This diary entry is part 1 of 27 in Lily's diary dated 08 - February 2022

Nihao!  It’s me!  Lily!

Today is the first day of Lunar New Year!  Also known as Chinese New Year!

And I know some Chinese people!!

So Liz and her parents had me over today.  Usually they come over to my house, but this was a special occasion.  I put on my nice black dress and went over, they had set out a very nice table with some delicious Chinese food (and as Liz is always quick to point out, real Chinese food, not that stuff that Panda Express makes.  It’s tasty, but not Chinese food).  I was reading up on it, and apparently in China the celebrations last fifteen days and are complex and intricate, but Liz’s family kind of turned it into a hybrid of that, and Thanksgiving.

After dinner, they passed around little red packets, and I even got one!!!  Apparently usually they include money of specific, lucky denominations, but mine just had a little cloth card, which felt very expensive.  It had an embroidered picture of a tiger lily (awww!) and what they explained were the Chinese characters that mean family.  (I learned the Japanese word is 家族 , or kazoku, and it’s the same in Chinese, but pronounced differently).  It was their way of telling me I’m family!!!

I know I sniffled a little!!!

They don’t hug much but I bowed.  I’m not sure if they do that in China but they do in Japan, and they seemed to appreciate the thought.

I felt bad that I didn’t have anything for them but they told me I’m not Chinese so it wasn’t expected.  I still felt a little bad.

After I went back home, I got Jack on a video call and let him see me in the black dress!!!  Oh, it’s a good thing he was there and I was here!!!  But I won’t say why!  hahaha!!!  I told him happy Lunar New Year and showed him what they gave me.  He honestly seemed a little shocked.  He told me that family is very important to Chinese people, and that they must really like me a lot to include me like that.

I sniffled a bit more.

I hear that the Japanese people, like my birth mother and her family, and Chinese people sometimes don’t get along very well.  Japanese people did some very awful things during the war, and it took a long time for the Chinese to forgive them, and still some haven’t.  And what I read – it’s deserved.  Maybe my grandparents in Japan remember those times.  And I’m half-Japanese, it would be really easy for Chinese people to hate me.  But my best friend is Chinese!  My boyfriend is Chinese!  And both of their families love me!  Maybe sometimes the past can be the past.

I’m not sorry for what the Japanese people did because I wasn’t even born!  I don’t have anything to apologize for!  And I don’t regret it because I wasn’t born, too!  I did nothing to regret!  But…  but I wish it hadn’t happened.  I wish I could go back and smack some of those people and stomp my feet and tell them they’re being stupid-heads.  And I’d give them my pouty face and everyone would hug and rainbows would sprout of the ground…

Yeah, but a girl can dream, right?

I got to celebrate Lunar New Year with Chinese people!  And maybe they’ll celebrate Golden Week with me too!

It’s soo sad that there’s so much bad history in that part of the world, with China, and Japan, and Korea, and even Russia.  So many people did so many awful things.  Even the Japanese people amongst themselves.  But…  but I guess it all worked out.  Right?

I don’t like to think about war.  It’s not fun.  I like to be a happy, fun girl who does happy, fun things and bubbles and burbles and spreads love and joy like creamy peanut butter!!! But I’m not liking some of the stuff I’m reading in the news lately…

Oh well.  Happy thoughts, Lily.  Happy thoughts.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 2 of 27 in Lily's diary dated 08 - February 2022

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

And it got coooooooold!

And it’s going to get coooooooolder!!!

And.. ICE!!!

I hope it’s not as bad as last year.  Last year the power went out and our neighbors had busted pipes and it was awful!  I saw people going outside with buckets to collect ice and snow for water!  You wouldn’t expect that in a major city, but it happened!  Tomorrow will be freezily freezing (how’s that?) but it should be better by Friday.

Sabby and I went to the store tonight and it was stripped bare!  Texans are weird!

No driving for me!!!

We have flashlights and power banks and matches and candles and everything we need!  So we have it covered if the power goes out again!!!

