Category Archives: Christmas

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #107 – Winter

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #107, Ann-Christine invited us to look at the difference in the winter when we compare the Northern Hemisphere with the Southern Hemisphere. 

The first time I saw snow was my first year in Portland, Oregon. It was in November. I walked along the hallway from one classroom to the next. My eyes glanced through the floor to ceiling window. A thin layer of white stuff drifting down in the air. I stopped and observed. Each layer above seemed to get thicker and whiter. I realized what happened and called out while jumping up and down, “It’s snowing. It’s snowing!” Some male students walked by and looked at me. Probably the last time they saw and heard of it was from their little kids.

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When I finished school in Portland, I went on to Seattle Pacific University for my second graduate study. The city welcomed me with seven inches of snow. When the snow came to a pause, I put on my knee high, custom made leather boots and my leather gloves to make the first snowman. The leather gloves got hard and stiff after they were dry. My boots were fine, probably they were made differently.

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Is winter warm or cold? I think winter is warm because it’s the time for events such as Christmas concert, Christmas light cruise, Christmas parties with family and friends, and my daughter’s birthday the day after Christmas.

One New Year, we visited my sister’s family in Vancouver B.C. We couldn’t go skiing in Whistler B.C. because the heavy fog came in. We managed going to a nearby mountain for my husband, niece, and nephew to do snowboarding.

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Back home in southern California, our chorale started rehearsing for the Messiah concert first week of November, leading to the two performances before Christmas. This is the highlight of the year for me.

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The adult fellowship group at church has many Christmas parties. One year we had a catering dinner at a deluxe retirement home. The chef built a gingerbread village every year. He made one gingerbread house at a time throughout the year and froze them. By early December, he assembled the village with a train track and an electrical train going around it.

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The last two years, we went on the Christmas Light Cruise and watched the Christmas Boat Parade.

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Two years ago was the first-time snow and Christmas met. My husband and I went to Portland, Oregon to spend the holiday with my daughter’s family. I saw snow before the plane landed and was so excited to have a white Christmas.

Most exciting of all during Christmas time is my daughter’s birthday on the day after Christmas. Here, Mercy opened the birthday card from her daughter Autumn.

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Is winter warm or cold in your part of the world? I would like to hear from you.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #107 – Winter

 

 

Merry Christmas

It has been a challenging time for me since the beginning of November. I have an allergic reaction toward something, possibly medications. After having gone to the Urgent Care twice, Emergency Room twice, hospitalized for five days and seeing eight doctors, no doctor could pinpoint what happened to the constant inflammation of my skin. All they could say was to ask me to discontinue this and that medication. I will discontinue ALL my medications in less than a month. What a motivation for me to get rid of all the medications I have been taking. They gave me some treatments such steroids and antibiotics. I spent Thanksgiving in the hospital and was hoping not to miss all the celebrations in Christmas.

 

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Messiah Performance

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Messiah Performance

With great effort and determination, I gathered my energy and ensured a pleasant appearance; I managed to sing in one of the two performances of Messiah. I couldn’t sing in the first one because I was still miserable. Laying in my bed, I could hear the choir singing. My disappointment was no greater than my motivation. I quietly plead for good health the next day so that I could sing. Oh, what a miracle! I woke up feeling the coolness of my body. It was a great joy for me to spend hours to prepare myself. The photos showed my red face (with no make-up) from the inflammation. My friends in the audience were happy to see me.

 

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Retirees singing to the retirees

I also got to sing in one of the two chorale concerts. I missed the first one when the group sang in a retirement home. The second one was as fun when we sang to the fellow retirees.

 

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Precious group of ladies at the Christmas dinner

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Joy to the World celebration

There were two Christmas parties I was delighted to go and had fun seeing my friends of thirty years. One was the ladies Christmas dinner, and the other was the adult fellowship Christmas party.

I haven’t seen the end of the tunnel yet. I’ll still must take a blogging break until my health is fully recovered. Until then, I wish you all

A Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

White Christmas 2017

I have problem with my new laptop, was not able to do anything with my blog for days. I feel like I’m cripled. The battery stopping charging right after Christmas. I had to wait until coming back to California to take it back to the store. The laptop is only two months old, so it is under full warrenty. I’m using my hugsband’s desktop computer.

I have some backtracking to do.

We had a white Christmas. When we were still in the air on Christmas Eve, looking down to Portland area, we saw a blanket of snow. I was so excited, because I haven’t had a white Christmas for 30 years. The snow only last for one day.

We open the gifts on Christmas day. Mercy and Will got many new board games from Autumn. She knows mommy and daddy love to play games. My husband and I learned one new game each day while we were in Portland for the whole week. My daughter went back to work after maternity leave. I had a chance to watch Autumn all days on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday was Mercy’s birthday, so we went out in the evening for dinner and had cakes and pie for dessert. Then went home to play a game.

Mercy had Thursday and Friday off becuase she only went back to work part-time. During her days off, she went to the gym and started working out and getting back in shape. Friday evening, Lynton and I watched Autumn so that Mercy and Will could go on a movie and dinner date. They had such a good time.

We left on Saturday, but in the future years, we’ll go back to see the baby every four to six weeks. It’s such a joy watching her growing up, learning to grab things with both hands, looking at herself in the mirror and smiles, and started cooing and laughing. We don’t want to miss any of these precious moments.

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Weekend Writing Prompt #34: Christmas – Silent Night

A word and photo prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. The prompt is “Christmas.” – Sammi Cox

“Silent Night” (German: Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht) is a popular Christmas Carol. The lyrics were written by Joseph Mohr in Salzburg, Austria. The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in the nearby village of Arnsdorf.

Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment. The first performance of the carol was on December 24, 1818, in the Christmas Eve mass.

Over the years, because the original manuscript had been lost, Mohr’s name was forgotten and although Gruber was known to be the composer, many people assumed the melody was composed by a famous composer, and it was variously attributed to Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven. However, a manuscript was discovered in 1995 in Mohr’s handwriting and dated by researchers as c. 1820. It states that Mohr wrote the words in 1816 when he was assigned to a pilgrim church in Mariapfarr, Austria, and shows that the music was composed by Gruber in 1818. This is the earliest manuscript that exists and the only one in Mohr’s handwriting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Night

I selected this version of the Silent Night sung by Plácido Domingo. He has been the hero of my music endeavor.

By January 21, 2018, Domingo will be 77 years old. His singing and conducting performances are all scheduled for 2018. His motto, he claimed, was “If I rest, I rust.”

Domingo has been described in the international press as “the King of Opera.”  He is well known for his versatility, regularly performing in Italian, French, German, Spanish, English, and Russian in the most prestigious opera houses in the world.

Domingo served as the artistic director (1996–2011) and general director (2003–11) of the Washington D. C. Opera, and from 2000 he was the general director of the Los Angeles Opera. In the early 2010s, he transitioned from the tenor repertory into almost exclusively baritone parts. He has sung – as of 2015 – over 3,800 performances of 147 roles.

Wow, at 70s years old, he continues to memorize singing in new roles!

 Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #34: Christmas – Silent Night