Category Archives: Family

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #94: At Home

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Amy said, “Due to the lock down, we are spending more time at home. But, hopefully this isn’t limiting our interest in photographing. This week, we invite you to share photos taken at home.”

“When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home.” – Thorton Wilder

This is the seventh week staying home for me. Like most of the people, I go out only when it is absolutely necessary. I face each day with the hope to stay healthy to enjoy my grandchildren when the pandemic is over. There are enough things at home to keep my life interesting such as gardening, checking my daughter’s Tinybeans account where she posts the photos of my grandchildren, reading or re-reading paperback books, exercising, and even cooking a couple times a week (my hubby took over the full time cooking when he was retired in 2016. Lucky me!).

Spring is in the air. The buds are all over my 30 rose bushes. I started with 12 pink rose bushes. Eventually I added 10 white iceberg rose bushes, and some orange and yellow roses. Now it’s not so boring looking at the roses.

Most of the plants in my garden are low maintenance. I do have several patches  for annual flowers and this is the time to plant new flowers.

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Nothing gives me greater joy to see the photos of my granddaughters every day.

When weather permits, I go on a walk in the neighborhood. On some other days, I can do yoga at home.

Piles of book for reading and re-reading.

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My new cooking is this Sausage and Vegetable Casserole. One 9″ x 13″ dish last for three alternate days for lunch. On the other four days, hubby cooks his regular lunch.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #94: At Home

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #92: Going Back – the Second Time Around

This week John Steiner at Photo by Johnbo is the guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #92. He picked the theme: Going Back – the Second Time Around.

He said, “Considering the current world situation, I decided to focus my challenge to your sharing images from your previous travels rather than asking you to go out to photograph new examples to share.”

There were several countries where we went back to visit for the second or third or fourth time. In this post, I included Hawaii, China and Alaska.

 

Makena Beach is a tucked away small beach in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii. It was on this beach my husband and I got married. We have been there four times. It was always enjoyable to go back to this beach every time we were there. Maui Makena Beach1a

On thing we did differently during the last trip was hiking in Haleakalā National Park to visit the seven Sacred Pools. We hiked up to Waimoku Falls which can mean water that cuts, severs, amputates, or breaks in two as a stream often does after heavy rains.

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I have been to China three times but didn’t do too much sightseeing until the third visit when seven members went on a family trip. Even though growing up in Hong Kong, I didn’t go to see the Great Wall until this trip. I’ve heard and read about the Terra Cotta Soldiers in Xi’an but never seen them in person until this trip.

China Xian

The spiky mountains along Li River in Guilin inspired many painters throughout the Chinese history. One scene of the mountains along the Li River is an image on one of the Chinese bills. We had one family member holding the money and had the photo taken when we passed by that famous spot (not included here). It was a treat to cruise on this river.

China Guilin

 

Our first trip to Alaska was the week after the summer tourist season. The train to Denali National Park was closed as the snow piles up in the winter. When planning for the second trip, I made sure we wouldn’t miss the visit.  Most of the tours to Denali National Park are five days or longer, but our stay was only six days. I found a two-day tour as an excursion of a cruise. We were also fortunate to be there on a sunny day. Alaska has more than 57 million acres of designated wilderness which accounts for about 30% of the nation’s wilderness. These wilderness areas support diverse wildlife populations and we were excited to see several creatures such as this baby moose.

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Alaska b

 

Thank you, John, for hosting the challenge this week.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #92: Going Back – the Second Time Around

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #91: Simplicity

Patti Moed invited us to focus on the theme Simplicity this week as the Coronavirus pandemic spreads and intensifies, many of us around the world are spending a lot of time at home, following governmental regulations to shelter in place.

As of April 6, 2020, California has 15,221 cases reported and 351 deaths, according to a New York Times database. The government issued the rules of wearing masks outdoor and when shopping.