We had our meeting today with everyone – the lawyer, the owner, the IRS pencil-pusher, and Dave and Sabby too.  They all came over to the house (Sabby had cookies!) and we hashed it all out.  The IRS lady was all business and very rude in the beginning, but she eventually was satisfied that there was no funny business going on, and towards the end she even seemed a little sympathetic.  She took down all the information, got copies of the documents, and went back to do whatever it is people do at the IRS.  She said something about moving from one account to another, and asked the owner to submit a new W2 form with the correct SSN and send it right to her.  He said he’d do that this week.

So yay!  It all ends well!!  I hope.

We also went to get my passport photo and we’ll send the application when everything unfreezes!!!  I’m going to Japan!  Someday…

Oh oh oh!  A package arrived today!  Dave signed David and Beth up for one of those subscription electronic project services for kids!  It looks like fun!  But I didn’t get one!  He had something else for me!  He got me one of those build-it semi-working models of a car engine!  It’ll take me hours to put together, and that’s my assignment for the rest of the week!  And then after I have to explain to the rest of the family exactly how the engine works!!!

So fun!  And I learn how to use tools too!  I mean I’ve used them before, but not like that!!  And once that’s done he has some other ideas!!  He’s having me do different projects because I’m older and he wants to give me harder stuff.  I told him I bet Beth can handle it.  He agreed, but said to trust him, there’s a reason he put David and Beth together.

I asked if Liz could help, and he said no, this one was all mine.  If Liz helps then I don’t learn anything.  I pouted but I guess he has a point.

I’m actually looking forward to it!!!

Anyway, I guess that’s it.  We’ll see how well we get through the next couple of days, with all the ice.  Eww ice.

Love you alll!!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 3 of 27 in Lily's diary dated 08 - February 2022

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

OMG did we get ice!  Icy ice!  Ice on ice!  Sooooo much ice!  It fell and fell!!!  The ground was white and we couldn’t even throw snowballs because it wasn’t snow, it was ice!  When I went to school it would have been a snow day but today it wasn’t!  It was just a regular day!

Not for Dave, though!  Dave has to go to job sites every now and then, and most of his engineers go to job sites all the time!  So he basically closed his company for the day, and let his people take care of the stuff they needed to take care of!  That was nice of him!  I think everyone remembers snowpocalypse last year.

So while I was sitting at my desk putting that enginey thing together (it’s hard!  All sorts of little fiddly screws and metal bits!  I’m learning a lot about how to do project like that) Dave was busy in the garage.  Finally around lunch time he told us all to come into the garage.

He’d built us a lab!!!


I’ve never seen David so happy!  But I didn’t know what any of the stuff was!  There were bins full of little fiddly parts, there was a small computer that I think Dave had lying around somewhere, there were some gadgets with wires and screens that I’d never seen before!  But David seemed to know!

“Okay, kids,” he said, “I built you a computer and electronics lab.  I know David is the most interested in this, but he’s nine, and I can’t let him use this lab unsupervised.  So here’s the deal.  Beth and Lily, I’m going to teach you two and David how to use all the equipment here – and I expect you to pay attention, you’ll be graded on it!!  The two of you are going to work with David to build projects, which I’ll give you.  You can split up the work how you want, but girls, you have to let David work with you, and David, you must listen to the girls and do as they say.”

David frowned.  “Why do Beth and Lily have to be in charge?”, he whined.  “i know what I’m doing.”

He sighed.  “You’re nine.  You don’t.  When I was your age, I took the back off a television and almost killed myself.  The girls may not know as much as you right now, but they’re older and I’m going to teach them safety.”

“I don’t know anything about all that,” I said.  “I don’t know what that is, or that, or that,” I said, pointing at random stuff.  “How are we supposed to supervise David when we don’t know anything about it?”

“Because you will at least know not to touch stuff when you don’t know what it is.  David here will just plow in and get himself shocked.  Eat some lunch, and then we’ll spend the afternoon learning what all this stuff does.”

“But…  I have that assignment…”

“I’m the teacher,” he said.  “You can do the assignment later.  This is your lesson for this afternoon, while I have some time.”

So he spent the afternoon teaching us the basics.  I still don’t understand nearly any of it, but he was very clear on safety.  That part I think I got.  But I guess it’ll come with practice.

I guess.

After dinner, I just kind of sat on the couch quietly.  Sabby sat down next to me and asked me what was wrong.

