Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #10: Fences

This is my entry for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #10: Fences.

Sometime we are on the same side of the fence.

Sometime we aren’t.

Sometime we build an invisible fence, separating us from the rest of the world.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Posted in photo, photo and thoughts, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged | 8 Comments

It’s all Fitbit’s Fault

I know I haven’t worked hard on my blog, read all the posts I wanted to read, commented whenever I felt like to comment…etc. for a while. Believe it or not, it’s all Fitbit’s fault.

My nephew bought a Fitbit a couple of years ago. I asked him if it would help me losing weight. He didn’t give me a clear answer. Instead, he said, “Just wait until Christmas. Who knows? You may get one from Santa!” I told him not to buy one for me, since I had been walking 30 minutes every day (almost every day… I think) and I had no plan to change.

A couple of months ago, my friend showed me her new toy. Guess what? A Fitbit! She told me how nice and how annoy at the same time that it would buzz if you had been sitting for a long time. I liked the annoying part and thought it would be a great birthday gift for Wei since, in my opinion, he spends too much time in front of his iPad. Well, Wei wasn’t very happy when he found out my plan. He didn’t want one.

My friend suggested me to get one for myself. “If Wei sees how good it is, he will ask for one also,” my friend said. So, I bought one.

I had no idea that Fitbit has this unreasonable expectation that everyone should walk 10,000 steps every day. I was surprised that walking 30 minutes on the treadmill only yielded 4000. The first 5 days, I failed to achieve this 10,000-step goal miserably. On the sixth day, my friend and I took a long walk on the trail and I finally managed to get 10,000 steps. It is possible to walk 10,000, I thought to myself.

I don’t really know how or why, the moment I had achieved 10,000-step goal, I became a slave of my Fitbit. I walk 5000 or 6000 steps on the trail in the morning. Then, I rest, or learn something from YouTube, or read some blogs (less than what I used to). Around 9 PM, on most days, I still have 2000 to 4000 steps to go, so I walk back and forth in the house until reaching 10,000 steps. Have I told you that 9 pm is supposed to be my time to blog?

Day after day, Fitbit makes me so tired that I don’t have any energy left for doing other things.

Have I lost any weight, you probably wonder? Well, in the beginning, I had. I lost 3 pounds, but, somehow, I gained one back (maybe two by now; Wei bought me two boxes of moon-cakes to celebrate my new life style ;-). Even though I hadn’t lost any weight after losing that 3 pounds, I feel healthier. And… are you ready for this? To my surprise, Wei started walking with me two weeks ago. I don’t know how long this will last (for Wei and for me), but I have learned to appreciate for the moment and I do. 😉

Now you know the truth: it is all Fitbit’s fault!!!

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Posted in photo and thoughts | 26 Comments

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #9: Action

This is my entry for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #9: Action.

Patti said, “This week’s challenge is all about action.” She also wrote: “Thomas Jefferson is right. Our actions define who we are.”

I am not 100% sure our actions define who we are (I suspect that some of our actions don’t really come from our heart — do those actions still represent who we are?) I do believe, however, our actions often show how old we are.

(I probably could throw a snowball like that.)

(If I jump down like this girl, I probably will break some of my bones. 😉

(Wish I could swim like my grandniece!)

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Posted in photo | Tagged | 22 Comments

XDrive Photo Story (Sep) – Part 2

Raj started a new Photo Story Series, and it goes like this: he writes the first part of the story, and we will continue writing 2nd, 3rd…, etc. (Every week one contribution will be chosen as a part of the official story and we go from there.) And, hopefully, we will come up with a good story at the end of month… something like that 😉 Please stop at Raj’s blog to find out the rules and read the first part of September story.

Here is my photo and my second part of the story. (I probably will try this once a month at the most… so little free time after retiring, let me tell you…

As soon as he passes the security door, he starts looking around, even though he knows very well that she’s not in the crowd. As a matter of fact, if he sees her, he wouldn’t even know what to say. Still, he keeps searching.

What’s wrong with me? I haven’t thought of her for 6 months now. Wait a second… does this have something to do with the tea I drank on the plane? I should’ve asked for Jack for sure.

On his way to the parking lot, he looks up. The sky clearly is grey.

