After an exciting game this morning, we detoured to the Locke Historic District near Sacramento before heading home. This is an unincorporated area built by Chinese immigrants during the early 1900’s. We stopped by the visitor center (also known as the boarding house) and found out the town is named Locke, after George Locke, who owned the land. He leased to the Chinese, at a time when Chinese people were not allowed to own land. All the museums are free and let us roam around. The attractions include besides the visitor’s center: a Chinese language school, a museum, a memorial garden, a gambling hall, a theatre, and a meeting place (even had a round of Chinese chess), all within walking distance.  There was a calligraphy lesson in the Chinese school, so we sat down and practiced.

The whole district consisted of 2 main blocks, so it was a nice stroll. Locke is certainly unique with rustic charm and surrounded with “lost in time” feel. Happy we decided the detour for this opportunity to learn about the rich history of Chinese immigrants. It’s definitely worth the visit.

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From the website: Locke is the only remaining authentic Chinese village in the United States of America. Although many cities in America have a Chinatown, Locke is the only separate Chinese community that was built by, and exclusively for, Chinese immigrants. Locke was virtually unknown outside of California until a book entitled “Bitter Melon” by Jeff Gillenkirk with photographs by James Motlow was published.  At one time, 600 residents, all of whom were Chinese, lived in this three square block community. Now the permanent population of the town is less than 100, and less than a dozen of the residents are Chinese. The origin of the Chinese town of Locke dates back to 1915 when a fire in the neighboring town of Walnut Grove destroyed the city’s Chinatown. Locke was established by Lee Bing, on land owned by George Locke in 1915. There were two sections in the Walnut Grove Chinatown, one of which was populated by Chinese immigrants from Chungshan (中山) and the other by immigrants from Sze Yap in China. The Chungshan group decided to rebuild their community a half mile south of Walnut Grove where there were already three buildings in a tiny hamlet called Lockeport.

This weekend, we took a short vacation to Sacramento – for Ah Lo’s basketball games. We drove early on Saturday for our early game @ 9am. We played two games today (both of which we lost) and a consolation game tomorrow. The first game, the boys didn’t wake up until the last two quarters. After the game, we checked into our hotel (Ramada Inn). Ah Lo and his teammates bonded with many rounds of computer video games. We had dinner (sushi @ Manna) and off to some lasertag fun. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to do the laser tag (because we had to wait an hour for the earlier group to finish). So the boys ended up playing some arcade and we called it a night.

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A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}

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Using the slow cook to make the Vietnamese beef stew (Bò Kho)  for tonight’s meal. Popped in beef brisket, potatoes, carrots, lemon grass, bay leaf, anise seeds, a can of coconut water and plain water. Set slow cook on low in the morning, come back and dinner is ready. This is the best kind of dinners.

Get Ready:IMG_6084

Start Cooking:IMG_6087

And EAT:IMG_6210

Our Chinese lessons have cut a couple of days because of the boys activities (basketball practice and fencing). Therefore, I try to squeeze in longer lessons (moans and groans) and even during dinner (for reviews). I’m just glad they still want to continue.

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We had parent-teacher conference with Ah Lo’s teacher today.

His teacher’s comments: “Ah Lo continues to do well in 5th grade. He is clearly an advanced reader, as noted in assessments and in classroom discussions. However, I think sometimes he does not push himself as much as he could because some of the assignments are easy for him. He knows I want to try for his best effort. In informational writing, Ah Lo shows good organization, but must sometimes be prompted to add more detail or a better conclusion. He is easily able to improve his work. Mathematics continues to be a strength for Ah Lo, but he should always slow down and check his work. Ah Lo did a great job during our dance and poetry performance, even though getting up on the stage is not his ‘cup of tea.’ His artwork and organization continue to astound me.

Ah Lo has outstanding behavior in and out of the classroom. He is a thoughtful, kind and helpful person. I really want Ah Lo to reach is potential as a learner and I know with a little more effort he can do even better work. I know he will enjoy the upcoming challenges and tasks as we close out the fifth grade year. He is a special guy.

He really is…

Ah Lo’s SRI Lexile index has gone up from 1162 to 1302. What a great improvement since the beginning of this year.

Been craving for a good whole of fried rice lately. So decided to make some today for the meatless Monday meal! Used some red bell pepper, string beans, marinate tofu and eggs for this easy peasy meal.img_6071

Spent most of the day at the gym today. Not the kind where I can workout, but the sit and watch kind. Ah Lo finally gets to compete with other local teams on behalf of this team. His last tournament was back in November. They have been practicing twice a week, and finally get to see their progress. We were there at 10am (first game) and 1:30p (2nd game). They won both games and were awarded an trophy souvenir. Ah Lo also got a chance play and made some points for the team!  He has improved so much this year and can’t wait to see him play more in the near future.

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My niece (aka The Girl) has been bugging me to teach her to drive. She got her permit last month and was anxious to sit behind the wheels. I suggested for her to take some lessons first since the instructor will have the “brake” function (which normal cars lack). After two lessons, she got more comfortable and so we met up. We drove around the neighborhood, circling quiet blocks to practice her turning. I still remember the day I learned to drive, it was scary for me. The Girl needs more practice. I’m sure she’ll do fine. Until then, make sure to stay off the road!

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A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}

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