“I’m pretty smart, Sabby,” I said.  “Or at least you keep telling me that.  But I understood none of what Dave taught us today.  There were bits and pieces and things with wires and screens and all sorts of stuff that Dave told me and I’ve already forgotten!  It’s like Dave just threw an entirely different language at me!”

She sighed.  “Look, Lily.  You have to understand.  When it comes to school, there’s just the three of you, and you have different interests and you’re rather far apart in age.  You’re sixteen, probably better at languages and art than science and technology.  Beth’s really smart, but her strengths are math and science.  And David has always been really into computers and technology, but he’s too young to play with that stuff without someone older present.  The three of you made clear to us that you needed to be challenged more and, well, this is one way we listened to you.  You think you’re the only one who’s going to get something out of your comfort zone?  David’s gonna learn another language if it kills him.”

“Really?  Which language?”

“I don’t know, but if he doesn’t choose, it’s going to be Spanish and Japanese.  Japanese because you’re already studying it and can teach him.  Just like he can teach you computers and electronics.  And Beth’s learning piano.”

I sighed.  “I don’t like it.”

“It’s not that bad,” she said.  “Who knows, you might decide you like it.  And if not, at least you learned something.”

“I guess.”  I stood up and walked up here.

Maybe I will.  But I’m not good at science!  I’m good at Japanese!  And piano!  And…  and what else?

Sigh.  I so hate it when Sabby’s right.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 4 of 27 in Lily's diary dated 08 - February 2022

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

So today was a little warmer.  Water was drippily dripping off the roof, and every now and then ice would slide off (crunk thunk whooooosh PLOP).  The roads were pretty bad in the morning, but they got better throughout the day, but now they’re bad again.  Sigh.

Beth and David were working on their project.  I’m not sure what it is, but they seemed to be getting along – most of the time.  Every time David tried to take over, Beth shut him down.  “I know you know more about this stuff than I do,” she said, “but dad put us together because I’m supposed to learn too, so if you can’t slow down and let me figure it out then go get a cookie or something.”

Of course, he didn’t like that much, and went to Sabby, who came over and read him the riot act.  I think I see why Dave put them together.  David doesn’t work well with others, and I think Beth, and maybe I, don’t include him as much as we could.

David wanted to play in the lab but I said no.  I don’t understand half the stuff in there, and until Dave can teach us how to be safe I’m not going to risk it.  David got really upset with me too but I stood firm and Sabby backed me up.  “Think of it as a school lab,” she said.  “Would you be allowed to just do whatever you wanted if a teacher wasn’t in the room?”

“No, But Lily’s not a teacher.”

“She’s not.  But she’s a high school student.  You’re an elementary student.  That doesn’t always count for something, but it does here.  You’ll have plenty of chances to work on stuff.”


“No buts.  I’m not going to have you getting hurt because you don’t know what you’re doing.”

As for me, I was putting together my model.  Man, that was hard.  But I got it!  The parts moved up and down and around and it was kinda mesmerizing watching it do its thing.  Now I just have to learn what all the parts are for.

Dave was working again today, but he was working from home.  So later in the day he took me and Beth into the lab (without David) and started giving us some pretty intense lessons on how electricity works.  He taught us about AC and DC, and even showed us on one of the gadgets what AC looked like.  He taught us about voltage and amperage, and what’s safe and what isn’t safe.  He even deliberately popped a circuit breaker – what a spark!

After we were done he asked us what we learned.  I said “Don’t let David near the wall outlets.”  He said “Well, you shouldn’t be near that either right now, but if that’s all you took from it, I guess that’s good enough for today.”

“What are all these little parts?,” I said, pointing at the bins.

“I’ll explain that later,” he said.  “I think you’ve learned enough for today.”

I guess.

I asked Sabby if David chose a language yet.  She said she’s giving him until Monday before she chooses it for him.

Liz came over, we had dinner, and then watched a movie.  After the movie Beth, Liz and I went up – time for another slumber party!  Why do we girls like slumber parties soo much?  Who knows?  They’re funnnn!!!!

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 5 of 27 in Lily's diary dated 08 - February 2022

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!!!