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Posted in photo, Writing | Tagged | 25 Comments

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

This week, Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge is about sculptures, statues and carvings. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to you 😉

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is an 11-acre (4.5 ha) park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the United States. It is located near the Walker Art Center, which operates it in coordination with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. It reopened June 10, 2017 after a reconstruction that resulted with the Walker and Sculpture Garden being unified as one 19-acre campus.It is one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the country, with 40 permanent art installations and several other temporary pieces that are moved in and out periodically.
— Wikipedia

The most famous piece is “Spoonbridge and Cherry” by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

September Room (Room with Two Reclining Figures and Composition with Long Verticals) by Mark Manders:

Hahn/Cock by Katharina Fritsch:

I saw the same blue cock sculpture (maybe bigger?) at the National Gallery of Art East Building in DC.

Hahn/Cock is a sculpture of a giant blue cockerel by the German artist Katharina Fritsch. It was unveiled in London’s Trafalgar Square on 25 July 2013 and was displayed on the vacant fourth plinth. The fibreglass work stood 4.72 metres (15.5 ft) high and was the sixth work to be displayed on the plinth, on which it stayed until 17 February 2015. It was subsequently acquired by Glenstone, a private museum, and exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, following its 2016 reopening.
The work is in an edition of two. The second version is in the sculpture garden of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN on a pedestal designed by the artist.
— Wikipedia

I hope it’s ok to have some color in our photos. I just couldn’t make a blue cockerel black ;-(

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Posted in Cee’s Black & White Challenge, photo | Tagged | 25 Comments

Horses and Childhood Dreams: Times Past Challenge

This is my submission to Irene’s Times Past Challenge, and this month’s subject is: Horses and Childhood Dreams.

Baby Boomer – Tainan, Taiwan

I grew up in the city of Tainan. Back then, cows were used by farmers as transportation vehicles, so on the street, once in a while, we would see a cow pulling a cart of goods. The only pictures of horses I had seen were horses being ridden by warriors in battle fields (from history book, maybe); horses were not in my childhood dreams.

One day when I was in college, a classmate organized a trip to visit a horse ranch near school. Since I wasn’t crazy about horses, I didn’t want to go, but friends persuaded me to go. My first impression was: they are huge! I remember all the struggles we had for getting on a horse even with workers’ help. We would then ride in circles (not a big circle). When my horse started moving, I lost my balance and almost fell off. I was horrified. (How embarrassing that would be, I kept thinking.) I was tense, and didn’t enjoy the ride at all. When the ride was finally over, I was relived and happy.

(The photo was taken at the horse ranch. Behind us, you can see people riding horses in circles. Based on my expression, my guess is that this photo was taken before the ride.)

Many years later, when we visited the Bighorn Mountains, my daughter wanted to try horse riding. My husband and I looked at each other; each wished the other would take her. I even begged him, but no use. He was rather disappointing our daughter than riding a horse. “Since I survived last time, I am sure I could survive this time,” I finally said to myself.

Even though my first horse ride was a nightmare, it seemed like I had learned a couple of things from that experience. For one, I was able to stay on the horse! I felt relaxed 😉 However, my horse apparently knew I was an inexperienced rider; whenever we made a stop to look at the scenery, my horse thought it was time to eat. The tour guide said grasses are not good for horses, he told me to pull the horse away from grasses; I tried, but my horse totally ignored me. The tour guide told me to pull harder, but I was afraid to choke the horse. It took me several tries… Other than that, to my surprise, I enjoyed the ride a lot. That was what I thought…

We followed a mountain road up. To my surprise (another surprise), when we were ready to return, we went straight down the mountain. All I could see was the ground in front of me, not horse’s head! It was like riding a roller coaster in an amusement park. I am sure I said some bad words in my head, but no time to be upset, it was time to pray! Amazingly, we all made it down the mountain.

When we finally got off the horse, we walked like penguins. My daughter and I pointed at each other and laughed.

Everything was back to normal, until I felt a sharp pain on both of my knees on the next day. When we went to a restaurant for lunch, I hurried to sit down and didn’t realize the motion of sitting-down made the pain worse. I screamed. Of course, we had to explain to other customers what was going on. They all smiled.

This is my experience with horses. How about my childhood dreams? Sadly (or not), I can’t think of any. As a matter of fact, I have been thinking about my life a lot recently. Why my family was so poor, but I never felt we didn’t have enough? Why I never envy any of my friends who lived in a big house, wore pretty clothes? Why didn’t I have any childhood dream? Why don’t I dream (even now)? Could it be because I have had a previous life and I continue living as the person I used to be? 😉

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Posted in Memoir, Writing | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Everyday Moments

This is my submission for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Everyday Moments. Please follow the link to read Amy’s post.

“Let’s play tag, Daddy,” my grandnephew said.

My grandnephew had a lot of fun, can you tell? 😉

By the way, I played tag with my grandnephew, too, and he caught me in two seconds ;-(

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Posted in Children, photo, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged | 28 Comments