Share Your World – December 4, 2017

Cee’s Share Your World – December 4, 2017

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?

I don’t like to do dusting at all. The house gets dusty so quickly due to the drought and winds.

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We don’t have enough rain in southern California to clean the air. It gets worse when Santa Ana winds appear. The winds are strong, extremely dry and down-slope winds that originate from inland affect the coastal southern California. Santa Ana winds are known for the hot dry weather in the fall, but they can arise at other times of the year. These winds, which can easily exceed 40 miles per hour, carry the dust for miles and drop them anywhere on the way.

I’m in the middle of writing this post and found out that the Santa Ana winds just caused several wildfires in southern California. The winds are blowing 50 to 70 miles per hours. The fire broke out in the middle of the night last night and was burning at nearly an acre per second. About 150,000 people in Los Angeles were affected by evacuation orders for the Creek fire near Sylmar and Lake View Terrace. One horse escaped from the fire and fell into a crack upside down. It was kicking the wall for hours until it got the attention. The firefighters were able to break the wall from inside to rescue the horse. It was given the anesthesia and taken to the hospital.

A friend’s son and the family live in the fire zone. His wife took the girls to drive 120 miles through local streets from Ojai to Fullerton City to stay with my friend. In the meantime, my friend’s son stayed behind to take care of his students and their families.

Smoke billows over Ventura on December 5.
CNN – Ventura fire, CA – December 5, 2017
Firefighters work to put out a blaze engulfing homes in Ventura. The fast-moving fire forced sheriff's deputies to scramble into neighborhoods and knock on doors to warn residents to evacuate.
CNN – Ventura fire, CA – December 5, 2017

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

I am a volunteer counselor. I’m passionate about helping people with emotional needs. I feel alive when I listen and focus on what they are going through and help them process their struggles. Many ladies, who sought help, expressed that I was the first person who listened to them. The counseling helped them to process their grief, anger, abuse, and other kinds of sufferings. At the end, they were able to experience self-forgiveness, forgiving, love, and a new life!

I got my master’s degree in counseling. I did full-time counseling for two years. Then my life took a turn, and I became an educator – a teacher and a school district administrator. After I retired from my education career, I decided to do some volunteer work that makes a difference.

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How many times have you moved in the last ten years?

I have been living in my current home for twenty-five years.

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What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I appreciate the privilege of being alive which is not something I take for granted.

Three of my friends are battling with the complications of long-term illnesses. One friend started with lung cancer and cancer has gone to the brain. Another friend started with a heart problem and is now battling with lung problems. Yet another friend who started with the brain tumor a year ago, the news today was that the family requested setting up the hospice at home.

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Cee’s Share Your World – December 4, 2017

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SoSC December 2, 2017

Linda G Hill’s Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “cramp.” 

Thanksgiving 2017 had come and gone. This is a little recap of the detail. It has something to do with decorating the Christmas tree. I’ll get to it toward the end of the post.

I was hosting the Thanksgiving dinner this year. The previous time I hosted it was in 2009. That was the year I received the chemotherapy and radiation for my melanoma cancer from January to July. I know, I was so brave to host the dinner for 28 people. With the limited energy, it took me two months to get the house ready. Mercy helped me do most of the cooking.

Well, for this year, I couldn’t plan too far in advance. I went to Portland, Oregon for six weeks on three different trips when Mercy gave birth to her first baby, and later I helped to take care of Autumn. The first three weeks of being new parents were quite a learning experience to Mercy and Will. Will went back to work after two weeks of paternity leave. He continues to help when Autumn wakes up in the middle of the night for feeding.

When I came home a week before Thanksgiving, I rushed to the stores to get fall season decoration. I stopped by many stores, all I saw was Christmas items. So, I decided to have Christmas decoration. Why not? Mercy, Will, and Autumn arrived four days before Thanksgiving. Our old, artificial Christmas tree was all worn out and we bought a new one – white color. Throughout the years when I decorated the Christmas tree, I cramped the tree with several strings of lights, many strands of garlands, and years of collections of ornaments. This year, after I assembled the tree, Mercy helped to decorate it. She only used two strings of lights, one strand of garland, and twenty ornaments. She liked the simple look. You know what? I like it also. I like the peaceful and quiet look of a simple tree.

