The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong + starting a new Mara shawl (via Madelinetosh) = bliss…

One day, I would like to be able to meet and hear her speak in person…what an amazing teacher.  The other person I am learning loads from is Michael Sandel.  Just finished reading his new book, “What money can’t buy”…seriously, what is happening to our society?

It’s amazing…there are so many great teachers out there…learning something new everyday…

Life is good…

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One of my all time favourite breakfast treat is oatmeal cooked in water + agave + dried cranberries.  Well, all it took was to turn this “favourtite” into a lunch item for 3 days (in the name of eating healthier)…

My search for a savory oatmeal recipe to try led me to Penny De los Santos’ blog…no, it was NOT the savory oatmeal recipe that demanded my attention….it was her amazing photographs…her stories…

Was it my second year in art college?  Or the first…I’ve tried a handful of classes in different departments…I was ready to declare my major in photography when something happened…an unexpected financial situation which required a withdrawal/leave of absence.  Luckily, I was already working at my college…switching to full-time was an option and as a full-time employee, I was entitled to take a class free of charge.  This takes me back in time…well, all I want to get to here is that I have ALWAYS loved photography…I won some sort of something in High School via Parsons School of Design in L.A….wait!  Where is that little golden key pin in the clear/blue plastic box?!  Yep, my black and while print was on display at their gallery and I got to see it there….

Long story short,  I love taking photos…where am I going with this?  Oy vey, I do not know…hahahaaaa…I lost my train of thought!  Photography (one of my gazillion hobbies) attempts to freeze time/emotion/situation in a fraction of a second…it’s amazing how some of us are capable of capturing that image…hats off to Penny…

 

 

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We found this at one of the nicer supermarkets…so funny…never seen it in the US…not for our market, I suppose.

After our short vacation…

September 2, 2012

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Thank you for your patience 🙂  We’ve had a short vacation before school started up.  It was one of the best visit to this city ever…it’s a BIG city that does not sleep.  We appreciated tons of great food, this photo is something we did NOT get around to this year.

Visited a cousin recuperating from a nasty illness…my grandma who’s getting on with age….we do regret not having time to see some other elderly folks 😦  But such is life.  We can only do our best.

 

 

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Bias cut A line skirts for me….I love this pattern!  Can’t recall where I got it from, but I know I made a copy of it from some pattern I purchased and then simplified it for my own use.  Some how, through the years I’ve lost the “front” portion…so I made do with just the “back”….appalling for the advanced sewers out there I’m sure!!  Hahahaaaaa…

My motto?  “If I can’t make the item in 2 sittings, don’t bother!”

Frankly, I am VERY impatient…so here’s what I usually do:  Cut our fabric at night after my family chores are done and sew when I have a moment the next day or whenever I have the chance.  We do not have space for a sewing table set up forever, so I need to lug my machines out when I use them…I’m used to it…it’s all good.  If I’m focused I can get the sewing done in one sitting.  If I can’t?  Good luck….the projects will probably hibernate!

I digress…ok, so this past Sunday, I was determined.  I’ve cut out 3 A line bias cut skirts for me…hung them “overnight” for more than 3 days.  I MUST finish them!  Mind you, this is after I made the new purse in the morning!
  Seriously though, the skirts are easy peasy….elastic waistband!  So at the end of last night?  I made 3 of them!  Yay!  I’m on my way to making more of my own clothes….life is good.

 

 

 

 

Little did I know…

July 23, 2012

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Ants will invade my work desk…I screamed when a co-worker handed this flower to me…from her garden…thank you!!

About an hour later, there’s this little lone ant…crawling across my desk…

About half hour after that?  Another one…then I realized that they ALL came from this flower!!!!  Sadly…I found a whole colony hanging about the stem…sorry to see the flower go…but I can’t possibly let them infest my work place…

 

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We’ve been very lucky to have a nice little mom and pop store close by that sells some of our favorite teas.

They are great…there’s our back up tea bags, PG; Yorkshire Gold and our very favourite Taylors of Harrowgate.  Well, if I have to be picky, my all time favourite is Royal Blend by Fortnum & Mason.  We used to be able to order it via their USA location on the East Coast.  $10- for ground shipping and we get 4 cans of it to maximize our shipping fee – we share them with my siblings and we are happily brewing away…

I have NO idea what happened…we, in the US lost our only Fortnum & Mason local connection…what did we do??  I felt abandoned…drinking a PG tea…it’s bearable…not the same as a freshly brewed pot of tea (loose leaves)…so there goes our search…mine really.  My siblings count on me 🙂

Williams Sonoma website showed that they carry Royal Blend?  Ooooo…oh, no stock.  I can wait…so I waited and waited…it went from “No Stock” to “We do not carry it”…WHAT?!

Fine, I refuse to give up…thanks to Amazon, I managed to get 2 cans of Earl Grey and Black tea with Rose from Taylors of Harrowgate at a better price, yes, I had to spend the kaching first…but I know I have them in my tea cabinet!

Then came our Napa trip not to long ago, nice day trip out of San Francisco to find the sun shining brightly in the valley…we stopped off at Dean & Deluca before we drove home at the end of the afternoon to find TONS of teas…this one, TWG caught my eye…nice packaging, the date 1837 on it and all…the sample smelled great…FOOLED…at $26- a can!  Fooled by the packaging and the date…

Never did get to read the whole story about TWG while we were in the store (for maybe 10-15-20 minutes?)…serves me right, next time, I’ll know better….as sis pointed out, the date 1837 does NOT have “depuis” next to it…and where’s the tea made?  SINGAPORE?  Where?  I see…it’s all marketing…I should’ve known…

The Earl Grey I bought for my husband – aroma was lovely when one smells the dried leaves, but brewed?  It’s alright, definitely not made with real bergamot…at this price, I am a little disappointed…oh well…now, I’ve just got to get my mommy to try the one I got for her…

Life is not ever perfect, we just need to learn to be content with what we have….one day, I hope I can get some Fortnum & Mason Royal Blend…hopefully, happily brewing in our nice china pot covered by Kate Davies’ Sheep Carousel tea cozy knitted by me 🙂

 

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Oh…how I love my sweet puppy…he’s my first love…puppy love, really…

He’s been with me through thick and thin for 36 years…

What a good boy he’s been…

My daughter adores him…

We handle him gently…lovingly…

He’s one of the best gifts…well…considering the horrid tantrum I had…it’s amazing my dad bought him for me…you see, I HAD to have him…our eyes locked and that was it!  At an ice-cream place…thanks, dad…best money spent!

I take a bow

to you

Nora

for your brilliance…humor

you shine, star like…up there in the night sky

brightly

for us…

as sisters, we mourn

your passing….

your brilliance lives on…through your writing…forever…rest in peace…

Pickles…

June 26, 2012

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Pickles…

I love pickles…sweet ones mostly…

I came across this store many years ago – they sold “prints” (actually they were pages ripped out of old books)…they had all kinds of book pages…I fell in love with this one…sweet little kewpie…the other side of this page is sadly “lost”…like life, I made a choice…this is mine…it hangs in my office as a gentle reminder.  Unlike IBS which is a not-so-gentle reminder of how to manage my physical body…