And I’m in a good mood today!!!

It’s still a little chilly outside but it’s getting warmer.  And Sabby had hot chocolate for me when I got home!  Any day with hot chocolate in it is a good day!!! I picked up the mug with both hands!  Now I just have to eat yogurt on a bench in my workout clothes!!!

Haha!  What kind of women are in those advertisements anyway??

But it was good hot chocolate!  Even had those tasty little marshmallows!  I love them!!!

Otherwise it was a boring day!  A boringly boring day!  I went to work, I doot dooted and karen wrangled… oh!  I saw a real karen today!  Most of the time karens are just these wannabe karens, but this one was the real deal!  She got so angry that we wouldn’t give her a discount that she tried to slap the owner!  Well, the owner is a big guy, and he held her down while I called the police!  Maybe that’s why I’m in a good mood!  A karen got arrested!!!

No, it’s the chocolate.

Chocolate always makes me feel better.

I’m such a girl!!!  But I like being a girl!!!  Yes I get moody sometimes and cry a lot, but I get all sorts of friends and get to have fun with them!  Boys just kind of insult each other and ogle girls like me!  It’s much better to be me, I think!!!

Anyway, Crystal came over while I was at work, and she’s here now!  She and Beth are in her room talking.  I guess I’ll go see how they’re doing after I write this.  They really have become good friends!  She doesn’t take any stuff from Beth, and I think Beth appreciates that.  Remember how they met?  Crystal calling her a spoiled rich girl and shoving food in her face?

Well, not much to talk about today, but that’s good!  When there’s a lot to talk about, bad stuff happened!!!  I’d rather days be boringly boring!!! Like this one!!!


This diary entry is part 6 of 27 in Lily's diary dated 08 - February 2022

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!!!


I am Lily, hear me roar!  ROAR!!!!

Ohhh I love nice, quiet days.  It’s warmer!  Ice is almost all gone!!!  YAAAAAYYYY!!!  I worked this morning, and it was mercifully karen-free!  Where do all these karens come from anyway?  Is there a school they all go to?  Do they have “speak to the manager 101”?  “How to make a royal pain of yourself to get what you want 302”?  “Bob Cuts For Fun And Profit”?  I don’t know!  But it’s like there’s a school somewhere!!!

I hear that some women named Karen are upset about karens being called karen!  It’s a title!  Not a name!  You can be a Karen without being a karen, and you can be a karen without being a Karen!!!

Funniest thing:  Karen is a name in Japanese!  It means lovely!!!  So maybe you can just tell a Karen (not a karen) that their name means “lovely”!  Then they won’t have to speak to the manager!  HAHA

So I was curious about something today.  I’ve been playing on this computer for a while now, ever since Dave bought it for me last year, and you know what?  I don’t know how it works!  So I asked Dave.  Dave thought for a bit, and said it’s based on some really simple principles, but it’s hard to explain in one afternoon.  He said it’s just a bunch of really small switches flipping around very, very, very fast.  But he said he’d have to think about how to explain it.  I shrugged.  It does seem pretty complicated!  It’s hard to make something so complicated seem so easy!

So what else.  Not much.  Crystal was here, but she seemed a little subdued.  I asked her why.  She just said simply, “It was cold this week.”

I was confused.

“If your dad hadn’t helped my dad, I might have had to be out in it.”

Aww.  I gave her a hug and I could feel her shake a little.

“If I hadn’t been…  hadn’t been…  then he wouldn’t have…”

I just held her tighter.  What else could I do?  I think it’d bother me too if Dave and Sabby hadn’t taken me in like they did.  Would I be homeless too?  So I just rubbed her back and told her everything would be okay.  But I frowned.  Will everything be okay?

I hope so.  Maybe I’m making a promise I can’t keep.

I fed her a cookie and she seemed to perk up a bit.  Chocolate always helps.

It’s funny how life can be such… how did Ellie put it on Contact…  full of such beautiful dreams… and such horrible nightmares.  Crystal had to live a nightmare, and I can’t really make it better.  Except maybe just by being a big sister.  Maybe that’s enough.

She went home with her parents.  Do they realize how much she hurts?  I should ask them.