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By the way, Autumn is two months old two days ago. She had her first immunization. Mercy said Autumn handled the shots well. “Good girl, Autumn!”

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Linda G Hill’s SoSC December 2, 2017

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Serene

California coast from Monterey Bay area to San Diego is a good place for whale watching. Humpback whales, Blue and Gray whales migrate through the water for feeding. These whales are enormous, yet they eat small sea creatures such as krill, crabs, and shrimps and the California coast has a concentration of them. Bottlenose dolphins are frequently seen in this water also.

We went on a whale watching cruise in November 2015. We didn’t see whales, but we saw many bottlenose dolphins coming up to the surface of water. A few private yachts were floating in place simply for yachting. The calm and blue water reflected the clear sky was serene. Whether we saw the whales or not, it was a refreshing day.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

Share Your World – November 27, 2017

Cee’s Share Your World – November 27, 2017

Would you prefer a reading nook or an art, craft, photography studio?

I always wanted to have a Sunroom as my art studio as well as for my indoor plants. I like to paint in a room with good lighting. Painting in my backyard would be ideal, but I must put the easel, the paint, other materials, and tools away every day. A Sunroom would allow me to leave everything in the room. The sky, the trees, and flowers are always the sources of my inspiration in any creativity. In fact, a Sunroom could be my reading nook and a place for the indoor plants.

We had a quote this year to install a Sunroom. The one with glass roof costs $40,000, and the kind with glass windows without glass roof runs about $27,000. Do I want to pay that much money for an enclosed patio for painting, reading, and planting? I don’t think so. At the meantime, I paint in a room with good lighting.

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Tell how you are feeling today in the form of a weather report. (For example, partly cloudy, sunny with a chance for showers, etc.)

I feel sunny with the temperature of 75o Fahrenheit. The humidity is 70%. It’s an ideal weather. Too hot or too cold just keep me indoor for different reasons.

I went to the gym with my husband in the morning and had a good workout. In the afternoon, I went to a garden shop and bought a hibiscus plant with salmon flowers. It was a good day for me.

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If you could witness or physically attend any event past, present or future, what would it be?

I love the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s music. I listen to his music so much that when my daughter was four years old, she recognized the Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. For many years, my tradition was to watch The Nutcracker in Christmas.

Tchaikovsky’s collective body of work constitutes 169 pieces, including symphonies, operas, ballets, concertos, cantatas, and songs. Among his most famed late works are the ballets The Sleeping Beauty (1890) and The Nutcracker (1892).

Russian dancers Viktoria Tereshkina (as 'Odette-Odile') and Vladimir Shklyarov (as 'Prince Seigfried') perform in the Mariinsky Ballet production of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' with revised choreography and staging (1950) by Konstantin Sergeyev after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanovat. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, Brooklyn, New York, January 15, 2015.
Swan Lake
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For a composer who wrote so many beautiful and romantic fairytale ballet music, one would think that he had a healthy life.

He was struggling with his homosexuality and suffered from depression. His last composition was The Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, Pathétique. It was his most emotional and melancholy music which was written between February and the end of August 1893. He led the first performance of the Symphony in October, nine days before his death on November 6, 1893.

If I could, I would love to attend Peter Tchaikovsky’s first performance of The Symphony No. 6 in B minor.

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What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Mercy, Will, and baby Autumn came to visit us from Sunday to Friday last week. They came to celebrate my birthday, the day before Thanksgiving. They spent Thanksgiving with us along with sixteen family members in our house. It was good to see my husband’s family members. I was also happy to see my sister’s family.

Autumn is a good traveler. She slept all the way through the two-hour flight from Portland, Oregon to southern California. She slept most of the way home.

