Category Archives: Life

Family Time

Fanno Creek Trail, Beaverton, Oregon

We canceled the Mother’s Day trip to see my daughter’s family because the kids caught some non-Covid virus from daycare. The entire family was not feeling well.

 I rescheduled our trip for Memorial Day weekend. It is also my daughter’s and her hubby’s anniversary. Whenever we visit them, I offer to watch the kids so they can go on dates. Since this last weekend was their anniversary, they went on a two-day trip to the beach.

Mercy is a master planner. She made a comprehensive list of suggestions from breakfast to bedtime for us to go by. Even though I’ve been watching the kids for four and a half years, it helps to have her suggestions to fall back on.

Autumn has no problem with mommy and daddy going on dates or a short getaway. Nora is attached to Mercy. She was not happy to see mommy walking out of the door after breakfast on Saturday. Fortunately, I had a special treat for the girls to distract them, at least to calm down Nora.

It turned out that both Saturday and Sunday went smoothly. The girls painted the garden stones, read, and played together, but did something separately with grandpa and grandma. Grandpa is Nora’s favorite. Grandma is Autumn’s favorite. It is just perfect. It was easier for us to handle while they got our individual attention.

Autumn painted the butterfly and the sun, and Nora painted the ladybug

It was raining most of the day on Saturday and Sunday. Whenever the sun peeked out a little, we headed out to the school playground right away. One neighbor has some goats. Nora loves to feed the goats. The kids rode their bikes to the playground on Saturday and just walked there on Sunday.

There was something I tried to do this time around. I asked Lynton to read bedtime stories to Nora and put her to bed. Amazingly, it turned out to be a success. Yay!

It worked out perfectly because Autumn wanted me to read her many books. I could just relax to spend time with Autumn without worrying about Nora.

During the two-day trip, Mercy and Will went wine tasting, hiking, and strolling on the beach. They came home after a late-night movie on Sunday. I was happy that they had a wonderful time.

Monday was the Memorial Day holiday. We went on a family walk together. The girls rode their bikes, and Will rode his skateboard to keep up with the kids.

Family Walk on Fanno Creek Trail

By the way, Lynton and I did the cooking for all the meals from Thursday to Tuesday. We tried to cook different main dishes, such as salmon, veggie & sausage casserole, pizza, and tofu. Lynton cooked mashed potatoes a couple of evenings. I cooked the same mixed vegetables. It turned out perfectly because we could eat what we normally eat at home. Mercy and Will loved to have some days off without doing cooking.

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LAPC #183 – Memorable Events

The theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week is Memorable Events. Ann-Christine invites us to show some memorable events – new ones or delightful memories! 

Our family trip to Hong Kong and Japan in January 2019 was full of memorable events and emotions. My husband Lynton, my daughter Mercy and her husband Will, their daughter Autumn, and I traveled to Hong Kong to attend my nephew’s wedding. We took advantage to stop by Japan on our return trip.

We arrived on January 12. Three days later, I got a message from sister #12 Yolanda, mother-in-law to be. She said sister #8 Canty was in the hospital. Later that day, Canty’s son messaged me that his mom had liver inflammation, hydrocephalus, and congestive heart failure. On the 17th, the third day of being in the hospital, Canty’s condition made a sharp decline at noon. The family was rushing to the hospital by taxi. She died in the evening with the family by her side.

Canty was passionate about Ballroom Dancing. She took part in the Dance Championship Fundraising on November 4, 2018, two and a half months before she passed away. Here is the video – 1:42 minutes. She wore purple and yellow.

My nephew’s wedding was a marathon ceremony. They played Chinese traditional games when the groom picked up the bride in the morning. The bridesmaids made up the games and the groom and best men responded. When the games had favorable responses, they opened the door for the groom to pick up the bride. There was a church wedding in the afternoon. After the wedding, we went to a restaurant for a cake ceremony in the garden. We took a break to wait for a nine-course Chinese banquet in the evening. The bride and mother-in-law (my sister) changed their gowns four times during the banquet.

Here is the wedding photo gallery.

“I do”
The Cake ceremony Garden

Two days after the wedding, we were in Tokyo for four days visiting Mercy’s and Will’s college friends. Both husband and wife were engineers there on a five-year contract. We took the bus sightseeing.

Tokyo’s Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are some of the most interesting sites in the city. We stopped by several.

We went to the top of Arashiyama to visit the Monkey Park.

In the Reindeer Park in Nara, Japan, the reindeer are used to the visitors. They were persistent in asking for food.

