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.
The summer of 2016 seems like forever ago. We took my grandmother on a sojourn to eastern Washington and one of the highlights of that trip was a lovely lunch I had featuring oyster mushrooms, which I had not tasted before. They really did have an oyster-ish flavor.
On returning home, I was emboldened to get some mushrooms at the local farmer’s market and experiment with them, both in still life photographs (which I rarely do, in part because I don’t have any clutter-free areas in the house to use) and in cooking.
I hadn’t thought about that for a long time, maybe I need to hit the farmer’s market this Sunday…
There are a couple of gaggles of Canadian geese that hang out near my Dad’s place in the summer. This year a couple of white geese (domestic runaways?) who joined them. I also added a couple of pictures of the snow geese that winter in the Skagit Valley.
Snow geese in Skagit Valley
One of these things is not like the others…
Heron appears to be leading the geese to the water.
I loved this wonderful park along the west bank of the Mihe River. It runs about 3/4 mile (1.25 km) between the two car bridges. Near each of the car bridges was a pedestrian (plus cyclists and scooters) bridge. One of them was obviously the old roadway but the other was a graceful gently arched bridge.
As I mentioned in an earlier post one the Mihe River runs through the eastern part of the city of Shouguang.
You can see a larger version of any photo by clicking on it.
These are some street scenes. In my experience, which isn’t vast but also isn’t negligible (this was my seventh trip to China), these are typical of a Chinese city. Just like the markets have a wider variety of eggs and vegetables than one typically finds in the US, there is also a much wider variety of vehicles.
I sometimes wonder if Seattle would do better to look into some of these, instead of trying to get people out bicycling in the rain, up steep hills on the poorly maintained, bumpy streets. I’ve seen some clever, three-wheeled scooters and cycles that are more stable than bicycles and have some amount of shelter from rain.
Catching up on reading blog posts after a stimulating day of packing up my grandmother’s apartment and responding to a letter from the VA “Debt Management Department” on her behalf (see my Scared Speechless post for background), I got home before the peak winds were due to hit.
So far the lights have only flickered, but Cee’s question: When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles, turn on the flashlight or use your cell phone for light? hit home: at the first flickers I lit candles in the living room, kitchen and bathroom. I also started up our gas fireplace (I’m not quite sure how to manage the electronic ignition by battery). Before the flickers, based on the weather reports, I had already filled three thermoses with boiling water.
Here are answers to Cee’s other questions:
Do you ever sit on a park bench for more than ten minutes? Not very often. Most park benches aren’t terribly comfortable and, in Seattle, they are often wet and cold, also I tend to be walking when I am at parks (two dogs, need I say more?).
Would you rather be given $10,000 for your own use or $100,000 to give anonymously to strangers? Tough one. Right now I am trying to figure out how to deal with a safe, yet also pleasant, way for my grandmother to live. I think I would take the $10,000. That would cover the difference to give her a private room instead of a shared one at a nursing home for about eight months.
Another concern I have about distributing a large sum is that I feel very inadequate to know enough about various charities to do a good job of making decisions that will make real improvements. I’ve seen charities that have had unintended consequences.
What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? We have had a beautiful fall, this past week has had some lovely days and the colors are warm and cheerful, and inspiring.
At this very moment I am extremely appreciative that I have a safe place out of the weather. I wish everyone else had that as well. Maybe if I could figure out a way to help that along I would take the $100K.
This fall has been a wild ride from a gorgeous Indian summer through a week of solid storms, to more gorgeous sunny days now back into a ten day forecast of storms. Snow, sleet, sun, wind, rain, sometimes all at once.
On the eastern edge of the main part of the city is the Mihe River. The area along the river is a big and quite lovely park.
As I approached the river for the first time I saw something I had not seen before: several vendors selling fishing poles, nets, and fish traps. Often in China one will see vendors, selling food, kites, pinwheels, balloons. Walking along the river there were lots of folks, even families out fishing.