Or not.  Maybe I’ll talk to Sabby about it.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 7 of 27 in Lily's diary dated 08 - February 2022


A thoughtful, sad Lily today.

I keep thinking about Crystal. That poor girl. She didn’t ask for anything that happened to her. Her parents fell on hard times and she ended up homeless. What choice did she have? I mean, it’s nice that Dave was able to help her and everything, but did it come too late? She’s so sad sometimes. I mean sometimes I see glimmers of that feisty, spunky girl who shoved food in Beth’s face, and it was truly a joy to see her running around chasing Allison and Beth, but I wonder how much time she spends by herself crying. Probably more time than any of us would like.

And maybe her parents couldn’t do anything about their situation, but maybe they could have. Do they share some blame for what happened to her? Is she mad at them? Should she be mad at them? Does she resent them, even if she doesn’t know it?

I want to talk to Sabby about it but I don’t know what to say. “Sabby, I’m worried about Crystal” – she knows that, and she kind of knows why too. “I think Crystal is hurting” – she knows that too, but what’s to be done? She’s seeing her therapist, what are we supposed to do about it? I think the worst thing is, there’s nothing I can do. She just has to lean on her parents and her therapist and the pastor. But will it be enough? Is it ever enough? Is anything enough? We can spend some time with Crystal. I like spending time with Crystal. But isn’t that just a distraction, really? What can any of us do to help her? We can’t give her back what she lost. What was taken from her.

Dave wanted to play in the lab today and I said fine, if he tells me what he’s doing and why he’s doing it. He seemed put out, but I told him that those are the rules, and he can follow them or not. So we went into the lab and I sat next to him and watched him play around. He had a little board called an “arduino” and was programming it to flash lights and so other silly stuff. It was like a different language, what he was typing into the computer. But I guess I learned something. Maybe I’ll play around with it soon.

Dave’s actually pretty wise, I think. Even if there’s a bit of strife for now.

Oh, it’s getting warmer again! All the ice is gone! Finally! That wasn’t fun!!!






This diary entry is part 8 of 27 in Lily's diary dated 08 - February 2022

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

Genuine Lily Parts!  Oh, ummm…  should probably leave that one, huh?

It’s been quiet.  Too quiet.

Last year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it just seemed to be one thing hitting after another.  I went to Disney world with Liz and her family, met Jack, fell in love (against my better judgement), said “oh no” a lot, discovered who my birth mother was, met her, had Christmas, Jack came back for Christmas, had a date…  all that stuff happened.  And since the new year I… well, took driving lessons and had my floppy bits honked.

I like the quiet, but it worries me.  What else is life going to throw at me?  There are still a few unresolved plot points.  I mean, my life is a bit like a story, right?  The plot points can’t stay unresolved, can they?  Who adopted me before Dave and Sabby did?  What happened to them?  Why do I have a few hundred thousand dollars?  Why did I lose my memory?  Why was I found where I was?  I’ve found the answers to a few questions, but not really the big ones.  Why can I play piano and knock fully grown men onto the ground?  What other skills do I have that I don’t know about?

But the question of who I was before I was found isn’t as important to me anymore.  I have my family now.  I have Jack.  I know my given name and birthday.  Do I really need to know?  I mean, really truly?

It’d be nice if I did, but I guess it’s not really all that important anymore.

And my life isn’t perfect, either.  I love my family, but they are flawed.  Sometimes Sabby or Beth go off for no reason, or David gets in trouble, or Dave withdraws into himself and gets a little surly.  Heck, sometimes I get in a stinker of a mood.  Life isn’t perfect.  But people who love you make it better.  Don’t you think?

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 9 of 27 in Lily's diary dated 08 - February 2022

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

Lily lily la-lilly!!!

Banana nana fofana!!!

I’m dancing in my chair!!!  It’s squeaking!  Beth just came by looking at me funny!!!

Today was..  A wednesday.  Dave was off on a job site, but left some homework for us with Sabby.  I had my project to do with learning how a car engine worked, but we also all filed into the lab and had to build a simple circuit.  But the catch was, David had to keep his hands off and just tell us what we needed to do.