There were about 1,500 deer living in the park in July 2017. Wild Sika deer freely roam in Nara Park. This deer bowed to us asking for food.

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LAPC #183 – Memorable Events

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National Gratitude Month – November

November is National Gratitude Month – Royal Threads by Erica

Yvette M. Calleiro reminds me of a Calm calendar for November. You can download it if you’re interested.

National Gratitude Month is celebrated every November. It was declared the month of gratitude in 2015 after author Stacey Grewal advocated for it.

“Gratitude is an essential ingredient of a happy, fulfilling life,” said Grewal, who wrote the book Gratitude and Goals. “Research shows that practicing daily gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress and drastically improve our overall level of wellbeing. This challenge is a great opportunity to see if you can improve your life by getting more in touch with gratitude.” Grewal pointed out that, on average, grateful people tend to be happier, healthier; more physically fit, have a higher income and have much more satisfying personal and professional relationships. – PR Newswire

“Gratitude – The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” – Oxford Dictionary

Free Thankful Printable | Thanksgiving quotes inspirational, Thanksgiving  quotes, Happy thanksgiving quotes

I will take time to relax, reflect on things I’m thankful for this year, write, and be with my extended family to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.

I will focus on expressing gratitude in many ways :

1. Write a daily gratitude journal (could be brief)

2. Wake up filling my mind and my heart with thankfulness

3. Be grateful for health (good or not so good) and being alive

4. Be intentional to show appreciation to family members, friends, and people around me.

5. Stop and be thankful for the safe environment

6. Appreciate the natural beauty around me

7. Be generous in giving in a tangible way

What would you add to this list? I would like to hear it.

This means my blogging time will be reduced. I have two posts later in the month. Other than that, I’ll resume posting in December, in time to celebrate Christmas.

Pin by Alyssa McCool on Thanksgiving Joy | Thanksgiving quotes, Thankful  quotes, Happy thanksgiving quotes
Editor's Note: Living Grateful and Thankful – Wisconsin Conference of  Seventh-day Adventists

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New Release – Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Hot Press! Hot Press!

It’s an exciting day today to share the good news with you about my friend, Elizabeth Gauffreau’s new release Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance.

About the Book

Blurb

“Poetry readers willing to walk the road of grief and family connections will find Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance a psychological treasure trove. It’s a very accessible poetic tribute that brings with it something to hold onto–the memories and foundations of past family joys, large and small.”
~Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance is a passionate ode to loved ones lost and an intimate portrayal of one family’s shared grief. It holds the key to solace in home photographs and illustrates just how special our singular moments can be. ~Toni Woodruff, Independent Book Review

“A beautiful, personal collection of family photos and poems that express the author’s most inner feelings. Nostalgic and heartfelt, Gauffreau’s poems are written in the Japanese style of tanka, simple, thoughtful, and full of love. Filled with wonderful memories of the past.” ~Kristi Elizabeth, Manhattan Book Review

My Review

Grief Songs: Poems of Love and Remembrance is a poetry collection written in Tanka form. After her mother passed away, Elizabeth Gauffreau cleaned up the “forbidden rooms” and found the “hidden photographs.” These are the photographs of the author and her father, mother, and brother George.

Grieving is a personal process that can last for any length of time. The memories of the loved ones could be fleeting or lingering moments, and the emotion of grieving could be of the surface or intensely deep.

In Grief Songs, the photos brought back the intensity of the precious memories to the author. Elizabeth expressed her grief in poetry. She paired the poems with each photo included in this collection.

One poem was about the author’s mother took her and George to the vaccination. Their mother gave the kids a treat of root beer floats for being good for the occasion. By the way, root beer is a soda, not a beer with alcohol! Another fun poem was about a youth group picnic when the author and her brother waited for their dad in the car after the picnic. Apparently, their dad didn’t come right away. They pressed the honk for so long that when their dad finally came back; the battery was dead. I loved the poem and the photo with Elizabeth and George sitting on their father’s lap for reading time as a nightly ritual. The lines were, “Waiting until your father gets home, not a threat but a promise.”

There were poems about Elizabeth as a kid for the first sacrament, confirmation, and baptism. What precious memories as she could see the history from the beginning of her life when father and mother holding her in their arms that led to her present life.

Family time such as clam bake at the beach and the family reunion always flashed back fond memories that ache the heart yet bring smiles on the face. The dying takes away a part of the ones left behind yet leaves them something sweet and long-lasting.

