Xingfu means blessed.

Xingfu means happy and blessed in Chinese. Even though 2014 has been a busy and, at times, difficult year that is the word I thought of for this space. Mama not because I have many children but because I seem to fall into a caregiving role. Sometimes I feel like Mama to the world.

The name XingfuMama means Happy Mama with undertones of being blessed.

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No pedigree, just a heart of gold.

Sammie didn’t have a pedigree.

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She was really too young to be taken away from her mother when she came home with Dad. Her mom had a pedigree: Brittany Spaniel. What is known of her father is that he was a good fence jumper and the source of her lab-like coloring and shape. The mother’s owners were appalled since they wanted pedigree. I won’t give details…or share my opinion about such people,  but Sam came home with Dad at seven weeks old because staying with mamma wasn’t an option. A tiny, by turns timid and energetic ball of mostly black fur with a white tummy and a heart of gold.

She used to worry when Dad went out in the boat, running back and forth along the bulkhead barking. She wouldn’t get into the boat or swim. She also worried when he climbed ladders.

She went everywhere with Dad.

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When she was young she was so fast that she actually grabbed a bird out of the air, a wren I think. Chasing birds is a young dog’s sport and as she got older she discovered fishing. It took us a while to catch on to what she was doing: she would wade along watching the bottom and every so often jump. Watching carefully we realized that, as she waded along she would startle the bullheads and occasional flounder into moving then try to pounce on them. She spent hours at it.

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She even caught one once, it had been injured by a seagull, but she was very proud.

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I’ll probably say more about Sam soon. We had to say good-bye to her last week and I have a big hole in my heart right now.

Tree Peony

KSM-20180507-Tree_Peony-02The star of our garden is getting long in the tooth and the Japanese maple is shading it out. I’ve missed seeing it bloom the last couple of years because it blooms around my son’s birthday and I go to China to visit him about that time of year (the kite festival is usually close to then as well). This year, possibly because of the maple leafing out the peony was in full bloom when we got home last Sunday.

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The blooms don’t last long: today there is only one petal left on the flower.

It is too old and the roots are too entwined with other plants to dig it up and move it to a new location, so this year we are going let it go to seed instead of dead-heading so we can propagate it. The Wiki-Google says that it is possible. Wish us luck!

Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Mother’s Day Flowers

Happy Mother’s Day!

Flowers have dominated this Mother’s Day. It has been beautiful: warmth, bright sunshine, and masses of gorgeous flowers in bloom. Even so, for me it has been an emotional roller-coaster

First: Roses

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My son sent me a WeChat message during the night.

We got back from a three week long visit to him a week ago today. It has been a busy week. One of those weeks which go by very quickly, yet so much happens that you barely remember it. Maybe some of that is jet lag. But for me, at least this time, some is emotional lag.

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It is always hard to say goodbye not knowing when you will see your loved ones again. The political situation, both in China and between China and the US is becoming, more tense, and the rules are always changing. Mothers do worry. Even when our offspring are no longer cute little boys but grown, responsible men. It’s not about being controlling or not letting go, it’s about caring.

Second: Poppies

KSM-20180513-MD_Flowers-02As I walked the dogs, sans camera because we were supposed to be hurrying to get off for Mother’s Day lunch and tea with Grandma. As I mentioned earlier the day itself has been gorgeous and usually on such a day the dogs and I would dawdle dreadfully, maybe spending over an hour to go a couple of miles between their sniffing and my taking pictures. The dogs still sniffed but I shortened the walk and left my camera at home. However, as we got back into my yard the poppies were just catching morning sun filtering through the leaves on the maple tree.

Third: Another Rose

KSM-20180513-MD_Flowers-03The Mount, where Grandma lives decorated the dining room in a classy way, with dark blue table cloths and dark red roses. I almost burst into tears. On Monday we had had to put my father’s dog to sleep. I called Sam my half-sister because we had different mothers. I loved her dearly, we spent many happy hours together walking on the beach and in the woods during her not quite 13 years on Earth.

KSM-20180507-MD_Flowers-01The rose against the dark blue cloth hit me hard: the veterinarian’s office had laid out a dark blue blanket with a red rose for Sam on Monday, My beautiful, lively Sam was skin and bones and unable to stand on her own anymore. Damn, I’m crying again.

Fourth: an abundance of May flowers

Because of the warm weather we were able to take a walk outside and enjoy the May flowers:

Fifth: tea cup flowers

KSM-20180513-MD_Flowers-09KSM-20180513-MD_Flowers-10The Mother’s Day tea featured fancy teacups of different designs and luscious, goodies, both sweet and savory, as bright as flowers as carefully arranged on the plates as a bouquet… But they also had those red roses and the dark blue table cloths.

Sixth, and last: tomorrows roses

KSM-20180513-MD_Flowers-16KSM-20180513-MD_Flowers-17Because of the warm weather sometime during the day the first two roses in my back yard decided to bloom. I found them as the pups and I returned from our afternoon stroll…thank goodness they aren’t red. I think it’s going to be a while until red roses don’t make me teary-eyed.

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