, they are clever and men of few words from their birth. Their business is always going well, but they are stingy very often. They are sometimes egoistic and conceited. However they can be very active in their friends’ life. They are often too active, not believing other people and relying only on themselves. Snakes are also very insightful and naturally intuitive. If anyone has a sixth sense, it’s those born in the Snake year. This is partly what makes them so mysterious.Snakes come in all varieties of colors and patterns. And maybe that’s why people born in the Snake year love to appreciate beauty. People with the Chinese zodiac snake sign are very stylish, fashionable and have exceptional taste.

People born in the Year of the Snake also have a sure touch in money matters but are also inclined to be greedy and somewhat egoistical. Determined and ambitious characters of Snakes take their failures hard. They are usually very attractive on the outside and inwardly, that, taking into consideration their frivolity, can lead to some family problems.

(exerpted from


Are you a snake?  I have a dragon, a boar and a rooster.  For the past few years for Chinese New Year, Dave and I attempt to make traditional Chinese fare.  At 6:30 PM last night Doug was plucking five oranges from our tree outside.  .

Why do I have to do this?” Doug plaintively asked.

My response:  It is Chinese New Year and oranges represent wealth (the Chinese word for orange sounds close to wealth).

“But Mooooooom  We’re not even Chinese!”

I answer back, “We are today!”  For dinner we ate long Chinese noodles which symbolize longevity.  And firecracker rolls, gyoza dumplings, fried rice, bok choy, chicken (symbolizing good marriage) and sesame seed cookies (fertility).  The boys toasted with Martinellis while Dave and I had jasmine tea.  This year it only took us 2.5 hours to get dinner on the table; from start to finish; all made from scratch.  My Chinese girlfriends make fun of me that we act more Chinese than they are.

I had been enjoying the relative peace and quiet in the computer room, this morning, until I heard clangs of bells and horns blowing.  My Chinese neighbor has her door wide open (across the street and three doors down) and I grinned.  Yup.  Today is Chinese New Year.    My next door neighbor’s dog, Kobe, is barking up a storm.  As I am observing this, through my office door, my eldest son interrupted my computer reverie to tell me that he experienced his first wet dream and had to clean up; upstairs.  Is that okay?


I stare up at him from my keyboard.  I shake my head, silently, Yes!  It is okay.  But my mind is running way behind.  I know that kids have to grow but the physical reminders are, again, making me realize how fast time is passing.  I still see my little zodiac dragon/Y2K baby; not the pubescent tween; now on his computer behind me.   I am dying to get on the phone to call Dave at work, but it’ll have to wait.  More pressing matters are before me, like, Mom.  What’s for breakfast?  Must mull on this later….

For the past few weeks science projects have taken over our home.  My calendar has this week penciled in with various colors to show all the activities and due dates.  Science projects for the younger boys are due tomorrow.  Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and science fare expo.  Thursday is Valentine’s day.  This doesn’t include my work schedule or sports activities.  Ugh!  I have reports due, payroll to file and digital projects galore.  I don’t see mess, today.  I see busy-ness.  I’m going back to my Martha ways.  Need to breathe.  Inhale.  Exhale…..(s-l-o-w).

science handsscience volcano

At 12:00 AM,this morning, the last of Doug’s project was glued to his board.  Hallelujah!  Today we must practice oral presentations; something both of the younger boys aren’t very great at.  Baking bread and erupting volcanoes no longer occupy my kitchen counters and tables.  I am still cleaning paint and food coloring from my floor!

Meanwhile, my eldest son had me email his English teacher about his new zombie book that he cannot bring to school for his assignment because it is on an electronic device.  He’s supposed to choose a sci-fi/fantasy book and he chose “The Enemy” by Charles Higson.  He just finished the “Book Thief” by Markus Zusak; which happens to be our next book club read.  I went to bed, last night, to the sounds of the TV series, “The Walking Dead.”  WHY all three of my boys and husband likes this series, I have no idea.  So it is fitting that Nate’s new sci-fi book is about zombies in London.  The English teacher emailed back that it sounded, “very educational LOL.”

And always at the back of my mind is the fugitive, Christopher Dorner; the man killing LAPD officers and their family members.  This scares me.  Thursday afternoon as our kids ran around the open field, two helicopters kept circling by.  I live in a city where lots of law enforcement families make their home.  My close girlfriends’ husbands work for LAPD.   Why is our world full of chaos?  Will we ever feel at peace?

Today I am grateful.  I cannot clean (it’s Chinese New Year and superstition says if you clean, today, that you will sweep out all of your good fortune).  Who cares that I’m not Chinese!  I am searching for my gifts of the day.  One is to find something old…and I found this picture as I searched on my computer for my project.  Happy Chinese New Year!Valentine's 2005



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