Tag Archives: Family love

Lens-Artists Challenge #115 – Inspiration

This week for Lens-Artists Challenge, Tina invited us to explore the theme of Inspiration. I could name many aspects around are my inspiration. I finally decided on three for this post.

Gardening is my hobby and my joy. My life is enriched by the inspiration from gardening. There are several basic things for a healthy garden. 1) Good soil. I started a butterfly garden and vegetable garden this year. Several sections have heavy clay soil. I dug at least one foot, soaked the soil and drained, mixed in several inches of organic soil. Use the correct amount of fertilizer periodically. 2) Watering. Test the daily watering to ensure the soil is moist, not just wet on the surface. 3) Proper planting space. The full-grown milkweed will be several feet in diameter in the butterfly garden, whereas the Zinnias are several feet tall but several inches wide. 4) Trimming the withered limbs according to different plants by season or regularly.

Learning from gardening, I need to continuously cleanse, nourish, and make changes to my mind, my heart, and my action to be a healthy person.

Traveling gave me the opportunity to see the wonderful nature near and far. We were at awe with the vast Denali wildness in Alaska, over 10,000 hydrothermal features such as geysers, hot springs, mud pots, travertine terraces, and fumaroles in Yellowstone, and four active volcanos in Hawaii, to name just a few.

Nature comes in all shapes and forms, all kinds of temperature, and different colors as reflected in our human life.

The maternal instinct in the animal kingdom was my inspiration and touches my heart at the deep spot. Humpback whales migrate farther than any other mammal on earth. They can travel around 3,000 miles between their breeding and feeding grounds regularly. During the migration with the newborn, the female Humpback would lift the calf above the water for it to breathe. The female and the calf are caressing each other constantly for affection.

A nest in my front porch was a cradle for four births of baby Mourning doves. The dove eggs are smaller than chicken eggs. I observed the female doves lay two eggs at a time. It takes about 35 days after hatching for the baby doves to fly. Last year, one baby was ready to fly and left the nest. The female dove left for a while but came back in the evening to stay with the second baby, kept him warm until he was ready to fly. The bigger baby also came to keep the little brother company. Then they flew away together.

Even though I was not able to be a stay-home mom when my daughter was a baby, I’m now a big fan of stay-home moms for them to treasure and enjoy those precious moments.

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LENS-ARTISTS CHALLENGE #115 – INSPIRATION

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #112 – Pick a Word…

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Ann-Christine gave us a list of words and invited us to choose one (1) word or more or choose all of them and illustrate the words with photos! The words available are the following:

Comfortable, Growing, Tangled, Crowded, Exuberant

Comfortable

After six months of waiting, I finally felt comfortable to get on the plane to visit my granddaughters. My daughter Mercy and I planned carefully. They self-quarantine for two weeks prior to my visit. I did the same. I booked the premium seats to avoid passing through many passengers.

Growing

Both girls are growing so fast. Autumn will be three in September. Nora turned five months during my visit.

Autumn’s language development amazed me. Sometimes when the grown-ups carried on a conversation at the dinner table, she would ask, “What are you talking about?” She wanted to be part of the conversation. After breakfast, she would ask, “Grandma, you want to play puzzle with me in the family room?” We did projects in the morning and played games indoor or went to the park in the afternoon.

Autumn knows the basic colors plus purple, pink, orange, black and white.
After she “punched” out the play dough, she used it to make a bracelet.

Nora is a happy child. She loves to “talk” and make loud sounds. She smiles a lot.

Nora loves to read already!

Crowded

There are mature crowded raspberry bushes in the garden. My daughter, Mercy, and Autumn picked raspberries every day. Autumn ate as many as she picked.

Well, the park is not crowded at all. Autumn is quite a climber!

https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2020/08/29/lens-artists-photo-challenge-112-pick-a-word/

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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

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Family – #Kidney Transplant – A Good Match by Miriam Hurdle

I’m over at Sally Cronin’s blog today. She features my archive post about my brother’s kidney transplant. It was an unforgettable experience in our family. Please click the link below to read the story.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome back to Miriam Hurdle with the third of her posts from the archives and this week a life-saving operation is needed for her brother-in-law.

