About Qin Tang

USANA Associate, Librarian & Writer. I have a passion for healthy living - body, mind and spirit. As a USANA Associate, I love to help you live healthy and well through life style changes and through high quality nutritional supplements from USANA. Take the free USANA True Health Assessment at http://qintang.usana.com/ and find out what you might need to reach your optimal health.

Visit MnDOT booth at Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair, also referred to as the Great Minnesota Get-Together, starts today. For the next 12 days, from Thursday through Labor Day, all the fun and talk in Minnesota will be around the Fair. If you plan to visit the State Fair, I invite you to stop by and visit the MnDOT booth in the Education Building. The theme this year is “Get Connected: How Transportation Affects YOU.”

Here is what you can do or get at the MnDOT booth:

  • Ask questions about transportation-related topics, wondering about a road project near you or how to drive a roundabout?
  • View the display that highlights how transportation improvements along busy corridors help the economy by keeping traffic and freight moving; how use of innovative technology on projects shortens traffic impact and improves safety; and how the projected growth of traffic and freight during the next 15 years will affect the state’s aging infrastructure.
  • Sit in the “rest area” of MnDOT’s booth to view short videos depicting a range of transportation projects and innovations. These include showing a snow storm from the driver’s seat of a snowplow, seeing the Larpenteur Avenue Bridge slide into place through time-lapse photography to illustrating the impact to traffic when drivers use/don’t use the zipper merge.
  • Get a free Official State Highway map or bicycle map.
  • Win a MnDOT T-shirt or Minnesota transportation history book (Footpaths to Freeways) by completing a short survey and submitting it into a daily drawing.

In addition to MnDOT’s presence in the Education Building, MnDOT workers will be driving a snowplow in the State Fair’s daily 2 p.m. parade on Fridays and Wednesday (Aug. 22, 27 and 29)

What’s up, Qin?

For those of you who know me or have read my columns and blog posts in the past, and have wondered what has happened to me or my writing, I would like to offer an apology and the following update.

Yes, I know I have not updated my blog for more than two months which has never happened before. I think about it almost every day and feel a little guilty for letting it go for so long. Here is what’s going on.

#1 A month long trip to China

My mom was in and out of the hospital from April to July, due to her diabetes complications. So I went back to China to visit my family and to help take care of my mom for almost one month in June and July. Only a few days before my leaving was my mom discharged from the hospital, but she went back again later. She has been doing dialysis three times a week since May.

It was sad to see my mom suffer and lose her quality of life. Now she is dependent on others. My 81 year-old father and my brother are her caretakers, with my brother still holding a full-time job. We had some bitter sweet moments when relatives from other parts of China came to visit mom in hospital. They came to visit my mom because she could be gone any time. Surprisingly, she survived.

Though I spent most time in the hospital during the month-long visit, there were also some happy moments. It was nice to see my mom recover to the point that she could get up and walk outside with a cane. She was almost dying when I first saw her. Her recovery was a victory. I will write more about it in another post.


The other happy moments included a few high school reunions. I lost contact with my high school classmates since I left my hometown to go to college in Beijing. So we hadn’t seen each other for 34 years. Most of the others hadn’t seen each other either, even though they live in the same city. A reunion was planned a few months in advance. It happened to be during the time I was there. So I had the good fortune to attend the reunion and meet the other 60 classmates and over 10 teachers. I couldn’t remember and recognize all the people, because some are not from the same class.

I attended two high schools, so there were more than one reunion.

It was really fun and memorable to meet so many classmates at once. We took one new photo that shows the same four people in the same position from an old photo. I was about 15 years old back then. The before and after photo was a real treasure.



#2 Start a home business

My mom’s illness and recovery led me to start a home business. Before I went back to China to visit my mom, I did some research on dietary supplements in order to buy some high quality products for her. I found out about USANA Health Sciences. Its dietary supplements are rated #1 among over 1500 products in North America. During my research and learning, I became a total believer in supplements and started taking them myself.  The products have helped my mom greatly.  Now as an USANA Associate, I want to share its mission and its amazing products with as many people as I can.

