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.

Advertisements

Forbidden Crowds

Nancy Merril’s Picture a Week Theme is Crowds. I don’t like them so I don’t have lots of pictures of them: I get flustered and try to haul myself out never thinking to record the experience.

KSM-20140412-Forbidden_City_Crowds-02KSM-20140412-Forbidden_City_Crowds-03

I think the biggest crowd experience I may have ever had was on my first visit to the Forbidden City, it was also my first visit to China and I think it was a weekend or minor holiday (possibly Qing Ming), so there were a lot of Chinese people out to see the Forbidden City the same day that we were there. I think of these pictures as being representative of China, or at least Beijing.

Homeless, well not really

Today when I headed out for our regular morning walk something distracted me and I forgot my house keys.

We had a lovely morning walk, it is unseasonably warm and clear, in spite of the weather predictions calling for rain. The mountains were out, I think that may be a Seattle phrase. They are often hidden by clouds.

20180115-Olympics-01

The pups and I walk about two and a quarter miles, generally the same route with two moderate hills and, on days like today, nice views of the Olympic mountains. We don’t make very good time, the pups and I sniff stuff.  We humans sniff in funny ways. I mostly “sniff” by taking pictures.

On arriving home I couldn’t find my keys. My husband was out on a bike ride. We have a neighbor with an extra set but there were no signs of life at his house. So I pulled a few weeds and did a little yard clean up.

Then we re-walked our morning route backwards. No keys… But the views were still nice.

20180115-Olympics-03

I got up my courage and rang the neighbor’s doorbell. No one was home. Did a little more in the yard, but the sun had moved around and it was starting to cool down. I sat on our porch in the one chair that still has a cushion and wrapped myself up in the warm clothes I had peeled off during the middle of the day and tried to “study” Chinese by closing my eyes and remembering the lessons. Boy am I out of practice with that! I used to be okay at it, and it served me well when taking tests.

Eventually my husband rolled up on his bike, the dogs went crazy. As if it hadn’t been a splendid day for them: it was sunny and 65 degrees F (18 or so Celsius). They got two longish walks and laid in the sun. They had plenty of water and got lots of love and weren’t ever left alone.

I reflected on my day (actually only about 5 hours) of being “homeless”, but kept coming back to the things I had:

We had the sheltered porch with a cushioned Adirondack chair. I had running water (hose spigot) and geoduck shells (Pronounced: “goo-ey duck”, geoducks are super sized clams) I could use as a drinking vessel. I didn’t get into the emergency supplies out in the shed, but they are there. Worst case the dogs and I could stay pretty warm in the shed if the weather had been less temperate. I also had the confidence that Richard would be home before dark, and the neighbors would eventually come home.

It made me think about people who really don’t have a home. Even though I couldn’t get in I had a place to be…What would I have done without it?

This post started out as a response to the prompt Study. I’m not sure where it ended up, but I ended up grateful.

Clueless

KSM-20180110-Mystery_Plant-01Is this a flower or a fruit?…or something totally different. I spied this interesting I-don’t-know-what out walking the dogs yesterday. The day was so gray and glum that I had to use the flash because I couldn’t hold still long enough to get a clear picture that also was true to the color.

If you have any idea what this is please let me know. I’ve walked by it many hundreds of times without noticing until its red-orange things caught my eye on a very grey day.

Cee”s Flower of the Day

A little less fire and fury, please?

I finally slogged through the book Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff, about the campaign and first months in office of the incumbent President of the USA.

To make things clearer to anyone who chooses to read this post: I believe that what is needed to improve the situation in the US is good parenting, and I do not use the name of someone who wants attention over every other goal unless attention is deserved.  This means, as many parents dealing with Difficult Toddlers know: give attention for okay behaviors, for unacceptable behaviors ignore them to the extent you are able, and if the situation is egregious give a time out. If the child runs into the street endangering himself and scaring the living daylights out of drivers, you can spank him.

Back to the topic: the book is not a page turner and part way through I felt like a patsy for buying it since it felt like the whole lawsuit-over-libel thing was made up to boost sales and increase readership so more people would see the Difficult Toddler as innocent. The theory that he wasn’t organized or intelligent enough to pull off collusion was repeated more than necessary. On the other hand I am understanding the articles in this week’s paper better. I have wondered a couple of times how many of the Op-Ed writers actually slogged through the whole book…

Several things bugged me about the book, but two stood out in making it hard for me to read: The book talks a lot about Steve Bannon, whom I dislike; and it was repetitive.

