Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Xie Xie Miss Jenny

Yesterday was Isabel's last day of Chinese Lessons.
I am thankful to live in a city where she is able to learn about
her language and culture with people who look like her
and from someone who looks like her.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

B+W Wednesday

"Water, Water Everywhere..."

After going to the symphony to see a Green Eggs and Ham concert
(you just got to love cities that encourage a love for classical music from a young age),
a friend and I headed down by the river with the girls
who ended up having an absolute blast playing in the fountain.
It was a much appreciated afternoon in the 70s.
Not bad for January!

{Click on pics to make them larger}

Monday, January 25, 2010


I stumbled on this great photography blog called I heart faces.
Since I have always loved photography but am quite the amateur, I hope to be able to learn from these folks. There is a weekly challenge. This week is Texture. You can check out some amazing photos from folks by clicking on the "Mr. Linky" on the bottom of their site. Soooo... here is my submission.
[Click on image to see better details.]

This was taken yesterday afternoon.
I love the contrasts of black and white, wet and dry,
along with softness of the sweater against the roughness of the concrete.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Water Nymphs

Post-Symphony fun.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wings and Springs

Who knew a fairy outfit and a Slinky could be so fun?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Three Years Ago Today...

... I sat in a conference room, nervously awaiting my name to be called. Our travel group had arrived at the hotel from Hong Kong less than two hours before. We all nervously awaited the arrival of the babies. Of the group, two of the families already had children; the rest of us were newbies. There were two other single women. I was, by far, the oldest mother-to-be in the bunch. We filled out paperwork and half listened to what the guides were telling us. At one point, I heard some babies crying and though my back was to the door, I saw a flash of red.

Our names were called alphabetically and I was second. I waited to see you in person… to hold you in my arms after waiting 46 long years... to become, in that moment, your mother. You were waiting in the doorway, in the arms of the orphanage director. You were observant and somewhat intrigued by all that was going on. I heard my name called, and then yours, Ling Wan Qing. Our IDs were checked and then, in a moment that both lasted an eternity and flashed by in a blink of an eye, you and I were mother and daughter. You wimpered a little bit and then checked me out. I apparently met your approval, for, within seconds, you were smiling, touching my face and putting your finger in my mouth. You laughed that night and played peek-a-boo. It was the beginning of a love that I never knew possible. You have brought such love and laughter and energy into my life.

You just turned four and have grown so much from that little baby put in my arms three years ago today. You love books, traveling, the beach, dancing, music and chocolate. You are bright, fiercely independent, competitive and generous. I love your infectious sense of humor. You have a tender heart and a tough spirit. You are everything I ever dreamed of in a daughter. How blessed am I to be called your mother.

Happy Third Gotcha Anniversary, Sweet Isabel.

Gotcha Day ~ January 21, 2007

Gotcha Day First Anniversary ~ January 21, 2008

Gotcha Day Second Anniversary ~ January 21, 2009

Gotcha Day Third Anniversary ~ January 21, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Black and White Wednesday

I really had fun this week looking at things with a black and white perspective in mind. One afternoon, the winter sky cast a strange afternoon light and I went out back to the yard to shoot some pictures. It's interesting how things looks different in black and white... so raw and naked.

I really like this first shot a lot. It's a rather strange angle of the wrought iron chandelier I have on my pergola. The braided piece of wood on top was something I found while cleaning in my yard which my friend Lucia had the artist eyes to suggest I keep. I intend to use it one day for part of a wind chime. I clearly just put it up on the fixture so it wouldn't get broken. I had forgotten about it until it showed up in the picture. Isn't it funny how you don't see things after a while?

The second and third shots are of the corner of the yard. I like the textures: the roughness of the fence, the chalkiness of the terra cotta, the shine of the strappy bromeliad leaves and the wispiness of the chinese fan fronds.

The fourth and fifth are shot looking straight up at bare crepe myrtle branches. This was one of the first times I have been able to successfully coordinate the zoom and focus. I actually like the color version of the fifth one better because the sky is so blue in it.

The final shot is of an old tree. I like how the gnarled stumps have given way to new smaller branches.

Check out more pictures at Lisa's blog.

No Need for the Wii...

An afternoon play date turned into pure energy once the music began.
(Now.. if there were some way for me to bottle it, I could be a millionaire.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Fruit of our Labor

After years of no fruit, our little satsuma tree graced us with a sweet gift.
Just yummy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Winter Light

I walked into the living room and was struck by the afternoon light coming through the window sheers. I grabbed the camera and headed out to the back yard to see if I could catch some more pictures with the light so different.

Here are some of the shots I got. While I am still figuring out this now not-so-new camera of mine, I do like how these came out. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Black and White Wednesday

Lisa over at The Long Road to China has started a fun meme called Black and White Wednesday. Join in the fun by visiting her blog for details. Each week, just post a photo. You can link your site to hers so that others can see your picture with "Mr. Linky". Since I miss the fun of Fashion Challenge Friday, this is a great substitute.

My first choice is of Isabel and her friend Lucas.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Happened.... Warm, Sunny Florida????

From the outside ...

to the Inside... it was COLD this morning!!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Variations on a Theme

After a rather eventful morning [Florida welcomes Arctic Tundra weather, a bottle of water accidently spilling on beloved teddy in the car, arriving at church to find out the schedule has been changed and we are 2 hours early!], Isabel and I decided to head on home and make some ornaments for Valentine's Day.

I had originally planned on making these for Christmas but the time got away. And so... warm and toasty, back at home, with a log in the fireplace, we decided on a variation on a theme. I followed the same directions but limited the cookie cutter shape to a heart. The fun part came when we used pieces from Isabel's Snap Jewelry Kit on the dough. The designs turned out quite beautiful. We poked holes in the top of the hearts with a straw and have them drying on a cookie sheet. Afterward, we'll string them with sheer ribbon and hang them across the doorway in our dining room. It should be sweet. (Thanks for the idea, Lucia!)