Weekly Photo Challenge: Transient Dolphins

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During our trip to North Carolina, my husband went wreck diving. I was riding along with camera in my hands. while the guys were halfway through putting on the diving suits, a small school of dolphins swam by. They came very close to the boat. The guys reached down to the water, were almost able to touch them. My husband wanted to have a picture taken with the dolphins. Well, they had come as fast as they were gone. “Now we see them, now we don’t!” Hmm, we could see a little bit of them as they were swimming away!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Transient

Paper or Paperless

Go paperless! Every time I get online to pay bills. A dialogue box popped up first, ask if I want to switch to paperless. So I click “no.”

I pay bills online or put them on autopay. As far as the billing statement, I still want to receive paper statements and file them in their categories by month. I like to spread them side by side to do comparison.

My husband subscribes paper magazines. One magazine stopped printing and switched to online subscription. That was the one he stopped the subscription. He likes to turn the pages.

Many of my friends, especially the ones who are in the Book Club, prefer paper books rather than e-Book. There is something about the scent of the book, the touching of the pages, and being able to write a few notes or underline some sentences.

We are not killing as many trees, but paper still has precious value.

~

Daily Prompt: Paper

Around the Lake

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We are delighted to live so close to Laguna Lake. It’s within walking distance, but the road is a little hilly, so most of the time we drive there. The loop around the lake is 0.77 miles (1.24 km). My husband usually runs two or three times around the lake in the afternoon. I may get to walk one or two rounds. With the blue sky, thick or thin clouds, the ducks, birds, and turtles, I sometimes enjoy taking photos and don’t get to walk too much. I give excuse to myself because I work out at the gym in the morning.

It’s a relaxing place to go for walking, taking photos, and watch people fishing, horseback riding, walking their dogs. I’m thankful to have a beautiful, well maintained lake so close to home.

Daily Prompt: Loop

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Music

Frank’s theme for Tuesday Photo Challenge this week is “Music.” Wow! “Where Do I Begin?” I started learning music as a teenager. I took music theory, piano, and voice lessons. I have been singing most part of my life.

A picture is worth a thousand words. The photos show a few of my performances, my favorite classical composers and their music, a few of the operas seen many times, the two ballet performances I’ve seen the most, and my hero Plácido Domingo. He started performing and conducting as a teenager. At 76 years old, he continues to be the Director of LA Opera, conductor and performer in operas. He has a golden voice of tenor. In 2013, he took on the baritone role. He is a major influence in my life to continue singing!

I have written several poems about music. I re-post one of them here!

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Tunnel of music, my great hideout

Surrounded by musical sounds

Utters the unspoken language

Sounds out the unspeakable profound

Carries me to cloud nine

Wings my spirit high

Laments the deep sorrow

Echoes in my heart’s hollow

Speaks for my heartbreak

Clashes my entangled struggle

Dances for the joyous chance

Drums the rhythmic victory

Waves my fantasy dream

Serenate my romantic love

My symphony

My empathy

My company

~

Frank at Dutch Goes the Photo: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Music

Nature’s Timing

When I first came to Los Angeles from Seattle back in 1980, I was doing my counseling internship. My supervisor helped me find a job teaching preschool. I taught afternoon class and my partner taught morning class. We planned a lot of science projects for the little kids to do and learn. One of them was incubating chicks. We rented an incubating machine and bought twelve eggs.

The little kids watched the eggs, and had a designated time taking turns to rotate the eggs. It took twenty-eight days for the eggs to hatch.

When it was around the twenty-eighth day, we saw the chicks started to poke the egg shells from inside, a little bit at a time. By the time they poked a hole big enough to come out, they were ready to run around.

Within the days of chicks hatching, there were lots of “Ooohs” and “Aaahs” among the kids, even among the teachers and helpers. Yet, there was one last chick couldn’t quite come out of the shell. She poked a hole big enough to come out, but a little patch of her skin still attached to the shell. She couldn’t quite shake off the shell.

We were watching her struggle for hours. She rested a little bit when she was tired, and then struggled again.

My partner and I were talking about what to do. Should we help her to take off that piece of shell? I thought we shouldn’t meddle with it when she was not ready? My partner couldn’t stand watching the chick’s struggle, so she touched that shell a little, and a little, and eventually took that piece of shell off. We saw a tender spot on the chick after the shell came off.

Next day, when we went to school, we were sadden to find that the last chick didn’t make it. Her body was not mature enough to push off that last piece of shell. We shouldn’t have meddled with it.

Nature has its own timing!

~

Daily Prompt: Meddle

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

Mourning Dove’s Nest

In the year past, Mourning Doves built their nest in the pepper tree

Thinking it was hidden in the branches and leaves

Unseen and protected from animal predators and human

She laid her eggs then hopefully and patiently waited

The cunning squirrel didn’t have to climb tree from below

He found a way to sneak down from the wires above

Heartlessly stole the eggs to satisfy for one meal

“Don’t you know? It is lives and happiness you stole!”

Mama Dove was shocked and mourning her loss for days

~

They came back to my backyard after winter passed

It’s a whole year’s wait, again to play and mate

They grew wiser in choosing a place for the nest made

Between the eaves and window frame was the perfect place

Nest made and eggs paid at a cool corner where it’s safe

She was relaxed with precious eggs under the belly to incubate

I did my gardening right by the window where she stayed

She didn’t move a wing when some photos I had taken

I too hopefully and patiently wait to see her babies hatching