 

We have tried our best to stay home and keep things simple. We set up a home gym with workout bench, dumbbells, and treadmill. Hubby has a manikin to practice boxing. He runs in a nearby park. I walk around a nearby lake or in the neighborhood.

1. morning walk

2. morning walk

 

We eat simple food with eggs, avocados, tomatoes, and fruits for breakfast, vegetables and alternate chicken and salmon for dinner. The shopping list is simple, so Hubby only goes once a week for a quick run. I rarely go to the stores.

3. breakfast

 

To increase physical activity, I do more gardening when weather is clear. I planted some seeds for gladiolus several years ago. They multiplied, and some flowers grew under a grapevine last year, not getting enough space and sunlight to grow. I dug them up last week and transplanted to another area to grow better.

4. flowers3

5. gardening5

 

My daughter has a Tinybeans.com account where she posts photos of her kids and family activities. I checked the account every day to look at the photos and videos. They give me much joy and I look forward to them every day. The daycare is closed, so Autumn stays home. She plays in the backyard, rides her balance bike or skateboard in the nearby park or on the street.

6. Autumn skateboard2

 

Stay safe and please share with me in the comment how you maintain simplicity yet keep your life interesting.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #91: Simplicity

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #90 – Distance

Tina looked at the “Social Distancing” and invited us to focus on DISTANCE this week as a challenge to serve as a reminder of its importance.

I grew up in a big city and now live in one. When we traveled, it amazed me to realize some people live in a great distance from each other. It made me think that these people do not have the convenience to access many things, things at our fingertips we take for granted. These people also don’t have the luxury or technology city people have. I asked myself why people choose to live in these locations and live in this lifestyle. “Are they happy?” Then the next question is, “What makes people happy?” I think people either have no choice or choose to be content wherever they are and however they live.

 

The first set of photos is the distance in the land.

“Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective, and maybe objectivity.”Robert Morgan

c21 Longleat 3

Longleat in Somerset, UK, is an English Stately home. The house is set in 1,000 acres of parkland with 4,000 acres of let farmland and 4,000 acres of woodland.

 “Ocean separates lands, not souls.” – Munia Khan

Four Miles Beach Port Douglas, AU

Four Mile Beach is considered the premier beach of Port Douglas, Australia, beginning at the northern rocky headland and continuing for four more miles without any buildings or construction interrupting the pristine views.

 “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller

Denali National Park, AL

Denali in Alaska is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above sea level. With a topographic prominence (measures the height of a mountain or hill’s summit relative to the lowest contour line) of 20,156 feet (6,144 m) and topographic isolation ( the minimum great-circle distance to a point of equal elevation) of 4,629 miles (7,450 km).

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The next set of photos is our family practice of social distancing.

Because of the Covid-19, I canceled my flight to be with my daughter, Mercy, for the birth of her second daughter. I planned to be there to watch Autumn while she was in the hospital. They live close to Washington sate which is on the top three states with most Coronavirus cases and death. I live in California which is one of the three states among the top three. It was for the safety that I canceled the flight. If it were not for a dangerous situation, they could have friends volunteer to watch Autumn. Under these circumstances, on Sunday, March 22, my son-in-law was able to take my daughter to the hospital but not staying with her during her labor. They did video chats during her labor. After baby Nora was born, their friends watched Autumn in the afternoon so Will went to the hospital and held Nora in his arms. They continued to do video chats in the next two days. The hospital discharged my daughter on Tuesday. Baby Nora had the first check-up appointment on Thursday.

Mercy and I did video chats and sent video messages to each other. She set up a Tinybeans.com account for her older daughter Autumn. She also posted many photos of the family and Nora on that account. That is the account I don’t miss checking every day. I can’t get enough to look at the photos and videos again and again.

“Distance means so little when someone means so much.” – Tom McNeal

1. Mercy & daughters 3

Happy mother and daughters. I think Autumn read to Nora!!