At first glance the book’s voice seems neutral, but it is often from the point of view of Mr. Bannon, by that I mean his worldview is presented as desirable. The whole “this is war” idea is ridiculous and didn’t need more respect than other, more rational, ideas going around at the same time. Bannon is, to put it extremely mildly, not my cup of tea, pun intended.

Aside to explain: I think the whole TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party is a bunch of selfish, illogical, uneducated, racist galoots. The one or two exceptions to this are taking advantage of the others, and I place Mr. Bannon among these. The Republican Party was having trouble with its numbers so it subsumed the TEA Party. It’s a pretty weird pairing, which is why the party is a schizophrenic mish-mash instead of a cohesive, at least semi-rational group. But that is a story for another day…or not.

Fire and Fury is very repetitive, to be expected from the news reports that come from the White House. In general I agree with those who say that the book didn’t really say anything that hadn’t come out other ways. The one thing the book did do, at least somewhat effectively, was to put those already known things in one place, allowing a pattern to emerge, instead of outrage for each individual incident taking center stage. The outrage itself is the key component of the pattern: A Difficult Toddler throwing temper tantrums for attention. Often prodded, or manipulated, into his tweet tantrums by all those trying to “handle” him, in order to distract the tax paying citizens from what they consider “real progress” (a.k.a, screwing us over to line their own pockets) or the last debacle.

I agree that the book isn’t Pulitzer prize level work, not surprising since little time was spent honing the prose in the race to publication. Mr. Wolff’s journalism, much maligned in the press the last couple of days, is what one expects from Breitbart/Fox “News” journalism, no better and probably not much, if any, worse. The attacks on it are disingenuous. If a similar book had been written about Hilary Clinton the administration would have said it was genius.

The real question is: how and why did this mess happen? and the book doesn’t help answer it. What causes people to suspend reason in the voting booth?

One clear example of this: In yesterday’s paper ( I still read them) there was an article about how farmers are concerned that the Difficult Toddler has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and is trying to kill NAFTA, both of which are huge sources of income to farmers, who voted for him. He also has been trying to get rid of immigrant labor, which benefits farmers a whole lot. Why did they vote for someone who stated during the campaign that he was going to do these things? (the article was from the Washington Post if you want to look it up).

A second example: I personally know a couple who are immigrants. They have been for the 40 years that I’ve known them, bringing family members from the Philippines into the US by providing them with a job and green card. They were complaining how  difficult it is to get people here while Barack Obama was still in office. They are hard over Trump supporters, even though he is wanting to put the kibosh on this activity.

So what next? My suggestion would be to have all of the late night comedians ignore the Difficult Toddler, pretend he doesn’t exist, and have mainstream media not use use tweets as if they are real news. Call them rumors. “rumor has it that…” instead of “@RealDifficultToddler tweeted: “. Refrain from using the name unless behavior is reasonable. My prediction: No one is going to do this. And that is a big part of how we got to where we are, sensationalism and gossip are addictive. We may think we’re just venting, but we are really feeding the Fire and Fury.

 

Exploring my world with pictures and words.

Twenty Four

Facts, Thoughts and Thorny Thistles

theoutershores

Surfperch and nature on the sandy beaches

chosenperspectives

"Yeah, that's right. We bad."

Venice Photo Booth

Photo Booth Sarasota, Bradenton, Port Charlotte, St. Petersburg, Fort Meyers + surrounding area Call 941 313 0358

Pix to Words

Image ~ Inspiration ~ Insight

A lot from Lydia

You can learn a lot from Lydia...(It's a song, not a promise.)

Pixel Sisters Studio

create beautiful images with us

WordCamp Seattle 2017

An empowering conference for the WordPress community: designers, developers, & publishers.

pix & kardz

squeezing the moment, sharing the joy

Still Roaming

Travel Photography and Blogging

The Nature of Things

A blog dedicated to flora, fauna and all the wonderful things in nature.

Lost in Translation

Looking for meanings in words, images and sounds

de monte y mar

a little bit of breeze and a little bit of salt

Getting the Picture

A pictorial record of life as I see it.

Musin' With Susan

Life Through My Lens

Tourmaline .

Miniature Diorama Photographer

The Cat Chronicles

Welcome to the Feline World of Nera, Tabby and Fluffy

WordCamp Seattle 2016

October 29 & 30

Enchanted Forests

This Blog is about discovering the magic of forests in every aspect of life from a small plant in a metropolis to the forests themselves