So…  that didn’t end well.  What was supposed to happen was, Beth and I were supposed to plug bits and pieces into the little holey thing as David told us, connect up a battery, and it was supposed to do stuff.  What actually happened was David told us to do something, and both of us refused to do it until he told us what the bit we were plugging in was, what it did, and why it needed to be where it was.  David lost his patience very quickly and stomped off.  Sabby came back, dragging David along a few minutes later, and said “I’m going to watch.  Do what you were doing.”

So we did.

After about a minute, Sabby stopped us.

“I’ve seen enough,” she said.  “David, Beth and Lily have every right to ask you questions and to understand what they’re doing.  Maybe you don’t have the answers but you’re being impatient.  We’re not just teaching you how to do electronics, we’re also trying to teach you how to work together, and David, you’re failing.”

“But they’re so sloooooow!”, he whined.  “And they’re girls!”

Sabby’s face turned thunderous.  “What. Does. That. Have. To. Do. With. Anything”, she asked, punctuating each word.

David had the sense to stay quiet.

“Do you think that girls aren’t as good at this as boys are?”

David turned red, but I couldn’t tell if it was from anger or embarrassment.

“I see,” she said.  “Come with me.  Lily, Beth, you can keep working on this if you want.”

We did.  Both of us knew better than to get in Sabby’s way when she was working up a good rant.  It took us a bit longer, but Beth and I figured it out finally.

We could hear Sabby yelling through the door.

When we had dinner, Sabby told us that since David thought boys were better at some things than girls, it stood to reason that girls were better at some things than boys too, so David was going to be cooking dinner for the next week.  I wasn’t too happy at that announcement.  Why punish us with bad food?  But I kept quiet.

As I said, you don’t want to get in Sabby’s way when she was working up a good rant.

Truthfully, I wouldn’t mind learning to cook too, but let’s let David get through this first.  This oughta be a fiasco almost as bad as Cookie-palooza.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 10 of 27 in Lily's diary dated 08 - February 2022

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

So I can’t fault Sabby’s intentions, but I think she backfired.

So she wanted David to cook dinner to prove that boys could do things that girls are stereotyped for? Well, it turns out that David can’t cook.  At all.  Not even a little.  He, apparently, has found a way to burn water.  Kid can play computer games and knows a lot about computers and tech stuff, but put him in front of a stove and, well, it was an unmitigated disaster.

The food served was pretty much inedible.  He tried to make macaroni and cheese.  He ended up with pasta and cheese soup, and the cheese made little balls that were crispy on the outside.  Ewww!

And Sabby was coaching him, too!

Dave took one bite, and said “Sabby, I know what you were trying to do, and David, I know you did your best, but this isn’t edible.  I’m ordering pizza.”  And he did.  The pizza arrived half an hour later and we ate in silence.  David looked mortified, Sabby looked upset, but at herself more than at David, Dave just looked a bit put out, and Beth seemed a bit gleeful that her little brother finally got a bit of comeuppance.  I…  just felt bad for everyone.

Though I do love pizza.

After, Dave and Sabby went up to there room, and there was muffled yelling, with Sabby doing most of it.  David just sat on the couch looking miserable.  I sat down next to him.

“Ok there kiddo?”


“Why not?”

“I don’t know.”

I frowned.  “Your mom embarrassed you, didn’t she?”

he nodded.

 “I don’t think she meant to.”

He just got up and went upstairs.  He’s nine.  He’s not very good at talking about his feelings.  It’s not that he dislikes me, he just… he’s David.

Boy, when Sabby messes up, she really messes up.

And I can’t really fault what she was trying to accomplish.  I know David’s nine, but he really does have some rough edges.  And apparently he thinks girls can’t do some things that boys can.  But if Sabby was trying to kill that idea, well, I don’t think she managed it.

Poor Sabby.

Poor David.

I hate family drama.

But on the bright side, at least I got some pizza out of the deal.  Is that a fair trade for being told I can’t do something because I’m a girl?

Nah.  But it’s a nice down payment.  I do love pizza.

Sabby’s in David’s room talking to him now.  And as much as he needs to be taught a lesson, well, she owes him an apology.  I hope she gives him one.

Tomorrow’s Friday!  YAY!!!!!

Love you all!!! ❤