“I exist in two places, here and where you are.” – Margaret Atwood

2. Autumn practices

Autumn practiced care for the baby in the car seat.

“Love knows not distance; it hath no continent; its eyes are for the stars.” – Gilbert Parker

4. Autumn & Nora

Autumn had Nora on her laps. She was very gentle with Nora.

Let’s do our part and keep social distancing. Stay safe!

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #90 – Distance

 

 

 

New Baby

Yay! I’m a grandma of two granddaughters now!

 

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I planned to go to Portland, Oregon early last week to be with my daughter Mercy when she delivers her second daughter. I also wanted to help with watching the two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter. Because of the coronavirus, Mercy and I decided it’s for the safety of me and the little ones that I postpone my trip. So, I stayed and prayed for them.

On Sunday, Mercy went to the hospital at 5:00 a.m. with 7cm dilation. She video called me at 9:00 am before taking a nap. Baby Nora was born at 12:30 p.m. weighted 6 lbs. 7 oz. Her husband Will sent me a couple photos right after the baby was born. Mercy video called me around 1:00 p.m.

The doctor discharged her on Tuesday afternoon, even though the baby didn’t eat too much and didn’t have too many pees and poos yet. Because of the Coronavirus, the doctor sent her home with distant support. She called me again yesterday when she was feeding the baby. They’re very happy.

Again, I learned to trust God even though I worried about Mercy and the care of Autumn. Their friends in the neighborhood watched Autumn when Mercy went into labor. Because of the Coronavirus, Will is working at home. He started taking paternity leaves. After they get on a routine, he still can work at home. It’s so good to have him working at home in times like this.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #84: Narrow

This week, Amy invited us to explore the theme of Narrow. She said the reason she chose narrow for the theme is, “Travel has taught me that once we go through a narrow path, alley, and/or road with a little patience, at the end it always opens up to pleasant surprises. The experience certainly has broadened my horizon allowing me to see the world through different eyes.” 

Here are the photos I share this week.

“There is in true beauty, as in courage, something which narrow souls cannot dare to admire” – William Congreve

Haleakalā East Mai Volcano

We drove on this road many times to visit the Haleakalā (East Mai volcano) which is 10,023 high.

Rhododendron Garden, Portland, OR

On this Mother’s Day, my daughter, along with her hubby and daughter Autumn took us to Rhododendron Garden in Portland, Oregon. The beautiful flowers, plants and trees surround the lake. We admired the water creatures on this narrow bridge.

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” – Henry David Thoreau

Haleakalā National Park Maui

During our trip at Maui, Hawaii last year, we went hiking on this trail through the bamboo forest to see the waterfalls and pools in ‘Ohe’o Gulch, Haleakala National Park Kipahulu.

These Alleys in Toledo, Spain are amazing. We went on one alley which was not too much wider than these two, I was almost ran over by a car, the size of a Mini Cooper.

We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.Mark Lawrence

IMG_7158 Catheral & Roman Bridge, Cordoba

I took a photo of the Roman bridge on the way to the Great Mosque of Córdoba, Spain. During its history, the bridge was restored and renovated several times and now only the 14th and 15th arches (counting from the Puerta del Puente) are original.

Stay tuned for Tina’s (Travels and Trifles) LAPC #85 on February 22nd. 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #84: Narrow

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #83 – Future

This week, Ann-Christine invited us to look into the future. She said, “The future is the period of time that will come after the present, or the things that will happen then. Maybe a second away, a week, a year, a decade…”

When I saw the theme, it put a smile on my face. My granddaughter Autumn will be a big sister on or around March 27, 2020. My daughter and son-in-law have been preparing her for this big change in her life. They read books to her about being a big sister. They bought her a toy baby for her to carry.

When I visited them during the Christmas 2019, we went to the Children’s Museum. Autumn went to the “nursery” area and practiced taking care of a baby.

Take a look, I think Autumn will be a perfect big sister.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #83 – Future

 

 

 

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