Kidney Transplant – A Good Match by Miriam Hurdle

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In the summer of 2008, my husband Lynton, my daughter Mercy, her boyfriend (now husband) Will, and I planned to attend my nephew’s wedding in Hong Kong. That was the year when China was hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics. The airfares going to Hong Kong from the U.S. were higher than usual because of the people traveled to Beijing through Hong Kong. After searching, I found a Bangkok tour from the U.S. via Hong Kong, and we could stay in Hong Kong at any length of time. It was a deal I couldn’t resist. I had never been to Bangkok, so this would be a bonus for our trip. All we had to do was adding…

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Colleen’s Poetry Challenge – Poet’s Choice of Words

Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 126, “Poet’s Choice of Words”

 

The last eight weeks, our family went through many special occasions and experienced extreme emotions.

My nephew got married on January 19 this year. He met Summer when they studied for the master’s degree program. Enoch speaks Cantonese and Summer speaks Mandarin. During their courtship, they learned each other’s language. Of course, Summer’s parents speak Mandarin and my sister Yolanda, her husband Patrick and their daughter Eva speak Cantonese. Some family and friends speak English. So, the wedding was conducted in three languages. The vows in the wedding ceremony were done in Mandarin. During the break of the evening wedding banquet, Enoch serenaded Summer in Cantonese. It was the most romantic song I had ever heard.

The wedding was a whole day event. The groom and best men played the games responding to the bridesmaids when picking up the bride in the morning. The church wedding followed by a garden cake cutting ceremony in the afternoon, and the nine-course banquet in the evening.

The family and friends rejoiced with the young couple and celebrated the new beginning of their marriage.

 

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February 14: Flash Fiction Challenge – Love

February 14, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about valentines. It can be Valentine’s Day, the exchange, love for another, romance, or friendship. Have a heart and go where the prompt leads!

 

The English word love covers a wide spectrum of emotions from liking to loving with mind and heart. The Greek word ‘agape’ has a general meaning of love not based on merit of the person loved, but rather unconditional. It continues to give even when the other is unkind, unresponsive and unworthy. It only desires good things for the other and is compassionate. The Greek word ‘phileo’ is the love with affection, companionship in deep and intimate relationship found in friendship or family.

In this lonely planet, we are losing the agape and phileo love. Many people say, “I love you.” But they mean “I want to own you and control you,” or “I give you when you give me with the same amount,” or “I give you some if you give me more,” or even mean “I give you a little to get you hooked on to give me all.” Read more

Weekly Photo Challenge – Growth in Relationship

This is the 4th day into the new year of 2018. It’s an open book. What memories do I want to fill into this book?

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I do not know about tomorrow. I face each single day with my mind open to learn, my heart open to love and accept, and my hands open to give and receive.

With that mindset, I pray for growth as an individual, as husband and wife, as well as a family. I pray that my husband and I will grow deeper in loving and caring for each other, learn to be considerate and thoughtful parents and grandparents.

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As for Mercy and Will, I pray that they grow in their love, respect and admiration to each other. Every day brings new learning and new joy as parents with their precious baby Autumn. Autumn is now 3 months and 1 week old. She found her fingers and loves to put them in her mouth. She is laughing, cooing, and grabbing objects with both hands. She would love to play board games as much as her parents and grandparents.

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This new year will be a great growing time for all of us!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

Debbie’s Forgiving Connects

Mother-Daughter Reunion

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I was the first one in my whole family who has high blood pressure. I was the first one and the only one who had a divorce. The onset of high blood pressure was during the child custody battle. I was taken to court four times to fight for custody of my daughter within five years after the divorce. My blood pressure was creeping up on me.

My daughter was constantly under pressure to ask me let her stay with her dad full time. It hurt me more to see her suffered from the pressure. So without the official court order, I let her stay with her dad full time for six months.

