Tag Archives: Granddaughter

Lens-Artists Challenge #105 – Crystal Springs

Tina’s theme for Lens-Artists Challenge #105 this week is: SPRING

“The promise of spring’s arrival is enough to get anyone through the bitter winter!” –  Jen Selinsky

Some may consider the winter in Southern California as mild because there’s no snow. Usually the temperature doesn’t drop below 40oF. Yet accustomed to the warm climate all my life, this mild winter cold still chills my bones. I find not being motivated to do outdoor activities.

“The first blooms of spring always make my heart sing.” –  S. Brown

Many of the plants and trees in my garden are perennial that doormat in the winter. The earliest budding appeared on the plum tree. The tiny innocent white buds popped out to sing to me, “Spring is coming.” I made a daily appearance in my garden to search every branch of the plum tree anticipating the delightful blossoms. Within days, the scattered white buds became full covering the entire tree and some popped open the smiling faces. How I wanted them to stay forever!

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“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.” –  Gertrude S. Wister

Flowers spark my eyes and warm my heart. During our trip to see my daughter and her family in May 2018 as a Mother’s Day outing, we visited the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. I wanted to swallow all the beauty of the greenery and vibrant colors and let them forever be alive in me.

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The more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants in the garden have all been donated by volunteers and interested individuals, or purchased with specially donated funds. Beginning in early spring and continuing into summer, they provide a magnificent display of color.

“Sometimes the smallest thing takes up the most room in your heart.” – A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

The Canada geese and the goslings feast on the grain and graze on the grass. The field by the lake is a haven to raise the young goslings.

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I wrote this poem for my poetry collection Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

In Sync with Spring

Seeds were fallen,

hidden in the soil.

Coldness in the dark

keep them quiet in the ground.

Light and shadow

Gradually shift

to bring the warmth of

sunrays to the earth.

Calling the seeds

to wake up and come forth,

to feel the warm breeze and

smell the fresh air.

Slowly and gracefully

buds pop out,

unfold their petals and

the fragrance they breathe out,

dance joyfully in sync with

spring!

~ ~ ~

Lens-Artists Challenge #105 – Crystal Springs

Sunday Stills: Home is the Happiest Place

The theme for Sunday Stills this week from Terri is: Home. 

As much as we enjoy traveling, I always looked forward to coming home before the trip was over. Perhaps the tours I booked were too vigorous, and I got tired by getting up early or sitting on the bus too much from city to city.

I’m comfortable at home. This morning I spotted a Swallowtail butterfly staying on one flower for twenty minutes. I thought she came to lay eggs. I checked after she was gone. No, she didn’t, but I found a tiny grasshopper only 1/3 inch long. 

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About a dozen mourning doves, many house finches, and sparrows perching on the telephone wires around 4:00 p.m. every day, waiting for me to feed them. A pair of mourning doves came to fix up the old nest on Friday, June 5, and the female dove came back last Sunday to lay eggs. Now she is patiently incubating her young.

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My home is shared by a family of four hummingbirds.

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My home is the happiest place to me!

I’m even happier when I’m at my second home, my daughter’s home. Nothing gives me more joy than being with my granddaughters. So far, I only spent time with my two-and-a-half years old granddaughter, Autumn. I love playing with her and reading to her. I haven’t seen my second granddaughter Nora in person yet because of the coronavirus. I look forward to seeing Autumn and Nora when it’s safe to travel.

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My daughter’s home is the utmost happiest place to me!

I love to hear what make you happiest. It could be something, some place, some people, or something you do.

 

Sunday Stills: Home is the Happiest Place

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 #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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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 #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

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #81: Find Something Red

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Patti invited us to a photo scavenger hunt to find things that are red.

This scavenger hunt was harder than I thought. I found out that most of my photos don’t have too many red things. I’m glad to find some to share with you.

In early 2019 we went to my nephew’s wedding in Hong Kong. This is my granddaughter at the wedding cake cutting area outside of the banquet room.

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I captured this photo with the Royal Guard standing at the Tower of London.

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Mozarts Geburtshaus was the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg, Austria. Mozart was born here on 27 January 1756. The Mozart family resided on the third floor from 1747 to 1773.

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This is the art exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, a science and technology museum in Portland, Oregon. The artist collected insects and small birds around the world and used them to create amazing art displays.

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This piece of artwork is by the same artist. Every tiny dot in this artwork is a real insect.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #81: Find Something Red

 

 

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – Influence and Perception

The words for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge #132 are Influence and Perception, #Synonyms Only.

 

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Love of Reading

 

I came back from a trip watching my granddaughter for eight days while my daughter and her hubby went on vacation. It was a wonderful time to watch her play and do new things every day. My daughter started reading to Autumn on day one coming back from the hospital. In the early days, Autumn’s play area and car seat always had books made with soft plastics or fabrics. When she could hold things, board books took place of the soft books. It made this Grandma happy to see her turning the pages.

When she was about 12 months old or even earlier, she recognized and could say “apple,” “ball,” “puppy” and a few other items in the books. When we read passed those pictures, she would turn the pages back to see the pictures and say the names. She loves to pick out the books with her favorite pictures and wanted us to read to her again and again.

My child development background confirms the children enjoy repetition because they love the familiar sights and sounds.

Autumn is 21 months and her vocabulary has grown fast. My daughter couldn’t keep track of the new words she gained and new things she learned to do. During my eight days of watching her, there was a book she wanted me to read to her over ten times. The title of the book is How Kind, about animals sharing with other animals. I also found her reading that book by herself.  I think she enjoys sharing. Upon my daughter’s and her hubby’s return from vacation, during a snack time, my daughter gave Autumn some green beans in a bowl. She gave each piece to her Mommy, Daddy, and Grandma before she ate the rest of them.

 

Child’s love to read

Greatly impacted by adults

Her idea of books

Is no different than toys

Both are fun, enjoyable

 

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Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – Influence and Perception

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #43–Less is More

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, the theme Amy gave us is:

“Less is More.”

 

We have heard of this phrase often. When I saw this theme, I was curious of the origin of the expression. The research took me to several places and I wanted to trace the origin. This is what I found out:

This is a 19th century proverbial phrase. It is first found in print in Andrea del Sarto, 1855, a poem by Robert Browning written to Lucrezia:

“Who strive – you don’t know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) – so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia.”

 

The phrase is often associated with the architect and furniture designer Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe (1886-1969), one of the founders of modern architecture and a proponent of simplicity of style.

Simple architecture in Kyoto, Japan.

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Kasugataisya Shrine

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