I have been spending time reading and learning about nutritional supplements and healthy living. I have always been interested in health & wellness. I am a part of the H&W committee at work and involved in H&W events. Now USANA gives me a  new focus, a new mission, and a new passion.

More about USANA later. Meanwhile, here is my USANA website if you are interested in learning about the company and the products. On this website, you can also take a health assessment for product recommendations. Feel free to contact me for more info. I would love to talk with you and help you live a better and healthy life.


#3 Wechat

Since I got connected with my college classmates via Wechat in January this year, I have spent more time Wechatting with my Chinese friends and relatives around the world. Honestly, I love my Wechat more than my blog and Facebook. It is a mobile app and easy to use. Since everyone on my Wechat network is someone I know, it’s more interesting to network with them, to chat live, to share photos and articles, and what’s on my mind. I get instant feedback, and more gratification in sharing with people I know. As the result, I lost a lot of time and some interest in updating my blog and Facebook.


#4 Gardening and Walking

I love gardening and walking.  Summer days are short when I can spend time outdoor after dinner. I hardly use my computer now. Some days I don’t even turn on my computer.

As Minnesotans, we know summer wouldn’t be here for long. Pretty soon days are getting shorter and it will be cold and dark after dinner. Then I will have more time to update my blog.

After all, writing is still my love and passion. That will never change.


Book giveaway experience

This is part 2 of my book giveaway experience as a World Book Night volunteer. See part 1 Spreading the love of reading.

It’s the first year that I am a book giver for World Book Night.

I was supposed to give away all 20 copies of my #WBN2014 book “100 Best-Loved Poems” on April 23, but due to bad weather and lack of time, I didn’t finish the task. I only give away six copies.

On April 25, I gave away the second batch of five books.

Today, I walked around the Minnesota State Capitol during lunch time and finally gave away the rest of the books. I saved one copy for my Little Free Library.

The book giveaway experience was interesting. What surprised me the most was giving away books is not as easy as I thought. When I approached people and asked them if they would like a free book, I got some skeptical and indifferent  reaction.  Some had no interest and walked away, with a “Don’t bother me!” or “What do you want from me?” kind of attitude.

I saw several groups of middle or high school students on field trips today by the Capitol. I approached a few of the groups, the first few said no.  Students seemed to be concerned about talking to strangers.  Only the girls in the last group reacted enthusiastically and welcomed my books. I had three left. So the 4th girl in the photo didn’t get the book.

Next year, I will do it again. But I will ask for a more popular book. Hopefully a more popular book will be better received and will bring a more enthusiastic reaction.



BSF class in Woodbury open for fall registration

Since February 2014, I have been attending the Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) pilot class on Monday evening at Five Oaks Church in Woodbury. So far we have studied two books, Philippians and Ruth, and are finishing up the third book, Colossians, in the next two weeks. Then after the summer break, classes will resume in September. 

Fall registration is open for new members during the next two classes, May 12 and 19. If anyone is interested, please let me know. This is for women only.

There are two other BSF classes in Woodbury & Afton. They already had their fall registration in April and May. You can check the BSF website to locate the class you want to attend and contact them directly for more info.

Woodbury Lutheran Church
7380 Afton Rd
Woodbury MN 55125-1502
Meeting day/time: Thursday 9:15AM
Class type: Day Women

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran
14107 Hudson Road South
Afton MN 55001
Meeting day/time: Monday 6:55PM
Class type: Evening Men

BSF is an in-depth, interdenominational Bible study that helps people know God and equips them to effectively serve the Church throughout the world. Classes, there are over 1,000 of them, are offered in 38 countries.

I really like this in-depth Bible study and would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in deepening their knowledge in Bible and their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Annual Big Book Sale at R.H. Stafford Library April 25, 26, 27

The following info is from the Washington County Library website:

R.H. Stafford library will host book sale April 25, 26, 27

A Big Book Sale will be at the R.H. Stafford branch of the Washington County Library Friday, April 25, Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27.

The library is at 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury.

Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26, sale hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 27, hours are 1 to 4:30 p.m.

