Tag Archives: Love

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.

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.

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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

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

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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 #88 – Joyful moments in Chaos

The theme of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge from Ann-Christine correctly depicted the state of the world at the moment, “Chaos.”

According to Wikipedia, Chaos Theory is defined as “the field of study in mathematics that studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions – a response popularly referred to as the butterfly effect.” In other words, Chaos Theory refers to how meaningful and profound even the most seemingly insignificant things are and teaches us that nothing is trivial.

As of today, Schools in eighteen states in the USA are closed, affecting 20 million students. It does not include some states such as California, because districts closed schools voluntarily so far. Los Angeles Unified School District which is the second largest school district in the US with 734,640 students just announced closing of schools as off Monday, March 16, 2020. I went shopping the last few days. Within a few days, two major stores ran out of paper products, water, cold and flu medicines, can goods, bread and a lot more except some perishable items so far.

The California Governor announced on Thursday, March 12 to stop any gathering over 250 people. Disneyland is closed. Our church with several thousand members stopped all Sunday services and group meetings. Sunday services will continue with online streaming viewing.

My friend Debbie and I signed up to host a Spring Brunch on March 14 as a fundraising activity for the missionaries. After the church announcement, Debbie and I continued with the brunch for the fourteen ladies who purchased the event. Our logic was the gathering had sixteen people and some of them were in a meeting together less than a week ago. None of these ladies had any symptoms of illnesses.

It turned out to be a joyful gathering at Debbie’s beautiful home. We teased each other by giving elbow hugs. The ladies appreciated us for keeping the brunch. They lingered for a long time to chat and enjoy the cozy social time together.

Ann-Christine reminded us that, “Let us focus on the possibilities, staying on the right track. Maybe nothing will be quite the same again – but let’s hope this chaos is the beginning of something new and positive.”

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #88 – Joyful Moments in Chaos

 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to you

Lynton retired in November 2016. He said, “You’ve done the cooking for twenty years. From now on, I’ll take over all the cooking for you.”

Yes, I had cooked for us for twenty years. When I was teaching, school was out at 3:00 p.m. As soon as my preparation for the following day or week was done, I was on my way home. I either picked up to-go food or made something simple. When I got the 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. administrator’s job, I didn’t have dinner ready until 7:00 p.m.

When he volunteered for cooking, I took his word with a grain of salt and didn’t expect him to carry through consistently. Three plus years have gone by and he kept his word literally.

 

We eat twice a day, a brunch and a dinner. He prepares the same things for brunch which includes eggs, tomatoes, avocado, mushrooms, apples, pears, fresh orange juice from our tree and sometimes a bread item. I love eating the simple and healthy food every day, especially he does the cooking.

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For dinner, he alternates the salmon, chicken and hamburger plus peas and mixed vegetable of broccoli, carrots and celery. No bread items. Occasionally he makes a thin crust pizza and perfected his home-made recipe for the crust. Several times a year, he barbecues the top sirloin steaks.

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We dine out once a week. He tried to make a reservation at our favorite steak house for Valentine’s Day but there are only super early or super late hours are available. He made a reservation for Saturday which is tomorrow. Our Valentine’s Day dinner will still be his home-made cooking. Hooray!

On top of the cooking, he does dishes which is something he has been doing all the time. Doing dishes is the guy’s job in his family. I love that.

Does your husband cook or do dishes occasionally?

Oh, husbands: do you cook or do dishes for love or fun sometimes?

 

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What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

Wishing you and your family a Happy Valentine’s Day?

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge, 2019.09.12 – The Greatest Gift

September 12, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the greatest gift. Answer it as if it were a question, or show what it could be. Go where the prompt leads you!

 

 

Gifts come in all sizes and forms. Some are tangible, others are elusive.

My baby daughter is a miraculous gift. She was tiny, weighed one pound thirteen ounces. The nurse wrapped her in layers of blankets to put her in my arms, and placed a heating lamp over us to keep her warm. My daughter is now a mother of a heavenly gift, a healthy and intelligent two-year-old daughter.

Mothers may resonate with the selfless love we have for our children. We wish to take the place of their illnesses and pain. Love is a great gift we received as children and pass on to our children.

My husband told me when he woke up at night, he inched over and put his ear closed to my nose to make sure I was breathing. I survived from stage IV melanoma cancer. The life I have is a gift of a second chance of life.

I could think of many tangible gifts received, but they come and go. As to the indescribable gifts, it is the sum of great gifts come along my way that mold my present being.

 

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The Greatest Gift

 

“It’s easier for me to give than to receive.”

“I know, Martha. When you receive, you feel weak.”

“You’re right, I feel helpless and vulnerable and admit other people are stronger.”

“Being able to receive gifts is a gift. When we receive gifts from others, we give them a gift of giving.”

“I never thought of it. When I receive a gift, I feel obligated to precipitate and feel guilty when the chances to return the favors become impossible.”

“The movie Pay It Forward comforts me and changed my understanding of giving.”

“I can tell it’s a great concept.”

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Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction, 2019.09.12 – The Greatest Gift

 

 

 

 

 

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