The poetry is a short read, yet the emotion of joy and sorrow lingers long after I put down the book. Highly recommended

Ratings: Amazon Goodreads

Purchase Link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B098TQBM1R

Trailer:

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Elizabeth Gauffreau

About Elizabeth Gauffreau

Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Curriculum & Assessment for Champlain College Online, where she is an Associate Professor. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published by Adelaide Books in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband.

Website/Blog: https://lizgauffreau.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Gauffreau/e/B07NTZFVSF?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LGauffreau

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liz.gauffreau

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Book Review: Flashes of Life: True Tales of the Extraordinary Ordinary by Pamela S. Wight

Several weeks ago I read and reviewed Pam Wight’s Flashes of Life: True Tales of the Extraordinary Ordinary. It’s my pleasure to share the review with you.

An image posted by the author.

About the Book

Blurb

Wow! Life goes by in a flash.

Philosophers and mystics ponder the mystery of these flashes. Pamela Wight writes about life flashes in her short stories that include family and friends, love and life’s challenges. Wight’s “Flash Memoir” promotes the belief that we all share sparks of the extraordinary that occur in our everyday life. Each short story is true and brings a smile of recognition to her readers: that life transports and enthralls us in all its confusing, amusing, challenging, and astonishing ways. Each story is light-hearted and short – like a flash – but be prepared for a page-turner that keeps you in your seat, smiling.

Flashes of Life will draw you in and put a smile on your face. These poetic, personal, fun, and funny vignettes of life are uplifting and relatable. Love, joy, and care exude from the pages, which are beautifully written and fondly shared. By the end of this book, you’ll wish the author was your own mother, daughter, sibling, or friend!” Liesbet Collaert, author of Plunge

Purchase Link:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B096PPGZWZ/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Borgo Publishing: https://www.borgopublishing.com/product-page/flashes-of-life-epub

My Review

Pamela Wright’s Flashes of Life is a short read which could be done in one sitting in a late afternoon or evening. It’s refreshing to read about the author’s honest emotions, humor, and deep appreciation of life. Wright’s flashes are the fond memories of her childhood, her life as a daughter, mother, wife, and grandmother. They are the everyday experience many readers could relate to. I felt like we chatted on the phone as she recounted them, and I couldn’t help but chuckled over so many.

As a child, she asked her parent what her middle name was again and again. Eventually, her parents told her they couldn’t agree on one, so they didn’t give her a middle name.

She feared flying. On one trip, she and her husband were on the plane, and she wanted to get off because she didn’t want to walk all the way to the last row of the aisle. A passenger in row 5 volunteered to switch seats with her. Eventually, she got over the fear of flying and got to a point of fear of not flying because she didn’t want to miss seeing the grandkids and some exotic places.

There are many memories of food. She talked about shrimp not being her favorite food but loved it when her son-in-law cooked shrimps. She elaborated on why she loved it.

Wright loves music, and she responded to the Rock-and-Roll with twisting hips feeling like in her twenties. Then she glanced at the mirror on a far wall that showed a middle-aged woman.

There are many more light-hearted stories many would love to read. I highly recommended this book.

Ratings: Amazon Goodreads

About Pamela S. Wight

Pamela Wight is a successful author of romantic suspense novels; two illustrated children’s book.

Her first book, The Right Wrong Man, got rave reviews for taking readers “on an exciting adventure with lots of intrigue, unexpected plot twists, and romance.” A year later, Wight published her second novel, Twin Desires. “Lots of suspense, plot twists, romance, and excellent character development makes this a fun read!”

The gorgeously illustrated children’s book, Birds of Paradise, finalist in the 2018 International Book Awards, has received many enthusiastic reviews: “This creative, compassionate story about birds will inspire children to notice the everyday adventures of backyard birds.”

Wight’s second picture book, Molly Finds Her Purr, published Fall, 2019, follows Molly the Cat, who can’t find any friends. And almost worse, she can’t find her purr. After looking for friendship in all the wrong places, Molly learns that making friends is as easy as looking up in the trees and on the ground, where other lonely creatures are hiding in plain sight. Whether hard-shelled or soft as a bunny, everyone needs friendships that help them find their purr. Both books are for ages 3 to 93.

Pamela earned her Master’s in English from Drew University, continued with postgraduate work at UC Berkeley in publishing, and teaches creative writing classes in Boston and San Francisco.

She lives in the Boston area with her “right man” and hikes the New England trails while concocting her stories. Wight travels frequently to the San Francisco Bay area for additional inspiration. She speaks to book clubs, schools, and libraries in both locations.

Contact Pam Wight at:

Blog

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

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