It is a sale of used library materials and donations from the public. Materials are priced to sell – hardcover books at $2 and paperback books at $1. Customers who use scanners pay a $20 fee per scanner per day for scanning book sale merchandise.

Donations are accepted prior to the sale at the Library’s Info Desk. Call 651-731-1320 with questions.

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Battle of the Books at LMS


The First Battle of the Books at Lake Middle School took place this morning. Two 8th grade teams, five 7th grade teams and six 6th grade teams competed in the battle. There was a winner from each grade.  

To participate in the battle, each team consisting of four members had to read 12 pre-selected books, and each member had to read at least six books. They were asked questions about the books for about an hour. At the end of the questions, the teams that had the most correct answers in each grade won.

As a reward, the winning teams will get free lunch of pizza from PTA.

Thanks to the PTA and all the coaches for organizing this fun activity to encourage reading at LMS.

Urgency Room for urgent care

Do you know what Urgency Room is and what it does?

I didn’t know anything about it and had never paid attention, even though I have driven by the Woodbury Urgency Room on Valley Creek (7030 Valley Creek Plaza, Woodbury, MN 55125) many times since its opening in October 2010, until a co-worker told me about it recently.

The Urgency Room offers an alternative and cost-effective way to receive emergency medical care than the traditional hospitals ER.  The UR is fully staffed with the board-certified ER doctors and nurses. If you are able to drive, get a ride, or walk, you can go to the UR for fast medical care.

The Urgency Room provides services for the following problems:

  • Chest pain
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • High Fever
  • Dehydration, nausea, vomiting
  • Respiratory or breathing problems, including asthma
  • Broken bones
  • Pregnancy bleeding or spotting
  • Dislocations, sprain, strain
  • Serious cuts requiring stitches
  • Severe nosebleed
  • Eye pain and injury
  • Blood clots
  • Head injury
  • Kidney stones
  • Severe headache, migraine
  • Heart rhythm disturbances
  • Acute injury evaluation

The differences between the UR and ER, the UR and the UC:

Unlike a standard ER, the Urgency Room is an outpatient facility with no inpatient/overnight rooms available. UR does not accept ambulances, however they will transport patients out to surrounding hospitals if necessary.

Unlike an urgent care, the Urgency Room has a high-complexity lab, x-ray machine, CT scanner, ultrasound machines all onsite to treat acute injuries that surpass the abilities of a standard urgent care.

There are three Urgency Room locations in Twin Cities:

  • Woodbury (651-789-7000),
  • Eagan (651-789-9900)
  • Vadnais Heights (651-789-6500)

The UR Woodbury includes:

  • 10 private treatment rooms
  • 2 procedure rooms
  • 2 consult rooms
  • Board-certified emergency physicians
  • Highly experienced ER nurses and paramedics
  • Full CT equipment, ultrasound, and radiology capabilities
  • High-complexity lab

The UR accepts most health plans.

The UR welcomes walk-ins at any time. You can also call-ahead or do online pre-registration prior to your visit. You can check current wait times and patient status online, from home or from your smartphone.

The Urgency Room is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays, from 8am-10 pm.

Had I known about the UR a few years ago, I would have used it when my son needed urgent care for unusual fast heartbeat. It could have saved me a lot of time and some money. My son waited at the Regions Hospital ER for about 5 hours before being seen by the ER doctor. By that time my son hardly needed any care. We went home after some tests that showed nothing was wrong with him. The doctor couldn’t tell what caused it. My son never had the problem before and after this one incident.


Spreading the love of reading

Today is the World Book Night. This is the first year that I am a book giver for World Book Night.

Early in the morning before I even woke up, I received an email reminding me of the big day and wishing me “Happy World Book Night Giving!” 

After I got up, I was ready to give away my 20 copies of the #WBN2014 books. I planned to do that around the Minnesota State Capitol during the lunch time.

Well, the weather and my day didn’t cooperate. It was cloudy and cold in the morning, then it rained. I was busy during lunch time. By the time I was leaving office in the afternoon, I still had all the books I brought in. I hadn’t given away a single copy.