By the end of six months, I was taken back to court claiming the pattern of having my daughter full time. After a whole week of court hearing, came the court order on the fifth day. Before the announcement, the judge called my daughter into his chamber. He spent twenty minutes with my daughter who was thirteen year-old at the time. She presented a two-page letter to the judge, giving the reasons she wanted to be with her dad permanently.

The judge came out from his chamber, stating that, after a whole week’s hearing, what he believed was what the child said. Therefore, the father received primary custody.

With that court order, my daughter was taken away, out of California, out of my reach. Gradually, all the phone numbers were disconnected. Email addresses were changed, except one. By law, I should have access to my daughter. The only access was one email address when she was controlled of whether or not returning my email and what to write when she did reply.

I only saw my daughter once in five year, from her thirteen years of age until she turned eighteen. Several months before she turned eighteen, I hinted her that she would be adult and that she could make her own decision. She took my words into her heart.

When she applied to universities, she was accepted by several with good scholarships. She chose one that was four hours’ drive away from her dad. She went to Portland, Oregon. Like all the university students, she constantly moved housing from semester to semester. When she turned eighteen and moved to another address. She didn’t give the new address to her dad.

The summer after she turned eighteen, she started contacting me. What a joy! What a relief! That was the best day in my life; only second to the day she was born.

We started to communicate, to build our relationship, to catch up of all the fear, doubt, and uncertainty during the past years.

We are grateful to God who have watched over us, protected us, and brought us back together. With her husband Will, and my husband Lynton, we have built a wonderful and close relationship as a family.

Daily Prompt: Relieved

A Tribute to My Dad

Dad had a chance to come to U.S. visiting us two years before he passed away at the age of 86. My brother John and his wife Peggy accompanied him. John bought him a folding wheelchair to make it easier for transportation.

There were two things that Dad did consistently throughout his life. One was exercise. As early as I could remember, he got up in the morning, stretched for half an hour before he went to work. At age 84 when he came to U.S., he did the same. He got up while we were still in bed, and did his stretching for half an hour.

Another thing he did was reading newspapers. I started reading newspapers at fourth grade because my dad read newspapers. We traded sections of paper to read. I read all the sections in the newspapers, sometimes the news were horrible but I read them anyway.

As soon as my dad arrived at our home for his visit, he asked for Chinese Newspaper. Fortunately a Chinese community was twenty minutes’ drive away. I bought the current day plus some of a couple days old newspapers. That’s how the Chinese bookstore keeps them. Dad noticed the dates. I admired him for keeping up with current events at his age.

I would say that these two areas were some of Dad’s strengths and they definitely made a good impact in my life. I’m health conscious and keep up with my exercise. I also have become a life learner.

 

During Dad’s stay, we went to some local attraction such as Huntington Library. We also went on two bus tours. One took us to Grand Canyon, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Utah. Another one took us to San Francisco, Seven Miles in Monterey Bay, and Yosemite.

Dad had a great time. He expressed the interest to move to U.S. to stay with us had Mom passed away first because Mom had many major diseases. Upon his return to Hong Kong, Dad was so excited to talk to the neighbors about his visit.

Mom’s diabetes, heart problem, Alzheimer’s diseases were getting serious and required to be hospitalized. Dad went to the hospital twice a day to feed Mom with homemade meals. I wrote a post of how Dad took care of Mom. It went on for many months and took a toll on him. He had a stroke and had the right side of body paralyzed. He lost his speech, and only communicated in writing with his left hand. I went back to Hong Kong and visited him in the hospital. At that time, Mom was back to the retirement home. We made arrangement for Mom to be on wheelchair and visited Dad.

After eight months of struggling, Dad just wanted to go Home. His heart was failing. Before he passed away, my family and church friends were by his bedside, singing hymns, reading scriptures and praying. He then closed his eyes and followed the angel and went Home peacefully.DSCF0098

Dad, I love you very much. I’ll see you in a better place, someday very soon!

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