Cee’s Share Your World – November 27, 2017

Birthday Present

The Daily Prompt on November 22 was “Mercy.” I have written a post about My daughter Mercy. I love her dearly.

November 22 is my birthday. Some years, my birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day. This year, it was the day before Thanksgiving. My daughter Mercy, her husband Will, and baby Autumn came on Sunday, November 19 and stayed until the day after Thanksgiving.

On my birthday, we went to the mall to do window shopping. We then had some photos taken in front of the only Christmas tree. Santa was there for kids’ visit and photos. We were going to have photos taken with different decorations, but it seemed like the decorations were down to minimal. Perhaps I hadn’t been to the mall during Christmas for many years and didn’t realize the shrinkage.

We had dinner at a restaurant. Mercy gave me a booklet for my birthday present. It entitled “I Love You, Mom. And Here’s Why!” Each page has a prompt for her to share her thoughts with me. When we got home, I couldn’t wait to read through the twenty-one pages. My eyes were filled with tears from the first line of what Mercy wrote, and then the smile mixed with the tears for the remaining pages.

Here are two examples of the pages (She wrote the first page before Autumn was born).

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I love you very much, Mercy!

~

Daily Prompt: Mercy

SoCS November 25, 2017

The theme for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is: “ink.” This reminds me of the ink I used for Chinese calligraphy.

I learned Chinese calligraphy in elementary school when I was in Hong Kong.

Chinese calligraphy is considered as an art. The following are five scripts of the word DRAGON.

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The shape, size, stretch, and type of hair in the brush, the color, and density of the ink, as well as the absorptive speed and surface texture of the paper, are the main physical elements influencing the result of calligraphy. The professional calligraphers use inkstick and grind the inkstick with water in the inkstone. I used bottle ink and poured the ink into the ink box with a cotton pad in it.

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There are a couple ways to hold the brush. Commonly, the brush is held vertically straight gripped between the thumb and middle finger. The index finger lightly touches the upper part of the shaft of the brush (stabilizing it) while the ring and little fingers tuck under the bottom of the shaft, leaving a space inside the palm (students were told that the space should be big enough for an egg). Alternatively, the brush is held in the right hand between the thumb and the index finger. I learned to hold the brush in a common way.

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The study of calligraphy includes learning the basic strokes, positioning the character, and copying exemplary works continuously, until the move becomes instinctive and the copy is perfect.

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As part of the homework, I practiced the large scripts as well as copied a paragraph from the book in small scripts. I contribute my artistic appreciation to my Chinese calligraphy background.

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Linda G Hill’s SoCS November 25, 2017

Share Your World – November 13, 2017

This is my response to Cee’s Share Your World – November 13, 2107

Do you ever sit on a park bench for more than ten minutes?

We do that often, especially in Laguna Lake. My husband and I love to walk around Laguna Lake which is 0.77 miles around. We walk around the lake twice, then find a shaded bench and sit down. The lake is a home to many kinds of ducks, Egyptian Geese, turtle and many sea creatures. The irrigation system keeps the water of the lake flowing while there is stillness on a calm day. In the summer, the ducks enjoy their lazy nap by tugging their heads under the wings. We relax and watch people doing their leisure fishing, riding their horses, their bikes, jogging, walking their dogs, or walking their babies in strollers.

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When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles, turn on the flashlight or use your cell phone for light?

We do all of them. My husband has a large rechargeable industrial lantern by the bed upstairs. We have different sizes of flashlights. When the electricity is out due to a storm or other reasons, I usually turn on a small flashlight to find the lighter to light the candles. As soon as I have five or six candles lit, I would turn off the flashlight. Candles light up the immediate areas around each candle. With several candles. We could see quite well walking around the house.

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Would you rather be given $10,000 for your own use or $100,000 to give anonymously to strangers?

Given $10,000 for my own use would only benefit me. But given $100,000 to give to strangers would benefit many people. I would give $500 to each individual and $1000 to each family. So, it would benefit more than 100 individuals and families.

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What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

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Cee’s Share Your World – November 13, 2017