As I was walking out the building, I stopped by at the Security and Info Desk. Since today is the Administrative Professionals’ Day, I decided to give away my very first copy to the admin staff behind the Info Desk. She was surprised and happy to get the book. You can see her big smile on the photo. 

Outside the building, I stopped the first stranger I encountered. I gave him copy and took a photo of him. The Minnesota State Capitol was right in the background. He was very appreciative.

Around the corner in front of the office building is the construction site for a new parking ramp. I talked to two construction workers standing there. One accepted my free gift, and the other declined, say:  “I have no use for it.” 

On my way to my car, I had to walk through the Sears Parking lot. I gave away two copies to two guys. One of them is from the same workplace. He told me he liked to give away books too, usually the pocket size Gideons Bible.

So five copies were given away within minutes on my walk from my office to my car.   

In the evening at the Woodbury Dance Studio, I gave one copy to a mom with two girls. Another person declined because she didn’t want to have her picture taken. 

I still have more copies left, which means there is more work to do tomorrow. It’s a good thing. It means I get to extend the joy of giving and doing a little act of kindness for another day.


A surprise gift – Jeremiah Study Bible



This morning when I opened my front door in responding to a neighbor’s knocking, I found a surprise FedEx package by the door, from Dr. David Jeremiah’s Turning Point Ministry. I was puzzled.

Every month, as a Turning Point Ministry Partner, I do receive mail from Turning Point with a magazine, book and CD, but I don’t expect anything so heavy and via FedEx.

When I opened the package, I was happily surprised to find a copy of the  Jeremiah Study Bible, signed by Dr. Jeremiah with my name, along with a handwritten note by Scott Walsh, Director of Public Relations at Turning Point.

I talked with Scott last year when he invited me to attend “An Evening with Dr. David Jeremiah” and have a meeting with Dr. Jeremiah at Target Center on April 4, 2013. I felt so honored to meet with Dr. Jeremiah and his wife. The God Loves You Live Event was an unforgettable experience and meant a lot to me.

When the Jeremiah Study Bible came out last December, I got myself a hardback copy and wrote about it in my post A book that will change your life. But this soft-touch LeatherLuxe edition in teal and gray I received today is definitely more beautiful. And with the signature and handwriting by Dr. Jeremiah himself, this copy is more unique and means so much more to me.  

Thank you, Dr. Jeremiah and Scott, for such a thoughtful and lovely Easter gift. You have really blessed me with this gift. It is now my favorite and most treasured Bible.

Heaven is for real

A recent article on FoxNews, Is 2014 the year of the Christian film? said: “2014 has been dubbed by industry press as the year of biblical movies.”

Yes, Christian movies abound. So far this year, we have seen several new Christian movies: Son of GodNoah, God’s Not Dead, and Heaven is for real that was just released today.  

Heaven is for real is based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same title which is based on the real story of a 4 year old boy Colton who had a Near-Death experience. It details the little boy’s trip to heaven and back. 

The true story, retold by his father but using Colton’s uniquely simple words, offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us and the chance to see, and believe, like a child.

I have read quite a few books on Near-Death experience, including the best-selling book 90 Minutes in Heaven: a True Story of Death and Life by Don Piper.
In my personal journey of growing from an atheist to a christian, stories like these have helped me realize that there is life after death. 

I used to be fearful of death. Without faith and belief in life after death, death means the end of everything. 

But now, I firmly believe in life after death. Life does not end when the body stops functioning. I am an eternal spiritual being living in a physical body. My spirit lives on even when my body is gone. 

Life on this earth is only a temporary journey. My earthly life can end any day, any minute, any second. Some day I will be transformed from my earthly life to my spiritual life. I came from spirit and will return to spirit. I came from dust and will return to dust. I came with nothing and will leave with nothing. Everything I experience in this short life on earth is temporary. 

I no longer view death as something so fearful, because death is just the beginning of  a new life. I have hope for something better, a better life in heaven. There will be no sorrow, no pain and no tears in my eternal life in heaven.